I have discovered that confusion is overwhelming. Your existence drives my very being, yet I know it is forbidden. Why this has happened i do not know. If ever the day comes that I understand myself, I shall certainly let it be known. But for know, I shall attempt to keep it hidden.
After many a year of wondering, I’ve come to the conclusion that I love you, far more dearly than I am allowed to. I should only value you as an enemy, but I know deep down that it was always inevitable that I was going to fall for you. Forgive me.
I am not an eloquent man. I know nothing about intelligent love. What I do know about love is primitive, but I shall always do my best.
I fear I am going mad. I miss you, so very dearly. I miss your elegance and sweetness. I miss your delicate balance of fragility and masculinity. To put it simply, I miss all of you. But I know that this is all unrequited.
I’m afraid. I’m afraid for I know that my feelings will never stop. I’ve tried to stop writing this silly letters, but it was all in vain. You’re always on my mind. Even though you’ve never received these messages, it feels like I’ve been judged for creating them. Forgive me.
Forget it. Forget it all. I have no clue what I want anymore. I desperately want you to know how much I love you, but I’m also terrified of this. Terrified of you. Terrified of rejection, even though you’ve never read these absurd little love letters and probably never will.
Although I took a break from my writing, it doesn’t mean you’re not on my mind. I still love you every bit as dearly, if not more. I see you in my daydreams sometimes. Do you?
I see you sometimes in the street. Only briefly, I know I cannot talk to you without feeling...strange, so I avoid such encounters. But I see you in passing. London is not as vast as I would like it to be. You look happy. I’m glad. I’m not the only one who loves you. Seemingly, the whole of London shares my affection.
Writing is sometimes not an easy thing to do. Sometimes, the clock’s hours simply don’t allow it. Other times, I simply cannot articulate how I wish to communicate. But I, of course, still love you.
I saw you once more. You were in the marketplace, your sleeves rolled up, the cuffs nestled in the crook of your elbow. You’re beautiful. How I wish I could tell you all of this. How I wish I could tell you how, when I saw you that day, it was all I thought about. How I wish you could know how that if I were a painter, I would’ve immortalised that glorious image to look at every day. It might not have been so significant to those around you, but to me, that little glimpse I got of you that day filled me with joy.
I’m going to keep this one short and sweet. I still miss you. I’ve never stopped missing you. My love for you is passionate, strong and wistful. But above all, it’s sweet and full of pining. Unreciprocated pining.
I don’t know how much more I can take. I hardly see you, but when I do, it drives me mad. I want you with me so very dearly. But do not fret, one day, I shall eternally sleep and rid myself of these thoughts.
Forgive me my love, but I cannot carry on like this any longer. Goodbye for now and may my spirit always be with you. I love you.
Crowley goes to sleep and dreams of pain, doom and darkness, blood and brains. He wakes in 1832 and deliberates what he’s going to do with his life.
Ink, Crowley very quickly concluded, was not going to be an easy thing to wash off your skin. It bleed down his wrists and forearms as he finished the last sentence of his letter. Black streaks cursed his pale skin.
His eyes crumpled, along with his heart as he threw his pen across the room. This hurt more than ever before. The note he had just finished writing had small blobs of ink and the bottom. As he slumped into his chair, he forlornly grasped the note with frail fingers. He was angry, no, furious at himself. How dare he be so... so soft! How could he? Despite his frustration, he held the note with the sincerity and gentleness of a thousand angels and wept. Tiny drips of tears mixed with the soot black ink at the bottom of the slightly crumpled page.
Placing the letter back on the polished table, Crowley dragged himself out of his seat. He was about to sleep for a century, he was damned if he was going to sleep, only to wake up with a sore back from sleeping awkwardly. So, with the sluggishness that only a heartbroken demon can muster, he dragged himself to the porcelain sink.
Black was Crowley’s favourite colour, but not when it stained your skin like a painful tattoo that only reminded you of your sorrow. He scrubbed at his arms. Reddish patches covered his arms, an unattractive sight that only further remind him of his pain.
Enough was enough, time to go to sleep.
He walked over to the table for what he hoped would be the last time. Scooping up the little scraps of paper on the table, Crowley desperately tried to lock stray tears away. It didn’t work. He pressed a gentle kiss to the small scrap of paper at the top of the pile, his hands quivering.
With a jagged, erratic breath, he put the papers down and closed his eyes. He was about to embark on a nap he hoped to never wake up from.
Steadily, he made his way to his room. His usual saunter had been sucked from his soul. With a stoic, dismal atmosphere lingering in the air, he left the desk behind. Light was evicted from Crowley’s pokey bedroom as he climbed in to bed. Just before he surrendered to sleep, he uttered his final words, with a hesitant breath:
“I love you my angel...”
Immediately after, consciousness slipped away.
