The black eyes with red sparks are focused on the face of a stranger, a slight smile on his lips makes the expression even more evil. In his glass is whiskey on the rocks, ice cubes are circling and bumping one another.
“Well, what you’ve got here, Maze? What a lovely hunt…” - Lucifer takes a sip not losing his smile even for a second, eyes still on the “new friend of Mazikeen”.
Something echoes in his mind, like an aftertaste of a fine wine. Something so good, yet so hard to catch. He goes in circles around the two of them – Maze grabs the man in a stylish, but a bit outdated, beige coat by the collar and holds him a foot off the ground.
He looks scared, which the demon finds extremely hot at some point.
“Isn’t he?” Maze smiles. “Caught him stumbling around in the dark...”
“I was not stumbling!” the man interrupts trying to pull away. “Let me go. Please!”
“Put him down.” Lucifer sits down on the couch. “This gentleman can do no harm, can he?”
Mazikeen lets him go and walks behind the bar. While she pours two drinks, the stranger fixes his clothes and mumbles: “Not very nice of you, my dear. You should do the talking first, brute force should never go right off the bat…”
Lucifer is enjoying every bit of this scene, even though he hardly understands a thing of it. He is curious and that is what matters. What is this man’s deal, who is he, why does he not seem to be frightened by the knives on Maze’s belt – so many questions.
And not a single answer. And that annoys Lucifer, but not enough to spoil his fun.
“Who are you?”
“Well, hi.” a man gives them the softest smile ever seen on Earth. “Nice to meet you. Lovely weather, isn’t it? I’m Aziraphale.” voice gets higher from irritation, “Now that sounds like a proper start of a conversation!”
“Chill out, man” Maze hands him a glass.
“Thank you, miss, but I am not a big fan of whiskey myself…”
“Well, bad for you. Drink it.”
Awkwardly smiling at her, Aziraphale takes a sip and winces: “Not that bad after all…”
Lucifer gets himself comfortable on the couch, unbuttons his jacket and taps on the cushion next to himself.
“Join me, Azirafell.”
He sits down next to Lucifer. He’s not comfortable, that’s for sure, and tries to look anywhere but at Lucifer. Maze smiles, because they look like the opposite forces – darkness and light.
And it’s not just about clothes.
“You are too brave for a person who admires tartan, dare I say.”
One more silly smile from him.
“Who are you?”
“As I said…”
“Why are you here? Why were you stalking me, Aziraphale?”
“Excuse me, I am not stalking anybody. I was told, there was something I would love to have in this club. And I just…” Aziraphale shrug and turns to Lucifer, “…was looking for it.”
“And what is that mysterious “something”, my friend?” Lucifer finally catches the eye of the unexpected visitor and gives him the “known all over the world (on the highest and the lowest levels of it) smile”. The smile of the devil. “So, tell me, what is it you truly desire?”
They are looking each other in the eye for a quite a long time. Maze decides she’s done with this shit and heads to get some more to drink. And when she starts to walk towards the bar, it hits her.
There is no answer. The room is silent.
“Excuse me, sir, you never actually got to the point of mentioning your name.”
Lucifer finally copes with his confusion and laughs.
“Things just got much more interesting, didn’t they?”
After another drink and a quick chat, Lucifer invites his guest to join him in the living room. He feels the stranger will be interested in some first editions he’s got there, and he does not even have to get a no as an answer, because Aziraphale is relieved to quit drinking for a moment.
The bookshelf surprises Aziraphale.
“Not to brag, but I am the proud owner of the richest bookshop in Soho myself.” Aziraphale gets some leather covered book and opens it on the first page. “But I have to say, I am impressed by your collection”.
“Soho, you say?” Lucifer sips from the glass. It’s like he never stops drinking. “Manhattan?”
“Oh? Nooo, no dear, the London one. Right in the heart of the West End.”
“Long road it’s been to rob me”.
Aziraphale looks insulted. He puts a book back on the shelf and gives Lucifer a furious glare. The fear disappears, like it’s never been there, and the spot is taken by grudge.
Maybe the only thing those two have in common is the ability to stare each other in the eye.
“I am not a thief. I don’t rob people”.
“So, what are you doing in my house then, Aziraphale?”
“You tell me, sir, as I was just minding my business outside, when your maid grabbed me and dragged inside. You two owe me an apology, not the other way around.”
Lucifer narrows his eyes, the red sparks already lit up inside.
The penthouse seems to be quiet and empty. Which almost never happens, and Maze finds it creepy. She is more used to Hell, which is not a peaceful and quiet place with all the screaming, for sure.
She sits at the bar and stares at the two silhouettes in the living room. She can barely hear them talking, but the conversation does not sound like one with a thief. She is pissed.
Playing with a knife, she looks around the room.
Suddenly something catches her attention – just a quiet squeak in the bedroom.
Mazikeen slides off the barstool. After the last sip of her Jake and Coke, she heads toward the sound.
Something dark in the corner moves a little and gets a knife in the same second. Just a chair.
“Come on out.” hisses Maze, getting another knife – longer and sharper than the previous one – from her belt. “Nowhere to hide.”
“Oh, I’m not hiding, ma’am.” whispers a voice behind her back. “Jussst lurking in the dark...”
Two golden serpent eyes appear from the blackness and man snaps his fingers.
“The view is stunning, if I may say so.” - Aziraphale stands at a floor-to-ceiling window eyeing the night city. He still looks a little nervous, but his usual charm was revived.
The crowd next to the entrance goes on with a party, even though the one in Lux is over. Aziraphale can feel Lucifer’s look on his back, but he won’t turn around. Something about this gentleman bothers him, but can’t figure out what is it exactly.
Lucifer lights up and takes a drag.
Aziraphale is not a smoker, but he could use a smoke right now.
“You never get such view in the basement” Lucifer exhales.
The sky brightens where the sun is about to raise. It’s been a long night already, but both of them have even less answers then at beginning of it. No names, no understanding of what is going on.
Aziraphale twirls his ring nervously: “Will I be allowed to leave?” he sighs. “Would hate to bother you on such a lovely night. I am positive you have a lot of plans today…”
“Well I might have had.” Lucifer smiles and comes closer. “But I don’t anymore.”
“My Dad sent one more creature of his own to test me”.
“Oh, how nice of him. What creature?” known for his love to every living thing, Aziraphale sighs in relief.
“I am just about to find out” Lucifer gets extremely close and grabs him by his collar.
Lucifer’s eyes turn bloody red and non-human expression appears on the face.
Aziraphale gasps not even able to scream for help.
The tension in the room is so strong, you could literally cut it with a knife. Aziraphale breathes heavily.
“Not sure if messing up with my friend is a worthy idea.” a calm, deep voice sounds from the back. Lucifer smirks, as everything goes as he planned it to.
“Oh look, you do have a friend here”, Lucifer turns around, still keeping Aziraphale off the ground, - “Wonder how Mazikeen made it happen, but not to worry at the moment.”
Lucifer eyes the darkness of the doorway. He sees a shadow, sliding it his direction, but could not see any particular detail. All the movements are slow, graceful and smooth. The fluid motion of the shadow makes Lucifer think about quicksilver, water drops sliding off skin, snakes.
Not the most logical associative series.
“Crowley!” sighing in relief, Aziraphale finally pulls himself together and is able to get a noise out of himself again: “Dear boy, what are you doing here?”
“Saving your ass, angel” Crowley finally steps out of the darkness: “Now shut up.”
