Chapter 1: Darkness and Light
It was nightfall in the Garden, and the humans hadn't been made yet, which was mostly Samael's fault, because he continued to question God, but if I was to be honest, I found myself with questions as well. I just didn't voice them. Everything answers itself in time. I believe that. So, as I continued to take care of the Earthly plants that didn't have names yet, I felt God's physical presence appear next to me, and I turned to look at her. "Is everything alright?" She asked me in a gentle voice filled with pure concern.
"I have questions." I told her as I put down my tools, looking up to the beautiful starlit sky. "I have questions like Samael has questions, but I won't voice them. I want to, but I won't." My heart felt warm looking at the stars I helped place, build, light, color, shape, and just give life to, but there was something missing. Something I couldn't explain. Something that left me feeling a bit hollow. It wasn't related to Samael's questions, but it was there just the same.
"That's a wise decision." She hummed lightly as She too began to look up at the sky. "We've done marvelous work, haven't we?"
"We have." I chuckled warmly, but then out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone else looking up at the stars. I turned my head to look at who it might be, and it was an angel I didn't recognize. "God, pray tell, who is that on the wall and why does he sit there?"
"Hmm?" She asked as she looked in the direction my gaze was set, and then I swiftly noticed a knowing smile on Her face. "Ah, that's Aziraphale. He's a Principality. He's also the angel of the Eastern Gate of Eden. He guards it."
"Just as I guard the West?"
"Yes, Raphael. Just as you guard the west. I'm surprised you haven't noticed him yet. However, you do spend a lot of your time imagining new stars, nebulae, and galaxies while you take care of the garden in all areas. You never could just do one thing at a time, could you?"
"No, and you know that." I rolled my eyes with a fond smile. "A lot of the other angels like to pretend that we're all brothers and sisters..."
"...but in fact, that's not the case." She finished for me. "Each of my angels are an individual that serves me and my plans. Separate from me, yet not at all separated from my love and grace. They have their jobs, ranks, and titles, but..."
"...we create our own bonds." I nodded my head, still looking at the Guardian of the Eastern Gate. He wasn't shaped like an average angel or even an average Principality. He was roundish, and to me, it filled my heart where the hollow place was, because if the hollow place had a shape he was that shape. The hollow place had been there since my beginning. I know not why, but it was there. Not only that, but he seemed to be so filled with love for everything that it surrounded him like a second skin or a fresh new robe.
"Yes." She grinned, catching my attention. "Just like you and I had become like a brother and sister. I also allowed you to see some of the books I have that haven't been written yet. You've been in my personal library, reading constantly. You've learned what being a brother and sister means after I've explained relationships to all of the angels. How I've explained bonds and such."
"What is Aziraphale to you?" I wondered curiously, not thinking my question was harmful in any way.
"He's a loyal angel that treats me as he's told to treat me, unfortunately. He loves me, fears me, and completely obeys me."
"Isn't that what you want, though?" I asked her as we walked to our favorite spot near the crystal clear pond to sit down and stare up at the stars some more, admiring their shimmering and twinkling beauty.
She let out a heavy sigh as she leaned her head against my shoulder. "Do you remember, Raphael, when it was just you and me? Before I created any of the other angels? You and I appeared together, I hadn't created you. The nothing, as you've named yourself and the place that we came from. I gave you the name Raphael, and you gave me the name Lord. However, before we named each other, you were a ball of infinite sorrow, mysterious, an embodiment of time; everything that was, is, and could be...you were twisted emotions...some that haven't been named yet, and just...an incomprehensible darkness, rushing with a speed unlike any that has ever been or ever will be, and I..."
"...YOU were a ball of exquisite beauty, wondrous life, all encompassing love and pure light. We rushed into each other, crashed really, and we fused with one another, separated, refused, and separated once more, giving each other equal parts of ourselves while remaining ourselves. We're brother and sister. The first opposites. Darkness and Light, positivity and negativity, good and evil...No one knows but us, because if they did..."
"...there'd be an uproar and mass confusions, and more questions than either of us could handle. It's much easier to tell everyone that you're my oldest angel."
"Right, which still raises questions, you know." I wrapped my arm around her shoulder as I leaned against the apple tree we had planted together, and imbued our knowledge of good and evil in it. Why she requested it of me, I'll likely never know, but I enjoy spending time with her, so I did as she asked. She then rested her head on my chest, listening to my heartbeat, which was another way we were different from the rest. We had hearts, souls, AND Grace. The other angels had grace for their hearts and souls. Works just as effectively, but doesn't grant them nearly the same power God and I have. However, no one was to know I held that much power, so I left it alone, fully content to be one of her angels, but now after seeing that angel, I feel as if I could be more content. More complete. It's an odd feeling.
"I'm well aware, Raphael." She sighed in slight agitation.
"Hey!" I nudged her with my chest slightly, letting out a soft chuckle. "Don't get an attitude with me, just because we're the most complicated beings to ever live."
"That's an understatement." She huffed out. "I have plans, you know." She hummed.
"I know. Your Great Plan and your Ineffable Plan. Plans that I'm a part of apparently."
"Oh!" She swatted my chest playfully, drawing out a hearty laugh from me. "I should've known better than to accept a drinking challenge from you!"
"Ah, but Heavenly wine is so good!" I smirked. "And it makes you oh so truthful!"
"What did I tell you? What did I expose?" Her questions were frantic and laced with worry, so unfortunately, I had to release the facade of me actually knowing.
"Nothing, really." I shrugged as I held her tighter, allowing my left wings to wrap around her, unnecessarily shielding her from the cold of the night on Earth. "You really didn't say anything...until just now."
"Oh! I hate you!"
"HA! No you don't!" I laughed out. "You have many emotions for me, but not hate. Never hate."
"You're insufferable sometimes, you know that?"
"I'm insufferable, and you're ineffable. Irony at its finest."
"You know...we're practically the same, you and I." I could feel her furrow her brow in contemplation. "You have every possibility to have plans just as I do. You have every possibility to-"
I shook my head lightly, letting out a soft stream of air through my nose that was somewhere between a sigh and huff of breath. "No. I have no desire to have grand plans, Ineffable plans, or anything that requires obedience, loyalty, praise, or the like. I want you to have all of that. You're so good. You are wonder, grace, love, light, creation, color, life, music, knowledge, and...well...I want you to have what you want. I'll let you plan, I'll let you make me a part of your plan, and I know, once I'm in them, you won't remove me no matter what I beg or plead, and that's the way it should be. I'm one of your angels, and you are God. I will gladly be your shadow any day. I'll bare the darkness in your heart just as you cradle the light in mine. So, create...and be everything this universe needs of you. I'm content."
"But what if I know you're not fully content?" She whispered out, but before I could ask about it, she quickly changed her question. "Hmm...tell me, Raphael, what were you thinking when you looked at Aziraphale?"
"Do you want honesty, or brutal honesty?"
"Oh..." She got off of my body with a highly amused smirk and a risen brow. "...brutal honesty has ALWAYS been your specialty. The books you've read have taught you many unholy words. So, do tell, what do you think of him?"
I rolled my eyes, before resting them on the Eastern Angel once again, and I noticed that he was still looking up at the stars. "I feel...I feel as if I could be whole with him. I feel as if he can take the rest of the hollow away. I feel...I honestly feel that he's quite a bit like you, but vastly different. His aura is like nothing I've ever seen before, and I feel a pull in my entire being. Is this your doing?"
"Nope." She answered gleefully as she shot up to look at me with widened eyes and an all too wide smile.
"Oh no." I groaned out as I saw the expression on your face. "You're smiling! Bad things always happen when you smile! Bad for me! What is it?"
"WOW! You're obtuse!" She guffawed.
"If I'm obtuse and we're brother and sister, what does that make you?"
"The smart one apparently." She snorted out. I hit her arm, then she hit mine, and we were soon laughing together once more. "Oh..." She sighed out, her laughter dying down to a delightful chuckle. "...think back to the books you've read. You know...the romantic ones?"
My eyes widened considerably as I looked back and forth from Her and Aziraphale. I held a hand to my chest with a dropped jaw, and I felt it again. That pull. That feeling of being content. That belonging feeling and completed feeling. "N-No! That's...I don't even know him! I can't be!"
"Well..." She chuckled behind a hand that failed at hiding her immense amusement. "...it seems you are."
"B-But I...at first sight!?"
"Seems so." She grinned mischievously.
Desperately wanting a change of subject, because honestly, I was the original darkness...love isn't for me. I can experience it, but the kind of bonding love, the true love, the soulmate or even minor romantic love she's insinuating at...I don't think it's for me. I don't think I deserve it. Who in their right mind would love someone who before any of the beginning, before any of the other angels existed...was everything negative and dark? As much as the pull calls to me and fills my heart with the warmth of a thousand suns, and as much as I feel I want it in my soul, I must refuse. It's not...I can't. So, I changed the subject and asked, "Your humans, lets get back to them. What are you going to do with them?"
"If Samael is getting scolded and warned about questioning me, what makes you think I'll tell you?" She grumbled, slightly agitated.
"Because I'm me and you're you, and we're who we are."
"I hate it when you make a valid point." She pushed me onto the fresh green grass, causing me to let out a boisterous laugh. She then laid her head on my chest as we looked up at the stars, watching them looking down on us. I wrapped my left arm around her, and allowed my thumb to gently stroke up and down as my laughter died down. "I'm going to test them." She answered simply, and I could feel the weight of it all. That simple sentence. It held so much, but it especially held a silent warning not to question any of what She would be testing them with.
"I suppose...I shouldn't ask how, should I?"
"No, and if I recall, that was your rule. Unless I have written them, you are not to know them, nor is anyone else. The rules of both the Great and the Ineffable plan. You wanted it this way, so no, you shouldn't question."
"Lord...you're getting tetchy again."
She let out a resigned sigh and I could feel her trying to calm herself. "Sorry, it's just..."
"I know. You want me to be by your side, but out of the two of us, you're the best choice to be the ONE God. You were ORIGINALLY everything Good. God shouldn't be the first ever darkness and negativity. God should be light, life, and love, and well...that's what you are."
"Fine, but I'm putting you in my Ineffable Plans."
"Yes, I know." I smirked. "You already admitted to doing so. Say, we've been rather loud out here. It would raise more questions if your angels saw us like this, or even heard a one hundredth of our conversation..."
"Oh?" She chuckled mischievously. "Afraid of looking like an Archangel lying with God as intimately as something in those romantic books you've read?"
"First off, I can't see you in that way." I stated pointedly and immediately. "Secondly, yes, actually. It's just more trouble that I don't need. I already get questioned with every fresh new garrison of angels you create since I'm your oldest angel. They want to know so much, but there's so much I can't and won't tell them. So, with all of that said, should we leave the garden?"
"Relax, I've placed a barrier around us. No one will be able to see or hear us. Not unless I decide for them to."
"I wouldn't put it past you, you know."
"Yes, as a matter of fact, as a being of knowledge, just as you are, I do know. You've been in my library and well, no one else, not even my Seraphs have been in there."
"That's because it mentions the humans, their ideas, their creations, their fantasies, their darkness, their light, their love, their hate, their pain, their...everything really. It shows what Earth will become, what the humans will discover about themselves and the universe. No one is to know that, but you've allowed me into the library."
"Yes, and you spend MOST of your time in there reading romance novels. You're a sap and I've found your notebook..." She conjured my journal that I had created myself from what I've seen in Her library. It had a black leather cover, a curling snake etched onto the cover, and the pages were smooth, and would eventually be known as the first paper when humans eventually got around to making it. I just jumped ahead and I wrote in it. I also made the journal infinite so that I could continue to write in it no matter how old I got. To anyone else, it would look like a normal sized book, but it's most definitely not. However, that wasn't what was on my mind at the moment. She had my journal. I snatched it from her and miracled it back in it's safety spot in her library.
"Stealing is a crime, Lord."
"Not yet, it isn't."
"NOW who's the insufferable one?" I groaned out. "How much of that did you read?"
"Enough to realize you're practically a true poet. Your words are remarkable, your description incredible, your penmanship...astoundingly beautiful."
"Thank you, but please, don't go-"
"-looking into your journal again? I won't. Not unless you let me. However, I have created a copy of it. That way, as you write in your personal one, my copy will also scribe your words. I may need them someday."
"For what, I have no clue, but fine. I know better than to argue with you when you've already set your mind to something. Now, come on, dawn soon approaches, which means your day of resting is done." I stood up and helped her to her feet as well. We returned to Heaven in the blink of an eye, but once we got there, we both noticed that Samael had angels behind him and they were no longer wearing white. "Samael?" I asked, gaining his attention. "What's all this?" His scowl deepened into an ugly engraved thing on his face as he glared at Lord. I stepped in front of Her, my wings out protectively and defiantly as I stood straighter. "Samael, what are you doing? Why are those angels no longer wearing white?"
"Oh, come off it, brother! You don't even wear white!"
"Fine." I huffed out, standing my ground. "Why are they all dressed in black then?" I detested the color since I crashed into Lord, who wore a beautiful ethereal white, but it reminded me of who I am. I am her other half in the universal sense. I bare her darkness, but I also guard her from it, just like she cradles my light, but shields me from it blinding me. My robes, however, weren't black as the nothing like the angels behind him were wearing. Mine were a steady gradient of every green imaginable, while Samael's was the same but with red.
"God will not answer our questions regarding the humans! All we know is that they will be made in our image, wingless, and they will have things called...hearts...and...souls. They will be in charge of an ENTIRE planet! How are we NOT to question that!? I know you have questions too, brother! I've seen it in your eyes! She's told us everything up to the most brutal honesty so far, but as soon as humans come into the light..."
'That's not entirely true.' I thought grimly as I watched his aura darken and rather than shimmer, it seemed to dull into darker hues.
"...Samael, return those angels' robes to their proper colors at once." She demanded as She came out from behind my wings.
"I will not! We WILL be answered! WE are yours! The humans will be less than us, yet you tell us to love them more than you!? THEN, you tell us nothing! You don't answer our questions! I have gathered eleven million angels, and if you do not answer us, we WILL fight with our blades ringing throughout ALL of heaven to your so called 'faithful' angels until you DO answer us!"
"If you fight, we will both lose angels." She stated calmly, but somehow, her words weren't asking him to NOT fight. Nor was it a full warning. It was a fact. She KNEW.
"Then so be it! I will fight to the last angel until it is just you and me on the battlefield!"
"If you think you can go up against me in battle you are sorely mistaken." She challenged. "I will not answer your questions. You are NOT to question my plans." She then lifted her head to address the angels behind him with a steady expression as she clasped her hand in front of her. "Any of you who stand behind Lucifer, if you do not wish to fight against me and everyone of my angels of every rank, you are free to leave Samael, and I will not have you in the battle at all, but as it seems he will not stand down, neither will I. You will be free to leave, and after the battle it will never be brought up with you ever again and no one will know you were involved with Samael, who's new name is now Lucifer."
I counted as five hundred thousand angels left him, retreating into the further depths of Heaven as swiftly as possible. "You are now left with ten and a half million angels, Lucifer." I warned him. "Against all of Heaven, I wouldn't like those odds if I were you."
"Oh, but you're NOT me! No! You ever faithfully follow her, but soon enough, brother, she will prove to you that your faith is ill placed."
"Be prepared to face me, Lucifer. I give you two hours to ready yourself and your angels for battle, and once I have decided your numbers have decreased enough, I will condemn you to a horrible place the exact opposite of Heaven."
"That's if you live long enough to do so." He walked away with his angels with a defiant and overly proud expression.
Once they were out of sight I made my way in front of her to look at her face, and I noticed how viciously fierce it looked, but in her eyes she bore an overwhelming sadness. I grabbed her hand gently and teleported us to the library, immediately bringing her into a tight hug, wrapping my wings around her. "It's alright. You can cry now. No one will see but me."
She wrapped her arms around me, pushing them through my top and middle wings so that she could clutch the back of my robes as she sobbed into my chest. "I-I HATE being SO angry! It HURTS Raphael! I hurt! It's painful! My heart! No one understands how painful a heart can be except you!"
"No, the other angels understand it within their grace. You know that. Their grace is a combination of a heart and a soul while still being wholly grace."
"I still hurt! It hurts! I didn't want it to come to this!"
"Was this one of the many possibilities you saw in Lucifer when he started asking questions?" She nodded her head as her sobs grew harsher. I then slowly guided us to the floor so she could collapse safely in my arms. "Do you know what happens next?" Another nod, and if possible, she gripped me tighter.
"Th-The p-place I mentioned...it's the opposite of Heaven, and when I send them there...they will be cut off from me! Everything Holy or blessed in my name will hurt them. Holy Water will kill them...permanently. It will wash away their existence, and I..." She gripped me tighter as she sobbed harder, and I understood.
"And you need to send me there. Don't you?"
"I didn't want it to come to this!" She cried out.
"But...as the original darkness, I have to be in the realm you will create for the darkest of angels. You need me to make sure it doesn't grow too out of control. Don't you?"
"Y-You'll still be you, b-but...I'll have to alter your aura slightly. Will you...will you allow me?"
I pushed her away gently so I could bring my hands up to her cheeks, my thumbs wiping away the liquid that should never appear from her eyes and onto her face. "I will fight alongside you." I stated carefully. "I believe this is perhaps my fault anyway. I spent time with him, asking him what his questions were, and I could answer them, I know I could, but I wouldn't. They're your answers to give. I believe I perhaps provoked him, even though I was trying to stop him."
"Yes, but will you allow me to send you there? It will be horrible, awful, dark, cruel, torturous, and none of what you've read in the books will come close to what they'll often do to you if you break their new rules. You'll have to actually be a...a demon. You will have to do what they ask of you. You will have to be lesser than what you are."
I gave a slight shrug and a reassuring smile. "I'm already lesser than what I am, technically. If you absolutely need me there, I'll go, but at least let me leave AFTER you send them. Create a staircase for me, so that I can SHOW you that you didn't force me into this. To SHOW you that I choose to go, alright?"
"Y-You'll be unforgivable, hated, despised, ridiculed, tortured, and-"
"-and I'll be just as insufferable as I am now. I know this place will have no mercy for me, but I go willingly if you are brought to no other choice but to send me there for your plans. You're my sister. There's nothing I wouldn't do for you."
She let out a choked sob-laugh as she replied, "Save that kind of devotion for Aziraphale after you fall. Believe me when I say that he'll mean more to you than I do. That's all I'll reveal to you. Thank you!" She pushed herself back into my embrace as she began her sobbing once more. "I'm going to miss you! You've always been there to keep me in check! You've dried every tear, and calmed every raging storm. I wish..."
"Say...I have an idea. You said you have a copy of my journal?"
"Yes." She hiccuped, trying to listen to me better.
"You said that as I write in it, you'll see it in your copy. Well, why not just keep communication with me that way. We can write to each other." I kissed the top of her head as I gently pushed her away once more, and I made mine appear at the same she made her version appear. I gave her mine, and she placed her own miracle.
"There..." She said as she handed it back to me. "...that way I can write back to you, but...you can't go around having a book in Hell. Especially this kind. It'll need to be hidden. She placed her hand on top of my journal that I was holding once again, and then she placed her hand to the right side of my face, well, my right her left, and I felt the book slowly disintegrate from my hand, and I felt a marking of some kind being placed on my skin. "Now, all you have to do is touch the snake on the side of your head while holding out your left hand, and the book will appear, ready for you to write in it. I'll immediately know when you do, and I'll write back. I'll also hear you if you call out to me in prayer, but you won't be able to do that while you're in Hell, so this is the best I can offer you. Oh, and I've added something to you. You can now shift into the form of a snake. I thought it fitting since you like them so much." She let out a half choked out sob as she shook her head. "Even though they haven't been created yet or named."
"Then I shall be the first." I grinned as I did as she told me to with the book, and it appeared in my hand. I miracled a pen to appear and I willed the book to open to its next page. I then wrote down my first sentence to her before we go and get ready to fight Lucifer.
I watched as her journal started glowing gold, causing her eyes to widen just before she frantically opened the book. Once she reached the page I had written in, she covered her mouth with her right hand as more tears escaped. "I love you too, Raphael. Thank you."
"Don't mention it." I told her as I touched my mark, willing the book to go back to its place inside my heart, grace, and soul. Once it was gone, I gently took her hands and lifted us both off the floor. "We must go get the other angels ready."
"You're right. You gather together the angels, Archangels, and Principalities...except Aziraphale...and I'll gather the rest."
"Understood. See you soon." I gave her another kiss on her forehead before leaving to do as she asked of me, knowing that things would be getting much more difficult for both of us, but something about her leaving Aziraphale out of the battle made me immensely relieved, so there was that. As I rushed to the other angels, I kept two things in mind, or rather, I kept one thing in mind while my heart was adding to the thought. The battle would make things difficult for both of us, and she promised that Aziraphale would mean something to me. One thought weighing me down with heartache while the other lifted it to the stars. Strange...this crazy little thing called love. I still don't think I can handle it, but we'll see I suppose. I'm sure I'll know when I first speak to him.
Chapter 2: Beginning and Warnings
The battle raged, and all of the books I had ever read, none of them came close to describing the bloodshed that happened in Heaven. Lucifer lost five hundred thousand angels, before Lord decided to send them to Hell. She did as I asked and gave me a staircase. Once I got there, it was nearly stifling. The smell of sulfur was everywhere, brimstone was a new thing she created, and I lost my middle and lower wings as the decent turned my wings and my robes as black as ebony.
Eventually I arose to the surface again, tempted Eve with the apple from the tree I planted with...I guess I should just call her God now...but Eve bit into it and gave it to Adam. God then kicked them out.
After that, I slithered my way up the wall to meet Aziraphale. In the sunlight of midday, he was stunning. His hair as white and seemingly as soft as the gentlest of clouds in Heaven, his body roundish and firm, his eyes the color of stardust, his cheeks as pink as the pink roses God loved so much, and his aura was screaming with various different colors. However, a yellow stream of anxiety was overtaking the other colors. I turned off my ability to read auras so I could see him more clearly before speaking. "Well, that went down like a lead balloon." I told him as I watched Adam and Eve walk further away.
He let out a nervous laugh, but I was still focused on Adam and Eve walking away. "Sorry, what was that?"
I looked at him and gave a sort of half smile as I answered clearer this time, "I said well that went down like a lead balloon."
He nodded his head in agreement before looking out to the horizon once again. "Yes, YES! It did, rather."
"Bit of an overreaction if you ask me. First offense and everything." I narrowed my eyes as I shook my head. "I can't see what's so bad about knowing the difference between good and evil anyway." I truly couldn't. Especially for her humans. Shouldn't they be allowed that? Was this perhaps part of her testing them? Questions I couldn't and wouldn't ask flooded my mind as I patiently waited for his reply.
"Well it must BE bad...uh..."
I raised my eyebrows, slightly surprised that he would want to know my name. I'm a demon after all. There's no telling what God told them about us. "Crawley!"
"Crawley..." He stated in understanding. "...otherwise...you wouldn't have tempted them into it."
"Oh...well they just said get up there and make some trouble." They did, and it was convenient that I was the only being in Hell that could turn into an animal. Yes, extremely convenient. Almost as if it was part of one of her plans.
"Well, obviously. You're a demon. It's what you do."
"Not very subtle of the Almighty, though. Fruit tree in the middle of the Garden with a 'don't touch' sign. I mean...why not put it on top of a high mountain? Or on the Moon? Makes you wonder what God's really planning." I tested to see what he might say. I wanted to know what kind of angel this Principality was. I wanted to see what God perhaps saw when she said that he would mean a great deal to me.
"Best not to speculate." Well, at least he's loyal, faithful, and truly the perfect example of an angel of the lord. "It's all part of the Great Plan. It's not for us to understand. It's ineffable."
"The Great Plan's ineffable?" I questioned as a spark of curiosity struck me because of his words. 'To my understanding, she always spoke as if the two were completely separate from each other. She would say the Ineffable AND the Great plan. She never spoke as if they were the same. She would say one or the other OR she would add AND. What have you been told and by whom?'
"Exactly." He answered, and as he continued to talk, I quickly noticed something was missing. Something ALL Guardians of Eden were given. I was given one and so was the Seraph at the Northern gate and the Cherub at the Southern Gate. "...It is beyond understanding..." I heard him continue with confidence. "...and incapable of being put into words."
"Didn't you have a flaming sword?" I quickly said before he could continue his rant.
I tilted my head and continued. "You did! It was flaming like anything. What happened to it?"
"Lost it already, have you?" Not that one just simply LOST a flaming sword, but he was so nervous about the question, it was puzzling. What could be so bad about not having his sword?
"I gave it away." I heard him mutter, and my eyes instantly went wide.
"You WHAT!?" I shouted in disbelief. 'THAT...that is bad! And...impressive!'
"I gave it AWAY!" He whined out, louder and clearer, and I felt a heavy thump of my heart while my grace giddily thrummed when he looked me in my new serpentine eyes. His eyes were more than stardust. From a side glance, stardust, but facing directly at me, an entire nebula of light, life, and color. It made me speechless, allowing him to continue as a small smile unwilling graced my lips once again. "There are vicious animals. It's going to be cold out there and she's expecting already, and I said 'Here you go. Flaming Sword. Don't thank me. And don't let the sun go down on you here.'" I watched as the guilt and doubt appeared on his face as his shoulders sagged. "I do hope I didn't do the wrong thing."
"Oh...you're an angel. I don't think you CAN do the wrong thing." The kindness came out on its own. I hadn't meant to sound so reassuring. I had meant to sound condescending and sarcastic, but he took it for what it unwillingly came out as, and a part of me internally asked if that was such a bad thing when he looked at me with a look of such immense relief.
"Oh! Oh! Thank-Oh Thank you. It's been bothering me."
I let out a soft hum in contemplation as Adam started going up against a lion. "I've been worrying too. What if I did the right thing with the whole eat the apple business. A demon can get into a lot of trouble for doing the right thing...Be funny if we both got it wrong, eh? If I did the good thing and you did the bad one."
He nodded briefly and chuckled nervously, but seemed to quickly come back to his senses. "No! It wouldn't be funny at all!"
"Oh...well..." Interrupting me, a thunder clap sounded overhead and lightning lit up the charcoal gray clouds, and to my surprise, Aziraphale lifted his wing over my head, seemingly almost on instinct. I hesitantly stepped closer to him. I then laced my fingers with his, feeling how smooth his hands were, and how thick his fingers were. I could feel the devotion pouring off of them, but as I held his hand, I hadn't expected him to hold mine back, but he did. He closed his fingers onto my hand, and we were holding hands like a couple in those books I had read and it felt...right. I felt...well...I didn't feel the hollowness in me anymore. I felt like I had when I first saw him...before my decent. The hollowness just...vanished. However, him holding my hand in return did beg the question as to why he was doing so. It was a question I would never ask. I'm already risking literally everything just by standing near him, NOT trying to kill or tempt him.
"What do you think this is?" I heard him ask as he held his other hand, gripping mine a bit more, but not enough to hurt.
He looked at me and I couldn't help the soft and somewhat amused smile on my face. "The water falling on us is rain, the dark gray clouds are storm clouds, the bursts and streaks of light coming in and out of the clouds is called lightning, and the sound coming after the light is called thunder. This is called a thunderstorm. It's a pretty heavy one at that. This would be the first one, I believe."
"If it's the first, then how do you know so much about it?" He questioned with an amused expression of disbelief, and really, I couldn't blame him.
"Something I heard God mention before I became a demon." Quickly trying to change the subject, I took in a deep breath before saying, "So, after this storm ends, what will you be doing? I can't imagine you showing up in Heaven sopping wet."
"No." He chuckled lightly, which pulled at something in my chest. "I can't quite imagine that either. Hmm...well...I've been told to stay on Earth, so I suppose I'll watch over the humans."
"What a coincidence! I've been told the same thing." As I said it, I couldn't help but think perhaps SHE had something to do with it, but I wasn't going to complain. I know how much she didn't want to send me away, and I should really write to her soon.
"I suppose we'll be fighting one another."
"Oh..." I drawled out sarcastically if not a bit impishly. "...I don't think there's any need for that, I mean, we seem to be getting along just fine." I gave his hand an experimental squeeze, and by doing that, quickly earned a flushed faced angel...that...didn't...remove his hand. How interesting. "May I ask why you're still holding my hand?"
"Do you want the honest truth?"
"Always." I nodded, and that was the truth. I didn't care how brutal it was, I always wanted the truth.
"I'm a bit terrified." He sent me a shy smile that didn't reach his eyes and all I could think was how wrong that look on him was, and how I desperately wanted it to change. "I wasn't part of the battle so I don't know exactly what happened. I don't know what was said or done and so many angels fell...and all the while, I don't know even HOW they fell. I've been on the wall this whole time, guarding the Garden. All I know is that we were told what could harm a demon, what could harm an angel, and that demons were to never be trusted, or treated kindly. We were also told that your kind know nothing of positive emotions, but for some reason you seem to be different. When you were talking about the erm...thunderstorm...you showed awe and wonder, and for some reason joy. All positive emotions. I'm also terrified I'll fall...that's where all the other fear wraps around and I just-"
"Aziraphale, look at me." I told him calmly as I turned my whole body to face him, still holding onto his hand.
"H-How do you know my name?" He stuttered out as he turned to face me.
"I heard it before I fell and I remembered it. Now, look me in the eyes, and I am going to tell you what happened. You're an angel. You'll be able to tell if I'm lying about any of it. Alright?" He nodded his head as his Adam's apple bobbed up and down, and...funny thing about being able to read all the books in God's library except for all versions of the Bible and books of prophecy...you learn a lot more than you should and as time moves on, humor inevitably comes with foreknowledge. "Good." I nodded in return. "Lucifer heard about God making humans. God requested that we...um...that the angel love humans more than her. She went into detail about what they would be like right down to the fact that they would be naked. Lucifer didn't like that so he demanded to know things. Things that...even I know better than to ask. I asked my own fair share of questions, but it wasn't necessarily the same he was asking. Anyway, he asked questions, she told him she wouldn't answer them as they are a part of her Great and Ineffable Plans. Lucifer...he got mad. So, he started rallying angels to fight against her. Before the fight actually happened, I met up with him in Heaven's Garden, and I tried to talk him out of it. I tried to get him to see sense. He told me I betrayed him...because we actually knew each other pretty well...but anyway, that's not the point. Point is, he eventually gathered his angels. He dressed them in black robes...as you can tell...and he had a legion of ten million and five hundred thousand angels. He lost five hundred thousand of them in the battle. Eventually, God couldn't take anymore of the violence, so she, in the blink of an eye and the booming of a voice...created a new place. A horrible place. Endless fire, brimstone, heat, pain, and pure negative energy. She named it Hell, and she named the fallen...demons. The ones that aligned themselves with Lucifer are the ones that fell. Are you going to sympathize or side with Lucifer?"
"WHAT!? Heavens no!"
I gave him a soft smile and a reassuring squeeze of his hand, which caused his eyes to widen for some reason. "Then...you've nothing to worry about."
"But...how did you fall then...if you tried to stop him?"
"That...is not something I want to talk about if it's all the same to you."
"Right, of course!" He began in a bit of a flustered state.
"Aziraphale, calm down. I'm not upset. It's just...unlike most of the other demons, I still remember Heaven. It wasn't all that bad. I had someone I cared about...she was like a sister to me, and well...now we can't talk like we used to."
"Oh..." A look of realization dawned on him to my immense relief. "...was she a high ranking angel?"
"Something like that." I chuckled lightly. "If I wasn't roaming the halls of Heaven, or...what I was told to do...I would be spending my time with her. I had other past times, but she's what I remember as the better part of Heaven. Well, from at least when I was there. Now, I'll have to make new bonds, but I don't necessarily mind that. She was really the only person I truly got along with and felt comfortable with." I looked out onto the horizon once more, noticing how the rain was beginning to let up slightly, but only slightly, and his wing was still over my head. It had to be aching by now.
"How is it a demon can look back at Heaven fondly rather than dejectedly? Don't you despise God, Heaven, and Her angels?"
"Most of them, yeah, and it does no one any good by despising God. She can do anything she wants with a snap of her fingers. As far as Heaven itself...I didn't much like the pristine walls, the pureness of it, the white and gold everywhere, it was a bit too...stuffy for me. As spacious as it was...it was too stuffy. Hell's worse. You can't take two steps without bumping into someone. I like it up here much more. Besides, you're not so bad. After all..." I looked up above my head and I released my hand from his as I used it to gently reach up and carefully grab the arch of his wing to cautiously bring it down. Doing so, earned me a gasp on contact, and a look of awe and confusion as I lowered it back to its rightful place, where I then earned a wince. "...you've been holding up your wing for some time now. For a demon, no less." I hovered my hand over the section of his wing that I could tell was tense and sore, and I focused on three things. Grace, Healing, and Wing. I didn't know if it would work, or what it might do to him, but I figured if holding my hand didn't burn him, perhaps I could do this, and I was right. I watched as the feathers ruffled underneath my hand while the muscles relaxed to where they ought to be. "There you go. Better?"
"Y-Yes...much. Thank you."
"Still terrified?" I wondered curiously as I brought my arm back down to my side.
"Now that you've explained what makes a fallen angel...no. I'm not as terrified anymore, but I am still a bit scared. My own worries. I won't bother you with them."
"Suit yourself." I told him as I looked up at the clouds. I closed my eyes as the rain dropped onto my face, and I could feel the emotion in them. She was sad. Still sad from sending away her angels. Strange. I would've thought that she would be sad about Adam and Even leaving the Garden, but no, this was residual sorrow. As soon as I noticed it, it was as if she tried to hide her pain. The storm started letting up until it was gone. "Well, now that the storms over..." I snapped my hands and miracled myself dry while Aziraphale did the same. "...I'm going to roam the Earth for a bit. I've done my bit on Adam and Eve, and you said you're stationed here on Earth, so...I'll let you have the next one, but don't think it'll always be like that."
"Of course I wouldn't think that. We're enemies."
I let out a snort of laughter as I flew off towards their direction, but just a little to the right as well, thinking, 'Right, and enemies hold hands? What kind of angel are you, Aziraphale, and why is that I'm starting to think my sister is right? Love at first sight and all.' Once I couldn't see the Garden anymore and I knew I was a safe enough distance from Adam and Eve, and therefore, Aziraphale, I brought my hand to my mark, summoning my journal, but this time, a golden pen with eternal liquid ink swirling inside it appeared. 'Huh, helpful.' I briefly thought before I set pen to paper and started writing to her.
Lord, I officially met Aziraphale today.
I waited for a moment, and for a second I was sure she wasn't going to reply, but then golden ink started gently shining as letters appeared in much better handwriting than my own while her letters leaned a little to the right, like they usually did.
Oh? Is that so? What did you think of him?
I thought he was interesting. He gave away your flaming sword to the humans, and he's terrified that he'll fall because of it, but apparently I reassured him. I...well, we held hands. I was surprised he held mine back. We talked a lot, and somehow got along. He's a strange one, but he's good.
I know very well that he gave away the sword. I'll ask him about it tomorrow. I'm glad to hear from you. Well...in a sense I suppose.
How's Heaven holding up?
About as well as one would expect after the battle that happened. Today was officially the first day I had to cry by myself.
I know. I felt it in your thunderstorm. I was going to ask you about it, but it seems you've saved me the trouble.
After the battle, I didn't have time to cry. It's been mass panic, as was to be expected, but I hadn't had any time to rest until I sent Adam and Eve away. I'm in my room right now, and I felt it when you noticed my emotion in the thunderstorm. That's why I stopped it.
You could've told me. You know...through the journal.
The thing is, I knew you were with Aziraphale. I didn't want to interrupt and my thunderstorm got him to lift his wing over you, so there's a plus, I suppose.
You're not trying to set me up are you? Lord, he's an angel, and I'm a demon now. It'll never work out. He has a love for everything, just as you've created him to, but me? There's no way. He can be pleasant and nice, but nothing more than that. Not for me.
It sounds as if you're trying to convince yourself of that more than you're trying to convince me. In the end it isn't up to you or me if he loves you or not. All of my angels have free will. Now, consequences are still a thing and will always be.
Can you just tell me...will Aziraphale fall? Will he fall for knowing me, for speaking with me, for...if it should ever happen...for being my friend?
Crawley, I want to be able to tell you everything. Believe me, I do, but if i tell you everything now, then it will all be pointless when it comes time for you to know such things. I have several paths leading to several other paths depending on the decisions Hell, Heaven, and Humanity makes. I want to tell you, but I can't. Do you understand?
I could hear the desperation etched into every letter she wrote, and the fact that she was writing slower than usual was something as well. It irritated me, but I suppose she felt the same for humanity as well, and if anyone was to understand her about the dangers of foreknowledge it was to be me.
Yes, I understand, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.
I never asked you to like it. However, you MUST be careful, Crawley. You're not above or below consequences either. You're still completely you from before your decent. You just have the AURA of a demon. You'll be held to consequences, not by me, but by Lucifer. You're lucky he thinks he killed you in battle. Everyone in Heaven thinks your dead. Some don't care, but Gabriel misses you. You taught him how to fight and heal after all. Anyway, everyone thinks you perished in battle, but I haven't denied or confirmed their suspicions, so for now, you're also safe from Heaven, but you HAVE TO BE CAREFUL!
Me? I'm ALWAYS careful!
OH! You ARE Insufferable! You Insufferably kind, sarcastic, remarkable, confident...THING! You're Insufferable!
And you are Ineffable. It was nice...writing to you.
(SIGH) It was nice writing to you as well. Heed my warning won't you?
I will , and besides, it's not like you won't know if I don't.
Chapter 3: The Flood
"Hello, Aziraphale!" I chimed as I swiftly came up to his side.
"So, giving the mortals a flaming sword...how did that work out for ya?"
"Well...the almighty has never actually mentioned it again."
"Probably a good thing." I commented, remembering how I've been on the receiving end of her bursts of anger before in Heaven. "What's all this about? Build a big boat and fill it with a traveling zoo?" As soon as the last word left my lips, I berated myself, because Zoos hadn't become a thing yet and it was something I read in one of the books from her library. I just hoped he didn't ask about that one, because I can't come up with an explanation for that one.
"From what I hear...God's a bit tetchy. Wiping out the human race. Big storm."
"All of them!?" I questioned with a risen brow. 'Surely not all of them!' I thought desperately.
"Just the locals." He shrugged as he wrung his hands, clearly as upset while I was completely astounded and just a tad pissed off. I mean, what is she THINKING up there!? "I don't believe the Almighty's upset with the Chinese or Native Americans...or the Australians."
"Yet." I shot back, mainly because humans always did have a way of making her angry, sad, or upset, but to DROWN everyone!?
"And God's not actually going to wipe out ALL the locals. I mean, Noah, up there...his family, his son, their wives...they're all going to be fine."
"But...they're DROWNING everybody else!" I heard children playing next to me as their goats followed behind them, and at that moment, my heart fell into the dust beneath my feet. "Not the kids...you can't kill kids!"
"Mmm-Hmm." He squeaked out as he continued to nod his head.
"Well, that's more the kind of thing you expect my lot to do." And it was! DEMONS hurt families...CHILDREN! Not her! I'll have to talk with her later to see what the Heaven is going on!
"Yes, but when it's done, uh...the Almighty's going to put up a new thing called a 'Rain Bow', as a promise not to drown everyone again."
"How Kind!" I sarcastically said, because as much as I'm sure he was trying to reassure me for some reason, it certainly didn't help! A rainbow? Really? An array of colors made by water, light, and air? As a promise!?
"You can't judge the Almighty Crowley. God's plans are-"
Before he could finish, I turned towards him and interrupted. "Are you going to say ineffable?"
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that there was a unicorn running away from the rest of the animals. "Oi! Shem! That Unicorn's going to make a run for it! Oh, it's too late...It's too late! Well, you still got one of them!" The thunder clapped and boomed over our heads, and the biggest globs of rain drops started pouring down on us, and in the rain, I could feel sorrow, anger, fury, conflict, and just...pain. 'Well, at least she doesn't WANT to do this. I'm still going to talk to her later though.'
"Crawley, how do we get out of this?"
"You're an angel, aren't you?" I snarked at him as I pointed at the Ark. "Just tell Noah that you're going to watch over him as the Ark sails. I mean, unless you can transform yourself into an animal like I can, then you could hide on the Ark, but I highly doubt that-" I saw a brief smirk on his face, and in the blink of an eye he turned into a white dove.
'As a matter of fact, I can turn into an animal.' He perched himself on my shoulder as the rain continued to pour down on us, but I was still more or less surprised that I could hear him in my mind, but then again, animals had a practically universal language and I can turn into a snake. 'Crawley, what will you do?'
"I honestly don't know, but you should hurry to the Ark. I'll figure out something."
'If you say so. Will you join me on the Ark?'
"Perhaps eventually, now go!" I gently took him off of my shoulder and pushed him to the air to further emphasize that he had to go.
'Good luck with whatever you're going to do, Crawley. I know you're thinking of something as I speak.' With that, he was gone.
Once he was out of sight, I felt a familiar stinging sensation on my mark. I brought out my journal and looked at what she wrote. My eyes widened and my heart was relieved.
Crawley! Save as many children as possible! Put them into the belly of the Ark! I'll make you unseen by Noah and his family as well as Aziraphale, but once the children are on the Ark, it's up to you to keep yourself and the children safe. Once you're safely aboard, write to me. I'll explain. Oh, and I'll make an opening for you.
I closed the journal and put it back within my mark, so that I could immediate set out to do what she asked of me.
What felt like four hours, I had finally gathered ten children into the belly of the Ark. The opening God created closed, and I snapped my fingers, drying all of us off. "Is everyone alright?"
"Y-Yeah." one of the younger kids spoke.
"Alright, let me hear your names. That way we're not strangers. I'm Crawley." I told them as I held a hand to my chest. "Oldest to youngest now."
"I'm Meekah." A girl stepped forward with freckles dancing across her face. "I'm eleven years old. I'm one of three triplets. This is my brother Kanah and my sister Milah." She stated as she pointed to her siblings that also had freckles, but as Meekah and Kanah had brown eyes, Milah had emerald green eyes, which was interesting with her dark complexion.