Crowley only woke up twice during his century long nap, once to go to the bathroom, and once for something else. But what exactly did he do when he woke up for the first time and why?
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Deep sleep was something that Crowley had only ever heard of. He had never slept before, and if he had, he didn’t remember it. Deep sleep of course, came hand in hand with dreams ; another experience that most occult forces never go through. As Crowley drifted of to sleep, two things were on his mind. The main one (of course) was his angel, who he quite honestly thought he would never see again. The second was sleeping itself and dreaming. Did demons ever wake up from sleeping? Could they? This thought should’ve been a strong deterrent, but Crowley couldn’t quite bring himself to care. After all, if sleeping meant he didn’t have to consciously think anymore, he was quite eager to take part in sleeping, preferably for a very long time.
Demons are immortal. Time doesn’t interact with occult forces in the same way as humans. As result of this time-warping, Crowley had technically already been sleeping for ten years, but had only just entered a deeper sleep. If someone had woken him up before this time, he would’ve firstly been very upset. But secondly, he would’ve furiously protested that, no, he most certainly was not sleeping. However, he would’ve then asked for the date and been terribly alarmed when he found out the truth.
Crowley’s face was scrunched up like a tiny paper ball, his entire body screwed up as small as possible to take up as little space as he could. A vast bed lay mostly untouched. Unsurprisingly, the entire room was adorned in black. Apart from a few plants in the corners of the room, which sat in porcelain white pots. A few stray strands of reddish hair flopped across Crowley’s nose, twitching with every breath he took. Apart from this gentle, laboured breathing, the whole house was stoically silent.
Deep sleep washed over him, dragging him down into the depths of his own brain. His eyes closed even tighter, if that were possible, and he began his twenty-two year long dream.
Twenty-two years is a very long time to spend in your own brain, especially if your brain is filled with a strange kind of sorrow that can only be properly described as agonising...
Crowley was suddenly transported to outside Aziraphale’s bookshop. The market was humming with busy people. In the distance, Crowley could see Aziraphale, with his sleeves rolled up and curls ruffled, purchasing fruit. His heart swelled, he looked as beautiful as ever. A sudden pride swallowed him, he was going to talk to his angel and tell him exactly how wonderful he thought he was. He raced over to him, but with every step, he got farther and farther away. With every step, Aziraphale got more and more crowded by other people until he was completely shielded from Crowley’s view.
Crowley had felt lonely a lot, so this feeling of isolation from Aziraphale was nothing new. But then he took a closer look at exactly who these ‘people’ were.
And that’s when everything started to fall apart.
Flies buzzed, frogs croaked and insects hummed. The air grew gloomy and a dingy grey dust chocked the breathable air. Hell had caught up with them.
Everything was swamped in a thick haze of doom and gloom. A swirl of snarling cackles sprouted from the crowd of condemned souls, the laughter tearing through the air and reminding Crowley of his crimes. Disobedience was encouraged in Hell, but disobeying Hell itself would lead to certain punishment. Crowley gulped. The screams of the damned started to be muffled by a different type of scream, a scream he had never heard before.
“No... Please not him. Aziraphale, no”
But it was too late. Crowley had failed. The armies of Hell flocked away, leaving nothing behind but a shredded bow tie in the street. The basket of fruit that Aziraphale once held was now filled with rot and a foul stench of death. Crowley crawled over to the remnant of his angel. Now, he was the one to scream. He cursed Hell, cursed Heaven, cursed everyone and everything because those bastards took him away.
It was all his fault.
He was literally there. He should’ve pushed through and saved him. But he didn’t. Now, Aziraphale was discorporated, and probably alone and afraid in Heaven. Even worse, he was discorporated in the most hideous was Crowley could imagine. He scooped up the scrap of tartan and trudged away down the street, tears streaking down his face.
And that’s when he woke up.
Crowley woke from his nightmare in a cold sweat, with his limbs contorted amongst the duvet. He slowly peeled his eyes open and looked around. Oh no. No no no, please no. Don’t let it be true. Crowley’s eyes started to brim with tears, but then he remembered, it was just a dream. He chuckled weakly and rolled out of bed. Even though it was indeed a dream, he wanted to make one-hundred percent sure that all was okay now.
He stumbled into the bathroom and took a hesitant look in the mirror. He looked normal, so at least he could confidently assume that he wasn’t still dreaming now. With a sleep-swamped, lazy movement, he reached for the cold tap and splashed his face with water. Now that he was a tad more awake, he could begin the awkward task of contemplating his dream.
For the first time in thirty-two years, Crowley sat at his desk. Everything was exactly how he had left it : a mess. First things first, he needed to address the main problem, which was, what on Earth had that dream been about? He had heard from human friends about dreams, but none of them ever sounded like that. Was that a nightmare? Crowley’s head ached with confusion and fear.
Regardless of what it was, Crowley decided that he would promise himself a few things.
