Beelzebub had never been ambitious. In Heaven as an angel, her cool and unassuming demeanor was notable, she preferred to work alone.
And she had Fallen because of that, she'd rather not help, she did not want to be bothered by doing God's bidding. She favored living on her own agency and time, over being a pawn on the divine chessboard.
She had had arguments with a certain Archangel over that before her fall. "I'm just one angel." she'd say, as they sat together looking down on creation. Beelzebub liked to watch the bees in the spring, they were small and docile and kept their own routine, but still had a nasty sting, much like her. "Why does the Almighty care if I participate or not?"
The archangel would look at her incredulously, brows furrowed over striking violet eyes. "We were made to participate. We can't just refuse our part in the Great Plan."
Beelzebub would make a face in return, her eyes tracking the fat, buzzing little bees. "So, God gives the humans free will, but not us?"
Then predictably, the archangel would huff. "I won't argue with this about you. We'll all do what we have to." he'd say, and lean over to press a kiss to her glossy but messy hair, before standing and leaving.
That was one of the very last times Beezlebub spoke to him before her fall. She had been called on by God to join with a host of other angels and preform some task, and refused, before God and everyone that had gathered.
She still remembered the horror on the Archangel's face as the ground cracked beneath her feet. She had saw him reach for her, but he was powerless to prevent her fall. She had plummeted down, down, into a fissure of fire below the surface of the Earth, and when the fires burned out, leaving her lying senseless at the bottom of the fissure, her shining chestnut hair had been charred to black, and her wings, which had been fluffy and white, were gone completely.
She woke to find him staring down at her, violet eyes full of sadness and concern. She had screamed at him to get away when she realized her wings were no longer there, had cursed him. "Look what your God did to me!" she remembers shouting, her voice hoarse from smoke. He had turned his face away, and she had saw red. "Look at me, look at me, you damned coward!" she had raged, and when he finally did, his eyes were clouded with tears.
She had ran away then, unwilling to see him cry. He had followed, reached out for her, and this time caught her. She didn't fight him, but had instead turned and kissed him viciously, making the Effort out of pure rage. Although she could taste nothing but ash, it had felt good to bite, to tear into soft flesh, to scrape her teeth over the strong cords of his neck.
He hadn't resisted until they had fell tangled together to the rocky ground. "We can't." he had whispered, and pushed her away. But he had kissed her back, taking her face between his hands and pressing his lips gently to hers, a careful benediction before leaving her. If she had ever hated him, it had been then.
She took her new status as a demon extremely well. She had found her niche, so to speak. If anyone dared to order her, or disturb her, she was free to lash out against them. But with Satan, it was a different matter. She had fallen into his domain, and was one of his subjects. He could order her as he pleased. But she had been cast from Heaven for not wanting to live under the heel of one master, and she'd be damned if she would submit to another.
She hadn't been ambitious. And she never was. Her revolt against her hellish master had been simply to prove a point, to show that she was more than his chattel. There had been plenty of demons who were discontent, newly fallen, and brimming with rage and chained hatred. Beelzebub gathered them carefully, forming an army of the ones she deemed most useful to her.
Among them was Dagon. Beelzebub had met Dagon in the depths of Hell, and kept her close. Dagon had a way with words, a talent for goading and encouraging, for whipping those around her into a frenzy. Soon, Beelzebub had a brigade of frothing fanatics ready to charge the devil himself. Satan had paid little mind to them at first, but when he finally did, it was much too late. He sent his own army of devotees against the one she had amassed, intending to squash them all. But his forces were thrown back, again and again. Beelzebub was determined to win, to show what an individual could do under the orders of no one but themselves.
It was a horrific affair, Beelzebub began each day covered in blood, and ended each day in the same way. Each day that ended with her alive, only inspired more loyalty in her followers. If she could take on Satan's hordes and last this long, surely she was capable of leading them to victory. And she did. Although not victory for them, but for herself.
The revolt ended with a stalemate. If the fighting continued, both armies would be decimated, but one would take fatal damage, and it would not be Beelzebub's renegades. Duke Hastur had come bearing a message of parley, and an invitation to an audience with Satan himself. Beelzebub had accepted. It was an invitation, not an order.
Beelzebub had came with Dagon, and a demon called Ligur that she had made one of her lieutenants. Satan came with Duke Hastur, and another demon with striking red hair.
