Chapter 1: The Small House
Trixie asks Lucifer for a favor.
Lucifer’s phone buzzed, and he pulled it from his pocket as the Detective and her offspring approached. The text, oddly enough from the Detective, read, “You don’t have to say yes,” and he saw her slipping away her own phone.
Sneaky! Lucifer approved. Still, if the Detective asked, he was likely to agree. He wasn’t sure why the child was there at the precinct, but possibly Daniel had dropped her off there.
“Go ahead,” Chloe prompted, gently squeezing the child’s shoulder. Was it meant to be encouraging?
Wait, Beatrice was asking? Not Chloe?
“Um, Lucifer?” Beatrice began. “I was wondering if I could ask you a favor.”
Lucifer eyed Chloe, his brows lifting, and Chloe said quickly, “She doesn’t mean it like that. It’s not a -” She lowered her voice. “- a Devilish thing.”
Beatrice grinned suddenly, a spark of mischief in her dark eyes drawing Lucifer’s attention. He focused; the child was a surprisingly apt negotiator. “I can try to think of that kind of favor if you want, but don’t you already owe me? Since Mom said no to the driving lessons.”
Lucifer nodded and asked, “What would you like?” He suspected from the way that Chloe lifted a hand to hide her smile that she could tell he was dreading the child’s answer. Paint on his newest Armani? An appearance at her school? It could be anything.
“I want to build a bat house,” Beatrice informed him. “Some people from the nature center came to talk to my science class, and they told us about these bats with big ears. They’re so cute! I want to build them a house.”
Lucifer couldn’t find anything that sounded like a favor in the child’s rambling. This was not exactly a disappointment. “Good luck with that,” he replied, relieved.
Beatrice shot a quick look at Chloe, who nodded encouragingly. “We’re not allowed to put things on our building, or even the trees, so I was wondering if I could put it up at your place, on your balcony.”
Lucifer pondered his answer. “You’re making the house yourself?”
Beatrice nodded. “From a kit. I don’t have to cut the boards or anything, just nail them together. Don’t worry,” she added, with more perception than made Lucifer entirely comfortable. “It won’t look bad.”
A bat house would probably not do great things for the aesthetic of his balcony. But it might be worth it to not have this favor hanging over his head. The child could certainly ask worse things of him. “Would this conclude our deal?”
Beatrice hesitated, but then nodded.
“Fine,” Lucifer agreed.
The child beamed. “I’ll go tell Dad! Thanks, Lucifer!” She looked for a moment like she was going to hug him, but then dashed down the hall, apparently in search of Daniel. Lucifer exhaled. He hadn’t been holding his breath, not quite, but he had found that children were especially unpredictable, particularly where hugs were involved. Best to stay on his toes.
“Hey, thanks,” Chloe said, giving him a smile and leaning in just a little. They had been trying to keep things reasonably professional at work, but Lucifer figured that their relationship was pretty obvious from the way Miss Lopez basically turned into a heart-eyes emoji every time she saw them. “You really didn’t have to do that.”
Lucifer shrugged, though not so much that he’d mar the lines of his suit. “I owed the child a favor.”
“Yeah, but you didn’t have to say yes,” Chloe repeated. “So thanks.”
“Well, you’re welcome,” Lucifer replied, smiling despite himself. “I’m not sure any bats will nest there, though.”
“Would you mind if they did?” Chloe asked. “I mean, some people are sc - ah, uncomfortable around bats.”
“Detective!” Lucifer drew himself up. “I am certainly not afraid of bats.”
Chloe had that too-serious look that she sometimes got when she was trying not to smile. “Okay, if you’re sure. Because back when we first started living together, Maze had to get Trixie to take a spider outside, and I figured I'd better check.”
“That is completely different,” Lucifer replied. “Not that I dislike spiders, either; after all, they eat the annoying insects, as do some bats.”
Chloe’s serious expression disappeared, and she but back a laugh. “Okay, okay. Good. Well, I’ll tell you when Trixie has finished the bat house. Is it okay if she brings it over herself? She’s only ever been downstairs at Lux, after all.”
That gave Lucifer a moment’s pause. Let the child into his home, his space? All the time they had spent together had been elsewhere.
Chloe must have seen his uncertainty, as she said, “I’ll tell her to be careful, but if you don’t want her there, it’s okay.”
Lucifer looked down at Chloe, studying her expression. She seemed sincere. “She can come,” he said, with a short nod. “It’s part of the favor, after all.”
It was part of the favor, but it was more than that. Trixie, after all, was part of Chloe’s life: the most important part, if Lucifer was being honest with himself. He didn’t mind that at all, and appreciated that Chloe was a good mum. He wanted to be part of Chloe’s life, and he knew that accepting her offspring was part of that - and not just because Linda had told him.
Well, Linda had said he should do more than accepting, really, but that acceptance was a good start.
“Let me know when the bat house is ready,” Lucifer said, with a nod. “We’ll make a night of it. Dinner, maybe a movie.” He paused. “Ah, you should -”
“Yeah, we’ll pick the movie,” Chloe agreed, the corners of her eyes crinkling as she smiled. “Thanks, Lucifer.”
Chloe kept Lucifer updated on the progress of the bat house. He knew the day the kit was purchased, and then when the child had picked out a paint color, and then when she and her mother planned to put the house together.
As the day of the bat house placement grew closer, Lucifer became increasingly nervous. He’d asked Linda for advice, and she’d suggested that he treat Trixie as he always did, that putting on a show for her wouldn’t necessarily help their relationship.
Naturally, Lucifer looked elsewhere for advice.
“Daniel, do you have a moment?”
Lucifer settled down next to Daniel, who looked up from his salad with some relief. Perhaps catching Lucifer’s raised eyebrows, he shook his head ruefully. “Too much pudding,” he muttered. “What do you need?”
“Advice,” Lucifer replied briskly. “I’m having some woman issues.”
Daniel sighed. “Man, do you really think I’m the right person to ask about Chloe? Whatever you did, just… get her some flowers or something.”
Lucifer shook his head, unable to keep back his smile. “Trust me, Daniel, I have no need of any help where the Detective is concerned. At all. In any arena.”
“Dude, seriously?” Daniel muttered, turning back to his salad.
“No, the woman I need help with is young Beatrice,” Lucifer continued, trying not to sound embarrassed. “She and the Detective are coming over to the penthouse this evening, and I want to make sure it goes well.”
Lucifer risked a glance over, and saw that Daniel’s expression had softened. “Okay, this is a little weird,” Daniel admitted, “but I love Trixie more than anything, and I appreciate that you’re asking me.”
Lucifer inclined his head. “I assumed you would know what I should do. Not that I want to replace you in her affections,” he added, unable to entirely repress a shudder at the thought. “But the Detective loves her.”
“Yeah, man, don’t worry,” Daniel replied, taking a forkful of his kale. Lucifer made a mental note to see if he’d cashed in his favor from the American Kale Association; getting Beyoncé to wear the sweatshirt in that video had been a genius move on his part.
Lucifer steered his focus away from leafy greens and back to the topic at hand. “Don’t worry? Why not?”
“Look, as much as I hate to admit it, Trixie loves you,” Daniel said, though he smiled as he shook his head. “And I’m glad. Chloe really cares about you, and it’s important for you and Trix to get along if this… whatever it is between you and Chloe is going to work. And she wants it to, so I want it to.” He rubbed his forehead, adding, “I can’t believe I’m talking about my ex-wife’s love life to her boyfriend, the Devil, and trying to help him be, what, step-Satan to my kid.”
