Your god is dead and no one cares
And if there is a hell I'll see you there
The bruises and scrapes were long since healed when he alighted in the unfamiliar apartment. The place smelled vaguely of sulfur, and cloves to cover the smell of that. The apartment was neat and tidy with prints of the ocean and India hanging from the walls, the furniture new but the rugs old, hand woven from the sub continent. A myriad of Indian demons and gods decorated the shelves on the walls.
Trying to remain casual, the lone occupant slowly looked up from her book. As if it could even be given a gender, demons did not have a gender. Still, this one was useful, he would humor it with one. "Hello boss," she said, a slight smile spreading across her lips.
"We are displeased," he said gravely in only the way his kind could.
She immediately lurched to her feet, knowing what it meant when they were displeased with their underlings. Demons were destroyed for much less then to anger them. Though they'd been so quiet lately, not drawing attention, allowing that rogue loose and letting him muck things up. They'd been asleep, it hadn't been their fault he'd gone insane while they slept. If they hadn't Azazel would have never been able to try his mad plan, they wouldn't have allowed it, because that was no what Lucifer wanted. He thought he could make Lucifer a vessel. Stupid, stupid stupid Azazel. You could not make a vessel. They were born. He seemed to have forgotten that.
"What did I do?" she asked him worriedly.
"You knew there was an angel watching over Him."
"What?" she reeled as if struck. "No. I didn't," she insisted.
He took a few steps towards her and could hear her swallow. She stunk of fear. She should be afraid. He was the thing demons had nightmares about, for he was wrath and power and his might was terrible and swift. Everyone in Hell knew that now since Lucifer had risen. "Yes. You did," he said flatly.
"Sama-" she abruptly checked herself, "Satanachia," she continued with a swallow when he sent her a look brutal enough to curdle milk. Heaven had agents everywhere listening, trying to find out the plan, trying to find Him, because He was the only one who could stop this. But for now He wasn't in the way and Heaven was letting it stand that he was still dead. Dead! As if you could kill something like that. "I have no idea what you're talking about," she said, and took a step back from him. "Where's Agaliarept?" she asked.
"He sent me here, because you failed to inform us of our brothers' involvement."
"At first it was just that broken angel, Castiel, now Gabriel is involved," she paled to death. "Lucifer is not pleased we did not see this."
"I swear to you Satanachia, I had no idea an angel was watching over Him."
"He was at that office you work at."
"What? But that had nothing to… they were looking into Harvey, not Him," then she bit her lip. "Is he okay? The entire city heard the fight."
He frowned a little and while he loathed to tell her he said, "He is alive for now."
"Oh good," she smiled. "If I may… where is he?"
"He is with the one you hold your contract with."
"Really? I thought you would have taken Him someplace safe. Why would you leave him with a human?"
"He is hidden. Michael will not find him, as he has not all this time," he glanced around and the world bled away as he looked beyond what humans could see. He saw no one. "Now why didn't you tell us? You've been near Him, you've ben our eyes and ears here."
"He's been gone," she insisted. "Three weeks, he broke his leg. I haven't seen him." He narrowed his eyes at her, "I have done everything I could Satanachia," she said, voice going up an octave. Of the two he hated dealing with demons more, the only good demon was a dead demon. His other half had more patience for them, he always had. "Please," she swallowed.
He blew out sharply through his nose, "Fine," he grunted.
They both turned at the sound of someone else coming into the room as a whoosh of air and the softest flutter of wings. He relaxed. "There you are," Azrael said and pushed the long fringe off from his forehead. "Did this really need to take this long? We have things to do, Lucifer is calling," and the demon looked between the two nervously.
"She doesn't know anything," he said. "Nothing new at least," his eyes flicked to the red haired demon.
Azrael turned to the demon, "But you knew Castiel was there?"
"I said, they were there for Harvey, not Him," she frowned deeply. "If I'd thought it meant anything I would have contacted you. But all I knew was that he'd broken his leg and was recuperating. I'm a demon, not a mind reader and Harvey can be damn hard to read when he wants to."
"Huh," was all Azrael said though it was clear he didn't pay attention or particularly care. "Keep an eye on them both. He's back in the city, if you hear anything-
"I'll alert you," she promised.
"I love it when demons learn," Azrael said viciously, "C'mon," he nodded at him, "Boss calls," and Samael watched Azrael's wings unfurl. Huge black things that shown iridescent green and blue, touched at the ends with purple. Samael followed in suit and when the other beat it out of the apartment he was close behind.
It took them a few seconds to land in, well really it didn't matter where honestly. The place wasn't important, the company was.
Lucifer was half fallen apart. He was still up and kicking, as always, but his vessel was weak and half his face was starting to bubble and peel at the edges, he was a mess. His true line of vessels had died out long ago, much like his and Azrael's had, but unlike Lucifer they'd been around to maintain the bodies of their last vessels. Lucifer was in a vessel of Gabriel's line, and could withstand the power of an archangel surging through it. But it was like he was wearing a badly tailored suit, it fit, but not quite correctly.
