“I’m back!” Lucifer said as he sauntered through the door, triumph in every step he took.
Every detective in the room looked up in confusion. Some groaned, others rolled their eyes, most waved happily before turning back to their previous tasks.
“Good to see you back, Morningstar.” said one of the officers as he passed through the door, barely paying attention to Lucifer.
“I was expecting more. I was gone for an eternity.” Lucifer pointed out offended to no one in specific as he walked towards Chloe’s desk but only one person bothered to stop to talk.
“Man, I can’t you believe you. Even I thought you couldn't go this low.” Dan almost spat as he slammed a document on Chloe’s desk, Lucifer’s partner nowhere to be seen.
“Daniel, you're not making any sense. Good to see you haven't changed.”
Dan glared. “How could you Lucifer? You tell Chloe that you’re never coming back and then you just appear out of nowhere after a month?! Have you even called her in that time? You know how down she has been this lasts weeks?” he was almost growling.
“A month?! That can’t be. I have been gone for a least a decade.”
Dan asked himself if it would be worth it to be detained for assault in his own workplace. “Well Lucifer, here in the real world a month is not an eternity.”
Lucifer would have fought back but a beautiful sound erased all douchey thoughts from his mind.
“Lucifer?” Chloe said in utter amazement. Her voice almost like a prayer… well, not a prayer, those were for Dad, iug.
“Chloe!” he says softer than he expected, his lips smiling without his consent. “Please tell Daniel here how long I have been gone. He must have lost his sense of time.”
“Oh, Lucifer!” she repeats, ignoring his words, a bright and beautiful smile gracing her features, making Lucifer’s useless heart do some strange maneuvers.”You said you weren’t coming back!” she couldn't help but embrace him, holding him for dear life. Lucifer stiffened for a moment before he relaxed into the embrace. Sadly, he couldn’t return it, as Chloe jumped backwards when she remembered where exactly they were.
“The break room is free.” One of the officers pointed out with a smug smile on her face as she drowned her cup of coffee. Chloe looked horrified at her.
“I thought that as well!” Lucifer continued, not caring about the rest of the precinct spying on their conversation. “Turns out not everyone in Hell is as useless as I believed.” Chloe could almost feel the room-wide sight as the word Hell escaped from Lucifer’s lips. “So how long have I been gone? A decade? 2?”
“And a week.” she added.
“Told you.” Dan murmured as he rolled his eyes, deciding it was better to eat his pudding now than to wait for Lucifer to make himself at home.
Chloe looked around. “Does time passes… differently?” she murmured, a little scared to be added to the precinct list of people that weren’t as sane as they appeared - as of now, that list included Lucifer, Ella after drinking coffee past working hours, and Carton, an officer who really liked cookie batter.
“What? No! Don't be ridiculous." Chloe sent him a look of disbelief. "Time just flies up here. There's absolutely nothing to do Down there apart from torturing some souls. Even Cards Against Humanity turns boring after playing it 60 times in a row - especially when the competition is so lackluster. Demons have no imagination." he spoke as they walked towards the break room.
Chloe's eyes went wide, a memory from some weeks ago coming back to her. "You have… Cards Against Humanity in Hell?"
"Of course! It originated there after all." Lucifer said, as if this had to be an obvious fact. "Although the rules are a little different. It involves far more stabbed politicians in the original version."
Oh, that explained so much. Chloe thought as she remembered that poor politician Maze had kidnapped for the tribe's game night 2 weeks ago. They had all been trying to take her mind away from Lucifer and… well, it had been an interesting night. She doubted Ella had believed that it had all been a prank.
Chloe shook her head, trying to think of better things, like the fact that Lucifer was here, Lucifer had come back. "But… but how?" she could feel the sorrow of the last weeks melting away. "You said you were never coming back." she blinked away the tears, a small smile escaping her lips.
"I had thought that as well! Turns out it was all propaganda from the lesser demons." Lucifer said happily.
Chloe looked confused. "There… there was no rebellion?"
"It's more complicated than that."
"What are you doing here?!" Beelzebub roared as they pushed hundreds of demons to even enter the lobby of the Field Office.
"He sent us back!" a newt demon near Beelzebub said, their trembling making everyone around them vibrate. "L-Luci-yeah, yeah, he wa-"
"You will not speak like that of your Lord!" Thousands of voices came out of Beelzebub as their form became a swarm of flies, every one buzzing in fury as something that was once a hand janked the newt demon's arm out of their socket.
