THE LAST DAY OF THE WORLD
Crowley was walking down the pathway, surrounded by green fields, trees and people who had no idea of the demise of the world. More specifically, he was walking just a little way away from The Bandstand, he wore his sunglasses, the pink tinted glass keeping his sad eyes covered. His memories surrounded that Bandstand, it always will. How he wishes he could take it all back, how he wishes he could take the demon in his arms and hold him close, never letting go...
He frowned, eyes brimming with golden tears again, lost in thought as he gripped the serpent necklace in his hands. He had yet to set it down actually, he was unsure what to do with it, it is still Azirafell's in his mind, but it would stand to reason he no longer saw at as his own... maybe, they really had divorced? Left? No more 'our side', as the demon had put it. His headache from crying was pounding and pulsing, it was killing him.
Pausing in his steps, he noticed a woman in all gold, with a tinsel halo, and fake golden wings protruding from her back, as still as a statue, but was clearly trying to earn money, and so, he hummed, letting out a quiet, "hmm." He fished out some money from his small pocket, and placed it in the practically empty, white napkin. It was a good distraction.
Loud thundering, yet steady thuds came from behind him, and he perked up. There was Gabriel in a pale grey-purple toned tracksuit with purple wings embroidered on the chest, and white trainers, jogging down the pathway, all clean and pristine as usual, sterile, and so, Crowley jogged after him, shoving the necklace into his pocket, hiding his own. The angel wasn't much for exercise, and so was quickly out of breath, awkwardly running next to the Archangel, all noodle like, all limb.
They ran side by side, in silence for a moment.
"It's me." Panted Crowley, leaning in slightly, his feet stamping against the ground, voice bouncing.
"I know it's you, Crowley." Gabriel assured, sounding annoyed and tired, though his voice was steady and feet soft, yet loud.
"Yeah. Right." Crowley said quickly, moving the conversation along. "Look, we need t' get word Upstairs to the..." He pointed up, "to the—" People walked past, "to the Big G." He finished lamely, and it didn't go unnoticed to him when Gabriel gave him a horrified look at the name given to God. "There-there's been prophecies." Crowley tried, his steps short, and stumbled.
Gabriel, taking steady strides, held his hands out, palms up as if confused, and asked in discombobulation, with a condescending tone, "what's in human prophecies that matters to us?"
"Well, er, ngk, the Kraken awoke and came up from the sea floor." Crowley said, voice nearing frantic as his hand moved up slightly, palm down. "So did Atlantis. And the rain forests have returned!" He was getting more and more worked up. "And that's just for starters." His voice now nearing hysterics. "Armageddon is coming, and it starts today! Just after tea!"
"Exactly." Shrugged Gabriel, confused. "Right on schedule. What's your point?" He asked, looking at Crowley, well... more of a glance really, he didn't seem to care. He was just brushing his brother off.
"Will y'stop," begged Crowley, hand out. "Just for a minute? Please."
Gabriel stopped running annoyed, and Crowley slowed instantly. Gabriel placed his hands on his hips, watching Crowley who bent over, hands against his knees, panting, cheeks flushed, he swears he can taste metal in his mouth.
He looked to his brother, who slowly stood up. "Well?" Asked Gabriel, voice steady. He hadn't even broken a sweat. Jogging was another one of the human pastimes he could get behind, including the clothing, but obviously not enough to miss it.
"I just..." Panted Crowley, standing up now. "I just thought there was somethin' we could do."
"There is!" Gabriel agreed, face full of obvious annoyance, and a look of boredom. "We can fight. And we can win." He smiled, his finger pointing to Crowley. That was his obvious solution apparently, at least to Gabriel. He clearly lacked imagination, or maybe he just didn't care?
Crowley's face morphed into one of desperation, "but there doesn't have to be a War." He was still panting.
"Of course there does." Insisted Gabriel. "Otherwise, how would we win it?" He asked, a sarcastic, tight lipped look on his face, as if a child had gotten on his last nerves, and hummed, "hmm?" With a shake of his head. He waved his hands, "now look, wrap up whatever you need to wrap up down here." Crowley was looking to the ground, both in distress and worry, his face pulled into a slight wince. "Report back to active service and..." The Archangel looked Crowley over with a sigh, and poked the former Archangels thin arms, "put on a few muscles for battle, Raphael."
