It was late. It had been a long day—it had been a long bloody week, when it came down to it, and here John was sitting in a cavernous hotel bar, far more up the scale than the usual places he tried to get hammered in. There weren't many other patrons this late, and the ones there were consisted of businessmen in Armani suits and women who glittered more than the chandelier out in the atrium.
In here everything was dim muted lighting, polished chrome and glass. Quiet piano music played somewhere.
Too fucking fancy, too fucking quiet.
John took another sip of his too fucking expensive whiskey and let his head fall against the back of the booth, closing his eyes.
This was what had happened, in the end: a group of LA teens who fancied themselves a coven—not the old school sort of coven but the new-agey-wiccan-tree-hugging bullshit kids got into these days—had thought they were calling up some old local nature spirit. And yes, what they had summoned was a spirit, and yes it was very old, and yes it was natural, but the problem is just because something's a nature spirit doesn't mean it won't want to devour your soul. Having the whole city of Los-fucking-Angeles built on top of you doesn't exactly make for a friendly disposition.
And John had tried to help, he really, genuinely had, but in the end it turned out the way these things usually did: half the parents paying for funerals and the other half paying for in-patient care at psychiatric hospitals.
John heard the seat cushion give a little hiss as someone slid in across from him. Without lifting his head or opening his eyes he said, "Fuck off."
"Now that's not very nice," murmured a low, infuriatingly smooth voice. "What if I'm someone you want to talk to?"
"Don't want to talk to anyone right now, least of all you, Morningstar," John said. He opened his eyes, but still didn't lift his head.
Lucifer smiled at him. "Well, that's too bad. I heard the funniest chatter around the water cooler at the precinct today. Oh, did you know they have an actual water cooler and they actually stand around it and gossip? You humans are so funny with your clichés."
"You're a fucking cliché," John shot back.
"Am I?" Lucifer grimaced, fiddling with one of his cuff links. "Oh dear. I do try hard not to be. Then again, if you're the original, is it really being cliché?"
"You're not the original though," John said, sitting up straight finally. "There's plenty of gods around who're older than you and the Christian set. Compared to blokes like Ba'al Hadad you're a baby, the millennials of the divine world. The old gods probably sit around complaining about how all you do is eat avocado toast and live in your father's basement."
"My father's basement, that's hilarious," Lucifer said.
"Just tellin' it like it is, Luci," John said. He drained his glass and turned to discover that a waiter was already beside the table, setting a martini glass in front of Lucifer and another whiskey in front of John before slipping off again. John picked up the glass and raised it in the devil's direction. "Cheers."
"As I was saying," Lucifer said. "One of the detectives was talking about his recent case involving some teens and what their parents were calling Satanic activities…"
"Weren't Satanic," John said.
Lucifer smirked. "You don't have to tell me that. So that was you, then, the mysterious and ruggedly handsome British FBI agent who stepped in to lend a hand?"
"Mysterious and ruggedly handsome, that's my brand to a tee," John said listlessly. He took another long drink, his gaze wandering.
"Didn't turn out the way you expected it to though, did it?"
Lucifer took a sip of his martini, his eyes never leaving John. "Oh, Johnny. You may be the reason I end up going back to Hell, you know. Just to see what it cooks up for you. Like an NYPD detective being thrown into gen pop at Rikers, except with a little more fire and brimstone."
"Been binging Law & Order lately, have you?" John asked.
"SVU," Lucifer said with a wide grin. "It's addictive. Detective Decker says those kinds of shows are hardly realistic, but I think they're fun."
John merely grunted and took another drink.
"Oh, you are depressed, aren't you," Lucifer said, watching him.
"Why are you here, Morningstar?" John said, annoyance biting into his tone. "To gloat? Those were innocent children, even you don't find the suffering of the innocent entertaining. That's not your gig."
Lucifer leaned forward. "It's not their suffering I'm here for, it's yours. Men go to Hell when they believe, deep down, that they deserve to be punished. You know that's how it works. And we all know that's where you're going to end up, you've been headed there since the day you met Astra—"
"Fuck off," John snarled, making a move like he was about to lean across the table and slap Lucifer.
"And this," Lucifer continued. "This…metaphorical self-flagellation, I must admit, seeing you do it in person is just…fascinating and intoxicating to me."
"So you're here because you're a damn sadist?" John asked.
