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Death of a Star

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"That star just died." There's something utterly heartbreaking in his voice.

Chloe turns to looks at him, slightly concerned at his sudden change of mood.

Lucifer's eyes are directed at the dark sky as they wait for the forensic team to finish up with the crime scene. She copies him and looks up; the night is sprinkled with shiny dots, brightly visible even here amidst the city.

"Which one? How do you know?" She asks curiously, searching the dark velvet for a sign, something different that would allow her to see whatever he had.

They lean against her car, the background noise of the others a gentle song to their moment, unobtrusive and constant.

"I…" His voice drags, uncertain. "That one."

Lucifer points up and she leans closer to him, searching the area around his finger.

"Beside the group of three?" He clarifies.

It takes her another moment, but Chloe finally nods. "I see it. How can you tell?" She repeats her question.

Her worry grows when she looks back at him- she can almost swear his eyes have just gotten glassy.

"The light is different from the-the others," he clears his throat. "I saw it change. It's a very subtle thing." He lowers his head suddenly "It probably died hundreds of years ago and the sight just reached earth." There's something airy to his voice, like he's struggling to keep the normality of the moment.

"Lucifer?" She looks at his strangled tone, her brow furrowed.

He straightens and pulls away from the car in a swift movement. When he looks back at her, he plastes the fakest smile she has ever seen on his face.

"Well, if you don't need me anymore, I better get a move on. Lux wont run itself after all." He arranges his suit jacket and fiddles with his cufflinks.

"Lucifer-" Chloe calls out to him, but he is already a few feet away.

"If you need me for anything else, give me a call," he says. "Though I must warn you, I might have lots of company tonight. Fear not, I'll always answer you." And with that he leaves with long strides.

She lets him go, confused by his behavior, but more worried than anything. This wasn't normal.

~.~.~.~

He wont stop looking at her daughter. It's like he's hypnotized, transfixed in a loop, his big dark eyes fixed on the child. He looks pained, almost longing.

"What's wrong Lucifer?" Trixie asks, noticing his heavy stare.

Her small hands reach out to him and rest on his knees with the ease of innocence.

He is sitting on the couch and Trixie on the floor, her big earnest eyes watching him the way only children can.

Chloe can see the exact moment the small question breaks him. Then it happens.

A quiet sob breaks free from him and he stands up suddenly, the unexpected action startling Trixie.

"I apologize. I must leave now." He excuses himself and starts heading to the front door.

"Lucifer!" Chloe calls him.

Before she can react, he's already outside, the door closing loudly behind him. She hurries outside and follows him into the warm LA night.

When she catches up to him he's next to his car, fidgeting with his keys because he can't quite control the shake of his long fingers.

A light breeze ruffled the air around them, carrying the noises of the city- the fiddling of crickets and the sharp clack of her short heels, as she approaches him.

"Lucifer, what's wrong?" Chloe asks, placing her hand gently on top of his own.

" I jus- I just don't like children." He says as if there's something stuck in his throat, then swallows.

"I know that," she says softly. "But you've never… reacted to Trixie like that before. Actually, I don't think you've every reacted to anyone like that."

She tries to meet his eyes, but the self-proclaimed Devil pointedly avoids her gaze.

"I…" Lucifer tries but says nothing more.

Chloe catches the swift shift of his eyes as he momentarily gazes at the sky.

He changes in a second, straightening his back and wiping the lost look off his face.

"I'm leaving now." He declares, his eyes looking directly into hers with a confidence that wasn't there before. It feels defiant, as if he's challenging her to try and stop him.

Chloe nods after a moment and let's her hand fall from his tightly wound ones.

"I'll see you later, yeah?" She asks casually, but there's something else in her voice. She wants confirmation that he won't run away like he's done in the past.

"Of course." He nods shortly but his eyes soften slightly. He's not running away.

Chloe stays outside until his car disappears down the road. As she heads back inside to her daughter, she can't stop thinking of Lucifer- can't stop the little ball of worry that rests at the bottom of her stomach.

"Was it something I said?" Asks her daughter.

"No, Monkey. Of course not. Lucifer's just… he's having a rough time." At least she thinks he is.

Chloe sits on the couch and the child climbs up next to her.

"What happened?" Trixie asks, just as worried as her mother.