"Crowley." Grumbled the angel in correction, being assaulted by Gabriel's wondering, and poking index finger. He looked to his thin arms self-consciously.
"You're an Archangel of Healing, and you're supposed to lead your battalion into battle. You're a lean, mean fighting, healing machine." Gabriel laughed, and he gently, and playfully punched his brother, and ran off with an overly friendly smile, yelling back, "what are you?!"
He probably expected Crowley to repeat what he said, 'a lean, mean fighting, healing machine'. Or, now that the world was ending, agree to being Raphael, the Archangel of Healing, and Star Maker, and to drop this whole, 'protect and help the humans' fascination. "I'm..." Started Crowley, watching after Gabriel who ran further and further away, towards The Bandstand. Finally, with a look of despair, he admitted in defeat, "I'm fragile."
Suddenly, Gabriel was in front of his again with the use of a miracle, his hands together as if praying, and Crowley jumped, squeaking in surprise. "Almost forgot. According to our records, you were issued a Flaming Sword."
Crowley felt a sense of dread set over his body; that Flaming Sword was for him? Back in Eden it was for him, and... and, Azirafell got to it first, and then gave it away? That would explain how the goat demon came across it, if it just appeared in the garden. But, he wouldn't have been able to fully hold it, right? Unless, as an angel he was somewhat an important person... a Principality, maybe? Before The Fall, Principalities were both higher then Archangels, and on the same level depending on how well they fought, but Archangels took over soon after The Fall, claiming to be able to help guide people back to Righteousness... Azirafell being a Principality would explain how the demon acquired the knowledge of holding it correctly. He remembers seeing Azirafell swinging that sword around in an experienced manner.
"It belonged to an angel before the Fall, a Principality, one of the best, but then the angel Fell and left the Flaming Sword behind. But, you should know that." Shrugged Gabriel, "he used to... I think we all knew him, or at least, he knew you?" He shrugged, "Michael remembers working side by side with him, but not who or what he looked like..."
Crowley frowned, tuning his brother out, "w-what?" He brain wracked his memories, and found nothing but the usual faint buzz and blurred faces and scenes of before The Fall. Azirafell held that sword...
"Oh, it's fine! Nobody remembers who demons were before their Fall, not even them! Not really." Shrugged Gabriel, but frowned, seeing Cowley's distant look, and flash of worry through his hazel eyes. "You didn't lose that?" Asked Gabriel, voice suddenly tense and seemed worried.
"What, like a..." Smiled Crowley, thinking of an excuse, getting more and more nervous. "Like a demon took it, and just give it away or something?" He asked, in what he hoped was a joking manor, one that conveyed how silly it sounded, even if it was true, one that sounded like he found the sword, and took it and still had it; not that a demon found it first, took it and gave it away.
Gabriel patted his shoulders with a smile, before jogging away again and Crowley deflated, eyes sad in despair. His mind landed on Azirafell and this Flaming Sword, did he know Azirafell before the demons Fall?
(Unbeknown to either Azirafell and Crowley, Archangel Michael had shown three pictures to Archangel Gabriel when he got back from his jog. All three pictures held Archangel of Healing, Guardian of the Eastern Gate of Eden, and Star Maker, Raphael and Goat Demon of Eden, Gluttony Demon, and Tempter, Azira seeming to be rather friendly with each other.
One was of them eleven years ago; Raphael and Azira was sat on a bench. The angel was slouched in his seat, halfway down it, and one arm on the arm rest, the other hand was in between he and the demon. The demon, on the other hand, was sat straight, one hand on his lap, and the other gently between them. It was possible the two were holding hands.
The other was of 1496; Raphael and Azira had leaned into each other, and were grinning, smiling. And, yet their eyes were darted away from each other.
The final one was of 1862; Raphael and Azira were in St James Park, stood in front of the water, feeding the ducks, side by side, yet looked like they were in the middle of a difficult conversation.
Time to check the none existent back channels.)
Azirafell strolled through the door to the backroom, and into his study, annoyed and tired. "Where should I go?" He hummed out, and placed his hand on his old globe. Gently, he spun it and let his fingers graze over the smooth ball, it was coloured with faded blues and greens due to it being an antique. He placed his finger against an area and frowned, "England is out." He pulled the globe out from the black, wooden stand, and held it between his hands, "America is also out." He frowned.
