The dreamscape was different this time, particularly because Lucifer wasn’t invading this time- Faith was inviting him in for a visit.
It was a bar, one of those seedy places that peppered the Midwestern states like nuclear war resistant cockroaches- similar enough in look and style that one could never tell them apart, like a series of bad hallucinations after diluted tequila.
The bartender was a chubby, bearded guy wearing a leather vest over a pair of jeans. He had a chain running from his pockets, thick and gleaming- Faith had once seen the real version of him in a gay parade in San Fran back in their own world. The waitress was a frizzy haired blonde with thickly pasted on blue eye shadow, chewing a Big Red gum- Diane Lehane during one of her work shifts.
Her name tag read ‘Lady Di’.
Never let it be said that Faith didn’t have a sense of humour.
Faith was wearing her favorite pair of leather pants, tight and black- practically second skin and the red halter top that had both gotten her into heaps of trouble and saved her from it many a time. Her hair was down and she felt loose, dangerous. Like her old self, both of them actually, the slayer and the warrior and the slut and the virgin and the ever loyal follower for a cause that she had long stopped believing in.
Lucifer popped into existence without his usual panache, no screaming humans writhing in agony, no orgasming demons exalting his glory.
“You must think me to be very dramatic,” Lucifer said with a raised eyebrow, an amused curl to his lips as he stared at her, clearly
having read her thoughts.
“Sit,” Faith gestured at the seat opposite her, “I ordered us some wings.”
Lucifer looked uncomfortable, like he didn’t want
to be here, in this smokey and strange dream bar. Like he didn’t know what to do with his body when he wasn’t threatening or killing.
Faith got that. She understood.
“Come on,” she smiled and held his gaze, the unnatural brilliance of her favorite brother shining through Nick’s bright blue eyes, “trust me.”
Lucifer sighed, actually sighed
- like he couldn’t believe the lows he was forced to for her before sliding into the booth. Even sitting down, wearing the same stupid flannel shirt that he had on the last time he visited- he was grace and power rolled up tight into one neat little package and let loose onto an unsuspecting world.
“How’s it going?” Faith asked just as the Diane waitress came around with two Heinies and placed them in front of the two of them, cold with fogged up glass. Perfect.
Lucifer looked at her blankly. “It’s going well...?” He frowned, “Are you high?”
For a moment there was silence, even the bar
stopped and stared at the devil frowning concernedly with his weird intense stare and sharp tufts of blonde hair. And then Faith started laughing.
“Oh my god,” she gasped, guffawing loudly and exuberantly while Lucifer stared at her pissily like he was about to descend into one of his epic shit fits.
“I’m glad you find me so amusing,” he told her huffily and ran the tip of his finger over the beer bottle’s top, tracing it in circles. The gesture looked so human, thoughtless and banal- Faith knew that Lucifer was playing at it, playing at being patient, waiting her out-watching to see what she wanted.
“I always did,” she shrugged, taking a long drink out of her bottle. She eyed him, “Don’t you want your beer?”
Lucifer looked pained, scrunching his face in distaste as he picked up the green bottle and gazed at it like Faith had imagined him doing with many a demon- condescending, contemplating whether to use his awesome archangel powers of doom to smite the unworthy fucker into oblivion.
“I don’t drink,” Lucifer finally mumbled, giving her the stink-eye when she snorted out loud.
“Have you ever tried
? Or are you just too scared?” Faith asked with a grin, raising an eyebrow as she leaned forward and nudged the bottle closer to Lucifer’s face.
The devil’s stink-eye was surprisingly unvenomous, almost amused
as he brought the beer up to his mouth, wrapping his lips around the bottle and took three small swallows of it. He grimaced as he put the bottle down, “That’s disgusting.”
The atmosphere lightened up considerably after Faith had somehow managed to con the master of lies into drinking an alcoholic beverage. She leaned back on the leather covered seat of the booth and briefly wondered what it said about her that she was the one to get freaking Lucifer
“I don’t lie, you know,” he told her blankly, staring at her with the same intensity that every angel shared. Like he couldn’t stop figuring her out, trying to dig through the bullshit and the petty mistakes and just know
“I know,” Faith nodded at him, “I remember.”
It was strange how the vessel he had taken, blonde and blue eyed- quintessentially middle- American with the flannel shirt and the comfortable work jeans- had been transformed by Lucifer. Inside the mild-looking man, power incarnate resided, beauty and truth and untold eons of history.
“Why am I here Raguel?” Lucifer tilted his head, a sharp questioning tone to his voice as he looked at her through his lashes.
Something itched within Faith, hot and coiling- it wound its way up her spine and settled at the base of her neck, pulsing with a surefire intensity that would have scared the old her, but the new her- the terrifyingly calm her, moving forward and never stopping to think- she
feels at home. Sitting in a cracked up bar, sipping a beer with the being that has mattered more to her than anyone else- though Buffy and Dawn have always
been a close second, even before
,- Faith felt complete for a beat of time. A shade of a minute where everything slides together, locks into place and melds seamlessly into a perfect picture and Faith knew what she had to do.
“We need your help,” Faith exhaled and Lucifer’s grace was a flare of bright surprise and love and certainty as he leaned forward and said