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Fanfic / Pray for Us, Icarus

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Pray for Us, Icarus is a Good Omens fanfic series about an emotional rollercoaster of a Reincarnation Romance between Aziraphale and a suddenly-turned-human Crowley.

The year is 2008, and Crowley is a perfectly normal florist going about his business when a strangely familiar and sad man named Aziraphale steps into his shop to ask for a special flower arrangement for a lost love. Even though Crowley has never met Aziraphale before, he feels inexorably drawn to him in spite of Aziraphale's clear reluctance to let him get too close.

What Crowley doesn't know is that Aziraphale has spent the last three centuries meeting his past human reincarnations and has resolved to stay away from him after getting both of their hearts broken one too many times. However, Aziraphale's longing for Crowley proves to be too great for him to keep avoiding him even though he's convinced that this time is doomed to end in tragedy just like all the others...

Pray for Us, Icarus provides examples of:

  • Amnesiac Lover: While Aziraphale and Crowley weren't lovers to begin with, pretty much all of Crowley's human reincarnations fall in love with Aziraphale which only makes it even more emotionally devastating for Aziraphale when they all inevitably die and his next reincarnation goes back to remembering nothing about him.
  • Belated Love Epiphany: Aziraphale had thought of him and Crowley as Just Friends until his encounters with Crowley's more romantically-forward human reincarnations caused him to realize how much he loves him. He bemoans that he didn't realize this when Crowley was still immortal and remembered everything about him and he fears that he'll never get the chance to be with a Crowley whose life isn't fleetingly short compared to his.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: After Aziraphale's third attempt to make a relationship work between him and Crowley ends in tragedy, he decides not to interact with any of Crowley's future reincarnations to avoid further heartbreak for the two of them. His decision doesn't stick, however, because he just misses Crowley too much to keep avoiding him.
  • Brought Down to Normal: This happened to Crowley sometime between 1660 and 1692 when he began to be reincarnated as a mortal with no demonic powers for reasons Aziraphale can't figure out.
  • Dramatic Irony: A lot of it, most of it coming from Crowley not knowing that he's the lost love Aziraphale is mourning or the long history between him and Aziraphale. Special mention goes to Crowley offering Aziraphale an apple from one of his trees and Aziraphale being very amused by it.
  • Dreaming the Truth: Crowley constantly has dreams of his past lives with Aziraphale, but doesn't realize that they're actual memories.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: As heartwrenching and depressing as the fic series gets at times, it ends with Crowley's memories and immortality being restored, him and Aziraphale finally being together for good, and them helping each other slowly heal from the emotional scars of the past.
  • Elegant Classical Musician: Crowley's human reincarnation in 19th-century Vienna was a talented pianist and Aziraphale became enamored with the beauty of his performances. Crowley's 21st-century reincarnation, after discovering the abandoned piano in Aziraphale's bookshop, relearns how to play it, a skill he maintains even after he regains his demonic nature.
  • False Reassurance: Aziraphale promises Crowley at the end of Herein a Blossom Lies that he'll stay with him "until the end of the world", which Crowley takes to mean "forever" but Aziraphale knows really means "until Armageddon happens in eleven years".
  • Fate Drives Us Together: Crowley and Aziraphale seem destined to keep meeting each other over and over again, even when Aziraphale begins to consciously try to avoid meeting him.
  • Faux Symbolism: Happens In-Universe when Aziraphale breaks a mug and sees it as representing all his past failures of keeping the things he loves unbroken and Crowley gently reminds him that it's just a mug that can be easily repaired.
    Crowley: The mug isn't a metaphor for whatever you think it is, you know. It's just a mug, and it's as good as new now.
  • Flower Motifs: Crowley always seems to be around flowers in some capacity, no matter which time or place he's born in, and Aziraphale always keeps the flowers he gives him or the flowers he finds growing close to him.
  • Forbidden Fruit: Aziraphale, knowing that Crowley wouldn't be able to resist looking through his ancient books that no human should have, hides away these books in a secret room and tells 2000s-Crowley not to poke into anything that's locked or put away. Of course, when Crowley eventually finds the secret room, he immediately investigates it even with the Bluebeard mantra "Be bold, be bold, but not too bold..." going through his mind.
