I did not expect to get any fic done tonight but then Lu hijacked my brain. He’s a surprisingly
chatty demanding muse, as I’m sure you know. Possibly no definitely slightly inaccurate in vague references to history/mythology, sorry. Also I threw continuity out the window whoops so don’t ask me when exactly this is set. But here ya go! :D Lu and Maz and… terrible Christmas sweaters. edit: fuck forgot the christmas picture bit… might be a coda tomorrow…
December settles on Los Angeles lightly. The weather doesn’t turn, no more than usual, and certainly not in any way that is perceptible to one who has experienced both the iciest, Dantean reaches of hell and the most turbulent, fire-violent depths that inspired John Martin. It snows in the city, once, and barely half an inch at that. Spurts of what they call holiday cheer begin to crop up within the city, in short bursts that slowly build toward a noisy bubble of festivity toward the end of the month. These Americans glorify traditions scrabbled together from ancient mid-winter celebrations and that old feast and hunt of the one-eyed trickster. Tint them with denser crowds in the shops and pandering to blood relatives. Increased risk of suicide, pregnancy, mental illness, heart attacks, and car crashes. Oh, and the birth, the on-going fuss about a son of god and a virgin birth and other such inanities. Lucifer has never died for humanity, and he doubts Michael ever would. It always sounds like someone had bleached Dionysus’s tale.
Last year he indulged and incorporated a few… holiday-appropriate songs into his repertoire. This year, he doesn’t feel nearly so indulgent. And at this time of night, there are no guests in the piano bar to attempt to make such requests of him. He idles at the piano, picking out an old folk song that turns into a Wagnerian symphony that shifts again into a Robert Johnson cover, though this last he quickly cuts off, as he still can’t get it sound right in his head no matter which instrument he uses. There was a time, just after he’d liberated himself from hell oh-so-cleverly and left the keys with Morpheus, that having these secret hours to waste on creating musical nonsense had given him a sense of… not quite happiness, but more than freedom. The time was his to spend as he chose and—those days had passed quickly, and he still could not be satisfied.
Breaking the silence that follows the end of the song are soft footsteps behind him, coming to a rest just to his right. Then waiting. “Never make a deal with anyone you meet at a crossroads. Unless you hold all the cards.”
“Yes, my lord.”
He turns his head to the side partially, sees her out of the corner of his eye, and then turns fully in his seat to confirm that first glance. “Are you warm enough?”
“Yes, my lord. Elaine sent gifts.” Mazikeen holds the bundle in her arms out slightly, uncharacteristically uncertain of her function. After another beat, the faintest smirk appears on Lucifer’s face and he gently lowers the fallboard and slides off the bench.
“Should we trust in the child’s taste?” he asks, pulling the bundle from her loose grip. With no witnesses present, he tugs the sweater on, though the noise it makes when moved tells him preemptively that the answer is probably a no. For a moment, they stand, facing each other and taking in the spectacle, and this is perhaps the closest they’ve ever come to celebrating Christmas on earth (he thinks—no, he knows that Elaine is aware of that. Somehow, she must be).
The slightest grimace of distaste reveals Mazikeen’s opinion on the black sweater she wears, with its rows of nutcrackers, bells, and wreaths, and the alternating hearts and stars stripe and, oh, teddy bears. Teddy bears with candy canes. How quaint. Lucifer’s sweater is bright red, with a scene across the front depicting trees and boxes and strange horned creatures that remind him of Moloch. With real bells, which explains the jingling.
“I believe this is called a gag.” He tilts his head to one side. “Or perhaps a white elephant?” Certainly, wearing these in public could be ruinous to their reputations. Mazikeen gives him a look, one that somehow flirts with both insubordination and begging simultaneously, and he relents. “Send her a thank you card. And start a fire. Gifts from powerful little girls must not be taken lightly,” he leans in slightly, bells jingling merrily, to murmur, “And must be disposed of carefully.”