Another tiny story to commentate on, and I expect the commentary will be longer than the fic, which is just silly. But Yonmei asked, so of course I leap to her bidding like the mountain goat on the Alps.
A very important thing about this story is that I have never actually watched HL. I have, however, read a lot of fic. A lot of fic. I even read the one where Duncan shacks up with a gorilla and has a baby (or possibly babies), and even though I spent most of that story squinty-eyed with pain and horror I say it still counts. Because the pain does count, dammit. It better.
But my HL background is sort of, not there, which is why Methos hardly talks at all in this story. It's like an HL crossover without the HL. Huge shame; I adore Methos and I bet he's lots of fun to write.
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Angel of Death: Commentary
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"I am Death," said Methos.
Why focus on the Death aspect of Methos? It seemed the most interesting. Of course you could have Aziraphale and Methos bumping into each other in a secondhand bookshop
Aziraphale discreetly tried to move upwind.
Though of course Aziraphale's not going to be rude about it.
He squinted uncertainly at the man on the horse. He didn't look much like Death as Aziraphale remembered him. Of course, Death could have just changed his image. Aziraphale knew angels like that, angels who had gone a little funny after staying too long on Earth.
Psst: bridge to a Neverwhere crossover! I love mad angels.
Not that they had no excuse, poor bastards. Aziraphale nudged the previously dead body aside with his foot, and tried to look like an angel who wasn't illegally reviving dead humans on the sly. (Children. Some of them were only children. One woman, her belly large with child, such a mess -- in Egypt now, and forgetting, he hoped.)
They are, of course, on a field of Methos's dead. I think the only reason why Aziraphale isn't smiting Methos out of pure outrage is because he can see that Methos is quite, quite loony.
My Aziraphale is quite nice, d'you see.
I am not sure if the sudden cut to seriousness works, but I'm hoping people will ignore it in the "yay, parentheses!" of the moment. Don't you squeal for joy when you see parentheses in a story? (Yay, parentheses!)
"Are you quite sure?" he said, with the meaningless politeness he used to protect himself from the various lunacies of humankind. "Because you really don't look at all like him, you know. Death is . . . taller. And much thinner.
"Andnotsosmelly," he added, because he hadn't had enough time yet to lose the habit of idiotically scrupulous honesty.
It's not quite clear what Aziraphale is doing here. On the one hand, he's certainly very sincere about the smell. (I just like the thought of Aziraphale meeting a Scourge of Mankind, a Destructor of Villages, a Giver of Death, and thinking primly: oh dear, he could do with a bath.) On the other hand, there's no way he doesn't know that telling a man with a huge great sword that he stinks cannot end well. But being Aziraphale, he just can't keep his mouth shut, so he's being passive-aggressively daft. If Crowley were here he'd call Aziraphale on his bullshit, but since Crowley isn't here, all that's going to happen is that Aziraphale will be decapitated.
The man's eyes narrowed.
Methos narrows his eyes a lot in HL fic. And that's my excuse for that.
"Oh, really?" he said.
Then he cut off Aziraphale's head.
I added the decapitation to make it all seem a bit more HL-y. There always seems to be heads falling off in HL fic, whereas you hardly ever see this happen in GO stories. You do, however, see a lot of Crowley and Aziraphale talking over drinks, which happens later in the story -- look, next paragraph, there. So I like to feel that I have struck a happy balance.
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"Why didn't you just keep your mouth shut?" said Crowley much later. "You were on a field of rotting corpses. How bad could he be?"
"But that's it," said Aziraphale. "They couldn't help being a bit iffy, poor souls. It wasn't their fault. Their hearts were pure -- well, fairly pure," he amended. "His odour was simple obstinate lack of hygiene. And anyway, he was evil. His stench was the stench of evil -- it's not funny!"
Aziraphale knows that what he's saying is nonsense. But it's nonsense he believes in -- at least, that's what he tells himself. Really he's trying to convince both Crowley and himself that he didn't do an utterly silly, pointless thing in telling Death he smelled. By the time Crowley is giggling, he really does believe it, and so he gets annoyed.
Aziraphale is a lot of fun to write. He's so human.
Aziraphale thumped Crowley on the back rather harder than was absolutely necessary, Crowley thought.
When he was able to speak without more than the occasional weak hiccup, he asked,
"So, he's still alive?"
Methos stuck his head around a shelf. Crowley looked at the dressing-gown barely hanging off of his shoulders, examined his aura, and observed Aziraphale's studied and rather pink indifference. He put two and two together, and came up with five thousand.
Terrible arithmetic, but the correct conclusion.
Once again, I miraculously contrive to imply sex without actually writing it!
Then he gave Aziraphale a look that should have given him frostbite.
"Ah, yes, well," said Aziraphale. "I was just getting around to that part."
You know he was just trying to think of a way to say, "I've been shagging this really old human who's incidentally extremely hot and lends me cool books" in an angelic way.
"Hi," said Methos. In Aramaic. He turned to Aziraphale.
Aramaic because Jesus spoke it. 'S true. They said so in Stigmata.
Daegaer bases her research on historical books, literature and the Bible; I base my research on MTV-friendly movies I vaguely remember watching years ago. This is why you should go and read Daegaer's fic and commentaries.
"There's no beer in the fridge."
Beer because it's an HL cliche. It balances out the Aramaic, see?
"Thank goodness," said Aziraphale piously.
Thousands of years later, and Aziraphale is still smacking Methos down. I still maintain that they are a virus, but I admit it is a very funny virus.