@ 2003-03-01 00:52:00
No excuse for this at all
There really is no excuse for subjecting anyone to this, except that
relief has made me giddy. Look away now if you’re allergic to fluff.
Title: Rain and Rainbows
Author’s Notes: There’s no excuse for this really. The song came on
the radio as I was going home one day and I frightened other drivers
by laughing like an idiot.
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended. Not that Mssrs.
Pratchett and Gaiman need worry themselves about it with this
It was a beautiful sunny day, and the streets were crowded with brightly dressed revellers. Balloons floated all around, and ribbons all the colours of the rainbow were hung on the streetlights and no-parking signs. More or less unnoticed in the crowd, two rather drunken Englishmen were having a meandering argument.
“Well, I like all these rainbows,” the older one said. “They’re a sign of the Earth never being overcome by the Flood again.”
The young, black-haired man with him gave him a sidelong look, and seemed primed to make a sarcastic comment, but settled for sniggering a little more loudly than was humanly possible.
“They are, (1) the first man said, primly.
The young man sniggered for a while longer.
“So, how come you’re not over come with righteous moral apoplexy right now?” he asked eventually.
“Oh you know,” the other man said vaguely. “Love; made in the image of God, that sort of thing; and they all seem so happy, the dears.”
He handed the bottle of scotch over. It seemed to be full again. It also seemed to have changed again. They had drunk all the way up the west coast of Scotland by this stage and were now apparently doing a tour of the islands.
“Can’t believe you’re not gettin’ Biblical over sin `n stuff,” the young man said indistinctly round the neck of the bottle.
“I’m keeping an eye on you, aren’t I?”
“You’re going to stop me from sinning?” the young man wailed loudly, drawing a lot of amused looks. He stood desolate, perfect round fat tears rolling down his face, the very picture of someone in terrible grief. Or at least he might have been if he’d remembered to take off the sunglasses and stop swigging from the bottle.
“Oh, give over. Oooh. Music. Or something approximating music, anyhow,” the other man said, clearly glad to change the subject.
“Now this I can dance to,” the young man said, performing a few enthusiastic (2) steps in the space that had miraculously opened around him.
By the end of the first verse and chorus they had finished and restarted the bottle, and were humming along, singing a few words in a rather slurred manner. It was a catchy tune with repetitive words, easy to pick up. Everyone around them seemed to know the whole song, and their thoughts were just like having a printed sheet to read. People around them smiled, glad to see the foreigners had made up.
“God bless Mother Nature, she’s a single woman too,” the men sang, almost hitting every note.
“She took on Heaven, and did what she had to do,” the young man sang by himself, injecting rather more venom into the line than was strictly necessary. His friend looked a little put out, and stopped singing, taking a very large gulp from the bottle.
“She taught every angel to rearrange the sky, so each and every woman could find the perfect guy,” the young man sang, grinning widely. His singing voice was a lot better now, and he gestured to his friend to join in again.
“It’s raining men -,”
“HALELLUJAH!” the older man sang in a voice that was quite astonishing for someone with several pints of very good whisky and a large lunch inside him.
His friend frowned and winced a little. Heads turned all along the street as they began to sing in harmonies that promised light and happiness and the sheer rotten pleasure of getting away with very bad things. No one could hear the actual music anymore. As moments of mass religious ecstasy experienced while listening to somewhat cheesy popular songs go, it was quite something. As the singers hit the final note with aching purity and seductive darkness, people began to pass out. The two men (3) looked around them in surprise.
“Oh. I think we got a little . . . loud,” the older man said.
The young man shrugged.
“That was fun. We should do that more often. Do you want to go to the last night of the Proms?”
He bent down to the nearest still forms.
“Are you robbing them, Crowley? Stop that! Now what are you doing?”
“Arranging them into amusing positions.”
“Well, stop it. We’ve done enough without embarrassing them as well.”
The young man grinned up at him, flicking hair out of his eyes.
“They’re humans, Aziraphale. You’d be surprised how little embarrasses them.”
He was hauled up by one arm.
“That’s enough. Now come on. You promised that if I went somewhere you recommended without getting completely mortified, then you’d go to something I wanted without making a fuss.”
“I suppose I did. Ok, Tibetan monasteries and monotone chanting it is.”
“And we don’t join in this time.”
“Whatever you say.”
They strolled off, carefully stepping over the peacefully sleeping bodies.
Every so often, when he thought Aziraphale wasn’t looking, Crowley held out his hand and levitated particularly fat wallets into it.
(1) This is quite correct, as the well-known passage in Genesis 9:12- 17 shows. What is less well-known is that not only did the Ark contain two of every species of animal, but also the only representatives of certain supernatural orders of beings stationed on earth at the time. The angel sitting gloomily on the roof of the Ark had seen a rather large snake swimming steadily towards the stern, and shortly thereafter a dripping pair of hands had pulled a sodden body up to collapse onto the deck. The Noahs, snug and dry inside, had been very alarmed to hear something heavy crash down onto the deck from the roof, followed by the sound of more than one set of running feet, and quite a bit of yelling, and what they could only surmise might be heavy yelling people throwing each other into the sides of the Ark. And, judging from the occasional splashes, overboard as well. Eventually the noises stopped, and something settled with a clunk on either end of the roof. There was silence, more or less, for the next several months, broken only by an occasional sullen-sounding comment. When they finally opened up the windows to have a look, the roof was deserted, although large battered feathers turned up in the most unexpected corners until the end of their voyage.
(2) And very bad.
(3) The onlookers would still have thought them to be English, if any onlookers had been conscious.