006 - Hours: 343 words
(sequel to drabble 005)
Louis decides that there's no way they're waiting hours in the airport until the next available flight. And so somehow Louis manages to weasel the airline customer service into giving himself and Bennett a hotel voucher.
Frankly he charms the pants off them. Not literally of course, but...well, Louis just has a way of getting what he wants from people that utterly defies logic.
Where Bennett had failed with reason, Louis succeeds with charisma. He knows just how to play people. Grinning, he cuddles up to Bennett and speaks for both of them. The stewardess at the customer service desk doesn't look offended though. In fact, she seems to find it adorable. The more Louis fawns on Bennett, the more the stewardess titters and calls them 'cute'.
"You poor dears," she tells them. "I can't believe the last person handling this mess was just going to make you both sleep the night in the airport."
"Crazy, right?" Louis laughs, brushing a stray strand of hair out of Bennett's eyes.
"Totally," the stewardess agrees, nodding emphatically. However, upon reading their passports, she looks suddenly surprised. "'Angel'? You both have the same last name...?"
Bennett blushes because there is no way he's telling this woman that they're adopted brothers after the romantic little show Louis has just put on. However, before he can think of anything to reply with, Louis eases close, arm sliding around Bennett's shoulders as he says with a conspiratorial wink, "We just got back in from London. Some things are legal in England, ya know?"
Bennett turns even redder at that (about as red as the giggling stewardess), and he's pretty sure foreign marriage laws and international legalities don't remotely work that way. But when Louis smiles like he's doing now, people tend to believe him—including when the blonde is spouting complete bullshit.
After they get the vouchers and collect their meager luggage, Bennett drags his still-smirking lover toward the bus stop while muttering under his breath, "After tomorrow, we are never showing our faces in this airport again."
007 - Days: 468 words
After the Apocalypse, Lucifer was cast into Hell a second time. He does not know what becomes of his followers or the damned mortal souls. He is alone.
Well, nearly alone.
Walking into his bedroom in his Palace, the Devil finds Beelzebub waiting in his bed.
The angel had shown up in Hell merely a few days after Lucifer's return—not much time in the grand scheme of eternity but long enough for Lucifer to feel the first stirrings of panic for being truly on his own.
But then he wasn't.
At first Beelzebub kept his distance, but lately the Archangel has been growing bolder and bolder the more Lucifer has dismissed him. Still not bothering to address the angel now, Lucifer toes out of his brogues and shrugs off his jacket, hanging it on a chair.
"Will you ignore me even here?"
Lucifer glares, stalking over to the bed. "No. But I am going to push you on the floor."
Beelzebub meets Lucifer's eyes. "I would feel much more comfortable here, my Lord."
For someone who's presumably never indulged in carnal pleasures before, Beelzebub's come-hither look is rather convincing. In one graceful motion, the Devil has the angel in his lap. "So what are you, my consolation prize or some such thing?"
Predictably, Beelzebub blushes, but he doesn't squirm away. "I'm here with you by my own choice. I asked Father to place me with you."
The words make Lucifer's chest clench with longing, and in retaliation, he pushes Beelzebub onto the floor anyway. "You look better from this angle," he sneers down at his former-friend.
The Archangel glares up, hurt. "I should think those words from my lips would please you."
"Perhaps if things were different between us," Lucifer replies coldly.
Beelzebub sighs. "Will you despise me forever because I wavered once?"
"Call on that Bastard and have Him take you back upstairs."
The Devil recalls that quiet stubbornness with another inward wince. He really was better off ignoring Beelzebub. "Fine, stay then." Lucifer flops uncaring onto the bed. "You'll leave eventually though."
Beelzebub pays the bitterness no mind, instead laying a hand on the edge of the bed and flushing as he says, "May I join you?"
The Devil casts a glance in the angel's direction, remembering those slim hands from Heaven, their elegance and skill. And ultimately their betrayal when the Archangel had raised a sword against him. Still... Lucifer gives a thought—and then some—to taking Beelzebub into his bed but ultimately restrains himself. The inevitable parting will come, and it's better not to get attached again.
"The floor is really all you deserve." Smirking, the Devil tosses an insultingly small pillow at his former-friend. "Let's wait it out and see how long it takes for you to abandon me again."
008 - Weeks: 395 words
Even as an angel, Beelzebub was a stickler for perfection, and if anything, his irritability with a lack thereof only increased after the Fall. Lucifer is quite sure that there is no other being in Hell—perhaps not anywhere—who possesses Beelzebub's curious mixture of neuroticism and well-founded arrogance. Beelzebub is not proud, and yet he is somehow so very elitist. Lucifer has deduced that it's all in the measuring. Beelzebub holds himself to such impeccably high standards (and damn him but he does so often meet them too!) yet considers them a minimum for proper conduct.
Of course, it is with this critical eye that he looks upon everyone else. Those who can match him are rewarded with high regard or, in Lucifer's case, revered. Others who can at least rise to the occasion a majority of the time are generally treated with respect when they succeed and civility and tolerance should they fail. As for the many who stumble... Well, the Duke's demeanor is all feline in its stuffy and blatant distaste for those who do not meet his orders.
In the first weeks after the Fall when organization and rallying are crucial, Beelzebub is invaluable: the iron fist to Lucifer's silver tongue. Lucifer is powerful, but not even he can be everywhere at once, and who better to assist him than the one who he trusts above all others? It is with steady regularity that the Devil witnesses his head Duke's particular brand of leadership. What Lucifer can accomplish with charisma, Beelzebub ensures almost as well with fear, facts, and perhaps a small bit of some twisted charm of his own.
