(Aziraphale and Crowley)

Three Worlds
Disclaimer 1: This is fanfic. That means I do not own any of it. I just borrow it to play with for a little while and let people see the pathetic results if they really want to.

Disclaimer 2: I'm not making any money from it. It's just for fun.

Disclaimer 3: What isn't borrowed is all made up. None of this is real or most likely at all realistic. Please don't trust any of the information in here. Most likely you know more about whatever I'm writing about than I do.

Disclaimer 4: Attitudes, views and opinions expressed by the characters or in the story are not necessarily those of the author. Even when writing Science Fiction or Fantasy I do not tend to attempt to create perfect/better worlds in which everybody gets a happy end ... or whatever is best for them. Please accept that some characters will have a bad ending or be unhappy.

Disclaimer 5: I intend no insult to anyone. If I offend anyone I'm very sorry. Please understand that it was an accident as I tend to be very clumsy in these things.

Disclaimer 6: If my characters' conversations seem odd or they appear to be talking past each other the latter might occasionally be intentional, but most likely it is an accident and I'm not aware that they are. It's just my bad communication skills.

I think this was a challenge by Musegaarid, but I might be wrong. A challenge in any case: How did Crowley saunter and what was his angelic name?

Rating: G

A/N: Written for the Crowley's Fall challenge on Lower Tadfield. No, this isn't really how I imagine Crowley's Fall, but it's an interesting plot hedgehog I've played with before. Rather hastily written, because I don't have the time to write yet another fic at the moment. (I don't even find the time to continue the ones I've already started.)

Three Worlds

"This is so wrong," he whispered to himself. Not that it was actually necessary to whisper. There wasn't anybody close enough to hear him, if he just talked normally, and even if he'd shouted he doubted that anyone would have noticed over the noise of the battle.

"What was that?"

The small angel jumped and almost would have fallen off his cloud, not that there was any danger in that thanks to his wings. He'd been so sure that nobody could hear him and what was He doing here anyway? If He wasn't too busy with something else, why wasn't He down there stopping the battle?

"I said, it's wrong," the angel repeated bravely. He'd never even seen Him up close before. He did not have time for such insignificant angels as him.

"What is wrong?" He asked kindly, but also oh so casually.

"What is wrong?" The angel couldn't believe it. Couldn't He see what was happening right in front of their eyes? Couldn't he hear the screams and shouting. "Why, this is!" He pointed at the battle. "Angels fighting angels. As if, as if ... Isn't anybody listening to each other anymore? Can't we just sit down and discuss it? All Lucifer and his side did was point out some problems and make some suggestions, but Michael and the others wouldn't listen. Don't they care about their fellow angels' problems anymore? Sure, not all the solutions sound like good ideas, but they could have just explained that, maybe suggested better ones. Why are they hurting each other instead?"

He didn't say anything, just looked at the small inconsequential angel.

"Why aren't you doing anything about it?" the angel asked finally. "You could make them stop, could end all this hurting and hating."

"And what do you expect me to do?" He asked.

What was He supposed to do? He was the all-knowing one. Why did he need to ask one of the very lowest angels?

"I don't know. Go there and tell them to stop? Give them the best solutions? You're the almighty, all-knowing, aren't you? Surely you must know the correct solutions and nobody would refuse the changes, if you made them."

"They hate each other now," He said. "They must be separated and Lucifer and his have disobeyed me."

"They had their reasons. You didn't react to their concerns and they felt abandoned. They just want their problems fixed. If you do that ..."

"That would be giving in to force, condoning their actions. I cannot do that. They must be punished," He said watching the battle rage on as if it didn't concern Him. "And to stop all this hate and violence they must be separated. They felt abandoned by me, you say? Then maybe it is time they learned what it truly feels like when I abandon an angel."

He looked angry now and for the first time in his existence the angel felt truly scared of his creator. It wasn't the first time he'd felt scared, though. That had been just a little earlier today when the fighting had started and everybody had picked sides and taken up arms. He'd run from the battle then. Instead of staying and trying to reconcile the sides he'd run. It felt like he'd abandoned all his friends, but the ones leading them into battle against each other outranked him by so much. Who was he, a common angel, to try and reconcile two angry archangels? Where were the powerful voices of reason?

