Taking a Tumble - Chapter 5 - Vagabond_Sloth (2024)

Chapter Text

One of the perks of being a creature of almost unfathomable angelic power and the ruler of an entire plane of existence, Lucifer mused as he dressed himself the next morning, was being able to simply decide not to have a hangover and having one’s body obey. He had suffered for less than five seconds this morning before willing away all internal aftereffects of the previous night’s drinking and shuffling into his ensuite shower to wash away the external ones. Now, freshly scrubbed, he pulled on his trousers, tucking his shirt in and closing his fly while he searched for his bowtie, which was nowhere to be seen.

It took him a moment to remember the ‘Houdini’ incident in the bar yesterday, and his failure to retrieve the bowtie after. sh*t. In theory, he could manifest another one with a thought, but this particular bowtie had been a gift from Charlie some 150 years prior and he’d formed an attachment to it. It was his emotional support neckwear, if you will. He’d have to forego it until later and search the bar before it opened. Thinking back, he didn’t remember noticing it on the floor when they’d left the bar… Meh, he’d find it eventually.

Leaving off the bowtie made the concept of putting on the vest seem a crime against fashion, so Lucifer opted to go ‘super casual’ and merely left the first few buttons of his shirt undone, leaving his vest over the back of a chair and making his way to the kitchen to get a start on the pancakes before everyone woke.

He’d always been an early riser; no point being the Morningstar if you didn’t get up ‘til nearly noon, he’d always said with a chuckle. To himself, mostly, but occasionally to Lillith or Charlie too. They’d rarely chuckled. Tough crowd. Usually if he stayed the night at the hotel in his suite, he would be the first to rise, except for Alastor who kept the sleep schedule of a psychopath (not the only psychopathic trait he exhibited to be frank), and Niffty, who he wasn’t certain ever slept at all. Fair enough, not all sinners needed or wanted to, who was he to judge?

His usual routine would be to whip up a huge batch of pancakes and toppings in the solitude of the kitchen with some cheery music playing softly in the background, and if he crooned along to the songs and had a little boogie, nobody needed to be any the wiser. And if the music happened to be Alastor’s morning broadcast on occasion, he would simply wipe anyone who mentioned it out of existence, which was totally something he could do.

Then, someone (usually Vaggie or Angel, depending on the Spider Demon’s schedule) would shuffle into the kitchen in search of caffeine, and he’d begin his favourite part of the day; setting everyone up to face whatever they had to face with a full belly and a smile. He loved playing host to Charlie and her friends, always had since she’d started having playdates as a toddler, and he was quick to remember everyone’s preferences so he could serve them the perfect breakfast to lift their mood. Even Husk would crack a smile for him some mornings.

Today was not the day for the usual routine, it seemed. Things started off as normal; Lucifer popped on his ‘kiss the cook’ apron and flipped on the radio before fetching his utensils, but all that came out was static. He checked the clock; Alastor would usually be broadcasting by now, but there was no show on. The poor bastard probably had a hangover. Ah well, that wouldn’t stop Lucifer, he would just make his own music. He hummed along to himself as he weighed ingredients, and by the time he was mixing the batter, he was softly singing to himself, a silly little song about breakfast being the most important meal of the day.

“You know, you actually have a very pleasant singing voice.” A static laden voice sounded from behind him, and he turned to see Alastor leaning against the doorframe, looking perfectly put together, and not like a man suffering a hangover. Perhaps Lucifer wasn’t the only one able to will his body at a whim. “If you ever wanted to kickstart a new career, I’d recommend you as a vocalist.”

Lucifer squinted at the other man for a moment, waiting for the punchline, the sass, the inevitable insult, but when none came, he set the pancake batter on the side; he could rescue it later, no batter of his would dare to turn out anything but perfect, anyway. Before he could formulate an appropriate response, Alastor continued, pushing himself away from the door and stepping towards him before stretching out a hand.

“Pleasure to formally meet you, Your Majesty, I am Alastor.” He didn’t quite meet Lucifer’s eye, and if you looked hard enough it was clear he was nervous; his ears were pinned back and twitching, and there was a dusting of red across his cheeks. It was kind of cute, really, not that Lucifer could ever say such a thing out loud unless he wanted to ruin all the progress they had made since yesterday. He did the only thing he could do when presented with such a delightful picture; he took Alastor’s hand in his own, resting just his fingers in Alastor’s grip, and decided to push the boundaries a little.

