From the Same Stock
Plant a seed from an apple and you’d get a totally different tree. Still an apple, of course, but what it would look or taste like would be a surprise. Cut a piece off that same tree and force it to put down roots and you got something just like the original. Or you could take a piece from another apple tree entirely and insert it into the other tree, so it all became one, new tree.
Sometimes you only found out it was a new tree grafted onto an old tree when something happened to damage it. You’d cut away the damaged part and when it grew back, suddenly you saw what lay beneath.
But that was only a brief period that you could know they were actually different. Only when you took the fruit would you find out the difference. The rest of the time, they were all just trees. There were certainly clues that something was a little different, but they were subtle. One tree might end up covered in galls, sick but still standing. Rapping on the truck of another might reveal all the heartwood had been eaten away and it was just a beautiful shell that still somehow bore fruit. Still another might look healthy but fail to produce any fruit. Perhaps there might be some clue in a subtle difference of the leaf or how tall and straight the tree grew, that told you about what it was made of.
But they were fundamentally the same stock. They still all made apples. One might be dark and glossy on the outside while another was pale gold. Inside, the flesh might be stark white, or tinted gold, or an alarming red, but it still didn’t tell you which one was sweet. It wasn’t until you did more than look, until you actually took a bite that you knew what really was on offer. Was it bitter and crisp? Was it cloyingly sweet and already bruised? Or was it beautiful and crisp and utterly joyless? The good and the bad came together in so many varieties as they all sprung from the same stock.
He’d been an angel once. Part of those orderly ranks where each variety had its own specific qualities and duties. And now, now he was more and less. He’d been burnt down to his roots. He’d lived. But he was still the same stock. He remembered. Some parts were clear in his mind as if they happened yesterday. Those were him. That was what he was. Others, it grew harder with each year to remember those. He suspected those were the pieces that hadn’t really been him, entirely. They belonged to someone else, something else.
And yet, he was also more. He could just as easily become more. He would have to work with the stock he was given. You couldn’t separate the serpent from the tree. He’d tried. But what kind of fruit the serpent offered, that he could change.
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This is part of a larger project I'm working on, but I decided to post the images separately because they make okay standalone artwork.
Before-Crowley (Gadreel? Raphael?) before he Fell.
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An excerpt from a project I'm working on. I suppose it makes for a decent standalone picture.
Something was bugging me about his face, so I went back and edited. I think he looks more accurate now...
My headcanon is that all of the angels looked younger before the War in Heaven, which is why before-Crowley (Gadreel? possibly Raphael?) looks more like David Tennant when he was regularly playing the Doctor.
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I’ve seen a lot of angsty theories of how Crowley fell and all the drama, but let me introduce a concept.
He just got tired of Heaven’s bullshit.
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Okay so I don’t know if this has been done, but I have a fun little headcanon that makes me giggle and I wanna talk about, so here we go!
So it’s always kinda confused my that Aziraphale doesn’t fall, not that I want him to by any means, but he’s not a very good angel. He even admits that himself when he gets sent back to heaven after the summoning circle.
Listen, the man gives away his sword and straight up lies to God’s face like a week after being on earth. It seems to me that Gabriel and the other archangels don’t know, but are we really pretending She doesn’t? Not only does She Know All, he really is a terrible liar. I don’t think Gabriel picks up on it because he’s so far in his own head he just assumes this little pleb angel wouldn’t dare lie to him, but She isn’t so ignorant.
After his First Rebellion he continues to push it, talking to Crowley, sheltering him with his wing on top of the wall in full view of God, Satan, and the other angels/demons, and still, nothing, he’s still sitting pretty fully connected to God’s Grace with his nice white fluffy wings. So he pushes.
He starts holding his own little mini-rebellions, gluttony being a big one, as well as just in general being an incorrigible hedonist. He starts talking to Crowley more and more, going from occasional chance meetings, to starting a tentative friendship, and eventually to the Arrangement.
