Hastur hadn’t been inside A.Z. FELL AND Co. in the centuries it had been in existence and quite frankly he had no desire to come back once he completed the task at hand.
There was a window back behind the store overlooking the alley he’d risen up in. Well, actually there were two but only one emptied out into the room his target could be located in. It had been a simple matter of climbing the fire escape up, miracleing the window unlocked, and crawling inside.
The room was dark, the only light stunning from the now open window and the little glowing numbers on the wall clock. Being a demon Hastur was used to dark spaces so the lack of light was not an issue and he was able to get a good look around the room. An old fashioned oak rocking chair was set beneath the window so Hastur has to be careful upon entering the room. The slightest creak and he would certainly alert the others to his presence. Several pieces of furniture Hastur didn’t know the purpose of littered the room, most pushed up against walls, but there was some strange contraption on a rug in the middle of the room that seemed to be composed of little tubes and dangly things. While the majority of the larger pieces seemed to have some use as counter space, this device seemed entirely impractical. He stepped around it, careful about what floorboards he placed his weight on, and crept further into the room.
Crowley was an idiot but he was not a big enough idiot to place something so precious beneath a window with easy access to the fire escape. Hastur made his way to the far side of the room, gripped the white oak railing, and peered down over the side of the crib. Inside, peacefully unaware of any demonic presence lurking about, was a baby. Now, Hastur did not have much experience with babies. This one marked his second, only after Lord Adam himself, but he was able to pick up on several key differences between this baby and the infant son of his master. Adam had been smaller with only the faintest bit of developing golden locks. This baby was bigger and had a full head of icey blond curls. Adam had been a newborn, taken from the wench that bore him and placed immediately in a basket to be handed off to earth. This baby was months older and grew under the watchful eye of his doting parents. This baby, very much unlike Adam, also had wings. Two small wings poked out from opening cut into the back of a soft mint green onesie, occasionally twitching while the child slept. They were grey, composed of down feathers, but something told Hastur that even with age and emergence of adult feathers, they would remain grey in colour.
The job of destroying the child fell to Hastur after Ligur had informed their superiors that he was still recovering from the injuries bestowed upon him by Crowley. Hadn’t that been weird? Hastur returned to his office after Crowley’s failed trial, trying not to think about the incident at the serpent’s flat involving the spray bottle and how wrong the lord of Hell had been in assuming that the water had not been holy, and found his believed-to-be-dead partner sitting behind his desk. Granted Ligur looked a little worse for wear than usual. His skin, in some areas, resembled melted plastics & crayons and was continuously oozing it’s way back into place. As it would turn out Adam Young shifting back the world may have brought Ligur back, but it did not necessarily mean it would bring him back in one piece. Hastur didn’t care. He had spent the past few days believing that he would never see the other man again so, melty or otherwise, it was a sigh of relief to see his face again. And to share in his rage.
“They let that snake go?!” Ligur slammed his fists down on top of his desk and one of his hands detached completely. A normal demon, under normal circumstances, would have hissed out and doubled over in pain but Ligur only sighed at the inconvenience. He picked his hand up and fiddled around with it for a minute, trying to get the flesh to reconnect. When it didn’t, he slammed the appendage on an empty space beside his moldy old files and went back to his rant. “After all he’s done to us?!”
The trial had reached the status of infamy in mere minutes following the release of the traitor. Hastur need not explain it to his companion, by the time he had strolled back into the office Ligur already heard all about it. Crowley could not be killed. He was something...something else. As much as the idea of ramming a blade dipped in holy water through his pretty skull thrilled the duke of Hell, Hastur knew it was safer to keep his distance. That did not mean that he or Ligur were happy about it. “The bastard is beyond our comprehension. He can’t be killed by holy water. Lord Beelzebub doesn’t know what to do.”
“Gut his heart,” Ligur supplied and when it dawned on him that such an idea was impossible, put forth another more tangible option. “Kill the angel and make him watch.”
“And risk heaven’s wrath?” Hastur pointed out. “Our sources-“
“Michael.” Ligur corrected him. They didn’t have sources they had one semi-rebellious Angel who could be trusted to pass on information to them.
