In the springtime, he gets freckles.
Aziraphale has always been resolutely British, even when he wasn’t, and so it’s unsurprising, on one hand, to see him freckle in the sun. And he doesn’t get many; five or six across his nose, a few around his mouth. You might not even notice them if you hadn’t been looking at his face every springtime since the fourteenth century or so.
Those freckles say a lot, though. They say, for instance, that he’ll acquire first a decidedly wimpy tan and then a startlingly serious sunburn in the summer when he forgets to either wear sunscreen or miracle himself impervious. The freckles mean that he tends towards nineteenth-century aristocratic pallor in the winter, when he inevitably spends most of his time wearing long coats and sniffling with the cold. Y’see, each little dot of colouring on his face in the spring represents Aziraphale’s way of dealing with the world. It’s a simple philosophy, so simple that he maybe hasn’t even noticed it yet: he allows himself to be changed.
Not perhaps at the rate I’d like, especially insofar as fashion and music trends go, but he does. Change.
And six thousand years is a long time to be a work in progress.
The Angel of the Eastern Gate did not acquire freckles, not even under the warm influence of the Edenic sunlight. Not even in that place where it was always spring.
The Aziraphale I know sometimes snorts when he laughs. He gets angry and frustrated. He tries to dance, and the results are alternately pathetic and hilarious. He can be bribed with the promise of hot cocoa and a good book. And he has a cupboard full of Blackadder and Mills and Boone that he thinks I don’t know about. If he was a pure being, once upon a time, he sure as Hell (to use the expression) isn’t anymore.
When I touch his hand or his arm, just a glancing touch to get his attention or to pass him the wine, I see a momentary whitening of his skin from the pressure of my fingers. Back in the day, they would’ve been bruises, marks of Battle With the Enemy. But now I only alter him with light touches. Sometimes, despite himself, he laughs at my jokes or gives in to some trifling temptation. Sometimes he almost gets what being wicked’s all about. And this one time, we averted the apocalypse together.
And just last week, I found a freckle on my arm.