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Not in the slightest.

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Beelzebub had nothing whatsoever in common with humans. Humans were just minor inconveniences among all paperwork Hell requires and all stress that comes with managing demons. Having so many appointments and suchlike, it’s no surprise that the Prince of Hell has no time nor interest to hang out on Earth much.

Therefore, Beelzebub has no idea what “neopronouns” are. Pronouns are just a human creation anyway. No big deal.

As long as you showed proper respect, whether you referred to them as “Prince of Hell and Lord of Flies”, “Princess of Hell and Lady of Flies” or “Royalty of Hell and Ruler of Flies” was irrelevant. If they were on a particularly good day, you could even get away with just calling them “Boss”.

Not that Beelzebub had many good days.

That said, The Lord of Flies did have a preference: Ze.

It just sounded so… Beautiful. Beelzebub imagined that, if the flies could speak, they would refer to their Lord/Lady/Ruler as ze/zir. Probably with a lot of zzzzzzzz’s too. A nice and soothing buzzing sound. Very appropriate.

They even mentioned it once or twice with other demons, but no one tried it. And that was fine. Whatever. He, she, they… Never mind. They had business to do and thinking about pronouns was just wasting time.

Besides, it’s not like the other demons talked about them a lot and, when they did, “Lord Beelzebub” did the trick. No pronouns needed at all.

Anyway, enough of such nonsense. They looked at the neat pile of files on their desk and examined the one on top. Another formal complaint about demons licking the walls. For Hell’s sake! Can’t demons just read the blessed sign? They put it there for a reason!

With an annoyed sigh, the Prince of Hell skimmed through the files for anything not related to wall licking, raise asking (it’s not like anyone actually expects to get a raise, they just like to fill the paperwork for the sake of it) or bland reports. Most paperwork was assigned to Dagon (who absolutely loved it), but Beelzebub had to read and/or approve some of them as well. For some ineffable reason, they always ended up with at least five wall-licking formal complaints per week.

(It would be more if they didn’t destroy every document that didn’t comply all the strict hellish rules of paperwork filling)

It was in times like these that the Lord of Flies almost missed vaguely the traitor demon known as Crowley. Sure, his performance was barely evil at all, but his paperwork was always impeccable and somewhat entertaining to read. Something to break the monotony, even if most of his “evil achievements” were ludicrous at best.

They were halfway through the paperwork when the angels’ arrival was announced. Perfectly on time, obviously. Angels could be so predictable… Beelzebub glanced at the file currently in their hands… They could drop it; it wasn’t important at all. Nothing vital or anything.

But where is the fun in that?

It’s not a hellish reception if you don’t have to rot in the waiting room for at least a couple of hours. And Beelzebub felt awfully good about making Archangels wait for meet with them. Pride and vanity were sins after all.

Back to the files, it is! If the angels are lucky, maybe the paperwork won’t last more than an hour.

*

Heaven and Hell kept in touch after the whole Armaged-oops thing. It was just a business allegiance at best, since both had a common interest: the apocalypse. Of course, it could take eons to figure out how to, exactly, proceed with it or even how it would fit the blessed ineffable plan, but they wanted their war. Both sides.

For now, however, it had more to do with boring meetings, never-ending bureaucracy and more protocols than Hell itself could have thought, and less to do with, you know, Armageddon or The Great War. But that was okay. They could be patient. Boring meetings, protocols and unnecessary paperwork were a natural demonic thing after all (even if the angels were, apparently, very fond of it too).

Besides, Beelzebub was quite proud of the waiting room they designed themselves. It was made specifically for the angels, since most demons didn’t meet in their office regularly. Chairs as small and uncomfortable as possible, just the worst and most boring magazines ever printed available, no coffee table and, on top of that, a nauseating, headache-inducing colour scheme.

The Prince of Hell was almost finished when the Archangels started the small talk. It was another hellish consequence of waiting rooms: having to talk about absolutely nothing to try and distract yourself. They knew they’d better just finish the few remaining files, but wall-licking was stupid and boring and, oh, how they needed a distraction right now.

So they walked slowly towards the door, their flies following faithfully, and got closer to properly eavesdrop. The flies, smart as always, reduced the buzzing sound to a minimum so their Master could listen unbothered.

“I don’t know why we even bother to arrive on time if we always have to wait that much” This one was Uriel, if Beelzebub recalled correctly, which they pretty often did.

“You know we have to be on time, it’s our work ethic as ethereal beings,” Gabriel replied. He was always the one to meet with Beelzebub, although his companions often varied (last time it was Michael. Sandalphon before it) “It’s not our fault Hell doesn’t respect schedules. It just shows we’re above them in every sense” His patronizing tone was annoying. Beelzebub rolled their eyes, knowing it wouldn’t be seen, just for the sake of making a point.

“I suppose,” Uriel chose the diplomatic answer “Anyway, I don’t see why you always insist on coming here personally. These regular meetings are just formalities, any lower-level angel could handle them just fine.”

“…I don’t think it would be appropriate to let low-rank angels meet with the Prince of Hell,” He hesitated a little, but the excuse seemed fair enough “Besides, Beelzebub can be tricky, and common angels can be too gullible. It would be easy for ze to lure them into occult deals. I prefer to negotiate with zir myself”

“You must be right… But I still despise coming to this place. They could meet us up there instead,” Uriel said, clearly annoyed “This waiting room is dreadful”.

They remarked a couple things about the waiting room and the specific details they hated, but Beelzebub wasn’t really paying attention anymore. They were… Surprised. Shocked even (Not that it showed in their face. Their frown was almost a permanent feature by now).

It was the first time they heard anyone actually use “ze” referring to them. Sure, it lacked the extra zzzz’s and the nice buzzing sound Beelzebub imagined, but still… Someone had used the ‘technically-isn’t-proper-English’ pronouns, their favorite ones. And, of all beings in the universe, it was the Archangel Gabriel who said them. Without even knowing Beelzebub could hear him.

An odd feeling found its way into The Lord of Flies (nonexistent) heart.

They glanced at the pile of paperwork on their desk and decided it could wait a little more. The Archangels had waited for long enough (roughly 45 minutes), they couldn’t grow too used to the waiting room. It would have no effect otherwise.

Yes, it was for the sake of keeping the waiting room torturing. Nothing else.

Surely, nothing to do with what the Archangel Gabriel said. Not in the slightest.

“I believe our meeting should zzztart now” They took a deep breath to control the buzzing sound in their speech. The flies took the hint and buzzed a little louder to conceal it.

It had nothing to do with the Archangel Gabriel, Beelzebub repeated mentally.

Not in the slightest.