Number One: Insurance. That dream had felt all too real. If the armies of Hell really did come for him and his angel, he would need a plan. Holy Water should do the trick nicely. The thought of the vile substance filled Crowley with dread, but it was the only defence he could think of. With Holy Water, at least he had two options, protect his angel and rid himself of Hell forever, or die trying.
Number Two: Crowley would try and talk to Azirphale again. Pining was one thing, torment was another. The last time he had properly talked to Aziraphale was in the bastille. They’d had crepes... Crowley chuckled fondly at the memory. He remembered how happy he looked when he turned up to save him.
Crowley had always had a fondness for the angel, ever since Eden. But that moment in France reaffirmed something in his mind : he couldn’t live without him. Sure, occult forces couldn’t actually die, so it would’ve just been a mild inconvenience if he hadn’t turned up and Aziraphale had actually been decapitated. However, Crowley realised in that moment, locked away in the dungeon, that he would never let that happen, not to his angel. Ever since then, his mind went a little haywire. Fondness became pining, pining became confusion and confusion was eventually what helped Crowley to draw the conclusion that, oh heaven forbid, he was in love.
So, Crowley would try and talk to Aziraphale again. This time, with real meaning. But, at the same time, he would need to tackle the issue of ‘insurance’, without giving the game away about his overwhelming fondness for Aziraphale and without worrying him with his premonitions of hellish doom. Oh dear, this was not going to be an easy task...
The dream, whilst it was awful, confirmed something colossal in Crowley’s mind which was just how dearly he cared for Aziraphale. Sure, time didn’t affect them in the same way, but that didn’t mean that it was impossible that he could easily be taken away from him at any moment without warning. The thought made Crowley sick.
So, he threw open a draw in his desk. This special draw was reserved for the notes that Crowley considered too sinful, even for him. These notes were so sappy, so silly, so painfully sweet and full of love-struck awe that Crowley had thrown them away and not looked at them again. The only notes that survived were the extremely constrained ones.
This dream made Crowley realise that he had no more patience for hiding, and he would be damned if he wasn’t going to be more honest.
He bundled together every note, letter and scribble in reference to Aziraphale he could find. Even the most explicit, soppy, and Satan forbid ‘nice’ letters made it into the package. He tied it up with a flourish and laid it to rest in the middle of his desk.
Crowley was most certainly scared. He was going to face his angel for the first time in years, that thought alone should’ve been enough to be frightening. But even worse, he was going to ask him to do a favour that in Aziraphale’s eyes would surely sound horrific. All he could do was hope he would understand. And all of that doesn’t even take into account the love letters... oh dear.
This plan was certainly going to take all his energy to execute. Perhaps another nap that lasts roughly thirty years could help? Maybe this time, there wouldn’t be any nightmares...
With a nervous, yet proud smile, Crowley sauntered off to bed once more. He had just hatched his own little ineffable plan, and he was just about convinced it would work out in his favour.
This was a proper long chapter! Hope anyone reading has enjoyed this so far. I’m going on holiday soon, so an update might not come until next week, but there certainly will be more chapters to come!
So sorry for the late update! This chapter kept deleting itself, so I had to rewrite it a few times, but here’s chapter 4 at last. Many thanks to @anthonyj.crowley on Instagram for providing the clip of them in Saint James’s Park and the dialogue. Also, there is a teensy bit of swearing, but it’s only one word, so the teen rating is still valid. :)
The river was always beautiful this time of day ; the sun splashed in the dappled water and ducks swarmed near the river banks, waiting to be fed. These ducks were so used to mysterious visitors that they’d learnt to stick around, just incase food was offered. Ducks must have memories...do they have memories? Must do. How else would they remember the man who has been stood in front of them? But, one could equally ask, how could anyone forget?
Crowley used to visit Saint James’s Park every day, hoping to catch a glimpse of Aziraphale. Occasionally, he was indulged, but only from a distance. But for the first time in years, that was all about to change. He had arranged to meet Aziraphale by the lake just after lunch time. He did this for one rather important reason. Crowley wanted Aziraphale to be in the best possible mood. Mostly this was because he simply wanted his angel to be happy. But also, this was because he wanted to ask him a favour, and not just a small one. He wanted a form of ‘insurance’ that only a certain obnoxiously kind angel could safely give him.
The time was precisely twelve o’clock, but Crowley had arrived an hour before. This over the top punctuality could be explained rather simply. Crowley was far more paranoid than the average demon. Although he radiated an attitude more relaxed than a bowl of soup, he was inwardly a puddle of quivering jelly. So because of this, he arrived early to make sure the scene was set to the upmost perfect condition. After all, his angel was coming to visit. Every flower stood tall, the ducks swam serenely and not a single tree had a wilted leaf. All it took was a stern talking too, which had earned Crowley a few extra confused stares.