He has a slim double-breasted suit on and a pair of glasses. Dark, classy. He is looking above them, so his golden iris shows. For a short moment, Lucifer could not take his eyes off of him.
“Angel?” Lucifer laughs. “That’s what you are? An angel stumbling around in my backyard?”
“I was not stumbling!”
Lucifer puts him on the ground and reaches for his glass on the table. Moist traces it left on the wood, start to evaporate the same second he gets the glass in his hand.
“I am dying to hear the story that brought you two here” he gets past Crowley, almost hitting him with the shoulder, looking directly in the eye. “An angel and a demon who came to steal something from me. Splendid, isn’t it?”
Aziraphale glances thankfully at Crowley. They both come after Lucifer.
When both the angel and the demon get to the bar, Lucifer sits at the piano, lovingly touching the keys. He has loosened his shirt and taken off his jacket completely. Full lights are on, so they could have a good look on the gracious host of Lux. Deep dark eyes, perfect hairline and a well-kept stubble.
An almost empty glass is placed at the top of the piano.
Fingers flying, he starts to play. Aziraphale is not able to recognize the tune, so assumes it to be an improv.
“You can unfreeze Maze, Crawley.”, Lucifer says displeased, eyes on demon.
“It’s Crowley”, he sighs and snaps his fingers again.
Furious Mazikeen enters the room in a second with that huge knife in her hand. She is ready to fight the first one to get it the way.
“My sincere apology”, angel nods at her and smiles. – “If it was not for the knife, miss, let me assure, my friend would never do it to you”.
“Stop apologizing, Aziraphale”.
“Yes, stop apologizing, Aziraphale.”, Lucifer busts with annoyance. – “And start talking!”
Aziraphale looks hurt, but he’s sure it’s not the time for chats about his feelings. So, he starts:
“So, yhm, it all started back in the garden of Eden…”
Crowley rolls his eyes.
* Note for those who have not watched "Lucifer": “So, tell me, what is it you truly desire?” - making people talk about their secret desires is a superpower of Devil. It always works, people just can't resist his charm. Well, obviously, not all of them.
Chapter 2: The one where the penny drops
In this chapter they figure out how much troubles they are in.
The four of them sit on the huge burnt sienna leather sofa while Aziraphale is narrating the story. After a few shushes from Crowley, he leaves out some details. Mazikeen and Lucifer share a few knowing looks during it, but don’t utter a single word, which, from what Aziraphale can assume, is quite an unusual behavior for both of them.
“So, the Apocalypse was reversed…” continues angel.
“I would actually go with postponed here.” interrupts Crowley.
“… and we were driving the Bentley back to Crowley’s….” ignoring the remarks.
“You? Bentley?” Lucifer smirks.
“Ye, so?” Crowley looks at him demanding. “Not a scratch. And I got it completely new.”
“Being you must be exhaustingly boring…” comments Maze from the couch across the table.
“Actually, lots of fun. And a few demonic miracles here and there along the way.”
Lucifer and Mazikeen stare at each other for a moment.
“So, you say, you – a demon – can do miracles? Like some magic?”
“Yes, I do say so.”
Maze frowns and gets silent. She is the most high-ranked demon in Hell and never could miracle anything up. Not a single drink, not the simplest knife.
“I was saying, we were driving back to Crowley’s and suddenly fell down to …somewhere.”
“Like…” angel looks at Crowley in confusion “… here. “
“In my house?” Lucifer smirks.
“No, sir, in the city of angels. I got it a thought, and from what I’ve figured out, that could be one of those residual interferences of the Apocalypse. I mean, Adam seemed to eliminate all of them, but…” he shrugs, “…who knows what could have flown under his radar?”
Crowley also shrugs his shoulders.
Lucifer nervously plays with his coin. It catches Crowley’s attention for a moment, long enough to see the goat skull on one side and a crucifix on another. It flies between his fingers so smoothly, that demon is certain Aziraphale would be extremely jealous of the skill, if he was not busy with his story.
“Enough about usss, my friend. I believe we have a more important topic to go through.”
“Can’t recall what that is.” Lucifer smiles. Coin circles around his thumb.
“Sssstop sssstalling.” Crowley forgets himself and hisses at him. “You’ve had multiple opportunities to introduce yoursssself, but your name magically essscapes our attention.”
Lucifer catches the coin and it disappears from his palm the same second.
“It’s Lucifer.” He winks at Aziraphale. “Lucifer Morningstar. The Devil.”
Crowley stretches out on the sofa and speaks with a skeptical smile.
“ ‘scuse us, sssir, but the Lord of Hell,” Crowley gets a pause, “ is not a preppy guy in LA.”
“You tell me” Lucifer’s smile gets bigger.
“So, what’s the real name?”
“Lucifer. Morningstar. The Devil” losing his cool, word by word repeats Lucifer.
The air gets heavy.
“I believe we have a bigger problem, then getting back from LA to London, my dear boy.” Aziraphale gives a voice to the thought that already crossed their minds.
“I felt something different about you two, but thought it was you being British or something.” Mazikeen plays with her karambits while thinking out loud.
Crowley swallows, looking at her hands with the two sharpest knives on Earth. Long time no see, but that’s not a souvenir you would easily forget. Especially when it touches your throat with its cold steel. It will feel real, no matter how long it’s been since.
“I did not sense anything unusual.” Aziraphale looks puzzled. ‘I did not sense anything at all!”
“It’s not your world, your powers weaken here. No Heaven, nor Hell to charge them.”
The moment of silence is filled with overthinking.
“We need to get back!”
“We need to stay!”
Aziraphale and Crowley shout at the same moment.
“What? No!” Angel seems to be scared and angry at the same time. “Crowley, are you out of your mind? We don’t belong here!”
“We don’t belong anywhere, angel.” He throws up his hands. “For Sat…someone’s sssssake! Please understand, no authority needs us, we are traitors! It’s jusssst a matter of time until Gabriel or Beelzebub figure out what kind of performance it was! And here…” he points out at the city outside, “…and here we are finally free and safe!”
Maze puts hands on her chest: “He didn’t get it, did he?”
“Get what?!” shouts Crowley in frustration.
“Dear boy, I am afraid in this – hell and heaven free – place, we are actually… mortals.”
Aziraphale tries to reach Crowley’s tight with his hand to calm him down.
They stare at each other not able to find any words to go on with.
Lucifer’s phone buzzes. He glances at it and cancels the call. Not a good time for it.
This whole situation is a mess, but also a lot of fun. And he won’t let anyone spoil it.
Crowley stands at the window with furrowed brow.
“I didn’t mean to fall. But in the end I got used to it. I was okay with being cast away from Hell too. And don’t believe those who say it only hurts once!” he tilts his head, still looking far away. “And even leaving my world is not the worst option. But dying? Naaah.”
“Dear, we’ll figure out something. You always do.”
Crowley turns his head to Aziraphale and softly smiles.
“I am afraid not, angel. Not this time. No more miracles, remember?” his voice trembles.
This conversation is not about miracles, going mortal or being cast away from Hell or Heaven. One single thought, that he is done with saving Aziraphale over and over again, hurts him, as no holy water ever could. He always knew that angel did not need saving, as he is a powerful celestial being himself. But the ritual, the tradition – that’s what made Crowley able to keep it together through all the challenges of life.
And now it’s gone.
He turns away and thanks any force that made him keep his glasses on.
The phone rings again and this time Lucifer answers.
