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Of Miracles and Sinners

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“I want to tell you everything. No more going backwards.”

Chloe listens to the message once more before she’s sure of what she’s just heard. Lucifer Morningstar is finally willing to open himself up. He’s on his way to her house right now to answer all the unspoken questions that have been rattling around in her brain since the day she met him.

Such is her life that she isn’t actually at home to get those answers.

But there’s nothing she can really do about that now other than hope that Lucifer will wait for her and not change his mind. She sends him a quick text to let him know that she is visiting Linda at the hospital at the moment and she will be home soon so he can let himself in and make himself comfortable. (She doesn’t bother telling him where the spare key to her apartment is hidden, knowing that he can easily break into her house without it and didn't that used to bother her?)

Tucking her phone back into her pocket, she enters the hospital and shamelessly uses her badge and police officer status to get the nurses to lead her to Linda’s room despite visiting hours being over.

Linda thankfully doesn’t seem to mind the late visit and a smile graces her lips. ‘Wow, two visitors in one half hour, makes a girl feel special.’

Chloe gives her a small smile in return, though she is having trouble keeping it on her face as she looks over Linda’s injuries. She has no idea what happened, only getting a vague message from Maze a couple of hours ago, but it looks like someone has gone at her with a blowtorch.

Linda, ever observant, notices Chloe’s worried expression that she probably wasn’t hiding all that well anyway and is quick to reassure her. ‘It looks worse than it feels,’ she says. ‘Although the really good meds may have something to do with that.’ They both give a little chuckle at that before Linda mellows again. ‘Seriously, Chloe, I’ll be fine. Between Lucifer offering to buy me anything I could possibly desire,’ she puts on an over-the-top imitation of Lucifer’s accent at those words, ‘and Maze’s insistence to maim anyone who so much as vaguely annoys me, I think I’ve got my fill of people fussing over me.’

Chloe gives a small nod, not doubting in the slightest that Linda is not exaggerating and moves forward to take her friend’s hand. ‘Okay, no fussing, I swear,’ she says. ‘But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to worry.’ She desperately wants to know what happened but something in Linda’s eyes is begging her not to ask so she holds her questions back. Whatever happened, Linda needs time to recover.

The pair lapse into the familiar and comfortable small talk that has become a regular thing between them since Maze and Lucifer had tricked her into going out on that first Tribe Night, but eventually it trickles out and Chloe can no longer deny her desire to get home and see if Lucifer has gotten cold feet yet. She feels guilty about making him wait so long but at the time, seeing Linda had been more important. And considering that Lucifer had been here not 10 minutes before her (she must have just missed him in the parking lot), she is pretty sure he would agree.

She says her goodbyes to Linda, sends another text to Lucifer to let him know she is on her way home, and heads back to her car, her mind already coming up with a million and one scenarios of what Lucifer is going to tell her, ranging all the way from “I’m an undercover spy for the British Intelligence” to “I’m the head of LA’s biggest criminal organisation”.

She’s so engrossed in her make-believe scenarios that she’s a little surprised when she pulls up in her own driveway.

Taking a breath for resolve, she gets out of her car and heads into her apartment. The door is no longer locked, letting her know that Lucifer is still here before she even sees him. The knot inside her loosens a bit at that, knowing that he waited for her despite patience not being one of his more commonly used virtues.

When she sees him, however, that knot tightens right back up and then some. She’s never seen him look so nervous. He’s siting on her couch, two glasses of wine on the table in front of him, fiddling with a cigarette that he looks like he would very much like to light right now. His clothing is impeccable as ever, but his hair is another story. Whatever gel he uses to keep it in place is a distant memory and strands are sticking up at awkward angles where his hands have no doubt been running through them. It would look sexy if it wasn’t for the worried look in his eyes.

Maybe she did leave him alone for too long after all.

‘Lucifer…?’ she asks as she closes the door behind her and walks slowly towards him.

He plasters a forced smile onto his face and immediately stands up and moves over to give her room to sit down next to him. ‘Detective! I was starting to think you got lost. Here, have a glass of wine.’

He’s stalling but Chloe lets him. She knows him well enough to know if she pushes too hard, he’ll bolt. It’s only after she has taken a sip of the wine that is definitely too nice to be from her own cupboard that she approaches the reason why he is here.

‘So…’ she starts, cringing a little at how lame she sounds, ‘in your message… you said there was something you wanted to tell me. I believe your exact word was “everything”.’ Her small attempt at humour seems to have the desired affect and the tension in the room eases somewhat even if it’s only for a moment.

‘Is the spawn with you?’ he asks, throwing Chloe for a second.

‘No, she’s with Dan tonight.’

Lucifer nods. ‘That’s probably for the best.’ He reaches for his own glass of wine before changing his mind and taking out his flask instead. Chloe’s nerves only get worse as he takes a long swig.

‘Lucifer, please, just tell me what this is all about.’ It sounds a little more impatient than she means it to but her nerves are getting the better of her.

Her impatience does the trick though. Lucifer puts his flask away and turns slightly on the couch so he’s facing her. ‘Detective…’ He takes a breath, and that knot inside her tightens again. What could possibly be so bad as to make him so scared to tell her?

‘Detective,’ he starts again and this time he follows through. ‘You were right about what you said… about going backwards. It isn’t good for anyone, which is why you deserve to know the truth. And while I’ve told you it from the beginning, I know you’ve never believed me.’

Oh no…

‘You’re a woman of logic and reason and you require proof.’

Please don’t be another “Devil” thing...

‘And I’m going to give you that proof but before I do, I need you to know that you are safe with me. You will always be safe with me.’

Despite her annoyance at going through all that build up for what is now looking like just another one of Lucifer’s metaphors, Chloe softens a bit at that. ‘I know I am,’ she says, taking his hands that he has unconsciously been waving in front of him.

Lucifer stares at their joined hands for a second before slowly pulling back. ‘Okay,’ he breaths and he closes his eyes for a moment. When he opens them again there’s a resolve in them that wasn’t there before, like he’s finally convinced himself that he can do this… whatever this is. ‘I’m going to show you who I really am. Are you ready?’

Chloe nods and waits patiently for him to say something more but he doesn’t. He just makes a series of weird facial expressions and some odd growling sounds that Chloe’s not entirely sure he has control over.

‘Are you gassy?’ she finally asks after it becomes apparent that this is all she’s getting from him.

The weird expressions and noises stop and Lucifer raises a hand to his face, seemingly confused. ‘It’s not working,’ he mutters and Chloe reaches the end of her rope. She had really thought that Lucifer was going to properly let her past some of his walls tonight but she was obviously an idiot for getting her hopes up so much.

‘Lucifer, that’s enough,’ she says, standing up. He follows suit but only so that he can run to her hallway mirror. His hands are still prodding his face like he’s surprised it’s still there. ‘You know, I keep caring, and you…’ She trails off when she realises he’s not actually listening to her. And it hurts. Far more than she would like to admit.

She opens her mouth, ready to tell him to leave, but she never gets the words out. Instead they die in her throat as suddenly a set of huge white wings erupt from Lucifer’s back, knocking over several items that were perched on her hallway table.

Lucifer, for his part, looks just as shocked as she does. She can see his confused reflection in the mirror and she’s pretty sure she catches a whispered, ‘They’re back,’ leaving his lips. But as much as she tries, she can’t focus too much on his face. The wings are much more attention grabbing. They look a lot like the ones from the auction early on in their partnership but immensely more beautiful. They almost glow.

And then they’re gone; disappearing back into Lucifer’s back and Chloe’s mind finally has a chance to work through what she’s just seen.

‘You have wings,’ she says, the sentence sounding pathetic even to her own ears but she honestly can’t think of what else to say.

‘It would appear so,’ he says back in the same dazed tone, which confuses Chloe a little. How had he not known? He had told her about them years ago when his container had been stolen – had even made her put an APB out for angel wi- Oh God! Angel wings. His angel wings he was looking for were real. Like real real. Not some prop or cosplay thing but real actual angel wings!

‘You’re an angel.’ It’s another one of those pathetic sentences that just states the obvious but this one gets a proper reaction out of the man in question.

‘No!’ he almost shouts before calming himself down a little. He turns to face her properly. ‘I mean, yes I was and still technically am but this… Detective, those wings you just saw, they aren’t me. Not anymore.’ He glares at the ceiling at that last part and Chloe gets the overwhelming urge to sit down at the realisation of who he’s glaring at.

God is real.

God is real and Lucifer is but isn’t an angel.

Lucifer really is the Devil.

Somehow, she actually manages to make it to the couch before her legs give way. ‘It’s all true,’ she chokes out. She looks up to see Lucifer watching her warily. ‘You really are… You really are the Devil.’ Lucifer only nods and Chloe has to look away again. Once she thinks she can string a proper sentence together, she looks back up at him. He hasn’t moved at all. He’s still standing next to the mirror, his face more resembling of a death-row inmate than the egotistical playboy she knows so well.

‘But you’re not…’

It seems that she may have been a bit premature with the whole full sentence thing.

‘Not what?’ he asks.

‘Not like you’re supposed to be.' The words rush out before Chloe can stop them. 'No, not supposed to be, I mean...’ She lets out a shaky laugh that has no humour in it whatsoever. ‘I don’t know what I mean. You hear people talking about the Devil like he’s going to destroy the world or something and yet here you are helping the LAPD and catching killers and… and looking at me like I’m the one who just sprouted angel wings.’

Because that’s exactly how he is looking at her now. She’s glad that the haunted look has disappeared from his eyes but she can’t help but be a little confused to see the awe that has replaced it.

That is until he says five heartbreaking words.

‘You don’t think I’m evil?’

Suddenly she is reminded of a time that feels so long ago now, a time when Lucifer had been framed for murder. She remembers his rant about everybody blaming the Devil and now she fully understands how he must have felt in that moment.

‘No, Lucifer, I don’t think you’re evil.’ That look of awe is still in his eyes so Chloe looks away again, feeling uncomfortable. ‘I mean, you’re not exactly the most moral of people and you can annoy me to no end sometimes but… you’re not… the Lucifer I know is anything but evil.’ A horrible thought flashes through her mind and she can’t help but let out a sob. ‘You are still him, aren’t you? You haven’t just been playing me this whole time?’

‘No,’ he says with the same conviction as he had done when she accused him of being an angel. ‘Detective, I have never lied to you. I’ve always told you who I am.’

Chloe nods at that. Because he’s right. He’s told her the truth from the beginning, she just never believed. To be fair, it is a lot to believe.

‘So if you’re really the Devil... then all that talk of Hell…’

‘Was real as well, yes.’

‘And the Dad you are always complaining about…’

‘Is the almighty himself.’

Chloe lets out another half sob at that. She’s always hated Lucifer’s Dad for whatever childhood trauma she had thought Lucifer to have suffered and now it turns out that the person – or rather being – that she has been mentally calling “that bastard” is actually God. The God. Capital G.

Does that mean she’s going to Hell? She almost asks the question but her fear of the answer holds her back. Instead she asks the next one on her very long and ever-growing list.

‘What are you doing here?’

‘I’m afraid you’re going to have to be a bit more specific,’ says Lucifer.

‘On Earth. In LA.’

With me she doesn’t say but from the look in Lucifer’s eyes, she’s pretty sure he hears it anyway. But then he shrugs and the moment is broken.

‘Believe it or not, I didn’t actually enjoy Hell. Horrid place really. So every now and then I’ll pop up to Earth and have some fun until Amenadiel comes to drag me back. Just this time I resisted a bit more. Made a life here, so to speak. And as for why LA, well, it is the city of angels.’ His signature cheeky smile makes a brief appearance at that.

‘Okay, that makes sense,’ says Chloe even though she’s not entirely sure it does. ‘But what about the LAPD? I can understand why you’d buy your own club so you can party all the time and sleep around and what not.’ Lucifer winces a bit at that but she doesn’t notice. ‘But why would the Devil want to help put away criminals? I mean, why bother when you know where they’ll eventually go?’

Lucifer shrugs again. ‘It started out as revenge for Delilah I guess and then became something… more. I can’t really explain it. Maybe I just like punishing people.’

‘Or bringing them to justice?’ Chloe adds, hopefully.

Lucifer gives her an awkward smile. ‘Doctor Linda seems to think so.’

Chloe suddenly feels a wave of sympathy for her friend. She imagines being the Devil’s therapist is not an easy job. Then she remembers Lucifer once telling her that he thought he broke her. Does that mean that he showed Linda the truth too?

‘So does Linda…'

‘Know?' he finishes for her and Chloe nods. 'Yes. And she didn’t quite get the pretty version you got.’

‘What do mean?’

‘I showed her my Devil face. It’s what I was trying to show you but it appears that it’s gone.’ He glares at the ceiling again.

‘What do mean gone? How can a face be gone?’

‘Well it’s not my actual face. It’s hard to explain, but I got it after I fell and became the man I am. But apparently Dad has seen fit to take it away from me and stick my blasted wings back on. What’s your plan, huh? How are you manipulating me this time?’ The two questions are asked angrily to the ceiling and Chloe comes out of her shock enough for it to fully register that the wings had been a surprise to Lucifer too. And it seems he has some issues with them.

Chloe looks up at the ceiling too, wondering if God will actually answer Lucifer’s questions. Could he even hear them?

After it becomes apparent that Lucifer is not getting a reply just yet, Chloe looks back to the floor and shakes her head. She feels utterly ridiculous. When she raises her head again, Lucifer is watching her.

‘What?’ she asks.

‘You’re taking this remarkably well,’ he says. And does he sound just a bit accusing?

‘Well I’m glad one of us thinks so,’ she says with a half-laugh. ‘It certainly doesn’t feel like it.’

‘But you are. Any normal person would have run away in fear by now.’

‘Well maybe I’m just special.’ She means it as a joke – a desperate attempt to escape the truth of what she has just learned – but the shift in Lucifer her words cause is far from funny. He looks almost angry, but something tells Chloe that it isn’t her that he’s angry with.

Lucifer must notice her uneasiness because his features soften and he lets out a sigh. ‘Detective, there’s something I have to tell you.’

‘You mean there’s more?’

‘Well, yes there’s a lot more but this takes precedence.’ He gestures to the seat beside her. ‘May I?’

Chloe just gives a shaky nod, wondering just what other revelations he could possibly give her. He sits down beside her and she can’t help but notice how slowly he moves. He’s still worried she’ll run, she realises.

‘Chloe, you’re right. You are special. A miracle, one might say. You see before you were born, Dad sent Amenadiel down to Earth to bless your parents so that they could have a child. So that they could have you. Your entire existence was ensured by my father so that he could put you in my path.’

And that is Chloe’s limit. Learning that your friend is of celestial origin is one thing… but finding out the same about yourself is a whole new level of overwhelming.

‘So, you’re saying the only reason I exist… is because your Dad wanted me in your life.’ She wants to cry. She really really wants to cry. ‘Why?’ she manages to croak out, trying desperately to keep the tears at bay. She can’t help but think about all the big moments in her life: her brief acting career, her Dad dying, becoming a cop, marrying Dan, having Trixie. Did any of it mean anything? Was any of it real? Or is she just part of some game of Gods and Devils?

‘I wish I knew,’ says Lucifer and Chloe tries to look at him. It’s just a simple turn of the head but she just can’t do it. He is apparently the only reason she is here on this Earth and she just can’t face that. It’s too much.

‘I think you should go,’ she hears herself saying and she hates how small her voice sounds.

Out of the corner of her eye she sees Lucifer nod and stand. ‘Of course,’ he says and Chloe finally gets the courage to look at him properly. She can’t see his face, he’s already half way to the door, but she can tell by the way his shoulders sag that she’s hurt him. ‘Just don’t leave town,’ she suddenly says, surprising herself. Lucifer pauses but doesn’t turn around. ‘I’m not running. It’s just… it’s just all a bit much at the moment. I need time to sort through it.’

Lucifer just nods and then he’s gone, out the door so fast Chloe’s sure if she had blinked she would have missed it. Unfortunately, the weight on her chest does not leave with him and she buries her head in her hands as the first of her tears break through. She has no idea how to deal with everything she has just learned. God actually exists and created her specifically for the Devil, who just happens to be the man she has been working with for the past year or so.

She drinks quite a lot that night.

Chapter Text

The murderers of LA seem to be taking a break for the week and Chloe's last few days have been filled with mostly paperwork and helping the new lieutenant get settled in. Not that he seems to want or need any help. No, Lieutenant Marcus Pierce is definitely a “lone wolf” kind of guy, Chloe has decided. They hadn’t exactly gotten off to the best start but at least she had fared better than Dan.

Now, sitting at her desk, Chloe isn’t sure if she is grateful or disappointed with the lack of work. On the one hand, less crime is always a good thing and she probably isn’t in the best place mentally to be doing much good anyway, but on the other, she has nothing to distract her from the fact that everything she has ever believed in, or rather everything she hasn’t believed in, is wrong. Her delusional yet charming partner isn’t actually delusional – he is the actual Devil, her strange and sometimes violent roommate is literally a demon from Hell, and she herself is a goddamn miracle! How is she supposed to cope with all that? She needs a distraction. She needs a break. She needs…

Chloe lets out a sigh. Usually this is the point where she would call Lucifer. Whenever she gets too stressed out on a case, he somehow knows how to calm her, usually without even intending to, he just has that effect on her. She takes out her phone and brings up his number. Maybe it’s time to face this brand new world she has found herself in.

Her thumb hovers over the call button for a full 20 seconds before she gives up with a sigh. She can’t do it. What if he doesn’t answer? What if he doesn’t want to talk to her? It’s been five days after all and Chloe knows just how much can change in that time.

But she needs to talk to him.

Screw it, she thinks to herself before standing up and putting on her jacket. She is going to talk to him and she is going to make sure that neither of them can chicken out of what is bound to be a very awkward conversation. And that means she has to go see him in person. She grabs her keys off of her desk and strides towards the door like a woman on a mission.

No one needs to know about the freak out that is going on inside her head.

---

To say Lucifer has had better weeks would be an understatement. First there was the whole debacle with his mother, then, just as he was feeling good about himself, dear old Dad had found a new way to ruin his life in the form two white pains in the arse. And if that wasn’t bad enough, it seems that the damn things just won't stay gone. Lucifer has lost count of how many times he has sliced them off in the past few days, just to have them appear again an hour or two later.

And then of course there's the fact that he hasn’t spoken to Chloe in almost five days. Normally he wouldn’t be bothered – at least that’s what he tries to tell himself – but now it's different. Now she knows who he really is. What if she changes her mind and decides to run after all?

Lucifer wills himself to shake off those thoughts and looks down at the demon blade in his hand and then to his right wing. He honestly isn’t sure why he is bothering at this point. It is abundantly clear he can’t get rid of the wings for long. It’s the principle of the matter, he decides and he awkwardly lifts the blade to his back, trying to hook it over the base of the wing.

And then the elevator dings and he has but two seconds to hide his wings and the blade. Thankfully two seconds is plenty of time and by the time his guest steps into his penthouse, his wings are safely tucked away and the blade is held behind his back.

He expects to see Maze or Amenadiel but instead he is staring at the Detective and something in his chest loosens. She’s here. She isn’t running.

‘Sorry, I was going to call,’ says Chloe. ‘I just…’

‘No need to explain, Detective,’ says Lucifer, mainly because he really doesn’t want to know why she felt she couldn’t call him. ‘To what do I owe the pleasure?’

He’s trying to act normal – like this is just any other social visit – but it’s becoming incredibly more difficult the longer he looks at Chloe’s nervous face so he does what he always does when these… feelings get the better of him. He makes himself a drink.

And he subtly uses the opportunity to stash the demon blade behind the bar.

Chloe moves to sit on his couch and he’s not sure if he should sit down next to her or not so he quickly hands her her own drink, grabs his shirt from the back of the couch where he had discarded it earlier and then returns to the bar, this time to lean against it.

‘I have questions,’ she finally says. It’s not a surprise but Lucifer’s stomach churns anyway. What if she finds out something she can’t handle? Admittedly, that isn’t seeming likely considering she’s already heard the big truths and is still here… but there is still so much she doesn’t know.

‘Very well,’ he says, trying not to let his anxiousness show. He doesn’t look at her, instead focusing on buttoning up his shirt.

‘Okay, first one: How do you know that the reason your Dad made… the reason He put me here was because of you?’

Well that wasn’t what he was expecting. And he finds that he doesn’t have an answer. Not a proper one, anyway.

‘It’s too much of a coincidence,’ he says, finally looking up at her.

‘So, you’re not sure? God hasn’t told you?’

‘Not as such, no. We’re not exactly on speaking terms.’ Some of the tension seems to leave Chloe’s shoulders at that and Lucifer is not too proud to admit that he’s terribly confused. ‘Detective, my father may not actually talk to me but that doesn’t mean his message isn’t clear.’

‘And what message is that?’

‘That he’s manipulating me.’

‘But why, Lucifer?’ She looks up at him with those beautiful teal eyes and he sees that they have a pleading look about them. But what exactly is she pleading for?

‘I wish I knew.’

Chloe takes a small sip of her drink and then nods. He recognises the look on her face. It’s the one she gets when she has finally decided which way to approach a difficult case. ‘Well, whatever it is, whatever God’s plan is, I don’t care.’ She says it with such stubbornness that Lucifer has to fight the smile that tries to form on his lips. ‘Maybe I was literally put here for a reason, but if no one is going to actually tell me the reason then that’s their problem. I’m going to keep on living my life.’

He just stares at her, not sure if she really means what she says or if this is just her own coping mechanism. He expects his next session with Linda will be a very long one.

‘Just like that?’ he asks.

Chloe nods. ‘It’s my life, Lucifer. Not God’s. Not yours. Mine. And if I keep thinking about why I’m here, I’m going to go crazy. So, until proven otherwise, I’m just going to assume I have my own free will and live my life the way I want to live it.’

Lucifer wishes he could feel the same but he knows his father better than that. He knows He has a plan for Chloe. And he knows that he’s walking straight into that plan.

But he’s not about to try and dissuade Chloe. If this is what she needs then Dad help him, this is what she is going to get.

‘Okay,’ he finally says and Chloe gives him the first smile he has seen in five days. It’s small and a little shy but it’s like a breath of fresh air and Lucifer drowns in it.

‘So, second question,’ says Chloe, pressing on and Lucifer tries to make himself relax. It’s going to be a long afternoon.

---

In the end, all of Chloe’s questions are quite practical. They’re about Heaven (boring) and Hell (not boring but not exactly pleasant) and the Bible (double boring) and Lucifer answers every one of them to the best of his ability. She’s skirting around the big questions, the ones about him and what he has done, and Lucifer is grateful. Maybe if she doesn’t ask, she won’t find out about the monster he was.

Her last question, however, throws him.

‘When are you coming back to work?’

It takes a full minute for him to manage an answer. ‘You still want me?’ he asks before quickly correcting himself. ‘To be your partner, I mean.’

‘Of course I do.’ She seems to surprise even herself at how quickly her answer comes out but she soon regathers her composure. ‘I mean, I can’t promise I’m not going to freak out every now and then but… I want to get back to normal. And I can’t do that without you there. I don’t want to do it without you there.’

And he’s back to being speechless. This is far more than he ever could have ever hoped for and part of him is sure that this is just proof of his father’s manipulations but the bigger part of him doesn’t care. He’s not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. He tried that once and it didn’t stick.

‘Lucifer?’ Chloe asks and he realises he hasn’t said anything in quite a while.

‘Sorry, right, of course,’ he says and he can’t help the happy grin that appears on his face. ‘In that case, Detective, I will be at the precinct bright and early tomorrow morning.’

Chloe is now smiling too, but hers is one more of relief than anything.

‘Good.’

They continue to smile awkwardly at each other for a few moments before Chloe breaks first. ‘Well, I’d better…’ She motions towards the elevator. ‘Trixie will be home from her friend’s place soon.’

Lucifer’s smile drops a little at the mention of her leaving but he knows she has to. She has the spawn to think about. ‘Of course,’ he says with forced cheeriness and he pushes up from the bar to walk her to the elevator. ‘I’ll see you tomorrow...’ He tries not to make it sound like a question but it does anyway.

Chloe gives him another one of those small smiles and nods. ‘Good,’ she says again and then she is walking into the elevator, leaving him alone with his thoughts once more. But those thoughts are a lot lighter than the ones he had been thinking before she had visited.

It’s a full three hours before he realises that he has forgotten all about cutting his wings off again.

Chapter Text

Lucifer turns up at the precinct the next morning as promised. And he does it with Chloe’s favourite coffee in hand. Chloe couldn’t be more grateful, and, despite the many awkward silences, she spends the whole morning with a smile on her face as she fills Lucifer in on all he has missed, which isn’t much to be honest. Various people stop by her desk to say hello to Lucifer and ask about his week-long disappearance but they don’t linger or push too hard.

Yet another thing Chloe is grateful for.

She should have known it wouldn’t last.

Someone clearing their throat interrupts a discussion about the best place to go for lunch and Chloe turns to see Lieutenant Pierce looking at Lucifer with a stony expression that Chloe has come to think of as normal for him. ‘You must be Lucifer,’ he says. He doesn’t extend his hand to shake but Lucifer ignores the subtle rudeness.

‘Morningstar. Pleasure,’ he says, all smiles and charm. And of course, he does offer his hand for a handshake.

But his charm doesn’t seem to work on the Lieutenant and Chloe’s not sure if she’s glad of that or not. Pierce glances at the hand in front of him and then back to Lucifer’s face. ‘We interviewed, what was it, 92 of your sexual partners? I think I'll refrain from physical contact if you don't mind.’

Lucifer’s smile only falls a smidgen, but his eyes change completely. All the charm and mirth from before has gone and Chloe anticipates a pissing contest on the horizon.

‘You don't seem reckless. Narcissistic, hedonistic, that I see,’ says Pierce confirming Chloe’s prediction. She knows she should stop this now but honestly, she doesn’t have it in her. This morning may have been pretty breezy, but it doesn’t change the fact that she is still exhausted from an almost week-long existential crisis.

‘Well, thank you very much,’ says Lucifer.

‘Not a compliment. Your file is as long as my Johnson.’

And now they are talking about dick size. And in record time.

‘Oh, quick read then?’ asks Lucifer, not missing a beat and Chloe has to hold back the snort of laughter that threatens to escape.

‘Hardly.’

There’s a small pause before Lucifer delivers his rebuttal. ‘Well, I, for one, don't need a file to ascertain you haven't even had a snog in ages, have you?’

Chloe decides that she should probably put an end to this now and Pierce’s muttered reply of ‘accurate’ just cements that thought. ‘Is there anything you need, Lieutenant?’ she asks, keeping her tone polite and professional despite the scene that has just unfolded in front of her.

Pierce nods. ‘Espinoza just called. We got a body. You’re up.’ He gives them the location and then retreats into his office.

‘I don’t think the new Lieutenant likes me,’ says Lucifer and despite the fact that Lucifer obviously doesn’t like Pierce either, his words sound a little disappointed.

‘Don’t worry about it,’ says Chloe. ‘He doesn’t like anyone. You should hear him talk to Dan. And speaking of Dan, let’s go see what he has for us.’

Lucifer tears his eyes away from Pierce’s office door and focuses on her, his expression softening and his smile returning. He holds his arm out, indicating for her to go first.

‘Lead the way, Detective.’

----

The body turns out to be that of a struggling comedian, and their lead suspect: Bobby Lowe, another comedian who has his own TV show, fame and money. And he got it all by stealing jokes. At least, that’s what their victim had publicly accused him of. A trip to the set of Bobby’s show proves surprisingly fruitful and Lucifer, quite by accident, finds a gun hidden in one of the puppets.

Luckily for Bobby, Ella had insisted on coming with them to the set. ‘It’s not the murder weapon,’ she explains with her usual amount of cheeriness. ‘This is a 380, and the murderer used a 9mm.’

‘All that means is that he hid his other gun somewhere else,’ says Lucifer. ‘So come on. Prostate exams for all the puppets.’ He makes a move towards said puppets but Chloe calls him back.

‘I don’t have another gun,’ says Bobby. He’s a little desperate and Chloe is starting to believe him when he says he’s innocent.

Lucifer, on the other hand, does not and has no issues voicing it. It’s usually at this point that he would start using his desire mojo but something is holding him back. No, not something. Someone. Chloe is under no illusions about the reasons behind his avoidance of all things devil related this morning. But as much as she is afraid of facing the Truth again (and yes that word does deserve a capital letter), she needs to be sure about Bobby.

‘Lucifer,’ she says quietly, leaning in to him a bit so that only he can hear. ‘Just do your desire thing.’

He looks at her unsure and she hopes that he can’t see how unsure she is herself. Thankfully, whether he sees it or not, he nods and turns back to Bobby. ‘So, Bobby,’ he says, his voice going low like it usually does whenever he does this. He steps forward, getting into Bobby’s personal space. ‘Tell me, what do you really desire?’

Bobby is entrapped in Lucifer’s gaze and Chloe really wants to look away now that she knows it is more than just plain hypnotism, but she knows she can’t. Lucifer’s power always brings out the truth in people and she owes it to their victim to find the murderer and save her freak out for later.

‘I want out of this hell,’ whispers Bobby and Lucifer stands back. It’s not what any of them had expected to hear and Bobby quickly explains himself. ‘Every day I come to work, and I tell stupid jokes with puppets. PUPPETS!’

Lucifer glances back at Chloe, his eyes hopeful and she gives him a small smile of gratitude but by the way his shoulders fall, she can tell that he sees right through her. He can see how much she is struggling.

Thankfully Bobby’s warm-up comedian, Sheila, brings the focus back to the case at hand.

‘What are you saying? This is a dream gig.’

‘It’s a nightmare!’ shouts Bobby. ‘And you know what the biggest joke is? ME! And now that JD is dead, I’m never getting out of here.’

‘What do you mean?’ asks Chloe, trying not to look at Lucifer. She hates that she is unintentionally hurting him with her poorly concealed freak out and she can’t bear to see it in his eyes. But she also knows that this is the only way that she is going to be able to get through this. If she wants Lucifer in her life (and she definitely wants Lucifer in her life), then she is going to have to learn to deal with all this supernatural stuff that one week ago she would have called crazy.

Bobby lets out a sigh. ‘He was telling the truth,’ he says and Sheila’s eyes widen in shock for a moment before they narrow in anger. She walks away upset and Bobby looks even more regretful. ‘I stole his act. I based the show on him.’

‘But I defended you!’ says Ella and it’s the closest to shouting that Chloe has ever heard from her. ‘J'accuse, Bobby Lowe! J'accuse!’

‘If you wanted out of the job so bad, why didn’t you just admit it?’ asks Chloe.

‘Golden Handcuffs,’ explains Bobby and Chloe is not surprised at all. In fact, she feels a little ashamed that she hadn’t come to the conclusion herself. ‘If I quit, I lose all the money. And I really like the money.’

‘And if JD revealed that you were stealing his act and you got fired instead…’

‘I get a Golden Parachute instead,’ Bobby confirms. ‘Which is why I had to keep up appearances, not let anyone know the truth.’

‘But why hide the gun on set?’

‘Because I was getting death threats. Someone’s pissed, claiming that all my jokes are about him.’

Chloe stands a little straighter at this. Maybe there is a lead here after all.

Ella, however, bends so that she is right in Bobby’s face. ‘Jokes that you stole like the thief that you are,’ she hisses, and Chloe sends a grateful smile to Lucifer as he ushers the angry forensic scientist away from the no-longer-suspect. He returns the smile, but Chloe can still see a touch of wariness in his eyes.

Chloe forces herself to look away, silently vowing to try harder to hide any future freak outs around him and turns back to Bobby. ‘Any idea who was making these threats?’

Bobby still looks a bit taken aback by Ella’s outburst but answers Chloe nonetheless. That was the thing about Lucifer’s desire power, once the truth came out, people were always a lot more helpful. ‘They came from an anonymous email. But like I said, I stole the jokes. The only person who knows who they’re about…’

‘Is the dead guy,’ Chloe finishes.

Great.

----

As the case goes on, Lucifer slowly gains his confidence back. Which is a good thing because Chloe had gotten really worried when they had found out that Bobby’s show was originally about a man with a micro-penis and Lucifer hadn’t made any jokes about it. Luckily, that hadn’t lasted and by the time they are at a live stand up gig that they suspect the killer to be attending, he has no problem throwing tomatoes at Dan - whom they had set up undercover as a comedian to try and draw a reaction out of the killer - and making his own tiny penis jokes.

Chloe feels a little guilty about Dan getting the raw end of the deal but she is too relieved to focus too much on it. She really hates how weird things between her and Lucifer have been since interviewing Bobby and she just wants them to go back to normal.

Plus, the plan actually works and before they know it, they have a suspect in the interrogation room.

‘Having a micro-penis isn’t a crime,’ says the man, defensively.

‘So you didn’t send threatening emails to Bobby Lowe?’ asks Chloe, disbelievingly.

‘No, I did,’ he admits and Chloe can’t help the feeling of relief that washes over her as she realises that they won’t need to use Lucifer’s desire mojo. She thinks that maybe she would be able to handle it better this time but she isn’t ready to put her theory to the test. ‘Back when Bobby was nobody, I toured with him. And that's when I figured he heard about my… condition.’

‘How would he have heard about that?’

‘All the chuckle bunnies talk.’

‘The what?’

‘Chicks who like to have sex with comedians,’ explains their suspect and Lucifer immediately perks up.

‘Oh, there's a term for that? Oh, I should get a term. Devil bunnies. Oh, no. Lucifans.’

Chloe rolls her eyes. Well, she wanted normal. And there is nothing more normal than Lucifer bragging about his sex life.

And with that thought, Chloe suddenly realises that half the population of LA has had sex with the literal Devil. And at one point she had wanted the exact same thing. (And maybe still does, a treacherous part of her brain tells her.) She turns back to their suspect to distract herself from such a revelation and motions him to continue with his story. Thankfully, he takes the hint and doesn’t comment on Lucifer’s… Luciferness.

‘One in particular, I told some stories,’ he explains, ‘and then, I heard them as part of Bobby's set.’

‘So then, you started threatening him,’ says Chloe.

‘I was just blowing off steam, okay. Every time that stupid show aired it was like a punch to the gut.’

‘And then you found out that JD was writing the jokes.’

‘And murdered him,’ finishes Lucifer.

‘I forgave him,’ says their suspect and out of the corner of her eye, Chloe sees Lucifer frown, like the concept is totally beyond him.

‘But he stole your life story,’ he says, ‘and profited from it. Why would you forgive him?’

‘I don't mind a fellow struggling comic busting balls. It's when a millionaire starts punching down that I get pissed. Or that good looking jerk from the club.’

That confused look is back on Lucifer’s face and Chloe actually has to explain to him that the “good looking jerk” is Dan.

‘Besides, JD’s life was pretty sad,’ continues their suspect. ‘I think his last gig was a barbeque. He even made up this sad story about a warm-up comic wanting to meet with him about a gig.’ He gives a humourless laugh at that. ‘As if that'd happen.’

‘Why?’ asks Lucifer before Chloe can ask the exact same question. ‘Is telling bad jokes before even worse jokes a coveted gig?’

‘Are you kidding?’ Their suspect looks at Lucifer like he’s grown an extra head. ‘You work an hour a day and clear six figures. Not to mention, you probably get a role in the show at some point.’

‘Really?’ says Chloe, mainly to herself. What their suspect has just described sounds like more than enough motive. ‘Do you remember the name of the warm-up comedian?’

‘Er, Shelly maybe, or?’

‘Sheila?’ Chloe chimes in and she can tell by the look on the man’s face that she is right.

‘Yeah, that was it. Do you know her?’

Chloe doesn’t answer his question, just motions for the uniformed officers to escort the man out.

‘Detective, what did I miss?’ asks Lucifer. ‘Who's Sheila?’

‘Sheila's the name of Bobby Lowe's warm-up comedian.’

And with that, she leads the way out of the room, glad to have finally gotten a proper break in the case.

----

There is only one word to describe Bobby Lowe’s set at night, Chloe decides, and that word is creepy. But this is where Sheila reportedly is and so this is where Chloe and Lucifer have to be also.

Chloe winces as she passes a particularly bad mask. ‘That is just creepy,’ she whispers.

Lucifer chuckles beside her. ‘Come now, Detective,’ he says. ‘Surely you’re not afraid of a silly mask. You have the Devil on your side after all.’

Chloe suspects that his “devil” comment had just slipped out without him realising, a habit born out of easier times. And Chloe should be thrilled – it’s exactly the type of normality she desperately wants to get back to. And yet, as soon as the words leave Lucifer’s mouth, she tenses. She recovers quickly enough but she fears that the damage has been done regardless.

‘Still creepy,’ she mutters, giving the mask one last glare before moving on, hoping that maybe if she ignores her minor freak out, Lucifer won’t look too much into it. She risks a glance in his direction and although it is dark, she can still see the dejected expression on his face.

So much for that, then.

She wants to reassure him - to properly talk about the fact that it’s not him she is struggling to deal with, rather the whole supernatural thing all together - but she knows that she can’t do it now. They have a killer to catch and they are not sure where on set she is or if she is armed and running. They can’t afford to stop to have a heart-to-heart chat in the dark.

As soon as the case is over, she promises herself.

They end up deciding to split up and Chloe tries telling herself that it is so they can find Sheila faster but she knows she is lying to herself. She just doesn’t want to risk hurting Lucifer again with another freak out.

Chloe doesn’t find Sheila, but she does find Bobby. He’s lying on the ground with a nasty cut on his head. ‘Is she still here?’ he asks frightfully when he notices Chloe.

‘Who’s she?’ asks Chloe, wanting to be double sure that they are looking for the right woman. ‘Sheila? Did she do this to you?’

‘I told her I was gonna quit,’ confirms Bobby, ‘and- and she freaked out on me, started screaming about everything she- she'd done for me. But I can’t take it anymore. My craft-’

Chloe cuts off his terrified rambling to ask how long ago this all happened.

‘A- a few minutes, maybe. We-we heard you come in, and then she hit me with the butt of her- of her gun. In the face!’

‘She has a gun?’ Well that answers the question of whether or not Sheila is armed.

‘Did-did you hear me?!’ screams Bobby, now bordering on hysterical. ‘I said, in-in the face! This is my moneymaker! Am I okay?’

Chloe once again cuts him off, this time to shout a warning out to Lucifer. She hopes he is close enough to hear her. Though, she thinks, he probably has super hearing or something like that. She shakes her head to clear it and then does her best to instruct Bobby to stay where he is – and stay there quietly - until she comes back for him.

Once she is sure that she can leave Bobby alone, she quickly goes back to her hunt for Sheila.

She finds her up in the rigging above the stage… pointing a gun straight at Lucifer. Chloe tries to get a good angle from her position on the ground below but she just can’t seem to get a clear shot. At least Sheila hasn’t seen her yet so she has at least one advantage.

Well two advantages. Lucifer is very good at keeping people talking.

‘Why would you kill for someone who stole jokes from one of your own?’ he asks Sheila.

‘So, he stole material,’ she replies with the air of someone who doesn’t give a shit. ‘Hell, he stole half my set too. Who cares?’

‘You should,’ says Lucifer but Chloe has tuned him out for the moment. She has just spotted a rope with a sandbag tied to it and an idea forms in her head. She holsters her gun and starts to untie the rope from its fastening. The knot is a little tough but thankfully Lucifer is on a roll with his talking, making sure Sheila is sufficiently distracted.

It holds just long enough for Chloe to get the rope untied and let the sandbag drop a couple of feet behind Sheila with a loud bang. Sheila turns at the noise and when she turns back to Lucifer, he is close enough to deliver a right hook to her face, knocking her out cold.

‘Excellent work, Detective,’ he calls down to her and Chloe breathes a sigh of relief.

That was a close one.

----

Once they eventually manage to get Sheila down to solid ground and issue Bobby with a much needed shock blanket, Chloe finally gets the chance to talk to Lucifer properly.

‘Listen,’ she starts, ‘I just wanted to say I’m sorry.’

‘Whatever for?’ asks Lucifer, genuinely confused.

‘For how I’ve acted today… whenever you’ve said or done something… Devil-y. Like when you used your desire mojo on Bobby, I freaked out and I know you noticed and I know it upset you.’ He opens his mouth to say something but Chloe cuts him off. ‘Don’t try to deny it. So, yeah, I’m sorry. And I wish I could say that it will be better next time but I don’t want to make promises I can’t keep…’

‘What are you saying, Detective?’ He looks a little scared now and Chloe realises with a pang of guilt that he probably thinks that this is her changing her mind about working with him.

Well, she has certainly got to put a stop to that idea.

‘What I’m saying, Lucifer, is that it’s not you that I’m struggling with. It’s everything. And I am handling it the best I can and I am going to continue handling it until I get used to the idea that God and Heaven and the Devil is all real. But the only way I’m going to be able to do this is if I push through, so I’m asking you to just… be yourself. Don’t try and avoid topics because I might freak out about them… just please be patient with me if I do. I’m trying Lucifer, I really am.’

Lucifer seems to relax with every word she says. ‘Okay,’ he agrees and Chloe can breathe again. ‘I suppose it is only to be expected that there will be an adjustment period of some sorts. And I’m willing to push through it if you are.’

Chloe nods and gives him a reassuring smile. ‘I am.’

They smile at each other for a moment until it starts to get awkward. ‘Yes, well…’ says Lucifer, adjusting his cuffs. ‘In the spirit of everything normal, I am going back to Lux so you can deal with all the boring paperwork.’

Chloe chuckles at that and is pleased when Lucifer gives a genuine smile. ‘Okay, fine, go on. I’ll forgive you just this once,’ she says, though they both know she’ll forgive him every time he does it.

With another small smile, Lucifer bids her farewell and heads off home. Chloe watches him go, amazed at how anyone could think of this dork as evil.

All in all, her first case with the Devil as her partner – or at least the first case where she believes it – wasn’t too bad, she decides. They caught the bad guy and now they both know where they stand with each other.

Chloe is feeling rather relieved.

And that feeling of relief stays with her all the way back to the station, all the way through the boring paperwork that Lucifer skipped out on, and all the way back to her apartment.

It lasts right up until the moment she walks through her front door and sees Maze waiting for her.

Chapter Text

‘What’s up, Decker?’ says Maze from her position leaning against the kitchen counter. In her hand there is a can of that horrible tasting coconut water that she loves so much.

Maze isn’t doing anything strange – not even by Maze’s usual standards – but still Chloe is rooted to the spot. She hasn’t seen her roommate at all since she found out that she is an actual demon from Hell.

‘Linda kicked me out,’ says Maze, misunderstanding Chloe’s reaction to her reappearance and Chloe vaguely remembers getting a text saying that she would be staying with Linda to look after her while she recovers. But that had been when Chloe had been neck deep in existential crisis and hadn’t thought much of it other than it wasn’t very demonic behaviour.

She latches onto that thought now. If Lucifer is still Lucifer, then surely Maze is still Maze, and although she can definitely be scary, Chloe knows that she would never hurt anyone who didn’t deserve it.

So she forces herself to walk towards the demon – no, her friend. She gets her own drink out of the fridge and leans against the opposite side of the counter from Maze, facing her.

‘Maze, why did you move in with me?’ she suddenly asks. ‘I mean, when we first met, you didn’t even like me.’

Maze just shrugs and chugs the rest of her coconut water, crushing the empty can and leaving it on the counter. Chloe rolls her eyes and picks up the crushed can and puts it in the bin that is within her (and Maze’s) reach.

‘That was before I understood,’ says Maze, confusing Chloe.

‘Understood what?’

‘Emotions.’ Maze says it like it’s the most disgusting word in the world. And maybe for a demon, it is. ‘Plus, I thought I had to protect Lucifer.’

‘From me?’ Chloe lets out a huff of laughter. She’s fairly sure that if she ever properly went toe to toe with the Devil, she would definitely come out the loser. She’s seen him lift men twice her size up above his head with just one hand and not even break a sweat.

How had she ever convinced herself that he was human?

‘From himself,’ corrects Maze. ‘From who he is when he’s around you. He’s… well at least I thought he was different. Weaker.’ Maze shrugs again and grabs another can of coconut water, cracking it open. ‘Maybe he is but it’s not my problem anymore. I am no longer his to command.’

There’s a question that Chloe has wanted to ask since she found out the truth about Lucifer but she has been too scared of hearing the answer. But maybe it would be easier coming from Maze?

Either way, Chloe has to know.

‘Is he really that different?’

Maze looks at her curiously for a moment before answers. ‘Like I said, I thought he was. But I’m not sure anymore. I think maybe who he is here, is who he has always been, and who he was back home was just who he had to be.’

Chloe nods. ‘I suppose there’s no room for weakness when you’re running Hell.’

Maze almost chokes on the sip of water she has just taken. She gives Chloe another one of those curious looks before she realises that Chloe isn’t joking. ‘So, he told you,’ she says before growling a few words that Chloe doesn’t understand; they’re in a language that she has never heard before. But Chloe knows cursing when she hears it.

When Maze finally looks back at her, there’s a look in her eyes that Chloe has never seen there before. Fear. It’s masked well but it’s undoubtedly there.

‘I guess this means you want me to move out, huh?’

Chloe almost says yes but stops herself, horrified at her own reaction. She can’t just kick Maze out. Sure, it will be harder to deal with everything, knowing there is a literal demon from Hell in the next room… but maybe it will be better in the long run. It will force her to face it head on, rather than hiding from her new reality.

Besides, demon or not, Maze is her friend.

‘No, Maze, I don’t want you to move out,’ she says, and she expects Maze to relax at her words, like Lucifer had, but instead she tenses even more.

‘You don’t?’ she asks, suspiciously.

‘Of course, I don’t. Maze, you may be a demon… and yeah, I’m not going to lie, that’s terrifying… but you’re also my friend.’ And Maze finally relaxes. ‘If anything, things actually make a lot more sense now. Like a lot.’

Maze chuckles at that. ‘I bet. You humans can be so dense sometimes.’

Chloe lets out her own chuckle. ‘Yep, that’s us. Dense.’

They continue to chuckle awkwardly for a moment before Maze puts her water back on the counter and straightens up. ‘Well, I suppose I had better go see how Lucifer is holding up.’

‘He seemed fine when he left the crime scene,’ says Chloe and Maze pauses mid-step. ‘I mean, this case has been awkward, sure, and I know I’ve been upsetting him with my mini freak-outs but… I think he’s okay. I think he’s still pissed about his wings, though,’ she adds as an afterthought. She should really talk to him about that.

‘Wait, back up. Case?’ asks Maze. ‘As in work case? You guys are still working together?’

‘… Yes?’ replies Chloe, not exactly sure where Maze is going with this.

Maze crosses her arms across her chest and leans back on her heels, giving Chloe an appraising look. ‘Well, look at you, Decker. Riding with the Devil and not even batting an eyelid. Most people would be running for the hills… or the nearest Church. But not you. I’m impressed.’

Chloe’s not sure she deserves Maze’s approval but she’s grateful for it anyway. ‘I don’t know if I’d go that far,' she says. 'I’ve certainly freaked out a lot over the last few days. There’s a lot to freak out about.’

Maze nods. ‘Well, you’ll get there, Decker. I’m sure Linda will talk to you about it. Speaking of, although she kicked me out of her house, she still agreed to drinks at Lux tonight to celebrate her recovery. You in?’

Chloe shakes her head. ‘Thanks for the offer but I think I’ll have an early night tonight. I haven’t been sleeping well since, well, you know, and I think I had better take this chance to catch up on it while Trix is at Dan’s.’

Maze sighs. ‘Fine, be boring,’ she says as she makes her way to the front door and Chloe rolls her eyes. Yep, Maze is definitely still Maze. ‘Oh, and Decker…’ Maze stops and turns at the doorway. ‘Thanks. For, you know, not kicking me out.’

Chloe gives her a small smile which Maze actually returns before she leaves, closing the door behind her.

Chloe waits a moment before going over to the cupboard where she hides her wine. Maybe a nightcap before bed will help her sleep.

It doesn’t.

----

Maze is only home for five days before she is packing to leave again, this time to hunt down a bounty. A “real juicy one” apparently.

‘Do you even know what you’re getting yourself into?’ asks Chloe as Maze grabs the last few things for her trip. ‘Have you even been to Canada?’

In all honesty, Chloe’s more worried about Canada than she is about Maze, but still… there’s something about this bounty that makes Chloe think Maze might be a bit too overconfident this time. This guy, Ben Rivers, supposedly is quite the charmer… and that’s not really something Maze has experience with. Throw in the unfamiliar territory of snow-filled Canada, and, yeah, Chloe is a little apprehensive.

‘No,’ says Maze, answering Chloe’s question, ‘but, come on. Same humans, different city.’

‘Country. Canada’s a country. And it’s very different from here.’ Chloe suddenly notices one of the items of clothing – if it can be called that – that Maze is packing, and she feels a bit more justified in being worried about the demon. ‘This is not cold weather clothing,’ she says, holding up the flimsy piece of material. ‘And what’s this?’ She points at Maze’s duffel bag that is on the kitchen counter in front of them. ‘Is this your cold weather gear?’

‘That’s my whips and knives.’

Chloe can only gape. Surely Maze has done some research on where she is going?

She is about to say as much when suddenly Maze’s duffel bag moves… of its own accord. ‘Well, you’re whips and knives are moving,’ she says instead.

Maze unzips her bag revealing…

‘Trixie.’

Her daughter sits up in the bag. She is cuddling her Miss Alien soft toy and, thankfully, there are no knives to be seen. ‘I can’t let Maze go alone,’ she says and Chloe doesn’t miss the pleased look on Maze’s face. ‘Someone needs to cover her back.’

Chloe and Maze share a look, each silently amused at Trixie’s protectiveness.

‘Thanks, little human,’ says Maze, ‘but listen, I’m gonna be okay. Besides, I need you to stay here and watch your Mom.’ The last bit is said in a stage whisper and Chloe is not sure if she is offended or touched at how serious Trixie’s face becomes at the words.

‘That’s true,’ Trixie whispers back. ‘Without us, she’s defenceless.’

‘I don’t know what you’re whispering about,’ says Chloe in the same whispering tone, earning a smile from her daughter.

Trixie turns back to Maze and offers her the soft toy that she is holding. ‘Here, take Miss Alien with you at least.’

Maze looks touched and a second later, she and Trixie are doing their special handshake that is a little inappropriate for a nine-year-old but very tame for Maze so Chloe allows it. She briefly wonders if that makes her a bad mother, letting her daughter be so close to a literal demon from Hell. She quickly dismisses the thought. If anything, Trixie is safer than she has ever been.

Once the handshake is done, Chloe ushers Trixie out of Maze’s bag and off the counter. Maze zips up her bag, but not before packing Miss Alien inside it, and hauls it over her shoulder.

‘Good luck, Maze,’ says Chloe.

‘Get some when I’m gone, would you, Decker.’

And with one last smile at Trixe, Maze is out the door.

Good luck, Canada.

----

Despite the fact that Chloe knows the truth about Maze, and therefore logically knows that she can handle pretty much everything, she still can’t help but be worried about her roommate. She even starts tracking Maze’s movements through Canada via the random minor felonies that she commits.

Of course, Lucifer isn’t worried, but that doesn’t stop Chloe from pulling Ben Rivers’ attorney, Athena Burns, in for an interview. Maybe if she finds out more about Maze’s bounty, she can help get her out of Canada (much to Canada’s relief, Chloe is sure) that little bit sooner.

‘I haven't heard from him in two years,’ says Athena. ‘Not since he disappeared, so I'm not quite sure how much help I'll be.’

‘Hmm, that's interesting,’ says Chloe, ‘'cause we know that you've been communicating with him over the phone.’

Athena denies it of course, and, like a good lawyer, tries scaring them with a lawsuit. But Chloe’s not afraid. They haven’t done anything illegal, just good old fashion police work - or “stalking”, as Lucifer ever so eloquently puts it.

‘I noticed that wherever he's been, there's a corresponding phone call to your office,’ Chloe tells Athena, showing her the paperwork proof that she has collected. ‘Look, I want to bring him in safely, and as his attorney, you should know that that's in his best interest.’

But Athena doesn’t seem to agree. ‘This conversation is over,’ she says with an air of finality that Chloe is sure lawyers practice in the mirror every morning.

‘Oh, good,’ says Lucifer, cheerfully, and Chloe isn’t sure if she should be worried or not.

Athena is in the same boat it seems. ‘Good?’ she asks.

‘Yes,’ answers Lucifer. At Athena’s confused look, he quickly explains himself. ‘Well, the longer it takes, the angrier Maze is going to get.’

‘Who or what is Maze?’ asks Athena and Chloe decides to go along with Lucifer’s play. At least, she thinks it's a play. It could be just Lucifer being Lucifer.

‘Maze is the bounty hunter who is about to catch Rivers,’ she tells Athena.

‘Yes, and when she finally catches up with the poor fellow, she is going to tear him limb from bloody limb,’ adds Lucifer. ‘It'll be fantastic.’

‘She can't do that,’ says Athena, finally showing some emotion. Namely, fear.

‘Oh, no, she definitely has the strength for it, doesn't she?’ says Lucifer, turning to Chloe for confirmation which she readily gives.

She is 90% sure that this is a play.

‘Actually, do you have to bring a bounty back alive? Or would just the head suffice? 'Cause that is her thing. Maybe we could just super glue him back together on delivery.’

Athena is looking more and more worried with every word Lucifer is saying. ‘You can't hurt him,’ she finally blurts out.

Lucifer chuckles softly at his victory and Chloe is trying really hard not to wonder if this is what he was like in Hell. ‘You seem to care about him quite a bit,’ she says to Athena. There is no question as to what she is implying.

Athena manages to regain some of her composure now that Lucifer has backed off. ‘Of course,’ she says. ‘He’s my client.’ Both Chloe and Lucifer make disbelieving noises, though Chloe is much better at hiding hers (but that’s probably because Lucifer isn’t even trying).

Lucifer looks to Chloe, seeming suddenly unsure, and she realises why. He wants to use his desire mojo. Chloe pauses, not entirely sure if she wants to witness it again so soon, but nods at him anyway, giving him the go ahead. She meant what she said when she told him that she didn’t want him to stop being himself. And his desire mojo has always been a big part of who he is.

Bigger than Chloe had ever realised.

Lucifer puts his smile back on and walks around the desk so that he is right next to Athena. ‘So, tell me, Ms. Burns, why is his safety so important to you?’

Athena manages to resist him for a few moments but soon enough she is putty in Lucifer’s hands, just like so many before her. Chloe is quite grateful that his powers don’t work on her. What might she admit to under that powerful gaze?

‘I love him.’

Lucifer leans back at Athena's confession. Chloe doesn’t miss the fact that he doesn’t turn to look at her. Blissful ignorance and all that she figures. If he doesn’t look, he can pretend that she is handling it fine.

‘I helped him elude the police,’ continues Athena, ‘and I have been sending him money ever since.’

‘Have you now?’ asks Lucifer and he actually sounds rather curious.

‘He's a cold-blooded murderer,’ says Chloe. ‘How could he get you to do all this?’

‘Obviously, you've never met him,’ says Athena. ‘He's not what you'd expect. He's charming and handsome and when he looks you in the eyes, I don't care who you are… you are defenceless against him.’

Sounds like someone else Chloe knows.

----

Chloe calls Maze to let her know about Rivers’ lawyer and by the time she hangs up, she’s surer than ever that this guy is dangerous... even to Maze.

‘She’s fine,’ says Lucifer, noticing her worried look as she ends the call. ‘This is Maze we’re talking about.’

Chloe turns to him, a little irritated. ‘Really? She’s fine? Because she caught Rivers, and he got away.’

Lucifer chuckles, not looking up from whatever random report he’s picked up off her desk. ‘Oh, I doubt that.’

‘It's true. Lucifer, if he already got in her head…’

‘He hasn't.’ He sounds so confident and Chloe supposes that’s only to be expected. He’s known Maze a long time, longer than Chloe would like to think about, and he’s probably seen her take on things a lot scarier than Ben Rivers. ‘He probably just came at her with a flamethrower or something, which'll just piss Maze off even more.' He finally looks back up at her, throwing the report haphazardly back on her desk. 'Now, did you tell her we found out where Rivers has been staying?’

Chloe shakes her head. ‘I don't know if I'm going to. I'm worried about her. I know she’s a- I know she’s more than capable of handling herself… but there’s something about this guy. And I don’t think Maze is prepared for it.’ Lucifer is typing away on his phone, clearly only half listening. ‘But clearly, you're not worried at all.’

‘No, I'm not,’ he says, putting his phone away. ‘I just sent her the address.’ Chloe goes to protest but Lucifer just holds a finger up, stopping her mid-sentence. ‘A flamethrower, Detective. Or maybe even an Uzi. Either way, it's nothing Maze can't handle.’ He lowers his finger and studies her for a moment. ‘What about you? How are you handling things? With Maze being back in the apartment, I mean.’

His demeanour is vastly different than from what it was mere seconds ago. While he was all brass and overconfidence while he was talking about Maze-the-bounty-hunter, now that he’s talking about Maze-the-demon, he seems almost nervous – like he’s not entirely sure he wants to know the answer to his question. It warms Chloe’s heart a little to know that he asked anyway - that he cares enough to check up on her even if he’s scared of what she will say - and just like that, all her earlier irritation fades away.

‘Not too bad,’ she says, honestly. ‘I mean, Maze is still… Maze, so yeah, I’m going okay. I actually think it’s helping, having her around. I even got a full night’s sleep the other day.’

‘You haven’t been sleeping?’

‘Yeah, but like I said, it’s getting better,’ says Chloe, trying to wave away his concern. She has a feeling that she only half succeeds in this. ‘It’s still a lot, you know. And every time I stay still long enough, my brain just thinks of another question but I’m getting there. Slowly. So, don’t worry, I’ll be fine.’

Lucifer doesn’t look convinced but he lets it go as she requests.

‘And how about you?’ Chloe asks. ‘With your…’ she gestures to the air around his shoulders, ‘… wings.’ Her voice isn’t quite as steady as she was going for but she feels proud of herself for getting out the word at all. It’s the first time that they have properly talked about his wings since she first saw them. ‘I’ve been meaning to check in with you. I know you’re not exactly pleased that they’re back.’

Lucifer looks surprised for a moment, like he hadn’t expected her to ask after him, but he quickly masks it. ‘Yes, well, it seems I’m stuck with them for now,’ he says, a little grumpily. ‘The pesky things just keeping coming back, no matter how many times I cut them off. So I’m just trying to ignore them until I can think of something else.’

‘Wait, hold on. You cut them off? Doesn’t that hurt?’

Lucifer shrugs. ‘Only for a few minutes.’ He says it so dismissively, as if he isn’t talking about severing actual limbs from his body.

‘Lucifer!’ Chloe shouts, catching the attention of a few passing officers. Thankfully, they don’t stay interested for long. (Let’s face it, Chloe shouting at Lucifer is not exactly a rare occurrence.) Nevertheless, Chloe lowers her voice so not to be overheard. ‘Lucifer, you can’t just hack your wings off. That’s self-mutilation.’

Lucifer doesn’t say anything but she can tell that he doesn’t agree.

‘Look, I know you don’t want them, and I understand why you want to get rid of them. You had them shoved onto your back – however that works – without your consent. It’s only natural that you feel violated but… it’s not worth hurting yourself over.’

Lucifer looks a little less defensive now, Chloe would even go as far as saying he looks touched at her concern (or maybe just her understanding). ‘Well, like I said,’ he says, his tone purposefully even, ‘I’ve given up on that avenue for now.’

She can tell that his attitude hasn’t changed and she figures that this is probably not the last time they are going to have this conversation, but she knows better than to push the issue for now.

‘Good,’ she says at last, breaking their awkward staring contest and looking down at her desk. She just hopes that he doesn’t try something even more drastic whenever he decides what his next “avenue” for removing his wings will be.

Either way, she has a feeling she knows what her nightmares are going to consist of tonight.

Chapter Text

‘I really don’t understand it,’ says Lucifer.

He is sitting on the very familiar couch of Linda’s office. The woman herself sits across from him in her usual chair giving him her usual look. It’s a look Lucifer knows well, and he knows that it means she isn’t going to be giving him any easy answers today. No, she’s going to make him work it out for himself.

He hates that look.

‘What specifically don’t you understand?’ asks Linda, and Lucifer leans back into the couch, trying not to huff.

‘The Detective,’ he says, throwing his hands up for emphasis. ‘She’s handling all this far too well.’

‘And this is a bad thing?’

‘I don’t know, maybe.’ He lets out a sigh and shakes his head. ‘No, it’s a good thing. A little too good. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.’

‘That’s understandable,’ says Linda. ‘But maybe you need to stop worrying about what might happen and focus on what is happening. Have a little faith.’

Lucifer scoffs.

‘In Chloe,’ Linda continues. ‘She has always forgiven you for your flaws, even if sometimes she shouldn’t have. Why should this be any different? Have a little faith in her.’

Lucifer can only nod. He’s always had faith in Chloe. To be honest, she’s the only thing he has had faith in in a very long time, maybe even ever. But aeons of experience have taught him to be wary. Nothing truly good comes without strings attached.

‘So, have you told her everything?’ asks Linda, cutting through his thoughts.

Lucifer fidgets uncomfortably in his seat. ‘Not everything,’ he admits. ‘She knows the big Truths, as it were, but I’m working up to the rest slowly. I don’t want to overwhelm her.’

Lucifer Morningstar does not lie… but he is a master at spinning half-truths.

Unfortunately for him, Linda knows this, and he can tell by her hum of only half-agreement that she sees right through him. ‘Just make sure you don’t move too slowly,’ she warns. ‘There’s a difference between pacing and stalling.’

Lucifer doesn’t have much time to reflect on her words before a shrill ringing is filling the office.

Linda apologises and quickly moves over to her computer from which she is receiving a call. ‘Uh, I can't talk right now, Maze,’ she says, eyeing Lucifer awkwardly. ‘I'm with a patient.’

Lucifer is grateful for the Doctor’s professionalism in keeping his identity private… but he honestly couldn’t care less if Maze knows that he is there. It is no secret that he goes to therapy and besides, he’s way too curious to find out what Maze wants. Shouldn’t she have Rivers hanging from the ceiling of a Canadian hotel room by now?

‘Yeah, well, so am I,’ replies Maze and Lucifer gets in view of the screen just in time to see her move her phone to show them a man who must be Rivers. Lucifer’s first thought of the man is that he is nowhere near as handsome as everyone has been making him out to be. The second thing he notices is the bloody hole in the man’s stomach.

‘Is that a gunshot wound?’ cries Linda.

‘Oh, Mazikeen, you little rascal. Did you shoot the fellow?’ Lucifer asks with glee (he pointedly ignores Linda’s disapproving glare). ‘Well done.’

‘No, I didn't shoot him,’ says Maze and Lucifer’s smile fades a little. ‘Some psycho from room service did.’

‘Well, so much for Canadian hospitality.’

‘Look, I don't have time to explain, okay?’ says Maze, irritably. ‘How do I stop this human from dying?’

It’s obvious that she is talking to Linda so Lucifer leans back a little to let the doctor take over.

‘Take him to a hospital, that's how,’ she says. ‘I mean, how many times do I have to tell you I'm not that kind of doctor?’ Rivers shouts pain and a close-up of the bullet wound seems to change Linda’s mind. ‘Okay, okay, okay, okay. First things first, did the bullet go all the way through?’

Linda continues to talk Maze through the process of removing the bullet from Rivers’ stomach and Lucifer watches with interest and amusement as she seems to cause more pain to her bounty than the bullet did. But before Maze can get to the good bit of actually digging the thing out of the man’s flesh, she ends the call, telling them that she can handle it from there.

At least they had gotten to witness her punching Rivers in the head, knocking him out. Maze's own personal brand of anaesthetic.

But it is what happened after that that sticks with Lucifer the most.

‘Is it me,’ he asks Linda, both still staring at the now blank screen, ‘or did the most skilled torturer Hell's ever known just fluff that man's pillow?’

----

A couple of days later, Chloe is watching as Maze unpacks her stuff into the living room of their apartment, giving her and Trixie all the details of her time away. Well, all the PG rated details anyway.

It turns out that Chloe had been both wrong and right at the same time. Ben Rivers had definitely been more than Maze had been prepared for… but he wasn’t the dangerous one. He had been set up for everything. By a dirty cop, no less.

Chloe has really had enough of corruption in the force. Will it ever end?

She doubts it.

Finally, Maze’s story comes to an end, as does her unpacking. There’s only one thing left in her bag. ‘Here,’ she says, giving Trixie back her Miss Alien toy. Chloe eyes the large dark stain on it suspiciously.

Trixie sees the stain too. ‘Is that… blood?’ she asks.

Maze looks guiltily towards Chloe for a second before focusing on Trixie again. ‘Yeah. Sorry. I can get you a new one.’

Trixie stares at the toy for another couple of seconds before her whole face lights up. ‘Awesome!’ she says and Maze visibly relaxes. She even smiles.

Chloe however is back to worrying about the demon’s influence on her daughter. Then again, she realises, her own job as a detective probably has more to do with Trixie’s fascination with gore than Maze’s introduction to their lives. It hasn’t helped, sure, but the damage had already been done by the time she and Lucifer had shown up.

Chloe takes Miss Alien, promising to put the toy through the wash, and Trixie scurries off to her bedroom. Maze watches her go, and, once little ears are out of hearing range, she turns back to Chloe. ‘Listen, there’s something else,’ she says and her slightly worried tone instantly has Chloe on edge. ‘Ben warned me about someone, or maybe someones, he wasn’t exactly clear but… Herrera isn’t the top of whatever this is. There’s someone worse out there. Someone who's powerful enough for Ben to keep on running.’

‘Another cop?’ asks Chloe. Because it would be just her luck, wouldn’t it?

Maze shrugs. ‘I don’t know. I just thought I had better let you know. Just in case.’

Chloe nods, grateful for the warning. It looks like she will be interviewing Herrera in the morning. ‘Thanks.’

Maze just shrugs again. ‘So, me, Linda and Lucifer are having some welcome back drinks at Lux tonight. You in or are you gonna be boring again?’

Chloe smiles and shakes her head at Maze, not at all insulted by her “boring” comment. ‘Sorry, can’t. I have Trix tonight and I doubt I’ll get a sitter this late.’

Maze just shrugs again and heads to her room, her phone already in her hand as she dials someone’s number (probably Linda’s).

‘But Maze,’ Chloe calls and Maze stops just before her bedroom door. ‘It’s good to have you back.’

Maze gives her a genuine smile before disappearing into her room. Chloe stares at the now closed door for a few moments before she moves to tidy up the living room that has been trashed by Hurricane Maze. She can’t help but worry about Maze’s warning. She knows there will always be people in the world who have more power than they should; criminal networks that run right across the globe, ruining the lives of innocents like Ben Rivers. But she can’t help but feel that this one may be a little closer to home than most.

----

That night Chloe dreams of Malcolm Graham.

Lately, her dreams have all been about Lucifer, and this one is too, but her previous ones have been very different. They have mainly consisted either of him embracing her with fluffy white wings, or of him sitting upon a fiery throne, condemning her to Hell.

And sometimes they have been a weird combination of the two.

The last couple of nights have been an exception. These dreams have been of Lucifer screaming in agony as some faceless figure hacks at those beautiful wings of his with one of Maze’s knives. Chloe doesn’t need Linda to tell her who the faceless figure is meant to represent. She’s had similar dreams before, after all. Back when she had first seen Lucifer’s scars, she had had a few nightmares of the father she had never met carving into the back of a young boy with chestnut hair and all too familiar eyes.

Her dream tonight is another familiar one, with a little tweaking to account for the Truth that she now knows. She dreams of a dark hanger – of being stalked by Malcolm as Lucifer lays motionless on the floor, a pool of blood around him. Chloe is sure that he is dead. And then suddenly he isn't. He’s alive and well and Malcolm is the one on the ground.

‘I got better,’ he says, and Chloe launches herself at him, hugging him so tight that she’s almost suffocating him. His wings appear, bloodied but intact, and surround the two of them in their own private cocoon. Dream-Chloe looks up at Dream-Lucifer and sees him looking back down at her with dark hooded eyes. Their lips are inches apart as she stands on tip toes, leaning in…

And that’s all Chloe gets before she wakes alone in her bed. She lets out a huff of frustration and pulls the covers around her a bit tighter, trying not to wish they were made of white feathers.

Chapter Text

Chloe tries to look into Maze’s warning, she really does, but with no name to go on and Lieutenant Herrera - the cop who had set up Rivers, and their one and only lead - refusing to talk, she’s coming up with bupkis. Even Lucifer’s personal (aka criminal) contacts have dried up.

