Having the burden of knowledge spanning the past, present and future isn't all its cracked up to be, really. It sucks the mystery out of life, like an unsatisfying blowjob. It had been a tad bit cruel to leave Sam in the dark about the whole backstabbing, devil-worshipping girlfriend thing but to be fair, what is life without a dash of drama?
Lucifer slowly turned to the aforementioned hunter, face uncharacteristically void of emotion aside from a slight downward quirk of his lips, “Is this your idea of witness protection?” Sam looked confused, straightening up like he was getting ready to defend himself as he did so poorly with his brother, but he didn't even get the chance to open his mouth, disappearing with the snap of the devil's fingers. Another few blisters painted the skin of his vessel's arms an angry shade of red with the exertion, which didn't go unnoticed by either being present.
Ruby still held scepticism, that much was obvious considering she wasn't perched at his feet, relaying her undying love and loyalty for him the very minute his name was uttered. He supposed he could be thankful that her head wasn't also full of smoke. “.. Where'd you send him?” She finally offered, blinking away the darkness clouding her eyes, offering similarly dark brown orbs in exchange.
“Florida, I hear it's nice this time of year.”
Sarcasm was threaded through every word, coiled and at the ready like a snake. Lucifer wasn't weakened nearly enough that a lone demon or even a hoard of demons threatened his continued existence, though his decision to stay out of the spotlight would be jeopardized, so his guard was raised. They were gossiping, untrustworthy little things, much like their creator; he couldn't risk it, especially with the Winchester's ready to throw him in harm's way at the drop of a dime. “He's home safe.” She seemed to let out a breath of relief at the followed assurance.
“You can't be ..” Ruby spoke slowly, cautiously, “It's impossible but .. you're actually here.” She didn't even seem to believe herself as the words left her mouth, the proof was clear as day in front of her and yet, she refused to believe her eyes. The goal she'd worked so hard to achieve, after alienating herself from practically all of her own kind and even going against the queen bitch of demons herself, had been completed without a hitch. Not that she knew or understood how that came to be, she couldn't find it in herself to sweat the details; their father, the prince of darkness and king of lies, walked the Earth and that was all that mattered. She gulped, hiding her initial glee and composing herself though she felt absolutely giddy with excitement, ready to give Lilith and all the other disloyal bastards the middle finger right about now.
Lucifer could feel the incoming tidal wave of promise and adoration coming from a mile away, so he held up a hand to stop it from even starting. He exhaled through his nose, breathing being a tedious habit his vessel seemed to hold onto, tossing ideas of extermination and torment of this self-important insect into the resounding cavern of his mind. His inhumanity was prevalent, but he always felt a sickening churn in the pit of his stomach at the thought of it now. The Winchester's were softening him and it showed. “Nothing is impossible, as they say.” He murmured, cold hands coming up and cupping her face carefully, like she was made of fine china. While that may be true of her meatsuit, the demon herself was more like the dirty dishes a soup kitchen racks up. A wedding band was still wrapped around his ring finger, adding to the weight against her pallid skin.
Her breath hitched, fearful and restrained as she spoke, “I know he's not ready yet,” She could barely look in the murky blue eyes of his temporary vessel, the weight of her failure hanging precariously above her, like a piano waiting to fall. She saw nothing of love or pride in his eyes and the words of an unfavorable crossroads demon repeated in her ears, “He will be, I promise. I can help you, I just –” He cut her off.
“Appreciate the enthusiasm, but,” There was no explanation, no warning before one of those same hands was thrust through her torso. The human body always ran so hot; he could feel the blood and viscera coating his forearm, rib bones digging into his skin, a prickly blanket of gore that warmed him to his very core. He felt the desire for destruction welling up somewhere deep within him, to burn the planet down and build it up in his own dark, tainted visage. He chose to push said feelings down in a very Winchester fashion, instead focusing on how her expression morphed into childlike betrayal, wide glassy eyes flicking from the arm protruding out of her chest to his impassive face, “I don't need your help.” A jarring glow flickered across her form as he squeezed at the demon's essence, an inky blackness that contrasted beautifully well with the golden yellow illuminating her true face. He could appreciate the irony, how she died at the hands of the creator she dedicated her afterlife to, in the same fashion she'd dispatched her fellow demons alongside Sam. He chastised himself for the laugh that bubbled out of his lips.
Lucifer yanked his hand free from the meaty interior of little miss comatose with a curse at the mess it'd made, shaking the excess goop off of his head before turning his attention back down towards the corpse at his feet, “You got change for a cab?”
Dean was seven shades of not okay, though that wasn't all too surprising given that his end-all cure for literally anything was downing a fifth of whatever and saying he's peachy – from broken bones to being dumped by his own brother for some demon skank, whiskey was an old friend he could always rely on. Which is why he's in some beatdown bar on some nameless street, drinking cheap liquor in a clouded glass, eyeing up the pretty thing in the denim skirt ogling him from across the way. He didn't feel like finding peace between some chicks legs tonight, though. No, he was content to stay in and wallow in his own self-loathing for awhile.
“You come here often?”
A singsong voice sounded from his flank, unnaturally cold breath ghosting the shell of his ear. He almost elbowed the archangel, cursing under his breath and putting on his best imitation bitch face, “What d'you want?” His question was muffled by the rim of his glass as he tried not to make eye contact, like ignoring the devil was an option.
“Same as you. It's been a rough night.” Lucifer flagged down the bartender, ordering something and sending a playful wink his way despite the tension evident in both sets of broad shoulders. Dean seemed suspicious at that upfront answer, even choosing to ignore the blatant sphallolalia for once in favour of prying, “What the hell did you do?”
