Hi, there, unsuspecting reader!

This is not my first fanfic, but it IS my first Hataraku Maou-sama story. I was hoping to write it sooner and have the first Hataraku story on this site but….kiwimaou beat me to it! xD I've had two ideas flying through my head while watching the show…and I think I just might combine them into this one story.

Here are some basic facts, before you choose to read:
...This story will feature most of the characters at least once, as appropriate. I will be adding in an original character for the sake of this story. Please don't let this turn you off to reading further. I hate bragging, but I'm not bad at creating original characters that don't merely clone a character already in the series/story, and I don't create boring characters with no feelings/backstory/motives. I take care not to create Mary-Sues, and try to add characters whose personalities haven't been yet used in a series, where there's a hole, so to speak...

...There is no yaoi or yuri. No homosexual coupling whatsoever.

...No matter what it seems like, there's actually no coupling at ALL in this story. You'll find out in the end.

...I will try to stick to the main story line as expressed in the anime thus far. I may revise as I receive more information via reading the light novel/watching further episodes (if there's a 2nd season). However, I'm adding in my own "arc", I suppose you could call it. A sort of side story. I'm not changing anything terribly, so it sticks to the main premise. If there are events out of sequence, you can let me know and I MAY change it if it's glaringly not chronological.

I welcome well-written reviews that offer constructive criticism. If you don't like something, please evaluate if it's fact based and correctable on my part (such as word usage/grammar), or if it's merely a subjective feeling you have about my writing. I don't like sarcastic, negative reviews with no merit. They don't help me, and they don't make YOU look good either.

Okay, and I'm also working on a HUGE Professor Layton story, so I may be delayed in updating, but I'll try my best! I thank you for your patience.

And that's it! Enjoy and review if you feel inclined!

Kelsey/Ken


CHAPTER 1: The Demon Lord is Forced to Accept a Favor!

"If only we could get—"

"No."

"But it's so—"

"Don't even think about it. Actually, don't even think about thinking about it."

Lucifer stared blankly at the ever-changing pixels of a flat-screen television, the colors and moving images behind a pane of glass, mere inches from his face. His breath fogged up the store front's window and his sweaty palms and finger pads pawed at it like a sad puppy. "But I already thought about it…"

"NEVER AGAIN," hissed Alsiel, his right arm struggling with two full grocery bags, left arm attempting to pull the one in his charge away from the expensive technology. "Don't you ever think about it ever again."

He could barely stand the sight of the price tag. Anything with more than three place-values made him squirm, and more than four was nightmare-inducing. It went without saying that the TV was out of the question.

Irritated, but not surprised, the younger demon exhaled audibly, his long bangs rising and falling with his dramatic breathing. "This is why I don't leave the apartment."

"W-W-W-W-What?! You are giving the reasons?!" Alsiel spluttered, unsure of whether he wanted to laugh or berate the lazy brat for blatantly showing such arrogance. "You don't leave the apartment because you can't be trusted, and you are to stay under my supervision at all times—per Maou-sama's orders—and per my agreement—with said orders. It is not because you just don't like putting up with my strict discipline!"

He didn't realize his companion was too occupied with hand gestures and gargoyle faces—unashamed mocking at its best—to bother with taking his words to heart. The poor general continued onward down the sidewalk, pulling Lucifer along like a disobedient dog.

"I have legs you know!" he whined, muttering curses as he plodded alongside his so-called superior.

"You have ears too, but you don't use those very well either. Now take a bag and pull your weight!"

By the time they returned to their apartment, it was 5 in the evening. Kicking his shoes off, Lucifer clumsily plowed through the door frame and tossed the oddly shaped grocery bag onto the small table, the only real piece of furniture they had at their disposal. Without hesitation (literally—he left the grocery bag to spill its contents all over the place), he bee-lined to the laptop and lifted the lid. The screen's glow bled into his skin, making him look paler than usual. He sat, and was content.

Thoroughly disgusted, Alsiel scoffed, but decided it would be a waste of time to wage a verbal war and punish him. The glint that would typically accompany such a desire, such a thought—to deliver painful retribution—didn't even appear in his eye. Himself stunned, he wondered if he was becoming too human for his liking…

'Have to choose my battles, I suppose…' he internally grumbled, justifying his response, and he proceeded with picking up the fallen cans that rolled onto the tatami mats.

It was about time for Maou's return from his evening shift at MgRonald's, and both demons expected his arrival, even subconsciously, so it wasn't strange that there were sounds outside the door. Shoes scraped against the rough mat, and then…silence. What was strange was the knock at the door.

"Hmm?" Lucifer looked over his shoulder. Another knock, and then another, each more annoyed than the last. "Doesn't he have a key?"

Gasping, Alsiel threw down the potholders he was holding and raced to the door, his face red from staring into a pot of boiling noodles.

"It can only mean that Maou-sama has been accosted and has been forced to relinquish the key to his own domain… Such vile deeds can only be the work of—!" He wrenched open the door, wholly expecting his lord in the typical red polo with 'MgRonald' emblazoned on the breast, when it was only… "—the Hero…" Eyes narrowed, he looked down on Emilia as if she were an unwelcome bug that had found its way into the apartment, into the oven, and had cooked itself into an otherwise perfect dinner. In his mind, she wasn't very far from that. "You aren't Maou-sama."