The streets of Victorian London were always filled to burst with people. Some of them were decent, but the majority were judgemental snobs. This was the conclusion Crowley quickly came to after spending an hour alone in the park. As the women walked past, they clung onto their husbands arms just a little tighter after seeing the brooding figure dressed all in black. They would whisper among themselves about how he had been there all morning, unmoving. The men would try and reassure their wives by saying that he was probably waiting for a sweetheart, but they always said it in a tone of voice that leaked uncertainty and mockery. These were the exact kinds of people who would, for unfortunate and unrelated reasons, find that their top hats and parasols went flying into the lake.
However, there was another man not too far away who despite being equally odd, was never questioned because of it. Quite the opposite, people loved him for it. And that man was hurriedly locking the door to his beloved bookshop.
Every morning, out of the great wooden doors of the funny little bookshop on the corner, a little blond man would emerge. He was always greeted with a friendly smile from any passing children and was treated with upmost respect from the adults. After all, everyone in Soho knew the name Mr Fell. Usually, he would be very dainty in his step and calm in his manner. But something was different this morning. He tried to hide it, but it seeped through the cracks and ever so slightly tainted the atmosphere around him, filling it with anticipation and worry. Yesterday morning, Mr Fell had been asked to come to Saint James’s Park by request of his old friend. His only friend. And after not seeing him in many, many years, he was suitably confused and worried. Why was he requesting to see him? That never happened. They had always just stumbled upon each other in the past... something must be important.
He fumbled in his pocket to grab his key and jammed it in the door. Mumbling to himself as he jiggled the key, he clumsily ran his fingers through his hair, trying to fix it a bit before putting his top hat on. One of the main things people noticed about Mr Fell was his appearance. He wore so many layers, even in the baking sun, so many in fact that the average Victorian man would suddenly feel naked in his presence. He had fair, neat blond hair, which was rigorously curly. Unfortunately, he had to tame it under his top hat. This was quite possibly the only thing he didn’t like about Victorian fashion, but he’d never tell anyone. That and the slightly ridiculous ‘mutton chop’ style of facial hair.
He hastily did up the front button of his beige jacket, wiggled his bow tie in the window and started his swift walk to the park. As he walked, he contemplated what on Earth was going to happen. The previous day gifted him a telegram saying: Aziraphale, meet me at Saint James’s tomorrow. I need you. Crowley
Crowley was the only friend he had, he was the only one who knew his real name for heaven’s sake, so he wasn’t about to turn him down. But he was still scared. Why did Crowley need him? He had never said that before. And so ever since receiving that telegram, Aziraphale was sick with worry.
Crowley stood waiting by the river, like he had been all morning. He too was sick with worry. In his pocket were a few slips of paper and a pen. In his chest pocket were even more slips of paper. But these bits of paper were already written on, covered in words of love and adoration for a certain ‘person’. Crowley thought he had to carry them around at all times. He constantly feared hell, he feared that they’d find these letters and use them to condemn them both. This path of thinking lead Crowley to think about many other things. What about the inevitable end of the world? What if we get dragged into it? This resulted in Crowley feeling the need for a kind of insurance that only a certain angel could give him, which was the reason behind this meeting, among other more affection orientated reasons. After all, he was more paranoid than the average demon.
Shyly, Aziraphale shuffled towards the looming figure who was perched in front of a swarm of ducks. Crowley could never resist a touch of the dramatic and neither could Aziraphale. It’s one of the things they had in common, but nobody would guess it after taking a glance at the pair side by side. Most people would come to the conclusion that they were polar opposites. Those people would never know just how close they were to the truth. Aziraphale perched himself next to Crowley, gently removed his hat and started tossing bread for the ducks. Immediately, a few thoughts came into Crowley’s head. The first was: ‘Of course this stupidly soft idiot would bring bread for the ducks, even during such an inappropriate time.’ The second was: ‘I’m going to eternally hate myself for hurting this gentle angel.’ The third, and most bitter was ‘I wish I could be seeing him for any reason, other than this.’ These thoughts swarmed Crowley’s mind and stung. Crowley took a sharp breath before speaking.
“Look, I’ve been thinking. What if it all goes wrong,” he paused, “We have a lot in common, you and me.”
“I don’t know. We may have both started off as angels, but you are fallen.” Aziraphale sighed
Great. The last thing Crowley needed was a reminder of his free-for-all plummet. It hurt so bad. He was feeling similar pain now. Was Aziraphle mocking him? Did he secretly agree with all the others, did he think Crowley was pure evil? Sickening thoughts swarmed Crowley’s mind. He had to shut them up somehow, he couldn’t risk crying in front of the angel. So he spoke again.
“I didn’t really fall. I just, you know... sauntered vaguely downwards. I need a favour.” He uttered the final sentence in such a rush, as if it scorched his tongue.
