So you think you’ve got me figured out…

Sara had lost herself in all of those old thoughts as she was going through her paperwork one day, and noticed one particular name up for what could be equated to a parole hearing: Nelson Foy. Her first thought was pleasant, glad to see he got what he deserved. Her second thought was violent, where she said no torment they could devise would be fitting. Her third thought, which came much later, was one of panic, even of fear.
How could she deal with this? This was a man who had badgered her, annoyed her, defiled her, and fought tooth and nail to say he hadn’t. This was the man who ruined any semblance of a normal life Sara could have had following her parents’ death, the man who, to his dying day, believed he had done nothing wrong. How was Sara, in all reasoned judgment, supposed to make this call?
“We’re in Hell, Sara,” Steve said with his jaw firmly set, “not all the same rules apply.”
She had brought the file to his desk and raised her questions like a good employee. The minute Steve caught sight of the name on the form, he would say only that. Despite her protests, it would seem that Sara would have to face this despite the massive conflict of interest.
“Conflict of interest?” a demon guffawed as he escorted Sara to the hearing, “Miss Donlon… if I may?”
“You may,” she smiled, always thrilled by the politeness of demons for the good and decent.
“Well, Miss Donlon,”
“Call me Sara.”
“Erm…” his low, rumbling voice seemed ill at ease, “Miss Sara…if you don’t mind me saying…”
“I don’t mind, already!”
She had heard that the demons were kept in line pretty harshly during the old regime, and it was one of her goals to see that they loosened up a little. She’d had enough of military bric-a-brac at the Bureau.
“You have an awful lot to learn, is all,” the demon smiled embarrassedly, his lethal-looking tusks curling upwards from his lower jaw.
“I hope I never stop,” Sara smiled back. They reached the interrogation room and, after the demon insisted on opening the door for her, Sara sat down across the table from Nelson Foy, whose face immediately contorted into a mask of fury and hate.
“You bitch,” he hissed. No sooner had Sara sat down than she quickly reshuffled her papers and stood back up.
“Well, that settles that, no-”
With a snarl, Nelson made to leap across the table at her, but made it only halfway before being clobbered into the adjacent wall by the large, red fist of the demon. Sara backed up instinctively, a little shaken, and glanced over to her bodyguard. The demon gave her only a small nod and the tiniest bit of a smile before both of their attentions came back to Nelson, now bleeding heavily from the mouth and spitting out his words with his teeth. His voice was nasal, puerile, and challenging, just like the boy Sara had so often rebuked in his youth.
“You idiots,” he whined, clawing up to a seated position, “You’re all a bunch of fuckin’ idiots. You really think you’ve got things under control here? You think you’re really running the show? Let me tell you something, I was here in the old days, the nasty days, and Lucifer… there’s no way he’s just sitting down there feeling sorry for himself. He’s planning something, and you’ll all be the first to pay. I’d watch my backs if I were you!”
He began to laugh, not because it was entertaining, but more because he felt something had to be done to keep him from vomiting from the pain. Sara turned away from him, her face showing cold antipathy under hooded eyes.
“Do it.”
She said to the demon, and walked out. The moment she shut the door, Nelson Foy’s screams pierced through the heavy metal, finally ending his nervous laughter and seeking to knock the door of its heavy hinges. Rather than walk away, Sara leaned back against the door and drank in the sound, finally knowing that he was being right and justly punished and maybe, just maybe, he was feeling one one-hundredth of the pain he caused her. Steve appeared beside her, as was his custom, in a small puff of sulphorous red smoke. He was always one for tradition. With a click of his fingers, he placed a fuzzy pair of rabbit earmuffs on his head to drown out the screams, grimacing slightly as they did very little good.
“You did it,” he said plainly, leaning against the door with her and looking at the craggy, lava-rock ceiling.
“It did itself,” she responded, her voice a little husky. She felt no guilt for what she was hearing, what she was enjoying. She was a human being, and human beings are petty things that at their core beg for a semblance of reason and balance, no matter how brutal. It is only in their striving to move beyond such animal tastes that they truly become something more, something…human. Steve turned and looked at her, seeing a face that was not sad, nor happy, nor angry, but deeply moved to a point beyond one simple label of emotion. Tears streamed down her face, and her body trembled, but it was the most wonderful and intense feeling she had ever felt. Here, in Hell, in a land of death and fire, she felt more alive than she had in years. Steve gave a proud little smile and ran a hand over her thick, brown hair.
“Well done.”

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