This story doesn’t start with a gentle once upon a time, it started with a Garden and it would end there as well. A place created by the archangel Gabriel to hide his biggest secret; a secret he knew would call for his Fall.
Only God was allowed to create life but by accident, a mishap, a mistake made after allowing a demon to live during the great war and stupidly convincing himself he loved the prince of demons, he created a child. A child the lord of flies fell in love with after giving birth on Earth to, away from prying eyes. They placed a loving kiss on the child and lovingly called them Ezra, it was demonic enough.
They told the archangel of their creation, showed him with pride the creature they both created by combining their essences and Gabriel had panicked.
The lord of flies would not see their child again, Gabriel took him and hid him away, giving him the name Aziraphale, it sounded angelic enough.
The Garden was beautiful enough and a mini version of Heaven for the child as he grew but it was isolating. Devoid of life except the child and when the angel felt obligated, himself.
The lord of flies never gave up on their love and longing for the child though, they cried out each year on the anniversary of his birth and each year Aziraphale would feel that cry, desperate to understand who out there loved him so strongly.
A demon doesn’t get warnings when they mess up and oh did Crowley mess up. They would melt him in holy water for this, he knew in his soul they would, he sped down interstate after interstate hearing them call and gloat about his coming execution on the radio.
Crowley had done quite a few stupid things but stealing from Beelzebub was likely his stupidest. Maybe killing Dagon was up there too but Beelzebub was far more cross about the stupid crown and a stupid sword he had nicked from their throne room when he was feeling bold and felt Hell owed him everything for his part of making humanity fall.
It was all a very long and complicated tale but the gist of it would be Crowley was feeling bold this past century. He saw Beelzebub on their throne, he saw them lavishing in doing whatever they liked coming and going from Hell as they pleased, never having to do anything of value just drilling orders from their lord every hundred years. Crowley felt he earned it, felt entitled to it after the reprimands he got from sleeping through the 1400s (earned him a lash for each year sleeping, the scars not likely to go away) and hated how their so called Prince got to do whatever they felt, leaving every year and staying gone for months without a single complaint.
Maybe Crowley shouldn’t have stolen their stuff, not his fault the sword was a holy artifact, how was he to know Dagon stupidly prat falling on it would kill them? How was he to know it would burn him? He decided it was his now, didn’t care what they said. In fact, he was no longer an agent of Hell he decided all at once.
He was a demon of limitless will and imagination, he just pictured it hard enough, a secluded place, a place Hell nor Heaven could find, he kept picturing it in his mind, somewhere secret to hide.
He felt reality twisting, he felt it bending, he kept at it willing it more and more in his desperation, somewhere secret, somewhere no one knew, where Beelzebub would never find.
He felt himself slamming hard on the breaks, jaw dropping, he was no longer on the 37 out of London, he was back in the Garden. It looked exactly like Eden to the last detail, just as lush and full of warmth and love as he recalled.
He pulled open the Bentley door and stared in wonder around him, taking off his sunglasses to get a better look at the dense forest of trees, endless vegetation growing around him, wildflowers that were nothing short of grounded rainbows. A perfect sunny day as it had always been overcast him and he heard the roar of the waterfall and the beautiful clear stream stretching through the foliage.
Something important was missing through, there was no life outside of the plants, no fish in the stream, no birds in the trees. He walked through the trees until he hit the wide and large walls, pearly white and reaching towards the blue clear sky, endless in height and impossible to escape.
He had no where else he could go back to unless he wanted to face extinction so he stayed, enjoying the solitude. He slept in the car the first night, by the second he was lying on the hood staring into the beautiful night sky, the moon always full and the stars always clear.
By the seventh day he had taken to staying in his snake form nestled in the low hanging branches, soaking in the perfect day when he finally found the only sign of life in the garden.
A rather scared and rather young-looking man approached him, it wasn’t until he caught the perfectly white feathers dragging behind him blending into his white robes did he realize he was an angel.
Crowley let the thought of him being a threat pass through him, seeing his hands shaking as he held them close to himself, almost in prayer. Large wide blue eyes staring at him nervously, pale blonde hair swaying in the breeze and his rotund belly was jiggling the harder he breathed.
“My father says no one can get in here,” he whispered in such a quiet voice Crowley had to strain his ears to catch what was said, “He says the lord made this place only for me because I am too weak to be among anything else and he would be dreadfully upset if I foolishly got myself killed.”
He paused wringing his hands harder and just staring at Crowley.
“How did you get in?”