What a shity corporation, Beelzebub tough as they regained a more corporeal form. They would have to speak with Andrealphus about the quality of the latest corporations.
"Beelzebub." a dark voice said, it's profound anger making every demon caged in the lobby drop to their knees.
"My Lord?!" Beelzebub said confused, throwing away the arm before kneeling as well. The flying extremity ended hitting someone in the face, the painted shout sounding suspiciously like a wilhelm scream. "I thought you were on unholidays."
"Wait a second! Unholidays?!" Chloe interrupted Lucifer.
"I did tell you I was on vacation on Earth, right?" he said, almost lounging in the old chairs of the break room.
"Yes but… unholidays?!"
"Well, Beelzebub was not going to say holidays. She has standards."
Chloe let out a deep sight. She would have slammed her head against the table but she didn't want to be even near that suspicious stain.
"Anyway, what's a wilhelm scream? Something… hellish?"
Lucifer's eyes went wide as plates. "I was under the impression that Star Wars was an universal language for humans?"
"I can't believe this from you, Detective! Not only have you not seen the Weaponizer films but Star Wars as well? This must be fixed!" he stood from his chair, hauling Chloe with him.
"My shift doesn't end until-" Chloe tried to fight back.
"It's an special day, detective, I'm back!" he smiled brightly, making butterflies fly in her stomach.
5 minutes later they were sitting in Lucifer's Corvette after he had somehow convinced the lieutenant of the importance of giving Chloe the day off.
"I was until someone informed me about a rebellion!" Lucifer roared, every lesser demon trying to escape from his literally burning rage. It was starting to smell of burnt flesh, iug.
Beelzebub blinked, confused… or Lucifer imagined that was confusion, he had never been good at reading Beelzebub when they were mostly flies. "A rebellion, my Lord? There's no such thing."
"You dare to lie to me?!" he roared, the smell of roasted marshmallows drifting into his nose as a demon used the flaming remains of of another as a campfire. "An army has dared to come to Earth to find a new ruler!" He stepped forwards, every demon in the lobby crying out in fear.
Every one but Beelzebub.
"You dared to raise against your Lord?!" they roared, the corporation of every demon around them melting into disgusting puss.
"It wasn't me!"
"I was in the middle of a temptation!"
"I saw them! They were all possessing humans!"
"You." Lucifer pointed at the last demon to speak, his rage diminished after seeing what had become of the floor.
"Y-yes m-my L-lord?!"
"You were there?"
"Yes - well, no. I was there but not there there, I had just came from doing some temptations in Hollywood. I got some awesome autographs, tho! Like Penelope Decker! Can you believe that, my Lord? That was when I felt your terrif- eh, I mean… great and amazing presence my Lord! What an amazing corporation my Lord, no human is worth-"
"Quiet!" Lucifer growled, barely stopping himself from crushing the little imp. Chloe would be so proud of him.
Chloe waited for Lucifer to continued his story but he only looked at her with a proud smile.
"... Y-yes, very… very proud…" she said a little startled as they waited on a red light.
Lucifer's smile widened at her words, sending a wave of warmth through her whole body.
"So then... " Lucifer smile disappeared, the light changing to green.
"... then what?" Chloe asked after some minutes of silence.
"Let's skip over that."
"The Field Office might be short in personel after that."
"Lucifer." she said in disappointment.
"Moving on. After… cleaning the crowd gathering in the office I could finally calmly explain to Beelzebub what had happened."
"Lesser demons possessing humans?" Beelzebub said disgusted as the cleaning department picked up some of the still salvageable corporations. "Must have been demons out of duty. The Field Office has used corporations exclusively for the last 2000 years, even for lesser demons."
"So the lilim Dromos doesn't work for you?" Lucifer asked. He could see a duke by the name of Hastur intimidating the demons still left in one piece out of the lobby.
"I do not know of a demon by the name of Dromos." Beelzebub said. "Dagon!"
The demon in question appeared from thin air, holding a file. "Dromos, lilim. Legion 374i, lead by duke Ba'al, under prince Belphegor reign on the department of Measures and Countermeasures against the Heavenly Host." they closed their file and teleported back to the archives.
Good old Dagon. what would hell be without them?
"Well, find him!"
"Yes my Lord.".
"Department of what?!" Chloe asked. They were still stuck in LA's traffic. Nothing new there.
"Measures and Countermeasures against the Heavenly Host." Lucifer said.
"That's…" she took a deep breath. "Ok , fine. Who are this… people? Should I know about them?"
"How should I know?"
