|GO Ficlet: Written on the spot, now with title and rating...
||[May. 26th, 2010|11:39 pm]
Title: Major Failings
Rating: PG-13, maybe R for the brief gore-factor.
Notes: I was in a black mood. That's kind of all there is to say.
Summary: Sometimes, ineffability takes things a step too far.
It was quick and messy, the sort of thing that took you off-guard no matter how many beheadings, torture stints, and vivisections you'd seen otherwise. Actually, Crowley wasn't certain how many of any of those he'd actually seen. He tended to lower his eyes or look away at the last second. This was also a major failing in a demon.
One moment, she'd been walking only a few paces ahead whilst Aziraphale nattered on about nothing in particular—Southbank Centre, art and poetry series, something something—and the next, there'd been the screech of tyres, a pair of glassy blank eyes staring up at Crowley. Blood on the headlights. Brains on the pavement.
"Good gracious!" Aziraphale's arm tightened on Crowley's. "That could've been..."
They were part of the gawking crowd that had already begun to form. The cabbie had been taking a shortcut, no doubt, and hadn't been thinking of the pedestrians he'd encounter at the spot where his intended path severed the pavement before meeting up with New Oxford Street. At least someone had dialled the ambulance.
"Could it really, angel?" Crowley asked, stealing one last glance.
He took a shaky breath. Whoosh. They were gone. So far gone, in fact, that they'd bypassed both Crowley's front door and the staircase leading up from the entryway and into the living room (much more lived-in than it had once been).
"There's nothing for it now," Aziraphale was saying, as he puttered about Crowley's kitchen. "Far too many hangers-on. I'm not certain how I could have explained—"
Crowley bit the tip of his tongue, but it was no use.
"Would it have helped if she'd been on a bike?"
Aziraphale appeared in the doorway, glaring at him over Crowley's French press.
"There's no need for that," he snapped. "The poor girl's dead."
"Didn't have to be," murmured Crowley, bitterly. He sank back further into the sofa.
And then Aziraphale said, softly and somehow entirely without malice:
"Would it have helped if she'd been a bird?"
Crowley closed his eyes. Yes, a major failing indeed.
a failing in and of itself, perhaps
Not your failing, though! It was a particular phrase that I read the wrong way the first time, and then couldn't figure out what the ending meant.
It's interesting to me, in any case. I'll be waiting to see if other readers react similarly. If nothing else, it shows me what my recollection pares itself down to in certain circumstances (i.e. the jugular, and little else).
Um. *raises hand* I don't get it. But it could be that I'm tired and brain dead today...
In the book, Aziraphale "heals" Anathema's bike when Crowley hits her with the Bentley, because "can't resist the opportunity to do a good deed." Crowley brings the pigeon that Aziraphale smushed up the sleeve of his magician's coat back to life. They're using those incidents to snipe at each other - so why didn't you save her, then?
Oooh of course- methinks a reread is in order for not catching that. Thank you so much for the explanation.