By the time she’d gotten home Alice was so frazzled that she just fell into bed, something she vaguely regretted when she woke up. She cleaned and healed up the cuts but left the bruise as she’d already been seen with it and its sudden disappearance would raise questions, though she did dull the pain somewhat. She was sat at the kitchen counter with an apple, wondering where to look for Belial next, when there was suddenly someone in the middle of the living room.
“How can I help you Amendiel?” She sighed before taking another bite out of her apple and returning her attention to the map she had spread out on the counter.
“You were at Lux last night.” It was obvious he was stating a fact that was for him set in stone, metaphorically speaking anyway, so she made a vague noise of agreement. “Does Michael know you’re hanging out with Lucifer?”
“I was hoping Belial would visit him, you’re aware he’s in the area.” Amendiel pulled a face and Alice had to snort. “Apparently not, father’s obviously not in a sharing mood. Well, he is and I’m hoping I can get him when he goes to Lucifer for help.”
“I understand.” Alice made a vaguely amused noise as she finally looked up at her younger brother taking another bite of her apple as she smiled.
“And it’s really none of Mickey’s business who I hang with little brother.” Amendiel sneered and the next second he was gone. “Oh, how I love family reunions.” She murmured turning her attention back to her map. She was considering where she was most likely to find someone who knew the city and had enough occult knowledge to help her when her phone rang.
“How’s the holiday going?” A cheery voice asked when she picked up.
“I’m playing hide and go seek with Belial Dounia it’s hardly what I’d call a holiday.”
“You’re not tending bar in rainy London are you?” Her younger sister asked rhetorically and Alice could clearly picture the annoyed look she had on her face. Dounia had been ‘grounded’ a few weeks ago when Michael was last on one and she was confined to the bar for the time being. “But anyway I phoned because Elijah wanted someone to check on you, Michael’s been round trying to cause trouble.”
“Of course he has.” Alice groaned as she began lacing up her boots, phone caught between her shoulder and her ear, she should have put money on Michael causing the others trouble after her little tantrum. “Is everyone alright.” The actual question was more along the lines of is everyone still on earth, physical and mental health wasn’t quite as important when the other option was hell.
“Yeah a few threats were thrown around, mostly directed at Elijah in the end, you know what he’s like, but nothing too serious.”
Alice made a noise that was half relieved and half pissed. They hadn’t had this much trouble from heaven in years and she couldn’t help but feel it was at least partially Lucifer’s fault.
“I’m fine, got into a mild disagreement with Manny the other night that’s probably what prompted Mickey’s visit. He took exception to the fact I didn’t want to follow Belial to L.A.”
“No shit.” It was a well-known fact that though Alice still loved Lucifer she’d rather stay away from him. Sure she’d visited him in hell a few times but on her terms, usually when she needed something.
“Anything else? I should probably be out searching or Mickey ‘ll lecture me for slacking.” She heard Dounia chuckle followed by a small thud which probably meant she’d been sat up on the bar and had just gotten down.
“Elijah needs a copy of your ID, he said as soon as possible preferably.”
“Why?” Alice asked as she got up to get her bag, though she was pretty sure she already knew the answer. Elijah was rather meticulous, something she admittedly actively encouraged, and always had to know exactly where everyone was and who exactly they were.
“How the hell should I know? I’m not his secretary!”
“Alright alright, don’t get your feathers in a twist.” The archangel grumbled as she emptied her bag out onto the bed with a frown. “Fuck!”
Alice hadn’t bothered checking her bag when she’d gotten home, just thrown it on the chair before falling into bed. But now she did she discovered that both her passport and ID card were missing. She had a pretty good idea who took them, after all, she’d have dropped her bag as soon as she ran after Belial and Lucifer would have picked it straight up.
“I’ve got to deal with a possible problem, if I haven’t phoned by midnight Elijah should probably suggest Michael handle this.”
“Alice…” Dounia started voice tinged with worry and the older angel was quick to cut her off.
“I’ll be fine.” She placated gently not wishing to cause her sister unnecessary worry.
“But just in case.” Dounia finished only mildly reassured, she knew Alice was more than capable of looking after herself but still this was Lucifer they were talking about.