“Detective! Pleasure to hear your voice!” he excuses without any words and leaves to the bar. “Of course, I can talk! For you I am always free, I believe it was mentioned a couple of times already…”
When he walks away, Aziraphale comes to Crowley. He puts his hand on the demon’s shoulder - Crowley jumps in surprise, but then squeezes a smile out of himself.
“It’s tickety-boo.” Crowley purses his lips.
“We can’t lose hope. Not yet! I think talking to the Almighty might help. Someone did it to us, I am sure there is a way to fix it.” He shrugs, “I’ll try talking to Her.”
“And I” his golden iris flames “will try talking to him.”
Aziraphale turns around and sees Lucifer walking back to the living room.
“Where did we leave off?” he fiddles around his smartphone and smiles.
They sit at the bar – the devil and the demon – sipping whiskey which Lucifer’s poured them. Crowley looks over his shoulder at Aziraphale – he and Maze seem like they’ re having fun.
“I’ve been thinking…”
“Much better. Go on.”
“ ‘scuse me?”
“You’ve been thinking – that’s much better than whining and staring at the window. Good for you.”
“Yhm, whatever. Moving two celestial creatures from one world to another for whatever reason – doesn’t it sound like an evil deed to you?”
“Not really.” As always, with a charming smile.
“But ssssssounds like it to me. And I believe I am not wrong here, you have something to do with it.” Crowley’s eyes go full snake, whites of his eyes disappeared completely. He smiles back and his forked tongue comes out for the shortest moment, but still enough for Lucifer to notice.
“If you are going to do this blame game of yours, I won’t get in the way.” Lucifer gets closer to Crowley and stares without a single blink. “But if you are looking for a favor, I am all yours.”
“Deal with the Devil…”, Crowley smirks and gets back to his glass, “…not sure I can afford it now.”
“Don’t worry, serpent. Hell allows payment in instalments now.”
They both laugh, but one can spot a sad note in Crowley’s voice.
“Have you ever sent anyone to a different world? I need assurance.” He quickly glances at Aziraphale.
“Satan does not guarantee a single thing, Crowley. But I am afraid you have no choice here.” Lucifer extends his hand. “Good thing for you, demon, I sent my mother to your world one day...”
Crowley shakes his hand with a puzzled look.
“…and she created you.” Lucifer’s eyes turn red and the skin on Crowley’s hand starts to burn as of hellfire. It hurts a lot; Crowley cries out in pain and pulls back his hand.
Mazikeen is looking outside as the sun comes out and lays a warm hand on everything the light touches. The city wakes up, so do the cars on the streets.
“I am literally falling asleep, aren’t you?”
“Oh, I don’t sleep.” Aziraphale does not look at her. “Crowley does, but it’s not something that celestial beings like us need. It’s a matter of choice, he simply likes it”.
“Maaaan, I wish I could stay awake all the time.” Maze flips over on the couch. ‘I do sometimes, for two-three days. Have you never done it?”
“No, dear.” Aziraphale lows his voice. “Crowley slept for a whole century once. I believe he would have slept longer, but he could never miss the second cholera pandemic...”
“A century?”, Maze gasps in amusement.
“Indeed, a long time. Had to take over some evil deeds in London, for his highest management not to suspect anything”, Aziraphale giggles at the memory.
They hear Crowley and Lucifer laughing, and Aziraphale’s eyes light up with a warm inner light.
“We may be from different worlds…” Maze smiles and whispers to him “…but we are not that different, angel. I see what is going on there.”
Crowley and the Devil stay at the bar, Lucifer says something and they get closer to each other. Lucifer offer’s Crowley a hand.
Aziraphale turns back to Mazikeen with a confused look.
“Talking about that, I could not spot a big difference in the world itself. The sun still rises on the right side, people have two hands, “Hamlet” is still breaking audiences’ hearts in the Barbican Theatre…” Aziraphale ignores the hint, sounds pensive.
“God created the same world twice? Really uncool, but what else can you expect from Him?”
“From Her” corrects Aziraphale.
They stare at each other for a beat. Maze with confusion, slowly transferring to fear, and Aziraphale with eyes slowly widening in understanding.
And the penny drops.
“Lucifer!” shouts Mazikeen and gets off the couch in less than a second. “We have a problem!”
The Devil spins around on the barstool and gives her a wide smile.
“Oh, sure we do, my little Mazikeen. Lucifer likes!”
He pats Crowley on the shoulder: “And we agreed on a favor, didn’t we?” Lucifer smiles. “You might want to tell your angel about that.”
“You what?” Aziraphale steps aside, shook.
The only thing saving Crowley from being inconveniently discorporated is an elevator, arriving with an annoying “ding!”.
“We will be back to this conversation, my dear Crowley.” – hisses Aziraphale.
And the elevator door opens.
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did while writing! :)
A huge thank you for trishf42 and ravendiana, who agreed to be editors of mine. You are blessing!
Chapter 3: The one with a little bit of teamwork and a fight
Crowley pretends to be a detective for a change and Lucifer is anything but a sweetheart in the eyes of Chloe.
The door dings open and the four of them turn to the sound.
“Amenadiel!” Lucifer opens his arms as for a hug. “Perfect timing, brother, as ever.”
The one who entered looks suspicious. His eyes are wandering from one face to another.
“Brother?” whispers Aziraphale, giving it a second thought. “No, I can’t recall any brother of Lucifer with this name. Anyone with this name, actually. At least not in our world.”
From the puzzled expression on each of their faces he gets the idea that something is wrong.
“What is going on here?” Amenadiel stares firstly at Lucifer, then at Maze.
“Oh, don’t you look at me, I’ve got nothing to do with it.”
“Me neither.” Lucifer gets his jacket from the piano and heads to the elevator.
He is able to do a few steps right before Crowley calls him back.
“Oi! And where do you think you’re going?” Crowley takes a sip and licks lips with his forked tongue. “We’re in the middle of something here, remember?”
Now that’s five of them having a staring contest. Lucifer sighs, giving up.
“The Detective called. She needs my help. I’d better be going, if I don’t want to be the one who gets killed today.” Lucifer purses his bottom lip and takes a moment. “Alright, you,” points on Crowley, “are coming with me. And you,” glances at Aziraphale, “are stuck with Maze, I’m afraid.”
Crowley swaggers along the bar and winks at angel, a small gesture of reassurance. The small it-will-be-alright-I-will-fix-this look. And Aziraphale gives him a shy warm smile.
“Is anyone going to explain to me what’s going on and who these two are?” asks Amenadiel in despair, quite sure no one is going answer him anyway. But it’s always worth a try.
“Amenadiel, brother, this is Aziraphale. And vice versa. Perfect! I believe two angels will find common ground, if I may say so.” With a wide charming smile and with fingerprints of both hands together he turns his head to Crowley. “Shall we?”
While the two of them head to elevator and wait for the door to close, the awkward, thick and impenetrable silence hung up in the air at the bar. Amenadiel comes to a barstool and takes a seat.
“Well, nice to meet you, Azirapahale. So, an angel?”
“Where do I start?” Aziraphale smirks.
“Please not ‘back in the garden’.” Maze pours three fresh drinks.
“Kidding, right?” Crowley tilts his head and looks at a car. “A Corvette? Sssseriously, Satan himself drives a convertible?”
Lucifer jumps inside the car and opens the door for Crowley.
“Get in and stop being a douche.”
Lucifer starts an engine and turns on the music. “Another one bites the dust” comes on, but after a few beats and a smile on Crowley’s face, he changes it to “Jesus for the jugular”.
“Much better.” Lucifer hits the gas.