Chloe sighted. "I feel I have heard about Beelzebub before…"
"I would say she appears in Bohemian Rhapsody, but seeing as you haven't watched Star Wars…"
"Oh! Mamma mia, mamma mia, mamma mia let me go." Chloe started singing.
Lucifer continued with his beautiful voice as Chloe forgot how the lyrics went. "Beelzebub has a devil put aside-"
"For me, for me, for me!" she joined back again at the end of the verse, laughing as Lucifer hit the high note beautifully.
"Show off." she said with a smile. "So who is she?"
"Prince of Hell, Lord of the Flies, head of the Field Office." he said. Those were a lot of titles… "Barely taller than your spawn, has a horrible smell and a terrible temper, yet, if you wish for something to be done there's no better demon to ask." he continued. It felt like an invitation for Chloe to start asking for favors from Hell's higher ups.
"Ok… and what about… Deigone?"
"Dagon. Master of Torments and Lord of the Files. Without her, Hell would have a long time ago gone to… well, to Hell."
"Wasn't Beelzebub the Lord of the files?"
"No, she's the Lord of the flies. You know, those disgusting insects." he grimaced.
"And she's also a… princess?" she felt Lord of the Flies wasn't a title that inspired respect.
"Prince of Hell." he corrected, offended.
"Sorry." Chloe blinked rapidly. "So… she's a prince… and you're the king?" she continued a little anxious.
Lucifer turned to look at her, confused. "If anything she would be my sister. One of the Fallen."
Chloe's eyes went wide. "There's more?!"
Beelzebub guided Lucifer thought the maze-like corridors of Hell, in their wake making notes about corridors that weren't confusing enough. This was Hell after all, they had an image to maintain.
"Belphegor." Beelzebub said as they reached the sleeping figure of one of the Princes of Hell. The other didn't stir.
"Belphegor!" Beelzebub shouted this time.
Beelzebub buzzed in anger, miracling a megaphone. "Belphegor!"
"Let me try." Lucifer said to Beelzebub before they set Belphegor in flames. "Belphegor."
The Prince let out loud snort that surely retumbed through all of Hell, finally opening their groggy eyes and standing up."My Lord?" they said a little disorientated.
"You were doing that on purpose!" Beelzebub buzzed.
Belphegor took their greasy hair out of their eyes. Iug, Lucifer was sure they had grease in the grease. "Doing what?" they said.
Beelzebub buzzed in anger, flies dividing and forming all around them. Lucifer had to slap some from his face.
"Belphegor, where's the demon Dromos?"
"One of the lilim working under you."
"I have lilims working under me?" Lucifer could feel a headache coming, he had no idea if it was from Belphegor's idiocy or Beelzebub's constant buzzing.
"Well, he tried to usurp my throne."
Belphegor's eyes went red in anger, standing their full height as they growled. "The lilim Dromos will be no more, my Lord." The Earth trembled as Belphegor smiled, rows upon rows of sharps teeth making themselves known.
Lucifer could see Beelzebub's flies stand still mid air in terror. Lucifer only frowned. "Bring him to me alive. I'll see to his punishment."
Belphegor visibly deflated, pouting like a little child. "Why would someone wish for your throne, my Lord?"
"Apparently, 7 years is too long a vacation for some."
"What? The shortest nap I have taken in my life has been 40 years!" Belphegor let out a laugh. "Stupid lesser demons. I'll make them pay." the Fallen smiled, their eyes shining with bloodlust.
Lucifer could hear the cries of the lesser demons being crushed as Belphegor left.
"Let's go the other way around." Lucifer said to Beelzebub. "This are italian shoes!"
Chloe gulped down, looking scared at Lucifer as they got down the car.
"So… this is the same Belphegor as the one from countermeasures?"
"Measures and Countermeasures against the Heavenly Host." Lucifer corrected. "And yes, he is. Laziest being in existence. He doesn't even wear the uniform properly."
"... There's an uniform in Hell?"
"Only for the Princes. Mammon designed it."
Chloe smiled awkwardly. "So… Belphegor finds Dromos and you come back?"
"What? No. If that was the case I would have been back that same day."
"Belial." Beelzebub said as they walked through the part of Hell dedicated to host the souls of bigots. They were used as piñatas for the bored armies of Hell.
"Prince Beelzebub." Belial said striding forwards as the regal Prince they were, their tone calm and proper… until they saw who stood next to Beelzebub.
"Lord Lucifer!" Belial's voice rised at least an octave, their wings flaring in excitement as they skipped all the way towards them.
"Belial." Lucifer tried not to sight. He really did.