“Thanks kid, talk to you later,” Alice promised before hanging up and sticking her phone in her bag along with the stuff off the bed.
It was quiet when she reached Lux, some guy let her in and told her to wait at the bar while he found Lucifer. She sat on one of the stools and looked around the room, it was nice admittedly a bit extravagant but still nice. When no one came after a little while she got bored, and nervous, tapping her foot against the stool as she chewed on her lower lip. She could just forget the ID’s and go home, she had enough on her plate without adding Lucifer to the mix and she could always ask for them if she had to come back to the club. She was about to leave, had already formulated a vaguely plausible excuse, when Lucifer came in obviously delighted to see her.
“I’m terribly sorry to keep you waiting I’m afraid I’ve only just gotten up.” He said as he reached the bar and walked around the other side. Alice glanced at her watch with a frown, it was almost lunchtime and she wasn’t sure if she was annoyed at him because she was jealous or because she wasn’t actually that surprised. “May I offer you a drink?”
“No thanks, I just came by to see if you’d picked up my ID’s with my bag, they appear to have been misplaced.”
Lucifer hummed in understanding as he poured himself a drink before reaching into his pocket and pulling out her passport and ID card, dropping them carelessly onto the bar.
“Must have fallen out, one of my bartenders found them behind the bar after you left.” He smiled charmingly as he took a swig of his drink and Alice did her best to smile back.
“What a coincidence.” She muttered as she swiped them off the bar and put them in her bag zipping it shut afterwards. Lucifer’s smile widened, a lot like the cat that caught the canary, and Alice couldn’t help but feel a little apprehensive.
“So how is London this time of year Alice? Or do you live in Atlanta?” Alice kept her mouth shut, if he was going to fish for information he could do it in an empty barrel. “I have family back in London.”
“Huh, how interesting but I really should…” She started as she slipped off her stool and motioned towards the door, she really didn’t like where this was going but the other archangel cut her off.
“Quite a few siblings, in fact, you may know some of them: Elijah, Dounia, Noemie, Ezekiel…Oddly enough I have a sister called Alice as well.”
Nope, nope, nope, warning bells were going off on so many levels now it was unbelievable but she did her best to keep a calm face. Lucifer was still smiling but there was a slight edge to it now, and a glint in his eye that she really didn’t like. She got up, smoothing imaginary creases out of her clothes nervously as she did.
“I need to leave.” She’d almost reached the stairs when Mazikeen stepped out in front of her, practically grinning.
“Actually I was hoping we could talk,” Lucifer called from where he was still stood on the other side of the bar, drink in hand.
“Out of my way please Mazikeen,” Alice said giving up all pretences now as she attempted to step around the demon. She saw the glint of a blade in the demon’s hand and she tensed, preparing to summon her knives. Lucifer made an annoyed noise in the back of his throat as he moved around the bar and approached them, watching both of them almost wearily.
“I wouldn’t risk it if I were you Maze.” He walked behind the demon and put a hand on her shoulder squeezing firmly. “She’s just as good as you with knives. Probably better in fact.” Mazikeen sneered which didn’t help Alice relax in the slightest. “I don’t mean you any harm Alice.”
“Alright, get Mazikeen to back off and we’ll talk.” Lucifer squeezed the demon’s shoulder again and jerked his chin towards the other side of the room.
Mazikeen shot her a dirty look and stalked away, stabbing one of her knives into a table as she did which did nothing for Alice’s slowly fraying nerves.
“So about that drink?” Lucifer asked as he guided her to the bar, one hand hovering over her lower back.
“I’ll have a coke please.” She sighed as she sat on one of the stools, dropping her bag onto the one next to her.
“Well aren’t you a good girl.” Her brother chuckled as he placed a can in front of her.
“We can’t all wallow in sin.”
“And yet you’re fallen.” Lucifer watched Alice, who was opening her coke, freeze. He saw her tongue work over her teeth for a moment as she finished opening the drink before looking up.
“Don’t know where you get your information Luci but it’s wrong.” She was trying to stay calm but she had a feeling her voice was a little on the defensive side.
“Huh, I’ve always found them rather reliable.” Lucifer mused as he took a sip of his drink. “Why don’t you set me straight?”