Note: I hear you saying Crowley was the one that started their relationship but are we pretending that the grouchy lil demon wanted anything to do with him in Rome? Oh no no no, the first step was always Aziraphale. He was the one to shelter Crowley, he was the one to hold up conversations [see: “Fancy seeing you here! ... well allow me to tempt you(to some oysters)!” and of course the “dear fellow” in King Arthur’s court] Personally I don’t think Crowley saw Zira as much more than a means to an end until much later. I’ll write another post on my thoughts on Crowley at some point but for now it’s meme time.
Now, I’d like to make two points.
One: After the sword, he takes a massive step back with his rebellions, but when they all go unpunished he gets bolder and bolder again as the years go on. Going from simply blending in, to enjoying human life, to being a glutton, to the arrangement, to befriending a demon, to lying to Head Office and so on.
Of course his final rebellion is definitely the biggest, there’s this absolutely brilliant post from @ilarual l that goes into more detail about just how amazing it is, but the TLDR is “Basically, Aziraphale backflips out of Heaven with both middle fingers in the air, and frankly I think it’s amazing.“
Two: He’s only ever concerned about what will happen to Crowley. How many times do we hear him say “it would destroy you”? [Talking about hell finding out about their Arrangement, the holy water, etc.] He’s so worried something will happen to Crowley but not to himself. Yeah sure you can read that as Crowley’s a demon and Zira thinks he’d be more concerned with his own self interest than he would be with what happens to an angel, you can read it as Zira’s so in love with him that the idea of a world where Crowley doesn’t exist is worse than one in which he dies himself, or you can read it as Aziraphale doesn’t think anything will happen to him.
Basically what I’m saying is Aziraphale doesn’t fall for the same reason his phone continues to work. For the same reason Crowley’s watch keeps time even though the batteries are long dead. Now this post right here (thank you @theniceandaccurategoodomensblog for your absolutely amazing analysis) goes into much more detail about how miracles work in the Good Omens universe, including covering how one must wholeheartedly believe something for it to work in an unconscious miracle without a shadow of a doubt in your mind.
Well, Aziraphale lied to Gods face, he’s been consorting with a demon for ~6000 years, he rebels against heaven, and lies to his superiors, and he still hasn’t fallen, so why should he think he would fall? He’s already done so many rebellious acts, why should it cross his mind that actively trying to stop the apocalypse and in the end being the one to do so, would be any worse than any of the other lines he’s crossed over the millennia?
TLDR; Aziraphale is Archer and he doesn’t think he can fall so unequivocally that he miracles it into existence, thank you for coming to my TEDtalk.
No, I don’t actually think this is at all the case, I don’t think this is how Zira thinks at all, and I don’t think this is why he doesn’t fall, but I do think it’s funny as hell to think about. I would like to draw your attention to this amazing explanation on Crowley’s fall by @anotherhappydinosaur because this is the explanation I truly believe, I think it’s beautifully written and very in line with the show and themes and characters, but this thought popped into my head and I’ve been laughing at it since so I wanted to share.
Note: If I miss-sourced or something didn’t link correctly please let me know, I want everyone to get credit where credit is due
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A meta about Crowley’s fall.
What if Crowley had been a bad angel?
What if he asked the wrong questions?
Listen, this is not a speech about Crowley being evil.
In fact, I genuinely believe that he is the character with the highest moral ground in Good Omens. (I will probably write a meta about this soon enough)
Yes, I know that we all like to think that he fell for asking Important questions about ducks, or for Aziraphale's sake, or because he wanted to love him, but for some reason, it was forbidden.
Mind you, I’m not criticizing all those writers who have basked in that. I wrote something similar as well, this is just another point of view, and you can tell me what do you think about it, I’m always open to different opinions.
So, here my thesis:
What we know about Crowley’s fall is just that he asked questions, hanged out with the wrong crowd, talked with “Lucifer and the guys” . We know what made Lucifer fall: he doesn’t want to serve humans because he thinks that angels are superiors. So he fell for his pride (And technically he wants to dethrone God, but that's Satan, and we don’t have time to unpack that now)
Now, let’s try to see this from Lucifer, the demons and Crowley perspective:
Angels are mighty. They can create stars, nebulas, constellations. They can fly, do whatever they please, change form and shape. Literally, the only limitation is their imagination.