"How's Earth? Ready to be destroyed?" Belial continued, practically vibrating with excitement.
"We're not destroying Earth."
"Of course my Lo-What?!" Belial shouted.
Beelzebub's mouth fell to the floor.
"Change of plans. We'll not go to war with Heaven."
Belial looked speechless at Lucifer.
Beelzebub picked their lower jaw from the floor and dusted it before putting it back on.
"What about Heaven? What about taking our rev-"
"I said no war, Beelzebub." Lucifer's eyes burned, his voice coated in anger and power.
"Y-yes my Lord." both Princes said, looking at their King with fear.
"Now, Belial. What about that rebellion?"
Belial's whole stance changed. Their wings flared as they stood their full height, their already disastrous hair spiked even more, not unlike that ridiculous movie with the cat bus that Lucifer denied to have enjoyed at all, no matter what the detective's offspring would say.
"Rebellion? That was no rebellion my Lord." Belial's voice dripped venom. Lucifer stepped backwards so the thing didn't drip onto his shoe. Yet another hole in the floor to fix. "That was a pathetic showcase of failure. They dared to ask for me to take your throne."
"Well, go find them." Lucifer waved his hand.
"Yes my Lord!" Belial's smile immediately came back, dangerous. "... Just let me remember where I put them."
"Why wouldn't they take it? The throne?" Chloe asked as Lucifer served them both some whiskey.
He looked at her as if she had just said the most stupid thing. "Because they are the Fallen."
Chloe sighted. "I mean… they could, no? They can sit in the throne, right?"
"Of course they can. But they are the Fallen."
Chloe resisted the impulse to punch him.
"They are very devoted to me. Can't blame them." he smiled. Chloe threw a pillow at him.
"Here!" Belial said dramatically, opening the door to a long lost closet with a flourish. It was chock full of lesser demons, one imp falling face first to the floor.
Neither Beelzebub nor Lucifer were looking at the closet, instead their gazes were fixed on Belial and their new attire.
"What are you wearing?" Beelzebub buzzed.
Just hours before Belial had been wearing the same uniform as Beelzebub but now they had traded it all for an identical copy of Lucifer's designer suit, the only difference the red band denoting their rank as a Prince of Hell and the head of Human Resources - the name far more literal in Hell.
"Our Lord has impeccable taste." Belial smiled brightly.
"Of course I do." was Lucifer's only response, prefering to kick the imp half conscious on the floor. He would have liked to point out how the whole assemble didn't suit their haircut… or eyes, but Lucifer had learned long ago that Belial's taste was a lost cause.
"Why did you put them here?" Beelzebub asked.
"Where else would I put them? We do not have a place for traitors to the crown. That's a stupid idea." Belial directed the last part at the skirming idiots in the closet. "Stabbing and maiming is one thing but wanting the throne?!"
Lucifer frowned. "This is the first time since the Beginning that anyone has dare to stand against me?" Lucifer had never put too much attention to demon politics - far more interested in sulking as much as posible - so he had never bothered to ask how many idiots had died to Maze for even thinking about taking the throne.
"The Serpent of Eden is the only stupid enough demon to doubt your greatness, my Lord!" Belial chirped happily - very literally as they were a vulture. Beelzebub buzzed in anger at the sole mention of the demon. Lucifer should have brought some insect repellent."I don't understand how could someone doubt you my Lord! You're the best King in all of creation! No one can compare to how brilliant and perfect you're! The only worthy light of creation! Even God must cower at your beauty!"
"Are you being serious right now?" Chloe said as Lucifer got distracted with the Netflix home page. "Can you stop embellishing the story and just tell me what happened?"
Lucifer looked away from the screen, looking almost hurt. "You believe I'm lying?"
"Well… no, more like exaggerating a little."
Lucifer huffed. "I'm not exaggerating. If anything I must be forgetting some of Belial's praises."
"Wait, are you telling me that this guy, Belial, changed his clothes to match yours-"
"The assemble looking insulting with his hair."
Chloe snorted at how offended he sounded. "- and then started to praise you nonstop?"
"Why wouldn't he?"
Chloe rolled her eyes, fond. "Very humble."
"That reminds me." he raised the hem of his sleeve, taking out a strange bracelet. It was made of strange elongated white pieces. It looked suspiciously like…
"Please tell me those are not bones." Chloe said as Lucifer left the thing in on of his drawers.
He turned around and smiled awkwardly.
"Oh god." she said as she covered her face.
Lucifer pouted. "What? No! Belial gave it to me. I would like my Father to maintain any friendship bracelet made by Him far from my person."