"I'm Sen, and this is my younger sister Sarah." A girl stepped forward as she held one of the toddlers to her chest. "I'm also eleven, but my sister is three."
"I'm Michael and this is my brother Gabriel." My eyes widened at their names.
'Oh will wonders never cease! They don't hold angelic...anything...but their names...Whoo boy!' I nodded my head in acknowledgment. "And how old are you two?"
"I'm ten..." Michael answered. "...and Gabriel is seven."
"I'm Eli." A young girl stepped forward. "I'm also seven!" Oh she was a hyper and happy one! I could tell I was going to like her. "I like your eyes."
At that, my eyes widened as a smile unwillingly made an appearance on my face. "Oh? Why is that?"
"They're snake eyes! I LOVE snakes! And they're so pretty!"
"Well, I'll show you a trick, then." I smirked before turning into a snake, earning gasps from all of the children and a delighted squeal from Eli. 'Oh yeah, I like her. Good kid.' I morphed back into my normal form and cleared my throat. "Alright, and the rest of you?"
"I'm Joel. I'm six years old." A boy grinned as he pointed at himself proudly.
"I'm Rain." A shy girl stepped forward, holding her arms behind her back, which for some reason set an alarm off in my head. "I'm five years old."
"Come here, Rain." I told her, and she seemed to look frightened. "Are you frightened of me?" She shook her head. "Then, what's wrong?" She shook her head again, but I noticed how her eyes kept flitting up to my wings. I looked at my left wing contemplating if perhaps there was something in it, but there wasn't. So, I turned to look at her again, and there was a look of apprehension in her eyes. "Would you...would you like to touch them?" Her eyes widened considerably as they then focused intently on my left wing. "You can if you want to."
"B-But...they're a-angel wings."
I let out a heavy sigh, because I know I wouldn't be able to tell any of them that I was a demon and they NOT be scared. So, I gave her a small smile as I slowly extended my left wing. "God won't mind. Go ahead." She took three tentative steps forward before reaching out her hand to gently touch the feathers. Then, a beautiful smile erupted on her face. "What does it feel like?" I grinned.
"Soft! Softer than anything!" She gently carded her small fingers through the smaller feathers, and I couldn't help but feel a burst of pride and happiness in my heart.
"I'm glad you like them. Now! We all know one another, we're going to be here for a while. You have to be kind to each other and we have to be careful. We're not supposed to be here. Alright? You must listen to everything I say, and if my friend, Aziraphale, comes down here, you must wait until I say it's okay before you move. I don't believe he'll hurt any of you, but he's on a erm...different job...than I am. We also have to be careful not to allow Noah and his family to know we're here, so if I start to sense them, I need you all to listen to me when I say hide in my wings and I'll make us invisible, alright?"
"Yes, Crawley!" They all said at different times, but also in unison.
"Good. Now..." Before I could continue, I heard the door open and I could feel that it was Aziraphale. "...that would be Aziraphale." I swiftly turned around, careful not to let my wings knock Rain down. "Hello, Aziraphale."
"Crawley?" He asked with narrowed eyes and a furrowed brow. "What is the meaning of this?"
"I couldn't let them drown, Aziraphale. They haven't done anything wrong. There's ten of them. Their names are Meekah, Kanah, Milah, Sen, Sarah, Michael, Gabriel, Eli, Joel, and Rain." I told him as I pointed to each child that the name belonged to.
"You've taken the time to get to know their names?" He questioned as he stepped forward. By the third step he took, Eli clutched her hand in my robe followed by Rain.
"We'll protect you, Crawley!" Eli spoke proudly.
"Yeah!" Rain chimed in, and to my surprise the other children followed, standing in between me and Aziraphale.
Next thing I know, Aziraphale is bent over laughing, clutching the robes at his stomach, and my ears had never heard a more beautiful sound. I couldn't move as I stared at him with a slightly dropped jaw. "Oh my! Seems...it seems that you've grown quite the following!"
"S-So...you're not going to hurt them or send them into the water?"
"WHAT!?" He gasped, his laughter immediately dying. "Of course not! I didn't like this any more than you did. If you somehow got them here, and you weren't smote or struck by lightning, I have to believe that perhaps this was part of God's Plan."
'More than you know!' I thought to myself as I gave him a grateful smile. "Thank you. Alright, everyone...I'm safe. Don't worry, my little Guardian Angels. He won't hurt me...or you."
"Oh! That's good!" Eli piped up. "Come!" She immediately ran towards Aziraphale to grab his hand in order to pull him to the rest of the group. I don't want to admit to having favorites, but she's definitely coming close! "Meekah, Kanah, and Milah! Can you tell us a story?" She questioned as she somehow got Aziraphale to sit down with the rest of them.
"Of course, Eli!" Kanah grinned, and he began to tell a tale about a heroic snake with wings. Gee, I wonder where he could've gotten that idea.
In no time, they all began to get tired, so I leaned myself comfortably up against the wall of the Ark, and spread my wings, beckoning them to come and rest themselves in them. Once they were all comfortable and asleep, I looked up at Aziraphale, who was smiling sweetly at Eli, who refused to get in my wings, but laid in my lap instead, resting her head on my stomach. "Thank you." I told him in a hushed tone so I wouldn't wake any of them.
"They really are good children." He breathed out. "I think Eli has taken quit the strong liking to you. I doubt you'll ever be able to get rid of her."
"I don't think I want to." I admitted, which earned me a shocked expression from him.
"A-Are you planning on raising them? All of them?"
"If they'll let me. I can build us a home. A nice large tent with lots of blankets, bed rolls, pillows, and perhaps a small farm and garden. I can do it, and I can teach them so much. They have no one." I gently started petting Eli's hair, causing a soft contented sigh to escape her.
"Yes, but what about Hell? What about Heaven?"
"Well, I won't say anything if you won't." I smirked, but then I let out a sigh as I seriously answered, "Hell doesn't come topside unless it's to tempt other humans or to give me orders. Then, they leave as quickly as possible. They hate the sun and the openness. I can hide them if need be, and I can shield them from the eyes of Hell. It's not too difficult. Besides, the demons they send up aren't exactly the smartest. I've preformed a shielding spell on a woman before and she was standing right next to me. They didn't even see her. It'll work."
"If you're sure, but Crawley...it's not very...Demon-y to be taking care of children."
"Are you kidding me?" I scoffed. "Taking care of children that were supposed to be wiped out in GOD'S flood? I'm practically going against her plans!"
He breathed out through his nose as he tilted his head in contemplation. "You have a point there. Say, do you know if any of them are um...Nephilim?" I understood his reasoning for the question even without him saying it. Nephilim were a problem for demons as well.
I reached out my powers, and found that none of the children were Nephilim, so I let out a soft sigh of relief. "No, none of them are Nephilim, but even if they were, I'd still take care of them. I'm not going to rescue them and then throw them into death. I'm a demon, but I'm not one of the sadistic ones. Also, I can't stand the thought of killing kids."
"How kind of you." He spoke in the same tone one would use to say, 'What are you playing at?' However, I chose not to say anything about it. I soon noticed his facial features soften quite a bit as he genuinely took them all in. "Well, as much as I wish to be suspicious of you planning something TRULY nefarious, I can sense that you don't wish them any harm as you erm...go against God's plans. I'll keep Noah and his family away from here and I'll be the one to fetch the animal feed, and Crawley..." He grunted out as he stood to his feet. "...you're a demon, I should be thwarting you, but please know...I'm...grateful...that you rescued them. I'll leave you to rest. Goodnight, Crawley."
"Goodnight, Aziraphale." I croaked out, touched by his words, but as a demon, I tried desperately not to show it. Stupid treacherous voice! I watched him leave, and waited for a moment before taking out my journal.
God? I saved ten children. Sorry for replying back so late.
You SHOULD be sorry! I was worried!
Hold on...don't you see all and know all?
I'm God, Crawley. Not a fortune teller.
Except, you kind of are.
Are NOT! I do NOT tell the future! It is for me to know! You should know better than ANYONE that, that's the case for me!
You were better suited for the position than I was.
Crawley...WE'RE TWINS! We're BOTH suited for the position and technically you still ARE suited for it, but you won't use your powers!
I GAVE you a lot of them! I gave you a lot of my power just as you gave me some of yours. We exchanged, when we didn't balance, we exchanged again, and well, you gained foreknowledge among other things, and I gained positive emotions as well as your power for light, healing, and blessings. We can both alter the weather, but it seems to me that you're having a GRAND time with that!
That was unkind, Crawley.
(Sigh) This isn't why I wanted you to write to me. I'm sorry. It's just...it's different without you. I'm sure if you were here, you would've talked me out of it without much effort, but now it's done and I'm going to put up a rainbow.
Right...seven beams of a light and color as a promise not to drown everyone again?
Look, I can hardly speak to them! Noah was startled enough as it was! I'll have some chosen ones here and there that will hear me like Noah did, but I can't do that for everyone, so, the best thing I can do is create! Actions speak louder than words and all that.
Sorry, I'm just a bit upset, I mean...DROWNING!?
I know you don't approve, but remember, I'm God. It is MY will, and no heart is heavier than my own when I have to do something like that, but it had to be done. Each one of them is like a child of mine, Crawley. Imagine for a moment, that sweet little girl in your lap...now imagine millions just like her and you have to make the toughest decision.
If Eli were my daughter or even if I did have a million little Nephilim, I would never drown them, because they would be mine and I would love them. However...I do understand where you're coming from. I watched what the humans had done, what they became...but that doesn't mean I have to like it! Hey, while we're on the subject, something's been bugging me. There were bibles in your library. Various different types, but...and I know time is a finicky thing for creatures like us, but...
They change as my plans and the paths that I go through change. You're right. Time is finicky for us, but we're also not limited by it. I just choose the best path for me, my angels, and humanity. The bibles write as history moves on, and they change accordingly. Although, I'm going to have them mention me as male.
Crawley, we're technically genderless, and I know you've swapped between being a male and female, but for the bible...I will be called referred to as a male and father.
Okay, first of, WE are not SEXLESS or GENDERLESS. You and I are just able to change gender at will, but why would you have the humans write you as a male?
It'll be interesting, and it will fit in time.
Time, that's another thing. You filled your library awfully quick using TIME TRAVEL, and you didn't even bother to take me!
I COULDN'T take you. If you had been with me, by my side, as I wanted you to be, then I could've taken you, but you decided against it, and actually, it'll work out. You're still you and we're still opposite from each other.
Yes, and now that I'm in Hell, it's a bit of a literal sense isn't it? You are above, Earth is in the middle, and I am below.
You know I didn't want to do it.
I know. I apologize. I shouldn't have brought it up, but there is one more thing weighing on me. It's the angel Aziraphale.
Ah! The Principality from the Eastern Gate. The one that lied to me.
Wait, back up! I can't be reading this right. HE lied to YOU!?
Oh, yes. Horribly and adorably, but yes, lied. I asked him where the flaming sword was, and he said he must've dropped it somewhere or left it somewhere, either way, yes, he lied. I had to take my light off of him so I could laugh in peace. It was adorable. However, I suspect he may get better at it depending on the subject of the lying.
I don't follow.
You will someday.
Right, anyway, I think you were right. In the Garden. Before I fell.
You didn't fall, you sauntered vaguely downwards. I should know. I was there.
Right, well, I think...I think you were right about what you said about how I feel for him.
When have I ever been wrong?
Oh, let me count the ways!
I couldn't help the chuckle that left me as I wrote that. It almost felt like old times again, which only made my heart feel heavier.
Oh, careful, your Holiness! Such profane language! Why...you'd be scandalized!
(Rolling my eyes!) So, what about your feelings for Aziraphale? Admitting to them?
I'm pretty sure that's what I was getting at, but if I'm going to be honest, I admitted to them on the wall as I left. It's just...his smile, his laugh, his eyes...every little thing sets me off in a really good way, but...I can't have him.
And why the Hell not!?
Well, I am who I am.
Hmm...That sounds good...I may use that sometime...adjust it a bit...anyway, what does you being who you are have anything to do with NOT allowing yourself to love someone?
I'll love him. I just can't have him. I can't have him because I'm worse than the devil, Lord. You know what I am and it's what I was in Heaven. The first. The original. And oh how fitting it was for me to be the one to tempt your first humans. I just...he can't possibly love me. Even if he did, he wouldn't know or love all of me. Then, if he found out who and what I am, then he wouldn't love me anymore, but I can protect him as much as I can. I'll figure out a way I can protect him. Actually...I can sometimes sense him. It's strange, but anyway, no. I can't have him. However, for some reason...that's okay. I don't know how, but it's okay.
I can't agree with you, I'm sorry. You deserve to love and be loved in return. Until next time, Crawley.
Until next time, Lord.
Chapter 4: Burning and Healing
Many, Many, MANY years have passed since then. I had taken care of all ten children and watched them grow and find loves of their own. Eli still stayed around the house, without a love, but she grew into a strong, independent, and stubborn woman that sold the fruit, vegetables, and flowers we grew. She stayed true and cunning to her last dying day when she passed in her sleep. I had to put on a brave face for Hell. They couldn't know, but as soon as I was alone with my journal, I immediately wrote to God, asking how she was, and unfortunately she wouldn't tell me, because that would make it harder for me to move on. I was furious with her, and hadn't written to her for nearly a year, but she was right, and I was grateful.
Now, though, I found myself outside the Library of Alexandria, standing next to Aziraphale as I helped him carry his many scrolls. I let out a whistle at the impressive building, which earned me a soft chuckle from Aziraphale as he moved forward. "I told you. Incredible isn't it?"
"It's certainly something. I'll give ya that." I followed him inside, and we met up with the scholar that was patiently waiting for him. Once we handed the scrolls over to him and set some on the desk, I looked around with fascinated eyes, but at the same time, I couldn't help the amused smile that crept onto my face. "I've seen bigger." I muttered, and for a moment, I thought no one heard me, but then Aziraphale tugged on my sleeve.
"Crawley!" He...whisper-scolded me. "How could you say that!? This is a massive library! I'm quite certain it's the BIGGEST library."
Thankfully, I didn't need to answer him, because one of the scholars cleared their throat. "Master Aziraphale...we can't thank you enough for gathering these and translating them. It hasn't been easy, and we've been searching for these scrolls for quite some time. You're free to roam about the library if you wish while we document and organize these."
"Goodness! Thank you! I shall definitely do so!" He bounced up and down excitedly like a little child, it was almost hard to forget he was an angel that could smite someone with the elements themselves. Sword or no sword, he was a Principality, and they were not to taken lightly. He swiftly turned to face me once more with a beaming smile that forced a soft smile onto my own face, and he asked, "Would you like to join me?"
"No. I've got things to do back at the market. You enjoy yourself...Master Aziraphale." Apparently saying that did something different than when the others said it, because his eyes widened a great deal as he nodded his head. I turned around and made my way to the market to preform my last two temptings for this month, and I'll be left alone for three months, considering I'm that far ahead.
Once I was done and sent in my report, I was told I would have three months to myself and my pleasures, just as I knew would happen, and once they left, I contemplated on what to do. Just as I was about to decide between playing a few pranks on the rich people, I heard everyone screaming and rushing towards the library. I caught every other word, but the ones repeated the most were fire and library. I quickly concealed myself before lifting into the air, soaring as fast as I could towards what was most certainly a burning library, and the flames were only climbing higher and higher, faster and faster. "No, no, no, no, NO! Let him be okay! Do you hear me, Lord!? Let him be okay! Let me get to him in time!"
I broke through one of the windows, and was immediately met with heat, flames, red, orange, yellow, the smell of burned paper, leather, metal, wood, burned skin, and horrifically enough, blood. It wasn't normal blood though. It was celestial. "NO! Aziraphale!"
I heard someone coughing. "Cr-Crawley!"
"Keep talking!" I shouted as I made my way through the rubble. Witnessing two scholars leave without even TRYING to help Aziraphale.
"I...I c-can't!" He continued to cough and I continued to get closer.
"Yes you can!" I growled through the fire that wouldn't burn me, but could do some serious damage to Aziraphale. Not to mention the falling debris.
"C-Cra...wl...ey..." His voice faded out, but I found him! Without examining his wounds or checking his pulse, I picked him up, cradling his shoulders in my arms, and I could feel the torn fabric of his robes beneath my arm. I then hooked my arm beneath his plump but muscular legs, and realized they were bleeding quite a bit.
Without another thought or feeling, I flew out of the library with him in my arms as I took us to my home near the ocean. It wasn't anywhere near here. It was somewhere else, but it was secluded, quiet, and the demons never wanted to go in, because it was a place God had granted me, if for a little while, which meant the outer borders of the land I lived on were personally consecrated, but with a small celestial exception. I asked her how I was a demon and able to cross the threshold, and she told me that when I wasn't looking, she took a drop of my blood and added it to the...blessing. So, that was comforting, but I have no idea how I might explain it to Aziraphale if he senses it. However, none of that was my concern at the moment. Right now, I was concerned with the fact that my left arm was soaked in blood while my right was holding so tightly to his shoulders and arms that I could feel his pulse and it was growing fainter by the minute. With that in mind, I flew faster, keeping the concealment on me.
Once we made it to my home, surrounded by a garden, plenty of trees and land, a large home with beautiful walls, paint, colors, and the inside was beautiful, warm, and comforting. God teased me mercilessly about me wanting a home of my own. She kept saying that I was...nesting. I was NOT. I just didn't want to keep having to rely on inns! She relented and said that if I was to have my own place, it might as well be protected. It was the first time since before I fell that I saw her. I wanted to hug her, but she said there was no time. Apparently around then she pricked me and set the blessing. Either way, I rushed inside and took Aziraphale to my room, and carefully set him down. At that point he started to wake. His red eyes slowly blinking open, causing him to wince, but the wince was short lived as he was soon crying in pain. "Aziraphale!" I told him as I had to gently push him back down onto the bed. "Aziraphale!"
"I-It HURTS! M-Make i-it STOP!" He begged, and I'm not entirely sure if he knew where he was at or who he was with. He started trying to grab for his legs, his hips, his back, and everything really, which told me his wounds were more severe than I thought from just picking him up.
"Aziraphale, I want to help you, but I need your clothes to come off."
He shakily lifted his arm, snapped his fingers, and miracled away his robed, revealing a very nude and...efforted Aziraphale. I swallowed a thick lump in my throat, remembering that he was in pain, that he needed me, and that nothing could happen between us anyway. It would be impossible for him to feel that way for me, no matter how much I wish it were different. I still remember what I told God when I was on the Ark, and I still hold true to that. "H-Help ME!" He begged, and that was enough to shatter my heart to pieces like the most fragile of glass until it was ground into dust.
I hovered my hand over the spots that were the most threatening, and though I couldn't completely heal him, because that would show up on both of our higher ups radar, and I was warned to be careful, which means this time, I'm on my own with something as serious as this, but anyway, I healed them the best I could, they were still burned and bleeding, but beneath my hand, I could sense his pulse quickening just a bit, and though he was still in pain, he wasn't thrashing about. He was still wailing, and hissing through his teeth, but that was better than thrashing about and making it worse. I knew I couldn't snap my fingers for healing supplies, because THAT would definitely go detected. The only reason healing didn't unless it was major healing, was because a small portion of me was still tied to Heaven. To her. So, I gently rested my hand on the cleanest shoulder that surprisingly enough had whole galaxies of freckles, and I told him that I would be right back. I don't even know if he heard me, but I rushed to get everything I could. Ointments that I've made myself, cleaning solutions I've learned about and configured to be more powerful just in case, bandages, cold water, several rags, needles, and thread.
Once I was back in the room, I immediately started getting to work on the flesh that was exposed to me at the moment. I started at his feet which were an angry red at the bottom and around his ankles. I cleaned it as gently as I could with a wet rag, cleaning solution for burns, dried it with a separate rag, gently put the burn ointment on them, and then bandaged them. I did so for his ankles, his right thigh, his wrists, his left upper arm, his right forearm, and both of his hands.
I then had to turn him over, and I felt hot salty tears spill from my eyes as I saw fresh bruises begin to form. There were gashes from collapsing metal and wood, and horrifically enough, there were still some shrapnel in his skin. I took one of my tools, and I carefully took out each and every piece that didn't belong in or on his body. Once I was done with that, I cleaned the wounds, soaking up four rags completely with blood, but at least they were clean, and I went about sewing up his calves that had several deep cuts from scorching hot metal, and the three gashes on his back. Once they were all sewn up, I wrapped them just in case. I had to turn Aziraphale over once again to wrap the bandages around his back, torso, and chest, but apparently as some point he had fallen asleep. I did it anyway, taking his blissfully unaware state to prop him a little up on my shoulder.
When I was finally finished I laid him down, carefully taking away the soaked blanket and sheets. I then replaced them with fresh new white ones, gently and carefully moving Aziraphale so the sheet could fit before I slowly covered him up. When I finished with that, I got myself a chair and I sat next to the bed, waiting for him to wake up.
Soon, I felt my mark stinging, so I opened my journal to see what she wanted now.
Aziraphale has been given Commendation for three months. The same amount of time as you. Take care of him as best you can within that time. Heaven will leave him alone, and they won't be monitoring his miracles, however, he mustn't heal his remaining wounds. I've visited him in his dream, and told him as such just now. If he heals his wounds, it will alert Gabriel that he was wounded and he will immediately come rushing towards both of you. At the moment, he doesn't know you're the one that healed him. Be careful. That's all.
'Right.' I thought to myself as I put away my journal and continued to sit there, waiting for Aziraphale to wake up. As I waited, I took a moment to take in his sleeping form. His hair would need to be washed as it still has ash, and burnt pieces of paper in it. His face was dirty and smudged with grey and black streaks, but at the moment, he looked as if he was never in any pain. For a moment he looked so peaceful, it was almost as if he hadn't been living since the beginning or even before it. There was a rise and a fall of his chest, the sight of it making me so happy, I was nearly on the verge of tears. 'He's okay. He's going to be okay. He's not going to discorporate or permanently die. He's breathing and I've...patched him up.'
It was about three hours later that his eyes fluttered open, and he slowly turned his head towards me. He blinked at me once, twice, then turned his head away clearing his throat with a low grunting noise, a small wince appearing on his face. "I'm going to assume you're the one that rescued me from the library?"
"How much do you remember?" I asked him as I helped him sit up just a bit, propping the pillows up behind him. I then miracled him a cup of water, and helped him slowly drink it. Every swallow he took pained me, because he reacted as if his throat was incredibly sore, and from how raspy and dry his voice was, I assume it probably did.
"Thank you." He breathed out when he was done, so I set the cup down on the nightstand. "I remember...well...it was...quite sudden. The fire just happened. I saved as many scholars as I could, but...a part of a beam fell on me, then debris kept falling on me. Eventually something hit the back of my legs while I was trying to get away, and I was knocked to the ground, hitting my head on the burning floor. I...I remember thinking, begging, praying that at the very least that you'd be able to find me. After that, everything's a bit of a blur before everything goes blank." His eyes widened a brief moment as realization of some sort shined in his eyes like a fresh star being lit. He slowly lifted up the covers, gave me a skeptical look, and then lowered the blanket once again. "You...did you really take the time to dress all of my wounds?" He asked as if he wasn't sure I would answer honestly.
I nodded my head as I swallowed a nervous lump in my throat. "I did. I healed what I could with my own powers without getting noticed, then I treated your burns, gashes, cuts, scrapes, bruises, and I sewed up the wounds on your back. I wrapped you where it was necessary. When I brought you in, you begged for...well...you begged for someone to make it stop. I told you I wanted to help you, but your clothes needed to be off. At that point..."
"...at that point...I miracled my clothes away." He nodded his head. "I remember now. I remember calling out to you...hearing you...and then..."
"You did, but you were unconscious once I got there. I picked you up and brought you here to my home. Don't worry, the other demons never come here."
"Your home?" He croaked out with widened eyes as he turned to look at me once again. "I...forgive me for sounding so erm...brash...but I wasn't aware you had one."
"There's lots you don't know about me, Angel." I chuckled lightly.
"Healing skills included, apparently." He smirked, and I really wish my heart wouldn't react as if it lives for that smirk, for that shine in his eyes, for this easy and peaceful air.
"Yup." I told him with a solid nod of my head. "View of the Ocean and everything. A large Garden, lots of trees, and plenty of space throughout my home. I don't spend a lot of time here, but when I have commendation, I come here. That's ONLY when I have commendation, and right now, I have three months’ worth."
"So do I. Apparently for being a year ahead on blessings and nearly risking my life to save others. God told me so Herself in a dream."
"Well, since we both have commendations...would you like to stay here and recover? You can't miracle your wounds away and NOT be questioned by the other angels. God's personal commendation or not, they would also wonder what other energy is...miracled on your body, like my healing. Also, they would be alerted to the fact you were injured and it would just create more questions."
"Well..." He blinked at me wide eyed before sinking back into the pillows. "...when you put it like that. I don't want to put you out though."
"You're not." I shook my head. "I'm offering. You can um...take a bath if you like. To get the dirt off of you."
A flush graced his cheeks, and I couldn't help but think that it was a beautiful sight. As if a sunset paused halfway on his face. "You um...may have to help with that."
"Well, I've already seen you completely nude, but why?"
"I can hardly move my arms because of the pain." He stated calmly, but then his eyes widened when they seemed to rest on my wings. "Cr-Crawley?"
"What?" I asked as I brought forth my left wing, and to my surprise, it was burned. I looked at the right and it was the same. I then examined the back of my robes, and it was incredible that I hadn't lost all of my clothing with how it was practically hanging by strips of cloth and thread. I turned to face him and shook my head with a small smile. "Don't worry about it. The feathers will grow back, and I've been through worse than this. Let's focus on getting you better, alright?"
"B-But Crawley..." His eyes looked so sorrowful, it caused my heart and grace to constrict around my throat as if they were two different snakes.
"I'll be fine." I stood up and opened the door in the room that led off into a bathing room that I used for my wings, because there was no way in literal Hell that I would allow any of the other demons near my wings for grooming. I then took the time to gather plenty of water, miracling it warm, adding healing herbs that would also sooth his burns and cuts. Once I was done with that, I grabbed a towel, a rag, soaps, this era’s version of shampoo, and I grabbed one of my spare robes for Aziraphale. I tried to change the color from black to white, but the best I could do was grey. Once I had everything together, I helped him out of the bed and onto a chair where I could at least wash the dirt and grime off of him. I couldn't put him INTO the bath, because he needed to keep the bandages on, but I could at least do this. "Comfortable?"
"As much as I can be." He admitted. "I think a nerve got injured during the whole ordeal."
"It'll regenerate on its own. Perks of being a supernatural being."
"True." He chuckled dryly. "L-Look...I'm sorry to ask this of you. The last thing I expect for you to want to do is to take care of an angel. Once I'm able, I'll leave."
Something in his tone struck me as odd, and I didn't like it one bit. I dipped a rag in the water, softly and gently washing off the dirt from his shoulders and neck. "Aziraphale, why do you sound as if you think you're a bother?"
"Well, aren't I?" He scoffed. "You're a demon, I'm an angel..."
"So you keep saying." I smirked, but he couldn't see it as I started to clean his upper arms, careful of the wounds.
"I'm serious, Crawley!"
"So am I. If you were a bother, I wouldn't have rescued you, I wouldn't have bandaged you up, and I definitely wouldn't be giving you a bath. You're no trouble, Aziraphale. At least not to me."
"Hmm?" I asked him as I finished his arms.
"Oh! Crawley! Your robes! They're getting soaked!"
"Again, no trouble. I'm washable and these are dryable."
He let out a heavy sigh as he shook his head, but I wasn't paying attention to that as I noticed where I would have to wash next. He seemed to notice as well when I looked up at him, and he gave me a steady nod of his head, saying it was okay. So, without trying to rush it and without lingering, I washed in between his legs where his admittedly impressive effort was, and tried my best not to blush or swallow. Once I was done there, I moved to his thighs. "Wh-Why are you doing this? Being kind like this? You're a demon lowering themselves to an angel rather than trying to be superior. I-It's strange."
'Because I love you.' My heart wanted to say. 'Because I can't stand to see you in pain for a second longer.' My grace wanted to add. 'Because this is where I belong. Taking care of you and protecting you.' My soul practically cried out, but instead, what came out was, "Because I want to. I don't do anything I don't want to, Aziraphale. Now, please, just accept the help and stop being stubborn."
"Stubborn? I'm not stubborn." I looked up and there was a twist of a smile with a sarcastic look in his eyes.
"Angel, I pulled you out of a burning library, and now you're continuously asking me WHY I'm being...ugh...kind. I really don't like GOOD four letter words..." I lied. I liked them. However, they couldn't be used to reference me, because that might lead to very bad things...for both of us. So, he couldn't call me good things. "...and really, you're the only one that understands the humans like I do. I'd hate to see you discorporated in a library and have to wait who knows how long for you to get a new corporeal form, and I'm not even sure if it would look the same. I'd be bored. The demons are no fun, and I'm not about to call up Gabriel to talk about the good old days."
"Wait, you knew Gabriel?" He questioned quickly, and it was at that moment that I realized what I had said.
"Shit." I groaned.
"You weren't a normal angel." He concluded correctly, because Gabriel NEVER hung out with normal angels. He barely gave them the time of day.
"No. I wasn't." I told him before letting out a breath of frustrated air.
Apparently sensing that I didn't want to say anything more on the subject, he stayed quiet the entire time I washed him down, including his hair. I then went over him with some of the soaps, scrubbed his hair with shampoo, rinsed the soap and water out of his hair, then went over him once more with a wet rag, washing away the soap. After that, I dried him off, and dressed him into the grey robe. "Thank you." He breathed out once he was laying on the bed. "Um...whose bed is this?"
I couldn't help but smirk as he got comfortable underneath the covers. "Well now...I hadn't realized it, but I've accomplished something."
"Oh, and what is that?"
"There's an angel in my bed." I swiftly left while there was still an air of smugness rather than the blush that wanted to creep on my face as I headed towards the bathing room so I could wash myself off, and as I left, I could hear his spluttering, trying to find some words, which made a playful smile appear on my face, feeling that perhaps taking care of him wouldn't be so bad after all.
Eventually, I found that it wasn't bad at all, and it...it made me happy. It made me so happy that I hadn't even written to God ONCE since this whole thing happened. I took care of him, cooked for him, dressed his wounds, bathed him until he was able to, we went on walks in the Garden to get his strength up, and we even watched a few sunrises and sunsets on the Ocean. We talked about our different travels, blessings, temptings, our co-workers, if you could call them that, and it actually felt as if we were friends, which was nice. Not everything I wanted or would believe I could have, but nice. Eventually the three months were up, and we both had to leave. As we separated, both of us leaving my home in different directions, my heart pleaded, 'No! Go with him! Follow him!' My grace reasoned, 'It's safer if there's some distance.' My soul sadly hummed, 'It was nice while it lasted.' It left me wondering when I would see him again, and if things would be different between us, but I guess I'll have to wait and see.
Chapter 5: Lust?
I haven't heard from Her much after that. It was almost as if I did something that set something in motion, and I had no idea what it was, but apparently it was causing her to leave me alone. Whether that's good or bad, I don't know, but I met her mortal son a while back. Bright young man. However, now I wish my eyes were deceiving me. I wish I was impossibly drunk, because now, I was witnessing that bright young man carrying a cross on his back through town with wounds on his back. The kind, bright, intelligent, humorous, and joyful young man was on his way to be crucified!
I discreetly rushed through the crowds, until I was walking alongside him, going unnoticed using a minor miracle. I discovered when I went to go tempt him that he could hear my thoughts just like She could, and ironically, for some reason, I could hear his. So, I immediately thought to him, 'What's going on!? Why are you being crucified?'
'Do not interfere, Raphael. Do not heal me. Do not use your own powers on them. Do not do anything to stop this.'
'But you're in PAIN!'
'If you do wish to do something for me, then at least be there when I'm crucified.'
'Alright. I'll be there.'
'Thank you. Farewell, Raphael.'
I allowed them to go ahead quite a ways before I followed once more, not wanting to look suspicious, well, even MORE suspicious. Once I got there, I quickly saw that Aziraphale was there as well. "Come to smirk at the poor bugger, have you?"
"Smirk!? Me?" He scoffed slightly, clearly offended by my words, but at the moment, I wasn't paying attention to him being offended. I was paying attention to the increasing amount of pain they were inflicting on Jesus.
"Well, your lot put him there." I accused him without actually knowing if that was the case, but it certainly felt like it since She wasn't doing anything to stop it.
"I'm not consulted on policy decisions, Crawley." Well, I suppose there's my answer, but now I could feel and see the anxiety and pain on his face. I watched as he wrung his hands, desperately wanting to heal him and ease his suffering almost as much as I did.
"Oh, I've changed it." I told him, remembering that he just called me 'Crawley' and perhaps this would distract his troubled mind and heart for a bit.
"Changed what?" He asked, still looking at Jesus, and I couldn't blame him. This was not something you turned your eyes away from, and I was trying my best to give him the same respect Aziraphale was giving him.
"My name. Crawl-ey just wasn't doing it for me. It's a bit too...squirming-at-your-feet-ish."
"Well, you were a snake." He remarked, and on any other day, it would've made me laugh, but not today. "So what is it now? Mephistopheles? Asmodeus?"
"'Asmodeus!? Really? The demon of lust!?' I frantically thought with an amused sort of surprise, but I didn't want to voice it, because then it would just lead to me asking more questions that I didn't want the answers to. So, I just simply answered, "Crowley."
"Hmm..." The nails echoed like a black smith creating a sword as the hammer drove the nail deeper into Jesus, and emotionally deeper into my heart. "Did you uh...ever meet him?"
I nodded my head as I replied, "Yes. Seemed a very bright young man. I showed him all the kingdoms of the world."
"Why?" He questioned with a look of confusion. If I were in his sandals, I might ask the same thing.
"He's a carpenter from Galilee. His travel opportunities were limited." Another nail was driven through, and I actually saw the blood come out of his wrist which sent a pang through my heart, knowing who he was and remembering that he knew who I...was. "Oh, that's got to hurt. What was it that he said that got everyone upset?"
"Be kind to each other."
"Oh, yeah, that'll do it."
They hoisted Jesus up on the cross, and he died there. The crowd had dispersed, slowly, but surely, all going their separate ways to either grieve or rejoice, but Aziraphale and I remained. It was well past nightfall when I heard his voice cut through the silence like the flaming sword we had both once wielded once upon a Heaven ago. "Crowley, why did you stay?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, this is Jesus, son of God, and you stayed. You stayed until he died, and you showed concern. Maybe not with words, but your tone, and I could feel the sorrow coming off of you. What would a demon care about Jesus' death?"
"A typical demon, not one bit. In fact, my lot downstairs are probably throwing a grand party at the moment, but me? I went to tempt him and he knew me. The old me. The celestial me. He didn't greet me by my demonic name. He greeted me by my old name. I haven't heard since moments before my fall, and it was strange to hear once again, but it was also...nice. Hell didn't care what I tempted him with as long as I tried. They knew that it might be a losing battle, giving that he was the son of God, but they wanted us to try anyway. So, it was my turn, and I showed him all the kingdoms of the world after we chatted a bit. I'm here to pay my respects so-to-speak."
He let out a relieved breath, which caught my attention. "Well, that's a relief. I thought you were here for diabolical reasons. I thought perhaps that you-"
"What..." I interrupted him, not appreciating where that sentence was going. "...that I would harm him even further than the humans already have? That I would...defile him somehow?"
"I thought perhaps you would try and increase his suffering." He admitted as he turned to face me so that he could look me in the eyes. When I looked into his, I saw his stardust-ocean eyes begin to water. "I know it's such a terrible thing to think, but you ARE a demon. You were once an angel, but you went against God! He was Her son! I would expect you would want to destroy him!"
"He was still human, Angel." I told him, my voice taking on a sadder tone than I had meant to, but what was I to do when my heart and my facial expressions went behind my back to react to his words? "I tempt humans. I don't kill. I don't destroy. I just tempt. What they do with the tempting, either resisting or giving in...it's their own decision or destruction they weave. I just whisper, suggest, point out, and even then, I don't go for the darker sins that the rest of Hell goes for. Gluttony, Sloth, Lust, and Pride are the deadly sins I focus on. That alone is enough for Hell to stay off my back, because MOST demons stick to one or two deadly sins while I stick to four. It's how I get all my work done early, but I don't physically harm anyone. I've been in the torture chamber of Hell, I don't personally like seeing others in pain, knowing full well what it feels like."
"T-Torture chamber?" If possible, his eyes became sadder while a look of horror crossed into the shine of his eyes.
"Not something you need to know about." I quickly told him as calmly as I could. "But do you understand? I tempt, but..."
"No...I understand now. Thank you for clarifying."
"Don't thank me, Aziraphale. I'm a demon. You're an angel. Neither of us can afford 'thank you's'."
"Yes, you're quite right." He nodded as he turned to face Jesus, but I placed my hand gently on his shoulder turning him away.
"Let's leave, Aziraphale. There's nothing you can do now." He nodded his head and we made our way back to the town.
"Do you still have that place by the Ocean?"
I shook my head, letting out a regretful sigh. "No. While I was gone it was broken into, burned, and completely destroyed. Humans, from what it seemed."
"Oh my...was anything recoverable? I mean, you could've just miracled-"
"It wouldn't have been the same." I interrupted him, thinking about the grey robes I had given him and how it suited him far more than the color white. In fact, ANY color other than white suited him. "Besides, I didn't have anything TOO important. I carry all that I need with me." A more literal sense than he would ever know, as I still frequently write in my journal about my days, even if She hardly replies anymore.
"Well, still, it was a beautiful place."
"Yes." I grinned. "It was. However, I'm sure I'll find another beautiful place. Traveling the world and all that. Especially with how the times are changing."
"Will you have another mini Eden?"
I snorted out a laugh as I looked at him, and the noise I made seemed to surprise him, because his eyes widened, but I continued off of my snort of laughter. "Is that what you came to call my Garden?"
Now it was my turn to look at him wide-eyed as we continued into town. He was never usually at a loss of words. Not unless he was in pain. "Are you alright?"
"Yes." He nodded, quickly turning away from me, focusing on the path ahead of us. "I just...you looked...happy."
"Oh." I breathed out as my brow rose. "Can't have that, now can we?"
"Oh, not what I meant. Can we just...focus on something else?"
Wanting the same thing, I nodded my head. "So, what have you been up to, Aziraphale?" Little did I know that I would be getting a very detailed description of what he's been up to, but as he talked, we eventually made it back the the inn I was staying at and we had just finished a whole jug of alcohol. "Ssssso...lotsss up to, then?"
"Yup!" He hiccupped, and due to my drunk state, a smile appeared without my say so. "Say, I wanna ask you something."
I doubt he truly wanted to ask, because his brow was furrowed, which usually meant DRUNK Aziraphale wanted to ask, while SOBER Aziraphale was pleading for his mouth to be sealed shut, but who was I to deny an inebriated angel? "Go ahead. I'm an open book!" I told him as I miracled another jug of alcohol onto my table.
"I was naked after you hail...hauled...after you patched me up. After you dressed my wounds. What was your reaction to my effort?"
Out of ALL the things for him to ask, THAT was NOT one of them! My heart was hammering in my chest, my grace stuttered, and my soul begged to be sober, but for the sake of the conversation, I ignored my soul, and opened my stupid mouth. "Thought it was impressssive." No, no, no, no, NO! Stupid MOUTH! VERY STUPID MOUTH! That's not what I wanted to say! I was GOING to say it surprised me that he even made an effort! I was NOT going for a compliment OR for making a fool of myself! Unfortunately, my mind and my body...especially my mouth...weren't speaking to one another. I chanced a look at him, and found that there was a flush on his neck to match the drunk one on his cheeks. 'Just how far does that blush go?' At that thought, my eyes widened even further. 'Okay, way too drunk for this conversation!'
"Yessss, I did, but I was more focusssed on taking care of you. That's what mattered to me at the moment."
His eyes widened to an incredible degree of shock and something else as he lowered his cup. "Truly? You didn't even try anything?"
"WHAT!? What kind of demon do you take me for!? Wait..." I pinched the bridge of my nose, shaking my head. "...don't ansssswer that."
"Were you even tempted just a little?"
'Sober up dammit! He's drunk off his ass, but YOU can be the sober one!' My mind screamed, but my mouth had other plans. "Yessss." We were sitting across from each other, and I wanted nothing more than to be sitting ten feet away rather than one foot, but the thought of that quickly flew out the window, got picked up midflight by a bird, and then dropped into the Ocean as I, without warning, felt him yank my robe, pulling me forward, crashing his lips to mine. My entire body lit up like Holy Fire rather than Hellfire, while my heart, grace, and soul were singing joyfully. His lips were soft, and tasted of cinnamon and apples. Oh, how irony truly tasted SO sweet. I brought my hand up to the side of his face, causing him to gasp, and for a moment, I thought he was going to pull away, but when he didn't, I hesitantly slid my tongue into his warm mouth. I had no idea it was possible to get drunk off of a sound, but the noise he made when I did that sent lightning shooting up and down my spine and made me a strange combination of giddy and dizzy. It was almost as if I was sober this whole time with how drunk I was on it.
I felt him move around the table and towards me without breaking the kiss, and he straddled me, sitting on my lap! 'DON'T SOBER UP DAMMIT!' I screamed to myself, but also silently begged Aziraphale. My heart felt fit to burst as his warmth surrounded me in all the best ways. In all the ways I didn't know warmth COULD surround someone, and he just kept moving his mouth, kept kissing me, and I kept following. I wrapped my arms around him, gently placing my hands on the swell of his butt, which felt softer than I thought it would, but it made it that much better. However, what made it perfect was the squeak-moan that vibrated in his throat.
