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The Whole Truth

 

“Lucifer?”

Lucifer looked up from the half-full tumbler of bourbon he had been contemplating from his seat on his Italian leather couch, and saw the Detective’s offspring, Beatrice, staring at him. He was surprised to realize how much she had grown in the—what had it been—seven years since the day they met on the bench at her old elementary school. The impish little human with the upper row of missing front teeth and the mischievous smile that lit up a room was now a teenager, having passed through the urchin stage, now racing toward adulthood, and he wondered how he had missed the transformation.

She’d gone from “cute” (her mother’s and grandmother’s descriptions) little graphic tee-shirts, leggings, and pigtails, to jeans, nice tops, tasteful jewelry, an actual hairstyle that required at least a small amount of daily maintenance, and the occasional application of the small amounts of makeup her mother allowed. And then there were the hormonal human male children who seemed to want to spend entirely too much attention with her these days—he drove that thought from his mind and returned to his consideration of Beatrice.

It was odd having the young human loose in his home, but he had long ago developed a genuine fondness for her. Being with Beatrice allowed him to release his mischievous side to a degree and he rather enjoyed that opportunity. Though he would admit it to no one, he found that most times, Beatrice was fun to be around.

 “Your mother is napping, child,” he told her. “She had a long night on a case and decided to get a few winks in before heading back home. She’ll take get you both home once she wakes and has something to eat.”

He realized that “breakfast” would probably be one of those incessant egg sandwiches she seemed to prefer, but whatever made the woman he loved happy was fine with the Devil. Of course, that did not mean he wouldn’t have one right along with her. He had come to know them as being a kind of comfort food for her, and he would not be the one to take such a thing away from her.

Chloe Decker was intelligent, serious, stubborn, and beautiful both inside and out--and she knew who and what he was and continued to stand by him as a partner both in work and in his personal life, accepting him exactly as he was. When first they met, he had insinuated himself into a position as her partner in an effort to get her into bed, since she had flatly refused his advances, something he had never before experienced. It was not long before he was her partner, not only because he discovered he liked working with her, but that she enjoyed working with him.

She chose him, and that memory warmed his immortal heart. He returned his attention to the Detective’s daughter, that internal warmth carrying over to the urchin’s presence.

Originally, he had accepted the presence of young Beatrice only because she was important to Chloe, but over time, he had developed actual feelings for the child, but pretended that he merely tolerated her.

Only his brother Amenadiel, Doctor Linda, Chloe and Beatrice knew better than that, and they were kind enough to keep his secret.

“I wanted to ask you about something,” Beatrice said, her expression unusually serious. “Are you busy?”

“Not really,” he replied. “Just doing some thinking. Whatever could you want to ask me?”

“Remember when Pierce made my Mom so sad,” Beatrice asked as she sat down next to him. She kept her voice quiet. Such a serious face! “I was so angry.”

Lucifer bristled. He remembered that night as though it had happened only moments before, rather than a few years previous. Sleep deprived as a result of some cruel gaslighting, he had pounded on their door, demanding entrance. Little Beatrice had answered the door, her expression a thundercloud. When he entered, he had seen his beloved on the couch, her anguish so tangible he could feel it. It had taken no thought at all for him to turn and leave, bent upon venting his fury on “Pierce”.

If only he had followed through on that original intent, instead of allowing the world’s first murderer to live. Charlotte might still be alive now.

Renewed pain. Hard, raw memory, tearing at his heart. Dear, sweet Charlotte, who had also known who and what he was before even Chloe did, and accepted him anyway. He trampled hard on those feelings, pushing them down and back as best as he could. Even in death, Cain could still bring back those emotions, and he hated it. Knowing the bastard was now undergoing an eternity of torture in Hell helped, if only in the tiniest iota.

Back in the here and now, Lucifer nodded, gritting his teeth in renewed fury. If he could have killed the man again, he would gladly do so. He brought his glass to his lips and pulled a small amount of bourbon into his mouth, allowing it to rest atop his tongue, a burning amber lake that teased his tastebuds.

“I never thanked you for beating him up, so thank you,” Beatrice said, putting her hand on his knee and giving it a light squeeze. She released his knee, old enough now to know that Lucifer didn’t like to be touched. “I was too small then, but if I could have, I would have done the same.”

