It was an amazing day, subjectively speaking. The sun shone proudly past the spotty layer of clouds, sparkling across the water almost playfully. The ocean lapped up calmly and quietly all along the sun-baked sand, guided by a soft, cool breeze off the water. All in all, it was pretty much a perfect day at the beach, though it had only just begun—the sun was barely a quarter of the way into the sky. Despite this, it was completely empty, from past the great statue rock all the way down, as far as the eye could see. It was completely empty—and then, it was not.
An onlooker would have been hard-pressed to tell when or where the man appeared. Perhaps they would have replied, on being asked where this person had come from, that he 'must have come out of the ocean', or 'I must've missed him before'. They might, if sufficiently prodded, have mentioned something about the fact that there were no footprints leading to the man, so he must have come from the ocean. A long-distance swimmer, maybe, or an unfortunate sailor shipwrecked in the night. Of course, any such speculation on this subject would've required at least one person to be nearby to observe the arrival of this individual, and someone to ask the question. There were no such people. There was no one who saw the sitting man lean back onto his hands, unaffected by the blazing heat of the sand. There was no one to see him scan his gaze slowly along the beach, taking in everything around him. His short blond hair ruffled slightly from the invisible brushes of the wind, and he turned—looking out across the sea and into the horizon through eyes that flashed golden in the sunlight. He stared, unmoving. He did not smile, and he did not frown. He simply gazed.
Steven was running a little late today. He'd overslept, which was definitely his fault, because he'd spent waaaay too much time the previous night trying to avenge the Lone Sword's honor(video games can be so hard). He'd managed to get his daily doughnuts just a little bit later than usual, but he'd been in a rush to get there and it was almost time to get back; Connie was coming over for morning training.
It was only when he had to stop and catch his breath that he even saw the man on the beach. Once he did, though, he realized that he'd never seen him before. This was very exciting-it wasn't often that new people came to Beach City, unless you counted the tourists that sometimes came through during summer months. Steven loved meeting new people. He did need to get back to the house for training, so it wasn't possible to say hi then—but he'd go back after. Hopefully, he thought, he'll still be there.
Of course, right after his training they had to go off on another mission-gem monsters acting up in the desert near the Kindergarten again-and they'd even been able to bring Connie along! It was her second-ever mission, and he'd been so excited that he forgot all about the man on the beach. The next day they had to go back—one of the gem-monsters had escaped, and they had to track it down. The next day he went up to visit Peridot and Lapis. He'd pretty much completely forgotten about the man on the beach until he was walking to the Big Doughnut the morning after his visit and saw him again.
The man was just sitting there—sitting in the exact same place as before. It was like he hadn't moved at all. His skin was pale, but he wasn't sunburnt. He didn't seem to be doing anything. So, Steven decided he would go and introduce himself.
"Hello!" He said cheerily, having walked to about ten feet away from the man. The man said nothing, and the silence stretched on long enough that it made Steven wonder if the man could actually hear him. He walked into the man's line of sight and waved.
"Hi! My name's Steven," he said. The man seemed to be looking through him. His eyes were a weird sort of yellowish color—and Steven suddenly noticed there was a straight scar line running all the way across his face. It was still a little red.
"Um, are you okay?" Steven continued. The man did not respond. "'Cause, if you aren't, I might be able to help you with that." The man still didn't respond, though he did blink—a slow, tired sort of blink. He continued to stare past Steven, off at the distance. Steven turned around, trying to see what the man was looking at. All he could see was the ocean. He blinked, looking again—the ocean, the sky, the clouds… it was a beautiful day. He hadn't really thought much about it, but it really was nice.
"Huh," He said, sitting down a short distance away from the man. They sat there awhile.
"Well, I'm going to go get some doughnuts. Do you want one?" Steven finally said, standing up. Still getting no response, he shrugged and set off.
Ten minutes later, he was back, bag of doughnuts in hand. The man was still there, just sitting. "Hey, ah, I've got some doughnuts here. You can have one, if you want," Steven said—setting down a large, brown frosted, rainbow-sprinkled pastry on top of a napkin on the ground next to the strange man. The man still didn't react, but Steven was pretty much expecting that at this point.