Lucifer chuckled. "The Marquis De Sade's got nothing on me."
"Cute," John said, but his heart wasn't really in it.
For a moment they sat in silence, then Lucifer said quietly, "It's terrible, isn't it, when your guilt condenses into that burning singularity, a black hole emptier than any pain you've ever felt and all you can do is let yourself be drawn into it, knowing that each time it becomes harder and harder to claw your way back out again. What do you do then, John? Do you drink yourself into a coma? Do you find someone in a bar to beat the shit out of?" He let out a humorless laugh. "Do you find someone in a bar to fuck you within an inch of your life? Or is it D, all of the above?"
John looked at him, raising his eyebrows. "Well, here I am in a bar, and there's at least one fucker here I'd like to beat the shit out of, so you might just be on to something."
"Oh, John Constantine," Lucifer said, laughing. "You like to hide behind that mask of snark and sarcasm but you forget who I am."
"How can I? You don't let anyone forget who you are, you egotistical bastard."
There was that grin still, bright and charming. "You're going to have to try harder than that if you want to provoke me into a fight."
"Oh I know I'm not getting a fight out of you, mate," John said. "You're too much of a bloody coward."
"How much have you had to drink already? You really are off your game tonight." Lucifer drained his glass then scooted around so he was beside John. "Or maybe it's because that's not what you really want."
"Get away from me," John muttered, lifting his glass to his lips. He didn't actually expect Lucifer to move; while the former king of hell was of the charmingly considerate subset of demons who respected consent, he knew as well as John did that John didn't actually mean it. Not really.
And that was the whole fucking problem.
Now Lucifer's hand was on his thigh. "And don't say that you don't have complicated guilty feelings about sex that turn it into a punishment for you."
"Fine, I won't say it."
"How's Kit Ryan these days?" Lucifer murmured.
John looked at him. "Fuck. You."
"Maybe I'll let you," Lucifer said, smirking. "Later. If I'm feeling generous." Then, holding John's gaze he moved his hand to cup John through his trousers, keeping his posture unassuming, like they were simply having a quiet talk.
John closed his eyes, breathing out through his nose as his body reacted to the hand working coaxingly between his legs. "Jesus," he hissed.
"Come now, don't spoil the mood," Lucifer whispered.
"And what fucking mood is that?" John said out of the corner of his mouth, frowning at the way his voice caught as Lucifer's hand continued to move, slow and insistent.
Then the hand was gone, and John turned to glare at him. Lucifer smiled and took something out of the breast pocket of his jacket, slapping it down on the table; it was a hotel room keycard.
John laughed. "You're serious?"
"Get up," Lucifer said. He was looking at John with a sort of intent fascination, but as strange as it was, it did nothing to cool the heat still thrumming through John's veins.
John stood, draping his trench coat over one arm and taking a steadying breath before starting back towards the doors out into the atrium, Lucifer at his side. His head swam, but just a little. He was drunk, but not quite drunk enough to not feel completely unsettled by this.
As they crossed the atrium towards the elevators John glanced around then nudged Lucifer with his elbow, "Which of us d'you think they figure's the prostitute?"
"You're a piece of shit," Lucifer told him, almost cheerfully, as he hit the up button.
"Yeah you're right," John said. "They definitely think you're the high-end call boy."
Lucifer looked at him, fascination turning to delight. "My word, you're nervous."
"Never," John said, glaring at him.
The elevator doors opened and he stepped in, and the second the doors closed again Lucifer was pushing him up against the back wall. John tried to kiss him, just because he was feeling like an asshole at the moment (more than usual that is), but Lucifer tipped his head away and instead grazed his teeth against John's throat.
"It's hard to picture you as an angel, you know?" John breathed. His hands were on Lucifer's hips, pulling him closer.
Lucifer's hand caught his jaw and pushed John's head back against the wall sharply enough to make John wince. "Don't picture it," Lucifer hissed.
The doors slid open and they stepped off into a silent, dimly lit hall. John wished he was more drunk, feelings were starting to creep in at the edge of his mind.
Except maybe he was that drunk, because he didn't really remember going from the elevator to the room, they were just there. The room was dark and expansive, lit only by the lights from the city beyond the picture windows that lined one wall. Mind and vision reeling a little John glanced around, reaching up to loosen his tie and tug it off. He dropped tie and coat onto the couch, then walked towards the windows, momentarily hypnotized by the lights of Los Angeles below, stopping only when he bumped into the edge of a heavy table.