‘It’s time to let this one go, Decker,’ says Pierce a week later. ‘I’ll keep an eye out for anything that may be related, but for now we have better things to spend our time on.’

‘With all due respect, sir,’ says Chloe, choosing her words carefully, ‘we’ve only been on this for a week and it’s just me and Lucifer. If we let a few more people in on the investigation, we might be able to find something.’

Pierce leans back in his chair, looking unimpressed (not that that’s unusual). ‘Wasn’t it you yourself who voiced the “dirty cop” theory?’

And boy is she regretting that now. Much like she’s regretting telling Pierce about it at all. Maybe she should have taken a leaf out of Lucifer’s book and just gone off on her own.

‘Yes, but-’

‘And if you’re right, then we don’t know who else in the department is compromised. And if we say the wrong thing to the wrong person, then this guy could go dark. And then we lose him for good.’

Logically, Chloe knows that he’s right… but she still thinks it’s worth the risk. They literally have nothing to lose.

‘Surely we could at least bring Dan into this?' she says. 'Or Ella? I know you don’t know them properly yet, but I trust them with my life.’

‘Dan has a history and I don’t want Ella involved in this.’

‘Can I ask why?’

Pierce leans forward, his (admittedly nice) arms resting on his desk. He points to the nameplate in front of him. ‘See, one of the few benefits of having the "L" and the "T" in front of my name is I don't have to explain myself.’

Chloe barely manages not to glare at the man. What has she done to earn such rudeness?

‘No other cops. Got it,’ she manages to say without sounding too icy.

Pierce nods, his expression making it perfectly clear that this discussion is over. ‘A new body just dropped,’ he says, grabbing a file off his desk. ‘Seeing as you’re here you might as well take it.’

He hands her the file and then dismisses her and when Chloe is out of his stuffy office and into the more open and friendlier precinct, she lets out a breath to relax herself.

‘What was that about?’ asks Ella, eyeing Pierce’s door carefully and Chloe groans.

‘You could tell just by watching?’

‘Oh my God, yeah. He is so into you.’

... Chloe had definitely not been expecting that.

‘You're joking,’ she says, going over the last few minutes in her head and trying to pick out any body language or any sign at all that Pierce felt anything but indifference towards her.

‘Uh, no,’ says Ella, clearly wondering how Chloe could have missed… whatever there was to miss. ‘Scorching fire. Five-alarm. But that’s all I'm gonna say. I, uh, heard we caught a body. I'll grab my kit.’

She goes to get her stuff, leaving Chloe still wondering what she saw in Pierce’s expression through blinded windows that Chloe couldn’t see when he was sitting right in front of her. Has she really been out of the game so long that she has forgotten how to recognise the signs? Or is Ella just delusional?

Honestly, Chloe is not sure which one is more likely.

----

Their dead body is that of Emily Goddard, a councillor at Firehawk Ranch Transformational Centre. And it was in a trough at said ranch that she had been found. But the cause of death was not drowning, as Ella explains. Emily had been stabbed.

‘In her office upstairs,’ says Ella, pointing to a window on the second floor of the building. The window is directly above the trough in which Emily was found. ‘They took a tumble out the window, aaaand splashdown.’

Chloe leans down to take a closer look at their victim. She was so young, only in her early twenties. Lucifer was right in what he said all those months ago. Every crime scene does break her heart a little.

‘Do we have the murder weapon?’ she asks Ella, hoping for a good lead to start off with. The sooner she could bring this woman’s killer to justice, the better.

‘Nothing yet. But from the depth of the wound, blunting on one side I'd say we're looking for either a knife or a tool with a four-to five-inch serrated blade.’

‘So, this, uh, so-called reform program,’ says Lucifer, inspecting the building, ‘claims to transform bad kids into good ones?’

Chloe can already tell that he is sceptical. She just hopes he doesn’t make too much of a big deal about it.

‘Only reform program I ever knew was my abuelita's boot,’ says Ella. ‘It was pretty effective.’

The man in charge of the ranch approaches them, bringing the case back into focus, much to Chloe’s relief. ‘Jerry Blackcrow Founder of Firehawk Ranch,’ he introduces himself as. He looks down at the body of his employee and shakes his head. ‘This is terrible.’

‘Do you know anyone who may have wanted to hurt Ms Goddard?’ Chloe asks and Jerry shakes his head again, this time in denial.

‘No. She was one of my best councillors. Everyone adored her.’

‘Any idea what happened, then?’

‘Someone must have snuck onto the property and done this,’ says Jerry and Lucifer scoffs loudly. Chloe glares at him but, as usual, it makes no difference.

‘Well, we're surrounded by ne'er-do-wells, and he thinks the culprit came from the outside,’ he says, noticing her disapproval. ‘Delusional. Killer's obviously here.’ He points to one of the teenagers that have gathered not far from the crime scene. ‘Probably him. Shifty eyes.' He points to another. 'Or no, sorry her. The ginger. She's got that "I like to watch the life drain out of people" look.’

Right now the ginger has the “I want to fight the judgemental rich bloke in the nice suit” look. And Chloe doesn’t blame her one bit.

Chloe manages to rein Lucifer in a bit before he annoys the kids even further but the damage has already been done for Jerry. ‘No way one of my kids did this,’ he says. ‘They all walk the Firehawk Path. This is a place of transformation.’

But Lucifer still can’t leave it alone. Seriously, what has gotten into him?

‘Uh, no,’ he says, turning back to Jerry. ‘This is a scam. People can't be changed. Trust me, I know.’

Chloe suppresses a shudder at the implications of what Lucifer is saying. When she had asked about Hell that first week after learning the Truth, he had said that it was a person’s guilt that sent them there… is he now saying that there is no way to escape that guilt? She remembers another thing he said: nearly all the doors in Hell are unlocked… but no one has ever walked out of one.

Chloe shakes her head to clear it. She has to believe that people can change – can get better if they try. Look at Lucifer. He is so different from what he was like when they first met.

Maze’s words from a couple of weeks ago flitter through her head.

“...Maybe who he is here, is who he has always been…”

So maybe Lucifer is right after all? People don’t change… they just stop pretending.

‘Perhaps they just need the right kind of motivation,’ says Jerry, cutting through Chloe's thoughts. ‘As a former addict and ex-con, I'm living proof that people can change. Our kids graduate to better lives.’

Ella chooses the perfect moment to interrupt and Chloe would have felt like hugging her in gratitude if it weren’t for the fact that her news just incriminates one of the ranch’s kids more. A pruning saw is missing from one of their tool-belts… which would fit perfectly with Ella’s earlier assumptions of the murder weapon.

Lucifer couldn’t look more smug if he tried.

Chloe glares at him again and asks Jerry about how to find out whose tool-belt it is that Ella found in the victim’s office. He leads them to the stables where his records are kept. The walk is a short one but the awkward silence is enough to let Chloe’s mind get away from her. She’s still not convinced that Lucifer is right, that people can’t change, but she has a more pressing question. Why is Lucifer so adamant that they can’t? Is it just a result of spending millennia in Hell, watching people repeat the same mistakes over and over again… or is it something more personal?

When they get to the stables and Jerry has one of the teenagers look through the records for them, the answer becomes a little bit clearer.

‘What are those?’ asks Lucifer, pointing at the badge that the boy is wearing.

‘Those are Colin’s Firehawk Wings,’ explains Jerry and Chloe inwardly groans. If it wasn’t personal before, it certainly is now. ‘Highest honour here.’

‘Wings as an honour?’ scoffs Lucifer. ‘Is this a joke?’

Poor Colin is looking very awkward now and Chloe sends him an apologetic look, which turns into a proud one as Jerry explains that the kids who earn their “wings” are the ones who have reformed enough to earn special privileges at the ranch. The young boy seems nice enough… maybe this reform program does work?

Lucifer doesn’t agree.

‘So, hold on,’ he says, finally turning away from Colin (much to the boy’s relief) and facing Jerry. ‘You curtail the free will of these rebellious souls by making them follow your rules, and then you trick them into thinking they've changed by giving them wings? A most vile manipulation. And completely unoriginal, I might add.’

And there it is! This is the real reason that Lucifer is so against the idea of people changing. He’s worried that he’s the one who has changed… or perhaps, more accurately, he’s worried that his father is trying to change him.

Either way, Chloe is going to have to have a proper conversation with him after this is all over. It’s time she properly addressed the wing issue, regardless of the small ball of anxiety that sits in her stomach at the mere thought. She’s always told Lucifer that he could confide in her and she is going to damn well stick to that promise.

She just has to survive this case first.

----

The owner of the tool-belt and therefore their lead suspect is Tyson Chase… who just so happens to be missing from the ranch. And finding him is proving to be a bit of a problem. She is sitting at her desk discussing the case with Dan when Pierce interrupts them, looking for an update.

‘It’s going very well, sir,’ she says. It’s a little bit of a lie but she’s determined to put a positive spin on it. ‘Uh, murder weapon still missing. Although, we've identified the suspect. Tyson Chase. He’s a resident. There's a BOLO out.’

‘So no one's in custody yet?’ asks Pierce, flatly.

So much for positive.

‘Not yet.’

Pierce gives Chloe a look that makes her want to punch him. It’s a mixture of disappointment and condescension. ‘Thought you'd be further along.’

He walks away and Chloe can only stare in disbelief. Seriously, what is the man’s problem?

She pointedly ignores Ella fanning her own crotch across the room and turns to Dan. She is now almost 100% sure that Ella is seeing things that aren’t there… but just to be safe. ‘Hey, why is Pierce such a dick to me?’ she asks him, hoping for some confirmation that Pierce is just being rude and not trying some kindergarten level style of flirting on her.

‘Who cares? He’s a dick to everyone,’ says Dan.

‘But I seem to get extra helpings of his dickishness. I know he's considered a rock star downtown with the suits, but if he's got a problem with me, I want to find out, I want to fix it, and I don't want it messing with my career.’

‘Maybe you’re not the problem,' says Dan and Chloe follows his gaze to where Lucifer is spiking someone’s coffee with alcohol from his flask. Probably hers.

‘Lucifer,' she hisses and he puts his flask down (in plain sight!) and walks over to her desk.

He offers her the spiked coffee. ‘Well, looks like someone could use a single malt cappuccino.’ After she just stares at him for a few seconds, he offers her the other mug he is holding. ‘Single malt latte?’

‘I'd prefer it if you helped us find Tyson Chase,’ says Chloe. ‘Your focus has been all over the map on this case.’

She knows why, of course, but she can’t exactly say anything in front of Dan.

Lucifer somehow manages to look both guilty and proud at the same time. ‘Apologies Detective,’ he says earnestly and Chloe’s annoyance lessens a smidgen. ‘Allow me to consult. Catching this little degenerate is quite simple. Whatever Tyson's sin was in the past, he's back at it. And you know why? People don't change.’

Aaaand the annoyance level is back up again.

‘We don’t know his crimes,’ says Dan, who sounds more resigned than annoyed. He obviously expects nothing less from Lucifer. But Chloe knows Lucifer better than most, even disregarding her knowledge of his celestial origins, and she knows he can be better than this. She’s seen it. ‘His record is sealed. Tyson's a minor.’

‘Well, I'll call a judge, get it unsealed,’ says Chloe. ‘It may take a few days.’

‘Or not,’ says Lucifer. ‘I may have a way to cut a few corners.’

Chloe doesn’t doubt that, and she wishes that she could take him up on his offer, but she knows better. Convictions don’t tend to stick as well when detectives cut corners.

And with her Lieutenant already being a massive asshole to her…

‘Getting caught cutting corners is the last thing I need right now, Lucifer.’

----

Lucifer - surprise, surprise - disregards Chloe’s warning and cuts his corners anyway. But Chloe isn’t too mad at him for it, it gets them their suspect. No, Chloe is mad at Lucifer for what happens after.

First there is Tyson Chase’s interview in which Lucifer decides to try and scare the teen into confessing (though not by any Devil means). This misstep is made all the worse by the fact that Pierce has decided that they need babysitting on the case and sees the whole damn thing – and doesn’t even have a problem with it!

And then there is the real kicker. Pierce had called Lucifer a “good influence” during Tyson’s interview and Lucifer decides that the best way to prove him wrong is by visiting Firehawk Ranch and getting really high with the “reformed” residents.

On the plus side, even that stunt gets them a lead. One of the residents, Carly Glantz, saw Tyson burying something on the ranch grounds the night of the murder.

Once the young girl leaves with her lawyer father, Chloe turns to Lucifer. ‘We need to talk,’ she says, pulling him into an empty room.

‘I’m guessing this is not to congratulate me on finding evidence that will no doubt incriminate Tyson Chase as the murderer,’ he says as she closes the door.

‘First of all, we don’t know what we’ll find,’ says Chloe, folding her arms. After listening to Tyson during his interview, she’s not entirely convinced that he is their guy. ‘Secondly, you’re damn right it isn’t. Lucifer, what the hel- What is going on with you? Why are you acting like this?’

Lucifer leans back on the desk that is in the centre of the room, a fake smile on his face. ‘This is how I always I act,’ he says. Chloe can tell straight away that she’s not the one he’s trying to convince. ‘My shenanigans leading to a break in the case… you wanted normal and that is quintessential Deckerstar.’

Chloe shakes her head, choosing to ignore the “Deckerstar” comment. She knows he is just deflecting.

‘Shenanigans? No, Lucifer, getting high with a bunch of minors is not a “shenanigan”, it’s a felony! And you’re wrong, this isn’t how you always act.’

‘But I used to.’ His smile has fallen now and he is finally being serious. ‘And like I said, people – and Devils – don’t change. No matter how many wings you give them.’

Chloe wants to be supportive. She really does. She knows his wings are bringing up issues for him that she can’t possibly understand… but this is interfering with her case and she really doesn’t need that right now. ‘Look, I can see why you might want to take this whole Firehawk thing personally,’ she says, trying to keep the annoyance out of her voice but not entirely succeeding at it, ‘but, Lucifer, this case is not about you.’

Lucifer just scoffs. ‘Please.’

‘It’s just a coincidence!’

‘I don’t believe in coincidences.’ His voice is calm but a lot colder than it was before.

Chloe lets out and exhausted sigh. ‘Why not?’

‘Because the last time I did I was proved incredibly wrong!’ he finally shouts and, before Chloe can ask him what he means by that, he’s storming off.

She doesn’t see him again until she is sitting outside Firehawk Ranch surrounded by the flashing lights of police cars and ambulances.

Chapter Text

Lucifer is fuming. He’s 100% sure that, had he still had it, his Devil face would be out in full force right now. And all this anger is directed at one man.

Jerry Blackcrow.

It turns out that it was Jerry who had killed Emily… and he had almost killed the Detective as well. She and Pierce had gone back to Firehawk Ranch to ask Jerry a couple of questions and hadn’t even made it to the front door before Jerry had opened fire on them. From what Lucifer understands, if it wasn’t for Pierce jumping in front of the bullet, Chloe would most likely be dead right now.

And where had Lucifer been while his partner was in danger? Sulking about his stupid wings.

Okay, so maybe not all his anger is directed at Jerry... but he is going to get the full brunt of it anyway. It is bad enough that he murdered an innocent woman, and Lucifer is happy knowing he will get his just punishment for that in due time, but he had also taken a shot at the Detective, and that is a crime best juried by the Devil.

Lucifer pulls up at the marina where Carly Glantz’s father’s boat is kept. He has a hunch. A hunch that is proved absolutely correct when he sees Jerry kneeling on the jetty beside the boat, pulling up a bag from the water.

‘So, this is where the Firehawk Path leads,’ says Lucifer, forcing himself to be calm as he approaches the man. ‘A soggy stash of coke-dusted twenties and a boat ride to Mexico.’

Jerry’s head snaps up and a relieved look passes over his face when he sees that it just Lucifer.

Poor fool.

‘How did you find me?’ he asks.

‘My prized pupil mentioned using her dad's beach condo as a stash house. Of course, her partner would know that.’

Lucifer feels a little ashamed of not working it out as soon as Carly had shown him the garden. He should have realised then that she wouldn’t have been able to hide that many marijuana plants from the owner of the ranch.

‘What do you want, Mr. Morningstar?’ asks Jerry.

‘To see the look on your face when you finally admit it was all a scam,' says Lucifer, 'a ploy to bilk desperate parents into falsely believing that you could fix their malevolent offspring.’

And also to see your face smashed into the pavement, he doesn’t add.

‘I did a lot of good for those kids,’ says Jerry as if that makes his crimes any less punishable.

‘So I was right about people not changing, just wrong about who.’

‘I warned Emily, but she wouldn't listen to reason,’ says Jerry and Lucifer can see him eyeing his gun – the same gun that he had used to shoot at Chloe. ‘It was her own fault.’

‘What about the Detective?’

Jerry doesn’t realise it, but his fate rests solely on his answer.

‘She was just in my way, man.’

Wrong answer.

‘I'm not going back to jail!’ shouts Jerry as he grabs his gun and twirls to face Lucifer. But he’s not quick enough. Without even thinking about it, Lucifer uses his wings to disappear and Jerry’s gun is now pointing at nothing. Lucifer reappears behind him and grabs the gun. Jerry accidentally fires it in shock but the bullets hit nothing but the jetty they are standing on. Lucifer doesn’t give him a chance to reload or fight back and in seconds he has his hand at Jerry’s throat.

‘Your punishment will be far worse than jail,’ he snarls.

He throws Jerry across the jetty, aiming it just right so that he lands on a wooden bench that breaks apart on impact. Jerry cries out in pain as he rolls onto his back. Once again, Lucifer shows no mercy. Jerry has no time at all to get to his feet before Lucifer is leaning over him, punching him repeatedly.

‘Lucifer, stop!’ shouts someone, and through the haze of anger Lucifer recognises Amenadiel’s voice. ‘You're going to kill him.’

‘So what?’ says Lucifer, briefly looking to Amenadiel before continuing his assault on Jerry. This time he goes for strangling the bastard instead. ‘Once evil, always evil, right?!’

‘No, Luci, you're not evil. You're the Devil. You punish evil.’

Lucifer’s hands loosen around Jerry’s neck and the man gasps in relief.

‘Your words,’ continues Amenadiel, and Lucifer properly releases Jerry. Amenadiel is right, he realises. It’s the rest of the world that thinks Lucifer evil, not himself.

He looks down at his hands that are covered in blood and then to the man beneath him who is lucky to be alive. Amenadiel has just stopped him from making a huge mistake.

----

Lucifer and Amenadiel drop Jerry off in a bloodied heap in front of a random police station and then drive back to the penthouse. Lucifer really needs a drink.

‘So, my guardian angel, I think this calls for a celebration,’ he says, walking up to the bar and pouring himself said drink. ‘I was lucky you turned up when you did.’ He turns to Amenadiel. ‘How did you find me, by the way?’

‘Location service on one of your dating apps,’ says Amenadiel with a smile and Lucifer laughs. It’s almost like old times. Before the fall. Back when they were a proper family.

And then Amenadiel has to go and ruin it.

‘Maybe luck had nothing to do with when I showed up, Luci,’ he says, his expression sobered. ‘Maybe Father wanted me there.’

Lucifer turns so Amenadiel can’t see the hurt in his eyes. Of course Amenadiel would somehow find a way to make this about their Father. ‘You give him way too much credit, Brother,’ he says, hoping to dissuade the idea that their Father had anything to do with what had happen at the marina. He’d never helped Lucifer before, it’s unlikely He would start now. No. Lucifer has always dealt with his own messes.

Suddenly a though strikes him and he has to laugh.

‘What’s so funny?’ asks Amenadiel.

Lucifer turns back to face his brother. ‘Well, nothing. It's just, it took you walking a mile in my shoes to prove my point to me.’

‘Okay,’ says Amenadiel, looking confused. ‘And what point is that?’

‘That I haven't changed. Wings, no wings, unable to show my true face it doesn't matter. I'm exactly who I always was. A punisher. And for that, I salute you.’ He tips his drink towards Amenadiel in a half toast and then takes a sip.

‘That’s very kind of you,’ says Amenadiel, but he doesn’t look very happy about Lucifer’s revelation. ‘But, you see, I don't think it was the human that you were trying to punish today.’

Lucifer’s smile falters. He knows exactly what Amenadiel is saying but he has to ask anyway.

‘Who else would I be trying to punish?’

Yourself, Luci. For not being there for Chloe when she was in danger because you care about her deeply.’

And there it is. The horrible truth that Lucifer has been trying to hide from since he found out that the Detective had been shot at. He doesn’t deny it, he just makes a vague scoffing sound and walks away from the bar to the piano, turning his back on Amenadiel.

‘And if that truly is the case,’ continues Amenadiel, undeterred by Lucifer’s sudden change of mood, ‘then you really have changed from the old Lord of Hell.’

Something inside of Lucifer snaps. How would Amenadiel know what he was like in Hell? How would any of them know? It’s not like they popped in for biweekly visits.

And Amenadiel is still talking.

‘But this is good, Luci. This is so good.’ The way he says it leaves no doubt in Lucifer’s mind that Amenadiel’s opinion of him hasn’t changed since he first came to Earth hoping to send Lucifer back to Hell. Not really. Despite what he said at the marina, he still thinks that Lucifer was evil. That he deserved Hell. ‘Because I've finally figured out how you are my test. You see, Father wants me to just… just be there for you. To have your back. Now that you're evolving.’

And that is the straw that breaks the Devil’s back.

Lucifer sets his glass of whiskey down on the piano, an odd sense of calm washing over him. He looks up at his older brother… and he tells him a story. A story about a soul that he had tortured in Hell. A soul that took every torture Hell had to offer, asked for them even, until one day Lucifer had forgotten to give him his daily punishment, and when he had gone back to the soul, he was a crying mess, begging his King not to forget him again.

‘It was then that I realised,’ he tells Amenadiel, ‘he was so full of self-loathing, void of any self-respect, that no matter the depth of my cruelty, whatever minuscule attention I paid gave meaning to his pointless existence.’

‘Why are you telling me this?’ asks Amenadiel, but Lucifer can see it in his eyes that he knows what the answer will be.

‘Because he reminds me of you.’

Though he was no doubt expecting it, Amenadiel still looks hurt at Lucifer’s words. But the dam has broken now and Lucifer just can’t stop himself. All the pent-up anger and resentment that has festered for years comes pouring out his mouth like the flood that his Father orchestrated long ago.

‘And you think I've changed?’ he says, his anger finally creeping into his voice. He gets up and slowly stalks towards Amenadiel as his words get louder and louder. ‘You, the former angel, powerless and pathetic, a disgraced failure with no better way to spend your days than yipping at my heels for scraps to remind you of a time of when you once mattered.’

He waits for Amenadiel to fight back, almost wishes for it, but instead his brother just lowers his head and nods. He no longer looks affected by Lucifer’s rant, which just makes Lucifer all the more angry.

‘I know what you’re doing,’ says Amenadiel. ‘And you can kill the messenger if you must. But just know that I am here for you.’

After a brief moment of just staring at each other, Amenadiel leaves, leaving Lucifer trying to figure out which emotion to focus on. The anger is still there, definitely, but now that his brother is gone, a little bit of guilt has taken hold. Don’t get Lucifer wrong, Amenadiel had had it coming for a long time… but maybe Lucifer could have picked a better time to let it all out. Amenadiel had just stopped him from murdering a man after all. But was it really too much to ask to be treated like a brother because he was one, and not because of some grand test laid out by their Father?

Lucifer takes another swig from his glass, gripping it tightly as his anger returns. After he drains what is left of the drink, he hurls the glass at the mirror behind the bar, hoping to release some of his rage.

After taking a moment to calm himself, he looks up at his reflection in the splintered mirror. If he squints, it almost looks like his Devil face is back. And with a pang of… something, Lucifer realises that he doesn’t want it back. He doesn’t want to be a monster anymore. He never did.

Before he can reflect more on that, the elevator dings and the doors open. He steps away from the bar, hoping to draw attention away from the shattered mirror and broken whiskey glass, fully expecting to see Amenadiel walking back into the apartment. But instead he sees the Detective.

And she doesn’t look happy.

‘So Jerry Blackcrow turned up,’ she says.

‘Did he?’ asks Lucifer as offhandedly as he can.

‘Yeah. He didn’t look too good either.’

‘No less than he deserves,’ says Lucifer, giving up on the charade. It’s obvious that Chloe knows full well what – or rather who – happened to Jerry.

‘Lucifer,’ she scolds, ‘you can’t just beat up anyone who takes a shot at me. Jerry’s saying that you almost killed him.’

Almost being the operative word there.’

‘Lucifer,’ she says again, making it clear that she is to be taken seriously. ‘I mean it, you can’t just go off on your own like that. I get why you did it and it’s nice to know you care so much but I don’t need you seeking revenge for me or whatever it was you think you were doing! I’m a cop, being in the line of fire is part of my job.’

Lucifer sits back at the piano but doesn’t touch the keys. ‘Understood,’ he says to Chloe, making sure not to make any promises he knows he won’t be able to keep.

Chloe glares at him for a few more moments before she relaxes a little. She walks up to the piano and leans against it beside him. ‘So, I think we should talk about why this case has bothered you so much,’ she says and Lucifer gets the impression that he doesn’t have much say in the matter.

‘Very well,’ he says, ‘but I have a feeling I’m going to need a drink first. Would you like one?’

Chloe shakes her head as she watches him get up and walk to the bar. If she notices the broken mirror, she doesn’t say anything.

Lucifer pours his drink and turns to face the music.

‘Lucifer,’ Chloe begins, ‘I can see why this case would have thrown you off a bit – I can see the parallels between it and your own situation – but how you acted was highly inappropriate. You’re lucky that you didn’t get thrown off the case or even lose your job altogether. And yes, your “shenanigans” as you put it did help solve the case, but I still felt like I was doing the work on my own. You let me down.’

Lucifer can only nod his understanding. ‘I sincerely apologise, Detective. It was not my intention to disappoint you. And I should have been there for you last night. I wish I was.’

The last part is barely a whisper but Chloe still hears it. ‘I know,' she says, her voice gentler now. 'Just promise me you’ll try not to let your personal problems get between us in the future. I know everything now. You can talk to me if you need to.’

Lucifer gives her a grateful smile, albeit a weak one. Chloe may now know the Truth, but she still doesn’t know everything. What would she think of the story he had told Amenadiel not minutes ago? Would she still want to talk to him then?

‘I appreciate the offer, Detective, but there is no need,' he says. 'It’s what I pay the good Dr Linda for after all.’

Chloe looks like she wants to argue the point but she obviously decides against it. ‘Okay,’ she says. ‘But, just so you know, I think you are wrong about your wings changing you. They’re a part of you. And they were a part of you when you were in Hell too.’ It’s the first time that Chloe has properly broached the subject of what Lucifer was like in Hell and he can’t help but feel a little proud of her. ‘But, Lucifer - and this is the important part - they don’t define you. You’re still Lucifer, wings or no. So, can you please start acting like him again? No more trying to pretend that you’re the big bad Devil that the world says you are.’

‘While I appreciate the vote of confidence, Detective,’ says Lucifer, wondering what he did to deserve someone so compassionate in his life. ‘I’m afraid that you haven't seen every side of me yet. You don’t know the things that I’ve done.’

‘You’re right,' says Chloe, 'I don’t. But I don’t need to. I’m sure that you didn’t survive Hell by just sitting around talking about your feelings all day. You did what you had to do. How many times have you told me that you're not the evil monster religion has painted you as? And every one of those times, I believed you. Because you’re not evil. And I don't think you ever were.’

Lucifer suddenly has a strange urge to hug Chloe, or maybe kiss her senseless against his piano (yes, that one is more him) but he refrains himself. Instead, he just nods and fights the lump that is forming in his throat. It’s enough for Chloe though and her expression softens, an understanding smile forming on her lips. This is all getting a bit too emotional for him, Lucifer decides, so he quickly changes the subject.

‘So how is Pierce doing?’ he asks

‘He’s fine, all things considered,' says Chloe. 'Lucky to be alive but recovering well.’

‘I’m glad,’ says Lucifer, surprised to find that he means it. He still may not like the man, but he had protected Chloe when Lucifer had failed to do so. He sort of feels that he owes the Lieutenant now.

He looks back up at Chloe and sees that she is smiling fondly at him.

Yep, he definitely owes him. Quite a lot, actually.

‘It would seem we may have misjudged our new Lieutenant,’ he says and Chloe nods.

‘I guess we did. Maybe he’s not so bad after all.’

----

Marcus Pierce, aka Cain – yes, that Cain - smiles politely at the nurse who is reapplying his bandage. ‘You are one lucky man, Lieutenant,’ she tells him. ‘A shot like that should have killed you.’

The shot did kill him, but the nurse doesn’t need to know that.

Cain just continues to smile politely and thanks the nurse as she finishes up and leaves the room that will be his home for the next few days at least. It’s not too bad as far as hospital rooms go, he decides. One of the very few benefits of being immortal is being able to appreciate progress. And while the world’s health care systems of this age are far from perfect, it beats the hell out of laying on a rock-hard bed covered in leeches or drinking some plant mix that is probably more likely to kill him than the illness it is supposed to be curing.

Well, not him, exactly, but someone. Someone who has the luxury of being able to die and not come back. A luxury that Cain has never had. Ever since he had brought that rock down on his brother’s head all those years ago, Cain’s life has been cursed.

And when you are cursed by God himself, it tends to stick.

No matter what Cain has tried over the many many years of his life – and he has tried a lot – he just can't seem to break free of the mark that sits on his right bicep. No matter how he tries to kill himself, he always comes back.

But Cain isn’t a quitter. He'll keep trying until it finally kills him.

Still, he can’t help but be disappointed about his last failed attempt. Although years of experience have taught him not to, he had gotten his hopes up with this one.

In truth, his hopes had been up since the moment he had heard that someone had made the Devil bleed. It was the whole reason he had transferred to LA in the first place. He had known for years that Lucifer had been here, of course. He always likes to keep a close eye on any celestials that visit Earth, hoping for any sign that he might be able to use them to get rid of God’s mark.

And finally he has gotten one.

A simple, though very strong, capable and beautiful detective somehow has the ability to make the Devil mortal. After studying them for a bit, Cain has come to the conclusion that it is Chloe Decker’s mere presence that makes Lucifer vulnerable. And Cain had hoped that she would have had the same effect on him.

Alas, he had been mistaken. Hence the disappointment.

When he and Chloe had been walking up to Jerry Blackcrow’s front door, Cain had seen his opportunity and he had taken it. While Decker had been distracted, assuring him that she was a “badass”, Cain had texted Blackcrow, warning him of the police that were coming to arrest him - something that wasn’t strictly true, but it served its purpose. Blackcrow had come out, gun blazing, and Cain had quite literally jumped at the chance of getting in the line of fire.

It had taken everything in him not to shout and rage at the sky when he had come back to life.

But there is no use pouting about it, Cain decides, looking at the gift basket that Decker had brought him earlier. He will just have to think of something else. If the Devil can become mortal than so can he, and he is absolutely certain that Detective Decker is the key. She is the best lead he has had since the invention of the atom bomb and he’ll be damned if he is going to give up now.

Chapter Text

Chloe and Lucifer don’t get much of a break before the next body drops. Three days to be exact. Chloe lets out a tired sigh as she pulls into the precinct parking lot. With everything that’s been going on lately, added to the fact that good nights of sleep are still few and far between, the exhaustion is really starting to get to her.

Of course Lucifer notices it as soon as she walks inside, though this is probably mainly due to the fact that although she texted him almost an hour ago to meet her at the precinct, giving herself plenty of time, he still beat her there - a rare, if not unprecedented occurrence.

‘Are you all right, Detective?’ he asks. ‘You look… tired.’

‘It’s fine,’ she waves him off. ‘I was just a little late getting Trixie off to school, that’s all.’

Lucifer eyes her for a moment before accepting her story. ‘Well, in that case, allow me to drive us to the crime scene. I assume there is one, yes, and you haven’t just lured me here to do boring paperwork.’ He shudders at that last word and Chloe can’t stop her lips from twitching up into a smile.

‘Yes, Lucifer, there is a crime scene. And I’d love it if we took your car, actually.’ She knows that they should really be taking her police issued vehicle, but the temptation of the corvette is too much for Chloe. She loves the feeling of the wind blowing through her hair as Lucifer drives a bit too far over the speed limit. It always feels so freeing.

And freeing is exactly what she needs right now.

‘Whatever the lady desires,’ says Lucifer, bowing a little and holding his hand out to indicate for her to go first. Chloe raises an eyebrow at his choice of words but says nothing as she leads the way to the elevator.

‘So where are we off to?’ asks Lucifer once they are seated in his car.

‘Performance Pudding Plus,’ says Chloe, double checking the text that Pierce had sent her earlier. Even when he is stuck in the hospital, it seems that the Lieutenant doesn’t stop working. ‘Body was found in the vat of pudding.’

‘Oh, Daniel is going to love this,’ Lucifer snorts.

Chloe lets out her own little chuckle. She can just picture Dan’s heartbroken face.

----

Dan is indeed heartbroken. Well, maybe heartbroken is a bit too strong of a word, Chloe decides, but he does seem genuinely upset as he looks at his Performance Pudding Plus puddings that he has stored in the precinct fridge. ‘How can I even eat this after what I've seen?’ he asks no one in particular. He glances upwards. ‘Is someone trying to tell me something?’

‘Well, if He is, don't let Him inside your head,’ says Lucifer and Chloe tries not to tense at the reminder that God exists and is apparently a manipulating bastard. And some of said manipulations relate to her on a very personal level. Manipulations that Chloe still has no idea as to their true purpose. She had told Lucifer that she didn’t care what God’s plans were, that she just wanted to live her life, and she had meant that… but it hasn’t stopped her from analysing every decision she has ever made and wondering if they had been her decisions at all.

Thankfully, she is saved from pondering too much on it by Adrian Yates, CEO for Pudding Plus, arriving, hopefully with the security tapes Chloe had requested.

‘Mr. Yates, thank you for coming,’ says Chloe as they sit down in one of the interview rooms. ‘Your security footage will be incredibly helpful. Did you bring the tapes?’

‘Sorry, but no,’ says Yates, and Chloe frowns.

‘What? Why not?’

‘Because I told him not to,’ says a very familiar voice from the doorway. Chloe turns to see none other than Charlotte Richards walking into the room. ‘I'm Mr. Yates' attorney and the LAPD isn't laying a finger on those tapes.’

With all the life-altering revelations that Chloe has been dealing with lately, she had totally forgotten about the woman who had claimed to be Lucifer’s step-mother. A claim that Chloe is seriously doubting now that she knows who Lucifer’s Father really is.

After a few seconds Charlotte gives a smile that is just a tad too condescending. ‘You look surprised to see me,’ she says as she walks around them to sit at the desk next to her client. Chloe manages to pull herself together enough to notice that Lucifer looks just as surprised as she is feeling, maybe even more so.

‘Charlotte. We just… we didn’t expect to see you so soon,’ stammers Chloe, trying to remain professional. She suddenly realises that she has no idea who this woman really is. She just has to make it through this interview, she tells herself, and then she can ask Lucifer to explain.

The problem is that Lucifer seems just as confused as she is. ‘Back to being Charlotte Richards?’ he asks, eyeing Charlotte warily. ‘Right? Why are you here?’

‘Apparently, someone was trying to speak to my client without counsel,’ says Charlotte, opening her briefcase. ‘I am here to inform you that a stunt like that won't stand, nor will your request for any security footage.’

Chloe isn’t sure if Charlotte is actually human or not… but she is definitely a well-trained lawyer. But why does Yates even need a lawyer for this?

‘We just wanted Mr. Yates' help,’ says Chloe, forcing herself to look Charlotte in the eye. ‘A friendly conversation, but this makes it seem like you're hiding something.’

‘Yes,’ says Lucifer, jumping back into the conversation. He’s still looking at Charlotte with heavy suspicion. ‘An ulterior motive for being here, perhaps?’

‘Excuse me?’ asks Charlotte, noticing that Lucifer isn’t talking about Yates.

‘It's awfully curious timing, you back in my life with everything that's happening.’ He lets out a dark chuckle that makes Chloe shiver. It’s times like this that remind her of who exactly her partner is. ‘This is about me, isn't it?’

Charlotte’s mask drops for a second, just long enough to reveal the uncertainty in her eyes, and now Chloe is more confused than ever.

‘If this was a social visit, you would most certainly know,’ says Charlotte, putting her walls back up and gaining back her advantage. She turns to Chloe. ‘And what we're hiding is Pudding Plus's proprietary recipe. Releasing those tapes would reveal how their pudding is made, committing their secret formula to public record, which could cost the company millions.’

‘Besides, the killer's not on any of the footage anyway,’ adds Yates, much to his lawyer’s annoyance.

‘Mr. Yates, it's best if I do the talking.’

‘But all that you can see is that there's some sort of scuffle out of frame. The killer's not visible from any of the angles.’

‘Okay, so, see, that there,’ says Chloe, eager to focus her attention on the case and not on whether or not she is sitting across from yet another celestial being. ‘That's a clue. That means the killer knew how to avoid the cameras. This could be an inside job.’ She turns to Yates. ‘Who has access to the lab? I'm assuming you're at the top of that list.’

‘All right, Detective, you can stop right there,’ says Charlotte, putting her papers away and closing her briefcase. ‘Mr. Yates, not a word. We're done here.’

‘But I'm not done with you,’ Lucifer tells Charlotte, trying to stop her leaving.

Charlotte stares Lucifer down. ‘Which part of my briefcase closing do you not understand?’

And with that, she and Yates leave the room, leaving Chloe and Lucifer staring dumbly after them.

‘Charlotte was never your step-mother, was she?’ says Chloe, breaking the silence.

‘Not exactly, no,’ says Lucifer, still watching the woman in question through the glass wall. ‘It’s a long story but, a while ago, Charlotte Richards died and, due to a matter of convenient timing, my mother inhabited her body.’

Chloe’s jaw drops. ‘Your mother?’ she asks, finally facing Lucifer. ‘Like your actual mother? As in partner-of-your-Father mother?’ Lucifer nods. ‘So that would make her…’

‘A Goddess, yes.’

Chloe turns back to the glass wall just in time to see Charlotte and Yates leave the building. But she’s not the only one watching. Dan watches Charlotte go with a mixture of hurt and anger on his face and that’s when Chloe remembers just what type of relationship he had had with Lucifer’s mother.

‘Wait… does that mean that Dan…?’

Lucifer winces. ‘Can we please not talk about that?’

‘Oh my God!’ exclaims Chloe and Lucifer winces again. ‘Sorry, sorry,’ she says, lowering her voice so not to be overheard by anyone walking past. ‘It’s just… wow! Dan slept with a literal Goddess.’

‘Well, Mum was relatively new to Earth,’ says Lucifer, playing with his cuffs. ‘She can hardly be blamed for a lapse in standards.’

‘Hey!’ says Chloe, offended. ‘I think you’re forgetting that I married him.’

‘Yes, but you at least had the good sense to divorce him.’

Chloe rolls her eyes. ‘Come on, he’s not that bad.’

Lucifer doesn’t say anything, which Chloe knows means he agrees with her but doesn’t want to admit it and she smiles a little at her victory. Her smile slips off her face however as she remembers the reason why Charlotte is back in their lives in the first place.

‘So why would your mother, a Goddess, be interested in protecting a pudding recipe?’

‘Well, I’m fairly sure that that wasn’t my mother and that Charlotte Richards is back to being Charlotte Richards,' he says. 'Well, I’m kind of sure.’ He pauses. ‘Sort of sure. I’m definitely going to find out.’

He goes to walk out the door, but Chloe puts a hand on his arm to stop him. ‘Oh no you don’t,’ she says. She knows that she does not have the strength to physically stop him, but he lets her pull him back inside the room anyway. ‘Explain. You said Charlotte – the real Charlotte - died.’

‘Yes, but then I gave Mum her own universe-’

‘You did what now?’

‘-and Charlotte came back to life. At least I think she did. Like I said, I’m going to figure it out.’

Chloe takes a moment to sort through the new information she has been given and mentally list all the new questions she has. And she has a lot of them. Particularly about that “universe” comment. Finally, she lets go of Lucifer’s arm. ‘Okay,’ she says, taking a breath for strength. ‘You do what you gotta do, but I still have to work this case. Goddess lawyer or not, someone at Pudding Plus is hiding something and we owe it to the victim to find out what.’

Lucifer looks conflicted and she knows that he is tossing up between going off on his own to confront his maybe-mother or staying and helping Chloe with the case. Whether it’s because he still feels guilty about leaving her on the Firehawk Ranch case, or because he agrees with her sentiment about finding justice for their victim, he ends up choosing her.

‘Very well, Detective,’ he sighs. ‘What’s our next move?’

----

Chloe discovers that there are seven people, including Yates, with keycards to access the room where the murder took place, and that all of them annoyingly have alibis. But just as she is despairing about the keycards being a dead-end, she finds something.

‘I found one other person with a keycard,’ she tells Lucifer as they walk through the small studio that is mainly used to film advertisements. ‘An old one. Adrian's former business partner, Grace Foley. She left the company two years ago to start her own rival pudding company, Heavenly Pudding.’

‘Fascinating,’ says Lucifer but he isn’t really listening. He’s typing away on his phone.

‘Yeah, they're shooting their ad campaign here on Stage 69,’ says Chloe as they head towards Stage 96.

Lucifer is still ignoring her.

‘Should be just past the creepy flasher.’

That bit is at least a little true. The man they have just passed is wearing the type of trench coat you would expect to find on your average flasher.

‘That’s nice,’ says Lucifer and Chloe rolls her eyes.

‘Lucifer, I know you’re not listening to me. Creepy flasher? Stage 69?’

And finally Lucifer looks up from his phone. ‘69? What? Where?’

Chloe can only roll her eyes again. ‘I reversed the numbers to get your attention,’ she says at Lucifer’s disappointed look when he figures out that she was lying about the stage number. She stops him at the door, stepping in front of him to face him. ‘Look, I know this thing with Charlotte is important, but so is this case. And if you are changing your mind about helping me, that’s fine, I get it, but I need to know now.’

Lucifer has the audacity to look offended. ‘I told you I would work this case with you, Detective,’ he says, ‘and my word is-’

‘-your bond, yeah I know,’ Chloe finishes. ‘I didn’t mean to insult your integrity or whatever, I just…’ She lets out a frustrated sound as she tries to describe what she’s feeling. ‘I just could really use your help on this one. So, can you put your phone away and focus? Please? Just until we question Grace?’

Lucifer’s shoulders relax a little and he dutifully puts his phone back into his jacket pocket. ‘Apologies, Detective,’ he says, and Chloe gives him a small nod to let him know he is forgiven.

‘Just one question,’ says Lucifer as they fall back into their usual side-by-side stride and continue into the main set area. ‘Who’s Grace?’

Chloe groans.

----

The advertising set is nothing like what Chloe expects, though she probably should have done considering the company is called Heavenly Pudding. Though she doubts that Heaven is this tacky.

Inaccurate or not, Lucifer seems to approve, though that is probably less to do with the fluffy clouds and more with the scantily dressed models who are eating pudding in a way that no one actually eats pudding unless it is an immediate prelude to sex.

‘No!’ shouts a woman from behind the cameras. ‘No, no, no. More! More!’ She throws her hands up in exasperation. A bell rings, indicating the end of the take (or rather that the take has been ruined) and the woman walks forward to talk to the models – or rather shout at them.

This must be Grace.

‘Come on, I need more pudding! More. I want pudding everywhere. This is a pudding commercial. I can't sell the pudding if I can't see the pudding.’ She turns to an assistant. ‘And I want more pudding in whatshername's...’ she clicks her fingers in the direction of one of the models, ‘...Blondie's mouth. I don't care if she can't breathe. Go, now.’

It’s times like this where Chloe is extremely glad that she abandoned her acting career.

‘Excuse me, Grace Foley?’ she says, and Grace spins to face them, looking annoyed.

‘Why are your clothes still on?’ she asks, obviously mistaking them for models.

‘I ask myself that all the time,’ says Lucifer and his eyes flicker over Chloe's form, an appreciative smile forming on his lips.

Chloe does her best not to roll her eyes again and turns back to Grace, flashing her badge. ‘LAPD. We have some questions for you. How well did you know Mr. Fisher?’

‘Simon?’ asks Grace. She’s still clearly frustrated (or maybe just stressed) but she is at least now treating them with a bit of professionalism. ‘I've been trying to poach that genius ever since I started my own company.’

‘Then what?’ asks Lucifer but he’s clearly going to answer his own question. Chloe has learned to sense these things while working with him. ‘You got tired of him rejecting you, so you snuck into his lab and…’ He trails off as his eyes wander to one of the models as she walks past wearing nothing but a white bikini and a set of fake wings. At Chloe’s glare, he apologises and returns his focus back to Grace.

‘You think I killed him?’ asks Grace, disbelievingly.

‘Vengeance, corporate sabotage, all in one fell swoop,’ says Chloe. ‘It makes sense.’

Grace openly laughs at this. ‘Even if I did kill him, which I did not, you really think I'm dumb enough to admit it? Especially without my lawyer present? Speaking of, let's get her down here, shall we?’

She reaches for her phone and Chloe inwardly starts to panic. If Grace lawyers up now, it could take ages to get the truth from her. She taps Lucifer - who is once again distracted by the models (and Chloe is definitely not jealous) - on the shoulder.

‘What?’ he asks, tearing his eyes away from the model.

‘She wants her lawyer here,’ whispers Chloe, nodding at Grace who is already searching through her contacts on her phone. At Lucifer’s blank stare, Chloe sighs. It looks like she is going to have to spell it out for him. ‘So, maybe you should find out what she desires more?’

Lucifer looks at her uncertainly for a moment. ‘You want me to-’ Chloe nods. ‘Okay, then.’ He turns to Grace and suddenly his demeanour changes entirely. He has that charming, if a little predatory smile on his face and his voice is like velvet as he coaxes Grace off her phone. ‘Come on,’ he purrs, ‘tell me what you really want. What's your greatest desire?’

Grace’s eyes are a little glassy and she is definitely under Lucifer’s spell… and yet she still manages to sound annoyed. ‘My greatest desire is- is to stop shooting this exploitative garbage.’

‘Garbage?’ asks Lucifer, his voice back to its normal pitch, though he sounds somewhat offended. ‘What are you talking about? What you're doing is art.’ He gestures at the set – or rather at the models who are still on the set – and Chloe doesn’t even bother trying to fight this eye roll.

Lucifer and Grace start discussing – aka arguing about – advertising techniques but Chloe tunes them out. She has just realised that when Lucifer had used his desire mojo just now, she hadn’t even flinched. She hadn’t even thought about asking him to use it, she just did it. And not once did she fret about its celestial origins.

She mentally breathes a sigh of relief. Progress at last!

She tunes back into Grace and Lucifer’s conversation just in time to hear Grace saying that Heavenly Pudding tastes like crap.

‘Ooh, that's an odd choice of flavours.’

‘Well then, even more motive for you to sneak into the lab and steal the secret recipe,’ interjects Chloe before Grace can rise to Lucifer’s comment. ‘What? Did Simon just get in your way?’

‘I didn't need to steal their recipe,’ says Grace. ‘Simon offered to sell it to me three days ago.’

Okay, Chloe had not been expecting that.

'What?'

‘But then, before I could agree to his terms, he was murdered and not by me. More than anyone, I needed Simon alive.’

Chloe can only nod and dismiss Grace.

‘If Simon was selling the secret recipe, then this may not be about corporate sabotage as much as corporate espionage,’ she tells Lucifer as they slowly make their way out of the stage room. ‘If Adrian found out, he'd want to stop Simon and…’

She trails off as she notices that Lucifer is once again distracted. And by the same model as before no less. This time however, the two start up a flirty conversation.

Not jealous. Nope, not jealous.

Chloe turns with a huff… and that’s when she notices another familiar face – or, more accurately, a familiar trench coat. The “creepy flasher” they had passed earlier is now leaving the stage room, trying to keep out of sight. He must have followed them in.

And suddenly Chloe realises who this guy must be. She turns back to Lucifer and the model whose name she had totally missed and gets an idea.

‘Lucifer come here a sec,’ she says.

Lucifer apologises to the model and follows Chloe a few feet away, just out of ear shot.

‘Do you remember that creepy flasher?’ she asks, and Lucifer looks at her quizzically for a second before answering.

‘I remember you mentioned one, but I though that was just you trying to get my attention.’

‘It was,’ admits Chloe, ‘but there was a guy in a trench coat. But he’s not a flasher. I think he works for Yates.’

‘Why would you think that?’

‘He followed us in here.’ At Lucifer’s confused look, she explains. ‘Sometimes big corporations, they have fixers on their payroll to prevent corporate espionage.’

‘Or clever detectives from learning about said espionage,’ says Lucifer and Chloe can’t help but melt a little at the proud look he is giving her. It makes what she is about to ask him to do a lot easier.

She takes off her jacket and hands it to Lucifer. ‘Your friend,’ she says, nodding at the model a few feet away from them. ‘Put this on her and escort her to her trailer. With any luck our guy will think she’s me and follow the two of you.’

Lucifer takes the jacket, much more carefully than Chloe expects him to, and looks between her and the model a couple of times, eyes almost wary. ‘So, let me get this straight,’ he says, slowly. ‘You want me to take this amazingly beautiful woman back to her trailer so that you can flush out our creepy flasher slash corporate fixer?’

Chloe pointedly ignores the way her gut turns at hearing him call another woman beautiful. She’s not jealous, she reminds herself. Besides, he’s not wrong. The woman is stunning. It will be a miracle if the fixer mistakes her for Chloe.

But they’ve got to try.

Chloe nods at Lucifer’s summary of the situation but instead of satiating him, it just makes him more wary.

‘Is this some sort of test?’

‘No, it’s not a test,’ says Chloe, frustrated. They are wasting time discussing this. ‘Now will you please just do this. The sooner we can question this guy, the sooner we can find our murderer.’

This seems to be the right thing to say. Lucifer unfurls her jacket, once again treating it as if it were fine silk and not some cheap thing that she got on sale from Target, and walks back over to the model. Chloe falls back and follows at a safe distance as they walk out of the stage room and towards the trailers.

Their plan actually works, and soon enough Chloe is confronting the man who is indeed a fixer hired by Adrian Yates. Unfortunately, he immediately lawyers up and this time there is nothing Lucifer can do to stop it.

It looks like Lucifer will be able to investigate Charlotte Richards while working this case after all.

Chapter Text

‘Well, Charlotte is definitely not my mother,’ says Lucifer as he flops himself down onto the chair next to Chloe’s desk, somehow still managing to look graceful while doing it.

‘How do you know?’ asks Chloe, looking up from the crime scene photos on her computer.

‘She tried to kiss me.’

Chloe almost laughs at Lucifer’s grimace but she holds it in. ‘So you managed to… talk to her,’ she says, only just managing to keep a straight face.

Thankfully Lucifer doesn’t notice. ‘Yes,’ he nods, his grimace gone, replaced by his usual mischievous smile, ‘and I discovered an interesting little nugget of information about our cunning Ms Richards.’ This catches Chloe’s interest and she leans in a little closer across the desk. ‘It seems that the guilt of a life of helping murderers and general miscreants has affected her more than she realised. While Mum was in her body, Charlotte was in Hell.’

Chloe’s eyes widen and she can actually feel the colour draining from her face. She unconsciously leans back a bit. ‘You’re… you’re sure?’

Lucifer nods and leans back as well. ‘What she described definitely sounded like a Hell loop to me.’

Chloe swallows the lump that has formed in her throat and lets out a few coughs to try and cover up her awkwardness. ‘Should- should we tell her? The truth, I mean.’

Lucifer thinks for a moment. ‘I have no idea,’ he says at last. ‘This is more Dr Linda’s area, I think, but I imagine most humans would not react too well to the knowledge that they are going to Hell.’

Chloe nods slowly and looks back to her computer; a big mistake seeing as there is a picture of their dead victim taking up most of the screen and Chloe suddenly feels a bit sick. She looks to the paperwork on her desk instead. Anything to avoid looking Lucifer in the eye. ‘So, she will go back there?’ she asks.

Out of the corner of her eye she sees Lucifer shrug. ‘Probably. Unless she can atone for what she feels so guilty about.’

Chloe can’t help but feel a bit sorry for Charlotte. Sure, she doesn’t exactly like her, but she doesn’t really know her that well either. She had only met the real Charlotte Richards the once when she was still a uniformed officer. Every other time Charlotte had actually been Lucifer’s mother.

Chloe hadn’t really noticed the difference to be honest.

‘Charlotte is a lot like your mother,’ she says out loud, finally gathering up the courage to look at Lucifer properly again.

Lucifer shuffles in his seat uncomfortably for a moment before replying. ‘Actually, Detective, I don’t think she is.’

Chloe doesn’t argue. ‘You would know better than me,’ she says with a half shrug, trying to get back to their casual conversation.

It doesn’t work and they sit in awkward silence for a minute or two before salvation in the form of Charlotte Richards of all people appears. And she has the security tapes from the murder scene.

Lucifer doesn’t look surprised at all.

----

Lucifer turns out to be right on both accounts. Charlotte Richards is definitely back to being Charlotte Richards, and she is nothing like Lucifer’s mother. The difference between the two, Chloe realises, is that Charlotte actually cares about people. Sure, it’s been buried deep down as years’ worth of representing criminals will do, but it’s still there. The only people Lucifer’s mother had cared about were herself and Lucifer.

(And maybe Dan, but Chloe is still wrapping her head around that particular relationship.)

Not only does Charlotte bring them the security tapes, revealing that the secret recipe that Pudding Plus is so desperate to hide is poison, but she then goes to confront the people responsible for it. Thankfully, Lucifer manages to talk her down from doing anything stupid and they manage to get a recording of Yates, Foley, and their fixer confessing to knowingly producing and selling a product that is slowly killing their customers.

Dan is definitely going to need a new favourite pudding.

‘So, what was Lucifer’s mother really like?’ asks Chloe a couple of days later at the Tribe Night that Maze had finally convinced her to go on. Ella is currently getting them another round of drinks (on the house, of course, because being friends with the owner of the club has to have some privileges, right?).

‘A real bitch,’ is Maze’s simple answer so Chloe turns to Linda for more information.

‘While I think that Lucifer’s mother was a lot more… complex than Maze suggests,’ says Linda, ‘she’s right. She was a bitch. Why do you ask?’

Chloe gives them a brief overview of the Pudding Plus case and Charlotte’s involvement and by the end of it, Linda looks a bit pale. ‘But you’re sure she’s Charlotte Richards again?’ she asks, and Chloe notices Maze slide a little closer to her across the booth. ‘Lucifer’s mother isn’t back?’

‘Well she tried to kiss Lucifer, so yeah, I’m pretty sure she’s the real Charlotte.’

Maze laughs at that and Linda visibly relaxes.

‘Good, good,’ she mutters, downing what little is left of her drink. Chloe must not be hiding her concerned look very well because once her empty glass is back on the table, Linda explains herself. ‘I, uh, I had a little run in with her not long before she left. It wasn’t pleasant.’

With a gasp, Chloe realises what she means. ‘Your burns,’ she says. Linda’s physical injuries may have healed, but Chloe knows from experience that the emotional ones take a lot longer. ‘Lucifer’s mom did that?’

Linda nods and opens her mouth to hopefully give Chloe more details, but she doesn’t get the chance. Ella chooses that exact moment to return with their drinks (and some shots which Chloe politely refuses – the room is already spinning a bit due to her earlier drinks), bringing the conversation to an abrupt end.

Another time, Chloe vows.

The four pick up their gossipy banter that they had going before Ella had left for the drinks and Chloe finds herself relaxing. She even takes that shot that Ella had brought her.

Maze had been right; she had needed this.

About half an hour later the music dies down and the lighting changes and all eyes instinctively turn towards the piano in the centre of the room. It’s time for their Lord and Master to perform and Chloe can’t help but get caught up in the anticipation.

A minute later, Lucifer walks up and sits at the piano and a hush settles over the club.

Chloe loves Lux when it’s like this. Everything and everyone stops, not even needing to be told to do so, and the atmosphere that is usually ripe with desire and sex transforms into something more serene. Something more personal.

Lucifer starts his first song. Chloe doesn’t recognise it, but she doesn’t care. The sound of his voice alone is enough to expel all the stress out of her mind and body. And if Ella and Linda notice and exchange knowing glances, well, she doesn’t really care about that either.

Once Lucifer finishes his set, the lighting changes again and the DJ turns the music back up, but Chloe doesn’t look away from the piano. Lucifer is still sitting there, polishing the surface with his pocket square. As if sensing her gaze, he looks up and their eyes meet. She sends him an encouraging smile and his whole face lights up in return. (Or maybe it’s just the alcohol making Chloe imagine it.) But then a pretty blonde in a silvery slip of a dress slides up next to him and his attention is instantly stolen.

Suddenly Chloe doesn’t feel like partying anymore.

Chapter Text

‘Happy birthday,’ says the third person that morning, and, for the third time that morning, Chloe smiles politely and thanks her co-worker. While Chloe usually loves her birthday (it’s the one day of the year where she doesn’t feel guilty for wanting attention), this year it is just a reminder of her miraculous origins. And that is something that she really doesn’t want to be reminded of. Nevertheless, she does give a genuine smile when Dan comes over to give his birthday wishes. That is, until she sees the big cake and everybody in the room starts singing Happy Birthday. Chloe covers her face with her hand for a moment, pretending to be embarrassed, but really it is to hide her cringe.

But it’s not her co-workers’ fault that she isn’t exactly in a celebratory mood this year, so she sucks it up, gives them the shy smile that they are all expecting, and leans down for the obligatory blowing out of the candles. She silently thanks Dan for not decorating the cake with the number of candles that matches her age.

But before she can even think of a wish, music starts playing from somewhere behind her. Chloe is pretty sure it’s 50 Cent. Definitely not what you would expect to hear in a police precinct. She looks up from her cake and turns to see an even bigger cake being wheeled in. But this cake is not a real one and Chloe doesn’t even have a chance to protest before a very handsome black man in a police uniform is climbing out of the top of it and ripping his shirt off.

The whole precinct – apart from Chloe and Dan – cheers.

The stripper tears off his pants and slides towards Chloe and of course Lucifer chooses this moment to appear, grinning from ear to ear. She glares at him over the stripper’s shoulder. This stunt has his fingerprints all over it. But then the stripper tries to coax her into what some people may call a dance but what Chloe calls dry humping and her attention becomes more focused on getting out of this awkward situation.

‘Make it rain, birthday girl,’ comes a shout from above, along with a bunch of one-dollar notes, and Chloe looks up to see Ella running down the steps. So, not Lucifer’s fingerprints after all.

‘Was this you?’ Chloe calls out to Ella, trying to be heard above the music.

‘Yep,’ says Ella, dancing along to said music. ‘What can I say? Big surprise, little package.’

The music is unfortunately not loud enough to drown out Lucifer’s quip about the stripper’s big package.

Ella makes her way over to Chloe, trapping her between her and the stripper, even going as far to grab her wrist to make her slap the man’s ass. Honestly, Chloe would not normally be so awkward, but they’re at work and she feels a little inappropriate. She’s just glad that Pierce is still on medical leave and is not here to witness this.

Still, no one else seems to have a problem with a dancing stripper in the middle of the precinct so Chloe tries to enjoy it. That is, until she notices Lucifer and Ella quietly slipping away towards the elevator a couple of minutes later. Chloe ignores the stripper’s attempts at regaining her attention as well as Lucifer’s protests that there is nothing to worry about and that she should be enjoying herself and slides into the elevator just before the doors close.

‘Really, Detective,’ sighs Lucifer. ‘You should stay here and enjoy Miss Lopez’s ravishing birthday present.’

‘Maybe I don’t want to,’ says Chloe, stubbornly. In all honesty, Chloe had followed Lucifer because it seemed like the perfect distraction from her birthday and all that it represents, but now, properly looking at him, she can see that something has upset him. ‘What’s happened?’ she asks him, her voice a bit gentler than before. ‘Where are you going?’

Lucifer glances briefly to Ella, who is looking very awkward. ‘To Vegas,’ he finally answers.

Ah. That explains the awkwardness.

‘I just got a phone call,’ he explains. ‘Candy is apparently missing. And, well, let’s just say there are a few unsavoury people who may wish her harm.’

And all of the hurt that had returned at the mention of that place melts away in an instant.

‘Shit. Lucifer, I’m sorry.’

Lucifer clears his throat awkwardly and looks to the elevator doors as if he’s trying to will them to open and free him from this uncomfortable conversation. After what feels like a lifetime, they do and Lucifer is out into the carpark in less than a second, Chloe quickly following him.

Ella, however, stays put. ‘I, uh, think maybe I’m gonna sit this one out after all,' she says. 'Me and Vegas, not such a great idea anyway.’ She presses the button that will take the elevator – and her – back upstairs. ‘Call me if you need me.’

The doors close and there is a moment of awkward silence before Chloe turns to Lucifer. ‘I’m coming with you,’ she says, making sure to give the impression that she is not to be argued with.

Lucifer tries anyway.

‘Really, Detective, I’ve told you-’

‘I know what you’ve told me,’ Chloe cuts him off, ‘and I also know you better than that. You don’t really want to do this alone.’

Lucifer doesn’t deny it (the Devil never lies) but he isn’t done deflecting yet. ‘Well, I wasn’t going alone, was I?’ he says. ‘Miss Lopez was quite willing to come with me until two minutes ago.’

Chloe winces. She knows that it’s her fault that Ella suddenly changed her mind, no doubt wanting to escape this awkwardness. But she’s not going to let that guilt stop her. ‘Well, now you’ve got me instead,’ she says, and she notices that Lucifer’s features soften just a little at her words. ‘And honestly, I could use the distraction.’

This confuses Lucifer. ‘Distraction? From what?’

‘From my birthday… and the fact that I’m a miracle.’

Now Lucifer is the one looking guilty, which is the last thing Chloe wants. She places her hand on his arm, startling him a bit. ‘And I want to help,’ she says, looking him in the eye so he knows she means it. ‘I know you and Candy weren’t- weren’t married for long, but that doesn’t mean that this isn’t going to be difficult for you.’

If anything, Lucifer looks even more guilty. Chloe lowers her hand, not sure of what else she can say. After what feels like forever, Lucifer finally speaks. ‘Okay,’ he agrees.

Chloe’s a little shocked that he gave in so easily when he was so adamant that she stay here, but she’s not going to dissuade him. ‘Good,’ she says, feigning confidence.

Lucifer shuffles awkwardly for a moment and then turns away from her. ‘Pack a bag just in case,’ he says as he walks towards his car. 'I'll pick you up from your place in an hour.' Chloe nods but he doesn’t turn around to see it.

Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all…

----

The car ride to Vegas does nothing to relieve Chloe’s uneasiness. Neither her or Lucifer speak apart from the occasional request to change the radio station and the one phone call that Chloe makes to her mother to cancel their dinner plans and to make sure she is still okay with having Trixie for the night. Her mother, of course, is all too thrilled to help once she finds out that Lucifer is part of Chloe’s “secret plans” as she calls them. Chloe can only imagine what her mother thinks those plans are.

And for a moment, she lets herself wish that her mother is right – that she’s being whisked away for a surprise birthday weekend with a handsome man. Chloe has never really experienced such a thing. While Dan had always remembered her birthday (he forgot a lot of other things, including their wedding anniversary, but he always remembered her birthday), he wasn’t really good at grand gestures. Even his proposal, which had been a lovely moment, had not been overly special. No, the birthday cake this morning had been about grand as Dan gets.

Which is fine. Chloe had never really held it against him and it had in no way been a contributing factor to their separation… she just sometimes wished for a little more spontaneity. Something that made her feel special.

She risks a glance at Lucifer, who is looking steadfast at the road in front of them. Lucifer would be good at grand gestures, she decides. Probably a little too good actually. And not because he has the money to do it, but because that’s who he is. He’s extravagant and loud and embraces all things desire. And, even if he doesn’t realise it, he’s utterly selfless when it really matters. It’s hidden behind the walls that he has been building around himself since probably the dawn of time, but Chloe has seen glimpses of it. The first time she had met him, he had called out Dan (and her) on arguing in front of Trixie, given Chloe a much-needed confidence boost about her police instincts, and saved her life. All in the same day.

The Devil did all that.

Chloe turns away and watches the Nevada desert rush by, reminding her of where they are going and the reasons behind the trip. She tries not to let out a sad sigh.

There’s no use fantasising about what will never be.

----

Once they get to Vegas, their first point of call is Candy’s apartment, which also turns out to be an active crime scene. Luckily, Chloe had thought to bring her credentials and the uniformed officer lets them past the police tape and into Candy’s living room. Chloe grabs Lucifer’s arm in sympathy and support when she sees the familiar pink highlights on the woman who is laying face down in her own blood.

‘I’m so sorry,’ she says as Lucifer kneels down beside his ex-wife. They can’t even see make out her facial features, the shotgun blast making them indistinguishable.

But then Lucifer is smiling, making Chloe frown. ‘Look at those dainty feet,’ he says, pointing to Candy’s bare and bruised feet. Chloe raises a questioning eyebrow. ‘Candy has ginormous feet,’ he explains and suddenly Chloe realises why he is smiling.

‘This isn’t Candy,’ she says, and she just manages to hide her own relieved smile. They can be happy later when they are not standing next to a dead girl.

A LVPD detective, who finally notices the two new arrivals at his crime scene, walks up to them before they can slip away. He introduces himself as Detective Long. Lucifer and Chloe introduce themselves, Chloe showing her credentials again. ‘Look, I know we have no jurisdiction here,’ she tells Long, ‘but, as you know, this case is a bit personal and we just wanted to see if there was anything we could do to help.’

Long is understandably suspicious as he regards the pair in front of him. ‘You can start with an alibi,’ he says, eyeing up Lucifer. ‘When I called you this morning you said you were in LA. And you don’t seem very broken up about your wife’s death.’

‘He was,’ answers Chloe, before Lucifer can correct Long about Candy’s identity. ‘You can call the precinct, there are several officers who can vouch for him.’

‘And a stripper,’ Lucifer adds, and Chloe shoots him a glare.

‘And what about yesterday afternoon?’ asks Long, obviously not convinced.

‘Oh, there are several people who can vouch for my activities at that time as well,’ says Lucifer. Chloe can tell by the mischievous hint in his voice just what sort of activities those people will be vouching for.

Chloe rolls her eyes and hands Detective Long her card. ‘My number's on there. Please let us know if you need anything else. We don’t want to get in your way, we just want justice for Candy.’

Long eyes the card for a second before putting it in his pocket. ‘Thanks. I have a feeling I will be talking to both of you again before the investigation's over.’

‘I doubt that,’ says Lucifer. ‘I mean, hanging out with a cop in Las Vegas is like bringing your grandma to an orgy.’

Chloe subtly stamps on his foot (well, as subtly as one can stomp on someone else’s foot) and thanks Long for his time before ushering Lucifer out the door. 'That hurt, Detective,’ complains Lucifer once they are down the hallway and away from LVPD ears. ‘And why didn’t you tell them about that poor woman not being Candy?’

‘Because it looks like you were right,’ says Chloe. ‘There are people out to hurt Candy, and right now they think that they’ve dealt with her. But if the police start investigating someone else’s murder…’

‘Then the killer may try and rectify their mistake,’ finishes Lucifer and Chloe nods.

‘So, and I can’t believe I’m actually suggesting this, I think we should investigate Candy’s disappearance ourselves.’

Lucifer looks positively thrilled, which Chloe’s not too sure how to react to but, hey, at least the awkwardness from the car ride is gone. ‘Why, Detective, a secret investigation right under the noses of your Las Vegas counterparts... I never knew you had it in you.’

----

They have to move quickly. It’s only a matter of time before the LVPD run a DNA test and discover that the murdered woman is not Candy. Luckily, Lucifer already has a lead. When he and Candy had first met, Candy had been in real trouble with a loan shark named Louie Pagliani – trouble that Lucifer had thought he’d sorted out, but Chloe thinks it is best to check it out anyway.

This turns out to be a good idea, as when they go to the man’s house (with a little B&E help from Lucifer), they find him dead on the floor, a shot gun laying next to him. By all accounts it looks like a suicide, but Chloe’s not so sure.

‘That blood splatter doesn’t look right,’ she tells Lucifer, silently wishing that Ella hadn’t decided to bail on them. Not that Chloe blames her for doing so, but she would have been really helpful at this moment. While Chloe has to take a few minutes to picture the “suicide” scenario in her head and work out that the trajectory of the shot would be impossible, Ella would have no doubt known it in an instant.

‘Typical Las Vegas,’ says Lucifer with a frown. ‘Even the suicides are fake.’

‘Someone trying to kill Candy and now the loan shark who almost ruined her turns up dead. This can’t be a coincidence.'