“-Michael has informed us that heaven is willing to pardon Aziraphale. Appearantly forgiveness is in this year.” Hastur did air quotes around the word ‘in’ to point out the obvious ridiculousness of it. Heaven did not forgive. Everyone in Hell knew that.
“Bullshit. Where was our forgiveness when we were cast down?”
“Exactly. Point is we can’t touch them. Not yet at least.” And with that Hastur kicked his feet up on his desk. Speckles of mud and grim coated the already stained off-brown file covers that were beginning to crumple to dust from years of sitting on a shelf before ending up in the work que of one duke of Hell. “Sooner or later they’ll mess up and we’ll find something to get them on. Something we can destroy.”
It was no secret that Hastur had never liked Crowley not even when they were angels. Crowley was always too...curious for him. He always wanted to know what things meant, why Hastur said and did certain things, was always up in his face about stuff, it was irritating. Murdering (or attempting to murder) his mate in cold blood was just the icing on the cupcake. Ligur’s health may have still been touch and go but he would have his revenge. Hastur would make sure of that. The demon lord had never actually held a baby before. Adam had been placed in his basket via one of hell’s many underlings before being placed under the elder demon’s charge. It was all rubbish if you asked him. Baby went from his mother, to a lowly worm acting as a midwife, to Hastur, to Crowley, to his adoptive parents. Should have just cut out the middle man. Have the demon responsible for sending the antichrist to Earth deliver the baby in both senses of the word. Hindsight could be a real bitch. Adam Young aside, picking up Crowley’s spawn was Hastur’s only first hand experience with a baby. Well except of course...No. he wouldn’t think about that right now. It ran the risk of making the old frog sentimental. Not an emotion one wanted to have when he was about the eliminate an infant. The baby stirred a little as it was lifted from its crib. Hastur learned it against his chest for support while one hand dug deep into the pocket of his trench coat for the dagger Beelzebub had given him, the other arm wrapped snuggly around the baby to prevent it from slipping out of his grasp. Hastur could feel the cool iron hilt of the dagger and had just finished wrapping his fingers around the handle when the baby opened their eyes.
Thick black slits ran down the centre of the child’s irises exactly like his demonic parent’s. Behind them was a fierce, bright, overcrowding orange that Hastur found hard to look away from. He stared into that child’s eyes, past the sea of orange, and he saw movement. Thin lines of a ghostly pale yellow and sinful red danced in orange and burned his very soul. Hastur saw greed, lust, gluttony sloth, pride, wrath, and envy merging together into an unmistakable evil that made his very existence shiver. In that baby’s eyes, Hastur saw pure, unadulterated evil.
It was beautiful.
Tears formed in the corners of his eyes and the baby blinked breaking whatever had taken ahold of the demon’s concentration. Such a creature...it had no right to exist. It was an abomination, a mix of angel and demon that should never have come into this world, and here it was! Hastur couldn’t hold back and gently cradled the child close, rocking it ever so softly and struggling to keep himself from letting out a loud sob. The baby reached up to place a chubby little hand on his cheek. Their skin was so soft against the rough and scarred skin of the demon lord, it felt so cold and yet seemed to have a relaxing power over him. This child, this abomination, Hastur felt his stomach turn at the very idea of harming one hair on their tiny little head.
Beelzebub would have to know about this. Ligur too. And Dagon, and Eric, and all the demons of the netherworld. Where Adam Young has failed this child would succeed. This child, the spawn of Hell’s greatest enemy, was the answer they had all been searching for!
With cold, salty tears freely rolling down his face and an trembling grin upon his face, Hastur lifted the baby up so that he could gaze again into those fiery eyes. The baby, happy at being elevated, giggled and clapped their little hands.
Hastur did not hear the door open behind him. He did not hear the low growl that formed in the back of his former subordinate’s throat or the slight gasp that came from his partner. He did, however, feel the plastic head of a garden Mister jabbed directly into the back of his neck followed by a warning from the baby’s more angelic parent, “You have ten seconds to put our son down and leave before I send you back to Hell for good.”
“And it is holy water this time.” Crowley added in a tone of voice that promised the other demon that this time Hastur would not get lucky.