It makes Chloe smile to see her daughter's love for the strange man that is her friend.

Never in her life did she think she would let her child get so close to someone like him- a true addict of all things forbidden if there ever was one- no mother in their right mind would. But weather she liked it or not Lucifer had wormed his way into their lives, for better or worse.

"I'm not sure, but… I think he's very sad."

He'll be okay, she decides, he's always okay in the end.

~.~.~.~

When she hears the doorknob turn, Linda looks up from her desk and smiles at her coming patient. It's Lucifer's appointment of the week and it's always (okay, mostly) a pleasure just talking with him.

He is the one patient she can never untangle her feelings from, too much has happened between them, from lovers to professionals to tightly wound friends. She doesn't think she'd have it any other way, though.

"Hey, Lucifer." She says pleasantly, happy to see him, even if in session.

It's the look on his face- a calm, shattered kind of look- that makes the happiness leave her almost instantly.

"What's wrong?" Linda asks worriedly, standing up.

Lucifer opens his mouth to reply, but nothing comes out. He tries a few more times, looking around as if he could find the words in the corners of her office, over her desk, outside the window in the blue of the sky.

"I…" His face falls and he releases a shaky breath. "Its…" He tries again, but he can't get the words out, he just can't.

He looks away and hides his face in one of his palms, his other arm wrapping around his middle protectively. He starts sobbing quietly into his hand.

"Oh, Lucifer." It's an inevitability when her doctor persona breaks away to lend way to the worried friend.

A part of her is frightened. What could possible make Lucifer break down? It had to be something awful, something truly terrible, for him to let himself be vulnerable in front of her like this.

Linda reaches his side and places a hand on his arm, asking for permission with her other arm open. He's always so wary of non-sexual touch; he flinches and inches away from it so often. She always lets him meet her halfway if he truly desires to.

He takes a moment to look at her and consider her invitation, then his will crumbles and he takes a step into her embrace. Linda closes her arms around him and his body shakes with quiet sobs.

She's so tempted to ask what's wrong, afraid someone might've died- someone she cares about. Is Chloe dead? Is AmanadielMaze? But she can't do that to him now.

If something has happened she'll have her moment, but right now she needs to focus on her patient. Her friend.

She soothes him with her hands, not words. Words are traitorous and there's more probability of her saying something that'll anger him than doing any good. She runs the palm of her hand up and down his back, with the other she reaches up to the nape of his neck –the highest she can reach when they're both standing- and curls her fingers gently around his hair. It's quite the uncomfortable position for her, she's almost on the tip of her toes.

"Come." She tells him, guiding him to the sofa. On their slow way there, Lucifer stumbles like a newborn deer and falls to his knees.

"Lucifer!" She's alarmed, but takes a deep breath. Later, she reminds herself.

It's a true struggle, he's all limbs and he's heavy, but she manages to get him to help until he's finally sitting on the couch.

Linda guides him gently with her hand on the top of his head into the space between her shoulder and neck. He hides readily and molds himself into her, desperately clutching at her back with his arms.

His grip is tight until it's too tight.

"Lucifer. Lucifer, calm down," she soothes. "Loosen your hands."

There's a painful edge in her words, and when he realizes he's been hurting her he becomes even more distraught.

Lucifer starts to pull back, almost scrambling from her, but Linda doesn't let him go. She locks her arms so he wont have a choice but to really hurt her if he wants to get away.

"It's okay." She tells him kindly. "Just watch your grip."

It takes a moment of slightly panicked breathing and him trying to gently pry her hands open, but it's futile. He nestles into her shoulder again and doesn't grip at her anymore but flattens his palms over her back, it holds the same strength as before but it's better. Hurting Linda is the last thing he wants.

They return to how they had been a few moments before. Her neck is damp with tears, but he's barely making any noise- that in itself is heartbreaking.

She breathes deeply and wills him to copy her without words, making the rise and fall of her chest evident until he's obliged to follow suit, shuddering with the effort.

They stay like that a long time; Linda, soothing and somehow able to cocoon all of him; Lucifer, raw and sharp in every way, crying his heart out like he hasn't in a long time.

Then there's a sudden quiet.

He begins to pull away, gently untangling his limbs from her. Linda's eyes never leave his face, but he won't look at her.

