And He Smiled
Disclaimer: All belong to either Themselves or Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. This is my take on things inspired by the first half of a fic by Snowballjane, called Leaving.
God moves in extremely mysterious, not to mention circuitous, ways. God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of his own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.
-Good Omens, pages 1 + 2 of Eleven Years Ago.
In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth and everything that went with them, and he saw it as a job well done. It was the first – and probably only – time in the history of all of creation that a Maker had actually thought that without the inevitable 'but this could do with a little work'. No, for the first (and only) time, it was actually Good.
Previously, God's expression had been alternating between a sort of tongue in cheek feeling of trying and getting something done right and the smile of 'this bit done, let's get on to the next bit', which was almost all anticipation and excitement. Now, His smile was altogether different. Similar, but different. It had a satisfied, laid back feeling to it that anyone who had worked with a particular project for a prolonged period of time would recognise. Not that six days is commonly thought of as a long time, but in relation to the nothing of time that went before, it was considerably longer.
Humans, the one part of His creation that He could truly say that He was most proud of, were at that moment sleeping under one of the first trees. God watched over them as He walked through the perfect garden. It was a perfect moment.
Things were not perfect everywhere, however, and He had known for a while that dissented growing in the ranks of the angels who served directly underneath Him. It had been a risk that He had been willing to take, a risk that made everything all the sweeter, just as it did with humans. If beings such as those had not Free Will, it would be dull. He had wanted to create intelligence. Not pets.
It was not, however, long before He did not need omnipresent knowledge to know and hear of the kinds of things that some of these angels were saying. Some of the Archangels started to come to Him, and it wasn't long before He had to do something about it. Which He did.
That day, there was no smile on His face.
They were still His creations, even if they had erred in their ways. It was a matter of free will. So He had to watch and make friend forsake friend, knowing that in a shadowed possibility, the occurrence might happen again.
They called those who had turned away from Him the Fallen. Those who had gone a step too far and Fallen out of Heaven. Fallen from grace.
Not all of them left at once. Some disheartened or encouraged by their Fallen comrades and decided to forego Heaven to build their own justice with the friends they had fought against. Some simply disappeared one day, and only He knew where they went. Most stayed. The loyal ones.
And then there were those who simply weren't ready yet. The ones who didn't understand the Plan or didn't want to just yet. Those few who were needed for the Plan, even though it broke His heart to see them leave, knowing that it could have been any of them, but they had been the ones to choose.
One of them, a dark haired angel whose crimes were only compassion for Fallen comrades and an aptitude to act before thinking at times, turned his back on Heaven not even a few days after the first War.
God smiled then, knowing that it was simply the next step in the great Plan. None of the other angels noticed, but His smile held hidden tears shining in His eyes. He did not have to like the way things went.
All He could do was remember. And He had an awful lot to remember. The past, the present, the future. He was in all of them. They were His refuge, knowing that it wasn't all lost. Not quite finished just yet.
So His dark haired angel, now a dark haired demon and part-time serpent, did as Hell had asked of him and made trouble up on Earth. God suffered it, knowing what would happen next, in a mind where tomorrow blended in with yesterday without getting confused with today.
He did not need to go directly to the Angel of the Eastern Gate. He went simply because it was one of the things that He felt had to be done. Just to make sure everything was running smoothly.
When the angel lied to Him, He said nothing, gave nothing away of his intentions. As soon as He could, however, He smiled again. Everything was working out as well as it could, given the circumstances.
After all, it was hardly as though the accidental demon would listen to someone who didn't at least think a little like himself. That was, He reckoned, what parables would be for one day.
The difference between humans and demons being that demons were an awful lot more stubborn, and usually had an awful lot more time to be stubborn in.
Approximately six thousand and four years later, the angel who had lied and the demon who had told the truth stood by the pond in St. James' park, feeding the ducks.
The angel Azrael passed them by, making a passing comment which the two promptly decided to imagine hadn't happened.
His two angels went on to dine together, almost as if nothing had changed between them, but Someone knew better.
The world was still there.
And He smiled.
AN: Ok. So. First things first, if you really want to understand the first bit, you have to read Snowballjane's fic 'Leaving'. I just wanted to write this because it seemed her second half to the story was slightly sad, and I also read a line somewhere else saying that Crowley was one of God's favourites by the time of the Apocalypse. Add that together with the knowledge that Our Lord is a Personage of great Humour and Plans, and here we have this fic. If you don't like any of what I wrote or how I characterised God, then I am sorry I offended your beliefs and besides, this is set in the Good Omens universe, not the real world.
I guess this was all about ineffability in the end, though. . .