Lucifer eventually speaks of his feelings when the groundwork for Hell is completed and administrative affairs are being conducted in proper offices. Sitting at his desk, fingers steepled, the Devil watches an appropriately chastised underling scurry out the door. "Perhaps I merely say this because I am not on the receiving end of it," Lucifer purrs appreciatively, "but I do so enjoy seeing you go about your business."
There is a faint look of pleasure at the words, but still Beelzebub scoffs. "There is no need for flattery, my Lord. I am not half so engaging in my methods as you are in yours." The words are spoken with all sincerity, and Lucifer just smiles, content to watch his second work.
009 - Months: 513 words
So much of the Fallen's earliest months in Hell were spent building its capital city, Dis. In the flurry of construction and creation, Lucifer is backed by various advisors, Beelzebub chief among them. Everything goes smoothly, problems solved with ruthless efficiency, and so it is a surprise when Lucifer begins to notice a certain...restlessness about his second in command. It seems that the less work they must do, the more Beelzebub appears off kilter. It's well hidden, but Lucifer can tell anyway.
"Beelzebub?" he finally asks one night while they lie entwined on Lucifer's bed, supposedly sleeping. "What ails you?"
To his credit, Beelzebub does not attempt to feign slumber. "I am bereft, my Lord."
Lucifer tilts his head quizzically. "You have seemed quite fine until recently."
"Yes," he admits. "When we were struggling to create a kingdom out of this barren wasteland, I was better distracted."
The Devil can't quite keep the irritated tinge out of his voice as he retorts, "You consider my work a distraction?"
He imagines rather than sees Beelzebub wince and feels the smaller Fallen press closer. "Forgive me, Lord. I did not mean it to sound like that. It's just I—" He shakes his head. "No. No excuses. How I feel is how I feel, but please believe me when I say that I am honored and eager to do your will."
Lucifer caresses a hand against Beelzebub's blue-black hair. "You are forgiven." He does not enjoy being cruel to his second—at least not like this when Beelzebub is such a reserved creature already. "In what way are you bereft?"
The silence hangs on so long Lucifer almost considers ordering Beelzebub to explain himself, but then the other demon speaks: "I feel an emptiness that I had an easier time ignoring while we were all focused on rebuilding. His Presence—I would not call it love—is like a...need. My spirit along with my body is plagued with an ache for it, and I... It is a comfort to sleep next to you."
Lucifer shifts away, pride stung. "So I am the next best substitute."
Slim hands reach for him to keep him near. "That is not true, my Lord."
"Oh really? Did you not say—"
"No," Beelzebub says quickly, fingertips pressing Lucifer's lips to silence. Had any other being dared... But then, Beelzebub is not just any being. Sighing, presumably with frustration, he elaborates, "Some parts of me may feel this longing for now, but it shall pass with time. My mind knows what is right, what it needs."
Lucifer allows himself to be held, doesn't really want to fight. "I would be happier to be first in your regard..."
Beelzebub makes a low sound that might have been a chuckle. "Lucifer, my beloved Lucifer, your merit has already ensured that in the here and now. You are everything to me. Did I not quit Heaven for you? If I would so quickly give that up, you must realize there is nothing I would not do to be by your side."
010 - Years: 457 words
The Rebellion is a fraught affair for all sides and, with its crescendo finish, proves that few things are ever certain. In the final moment, Lucifer hesitates. He doesn't believe in God anymore, but he still wants to. It's Michael's last, desperate entreaty that stays the Morningstar's hand and convinces him to drop his weapon.
Beelzebub, however, does not relent. In a fit of Wrath, the other seraph runs Lucifer through on his sword before squaring off against Michael. The Rebels and Loyalists continue to fight as well, and the battle that Lucifer started is too far gone for him to stop or contain. He's left with no choice but to lie wounded and bear witness as Michael strikes down Beelzebub, and all the Rebel angels are cast from Heaven.
All but him.
Later, the Morningstar wakes up in the Silver City's infirmary, healed by Raphael and watched over by Michael. Against the wishes of many, Lucifer is accepted back into the ranks of the Host and permitted to assist with the preparations for Earth's Creation. To his eternal surprise, Lucifer quickly grows to like the humans. They're creative and gritty and real, and the Morningstar is ashamed to think that he once despised them so much.
However, Lucifer never admits to being wrong, never once offers explanation or public apology. He wept in God's arms at learning the fate of his former comrades (At Lucifer's request, God had allowed him to feel just for a moment what the Fallen suffered, and the Morning star had been horrified.), but Lucifer still acts as proud as ever in front of the Host.
Despite this facade, Michael knows of Lucifer's change of heart, and Gabriel forgives him, but the others... Whenever Lucifer shows his face in Heaven, he can feel the other angels' resentment like a low buzzing in his ears. Although he still retains his rank, most of his siblings barely acknowledge him. When the Seraphim discuss administrative matters and Lucifer bothers to voice his opinion, he is ignored.
It is... Frankly, for someone with so much pride, this suspicious dismissive treatment is humiliating. But the Morningstar never protests. Deep down, he doesn't even trust his judgment. After all, look what happened the last time people had listened to him.
Sometimes Lucifer wishes he had Fallen with the others, even if it had meant losing his grace. He misses being a leader, desires the power he dare not exercise anymore. Most of all he misses Beelzebub.
The years go by, and the humans march forward, wondrous vibrant things that they are. But angels and demons never seem to change. Hell grows stronger under Beelzebub's diligent guidance, and in Heaven, Lucifer is forever remembered for his one greatest mistake.