The globe hovered in the air, between the palms of his hands and it spun slowly and steadily.
Azirafell's grey to blue toned eyes shone in wonder, "Atlantis?" He questioned, seeing a new destination pap ("Pop, Azirafell! Pop!") into existence. "That didn't exist yesterday." He hummed, voice full of thought. "But, it exists today." He reminded himself, "it's still out." He flicked his hand, and the globe flew to the side, hovering still and slowly spinning.
He slammed a green book down suddenly, one that he had gotten for Crowley, but he then talked himself out of giving it to the angel due to fear of him not liking it. The title read; The Extremely Big Book of Astronomy, the angel loves astronomy, makes sense as he was a Star Maker. The two would spend hours outside in the dark, lying on a red checker blanket, on their backs and would watch the stars, and Crowley would tell him everything about the stars, constellations, and planets, and black holes... honestly, he doesn't think Crowley knows he does it, but he never stops him, he encourages the angel.
"The moon." Azirafell sighed out, flipping the book open and looking to the page with the moon on. He read over the notes, "no atmosphere. No nightlife." He flipped through the book at rapid speed, the thoughts of being careful with the book long gone, as pages upon pages flew out from the book. He'd hate himself for it later, right now he has to get off this dead planet.
Pages flew and levitating all around him, and held a page, "Alpha Centauri." He read out, and smiled. Crowley would like it there, of course he would! He made it! "That's supposed to be pleasant this time of year." He said, flicking the page away.
He took hold of a picture of lovely stars, "a beautiful nebula." He smiled looking at the picture, "look at that. Crowley helped build that one." ("The stars remind me of your eyes..." Crowley had once said, curled up on Azirafell's chest, "didn't even mean to do that." (Crowley had gained inspiration from another angel before The Fall, he just can't remember who.) "They do?" Azirafell had asked, and then when he went home, spent the night looking between Alpha Cantauri and his eyes in a mirror.) He smiled softly at the thought of Crowley, tracing his fingers over the image, "I defended it at one point... with a Flaming Sword..." He looked down, he always felt attached to Crowley, when he first saw him... he felt like he... when he held that Flaming Sword, when he saw Crowley, it all felt connected... almost like it was all meant to be... it would make sense if he defended Alpha Centauri, and Crowley created it... it would stand to reason that they met before his Fall...
He strolled away from the images, and draped himself over his old, rickety, wooden desk chair, his golden chair no longer there, "the food wasn't good..." True, but that can't be the exact thing. He never really voiced his opinion on the food, it was an afterthought... he knew the real reason...
Azirafell sniffed, and his arms moving to the backrest, he looked up in despair with red tears, "I only ever asked questions, I gave an interrogation to you, that's all!" He defended, looking up to the ceiling, and was now holding himself up on the chair. He was holding back desperate wailing. "I defended what I believed to be correct and honourable!" He clenched his hand as if remembering something, holding his old sword. "That's all it took to be a demon in the old days."
The pictures and pages flew out of the room, hiding in a way, away from the demon, afraid he would lash out at them.
"Great Plan?!" He lamented, his voice echoing slightly. He seemed lost and... devastated. He kept looking up to his ceiling, "God, are you listening?!" He bellowed, despairingly. "Show me a Great Plan!" He begged, pleaded, a frown on his face, wailing.
Silence. Nothing. No response. Still.
Looking down slightly, his rectangular pupils moving to the side, "okay, I understand you are testing and evaluating them; and yes, you stated you were going to be testing them." Azirafell admitted, finding it harder and harder to keep himself up right. He shook his head, and looked up again, "you shouldn't test them to destruction." He reasoned, looking down, his voice sad and quiet. Humanity, humans, angels and demons, and even Earth... None of them knew all the years they could give him and Crowley... together...
He stared at his hovering globe, "not to the end of the world." He growled out, slamming his hand against the ball. It flew away from the force, but like a boomerang, came back in position.
Azirafell slouched, sagging and glaring at the globe.
Cartoon bunnies in a movie, being played in a cinema, mere hours away from the end of the world is where Azirafell was situated. The red seats were empty, obviously, as this children's movie was terribly boring and dull, even for kids, except for one man. He was passed out, drunk, practically dead... is he dead?