They were at a diner, Lucifer was inside, casually eating pie and drinking some sort of homemade amber alcohol. Everyone in the diner was dead, it didn't seem to bother him. Azrael took the lead and pushed open the door of the diner, Samael followed dutifully.
Lucifer looked up at them with an informed smile, "Ah, there you are," he said before taking a sip of the alcohol. Azrael slid into the booth seat across from the one they called Satan, his wings fluttered a little as he settled. Samael appeared on the top of the booth seat, feet on the plastic leather. Lucifer didn't say anything at first, continuing to eat his pie. "You know," Lucifer said, "Humans can make a damn good pie," he looked at Azrael, "I hear you make a good one yourself."
Azrael giggled and spread his hands out in front of him, "One must find a way to pass the centuries since you were sealed away Lucifer," he said and put his hands on the table. Samael leaned on his knees, not speaking, or smiling.
Lucifer looked at Samael now, "Has he always been like this? I remember him being much nicer and less mopy," he said with raised eyebrows.
"The wait has changed us all," Azrael said. "We've always… been closer to humans. We've had to adapt, to ignore them, or we'd alert heaven to our presence, and then they'd send someone to kill us."
"Try," Samael said, Azrael shot him a look, "They'd try to kill us," and he pulled his silver dagger from his wings, fingering it, spinning it expertly in his hands. "They'd have had to send Michael if they wanted us to be really dead."
Lucifer grinned, "So you haven't changed as much as I feared. Good," Lucifer said proudly. "Is everything else in place?"
"Yes," Azrael said.
"Good," Lucifer nodded, "Azrael, be a dear and go fetch me some more of this pie," he tapped his fork onto the plate. Azrael looked at him but then slid off the bench, giving Samael's knee a squeeze as he went. "What about Him?" he asked Samael seriously.
"Good. Make sure he stays that way. I know Michael knows he exists now, and I don't want our foolish brother ruining this."
Samael's mouth went tight. "We've been planning this all along without you Lucifer," he said softly, spinning the silver dagger, for a brief instant it seemed to flicker revealing it's true form as a sickle in a blur of silver before he held it again by the hilt and it was again just a dagger.
"Yes. And you've done a very good job keeping Him safe all along. But he's been asleep, now he's not, and now Michael knows. Trust me little brother, the game has changed, I'm just looking out for you."
Azrael returned, hips swaying with the beat of his vessels heels. Samael stared at him, knowing him, then he tore his eyes away. The other put a plate down in front of him, cherry pie, with a scoop of ice cream. "I thought you'd like something that wasn't awful," he said in a sweet voice and sat down again, this time between Samael's knees, he put his hands on the red head's slight shoulders, flicking his silver blade back into his wings. "We're glad to have the support Luci," he added. "Just as you have ours."
"Which I thank our Father every day that I breathe for," he grinned and for a moment he remembered Lucifer as he was, perfect, pure, Michael's equal in every way save that Lucifer was better looking. Now he was a shadow of himself. He'd been asleep longer then any of them and angels always started slow after a sleep, and after such a long sleep Lucifer was still getting his feet under him. It was how Michael had gained the upper hand the second time.
"Everything's prepared," Azrael said and he squeezed Azrael's shoulders. "On our end at least," he gave a little shrug.
"So we're just waiting for the Winchesters to catch up with us then?" Lucifer asked and took a bite of the pie. He groaned, "Now this is amazing. Did you make this Azrael?" he asked.
"Like I said, we had to keep ourselves entertained somehow, and I rather like sweets," he said cheerfully, basking in Lucifer's praise, as they once had, back home. "Sam's a stickler about it and doesn't like to admit he likes them," he patted Samael's knee. He squeezed Azrael's shoulders again.
"You really should get with the times Samael," was all Lucifer said, eating. Samael just sat, watching. He could speak, he preferred not to, he'd always been a better attack dog then the one holding the leash, not like Azrael. Perfect, beautiful Azrael, who'd left the Tree for him and his violent tendencies. He'd never be able to repay Azrael for that, never, even if Azrael didn't want him to anyway.
Lucifer grinned at him, "Okay," he said, finishing off the pie and ice cream. He wiped his hands on a napkin and scratched his cheek, face twisting in disgust as his nail found the edge of part of his face where it was peeling. "We're done here, I know you two both know what to do. Keep Him safe. If Michael gets his hands on him it's game over and we go through his Michael's stupid story, and really, no one actually wants the world to end," he sighed. Azrael and Samael both shook their heads. Lucifer flapped his hand at them, and they stretched out their black wings and then were gone with only the sound of air rushing into the places they'd previously been and a slightly warm booth bench to mark their comings and goings.