"I-" Lucifer swallows tightly. "This is so unbecoming."

He says it with a laugh, but doesn't try to joke his hurt away or dismiss it as he usually does, and that almost worries her more than the crying.

How bad does it have to be for him to acknowledge his pain as something valid? If even he can say to himself, "This is something I deserve to cry about".

It worries Linda so very much because he's never been like that about the big things, the truly important. She's trying to teach him that is okay to cry, to feel sorry for oneself, but the truth is they are so far from reaching that point.

So, what gives?

"What happened?" She finally asks, holding back the urge to whisper the words.

Lucifer is silent for a long time, staring straight ahead and not looking at her. He closes his eyes and another tear rolls down his check.

"A star died," he says simply, finally looking at her.

Linda's mind short-circuits for a moment, gets out her mental notes on all things Lucifer, as it tries to catch up to the situation.

"A star?" She asks confused. "You… you created the stars." She muses, trying to comprehend.

He nods simply, then surprises her by speaking again, unprompted.

"I was with the detective- at her house," he clarifies with a sniff, his voice uneven. "And I saw her child-"

He holds back a sob, looking up to the ceiling, his eyes red with tears.

"They were just playing with each other and… and I left. That was a few days ago, I haven't seen her since, or anyone…" He stops again, not knowing what he wants to say.

"You created the stars." Linda repeats with realization, her mouth hanging open and her own eyes beginning to water. "Oh, Lucifer," she exhales.

He smiles sadly when he sees that she understands, then passes his hand over his unruly hair and sighs, letting his hand flop back into his lap. She places her hand over his and returns his shaky smile.

"It… it probably died ages ago and I-" He sniffs again, brokenhearted. "I just didn't notice."

Tears fall anew and he cleans them away roughly. She doesn't know what to do, it's always new ground with him, so she does the only thing she can do in times of doubt with him- she asks about what she doesn't understand.

"Are- do stars feel?" she asks softly. "Do- do they have a consciousness?"

She sighs in relief when he lets out a wet laugh at her questions. It's friendly and amused- but sad and broken at the same time.

"Yes they feel. They are very much alive. And yes, they most definitely have a consciousness." He breaks a bit, moaning instead of crying as he reins himself in. "But- but not how you think. Their sense of self is very limited- and they… they're mostly happy to just exist. They can't do emotions very well."

"Sounds like someone I know." Linda offers a gentle smile and he cracks another laugh.

"Yes." Lucifer sniffs, holding his middle with his arms. "What's important is that they're mostly happy. They can reach out to each other with their light but- but hardly try to communicate anything, they just…. They are content, reaching and being reached, letting other stars touch them."

He doubles over and cries out, louder than before, and clutches his chest as if he were in pain.

"They are beautiful beings." He tells her, making an obvious effort to get the words out of his throat. "Simple, uncomplicated, gentle and at times angry. I used to hold them in my arms…"

That statement leaves a thousand more questions in her brain about physics and what not, but it's not what she asks about.

"Do you know them all?" Linda asks as she inches closer and wraps her arm around his hunched shoulders.

"Every one of them. They are mine. I made them. They are a part of me. I birthed them all into existence." He stretches each word harshly, trying to make her understand his pain. "They came from the light within me, that of what I'm made from…"

He's trying to catch his breath; Linda's head rests on his shoulder as she listens.

"Breathe Lucifer," She orders quietly and he tries to.

"I… here…" He presses his chest with his palm and grips roughly at it. "There is something here- for them." He cries again.

"I think what you may be feeling… is love."

"Yes." He agrees, and there's so much emotion in that one word.

"I love them," he sniffs. "I love them all and a star is dead."

He sights tiredly and unfolds, untangling himself from Linda. He takes a long deep breath and shudders it out as he leans back and closes his eyes.

The devil and the doctor share a quiet moment until he opens his eyes again and turns his head to look at her. His eyes are glassy and it's that moment when Linda sees how infinitely old he really is.

"Would you please hold me again?" He asks quietly, his voice rough from the abuse and emotion.

Linda smiles kindly at her friend and curls her small body around his lean one. She settles after a moment and they sigh out as one.

"We need to get some ice cream," she says after a while.