A big and restless city spreads out before their eyes, and they drive its roads.
A roomy white mansion seems to be full of men in uniform. Some are examining the stuff inside, some are talking to civilians in the living room. Chloe sits on the armrest and checks out her notes for the devil knows how manyth time. Well, maybe even the Devil has no idea of such things.
She looks nervous and sad, but feels a little better when a silhouette in a perfectly fitting suit shows up among the crowd in the yard. She sighs in a relief and the same second her eyes catch another figure, which is definitely following Lucifer into the house.
“Detective!” Lucifer’s face lights up as always when he sees Chloe. “What a delightful view!”
“There’s a dead body downstairs, Lucifer, no time for admiring the view.”
“Sure, sure.” He rubs his hands and eyes the room. “Where shall we start?”
“Maybe we should start with you explaining to me what this civilian is doing at the crime scene?”
Lucifer looks over his shoulder. Crowley enters the room, hands in pockets, dark glasses on, as well his bitch face. He radiates boredom.
“Crowley, Chloe. Chloe, Crowley. We will keep all the sweetness for later, can we?”
The Detective smiles at Crowley, but when she turns to Lucifer, no warmth remains in her eyes.
“A word, please.” With emphasis on the last word.
The two of them walk toward the window to whisper and gesticulate. Crowley is wandering the room, trying to find something at least interesting. He was promised fun, but the whole situation is nothing like fun, it is the direct opposite, frankly speaking.
Crowley looks around and heads towards the policemen questioning the crowd.
This time the story is way too short and consists only of the headlines of their life in the home world and a summary of their presence in this one, but Amenadiel still seems to be an excellent listener.
“…and to summarize, we are stuck in here with no powers, no plan, just two mortals in a world we don’t belong to.” Aziraphale fiddles nervously with the half-empty glass.
“And why would you come to my brother?”
“Well, the first hour here was an absolute, living nightmare. We tried to figure out what had happened and what we could do about this whole situation, but our powers – which we still had back then – were already too weak to send us back to London.” Aziraphale shrugs. “I thought it was caused by exhaustion. Who would have thought that the day after Armageddon wouldn’t be all flowers and rainbows?”
Aziraphale looks into his glass with a genuinely sad expression in his eyes, and this is the first time it appears on him for the whole day. Mazikeen watches him slowly taking a sip.
“We asked around and heard two opinions. We were advised to go to the police - or - to try our luck at Lux.” Aziraphale softly smiles. “So here we are, drinking at the devil’s bar.”
“Don’t mention it to Lucifer,” Amenadiel smiles back at Angel, “no need to feed his ego.”
“Believe me, dear, that’s the last thing I want to do.”
The three of them laugh and go on talking.
At one moment Crowley no longer hears the detective’s and Satan’s low voices. He gets lost in the crowd and in less than ten minutes is fully aware of the situation and becomes familiar with a few versions of events. The gardener is dead, that’s for sure. Some woman heard the gunshot, so gunned down, most probably. Lesley, the yoga instructor, never liked him much, it must be her. Or - it could be the neighbor called Kevin. Why him? That guy shoots crows in the early mornings, he definitely knows how to use a firearm. And don’t ever doubt, everybody loved Tommy the gardener, no one would ever hurt him.
Crowley smirks. The guy is dead, looks like there is at least one person out there who finds him annoying. Or boring, that would work too.
The demon continues scouting the terrain, gets someone’s champagne from the dresser, takes a sip. It’s disgustingly warm and Crowley puts the glass back down.
Two policemen start to question suspects, inviting them one by one to the kitchen.
Crowley is not interested in the conversation itself; what he finds interesting is the behavior of those who are still waiting for the invitation. He puts his glasses lower on the bridge of his nose and peers into their faces. The eyes go full serpent and turn golden, he notices even the slightest temperature swing in the heat-map of the building. And – what a surprise – one sweet thing definitely stands out. Crowley puts the glasses back up and walks toward the kitchen.
“What do you think you are doing?” hisses Chloe, grabbing him by the elbow.
“Doing your job, ma’am.” Crowley gives her a tense smile and then finds Lucifer with his eyes. “Sooner we’re done with this murder, the sooner we’ll close the deal.”
“Gosh, one civilian consultant is more than enough for me.” She drags Crowley toward the entrance. “Thank you for your company, it was nice to meet you. Bye.”
“My pleasure.” Crowley nods at her. “But you would definitely want to hear out the girl in aggresssssively short skirt. She has a lot to say.”
Chloe freezes for a moment, eyes on the girl Crowley is referring to. Definitely on the brink of tears, she is checking on her phone way too often and bites her lips.
“And what makes you think that?”
“Detective, I’ve been watching people for an awfully long time. I know what you are up to.”
“We?” Chloe rolls her eyes. “Okay, got it. He” - she points to Lucifer behind her- “is Satan. And who are you?”
Crowley laughs – and Chloe could swear on the Bible, she sees something reptilian in him for a moment.
“It’s Crowley. Anthony Crowley, if you like it better.” He nods at her one more time. “And I’m better off now.”
He glances at Lucifer with his irises showing and heads for the terrace.
Watching him leave, Chloe slowly breathes out: “Why can’t you be a sweetheart like that?”
“What do you mean? I am a sweetheart. Like… By definition!”
“Have you ever left when I asked you to?” she raises her eyebrow. “I have no idea what the deal is between you two, but… you could totally take a leaf out of his book.”
She turns on her heels and heads to the girl in the very short leather skirt. She meets them with a loud sob and immediately pulls herself together, puts the phone into the pocket of her jacket.
“We would like to ask you a few questions. Is it okay?” Chloe gets her notepad and clicks her pen.
“I never wanted it to happen.” The girl sobs and starts to cry in a second. “I didn’t mean to…”
Lucifer and Chloe stare at each other in confusion. Chloe clicks her pen, once again at a loss.
Crowley breathes in the air which smells like freshly cut grass and rosemary. The freshness of this air bothers him, as this is not the air he is used to. This is not the air his lungs are used to. This is the air of the place he doesn’t belong to, of the place that is going to chew him up and spit him out.
He watches two coroners taking care of a poor dead gardener, lying on the grass.
What an irony, killed in the garden. What could be a more peaceful workplace than this?
Crowley leans on a fence and looks around. He sees two guards by the stairs and comes closer with a fixed smile. He approaches: “Got a cigarette, pal? I could use a smoke right now…”
“Sure, detective.” Already with a cigarette pack in the hand reaching out toward Crowley.
Crowley’s standard polite smile is gone, a big fat smile appears on his face.
“So, yhm, heard anything?”
“Poor Tommy.” Sighs one. “I don’t believe anyone…”
“Yeah, not likely anyone would want to hurt him. But someone did.” Crowley lights up. “So, any ideas? You guys have to know things.”
Crowley breathes in the smoke and tilts his head back. The moment of silence lasts, but not long.
“Tommy had a fight tonight.”
“Hey, I heard them fighting, alright?” the guard frowns.
Crowley smiles, because this is fun. He was never given it, so he’s found it himself. He takes another drag on his cigarette and throws it on the grass right next to the body already packed into a bag.
“Tell me more about the fight, guyssss.”
If he weren’t wearing glasses, the guards would definitely freak out, as his slits just got wider and the golden iris filled out the whole eye.
But they never had a chance, and so they speak.
Aziraphale turns another page and sighs dramatically, so Maze rolls her eyes and breathes in slowly.
