Birthday fic for Daegaer, the great writer of the world.
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Aziraphale visited conscientiously every month. Sometimes he brought newspapers, books, food -- thinking, Islington supposed, that it would brighten its isolation to have reminders of the world it was cut off from. Aziraphale had always been rather simple.
Once he brought a gramophone, and spent the entirety of his visit setting it up. Islington barely noticed the music, but it did notice that Aziraphale waved away several of the candles to make space for the gramophone. It noticed that Aziraphale did not look once at it while setting the gramophone up, except at the end of his visit, right before he left, when he looked full into Islington's eyes, hope trembling in his face. It was then that Islington realised that Aziraphale wanted to save it.
Save Islington. Aziraphale, of all the angels on the singing Earth. It would almost have been funny, if it weren't so sad.
Islington listened to the music Aziraphale brought it. Aziraphale went into wild raptures over Bach, enthused over Beethoven, pointed out that nothing on Earth so reminded one of the grandeur of God as the exquisite, swelling harmony of a really good choir. Music, said Aziraphale, that gave men flight; music that was worth the crippling prices nowadays, really, it was ridiculous what one had to pay just to hear something decent.
Islington agreed, and fobbed the gramophone off on a visitor from the Underground. Everything had sounded the same to it: an empty foolish clatter. Nothing sounded like the hosannas of Heaven. It suggested the idea to Aziraphale, watching his eyes; he squirmed and nodded and looked as if he was rather glad that was the case.
Aziraphale and his growing humanity. Islington considered him in the long candlelit dimness. Aziraphale and his conscience, once spotless, now grown sweaty and ashamed, like the palm of a frightened child.
"I'll bring a wireless next time," said Aziraphale, after he had clucked over the loss of the gramophone. He paused and looked wistfully at Islington. Islington touched his face. Perhaps its fingers were cold; Aziraphale flinched away.
"Dear Aziraphale," said Islington. "Don't worry about me. I don't mind the silence."
"I know," said Aziraphale, and his eyes were full of grief. He stared at the ground, collecting himself. When he spoke, it had the rambling quality of one who talks more to defy the silence than to say anything.
"Of course, there's a lot of this modern bebop flooding the--" a pause, then, uncertainly -- "waves, but they have a rather good pianist who does a lovely Chopin, and I believe they have a special programme on the Baroque period every Wednesday. . . ."
Islington said nothing. Aziraphale clasped and unclasped his hands, and then he said,
"Well, I'd best be off, then."
He left, thinking with relief of sunlight and coffee and how long he would have to tell Crowley about his new acquisitions before Crowley bit his head off. Islington was watching the lines of candles about Aziraphale's feet, and how not a single one lit as he passed by.
After it had gained its throne in Heaven, Aziraphale would have to die, Islington thought. Aziraphale and his makeshift defences against the darkness.