Coffee was old, reminded him of good times past. He liked it. He made it a point to get some every time he came to Earth, and since the place was about to go up in smoke, he drank a cup every day. His vessel liked it, too – it seemed Nick had been a bit of a caffeine addict before their little rendezvous. It was the only thing that made him quit his wailing about his wife and his baby, so it was a win-win. He didn't like humans, not in the least, but the bags of flesh made good coffee.
The coffee shop was on the corner, and it was the only building in shape – the others were rotting away on their foundations. Of course, it hadn't helped when he had arrived in town the day before and done a little redecorating, but they hadn't been in very good condition to begin with. He wasn't a saint, but they couldn't blame him for shoddy architecture or substandard materials.
There were sentries posted around town, new ones fresh out the pit. They'd needed vessels, which was why he'd come to this place – small, quiet, and just the right size to disappear without too much fanfare.
Something crunched under his shoe. It was a rib, and a pretty small one. He frowned and pulled his shoe off, trying to shake the flesh from the grooves on the bottom, but it wouldn't go. Children's flesh was particularly sticky; he would need a new pair. He sighed and dropped the shoe beside the dismembered torso, continuing down the block.
The bell dinged when he opened the door, and he smiled, shoving his hands in his pockets.
The man behind the counter jumped, knocking over a stack of cups. He bent to pick them up, nearly knocking down another stack in his haste to put them back.
"I see you've kept the place in ship shape." He ran a finger along the counter, pleased when it came away dust-free. "You even kept the bell. I gotta tell you, Tommy, this kind of commitment to customer service is a rare thing indeed. I really appreciate the hospitality."
Tom looked around the shop, blinking too much and trembling. "Th-thanks," he finally said. "I was…I was employee of the m-month this March."
Lucifer nodded, his lips pressed together in a sorrowful smile. "Mmm. Well, I'll have a caramel mochachino, Tommy boy. Lots of foam."
Tom nodded, dropping the cup twice before getting started, mixing the milk and the coffee.
"Have you lived here your whole life, Tom?"
He hesitated before answering. Lucifer didn't mind. Human were skittish by nature. "Yeah," he said. "Born and raised. Heh."
"I don't remember where I was born and raised," Lucifer said. "It was warm, I know that, and I got kicked out a while ago, but as far as childhood memories go, I got nothing."
"Oh," Tom said. He added more milk to the cup. "Sorry."
Lucifer looked up at him, gazing intently. "Thank you for that, Tom."
Tom gave a weak and fleeting smile before handing him the cup. "Do you want a straw?"
Lucifer smiled. He looked down into the cup, and his smile faded. Tom saw his expression change and backed up, bumping into the cappuccino machine.
"Where is my cocoa power, Tom?"
"There's no more, sir," he said. He was on the verge of tears.
"No, sir," he said. "We were already close to out before you came, and I can't order any m-more…" Tears were streaming down his face. "But I have cinnamon powder. I can give you that. Yeah. And we have coupons, you can get a free cinnamon hot chocolate with your next purchase if you-"
Lucifer twisted his hand and Tom's head twisted until it faced the back wall. He crumpled to the floor with a thud. Lucifer wiped his face and his hand came away bloody. Some of the blood had landed in his cup, as well, dotting the white foam with red specks. It wasn't cocoa powder, but…
The bell jingled as he left the shop.