“Always a pleasure to meet someone so charming.” He preened, mouth ticking up into a smirk. “I believe the customary greeting is a kiss on the King’s hand, though.”

Alastor’s ears twitched some more, as did his left eye, and he momentarily grit his teeth, before bending at the waist smoothly to press his lips to Lucifer’s knuckles, and oh, Lucifer had feelings about that, it was far more exhilarating in person than the weak imitation Alastor’s shadow had bestowed upon him last night. He felt it like an electrical current up his arm. He really needed to get his sh*t together. Thank f*ck he was going to yoga with Angel later, he would do his best to centre himself there.

He allowed the blush to creep across his own face; it wouldn’t do to let Alastor appear vulnerable and not return the favour. As Alastor straightened, he let his hand linger a moment before dropping it. Alastor tilted his head to one side, assessing Lucifer again.

“I hope that was to your liking,” He drawled, “For I am reluctant to display a repeat performance.”

“You did very well.” Lucifer smiled, indulgent, and noticed Alastor’s ears flick flat against his skull at the praise… interesting, he wondered how often Alastor received compliments. “No ill effects from last night’s consumption?”

“Nothing I couldn’t will away. And yourself?”

“Similar, although I do have some scratches on me from where I stupidly fell in a rose bush yesterday afternoon…”

“How foolish of you.” Alastor grinned, and Lucifer chuckled and shook his head.

“Oh, and I’m missing my bowtie.” Lucifer frowned and gestured to his open collar. “I think I left it in the bar, but I’ll have to go find it; it was a gift from Charlie, you see…”

“Ah, I’m certain it will turn up.” Alastor made a show of looking away and checking his nails. “It’s no great shame for you not to wear it, though, I find this casual look quite fetching on you.”

“Ngkff.” Lucifer replied, eloquently, face flushing full golden. “Uhhh… Thank you… I, uh…. I’ll take that into consideration.” He found himself suddenly very interested in Alastor’s shoes.

“Did you want any help with the breakfast preparations?” Alastor peered around him to look at the lined-up ingredients.

“Oh, uh, I mean I won’t say no, but… Don’t you usually do a broadcast on a Friday morning?” Lucifer willed himself to stop blushing and meet Alastor’s gaze.

“As it happens, I do.” Alastor glanced at the clock and ‘tsked’ in exasperation. “And I am late. I will have to leave you to it. But you have me curious… How would you know my broadcast schedule?” His grin was all teeth, and his eyes were half-lidded, the smug bastard had caught him.

“Oh, because I listen to your shows all the time.” Lucifer decided to go with bold-faced enthusiasm and was rewarded by a little screech of what sounded like triumphant music, quickly tamped down.

“Well now, that is most gratifying. It’s always a pleasure to meet a fan.” Alastor leered down at him, and Lucifer gulped.

“Yeah, I guess I am… A fan… Of your shows that is…” The blush was back with a vengeance.

“How charming. Well then it wouldn’t do to keep you waiting.” Shadows began to manifest. “Perhaps I will see you after the show?” Alastor hesitated, half engulfed by his shadow portal, waiting expectantly for Lucifer’s answer.

“Yeah, uh, yeah! I’ll be here until early afternoon…”

“See you soon then, chum!” Alastor gave a little wave, and then he was gone, sucked into shadow and off to his tower. Lucifer let out a breath and pressed the back of his hand to his cheek; it was burning. He was so f*cked. It appeared he might have a crush on the Radio Demon.

He didn’t have time to dwell on that, though, he had pancakes to make. As he resumed mixing the batter, the radio on the counter came alive, and Alastor’s voice issued forth, apologising for his tardiness and giving a run-down of the news before introducing the first song of the day. Lucifer smiled to his pancake batter and hummed along.

Breakfast itself went relatively smoothly; Charlie and Vaggie materialised first looking worse for wear until he kindly resolved their hangovers for them, followed by Husk, and eventually Angel Dust. The two of them were all cosied up and adorable; he couldn’t help staring at them and how happy they seemed, wondering if he might be lining up something similar for himself.

