Slave of your heart

07.11.2019

It had been one of the worst days that Aziraphale had to endure in his life so far.
During the last year both his parents had died. First his father, due to a severe illness, than his mother because of her broken heart. The whole kingdom had mourned the loss of their beloved monarchs, but it had hit Aziraphale the hardest. As long as his parents had been alive, they had protected their youngest son from too many royal duties. They had allowed him to indulge in his own activities and hobbies, like reading and painting, much to his eldest brother's dismay.

Aziraphale had spent even more time in his chambers after his parents' death, he had not been eating, much to the concern of his sister, Michael, he had not been sleeping enough and had not left the castle at all.

That was until Gabriel, his eldest brother, now king, had lost his patience with Aziraphale. Gabriel never understood how their parents had been able to let Aziraphale live such a simple life. He had always encouraged them to give Aziraphale more duties, but their parents always had declined it. Gabriel had always thought that his little brother was too lazy.

"But now this is over," he declared suddenly one morning.

The siblings spent most mornings together for breakfast, trying to keep as many of their parents habits in their life as possible.

"What do you mean 'over', Michael asked, placing her cup down on the table and looking at Gabriel with a raised eyebrow.

Aziraphale was sitting next to her, feeling a sudden surge of panic rise within him, and Michael placed a calming hand on his thigh. Aziraphale had always been closest to his eldest sister, and he was glad that she was here with him now.
Michael has never been afraid to speak her mind, or tell Gabriel what she thought of his ideas.

"A letter from the Kingdom of Hell arrived yesterday," Gabriel explained.

Aziraphale felt Michael sit up straighter next to him. So this was news to her as well.

"Since when do we hold correspondence with them?"

"Oh, we have for a few months by now?" Uriel piped up. She was responsible for all the written correspondence and mail between their kingdom and others. "We thought it might be the best to keep up with the treaty of peace, father made with them so many years ago."

"And what, my lovely sister, does this peace contract have to do with Aziraphale?"

Even though she didn't let it show, Michael was furious. The fingers on Aziraphale's thigh dug hard into the fabric of his trousers, and a small wincing sound escaped his lips.

"Well, we had to renegotiate ," Gabriel explained coolly. "And King Lucifer requested a bond between our kingdoms, sealed by marriage between one of his children and one of us."

Aziraphale's eyes went wide, his heart started to race as his panic started to change into anger.

"And so you decided it should be me?!" he nearly yelled at his brother, his king.

"Don't be ridiculous, Aziraphale. You might be a prince, but you wouldn't have been my first choice," Gabriel said. And that stung more than anything Gabriel had ever said to him. "It's more that King Lucifer left us no choice because his son, Earl Crowley, is more interested in a male partner, you see. And as a king myself it only left you as a suitable partner for Earl Crowley."

Aziraphale felt like Gabriel had slapped him physically.

"An Earl," Michael exploded next to him. "You are marrying my brother to one of Lucifer's bastard sons? How dare you Gabriel! And even without asking for Aziraphale's consent! He's not a possession you can sell to the highest bidder! He's a man, a human being, and your brother!"

"But he's also a prince. A prince with duties to fulfill. And to withdraw our offer now would mean that Lucifer would be able to declare war to our kingdom, for he and Crowley already agreed to the proposal. Aziraphale will leave us within the next week."

"I do what now?" Aziraphale squeaked.

"We agreed that you will head to the kingdom's palace and meet with King Lucifer and his son there. You shall be married to him within a fortnight."

Aziraphale was glad that he was sitting, otherwise he might have fainted. This must be a joke. A very, very cruel joke from Gabriel on his behalf.
He wasn't ready to be married, left alone to a man he had never met before, a complete stranger.
What if this Crowley-person was cruel or hideous or what if he didn't like Aziraphale! Or didn't respect him?
He didn't dare to think of love because that was out of the question. But maybe if they liked each other well enough it would be okay. Aziraphale would be happy enough if this Crowley liked him.

"Is Aziraphale going alone?" Michael asked.

"He will have his guards with him. Sandalphon is ta-"

"That's not what I meant and you know it Gabriel," Michael spat. "Is anyone of us going with him?"

Gabriel glared at his sister, sending daggers in her direction.

"No, he is to travel alone."

Michael shook her head. "No he won't. Either I'll travel with him or he won't travel at all."

"Don't be ridiculous Michael, he's a grown man ..."

"He's my baby brother, for heaven's sake! Something both of you seem to forget! Mother and father would be disappointed in you, should they see how you treat your youngest brother!"

Her last words hit hard. Uriel visibly flinched and even Gabriel seemed uncomfortable.
Michael gave them another icy stare before she rose from her chair, and extended her hand to Aziraphale. He took her hand hesitantly before he rose from his chair as well and followed Michael out of the room.
When they reached the door, Michael turned back to Gabriel and Uriel.

"Take all precautions. Aziraphale and I will leave the day after tomorrow."


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