They sit at the table, surrounded by dozens of books from different eras, in so many languages; some are first editions and still have traces of original owners or even authors. A small coffee stain on a cover, turned down pages, drops of wax here and there. Aziraphale explores every single one with his fingertips. He does it with such enormous love, it makes Amenadiel smile at him softly.
Aziraphale notices the look.
“Nothing tells more about this world than books.” Explains Aziraphale, a bit shy. “Nothing tells you more about humans, then books they’ve written. I’ve read a lot to understand them.” He smirks. “I am still too far away from really understanding humankind, but I am on the way. It counts, right?”
Amenadiel smiles back and closes the book he was reading.
“I have no idea what we are looking for here. Are we going to read each of them?” he points at sticks of books all over the place – on the table, on the sofa, a few on the floor around them.
“Seek and you shall find, they say.” Aziraphale sticks his bottom lip out and gets back to reading.
Lucifer wanders around the place, peeking into every room he passes by. He stops next to the huge double glass doors and watches Crowley sitting still on a bench next to the stairs.
He joins the demon outside, and they both look on the green and already-cleaned-of-blood lawn.
“Like nothing ever happened here.” Crowley turns his face to Lucifer. “Got anything?”
“A few gossips and a confession of having a big mouth.” Lucifer has a second though. “Well, not literally. The girl you insisted on questioning told us about one unpleasant chat he had about a week ago with the owner’s ex. The talk was mostly about Tommy having an affair with the owner.”
“Tommy wasn’t all saint, yep?” with a smile asks Crowley.
“That’s one way to put it”.
“If you are interested, I also had a conversation with a few people. And you might be also interested in what they told me while we had a smoke. Oh, ‘scuse me, what they told detective Crowley.” He enjoys himself way too much and it shows. “Maybe… some fight took place tonight. May happen I know what it was about and who was involved.”
“Intriguing, indeed.” Lucifer gives him the biggest smile he is capable of and his eyes lit up in red. “I find myself very impressed by you, dear Crowley. And I like it…a lot.”
Crowley, despite still having glasses on, stares directly into the eyes of the Devil.
Mazikeen resists, but it was a battle she simply can’t win. She falls asleep on the book she is reading. Rather like looking at a drawing, but very successfully. Aziraphale finds her with her cheek pressed to the image of an angel, more like a cupid, in the garden.
He gently moves Maze’s head away to get the book from under it. Aziraphale is about to shut the book, but something catches his eye in the last moment. He turns the book upside down and gasps.
“Dear Lord, I believe I know what to do. And I wouldn’t say I like it…”
Wohoo, I am back with the next chapter!
You are welcomed to leave a word in comments about how do you like it and where do you think this story is going!
Spoiler alert: The author has no idea either. Just kidding.
Additional thankyouverymuch for trishf42 for having all the patience of the world to proofread my stuff!
Chapter 4: The one about the gunfire and a book
Everyone is looking for answers. Three detectives (who actually are one detective, a demon and Satan himslef) are investigating the unfortunate death of Tommy the gardener, and at the same time two angels and a soulless demon actually find what they are looking for. But does that actually give them any clarity?
“I could get jealous if I didn’t know that what we have can’t be substituted by some random… demon wandering around,” mutters Lucifer from the backseat of the Charger.
Crowley watches him in the mirror and smiles.
“I really prefer Crowley.”
Now it’s Chloe’s turn to exchange looks with Lucifer.
“Sure. Crowley, two guards told you that there was a fight last night, right?”
“One of them told me, the second one was not that eager to ssssspeak.” Crowley opens the window and hangs his arm out of it, lets the wind go through his fingers. “One voice belonged to the gardener, the other one was identified as Ted Solder’s, the owner’s ex-husband.”
“Right, and they told you that, because…?”
“They thought I was a detective.” Crowley smiles.
“Right, and why did they have that idea?”
“Have no clue, maybe it’s my suit.” He shrugs. “The thing is, I never said they were wrong.”
Chloe rolls her eyes, she’s used to such talk, just not from a stranger. But actually, what’s to be surprised about? Isn’t that exactly Lucifer’s taste in friends?
“Okay, what is the deal with you two?” she turns the wheel left. “Never heard you talking about Crowley, how do you know each other?”
“We’ve just met.” Shrugs again Crowley.
“So, should I expect more visitors at our crime scenes, or you invited the guy you’ve just met to join the investigation particularly?
“We have business later, didn’t want him wandering around in the meantime.” Lucifer leans forward between the front seats. “Once we’re done, he’ll be gone for good.”
“Hopefully.” Crowley gives him a quick look. “It’s not like I want to stay here. Not like I intended coming in the first place.”
And he really means it, thinks Chloe. He doesn’t look like Lucifer’s captive, Crowley even looks a lot like a person who could actually be friends with him. The fancy clothes, the ridiculously expensive glasses, which he barely takes off. Actually, she hasn’t seen his eyes. Her police intuition alarmed her, that his wearing glasses all the time could be to hide red eyes from a few joints here and there, but she pushes the conjectures away and looks at him again. The huge white smile never leaves this man’s face, but she suspects that eyes he’s hiding are full of longing. He doesn’t belong here.
She’s about to understand something else about Crowley, but she sees the white picket fence with the house number and that’s for sure the one they’re looking for.
“We’re here.” Choe parks the car in the driveway and looks at Lucifer and Crowley with a frown. “No more surprises, guys, okay? Just stick to the plan.”
The devil and the demon say with big smiles on their faces and in unison, leaving the car: “Sure, detective.”
Chloe sighs and opens the door. They will find a way to surprise her, won’t they?
And then a gunshot rings out.
Aziraphale shuts the book and transfers his gaze to the window; in the reflection he sees Amenadiel entering the room. The deep lines of puzzlement on the angel’s forehead express the choir of various thoughts in his head.
“Got anything? I know this look.”
“I just…” Aziraphale shrugs his shoulders in that strange way, like trying to shake something off them. “We know who has all the answers. Why don’t we just ask Him?”
“I’ve spoken to the Almighty once, back in Heaven. Intended to speak to Her again, but never actually got the chance, stupid Metatron got in my way…” He awkwardly smiles. “Just before the discorporation, possessing the human, flying to Tadfield... Well, you know the story.”
“I’m afraid this is impossible.” Amenadiel walks around the angel and gives him a little reassuring smile. “Our Dad is not really sociable.”
“But we need to talk to God. There ought to be a way!”
“I’m afraid there’s not.” Amenadiel tilts his head a little. “I’ve exhausted all other possibilities, already… excepting that we have to fight our way out of any kind of situation ourselves. There’s no one to help us, Aziraphale. We are on our own.”
They look each other in the eye for some time, before Aziraphale blinks and looks away, hides his eyes, which already are getting wet, under his lashes. We are on our own, that’s just a fancy way to say that God doesn’t care about them and they are all alone with their troubles. He’s never felt so lonely since the whole reversing the apocalypse thing, and that was just because Crowley was always there for him, by his side. And now, when he is needed the most, the serpent is not around.
Aziraphale sits down and opens a book, where Maze had put it down.
Amenadiel stares at him, casually turning the pages for some time, before asking quietly: “Is everything fine? What are you doing?”
“If we are all on our own, my dear friend…” The angel squeezes out his tensest smile and points out the stacks of books all over the room with the vague gesture. “I believe, we ‘re better reading all of those then.”
Amenadiel just nods at him and sits on the opposite side of the table, gets himself a book and opens it. He glances at Aziraphale for the last time before starting reading one of the many books he will read today, and his heart breaks a little at the blank stare in the angel’s eyes. He knows the look, he’s got one of those himself, when he finally accepted that there’s no Heaven to come and save him, no God.
