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Dare Not Speak Its Name

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It’s not an accident, that it’s St James that they always meet in. He’s never entirely sure that Crowley’s noticed--although how could he not, demon that he is?--the subtler assignations that take place here. The spies and attachés, that’s one thing, that’s expected, but after dark....

Well, it’s a different story after dark. Not that there aren’t still spies and attachés, but the business conducted after dark is much more intimate.

Sometimes the coppers come through, the bobbies and the constables and the keepers of indifferent morality that only care when certain groups are involved. When any titled nitwit can force himself on the servants and nobody cares, but these dark copses hold those who desire each other--sometimes the fumbling of lusts, and sometimes the bright clear light of love that cannot walk under the open sky in these times but still shines to him as he saunters through of an evening.

He blesses them when he can, when the sun is down and he visits to misdirect the coppers and grant concealment to these outliers in humanity. He feels for them, has done since the beginning--since the first time one of the new humans looked around them and had their eye fall on someone of the same sex rather than the opposite; since the first one of Adam and Eve’s children had looked at the division of Man and Woman and felt like both, or neither, or just the other.

He’s never entirely sure if Crowley’s noticed that, either. He can’t think how the demon could have missed it, but it has forever been one of the many things that they Don’t Talk About. Crowley, too, is protective of these, the inverts and the two-spirit and the multi-hearted, assigned to roles they don’t fit, forced into lives they weren’t built for. If he weren’t, well, they’d have had to Talk About It. But it's been quietly Understood, long before the Arrangement. These are Aziraphale’s people, and he will protect them as much as he is able.

He’s never entirely sure that Crowley doesn’t know why he feels this longing, this furious protectiveness. He’s never entirely sure Crowley does. They Don’t Talk About It.

But sometimes, in the dark--amid muffled words and hushed laughs and desperate, stifled moans in the darkened copses; when he hasn’t even noticed the coppers gathering and suddenly there are whistles and running feet in the opposite direction, led a merry chase by a dark figure with flame-bright hair--sometimes he thinks Crowley must, must know. Must understand why his heart looks after these people, forever defined from the outside by being who they were told not to be, for loving those they were forbidden to love.

Crowley must know, mustn’t he? Why he is driven to protect? Why he must help those who just don’t fit? Why the presence of those condemned for loving unwisely speaks to his soul?

He must know.

Mustn’t he?