“You always assume the worst of me, Dean,” He said with a drawn out sigh, faking a pout, “I'm not that much different than you, you know.”
“Thanks, you sure know how to make a girl feel special.”
“I meant, we're both misunderstood but sure, keep up the stellar ‘comedy to cover up my feelings’ bit, that never gets old ..” The angel quipped back with a slight scowl in spite of his blinding hypocrisy, gingerly sipping at his gold whiskey (Lucifer's, really?), ignoring the claw of fear tugging at his very essence at the all too human sense of taste. Nick's unrefined palate had him coughing mildly at the burn travelling down his throat; he was a simple man, a social drinker that enjoyed a beer from time to time. Those times became all too many after the tragedy that lead him straight into the comfort of the devil's frosty embrace. He hadn't noticed how entangled in his thoughts he had become until the hunter shook him by the shoulder.
“Didn't take you for a lightweight,” Dean commented, though he could've sworn there was some small, far off beat of concern behind his unsteady eyes. “What's got your feathers in a twist?” He was now consistently side-eyeing him with every sip he took, out of worry for him or fear that today might be the day he decides smiting the human race was a better idea than he gave it credit for; either way, it was endearing.
Lucifer chugged the rest of his drink, tossing up the idea of telling the hunter about his recent .. fisting, which would explain why said blood soaked fist is currently elbow-deep in his pocket, and how he'd inadvertently screwed himself solving a very Winchester problem. He decided to let the ball roll, “I –”
A rumble overtook the cosy atmosphere of the dive, patrons panicking and bracing themselves. Dean looked at the devil with a stern gaze, accusatory, though all he received in reply was a tense expression he'd never seen the man wear before. He didn't understand, not until a familiar white noise ripped through the place, loud enough to shatter glass and shred ear drums. His hands were cupped tightly over his ears, head ducked down to his knees to avoid the downpour of lightbulbs exploding above him, but it persisted. The hunter could barely react as he was yanked into a sturdy chest, cradled close and protectively like a babe being rescued from a fire. He didn't move, couldn't really, feeling the sound rattled him to the very bone – until it was drowned out, a brief moment that came both slowly and all at once, by a single warning, “Cover your eyes.”
It was pathetic, to feel so safe and secure in the arms of someone unanimously considered pure evil, but here he was. Dean didn't know how long it'd been, how long he had kept his head buried in the crook of the angels neck with his eyes squeezed shut, when he finally ventured to open them. He pulled away like the very touch of him burned, placing some distance between them, which earned him an eyeroll he didn't notice. It was then, that he noticed the state of the rest of the bar.
Vacant of the life it once had, bodies littered the floor like pebbles, their hazy stares replaced by empty sockets. He felt sick, fearful now.
The doors swung open, a pair of men stepping through, unphased and laser focused on
his the archangel. A younger guy in a trench coat, around his age by the looks of it, with tousled hair and wide eyes and a bigger, freckled man in a creaseless suit with a glare that would have the both of them six feet under by now if looks could kill. He turned his head stiffly, eyes never leaving the pair because he had a feeling it wasn't a coincidence they had showed up, “Buddies of yours?”
Lucifer leaned back against the stool he was situated on, looking eerily calm as he looked the two up and down, analysing them. “Uriel, Castiel. Good to see you, group hug?” He offered a sickeningly sweet smile, one even the hunter could tell was fake. Dean made the slightest movement towards the side door, only to be thrown back against the countertop, held there by an invisible force he could only describe as an angelic chokehold – that got the devil to react, even if only the angels in the room were capable of noticing said reaction, a slight ruffle of dilapidated wings.
“Lucifer. Looking for a change of scenery, are we?” They weren't afraid, if the big guy's smug tone was anything to go by. He was no expert on the heavenly hierarchy, but shouldn't these guys be shaking in their boots? This is freaking Lucifer we're talking about!
“Perdition has terrible internet connection.”
The tension in the room, now cool with the nights breeze blowing freely through where the windows once were, was palpable. “Funny,” Uriel stepped forward, dark eyes narrowing, “I'm sure you know why we're here.”
Leaning over the bar and rifling through the mess of broken bottles for some drink semi-salvageable, the archangel hummed in reply, “Big brother sent his foot soldiers to do his dirty work, as always,” He sighed, re-emerging with a half-full shattered bottle clutched in hand, pouring himself and the human alongside him a drink lightly dusted with shards of glass, “So, you're either here to shove me back in the box or –” His eyes lit up, a simmering shade of neon red, “To collect his precious vessel and get the party started. Sound about right?”
“We .. are here to retrieve the boy, yes.” The dark-haired angel with a fixed furrow in his brow finally spoke up, eyes trained on the aforementioned hunter. Dean looked between each of the brothers, like a kid caught in the middle of his parents custody battle, huffing out a laugh that had all attention now firmly on him. He totally wasn't intimidated at all; these were just angels, who just happened to be more than happy to see him used as their brothers freaking prom dress. “Your time will come, on the battlefield,” Castiel continued with an unwavering gaze, a blade dropping from the sleeve of his trenchcoat. It was silver, or at least looked as though it was, the way it shined making it look like something out of a Halloween shop, but he had the distinct feeling that it and it's wielder meant business. “You are in no condition to fight us, brother.”
An agape expression filled with pure, unfiltered offence was cast his direction followed by a scoff, “You poor, little lapdog. Doesn't it get tiring following daddy's directive all the time?” Lucifer basked in the way the looks on their faces hardened, pacing the floor till he came before them, “Turning you insignificant bundles of grace into dust may be out of the cards but,” He pulled the human into his embrace for the second time, though now with much more room for protest (the angel thinks he doth protest too much, for that matter), “Don't you ever underestimate me.”