Red doesn't see any sign of the demon who owns him for the next six years.
It's been so long, Red begins to wonder if the whole experience wasn't some vivid fever-dream, and Lizzie managed to heal simply through the grace of God. It's certainly a more favorable option than the idea of a demon having full-claim on his soul.
But Lizzie is just too healthy and breathes too well, and he hates that the demon's nickname for her stuck... but damn it if it doesn't fit her. He watches her from afar, checking in on her on occasion, visiting both Lizzie and Sam. He'll only be able to do this for a year, maybe two. Lizzie can't remember him as an adult, because that will raise questions.
Questions like, "Sam, why were you friends with an internationally wanted criminal?"
The fact that he sold Navy secrets to the highest bidder doesn't come out until '93... but the thing is, while he did trade information to several countries in exchange for security, resources, and money, of course, there are certain organizations that hold state secrets that he never spoke to.
He can only assume it was Mr. Crowley.
Mr. Crowley, who has his suitcase and in turn knows things that even the POTUS isn't aware of. Apparently the demon is capitalizing on it, as well. Red can hardly blame him. He gave him the suitcase knowing full well that it would eventually fall back on him. He'll gladly take the fall.
The country he once served puts him on the Most Wanted list, and he becomes a fugitive.
By the time Lizzie is out of kindergarten, he knows he can't visit anymore. The last time he sees her is her sixth birthday. Sam tells him she's in a princess phase, and Red buys her a dress worthy of a Disney princess, periwinkle and appropriately covered in sparkles. The little girl tries on the dress with glee, spinning in a circle before racing towards him and hugging him tightly.
Red thinks of his own daughter, and tries not to break down right there among the pink streamers and birthday cake.
Red says goodbye, and knows it will be a very long time, if ever, before he's face to face with Elizabeth Scott again.
He thinks of her often though, and he keeps an eye on her progress. She does dance for a few years, and he makes it to as many of her recitals as he can, even it means taking his jet from Doha to Nebraska. Because he cares. He cares far more than he should, and it's his weakness, perhaps, his greatest weakness. Lizzie is his greatest weakness.
By the time she's nine, Red's confident she will one day be his downfall. Maybe it's prophetic, maybe it's just common sense, but he knows that Elizabeth Scott is going to destroy him.
Everyone gets destroyed in the end, but few get the chance to choose who does the destroying. He can't think of anyone he'd rather have tear him down.
This is what's on his mind as he sips an absolutely delectable strawberry daiquiri on a white sandy beach in the Caribbean. He's here to oversee an arms trade, but his services aren't required until tomorrow.
To his credit, he barely flinches when he hears the voice next to him: "Mind if I have a sip?"
Red's eyes close for the briefest of moments. He tries to remain calm.
"It's almost as if you're not happy to see me."
Red sighs heavily, removes his sunglasses, and turns to look at the being now occupying the beach chair next to him. Crowley looks exactly as he did five years beforehand. All black suit, immaculate appearance, gray paisley tie. The heat doesn't seem to affect him, and Red isn't surprised by this.
"Truthfully, I was beginning to think I'd imagined our little arrangement. Or beginning to hope, anyhow," Red admits, and he passes the daiquiri to Crowley, because he doesn't care if the demon is kidding or not.
Crowley accepts it. "Sorry darling, I'm the real deal. Lucky thing too, or itty-bitty Lizzie would still be a vegetable," he commented, swishing around the drink before taking a deep sip. "Hmm. Not bad. How is Lizzie, by the way? I trust you've been keeping an eye on her?"
"I trust you've been doing the same, so why ask?"
Crowley simply chuckled, handing him his drink back and snapping a glass of what appeared to be scotch into existence.
"Not a fan?" Red asks.
"I prefer my brand." Crowley raises the glass. "Glenncraig. Aged thirty years at least. Been drinking it for centuries."
"Ah, Glenncraig. I knew a man once by the name of Torrian, lived in the backwoods of Scotland, near Canisbay. He brewed the stuff, was very particular about his process, so much so that he refuses to pass the craft on to any of his sons, as he's convinced they'll muck it up somehow. Though, I have to say, his own mix is by the far the best I've had. That perfect balance of citrus and tobacco, with that warm burn that's just enough to stoke the fires... nothing compares."