Eventually, he left the kiss, and I thought that was it, he was going to realize he made a mistake and he would get off me. How it should be, because I can't have this. He's just drunk, and Jesus was just crucified. He wants comfort, that's all! I thought it would be over, but then he placed a gentle kiss on my neck. How on Earth a gentle kiss could feel like I was basking in the sun's rays, I'll never know, but it brought out a moan as my right hand came up to tangle my fingers into his astoundingly soft blond cloud that he called hair. As he continued to slowly and devotedly pepper kisses on my neck, I felt his increasingly hardening effort press against my nearly fully hard one. Not that mine was an effort, but still, it caused me to gasp then moan as my right hand gripped his hair while my left hand desperately gripped the back of his robes. "'Z-'Zirah!" I groaned out, as he moved my robe to kiss my collar bone. "Wh-What a-are you d-doing?" I whispered out hoarsely, not wanting the answer, but the more he kissed me the more I feared his consequence, and I couldn't risk him falling. I couldn't risk him waking up and regretting it. That would hurt me more than never having this ever again. I didn't want him unable to look at me anymore, or worse, at himself.
He backed away from my collar bone to look at me, and I saw that his pupils were blown. It was like watching a black hole suck in the light and the stars, but it stopped midway. "What does it look like I'm doing, Crowley?"
'SHIT! How can a voice sound THAT good!' I mentally screamed. "I-It looksss like you're sssitting on my lap, giving me a raging hard on, kissssing my neck and my chessst while drunk off your asssss. Aziraphale...are you...are you thinking sssstraight?" I hated how it sounded coming out of my mouth, and it broke my heart with every syllable, but I HAD to ask!
"I'm not drunk, Crowley." He stated with a worried look.
"No. I sobered up before kissing you. Crowley...do you not want this?" He questioned with a worried brow, sending a violent sting to my heart.
Still drunk, my mouth hurriedly answered WITH an unwilling buck of my hips up into his, forcing me to have to bite back a moan. "Doesss it feel like I don't want thisss?" The action I did dragged a groan out from him, but I was still worried. "I'm jussst concerned you'll regret whatever we're doing, or whatever we were about to do. I'm a DEMON, Aziraphale. You're an ANGEL. I don't know if you'd fall or not, and I...I don't want to sssee that happen. I wouldn't even wish thisss on the worssst of humansss."
A look of conflict appeared on his face, and it tore at my heart THROUGH the sting, because I was the one stopping this. I was being the reasonable and cautious one, but ONE of us had to. "Sober up, Crowley." I did as he asked, leaving a God awful taste in my mouth, but I didn't show it as I was still staring into his eyes that SOMEHOW still held the black hole called lust.
"What are you doing, Angel? Why are you doing this?" I hated how pathetic my voice sounded as I secured my grip on his robes as if I could stop him from falling to Hell through my grip on him alone.
"Crowley, I have experienced Gluttony, Sloth, Envy, and Pride. I haven't fallen. You said so yourself that those who aligned themselves with Lucifer were the ones to fall. I'm not aligning myself to him. So I won't fall."
"That's how it was THEN! I'm a demon! If you...if we...have sex...who's to say she won't see it that way?" As soon as the words left my lips, I remembered something she told me through the journal. She was practically pushing me towards him when I was writing to her on the Ark. At least, that's what it seemed like. 'Well, if he can't...if I can't have him as a love, I can at least allow him to lust, right? I'm a demon. It's what we do. It's what he would expect of me. Demons aren't beings of love, and it sounds as if he wants to try every deadly sin.' With that in mind, I cleared my throat to carefully ask, "Are you trying to test God? I can tell you, Aziraphale, that doesn't end well."
"I'm not testing anything." He breathed out, still on my lap, and it was then that I noticed his hands were gently holding the back of my neck while his fingers were engulfed in my scarlet hair, gently curling them around his fingers. "Do you want me to stop? Honestly?"
"No." I croaked out as his gaze became nearly too intense for me to stand. "I'm just..." Well, that wasn't quite right, I was thinking several reasons why he should stop, but none of them came to mind. The fact that I couldn't have this jumped out the window as well. My only concern was him falling, but if I was right in my assumption, he wouldn't and there would be no need for worry, but all it takes is one mess up. However, there was soon a voice in the back of my head that vaguely and strangely enough sounded like HER voice telling me, 'You want this, so does he, he'll be fine. Allow yourself to have this.'
"You're just what, Crowley?" He questioned with careful concern in his tone as he brought one of his hands to the side of my cheek, stroking my cheek bone with his thumb as if he would slowly uncover the answer by doing so.
"I'm just..." I swallowed a thick lump in my throat as the words seemed to die just before leaving my mouth. "...I'm just...trying to make sure that you know what you're getting yourself into."
A sly smile appeared on his face that caused a thrill to rush through my body as he gave me a chaste kiss. "I'm not into anything...yet."
'Oh, someone help me! What have I gotten MYSELF into!? How can HE talk like THAT!? That's not like him!' His voice, the look in his eyes, his gentle movements, and the way he felt...EVERYWHERE...I gave up. I reached up with a thudding heart, my left arm draping over his shoulder, while my right hand came around to softly brush my thumb across his bottom lip before slowly bringing him down to kiss me. This time, since I gave in, I could've sworn I was in the nothing once again, creating and feeling the stars light and burn bright inside of my soul. 'Even if it's not love for him...perhaps I can be allowed this.'
I grabbed the shoulders of his robe and slowly lowered the fabric, feeling his smooth skin beneath my calloused hands, and now that there wasn't a threat of his injuries or me needing to take care of him in order to touch his skin, I allowed the gentle wave of pleasure be pulled and pushed through me as if my nerves were the ocean and his body were the moon. Once I managed to help him get his arms out of his sleeves, I left the robe to pull around his waist as it draped over my lap. He then moved to kiss my neck, lighting my nerves once more, and I moved my hands to his soft back in response, but was surprised by what I found there. With two curious fingers, I traced a scar on his back that I remember well. "I kept them. All the scars you sewed up."
"Why?" I croaked out as I craned my neck to give him easier access to all of my neck, not just the side.
"Proof that you're kind." He lowered my right sleeve, kissing my shoulder as if it was the most fragile thing alive, and all I could do was sigh in content. This is ridiculous! Demons don't sigh, but...apparently I do. "Proof that you're different from all of the other demons." He repeated his actions on the left side, and I took my arms out of my robes the rest of the way, and if I was to be honest, his words were making me harder to an almost painful degree. They were so sweet and reverent, and I could tell he meant them down to the bottom of his grace. "Proof that you can care and be nice." He got off my lap, took my hand, pulled me up from the chair, and carefully guided me to the bed, where I already knew where I would be in this. I got on my back, making room for him to hover over me, and as he tried to remove the rest of my robes, I moved my body to help him get them off. Once they were off, he didn't move for a long time. He just stared.
"What's wrong?" I asked, my voice going hoarse from all of the pleasure I was feeling.
"You're..." This time he swallowed something down his throat with widened eyes. He took his hand and traced my chest, my abs, and then my thighs as if he was trying to make sure they were all real. "...beautiful."
I felt the heat rush to my cheeks and my groin at the same time, but if I'm to be honest, more so my cheeks. The way he said it was laced with honesty, astonishment, and blasphemous enough, a worshiping tone. "Am not." I muttered, but he heard me.
"Oh, but you are." He whispered as he continued to caress my skin.
Feeling so filled with the love I had for him since I first saw him in the Garden...that same love that had only increased in my getting to know him...I gave in and allowed myself to feel it for once rather than pushing it back. Allowing myself to have sex with him was one thing. Allowing myself to give in like this was entirely different. "Not compared to you." I smiled at him as I brought my hand up to his cheek again while I started to slide his robes off as carefully and slowly as I could. "Skin as pale as the moon, hair as soft as Heaven's clouds...the way I remember them..." I lifted myself up to kiss his shoulders, my grace and heart forcing a smile onto my face as I was actually allowing myself this, even just for a moment. "...Entire galaxies of stars on your shoulders, skin as smooth as...well..." I laid back down as I ran my hands over his sides and his rolls. "...there isn't anything to compare it to really. Silk, satin, cotton, nothing. Nothing compares to how smooth it is. Not even the best wine."
"Crowley..." He moaned out soft and low before leaning down to kiss me as he took of the rest of his robes, kicking his sandals to the floor, reminding me to do the same. "That's awfully sweet of you to say." He gave me a skeptical brow as he looked up and down my body.
"Well, good. At least I'm still excellent at temptations." I bucked my hips into his, drawing out a low moan from him.
When he laid himself fully onto my naked body, I couldn't help the gasp that was ripped from my throat when his cock touched mine. It sent a sharp burst of pleasure up my spine as it resonated in my hips, causing them to buck lightly into him, drawing a moan out from him. He dipped into the nape of my neck, giving it a kiss as well as a gentle bite while a low groan left his lips, vibrating on my skin like thunder through the air. "Tell me what you want, Crowley." He whispered into my ear.
I let out a soft chuckle as he took his head away from my neck. When I looked into his eyes, I saw confidence, lust, and about twenty other emotions I couldn't name as I took his chin in between my finger and my thumb. "This coming from the angel that straddled a demons lap?"
"Yes." He nodded with a gentle smile. "Tell me what you want, Crowley."
"You." I answered, unable to keep the smile off my face. "Right now, just you."
"Oh..." He brought his left hand up to my cheek, nodding his head before kissing my forehead, and then he rested his head on mine. "You really are good at temptations." He grinned before letting out a soft warm breath, whispering, "You'll have me." He backed up a bit, and i knew what was coming. I had never experienced it, but I've tempted enough men towards other men that I knew. Especially when the other demons spoke of it as if it. His finger entered me, slick and smooth, and oh so gentle. I let out a gasp of surprise as the wind was pushed out of me when he pushed inside, and he stopped. "Relax, Crowley. It won't hurt for long."
"You know this...personally?" I huffed out as I was attempting to gain my breath again.
"No. I've only heard humans talk about it. I trust what they say. I've never done this before."
"Hard to believe." I chuckled lightly, but did as he said and forced my body to relax. When I did that, he pulled out slowly, trying a different angle, which immediately had me seeing stars when he pushed back in, curling his finger ever so slightly.
"There!" I moaned loudly, my ears muffling any other sound that could ever possibly be heard beyond our combined breaths. "Right there! Do that again!" He honored my request with enthusiasm, and soon I was completely relaxed and a moaning mess. I don't even know if people downstairs in the inn could hear me, but I didn't care. It felt so damn good! Eventually he did the same actions with a second finger, then a third, and by then I realized that I my throat and voice had gone completely hoarse and my throat was sore from the amount of pleasure filled moans and screams I had done, that are honestly a muffle on their own in the back of my memory as the only thing my body was focused on was FEELING! When he removed his fingers I moaned out his name in a desperate sort of whine, not wanting him to leave.
Once he did, my body gave like sand on a beach to a foot print, my cock aching madly. I looked up and onto my torso, feeling a patch of wetness and realized that there was pre-cum dripping from me, making a small puddle, and if the feeling beneath my limp legs was any indication, Aziraphale was in the same state. "The noises you've made, Crowley...So beautiful, so wonderful, but I'm not done yet, my dear."
My brain stuttered at his last two words before I felt him lifting my legs up over his shoulders, and just when I was about to question what he meant by 'My dear', he slowly entered me with his cock, thrusting immediately to that spot that had me seeing whole galaxies after a while, and my brain couldn't...wouldn't think. Everything was pleasure, fire, ice, lightning, and an overwhelming sense of right and warmth as my back arched and sounds came out of my throat that I could barely hear due to the rushing of my blood in my ears. "A-Aziraphale! Oh! Aziraphale!" I heard myself cry out as I wrapped my arms around his neck, the pleasure becoming too much, yet not enough at the same time. "D-Don't stop!" I breathlessly begged.
"Not until we're both done, my dear." He told me before leaning down to press a soft kiss to my lips, sending an electric chill down my spine. It didn't take long after that for me to reach a universe shattering orgasm, and I could've sworn I was being bathed in Holy light and devotion while it was happening. Then he finished too, and the look on his face was one of pure and utter bliss. At that moment, I felt more whole than I ever had. I thought I was whole when I was just around him, but I couldn't have been more wrong about anything in my long life.
When he was completely finished, and let out a heavy sigh before laying down next to me where I had instinctively held my arm out for him, giving him room to lay on my chest, and he did just that. "Thank you, Crowley."
"For what?" I questioned with a content hum in my tone as I started to rub slow circles into his back.
"For tempting me to have sex with you. It was...more incredible than I imagine."
My eyes went wide, and I forced my heart to continue its calm beat rather than the wild thrashing panic it wanted to do. 'I...I didn't tempt him.' I thought to myself. 'I had no hand in this. I tried to stop him. I didn't tempt him in the first place. I hadn't wanted to, because of SO many reasons.'
"Crowley?" He asked with new concern lacing his tone. "What's wrong?"
"Angel, I hate to tell ya, but this one's all on you." Once again, my mouth moved before my mind, and I felt him tense underneath the hand that was still drawing lazy circles.
"You...you didn't even try to tempt me?"
"No. I did not. Think, Aziraphale." I moved so that I could turn on my side to face him, taking my circle drawing hand away from his back so that it could hold one of his hands. "You asked me about when I first saw your effort. I said it was impressive and that it was tempting. After that, I tried to stop you a couple of times, but I couldn't lie when you asked me if I didn't want it. At what point in that did I tempt you other than the sweet words I said?"
I watched as his stardust eyes widened incredibly with a dawning of realization. "You...didn't. I..."
"Congratulations, Angel. You tempted a demon into bed."
At my words, I expected him to say it was a one-time thing, for him to be frightened, or even perhaps feel scandalized. I had also expected him to push me away or hit me, but none of those things happened. No, instead, he brought his left hand to rest gently on my exposed cheek with a confused expression
"Why did I do something like that? D-Did it feel as if I was tempting you?"
"Honestly? No. It didn't feel like you were trying to tempt me to do anything sinful. I still had full control, but..."
Again, his eyes widened with that damnable look of realization. "...but...you...you said you wanted it. You said my effort and my body was tempting when you saw it naked for the first time. Oh, this is so confusing. So...I didn't tempt you?"
"Well, it didn't feel like it." I shrugged as I gave his hand a reassuring squeeze. "I remember feeling all different types of temptations throughout my life, and the temptation I felt when I had to heal you that day and you were naked...yeah...didn't feel that. You were tempting, but not in the same way someone tempts another. There's a fine and annoying line between the two, which makes my job difficult."
"And you...you didn't tempt me?"
"Nope. I have no desire to see you fall. You don't belong with my lot. You REALLY don't."
"I might though." He furrowed his brow. "Like I said, I've given into sin, and I just had sex with a demon. Though...the why still puzzles me."
I let go of his hand and brought mine towards the covers, draping them over us. If he wanted to leave, he could at any point in time, but I'm part snake, and the cold isn't good for me."Sorry...cold." I told him once I noticed his eyes were going wide. "Besides, I don't feel like getting up and getting dressed. So..." I let out a huff of air that interestingly enough shook his curly and messed up hair slightly. "...to figure out why you did it, let's try and back track, alright? You'll make yourself molt if you stress about it too much."
"I would rather not molt." He grumbled as if that moment he recalled molting, which now that I think of it, he perhaps did.
"I know." I rolled my eyes. "To the point then. How long has the idea of having sex with me been on your mind?"
"Truly, just today." He replied as he adjusted the pillow underneath his head.
'He's...getting comfortable. What the HEAVEN is HAPPENING right now!?' I cleared my throat nervously before asking the next question. "Alright, and what was the first moment you felt tempted to do...anything with me? Even kissing."
A pink tint dusted his cheeks in, not necessarily an adorable or cute way, but in a very...Aziraphale way. "You're going to make fun of me." He muffled into his pillow quickly, but I caught it all the same.
"You have my word I won't. I'm just trying to help you figure everything out. So, what was it?"
He groaned into the pillow before turning his head to face me, the moonlight peering into the room, shining onto his eyes, causing my breath to catch in my throat. What was once two stardust Oceans, or depending on the light and time of day, two galaxies, were now two Nebulae tinted with greens, blues, and colors I had only seen from when I helped create such things. "Fine...it was when you...when you snorted out a laugh on the way here. You looked so...so genuinely happy, and well, the way the stars and the moon were shining down on you...it...well...it almost looked as if there was a halo on top of your head, and you were just...beautiful. For a split second...and I don't know why...but...for a split second in that moment, I wanted to kiss you slowly. I-I don't know why. After that, we came here and we drank, and my mind wandered...well...everywhere really. From the thought of kissing you, I couldn't keep my eyes off you, and that's why I thought you were tempting me, because it was almost as if I HAD to look at you. I...I didn't want to look away, and even if I did, I wasn't sure I could. I can't describe it, but...it felt...good. Then, before I realized it, I was sobering up and in your lap with you trying to stop me, and normally I would've, but when you tried to stop me, I for some reason felt as if I truly didn't want to. What...what happened to me, Crowley?"
"I think..." I blinked at him shock, trying very hard to not laugh, but it was incredible. An ANGEL giving into the deadly sins, and he hasn't fallen or even been reprimanded! "...I think you felt Lust. Pure Lust."
"L-Lust!? F-For a D-Demon!? Oh no...!" He started to look truly panicked, so I did something I hadn't planned on doing again after we had sex. I placed my hand on the side of his face and gave him a soft kiss, trying to push feelings of reassurance through, which apparently worked, because he relaxed a great deal.
"It's all right." I told him as I slowly backed away. "Let's see you're wings." Without another word, a pure white wing, glowing in the moonlight, appeared over me. "See? You haven't fallen. Now, you know you won't fall for such a thing, but Aziraphale..." I frowned as I gently placed a hand on his wings, which earned me a shuddering gasp from him, quickly grabbing my attention. I looked over at him and he was biting his lower lip while a furious blush appeared on his face. I tried it again, this time pushing my hands just a little further in, and right when I did that, he shot his hand out to the back of my head, moaning my name loudly, which went straight to my cock. "Angel...again?" I asked him in a slightly disbelieving tone.
He then took the hand that was gripping my hair and slowly slid it down my neck, shoulders, arm, and then finally, wrapped over the top of my hand to bring it down in between his legs to his effort, which was still a bit wet, sticky, and definitely hard again. "Wh-What's wrong with me, Crowley?"
"Oh, don't ask me that, Angel." I sighed out as I turned my palm to hold his hand. I had no idea what was really going on, why it all happened, or why I was still getting to have this moment, but I was going to allow myself to have at least the illusion of a REAL moment, if for just one night, and I was going to make it count without actually revealing my feelings.
"Please, Crowley! I'm an angel, and I just slept with a demon! I just...I lusted for a demon! I lusted for YOU! You're the first and original tempter! You're the one that made Adam and Eve leave the Garden! I shouldn't be here like this! I-"
I miracled my hand clean of the stickiness after I let go of his hand, and thankfully that miracle won't show up in their reports, but I slowly brought my arm underneath his neck, grateful when he accepted, and lifted his head so that I could lay it comfortably. I turned on my back and he moved closer to me so he could lay on my chest. "-You're fine, Aziraphale. It was amazing and wonderful, but we never have to do it again. I know what I am and I know what you are, which is why I tried to stop you. Do you...do you regret it?"
"You know..." He let out a scoff of a laugh that was dryer than the dessert. "...I think that's the worst part of it. I don't regret it at all, and I just can't seem to fathom WHY."
"Do you want to leave?" I asked him as I started to rub circles in between his shoulder blades, because his wings were still out.
He then draped his wing over me gently and wrapped his left arm around my waist. "No. I don't. I-I can't explain much of any of this at the moment, but I know this. This feels like when you comforted me on the wall when Adam and Eve were leaving. I'm sorry for what I said just moments ago about how I shouldn't be here...with you."
"I forgive you." I softly told him without thinking and almost on instinct.
I felt and heard him chuckle against my chest, sending warm hair across it before he replied, "Being forgiven by the unforgivable. Now isn't that something? It's almost as if deep down you're a nice demon."
"I'm not nice." I groaned. 'I'm not!' I thought. 'I'm being selfish, taking advantage of this situation, because this kind of tenderness is not something someone like me gets to have! I'm a demon! I'm darkness and evilness and temptation and just...everything bad for him! I'm not nice.'
"We'll have to agree to disagree, my dear."
'There's those two words again. I wonder if that's going to be a normal thing.' I shook my head. 'Probably not, because THIS isn't going to be a normal thing.' As I thought that, I realized that both of us could be in trouble if either of our bosses found us like this. "Zira..."
"Hmm?" He sleepily questioned, sending a warmth straight to my chest, causing me to internally groan.
'What will happen if your bosses come here and find you!? What will happen if mine come and find you!? Oh! Why did I have to go and fall in love with you before I even BECAME a demon! Even back then I wouldn't have been right for you, but FUCKING STILL!' I couldn't say any of that, so I just continued to rub circles into his back. "Sleep well, Aziraphale."
"You as well...Raphael."
'What?' I blinked down at him, but he was completely asleep. 'WHAAAAAT!?'
Needless to say, I didn't sleep. So, I eventually felt Aziraphale stir awake. Once he did, I looked down at him and he looked up at me. With a sleep smile and well rested eyes he mumbled, "Good morning, Crowley. Did you sleep well?" He let out a small yawn before blinking up at me again.
"Honestly? No, because a certain someone called me something celestial just before nodding off."
"I did what?" Suddenly wide awake as if someone slapped a drunk, sober. He looked at me with incredibly wide eyes that shone with horror. "Are you alright? What did I say!?"
"You called me Raphael."
"I...but I...I mean I..." The way he was spluttering about told me two things. One, he hadn't meant to say it at all and two, he KNEW that used to be my name.
"Aziraphale..." He let out a sigh through my nose, and considered everything that happened last night before continuing, "...how did you know that I was the Archangel Raphael?"
"W-Well, I...um...wh-when you...when you came up on the wall, I..."
"You...?" I said in a manner that was both impatient and curious.
"I recognized you!"
"Alright, you're going to have to explain that one to me."
"W-Well, I was...I was wandering the Garden late at night, well, it had been night for some time. It was before she separated night and day, and well...I watched stars form. I watched the moon being built, and I was in awe of it all. I saw it all. I was impressed, amazed, and I love the stars, Crowley. Your stars are so beautiful. I watched from the Garden over by the West Gate when you and God landed on the wall and you spoke about creating the stars. I heard her speak your name as the two of you laughed about the different things you created that can't be seen from Earth. Then, I heard her say that the West Gate of Eden would be perfect for you. So, she then named you the angel of the Western Gate, just as I was the angel of the Eastern Gate. As soon as I heard that, I quietly made my way back to my gate, and I looked up properly at the stars that were finished being made, and I loved them. They're so beautiful. I...I found out your name by accident. I...I never saw your eyes. I only saw your shape, your robes, your hair, the shape of your face, and the smile that seemed to attract moonlight. When you came up to me on the wall, I...well, I had to look twice, because I was actually getting to see you. There were a few differences, but the biggest one being your wings."
"B-But..." I stuttered out, my heart all of a sudden too tight for, not just my chest, but my entire damn body. "...you asked me my name!"
"Well, of course I did!" He scoffed out as he still laid on my chest somewhat. "You were a demon, and you couldn't very well hold a holy name, now could you?"
"A-Alright. Point taken." I nodded my head. "So...you recognized me...but you didn't say anything?"
"Again..." He rolled his eyes in a very un-Aziraphale manner that brought out a slight chuckle from me. "...you WERE an angel, and you ARE a demon! I didn't know how much you could've changed, but I did think that it was rather remarkable, if a bit strange that God would choose you, an Archangel, to help her create the universe and the stars."
"Thought it strange for an Archangel to be assigned for the job and not say...a Seraph or Cherub?"
"I was different. She knew this, and so, She gave me something to create. Simple as that. However..." I couldn't stop the small amused smile that tugged at my lips. "...she did look absolutely hilarious with stardust in her hair." Realizing that I was still supposed to be a demon, I quickly shook my head and tried on a scowl, earning me a soft chuckle from Aziraphale.
"Oh, no you don't! I saw that smile!"
"I don't know what you're talking about, and even if there was one, it's because I got to make God look a fool. Demons are cast out from her love and her light, remember? I don't feel what you think I do. Not with the smile you thought you saw."
"Hmm..." He hummed thoughtfully, seeming to consider my words. "...you're right. I apologize for my ridiculous assumption."
"It's fine. I'm actually surprised you're still in bed with me. Naked. With your wings out."
"You are rather comfortable."
"Don't see how." I muttered. "I'm all bones and angles."
"Yes, and I'm all squishy and round."
A fond chuckle came out of me when it was supposed to remain inside, but I shook my head anyway. "Nah. You're warm and soft."
"Yes, well, after I leave, we won't mention this. Like you said."
"So you DO regret it?"
He shook his head with a furrowed brow. "No, like I said, I don't and I don't know why, but Crowley. We can't!"
"Evidently we can." I stated with a risen brow, but I understood what he meant. "I know, though. I know that if either of our head offices saw us like this...yeah, I understand. Angel...Demon...sleeping with the enemy..." It hurt, but I did understand. It hurt TO understand and it hurt, because I allowed myself what I had denied, mainly because of my head office and what I am and was, but after I allowed myself, and with him about to leave, it felt as if I was losing a half of me somehow. With a wave of my hand, we were completely clean, and he tucked his wings back in. "...no one understands that more than me."
He sat up on the bed, and all I could do was watch him as he stayed seated there. "Do you...regret it?"
"No." I told him with no sarcasm, no quip, no snide remark, no...Anything that a demon might lace their tone with if they had taken an angel to bed and was asked that. He needed to be reassured and he needed to know.
"Right then. Neither of us regret it and it will never happen it again."
'Well! Be blunt why don't you!?' I thought as I swung my legs over the side of the bed to get up and get dressed. "That's right. Once we leave, we'll go back to our normal lives of bumping into each other and this will never be brought up or thought about. We'll go back to the way we were, which was teetering on the edge with our head offices as it was."
"Quite right." He nodded just before getting up and snapping his fingers, dressing both of us in an instant. "Well, farewell, Crowley."
"I'm a demon, Angel. You can't send me off with well wishes."
His eyes did a weird thing where they pouted. I thought only mouths could pout, but nope! His eyes were pouting! "Fine. May we meet on a better occasion."
"That'll do." And with that, he was gone. I then quickly sat down on the bed and took my journal out.
Oh! How nice of you to ACTUALLY take the time to write to me!
You know, it shouldn't be possible to HEAR sarcasm from a written word! You could've written too, you know!
Yes, I'm aware. It's just been busy up here. More humans means more work, and more prophets...well...anyway, why did you write to me? I sense you're troubled.
Ah, well...just...a quick question. What are the conditions for one of your angels falling NOW? After the battle and everything? What will make them fall?
If they choose to try and destroy me, Heaven, or humanity. Basically, if they side with Lucifer with those aspects.
So...if a um...if a demon and an angel have sex...the angel won't fall...right?
A total of five minutes passed before my anxiety and worry got the better of me.
Now is NOT the time to hesitate in answering that question, Lord! It's a yes or no question.
You had sex with Aziraphale. Didn't you?
More like he had sex with me.
Answer the question first, please.
No. If you have sex with him, he won't fall. Having sex isn't siding with Lucifer, it's giving into desire, or in your case, love. However, if giving in to desire or sin, even the deadly ones, if that were to make an angel fall, I'd be down three million angels by now. Him included. So, no. Now, what happened?
As much as I do LOVE our conversations and the DETAILS of most of them, this is one time I'm not going to give you details! Besides, don't you already know?
This was something I didn't know. Do you regret it?
(Irritated sigh) No. I don't. It was...great. It was more than I could've ever imagined. I let myself feel what I've felt since the Garden, and I learned that he recognized me as Archangel Raphael.
Are you serious!?
WHAT!? YOU DIDN'T KNOW!?
DOES IT SOUND LIKE I KNEW!? HOW DID HE RECOGNIZE YOU!?
He apparently heard us talking on the Western Gate the night you assigned me to it. Did you not sense him in the Garden?
Crowley, you were the only angel I could constantly sense at the time. Kind of like how you can always sense where Aziraphale is, but yours for Aziraphale is much more powerful than the one I had for you. So, no. I didn't. Now, what happened!?
Well, I just told you...and he heard you call me by name. He recognized my shape, hair, and face shape. He just didn't say anything, because I'm a demon and apparently shouldn't be called by my holy name. He's known since the Garden.
How intriguing, but if he didn't want to say it...when did he say it? Oh...did he say it when he-
I quickly scratched the notebook, indicating that I didn't want her to finish that sentence.
NO! And even if he DID, I wouldn't tell you! Private life! No...he...he said it just before he fell asleep on my chest.
Oh my ME! You two are adorable!
Save it for someone who has a chance with someone like him.
You two CUDDLED!
I said save it for SOMEONE ELSE!
Oh, I think not.
Why the Heaven not!?
You deserve happiness, Crowley!
Do not! I'm a demon, remember!? You made me one!
It took two minutes for me to calm down from that and to realize I was a bit too harsh.
I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that, but it's true. I'm a demon, he's an angel, and I'm well...I'm ME!
Oh, yes! Thank you for clarifying! If you hadn't, I might've forgot! Thank you sooo much!
You're being Tetchy again.
You're being an idiot.
But you LOVE him!
THAT DOESN'T MEAN HE LOVES ME BACK! He won't ever! We both agreed that after last night, that we would both never speak of it again or even suggest that we do it again. As amazing and wonderful as it was, he was giving into Lust! He was Lusting after me! That's all! I've seen PLENTY of humans do it! Please, Lord. If you had any kind of decent kindness or sympathy in the heart I know you have...please do not add to my pain by giving me false hope.
What if it was part of my plan for him to return your love?
Then it is not a love I want. I want him to love me on his own, and if he never loves me...just as he SHOULDN'T love me...then so be it. I'm content in being in his company and soothing his anxiety. Being there for him. If you make it a part of your plan, then it'll just be another thing he'll feel obligated to follow. I don't want that, so please, don't. You haven't added it to your plans...have you?
That thought occurred to me more than once, but no. I haven't added that kind of plan for you or him, and based on how desperate I can feel your request is. I won't. I still believe you should be happy, Crowley. He makes you feel whole.
Yes, but I feel whole enough being near him. Even when he says harsh things about me being a demon, I still feel...as if I'm supposed to be there. As if...I dunno...there's a word for it...I've read it.
You feel as if you're...home?
YES! That's it. Home. Content, happy, safe, free to be me, which can get me in A LOT of trouble if he finds out just how much of me is me. He called me nice.
That's the problem though! I'm a demon! I'm not supposed to be nice!
Yeah...you're terrible at being a demon.
Oh, gee! Thanks! That makes me feel loads better!
You know me. Always trying to help. I have to go now. Gabriel's knocking on the library door. Until next time, Crowley.
Chapter 6: Oysters
"...and that makes woman number thirty that I tempted into lust. That makes a grand total of thirty women tempted into lust, ten of which committed adultery, fifteen men tempted into greed, five men tempted into Pride as well as Envy...FOR EACH OTHER, and finally, four women tempted into Sloth. All together that's...Fifty-four humans tempted in one week."
Hastur looked at the report extensively and sneered at it. "I see no lies in this."
"Of course not! I had a great time!" I smirked confidently.
"Yes, I can see that." He lifted his hand and miracled the report away. Likely to Dagon's desk or straight to Beelzebub. Both were creepy. "Why is it though, that when you tempt those into Lust, you never bed any of the humans yourself? You're not lacking in looks. I've seen how both men and women look at you."
I shrugged my shoulders, giving a cocky grin to hide the slight panic, due to the REAL reason as I lied. "I enjoy watching the humans destroy each other. The chaos is beautiful. The torment and wrath it incites is perfection."
He chuckled darkly as he nodded his head. "I agree." A small scroll appeared in his hand and he read it. "Well, considering you've sent weekly reports for temptations ever week for the past two months, and they were all above fifty a week, you're to be given three weeks of Commendation. You've certainly made Rome a place of sin as well. You hold Commendation for introducing Orgies...I believe is what it was called. Enjoy your time off, oh, and there's a special order. If you want it extended by a day, you'll have to do a hundred temptations in one day." With that he was gone, and I was more than happy with just three weeks. I had never even started the Orgy thing! That was all the humans, but Hell made it SO easy for me to just simply take the credit!
Needing a drink after that particular visit, I went to the nearest tavern, and coincidentally, I felt that Aziraphale was there as well. It's almost as if after that night, my grace has become more aware of where he is at all times. Even when he's in Heaven.
Once I walked in, I ordered a drink and he came forward. "Crawley-Crowley..." He quickly corrected before sitting down, and really, he said my name enough times that night eight years ago, one would think that he would know it by now. We only did it the once and never again as promised, but he DID say it over and over again. "Fancy running into you...here. Still a demon then?"
'What!? Like I'm going to RISE!? HA!' I swiftly turned to him, a bit bitter and tetchy after my meeting with Hastur, and I snapped, "What kind of stupid question is that? 'Still a de-' what else am I going to be, an aardvark!?" I let out a heavy sigh as I turned away from him, not truly wanting to mad at him, but not seeing how I could be brought down from it. I REALLY hate Hastur! I don't hate a lot of things...Heaven or Hell, but I HATE him!
"Salutaria." I heard him say in the same tone one might use to change the subject. "In Rome long?"
"Just nipped in for a quick temptation. You?" I wondered curiously, because as the years continued to go by, it seemed as if we were being sent to be in the same places more and more. I had asked God about it once, and she said that she was leaving that up to her angels. So, that meant she WASN'T trying to set us up, but it was still strange.
"Well, I thought I'd try Petronius' new restaurant. I hear he does remarkable things to oysters."
"I've never eaten an oyster." I told him as the realization struck me. I had eaten a lot of things. Most of them questionable, but non as questionable as an oyster.
"Oh, well, let me tempt you..."
'No, no! Don't let me stop you from finishing that sentence!' My mood was immediately lightened by his small mistake, which he quickly tried to correct.
"...oh no...that's your job, isn't it?"
"We both know what you can do." I spoke before my brain decided it wanted to function for this conversation.
"Hmm..." And that noise right there, that thoughtful noise is what made me put my drink down and look at him with widened eyes. It wasn't a thoughtful noise, it wasn't a noise where someone was thinking how to best stray from the subject, it was an AGREEING noise. "...well, would you like to go with me?"
"T-To where?" I so eloquently asked.
"To try oysters!" He laughed out as if was the most obvious thing. "You must go with me!"
"Oh, I must...must I?" I smirked as I raised a brow at him.
"Yes." He stated as he stood up and took one step closer. "You must. Now, come on. You'll like it. I promise."
Not able to really say anything with how close he was standing, I finished my drink with one swig, and followed him out towards the restaurant. "How far is it?"
"Not far at all."
He was right, too. It was practically around the corner. Once we got a table, he ordered, getting us some good wine, and then I felt him staring at me. "What's wrong, Angel?"
"Why are you covering your eyes with those? You don't need them."
I let out a light sigh as our wine was brought to us. Once the woman left, I looked up at him and looked around. "My eyes aren't exactly normal, Aziraphale. I have the eyes of a snake, and religious or no, my eyes would frighten humans. It has before."
"Ah...yes, I can see how that might be a problem." After a few moments, our oysters arrived. I picked up my fork and poked at it, earning a wondrous laugh from Aziraphale. "Cr-Crowley..." He continued to laugh, seemingly not gaining anyone's attention, but it was such a wonderful sound...how was he not being stared at? "...Don't poke at it, Dear boy!"
'DEAR BOY!? Apparently the DEAR part is going to be normal!' My brain wasn't functioning, and I'm half certain it was determined to remain so for the rest of the...meal. "Well, what the Heaven am I supposed to do with it then? It's all...squishy."
"Like me?" I heard him ask, but I didn't look at him. I kept poking at the thing on my plate.
"You're a good kind of squishy, and I think I've already said you're more warm and soft than squishy and round." I heard his fork clatter to his plate, instantly grabbing my worried attention. "Angel?" When I saw his face, his jaw was drop and his eyes shone with astonishment and pure shock. "What's wrong?"
"I..." He blinked a few times before a contemplative look took over his features. "...I get that you remember what we did that night, but...just HOW MUCH do you remember?"
I let out a sigh as I forced myself to calm into a serious expression. "I remember it all, Aziraphale. As if it happened an hour ago." I watched as he visibly swallowed, clearly not expecting that answer. So, to distract from the suddenly too serious aura around our table, I poked at his oysters. "Now, are you going to teach me how to eat this thing, or am I going to have to find out for myself?"
"Alright." He chuckled warmly, but the shock appeared on his face again. Calmer this time, but still there just the same.
I watched carefully as he showed me how to eat, and now it was my turn to swallow a lump in my throat from how it looked going into his mouth and down his throat. "Aziraphale, are you even remotely aware how that looks?" I asked as I willed away the thunderstorm happening in my spine.
"What do you mean?" He questioned with a furrowed brow just as he was getting ready to eat another one.
"Oh, no you don't." I gently grabbed his wrist as I pushed it onto the table. "You're going to see how it looks." I did exactly as he did, and did exactly as he told me before swallowing it. Wasn't half bad. Pretty tasty. However, that wasn't the point at the moment. I looked over at him and SAW that he understood the point as his cheeks were dusted a nice shade of pink. "Do you see how it looks now?" He nodded with wide eyes and a shut mouth, not saying anything. "Aziraphale, say something."
"I...I can't." His voice came out a small squeak. A far cry from what it usually is and from what it was in the bedroom.
"Right...might I ask why?" I leaned closer, and for some reason, my mind was telling me to look down, so I did, and I saw why he couldn't speak. "Hmm..." I smirked before looking back up at him. "I think lunch just got a lot more interesting." Then, I remembered I said I wouldn't suggest it or bring it up. "Shit." I shook my head. "Sorry. Made a promise not to bring it up." I leaned away from him and drank my wine, nearly gulping it down.
"I...I didn't think y-you'd actually hold up to that if I'm to be honest."
"I gave you my word, Aziraphale."
"Yes, but the word of a demon is-"
I turned to look at him, causing him to immediately close his mouth. "MY word, Aziraphale. When I give my word...to you...it's not as a demon. It's as someone who stood with you on a wall as Adam and Eve walked away. Someone who saved children during the great flood and someone who discussed it with you and trusted you with it. Someone who rescued you from a fire and helped you heal during our months of commendation. Someone who stood by you and was there for you when Jesus was Crucified. Someone who is eating oysters with you right now. It didn't come from a demon, Aziraphale. It came from a friend. Do you understand?" He meekly nodded, but there was something in his eyes. Something that appeared, but quickly vanished, and for some reason...whatever it was...it hurt that it vanished. "Besides..." I started in an attempt to wipe that horrible expression of his face. "...I did also add the if you want. We do anything, it would be up to you. However, the oysters are actually pretty good and the wine is great. So, how about we have lunch, yeah?"
That seemed to be the ticket, because he lit up brighter than the sun as he nodded his head and started eating his oysters. I soon followed suit, because they really were pretty good. Especially the second, and the third, and the fourth...I was completely full after it. "Oh...that was wonderful." I heard him say as he wiped his face with his napkin.
"You know, it actually was. So...I've got some commendation racked up, what next?" I glanced down while he looked away, and noticed that he still had a problem in between in his legs. I then swiftly returned my gaze to him, just before he turned to look at me.
"I have three more days of commendation left." He muttered before waving down the woman who brought our drinks. He whispered something in her ear as he handed her money, and my jaw nearly hit the floor. He was either bribing her for something, or paying for something, but either way, he was acting a bit more demon than angel, and the thunder was suddenly back full force in my whole body. She nodded her head, left, and came back with a key. "Come on, Crowley. There's a room available upstairs. I just rented it for the next two nights."
'TWO!?' My mind squeaked in equal parts confusion and anticipation, and really...that wasn't the BEST combination at the moment. Then, without my say so, my legs were moving on their own, following him up the stairs, down a long hallway lit with candles, and into a large room with a huge bed. It was much nicer than the one we were in last time, that much was clear. When he shut the door behind me, I couldn't help but ask, "Um...Aziraphale...why did you get US a room, for TWO nights?" When I turned to look at him, he looked almost nervous, and as if he wanted to say something, but couldn't. I stepped towards him, placed my hands on his shoulders and guided him towards the bed. "Alright, Angel. What's going on with you?" I asked him once we were both seated.
"Th-That night eight years ago. I...I can't stop thinking about it. I couldn't stop thinking on how I wanted you, but I didn't know why, because yes, I felt lust...I know that now, it's just...WHY. I know it sounds crude and horrible, and I fear I may fall, but I...well...at lunch I came up with a rather insane idea."
"An insane idea from you? Now, this is something I need to hear." I joked, but the joke instantly died when he cut me a look that said I shouldn't have spoken. 'Right. Principality. Not a normal angel.' I cleared my throat. "Continue."
"Yes, well, I thought that perhaps...if we...well...if we had sex again, that I might understand exactly why. I've learned that there are reasons why humans Lust after one another, and though you're considered attractive, I don't think that's it."
"Thanks?" I tilted my head, unsure if I should take that as an insult or a compliment, but I let him continue anyway.
"You're welcome. Now, it's just an idea, and I...I don't know how long it might take, but I-I've tried...Lusting after humans and it doesn't work."
My eyes widened and I found myself nervously rubbing the back of my neck as I tried to explain to him why it didn't work. "Ah, well, Aziraphale...there's a thing about Lusting. It doesn't work by trying. It's not something you can consciously do with just anyone. It's why it's one of the more difficult temptations to get humans to go for, because they have to already want something. When it comes to Greed, Gluttony, Sloth, Pride, and Wrath, it's all about over abundance. You want too much of something, you eat more food than you need or should have, you sleep more than is necessary or you decide to be lazy, you have an overwhelming anger and fury...those...those are overabundance. Now, Envy? Every human seems to feel that, because they want something they can't have or they want something someone else has...that's easy, but Lust? Lust has to be specific. For example, if I were to pass two women and two men in the market, both married, but the woman on my right, wanted the man on my left...I could tempt her into both adultery and lust. I could tempt her to go after him, but if she DIDN'T want him, sexually or romantically, it would be no better than if I was talking to myself. It just wouldn't work. Lust is VERY specific, which is why I'm so good at it, because I can pinpoint it, but it's not the one I usually like to go for, BECAUSE it's SO MUCH work."
"S-So..." He started breathing heavily, holding a hand to his head trying to grasp everything I just said, and I can't blame him. It's a lot to take in. "...does that mean...I only Lust after you?"
"Well, unless you find someone with the same or better qualities that I apparently have in your eyes that are worth Lusting over."