“I never fish for information I don’t already have, you know that.” He pointed out over the top of his glass. Alice was twisting the can of drink between her hands as she chewed on her lower lip, she did know that but it didn’t change her reluctance.
“I left heaven.” It was an easy explanation for her situation. “After the great war.”
“Which you didn’t take part in,” Lucifer remarked earning a slight smile from his sister.
“You know I don’t like choosing sides.”
“So you left? Father can’t have been too impressed.”
“He never raised any objections.” Alice shrugged as she took her first sip of coke, she’d never really thought about it much, filed it under above my pay grade and part of God’s divine plan. “Michael swore, with father as witness no less, that I’d be left to my own devices and short of being officially cast out they couldn’t touch me.”
“And the others? From what I’ve heard you’ve accumulated quite a following.”
“No such luck. They left and fell under my command but they can be called back to heaven on a whim and cast out as easily.” She explained with a slight frown. “We’ve become heaven’s way of getting round thou shall not interfere in the affairs of mortals when fallen angels cause trouble.”
“So technically you’re heaven’s lapdogs.” Lucifer didn’t think he’d ever seen anyone move so fast but suddenly Alice’s hand was around his throat, not squeezing but holding tightly none the less.
“Take that back.” She growled, ignoring the knife that had appeared in the bar next to her.
Lucifer regarded the look of almost fury on his younger sister’s face with some interest, shooting Mazikeen a warning look. Alice had always been…touchy about things like rank and status, but this was…new. He smirked and gripped her wrist, hardly surprised when her hand didn’t loosen.
“Apologies, I meant no offence.” He offered quietly waiting for her to relax before gently removing her hand. “Touchy subject?”
“You’re a bastard.” She hissed eyes dropping to stare at her now shaking hand still held in Lucifer’s grip.
“Yes I am, and you’re avoiding my question.” Alice glared at him before taking a deep, calming, breath.
“Michael, and the others…abuse their hold over the others to get them…and me to do what they want. Touchy doesn’t begin to cover it.”
“You can’t have been surprised?”
“I’d hoped…” She trailed off, she didn’t feel up to being mocked by Lucifer which was where the conversation was heading.
“Maze don’t you have somewhere else to be?” The archangel asked eyes flicking to the demon pointedly.
“I don’t…” She started glaring at Alice who still hadn’t moved but Lucifer cut her off.
“Stop fretting Maze, if Alice wants to kill me she’ll give me ample opportunity to defend myself.”
“If I wanted to kill him I wouldn’t have announced myself by turning up at his bar,” Alice added more to herself, twisting the can in her left hand thoughtfully, she’d never really considered how to kill the devil but if she’d been trying she’d be off to a bad start.
“Oh, and might I ask how you would have done it?” The demon demanded as she circled around the younger angel. “You’ve obviously put some thought into it.”
“Maze.” Lucifer insisted tone warning, but Alice shook her head with a small smile.
“Would depend on the why, the where, and my state of mind really.” She explained as she turned to face the demon properly, she was thinking on her feet but this was something she was good at, something she was trained for, bantering with the devil wasn’t. “Safest option would be an arrow, fired from any number of places, when you’re not around to protect him. After all, he’s not the most cautious of people.”
“That’s a cowards plan.” Mazikeen spat which made Alice smile.
“Cowards live longer.” She dismissed drawing a smirk from Lucifer. Alice was not a coward, not by a long shot, her decision not to fight in the great war was based on her correct assumption that he would lose. Alice may have prided herself on loving all her siblings equally but he had always been her favourite older brother, and the idea of fighting against any of them had probably been physically painful. “Though personally, I prefer close combat, knives or fists, more chance of beating him that way.” Ah, there was the Alice he remembered.
“Maze Alice is not about to kill me so can we please have some privacy.” Lucifer’s tone was firm and with one last glare at the still smiling Alice the demon stalked off. “You do know how to make friends don’t you.” Alice made a vague noise, probably agreeing with him, as she turned back to him. “So why are you here Alice?”
“I’m after Belial, been after him since they discovered his escape.”
“Would you believe me if I told you I hadn’t seen him?”
“Only because I was eavesdropping last night.”