“We already have the agreement, Crowley. Stay out of each others way. Lend a hand when needed.” Aziraphale punctuated this with a firm throw of a crust of bread.
Once again, Aziraphale’s words unintentionally landed like a lead balloon. All they did was hurt Crowley further, and he couldn’t even see it. Crowley’s mind raced once more. Thoughts along the line of “Am I secretly a burden?” And “Am I in his way?” cropped up a lot. Just like the last time, he ignored these thoughts as best he could.
“This is something else, for if it all goes pear-shaped.”
“I like pears.”
Bloody hell. Of course this stupid angel’s first response to possible threat would be food, he really was oblivious. If the situation wasn’t so painful, Crowley would probably have simply chuckled, ended the conversation there and invited Aziraphale to dinner straight away. But he didn’t. He couldn’t.
“If it all goes wrong,” Crowley corrected himself, “I want insurance.”
“What?” Aziraphale blinked. He must’ve misheard. Either that or Crowley said the wrong thing. He does that sometimes, Aziraphale reasoned, slipping up on words is common, nothing to worry about... Crowley hastily passed him a scrap of paper, and it really was a scrap. It had ragged edges and was slightly stained.
“I wrote it down. Walls have ears. Well, not walls. Trees have ears. Ducks have ears. Do ducks have ears? Must do. That’s how they hear other ducks.”
Aziraphale just finished unwrapping the paper once Crowley had finished his ramble. He had never, not in six thousand years, ever heard the demon ramble before. He quickly realised why. It must’ve been out of worry. Because surely, Crowley wasn’t that stupid. Surely, Crowley must have realised that what was written on the paper would upset Aziraphale deeply. The handwriting was sloppy and grief-stricken. It was the handwriting of a sad, desperate man, with nowhere else to go. If Aziraphale saw this out of context and analysed it from a literature point of view, he would say it was a metaphor for a suicide note. It read, all in scruffy capital letters : HOLY WATER.
“Out of the question.”
The reply that Crowley delivered was far too quick for Aziraphale’s liking. It dawned on him in that moment that this really could be his cry for help. Hurriedly, he started analysing every interaction they’d had over the past six thousand years. Had he missed something? Something ominous and deep rooted? Was it something to do with the fall? Oh god...
“It would destroy you,” Aziraphale begged, “I’m not bringing you a suicide pill, Crowley.” He spat out the words ‘suicide pill’ like they were some sort of curse. He loved him so, so much, how could this stupid demon not see that? His love constantly poured out of him, he needed him. Why on Earth would Crowley even suggest that he wanted to take himself away from him? The idea was obscene and Aziraphale would give anything to stop him from doing something stupid.
“That’s not what I want it for. Just insurance.”
Shit. That was the main word echoing through Crowley’s mind. It had already gone too far, he had no chance of making Aziraphale understand now. Now, he would hate him and never return. He had gone and messed up the only friendship he had ever had.
“I’m not an idiot, Crowley. Do you know what trouble I’d be in if...” he faultered, “If they knew I’d been fraternising? It’s completely out of the question.”
“Fraternising?” Crowley hissed through gritted teeth.
“Well, whatever you wish to call it. I do not think there is any point in discussing it further.”
“I have lots of other people to fraternise with, angel.” Crowley let the words slip out. It was all a lie. He didn’t have anyone else to fraternise with. Hell, he didn’t even have anyone else (besides a few awful demons who he resented) who knew his name. And the name. ‘Angel.’ That name was only ever used in affection before. Most recently, that word had been used in his silly little love letters that were currently taking residence next to his racing heart.
“Of course you do.”
“I don’t need you.” These words were the polar opposite to the truth. What Crowley was desperate to say was: “Angel I need you, please don’t leave. Let me explain myself.” But he couldn’t. It was too late.
“Well, and the feeling is mutual, obviously.” Aziraphale snapped bitterly, before throwing the paper into the water and allowing it to burn menacingly.
“Obviously.” Crowley mocked. He spat out the words in a fake aloof manner, mimicking himself more than he was trying to mimic Aziraphale. The brief moment was gone as soon as it had started. Crowley hadn’t seen his angel in God knows how long. He stood stoically still, discreetly trying to watch Aziraphale as he left. As he stormed away, each step more fury-filled than the last, Crowley started to let out the jagged breath he had been holding. He watched him turn the corner, then he stumbled backwards onto the bench that was sat behind him.
His wobbling legs gave out as soon as the backs of his knees came into contact with the the cold metal of the bench. Wearily, he slumped onto it and buried his head in his hands. A nervous twitch began to manifest. He scraped his left hand over his beard and scratched the skin underneath ; he rested his head in the same hand and placed his sharp elbow on his knee. The coal black hat atop his head shivered as he let out heaving breaths. With shaky hands, he grabbed it and set it down beside him. His eyes twitched. His glasses started to get a little hazy. Ashamed, he looked around, making sure nobody could see him, before removing them. Crowley’s eyes were revealed to the world. They were pools of sulphurous yellow, no resemblance of human like eyes remained. Even his irises couldn’t cope under the stress. Bitter tears gushed out of his eyes as he let out a sob that was more like a stifled scream. He dug his teeth into his knuckles, trying to silence himself. But as he did so, his arm brushed his chest pocket.