At the same time, humans are naked in a garden doing nothing all day if not copulating and eating fruits and naming things. Literally, they don’t have a conscience about what’s right and wrong.
So... what if Crowley is there doing his stuff and, one day, everyone is talking about the brand new creation, and he sees them, and he is Not Impressed™. And there's Lucifer that starts to speak and a lot of the angels, Crowley included, are listening carefully because he is a terrific orator and has a point.
And maybe Crowley asked God “I mean, are you sure about them?” since he just saw Adam pet a peach for an hour saying “uuuhh so soft” and, perhaps, the main point it isn’t The Questions per se, but just asking he implicitly doubted God. So he Falls.
I think this is important because Crowley is a character that likes to learn, just think about all the questions on Eden’s wall, his speech about the fourteen century, or how he is delighted about Leonardo da Vinci. Crowley loves humans because they have imagination (just like him) and even if he Wasn’t impressed at the beginning, he starts to learn from them what’s mean to have Free Will, and he can't deny how amazing are all the things they can do to improve their life.
He is probably one of the most interesting characters because he went through “I don’t see what it’s so special about them” to “They’re so interesting, watch all the things they can do," and grow so fond on them that decided to thwart a whole Apocalypse.
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Was I listening to the show’s theme the whole time I was making this? Yes, yes I was.
Is this part of a fix I’m planning on putting up in the future? Yes, yes it is.
I would also like to point out that it’s supposed to seem like he’s calling to Zira for help, since some might somehow see it as him yelling “Zira” out of anger for the angel.
More under the cut for those of you who would like to see this layer by layer. Warning though. There’s 16 layers total.
I might change some stuff up later on if I find there’s something I don’t like about this, but this is all I’ve got for now.
I feel as if I should point out that I did all this in around 24 hours, taking some breaks in-between, WITH A MOUSE!! I don’t have a drawing tablet, although I would like to have one.
Base for the background
Adding in what is supposed to be Heaven and Hell
Base for Crowley
Adding some more shades to his hair
Some gray to one of his wings
Not as obvious, but I added a darker gray closer to his torso
Changing his clothes
the lighter gray on the other wing
Darker gray on the same wing
Added in some more detail to his wings
Some texturing to his hair
Even less obvious than the darker gray on the first wing, but I tried to add shading/lighting to his arm and legs
Some texturing to his wings
This was supposed to look like some feathers coming out while he’s falling
The speech bubble color
Outline and wording in speech bubble.
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.| Crowley’s Fall: A Moodboard |.
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Crowley usually downplays what it was like to Fall. I sauntered vaguely downwards. I just hung around the wrong people. Food hadn’t been that great in Heaven lately. I threw myself off a cloud rather than listen to another blessed Heavenly chorus.
But he’ll never forget how horrible it really was. He’ll always remember the agony of his wings burning in boiling sulfur, the sting of his eyes reshaping into a serpent’s. He’ll remember the stench of immortal flesh peeling away in fire and brimstone. He’ll remember the screams of the other newly-Fallen—though at the time, he hadn’t realized he’d been screaming, too.
The worst part, however, was the brutal ripping-in-half feeling of his Grace leaving him. All angels were created as beings of holy love, reflecting the love the Almighty has for all Her creations. An angel’s Grace is the fount of that love, the direct conduit to the Lord and Her tenderness. It’s like constantly having your mom on speaker phone: yes, she can always hear when you fuck up, but she can also give you advice or comfort you, or even come pick you up if you’re really in trouble. Losing that Grace is like seeing that she just hung up on you. And you don’t have her number saved, so all you can do is shout at your lock screen in increasing desperation as your battery drops to 2%, and now you’ve been arrested and you’re getting sick and you’re scared and you don’t know what to do because she’s always been there and now she isn’t—
So, yeah. Falling from the Almighty’s love was the worst part.
Crowley assumes the other Fallen angels felt that same abandonment, that same raw terror at the prospect of spending eternity shut out from Her love. But it’s not something demons talk about. God and Heaven are the enemy; you have to have whatever-the-opposite-of-nostalgia-is for the days before the Fall. In the early days of Hell, some demons did talk among themselves about their angelic pasts. But then Lucifer got wind of it, decided it sounded a little too close to wistfulness, and…
Well. Let’s just say no demon ever talked about their time as angels ever again. If you thought God didn’t take constructive criticism well, clearly you haven’t met Satan.