What an odd question and Crowley wasn’t sure if he could properly explain it, he didn’t know angels were able to make their own young. He had almost considered it a blasphemous thing to do, when Satan had created him to tempt Eve, he had thought it to be rebellious.
He was still pondering how an angel would even go about conceiving when Aziraphale finally found the courage to touch him and with one finger gently pushed his head up so his snake like eyes could meet his blue ones.
“And if it isn’t any trouble, can you show me how to get out?”
Some quick notes:
So while this AU is heavily based on Disney's Tangled, its not gonna be beat for beat. I was just really inspired to make a fic where Azi was rapunzel and Gabriel was Grothel and I just got this.
Also this isn't edited and all the chapters will be rather short since I am working on longer fics too.
Beelzebub had never known happiness, not in Heaven, not in Hell but they had come very close once. Very close indeed. That fleeting happiness had been a chubby babe with disgustingly angelic blue eyes and wispy pale curls.
They remembered carrying the child, they remembered threatening them when they kicked, they remembered protecting and hiding them from even Lucifer. Beelzebub wanted to eventually tell their dark lord but had always figured it would be easier if they had their child in hand. They had forged a crown in Hellfire for them, their little prince of Hell just like their parent. They were royalty and they would be treated as such, lavished and taught to hate properly.
Gabriel had gifted Beelzebub a holy sword early into their affair, maybe some sort of protection in case they were ever found out, Beelzebub had planned on giving it to their child. Even had their name engraved into it on Earth by a black smith.
Ezra, their child, their prince of darkness, only their gifts remained as a sign of Beelzebub’s unwavering devotion to the life they had created. Going against God’s order, going against Satan’s commands, to create.
Now they had nothing left of their child, they clenched their fists sitting on their throne and glaring down at Hastur and Ligur bowing before them. Nothing left to remind themselves the child was once theirs, had once filled the dark void of their heart.
“Find the demon Crawly, I wish to properly dispose of him myself.”
Aziraphale had never known pleasures, he had never been taught to be enjoy things on his own, he only knew what his father told him was right. He wasn’t allowed to doubt these things, his father was always right and always just, but he wanted to doubt him.
He wanted to feel something close to love, the love his father told him about, but he often forgot to pass to his child. He sometimes found a replacement for that love in food.
Aziraphale was always scolded for doing so and often punished but he usually did little other then eat in his little paradise. He would go long stretches of time without his father, it was just him and the silence, it stretched around him and consumed him. Food sometimes made that barren feeling of hopelessness die down just a little. It made him feel less alone.
He remembered when he had a much vaster choice in vegetation then he did now but sometimes his father just knew what was best for him and took away his small bit of comfort.
Aziraphale wasn’t very good with his miracles and his father, knowing what was best for him, kept track of them and he would be reprimanded for doing anything he felt was ‘unnecessary’ or ‘gluttonous’. He was rarely physically punished but had been the time he attempted to create pastries from the berries from one of the books his father had given him.
He had a lovely stack of books his father had gotten from humans over the years, his father worked closely with them and was stationed on Earth. He was fond of the times he was allowed to lay his head on his father’s lap, and he told him about the humans.
Father didn’t think very highly of them, but Aziraphale kept his controversial opinions to himself about liking the humans through stories. Books on history and art and pristine fashion magazines, and oh his most cherished books, the classic collections. They were battered and fading and had library tags on the side and price tags from secondhand bookstores on the back, but what they lacked in beauty, they made up for in filling Aziraphale with endless hours of enjoyment.
He stayed in his little hut his father had made for him, sitting at the little wooden table or lying in the little straw bed, just consuming them. In a lot of ways, they were like his only friends.
Before his books, he had to spend hours telling himself tall tales about how he thought things worked but now his father had finally gifted him with something to fill the void. He was a brat, his father was right to punish him for his tantrum, but the endless crying had finally made his father relent in getting him mortal comfort objects.
Even his books weren’t always enough though.
He was absently reading a book on wild animals and how the humans trained them when it hit him how barren the garden was. He had never heard a bird sing or wolf howl or another voice besides his father’s.
That longing lead him to regretfully eating more and his father was once more angered by his weight gain when he returned, he had taken away his books and refused to return them until he became less gluttonous.
He lay awake and felt that deep cry in his soul, someone searching for him, someone crying out for him, someone who loved him just as much as father did. It always brought tears to his eyes, he cried too for their loss. Each year it became more painful to feel that yearning and know he would never know who called for him or why.
He had told his father about it once and he had become angry.