Lucifer gave him exactly two seconds to appreciate the view before stepping up behind him. "Bend over," he murmured, but he didn't even give John a chance to parse what he had said before he put a hand on the back of John's neck and pushed him forward.
"Fuck," John hissed, palms flat on the tabletop, having turned his head just in time so that it was his cheek connecting with the hard surface instead of his nose. "Give us a little warning, will you?"
Leaning over him, Lucifer slid his hand almost tenderly into John's hair, but it was so he could hold his head down and keep him from moving. Lips close to John's ear, Lucifer whispered, "I'm going to fuck you now, is that enough warning?"
John opened his mouth but failed to say anything smart and instead let out a groan. Lucifer's hands were on his belt then, unbuckling it, pushing his trousers and boxers down, and John groaned again, louder this time when he felt two fingers pressing into him.
Even pinned against the table as he was, unable to move even if he had wanted to, when John closed his eyes he felt like he was drifting, that cold void yawning open beneath him despite the hard table under his hands and face.
Lucifer used one foot to kick John's legs a little further apart, then lined himself up and pushed into John, which was enough to make even Lucifer moan, low in his throat. He moved his hand from John's back to hold him by the hips, drawing out then pushing roughly back in again.
John gritted his teeth, kept his eyes closed, drinking in each exquisite discomfort; the unforgiving surface of the table, the bite of its edge jutting into his ribs, the pressure and ache as his body strained to take in the demon fucking him. At least this was all something.
Without slowing his pace Lucifer slid one hand around to wrap his fingers around John's cock, coaxing him towards an edge he had already been teetering on, and John, his fingers clawed against the tabletop, letting out little gasps of "Ah, fuck, fuck yes-!" with each thrust, suddenly shuddered, then bucked his hips, letting out a deep moan as he came, harder than he had been expecting, knees giving way so that he was held up only by Lucifer's hands.
When John's legs were stable again Lucifer drew out of him and stepped back, but John remained leaning against the table, trying to catch his breath.
"Come here, John," Lucifer said.
"There's a bit of a mess on the floor, toss me a paper towel," John said.
"I said come here."
Straightening, John had a moment of self-consciousness in which he pulled up his trousers again but didn't refasten his belt. Then he turned.
For just the briefest second, in the strange, dim light, Lucifer really did look like the king of Hell, cold and terrifying, and John felt a little shiver run down his spine at the sight. He stepped over to Lucifer, keeping an insolent smile on his lips.
Lucifer reached out and caught John's jaw in his hand, leaning closer. Then he did something strange; he kissed John, softly first, then more, not roughly just…deeper, one arm actually around John's waist, holding him there, the other still firmly gripping his jaw.
When they finally parted John wanted to ask what the fuck that was, but all he could manage was to give Lucifer a very dazed and slightly bemused look instead. "You enjoyin' yourself?" he said after a beat, voice rough.
"Immensely," Lucifer murmured. He leaned in again, but this time caught John's lower lip between his teeth, biting hard enough that John tasted just a trace of blood.
John groaned, twisting his head a bit, his hands grabbing at the front of Lucifer's (very expensive) shirt. Lucifer pushed him backwards until the back of his knees hit the bed and John let himself drop to the mattress. He propped himself up on his elbows, looking up as Lucifer knelt over him.
Reaching down, Lucifer took John's head in his hands, holding his skull like he was contemplating the best way to break his neck.
John continued to look up at him, wetting his lips in anticipation. Then, voice still tattered around the edges he asked, "What're you getting' out of this?"
"Oh, it's nothing complicated or deep if that's what you're thinking," Lucifer said, once again gripping John's hair, forcing his head back. "I enjoy sex. There's a lot of shit that goes with having a human form, I'm sure I don't have to tell you that, but fucking feels fucking good."
"Yeah, but me?" John said, unable to stop the insolent little smirk forming on his lips. "Sure you could have anyone in LA, I'd think—super models, actors…"
Lucifer's grin was cold as he pushed John the rest of the way down, then put one hand on his throat, pressing down as he leaned forward to whisper, "Because you, Johnny boy, are a damned pain in my ass."
Ah, so it's a hate fuck, John wanted to say, but he couldn't do much more than gasp with Lucifer's hand still pushing down on his throat.
