Chapter 1: Passage 1.5
The feather didn’t glow. He was here, kneeling in the mud next to these humans who were his friends and the feather didn’t glow. He was here, putting divinity at risk of further discovery, and the feather didn’t glow. He was too late. And to add to the all-around general unfairness of the situation, he could tell that this was not an ordained death, a natural death – no, it was much, much earlier than it should have been.
Dan was rocking her body back and forth now, whispering into her hair and weeping silently. Lucifer felt disconnected, like the real him was spinning circles somewhere over his head. Chloe was gone. Gone to heaven where he would never see her again. Well now, that wouldn’t do, now would it? But he’s not foolish enough to think he can just storm Heaven and take her by force. He would be erased from existence by a wave of his Father’s hand. No, going back to Heaven would be a mistake. But what can he do? She’s not in Hell, and she’s definitely not here.
His wings quiver slightly. The feather doesn’t glow. She’s gone. Despair settles over him like the stifling robes he’d worn in Heaven, choking, drilling a hole in his chest from inside out. He can’t speak, can’t breathe or blink. He’s a statue above her, an angel like the ones humans put on their graves. An angel made of living stone.
Dan blinks, and the angel is gone.
He goes, not to his penthouse, but to the desert. Sand surrounds him, coats him, infiltrates him just like how human emotions had snuck up on him. The sun stares down from above, judging, watching, waiting; no wonder the sky was thought of as being God’s domain.
He thinks perhaps he screams, but the soreness in his throat could just be the dryness of the air. He wanders, disturbing the lizards from their rocky homes and birds from their nests and the austere cacti – wanders and walks aimlessly. This is the most physically connected he’s ever felt to his Earthly body; it’s almost funny. When it occurs to him that wandering in the desert is very biblical of him, he does laugh, doubling over and convulsing until he dry-heaves. Then, he actually throws up.
A snake tries to bite his leg, and he grinds it underneath his shoes without thought or mercy. Ironic. To the snake, he’s God; to God, he’s the snake. Slippery, slithery snake with venom in its mouth, cowardly snake, running away with no legs to stand on. A coyote howls in the distance, but it leaves him alone; one predator recognizing another. It’s hot enough to be Hell, and perhaps it is, or at least it could be. The sun tries its best to weather him down, to eat him hollow and push any light in him out with heat. The sky is a bold shade of blue, unforgiving and unrelenting. It’s almost like being back in Heaven again, with his Mother and Father and siblings. Server rooms full of busybodies and disdain. Locked rooms span into infinity only to join behind closed doors.
Speaking of siblings, Amenadiel is in front of him, arms folded, looking like he’d always been there, immovable as the rock beneath their feet.
“Brother. What are you doing out here?”
Lucifer stops walking, but feels himself swaying like he’s supposed to still be moving forward. “Oh, nothing. Thought I’d do some sunbathing. I hear the ladies like a nice tan.”
Amenadiel frowns. “Is this about Cain? I heard that you killed him. Don’t worry, Luci, I’m sure Father will forgive you, considering who he was.”
Lucifer stares. Scoffs. “Of course not. I wouldn’t waste a second of the rest of my life thinking about that cockroach.” He carefully says nothing about forgiveness – that’s an argument spanning years in the making, a can of worms he’s loath to open and see.
“Then what are you punishing yourself for?”
He breathes out sharply, glancing at the sun and then the lone cactus a few yards away. “Believe me, if I was punishing myself, there would be a whole lot more brimstone and general destruction, maybe in the downward direction.”
“Luci. Don’t make me get Phanuel down here.”
Fine. If only to prevent that holier-than-thou-know-it-all from descending from the Heavens. “The Detective’s dead.” He says it simply, as calmly as he can. He has a hunch he fails miserably.
“I’m so sorry.”
“Yeah, well, nice for you.”
“If there’s anything I can do –”
“You could go to Heaven and retrieve her.” Lucifer doesn’t even look at his brother, knowing the answer even as he asks. Hope’s a bitter master sometimes. Screw you, Pandora; you should’ve closed the box sooner.
“You know it doesn’t work like that.”
“What are you going to do?”
Lucifer smiles, not much of one, but enough for Amenadiel to look wary. “Eh, maybe I’ll go and give Dad a little visit, swing by to see how things are hanging. Maybe I’ll blow myself up in a blaze of celestial glory and take half the Earth with me. Who knows? I’m keeping my options open. Life’s no fun unless there’s some variation.”