"What if..." He furrowed his brow at me, and I couldn't help but notice how his eyes looked like a raging storm of emotions. Too many emotions, in fact, and one not staying more than three seconds at a time. "...what if I don't KNOW what's making me Lust after you?"
"Is that why you want to try having sex again?" I questioned, and as I did so, my mind said, 'He's new to this, and you so happen to be the one being he Lusts after. He's tried looking at humans, perhaps tried to sleep with one or two, but he's come to you, a demon. One that he Lusts after.' My Grace spun around saying, 'He's scared, he's confused, he wants to know why, he wants you to explain it to him in the only way he can think of that would resolve the matter.' However, my soul hesitated for a moment as it said, 'There's something that doesn't add up.' What it was, I had no Earthly idea, and for some reason, that was more concerning than a Principality experiencing Lust for a demon.
"Yes. I...I have to know why or what it is that's making me...want you."
I shook my head as my heart began to ache before I even said anything. "I can't believe I'm about to say this to an ANGEL! Aziraphale...if you give in to Lust, you're going to want more of it. Lust feels good for a moment. It feel incredible and wonderful and it makes you soar, but it probably won't give you any answers if we have sex again."
"And I believe it will eventually have the answers."
That sentence nearly had me bolting up from the bed, but I had to stay calm. One of us had to. He looked about ready to run. "Eventually...meaning...you plan to...KEEP having sex until you find the answers? Aziraphale, we have jobs. Our head offices HATE and DESPISE each other. If we were caught spending too much time together..."
"I know." He nodded as he turned to the floor. "I know all too well. I've been worrying about the same things. Eventually, you know...we're going to meet up WITHOUT either of us having commendations."
"I know." As I told him that, my heart and soul thrummed with a need to kiss him gently to sooth his anxiety, and my grace agreed it would work. "Aziraphale, you know the risk of doing something like this, of spending time with me."
"Honestly, Crowley, you don't have to tell me things I already know! I'm terrified!"
"Then, why risk it!?" I nearly shouted as I grabbed his shoulders, turning him to look at me. "They could DESTROY you, Aziraphale!"
"And Hell could destroy you, yet you take my invitations, and for crying out loud, you spent THREE MONTHS healing an ANGEL! A Principality! You could've and probably should've just let me discorporate. I would've been issued a body, the paperwork would've been excruciating, but it was mortal fire. I wouldn't have died permanently from it, but you nursed me back to health, you were patient with me, and you put up with my complaining and pain. Hell could've destroyed you FOREVER for doing such a thing, but you did it anyway. Can you tell me why?"
'Oh, he HAD to go and ask THAT!' I shook my head. "I...I can't." It was the truth. I couldn't, because that would make everything SO MUCH more complicated!
"Can't or won't?"
"Clever angel." I grinned with a fond tone I couldn't stop even if I wanted to. Then, I finally saw a small smile on his face, but then his eyes lit up as he looked at me and before I could do anything to stop myself, I was bringing a hand up to the side of his face, and my lips were on his soft warm ones. My mind decided at that moment to supply the small tidbit of information I had neglected, on purpose, to remember. 'Having sex with him won't make him fall.' The kiss was sweeter than I intended, and his lips were so welcoming as he sighed and wrapped an arm around waist, which felt all too...right. I licked his bottom lip slowly, requesting entrance, and he allowed me. Once my tongue was in his mouth, I heard him moan into the kiss while I felt his fist grab the back of my toga, but even with my tongue in his mouth, tasting every centimeter of the inside of it, the kiss was still sweeter than I had intended, and if anything, that's what made it better as he matched my movements.
When I eventually ended the kiss, I leaned back a little bit to look into his eyes as his heavy breaths, that he didn't need, came out warm against my skin. "That..." He huffed out breathlessly.
"That...what, Angel?" I asked him as I took the hand that was cradling his cheek, to use it to lift up his chin so that he would look at me. When he looked at me, he reached up and took my sunglasses off while swallowing a lump in his throat.
"There you are, my dear."
"Hmm..." I chuckled as I took the sunglasses from him and set them on the floor. "...have you figured out why you're Lusting after me, yet?"
"Honestly, for some reason, what you described was Lust, but I can't feel it coming off of you, so no...not really. It's strange. What do you want to do?" I asked him carefully with a pounding heart. "It's your decision."
Apparently my words confused him quite a bit, because he took my hand and gave a small kiss to my palm with a perplexed expression. "Last time...I took control, and I don't think I did very good at it."
"Um...I highly doubt that." I chuckled low in disbelief. "That is..." My eyes widened as I realized he hadn't said he took control with me and he DID say he tried Lust with humans. "...unless you've slept with a human?"
"No." He stated as he looked at my palm before turning it over, holding it with both hands now as his thumbs softly rubbed up and down against my skin, somehow calming my own nerves. "There's only been you. That's why I think you should take control this time. You're more experienced."
"Yeah...about that." I rose an eyebrow at him when his eyes shot up to meet mine. "You're my first time. You're the first being at all that I had sex with, or was even that close to being intimate with. My first kiss too."
"O-Oh..." He breathed out shakily.
"Yeah, oh. As much as I would ENJOY to be some kind of experienced sex or Lust demon, I'm afraid I've only tempted humans into that sort of thing and only humans towards other humans, never towards myself. Even Hell knows it, and the questions are awkward and embarrassing. Believe me."
"Wait, you didn't tell them you had sex with an angel?"
"Nope. Not their business, and besides, if they find out, so does your head office and then we're both done for. I believe we've had this discussion before. Well, the offer still stands. What do you want to do? Because, I never expected you to make the offer again. I expected this to never happen again."
"W-Well...I would...if you wouldn't be opposed..."
"You want me to take over tonight, don't you?" I guess, and I hoped I was right, otherwise that would be an embarrassingly wrong guess.
"If you don't mind." He blushed, and oh, I couldn't resist. I kissed both of his cheeks once before nodding my head, but instead of us undressing the human way, I snapped my fingers and did away with my clothes. I nodded to him and he did the same.
I had him scoot further into the bed, so that I wasn't stuck on the edge, and once he was there, I placed my hand on his thigh, urging him to let me in between them for now. I then brought my hand behind his head, threading his curls through my fingers as I laid him down onto the pillows, putting the right thigh in between my legs. "I'm going to take my time, Aziraphale." I whispered into his ear before lightly sucking on his earlobe, causing him to buck into my left thigh. "If I do something wrong, let me know immediately. Don't try and be tough and take it. I licked up the side of his ear, bringing out a shaking breath as he gently wrapped his arms around me, bringing his hand up into my hair, gripping at what he could.
"Ha..." I heard him breath out a short sort of distant laugh.
"I miss your long hair." He stated with a pout as rubbed his hand up and down the back of my head.
"Yes, well, perhaps it will come back in style."
He pushed me gently, so I complied and leaned up slightly, looking down into his black-hole-stardust-eyes. "Oh, I do hope so. I enjoyed grabbing it."
I was already getting hard from just touching him, but his words and in the husky tone he had, I couldn't help but groan. 'Slow.' I reminded myself. 'Make this last. The last time you got to have this was EIGHT BLOODY YEARS AGO, and you weren't even expecting to get it again. Spoil him. Make him feel wanted. Make him feel appreciated. Don't let out your love, but let him feel those things.' I leaned back down and tipped his head up just slightly so I could place kisses onto his skin, that tasted both salty and sweet, but more sweet than anything, at just below his throat, I felt the vibration of his laugh as he lightly swatted at me.
"That tickles, Crowley."
I couldn't help the fond chuckle that left me, but thankfully he didn't seem to hear the emotion in it. I kissed his chest until I found a nipple and teased it with my tongue, earning me a gasp from his lips and vice-like grip on my upper arm. I continued for a while before switching to the other one and repeating the action until his gasps and panting breaths turned into harsh moans as his nails scratched at my arms and my shoulders, which reminded me of something that happened last time. "'Zira, let your wings out, dove."
"D-Dove? 'Zira? You called me the second one last time as well, but not...not the first one."
"Well, you CAN turn into a Dove. Besides, I think it's fair, considering you called me Raphael last time. Now, come on, Dove. Let you're wings out." He sat up a little bit, doing as I asked before laying back down. "Beautiful." I whispered with a small smile just before gently carding my fingers through the longest feathers, straightening them.
"Cr-Crowley..." His whole body shuddered at my action.
"What is it?" I asked him as I reached in between our bodies to feel just how desperate his body was, and I felt the wetness at his tip. "Oh, you're weeping."
"M-Must you be s-so crass about it?"
"Crass?" I smirked as I moved to get a better grip on him and to focus on the other wing's larger feathers. "My speech is nowhere near crass, Angel. I can make it so, if you like that." He shook his head, telling me no, so I didn't say anything more. I then started to glide my hand up and down while the other remained in the wings, and I heard him groan out a few incoherent things as his eyes rolled into the back of his head before they fluttered close. "Well, apparently you like this." I grinned as I continued until I felt a twitch, which told me he was close...to being close, so I stopped, and I swear if looks could kill, I'd be discorporated on the spot. So, pointedly ignoring it, I paid genuine attention to his wings and their grooming, knowing that it would at least keep him in a pleasured state.
"Wh-Why are you...g-grooming my wings?" He panted just barely above a whisper, sending a shiver through my entire body, because I, a demon, and I, the original tempter and original darkness brought him to that much pleasure. Principality Aziraphale, former Guardian of the Eastern Gate, and a truer angel than most of them, but one who gives into sin joyfully.
"They need it, and considering it gives you pleasure, now's the perfect time to groom them." I took out the feathers that needed to be taken out, and I organized the feathers that REALLY needed to be organized. All while he was a moaning, gasping, and shuddering mess. I would glance down every now and then and see the small puddle of pre-cum increase drop by drop. When I was eventually done, I looked at his eyes, and there was nearly no color in them anymore with how gone he was in pleasure.
I moved down in between his legs, and took him into my hand, just before looking up at him. "I-It hurts." He bucked his hips closer to my mouth.
"Are you so hard it hurts, or am I hurting you?" I asked him carefully.
"H-Hard." He whined as he slightly shook his hips.
"Right then." I nodded my head before licking a strip from base to tip. At that moment, I felt the sheets being grabbed desperately as his gasps that WANTED to be moans fell from his lips as easily as his own normal breathing, so I kept repeating that action. I was surprised with how long he was lasting, and the noises he was making was causing my own cock to ache painfully.
After one more stripe, I took it all in my mouth, miracling away my gag reflex, but just before I did that, he gripped my hair with a loud and lewd moan. "Y-Yes! Cr-Crowley! Oh!" His hips bucked into my mouth right before the miracle happened, and I choked on him, but apparently he liked that, because he let out a low groan. Licking my lips, I went back down, miracling my gag reflex back in place and continued my work allowing him to do as he pleased, which meant more bucking into my gag reflex, but if it drew out the noises he was making, I didn't care. Eventually, his grip on my hair was pulled upward, signalling me to get off.
"What is it?"
"You have me." I told him as I looked up and down his body.
"Want...you...on top...me...inside...you." The fact that the ever eloquent and articulate Aziraphale was having trouble forming even partially a coherent sentence was nearly my breaking point as I did what he asked of me, using a minor miracle to have myself ready. Once I was in position he gently if a bit shakily placed his hands on my hips and pushed me down onto him while he thrusted up into me, nearly without any warning, causing me to see stars. "C-Can't...take...much...more. Please! Crowley! Please!"
I sat all the way down, taking him to the hilt, both of us moaning at the friction of it for different reasons. "I won't last, Angel." I breathed out.
"N-Neither...will I. Move! Please!" Not needing to be told twice, I made it count by going as fast and as hard as could both take, which eventually turned out to not be much as he soon gripped my hips so hard that they would leave bruises, and moaned out with his head tipped back, "Fuck! Crowley!" His swearing his was pushed me over the edge with me moaning his name, but it was lost in the muffle of my ears as the blood had rushed to them once again.
This time, it was my turn to collapse onto him, and he gave me the same welcome I gave him. He extended his arm, but kept his wings out. "Are you sure you don't want to put your wings away? They're nice and groomed now."
"Hmm...you're right, but that...would be if I could...move more than just my arm." His tone was filled with bliss as he nudged his head, signaling for me to move to his arm already.
Once there, I felt as if I could've slept there for a century and I would've STILL wanted to sleep longer. "You're like one big pillow!" I chuckled lightly, but then I felt a light swat on the back of my head, which only served for me to chuckle more. "I trust I didn't disappoint." He was so warm, and he wrapped his arm around me, encasing me in a sort of side hug.
"I'm not sure there are words, but I must ask...why are you always so..."
"Angel, if you say nice, I swear...!"
"Fine." He scoffed out a laugh. "Why are you so sweet and caring? You're a demon. I wasn't aware demons were capable of such things, and before you say it's an overexposure to the humans, you've been like this since I met you on the wall."
"Well..." I let out a breath as I reached for the covers, drawing it over us before draping my arm over his stomach. "...to me, sex isn't a time to be demonic. I mean, you can't really get anyone off if you're all fire and brimstone, unholy, or just generally terrifying. Some people like it rough and a bit violent, and that's all well and good if they're into that kind of thing, but there should be no deception, no hidden agendas, no trickery, no...well...to me you're suppose to make sure the other is enjoying it honestly, not because they don't want to risk demonic wrath. They shouldn't be terrified of it, and everyone is terrified of demons, or at least a demons true nature. So, I try not to do that. I still don't like being called sweet or caring though. Ugh, those are GOOD words."
"You actually make a valid and sound point."
"Well, at least I have that going for me."
"But?" I blinked several times as I looked up at him and he looked down at me with a soft smile.
"But..." He repeated. "...that doesn't explain why you let me sleep in your arms last time, and why you're resting in mine now."
I shrugged and decided to at least give him half of an honest answer. "I'm a snake. Snakes love warmth. You're very warm. It's like soaking up sunshine without the threat of getting burned."
"Such a poet." He sighed out.
"I've been told that a number of times, but regardless, it's the truth."
"I believe you."
"Now, you're turn. Why are YOU still laying next to me, a demon, your enemy?"
"Same reason as you, but a bit opposite. You're not warm, but you're cool, like a spring breeze before and after rain. It cools me down, and I enjoy it."
"Huh...opposites." I muttered as I thought of how I was God's opposite since the beginning, but it seems Aziraphale is ALSO my opposite somehow.
"Seems so." I got up from his arm, which apparently alarmed him, because he swiftly grabbed my arm, but then a look of confusion washed over him. "Did I say something wrong?"
"Nope." I told him simply before miracling a warm and damp wash cloth. "Just getting something to clean us up with." I cleaned him up first, everywhere that both of us released, and then myself, which admittedly was considerably less than what I had to clean up off of him. "Don't want to risk miracling it away in case that gets back to my head office."
"What about when you miracled yourself ready?"
"Ngk! You have a point." I groaned, but then the idea flashed in my mind, and it was so simple. "I guess I'll just have to tell them that I tempted a religious man into bed with me. It's not an entire lie."
"Will they taunt you for being the one ready?"
I tossed the rag onto the floor before giving him a skeptical but amused look. "What a strange question to ask. I don't think so, though. As long as it was a religious man, they won't care. It means I corrupted a religious man."
"Won't they ask questions or for proof?"
"No. They don't like wasting their time with that. It's why I can take credit for so many of things I DIDN'T do. They don't look for proof or evidence of it happening, just as long as it's in a report. So, enough about work...have you figured it out yet? The Lusting thing."
"No." He sighed out dejectedly. "However, I think we have a bigger problem than JUST my Lust. It's involved with it, but it's still a problem."
"Oh?" I asked as I settled back down in the space between his shoulder and his chest. "What would that be?"
"I don't think I want to stop having sex with you. Especially after that."
I swallowed a lump in my throat as my eyes widened to an impossible size. "You...you want to keep having sex with me? Why?"
"It's pleasurable, but it's also added to the reason with the Lusting thing. Not only that, but I believe I'm the only one that's seen you be that sweet and caring."
Actually, he is. I wasn't even that sweet and caring towards God when I was in Heaven. Yeah, I'd hold her when she cried, or be there if she needed me, but with Aziraphale it was so much more different. Back then it was because God needed me, she needed me to comfort her and be there for her. With him, it's that I WANT to. I want to see him smile, I want to hear him laugh and chuckle, I want him to be happy, I want him to enjoy things, I want him to make those noises again, I want him to be safe, I want him to feel comfortable around me, I want him to feel safe with me, I want him to be able to be whatever himself he wants to be, and I want him to trust me. "You're right. You are, but that doesn't mean you can keep saying it. I have a reputation you know, and besides...I'm not sweet and caring. I tempt and do evil things."
"Oh, yes, I'm well aware of your evil deeds. I'm often sent to FIX them. I know how evil you can be Crowley, but you're also an enigma, because with all your wickedness, you can also be...well...I've already said it and you've given me your reason. However, you were kind to me on the wall, and you were kind to the children on the Ark."
"Going against God, Angel. On the wall, we were both curious about our wrong doings and neither of us wanted to face our head offices." I lied, but I had to.
"I believe you."
The only reason why he didn't sense my lie was because I wasn't looking directly at him and I showed no signs of lying. "Say..." I started as I was growing comfortable laying on his chest. "...you said TWO nights?"
"Hmm..." He hummed with a tired tone. "...I did."
"It's not close to dusk yet." I looked up at him and his eyes were closed, but there was a knowing smile on his face.
"How very observant of you."
The sarcasm wasn't knew, but the mirth behind it was. "I swear there's just a bit of a demon in you."
"Not yet there isn't." The sentence caused me to let out an inhuman squeak, causing his eyes to fly open with a slightly dropped jaw. "I-I'm sorry, I don't know where that came from."
"No, don't be sorry." I grinned. "You really CAN'T stop, can you?"
"Well, I can, obviously, and I'll have to after the two nights are up, but when the thought happens...it stays and lingers."
I rose an eyebrow at that. "You act as if you've had thoughts about me before."
"I have. I shouldn't. I REALLY shouldn't, but I have. They're um...unfortunately quite extensive."
"Would you like to try your thoughts out? Two nights...that's a lot of time, and well...we technically don't have a refractory period. All it would take is a little..." I grabbed at the inside of his left thigh with a mischievous smirk as a low groan left him with him biting his lower lip. "...stimulation."
"I-I should stop. I-I shouldn't b-be doing any of this w-with you."
"Say stop, and I will. Say go, and I will. It's not my goal to upset you. I leave upsetting others for the humans, demons I don't like, and other angels that can be right asses." Other angels like Gabriel. He's changed since my supposed death, but that left me with another question. "But before we get started, I have a question for you that just occurred to me. Lucifer believes he's killed me in battle, and to my understanding the other angels believe I'm dead as well. Why have you not told them that I'm still alive, but that I'm a demon?"
"Well, for one, I like being the only one knowing. Two, if they were meant to know, the Almighty would've told them, but she's allowed them to believe you're dead, and I can only assume there's reasons for that. So, I'm just content in knowing I'm the only one that knows, and from what I can tell...the only one that's ALLOWED to know, considering my memory hadn't been wiped."
"I see...well...now that my question is answered..." I gripped his thigh again, earning another groan. "...I believe it's going to be a long two nights, but I'm curious, why not just resist the temptation of Lust? Why not just never see me again?"
"Because...the thought of never seeing you again...bothers me somehow. I can't explain it, but I think it has something to do with that word you used...friend. Yes. That sounds right. I can't admit it out in public, but yes, that sounds right. As far as resisting...I think it's a lot like my gluttony. I don't need it, but I want it, and it...well...it makes me happy, somehow. There's so much about this that's confusing and that I can't explain, but since we've had sex twice now, and I haven't fallen, I think perhaps I don't have to question much at the moment, or rather, that I shouldn't. Not right now." He shifted his hips to where my hand would slide onto his growing erection. "Can't show that we're close at all in public, but until I figure THIS out, I'd like to continue, if that's alright with you."
I couldn't stifle the moan, nor the smile on my face. He wants to keep this! He wants to keep doing this! Love might be out of the question, but I can at least be close to him like this. "Like I said, I think it's going to be a long two nights."
Chapter 7: Stars and Swords
"I was hoping I could meet with the black knight." I was told one of King Arthur's knights wanted to meet me, I had no idea it was Aziraphale! I was going to have some fun before revealing myself.
"You have sought the black knight, foolish one, but you have found...your death."
"Is that you under there, Crawley?"
"Crowley!" I growled out. 'I'm starting to think he's doing it on purpose!' Hell did indeed question why I needed a miracle for sexual preparation and I told them what I told Aziraphale I would say. I expected a few congrats, some good goings, some 'oh that explains it', but I was NOT expecting for a year long party to celebrate me losing my virginity and taking the virginity of a religious man. Half of Hell was drunk for six months, then the other half got drunk for the other half of the month. They called it my true becoming of a demon party. It was weird, but at least they stole some good wine.
"What the hell are you playing at!?" He whispered out with a what could only be described as a pissed off and confused expression.
I turned to the knights, remembering they were there, and waved them down. "It's alright, lads. I know him. He's alright." I then turned back towards him to explain. "I'm here spreading foment."
"What is that? Some kind of porridge?"
'Right...that word hadn't been invented yet. Whoops. I guess now it has. Disadvantages of having been in God's library.' I slightly shook my head with a 'meh' expression as I explained to him in the best way I could. "No, I'm fomenting dissent and discord. King Arthur's been spreading too much peace and tranquility in the land. So I'm here, you know...fomenting."
"Well, I'm meant to be fomenting...peace."
"So we're both working very hard in damp places...canceling each other out."
"Right, well, you could put it like that." The tone he used sent a shiver down my spine, but thankfully the armor was too tight and bulky to reveal any of that, and my facial expressions were actually behaving today, so I had that going for me. He then looked around and wrinkled his nose in disgusted realization. "It IS a bit damp."
"It'd be easier if we both just stayed home. We both send messages back to our head offices saying we've done everything they'd asked for, wouldn't it?"
"But that would be lying!"
"Eh, possibly...but the results'd be the same. Cancel each other out."
"But...my dear fellow...well, they'd check. Michael's a...bit of a stickler. You don't want to get Gabriel upset with you."
"Oh, our lot has better things to do than verifying compliance reports from Earth. As long as they get the paper work, they seem happy enough. As long as you've been seen doing SOMETHING...every now and again."
"No! Absolutely not! I am SHOCKED that you would even imply such a thing! We're not having this conversation! Not another word!"
"Right." He's never actually raised his voice to me before, so that was entirely new, and he seemed tense from more than just our conversation, but still, he's never raised his voice at me, and I felt small tendrils of Heavenly wrath pouring off of him. Not enough for either upstairs or downstairs to notice, but enough for someone directly in front of him, and the REASON for said wrath, to notice.
"Right!" He spat back as he walked away, and I was left to go back to 'my men'.
Eventually the ultimate battle for King Arthur's court raged, and though his side won and my side lost, King Arthur met his fate. My side gave me commendation for two weeks. It would've been a whole year if I had managed to discorporate the angel that was hiding among King Arthur's knights, but that didn't sound appealing to me in the slightest.
Not welcome among my men anymore, those that survived, and certainly not welcome in Camelot, I made my way out the old fashioned way, but without a horse, which is how I found myself at a lake, underneath a clear starry sky with a full moon, a small campfire for warmth, and a fall breeze blowing my hair out of my face as I was dressed in light colored commoner clothes. I would've warn black, but I've seen what happens to people in this time period that where black clothes. I was one of them, and I have no desire to have a sword thrust into my back. My clothes were brown boots, brown pants, and a loose white shirt with the strings over the chest tying the v-neck part of it together, left half way undone, and the sleeves stopped at my elbows, making my sleeves a bit baggy. At this point in time, my hair was down in between the tops of my shoulder blades. All in all, a very handsome and very tempting commoner.
I soon heard footsteps approaching me, which caused me to swiftly get up from my spot and draw my sword. "Who goes there?"
"Crowley?" I heard a familiar voice ask as it came closer. Once the owner of the voice stepped into the moonlight I let out a sigh of relief. "Y-You're w-wearing white!"
I looked up at him to find his face flushed. "I do every now and then. When it's appropriate and when I don't feel like getting stabbed in the back. Dressing in dark colors hadn't exactly yielded the best results for anyone during this time period. Why are you so shocked?"
"I-I had NEVER seen you in white before, and well...you look rather fetching in it." As if he was trying to resist tackling me to the ground, he shook his head and glanced at my sword. "Do you even know how to use that?"
As he asked that, I got a good look at his outfit. He was also dressed in commoner clothes. Nearly the same as mine, in fact, but his sleeves were short and loose. They didn't grip his arms at all, and he had the ties completely tied. "Yes." I eventually answered. "I know how to use a sword. I wouldn't have become the black knight otherwise."
"Hmm...I don't think I've ever seen you fight. Not even in King Arthur's battle."
"Why do I sense a challenge in your voice?" I smirked.
"Depends. Fancy a sparring match?"
"Seriously!?" I gawked at him, searching for any sign that perhaps this was another one of his terrible jokes, but I found nothing. "You want to spar with me?"
"Why not?" He shrugged. "I didn't receive any commendation, so if I'm caught fighting you with a sword, they'll at least think I'm attempting to thwart you, which, I really should be doing." He took out his sword, and I was reminded yet again that he was a Principality for a reason. "So, former Archangel against a Principality, quite a thrilling challenge, wouldn't you say?"
"Oh, but you are a bastard!" I laughed as I held my sword in position. "You've no idea what you're getting yourself into, Aziraphale."
"Oh, we'll see about that." Before I had time to react, he swung his sword at me, and I had to block him. "Well, at least you can block."
"You're a right smug bastard when you fight with a blade, aren't you!?" I cackled as I then decided to take an offensive, by dodging underneath his arm, while making my sword cut at his shirt. Not close enough to get the skin, just the shirt. I turned around, blocked, pushed the blade up, quickly sliced at the front of his shirt.
"A smug bastard?" He asked as he moved faster than his physical form should've been able to, and suddenly he was behind me back to back, thrusting his blade into the side of my shirt, scratching some of my skin in the process, and I could hear his confident tone. "Me? I don't know what you're talking about."
I used my butt to bump him away before swinging my sword at him, which he blocked, but he slid his blade down mine. "Ha! Sure you don't! Do you even hear yourself, Angel?"
"I'm confident. I'm not a bastard."
"Right." I drawled out as I pushed him away just before swiftly crouching and rushing past his pant leg, ripping the fabric with my sword. I blocked him while my back was turned, and I dove down to repeat the action on the opposite pant leg before I faced him directly again. "Confident, huh? Yeah, you're looking mighty confident there, Angel with all those tears in your clothes."
"Well, you ARE better than I thought." He remarked with a sly smirk, and interesting things did always happen when that smirk appeared. I went to lunge towards him, prepared to scratch the middle of his shirt, signaling a killing blow, when he slammed his sword into the ground, and before I could stop, he grabbed my arms, turned me around, and FORCED me to kneel on the ground with him just above me. My eyes went wide, and my mind felt dizzy as it tried to explain what the Heaven just happened, but it didn't have time as I heard the sword come out of the ground and soon felt it's sharpened tip against the middle of my back where, if he wanted to, could've discorporated me without much effort at all. "Do you give up?"
"Not bloody likely!" I growled as I tried to get up, but as I was in the process of doing that, my body went in the opposite direction, and I found myself dizzy again and on my back, with an angel sitting on my hips and thighs, his blade in between my chest.
"Now, Crowley. You really should know when to give up."
I quickly grabbed his shoulders and rolled him onto his back, taking his sword from him in the process, sitting on his hips and thighs this time and with both of our blades in the ground on either side of his head. "Now, considering that You have far more tears in your clothes than I do, and I now have both your sword and mine, who do you think won this one, Angel."
"Alright, alright. Get off me, you serpent."
I leaned down towards his ear with a confident smirk as I whispered, "Funny, when I'm on top, that's not usually what I hear." I was about to get off after that, but then he was on top of me again, and this time, without a sword, and my hands were bound above my head, due to his celestially strong grip on my wrists.
"How about we declare it a tie, hmm?"
"Sounds good to me." I nodded frantically. "Besides, if we keep rolling around like that, sitting on each other's laps, both of us are going to end up naked under the stars."
"Oh, that sounds rather romantic." He whispered out as he got off me to collect his sword and sheath it.
I got up and sheathed my own, but in doing so, I agitated the cut he DID give me, and I cried out in pain. "Shit!" I held my side and brought my hand away. "Well, you ACTUALLY got me." I thought it was just a scratch, but nope! It was a genuine sword wound.
"WHAT!? When!?" He questioned in alarm as he came to look at the blood on my shirt.
"When we were back to back." I told him as I lifted up my shirt for him to see the wound. "Mind healing it?"
"Of course." He nodded before healing it.
Once it was healed, I found that my shirt was cleaned too. "Well, that was fun." I chuckled lightly.
"Sorry for cutting you." His voice was riddled with guilt, but I just shook my head.
"Don't be. It was a good sparring match. The best I've had in ages. We fought the human way, no miracles or powers, and we were practically on equal footing. Don't be sorry. I know you didn't mean to cut me, Angel."
"Don't thank me." I groaned out as I walked back to my camp fire.
"What were you doing out here anyway?" He asked as he followed me.
"Looking up at the stars. I don't like riding a horse, so I was going to walk to my next assignment, but I would rather go during the day. I don't trust the night at the moment. Not after THAT battle."
"Right, I can't blame you for that one." He laid on his back on the ground looking up at the stars and I followed suit, putting my hands behind my head. "But...we'll have to fight like that someday, won't we?"
"What do you mean?" I asked with a concerned expression that was pointed towards the stars.
"Heaven and Hell. Armageddon. We'll eventually have to battle once again. It's written. Her Great Plan."
"Ah, that." I let out a heavy sigh with a heavy heart. "I would rather not think about that at the moment, if it's all the same to you. Besides, we have centuries before that happens!"
"You're right. We should enjoy this while we can."
"And how we can." I added. "It's not exactly like either of our head offices know that we know each other let alone spend time with each other."
"True." I could hear him nod. "So, do you remember creating them?"
"What, the stars?" I asked as I turned my head towards him.
"Hmm." He nodded as he turned to face me.
"Well, 'course I do. I remember holding the fire, the light, and the color in my hand. I remember when it was nothing more than stardust in my hand, no different from earth dust, but this had a few more elements and chemicals in it, and I remember breathing life into it, lighting it up. I remember adjusting the color until it made me happy, and I made it bigger and bigger and bigger before hanging it in a Nebula or galaxy of my choice, or I just let it find its own way. I remember it all. I remember laughing as I created, I remember standing in a sea of color and wonder, stars shining brighter than you can imagine as I painted the universe. I remember walking through the halls of Heaven, I remember everything."
"My, that's quite poetic of you." He stated breathlessly.
"I've been told I'm quite the poet." I remarked.
"Do the other demons remember?" He asked as he moved his hand to mine that was still behind my head.
I took his hand and held it, but for some reason, there was a different feeling that accompanied it now. It was a spark of something. Not a literal one, but almost...if sparks could be...it was ethereal, and it felt better than any of the other times I had held his hand. It made a surge of warmth burst from the spark in my palm, go up into my arm until it reached my heart. "You know, if we get caught like this, it would be more than a little trouble."
"Do you sense anyone near?" He asked as if he already knew the answer.
I focused my energy, and made it go through a four hundred mile radius. "No." I told him once I ended my focus to look back at him.
"Alright then. Answer my question?"
"Hmm..." I returned my gaze back up to the stars, feeling the strange, but good warmth coming from his hand holding mine. "Not like I do. They remember it in bits and pieces, but the only things they remember is what Lucifer said to them, asked them, and basically...all they remember about Heaven is being on Lucifer's side. They don't remember being good, her light, or her love. They don't remember anything positive."
"Then, how is it that you do?"
"I've said I don't want to talk about it, Angel."
He let out a defeated sigh as he also turned his gaze to my stars. "You're an enigma, Crowley. You're a demon with a concept for good. It's unheard of."
"Well, they have a concept of it. They understand good and evil. Have to in order to corrupt."
"Huh...so what makes you so different?"
"How about you tell me how an angel can delve into cardinal sins and sleep with a demon? How about you tell me what's so different about you? There's definitely something, but what is it? Why do you take as much delight in the humans as I do, why do you like it on Earth, why do you enjoy sin? Why do indulge in Gluttony, KNOWING that's what you're doing and you do it anyway? These are things I could ask you, but I don't, because it's not fair to ask. You're just being you. It's not fair to ask why you're being yourself."
"S-So...being good is...who you are?"
I groaned, bringing up my free hand up to pinch the bridge of my nose. "No. I'm not good. I'm not nice. I'm not positive four letter words. I'm sort of in the middle with humanity, I think. However, I am ALL demon. You know this first hand. You've had to stop me and fix my messes before. My REAL messes. Not the ones I take credit for. I enjoy humanity, and I'll allow them to their own devices with some Hellish influence of course, but when Heaven smites and Hell tortures...it's not exactly my go to kind of scene. I'm not one for killing. I can, I have, and I've even been selected to torture souls that are damned to Hell, but unlike the rest, it's not what brings me pleasure or joy. I'll give you that I'm different, and I know how I'm different, but that doesn't mean I want to answer. Please, leave it alone."
"I-I didn't mean to upset you."
"You didn't, but I'm nowhere near as good as you seem to think I am. I'm a demon. That's something you HAVE to remember, and there's been no such thing as a demon rising. I'm damned, unforgivable, unloved, twisted, and dark. It's how I'm supposed to be." It was the truth. The things I know, the things I've done, the things I've said, and who I am, none of it is GOOD. The only good I have in me is what She and I had exchanged, but I can't tell him that, and I certainly can't tell him, 'Oh, hey, Aziraphale! My Best Friend that I happen to have Ineffably great sex with when we're both given commendation, I forgot to tell you that I fell for you before actually meeting you, and as the years go by between us, I'm falling for you more and more. So, how was your day? How was your mission? Good? Mine too!' I can't fucking say that! He wouldn't fucking believe me and there's no way in Heaven or Hell it would be reciprocated, so this is just me keeping secrets and secrets AREN'T GOOD!
"You're right, but you can still be-"
"-enough, Aziraphale." I growled out. I couldn't take him saying I'm good and nice and positive! It just wasn't true! Not the way he thinks! None of me is ENTIRELY what he thinks! "Please." I requested, my voice going a bit softer.
"Alright." He whispered out, seemingly realizing his mistake and regretting it. "C-Can you tell me which ones you created by yourself?"
The night went on and I explained which ones I created, what they felt like, how they made me feel, and what their names were and why. He hadn't brought the argument up again after that, and once dawn arrived, we went our separate ways.
Chapter 8: The Fourteenth Century
Choo Choo! Here comes the Pain Train!
At least it did for me writing this!
It's the Fourteenth century, and the years are starting to blur together with all of the disasters and all of the death. I was sent to incite more discord, and I did. Just a bit, and I took credit for the plague. It tasted like Holy Water in my mouth as I spoke the words, and the unfortunate thing was that I KNEW I was going to have to deliver some kind of small proof of that, so I took a rat to them, and plagued it with every horrible disease imaginable right in front of them. They were wildly impressed. So much so, that they allowed me six months of commendation and a written statement from both Beelzebub and Lucifer that NONE of my miracles would be monitored and nor would I. Not by Hell at least.
With that information, I searched for Aziraphale where my grace was telling me he was at. He was in a small forest alone. No demons, angels, or humans, and he was sobbing. "Aziraphale." I started a bit breathless after keeping myself hidden from humans so I could fly towards him, and for some reason he flinched at my voice. "Aziraphale?" I asked as I carefully placed a hand on his shoulder, but as soon as I made contact, my back made contact with a large tree, and his hands were gripping my shirt, holding me up against the tree. "Angel!?"
"YOU!" He shouted, his tears falling without mercy. "HOW COULD YOU!?"
"Wh-What do you mean!? Angel! Stop! Please!"
"Why should I?" He questioned and I felt his Holy wrath coming out, burning the skin beneath my clothes. Eventually I felt the burns turn into gaping wounds and gashes, despite him not holding or swinging a sword. "Heaven learned that YOU caused the plague! They said that you proved to Hell right in front of ALL of Hell that you could give a rat every disease imaginable! You did this! You are the cause of all this death! I know you've done horrible things in your life on Earth, but this!? This isn't like you, Crowley! Or perhaps you were right. You're nowhere near as good as I thought! How could you be the cause of so many children dying!?"
"N-Not...a-actually...m-me." I gasped with each syllable and word as the wrath was reaching my internal organs. I would've reached my hands up to grab his arms, but he was burning me. "I-It...was...a...RUSE!" I choked out, which caused me to cough violently, making my throat feel as if there were millions of blades tearing it up. When I looked down on Aziraphale's shirt, there was blood that came from my mouth. "D-Did it...so...I...could...get...commen...dation...so...I could...find you...and...heal...but...can't...now. I...I think...y-you're discorporating me. H-Holy w-wrath." I coughed more and I felt his grip on me immediately stop, causing my body to fall limp to the ground. My eyesight was leaving me as well as my breath. "G-Goodbye...'Zira." Was all I could get out before I couldn't speak.
As darkness was accepting me, pulling my life into the depths I had known as home oh so long ago, I heard Aziraphale shout in a muffled tone, "No! Crowley! What have I done!? I should've known you wouldn't-" My hearing cut off and I was consumed by a familiar nothing.
When I woke up, I fully expected to wake up in Hell, discorporated for the first time ever, but that's not where or how I woke up. When I opened my eyes, everything was blurry in my vision, my nose smelled something akin to fish cooking and several different types of healing agents, my mouth tasted like blood, my body felt completely naked as I was apparently in between a blanket and a soft bed, and my hearing was muffled, but what my hearing did catch was Aziraphale's sobbing and tearful words, but the words were too muffled to understand. "Zi-ra?" My voice was raspy, dry, and it felt as if the blood had dried on my vocal chords. "Zira...I-I can h-hear you crying. I-I can't see you." I heard the movement of a chair, sniffling, wiping of hands, and the shuffling of feet. I looked over to my right, and there was a fireplace lit with what seemed to be a big black pot hanging over it. I watched as he filled a bowl with just the liquid contents of the pot, likely a broth no doubt, and he crouched down next to me.
I tried to sit up, but he carefully brought a hand to my chest, and that's when I realized he was trembling. No, trembling would be an understatement. It was as if he was falling apart at the seams, just barely hanging onto the threads of his grace and emotions. I did as he silently asked of me and I laid back down, my senses slowly growing more powerful or at least closer to their original state. I closed my eyes and focused a miracle on just my internal organs, knowing I would only be able to heal one set of something on me, so I chose that. "Crowley, no!" I heard him plead as clear as a bell, but it was too late. My internal bleeding was gone, my lungs were no longer collapsed, my throat was cleared of dried blood along with my mouth, my heart was beating at a steady pace, my stomach no longer had a gaping hole in it, and my kidneys were working just fine. All my senses returned to, but the outside of me was still horribly burned and I could feel the gashes on my chest, stomach, back, arms and legs.
I opened my eyes and turned to look at him and his face was the palest I've ever seen it, his eyes red and puffy from heavy sobbing, nose red from sniffling, and the most immense guilt written across his face. "Aziraphale..." I breathed out as I brought a wounded and shaky hand up to the right side of his cheek, which caused him to drop the bowl as he shuffled away from my touch as if I had burned him. "Angel, please come here." He shook his head as his tears began to fall in big globs of salt water. "Why not?"
"I-I a-almost k-killed you!"
"No...REALLY killed you. I-I almost destroyed you. I..." His sobbing started up again as he wrapped his arms around himself, shaking his head. "I felt it...I...I was destroying y-your grace. I-It wasn't l-like discorporating o-other demons. I...you..."
"Please, Aziraphale, come here." I pleaded, and for a moment, I thought he wasn't going to, but he slowly came back towards me, crouching in the same exact spot and position, dampening his pants in the broth he made. "I'm here." I told him as I placed my hand back on his cheek. I started to lift his hand towards mine, but quickly dropped it as he backed away.
"H-How can you s-still touch me? How can you look at me?" He shook his head, and his tears just wouldn't stop.
"Like this." I told him as I rolled off of the bed, in pain, and much to his dismay. I then got on my knees in front of him and brought my hand back up to his face. "I..." I panted due to the pain I stupidly put myself in, but he was DROWNING in panic and anxiety, and I swore to myself that I would soothe those things. However, before I could say anything else, he shot up from the ground, and before I knew it, I was being picked up and put back onto the bed as if I weighed nothing at all.
"YOU STUBBORN SERPENT!" He shouted, leaving me completely speechless as I looked up at him while he looked over all of my remaining wounds. "I-I so wrongly misjudged you, and I...I took all the years I had known you, and I...I practically threw them out without a second thought, and you STILL look at me! You still try and stop my tears! You STUPID, STUBBORN, SERPENT! I almost KILLED you! I-" He choked on the last word when his knees couldn't hold him up anymore, and he collapsed at the side of the bed with his face in his arms and his arms on the bed as he sobbed. "-It...It hurts so much, Crowley! In my chest! I...I almost killed you, and I...if I never saw you ever again it would've been MY fault!"
"I'm a demon, Aziraphale. You're an angel. In the end...the real end we're going to-" His head shot up and he pointed me a tearful glare that sent a dagger into my heart with how pained it was.
"Don't you dare finish that sentence, Crowley! Don't you dare say that we're going to kill each other someday! I'll go after every demon, I'll go after SATAN HIMSELF before I even THINK about killing you, making you gone forever! So, NO, Crowley, former Archangel Raphael, you will NOT finish that sentence, because if you did...I...I don't think I could bare it. I can't."
My heart and soul were singing at his pain, and I felt touched by his tears, but my soul wanted me to lunge towards him and soothe his worries, his tears, his pain, and I couldn't. He needed to cry, but I could at least get to the bottom of why he was so hurt. "Aziraphale...why does my life matter to you?" I didn't mean for the question to sound so harsh, so accusatory, or so damn stupid, but it did, and he slapped my face, hard.
