Being human, Lucifer learned, was hard. There was so much that humans had to learn, and it was ridiculous. He never had to learn when to eat, when to use the restroom, when to bathe. Archangels especially had no need to concern themselves with such frivolities.
But without his Grace, without his power, without everything that made Lucifer who he was… he had to.
And he had to admit, it was hard .
Sam and Dean decided to let Lucifer stay in the bunker, but they were harsh. Lucifer supposed it was the “Winchester way”, combined with their usual distrust of “the Devil” (did they think he was pretending to be powerless? Please. Such a cliche move) that made them react this way, but he couldn’t bring himself to care.
It did hurt, though, when Dean yelled at Lucifer to do his laundry, even though Lucifer never really learned how (he knew it was simple, but the washing machine and the dryer in the bunker had about fifty too many buttons, and he didn’t want to fuck it up), or when Sam complained that the eggs Lucifer had cooked were too rubbery. The first time Lucifer cut himself and bled via a papercut, he panicked, thinking he was dying. Dean told him to stop being a “prissy bitch” and threw a bandaid at him.
A few months of this “tough love”, as Lucifer decided to call it, Sam and Dean decided to hit the road on a hunt, leaving Lucifer in the bunker. Wisest move, and Lucifer decided he would read and teach himself how to do the laundry. Maybe even clean? Who knew.
He waved the Winchesters off and headed back into the bunker, eager to continue working on being human.
He may hate humanity, but by his Father, if he was going to be human, he might as well be good at it.
And the first night, he didn’t do too badly. He made himself a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner, he didn’t consume any coffee (he gets really wired on coffee) that night, just some water. He took a shower and didn’t cry too much when he got shampoo in his eyes this time (the first time he screamed that he he was going blind, and Sam called him a drama queen). He watched a few episodes of a show called Criminal Minds and was enthralled by it. He even turned off the lights and went to sleep at a “decent’ hour.
His first few hours of doing human things on his own went well, and he was eager to continue with that.
However, the next morning, he legitimately thought he was going to die.
His head felt like it was going to explode when he opened his eyes, his throat was extremely sore, and when he drank some water, it hurt to swallow. His neck also felt swollen, especially up under his chin. Oh, and he also felt warmer than usual (then again, he felt warmer than usual since he became human, but this was ridiculous).
He got up and started trying to do his morning routine of eating, drinking water, and cleaning the breakfast dishes. Everything hurt. He was sore, and achy, and he just wanted to sleep. Thinking that maybe he didn’t get enough sleep, he went back to bed and put his alarm on for a two hour nap.
He slept through his alarm and ended up sleeping for four hours in total, and when he woke up, he didn’t feel better. In fact, he felt worse.
He stumbled to the bathroom to piss and he checked out his haggard appearance in the mirror. He looked like a corpse. And there were these red things on the back of his throat? What was up with that?
At that point, he couldn’t put off the fact that he may be legitimately sick any longer and called Sam. Sam, at least, was kinder.
“Lucifer? Are you okay?” Sam asked. “You’re on speaker.”
“I think I’m dying,” Lucifer croaked. Shit, even his voice was bad.
“You said that when you got a paper cut,” Dean said dismissively.
Lucifer rolled his sore eyes. How could eyes be sore? Truly, the human body was fucked. “No, I think I’m dying, actually,” he said. “My head hurts, my throat hurts, it hurts to swallow, there’s red things on the back of my throat, and everything’s sore.”
“Do you have a fever?” Sam asked.
“Maybe?” Lucifer guessed. “I don’t know. I’m so used to being at a cooler temperature than the average human that I always feel like I have a fever.”
“And what do you want us to do about it, exactly?” The skepticism in Dean’s voice was so thick, Lucifer could use it as a mud mask.
“I’m sick, Daddammit!” Lucifer snapped before coughing. “How am I supposed to cope?”
“Do you remember how to make tea?” Sam asked somewhat impatiently.
“Vaguely, but I’m sure I can use the.. The um…” Why were words difficult? “Online library to look up how.”
“Good, do that, add lemon and honey to it to soothe your throat,” Sam said. “There should also be a bottle labeled Tylenol in the cupboard above the sink. Take two every eight hours.”
