Log in

23 November 2004 @ 02:00 am
Fic: A/C.  

Title: Everything that Rises Must Converge
Pairing: Aziraphale/Crowley
Length:  Bite-sized (1,400 words.)
Rating: Uh, G.
Notes: Uh, I have no idea what I’m doing or where this came from, nor why I spend weeks at a time whittling away at H/D fics only to turn around and randomly spew forth this.  With apologies to Flannery O'Conner, Neil Gaiman, and Terry Pratchett; and with thanks to  sylvertongue for the excellent beta, geoviki for input, and Franzi for saving my first line. Your whip indeed.

Crossposted to my lj, and dedicated to Josie and Cyg.  ♥

Crowley finds Aziraphale in an open field just outside Lower Tadfield.  The day is blindingly bright, like the backs of angels on Sunday.

Aziraphale is sitting on a fence.  Balancing, rather.  Crowley wants to ask him how he does it, or more to the point, why he's doing it, when Aziraphale makes the question moot by seeing Crowley and promptly toppling off.

Crowley has nothing better to do than catch him before he hits the ground, with the result that he and Aziraphale hit the ground together.  As he stretches out a hand to help Aziraphale up1, he starts to suggest that next time Aziraphale gets the urge to train for the circus he practice his balance on a trampoline instead of a fence.  But Aziraphale interrupts.

"Don't say it," he says.  "It was obvious all along, I know."

"What, that you have the balance of a drunken penguin?"

"That I'm not good at sitting the fence," sighs Aziraphale.  "I wanted to see what the cliché was all about."

"You do understand it is a figurative cliché," says Crowley carefully, "and not a literal one."

"Yes, well," says Aziraphale huffily, allowing Crowley to dust off his coat.  Then, after a moment's pause: "You know, I don't think I've ever seen anyone successfully sit on one of those things."

"Why would anyone want to?" Crowley leans back against the fence--standard white picket variety--and crosses his legs.  "I can't imagine the view gets more interesting five feet off the ground."

"Well, no, not particularly," Aziraphale continues.  "But I wasn't all that concerned with what was around the fence so much as staying on it for a bit."

"Which begs the question," says Crowley, raking flecks of dirt from the angel's wings, "Upon which side of the fence would you have fallen if I hadn't caught you?"

Aziraphale sniffs.  "I don't fall," he says with a good deal of dignity, folding his wings back and resettling them beneath his overcoat.

Crowley sidles closer.  Aziraphale's feathers are bunching up the back of his coat ever so slightly. 

"Not even for a good wine and a firssst edition of Libro de Arte Purpura Coquinaria?2" asks Crowley.

Aziraphale turns his head and looks edgewise at Crowley.

Crowley smiles.  "Admit it."

"Oh, do hush," says Aziraphale, looking guilty.  "At any rate, I shouldn't wind up on your side of things anyway, even if I did fall."

Crowley tilts his head, and Aziraphale's eyes flicker over his face.  What he has just said is not technically a lie, but it carries none of the reassurance of truth.  Crowley reaches out a hand to brush the remaining feathers from Aziraphale's coat.  Aziraphale leans back, too, and lets him.

"You know, there aren't always two sides to everything," says Crowley after a few moments.  "We should know better than anybody else.  There's yours, and mine, and--" he stops short of saying 'Adam's,' and instead settles for, "well, Earth's."

"You're suggesting I should fall just so I could land neatly among humans, is that it?"  Aziraphale scoffs, but beneath the disdain Crowley hears an amusement so faint only 6,000 years of listening could detect it.

"No," Crowley answers in some surprise.  "I just meant that--" he stops short, realising that he doesn't quite know what he means, not exactly.  One of Aziraphale's stray feathers is stuck to his finger.  He shakes it off more violently than he needs to.  Then he thinks3, swallows, and says faintly, "You give Him all sorts of credit for ineffable design, Angel, but you never dream that any of that design might possibly have been created to apply to you."

Aziraphale's eyes widen, and then narrow.  "Of course it wouldn't apply to me, I'm not hu--"

Crowley takes the moment, opportune as it is, to remind Aziraphale that they are both far more human than either of them ever acknowledge. 

When they break apart, Aziraphale is panting and gripping him by the shoulders.  His wings are visible again, threatening to unfold in a snap and demolish the seams of his overcoat. 