The action was simple, but it quickly reminded Crowley of something he would rather forget. The letters. Those stupid love letters. Nothing could fix this mess now ; he’d only gone and made it worse today. He didn’t want to imagine the look of disgust he would receive from Aziraphale if he found these, especially after that conversation. His lip buckled as he continued to sob. With trembling, bite marked fingers, he reached into his trouser pocket and retrieved a small scrap of spare paper and a pen. These silly trinkets had been left in his pocket for a stupid amount of time, just incase he wanted them, which of course he never did, until now. He grabbed them and scrawled a few words onto them: Angel. I’m SO sorry.
He dated the piece of paper ‘1862’, just like he had done with all the others, before shoving the items back into his pocket, he picked up his abandoned glasses and hat and readjusted them. He couldn’t sit here any longer. Hell would crawl through the undergrowth and drag him down, and he didn’t want his final moments on earth to be about self pity. Although, he wanted nothing more in that moment than to just stay in that spot and never move again. Clutching the letters like a life line, he stumbled back home, his forehead creased with worry and lip trembling all the way.
The only good friendship he had was probably over, and it was all his fault.
Crowley returns home after the little chat he and Aziraphale had in 1862. He contemplates what on Earth he was going to do, now that he believes that Aziraphale hates him. He comes up with a little plan to discreetly give him the letters someday. But how and when?
P.s Please read the chapter notes at the end to learn about the future of this fic, thankyou very much!
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Crowley returned home with a weary, tear-stained face. His eyes were like a depressed flame. What the fuck had he done? The only good friendship he had ever had, gone. Of course, Crowley was tempted to reach for more, but now there was no chance.
He had cared about this angel since the dawn of time.
In Eden, he realised he was different. He was infinitely kinder than the angels who cast him aside. Upon seeing him, Aziraphale didn’t shoo him away. Instead, he welcomed him under his wing, quite literally.
When they met at Noah’s Ark, he realised how passionate he was about others, even when the almighty might disagree. Angels having opinions put them at a risk of falling ; Crowley knew this all to well. And yet, Aziraphale still discreetly stood his ground. The angel had always been so brave.
In the Globe Theatre, he realised how much of a sweetheart Aziraphale was. Although he was always amazing, he was in his element during that performance. Happiness radiated from him like a beam of sun. Crowley had been tainted with a slight bitterness in his soul ever since the fall, but seeing Aziraphale’s grin melted his pain away and healed him in areas he didn’t even realise were damaged.
In the flaming Bastille, Crowley realised how charmingly silly he could be! He wanted crepes, the fool, during the bloody French Revolution... Crowley appeared in the Bastille, waiting to save his angel. He could sense he was in trouble so naturally, he wanted to save him so he could indulge in Aziraphale’s flattery. He was sat in an overly relaxed manner for someone who just materialised in a prison cell. When Aziraphale turned around, his first reaction was to sweep his eyes up and down his slender figure. This reaction of course, left Crowley in a state that would be embarrassing to ever mention. So of course, he hid his nervous excitement as best he could. And as if the stupid angel hadn’t already tampered with his thinking, he then had to say something silly that made his stomach turn. Crowley had never heard the phrase “Good Lord” said in such a tempting way before or since...
That moment. That silly, fleeting moment. That moment made Crowley’s stomach do obnoxious flips. It was then that Crowley realised two things. The first was that he had a very deep rooted affection for this angel. Of course, he already knew that, but this was something more. Stomachs don’t do flips for friends.
The second was that he would never EVER let harm come Aziraphale’s way. Ever. Crowley cared far too much. Discorperation would only have been a mild inconvenience to Aziraphale in realistic terms, but the idea of him being scared or in pain for even a spilt second hurt Crowley’s soul. That was why he had turned up to save him. Originally, Crowley thought he only showed up for the praise. But no. He turned up because he loved this stupid angel, and by the looks of it, he probably always had.
But he blew it. In the blink of a yellowish, snake like eye, he blew it. His best and only friend. The love of his infinite life. Gone.
Memories of their past swarmed in Crowley’s head like angry bees. They stung, badly. Crowley sat, slumped in his chair by his desk that had the same scattered pieces of paper from years ago. He rested his forehead on the desk and sobbed, soaking the unused paper. Scrambling, he reached into his pocket containing the letters. He gently lifted his head to read the letters ; his eyes boiled with tears. Crowley skim read the first few, his heart aching too much to read them all properly. Ever word bore into him like a glass splinter. One note in particular grabbed Crowley’s attention and held it in a boa constrictor like grip.
