Lucifer strode into the bar at leisurely gait. His most recent "session" with dear Linda had gone well and his mind was churning over the possibilities presented. Also, he had managed to stretch out that one little spot at the small of of his back just right. His plans for the remainder of the afternoon involved having a drink or three, taking a nap, and preparing for another late night.
It was a good life, and he didn't regret a thing about stealing the opportunity.
His phone chose that moment to ring and he glanced down at it with a sly smile. "Detective Decker, to what do I owe the pleasure?" he answered. He signaled Mazikeen that the eighteen year would do just fine and let her roll her eyes for the price of pouring far more than a shot.
"I need your help," she said without preamble. Her words were rushed, panicked even, and he rather didn't like the tone. He could hear Detective Douche complain in the background that they could handle whatever situation had befell them on their own and he frowned at the idiot for second guessing her when she had proven herself to be the smarter of the duo far more often than not.
"The 'need' is nice, but I was hoping for the rest of that sentence to be more 'you' and less 'your help,'" he admitted.
She was still hissing at her ex and he heard the words resources and time and then he heard Detective Douche capitulate as he did so well before Chloe returned to the line with a simple, "They took Trixie."
She rattled off a few more details, but they did not fully matter so he let them stew in the back of his mind to make the necessary connections. "I'll be there momentarily," he promised, the words out of his mouth before they even registered.
He hung up and saw Mazikeen looking less than impressed. "What poor unfortunate soul needs your help this time?" she asked with a fair deal of bitterness.
"The moppet. She was taken from her school field trip approximately three hours ago," he replied.
He was in no way surprised to find Maz's curved blades make an appearance. There were some things that simply were not done.
It was sadly simple to track down the wrong-doer. One of the many men Decker had put away during her career had recently been paroled. The fact he was saddled with the label of sex offender as well as drug trafficker for the remainder of his admittedly short life just cheapened the matter, really. Said offender's first order of business was to track down those who had him caught and round up their loved ones in revenge. As the case was the one that led to Chloe and Douche's partnership of a different type altogether, he hit where he believed it would hurt the most.
Maz hit between the second and third lumbar vertebrae.
The idiot's men fell far too easy for his liking. He reminded Maz to keep the man alive long enough for the family to have closure and she promised that it would take him weeks to die so they would have plenty of time. As a reward, he let her do what she wanted with the minion that had made the actual grab.
She was kind enough to take him out of screaming range of the child.
The child was supposed to never be found, at least not alive. He tore the door off the airless metal coffin of a closet she was locked in easily enough and saw only minor scrapes and bruises, likely from fighting back as she was her mother's daughter after all. The purpling handprint across her cheek was another matter, however, and he let just enough of his true self show through to promise the man he would spend the rest of his truncated life locked in madness as well as pain before he turned to the matter at hand.
Speaking of hands, he may have also ground the offender's palm to a pulp. The one he had used to harm a child, of course. He did so enjoy details like that.
"Lucifer! You came for me!" the moppet exclaimed. She furrowed her little brow when she asked, "Does mommy know?"
He crouched down to her level and assured her, "Of course, darling. Would you like to call her yourself to make certain?"
She reached for the offered phone but paused with the thoughtfulness he usually only saw in her mother or someone plotting his demise. "Does mommy know your face turns all red and scary when you're mad?"
Now it was his turn to pause. He had not thought she had seen that part. This could be problematic, not because he liked to deny who he was, the complete opposite of that really. No, it could be problematic because if a certain police detective had that sort of leverage against him she might even be tempted to use it and it would take away a great deal of fun. "Tell you what, moppet, if you neglect to tell your mother that part, you can have anything your little heart desires," he offered.
"For real?" she asked doubtingly.
"Of course, darling," he assured her. It would be an easy enough matter to rewrite city ordinances for a pony and would warm his nonexistent heart to train a puppy to piss on Detective Douche's foot. "I'm the Devil, I always keep up my end of the bargain."
She brought one chipped nail to her lips while she seemed to ponder that for a moment. The rope burn around her wrists made him do a different sort of pondering altogether. Eventually though, she made her decision and declared, perhaps a little more unevenly than she had originally intended or perhaps she was as good of actress as her mother after all, "Can I have a hug?"
He took a moment with that one. A hug. The price of silence was a hug. A hug from a child. A hug given to the Prince of Hell. Whatever would the legions of demons say?
It turned out they would say whatever they pleased as young Miss Trixie Decker launched herself at him and clung on like a limpet. She was sticky and sweaty and a little snotty as she sniffed, "I was scared, Lucifer. The man, he said I was never going to see my mom again, that I was never going to see outside of that room." She looked up at him with wet eyes and tried and utterly failed to smile. "He lied. You got me out of there."
She buried her face against his shoulder and he resigned himself to the fact he was never getting this suit clean again.
His new pet moppet clung onto him long past the call to her mother, long past Maz's return and look of both disgust and glee at his situation, long past when a standard hug should have ended. He held on anyway though, best to keep his end of the bargain if it ensured her silence and all that. Finally, Detective Decker arrived with Detective Douche in tow and the little beast released him to run to those that sired her.
He brushed what he could off of his trousers and made certain to accidentally step on a certain set of broken fingers as he walked over to the disgustingly happy reunion as though he hadn't a care in the world.
"Thank you," Chloe mouthed atop her child's snarled head.
"Whatever for?" he asked with practiced nonchalance. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I need a drink and a dry cleaner. Maz?"
"Bar opens in an hour, boss. You should have plenty of time," Mazikeen replied as she stepped forward out from the shadows. That she frightened Detective Douche with the action was the cherry atop a truly delicious evening.
They began to depart and had even reached the door before a high-pitched voice called, "Thank you, Lucifer!"
Maz snorted and shook her head. "Only you could get a child to cheerfully thank the devil."
"Well, I do excel at the impossible, or at least the improbable," he agreed before they stepped out into the night. He didn't dare ask her what she did with the bodies of the others, it was unimportant anyway.
"You were hoping for the pony, weren't you?" she asked as the shadows began to swallow them.
He cocked his head to the side and deflected with, "What do you think about getting a dog? Something small, scrappy, and with possible bladder issues? Not for us, of course, but for the loving family?"
"You could give her a Hell Beast and she would still name it Fluffy," Maz spat back.
While likely true, he also could not discount the fact that a Hell Beast would be quite the deterrent for anyone ever attempting to use the moppet to get to her parents again. He would have to give that thought the consideration it deserved at a later date.
Solely to reduce his dry cleaning expenses, of course.