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Haha, you people don't even want to know how long this story has been hiding on my hard drive. About two years. Anyway, [livejournal.com profile] marian_vel reminded me of its existence so I pulled it out, edited some bits, and voila.

Short and sweet, Lucifer and Beelzebub have a private moment.

Title: All the Best Tunes
Fandom: Biblical mythology
Pairing: Lucifer/Beelzebub
Rating: PG
Summary: Beelzebub plays his violin.
Notes: I'm still trying to work out the balance for Beelzebub's character between brilliant manager and eccentric misanthrope so in this fic, he's speaking his pronouns according Elizabethan English rules. Testing to see how this speech pattern works for him.

The melody was haunting, sweeping, and pervasive. It was viciously beautiful and elegantly sweet. It filled Lucifer's inner office with heartbreaking song and easily drowned out the small scratch, scratch of a pen writing on paper.

Slender hands manipulated a bow and strings, gently urging them to sing out their trilling notes into the still air. Beelzebub plied the violin, a master at work.

Lucifer looked up from the paperwork covering two thirds of his desk. Duke Beelzebub was in rare form today. He sat primly in a curving Victorian chair set in front of Lucifer's desk. The Duke's orange eyes were closed as he played the violin, coaxing out the final soft notes of his aria.

Lucifer sighed contentedly as the music slowly faded and Beelzebub lazily opened his eyes. "Did you write that one?" the Devil asked.

"I did." The Duke's lips briefly parted in a small smile, and his pleasure at playing the instrument was evident.

Lucifer smiled as Beelzebub carefully, almost affectionately, rested the violin on his lap. "It's been said, my dear Duke, that I have all the best tunes. I think I am inclined to agree."

Beelzebub nodded. "Of course. No angel or demon playeth better than I."

Lucifer chuckled at the lack of pride in his subordinate's statement. It was not an egotistical boast but a calmly designated fact. In all of Heaven and Hell, no other could compete with Beelzebub's skill. The angelic Host, despite all its talented violinists, had never played as well since Beelzebub had Fallen.

In Hell, few demons bothered with the musical arts anymore. An appreciation for music and song still lingered among the Fallen, but only a select number cared to practice and redefine the skills they had learned as angels. Most of these were located in Dis where they did a brisk business in entertainment.

Beelzebub's skill had not diminished one iota since the Fall. However, these days the Duke hardly had anyone to play beside. It was little surprise then that he would seek worthy accompaniment amongst the mortals on Earth. All of the legends of bargains and fiddling contests were about Beelzebub; the Duke's sojourns on Earth frequently combined his love of violins with his love of bargaining.

Thanks to Beelzebub's little hobby their names had become practically synonymous. As far as many humans were concerned, 'Lucifer' and 'Beelzebub' were two names for one demon. But that was a typical part of human nature: embellishment. If a man told his family that he'd met a demon, you could bet that by the end of the week he'd be telling his neighbors that he'd almost been kidnapped by the Devil.

Lucifer rather liked this turn of events though; it was a bit of an ego boost for him and highly amusing. Beelzebub, on the other hand, did not appear to care. As long as the contest proved worthy, the Duke seemed satisfied, but then Pride had never really been Beelzebub's vice.

Lucifer got up from his desk and walked over to where Beelzebub was seated. The Devil had a smooth walk, neither slow nor quick, and his steps had the barest hint of a saunter. "Would you play another for me?" he asked standing beside Beelzebub's chair.

The Duke sighed. He stood and reached for his violin case and set it on the chair. "Surely, my Lord, there are more productive things that I could be doing..."

Lucifer wrapped an arm around Beelzebub's waist and drew the other demon close. Their hips bumped gently, and Lucifer used the back of his hand to lightly caress Beelzebub's cheek. "Surely," he purred, whispering right in the Duke's ear, "I could persuade you to play me one more melody?"

Lucifer quickly found himself grinning at thin air though as Beelzebub evaded his embrace, regarding his blond companion with nearly annoying nonchalance. "Thou really dost have such an ego. Don't tell me thou thoughtest a little touch and a whispered innuendo would be enough to woo me? Do I look like a blushing, virgin altar boy to thee?"


"If thou really wantest something from me, make it worth my while, my love."

Lucifer opted for the direct approach. "What do you want?"

"A duet."

"Ah," Lucifer protested, "you know that I do not play an instrument."

"Yes, I am aware," Beelzebub replied, setting his violin in its case. "Thy skills lie...elsewhere."

Lucifer's yellow eyes narrowed unhappily, and he shook his head. "No."

The Duke nodded. "I suspected thou wouldst feel thusly," he said with a tone like frozen steel. "In that case, I have idled away enough time here and should get back to work. Dis does not manage itself."

The latches on the Duke's instrument case snapped shut, and he bent to retrieve it and leave. Beelzebub hesitated though before picking up the case, and Lucifer felt the tiniest twinge of guilt. During these private concerts, the Duke often asked for a duet, but Lucifer rarely complied; it made him feel humble. He was too proud to use one of the talents that God had always praised him so highly for. But if Beelzebub wanted it...

"Wait, please, my friend. I'll... I'll sing with you."

The Duke retained his calm expression, but his orange eyes gleamed with hopeful anticipation. "Wouldst thou?"

The Devil smirked slightly. "For you? Yes."

Lucifer came close again, hands resting on Beelzebub's hips as the shorter demon took the violin back out of its case.


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