Friday, July 8, 2011

Little Lucy's Coffee and Soul Emporium

Michael finds himself late to lunch on most occasions. It's usually a normal excuse, like too much work or God has him running errands She can't convince Metatron to do, but sometimes it's just plain laziness. Like today. He could have gotten up from his chair at lunchtime and made it down before they closed the kitchens, but he just didn't feel like it. So instead of the meatloaf special (which he wasn't really looking forward to, anyway), he's eating a stale danish and drinking hours old coffee. Because it's so quiet in the lunchroom, though, he's actually enjoying it.

Until Lucifer shows up and decides to ruin Michael's party by sitting down at the table with him.

"Did you miss lunch, too?" Michael asks, carefully avoiding subjects on which the Devil might feel obligated to expound.(1)

"As a matter of fact, I did." He points to the meager meal in front of Michael. "Is any of that good?"

"The coffee ate the spoon about three minutes ago and I think I chipped a tooth on the danish, but overall it isn't the worst thing I've ever eaten."

Lucifer stares at him a beat longer before getting up from the table and disappearing into the kitchen. When he reappears a few minutes later, he has a fresh pot of coffee in one hand a plate with bread, cheese, and fruit piled high on it in the other. He sets them in the middle of the table and grabs two cups before sitting down again.

"It ain't loaves and fishes, but it'll do in a pinch," he says, pouring out fresh black coffee.

Michael inhales a waft of steam from his coffee cup, quirks an eyebrow. "Why, Lucy, I do believe this coffee smells like brimstone."

Lucifer inhales, takes a large sip. "Indeed it does, angel. And it tastes like despairing souls, as well."

"Manufacturing coffee now, are we?" Michael asks, sipping his coffee slowly. He doesn't think it'll have any adverse effects on him, but all the same - if the Devil brewed it, there's no telling what it's capable of.

Lucifer shrugs, leans back in his chair. He looks casual and comfortable in a well-tailored linen suit and light blue oxford shirt, sans tie. Michael glances around the edge of table, finds his suspicions confirmed - boat shoes, no socks, incredibly hairy ankles.

"We just had a handful of Colombian drug lords arrive downstairs. Terrible people, definitely headed for the barraks in the Pit of Despair Wing, but goodness do they know how to make a cup of coffee."

"Getting fashion tips, as well, I see," Michael says with a smirk.

Lucifer grins, the flash of sharp, white teeth somewhat subdued by his attire. "They spend eternity in purple jumpsuits," he says. "I just can't see throwing out a perfectly good set of linen suits." He holds both of his hands up, five fingers on one and two on the other. "Seven of them, Mike. Seven."

"Got anything in a forty-four long?" Michael asks.

"Not with them, but there's a crew of mobsters arriving from Miami in the evening - I'm sure I could rustle up something for you."

Michael nods. "Ellie's always bugging me to dress better."

"I'm not one to usually agree with Her Grand Self, but togas are a little outdated."

"Damn comfortable, though." He stands, sways his hips, and the fabric around his legs sways. "Not to mention breezy." He reclaims his chair.

"I'm not sure that image will ever leave me," Lucifer says.

"Let me add to it by telling you I'm footloose and fancy free."(2)

Lucifer cringes. "Yup. That did it." He taps his temple. "Burned in there forever and ever." He finishes his coffee, takes a hunk of bread and cheese, a handful of grapes. He stands. "Thanks for the conversation, Mike," he says.

"No problem, Lucy. Thanks for the coffee."

The Devil nods, disappears into the hallway. Michael sits and finishes his coffee, is just pouring himself a second cup when God and Saint Rita(3) arrive in the lunchroom. Rita is all smiles under her habit. She waves at Michael, practically skipping across the room to his table. He's always had a soft spot for Rita - he likes a woman who refuses to see anything but possibility.(4)

"We just passed Lucy in the hallway," Ellie says, sitting down across from the archangel. "I hate to say it, but he looked good in that suit."

"Spoils of the Colombian drug war," Michael says. He motions to the pot of coffee, which is still steaming. "Coffee?"

"Did the Magenta Misfit make it?" Ellie asks.

"He did, indeed. He could have a second career as a barrista if things don't work out for him as the Root of all Evil." He sips his coffee, hums with approval. "Little Lucy's Coffee and Soul Emporium. It's a bargain."

Ellie pulls a face, something between amusement and disgust. "I think I'll pass. We both know what happened the last time I drank something he'd made."

Rita sits down, pours herself a cup of coffee, and takes a sip before anyone can stop her. She stares down at the cup. "Lord, this is amazing. You mean to tell me the Devil himself made this?" she asks.

"Seems impossible, right?" God asks before She can stop Herself.

Rita pours herself more coffee. "No one likes a smartass, Dia."

(1) Like who his favorites are on the most recent season of American Idol. Michael's never been a fan of pop music, but he can appreciate a good, upbeat song as much as the next person (with wings). American Idol, though, offends his punk rocker sensibilities. It would figure the Devil would endorse it.

(2) He forgot to do laundry (which means he forgot to leave his laundry out for the cherubs to do), so he's currently commando. Buckwild. Naked under his clothes. Do I really need to go on?

(3) St. Rita, Patron Saint of the Impossible. Those days when you just don't think your skinny jeans will contain your not so skinny ass but they do? St. Rita. You wake up with fifteen minutes to get ready and eat breakfast and you still make it into work on time and looking fabulous? Yup, St. Rita. She's pretty much the shit.

(4) Sometimes, he wishes she'd rub off a little on Ellie. And then he reminds himself that he's not supposed to be in love with his boss...especially since his boss is THE BOSS.