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Part II: Garden of Eden

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Mar. 24th, 2007 | 10:08 am
posted by: museofspeed in deomonic

Hello, folks! We've decided to try for an update every week, most likely either Thursday or Friday. And we've gotten ourselves an illustrator, the lovely texmas !

Aziraphale glanced around, trying to get his bearings. He was in Eden; there would be no other place he could be. It was just where in Eden that was giving him trouble. He squinted at the trees nearby, hoping they would give him some idea of which direction he should be heading. He had lost track of exactly where the Eastern Gate was as he neared the ground, and now he needed to figure out the general direction in which he should walk.

Everything seemed even more impressive up close than it had from Above. He glanced towards the trees again and started to walk in the direction he hoped was the right one. East could hardly be hard to find, there were only three wrong turns he could take when it all came down to it.

He inspected the scenery as he walked. Of course, he always had the option of flying to the Eastern Gate, but guard duty wouldn't involve actually seeing the Garden, and he wanted to at least get a glance of it up close.

* * *

Crawly, they had said, we need someone in the Garden to go make trouble. So Crawly had slithered up to the Garden in the shape of a serpent and gone to spread Sin and Discord. The only problem, he found, was that he wasn't sure exactly what Sin and Discord were.

There was that Tree, and he was pretty sure that it would cause trouble if the two humans who lived in the Garden, Adam and Lilith[1], were to eat from it. But God had ingrained the Thou Shall Not Eat From That Tree thing pretty deeply in their heads.

He did notice that Lilith acted almost subservient to Adam. He wondered why. There were female angels and male angels in Heaven, and he hadn't noticed any difference in how they acted from when he'd been there. He could use this, though. Possibly.

* * *

Guard duty had sounded much better when the task had actually been given. Actually standing guard was boring in the long run, but Aziraphale managed it well enough. It wasn't as though nothing happened; it was more a case of the fact that there were long periods of time where things seemed to stand painfully still.

The Gate itself was impressive, however. Aziraphale would be a fool to deny that it had certainly been built to impress, though who it had meant to impress remained a mystery as there weren't really any humans around. The two that were there were inside and unlikely to poke their head out of the Gate to check if he would stop them.

Though there were animals that stuck around with a faintly curious expression, and Aziraphale figured it'd be the end of Guard Duty if he suddenly decided to talk to them. So he watched them silently and watched for anything amiss.

There would probably be more help if he was inside the Garden to stop things going amiss in the first place, but he was not the type of angel who'd go ask God if perhaps putting up a guard angel on the Gate was the smartest plan. If Adam or Lilith reached the gate, it would probably already be too late.

* * *

It was amazing how quickly Lilith and Adam had started to fight. Crawly liked to think he was partially to blame, but he honestly hadn't done that much. And he didn't think their equality was that bad. But God seemed to dislike it, and that was enough for him and Hell, both.

Plus, Lilith ate from the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and left the Garden. That had to be Sin and Discord. Crawly liked Lilith, though. She was more interesting to talk to than Adam, and he slithered along behind her as she left the garden. Maybe the two of them could chat as Crawly celebrated his first Temptation.

* * *

Aziraphale couldn't help but be shocked as the Gates opened and a woman stepped out. He certainly hadn't been expecting it, and despite the fact that she had made some effort to cover herself, Aziraphale found himself attempting to stare at both the sky and the woman at the same time.

The fact that she had covered herself told him that she had eaten from the Tree, he figured he should say something, but as soon as he had opened his mouth, he saw the huge serpent that slithered after her. She seemed to have her destination in mind, and by the time the shock of seeing a serpent that large follow someone who had left Eden wore off, she was too far gone to actually say anything that wouldn't count as shouting.

Aziraphale watched her retreating back and noticed the grass moving where the serpent undoubtedly was still following. He sighed, a difficult feat without the breath that he had yet to see the point of, and grabbed the flaming sword to follow.

She hardly seemed up for the fight if any of the animals decided that it was time for a rare meal. And he was meant to help, wasn't he?

Crawly smelled the angel long before he saw him. He didn't recognize the scent, but then again, he wasn't actually used to being a serpent. He glanced at the angel in passing, though he couldn't recognize him. Perhaps it had something to do with being a demon. He didn't really care what the angel did, as long as he didn't try to harm Lilith or stop her from leaving Eden.