But as time went on in Hell, and Crowley (or rather, Crawly) began to accept the fact that he wasn’t ever getting his Grace back, that the Almighty had abandoned him forever just for asking questions…he started getting angry. He was furious that God had cast him aside for the sin of simple curiosity, while those self-righteous pricks in Heaven got to keep their day jobs: smiling those patronizing smiles as they prattled on and on about their love for Creation, without actually giving a fuck about what any part of that Creation would actually become. Did anyone ever bother to read the fine print of what this Great Plan actually entailed?? Or were they just happy to follow it to the letter, acting on orders without caring about the consequences?
Some days, Crawly was able to convince himself that he was glad he’d Fallen. At least this way, he wouldn’t have to drudge away as a mouthpiece for Heaven’s bullshit. But even on those days, he still feels that empty hole in his heart where God’s love used to be. It still aches. Even when he gets used to the ache, it doesn’t twinge any less.
So, when Satan asks for a volunteer to go up to Earth and make some trouble for God’s most precious two creations, Crawly steps forward. It’s the perfect chance to take some personal vengeance against God for abandoning him, while also allowing him to surround himself with Her masterpieces once again. He’s not naive; he knows he’s not going to win Her love back. But slithering into the midst of the beings She still loves might be enough to soothe that ache for a little while.
But it doesn’t. At first, it makes the ache so much worse.
He had nothing against the two humans; they probably deserved Her love as much as any of Her other creations. But in exchange for living under Her roof, She’d given them the stupidest, most arbitrary household rule. As if She were gloating about how easily She could kick them out, if She felt like it.
And Crawly knows all about that, doesn’t he? So, Adam and Eve, it’s about time your long-lost big brother Crawly told you about how the world really works. You’ll be better off trying to make it on your own, rather than living under Mom’s tyrannical demands. (Not that they ever really escaped those demands after they left Eden, but you can’t blame a demon for trying, right?)
But as he’s about to slither back down to Hell, he sees the angel sent to guard the Eastern Gate, standing on the wall of the Garden. And while Crawly is at first ready to hightail it back Downstairs before he has to lay eyes on another smug holy bastard…something makes him pause.
The angel looks concerned. He looks worried.
Angels are supposed to carry themselves with absolute surety of their goodness, and the goodness of their mission as representatives of God. They have the truth of the Divine Plan to back them up. They don’t get worried.
But this angel is. And Crawly is intrigued.
So, he slithers up to chat with this angel. He thought it would hurt to stand so close to a being so clearly imbued with God’s Grace and favor.
But it doesn’t hurt at all.
Because this angel’s light isn’t solely a window to the Almighty. This angel’s light is due to the fact that he is truly good.
He isn’t like the other angels. He didn’t coldly throw Adam and Eve from Eden the way Crawly was thrown from Heaven. He gave them advice, encouragement, and even the flaming sword the Almighty trusted him with! He gave it to them so they could protect themselves, light their way, and stay warm. They’ll probably survive the night thanks to Aziraphale’s disobedient kindness.
When the angel says those four words—I gave it away—there’s a split second where Crawly stops feeling the ache of his lost Grace. His phone may be dead, but maybe he doesn’t need to have Mom listening to him all the time.
Maybe Aziraphale can listen instead.
The years pass by the hundreds, then by the thousands. Crawly, and then Crowley, keeps running into Aziraphale. He still catches himself screaming at God sometimes, though it’s definitely a one-way conversation. It’s beyond him how humans don’t universally go mad from never once hearing Her voice. Then again, they don’t know what they’re missing. That apple of knowledge hadn’t done away with all the ignorance of their species.
But the ache from losing God’s love hurts Crowley less and less as the years go by. Maybe he’s reached the acceptance stage of grief. Maybe he’s adjusting well to demonic life.
