He meant to watch the stage. Truly he did. But all Aziraphale could focus on was Crowley sitting next to him.
Shu-fang slowed down as she neared the stage, much like the part of the crowd she was in the flow of. The children on stage were dressed up in facsimiles of traditional garb. To be fair, children couldn’t wear something a little more realistic. The adults didn’t know what that meant. They simply picked up something that looked old, something that they knew was old. This would have worked, if the presentation the children were putting on had occurred only a thousand years ago.
The story of immortality. Shu-fang knew it well. This was her story. Of course, it was all wrong. No one had much of it right at all. And there she stood, in the crowd, with no one the wiser. She was the one in the midst of that original story. She watched what they did have though, a slight smile on her face. This was how it had changed recently? It had been a while since she had spent a moment to watch it.
The girl pretending to be Shu-fang had far too much decoration in her hair, speaking to the boy that was playing War. Or whatever it was they were calling War in this play. He wore pretend armour and a girl hovered somewhere behind him, wearing all black. Probably Death.
Shu-fang tried to remember the last time she had seen War in armour. It had been a long time. War did not often spend the time to don it. She was too impulsive.
The tale of the Gods’ Champion might have entertained her long enough to leave the flow of the crowd and stop to watch it, but Shu-fang knew she would not. She let the slow pace carry her away, too tired to care as much as a part of her wanted to. Shu-fang would rather not think about the gods right now. The very thought of them made her want to bury herself in the seabed. It wasn’t as though the constant drowning would kill her, as uncomfortable as it would be. Yet there were plenty of gods who would be able to make their way into the sea, to bother her continually if she were to strand herself there.
If there was one thing she wanted to do, it was find a place where they wouldn’t bother her. Shu-fang did not know what sort of place that would be, but she would find it. She headed to the library.
When the actor faltered on stage, the entire audience noticed.
That was a little less important than how all the rest of the cast noticed it was coming and tried everything in their power to redirect it. Everything to get the actor to get back on track before it was too late.
Yet even the most professional of actors couldn’t hide it when their leading man had a heart attack on stage.
Of course the entire audience noticed.