“Boyfriend,” Lucifer echoed, pleased. Then he paused. Step-Satan? He hadn’t thought that far ahead in the relationship, but, well, it was possible.
Daniel hesitated. “That is what you are, right? Because if you’re just messing around with Chloe… look I don’t care if it sends me to Hell, I’ll kick your ass.”
“What a fascinating theology,” Lucifer murmured. “If anything, smiting the Devil would send you to Heaven. Fear not, Daniel. I am not, as you say, messing around with the Detective. I -”
But no. He couldn’t say it to Daniel. Not when he hadn’t said it to her, when he’d barely admitted it to himself.
From Daniel’s expression, he didn’t have to. “Okay,” he said. "Trixie’s favorite pizza is from Nino’s, around the corner. “She only likes cheese pizza, and get an order of fries, too…”
Lucifer nodded, listening as Daniel continued with his advice. It was still going to be a challenge, entertaining the child, but Daniel’s help made it seem a little less daunting.
Beatrice looked to be all eyes as she came into the penthouse with the Detective. That was fine with Lucifer, as being all eyes meant that less grabbing might be involved. The fact that the child was carrying what Lucifer assumed to be the bat house had to reduce the grabbing factor as well.
“Here we are, now,” Lucifer greeted.
“Wow,” Beatrice said, sounding awed. "Lucifer, your apartment is huge.
“Thank you,” Lucifer replied, nonplussed. Compared to all of Hell, after all, it was quite small.
The child moved through the apartment, still clinging to the bat house as she marveled aloud at Lucifer’s decor, his bar, his piano, his books, and his view. Well, she did have good taste.
“Can I, ah?” Lucifer asked finally, gesturing to the bat house. It had been wrapped in some sort of plastic bag, and Lucifer was curious to see just what he would be attaching to his balcony.
Beatrice grinned and nodded, and carefully sat the bat house on Lucifer’s table. “Up to a thousand little brown bats could fit in here,” she announced.
Lucifer did not mind bats, specifically, but the thought of a thousand of them living on his balcony was a bit daunting.
“Don’t worry,” Beatrice added. “They won’t fly in your hair or anything. That’s just in movies and stuff.”
Why was Chloe covering her hand with her mouth? Was he that funny with her offspring?
“That’s good,” Lucifer replied. Gesturing again toward the bat house, he asked, “Do you want to do the honors?”
Nodding, Beatrice pulled off the plastic.
The bat house was green. It wasn’t a bold or bright color, but neither was it particularly soothing.
It had a bat painted on each side.
In bright green glitter.
Across the top, someone, presumably Beatrice, had painted WELCOME! COME IN!
Also in bright green glitter.
“It’s supposed to be a light color, because it gets so hot here,” Beatrice chattered. “I didn’t want it to be grey or white, because that was boring, and green is supposed to mean life, and I want the bats to live a long time.” She turned to Lucifer, asking earnestly, “What do you think?”
Lucifer considered his words, then replied, with total sincerity, “I have never seen anything like this in my entire life, which as you know has been very long.”
Chloe winked at him over the child’s head, and Lucifer smiled in return, particularly as Beatrice seemed to take his remark as something positive.
“Well,” he said briskly. “Shall we hang it, now? Where should it go?” he asked, turning to Beatrice.
The child rummaged in a pocket and came up with a battered paper. Reading from it, she said, “It should be at least ten feet off the ground.” She looked up with a grin that Lucifer couldn’t help but return. “I think we’re good there. It should be somewhere that gets at least six hours of sun a day, south-southeast, preferably a hundred thirty-five degrees az… azi…”
“Azimuth.” Lucifer supplied. He pointed. “It should go about there, along that wall.”
Beatrice and the Detective exchanged a surprised look. “How did you know that?” Chloe asked.
“Azimuth?” Lucifer queried. “It’s not an uncommon word. It just means -”
“No,” Chloe replied, shaking her head but still looking a bit amused. “How did you know which direction was a hundred thirty-five degrees.”
“Huh. I’m not sure,” Lucifer replied, frowning as he thought about it. “I just did.”
“Maybe you have to know stuff like that for when you’re flying,” Beatrice suggested. "You're a compass. Cool." Still, her attention was clearly elsewhere, as she asked, “Are you going to hang it, Lucifer? Can you do it right now?”
He did, much to the surprised amusement of the women. “What, do you think I don’t know how these things work?” he asked. "I was alive before tools were invented. Even invented some of them myself." He managed to keep his expression to a smile, and not a leer, but he was pretty sure that Chloe knew what tools he meant.
The child had been suitably impressed, but more, Chloe had been. She’d approved of the pizza delivery that Lucifer had pre-arranged, and then they all sat on the couch to watch the movie Beatrice had deemed the closest to a bat movie that she had: Hotel Transylvania. He hadn’t even said anything when Beatrice sat between him and Chloe.
“How did you know to get Nino’s?” Chloe asked, when Beatrice had gone out to the balcony to watch for bats. “And you have Twizzlers, her favorite.”
“I did get a little help from Daniel,” Lucifer admitted. “Only I wanted it to go well.”
Chloe didn’t say anything for long enough that Lucifer started to get concerned that he’d upset her. The way her eyes glistened when she stretched up to kiss him didn’t exactly make him less confused, though she stroked the nape of his neck in a way he quite liked. “You’re really trying, huh?” she asked, and he wondered if perhaps she was getting a cold, as her voice sounded odd. Humans were a puzzle.
“Well, yes. After all, the child likely wouldn’t have enjoyed haute cuisine, and I do want my guests to be comfortable.”
Lucifer felt Chloe’s laugh more than he heard it. “Well, thank you.” They remained close for a moment longer, and then Chloe eased away with a glance at the balcony, saying, “But we need to get out of your hair. School tomorrow. Come on, Monkey!”
Lucifer heard Beatrice sigh, and then she yelled, “Come on, bats! There’s a new house here just waiting for you!”
Lucifer waved away Chloe’s attempt to hush the child, saying, “Not likely anybody’d notice up here, except for the bats.”
Beatrice smiled at Lucifer as she came inside, though she said, “No bats yet.”
“Well, give them time, babe,” Chloe replied. “They probably haven’t even seen the house yet.”
“I’ll keep watch for them,” Lucifer reassured. Well, of course he would, with the possibility of a thousand little brown bats as neighbors. Still, they’d be quiet, if they set up house. There were worse neighbors to have.
“Thanks, Lucifer! Maybe they’ll come tonight,” Beatrice suggested, as she and Chloe headed for the elevator.
But they didn’t. It took a few weeks for them - well, him - to find the bat house.
Chapter 2: The Visitor
A visitor comes to the bat house.
The fog was Lucifer’s first clue that something was off. He wasn’t sure when exactly it appeared; when he thought back after everything was over, it seemed like there had been wisps of fog even before he noticed them, clinging to the edges of the doorway as if they were afraid to enter. It must have grown gradually bolder; on the day they met, it seemed that the fog had always been there.