The separation from divine can feel as painful as an amputation, if not worse.
That’s definitely a gunshot, thinks Crowley before he actually hears the sound. Something hits him in the upper arm and pushes him back against the car. He wants to scream, but the sound doesn’t come out, so he just stands here, stares around and reaches for his bicep.
“What the…” he gets a strong déjà vu, though this time it’s not the paint on his fingers. And it hurts.
“Get down!” Chloe shouts from somewhere, like from a different dimension.
The sound of pulse hammering in his ears drowns out every sound around, as well as each single thought in his mind. Crowley looks at his fingers and is not able to process what he sees, has a system error for a moment.
“Get down, idiot!” Lucifer knocks him down and pulls him up to the car.
When the first shock passes, Crowley wildly smiles, still clutching the bullet wound. Lucifer pins him to the ground and watches Chloe, who is crawling toward them with a gun in one hand, and a phone in another. She nods at Lucifer, reassuring him that she’s fine, and he simply nods back, still confused with events moving so rapidly. Crowley gets out of the hug and hisses in pure rage: “Bastard better be gone before I come for him, I sssswear.” He gets up on his feet, though still ducking behind the car. One more bullet whistles past his ears. “Wrong demon to teasssse.”
“Not very wise, since this time there’s no Hell for you to go back to.” Lucifer gets up too, and looks above the car roof at the building. “No paperwork this time, that’s a bonus.”
Everything seems to be normal, and from Chloe’s experience, that’s the worst it can get. Because if someone shoots at you and then gets lost – you spend quite some time looking for them afterwards.
Crowley straightens out and the same second one more shot rings out, so they fall back down.
“Not the best idea, for a mortal creature.” mutters Lucifer from his cover.
“I’ve got a better one, why don’t you go and scare the hell out of them?” Crowley hisses when touching the injured arm, which started to hurt even more as he hits the ground. “You are their Devil after all.”
Lucifer doesn’t answer, draws it out for as many seconds as possible, till it gets weird. Crowley is now looking at him with a raised eyebrow and confused expression on the face.
“There’s a chance... I might be...” Lucifer bits his lip. “I might be mortal too. Well, kind of.”
“Kind of?” shouts Crowley.
“In some circumstances I am mortal, okay?”
“And what exactly are the circumstances preventing Satan himself from walking straight into this damn house and getting that bugger out?”
And one more commercial break between them, this time shorter.
“It’s…her.” Lucifer nods at Chloe.
Two of them sit in the cover watching Chloe talking to her department about the whole situation they are in. And that’s when the door creaks open and the man with a rifle walks out.
“Of course, it’s her.” Sighs Crowley. “It’s always them.”
They look at each other, sharing the moment of realization – the other knows what it’s like, to be ready to die for someone special. Both know that they are more vulnerable around them.
Crowley sighs: “Okay, you know what? Fuck it.”
He gets up and walks out toward the house with his hands in the air. Well, with one hand in the air, the other pressed to his chest. Lucifer is gesturing him to get back, while Chloe takes her gun in both hands and nods at her partner, saying she is ready to shoot any second now. But Lucifer watches Crowley calmly walking closer to the house and stops her with a clear gesture.
“I am unarmed!” shouts Crowley. “Please don’t make it any more complicated.”
The man points rifle at Crowley and shouts back: “Who the hell are you?”
Chloe looks out from behind the car with a gun prepared to shoot.
“Detective Crowley.” The serpent smiles and gives Chloe a short glance over his shoulder. “And I am here to talk, lad.”
The four of them stand by the big window in the kitchen, everyone’s attention on Crowley. Chloe reaches to help him get rid of his double-breasted jacket, but he hisses at her inhumanly, groaning with pain, his arm stuck in the sleeve. She attempts to save the situation once more, and this time he lets her.
Lucifer, ignoring the whole drama, shifts his focus to the unlucky shooter.
“I am so sorry, detective.” The man has already put his rifle down and is digging through the first-aid kit. “If I knew, I would never… You should definitely see a doctor today.”
“Not a big deal.” Crowley writhes in pain, taking off his shirt. “Why did you shoot? Is that the way you say hello here in Los Angeles?”
All the man is capable of is the awkward smile. And Crowley accepts it.
But Chloe, apparently, does not: “I will arrest you right after you answer our questions, Ted, you know that, right?”
The man, Ted, stops digging for a moment and looks at Chloe. Then shrugs and continues: “I will tell you everything I know. Poor Tommy, he’s been through a lot lately…”
“Like arguing with you in your ex’s yard?”
Ted is shaken and his dropped jaw says it all. He pulls himself together pretty quickly and puts on a fixed smile. Chloe knows the look, it’s the one which comes right before the please-call-my-lawyer-or-I-am-saying-nothing speech. And she hates it, god, she hates it more than anything in her life.
“Let me, detective.” Lucifer puts the hand on her shoulder and squeezes gently.
“Sure, go on, do your thing.” She feels a confused look from Crowley and smiles. “Watch him closely.”
Lucifer walks toward Ted, too close, way too close, like a person who has no concept of personal space. They are almost pressed chest to chest; Lucifer is taller, so he’s looking down upon the poor fella. His face is nothing but amity, a big shiny smile and an inappropriately long look eye to eye.
“What is that you truly desire, Ted?” Lucifer presses himself closer.
“I want…I…” Ted swallows. “I want to live. I don’t want my wife…my ex-wife… to kill me.”
Lucifer blinks in disbelief, not sure what he just heard. He steps back and turns to Chloe with a silent question in his eyes and a puzzled crooked smile.
Ted takes a deep breath, still staring at Lucifer. That’s what all of them do, when he’s done with them. Chloe wonders, how it feels; she’s never been affected by his charm.
“I will tell you what I know about it.” Ted takes one more deep breath and sobs. “About Ted, about Jessica. And about our fight.”
Crowley takes the bandage out of the kit and presses it to the wound: “What an interesting turn of events.” His face is pale, which looks unhealthy coupled with his red hair and dark glasses, but he still can light up with a wide smile. “I believe we visited the wrong ex, didn’t we?”
Far away the ambulance sirens start wailing.
Mazikeen has enough time to wake up and fall back to sleep once again. When she wakes up with a snort, she finds herself alone at the table. She hears Amenadiel messing around at the bar and she sees Aziraphale glancing at the window with that funny thoughtful expression only angels get.
That’s not one of the best things about her, but Maze wants to ask, what bothers him so much. She seems to know the answer, but if there’s anything people taught her, it’s that sometimes all one needs is a talk. She still doesn’t get it. But well, if it works, she’s ready to sacrifice herself this time.
The demon gets up, stumbles over a book and curses. There are books everywhere, she had no idea Lucifer even had so many. She takes it up from the floor and glances at it before finding it a place on the shelf, and the cover of it rings a bell. It starts like a gentle jingling noises, but at some point, transforms into the huge church bell dinging.
Maze turns the book around with her trembling hands and loudly breathes out and reads:
Further Nice and Accurate Prophesies of Agnes Nutter,
Concerning the World that is to Come.
She opens the book and sees the handwritten dedication on the top of the first page:
To my beloved Lucifer, the Morning Star
Oh boy oh boy, what is about to come...
Chapter 5: The one with a lot of drinking and a clue
“And my point is…my point is…”, Crowley hiccups, “…the point is, that actually we are brothers”.