"Yes, it's made of pinky fingers."
Chloe felt an impulse to hide both her hands. "Why pinky fingers?"
"Don't you humans like to bring your pinky fingers together to represent a long lasting promise?"
Chloe blinked rapidly. "So… he gave you a friendship bracelet to… represent a promise?"
"Ridiculous, right? I'm his King, not his friend."
Chloe's face fell, thinking of the poor demon who appeared to deeply care about Lucifer and yet was not loved back… then she thought about how they had most likely killed numerous people for those pinky fingers and all sadness for Belial was thrown out the window.
"After that is mostly boring stuff. Belphegor caught Dromos. We had some discussions with the dukes about moving things around." that mostly involved Lucifer shouting at everyone when Mammon was bribed to heaven and back. "Now Hell has a lovely new place where traitors of the crown can pass the rest of their existence stuck in traffic while the only radio station transmits irritating children songs uninterrupted."
"Only that? That's their only punishment after what they did? After making you go back to Hell? Linda has been scared to death since then and I... I thought I would never see you again." her voice lowered at the end.
Lucifer's face morphed, his charming smile changing to something somber. "It is not 'only that’ Chloe. You humans have the ability to change, to free yourselves from the loop of eternal suffering made just for you. Demons can't. It's not just a moment, it's an eternity of punishment." Chloe raised her head and looked at his eyes. They weren't the Devil's eyes of hellfire but the deep, beautiful eyes of an ancient being. "Day and night, for the rest of eternity. Stuck in an endless road, unmoving, waiting for the one in front of you. They might move, just a little, just enough for you to pay attention, just enough for you to notice it's not enough, never enough. The Sun will expand and burn the Earth to ash. The stars of the cosmos will die one by one. And yet, by the time everything is dust again… Itsy bitsy spider will not have climbed the sprout again."
Chloe looked horrified at him.
An eternity of nothingness. An eternity he understood perfectly. 7 years was nothing, 40 years was nothing. She was nothing, a pebble in the endless river of time.
And yet he had come back to her.
"... What happens now? You're still the King of Hell but you're back?"
"Still on vacations." he singsonged with a smile.
"But… you hate that place, right? And yet you'll have to go back."
"Of course. The weather is awful Down there - terrible for your cutis, really - and here's so much Cards Against Humanity one can take before going insane. But someone has to be King."
He wished to be free. To let one of the Fallen take the throne and let him live forever on Earth, just like the Serpent had done.
But he couldn't.
Even if there was one Fallen that wished for the throne, he couldn't allow it. Even 30 years after the Failed Apocalypse, they still wished for War.
The worst part being that not long ago he had felt the same.
"So you're going to leave again…" she said downcast. Hurt.
A blaze ignited inside of Lucifer. It wasn't hellfire. "No Chloe. I won't leave. As long as you walk this Earth I'll be by your side."
She raised her head, eyes awestruck, shining with unshed tears. "Really?"
"If that's what you desire."
She laughed, bright and beautiful. Kissing him deeply and loving.
They ended not even watching Star Wars.
He didn't mention how he feels he won't be able to stay on Earth after she is gone.
Lucifer would have to go back to Hell one day. A landscape reminiscent of his futile rebellion millennia ago. The shells of his siblings he himself had turned into servants the only true company he could have.
Lucifer might despiece Hell, but at least he would never have to see Beelzebub be taken away by Father.
But Chloe would die one day and go to Heaven. The Heaven he could never have.
And he would be happy for her.
"A human, my Lord?" Beelzebub whispered. They sounded confused, angry… hurt. But not doubtful. Never doubtful.
Beelzebub had been there when the antichrist had forsaken them. They had been there when the Serpent of Eden had thwarted everything they had worked for millenia. They had seen first hand how Crowley had betrayed them for Earth.
And now Lucifer was following in his steps. The steps of the traitor who had traded them for humanity.
Would Lucifer do the same?
Lucifer, the one who had stood strong as their whole world fell down with them. The one that had guided them in the worst moment of existence.
Their creators had thrown them out, had taken away from them everything they had been once. They had burned to the core and yet Lucifer stood firm, unwavering. Helping each one of them be pieced back together. Not as puppets of the divine but as their own beings.
Believing in Lucifer was a choice, never an obligation. The Fallen had chosen their King and they would never doubt him.
He was the Light Bringer.
Their Light Bringer.
"I know." Lucifer said. "and when her time is done I'll be back."
"And we will be waiting for you, my Lord."