Odder still was the rosary. Made of some ancient, dark wood that Lucifer couldn’t name, it appeared on the bar one day, but disappeared before Lucifer got back from work. He thought it might belong to the new cleaning staff, though if they felt it necessary to pray while cleaning, he might have some cause for concern. He hadn't even had any wild parties lately, after all, and was generally tidy when he wasn't partying, so they didn't have too much to do.
Two days later, he spotted it on his table and moved to study it. Some of the beads had been worn down by years of handling, he noticed, though the crucifix itself seemed near-new.
He reached for it, then hesitated. No, the rumors were only that; he’d have no trouble touching it. Still, he rested a finger on a bead with some trepidation.
Nothing. Only wood. Lucifer smiled. Of course he could touch it, though he wouldn’t have put it past his some of the more mischievous of his siblings to leave him booby-trapped religious jewelry as a joke.
Still, he avoided the crucifix as he picked up the rosary, allowing the beads to pool in one cupped palm. Picking up the image of his brother would just be odd. “Who left you here, eh?” He found it hard to believe that the cleaning person had forgotten it again.
“Ah, I did.”
Lucifer whirled to see a pale, wispy-looking young man standing at the entrance to the balcony. He wore faded jeans and a t-shirt that showed some signs of wear. Still, seeing as how it looked to be a shirt from the first Queen tour, Lucifer understood the appeal. The man's clothing seemed fine for the early October weather, maybe even a little warm, though he might be chilly at night.
“Who are you?”
“Sorry that I keep forgetting it,” the man said, though he made no move to come forward and claim the rosary. His accent was odd, similar to Lucifer's own, but the vowels were a bit off. “Didn’t think you could touch it. Are you… ah, never mind.”
“Who are you?” Lucifer repeated, his voice increasing in intensity, though not in volume. It wasn’t one of his siblings, he knew, but the stranger didn’t seem quite right. “When did you come here? Have you been hiding on the balcony all this time?”
Not that Lucifer minded surprise visitors to the penthouse - or, well, he didn’t before he and the Detective had become an item, and the man was attractive enough - but he preferred that they announce themselves in some way rather than lurking.
The young man grimaced, though he shifted position as if trying to see the rosary without getting closer. “Henry. Sorry. I didn’t mean for you to know I was here.”
“Well, then, announcing yourself probably wasn’t the best idea,” Lucifer said, sounding snippy even to himself. “Must I repeat each question for you to answer it?”
With a spark of temper, Henry replied, “I wouldn’t have done anything if you hadn’t picked up my rosary. It’s all I have left, and I thought you -”
“What, that I’d steal it?” Lucifer asked. “Well, it was left in my penthouse - twice!”
“But you didn’t touch it last time,” Henry said. “Look, is it - did you -” He fumbled over his words, then finally said, “Can I have it back?”
Lucifer extended the rosary, the beads dipping and curling around his fingers. “Be my guest.”
Henry hesitated, then nodded and came into the room. He took the rosary carefully, then ran his fingers along the beads in a practiced gesture. “It’s all right,” he said, sounding startled.
“Well, why wouldn’t it be?” Lucifer replied, exasperated.
“Because you’re the Devil! Can you touch all of it? Even the crucifix?” Pale eyes wide, Henry extended the rosary, and Lucifer resisted the urge to bat it away. Perhaps deciding that Lucifer wouldn’t touch it, Henry turned back to the balcony entrance.
“How do you know I’m the Devil?” Lucifer asked, ignoring the questions.
That drew a laugh from Henry. “Well, it’s not like you keep it a secret. Lucifer Morningstar? If you wanted to stay hidden, you should have gone with a subtler name. Besides,” he added, indicating the penthouse with an upraised hand. “Who else would live here?”
“Yes, but you believe me,” Lucifer persisted. “Most people think I’m odd, or insane, or playing a role, but you don't seem to question it. Why?”
Henry shrugged. “Why wouldn’t I?”
“Because it defies logic and common sense. Who would think that I’m telling the truth?” Lucifer was torn between disbelief and frustration. After years and how many times telling Chloe who he was, it had taken proof she’d been unable to deny to get her to admit that he was the Devil. Why would this person just believe him?
But Henry just smiled, his pale lips opening to show a flash of teeth. “I would, because you are. God cursed me, just as he cursed you.”
Cursed by God. He’d heard it from his siblings, even from demons back in the early days in Hell. He’d thought it countless times. Somehow, hearing it from this stranger, said in such a matter-of-fact way, twisted the knife a little too far. “Out,” Lucifer demanded. “Leave my home. You’re got your trinket, now go.”
Henry’s smile turned a little sad, and he nodded, but stepped out to the balcony. In the time it took Lucifer to follow, intent on apprehending him, he’d disappeared.
No screams sounded from the street below, and Henry wasn’t anywhere on the balcony that Lucifer could see.
Lucifer kept a wary eye out, but the rosary didn’t reappear in the penthouse and he didn’t see anyone who looked like Henry hanging about Lux. Still, the fog persisted, and Lucifer grew used to it, soon forgetting that there hadn't always been wisps curling about the corners of his bedroom.
He thought he saw Henry a few weeks later at the precinct, but ended up chasing down a startled witness.
“What was that about?” Chloe asked when Lucifer returned to her desk with an amused Maze in tow. “I mean, I know you hate paperwork,” she added, her voice taking on a note of teasing, “but that was a little extreme even for you.”
“Sorry,” Lucifer said. “Thought I knew the fellow who just passed by, but I was mistaken.”
“Who did you think he was?” Chloe asked, setting aside her tablet.
Lucifer shook his head. “Just someone who showed up to the penthouse the other week. I’m still not sure why.”
“Is whoever it is the reason your place feels so weird?” Maze asked, hitching up a hip to perch on the corner of Chloe’s desk.
“There are chairs,” Chloe suggested, though without any heat.
“How do you know how my place… feels?” Lucifer asked, eyebrows lifting. “Stop by for a visit, did you? For that matter, how does it feel?”
“I was missing a knife. Thought I might have left it there.” Perhaps feeling that she'd made her point, Maze slid down from the desk and pulled a chair closer, easing into it and then putting her feet up on the spot on the desk where she’d been sitting. “It’s… not cold, but sort of.”
“Cool?” Chloe suggested, but Maze shook her head.
“Like… spiritually cold.” Maze hesitated, then added, “It’s like the mall on Christmas Eve, but less fun.”
“I hadn’t noticed anything,” Lucifer observed, frowning.
“Maybe it happened gradually?” Chloe said. “When I was a kid, my mom didn’t want me to cut my hair, so I did it a little at a time, and it took her a while to notice.”
Maze grinned. “Rebellion,” she approved, amending, “Well, for you that’s rebellion.”
“Hey,” Chloe protested, though not without a smile. “Going against my mother where looks were concerned absolutely counts as rebellion for anybody.”
Maze nodded, conceding the point. “Who showed up at your penthouse?” she asked Lucifer. Nodding toward Chloe, she added, “Thought that wasn’t your thing any more.”
“It’s not,” Lucifer agreed, though he spoke easily. He and Chloe had, after some prompting from Linda, discussed such things, and so were on the same page regarding such extracurricular activities. “Henry didn’t come over for sex. He was just… there. And then he wasn’t.”
“What, he just disappeared?” Chloe asked, though her brows lifted when Lucifer nodded. “That didn’t strike you as odd?”
Lucifer shrugged. “I kept an eye out for him, but he didn’t return. And then… well, it seemed like it didn’t matter so much. Not until I saw the poor fellow I accosted just now.”
