The eternal flames of inferno fire which did not bruise skin but burned soul, the never-ending screams and heavy clattering of chains were no stranger to the fallen angel. Lucifer knew this place better than his own home if „home” even existed anymore. He was starting to accept the undeniable truth that Heaven has never been his home in the first place.
As the flames slowly cut into his vessel’s skin and the smell of burned human meat reached his nose, he couldn’t stop the feeling of familiarity that swept through him. You could say, he was almost content with how normal and welcomed the feeling of torturous pain was.
Or, he would have been if Michael wasn’t freaking out right beside him. Lucifer didn’t bother to open his eyes, he didn’t even want to look at the archangel. He would probably spend his eternity (or the time ’til he found a way out of literal hell again) with avoiding his brother at all cost. Because, to tell the truth, he was so done with fighting Michael. It reminded him of Heaven and how his existence went to shit in rapid speed thanks to that arrogant dick. He could handle hell, but being near Michael was self-torture and extremely unnecessary. He could leave his brother to suffer alone, after all, the archangel wasn’t used to the constant heat and the disgusting smell of burning flesh and the razor chains that cut deep into muscle.
Michael would break eventually, just like Lucifer did. And then, he would become an abomination, an old shadow of himself, his true monstrosity would be forced out of himself to a point where he wouldn’t remember who he was before. Because that’s what hell did to you. It stole your identity, used your soul as steak on a grill until you couldn’t recognise it anymore and all that remained was memories of agony, blood and desperate screams as hope faded out of them.
Lucifer knew he had two choices: stay in this room or open a door. He sometimes found it funny how his own little cage was designed. The main room was the torture chamber with the fire and metal floor that looked cold at first but when someone stepped onto them to escape, realised that they were hotter than the surface of the Sun, melting away the bones as soon as contact was made. But if he made it to one of the many doors, he could step into another room. That room would be cold as ice, death would linger in the air, freezing his whole vessel and eventually breaking it into pieces like glass. In that room, one of his worst memories would flash before his eyes until he would become an ice cube and reborn into the torture room again.
Lucifer tore the chains out of the wall and slowly made his way to one of the doors, only hissing at the feeling of his melting skeleton. He was bored, and he knew every scenario that could be played out in front of him in those rooms. Maybe if he stopped feeling anything at all, the memories wouldn’t be considered bad anymore, as there would be no feelings attached. Maybe then, he could find a way out of this place.
„You are leaving me!”
It wasn’t a question. Even though Michael’s voice was filled with agony, Lucifer could still sense the pure wrath behind the words.
„Just like you left me.” Lucifer said, keeping his back turned towards his brother. „I guess karma is a bitch, Micha.” And with that, he pushed the door open and felt an unexpected wave of satisfaction at the sound of the door slammed shut.
He wasn’t melting anymore and as he glanced down he noticed, unsurprisingly, that his vessel was unharmed. He looked around with slight curiosity to see exactly in which memory he ended up this time.
He was standing on a bridge, the air filled with smoke that would have burned his lungs if he wasn’t so accustomed to the sensation. As he heard the clattering of weapons and swords, he immediately knew where he was.
No, not this one. Anything, but this one.
He pleaded to absolutely no one.
Angels were fighting on the bridge. One of them raised his angel blade high above his head and struck down at his brother without mercy, burying the weapon deep into the other soldier’s chest and twisting it inside as white light escaped from the now dead angel’s eyes and mouth.
„Where are we?”
Lucifer would have been sure he was hallucinating if he didn’t know he would never imagine his brother’s voice inside his head. The bitch.
„Why did you follow me?” He groaned as he turned around to face Michael.
„You left me in that room!” The archangel retorted.
„Oh, I’m sorry. I should have stayed to take care of my little, innocent brother while he was in pain, right?” He spat with acid clear in his voice. „What? You couldn’t handle a little hell, Mr Perfect-Soldier of the Lord?”
Michael stayed completely unbothered at his mocking.
A cold, calculating little bitch like he always was.
Lucifer started walking to reach the field were thousands of his brothers were slaying each other.
„This is Heaven! Why are we in Heaven?” Michael shouted after him when the angel finally recognised their surroundings. Lucifer heard the approaching steps but he continued his way towards the end of the bridge.
„If you were as smart as you say you are, you would have noticed that this is just a memory of Heaven.” Lucifer said with hostility.
„Why are we seeing this?” Michael asked as he grabbed Lucifer’s arm and turned the fallen angel towards him. „And why is it so cold at the sudden?”
Michael rubbed his forearms with his hands, a very human act, and when he breathed out he could see the air leaving his lungs.
„It will get worse as the memory comes closer to its end.” Lucifer explained, his face emotionless the whole time.