Then the pressure was gone, and the rush of oxygen left John's head swimming deliriously for a moment, and he could only watch as Lucifer sat back and stripped the rest of the way, dropping his clothes on the floor.
Damn it, John thought. Seriously. He managed to push himself up and wrap one arm around Lucifer's shoulders, and this time when they kissed there was none of that odd tenderness to it, it was just as it was, hungry, desperate, furious. Lucifer made short work of the rest of John's clothes, tossing them in the vague direction his own had gone.
Already overstimulated, John's body tensed in protest when Lucifer pushed him back down again, settling himself between John's legs to rut lazily against him for a moment. Seeing the half grimace on John's face, Lucifer let out a low chuckle.
"What?" John panted. "Thought you said you were gonna fuck me, Luci. You going to actually do it this time or are you still just dicking around?"
"Shut up," Lucifer hissed, and his hand was back on John's throat, pressing down as he pushed into John again, painfully hard and fast this time, not giving John a chance to catch his breath (not that the hand on his throat would have let him anyway) before pushing into him again, and again, and again.
John shuddered, body arching in protest, his fingers digging into Lucifer's back, into the slightly grotesque roughness of the scars on his shoulder blades. He tipped his head back, mouth gaping as he tried to breathe, pain and arousal swirling together into a white heat that seemed to want nothing more than to tear him apart.
The pressure on his throat let up a little and John gritted his teeth, snarling, "Harder, you bastard, make me fucking feel it."
Lucifer made a low, feral sound, his eyes burning as he glared down at John. He pulled out and roughly pushed John over onto his stomach before entering him again, hands on his hips, slamming into him. Hands fisting in the blankets John let out a ragged gasp, pushing his hips down to get some sort of friction on his own aching cock as Lucifer continued to push relentlessly into him.
He was going to die. He was going to simply come apart, God, this hurt so wonderfully.
John tried to push himself up just a little but Lucifer shoved him down again, one hand on the back of his head, and John practically sobbed into the mattress, his cheeks wet as he came for a second time, release ripping through him, but Lucifer kept moving, using John's already doubly spent body.
And by the time Lucifer spilled into him John had no voice left, no strength, his muscles a complete wreck so that when Lucifer pulled out he just lay there on the bed, panting and gasping. He may have even lost consciousness for a few seconds, focusing again as Lucifer wrapped an arm around him and pulled him into a sitting position.
"You're a mess," Lucifer murmured, and John guessed that he wasn't just referring to the evidence left on his thighs and stomach from their activities.
John put a hand on Lucifer's shoulder to keep himself from simply falling limply forward again. "Yeah, well."
"I'm not going to babysit you," Lucifer said, coolly. "I don't think you're one for pillow talk either. And I have a club to get back to."
"Then get the fuck out," John said hoarsely.
Lucifer caught John's chin in his fingers and forced him to look up. "Each time it gets harder, doesn't it. Crawling back. Finding that release you crave. What are you going to do in the end, John? Where is this all going?"
"I clearly don't give a shit where this is going," John said.
"You'll regret that."
John curled his lip. He wanted to pass out, to fall back and sink into oblivion for a few hours, but he wasn't going to give Lucifer the satisfaction. "Yeah? You sure about that, Luci?"
"Yeah, I'm sure about that," Lucifer said, mockingly. "You know why? Because your soul is mine, hellblazer, I'm not going to let any other demon get their claws on you in the end. Your damnation is for me."
He let go of John then and stood up. John leaned sideways on one arm for a second, then let himself collapse the rest of the way, eyes closing.
Something hit his arm and bounced off.
He opened his eyes and saw the room key lying next to his hand. Lucifer stood over him, fully dressed, clean, pristine as always.
"You've got the room until tomorrow afternoon," Lucifer said. "Hydrate. Get some rest. I'm sure we'll be seeing each other again very soon."
"Fuck you," John murmured, holding up his middle finger.
Lucifer smiled. "Next time, Johnny. Good night." He turned and walked away. The door opened, then clicked shut again.
John rolled onto his back. His body ached. He lifted one hand to his face, thinking longingly of the pack of cigarettes that were all the way across the room in the pocket of his jacket.
The room was quiet. From far below the sounds of the nighttime city played. Somewhere down the hall voices murmured, laughed, shouted. Everywhere else people lived their lives, moved around.
Here he was alone again, in the quiet and the dark.