Or maybe it has something to do with the friendship he now has with one of Her angels. Something to do with the overwhelming, unconditional love he harbors for said angel. Not very demonic of him, but then again, he’s never fit the cookie-cutter mold of a Hastur or Beelzebub type of demon. Just like Aziraphale never quite fit in with the Gabriels and Sandalphons in Heaven. (His angel is better than the whole lot of them, Crowley knows. He’s better than all of them put together.)
But as their fifth millennium on Earth heads toward their sixth, Crowley starts to have a horrible sense of familiarity about this whole…thing with Aziraphale.
The angel wants to keep his distance. And yes, Crowley can understand why, on paper. This clandestine fraternizing is dangerous, probably even more for him than for Aziraphale. And he knows it’s probably too much to ask of Aziraphale to wrap Crowley in as much love as Crowley feels for him.
But Crowley had once been wrapped in God’s love. He’d built stars for Her. He’d reveled in Her creations.
But then he’d asked questions. He’d gone too fast. And She had abandoned him forever.
He can’t let that happen again.
So, Crowley tries to account for the danger. He tries to get insurance. See, angel? he’ll say. I’ve got holy water now, if any of my lot come knocking they’ll never make it past the front door, nobody’ll bother us!
It doesn’t work. Aziraphale refuses. Even when he gives in and offers Crowley the holy water himself, he still rejects their closeness becoming even closer.
When Crowley sees Armageddon coming, he tries to stop it. And when his incompetence in losing track of the Antichrist makes Doomsday inevitable, he tries to get Aziraphale to run away with him. Not once, but twice.
Not only does Aziraphale refuse, he also rejects Crowley’s love entirely. So if Crowley goes a little overboard with the histrionics of “I won’t even think about you!”…it’s because, when the one you love most abandons you, anger is a safer response than despair.
But then…everything, somehow, goes terribly right. Armageddon is averted, Heaven and Hell will leave him and Aziraphale alone, and—most miraculously—he and Aziraphale are still together.
Not long after that, Aziraphale gives Crowley the greatest gift he could ever offer. What Crowley’s been yearning for all along, but never thought he could really have:
The angel’s love.
Not a general, angelic, I-have-compassion-and-reverence-for-all-of-God’s-creations kind of love. Not a pitying, oh-look-at-the-poor-demon-let-me-save-him-with-my-forgiveness love. But a full, gentle, you’re-the-most-important-person-in-my-life-and-I’m-happiest-when-I’m-with-you sort of love. It’s exactly the sort of love Crowley’s had for him all this time. It fills him up in ways he’d forgotten he’d been empty. He can’t imagine living life without it.
Which is why Aziraphale’s question one afternoon throws Crowley off-guard: “Would you ever return to Heaven?”
Crowley squints at the question. Aziraphale can’t see it, since Crowley’s head has been in the angel’s lap on the sofa for the last few hours, so he has to voice his confusion, too. “Wha?”
Aziraphale’s still looking at his book in one hand. His other hand keeps up a soothing rhythm as it strokes Crowley’s hair. “If you could, well, un-Fall. Become an angel again. Would you?”
Crowley turns his head slightly to peer up at Aziraphale. “Would you want me to?”
Aziraphale looks at him, his eyes so incredibly loving that Crowley has to remind himself it’s a look meant for him. “I would want you to be happy,” Aziraphale says gently. “Whether that’s as an angel or as a demon. I’m asking what you would want.”
Crowley tilts his head. “Hypothetically?”
Aziraphale’s smile turns strained. Crowley knows why: of course it’s hypothetical. No demon can ever un-Fall. God knows all that Crowley is by now. If She’d wanted him back, She would’ve restored his Grace a long time ago.
Crowley looks back to Aziraphale’s knees. The realization crashes into him all at once.
She isn’t the only one who knows all that he is. She isn’t the only one who’s rejected him before, who’s had ample time and opportunity to embrace him with Her love once again.
But unlike Her, the other person actually did embrace him again.
“I’m sorry,” Aziraphale says. His fingers in Crowley’s hair turn even gentler. “I do hope it wasn’t an insensitive question. It probably was, oh my dear—”
“I used to think I did.”
“Wanted to return, that is,” Crowley clarifies. “Maybe not actually return to Heaven, since it’s as boring as I remembered. But…return to Her Grace. Her love. Yeah, I did want that.”