“Yeah, that was awesome,” Maze approved, all cheerful smugness. “I thought he was going to pee his pants.” Perhaps seeing Chloe’s look of amused chiding, she added, “Demon, remember?”
“Good point,” Chloe acknowledged, smiling at Maze before turning back to Lucifer. “If he wasn’t important, why did you go after that witness?”
Lucifer was silent as he pondered his answer. Why had he done it? Really, what concerned him more was why he hadn’t noticed whatever was off about his home, for he certainly trusted Maze’s judgment there. Why didn’t he care what had happened to Henry, who Lucifer suddenly remembered had recognized him as the Devil? When had he grown so incurious?
“I’m… not sure. I need to go,” he said, as he got to his feet. “And this isn’t a ploy to avoid paperwork, I swear. If Maze says there is something off with my home, I’d like to see.”
Chloe nodded, though not without some concern. “Yeah, no, sure. I get it. You need backup? Though Maze noticed it,” she added, with a nod toward Maze. “Maybe we should all go.”
Lucifer shook his head. “Henry wasn’t at all threatening,” he reassured. “Looked as if a stiff wind would have knocked him over, honestly. But I’ll call if I need anything.”
Chloe looked a little uneasy, but nodded. “Be careful.”
“He’ll be fine,” Maze said, as Lucifer left.
Lucifer smiled, if tightly. He would be fine. What, after all, could harm the Devil?
The penthouse was different. Now that Maze had mentioned it, Lucifer noticed it. It felt less vibrant, as if someone had used a particularly ghastly Snapchat filter on it. And fog still clung to the balcony entrance.
When had that become normal?
He took a quick look around the main room, even venturing to the entrance to the balcony.
Maybe Maze had been right. Maybe Henry was responsible. But how could he still be there? He’d looked frail, but certainly not small enough to hide away in some nook. Still, it was worth checking.
“Henry,” he called. “Henry, are you here? Come out, come out, wherever you are. Olly olly oxen free.”
A breeze stirred the air over his head, and Lucifer caught a flicker of movement over his head. He turned, and…
Henry looked somehow better. He stood straighter, and his skin had lost much of its pallor. Lucifer found himself unable to look away from Henry’s lips, now pink and glistening.
“Stop that,” Henry said, his voice sharp.
Lucifer blinked and looked away, then back to Henry’s strange, pale eyes. “What just happened?” Oddly, he didn't even take offense at Henry giving him an order.
Henry sighed. “I apologize. I didn’t realize it would affect you like that.”
Lucifer turned away, though not so much that Henry was out of his line of sight, and poured a drink. “Would you like one,” he asked, “While you explain what’s going on?”
Henry shook his head. “I’d say I never drank scotch, but that’s been done before. And, well, I do. Yours is particularly good; thank you. But not just now. Perhaps later.”
Lucifer took up his own glass, though he didn’t drink it, not just yet. “Where were you, just now? Before I called for you.”
“Oh, out on the balcony.” Henry smiled, charming but still melancholy. “I do appreciate you asking me in. It’s been lonely. And, well, I can’t hear out there, when you watch television.”
“You were not,” Lucifer all but snarled. “I looked. I did not see you. Don’t lie to me.”
“I didn’t,” Henry replied quickly, holding up his hands in a defensive gesture. “I thought you already knew. I was in the small house.”
For a moment, Lucifer had no idea what Henry meant. But then he gestured to the balcony, and Lucifer caught sight of Beatrice’s bat house. “You’d never fit.”
Henry closed his eyes, and Lucifer had seen a similar enough expression on Chloe’s face to guess that he was trying to be patient. “Look, if I show you, will you believe me?”
Lucifer inhaled a breath, the words hitting him harder than perhaps Henry had intended. All those times he’d told someone his identity, only to be laughed off. Method. Joking. Delusional. He was none of those things, not when it came to who he was.
Finally, he swallowed a mouthful of his drink. “Yes,” he said, feeling the rasp of his voice. “Show me.” He shouldn’t need the proof to believe whatever it was, but he did.
Henry’s lips tightened, and he nodded.
His outline went hazy, and he seemed to collapse in upon himself, his form darkening and contorting until he hovered in the air: a bat.
Lucifer finished his drink and set the glass aside. “Well,” he breathed. “Would you look at that?”
Henry remained as a bat for a moment longer, and then elongated, stretching back to his human form. “Can I have that drink now?” he asked, his face gone a bit more pale.
Lucifer nodded. He poured a drink for Henry, handed it over, refilled his own glass. “Sit, before you fall down,” he urged, fitting actions to words and sitting on the couch. Henry did the same. Lucifer studied the smaller man. “So. You’re, what, a vampire? I didn’t think they existed.”
“Says the Devil himself,” Henry replied, his lips curving just a little. “But, yes. A vampire.”
A vampire. Angels and demons, of course Lucifer knew they were real, but he’d assumed that vampires were the product of the humans’ imagination.
Had his father done this?
“And you can turn into a bat,” Lucifer said, still trying to make sense of it. Why would his father do something like this to his creations?
Henry shrugged. “It’s harder to transform back and forth in succession like that, but yes.”
“But you… you had the rosary,” Lucifer realized. “You pray? To my father? Why?”
Henry reached into a pocket and pulled out the rosary, looking at it rather than at Lucifer. “When I was a child, it’s what was done. Mass every day, confession, say your prayers. I suppose I believed that He’d forgive me, if I asked often enough.”
“My father?” Lucifer repeated, the words bitter in his mouth.
Henry nodded, meeting Lucifer’s gaze at last. “He cursed me, punished me for -”
“No,” Lucifer interrupted, his words sharp. “Punishment is my bailiwick. Dear old Dad doesn’t care enough to do anything to you lot, on an individual level. He just -” But Lucifer cut off his own words, as Henry’s expression had gone stricken. “What?” he asked, gentling his tone.
“You’re sure?” Henry stammered. “Well, of course you would be. You’re his son. Who would know him better?” He ignored Lucifer’s scoffing sound, continuing, “I thought he did it to me on purpose, because of - well, why doesn’t matter. But as punishment. And I thought that if I repented enough, maybe I would be restored, and could go -”
To Heaven. He didn’t say it, not in words, but the implication was clear.
“You wouldn’t want to go there,” Lucifer said, his voice flat. “It’s boring.”
Henry didn’t respond.
Great. Another human’s worldview destroyed. He’d developed a knack for that, really, though they did tend to recover.
“What did you do that was so awful?” Lucifer asked, trying to make his voice soothing, the way the Detective had the previous week when her child had felt slighted. He wondered if he should rub the vampire’s back, the way Chloe has done, or would that be weird? No, definitely weird.
“It doesn’t matter,” Henry repeated, his voice quiet. “I did it, and it was a sin.” He fumbled with his beads, a murmur of Latin escaping his lips.
“Do you think that’s what my father wants?” Lucifer demanded. “Chanting and kneeling and… okay, sometimes he did enjoy a good grovel.” Henry had opened his eyes, though his lips and his fingers still moved. “Look,” Lucifer said, gentling his tone. “Many of the things your church - all of the churches - say are wrong? Sins? He doesn’t care about them. They’re made up by humans so that one group can have power over another. For the most part, he doesn’t pay attention to the details. I mean, sure, he micromanaged some in the bad old days. But most of the time, especially lately, he just doesn't care.”