“Okay,” Lucifer said tiredly. He was tired again. And he just slept!
“And get some rest,” Dean said, still laying the skepticism on thick that Lucifer was, indeed, sick. “Okay?”
“Okay,” Lucifer said. “Thanks. When will you be back?”
“We got in at about noon local time,” Dean admitted. “We’re about two hours ahead of you, we just talked with the locals. We should be back at the bunker by the end of the week.”
“Okay,” Lucifer said. He could make it until then. This was, what, a flu? “Thanks.”
“Sure, Lucifer,” Sam said. “Keep in touch.” He hung up.
Lucifer groaned. As usual, the Winchesters were only semi-useful. Well. More like Sam was useful to a point and Dean was... Dean.
He looked up how to make tea on his phone, made some with honey and took two of the Tylenol tablets that Sam described. It really hurt to swallow and on top of that, Lucifer had difficulties swallowing the powdery capsules. They made him gag. Hard. Which sent him into a coughing fit, which hurt his chest, his back, and his throat even more. He finally managed to swallow the pills and flopped back into bed. Sleep sounded amazing.
For the next three days, Lucifer barely had the energy to do anything that wasn’t drink water, make tea, and pop painkillers. Food? What was that? He really couldn’t eat when it felt like his throat had been stung by several bees. From the inside. Drinking the water and the tea was enough to make him cry. The painkillers helped the headache, the fever, and the sore throat a little bit, but he still couldn’t focus. He slept a lot and when he wasn’t sleeping, he was staring at the ceiling, wondering not for the hundredth time in his very long, no-longer-celestial life, why the fuck his Father thought humans were better than angels.
On the fourth day of the Winchesters being gone, a new symptom approached.
He wanted to die. He could barely hear, he had difficulties sleeping, and there was fluid dripping from his ear (which was completely gross, but better than vomiting) in addition to the pain.
He briefly considered calling the Winchesters, but he was just too tired to, and he didn’t want to hear the skepticism in Dean’s voice, or the impatience in Sam’s.
“I’ll just sleep,” he mumbled listlessly (Father’s Human Child, did he sound like he was underwater?) before curling up into a ball and closing his eyes.
“Lucifer?” Sam said about four hours after Lucifer had made his decision to not inform the Winchesters of his declining health. Both hunters were sore and tired, but they got the hell out of dodge when they got rid of the rakshasa that had been plaguing a town (seriously, why did rakshasas like becoming clowns?? Did they attend the John Wayne Gacy School of Murderous Clowns?!) and Sam was kind of concerned about Lucifer. He hadn’t kept in touch, and when they spoke on the phone just a few days ago, he did sound sick. Drama queen or not, it was better safe than sorry in Sam’s opinion. Dean didn’t buy it. At all.
There was no response.
“Maybe he’s out of the bunker?” Dean said as he dropped his duffle in the kitchen before raiding the fridge. “Dude’s gone through water like crazy, though. He may not have been kidding about that sore throat.”
Sam nodded as he slowly made his way down the hallway to Lucifer’s bedroom. Seeing the door closed, he knocked. “Lucifer? It’s Sam, we’re back,” he said. “May I come in?”
There was no response. Sam tested the door and entered the room. “Lucifer?” he said.
Lucifer was curled up in a ball and Sam cautiously approached him. Seeing that the former Devil was asleep, he felt his forehead with the inside of his wrist. “Jesus. DEAN!”
Dean came running and skidded into Lucifer’s room. “Is he actually sick?”
“He’s burning up,” Sam said, rolling Lucifer onto his back. Lucifer coughed violently and groaned.
Dean was the one who noted the discharge from his ear. “Shit, Sammy, he’s actually sick.”
“Let’s take him to the ER,” Sam said, easily lifting Lucifer into his arms.
“Your brother will be fine,” the ER doctor said soothingly. “Nick’s got a nasty case of strep throat that then lead to an ear infection.”
“Not to, you know, be an ass, but don’t only children get ear infections?” Dean asked in confusion. “Nick didn’t get them as a kid.”
“Strep often presents mostly in children as well,” the doctor said. “But adults can get strep throat, and untreated strep throat can lead to ear infections. He’s lucky. Another day without antibiotics, and he could’ve ended up with scarlet fever.”