After a moment’s contemplative silence, Aziraphale asks, “But you don’t anymore?”
Crowley shrugs one shoulder. “God’s love isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, angel. Supposed to be unconditional, limitless, even-in-your-lowest-moments, all those happy little adjectives Gabriel prints on those motivational posters in the lobby.” Okay, maybe his tone turned a bit too mocking at the end there. Not that said posters didn’t cover the walls of Heaven’s lobby. “But seeing as She’s yanked my Grace-having privileges for the last six thousand years because I wanted to know why She did things…not very unconditional, is it?”
The silence stretches between them to the point of tension. Aziraphale draws in breath to say something, but then stops short. Crowley realizes a second later what Aziraphale was about to say: I can see your point.
But while Crowley can blaspheme like that with nothing to lose, Aziraphale isn’t in the same position. Even if loving and regularly sleeping with a demon is probably blasphemous, anyway.
Crowley wraps a hand around Aziraphale’s knee. “Don’t get me wrong, angel. You’re lucky to have Her love.” More quietly, he adds, “You don’t want to know how it feels to lose it.”
Aziraphale covers Crowley’s hand with his. “But you wouldn’t want to have that love back?”
Crowley sighs. He turns his hand to interlace their fingers together. “I already have all the love I need. And it’s actually unconditional and limitless. Much nicer, really.”
It takes a second for Aziraphale to catch his drift. Crowley knows when it clicks, by the tremulous gasp he hears above him. And then by the hushed, moved, near-worshipping tone in which Aziraphale whispers, “Crowley.”
“I mean, you did let me drink the last bottle of Chateau Lafite last night. Would God have let me do that?”
Aziraphale chuckles wetly above him. He lifts their joined hands to press a kiss to the back of Crowley’s. Crowley squeezes his hand in response.
They settle into silence. After all, there’s not anything else they could say that can top Your love is better than God’s love. Aziraphale returns to stroking Crowley’s hair. Crowley returns to melting into the caress.
“My old serpent,” Aziraphale whispers fondly.
Okay, maybe there was something else to be said. And it just so happened to be a reminder that the reptilian form that Crowley’s Fall cursed him with, is yet another part of himself that Aziraphale adores and cherishes. It makes Crowley break into a near-painful smile, makes him heave the most contented sigh of his demonic existence. Or even of his angelic existence before that.
He’s felt that ache in his chest from his missing Grace for so long. But right now, with his angel stroking his hair and loving him so completely, he doubts he’ll ever feel that ache again.
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Written for @ineffablehusbandsweek ‘s Day 3 prompt “fall / plummet / dive”
Links to Ao3 / Ko-fi on my tumblr page :)
Crowley only, Angst, Crowley’s fall, they/them pronouns for Crowley, 1243 words
It’s like falling from an exceptionally high skyscraper, except that those don’t exist yet. Only later will Heaven be at the top of one of those, and Hell in the basement. But none of those exist yet. No tall buildings, barely Hell. All they know, is that it’s long. It’s incredibly long. It’s not called falling for nothing, after all. And they keep falling, and falling…
It’s painful, too. Mind-numbing painful, but not enough to not realize that it is painful. Enough to knock them unconscious for a few seconds, they think, but they’re not sure of anything anymore.
They see the light getting further and further away from them. Maybe they see their grace leaving them, but they don’t know exactly when this happens, or if they can actually see it. They don’t know what the pain is linked to, because they have never experienced it.
It hurts. It hurts so much, way more than when they had felt doubt creeping in them, way more than the reactions they had gotten to their questions… Even if falling is, in fact, a reaction to their questions, too. Such an unfair one, they think as they keep falling, and pain gets them again, and they close their eyes.
They open them again. They don’t want to close their eyes. They want to see. They want to be able to understand. It’s always been about understanding. Why are angels ‘good’? What is ‘good’? What is their purpose? What are they creating stars and planets for?
They remember a smile, and eyes. Beautiful eyes. Eyes and smiles from the same angel. They created stars together. They loved creating stars. Bringing light to such a dark space had been so satisfactory and they had felt important. Important to be part of something so wonderful and beautiful. They carefully shaped stars, and they were not alone. They remember gentleness and care.