Anyway, Azirafell was sat, slouched in his seat for the first time in years, and holding a bag of popcorn, with a fizzy drink next to him. The seats were uncomfortable, yet he still managed to want to sleep. And the snacks were amazing, delicious and yet extremely expensive - it's what happens in cinemas. Mainly, because cinema seats and food was Azirafell's idea.
He stared up at the movie, three rabbits hopped along, humming playfully, as a cartoon-ish-y song played, the rabbits holding up whimsical looking signs, it was a stop motion, animation clay movie. One blue, one green, and one pink rabbit, the pink one being the centre of attention. It was one of those disgustingly, child friendly, children's movie, but it was a good and effective distraction.
Suddenly, the pink one removed it's head, as if a mask, and there on the screen was a human face on the pink bunny body, made of clay. It was dirty, with black eyes pulled into a glare and a frog on it's head. WHAT THE HEAVEN IS GOING ON, AZIRAFELL? Grumbled Hastur in a voice not like his own, using the actors voice no doubt. He threw the bunny head away, and pointed its paw at him, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?
Azirafell stared at the scene in front of him, sitting up straight now, and his eyes wide in surprise, "Hastur. Salutations, dear boy. I'm not following you, I'm afraid. How do you mean, darling?" He asked, although he already knew. He hoped using his usual nicknames would give the impression of 'everything is fine, I have no idea what could be wrong, and I'm not going through a terrible breakup'.
THE BOY... Hastur said, THE BOY CALLED WARLOCK. He pointed his paw out to the side.
The blue rabbit looked over the pink rabbit head in the background in wonder, and the green rabbit watched the pink rabbit talk to seemingly nothing.
WE TOOK HIM TO THE FIELDS OF MEGIDDO. He pointed to Azirafell.
The green rabbit held up a paw, and the blue rabbit walked off screen.
THE DOG IS NOT WITH HIM. THE CHILD KNOWS NOTHING OF THE GREAT WAR! He kept saying, pointing accusingly at Azirafell. HE IS NOT OUT MASTER'S SON.
Azirafell watched this with a frown, both of mock sadness for the demon, and worry for himself, "ah."
IS THAT ALL YOU CAN SAY, AZIRAFELL? Snarled Hastur in disbelief.
Azirafell hummed, "well..."
HE SAID THAT I... Suddenly, there was an extreme close up on Hastur's gnarly, grotesque, clay animated face, THAT I SMELLED OF POO.
The blue rabbit placed a comforting paw on Hastur's tensed shoulder.
"Well, you can see his point." Azirafell defended the poor boy, wearing a thoughtful sneer. Warlock... he missed the dear boy, he hoped nothing happened to him. Satan, he hopes. Warlock was like kind of like a godson to him, in a way. The boy kept in contact with 'Brother Edmund' and 'Nanny Astarte', even 'Mr. Harrison' and 'Mr. Cortese'.
OUR TROOPS ARE ASSEMBLED, THE FOUR BEAST HAVE BEGUN TO RIDE - BUT WHERE ARE THEY RIDING TO? Snapped Hastur, a close up on his face. SOMETHING HAS GONE WRONG, AZIRAFELL. He grumbled out, obviously. AND IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. AND, IN ALL PROBABILITY, YOUR FAULT. WE TRUST YOU HAVE A PERFECTLY REASONABLE EXPLANATION FOR ALL THIS... Hastur snarled out, getting angrier and angrier by the second.
"Oh yes," agreed Azirafell, readily. "Perfectly reasonable."
YOU'RE DEAD MEAT, AZIRA. Hastur said, YOU'RE BLOODY HISTORY. Suddenly, he grew claws, and slashed the blue bunny, red blood seeped out and gushed from the wounds and the green bunny babbled in shock. He pointed to Azirafell, THERE IS NO ESCAPE. YOU STAY WHERE YOU ARE. WE'RE COMING TO COLLECT YOU! He warned, threateningly, hopping off the screen, dragging blood with him.
Azirafell shot up out of his seat, stumbling as he did, his face one of shock and horror, eyes wide in fear. He ran through the aisle, and down the steps, running out the doors to the cinema room, and rushed out with a loud slam of the double doors.
A black 1929 Mercedes-Benz SSK skidded around a corner with a screech of tyres, down a familiar street, near a familiar plant shop. Azirafell saw a familiar figure in white walk down the street wearing pink tinted glasses, and so he sharply turned the wheel, the head of the car now up on the pavement, parking up.
