Faltering Rain Title: Faltering Rain
Rating: PG for angst, shounen ai...in other words, light slash
Coupling: Crowley/Aziraphale
Notes: Yay. A Good Omens fic! Um, this is an angsty, not-too-funny piece about Aziraphale and Crowley and the French Revolution. Don't ask me why I picked that time period - if you did, I'd have to go on and on about my mental image of Aziraphale in a nobleman's garb with a fluffy little ponytail, and that would take awhile. Plus I'm a Les Miserables fan, so French Revolution it is.

Um? Comments... I think they're an adorable couple, and I think they were definitely an item before the actual book took place. "Demon dear?" ^_^ At the same time, though, I think it would *have* to be a simple love-but-no-sex type relationship, because of what both Crowley and Aziraphale are. *shrugs*

I'm not to pleased with this one-shot, just because it lacks much of a plot, but it was all based around a scene I thought up one evening and because of that it seems a bit 'off', so to speak. Any comments are appreciated... e.e;;;

~Tomo Trillions, branching out in her fanfiction genres, does not own Crowley and Aziraphale, for they belong to the reputable and talented authors of the names Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. If Tomo owned them, they would wear less clothing and more whipped cream, but that's beside the point.


The lone man paused in his movements, peering around the park curiously from beneath slender, golden bangs, one hand poised thoughtfully at the frilled breast of his long overcoat. Nobody seemed to have noticed the fact that he was perfectly dry, despite the torrents of water that were pouring down on the streets of Paris, filling the gutters and washing away the refuse that had been piled in every corner of every alley. Then again, nobody in their right mind would have been tramping through the violent streets so close to midnight, well past the curfew for all good, law-abiding folk. The blonde - a man known by most as Aziraphale (A. Ziraphale to humans, who appreciated last names) sighed slightly and decided that if he was going to play human, he would have to do it right, as damp as 'right' might be. After all, if someone walked up and asked why he wasn't wet, Aziraphale would either have to lie or tell the truth, and most likely either would get him in a good deal of trouble. Moments later his frock coat was drenched, sticking and clinging to his chest and torso, and the small ponytail at the nape of his neck was looking decidedly less fluffy. Once such adjustments had been made to his appearance, the lone angel continued down the street, stepping gingerly over puddles in the cobblestones and peering left and right for a shop that might still be open.

Aziraphale was in France at the moment, in a desperate attempt to keep something horrible from happening - so far he had no luck trying to end riots and force back the mobs of starving poor - for that matter, the angel wasn't sure if it would be better to keep the peace or help the people be freed from oppression. He had been in situations like this before, but they had never seemed quite so... extreme.... "I had hoped the seventeen hundreds would be relaxing," the angel lamented as he wished his socks to a warm temperature despite their sopping appearance. Between America and France there had been more than enough going on in the world to keep him occupied.

With a wistful half-smile, the angel passed a church and paused, its heavy oaken doors were closed and barred against the rain and late hour. Smiling, he took the steps nimbly despite the slick water and pressed open the door, peering in with a gentle expression on his face. It wasn't breaking and entering if it was your own building, right? And any church that served the Almighty God was technically just another department of the Great and Ineffable Ruler's workplace, of which Aziraphale was most definitely a part. Justifying his action (and eager to get out of the rain), Aziraphale entered the church and took a few steps onto the red carpet, leaving pools of water at his feet which he quickly raised a hand and wiped away. It was only polite, after all. "Hello?" he asked, then bit his tongue and repeated the question in french. He most definitely missed England...

The church seemed to be empty, which the angel found to be a little surprising. It really wasn't safe to leave buildings open at times like these, when there were riots on the streets and people were as likely to steal the holy vessels off the alter as they were to pray.

Aziraphale continued in, eyes wide in the dim light as the church gave way to his vision - after a few moments he stopped, stared, and then took a step backwards.

The church was a disaster area. Everything remotely expensive had been smashed or stolen - there were places on the wall where pictures had hung, the candlestick holders had disappeared, even some of the pews had been broken in half and were sticking up like shattered ghosts. Brilliantly shattered stained glass littered the torn carpet, and in the corner -

The angel turned away and closed his eyes for a moment, an automatic reflex against the sight of a broken body leaning against the alter. "Dear....." he whispered, even as he fanned out his senses and knew without a shadow of a doubt that this church had been desecrated beyond all repair. The air was stale and thick, and there were scorch marks on the rug at his feet - why hadn't he noticed that before? The rain flooding in the tall, broken windows must have put out the fire before it had been properly started...