"The cave isssss right over there," he hissed. Lilith nodded, turning onto a beaten dirt road. In the distance, Crawly could smell the angel following. He could also smell burning metal. A flaming sword? That could cause problems.

Aziraphale wondered about the serpent as he followed. No animal behaved like that whether they were hungry or not. Not to mention that the eyes had seemed off, but that could have been a trick of the light.

He knew there was a cave not too far away; he could practically see it from his post at the Gate, and as Lilith turned onto the dirt road it certainly seemed that she knew exactly where it was as well.

"Just so you know, that angel is following ussss," Crawly remarked to Lilith as they entered the cave. "He probably won't hurt you, being an angel and all, but just, you know, be warned."

Lilith looked around. "This is where I'm going to live for the rest of eternity?"

"I don't know the Plan. Maybe you'll go somewhere else. And it's a nice cave. Sort of...cozy." Crawly curled up into a neat circle, head raised. "And you know they'd probably let you back into Eden if you apologized and promised to be Adam's obedient little wife."

Lilith laughed. "Alright, if you look at it that way, this is better than Eden."

Crawly could smell the angel getting closer, even as the two of them chatted, he tensed up, ready to fight if he had to.

Aziraphale neared the cave cautiously, wondering exactly what he was going to say when he did enter. 'I couldn't help but notice that you've disobeyed the rules of God.' didn't seem like a good conversation opener.

"Er, hallo?" He called, stopping outside the cave entrance. Going in without being invited would be rude, and this gave him time to think of something more to say, in any case.

Though he couldn't help but notice that the serpent wasn't anywhere to be seen, which could really only have two reasons.

"He's here," Lilith said. "What do we do?"

"We may as well let him in," Crawly said. "Come in!" he called, "But leave the sssword outside."

Aziraphale looked at his sword in some shock, both at the fact that the voice that answered was male and had a hiss to it, and because they knew of the sword. They could of course have seen the sword when they passed, but he was pretty certain he had kept it hidden, just in case. "Fine," he called back and found a place to hide the sword, before he entered the cave.

The serpent and the woman were sitting on boulders. "You are the Guardian of the Eastern Gate, correct?" Lilith asked.

Crawly couldn't do much with his face, being a serpent, but he managed to look as though he had one eyebrow raised. "Hello, Angel."

Aziraphale blinked at the serpent, then focused his attention on the woman. "Yes, I am," he answered. He debated for a moment, then figured it would be best if he just asked outright. "And, ah, you're Lilith, aren't you?"

"Yes, but if your kind even has names, I don't know yours." Lilith frowned at him. "I know his kind does." The serpent waved his tail at the angel lazily.

"Oh, I apologize. I'm Aziraphale," he said with a smile, deciding for a moment to ignore her remark about the serpent. A demon, he thought, that certainly explains a thing or two.

"You're kidding," the serpent said suddenly. "You're not really Aziraphale, are you?" Crawly frowned. "Wait, you could be. Huh."

Aziraphale glanced at the serpent for the second time since he entered the cave, narrowing his eyes as he tried to place the voice. "I am. Angels seldom lie," he said carefully, "but do I know you?"

"I'm Crawly," he winced slightly. The name felt loose and itchy, like someone else' clothes. "You would have known me as..." his voice dropped slightly. "Craellus."

Aziraphale visibly started, involuntarily taking a small step back. "Crae--" he said, then changed his mind, "Crawly? Really?" He glanced at the serpent, a small smile on his lips. "I never imagined that Free Will would include scales," he said innocently.

"Never thought lack of it would include a flaming sword. How'd you get your hands on one of those?" Crawly grinned.

"You two know each other?" Lilith asked.

Aziraphale glanced at Lilith, "We knew each other once, yes." He said, with some part of him screaming that he shouldn't have felt relaxed about the fact that Crawly was there. Crawly was still a demon, no matter what he had been before. "And it's for guard duty, not a personal perk."

"Still. Wonder if the forces of Hell issue those out." He did a sort of slinky shrug. "By the way, if you're planning on trying to force Lilith to go back, I won't let you."

"Angels don't force anyone to do anything," Aziraphale said calmly, "and it is part of my job anyways. If I told you to not tempt anyone, you'd probably double your efforts." He looked at Lilith, "Though I hope you don't mind me asking, why did you leave?"