Suddenly, an image crossed his mind of Michael when they were younger and Lucifer had to explain things to his brother who asked too many questions. Lucifer dug his nails into his palm and grumbled as he turned away from Michael, trying to erase the memory from his head.
„What are we going to do?” Michael asked, almost scared. Lucifer let out a small laugh at the idea.
„We will watch as it plays out then die of hypothermia.” Lucifer answered frankly.
„There must be a way to stop it.” Michael said. Even though the archangel tried to cover up his fear, Lucifer could see right through him.
„We can’t.” Lucifer said as he dodged a lifeless body thrown his way by another angel.
„They can’t see us?” Michael asked dumbly.
„This is a memory, Micha.” Lucifer responded snarkily.
Lucifer kept walking but realised that the sound of footsteps from beside him disappeared. He turned back (Even though he didn’t know why. He didn’t care if Michael had stopped following him. At least he didn’t have to deal with a clingy puppy.) and was met with the archangel’s stern look.
„What now?” He snapped.
Michael didn’t break his cold stare. It reminded Lucifer of the old times.
„Why did you call me that?”
Lucifer was shocked. Was that… sadness on Michael’s face? Sure not, that asshole had no feelings. Not now, not ever.
„What?” Lucifer though his act of obliviousness was quite convincing. His brother could read him well nonetheless.
„You called me Micha, again.”
Lucifer tried to mimic his brother’s emotionless look and added an extra frown.
He didn’t need this. He was so done with Michael, and they only spent like half an hour together. He didn’t need those images of Heaven flashing before his eyes. Lucifer shook his head and turned away from Michael. He wanted to walk away when the archangel raised his voice again:
„The last time you called me Micha was before your fall.” Lucifer’s heart clenched at how gentle his brother’s voice sounded like.
„Well, the last time we actually talked was before my fall.” Lucifer remarked as he turned back to face Michael who was much closer than Lucifer expected him to be.
„Before this battle.” Michael said as his gaze took in the scene around them. „Maybe that’s why we are seeing it.”
„I don’t care. When this is over, we are back to the torture room. The less time I have to spend in your company, the better.” Lucifer cursed himself for his words not being as heated with anger as he intended.
„We have an eternity ahead of us, locked up together. We are trapped, you can’t run away from me, Luce!” Michael spoke louder than what was reasonable.
„Don’t call me that!” Snapped Lucifer as he took a step closer. His eyes threw daggers at Michael, who still seemed indifferent, if not a little frustrated, in spite of their current state.
„You just want to run away from your past. Well, news Luci, you can never forget Heaven.” Michael shouted with flaming anger, his facade breaking. „You can’t forget the family you destroyed, the brothers you betrayed!”
„You say it as it was all my fault! You can’t blame me for everything!” Lucifer shouted back, his voice cracking a little but he pushed his feelings down.
„Yeah? Whose fault was it then?” And now Michael’s face was open and full of emotions which surprised Lucifer. But maybe not as much, as the teardrop that followed his next lines: „You rebelled against our father, you brought nothing but death and destruction, you set fire to our home and Heaven has never been the same since you were cast out!”
„Our father was willing to exile his own son from Heaven and send him down to a pit to suffer ’til the end of time! Father of the fucking year, really.” Lucifer pushed Michael away but the angel was stubborn and stepped right back into his personal space.
„You are a disgrace! You ruined everything!” Michael gritted out between his teeth.
The battle around them could never match the war that was ongoing between the two angels.
„I rebelled because I didn’t want to do what father commanded! I wanted free will, I wanted freedom. You can hate me and blame me for everything that happened, but my only sin is that I finally stepped up to myself! And yes, I might have convinced some angels to follow me, but only because I wanted to show them what it was like to be who you are!”
Lucifer was crying but he felt nothing but anger, betrayal and injustice. Right then, a horrible sound shook the whole bridge. They looked up and saw a vengeful dragon pierce through the sky, his eyes bright with fury. In the distance, an angel with a sword made of light rose on the horizon.
The bridge trembled and ice started to spread at their feet. The two angels looked at each other and started running. The smoke made it hard to see further than a few feet, therefore Lucifer almost tripped over a corpse on the ground as he and Michael tried to make their way to the clearing. When they stepped onto the blood covered grass which was once a beautiful emerald, they heard a deafening cry as the sword of the archangel cut the dragon and the creature fell from the sky. Its body sank into the emptiness below, under the bridge, and
Lucifer remembered as that body broke the borders of Heaven, accompanied by unbearable pain. Later, that creature would turn into an even more terrifying monster that most people would call Satan or Devil.
„You think I was the one who betrayed you.” Lucifer whispered at the edge of the field, looking into the nothingness below his feet. „But you were the one who deserted me.”