"You FUCKING MORON!" He cursed. He cursed and shouted at me. He cursed, shouted, and called me a moron! "You're my best friend, Crowley! Of course your life matters to me! You're the only one that lets me be myself, you don't judge me, you don't try and tempt me all the way into falling, you don't say what I like is wrong, we talk, we drink, we laugh, we watch your stars, we sometimes don't even have to say anything at all! You're there when I need you most, no matter what inner turmoil I'm suffering from, you're there to soothe it and ease my worries, you're there with a suggestion, a plan, a joke, a quip, and you understand me better than anyone else does! You understand my love for the humans, or at least my enjoyment of them, and though I know you don't read, you listen to me carry on and on about the different books I've read! You listen to me! You're my best friend and I almost killed you! I almost lost you for the rest of eternity! You make me smile, laugh, cry, and you make me feel comfortable, and I...I don't feel so hollow! I felt hollow before meeting you, but I...it's strange, and it probably sounds ridiculous, but the point is, if I had killed you, I don't think I'd be able to survive it, and you're sitting there AS ALWAYS, offering me comfort, without any thought to yourself! Sometimes, I have no idea if you're truly a demon or not, but I digress...I just...how could you ask me why your life matters to me when you're such a big part of mine!?"
My eyes widened at the part where he described himself as feeling hollow, and as much as I wanted to believe it could be true, that he could perhaps love me, it just couldn't be. Could it? He was certainly passionate about it all, but he's right, I do let him be himself and we ARE Best Friends. I've seen friends kill one another on a battlefield and the guilt is nearly the same. His is probably just ten times worse, because of how long we've been around each other. Yeah, that's it. It's the only explanation that makes sense. "Aziraphale, I didn't mean to upset you." I tell him truthfully. "I just don't understand why you're getting so worked up. Yeah, you almost did me in, but I'm here. I'm alive, and I'm talking to you."
"HOW!? How can you be talking to me!? How did you heal your own internal organs when you barely have any physical strength!? WHY are you talking to me after what I did!? I immediately accused you and then wouldn't even let you explain!"
"You were upset and hurt, and Heaven told you I caused the plague. Your reaction was justified, especially after all the time we've spent together."
"I should've KNOWN though! I should've KNOWN that you wouldn't kill children and whole families! I've had to end many of your wicked deeds that did unfortunately end with many lives lost, but it NEVER involved CHILDREN lives being lost! Never ONCE!"
"Yes, but I DID show Hell, I COULD inflict diseases into a rat. Many horrible diseases, and they gave me commendation for the plague, thinking it was my doing. After that, and after Heaven got word of it, and after they told you, tell me, what were you supposed to think?"
"J-Just how high in demonic rank are you?"
"I rank just under the Prince of Hell." I told him honestly. "But I really don't want to talk about Heaven or Hell right now. Aziraphale...it's alright, I'm fine, and if you're still feeling sorry, then I forgive you. Look, you already did your repentance by patching me up, and I'm willing to bet that fish broth was for me, wasn't it?" He nodded his head with wide and astonished eyes as if he didn't expect me to forgive him. "Well, it smelled awfully good, mind getting me a bowl? You can check on my wounds too."
"Right, I'll um...yes. I'll do that." He quickly gabbed a bowl, and I held it best I could, but it seemed I exhausted the rest of my physical activity. "I-I could heal you the rest of the way...with a miracle."
"No, because then it would show up in their miracle reports that you healed a demon, and not just any demon, but the one supposedly responsible for the plague! I'm currently not being monitored for miracles, so once my grace has its strength up again, I'll miracle it away, alright? The commendation I got was extensive. My miracles aren't being monitored, and I have six months of free time to myself without ANYONE from Hell following me or even being in the same area I'm in, which means, if I'm here, where the plagues are the worst..."
His eyes widened and his smile grew to the size of a crescent moon, shining just as bright, and it's small moments like that, that I remember just how hopelessly in love I am with him, and how it feels like one of those forbidden love stories I've read. "...if you're here where it's at its worst, and you're not being monitored, then you can heal and preform good miracles, ending this horrible plague!"
"I don't know if I can end it, but I can certainly try. Too many children are dying, and I can't heal them all the way, otherwise I then end up on Heaven's radar, but what do ya say we bring Raphael back from the dead? Hmm? Some humans have been whispering my name, calling me a healer, a Guardian, and a protector, and don't act all innocent, Aziraphale. I know it's you, but it has only been whispers and contemplation...lets REALLY bring Raphael back from the dead, see what God and her Angels do then? See what kind of ruckus it would create in Hell! What do you say?"
As soon as the mischievous look in his eyes shined like a shooting star crossing the night sky, I KNEW what his answer would be. "I think that before you attempt any kind miracle again, we really need to finish patching you up...Raphael."
It took a month and a half for my grace to be fully healed. Once I was good as new, thanks to a miracle, we immediately got started. Aziraphale was on the other side of the village I was in, and I just got done healing a small five year old and her mother, when my mark started to feel warm. It hadn't done that in a decades, so I excused myself and took my journal out to read what she put.
So, Raphael is apparently doing work for me on Earth, is he?
I am. I have at least four months to be able to heal everyone I can that was afflicted. Taking credit was the only way I knew I would receive commendation, so that I could go undetected and heal who I could.
Gabriel is a mess right now. So is the rest of Heaven, but Gabriel has been asking me the most questions.
If you REALLY want someone to blame, you should look to Aziraphale. He's the one that's been spreading rumors about me being some kind of major guardian for humanity and a big time healer.
I'm not BLAMING anyone. I'm just shocked you would take such a risk. You've done well, and I've explained to all of my angels, that they had made their own assumptions. I had never confirmed nor denied your death. It seemed to set Gabriel at ease for a moment, but he wishes to speak with you.
Right...question...Aziraphale recognized me, which means I haven't changed all that much, but my eyes and hair color have changed, and I don't know if you've noticed, but I have demonic aura!
I can rise you. There's nothing I can't do. You know that. However, it can't be for long. An hour at most. He has questions he wishes to ask you.
Gabriel has become vain, prideful, and a right ASS to Aziraphale! Also, how the Heaven am I supposed to get away from Aziraphale!? I said we'd be working this together!
I'll be sending an angel towards your location, meet me in the forest to the west of where you're at right now. I'll give you a signal through your burn mark when the angel is on their way, and you'll tell Aziraphale you sense an angel and have to disappear for a little while, but that you'll be back once they're gone. Speaking of Aziraphale, how's your relationship with him?
I'm still hopelessly in love with him, and he's now admitted to being my best friend, but he can't say it in public. I can't ever tell him how I feel either, so that's painful...he almost destroyed me with Holy Wrath.
Yeah...I saw that. I knew you would survive though, so I let him take care of you. Tell me, because I'm desperate to know, have you ever considered the possibility that he loves you too, but he won't or can't admit it to himself?
I've considered it, but it just can't be possible. Not for me. So, when am I to leave?
Go towards Aziraphale now, and I'll send you the warning when you REALLY need to leave. Remember, west. Like the gate you guarded, alright?
Have you solved that little problem on why Aziraphale can feel Lust, but why you can't sense it?
No. We hadn't thought about it in over a century. Why?
Just wondering. Now GO!
I closed the journal and made my way out of the cottage, closing my wings back into my body, making my way for Aziraphale, who actually ended up meeting with me. "Aziraphale? What's wrong?" I asked as I noticed his panicked expression.
"An angel! An angel is being sent down, you have to go!"
"I was coming to tell you the same thing!" I told him with widened eyes, but then my mark started to burn, making me wince. "Alright, I'll go, but I'll be back as soon as they're gone, okay?"
"Right! Just go, you fool!"
I ran west until I couldn't see the village behind me anymore, and I let out a relieved breath. Whoever she sent was a high ranking angel. Top tier. Hopefully they wouldn't be disrespectful to Aziraphale. Ranks aside, he doesn't deserve to be walked all over. Once calm, I continued walking until I sensed her. "Good to see you, Raphael." She grinned before waving her hand at me, immediately altering my form.
With the weight of it all, I actually fell to my knees. "Heh..." I breathed out as I felt all SIX of my wings on my back. "...didn't realize how heavy they were." I eventually stood up and I noticed my aura had shifted. "Are my eyes back to how they used to be too?"
She held up a mirror and turned it towards me. "I've changed your eye color a bit. I made it to where they're as blue as sapphires with hints of azure. I've explained my reasoning to Gabriel, and it was that strange eye color frightens humans. So, I needed to give you at least a partially normal eye color. However, as you can see, your hair is back to normal." She miracled away the mirror, and she took my hand, teleporting us to Heaven. Once there, I looked around and realized we were in Heaven's Garden. The one that Eden was modeled after. The one where I would spend my time training Gabriel. "Gabriel, come to the Garden." Her voice echoed as if it were high on a mountain top, despite her being right next to me.
With a bolt of lightning, Gabriel appeared, but when his eyes landed on me, they widened and he fell to his knees. "Y-You're really alive."
"That I am, brother." I told him, trying to remember him as the brother I knew and not the stories I've heard from Aziraphale. I walked towards him and got on my knees in front of him. "I'm here, but I can't be here for long. God has tasks for me and there are humans suffering from the demon Crowley's influence. The horrible Plague he's brought."
"Yes, it's awful isn't it?" Tears...actual tears started pouring from his eyes.
"What are these tears for, brother?"
"I-I thought...all of Heaven thought Lucifer had killed you!"
"I have God to thank for my being able to talk to like this. Come, stand with me." I grabbed his hand and we got up off the ground together. I then reached up and wiped away his tears, which felt like wiping a tear off of a rock. I felt nothing. I felt no brotherly emotion that I did before my decent, and it's probably because there's a huge part of me that knows how he's been treating Aziraphale, and he means more to me than the small bond I had with Gabriel in Heaven.
"I-I um...I hear you've been working with Aziraphale. What do you um...what do you think of him?"
"I think he's remarkable. He's incredibly intelligent and blends well with the humans. He's learned much from them and he's quite adept at blessings. He's devoted, loyal, headstrong, faithful, and all in all a perfect representation of divinity."
"My, you sound as if you want to create a romantic bond with him with how your tone sounds when talking about him."
I let out a light chuckle as I looked to the ground. "Well, he really IS quite remarkable, but my skills and the tasks that God has personally assigned me to prevent that from ever happening. There's other reasons, but those are my own. Why did you want to see me, anyway?"
"I...well...like I said, we all thought you were dead. Then, we hear humans sending up prayers, thanking God for Raphael. None of us could believe it, but there were just SO MANY, it was impossible to deny it. How long have you been on Earth?"
"Since Adam and Eve were in the Garden." I shrugged. "I was meant to remain hidden, but apparently that didn't happen. So, I must ask that you not tell ANY angel, no matter what rank, that I met and spoke with you. God is only allowing this, because you were so persistent. She had to interrupt the work I was doing so that I could meet with you, sending another angel in my place."
His face flushed red as he leaned to look at God. I turned around to look at her as well, and I saw the tell-tale sign only I knew, for when she was desperately trying to hold back a bout of laughter. She was smiling, but her smile went to the left side of her face, almost like a smirk, but not quite, and her eyes were crinkled in delight while her brow was raised. "I'm so sorry, Lord!"
"It's alright." She sighed out, because it was the only way she would be able to keep herself from laughing her ass off. "I will be hiding Raphael's aura so that no one, demon or angel, can sense him. It must remain that way. I have plans for him, and they must not be altered. No matter how much you may want to speak with him and ask him questions. Come, Raphael, we must be off. The humans need you. Oh, and Gabriel, I will be hiding Aziraphale's as well so that he can work in peace. I can't help it if he runs into demons anyway, but he'll be protected, and none of my other angels, you included, shall bother him until his work with this terrible plague is done, or until I lift the shield on his aura. You are NOT to monitor his miracles. It shall only be Raphael and Aziraphale. Am I understood?"
"Crystal clear, Lord!"
"Good. Come with me, Raphael."
"As you wish, Lord." I told her before turning back to face Gabriel. "It was good to see you again, brother. If I'm to leave you with anything, it would be to remember who you are and to not underestimate anyone. Farewell."
With that, I walked to God before he could say anything else, I took her hand, and we went back to Earth. Once we were there, she immediately turned me back into a demon, which was a lot worse than the first time. It felt like I was being choked, not just around my neck, but all over my body. My body was all hot and warm and comfortable, and now it's all cold, slithery, and wobbly. It takes a while to get used to only two wings again and the suffocating aura, but I eventually get it and I'm back to normal. "Are you alright?"
"I'm fine, but you have to go. Aziraphale will sense you and if he sees me with you, he'll panic and start asking questions I can't answer."
"Stay safe, Crowley."
"Stay sane, Lord."
"I'll certainly try." She grinned, but her eyes were sad.
"I'll do the same."
"I've called the other angel back to Heaven. They're rather confused, but they've left. Go back to Aziraphale. He's worried."
"Why is he worried about me?"
"You know, sometimes I forget how obtuse you can be." She rolled her eyes and left before I could ask her what she meant this time.
Once I couldn't feel her presence anymore, I pondered on that for a moment. I had ALWAYS been able to sense her, but now, it's as if my sense for Aziraphale has taken over. After coming to that thought, I remembered that she said that Aziraphale would mean more to me someday...perhaps now? But...that doesn't seem right. Foregoing those thoughts and putting them away for another day, I walked to where I felt Aziraphale's presence.
He seemed to rent a room in a tavern. I told the inn keeper for the rooms above the tavern that my friend came through and gave her a description, and she gave me an extra key, saying that he rented the room for the whole week. When I opened the door to the room she told me and closed it behind me, I was immediately slammed against the wall with thick desperate fingers gripping my clothes. "Where WERE YOU!?"
"Wh-What are you talking about!?"
"I...I..." He shook his head as he slowly let go of my clothes to step away from me.
"Angel, what's wrong? I ran away, felt the angel leave, and now I'm back. What's wrong?"
"Y-You...I...I've always been able to sense you, and then suddenly...you weren't there. You just...I was healing a young teenage boy when something snapped in me. I disguised it well with the Cherub God had sent, and we did great together, but it was horrible, Crowley! Once I got this room, I collapsed to the ground, I couldn't breathe, I couldn't stop holding myself, and I couldn't stop the tears that kept falling! I thought...I thought they found you! I thought they destroyed you!"
"Whoa, slow down." I told him as I stepped closer to him, gently placing my hands on his shoulders. "What do you mean something in you snapped?"
"I..." He looked up into my eyes and swallowed hard, seemingly trying to find the words before quickly looking down. "...I don't know when it started, but I know it was some time after Jesus' crucifixion. I...I was able to always sense you. Anywhere on Earth, then...just...the connection SNAPPED! It...It was like I immediately lost a part of myself! I felt emptier than I ever had in my long long life, you just...you didn't EXIST, Crowley! I started losing memories of you! I felt them fade! I-If your presence had been gone for another fifteen minutes, I'm sure I would've lost you completely!"
'That's why she said it couldn't last long!' I cleared my throat as I guided him towards the bed, so that he could sit, and I held him in my arms. "I'm here, though. Must've been from the Holy Wrath. Must not be completely healed like we thought. Remember how my eyesight wavered for a while?"
"Yeah, perhaps that's it. That makes sense, but it scared me."
"I don't plan on discorporating or being destroyed anytime soon, Aziraphale. Say, how about a nap, and then we'll go and heal some more, okay?"
"You nap. I'll watch over you." He sniffled before patting my arm, silently telling me to let him go. Once I did he let out a shaky breath as he moved to the chair that sat next to the window. "I apologize. My reaction was a bit...over the top as it were."
I shook my head as I laid down in the bed, covering myself with the wool blanket. "Don't worry, I don't think I can imagine that snapping feeling of...gone. Not sure if I want to after we've known each other for so long. Night, Angel."
When I woke up, we went to work. Aziraphale was keeping watch needlessly, but I couldn't tell him that God ordered him to have commendation unless he was told about it. Either way, we healed as many people as we could, killing as many rats as we could along the way. Turned out it was just the ticket, or at least close to it. Who knows how long the plague would've last if we hadn't helped, and there was a steady belief in my celestial self, which was interesting. It didn't change anything at all either. Not with me at least. However, after my six months were up, Hell immediately tripled my workload, because I 'let' an Archangel ruin my work. Lucifer was fuming at the fact that God 'revived' me. It was worth it though. Much less dying children and Aziraphale seemed happier. However, because of the plague, the natural disasters, and the pay load I was given...not to mention almost being discorporated by my best friend on accident, I decided from that day onward that I despised the Fourteenth century.
Chapter 9: Hamlet
I heard the actor speak, and if I was to be honest, it was as if he didn't want to be there. "To be or not to be! That is the question! Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows you..." As I looked around, I noticed there was NO ONE, and Aziraphale said there'd be crowds.
"I thought you said we'd be inconspicuous here. Blend in among the crowds."
"Well, that was the idea." He replied, equally as irritated by the lack of people as I was.
"Hang on!" William told his actor once he saw us talking.
"This isn't one of Shakespeare's gloomy one's is it? OH! No wonder nobody's here!"
"Shh! It's him! It's him!"
"Prithee, gentles, might I request a small favor? Could you, in your role, as the audience, give us more to work with?"
"You mean like when the ghost of his father came on, and I said, 'He's behind you!'?"
"Just so! That was jolly helpful. Made everyone on stage feel more appreciated. A bit more of that. Good master Burbage, speak the lines trippingly."
"I am wasting my time up here!"
"No!" Aziraphale shouted kindly, and I couldn't help but look at him with a risen brow, eager to hear what he had to say about it. "No, you're very good! I love all the...talking."
"And what does your friend think?"
"Oh, he's not my friend..."
'That's NOT what you said a couple nights ago.' I slowly started to smirk.
"...We've never met before..."
'Oh, REALLY!?' I couldn't help the smile and the breathy laugh that went through my teeth as I stood next to him.
"...We don't know each other."
Unable to hold back the mirthful smile and certainly unable to stop it, I went ahead and answered the actor. "I think you should get on with the play!"
"Uh, yes, Burbage, please! From the top!" William requested.
Once he started to speak, I took that moment to make a proposition for Aziraphale, considering our Arrangement for one doing a blessing and one doing a tempting came about AFTER the Fourteenth century and over some REALLY good wine, and now seemed a perfect time to use it. "To be! I mean...Not to be! Come on, Hamlet! Buck up!"
"He's very good isn't he?" He whispered towards me as he kept his eyes trained on the actor.
"Age does not wither, nor custom stale his infinite variety."
"Huh...I quite like that."
'Crap! I was quoting and now I've GIVEN him the line! UGH! Timelines!'
"What do you want?" I heard Aziraphale ask with an irritated tone as I circled around him, because he KNEW I was up to something. He had that look in his eyes when he knows I'm about to ask him for a favor or if I'm about to be wicked, evil, or just plain mischievous.
"What EVER would you insinuate that I might possibly want something?" I smirked slightly as I looked at him directly.
"YOU are up to no good."
"Obviously." I nodded, because it WAS obvious to the two of us, and I even told him my plans for today! "You're up to Good, I take it? Lots of good DEEDS."
"No rest for the well...good. I have to be in Edinburgh at the end of the week. A couple of blessings to do. A minor miracle to preform. Apparently I have to ride a horse."
"Hard on the buttocks, horses. Major design flaw if you ask me." Not that I would tell God that, but still, couldn't she had made them a bit more comfortable? "I'm meant to be heading to Edinburgh too, this week. Tempting a clan leader to steal some cattle."
"Doesn't sound like hard work." He hummed out in his tone that said, 'Alright, but where am I involved in this plan?'
"That's why I thought we should...Well, bit of a wasted effort, both of us going all the way to Scotland."
"You cannot actually be suggesting...what I infer...you are implying."
"Which is?" I asked, knowing that he knew full well what I was implying.
"That just ONE of us goes to Edinburgh, does both. The blessing and the tempting."
"We've done it before. Dozens of times now. The arrangement."
"Don't say that!" He scolded, but in the undertones of the slight shake in his voice, there was a worried warning.
"Our respective head offices don't actually care how things get done. They just want to know they can cross it off the list."
"But if Hell finds out...they won't just be angry. They'll destroy you." My heart made a resounding thump in my chest at the look of concern in his eyes, but then again it always did.
"Nobody ever has to know. Toss you for Edinburgh."
He looked between me and the coin in my hand a few times before he let out a short exasperated sigh. "Fine. Heads."
The coin tosses were always honest. If it wasn't I would feel like I was lying to him, so when it ran in the air, and landed on the choice I was left with, I had to try to stifle the smug look of luck that wanted desperately to appear on my face. "Tails, I'm afraid. You're going to Scotland."
"It's been like this every performance, Juliet." I overheard William complain. "Complete dud! It'd take a miracle to get anyone to come and see hamlet."
Aziraphale immediately turned to look at me with a silent plea and I watched as his eyes flicked down to my lips, and I was completely powerless against it, because also, for a brief moment, I saw a flash of want in his eyes. Just a flash, but it was still there. "Yes, alright..." I sighed out. "I'll do that one. My treat."
"Oh really?" His voice was so damn hopeful, it almost made it seem like it was worth it, but I swear, if I'm the reason Hamlet is a success, God will never let me live it down!
"I still prefer the funny ones." I shot back before leaving to go and convince people to come and see the play. Luckily there were already a few higher up nobles that were seemingly curious about the play anyway. So, I started with them and whispered into their ears about how successful the play would be, how handsome the men were, how it was one of Shakespeare's finest works, how anyone who was anyone was going. For the common folk, I told them that it would liven up their evening if just for a bit, and that all seemed to do the trick. After that, it was by word of mouth.
Two days later, rehearsals were done, and the play was to start, and I was sitting next to Aziraphale, who was happily looking around the filling theater. "My dear, you really have outdone yourself this time."
"This time?" I grinned at him with a furrowed brow.
"I'm aware of what I said, Crowley." He smirked as he looked at everyone coming through the doors as they took their seats, while we sat in the front. "I'll be quite honest, I didn't expect this many people."
"Ah well...I whispered to the nobles and the more confident commoners...and well...let them spread the word from there." I looked around and he was right, there were A LOT of people. "Now see, this is what I expected when you said 'blend in among the crowds.'"
"Yes, it is. Say, have you been watching the rehearsals?" He asked as the last few people walked in.
"No, I haven't, but I don't really need to." I shrugged, but thankfully before he could ask anything about my answer, the play started. It would certainly be different watching it rather than reading it.
When the play was eventually over, Aziraphale and I were the last to leave, and we were stopped by Shakespeare, or rather, Aziraphale was stopped by Shakespeare. "You there, the one with the white hair." I tapped on Aziraphale's shoulder and pointed towards William.
"Oh, Hello. Is there something wrong?" He carefully asked with a furrowed brow.
"Yes, well, no, but I wanted to discuss a matter with you if you would good sir."
"Very well, what is it?"
William looked at me, then Aziraphale, then me, and then Aziraphale again. "I was actually wondering if we could discuss it somewhere private."
"Yes, all right." He shot me glance of confusion, but I just let him leave.
Once there was no one around to see me, I turned into a snake. Not as big as the one in Eden. In fact, I was a very small grass snake. The only difference from a normal grass snake was that my coloring was off. I then followed Aziraphale's scent, and quickly slithered towards him. Thankfully there was enough of a gap under the door for me to slide under, because honestly, I don't think I could make myself any smaller, and frankly, it was confining. When I finally made it inside, I hid behind one of the legs of the writing desk. This place had a writing desk, a bed, many dressers, and a closet, which told me this was William's bedroom, making me very agitated. "Your name, good sir?"
"Fell." He answered, and what an answer it was. He was an angel, and he gave a human name of 'Fell'!
"No..." He chuckled darkly, and I felt tingles of lust starting to come off of him, but that usually happened when men or women would stare at Aziraphale for too long. "...I mean, what is your full name?"
"Zira Fell." Instantly a flash of him falling into a Hell, his wings burning off or just turning black, went through my mind, causing a sharp pain in my chest, but I quickly banished it, because it was just a human name.
"What a unique name."
"Thank you, but what was it you wanted to speak with me about?" There was nervousness in his voice, but just behind it, as if it were a sleeping dragon, there was the fury and impatience of a Principality. Too bad humans couldn't sense it.
"I was wondering if perhaps you would like to be a muse for a sonnet I wish to write. Perhaps I've already written it, but perhaps you could inspire the next one." William took a step forward, and from where I was at, I watched as he placed an arm on Aziraphale's arm.
"This sonnet..." Aziraphale started, and I watched as his eyes grew irritated and cold, sending a shiver down my own boneless spine. "...would it involve a man romancing or thinking of another man?" He didn't make any move to halt William as the bard wrapped an arm around his waist.
"Indeed it does. You've been so loyal to my plays and my actors, allow me to thank you."
"I thought I was to be a muse." Aziraphale said as William started to lower the hand that was wrapped around his waist.
"If I find some inspiration in you, around you, or from you, then that's all well and good too." William leaned back so that his other hand could come towards Aziraphale's crock that was most certainly not reacting to him, because I would've been able to smell it if it were, and Aziraphale immediately stopped him. "Come now." William breathed out a dark laugh. "Surely, I must tempt you just a little."
"You are a marvelous writer, a wonderful poet, and a unique man, but you do not tempt me in the slightest. I have already been successfully tempted, and I am loyal to that temptation. Now, if that is all, I'm afraid you'll have to find some other muse. I will not be yours for even a night."
"That man you were with? The one that you said you weren't friends with and that you've never met before?" William backed away with an incredulous expression.
"If you must know, in order to be dissuaded, then yes. That man."
"What has he offered you that I cannot possibly give you?"
"He has a heart, for one." If it wasn't for the fact I was trying to stay quiet and out of sight, I would've laughed at the bard. "For quite another, he respects me. You could offer me jewels, plays, poetry, fine clothes, a night in bed with you, but his heart and the respect he has for me will still be monumentally larger and far grander than anything you could ever attempt to give."
"But does he love you?" My heart did a horrible flopping motion as it went straight to my tail, chilling me to my core as I awaited the angel's answer. "Well?" The angel didn't answer, his eyes were just wide with shock that the bard would ask such a thing. "He doesn't, does he?"
It took a moment, but soon his facial expression relaxed and a small smile appeared on his face. "Not in the same way you think love should be, I suppose. I'm not sure if he loves me at all, but that's okay. He's my best friend and we have been through much together. More than you could ever hope to comprehend. He's LITERALLY pulled me out of a burning building, tell me, could you or would you do the same?" No answer, but William did take a step back. "He's saved children from a natural disaster and trusted me and only me to help, could you or would you do that?" No answer yet again and my heart was swelling with pride and excitement.
'Go, Angel! Go! Keep going!' I thought excitedly, wanting to hear more.
"The day we met was a difficult day for both me and him, yet he held my hand and reassured ME before thinking much of himself, and thinking of someone else before yourself, is something I highly doubt you could or would do. He may not love me...I know that better than you can imagine, but at least he's always honest, always straightforward, and always by my side when I need him. You want a pleasurable night, you want desires to be fulfilled, you want a muse, but you won't have me. As generous as your offer is, I will have to respectfully decline. However, I will say that it is not JUST on behalf of myself, but of my friend as well. You should know, and I hope you remember for the rest of your days, that he used his power to make your play the success it is, and I'm not sure he'll want to do it again after tonight. I bid you goodnight, William Shakespeare. I will not be attending another one of your plays at this point in time." With that, he left, and even I was speechless, but after the door closed, I quickly slithered my way out. I then saw Aziraphale standing in the middle of where I had struck one of our Arrangement deals. He let out a heavy sigh and shook his head. "Of course he's gone! I go off into a room with another man and he..."
"I'm right here, Angel." I told him from behind him as I turned back into my more human looking form, watching his eyes grow impossibly wide. "I heard and saw the whole thing."
"A-Ah...you did, did you?"
"I did. You claimed I had a heart." I grinned as I took a few steps closer to him.
"Don't even try and pretend you don't." He rolled his eyes.
"You defended my honor in there." I drawled out sarcastically as I started to circle him. "Something like that should be rewarded." I heard a snap of his fingers and we were suddenly back in the room we were in for our time here, but once we made it back, there was a shift in the air around him. "What's wrong?" I asked as I followed him to the bed, where he now sat.
"It's just...I named off good qualities in you. As I did so, I realized something."
"Oh?" my eyebrows shot up to meet my hair line in intrigue. "What would that be?"
"You've been there for me more than your own side. You've helped me far more than any of your fellow demons. Why is that?"
'Because I love you!' I so desperately wanted to say. I know I said I would never tell him, and that I would hold back, but with every decade and century that passed, my control was slipping! "Because you're my best friend. You understand the humans like I do, you enjoy them like I do, you're there for me just as I'm there for you, and honestly, I prefer your company over Hell."
"Well, I suppose that makes sense then." He nodded his head, but then I saw a familiar glint in his eyes. "You um...did say something about a reward? I do rather think you're the one that's owed it for making Hamlet a success without me having to actually say a word."
"What would you like to do?" I questioned as I snapped my fingers, miracling away my clothes, watching him do the same.
"Well, I wanted to try something a bit new that I heard about."
"Really..." I smirked at him as I looked at his body up and down, admiring every inch, every bit of plump softness, every roll, every muscle, every ounce of him. "...usually I'm the one that hears about something and we try it."
"Not tonight, my dear." At that, my eyes shot wide at the demanding tone, I then felt myself being grabbed, flipped, and my back met the bed with him on top.
"O-Okay...what just happened!?"
"I just flipped you on your back."
"Yup, okay, got that, but...what's gotten into you?"
"Well, in order for this to work, you'll have to be on your back, and I was growing impatient." I swallowed a thick lump in my throat as I watched his pupils dilate. Whatever he had planned, just the mere thought of it was arousing him. Further evidence of that was currently stabbing my left thigh as he straddled it.
"Y-You're acting a bit different." I stuttered out. "Not complaining. I think I like it." He was being forceful, and it made my body practically sing. Interesting.
"That's good, because you'll only be allowed to do what I say when I say."
"Oh, Fuck!" I moaned, bucking my hips upward as his tone went straight to my cock. It was almost as if my pleasure was being held in a bow by an expert archer, who then released it, and hit the target with little to no mercy.
"Well, that's the idea, my dear." He bent down and kissed my neck before doing something he had never done before since we started having sex. He bit down on the nape of my neck. Hard enough to leave a mark, and to leave me a writhing mess, because at that moment, it felt as if HE was the one with venom, and it was spreading through my whole body with blissful heat.
He then started to suck where his mouth was, causing me to buck up again, but he used a hand to firmly push my hips back down into the mattress. "Aziraphale!" I groaned out while his hands started to feel like fire. Not literally, but they felt so good where they were at and they were so strong.
"Don't buck up again. I don't care what you have to do, but don't do it again. You'll come when I say and you won't touch yourself or me either until I say you can." Almost immediately I came dangerously close to breaking his 'you'll come when I say' rule, because the flame of desire in his eyes engulfed me in a merciless fire. I nodded my head, earning a confident smile from the Angel, whose title is wearing pretty thin at the moment, and I just laid there waiting for whatever he would do next.
I was quickly answered though, when he went down and kissed my hips, the bottom of my stomach, my inner thighs, basically everywhere BUT my cock, and it was making my blood rush to my ears with want and need. He then, for the first time ever, took my cock into his mouth, causing me to hiss out a moan. "A-Aziraphale!" Apparently he's been paying attention to what I've done to him, because soon, he's sucking AND licking a stripe up and down the underside of me, making me a nearly incoherent mess. He was so surprisingly good at it, and his mouth was SO warm, that I almost finished in his mouth. However, he must've felt it, because he quickly grabbed the base of me, taking his mouth away from where it was at, forcing a desperate whine from my throat.
"I said you'll come when I say, and I haven't said yet."
"Fuck, you're being a bastard!"
"Say what you will, just as long as you do what I say." He leaned down and started kissing my ribs, leaving small bite marks that caused me to moan some intelligible version of his name. Then, he started sucking on my nipple, and it took everything I had not to buck up into him as hard as I could while my head tipped back from his tongue teasing me.
About fifteen minutes for each nipple, my cock was so hard it was aching, dripping, and he just kept STOPPING me from coming everywhere. "Please, 'Zira, please!" I huffed out as he slowly left my chest to move up towards my neck to kiss and lightly bite it. I was already dizzy with pleasure and want and need, I really didn't need the added torture.
"Oh, but you do beg so prettily."
"You're high on a power trip, aren't you?" I breathed out, laughing slightly.
"If you mean that I'm enjoying this immensely, then you'd be correct. I hadn't tried this before, and you haven't done this to me before. It's definitely interesting and highly arousing." He got up from my neck to look down on my cock, which is when I saw how desperate his own was and how it was about near ready to burst as well. "Would you like to come now, my dear?"
"Fuck YESSSSS!" I growled out, holding it in as best as I could so that I could at least possibly come at the same time as him. It was driving me mad and my body was shaking with pleasure, it was almost too much. He had stopped me AT LEAST five times. I had expected him to go inside me, but he didn't. Instead, he put his wet and hot mouth back on my cock as he started to use his hand to stroke himself to his own finish. "Oh Fuck, Aziraphale! Y-YESSSS!" His mouth was scorching in all the best ways, hungrier than he's ever been, desperate to pull out every drop I had to give, and though I wish I could've, I didn't last long as I was finally allowed to release, and I did so moaning his name over and over again until I couldn't speak anymore, feeling him swallow down every drop. Soon after my release he followed, spilling onto the blanket beneath us, whispering my name as if it were a treasured thing. Once we were both spent, he miracled up the warm damp rag this time and cleaned both of us up, but left his release on the blanket, since neither of us really knew if it would show up as something from an angel, for my side, or if he would be questioned about it from his side. When he was done with that, I waited for him to lay down next to me. "That was...different." I breathed out as he brought the blankets over us, shifting his body to where I could lay on his chest.
"Did you not like it?" He questioned cautiously, as if my answer could physically wound him.
"No, I actually enjoyed it a lot. It was maddening, you bastard, but it was definitely amazing." I threw an arm over him, enjoying the comforting warmth that always radiated off him, and I felt myself nearly drift off to sleep. Nearly. I felt his hand play with my hair, petting it softly, which was curious, because he only did that if he was deep in thought about something. "What's wrong, Dove?"
"What makes you think something's wrong?" He hummed.
"You're playing with my hair." I stated. "As relaxing as it is, I know what it means when you do that."
He let out a heavy sigh, but didn't stop playing with my hair. "It's just...William was so rude, and when he asked me if you loved me..."
"He's an ass, Angel. Leave him be." My heart was thudding furiously in my chest as I tried to, not just change the topic, but to get off it entirely. "Don't spare him an inch of your thoughts. He shouldn't have treated you the way he treated you."
"But how he spoke about you..."
"I'm a demon, we get spoken about in worse ways. Don't worry about him."
"Alright then." He breathed out as he stopped playing with my hair. "Sleep well, Crowley. I'll be gone by morning to head to Edinburgh."
"All right. Sleep well, Aziraphale."
"I think I'll just watch over you this time." I knew why he was going to do that too. It was the same reason it always was since the Fourteenth century. When he almost destroyed me and after he felt that snapping feeling, if he was feeling particularly down or too deep in thought for words, he would lay there and just be there as I slept. Admittedly, I had fewer nightmares of Hell with him there like that.
"Okay. Night then, Angel."
Chapter 10: Lunch With God
Hastur gave me the scroll of commendation with a furious and embarrassed expression. Mainly due to the fact that I preformed three times the amount of work HE was supposed to do, so I ended up racking up the commendation for HIS work AND mine, giving me a grand total of a YEAR of commendation! I was about to head to England to tell Aziraphale, but then I felt the tug of his anxiety and worry. I looked in the direction it was coming from and I groaned. "Really? In there? What have you done now, Angel." I snapped my fingers and I was in his cell, the executioner moved to admire the sound of the crowd and the blade coming down, so I took that moment to stop time around us.
"Animals!" Aziraphale spat out as he glared at the executioner, and I couldn't help but roll my eyes at him.
"Animals don't kill each other with clever machines, Angel. Only humans do that."
"Crowley!" He practically sighed in relief, which made a smile threaten to appear on my face, which was not a good thing, considering I was actually upset with him for getting locked up in the fucking Bastille! "Oh good Lord!" He breathed out in exasperation as he looked at my outfit, but at the moment, he REALLY wasn't one to talk.
"What the deuce are you doing locked up in the Bastille? I thought you were opening a book shop!"
"Well, I was! I got peckish."
I must've misheard him. That makes no bloody sense! "Peckish?"
"Well, if you must know...it was the crepes. You can't get decent ones anywhere but Paris. And the brioche."
"So you just popped across the Channel during a revolution, because you wanted something to nibble...dressed like that?"
"I have standards! I'd heard they were getting a bit carried away over here, but..."
"N'yeah, this is not getting carried away. This is cutting off lots of people's heads very efficiently with a big head cutting machine. Why don't you just preform another miracle and go home?"
"I was reprimanded last month. They said I preformed too many frivolous miracles." I'm willing to bet I know that at least five of those 'frivolous miracles' was to miracle a nice damp warm rag for cleaning up certain messes. "Got a strongly worded note from Gabriel."
"Well, you're lucky I was in the area."
"I suppose I am. Why are you here?"
"My lot gave me a commendation for outstanding job performance."
Fury and outrage appeared in his eyes faster than a snap of fingers, and I knew what was coming. "So all this is YOUR demonic work!?"
"NO!" I quickly replied, because this has become a habit. Sometimes I've had to answer honestly, that yes, it was me, but this one definitely wasn't! "The humans thought it up themselves! Nothing to do with me!"
I snapped my fingers and released him from the cuffs, ignoring the apologetic look in his eyes. He rubbed at his wrists with a slightly relieved look on his face. "Well, I suppose I should say thank you for the uh...rescue."
"Don't say that." I sneered, knowing that I JUST got done speaking with Hastur. "If my people hear that I've rescued an angel, I'll be the one in trouble, and my lot do not send rude notes."
"Well, anyway, I'm very grateful. What about if I buy you lunch?"
"Looking like that?"
"Well, barely counts as a miracle, really."
"Dressed like that, he's asking for trouble." I muttered to where only Aziraphale could hear me, and I could FEEL the smugness radiating off of him like sunshine during the summer. "What's for lunch?"
I watched as he sucked on his teeth with fake contemplation and smug glint in his eyes before he replied, "What would you say to some crepes?"
"Lead the way, Angel." He walked out ahead of me until we made it to my carriage, to which I allowed him to get in first. Once we were both in and comfortable I waited for the inevitable question.
"What did you do to gain commendation?"
I let out a confident laugh through my nose as I nodded my head. "Oh, I just picked up Hastur's slack. I have a whole year. Any miracles ranging from average to high will be monitored, but not too closely. Freeing you from chains was a minor miracle, so we're good."
"So...you really didn't come up with the uh..." He made a motion with his thumb going across his throat while making a squishy cutting noise, that drew out an amused chuckle out of me.
"No." I shook my head. "I didn't come up with that. I brought mischief, chaos, and discord, but no. Killing wasn't on my agenda this century."
"Right, so, I remember a time when I had to introduce you to oysters. Have you had crepes? I know I haven't tried them with you."
I shook my head with a delighted look on my face. "Nope! Heard of it, haven't eaten it. You forget, Angel...we don't technically NEED to eat. So, I don't usually unless I'm with you."
"Oh, well let's see...there's a peach crepe...a strawberry crepe...and there's a-" His eyes widened and a smile grew on his face. The kind that made his eyes crinkle with mischief, the kind that made me think about how to make that smile turn into an 'O' shape in a bedroom, the smile that always made my heart skip a beat, and the smile that always told me he had an idea on how to get me back for something I've done. "-I know the PERFECT crepe for you!"
"Funny, perfect doesn't exactly come to mind when you're smiling like that."
"Oh, but you must try them! They're delicious!"
"Which one will you have?" I asked him, but he shook his head with the smile practically glued to his face.
"Oh, no you don't, Crowley. You'll see what I get when it makes its way to the table. I'll whisper the order in the waiter's ear. Trust me, I do believe you'll enjoy it." He told the driver where to go, and we soon found ourselves at a restaurant that I've passed, but never gone in. We went in, were seated immediately, given wine, and Aziraphale whispered our order into the waiter's ear.
"Alright, NOW will you tell me what you've ordered me?" I asked as I took a drink of my wine.
"No, Crowley, you impatient serpent. You'll have to wait until it gets here, but in the mean time, why were YOU in Paris? I doubt it was just to get me out of another embarrassing spot."
"No, but I am always intrigued at how you manage to ALWAYS get into trouble."
"I don't ALWAYS get into trouble." He scoffed as he rolled his eyes, taking a sip of his wine.
"Whatever you say, Angel. So, how's the bookshop coming along?" His eyes lit up brighter than the night sky, telling me I asked the right question. I listened to him intently about the bookshop, how he's trying to get it opened up the human way, how he told Heaven it would be his base of operations and that they would always be able to find him there rather than having to search him out. I also heard him talk about the many many MANY different books he would be adding, and no surprise, William Shakespeare's Hamlet will be in there, but ONLY that play.
Soon enough, our food arrived and I quickly noticed why Aziraphale thought this would be the perfect crepe. I couldn't help but laugh. However, the laugh I let out was one I hadn't let out since before my fall. It was honest, true, joyful, appreciative, and kind. Not many people think a laugh can exhibit so many things, but it most certainly can. I used a minor miracle to make it so people wouldn't notice my outburst of laughter. "Y-You...a-apple crepes!" I laughed out, holding my stomach, tears falling from my eyes. To anyone else, this would've been a severe overreaction, but to me, who Aziraphale saw on the West Gate, and I saw him on the East gate, both unaware of each other, and me, the first tempter who tempted Eve with an apple, this was the most hilarious thing in the world and it warmed my heart to its core, which was also the reason for the laughter. "Y-You tempted m-me to lunch, giving me an a-apple!" I soon slowed my laughter and wiped away my tears, turning my expression towards Aziraphale, and I gave him an accidental angelic smile, which I really wasn't supposed to do, because I was SUPPOSED to be a demon in his eyes. Completely. However, I couldn't help it. "Thank you. I haven't laughed like that since before I fell." I watched as his cheeks were tinted pink and his mouth kept opening and closing like he wanted to say something, but just couldn't. "Angel? Are you all right?"