Come say hi at @sinnabonka on tumblr. I am not demon, I am nice!
Special thankyouverymuch for Trish!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
They drive in silence halfway back. Chloe finally breaks it, saying uncertainly: “I will drop you both off at Lux?” She waits for a while and then allows herself a question: “You all right?”
Crowley lifts his head and looks at her with a weak smile. The doctors assured her that it was nothing, just a scratch, but it seems like life is slowly running out of Crowley’s body. He is not wearing his jacket anymore, his white shirt is soaked with blood;the bandage on his arm absorbed some of it, but it seems to keep bleeding for too long for a simple scratch, but she saw it herself, not a big deal.
However, his pale skin says the opposite.
“Naaah, it’s tickety-boo, detective.”
She’s sure he winks at her, though the glasses are still on and she can’t really see his eyes. The phone buzzes and Chloe checks what that is about. She frowns and looks at Lucifer’s reflection.
“We can’t find Lesley. No one saw her today, but some clothes, her laptop and toys are missing.”
“Toys?” Lucifer smiles. “Do you mean...?”
“No, Lucifer, actual toys! For children.”
“There was a child in the house?” Crowley looks interested again.
“Yes, she has a little boy, he’s five. Looks like she took him with her.” Chloe scrolls on her phone and shows him a photo of the blue-eyed boy with a huge orange stuffed snake in his hands. “There’s an APB out for both of them, they couldn’t go far, we are checking the airports and it looks like they never departed. The child will be alright.”
“So now what?”
“We just wait.” Chloe shrugs her shoulders. “That’s a huge part of a detective’s job, same as being shot occasionally.”
“More boring though.” Crowley coughs and winces in pain. He looks at Lucifer with a crooked smile: “But I could wait. And I would love to use your bar right now.”
He slowly leans his head against the window and closes his eyes. Lucifer pats him on the shoulder and mumbles something about his door being always open for such a demon.
Aziraphale looks around and shuts the book. He paces aroundnervously, which drives Amenadiel crazy to the point that he actually asks.
“What was that exactly?”
“No idea.” Even more nervously then before. “My powers are awfully weak now, itt’s a miracle in itself that I actually can sense anything. Oh Lord, something happened to Crowley, didn’t it?”
“Why would you think that it was him? Maybe some poor child broke his leg nearby?”
They stare at each other and Amenadiel wants to be right, but he knows he is not. Aziraphale’s worried, more like terrified, and his wandering around gets on Amenadiel’s nerves.
But it’s not the time to ask him to calm down, so he gets back to reading. That doesn’t last long either, as he hears quiet footsteps behind him. And the fact that he actually hears Mazikeen approaching, makes him wonder what’s happened to her in the meantime.
“Guys, you want to see this.” She smiles and hurls a book at the table.
“Careful! Those are a few hundred years old, you can’t just…” Aziraphale shuts his mouth the same second his eyes are fixed on the book. “Where did you… What is…”
There are dozens of books in this building, thousands of books in the area, millions of them in the city, yet Aziraphale recognizes the one laying on the table immediately. He takes and examines it with a concerned look, as if he just found the Holy Grail full of wine in Lucifer’s kitchen. The thing just doesn’t belong here.
There are tiny flames in his eyes as he sees the title, as he feels the cover, as he gently opens it. Once he sees the dedication, his jaw drops.
“How is that even possible? I am not following, dear.” His breath gets deeper. “How did this book get here? Agnes Nutter died in flames in our world.”
“Well, it’s not me she gave it to.” Maze watches him dealing with the whole situation, frozen in confusion.
It doesn’t last long, as his curiosity triumphs over his concerns, as it always does. Aziraphale opens the book and reads the first prophecy, slightly moving his lips while doing it, and shakes his head in disbelief. This can’t be happening, not in this world, not in any of them.
The door dings open and Lucifer storms out of the elevator, going directly to the bar. Crowley stays in for a moment gathering his thoughts and trying to put asmug look onto his face.
That moment is more than enough for Aziraphale to come from the other room. When he sees Crowley, his face lights up, but then slowly, as he gets the full picture, the look transforms into a weird combination of care and anger. He stops for a moment and opens his mouth, ready to attack, but then something slips out from under the mask Crowley has put on, and he melts.
“For Heaven’s sake, what has happened to you?” he glances at Lucifer angrily. “You promised to help him, not to kill him!”
“I didn’t do a thing.” The host gest two fresh drinks and comes back toward the elevator. “And I was just about to offer him a hand.” Lucifer gives Crowley one of two glasses of amber beverage.
The demon takes a sip, and when he looks down again, meets Aziraphale’s furious eyes.
“You can’t drink, Crowley, you’re injured.”
“No more miracles for me, angel, let me ease the pain in the only way available.” He takes few more swigs, while coming towards the bar. Aziraphale gently touches his elbow, but receives an angry hiss as an answer and backs off. The demon takes a place next to Lucifer and slaps his hand on the counter.
“Make yourself at home, as they say.” Lucifer glances at him and smiles. “But don’t forget you are not.”
“What a sweet saying.”
While the two occult entities get drunk at the bar together, Amenadiel comes closer to the angel and pats him on the shoulder. Aziraphale jumps in surprise and nervously smiles at him after.
“Did you tell him about the book?”
“No, there wasn’t a good moment yet. I think he needs some time. And some alcohol, apparently.”
“They have more than enough of both things.” Amenadiel looks at Crowley, who bends over the counter, and gets the whole bottle from behind it, opens it with his teeth, spits out the cap and drinks directly from the bottle. “And so do we. Nothing will change in one night, we should get some rest.”
“What are you suggesting?” Aziraphale sighs.
They look at each other till the moment both their faces are light up with sincere smiles.
“And my point is…my point is…”, Crowley hiccups, “…the point is, that actually we are brothers”.
The dDemon hugs Lucifer with one hand, the injured one, while with other pouring some whisky into his glass. Afterwards, he drinks directly from the bottle. Aziraphale, all drunk and relaxed, sits quietly. He looks at those two with a little scent of something we would identify as jealousy, but he most probably would call caution.
“Oh, are we?” Lucifer smiles at him and covers Crowley’s hand with his. “How come?”
“Sure!” Crowley starts to gesture actively.
“We are all relatives here. God created us.” Maze rolls her eyes. “God and Goddess both”.
“Nooo.” Crowley pauses for a moment. “I mean, yes, ‘f course, but we…” he points on Lucifer, “…we are the closestones. Children of Gods by blood”.
“No demon shares my blood.” Lucifer winces.
Aziraphale gasps, when the realization of what Crowley is about to say hits him hard. The look on serpent’s face has pain, disgust and longing all mixed up together. The angel reaches out to Crowley, but they are too far away from each other, so his hand falls back on the table.
“Lightbringer, huh?” he smirks.
“So they call me.”
Crowley loses the drunken look and winces as of the pain.
“I was one of the first three.” he speaks quietly. “I have never been a beloved son, but yet, I was a healing hand, a Medicine of God…”
“You’ve been an angel.” Shaken, whispers Mazikeen.
“An archangel, yeah.” Crowley blinks, as the memories keep coming from inside of his memory. “I’ve been the patron of the ones who seek for knowledge, willing to discover what lies over the horizon. And I fell, as the one who asked uncomfortable questions of the Almighty…”
“Rebel son, cast out from Heaven.” Lucifer smiles. “Have been there. Got a T-shirt.”
“Demotion from the prince of Heaven to the serpent of Hell. At least people still keep the snake on that stupid Bowl of Hygieia…” He smirks. “…the name, though.”