I fear I am going mad. I miss you so very dearly. I miss your elegance and sweetness. I miss your delicate balance of fragility and masculinity. To put it simply, I miss all of you. But I know that this is all unrequited.
Mad? Crowley chuckled in torment. He had hardly known what mad meant! This, this was madness. This swirling, simmering feeling of dread, guilt and hopelessness was mad. And if he thought he missed him back then, then what he was feeling how was closer to bereavement than simply missing someone. ‘Delicate balance of fragility and masculinity.’ That was true. Aziraphale had always been a fragile soul. Ever so sensitive. Ever so sweet. Crowley know this and what did he do? Clumsily crush his soul into a thousand shards. He had been such a fool. Again, he skim read his letters. Another one caught his eye. This one was meant to be the last letter he ever wrote about Aziraphale, but today had changed that. This was the letter of 1800, just before his deep sleep.
Forgive me my love, but I cannot carry on like this any longer. Goodbye for now and may my spirit always be with you. I love you.
Once again, Crowley realised that his past self was incredibly naive. If he thought he was hurting then, then what was this? What was this awful feeling if not bitterness and profound sorrow? He threw all the notes down on his desk and weeped into his hands. What was he going to do? He had scared away his only friend, his only love. He would probably never see him again. The thought filled his stomach with a swimming feeling of sickness. His head swooned and legs twitched. Skittishly, he gathered all of the notes together in order of date. The earliest ones went at the top, so it formed a little book that you could read in chronological order. With quivering legs, Crowley stood up from his chair whilst still clutching at the little book he had made. He slowly walked back to his room, holding the notes in one hand and his heart in the other.
With a thumping chest, he shakily removed his jacket and placed it on the bed next to him. He then tucked the notes into his inner pocket, safe, next to his heart. Crowley had swiftly come to a conclusion. Aziraphale was probably so confused, so disgusted that he would want nothing to do with him ever again. It was a horrifying thought, but he had to assume it was the truth. So, what would he do?
He decided that enough was enough. Aziraphale would probably hate him forever now, he can’t exactly make things worse - right? So, at some point in the future, when he felt comfortable, he could secretly give the angel his little love letters. If he read them, at least he would know the truth behind his feelings and at best, maybe he would understand why he did what he did and forgiven him. The letters clearly said that he loved him. His angel wasn’t stupid ; far from it, he was very clever. Surely, he would be able to read between the lines? He would figure out that he loved him, and that was the reason he asked for insurance, to help him. Crowley hoped so.
But he couldn’t go near him for a little while. He needed to leave it to settle. Currently, his angel was like a bubbling kettle, skittish and boiling. Crowley needed to wait for everything to cool, just a little. So, what on Earth would he do in the mean time? A couple ‘evil’ deeds for sure...
But what else?
This chapter is a little short, just so that I can break up the chapters evenly. The next chapter will of course be chapter 6. I promised someone that after chapter 6, things would get less angsty and more happy, but because of how I’m splitting it all up, this will no longer be the case. I predict that the fluffy side of this fic will start at around chapter 8. Thankyou very much for reading this!
I’m SO SORRY for not updating sooner. I’ve been drowning in work and stress. The main part of this chapter is still in the works, but please enjoy this mini chapter.
Twinkling stars blessed the skies. They stood, imposingly silent, secretly watching over all they could see. Some stood restful, draped in midnight blue, they slept calmly for eternities with one eye open. Others stood guarding, shielding themselves in oranges and yellows. They wore their warm colours with pride, cosying up next to their bluish counterparts to keep them warm. At the heart of this constellation, two electrically bright stars lay. Like the jewels of the most elaborate crown, they were the highlight of a grand, unequaled picture ; although the whole picture was a beautiful one, nothing could compare to the centrepiece. The stars all protected this magnificent gem in silent jealousy. It was like being an ordinary parent to a genius child ; pride of course consumed you, but wistful thinking and bitter envy were always going to be rampant, wild feelings.
When Crowley arrived to Alpha Centuri, he arrived hoping to calm himself down. After all, he had created these stars himself. This place was his, his own little secret miracle that very few knew about. He arrived hoping to relax and be alone among the stars, but that wasn’t what he got. When he arrived, he could feel the tension hanging in the gravity-less air. With a heavy heart and an exhausted brain, he sat down and rested on a petite, low-burning star. His eyes cringed as he adjusted to the burning light protruding from the two bright stars, orbiting each other in front of him. Gradually, he leaned back on his elbows, stretched out his legs and looked up into the starry sky. As he leaned back, the slips of paper that were still in his pocket rustled amongst the silence.