There is no kindness or love in falling. It is rough, it is painful, it is slow – oh, so slow – and it burns. It burns so greatly. Later, it will be known as Hell Fire, and they will become immune to it, as a demon. But as they fall, as an angel, they still feel the flames creeping inside, burning away a part of them. It spreads all over their material body, but also their ethereal one. Why were they even given material body? Were they simply tests until She created what She really wanted? Why did they even need to be confined in such constraining bodies, as angels?
Why? Why me? Why was asking questions too much? Why was that the limit not to cross? And as they question, as they have more and more enquiries, the burning feeling intensifies, until it becomes too much, and they feel the body they have been given cry.
After the fall, comes the crash. It’s not violent in itself, it doesn’t hurt in itself, except that it is, and it does. The fact that they’re not falling anymore means that they are not what they were. They feel hopeless for the first time since their creation.
Please, I didn’t mean it.
And as they beg Her in their mind, it doesn’t sound quite right. It doesn’t sound wrong, either, but there is that feeling that She will not answer anymore. Or rather, She will not listen anymore. And they’re losing a parent, even if they can’t put it into words, and it’s a new kind of internal pain.
They roll on their side, in a ball, and grasp handfuls of hair as their body can’t take the pain and tries to sob it away. It doesn’t subside, but slowly it helps them calm down.
After what feels like an eternity, they look at their wings. They’re white, but they look wrong. They’re not the same shade of white as they used to be. They expected them to be burned, because it had felt like they were burning when they were falling, but the wings are still looking okay, are still looking white. They’re maybe a bit dirty, but they don’t know if that’s from the fire or the fall. They choose not to look at them anymore. The wings are not angelic anymore. They are not angelic anymore.
There wasn’t anybody to watch them fall, and there isn’t anybody to welcome them after they fell, they realise as they lay there.
The pain isn’t so horrific anymore, and it is slowly overcome by anger.
Falling doesn’t stop the questions. Maybe it has tried to burn them away, but they can’t stop asking questions. Why do angels fall, if they’re supposed to be so good? Why didn’t they all listen to each other, instead of this nonsense? Why couldn’t they talk? Why is asking questions a form of rebellion? It’s the first rebellion, they have no idea what is considered ‘wrong’ in Her eyes. They couldn’t have known. They don’t think they did anything wrong. They just thought a bit differently. Was it so bad to think differently? What was the point of having more than one angel if they weren’t supposed to think differently?
They are angry, because they fell. They didn’t mean for it to happen. They didn’t want to go against Her, per say, they just wanted to get a better understanding.
With anger, comes self-loathing. They have never felt all those emotions before. They don’t like that they fell, and they don’t like that they asked questions. They don’t like what they are now, or what they are becoming. Maybe they deserve it, in the end? Maybe they weren’t supposed to ask questions. Maybe there was something wrong in their creation, and they’re not normal? Maybe She hadn’t meant to create them like this? Maybe She casted Her mistake down, because She was ashamed of them?
And as they slowly become acquainted with self-doubt, they feel their wings changing. If they’re so different, then why not appear different? Why not prove Her that she was right, in casting them out? They could go for red, but that’s too much of a statement. They’ll leave that to other, angrier fallen angels. Red stands out too much. They feel comfortable with black. Yes, comfortable.
They look at their wings as the black colour spreads and hides the damages they have taken. It feels less painful, not seeing what the fall did.
It is but a small consolation in their falling. They still lay there, where they fell. They’re not yet ready to face their new identity. They might already appear different, but they don’t feel different, yet. There are still questions, there is still love. They can’t explain it. She might not be listening to them anymore, She might not care about them anymore, but they still do. They still want to ask questions, they still want to talk to Her. Maybe other fallen angels have the same desire. They don’t know, they haven’t met any, yet.
They might be hopeless and broken, but maybe their faith didn’t alter too much during the fall. They are not like their purer siblings, the ones who still sit in Her good Grace, but they still are a product of Her creation. And even if She hadn’t intended them to be this way, surely She has a reason to separate Her creations into two sides, surely She has a reason for their presence on what appears to be the ‘bad’ side.