"Indeed I'm not, and I'm very thankful for that," she huffed, arms crossed in front of her chest. She still was wearing office attire, including her high heeled shoes. Alsiel eyed them and sneered.

"I was expecting my lord. I suppose with the lack of your typical, loud and obnoxious 'falling down the stairs,' I wasn't expecting to find you outside my door…"

"I can successfully scale the stairs on most occasions, you know! And I wouldn't speak with that crass tone to the person who just saved 'your lord' from a very distressing situation at the crosswalk!"

Taking in a sharp breath, the color from Alsiel's face drained. "What happened to Maou-sama?!"

"Ask him yourself," the girl grunted, jabbing a thumb in the direction of the stair case.

Maou had ascended, his form limp and slouched. "Ugh, such a stressful day, I hope dinner is ready…"

"M-M-Maou-sama! What is the meaning of this?" the general exclaimed, his tone close to shrieking. "I'm so sorry, I'll never leave your side again, the nerve of—"

"Ashiya, it's fine, it's fine. I'm fine," Maou said, waving him off with a weak grin. "Just some strange people at the corner grocery, handing out flyers. And then they tried to get me to buy something, and…well, I didn't know how to make them satisfied with what I had already—"

"WHAT DID YOU BUY?"

In an instant, Alsiel's concerned expression turned into barely-bridled rage, and as he tried to drill the unfortunate demon king on his (forced) purchases, Emilia snuck into the apartment.

"Geez, you can just thank me, you know, and be done with it!" she shouted. Both turned to face her—a break in the back and forth argument—as she smiled craftily. "Perhaps give me dinner as thanks, that would be sufficient. Yes, thank you! Start with that, and allow me dinner."

"'Thanks' for what?!" Alsiel called back, not believing what he was hearing. Thanking her was something he would not do willingly. "What could you have possibly done—"

"She bought the item for me…" the demon lord reluctantly uttered, hoping the words would disappear into the air before anyone heard them. But Alsiel heard, and he about choked on the reality of it.

"We aren't supposed to be accepting favors from her!" he hissed. "What were you thinking?!"

The light tinkling of chopsticks against glass made them look back into the apartment again, and Emilia and Lucifer had already began dining on the prepared meal, chewing away happily on chunks of vegetables and soft slippery noodles. Maou felt himself start to drool, and he stood up straight before pulling off his shoes.

"Later, Alsiel. Your food smells great, and I'm starving."

Maou cheerfully relayed the events of the day while messily slurping from his bowl. An unhappy customer made pleasant with a free coffee; a happy customer made unpleasant with a spilled coffee; Chiho crying because she was the cause: the stories continued despite Alsiel's covert anger, visible only by his unmoving face. His eyes were cemented, a constant, glare boring into Emilia's grimacing face. He hated being in her debt, and the fact that his own lord had caused it made the general feel at odds with himself. He was perfectly fine serving until death, but Maou sometimes wasn't the most assertive of demons, and that made for frustrating work.

The meal concluded, Lucifer returned to his post at the computer, and Maou struggled with words for a moment, but finally managed a thank you.

"And stop following me after work!" he spat at Emi, a smug smile plastered across her face.

"Then who will save you from those mean girls at the corner? Just tell people no when they try to trick you into another purchase." She walked to the door and stepped outside. "I'm heading home."

"Good riddance…" Maou disappeared behind the bathroom door and closed it with a click.

The whole situation still didn't sit well with Alsiel, and he followed the Hero outside.

"What did you buy?" She looked up from her shoe, confused. Sighing, he frowned. "Is it such a difficult question? What were you forced to buy?"

"Ask Maou."

"He's not complying."

Clenching her fists, she sucked her teeth and breathed in sharply. "It was a coupon book, if you must know. They are trying to get people to come in to the grocery on the corner, so they're advertising their specials and giving discounts on select items."

"The store with the outrageous prices…" the general muttered quietly, more to himself than to her. He'd avoided the place after his first mishap: buying a pound of pork for the same price as two and a half pounds at the grocery down the street.

"Well, first it was one coupon book. Then it became two coupon books. You can thank your smooth talking lord for that." She dug into one of her vest pockets and pulled one out. "Maou has the other. I was going to keep this one, but you're probably in need of it more than I am."

"Huh?" Emilia tossed it casually to him. He fumbled with the tiny rectangular book as he caught it. His fingers flipped slowly through the pages, and he looked intently at each one, his increasingly joyful face caged by his long blonde hair. The little collection of coupons resembled a pad of paper more than an actual book, but the pictures of the discounted items were just as exciting as a picture book. "But—"

"Now you can get a few more decent ingredients, and you have no excuse for feeding me any more of your slop!"

By the time he understood her words as one long insult, she was already halfway down the stair case. And before he had a proper retort, Emilia the Hero cried out, and fell down the last half of the metal stairs.


END.

INTRO CHAP. REVIEW.