Crowley seems pleased by his knowledge as he nurses his drink. "You're a man of refined tastes. I can respect that. Though fedoras, really?"
"They work in any weather, can match any outfit, and allow for anonymity. The perfect accessory," Red says, adjusting his hat. "Not to mention, it strikes one hell of a figure."
"Mate, no one looks good in a fedora."
"Are you here to give me fashion advice, Mr. Crowley, or are you here to collect?"
"Why not both?" Crowley drains his Craig quickly, and then the glass disappears. The demon rises to his feet. "I'm looking for something. It occurred to me you might just be able to help me find it, with your seemingly endless resources."
"What is it you want?"
"A gun," Crowley says. "A very special gun. One made by Samuel Colt himself." He reaches into his overcoat and pulls out a manila folder. He hands it to Red. "Everything I know at present is in there. Call me when you find it, but don't go after it yourself. I have plans for it."
"May I ask what you want with it?"
"You can ask, but I won't answer."
Red's lip twitches, and he doesn't like the idea of doing dirty work for a demon without any knowledge of what consequences it could reap. Then again, he doesn't really have a choice, does he?
"Very well. I'll see what I can do."
A ghost of a smirk passes over Crowley's features. "Call me." Crowley swoops down and pecks him on the cheek. Before Red can even be startled, Crowley's gone, leaving him alone.
He wonders how he's supposed to call him when he doesn't have his number-
And then suddenly, there's a screaming pain his arm. He flinches, letting out a pained exclamation, eyes going to the afflicted area.
There, gleaming in blood and carved into his very flesh is the number 666.
"Oh, you have got to be kidding me."
The same pain rips through his other arm, and this time the inscription simply reads "I'M NOT" in capital letters.
Red grimaces. He's going to be wearing long sleeves for awhile.
This Colt of Crowley's is not easy to track down. It's been passed around from families to museums, private arms collectors to gun showmen. It's gone off the map for years and years only to resurface on the other side of the country. It's stayed primarily in America, which narrows his search, but it's still a veritable bitch to find.
But he puts all he can into it, because he'll admit a part of him fears what Crowley will do to him if he fails in the task assigned to him... or more importantly, what will happen to Lizzie. These past few years, he's enjoyed the luxury of freedom, of answering to no one, of always being in control of his own life. The realization hits him, though, that this isn't truly the case. Whether he likes it or not, he serves Crowley... and he will be serving Crowley until his dying day.
He finds the Colt sixteen months after his meeting with Crowley in the Caribbean. He's received no calls or visits from the demon urging him to work faster, so it seems he's content to wait as long as needed for Red to locate it. Red vaguely wonders if it's some kind of test.
Half-sure it won't work, Red dials 6-6-6.
"Raymond. I hope you have good news for me."
Red doesn't want to know how Crowley is already aware it's him before he's even had a chance to speak.
"I do. Daniel Elkins, Manning, Colorado. To my knowledge, he's the last one to have the Colt in his possession. I had an associate search his house discretely on one of the few occasions he wasn't home, and he found it."
"You didn't have him remove it, did you?" Crowley asks sharply.
"I did not."
"Good," Crowley says firmly. "You're less inept than I thought."
"Thank you. I think. Now before you go, there is one additional matter I'd like to discuss."
"I'm waiting with bated breath."
"I know you still have some of your men watching Lizzie. I'd like to request that you cease all surveillance on her."
"Why ever would I do that?"
"Because I don't like the idea of demons watching her."
"But I have plans for her," Crowley said, and he can hear the smile in his voice, and it makes Red's blood boil.
"What purpose could one little girl possibly serve?"
"I'll let you in on a secret: the fate of the world itself rests on the shoulders of what are now two boys, one who's sixteen, and one who's twelve. Age doesn't exclude you from being relevant to the grand plan, Raymond."
"You guaranteed me her safety," Red growls, patience lost.
"Oh, she'll be safe," Crowley told him. "Don't worry your head about it, sweetheart. I've got everything under control. Kisses."
The demon hangs up, and Red resists the urge to smash the landline against the wall.