In England they didn't burn churches. Anglicans were good like that - most of the time. Aziraphale winced as glass crunched beneath his leather riding boots as he began walking up the aisle, his fingertips leaving trails of cleanliness behind each time they glanced upon a pew or a fallen statue.

At the alter he paused, just beyond the pool of encrusted blood that had formed beneath the unlucky priest. Had he been punished for some sin, or had he been honest and true for his entire life? And now, in death, had he accomplished anything at all?

Aziraphale wondered what his name had been as he sat down on the steps, a cautious distance from the pool of red liquid.

It hadn't stopped raining.

Something was nagging at the back of the angel's mind, something that needed to be said- and he cautiously looked over to the dead priest, a wry smile on his face. "Will you listen to me?" he asked quietly. "I could be the last confession you hear," the angel sighed softly. "But I'm talking to your body and not your soul, right? A priest's soul is what makes him holy, not the body he inhabits."

The angel was silent for a few moments, his chin against the curve of his palm. "And in a desecrated place, prayers are no good anyway. Too much interference."

But did that matter? Aziraphale didn't want his sins to be heard, was too afraid that God in all his ineffability would find the angel ultimately unforgivable. "Ironic that a servant of Him would doubt His forgiveness so much..."

Aziraphale swallowed sharply. It was scary because it was true, because hedid doubt ant that doubt in itself was almost as deadly as the single sin that was weighing down his heart. Would speaking it help at all, or would it back him into a corner if he were ever confronted? The angel closed his eyes.

Quietly, almost too quietly to be noticed beyond the hum of the rain, he spoke.

"Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned," the angel began tentatively. The phrase didn't really fit for an angel - Father seemed a bit extreme - but beginning confession with the traditional words spoken by millions upon millions of humans made it feel as if, perhaps, he really *was* being heard. Where to begin? "I have loved shamelessly and without abandon."

That was true, but it was also not a sin. You were supposed to love your neighbor - but what if that neighbor was set on the face of Earth to destroy what you stood for? Aziraphale bit his lip at the complexities involved. "I have put faith in those who do not serve You. I have...."

I have fallen in love with my rival, I feel he is beautiful, I want to be with him always... I want to be at his side. I want to .... be .... held ... ?

The angel known as Aziraphale did not know the difference between love, lust, and pure unadulterated need - how could he? Angels loved everyone with a warm, all-encompassing fondness, but it was not love the way humans defined the word. It was the attachment one feels when they see a lost puppy in the gutter, the emotion that makes one towel the dog dry and feed him the scraps from your dinner table. Lust was also a foreign concept, and it had to be that way - when one lusted, one fell.

Aziraphale was deathly afraid of falling.

"I feel I have been around humanity for so long that I am losing what made me pure," the angel whispered. "Am I falling, Father?"

No answer, and Aziraphale bit his lip, hands trembling. His heart would have been pounding had he recalled to make it beat after that first moment of fear upon entering the church. No answer - what did that mean?

"Does this mean I've already fallen?"

The rain pooled on the edges of the red carpet and stained it dark, wine colored in the almost-pitch blackness.

"Or..." the angel groped against ineffability, "Is this a test? Are You weeding out those who are impure, unworthy of serving the Light and Goodness?"

Aziraphale bit his lip - he hadn't been expecting an answer. Not really. He hadn't quite wanted one - as an angel, if he chose to speak to God (or a representative of such), he could, plain and simple. The rain had been a handy excuse to enter, the degraded, desecrated alter was the last place his confession would ever be heard - which left him safe for the moment.

While Aziraphale certainly *felt* capable of serving all things pure, but what did he know? He was just a lonely angel in a gutted church skirting the waves of human revolution.

He closed his eyes, and didn't move for a long time, until a soft, gentle hissing filled his ears.
"Confessssssing? You?"

"Er," the angel answered, automatically, and Crowley looked slightly amused. "I mean, yes," Well, he couldn't lie, could he? Here he was contemplating the lose of his angelic powers and he would be damned (literally) if he added lying to his list of offenses.

"Nobody can hear you here," the demon looked around with something akin to smug contempt, and at the same time, a tinge of sympathy. His gaze was disturbingly two sided, and it made the angel close his eyes for a moment, reminding himself that there was no such thing as a nice demon, no such thing- "It'sss nothing more than a building now."