“That’s a thing?” Sam asked in disbelief.
The doctor nodded. “He could’ve also ended up with other infections, kidney inflammation, or even rheumatic fever,” he explained. “But now that he’s on antibiotics, he should feel better within 24 to 48 hours. We’d like to keep him overnight for observation.”
“Of course,” Dean said. “Do we need antibiotics?”
“It wouldn’t hurt,” the doctor said. “I’ll get scripts for you. You can see him, as well, he’s in room 305.” The doctor went off to go write those scripts, and the Winchester brothers exchanged guilty looks.
“We’ve been kind of hard on him, haven’t we?” Sam said.
“Yeah,” Dean agreed. “Let’s.. Let’s go apologize.”
Sam arched a brow. “You’re suggesting that we say sorry?” he said.
“Shut up, bitch,” Dean grumbled.
“Make me, jerk,” Sam snipped. “I’m just surprised that you’re suggesting it. And not me saying and you rolling your eyes.”
“Yeah, you better say sorry,” said a new voice before Dean could retaliate.
The two brothers whirled and saw Gabriel casually leaning up against a pillar, in a white doctor’s coat and scrubs. His badge said “G. Wonka, M.D., Infectious Disease Specialist” and in his hands, he had a bright blue spray bottle with a label.
“ BAD WINCHESTER SPRAY” is what the label said.
“Let’s take a walk to my brother’s room,” he said in a tone that completely belied how he was feeling.
Not wanting to piss off an archangel turned Trickster, the Winchesters lead Gabriel to the room where Lucifer was sleeping peacefully. A bag of fluids was hooked up by IV to Lucifer’s right hand, and there was a small cup near the garbage can that indicated that Lucifer had taken his antibiotics already and was now sleeping as a result of all the tests and just general exhaustion.
Once the door closed, both Sam and Dean winced as Gabriel sprayed them with water that also had a hodgepodge of essential oils in it.
“Cut it out,” Dean snapped after a few sprays.
“Like you told Lucifer to cut it out?” Gabriel asked mildly. “Did the two of you know instinctively how to be human? Or did someone teach you?”
Sam and Dean looked at each other guiltily.
“Lucifer’s trying , and it’s really hard to try when you’ve got the two of you treating him like he’s a foster child and you’re just using him for the check,” Gabriel went on to say. “Sure, he’s an adult by human standards, but he’s a child when it comes to knowing when to do laundry, how to do laundry, what constitutes as an emergency and what can be healed with a simple bandaid.” He glared at them. “Did you even know he was sick?”
“We were on a rakshasa hunt!” Dean said. “People were dying!”
“He called to say he wasn’t feeling well,” Sam said. “We didn’t realize how bad it was. Or rather, I didn’t.” He looked at Dean. “Dean thought that he was faking.”
“He’s Satan , of course he could’ve been faking,” Dean snorted. “And don’t throw me under the bus! You sounded impatient!”
“Dean-O, he’s no longer Satan,” Gabriel barked. Thunder clashed and his eyes glowed blue, making both Winchesters take a step back. “He’s human. Treat him as such. Or are you so far stuck up your asses that you can’t? You didn’t when Castiel was human, though, so why should Lucifer be any different?”
“I was being manipulated then,” Dean sulked.
“Maybe,” Gabriel said, the thunder disappearing and his eyes returning to warm amber. “But you still cast a new human out of your home. And not just any new human. Castiel . Do you know how hurt he was?”
Dean nodded, looking at the ground. “It hurt me to do that,” he said. “I didn’t want to, but-”
“But you wanted to save Sam,” Gabriel nodded. “I get it, Dean-O, I may’ve done the same thing if it were Cassie being inhabited, or Mikey, or Luci or any of my brothers and sisters. And Cassie understands. But Lucifer doesn’t.”
Both Winchesters looked at Gabriel for explanation.
“Lucifer’s different than Cassie,” Gabriel continued. “Lucifer constantly thinks he’ll be punished. He’s scared of doing things because you won’t teach him properly. And yeah, he may be a drama queen. He always has been. But , imagine that you’re human for the first time and you cut yourself. The first time you see blood, and you realize you can’t heal yourself. Wouldn’t you think you were dying? Or you get shampoo in your eyes. You burn yourself. Anything that causes hurt and pain for the first time. Wouldn’t you think that death was coming, when you’re so used not being bothered by such things?”