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On Crowley’s fall and why this moment is so underrated
Alright, listen up kids, I did not endure 10 years of Catholic school and still end up a gay atheist for you guys to miss the absolute brilliance of this scene.
Do you know what is considered the absolute worst sin? I’m not talking the seven deadly sins or even mortal sin. I’m talking eternal sins, the unforgivable sins.
The absolute worst sin is believing that one’s evil is beyond God’s forgiveness.
Let that sink in for a moment.
It sounds crazy. How could it be worse than murder? Genocide?
Because it is a rejection of God.
The central belief of Christianity is that God IS love. This love is so powerful that it brought everything into existence. It is free and unconditional and infinite. Believing that your evil cannot be forgiven is not believing in what God is.
Now, unforgivable sounds like a contradiction. If God is all giving and this love is free and unconditional, how could any sin not be forgiven? This comes down to the nature of love.
Love must be freely chosen. It cannot be coerced. And so the only thing stopping someone from existing in that love is choosing to be separate from it.
Crowley didn’t fall because of questions or hanging out with the wrong people. God didn’t smite him and send him to the pits of the underworld because Crowley was unsure about the divine plan. He fell because HE believed he was unforgivable.
Maybe it was the questioning that caused him to feel guilty about his doubt in God’s plan. I have my theories. You can decide that for yourself. The point is, nothing is unforgivable.
Crowley, at the very core of his being, believes he is not worthy of love. But Aziraphale? Aziraphale is an angel because he faithfully believes in God’s unconditional love. He may question the plan, the destruction of humanity, and disagree with his “side,” but he believes so powerfully in God’s limitless love that he understands that even Crowley, a demon, is not unforgivable. That is what separates them as an angel and a demon- not their actions, but their beliefs.
And so when Aziraphale forgives Crowley, the fallen angel who believes he is irredeemable? That. That means everything. It is a reminder that they are of the same spirit, not an angel and a demon, but two beings made from love.
Of course there are limitless interpretations about the nature of God in this story. I’ve seen lots of posts about Crowley being cast out because of God’s quick judgement, which is all well and good, but to me, the idea that we are all redeemable, even when we may not think we are, and that love is about reminding other people that they too are worthy? That’s a pretty good one.
P.S. I haven’t ever done a post like this, so I don’t know gif etiquette. I stole these from a google search because I couldn’t find the tumblrs they came from originally- I’ll happily give credit where it is due!
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“I only ever asked questions.”
This is how Anthony J. Crowley got kicked out of Heaven, you can’t tell me otherwise.
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“Did it hurt?”
“It.. burned a little.”
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characters that i, an asexual, think are asexual
thank you for coming to my ted talk
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I love the headcanon that Crowley was Raphael before he fell, so I drew Raphael ! You can imagine Crowley as Raphael, but also you can just see the archangel (with no connexion with Crowley) ! That's why I'm proud of this Fanart !
Also, see the glitters on the halo, the wings and the earring ? :D
Hope you like it !
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"You should take better care of yourself. Or let me."
"What do you know about taking care of an angel?"
based on my favourite fic series 💕
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Some By Virtue Fall
Art: The Fall of the Damned by Peter Paul Rubens (1620)
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Luke is making tea with his back turned, and Crowley’s eyes widen when he sees the familiar lines of Luke’s tattoos on his shoulder blades. They’d gotten them together, in a fit of boyish indulgence, his snake paired with the angel wings permanently etched into Luke’s scapulae. The angel to his demon. Hereditary enemies.
Something I forgot to post - art for fifth chapter of The Rite of Falling by @contraststudies
The angst intensifies...
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Aziraphale comforting Crowley in his magic (?) prison in Heaven just before falling🖤
(Did you really think I forgot my beloveds? Never! This is another snippet of a comic I'm drawing even if I'm too lazy to work on it right now)
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Chapter 01 - Hello!
„Well, that went down like a lead balloon.“
So uh, don’t jump people in the woods y’all, you could potentially scarr 😉 them,, haha yknow,, 🌱
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