‘What are you suggesting, Detective?’ asks Lucifer, a hint of apprehension in his voice. He thinks she is accusing Candy, she realises.

He’s not totally wrong.

But Chloe is a professional and she knows that the most obvious answer is not always the right one. Plus, even though Chloe had only met her briefly, and most of that time she had spent being torn apart by hurt and jealousy, she didn’t get the impression that Candy was capable of murder.

‘I’m not suggesting anything,’ she says, answering Lucifer’s question, ‘other than the fact that the two murders may be connected. So, maybe, if we find Louie’s killer, we might find out more about where Candy is, or at least the reason why someone would want her dead.’

Lucifer visibly relaxes at her words and he turns to look around the badly decorated room they are in. His eyes fall on a portrait of a man who is supposedly meant to be Louie and a well-dressed redhead. The most captivating feature of this portrait however is the great big hole that has been blasted through it… right through portrait-Louie’s crotch.

‘Oh, dearie me. Someone's sending a painful message,’ says Lucifer.

‘Must be his wife,’ says Chloe, noticing the wedding rings. ‘And, right now, our only suspect. If Louie was going after Candy again, maybe the wife found out, misinterpreted it, and decided to take both of them out.’

Lucifer nods, obviously all too happy to go along with a lead that doesn’t involve Candy being blamed for Louie’s death. ‘Then we need to find this murderous ginger before she finds the real Candy.’ Before Chloe can stop him, he kneels down next to Louie’s body and takes out the dead man’s phone. It doesn’t take him long to find the contact for Louie’s wife, Roxie Pagliani. It’s a helpful bit of information, but Chloe wishes he had worn gloves. Now she is going to have a lot of explaining to do to the LVPD after this is all over.

Chloe sees Lucifer’s finger going for the call button and with a speed she didn’t even know she was capable of, she rushes across the room and knocks the phone out of his hand. ‘What the hell do you think you’re doing?’ she asks, trying not to yell.

Lucifer stares at his empty hand for a moment before looking up at Chloe, almost pouting. ‘Well, I was going to call Louie’s missus and ask her why she killed him, but I’m sensing that you don’t approve of my plan.’

Chloe just stares at him. ‘No!’ she finally says after it becomes apparent that Lucifer is actually waiting for confirmation. ‘Even if your desire mojo works over the phone, calling her would let her know that we are onto her and gives her plenty of time to run.’

Lucifer lets out a sigh, stands up and straightens his jacket. ‘Very well, Detective. What’s your suggestion?’

----

After a little bit of digging, Chloe discovers that Roxie works at The Moonbeam casino as a pit boss, so they’re best plan of attack is to go undercover as a couple of gamblers and hope to get her attention. Luckily, Chloe had had the foresight to pack something appropriate: a red, off-the-shoulder dress that shows a bit more leg than she is comfortable with but, hey, it’s Vegas, so she tries not to let that bother her. Besides, the look on Lucifer’s face when he sees her in it is more than enough to extinguish any insecurities she may have had about it.

‘You look beautiful, my dear,’ he says once he manages to pick his jaw up from the floor. He gives her a once over, his eyes lingering on her legs for a moment before returning to her face. His signature smirk is on his face again and Chloe’s not sure whether to blush or roll her eyes.

She ends up doing both.

Lucifer holds his arm out to her in invitation and she takes it, letting him lead them into the casino. She’s never really been much of a gambler, but she can’t help but love the atmosphere of a casino, particularly a Vegas one. Despite the fact that the majority of people who enter the building leave with considerably less money than they had when they came in, the room is filled with happiness and excitement and an inexplicable feeling of invincibility.

It doesn’t take them long to find Roxie on the blackjack floor so Chloe and Lucifer take a spare seat at a table and begin to play, hoping to flush her out.

45 minutes later, Chloe admits defeat. Despite the fact that Lucifer is doing quite well for himself, it’s not enough to get Roxie’s attention. ‘We may need a new plan,’ she whispers into his ear so's not to be overheard. She blames his momentary stutter in his game on his annoyance at their failure and waits for him to finish his hand. Once he’s done and has collected his small pile of winnings from the table, they peel off to the side of the room where they can keep an eye on Roxie without being noticed.

‘So, what’s the new plan, then?’ asks Lucifer, not taking his eyes off their suspect.

Chloe thinks for a moment before making a decision. ‘Try flirting with her,’ she says.

Lucifer looks back at her and considers her request for a moment. ‘All right,’ he finally agrees, straightening his jacket and adjusting his cuffs, somehow reminding Chloe of someone preparing for battle. ‘Wish me luck.’ He gives her a winning smile before sauntering off towards Roxie.

It’s less than 10 minutes before he returns. ‘She tell you anything?’ asks Chloe as soon as he is within earshot.

‘A little bit,’ he says as they slowly make their way through the crowds towards the exit. ‘Mainly how badly she wants the pro golfer on table four. Apparently, she’s been trying to get his attention for two days straight.’

‘Which means she’s not our killer,’ says Chloe, a little disheartened.

‘It appears not.’

Chloe squints at the unexpected sunlight as they exit the casino. That’s another thing about Vegas, as soon as you enter a building, it immediately feels like night-time. ‘So, what now?’ she asks.

Lucifer opens his mouth to answer but is cut off by a waitress from the casino tapping on his shoulder.

‘Sorry, did I forget to tip? How rude of me,’ says Lucifer, already reaching into his pocket for his wallet.

But that’s not what the waitress is after. ‘Lucifer,’ she hisses, glancing worriedly around them as if expecting someone to suddenly jump out at them at any second.

And that’s when Chloe realises who this “waitress” is. She’s wearing a wig and she’s missing the ditsy smile but it’s definitely her.

‘Candy.’

Chapter Text

‘What are you doing here?’ Candy hisses and Chloe can only stare. It’s only been two seconds but she can already tell that this woman is nothing like the bouncy, naive girl she met a few months ago. ‘You're gonna ruin everything.’

Lucifer seems to be taking a long time to answer so Chloe decides to take a little bit of control back and ushers them out from the open and towards the more crowded sidewalk where they look less conspicuous. If someone is still after Candy, they need to keep her hidden. ‘Candy, this isn’t the best place for you to be,’ she says, pushing away the old feelings of hurt that had tried to resurface at the appearance of Lucifer’s wife.

‘But this is where my killer works.’

‘You’re here for Roxie?’

‘I was until you two showed up,’ says Candy, stopping and turning to glare at the two of them (mainly Lucifer).

‘Well, I hate to disappoint,’ says Lucifer, ‘but Roxie Pagliani did not kill your look-alike.’

‘Ali,’ says Candy. She no longer looks annoyed, just incredibly sad. ‘Her name was Ali. She broke up with her boyfriend, so I said she could stay with me. I was just trying to be a good friend.’

‘I’m sorry,’ whispers Chloe and Candy gives her a watery smile of gratitude before wiping away the few tears that have formed in her eyes.

Lucifer looks awkwardly between the two of them before clearing his throat. ‘Anyway, Roxie Pagliani did not kill Ali or her husband in a jealous fit of rage. The woman's about as passionate as a protein bar.’

‘This has nothing to do with passion,’ says Candy. ‘The killer wants my father's club.’

‘Fletcher’s? How do you know that?’

‘After I found Ali dead, I noticed there was only one thing missing from my apartment. The pocket deed for Fletcher's.’

‘Whoever possesses the deed owns the club,’ says Chloe. It looks like they finally have their motive.

‘It was used as collateral when my dad borrowed money from Louie,’ continues Candy. ‘But when I went to confront him, he was already dead. So, I thought, well, maybe Louie told Roxie about the deed, and she's the one who got greedy.’

‘Sadly, no,’ says Lucifer. ‘Roxie was working at the time of the murder.’

‘But who else could've known about that deed?’

‘Well, not to worry,’ says Lucifer and Chloe’s not sure she likes the smile that is on his face. She can just tell that he has an idea that she is not going to like. ‘There's a much faster way to flush out the killer.’

‘How?’ asks Chloe, already dreading the answer.

‘Candy's still my wife. Legally, anyway,’ he quickly adds.

‘Which would trump any sort of deed,’ says Chloe, once again shoving away unwanted feelings at the mention of Lucifer’s marriage.

‘Exactly, which means Fletcher's now goes to the grieving widower, me.’

Yep, Chloe was right. She definitely didn’t like his idea.

But as much as she hated it, it was a good one.

‘Are you absolutely sure you want to put a target on your back?’ Chloe asks but there’s no need to wait for a response, his happy grin is answer enough. ‘Never mind, of course you’re sure.’

‘Come on,’ says Lucifer, already striding away. ‘Showtime.’

----

It doesn’t take long at all to organise Lucifer’s idea of a sting operation, which involves a piano, a microphone, about eight dancers in garish costumes, and the stage at Fletcher’s. Chloe and Candy wait backstage while he is getting ready to make a big show and dance (quite literally) of how he is the new owner of the club. To say Chloe is feeling awkward would be an understatement. She doesn’t have a problem with Candy herself, it’s just that whenever she looks at the woman, she’s reminded of how Lucifer left her after her poisoning.

Not exactly a happy memory.

‘It wasn’t real, you know,’ says Candy, startling Chloe out of her thoughts.

‘What- what wasn’t?’ asks Chloe, clearing her throat a little.

‘Me and Lucifer. Our marriage was strictly business; an exchange of favours, as he would say. We never even had sex.’

Chloe finally does look at her at that. ‘Really?’

‘Mmhm,' nods Candy. 'Not that I would have said no, of course, I mean, look at the man, but… I guess I just wasn’t the one he really wanted.’ She gives Chloe a knowing look and Chloe has to turn away, unable to look the other woman in the eye. She has no idea what to do with this new information and Candy’s obvious implications. But before she can ponder too much about it, Lucifer is walking up onto the stage and it’s, as he said before, showtime.

Chloe moves over to sit at the bar while Candy slowly flitters through the crowd, looking for anyone she may recognise.

As Lucifer goes through his rendition of Luck Be a Lady, Chloe can’t help but be drawn to him. Even with a stage full of beautiful women in silly costumes, he still owns the room, drawing everyone’s attention to his presence. Even the bartender can’t keep his eyes off him.

Eventually the song is over and Lucifer thanks his audience, making sure that they know he will be at the club all night, and then exits the stage.

Now they just have to wait.

----

In the end, it turns out that Candy’s not-so-faithful bartender is their killer. He had gotten himself into quite a bit of debt and was hoping selling the club – or, more accurately, the land the club is on - would rid him of it.

Candy is understandably upset - the bartender had been not only a long-term employee, but a friend – but that doesn’t stop her from offering Chloe and Lucifer drinks on the house at Fletcher’s in gratitude. Surprisingly, Lucifer refuses and simply gives Candy a hug in farewell. Chloe gives Candy a friendly nod goodbye and her and Lucifer head back towards his corvette.

But he doesn’t take the road out of Vegas like Chloe expects him too.

‘It’s going to be well past midnight by the time we get back to LA,’ he explains at Chloe’s confused look. ‘I was thinking we should probably get a hotel and head back in the morning. You look absolutely knackered.’

Chloe eyes him warily, waiting for an innuendo or sexual remark, but she gets neither. Instead, Lucifer’s concern seems genuine, so she agrees to his suggestion, even letting him choose the hotel (on the condition that there are two separate beds, of course).

Chloe can’t help but feel she understands Lucifer a little bit better after this whole ordeal. And now that she knows that his marriage to Candy had been a mutually-beneficial arrangement (not that she understands what those benefits were), the hurt has lessened a great deal. Plus, the knowledge of who he really is means that his weird reactions to feelings make a little more sense and she understands a bit more about why he had run away just when they had been getting close. It had been too much for him and he had gotten scared.

She idly wonders if Lucifer has ever been in love before. Can the Devil even fall in love? She suddenly finds herself desperately wanting to find out before she quickly reins herself in. Love might be going a bit far for whatever Lucifer may or may not feel for her. He cares about her, sure. Lusts after her, definitely. But love? Chloe isn’t so sure, despite what Candy had implied back at the club.

But, looking at him now as he drives through the brightly lit Las Vegas streets, Chloe finds that she is happy with what they have. They're partners, and she can't ask for more than that even if she sometimes wishes that she could.

Suddenly a thought strikes her and she lets out a little giggle. Lucifer quirks an eyebrow. ‘Something funny?’ he asks.

‘Nothing,’ says Chloe shaking her head. ‘I just realised that I’m literally riding shotgun with the Devil.’ She dissolves into another small fit of giggles and this time Lucifer smiles with her.

----

The hotel Lucifer chooses is of course 5 star and the suite he gets them is far too luxurious for somewhere they will only be using for sleeping. Chloe asks him about the price but he waves her concerns away, assuring her that the room is well worth the cash. They fall into a comfortable silence as they both get settled in. Chloe sits down on the couch and is contemplating turning on the TV for a little bit before going to bed but Lucifer’s voice interrupts her.

‘Thank you,’ he says, sitting down next to her. ‘For your help today. I know it must have been... difficult, and, well, I appreciate it.’

Chloe smiles softly at him. ‘No need to thank me. I’m always here for you, you know that.’

‘I think I'm starting to,’ says Lucifer before clearing his throat awkwardly as if he hadn’t meant to let that sentence slip out.

Chloe decides to spare him from having to say anything further about it by raising a topic she has been curious about since Candy had showed up. ‘So, I couldn’t help but notice that Candy is a lot… different than when I first met her.’

‘Smarter, you mean,’ says Lucifer. So much for tact, then.

Chloe can only nod guiltily. She doesn’t mean to judge, honestly, she doesn’t, but the Candy that Lucifer had married had practically had “bimbo barbie” written on her forehead.

‘Yes, well, that whole “dumb blonde” act was purely for my mother’s benefit,’ he explains.

‘That was her part of the deal,’ Chloe whispers, mainly to herself but it catches Lucifer’s attention. ‘Candy may have mentioned that your marriage was sort of a… business arrangement or something.’

Lucifer looks conflicted, like he’s not sure if he wants to tell Chloe just what the “arrangement” entailed. Chloe doesn’t push, she knows better than that, she just waits patiently for Lucifer to decide on what he is willing to tell her. He’s been opening himself up a bit more since she discovered the Truth, but she can tell that he’s still holding back a lot. She can only hope that one day he will trust her enough to tell her everything.

‘My mother, as you know, was a smart and distrustful woman,’ he finally says. ‘She was also very manipulative, something her and Dad had in common, and I wanted to throw a spanner in their works, so to speak. That spanner was Candy. The marriage, her hiding her intelligence, it was all to try and get Mum to let her guard down a bit, to try and get her to reveal a bit more of her plan.’

‘Did it work?’ asks Chloe, barely above a whisper, as if she’s afraid that talking too loud will bring Lucifer’s walls back up.

‘In a way,’ he answers but doesn’t elaborate.

‘Thank you for telling me,’ she says, still in a whisper. He may have finished talking about his Mum and his marriage to Candy, but he still hasn’t shut her out completely. And Chloe is nothing if not an opportunist. ‘So, what other adventures have you been going on during our cases?’ She says it lightly, trying to make a joke out of it instead of showing her desperate need to understand.

It works and Lucifer chuckles a little. ‘I’m afraid that’s going to take more than just one conversation,' he says. 'There’s been rather a few.’

‘So we’ll take it slowly,’ says Chloe, eager not to lose her chance. ‘One case at a time.’

Lucifer regards her for a moment before settling back into the couch, getting comfortable. ‘Very well,’ he says and Chloe smiles at her victory as she settles herself against the couch next to him. ‘So, I suppose we should start at the beginning, our first case together, Delilah’s murder.’ He swallows heavily at that, his Adam’s apple bobbing, and Chloe waits for him to compose himself. As much as Lucifer had denied it at the time, she knows that he had felt somewhat responsible for his friend’s death.

‘Well, actually there’s probably not much of that one that you haven’t worked out for yourself already,’ he continues at last. ‘You were right to be suspicious about me surviving all those bullets. As I told you then, it was because I am immortal. Same thing for when Jimmy shot at me later when you…’ His eyes gloss over a bit as he relives the memory. Chloe remembers it too. It was the first time on the job that she had thought that she was actually going to die.

With a shake of his head, Lucifer brings himself out of the memory. ‘Anyway, the important thing is that we both survived. Jimmy’s bout of insanity, of course, was down to me. He didn’t handle my Devil face very well.’

Chloe remembers that too. The way Jimmy had banged his head against his cell, screaming about the Devil. She isn’t sure if she approves of what Lucifer had done to him, but she understands why he did it.

‘Oh, and I should probably mention that I gave that girl at the Spawn’s school rather a fright,’ he adds. ‘The one who made the nasty Snapchat. I didn’t give her the full effect, of course, I would never put a child through that, but I gave her just enough to hopefully scare the little cretin straight.’

Chloe isn’t sure how she feels about that either… but she does know one thing, she is strangely grateful. ‘You did that for Trixie?' she says. 'Even before you knew her properly?’

Lucifer looks awkward now. ‘Yes, well… don’t look too much into it. Sinners have to be punished.’

He may say that, but Chloe can see through his charade. Linda is right about him; he doesn’t just punish the guilty, he seeks justice for the innocent as well. Chloe is, of course, smart enough not to voice this to Lucifer. ‘Well, whatever the reason,’ she says, ‘Trixie didn’t have any problems with bullying after that, so thank you.’

Lucifer still looks awkward but gives a small nod, accepting her thanks.

Chloe thinks back on the other things he has just told her and realises that there is one thing that doesn’t fit. ‘Hold on,’ she says, ‘You got shot, multiple times, and didn’t die because you’re immortal, I get that… but the bullets didn’t even leave a mark, but I know you can bleed. I’ve seen it. How does that work?’

Lucifer is back to looking uncomfortable and for a brief moment, Chloe worries that he isn’t going to answer her.

‘It seems that my immortality has become a bit more… complicated since I met you,’ he says. ‘As I’ve said once before, you make me vulnerable. I mean that in the literal sense. When I’m near you, I can bleed. I’m more… mortal.’

Chloe just stares at him for a few moments, trying to wrap her head around what she has just been told.

She makes the Devil mortal? How? Why?

‘Is it something to do with me being a miracle?’ she asks. She hates to bring that particular topic back up, but she has to know.

Unfortunately, Lucifer can’t give her a definitive answer. ‘I don’t know,’ he says. ‘I mean, I have to assume it is and it’s all part of Dad’s grand plan, but, as Linda has told me many times, I’m just guessing.’

Chloe nods, filing the information away to deal with at a later date when she has much more wine available. But there’s still one more question she needs answered.

‘But if I literally make you vulnerable - make you killable – why didn’t you leave? You didn’t have to keep working with me.’

Lucifer shrugs. ‘Well at first I didn’t realise what was causing it and by the time I did… Well, I just couldn’t stay away, I guess.’ They smile softly at one another for a second before Lucifer coughs awkwardly and puts his walls back up, much to Chloe’s disappointment. ‘Life is considerably less interesting without you, Detective,’ he says, looking away from her. ‘And besides, you lot seem to cope with it okay.’

Chloe starts to speak but doesn’t get a chance before Lucifer is practically jumping off of the couch. ‘Speaking of getting shot,' he says as he makes his way to his overnight bag. He pulls out a small box that very much looks like it contains jewellery, and comes back to sit on the couch. ‘I apologise for my tardiness,’ he says, handing her the box. ‘But we were rather occupied today.’

Chloe takes the box and slowly unwraps the ribbon, her eyes occasionally drifting over to where Lucifer sits nervously. She honestly hadn’t expected him to get her a birthday present. ‘Thank you,’ she whispers.

Finally, she gets the box open and pulls out the necklace that is inside. She dangles it in the air in front of her. ‘Lucifer, it’s beautiful,’ she gasps. ‘But what does it have to do with… wait, is this a bullet?’

‘Not a bullet,’ says Lucifer, pointing to the pendant of the necklace that is definitely the remains of a bullet. ‘The bullet. From when you shot me, remember? In the warehouse early in our partnership.’

Chloe nods and let’s out a small huff of laughter. She doesn’t think that anyone has ever given her a gift so strange… or so personal. ‘I remember,’ she says, still staring at the pendant as it spins in the air, catching the light.

‘Well, I thought since I'll never likely penetrate you, I'd commemorate the one time you penetrated me,’ says Lucifer and Chloe can’t help the laughter that bursts out of her. Lucifer chuckles too, but he still looks nervous. ‘So, uh, happy birthday, Detective.’

Without thinking, Chloe opens her arms, inviting him in for a hug. It takes him a few seconds, but he eventually shuffles over and leans into her embrace, wrapping his own arms around her waist. Chloe leans her head on his shoulder and feels him do the same to her. It’s the closest that they have been since Chloe found out who he really is, and she can’t help but think that it feels so right to hold him like this, to have the Devil in her arms. It feels like a great weight has been lifted off her chest and she can finally breathe again, and she knows that despite the awkwardness that has surrounded them the last few weeks, they are going to be okay.

That night, Chloe has the best night sleep she has had in months.

Chapter Text

‘I can’t believe you’ve never done this before,’ says Chloe, lying beside Lucifer on the rug of her living room floor. And she is truly surprised. Lucifer is older than Chloe likes to think about… how can there be anything he hasn’t tried? Let alone this.

‘Well, I’ve heard it can take hours,’ Lucifer replies. ‘I’m not sure even I have the endurance for that.’ He waggles his eyebrows suggestively like he usually does whenever he refers to his “tremendous stamina” and Chloe tries not to blush.

‘Don’t worry, I’ll help you,’ says Trixie, finishing setting up the Monopoly board. ‘I’ll be the top hat.’

Chloe had realised a couple of days ago that she hadn’t let Lucifer properly near Trixie since she found out the Truth about him. She hadn’t been doing it on purpose, but she now knows that it hadn’t been fair on either him or Trixie. So, with that in mind, she had invited him to their monthly game night. And it had taken surprisingly little to talk the Devil into a night of board games, karaoke and face painting.

Not that Lucifer has succumbed to Trixie’s pleas to paint his face yet, but the night is still young.

‘I will be the race car,’ says Chloe, bringing herself back to the present and picking up her playing piece. ‘Because I’m gonna leave you both in the dust.’

Lucifer sorts through the remaining pieces, trying to decide on one. ‘Wheelbarrow, shoe… guess I'm gonna have to be the shot glass. Cheers.’

Chloe laughs and takes the upside-down playing piece from his hand. ‘That's a thimble.’

Lucifer’s smile disappears. ‘What? I want to conquer real estate, not mend socks.’

‘So then be the shoe,’ says Trixie.

‘Please, I am not a shoe. Clearly, I'm a top hat, so come on, hand it over.’ He holds out his hand, expecting Trixie to give him the piece.

‘You want it?’ asks Trixie, holding up the top hat teasingly, ‘It’s gonna cost ya.’

Lucifer looks impressed. ‘Oh. Well, name your price, urchin,’ he says as he picks up his wad of Monopoly money.

‘Oh, I'm not talking fake money.’

Chloe knows she should probably berate Trixie for her extortion but, honestly, she is too proud. If Lucifer wants to be the top hat so bad, let him pay for it. Which he does. With a real $50 note.

He is going to be so bad at this game.

After an hour or two, Chloe is proven absolutely right. She and Trixie manage to send Lucifer bankrupt very easily and he loses spectacularly and with little dignity (though he doesn’t flip the board so as Monopoly games go, he handles it pretty well). Trixie wins the game, like she usually does, and Chloe sits back while she watches the pair of them negotiate the terms of what it will cost Lucifer for Trixie’s silence to Maze about him being beaten by a nine-year-old.

With a reluctant sigh Lucifer agrees to let Trixie paint his face but is quick to ensure that part of the deal is that Trixie doesn’t tell Maze about this bit either. With an evil smile, Chloe realises that neither of them have mentioned anything about her telling Maze about it. She wonders if she can sneak a quick picture as well but decides against it. There’s no way Lucifer wouldn’t notice.

After Trixie has finished painting the sparkly unicorn on Lucifer’s face (he had requested Bruce Lee mid-fly kick but that had understandably been a bit too intricate for Trixie) and Lucifer has finished with his obligatory grumbling about his reputation, they set up the karaoke. Lucifer obviously enjoys this part of the evening, even if he is mostly limited to Disney songs. Trixie joins in but Chloe decides to sit this one out, happy with just watching the pair of them singing I Just Can't Wait to be King.

All in all, the night goes better than Chloe could have hoped for and when Lucifer leaves, he leaves with a smile on his lips and a unicorn still on his cheek. He seems to have forgotten all about it. Chloe doesn’t remind him.

Over the next couple of days, she will almost wish that she did.

----

‘So, in the end I had to go with a whole different floral arrangement that is nowhere near as good as the one I had originally asked for, and they won’t even give me a discount! I swear, if it wasn’t for the fact that the funeral is in two days, I would have told them where they can stick their crappy flowers.’

Chloe just nods along as Linda wraps up her rant. She’s been doing this for the past 45 minutes but she honestly doesn’t mind. After all the times Linda has been there for her while she had been dealing with her new-found celestial knowledge, the least she can do is return the favour. Reese Getty, Linda’s ex-husband, had died a few days ago, poisoned by a serial killer that they had been trying to catch for the past year or so, and, for some unknown reason, Linda has taken it upon herself to arrange his funeral and wake.

And it hasn’t been going well apparently.

Linda heaves a great sigh and it looks like she has finally come to end of her list of things that have gone wrong in the past few days. ‘So,’ she says, visibly more relaxed, ‘you’ve been here for nearly a full hour and haven’t mentioned Lucifer once.’

‘My life does not revolve solely around Lucifer,’ says Chloe, a little defensively.

‘No,’ Linda concedes, ‘but he is a big part of it, and it is only natural for you to want to confide in the only person who even remotely understands what you are going through with the whole Heaven-and-Hell-is-real thing.’

‘True…’ says Chloe, wondering if Linda is actually a mind-reader and can sense that she has something on her mind. But that’s not what this visit had been about. She is here because she had thought that Linda could use some support. ‘But I’m not here for me. I’m here for you.’

Linda smiles fondly at her. ‘Thanks, but honestly, I could use a distraction.’ And just like that, she goes from “professional therapist” to “gossipy girlfriend”. ‘So, come on, you must have some details for me. How is it going with you two now that you’re over the initial shock?’

Chloe rolls her eyes and thinks that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to introduce Linda to Ella. But honestly, it’s nice to have friends that she can talk about this stuff with. ‘I think I may have spooked him a bit,’ she admits, and Linda’s brow furrows.

‘Spooked him? How?’

Chloe gives Linda a brief overview of the previous night with Lucifer and Trixie. ‘And he enjoyed it. I know he did even if he doesn’t admit it, but… I don’t know. Something must have changed because now he keeps going overboard trying to prove that he is a top hat and not a shoe.’

‘A shoe?’

‘It’s a Monopoly thing,’ she explains. ‘The shoe playing piece being boring, while the top hat, not.’ At Linda’s nod of understanding, she continues. ‘Anyway, I think it was all a bit too domestic for him.’

Linda is silent for a minute, seemingly thinking the situation over, but then the sound of her phone echoes through the room and she groans in frustration before giving Chloe an apologetic look. ‘Sorry, but I had better take this,’ she says before standing up and answering the call.

Judging by Linda’s steadily growing anger and panic as she talks to whoever is on the other end of the line, Chloe figures that something else has gone wrong with Reese’s funeral arrangements. Nothing major by the sounds of it, but Linda is still intent on making a big deal about it.

About a minute or two into the call, a soft rapping sounds from the door and Amenadiel walks in. He looks to Linda, who is threatening to send whoever she is talking to to Hell, and then back to Chloe. He raises a questioning eyebrow. Chloe just shakes her head as if to say don’t ask and they fall into an awkward silence. It’s the first time that Chloe has seen Amenadiel since she found out that he is (or at least used to be) an angel and she has no idea how to act. What exactly do you say to the being that ensured your entire existence?

Thankfully, Linda picks the perfect time to end her phone call, sparing Chloe from trying to figure it out.

‘So sorry about that. Amenadiel, hi.’

‘Hi Linda,’ Amenadiel returns the greeting in a soft voice. He has obviously heard about Reese so Chloe decides that it is safe to leave Linda in his (hopefully) capable hands.

‘Well, I’ll leave you two to catch up,’ she says, giving her friend one last hug. ‘Call me if you need anything.’

Linda nods her thanks. ‘Will do. Good luck with the party.’

Chloe lets out a huff of laughter. ‘Thanks. I’m gonna need it.’

A body of a young woman, Kim Jones, had been discovered that morning and all leads point to a high-end dating app which Kim had hacked to get herself a profile. And said dating app is hosting a mixer tonight which their main suspect (the only match Kim had gotten) has RSVP’d to attend. All of this means that now Chloe has some undercover work to go get ready for. Lucifer had of course insisted he go to the mixer instead, as he is much more the app’s clientele, but their suspect is (by all accounts) a straight man, which means that they need a woman.

They need a female Lucifer – Lucinda, as Lucifer had put it.

Chloe’s not sure if she can pull it off… but she has a good idea of where to start.

----

Lucifer fidgets as he waits for Chloe’s car to show up. He still thinks it should be him going in – whether their suspect is straight or not – but at least he will still be nearby, talking Chloe through it step by step. Not that he doubts her abilities, acting or otherwise, it’s just that this undercover job will require actual flirting, something which the Detective is terribly out of practice with.

He ignores the happy little feeling that gives him.

After what feels like an eternity but is actually only a couple minutes, a black car pulls up and Lucifer opens the door to let Chloe out.

And he instantly has to pick his jaw up from the floor. She looks stunning. There’s just no other word for it. The suit she wears may not be Armani, but it’s clearly not some no-name brand picked out off the rack at Target. The fabric fits her, well, may not perfectly, but it does show off her slim frame nicely, and the make up she wears is light but still enough to enhance her already beautiful features.

‘My, my, Detective,’ he says, ‘you look…’

‘Like a female Lucifer?’ Chloe finishes and Lucifer huffs out a laugh.

‘Close enough,’ he mutters before digging into his pockets and pulling out the ear bug. He hands it to Chloe, who whines about it but takes it nonetheless.

‘From what we know about our killer, blue-eyed sushi snob who loves surfing and splooshing, I'd say you're a bit out of your comfort zone,’ says Lucifer, ‘so you're going to need to bring Lucinda's A game.’

‘You mean your A game,’ says Chloe.

‘Absolutely. Oh, and while we're at it, do you need a refresher on "splooshing"? It's very simple. You just cover yourself in-’

‘No, no,’ Chloe interrupts. ‘Stop. I’m good. I’m good.’ She looks down at the necklace hanging around her neck – the birthday present that brings a smile to Lucifer’s face every time he sees her wearing it – and, to his horror, starts to take it off.

‘What? You don’t want to wear it?’ he asks as she hands it to him. He tries not to let the disappointment show in his voice.

‘It’s a bit eye-grabbing and I don’t really want to answer any questions about why I’m wearing a bullet around my neck,’ says Chloe. ‘Keep it safe for me?’

The tightness in Lucifer’s chest relaxes a bit as he realises that she doesn’t want to wear it for practical reasons, and that she fully intends to put it back on later. ‘Of course, Detective,’ he says, carefully putting the precious piece of metal in his breast pocket.

Chloe suddenly reaches for the same pocket, and for a moment Lucifer thinks she has changed her mind, but instead she grabs his pocket square and puts it in her own breast pocket, albeit not as neatly as it should be. ‘There,’ she says, straightening her jacket and flicking her hair back. ‘I’m ready.’

Lucifer can’t help but smile appreciatively. ‘Yes, you are.’

----

“Ready” may have been a bit presumptuous, Lucifer thinks as he is sitting in the stake-out van with Dan, headphones on, listening to Chloe order her first drink. She’s only been in there two minutes and he’s already having to interfere.

‘No, no, no, no, no, no. Not beer. Prosecco.’

‘But I hate Prosecco,’ complains Chloe through the microphone.

Dan just shakes his head, quietly chuckling.

Lucifer pointedly ignores him.

‘Well, tough luck. Lucinda loves it.’

Once the drink debacle is sorted out and crisis is averted, Chloe notifies them of a possible suspect approaching her. ‘Right. Whatever he says to you, just laugh,’ Lucifer tells her.

‘Hey there,’ says a male voice. Lucifer instantly decides that he doesn’t like whoever it belongs to.

Chloe makes a sound that can only be described as a demented witch on crack (and Lucifer has no qualms telling her this), and then introduces herself as ‘Lucinda’. Unsurprisingly, their possible suspect does not stick around long after that.

Dan’s quiet chuckling has moved on to proper laughter now and Lucifer shoots him a glare. ‘Beginner’s bad luck,’ he insists. ‘Look, it's hard to do justice to my captivating essence, but she'll get the hang of it. Don't be such a Debbie Downer, Daniel.’

Chloe’s next conversation goes a bit better, but she still manages to weird the guy out enough for him to move on to the next girl. Lucifer thinks that he still might be able to salvage this, but then Chloe announces a plan to “change tactics” and the microphone suddenly cuts out. (But not before they hear a suspicious plop, making Lucifer suspect that she has dropped the ear bug in her drink.)

Well, this certainly won’t do.

‘Maybe she’ll do better on her own,’ says Dan.

‘Don't be ridiculous, Daniel,’ says Lucifer, irritably. ‘She'll flounder without my expert guidance.’ After all, he is the top hat in this partnership, no matter what Amenadiel had said earlier. He is not becoming boring.

But then again, he is sitting in the back of a van with Daniel without so much as a drink in his hand. And it does not get much more boring than that.

‘I’m clearly needed on the front lines,' he decides, turning to face Dan. 'You just stay here and do what you do best. Nada.’

Lucifer doesn’t wait for Dan’s reply before quickly standing up (well, as much as the small van will allow him to anyway) and heading out towards the club. It’s easy enough for him to convince the doorman to let him in and within minutes he is weaving through well-dressed singles, trying not give any the impression that he may be interested in them. A couple of them still try to engage him of course, but he easily rebuffs them and continues on his search for the Detective.

Eventually he spies her across the room, speaking to a handsome man who is clearly very interested in her. Something in Lucifer’s chest tightens at the sight.

After taking a moment to compose himself, he marches over to their table.

‘Hi, Lucifer,’ says Chloe before he can even open his mouth. She gestures to the man beside her. ‘This is Benji. He just had four pieces of sashimi, and we just started talking about surfing.’

‘Oh, lovely,’ says Lucifer, not at all hiding the fact that he doesn’t care. ‘Now, I insist you put your mic back in immediately. We can't hear a thing in the truck.’

In retrospect, that probably wasn’t the best thing to say. Almost as soon as the words are out of Lucifer’s mouth, Benji makes a run for it. Chloe spares a second to glare at Lucifer before they both chase after him.

When they get out of the door to the club, they find that Benji has been slowed down by the paparazzi outside (who all seem to want his picture), giving Dan enough time to block off his exit. ‘You have to save me from them,’ Benji tells him, pointing back to Lucifer and Chloe.

Dan just gives him a look and then pulls out his badge. ‘Uh, yeah. They're with me.’ He looks up at Lucifer. ‘Not bad for "nada", huh?’

Lucifer can’t help but agree.

Not that he actually tells Dan that, of course.

‘Wait, she's a cop?’ asks Benji, looking over at Chloe.

‘Detective Decker, LAPD,’ Chloe nods. ‘We want to talk to you about a murder.’

‘You're not paparazzi?’ He seems to have missed the whole murder part of Chloe’s sentence. ‘Oh, thank God.’

Lucifer lets out a sigh. ‘The things Dad gets credit for.’

----

Benji is not the murderer. He’s just a (mildly) famous guy who met a nice girl who he wanted to keep seeing.

A top hat who fell in love with a shoe.

Chloe hopes that this will put an end to Lucifer’s absurd notion that being “boring” once in a while is the most terrible thing in the world, but, alas, she is not that lucky.

‘Detective, I think I've been spending too much time with you,’ he says after they have been back to question Kim’s roommate again and have found out that she is not nearly as interesting as she had made out to be in her first interview. ‘It's turned my top hat radar rusty.’

‘What?’ asks Chloe.

‘No offence, but you are a shoe in top hat’s clothing.’ He grimaces when he realises how ridiculous he sounds but he quickly recovers. ‘The point is, I think I need to go and hang out with some interesting people before you turn me into a shoe.’

Chloe watches him walk away, trying not to feel hurt by his words. She had never meant to “cramp his style” or whatever he thinks she has done to him.

Once she is sure that Lucifer is not coming back, she squares her shoulders, pushes down her unwanted emotions, and gets back into her car. She has a case to solve. She can worry about Lucifer later.

----

With some unexpected help from Charlotte Richards (who for some reason has been hanging around the precinct a lot these past couple of days) Chloe discovers that the reason Kim had hacked into the dating app so easily is because she had created it. The owner, a man named Mack Slater, whom they had interviewed the previous day, is just a poster boy – a nice-looking face to sell the app and bring in customers.

And he is also looking like their killer.

Charlotte suggests that Mack probably took the murder weapon – one of Kim’s dumbbells that is missing from her apartment – home with him and has hidden it there. Chloe agrees. They need a warrant so that they can search his place.

But, as Charlotte points out, they are unlikely to get one with what little evidence they have.

Chloe remembers how interested Mack was in her during their interview. Maybe a bit more undercover work is in order.

And a bit more flirting.

----

Fortunately, the flirting goes well. She barely has to bat her eyelashes at Mack and he is letting her into his house. Unfortunately, she is there for all of ten minutes before the doorbell rings again and Lucifer walks in, rambling on about a gentlemen’s weekend in Vegas.

When Lucifer spots her, he looks genuinely shocked to see her, squashing any ideas Chloe had about him coming here to help her with the case. She once again pushes down the hurt of realising that Lucifer would rather spend a weekend away with a complete stranger (and not even one he intends to sleep with) rather than hang out with her.

‘I'm afraid you're going to have to leave, Detective,’ he tells her, and Chloe focuses all her energy on keeping her composure. It would not do well for the case if she were to burst into tears… or punch Lucifer in the face. ‘I'm trying to kick off a Most Interesting Bachelors' Bacchanalian here.’

‘You leave,’ she hisses back at him before she reminds herself of the composure thing. She plasters a smile back on her face and bats her eyelids at Mack again for good measure. ‘I’m having fun.’

‘Something going on between you two?’ asks Mack, eyeing them both warily. Chloe and Lucifer are quick to deny it and Chloe is not surprised to feel the stab of disappointment that follows.

Still, their answer seems to be good enough for Mack and he goes to grab a beer while Chloe and Lucifer decide on who is going to stay. ‘Well, I didn't have him pegged for your type,’ says Lucifer once he is gone. ‘I thought you preferred them boring.’

And there’s that pang of hurt again. She’s not that bad, is she?

Although, he is right about one thing: Mack is definitely not her type.

‘I am here looking for the murder weapon, Lucifer,’ she tells him, angrily. Now that Mack is gone, she can drop her act.

‘What, so now you think Mack's the killer?’ Lucifer chuckles. ‘You're just profiling fabulous people, aren't you? Enough with this crusade against us already.’

‘Mack isn't fabulous. Kim created Top Meet. He stole it.’

Lucifer’s smile falls. ‘What? Another phoney?’

Chloe nods.

Lucifer lets out a sigh of disappointment. ‘I suppose that explains the self-aggrandising artwork,’ he says, and it is obvious that he is re-thinking his gentlemen’s weekend away so Chloe takes the opportunity to ask him for his help finding the murder weapon.

‘Okay, fine, in my experience, it's usually in the toilet,’ says Lucifer.

‘Oh, I checked there,’ says Chloe, looking around the room for inspiration of where else Mack could have hidden the dumbbell.

‘Uh, freezer?’

‘It’s not there either.’

‘Well, the fireplace, then,’ says Lucifer, pointing to said fireplace.

Chloe’s shoulders drop. 'Oh, Lucifer. There's no way,’ she says, but she goes to check anyway. ‘I mean, could he really be dumb enough to-’ Her hand hits something solid just inside of the fireplace. Chloe’s eyes widen as she pulls out the bloody dumbbell. Lucifer gives her a look as if to say I told you so.

The sound of gun clicking suddenly draws their attention away from the dumbbell and they slowly turn around to see Mack pointing the much more dangerous weapon at them. ‘Decided against the beer because A: carbs,’ he says. ‘and B: two cops showing up at my house on the same day. Uh, figured that must not be a coincidence. Still think I’m dumb?’

‘Basic deduction doesn't make you a genius, Mack,’ says Chloe. ‘But then again, you're used to taking more credit than you deserve.’

‘Yes, Mack,’ agrees Lucifer. ‘Or should I say Hack?’ There’s an awkward pause. ‘Waste of a pun. You're gonna have to spell it out for him, Detective.’

Chloe fights the urge to roll her eyes. ‘We know that Kim created Top Meet,’ she tells Mack.

‘Oh, yeah?’ says Mack, jabbing the gun angrily in their direction. ‘You know she was also gonna destroy it, too? She sneaks onto the site, goes on one good date, and then wants to make the app more accessible. So stupid!’

‘What's stupid about thinking someone deserves to be loved for who they really are?’ says Chloe. She doesn’t dare look at Lucifer. She knows that that statement will hit home for him, but at the moment the same rings true for her and she doesn’t want him to see the hurt in her eyes. ‘Kim was the brains, Mack. You were just the face.’

‘Just the face? Kim was Wozniak. I'm Jobs. No one gives a crap about Wozniak.’

‘Oh, please,’ scoffs Lucifer. ‘What you are is a fraud. Which, unfortunately, makes you boring. And predictable. Watch.’ And before Chloe can stop him, he grabs a stone bust of Mack’s head and, after a couple more digs at Mack’s intelligence, throws it in the air.

Incredibly, Mack is as dumb and predictable as Lucifer claims and he instantly drops the gun and dives for the bust, catching it before it smashes on his hard floors. Chloe wastes no time in grabbing the gun and then her handcuffs.

‘Today interesting enough for you?’ she asks Lucifer as she cuffs Mack. He has that pleased smile on his face and it is giving Chloe hope that maybe he has changed his mind about how boring it is to hang out with her.

‘Well, beats Monopoly.’

Chloe’s hope dies a painful death at his words. Sure, he’s still obviously enjoying how the day ended up, but it’s because of the case, not her. She’s still boring Chloe Jane Decker.

----

It’s not long before uniform arrive and take Mack away. Chloe is more than grateful. She hasn’t said a word since Lucifer’s last dig at her social life (or lack there of) and she knows it’s starting to get a little awkward.

‘Is something wrong, Detective?’ asks Lucifer, running after her as she makes her way to her car.

Chloe wants to say that she’s fine, but she knows better than to lie to Lucifer Morningstar. And she needs to get out at least a little bit of this hurt that has been festering inside of her for the past day and a half. ‘You didn’t have to come to game night, you know,’ she says, turning to face him. He looks confused.

‘I’m afraid I’m not following.’

‘The other night with Trixie and Monopoly, you didn’t have to come if you hate that sort of thing so much. But I love game nights with my daughter. And if that makes me a shoe, then I’m a shoe. And if that bothers you, or if it cramps your style, then I’m sorry. I won’t do it again. We don’t have to hang out socially if you don’t want to.’ She clears her throat to try and get rid of the lump that has formed. ‘Anyway, I had better get going. Trixie will be home by now. I’ll let you get back to hanging out with more interesting people. Don’t want you turning into a shoe like me, do we?’

She can feel Lucifer’s eyes on her as she walks away but she doesn’t turn around, not even at his calls of ‘Detective!’ If being a woman amongst the “boys in blue” (and a precinct pariah to boot) has taught her anything, it’s that you never let them see your pain.

----

That night after dinner, Chloe asks Trixie for an impromptu game night (just the game this time, though - she’s too exhausted for karaoke and face painting).

‘But we just had one,’ says Trixie, quizzically.

‘I know,’ says Chloe. ‘But who says we can’t have another? Unless you’d rather do your homework…’

Trixie can’t change her tune fast enough. ‘I’ll go choose something to play,’ she says, running to the cupboard that houses all the board games. Chloe chuckles softly to herself. That was too easy.

Trixie still has her head buried in the games cupboard when the doorbell rings. Chloe’s brows furrow as she goes to answer it. She isn’t expecting anyone. Especially not at this hour. And Maze is out bounty hunting so it’s unlikely that it is one of her… visitors.

It’s probably a neighbour, she decides, letting herself relax.

It’s not a neighbour.

When Chloe opens the door, she sees a sheepish looking Lucifer standing there. And he’s holding a brand new Monopoly set, still in the packaging. He doesn’t say anything, but he doesn’t have to. Chloe recognises the apology for what it is.

‘Trixie!’ she yells. ‘You can stop looking now. I found something.’

She steps aside and lets Lucifer inside. Trixie surfaces from the mass of board games that she has piled around her, and her face lights up as soon as she sees who has joined them. ‘Lucifer!’ she shouts, and she rushes over to give him his usual welcome. He manages to avoid the oncoming hug by shoving the Monopoly box into her arms instead.

‘Hello, urchin,’ he says. ‘I hope you don’t mind but I brought my own game this time.’

Chloe takes a closer look at the box in Trixie’s hands and sees that this is the UK version of Monopoly. The one in her own cupboard is the American one.

‘I don’t mind,’ says Trixie, taking the game to the living room, abandoning the mess she has made by the cupboard. Chloe decides that just this once she will let it slide.

When the game is all set up, Lucifer surprises Chloe for the second time that night. ‘The shoe?’ she asks, looking at the playing token he has chosen.

‘Well, it turns out, that you can be a shoe and still be interesting,’ he says, giving her a meaningful look. She just smiles back at him, a warm feeling spreading through her chest.

Maybe they aren’t so different after all.

Chapter Text

The next couple of weeks at work are pretty uneventful (apart from Charlotte Richards suddenly deciding to take a job in the District Attorney’s office, meaning that she will now be helping to put bad guys in jail instead of helping them escape justice), so Chloe takes Lucifer’s - and Dan’s, and Linda’s and… well pretty much everybody’s - advice to take some time off.

While she does get some time to relax, she ends up spending most of it comforting Maze. Apparently Amenadiel and Linda have been seeing each other behind Maze’s back, even after Maze told Linda how uncomfortable it made her feel. Chloe’s not sure what the big deal is, but it matters to Maze so she is happy to be there for her friend.

It turns out that being there for Maze involves a lot of drinking, shooting ranges, and avoiding the issue altogether.

And so that is how Chloe finds herself in the middle of the woods watching Maze throw her knives at random trees. She does feel a bit bad for subjecting the trees to Maze’s wrath, but hey, her apartment walls have done their duty.

‘Uh huh,’ says Chloe, nodding along to Dan’s retelling of his latest case. She’s not sure if the surprisingly good phone reception is a blessing or a curse. Apparently Dan had gotten to go undercover as a surfer and had joined a group in a paddle-out ceremony to honour the victim and as happy as she is that he got to experience that (she knows how much he loves surfing), she’s not exactly sure that it warrants a random phone call in the middle of her time away from work.

She suspects that he just wants someone other than Pierce to talk to.

‘Anyway, I don’t think it was them,’ says Dan, finishing his tale. Chloe silently agrees with him. From what Dan has just told her about the surfer group, they don’t seem the type to go as far as murder.

‘What made you think it was them to begin with?’ she asks.

‘Well, it was their M.O, even if it went further than their usual fear tactics. Plus there was a load of their graffiti tags on the Private Beach signs around where our vic was found.’

Chloe nods again but it slows to a stop and she tilts her head as she picks out something odd in what Dan has just said. ‘I didn’t realise LA had any private beaches,’ she says.

She hears a muffled curse before Dan’s voice becomes clear again. ‘We don’t. Chloe you’re a genius. Thank you! I gotta go.’

The line goes dead and Chloe looks at her phone for a moment before putting it back in her pocket and walking over to where Maze is angrily wrenching her knife out of her latest tree-victim. Maybe it’s time that they finally address this issue with Linda, she decides.

‘Maybe you should try talking to them about it?’ she says, knowing that Maze will know exactly what she is referring to.

Maze scoffs. ‘What good would talking do?’ She says the word like it is something foul.

‘Maybe you might understand the situation better?’ suggests Chloe. ‘Find out why they are doing this?’

Maze twirls around and in a second there is a blade in front of Chloe’s throat. But she doesn’t back down. She knows that this is just Maze’s go-to reaction to anything she doesn’t like. ‘Oh, I know why,’ says Maze. ‘Because they are dirty rotten liars.’

‘Or maybe they are afraid of how you might react?’ She looks down pointedly at the knife and Maze lowers it.

‘Linda’s not afraid of me,’ she says, and Chloe can hear a hint of vulnerability in her voice.

‘Or she just doesn’t want to hurt you.’

Maze's eyes narrow. ‘Then she wouldn’t be going behind my back in the first place.’

‘You’re right,’ says Chloe, reasonably, ‘but maybe you should give her a chance to make it better. Haven’t you ever made a mistake?’

‘The only mistake I made was having this conversation,’ says Maze and Chloe knows that she isn’t going to make any more progress on the matter today.

‘Fine,’ she says in surrender and she holds out her hand, silently asking for the knife that Maze still holds. ‘If we’re not going to talk, you can at least show me how to throw a knife properly.’

Maze instantly brightens at that and over the next hour, they manage to get Chloe’s aim to a pretty decent accuracy.

Chloe feels even more guilty about the trees.

----

Chloe lets out a contented sigh as she sips her top-shelf whiskey and leans back against the comfortable cushions of Lucifer’s couch. Trixie is at school and, despite all the time spent with Maze, Chloe has managed to get through all those chores around the house that needed doing, so now all she wants to do is have a quiet day relaxing. And what better way to spend her day in her best friend’s luxurious penthouse?

Lucifer sits down next to her, his own drink in hand, and stretches his arm across the back of the couch. He is taking time off from the precinct as well, insisting that police work is no fun without her.

‘How long do we have left before we go back to work?’ he asks before taking a sip from his glass.

Chloe resists the urge to roll her eyes (a common occurrence in Lucifer’s presence). Honestly, was it so hard for him to keep track of his calendar?

‘Four days,’ she says. ‘We’re back on Tuesday.’

‘Tuesday? Why not Monday?’

Chloe shrugs. ‘I wanted an extra day to myself. Sue me.’

‘That’s okay, Detective. I’d rather not get lawyers involved.’

Chloe laughs and takes another sip of her drink. Lucifer follows suit. After a minute or two of comfortable silence, Lucifer makes a suggestion. ‘You should come to Lux,’ he says. ‘Do something fun with your time off. Something different.’

‘Different? I come to Lux all the time.’

‘Yes, when it’s closed,’ he retorts. ‘I mean you should come when it’s open. And not for any boring reason like police work. You should come for the same reason everyone else does.’

‘To hook up with the owner?’

‘Exactly.’

He gives her a wink and Chloe laughs quietly as she shakes her head at him (another common occurrence).

‘No, but seriously, you should come by tomorrow night,’ he says, placing his now empty glass on the table in front of him. ‘Let your hair down a little.’

Chloe considers the idea for a moment before shaking her head. ‘I’m not sure a Tribe night is the best idea at the moment,’ she tells him, ‘what with this thing with Maze and Linda and everything. And I’ve never been real good with being at clubs by myself.’

‘Who says you’ll be by yourself?’ says Lucifer. ‘I assure you Detective, that I have no problem with keeping you company.’ His eyes twinkle and lips turn up into that playful leer that Chloe had become all too familiar with when he had just started working with her. ‘All night long if necessary. Which it would be. Like I’ve said, I have-’

‘Tremendous stamina, I know,’ says Chloe with a laugh, turning away to hide the blush that is no doubt spreading across her face. ‘Another time, maybe.’

Lucifer’s face lights up, suddenly hopeful.

‘I mean going to Lux,’ she quickly corrects herself. ‘Just Lux.’

Lucifer lets out a sigh of disappointment that is entirely put on and then gets up to pour himself another drink. He offers her one as well but she politely refuses. She has to drive to go pick Trixie up from school later and she’s never been one for day drinking. ‘Thank you anyway,’ she says as he returns to his spot on the couch. She turns in her seat a little so she can better face him. ‘So where are we up to in our Devilish Tales of Lucifer Morningstar saga?’ she asks, and this time it is Lucifer who is rolling his eyes.

‘Must we call it that?’ he asks.

‘Unless you have any better suggestions.’

He lets out another sigh, as equally put on as the last. ‘Very well,’ he says. ‘I believe we were up to the case where Malcolm murdered those poor kids who were pretending to worship me.’

Chloe’s smile falls. She hadn’t realised they were up to the case with Malcolm. Maybe she shouldn’t have refused that drink.

Over the next hour, Lucifer goes through the case, telling her how Malcolm had been sent crazy by his time in Hell, and how Amenadiel had saved Lucifer from being shot by that rookie cop at Lux. It is only when he reaches the part about being shot by Malcolm in the hangar that he falters.

‘You said you died,’ says Chloe in a whisper.

Lucifer nods. ‘I did. And I went back to Hell.’

Chloe wants to reach out to him but stops herself, unsure of how welcome her touch would be. ‘But you came back,’ she says instead. ‘How?’

Lucifer twirls his glass in his fingers, staring intently at the amber liquid. ‘I made a deal with Dad,’ he says at last.

Chloe had not been expecting that. ‘You made a deal with God? And He actually listened?’

Lucifer smiles at her surprised tone. ‘Yes, I was quite shocked as well.’

‘So, what did this deal entail?’

‘Well, when I was down in Hell, I was there just long enough to see that someone had escaped. It was fairly obvious that Dad wanted me to find them and send them back. At least, I thought it was obvious. I’m still not sure about that actually.’

‘Who escaped?’

‘Mum.’

Chloe’s jaw drops. ‘Your mother was in Hell? Why?’

Lucifer waves his hand in the air dismissively. ‘Oh, you know, the usual marriage squabbles. Dad was paying to much attention to His new toy, so Mum got jealous and tried to break it.’

‘I take it that we were the new toy,’ says Chloe. ‘As in humanity.’

Lucifer nods.

Chloe’s not sure how to feel about this new information. After a minute she decides that it is really neither here nor there. Lucifer’s mother has her own universe now (she still hasn’t received a proper explanation of that one but she’s sure that they will get around to it eventually), and she is therefore no longer a threat to anyone. ‘So, you asked God to bring you back, and in return, He wanted you to find your Mum,’ she summarises.

She expects Lucifer to nod, but instead he just fidgets awkwardly.

‘Dad did bring me back so I could find Mum,’ he says, ‘but that wasn’t what I asked for.’

Chloe’s brow furrows in confusion. ‘Then what did you ask for? What was worth making a deal with the Father you hate so much?’

Lucifer gulps down the rest of his drink before turning his dark eyes back on her. ‘You,’ he says.

Chloe’s jaw is on the floor again. ‘Me?’

‘I asked Dad to protect you from Malcolm. Coming back was just a bonus.’

Chloe fights the tears forming in her eyes. ‘Thank you,’ she says with truly heartfelt gratitude. Not only had he protected her that night, but he had protected her daughter as well. And she could never repay him enough for that.

‘You’re quite welcome, Detective.’

Lucifer gives her a warm smile which she returns. She’s coming to realise just how much this all-powerful celestial being cares about her and it blows her away. How did she get this lucky?

Oh, right, because she is a miracle put on this Earth on orders from God himself.

And yet, Chloe can’t bring herself to care. If this is what God wants or not, it doesn’t matter to her. What she feels for Lucifer is real, and - just maybe - he feels the same way about her too.

Chapter Text

Chloe and Lucifer are barely back at work ten minutes before Pierce is summoning them to his office. Chloe lets out a sigh. An easy first day back is not looking very likely.

‘Sorry to spring this on you both so soon after your break,’ says Pierce. He doesn’t sound very sorry, but Chloe has learnt not to judge the lieutenant too harshly. He has already proved that he cares more than he lets on. ‘We got a body yesterday morning. June Lee. She was found stuffed into a wood-chipper that was left on her street.’ He placed a few crime scene photos on his desk and Chloe winced. She really hoped that June had already been dead by the time she was put into that chipper.

‘She was a chemistry teacher at the local school, lived in a nice suburban street where the neighbours bring each other casseroles, and was very active in helping out the community,’ continues Pierce. ‘And she was also a drug cook.’

Chloe looks up from the photos. ‘A drug cook?'

Lucifer could not look happier. ‘My, my, this case just got interesting,’ he says. ‘What sort of drugs are we talking here? And, more importantly, do you need someone to examine them?’

‘Lucifer,’ Chloe hisses before turning back to Pierce, a forced smile on her face. ‘He’s joking, obviously.’

She can tell that Pierce doesn’t buy her lie for one second… but she can also tell that he doesn’t really care. ‘Ecstasy,’ he says, ignoring Lucifer’s other question. ‘Specifically, the KPOP brand.’

Lucifer’s smile widens even further. ‘Oh, the good stuff then. Well, at least it used to be.’

‘I did a bit of digging, and it turns out that June, aka Sandra Jang, used to cook for the Korean Power drug gang, but then stole from them and faked her own death. She created a new name for herself… but it looks like old habits are hard to break. We found a bag of ecstasy stashed behind her phone case, as well as this note.’

He hands the note over to Chloe and Lucifer leans over her shoulder to read it. Chloe is momentarily distracted by the expensive cologne that he always wears (and hopefully never stops wearing because it smells so good!) but quickly refocuses her attention on the words in front of her.

I know what you're doing. End it or you're dead.

‘We are thinking that Sandra was cooking again, and selling her product within the neighbourhood,’ Pierce explains.

‘And one of the neighbours found out and sent her this,’ Chloe finishes. It makes sense.

Pierce nods. ‘Which is where you two come in. There’s a house for rent on Sandra’s block which would be perfect for an undercover operation, but the owner only rents to couples, so we need you two to pose as newlyweds and flush this killer out.’

Chloe inwardly panics as soon as she hears the word newlyweds. She’s never been one to shy away from undercover work… but this is different. This is with Lucifer. She is being asked to play house with the literal Devil… and the man who she has recently realised she might just be in love with.

This is going to be beyond torturous.

But she doesn’t refuse or complain about the assignment. She is a professional, Goddammit.

Lucifer, however, is not.

‘Ooh, newlyweds,’ he says. His playful smile has not faltered at all in the wake of their assignment. ‘Does that mean we are still in the honeymoon period?’ He looks to Chloe and if it weren’t for the fact that she knows that he is just teasing her, she would be stamping on his foot right now. She really doesn’t want to start thinking about what a honeymoon period with Lucifer would be like, especially not in front of her boss.

So instead, she just ignores Lucifer’s comment and turns back to Pierce. ‘When were you hoping to have this set up by?’ she asks him.

‘As soon as possible. I already have Espinoza working on your identities and Ella insisted on getting your rings-’

I bet she did, thinks Chloe.

‘-so, all that’s left is to stage the wedding photos.’

Chloe’s mouth falls open at that. ‘Wedding photos?’ she blurts out before she can stop herself. Out of the corner of her eye, she sees Lucifer fidget awkwardly, so at least she is not the only one feeling a tinsy bit uncomfortable with the situation.

‘You can’t have nosy neighbours coming to the house and not seeing any photos,’ says Pierce, matter-of-factly. ‘It will raise too many questions. Now, Lucifer, I’m afraid you are going to have to forgo the suits for this assignment. Wear something more… suburbia.’

Lucifer, who had been watching Chloe intently, turns back to Pierce and stares at him blankly.

‘Surely you own something more casual.’

More staring.

‘Right, forgot who I was talking to,’ sighs Pierce. ‘Never mind, we’ll find something. Decker, I trust you can dress yourself.’

Chloe finally manages to pick her jaw back up and regain some of that professional composure that she had earlier boasted to herself about. ‘Yes. Of course, Lieutenant.’

‘Good. That’s all I have for you, so you had better go see how Espinoza’s getting on.’

Chloe and Lucifer both get up and head for the door but Pierce’s voice stops them.

‘Oh, and Decker,’ he says, looking up from the crime scene photos that he is packing away. ‘Find yourself a wedding dress.’

----

Everything for the undercover operation is set up far more quickly than Chloe would have liked, but she guesses that it is a good thing. They have a killer to catch and they don’t really have time to worry about silly things like Chloe’s nerves.

But, case to solve or not, those nerves just can’t seem to let themselves be ignored. Especially as Chloe slips on the wedding dress that she had managed to find at a second-hand store that morning.

She had originally intended to just wear her dress from her own wedding, but as soon as she had voiced this plan to Lucifer, he had resolutely shut down the idea. He had then, of course, offered to buy her a brand new one but she had managed to talk him out of that one. She wasn’t going to let him spend a thousand dollars on a dress that was only needed for a few photos.

Photos that were going to be taken any minute now.

She knows that Lucifer and the photographer are waiting in the next room for her, but she can’t help but stall a little, hoping that it might help her stomach stop flipping every two seconds.

It doesn’t. If anything, it makes it worse.

Get a hold of yourself, Decker, she thinks, looking at herself in the mirror. You can do this. It’s just pretend.

But that is part of the problem, isn’t it? another part of her brain tells her. You don’t want it to be pretend.

She nervously fiddles with the rings on her finger that Ella had found for the occasion. ‘I can do this’, she repeats to herself, this time out loud, and she squares her shoulders and heads to the room where Lucifer is waiting.

When she enters the room, the photographer is in one corner, fiddling with his camera lens, and Lucifer has his back to her, talking to Dan. Behind them is a blank backdrop that will serve as a background for the photos (the photographer will photoshop a proper background into the photos later – free of charge, as he owes Lucifer a favour). Lucifer is wearing one of his usual black suits, and, logically, Chloe knows that she shouldn’t feel any different seeing him in it, but she can’t help the pang of yearning that appears with the idea of standing next to Lucifer looking like that while she is in a wedding dress.

She immediately chastises herself for thinking such thoughts – he’s the Devil for crying out loud! And the Devil doesn’t do marriage. (Apart from that one time he did, that treacherous part of her mind reminds her.) But then Lucifer turns to face her, and the look in his eyes when he sees her makes her think that maybe, just maybe, he’s feeling the exact same yearning.

After a second too long of just staring at him, Chloe manages to snap herself out of it.

Wishful thinking, Chloe.

‘Right, let’s get this over with,’ she says as she stomps her way across the room.

‘Did she say that to you at your wedding?’ Lucifer asks Dan, who just laughs and claps Lucifer on the shoulder.

‘Good luck, man,’ he says before walking out of the room, leaving them to it.

Honestly, Chloe is surprised at Dan’s attitude to the undercover operation. She had expected him to be dead against the idea of Chloe being (or at least pretending to be) this close to Lucifer – she may have even expected him to be a little jealous, but instead, Dan just seems to find the whole thing amusing. Although, she did earlier catch him whisper a quick thank you to Lucifer for not letting Chloe wear the dress from their wedding. Chloe internally winces. She probably should have been a bit more thoughtful about Dan’s feelings before making that particular suggestion. She makes a mental note to apologise to him later.

Right now, she has some awkward photos to get through.

----

The photo shoot actually isn't too bad. Lucifer spends the whole time (which is only about ten minutes) making random jokes and causing her to laugh much more than she had thought possible in such a short time. And once the photographer has added the background (a gorgeous beach at sunset), the photos look really beautiful.

And there’s that pang of yearning again.

Nevertheless, Chloe is glad that that particular task is over with. Now she can focus on doing some proper police work.

She spends the next two days going over her cover story, brushing up on the details of the case, and meeting with the landlord of the house that will be her home for the next few days. Lucifer turns up in his “suburban” clothes as promised and Chloe is not at all surprised to find out that he looks just as sexy in them as he does in a three-piece suit. Although, it is obvious that Lucifer has selected the clothes himself rather than let Pierce do it, they are clearly designer and the grey jacket he wears looks so soft that Chloe has to physically hold herself back from touching it.

Honestly, Chloe thinks that she probably isn’t needed at the meeting at all. The landlord takes one look at Lucifer and just about melts into a puddle, and before they know it, he is handing them the keys to the house.

Stage one of “Operation Newleyweds” (as Ella calls it) complete.

Stage two brings Chloe a whole new set of anxieties to deal with. The short meeting with the landlord where Lucifer had kept calling her “dear” and “darling” and even one time “love” was enough for Chloe’s mind to get away from her. Now she has to remind herself that she shouldn't get used to things that won't last.

When they get to the house and start to settle in, Lucifer is back to his normal self, the only nickname coming from his lips being “Detective”. And somehow, this is even worse. Because now the lines between him and his undercover persona are blurring, and Chloe can see herself having trouble remembering which is which.

Her thoughts are interrupted by the sound of the doorbell ringing and she and Lucifer share a glance, both knowing that no one from the precinct is scheduled to visit. It must be a neighbour.

Game on.

Chloe is the one who ends up answering the door and she opens it to reveal a couple who appear to be about ten years older than Chloe and Lucif… Well, ten years older than Chloe.

‘Hey, hey, it's the welcome wagon,’ says the woman with a friendly smile.

‘Yeah, but not in the lame way,’ says her husband with a laugh. Chloe laughs along with them, though it’s more out of politeness than amusement. ‘We just want to be the first to say hi to the new couple on the block. I'm Brian. This is my wife Anya.’

Anya gives a quick wave and then hands Chloe a casserole dish.

“Wow. Thank you,’ says Chloe, no longer needing to fake the smile on her face. This couple’s weird over-friendliness is kind of catching. ‘Honey,’ she calls over her shoulder. ‘Come and meet the new neighbours.’

In an instant, Lucifer is behind her, wrapping an arm around her waist. Chloe gives in to temptation a bit and leans back against him.

It’s just pretend, she reminds herself.

‘Honey, this is Brian and Anya,’ Chloe introduces the pair. Lucifer reaches out to shake Brian’s and then Anya’s hand. Chloe doesn’t miss Anya’s roaming eyes as she takes him in, but thankfully her husband does. ‘They brought us a casserole.’

‘That is so thoughtful,’ says Lucifer, looking down at the dish in Chloe’s hands.

Chloe suddenly realises that she hasn’t introduced themselves. ‘Oh, I’m so sorry, how rude of me,’ she says. ‘I’m Chloe. Chloe Dancer. And this is my husband Lucas.’

‘Nice to meet you both,’ says Brian, still wearing the same friendly smile.

‘Good to meet you too,’ says Lucifer. He lets go of Chloe and takes the casserole dish. ‘Why don’t you come inside and we can get this in the oven. I think we have some wine in the cupboards.’

Chloe tries not to roll her eyes - she knows that Lucifer is absolutely certain they have wine. It was the first thing he had pulled out of the grocery bags. Instead, she smiles brightly and steps aside to let Brian and Anya inside. It looks like they will be able to do some digging into the lives of the community even sooner than expected.

Chloe’s not sure how she feels about that.

----

About an hour later, Lucifer is pulling the steaming hot casserole out of the oven. Judging by the look on his face as he gives it a sniff, it’s going to be good. He puts the dish on the counter and Chloe takes four plates out of the cupboard.

‘Plastic plates?’ asks Lucifer, looking almost offended. ‘What are we, barbarians? Don’t we have any china in there.’

Now in the safety of their kitchen, with Brian and Anya in the dining room out of sight, Chloe can roll her eyes. ‘You know this isn’t real, right?’ she says, with a small chuckle and shake of the head as she puts the plastic away and pulls out the china plates that are at the back of the cupboard. She’s honestly surprised at how serious Lucifer is taking the role. When she turns back to face him, however, there is a peculiar expression on his face. One that she can’t quite read but it’s definitely not the happy smile he wore all through the trivial chit-chat with Brian and Anya as they waited for dinner to be ready.

‘I just thought our guests might appreciate proper crockery,’ he says as he deflects his attention to dishing out dinner. ‘We don’t want to get a reputation for being cheap now, do we? Or bad hosts?’

Chloe doesn’t give a damn about looking cheap, but Lucifer does have a point on the second one. They need to meet as many neighbours as possible and ruining this meeting could make them outcasts and ruin the whole operation.

‘You’re right,’ she says, taking two plates to carry to the dining room. ‘Sorry, it’s just... never mind. I wasn’t thinking. Let’s get dinner served, shall we?’ She plasters her smile back on and Lucifer gives her a quizzical look before taking the other two plates and following her out into the dining room where Brian and Anya are waiting. Chloe hopes he doesn’t look too much into her strange mood. She doesn’t really want to confess that the reason why she feels so awkward is that the situation doesn’t actually feel awkward at all, despite the fact that she knows it really should.

She’s having a dinner party with the Devil and it feels like the most natural thing in the world.

They set the table and each take a seat, Brian and Anya having already sat down. Chloe wants to get straight to the point and start asking questions about Sandra – or June, as Brian and Anya know her as – but she knows how odd that will look. So instead, she asks Brian and Anya how they first met.