“No one is looking for you Aziraphale,” he spat making Aziraphale sink in his seat regretting telling his father about it at all, “And if they were, it would not be something for you to be foolishly excited about! It would only mean danger! It could only be a trap!”
“I don’t understand why its so wrong to believe someone loves me…” Aziraphale whispered tears misting his eyes, he refused to look up from the wooden surface of the table.
“Oh sunshine,” his father sighed resting his hand on his head, running fingers through his curls, “You are very loved. I provide you a safe place to live and I provide you with all you can ever need, and I only do what I know to be best for you because I love you. The Lord loves you and she protects you from the world that would destroy you.”
“You must not question these things,” his father chided in a loving fashion placing a kiss on his head, “You are weak, and you were created wrong. You are too easy to lead astray and too easy to hurt, we keep you here for your protection because we love you. The lord and I are all you need.”
“Yes father,” he finally choked through a small sob, yes, he was very loved, and he was wrong to question the love he received.
“But you must never leave,” his father warned firmly tilting his head up and giving him that stare that promised he wouldn’t like the outcome of his decisions if he didn’t follow the rules.
It wasn’t that Aziraphale didn’t know what a demon was, it was more like he didn’t know what to expect of them. His books and his father were always very adamant about them being evil. Damned creatures who were cast from Heaven. Unholy lot who preyed on innocent souls like his.
The thing was, Aziraphale had little to do but question things. His father was quite right when he assumed he was easy to lead astray.
He kept his distance from the demon and just observed him for days. He didn’t seem very demonic, he felt different then his father, but he didn’t feel devoid of love. He felt love from the creature.
He felt it when he sang along to his strange songs, when he talked to his car, when he gazed longingly up at the clear night sky. Admiring the stars and tracing his fingers over each constellation.
He didn’t feel threatening. He felt safe. Maybe Aziraphale was wrong in this assumption, he had been wrong about a great deal many things and his father had to always correct him but he had been alone for so long. Maybe he didn’t mind being hurt, he just wished for someone else to be here with him.
He wanted to spend a day outside the garden, that’s all he asked, a day away from the solitude and quiet. This was likely the only chance he would get, so he approached the demon cautiously and asked his question.
Maybe he shouldn’t have been surprised by the answer, he had been told demons were evil, he just chose to go against common sense in his desperation for his own selfish desires.
“Fat chance on that, angel,” the demon sneered, “I don’t know where you bloody well came from but you just go back there. I’m staying here.”
“Excuse me!” Aziraphale said frustration overriding his fears, “You come to my garden, the garden the lord made for me, might I add! And you just expect me to go about my business?”
“No I expect you to leave me alone, if this was a gift from the bloody lord, then just accept it and stay where you are at. I’m staying where I’m at and that’s final.”
As if to punctate that statement, the snake slithered farther up the tree out of Aziraphale’s reach and promptly went back into his doze.
The nerve of this serpent! Aziraphale huffed and stomped his foot, days of building up nerve to talk to the first creature he had ever encountered and it was a selfish demon.
“You can not just enter my home and act so rudely!” Aziraphale bellowed childishly picking up the nearest object, a fallen pear, and chucking it at the snake. He felt slight satisfaction hearing the thud and hiss of pain.
“The least you could do is introduce yourself!”
“Look at the pot calling the kettle black,” the snake sneered slithering back down and making Aziraphale take a step away from him as he transformed back into his human form, “Spoiled little brat sees someone new and instantly makes demands when daddy isn’t here to put his foot down!”
Aziraphale became still at the mention of his father, his heart beating fast, his father would be very cross with him for just allowing this stranger here and doing nothing.
“I’m sorry,” Aziraphale finally mumbled making the demon’s eyebrow raise in surprise at the quick admission of blame, “I’m so sorry for being rude. My name is Aziraphale, please, you don’t have to do anything, just don’t leave me alone here. Please stay.”
He hadn’t realized his knees had faltered and he had fallen to the ground until the pain finally registered into his brain. He felt the tears running, he didn’t know what to do, he was so desperate for anyone to fill the void he was begging a demon to stay with him. He had previously wrongly asked him to let him leave, leave the place his father knew it was best he stay.
He blinked back tears glancing at the hand in his face.
“If you will stop bloody crying, I will introduce myself properly,” he sneered down at the angel, impatiently waving his hand in the angel’s face demanding he take it and let him pull him from the ground. Aziraphale accepted the offer, grasping his hand, feeling a strange flutter of nerves swim through him. This was the first person he had ever been allowed to touch without asking first, father only allowed him to do so when he begged for affection.
“Anthony J Crowley but just call me Crowley.”