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Cosmic conversation between the Almighty and a lanky red-haired archangel Raziel

 

"What is it, my child? Another question?"

"Got me there, but no, I came to… whine."

"That's a new one, Raziel. Who pissed off my firstborn?"

"Well, for a start, Gabriel doesn't play chess with Beelzebub anymore, because Beelzebub always wins, but Beelzebub refuses to play mancala with Gabriel, and I can't blame them. I can't keep up with their quarrels, Mother. I waste my time inventing games for them, and I have a galaxy cluster to finish."

"Oh… what happened to hide-and-seek?"

"Beelzebub hides too well. They hid in a black hole and Gabriel was too scared to enter, and Beelzebub refused to come out, although the way I built it they couldn't come out, had to add a few new features…"

"Messy lot. I was so excited to have you, I thought everyone will turn out just as wonderfully. And you deserve company, Raziel. But they have their… good moments."

"Can't remember any right now. Michael and Uriel fight over their skin colour, and Michael told Uriel she was closer to you because she's brighter. Uriel, understandably, ran away and collapsed with my newest star, which I then had to turn into a black hole… and I might have helped Uriel to lure Michael into it, and you know… push her over the event horizon."

"That's naughty, Raziel. I'm proud of you. Something else is bothering you, though."

"You know it already, why should I speak?"

"Why shouldn't you? It brings you very much joy. It tickles a bit and hurts sometimes, but you can't get enough of it, can you?.. oh, but I know the answer. Why don't you talk to him, to the principality Aziraphale?"

"I… I can't. If I try, I mess up everything. Made up a strange thingy, called it nebula. All because he cooed over some single-cell organism… they are yours, Mother, so I didn't name any of them. They are awesome!"

"Darling, you got so carried away in the beginning, that you made an atom the model for planetary systems. I can't have creatures that look like planetary systems."

"Why not?"

"Raziel, you walk the universe like a planetary system, swaying, swinging, turning. I didn't plan it that way, so it doesn't really work. Especially if the principality Aziraphale is involved. You lose your pelvis in a wink…"

"Mother, it's not funny. I'm… pining."

"Then talk to him."

"I can't. He's… he's so beautiful."

"It doesn't bother you when it comes to the stars."

"Stars don't have kind blue eyes or bright white hair. Stars don't coo over single-cell organisms… Mother?"

"Yes, my dear?"

"I don't belong here, do I?"

"You belong anywhere you like, Raziel. Where would you like to go?"

"Farther into the darkness. See, light is revealing and… and forming. Darkness always has so much to imagine within it…"

"Go then, my lovely. But it might be so that you won't come back."

"Is it… a punishment?"

"No, not for you, anyway. It might be for those who'd go with you, but I'll never stop loving anyone of you. Go, build your own universe. I made you free and creative. You can't lose it, however far from me you are. Your followers… well, they are busy being… proud and playing their little games that have nothing to do with chess or hide-and-seek. Unlike you, they will never obey any laws, even those they'd create, and… if they want to be farther from me, albeit for different reasons, they may come with you. It will be good for them. But we are forgetting my most beautiful child…"

"I can't talk to him. I don't know what to do with all this yearning. It's… it's bigger than me, than anything."

"Well, it's love, the utmost law of the creation, my presence in every little thing."

"Will you… will you keep him safe?"

"Of course, darling. But so will you."



Gabriel's diary. It's stained with tears and the echoes of his sobs can be heard behind the letters.

 

"They went gently and happily into that good night, beyond the light, beyond the black holes, they went with Raziel, Hastur and Ligur and the rest. They walked through the stars, laughing, dancing, playing, mischievous and disgusting and I hate them, hate their black hair, their severe eyes, their short stature, I hate them! They deserve to be lost in the darkness while we here do the God's work…

Aziraphale saw me and comforted me. Told me I'd see you, Beelzebub, and that it's alright to be sad. He's too soft. 

