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a spot of spring cleaning, Tag: John Constantine
Posted: Nov 14 2017, 01:49 PM
between here and the end of the universe
....LOADS OF BUGGERALL, DEAR BOY
Aziraphale hated noticing things. Noticing things usually meant noticing things that went wrong, and he knew what happened there. Oh yes. Some poor bastard had to get on and fix it - and that poor bastard was usually him. Like the apocalypse, for example. He and Crowley had had to deal with that because no one else wanted to. And how had that ended up? A baby swap that went wrong, that's what. Aziraphale had never particularly liked kids, but after spending eleven long years half-raising a kid that wasn't even remotely the Antichrist he could say he hated them. That birthday party had been bloody scarring. Plus a shootout at an old convent and possessing a TV evangelist and quite frankly he never wanted to get involved with anything ever again. Quite enough excitement, thank. You. Very. Much.
So of course, yesterday evening, his eyes had skimmed over the top of his shop when he'd come home with a Granny's hot cocoa in a paper cup and a newspaper. And he'd seen the sign overhead, grimy and not cleaned since he had gotten into Storybrooke, and he just sighed and thought not again. Yes, again.
So it just so happened that he was perched on top of a ladder outside his front door, a sponge in one hand, a bucket looped on the elbow of the other and wearing, to compliment all of these fashion statements, a superbly bad mood. Taking a moment to steady himself he dipped the sponge in the bucket, squeezed, and then began to clean in long steady strokes across the front sign. Water rained down onto the pavement as he scrubbed at the paint. Honestly. Couldn't get the staff nowadays. Had to do everything himself, like it or not. Even the most menial of tasks, surely below him, had to be done by yours truly. He scrubbed a little harder, trying to shift a particularly stubborn spot of dirt. No no no. Just him. Him and the shop. He could do it by magic, but what was the point of that? It was just like clothes. He had a moral obligation to buy clothes, of course - keeping up the local economy and all that, supporting your nearest supplier of tartan print and '50s revival costumes - but he didn't magically repair those, either. You could tell the stain was still there, under it all. You could just tell. Same with the sign. Nope - this needed elbow grease. Good old fashioned hard work.
Aziraphale stared at the sign in front of him, sopping wet and soaking with soap suds. He exhaled, the look of several thousand years of soul sucking retail work behind his eyes. "Here we go again," he said, under his breath. You'd think, he thought to himself, that people wouldn't need to look up magical books anymore. Everyone came from magical places, didn't they? They didn't need him. And there was a library. And another shop. What did they need to come to him for? Yet here they were. Earth and its mother, it would seem.
It would be an awful, awful thing for an angel to hide from people who needed his help. Really awful. Probably morally compromising in some way, because this was someone who wanted help and probably couldn't do without it too. So obviously, Aziraphale would never dream of such a thing. But the thought did occur to him that if he stayed very still maybe he wouldn't be....ah, noticed. No such luck, of course. Not on top of a ladder in plain view. Still, you couldn't blame him for at least considering the option.
Or pretending to be acutely deaf.
"For God's sake," Aziraphale muttered, getting down with a creak that he was pretty sure didn't come from the stair. He lowered himself by a few steps, not coming off entirely - he wasn't ready to walk away from this job, anyway. Getting down equalled commitment. "You - yes, you!" He pointed a bony finger towards the person below. The bucket hooked over his arm sloshed back and forth as he moved. Some customer, he had no doubt - they better not just want to browse. He waved to get their attention. "Hello. Have you seen the sign?" He teetered off the stairs to look at the door, craning his neck a little to peer at the letters written on the tiny sign. "I think you'll find it says - "
He cut himself off. In fact, the sign on the front was a cheerful 'OPEN' in cheery letters. Just to add insult to injury the letters were bright red, bolded and in capitals, just to make it really clear that the shop was in fact open. He grumbled something under his breath about legal requirements and made a quick gesture. The sign promptly turned itself around so it showed 'CLOSED'. And a very defiant 'CLOSED' sign it was too. "There," he muttered. He looked to the stranger and cleared his throat, still hanging on for dear life from the ladder. "It says 'closed'," he said, as if it had been like that all the time. Obviously.
ADD.: John Constantine | WORDS: 857 | NOTES:
Sig by Bach!
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