"What is your name?" the greatest of the fallen angels had asked.
She had told him her angelic name, as she had never picked another.
"And you have disobeyed my command, and raised a revolt against me. For what do you wish? My power? My throne?"
"I wish for none of those things. I wish only to never be governed by another, and never will I let another govern me." Beelzebub had responded.
"And you shall have your wish. From this moment henceforth, you are Prince and Lord of Hell, you shall rule it in my stead."
Beelzebub had expected an attempt to be made on her life, or to ambushed and subjected to torture. The possibility of being granted favor had never entered her mind. But she didn't refuse it, she had not wanted power and a throne, but they were hers now, a monument to what she had earned through her own merit.
Hell welcomed its new Prince, and those who did not were swiftly made to. Beelzebub granted Ligur and Dagon the titles of Duke and Lord, and they were joined by Hastur, who had acclimated to the new chain of command faster than Beelzebub believed him able to. The demon with red hair that had stood by Satan's side was called Crowley, and Beelzebub always found him odd. At times, he hardly seemed like a demon at all. She made no provision for him, although he never did seem to care.
During the days after being granted her throne, her wings grew back. But they were now thin and transparent, and hung down her back like a cape.
Fly's wings. She had taken the fly as her sigil to remind Hell of what she could do, so when they looked at her, they would be reminded of the flies that hovered over the corpses of the demons she had slain, of the rot and misery she could inflict if she so chose. She learned to like flies as the years went by, and not only for their symbolic nature. In the vast emptiness of Heaven, Beelzebub could always find a place that was quiet. In Hell, sound and sensation came from every corner, the mumbling of a demon's dissent, the scream of a tortured soul, and Beelzebub came to loathe the never-ending cacophony. She had reflected, bitterly aware of the twist of cosmic irony, that the object of her loathing made up her own private Hell. But flies, when they gathered and swarmed around her, their buzzing blocked out her surroundings, allowing her to exist in the solitude she so favored.
It was then that the humans took to calling her Beelzebub.
It was years, hundreds of years, before she talked again with the archangel she once known. It was under Egypt's burning sun when they met again, the air around them was blanketed with flies. "Long time, no see." said the once-familiar voice. He was in pale purple and a headdress of gold, the finery of an Egyptian noble. She was in finery of her own, loosely clinging black with a red belt, and the contrast was jarring. "Beelzebub, is it now?" he asked.
"The humans thought that one up. It fit." she said.
"It means Lord of the Flies." the archangel went on. She gave him a side-eye that was heavy with dark paint.
"It's one of my titlezzz, if you must know." she said, the buzz in her voice slipping out unwittingly. "I'm-"
"Yes, Prince of Hell." he said, his voice heavy as if the words were paining him. "We got the news up there about what you did." she waited for him to go on, but he fell silent, staring out into the horde of flies in the distance. Beelzebub took it upon herself to speak.
"I don't enjoy it as much azzz you might think. I have to rule millions of demons. Alwayzz angry, alwayzzz discontent about something."
"Overseeing ten million angels isn't all fun either." the archangel admitted.
"I'll take the ten million demonzz, over keeping ten million pompous jackasses in line." Beelzebub said. The archangel's violet eyes glinted.
"They aren't all pompous jackasses." he retorted defensively.
"No, just one." Beelzebub murmured.
The Apocalypse came and went, and left Beelzebub behind. If she had been inclined to tell the truth, she would have said that she was relived. She was not given to philosophical musings, but she knew that if the Apocalypse had indeed happened, her Fall would have been for nothing. She had fallen to avoid playing God's great game, and a successful Apocalypse would have meant that she had played it very well nevertheless.
She told this to the archangel, when they met again to discuss two certain subordinates. "That's blasphemey." he responded.
"Yes, and I am a demon." she replied, and standing on her tiptoes, she made the Effort again after thousands of years. The archangel reciprocated, and his eyes weren't sorrowful this time. They walked on together afterwards, a white stain and a black stain against the green of the English countryside.
"Come with me." he said after some time had passed by walking. She followed him, although there was absolutely no reason for her to do so.
He led her to a small copse of bushes that were blooming alongside a high wall. The bushes were dotted by little gold bodies. And though it was only for a minuscule amount of time, a mere blink of the eye, they sat together on the wall, and watched the bees from above.