"Y-Your l-laugh and y-your smile...I...they...they're...beautiful."
My eyes widened and the remaining laughter and amusement died in an instant. "You've um...you've called me beautiful before."
He slowly shook his head, his eyes still wide and his brow still raised. "Not like that. I...truthfully, I only used the word beautiful, because I...I couldn't find a word accurate enough to do the sound...and sight justice. I...I had never heard you laugh like that or seen you smile like that."
"I'm sorry." I furrowed my brow, not sure why I was apologizing, but I felt the need to do so, so I did.
He shook his again, with an angelic smile of his own. "Don't be. I just...your smile...it was a bit...angelic."
"Ugh...don't say that." I rolled my eyes while thinking, 'Really, don't. I'm not supposed to be any kind of angelic.'
"Fine." He sighed out in exasperation. "Try a bite of your crepe will you?"
"All right, but still the thanks still stands." I did as he asked and took a bite, and a 'That's actually really good' sound left me.
"See? I told you that you would like it."
I rolled my eyes and I was about to take another bite when I felt a presence behind me. I knew that presence. I looked at Aziraphale to see if he would react, but he hadn't noticed anything, which told me that I was the only one to notice it. Soon, a woman with fiery red hair, stunning green eyes, ivory skin, wearing a french styled red dress came around the table, smiling down at us. "Hello." She grinned 'Am I interrupting anything?' She thought towards me. We had found out that sometime after the Plague incident, if she was at the very least on Earth and in the same country as me, we could still communicate via thoughts, but if she was gone for too long, doing that with me, she would begin to grow weak and would need to go back to Heaven.
"A friend of yours, Crowley?" Aziraphale piped up with a worried expression.
"Something like that." I answered with a smile. 'You're not interrupting anything.' I thought back to her.
"Really? Well, would she like to join us?"
"No." I told him.
"Yes, I would love to." She said at the same time as me. So, like the gentleman I was, I let out a defeated sigh and stood up to pull out her chair. "Thank you very much, Crowley."
"You're very welcome, Yvette." It was a name I picked out for her. She had requested I pick out a human name for her when she realized that she could spend some time on Earth to observe her humans while hiding her aura from Heaven and Hell. Neither of us hadn't known why she didn't try it sooner than After the Plague, but we were both pleasantly surprised when she did, but hanging around her humans, observing the chaos and peace required a human name. So, she came to me about a century and a half after the Plague and asked for a human name, but it had to be unique.
"Yvette..." Aziraphale spoke as if he were testing out the name on his tongue. "...what a unique name."
"Thank you." She grinned. "Someone dear to me gave me that name."
I looked over to Aziraphale in slight panic that I buried like I was trying to hide a body. "Your parents didn't give you that name?"
"I don't have parents." She answered honestly, and I felt the mischief radiating off of her, but Aziraphale didn't, which told me she was doing this on fucking purpose!
'What the Heaven do you think you're doing!?'
'Trying my hand at torturing you. It is quite amusing.'
'You know damn well what I mean.'
"Oh, I'm sorry." A sympathetic tone enveloped Aziraphale's voice. "Well, who gave you the name, then?"
"My brother did. We've been together since the beginning. He's always been there for me and I for him, although, he can be quite insufferable at times."
"That must mean a lot to you then." He gave her an honest smile, but it quickly shifted to curiosity. "Um...if you don't mind my asking. How did the two of you meet?" He questioned as he waved his hand in between us.
"Well..." She started with a small smirk on her face. "...it was quite something. We just sort of bumped into each other."
I couldn't help the snort of laughter I gave as I shook my head. "That's a gross understatement, Yvette. We CRASHED into each other. We lost some of our belongings, some of it got mixed up, and in our huge mess of our crash, we just decided to exchange belongings. So, now I have some of her things and she has some of mine. It was quite interesting."
"How long ago did the two of you meet?" He raised quirked brow at me, and if I didn't know any better, I could've sworn I felt envy coming off of him in vine like tendrils.
"Feels like forever ago." She breathed out and I felt the mischief in her grow. 'My, my...he's getting jealous!'
'What do you want!?'
'I want you to fucking give up and tell him how you feel already!'
'I CAN'T! You KNOW I can't! You know WHY I can't. Even so, you said you wouldn't make it part of your plans for him to love me!'
"Are the two of you good friends?"
She beamed at Aziraphale's question. "Something like that." She nodded her head with a polite expression, but only I knew it was anything BUT! 'It's not in my plans. Your love for him was NEVER in my nor will it be. The same is said for Aziraphale. I will not force him into loving you, I will not make it a part of my plan. You have my word, Raphael.' If I wasn't trying to be calm, my eyes would've widened at my name, because she only ever used it if she was extremely serious or trying to get a point across. 'Romance is a decision for the both of you.'
'Then why not leave me to mine to not admit to it?'
"What do you mean, 'something like that'? Are the two of you...lovers?"
"WHAT!?" We both gawked at him and quickly shook our heads.
"No!" She quickly tried to tell him. "He's like a brother to me!"
"And if I were to have a sister, it would be her!" I told him with pleading eyes as a chill of 'EW NO!' Rushed through my spin like disgusting slime.
"Oh!" His face lit up brighter than his halo as he looked between us, his envy completely gone in an instant.
'I'm a being of love, Raphael. I can't just let you show your love for him, but not ever say it. For him, you'll HAVE to say it, because he won't be able to sense it coming off of you.'
'What!? Why won't he sense it coming off of me!?'
'Because, you've felt this way since BEFORE meeting him, so when you DID meet him, nothing changed. He met you with the love he would've been able to sense had you fallen in love in front of him, but you didn't. You fell in love with him at first sight, in the garden before you met him. Your feelings have never changed, so to him, other than your demonic energy, your aura has never changed.'
"You got awfully quiet there, Angel." I told him as I noticed he was still beaming with delight, AND he hadn't touched his food.
"Oh? I-I'm sorry, how rude of me."
"You seem particularly happy that he and I aren't lovers." She commented and I immediately knew what she was doing.
"O-Oh? Well, I must admit, I've been his friend since...erm...well...we've been friends for a very long time, and I wasn't aware that he had other friends, particularly friends that were so stunningly beautiful."
'Oh my...' Her shock in her thoughtful tone was honest. 'Quite the smooth talker isn't he? You've got quite the angel, Raphael.' She cleared her throat with a small smile. "My, you certainly have a way with words, Mr..."
His eyes widened before he slowly made to stand, holding his hand out to her, moving slightly around the table to meet her a little closer, and I was speechless, because she was right. He was being incredibly smooth. She took his hand and he brought an arm around his back as he kissed the back of her hand. "Ezra Fell." He released her hand as he went back to sitting down. He wasn't meaning to be incredibly smooth, it was a formal state of greeting, but damn did it make my heart thump. Once with jealousy, once more with humor, and once again with a realization that he HAD to accomplish the temptations of Lust I gave him as an arrangement trade SOMEHOW! "My name is Ezra Fell. It's a pleasure to meet you Yvette."
"You may call me Eve if you wish." She told him and it was at that moment I realized that the beginning of her name DID sound like the name 'Eve'. I let out a huff of laughter. "Something the matter, Crowley?"
"Hmm?" I looked up at her and shook my head. "No, it's nothing, it's just...I hadn't realized until now that your name...the beginning of it sounds like 'Eve'."
"Yes, a bit ironic for someone who has the marking of a snake on the side of their head. Like the snake from the Garden of Eden." At that, a waiter appeared and asked if she would like anything to eat. "Oh, yes, I would like what he's having." She stated as she pointed down at my apple crepes." The man bowed and left.
Her mention of the Garden seemed to catch Aziraphale's attention as I noticed that out of the corner of my eye, his had widened once again. "Are you a religious woman, Eve?"
'Talk about hitting the nail on the head! Oh! He has no idea!' I mentally told her as it took everything I had not to bust out laughing again.
"Very." She nodded her head. "I know the bible as well as I know myself."
'You're making it very hard NOT to laugh!' I told her as I grinned. "She's right. She does. She can even quote numbers!"
"My goodness!" Aziraphale breathed out with a tone of awe. "That IS something."
'Raphael, will you ever tell him you love him?' She thought it and I knew it wasn't towards me. It was accidentally sent to me and it was filled with a sorrow I hadn't felt from her since the first thunderstorm.
'We'll talk after this, I promise. One on one, you and me, okay?'
"So, Crowley tells me that you're planning to open a bookshop." She stated, and I flinched, feeling the awe and wonder coming off of him as my cheeks reddened in embarrassment.
"He has? He's talked to you about me? B-But...you asked for my name."
"I've heard him speak it when he talks of you. So...bookshop?"
He looked down to his food and took a bite, remembering that he was supposed to be eating. Once he swallowed it, the waiter came back with her crepes. As we ate, we seemed to delve into a sense of normalcy where Aziraphale told her about his bookshop in a similar way he told me, but without talk of Heaven, humans, angels, demons, and anything supernatural. He seemed to truly believe she was human. Once lunch was over and we drank our wine, Aziraphale and I said our farewell's as he was assigned to go somewhere in Asia, leaving me walking 'Yvette' back to my room at the inn I was staying at. "All right. you asked a question and I'm not sure if you're aware you asked it, but..." I closed the door behind us so that we would have some privacy, and I watched as she sat on the bed, so I sat next to her before continuing. "...you asked if I would ever tell him that I love him."
"You're right, I hadn't realized I thought it to you, but...will you?"
"Why do you keep pushing?" I asked her as I shook my head. "I get it, you want me happy, you want me to be able to freely love, you want me to at the very least say it to him, you want me to stop hiding behind it, allowing myself little things, you want me to confess to him, because you believe I deserve it, but really, why are you pushing? With a snap of your fingers, we could be together, with a wave of your hand, I could be an angel, with a single word from your mouth and into his ears, he'll fall in love with me, but why are you pushing when you know how much it upsets me when you do it!? You say that it's up to me, that it's up to him, but yet, you make it seem like it's not with how much you keep pushing!"
"I keep 'pushing', because I can't watch you kill your own heart! It hurts to watch you be so completely in love and devoted, but you do nothing about it."
"I actually DO, do something about it."
She shook her head slowly. "No, Crowley, you don't. You save him, he wants for nothing with you, you give him kindness and devotion and loyalty and you let SMALL bits of your love out when the two of you are intimate, you've told me as much, saying that, that's you ALLOWING yourself to give love, to have that moment, and I know how it hurts you when it's over, I know how it hurts you for the days, weeks, months, and years in between, I know the pain you put yourself through. You allow yourself the BARE MINIMUM and you suffer for it every time it's over. You're literally sacrificing your own complete happiness, for just a MOMENT of happiness. That's the problem, you allow yourself MOMENTS, when you could have a LIFE!"
"It's written that the world is to end, so what kind of life could a demon have with an angel, when it's literally going to end?"
"It is written, but you could still enjoy the time you have!"
"With someone who doesn't and can't love me in return? With someone that I'm LUCKY to have a friendship with that also gets extremely intimate from time to time? With someone who makes it a point to remind me that he's an angel and I'm a demon, that we're different? Yvette, I love him with everything I am and I'd gladly give him everything, but he can't. He can't love me, because I'm a demon and he's an angel. I'm from Hell and he's from Heaven. If either of our offices found out about us...we'd be destroyed. I can't have him destroyed. I can't risk it. I won't risk it. There would only be one way I would ever tell him how I honestly feel, despite what I think of myself, and that's if neither me or him have to worry about Heaven or Hell. I have nightmares of the burning of the library of Alexandria and it being Hellfire...I can't. I want to tell him! I want to scream it! I want him to know it everywhere on his body and in his grace that I love him more than words could possibly say, but with the threat of him possibly being branded a traitor and being burned for it...because I know that you still allow the Archangels to do burnings for Angels that break divine law, I just can't and I won't."
Apparently something I said caught her attention, because there was a brief look in her eye of an idea, and I could tell that she quickly tried to conceal it from me, so I didn't say anything about it. "Alright then. I promise to completely leave you alone about your love life. I won't write it into my plans and I won't force you to tell him, nor will I force him to love you. Now, I must get back, I've been gone for a long while, and soon, they'll notice."
"I understand." I sighed in relief that she would stop pushing. "However, you should keep this form. It suits you."
"I only wear this form on Earth. That way the angels can't find me and the demons don't recognize me. Well, all except you."
"Yes, well, I'm just wearing the mask of a demon, technically, since it's only my aura."
"True, but what about this suits me?" She looked down at her body with a contemplative look.
"The reddish orange hair reminds me of the flame on the Flaming sword you had given me and Aziraphale, your eyes remind me of the leaves on the tree of knowledge that we created together, and your skin reminds me of walls of the library, beautiful and pale, but shining bright."
"Hmm..." She smiled, crinkling her eyes that told me my comment warmed her heart. "...very well. This will be my Earthly form for now."
"That's good, and God...Thank you for saying you won't push anymore. It's hard enough as it is."
She nodded her head as a twinge of guilt showed on her features. "You're welcome. Until next time, Raphael."
"Until next time, Yvette." I smirked, which seemed to lighten her spirits before she snapped her fingers and left, leaving me to wonder what to do with my free time. I hear Asia is nice this time of year.
Chapter 11: Holy Water and Holy Burns
I walked through the bookshop's door, and immediately heard a frustrated huff of air leave Aziraphale's lips. "I'm most certain the sign read that we're closed."
"Relax, Angel, it's just me."
"Oh!" Came his joyful response as he walked out from behind the back of the bookshop. "What brings you here, Crowley?"
"Wanted to take a walk with you in the park. Talk about something important. Are you busy?" I smirked knowing full well that he wasn't.
"Well, I think I can make some time." He tilted his head back and forth as if he were actually thinking about the answer, which made me feel a bit better about what I was about to ask him. God already told me no and wouldn't even give me a reason why. She just simply said no.
"Good. Let's go." When we eventually made it to what I've come to call our spot in the park, I waited for him to start feeding the ducks before saying anything. "I've been thinking...what if it all goes wrong? We have a lot in common, you and me."
"I don't know. We both may have started off as angels, but YOU are fallen."
"I didn't really fall! I just...you know...sauntered vaguely downwards. I need a favor." I quickly added the last sentence before he could ask about that, because that was the first time I mentioned it.
"We already have the agreement, Crowley. Stay out of each other's way, lend a hand when needed."
'Spend some time in a bedroom on our days or weeks off...' I added in my head before I spoke again. "This is something else, for if it all goes pear-shaped."
"I like pears."
"If it all goes WRONG, I want insurance."
"What?" He questioned as he shook the rest of the crumbs out of his hat.
"I wrote it down." I handed him the paper as I continued to babble, knowing that this was an extremely difficult thing to ask him for. "Walls have ears. Well, not walls, TREES have ears. DUCKS have ears. Do ducks have ears? Must do, that's how they hear other ducks."
"Out of the question!" His voice shook, and I could feel the sorrow coming off of him, but why?
"It would destroy you! I'm not bringing you a suicide pill, Crowley!"
'WHAT!? THAT'S WHAT HE THINKS!? AFTER ALL THIS TIME!?' I looked at him quickly, trying to correct him without alerting anyone. "That's NOT what I want it for! Just insurance!" I handed him the note back, quickly getting agitated.
"I'm not an idiot, Crowley. Do you know what trouble I'd be in if they knew I was...fraternizing? It's completely out of the question!"
"Fraternizing!?" I glared at him. 'All the time we've spent together and all the things I've trusted you with and you think THAT'S what our friendship is!?'
"Well, whatever you wish to call it! I do not think there is any point in discussing it further."
"I have lots of other people to FRATERNIZE with, Angel." I spat at him, trying to control my anger.
"Oh, of course you do!"
"I don't need you!" The first and harshest lie I've told him.
"Well, and the feeling is mutual. Obviously!" I watched as he tossed the paper into the water, setting it alight as soon as it hit the water.
"Obviously." I mocked childishly, knowing that the feeling very much wasn't mutual, because I knew him, but the words still fucking stung!
I went home after about an hour standing there watching the ducks, and once there, I crashed onto my bed. It was all mine. I actually got my own place to live in and in the back was a lush garden with a small pond. Aziraphale nor the demons have any clue as to where I live, which is bliss for me, but unfortunately, it also means my house is as quiet as outer space. No sound, no wind, no laughter, no nothing. I took my clothes off, hung my hat, my cane, and went straight to bed, not caring when I would wake up. If I slept for too long, I could always claim it as sloth and Hell wouldn't care.
When I woke up, I had apparently miracled my house to move with the times while I was asleep, because everything was different. My furniture, my kitchen, my bed, and even my clothes. I searched my internal calendar and it told me it was in the mid 1920's. I immediately left my house, and looked out into the world. It was so different, and everyone was moving in strange things on wheels. They were immensely beautiful and I wanted one! I found a human and I asked them where I could get one of the...automobiles...the human called them, and I found one. It was a Bentley apparently and she was gorgeous. She was black, sleek, shiny, the inside was comfortable, and I had to conjure up a fake bit of ID to get her and some money, but it was completely worth it.
When eventually asked about the Bentley and the miracle to get her, I told them that she would take me to my nearest job destinations faster than I would've by myself or by carriage, or on a horse. They weren't going to reprimand me or anything they were just generally curious. I don't think Hastur likes her though, which makes her even more perfect. When I turned the key, she made the most beautiful sound, and I felt a minor link form. Possibly from how much I love my car already. Oh well, what's a demon without a sentient badass looking car?
I wanted to show it off to Aziraphale the moment that I got it, but I remembered our fight, and I just didn't have the energy for it. So, I decided to check in with Hell, they gave me commendation for Sloth, only a year though, which, compared to how long I slept, isn't much. After that, I did minor jobs and did the bare minimum that would still grant me at least a week of commendation. That lasted for a good while, and I eventually got tired again in 1930.
When I woke up again, the times had definitely changed. For one, the clothes were once again different, so was my house, but my Bentley stayed the same the rebellious little beaut. I felt for the year and it was exactly 1940. I looked at a newspaper that was thrusted into my door, and I read that there was a war. After that, I looked more into it. Nazis were black-mailing and murdering people left and right, taking books and paintings and hurting hundreds...thousands of children. Oh, this had to stop. I immediately signed myself up for special intelligence and proved to be the best of the best.
On one of my breaks, from both Hell and my Earth job, I was walking through London in 1941 when I felt the anxious tug from Aziraphale. It was coming from the church just a block away, and I actually heard that Nazis were meeting up with a bookseller in the church. I hadn't realized it was him! He's going to be discorporated the lovable fool! 'Alright, let's see, what have I got to work with!?' I frantically thought as I ran my way towards the church faster than what normal human legs would be able to carry someone. 'It's a church, consecrated ground, I've watched a demon burn alive by immediately stepping foot in a church, but I only have the AURA of a demon. I'm not fully a demon. God said so. It might sting, or even burn, but I won't die or discorporate. I don't think so, at least. Now, how to get the Nazis away from Aziraphale.' I looked up and saw with my supernatural vision that there would be bombs falling on the East End! 'Perfect! I'll just redirect the closest bomber!'
With that in mind, I found myself at the church, and his anxiety and tension was growing stronger by the second. I looked at the steps, took a deep breath, and tapped my foot on the first step. After feeling it sting like going to the beach on a hot summer day, I quickly realized I hadn't caught fire. It took all I had not to laugh at the absurd joy of it all. I couldn't explain why I felt joy, but I felt it, and pushed it away so that I could quickly go in and help Aziraphale. So, with a newfound bit of resolve I busted into the church, dancing on scorching feet, but I didn't care, because Aziraphale was in trouble and that wasn't okay. Even after our fight in the late 1800's it still wasn't okay.
My shoes were squeaking and my feet were burning, my pants and 'Ooh's!' earning me strange looks. "Sorry, consecrated ground. Oh! It's like...being at the beach in bare feet!"
"What are you doing here!?" Aziraphale damn well hissed with an irritated look.
"Stopping you getting into trouble!" I told him through the burning pain. I could feel my feet go into the slow beginning stages of blistering, but I had to get him out of the situation. They had him at GUNPOINT!
"I should've known! Of course! These people are working for you!"
'SERIOUSLY!? That's what you think?' I scoffed as I looked at him, then to the Nazis. "No! They're a bunch of half-witted Nazi spies blackmailing and murdering people! I just didn't want to see YOU embarrassed!"
"Mr. Anthony J. Crowley...your fame proceeds you." The larger one said with a hint of disdain. I didn't know who any of them were personally, all I knew was that they were Nazis and they were pointing a gun at my best friend.
"Anthony?" He asked me with a questioning look of 'Really?'
"You don't like it?" I asked, feeling a chill in my chest at the thought of him really not like the name I actually took the time to create.
"No, no. I didn't say that. I'll get used to it." Well, that was good I suppose.
"The famous Mr. Crowley..." The woman holding the gun breathed out in awe and fascination, and from the look in her eyes...Lust. 'Sorry, lady, you're not my type.' I thought, trying to hold in the smirk. "...It's such a pity you must both die."
"What does the 'J' stand for?" Aziraphale asked with curiosity in his eyes.
"It's just a 'J', really." I answered honestly, because it was a 'J', but it also read as 'Jay', like a blue Jay, which was one of Aziraphale's favorite birds. One would think it would be a dove because he could turn into one, but that wasn't the case. He loved blue Jays because they had color and were unmistakable and beautiful in his eyes. Drawing me out of my thoughts on my middle name, I noticed a bird bath looking thing at the front of the church. "Look at that! A whole fontful of holy water! It doesn't even have GUARDS!"
"Enough babbling. Kill them both." The scrawny one asked with a nasally voice.
"In about a minute, a German bomber will release a bomb that will land right here. If you all run away very very fast, you might not die. You won't enjoy dying. Definitely won't enjoy what comes after."
"You expect us to believe that?" The larger one asked while the woman shifted nervously at my words, obviously wanting to run away. "The bombs tonight will fall on the East End."
"Yes. It will take a last-minute demonic intervention to throw them off course. Yes. You're all wasting your valuable running away time!" Once I said that, I quickly remembered that we could still be discorporated and it would be rather awkward and difficult for us to both explain to our head offices why both of us were in a church when a bomb fell, and how I didn't burst into flames. "And if, in thirty seconds a bomb DOES land here, it would take a REAL miracle for my friend and I to SURVIVE IT."
"A-A real miracle." I couldn't quite tell if it was genuine agitation or agreement or both, but I felt something like exasperated fondness and gratefulness coming off of him.
"Kill them. They are very irritating." The skinny one groaned out with a strange sort of 'meh' tone.
I lifted my hands up once I heard the familiar whistle of a bomb and it was falling down towards us. As it grew closer, I felt wrapped in a warmth that was entirely invisible, and in reality, had no REAL temperature, but it was entirely Aziraphale, almost as if he was engulfing me in his wings. When he did that, I quickly placed my own shield around the books, knowing how upset he'd be if they were destroyed because he forgot about them. Once the church was destroyed, I cleaned off my glasses and looked at him, watching him lower his hat with a thankful look on his face. "That was very kind of you."
"Shut up!" I told him as I placed my glasses back on my face. 'What have I said about thanking me in public!'
"Well, it was. No paperwork for a start." Then, just as I expected, a look of realization, horror, and sorrow crossed his features faster than lightning going across the sky. "Oh! The books! I forgot all the books! Oh, they'll all be blown to-"
I heard him immediately stop his guilty rant when I grabbed the bag and handed it to him. "A little demonic miracle of my own." His hands were shaking slightly as he took it from me, but I wasn't about to contemplate why when my feet felt like they were going to fall off. "Lift home?" I asked him as casually as I could. I felt something strange shift in the air around him, but I couldn't pinpoint what it was, so I kept walking.
However, having demonic aura and spending that long on consecrated ground did have its limits, and I've reached it as the residual pain became too much, and my legs buckled underneath me, causing me to fall to my hands knees. "CROWLEY!" I heard Aziraphale shout, but the pain started radiating from my feet, up my calves, to my thighs. It was intense and it was as if rather than holding a fresh new star, one was burning and exploding inside me, setting my nerves on fire with white hot heat and searing me from toe to head slowly. I soon heard Aziraphale rush to me through the rubble, but just as I was about to try and get up using what little arm strength I had, I collapsed again and my vision went black instantly.
When I woke up, I wasn't surrounded by the burning rubble of a church, I wasn't in my Bentley, and I was warm. I slowly turned my dizzy head towards the warmth and found a fireplace that was lit, but it wasn't the fireplace I knew in the bookshop, yet it still smelled like the bookshop, which meant this was a room I had never been in before, and the only room I hadn't been in before that might have a fireplace was Aziraphale's bedroom, and I was laying on very soft sheets and under extremely exceptional blankets, which told me that I was in Aziraphale's bed. I did an experimental wiggle of my feet, and found that my shoes and socks were still on, which meant Aziraphale hadn't treated them yet. "Aziraphale?" I rasped out as I soon sensed him coming closer to the door.
The door opened slowly and I heard clattering instruments or something metal. I could smell healing liquid, soap, cloth, metal, and bandage wrappings. I turned my head towards the door and saw Aziraphale rushing towards me, setting the tray of medical equipment down on the nightstand. "Crowley! You're awake! How are you feeling? Are you all right? Do you burn? Do you remember what you are? Do you remember who you are? Do you hurt anywhere?"
I blinked at him a few times, but he was still a bit blurry. I could tell that my senses may have been slowly coming back, but others would take time. I preformed a miracle on consecrated ground WHILE surrounded with an angelic shield. My form could only take so much. "One at...a...time, Angel." I told him, regarding his questions.
"Oh, right..." He nodded his head as he sat at the chair that was beside the bed. "Um...a-are you hurt?"
"Yes." I nodded slowly. "Burned...feet...and legs."
"I thought as much." He nodded, and there was something different in his tone. It was a tone of worry, but not one I've heard come from him before. I decided to leave it be for now until I was healed up, which he immediately started setting out to do as he took the chair, miracled a small table, and made a spot at the end of the bed I was in. "Do you mind if I take your shoes and socks off?"
"Ha..." I choked out due to the lack of air in my lungs. "...I've never minded...you taking anything...off of me before, Angel. I'm not gonna...start now." I noticed he flinched slightly, but his cheeks also went into a familiar dusty pink. The blush wasn't new when I would say things like that, but the flinch was. "'Zira...are you...afraid of me? You...you flinched."
"No, I'm not afraid of you." He calmly stated as he carefully took off my shoes. I could tell he was telling the truth, but still, it bothered me that he would flinch.
"Then why did you flinch?" I asked him as he took off the other shoe.
"Well, because...you said it in such a brash manner."
"I've said worse things." I told him while he took off my socks.
"Crowley...you got hurt because of me...again." He answered, and I somehow knew that, that was only MOSTLY the truth. Realizing he wouldn't tell me no matter what, I gave up the subject and nodded my head, leaning further into the pillows while he looked over my blistered and burned feet. "The burns are quite bad. I'm going to try and numb it for you if I can, but these are Holy Burns. I can't heal them with a miracle. I'm sorry. They'll likely scar as well."
"I beg your pardon?" He scoffed out a laugh, and I could feel the look of astonishment while I looked up at his ceiling.
"Well, you can...have it, but I don't understand...why you need it." I chuckled lightly. "What I mean by matching is...you kept the scars...you got from the library that...burned. The one I rescued you from, and now, I've got...mine for being saved by...you. You saved me from...discorporation just as I saved you...all those years ago. So...we match."
"My goodness...that does seem like the case now doesn't it." My vision finally cleared and I could see a small smile on his face and a familiar look in his eyes, but I had only seen it as a flash before today. There and gone, but now it's stayed, and I was left confused. However, I wasn't about to ask about it. I doubt he would tell me. "These burns are rather bad, my dear. You might not be able to walk for some time. Do you have commendation from Hell?"
Shit. No, I do not, but perhaps I can get God to pull some...mindful...strings. "I expect I'll be getting Commendation soon, but don't worry, they don't show up anymore. They just hand it to me, because they're tired of coming to give it to me. So...it's just miracled into my hands."
"Oh, that's rather convenient." He commented as he started to carefully clean my wounds, getting rid of any bacteria and harmful things that could irritate my burns like lint from my socks. "Why would they give you commendation though?"
"For sending a bomb to blow up a church I imagine." When I said it, a scroll appeared on my chest. "Ugh, who sends scrolls!?" I hadn't actually expected commendation, but I wasn't going to complain. I opened it up, and noticed the look of concern on Aziraphale's face, so I read it out loud. "'Demon Crowley, member of the dark council, you have received commendation for using a miracle to direct a bomber to not only blow up a church, but to kill three Nazis inside. You have also received commendation for stealing multiple paintings, and for inspiring the deadly sin of pride and lust throughout the humans' war. Your commendation will last for a grand total of three months from today. Report back to Hell in exactly three months from receiving this commendation or you will spend three months in your designated torture room. Curse you, Hail Satan, and Bad day.' It's signed by Lucifer and Beelzebub." I lifted the scroll up in the air and torched it with controlled Hellfire, which is what you were supposed to do once you received it, to tell them that you got it, read it, and understood it. I then looked at Aziraphale, whose jaw was dropped and eyes were wide with pure astonishment and disbelief. "What?"
"You...you're part of the Dark Council in Hell!?"
"I told you I was just below Beelzebub, Prince of Hell. I'm in sort of the no mans land of ranking, because I'm not a prince or a duke, but I'm right in between because of my skills and history as a demon. Being on the Dark Council in Hell is sort of like Hell's version of the Cherubs and Seraphs...closer to Lucifer's throne. Besides, I'm the most intelligent one down there. They can't afford me to NOT have a higher rank in Hell. The only reason why Beelzebub is the prince of Hell and not me is because Beelzebub was the first to tell him he wasn't crazy. He took that to heart and promised her the highest ranking underneath him." I watched as he blinked at me several times before returning to my feet, treating them with caution and care. "Aziraphale?" He immediately looked up at me and the pink tint was back again, which was likely due to him not knowing where exactly I resided in Hell, but that wasn't important at the moment.
"I haven't seen you since our...Holy Water fight. How have you been?"
"I...well...I've been all right. I...I hadn't heard from you, so I didn't exactly know if you were okay or what was happening, so I was a bit worried, but..."
"Why would someone who doesn't need me worry?" I challenged with a risen brow in amusement, but it quickly died in my throat and chilled my heart when I saw the guilt ridden expression on his face.
"I only said that because you made it sound like you had other friends, and I was hurt that you would ask me for your destruction. You know how much of a sore spot that is for me, Crowley. I was once almost the cause of your complete destruction back in the fourteenth century, then you just go and ASK me to bring you the one thing that can completely destroy you with no lucky chance of coming back from if so much as one drop lands on you."
"Aziraphale, I value my life on Earth and with you too much to go and take a Holy Water bath." If possible, his eyes widened even more as he dropped the jar of ointment he was holding, which made an echoing thump to the ground compared to the sudden silence. "Angel, are you all right?" I asked him with a furrowed brow. I was honestly starting to get worried about him.
"I um...you value your life with me?" His voice was suddenly quiet and unsure, which sent a pang of heartache straight to...well...all of me.
"You're my best and only friend. Why wouldn't I?"
"H-Has something or rather...anything changed?" I let out a slightly worried chuckle as I shook my head.
"Not for me. Has it for you?"
"Ah, well, um...no." At his answer he seemed to smile more to himself than at me for some reason, which only further confused and worried me, but I didn't have time to react before he started to treat my wounds some more. "Looking back on it, no. Nothing has changed at all, as a matter of fact."
"If you're sure."
"I am. I'm more sure of that than anything else I've been sure about in a long time." For some reason, that made my grace and soul sing joyfully, but I couldn't understand why. It was just an answering statement. "Just..." He started again, gaining my undivided attention. "...let me help your burns until your commendation is up."
"By all means." I grinned at him, deciding it was better not to dwell on it, and just move on to him trying to heal me. So, with that in mind I laid back down to a comfortable position. "Do you mind if I go to sleep? A miracle on consecrated ground wore me out."
"Of course I don't mind, my dear. Get some rest. When you wake up, your feet will be bandaged." As much as I wanted to ask about how there was just the slightest change in how he said 'my dear', my body realized how comfortable his bed was, and blissful, warm, and protected sleep overcame me.
Chapter 12: What's Changed
I had just arranged things with the humans that are going to help me get Holy Water, and I got into my car when I felt Aziraphale's presence immediately next to my own. I looked into the seat next to me and there he was, looking and feeling anxiety ridden and for some reason there was a look of heartache in his eyes. "What are you doing here?" I questioned in a harsher tone than I meant, but I couldn't have him here. Not now. Not when I was about to be on my way to the church to meet up with the humans.
"I need to have a word with you."
"I work in Soho, I hear things. I hear that you're setting up a...caper. To rob a church. Crowley it's dangerous! Holy water won't just kill your body! It will destroy you!" There was so much desperation in his voice, it cracked something in my chest, but I couldn't relent on this. I had to have it just in case.
"You told me what you think, a hundred and five years ago!"
"And I still haven't changed my mind! But I can't have you risking your life! Not even for something dangerous. So..." I watched him grab something and to my surprise it was a thermos and I could've sworn I heard liquid moving around in there.
'No...he couldn't have...he wouldn't have!' I thought as I kept looking back and forth between Aziraphale and the thermos in complete disbelief.
"...you can call off the robbery. Don't go unscrewing the cap."
I took it from him as if it would shatter in my hands if I applied any less or any more pressure. "It's the real thing?"
"The holiest." My eyes widened behind my sunglasses, because that meant he stole directly from Heaven.
"After everything you said." He nodded his head with fear and the pleading of something in his eyes.
"Should I say thank you?" I asked, not knowing exactly what to say.
"Better not." He stated.
"Can I...um...drop you anywhere?"
"No. Thank you." He replied before turning to see the concerned and slightly upset look on my face. "Oh, don't look so disappointed. Perhaps one day we could, I don't know, go for a picnic. Dine at the Ritz."
"I'll give you a lift. Anywhere you want to go."
He seemed like he was about to say something important, but the look of that important thing died in his eyes, due to it being smothered by fear and pain. "You go too fast for me, Crowley." Before I could say anything, he left the car and vanished, leaving me alone with a thermos of Holy Water. I immediately went to my flat and put it into a safe I had specially made for the Holy Water when I would eventually get it, placing the painting De Vinci had given me as a favor for getting rid of some thieves and bandits that tried to raid his home.
After being in my flat, staring at the painting covering the locked safe that now held my Holy Water, I decided I should go and see Aziraphale. He left in a bit of a hurry and I still can't shake the feeling that perhaps he needs me at the moment. So, I disguised my aura so that he wouldn't be alerted to my presence right away, and I miracled myself in his shop. 'Huh...he's not downstairs.' I thought to myself as I felt his presence upstairs.
Once I made it up the stairs and to his door I heard him sobbing, causing me to freeze immediately where I was at as my heart dropped to the soles of my shoes where my scarred feet rested. "What have I done!?" He cried out, only further shattering my heart. "God, what have I done!? I've taken Holy Water directly from Heaven, and gave it to him! Wh-When will I see him again? WILL I see him again? I gave it to him, and God, please, don't let him use it on himself! I know...he's a demon, but...he's so good and so kind, and he's just..." There was a choked combination of a sob and a laugh, which lifted my heart just a bit. "...he's...so HIM! Why would you allow him to fall? He's...he's completely awful at being a demon! He's not malicious, he's not sadistic, he's not HEARTLESS, and he's CERTAINLY not EVIL! I just...God, please, don't be mad at me. That's all I can ask of you. You likely know what I've done, and I haven't prayed to you since 1941, and I know he's a demon, but please...don't let him use it on himself. I wouldn't be able to bare it if he were destroyed completely! I-I can't!"
I quietly took out my journal and as quietly as I could, I wrote to Her.
Did you hear Aziraphale's prayer just now?
Are you not going to ease his mind?
It would mean far more if you eased his mind than if I did.
What did he pray for in 1941?
Something important. Something that you shouldn't ask about now. You'll know when you should ask, and it won't be me who you ask.
Lord...I love him.
No, I mean I really love him. You were right. He has become extremely important to me. So much so, I have written to you less and less, and that's why I needed the Holy Water. If demons started trying to come after him, or if they tried to separate me from him and hurt him...I couldn't let that happen. Please, if you're going to be mad at anyone, be mad at me.
Crowley, just how much do you love him?
I'd do anything for him.
I won't ask you to confess, and I promised I wouldn't push, but he DOES need you right now, Crowley. I have matters to attend to with the Holy Water that I let him steal for you. Farewell.
I let out a sigh as I put away my journal. Once it was gone, I heard Aziraphale, and he was still sobbing, but this time it sounded as if he was sobbing into a pillow. I released the disguise on my aura, and knocked on the door. "It's me, Angel." I opened the door and let myself in, taking in the eyeful of an astonished, shocked, and skeptical Aziraphale who was looking at me through watery eyes. I closed the door behind me before walking up to the bed, where I eventually sat down in front of him. I turned to face him, bringing one leg up on the bed, bending it to a comfortable position before bringing my hand up to the side of his face to wipe away a tear from his right cheek. "What are these for, Dove?"
"I...I just...I gave you Holy Water."
"Yes, that you did." I smiled at him as I brought my hand down to hold his. I then looked down at it, gently rubbing my thumb on the back of his hand before bringing it up to my lips to give it a gentle kiss. Once I lowered his hand again, I looked up and his eyes were wide, but that didn't matter to me at the moment. "And I am incredibly grateful for it."
"Y-You...you're not going to...to..."
"Principality Aziraphale, I give you my word with everything that I am that I will not use the Holy Water on myself. It's only if Demons start getting nosy and try to come after us. I promise, I would never do that. Not when I have you as my Best Friend and not when the world is still changing in interesting and fun ways."
"S-So...y-you never even thought a-about it?"
Before I could stop myself I brought my hand up to the side of his face, far more tenderly than I ever have, and I gave him a caring smile before placing a gentle kiss on his lips, causing him to gasp, but I didn't go any further than that. It was a short kiss, but it was the most gentle and caring kiss I had ever given him, and I had no plans for sex afterwards. "No." I whispered to him as I wiped away a few fresh tears, not knowing why they were there. "I haven't thought about it once." I brought my hand down, leaning away from him as I let out a heavy sigh. "If you really want to know, it's like I said all those years ago. It's for insurance. We have an arrangement, and then we have our well...it's not an arrangement, and it's not exactly a private life except it is...but um...we have our bed life...yeah, that's good, but we're Best Friends and neither of us can imagine the world without the other, which began to worry me a bit. What if Hell came after you with Hellfire and Hell-weapons that were FORGED in Hellfire? I couldn't let anyone hurt you, so the Holy Water is if you need a place to run away, being my place, and if they come after you, we will both know that I have Holy Water on hand. A second line of defense if you will, and I'll use it. I needed the Holy Water, so that I could destroy any demons that would try to kill you or go after you."
It took him about fifteen minutes for a simple squeak to leave him, but I waited, because that would be a lot of information for anyone. Another five more minutes and he took in a deep breath before letting it out. "I...I was the reason? Y-You didn't even think what Hell w-would do to you if they found out?"
I let out a fond chuckle as I decided to lay on my back on his bed while still being in front of him. "I'd like to see them try. I'd find a way out of it. I always do."
"I-In 1941...your commendation said something about a torture room or some such..."
"Yes." I breathed out through my nose. "It did."
"Have you been in there often? What have they done to you? Why?"
"You don't need to know any of that, Angel." I put my arms behind my head as I turned my head a little bit to the left to look at him. "And before you ask, you were never the reason. So, don't go blaming yourself."
"Crowley..." He let out a relieved sigh, but his eyes shone with pain. "Why would God ever decide to Fell you."
"I told you a hundred and five years ago. I didn't really fall." I gave a slight shrug. "I sauntered vaguely downwards."
"That implies you went somewhat willingly." He scoffed, but when all I did was raise my eyebrows at him and took my glasses off, the pain in his eyes became worse as he furrowed his brow. "Y-You did...didn't you?"
"If I did?" I asked as I decided to sit up once again, meeting him eye to eye.
"W-Well...then I would have to wonder why."
"And that...is an answer I'm not ready to give yet, speaking of not ready, you said in the car that I go too fast for you, but um..." I gave a slightly amused laugh as I raised an eyebrow. "...we've been 'going too fast' for a VERY long time now. So, I can't possibly assume it's sex or our friendship, so what DID you mean?"
"I...I thought you were done with this world. Done with me. I thought...I thought you wanted to destroy yourself. I thought...well...I thought many things that involved you thinking that you were just done being...well...alive. I...I wasn't ready for that. I wasn't ready to let you go. I wasn't ready to watch you fade. I wasn't ready to watch or wait for you to die, so the promise of the Ritz and the Picnic...I never thought those would ever happen...u-until now, but...that's what I meant. I won't ever be ready to see you go, or to see you WANT to go. I can't and from what your saying...I won't have to worry about that."
"You'll never have to worry about that with me. This world is too much fun. So much mischief, chaos, temptings, and like I said, the world is still changing. I'm interested in what the humans will do. Maybe I'll inspire a few of them to try to actually go to the stars. Perhaps land on..."
"...the moon?" He supplied.
"Yes." I nodded with a satisfied smile. "That sounds great."
"Isn't that where you suggested God put the apple tree?" He chuckled fondly as he took my hand, and for some reason it felt far different than the other times he would hold my hand. It felt joyful, content, relieved, and grateful, but there was something else I couldn't quite pinpoint, but I suppose I didn't have to if he was smiling like he was now.
"Yes, I do believe it was, but that was on the wall of Eden. How do you remember such a passing remark."
"Crowley..." He shook his head in fond exasperation, but the fondness was different too.
'What the Hell changed?' I wondered, but right when I questioned that to myself, I realized it changed back in 1941. 'What happened then!? Did I miss something?'
"...you were once a giant snake that slithered up a wall, turned into a more human looking demon form with ebony black wings, and you wore a look of concern of your own as you looked out at the humans. I was interested in anything and everything you had to say. You were a demon that spoke to an angel, and you hadn't realized I had given away my sword until you didn't see it."