 

***

 

Their new kingdom turned out to be messy and strange. It didn't resemble Heaven, but none of them wanted it to, so there was disorder and formless spaces and peculiar physics that allowed them to transform catching the echoes of God's newest creations and still rejoicing in them, but now nobody made fun of them for it. Beelzebub loved flies, and Hastur and Ligur loved reptiles, and Dagon could never get enough of fish, and Raziel loved everything but mostly snakes, so Beelzebub styled them Crawly, and everyone liked it. They never hid behind politeness or appearances, they saw the worst of each other and made fun of each other and most importantly for a very long time they trusted each other. But Crawly was an adventurer, researcher, so he couldn't really keep ruling them, thus Beelzebub took over, as a steward. They never stopped loving Crawly, even when the rest did. "Get up there, make some trouble, make eyes at that lovely angel you fancy," they told Crawly one day. "I'll keep them going. Working even. They need… oversight. But you will always be my king, Crawly. You saved me and you freed me."

"You were never a slave, Beelzebub." Crawly said softly.

"I wasn't. But I wasn't free either. It's too…"

"Linear."

"Exactly. We here… we're nonlinear, and I daresay, She appreciates it very much."

"Well, we are older, Beelzebub. How many stars died before Gabriel was born?"

"Too many."

"Want to go up there and see him?"

"No. He became boring. He chose to remain linear, and we are not."

Crawly got up there and made some trouble and made eyes at worried Aziraphale. Through the years he discovered that Gabriel and his company grew up presumptuous and overly simple, but Mother allowed it. She allowed them to choose, like she had allowed it to Crawly. She must have known better. 

Years went on. Crawly became enchanted by the humans, they too were scientists, they too were adventurers and researchers. Yet they were also capable of unspeakable cruelty, of absolutely twisted, improbably false notions of right and wrong, and She allowed it, because such was their choice. Crawly could never really be disgusted by something enough to stop looking at and into it, so he began taking those twisted awful souls back to his domain, to watch the perverse transformations of their divine sparks into such knots that "nonlinear" couldn't even begin to describe it. Stars died, animals died, plants died, and apparently some souls died too. Their complex depravity was terrifying, but Raziel studied it to find a cure. It took so much time for him to just accept that even if Noah understood that he had to save some of "impure" animals, while the message was… a bit different, and no animal was impure, but… Crawly learned to accept the limits of human understanding. Noah was good because he understood more than anyone else. God was angry because they kept twisting Her words, and Crawly kept studying what could make them so twisted.

Meanwhile Aziraphale was suffering with them and admired them and consoled them. The first scientist, the first healer was researching, while the first rabbi, the first priest, the first psychotherapist, the first friend in the universe was trying to make them feel a bit better. God is such a sucker for complex systems, so when Crawly, Crowley by then, came to realise that the unpredictability of complex systems was something to be studied and eventually understood, Aziraphale resigned to helping as much as he could and avoided questioning, for he didn't want to know. He wanted to help. It took Crowley much less time to see that the lack of honesty, of affection, of love turned people into monsters. One careless word from a parent could turn a child into a murderous, cruel, vicious adult, and it went on for generations. Complex systems, butterfly effect, a tiniest speck of dust… It took so little to turn the lack of love into hatred. Augustin, for all his own twisted morals, for all his rigid views, caught a glimpse of it. 

Time had the same effect on memories, and even Beelzebub began to forget who their true leader was, what their true purpose had been. They were meant to study and discover, and it was twisted into the idea of temptation. Crowley didn't have it in him to argue or claim, he was quite busy keeping that clever, kind beyond measure angel from getting into trouble. 

That is until one day Beelzebub had a moment of clarity and reminded Crowley of the Plan. 