  • Hurt/Comfort Fic: The last installment of the series, And Boughs Where Apples Made, is essentially one long, much-needed comfort hug for the characters and readers who suffered through the emotional anguish of the last six installments.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Even though Crowley spends over three centuries as a human, events still stick fairly close to canon with only some minor deviations like the accidental Antichrist baby swap still happening even without Crowley being in charge of the baby.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Aziraphale still isn't fully accustomed to Crowley being a mortal and forgets that things like not contacting him for three days that an immortal demon would've had no problem with come across as unbelievably cruel and thoughtless to a human who isn't accustomed to spending years out of contact with him.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Aziraphale does this to the first human reincarnation of Crowley after their first meeting doesn't go like he expected and to the second reincarnation he meets after that Crowley can no longer stand knowing the Awful Truth of his former existence.
  • Love at First Sight: It doesn't take long at all for any of Crowley's human reincarnations to fall in love with Aziraphale, even if some of them are slower to act on it than others. After Crowley's memories are restored, he says only half-jokingly that he would have happily kissed Aziraphale during their first meeting in Eden if they hadn't been on opposite sides.
  • Loving a Shadow: Even when Aziraphale gets to be in a happy romantic relationship with one of Crowley's reincarnations for many years, he still isn't fully happy because he misses the Crowley who had six millennia of shared memories with him.
    The truth was that he found himself wishing it was the real Crowley who lay with him afterwards, murmuring softness against his neck, running worshipful fingers over his chest and stomach. Wishing those eyes were as gold and glimmering as they should be, wishing that smile was weighted with all their centuries together, wishing that Crowley would call him angel, would call him by his true name. Wishing they'd found a way to do this long, long ago. Wondering if they would ever have the chance now, or if this pale echo was all he could hope for.
    • Aziraphale also thinks that Crowley's human reincarnations being in love with him are this trope because they don't know his true nature and Crowley had never expressed romantic interest in him in all the millennia before he became human. After Crowley gets his memories back, he reassures Aziraphale that this is not the case — he had already been in love with Aziraphale for eons as a demon and had just never dared to act on his feelings until he forgot they were supposed to be on opposite sides.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Any relationship Aziraphale has with Crowley's human reincarnations is doomed to be this due to him still being an immortal angel who doesn't age.
  • Oblivious to Love: Aziraphale is so accustomed to him and Crowley being Just Friends that he doesn't realize that Crowley's first human reincarnation wants more than friendship from him until he kisses him.
  • Parental Abandonment: None of Crowley's human reincarnations seem to have had loving parents. After Crowley gets his memories back, he theorizes that this was because they subconsciously sensed that he had been forcibly inserted into their lives by Azrael and shouldn't have been there at all.
  • Please, Don't Leave Me:
    • After Aziraphale abruptly disappears for months on end only to return with no explanation, Crowley becomes paranoid about Aziraphale disappearing on him again if he makes the slightest wrong move and repeatedly begs Aziraphale not to leave him. Their roles become swapped after Crowley regains his memories, with Aziraphale being fearful for a long time that Crowley might decide that he no longer wants to be with him as a demon and Crowley having to gently and repeatedly reassure him that's not going to happen.
    • Crowley's Vienna reincarnation also heartbreakingly pleaded with Aziraphale to not leave him after Gabriel assigned him to be a missionary for someone in Glasgow, but Aziraphale couldn't disobey Heaven's orders or even explain to Crowley why he was suddenly leaving him alone in London after over five happy years together.
  • The Promise: Crowley promised Aziraphale in 1660 that he would wait in England until he came back, but him suddenly starting to be reborn as a human caused him to break that promise. Aziraphale is haunted afterwards by the thought that he should have known that something was wrong right away when he couldn't find Crowley in England because Crowley had never broken a promise to him before.
    He should have known better. Crowley had never broken a promise to him. He'd said he'd wait. Aziraphale should have known better. Should have known sooner that something was wrong.
  • Reincarnation Romance: A one-sided version between the still-immortal Aziraphale and the now-mortal Crowley.