Crowley was nice. Crowley had been with him on the night of their first drinking binge, Crowley had been a source of nearly-constant companionship and friendship since - oh, the Greek or Roman times? That was when they had first begun to see one another as more than just an enemy - they had become uneasy friends, and by the time humanity actually discovered Christianity and *wrote* the Bible, the two had been nearly steadfast. Sure, Crowley disappeared every few centuries - in fact, Aziraphale hadn't seen him since the sinking of the Spanish Armada - but that made their friendship no less true. In the angel's opinion, it was *nice* to have a friend who would sporadically drop in, offering tea or a bit of whiskey and a night or two of warm company.

'Demons,' he reminded himself, 'are not warm.'

"What doessssssomebody like you have to confesss?"

Aziraphale glanced sharply at his companion. Crowley was dressed much like himself (gone native, so to speak), in a long gray coat lined with soft looking gold trim and a frilly undershirt - it looked strange on the demon, as he was used to wearing tunics or yeoman garb. Aziraphale managed to look quite gentleman-ly when he tried, but Crowley had a permanent edge that made any nice clothing simply make him look sneaky, and anything that hinted of money made him seem downright sleazy.

Which he was. But that's beside the point.

"You're hissing," the angel told him, tactfully.

"It'sss the eyesss," Crowley gestured to his face, "and the church. It'sss not holy any longer," an oddly sad inflection on the word 'longer', "with all the hate people brought in during that mob.... But it ssstill ssstings. Like an old ssscar."

They were silent for a moment, witnessing the death of a holy place.

"You don't have to worry about your eyes," Aziraphale told him softly at length, knowing how much energy the illusion of human eyes took out of the demon, especially on a place that had once been holy - where by all rights he shouldn't be. "I don't mind."

Crowley let an inaudible sigh of relief escape his lips, and the eyes he had been imagining - a mahogany brown - melted away, revealing slitted pupils and vaguely yellow tinged whites. "Better?"

"Yess." The hiss was still there, but the voice sounded more relaxed. Aziraphale tensed.

"Now, tell me, what are you doing here?" the angel asked, sharply. It wasn't too surprising that Crowley had showed up, considering that both of them could feel the tension in the air that precipitated a major incident...but to that church? To Aziraphale's side, seemingly out of thin air?

Crowley cleared his throat and blinked, snake eyes predatory without a conscious thought. It came naturally to him to appear intimidating, in the way his angelic counterpart naturally exuded an aura of tangible pleasantness. The twin orbs fixed on Aziraphale's face, and the angel took a step back, licking his lips nervously. "I wanted to get out of the rain."

"That's not what I meant."

"You know why I'm in France."

"Er." Aziraphale cringed and sought another topic out as quickly as he could.. "Which...side are you rooting for?" he asked quietly. "I mean, we could set it up like the others, so we both...get credit, you know..." They called it The Arrangement. It was just honest/dishonest enough to please both of them.

Crowley took a step closer, the wooden floor creaking underneath his weight. "If I help the peasssants, their way of life will be better - freedom, democracy. If I lend a hand to the noblesss, thousssandss will die in vain.... Which issss crueler?"

"Which is kinder?" Aziraphale asked again, staring up at the slitted pupils before him. He had seen a snake kill a bird, once - long ago, he couldn't remember when. The bird had stayed all still and trembling, gazing at the snake until the last moment, and then it had looked up to the sky, and its neck had been broken. Eyes of a snake, shadowed in the gloom, nearly glowing with something akin to dark amusement - surely they looked just like the eyes advancing on the angel at that moment in time.
A hand on his shoulder. Aziraphale felt his stomach wash out with oddly relaxed fear.

"If we left them alone, they could dec(sss)ide," the demon murdered, leaning in until his nose was nearly touching Aziraphale's. The angel cringed.

"If you please," he murdered, "Crowley-"

"What were you confesssing?" the demon asked again, fingers digging into Aziraphale's shoulder with startling strength. The blonde stood a bit straighter and tried to look calm, though his mind was racing. He shouldn't be so affected by a touch. Calm. Collect yourself, Aziraphale...

"Something that has been troubling me." Aziraphale responded, turning on one heel and making a motion with his hands - the priest's body disappeared, now buried peacefully beneath the ground.

Annoyance. "What wasss it?"

"Its relative importance is not great," Aziraphale said, looking down demurely, breaking the eye contact that had been burning into his mind. It lingered, like a poison, eating away at the edges of his resolve.