“What’s gone on whilst I was here?” His voice was quiet, as if it was a sin for him to speak, even in such a lonely place where nobody was there to judge him. Sensing a shift in mood, his nose wrinkled and brow furrowed. Crowley invented these stars before even Eden existed. He knew each and every single one on a level so deep that when he sensed they were hurting, he hurt too. These stars were a representation of himself, before the fall, before anything. This was a representation of his purest, most innocent self. Every word he said, every emotion he felt towards the stars was like addressing himself directly, and the stars would never let him forget that.
The mood had shifted. Crowley didn’t have time to decipher the first emotion, but he recognised this new one as confusion.
“What do you mean who am I? It’s me, Crowley...” He stopped. Blinking rapidly, he sat up and rubbed his fore and middle finger in concentrating circles on his temples. “Fine. Raphael. That’s who I am, or rather, who I was. I fell, you see. Got kicked out of heaven. They said it was for asking too many questions but honestly, I don’t think I can trust that. I can’t trust angels...” He hesitated, “Well, I can trust one. But he doesn’t trust me. Not anymore.”
The stars seemed to nod in understanding. They listened and sympathised, as best as a ball of burning gas could. After all, this was their creator speaking to them, their god. He was worthy of more than anything they knew. Even the main spectacle of the constellation, the two stars orbiting each other, bowed their heads in meek understanding to their creator and master. Sensing a sensitive subject, they didn’t push further about the eviction from heaven. But the confusion still remained thick and heavy in the air.
“You wanna know who this angel was? Okay, I see. Well, his name is Aziraphale. I met him in Eden, a while after I created all of you. We had the most beautiful friendship but I was greedy and foolish. I needed a favour, badly, it was to protect him because I love him so much and all I wanted was to keep him safe...” He snivelled and faltered for a short while. The stars waited patiently. “Anyways, he got the wrong idea and now I think he hates me. If I didn’t care so much, I wouldn’t have wanted to ask that favour. Like I said, I was worried ‘bout him, so I asked him for a favour that would’ve helped him.”
After this ramble, the stars seemed calmer and more knowledgeable. They rested, dormant and still until Crowley spoke again, which he didn’t. He simply lay there, looking up at the swirling sky. Brimmed with tears, his glasses clouded over slightly. Yet his mouth remained in a stiff, pinched line. Tears had been flowing for a long time, he didn’t want to start again. If he started his tears again, he feared he would never stop. Blinking, he sucked up his feelings of guilt and closed his eyes, almost at peace.
But the stars were still not happy.
Although their feelings of confusion had dissipated, feelings of rage were now bubbling and burning. How dare someone make their creator sad! How dare they hurt him until he cried! They all frowned simultaneously, willing Crowley to open his eyes and explain the angel further. Bleary, he rubbed his eyes.
“Hey, it’s alright. Breathe. He’ll come around, so don’t get mad. I know he’s confused and hurting now, but I reckon he’ll understand eventually. My angel is very clever. Bless him, he’s the purest being I’ve ever met. I’ve known the fool for six thousand years and I still fall back in love with him every single day.”
Gently, the stars started to smile. They could begin to sense recovery, which pleased them greatly.
“Hell, I could talk about him for a millennia and I wouldn’t have time to fully describe him! I sound silly, but it’s true.”
Grinning, he lay still and looked up at the stars. He saw one, far away from him. It burned bright like the main two, but not as jarringly. Instead, it burned eloquently and beautifully, yet with just as much passion as every other star in the sky. Murmuring happily to himself, he looked up at it, “You remind me of him. You’re so very, very beautiful. From here on out, your name shall be angel.” He chuckled at his own words. Aziraphale really was turning him soft, wasn’t he? Elongated in a slim line, he closed his eyes in a meditative like state.
Seconds on Alpha Centuri does not translate to seconds back on Earth. Nobody, not even Crowley quite understands the laws of time in foreign lands, but he was willing to guess that his time in this little slice of paradise was almost over. “Thanks you guys for listening, means a lot you know.” His eyes remained lightly shut. He felt peace for the first time in what felt like forever.
If stars could talk, they would probably have said back “You’re welcome, but in truth, the praise belongs to you, not us.” But they can’t, so they didn’t.
“Welp,” said Crowley, his heart heavy, but rested and calm, “I’d better be heading back. I’ll tell angel you sent your love. Thanks again for listening.” And for the last time, he listened out for their emotions, and all he felt was love. Unbridled love. Purity, sympathy, hope and joy showed him, protecting him in a shield of praise. With a small smile, he waved, before performing a miracle to get himself home.
Alpha Centuri was truly beautiful this time of year.
Chapter 7: Sorry!
Hi! I’ll try and make this quick
I’m terribly sorry that my next chapter has been over a week overdue. It will be posted as soon as it’s done, but so far it’s about 3000 words and I’m not even half way done! I hope the chapter lives up the the wait when it’s eventually posted.
Thanks to everyone who has so kindly waited <3