"You're tempting me," he says.  His voice is low and his eyes are bright.  "Why--"

"I want the third side," replies Crowley with a sudden rush of realisation.  "And so do you."

Aziraphale holds on to Crowley's sleeves and tugs, hard, and Crowley knows, he knows that He would not have given them human hearts that beat faster, human pulses that skitter when flush up against each other like this, if there were no answer, no alternative plan into which this fits. 

"You don't trust Him," says Aziraphale hurriedly against Crowley's ear.  "There is no third side for you--there can't be, it wouldn't--"

"You're my third side, I suppose." Crowley tilts his head into the feathers at the base of Aziraphale's neck.  "I trust in that well enough."

"Ah," says Aziraphale, and then, "Ah," again, as though he gets it, though that might also have something to do with what Crowley is doing to the feathers.

"Angel," says Crowley.  It's the Garden all over again, he thinks.  We are the tempted and the forbidden, all at once.

He winds himself around Aziraphale like a snake, and takes a bite of his fruit.

It's not a fall, he thinks, if he meets the angel halfway.

1. A feat which involves first getting Aziraphale to stop saying 'oof,' and 'my goodness, are you all right?' and 'what a lucky thing, that was, wasn't it,' rolling him off onto the ground beside him (which is no easy task considering that with Aziraphale's wingspan being as long as it is, he has a tendency to start rolling and then not stop until his wings are unfurled and the rest of him is several yards away), and finally getting to his knees and carefully manoeuvring around said gigantic wingspan until he is within reaching distance of Aziraphale's arm, much like a ship charting a small island, if the island were comprised mostly of down-feathers and checkered wool and had a tendency to say 'oh dear,' and the ship decided to kick the island in a rather annoyed way when it had managed to navigate all the way around it--not hard, of course, just firmly enough to get the point across; the point being that it's a quite overblown and dramatic thing when angels fall.

2.  Which technically means The Big Book of the Art of Cooking Shellfish.  It's not that Aziraphale is fascinated by shellfish per se--in fact he is rather terrified of them after seeing that Italian movie years ago, the one with the orgies and the giant fish--even though the fish isn't really a shellfish, and moreover isn't really a fish, being constructed of two giant eyes and so much fiberglass; but Aziraphale does not really need an excuse, because he figures if any angel is likely to one day be attacked by a giant clam, or get instant paralysis from eating the wrong batch of lobster puffs, with his luck it's just well and bound to be him, and so he might as well steer clear of the things altogether.  Rather, what draws Aziraphale is the fact that in 2184 B.C., the Rabbi Yehoyakim Mazal, who was noted far and wide for making the best clam chowder this side of Burra-Burra, spent years compiling the shellfish recipes in this book only to publish it two days before the Great Hebrew Shellfish Prohibition went into effect, thereby ensuring that only five copies of the book were ever sold, and that Mazal, in addition to being forced to write altarscopes for the Judaic almanac in order to recoup, was forever after known among all the other temple leaders as the Rabbi without a Cause.

3.  About something he has been thinking about for a very long time, but hasn't brought up to Aziraphale yet because it is too embarrassing for a demon to think about, and would be even if there were the slightest chance of it ever actually happening; even though the stubborn part of Crowley's brain insists, particularly when he has been drinking too much, that stranger things have happened; and that if angels were to fall, then technically it's just possible, isn't it, that demons could also rise.
Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic
Current Music: New Pornographers - Mass Romantic
the creases and flecks in the map: Love - bottled_inktropes on November 22nd, 2004 11:11 pm (UTC)

let's get the seven lines.: for an old-fashioned bride and groom!bookshop on November 22nd, 2004 11:32 pm (UTC)

*smooches!* :D :D :D
the most saint-obsessed Jew you'll ever meetrymenhild on November 22nd, 2004 11:18 pm (UTC)
Footnote 2!
Can't.... breathe .... laughing ... too hard...
let's get the seven lines.: he ducked back down the alleybookshop on November 23rd, 2004 05:38 am (UTC)
Re: Footnote 2!
Thank you! Hee. Glad you liked. :D
Daegaer: searle by brandnewgundaegaer on November 23rd, 2004 12:01 am (UTC)
I LOVE YOUR FOOTNOTES! I think I want to marry them.

This is just such a lovely and wonderful story, really gorgeous. I just love this:

The day is blindingly bright, like the backs of angels on Sunday.

let's get the seven lines.: he says amenbookshop on November 23rd, 2004 05:39 am (UTC)

Thank you!!!! I'm delighted you liked the footnotes! I think they helped me write the rest of the fic, as odd as that sounds.