Crowley stared a moment, then gritted his teeth and glared. "Damn it, angel-"

A frown, prim lips turned down slightly. Aziraphale *would not* give Crowley the satisfaction of making him angry... "Please don't swear in the church."

"It'ss no longer a church! If it wasss, I couldn't be here."

The angel turned away, "I believe it is still a building dedicated to the Ineffable Power. Perhaps you should go?"

"Like Hell." A swift motion accompanied the defiant words.

'Oh,' thought Aziraphale, as weight pressed up again his chest and he closed his eyes. Crowley is kissing me.

And he was, too. There were fingers buried in Aziraphale's hair, warm lips inviting against his own, dark and soft and distracting, tart.

He shoved. A moment later Crowley was several feet away, staring accusingly at the angel next to the alter. "Hey-" he protested.

"Get away from me, demon," Aziraphale quaked, sweat trickling down the back of his neck. Nothing would make him admit how much he had enjoyed that - so instead of amazement, he chose falsified anger, a safer and equally true emotion. "I will not be tempted by the likes of you-"

"I'm not tempting you," Crowley sounded offended. "You're an angel."
"I'm glad you're aware," Aziraphale answered, coldly. "And no demon has the place to..."

"You're my angel. I wasssn't tempting you," the demon scowled through the darkness. "I meant that."

Aziraphale felt his jaw open and close a few times, wordless in his surprise. Meant... "Er," he said at last, and closed his eyes. Why had Crowley had to do that?! Why had Aziraphale had to let himself give in to the confusion a simple tough invoked? **Nonononono-**

"What, angry becaussse you liked it?" Crowley was advancing again, eyes glittering in the darkness as he moved. "Isss love a ssssin?"

"No," Aziraphale muttered almost hysterically. How strange it sounded to hear those words being hissed in his ear! "I don't love you." No, he didn't. He didn't love Crowley, didn't want Crowley, didn't need Crowley, didn't care at all what the demon did or said or who he tempted or teased or hunted. It didn't matter because Crowley was a demon and might as well have been a stranger for all the thought Aziraphale gave him. Right.

That became a litany. 'Repeat, repeat until the doubt disappears- Don't love don't love don't love-'

"Then why are you crying?"

He raised a hand to his cheeks and swept the water away. How could angels cry? "I'm not."

"You are." Crowley was next to him again and Aziraphale backed up, nearly falling off the steps before the alter. A second more and there were hands around his wrists, holding him up with a pressure that bordered on pain. "Stop crying. I wasn't trying to tempt you or anything of the sort. I like you becausssse you're an angel, why would I want to change that?"


"Aziraphale," the demon said patiently, "haven't we been together long enough to know one another?"

The angel stiffened. "I don't like what I know about you."

"Well, I like what I know about you. In fact, I don't even like it, I love it. And that'sss why I wouldn't tempt you, becaussse I love you, that's common sssenssse."

"Stop it," Aziraphale glared. "I won't break the rules - "

"Why not? I just did. Do you think demonsss are allowed to love? I don't care if I'm ssstruck down where I sssstand.... we could break them together." Crowley shrugged, secure in his conviction. He meant what he said, that was for sure!

"If.... if we get caught....."

"We can worry about that when it happensss. If it happenssss." Aziraphale's eyes widened fractionally as Crowley leaned in again, his lips brushing across the angel's, gentle and warm. For another heartbeat Aziraphale faltered (falling! falling! falling!), and then let himself lean in to the kiss's innocence, his nose brushing across Crowley's cheek.

The kiss didn't change anything. Aziraphale didn't feel any dirtier for giving in to his emotions, in fact, now that he was no longer hiding them, he felt a bit stronger, as if the connection between himself and the demon at his side had somehow shielded him from all the things he feared. What was more, it didn't feel like a sin, because sin was dirty and wrong, and that kiss had held nothing but love.

Aziraphale glanced shyly up at Crowley and smiled weakly.

Looping an arm affectionately around the angel's shoulders, Crowley nodded with satisfaction and pulled him away from the church's smashed, chipped alter with one swift motion. Standing on the porch in the hazy darkness, he peered up and down the street, searching for a convenient hotel - he found one, pointed, and pecked his angel on the cheek. "It'sss late. Let'sss go to bed?"

Aziraphale slapped him, and Crowley smiled. "Thought you'd do that," he grinned, and led the way down the damp cobblestone street.