Henry’s fingers ceased their motion. “I’m not sure why you think this is going to make me feel better,” he whispered. “He’s supposed to be God the Father, not God the I don’t actually care.”
“Well, as a father, he leaves something to be desired, so benign neglect is about as good as it gets.” Lucifer glanced skyward, adding, “Trust me on this one.”
Henry drew in a quavery breath. “What does it say about me that I do trust you?” he asked.
“Maybe that you’re developing some common sense?”
Henry smiled wanly and tucked away the rosary again, with a final murmur in Latin.
Lucifer realized that his pronunciation was classical, rather than ecclesiastical, and had been throughout. Perhaps Henry was old-school, or perhaps…
“Henry, how old are you?”
Henry took up his drink once more. “When I was born, my father named me in honor of the king,” he replied.
Lucifer managed not to roll his eyes, though he couldn’t keep back a short, exasperated sigh. “Well, that narrows it down.” But, whichever King Henry it had been, it meant that this Henry was far older than he looked. “So your father, your family…?”
“Gone,” Henry replied, his voice dispassionate. “Of course. Oh, I have descendants, I daresay, but I lost track once I grew too old for my face. Some of the others pay attention to their families, but…” He shrugged. “It got too complicated.”
“Family is complicated,” Lucifer agreed, his thoughts nowhere near the penthouse. He’d almost said overrated, but he knew that to be a lie. He’d been without them for millenia, for the most part, but he found himself missing some of his siblings. Feeling that both he and Henry could use a change of subject, he asked, “How did you come to be living here?”
Henry stretched out his legs before him. “To this country? I came a few hundred years ago. Wanted a change.”
“Well, I meant my penthouse.”
Henry actually smiled. “Well, how could I resist -” Lucifer was all set to preen when Henry concluded, “- the lovely small house? Green is my favorite color, and it even welcomed me in, and I do like the tiny bats on the sides. And, well, I liked it here.”
Lucifer smiled just a bit. “It is a nice place, yes. Lovely views.”
“And you can see the stars,” Henry said, his voice quiet and a bit wistful. “That’s hard to come by, around here.”
Lucifer nodded. “One of the advantages of being so high up.”
Henry shook his head, his smile a little sad. “You don’t even realize it, do you?” he asked. Perhaps noting Lucifer’s puzzled expression, he added, “The stars. They shine more brightly when you’re near.”
Lucifer looked toward the balcony, murmuring a negative. “They shine as they always have.”
With another headshake, Henry said, “They shine more for you. They remember where they came from, Lightbringer.”
Lucifer got up and moved toward the balcony. Did the stars shine brighter as he approached? He couldn’t tell. But it warmed his heart a bit to think that perhaps the stars remembered him. “I was proud of them,” he said, more to the stars than to Henry. “Am proud.”
“As you should be. Pride in one’s creations is, well -” A quiet cough came from Henry, and when he spoke again, it sounded like he wanted to change the subject. “The small house. Did you make it?”
“No,” Lucifer replied, his tone dry, though he did glance at the bat house before returning to his chair. “The child did, the Detective’s offspring. My, ah, partner’s daughter,” he clarified, seeking Henry’s puzzled look. “She wants to save the bats.”
“As she should. They do need saving,” Henry confirmed. “Too many horror movies made people dislike them.”
“Yes, but vampire bats are real,” Lucifer said. “Vampires are real."
With a short, exasperated sigh, Henry said, all scorn, “We are, but we don’t sparkle, and we can see our reflections, and I adore garlic.” Speaking more calmly, he added, “It’s a blood disorder… sort of. I think. There are those of us who have gone into medicine, to learn more about it, but that's not the path I chose.”
“Sort of?” Lucifer pressed. “But do you drink blood?” How had he not known that vampires were real? Wouldn’t at least one of them have ended up in Hell?
Henry looked into his glass. “I do,” he said, his voice quiet. “I’ve got some people who help: one at the blood bank, a phlebotomist who will draw extra vials, that sort of thing. Not as much as I’d like, not as tasty when it's not fresh, but I take what I can get. I don’t… bite people any more. It’s too dangerous.”
“For them or for you?”
Henry looked away. “Well, both,” he said, still speaking softly. “It’s too easy to get carried away, and, well, modern technology takes note of such things as bite marks on corpses, should one lose control.”
Lucifer nodded, though he observed, “It’s amazing what they can explain away, though. The humans. What they just won’t see, even when it’s right in front of them.” He eyed Henry, adding, “You do look better than you did when we first met, if I can say so. Less likely to fall over at a moment’s notice. I’d hate to think you were snacking on the clientele at Lux.” He let his eyes flicker red, noting Henry’s wary headshake with something that wasn’t quite pleasure.
“It’s actually because of you,” Henry admitted, though he lifted a hand in a warding gesture when Lucifer drew himself up. “No, I haven’t bit you. I said I don’t bite people.”
“I’d like to think I would have noticed being bitten,” Lucifer observed, twitching at one cufflink.
Henry smiled, looking very much like the cat that got the cream. “You would have. But, no, it’s because of your…” He gestured vaguely. “You feel things. Not like that,” he added, possibly sensing the off-color remark on the tip of Lucifer’s tongue. “Your emotions, I mean.”
Looking puzzled, Lucifer asked, “You… suck my feelings?”
Henry didn’t appear to understand it, himself. “I mean, no actual sucking is involved, but just being around you, I feel better. I haven’t needed as much blood. I’ve felt stronger. Maybe it's because of who you are.”
Lucifer felt inexplicably pleased. He hadn’t done anything, not as such, but being seen as a source of good, even of healing, was pleasantly novel. “I’m glad, I suppose. Did you do something to me?” he asked. “I had forgotten you were here until I saw someone who resembled you, and the penthouse feels… odd. And all the bits of fog are rather strange. Though if you could do it at Lux,” he thought to add, "I'd save on decorating for Halloween."
“Not intentionally,” Henry was quick to reply. “It’s a vampire thing. When I used to bite people, their memories blurred. I guess something similar happened here, and the fog just tends to happen, when. I stay in one place for a time. But the rest of it, I’ll stop it, now that I know it’s happening.”
Nodding, Lucifer said, “Well, you’re welcome to stay, long as you don’t cause trouble. Well, any more trouble than happens here on its own,” he amended. Seeing that Henry’s gaze had gone distant, he added, “Or you can move along. I won’t be offended.”
Henry summoned a smile. “Sorry, no, thank you. I just… I was hoping you’d know about vampires, that you could restore me so that I could go to Heaven.”
“Point of fact, I never saw any vampires in Hell,” Lucifer observed.
With a grim nod, Henry said, “I was told that we don’t have souls. Like demons. So when we die, it’s over. Better that than Hell, I suppose. No offense.”
“None taken,” Lucifer reassured. “I didn’t exactly enjoy my time there. And there is someone I can ask who might know more. If anybody could help, she can.”
“She,” Henry echoed, sitting up a little straighter. “So… not your father?”
Lucifer shook his head. “As if he’d answer. And not Mum, either. She’s, ah, out of range, though actually, vampires, that seems like something she’d do.”
Pity she wasn’t available to ask. If his mother had somehow created vampires, Lucifer was curious as to how she’d done it. He could guess at the why.
Looking stunned, Henry said, “You have a mother?”