"Adam's a..." she looked at Crawly who nodded encouragingly. "Adam's an asshole."

"Oh, I should think not," Aziraphale said carefully, giving Crawly a small glare. "He can't be that bad, he seemed like a decent enough chap. What's he done?"

"Ordered me around, treated me like I was inferior, wouldn't let me ever be on top when we...err..." she glanced at Crawly again, who was ignoring the angel's glare and nodding, "err...when we had sex."

"Yeah, your side is against women being equal, apparently," Crawly said.

"My side? We've treated the female angels equally since the beginning of time!" Aziraphale said, "You sure this isn't that Free Will you fought for, I hardly think He told Adam to treat females differently." Aziraphale added reasonably, trying his best not to blush at Lilith's last statement. Angels weren't used to that sort of thing.

"I know that, but you see what happens to women who step out of their place." Crawly smirked at Aziraphale. "If you haven't noticed, she is no longer in the Garden."

"You can't say that my side is responsible for her not being in the Garden anymore! You're the one who tempted her!" Aziraphale said, frowning at the serpent.

"Just doing my job, Aziraphale! Not all of us can just stand around at the gate holding a flaming sword, you know."

"I can definitely see that getting decent folk kicked out of places is a wiser move," Aziraphale said, a bit waspishly.

"She wasn't kicked out," Crawly said, "she left of her own free will. I just helped her see what was in front of her the entire time."

"Then she can still return, can't she? If she left of her own free will, she can enter again." Aziraphale stated, all traces of annoyance gone from his person.

"I don't want to go back," Lilith cut in. "You do realize I'm right over here, don't you?" The two of them turned to her, slightly startled. "Yes, Crawly did point out that I was being mistreated, but I could have ignored him. It was my choice to leave."

Aziraphale blinked as though the thought of Lilith not wanting to return to Eden hadn't really entered his mind. It was better than showing that he had forgotten she was there in the first place. He eyed her warily for a moment, then nodded in acceptance. "Alright," he said slowly, as if he wasn't quite sure if he really should be giving in or not.

Crawly's smirk was not reassuring. "Shouldn't you be at your post? You never know what terrible things could get in without your vigilance." He smiled wickedly, leaving no doubt as to whom at least one of those terrible things was.

A look of worry passed over Aziraphale's face, before he gave Crawly a cold look. "You're right, actually. I should be getting back, if only to keep others out." He gave Crawly a smile that said he'd have to take the long way around if he wanted to get back in. "Sorry for taking up your time, Lilith. Sure we'll meet again some time." He added to Lilith with a smile before leaving the cave and collecting his sword again.

"Sorry about that," Crawly said to Lilith, watching the angel walk away. "But you knew someone would come bother you about it eventually."

Lilith nodded. "I hope that's the last I see of him, though. I was afraid he'd make me go back to Eden."

"I don't think that's the kind of thing they can force, especially not if they're giving you guys Free Will." Crawly started to uncurl, starting to leave. "I've got to go now, though. Will you be alright?"

She nodded. "I'll be fine. I don't need Adam to help me take care of myself." She put a hand on her belly unconsciously. "But you? Will you be able to get in?"

Crawly nodded. "Of coursssssssse," he hissed, as he slithered out of the cave.

[1] There are two creation stories in the bible. The first one has God creating the first man and the first woman out of mud, and the second has Adam being lonely so God makes him Eve out of a rib. There is a Midrash (story expanding on the stuff in the bible that doesn't make sense) that tries to navigate the differences between these two stories. The first woman, Lilith, left the Garden when Adam disagreed that she was equal to him. God decided the problem was that woman and man were made out of the same mud, so he made the second woman, Eve, out of Adam's rib. This just goes to show that women that don't know their place are kicked out of Paradise. But Lilith is awesome, and a feminist icon (though the fact that she gives birth do demon children and poisons infants is usually forgotten) and we had to use her. She may show up again...

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Comments {9}

What's in a name?

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from: museofspeed
date: Mar. 28th, 2007 10:55 pm (UTC)


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from: mahkia
date: Mar. 29th, 2007 07:38 am (UTC)

*pat* It's nothing personal. Aziraphale is the "innocent" one; he needs more support than you do. ;P But if I ever met you in a dark alley, Crowley, rest assured I'd have my way with you. *nods sagely*

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