So, of course, after they have told their own cute story, they just have to turn the question back on Chloe and Lucifer.

‘Through my work,’ says Chloe, a little embarrassed about how mundane it sounds. The real tale is not mundane at all, but they can’t exactly mention any of those details without either A: blowing their cover, or B: sounding batshit crazy.

Lucifer, however, manages to add a surprising sweetness to Chloe’s answer. ‘Yes,’ he says, pouring them another glass of wine. ‘And from the moment I met her, I knew I had to see her again. There was just something about her. I didn’t know what it was back then, but I figured it out eventually.’ He turns to Chloe and gives her a warm smile. ‘And I haven’t looked back since.’

Chloe smiles back at him and, for a moment, it’s like Brian and Anya aren’t even there. Because, despite the facade they are currently putting on, she knows that Lucifer never lies. Every word of what he has just said is true.

Brian and Anya’s combined “awww” breaks them out of their bubble and Chloe looks down at her dinner, a little ashamed with herself at how quickly she has become caught up in this make-believe scenario. Thankfully, Lucifer suggests digging into the lovely casserole that Brian and Anya have brought them, and Chloe has time to regain her composure and get her mind focused on the case again.

Half an hour later, Chloe finally manages to edge the conversation into the correct territory to start asking questions without seeming suspicious. ‘So, tell us about the community,’ she says with a friendly smile. ‘When we were looking for places to live, this one just really stood out. Everyone just seems so friendly and close.’

‘Yes, yes,’ agrees Lucifer. ‘It must have been devastating when that poor woman was found ground up like hamburger meat.’

It seems that Lucas Dancer has even less tact than Lucifer Morningstar.

‘Our realtor told us,’ says Chloe, quickly jumping in to explain. ‘So sad.’

‘Yeah, it was horrible,’ says Brian, looking a little bit awkward but still genuinely affected by the death. ‘Huge loss. We’re all kind of one big family around here.’

‘Well, most of us,’ says Anya, and she does not look nearly as affected by the so-called “huge loss” to the community. ‘Some of the neighbours can be a little uptight.’

‘Ah, come on, babe, the guys don't want to hear about that,’ says Brian, immediately putting his smile back on, though it is quite obvious how forced it is. ‘Right? We're here to welcome them.’

He’s trying to distract them from whatever his wife is referring to, but Chloe’s not about to let him.

‘Hear about what?’ she asks, trying to play it off as general curiosity.

Anya is only too happy to oblige. Chloe already has her pegged for the neighbourhood gossip.

‘The Neighbourhood Watchdog. Someone has been writing notes and terrorising the block. Uh, "Trim your hedges, or else." "Stop using non-organic weed killer, or I'll make you drink it.”'

Chloe’s eyebrows raise at that.

‘This Watchdog seems rather preoccupied with gardening,’ says Lucifer, and Chloe can tell by the slightly higher pitch in his voice that he’s just as surprised at the Watchdog’s extreme threats for such small neighbourhood grievances.

‘People have been getting notes for all kinds of things,’ continues Anya. ‘Uh, loud music, parking, holiday decor. It's like Martha Stewart and the Terminator had a baby.’

Chloe almost laughs at the picture that statement paints but holds herself back. Lucifer, of course, does not.

‘Any idea who this Watchdog is?’ asks Chloe.

‘No, actually,’ says Anya, looking downcast about it.

Before Chloe can think of a way to keep the conversation going down this path without seeming way too nosy, Brian skilfully steers it back to more cheerful topics such as his work and the poker night that him and “some of the lads” host every second Friday. By the time he’s finished with this, it is getting quite late and Chloe has no more time to dig any deeper into their new lead.

‘This Watchdog weirdo seems promising,’ says Chloe after Brian and Anya have left. She is currently by the sink, drying the dishes from the night as per the deal she and Lucifer had made when they had first moved in. Lucifer cooks, Chloe cleans. ‘And those notes sound just like the one we found in Sandra's stash.’

‘I just can’t imagine someone so obsessed with obeying the rules of suburbia,’ says Lucifer from his position next to her. He is leaning against the bench, holding the police radio that Pierce is on the other end of. Chloe’s a little unsure of why the lieutenant has decided to lead the case, but she supposes there must be something about it that interests him enough to get involved.

‘It does seem a little extreme,’ says Pierce, agreeing with Lucifer.

Lucifer nods and takes a bite out of the apple that he has picked up off the bowl on the bench. Chloe has to stop herself from laughing at the sight. She really should ask him how much truth is in the Adam and Eve story. In fact, she should probably get him to go through the whole Bible with a red pen one day. She imagines his edits would be not only intriguing, but hilarious as well.

‘Question is, how do we draw out this Watchdog?’ she asks, bringing her focus back to the case.

Lucifer grins, and Chloe gets the distinct impression that he is planning something she won’t approve of. ‘Well, don't you worry about that, Detective. Trust me, no one's a worse neighbour than the Devil.’ Before Chloe can ask him what he has planned, he has already handed her the radio and is walking out of the kitchen, his phone to his ear. ‘Melanie, darling! Are you busy tomorrow?’

----

An hour later, after the chores are done and Lucifer has made all necessary arrangements for tomorrow, the pair settle down on the couch. ‘So, what kind of party is this going to be?’ asks Chloe. She had managed to catch Lucifer between his many phone calls and had demanded he at least tell her something of what he was planning. It turns out that his idea of drawing the Watchdog’s attention is a good one. He intends to host a very loud party that, while still being PG-13 rated, will still not quite be appropriate for the kid-friendly neighbourhood they are in.

‘A pool party,’ answers Lucifer and Chloe raises an eyebrow.

‘We don’t have a pool.’

‘A mere technicality,’ says Lucifer with a wink and Chloe can only shake her head at whatever he means by that. She just hopes he doesn’t do anything too over-the-top.

Who is she kidding? This is Lucifer.

‘And how many people have you invited?’ she asks.

‘Oh, only about 50. I had to keep the guest list to those who are less… shall we say impulsive. And before you say anything, yes, they do know that this is an undercover operation, and they have been told to report to you as soon as they get here so that you can tell them all those silly little rules that I’m sure you already have listed in that far too sensible brain of yours.’

Chloe is left speechless for a moment. She’s surprised, and maybe even a little touched, that Lucifer has anticipated how she wanted to handle this.

‘Right. Good,’ she says at last. Here eyes soften a little and she gives him a grateful smile. ‘Thank you.’

Lucifer shrugs off her thanks. ‘It’s quite all right, Detective. I’m actually quite looking forward to it. It’s been a while since I hosted a party outside of Lux.’

‘Yeah, it should be fun,’ says Chloe, mainly to convince herself of the fact. She can’t remember the last time she went to a pool party that wasn’t for a child’s birthday.

‘I’m sure it will,’ says Lucifer before clapping his hands on his thighs and turning to face her properly. ‘Now, where were we up to in our reminiscing of old times?’

Chloe turns a little to face him better and tucks her feet up under her legs, eager to hear more about her partner's past, even it is the part that she was there for. There's still so much she doesn't understand, but since they have started these little trips down memory lane, she feels like pieces are finally starting to fall into place ‘Um, I think we are up to the first case with Charlotte- I mean, your mother,' she says, tucking a stray lock of hair behind her ear. 'So, I guess this is going to be a big one, huh?’

Lucifer lets out a small huff of laughter. ‘You can say that again. So, there I was playing my piano, when suddenly this woman stumbles into my penthouse covered in blood…’

Chapter Text

As Chloe slowly wakes, the first thing she realises is that she is quite warm even though she cannot feel any blankets covering her. What she can feel, however, is a pair of strong arms around her waist and a hard but comfortable chest beneath her cheek. Her eyes snap open as she realises her position. Her and Lucifer must have fallen asleep on the couch and drifted together at some point in the night so now she is curled up tightly in his embrace.

Part of her never wants to move.

But the rational and sensible part of her knows that she has to. Her and Lucifer aren’t like this, no matter how right it feels. They aren’t in a real relationship.

Chloe lets herself indulge in thirty more seconds of the blissful warm feeling of being in the Devil’s arms before she reluctantly untangles herself from him. She tries to do it carefully so not to wake him, she’s never seen him look as peaceful as he does right now, but in her efforts to be extra careful, she overbalances and ends up falling off of the couch and onto the living room floor.

After a couple of seconds of just staring at the ceiling, Lucifer’s face appears over the edge of the couch, smirking down at her. ‘Usually woman fall into bed with me, not out of,’ he says, and Chloe narrows her eyes at him, envious of how awake he is despite the fact that he was softly snoring mere seconds ago.

After a couple more seconds go by, he sits up and offers her a hand. ‘Thanks,’ she says as he pulls her up. He’s still smirking at her but now that she has gotten over the embarrassment, she’s no longer annoyed at it. It was kind of funny, she admits to herself.

‘Shut up,’ she says with a laugh, causing Lucifer’s eyes to twinkle in amusement. ‘Come on, let’s get breakfast. I’m starving.’

Lucifer doesn’t reply, he just silently follows her to the kitchen and starts getting out all the necessary items for bacon and eggs. If his smile falls at all that morning, Chloe doesn’t see it.

----

Their guests start arriving at 10am, a few bringing inflatable kiddie pools with them, and a lot of them bringing water guns. They all listen to her rules for the day without complaint and by 11, the party is in full swing. The front yard is full of scantly clad people and there is hip hop blasting out of the stereo system that one of the guests had brought.

Lucifer is right in the middle of the action of course. He looks rather overdressed in his board-shorts and shirt, everyone around him showing much more skin, but he still exudes the party vibe that Chloe has caught glimpses of when she has gone to see him at Lux.

Chloe herself is trying her best to be part of the action too. She has even managed to grab a spare water gun from one of the Brittanys and is using it to shoot anyone who comes within a six-foot radius. She knows that she doesn’t really need to be here for this, Lucifer can handle pissing off the neighbours just fine on his own, but she doesn’t want even the slightest chance of them thinking that Lucifer may be being unfaithful to her with one of the many beautiful people he is entertaining. Partly because she doesn’t want anyone questioning Lucifer or their marriage (Fake marriage, Chloe. Fake marriage!), and partly because she doesn’t want any of them getting any ideas about seducing him themselves. She knows she’s being a bit possessive, but, hey, he’s supposed to be her husband. He can go back to sleeping with random women and men in a few days when the case is over. (And doesn’t that thought sting just a little too much…)

Chloe shakes herself out of her thoughts and puts her focus back on her target. So far, Lucifer has been the clear winner of all the random water fights that have broken out, but she’s about to change that. She watches for a couple of minutes, waiting for the best opportunity to strike. Finally, it arrives. Lucifer’s attention is momentarily taken by two women who are immersed in their own personal water war. He takes a step back to avoid the splash-back from their assault on each other, and Chloe seizes the moment. Her water gun is already locked and loaded and two seconds later, she is hitting Lucifer square in the back of the head with a steady stream of ice-cold water. He yelps in surprise and spins on the spot. His hair is in disarray and water drips over his shoulders and Chloe cheers as she savours her victory. She even goes as far as high-fiving the Brittany who loaned her her weapon.

But Lucifer is never one to let his pride be wounded so easily and Chloe finds herself needing to make a quick getaway. She lasts a full two minutes, weaving through bodies and pool toys as Lucifer chases her, an almost predatory glint on his eye.

She’s laughing the entire time.

But no one can outrun the Devil indefinitely and she soon finds herself trapped near the rose bushes. Lucifer wastes no time in lunging for her, grabbing her around the waist and lifting her with ease. He spins them around and Chloe squeals as a bucket of water is thrown over her by one of the other guests. Lucifer gets drenched in the attack as well, but his victorious smile tells Chloe that he considers it worth it for getting his revenge.

‘I think I definitely won that one,’ he says as he lowers her to the ground.

Chloe pushes her wet hair out of her face. ‘Yeah, you did,’ she reluctantly agrees. She looks back up at him, expecting him to have a smug smile on his face, but instead finds herself looking into dark and heated eyes that every now and then drift a little lower than her face. She looks down to find that her white sundress has now gone completely see-through thanks to the water, revealing her blue bathers underneath. They are only a one-piece, and not really all that revealing, but the way Lucifer is looking at her makes her feel like she is wearing the sexiest bikini known to man. She unconsciously licks her bottom lip as she continues to stare at those eyes that are now permanently locked onto hers, and for a moment she thinks that Lucifer may kiss her.

She also thinks that she may let him.

But then a couple of men run past, fencing with pool noodles instead of swords, and the moment is lost.

It’s probably for the best, Chloe decides, even if the disappointment weighs heavy on her heart.

----

The party is a success, Chloe had definitely caught a couple of neighbours glaring at the house as they walked past, but Lucifer insists on making absolutely sure that they get on the Watchdog’s radar. Which is why, at four in the morning, Chloe is woken up by a million cats practising for their brass band rehearsal. At least, that’s what it sounds like anyway. What it actually is, is Lucifer using power tools in the garage.

‘Is that really necessary?’ she asks after she has sleepily padded her way through the house and into the garage. Her head is already pounding with an oncoming headache.

Lucifer turns off the power saw (thank G… well, thank somebody) and removes his safety goggles. ‘It is if we want to get the Watchdog’s hackles up,’ he replies.

‘Lucifer, it’s four in the fucking morning,’ Chloe groans. ‘Surely there is something else you can do that will piss off the neighbours.’

Lucifer thinks for a moment. ‘Perhaps,’ he says, and Chloe’s shoulders sag with relief, ‘but this is by far the most efficient.’

Chloe thumps her head against the door frame she is leaning against. ‘Fine,’ she says, far too tired to try and win this. ‘Just give me five minutes. I need caffeine… and some earplugs.’

Before she can turn around, however, the sound of Pierce shouting at someone comes from somewhere just outside the house. Chloe and Lucifer spare a quick glance at each other and then both run out of the open garage door. They get to the end of the driveway just in time to cut off a hooded man who is running from a very annoyed looking Pierce.

‘Oh, hello,’ says Lucifer as the light from the streetlight illuminates the man’s face underneath the hood. ‘Have you come for your casserole dish?’

Brian looks between them and Pierce, who now has his gun drawn, and puts his hands up in surrender.

----

Pierce takes Brian into custody without blowing Chloe and Lucifer’s cover, and the pair wait until they are sure Brian is in the interrogation room before they enter the precinct. It’s probably overkill, Chloe realises, seeing as they probably have their guy, but it doesn’t hurt to be cautious.

‘It's not illegal to hold people up to our community standards,’ says Brian. Chloe eyes him through the two-way mirror. ‘The police should be thanking me. I'm out there every night helping you guys.’

She hears Lucifer scoff beside her.

‘So, that was what you were doing when you killed June Lee, was it?’ Pierce asks Brian. ‘Helping?’ Chloe can’t see his face, but she can tell by his posture that it is probably as expressionless as usual.

Pierce would be excellent at poker, she thinks.

Brian, however, would not be.

‘What?’ he asks, face pale. ‘I di- I didn’t hurt June.’

Pierce obviously doesn’t believe him. ‘Look, I get it. June was cooking drugs and selling them around the community. Definitely not the sort of thing that a nice, safe neighbourhood like yours should be involved with. But did you really have to kill her to make her stop? Why not just turn her into the police?’

‘Be-because I was her best customer!’ Brian almost shouts before calming his nerves. ‘Why would I want to kill June when she was the one who kept me going?’

‘You bought off her?’ asks Pierce. He doesn’t sound it, but Chloe suspects that he is just as surprised as she is.

Lucifer is surprised by Brian’s admission as well, but judging from his grin, he’s quite impressed with it too.

‘Uh, yeah,’ says Brian, answering Pierce’s question. ‘Me and half the block. How do you think I had the energy to be out there every night, all night? I mean, June changed my life. I learned Mandarin. I built a deck around my... I- I lost 40 pounds!’

‘So, you didn’t send her this note?’ asks Pierce, showing Brian the note they found in Sandra’s phone case.

Brian looks down at the note. ‘No. That's not even my handwriting. Look- look at it. It's so sloppy. Of course, what do you expect from someone clueless enough to put a whole body into a wood chipper? I- I mean, saw before you mulch. Everyone knows that.’

Brian isn’t even finished his ramblings before Pierce is taking back the note and leaving the room.

‘Well, I guess it’s back to suburban life for us,’ says Lucifer, watching Brian fidget with his fingernails. ‘The man’s obviously a buffoon, but he’s not a killing buffoon.’

Chloe nods. ‘But he did just give me an idea of how to find the murderer.’

‘Oh? And what exactly do you have in mind, Detective?’

Chloe turns to face him and smiles. ‘It’s my turn to plan a party.’

----

Two days later, Chloe and Lucifer’s “housewarming” party is going quite nicely, even if Chloe does say so herself. This time it is a nice neighbourly affair, with all the neighbours invited. Chloe had worried that they wouldn’t show up after the stunts Lucifer had pulled while trying to get the Watchdog's attention, but instead it had just made them all the more curious.

Chloe and Lucifer spend their time mingling with the guests and casually hinting that they sign the guest book. Well, Chloe is casually hinting, Lucifer is all but shoving it in their faces. The more neighbours they get to write in it, the more likely they will find a match for the killer’s handwriting.

Chloe is politely chatting to Anya when an arm circles her waist and the guest book is shoved into her hands. Chloe looks up to glare at Lucifer for his lack of subtlety but as soon as she does, he bends down to kiss her forehead and Chloe loses all track of what she had just been thinking. ‘Has Anya signed the guestbook yet, darling?’ he asks.

Chloe blinks for a second before getting the hint. Pierce is watching from the second story window, keeping track of who writes in the book, so they know for a fact that Anya hasn’t signed it yet.

‘Oh, no, I don’t think she has,’ says Chloe, quickly composing herself and turning back to Anya. She offers her the book and pen, putting on the friendliest smile she can muster. 'Would you?'

‘Brian said he signed for us both already,’ says Anya.

‘Me and Lu would love to get a little message from everyone,’ says Chloe, trying not to show her eagerness. She snuggles more firmly into Lucifer’s side, laying on the happy couple vibe thick. She knows that she doesn’t have to, their cover as a pair of happily in love newlyweds has not been questioned at all, but she just can’t resist the temptation.

Lucifer doesn’t seem to mind at least, judging by the way he pulls her a little closer and leans his chin against her temple.

Anya looks at her strangely for a second but goes to take the pen nonetheless. That is until Brian stops her.

‘Actually, um, I think it's, uh I think it's time for us to go, dear,’ he says, suddenly rushing to his wife’s side. He’s just as nervous as he was in the interrogation room. Maybe even more so.

‘But we just got here,’ says Anya, now giving the strange look to her husband.

‘Uh, y-yeah, I know, but we really need to go.’

Anya is still obviously very confused but, despite her insistent pleading, Brian doesn't give any explanation for his sudden eagerness to leave. He even goes as far as shoving the guestbook out of his wife's hands. He grabs Anya's arm and starts to drag her towards to side entrance of the yard.

‘Brian, wait!’ shouts Chloe, making a move to follow them.

Brian turns but does not break his stride. ‘No, no, no,’ he says. ‘I know what you guys are trying to do here.’

It seems their cover has been blown after all.

Lucifer tries to cut off Brian’s escape but, unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Brian grabs a pair of hedge trimmers that are sticking out of the dirt of the garden bed and brandishes them menacingly.

Lucifer wisely backs off and returns to Chloe’s side.

‘Why are there hedge trimmers?’ Lucifer hisses in her ear.

‘The workmen must have left them,’ Chloe hisses back. They had hired a gardener or two to clean up the backyard yesterday, wanting it to look respectable for their guests. She wishes that she hadn’t bothered, now that said guests are all backing up in fear, some even whimpering, as Brian snips the air in front of him with the trimmers, a clear warning for no one to come any nearer.

Pierce ignores this warning and appears behind Brian, his gun drawn. ‘Put the weapon down,’ he says, and Brian swirls on the spot to face him.

Chloe uses the opportunity to direct the frightened guests to the other side entrance and out of the yard. By the time she gets back, Brian and Anya are arguing, despite Pierce still holding a gun on them.

Brian looks desperate.

Anya looks pissed.

‘I’m not stupid,’ she says. ‘I know that you and June were having an affair. I saw you sneaking around with her, and then you lost all that weight. I thought I would just write her one of those notes to scare her off, but then you still kept sneaking out every night.’

Ah. Everything makes a lot more sense now. Brian must have recognised his wife’s handwriting in the note, hence why he didn’t want her signing the book.

‘You went and confronted her,’ says Chloe and Anya nods.

‘Yes, but then she just kept denying it, and I got so, so angry I just shoved her, and then she- she hit her head. But I d- I didn't mean to kill her.’ She turns to Brian, no longer angry, just sad. ‘I just didn't want you to leave me.’

‘But he wasn’t having an affair,’ says Lucifer, pityingly. ‘June was his drug dealer.’

Anya obviously had no clue that her husband was doing drugs. Seeing how lost she looks, Chloe almost feels sorry for her.

‘It’s true,’ says Brian. ‘I was buying pills from her to help me lose weight. For you. So that I could go back to being the guy that you fell in love with in high school. I didn't want you to leave me.’

And, despite the hedge trimmers and Pierce’s gun and the whole damned messed up situation, the pair apologise and come together in what would have otherwise appeared as a joyous reconciliation.

Now that Brian has dropped his weapon, Pierce lowers his gun and approaches the still embracing couple. ‘I suppose there's some cold comfort in them being arrested together,’ says Lucifer as they watch Pierce handcuff Anya first and then Brian. ‘At least they've got each other.’

‘Yeah, I guess they do,’ says Chloe.

----

That night, Chloe makes a decision. She’s tired of being alone. She’s tired of pretending that she likes it. Even the two people they arrested today, who will each serve a different sentence in a different jail, have more than she does.

They have the certainty that somebody loves them.

Chloe wants that certainty too. And she knows exactly who she wants that somebody to be.

The elevator dings and the doors slide open revealing Lucifer’s penthouse. Chloe takes a breath, knowing that this is her last chance to change her mind, and then walks into the room with purpose. After a few seconds, she spots Lucifer standing out on the balcony, seemingly lost in thought. ‘Hi,’ she says, walking up to him but stopping a few steps behind him. She’s not sure of how he will react to what she has to say, and she doesn’t want to make him feel as if he’s trapped.

‘Detective,’ he says in almost a gasp of surprise as he turns to face her. He obviously hadn’t heard her come in. ‘Apologies, I was a million miles away.’

Chloe waves away his apology. ‘I just wanted to come by and thank you,' she says. 'For your help in the case and for making it… well, I had a good time, murderer aside. It was… fun. I haven’t laughed like that in a long time so… yeah, thank you.’ She is glad to see that Lucifer is smiling at her nervous little ramble. It helps settle the butterflies in her stomach.

‘Well, I’m glad to be of assistance,’ he says, with a playful twinkle in his eye. ‘And I had fun too. It was nice to… well, nice to pretend for a little while, I guess.’ His smile seems a little forced now and Chloe takes another breath.

This is it. The moment of no return.

‘What if I told you that it wasn’t all pretend?’ she tells him. ‘At least not for me anyway.’

Lucifer’s smile is gone completely now, replaced by a look of confusion and a little bit of hope.

‘Detective?’

‘Lucifer, I’m tired of acting like this thing between us isn’t there, that we’re just friends. I don’t think you and I could ever be just friends… and I think you know that too.’ She waits for him to say something, anything, but he doesn’t so she carries on. ‘What I’m saying, Lucifer, is that I want to be with you… not just as your partner at work. I want...' She trails off. She's starting to lose her nerve and is no longer sure how to express how much she wants everything with the man standing in front of her.

‘But you know who- what I really am,’ says Lucifer, and the look in his eyes almost breaks Chloe’s heart. He’s so convinced that no one could really love the Devil – that he doesn’t deserve it. ‘How could you still want me?’

Chloe takes a couple of steps closer and cups his face. ‘I’ve always known who you are, Lucifer,’ she says softly. ‘Being the Devil doesn’t change that.’ He still doesn’t look convinced, so Chloe lowers her hands and takes one small step back. ‘Show me again,’ she says in the same soft soothing tone.

It takes Lucifer a moment to realise what she’s asking and once he does, he looks even more confused. ‘Detective, are you sure?’

Chloe nods. Truth be told, she has been wanting to ask for a while now but has just been too afraid. Not afraid of him – never of him – just afraid of crossing some sort of line. “Show us your wings” doesn’t sound like a very polite turn of phrase.

‘Please,’ she says. She isn’t going to push him on this, but this is the best way to convince him that she wants him. That she accepts all of him.

‘Very well,’ he says after a moment of searching her face for any doubt and not finding any. He rolls his shoulders and in a second there are huge white wings in the air behind him. They stretch across almost the whole balcony.

It’s the first time that she has seen them since that night in her apartment, and Chloe takes a moment to fully take them in before putting her focus back on his face. ‘They’re beautiful,’ she says, stepping up to him and cupping his face again. She guides his face down a bit so he is meeting her eyes. ‘But they’re not all of who you are. You told me as much when you first showed them to me and you were right. You are so much more than just an angel – or just the Devil. You are Lucifer Morningstar. My partner and best friend. And you’re the man I want. Angel, Devil and all.’

‘Detective,’ Lucifer almost-whispers, but then seems to lose whatever words were supposed to come next in the back of his throat. He rolls his shoulders again and his wings disappear. Chloe lowers her hands from his face but doesn’t step away. She just waits patiently for him to figure out what he wants.

‘Chloe…’ he tries again, but the words get lost again. After a few more moments, he seems to reach a decision. ‘Oh, bugger it,’ he says, and he reaches out to cup her cheek with one hand and brings his lips to hers.

The kiss is so similar to their first one on that beach all those months ago, and yet so different. It’s soft and sweet like their last, but this time there is more certainty in the way his lips move against hers. There’s no heat, but there’s a passion that wasn’t there last time.

‘So, is that a yes for no more pretending?’ she asks after they break apart. He leans his forehead against hers and there is a happy spark in his eyes that has Chloe smiling wider than she thought possible.

‘No more pretending,’ he agrees, before bending down to kiss her again.

Chapter Text

They don’t go any further that night, each agreeing that they should take things slowly. Chloe is still a bit tentative since the divorce with Dan, and Lucifer has no real experience in this sort of relationship, so they both decide that this is the best way to go. They also decide not to tell anybody about their change in relationship yet. Dating your partner is frowned upon in the LAPD and neither of them want Pierce to split them up.

But just because they have to keep it a secret, doesn’t mean that Chloe can’t come into work with an extra spring in her step the next morning. That spring disappears, however, as soon as she gets a phone call from Ella. It seems that her and Maze have found a body.

The journey to the crime scene with Lucifer is a little awkward and is full of stolen glances and failed attempts at small talk, neither of them quite knowing how to act, but once they arrive, they have no trouble falling back into their usual routine.

‘Can’t believe you called the cops,’ Maze tells Ella as she lounges across one of the chairs at their victim’s desk. Despite her relaxed pose, she still has that tense look about her that Chloe figures all demons have. It’s a look that tells everyone that she is dangerous and not afraid to prove it.

Chloe has learnt to ignore that look.

‘Maze, for the last time, stop telling people not to call the cops.’

Maze just shrugs.

‘And why wouldn't I call this in, okay?’ says Ella. ‘Even if Jay was here, he's innocent. Which means he might have seen who did this.’

Jay is Ella’s brother and the whole reason that she and Maze had stumbled across the body in the first place. Ella had been worried about him and had asked - or, more likely, paid - for Maze’s assistance in tracking him down.

Suddenly, a thought strikes Ella and she looks up from where she has been dusting for prints, worry in her eyes. ‘Wait, he might be in danger!’

Chloe decides that a distraction is in order. ‘Is this the brother who steals cars?’ she asks Ella.

‘Oh, no, Jay's the oldest. And you know how older brothers are.’

‘Yes,’ says Lucifer at once, but Chloe doesn’t think he is thinking along the same lines that Ella is.

‘I’m an only child,’ says Chloe. She says it as a prompt for Ella to continue, but as soon as the words leave her mouth, she regrets them. She had always wanted a sibling… and now she knows why she never got one.

Lucifer and Maze look away awkwardly, each thinking the exact same thing.

Ella, however, remains blissfully ignorant. ‘Oh. Well, Jay is the good one,’ she says, her voice full of pride. ‘The one we all looked up to. I mean, I know my family's got its issues, but not Jay. I mean, he really made me believe I could live a good life.’

Lucifer moves back from the victim’s desk that he had been examining and comes to stand next to Chloe. He’s so close that Chloe would barely have to move her hand to hold his and she has a sudden urge to do just that before she remembers why she can’t. There has always been a sort of tension between them while working, but now that Chloe knows she’s allowed to touch him, to kiss him, she realises just how difficult keeping this secret is going to be.

But keep it she must, because, torturous tension or not, she really doesn’t want to stop working with Lucifer.

‘Mm, well, that's what eldest brothers want you to think,’ he tells Ella. ‘Always talking down to you from their pedestals that they put themselves on.’ Chloe subtly puts her hand on Lucifer’s arm, silently asking him to tone it down. He looks down at her and she gives him her best this-case-is-not-about-you look.

Looking suitably chastised, Lucifer turns back to Ella. ‘Apologies, Miss Lopez.’

Ella’s eyes dart between the two of them and Chloe removes her hand from Lucifer as casually as possible, trying not to draw attention to it. Honestly, the move is not that out of the ordinary for them anyway.

Which is probably why Ella doesn’t comment on it. ‘We still don't know for sure if he was even here,’ she says instead, bringing Chloe’s thoughts back to Jay.

‘He was here,’ says Maze. She sounds very sure of herself and when Chloe turns to face her, she sees why. Maze is going through Jay Lopez’s wallet.

‘Where did you get that?’ she asks, angrily snatching the wallet out of Maze’s hands. She hadn’t even been wearing gloves as she had sifted through the contents.

Chloe’s annoyance dissipates a little as she idly wonders if demons even have fingerprints, but then returns when she remembers who she is dealing with. She’s absolutely certain that Maze does not give a shit about contaminating evidence, as long as she gets her bounty.

Chloe checks the ID in the wallet (while wearing gloves, thank you very much) and confirms that it is indeed Jay’s wallet.

For a moment, Ella looks defeated, but then something catches her eye and her face lights up again. ‘I was right! Jay is definitely not the killer! Based on the blood spatter, the bullet was fired from this angle, right?’ She holds out her right arm as if holding an imaginary gun.

‘It looks that way,’ says Chloe.

Ella backs up a few steps, smiling even brighter. ‘But this looks like powder burn, okay?’ She points to what is obviously powder burn on a lamp near the door. ‘So, the only way to shoot from this angle further back would be if you were a lefty.’ She switches arms so that now her left hand is the one holding the “gun”, right next to the lamp. ‘And drumroll, please my brother is a righty. So, obviously, there must have been another person here.’

Chloe is not sure she is convinced, but she can’t deny that Ella may be onto something. ‘Okay. Well, we'll start looking for this left-handed shooter,’ she says. ‘But, in the meantime, I really think it's best for everybody, including your brother, if you just step away from the investigation.’

Ella is quick to agree but once again Chloe is not convinced.

And, sure enough, as soon as Maze announces that Jay is still her bounty and she is going to go find him, Ella jumps at the chance at going with her. Chloe lets out a sigh as she watches them go.

‘Right. Now that we're done with that charade, shall we track down Miss Lopez's murderous brother before she does?’ asks Lucifer.

Chloe shakes her head. ‘I trust Ella’s instincts. It does seem like there was another person here. So, just to be safe, let's pursue both scenarios.’

Lucifer, however, seems to have already made up his mind about who the killer is. ‘Brothers can't be trusted, Detective. You're just delaying her inevitable disappointment.’

Chloe glances at the uniformed officers just outside the door, making sure none of them are looking, before stepping closer to Lucifer and putting a hand on his shoulder. ‘Hey, is something going on with you and Amenadiel?’ she asks. ‘You know you can talk to me.’

Lucifer gives her a small but grateful smile. He takes her hand from his shoulder and brings it to his lips to place a quick kiss on her knuckles. The old-fashioned gesture causes Chloe’s heart to skip a beat and her face to flush pink.

‘I do know, darling,’ he says, softly. ‘And I appreciate it, but there is nothing for you to worry about. Amenadiel is just being his usual holier-than-thou self. He’s still convinced that I am somehow a test that he has to pass to please our Father.’

Chloe frowns at that. She likes Amenadiel, but the more she finds out about him and how he has treated Lucifer, the more she wants to punch him in the face.

‘Well, don’t listen to him,’ she says, reluctantly taking her hand out of Lucifer’s. ‘And, until we know for sure, go easy on Jay. Not every family is like yours.’ Lucifer raises an eyebrow. ‘Okay, no family is like yours, but you know what I mean. Jay can’t be that bad. You heard the way Ella talked about him, and Ella has great judge of character.’

Lucifer nods and Chloe realises that she has won. For now, at least. Which she is very grateful for seeing as something shiny has just caught her eye and she now has to go back to focusing on the case. She grabs a pair of tweezers and leans down to pick the offending object up off the floor.

It’s a blood covered diamond.

----

‘Our victim is Fahrid Nasser,’ Dan tells them a couple of hours later at the precinct. ‘He's an international diamond salesman.’

‘So it makes sense that you'd find a loose diamond in his office,’ says Lucifer, impatiently, ‘but can you skip to the part where you help us track down Miss Lopez's brother?’

‘I thought we were looking for another suspect,’ says Dan, confused.

‘We are,’ says Chloe. ‘But he still could be a witness, so we still need to find him.’ She’s not entirely sure that it’s what Lucifer meant, but it’s true nonetheless.

Dan nods in understanding and agreement. ‘No news on that front yet. We already have a BOLO out, so we’ll just have to wait to see if we get some results from that. Or Maze.’

This time it is Chloe nodding in understanding and she gestures to the screens behind Dan that show his findings, urging him to continue.

Dan takes the hint. ‘Right. Well, it would make sense to find a diamond in a broker's office… unless that diamond was reported stolen. Fortunately for us, diamonds are pretty easy to track. Each one of them has a serial number laser-etched into it.’ He presses a button on a remote and a magnified picture of the diamond Chloe that had found appears on the screen, clearly showing the jewel’s serial number.

‘I usually get them to add crude drawings to the back of mine,’ whispers Lucifer, leaning so close that Chloe can feel his breath ghosting across the shell of her ear. An involuntary shiver runs down her spine as she can’t help but think of other situations where he could be doing that – other words that could be spoken in that low, sexy tone of his.

Lucifer thankfully doesn’t linger and leans back mere seconds after the words have left his mouth, giving Chloe a chance to breathe again. She risks a glance at him, and she can tell by the smug look in his eyes that he knows exactly what effect the action has had on her.

Dan, however, completely misses it. He had been looking at the screen and by the time he turns back around, Chloe has composed herself enough to appear like he has her undivided attention. ‘Where was it stolen from?’ she asks him, proud at how steady her voice sounds.

Yep, keeping this secret is going to be torture.

‘A diamond boutique in Beverly Hills,’ answers Dan. ‘And here's the kicker. Fahrid - our victim - he's one of the store's diamond brokers.’

‘So, what, he sells to them, uses that as a cover to the case the joint, then robs it?’

Dan shrugs. ‘Maybe. File on the robbery's pretty thin. No security cameras, no witnesses… Not a lot to go on.’

Red and orange warning lights start flashing in Chloe’s mind at that. A jewellery store with no security cameras? Surely they would want the best security they can afford? And considering that the store sells diamonds, they can probably afford a lot.

‘All right, well, maybe Fahrid had an accomplice?’ suggests Chloe, earning an agreeing nod from Dan and an oddly proud look from Lucifer. Had he always looked at her like that? ‘That could be our other suspect. Let's go to the jewellery store, see if we can drum up any new leads now that we know Fahrid is involved.’

Chloe gets out of her seat and gestures for Lucifer to follow her out of the room, which he does. ‘I just have to get a couple of things from my desk and then we can go,’ she tells him as they head towards said desk.

‘If you insist,’ says Lucifer with an air of mischief that suggests he’s about to follow it up with something inappropriate. ‘I was rather hoping we could fit in a quick snog in the evidence locker first, though.’ The last part is whispered in Chloe’s ear, not quite as close as he was when talking about the diamonds, but still enough for her to have to suppress another pleasant shiver. Chloe stops (they have reached her desk anyway) and turns to face him. She tries her best to glare at him but doesn’t quite achieve her goal.

His suggestion is rather tempting after all.

‘We agreed to be professional at work,’ she says, and Lucifer’s smile falters just a little.

‘Yes, professional, but not boring.’ His smile returns to full strength. ‘Come on, Detective. Listen to the Me on your shoulder for once.’

‘As tempting as that is,’ Chloe starts and Lucifer’s smile brightens even more, ‘we have a jewellery store to investigate and a reputation to maintain. I already have the whole Hot Tub High School thing looming over me, I don’t need being caught snogging,’ she puts on an over-the-top British accent for the word, ‘my partner in a cupboard to be added to that.’

Lucifer’s smile has fallen now, and Chloe suddenly feels rather guilty. She hadn’t meant to reject him so thoroughly. Hoping to salvage the situation, she leans forward so that now it is her whispering in his ear. ‘You’ll just have to wait for it,’ she tells him and then quickly leans back.

Lucifer’s playful smile is back in place in an instant. Mission successful.

‘Well, I guess we had better hurry up and get to the bottom of these stolen diamonds then.’

----

As soon as Chloe walks into the jewellery store, she notices that they do in fact have security cameras. And they’re not new, either.

Something is definitely not right.

Lucifer doesn’t notice it, though, and before Chloe can say anything, he is walking up to the salesclerk behind the counter. ‘We're here to-’ he starts but Chloe quickly cuts him off. This is looking like an inside job, and if they start waving their badges around (well, Chloe’s badge anyway; Lucifer doesn’t have one, much to his displeasure), it would put the culprit on alert. And that’s the last thing they need.

‘We’re here to buy a ring,’ she tells the clerk, clutching Lucifer’s arm and letting out a small giggle.

‘We are?’ asks Lucifer, clearly surprised and confused and Chloe has to think fast to explain his reaction. She just hopes he catches on to what she is up to quickly, this is going to be awkward enough as it is. They’ve only just started… well, they haven’t even put a name on what they have started, and now Chloe is talking about engagement rings.

‘He was gonna surprise me,’ she tells the clerk, ‘but I knew what he was up to. We're engaged.’

Lucifer lets out a chuckle and puts on a smile that is clearly faked but hopefully the clerk will just think that he’s embarrassed about being caught out.

‘How nice,’ says the clerk, looking awkwardly at the two. He doesn’t seem to doubt them, just thinks them a little strange. But, like any good salesperson, he ignores it, puts his smile back on, and shows them the lowest quality rings for the highest price.

Chloe’s having none of that.

‘Sweetie, I don't know if we came to the right place,’ she says to Lucifer after taking a moment to look at the jewellery that she could never hope to afford. She still can’t bring herself to look him in the eye for more than a second. ‘I expect a much higher clarity, and-and the colour here is blech.’ She scrunches her face up in mild disgust.

‘Oh, I see you have quite a discerning eye,’ says the clerk in a false sincerity that has no doubt been practised on many customers before her. ‘I have some other wonderful options. Just a moment.’

Chloe thanks him as he leaves through a staff only door to go find them a better selection. Once he is gone, she finally manages to gather enough courage to look Lucifer in the eye.

‘I… am confused,’ he says, and Chloe is quick to explain herself.

‘The file said that there was no security footage. All these cameras, they're not new, which means they were here at the time of the robbery, which means this is probably an inside job.’

She takes a breath after rushing it all out and then holds it, waiting for Lucifer to respond. She knows how much he likes to make cases about him, and what if this starts him thinking that she is placing hints that aren’t there? What if it makes him realise that he doesn’t want a relationship after all?

‘Yeah, I got that part. Flush out the accomplice, et cetera, et cetera. No, how do you know so much about diamonds?’ He gives her an impressed smile and Chloe can breathe again. He’s not freaking out. They’re okay.

She lets out a small relieved laugh. ‘Well, I’ve watched enough Real Housewives to fake it.’

Lucifer now looks even more impressed, but before either of them can say anything more on the subject, the salesclerk comes back with a selection of diamonds to show them. Chloe instantly puts her “Real Housewife” persona back on. ‘Oh, no, these still won’t do,’ she tells the clerk, trying to be as snobbish as possible. ‘How about this, why don't I show you what I don't want?’ She pulls out the bag with the (now blood-free) stolen diamond out of her pocket and hands it to the clerk. ‘This is what he got me for Valentine's Day. I didn't know that my future husband was that cheap.’

She realises that she may be going a bit too far, but it’s too late to stop now. “Real Housewife” Chloe is a bit of a bitch, it seems.

‘I am not cheap!’ exclaims Lucifer, looking genuinely offended before he seems to remember that this is all an act and he settles back into the role. ‘That diamond is of the highest quality.’

Chloe turns back to the salesclerk. ‘Is it? Is it of the highest quality?’

The clerk looks a little awkward but gets out his lenses to examine the diamond nonetheless. Chloe can tell the exact moment he realises that the diamond is one of theirs. He looks shocked and uncomfortable, but not guilty or worried.

He’s not their guy.

‘Uh, I'm sorry, I recognise the serial number,’ he tells them, a little flustered. ‘But, uh, this diamond is… stolen.’

Stolen?’ Chloe feigns shock and outrage and turns to Lucifer. ‘You cheap son of a bitch!’

Lucifer once again protests that he is not cheap, but then the salesclerk interrupts what has the potential to be a very loud and very improvised pseudo-argument.

‘I’m sorry but I will have to call the police.’

‘Oh, please do call the cops,’ says Chloe, purposely raising her voice to cause as much of a scene as possible. If it’s not the salesclerk that has helped steal the diamonds, she needs to draw in the real culprit. ‘I want my future ex-husband arrested for being cheap.’

‘Right for the last time De-darling,’ Lucifer falters but is quick to save their cover. His next words, however - which are undoubtedly going to be another protest about being called cheap - are cut off by a well-dressed woman approaching them and taking the phone receiver out of the salesclerk’s hand.

‘No need to get the authorities involved,’ she says. Her voice is as smooth as silk, but her eyes tell a different story. They’re worried. ‘I'm Tiffany James, the owner. Why don't you come with me, and we'll find you the perfect diamond.’

So, it is the owner who is stealing diamonds from her own store. Chloe did not see that one coming.

Chapter Text

‘I’m sorry I called you cheap.’

Chloe’s apology comes out of nowhere, causing Lucifer to look up from the Newton’s Cradle on her desk that he had been playing with and raise an eyebrow.

‘No need to apologise, Detective. All in the name of catching the criminal.’

Chloe’s eyes soften and her shoulders relax in visible relief. While the cheap comments had stung a little, Lucifer hadn’t realised that she had been feeling that much guilt over it. ‘I know,’ she says, ‘but I still feel bad. I know you’re not cheap. You leave hundred-dollar bills in the vending machine for Go... Goodness sake.’

Lucifer chuckles. ‘Nice save.’

Chloe smiles back at him and he suddenly has an overwhelming urge to tuck in the stray lock of hair that has fallen from her ponytail and is now swaying next to her left cheek. He lifts his hand to do just that, but then Dan approaches Chloe’s desk, accompanied by an unfamiliar man in a suit, so he quickly pulls it back.

‘This is Don Zeikel, the insurance adjuster that covers Tiffany James's store,’ Dan introduces the stranger who reaches out to shake first Chloe’s hand, then Lucifer’s.

‘I'm in your debt,' says Don. 'It's rare we actually catch insurance fraud.’ Because that’s the only thing that Tiffany James is guilty of… well, the only thing that Lucifer and Chloe care about anyway. ‘Makes me miss being a cop.’

‘Bet you don't miss the sad amounts on the pay stubs,’ jokes Dan, indicating the suit that Don is wearing. It is nowhere near the same league as Lucifer’s own attire, but it’s still passable. The wingtip shoes are a rather nice touch, though.

Don chuckles. ‘Better Scotch and stylish clothes don't make up for that rush you get when you catch a bad guy. Now that I've gone corporate, I just pay out the claims.’

‘Why’s that?’ asks Chloe.

‘Oh, it's practically an untraceable crime if the thief's got a cleaner.’

‘A cleaner?’

‘It's someone who can replace the microscopic serial numbers on the diamonds.’

‘Oh, like, say, a diamond authenticator,’ says Lucifer, giving Chloe a pointed look. She gives him one right back, but he can see that she is starting to come around to the idea that Jay Lopez is guilty.

Don shrugs ‘Sure. Why? Do you know a diamond authenticator involved?’

‘Yes,’ says Lucifer at once, drowning out Chloe’s reply of ‘Not yet’.

Chloe lets out a sigh. ‘We are still looking at a number of different leads.’ She’s looking at Don, but Lucifer knows that she is talking to him and he can’t help but smile a little at the familiar annoyed twitch in her eye. He had been worried that they would lose this part of their working relationship now that they have started a romantic relationship, but it seems he still has the same power to annoy her as he’s always had.

Don doesn’t push the issue; he just asks them to keep him in the loop and then takes his leave. As soon as he is gone, Chloe’s head drops to her desk and she lets out another sigh.

‘Why do I get the feeling that our two-pronged investigation just lost a prong?’ says Dan.

Chloe lifts her head and nods. ‘We need to find Ella’s brother.’ She shoots Lucifer a glare. ‘Don’t look so happy about it. Ella’s gonna be crushed.’

Lucifer’s smile vanishes in an instant. He never even considered Ella’s reaction to her brother’s betrayal. For Lucifer, love between siblings isn’t something he remembers well - in fact, over the past couple of millennia, he and his brothers and sisters have taken the term “sibling rivalry” to a whole new level – so there is no real surprise when one of them betrays him. Not anymore. But Ella? Ella obviously does love her brothers. And when Ella loves something, she doesn’t half-ass it; she goes all in and loves it with every fibre of her being.

Chloe’s right, she going to be crushed.

Lucifer suddenly feels very guilty for gunning so hard for Jay to be the bad guy.

Chloe seems to sense his drastic change of mood and her features soften, now looking more resigned than annoyed. ‘Let’s call Ella. Her and Maze are already looking for Jay so they may have already found him.’

Lucifer nods and shifts out of the way so that Chloe can reach her mobile phone that is on her desk. She dials the number and then puts it on speaker. After a couple of rings, Ella answers.

‘Hey, Chloe. What's up?’

‘So, we've had no luck finding this supposed other person,' she tells Ella. 'We may need to consider other scenarios. Like that maybe Jay… wasn't just a witness to the murder. Look, I know that this is tough, but I think it's best if we talk to Jay first. So, have you had any luck finding him?’

Lucifer has to commend Chloe on how she can combine professionalism with compassion. She’s not tiptoeing around the truth, but the caring friend that she is is still very much shining through.

But, sadly, it’s not enough.

‘No,’ replies Ella after a few seconds of awkward silence. ‘No luck.’

‘Okay. Well, let us know if you do.’

After Ella hangs up, Lucifer, Chloe and Dan share a glance.

‘She's lying.’

----

Having decided that Ella would most likely be trying to prove her brother’s innocence herself, Lucifer and Chloe go back to the crime scene in hopes of finding her and Jay there. They are not disappointed.

Jay, however, is disappointed. Disappointed in Ella, that is. And he’s a bit angry too, thinking that Ella has betrayed him to the police. Jay is a bit of a hypocrite, thinks Lucifer, considering that he is currently standing in a (previously) hidden stash room that Lucifer is willing to bet his sizeable fortune was used to clean the stolen diamonds.

‘Seems that Mr Zeikel was onto something,' he says, glaring at Jay.

‘Who was onto what?’ asks Ella.

‘He's the insurance adjuster for the missing diamonds,’ explains Chloe. She points to the laser engraving equipment that is in the stash room. ‘He said that equipment replaces the serial number on the stolen diamonds.’

Ella turns to her brother. ‘Is that what you were doing?’ she asks him. The look of hurt on her face makes Lucifer’s insides twist uncomfortably and he tries to remember just when this tiny ball of optimism in the form of a forensic scientist became so important to him. Perhaps it was when he realised that she reminded him of one of his own sisters, back before he fell, when family had meant something to him.

After a beat, Jay gives up his innocence charade. ‘Okay, fine. Yeah, I was in here cleaning the diamonds. But it was a one-time thing.’ Before anyone can say anything more, he bends down and grabs something from behind the wall of the stash room, and, a second later, he has a gun trained on Chloe.

Lucifer instantly goes to shield her, but Chloe is too quick for him. She has her own gun out and is pointing it at Jay before Lucifer can take more than a step.

Still, Lucifer can’t help but slowly edge closer to her, ready to get her out of the line of fire if Jay decides to upgrade from insurance fraud to murder.

Jay slowly moves across the room, the arm holding his gun not faltering for a second. ‘Relax, Jay,’ says Chloe, following him with her own weapon. ‘We'll go to the precinct, talk about this, figure it out. But first you need to put the gun down.’

‘Why? No matter what I say or do, you're not gonna believe me. So what's the point?’ Jay has reached the open door now but doesn’t yet attempt to leave. He must know that going through it will give Chloe the advantage she needs to end their stand-off.

Lucifer doesn’t doubt that Chloe has the ability to talk Jay into surrendering, but she doesn’t get the chance. Ella, who is still standing up for her brother, jumps between the two, giving Jay his chance to run. Chloe lowers her weapon and runs around Ella after Jay but it’s too late. He has locked the door behind him.

----

20 minutes and one phone call later, uniform arrive, unlock the door, and start a search for Jay. Not surprisingly, he is long gone.

‘Go ahead. Say it,’ says Ella and it’s the closest that Lucifer has ever seen her to tears. ‘"I told you so, your brother's a killer”.’ She gives his chest a light punch. ‘Come on, say it that you were right all along.’

‘Miss Lopez…’ starts Lucifer, but he’s not sure how to continue. That uncomfortable feeling has returned and he doesn’t want to risk upsetting Ella more.

Ella doesn’t seem to notice that he doesn’t have any comforting words for her, she’s too busy blaming herself.

Jay better hope that Lucifer doesn’t catch up to him any time soon.

‘How could I have been so blind? I mean, Jay lied to me about everything. He obviously lied about seeing the killer too.’

‘Not necessarily.’ Chloe’s voice comes from inside the stash room and Lucifer and Ella move around the wall to see the screen that Chloe is looking at. It’s obviously some sort of security/monitoring system. And it shows a clear view of where they found Fahrid’s body. ‘Maybe Jay did see the killer, not from the bathroom, but from right here. What exactly did he say he saw?’

A tiny spark of hope lights up in Ella’s eyes as she thinks for a couple of seconds. ‘Uh, a guy wearing a mask. And red wingtip shoes.’

‘Wingtips?’ says, Lucifer, impressed, but then he pauses as he remembers someone else with that level of footwear game. Someone who they met mere hours ago. ‘Detective...’ Chloe turns her head, giving him her full attention. ‘Who else do we know with that particular sense of style?’

Chloe’s brow creases adorably for a second before she catches on.

‘Don Zeikel.’

----

They manage to find Don very easily at his hotel room, and, thanks to Maze, he pays dearly for his crimes and Jay Lopez is exonerated. But that was a few hours ago. Now, Lucifer is sitting in the same hotel room, waiting for Don and Fahrid’s third business partner to show up to retrieve the stolen diamonds that the LAPD had not been able to find.

Aaaand here he is now, retrieving the diamonds from their very clever hiding spot inside a vent.

Lucifer slowly claps his hands, revealing his presence. ‘Ah, the slow hand clap, it never gets old, does it?’

To his credit, Jay recovers from the shock very quickly. ‘Hey, man. It’s not what it looks like.’

‘Save it, Evil Lopez,’ Lucifer interrupts what was no doubt going to be a pitiful excuse. The Armani suit that the man is wearing is proof enough of his guilt. ‘Clearly this wasn't a “one-time deal”. It seems you're not quite as virtuous as your sister would like to believe.’

Jay finally drops his act. ‘Whatever, man. You don't know what it's like making sure everyone's looked after. It all falls on me.’

‘Ah, so you felt entitled to stick your hand in the proverbial cookie jar because it "took care of your family"?’

Evidently, that’s exactly what Jay feels, listing all the things he’s done for his family as if it justifies all the lies and leading them all to believe he's a saint when he’s no better than a common criminal.

‘You’re gonna tell Ella, aren’t you?’ Jay says at last, and for all his faults, he at least has the decency to look ashamed at the prospect of his sister discovering the extent of his nefarious affairs. When Lucifer doesn’t answer, he resigns himself to his fate. ‘All right, just let me do it. She should hear it from me.’

‘You’re not going to tell her anything,’ says Lucifer, almost threateningly before regaining his composure. ‘And neither am I.’

Jay looks confused. ‘You’re not?’

‘No. Miss Lopez puts a lot of faith in you, and losing that faith would hurt her. And I won't allow that to happen.’

Jay looks a bit stunned, a bit grateful, a bit disappointed, and a bit fearful (he’s not an idiot, after all). Lucifer holds his hand out for the diamonds and Jay reluctantly hands them over. ‘I'll get my act together, I promise,’ he says.

‘No need to promise, Jay Lopez,’ says Lucifer, and this time there is no mistaking the threat in his words. ‘Because I’ll be watching you and if you ever disappoint her again… I'll come for you.’

After a few moments to let that thought sink in, Lucifer leaves Jay to ponder his future life choices, knowing that Ella will never have to worry about losing faith in her big brother ever again.

----

After dropping off the diamonds at the precinct (and being very careful not to incriminate Jay Lopez in any way), Lucifer goes back to his penthouse. He’s there for a whole of two minutes before he decides to go back out again. Just 24 hours ago, he and Chloe were on his balcony, finally admitting their feelings to each other, and Lucifer finds that he already misses her.

Less than an hour later, he’s knocking on the Decker residence door, hoping that he’s not about to make a fool out of himself by being too clingy.

A few nerve-wracking seconds go by before the door opens, revealing a very surprised, but thankfully not upset or freaked out, Chloe.

‘Lucifer. Hi.’

‘Hello, Detective,’ he replies, and he can’t help but smiling at how just the sight of her can make him feel lighter. ‘I was wondering if you would allow me to make you dinner.’ He briefly lifts the bag of groceries he is carrying to showcase his request. ‘And the Spawn, of course, if she is home.’ When she doesn’t respond right away, his nerves start to return. ‘That’s what couples do, isn’t it? Have dinner together?’

Another ten silent seconds go by.

‘Unless, I was mistaken,’ he says, his smile falling. ‘Apologies, Detective. I overstepped. I’ll leave you to enjoy your evening.’

He makes to turn away but a tight grip on his arm stops him. ‘No, wait,’ rushes Chloe. 'I’m sorry, you just surprised me. You’re always welcome here, Lucifer.' A smile blossoms on her face. 'And I’d love it if you made us dinner.'

Lucifer’s chest constricts at that, feeling welcome somewhere. It’s an unusual sensation and it makes him want to take Chloe in his arms and kiss her senseless. He makes a move to do just that but before he can even raise his free hand, Chloe is taking the bag of groceries out of the other. She ushers him into the apartment and through to the kitchen and Lucifer has to rush a bit to help her unpack the food that she is already unloading onto the counter.

‘Trix!’ Chloe calls to her daughter. ‘Change of plans for dinner tonight.’

Trixie appears from her room. The confused frown she’s wearing quickly turns to a pleased smile when she sees the reason for the sudden change in schedule. ‘Hi Lucifer,’ she says, jumping up to sit on the stool next to the counter. She seems to have grown out of running up and hugging him every time she sees him.

Lucifer’s not sure if he’s relieved or disappointed by that fact.

‘Hello, Spawn,’ he greets, pulling out the last item from the grocery bag.

A movement out of the corner of his eye catches his attention and he turns to see Chloe already getting the stove ready. ‘Ah ah ah,’ he chides, taking the pan from her. ‘I said I will cook dinner, and that means me cooking dinner and you relaxing.’

Chloe rolls her eyes, but she still has that pleased smile on her face, so Lucifer knows that she isn’t really annoyed at him. The urge to kiss her rears its head again and this time there is nothing to stop him acting on the impulse. But before the kiss can amount to more than a slight press of the lips, Chloe is pulling away. She looks pointedly at Trixie, who is busy inspecting all the ingredients that Lucifer has brought, and Lucifer furrows his brow in confusion.

‘Trix, go wash up while dinner’s getting ready,’ she says, and Lucifer has to wait for the child to take her leave before he gets an explanation.

‘Lucifer,’ Chloe half-whispers, ‘I thought we agreed that we were keeping this-’ she gestures to the space between them ‘-just between us for now.’

‘I thought that was just for work. Surely the Spawn can keep a secret?’

‘Maybe, but that’s not the issue.’ At Lucifer’s confused silence, she continues. ‘Look, Trixie adores you. And that’s great. That is so great. But…’ She pauses and Lucifer’s frown deepens. What is wrong with Trixie adoring him?

Chloe lets out a small sigh. ‘I just don’t want her to get her hopes up. I don’t want her to be disappointed if this thing between us doesn’t work out.’

Lucifer feels likes he’s been splashed with ice-cold water. ‘You don’t think this will work out?’ he asks, his voice sounding a lot smaller than he would like it to.

‘No, no, that’s not what I’m saying,’ answers Chloe in a desperate rush. She reaches out to take his hand and he grabs hold of it as if it were a lifeline. ‘Lucifer, look at me.’ He’s already looking at her, but he nods his understanding nonetheless. ‘I want this to work. I really really want this to work. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anything more in my life.’ He can see the honesty in her eyes and that ice-cold feeling dissipates a bit. ‘I just want to be sure that it can. Even with the whole Devil/mortal stuff, our lifestyles are different and then there’s work and no matter how much we lo-' She cuts herself off and Lucifer's heart skips a beat at the thought of what she had been about to say.

'No matter how much we want this,' she continues, 'this relationship is not going to be easy and if it doesn’t work out, then I don’t want my daughter to go through the heartbreak she had to go through when Dan and I split. It wasn’t an easy time for any of us and she… she really shouldn’t have to deal with that.’ And now there is something else in Chloe’s eyes. Guilt. ‘Plus, we should probably work out the details ourselves before we start trying to explain it to ten-year-olds who ask too many questions.’

She tries to smile at that and Lucifer tries to return it. He’s starting to understand now. This isn’t so much to do with their relationship and more to do with Chloe’s marriage to Dan. Leave it to Detective Douche to cause them problems before he even knows there are problems to be caused.

‘Okay,’ he says, and he can see the relief in Chloe’s eyes. ‘I can wait to tell the Urchin until you’re ready. But do you mind if I tell Linda? Strictly as a professional of course. Otherwise I imagine it will be difficult to conduct our sessions properly without going back to metaphors.’

Chloe is quick to agree. ‘Of course, Lucifer. Whatever you need. Thank you for understanding.’

Lucifer’s not sure if he does fully understand it yet, but he’s trying. And, honestly, he would do anything to keep this woman.

A few moments go by in silence as they just stare at each other, still holding hands in Chloe’s kitchen, but then Trixie returns and they reluctantly break apart before the child can see them.

‘Can I help Lucifer with dinner, Mommy?’ Trixie asks, jumping back up onto the stool she was sitting on before.

Chloe smiles at her daughter. ‘Only if that’s okay with Lucifer.’

Bother Decker women turn their eyes to him and Lucifer cannot help but bow to their will. ‘Well, the point was for me to give you a home-cooked meal without either of you actually having to do the cooking… but if you really want to help, Urchin, I don’t see why not.’

Trixie’s delight is expressed via a high-pitched squeal and an enthusiastic bound off of her stool so that she can run around the counter to Lucifer and Chloe’s side.

Lucifer has a feeling he’s just bitten off more than he can chew.

----

Despite the awkward start, dinner goes rather splendidly - even Trixie surprises him with her culinary skills – and by the end of it, Lucifer’s not sure why he was so nervous about it. He and Chloe have retained their usual easy companionship and the conversation flows as freely as it ever has.

Plus, there’s the added lingering touches and subtle thigh brushes underneath the table that make Lucifer feel lighter than he ever thought possible.

But, far before he’s ready, the moon has risen high in the sky and it’s time for him to take his leave. Chloe walks him out and shuts the door behind them. Lucifer has but two seconds to be confused by the action before all his attention is focused on returning the kiss that Chloe has just bestowed on him. It’s not a very deep or needy kiss, but it’s not exactly chaste either and Lucifer has to stop himself from groaning at the sensation. He could kiss Chloe every minute of every day, he thinks.

When they pull away, they are both a bit breathless. Chloe smiles up at him, a happy twinkle in her eyes. ‘Been wanting to do that all day,’ she says before giving him one last peck on the lips and retreating back into her house. ‘Goodnight.’

It takes a moment for Lucifer’s brain to restart itself. ‘Goodnight,’ he replies to the closed door.

Chapter Text

The Friday after the Fahrid case is wrapped up, Cain sits at the bar at Lux. Lucifer doesn’t always show up at the precinct when there isn’t a murder to solve, so Cain has taken to visiting the nightclub every now and then. Since his attempt at dying while in Decker’s presence failed, he’s had to increase his surveillance a bit. He needs to find out why Lucifer is mortal around Decker, and, more importantly, why Cain isn’t.

Lucifer makes an appearance quite early this evening, which isn’t that unusual… but he does seem a bit distracted, lost in his own thoughts. Unfortunately, whatever has got the Devil so worked up is no match for the lack of people in the club at this early hour, and for the first time since Cain has been visiting Lux, Lucifer spots him.

‘I’m a bit surprised to see you here, Lieutenant,’ he says in way of greeting. ‘Didn’t think this would be your kind of scene. I thought you would have favoured a boring old cop bar.’

‘Well, you would be wrong,’ Cain lies. Truth be told, he would take a “boring old cop bar” any day, if only for the better music. ‘I tried The Paddock but it wasn’t really my thing, so I figured I’d give Lux a go. Hate to admit it, Morningstar, but it’s a nice place you got here. Plus, the people are prettier.’

Lucifer preens. ‘Well, thank you very much.’

‘I meant the dancers.’

Lucifer’s smile doesn’t falter and Cain suspects that he had known exactly what he had meant.

‘Besides,’ he continues, ‘being the boss’ boss has to have some perks.’

Lucifer gives him a look that is half challenging, half impressed. After a short showdown, the Devil is the first one to break eye contact, turning to signal the bartender. ‘Fine,’ he says, turning back to Cain. ‘You did save the Detective’s life after all, so I do owe you. Patrick, make sure the Lieutenant here is added to the free drinks list.’ The barman, Patrick, nods and puts another beer in front of Cain and a glass of scotch in front of Lucifer before going off to serve other customers.

Cain raises an eyebrow. ‘There’s a list?’

‘Yes, and it’s a very short one. My brother’s not even on it.’

‘Is this your way of telling me that I should feel honoured?’

Lucifer gives him that look again but it doesn’t last. ‘Not honoured, but a little gratitude wouldn’t go astray.’

Cain reluctantly accedes to that. He may not be afraid of the Devil, but he doesn’t want to piss him off unnecessarily. ‘You’re right. Thank you, Lucifer.’

Mollified, Lucifer adjusts his suit jacket and downs his scotch in one go. ‘Well, as riveting as this conversation is, I have a previous engagement. Enjoy the free drinks Lieutenant.’ And without even a backwards glance, he leaves the bar and weaves through the steadily growing number of patrons, heading towards the club’s exit. He’s all smiles and flirtation while greeting his admirers, but as soon as he thinks no one is watching, his demeanour changes. He looks almost nervous of all things.

Since when did Lucifer get nervous?

Cain briefly considers following him, but he knows better than to try and tail the Devil. Cain is good, but he’s not that good. Even if he takes every precaution, he’d be spotted in under ten minutes. No, hiding in plain sight is a far better strategy. There’s no need to draw unwanted attention. Not until he knows he can get what he wants.

----

Chloe stares at her reflection in the full-length mirror that is on the inside of her wardrobe door. She’s still not sure if the pink woollen sweater is elegant enough for a date. Especially not when that date is with Lucifer Morningstar.

He could literally be taking her anywhere.

Though, he had warned her to wear something warmish as it could get chilly later, leading Chloe to deduce that their date at least has an element that involves being outside. But that doesn’t really narrow it down. Lots of fancy places have outside areas.

After another two minutes of analysing every aspect of her appearance, Chloe decides that it will do. Lucifer seems to like her well enough in plain t-shirts, boring slacks, and sensible brown shoes, so she doubts he’s going to judge her too much on her chosen outfit. So, she tells herself that there will be other times to get a reaction from him like she did in Vegas, and then heads downstairs to wait for him to pick her up.

Trixie is with Dan this weekend so there is nothing to distract her and as every minute ticks by, Chloe's anxiety rises; she hasn’t been on a date since her and Dan had been together.

Well, apart from that one last year where Lucifer stood her up.

Chloe banishes the thought. Tonight is not going to be a repeat of that night. A lot has happened since then and she knows that this time Lucifer will definitely show.

She glances at the clock. Still five minutes until he’s due to arrive. No need to worry.

A knock at the door makes Chloe jump and she takes a few seconds to compose herself before answering it. When she does, it opens to reveal a very handsome and slightly nervous looking Lucifer. He’s wearing one of his usual Prada suits but tonight he has opted for a red pocket square… which perfectly matches the bouquet of roses he is holding.

‘You look beautiful,’ he says, holding out the roses and giving her an appreciative look, his eyes roaming over her form from head to toe. Chloe tries not to blush.

She fails.

‘Thank you,’ she says, both for the compliment and for the flowers. ‘Let me just put these in a vase and then I’m ready to go.’

She quickly empties a vase that is sitting on her kitchen shelf, holding fake flowers that she had bought because the room needed a little bit of colour, and places the roses in it with a little bit of water.

She’s back at the door within two minutes.

‘Okay, all done. Shall we?’

‘We shall,’ says Lucifer, offering his arm and Chloe almost giggles before she takes it. She’s starting to suspect that Lucifer has been doing research on how to act on a first date. Her suspicion only grows when they reach the corvette and he opens her door for her. She doesn’t mention it, though. It’s quite nice to be treated with chivalry for a change.

The ride is filled with comfortable conversation about work and Lux and before Chloe even realises it, they are heading out of the city.

‘Lucifer, where are we going?’

‘You’ll see,’ is the only reply she gets, and she really wants to press for more, but the smile on Lucifer’s face stops her. He’s obviously put a lot of thought into this and there is no way she is going to ruin it for him. So, she sits back in her seat and watches the houses and trees fly by as the corvette climbs higher into the hills of LA.

So, they’re not going too far out of the city, then, she thinks.

Eventually they roll to a stop near the top of the hill. There are no buildings here - no fancy restaurants or posh nightclubs - just trees and one solitary bench.

At first, Chloe doesn’t realise what is so special about the place, but when Lucifer gestures to crest of the hill and she makes her way over, her breath catches in her throat.

‘Lucifer, it’s…’

‘Breath-taking, isn’t it?’ he says, coming to stand beside her. Chloe can only nod, still staring at the view before her. ‘Charlotte told me about it.’

‘You can see the whole city from here.’

Out of the corner of her eye, she sees Lucifer smile and then move away. She finally tears her gaze away from the beautiful lights of LA and watches him walk over to the bench. Only now does she notice that he is carrying a picnic basket and blanket. By the time Chloe reaches him, he’s already laid the blanket over the bench and is pulling paper bags and a bottle of wine out of the basket.

Chloe takes a seat and Lucifer hands her two paper bags. She peers inside and a smile spreads across her face as she sees what he has brought them for their first date.

Burgers and fries.

And they are miraculously still warm.

‘No ketchup,’ says Lucifer, matching her smile, ‘and this time, definitely no air stewardesses.’

Chloe laughs a little at that, even if the memory is a little tainted. She leans over and gives him a quick peck on the lips that has him smiling even more. ‘Thank you, Lucifer.’

‘So, you like it then? I didn’t stuff this whole “first date” thing up?’

Chloe shakes her head, still smiling. ‘It’s perfect.’

They eat in companionable silence after that and once they are finished, Lucifer packs everything bar the wine and their two half-empty glasses away. Now that there is nothing on the bench separating them, Chloe takes the opportunity to slide closer to him, taking his hand in hers and leaning her head on his shoulder. She sips her wine and looks out at the LA lights below them, feeling utterly content.

After a few minutes of enjoying the view and each other’s company, Chloe breaks the silence and voices the question she’s been wanting to ask since their last case – the one with Ella’s brother. ‘So, are you going to tell me why our last case bothered you so much?’ she asks, softly.

Lucifer tenses beside her. ‘Must we ruin the evening, Detective?’ he whispers back.