Was he the only one who saw how wrong it all was? Would it have been his job to prevent it? Was this impending punishment all his fault? He felt so guilty now.

"Wait!" he called after Him. "Exactly what do you mean by separating? All angels are brothers. We are one and the same."

"Why, by removing Lucifer's group from heaven," He said. "If they want a different way of life, then they can try it out in their own realm. Let them do whatever they want. They will no longer be able to enter Heaven and those in Heaven will not be able to enter their realm."

Another realm? There was only one Heaven, but then He had made Heaven, so he could also make another realm. Only, if He did this, he'd never see his friends on Lucifer's side again! Nor would anybody who'd chosen Michael's side today.

"You can't do that!" he cried. "They're our brothers. We are meant to be one. We'd miss our friends on the other side and they would miss us. We belong together."

"They hate each other now," He said. "And they will continue to do so. If I do not separate them the fight will continue forever. Wherever they meet from now on there will be fighting and you don't want that, do you? I can see how much it distresses you, my little one." He actually smiled at him. "My sweet little Cariel. Such a gentle, vulnerable heart."

"That's not true," it burst out of him. "It cannot be. Each and every angel has friends on both sides. As soon as they calm down a little, they will miss them and want to be reunited again, but there will be no more place they can meet! I beg you, give them a chance! Don't just take our friends away!"

He stopped and regarded His distressed angel once again. He really seemed to believe this with all his heart. "Prove it," He challenged.

The angel stared at him, then looked back at the raging battle in the distance. "I cannot," he admitted. "Not right now. I'd need time."

"Very well," He said. "I will give you time. I will create a third realm that belongs to neither side, a place where both can visit and meet each other. But this realm will only exist for a certain time. The final battle between the sides will destroy it."

"But ..." the angel said.

"If you are right and a significant portion of Lucifer's followers will regret being cast out of Heaven then this party should be big enough to prevent that final battle. If you can gain enough followers to do that, then I promise to reunite the realms. One stipulation, though: You must not tell anyone about our deal. It will be our secret."

Gain followers? But he wasn't a leader! He hadn't been created to have authority over even a single angel, much less a whole faction. "But how am I supposed to do that?"

"Indeed," He said. "How would you be able to recruit anyone, if you are here and they are down there?" Down? What was down? "I believe you will have to go with them."

And then the cloud disappeared from under his feet and air was rushing past him. Frantically he tried to beat his wings, but they too seemed to have disappeared ...

And as he Fell, for the first time in his existence Cariel felt completely alone, abandoned by everyone as he had abandoned his fellow angels. Yes, He hadn't truly cast him out. He'd given him an assignment, a bigger one than any angel to his knowledge had ever had before, but it was an impossible task, a task for an archangel at the very least. Cariel was a nobody. He couldn't possibly make anyone follow him and since he wasn't allowed to tell anybody, he also couldn't ask for help.

The new start in Hell was ... well, hell. They all felt abandoned and lost, their surroundings were much more hostile than they were used to and most of all there was no kind of structure or organisation in place. They had to create everything for themselves and most of them had been plunged into such despair by their Fall that they were currently completely useless for even the simplest tasks.

Cariel, now Crawly, because it seemed everybody else had forgotten their real names when they'd Fallen and it would have been suspicious, if he'd admitted to remembering his, felt little better even though he soon deduced that he'd had an easier Fall than the others. The memory of his original name was only one hint. There was also the others' complaints of it having been painful and tales of burning wings.

Crawly had only been abandoned with an impossible task. It was his duty to help these angels return home, but he had no idea where to even start. It all looked so hopeless. Everybody had become depressed and aggressive. First they'd been hurt by their brothers and then by their creator and now all they seemed to want to do was hurt others even more.

It was His fault for letting it get that far, Crawly thought, for teaching them this reaction. How could their creator have been so cruel to them?

At least while Crawly spent most of his time dodging everybody's malice, Morningstar was busy getting everything up and organised. It was a good thing to have him around, but not nearly as good to be around him, especially when you smacked right into him as you backed away from another demon's slashing claws.

"Eeep!" was all Crawly's mind came up with when he recognised just who he'd collided with.

