After the Apocalypse is cancelled, Crowley starts to notice that certain people are finding their way to A Z Fell & Co.
The person with chronic pain who wandered in after accidentally leaving their medication at home is the first
They’re followed a couple of weeks later by an LGBTQ teenager who’s been made homeless by their intolerant parents, taking shelter from a storm.
After that comes a young woman who rushed in the door one day to try and lose an abusive ex who was following her down the street. (Crowley takes particular pleasure in slithering past the man’s ankles when he storms into the bookshop. The scream was like quality music.)
And there are more. Never too many in quick succession. But a constant drip of people who’ve been trapped in terrible situations by the toxic aspects of earth’s cultures.
And Crowley, pondering one day on why Aziraphale is now finding people who need him without even having to leave his beloved bookshop, realises something.
For centuries, Aziraphale has needed to hide what he is. Watch the frivolous miracles, only carry out blessings deemed suitable by heaven, stay small, stay out of sight. Even the Arrangement contributed to it. Meet clandestinely, watch what you say, be careful, say nothing, hide.
But it’s different now that they’re on their own side. All of the impulses that Aziraphale squashed down in order to placate a cold and sterile heaven are finding a way out. Without realising it, the Guardian of the Eastern Gate is broadcasting a signal of love, acceptance and protection across London. And those most in need are drawn to it unconsciously.
The Principality Aziraphale is finally free to fulfill his purpose.