Chloe sits up straight so she can look at him properly but doesn’t let go of his hand. ‘You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to,’ she says, earnestly. ‘I just can tell that it’s still affecting you, and I thought that you may need someone to talk about it with.’

Lucifer lets out a sigh and uses their still joined hands to pull her back against him. They sit like that in silence for a minute before Lucifer finally begins to speak.

‘Seeing Ella dealing with her brother like that… it brought up memories about my own brother.'

‘Amenadiel?’

Lucifer shakes his head. ‘Uriel.’

Chloe can tell by the way he’s gripping her hand that this is a hard topic for him to discuss. She rubs her thumb over his in small circles, hoping to relieve some of the tension. ‘You don’t have to talk about if you don’t want to,’ she repeats.

‘I don’t want to,’ Lucifer admits, ‘but I should. You deserve to know, and it will probably be better if you find out sooner rather than later.’

Chloe’s a little worried now but she stays silent, waiting for him to continue.

‘Do you remember that car accident you were in last year?’ he asks, and Chloe blinks a couple of times at the sudden change of topic.

‘I remember you wouldn’t leave me alone afterwards. You kept taking my pens away.’

‘Yes, well it turns out I wasn’t being overly paranoid. That accident wasn’t an ordinary accident; it was Uriel. He did it as a warning to me.’

‘A warning?’

‘A warning for me to give him Mum, or he would kill you.’

This time it is Chloe tightening her grip on his hand. She can’t deny being a bit terrified of the thought of having a celestial hit placed on her without her even knowing it. ‘But you told me that angels weren’t allowed to kill humans,’ she says once she has found her voice again.

‘They’re not,’ answers Lucifer, ‘but Uriel had a loophole. Every angel is given certain gifts when they are created. Mine is my “desire mojo” as you call it, Amenadiel’s is- was the power to slow time, and Uriel’s was patterns. He could practically see the future just by studying them, and as such, knew how to manipulate events to get his desired outcome.’

Chloe nods slowly in understanding. Angels have just become a lot more frightening.

‘So, what happened?’ she asks. ‘I mean, I know you didn’t hand your mother over, and I’m still alive, so…’

Lucifer lets out another sigh that is full of pain and sorrow. ‘We tried reasoning with him, we tried intimidating him with Amenadiel’s wrath – that was how I found out that Amenadiel had fallen – but it was no use. Eventually I confronted him, and we fought. I found out that he had Azrael’s blade and he wanted to use it on Mum.’ Chloe’s confusion must be evident on her face because he quickly explains himself. ‘Azrael is my sister, the Angel of Death, and her blade doesn’t just kill, it completely erases. If Uriel had stabbed Mum with it, she wouldn’t have just gone back to Hell, she would have ceased to exist entirely.’

‘How did Uriel get it?’

Lucifer thinks for a moment. ‘I’m not sure, actually.’

‘So, I take it you won the fight,’ says Chloe, gently urging him to continue the story.

Lucifer nods and Chloe’s heart constricts as she notices that his eyes are starting to get a little glassy. She begins rubbing her thumb against his again and he seems to calm down a bit.

‘He wouldn’t stop – wouldn’t listen. He was going to kill you, and Mum, and probably Maze, and I- I had no choice.’ He takes a breath. ‘I used the blade on him. I killed him, my own brother.’

His hands are shaking now and Chloe instantly regrets bringing the subject up. ‘I’m sorry,’ she says, putting her free hand over their joined ones.

‘Whatever for?’ he asks, his voice a little shaky.

‘For bringing it up. That you had to do that in the first place. I’m just… sorry.’

Lucifer wrenches his hand out of hers and stands up so quickly, Chloe almost loses her balance. ‘Did you not hear me, Detective? I destroyed my own brother! I’m a m-’

‘Monster?’ Chloe cuts in and Lucifer quietens. She’s known him long enough to know how he sees himself. ‘No, Lucifer, you’re not.’

After a couple of moments of silence, Chloe continues. ‘You know what else I remember about that accident?' she asks. 'I remember that, a few days later, you stood in front of a sniper and told him to shoot you. That was because of Uriel, wasn’t it? Because of what happened?’

Lucifer nods, looking at her like he can’t quite believe she exists.

‘The fact that you felt that guilty over it, that you still feel guilty over it, proves that you’re not the monster you think you are. You were forced to do a horrible thing, yes, but you did everything you could to avoid it.’

When he still doesn’t say anything, Chloe tries another tactic. ‘I’ve killed people. In the line of duty. I shot Malcolm to stop him from killing you. Does that make me a monster too?’

‘It’s not the same,’ Lucifer whispers.

‘Isn’t it? Why not?’

When Lucifer can’t think of an answer, Chloe pats the bench next to her and he sits back down. She tentatively takes his hand and lets out a breath of relief when he lets her. ‘I wish I could tell you the guilt will go away,’ she says, ‘but I know you hate liars.’ Lucifer lets out a huff of laughter at that. ‘But you shouldn’t blame yourself. It sounds like Uriel made his choice.’

Slowly, Lucifer nods and Chloe turns back to face the LA skyline to give him a moment to compose himself.

‘You really are a miracle,’ he says after a minute, and Chloe is relieved to hear that his voice is steady again.

‘I’m pretty sure we established that some time ago.’

Lucifer chuckles and pulls Chloe back into his side. He lets go of her hand and wraps his arm around her waist instead, holding her closer. ‘Tell me about Uriel,’ says Chloe, snuggling her head into the crook of his neck. ‘What was he like? When you were kids, I mean.’ She pauses, thinking. ‘Were you even kids at all?’

She feels Lucifer smile and place a quick kiss to her hair. ‘We weren’t kids in the way that human children are,’ he says, ‘but we were young, so I guess the principle would be similar.’

Chloe idly thinks that that explains a lot of Lucifer’s childish behaviour but then quickly dismisses the thought. Lucifer is just Lucifer. And she wouldn’t have him any other way.

A couple of minutes go by and Chloe thinks that he isn’t going to answer her original question but then he sighs and pulls her a little tighter against him. ‘He was an annoying little runt, to be honest,’ he says. ‘But oh, he was clever…’

Chloe closes her eyes and silently listens to Lucifer talk about the brother that he lost in more ways than one. By the time he has finished, it’s getting quite late and more than a little chilly, but Chloe considers it completely worth it for having Lucifer open up to her a little more. And, not that Lucifer would probably admit it, she suspects that the talk has helped him too. The haunted look has disappeared from his eyes in light of his fond reminiscing.

When they are finally ready to leave, Lucifer notices Chloe’s slight shivering and, ever the gentleman, drapes his jacket over her shoulders as he escorts her to the car where he once again opens her door for her. Before she gets in, she leans up and gives him a kiss that is relatively chaste, but still enough to express all the gratitude and happiness that she feels at that moment. ‘Thank you,’ she says, and Lucifer looks down at her confused.

‘I’m the one who should be thanking you, Chloe,’ he says. ‘For still being here, despite everything.’

‘I told you, Lucifer, I’ll always be here for you.’

At those words, Lucifer bends down and gives her a kiss that is nowhere near as chaste as the one she had just given him, and Chloe has to clutch at his shoulders to stay standing. After a minute or two, she reluctantly pulls away. They agreed on taking things slowly and she still stands by that, regardless of how weak her knees feel from just one kiss.

Plus, she’s one more sappy sentence away from telling Lucifer she loves him, and she doesn’t think either of them are ready for those words yet.

Lucifer thankfully understands her reaction and dutifully steps away from temptation. She sends him a grateful smile and settles down into the passenger seat. She lets out a pleased sigh. Despite everything, this really has been the perfect first date.

Chapter Text

Lucifer is sitting on the familiar couch of Linda’s office. It is his first session since he and the Detective have started a relationship, so, needless to say, there has been quite a bit to talk about. ‘It’s so strange,’ he tells his therapist who has been listening with a bit more enthusiasm than a therapist probably should. ‘I feel… happy. The happiest I have been in ages. Literally ages. So why am I…’ He trails off, not quite sure how to voice what he's feeling.

Linda, bless her, knows exactly what he is trying to say. ‘You’re still waiting for the other shoe to drop,’ she says. It isn’t a question. ‘You’re still worried it’s not real.’

Lucifer nods.

‘Lucifer, this is perfectly normal. You’ve just started what I’m sensing is your first serious relationship. It’s only natural to be afraid.’

Lucifer scoffs at the word but doesn’t do more to deny it.

‘So what is it exactly that is making you afr-’ Linda cuts herself off when Lucifer shoots her a look. ‘What is making you doubt?’ she says instead. ‘From what you’ve told me, it sounds like Chloe has done everything she can to convince you that she wants this relationship.’

‘It’s not convincing me that I’m worried about,’ Lucifer mutters to himself.

He really should know better than to do that in a therapist’s office.

‘Who else should she be convincing?’ asks Linda, jumping straight onto his little slip up.

Lucifer sighs and leans forward, his elbows resting on his knees. There’s no use trying to distract her from it. ‘The Detective wishes to keep our relationship a secret. Apparently, at the LAPD, dating your partner means a lot of red tape and bureaucratic nonsense.’ He scoffs. ‘They’ll hire as many corrupt cops as you like but Dad-forbid they ever start shagging one another.’

‘And this… secrecy bothers you?’ asks Linda, careful as ever. Lucifer can never seem to be able to look her in the eye when she’s like this. It’s almost like she can see right into his soul. Isn’t he the one who's supposed to be able to do that?

‘It’s a bit of annoyance, but no, not really. At least this way we don’t have to worry about Pierce splitting us up. It’s just…’ He lets out another sigh and risks a glance at Linda, who is waiting patiently for him to continue. ‘She doesn’t want to tell Beatrice,’ he finally admits.

‘Ah,’ says Linda. Lucifer can practically see all the pieces click into place inside her head. ‘You’re worried that, because Chloe doesn’t want to tell Trixie, that means she doesn’t see the relationship lasting.’

Lucifer sniffs and sits back into the couch. He neither confirms nor denies her assessment.

‘Lucifer, I’m going to break therapist rules for a second so I can tell you something. You’re wrong.’

Lucifer raises his eyebrows, both impressed and annoyed with his therapist/friend. Once upon a time, the only ones who would dare say such a thing to the Devil were his siblings, and even they were few and far between. It seems that list, which now includes a handful of humans and one headstrong demon, is growing every day.

And the strange thing is, Lucifer doesn’t mind at all. It’s far nicer to have friends on Earth than subjects in Hell.

‘Like I said,’ continues Linda, ‘it’s perfectly normal to have worries when starting a serious relationship. And that goes for Chloe as well. You’re the first person she’s dated since her marriage broke up. I know from personal experience how daunting that can be. And I didn’t have a child to consider.’

‘So… you don’t think it’s anything to worry about?’ asks Lucifer, slowly. He trusts Linda not to sugar-coat it for him, and if she says it’s nothing, then it may be possible that he, just this once, could be overreacting a tiny little bit.

Linda gives him a fond look that sometimes appears when she has trouble staying in “therapist mode”. ‘It isn’t uncommon for a parent to wait a while before introducing a new partner to their child’s life. Especially if that child has witnessed a bad break up or divorce. It doesn’t necessarily mean that Chloe is doubting you or your ability to maintain a relationship, it just means that she is putting her daughter’s well-being first.’ There is a pregnant pause and, judging by the look on Linda's face, “therapist mode” is well and truly back on. ‘Is that something you’re okay with?’ she asks. ‘Her putting Trixie before you?’

‘Of course, I am.’ Lucifer surprises himself a little at how instantaneous his response is. ‘It’s just… an unfamiliar concept, that’s all. My parents never exactly… well, you met my mother.’

Linda gives an understanding nod. ‘Yes. Yes, I did.’

‘I never expected Chloe to put me before her daughter,’ he continues. ‘Nor do I want her to. Beatrice should be her priority.’ As soon as he says it, it’s like a weight is lifted. He’s still a little disappointed that they are keeping this secret from the Urchin, but he feels like he understands the reasons why a little more. ‘It’s what good parents do, isn’t it?’

Linda nods again, that fond smile back on her face. ‘Yes, Lucifer. It is.’

----

To Chloe’s immense relief, her and Lucifer’s next case does not seem to stir up any old memories for Lucifer. In fact, since he went to see Linda the previous day, he’s been back to his usual care-free self.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Chloe. Though it would be more accurate to say that the case is stirring up the absence of memories for her. Their victim, Kathleen Pike, is a writer who has drawn inspiration for her novel series from her time at high school… something which Chloe never really got the chance to experience.

‘I got the call from Kathleen late last night,’ says Kathleen’s editor, Vincent Green. He is the one who found the body and is therefore the first one to question. ‘She finally finished the new book. We made plans for me to come over this morning, pick up the manuscript.’

‘Do you usually pick up manuscripts in person?’ asks Chloe.

‘With Kathleen, yes. There's only ever one hard copy since she does all her writing on that typewriter.’

The same typewriter that was used to bash poor Kathleen’s head in.

Of course, Lucifer has already pointed out the irony.

‘Do you know anyone who would have done this to her? Any known enemies?’ Chloe asks Vincent.

Vincent shakes his head. ‘No. Kathleen was extremely well-liked. She had millions of devoted fans.’

‘I know how fans can get obsessed with their idols,’ says Chloe, thinking back to some of her mother's more ... eccentric fans.

‘And with their boobs,’ Lucifer jumps in with a smile that is somehow both lewd and totally innocent at the same time. ‘Like after you did Hot Tub High School, Detective.’

Chloe glares at him. She had been purposely trying not to think about her own brush with fame.

‘You don't think this could be my fault, do you?’ Vincent asks suddenly and Chloe turn her focus back to him.

‘Why?’

‘I was so excited that she was finished that I tweeted the news to her fans. I really talked the book up, hinting at this huge action-packed robot rebellion ending she teased me with.’

Ah, Chloe sees what’s going on. It’s not uncommon for friends and family to blame themselves for any little mishap that may or may not have led to the victim’s death.

‘Well, as long as you didn't tweet her address as well…’ says Chloe, trying to be both reassuring and questioning.

Vincent shakes his head. ‘No, of course not, but someone could find that.’

‘Someone who wanted to read the book first?’ Chloe thinks out loud.

‘Probably someone who wanted to tell her that robot rebellions couldn't be more dull and derivative,’ mutters Lucifer.

Chloe shoots him another glare, but the twitching of her lips as she tries to suppress a smile gives her away. It's good to have her Lucifer back.

----

Chloe and Lucifer try going down the obsessed fan road, but they quickly hit a dead end. But they do discover an interesting tidbit of information, and with it, a new lead. It turns out that the characters in Kathleen’s novel series, Class of 3001, are all based on her real-life classmates. And those classmates just happen to all be in town right now for their high school reunion which is scheduled for tomorrow night. Perhaps one of them didn’t like having their personal dramas and mistakes being shared with millions of strangers? After all, Kathleen only changed the surnames. It wasn’t hard for the general public to figure out the inspiration behind each character.

They manage to narrow their suspect pool down to six possible candidates; the real-life counterparts of the six main characters of the book, and, therefore, the ones who are most likely to have all their dirty laundry revealed in the final book.

‘These are our suspects?’ asks Lucifer, looking over the photo IDs/yearbook pictures that are displayed on one of the many screens that the precinct has for this very purpose. ‘Right. Prom king, sexpot, cheerleader, bad boy, valedictorian, jock.’ He points to each one accordingly and Chloe can’t deny that his assessment for each person is probably bang on. He turns to face her. ‘Shall we bring them in, Detective?’

Chloe gives him an appreciative smile but shakes her head.

‘All you have is speculation,’ Charlotte points out. ‘Not enough for arrest warrants. I mean, even if we did bring them all in, we don't have any leverage. Why would they admit to anything?’

Lucifer looks genuinely put out that this is going to be more difficult than expected and Chloe pats his shoulder in mock-comfort. He should really know by now that things are never that simple.

Once Lucifer’s pout has faded, Chloe tells everybody about the high school reunion and about her plan to go undercover.

‘Well, what are we waiting for?’ asks Lucifer.

‘Well, it's a high school reunion,’ says Dan. ‘Everybody knows everybody.’

‘Unless…’ says Ella, drawing out the word while she taps the controls for the display screen, ‘you're Todd Cornwell.’

‘Who is Todd Cornwell?’ asks Chloe, not remembering the name from any of the research she has done on Kathleen’s classmates.

‘Exactly,’ says Ella, and Chloe opens her mouth in a silent “ah” of understanding. A picture of a man who is textbook “high school weirdo” appears on the screen as Ella explains. ‘Todd Cornwell. Class loner, acne, Coke-bottle glasses, whole bit. Went to college overseas, and when I stalked Kathleen's classmates online, Todd was the only one with zero social media presence.’

A perfect opening for them.

‘Lucifer, you could go as Todd,’ says Chloe, already knowing the reaction she’s going to get, but it’s either him or Dan and Chloe would much rather the former.

Lucifer just stares between her and the photo of Todd on the screen, who, to be fair, looks nothing like the tall, dark and handsome nightclub owner.

The sound of Dan bursting into laughter brings him out of his shocked stupor. ‘Yeah, no, no, seriously. Look, he looks just like you,’ says Dan before he dissolves into another fit of barely controlled laughter.

Chloe sends Lucifer an apologetic look but he misses it, too focused on being offended by Dan’s teasing. ‘Has all that masturbation finally caught up with your eyesight, Daniel? No one will believe that even if I tell them I've had a face and body transplant.’

‘Yeah, but it might be our only shot,’ says Chloe, and this time Lucifer does see her apologetic look. ‘I mean, I could go as your plus-one.’ She tries to say it as casually as possible, but she can see the instant change it brings in Lucifer. Suddenly, he doesn’t seem quite so averse to the idea.

‘Oh, poops,’ says Ella, drawing everyone’s attention to her and the file she is flicking through. ‘Hold up. Todd RSVP'd "yes”.’

Oh, poops, indeed.

Chloe lets out a frustrated sigh. They need to get into this reunion. It’s their best chance at flushing out which classmate had the biggest grudge against Kathleen. She turns to face their resident district attorney prosecutor. ‘Charlotte, is there any legal way to prevent him from attending?’

Charlotte thinks for a moment. ‘Well, it's definitely not legal to distract Todd with, say, a bounty hunter,’ she says, shifting awkwardly. She slowly starts backing away towards the door. ‘If anyone needs me, I'm gonna be in my office… not hearing the plan.’

Chloe smiles as Charlotte quickly exits the room. Honestly, she’s rather starting to like her.

----

Chloe realises that if they are going to pull this undercover operation off, they should probably get to know the suspects a bit better. And what better way to get to know them than to read the books that were based on their lives? So, she borrows the complete set (barring the last book, of course) and sets down for a night of reading what she suspects will be a few hundred pages worth of cringe-worthy teen angst.

Ten pages in and she forgets the case all together. It’s not until Trixie interrupts her, informing her of her fast approaching school time, that Chloe realises that she has been so engrossed in the story that she has literally been reading all night.

Thankfully, seeing as Kathleen’s high school reunion doesn’t start until that evening, she does manage to get a few hours sleep later in the day, under the guise of doing research from home. She does feel a tiny bit bad for lying, but hey, doing “research” is the whole reason for her lack of sleep in the first place. No one needs to know what her true motives had been.

Despite her best efforts, Chloe doesn’t finish the whole series before it is time to get ready for the reunion, but she does feel confident enough to be able to properly question their suspects. Honestly, she’s a little bit nervous about meeting them. It’s a bit like when she was a teenager and found out that her celebrity crush was going to be in the same movie as her.

But then there’s a knock on the door and Chloe feels nervous for a whole different reason. She knows exactly who is behind it and although they have done this before, she can’t help how her stomach flips a little at the thought of going on a date with Lucifer, even if this time it’s a fake one. She still feels like she’s the luckiest woman on Earth.

This time, Lucifer does not have flowers for her and, seeing as this is not a real date, Chloe is grateful. He still looks as dashing as ever, though. But considering the location of their outing and the roles they are playing, she’s not too anxious about how bland she must look beside him.

‘You look beautiful, as always,’ says Lucifer, and he gives the room behind her a quick glance over, ensuring that she is alone, before bending down and giving her a quick kiss.

‘Not so bad yourself,’ says Chloe after he pulls away. She hopes that her smile is as flirty and playful as she thinks it is.

Whether she gets the smile right or not, Lucifer seems pleased with the compliment. He leads them over to his corvette and Chloe starts to fill him in on all the things she has learned about their suspects. Judging by the side glances she gets from him, she doesn’t quite hide how excited she is.

And that excitement only grows once they step inside the high school auditorium.

Lucifer, however, doesn’t share her enthusiasm.

‘You know, high school reunions are a very popular torture in Hell.’

Logically, Chloe understands the reason why that might be, but right now she’s having a hard time seeing it. It just looks so fun. There are streamers and balloons everywhere, along with a big banner welcoming the guests. People are chatting amongst themselves, sipping punch, and absentmindedly bopping their heads along to cheesy music that they loved in their teens (and secretly still do).

‘I think it’s beautiful,’ she says in awe before she forces herself to focus. She casts her gaze over Lucifer, and while she still appreciates how drop dead gorgeous he looks, she suddenly realises that that might actually be a problem. ‘Maybe you should have tried to look at least a little bit like Todd.’ At his offended look, she quickly adds, ‘Not that I’m complaining.’

Lucifer seems mollified at that. ‘Why would I?’ he asks in that tone that betrays that puffed-up ego of his. ‘If I was Todd, I'd want to look like me.’

Chloe secretly agrees - what man wouldn’t want to look like him? - but then she notices a figure out of the corner of her eye and her attention is instantly stolen. ‘Oh my gosh,’ she says (and that was definitely not a squeal). ‘Oh, my gosh, look.’ She struggles not to outright point at the people she has just noticed. ‘It's Emily and Bo, Tristan and Jessica, and there's Max talking to Isabel. She is so not good enough for him, really.’

Lucifer lets out a laugh. ‘What did you just say?’

Chloe turns to see an almost comical look of confused surprise on his face. She clears her throat awkwardly.

Focus Decker.

‘Max and Isabel, two of our suspects,’ she explains, trying to slip back into the professional persona that she uses on every other case.

Lucifer takes another look at the people who Chloe is pretty much ogling at this point. ‘Oh, oh! The prom king and the sexpot.’

‘Oh, Lucifer, don't judge. There's so much more to these people than their stereotypes suggest.’

Lucifer laughs again before he realises that she’s not joking. ‘Are you being serious?’

‘Yeah, the books are much deeper than you'd imagine,’ says Chloe, abandoning all pretence. ‘The characters, they're so compelling and relatable and rich, and I-I mean… They're all here.’

This time the sound she lets out cannot be mistaken for anything other than a squeal.

‘And one of them is most likely a killer,’ says Lucifer, and Chloe’s smile drops instantly.

Oh. Right.

----

Despite the seriousness of the case, Chloe quickly finds herself succumbing to her inner fangirl again. She just can’t seem to help it. However, she does manage to retain enough professionalism to at least attempt to get the information they need. It’s all going rather well and when Max (her favourite character of the book series) suggests moving to one of the school’s corridors so that they can talk more privately, she happily agrees.

However, she soon finds herself becoming conflicted. Max is obviously flirting with her and she’s torn between wanting to leave and go find Lucifer, and wanting to flirt back. Not that she feels anything for Max, of course. Lucifer stole her heart long ago (before Chloe would even like to admit)… but this is her favourite Class of 3001 character here! And he’s flirting with her. It’s hard not to get caught up in the moment.

But then Max brushes his knuckles across her cheek, tucking her hair behind her ear, and suddenly the corridor is a little too small and the situation a little too intimate. She gives Max a polite smile as she takes a step backwards to create a bit of distance. ‘It’s been nice chatting with you,’ she tells him, ‘but I really should be getting back. My boyfriend is probably wondering where I am.’

Max blinks. ‘Boyfriend?’

‘Yes. Boyfriend,’ comes a voice from behind them and Chloe turns to see Lucifer quickly approaching. For a moment, Chloe worries that he is mad at her, but then he snakes an arm around her waist and sends Max a very clear “do no touch” glare, and she realises that anger is not the emotion he is feeling right now.

That would be jealousy.

Part of Chloe wants to roll her eyes at his behaviour… but another part is finding it a serious turn on.

‘Sorry, sorry,’ says Max, apologising to both Chloe and Lucifer. ‘We were just…’ He trails off as he sees the name tag that Lucifer is wearing. ‘Todd?’ He looks Lucifer up and down, clearly surprised.

‘Max!’ The unexpected shout from the other end of the corridor makes Chloe flinch and she turns her head to see Jessica marching towards them, clearly not happy. ‘What are you doing?’ she demands, voice sounding a little too loud in the echoing corridor.

What follows is a rollercoaster of drama, starting with past mistakes and misunderstandings, and ending with sweet confessions about wanting to get back together.

Chloe is loving every minute of it.

But then Emily appears and ruins the moment, asking Max what everyone else is doing here as she was under the impression that they would be spending some time alone. The small squabbling match that ensues is enough to bring Chloe back to reality. But before she can say anything to diffuse the situation, Lucifer bellows out, ‘Detective! None of these people killed Kathleen.’

The silence that follows is deafening, but then breaks all at once.

‘Killed?’

‘What?’

‘Detective?’

Chloe holds her hands up in a calming gesture, stemming the flow of their questions. When everyone is once again quiet, she turns to Lucifer for an explanation. ‘I have discovered that they all have the same alibi,’ he says. ‘They broke onto the campus two nights ago and had a party by the pool.’ He turns to face the other three people in the corridor. ‘Didn't you?’

They all nod guiltily.

He looks back down at Chloe, who is still tucked up against his side (and definitely not complaining about it). ‘So, Kathleen's killer, not here.’

Chloe turns to face the others. ‘So that's why you were all acting so strangely.’

‘Yeah,’ says Max, drawing out the word awkwardly. ‘Sorry we didn't invite you, Todd, but, uh, you're not mad, right? You were hanging out with Kathleen anyway.’

That gets Chloe’s attention.

‘What? Todd was hanging out with Kathleen two nights ago?’

Max looks even more awkward now, eyes lingering on Lucifer’s arm which is still lightly wrapped around Chloe’s waist. ‘Yeah, it's what he said in the email.’

‘I did?’ asks Lucifer, and he looks worriedly at the tag he is wearing that displays Todd’s name. ‘Detective, I think I'm the killer.’

----

A quick phone call to Maze lets them know where she has taken Todd and a promise of payment ensures that she will keep him there, and in less than five minutes, Chloe and Lucifer are on the road again, heading to pick up their latest suspect. Now that Chloe is away from all the reminders of the life she never got to properly experience, she can think clearly again. In all honesty, she’s a little ashamed of how easily it distracted her from the case. It’s not like her at all.

‘What motive would Todd have to kill Kathleen?’ she wonders out loud. ‘He's not even in the books.’

Out if the corner of her eye she sees Lucifer frown. ‘Well, exactly. Odd-bod Todd's probably tired of being left out.’

Chloe nods and another wave of shame hits her. ‘Oh, right, should have thought of that.’ She risks a glance at Lucifer and sees that he’s looking at her a little worriedly.

‘Yes, you should have. Is everything all right, Detective? You’ve been acting very… odd during this case.’

‘I know, I know,’ says Chloe. ‘I can't believe I let myself get so wrapped up in it all. I think I was just trying to make up for all the fun, teenage drama that I missed out on, you know? I didn't even get to go to my own prom.’ She lets out a sigh. ‘It's ridiculous, I know.’

Lucifer is silent for a moment before he replies.

‘No, it's not.’

Chloe takes another glance at him, but he has turned back to face the road, lost in thought. Still, knowing he isn’t judging her for her unprofessional behaviour (not that he could, as it would make him the biggest hypocrite in the history of hypocrites) makes her feel a little less guilty and a little more like herself again.

----

Todd does not turn out to be their killer, but he does enlighten them on how Kathleen’s final book was supposed to end. And it’s nothing like Kathleen’s editor had described. One sting operation is all it takes to prove Vincent Green’s guilt, and, within the hour, he is being read the Miranda rights.

The next afternoon, after a day that is totally free of anything Class of 3001 related, Chloe receives a text from Lucifer, asking her to meet him at Lux. Maze is home and is quite happy (well, maybe not happy, but agreeable enough) to watch Trixie, so Chloe quickly changes her clothes and makes herself a little more presentable before she heads off to the club.

It’s not until she is parking in the vacant spot next to Lucifer’s corvette (that always seems to be free no matter how crowded the club is) that she realises she is wearing the same sweater she wore to their first date. She takes a moment to smile at the memory before getting out of her car and making her way inside.

‘Lucifer, I’m here,’ she calls out as she descends the stairs. ‘You wanted to see me?’

It’s not hard to spot him at the bar, as he is the only one in the whole club, which is more than a little bit strange. It’s still early, yes, but Lux always seems to have at least a few patrons, no matter what time of day it is.

As she gets closer, she realises that there isn’t even any bar staff. Is Lux closed? Lux is never closed.

‘I wanted to check on you,’ says Lucifer when she has finally made her way over to him. ‘That you were back to being the good detective.’

‘The good detective?’ asks Chloe, confused.

Lucifer nods. ‘Well, I like our partnership much better when you do all the work and I'm the fun, irresponsible one.’

The corner of his mouth turns up into a small smirk and Chloe laughs as she realises what he is talking about. ‘Oh. Yeah. I did get a little carried away at that reunion.’

Lucifer chuckles. ‘Just a smidge.’

Their laughter dies down and Chloe takes a moment to reflect on their last case. ‘You know, it made me realise something. All of that high school drama that I missed out on. The girly gossip, the hallway crushes, all those school dances... That's just not who I am. I like being the responsible adult.’ She pauses, thinking back to the case where she and Lucifer had gone undercover as a married couple and had pissed off the neighbours by having a big party complete with water fights. ‘Well, most of the time anyway.’

‘So you no longer desire any of that high school poppycock?’ asks Lucifer.

Chloe once again takes a moment to think. Sure, some of it would have been nice to experience, but in the end, the things that she did experience are what made her who she is. They are what led her here, and she wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

‘No,’ she says, answering Lucifer’s question.

‘Well then,’ he says, clearing his throat a little bit awkwardly. ‘I guess you won't be wanting this.’ He reaches behind the bar and Chloe’s jaw drops when she sees the beautiful corsage he is holding. At her reaction, any awkwardness Lucifer had felt melts away and he smiles at her, an adoring twinkle in his eyes. He brushes her hair over her shoulder and pins the corsage to her sweater.

‘Detective will you go to the prom with me?’

Chloe manages to pick her jaw off the floor and smiles as he offers her his hand. She takes it and lets herself be silently led onto the empty dancefloor. Once there, Lucifer clicks a remote that he has been hiding in his pocket and Chloe stares in wonder as golden confetti falls from the ceiling and music fills the room.

Looking from a window above, it’s like a story of love. Can you hear me?

‘I can't believe you did this,’ she says, a little breathless. Lucifer smiles proudly but it is devoid of his usual smugness. Even though she’s not one for dancing, it’s the easiest thing in the world to grasp his shoulders and let him guide her along to the music.

Came back only yesterday, I'm moving farther away. Want you near me.

Lucifer leads the slow dance effortlessly. Something that Chloe is extremely grateful for seeing as she is totally lost in those warm brown eyes of his. Suddenly, he dips her, and she lets out a small squeal of surprise that has Lucifer smiling even more. ‘Thank you, Lucifer,’ she whispers, softly.

‘I’m just glad you got what you needed,’ he whispers back as he slowly pulls her back up from the dip. Their lips are so close now that she can’t help but lean in that little bit further to bring them together in one of the sweetest kisses that Chloe has ever experienced.

After they break apart, Chloe rests her head against Lucifer’s chest, and he pulls her closer. She lets out a contented sigh as they continue to slowly sway to the music.

All I needed was the love you gave. All I needed for another day.

She has never felt so cherished.

And all I ever knew.

Or so in love.

Only you.

Chapter Text

It is a full two weeks before Chloe gets her next fresh murder case. Which is good because she has had enough of her own worries to deal with. Maze has finally “talked” to Linda about the whole Amenadiel thing, which has resulted in Linda breaking it off with him to try and save their friendship. But this doesn’t seem to be enough for Maze, which means that Chloe has been playing go-between for the two of them, lending a sympathetic ear to Linda and trying to convince Maze that it is okay to forgive and let go.

But, despite her best efforts, nothing has changed, and Chloe doesn’t know what else she can do for her friends.

The other thing that Chloe is stressing over is her relationship with Lucifer. Honestly, it’s going even better than she had ever expected. She feels so lucky to have him and he is so good to her… which is why she feels so guilty for making him take it slow. They’ve been together for almost a month now and they still haven’t had sex. If someone had asked Chloe less than a year ago if Lucifer could go even a week without sex, she would have laughed in their face, so she realises how much of a strain this must be putting on him.

Thankfully, he hasn’t been too pushy on the subject... but his hints have not exactly been subtle either. Not surprising really, seeing as he has been giving her those “hints” since the day they met.

The problem isn’t that Chloe doesn’t want to sleep with him. She really really wants to sleep with him. But she’s also terrified at the prospect. What if she’s not enough for him? She once personally interviewed almost a hundred of his past lovers, so she knows exactly the kind of things he is used to, and those things are just not her. She’s never really been experimental in the bedroom department. What if he gets bored of her?

No, it’s far easier to just not open that box – her own personal Schrodinger’s Cat – so that she never has to find out. Ignorance is bliss, as they say.

Maybe it is good to have a fresh case again after all; something to distract her from her self-inflicted woes.

‘Bomb squad did their threat report,’ explains Dan as Chloe and Lucifer arrive at the scene of the crime. ‘Ruled it as a homicide, handed it off to us.’

Murder via explosive – it’s not pretty. They have two victims; one dead, and the other close to it. That one is currently in the ICU.

‘Looks like the bomb came by messenger,’ continues Dan. ‘And, uh, an assistant opened the package, triggering the bomb.’

Two men wheel an already occupied body bag past them. ‘Is that the messenger?’ asks Chloe. Dan nods.

So, that means that the assistant is the one who is at the hospital. Chloe just prays (not to God – she knows that is a waste of time) that the woman pulls through.

‘We tried to track who sent it,’ says Dan, ‘but they covered their tracks. One thing we do know is that the assistant wasn't the target. Package was addressed to her boss.’ He points to a well-dressed woman outside who is currently talking to one of the unis. ‘Producer Alexa Lee, she just came in, she's pretty shook up.’

‘Oh, I’ve heard of her,’ says Lucifer with a little too much glee considering their location. ‘She’s the one that did The Plunge, yes? Maybe someone sent her the bomb to save us all from a sequel?’

Chloe lets out a snort that she immediately feels embarrassed about. ‘That bad, was it?’

‘No,’ answers Dan just as Lucifer answers 'Yes', and they both stare at each other with various levels of incredulous.

‘Come on, man, it wasn’t that bad.’

‘Lucifer, I think we should go talk to Alexa, don’t you?’ Chloe cuts in before a debate on credible entertainment can start.

Lucifer, who was no doubt about to give Dan a snarky comment, closes his mouth and clears his throat. ‘Excellent idea, Detective,’ he says with a polite smile. He moves towards the door but Chloe puts a hand out to stop him.

‘But no mentioning her movie unless it’s pertinent to the case,’ she tells him. ‘Her co-worker has just been in an explosion, she doesn’t need us disrespecting her work on top of that.’

Lucifer sighs in mock-offense. ‘Really, Detective, I can behave myself, you know?’

Chloe raises a dubious eyebrow.

‘When I want to.’

The corner of Chloe’s mouth twitches as she fights a smile. ‘Yeah, I know. But how often does that happen?’

----

Their chat with Alexa proves to be quite fruitless. As a Hollywood producer, she gets enough hate-mail to fill a room’s worth of filling cabinets so, if the attempt on her life was work-related, there a quite a few suspects, a lot of whom are unidentifiable as they are not ballsy enough to sign their names along with their hate. Chloe is really hoping that the motive was a bit more personal, otherwise this one just may go unsolved. And there are few things Chloe hates more than an unsolved case.

One of said things is losing another person to the same killer, and, after receiving a phone call from the unis at the hospital, it is something that Chloe also has to deal with today. Alexa’s assistant, Bree, succumbed to her injuries and passed away not long after arriving at the hospital.

Chloe lets out a long sigh and glances over at Lucifer who is sitting in his usual chair beside her desk. He is enjoying himself at least, reading through Alexa’s hate mail. Every now and then he’ll chuckle or make some snide remark about the sender’s illiteracy. It’s actually quite comforting – knowing that she has at least one constant in her life. Lucifer will always find amusement in every situation.

After another minute of just watching him, she sees his eyes light up. ‘Oh, hello,’ he says, throwing the pile of letters and notes onto her desk, leaving him holding just one bit of paper. ‘"You’re going to die",’ he reads. ‘Not very subtle, is it?’

Chloe leans over, probably a bit closer than necessary but she knows that Lucifer is hardly going to complain about it, and reads the note herself. She then grabs one of the other letters that she had been reading earlier. It was written on the same kind of paper and, when comparing the two, Chloe notices that it is the exact same handwriting.

Abandoning the smaller note for now, Chloe reads through the letter again. ‘Huh, maybe, you were right about what you said at the crime scene,' she tells Lucifer. He looks a little confused, obviously trying to remember what he had said, but proud nonetheless. ‘Maybe this is about The Plunge.’ She holds the letter closer to him so she can see it as she reads aloud. ‘"It's full of lies. If you want the real truth, read The Z Prophecy."’

‘What’s The Z Prophecy?’ asks Lucifer.

Chloe shrugs. ‘No idea. Let’s find out.’

One Google search later, and Chloe and Lucifer are staring at the homepage of a man who Chloe already wants to label as a crackpot. The Z Prophecy seems to be this guy’s main work, but he’s also authored a whole bunch of other conspiracy theories.

‘Oh, I hate conspiracy theory nutters,’ grumbles Lucifer beside her. ‘They’re almost as bad as street preachers with all their Armageddon talk.’

Chloe nods absentmindedly, not really listening, she’s more focussed on the author, a Mr Liam Wade, and his manifesto that he has posted on his website. The handwriting is the same as both notes.

They officially have a lead.

----

Less than an hour later, Chloe and Lucifer are making their way through the trees and shrubs that layer Mr Wade’s property. Seriously, would it kill him to put in a driveway?

Judging by what Chloe has seen on his website, he probably thinks that it would.

As they struggle through, in an effort to distract Lucifer from whining about what the landscape is doing to his suit, Chloe asks him to tell her about The Plunge. As Lucifer explains, it’s a movie about a group of kids who travel to the centre of the Earth to unblock a build up of magma. Chloe can’t help but think that Lucifer’s assessment of the movie may be more accurate than Dan’s. It really does sound “that bad”. Well, maybe not bad enough to kill over, but still pretty bad.

But, then again, she hasn’t actually seen the movie, so who is she to judge?

‘You should come over to the penthouse tonight and we can make fun of it together,’ suggests Lucifer. ‘And then afterwards we can retire to the bedroom and take a whole different sort of plunge.’

Chloe doesn’t have to be looking at him to see his eyebrow waggle.

‘That sounds fun,’ she says, trying to force some enthusiasm into her voice, because it does sound fun, or at least it would be if she could just get past her damn nervousness. ‘But maybe another time.’

Lucifer is silent for a few moments and Chloe thinks that he is going to let this one go, just like he has every other time, but then he lightly grips her arm, pulling her to a stop, and she realises that she isn’t going to be so lucky this time. ‘Is everything all right, Detective?’ he asks. ‘It’s been weeks now, and every time I suggest anything even vaguely carnal in nature, you turn me down. I mean, I know a relationship isn’t supposed to revolve around sex, but surely it is part of one, yes?' He pauses, thinking. 'Unless… are you asexual?’

Chloe blinks. ‘What? I have a child.’

‘So?’

Chloe is not surprised to see that there is no judgement in his eyes, just acceptance, but she thinks that she may be seeing a little bit of disappointment in there too, it’s just hidden well. ‘No, Lucifer, I’m not asexual,’ she says, softly. ‘And I do want to have sex with you.’ Yep, she can definitely see the relief in his eyes at that. ‘It’s just… can we wait a bit longer? I know I’m asking too much but… please.’

To her great relief, Lucifer’s expression softens. ‘You’re not asking too much,’ he says. ‘I would wait an eternity for you, Chloe.’

Chloe’s heart melts at his words and she smiles up at him... but that smile slowly slides off her face as a red dot appears on Lucifer’s forehead.

Noticing her expression, Lucifer’s brow furrows. ‘What's wrong?’

Chloe points to her own forehead. ‘Sniper.’

Lucifer’s face relaxes and he sighs dramatically. ‘Oh, for the love of…’ He slowly raises his hands.

‘Mr. Wade?’ Chloe shouts out, raising her hands as well. ‘Please put down the weapon.’

‘This is private property,’ comes Liam’s voice over a loudspeaker hidden in the trees. ‘Leave now.’

Chloe very slowly turns around and pulls out the evidence bag containing Liam’s hate mail letter and holds it out towards the camera that, now that she is looking for it, she can also see hidden amongst the leaves. ‘Did you send this note to Alexa Lee?’

The sniper rifle is still trained on Lucifer, but she can tell that he is ready to jump in and protect her if that changes. Chloe is equally parts reassured and annoyed at his protective behaviour. It’s great to know that he always has her back and will do anything he can to keep her safe, but doesn’t he realise that she wants the same thing for him? The last thing she wants is for him to get himself killed for her.

After a minute of silence, a figure rises up from the bushes. She can’t see his face, but the fact that he is wearing a camouflage outfit made out of the exact same leaves he was hiding in proves that it is Liam. He lowers the rifle and takes a few steps towards them. When he finally removes his headgear, revealing his face, Chloe can see that his expression is actually rather pleased.

‘You read my message,’ says Liam. ‘People are finally starting to listen.’

‘Yes, well, people do tend to pay attention when you chuck bombs at them,’ says Lucifer. His hands are back at his sides and he’s back to his usual snark, but it hasn’t escaped Chloe’s notice that the tension in his shoulders hasn’t changed. He’s still ready should Liam decide to use the rifle he is still holding.

Chloe is still cautious too, which is why she wishes her partner would stop antagonising the suspect.

Thankfully, Liam is more surprised than annoyed. ‘What bomb? Wait, you think I would want to hurt Alexa?’

‘Well, you did send her a nice little letter telling her she was going to die.’

‘Because she is,’ says Liam. ‘She's gonna die. I'm gonna die. We're all gonna die if we don't act now. I wasn't threatening Alexa, I wrote her a wake-up call.’

‘About what?’ asks Chloe.

If possible, Liam looks even more pleased. ‘Well, I'm glad you asked, ma'am. You see, our planet's magma flows are blocked. If that flow isn't released, soon…’ He lets out a long exhale, ‘big, molten apocalypse.’

Lucifer chuckles and Chloe fights the urge to elbow him. Liam is still holding a dangerous weapon. ‘What? Like Alexa’s terrible movie?’ he asks.

A flicker of annoyance crosses Liam’s face. ‘And now you don't believe me, and that is the problem. The Plunge made the prophecy into a joke. Her crappy movie made a mockery out of a very, very serious issue.’

Lucifer, of course, picks the wrong part of that to focus on. He turns to Chloe, a smile on his face. ‘See? Crappy movie. Told you so.’

Chloe rolls her eyes.

‘Look,’ continues Liam, visibly calming himself down, ‘I hated Alexa's movie. Okay? But I would never hurt her. I- I actually kind of owe her. Because guess who has 196 more Twitter followers since The Plunge premiered?’

Chloe tries not to roll her eyes again. Seriously, why do people put such importance on the amount of twitter followers they have? ‘Okay, if you didn't attack her, then who did?’ she asks Liam, trying not to sound too annoyed.

‘Oh, Alexa had a lot of enemies. Big Agro, Big Frac. The Bolivians. The carnies.’

And that is Chloe’s limit of craziness for the day.

‘Carnies? Okay, we're gonna need to search your property. Extensively.’

----

Searching Liam’s property turns out to be a waste of time, and now they have no other leads. Chloe is worried that they are going to have to call this one and close it, until she suddenly considers a new theory. What if Alexa wasn’t the target at all? What if it was Bree? She was Alexa’s assistant and handled all her mail… it isn’t too much of a stretch to think that someone would use that to their advantage.

After a bit more digging, Chloe amazingly discovers that Liam Wade may not be quite as crazy as he seems. Well, no, okay, he definitely is as crazy as he seems… but he may also be onto something. Bree had two very large sums of money put into her account by a South American bank, and add that to the fact that Alexa’s company has a few Bolivian financiers, and that the explosive that was used to kill Bree was made by fertiliser banned in the US but still used in Bolivia… and it looks like the Bolvians are probably involved after all.

That “probably” becomes a “definitely” when Chloe finds out that one of the contractors for the Bolivian drug cartel landed in LA that morning… and left just an hour ago. Hit accomplished, time to go home.

With this new information, Chloe and Lucifer decide that another trip to Alexa’s office is in order. Maybe she will be able to shed some light on this interesting turn of events.

‘So, the bomb wasn't for me?’ asks Alexa as she paces her office.

‘Well, the intended target was your assistant, Bree,’ says Chloe. ‘Do have any idea why that may be?’

Alexa shakes her head. There’s nothing overly abnormal about her behaviour… but there’s something about the way she won’t look them in the eye that has Chloe a little suspicious.

She tries a different angle.

‘So, you have no idea what kind of beef any of your Bolivian associates may have had with Bree?’

Alexa once again shakes her head, but this time she does stop her pacing and look at them properly. ‘I don't. Bree is fluent in Spanish, so she dealt with those investors directly.’

‘And you didn't think to vet them at all before you went into business with them?’

‘Have you seen the films I make?’ asks Alexa. Lucifer scoffs and Chloe sends him a warning glare. ‘I can't afford to be picky. Someone offers me money, I take it.’

She seems genuine… but Chloe still can’t shake this feeling that something is off. So, she does what she always does – she trusts her instincts and subtly motions for Lucifer to use his desire "mojo". They’ve got this move down pat so much that, these days, it barely takes more than a look for him to catch onto it.

‘So, tell me, Alexa… what is it that you desire?’ he asks, his voice turning to velvet.

Alexa looks a little thrown at the sudden change of questioning, but soon enough she is caught up in Lucifer’s thrall. ‘I- I want to be able to keep making movies.’

Chloe looks around the fancy office. It is obvious that Alexa has the income for that not to be a problem. So why does she sound so worried?

‘Why would you not be able to do that?’ she asks. Alexa sags in relief at being released from Lucifer’s gaze.

‘If I lost my investors, that would be it,’ she says. ‘It would be over.’

It doesn’t take a genius to put two and two together. ‘You knew exactly who those Bolivian investors were, didn’t you?’ says Chloe. ‘That money that Bree received, it was hush money.’

Alexa lets out a sigh of defeat and sits on her desk. ‘Yes,’ she answers, her voice small and guilty. ‘She should have just accepted it. If she wasn’t so stubborn…’

‘Then maybe you wouldn’t have blown her up with a bomb that was cleverly addressed to you?’ finishes Lucifer.

Alexa’s silence is confirmation enough and Chloe pulls out her handcuffs. ‘Alexa Lee, you’re under arrest for the murder of Bree Garland.’

----

That night, Chloe is at home alone, flicking through the movies on Netflix that she never gets the chance to watch when Trixie is there. She may be the daughter of two cops and best friends with a demon, but she is still only nine years old and Chloe doesn’t want to subject her to any more violence and bad language than she already has done.

After going through the list twice, Chloe lets out a sigh and takes another sip of her wine. There are plenty of decent movies to watch, but she can’t help thinking back to Lucifer's earlier offer - a crappy movie to make fun of sounds like a perfect idea right now. If only she could just gather up the courage to go to his penthouse and take him up on it. She has no doubt that Lucifer won’t try to push her into doing anything she isn’t comfortable with… but she still isn’t ready to face her insecurities, and she doesn’t want to get his hopes up by showing up in the middle of the night.

A knock on the door brings Chloe out of her thoughts and she eyes it suspiciously. There is only one person that it could possibly be and she is starting to think that mind reading is one of his “Devil tricks” that he has yet to tell her about.

She gets up and opens the door and, sure enough, there is Lucifer. And he’s holding a DVD of The Plunge and a bottle of wine that is of much better quality than the one that Chloe is currently drinking.

‘I know you said another time,’ he says, ‘but I thought that maybe a little harmless belittling of a terrible movie with no other expectations wouldn’t be too bad.’ His smile falters a little at the end. ‘Would it?’

Chloe smiles and shakes her head at him. ‘It sounds perfect, Lucifer.’

His smile is back in full force and Chloe can’t help but lean up to kiss him when he passes her as he walks inside. She makes sure to keep it short and sweet, though, still worried about leading him on.

‘Thank you,’ she says, once she lets him go.

‘What for?’

‘For just being you.’

Lucifer looks a little confused at that, but the smile doesn’t fall from his face. He walks into the living room and wastes no time in setting the DVD up. Chloe sits back down on the couch and reaches for her glass of wine, only to have it snatched out of her hand.

‘What is this poor excuse for a beverage that you are drinking?’ asks Lucifer, taking a sniff and then taking the offending drink to the kitchen, a look of mild disgust on his face.

Chloe laughs. ‘You are such an alcohol snob.’

‘You say that as if it’s a bad thing.’

‘Maybe not if you have cash to burn, but some us don’t have that luxury.’

Lucifer returns and hands her a new glass filled with his “superior” wine. ‘Yes, but some people have rich partners who will buy them whatever their heart desires and they should very much take advantage of that.’

Chloe shakes her head at him and, once he has sat himself down next to her, cuddles up to his side. ‘Maybe so, but I’m not with you for your money, Lucifer. I’m with you because of nights like these.’

It’s a mark of how far he’s come that she doesn’t have to explain that statement. He just gives her a quick peck on the lips and smiles as he presses play on the remote.

They barely get past the opening credits before Chloe is already laughing so much at Lucifer’s snarky commentary that she wonders if she will be able to make it through the entire movie.

Chapter Text

By coincidence (or just bad luck), Chloe and Lucifer’s next case happens to have an element of misdirection as well. A dancer was killed while impersonating the famous popstar, Axara. But seeing as no one but the dancer and Axara herself (who has a rock-solid alibi) knew that the switch had occurred, it is looking very much like Axara was the intended target, which means the killer will likely try again.

‘Can you think of anyone who may have wanted to hurt you?’ Chloe asks Axara, trying not to cough at the smell of burning sage that Axara has lit. Not the nicest smell, but hey, it’s her hotel room.

‘You should check Axara's social media,’ says Axara’s assistant, Cece. She hands Axara a drink that looks like it is probably very healthy but also very disgusting. ‘So many obsessed crazies.’

Axara thanks her with a, ‘Love you, Cece,’ and then turns back to face Chloe and Lucifer. ‘And she makes a mean turmeric smoothie.’

Cece looks very pleased by the compliment.

‘Wait, speaking of mean,’ continues Axara. ‘There was one guy who did kind of threaten me. I mean, I didn't take it seriously at the time because he's a bit of a diva, but…’ She looks to Cece, who nods in agreement.

‘Patrick,’ they say together.

Chloe bites her tongue at the diva comment – pot, kettle, black, she thinks – and instead focuses on the more important details of Axara’s statement.

‘Who’s Patrick?’

‘My ex-backup singer. Really toxic individual. Rohan fired him last week, and like I said, he's a drama queen. But he said something like, uh, "I hope Axara dies a horrible, painful death".’

Chloe and Lucifer share a look. That sounds like a promising lead if ever there was one.

----

Axara and Cece hadn’t been kidding when they had said that Patrick is a drama queen. However, diva he may be, murderer he certainly isn’t. The interview, while very interesting, had resulted in nothing but Chloe and Lucifer hitting a dead end. Patrick has an alibi and, after talking with him, Chloe doesn’t really think he has enough of a motive.

So that means they are back to square one, which is looking through Axara’s fanbase to find any letters or tweets that might give them a clue.

‘Axara has more followers than the Pope,’ says Ella, seemingly torn between being impressed and being offended.

‘"You are my life. I would do anything to meet you. Literally anything”,’ Lucifer reads off the screen.

‘When obsessed people don't have their love reciprocated, sometimes they snap,’ says Chloe, eyes scanning the list of tweets on screen.

Thankfully, Ella has already done the bulk of the work for her. ‘Well, I've gone through them all, and on a scale of #ILoveYouAxara to #IWantToLivelnYourSpleen, there's, like, a zillion suspects.’ The poor woman sounds exhausted, and Chloe makes a mental note to buy her a coffee in thanks. One of the nice fancy ones with whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles.

‘Good work, Ella,’ she praises, ‘but we’re not just looking for a crazy fan. We need someone who had an all-access pass.’

‘Well, Axara's assistant let me check out all of her social media accounts. And apparently, she held an online contest last week. Winner won a VIP pass to the Hollywood Bowl show.’ Ella taps a button on the iPad she is holding, and a man’s profile appears on the screen. ‘Meet our winner: Benny Parker. And these are some of his tweets.’ She presses another button and said tweets appear.

‘“I can't wait for our love to be real.” "I will make you feel the same way." "You and I will be together forever."’ Chloe’s eyebrows raise with each new tweet she reads. ‘Subtle.’

Lucifer smiles with boyish glee. ‘Sounds like Prince Charming needs some attention from the LAPD.’

----

Benny certainly does need attention from the LAPD, but unfortunately that attention is mostly going to be given by the medical examiner. When Chloe and Lucifer arrive at his place, they find him dead next to a bottle of pills and a picture of Axara. Later, back at the precinct, Ella reads Benny’s suicide note with such theatrics that, if it were anybody else, it would probably sound disrespectful, but somehow Ella can never sound like she is disrespecting anyone, no matter what she says or how she says it.

‘So, did the M.E. confirm that it's suicide?’ Chloe asks.

Lucifer looks up from where he has been fiddling with random things on Chloe’s desk. ‘Certainly looked like suicide to me. You think there’s more to it?’ His eyes light up and he grins widely. ‘Is your Detective-sense tingling?’

Chloe knows that he is just paraphrasing the line from the movie… but it still sounds like an innuendo.

Knowing Lucifer, it is probably both.

She clears her throat awkwardly. ‘If you mean are my detective instincts telling me that something doesn’t feel right about this, then yes. This just seems too textbook.’

Ella is obviously finding the exchange far too amusing, despite the subject matter, and she can’t keep the smile off her face. And that smile only grows wider when a box of thank you gifts from Axara arrive.

Chloe, however, can only groan. The case isn’t even technically closed yet. It’s far too early for celebratory gifts.

‘Cheer up, Detective,’ says Lucifer, shoving an Axara bobblehead in her face. ‘We’ll get to the bottom of it.’

Chloe reluctantly takes the toy and gives him a tired smile, appreciative of him trying to make her feel better.

‘I know we will.’

Her smile doesn’t last long, however, as, a minute later, she overhears someone talking about Axara’s upcoming show at the Hollywood Bowl. ‘But the case isn’t closed until we get the full autopsy report,’ she says, feeling like she’s repeating herself. ‘And until then, it's LAPD jurisdiction. Which means no shows.’

The officer just shrugs. ‘You’ll have to take it up with the commissioner.’

Chloe groans again. She knows exactly how that will pan out. She’ll just have to wait until she gets that autopsy report, and, until then, just hope for the best.

----

Thankfully, Chloe doesn’t have to wait too long. It is only half an hour before Ella is running over to her desk, excitedly praising Chloe for her hunch. The M.E. had discovered that Benny had died the day before Axara’s back-up dancer had been killed. He isn’t their killer, he’s their first victim.

And Axara is still in danger.

After Chloe calls to find out Axara’s schedule for the day, and after she finds Lucifer (he’s in the first place she checks - at the precinct fridge, stealing Dan’s new snacks), they head over to inform Axara of the newest development.

Not that it does them any good.

‘I’m not cancelling my show,’ says Axara, looking up from where she is lying face up with a bunch of acupuncture pins in her forehead. Chloe tries not to squirm at the sight.

‘Well, it turns out that your troubled fan was framed for Jill's murder,’ she says, as calmly as she can. Axara is passionate about her craft and also very stubborn, it is something Chloe can relate to, but it does make her job a lot harder. ‘So, with the killer still out there, I can't let you perform tomorrow night.’

Axara doesn’t even open her eyes, looking like the epitome of calmness and serenity. ‘Detective, if I hid under a rock every time there was an issue, I'd still be doing bar mitzvahs.’

‘Also, you'd be under a rock,’ adds Lucifer, most unhelpfully. ‘Most unpleasant.’

Chloe is still rolling her eyes when he pulls her aside to speak with her privately, though nowhere near far enough away for them not be overheard.

‘Look Detective, I don’t think this is getting us anywhere. Maybe we should just let Pinhead sing.’ He glances over to Axara, who just raises her eyebrow (and the pin stuck to it) at the name.

Chloe is about to explain how bad of an idea that is, but then the sound of a champagne bottle exploding as it gets hits by a bullet does it for her. Without a second thought, Chloe jumps onto Axara, shielding her from the gunfire. She winces a bit as a bullet skims her arm on the way down, but it thankfully misses Axara.

‘Detective!’ shouts Lucifer, and, a second later, she can feel him crouched above her, shielding her like she is shielding Axara.

Only two more shots are fired after that, both completely missing the three of them who are awkwardly crowded onto the same table.

It is Chloe who is the first to move, slightly elbowing Lucifer to indicate that it is safe to get off her. He does so, but when she gets a look at his face, she can tell he is still wary. Not that she blames him; she's wary too.

Maybe now Axara will finally understand the danger she is in.

----

Lucifer paces as the paramedic bandages Chloe’s injured arm. She keeps insisting that it is just a scratch, but that does nothing to calm him down and he needs an outlet. That had been too close for his liking. Just a few inches to the left and… well, he really didn’t want to think about that scenario.

‘Lucifer, I am fine, really,’ insists Chloe, somehow looking both appreciative and agitated at his fussing. ‘Can you please go check on Axara?’

Lucifer glances to where the singer is sitting with a shock blanket around her shoulders. Not that she looks like she needs one. She had been a little shaken up at first, sure, but by the time the paramedics had been called, she had calmed down enough to be back to her stubborn self.

Chloe’s phone rings and claims her attention, so Lucifer figures that he may as well do as he is asked.

‘How are you doing?’ he asks Axara, trying to sound comforting despite the fact that his stomach is still twisting in knots at the thought of someone shooting at his Detective.

‘I’m fine,’ says Axara. She nods to where Chloe is still talking on her phone as the paramedic finishes up on her bullet wound. That knot on Lucifer’s stomach tightens again. ‘How’s she?’

‘She’s a tough one,’ says Lucifer, not even trying to hide the pride he feels. ‘She’ll be fine. Just a scratch after all.’

He's under no illusions of who exactly he is trying to convince.

Chloe finishes her call and walks over to them. ‘Okay, so I have your security team in place,’ she tells Axara.

‘For tomorrow's show, right?’ asks Axara in the most passive-aggressive way possible. ‘Smart to beef things up.’

Lucifer sees Chloe’s eye twitch in annoyance, and he fights to hide his smile at the sight. He’s always found her quite adorable when she’s angry. Scary, yes, but still adorable. ‘Yeah, I don't think you understand,’ she says, fighting stubbornness with stubbornness. ‘There's no show. While you're in danger, you're under 24-hour LAPD protection. Led by me.’

Axara opens her mouth to no doubt argue some more but is interrupted by Ella approaching them. ‘Look what we found in the laundry chute,’ she tells them, holding up an evidence bag with a gun and silencer inside. ‘I'm gonna head back to the homestead to expedite ballistics. You wanna come?’

That last question is directed to Chloe, who glances at Axara as she takes a moment to think about what to do. ‘Lucifer, how about you take Axara back to Lux?’ she says at last. ‘You can keep an eye on her, and the penthouse is not only safe, but somewhere the shooter will hopefully not expect Axara to be.’

Axara suddenly seems to be warming up to the idea of police protection, judging by the way her ears prick up at the suggestion, but Lucifer is feeling uneasy again. ‘Detective, can I have a word?’ he asks. He doesn’t wait for her to answer before he takes her arm (the uninjured one) and guides her a few feet away from the others.

‘What’s up?’ asks Chloe.

‘Is this a test?’ he asks.

Chloe’s brow crinkles in confusion. ‘A test?’

Lucifer nods, seriously. ‘Yes. You are asking me to take a young, beautiful woman to my penthouse and to stay there with her… it sounds like a test.’

Chloe bites her bottom lip, obviously trying not to laugh, and Lucifer would find it sexy if it wasn’t for the fact that he is still trying to make sense of the situation. ‘No, Lucifer,’ she says with a small chuckle. ‘It’s not a test, I promise. I didn’t even think about that. I just thought that it would be the easiest way to protect Axara without her complaining too much about it.’

Lucifer studies her face for a moment longer, searching for any sign of an ulterior motive, but he finds nothing but honesty and a little bit of amusement. ‘I suppose that does make sense,’ he finally admits. He looks back at Axara. Surely it couldn’t be too hard to look after one popstar, right?

----

Lucifer had been wrong. So very wrong. Looking after Axara is not easy at all. And for the life of him, he can’t figure out why. He has a 5-star penthouse with a great view, an abundance of top-shelf liquor, and the best chefs in the city are just a phone call away to provide them with any meal Axara desires. What more could she possibly want?

Some Dad-awful concoction of the most disgusting ingredients known to man, is apparently the answer to that question, and before long, half of it is decorating his kitchen cupboards (and his Armani suit) in a horrible shade of puke orange.

But still, Lucifer ploughs through it. When he had finally accepted that this was not a test and that Chloe truly trusts him, he had found himself quite touched at the discovery. And he’ll be damned (again) if he gives her any reason to think that that trust has been misplaced.

But then he finds Axara on his bed, half naked and wanting, and he starts to worry. Not because he’s tempted to sleep with her, of course. Even if it has been weeks since he’s indulged in any carnal activities, he would never betray Chloe like that. (Besides, Axara may be alluring, but she could never hold a candle to his Detective.) No, what Lucifer is worried about is if Chloe finds about this and misunderstands his intentions or questions his loyalty. He is well aware of how his past promiscuity and reputation can affect people’s judgement, and how easily Chloe’s trust could turn to doubt.

And it doesn’t help that he is only half dressed as well, having just been for a shower to wash off the foul-smelling “health drink” that had splashed all over him.

‘What on earth do you think you're doing?’ he asks. He’s gaping like a fish, he knows, but at the moment he is too confused to care. He’s sure that he hasn’t given Axara any signals that he would be interested in her.

‘You,’ Axara answers simply, with all the confidence of woman who knows what she wants and usually gets it. ‘Get naked.’

‘I beg your pardon?’

Axara doesn’t seem put off by his reaction, she just leans back and gives him a sultry smile. ‘I always have sex the night before a show. It calms me.’

Lucifer finally manages to stop gaping at her and decides that he really has to put a stop to this. ‘Well, I'm sorry, but you'd have to tie me down with steel chains to have sex with you,’ he says as he puts his trousers on as quickly as possible.

But not quick enough.

Axara’s smile turns wicked as she scoots closer. ‘I'd be up for that,’ she says, and, before Lucifer can stop her, she is pulling him down to the bed and straddling him.

‘No! What- It wasn't a suggestion!’

‘Demanding,’ chuckles Axara as she does her best to unbutton his shirt. ‘I like it.’

This has gone far enough, thinks Lucifer, and he quickly takes back control. He catches Axara’s wrists in his hands and uses his hold to push her away slightly. She’s still straddling his waist and she still has that playful smile on her face, but the action is at least enough for her to stop assaulting him and his shirt buttons.

‘Look, Miss Axara, you are very beautiful and I’m sure that many-a-man would love to be in this position right now,’ he says. ‘But, unfortunately for you, I’m not one of them.’ Axara frowns but still doesn’t move. ‘This Devil is spoken for.’

A look of understanding passes over Axara’s face before it is replaced by a look of embarrassment. ‘Right, of course, I should have realised,’ she says, finally getting off him and moving over to sit on the edge of the bed. Lucifer figures that this is going to be the closest to an apology he is going to get from her, so he quickly redoes the buttons that she had managed to get at, finishes putting his trousers on properly, and then sits down next to her.

There’s a moment of awkward silence before Axara speaks. ‘It’s that detective you work with, isn’t it?’

She has a knowing, if not a little disappointed, smile on her face, and Lucifer’s eyes widen. ‘How did you-’ he goes to ask but Axara cuts him off.

‘I may be a self-centred diva, but I have eyes.’

Lucifer’s shoulders sag as he worries about what Chloe will say when she hears that they haven’t been as covert as they thought they were being. ‘We’re not telling anybody at the moment,’ he says, both as confirmation to Axara’s observation and as a warning for her to keep the information to herself.

Axara nods in understanding. ‘Office romances are complicated. I get it.’ There’s another silence that is significantly less awkward than the last before Axara lets out a tired sigh. ‘I don't know about you, but I could use a drink.’

Lucifer chuckles and, for the first time since taking on this protection detail, he truly smiles. ‘Oh, well now you are talking my language. Long as it's not orange, right?’

At Axara's nod, he gets up and makes his way to his bar. After a minute of indecision, he takes a bottle of one of his better scotches and returns to the bedroom. ‘I wasn't sure if you're a single malt girl…’ He trails off when he realises that the bedroom is empty and the door to the stairs is open. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what has happened. Axara has given him the slip.

‘Bugger.’

----

Once Chloe and Ella had gotten back to the precinct, Chloe had wasted no time in checking who the gun they had found belonged to, and soon after that, she had arrested Axara’s manager. Now she is sitting at her desk, trying to get a hold of Lucifer to let him know of the development.

For the fourth time in a row, Chloe listens to Lucifer’s wildly inappropriate voicemail message and hangs up. ‘I’m sure they’re fine,’ insists Dan, who is sitting in Lucifer’s usual chair. ‘Lucifer’s probably-’ Chloe shoots him a glare, knowing full well what he thinks Lucifer is doing. ‘… He’s probably helping Axara rehearse or something. You know, with the piano.’

His quick change of attitude is fooling no one, but Chloe lets it slide. She’s too on edge to argue. She knows that Dan is probably right (about Lucifer and Axara being fine, not about his unsaid implications); they have the murderer in custody and there is no way he would have had time to get to Axara before they had found him, even if he had somehow known that she was at Lucifer’s penthouse. Lucifer and Axara are perfectly safe.

And yet, Chloe can’t shake this uneasy feeling that has settled in her chest.

‘Epic toxicology report,’ says Ella, seemingly appearing out of nowhere (or maybe Chloe was just too lost in her thoughts to notice her arrival). ‘It turns out the manager didn't just kill Benny, he tortured him, too. I mean, it's bad enough that he made him take all those sleeping pills, but to force him to eat all that stuff, too? I mean, that is just cruel, man.’

Chloe looks over the report with interest. ‘Wait, what does this mean, here?’ she asks Ella, pointing to a whole bunch of letters, numbers, and long words that Chloe couldn't even attempt to pronounce.

‘Oh, right, sorry, yeah. It's the chemical compounds,’ says Ella, taking the report back so that she can translate. ‘So, first, he fed Benny raw turmeric. And kale. A lot of kale. And then, a boatload of spirulina.’

Chloe frowns as she thinks for a moment, before something inside her brain clicks. ‘But this all sounds like ingredients for a smoothie.’

A truly disgusting smoothie. Just like the one she had seen Axara drinking the first time she had met her.

‘Yeah, smoothie of death,’ says Ella, and Dan hums in agreement.

‘No, I mean, the pills,’ says Chloe. ‘It could've been blended into a smoothie like the one that Axara drinks.’

‘It would definitely mask the taste of the pills,’ says Dan, seriously considering Chloe’s theory. They share a glance, each thinking the same thing.

They have arrested the wrong person.

----

Chloe and Dan head straight to Lux. They had tried getting a hold of Cece – a mean turmeric smoothie, indeed – but no one seems to know where she is.

Which means she has probably gone after Axara again.

When they enter the nightclub, they can barely see through the crowd, but they can hear well enough. And what they hear is Lucifer and Axara doing an impressive duet of I Will Survive.

Not exactly the protection detail Chloe had had in mind when she had suggested Lucifer take Axara to Lux, but at least it makes it easier to search the crowds for any sign of Cece; everybody is far too distracted by the performance in front of them to get in their way. With nothing more than a look, Chloe and Dan agree to split up to cover more ground.

I will survive. Hey, hey!

The crowd erupts into cheers and applause as Axara and Lucifer finish their song. After a minute, they start to disperse, but then, almost as one, they still, staring at the spot where the spotlight still shines.