“Of course I do,” Lucifer replied, unable to keep back a short laugh. “Think Dad did the Big Bang all by himself? Here, now, take a drink,” Lucifer suggested. “Sorry, didn’t mean to tip your worldview. Well, again.”
“Do people pray to her?” Henry asked, his voice weak.
“Mum? Well, I don’t think so, no. Dad got pissed off at her, wrote her out of the story.” Lucifer shook his head, setting aside his drink. “But let’s see if she answers. My sister, I mean. Not Mum.” He folded his hands and closed his eyes, reaching out to his sister.
“Let’s give her a minute,” Lucifer added, when she didn’t immediately reply. Eventually, she stepped in from the balcony, her wings folding as she entered.
“Hey, Lulu,” Azrael greeted.
Henry mouthed, Lulu?, then smiled at Lucifer’s quelling look.
“Wasn’t sure you’d show up,” Lucifer said, aware that his voice had gone stiff. He’d talked with Linda about his sister, more as a precaution than anything else, but he still wasn’t sure how he felt about her now.
Azrael smiled. “I’ll come whenever you call. I don’t want to just show up here, though,” she added, her voice taking on a note of teasing. “Anything could be happening.”
“Yes, well, not so much any more with the orgies,” Lucifer demurred.
“He’s been living like a monk,” Henry confirmed. “Well, if monks had fancy penthouses and massages and grocery delivery and all that. Which they kind of did, back in the day, sometimes. But the sex thing, he’s right, there. Less sex than some actual monks, really.”
“Stop helping,” Lucifer murmured.
Azrael turned to study Henry, her eyebrows lifting, and then she turned back to Lucifer. “You know what this guy is, right?”
“Don’t be so judgy, little sister,” Lucifer chided, suddenly wondering if calling on the Angel of Death had really been the right move.
Azrael’s lips curved, though her expression wasn’t especially pleasant. “Yeah, that’s Dad’s job.”
Still, she cast a speculative look toward Lucifer’s neck, and he said, perhaps with a touch of exasperation, “Yes, I know he’s a vampire, and, no, he didn’t bite me. Look, he thinks he doesn’t have a soul. Is he right? I know I never saw a vampire in Hell. At least, nobody I knew was a vampire. But maybe you can’t tell just by looking.” Though clearly Azrael had.
“No, he’s right,” Azrael confirmed, and Henry deflated a little. Perhaps Azrael noticed that, as she sidled a little closer to Lucifer as she asked, “And can you blame me for checking? I mean, it’s an experience. Or so I’ve heard,” she amended, maybe catching Lucifer’s startled look.
He wasn’t really sure what to make of that, and so went with, “Of course not.” Lucifer didn’t want to think too hard about his younger sister not only knowing about vampires, but also knowing about vampire experiences.
What had she been up to for all those years?
“Look, I have to go,” Azrael said, though not without an apologetic look. “People keep dying. But call again,” she added, her smile warming her face. “I’ll come.” She hesitated a moment, then said, “Look, if anybody can help this guy, it’s you. And do it next Wednesday. It’ll be easier.”
And then, leaving Lucifer completely baffled, Azrael left.
The silence hung, and the Henry asked, “What did she mean? Who even was that?”
“My sister Azrael,” Lucifer replied, but any further answer was lost to Henry’s protestations.
"Azrael? The Angel of Death? You called the Angel of Death?!"
“Well, who else to ask if you’ve got a soul?” Lucifer asked, nettled.
Henry took a deep breath. “Okay. Yeah. Okay. I guess that makes sense.” Another breath. “I thought she’d be taller.”
“She’s as tall as she needs to be,” Lucifer replied, with a shrug.
Henry seemed to have gotten himself under control, though he did gulp about half of his remaining drink. “What did she mean, though? That you could help me.”
Lucifer shook his head. “I have no idea. And why next Wednesday?”
“Oh, I know that one,” Henry said, his expression a little grim. “It’s Halloween.”
Chapter 3: Halloween
Lucifer spends Halloween afternoon at Chloe's apartment, still not sure if he can help Henry, and then returns to Lux.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Lucifer pondered his sister’s words over the next several days. Henry stayed out of the way unless Lucifer called for him, until Lucifer said he should just come and go as he pleased. It was a bit disconcerting to see Henry mingling at Lux of an evening, but he had given his word not to snack on anyone, so Lucifer let him be.
He did wonder how many vampires there were in the area, and whether any of them were more inclined to eat more free range food, so to speak.
He tried poking around the morgue to see if any bodies with suspicious puncture wounds had come in.
“Nothing like that,” the chipper medical examiner replied. “What are you looking for, vampires?”
“You know about them?” Lucifer stammered. Was he the only one who had been left in the dark? And the ME was a bit pale. Maybe she was a vampire, too?
“Of course,” the ME replied, her tone serious. “After all, I’m a zombie.” She grinned and winked at him, then, and he was pretty sure she was having fun at his expense.
“I wanted to talk with you about something,” Lucifer said as he watched Chloe sort through Beatrice’s Halloween candy. The child had taken some of the spoils and had gone into her room, no doubt to start copious over-consumption of sugar.
Lucifer wasn’t sad that he had the annual Halloween party at Lux that evening.
“That’s a little ominous,” Chloe said, though she looked amused. “If it’s about tonight, I understand that you have to get back to Lux. I’m just glad you came over today. It really meant a lot to Trixie.”
Lucifer wasn’t sure quite why the child had been so insistent that he see her in costume before she and Maze left to extort candy from the neighbors, but it had been a simple enough request, and he certainly did mind spending time with Chloe. She paused in sorting to unwrap a mini Reese’s cup. “Here, now," Lucifer protested, "are you taking the child’s candy?”
“Parent tax,” Chloe said with a wink. “Want one?”
Lucifer shook his head. “What are you expecting to find, looking through the candy like this?”
“Nothing, really,” Chloe admitted. “It’s more a throwback to when I was a kid. Tampered Halloween candy was supposedly a big thing, though I doubt anyone actually put razors in candy. But I’ll throw out anything that’s ripped open, that sort of thing.” She looked up from her sorting, adding, “You can go on if you need to. It’s really okay.”
Lucifer shook his head. “No, I did want to talk to you first,” he said, and Chloe sobered. “It’s not just that I have to leave. I know you understand about that. But I understand something, too, and I wanted to tell you about it. See, Henry just knew that I was the Devil.”
“Henry’s that guy who just showed up at Lux, right?” Chloe asked. “Weird. How did he know?”
Lucifer hesitated. He hadn’t told Chloe all about Henry, as he had been a little wary of more worldview-destruction. Still, it was necessary to tell her the full truth for her to understand his realization. Or so Dr. Linda had told him. And after everything else, vampires wouldn’t be a big deal, right?
“Well, he’s a vampire,” he said, casting a sidelong look at her. “Apparently my identity is known in the vampire community.”
Chloe continued sorting through the candy.
“Did you hear me?” Lucifer asked, when the silence had gone on too long.
“Mm hmm,” Chloe replied, her tone absent. “Vampires, huh? Neat. Hey, does he sparkle? That would be awesome, but kind of awful, too, you know?”
“Ah, no.” Lucifer hesitated. “I feel like you’re taking this too well.”
Chloe smiled, unwrapping a Snickers. “If it makes you feel better, I would think this was some sort of Halloween joke if it was coming from anybody else. But this is you, and you’ve never lied to me. So I’m just… taking it in. Maybe self-medicating a little with chocolate. Okay?”
