Notes: Boy King AU, but not strictly part of my Boy King series, mainly because the tone doesn't fit. Just a fun little aside. Enjoy!
He was going to do it. For real this time. His parents and siblings were out of town and the windows were covered. He'd laid out the candles and drawn the chalk lines and practiced the Latin over and over until he didn't stumble over a single word. The Book was open in front of him, and he was really, seriously going to do it.
Beckett Milton was going to summon the King of Hell.
His hands shook a little as he lit the candles and double-checks the sigils. He was acutely aware that this was probably a really, really bad idea, but Lexie had said that not doing things because they seemed like a bad idea was his problem. She had said that he needed to take more risks, and that was just a couple days before he found the Book while cleaning out old Mr. Turner's storage container, which had to be fate.
Beckett wasn't sure he believed in fate, but Lexie did, and probably not believing was another problem of his.
It probably wouldn't work, anyway. It was just silly, made-up, superstitious stuff that people used to do because they didn't know any better, just like all the church stuff his parents made him do. With that comforting thought in mind, he began to read.
His voice echoed in the empty garage, and after the first couple lines he started to feel a little silly, but he persisted. Might as well see the thing through. He could tell Lexie about it and they'd have a good laugh. She might even think it was cool, and that he was cool for trying it.
Heartened, he tried adding a bit more inflection, deep and ominous like in the movies. His voice wasn't quite cut out for it, but it was fun anyway – at least, until the windows started rattling and a wind blew in from nowhere.
Shocked, he fell silent, and so did the garage. Voice trembling, mind fizzling, ice trickling down his spine, he resumed the incantation.
The wind rose to a crescendo, cutting through his thin jacket and all the way to his bones, making him shake from terror and cold alike. The candles flickered and sputter and threatenede to go out. The shelves and the windows clattered, louder and louder until – it stopped.
In the middle of the excruciatingly exact chalk circle, and figure appeared with a curse.
Not a make-you-never-sleep-again-and-always-speak-in-rhyme kind of curse. Just a startled, irritated "Jesus fuck."
It at least gave Beckett the time to stop gaping and desperately snatch up his prepared speech (exhaustively researched through dozens of satanic movies and History specials while his parents were out).
"Silence, Hellspawn!" He ordered. His voice was embarrassingly high pitched, and he cleared his throat before continuing. "You are powerless here. I am a great sorcerer, studied in the ways and weaknesses of your kind, and I can keep you confined here for eternity should I so desire. However! I am merciful, and will release you provided that you use your demonic powers to meet my demands."
Nervously, he looked up from his paper. The King of Hell didn't look very demonic. He was really tall, sure, but other than that he was just . . . a guy. His hair was too long. He had sideburns and ugly clothes and the kind of face Beckett's mom would probably coo over. He was also staring at Beckett with a look of complete and utter incredulity.
"I want, um, an island," Beckett carried on regardless. "Off the coast of Washington. With a house. A good house. And I want a billion dollars every year for the rest of my life. And I want Lexie Porter to be in love with me."
". . . What?"
"Those are my demands," said Beckett. He felt that should have been pretty obvious. "You are the King of Hell, right?" He thought he had translated it right, but it had been a while since he took Latin . . .
"Yeah," said the King of Hell. "And you're fucking lucky it's me and not the last guy; he'd have shredded you by now." Without even a flinch, he stepped out of the binding circle.
Beckett scrambled backwards, tripping over a wheelbarrow in his haste and falling painfully. The King of Hell ignored him, paging through the Book. Beckett groped desperately behind him until his hand closed on a bottle, carefully prepared the night before with the rosary his mother had given him years ago.
"Yaaaaa!" he cried, or tried to cry, but it came out as more of a frightened whimper as he waved the YMCA squeeze bottle in the King of Hell's general direction.
"Ack – stop it!" the King of Hell snapped, snatching the bottle out of his hands. "Holy water?" he questioned, inspecting it.
Beckett nodded numbly.
"It won't work; I'm not a demon," said the King of Hell. "What's your name?"
"I. Um. Beckett. Well, Thomas, actually, but my brother's Thomas too, except he's Thomas Moore, and I'm Thomas Beckett, so I just go by . . ." he trailed off. He was vaguely aware that you weren't supposed to tell demons your name, but he was also half convinced that this was all a really weird dream and he was going to wake up at any moment (if he did, he promised himself, the first thing he would do would be to burn the Book). Anyway, the King of Hell had said he wasn't a demon, and so far all evidence supported him.
The King of Hell sighed.
"How old are you, Beckett?"
"Okay. Listen to me, Beckett, because I am going to tell you something very, very important. You listening?"
The King of Hell had hazel eyes. They were very, very sincere. Beckett nodded.
"All this –" The King of Hell gestured at the candles, the remnants of the chalk circle, the Book. "—is not a way to get what you want. It's not a way to get power, or money, or love. What it is, is a way to die young and bloody because you were stupid enough to fuck with things you shouldn't have. And that's if you're lucky. Got it?"
Beckett hesitated. The King of Hell was very convincing, but he was the King of Hell. Surely he wouldn't just be saying this out of the goodness of his heart? It had to be some sort of trick . . . .
The King of Hell's jaw tensed. His eyes shimmered and flickered and suddenly there was something else behind the dewy hazel, fire and darkness and painpainpain and oh god please make it stop –
Beckett nodded frantically.
"Good," said the King of Hell, relaxing and stepping back. "I'll take this." He picked up the Book, suddenly looking awkward. "So. Uh. Good luck with Lexie Porter, I guess. Stay in school. Brush your teeth. All that. Uh." He pulled the garage door open, squinting out at the suburban street as Beckett cringed from the sudden sunlight. "Where are we?"
The King of Hell made a frustrated sound in the back of his throat.
"Dean's gonna be pissed."
He strode off down the street, pulling out a cell phone as he went.
"Yeah, it's me. I'm fine. You'll never believe what just happened . . ."
Beckett watched him until he rounded a corner and was out of sight, then turned back to the garage. He had a lot of candles and chalk to clean up before anyone got home. As he set to work scraping wax off the concrete, he couldn't help but feel that the whole thing had been a bit of a letdown. Still, he supposed it was better than nothing. Or being killed. Anyway, he thought, brightening, Lexie would probably get a kick out of it.