He did almost choke on his pancakes at one point when the radio, which he had left on for background music, turned itself up in volume of its’ own accord, and Alastor’s voice announced that the next song was for a special listener; his newest fan. It was already obvious to Lucifer that this meant him, then the song started, and it was ‘You’re the Devil in Disguise’ which was a little on the nose. Point is he all but convulsed in his seat, nearly inhaling his mouthful of pancake in shock, and Vaggie had to thump him on the back a few times whilst he wheezed.

Fortunately, everyone blamed it on the Morningstar family’s inherent ineptitude and just made sympathetic noises at him; nobody called him out on the cause, so he was able to maintain his overall dignity, if not his dignity in the moment. At least he was telling himself that.

Once everyone was full and happy, and he had promised to meet Angel at the Pilates venue later, he insisted on assisting Niffty, who had appeared halfway through breakfast and demanded a pancake in the shape of a co*ckroach, with the dishes and then helped her carry a load of sheets down to the laundry room ready to wash.

Eventually he had a moment to himself, so he decided to go in search of his bowtie. He strolled into the bar to discover Husk giving his tiny ducky supporters from last night a stern talking to. The conversation that transpired left him feeling a little silly, so he portalled out of there in a rush, intent on heading back to the laundry room to ask Niffty if she had seen it. He ended up in the lobby in his hurry, but that was ok, he’d just walk there instead.

He didn’t make it very far; no sooner had he turned the first corner of the service corridor than all the lights flickered off and on, revealing the newly materialised Alastor. Lucifer definitely did not shriek. He didn’t. Ok, maybe he did, but he was already a little turned around. Gods he had to stop getting caught off guard by this guy!

Alastor loomed over him, smirking.

“Well, what did you think?” He asked, peering down at Lucifer in a somewhat menacing manner. Maybe they were starting afresh, but the guy couldn’t change his nature, and his nature was creepy.

“Uhhh, about what?” Lucifer managed, mustering up the full might of his eloquence once more.

“About this morning’s show, of course!” Alastor straightened up and twirled his cane, whether nervous about the feedback or just feeling a little exuberant, it was unclear. “I think it went well. Of course, it’s different when you know someone is listening. Not that I’ve ever been short on followers before…” He had the audacity to wink as he said the word ‘short’ and canned laughter played briefly in the background. Oh, so it was gonna be like this! Lucifer could play this game.

“Ha, ha, bet it took you all morning to think that up.” He affected nonchalance and inspected his own nails in a move he’d often seen Alastor use. “What, use all your new material trying to impress me with your radio show and now you’re having to drag up old jokes?”

Alastor’s ear twitched, and his smile widened, though not in the threatening way Lucifer was accustomed to when they had argued in the past; no, he was enjoying this. Huh, turns out so was Lucifer. He shot him a grin.

“Well, of course, any jokes with you as the subject would have to be old, wouldn’t they? You’re practically a relic…” He stepped forwards and around Lucifer, leading him in a little spin before backing him up to a wall. As Lucifer’s back hit the plaster, he felt himself blushing again. Alastor was very close, and if anyone were to enter the corridor right now, they’d paint a picture fit to feed the gossip rags for a month. No matter, he couldn’t let Alastor win so easily!

“Haha, afraid not. You see, relics are usually nothing but bones, and as you can see, I’m still perfectly hale and healthy.” He made himself to glow a little with angelic power and relished the fact that his proximity allowed him to watch Alastor’s pupils contract.

Alastor leaned forward a little more, hands coming to rest on the wall either side of Lucifer’s head, effectively boxing him in. He licked his lips, and Lucifer couldn’t help the little gasp he made at the sight, though he did manage to resist licking his own lips in response.

“Well, I can certainly assist with altering that, if you’d like.” He practically purred. “You see, I’m quite the dab hand at stripping a carcass.”

“Uhhh… What?” Lucifer snapped out of the mind fog he’d briefly been lulled into by the Radio Demon’s admittedly smooth manoeuvring. “Sorry, were you aiming for seductive there? Because the tone suggested so, but the content suggested violent murder and dismemberment, so I’d just like to clarify.”