"Well then!" I let out a burst of laughter in pure disbelief and amusement. "That was NOT the answer I was expecting, but it's far better."
"What were you expecting?"
"That you thought it would make sense."
"I couldn't say if it would make sense or not. I was busy in my own worry as I watched the humans walk away with the sword I gave them."
"Yes, well...I guess I can't blame ya for that one."
"Hmm..." He started with a thoughtful tone.
"What?" I wondered.
"You said that you would try and convince the humans to go for the stars, and I suggested the moon..."
"Yes, and?" I waved my hand in a 'get to the point' motion.
"Well, what if we teamed up for this one. We both love your stars oh so much, it would be nice if the humans could enjoy it further than they have been. It wouldn't be for Heaven or for Hell, it would just be..."
"For...us?" My brow raised up to my hairline in shock, and they would've risen even further if they could've when a blush tinted his cheeks. 'WHAT THE HEAVEN HAPPENED IN 1941 THAT I SO PAINFULLY MISSED!?'
"Yes. We love the humans, and I've seen them look up at your stars, and I would love to see what they do with them and how they further enjoy them. Wouldn't you?"
"I...well...yes, I would." I answered honestly while trying to figure out what changed. He never blushed this much, and he certainly never blushed when I said that something was for us.
"Great, we should get to planning. We'll both try to get as much commendation as possible. This will be wonderful!"
"What did you have in mind?"
Eventually the humans did make it to the moon and it was amazing. It was put on television and everything. Aziraphale and I were standing in my flat, on the balcony, with wine in our glasses, the television on, and we were looking up at the moon. "We've done marvelous work, haven't we?" He asked, and I nearly dropped my wine glass, because I instantly remembered God saying that to me about the stars, the very night that I saw Aziraphale for the first time.
"We have." I breathed out a bit shakily, but I kept my eyes on the moon.
"What's even better, somehow we both received commendation for it. I received it for the humans striving for Heaven, and you received it for all of the mischief and chaos it caused among the lesser minded people."
"Not too bad of an outcome, eh?" I chuckled out before I taking a sip of my wine.
"No, it definitely isn't." He let out a sigh and we enjoyed the rest of the night looking up at the moon, and for the moment, we weren't an angel or a demon. We were just two best friends looking up at the moon, drinking wine, and congratulating ourselves on a job well done. It was strange, and we've had nights like this before, but I'm still stuck on what could've possibly happened that night in 1941 that changed things. It wasn't a bad change either. I just couldn't tell what it was, and it was slowly driving me insane, but I also knew better than to dwell on things forever. Time will tell and all that. If it doesn't, I'll ask.
Chapter 13: Gardner and Nanny
"All right, so we have a plan, but we can't just waltz in as we are. His parents won't let us through the door if we did that." I sat in front of him, the horrible taste of miracled away drunkenness still on my tongue. "We're going to have to work there at their home. Jobs that will keep us close to him."
"Well, the closest would probably be a nanny and the other would be a gardener." He suggested. "The nanny would watch him, and let's face it, practically raise the boy, and the Gardner would likely see him every day when the boy goes out to get some sun or to play."
"Great! So, who plays as who?"
"Hmm..." He hummed, and I watched as he stood up and he miracled a mirror next to the couch I was sitting on. He then waved his hand up and down his body with one swift motion, and what I saw made my eyes widen with complete shock. He...had turned himself into a SHE. Her hips were full, her curves deliciously obvious, her hands delicate yet obviously strong, her thighs thick and juicy, her feet...cute and petite, her breasts...full but not too big, her hair was much longer as it cascaded down her back in beautiful blonde wavy curls, but the most magnificent thing about her was the fact that her eyes hadn't changed one bit. The outfit changed a bit though. Instead of brown pants, she wore a beige colored skirt, a sky blue shirt with short sleeves, the coat remained of course, but the tartan bow-tie now rested as a hair bow on the right side of her head. "There..." She spoke and her voice was somehow both gentle and like a supernova at the same time. She was gorgeous and could definitely pass as a wonderful temptress demon, but there was one thing wrong with all of her beauty. She still wasn't nearly as beautiful as Aziraphale, because this wasn't how I met my angel. "...what do you think, Crowley?"
"I...you're gorgeous." I told her, and oh how the blush was so Aziraphale, but it looked wrong on the temptress angel's body. "You're completely stunning and beautiful, but...there's one problem."
"What would that be?"
I was going to say something vulgar like how the boy's father would want to cheat on his wife for Aziraphale, but what came out of my mouth instead was, "You're far more beautiful the other way." Saying it to myself was one thing, but saying it to him was another, and I watched in silent embarrassed horror as her jaw dropped.
"Y-You really think so?"
"I...yes. Otherwise I wouldn't have said it. I don't think it would quite work anyway, because I've actually raised children before, and you haven't. You're pretty good with plants though."
"That's true." She nodded before transforming back into the form I knew well.
"Ah...that's better. Now, try for a male Gardener, but make yourself look different. It would do neither of us any good if we're recognized by the other's head office."
"Right." He nodded, observed the mirror and miracled himself into a different look. He was a bit rounder, his clothes had changed, but he still wore layers, and his jaw as well as his teeth were completely different. I couldn't help but laugh. "Well, what do you think about this look, my dear." He even adjusted his voice box as well, and now I was on the floor laughing so hard I was crying.
"Oh my! It's too much, 'Zira! It's too much! It's perfect! But it's too much!"
I heard him chuckle, but I was too busy being on my back, holding my stomach while I tried to control my laughter. He then crouched down next to me and I lost it all over again. "Is something wrong, Crowley?"
"I-I can't!" I laughed out. "Oh my...'Zira!"
"What is it? Don't you think me handsome?"
"Oh-ho!" I shook my head, trying to back away from him, but then he started tickling my sides. "S-STOP!" I cackled as I tried to push his hands away.
"N-NO! I can't! It's impossible with how you look! OH! STOP!"
"I shall have no mercy until you say it!" He grinned, but it just further showed his teeth, which made me laugh even harder, practically wheezing on my own air while he continued to tickle my sides.
"O-Okay! Y-You're HANDSOME! The most handsome Gardner, oh great Ezra Fell!" The sarcasm was palpable, but it at least got him to stop tickling me. "Whoo!" I breathed out once I was able to stand again, and I was grateful he put away his get up. "Now, you just need a name."
"What about Brother Francis?"
"I'm not even going to ask. Alright, now my turn." He moved to his chair to watch me change, and I stood in front of the mirror. "Hmm...how about...this?" I changed my clothes to a spaghetti strap dress, black of course, a golden necklace with a snake pendant, and my hair reached between my shoulder blades with its usual scarlet color, but it was much more wavy. My body was slim with appropriate yet attractive curves, my breasts were average size and unfortunately I couldn't do anything about my eyes, but they looked good against my whole appearance.
I turned to look at Aziraphale whose brow was raised so far up I feared they might fly off. "My dear, the boy's father will forget he has a wife when he looks at you. For Heaven's sake, the wife might want you."
"So...not the way to dress as a nanny then."
"No, but I do like this look. Do you mind if I try a little something on you?"
"Sure, go ahead, but I'm going to remember what you said."
He smirked at me, letting out a dark chuckle. "I don't doubt that. Now...your body is good..." He said as he stood up and began to circle around me like a hungry vulture. "...but you need to look like a nanny, which means professional not sensual." He waved a hand and I felt my whole outfit even my hair begin to change. "There." He stated with a pleased smile. "Perfectly attractive and professional."
"Why does it matter if I'm attractive?"
"Because, my dear, an ugly Gardener may be fine, but if you go in looking like an old hag, they'll likely turn you away. Now, turn around and look at my work."
I did as he asked and I noticed that my hair was up in a neat bun, and if taken down it would be exactly what I just had, my dress now had short sleeves and it wasn't skin tight like my last dress. In fact, it gripped at my core before just barely spreading out, stopping at my ankles. I was also wearing pantyhose, black flats, a neat black jacket that went well with the dress, and he changed my necklace to a snake wrapped around an apple, but it remained gold. "Wow..." I breathed out. I looked beautiful, professional, and like a nanny, but that reminded me of something. "Ah, but last touches." I miracled a hat with flowers in it, and the umbrella from Mary Poppins.
I heard him snickering, so I turned to look at him with a slight scowl, but it quickly went away when I saw the smile on his face. "Mary Poppins, huh?"
"W-Well, yeah. I'm a nanny and all."
"A little on the nose, don't you think? She's magic and all."
"Aziraphale, we're about to be Godfathers to-"
"Well..." He interrupted with a confident smirk. "...one Godfather and one Godmother." Then, his eyes widened as if he just got an idea.
"Oh no...you have an idea...don't you?"
"Yes, I believe I do. Say, there should be a much higher likelihood of them hiring the both of us if we're married and BOTH have experience with children. I may not have raised any, but I do have SOME experience with them, and if they know that you have a way with plants, they'll likely feel more confident about an ugly man like me being a Gardener. So..."
"So...you want us to pretend to be...married?" My heart nearly couldn't take it, my grace was confused, and my soul...well...if it had a jaw it would've hit the floor. My mind? It decided to abruptly take a nap.
"Yes. It would get us in a lot easier. Crowley, we can't afford to NOT get hired."
"You have a point. Alright...well...you're Brother Francis, and I'm...Nanny Ashtoreth, but married couples need last names." I tried to rush through it and not dwell on the pretend marriage at all. "What do you suggest?"
"Well, considering I'll be the man, perhaps it should be my last name."
"Well, I'm not going to be called Francis Crowley. For one, I already know that it's your FIRST name."
"Fine, Fell it is, but we'll have to come up with backstories. Humans get curious, and unfortunately, I believe we're going to have to make my outfit look a bit more outdated."
"Very well." He let out a heavy sigh before snapping his fingers.
"What did you just do?"
"I just miracled our credentials and a copy of our marriage license to them and gave them my bookshop's number to call."
"Marriage license? A certificate? A copy? When did we get one!?"
"Just now." He smirked as he snapped his fingers, making one appear.
"Um...is that going to show up as a miracle on your log?"
"No. We were all sort of drilled that miracles won't be monitored at all after the Antichrist has been delivered. Miracles are free reign until the very end. The only thing we're not allowed to do is kill humans or cast any miracles on the Antichrist."
"Huh...it's the same for us. All right, let me read that." I took the paper from him and I read it as carefully as I could. He had it signed by a priest that was around at this point in time but had died of old age. "How convenient. The priest is dead so no one can question him about our marriage."
"I thought so." He grinned smugly, so I continued reading and I looked back at the date.
"Angel, why'd you put 1967?"
"Well, because that's when I felt God had answered a prayer about you, I had um...before you arrived saying that you weren't going to use the Holy Water...I prayed."
"As touching as that is, Angel, We don't look quite that old to have been married for that long. Why not make the date July 13th, 1985?"
"Oh! That was when I surprised you by miracling us into the Live Aid concert so you could see your favorite band preform! King...was it?"
"No, it was QUEEN, and yes. I particularly remember you enjoying it. You even joined me and the rest of the audience in some of it."
"It was marvelous, but I'm afraid that's the only artist of yours that I like. Such a bright young man...and kind, too. I could FEEL the love everyone had for him in the audience. It was beautiful. Yes, that seems perfect for a pretend marriage."
"It's settled then. We've been married for twenty-three years. At least to them." He snapped his fingers and nodded his head, likely changing the date on both documents. I looked down and he at least changed it on the one I was holding.
"Great. Let's see how well it works."
Turned out, it worked like a charm, because we got in easy enough. Once they found out we were married and saw our apparent credentials they gave us the Gardner's cottage that was on the Garden grounds and all the way in the back, hidden by some trees for privacy. There was one other Gardner, but he was only part time. When Aziraphale offered to be full time, they were even more eager to say yes, and so, that's how we ended up walking into a rather large cottage complete with a living area, kitchen, bathroom, and a bedroom. It was comfortable. "Well, I guess this is where we'll be living together for eleven years. I like it. You?" I turned to face Aziraphale as I put our bags down, and noticed a surprised look on his face.
"Uh, well, yes. I do rather like it. Not to mention that they had lined up our work days to where we can have the same days off. That will be perfect to discuss the boy."
"Yes, but the name..." I huffed out a laugh through my nose. "...Warlock. Might as well have named him Merlin with that name."
"Yes, I must agree, but we're not the parents."
"No, we're not, but I'll be close to it by being his Nanny." I mentioned as I watched him change back into his normal self, outfit included. "Hmm..." I grinned curiously before placing my lips on Aziraphale's, and I felt him wrap an arm around my waist like one would really do with a woman, which was new, and he used the other hand to begin to unbutton the coat I was wearing. "Whoa..." I chuckled out, leaving the kiss just slightly to look into his eyes. "...someone wants to test out the new bed."
"My Dear, it's not the bed I want to test out. It's you."
My heart swooned. Actually fucking SWOONED! "M-My...who knew you could talk like that?"
"You do, to be honest."
"Oh, no. Not like that. Such a filthy mouth for an angel."
He grinned at me as he looked at my lips. "Well, truth be told, I was wondering what it might be like if you had efforted yourself as a woman."
I blinked at him several times in pure astonishment and amusement. When I had changed my body, I had put in the necessary parts. All of them. Well, except parts that could accidentally get me pregnant. REALLY don't need that right now. "How long have you been thinking about it?"
"Yikes, Angel! You could've said something!"
"Yes, well, I can't argue with you there." He shrugged. "What about now? I'm saying something now?"
I looked into his eyes and his pupils were completely blown. "Do you even know how to treat a woman in bed?"
"Do you?" He asked, and I immediately noticed the uncertainty in his eyes.
"No, there's only been you, Angel." Apparently that was the right thing to say, because I was immediately kissed and led into the bedroom.
"It's the same for me." He said as he hastily closed the door behind him, leaving me with a lingering electrical feeling that pooled down faster than it ever had, and if I wasn't mistaken, I was already getting wet.
'JUST FROM KISSING!?' I shouted in my mind, but then another thought came to mind. 'If I'm this sensitive now...how much more when we're in bed?' I helped him get my clothes off, since he eventually grew to enjoy that, and while he did that, I worked on getting his clothes off, which wasn't difficult since he's been wearing the same clothes for SO long! I took off my shoes and pantyhose, and soon we were both completely naked. This was also the first time I saw my new form naked. I looked a lot smoother and curvier than my male form, but I still like that form a little more. "Well, I don't look half bad."
"You certainly don't." He breathed out with a shuddering breath as he gently led me to the bed. "Now...you'll have to forgive me...I'm not...and I haven't heard..."
"Just go by instinct, I suppose." I told him while his hand on my back felt like the best kind of fire, sending a thrill of pleasure between my legs. "Ah, well...this...is a lot more sensitive. I'll give it that. Either that, or perhaps I'm just not used to it."
"Let's remedy that, shall we, My Dear?"
I swallowed a thick lump in my throat as he carefully laid me down onto the bed, and there was a gentle look in his eyes that had only been a flash here and there before. "Wh-Why are you looking at me like that?"
"Like what?" He asked and there was a hint of fear in his eyes now.
'Fear of what?' I thought quickly before answering, "Like I'm...well...like I'm the most important thing in the world."
"Well...you ARE my Best Friend." He stated before bending down to kiss my collar bone, which ended up pulling out a moan from me, and at that, I could feel his lips curl into a smile before he continued to gently kiss, suck, and ever so slightly bite along my collar bone, in the middle of my collar bones, and then he seemed to have a better idea, because he kissed between my breasts, bringing one hand to gently massage one of them.
"A-Angel..." I whispered out, because the pleasure wouldn't let me go any higher with my voice. I could feel myself getting wet. I wasn't coming...not yet...but I was getting wet. It was strange.
"What is it?" He asked before placing his mouth over my nipple while the other hand continued to massage.
"I-I'm s-sensitive, I...it...I'm...wet...I..." I needed friction. I needed him, but I couldn't voice it, because all that was coming out was incoherent gasps while my hips twisted of their own accord in pleasure, due to the Hellfire heat that pooled there.
Thankfully, I didn't have to say much more, because he started going further down, but the cruel bastard took his time, kissing every inch of my smooth flat stomach, giving a devoted bite at my sides that sent spirals of sweet heat through the rest of my body. It was nearly making me dizzy with how different this was. There was also the fact that he's never kissed my body like this, and his hands were caressing my hips as if they were made of the most fragile glass and the most valuable first edition book that he's only JUST managed to get his hands on. "Here?" He asked as if I really needed to clarify, but before I could smart off, I felt his tongue lick a slow stripe between the folds, causing me to buck up into him, moaning loudly while grabbing the sheets.
"Y-Yeah!" I huffed out in a panting gasp, nodding my head frantically. "Th-There! J-Just a tad more gentle though. S-Sensitive." He did as I asked perfectly, and eventually his tongue ran over something that sent a bolt of lightning up my spine only for it to go back down just as fast. "Th-There! W-With y-your t-tongue!" I panted, clutching a hand in vain at my core. Once he started to keep licking that spot, my eyes closed and remained that way as the moans tumbled out of my mouth accompanied with gasps and pants that sounded suspiciously like his name. That went on for a good, blessed, and pleasurable thirty minutes, and my legs were shaking into jelly.
"You're very wet, My Dear, and becoming more so. Do you have any idea when you might be close?"
"I..." My voice cracked as my brain tried to tell me communication wasn't an option at the moment. However, it did provide one helpful word. So, with a lift of my hips, I breathed out, "F-Finger."
He nodded his head and without hesitation or a second thought, plunged his middle finger into me, relieving some of the pressure, but also causing MORE pleasure. I didn't know how it was possible, but it was. It's been like this before when I had the male parts and he would hit everything JUST RIGHT, and lick and suck everything in the most perfect way, but usually if he stopped, so did the pleasure or it merely ebbed down a bit, but this was fucking relentless! If he stopped, it left me wanting immediately! Then, he started to thrust in and out with his finger, and it was good! It was extremely good! However, something in me told me that there was a spot in here just like there was a spot in my male form, and right as I was about to say something about it, he curled his finger and adjusted his angle before thrusting forward, sending me screaming in pleasure. Was I screaming his name? Was I screaming for more? I don't know and don't care, because I saw whole galaxies in front of me just before the warmth in between my legs exploded like a supernova crashing into another supernova. "That..." Aziraphale breathed out as sound slowly started to come back to me in warbles. "...I believe was you coming."
"I...I can do it again." I panted, and saw how he nodded, before pressing himself into me with his cock. It was huge, comparably, it was hot, it was getting soaked by me, and it made an obscene sound along with his moaning when he started to move. "F-Faster, A-Aziraphale!"
"As you wish, My Dear." He did as I asked, hitting that same supernova inducing spot over and over again. "Oh, you're so Good, Crowley, My Dear." He eventually told me after a while of his low deep moaning that kept bringing me closer to the edge faster and faster. "You feel so hot and wet around me, Crowley. I-I'm getting so close. Your noises were so beautiful!"
"P-Please, 'Zira!" I begged, because I could feel it increasing with every rock of his strong yet soft hips that were pounding into me, and apparently the 'please' was the ticket, because he gave one last heavy thrust inside, crying out my name spilling inside me with his head tilted back while I came at the same time. He was a vision, and it was just another small reminder of just how far gone in love with him I am, which is why we HAD to stop the Apocalypse. When he was finished, he got off of me and moved to the side of the bed, where I then turned to lay on his chest, miracling away the mess, now that it wasn't going to be monitored. "That was..."
"Yes, I'd have to agree." He chuckled low as he, for the first time ever, rubbed gentle circles on MY back. It was soothing and nearly hypnotizing as it held sparks of emotions I could name and some that I couldn't, but I was too lost in the fact that his large soft hands were rubbing on my back as if he were trying to memorize what it felt like. "Crowley, My Dear?"
"Yes, Dove?" I asked as I miracled us both into night clothes and the blanket on top of us.
"Do you really think this will work?"
"It has to, Angel."
"That's not what I asked, Crowley."
"I know." I sighed as I listened to his heartbeat that he didn't need, but he kept it going to help me fall asleep. "I hope it does. There's no harm in trying."
"Actually there's quite a bit of harm in trying."
"Figure of speech, Angel." I groaned as I draped my arm over the buttoned up sapphire blue silk nightshirt I gave him. "At least we can walk away...ish...knowing we at least tried to do something to keep the world from ending. I mean...there's a lot of reasons I don't want to see this world go."
"Oh?" He asked, turning his head to face me, so I leaned back and up to look at him. There was worry in his eyes, kindness, and doubt. "What would you miss?"
"The traffic. I'll miss weaving in and out of traffic, frightening poor stupid pedestrians." I told him as straight faced as I could, but the small amused smile that appeared on his face, quickly accompanied by a hard nudge from his knee told me I hadn't succeeded. "All right." I chuckled out before answering again. "Well, I suppose...if my side wins, there'll be no Heaven, so no stars, no light that doesn't come from fire, and there will be no...heart...in the world anymore. The joy, the ambition, the mystery, the mischief, the wonder, the fun, the endless amount of optimism no matter what, and most importantly, I wouldn't have my Best Friend who's been there with me for six thousand years."
"M-ME!? What about your stars!?"
"As much as I'm sure they'll want to, that's the one thing I know not even Lucifer can destroy. Not with how I made them. The only two beings that could destroy them, even now, are me and God. So, what would you miss?"
"The music, wine, and food. I would of course miss the books, but I have all of those memorized with how often I've read them. Oh, but I do suppose I'll miss how they smell, and I suppose...I'd miss you a great deal as well."
"Ah...right...no more sex."
"Well, I imagine it might be a great deal simpler if that were the case, Crowley." He gave me a kiss on my forehead before leaning back into the pillows to close his eyes. "Goodnight, My Dear."
'Wh-What the Heaven was that about!?' I blinked at him a few times, but then I had an idea. "Say, Angel, I'm going to go out into the living room for a bit if you don't mind."
"Do as you like, Crowley. We'll be living here for eleven years. It's not like I'm going to say where you can and can't go in our cottage."
"Ngk! O-Okay." I nodded as I slid out of bed. 'OUR cottage...wouldn't that be something if it were real...' I quickly shook my head and headed for the living room. Once comfortable on the couch I took out my journal.
God, I know I should've written to you sooner, but I was given the Antichrist! I don't want this world to end! Please, answer me!
I waited and waited and waited. Eventually I waited all the way to three hours. That's not like Her. It was NEVER like Her no matter what. If I wasn't to know something about her plans, she would just tell me and I'd be pissed, but she'd tell me she COULDN'T and WOULDN'T tell me. This isn't like her.
Are you there? Fine, I won't ask or mention the Apocalypse...um...just...tell me how your day has been.
Again I waited, and again I received nothing. This was strange. All I had left to do was just wait for her reply, and I have no idea when that might be.
Chapter 14: Confessions and Swaps
"There is no OUR side, Crowley! Not anymore! It's over!" He shouted at me under the bandstand, and here I thought I knew pain from being in Hell's torture chamber. I thought I knew pain for the six thousand years I have loved him, but could never tell him. I thought I knew pain when I was sent to Hell. I thought I knew pain when the day the two of us living together came to an end. I thought I knew pain, but this, this was horrible, because SIX THOUSAND YEARS and most of it was spent in the company of one another and in each other's embrace, but he can just...throw it away! I was so hurt, I couldn't even say anything to fight back.
I walked away, but quickly turned back saying, "Have a nice Doom's Day." I got into my car and immediately headed back to my flat. Once inside, I realized the worst part about that fight. I couldn't blame him. He was likely just scared. After a drive to my flat, I couldn't make myself believe he really felt like that. He's always called me his Best Friend, and he was always so scared for me with the whole Holy Water thing. There's no way he meant it. Even if he did though...I couldn't blame him and I still love him.
Knowing I should probably go somewhere, I went to a globe and spun it a bit. "Where should I go?" I took spun the globe with a look of feigned interest on my face. "England's out." I remarked before I removed the globe itself off of its stand to inspect it closely, knowing it would all be in vain. "America's out." I stated as I hovered the globe in between my hands, spinning it slowly. "Atlantis! Didn't exist yesterday. It exists today. Still out." With that, I sent the globe to float by itself in the middle of the air as I moved to a book shelf.
I grabbed a book called, 'The Extremely Big Book of Astronomy' and slammed it onto the desk, opening it with no real want to leave Earth or Aziraphale. "The Moon! No atmosphere. No nightlife." I used my powers to summon the pages from the book, causing them to float around me like the stars had in the beginning of the universe, but it just wasn't the same. "Alpha Centauri! That's always nice this time of year." I remarked sarcastically before noticing a Nebula that I helped a great deal with. "BEAUTIFUL Nebula! I helped build that one." Not wanting to look at any of them anymore, I clutched the throne tightly, looking up to the ceiling. "I only ever asked questions! That's all it took to be a demon in the old days!" I had questions, she knew that, and I've asked plenty since then, but still! I HAD asked questions about the humans about Lucifer's anger, and about things I probably shouldn't have, but it still hurt like Hell. Ever since I was given the Antichrist, I hadn't heard from her at all! "Great Plan? God you listening? Show me a Great Plan!" When I didn't get an answer, I let out a slight groan of agitation and frustration. "Okay, I know, you're testing them. You said you were going to be testing them...but you shouldn't test them to destruction!" I looked at the floating globe, not knowing what in the world she was thinking. "Not to the end of the world!" I spat as I hit the globe, only for it to float back once more.
Eventually, somehow, Hell found out it was my fault and they were likely going to go after Aziraphale too. I couldn't let that happen. So, I quickly got everything together and set a Holy Water trap. It worked, but it only got Ligur. I had to trap Hastur. However, right as I was beginning to head to Aziraphale's bookshop, I had to actually pull over, because the world stopped for me. My body went cold, my heart was ripped out, my soul was MOURNING, my grace felt more hollow than it had ever felt, and the world suddenly seemed so damn small. Smaller than a marble, because the one thing in the world that made it so grand, big, wonderful and colorful...was gone. It was like Aziraphale said. Something snapped. I lost him. He's gone. NO! Faster than I had ever gone before, and completely ignoring if I hit anyone at all, I weaved in and out of traffic. I tried to call him, but he didn't answer. However, much to my horror, I found out why. The bookshop was in flames. It was the burning of Alexandria all over again, except these had supernatural flames. I couldn't tell from where exactly, but I could tell they weren't mortal, which sent me into a panic as I practically flew out of my car.
"Are you the owner of this establishment!?" A fireman called out
"Do I look like I own a bookshop!" I spat back before snapping my fingers to open the flaming doors, then I snapped them again to close the doors behind me. "Aziraphale!" There was no answer and the heat was rising while my heart was dropping. "Aziraphale! Where the Heaven are you, you idiot!? I can't find you!" For the first time ever I couldn't find him and it was killing me on the inside. The hollow place that he had filled for six thousand years, even while we were separated from each other, was ripping open like a black hole. I looked around to see if perhaps I could find a body, but I didn't. I couldn't even smell any blood, and Aziraphale would NEVER let a single book so much as gain a smudge! "Aziraphale! For God's..." Couldn't get caught saying that. "...for Satan's..." Never really felt like I could do anything for his sake. "AH for SOMEBODY'S SAKE WHERE ARE YOU!?" As I was screaming at the top of my lungs, a fire hose started, knocking me on my back onto the floor, and no matter how much I may have wanted to hold them back, the tears fell freely, because the horrible truth hit me. He was gone, I couldn't protect him, the world was ending without him in it, and the last thing I said to him was that I would go off to the stars and wouldn't think of him. "You've gone! Somebody's killed my best friend! You BASTARDS! All of you!"
As the flames burned around me, I saw a book nearby. 'The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter'. It had a few scorches, but not too many, so I picked it up, put it inside my jacket pocket, which was huge, and walked out the door with 'Somebody to Love' blaring from my car. Damn sentient thing. I took off my broken glasses and looked ahead. "I shouldn't litter should I? I mean, I probably should, I'm a demon after all, but nobody's really keeping score anymore." I tossed them to the ground, and got in my car, fresh hot tears running down my face as guilt, sorrow, and misery became my new heart, grace, and soul. Not wanting to be seen crying, though, I took out a spare set of sunglasses and put them on my face. Not that it would help much, or really matter, but I did it anyway, and since there was nothing else in the world for me to care about, I was going to get drunk until it all turned to a puddle of goo. Stopping the end of the world doesn't matter to me anymore if the one person I was trying to stop it for isn't alive anymore.
After, I don't know how many glasses, the man behind the bar just brought me the whole bottle, and I couldn't keep myself from talking in a drunken stupor. "I never asked to be a demon." I didn't. "I was just minding my own business one day and then...oh lookie here! It's Lucifer and the guys!" Well, his guys, the true traitors. "Okay! The food hadn't been that great lately...and I didn't have anything on for the rest of that afternoon, and then...next thing...I'm doing a...million light-year freestyle dive into a pool of boiling sulfur!" I was about to twist the cap off, when a clap of thunder, similar to the one that sounded when Aziraphale and I were on the wall together, and I couldn't believe my eyes. I HAD to be TRULY drunk and gone for what I saw in front of me. "Aziraphale." My heart and mouth whispered out as something akin to hope started my grace back up again. "Are you here!?" I asked skeptically as I raised my glasses, because he was sort of transparent. Here, but not here.
"Good question." His voice sounded, and I nearly cried tears of joy at the sound I never thought I'd hear again. "Not certain. Never done this before. I'm afraid I've rather made a mess of things." He seemed to hesitate in wanting to say what it was before he spoke again, but I didn't care, he was here...ish. "Did you go to Alpha Centauri?"
"No...changed my mind. Stuff happened. I lost my Best Friend." The tears almost spilled over, because he was here. I was talking to him. I could sort of see him and I could hear him as clear as a bell.
"I'm so sorry to hear it." For some reason he looked as if he was guilt ridden, but before I could ask about it he spoke again. "Listen, back in my bookshop there's a book I need you to get."
Oh no. "Oh...look, your bookshop isn't there anymore."
"I'm really sorry. It burned down."
"All of it?"
I stammered a bit, not wanting to answer him, because I thought he was gone, and I got him back, but now he had no home. All of his precious books burned to dust and ash. "Yeah. Wh-What was the book?"
"The one the young lady with the bicycle left behind. The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of-"
Seriously!? "-Agnes Nutter!" I shouted, not giving a damn who heard me, because I save the one book he needed! "YES! I took it!"
"You have it!?"
"Look inside! I made notes. It's all in there. The boy's name...address...everything else. I worked it all out."
"Look, wherever you are, I'll come to you, where are you?"
"I'm not really anywhere yet! I've been discorporated."
"Oh..." That explained it.
"You need to get to Tadfield Airbase."
"World ending. That's where it's all going to happen. Quite soon now. I'll head there too. I just need to find a receptive body. Harder than you think."
"Oh, I'm not gonna go there."
"I do need a body. Pity I can't inhabit yours."
"Angel, Demon, probably explode."
"Blehh..." I let out, because that wasn't all necessarily true, but he didn't need to know that.
"So, I'll meet you at Tadfield, but we're both gonna have to get a bit of a wiggle-on."
"I heard that, it was the 'wiggle-on'!" He disappeared completely, leaving me in the bar, but life was worth living again, so I was going to do whatever he asked of me. I was going to do whatever he needed me to do to help him stop the end of the world, because he was alive! ish...and after this is over, if it ends like we both want it to, I'll give up and I'll tell him, because I can't ever lose him again and him not know. He has to. Even if he can't know me completely, I can at least tell him my feelings. I'm not going to waste this second chance.
Eventually, everything worked out. I got to discorporate Hastur as I drove through infernal fire, met up with Aziraphale who was possessing a kind lady that I actually knew surprisingly enough, and the Antichrist gave Aziraphale his body back. After that, the boy stopped Armageddon altogether with his friends as they got rid of the four horsemen, but unfortunately, that pissed off Gabriel and Beelzebub, so the Prince of Hell told Lucifer, and he showed up. Aziraphale threatened to never talk to me again, and I couldn't have that if I was going to tell him how I felt, so I stopped time and created a temporary pocket universe set all they way back to the time of the Garden, but we were in the sands outside of it, the Garden no where to be seen, and I could FEEL Aziraphale questioning how I did that, but I couldn't answer that. We both gave Adam a bit of a pep talk, and he told off Lucifer, dissolving him into nothing but puffs of smoke, making his earthly father appear.
Now, we had gotten off of the bus that had a rather confused bus driver, and now we were in my flat, sitting on my couch in my living area. Aziraphale was quiet for the whole ride, and I could actually feel guilt, shame, wonder, fear, and anxiousness pouring off of him in waves, and I had wondered if he'd speak at all after the bench conversation, but apparently I didn't have to wonder any longer, because I heard a choked sob escape him. "Aziraphale!? What's wrong?" I asked him as I quickly took my glasses off to look at him as he was hunched over, eyes and face facing the floor.
"Oh...Crowley..." He shook his head as his shoulders began to tremble. "I...at the bandstand...I said horrible things. Things...I should've never said. Then, I asked for your help as if I had a right to it. As if I expected you to help. As if I...well...as if I didn't say those things, but I said them, and they're complete lies. More than you realize. I...I'm almost certain, with Agnes Nutter's prophecy...that Hell will sentence you to Holy Water and Heaven will sentence me to Hellfire, so...I don't...I don't think I could go w-without telling you something I should've told you, a-and I'm terrified."
My eyes widened a great deal as I watched and heard huge globs of tears fall, tip-tapping onto my floor while he tried to keep the sobbing noises to a minimum. "More terrified than Hellfire?"
"Yes." He whispered out. "Infinitely so, because Hellfire...I know what's going to happen. It will destroy me completely and instantly. This? I...I believe I'll lose everything...and it's why I had never told you about it. I couldn't risk it. Wouldn't risk it, rather, but I...I can't NOT say anything. Not when I-I've...Do you remember...all those years ago wh-when I um...started lusting after you, but neither of us could figure out...why?"
"Yes." I swallowed a thick lump in my throat, because I had just gotten everything back and now I was going to lose it in one go. Even if we did survive our 'trials', it was going to be the end, because it sounds like he's figured it out, and now...it would be the end of it. The end of sleeping next to him, of his warmth, of his smile...but I was going to let him finish.
"I...I figured it out."
"1941." He answered simply, causing my eyes to widen even further, because that was the one year that I could never figure out. That's when something important changed and this was it.
"All right." I breathed out as I gently brought my hand to the right side of his cheek so that I could have him look at me when he tells me. He moved without much effort, but the tears were endless, making his eyes gleam and shine in the saddest way possible. "So, what is it you lusted after me for."
He let out a choked sob of laughter as he shook his head, using both of his hands to take my one hand away from his face, giving it a gentle kiss on the palm before looking back at me. "That's the issue, My Dear, and likely why you could never sense my Lust. It's because I never lusted after you at all."
Everything in me was confused and hurt, but his eyes were begging me to ask something. "S-So...if not Lust..."
"Please, try and think, Crowley." He pleaded with desperate eyes. "You're a demon. If you couldn't sense Lust, what else could it have been that would have me eager to see you, eager to lie in bed with you, to have sex with you, to be there for you, to stop Armageddon for you...if not Lust, what could drive a person to do incredible, dangerous, ridiculous things? What could possibly drive an angel to turn against Heaven?"
"So you DO know what I'm talking about?" He asked carefully, as if the question could shatter.
"I...it...if not Lust...then...you...but I...and you...you love me?"
"Wholly and completely, I'm afraid." He let go of my hand, and I was completely motionless from how stunned I was. "When...when you saved my books, already having risked your life walking onto consecrated ground, you...you used a miracle to save them, and you gave them to me as if it was the simplest thing. You saved them for me. You didn't save them so I wouldn't fuss about them, you saved them, because you knew they mattered to me, and when you did that, I...it was like a flash of all of the times we spent together at once. I realized...I had been in love with you since Eden. I've just been in heavy denial about it and quite obtuse. All I could think at that moment was, 'I love him, I love him, I love him.' It sounds a bit ridiculous to realize that over a saved bag of books, but I suppose it was the straw that broke the camel's back as it were." He turned to look up at me, and apparently saw the slack jawed expression on my face, which caused him to whimper. "Look, I know...I've suspected...that you might not feel the same, but I-"
"I love you too." I rushed to say, being brought out of my stupid stupor. "I've love you since I FIRST saw you in the Garden. Since I saw you on the wall of the Eastern gate and I asked God who you were. She told me and I...I had always felt hollow, there was a hollow place in me, but then I saw you and it was filled with your shape. God knew it too. She knew I loved you. She teased me about it, even. Said it was love at first sight like from the books I would read in her library. I've loved you, and it never stopped even after going to Hell. I loved you. Oh, how I loved you. If I had known your eyes before I helped create the universe, I would've modeled stars after them. I would've made made entire suns that would still not shine with as much passion as your soul, but I would try. Oh, if I had known how to make a Nebula from the way the moonlight shines on your hair and pale skin, I would've made at least a thousand! You've no idea! Your kindness, your graciousness, your compassion, your determination, your smugness, your mischievousness, your wit, your intelligence, the way you just know me! I...I've known. I've known since the Garden, at the very least, since I left the Garden after Adam and Eve left. It just wouldn't stop though. I KEPT falling in love with you, and falling had never felt so amazing, Aziraphale! I ALWAYS came SO close to just blurting out my feelings to you, and I had wanted to, but I also kept them in, because of who and what I am, but when I thought I lost you. My Best Friend...when I thought you had completely died...I felt that snapping feeling, Aziraphale, and I couldn't find you. For the first time ever I couldn't find you or sense you...and then I saw you...I swore I would tell you, but you've beat me to it. You've no idea the depths of how much I love you, and I know this is all incredibly sappy even for me, but if it will get rid of your horrendously stupid notion of me not loving you, out of your head, then it's worth it!"
"Cr-Crowley!" He stuttered out, clutching a hand to his shirt over his chest, as he seemingly became breathless with fresh new tears that were entirely the opposite of the other ones that had fallen.
"I love you." I told him as I leaned closer to his lips. "I love you so much, Aziraphale. My angel. My Dove. My love. My reason. I love you with absolutely all that I am." My heart, grace, and soul laid bare, I gently pressed my lips to his, and that's when everything around us started to shift. We weren't either here nor there, we were in the Ether, which was a bad thing for me, because that meant he would see what I was in the very beginning with all my darkness, but I still stayed with him as best I could. I could feel that in the physical world we were kissing, but our essences were not, we were mingling with one another, it was as if we were making love with our grace. It was pleasurable, it was sensual, it was as if we were becoming Nebulae with feelings that were no longer bound to the simple notion of the word, feeling, but an entirely new thing that could only be felt by us and us alone. His light, his joy, his mirth, his every positive and negative feeling became one with my own, which meant that mine became one with his. If I were to feel this much pleasure out in the real world, I would've come so many times, I would never be able to do it again. It was everything and it was nothing, it was love and it was hate, it was good and it was evil, it was light and it was dark, it was pleasure and it was pain, it was joy and it was sorrow, it was...completely and utterly Insufferably Ineffable.
Soon, there was another shift, throwing Aziraphale and I back into the real world, but we weren't exactly where we had been. When I opened my eyes, I was no longer sitting where I was, but where Aziraphale had been, and I was looking back at myself. "Crowley!?" My mouth said with a shocked expression, but somehow I knew it was Aziraphale in there.
"Aziraphale?" I asked, just to make sure.
"W-We...you...wh-what just happened!?" I watched as Aziraphale examined my body that he was now in somehow, causing me to want to do the same. I felt so warm and soft all over. I was in Aziraphale's body and he was in mine. With that in mind, I remembered the prophecy.
"HA!" I shouted with Aziraphale's voice, which felt weird, but I ignored it for now. "Aziraphale! Don't you see! This is how we're going to get past our trials! Holy Water will do absolutely nothing to you, and Hellfire will do nothing to me! Us! We! Our essences...we switched bodies! And..." I reached out to him, but when I tried to feel his aura, I felt it come from the body I was in. "Our auras have switched as well! They won't recognize us! We're going to live, Aziraphale! You're going to live through Hellfire! I'll stand in Hellfire for you, I'll go to Heaven and I'll trick them just as you'll take a bath for me and trick Hell! This is going to work!"
"I completely agree!" He laughed out, but then he wore a calculative expression. "But will we be able to change back? Not that I don't like being in your body, it's certainly interesting, but um...I like MY body a lot more."
"Right...um...let's try something simple." I held out my hand to him, ready to shake his hand, but we weren't actually going to shake hands. "Just focus on everything we just felt."
"That's quite a lot."
"I know." I laughed out, because my relief, giddiness, and pure joy at the fact that not only did he love me too, but that we would both live after this...it was all almost too much. He took my hand and we both focused at the same time, closing our eyes. When I opened my eyes again, I was looking at Aziraphale. "IT WORKED!" I shouted before I tackled him to the couch, peppering his cheeks and his neck with excited and overjoyed kisses. "Aziraphale!" I shot up, letting my wings out as I flew around my flat in one circle, before landing in front of the couch again. "Aziraphale, if we do this, Heaven and Hell will be too terrified to do anything to us anymore! We'll truly be on our own side! Just you and me! We won't be theirs anymore! We won't be limited! No more looking over our shoulders, no more...'my side wouldn't like that', no more commendations, no more torture, no more rude notes, no more secrets, no more special spots to meet, we'll have the world, Aziraphale!"
As I waited for him to say something, I noticed he was looking just behind me. "Y-Your wings." He stuttered out as he pointed.
I turned my head to look at my wings with a furrowed brow, and my eyes widened in shock when I saw that they were still the same shape, but on the inside, it was filled with swirling galaxies, painted Nebulae, and glittering stars. When I would move my wings, so would the scenery on my wings. It was etched into every feather, and it was incredible. I put my wings back and looked at Aziraphale with curious eyes. "Angel, let yours out." He did as I asked and I couldn't help the giddy squeak that left me. "We're the same! Yours are like mine!"
He brought a wing to the front of him and stared at it in awe for about twenty minutes before a look of realization hit him, which caused him to put it back. "Crowley...earlier...you may have slipped up, but you said that you've been in God's library."
"Ah...yeah...um..." I started to rub the back of my neck, unsure of how to avoid this one, not sure if I wanted to either.