Amenadiel’s face is hilarious, morphing from shock to concern to anger to a mix of all three to consideration.
“What, thinking about adding yourself into the mix? Pick your poison, brother. Wanna go burn down a church? Wanna have a rousing discussion about truth, honor, patriotism? God damn Ame—”
“Variations, Luci. I think you might be onto something. How much do you know about spacetime and alternate dimensions?”
“Um. Einstein’s shtick, right?”
“Nevermind. I think I could help you. This is all theoretical, mind you, but I am the angel of time. It could be possible that I can warp spacetime and put you in another dimension. One with Chloe in it.”
Lucifer freezes, ironically, considering he literally bursts into flame. “And what would be the price of such a venture, hmm? My wings? My grace? Come now, brother. What do you desire?”
“Luci, I’m your brother, I don’t want payment to help you out.”
He laughs. “That’s new. No, I don’t think so. Everything comes with strings attached, especially when it concerns me.”
“Look, I know that you’re going to do something reckless and dangerous if nothing changes. You’ll self-destruct and take out others with you. If you need to, think of you not doing that as my price.”
Lucifer’s eyes glint with red madness. “Deal.”
“This might not work. You might end up scattered between dimensions, between realities. You might never be able to get back here again. Even if it does work, there’s no guarantee that she’ll be the same person you remember, and you’ll lose her again someday anyway.”
“I don’t care. Do it or I go boom, bye bye birdies everywhere.”
Amenadiel sighs, but nevertheless raises his arms; time obligingly stops. There is an outpouring of Grace, then Lucifer is being captured by something like a giant net, compressed into something like little data packets, and blips out of reality altogether.
The angel is left in the desert. He shakes his head, looks up at the sun, looks at the spot where his brother had stood, then disappears from the Earthly plane as well.
Lucifer lands in the desert, and chokes on almost salty sand. He rises, flaps his wings. He finds her. This time, she is childless, trapped in an unhappy marriage with Dan, but is still a detective. He doesn’t bother with setting up Lux again; he snaps his fingers and a false life is built up around him. It is easy to introduce him back into her life; he offers his services to the precinct, and with the spotless records and documents he’d snapped into being, he’s accepted rather easily. It’s like a sword to the gut to see her again, but in a good way, if that were possible. This time around, he stops Jimmy Barnes from shooting her, and he doesn’t ask her to shoot him. Dan sells his honor to the highest bidder and lines his wallet with bloody dollar bills. She’s starting to warm up to him when Malcolm – not in a coma, instead is Dan’s partner in crime – puts six bullets in her chest because she came home when Dan and he were dabbling in illegality.
Lucifer lands in the desert. New life. This time, both her parents are alive and she never married Daniel. She is a lawyer, so he hires her to represent him when a preacher assaults him and slanders his name. She is one of the best, known for defending the innocent, and is almost certainly going to be the next District Attorney. After a guilty verdict, a family member of her client shoots up the courtroom, and she is gone before he can even think to spread his wings.
Desert. Hell-ash sand. Snap. This time, her daughter had been killed by Malcolm, and she is harder and crueler. She is more willing to let him rough up a suspect before bringing them in, more willing to look the other way at his less-than-legal activities or at his suspicious paper trail. She still seeks justice for victims, but knows the sweet call of revenge. She dies when an angry suspect plants a bomb on her personal car and detonates it when she goes to work.
Sun. Hot wind. Empty flat. This time, when he goes for a drink, the bartender tells him to take it easy and several barflies ask him if he’s sick. She is a private investigator instead, but unhappy with it. He suggests detectiving, and she happily makes her way through training and ranks, with him helping her along. She takes to her new occupation like a very thirsty fish, and basks in her father’s pride. She shines so very brightly that he thinks his heart rips itself out of his chest and parades over to her in a cloud of confetti and cut-out paper hearts. He’s her partner, and he takes special care to keep an eye on any threats. When she notices, she bats at his arm and tells him to relax. In a few years, he is taken by surprise, not by a bullet, but her kiss. They spend her life together, and if sometimes she glances at him and furrows her brow or holds his hand a little too tightly, he pretends not to notice. She dies at the ripe age of eighty-nine.