Crowley, who was fiddling nervously with his ring on his pinkie finger, paused in confusion seeing the familiar car.
Azirafell got out the car and called out, "angel!" Crowley watched as Azirafell strolled, quickly up to him, "I'm sorry." Apologised the demon, voice desperate and fast. "I apologise. Whatever I said, I didn't mean it!" He held his hands out, the two locking eyes behind their respective glasses. He was on the verge of begging, anything to get his angel back, he'll do it. He'll take the blame, everything! Azirafell's eyebrows were pulled together in sadness and worry, "work with me here, I'm apologising. Correct? Yes. Good!" He answered his own question, moving the conversation along, and gestured to his automobile, "do get in the car, my dear." He said, now begging. He needed to hurry this all along, he wanted to get Crowley into the car as fast as possible, and drive off, so that they both can survive.
"Wot?" Asked Crowley, quickly. He looked confused, and answered just as quickly, "no!"
"The forces of Hell have figured out it was my fault." Azirafell explained, voice speeding up. "But we can run away together!" He raised a hand, pointing to the sky, "Alpha Centauri." The angel followed the finger, then glanced down. "You made that one! I defended it!" (That came as a shock to Crowley.) "There are masses of surplus planets up there. Nobody would even notice us!" He waved his hand, panting and his face was desperate. He thought he could do this without crying again, he needed the angel. His whole purpose and belief in Faith was because of Crowley, he worshipped the Archangel.
"Azirafell, y'bein' silly." Crowley said, voice a whimper and all broken, shaking his head sadly. Azirafell's face contorted into a painful wince, one of sadness and despair. He was no better, seeing the demon again so soon after their break up, it was killing him, Gabriel and The Bandstand didn't help either. "I-I-if I can just..." Crowley waved a hand, "just talk to the Right people," he clenched his hands. "Then I can sort this out!" He nodded, eyes certain.
Azirafell stared at the angel in shock, and jogged forward, "there aren't any Right people, dear boy." He said softly, looking up to Crowley slightly. "There is just God," he said, waving a hand, "moving in mysterious ways and not conversing to any of us!" He yelled out, teeth grinding together as he shook and baa-ed in anger.
Crowley nodded, "yeah, and that's why I'm gonna talk to the Almighty, and She will fix it!" He nodded so sure of himself, his face intense.
With a shake of his head, eyes wide and voice full of disbelief, Azirafell baa-ed out, "that won't happen!" He shook his head, voice full of bewilderment, "you are so clever." He reasoned, desperate for Crowley to agree with him, and he took his hands gently. "How can somebody as clever as you be so stupid?!" He questioned, voice soft and strained.
The angel stared at him softly, and gently squeezed his heads, he said, voice soft and kind, "I forgive you." You're an angel now, see? We're on the same side... you're more of an angel than all angels I know...
It was a holy forgiveness, something Azirafell isn't used to, ever. It was burning slightly, but it didn't hurt... now, it was a tingle almost, all over his body and it was warm and... well, nice. He is a demon, he's supposed to be unforgivable. He groaned out a sigh, letting out a "baa!" That's not how it works, my dearest... he stormed off to his car, "I'm going home, angel!" He called, his voice anguished, and Crowley looked down, sadly. Azirafell walked to his open door, and propped himself up on his car, "I'm collecting my belongings and I'm leaving!"
A short, chubby man in a suit walked around the corner, looking up as he heard the argument.
"And when I am off in the stars, I won't even think about you." Yelled Azirafell, waving a hand in a dismissive way, voice sounding sad like it was breaking. He was distressed, and distraught. It was a lie, a bold face lie! His thoughts would be nothing but Crowley... he got into the drivers seat, speeding off around a corner with tyre screeching.
Crowley watched with a blank eyed stare, saddened, eyes soft and broken, he felt like he was drowning in everything, sorrowed and angered by The Great Plan as well, not that he would admit it.
"I've been there." The man said, nearing the sad looking angel. "You're better off without him." He assured softly, showing the gap in his teeth.
Crowley looked down to the man with a confused, yet sad frown, and the man shrugged softly and sadly, walking off. The angel looked up again, and frowned more, confused and... he gripped the serpent necklace.