Only, now there is a third person standing in it.

‘You were supposed to keep her safe,’ growls Cece, pointing a knife at Lucifer, who is standing a few feet in front of her, shielding Axara.

Chloe carefully unholsters her gun, and slowly moves through the crowd. Cece seems pretty distracted, monologuing about how she’s tired of sharing Axara with the world, but still, it’s best to be cautious. One sudden move, and Cece may spook and rush at somebody with that knife. And with the room as crowded as it is, it’s unlikely that the blade would not hit someone.

Chloe finally reaches a gap in the crowd and pushes through just in time to hear Axara ask Cece how almost killing her was supposed to protect her.

‘She was never trying to kill you,’ says Chloe, pointing her gun at Cece now that she has a clear shot. She can see Dan in the crowd on the other side of the room, moving equally as cautious as Chloe had been. ‘Cece ran your social media. It was easy for her to start an account as you and access all of your private texts.’

‘So you knew about the choreography switch,’ says Axara with shocked realisation.

‘I just wanted to scare you,’ says Cece, a little desperately.

Axara looks at her friend with pity and sorrow in her eyes. ‘I'm never gonna stop singing, Cece.’

Cece’s lip starts trembling. ‘Not even for me?’

‘My music means more to me than anything. You have to know that by now.’

Chloe can tell by the way Cece’s eyes water that she does know that… but she’s also not going to accept it. ‘Drop the knife, Cece,’ she says, using all the authority of her “cop voice”. ‘It's over.’

There are proper tears forming in Cece’s eyes now. ‘No,’ she sobs once before her eyes harden. ‘No!’

With a cry of rage, Cece turns and rushes at Chloe. Chloe takes a few steps back, her trigger finger twitching but not pressing enough to fire… she really doesn’t want to shoot Cece.

And then Lucifer is there, tackling Cece to the ground. The onlooking clubbers gasp and scream as they quickly jump out of their way.

Chloe holsters her gun and rushes over to where Lucifer is picking himself off of a sad looking Cece. Dan joins her and helps Cece to her feet before cuffing her hands behind her back.

Chloe helps Lucifer the rest of the way up, a quip about playing the hero forming on her lips, but then she gasps as he turns and reveals the knife that is sticking out of his chest. ‘Oh my God, are you okay?’ rushes Chloe, not even trying to prevent the “G” word from slipping out. She’s far too worried to care.

‘Why wouldn't I be okay?’ asks Lucifer before he looks down and sees the knife. ‘Oh.’

‘Oh, God, whatever you do, don't pull it-’ Too late. ‘…out.’

Lucifer grunts in pain as he removes the blood-soaked knife from his chest. He looks at it for a moment and then looks back at Chloe, a slightly dazed expression on his face.

‘Oops.’

He sways a little and Chloe is only just fast enough to catch him as he falls. She lowers him to the ground as carefully as she can and then grabs a few napkins from a nearby table. She presses them to the wound, trying not to panic as they start to turn red.

It’s not that bad, she tells herself. She can see that the wound isn’t deep and would not be life threatening to a human let alone the Devil.

But, no matter how logical that thought is, it doesn’t really help with the panicking.

‘Do you need me to leave?’ she asks him in a rushed whisper. ‘So that you can heal? Will the wound go away if I’m out of range?’

She is about to get up so that she can test her theory, but Lucifer puts his hand over her own that is still putting pressure on his wound, stopping her. ‘Stay,’ he says, and when he looks at her like that - with such affection his eyes – how can she say no? She relaxes and they continue to stare softly at each other in silence, lost in each other’s gaze, unaware of the lieutenant watching them with interest from across the room.

----

The next morning, Chloe is sorting out the paperwork she has to complete for officially closing the case when Pierce suddenly appears at her desk. ‘Lieutenant,’ she greets politely.

‘Congratulations on another solve,’ he says, and Chloe gives him a grateful smile. While she wouldn’t consider him a friend, their relationship has gotten a lot better since the Firehawk case.

‘Thanks, I appreciate that. I'm just glad Axara's okay. Well, I guess more than okay. Her show's back on for the night and she sent me two VIP tickets to say thank you.’ Chloe looks to the tickets sitting on her desk and her smile widens as she thinks of Lucifer’s face when she reveals that this time, she is taking him on a date.

‘Well, you deserve them. So, who are you taking?’

Chloe has moment of internal panic. If she tells him the truth, would it be too obvious that it was date? And if it was, would Pierce assign her a different partner?

‘Oh, I don't know,’ she says, as offhandedly as she can. Maybe if she plays it down enough, Pierce will drop the subject and forget about it all together.

Her plan backfires spectacularly.

‘I thought you'd never ask,’ he says, and Chloe’s eyes widen in surprise and panic.

‘Oh… I…’

Her mind is working in overdrive, trying to find the best way of getting out of this without offending her boss or letting him know about her relationship with Lucifer.

Her mind doesn’t work quick enough however and Pierce takes her stunned silence as acceptance.

‘I’ll pick you up at seven,’ he says, and before Chloe can even say a word, he’s walking away from her desk and back to his office.

What the hell just happened?

She’s still staring blankly at the space in front of her, asking herself that very question, when her vision is suddenly filled with Lucifer’s smiling face. ‘Morning, Detective,’ he says. His arm is in a sling that Chloe knows is entirely for show.

‘Hi, how’s the stab wound?’ she asks, trying to force a smile on her face. Because she has just realised the other half of her problem.

How is Lucifer going to react when he finds out that Pierce basically just asked her out and she didn’t exactly turn him down?

Sure, she didn’t say “yes”, but she didn’t say “no” either.

Lucifer frowns. ‘Is something wrong, Detective?’

She should have known better than to try and pretend around him. She lets her smile fall and explains the situation.

‘And now I don’t know how to get out of it,’ she says once she’s finished recounting the interaction. ‘If I tell him that I want to go with you, then he’s gonna know that we’re dating and he’s gonna split us up and possibly make our work lives hell. I could tell him I’m sick, but then he’ll get suspicious when I don’t give away the tickets. I suppose I could just give him both tickets, but why should he get them when he didn’t do anything to help with the case?’ She’s well aware that she’s rambling, but she’s on a roll now and can’t seem to make herself to stop.

That is until a hand takes hers and she looks up to see Lucifer’s warm brown eyes looking down at her. ‘Chloe, breathe,’ he says soothingly, and the use of her name on his lips is enough to ease her anxiety. ‘Maybe you should just go to the concert with him.’

For the second time that morning, Chloe’s eyes widen in surprise. ‘But…’

‘It’s not ideal, but it’s the only way to get him off your back. Plus, you worked hard on this case, you deserve those tickets.’

‘But so do you,’ she counters. ‘You got stabbed for crying out loud. If anyone deserves to go, it’s you.’

Lucifer shrugs. ‘I already got to sing with her. Can’t really beat that.’

Chloe deflates a bit at that, realising that her idea for a date pales in comparison to everything else that he has done.

‘Are you sure you’re okay with this?’ she asks carefully. She doesn’t really want to go with Pierce, but Lucifer is right. It’s the best way to get him off their backs.

Lucifer gives her hand a quick squeeze. ‘I trust you, Chloe.’ The use of her name helps reassure her that he is taking this seriously. ‘Just as you trusted me with Axara.’

Chloe is about to tell him that trust isn’t a favour to be exchanged but thinks better of it. He trusts her and she trusts him and that’s all that really matters.

She nods and reluctantly pulls her hand away from his and squares her shoulders. ‘Okay. But I’m not letting him drive me there.’

Lucifer smiles encouragingly at her, though it doesn’t quite reach his eyes. The situation is beyond awkward, but Chloe is confident that they can get through it. She just has to make sure Pierce doesn’t get any ideas about it going any further. It’s just a concert.

She can do this.

----

The concert isn’t quite as bad as expected and Chloe can almost convince herself that maybe Pierce is just secretly an Axara fan and wanted an excuse to go. No romantic motivation at all. She realises that this is probably extremely wishful thinking, but it does help that Pierce does not come onto her or make any insinuations at all. He hadn’t even batted an eyelid when she had suggested driving to the concert separately.

Still, she is quite relieved to see Lucifer’s corvette when she pulls up into her driveway.

She finds him sitting on her couch and she has a brief flashback of when he had come to tell her the Truth all those months ago. The memory causes a spark of anxiety to rise up. What if he’s come to have a different kind of serious talk? What if he changed his mind about trusting her?

‘Hi,’ she says as pleasantly as possible. That anxiety has knotted itself into a ball inside her chest and is claiming squatter's rights.

Lucifer gives her a soft smile and Chloe breathes a small sigh of relief when she sees that there is still love in his eyes. ‘Sorry for the unexpected visit,’ he says, ‘I just…’

‘Wanted to see me?’ Chloe finishes for him after a few seconds of silence. She knows she sounds a bit desperate and a lot hopeful, but she doesn’t care.

Lucifer lets out a chuckle as he gets up and walks over to her. He places his hands on her hips and the anxiety ball in Chloe's chest begins to loosen as it senses an eviction notice on the horizon. ‘Always,’ he says before he bends down to give her a tender kiss which Chloe gladly returns.

Goodbye anxiety, I hardly knew ye.

‘It’s okay,’ she tells him, responding to his earlier apology. ‘I told you, you’re always welcome here. Just next time maybe text me so I know who is watching Trixie.’

Lucifer nods seriously. ‘Yes, of course. Sorry.’

Chloe leans up and gives him another kiss, just a quick peck on the lips to let him know that he is forgiven.

‘So, how was the concert?’ He asks the question so casually, but Chloe can see right through him. He’s just as worried about the situation as she is.

‘It was all right,’ she shrugs. ‘Axara was amazing of course so I enjoyed that part. And Pierce was his usual hard to read self.’

‘You mean he didn’t try and make a move on you?’ Lucifer asks, clearly surprised, and Chloe shakes her head. ‘Is he mad?’

Chloe lets out a small bubble of laughter at that. ‘Or maybe he just realised that I am obviously not interested in him that way.’

‘Maybe,’ Lucifer concedes. ‘But we still shouldn’t rule out the possibility of madness.’

Chloe laughs again and gives him an affectionate pat on the chest before she moves away. ‘Won’t be a minute,’ she says, ‘I just have to check on Trixie.’

A quick peek into Trixie’s bedroom shows that she is happily asleep, and Chloe smiles affectionately at her daughter for moment before quietly shutting the door and returning to Lucifer. Before she can say anything however, a very big and embarrassing yawn escapes her. ‘Sorry,’ she says, covering her mouth. ‘That concert took longer than I thought it would. I’m so tired.’

Lucifer’s eyes twinkle with amusement for a moment before he suddenly becomes nervous again. ‘Would it be alright if I stayed?’ he asks, almost shyly. ‘Just to sleep. I promise I won’t let the Urchin see me when I leave. I’ll be gone before she even wakes up.’

Chloe raises her hand to cup Lucifer’s face, effectively shutting him up. ‘Yes, you can stay,’ she tells him, not even having to think about it. She once again gives him a quick kiss before letting him go and stepping away.

‘Thank you,’ Lucifer whispers and Chloe falls in love with him a little more.

She has found herself doing that a lot lately.

It doesn’t take them long to get ready for bed and when Lucifer slides underneath the sheets beside her, Chloe has never felt such a feeling of rightness. Lucifer has barely gotten himself settled before she wraps an arm around his waist and sets her head upon his chest, letting out a happy hum. This is how it should be all the time, she thinks.

It only takes Lucifer a moment to respond, and his own arms encircle her, radiating her with his warmth. And if he holds her a little tighter than necessary, Chloe does not mind one bit.

Chapter Text

The next morning, Chloe wakes to find the other side of the bed empty bar a folded piece of paper with her name written on it accompanied by a drawn love heart. Rubbing her eyes and sitting up, she picks up the paper and unfolds it. Lucifer’s note is short and sweet and mostly consists of an apology and an explanation that “the child” had gotten up earlier than expected so he had had to make a hasty exit. It is signed with a drawing of the devil emoji that he always signs off his texts with.

Chloe’s lets out sigh of disappointment and flops back down onto her bed. She’s grateful that Lucifer is respecting her wishes with Trixie… but she had really been looking forward to waking up next to him.

Still lying on her back, she holds up the note and reads it again. This time her lips twitch up into a smile as her fingers trace the little love heart next to her name. She’s acting like a teenager with their first crush, she thinks to herself when she realises what she is doing.

She sets the note down on her bedside table and reluctantly sits up again. She’s already slept in a bit too much. She can hear the sound of Trixie’s morning cartoons coming from downstairs, which means she probably only has five to ten minutes to get ready enough to make sure Trixie gets on the bus okay. Thankfully, Trixie is well used to getting herself ready and can be quite responsible when need be. She’ll be ready to go as soon as Chloe is.

Thinking about how her little Monkey is growing up brings another smile to Chloe’s lips. Maybe it’s time that she tells her about her relationship with Lucifer. Whatever happens, Chloe is sure that Trixie will be able to handle it. And she is no doubt going to be thrilled at the news.

Chloe’s phone rings, bringing her out of her thoughts. One look at the caller ID tells her that she is probably about to be very busy. It’s work, and they never ring her this early unless it is important. And seeing as she doesn’t have any active cases right now, it must mean that she has a new one.

She promises herself to tell Trixie about Lucifer later.

----

As Chloe steps out of her police cruiser, having just arrived at the crime scene, she hears the unmistakable sound of Lucifer’s corvette. She turns to see said corvette approaching the scene a tad too fast, but she knows that Lucifer always has complete control of the vehicle. “Celestial reflexes” as he always says whenever she complains about his lack of regard for the speed limit.

She waits as he parks, gives a couple of unis a charming smile, and makes his way over. ‘Morning,’ he says, brightly. ‘How was your night?’

The question may sound like a normal friendly greeting to any eavesdropping ears, but Chloe understands the hidden meaning. He’s making sure she is still okay with him staying over.

‘It was good,’ Chloe replies, giving Lucifer a grateful smile as he holds up the police tape for her. She ducks under it, closely followed by Lucifer. ‘Morning could have been better though.’ And not just because she had woken up without her warm Devil boyfriend. Now that she has gotten closer to the main crime scene, she can see the two victims. They are sitting in their open-top car, overlooking the brilliant view from the cliff top… and they both have giant bloody smears over their chests. The juxtaposition of the gruesome crime and the romantic setting makes for quite an unsettling sight.

And, to make matters worse, Pierce is there too.

‘Lieutenant, what brings you here?’ she asks, trying to remain as indifferent as possible.

Pierce doesn’t turn to look at them, he just keeps on staring stoically at the two victims. ‘I had a gut feeling about this case. I wanted to see if I was right.’

‘As much as we appreciate your digestive feelings, Lieutenant,’ says Lucifer, ‘the Detective and I have this utterly under control. So, if you don't mind…’

Amazingly, Pierce doesn’t react at all to Lucifer’s less than polite dismissal. ‘I don’t mind at all,’ he says, taking one last thoughtful look at the victims and then backing away from the car.

Well… that’s odd.

Chloe has never known Pierce to let someone tell him what to do. And she's never known him to take a case personally.

But whatever the lieutenant’s deal is with the case, it isn’t really any of Chloe’s business, so she turns back towards the crime scene and asks Ella what she has found out so far.

‘Meet Robbie Matthews and Rachel White,’ says Ella, looking down sadly at the couple in the car. ‘Looks like they were drugged unconscious, and then someone literally smashed their chests in.’

‘Do we know how they were drugged?’

‘Uh, best guess, maybe the killer used some form of anaesthetic. Liquid or aerosol.’

‘And then crushed their ribs, their sternum,’ says Chloe, taking a closer look at the wounds.

‘And finally, their hearts,’ finishes Lucifer, looking thoughtfully at the two victims. ‘Well, it's not hard to figure out what the desire was here.’

‘The killer was clearly trying to send a message,’ Chloe agrees.

‘That he couldn't stand this couple's relationship.’

Chloe looks over the couple in the car again and then looks back up to Lucifer, who gives her a sad smile. She returns it to the best of her ability. With everything that has just happened with Pierce, this case is a little too close to home right now.

‘So, what? We think maybe she had a jealous stalker?’ asks Lucifer, and Chloe doesn’t miss the way his eyes flick over to where Pierce is still standing a few feet away from them, paying close attention to the investigation and putting Chloe a little on edge.

‘Or an angry ex,’ suggests Chloe, trying to ignore Pierce. ‘We need to talk to anyone who had a problem with this relationship.’

Lucifer nods and then looks over to Pierce. ‘See, we got this Lieutenant,’ he says. ‘No need to mess with success.’

So much for ignoring Pierce, then.

‘Which one of them was married?’ asks Pierce.

Chloe raises an eyebrow but doesn’t turn around for Pierce to see it. That was a very specific question asked with a lot of confidence. Pierce definitely knows something about this case that the rest of them don’t.

‘Well, no weddings rings, so, neither of them, obviously,’ Lucifer tells him, with a chuckle that is just a little too forced. ‘But good on you for participating.’

Chloe sends him a warning glance. She knows tensions are a little high at the moment because of what happened yesterday, but now is not the time for being passive aggressive. Especially seeing as Pierce has been acting like the concert never happened and Chloe is desperately hoping that it stays that way.

‘Has anyone checked their chest cavities yet?’ asks Pierce, ignoring Lucifer.

Chloe frowns and finally turns to face her boss. ‘What? Why would we do that?’

‘In the 50s, there was a guy named Clark Hoffman. He was known for making his victims swallow their wedding rings.’

As soon as he says the familiar name, things start to make a lot more sense.

‘Right, the Broken Hearts Killer.’

Chloe thinks she sees a flicker of annoyance pass over Pierce’s face at that, but a second later it’s gone and he is back to his expressionless self. ‘By the time they caught him, he'd killed seven cheating couples in LA,’ he says, nodding towards the victims. ‘His crime scenes were about as gruesome as this.’

‘Wow, you really know a lot about this,’ says Ella, clearly impressed.

‘The cop who solved the case was an old mentor of mine.’

Chloe nods along, still thinking about what little she knows about the old case. ‘And didn't Hoffman die a few days ago in prison?’ she suddenly remembers.

‘Making him a particularly useless addition to this conversation,’ says Lucifer. Chloe shoots him a look again. She knows he just wants to deter Pierce’s interest in the case, but unfortunately, Clark Hoffman may have quite a lot to do with it.

‘Unless his death inspired a copycat,’ says Pierce forcefully, finally reacting to Lucifer’s less than polite comments.

‘Or maybe they're using this as an MO to throw us off,’ adds Chloe calmly, making a point to direct this at Lucifer rather than Pierce. Just because he may be right about Hoffman being inspiration for the murders, doesn’t mean she wants him interfering. She and Lucifer have their own dynamic and can get along just fine without him.

‘I hope that's all it is,’ says Pierce, but Chloe gets the feeling that the comment is directed to himself more than anybody. He’s still looking at the two victims, missing the death glare that Lucifer is giving him.

‘All righty, guess we'll get out the old chest spreader and go fishing for some wedding rings,’ says Ella, breaking the tension that has suddenly descended over the crime scene. Chloe cringes at the thought, but thankfully one of the other detectives chooses the perfect moment to hand her an iPad, the victims’ Chtichat accounts displayed on the screen. She thanks the man and then quickly searches the pages for the victims’ relationship status.

‘Or, according to their social media profile, Rachel was single, and Robbie was married,’ she tells the others once she has found the relevant information. The ME will still have to check the chest cavities for the rings, but at least now she won’t have to be there to witness it. She looks up to Lucifer. ‘We need to talk to the spouse ASAP.’

She turns and heads back to her car, not even glancing at Pierce as she passes him. Once Lucifer joins her, he looks way too smug, but Chloe doesn’t mention it. She’ll let him have this one if it means they can get back to their easy partnership and forget all about Pierce.

----

Alas, forgetting about Pierce becomes increasingly difficult as the case goes on. They find Robbie’s wife very easily and she agrees to come in for an interview… an interview that Pierce insists on sitting in on. Afterwards, Chloe pulls Lucifer off to the side so they can talk without having to worry about being overheard.

‘You okay?’ she asks, giving his arm a quick squeeze before letting go.

Lucifer’s annoyed expression that has been a permanent fixture on his face since Pierce invited himself into the interview falters slightly at the question. ‘I’m fine, Detective,’ he says, though he doesn’t really sound it. ‘Just a little annoyed at that oaf barging in on our case. Definitely not my usual kind of threesome.’

Chloe ignores the fact that Lucifer has just called their superior officer an oaf (lets face it, he’s called people a lot worse) and fights the urge to cringe at his “threesome” comment. Instead, she tries her best to give him a sympathetic smile. She can tell this thing with Pierce is going to bother him no matter what, but the least she can do is make sure that he knows she is not going to let anything or anyone come between them.

‘It’s annoying me too,’ she tells him, and yep, that was definitely the right thing to say. The crinkle in Lucifer’s brow smooths a little and a relieved look quickly passes over his features. ‘But, if it helps, I don’t think Pierce barging in on this case has anything to do with you or me. I think he probably just feels obligated to finish what his mentor started. So, try not to take it personally, okay?’

After a moment, Lucifer gives her a small nod and now it’s Chloe’s turn to be relieved.

‘And, hey, maybe this case has nothing to do with the Broken Hearts Killer at all. And then Pierce will back off and we can back to our usual twosome.’

Realistically, Chloe knows things will not be that simple and, judging by the forced smile that he gives her, Lucifer knows it too. But a girl can dream, can’t she?

----

Chloe can dream all she likes, but it doesn’t change the fact that Pierce has officially become part of their case. Another couple has been murdered using Hoffman’s MO (there had indeed been a wedding ring in Robbie Matthews’ chest cavity) and there is now no denying that this is the work of a copycat killer. And that means that, although Chloe is loathed to admit it, they need the lieutenant’s expertise. His knowledge of the original murders could be invaluable to catching whatever sicko Hoffman has inadvertently inspired.

Unfortunately, no one ever found out how Hoffman actually chose his victims, so even with Pierce’s help, this is going to be a tough one.

Ugh, she hates serial killers.

‘All right, Lieutenant, what did you want to show us?’ asks Chloe as she and Lucifer approach where Pierce is looking through security footage from the hotel where they had found the second set of victims.

‘I may have a lead.’

‘Did you find it during A.V. Club?’ asks Lucifer. Despite Chloe’s attempts at reassurance, he has still been nothing but snarky and dismissive of whatever Pierce has said all day. ‘We already know the killer disabled the hotel's surveillance cameras.’

‘On the day of the murders, yes,’ says Pierce, ‘but then I started thinking, what if the killer scoped out the location a week before? And I found this.’ He presses play on the recording and points to where a car is parked on the side of the road. The assumed driver of the vehicle is standing next to the driver’s side door, almost as if he’s hiding behind the car. And he is taking pictures of the hotel.

Could someone be any more dodgy?

Chloe is both thrilled to have a proper lead, no matter how circumstantial, and disappointed that she hadn’t thought of checking the security tapes for earlier in the week. Of course someone would check out a place before they did something of this magnitude. ‘You think this is our guy?’ she asks Pierce, hoping he has an ID.

Pierce turns back to look thoughtfully at the footage which is now paused on the shot of the man taking pictures. ‘Maybe. The car's registered to a Neil Berger, former schoolteacher.’

‘Well, that's it, a chap snapping photos?’ asks Lucifer. ‘How do we know he's not scrapbooking?’ He’s obviously grasping at straws now to undermine Pierce. Chloe rests her hand on his elbow behind Pierce’s turned back, hoping the small touch will be enough to reassure him that this vendetta is unnecessary. Pierce is not going to come between them, no matter how many of their cases he takes over.

Lucifer looks down at Chloe’s hand and then back up to her eyes. A grateful smile graces his lips and Chloe eagerly returns it before she has to step away as Pierce turns back to face them.

‘I put an APB out on him,’ he tells them. As if waiting for his cue, his phone chimes, letting them know that they have a hit. ‘He's been spotted in front of the original killer's house. Let's go.’

He gets up and hurries past them towards the door. Chloe grabs Lucifer’s arm and all but drags him along as they follow. They don’t have time for him to dawdle and even if they did, Chloe doesn’t really want to be left alone with Pierce. She still hasn’t worked out what she is going to say if he brings up the concert and she’ll take any chance she gets to buy herself more time to figure it out.

----

Neil Berger turns out to not only be a former teacher, but also an expert in all things Clark Hoffman. He even does a tour like those Jack the Ripper ones in London that Chloe has read about. So when they approach him in front of Hoffman’s old house – which is the start of the tour – and Berger mistakes them for his customers, Chloe, Lucifer and Pierce decide to play along, hoping to uncover some more substantial evidence that this is their copycat killer. He certainly fits the profile, but so far all they have is circumstantial.

‘Originally built in 1909, Hoffman's iconic Craftsman home is just blocks away from what I like to call "The Last Heartbreak",’ says Berger, shouting a little from his position at the head of the group as they make their way along a quiet, out of the way road that Chloe can absolutely picture a serial killer taking advantage of. ‘The scene of the final murder, and where the killer was ultimately apprehended by police.’

Chloe is listening, she really is, but she can’t help but be distracted by the man beside her. For the benefit of his customers, Berger has employed the use of Segways into his tour, and the sight of Lucifer on one of them alone would be enough to send her into a fit of giggles. Add in the helmet and the plastic poncho to protect him from the rain, and Chloe has to actually bite the inside of her mouth to stop the laughter.

As sneakily as she can, she gets out her phone and takes a quick picture. It’s a little fuzzy due to being taken on the move, but it’s still enough for blackmail purposes.

Maybe having a demon for a roommate has affected her more than first thought?

‘Why are we wasting our time with these ridiculous shenanigans?’ hisses Lucifer, steering his Segway so that he is closer to Chloe and will not be overheard by Berger. ‘Let's just grab this miscreant and be done with it.’

Chloe makes the mistake of glancing at him and once again has to bite back her laughter.

‘Because, unfortunately, we don't have enough evidence to arrest him,’ she whispers back, trying to make her voice sound as sympathetic as possible.

‘Serial killers love talking about themselves,’ adds Pierce, and Lucifer’s shoulder’s tense at the intrusion into the conversation. ‘The more Neil talks, the more likely he'll incriminate himself.’

‘But maybe we can give him a little push,’ says Chloe before Lucifer can make any more snarky comments. She accelerates her Segway, giving Lucifer the signal to follow her lead, and catches up to Berger. ‘Um, excuse me, uh, Neil, is it?’ she asks politely, playing the interested tourist role. ‘I was wondering what you thought about this new copycat killer who surfaced.’

Berger gives it a moment of thought, a serious look on his face. ‘Ask me, it was only a matter of time before someone picked up where the original killer left off,’ he says. ‘You know, someone special. Someone who knew there was a need for what he did.’

Chloe looks to Lucifer, already knowing how angry he is going to be at that comment. Sure enough, he is glaring at the back of Berger’s head as if he could make it explode with just the power of his mind. Chloe catches his eye and gives him one of her looks that warns him not to do anything stupid (she has a lot of those looks). They still don’t have enough evidence to act yet.

It seems more pushing is in order.

‘Right,’ says Chloe, swallowing the bile that threatens to rise at the thought of agreeing with what the murderer has done. ‘The original killer, he was an auteur. But this new guy, he's just…’

‘Sort of a cheap copy,’ finishes Pierce.

Chloe has to suddenly put on the brakes of her Segway as Berger pivots his and faces the group, an almost offended look on his face. ‘Whoa. Hold on a second. This new guy is not the original, okay, but he is a damn sweet cover. He is efficient, he is precise. I mean, he gets the little details right, down to the interlocking fingers.’

Got him.

With a smug look that she has probably picked up from Lucifer, Chloe brandishes her badge. ‘Detective Decker, LAPD.’

Berger visibly cringes. ‘That information wasn't public yet, was it?’ he asks, already knowing the answer.

‘No, it wasn't.’

‘Finally, this bloody charade is over, and things can all go back to normal,’ says Lucifer, hopping off his Segway and attacking his helmet buckled with vigour.

Chloe can’t agree with the sentiment more.

----

Chloe bangs her head against her desk in frustration. ‘This blows,’ she mumbles from where her face is still pressed against the cheap wood.

Lucifer is leaning against her desk beside her, just as frustrated as she is. ‘That it does,’ he agrees, and his words are followed by the unmistakable sound of the cap of his flask being twisted off and him taking a few gulps of whatever poison he has decided on today.

It turns out that Neil Berger is not a serial killer, he’s just way too interested in them. The only reason he knows about the specific details of the case is because he was paying off a cop in Vice.

Chloe slowly raises her head to look at Lucifer. ‘We’re gonna have to call Pierce.’

Lucifer groans and takes another swig from his flask. ‘Must we? We’re quite capable of solving this one on our own.’

‘I know we are, but Pierce can help us solve it faster. Plus, we can’t keep him in the dark. He’s our boss.’

Lucifer gives a derogatory scoff and Chloe lets out a small sigh. She shifts her hand so that she can use it to cover Lucifer’s, a gesture of support and camaraderie. He immediately loosens his grip on her desk and intertwines their fingers. He doesn’t even look down, seemingly doing it without even thinking about it. ‘Lucifer, you know I’m right,’ she whispers, and he finally looks away from where he was glaring at nothing in particular and settles his eyes on her, his features softening slightly as he does. ‘I don’t like the situation either, but, like it or not, we have to work with Pierce on this one.’

Lucifer lets out a heavy sigh and gives a reluctant nod. Chloe gives his hand a quick squeeze before she lets go and reaches for her mobile instead. Pierce had not accompanied them back to the precinct, claiming to have something to attend to and promising to catch them up. Chloe just hopes that he’s not too far away. The quicker they solve this case, the better.

After a couple of rings, Pierce answers her call and Chloe explains the situation to him.

‘So, we don’t have any suspects,’ says Pierce, sounding annoyed but a lot less frustrated than he should be. Then again, he is the king of keeping his emotions hidden, so Chloe shouldn’t really be too surprised.

‘We need a lead,’ agrees Chloe, running her free hand through her hair as if she could simply brush away the stress of the day.

Some muffled sounds from the other end of the line indicate that Pierce is talking to someone away from the phone and when he comes back, he’s asking her to meet him at a bar and there’s a change in his tone that gives Chloe hope.

‘I know that look,’ says Lucifer when she hangs up the phone and turns to face him. ‘We have a lead, don’t we?’

Chloe nods and finally allows herself a proper smile. ‘I think so. Pierce wants us to meet him at a bar called The Adams.’

The smile that had been slowly forming on Lucifer’s face drops the instant she says Pierce’s name. ‘Not exactly what I was hoping for,’ he says, ‘but, I suppose needs must. And if there’s a bar, there’s alcohol, which always helps.’

He’s clearly still upset about the whole Pierce thing, but Chloe really does appreciate the effort he’s putting in to get on with the case regardless. ‘Thank you,’ she says, giving him a grateful smile. ‘Come on, let’s go see what lead he could have possibly found at a bar.’

----

It turns out that Pierce has not only found a lead, he has won the freakin’ lead lottery. The owner of The Adams just happens to be the granddaughter of the cop that brought down Clark Hoffman, and, as luck would have it, she still has all his old files. Even Lucifer is impressed, though he would probably rather die than admit it to anybody.

And with this jackpot of new (or rather, old) information, they discover how Hoffman chose his victims. There was a radio show airing at the time which specialised in giving relationship advice, and all of his victims had been featured. Once they get back to the station, it doesn’t take them long to find a similar radio show connection between the copycat’s victims, though this radio show doesn’t give advice, it exposes cheating couples, making it even easier for the copycat to find “deserving” people to kill.

‘See, Chance brings someone on who thinks their spouse is cheating,’ explains Ella, evidently a fan of the radio show in question, “Chance’s Chocolates”, ‘and then, he calls the cheater pretending to be a candy shop giving away free chocolates as a promotion, and asks who they should send it to.’

‘How thrilling,’ deadpans Lucifer.

Ella either ignores or completely misses his sarcasm. ‘Right? And then, the person either names their partner and "Aw, happy ending," oooor they name someone else, and expose their dirty, cheating ways. Oh, it's so juicy.’

‘So we're assuming that our killer listens to this juvenile program?’ Lucifer asks with chuckle that shows just how poorly he thinks of this lead. Chloe suspects that this is mainly due to the fact that it was Pierce who found it. ‘We've narrowed our suspects down to anyone who doesn't have satellite radio, and Miss Lopez.’

Chloe’s lips twitch in amusement. ‘Well, I’m pretty sure we can rule Ella out.’

‘Well, if you’re sure, but I am pretty crafty, so you never know,’ says Ella, playing along for a moment before getting back to the seriousness of the situation. ‘But seriously, the addresses are beeped out on the show. Probably for reasons like this.’

‘Okay, so the killer has to be somebody that works on the show,’ says Chloe, also going back to her serious we-have-to-focus-on-the-case tone. ‘Someone with access to this info.’

And suddenly, Lucifer has decided that this lead is worth following after all. ‘So, we need to make ourselves the target, and flush the killer out,’ he says with that glint in his eye that reminds Chloe that he has spent centuries punishing evil-doers and taking great pride in it.

But then Pierce suddenly announces that he will be the one going undercover with Chloe, and that glint turns into a glare that is directed solely at Pierce.

‘We'll give out my home address and lure the killer there,’ says Pierce, either not noticing Lucifer’s ire or not caring about it.

‘Oh, that’s okay, Lieutenant,’ says Chloe, quickly but politely, hoping to dissuade Lucifer from doing anything stupid that would get him kicked off the case, like poking Pierce’s eyes out with the pencil he is gripping so tightly that it is seconds away from becoming two, smaller pencils. ‘Lucifer and I have got this.’

Lucifer relaxes a bit and drops the pencil back onto Chloe’s desk, saving it from an untimely death.

‘I’m sure you do,’ says Pierce, ‘but we still need someone to be the betrayed party. That can be Lucifer’s role.’

And with that, he walks away, no doubt off to start organising the sting. Ella, noticing the tension that has been left in his wake, wisely retreats as well, leaving Chloe alone with Lucifer. She risks a glance in his direction, immediately regretting it upon seeing his closed expression. It reminds her of how he was earlier in their partnership whenever she tried to talk to him about issues that she did not yet fully understand.

‘I hate this,’ she finally whispers, looking awkwardly down at her desk.

‘Well that makes two of us,’ huffs Lucifer.

‘I’m sorry.’

There’s a moments silence before she feels the gentle touch of Lucifer’s fingers underneath her chin, guiding her head up to look at him. She breathes a sigh of relief when she meets his eyes and sees that they are no longer cold like they had been when he had been watching Pierce leave. His annoyance is still visible, sure, but there’s warmth there too - the kind of warmth that he seems to reserve just for her.

‘It’s not your fault, Chloe,’ he tells her.

Chloe disagrees but gives him a small grateful smile all the same. She can’t help but feeling that if she had never gone to the concert with Pierce, he wouldn’t be butting in so much on their case.

Lucifer lets his hand fall and returns her smile the best he can, but Chloe can see how forced it is.

She really really hates this.

And what makes it so much worse is the fact that Pierce is right. They do need someone to go on the radio show and play the role of hurt and betrayed partner.

At least Lucifer won’t have to lie.

Chapter Text

The next day sees Lucifer sitting across from the most annoying radio DJ in history – an impressive feat considering that “annoying” is practically in the radio DJ job description. Add in the awkward headphones that are messing up his perfectly styled hair and the fact that he is about to hear his girlfriend admit to “cheating” on him, and Lucifer is not having a very good day.

‘And we are here with our jilted lover, Lucifer,’ says Chance into his overly large microphone. ‘Now, first off, what is up with that name? "Lucifer"? You think maybe that is part of the reason that's driving a wedge between you and your old lady?’

Usually Lucifer finds peoples’ reactions to his name amusing, but, as mentioned, he’s not in the best mood right now. ‘Well, first off, I am not a "jilted lover”,’ he says, defensively.

‘No, no. No one ever wants to believe that, do they?’ Chance cuts him off. ‘But you wouldn't be here if you didn't think something was going on, right? And we're gonna find out exactly what that is when we come back.’ He presses a button on the console beside him, and the “ON AIR” light turns off and Chance’s demeanour changes entirely. He sniffles a bit as he jots some notes down on the paper in front of him. ‘You're doing great, by the way,’ he tells Lucifer, not even looking up from his writing.

When he does finally look up, it’s not at Lucifer. ‘You're late!’ he shouts at the young man who has just entered the room, carrying a couple of sandwiches.

‘Yeah, sorry I'm late. Traffic was just awful.’

The man puts the sandwiches down next to Chance and goes to make a hasty exit but he’s not quick enough.

‘Stop,’ shouts Chance, looking at one of his sandwiches. The man freezes, half-way out the door and on the edge of freedom. ‘I ordered a pastrami. Is this pastrami?’ The man slowly turns to face his angry employer, just in time to have the sandwich thrown at his face. ‘No, it is NOT pastrami! Now get out of here!’

The man turns back towards the door and, much more slowly, makes his way out, shoulders slumped.

The door isn’t even closed before Chance is back on the air. ‘And we are back with our guest Lucifer, who is now gonna tell us all about his girl Chloe.’ His tone is back to sympathy and showmanship and Lucifer just about gets whiplash from the change.

‘Uh, right,’ he says, trying to get his composure back. ‘Well, um, she's my partner at work.’

‘Oh, so it's a workplace thing, huh?’ interrupts Chance. ‘When did things change?’

‘Well, she's been spending quite a bit of time with our new boss.’

Chances makes a face. ‘Cheating on you with the boss? Oh, that's low.’

Lucifer bristles at the thought of someone thinking poorly of Chloe but fights the urge to defend her.

‘Well, it's quite a bit more complex than your obnoxious braying's making it out to be.’

Yeah, he was never going win that fight, was he? Sting or no sting, he just can’t say nothing when somebody insults his Detective.

‘Well, let's find out, shall we?’ says Chance, obviously eager to get to the “good” bit. ‘Let's get Chloe on the line.’

After a couple of rings that Lucifer knows have been left unanswered on purpose to hide the fact that Chloe is literally sitting at her desk, waiting for the call, she answers.

‘Uh, hello, uh, Chloe?’ says Chance in the worst imitation of a Swiss accent that Lucifer has ever heard. Do people seriously buy this crap? Lucifer is starting to wonder if the killer is choosing his victims not just based on their infidelity, but on their stupidity as well. ‘Uh, this is, uh, Pop Sugar. We are a new Swiss chocolate shop in Los Feliz, and we are, uh, running a big promotion. Yeah, we are going to send, uh, a free box of chocolates to, uh, your special someone, if you have a special someone somewhere?’

‘Oh, wow,’ says Chloe, feigning delighted surprise. ‘Wow, yeah, that's awesome. Um and- and actually, it's perfect timing. We're having a date night tonight.’

Lucifer cringes at that, which, judging by the triumphant look in his eyes, Chance does not miss.

It’s not real, he reminds himself. She’s just reading off the script that she and Ella wrote up.

‘Oh, wonderful,’ says Chance, sitting up a bit straighter, preparing for the big finale. ‘All we need, then, is his name and address.’

‘Yeah, his name is Marcus, and he lives at-’ An assistant monitoring the show from behind the glass screen presses a button and the sound of a car horn blocks out Pierce’s address.

‘Okay, Chloe, that is good,’ says Chance, still maintaining his dreadful accent. ‘Listen, I'm just curious, because we're all such romantics here, what is it about, uh, this, uh, guy that gives you the goose bumps?’

There’s a moment's silence on the other end of the phone before Chloe answers. ‘Uh, well, he's, um he's… he's very handsome.’

Lucifer can tell by the way she stumbles over her words that the question has caught her off-guard. It’s caught him off-guard too.

This was not accounted for in the script.

‘Yeah, but isn't there anything, uh, more than just looks?’ asks Chance.

It’s not real. It’s not real.

After another moment of silence, Chloe speaks again. ‘He’s a good man,’ she says with much more confidence than before. ‘He’s brave, and he can be really thoughtful when he wants to be. He’s… I can be myself around him, you know? I don’t have to pretend.’

Chance ends the phone call after that and then drops his fake accent. ‘And there you have it, everyone,’ he says to his audience. ‘Another cheater exposed.’

Lucifer is out the door before he even finishes his sentence.

----

Chloe walks up to Pierce’s door with slumped shoulders and worry in her heart. She barely even takes in the beautiful house in front of her, too focused on the events from earlier in the day. Everything was going… well, not fine, but as well as could be expected, but then Chance just had to throw that question at her, didn’t he? She had tried to call Lucifer straight after to explain, but he hadn’t answered. Nor has he answered any calls or texts she has sent in the hours since.

Now it's 7 o’clock and time to put part two of their sting operation into action. Dan is in the van a few blocks down the street, keeping an eye out and everything is ready to arrest the killer if he shows.

Everything, except Chloe, that is.

Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, Chloe rings the doorbell and it is less than a minute before Pierce is letting her into his home. The first thing she notices after stepping inside is the rocks. There are a lot of them. They seem to cover every shelf and table, all neatly placed and presumably in some sort of order.

‘Um I like rocks,’ says Pierce, noticing her reaction.

‘You have a rock collection?’ she asks, trying to fit this little nugget of information in with the enigma that is her boss.

‘Well, the thing about rocks is they're old. They never change. I've taken one from all the places I've visited.’

Chloe can kind of understand that, wanting to keep a souvenir from your travels… but most people collect spoons or pins.

‘You've been a lot of places,’ she says, finally realising that the house is a lot nicer than someone living on a police wage could afford, even a lieutenant’s one. Add in the obviously large amount of travel, and Chloe is suspecting that there may be more to Pierce than meets the eye. Old money, she’s guessing. A wealthy family that prioritises results over love and nurturing. It would explain a lot about Pierce’s closed off personality and why he never talks about his family.

‘Well, gather no moss and all that,’ shrugs Pierce, bringing Chloe back to the here and now. He leads her up a staircase and into an open dining area. ‘I know I don't have a lot of things, but what I love about this place is the killer view.’

Chloe cannot disagree with that sentiment. Her eyes widen as she takes in the beautiful view of the sun setting over Los Angeles. ‘It’s beautiful,’ she whispers in awe.

It’s almost beautiful enough to make her forget the reasons why she doesn’t want to be here, but then Pierce leads her over to a table which is already set, a delicious looking meal already waiting for them, and all her worries come rushing back.

‘Listen Decker,’ he says as he holds a chair out for her. She gives him a polite smile as she sits, hoping he doesn’t notice how strained it is. ‘I want to apologise. I’ve been so focused on this case that I haven’t had a chance to tell you how much I enjoyed last night.’

And here it is. The moment that Chloe has been dreading all day.

‘I thought that maybe we could use this chance to have a proper dinner together. There’s nothing in the dating rulebook that says we can’t multitask, right?’

He smiles at his own joke, a rare occasion indeed, and Chloe does her best to return it, but he must notice her distress because his smile slowly fades.

‘Unless, that’s not you want?’ he asks, tentatively.

‘Lieutenant-’

‘Call me Marcus.’

Lieutenant,’ Chloe repeats, emphasising the word. “Marcus” sounds a bit too personal at the moment. ‘I appreciate the time you’ve put into all this.’ She gestures at the table between them. ‘And I enjoyed last night, it was fun, I just… I just don’t think this, you and me, I mean… I don’t think it’s the best idea.’

Chloe can almost swear she sees a flicker of annoyance pass over Pierce’s features before his face falls into one of dejection. ‘I’m sorry,’ she quickly adds, dismissing the look as a figment of her imagination, I didn’t mean to lead you on or anything. It’s just, you’re my boss, you know. I don’t think it would be very appropriate. It was tricky enough dating Dan when we worked together.’

Pierce gives a small nod. ‘I guess you’re right. It would be tricky, and not something to be entered into lightly.’

‘Exactly,’ says Chloe, beyond relieved that he is accepting her perfectly reasonable explanation, even if it’s not technically the real one. ‘It’s something I’d want to be sure about.’

‘And you’re not sure about us?’

Chloe shakes her head, making sure to mask her features in a look of sympathy and not the joy she is feeling at seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. ‘No. Sorry.’

Pierce nods again. ‘Well then, I guess I’ll just have to wait until you are,’ he says. There is no malice or threat in his voice, but there’s still way too much confidence there for Chloe's liking.

And now she has no idea of what to say. She’s not sure there is anything more she can say that will get her point across, other than the obvious of course. But Lucifer is already ignoring her, and she doesn’t really want to blow their secret relationship without consulting him about it.

That’s if there even still is a secret relationship, a cynical part of her mind reminds her.

She pushes the thought away and looks down awkwardly at her meal, wishing she could just leave. But she can’t. She has a job to do and a killer to catch and both of those things are much more important than escaping the awkwardness that has fallen over the room.

So Chloe does what she always does. She compartmentalises. She pushes all thoughts of Lucifer and Pierce to the back of her mind and focuses on the case.

Hopefully the killer shows up sooner rather than later.

----

Lucifer lets his cigarette butt fall from his fingers and land on the polished marble of his balcony floor. He crushes it with the toe of his shoes and kicks it to the side to join the other five butts that have recently taken residence next to his pot plant. As soon as he had left that hellhole disguised as a radio station, he had come straight back to Lux and put a decent dent into his collection of alcohol and smokes. He knows he is being irrational, but hearing Chloe talk about another man that way had hit him a lot harder than expected.

She has tried to call him, of course. Multiple times. But Lucifer just can’t seem to make himself pick up the phone, justifying his weakness by telling himself that she shouldn’t have to deal with him when he's like this. She has a killer to catch, after all.

He looks up from where he had absentmindedly been staring at the flecks of cigarette ash that stubbornly cling to his balcony floor and takes in the sunset in front of him. It is rather beautiful. It reminds him of that photo he keeps tucked away at the back of his safe - the one of him and Chloe that had been taken to convince nosy neighbours during their undercover operation as a newlywed couple.

He loves that photo.

Not because of the symbolism or because of the white dress that Chloe is wearing, but because of the happiness in their eyes. He remembers that day well and he remembers the pure joy he felt at being able to ease her nervousness and make her laugh.

His fingers fiddle with a new cigarette as he focuses on that memory. He wonders if she is feeling nervous now, having to pretend to be dating Pierce. Will he make her laugh like Lucifer had done?

The idea of Pierce cracking jokes left, right, and centre is laughable in itself, Lucifer realises, but still, he can’t help thinking about all the things that Pierce could give Chloe that Lucifer can’t. Marriage, kids, a cute little townhouse with a white picket fence. Lucifer could never give her any of that. While it was true that he was more mortal around her, he was still an angel. He was still the Devil. And the Devil doesn’t get a happily ever after. At least, not the kind that Chloe deserves.

But what Chloe deserves and what Chloe wants are two different things. And by some miracle (which Lucifer is trying really hard not to think about) she wants him.

Making a decision, Lucifer throws his unlit cigarette away and grabs his jacket. He is going to be there for his partner, and there is not a damn thing that Marcus Pierce can do to stop him.

----

Dan slumps in his chair, trying not to let the boredom get to him. One of the things he’s missed since getting demoted is not having to sit in the surveillance van for hours t a time. Not that he can really complain about it of course. After the crap he pulled with Palmetto and then with Malcolm afterwards, he’s lucky to even still have his badge. He has an annoying suspicion that a certain consultant who is very good at wrapping people around his finger has something to do with that.

Back then, he had been angry at the possibility of being bailed out by Lucifer, but Dan has mellowed since then and is now simply grateful. Sure, the man can still be a dick and a liability, but he’s also become easier to get along with. Dan almost considers him a friend.

The back of the van opens suddenly, and Dan’s hand is already on his gun before he recognises Lucifer’s tall, Armani-clad frame.

Speak of the Devil. (Ha! Good one, Espinoza.)

Dan pulls his hand away from his gun and relaxes. ‘Hey, pal. I didn’t think you were gonna sit in on this one. Boring surveillance has never been your style.’

Lucifer grimaces as he glances around the cramped van but sits down in the chair next to Dan nevertheless. ‘Yes, well, I’m sure I can survive a little boredom for the sake of my partner’s safety,’ he says, a little stiffly.

Dan just nods his head, like he’s learnt to do whenever Lucifer acts all… Luciferish. After a couple of minutes of not quite companionable silence, Lucifer decides to speak. ‘What do you think of Pierce?’ he asks.

Dan is both surprised and not surprised by the sudden question - you’d have to blind not see how jealous Lucifer has been about Pierce’s increased presence during the case. Dan thinks he’s overreacting a bit, but this is Lucifer, so “overreacting” was always going to be a given.

‘He’s okay, I guess,’ shrugs Dan, careful not to say anything that Lucifer may try and use in an argument against Pierce. As much as doesn’t like the guy, Pierce is still his boss and has the power to ruin his career quite easily. ‘I’m just glad he calls me by my actual name now.’

Not that he hasn’t known how to say it since the beginning, the bastard.

Lucifer just nods thoughtfully. ‘And what do you think about him and the Detective?’

Dan frowns. ‘You mean, like together? Together together?’ Lucifer doesn’t answer so Dan just assumes he’s on the right track and gives it a moment’s thought. ‘Well, honestly, I don’t think Chloe’s really into him, but if she was, I suppose she could do worse. She deserves someone dependable after…’ He internally winces at the memory of how he had let her down during their marriage – how he had let their daughter down. ‘Well, after me, I guess. And God knows she deserves someone normal after having to deal with you.’

He expects Lucifer to rise to the gentle teasing, but if anything, his frown just gets worse.

Dan coughs awkwardly. ‘Anyway, it doesn’t matter what I think. If Chloe likes him, and he’s good to her, that’s all that really matters.’

Lucifer looks thoughtful, but before Dan can ask what is going on in that messed up brain of his, he notices movement on one of the screens beside him. They had only set up a couple of cameras, not wanting to risk the killer seeing them, but it seems that what they have is enough. The figure of a man in a dark hoodie can clearly be seen skulking through the shadows approaching Pierce’s house.

‘Let’s go,’ says Dan but he doesn’t really have to. Lucifer is already out of his seat and opening the van doors.

Thankfully, Lucifer recognises the need for stealth at the moment and moves slowly and silently as they approach the man. Well, until he is right behind him, that is.

‘Hello, shadowy figure.’

The man startles at the unexpected sound of Lucifer’s voice and instantly makes a run for it. But he’s not quick enough. With a surprising lack of effort, Dan tackles the man to the ground and cuffs his hands behind his back. The man’s hood had fallen down during the scuffle and now that he can see his face, Dan is quite surprised at how young he is.

But, young or not, he’s still a serial killer, so Dan finishes cuffing him and identifies himself as LAPD.

The young man struggles and demands to see a lawyer but Dan just ignores him as he hauls him to his feet and spins him so he is facing them.

‘Pastrami boy?’ chuckles Lucifer, obviously recognising the man. ‘You're the killer?’

Pastrami Boy stops struggling with his cuffs and looks between Dan and Lucifer, confused. ‘Killer? What? What are you talking about? Dude, I'm here for the show.’

‘What show?’ asks Dan.

‘The show, the show,’ says Pastrami Boy, starting to panic now. ‘I- I try to film an angry ex busting in on their spouse.’ He nods at Lucifer. ‘Like you. And I put it on my Web site as a bootleg after show.’

Lucifer picks up the backpack that Pastrami Boy had dropped and start to unceremoniously go through it.

‘Hey!’ shouts Pastrami Boy, annoyed at Lucifer’s manhandling of what Dan can now see is camera equipment. ‘Hey, look, I'm trying to be a producer, man. The only reason I'm interning is so I can get access to those tapes and I post those tapes raw and unedited on my website.’

Dan picks up a camera that Pastrami Boy must have been holding when he had tackled him. It’s still rolling so he turns it off and hands it to Lucifer to put in the backpack.

And then he realises a key word in what Pastrami Boy has just said. ‘Unedited?’ he asks, a sense of dread settling into his bones. ‘Without the addresses censored out?’

‘Well, yeah,’ says Pastrami Boy as if it’s obvious (which it is). ‘I mean, that's what unedited means. I'm showing life at its most raw.’

Dan bites back a few curse words and turns to Lucifer. ‘The killer could be listening to those tapes. Could be anyone.’

Lucifer looks up towards Pierce’s house where the outline of two people having dinner is just visible through the second storey window, and Dan knows exactly what he’s thinking. They’re still in danger.

And if Lucifer is going to stay and keep up the surveillance, then you can bet your ass that Dan is going to as well.

One quick phone call later, Dan has back up on its way to pick up Pastrami Boy and take him to the station, but until then, it’s back to the stuffy surveillance van.

Dan lets out a long sigh.

Great.

----

The silence in Pierce’s house has become beyond awkward… but at least the meal is good. Pierce could probably rival Lucifer in his cooking skills. ‘This is really nice,’ says Chloe, pointing to her food. A nice, safe icebreaker, that’s what they need, she thinks.

‘Thanks,’ answers Pierce. He actually looks a little embarrassed. ‘I, uh, I hope you don’t mind, I asked Ella what your favourite meal was.’

Ah, that explains it. Chloe had been wondering how he’d known, or if it was just a coincidence.

‘I don’t mind,’ says Chloe before taking another bite. If this were a real date, she may have found it rather sweet. ‘Where did you learn to cook anyway?’

‘Paris.’

‘Oh? When did you go there?’

Pierce thinks for a bit. ‘Quite a while ago now,’ he says, somewhat cryptically.

Chloe looks around the room, looking for inspiration to keep the conversation going – anything to avoid going back to the awful silence.

It doesn’t take long for her to find something. ‘So which rock is from Paris?’ she asks.

Pierce chuckles and looks over his rock collection. ‘It’s not in here. I think it’s in the bedroom.’

Chloe immediately backpedals away from that line of conversation and looks back down at her food, awkwardly complimenting Pierce on his cooking again.

Maybe the silence isn’t too awful after all.

She’s in the process of lifting another forkful to her mouth when a sudden coughing fit strikes her. And that’s when she notices it. There’s a strange smell slowly seeping into the room and Chloe is willing to bet anything she owns that it is the aerosol anaesthetic that Ella had speculated the killer may be using. Pierce calls her name, worriedly, as Chloe continues to cough and splutter, but she doesn’t get the chance to warn him before she finally loses the battle and unconsciousness takes her.

----

The cramped van feels even more confining now that there are three people competing for space. Back up can’t arrive soon enough to take Pastrami Boy away, thinks Dan.

‘Chance is gonna be pissed,’ mutters Pastrami Boy (he has a real name – Brandon – but Lucifer's nickname has stuck in Dan’s mind and it’s too late to change it now). ‘I am so fired.’ Despite Dan’s annoyance, he can’t help but feel sorry for the guy. From what Lucifer has told him about the “sandwich incident”, Chance seems like a real dick.

‘Hey man, look,’ he says, taking pity on him. ‘Technically you haven’t committed a crime here beyond impeding our investigation. It won’t even go on your record. So there’s no real reason for your boss to find out.’

Pastrami Boy does not look reassured. ‘He probably already knows,’ he sighs. ‘The videos go live straight to my website.’

Dan’s eyes widen at that and he grabs the walkie talkie that is sitting by the screen beside him. He hasn’t noticed anyone else approach the house, but that doesn’t mean that no one has, and Chloe really should have radioed in with an update by now. ‘Chloe? Pierce? Everything all right in there?’ he asks, keeping his voice calm. He’s probably just overreacting.

When there’s no answer other than static, Dan thinks that maybe he isn’t overreacting after all.

He turns to tell Lucifer that maybe they should go check on them, but the words die as he sees that the van doors are wide open and the vehicle is now missing an occupant.

‘Damn it,’ mutters Dan before turning to face Pastrami Boy. ‘You. Stay here.’

At Pastrami Boy’s nod, Dan checks that his gun is securely holstered and then scrambles out of the van after Lucifer.

----

As soon as Dan enters the house, he notices the unmistakable smell of gas. It’s dissipating, but it’s still enough for him to cover his mouth with his sleeve.

It’s also enough to confirm that the killer has definitely seen Pastrami Boy’s video and has come to “punish” Chloe and Pierce.

Dan draws his gun and slowly moves through the house towards where he knows Chloe and Pierce should be. When he gets there, the scene in front of him stops him up short for a moment. There are three people on the ground, Chloe, Pierce, and an unidentified man who must be the killer. The large hammer that lies next to him makes Dan’s stomach turn.

And then there is Lucifer, who is kneeling down next to Chloe. He must have gotten here just in time.

‘Wakey, wakey, Detective,’ says Lucifer softly as he lifts Chloe into his lap. It’s strange, Dan thinks, the way Lucifer’s hands cradle Chloe’s head as she slowly starts to stir, like he’s afraid that the slightest pressure will break her. It’s hard to believe that the same hands are capable of throwing suspects through glass walls with little more than a flick of the wrist.

Forcing his eyes away from the pair, Dan focuses on the other two people in the room. After quickly checking that the killer is properly down for the count and not going anywhere, he rushes over to check on Pierce. His pulse is strong and he’s still breathing.

Dan relaxes. He’ll be fine.

‘Luc’fr?’

Dan hears Chloe's mumble from across the room and he looks over to see her smiling sleepily up at the man who is still brushing his fingers through her hair.

‘I’m here, love,’ Lucifer tells her, still in that soft voice. ‘You’re okay. We got him.’

Slowly, Chloe comes out of her fog and sits up on her own. She takes in her surroundings and Dan can practically see everything fall into place inside her head. She looks to Pierce and then gives Dan a questioning look which he immediately understands.

‘He’ll be fine,’ he says, and, as if to prove Dan’s words true, Pierce groans and slowly lifts his hand to rub at his eyes. Dan smiles at Chloe. ‘See. Fine.’

Chloe nods and turns back to Lucifer (who hasn’t once looked away from her – Dan can only imagine how horrifying it must have been to find the killer standing over her with that very heavy looking hammer). ‘Thank you,’ she says, her words still a little slurred from the gas but the sincerity of them still shining through.

Lucifer smiles back at her. ‘Anytime, Detective. What else are partners for?’

----

Chloe manages to win her argument with Dan about not needing an ambulance and, after back up has arrived and she’s given her statement, she lets Lucifer drive her home in his corvette. After about ten minutes, Chloe realises that he's been holding her hand the entire time - he hasn’t let go once. She’s not sure if it’s because he almost lost her to the killer, or if he’s still worried about losing her to Pierce, but she knows that they will have to talk about it.

It can wait until they get home, she decides. The cool night air on her face may have helped to clear her head a bit, but still nowhere near enough to have this conversation.

Besides, she really doesn’t want Lucifer to let go of her hand.

But unfortunately, time is a bitch and all too soon they are pulling up into the driveway at Chloe’s apartment.

Once they are inside and the babysitter has been paid and has left, Chloe motions for Lucifer to make himself comfortable in the living room while she checks on Trixie. Opening the door a little, she sees that her little girl is still awake and has tear tracks running down her face.

Chloe knows why they are there. Dan has already told her about how Trixie overheard him and Maze arguing and Maze saying some not very nice things about her. Chloe knows that Maze is going through something and that she was just lashing out, but Trixie, for all her maturity, is still a kid and doesn’t quite understand that sometimes people say things they don’t mean.

‘Hey, monkey,’ says Chloe, softly, sitting down next to her daughter. Trixie sits up, clutching her Miss Alien toy.

‘Hi, Mommy. Did you catch the bad guy?’

‘We sure did, baby.’ Chloe strokes Trixie’s hair in silence for a minute or two before broaching the subject of Maze. ‘Do you want to talk about it?’ she asks, knowing that Trixie will understand what she means.

Trixie nods shakily and then recounts the ordeal with Maze. ‘She called me a brat,’ she says once she has finished her tale. Hearing her usual bright and cheery voice sound so small breaks Chloe’s heart. ‘I thought she was my friend.’

‘Oh, baby, she is your friend,’ says Chloe, placing a quick kiss to Trixie’s hair. ‘I know it sounds dumb, but sometimes people say things they don’t mean, hurtful things, even to their friends. Maze is having a hard time at the moment, and it's made her angry so she’s been acting up and lashing out. But that doesn’t mean that she meant to hurt you, or even that what she said is true. And I bet she is feeling real bad about it right now.’

Trixie takes a moment to take in Chloe’s words. ‘So… I should forgive her?’ she asks, genuinely unsure.

‘Well, that’s up to you, Monkey. She hurt you so it’s okay to be angry… just remember that she’s hurting a lot too. Sometimes friends fight but that doesn’t stop them from being your friend. So sometimes you have to be the bigger person.’

‘Like when you forgave Lucifer?’ The confusion must be showing on Chloe’s face because Trixie quickly explains herself, if a little sheepishly. ‘When he left after the bad man sent you to the hospital. I heard you crying when you thought I was asleep.’

Damn and she had thought she had hidden her pain so well. Trixie is way too observant for her age.

And right now she looks as if she’s admitted to doing something wrong and Chloe can’t have that.

‘You’re right,’ she says, in the softest “Mom voice” she can manage. ‘I was upset with Lucifer. And I did forgive him. Because I knew he had been through just as much as I had. It took a while, but we got back to how we were before. Better even.’

‘Because you do kissing and grown up stuff now?’

And there she goes again, being far too observant. At least this time she doesn’t look ashamed of it. Instead, she is trying and failing to hide her cheeky smile behind the bed covers. Chloe shouldn’t be surprised, really. Trixie has been waiting for this since the day she met Lucifer.

'Yes, you little rascal,' says Chloe, giving her a quick tickle for good measure, happy to hear her laugh. She then kisses Trixie's forehead one more time and wishes her goodnight, confident that she has made her little Monkey feel a little less sad.

When she leaves Trixie’s room, she sees Lucifer sitting on the sofa looking crestfallen. Not for the first time, Chloe wonders whether being the Devil means he has super hearing and he has heard everything that she has just said to Trixie.

‘Maze upset the child,’ he says, and that answers that question.

Chloe lets out a small sigh and sits down next to Lucifer. ‘Yeah, but I think she’ll be okay. Maze was just lashing out at Dan and said some things and Trixie heard her.’

‘I’ll have a word with her.’

‘No, it’s okay,’ Chloe rushes, not wanting to get more people involved than necessary. ‘I got this one. But thank you.’

There’s an awkward silence before Lucifer finally speaks again. ‘Detective, I don’t think I ever properly apologised for abandoning you. When I went to Vegas and married Candy. I should’ve done. I just didn’t realise…’

Ah so he heard that bit as well.

‘It’s okay, I understand,’ says Chloe. Since finding out the truth about Lucifer and then meeting Candy again, the topic of Vegas doesn’t quite hurt like it used to.

‘No, it's not,’ says Lucifer, ‘and you don’t. And I think it’s high time I told you the whole story. I’ve been putting it off because, well, I was ashamed. I'll always be ashamed.’

Well now Chloe is curious. She had thought that she knew everything about Candy and trying to fool Lucifer’s mother. Looks like she was wrong.

After a moment that Chloe suspects Lucifer is using to gather courage, he explains. ‘You see, just before you were poisoned, that’s when I found out about your origins – about how you are a miracle that Dad put in my path. I was angry and I thought it meant that none of it was real. I thought that it meant that your feelings weren’t real. So, after getting the antidote for you, I left. I didn’t want Dad or Mum manipulating either of us and I thought that it was the best option. Getting married wasn’t part of the plan, but when the opportunity came up, I took it. I thought it would be a good way to suss out Mum’s plan and to put a barrier between us, as it were, while still being able to enjoy your company. It sounds silly now, but I was trying to protect you. You don’t deserve to be manipulated. But it was still selfish. And for that I am truly sorry.’

Chloe sits back and takes in all that Lucifer has just told her. She idly thinks that she should be mad at him for deliberately breaking her heart, and maybe if she had found out sooner, she would have been, but she had long ago made peace with Lucifer’s disappearing act. She hadn’t been lying when she told Trixie that she had forgiven him.

‘Lucifer, I can’t even begin to imagine what you were going through,’ she says, once she has processed everything and has made her decision. ‘And I have no idea why your Dad put me in your path, or even if he did.’ Lucifer opens his mouth to interrupt but Chloe doesn’t let him. ‘But what I do know is, the way I feel about you, it isn’t a manipulation. It feels too real to be put there by someone else. Lucifer, I love you.’

Lucifer just stares at her and for a moment Chloe wonders if she just broke the Devil, but then he finally moves, reaching up to tuck a stray lock of hair behind her ear. ‘You really are a miracle,’ he whispers.

Chloe shakes her head. ‘Nope. Just me.’

‘But… Chloe, you deserve so much better than me.’

‘I don’t care. I want you.’

But Lucifer is not that easy to convince. Even after all this time, he still doubts himself and his place in this relationship. ‘Are you sure?’ he asks. ‘I mean you could have anyone. A nice, normal man with a nice, normal family.’

Chloe sees right through him. ‘Like Pierce?’ she asks. Lucifer doesn’t answer but she can see the affirmation in his eyes. She reaches for his hands that are now resting on his lap and takes them in hers. It’s time to clear something up that has been eating at her all day. ‘Lucifer, when I was talking to Chance earlier, I wasn’t thinking about Pierce when I said all those things. I was thinking about you. I don’t want Pierce. I know this whole case has been awkward with me having to pretend that I do, but I don’t. And I made sure he knows that.’

At Lucifer’s questioning look she quickly explains about the awkward dinner at Pierce’s house.

‘So, you see. I don’t want a "normal" man. I’m quite happy with the Devil I have. And I-’ She doesn’t get to finish her sentence, suddenly interrupted by Lucifer’s mouth on hers. This kiss is heated and needy, but despite the fact that Chloe is responding to it quite eagerly, he still doesn’t press for more, respecting the pace she has set even now.

But Chloe thinks they have both waited long enough.

She breaks away from the kiss slowly, softening the blow with a few more gentle presses to his lips. ‘Come on, let’s go,’ she says, standing up and taking his hand to bring him up with her.

‘Go?’ he asks, casting a curious glance at Trixie’s door. The fact that his first thought is to worry about her daughter just strengthens Chloe’s belief that she has made the right choice.

She leans up so she can whisper one word into his ear.

‘Bedroom.’

Chapter Text

To say that Lucifer had been waiting a long time for this moment would be an understatement. He had been wanting to bed the beautiful woman in front of him for years. And every time he had pictured it happening, he’d always assumed that he would be the one in charge. He’d imagined him sweeping her off her feet, laying her down on his black silk sheets, and showing her every pleasure known to womankind.

But that’s not how it happens.

Instead, it is Chloe who is leading him. And Lucifer, in a state of daze and awe, lets her. He doesn’t even realise that they have made it to her bedroom until he hears Chloe shutting the door behind them.

‘We’ll have to be quiet,’ she says as she slowly unbuttons his jacket. (When did she get so close? Wasn’t she at the door a second ago?) She looks up at him through her lashes, a teasing smile on her face. ‘You think you can handle that?’

This coy playfulness is a side of her Lucifer doesn’t get to see very often, and he’s not surprised to find that he likes it. He really likes it. But there’s something nagging at the back of his mind that is stopping him from joining in on the fun. He gently takes her hands, which have just finished with the last button of his jacket, in his and holds them against his chest. ‘Are you sure about this Dete- Chloe?’ he asks, catching himself at the last minute. This is definitely a first name kind of moment. ‘I know I’ve been a jealous bastard these last couple of days. I don’t want you to feel like you need to do this to appease me.’

Chloe leans up on her tiptoes and gives him a quick peck on the lips. ‘That’s not why I want this. I want this because I want you. Have done for a long time.’

And at those words, it’s like a switch flips inside Lucifer’s brain. Quick as a flash, he drops Chloe’s hands and grabs her waist instead, pulling her closer to him so he can give her a hungry kiss. Chloe makes a surprised squeak that sends Lucifer’s blood rushing southwards at a dangerous pace and he growls as he lifts her up and spins them so that he is the one facing the bed. It’s not until he has Chloe flat on her back on said bed with him hovering over her that he finally breaks the kiss.

Chloe is a bit breathless and Lucifer feels a stab of familiar pride at achieving such a reaction with just a kiss. He smirks down at her and she rolls her eyes, her lips twitching into a smile. ‘Shut up,’ she says, though there is no bite to her words, only barely contained amusement.

Lucifer says nothing but his smirk stays firmly in place as he sits up so that he can shrug off his jacket. He starts to make quick work of his shirt buttons but stops halfway through when he notices Chloe doing the same to her own shirt. The sight of her undressing as she lays under him is enough to totally derail him and for a moment all he can do is stare at her, jaw slack.

Now it is Chloe who is smirking as she sits up slightly to shrug off her shirt and throw it into some unknown corner of the room. But then her smile turns shy as she reaches behind her to undo her bra.