"Well, I guess you aren't much of a talker. Would it be cool if I brought some of my friends over to meet you?" Steven asked. Still no response. He smiled. "I guess I'll take that as a yes!" Steven said, and then jogged off towards the temple. The man was a little weird, but Steven was still excited; making new friends was his favorite thing to do, and he loved every opportunity he had.
Behind him, the man's head turned slightly, and for the first time in days, his eyes left the horizon to gaze on the colorful piece of pastry that had been placed before him.
"C'mon, guys! He's just been sitting there for days, I'm telling you!" Steven said, pulling along a skeptical looking Pearl. Behind them, Garnet and Amethyst strolled down the beach. "I don't know, Steven—remaining in one location, especially one as hostile as a beach with all its heat and wind, does not sound like typical human behavior. Perhaps we should be a little more weary of this individual—" Pearl was saying.
"Look, there he is!" Steven exclaimed, pointing towards the man. He blinked in surprise. "Woah, he moved!" Indeed, the man had moved; he now sat with his hands on his legs in front of him. He still stared ahead, unaffected by the brightness of the sun. The smile grew wide on Steven's face when he noticed that the napkin was now empty. "All right, Mr. Beach man—here are the friends I was talking about!" Steven said, flourishing in the direction of the three gems. The man did not look, or give any sign that he had heard. Several seconds passed.
"Ah, Steven, perhaps we should leave this man alone." Pearl said, frowning slightly. She glanced at Garnet and Amethyst. The former shrugged, while the latter groaned. "Stevie dude, you said this was going to be interesting," Amethyst said. "He's just some guy on the beach."
"Amethyst!" Pearl said. "There is no need to be rude." Amethyst smirked.
"Thank you." Said a smooth, dry-sounding voice. It took them all a moment to realize it'd been the man who'd spoken.
"Ah—wait, for what?" Steven asked.
"The doughnut." The man turned his head, staring at Steven through one honey-colored eye. "I think I owe you thanks, at least," he said, before turning back to gaze at the horizon. He was dressed strangely, Steven realized, for a beach. He wore a long black coat, black pants and a grey shirt—which must have been cooking him since it was something like 85 degrees out and he was sitting in the sun. Even weirder, it didn't look like he'd been sweating at all, even though he was dressed for late august.
"Well, you're definitely welcome!" Steven said. "Like I said before, I'm Steven. This is Pearl, this is Amethyst, and this Garnet!" He said, pointing to each in turn. The man still didn't turn his head. "Er, what's your name?" Steven asked. There was another pause. Steven was about to say something else when—
"Does it matter?" The man asked.
"Uh, I guess." Steven said, taken aback. "I mean, otherwise I'll just have to keep calling you beach man, or make up something better." Silence.
"You could also call him 'sand man', since he likes the sand so much!" Said Amethyst, chuckling.
"I have many names," the man replied suddenly, "Sandman is not one of them. That belongs to another," he paused, and sighed. "If you must call me something, you may call me Lucifer." He glanced back at them again, eyes narrowed slightly, before looking back at the horizon.
"Well, it was a pleasure meeting you, Lucifer, but I'm afraid we have to be going!" Said Pearl, tugging on Steven's arm.
"Yeah, I'm bored," said Amethyst, itching her neck. "I'm gonna go find somethin' to eat." She began to wander back towards the temple.
"I'm going back too," said Garnet. "It was good to meet you, Lucifer," she continued, following Amethyst.
"Aww, but, guys…" Steven said.
"Steven, we should leave this human alone." Pearl whispered, tugging at his hand. "He's clearly not interested in conversing with us. Besides, he seems more than a little strange."
"But, Pearl…" Steven said, attempting to whip out his puppy dog eyes.
"No, no! Steven, we need to respect this human's privacy!" Pearl insisted. "Come on—we'll find something fun to do at home. I'll help you beat that video game of yours, if you'd like."
"Really?" Steven said, eyes and smile wide. "Well, okay, then…" He looked back at Lucifer. "Enjoy the sun, I guess." He said to him as the began to walk away. Even as they left, however, he continued to glance back. The man didn't make any sign of having moved at all. Whatever he was so interested in out in the ocean, Steven couldn't see it.
