Gabriel said no. This was something Aziraphale learnt very quickly in their relationship. Well, if one could call it a relationship. His family certainly wanted it to be a relationship, and the one and only time Gabriel did say yes to anything was to a question asked by Aziraphale’s mother of will you please marry him and save us from turning into demons!
Gabriel had said yes because despite the failing wealth of the family he knew they had connections, and if he built them back up again those connections would be his. All it took was to marry the son the family didn’t want. The son was an angel certainly, a lower one but still an angel, although often didn’t act as such. He was the one that had thoughts and opinions of his own that didn’t match with his status, very disgraceful really. But Aziraphale was all the family had to ensure their survival, and marrying him off to anyone that could save them was all they cared about, whether Aziraphale was happy about that or not.
Which he wasn’t.
Gabriel said no. To everything after that. No, they couldn’t stay in England, he had to travel to live with Gabriel in his native America, but he promised to send monies back to the family. No, he couldn’t take his books, they took up too much space and Gabriel needed space for his own belongings. No, he dressed too old fashioned, the majority of his clothes would be left behind and new ones purchased once they reached New York. No, he couldn’t have his own life, he was to be a simple clerk in Gabriel’s business where he could keep an eye on him. No, he had to do what Gabriel told him. No, he couldn’t have that dessert. No, don’t speak.
No, don’t be happy.
But, Aziraphale being who he was, took it all in his stride. Every time Gabriel said no, he’d tell himself, this is for my family, this will save them, you don’t want them ruined, poor and helpless, becoming demons, that would be terribly…awful.
He loved his family......he did. They may not think much of him but if this is all he could do to make them happy then he supposed it was meant to be. He supposed this would be his life, soon-to-be-married to a man where the only time he looked at him was to berate him about something.
Aziraphale sighed deeply and miserably, looking out to the tiny distant shoreline of his beloved England, disappearing into the distance like any dreams of his own. He leant on the railings on the top deck of the Titanic, a ship designed by clever angels and built by wily demons, both declaring proudly it was unsinkable and had every luxury possible. Not for the demons though of course. That lot were wandering around the lower decks far out of the reach of any angel. Most were still outside, walking and talking amongst those they’d be spending the next seven days with.
As his home finally disappeared entirely, Aziraphale let his eyes drop downwards to the demons as he rested his chin in his hands. He idly watched the many bodies, voices floating high up towards him, thoughts far away and unfocused. And then, it was a sudden flash of red that shot his depressive thoughts far from his mind and his eyes immediately focused on one singular demon. He was standing with two others, shaking hands, apparently just met. It was the demons very red hair which had caught the sunlight that had distracted Aziraphale, and he found himself leaning a little further over the railing to get a better look. Even from way up here that demon stood out, what with the general dark and manky state of most of them, no colour at all.
Aziraphale felt the tiniest pull at the corner of his lips, and for the first time since he was forcibly held by the arm and unwillingly guided onto the ship did he feel himself relax. He visibly melted into his hands where he was leaning, watching as the red head laughed at something, wishing he could be in on that joke, to have something to laugh at. He liked to laugh.
Gabriel had said no.
“Aziraphale, there you are.”
Aziraphale let out a small high pitched “Oh!” at being interrupted so out of the blue, and quickly turned to see his fiancé, that usual fake smile plastered on the American’s face.
“What are you doing out here? Didn’t I tell you to wait in the cabin?”
“Oh, yes, I’m sorry I just, I-I needed some fresh air, that’s all.”
“Hmm,” Gabriel peered over the edge of the railings, “Well, its certainly fresher than down there huh?”
He smiled at Aziraphale in a way that he was expecting an agreement back, so Aziraphale just flashed him a quick smile to keep him happy.
Gabriel looked over the nervous angel, eyes raking up and down his form like he was viewing a particularly sub-standard side of beef. Gabriel sighed, disappointed, before gripping Aziraphale’s upper arm much like he did when taking him on board, “Come on, I hear there’s a great gym on board, gotta lose that gut before our wedding right?” he grinned, patting Aziraphale’s round stomach with his other hand.
“Oh, yes…quite.” He answered, very quietly.
Aziraphale begrudgingly let himself be pulled along, but not without taking one quick longing glance back to the red headed demon who was now looking up at him!
His angel heart skipped the biggest beat, but before he could even register anything about the face peering up at him he was pulled away, and the demon was out of sight.
“No chance,” said the red headed demons new friend, patting a little frog he kept in his pocket, “You’re more likely to turn into an angel yourself then get with the likes of him.”
“Leave him Hastur, can’t you see he’s not listening?” grinned the other, his eyes a mysterious shade of everything depending on the light.
They both looked to the demon who was still staring up at the now empty top deck, absently running his tongue over the ends of his top row of teeth, and looking as enamoured and heart-struck he apparently felt, if the way his fellow demons were now snickering beside him.
“Hello Angel.” He whispered, as a white feather rushed by him in the breeze.