“Oh.” Alastor physically recoiled, though not far enough to release Lucifer from where he was all but pinning him to a wall. “Definitely the latter.” His ears flattened. “Obviously in jest.”

“You are really terrible at flirting, aren’t you?” Lucifer grinned up at him, “Just horrible at it, really.”

“I have no idea what you mean.” Alastor loomed close again. “You seemed perfectly amenable to this little game until a moment ago.” He bit his lip, drawing Lucifer’s attention to his mouth, and ah f*ck Lucifer was such a sucker.

“Huh. Maybe you show some promise.” He lifted one of his own hands very slowly, broadcasting his intent because he knew how, well, touchy Alastor could be about being touched. Eventually, his hand barely grazed the lapel of Alastor’s coat, and he rested it there, light as a feather. Alastor probably couldn’t even feel it through the layers he was wearing, but from the uptick in the general thrum of static around them, the blush creeping down his neck, and the quivering of his ears, he was all too aware it was there. “Listen, I would love to spend some more quality time being pinned to a wall by you later, but I need to go see Niffty; I still can’t find my bowtie and I’m hoping she’s got it.” He murmured, aware that he needed to go but not really wanting to break this building tension between them.

“Oh, that. I have it.” Alastor responded nonchalantly. He removed one hand from the wall to take Lucifer’s from his lapel and guide it inside his coat.

“Uhhh… Whatcha doing there, pal? Oh!” Lucifer stammered, flushing at the direction this was suddenly taking, until Alastor guided his hand into the inner pocket of his coat, where he discovered his bowtie. Once he grasped it, Alastor removed their hands together and held them up, so the strip of fabric dangled between their faces.

“Was this what you were looking for?” He teased.

“Uh, yeah, thanks Al!” Lucifer gulped. The tension was not easing.

Suddenly Alastor stepped back, snatching the bowtie out of Lucifer’s hand, and for a ludicrous moment Lucifer thought he meant to play keepsies with it and he’d have to scuffle with the prick in the corridor to win it back. The absurd notion was immediately quashed as Alastor pulled him away from the wall by his hand before dropping it and grasping both ends of the tie.

“Allow me to assist you in making yourself presentable, Your Majesty.” He drawled, “After all, it wouldn’t do for just any lowly sinner to see their King in such a scandalous state of undress.” His grin was feral. Lucifer’s head was spinning.

“Uhhh, Al, you do know my current outfit is nowhere near as scandalous as most hell residents’ formal wear, right? Heck my underwear covers more than some sinners’ daywear!”

“A charming thought, and one I am sure I shall revisit later.” Alastor smirked. Lucifer flushed right down to his navel. “My sentiment stands. I should be thoroughly displeased if undeserving low lives were granted the opportunity to see you like this.”

As he spoke, Alastor began fastening the top three buttons which Lucifer had left open earlier, and it was so insanely intimate to be dressed by someone that all Lucifer could manage was a little mewling noise. He cleared his throat.

“That’s mighty possessive for someone who I only formally met a couple of hours ago.” He managed to rasp out, noting a hoarseness to his voice that betrayed how intense he was finding this.

“Is that a complaint?” Alastor co*cked an eyebrow, whilst simultaneously flipping up Lucifer’s collar and sending a shudder through him.

“No. Nope. No complaints.” Lucifer held his hands up in supplication, and Alastor hummed in approval.

“Excellent. Stop talking.” Alastor’s smile became close-lipped as he slid the fabric of the bowtie around Lucifer’s neck. His fingers were nimble and deft as they fastened it under his chin, and Lucifer couldn’t help the gulp this elicited, nor the flutter of his lashes as he felt Alastor’s hand brush his Adam’s apple.

He was gratified to note that for his part, Alastor was not unaffected. He had all but stopped breathing, and the little breaths he was taking were shallow and rapid. He was biting his lip again, which would have passed for a sign of concentration if he wasn’t clearly close to drawing blood. His pupils had dilated to an obscene level, almost eclipsing the red of his irises, and his ears were twitching rapidly.

As he finished tying the bow, his hands lingered a moment before drifting to settle on Lucifer’s shoulders as he looked him up and down obviously.

