If you were faced with Him in all His glory

What would you ask if you had just one question?


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IC contact: Sirenspull
- your calls are bad news
paterelohim
Uh, hi! This is Ca- I mean Chuck Shurley, just- Chuck, sorry. [Indistinct fumbling noises] Leave a message after the beep and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks?

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[One thing stands out, out of all of that.]

You Created something? [Pause.] For him?

[The little kernel of pride in his chest hurts more than anything he's felt in a very long time. A father hearing about his kid's macaroni art and thinking it's just the greatest thing he's ever seen.]

Yes. [Lucifer is well aware he's never Created anything for anyone on earth--nothing permanent, nothing that wasn't simple bribery. This had been genuine, as everything for Michael tends to be.

But he's not sure what to make of Chuck's reaction.
]

It's a bird.

[A bird. He remembers the day He taught Lucifer to make animals. It had been so difficult, so complicated- he could never breathe life into them just the right way, not until He took the tiny angel's hand and showed him how. He finally got it right?]

Huh. A bird. [Chuck is distantly impressed with how casual his reaction is.] Really? What kind?

[It's not just some polite, pretend-you're-interested question. Which is why Lucifer answers, but with the same wild-animal caution he gets anytime he tells Chuck something that actually matters to him.]

A parrot. It's a red and orange parrot, about this big--it sits on his shoulder, and grooms his vessel's hair. [As he describes it, the caution starts to fade. Lucifer even looks pleased with himself, but it's not so much with arrogance for once.]

[As soon as Lucifer says it Chuck can see it vividly: a great macaw, maybe the scarlet ones like that girl from college loved so much? picking at Michael's hair while the angel just smiles serenely. It aches like an old war wound, deep and low.]

That's really cool. Can I see it?

[That surprises him most of all. But he thinks, then smiles slightly. Perhaps it's this new faith that his plan will work, after all. Maybe it's just that he woke (so to speak) on the right side of the bed for once. But he doesn't just nod, he gestures in an 'oh what the hell' almost-happy sort of way.]

You'll have to bring it an offering. Michael has been giving it bananas, I think.

Bananas? [It's not that that amuses him. It's the image of the great archangel Michael, feeding bananas to a shoulder parrot.] I guess bananas work, huh.

[Goodbye, topic, see you in another life.]

[Lucifer still has the question hanging in the air, but. But. If Chuck says what he's afraid he will say, where does he go from there? And Chuck doesn't receive visions here anyway--if he did he would have to tell all about them. There's no point asking a hobbit-sized alcoholic prophet something that important when he can't actually prophesy.]

Michael is still home, if you'd rather go see it now.

[Chuck's visions are back full-force but he's told only Castiel and Fred so far; even if Lucifer knew, he wouldn't cough up for love or money.]

That sounds... pretty fucking trippy. Okay, [shaking himself] we should focus first.

[Focus. Yeah. There is one thing Chuck can answer without visions.]

When I gave him the bird, we decided to teach it Enochian. [A small pause. Other people wouldn't recognize it as Lucifer steadying himself, a breath before a plunge so to speak.] He said its first phrase would be to tell any new siblings we have peace now. Here.

Wow.

[Give that a couple seconds to sink in. Enochian from a parrot; it seems a little wrong, almost.]

A declaration of peace, that's... a pretty big deal.

...Are you patronizing me?

[He can't tell, but this is something so important that he's torn between being dangerously defensive and bragging about it to every angel (and prophet) who will listen.]

W- no. I'm just... processing. It's a big deal.

[A really big deal, bigger to Him than Lucifer could know. And on some level, He hates it. He doesn't want this peace, and he's disgusted with Himself for it. After all this time, so many thousands of years, and there are still some parts of His nature that he can't escape, some scraps of near-savage Alpha that have yet to humanize.]

I didn't know birds mattered so much to you.

[Still wary, feeling horribly exposed. He'll crush Chuck's skull if the prophet laughs.]

Oh- come on. [Bitchfacing.] That's not what I meant. You know that.

[He's speaking to the larger issues at work here. It's not even remotely about the damn bird, as much as he'd prefer to dwell on that instead of the big picture.]

[He does. He looks down, drumming his fingers lightly, smiling just a little.]

I didn't know Michael liked birds. When we were new, he ignored all the creatures of the earth unless I made him do otherwise.

Really? [He can remember. They were beautiful days.]

Maybe it's not... really about the bird.

I'd be glad if it wasn't.

[It's a rare confession from him, but he's working under the assumption that Chuck will assume wrong if he doesn't tell him. This is one of the very rare things he actually cares about people getting right.]

[A rare confession; a rare moment of weakness willingly exposed. Chuck looks at him a little wonderingly, though he keeps his surprise to Himself.]

I know.

[Pause.] Michael could have picked anything as a phrase to teach it.

I expected him to say almost anything, but--

That's really why you're here. You said that if there could be some reality where he goes with me, it would take years. But this is what you meant, wasn't it?

Um... [Nngh. Chuck isn't sure how to answer, at first. As surprising as this all is, it's still happening in almost a vacuum- it doesn't mean what Lucifer wants it to mean, that Michael would still change his mind about the Plan at home. He rubs the back of his neck awkwardly, finally looking at Lucifer again.] I don't know, maybe? At the time, I was talking about back home- whether he would walk away from the actual Plan. Siren's Port, this place is such an unusual situation, it's really hard to tell whether he's honestly changing or just taking advantage of a natural ceasefire.

If I could give you a better answer, I would, but I just don't know.

It's better that you don't. It means I have a chance that I didn't before. [And it makes up his mind about what he plans to do, with Aslan's help.]

Field trip, then? If you still want to see the bird.

[That's a worryingly mentally healthy answer, but it's probably best to drop it for now.]

Uh, at the risk of agreeing to go into the archangels' den, sure.

[And zap, they're in the archangels' shared apartment. As one might imagine it has no decoration except that which came with it. But in spite of that it feels like a 'home'.]

Michael.

[Michael's chilling on the couch with a book in one hand and a banana in the other while the majestic Scarlet Macaw sits on his shoulder. She's preening - yes isn't it a weird sight - his vessel's hair. When they zap into the apartment he looks up at the both of them.]

Lucifer. Chuck.

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