Eeee feedback like this is lovely. Thank you again! :D
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - bookshop on November 23rd, 2004 05:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
Hibiscus__hibiscus on November 23rd, 2004 05:06 am (UTC)
OMG. <333 The first line is beautiful and the last line is beautiful and all the lines in between. The footnotes are just perfect. *fangirls*
let's get the seven lines.: i'll vow to love you foreverbookshop on November 23rd, 2004 05:50 am (UTC)

*hug* Thank you so so much!!!!! ♥♥♥!
merci pour le venin: sims 2 -- a; ineffable llamahidingthestars on November 23rd, 2004 06:27 am (UTC)
Now you've gone and killed me. Great... No, really, it was just the right mix of lovely and funny. <3
let's get the seven lines.: i can be your long lost palbookshop on November 23rd, 2004 06:08 pm (UTC)

Hi! Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)
dreya_uberwalddreya_uberwald on November 23rd, 2004 07:24 am (UTC)
Lovely ficlet. Especially the footnotes, which are very funny.

(love your icon btw, adorably cute)
let's get the seven lines.: which shoulder shall i choose?bookshop on November 23rd, 2004 06:09 pm (UTC)
Hee. Thank you all 'round. Icon is by carrieko! Isn't it adorable? :D
Gunbunny: kipper-bsgburntcopper on November 23rd, 2004 07:26 am (UTC)
I'm adding to the love of footnotes. Rabbi without a cause. :wheeze: That's just not fair.
let's get the seven lines.: he says amenbookshop on November 23rd, 2004 06:18 pm (UTC)

Haha! Thank you. Much appreciated. :D
The answer is in ananasrahka.: Yaoi is fun.noirenails on November 23rd, 2004 07:57 am (UTC)
*tries very hard not to squeal in a room full of people and somewhat succeeds*
let's get the seven lines.: we'll have an old-fashioned weddingbookshop on November 23rd, 2004 06:19 pm (UTC)

*tickles!* <333!
(no subject) - noirenails on November 23rd, 2004 10:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Emerald Embersemerald_embers on November 23rd, 2004 08:27 am (UTC)
*adoration to a near-unholy degree*

*more adoration*

*and a little sprinkling of more*

and that if angels were to fall, then technically it's just possible, isn't it, that demons could also rise. <- BEST FIC LINE EVER :O.

Well, one of them. Bloody hell. Knocked me for six, thou has :).
let's get the seven lines.: just in the good old-fashioned waybookshop on November 23rd, 2004 06:19 pm (UTC)

*commence the mad blushing*

Thank you so so much! Meep. :D!!!!
(no subject) - emerald_embers on November 24th, 2004 06:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - d0nquix0te on January 19th, 2007 08:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
let's get the seven lines.: quite effable really.bookshop on November 23rd, 2004 06:27 pm (UTC)

Thank you! Eeee, I'm glad you liked the vagueness and the too-cute stuff, haha, and the footnotes. :D I appreciate the encouragement!
Carrie-kocarrieko on November 23rd, 2004 09:20 am (UTC)
Oh my gosh, what lovely story. And you did really well with the thinly-veiled "naughty bits". ^__^

I noticed your icon. My art has become well-recognized! *cheers*
let's get the seven lines.: which shoulder shall i choose?bookshop on November 23rd, 2004 06:29 pm (UTC)

Yay! I'm so glad you don't mind me using your fanart for the icon! I just loved that picture so much! And of course credited you. :D Have you done any more A/C fanart??

And I'm so terribly tickled you liked the fic. *beams at you*
(no subject) - carrieko on November 24th, 2004 05:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
gabbysun on November 23rd, 2004 09:55 am (UTC)

Such a huge fan-gasm, right there.

let's get the seven lines.: it's a street in a strange world.bookshop on November 23rd, 2004 06:30 pm (UTC)
icon love. And wow. Thanks!!!!!
(no subject) - gabbysun on November 23rd, 2004 06:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
quid fles, Asterie?: Southern Pansyasterie_smiles on November 23rd, 2004 11:08 am (UTC)
lol, I loved it. ^_^ I've actually read a lot of really awful A/C fics in the past few days and this was just what I needed to boost my mood and put a smile on my face, for which I'm getting really odd looks from everyone around me... ^^; Great, and I loved the footnotes muchly. And the last two lines. And, well, pretty much the whole thing, really, but y'know... ^_~
let's get the seven lines.: he says amenbookshop on November 23rd, 2004 07:46 pm (UTC)