"Agreed," he replies with a sad smile and a huff.

~.~.~.~

He looks drained and pallid; the Homeless Magician was full on mood, but he is here at least.

After almost two weeks of zero communications beside a short message that read "I won't be coming to work", he has finally returned to the station –to her.

Lucifer is waiting by her desk, fiddling with her things- the leaves of her tiny plants and trinkets Trixie or Dan had given her. Chloe walks up to him and he raises his head.

"Detective," he says airily.

"Hey," she greets him with a slight smile.

He looks as though he hasn't slept since the last time she saw him.

"How are-"

"I wanted to-"

They laugh lightly as they talk over each other, the air around them clearing, if only a little bit. Lucifer straightens his back and looks at her with determination.

"Let me. Please?" He asks and she nods her acceptance.

"I've…" He lets out a long breath. "First, I would like to apologize for my lengthy absence. I know such things are generally not the greatest sign coming from me." He chuckles self deprecatingly "I don't want you to think I'm running away again, because I'm not."

He pauses when Chloe reaches for his arm and rubs it encouragingly.

"Anyway. I- I went to Linda, she… she said it might be good for me if I…" He looks at her, vaguely pained. "If I told you what was going on with me, if only just part of it." He looks down at their shoes.

"I'm here for you, Lucifer," Chloe says earnestly.

Lucifer can't help but smile tiredly at her, how many times had she told him those same words? Always just there if he needed a friendly face or a shoulder to… cry on.

"I know." He says but doesn't speak again for a long time.

The buzz of the station surrounds them, papers shuffling and ringing telephones, officers chatting with one another.

"Have I ever told you that I can't have children?" He asks all of a sudden, still not looking at her.

Chloe's heart stops; there's a breath that won't go into her lungs. She gulps quietly and gently squeezes his arm.

"Did you just find out?" she asks.

"Oh, no." Lucifer says glibly "I've known that for a long time. It was just… there was this one…" He can't get his words out "…died." He chokes on the word, but reins in any other sounds his treacherous body would make.

There's nothing more he's willing to say, so he closes his eyes and breathes quietly, in and out. He tries to control his emotions in a way that seems almost Herculean.

Chloe has a sudden understanding, incomplete and uninformed, but she understands.

The mere idea of not being able to have children pains her- the thought of never having met Trixie, of never having any children? No choice in the matter at all? It's horrible.

And choice- choice is such an important thing to Lucifer, and he has none in the matter.

She doesn't know what happened, but she thinks he's lost something- someone- that is beyond words.

Chloe imagines a young man being told he has a child. He doesn't want it- he's never liked children- but the thing is, deep down, he's a very kind person. He wouldn't be part of the child's life (or perhaps they wouldn't let him) but he'd keep an eye on them, make sure they had everything they needed.

Then one day he gets a call, the child is dead. No older than eleven years old, they never got to see much of the world. It pains him deeply and he can't even pretend that it doesn't. Lucifer is distraught.

She doesn't know what happened, but the fake memory makes her heart clench when she looks into his dark brown eyes. There's something infinitely sad when he looks at her, no walls or pretense, just an open window to his bursting emotions.

Chloe's breath hitches as her best friend does something unexpected. He reaches out and hugs her, his chin resting on her head as his body molds to hers, looking for comfort. Her arms are around him instantly.

They stand like that, ignoring the rest of the station and just holding each other for a few minutes until Chloe speaks.

"I'm sorry," she tells him.

Lucifer's shoulders stiffen; he takes a shuddering breath in and lets it go.

"Thank you." He says, and she can tell he means it.

He'll never tell her anything else about the topic, will probably never bring it up again, at least not for a long, long time. but she'll know.

When he's suddenly saddened by something, when he looks at Trixie or the children in their cases for a second longer than usual, and she won't say anything either, but she'll look at him and place her hand on his shoulder, or in his arm, maybe in his own hand. He'll look at her and smile sadly, thanking her with his eyes, and they'll share a quiet companionship. He'll squeeze her hand back.

Lucifer will never say anything about it, but he'll feel better when Chloe offers her kindness to his pain.

One day, though, she'll know what the death of a star means to him. Her feelings about the subject will be just the same as they are now.

The loss of a child will hold the same weight by any other name.