„I never wanted to hurt you.” Michael said, his voice shaky. He was shivering.
Lucifer let out a bitter laugh.
„Yet, you did.” He turned to Michael, his greyish-blue eyes meeting ocean-like irises. „That’s the difference between you and me. You think you defeated me because you were stronger? No, no, no. I was the perfect angel, the first born, I could have crushed you in a blink of an eye. But see, I couldn’t. I was weak! I couldn’t bring myself to kill my favourite brother. The one I trusted the most.”
Michael’s eyes watered and Lucifer couldn’t decide if he wanted them to be a sign of guilt. If he wanted them to be proof of Michael being capable of feeling. But in the end, it didn’t matter. It was probably too late. The truth was more painful than any punishment he has ever received. It was worse than hell, worse than falling.
„The brother I loved the most.”
Michael’s breath hitched. Lucifer saw his body turning rigid from cold, his lips coloured with faint purple.
„We could have been happy if you didn’t turn against Father.” Michael accused.
„No.” Lucifer whispered hopelessly. He gave up on fighting and pretending. Now, at least, Michael could see the scars he left on Lucifer. How badly he damaged him when he pushed that sword into him. When he left him alone. „We both know that Father never liked how close we were. He wasn’t fond of the bond we shared.”
„He didn’t care.” Michael argued.
„He would have never approved.” Lucifer said tiredly. He thought he was over it. He thought he could forget this part of his past. He wanted to leave it behind. Before the not-Apocalypse, he told Michael he didn’t want to fight him. But Michael was persistent, always talking about that prophecy and blablabla… Lucifer knew that he wouldn’t make the same mistake for the second time. He was ready to kill Michael. If only the Winchesters didn’t want to play heroes.
„But what does it matter?” Lucifer laughed hysterically. „All you ever did was lie. It took me some time to realise that after my fall. That all your words were lies.”
„I never lied to you!” Michael was screaming, his hands frozen. Lucifer felt rooted to the spot. The cold numbed his body, he couldn’t move. It was almost over.
The battle around them disappeared. The memory started fading as they were standing in the middle of nothing. Thousands and millions of years, and nothing had changed. Lucifer could still see those ocean blue eyes looking up at him, curiosity shining through them while the older angel explained Michael how to groom his wings. Lucifer remembered the time when Michael though his wings were ugly, nothing special, just plain white. The older then reassured him that Michael’s wings were the most beautiful ones he had ever seen, the spotless white resembling Michael’s goodness and pure heart. After that, the younger angel always sought his company.
„You lied to me when you told me I was special when all the other angels looked at me like a weirdo and outcast. Just because I wasn’t afraid to disagree with Father.” Lucifer bit back, the memory still stabbing knives into his chest.
„You taught me everything. How to groom my wings, how to fight and lead our brothers, onto the right path.” Michael’s legs were trembling, fighting to support up his body. „You taught me how important family was. Then you turned against it.”
„If I was in Dad’s place, everything would have been better. We could have been together! If I was…”
„But you weren’t!” Michael shouted, his whole body shaking. Lucifer gulped. His eyelids felt heavy, and he saw snow falling around them.
„Why did you leave me?” Lucifer asked, not hiding the quiet sobs.
„I did it for our family.”
„No, why did you leave me in hell?”
Michael didn’t know what to say. For the first time, he was ready to admit that he was wrong when he didn’t try to understand his brother. But his first priority was always their family, Lucifer needed to accept that.
„You never came for me. You were ready to kill me to fulfil the prophecy.”
„You wanted to kill me, too.”
„You never showed me that I was important to you.” Lucifer answered, out of breath. He felt exhausted.
„I looked up to-to you. You can’t ima-magine how much you-you mattered to me.” Michael found it harder and harder to form words with his chattering teeth.
„Nice way of showing it.” Lucifer whispered.
Michael knew that he couldn’t hold on for too long. His body was slowly giving up. But he knew he had to make things right. This was his chance. This was his Luci.
He stepped forward, his whole body felt like it was poked with millions of needles, but he couldn’t care less about the pain when an almost forgotten feeling spread through him. He leaned closer, and Lucifer didn’t pull away (he hoped not only because he couldn’t).
Michael kissed him tenderly. Lucifer’s lips were cold and chapped, but his heart filled with such heat that he has never experienced before. His heartbeat was weak but fast as he felt Lucifer’s icy fingers brush his cheek. Nothing had ever felt as right as kissing Lucifer.
Michael knew it would be over soon. But he also knew that they would end up in the torture room again. And they would be together, no matter what happens. Because he found Lucifer after an eternal spent without his flawed angel, even though it felt like no time had passed. The difference was now that he tasted the devil.
And he could never get enough.