Oh, dude, I'm sorry you've been on a badfic binge. I've been reading lots of good A/C fics lately--check my memories, and check daegaer's, and irisbleu's--there's lots of good stuff there!

and thank you, thank you, for such lovely feedback. *hearts* I'm thrilled to death you liked it, and the footnotes, and the ending! yay!
just another fangirl: Crowley/Aziraphale (slythwolf)flail on November 23rd, 2004 01:53 pm (UTC)
._. iloveyou.

wondeful fic. horribly amusing footnotes XD. and your icon is cute too. ^^

<3 <3 <3
let's get the seven lines.: somewhere in some little chapelbookshop on November 24th, 2004 11:16 am (UTC)

ohhh, i love your icon too! so cute! would you happen to have a link to the original? it's adorable!

And thank you so much. :)
(no subject) - flail on November 24th, 2004 01:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
let's get the seven lines.: i can be your long lost palbookshop on November 24th, 2004 11:16 am (UTC)

*giggles* thank you kindly!
Pamuraishake_it_buddy on November 23rd, 2004 03:57 pm (UTC)
you made me sniffle...

"It's not a fall, he thinks, if he meets the angel halfway."

that sentence did it for me... I don't cry very often at all, especially not when I'm reading something but this was... truly awesome.

I found your footnotes very amusing but there was a sad undertone to it all, or rather, a very romantic one... :) I dunno how to explain it really. point is: I loved it. ^^;
let's get the seven lines.: maybe it's the third worldbookshop on November 24th, 2004 11:17 am (UTC)

Wow. I'm so happy you enjoyed it. I think I was writing it with maybe a poignant if not a sad undertone, and I'm glad you picked up on that. Thank you so much for the lovely feedback. I'm thrilled it worked for you. :) <3!
Non-Recovering WoW Addict: Tony Leung Chiu-Wai is my Heroheinous_bitca on November 23rd, 2004 04:40 pm (UTC)
Well done, Aja. I just finished Good Omens this morning*, and this was a fine continuance of the book. Your footnotes are Pratchett-esque. :)

* - I was trying to get the last few pages READ with our vacationing friend trying to talk to me. I realize I just should have said to him, in a polite and calm manner - "LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE, I'M TRYING TO FINISH THIS FRELLING BOOK! - but alas, I just ignored him as best I could, and kept reading.
let's get the seven lines.: quite effable really.bookshop on November 24th, 2004 11:19 am (UTC)

Gah. Vacationing friends! There is nothing more annoying really than someone who insists on interrupting you when you are clearly caught up in what you are reading. That drives me up the wall.

And Good Omens!!! Weren't you a big Neil Gaiman fan already, or did I just make that up?

I'm delighted you liked it, Jules. Thanks so much for reviewing. :)
(no subject) - heinous_bitca on November 24th, 2004 01:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Damned Colonialdamned_colonial on January 9th, 2005 06:05 pm (UTC)
Here via a rec from norah. Lovely fic -- I loved footnote 2 in particular, along with so many other people, it seems :)
let's get the seven lines.: i can be your long lost palbookshop on January 9th, 2005 06:32 pm (UTC)

Thank you! I'm delighted that you liked it. :)
yonmei on January 10th, 2005 10:56 am (UTC)
Aw, that's lovely. I particularly like footnote (1), just to be different, but it's all good.
Resonant: So good (by Naono Boura)resonant8 on January 18th, 2005 02:55 am (UTC)
Ohh. That was beautiful. The beating hearts! -- so lovely. (And funny shellfish too.)
The Mamawhimsicalmusing on September 3rd, 2005 12:09 am (UTC)
*loves this*
defense and defenestration: go - ineffablebobrhyn on September 27th, 2005 03:56 am (UTC)
Okay, it's the footnotes that kill me. <3 These two are such love, and you do them so terribly well.
excellent_omensexcellent_omens on November 2nd, 2005 08:30 am (UTC)
You use footnotes well. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that.

Thanks for a lovely read, I've recced it in my journal.
Would be better, but they killed the bunnies.apey1013 on November 4th, 2005 01:50 am (UTC)
OMFG shellfish.