Part III: Last Day in Eden
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Mar. 31st, 2007 | 01:23 pm
posted by: bergann in deomonic
It had been peaceful. Crawly had managed to get back into the Garden, and Aziraphale found it best not to speculate on how. The sun was shining, as it had been since the beginning.
Peaceful hardly lasts forever.
Eve eyed the snake like...well, like anyone would eye a large, talking serpent in the Garden of God. "So what you're basically saying," she said slowly with the air of one who isn't quite certain who will be drawing the short straw just yet. "Is that eating the apple won't make anything bad happen, it'll just taste good?"
"Good hardly covers it," Crawly hissed. "This apple is the Taj Mahal of fruit. Sweet, crisp, better than anything in this Garden. God just doesn't want you to know."
Eve frowned, "It's just an apple," she said doubtfully. She found it hard to believe that God would go through all this just to stop her and Adam from eating an apple. What harm could an apple do? "Alright, give me one then."
"Umm...no hands. You'll have to take it yourself." Crawly grinned, slightly embarrassed.
"Eve?" A voice came from behind the bushes. "Where are you?"
Eve hesitated at the sound of Adam's voice, eyed the tree and raised herself on her toes to grab two of the apples. "I'm coming, Adam," she said, giving Crawly a worried glance before rushing off towards Adam.
Adam burst out of the bushes at the same time. "Oof," he said as he and Eve crashed into each other. One of the apples fell from Eve's hand. "Eve, are those the apples from the Tree? God told us not to eat those!"
Crawly slithered by and winked at Eve.
"Adam, it's just some apples." Eve said, picking the apple back up. "Why shouldn't we eat them anyways? They look much better than any of the other apples, they probably taste better too."
"Because God said so," Adam said. "We can have a pear or something."
"It's just an apple, Adam. What harm can it do? There's plenty more on the tree, and don't you wonder what they would taste like? I bet they're delicious. They just rot on that tree anyways."
"Well..." Adam frowned.
Eve took a step closer, holding an apple invitingly in front of Adam. "What's the harm? Even those berries we found the other day didn't turn out too bad." she said, though the berries had still been a mistake. The stomach ache had been unbearable for a while.
"Well...alright," Adam said. "Just one bite, maybe."
Eve beamed at him, handing him the apple. "Go on," she said encouragingly.
He took a bite. "Hey, it's pretty good! You want some?" He handed it back to her.
Eve beamed at him, taking the apple back and biting into it. It tasted just as good as Crawly had said it would, maybe even better. "See? I told you it'd taste great!"
But Adam's face had suddenly become covered in a deep blush. "Eve...I'm not wearing anything."
Eve's face quickly followed suit, a deep red spreading over her cheeks. She gave a small noise of embarrassment and ducked behind the nearest bush.
Adam followed suit. "If we sort of weave these leaves together we can form a sort of covering. We could call it clothes."
"That's a good idea," Eve said, the blush still apparent on her cheeks. Some part of her mind wondered if Crawly had known this would happen...though how could she not have noticed before?
Crawly slithered towards the East Gate. Things were going to get exciting any minute now and he wanted a good view.
Plus, Aziraphale would want to know this. It'd be too late, but he'd want to know anyways.
"Aziraphale," The voice surprised the angel, though he stood to attention immediately. "The Garden Is To Be No More."
Aziraphale frowned, with the sinking suspicion that this would all be connected to Crawly someway or another. "Why, Lord?" He asked, trying to not look at the sudden, bright light in front of him while at the same time looking at it. Not looking at God could get you into a lot of trouble, it was disrespectful.
"Man Has Eaten From The Tree. They Cannot Live Here Anymore, The Gate Will Not Need A Guardian. See Them Off And You Will Receive Further Instructions."
The light faded and somewhere in the far distance, Aziraphale could hear thunder.
Crawly slithered up to Aziraphale a while later, the angel standing in more or less the same position as he had been all along. The Garden was empty. "Well, that went down like a lead balloon."
"I'm sorry," he said politely. "What was it you were saying?"
"I said, that one went down like a lead balloon," said the serpent.
"Oh. Yes," said the angel, whose name was Aziraphale.
"I think it was a bit of an overreaction, to be honest," said the serpent. "I mean, first offence and everything. I can't see what's so bad about knowing the difference between good and evil, anyway."
"It must be bad," reasoned Aziraphale, in the slightly concerned tones of one who can't see it either, and is worrying about it, "otherwise you wouldn't be involved."
"They just said, 'Get up there and make some trouble,'" said the serpent, whose name was Crawly, although he was thinking of changing it now. Crawly, he'd decided, was not him.
"Yes, but you're a demon. I'm not sure it's actually possible for you to do good," said Aziraphale. "It's down in your basic, you know, nature. Nothing personal, you understand."
"You've got to admit it's a bit of a pantomime, though," said Crawly. "I mean, pointing out the Tree and saying 'Don't Touch' in big letters. Not very subtle, is it? I mean, why not put it on top of a high mountain or a long way off? Makes you wonder what He's really planning."
"Best not to speculate, really," said Aziraphale. "You can't second-guess ineffability, I always say. There's Right, and there's Wrong. If you do Wrong when you're told to do Right, you deserve to be punished. Er."
They sat in embarrassed silence, watching the raindrops bruise the first flowers.
Eventually Crawly said, "Didn't you have a flaming sword?"
"Er," said the angel. A guilty expression passed across his face, and then came back and camped there.
"You did, didn't you?" said Crawly. "It flamed like anything."
"Er, well --"
"It looked very impressive, I thought."
"Yes, but, well --"
"Lost it, have you?"
"Oh no! No, not exactly lost, more --"
Aziraphale looked wretched. "If you must know," he said, a trifle testily, "I gave it away."
Crawly stared up at him.
"Well, I had to," said the angel, rubbing his hands distractedly. "They looked so cold, poor things, and she's expecting already, and what with the vicious animals out there and the storm coming up I thought, well, where's the harm, so I just said, look, if you come back there's going to be an almighty row, but you might be needing this sword, so here it is, don't bother to thank me, just do everyone a big favour and don't let the sun go down on you here."
He gave Crawly a worried grin.
""That was the best course, wasn't it?"
"I'm not sure it's actually possible for you to do evil," said Crawly sarcastically. Aziraphale didn't notice the tone.
"Oh, I do hope so," he said. "I really do hope so. It's been worrying me all afternoon."
They watched the rain for a while.
"Funny thing is," said Crawly, "I keep wondering whether the apple thing wasn't the right thing to do, as well. A demon can get into real trouble doing the right thing." He nudged the angel. "Funny if we both got it wrong, eh? Funny if I did the good thing and you did the bad one, eh?"
"Not really," said Aziraphale.
Crawly looked back at the rain.
"No," he said, sobering up. "I suppose not."
Slate-black curtains tumbled over Eden. Thunder growled among the hills. The animals, freshly named, cowered from the storm.
Far away, in the dripping woods, something bright and fiery flickered among the trees.
It was going to be a dark and stormy night.