God wakes slowly, the sunlight filtering through Her bedroom window warm on Her face. She shifts under the weight of the blankets and is immediately reminded of the evening before, the multiple shots of something called alcohol and the bright red tie Lucifer had decided to wear tied around Her head while She demonstrated the yet-to-be-named Running Man dance move.*
She feels like Her limbs are not necessarily attached to Her corporeal body. Deciding to test Her theory that Her arms got up and walked away in the middle of the night, She attempts to move Her left arm. It drags across Her chest like a weighted sand bag.
Her naked chest.
Her naked chest which appears to be just to the right of Her other naked chest.
Since when do I have two naked chests?
Her green eyes fly open and She bolts upright in Her bed, limbs suddenly awake and very much attached. Beside Her, a body stirs as She smacks it with a newly functioning hand and She turns Her head to look at Her bed mate.
"Oh holy Me," She says and immediately begins to push at the body next to Her.
Lucifer grumbles as God finally pushes him off the mattress. There's a loud smack and snort as he lands face first on the marble floor of Her bedroom.
"Ow," he says, pulling himself into a kneeling position at the edge of Her bed. He rubs his forehead, a purple mark appearing on his pale skin where it connected with the floor. "What happened?"
"Out!" God yells, pointing at the door to Her room. She's on the verge of hysterics and getting closer every second.
He starts as though slapped and quickly stands, wrapping the discarded comforter around his waist. "Why are You yelling at me?" he asks. "And did You just throw me out of bed?"
"No, I pushed you out of bed and I did so because it's My bed and because you aren't supposed to be in it!" She grips the sheet wrapped around Her tighter. "I'm your boss, Lucifer. You're not supposed to sleep with your boss."
"Says who?" he asks, awfully indignant for an angel who just did a naked face plant on a marble floor.
"You," She says. He looks at Her, confused. "It's in the Employee Manual you helped My Father write, or don't you remember that little side project you took on a few years ago?"
"Oh," he says. His eyes seem to catch sight of something in the window behind Her and they wander from Her face to a point just over Her left shoulder. "Oops..." he says quietly.
"That's all you can say? Oops?" She asks.
He sighs, points at the window behind Her. She turns and, upon seeing the giant blue and green ball sitting outside Her bedroom window, squeaks in a very non-professional, non-Godly way.**
"Oops," he says again.
"What the frick is that?!" She screeches, no longer just on the verge but instead mid-way into a full on hysterical fit. Lucifer says nothing and She whirls on him, golden afro flying around Her head like angry springs. "Lucy, what the hell is that?!" She stabs the glass behind Her, wincing slightly when a crack sounds through the room.
He crosses his arms over his pale chest and glares at Her. "It's a planet and don't call me Lucy."
"A planet?" She asks, turning to look out the window again at the little green and blue orb. There are white clouds swirling around and it looks inviting, far nicer than the gaseous balls Her Father left behind. Something in Her chest (Her actual chest, not the chest She mistook for Her own) tugs and She puts Her hand up on the glass, smiles in spite of everything.
"Technically, our planet," Lucifer says.
The smile disappears and She bangs Her forehead against the window glass. "Shit."
* * *
Lucky for them both, the Archangel Michael came of age a few hours earlier. Yahweh had designed His archangels to be level-headed problem solvers. Raphael and Gabriel were still in training, but Michael had managed to con the seraphim teaching him into letting them out of class a little early. Hence, why it was lucky - otherwise, Lucifer and God would have spent another hundred years fighting over who had the right to the little blue and green planet God had immediately named Earth.
"The planet is Hers," Michael says around a mouthful of ambrosia. "This is fantastic," he says to God. "Like Heaven on a spoon." God smiles, flattered, and Lucifer (now dressed in a three piece suit, pink tie, and pointed loafers) almost immediately turns purple with rage.
"Bullshit! That planet is half mine! I helped create it!"
Michael shrugs, keeping an eye on the pointed purple guy. He doesn't trust anything that turns purple when it's angry.*** "That may be the case, Pointy, but She's not only the Earth's Mother, She's also the boss up here, which means that if She wants the planet, She gets the planet."
"I can't believe You're doing this," Lucifer says to God. "First You get the company and now You get the planet." He crosses his arms over his chest. "Is there anything You don't have control over?"
"You still have the ability to walk and speak, so yes, it looks like there are a few things I can't control." She frowns at him, mimics his stance. "It's not like I asked for the damn thing," She says. "How was I supposed to know that what happened between us was going to lead to this?"
"How did you think Mercury and Venus were created?!" Lucifer asks, incredulous. "Or did Your Father never tell You about the Planets and Planes?"****
"He was a little busy being a single father and running Heaven!" God hollers, Her patience running out. "Cut the poor guy some slack!"
Michael looks between Lucifer and God and props his chin in his hand on the table in front of him. "Are you two always this annoying?" he asks.
"Yes!" they shout in unison.
"Right, then." He stands, shakes our his newly matured wings, and rolls his neck. The bones crack audibly in the quiet of God's office. "I'll be back in a little bit."
"Where are you going?" Lucifer asks. He looks at God and She shruggs, just as confused as he is.
