"Sure, Do you trust me"
"Do you trust me"
Aziraphale felt his mind spin and his stomach lurch. Like a rubber band pulled too far, something snapped. He knew those words, different but somehow still so familiar.
Over 6000 years ago, before the garden, before even death itself, there was heaven and there were Angels.
Aziraphale having been created to fight and defend, had spent most of his time in the military sector of heaven. There was lots of training to be done and weapons to clean. He was to be a Lieutenant and as so was in charge of training a platoon of lower angels, it all kept him very busy. Gabriel the "strength of God" also kept Aziraphale busy. He would have him running mindless tasks, usually they involved something demeaning like taking notes or shining his weapons. But there had been that one day, Gabriel had needed a message delivered to someone in the Creation sector.
"Apparently everyone else is busy, so it's up to you." Gabriel glared, narrowing his purple eyes. "Aziraphale this is very important, don't lose this, don't get lost, don't dilly-dally. Deliver this letter then come right back."
Well not really having had much chance to explore the rest of heaven before, of course Aziraphale had gotten lost. Heaven was such a big place after all. After getting turned around a few times and having to ask for directions he finally reached the Creation sector. Looking around for help he walked up to the nearest angel, "Sorry to be a bother, but Gabriel sent me with a letter for Raphel. Can you tell me where I might find them?"
The Angel turned to face him and Aziraphale felt his chest go tight. Looking back at him were the most beautiful golden eyes that looked like a sunset, and a face framed by gorgeous copper hair. Aziraphale's gaze wandered to the moving lips, and realized the Angel was speaking to him but he hadn't heard any of it.
"Oh" he nearly squeaked "I'm terribly sorry, can you say that again."
The Angel's mouth quirked into a grin, "I said you found me. I'm Raphael, what do you have for me…. "
".. Aziraphale" he answered, taking the letter and passing it over. Doing his best to be careful not to watch the beautiful slender fingers as they almost touched his.
"Thank you Aziraphale"
Aziraphale stood there dumbfounded for a moment. He was always doing things for Gabriel, but never had been thanked once. Something so simple was so nice, just to be appreciated. "Well then, I must be going, Gabriel keeps me very busy. Just, if you wouldn't mind, pointing me the way back." He looked at the ground feeling embarrassed "I must admit that I got terribly lost on my way here."
Raphael smiled at him again, "Well we can't have that can we? Come on I'll show you the way myself."
"I- well- um" Aziraphale made several false starts, why would this beautiful Angel want to spend more time with him. "You really don't have to do that I'm sure if you just point I could-
"But I want to." Raphael held his gaze, and Aziraphale felt himself blush. "Uh, could use a break, stretch my legs."
"Well then, if you insist. Thank you."
"Eh, don't thank me" Raphael shrugged, and started toward the exit "It's really not that big a deal."
As they walked down one of many long, identical looking hallways Raphael broke the silence "So Aziraphale, what do you do for fun around here." his eyes glinting mischievously.
Aziraphale's eyebrows furrowed, "For fun? Well I don't really... I do my job, like everyone else."
"And what is it that you do specifically?"
"Well I work with Gabriel-"
"Oh, that's why you don't have fun." Raphael smirked
"Tha- that's not what I meant." Aziraphale sputtered, "Gabriel is a good leader."
Raphael touched his elbow and they stop walking. Aziraphale has to steady himself before looking into those eyes again. "I'm sorry Aziraphale, I didn't mean to upset you. I just know what my brother can be like."
"Your brother? Oh goodness. You're one of the Archangels. Why are you wasting time on me? Don't you have things that are actually important that you should be worried about?"
"Do you know that in all the time I've existed. I've never met anyone who isn't important before."
As they continued walking they fell back into silence.
When they got back, Gabriel was out pacing the hall, apparently looking for Aziraphale. He pulled him aside "Where have you been, I had jobs for you."
"You asked me to-" Aziraphale tried to respond but Gabriel had already turned away.
"Raphael, what are you doing here? I'm sorry if my subordinate here caused you trouble."
"No, he was no trouble. I just felt like going for a walk. Although, I should be getting back." He turned to face Aziraphale. "Thank you for letting me walk with you. Maybe I'll see you around."
Aziraphale honestly didn't think that was likely, considering that this was the first time he'd ever seen Raphael. Surely, if he'd seen him before he would've remembered. He knows know he could never forget that face. But everything in him hoped he'd see that beautiful smiling Angel again.
Luckily for Aziraphale he was wrong about not getting to see him again, small blessings and all that. Several days had passed when he heard Gabriel yelling for him.
"Aziraphale where are you?!"
He scurried over. "I'm right here."
"About time, listen. I need you to take another message to Raphael. Don't bother him like last time. Just drop it off and come back."
"I didn't.." he started to protest but Gabriel had already walked away. He was going to get to see Raphael again. Hopefully this time he wouldn't get lost.
"Oh hello Aziraphale, good to see you. Running errands for Gabriel again?"
"Just doing my job."
"Yes. Well, would you like to see what I've been doing." Raphael scooted out from his desk making room for Aziraphale to stand next to him. There in front of them was a large sheet of paper with a galaxy drawn across it. "I've just been sketching, helps me when I'm making it. This one here is called the Pinwheel Galaxy
"Wow that's amazing. I've never actually seen anything being made."
Raphael looked at him with wide hopeful eyes, "Would you like to?"
"Yes, but I can't." Aziraphale wrung his hands together "Gabriel is expecting me back soon."
"What Gabriel doesn't know won't hurt him."
