Divine love is obsessive, possessive, and righteous. It is imperious and domineering in its love. They will take care of you wholly. They will do what is best for you.
Before the fall, angels were split somewhat evenly between divine love and something different, something considered strange. A love that is self sacrificing, and giving, submissive yet supportive. A love that would seem to reflect divine love nicely.
One would think this would be perfect, a balancing act for the pairs that would be formed. Yet those with so called divine love often mocked the angels who loved differently, called them weak and strange. Unfit to be anything but the lowest ranks of angels.
As time wore on, as best it can in a place where time did not yet exist, this treatment lead to resentment among some angels. This resentment, coupled with the unhappiness and questioning of others, were the foundations of the great rebellion. Lucifer loved divinely, but his pride could not stand being second to the humans. He lead the rebellion, charming others into his thinking. Most angels who did not love divinely fell, those who did not, hid their form of loving.
We begin our story with Raphael, an archangel with hair of fire and eyes of molten gold. He does not love divinely, there was once a word for the love he had but that word was ripped from us when the fallen fell. One might describe this love as submissive, selfless, devoted, or even indulgent. Here we will use the word adoring, a term that much better conveys the sense of worship that comes with Raphael’s love specifically.
Raphael was the creation and healing archangel, placed in charge of the creation department. In the beginning there were five departments to go with the five archangels. Lucifer was the archangel of light and music, Michael was the archangel of war and honor, Gabriel was the archangel of messages and peace (Later the guardian of humanity), and Uriel the archangel of wisdom and scripture.
While Raphael hung the stars and grew the plants that would one day populate the earth, Lucifer wove music and light into being. They worked together to create the stars. Meanwhile, Michael trained and honed the warriors of heaven, including a principality that will come into our story a little later. Gabriel readied the trumpeters and set to making efficient systems of communications to carry the word of God. Uriel spent their time preparing their subordinates to pass the wisdom of God to man by lecturing and studying with them.
All was good in heaven for a time. This would not last forever.
Raphael spent most of his time helping to build star systems, nebulae, and galaxies in the early days, but as time grew nearer to the creation of earth he found himself in Heaven’s greenhouses growing lovely plants. Flowers bloomed under his fingers with joy at his presence, their petals clinging to his form as he moved away.
It is in one such greenhouse that we find Raphael and Lucifer huddled together in a corner. Lucifer is angry and loud, gesticulating wildly in frustration. Raphael is attempting to placate and soothe his fellow angel. He offers soothing touches and soft words but the other shrugs him off in anger. In his frustration Lucifer points accusingly at Raphael, hurls hurtful words at him and tells him he is allowing others to push him about and abuse his kindness.
The scene shifts and we see Raphael consoling a small group of angels, they cry out about the injustice of being treated as lesser for ‘loving the wrong way’. He pets them and soothes but the anger is visible in the way he holds himself.
The scene jumps again, Raphael is pushing through a large crowd. He is moving away from where Lucifer is standing and speaking. The crowd is frenzied and passionate, the angels we saw being consoled by Raphael are there, fury coats them like tar. Raphael breaks away and disappears to another area of heaven.
Raphael is in front of God’s office, shouting questions at her door and wanting answers. He kicks and bangs on the doors alternately pleading and demanding. Tears stream down his face and he feels her heavenly rebuke as he sinks to his knees in despair. He begs her once more and feeling the sharpness of her displeasure curls up into a ball in front of her divine door.
There is a war, Lucifer leads the rebelling angels against heaven. Raphael is healing anyone who is injured on either side. He watches one of the angels he knows well, one he had had a fondness for, as they are obliterated. He sinks to his knees and screams out. He questions aloud his mother. He calls out to her ‘God why?’
Lucifer falls. Many follow. Raphael feels the burning sulphur in his wings and his grace being ripped from him as he plummets. He feels hollow and empty but calls out, half expecting someone to catch him.
Crawly awakens, everything is agony. There is nothing in his form that does not ache. Every breath, every movement, every single subtle shift is met with agony and suffering.
“Get up there and make some trouble.” His once comrade says to him. Satan himself sends Crawly off. Barely sparing him a glance before moving on to his next task in organizing hell into his perfect kingdom.
In the Garden
Crawly burrows up and out onto the soft soil of the earth, and for a moment he is stunned. Sunlight filters in through a verdant canopy of leaves and branches, it warms his scales and reminds him of memories too hazy to focus on. The scents hit him all at once and he is nearly overwhelmed by their sweetness. Colours are everywhere, vibrant and beautiful. He finds himself dallying, sunning his serpentine body on a large rock, curling up under a lovely bloom he created. He does not wish to disrupt the peace of the garden just yet. He finds any distraction to prolong it before, finally, he meets Eve.
He likes her, he thinks, reminds him of himself. So curious and sweet, wanting to know everything about everything. He answers some of her questions with only hints of what she wants. It isn’t hard to lead her one day to the tree of forbidden fruit and offer her everything she wants to know. He doesn’t know how she will be punished, but wonders if it will be nearly as bad as his own punishment for questioning. The thought has him hesitating, but it is too late. Eve has eaten of the fruit and her eyes shine with knowledge. She shares the bounty with Adam and they hurtle from God’s graces.
He makes his way up the wall, entirely unsure why he plans to speak to the angel. Part of him hopes for a companion in misery, part of him hopes to be smited, and another smaller part of him hopes for kindness.