Lucifer felt his throat tighten a little. Chloe had shown other signs of faith in him in the time that they’d been together, but it still felt strange. He cleared his throat. “Just let me know when you’re ready to proceed.”
Chloe popped the Snickers into her mouth and chewed deliberately, then nodded, gesturing for Lucifer to go on.
“He just knew,” Lucifer said. “And then he told me that he was a vampire, and I didn’t believe him. Honestly, I wasn’t really sure I believed in vampires. I needed proof.”
“Wait, you didn’t know about vampires, either?” Chloe asked, her brows lifting. “Somehow that makes me feel better. But needing proof, good for you!” She covered Lucifer’s hand with hers. “We’ll make a detective out of you yet.”
“But that’s what I wanted to tell you,” Lucifer persisted. “I understand now about needing proof. About why you needed it. Some things are too unusual to just take at, ah, face value."
Chloe nodded her own understanding, saying, “I should have trusted you sooner, though. But vampires, the Devil? I mean, needing proof for both of those makes sense to me.”
“I just wanted you to know is all,” he said, feeling a little silly.
Chloe leaned in to kiss him. She tasted of the chocolate, which wasn’t entirely unpleasant, and Lucifer leaned against her just a little. He had found that he enjoyed just being close, even when he knew that, due to the presence of the offspring, sex was off the table for the day. “Hey, thanks," Chloe murmured.
And somehow when she smiled, he no longer felt silly. It was just right.
Lucifer stayed long enough to see the child in her pajamas, and to listen to the Detective read her a chapter from a rather fascinating book about a boy in a graveyard, and then he headed off to the party at Lux.
He stayed there longer than was really necessary, stalling. He wanted to help Henry, he did; he just wasn’t sure how to go about doing it.
“You can do it,” someone shouted, but when Lucifer whipped his head around to see, it just turned out to be a cheerfully drunk partier encouraging his fellow to ask someone to dance.
Still, Lucifer knew a cue when he heard one. He nodded to the floor manager, then headed for the lift. He’d just - his mouth twisted as he thought of it - wing it.
“Henry,” he called, as the lift doors opened, and the vampire all but tumbled into the penthouse.
“Seriously?” Henry asked, seeing Lucifer’s Bela Lugosi style Dracula outfit.
“It was the child’s idea,” Lucifer replied, his tone apologetic. “I needed something for the party.”
He did love the cape, though, and took it off with some reluctance.
Henry just nodded, watching Lucifer with a combination of uncertainty and eagerness that sent Lucifer to his decanter.
“One quick drink,” he murmured.
He sipped the whisky, though he didn’t taste it, and finally set the glass aside.
“Right,” he said, clearing his throat.
Lucifer walked out to the balcony, Henry following. Did the stars brighten as they emerged? Lucifer wasn’t sure. But he knew that if he could accomplish this, it would be here, before his most beloved creation.
“Azrael said that you don’t have a soul,” Lucifer said, groping for the idea as he spoke. “And I believe her. But maybe you can gain one.”
Henry rested against the balcony railing, not looking at Lucifer. “What, through… noble acts, that sort of thing? I don’t think it works that way.”
“Of course not. But belief…” He took a deep breath. “It has been my experience lately that belief can shape reality more than I’d thought. At least, for my kind.”
Henry shot him a quick, sidelong look. “Well, that’s lovely for you, but last I checked I was neither angel nor Devil. Nor good red herring," he added, a wry twist to his lips. "So, what, do you have to believe, and then I get a soul?”
“Maybe.” Lucifer cupped his hand, allowing the starlight to pool within his palm, cool and soothing. He looked up, meeting Henry’s startled gaze. “Look, even with all that my father has done to me, I find it hard to believe that he would remove the possibility of Heaven from any member of humanity.” And wasn’t that a twist of the knife? Not that Lucifer wanted to return to the Silver City, of course. He didn't. But he wanted the option. That was all he ever wanted, really.
“But I’m not human,” Henry whispered. He reached to try and catch the overflowing starlight, but could not grasp it; it became intangible once it lost contact with Lucifer’s skin.
“Aren’t you?” Lucifer smiled. “For millenia I saw myself only as the Devil. I refused to acknowledge my origins, wouldn’t fly. Here on Earth, I cut off my wings. And yet I find that I cannot deny that part of me.” He loosed his wings, not sure if Henry’s look of awe inspired pride or irritation. Maybe both.
The wings were his, after all, much as he hated to admit it. And the fact that they had reappeared meant…
Well, maybe something about the way he viewed himself. He still wasn’t sure what, and for a brief, fleeting moment wished that he could talk to Amenadiel about it. But maybe he could help Henry.
Lucifer let the starlight pool once more, and extended his hand toward Henry. “Drink.”
Henry looked dubious, but cupped Lucifer’s hand in both of his and brought it to his mouth.
“No teeth,” Lucifer cautioned, only half in jest, and Henry’s lips curved as he drank.
“It tastes…” Henry shook his head as he straightened, his eyes dazzled. “I don’t even know how to describe it.” He released Lucifer’s hand and stumbled back a step to peer into the sky, then turned back to Lucifer. “You really made them,” he said, though his tone was not one of doubt but rather of awe.
Lucifer smiled, turning to look at the sky as well. In the early days, when both he and the stars had been young…
Well, they had been simpler times. When he’d started spending more time on Earth than in the Silver City, the stars had always been there to remind him of who - of what - he was. They had welcomed him back each time he’d ventured from Hell, and when he had come to live in LA, he chose a spot as close to them as he could get.
“I did,” Lucifer answered softly, when he realized that Henry was watching him.
And then he did notice it: for the merest second, the stars blazed brighter, as if in recognition of his words. He gave himself a small shake, then turned back to Henry. “Do you feel any different?”
Henry nodded, and Lucifer realized that the vampire was glowing as if lit from within. Henry seemed to realize it at the same time, and lifted a hand to stare at it in wonder.
“That could be hard to explain,” Lucifer quipped.
Henry nodded. “At least it isn’t sparkles,” he murmured. “I could never live that down.”
Lucifer asked, “Do you still feel, ah, thirsty?”
“For blood, you mean?” Henry asked. “A bit, but I fed earlier. Why, was that supposed to make me no longer a vampire?”
Lucifer felt that this wasn’t quite the time to mention that he’d acted on impulse and really had no idea what he’d done. “Ah, no. Just wondering.”
There was something different about Henry, though. “Just a moment,” Lucifer murmured. He folded away his wings and stepped into the penthouse. Henry, entranced by the faint glow still emanating from his fingers, barely seemed to notice his departure.
Even as Lucifer pressed his hands together in preparation to call her, he spotted Azrael sitting on the couch. “You figured it out,” she approved.
“Figured what out?” Lucifer asked, pulling his hands apart as if he’d been burned. “What did I just do? Did I really give him a soul?”
Azrael made a gesture somewhere between a nod and a shrug.
“But he’s still a vampire?”
This time, Azrael nodded. “A vampire with a soul. Neat, huh?” she asked. “I think I saw that happen on a TV show once.”
A little uneasy, Lucifer glanced at the balcony. “Will he go to Hell?” he asked quietly.
Azrael shook her head. “You know I can’t tell you that, Lulu.”