"I'm not sure- "
Raphael reached his hand out to Aziraphale, "Do you trust me?"
Aziraphale tentatively put his hand in Raphael's, "Yes"
"Good then, let's go." He let go of Aziraphale's hand to roll his sketch up and tuck it under his arm.
Raphael lead Aziraphale down a different hallway he had never seen, and opened a door to a large dark auditorium. "Just stay close, ok"
If I was any closer I'd bump into you , Aziraphale thought, but only respond with "mhmm" Where had he brought them?"
They neared a table of sorts, it was floating and when Raphael unrolled his sketch and laid it down, the table started glowing. Then all around them faint glowing spots started to appear, some staying faint, others growing so bright he had to squint while looking at them.
"Well what do you think of my project?" He pointed down at the sketch he had brought. "I'm adding this one today. Where do you think it should go?"
"Me? I wouldn't have any idea. But Raphael this is so beautiful," Aziraphale did a slow turn around the room. "You made all of this?"
"No, not all of it. Made a bunch of stars, some nebulas, and a few galaxies. Those planets there," he grabbed at the space in front of him and pulled toward them. Suddenly the planets that were distant spots a moment ago, were nearly filling the entire room. "Those were created by Her. There's nothing there yet, but I hear soon big things will be happening. For now though I need to find a home for this guy." He reached back into the air pushing away, getting rid of the plants, and turned the room considering while tapping his chin.
Aziraphale stood in awe, watching Raphael push and pull at the air, bringing sections of space in and out of focus.
"Ah, perfect right here. Alright Aziraphale watch this, just need to…" he rubbed his hands together then clapped and as he drew his hands apart Aziraphale gasped. Tiny specs of dust and stars were floating there between his hands. Raphael twisted is hands around moving things and making adjustments until what was floating in front of him looked like the sketch he had brought. Raphael turned and flashed Aziraphale a grin. "Not too bad huh?"
If it was physically able to Aziraphalw's jaw would have hit the floor "It's beautiful" he whispered.
"Yeah. This is my favorite, could go without some of the other job requirements bit boring, but not this."
Raphael squeezed his hand, and Aziraphale tried to remember when they had started holding hands again, but right then he couldn't be bothered by it.
Just then a bright light cut through and caught him across the face. "There you are Raphael, we've been looking for you."
"Hi Michael, I was working." He rolled his eyes, not that you could see, but you could hear it in his tone.
"Well we've got a meeting with Uriel and the others to be at so let's go. And you, Aziraphale need to be back at your post."
Weeks had passed and Aziraphale never had a chance to see Raphael again.
That's when big things did begin to happen. The Almighty had created new beings, without extra eyes or any wings, called humans. They were to live on one of the planets that She had created. Aziraphale thought they were wonderful curious creatures, but he heard rumors that some of the Angel's didn't like these humans, and were mad at God for creating them. Not much later after that Angels started disappearing, Gabriel said they had fallen from Her grace.
What a sad and terrible thing to lose Her love, Aziraphale thought, he was glad no one he knew had fallen.
Someone might say to you, "ignorance is bliss" To which I say back "If ignorance is bliss then knock the smile off my face"
Well you know what happens from here, an Angel, and a Demon meet on a wall surrounding a garden. Seemingly for the first time. As the years passed, enemies turn into unlikely friends, and what was thought to have been the end of the world passed not with a bang, but with a fizzle.
Aziraphale sat in his shop reading a book when Crowley banged through the front door. "Come on angel, we're trying that new restaurant down the road."
Aziraphale pulled his lips into a pout "oh but last time we went out somewhere new it was rubbish."
Crowley held his hand out "Do you trust me?"
" Do you trust me?"
How could he forget. Aziraphale clutched his hands together to keep from shaking. "Ye- C‐crowley… I, I remember ... from before"
"What are you going on about Angel?"
"From before.... before when you were Ra-" Aziraphale couldn't control the tremors in his voice.
Crowley hands gripped Aziraphale's shoulders, and snapped "No." His voice softened, "Angel don't, just don't say it please."
"Crowley, what happened? his voice broke. "I didn't see you again and- and" his cheeks were wet with tears as Crowley wrapped his arms around holding him tight. "Why can't I remember? Why didn't I remember you?" If Crowley hadn't already been holding him he would've fallen over.
"Hush, it's ok now," Crowley breathed into his hair, "everything's ok. Deep breaths Angel, don't need you passing out. I'll tell you what I can remember when you're ready."
Aziraphale took a moment to calm his breathing, "I'm ready, tell me please."
"Some of the details are still a bit hazy, and well most of it you already know. When Lucifer fell he took a bunch of us on the way out." he shrugged "When I hit bottom thought I must've banged my head 'cause I didn't remember much. Just a lot of what we'd been told by Lucifer, that we'd been cast out for asking questions, wanting knowledge and all that. Then just one day I remembered. Might have been those funny cactus plants from that ceremony in South America, anyway not important. Seems someone thought it was better you didn't remember. Crowley looked at Aziraphale, his eyes wide with affection. "I-i had started to wonder if you'd ever remember. Everytime we ran into each other since, I hoped that would be the time."
"But Crowley, why didn't you tell me."
"Oh sure what was I gonna do, 'Hey, remember me. Well I'm demon now. Still wanna be friends?' If you couldn't remember, why would you believe me."
"My dear, that must have been terrible for you, I'm so sorry."
"Nah, don't apologize Aziraphale I've got you back now."
Aziraphale gazed up into those beautiful snake eyes he had come to adore. "Yes my dearest you do."