"And...what I saw in the Ether...you...Crowley, I need you to be completely honest with me. What are you, EXACTLY?"
"I um...Can I tell you AFTER we survive our trials? Ask me again once we're back at the bookshop after the trials. I'll answer you honestly then, okay?" I meant it. He deserved to know, and after what we experienced in the Ether, I had no doubt in my mind he would accept me.
"You better." He breathed out. "Now, I suppose we should practice being each other."
"Yeah, won't get far if you're acting all prim and proper in Hell."
"And you won't get anywhere if you keep swaggering." The mischievous glint in his eyes told me that he didn't mind my swagger, and that perhaps we would have fun before our trials, but practice was important. I just hope that they fall for it. They should, but still...
Chapter 15: The Ritz
"To the world." I toasted.
"To the world." He replied, and I could hear every ounce of, 'To you, my dear, my world.' We tapped our glasses together, took our sips, set them down and he spoke once again. "You know, I did have quite a bit of fun being you. It was terrifying, but it was incredible. I do have to ask though...they said one of your crimes was...killing a demon with Holy Water?"
"Yes, I told you, I needed insurance." I answered as I looked into my champagne glass. "Is that a problem? I promise I was careful. It got Ligur, so unfortunately I had to deal with Hastur in other ways, but..."
"No, not a problem at all. I'm glad you used it."
"Hey, Angel." I looked at him and he looked at me with a risen brow. "We're free. We can love each other now."
"W-We...we can love each other now." He repeated as if confirming and I nodded my head.
"Yes, and I love you, Angel." I leaned over and kissed him on the lips, bringing a hand up to the side of his face, but our kiss was quickly interrupted as we heard a metal tray clang to the floor. I looked at who it was and what happened, and it was our usual waiter who had just poured our champagne. Before I could ask him what was wrong, he ran off in another direction shouting, "Sarah! It finally happened! They finally kissed! Mr. Crowley kissed Mr. Fell!"
"WHAT!? ARE YOU SERIOUS!?" A woman's voice shouted with pure joy, and the other customers of the Ritz were surprisingly not paying attention to them.
"Wait a minute..." I started, but then both Aziraphale and I started laughing. "They were waiting on us!?"
"It s-seems so, My Dear! Apparently they were more obvious to it than we were."
"Yes, so it seems." I told him as my laughter died down to a fond chuckle, but then I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the manager of the Ritz along with two waitresses and two waiters were trying to spy through an archway, unsuccessfully remaining hidden. It somewhat reminded me of everything that's happened, of all of the years he and I had spent together, looking over our shoulders, but now we didn't have to anymore. He confessed, and then I did, and we're finally free, but...there's just one more thing that would make it even more perfect. So, I conjured a quick miracle before getting up from my chair.
"Crowley? What are you doing?" He asked, but I just smiled at him as I got down on one knee, placing both my hands on the knee that was pointing up as I looked up at him with as much love as I could physically put into an expression, which then made the entirety of the Ritz go instantly quiet while Aziraphale's eyes widened with realization as he gripped his shirt in the middle of his chest.
"Aziraphale, you and I, we met in a Garden, one unlike any other, and I knew the moment I saw you and the moment that you selflessly gave away something important to you to an expecting couple, that I wanted to always make you smile. I wanted to know you, I wanted to protect that smile, I wanted to ease your worries, I wanted to make you happy as much as I could as well as I was able, and I wanted to be around you. You and I, we've been through much together. We've been through storms, flood, tragedy, fires, and sometimes it's felt like it was the end of the world, but we've gotten through it. We've gotten through it together despite our fair share of fights and arguments, and I'm amazed! However, it also helps me realize that I don't just want to be your Best Friend anymore. I want to hear you go on and on about the things you like and all the books you've read, I want to see your beautiful angelic smile for the rest of my life and I want to always be the reason for it, I want to hear your laugh that always makes my heart skip a beat or two or several, I want to smell hot cocoa, tea, and old books from your bookshop for the rest of forever, I want to feel the warmth of your embrace every night and every morning until there are no more sunsets or sunrises, I want to taste the amount of love and happiness in the air that I've always associated with you when good things happen...when the best things...the most ineffable things happen, I want my life to revolve around you like the Earth revolves around the sun. I want to be there with you forever...for every Insufferable and Ineffable moment until the stars themselves no longer exist." I reached into my breast pocket and pulled out a black box, opening it up to him, revealing a silver ring with a silver snake wrapping around it, the tail wrapping around the black diamond that I infused some stardust into, and the head of the snake rested on one side of the diamond. "Aziraphale, my Angel, will you marry me?"
"Y-Yes!" He squeaked out as he frantically nodded his head while tears streamed down his cheeks. "Yes, Crowley! Oh God, I'll marry you everyday if you want!" I placed the ring on his left ring finger before I jumped up and kissed him with my own tears escaping while the Ritz erupted into cheers, applauds, and a few women hitting their husbands, asking why they couldn't be as romantic as I was. When the kiss was over, I wiped his tears and he wiped mine. "Oh, my dear...I h-hadn't expected that. I love you so very much."
"I want you to know..." I told him before sitting down. "...I meant every word and that ring...I infused it with stardust." His eyes widened as he looked down at the ring, getting a better look at it. Once he realized I was telling the truth, he quickly looked up at me, but before he could say anything, I saw out of the corner of my eye, the wait staff exchanging money. "Hold on...Ethan...what's going on?"
Our waiter came over after receiving A LOT of money and he let out a soft chuckle. "We placed bets a long time ago, when the two of you started coming here more and more. The bets were, who would kiss who, who would confess, and who would propose. The confession didn't happen here so there's that, but Sarah, me, James, and Emily won the kiss, while Eric, Nathan, and veronica won the proposal. We've all seen how you, Mr. Crowley, look at him when he's not looking, and we've seen you do the same, Mr. Fell. We're happy for you both."
"Yes." The manager spoke as he came forward. "And I've been sucked dry of my money, because I thought one of my wait staff would crack and tell you two to kiss already. Don't worry about the bill tonight, gentlemen. Your meal is on us tonight. Congratulations to the both of you." The waitstaff walked away, and the chattering of the Ritz went back to its normal chatter.
"Crowley..." He started and I knew the question that was coming. "...Stardust...that's Heavenly. You shouldn't be able to do that anymore."
"I'll explain when we're back at your bookshop. Like I said yesterday."
"So...this has to do with what you are?"
"Yes." I nodded, and we enjoyed the rest of our food.
Eventually we made it back to his bookshop, but I felt something wrong. "Crowley? What's wrong?" I reached out and my eyes widened in panic as I realized what I felt, and I rushed up the stairs to Aziraphale's room. "CROWLEY!?"
"Come on, Angel! She needs our help!" I cried out. Once we were both in his room, I rushed to the bed where she was laying, bleeding golden blood, scarred, beaten, torn, ripped, mauled, and just...tortured.
"Th-That's Yvette, b-but HOW!? And why is she bleeding golden blood!?" Aziraphale questioned desperately as he swiftly made it to my side.
"Her real name isn't Yvette and she's not human. Far from it." I answered as I took in the sight of her. She was breathing heavily with her head on Aziraphale's pillows, clutching her stomach in pain and her eyes were screwed shut in agony. "Who did this to you?" I asked her as I moved some of her hair out of her face.
"U-Us?" Aziraphale questioned.
"No." I shook my head. "She'd never call us traitors, would you?" I asked her.
"No...I...would n-never...call...you that." She hissed out before letting out a groan of pain. "L-Least o-of a-all you."
"Crowley! Who is this woman!?" Aziraphale asked with pure concern and confusion in his voice. "How did she get in here!? I've warded it against angels and demons, so that while I'm away no one comes in."
"I'll answer you after I heal her. I'm afraid you won't be able to. I'm sorry, but you're more than welcome to being in here with us." He nodded his head, taking a seat in the chair that was on the left side of the bed while I sat at the foot of the same side of the bed, looking at how torn her dress was. "You said traitors. Who?"
"S-Sandalphon a-and Metatron. Th-They got L-Lucifer's highest d-demons, o-other than you...a-and Lucifer h-himself t-to come and k-kidnap me before the Antichrist was conceived. I-It was a s-surprise attack. I've been...in...Lucifer's PERSONAL torture ch-chamber."
"So...she was someone important in Heaven." Aziraphale concluded, but I wasn't going to tell him anything. Not unless she said to and not until after I figure out everything.
"That's why you didn't answer me when I wrote to you. That's why you didn't answer me when I called out to you. You couldn't. I knew something wasn't right." I shook my head as I started healing her wounds, reversing time on the blood, making the blood go back inside of her, making for a rather confused and dumbfounded Aziraphale. It took about an hour, but I was eventually able to get all of the wounds. Some of them were going to be stubborn, but I used my own power, the one that was so similar to hers, and she was eventually healed of her wounds, but the exhaustion she suffered from getting them was still evident. She would still be sore, but she wouldn't be in as much pain.
"Aziraphale." She grunted out as she tried to sit up. I helped her the rest of the way, earning a silent pat on my arm as thanks before I sat back down on the bed.
"You don't know who I am?" She questioned with an amused glint in her eyes.
"No. I mean, well, you had introduced yourself as Yvette LONG ago, so I find it rather impossible that you're here, but then you mentioned Sandalphon and Metatron, which means your someone from Heaven. Someone important."
"Hmm..." She nodded her head at him before she turned to look at me with sympathetic eyes, but then her gaze quickly widened as it looked back at Aziraphale's left hand, then it returned to me. "You...you finally told him how you feel?"
"I did. He confessed first if you can believe it, but yes. I told him and we just got back from the Ritz after celebrating tricking Heaven and Hell. They sentenced us to complete obliteration. Me to Holy Water and him to Hellfire. We stopped Armageddon, well...we helped the Antichrist stop it, but then we swapped bodies. I stood in Hellfire for him where Gabriel told him to shut his stupid mouth and die already and he took a Holy Water bath for me."
"Crowley! Why would you tell her that!?" Aziraphale squeaked out in a panicked state, and really, I couldn't blame him.
"I would've loved to see that." She laughed carefully, obviously still sore. "So, you proposed. Good for you. Did you tell him what you are?"
"Ah, well...I was going to, but then I sensed you in trouble up here, but if you don't tell him who you are, he's going to throw himself into an anxiety attack."
She let out a heavy sigh as she nodded her head before turning to look at Aziraphale. "Aziraphale, Angel of the Eastern Gate, Principality of Heaven, I once asked you what you did with a flaming sword I gave you and you lied directly to my face as I shone my light on you. You had just closed up the hole in the wall after the rain cleared and once Crowley...then Crawley...was long gone. You said you must've dropped it somewhere and that you'd lose your head next. Now, I don't think that's necessary, but I do believe you have a much better idea of who I am."
"Yes." She nodded her head.
"B-But...Cr-Crowley a-and I...we...we tricked Heaven and...you s-said...you told Crowley you wouldn't...that you wouldn't call him a traitor, b-but he's f-fallen!"
"He didn't really fall." She stated. "He sauntered vaguely downwards. I should know, I personally sent him. Now, this is where he tells you EXACTLY what he is."
I rolled my eyes. "Yet you have the NERVE to call ME insufferable."
"Six Thousand Years of watching you pine needlessly, Crowley. Yeah, I'd say that you're a bit insufferable. Now talk! You owe him that."
"Fine." I groaned out and I could tell that Aziraphale was shocked beyond belief, and I was only going to make it worse. I touched the mark on my head, conjuring my journal, which earned me a confused squeak from Aziraphale. I didn't hand it to him, I only held it up so he could see it. "This is how I've kept in contact with God since I fell. I would write to her and she would write back." I put my journal away before continuing. "Now, for a bible story. In the beginning there was me."
"No..." He slowly shook his head. "...in the beginning there was nothing."
"Yes." I nodded my head, taking my sunglasses off to look him in the eyes. "Hi." I waved at him. "In the beginning there was me." I repeated to clarify, and I watched as his eyes grew comically wide while he started to sway, but I caught him in time. "Right...well...remember lunch in Paris? We had Crepes...and well...the story we told you...about us crashing into each other...and exchanging things...that was true, but not in the sense that you thought. I was the nothing, but in a physical sense. I was every negative emotion that has been and ever would be, darkness, and an enigma while she was everything positive, light, and Ineffable love. We crashed into each other, giving some of ourselves to the other, separated, then exchanged powers again, and then we were both created with physical form. However, in that act, there was a silent explosion that held no light, no vibration, it just was. That's the nothing as you know it. I gave her the name Lord and she gave me the name Raphael. She wanted me to be by her side, ruling Heaven, I told her that she should do it since she started off as everything positive and that's what the universe needed. I'm God's twin brother. I'm the original darkness, the first negativity, the first tempter, the first snake, and I was sent as her spy of sorts into Hell as she disguised my aura as a demon. I was still myself, but to anyone else, I would be a demon." For a while he didn't say anything, he just stared at me. Then, he finally moved his eyes to look back and forth between God and I. "I told you." I looked at God before lowering my head in misery. "I told you he wouldn't love me. Dammit! I told-" Before I could finish my sentence, I felt my hair being yanked, forcing me to look up, then I felt Aziraphale's hand slap the side of my face so hard, I actually fell off the bed.
Scrambling back onto the bed, holding my cheek and pointedly ignoring God's snickering, I blinked up at him with a furrowed brow. "You IDIOT! WHY THE HELL WOULDN'T I LOVE YOU!?"
"Because you're you!? Because you've ALWAYS been you!? Because you're good just as I've always known you are, but in fact your even better, because you're GOD'S TWIN!? Because you're still the same being I fell in love with!? Because you haven't changed at all!? Crowley! I didn't fall in love with you for what you are, but who you are! I fell in love with your heart, your kindness, your compassion, your humor, your stubbornness, your everything! I helped stop the world for you, and if you think you being the nothing in the beginning or you being the first darkness will keep me from loving you, well...and here I thought you were supposed to be the clever one, you fucking idiot!"
"What?" I helplessly spoke, but then God started laughing and in between her laughs she would say 'ow', but she kept laughing.
"OH!" She eventually spoke. "Thank you, Aziraphale for putting him in his place! I've been trying to tell him that! Oh! Now, as much as I would love to watch the two of you fight...Aziraphale, do you really and truly still love him?"
"Yes, it was just a lot to take in, but now everything makes sense. He made an awful demon."
"Hmm..." She chuckled lightly. "Yes, I know. Crowley, will you finally let yourself be a hundred percent completely happy?" I nodded my head faster than I ever had before, looking at her and then looking at Aziraphale with a bright smile on my face. "Good! Now...down to business. Sandalphon and Metatron are not going to go unpunished, and I'm going to need the both of you to ensure that this goes smoothly, quietly, and then, when the time is right, explode brighter than a supernova. Are you ready to hear this particular plan?"
"I always love hearing about your plans." I smirked, which earned me a smack from both of them. "Oh, I'm so going to regret the two of you getting along!"
"Wait, but...we tricked Heaven and Hell...aren't you mad?"
"Oh, I'm fucking pissed, but not at the two of you. Don't worry. All will be made well." We both nodded and then she started to tell us her plan to get back at Heaven and Hell...again.
"You know, I'm starting to understand why you don't tell anyone your plans." I grumbled after she finished explaining everything.
"Oh? Why is that?" She crossed her arms, still frustrated from my points earlier in the conversation such as me being Raphael, but that made Aziraphale almost forget me, and her simple answer was, 'Oh, I can fix that.' Well, why didn't she fix it sooner!
"Because your plans are stupid." I stated matter-of-factly with a determined expression. "I don't doubt that it'll work, and even if it doesn't you can just fix it, but it's stupid. So...when do we start?"
She smirked before whispering in an Ethereal voice, "Archangel Gabriel, come to me. I am in the upper level of Aziraphale's bookshop." Almost immediately there was a lightning bolt in the farthest side of the room, closest to the window, and Gabriel appeared. He saw me on the bed, and immediately drew his sword. "Gabriel, if you so much as harm a hair on his head, I will make it to where you've never existed at all throughout history!" She quickly shouted just before the tip of the blade met me.
"But, Lord, he's a demon."
"Thank you for pointing that out, Gabriel, but if I needed to be reminded of my own creations, I would've asked Crowley here."
I watched as he put away his sword in confusion. "I do not understand, Lord. They're traitors! They're...abominations! Aziraphale survived Hellfire and from Michael told me, the demon Crowley survived a Holy Water bath."
"Did I authorize their extinction?" His eyes widened a great deal as he simply stared at her without a single sound escaping his mouth. "Did I say you could sentence Aziraphale to Hellfire?" Again no response, just staring. "Did I say that they were traitors?" Nothing again, and it was getting really difficult not to look incredibly smug. "Tell me, Gabriel, and I do fully expect you to ACTUALLY answer me this time...Am I not Judge, Jury, and Executioner?"
"Then why was Aziraphale sentenced to Hellfire and Crowley sentenced to Holy Water without my authorization? Was ANY authorization given for their execution?"
"N-No, but..." He stammered for a bit before he decided to stay silent.
"But what, Gabriel?"
"The angel Aziraphale..."
"Principality." She stated harshly, and I knew exactly why she said it that way. It was because she heard what I heard. He called Aziraphale an angel as a rank not as a species. He thought Aziraphale was a normal angel. "He is and always has been a Principality. In reality, you had absolutely no authority over him. You had no right to give him orders, you had no right to speak to him the way you ever have, and I've personally seen how you've spoken to him, but I've left it alone in the hopes that someday you would learn some humility, but that is not the case. No, instead, you've been cruel to him while being prideful and vain. He is a Principality, Gabriel. He is YOUR superior, not the other way around. Now, continue, and so help me, if you don't speak the honest truth, I will personally look into the past and see it for myself, making my judgement on you so much worse."
"J-Judgment!?" He physically paled at the word as he staggered back slightly.
"Yes, Judgment. Now, answer."
"R-Right, um...the um...Principality Aziraphale has been found to be fraternizing with the enemy. The demon Crowley. There's no telling how long the two of them had been speaking to one another, and there's no way of knowing what they've said to one another, but there were at least three pictures that Michael found, showing the two of them together. Aziraphale has lied to Heaven and Crowley has lied to Hell while they helped the Antichrist stop Armageddon. There is also...there's a suspicion that perhaps Aziraphale and Crowley have lain together like the humans do to procreate."
"Okay...and anywhere in there...were you EVER given authority or was ANYONE given authority to take my place as judge, jury, and executioner? Not only that, but was the trial an actual trial? Was he allowed to defend himself, or did you just...I don't know...tell him to shut his stupid mouth and die already?"
"L-Lord I swear I was only trying to-"
"Gabriel, you don't have an excuse that will save you, so you might really want to shut your mouth right about now." She commanded. "I know of their relationship and friendship. For your information they have been speaking since Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden. I can list millions upon millions of things the two of them have done that you and Hell would consider...crimes. However, where is it written that an Angel and a Demon can't be friends?"
"W-Well, it's just...they're the enemy!"
"Where is it written, Gabriel. Keep in mind. I should NOT have to repeat myself."
"Correct. Now, where is it written that an Angel and Demon can't lie together like the humans do?"
"It isn't written anywhere." He answered slowly.
"Correct. Now, back to the original question, why did you sentence Aziraphale to Hellfire and Crowley to Holy Water without my authorization? Who told you to do it?"
"S-Sandalphon and Metatron suggested it. Uriel and Michael agreed. I..."
"You...?" She smiled a knowing smile, but I didn't have any idea why it was there.
"I...I didn't want to sentence Aziraphale to Hellfire and I also didn't want to sentence Crowley to Holy Water."
"Why not Crowley to Holy Water? Now that you're finally being honest with me and not trying to be like Uriel, Sandalphon, and Michael. Now that you're finally being yourself."
"Because, Aziraphale is an exceptional angel. Aside from his love for nearly everything human and food and such...he was always an exceptional Angel. I've had to send strict notes for frivolous miracles, but he was always exceptional."
"Alright, and why Crowley?"
"Because he's Raphael."
I actually fell off the bed at that, but I quickly got to my feet. "HOW THE HELL DID YOU FIGURE THAT ONE OUT!?"
"Yes, I'd actually like to know that one as well." God commented with honest curiosity in her tone.
"The way he spoke when Beelzebub and I went to confront Adam, and the fact that he was able to say the word 'God' and be referring directly to you rather than taking your name in vain...only humans and angels can do that. For Demons...they just have an inability to do so without it being in vain. I then remembered what Raphael used to look like and well...the two of them were too similar. It confused me to no end, but that's exactly what I was trying to get back to...the End...so I continued trying to get back to the subject of the end. Not only that, but I could feel reverence coming from him when he said your name."
"Right...okay...so why did you come in here and immediately try and attack him?"
"Well...I was in your presence...and he's a demon."
"Fair enough." I shrugged.
"True." Aziraphale added.
"Right then. There's many more questions I'd like to ask you, but let me just make it plain and clear. Crowley was working for me in Hell this whole time. He was a...spy...of sorts. I sent him down in Hell in disguise as a demon so that I could know what goes on in Hell...but...he's still technically Archangel Raphael. I just have to rise him the rest of the way. The first time I did it...it almost didn't end well, but this time should be fine. As far as Aziraphale, he has done extremely well. He has loved the humans and humanity just as I had wanted ALL of my angels to love them. He truly has been exceptional. Now...regarding them both and their relationship, they are together romantically, and if anyone tries to interrupt that, I'll be more than a bit tetchy. Now...there's something that only YOU will get to know, because I've known the truth of your heart and grace ever since the angels fall. You've always tried to stay in line. Sometimes too far in line and it has destroyed that wonderful personality that you've had.'
"I'll say." I added. "You used to be lots of fun! Remember when we would prank Michael with your horn?"
"Yeah, I actually do!" He laughed out with a pure joyous smile.
I looked over at Aziraphale, whose jaw dropped in that moment with a bright smile. "See? He wasn't so bad. Although, I never told you that, but still..." I turned my gaze back to him. "The thing you need to know about me is...well..."
"He's not an angel or a demon." God stated and then proceeded to explain what I am.
When she was finished he stared at me just before collapsing to his knees, gaze fixed on me. "Y-You're..."
"Uh-huh." I nodded. "However, I gave the title of God to Her, so don't even think about worshiping me. I am Archangel Raphael. Remember that."
"I-I will." He nodded with a huff of laughter leaving his lips, but then he got up with a furrowed brow. "But why tell me something that important?"
"Ah, for once someone asks the right question!" God cheered. "Well, Gabriel, it's because there's two VERY REAL traitors in Heaven. They worked with demons to kidnap me and have me taken into Lucifer's personal torture chamber. I can only assume their memory of it was wiped afterwards. It was Sandalphon and Metatron. For Eleven years I was tortured. Then, Adam reset the world, and it took a while, but I was able to leave and come here, where Crowley healed me. We have a plan, but it requires you." After she said that, she then explained the plan.
"Forgive me for saying so, but...this has to be the dumbest plan I've heard of."
She groaned as she pinched the bridge of her nose. "Right, I forgot that you and Raphael often saw eye to eye on many things."
"Well, we are brothers." I commented with a mirthful shrug. "So, Gabriel, what do you say?"
He looked at me, then Aziraphale, then God, then he let out a heavy sigh that quickly ended with a breathy laugh. "When do we start?"
She looked at me and snapped her fingers. Once she did so, I instantly felt myself return to being an Archangel. The wings weren't as heavy this time, but I could tell the wings I had when Aziraphale and I became one in the Ether were still there among my old Archangel wings. With that, I looked at Aziraphale to make sure that everything was in order, and I found him staring at me. "Y-Your eyes!"
"What about them?" I asked, relieved that my voice was the same as it has been.
"They..." He shook his head. "...they're beautiful and normal, but not your eyes. I can't wait for this to be over. That way you can have the eyes that I love back."
"R-Right, well...let's go." Another snap of God's fingers and we were in a dense forest in Tadfield. I felt her Aura show up, which summoned a curious Sandalphon, Uriel, and Michael, but also unfortunately summoned Beelzebub and Lucifer himself, but in a much more human looking form.
"RAPHAEL!?" Michael, Uriel, and Sandalphon shouted in shock at the same time.
"And here I thought it was known that I'm back."
"We thought it was just rumor." Michael quickly said with a smile, but I knew better than to trust any emotion coming from her that isn't directed towards herself or smiting.
"Well, surprise." I stated before turning to face Lucifer, whose eyes were back to their Ruby red color and his hair was a bright flaming orange.
"Yes, quite the surprise. What's even more surprising is seeing you here, God." Lucifer remarked as he turned his glare to Sandalphon, and the look was obvious to everyone.
"Why are you looking at Sandalphon?" Gabriel questioned carefully.
"W-Well, obviously I'm one of the newer angels since the fall...so...he probably thinks I'm weak."
"Nonsense, Sandalphon." Gabriel started. "Besides, he was addressing God...but then he looked at you. Did something happen between the two of you that Heaven needs to be aware of?"
"Forget about Sandalphon!" Lucifer growled out just as we predicted he would. "I'm more interested in Raphael. I killed you. I KNOW I killed you, so why would God revive you!?"
"What if you didn't kill me?" I challenged. "What if you're not as powerful as you think? What if you're not as great as you think? I mean...your own kid defied you. An eleven year old dealt with you pretty effortlessly. Perhaps there's nothing to fear with you. I mean, you're not that intelligent. You probably wouldn't even be able to get into Heaven. One has to wonder if you've got any bite at all, or if you're just all bark like a dog, and not even a Hellhound dog at that."
He let out a fierce grown that caused every inch of plant life to tremble in immense fear as he stepped closer to me, infernal blade in hand. "I WAS ABLE TO GET TWO OF GOD'S ANGELS TO BETRAY HER AND KIDNAP HER! I WAS ABLE TO KIDNAP GOD HERSELF AND HAVE HER IN MY PERSONAL TORTURE CHAMBER FOR ELEVEN YEARS!" He lifted my chin up with his blade, which caused my hair to move just enough to reveal the mark on the side of my head. "Ah..." He drawled out like your typical cliche villain. "...but perhaps I should've gotten YOU to do it! No...Sandalphon and Metatron would've been nothing compared to you!"
"WHAT!?" Uriel and Michael exclaimed in disgust as they both looked at Sandalphon, who more than likely was cowering away from God and Lucifer, but I could hear him being grabbed harshly by Michael and Uriel.
"Oh, I think you'll be apprehending the wrong Archangel, you two. This is the one you want! He bares Crowley's mark. The mark of a snake!" Lucifer cackled. "Were you ever a demon?"
He dug the blade into my skin, and I had no way of moving because of where it was. Next thing I know, I hear Gabriel's sword being drawn, but Aziraphale moved in between me and Lucifer, driving the blade in between his ribs, causing him to stagger away from me as he bled a black ooze. This wasn't part of the plan. Truth be told, the plan completely succeeded. Lucifer outed Sandalphon and Metatron, and Sandalphon's attempts at cowering away were thwarted by Michael and Uriel apprehending him. The rest of this was by ear, which meant I was about to watch Aziraphale in full Pissed off Principality mode. "Don't you dare harm him!"
"Beelzebub, go back to Hell. I've got this handled."
"As you wish, my Lord." She bowed before leaving in a puff of purple.
"So..." Lucifer started as he took his blade out. "You think you can take me on?"
"Uriel and Michael take Sandalphon to my throne room to await judgment. I will witness this fight with Gabriel and Raphael by my side."
"Do I THINK I can take you on?" Aziraphale laughed dangerously, and my eyes shot open in pure astonishment. I had never heard him sound like that before. "You're severely mistaken if you think I won't win this fight." I watched in stunned silence as Aziraphale advanced towards Lucifer, who was actually having to make an effort to block Aziraphale's attacks with how fast they were coming at him, and he was actually getting some good cuts in.
"Do you know what this blade is!?" He growled as he was cut across his right thigh. "This is the blade I used in the first war."
"Ah, so nothing I need to worry about, then!" He shouted as he created a gash across Lucifer's chest. "You couldn't even kill Archangel Raphael!"
"When I win against you, I'm taking Raphael, and he'll be my torture toy! Or perhaps my whore. I haven't decided yet! Crowley truly always WAS awful at being a demon."
"I won't let you have him! If I have to fight you for eternity, so be it, but you won't have him!"
I looked at God, noticing how close the fight was getting, and we both nodded at each other before we spoke in unison, "Aziraphale, Lucifer, cease fighting and drop your swords!" Because it was both of us, with our combined powers, they had no choice BUT to listen to us. They even involuntarily took five steps back from each other.
God reverted me back to my Crowley form, which earned a disbelieving expression from Lucifer. "Lucifer..." God started. "...I sent Crowley to Hell and he went willingly. He has always been working for me, but also for himself. You will always lose. You will never triumph and if you do, it won't be for long. End this. I have your accomplices, and there is a balance that needs to be kept for now."
He looked at Aziraphale, who was covered in five scratches. "This isn't over, God! Not by a long shot!"
"Oh, believe me. I know." She spat back and with that, Lucifer went back with his tail in between his legs.
"Well...that wasn't much of a fight, but I still think the plan was stupid." I commented while I watched Aziraphale clean the blade before handing it back to Gabriel, who was just as stunned as I was from the whole fight.
"Oh come on, My Dear...you being bait for the Archangels and God being bait for Lucifer in order to get a confession from one or both of them? Seemed like a smart plan to me."
"Yeah, well, what seems like a smart plan to me is our wedding plans. Is that alright with you, God?" I asked her with a small smirk, knowing the answer.
"Of course. Besides, I have Metatron and Sandalphon to judge, and I'll have to go through their physical history, put it on display for two of of every type of angel, and then the verdict will be decided. They'll likely be guilty, which means Hellfire. Just make sure to send me an invitation and I'll be there. Congratulations again, loves." Gabriel said his congratulations to us before leaving, which left Aziraphale and I in Tadfield.
"Say..." Aziraphale started. "...I do believe God placed a rather brilliant idea in my head. There's a cottage in South Downs a lot like the one from Warlock's home, but much bigger and it's by the Ocean. We could..."
"Yes!" I told him before I grabbed him and kissed him as passionately as I was able. I heard his fingers snap, and felt us being transported miraculously to his Bookshop in his bedroom. I separated from the kiss and rested my forehead on his with a breathy laugh of 'FINALLY!'. "Let's get that Cottage. I can have my own small Eden, you can have a massive Library, and we'll have the Stars and the Ocean. We can even have the wedding in the Garden!"
"Oh! That would be lovely!"
We started our wedding plans immediately, getting pleasurably distracted more than a few times, but it was completely worth it now that we weren't just free, but we had God's blessing as well. Now, after two months of planning, we had the most terrifying aspect of the whole thing. The actual wedding.
I wanted this to be longer, but that didn't happen. I hope it's okay as is! Thank you everyone for your amazing comments! One more chapter to go!
Chapter 17: Tale as Old as Time
We had gotten our cottage, and we had everything moved in. Today was the day though that we would be getting married. I couldn't believe it, and I was nervous beyond belief. I was looking in the mirror, and I saw my slitted pupils. "Perhaps...perhaps he would rather marry the Raphael version of me." I thought, and with that thought came the remembrance of last week's events. Sandalphon and Metatron were given a far fairer trial than Aziraphale, mostly because God was present, and she really didn't need to, but she let them defend themselves, or at least attempt to, but the Seraphs, Cherubs, Thrones, and Archangels...me included...found the evidence too condemning and they were sentenced to Hellfire. She said she would make a new Metatron when the time came, but she didn't trust herself right now.
"Now, Raphael, you know that's not true." Gabriel sighed, and what a relief it was that all of the horrible events returned him to being the brother I knew. Aside from God, he was the only other being I got along with when I was in Heaven. I was called brother by everyone else as a formality, but he actually meant it when I was in Heaven. Every time he saw Aziraphale though, he would apologize. He meant it, and the guilt would likely remain forever, but he was at least kinder to him now.
"Do I?" I asked as I looked at myself in the mirror. I had let my hair grow out in the past year, and that was the strange thing. It's been an exact year since the world hadn't ended. It had taken God far longer than she thought to get the trial together, and she said she wanted to be at the wedding, so Aziraphale and I focused on the cottage and making it like a home for both of us. "I mean...my eyes as Raphael are beautiful. Not meaning to sound vain, but they are. At least...more beautiful than sulfuric yellow."
"I'm sure he loves them just as they are, Raphael. They've been your eyes for six thousand years."
I rolled my eyes as I fixed my tie in the mirror. "You know...the last time I wore white was when we were at Warlock's birthday party. Before that was when he and I were in Wessex. He was in King Arthur's court and I was the black knight. After the battle we ran into each other at a lake and I was wearing a white shirt. We had a sparring match."
"Really?" He questioned, genuinely interested. "How did it go?"
"We tied!" I laughed out. "We actually tied, but he did wound me. The sparring match was his idea." I grinned at the memory, but my nerves just wouldn't stop. I looked at the entirety of me. I was wearing a very fine white dress shirt, white jacket, white pants, and white shoes while my tie and handkerchief were black. Gabriel's idea because of the whole body swap thing. He thought it fitting, and he was my best man...angel...person...for the wedding, considering Aziraphale already got Adam as a ready volunteer when we told the Them and the Antichrist as well as Anathema, who devotedly helped arrange the food and the decorations in our Garden. We weren't allowed in the back of our Garden until today, and today it will be the first time either Aziraphale or myself see it for what she's done to it. Anyway, my hair was down to my shoulders, and it was neatly brushed, scarlet curls and waves still clearly evident, and my snake mark had been changed from black to gold to mark my being an Archangel. I was also given addition tattoos of golden snakes wrapping around my arms, the heads on the tops of my hand, the tails at shoulders. I was given TWO sets of markings to mark being an Archangel once and then being made so once again. "Gabriel, Six thousand years of me being a demon, and now...Aziraphale and I have been pardoned completely, I have gained an entire fucking garrison of Guardian Angels and Healers...what if...I don't know...what if he doesn't want the stress of all that? I have to train them all three times a week! Well...except during the Honeymoon, but still!"
"Technically, you're pardoned, an Archangel with a garrison, AND you have your own side with Aziraphale. I don't think you need to be worrying this much. WHY are you worrying this much?"
"I...Six thousand years, Gabriel, and we had only confessed to each other last year after the world didn't end. I knew what I've felt since Eden, and he...well...he found out in 1941. I just...I'm worried that I'm not everything he thinks I am."
"I'm sure if you weren't, he wouldn't have said yes, he wouldn't have been so determined to stop the end of the world for you, and he wouldn't have gone to Hell and back for you. I may not know a lot about humans, but I know what love and devotion looks like, and that's it. Now, come on, I know that's not all you're worried about."
"It's just..." I let out a sigh as I turned around to face him. He was wearing a grey suit with a silver trim, and a golden tie. "...I want to love him like he deserves."
"You will. You'll love him more than he deserves. I don't think he'll regret this at all. I think he's probably just as nervous as you are and for similar but entirely different reasons. Don't think so much about what may or may not happen and focus on saying the words, 'I do' when it comes time to say them."
"You're right." I breathed out as I shook my head. "You know...I never thought I'd get cold feet."
"Cold what?" He tilted his head in confusion.
"It's a human term. It means second thoughts or nervousness. Especially before a wedding." A knock was heard on the outside of the Cottage's front door. "Come in!" I called to them as I left my room with Gabriel following behind me.
Anathema, stepped through and immediately clasped her hands. "Oh my! You're quite handsome like this."
"You have a fiance, Anathema." I joked with her, but I felt the waves of desire coming off of her. I made a point to definitely ignore it. It was my wedding and though I would normally be flattered, it made it a touch awkward. "It's time. Gabriel will be walking you down the Aisle towards Aziraphale, who has not stopped worrying."
"See?" Gabriel grinned, and I was SO close to knocking that grin off his face.
"All right." I nodded, and she left. I followed behind her, and Gabriel closed the door behind us. He then stood by my side, stepping in perfect time with my steps as we arrived to the back of the Garden, and oh my God it was gorgeous. She HAD to have used her witchiness to make everything look perfect. There were flowers of different kinds. All the ones that promise love, eternal love, bonds, friendship, devotion, and they were everywhere! We didn't have many witnesses, so there weren't many chairs, but the Aisle was as red as an apple and even had a darker shadings of apples etched into the pattern. However, the most stunning thing out of the entire thing was Aziraphale standing at the end. The music started, playing the instrumental version of 'A thousand Years.' I never liked the movie or the books, but the song was fitting so we agreed on it, but when he turned around his eyes widened, tears fell gracefully down his face as he let out a shuddering breath. He was wearing nearly the same get up I was in, but in reverse. Black everything but the handkerchief and bow-tie. Not a bit of tartan in sight. I'm sure that was Adam's doing. Gabriel had to elbow me in the arm to tell me to start walking, so with a heat in my cheeks I started walking and he walked in time with me until I was up at the Altar where God was standing. "W-Wow." I breathed out as I took in the sight of him.
"Likewise, My Dear." He let out a soft huff of laughter before God cleared her throat.
"Now, we've discussed this. You wanted to say your vows first, and remember, they aren't normal vows. They are said directly in front of me and in the presence of Adam Young and Archangel Gabriel. They are binding and eternal until the very end of time. This will only happen once for the two of you, so make sure your words count, because your word will be your bond."
We both nodded at her with smiles plastered on out faces. I cleared my throat as I took both of his hands in mine while I looked into his stardust eyes that, even now, made my heart pound in my chest. "Principality Aziraphale, Former Angel of the Eastern Gate of Eden...I vow on this day to love you until time runs out, I vow to make you smile as much as possible, I vow to listen to you, I vow to be your warmth, I vow to lavish you with gifts and affection, I vow to make you feel as if you're the most important being in the universe, I vow to answer every question, I vow to always be honest with you, I vow to be difficult, I vow to be stubborn, I vow to get on your nerves, I vow to fight with you over the most ridiculous and most major things, but I vow to still love you no matter how angry I may get. I vow to give you everything that I have been, am, and will be, and I vow to be your shadow when the light may become too much. Aziraphale, My Angel, I vow to be completely and wholly yours for better or for worse, for Heaven or for Hell, until time runs out and the stars are no more."
I watched as his lip quivered and tears ran down his face. "Oh...you had to be so touching didn't you!"
"They're our vows, Angel, and you're meant to be saying yours now."
"OH! Right!" He nodded before calming down and clearing his own throat. "Demon Crowley, Archangel Raphael, and Former Guardian of the Western Gate of Eden, I vow to love you until time runs out, I vow to make you laugh as much as possible, I vow raise your spirits when they're low, I vow to always be there for you when you need me, I vow to spoil you with food, gifts, and affection, I vow to be devoted and loyal to you, I vow to be overbearing, I vow to be pompous at times, I vow to be stuffy, I vow to be difficult, I vow to be stubborn, I vow to be Insufferably smug, I vow to fight with you, I vow to always be honest with you, I vow to be ridiculous, I vow to sooth your anxieties and worries, I vow to dry every tear, I vow to calm every nightmare, I vow to always love you not matter what, I vow to give you everything that I have been, am, and will be, and I vow to be the light in your endless darkness. Crowley, My Dear Demon, I vow to be completely and wholly yours for better or for worse, for Heaven or for Hell, until time runs out and the stars are no more."
We both looked at God, who surprisingly had tears of her own, but we all ignored it out of respect, and besides, they were joyful tears. "I, God, now pronounce the Archangel Raphael and the Principality Aziraphale forever bound to one another in heart, grace, and soul. Seal your vows with a kiss and let the celebrations begin."
Not needing to be told twice, I brought my hand up to the side of his face and kissed him as gently as I could with as much passion as I could muster. He wrapped his arms around my neck, and I pulled him closer to me by pulling him at the waist. The kiss alone was almost exactly like when he and I had Ethereal sex, but it was so much more. It was consuming, it was Holy, it was warmth, it was everything that had been and ever would be with us. We heard the Them cheering and laughing, Sargent Shadwell laughing out his congratulations while Madam Tracy was crying about how beautiful it was, Anathema was talking to Newt saying that perhaps they should still our vows, and Gabriel was sighing contently behind me while Adam was smiling proudly behind Aziraphale. When the kiss ended, I hadn't realized I was crying until Aziraphale wiped away my tears. "I love you." I told him as I tried to convey everything I felt into three simple words.
"I love you too."
"Aziraphale and Raphael will now dance to the song that Adam and Gabriel had chosen." God spoke, and if there was the tiniest of overjoyed cracks in her voice, none of us were going to say anything. Now, Angels and Demons didn't dance, but God taught Aziraphale and I how while giving us the ability to do so. I was going to lead, but I had no idea what the song was. All I was told by Gabriel was that the first song fit Aziraphale and I rather well.
With the snap of God's fingers, the chairs were gone and the red Aisle stretched and changed to a lovely large golden carpet that had more than enough room for everyone to dance, but it was just going to be us for now. I took Aziraphale's hand and led him to the middle, and we got into the positions that we were taught, and the song started. Once the first note began, I started to lead him into the dance and he followed beautifully. When the lyrics started, we both listened carefully while continuing to dance.
Tale as old as time
True as it can be
Barely even friends
Then somebody bends
Just a little change
Small to say the least
Both a little scared
Neither one prepared
Beauty and the beast
Ever just the same
Ever a surprise
Ever as before
ever just as sure as the sun will rise
Ever just the same
Ever a surprise
Ever as before
Ever just as sure
As the sun will rise
Tale as old as time
Tune as old as song
Bittersweet and strange
Finding you can change
Learning you were wrong
Certain as the sun
Rising in the east
Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the beast
Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the beast
Beauty and the beast
Pretty much the whole song was the truth. It was incredible with just how fitting it really was. Gabriel was right and the song was Adam's idea, of course, but Gabriel agreed to it. It was so beyond perfect that both Aziraphale and I had silent tears accompanying our smiles when the song and dance ended. We left the dance to grab some champagne for ourselves while the others started to dance, purposely allowing us a moment, and I couldn't help myself as I picked up a glass of champagne and held it out to Aziraphale. "To the world." I smiled, not wiping away my tears.
With the same expression on his face from the Ritz and with the same tone he smiled at me saying, "To the world." Life would be much more interesting from now on, but now it was going to be wholly and completely with him. He has all of me and I have all of him. For the rest of time and beyond if possible.