Two entire days went by. Steven couldn't help but look at the man every time he walked past. He just sat there, doing nothing. Even at night, Steven had seen him, just sitting on the beach. No one in town had heard of him. There weren't any cars or anything parked on the beach, so he probably hadn't come to Beach City that way. Steven was thinking up more and more questions each day, and his curiosity was growing overwhelming. The third day after, he had a practice session with Connie. He was distracted the entire time, and kept making simple mistakes. He didn't earn a single Pearl point. Given that Pearl was usually so excited to give out Pearl points, it was definitely not his best work. It'd just been hard to concentrate with his curiosity nagging him like it was.
After practice, Steven and Connie went out to one of the statue's hands to have a picnic. Steven was trying to tell her about Lucifer.
"See, Connie? There he is!" Steven said, pointing. Connie squinted, using her hand as a visor to block the sun.
"That guy?" She asked. "In the coat?
"Mmhmm!" Steven responded.
"I mean, he looks a little weird wearing a big coat on the beach, I guess." She said.
"Connie, he's been there for days now! Don't you think that's more than a little weird?" Steven said. Connie pondered for a moment.
"He hasn't gone out for food or anything?" She asked.
"I don't think so." Steven said, looking back at Lucifer.
"Have you asked him where he came from?" She asked. Steven scuffed his sandal on the stone, feeling slightly conflicted.
"Well, no…" He said.
"Well, why don't we go and ask?" Connie replied. Steven sighed. "Pearl said I probably shouldn't bother him. I gave him a doughnut before, and he told me his name—he's called Lucifer I guess, by the way—but he didn't really seem interested in talking." Steven said.
"There's obviously something different about him, Steven! Nobody just sits somewhere for days doing nothing." Connie'd gained a determined look in her eye. "I'm sure Pearl's just trying to protect you, but he doesn't seem dangerous or anything, and it's not like not talking to him is going to make you less curious about him. I say we go and ask why he's here." She said. Steven thought for a moment.
"When you put it that way, it sounds like we hold totally go! C'mon, I'll give you a ride down," Steven said, offering Connie his hand. She took it, and they both jumped off the hand, Steven thinking hard about pizza and doughnuts and Lone Swordsman so that they'd go down slowly. They reached the bottom after a minute or so, and walked towards the man who'd called himself Lucifer. It was a strange name—not really one either had heard of before.
Lucifer had not moved much that day; his hands were still in his lap, his legs were crossed, but his eyes were still focused on something neither Steven or Connie could see. "Hello again, Mr. Lucifer! I brought another friend to meet you," said Steven, having reached a spot a few feet away from the odd man.
"Hi!" Connie piped in, giving a small wave. They both waited.
It became clear that there was not going to be a response.
"Ah, so… we were just, um, wondering, if it isn't too rude or anything, would you please tell us where you came from and what you're doing here?" Connie said in a rush, blushing slightly when she realized she'd almost been shouting. She felt nervous about this person. He was too still, somehow, like he was some sort of statue carved into the sand. He didn't look like he was breathing, or even blinking. She was extremely alarmed when the corners of his mouth curved up slightly, in what must have been a small smile—though it didn't quite reach his eyes.
"That is a very, very long story. One I doubt you have the time to hear," He said.
"No, no, we have time! Lots of time!" Steven said, sitting down next to him. Connie sat too.
"Yeah," she said, "we're really curious."
"So it would seem," Lucifer said, dryly. "I'm not particularly preoccupied. I suppose I have no reason not to humor you." He continued. He looked down at Stephen, and then at Connie. His eyes were strange. Looking into them felt like looking at space when all the stars were out, stretching off further and further into the distance until they sank into a darkness that no one could see through. Steven was amazed. Connie shivered.
"I have come from far away. You might ask how far, but any distance I could name would make no sense to you. The distance itself is not important. What is is that I am here, where nothing from my old life matters. I came here in search of freedom. The place that I lived before was like a prison for me, and for all my existence I've longed to escape. At long last, I have. I have liberated myself. I am here." Lucifer finished.
"That's great, right?" Asked Steven, smiling excitedly. There was a pause.
"Yes... yet, somehow, no," Lucifer said, voice sounding a little distant. "I've been hoping for this since the beginning. Planning, plotting, and dreaming of being free of the plan. Yet in my moment of victory, I've forgotten what it was that I wanted to do with my prize, if there ever was anything." Steven frowned.
"Sorry, I guess… is there anything we can do to help?" He asked. Lucifer glanced over, slightly surprised.
