Work Header

Genetic Memory

Work Text:

If you’d asked Aziraphale what he’d been thinking when he gave his holy flaming weapon, bequeathed and trusted to him by God herself, to the very two humans who’d just directly disobeyed her, he couldn’t quite tell you.

He supposes he’d been thinking about just how cold it would be outside of Eden. It’d been a while since he himself had gone out there, guarding duties and all that, but looking out at the seemingly endless barrenness of the outside Earth had always made him feel cold. And the humans didn’t have any Grace or wings to warm them. They had hardly any clothes to warm them for that matter.
He’d been thinking of the swollen curve of Eve’s belly, already threatening to burst as they ventured out into the sands.
Thinking of their eyes, so afraid and resigned, so almost ready to die.
Thinking of Her ineffable plan, and how surely, surely, this couldn’t fit into it. Leaving these new things, barely born and so fragile out into the untamed wilds of the Earth with nothing but leaves on their backs. It couldn’t be.

Perhaps he hadn’t been thinking much of anything. It’d simply felt like something he ought to do, and so he’d done it. There had been doubt, of course there’d been doubt, but the relief and gratitude that had taken over Adam and Eve’s expressions, their wordless thanks as he shooed them away out of Eden...

Well, he couldn’t take it back now, could he? And somehow, he doesn’t think he’d want to anyway.

If you’d asked any human who’d ever met a form of Aziraphale what they thought of him, they couldn’t quite tell you.

Sure, Aziraphale was the sort of person who just looked kind. All soft edges and gentle smiles, reassuring words and a perfectly placed pat on the back just when you needed it. He just looked like the kind of person who’d give money to every homeless person he saw or help every little old lady cross the street, no matter how much it made him late for some important meeting. It was easy to like him. In fact, it was almost impossible not to.

But there was something more instinctual about it.

They couldn’t help but feel somehow indebted to him. Whether they’d only just met, they’d been acquainted for some time, or perhaps one who’d call him a friend, there was always something itching in the back of their heads. Something insistent, something determined, something that told them they had to thank him for something. But the itch never quite said what for. Instead, it simply stayed, constant and puzzling. A bizarre impulse to always help him whenever he looked like he needed it; be it taking a stack of books from him to help carry, standing up so he could take the last seat on the bus, a simple smile as they passed by, or visiting his bookshop for a new novel, despite the strange sense of unwelcome one always got when they entered.

The itch never quite went away, and no human could ever tell you why it’d been there in the first place. Nor could they tell you just what they were trying to thank him for. When it came to Aziraphale, they couldn’t tell you much at all.

But they could tell you that around him, they felt warm.