  • Stepford Smiler: Aziraphale becomes this during the eleven years he spends with Crowley's latest reincarnation, having to hide his angelic nature, their past, and the knowledge that Armageddon is on the horizon from him. Adam is the only one who calls out Aziraphale on this, commenting that a part of him is still sad even on his wedding day with Crowley.
    Adam: You're always sad. Even when you're happy, a little bit of you is sad. I thought maybe today would be different, but it's not.
  • Shout-Out: The first installment's title, Flowers for Anthony, is a clear allusion to Flowers for Algernon, and the other installments have plant-themed titles taken from classic poems.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    • When Gabriel shows up to chew out Aziraphale for misplacing the Antichrist, Aziraphale has finally had enough of him constantly belittling and micromanaging him and calls him out on not realizing the mistake either and expecting Aziraphale to do all the work monitoring the Antichrist while he and Heaven freely collaborate with Hell on Armageddon. It succeeds in humbling Gabriel enough that he agrees to let Aziraphale use Heaven's resources to locate the real Antichrist.
    • Crowley, even after being forced to live for over three centuries in a mortal vessel by Azrael/Death, refuses to agree with Azrael that humans need death to truly appreciate life and still believes in the final installment that humans are going to eventually figure out how to live forever and that will be a good thing.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: There is no indication that any of Crowley's numerous human reincarnations have been in love with anyone other than Aziraphale. Even his true demonic self has been hopelessly in love with Aziraphale for almost the entire six millennia he's known him.
  • So Happy Together:
    • Aziraphale manages to have a mostly happy relationship with Crowley's Vienna reincarnation for over five years... until Gabriel forces him to act as a missionary for a man traveling abroad and Crowley dies of influenza before Aziraphale can return.
    • That Dares Not Grasp The Thorn, the fourth installment where Aziraphale decides to pursue a relationship with Crowley for the first time in two centuries, is one long, bittersweet saga of this as Aziraphale's domestic happiness with Crowley is overshadowed at every turn by his painful awareness that they have less than eleven years together before Armageddon happens.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Aziraphale comes to believe that any relationship between him and Crowley's human reincarnations is doomed to end in tragedy after three attempts from him to make a friendship or something more last with a human Crowley all fail in different ways.
  • We Are as Mayflies: Aziraphale is reminded the hard way of what exactly Crowley's newfound mortality means when his first human reincarnation gets caught in a earthquake and Aziraphale doesn't fully grasp that his former demon friend is no longer impervious to natural disasters like these until it's too late to save him. At least one of Crowley's other reincarnations is also shown to have died when he was barely out of his childhood years, with Aziraphale being unable to do anything other than make his last moments more peaceful.
  • Wistful Amnesia: Crowley's human reincarnations still feel some subconscious familiarity with Aziraphale and Crowley's latest reincarnation in the 21st century retains some instinctive memory of how to play the piano from his Vienna days. After Crowley gets all of his memories back, he realizes that his wistful amnesia about Aziraphale grew stronger with every encounter they had over the centuries even when he couldn't explicitly remember them.
    He could recognise it now, the way that every lifetime had added weight to the next, the way that every time he'd seen Aziraphale, it had cast echoes forward. How he'd felt that faint stirring in Sicily, a deeper recognition in Copenhagen, outright longing in Vienna. How when Aziraphale had come to him this time, in London, his whole world had tilted and changed its axis, taking Aziraphale as its new north without a second's hesitation.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Aziraphale seriously contemplates killing the Antichrist to prevent him from ending the world, but he ultimately decides not to when he's reminded of Crowley's horror at seeing children being condemned to die in the Great Flood. Crowley's entire ordeal of being reborn as a human was also the result of him refusing to let Pestilence take a human child's life.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: When Aziraphale learns that Armageddon is only eleven years away, it drives him to finally stop pushing Crowley away and instead enjoy the time they have left together as much as he can. It also causes him to internally rage against God and Heaven for deciding to cruelly end an entire world full of life and potential for no good reason.