“Don’t call me that,” Lucifer said, though, really, he didn’t mind too much. Not when it came from Azrael. His sister just smiled, and Lucifer asked, “Will the glow fade? Only it’s a bit conspicuous.”
Azrael shrugged. “I don’t really think this has ever been done before,” she admitted.
“Could I do it again?” Lucifer asked, not wanting to voice the thought that had occurred to him.
Azrael hesitated a moment before saying, “What you did was restore the soul that was his before. You didn’t make a whole new soul. That… I don’t think anybody but Dad could do that. Sorry.”
Lucifer nodded, pushing back his twinge of disappointment. And, well, who was to say that Maze would even want a soul? But the option would have been nice. Maze did tend to put herself in dangerous situations, after all; he pushed back the thought of her possible, final demise. “Thanks for confirming,” he said, trying to keep his tone breezy.
Azrael nodded, her expression sympathetic. “Sorry.”
“Did it really have to be today?” Lucifer asked, eager to talk about something else.
Azrael grinned, and Lucifer, reminded of the mischievous child she had been, felt a small pang for all the missed time. “Nah. I thought it was poetic, though. Vampire gets his soul back on Halloween! Fun, right? I couldn’t resist.”
Azrael winked at him, then slipped out to the balcony and departed, Lucifer following.
“So you do have a soul now,” he informed Henry. “Azrael confirmed it.”
“She was here?” Henry asked, startled. “Well, good to know.” He opened his hand, revealing what he’d been looking at with such intensity: the crucifix from his rosary. “I can hold it now. Guess I’ll have to remember the Apostles’ Creed.”
“Huh,” Lucifer said, wondering how much this new ability was rooted in Henry’s belief that he could do it.
How much did belief really matter for humans? Lucifer had always scoffed at tales of people praying themselves back to health; he knew his father didn’t work that way, though he suspected that his brother Rafael may have stuck his oar in on occasion. But maybe belief mattered more than he’d thought, because clearly something had happened.
“What are you going to do now?” he asked.
Henry shook his head. “I don’t know. Your sister, did she say where I’d go?”
Lucifer smiled apologetically, saying, “She can’t tell. Not sure if that means she doesn’t know until you die, or that she knows and can’t say, but you don’t have an answer.”
Henry nodded, his expression a little uncertain. “I didn’t realize it would be like this. For so long, I’ve known what would happen if I died. Nothing. But now? This not knowing?” He chuckled, a short, uneasy sound. “Not sure I like it.”
“Well, welcome to humanity,” Lucifer quipped. “Or soul-bearing-vampire… anity.” Growing more serious, he said, “You have the chance of Heaven now, but also the risk of Hell. And Heaven is boring, but I think you’d like it better.”
“Yes,” Henry agreed, still looking a little unsettled.
“Look, there was a cost,” Lucifer said, trying to keep the bitterness from his tone as he added, “There’s always a cost, and most people don’t check what it is in advance, they just say, yes, do it. But yours isn’t so bad. Live a good life, one you can claim as your own with pride, and you’ll have the ending you desire.”
“Yes,” Henry repeated, sounding more sure of himself. “I will.” Looking a little embarrassed, he said, “Think I’ll clear out of here and go back to my apartment, get my life in order. But maybe I’ll come visit sometimes, if that’s all right?”
“Of course,” Lucifer agreed promptly. He’d enjoyed Henry’s company, after all. “Wait, what did you say?” he asked, as the rest of Henry’s words registered. “You have an apartment?”
Henry smiled, his pale eyes twinkling with mirth. “Of course. I have been at this for a few hundred years, after all. But there’s a certain cachet to living at the Devil’s house. I’ll see if I can get some actual bats to come live in your small house, though, if you like?”
Lucifer nodded, still not quite sure how it hadn’t occurred to him that of course Henry would have a home. “Yes. The child would enjoy that, knowing that her work had paid off.”
“I will, then.” Henry extended a hand. “Thank you, Lucifer. For everything.”
Lucifer shook the vampire’s hand, wondering if he had done him a favor or not.
The book Chloe reads to Trixie is The Graveyard book by (of course) Neil Gaiman
Chapter 4: Epilogue
Some years in the future, Lucifer receives some news.
Lucifer still wasn’t used to the way Azrael just showed up, though she’d gotten into the habit in the years since their reconciliation. He’d turn around and there she would be, sipping a coffee or correcting Trixie’s history homework or playing with one of the cats that he and Trixie had gotten after he and Chloe had bought the house.
(Trixie hadn’t begged, but she’d done that thing with her eyes that Lucifer had found increasingly perilous, and somehow he’d found himself turning down the road to the animal shelter.
“You hate cats!” Chloe had said, puzzled, when Trixie had burst into the house, gleeful with the news.
“I know!” he’d replied. “But they sound like tiny sportscars, and I found myself unable to resist when the child handed me one.”
Still, Lucifer was generally glad to see his sister. She often brought entertaining gossip from the Silver City, or news of what odd things the humans were up to in other parts of the world.
When she showed up just after the seasons changed, her expression serious, he sat down at the kitchen table and nodded to the chair opposite. “What’s wrong?” he asked.
“Well, maybe nothing,” Azrael said, with a small grimace. “Depends on your perspective, I guess.”
Lucifer sighed. “This isn’t going to be one of those times when you dance around something for twenty minutes, is it? I need to go meet Chloe.”
“Look at you, calling her what she wants to be called,” Azrael approved, her expression briefly lightening. Lucifer made a wry face. “Okay, okay,” Azrael said, her tone mollifying. “I just thought you’d want to know that your vampire died.”
“My…? Oh.” Lucifer remembered, then frowned. “So soon?”
“Lulu, it’s been years,” Azrael replied, her tone gentle. “Car accident,” she added, before he could ask. “All that time, and that’s what finally got him.”
Lucifer nodded, silent for a moment. “So in the end, where did he go?” he asked, not sure which answer he wanted to receive.
“Heaven, of course,” Azrael replied. “He lived a good life.”
“Poor bugger,” Lucifer muttered, blinking hard, his throat gone strangely tight.
And it wasn’t even that he had wanted Henry to go to Hell; certainly not. But the vampire had stopped by when he was in the area, and even though it had been more than a year since his last visit, Lucifer still regretted that there would be no more. And if Henry was in Heaven, well, Lucifer would never see him again.
He tried very hard not to think about future deaths. Just the idea made him want to gather up his friends and hide them away from anything dangerous, but he knew that would not go over well.
“Hey,” Azrael said, and Lucifer met her gaze without thinking. “You did that. You helped him get the thing he wanted the most in the world.”
Lucifer smiled, but shook his head. “He did a lot of it himself.”
Azrael shrugged in acknowledgement. “Yeah. But without what you did, he never would have had the chance. So the next time you hear somebody badmouthing the Devil, you remember that. Okay?”
Lucifer smiled, nodding. “All right.”
He glanced away, and when he looked back Azrael was gone. She never liked goodbyes, probably because she’d seen too many of them among the humans, but he’d gotten used to that about her.
Lucifer smiled as he got to his feet and left the house. He paused to peer into the sky, gazing at the weathered bat house that hung on a pole near the house, its top still holding hints of green glitter. “Hope you’re not too disappointed, Henry.”
Lucifer whistled as he started the car, suddenly pleased by the very thought of it: a vampire in Heaven.