The silence from the Winchesters was all the answer Gabriel needed.
“He could’ve died,” Gabriel said. “Especially if that progressed to scarlet fever, or something else.”
The trio looked over as Lucifer opened his eyes and Gabriel smiled softly, coming over to look his brother over. “Hey, Luci,” he said softly, picking up his hand. “How’re you feeling?”
“A little better,” Lucifer said softly. “They gave me Jell-O.”
“Oooh, what flavor?” Gabriel asked.
“Strawberry,” Lucifer murmured. “It tasted really good. Needles hurt, though.”
“I’m sorry, Luci,” Gabriel murmured, kissing where the needle was in Lucifer’s skin on the back of his hand. The former archangel winced. “This is never a fun place for a needle,” he agreed. “I’m sorry you’re sick, Luci.”
“It’s okay,” Lucifer smiled. “It’s not your fault. It was bound to happen.”
Sam cleared his throat and stepped up to the bed. “I’m sorry that I’ve been… rude when it comes to you being human,” he said softly.
Lucifer smiled and reached over to hold Sam’s hand with his other hand. “It’s okay,” he murmured softly. “I get it.”
Sam smiled and patted his hand. “I’ll try to be better, and think more in your shoes,” he said. “I’m sorry you’re more sick than you could’ve been.”
Lucifer chuckled, before coughing. “I’m okay,” he said hoarsely. “It sucks. The human body is fucked up. The design is flawed.”
Gabriel and Sam laughed softly at that and Dean slowly approached the bed from the other side.
“I can agree to that,” Sam said, eyeing his brother.
Dean cleared his throat and Lucifer looked up at him, coughing softly.
“Use your elbow when you cough,” Dean said gently. “That’s how germs spread. Don’t worry about it too much right now, Sammy and I are going to get some antibiotics, but in the future.”
Lucifer nodded. “Okay, I’ll try to remember that.”
“Listen, Lucifer… I’m sorry. I can’t explain what’s wrong with me, but I took the piss out of you and made an already hard transition more difficult for you. I’m gonna try to do better. Okay?”
Lucifer nodded. “Forgive me if I’m not going to go off on how much of a dick you’ve been, despite the fact that I’ve been a bigger bag of dicks than both of you, to quote Gabe,” he murmured tiredly. “I’m tired and I also understand.”
Dean chuckled. “Can I still call you Old Scratch?”
“Dean!” Sam hissed, throwing an infamous bitchface at his brother.
Lucifer gave a soft laugh and patted Dean’s hand lightly. “I’d be very disappointed if you didn’t, Dean,” he murmured. “Can someone teach me how to use the washing machine? It’s got far too many buttons.”
“Sure,” Dean smiled. “And good job for trying to stay hydrated while sick. That’s always difficult to do.”
Lucifer smiled and nodded. “Thanks,” he said. He looked up at Gabriel. “I suppose you can’t heal me,” he mumbled.
“Not in the hospital,” Gabriel said. “And even if I wanted to- which I do, because you look like shit and it hurts me- Dad says I can’t.”
“Fuck that man,” Lucifer mumbled. He raised his non IV’d hand up and flipped off the ceiling. “Go suck a diseased dick, Dad.”
The trio burst out into laughter and Lucifer smiled warmly, albeit in exhaustion. “Hush, my ears still hurt,” he grumbled.
“Sorry,” they all said.
Gabriel smoothed Lucifer’s hair out of his face. “I’ll check in soon, okay?”
Lucifer nodded and smiled. “Okay.”
Gabriel smiled and turned his gaze to the Winchesters. “Don’t make me spray you again, Rocky and Bullwinkle,” he said. With a flap of his wings, he was gone.
Lucifer smiled as Dean grumbled that he wasn’t a fucking cat, and closed his eyes.
He was healing, in more ways than one, and as Sam took up a seat next to Lucifer and Dean went to ask for two cots so they could stay overnight in his room, for the first time since he became human, Lucifer felt safe and cared for.