The elevator doors open and reveal God in all Her resplendent beauty. Lucifer scowls as She smiles at him. He takes a deep, fortifying breath and steps in, hits the "L" button and does his best to ignore the Woman behind him. He taps his foot in time to the music filtering into the elevator car, hums along with the familiar tune.(1)
God giggles, attempts to cover it with a cough, and fails miserably. He turns and frowns at Her once more. She waves a hand at him, sobers.
"Sorry," She says. "Frog in My throat."
He pulls a gold pocket watch from his pinstripe blazer and glances at it, then looks at Her once again. "You do know what time it is, don't You?" he asks. She nods, shrugs Her caramel colored shoulders. "Shouldn't You be meeting with the Council?"
"But what about the thing, downstairs..."
"The Rapture?" She asks and he nods. "They've got it covered."
He stares at Her a moment longer, during which time She smiles widely at him, flashing perfect white teeth. She's glowing in the small elevator car, beautiful as usual.
"Kind of a gamble letting the Council take care of something so big, isn't it?"
She shrugs again and the elevator slows, dings its arrival in the Lobby. "Honestly, Lucy, what's the worst that could happen?" She brushes past him and steps out into the Lobby, waves at him, and disappears down a hallway he didn't even know existed.
He watches Her walk away, white toga flowing around Her in the way only a piece of heavenly fabric could, and realizes that despite the fact She infuriates him and he's hell bent (not pun intended) on destroying Her, Ellie makes a gorgeous prospect.
"I need a demon to kick," he mutters and heads towards the DOWN escalators.
* * *
She's lounging with a group of wood nymphs, discussing serious matters of the heart(2), when Metatron finds Her. He looks distraught and disheveled, not his usual unflustered self at all. God sighs.
"Let Me guess," She says as he pauses to catch his breath, "the Council fucked it up."
He nods, taps his nose, and says "ding, ding, ding". He takes a final deep breath, calms himself, and pulls himself up to his full height (all eight feet of it).
"They got caught up in an argument over who would bring what to the apocalypse's after-party and they completely forgot to call Vulcan and Poseidon to get things moving."
God stares at him, Her features slack. She should have expected this, really. This particular apocalypse has been giving Her trouble ever since they scheduled the damn thing.
"Which means what, exactly?"
"The Rapture's been a little...postponed."
God takes a gulp of meade from Her oversized cup, then looks at Meta. "Well, shit," She says.
* * *
A few Pearly Gates hours later, God finds Herself once again in an elevator with the Prince of Darkness. She smiles sweetly at him as he steps on board and the doors close behind him. He once again hits the "L" button and the elevator begins its descent.
"How goes the apocalypse?" he asks, his back to Her.
"Fine," She says.
"I heard Your beloved Council screwed the pooch with the Rapture."
"I'd imagine with ears that large, you hear a lot." Said ears flush a bright shade of purple and God grins at the back of his head. "No need to worry, Lucy. I've righted things, gotten the end of the world back on track."
He looks at Her over his shoulder, a small smile on his lips. "Council members fighting over food dishes, Ellie? Tut tut. Seems to me like You need someone who knows what they're doing with an apocalypse." He puffs out his chest a little. "I'm at Your service, Ellie. The End of Days is a big deal; anything You need, just let me know. I'd hate for it to fall apart - especially after all the work You've put into it."
She stares at him, putting pieces of the puzzle together, and when She arrives at the conclusion She seriously considers slapping him. She talks Herself out of it, though, by reasoning She'd have to touch him and there isn't enough holy water in Heaven to make those cooties disappear - again.
The elevator slows, dings to signify its arrival in the Lobby. He moves aside so She can step past him, but She pauses, leans in close so only he can hear Her.
"A piece of advice: The next time you attempt to sabotage a project of Mine," She whispers into his ear, "I'll demote you to janitor and give all your precious Armani suits to Gabriel." She pulls back, smiles widely. "And I'll make sure he wears them during his molting season." She steps out of the elevator.
He watches Her walk away, his gaze red with fury, and in a fit of childish rage, he kicks out at the first thing that happens to cross his path. His foot connects with a solid mass and his vision clears. He looks up and finds himself face-to-belt-buckle with Zeus.
"Did you just kick me?" the god asks and Lucifer swallows, hard.
"Would you believe me if I said it was an accident?" he asks.
Zeus' response is to punt him across the Lobby. He decides, as he's flying through the air, that it's definitely the fastest way he's ever taken to the DOWN escalators.
If only he'd stuck the landing...
(1) "Devil Went Down to Georgia" - c'mon, you know you saw that one coming.
(2) Mostly. Nymphs tend to deal with matters of a whole other part of the anatomy entirely...