Part of Lucifer’s mind laments on the fact that he is missing his chance to undress her himself – one of his many fantasies – but the much larger part is too entranced by the sight of the newly exposed skin to care. He can undress her next time, he reasons, and he dives in for another searing kiss, pushing her back onto the bed. His hands abandon his shirt and slowly make their way up Chloe’s torso, stopping at her perfect breasts. And oh how he has wanted to get his hands on these for so long!

Chloe hums in appreciation and Lucifer feels her knuckles brush against his stomach as she undoes the remaining buttons of his shirt that he had totally forgotten about. Without breaking the kiss, he untangles himself from the garment and throws it somewhere behind him. Now that his shirt is out of the way, Chloe’s hands skim up his back, sending delightful shivers down his spine, and then settle in his hair. He finds that he quite likes the feel of her fingernails lightly scraping his scalp.

Realising that Chloe needs to breathe, Lucifer reluctantly relinquishes her lips and moves down to nibble at her jaw. His lips are just making their way down to her throat when she finally catches her breath enough to speak.

‘Do we need protection?’ she asks in a whisper. ‘There are condoms in my bedside drawer.’

‘Only if you want me to,’ says Lucifer between nips and kisses and at her throat. He doesn’t miss the fact that Chloe has obviously been prepared for this moment for at least a little while. ‘I can’t catch any human diseases and it is quite impossible for me to get you pregnant without intent.’

Chloe suddenly pulls his head back up and Lucifer almost whines at the interruption. ‘Wait. What do you mean, “without intent”?’

This is the last thing Lucifer wants to talk about right now, but he knows he must. It’s important that Chloe knows all the facts.

‘Well, Nephilim aren’t conceived as such, more created. I would have to want to get you pregnant for it to happen, and I would never do that without your explicit consent. But if it makes you feel more comfortable…’ He reaches for the drawer containing the condoms but Chloe’s hand on his wrist stops him.

‘It’s okay. I trust you.’

Lucifer leans down to kiss her again, much more sweetly than before. ‘Thank you,’ he whispers before his lips curve up into a smirk and his eyes sparkle. ‘Now, I believe I was in the middle of something.’ He leans down to place a kiss on her neck. ‘Yes, that’s right. I was riiiight here.’ He slowly brings his lips down to Chloe’s throat, where he makes quick work of leaving a very impressive hickey. He hums proudly as he assesses his work.

He doesn’t have to look up to know that Chloe is rolling her eyes. It’s practically audible.

Moving on, he trails his lips further down and finally gets the chance to give her breasts the proper attention they deserve. His teeth scrape lightly over her left nipple and she arches off the bed a bit.

Lucifer smiles and does it again.

Although he could quite happily spend the entire night mouthing at her breasts – and he has dreamt of doing so ever since he saw her movie, long before he even met her – he has other plans for tonight. He continues his journey down Chloe’s body, ghosting his lips over her stomach and stopping just above the waistband of her jeans to suck another light mark to her hip. Sitting up, he hooks his fingers under her jeans (and the panties underneath) and silently asks Chloe to lift her hips so that he can pull them off. She blushes a bit but quickly complies.

Now that she is completely bare before him, Lucifer takes a moment to appreciate the sight before shuffling down the bed so that he can kiss his way up her leg. His erection brushes against the seem of his pants at the movement and he hisses at the friction. He is desperate to relieve the ache below his belt but his need to please Chloe is more urgent.

He trails his lips closer to his target but just before he gets there, Chloe’s hands tangle in his hair and pull him back up so that he is eye level with her. He almost whines but then Chloe’s tongue is down his throat and he completely loses his train of thought.

After a very thorough snog, Chloe pulls away, breathless.

‘Are you sure you won’t let me eat you out, darling?’ whispers Lucifer, loving the way her face flushes pink at the words. ‘I’ve been dying to taste you for ages.’

Despite the blush that still colours her cheeks, Chloe is confident in her answer. ‘Next time,’ she promises. ‘Right now, I just really want you inside me.’

It’s the single most arousing thing Lucifer has heard in his whole life and, impossibly, he hardens even further.

With another soft growl, he gives Chloe one more heated kiss before clambering off the bed so that he can rid himself of his trousers that are now far too tight. When he notices Chloe admiring the show, he sends her a saucy wink and she giggles.

Finally naked, Lucifer crawls back up the bed and hovers over her once more. He bends down and gives her a slow and very thorough kiss as he skims one of his hands down her thigh, urging her legs open further. Chloe makes a pleased hum in the back of her throat and Lucifer can’t help but grind his hips against hers. He smiles into the kiss when he feels how wet she is already.

Breaking away from the kiss so that he can watch her face, Lucifer moves his hand away from Chloe’s thigh and brings it to her centre. Despite her earlier words, he wants to make positively sure she is ready for him. Not to brag, but he isn’t exactly small.

Oh, who is he kidding? He loves to brag.

He starts slowly at first, fingers mapping out her outer lips while his thumb circles her clit. Chloe is still blushing a bit but her gaze is heated and lustful and it never leaves his. It’s not until he slides one finger, then two inside her that her eyelids start to flutter and she bites her lip. Lucifer decides that he would much rather be the one biting said lip so he dives in for another searing kiss that is all teeth and tongue, his fingers not once faltering their rhythm inside her.

Lucifer really wishes they could be louder. Not only has he spent many a night dreaming of the sounds that Chloe would make and would rather like to find out how accurate his imagination is, but he’s also not used to not knowing what his bedmate likes. Usually, he just asks them what it is they desire and they tell him, but his power doesn’t work on Chloe so he has to rely on her reactions. Not that he hasn’t done that with past lovers, of course, but usually said reactions are along the lines of “Yes, Lucifer! Harder, faster, Lucifer!” Not being able to have that is actually making him a bit nervous. The bedroom is one area where he has never felt anything but confidence… but this time it’s different. This time it is Chloe. And he wants to be perfect for her.

Chloe breaks away from the kiss and gasps a little, needing air. Her hips are starting to roll in time with his fingers and her own fingers are clutching at his shoulders. ‘Lucifer, please,’ she whispers breathlessly and suddenly all the nervousness from a second ago is gone. Chloe may not be screaming at the ceiling, but he still knows what she wants, she told him earlier after all.

She wants him.

He smiles slyly down at her. ‘Yes, darling?’ he asks, feigning naivety.

Chloe makes a small frustrated sound at the back of her throat and she repeats her whispered plea. Not having the willpower to deny her twice, Lucifer removes his fingers, and, unable to resist temptation, brings them to his mouth. He notices Chloe’s slack jawed look as she watches him and he makes a show of sucking them clean, closing his eyes in pleasure.

She tastes divine. There’s just no other word for it.

Once he is sure he has managed to get all her juices from his fingers, he removes them from his mouth and leans down to give Chloe another kiss as he positions himself properly between her thighs.

It’s Chloe who breaks the kiss and initiates the final step. She reaches between them and takes his length in her small, perfect hand. Lucifer has to fight to keep his eyes open as she pumps him a couple of times. He thrusts into her hand, earning a smug smile from Chloe that he just has to wipe off her face with another quick kiss.

When they surface again, Chloe stops the motion of her hand and guides him to her entrance. Ever so slowly, he pushes in, making small shallow thrusts that get deeper each time. When he’s finally buried all the way inside her, he stops moving completely, totally lost in the feeling of having her around him at last. It is better than Heaven ever was, he decides, and he would happily spend forever trapped in this one moment. He looks into Chloe’s eyes and is once again struck by the love he sees shining back at him. No one has ever looked at him like that before.

Suddenly his wings unfurl from his back and Lucifer barely manages to stop them hitting anything breakable - like the window.

For a moment, he just stares at them, mortified, before he regains his equilibrium. ‘Blasted things,’ he mutters, and he quickly shrugs his shoulders, making them disappear back into the ether. He opens his mouth to apologise but he doesn’t get the chance before Chloe leans up and kisses him soundly. He’s a little confused by the reaction but he can never resist the slide of her tongue against his, so he returns the kiss with equal fervour.

Chloe breaks the kiss and starts squirming beneath him, reminding Lucifer that he is in the middle of something very important and that this is no time to be worrying about silly things like his wings.

Like when he first entered her, Lucifer starts slow, building up to a steady, unrushed pace that Chloe matches with her own thrusts. He had thought that his first time with her would have been all fire and passion, unleashing years’ worth of sexual tension in one hit, but it’s anything but. The human expression “making love” pops into his head but he quickly pushes it away. That thought is a bit too sentimental for him to handle at the moment, so he distracts himself by leaning down to pepper kisses along Chloe’s jaw and shoulders. He manages to find a specific spot just above her collarbone that makes her hips stutter and decides to give it a bit more attention, loving the way it makes her grip him tighter.

Chloe moves her legs to wrap them around his waist and Lucifer bites back a groan as the movement makes him slide into her a little deeper. Once he is confident he has himself under control again, he uses the new position to his advantage and lifts her up so that he is sitting back on his knees and she is in his lap. He splays one hand across her back, holding her close to him, and the other he places on her hip, using it help guide her movements on top of him.

The new position puts them closer to eye level and Lucifer savours the look of pure lust on Chloe’s face before he dives in for anther kiss. The movement of their hips causes their teeth to clack together and at one point Chloe accidentally bites his lip a little too hard, but Lucifer doesn’t care; all that matters right now is the feel of Chloe’s body sliding along his and the warm fuzzy feeling that he knows is love in his heart.

The kiss slows down to something a bit more tender and when Lucifer finally pulls back, he notices that his wings are out again and are surrounding them. He hadn’t even noticed them unfurl. He goes to fold them away again but then Chloe whispers a plea to leave them and who is he to refuse her? He’s pretty sure he’d do anything she asked of him at this moment.

Once it becomes clear that Lucifer’s wings are not going anywhere, Chloe rolls her hips harder against him and Lucifer can tell that she’s getting close. Despite this being their first time, he has already figured out her tell; her movements have gotten sloppy and she’s buried her head against his neck, kissing whatever skin she can reach. Lucifer tilts his head back, giving her better access and he feels her sucking what he suddenly realises will actually become a proper hickey into his skin.

He really hopes the mark lasts at least until morning.

Once she’s finished attacking his neck (or, more accurately, when she can no longer manage the concentration required), she rests her head on his shoulder and moves her arms down to wrap around his waist. As they slide down his back, her fingers brush along the underside of Lucifer’s wings and he shudders violently, nearly coming apart then and there.

Somehow, he manages to regain control and picks up the pace of his hips a little, desperate for Chloe to come first.

Which she does only seconds later. Her whole body shakes as she reaches her climax and she bites down onto Lucifer’s shoulder. The unexpected jolt of pain mixed with pleasure is Lucifer’s undoing and he spirals over the edge after her, burying his head into Chloe's neck to muffle the moans that he can’t quite keep in.

When he’s finally spent, his hips stop their slow rutting and he lifts his head to look at his lover. Her hair is a mess, there is a little bit of stubble burn on her neck (as well as the marks Lucifer had made earlier) and her face is flushed from the exercise.

She has never looked more beautiful.

Their eyes meet and Lucifer is vaguely aware that he is grinning like an idiot but can’t find it in him to care. He finally has a well-fucked looking Detective in his arms and he’s pretty sure that makes him the luckiest bastard on Earth.

He gives Chloe another quick kiss, not much more than a peck on the lips, and then loosens his hold so that she can climb off him. They both let out a hiss when he slips out of her. He shrugs his shoulders, making his wings disappear, before basically falling forwards onto the bed. Chloe lays down next to him and he rolls onto his side to face her.

‘So… worth the wait?’ she asks. Lucifer is more than a little proud of the fact that she is still a little breathless.

He lets out a huff of laughter. ‘Definitely,’ he agrees. The smile that appears on Chloe’s face at that moment could rival the light of the Silver City itself and Lucifer can’t help but lean over and kiss her.

After a few moments of lazy kisses, Chloe starts to squirm uncomfortably, and she excuses herself to go clean up in the bathroom. While she’s gone, Lucifer lays back down, getting under the covers, and basks in this surreal feeling of contentment that has settled over him. He smiles as he thinks over what has just happened and how he is finally in the Detective’s bed.

Maybe he should pop down to see if Hell really has frozen over?

Chuckling to himself, he casts a glance around the bedroom. He’s been here before but somehow it looks different now. It looks like somewhere he could belong.

His eyes settle on the half-open bedside drawer which Chloe had said contained condoms and curiosity gets the better of him. What other fun things is she hiding in there?

On first inspection of the drawer, Lucifer sees nothing but the condoms, a book (and not even the naughty kind) and a couple of hair ties. But then he sees it, hidden right at the back of the drawer. The vibrator is a simple and medium sized (it’s almost boring) but Lucifer grins triumphantly nevertheless. He idly wonders if she ever thinks of him as she uses it and the thought alone is enough to make him half-hard again.

He puts the toy back in place, his mind already jumping forwards to a time when he can introduce her to his own collection, and lays back, waiting for Chloe to return. A moment later, the bathroom door opens and Chloe shyly steps out and walks back over to the bed. She seems a little self-conscious about walking around with nothing on, but makes no effort to cover herself.

Lucifer immediately lifts the bedcovers next to him and opens his arms in invitation as she climbs into bed next to him. She cuddles up into his side, resting her head on his chest, and Lucifer sets the covers over her before bringing his arms around her. He absentmindedly starts to run his fingers through her hair that is still slightly tangled from their lovemaking. Chloe makes a happy hum in the back of her throat and the pair spend the next few minutes in companionable silence.

‘So would contraception work for you at all, then?’ asks Chloe out of the blue, lifting her head to look at him properly. ‘I mean, if you had “intent” and everything, would the pill still work?’

Lucifer quirks an eyebrow, caught unawares by the sudden question. ‘Yes, it would,’ he answers after a moment. ‘I may be an angel but you’re still human. I can’t change your biology, only my own, and even that’s only to a certain extent.’

‘So, it’s basically like you’re firing blanks unless you choose not to.’

Lucifer scrunches his nose up at the crude, yet accurate explanation. ‘If you like. It’s a bit more complicated but that is the general gist of it, yes.’

Chloe hums in understanding. ‘I did wonder how there were no little Lucifers running around,’ she says. ‘What with your record and all.’

Lucifer is happy to hear that there is no judgement whatsoever in her voice. He’s not so happy about the hint of uncertainty he picks up though. ‘Is something wrong, darling?’ he asks in a soft voice that only ever seems to come out when he’s talking to her.

Chloe bites her lip and casts her eyes downwards for a second. ‘It’s nothing,’ she says, but Lucifer is not fooled and he raises an eyebrow to let her know this. She lets out a sigh and rests her head back onto his chest. Her finger reaches out and idly circles Lucifer's nipple and he has to fight to not let himself get distracted by the touch.

‘Okay, fine, there is something, but it’s stupid,’ admits Chloe. ‘It’s just… you’ve been with a lot of people. Like, a lot. And you’ve done so many things. I mean, I have personally heard nearly a hundred very specific testaments of the things you’ve done.’

Ah, yes, when she interviewed 92 of his ex-lovers after Jana was murdered. Lucifer remembers that day well. At the time he had thought Chloe talking to his former lovers was a good idea, now he’s not so sure.

‘I’m just worried that I’m too… vanilla for you,’ continues Chloe. ‘I mean, I don’t think I’ll ever be into things like singing pots or car batteries, and what if you decide that I’m… What if you get bored of me?’ She looks up at him then and Lucifer’s heart clenches a little at the uncertainty in her eyes.

He immediately pulls her up to him so he can give her a bruising kiss, as if hoping he could take her insecurities from her with his mouth alone. ‘I can guarantee you that that will never happen,’ he tells her, pulling away only just enough to get the words out. ‘I don’t need singing pots or any of that. You are more than enough. And if you think that you have nothing new to offer, you are sorely mistaken. Because having sex with you, Chloe Jane Decker, is an experience like no other.’

Chloe gives a little snort of laughter, though she does seem a little less unsure of herself than she did a moment ago. ‘I somehow doubt that.’

‘The Devil never lies,’ says Lucifer, and a lustful smile appears on his face as he slowly rolls her onto her back. ‘I’ve never had sex with someone who cares for me like you do.’ He places a soft kiss just below her ear. ‘Or with someone who makes me vulnerable enough to feel the sting of their nails raking down my back.’ A kiss to the jaw. ‘I’ve never had sex with someone I’ve loved before.’ His last kiss lands squarely on her lips and Chloe immediately opens up to him, letting him slide his tongue along hers in a way that promises of much more to come.

Lucifer grinds his hips against hers, and she gasps and breaks the kiss. ‘Already?’’ she asks, glancing down to his very prominent erection.

Lucifer waggles his eyebrows. ‘I do believe I have mentioned my amazing stamina.’

Chloe rolls her eyes and Lucifer knows that her insecurities have been banished for the night. ‘You’re such a dork,’ she says, grabbing the back of his neck and pulling him down for another kiss. Lucifer smiles against her lips and his eyes flutter closed as he sinks back down into his own personal Heaven.

Chapter Text

Lucifer wakes the next morning with Chloe wrapped up in his arms. And he wakes in a very similar position the following morning as well. And the morning after that. And the one after that. He reluctantly returns to Lux for a couple of nights after that, having to make at least one or two appearances at his nightclub for the week, but then he is right back to spending his nights in Chloe’s bed. They don’t have sex every night, and to Lucifer’s surprise, he finds that he doesn’t really mind. He is content to just be privileged enough to have her beautiful face be the last thing he sees before falling asleep.

And every morning, he gets to make her and the urchin breakfast. Chloe insists that he doesn’t have to, but the novelty of it hasn’t worn off yet and he is going to ride this high for as long as it lasts.

After one such morning, Chloe voices the desire to do something together while Beatrice is at school, seeing as they have no open cases and are not expected at the precinct – a rare thing indeed. She suggests spending the day at the beach.

Lucifer suggests spending the day in bed - and other places around the apartment - but one look at Chloe’s pleading teal eyes and he is done for.

They go to the beach.

Five years ago, Lucifer would have considered a “beach date” terribly mundane, but now he finds himself enjoying the simplicity of it. As well as the sight of Chloe in a bathing suit of course.

That being said, he still finds plenty to complain about, and when they get back to the apartment later that afternoon, he is still grumbling about the sand in his hair.

Chloe is still rolling her eyes at him.

‘We didn’t even get to the fun stuff,’ Lucifer whines.

‘Lucifer, I told you when we went out there that we would not be having sex on the beach,’ says Chloe, unlocking her front door and leading them inside. ‘It’s the middle of the day, anyone could see. Kids could see.’

‘Well it’s never too early to start their education on the subject,’ he retorts. At Chloe’s glare, he throws his hands up in surrender. ‘Kidding, Detective. Sex on the beach isn’t all that fun, anyway. All that sand in un-Dadly places.’

A derisive snort from the kitchen area alerts the pair to the fact that they are apparently not alone in the apartment. ‘As if you would ever let a little sand stop you,’ says Maze. She is holding a carton of coconut water that she must have left behind when she cleared out her things the other day.

‘Oh, Maze, hi,’ stammers Chloe, obviously caught unawares. So not a scheduled visit then. ‘We were just… we were…’

‘Badly trying to hide the fact that you guys are boning now?’ Maze finishes for her and Chloe blushes an adorable shade of scarlet.

But she doesn’t deny it.

Lucifer smiles, immensely pleased with the turn of events.

Maze rolls her eyes and plonks her coconut water down on the bench. ‘Whatever. Listen, Lucifer, I need to talk with you.’ She pointedly looks at Chloe, asking for privacy without having to actually say it.

Chloe looks awkwardly between the two but then nods. ‘I’ll, uh, I’ll just be upstairs. I gotta take a shower anyway.’ She gives Lucifer a reassuring smile and Maze an awkward one before disappearing up the stairs.

Once she is gone, Lucifer turns back to Maze and raises an eyebrow.

‘Something on your mind, Mazie?’

‘You could say that,’ says Maze, obviously not impressed. ‘I want to go home.’

Lucifer has to fight very hard to keep the fear from showing on his face. ‘Home?’ he asks, hoping that she doesn’t mean what he thinks she means.

Maze glares at him and crosses her arms against her chest. ‘You know what I mean.’

No such luck on the hope front then. Maze wants to return Hell. She wants to leave him.

And despite the recent betrayals and distance in their friendship, Lucifer finds that he really doesn’t want her to.

‘Why on Earth would you want to do that?’ he asks, thinking maybe he can change her mind. ‘I mean, I know you’ve been having a tough time of late, but this is a bit rash, don’t you think? You clearly just need to blow off some steam. How about a nice weekend in Catalina?’

Maze’s glare intensifies. ‘No. Everything’s so messy here and I am so done, Lucifer. I am done with this apartment, humans, Earth in general. I want out. Now.’

‘Maze…’

‘No!’ Maze cuts him off. ‘I’ve made up my mind. Get your wings out. Take me home.’

So much for that plan then. But there’s still Plan B...

‘No,’ says Lucifer and Maze actually takes a step back in shock.

‘No?’ she asks, incredulously. ‘Why the Hell not?’

Because I don’t want to lose my oldest friend.

Lucifer doesn’t say that, of course. He and Maze have never been known for being good at communicating their feelings to one another.

‘I told you when I asked you to cut my wings off that I am never going back,’ he says instead. ‘Having a new pair that won’t seem to stay gone doesn’t change that.’

Not a lie. He truly never wants to return to Hell, though one day he knows he will. Many years from now (at least he hopes it will be many years) when the Detective is no longer on this plane and has ascended to where he can never follow. He doubts he will be able to remain on Earth knowing that it is missing the one soul that stood out amongst all others.

‘You’ll be there for like two seconds,’ argues Maze, clearly irritated with his admittedly flimsy excuse. ‘And you've been there since cutting your wings off. Twice.’

‘That was different.’

‘Why? Because it was Chloe?’

‘Because it was a life or death situation!’

‘Bullshit,’ says Maze, obviously starting to see through his excuses.

Time to bring out the big guns.

‘I’m not taking you back!’ snaps Lucifer with all the power he used to hold as her master. She may have quit her position of servitude, but she is still a demon and he is still technically her King. Once sure that Maze has backed down, Lucifer calms himself down and puts on a smile that tells her the is done discussing this. ‘Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a Detective to tempt into shower sex.’

Maze glares at him again but takes the hint. She grabs her coconut water and storms past him towards the door. ‘You’re gonna regret this,’ she hisses, and then slams the door so hard that it rattles the windows.

She’s pissed but she’ll calm down, Lucifer tells himself. Once she patches things up with Linda and Trixie, she’ll see how silly she is being right now.

He just hopes that she doesn’t do anything too drastic in the meantime.

----

Lucifer is not quite able to properly talk Chloe into shower sex, but she does let him join her, and then treats him to the best blowjob of his entire life (and that is saying something). Unfortunately, before he gets the chance to reciprocate, it’s time to get the Spawn from school. Lucifer makes a promise to himself to make it up to her later.

The next morning, having spent the night regretfully alone at Lux, Lucifer receives a phone call from Chloe telling him that they have a new case. A man has been murdered on the beach, with some serious looking stab wounds. It does not take much detective work to find security footage that shows very incriminating evidence of who the killer is.

Maze.

Lucifer has been worried she’d retaliate against his refusal to take her home, but he had not been expecting her to kill over it. No doubt that the guy probably had it coming (Maze may be a demon, but she wouldn’t just kill anybody), but this is going a bit far just to prove a point.

She must be really pissed at him.

Chloe, being the good friend that she is, tries her hardest to defend Maze, reminding everyone that the footage doesn’t show Maze actually killing the victim. This noble act of loyalty becomes increasingly difficult however when Maze wanders into the precinct, slaps the murder weapon down onto the table, and announces her confession to the crime.

But still Chloe doesn’t believe she’s guilty.

And after Maze gets a few facts of the murder wrong during her interview, Lucifer is inclined to believe her. In fact, he’s already forming jailbreak plans.

‘We have to find the real killer,’ says Chloe once she and Lucifer have left the interrogation room. ‘It’s the only way to keep Maze out of jail.’

Before Lucifer can reply, the pair are interrupted by Charlotte approaching them. ‘I hear someone's headed for jail?’ she says. ‘I'm ready to draw up the arrest warrant for Mazikeen Smith.’

With a dejected look on her face, Chloe leaves to go get the paperwork. Once she’s gone, Charlotte turns to Lucifer.

‘I'd love to chat with you, Lucifer.’

‘Well, I'm terribly busy, Charlotte,’ says Lucifer, trying to brush her off.

But Charlotte is having none of that.

‘It's important. Maybe somewhere a little more private?’

Lucifer once again tries to get out of whatever this is but after seeing her pleading look (something that is a rare occurrence for her), he relents and the pair move their conversation to the upper level of the precinct where there are no desks with nosy officers to eavesdrop.

‘I just wanted to mention I met your brother, Amenadiel,’ says Charlotte once they have decided that their current position is private enough.

Alarm bells start ringing in Lucifer’s head but he keeps his features schooled. ‘Oh, dearie me. I bet that was a snooze,’ he jokes, trying to lighten the mood.

‘So you confirm that he's your brother?’

‘Well, yes, of course.’

‘Well, he had some interesting things to say, things that you never mentioned.’

Uh oh. Lucifer is going to kill Amenadiel next time he sees him. What has the featherless dumbass been saying?

In hindsight, maybe Lucifer should have told him that Charlotte was back in his life… but he’s still going to kill him if he has made an already delicate situation worse.

‘For starters, would've been nice to know that you were my stepson before I kissed you that night,’ says Charlotte, unaware of Lucifer’s internal plannings of fratricide.

‘Stepson,’ laughs Lucifer, relieved. He had been thinking Amenadiel had revealed details of much more divine orientation. ‘That would've been far preferable, Mum- Mu- my dear Charlotte.’

Bugger.

‘You were going to say Mum, weren’t you?’ says Charlotte, now looking a little scared.

Double bugger.

‘So I was I was your stepmom?’

‘Well, not anymore,’ says Lucifer, hoping to salvage the situation. He really doesn’t have time for this. ‘Look, it's complicated, Charlotte, and I am horribly crunched for time, so…’ He tries to leave but is stopped when Charlotte does an awfully good impression of his mother.

‘Tell me what you know, and don't lie to me,’ she snaps, and Lucifer reluctantly walks back over to her. After a moment, she calms herself down. ‘Please, Lucifer. I feel like I'm going crazy.’

… Fuck it.

‘Fine, I suppose you do deserve to know the truth,’ says Lucifer. He takes a breath, trying to figure out the best way to say said truth. He decides that it’s best just to get it all out at once. Like ripping off a band-aid. Besides, he is rather busy at the moment. ‘Okay, then. No sense dillydallying. I really am the Devil. My brother Amenadiel is a former angel. That time you thought you survived being stabbed by your junior associate, you didn't. You died, and your soul went straight to Hell. Your empty body became a vessel for my real mum, the goddess of all creation, until her celestial light started bursting out of your midsection. Naturally, I sent her to another universe so she wouldn't destroy this one. Once she vacated your body, you, Charlotte, came back to life. All right? There we are. All caught up. You wanted the truth? Well, there it is. Now, I really, really must be going, because I have an innocent demon in the clink, but if you have any follow-up questions, please, do feel free to ask Amenadiel.’

And with that, he turns and hurries back down the stairs to find Chloe, not noticing the very confused and slightly terrified look on Charlotte’s face.

----

After Maze has been placed in a cell, it doesn’t taken her long to break out again, and it takes even less time for Chloe to figure out why she had handed herself in in the first place. She was looking for a report which had the victim’s bail bondsman’s name on it – a man who would know who was trying to frame her. Unfortunately, by the time the LAPD finds him, he has a few bullets in his brain.

The problem now is that they don’t know if Maze knows who is behind it all, or what she’s going to do to them when she finds out. So they have to get to the real murderer first, and Maze’s ex-bounties are the most likely suspects.

And that is how Cain finds himself watching Chloe and Lucifer through the two-way mirror as they interrogate various people who each tell a story that is more dramatic than the last. But so far, none have been any help in discovering who is framing Maze.

Personally, Cain couldn’t care less if they don't find the killer before Maze quite literally tears them to shreds, but he is a lieutenant and therefore must at least be seen to want to uphold the law. Plus, it is important to Chloe, and she’s never going to fall for him unless she thinks that it is important to him too.

Apart from going to Axara’s concert with him the other week (which he hadn’t given her much choice of declining anyway), so far, Chloe has rejected almost all of his advances. And looking at her now, Cain is starting to see why. The way she unconsciously leans towards Lucifer, the way she doesn’t shrug off his touches, the way they smile at each other… these are not the behaviours of two people who are merely work partners or friends. No, these are the actions of two people who are much more… intimate.

‘Chloe and Lucifer seem very close these days,’ Cain says, conversationally.

Espinoza, who is standing next to him watching the interrogations as well, sends him a curious glance and then shrugs. ‘I guess so. All I know is that they have a real connection. Always have done. Me and Ella have a bet going as to how long it takes them to actually get together. Ella almost won last year, but then Lucifer went and ruined it with that whole Candy business.’

Cain knows about the Devil’s marriage, of course. He doesn’t know the reason for the quickie nuptials and annulment, but that’s just semantics really. What he didn’t know however was that Lucifer and Chloe were close to becoming a thing beforehand. And if they were that close before, what’s to say they couldn’t be again? What’s to say that they aren’t already that close again? Or even closer?

When Cain looks back to the pair, he notices that Chloe now has her hand on Lucifer’s thigh under the interrogation table, and she doesn’t seem to have any intention of moving it. She doesn't even seem to realise that it's there.

Any doubt that Cain has waves goodbye as it heads out the door. Chloe and Lucifer are officially an item. At the very least, they are fucking, but somehow Cain doubts that Chloe is the “friends with benefits” type. No, the former option is much more likely.

The plus side is that this lends weight to Cain’s theory as to why Chloe makes the Devil vulnerable. It’s not just her presence that does it; it’s her love.

The downside is that if Chloe really is now dating Lucifer, it’s going to make it a lot harder for Cain to steal that love.

Harder, but not impossible.

Chapter Text

Chloe and Lucifer manage to figure out who is framing Maze, though they are not exactly sure why the owner of a fancy winery would hold such a vendetta against her. But when it comes down to it, they can figure that out later. The most important thing right now is to get to them before Maze does, or else she really will end up in jail for murder.

When they get to the winery, Chloe is not really that surprised to find that Maze is already there. She isn’t LA’s best bounty hunter for nothing.

She’s also not surprised to find her in the middle of a fire fight with the winery owner and head of security.

With a nod of the head to Lucifer, Chloe sends him to deal with guy with the gun, while she tries to talk Maze out of doing anything stupid. Unfortunately for her, Maze is very fast. She rushes to the owner, knife ready, and Chloe has no choice but to draw her weapon.

‘Maze, stop!’ she yells, her gun only shaking a little as she points it at her friend and former roommate.

Thankfully, Maze does stop. But she doesn’t let her target get away. Instead she holds the woman tightly against her and positions the knife at her throat.

‘Drop the knife,’ says Chloe, not lowering her weapon, though she desperately wants to. ‘This isn't you.’

‘Isn't it, though?’ counters Maze, menacingly. For the first time, Chloe can truly see “Hell’s Best Torturer”. ‘I destroy things, Chloe. It's what I do. Friendships, relationships, apartment walls. And, apparently, I killed this lady's son.’

And just like that, the torturer is gone, replaced by someone who is just hurting.

Chloe slowly lowers her weapon and puts it back in its holster. This obviously isn’t just about being framed for murder. Maze is clearly projecting a lot of her issues and guilt into this, and Chloe hopes she can talk her down.

‘Maze, I know you didn't kill Mike Biltz, and you didn't kill Barry.’ Chloe points to Margo, the woman who is still being held tightly in Maze’s grip. ‘And her son isn't your fault, either. We're all responsible for our own choices. And right now, you have to make one. Maze, you don't destroy everything. Trixie loves you. You're the best babysitter she has ever had. Other than the time you let that rock band spend the night,’ she awkwardly amends, ‘and when you sent her to school with the pot brownies. But the point is, no one's perfect. But what matters most is that you're such a good friend to Trixie, to me. And I don't know what you're going through, Maze. I wish you would talk to me, but, please, please put down the knife. Let me help you.’

Maze regards her for a long moment and Chloe holds her breath as she waits for her decision.

But when she gets it, it’s not the one she was hoping for.

‘You can’t,’ says Maze in the saddest voice Chloe has ever heard from her. Before Chloe can react, she plunges the knife into Margo’s shoe and marches off. Chloe rushes to the woman’s side. She is bleeding heavily and screaming a lot, but the wound is still pretty superficial.

Chloe calls the paramedics and then looks to Lucifer who is staring in the direction Maze had fled. ‘She’ll be alright,’ Chloe assures him. ‘Considering Margo here is responsible for two murders and one frame job, I don’t think Maze is going to get done for one little stab wound.’

‘Little?’ screams Margo, clutching her foot, but Chloe ignores her.

Lucifer turns back to face her. ‘I’m not worried about that,’ he says. ‘It’s just… what you said about being responsible for our own decisions, I’m starting to think that recently I may have made a very bad one.’

Before Chloe can ask what he means by that, they are interrupted by the shrill sound of Lucifer’s phone ringing. Lucifer fishes it out and looks at the screen. ‘It’s Amenadiel,’ he tells her, and, with an apologetic look, he leaves to take the call.

----

Half an hour later, an ambulance has arrived and is taking Margo to the hospital, accompanied by a couple of police officers. Chloe finds Lucifer waiting for her at his car, having finished his phone call.

‘Margo is all sorted out,’ Chloe tells him as she leans against the car beside him. ‘She gave a full confession.’ Lucifer nods absentmindedly and Chloe’s brow furrows in concern. ‘Everything okay?’ she asks. ‘What did Amenadiel want?’

Lucifer taps his fingers against the car door, still lost in thought. Chloe is about to try another approach when he finally answers. ‘I fear that, in my haste to exonerate Maze, I may have made things… difficult for dear Charlotte,’ he tells her.

Chloe bites back the "What did you do?" comment just before it can escape. This is not the time to place blame.

‘What happened?’ she asks instead.

Lucifer fiddles with his cufflinks awkwardly. ‘I told her the truth. And that coupled with Amenadiel’s unexpected introduction to her life, has left her feeling rather overwhelmed apparently. She doesn’t know what to believe. Amenadiel thinks I should show her the truth.’ He shrugs his shoulder back a little, indicating the wings that are not visible at the moment.

Chloe shuffles a little closer so their shoulders are just brushing against each other. ‘What do you think?’ she asks. ‘I mean, they’re your wings, so it’s your decision in the end.’

Lucifer chuckles humourlessly. ‘Yes, well I haven’t exactly had a good track record with those the last few days.’

Chloe isn’t totally sure what he means, but she does know how to get a smile out of him. ‘Oh, I don’t know,’ she teases. ‘I seem to remember some very good decisions you have made lately.’ She bumps his shoulder with his and this time when Lucifer laughs, there is real amusement behind it.

‘Touché, Detective.’

The lighter mood only last for a few seconds though, and soon Lucifer’s smile has fallen again, though he doesn’t look as crestfallen as before. ‘I want to make things right,’ he says.

‘So, you’re going to show Charlotte?’

Lucifer nods. ‘I am partly responsible for her current turmoil, the least I can do is try and make things clearer for her.’

Chloe smiles, proud of how far he’s come. ‘I think that’s a great idea,’ she says. ‘Just make sure to tell her that me and Linda also know, in case she needs a human to talk to.’ Lucifer nods and smiles back at her with so much love in his eyes that Chloe has to physically grip the edge of the corvette to stop herself from kissing him. ‘So, uh, when’s this happening?’ she asks, trying to stay focussed on the matter on hand.

Lucifer sighs and looks to where the sun is hanging low in the afternoon sky. ‘Charlotte is already at Lux apparently. Amenadiel is on his way.’

‘So, I guess you should get going too, huh?’

Lucifer nods but doesn’t move. He’s obviously still a bit unsure.

Chloe pushes herself off the car and reaches for his arm, giving it a reassuring squeeze. ‘Everything will work out,’ she says with confidence before reluctantly letting her hand fall, mindful of the one remaining uni at the scene who may be watching. ‘I’ll tell you what, I’ll get a lift back with Roberts,’ she nods her head over to the uni, ‘and you go help Charlotte. And once I’ve finished up at the station, I can meet you at the penthouse. Dan has Trixie tonight so…’ She leaves the rest of her sentence unspoken, knowing just how much he has been wanting her to stay the night at his penthouse.

Lucifer instantly brightens. ‘That sounds like an excellent plan, Detective,’ he says, his eyes already wandering over her as if she was wearing Victoria Secret rather than her usual work attire. ‘Though I am more than happy to give you a lift back the station.’ He looks over to the black and white cop car and scrunches up his face in distaste.

Chloe laughs and pats him on the shoulder. ‘It’s fine, Lucifer,’ she assures him, and he reluctantly relents. She gives him one last reassuring smile before jogging up to Officer Roberts who is just preparing to leave. She looks over her shoulder just in time to see Lucifer pull out of the parking lot and, once he's gone, she lets her smile fall. She believes that Lucifer is making the right decision with Charlotte, but she’s still worried that it might backfire. She just has to hope that Charlotte will be able to deal with the knowledge that divinity is real. She’s a strong woman, but finding out you were actually in Hell is enough to break the strongest of people.

Shaking her head to clear her negative thoughts, Chloe turns back towards Roberts’ patrol car and gets in the passenger side. Charlotte will be fine, she tells herself. And if she’s not, Chloe will help her find her way again, just like Linda did for her.

----

By the time Chloe gets back to the station, Margo is already being processed, so there is nothing much left for her to do other than filling in the paperwork for the arrest and for Margo’s injury. Before she can even get to her desk, however, she is informed that Pierce wants to see her in his office.

Chloe inwardly groans. Pierce still hasn’t given up subtly hinting that they should spend time together outside of work. He is no way being pushy, and compared to how persistent Lucifer was when she first met him, his attempts at wooing aren’t that bad, but they are still really starting to annoy her. Chloe just hopes that whatever he wants now is work related.

Taking a breath for resolve, she makes her way over to his office and raps her knuckles against the open glass door to announce her presence before walking in.

‘You wanted to see me, Lieutenant?’

Pierce puts down the report he had been reading and looks up at her. As per usual, it is impossible to read his expression for clues as to what this is about. ‘Ah, Chloe, yes. Take a seat.’ He gestures to the chair in front of his desk. Chloe gives him a wary glance before complying.

‘Have I done something wrong?’ she asks. ‘If this is about Maze stabbing Margo, I can explain-’

‘Don’t worry about Maze,’ interrupts Pierce, waving off her concern. ‘And you haven’t done anything wrong, per se, it’s just… when were you going to tell me that you and your partner were romantically involved?’

Chloe pales.

Crap. How did he find out?

Seeing her reaction, Pierce nods. ‘So, it’s true then?’

Reluctantly Chloe nods. ‘Yes, me and Lucifer are together now, but-’

‘But you chose not to tell me,’ Pierce interrupts again. Chloe grinds her teeth in annoyance. ‘As your lieutenant, it is something that I have to be aware of. The two of you working together on cases could be seen as a conflict of interest. I’m sure you can see the position this puts me in. I believe you yourself said that work relationships are “tricky”.’

Chloe has to physically concentrate on untensing her jaw. She can see where this is going. And it’s exactly what she had been worried about.

‘I understand, Lieutenant,’ she says, politely (she’s really has been putting those acting skills to good use lately). ‘We should have told you earlier.’ Maybe if she apologises, Pierce will change his mind.

She doubts it, but it’s worth a try.

Pierce sighs, but somehow Chloe doubts that this is as tough a decision for him as he is letting on. ‘Look, Chloe, I can’t tell you who you can and can’t date… but as your lieutenant, I can’t let you and Lucifer work together on cases. As I said, it’s a conflict of interest.’ Chloe opens her mouth to argue, but Pierce once again cuts her off. ‘For now, at least. Lucifer can work with Espinoza and I’ll find you a new partner. Sorry Decker, but it’s policy.’

Chloe wants to tell him exactly where he can shove his policy, but she holds her tongue. Things are complicated enough with Pierce at the moment, she doesn’t need to add insubordination into the mix.

‘Fine,’ she says, a little too harshly. ‘Is that all? I have a ton of paperwork to do.’

A bit of an exaggeration, but hey, whatever gets her out of this office and away from Pierce.

Pierce nods and Chloe holds her head up high as she goes to leave. She is not going to be seen as looking ashamed of her relationship with Lucifer.

‘Chloe,’ Pierce calls, just as she reaches the door. Chloe reluctantly stops and looks back. ‘Just… be careful with Lucifer. He has a reputation for running away when things get difficult.’

Chloe bristles. Logically, she knows he probably thinks he’s doing the right thing by her, but Lucifer’s past mistakes are none of his Goddamn business and he has no right to comment on their relationship beyond how it affects their work.

But she doesn’t say anything. She just bites her tongue, turns back towards the door, and walks out. She pointedly ignores the tiny part of her brain that tells her that Pierce is right.

----

Lucifer leans his head against the elevator wall and breathes a sigh of relief. Showing Charlotte his wings had gone better than expected. There had still been tears, but those tears were tears of joy and relief at being proven that she isn’t going crazy. Lucifer suspects that the big picture may take a little while to settle in and then Charlotte’s views on the subject may change a little, but until then, he’s just happy to have fixed the mess he partly caused.

The elevator dings as it reaches the penthouse and the doors open to reveal an impatient looking Maze. It’s time to rectify another selfish decision he has made recently.

‘You wanted to talk, so talk,’ says Maze, annoyance dripping from every word. She doesn’t even give him a chance to exit the elevator.

Lucifer sighs and nudges past her so he can head to the bar. ‘Drink?’ he asks.

Maze glares at him for a few more seconds before uncrossing her arms and following him. ‘As long as it’s top shelf.’

‘As if I’d settle for anything less.’

Lucifer pours them a glass of scotch each and the pair drink in silence for a minute before Maze decides to speak. ‘So why am I here?’ she asks. The fight has gone out of her voice and now she just sounds tired.

‘Because I wanted to apologise,’ says Lucifer. ‘I thought you were manipulating me, but, well, I'm a big enough devil to admit when I'm wrong. And I also wanted to explain my… reluctance in wanting to take you home.’

Maze scoffs, but he can tell that she is still hanging on every word.

‘While everything I told you is true, I truly don’t want to go back, it’s not the only reason I said no.’ He downs his drink. This whole talking about feelings thing is actually quite terrifying… but he owes it to Maze to get through it. ‘Maze, I know we don’t exactly always see to eye to eye, but you are still my oldest friend.’ Maze’s eyes widen a little, clearly surprised by the admission. ‘And I don’t want to lose you. But that is selfish, and while that isn’t exactly a new trait for me, you deserve better. So, if you still really do want to go back to Hell, I’ll take you.’

Maze actually takes a step back this time, shocked at actually getting what she wants. ‘Really? You’ll take me back?’ she asks, hope creeping into her voice.

Lucifer nods. ‘If you are sure that it is what you want. I do have one condition of course.’

‘Anything,’ says Maze at once. The desperation in her voice leaves no doubt in Lucifer's mind that Maze has not changed her decision.

He pours himself another drink and then turns back to face her. ‘My condition is that the second you decide that you want to come back to Earth, to make things right with Linda and the Urchin, you let me know so I can come and bring you home.’

Maze doesn’t even notice that Lucifer has referred to Earth as her home rather than Hell.

‘But that would mean I would have to-’

‘Yes, I know what it means,’ interrupts Lucifer.

‘You would really let me do that?’

Lucifer takes another sip of his scotch and nods.

Maze continues to stare at him, clearly unsure of how to handle the sudden vulnerability he has shown. ‘Thank you, Lucifer,’ she says at last, before standing a little straighter and putting her mask of indifference back on. ‘I’m ready whenever you are.’

Lucifer lets out a sigh and puts his empty glass on the counter. ‘No time like the present, I suppose,’ he says, moving to the centre of the room so he can unfurl his wings without hitting anything. ‘You sure you don’t want time to say goodbye to anybody?’ Maze just gives him a look and strides over to him so she can jump into his arms. Lucifer grunts a little at the contact but quickly rearranges their positions so he has a better grip on her. ‘Right,’ he sighs. ‘Let’s get this over with.’

----

Lucifer doesn’t stay in Hell for long, just enough to drop Maze off and say one last goodbye, but it is still enough for him to want to take a shower the instant he arrives back at his penthouse. The smell of brimstone already feels embedded into his skin.

Once he is showered and his ash-covered suit is deposed of, he puts on a pair of black silk boxers and heads to the bar. He grabs the bottle that he and Maze had been drinking from earlier and pours himself a glass, downing it one go. He immediately pours himself another but takes this one out to the balcony to drink it at a more leisurely pace. He considers having a cigarette too, but the mere thought of any kind of ash at the moment is off-putting enough to deter him.

He has no idea how long he has been standing there for when he feels a small hand rest on his arm. He looks down to see Chloe’s concerned face; he hadn’t even heard her approach him.

‘Is everything okay?’ she asks, rubbing her hand up and down his arm in a comforting manner. ‘How did things go with Charlotte?’

Lucifer puts his drink down on the little table that he had recently moved to the balcony for this very purpose. ‘Oh, that went quite well,’ he says, forcing himself to smile. ‘She didn’t run and Amenadiel has taken her home, nervous breakdown free.’

Chloe smiles too, but she is still clearly worried about him. ‘So why the brooding?’ she asks.

Lucifer sniffs in indignation. ‘I do not brood.’

Chloe chuckles and Lucifer relaxes a little at her light teasing.

The two of them fall into silence for a few moments in which they both lean against the balcony and look out over the view. ‘I took Maze back to Hell,’ Lucifer says at last.

Chloe’s head whips around to face him, her eyes wide and her mouth open in shock. ‘Why?’ she finally croaks out.

‘Because it’s what she wanted.’

‘But what if she wants to come back?’

‘She knows how to contact me if she does, and I’ll go straight back down there and get her.’

Chloe relaxes at the reassurance but then tilts her head slightly in confusion. ‘She can contact you from Hell? How?’

Lucifer chuckles a little. ‘By praying, of course.’

‘People can pray to you?’ asks Chloe, clearly surprised though Lucifer is not exactly sure why. He is still technically an angel, after all. ‘I mean, you can actually hear them?’

‘Now that I’ve got my wings again, yes. But I haven’t heard a prayer in millennia.’

It only takes Chloe a moment to take in the information and process it. ‘I suppose, not that many people would pray to the Devil for help,’ she says, almost absentmindedly.

‘Oh, you’d be surprised,’ says Lucifer, a little darkly, ‘but thankfully I don’t hear those ones.’ At Chloe’s questioning look, he continues, albeit a bit hesitantly. ‘Only angels and dear old Dad have the ability to hear prayers, so I don’t hear the ones directed at the Devil, only the ones directed to the angel I used to be.’ He takes a breath for resolve. ‘Samael.’

‘Samael?’

‘It’s who I was before I was Lucifer. Back in the Silver City.’

Chloe’s eyes widen as she realises the significance of the information she has just been given. Lucifer takes her hands and manoeuvres her so that they are now facing each other, fingers still intertwined. ‘Please don’t ever use it,’ he says, silently begging her to understand how important this is to him. ‘It’s not who I am anymore.’

Chloe lets go of one of his hands so she can place it on his chest over his heart. ‘I promise,’ she says with conviction. ‘Thank you for telling me, Lucifer.’

Lucifer gazes into her eyes, overwhelmed at the love and acceptance he sees in them. Unable to find his voice, he relies on his actions to communicate what he feels. And what he feels right now is an overwhelming need to have her as close as possible.

Bringing his own hand to the back of Chloe’s head, he pulls her towards him so that he can give her a bruising kiss. Never before has he wanted someone so intensely. It’s more than just desire (something he is very familiar with), it's pure undiluted need. He needs her in his arms and in his bed. He needs to show her just how grateful he is to have her in his life.

Chloe must sense his desperation because she quickly opens up to him and lets him deepen the kiss. He lets out a moan of approval as her tongue skilfully slides against his and her hands move up to dig into his shoulders.

Oh yes, he is definitely grateful.

As Lucifer slowly leads Chloe back inside and towards the bedroom, he can’t help but think back to his decision to leave Hell permanently and how it was the best decision he has ever made. He’s not like Maze – not anymore. He can’t imagine ever wanting to go back there while there is even the slightest possibility of being able to have his precious Detective in his arms.

Chapter Text

The next morning, Chloe wakes to the feel of silk sheets beneath her fingers, a strong arm around her waist, and soft lips against her bare shoulder. There’s also a gentle prodding against her lower back that, despite her half-asleep state, she instantly recognises. She lets out an involuntary moan and the Devil behind her takes it as a sign that she is awake enough for the sinful plans he obviously has in mind.

After a minute or two of just letting Lucifer’s hands wander over her already naked body, Chloe finally pulls herself out of her sleepy daze enough to roll over and get that kiss that she desperately wants. The kiss is lazy and sloppy and, in Chloe’s opinion, the best possible thing to wake up to.

‘Good morning,’ she murmurs when Lucifer pulls away.

Lucifer gives her a sultry smile, obviously far more awake than she is right now. ‘Hmm, good morning indeed,’ he purrs, bending down to place open-mouthed kisses along her neck and throat.

He continues to kiss down her body and Chloe is still too asleep to fully realise his intentions, but that changes the instant she feels his tongue slide through her folds and circle her clit. Suddenly she is more awake than she has ever been in her life. She cries out a couple of curse words as she jack-knifes off the bed, her hands grasping at the sheets. Lucifer hands settle on her hips to push her back down and she feels rather than hears him chuckle against her, the vibrations sending pleasant little shivers through her whole body. Chloe’s legs unconsciously wrap around him and she rests her heels on his upper back, effectively keeping him in place as he worships her.

‘Fuck, you’re good at this,’ she gasps, relishing in the fact that they are at the penthouse and there is no reason for having to stay quiet. In fact, as she found out last night, quite the opposite is encouraged. Lucifer likes it loud, and even though Chloe has spent years training herself to be as quiet as possible during sex (she doesn’t really want to scar Trixie for life, after all), just one night with him is enough for her to break the habit entirely.

Lucifer hums in approval and hooks his arms under her thighs so that he can pull them further apart to give himself more room. Chloe sits up on her elbows so that she can watch the show, letting out a wanton groan at the sight. Lucifer’s eyes lock onto hers and the raw desire in them is almost enough to send her spiralling off the edge way too fast for her liking so she flops back down onto the bed and grips the sheets tighter. But even without the visual, it doesn’t take long for the pleasure to build and her hips to start rutting against Lucifer’s mouth.

He knows what he’s doing down there, that’s for sure.

Surprisingly, Lucifer doesn’t hold her hips down to keep them still. Instead, he rolls with her, never stopping the intricate pattern that he has been drawing inside her. ‘Fuck, Lucifer!’ Chloe shouts as his tongue moves up to circle her clit. Her voice has risen a few octaves, but she’s too wound up to care. ‘Yes, just like that. Don’t stop.’

‘Not until you come, darling,’ says Lucifer, his breath ghosting over her and making her shiver, before he dives straight back into the task at hand. His teeth lightly scrape over her clit and Chloe can’t stop the cry of pleasure that is torn from her throat.

‘Please, please, please,’ she whimpers. She’s not even sure what she is begging for anymore, all she knows is that the tension inside her is building and it feels like there is a rubber band inside her that is being pulled so tight that she’s sure it’s about to snap…

And then her phone starts ringing, and the band slackens as the blissful tension starts to fade.

No, no, no, no!

Chloe wants to ignore the phone - bloody hell does she want to ignore it - but she knows she can’t. She’s a detective and a mother and each phone call has the potential to be incredibly important.

Lucifer clearly has other ideas however; he hasn’t paused his ministrations at all.

‘Lucifer,’ whispers Chloe, fulling intending it to sound disapproving but failing completely. Instead it just sounds like she’s encouraging him.

‘It could be work,’ she tells him, once again trying for resolve, this time succeeding a little more. But she still gets no reaction from him other than a smirk and a particularly hard suck of her clit that almost has her giving in and letting the call go answered.

‘Or Trixie,’ she says, and Lucifer finally lets up. With a sigh, he untangles himself from her legs and crawls up to sit next to her at the head of the bed. Chloe pointedly avoids looking at where he is hard and probably aching, and scrambles over to the bedside to grab her phone. Dan’s caller ID illuminates the screen and Chloe quickly answers the call before it can go to voicemail.

‘Hey Dan, is everything okay? Is Trixie all right?’ she asks in a rush. At least her breathlessness can be explained away as worrying.

‘Hi Chlo, Trixie’s fine. I just wanted to talk to you.’

Chloe lets the relief wash over her for a moment before the annoyance sets in. Whatever Dan wants to talk about, she doubts it is worth the interruption. Not that Dan realises he’s interrupting, but she still feels she has the right to be irritated. She’s pretty sure she has just missed out on one of the best orgasms she would have ever had.

Lucifer is obviously listening in on the conversation and must agree with Chloe’s unsaid statement about the call’s lack of importance, because the moment Dan finishes his sentence, he snakes his arms around her waist and starts kissing his way across the back of her shoulders and neck.

Dan starts speaking again - something about a phone call he got from Pierce - and Chloe tries to listen, but it’s near on impossible to focus on anything other than the way Lucifer is sucking on that perfect spot where her neck meets her shoulder. ‘Lucifer,’ she admonishes, this time properly managing the disapproving tone she had been aiming for earlier. She gives him a light smack on his arm and he pulls away from her. But even though he’s just been told off and denied a chance to play, he’s grinning like the cat who not only got the canary, but the whole damn aviary as well.

Only then does Chloe realise that the line has gone oddly silent on the other end of her phone call.

Crap.

‘Am I interrupting something?’ asks Dan, clearing his throat awkwardly.

‘No,’ says Chloe just as Lucifer says the opposite. She lets out a huff of annoyance and turns to Lucifer to scold him again. But it’s hard to stay annoyed at him when he’s smiling at her like that – so happy and care-free and pleased with himself – so she reluctantly lets it go. ‘Lucifer, why don’t you go start breakfast,’ she suggests instead.

‘Fine,’ he says with a put-on sigh, though he is still grinning from ear to ear. He gets up and shrugs his robe on. ‘But I was having a perfectly good breakfast before Dan interrupted.’ He says that last bit a little too loudly, obviously for Dan’s benefit.

Chloe blushes furiously but that doesn’t stop her from throwing a pillow in Lucifer’s general direction. It misses by a mile and Lucifer just laughs as he ducks out of the bedroom, hopefully on his way to make the breakfast – the real kind – that Chloe has asked for.

‘I’m just gonna pretend I didn’t just hear that,’ says Dan, sounding even more awkward than before. ‘Anyway, um, so you and Lucifer…’

Well, there’s no use hiding it now.

‘Yeah, me and Lucifer,’ says Chloe. Despite the awkward situation, she can’t help the smile that appears on her face at being able to say it out loud.

‘Well, I guess that explains the partner switch,’ says Dan, sounding a lot more like his normal self now that the awkwardness is passing. ‘Pierce found out, huh?’

Chloe sighs, but then suddenly remembers that she hasn’t actually notified Lucifer about that little development yet. ‘Shit. I haven’t told Lucifer yet. I was going to tell him last night but got distracted.’

‘I bet.’

Chloe rolls her eyes. ‘Not by that.’ Well, not just by that anyway, but she's not about to admit that to Dan. ‘We were talking about Maze. Lucifer took her home – the home she had before LA. I don’t know if she’s going to be back.’

‘Oh…’ says Dan, as if he’s not exactly sure how he should feel about the news. ‘Have you told Trixie yet?’

Chloe sighs again. Telling Trixie is not something she is looking forward to. Despite the recent fissure in their friendship, she knows her little Monkey is going to be crushed to hear that Maze has left. ‘No not yet. I’m not sure how she’s going to react so can you please just keep it under wraps for now. I’ll tell her tonight.’

‘Yeah, of course. Damn, I was really hoping Maze would sort her shit out.’

‘Yeah, me too.’

They lapse into silence for a few moments, each contemplating the loss of their friend and how their daughter will take the news.

‘Anyways,’ says Dan eventually. ‘I had better let you get back to… Yeah. Okay. Bye, Chlo. I’ll see you at work.’

Chloe almost laughs but manages to keep it in. ‘Yeah. See you later.’

Once she has hung up, she puts her phone back down on the bedside table and decides that she may as well get dressed. The mood has well and truly been broken now and she still has work to go to today. After a quick bathroom break, she gets dressed into the clothes she had brought with her the night before and wanders out into the kitchen to find Lucifer at the stove with his back to her. Her stomach rumbles in anticipation when she gets a whiff of whatever he is making; omelettes by the smell of it.

She crosses the room in quick strides and settles against Lucifer, wrapping her arms around his waist so that she is hugging him from behind. He, of course, has not bothered to put on anything other than his robe, which means that Chloe can feel every inch of lean muscle beneath it. ‘Smells wonderful,’ she says, placing a quick kiss to his back between where she knows his wings are.

Lucifer hums pleasantly. ‘Thank you, darling, so do you.’

She can almost hear the smirk on his face.

Chloe thumps her forehead against his back and giggles into the silk of his robe. ‘I meant the breakfast, you dork.’

Lucifer just shrugs, as if to say I said what I said, and Chloe reluctantly lets him go so he can serve the omelettes onto the plates he has waiting. When he turns to give her hers, his smile falls a little.

‘Oh. You got dressed.’

Chloe rolls her eyes and smiles in gratitude as she takes her plate. ‘Yes, well I figured I had better. I doubt work would appreciate it if I turned up naked.’

‘I very much doubt you would hear many complaints,’ says Lucifer with a smirk as his eyes roam over her.

Chloe refuses to dignify that with a response and instead places her breakfast on the kitchen island and grabs a fork from a drawer. She is rather hungry and Lucifer is a tremendous cook. The omelette is so good that Chloe lets out an involuntary moan at the first bite.

Lucifer slides up behind her and lightly places his hands on her hips. ‘You make such delicious noises,’ he whispers against her ear. ‘Are you sure we don't have time for another round before we have to go to work?’

Chloe shivers but stands her ground. ‘We would, but there’s something I need to talk to you about. I was going to last night but I got distracted.’

Lucifer nuzzles into her neck, clearly not ready to give up. ‘Mmmm. I would rather like to distract you some more.’

Chloe smiles but nudges him off and turns to face him. ‘As tempting as that is – and it is really tempting – this can’t wait.’

He must sense her apprehension because his smile falls and his face becomes serious. ‘What is it?’

Chloe lets out a sigh and puts her fork down. ‘Pierce found out about us,’ she says. ‘And he’s reacted exactly the way we thought he would. He’s giving us new partners.’

Lucifer’s jaw tics and his eyes harden. ‘Of course he did,’ he says, before his smile returns, though this one is a lot more menacing than the last. ‘Though I’m sure a few choice words will change his mind.’

Chloe is fairly certain that those “choice words” would be of the “what is it you desire?” variety and/or threats of violence. And she doubts that Pierce will respond well to either.

‘Maybe it’s best to leave it for now,’ she suggests. ‘We don’t want to make things worse, and believe me, you have done more than enough to warrant Pierce kicking you off the team altogether. With any luck, he will see that splitting us up is a mistake and we’ll be back to normal in no time.’

Lucifer’s menacing smile has disappeared and he looks a little disappointed, but at least he doesn’t seem as annoyed as before. ‘Yes, maybe, but you seem to be forgetting the Lieutenant’s enormous crush on you.’

Chloe scrunches her face up at the word “crush”. It makes them sound like they are still in high school. ‘I guess we just have to hope that he’s bigger than that and can put the community’s best interest above his own.’

Lucifer’s lips twitch upwards. ‘And us remaining partners is in the community’s best interest, is it?’

Chloe smiles and leans a little closer to him, hoping that the move looks as sexy as it does in her head. ‘Definitely,’ she says and then closes the gap between them to give him a chaste yet firm kiss on the lips. When she pulls away, Lucifer is smiling again - and not in a threatening way this time.

‘So, you’ll leave it for now?’ she asks, hopefully.

Lucifer sighs and starts rubbing circles against her waist with his thumbs. Chloe thinks it’s an unconscious movement until they slip under her shirt so he is now touching bare skin. ‘I suppose, as you say, it could be worse. At least we’ll still see each other at the precinct, and Daniel isn’t quite as much of a douche as he used to be.’

Chloe tries to fight a smile but fails completely. ‘So, you’ll survive?’

He sighs again, but this time it is entirely put on. ‘I guess so.’

----

Almost two weeks later, and Chloe still doesn’t have a new partner. Pierce says he is having trouble finding her one, something which Chloe finds highly suspicious when she finally gets a fresh case and he is the one joining her on it.

The victim is Kevin Winstead of the wealthy real estate family, and he was killed in the room he rented from a Mrs Hernandez, a very a nice lady who is remarkably well put together considering that she had not only found the body, but had also heard the murder take place and then been threatened by the murderer herself.

‘I was sleeping, and I heard glass breaking, so I went down to check it out,’ she tells them when Chloe asks her to recall what had happened. ‘And then I heard arguing.’

‘What were they arguing about?’

‘The voices were muffled, but I did hear someone say, "Kevin, stop."’

Chloe turns to Pierce. ‘So, the intruder knew the victim.’

Pierce just nods, and Chloe has to fight the frown that threatens to form on her face. His stoic silence is kind of unnerving, especially since this would usually be when Lucifer would make some sort of witty and inappropriate remark.

Who would have guessed that she would miss the very remarks she always complained about?

Chloe turns back to Mrs Hernandez. ‘Did you get a good look at the guy?’ she asks.

Mrs Hernandez shakes her head. ‘He was wearing a mask. I would be dead for sure if God hadn't sent that angel to protect me.’

Chloe’s eyebrows raise in surprise. ‘So, there was someone else in the house?’ she asks, clearing her throat awkwardly.

‘Not another person. An angel, who saved me. It- it flew in here, and it just chased the evil man away.’

Okay, maybe Mrs Hernandez is not so put together after all. Just because Chloe now knows that angels actually do exist, doesn’t mean that she believes that they would come down to Earth to interfere with a random robbery/murder. If anything, her celestial insight makes her doubt the possibility even more.

Mrs Hernandez must notice Chloe’s sceptical look, because she quickly insists that she has proof. ‘The angel he took one of my figurines,’ she says, moving over to where there is a gap between two other angel figurines. Looking around the room, Chloe notices that the woman owns rather a lot of them. Maybe it’s a good thing that Lucifer isn’t here after all. He never reacts too well to religious witnesses as it is, let alone ones who claim to have been saved by his Father and/or his siblings.

Mrs Hernandez takes a book off one of the other shelves and flicks through it until she finds what she’s looking for. ‘Gabriel,’ she says, showing Chloe and Pierce the book which looks like an index for the figurine collection.

‘Well, I think we have all we need for now,’ says Pierce, gently taking the book and handing it to Chloe. ‘Mrs Hernandez, why don't we get you checked out at the hospital?’

Mrs Hernandez smiles appreciatively and lets Pierce guide her out of the room. That’s one thing, Chloe supposes; Pierce may not be much of a talker, but at least he can display a bit of tact every now and then.

It’s a relatively small compliment, but Chloe immediately feels guilty for thinking it. No matter how tactless or unprofessional Lucifer may be on cases, he’s still the best partner she has ever had. She’ll take trust and loyalty over tact and professionalism any day.

Chloe shakes herself out of her thoughts and looks down at the book she is still holding. She lets out a snort at the baby faced “Gabriel” with his trumpet. Somehow she doubts that it is in any way an accurate imitation. She fishes her phone out of her pocket and takes a photo of the page for visual reference in case they do happen to find the figurine. Real angel or not, someone took the figurine, and it wouldn’t hurt to keep an eye out for it. She’s been a detective long enough to know that the simplest things can be the most important clues in discovering the truth.

----

An hour later, Chloe is sitting at her desk, looking through Kevin’s financial records when suddenly a cup of delicious smelling coffee appears in front of her. She looks up to see Lucifer leaning casually on her desk, smiling down at her.

‘Thanks,’ she says, taking the coffee and holding it close to her nose so that she can get more of its sweet scent. He’s obviously gone to the coffee place down the road and gotten her favourite – she can smell the caramel drizzle.

‘So, I hear you have a new case,’ says Lucifer. If he’s trying to be subtle, he’s not doing a very good job of it. ‘Anything interesting?’

Chloe shrugs and takes a sip of her coffee. ‘Rather standard at this stage,’ she tells him. ‘Though the victim is the black sheep of a rather wealthy family, so there’s that.’

Lucifer leans over so he can see her computer screen. ‘He’s obviously used up his allowance,’ he says, looking over the financial records. Chloe doesn’t know to if she should be amused at him butting in on her case or saddened by it. He obviously misses their partnership just as much as she does.

‘So how is working with Dan going?’ she asks, looking over to where Dan is glaring at Lucifer and muttering, no doubt something about leaving him to do all of the work.

Lucifer waves off her question. ‘Oh, it’s so-so. We have a hit and run case at the moment. Quite boring really.’

Chloe looks over to Dan as he angrily takes another form from his considerable pile of paperwork to fill out. ‘I’m sure.’

‘So, do you need a hand with anything?’ asks Lucifer, oblivious to his new partner’s ire. ‘Any witnesses to question, suspects to frighten, that sort of thing?’

Chloe turns back to Lucifer, making sure to give him her best sympathetic look. ‘Lucifer, babe, I know it sucks, but maybe you should be helping Dan. You know, seeing as he is your partner now.’

Lucifer’s smile falls, but only for a second.

‘Well that may be, but just because Pierce has made the idiotic decision to split up the dream team, doesn’t mean that I can’t still lend you my expertise. The precinct is supposed to work as one big team, is it not?’

Chloe rolls her eyes and chuckles softly. This kind of cheek and finding loopholes in everything is exactly what had been missing from the crime scene this morning. Investigating with Pierce had just been… lacking.

‘Well I can’t really argue with that,’ she says, enjoying the way Lucifer’s eyes light up in victory, ‘but unfortunately, I don’t have anything to need help with. Pierce is still looking up the contact details for the victim’s family, so I have to wait for him.’

Lucifer’s smile falls again but there is still a warmth in his eyes that tells Chloe that he will be okay. ‘Right,’ he says, a tad awkwardly. ‘Well I guess I had better see what assistance I can give Daniel before I go back to Lux. It looks like it’s going to be an early day today.’ Chloe once again looks to Dan’s pile of paperwork. It is definitely not an “early day” sized pile. But she knows first-hand how likely it is to get Lucifer to help with that, so she lets it go.

Lucifer turns to leave but Chloe stands and grabs his wrist before he can. ‘Hey, before you go, I was just wondering if you wanted to go to Lux tonight. Dan’s parents are in town so he has Trixie, and I thought it might be nice to have a night out together.’ At Lucifer’s confused look, she quickly backpedals. ‘Unless you don’t want me to. I understand if you want to keep that part of your life separate.’

‘I want you in every part of my life,’ says Lucifer so fast that even he looks shocked by it. But once the surprise of his speedy reply has worn off, he relaxes and smiles that 10,000-watt smile of his. ‘I’ve been waiting for ages to be able to show you off.’

Chloe gives a huff a laughter at that and blushes.

‘Seriously,’ he says, obviously noticing the doubt in her eyes. ‘I’ll be the envy if every man in the room.’

‘Lucifer, you already are the envy of every man in the room.’

‘True, but I will be even more so with you on my arm. That is one good thing to come out of Pierce finding out, I suppose. You don’t have to pretend that you don’t find me irresistible anymore.’

Chloe shakes her head in amusement. ‘Yeah, it is,’ she agrees. And to prove it, she leans up and kisses him, albeit quite chastely. She ignores the wolf whistles from their co-workers and instead focuses on the happy smile on Lucifer’s face.

But, of course, Pierce just has to come along and ruin it.

‘I got the contact details for Kevin’s ex,’ he tells Chloe. He doesn’t comment on Lucifer’s presence or the minor PDA that has just occurred. ‘Any luck with the financials?’

‘Not really,’ says Chloe, shoving her annoyance down and shifting back into her professional demeanour. ‘It’s all as expected.’

Pierce makes a small dissatisfied sound, but Chloe gets the impression that he’s more annoyed with the lack of a lead rather than annoyed with her. ‘How about our wayward angel?’ he asks.

Chloe winces. She hasn’t told Lucifer about that.

‘Angel?’ asks Lucifer, curiosity clearly piqued.

‘Our witness claims that an angel saved her and took her figurine,’ Chloe quickly explains. ‘I doubt we’ll find it. The figurine, that is. It was probably taken by the killer.’

‘Or maybe it was one of Lucifer’s brothers,’ says Pierce.

