"I'd just like to say, if we don't get out of this, that...I'll have known
deep down inside, that there was a spark of goodness in you."
"Just remember I'll have known that, deep down inside, you were just enough of a
bastard to be worth liking."
-- Good Omens, p357
One day, Crowley will be Redeemed.
Aziraphale knows this. He's seen it gradually unfold, memory spanning across
thousands of years. From a writhing serpent to a vain young man, edging away
from his damned past and shaping into something wonderful and new.
He's developed a fondness for the human race. For all its little quirks and
faults. Despite himself, he's started to care, to even despair a little
at the way humanity turns against itself.
His work is more on the levels of mischievous pranks than anything else. He no
longer snatches for souls or offers contracts written in poisoned pen. He herds,
delicately, gently, steering humans towards whatever he sees fit, but in the end
the choice remains theirs, and at any stage they can step away from the
precipice he offers. And he will let them go.
It is a hard climb the demon is making, but he is making it. Knowingly or not,
day by day, century by century he is slowly ascending. And one day he will Rise,
and he will be Redeemed.
Aziraphale waits for that day, with a wanting that almost frightens him. To
embrace Crowley as a brother, take his hand and ascend with him to the Heavenly
Choir, to see the lines and fears engraved by hell washed clean away by the
light and love of God.
Crowley will Rise. He is certain of it.
And on that day Aziraphale will be waiting for him.
One day Aziraphale will Fall.
Crowley knows this. He sometimes wishes he doesn't, but he knows it will happen.
The angel is sauntering vaguely downwards, each century on Earth peeling away
another tiny fragment of his angelic veneer.
He's too fond of his books. Of his tea, of good food. He loves everyone, bathed
in Divine Joy, but there are people he loves a little less than others. Shades
of grey have crept into his white, pure world, greedy fingers of it stealing
into his essence. He's learned to differentiate, to ponder, perhaps even one day
to question and outright defy.
It was fun at first. Tempting his rival. And the angel was outrageously easy to
tempt in those early days. Honeyed cakes and heady wine, he had tasted, and then
tasted again and again, exploring more and more of this human world and
descending a little further with each step, wandering oh-so-gently away from the
Heavenly Host and into the realm of the mortal.
Crowley likes to imagine what Aziraphale would look like as a demon. To see
those wings darken and unfold against a night lit on fire. Would he be like a
she-beast, all red lips and wicked claws? Or would those eyes turn to glaciers,
tiny shards of ice with an infinitesimal shadow of his divine being locked in
He will Fall, but not plummet.
And on that day, Crowley will be waiting to enfold him in his wings at last.
But for now they're both content to wait. To wile and thwart, dance in the
shadows, even trade their roles on occasion, both of them placing their toes
against the stark line that ultimately divides their worlds, but not quite
daring to step over. To put on a show for Above and Below when needed, to fluff
each others reports, to eat too much, to drink too much, drive too fast and
spend far too much time in matters that strictly speaking shouldn't be their
concern. To feed the ducks in St. James' Park. Settling comfortably in their
grooves as they revolve about each other across the centuries, approaching
friendship and something beyond.
The angel Falls and the demon Rises, and they both await their one day, not
quite aware that even as they wait they creep closer and closer to a state of
pure balance, perfectly poised between heaven and hell.