Mazikeen places her head on crossed hands: “So you say there were three of you, children of God, and one was a complete fuck-up, so bad he had to be cast away from Heaven?”
“You can paraphrase it that way, yeah.”
“Should I say I am sorry?” She raises her eyebrow. “I mean…She did not learn her lesson, did she?”
Silence falls over the place.
“Oh, I see.” Lucifer grabs Crowley by the chin and looks directly in the eye. “You are me. Oh mother, you had to call if you miss me, not create Lucifer 2.0…”
“You can’t be ssssure you were the first one.” Hisses the serpent.
“Oh, I am sure.” Lucifer holds Crowley’s head still. “I banished that bitch to that world of yours. Right after I cut the hole through the fabric of reality with that stupid flaming sword…”
He lets his head go while laughing, takes a big gulp of whisky and looks at Aziraphale.
“I bet none of your books, sunshine, ever told you this story.”
The angel looks down on the glass clenched in his hands, thinking over the whole situation they got themselves into. Powerless, wounded (in Crowley’s case), drunk, without a single answer.
Aziraphale drinks, until the bottom of the glass is visible, and wonders how long the hangover will be, as they don’t even have their ability to sober up as usual.
Aziraphale,eyes tightly shut, is making every effort to keep himself vertical. His thoughts are tangled up and he can’t cope with the situation in this state.
Crowley is still drinking and does not seem to ever stop. Old wounds (metaphorical) start to bleed again and Aziraphale can feel the pain from the other side of the room.
“Oh dear boy.” He sighs.
Sakamoto – “Energy Flow” sounds, as Lucifer goes to the piano, and Aziraphale smiles - he was the first audience to it being played at the old instrument for the first time.
Maze went to the other room, as the whole situation is anything but her image of a perfect Sunday evening. So it’sjust them - three celestial beings and a piano.
“So, tell me, dearest devil…” Aziraphale takes a place next to Lucifer. “…you cut the fabric between our worlds before; would you be a lovely being and do it again for us?”
“Despite being a lovely being, I am afraid the answer is no, angel.” Lucifer goes on playing and slightly bumps him with his shoulder. “The flaming sword is gone. So is the chance to send you back.”
“Listen up to this music, little soft angel, it’s not very often the Satan himself plays for you, right?”
“Right.” Aziraphale looks at Crowley over his shoulder. “Right…”
As Lucifer starts to sing, Aziraphale loses himself a little into that soft soothing voice.
“The book!” she shouts, when the memory leaps onto the surface, as a dead fish. “Maze has found a book! The prophesies!” he frowns and closes his eyes, to drunk to make it clear. “Agnes Nutter’s book, the second one. In our world there is no second part, or I am simply not aware of it.” Aziraphale hesitates, but says aloud. “I sincerely doubt there is a chance it could slip away.”
“The book is useless.” Lucifer’s fingers keep on flying around black and white keys. “It’s full of nonsense and silly jokes of an old witch, nothing to do with you or your drunk snake.”
“You are so wrong, dear devil.” Aziraphale gets up and walks to the other room, still talking. “Maybe it made no sense for you or anyone from this world, but I am positive we’ve got all the answers now.”
He fetches the book and puts it onto the piano in front of Lucifer.
“The first prophecy.” He smiles widely. “Read aloud, please.”
Hearing them talking, the rest of the company joins them. Mazikeen comes from the bedroom, covered in sheets, and yawns at the look of the book. She has had enough of it today.
Lucifer lifts his brow with a silent question – what for?
“I am positive the answer is here. The answer is always in the book!” Aziraphale points his finger at the first page. “And this book has every detail! Believe me, prophecy books are my thing.” He follows the line with his finger and reads out loud: “The evil and the good were present in his life every day.” Ho nods. “See, that’s us, me and Crowley!”
“That does not mean a thing! Every fairytale has it!” smirks Lucifer.
“He was wandering the garden, or he was read to sleep…” Aziraphale looks at Amenadiel. “We were a gardener and a nanny undercover for ages!” he continues to read. “He was just a little wizard, so his soul could not be owned by any lot. Wizard? His name is Warlock, it’s beyond belief!”
“Fine, fine, that could be the truth. But what about us, anything there?”
“Let me see…” Aziraphale leafs through the book. “Yes, here. The Dark Prince greeted guests with the best mead in his house…”
“Dark prince?” Maze grins. “Bad thing to mention in front of Lucifer!”
“Why?” the devil laughs. “I quite enjoy this one.”
“Anything else?” Amenadiel comes closer to Aziraphale. “Maybe something more useful?”
Aziraphale runs through the texts with his finger, then exhales.
“I believe I need more time for this.” He softly smiles at Mazikeen. “What are the chances for a good cup of cocoa, my dear? I need to drink something that doesn’t contain alcohol.”
Without a single word, but thinking very loudly, Maze gets up and walks toward the kitchen. Anything as long as it lets her stay away from the boring books.
But she wonders if Lucifer actually owns something so non-devilish.
Mazikeen has been alive for quite a long time but there are just a few things left that still can surprise her: a love for country music, a willingness to talk about emotions (and even pay money for someone to listen to whining), and the fact that some people are actually giving preference to soft-boiled eggs. And then there’s this fucking book.
She reads the paragraph about herself for fifth time and angrily shuts the book.
“I don’t understand!” she stares at Aziraphale. “How a human can know such things? The warrior with blades bringing the chocolate milk? I was not sure I would bring you that till the moment I actually poured it into the cup!”
“That’s how prophecies work,” the angel chuckles. “They predict the future. But mostly we figure out what the words were about afterwards. Hope it won’t be the case this time.”
Amenadiel takes a book from Maze and opens it right where she’s left. It also has pictures, this time it’s two angels with a book. He rolls his eyes and runs through the pages, reading random sentences.
“This book doesn’t say much about any of us. Look” he points on some verses: “it’s either you or Crowley involved. Even in our world, you two are the main characters anyway.”
“Well that’s odd.” Comments Crowley form the bar. His glasses lay next to him on the counter, his glass is empty for a solid hour, but he can’t make himself stand up. Not yet.
“Sure, it is.” Aziraphale takes a sip of his cocoa. “If the book is about us, let see how it ends.”
Amenadiel goes straight to the last page of the book and starts to read.
“What does it say?” impatiently asks Maze, bending over the table.
Amenadiel gives her a confused look. He passes the book to Aziraphale and angel reads it.
“So an angel never called by name will lose his wings in the war for the right to choose; and rise from the ashes of that which was dear to him.” Aziraphale shrugs and goes on. “The knowledge-seeking one will be rewarded with answers to his questions. And a door previously inaccessible to him, will be opened with the key bringing the flame.” He starts to shake his head, while reading the last sentence. “And he will be called after the one whom the Lord has helped.”
“Nonsense. Told you.” Breaks the silence filled the air Lucifer and gets up. “If you want to read something boring to me again, you can find me downstairs with the Brittanies.”
All eyes except the pair with split irises are pointed toward Aziraphale.
“I need more time with this.” He rubs his forehead and looks at Crowley. “I’m sure I will figure out what it means. We will find the way home, dear.”
“Yhm.” Nods the serpent and puts on his glasses. He doesn’t want anyone to see his eyes, as they would show that he already knows the answers. It is simple as the word itself, you just have to know where to look for clues.
I don’t have enough words in me to say how sorry I am to be late with an update for the whole month :D
But I am working at something big and GOOD LORD you are so gonna love it!