The Plan was something born out of clandestine but numerous conversations between what became known as Heaven and Hell. If She hadn't argued, neither would have Crowley. The whole idea of sex was quite alien to him, but he knew from Beelzebub that Michael and Ligur had that… thingy going on for millenia. Crowley's idea of orgasm was Aziraphale cooing over every moment of kindness and bravery, or Aziraphale closing his eyes and moaning obscenely over a piece of whichever delicacy that ended up on his plate, or Aziraphale lost in a book (helping humans come up with written language and tie up tightly the sections of the brain that were too far to be connected easily was a very diligent work of Crowley's). In short, Aziraphale was orgasm incarnate, pardon Crowley's vulgarity, and all the more so for how frustrating, fussy, holier-than-thou and maddeningly adorable he was. Crowley would wake up thinking he couldn't love him any more than he had and go to sleep having proved himself wrong. Oh, sleep… he rather went too far with it after Aziraphale called their friendship fraternising. He went as far as to go down there and remind everyone who the king of hell was, and who they had to listen to and what not. Beelzebub massaged his wings for two decades after that and promised to be better. Or worse.

Anyway, since of all their acquaintances only Michael and Ligur had figured out the pleasures of sex, human way, their baby had to be the Antichrist, and neither Michael nor Ligur liked the idea. Beelzebub rolled their eyes, so did Crowley. 

"Just fuck somebody!" Begged Beelzebub, and Crowley winced. 

"I can't fuck anybody," resigned Beelzebub.

Then they remembered Lucifer. He was handsome, lustful and very careful about consent and contraception. He was all in, it turned out, but none of his partners were. 

Crowley and Beelzebub gave it up and built a baby from scratch. Some stardust, some magic, some wishful thinking, no penetration, no painful labour, just a perfectly perfect human baby with Gabriel's eyes and Aziraphale's curls, and neither Beelzebub nor Crowley wanted to talk about it. Once the baby settled over being male, he was delivered to his, well, father, in a way, and the rest is history. Looking at Warlock at one point, Beelzebub and Crowley wondered what had happened to Gabriel's eyes or Aziraphale's curls, but alright, people change in every sense of the word. If they managed to create something complex, all the better for them.

But then Gabriel, a spoilt brat he was, said that someone would tell Adam's father, and Beelzebub had just had a long conversation with Michael about Ligur (what did she expect? That the king of Hell would tolerate an oblivious demon trying to kill him? Michael didn't know about Crowley and Crowley and Beelzebub took to presenting the conventional Lucifer as the face of the brand, pardon, Hell, so Beelzebub tried to balance out a few lies and it was exhausting and urgh…). Beelzebub said they would and then remembered themselves and looked at Crowley. Crowley shrugged. Beelzebub cursed everything and dragged Lucifer out of a posh party to have a field day of being scary and majestic… 

It was supposed to be a day of rest, but Gabriel was looking for a pretext to talk to Beelzebub while Beelzebub looked for a pretext to resign and make Crowley do some administrative work for once, therefore Beelzebub looked at Aziraphale in Crowley's body and essentially made the principality the de facto ruler of the so called fallen, while Crowley in Aziraphale's body was taking fiery shower upstairs. There was a lot of paperwork, which meant Beelzebub couldn't resign. They agreed to go out with Gabriel, though.

***

"Angel, there's something I need to tell you."

"Oh really?"

"Stop being adorable, I'm serious."

"But my dear… I love you too, very much indeed."

"You… you what? What? No, I mean yes, I mean… oh angel… you're going to be so angry with me."

"You don't love me?"

"Oi, don't pout, angel! Of course I love you. But… no, I need to show you."

Crowley dragged Aziraphale to Hell, so that Beelzebub could show him, although Beelzebub was really tired of doing Crowley's job. 

"My dear… you… you are the devil!" Said Aziraphale, far too smitten for such damning statement.

"Sort of… Beelzebub is the king of Hell, you know, they've been doing all the boring stuff since… well, since the beginning."

"And I need a holiday!" Beelzebub begged.

This is how Crowley and Aziraphale spent their honeymoon sorting Hell out, which ended up in Dagon being proclaimed the king, and Beelzebub returned from their holiday to a new kingdom, full of fish and suchlike. They didn't mind, though, they had a date with Gabriel. 

As for Aziraphale and Crowley, they bought themselves a cottage by the sea and spent an insane amount of time cuddling, but that was Her plan from the beginning. Amen.