“Your vest?” He arched a brow again, and Lucifer snapped his fingers, willing the vest to appear already in place on his body; he wasn’t sure he could handle Alastor helping him into that too. “Very good.” Alastor praised, lifting one hand to ‘boop’ Lucifer on his nose (which he still very much did have, thank you!), “Aren’t you just the prettiest picture now? Once could almost see the merit behind the invention of the camera if it was to be used to capture this likeness.” He murmured. Lucifer didn’t think he could flush any brighter, so he settled for gasping instead.

“I… uh… Thank you?” He tried, voice rasping out of his throat. He swallowed again, felt the press of the bowtie against his throat as he did so, felt a throb of something in response. Alastor’s hand moved from where he had pressed a finger to his nose to grip his chin between forefinger and thumb, and it was Lucifer’s turn to stop breathing as his face was tilted up just so, Alastor looming down over him like some kind of dark promise.

Lucifer licked his lips, watched Alastor’s eyes follow the movement.

“Now then, I believe I told you to stop talking.” Alastor rasped; his own voice as thick as the tension in the air. “Must I force you to shut up another way?” He arched a brow in question, and Lucifer answered the challenge with what could only be described as a whimper.

He was pretty sure he was about to be kissed. He hadn’t been kissed in so long he almost couldn’t remember the last time. And he loved kissing. Loved cuddles. Loved affection of any and every kind. His whole body thrummed with anticipation as he lifted onto his tiptoes, narrowing the gap between them to an extent that they were sharing breaths.

“Maybe you must.” He purred, eyes half-lidded. And hey, he was perfectly capable of seduction himself thank you very much. Alastor’s lips parted on a lopsided smile, and he hummed as though in consideration, inching minutely closer, their lips almost brushing.

“Very well then.” He closed the gap, pressing his mouth chastely to Lucifer’s for the barest moment. There was no time to become accustomed. Lucifer’s eyes fluttered shut for less than a second before Alastor was withdrawing, sending him reeling. He opened them to find Alastor only a step away, smiling at him fondly.

“I’m sure you have things to be doing, Sire, I know I do.” He leaned forward to tweak the bowtie slightly. “I shall see you soon.” He made to vanish, and Lucifer scrambled to stop him, because he was curious about something.

“Wait! Why did you have my bowtie?” He blurted out, and Alastor regarded him critically before letting out a little sigh.

“I picked it up last night when you sent it flying. I was going to keep it as a memento of the evening; I hardly knew it was sentimental to you. When you mentioned its’ providence this morning I resolved to return it.” He bit this out dispassionately, eyes on the skirting boards, ears flat. It was clear he was uncomfortable making his actions known.

“How sentimental of you. I’m touched.” Lucifer grinned, teasing but not maliciously. Alastor bristled slightly but when he saw Lucifer’s fond expression, he relaxed.

“Yes, well, we all have our moments of folly.”

“Thank you for giving it back. It really does mean a lot to me.” He reached up to touch the bow, smiling as he remembered Charlie’s chubby little face smiling up at him as he opened the giftbox she had presented him one year.

“You are welcome. I would be loathe to deprive you of your fond memories.” Alastor looked sombre and there was surely more to unpack there. Perhaps he didn’t have mementos of those he loved in life, since it was hard to bring such things to hell. Maybe Lucifer could help with that, but they’d need to do a lot more legwork before it would be safe to pry.

Alastor turned to leave again, and once more Lucifer scrambled to stop him.

“One more thing!” He waited for Alastor to turn. “The show this morning, it was perfect as always.” He watched the blush paint Alastor’s face once more, watched him preen at the praise, ears twitching to stand straight up.

“I’m most gratified to hear it.” He made a slight bowing motion. “Now, if you’ll excuse me…”

Before Lucifer could respond to stop him again, he had disappeared into shadow, leaving Lucifer standing awkwardly alone in the corridor with a face the colour of a banana and his heart trying to hammer out of his chest.

Lucifer took a deep breath, calming his rampant heart and willing his blush to subside to a more reasonable level. He let out a dreamy sigh.

He was so f*cked.

Taking a Tumble - Chapter 5 - Vagabond_Sloth (2024)
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