The Morningstar glared down at him with a puzzled frown. "Funny, I don't remember seeing you at the battle."

"You didn't," Crawly admitted. "I mean, I didn't fight. I ... ran away."

"You didn't fight?" The Morningstar glared even harder. "Then what are you doing here?"

Good point. He needed a good excuse. Something that wasn't really a lie either.

"I didn't fight," Crawly said. "And I told him that you were right and ..."

"So you're a coward," the Morningstar concluded. "And altogether pretty useless."

Crawly couldn't argue that. He'd been worse than useless since the Fall. All he'd been doing was dodging. "I want to help, though," he said. "If there's anything that doesn't require much courage ... or strength." All these rocks around here were heavy. He had no idea how other demons managed to clear them out of the way. He'd tried, but they hadn't budged.

"Something that doesn't require courage or strength?" The Morningstar laughed. "What do you think this is? A choir practise session?"

Crawly cringed, but the Morningstar caught his wrist and held him there. "No wait, I think I do have a task for you. Our dear Master who has so kindly exiled us to this worthless place of bare rock is working on a new project, you see. A third world with completely new creatures and he seems to have forgotten to bar us from it."

The small demon's heart beat faster at these news. The third world He had promised. He'd made it after all! There might not be a chance to get others to follow him, but maybe they could escape this place and live there instead?

"Somewhere more comfortable than here?" he asked. "Somewhere we could take for ourselves?"

The Morningstar grinned at him now. "Perhaps, but I was thinking more in the lines of revenge. Unfortunately I can't spare any of the actually useful demons at the moment, so here's your chance to be of use: Go up there and cause some trouble, foul up His little project, if you can."

It sounded almost too good to be true. A holiday from Hell and a chance to get back at Him for His cruelty. Crawly grinned up at the Morningstar. "Consider it done. You will not be disappointed."

The third realm was beautiful and completely different from the other two. It was cool like Heaven, but solid like Hell and the dominant colour seemed to be green. Crawly, now in the shape of a small green snake, loved it the moment he first saw it.

Also unlike the other two it had quite a lot of variety in landscapes and creatures. There was so much to see!

Unfortunately it was a bit difficult to get around and look at things in a snake body. The best trick he'd discovered so far was to climb up the high brown things with lots of limbs that ended in lots of cool and soft green things, but it was tricky. If you went too far forward onto one of the limbs it couldn't carry your weight anymore and ...

"Eeesssp!" he hissed in fright as he fell once again. The landings on the soft green ground weren't as bad as the ones on the rock in Hell, but they still weren't pleasant.

"Oh dear!" Soft, slightly podgy hands caught him and lifted him up to an equally soft looking face. "Are you alright?"

An angel! Danger! Crawly shivered involuntarily.

"Shh," the angel made. "It's alright, little Serpent. My, you are a pretty one."

"Um ... You ssssink so?" He didn't remember ever seeing this angel before, but he was supposed to know all the angels. Had He made new ones to replace them? How could He! They had a deal, even if it was a hopeless one.

"Yes, a very pretty serpent," the angel confirmed gently putting him back on his brown thing and petting his head. "But what are you doing here? This isn't your realm."

"Neisssser issss it yourssss," the Serpent pointed out. He liked that name. Maybe he'd keep it. It sounded a lot better than Crawly.

"I'm here on a mission," the angel stated importantly.

"Ssssso am I."

"They're curious about this place, down there?" the angel asked.

"Ssssomesssssing like sssat," he allowed. "What'sssss your job, sssen?"

"Oh, just guarding the Eastern gate. It's only my first real assignment. I'm Aziraphale, by the way. What's your name?"

"Assssssirasss... Ssssat'sss difficult!" he complained. "You can call me Sssserpent. I like ssssat."

"Okay, Serpent it is then," the angel said happily. "And you can just call me Angel. I've got to go, though. Can't leave the gate for long, but you're welcome to visit me whenever you like. And be careful in the trees. Those twigs are slippery."

The Serpent stared after him in surprise. This angel didn't seem to hate him at all. Maybe he'd want to help reunite the angels and demons? Oh, but he couldn't tell him about His challenge and why else would an angel follow a demon?

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