Lucifer falls to the desert and thinks he sees a flash of grey robes and black wings. This time, she dies just before he finds her. This time, he doesn’t leave straight away, and spends a good amount of time bar-hopping, fucking, and doing all the drugs he can get his hands on. When he’s had enough of the blurry parade of sin, he sends a blip of intent to his brother and
Wakes up with a nasty hangover in the glaring desert. This time, she’s happily married to Marcus and is a detective. This time, though, she is the right hand of a criminal empire that stretches across governments; Marcus, of course, is at its head. Lucifer didn’t know it at first, so he had infiltrated the police department and landed by her side. It is only when he stumbles across something he shouldn’t have and she’s pointing a gun at him that he realizes. For a split second, his instincts take over, and his wings flare out and attack; it’s only a split second, but it’s enough time for him to stare down at her corpse and hate himself.
He rakes a furrow in the desert when he lands and plants into it feathers and tears. This time, he walks to the city. As he is putting together his new life, someone taps on his shoulders. He doesn’t know why he expects it to be her, but it is not. The being in front of him is not human, but looks it.
“You’re not supposed to be here, are you? I’m getting all sorts of interesting readings that say you’re from very far away from home.”
“So are you. Gallifrey, I believe?”
“Not anymore. See, I’d ask you if you need some help getting back there, but I get the feeling you’d say no.”
“You’d be right. I’m just fine where I am, Trench Coat.”
“Hardy har, make fun of a person’s clothing, would you? Back to the point, what are you doing here?”
“What wouldn’t you do for those you care about? I’ve heard stories about you, Doc. You’ve burned galaxies and false gods for your loved ones. I’d do the same, but it’s not something she’d like.”
“Oh. I see. I … I’m sorry.”
“Why? Nothing to be sorry about here. I get to see her again.”
“Well, yeah, but that’s not it. You realize that you can’t do this forever, right? You’re ripping into dimensions where you shouldn’t exist, or ripping into ones that you do and replacing yourself. You’re upsetting fixed points hither and thither, and putting enough cracks into reality for a joke bar. Sooner or later, you’re going to get hunted down, erased from existence, or everything’s going to collapse.”
“I didn’t, but thanks for the heads-up. Stimulating conversation, but I’ve really got to get going now. Ta-ta, see you in another life maybe.”
It takes a few timelines for him to hear that distinct groaning siren, but the alien doesn’t seek him out. The fluttering of wings and half-glimpses of robes gets more frequent.
In one, after she dies, he kickstarts the apocalypse early and kills every brother he comes across on the battlefield.
He loses count of how many timelines he’s gone through. By now, he thinks he’s lived more chasing after the shadows of her than he every did in Hell and Heaven combined.
In one, she’s taken up with a pair of human brothers trekking across the country eradicating evils. The three of them endure and fight, and she is gloriously happy. This time, one of his younger brothers attacks him, wearing a trench coat of all things – he’s starting to hate that clothing item – and he starts to wonder if he’s hurting her more by being with her, hurting himself, hurting everything.
Lucifer lands in the desert, but the entire planet is a desert. Or is it? Maybe the desert is him and he is the desert. Maybe he’s Einstein’s definition of insanity. Maybe he’s been in a desert all along, or maybe there never was a desert. Maybe this is his punishment for daring to leave Hell and love a human, or maybe this is his Hell. Lucifer wanders in the desert and leaves memories sprinkled behind him like grains of sand. The sun chains him to the ground and there’s a taste like hell-ash in his mouth. His wings refuse to answer him. He snaps, and nothing happens except a gust of wind. His feet beat out the counts of her heart. Lucifer wanders …
So, yeah …
Sorry about the longer than usual wait. My family and I moved yesterday, and there was no time to work on this for the past, like, week. But here it is! The first half of the chapter is what I first thought up, and everything else sprung from there.
I left the ending kinda ambiguous so that you guys get to decide what actually happened. How did Lucifer jump from dimension to dimension if he left the original Amenadiel behind? Was he in Hell the whole time? Was this his punishment? Did reality rebel and trap him so that he can’t mess things up anymore? Is it just a mirage/hallucination? Did he self-determine himself trapped so that he couldn’t ‘hurt’ Chloe again? Is he still on Earth and just hasn’t found her yet? I certainly don’t know.