Title: Past Tense

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Characters except for the unknown ones.

Warning: This story has gender bender and is AU. Set as a prequel to Heat, Undertaker is called Uriah in this fic since it takes place before that time frame and he had not changed his name yet.

Author Notes: This story is now heading much darker. There will be rape and severe emotional trauma coming very soon; if such things bother you, please reconsider before reading any further.

Pairing: Undertaker/Lucifer (omc)

Chapter 15.

Despite his regret that he would not be able to talk to Uriah and the other Grim Reapers that he had grown to consider friends, Lucifer was happy that he would be allowed to go outside, even if he had Emerald there with him. Once she had revealed that he could go outside, she had then reminded him that he had to feed so he would have the strength to do so. He highly suspected the entire thing was just a ploy to get him to want to feed again, but at the moment, he didn't care.

He was too excited for that, as he splashed about in the bathing pool. In just a few hours, Lucifer would be going out into the Wilds again. Even if his only chance to see the pale-haired Reaper that he cared for the most was from a distance, he still wanted to look good. Otherwise, he knew Uriah would be worried. In fact, he probably already was because he, Lucifer, had not been outside in so long.

This room was his favorite place inside of the castle, consisting of one large, marble pool for group bathing, along with some smaller areas for individual baths. A pretty blue and green marble pattern decorated the walls and floor, with a pale white ceiling above. Personally, Lucifer would have chosen a different color for the ceiling so it matched better.

Scrubbing his hair with the scented shampoo, Lucifer enjoyed the subtle fragrance of mint, working the lather through his long, dark hair to get it as clean as possible. At least Emerald didn't try to follow him when he came in here, though he had no doubt that she was waiting for him outside. When he was in here bathing, no one else was allowed to enter. It was another one of his father's rules and had been this way since he had been very young, just old enough to bathe himself.

For the first time in his life, Lucifer wondered who had bathed him prior to that. With his father's insistence that he be kept isolated, whom would he have trusted with such a thing? Jadrek? One of the servants? He had no expectation that it was his father. The one person that Lucifer knew with certainty that it couldn't have been was his mother.

He knew so little about her that it was hard to imagine what kind of person she had been. Something about her had impressed his father enough that he had made her his First Lady, which he had never done to any of the other women. They hadn't been unkind to him, though neither had they made him feel welcome to seek them out for maternal affection. He had been tolerated, just one of his father's many children.

As Lucifer ducked beneath the warm water to rinse, he mentally shook his head. There was no point in wishing for a dead person to be return, after all. Besides, his mother probably wouldn't have been allowed to answer his questions, either.

Finally finishing his bath, Lucifer stepped out of the pool carefully, draping a towel around himself as he began to dry off. His cheeks were flushed from the warm water, little trickles of it escaping from his hair as he carefully dried his lean body off. He had already picked out his clothes for the Wilds; a green robe that reminded him of Uriah's eyes and his black leggings.

What should he do with his hair, Lucifer wondered. Should he tie it up or leave it loose? If he were better at it or the long ebony strands not quite so long, he could braid it back instead. That was one of the things he missed about not having a mother.

Leaving the bathing room once he was finally dressed, Lucifer's suspicion was proved correct. Emerald was standing there, waiting for him, and as he walked past her, she began following him. Though he heard her footsteps, he did not speak to her, returning to his room to do his hair. How silly of him to have forgotten his brush in his bedroom.

Brushing through the long strands with a thoughtful frown, the purple-eyed Demon had not decided how to style his hair. He did not want to get Emerald suspicious by making the style overly fancy, though wearing it loose was not really appealing to him. The sun was shining brightly; he could see it through his window. No doubt it was another hot day so a braid would be best, he thought.

Clumsily beginning to divide his hair, Lucifer began weaving the braid slowly, his frown growing as he struggled with it. He was standing before the mirror, so he could see the way his half sister's lips twitched as she stood behind him and watched his efforts. A little hurt by the tiny smile, he released his hair. She didn't know what it was like, not having a mother to teach him such things. And, of course, he was not allowed to be close to anyone who might be a mother figure to him.

Seeing the downcast gaze, Emerald immediately lost her smile, not wanting to upset her half brother. He had just cheered up again; why was he looking so unhappy? Besides the fact that he was not exactly good at braiding his hair, she could think of no reason. Puzzled on this, she reflected further and her eyes widened.

How could Lucifer be good at it, when he had no one to teach him? Jadrek had braided the boy's hair for him, though she doubted that he had had the patience to teach Lucifer anything like this. It wasn't as thought their father's heir had cared for his charge, though. He had followed orders and protected Lucifer, feeding him and caring for him. Though there was no love in it, only duty. It was how they were raised, to do what their father ordered without hesitation.

Moving closer, Emerald took the brush from Lucifer and gently began brushing through his hair, smoothing it once more. She absently noted that perhaps it was time for a hair cut; it was past his waist now, another reason why he could not take care of his hair more easily. "A braid for today?" she mildly asked.

Startled into silence when Emerald began to fix his hair, Lucifer remained still, swallowing hard. "Yes, please," he softly replied. Why was she doing this? She'd never shown any interest in him like this, having simply nagged him into eating and, as of late, to get out of bed. Yes, she had managed to convince their father to allow him to go outside again, though that was probably because he had been too unhappy to eat or do much of anything else.

Having learned how to do hair from her mother, Emerald was skilled in it, quite often doing the same for her little sister in the past. With her now entrusted to protect Lucifer, her mother was no doubt taking care of her youngest daughter again. If the rumours were true, another royal child would be born sometime in the next few months.

It would not affect them at all, not really. The child would live with their mother until grown enough to join the Royal Nursery, after all, if he or she survived that long. Shrugging to herself mentally, Emerald was gratified to know that regardless of how many more children were born to their father, none would be equal to her.

Finishing the braid, Emerald tied it gently with a band, letting Lucifer see how it looked for himself. He seemed pleased, his fingers gently touching the smooth braid with a wondrous look. It was such a little thing, to bring such happiness to him.

Considering what was coming, happiness would be fleeting for Lucifer. Someday very soon, Emerald knew that there would be no smiles or happiness for her little brother.

To be continued