Lucifer choked on the sip of bourbon he had in his mouth, spraying some of the expensive stuff out into the air, spattering onto the top of his coffee table. This was not the conversation he had expected.

“Nobody hurts my Mom and gets away with it,” Beatrice’s voice was flat and seemed to promise mayhem. Looking at her in that moment, the Devil realized that was likely the case. She was so much like her mother in some ways, and in others, she was most certainly her own person.

“I can promise you that, child,” Lucifer replied, squeezing her shoulder gently with one hand. “I will not allow anyone to hurt your Mother.”

He allowed his eyes to flash red before he realized what he was doing. He waited for Beatrice to scream, but she smiled at him, instead.

“I wish I could do that,” she said, wonder in her voice.

“Do what?”

“Make my eyes do that,” the girl explained. “I think it looks pretty cool.”

“Doesn’t it frighten you?”

“Why? You’re not mad at me, right?”

Lucifer made a face, snorted a burst of air, and then shrugged. He was unable to argue with her logic. And yes, he supposed it was pretty cool, as she had described it.

“No, of course I’m not mad at you, Beatrice,” he replied. “I simply forgot myself when I remembered that night.”

“Thank you for coming so fast that night,” she continued. “I was so mad, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it. I’m glad you could.”

“Indeed.”

“Why did she agree to marry him again?”

“I ask myself that question all the time, child, but I suppose he was exceptionally good at getting what he wanted. He’d had a long time to learn how to make that happen.”

“What happened to him? I know Mom said he was dead, but what happened?”

Lucifer opened his mouth to answer, but Beatrice interrupted him.

“Everything that happened,” she said. “The whole truth, like Mom wants when she asks me things.”

“You should probably ask your Mother about that, child,” he suggested. He wasn’t sure what Chloe would want her daughter to know and as he did not lie, he knew that he would only tell the child the absolute truth.

“No, I want to hear about it from you,” she replied. “I want to hear your side of what happened. All of it.”

Well, shit.

“Very well, then,” he told her. “Pierce wasn’t actually called ‘Pierce’, he was really Cain, from the Bible…”

 

Almost an hour later, Lucifer finished relating the tale to his rapt audience. Beatrice had asked few questions, instead only asking for a clarification now and then.

“Is that what you wanted to know, child?”

“Well, mostly, yes.”

“What do you mean, ‘mostly’”, he asked, curious.

“When are you going to ask Mom to marry you?”

This time, he choked so hard on his most recent mouthful of bourbon that Beatrice moved over to pound between his shoulders in an attempt to help him regain his breath.

“Sorry, Lucifer,” she apologized. “I didn’t mean for that to happen.”

“What makes you think that’s going to happen,” he asked her once he regained his composure.

“I know you love her and she loves you,” the child told him with absolute certainty. “And so do I.”

The Devil actually blushed. He stared at the little girl, shock registering on his face.

“You love—me?” This time, he was fortunate that he had not yet begun to sip again at his drink.

Beatrice never failed in her ability to shock him. He put down his bourbon before he inadvertently wasted any more of it.

She leaned in and gave him a quick peck on the cheek before he could move away. She had gotten quite good at such things during the previous seven years. By this time, it was almost a game they played.

“Of course I do, and it’s okay with me if you get married,” Beatrice told him, beaming one of her toothy smiles at him, the little imp.

“What about Detective Dou—“ he stopped himself barely in time. “Your father?”

“I know lots of kids who have more than one Dad or Mom,” she replied. “But I’d be the only kid who has the Devil for a Dad!”

“Dev—wha—child!” His face went bright red, but remained human in appearance. He had forgotten that she had seen his wings before he left for Hell.

Beatrice laughed.

“You thought I didn’t know? You’re silly!” She giggled. “You went back to Hell, after all! You thought I’d forgotten?”

“I suppose I never really thought about it,” he admitted. That was usually the thing that seemed to get him into the most trouble on a daily basis with Chloe, it seemed. Not for the first time, he marveled at her continued patience with him.

“Don’t wait too long to ask her,” Beatrice advised. “Please.”

“Very well, urchin.” No, he wouldn’t let her grow up that fast.

This time, he did not argue with the hug she gave him then, and even may have squeezed her back just a tiny bit.

Well, you are silly, he thought. He may or may not have been talking to himself.