"To check it out," he says, pointing at the planet. "I want to see why this place is such a big deal." He opens the door to God's balcony, stretches his wings out as far as they'll go, and leaps off the edge. They hear him shouting in glee the entire way down.
"That's impressive," God says, Her green eyes following Michael's descent to the world below.
"Please," Lucifer says, "anyone can do that."
"Maybe you should go with him, then," She says, still watching the angel fly towards Earth.
Lucifer straightens his tie. "I just had my suit pressed." God smiles but says nothing. Lucifer frowns at Her. "Wrinkles are very hard to get out of wool."
"Of course they are," She says and hops over the edge of the balcony to follow Her new archangel down.
* * *
When God catches up to him, Michael is lounging under a shady tree, eating a red ball. He throws one to Her as She approaches.
"I'm calling them apples," he says. "Don't know why, but it seems to fit."
She takes a bite, smiles. "It's good."
He motions to the land around them. "There are millions of trees on this planet. Some big, some little, all green and wonderful." He grins widely at Her. "I'm kind of diggin' this place. There's room to stretch my wings down here."
She settles on the ground next to him, takes a bite of Her apple. "What am I going to do with it?" She asks.
"Fill it with animals and mortals and see what happens." She looks at him, surprised. "What?" he asks. "You can't just leave a place like this empty. It's far too fertile."
"Mercury and Venus are empty," She says.
"Because Your Father accidentally made them uninhabitable," he says.
"You weren't even alive when those things happened. How would you know?"
He smiles. "Archangels know everything, Boss." He bumps Her shoulder with his own. "We're born with the knowledge of the universe packed tightly into our thick skulls." He taps the side of his head. "Mind like a steel trap, whatever that is."
"Lucky Me," She says, laughing.
He points up. "That pointy guy is a pain in the ass," he says.
She sighs. "Lucifer has his moments." She frowns at the sky above them. "He used to work for My Father. I think he thought he was getting the keys to the kingdom when Yahweh retired." She shrugs. "Dear old Dad had other ideas."
"Probably a bad idea, then, for the two of you to get involved."
"We're not involved," She says a little too quickly. His left eyebrow arches up. "It was a one time thing. A one time, absolutely terrible thing." She looks at him, frowns. "Never get involved with co-workers, Mike."
"Duly noted, Boss."
She stands, holds Her hand out to him. "Call me Ellie," She says and he takes Her hand. She helps him to his feet. "My Father always did and I like it better than Boss or God."
"Sounds good, Ellie."
"I'm going to need help getting this place ready. Think you can help Me?"
He shakes his wings out. "Your wish is my command."
She's not completely certain, but She thinks Her archangel winks at Her as he takes off from the ground. She also thinks he's all kinds of trouble.
* * *
Lucifer is waiting for Her in Her office when She gets back upstairs. He looks even more disgruntled than he did earlier. In fact, She thinks there might be smoke coming out of his ears.
"Well?" he asks.
"I'm going to fill it up with animals and mortals," She says, pulling bits of cloud out of Her afro. There was a weather system moving as She headed up and She had to climb through a pack of cumulonimbus. "I'd like all the angels to help, at the direction of Michael."
"He just came of age a few hours ago!"
She sighs. "And he seems very responsible and capable of the task."
He plants his hands on Her desk and leans forward. "I've worked here since the beginning," he says quietly. "Your Father trusted me most of all."
She sits down and looks up at him, Her green eyes losing their earlier mirth. "My Father no longer runs this joint, Lucy, so I suggest you suck it up and move on."
He straightens. "You'll regret this, Ellie."
"Probably not, Lucy." She smiles sweetly and sits in Her chair at Her desk in Her office. "Now be a good boy and run along."
He turns on his heel and stalks out. She watches him leave and wonders if She will, someday down the line, regret it. Then She begins to think of all the different things She can do with Her new planet and Lucifer's warning is forgotten.*****
* * *
Lucifer, however, is just getting started. He's had a thought on his way back to his office, a thought that requires a detour to the Heavenly Library so he can consult the Heavenly Dictionary. He flips to the "E" section and scans the pages. When he finds what he's looking for, he taps his hand on the page.
"Evident," he says to the empty room. "That sounds badass." He scans a little further and happens upon the word "evil". When he reads the definition, he rolls his eyes. "Or evil. I could go with evil." He reads the definition again, comes to a conclusion. "In fact, I think I'll reinvent the definition of evil."
He nods to himself, pleased, and takes a couple steps away from the book. Yet another thought strikes him and he stops. He reaches back and steals the Dictionary to take with him. He flips to the "R" section as he walks out of the sparsley populated room.
"Reinvent means what, again?"
* You know you saw that one coming.
** Eeek! In the words of Yahweh: This shit just got crazy, yo.
*** Michael doesn't trust anything purple, period. He doesn't know why but he thinks it might have something to do with Gabriel. Most everything does.
**** Birds and bees, for all you mortals out there. Immortals have planets and planes, for existential and philosophical reasons only Socrates will eventually understand. And you all know what happens to him.
***** Thank goodness the Home & Garden channel hadn't yet been invented. The Garden of Eden might have turned out far differently if God had been given access to a Home Depot.