“So I will not be graced with your presence much longer then.” The look Alice gave her older brother implied he was the world’s biggest idiot. “Ah, so you heard the rest of the conversation as well.”
“He tried coming back last night.”
“Ah yes, your abrupt departure.” Lucifer frowned as he brought a finger up to trace the now fading bruise on her face. “He do this.”
“No Luci I walked into a wall.”
“Knowing you it’s a distinct possibility.” That earned him a growl as his younger sister pulled away. “Lucky shot?”
“I came round the corner expecting him to still be running, only he wasn’t.” She sighed leaning against the bar and taking another swig of her drink.
“Hmm well to put your mind relatively at ease I’ve retired so I won’t be lending much of a helping hand.”
“Please Lucifer, retired or not Belial fell for you and given the fact The First of The Fallen has taken over downstairs in your absence you can’t afford to make enemies among The Fallen.” Lucifer chuckled, that was Alice always with an answer and an explanation for everything, always analysing every possible angle just in case. Of course, she did have a point much to his annoyance.
“Fine to keep my previous statement correct how about I direct it at you?” Alice didn’t appear to be shocked by that, even though she frowned, she appeared almost relieved.
“I’m still going to be hanging around the club, you cause me trouble and I’ll call Mickey.”
That was it he realized as he watched her calmly reach for her drink, she had a profile for him, a box he had to fit in, and when he didn’t it threw her off, meant she had to re-evaluate things and she didn’t like that. But Lucifer always did enjoy playing people.
“I’m surprised you haven’t already.”
“If I don’t call by midnight Elijah’s supposed to kick him down here.” Lucifer snorted a laugh as he looked her over.
“You expected violence.”
“It crossed my mind.”
“And yet you’re remarkable unprepared.”
“Please Luci if you want me gone you’ll get rid of me, simple as that and no amount of armour will change that. I have more chance of winning like this than I do in full armour it slows me down.” She snorted though there was a hint of a smile on her lips.
“You have very little confidence in yourself.” Lucifer chuckled as he poured himself another drink.
“I didn’t join in the main fighting during the fall doesn’t mean I wasn’t paying attention.” The younger archangel retorted and Lucifer was surprised there wasn’t more venom. “Also I’ve gotten creative over the years.”
“Oh? I’m intrigued.” He leant forward with a smirk and Alice rolled her eyes rather theatrically.
“Good for you, oddly enough so is Michael and I doubt he’d be quite as impressed as you’d be.” Lucifer’s smirk widened causing Alice to shake her head with an amused snort. “Amendiel visited me this morning.”
“I bet he did, he warn you off the club?” Lucifer asked as he took a swig of his drink, raising one eyebrow when Alice shook her head.
“Wanted to know if Michael knew I was hanging out with you, told him it was none of Mickey’s business. Also told him Belial was in town, something the others hadn’t felt needed to be shared.”
“Probably a good thing, Belial could probably take him in a fair fight, if he caught him by surprise Amendiel wouldn’t have a chance.” Lucifer mussed thoughtfully as he watched Alice finish off her drink. “Another?”
“Nah I should probably be going,” Alice said shaking her head as she looked down at her watch, she’d need to call Dounia and tell her she could stop panicking before she attempted to find a decent occultist to give her a hand.
“What’s the hurry Belial’s hardly going to leave town without talking to me and I doubt you’ll find him if he’s hold up somewhere.”
“Well, what do you suggest oh wise one?” Alice half sneered she disliked her abilities being called into question even though he probably had a point, in fact he definetly had a point which was just worse.
“Now now sister dear don’t get defensive. I was actually going to invite you out to lunch, if you can stand being seen with me in public of course.”
“It’s not my reputation you should be worrying about, wouldn’t want word getting around that you’re making nice with us upstairs would you?” She asked innocently drawing a laugh out of Lucifer.
“No one to notice, this area’s been pretty quiet since I moved in, I made sure of it.”
“Course you did, well my reputation could do with a boost so sure as long as you’re paying.” Lucifer smiled shaking his head almost fondly as he put another can of coke in front of her.
“Wait here while I go and get changed.” Alice hummed in understanding and popped open the can taking a swig as she watched him leave.