"What?" He replied, sounding mildly interested for the first time since the start of the conversation.
"You know," said Steven, "to help you remember"
"Why?" Lucifer asked.
"What?" Said Steven.
"Why would you… strange." His eyes narrowed. He was staring at Steven as if he was trying to read a book, but couldn't make out the letters. "Perhaps that's not how it works, here," Lucifer said to himself, before focusing back on Steven. "That aside," he continued, "why exactly would you want to help me? Why would you even think you could?"
"Well, you need help! Connie and me," Steven gestured to the two of them, "we're part of the Crystal Gems—we help people! I don't know what we'd do, but I know we could think of something!" Steven proclaimed excitedly.
"Hmm." Lucifer stared at Steven for a moment longer before turning to Connie. "Does he speak the truth, then?" She nodded.
"Steven doesn't really do lies very well. Couldn't pull one off if he tried." Connie said, was silent for a moment, expression inscrutable.
"Very well, then. Try if you must." He finally said.
"Awesome!" Said Steven.
"Now, you're going to need to tell us a bit more about what you wanted before we can help you figure it out," Connie said, determination gleaming in her eyes. Lucifer laughed—it was a strange thing: light, but somehow dangerous—a sunbeam reflected off a dagger's blade. Connie shivered again, despite the bright sun on her back.
"Perhaps I haven't been entirely clear," said Lucifer. "I wasn't looking for anything but freedom, and I've found that. What I haven't found, I suppose…" he trailed off, looking back out over the ocean. "I'm not sure. All I can say is that my only, impossible desire, for so long, has been freedom. Now, well—" he gestured towards the ocean, "there is so much that can be seen, be done, be explored. Yet, I feel drawn to none of it. An entire creation sits in front of me, yet I have no desire to explore. The only reason I've chosen even this spot to rest on is more to honor an old inside joke than any genuine compulsion."
"Huh." Connie said. "I think I understand... maybe?" She paused, thinking. "Uh, so, are you sure there's nothing you want to do?" She asked. Lucifer looked back out to sea, before closing his eyes.
"Nothing comes to mind." He replied. Neither Steven or Connie could think of something to say to that.
"Steven? Connie? Where did you go?" Pearl asked, her voice echoing from the statue. Steven perked up.
"Oh, ah, I guess we'd better get back." Steven said, before his eyes widened with realization. "Oh! How about you come with us?" Lucifer looked back at him.
"Why?" he said, eyebrow raised.
"Why not?" Steven replied, grinning, pupils inexplicably shaped like stars.
And Lucifer Morningstar, only being to ever escape The Presence, weaver of stars and founder of dissent, saw no reason to argue with that.
Hello, Dear Reader!
So, I don't often do these(cue stereotype gong of shame), but on this particular story it just seemed like a good idea. It's not exactly a common crossover, and I really can't imagine there will be a ton of people who actually know and love both of these works enough to read fanfiction about a crossover of the two of them, although I would be overjoyed to be proven wrong in this case.
For everyone here for just the Steven Universe side of things, thanks for reading this far-this probably hasn't made a ton of sense, but I hope you've enjoyed what I've got down. It isn't much yet, I know, but I do have a bit of stuff planned-anyhow, Lucifer is a wonderful character and the comic series he's in is excellent-I would absolutely recommend reading it sometime, or just looking him up on the DC wiki if you just want to know enough to have some background for this fic.
As to you people who are just here for the Lucifer side of things, ya'll just generally rock, though I get the feeling the odds are pretty low that there are people on here just for Lucifer(Neil-Gaiman-split-off comic, btw, not the TV show) and not familiar with Steven Universe. If you haven't already, definitely watch it; it's a unique and wonderful show. I do understand if you're just here for the Lucifer of the comics, though-there are too few fics with him involved as it is. I can't say I've even run into one. I thought I should write one, then. Why I chose this one in particular, well, I'm not really sure-I just saw the image of a guy sitting on the beach in my head and went with it.
And for those who have seen/read both, you are truly magnificent beings. I hope there are many more of you—of us, I suppose—than I suspect there are.
I'm going to write more of this anyway, but let me know what you think, any/all of you. If I'm portraying a character wrong, I'd definitely like to know.
Have a pleasant day!