Chloe and Lucifer both stare at him, equal amounts of surprise and confusion on their faces.

‘What?’ asks Pierce, noticing their looks. ‘Everyone else gets to make “devil” jokes.’

More staring.

Pierce sighs. ‘Whatever. Chloe, we need to interview Kevin’s ex, so grab your gear.’

That snaps Chloe out of her stupor and she feels a bit silly for overreacting. Of course Pierce was just making a joke. He isn’t exactly known for his sense of humour, but he’s not a robot. And making “devil jokes” as he called them isn’t exactly a rare occurrence in the precinct.

‘Yeah sure, won’t be a minute,’ she tells him. ‘I’ll catch up.’

Pierce nods and heads towards the elevator. Once she is sure that he is out of earshot, Chloe turns to Lucifer. ‘Sorry about that,’ she says, not sure if she’s apologising for Pierce or for not telling Lucifer about the angel aspect of her case sooner.

‘It’s quite alright, Detective,’ says Lucifer. ‘It’s not like we didn’t expect this to happen.’

Chloe gives him a grateful smile, glad that he isn’t making a fuss over the whole “angel” thing.

‘So which one of my siblings does your witness think decided to actually give a damn about what goes on on Earth?’

Okay, maybe she celebrated a bit too soon there.

‘She didn’t actually see the angel - because there wasn’t one, obviously,’ says Chloe, perhaps a little too quickly. ‘She just saw a shadow with wings and then later noticed her Gabriel figurine missing. Honestly, I didn’t think it was that important, so I didn’t think it was worth mentioning. And from what you’ve told me, your siblings don’t exactly bother themselves with the affairs of humans, do they?’

‘Not usually,’ agrees Lucifer. ‘They don’t like to interfere with Daddy’s plan. And He certainly doesn't send them down to intervene in petty robberies. He only sends them to harass me.’

Chloe nods, satisfied that she wasn’t wrong to disbelieve Mrs Hernandez’s claims of heavenly intervention.

‘Well let’s hope He considers Amenadiel harassment enough,’ she says with a small smile as she grabs her stuff to head off. ‘I had better get going before Pierce comes back looking for me, but we’re still okay for Lux tonight, yeah?’

Lucifer smiles warmly at her. ‘Of course, Detective. Why don’t you come to the Penthouse first to get ready. I actually have the perfect dress that I may or may not have bought for you when we first started dating.’

Chloe isn’t sure to be incredibly touched or incredibly scared – she’s seen what a lot of Lux patrons wear, or rather, what they don’t wear. ‘That’s really sweet of you,’ she says, evidently landing on touched (though scared is still definitely in the vicinity). ‘I’ll be there about seven. Okay, I really gotta go now. Love you.’

She turns and rushes towards the elevator, not seeing the pleased smile on Lucifer’s face but knowing that it is there nonetheless.

Chapter Text

Lucifer doesn’t get the chance to talk to Chloe again for the rest of the workday. Between the demands of Chloe’s case, and the continual barraging from Daniel with requests for his expertise (he may not have used those exact words, but Lucifer can read between the lines), it has been impossible to even say two words to each other, let alone have a proper conversation. And this is not ideal for two reasons.

Reason number one: He misses Chloe. Plain and simple. He’s gotten used to spending his days by her side and the alternative is not very pleasant (something which he found out long ago).

Reason number two: It’s left him with too much time in his own head. While logically he knows that Chloe is probably right about the “angel” element of her current case – that it is just the imagination and hope of a scared and devout woman – there is still a nagging thought of what if.

What if the woman wasn’t imagining things?

What if one of his siblings really has decided to become the guardian that humans believe them to be?

What if his Father has sent them here? And if so, for what purpose? Does it have something to do with Lucifer?

It’s these what ifs that lead Lucifer to call Amenadiel to ask him if he has had any contact from their siblings. The answer, of course, is no, and Lucifer feels a bit better.

But that nagging feeling doesn’t completely go away.

The only true reprieve comes when Chloe arrives at his penthouse at half-past seven, apologising profusely about being late and looking all round flustered and adorable. Lucifer almost decides to cancel the whole night out and have her right then and there but manages to control himself. He already has her dress and shoes laid out on the bed and he has been dying to get her approval of the ensemble since he bought it for her.

After about 45 minutes, Chloe has finally finished getting ready, and when she steps out of his bedroom, Lucifer almost drops the glass of whiskey he is holding. Even through the frustration of the whole “angel” business and what Linda would probably call paranoia, Lucifer still finds himself in awe of how beautiful she is. The burgundy dress clings to her in all the right places and the hemline shows off her amazing legs yet is still long enough for her to move around comfortably without having to worry about flashing everyone. The overall effect, combined with her wavy hairstyle and the light make-up she has chosen, is classy and elegant but not as much so that it would look out of place in the club scene.

‘Thank you for the dress, Lucifer,’ says Chloe, smoothing down the front to rid it of any wrinkles. ‘It’s beautiful.’

Lucifer manages to bring himself out of his daze and smiles, happy that she likes his gift. He walks over to her and places his hands on her hips so he can play with the silky fabric. ‘Even more so for having you in it, darling,’ he says.

Chloe wraps her arms around his neck and gives him a quick kiss. ‘Flatterer.’

‘I only speak the truth.’

Chloe blushes at that and he can’t resist the pull to kiss her again.

It's Chloe that pulls away first, which is probably a good thing because now that Lucifer has seen her in the dress, his mind is jumping ahead to getting her right back out of it. ‘So, shall we head downstairs and show all your admirers that you are officially off the market?’ she asks in that tone of hers that means she is nervous but trying hard not show it.

Lucifer chuckles. ‘We shall. Just let me go get my jacket.’ He reluctantly lets go of her hips and jogs into his wardrobe to get the jacket for the suit he is wearing. As he pushes aside the suit on the hanger beside it, he hears a soft thunk as something drops onto the floor. Pinching his brow in confusion, he looks down and picks up the offending object.

It’s a small angel figurine.

----

Despite the uncertainty and confusion and, yes, okay, now it’s definitely paranoia, Lucifer enjoys his night out with Chloe. It’s always nice to see her let go of her inhibitions a bit and have some fun. Their night is filled with colourful cocktails (for Chloe, anyway – Lucifer’s more of a single malt guy), questionable dance moves (also Chloe) and, once they retire to the penthouse, incredible sex. But afterwards, Lucifer hardly sleeps at all. And not just because of Chloe snoring next to him. Those what ifs have returned, and they’ve brought some friends to the party.

The next day, Lucifer takes the first opportunity he gets to sneak onto Chloe’s computer at work. When he finally finds a picture of a book that shows what must be the missing angel figurine from the victim's apartment, he pales. It is identical to the one that is currently in his penthouse, stuffed in the back of his wardrobe out of sight (as if that would keep it out of mind).

But it can’t be the same figurine.

Could it?

Recognising that his paranoia levels have officially reached Dr. Linda territory, he closes the windows on Chloe’s computer and heads for the elevator, but before he can reach it, he finds himself staring at a very annoyed-looking Dan who has stepped into his path.

‘Where do you think you’re going?’ asks Dan, sounding a lot more like the douche that he used to be. ‘I still have a pile of paperwork left and a suspect to find and interrogate and it would really help if I had a partner that actually shared some of the workload.’

Okay, well maybe Dan does have reason for his douche-y behaviour. That does sound like a lot of work to do by oneself. Lucifer will have to make it up to him later – a nice bottle of whiskey perhaps – but right now, there are more important things on his mind.

‘Apologies, Daniel, but I really must be on my way. I have to go see Dr. Linda. Emergency appointment, you understand, I’m sure.’

Dan lets out a tired sigh and rubs his eyes with his fingers. ‘Fine, whatever,’ he says, stepping aside. Lucifer gives him a nod of thanks before rushing to the elevator.

Maybe he should buy him two bottles.

----

After a quick stop off at Lux to get the angel figurine, Lucifer finds himself pacing the waiting room outside Linda’s office. The light is on next to her door, meaning she is with a patient, and he has been yelled at enough times to know that storming in in the middle of a session is not appreciated. There is one other man in the room - who is eyeing him nervously - and Lucifer suddenly realises that he is probably Linda’s next appointment.

The appointment that Lucifer desperately needs.

Not in the mood for using his usual devilish charm, Lucifer pulls out his money clip and takes out five hundred-dollar notes. ‘This is yours if you reschedule your appointment and let me take this one,’ he tells the man, shoving the money right in his face. The man almost goes cross-eyed looking at it. After a few glances between the money and Lucifer’s impatient face, he nods, takes the cash and leaves. Lucifer lets out a small sigh of relief and sits down in the chair the man has just vacated.

Not a minute later, Linda’s door opens and her previous client leaves. Lucifer doesn’t even wait for the door to shut again before he’s pushing through it.

‘Lucifer?’ Linda looks up from her desk and raises her eyebrows. ‘Is everything okay? I have another patient waiting.’

Lucifer waves off her concern about her other patient. ‘Already sorted. No doubt he will be calling to reschedule soon enough. Now, back to me.’ He sits himself on Linda’s couch and holds the angel figurine in front of him. Linda looks at the figurine curiously but doesn’t say anything as she sits herself down in her usual chair.

It doesn’t take long for Lucifer to go through the whole story of the figurine and its significance, and by the end of it, he is desperately trying to tell himself that he is overreacting - that there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for the angel figurine being in his home.

‘Maybe it's a housewarming gift,’ he says, squinting at the figurine in his hands, ‘or a sex toy. Or a housewarming gift sex toy.’ Out of the corner of his eye he sees Linda wince and he re-evaluates his hypothesis. ‘Okay, yes, maybe a bit of a painful sex toy, but some people are into that. Who am I to judge?’

‘And it's identical to the one missing from that woman's house?’ asks Linda, skipping straight over the sex toy remark.

Lucifer nods. ‘Yes. But it's coincidence, surely.’

He and Linda both know which one of them he is trying to convince with that statement.

Linda makes a dispassionate hum and Lucifer fidgets in his seat. ‘Well spit it out, Doctor,’ he says, a tad harsher than intended. ‘I can tell you’ve got something to say.’

Linda, ever the professional, ignores his snappy tone. ‘It probably is a coincidence…’

‘I’m sensing there’s a but on the end of that sentence.’

But… there is also the possibility that it’s not. You mentioned, a while ago now, that you were having dreams about not being able to control your wings.’

‘Yes. And?’

‘There have been instances where people sleepwalk when they're having difficulty dealing with painful situations. Or, inversely, not dealing with them. Is it possible you're not dealing with something, and, thus, sleep-flying?’

Lucifer scoffs even though a part of him quakes in fear that Linda is right. ‘That's absurd. I mean, what in the world could I not be dealing with?’

‘I don’t know,’ says Linda in a way that tells Lucifer that she absolutely does know. ‘Maybe the fact that you and Chloe are no longer partners at work and Pierce has now moved into your role?’

Lucifer scoffs again. ‘He most certainly hasn’t “moved into my role”. And I haven't dreamt about my wings in ages. No, I am definitely not this angel.’

Linda obviously realises that there is no point arguing and lets the matter drop - though Lucifer doesn’t doubt that the topic will be revisited another day – and Lucifer decides to cut their session short (he’ll still pay for the whole hour, of course). Talking to Linda has helped relieve his paranoia of whether or not his siblings have come to Earth, but now he is presented with a much more terrifying option. He may have told Linda that he wasn’t the “angel” that saved Mrs Hernandez, but the truth is, he’s not entirely sure.

And the more he thinks about it, the more plausible the theory becomes. Maybe this is why his Father decided to give him a new pair of wings? To force him to become one of his good little soldiers. It definitely sounds like something the manipulative Bastard would do.

Well Lucifer’s not having any of it. He’s going to get to the bottom of this case – whether he is the Detective’s partner or not – and find out exactly who this “angel” is. The killer will know, and once Lucifer finds him, he’ll make the pathetic excuse of a man tell him the truth. In the meantime, he just has to take measures to ensure that there is no possibility of any “sleep-flying”.

Easy-peasy.

----

‘So you think your Father is forcing you to be this… guardian angel in your sleep?’ asks Chloe once Lucifer has explained the situation to her later on at the precinct.

‘Well I wouldn’t put it past Him, Detective. Sticking my wings back on and forcing me to be a good little angel again is right up His manipulative alley.’

‘But I was with you on the night of the murder.’

‘Yes, but half the night you were asleep,’ says Lucifer. ‘Plenty of time for me to fly halfway around the world and back, let alone to the other side of the city. So, to make sure I don’t go flying about tonight, I’m just going to borrow…’ He reaches an arm around Chloe and takes her handcuffs from her pocket. ‘These.’

Chloe raises an eyebrow. ‘I’m pretty sure you could get out of those even in your sleep.’

Lucifer frowns. She’s right. He’ll need someone to watch him to make sure he doesn’t slip the cuffs and wake him up if he does. ‘I guess I’ll have to ask Ma…’ He trails off as he remembers that no he can’t ask Maze to do this. He can’t ask her to do anything anymore. It’s quite a disconcerting feeling, having someone who has been by his side for literally millennia suddenly not be there anymore.

Chloe must realise the direction his thoughts have taken because her face softens into one of sympathy. ‘Why don’t I ask Dan if he’ll take Trixie for another night,’ she says. ‘That way I can stay over and watch you.’

Lucifer hadn’t thought it was possible to love her more, but he stands corrected.

‘Now who’s the being the guardian angel?’ he teases.

Chloe smiles at that and Lucifer lets himself relax for the first time since talking to Linda that morning.

----

‘Are you absolutely sure the handcuffs are still necessary?’ Chloe asks as she cuffs Lucifer’s wrists to the bed frame. She’s not entirely convinced that Lucifer has been “sleep-flying”, but Lucifer is, so she knows it’s better to go along with it for now.

‘Can’t be too careful,’ he says, giving the cuffs a tug to make sure they are secured properly and then letting his hands fall back onto the pillow above his head. ‘Though, I had hoped that the first time we used these would be a lot more fun and involve a lot less clothing.’

Chloe rolls her eyes. She has been waiting for a comment like that since he took her cuffs from her back at the station. The fact that she's only just getting one now, is a tad worrying, to be honest.

‘Although…’ he continues. ‘It's not too late for that.’ He gives Chloe a look that, despite the actual reason behind being bound, is downright sinful. ‘What do you say, Detective? Care to kill two birds with one stone?’

Chloe can’t deny that the idea is tempting. Lucifer has forgone a sleep-shirt (she doubts he even owns one) and his lean physique is proudly on display.

What would it be like to have the Devil at her mercy?

Chloe quickly shakes herself out of her thoughts before she can give in to them. That’s not what tonight is about.

‘Maybe some other time,’ she tells him.

Lucifer doesn’t seem too surprised by her answer, and his leer turns into an accepting smile. ‘I’ll hold you to do that,’ he says, and Chloe can’t resist bending down to give him a quick kiss.

‘I’m sure you will.’

Once she sits back up, she gives the cuffs around Lucifer’s wrists one more worried glance over. ‘Maybe we should have used fluffy ones?’ she ponders out loud.

‘These will be fine,’ insists Lucifer. ‘It’s not like they’re supporting my weight or anything. I can barely feel them.’

Chloe’s still not totally sure that the handcuffs are a good idea, but if Lucifer says they are fine, she knows better than to argue.

‘Thank you for doing this,’ he says, the softness in his voice distracting Chloe from her worry about the cuffs. ‘I know you think I’m crazy-’

‘I don’t think you’re crazy.’ Chloe may not agree with Lucifer’s paranoia, but she understands the reasons behind it. And hopefully after tonight, when she proves that he isn’t flying anywhere in his sleep, she can help relieve him of some of it.

Lucifer snaps his mouth shut and gives her that I-can’t-believe-you-exist look that never fails to make Chloe’s heart skip a beat.

‘Well, regardless,’ he continues, clearing his throat a little, as if to rid himself of the emotions that he still has a little trouble dealing with. ‘I appreciate you sacrificing your night for me. I do hope it’s not too boring for you.’

Chloe smiles warmly at him and ruffles his hair playfully (mainly because, with his hands cuffed, there’s nothing he can do to fix it and she secretly likes it when it’s a bit dishevelled). ‘I won’t get bored. I brought my own book and there’s always your library and the TV. Plenty of things to keep me occupied.’

Lucifer pouts a little at the state of his hair but seems reassured nonetheless. ‘Good. Feel free to help yourself to anything else in the flat. What’s mine is yours and all that.’

Chloe decides it best not to mention that that saying is associated more with married couples, and politely thanks him for the offer.

She also doesn’t let him know that she’s too scared to snoop around his apartment too much because she doesn't want to accidentally break something that’s worth more than her yearly salary... or stumble across his collection of sex toys that he has already given many hints about. She’s fairly certain that if she did, she wouldn’t be able to look him without blushing for at least a week and she doesn’t want to give him the satisfaction.

No, reading a book is much safer, if not quite as exciting.

----

The night doesn’t turn out to be nearly as monotonous as first thought. Lucifer doesn’t even fall asleep until 2am, so he and Chloe spend a lot of time just chatting - they even mange to finish filling Chloe in on all the celestial details of their cases that she missed during the first year or so of their partnership. And when Lucifer finally does sleep, it’s only for about three hours, so Chloe even gets to take a small nap before she has to get ready for work.

And, even better, Lucifer’s wings don’t make a single appearance the entire night.

It’s enough to convince Lucifer that he doesn’t need a babysitter every night, but unfortunately not enough to convince him that he is not Mrs Hernandez’s “angel”.

So Chloe spends the morning taking steps to help fix that.

First, she goes to Pierce, asking if Lucifer can help out with the case. Lucifer has mentioned wanting to find the truth from the killer (the only reliable witness, as Lucifer calls him) and she knows that it will be a lot easier for everyone involved if he just works the case with her. Unfortunately, Pierce doesn’t buy her admittedly bullshit reason of Lucifer having valuable insight on the case and denies her request.

No biggie, she tells herself. She will just have to solve the case without Lucifer and just keep him updated. Besides, there’s still her second line of attack.

‘Hi, Ella,’ she says, letting herself into the lab.

Ella looks up from her microscope and smiles brightly at her. ‘Hey girl, how’s it hanging? Is this a social visit or do you have more work for me?’

‘A bit of both,’ says Chloe, guilty. She uses a handkerchief to pull out the angel figurine from her bag and puts it on Ella’s desk. ‘Do you think you can dust this for prints for me? You’ll have to disregard Lucifer’s though.’ She feels a little silly for doing this, but if it puts Lucifer’s mind at ease, it will be worth it. If the figurine really is the same one taken from Mrs Hernandez’s apartment, then it will have her prints on it, and when Ella (hopefully) proves that it doesn’t, Chloe will (also hopefully) be able to convince Lucifer that the figurine came from somewhere else – probably from one of his many former guests.

Ella rolls her eyes. ‘I swear I’ve told that man to wear gloves like a million times by now, but does he listen?’

Chloe can’t help but laugh at that. ‘I think we’re just gonna have to call it as a lost cause and admit defeat.’

Ella sighs dramatically but the amused twinkle in her eyes betrays her. ‘So how are things with you two, anyway?’ she asks, a suggestive hint to her voice. ‘And don’t think I don’t notice those tired circles under your eyes. Kept you up all night last night huh?’

Chloe clears her throat awkwardly, not really wanting to tell Ella the real reason she stayed up all night. ‘You could say that.’

Ella squeals and crushes Chloe in one of her famous Lopez hugs. ‘I am so happy that you two crazy kids finally got your shit together. I mean, I’m a little bummed that I had to pay up to Dan, but hey the important thing is that you and Lucifer are happy.’

Chloe hugs Ella back, albeit not as tightly, grateful for the enthusiasm but still a little uncomfortable with the fact that her and Dan had had a bet going on how long it would take for Chloe and Lucifer to get together. Come to think of it, quite a lot of cash had exchanged hands in the precinct in the week after their relationship became public knowledge.

Ella finally pulls away but doesn’t completely let go, instead resting her hands on Chloe’s shoulders. ‘You know, we haven’t had a proper girl’s night since you two got together,’ she says. ‘We totally should. You have to tell me everything – and I mean everything.’

Chloe can’t help but laugh at Ella’s exaggerated eyebrow waggle. ‘I make no promises on the details front, but we should have a girl’s night,’ she says. ‘I’ll get back to you when I know I’ll be free.’

This seems to be enough for Ella. ‘Good. And I will get back to you on your cute and highly inaccurate angel statue.’

Chloe chuckles again. It’s amazing how just few minutes with Ella is enough to lighten her mood. ‘Thanks, Ella. I owe you.’

‘You can repay me with the deets on you on Lucifer,’ says Ella with a sly smile. Chloe still makes no promises, and just smiles as she turns to leave the lab. ‘Come on!’ she hears Ella yell as the door closes behind her. ‘Let me live vicariously!’

----

The angel figurine turns out to have no prints on it except for Lucifer’s, but it’s still not enough to convince him that it’s not the same one that was taken from Mrs Hernadez’s apartment. Chloe is trying to be understanding, she really is, but after a week, her patience starts to wear a bit thin. Not only is the lack of leads on the case frustrating her, but Lucifer has become increasingly obsessed and paranoid with every passing day without answers. It’s gotten to the point where the case seems to be all he wants to talk about.

She also knows that he’s hardly been sleeping – ‘Just in case,’ he had said when she had questioned it – and his fatigue is not helping matters.

The relief Chloe feels when she finally does get a proper lead on the case is almost tangible. She manages to find evidence that suggests that Kevin’s ex’s new husband, Jeremy Bell, is the killer. The evidence also suggests that “husband” may not be the most accurate description, as Jeremy is – or at least was - part of a company that hires out actors to pretend to be whoever the client wishes; a best man for a wedding, a date for a high school reunion, a husband to avoid being snubbed by high class society where being a single mother is considered the highest of depravity.

Kevin had been trying to become part of his ex and child’s life again, and Chloe is willing to indulge the idea that Jeremy was willing to murder to stop that from happening. A trophy husband is quite a cushy gig after all.

Well, there’s only one way to prove her theory.

She grabs her keys and gets up to go pay Jeremy a visit… and runs straight into Lucifer. Quite literally.

‘Steady on, Detective,’ he chuckles, grabbing her by the shoulders to stop her from falling. For a moment, it’s like the past week never happened, and he’s the same care-free Lucifer that was making her omelettes while dressed in nothing but a silk robe.

But then he realises that her rush obviously has something to do with the case, and reality comes crashing back.

‘You know who the killer is, don’t you?’ he says, a desperate edge to his voice.

Chloe knows better than to lie to him, and she also knows better than to ask him to stay at the precinct. If she did, he would find out everything anyway and then go pay Jeremy a visit himself – probably beating her there as he doesn’t have the same respect for speed limits that she has.

‘Maybe,’ she says, emphasising the word. She doesn’t want to get his hopes up, and she definitely doesn’t want him doing anything rash when they get there. ‘And you can come with me to check on one condition. You let me call the shots.’

Lucifer agrees immediately and then abruptly turns and heads to the elevator. ‘Hurry up, Detective,’ he calls back after her. ‘No time to waste.’

Chloe lets out a tired sigh and follows him, hoping that she hasn’t just made a big mistake.

----

When they get to Jeremy’s house, Chloe walks up the front steps to ring the doorbell, but Lucifer beats her there and promptly uses his lock trick to open the door. Chloe lets out a frustrated sigh and follows him inside, already regretting giving him the whole story on the ride over. She should have just waited until they were questioning Jeremy, that way Lucifer couldn’t get ahead of himself.

Oh well, hindsight and all that.

Jeremy is still awake (though only just, judging by his tired eyes and sluggish movements) and startles a little when Lucifer strides into the living room. ‘What are you doing in my house?’ he shouts, taking a step backwards.

‘You might want to keep your voice down,’ says Lucifer, stopping a few feet away from him. ‘It's probably best not to wake your family. Even though they're not your family.’

Chloe can see it in Jeremy’s eyes that he knows what this visit is. His posture changes slightly as he takes a defensive position, but he still doesn’t give up his role.

‘I don’t know what you are talking about?’ he says, though he does lower his voice to a harsh whisper.

‘We know that you used to be an actor,’ says Chloe, and Jeremy’s eyes flicker between her and Lucifer, obviously trying to work out their angle.

‘We’re in LA,’ he shrugs. ‘Everybody used to be an actor. Including you, Detective Decker.’

‘But not everyone gets such a cushy gig, do they?’ says Lucifer before Chloe can react to the Hot Tub High School comment. ‘Your so-called wife, worried she'd no longer fit in with the classes after she broke it off with her deadbeat baby daddy, hired you to play husband and father. Murdering to keep the gig? That seems a tad method, don't you think?’

‘Murder?’ says Jeremy. ‘Tha-That's crazy. Now do you two have a warrant or am I gonna have to call your superiors?’

Lucifer rolls his eyes. ‘Oh, spare me. I am in no mood to hear the half-baked recitation of innocence by a, well, mediocre actor.’

That seemed to be the wrong thing to say. Or the right thing, depending on how you look at it. Jeremy, is clearly offended by the insult.

‘Was it mediocre acting that got Mary to actually fall in love with me?’ he asks, his gaze darkening.

‘But Kevin showing up again put all that in jeopardy, didn’t it?’ says Chloe. They are seconds away from a confession, she can feel it.

‘I wasn't about to let that loser weasel his way back in here,’ says Jeremy, giving up the act. ‘Just like I'm not gonna let you two mess it up, either.’ With surprising speed, he reaches behind him and grabs what looks like a very big knife and lunges at Lucifer. Chloe only just manages to pull him away in time.

Jeremy had obviously not expected to miss, and his moment of confusion is all Chloe needs to tackle him to the ground, sending the knife skittering across the floor. ‘Jeremy Bell, you’re under arrest for the murder of Kevin Winstead,’ she says as she cuffs his hands behind his back. Jeremy’s “family” must not even be home, she realises. There’s no way they could be sleeping through all this.

‘Good show, Detective,’ says Lucifer approvingly before dropping down to a crouch in front of Jeremy and trapping the man in his gaze. ‘Now, tell me something, murderer...’

His voice has turned low and silky, and Chloe expects him to ask Jeremy what it is he “desires”, but that’s not the question that comes out of Lucifer’s mouth.

‘Was it me?’

Jeremy struggles a bit, trying to throw Chloe off him, but it’s no use with his hands securely fastened behind his back. ‘Was what you? What are you talking about?’

Lucifer is undeterred by the man's confusion. ‘Did I stop you from killing that old woman? What happened the night you killed Kevin?’

‘Answering his question could help your case,’ Chloe tells Jeremy. It may not exactly be protocol, but she knows how much Lucifer needs this.

‘Okay, fine, I'll tell you,’ he grumbles, finally ceasing his struggles and accepting his fate. ‘After I shot him, I ran out. I bumped into that old lady, but there was nobody else there, okay. She fell into some kind of religious trance, so I bolted.’

‘She saw an angel,’ says Lucifer, impatience creeping into his voice. ‘Was. It. Me?’

‘No, of course not,’ scoffs Jeremy. Even handcuffed and pinned to the ground, he’s still so cocky. ‘It was a shadow from one of those stupid angel figurines.’

‘Did you plant the figurine in my bedroom?’

‘No. Why would I do that? I touched one of them, so I took it. It had my prints on it. I destroyed it right after. You happy now?’

That last bit is obviously directed at Chloe. She looks to Lucifer, who gives her a small nod that tells her he’s finished, and then hauls Jeremy up to a standing position. ‘Yeah, I am happy,’ she tells him. ‘Happy that you’re going to spend the next 20 years in a cell. Let’s go.’ She shoves Jeremy towards the door and marches him towards her car, Lucifer trailing slowly behind her. He’s gone rather quiet, and Chloe is trying really hard not to worry about why.

----

‘So, you decided to go confront a suspect without back up?’ asks Pierce. Jeremy Bell has now been processed and is sitting in a cell and Chloe had run out of excuses to avoid informing the man who had been her actual partner on this case.

‘I had, Lucifer,’ she says, trying not to sound too defensive and mostly succeeding at it. ‘You were busy, and he was there when I needed him.’

Chloe honestly doesn’t expect that line to work (especially seeing as it is stretching the truth a bit – Chloe hadn’t even tried to notify Pierce before going after Jeremy), but it does. Pierce lets out a sigh and leans back in his chair, looking defeated. ‘You’re right,’ he says. ‘I was supposed to be your partner and I should’ve have been right there with you when you got that lead. I’m sorry.’

It takes a minute for Chloe to recover from her shock at the admission, but she manages to regain her composure and accepts the apology with grace. Maybe this will be enough for him to change his mind about the whole partnership arrangement...

‘I won’t let it happen next time.’

Then again, maybe not.

After a moment of awkward silence, Pierce dismisses her, and Chloe leaves his office and makes her way to her desk where Lucifer is waiting for her. He looks lost in thought and doesn’t even realise she has returned until she is standing right in front of him.

‘So how did it go?’ he asks, putting on a smile that doesn’t reach his tired eyes. ‘Is Pierce putting us in the naughty corner?’

‘Actually, he ended up apologising to me.’ By the way Lucifer’s eyebrows shoot up, Chloe can tell that it is as much of a surprise to him as it was to her. ‘So, I guess we’re all good to go home now.’

Lucifer’s eyebrows return to their usual position, though they furrow a little as his mind obviously wanders back to whatever he was thinking about before Chloe got back to her desk. Chloe bites her lip as she contemplates asking him what is on his mind, but ultimately decides to leave it. It’s probably best to wait until he isn’t so tired and worn out before they start any deep and meaningful conversations.

‘Did you want to stay over at my place tonight?’ she asks instead, trying to keep her voice light. ‘We can watch those fantasy shows on Netflix that you like to make fun of and you can complain about my terrible alcohol collection?’

Lucifer’s lips twitch up a little at that, but Chloe can already tell that he’s going to decline her offer.

‘Another time perhaps,’ he says. ‘There are some duties at Lux that I have been neglecting lately and I really should attend to them.’

‘Okay,’ Chloe accepts, reaching over to run a hand down his arm comfortingly. ‘Just make sure you get some sleep too, yeah.’

This time Lucifer manages a full smile, even if it is a weary one. ‘Of course, Detective.’

Satisfied, Chloe lets his arm go and watches as he walks away from her desk and towards the elevator. To anyone else, he probably looks like his usual over-confident self, but she can see the exhaustion in his movements. The case has really put a strain on him, it seems. He may have gotten his answers tonight, but Chloe worries that the damage has already been done.

Chapter Text

Four days later, Chloe is sitting at her kitchen island, looking over her budget. Now that she is the sole rent payer of the apartment, she’s realised that she is going to have to keep a much closer eye on her finances. According to her calculations, she can probably afford the apartment for another four or five months without Maze’s rent before things start to get too bad. But she’s really going to have to start cutting back or else she’s going to have to eventually move back into her mother’s house… and she really doesn’t want to do that.

She knows she could ask Lucifer for help and he would quite happily give it to her – hell, he would probably buy her a house if she asked him to, but ever since the Winstead case, he has become distant. At first Chloe had understood - it’s only natural to be a little bit paranoid when one’s family has such a history of manipulation - but now that they know that there was no celestial intervention behind the “angel” at all, the hurt and doubt is starting to set in. She’s only seen him once in the last few days and he's hardly been answering any of her calls, and for the life of her, Chloe can’t think why.

Did she do something wrong? Was she not supportive enough during the whole “angel” incident?

No, Chloe’s pretty sure that’s not it. She did all she could to help him with that, and she had seen in his eyes how grateful he had been.

So then why the distance?

Chloe is trying not to focus on it too much. It’s only been a few days after all, and she’s sure that Lucifer will bounce back like he always does, but during her lowest moments, her insecurities start to get the best of her. What if this is it? the darkest part of her mind asks. What if this is where he gets bored of her and moves on? She's always known that the day would come where Lucifer would have no choice but to leave her, but she had never expected it to be so soon. She had thought that she would get at least a decade or two with him.

The sound of Trixie opening her bedroom door brings Chloe out of her wallowing and she rushes to hide the bank statements and budget lists that she has compiled. There’s no use worrying her daughter about grown up things like finances and overpriced rent just yet. They still have a little time before things have to change too much.

‘You all ready for school, Monkey?’ she asks, handing Trixie her lunch.

Trixie puts it into her schoolbag and then shrugs the bag onto her shoulders. ‘Yep.’\

‘Alright, let’s go.’

Grabbing her house keys, Chloe follows Trixie out the door and locks it behind them. It’s only a short walk up the road to the bus stop, which is even shorter for Chloe these days as Trixie has reached the age where it’s no longer “cool” for her Mum to take her all the way there. So, Chloe stops at the corner of their apartment block and watches as Trixie rushes to the bus stop. It’s not until the bus has pulled away that Chloe makes her way back to her apartment.

The first thing she does when she gets back inside is check her phone. There’s a missed call and, before she can stop herself, Chloe gets her hopes up that it is from Lucifer.

Alas, it is just Pierce with an update on their current case and an address to meet him at. It seems that Ella has found out where the blackmailing email that may be the answer to her latest case was sent from.

Her latest victim – Reina Markova - was a ballerina who was found strangled with someone else’s ballet slippers. The owner of said slippers was eliminated from the list of suspects quite early, but she had told them of a TV show that Reina was going to host but had then turned down. On questioning the producer of said TV show, Chloe and Pierce had discovered that the only reason he had offered Reina the job in the first place was because he had been blackmailed to do it.

Because God forbid Chloe have a straightforward case for a change.

Hopefully, whoever sent that email will have answers for her and this whacked out case will start to make some sense.

Letting out a sigh, Chloe grabs her stuff, googles the address, and heads out to her car. Before getting in, she decides to send Lucifer a quick text, asking how he is going with his latest case with Dan. She gets a text back before she’s even started the car, but it’s short and precise and does not leave much room for follow up questions.

He doesn’t even sign it off with a Devil emoji.

Chloe fights off the wave of insecurity that washes over her. There’s no need to worry, she tells herself. He’s just in one of his moods that he gets into sometimes, the ones where he forgets that human emotions exist. Admittedly, it’s been a long time since that last happened, but it’s not implausible to have a relapse.

But, deep down, Chloe knows that she is lying to herself.

----

When Chloe gets to the address, Pierce is already there waiting for her. ‘Everything okay?’ he asks as she approaches.

Damn, she really has to work on her poker face.

‘It’s nothing,’ she says, dismissively, not really wanting to talk about it with Pierce of all people.

Thankfully, Pierce just raises a disbelieving eyebrow and then lets the matter drop. He knocks on the door of the apartment and, a few seconds later, an older man with greying hair answers the door.

‘Can I help you?’

‘William Sterling?’ asks Pierce as Chloe shows the man her badge.

Sterling sighs and steps aside to let them in. ‘This is about Reina, isn’t it?’ As Chloe passes, she notices that his eyes are a little glassy with unshed tears.

When she gets into the apartment’s living area, the first things she notices is an array of items that obviously belong to a woman and a picture of Sterling and Reina on the nightstand. It has just become very obvious what kind of relationship the two had had.

Pierce obviously notices it too. ‘You and Reina were having an affair,’ he says to Sterling. It isn’t a question.

Sterling sighs again and motions to the table and chairs. Once they are all seated, he looks wistfully towards the picture on the nightstand before turning back to face Chloe and Pierce. ‘I never met anyone quite like her,’ he tells them. ‘She was the love of my life.’

‘And your wife and kids?’ asks Pierce. ‘What are they?’

Sterling fidgets with his fingers guiltily. ‘I love my wife too, and my kids are my world, of course… but Reina was… Well, let’s just say that you don’t always get to pick who you fall in love with.’

Chloe can’t help but think of Lucifer and how three years ago she never would have pictured herself falling for such an egotistical playboy. And yet here she is, deeply in love with him. She almost smiles, but then she remembers how flighty he has been the past few days, and it dissolves before it even has the chance to form properly.

‘Is that why you blackmailed Myles Druker?’ Chloe asks Sterling, shoving away her thoughts of Lucifer. ‘To show Reina how much you cared?’

‘I don't know what you're talking about.’

‘There's a blackmail video that was sent from Reina's email. It was pinged from this physical address, and that's why Myles hired her. And when she found out, she quit.’

‘And you think I sent that email?’ asks Sterling, but then his eyes widen as he realises the bigger picture. ‘You think I killed her? That’s- I wouldn’t… I didn't care who Reina worked with. I certainly wouldn't hurt her over it.’

‘But if you didn't send the email, then who did?’ asks Pierce. ‘Is there anyone else with access to the apartment?’

Sterling shakes his head. ‘Not that I know of. I didn’t think anyone knew about this place. Guess I was wrong.’

If he’s a liar, he’s a good one, Chloe thinks, but somehow, she doesn’t think Sterling’s grief is an act. Which means this is just another lead that has sent them on another wild goose chase. At least this time, they have some actual evidence to take back to the station with them.

‘Okay, well, we're gonna need to take the computer into evidence,’ she tells Sterling, who just nods understandingly.

----

Back at the precinct, while waiting for Ella and the Cyber team to do their thing with Reina's laptop, Chloe tries her best to catch up on paperwork. But she just ends up spending most of her time staring at Dan’s empty desk. He and Lucifer are out in the field, so Chloe has not had the chance to see Lucifer at all today.

Deciding that enough is enough, she gets out her phone and scrolls to Lucifer’s number. She’s done pining and giving him space. Whatever issues he is dealing with, he can either talk to her about them, or suck it up for one evening and have a nice meal with her.

The phone rings three times before he answers. ‘Hello, Detective,’ he says in that over-jovial tone he uses when he’s neck deep in denial or avoidance.

But it still makes Chloe smile. His voice always has the power to do that these days, even when he’s using it to annoy her.

‘Hi,’ she says, a little nervous but not exactly sure why. Her asking him over for dinner isn’t exactly anything new. ‘How’s the case going?’

‘Oh, you know, boring as usual. Not surprising given my company.’ Chloe hears Dan give an indignant shout of ‘Hey!’ in the background. ‘But I’m sure we’ll crack it soon.’

‘Does that mean you’ll be free this evening? asks Chloe, hopefully.

There’s a beat of silence before Lucifer answers. ‘Possibly,’ he says with slight trepidation in his voice. ‘Did you have something in mind?’

Chloe fiddles with a pen on her desk in an attempt to channel her nervous energy. ‘Yeah, I was thinking that maybe, if you wanted to come over for dinner tonight, it would be nice. Trixie’s at a sleepover so it would just be the two of us and I thought I could make that pasta dish you like.’

The pasta dish in question is rather basic, but Lucifer had loved it when she had made it one night for him. Unfortunately, Trixie hates it (mainly because it has mushrooms in it), so Chloe rarely gets the chance to make it.

‘I’m not sure,’ Lucifer begins but Chloe doesn’t give him a chance to finish.

‘It’s just that, I feel like I’ve hardly seen you this past week,’ she says in a rush, ‘and I thought it would be a nice chance to spend some time together… I miss you.’

There’s another pause, but this one does not feel as awkward as the last. ‘And I you, Detective,’ he replies, fondness in his voice. The weight on Chloe's chest lifts a bit. ‘Perhaps I could rearrange my schedule. What time would you like me to arrive?”

Chloe inwardly panics for a moment. The dinner invitation had been a spur of the moment decision and she hasn’t actually planned anything. ‘Uh, about seven?’

‘Seven it is. Would you like me to bring anything?’

‘No, it’s okay. I have everything I need.’

A total lie. She’s pretty sure she’s missing at least half the ingredients required for the dish.

‘Wonderful,’ says Lucifer, back to that over-cheerful tone. ‘Now, I’m afraid I really must go. Daniel has just discovered that I have eaten his snack bar that he hid in the glove compartment. See you tonight.’

He hangs up before Chloe has a chance to reply and she frowns at the phone for a couple of seconds before putting it back in her pocket. But despite the quick hang up, she still considers the call a win. In fact, it’s probably the longest conversation she’s had with Lucifer in days, and not only did he agree to the dinner, he also admitted that he misses her. It’s nice to know that she isn’t alone in that.

‘So, I guess I have some shopping to do,’ she mutters to herself, mentally cataloguing what ingredients she is sure she has at home and which ones she needs to buy. Maybe she should have suggested going out somewhere instead, but if she wants Lucifer to open up to her, a private setting is probably a much better way to go. She’ll just have to suck it up and brave the shops after work. It will be worth it in the end.

She hopes.

----

At seven o’clock exactly, Chloe hears a knock on the door. ‘Come in,’ she yells from the kitchen, knowing that it is Lucifer. It’s a bit unusual for him to knock instead of just barging in like he owns the place, but only he could have such exact timing.

And sure enough, a few seconds later, Lucifer strides into her kitchen, carrying a bottle of wine. ‘I know you said not to bring anything,’ he says, putting the wine on the counter, ‘but I think we both know it was the right decision considering your atrocious taste in alcohol.’

Chloe laughs. ‘There’s nothing wrong with my tastes, you’re just a wine snob.’

Lucifer’s eyes twinkle in amusement but then, as if he has just remembered that he is supposed to be in a Mood™, the levity fades and he quickly turns towards her glassware cupboard. ‘I’ll pour us a couple of glasses, yes?’

Chloe’s smile fades. ‘Yeah, sure,’ she says, trying not to let the disappointment creep into her voice. ‘I’m just about to dish, so if you want to set the table, that would be great.’

Lucifer does so with no complaint (and isn’t that a telltale sign that something is wrong) and the pair spend the next ten minutes eating in awkward silence.

Eventually it reaches the point where Chloe can’t take it anymore. ‘You know you can talk to me, right?’ she says, gently.

Lucifer looks up from the pasta he had only been picking at. Their eyes meet for a moment, but he quickly looks away and coughs awkwardly. ‘Of course, Detective,’ he says, but doesn’t show any signs of continuing.

Chloe sighs and puts down her cutlery. ‘Lucifer, I’m not an idiot. I know something is bothering you. Let me help.’

Lucifer’s lips twitch in an almost smile and a fond look appears in his eyes, but a second later, the look is gone and he’s back to avoidance. ‘I appreciate the concern, Detective, but it’s nothing you need concern yourself over. I’ve just had a lot on my mind lately.’

‘And I’m guessing that it has something to do with us,’ she presses, not letting him push the subject away. ‘Is it why you’ve been so distant with me lately?’

Lucifer at least has the decency to look guilty about that, but he doesn’t answer her.

So that’s a yes, then.

‘Lucifer, please talk to me. If you’re having issues or-or second thoughts about us, I need to know.’

Chloe manages to get the words out without breaking her composure, but it’s a close thing.

Lucifer finally meets her eyes, and after a moment, gives in to the fact that they need to have this conversation. ‘I’m not having second thoughts as such,’ he tells her. ‘I love you and I still most definitely want this… It’s just, recent events have reminded me that wanting this may not exactly be our own choice.’

‘You’re talking about your Dad putting me in your path, aren’t you?’ Chloe asks, knowing the answer already.

‘You shouldn’t have to play his game, Detective.’

She knows she shouldn’t, but Chloe can’t help but feel a little hurt at his lack of faith in her.

‘This is because of that whole angel business in my last case, isn’t it?’

Lucifer again doesn’t reply, which again means that Chloe is right.

‘Lucifer, I understand why it freaked you out, I really do, but you have to try and get past it. Your Dad doesn’t control everything.’ Lucifer raises an eyebrow at her. ‘Okay, I know how that sounds seeing as how He’s, you know, God, but I mean it. He doesn’t control what we do or how we feel.’

Lucifer doesn’t look convinced. ‘We can never know that for sure,’ he says.

‘I thought we decided that we don’t care what your Father wants,’ says Chloe, exasperation creeping into her voice.

‘No, you decided you don’t care. I very much still care. I just didn’t want to think about it – I wanted to try and make myself believe that it’s all real.’

‘It is real. Lucifer, none of us really get to choose who we fall in love with, Heavenly intervention or not. So, whatever your Dad wants from us, it doesn’t matter. My feelings for you are real to me. Can you at least believe that? I’m here because I want to be with you, even if…’

She cuts herself off just in time, but of course Lucifer latches onto it.

‘Even if what?’

Chloe looks away awkwardly and sniffs, trying not to let her emotions get the better of her. ‘We both know I’m the one who is going to lose in this relationship in the end,’ she finally admits.

Lucifer looks genuinely confused. ‘Whatever are you talking about?’

‘You love me now but what about later? In twenty or thirty years when I’m older and greyer and you’re still…’ She waves her hand up and down in front of her, indicating his youthful appearance that has stayed the same for millennia. ‘I can’t expect you to stay with me then. Not when I’ll look more like your grandmother than your partner.’

Hurt and anger flicker over Lucifer’s face, like he’s not sure which emotion to land on. ‘First of all,’ he says, his voice cold and hard. ‘I would never do that to you. I don’t give a damn about what you look like or how old you get. Do you really think so little of me?’

‘I-’ Chloe tries to respond but Lucifer cuts her off.

Second, I think you’ll find that I am the one who is going to lose here. Maybe in ten years, maybe in fifty, but eventually you’ll die, and there is no doubt in my mind that your soul is bound for the Silver City. And that’s somewhere I can never follow. Or perhaps, I’ll be the one to pop off first, with you making me mortal and all. And then I’d be stuck in Hell to spend eternity without you.’ His eyes focus on her and Chloe almost flinches at the pain she sees in them. ‘So don’t you dare say that you have more to lose than I do. Because when you're gone, I lose everything.’

Chloe opens her mouth again to speak but suddenly finds that she doesn’t know what to say. Well, no, that’s not true. She knows exactly what she wants to say, but which grovelling sentence does she say first? That she’s sorry? That she wishes things were different? That Heaven would be Hell without him?

Unfortunately, Lucifer takes her silence the wrong way, and a few seconds later, he’s out of his chair and out the door, slamming it shut behind him.

It takes all of five seconds for Chloe to come back to her senses and go after him, but by the time she reaches the road outside, Lucifer’s corvette is already speeding away, tyres squealing as he drifts around the corner and out of sight.

In that moment, Chloe wants nothing more than to collapse on the ground and cry, or perhaps go after him and apologise for letting her insecurities get the better of her – the very thing she had just told him not to do – but she gets to do neither, for the phone in her pocket chooses that exact moment to ring.

‘Decker,’ she answers, not even looking at the caller ID. She’s too busy using every bit of her acting talent to keep the tears out of her voice.

She almost screams in frustration when she hears Pierce’s voice.

‘Hey, Chloe. I’m just sending you a screenshot from the video used to blackmail Myles. Cyber managed to enhance it. Recognise the reflection?’

Her phone dings, letting her know that the picture has come through and Chloe brings the phone away from her ear so that she can look at it. Sure enough, there is no mistaking the man in the reflection of Myles’s window – the man who is filming the video, and the man who almost definitely killed Reina. It’s Miguel, a fellow ballerina and Reina’s co-star in the big production that is happening tonight. Or, at least, they would have been co-stars if he hadn’t killed Reina.

But why did he kill her?

Chloe can’t deny the evidence in front of her, but she is still struggling to come up with a motive.

To be fair, her head isn’t really in the game at the moment.

‘But why would Miguel kill Reina?’ she asks Pierce, holding her phone to her ear again.

‘I’m not sure, but that’s what we’re paid to find out.’ He pauses. ‘Is everything all right?’ he asks, his “badass cop” persona morphing into almost that of a concerned friend.

It seems her acting skills are not what they used to be.

She’s about to tell him that she’s fine but changes her mind at the last second, realising that Pierce would probably recognise her blatant lie for what it was. ‘I just had a fight with Lucifer,’ she says, ‘But I’ll be okay. So are we going to go bring in Miguel?’

‘Yes, but I can handle this one alone, if you want.’

It's a tempting offer, but Chloe would never forgive herself if she let Pierce go alone and something happened that she could have prevented. ‘No, no, that’s okay. I’m fine. I’ll talk to Lucifer later when we’ve both had time to think.’

‘Well, at least let me pick you up.’

Chloe knows letting him give her a lift would probably send the wrong message, but the possibility of not having to drive with tears in her eyes is just too tempting to turn down. ‘Yeah, that would be great,’ she says. ‘Thanks Pierce.’

‘No problem. Be there in a few.’

The line goes dead and Chloe wipes her eyes and lets out a sniff, trying to get her emotions under control. She’s got a job to do and a killer to put behind bars; this is no time for a breakdown. She can talk to Lucifer later tonight and apologise.

It’s just a fight. They can get past this.

----

Ten minutes later, though it feels like only seconds, Pierce is at Chloe’s door and the pair head out to the theatre in which Miguel is performing.

Reina should be performing there too, Chloe thinks to herself, focusing all her hurt into anger at the man who took away the future of an up and coming star - a woman who had her whole life ahead of her.

Pierce is mercifully silent for most of the car ride, but eventually his curiosity obviously gets the better of him.

‘So, what did Morningstar do?’ he asks.

Chloe bristles a little at the implication that it must have been Lucifer’s fault, but then the hurt and worry comes back and the irritation fades. ‘Actually, I think we were both to blame on this one,’ she says, looking down at her hands. ‘He’s been distant lately and I got worried and said some things I shouldn’t have…’ She lets out a sigh, realising that she is talking to the wrong person about this. ‘It doesn’t matter. I’ll go talk to him later, once we’ve both had time to process, and we’ll be fine.’

‘Well don’t worry about it too much. Lucifer would have to be an idiot to let you go, not that he isn’t already an idiot, but you know what I mean.’

Chloe lets out a huff of laughter and is surprised to find that it is genuine, if a bit sad. ‘I’m just glad Trixie is at a sleepover and didn’t hear anything,’ she says.

Pierce nods in understanding and agreement but doesn’t say anything more on the subject, for which Chloe is eternally grateful. She needs to start focusing on Miguel’s mistakes instead of her own.

----

When they get to the theatre, the performance is already in full swing, with Miguel and Reina’s replacement, Amber, in the middle of what looks like their big scene. Chloe and Pierce wait backstage, not wanting to cause a scene but also not wanting to give Miguel a chance to run.

Suddenly, screaming erupts from the audience and Chloe pulls back the curtain to see everybody fleeing as William Sterling marches up the centre aisle, pointing a gun towards the stage.

Chloe and Pierce step out from behind the stage curtain and raise their own guns. Out of the corner of her eye, Chloe sees Miguel put himself between Sterling and Amber.

‘Sterling, put down the weapon,’ shouts Chloe, keeping her gun as steady as she can. This is really the last thing she needs right now.

‘Why did you do it?’ Sterling shouts at Miguel, ignoring Chloe. ‘Why did you have to take Reina away from me?’ At Miguel’s silence, he only becomes angrier and more desperate. ‘Answer me! Why did you kill Reina?’

‘Mr Sterling, put the gun down,’ says Pierce, repeating Chloe’s instruction, but he too is ignored.

‘I’m sorry,’ says Miguel, his hands up and stretched in a way that shields Amber even more from view.

But all this does is upset Sterling more, and Chloe can tell that he is about to use the gun in his hand.

Chloe aims for Sterling’s shoulder and fires her own gun. But she’s not quick enough. Seconds before the bullet hits him, Sterling fires and Miguel cries out in pain and falls backward into Amber’s arms. Chloe quickly holsters her weapon and runs over to them while Pierce deals with Sterling.

‘Why did you do it?’ Amber asks Miguel, clutching him tightly.

‘I just wanted to dance with you,’ Miguel chokes out. Chloe doesn’t need to be a paramedic to know that he’s not going to make it.

She puts her hand over the wound, applying pressure to it, and looks over to Pierce and sees that he is already on the phone, calling an ambulance for both Miguel and Sterling.

‘I love you,’ whispers Miguel, and Chloe turns back to see him staring up at Amber with such sadness and adoration that suddenly the whole case makes sense. Miguel had wanted to get Reina out the way so he could dance with Amber tonight, and when the new job offer didn’t work, he resorted to murder.

‘I love you, too,’ sobs Amber. ‘Why didn’t you just tell me? You didn’t have to do all this.’

‘I w-was af-afraid.’

Miguel doesn't get to say any more before taking one last shaky breath and falling limp in Amber’s arms. Chloe checks his pulse and gives Amber a sympathetic look when she finds none.

So that’s one dead, one injured, and two hearts broken.

Chloe’s pretty sure this is one of the shittiest nights of her life.

----

Chloe decides to leave the paperwork until morning, and once unis have arrived on the scene and she has given her official statement, she asks Pierce to take her home. The drive is a quiet one, with Chloe spending most of it staring out the passenger side window. She still can’t believe that Miguel would go so far just to get Reina out of the way. Sure, he loved Amber, but Reina would have been no threat to their relationship if he had just admitted how he felt.

Inevitably, Chloe’s thoughts circle back to her own relationship. She hates to think what kind of state Lucifer is in by now. He’s probably gone through about half of his top shelf by now.

How on Earth did they go from happy couple to this in just one week?

It’s all that stupid angel figurine’s fault, Chloe thinks bitterly. That’s what caused Lucifer’s paranoia to resurface. Everything was going, well, maybe not perfectly before then, but things were certainly good. She was happy - happier than she’d ever been in fact.

But not anymore.

Chloe has a sudden urge to punch whoever left that figurine in Lucifer’s penthouse. She knows she’s misplacing the blame, but she doesn’t care.

Or is she misplacing the blame?

Now that she thinks about it, who did leave the figurine in Lucifer’s closet? She had just assumed it to have been one of his previous guests playing a practical joke… but then why weren’t their fingerprints on it? Even if whoever had left it there had worn gloves, surely there should have been something on it. A salesperson’s fingerprint, or even a partial from an Amazon employee as they packaged it. Instead, there was nothing but Lucifer’s prints from when he picked it up. It was as if it was deliberately cleaned.

And if it was deliberately cleaned, then that means it was deliberately placed. And there is no way that the timing coinciding with the Winstead case is a coincidence. Someone planted the figurine in Lucifer’s bedroom, probably hoping that he would have the exact reaction that he did.

Chloe mentally cringes. How could she have been so stupid not to realise that the same evidence that proved that Lucifer's Father wasn’t manipulating him was also the evidence that someone else was?

It would have had to have been someone directly involved in the case, she decides. No one else knew about the figurine or Mrs Hernandez’s claims of a “guardian angel”.

And that list is an incredibly short one. In fact, it only consists of Chloe, Lucifer, a hand full of uniform officers... and Pierce.

Chloe glances at Pierce from the corner of her eye. He looks as stoic and expressionless as always, giving her no clue as to what he is thinking. Could he really have tried to drive Lucifer to insanity just to sabotage Chloe’s relationship with him?

She thinks back to Miguel and how he had killed for his chance to be with Amber.

But surely Pierce couldn’t fancy her that much.

Could he?

Chloe tries to think of anyone else it could possibly be, but she’s coming up with nothing. It has to be Pierce, he’s the only one with both means and motive. And he was the one to bring the whole angel thing to Lucifer's attention.

But that must mean…

Chloe’s eyes widen a fraction before she manages to school her features. Because if Pierce planted that angel figurine to derail Lucifer and bring up his issues with his Father, that must mean that he knows just what those issues are. Which means he knows who Lucifer’s Father is.

Somehow, Pierce knows that Lucifer really is the Devil.

Chloe spends a couple of minutes deciding how to handle this. She knows she should wait and tell Lucifer before confronting Pierce, but who knows how long it’s going to take for him to get past their fight. And Chloe’s detective brain is itching to discover the truth and she’s not sure it can wait.

Pierce pulls into a parking space just opposite her apartment block. ‘Everything okay, Decker?’ he asks, obviously noticing that something is on her mind. Lie, the rational part of her brain tells her. Lie and then go gather more information.

But Chloe isn’t listening to her rational side tonight.

‘So, how long have you known?’ she asks Pierce, trying to make it sound conversational.

Pierce frowns. ‘Known what?’

‘The truth about Lucifer.’ Pierce continues to frown, making him look confused, but now that Chloe knows the truth, she can see his act for what it is. ‘It was you who put that angel figurine in Lucifer’s closet, wasn't it? The timing was just too good to be a coincidence, and anyone else would have left at least a partial fingerprint. You knew that Lucifer would react like he did, and to know that, you would have to know about his wings. You wanted Lucifer out of the way, just as Miguel did with Reina.’

Pierce’s eyebrow which had been steadily rising during her little speech falls and he lets out a sigh of defeat. He turns to face her, looking annoyed at being discovered but also mildly impressed.

‘You know what, Chloe?’ he says. ‘You really are my best detective.’

Before Chloe can say anything to that, Pierce swings his arm towards her and hits her over the head with what must be the butt of his gun. Chloe manages to get one last glimpse of his irritated face before the darkness takes her.

Chapter Text

Chloe wakes up to find that each of her hands are now tied to what appears to be a water heater or something of the like. She can't quite summon the strength to look properly, but it's warm against her back and it has a series of metal pipes which her hands are currently bound to. Her head hurts from where Pierce hit her and she probably has a mild concussion, but other than that, she doesn’t appear to have any new injuries.

‘Well, look who’s finally awake,’ comes a voice from her left. Chloe turns her head and squints at the fuzzy features that make up Marcus Pierce. After she blinks a couple of times, the blurriness fades and her vision clears.

‘Pierce?’ she asks, still a little groggy from the concussion. ‘What- Where am I?’

Pierce doesn’t answer, so Chloe pulls her hands away from the piping behind her, testing the strength of the zip ties around her wrists. Unfortunately for her, they are the good quality ones and she won’t be getting out of them any time soon.

‘Why am I here?’ she asks.

‘Because you’re smart,’ says Pierce, simply. ‘You found out about my little angel stunt and I couldn’t have you running off to tell Lucifer about it. I’m sure between the two of you, you would have worked out the truth in no time, and then I would have a very pissed off Devil on my tail for the rest of my life. And believe me when I say, that is a really long time.’

Chloe frowns, trying to make sense of what is happening, but no matter how hard she tries, she can’t think of a reasonable explanation. Hell, she can’t even think of an unreasonable one.

‘People will notice I’m gone,’ she says at last. ‘And then you really will have a pissed off Devil on your tail.’

‘Eventually maybe,' says Pierce, way too calm for Chloe's liking, 'but I have a plan for that. But for now, everyone will be too focused on the break in I staged at your apartment last night to suspect me. Especially seeing as one of your neighbours will sign a statement saying that she saw you arrive home yesterday evening, safe and alone.’

Chloe’s frown deepens and Pierce shrugs. ‘She owes me a favour.’

Chloe mentally catalogues that to unpack later and goes back to her original question.

‘But why do all this?’ she asks, not liking the pleading edge to her voice. ‘Why manipulate Lucifer? Why try split us up? Why keep me here? None of it makes any sense!’

‘It makes perfect sense. You just don’t have all the facts.’

‘Care to enlighten me?’ Chloe challenges.

Pierce stares at her for a moment, calculating, but finally relents. ‘I suppose I do owe you some answers. I should probably start by introducing myself properly. My name is Cain.’

He pauses, as if waiting for Chloe to make some sort of connection.

‘Cain?’ she asks, slowly.

A flicker of annoyance passes over Pie- Cain’s face. ‘Come on, Decker, I know you’ve never been overly religious, but surely you’ve heard the stories.’

Chloe’s eyes widen. ‘You mean, Cain and Abel. You’re that Cain. Son of Adam and Eve and humanity’s first murderer.’

‘So they say. I was certainly the first one God took any interest in anyway. He cursed me and now I can never die.’

Chloe takes a couple of moments to digest that information and then gets back to the point. ‘Okay, so you’re the world’s first murderer who is immortal, but that doesn’t answer my questions.’

If anything, it just creates more.

Cain raises his eyebrow and smirks, giving Chloe the impression that she has once again impressed him somehow. ‘Don’t worry I’m getting to it,’ he says. ‘Like I said, God cursed me, and I would really like to end that curse.’

‘You want to die?’

‘More than anything.’

He says it with such conviction that Chloe has no doubt that he is telling her the truth.

‘Do you have any idea how annoying it is being an immortal being?’ Cain asks. ‘First you get to watch everyone you love die, over and over. And that sucks. And on top of that, it's boring. I've been everywhere there is to go. Tried every kind of food. Sex. Music. Nothing surprises me anymore.’ He pauses, looking her over. ‘At least it didn’t, until I met you. A seemingly normal human who can somehow make the Devil bleed. He can die just by being near you.’

‘So, that’s what this is about,’ says Chloe, the pieces slowly clicking together. ‘You think that because I make Lucifer vulnerable, I can do the same for you.’

Cain nods. ‘I’ve been keeping an eye out for any celestials on Earth for this very reason for centuries, and I’ve never been this close to getting what I want.’

‘But I take it, things haven’t exactly gone your way, otherwise you would be dead already.’

Cain lets out a huff of frustration as he stands up and starts pacing. ‘I thought just dying while near you would be enough, but the Firehawk case proved that theory wrong. But then I figured it out. The reason Lucifer can bleed around you is because you love him.’

Chloe raises an eyebrow and then instantly regrets it as the cut on her forehead flares in pain again. ‘So that’s why you asked me out and why you tried to split me and Lucifer up?’ she grits out. ‘You didn’t actually like me, you just wanted to use me.’

Despite the fact that Chloe never wanted Pierce to like her in the first place, she can’t help but feel a bit hurt by the revelation.

Cain chuckles. ‘Don’t get me wrong Decker, you’re a great woman, and exactly my type, but I learnt long ago not to get attached to anyone.’ A haunted look passes over his eyes and, if it weren’t for everything he’s just done, Chloe would probably feel sorry for him. Being immortal sounds incredibly lonely.

Eventually you’ll die, and there is no doubt in my mind that your soul is bound for the Silver City. And that’s somewhere I can never follow.

Chloe blinks back tears as the echo of Lucifer’s words flit through her mind.

Thankfully Cain doesn’t notice. ‘But now you know the truth, it makes things a bit more difficult,’ he says. ‘Normally, I would just skip town and reinvent myself. But this time, I can't. Once Lucifer finds out who I am and what I’ve done, he’ll never stop hunting me. And I don’t want to spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder.’ A hint of a smile appears on his face. It's not a very nice smile. ‘So, I’ve had to revise my plan.’

There is something sinister in Cain’s eyes that makes Chloe’s blood run cold. Whatever his new plan is, she has a feeling it’s a lot worse than the one he just told her about.

----

After leaving his men with strict instructions to guard Chloe but only harm her if absolutely necessary, Cain heads straight to the station. He turns his phone back on in the parking lot and finds he has three missed calls from the station and seven from Ella. He doesn’t bother checking them, he knows what they will say.

‘Oh my God, there you are, I’ve been trying to call you,’ says Ella the moment he steps into the precinct. The room is not the rush of activity he had expected, but he can tell by the faces of the few people who are there that news of Chloe’s disappearance has already spread.

‘My battery died,’ says Cain in explanation to Ella. ‘What’s happened?’

‘Chloe’s gone,’ she says, frantically. She’s clearly worried and upset, but also eager to help. ‘We got a 911 call at about 3am from her neighbour and when night shift got there, the apartment was a mess and she was gone.’

Cain puts his hands up in a calming gesture. ‘All right just breathe, Lopez. Let’s not panic just yet. Perhaps this was just a normal break in, Chloe might not have even been home last night. Has anyone called Morningstar? They had a fight yesterday and she was pretty torn up about it, maybe she went over to his place to sort it out?’

‘Dan’s over there now,’ says Ella. ‘Wait, Chloe and Lucifer had a fight?’ She shakes her head. ‘Never mind, not important right now. What’s important is finding Chloe, because honestly, Lieutenant, I don’t think this was just a break in. It doesn’t look like anything was taken, apart from Chloe, of course. Her phone was still at her apartment, which makes tracking it pointless, and her car and keys and everything were there as well. And Dan said that she didn’t pick Trixie up from her sleepover this morning.’

Cain sighs as if he’s just been given terrible news, he’s had millennia to perfect his acting skills after all. ‘You’re right, that doesn’t sound like her. Did the neighbourr give a description of the perp?’

Ella shakes her head. ‘She didn’t see anything, just heard smashing glass and someone thumping around in the apartment. I’ve only just got back from there. The place is mess, like even worse than when Maze lived there and Chloe hadn’t had a chance to clean up after her yet, but so far I haven’t been able to find anything. No fingerprints, no hair follicles, nada. It’s like whoever this guy is, he’s a ghost.’

Cain fights the smirk that threatens to form on his face. The guy he hired for the fake break in task is a professional, and actually is known as “the Ghost” amongst those in the criminal underworld. Not even Ella Lopez will be able to get anything from that crime scene. The diversion is working exactly as planned and now all he needs to do is pretend to do his job while the rest of his plan falls into place.

----

Lucifer shakes the upside-down pill bottle as if that would make it magically no longer empty. After a few more tries, he gives up and chucks it over his shoulder, not really caring where it lands. He lets out a sigh; that was the last of his narcotic supply, he hasn’t restocked lately, knowing that Chloe doesn’t approve of his drug habits even if they don’t affect him the same way as they do humans.

Chloe…

He sighs again and moves over to his alcohol shelves that amazingly still have a few bottles left. The first couple of hours after he had gotten home last night, Lucifer had taken it rather slow, just in case Chloe showed up. But as the hours went on and she never did, his drinking pace had gathered speed and the drugs had started to make an appearance. It all helped dull the pain, but only marginally.

Stupid celestial metabolism.

Lucifer opens a fresh bottle of whiskey and takes a swig. How could Chloe think so little of him? That after everything they’ve gone through and everything he’s done for her, he would leave her the moment she started sprouting grey hairs?

Okay, so he doesn’t exactly have any previous in the whole "commitment" area, but it’s hardly his fault that he’s never been in love before.

He sits down on his couch, quickly stands up again to remove the empty pill bottle in the way, and then sits back down again, taking another swig from the bottle in his hands. Maybe he was too harsh on Chloe, he laments. After all, he has been distancing himself this past week, afraid that their relationship was all his Father’s doing and afraid of what that might mean. And the last time he felt like this, he went to Vegas and got married, breaking her heart in the process.

Okay, so maybe there are a few reasons why Chloe might doubt him, but it still doesn’t make it hurt any less.

The funny thing is, now that he’s facing the prospect of Chloe leaving him, Lucifer doesn’t care if she was literally made for him, or if their love was predestined or about any of those fairytale romance clichés that have somehow made it into his life. He just wants them to be all right again.

The elevator dings, and, for a moment, Lucifer thinks that Chloe has finally come to talk, something that both elates and terrifies him, but when he jumps up and turns around, he finds that it’s just Dan.

Lucifer sits back down, ignoring the twitch in Dan’s eye as he surveys the empty alcohol shelves and trashed living room. But then suddenly Dan is standing in front of him and therefore almost impossible to ignore.

‘Is this what you’ve been doing all night?’ Dan asks, angrily. ‘What the fuck, man?’

Lucifer glares up at him. ‘Last time I checked, Daniel, my extracurricular activities are none of your business.’

Dan just glares straight back at him. ‘They are when we need you. When your girlfriend needs you.’

Lucifer scoffs. ‘I doubt the Detective wants my help on a case right now, even if I were still her partner. And if she does, she can come and get me herself. I thought I was supposed to be the one who avoided talking about things in our relationship.’

Dan bends down and grips Lucifer’s arm, tugging it upwards to pull him to his feet. Or at least, he tries to. Lucifer isn’t really in the mood for cooperating.

After one more failed attempt, Dan throws his hands up in surrender. ‘Look, I don’t know what’s going on with you right now, and I don’t care. Chloe’s missing, so you are going to sober up, come to the station and help find her or so help me God I will arrest you for drug possession and throw you in the cells myself.’

Lucifer doesn’t even hear the second half of Dan’s sentence, his ears still ringing with the only two words that matter.

Chloe’s missing.

‘What happened?’ he demands, standing up so quickly that Dan has to take a few quick steps back to stop himself from being knocked over.

To Dan’s credit, he recovers quickly. ‘There was a 911 call this morning about a break in at Chloe’s apartment,’ he explains, ‘and now she’s not answering her phone. At first I wasn’t too worried ‘cause I thought she was spending the night with you.’ He pauses slightly, eyes darting to the empty alcohol bottles littering the floor, but before Lucifer can yell at him to hurry up, he continues. ‘But then I got a call from Mary, Trixie’s friend’s mom, saying that she didn’t pick Trixie up. And that’s not like Chloe. And since she’s not here and her car and all her stuff are still at the apartment…’

‘Someone’s taken her,’ Lucifer finishes with a growl.

Dan let’s out a breath and scrubs his hands over his face. ‘Yeah, looks like.’

Without saying any more, Lucifer heads to the elevator. He doesn’t bother to change out of yesterday’s rumpled suit that he is still wearing, he doesn’t even bother to fix his hair which is an unruly mop on top of his head. None of that matters. The only important thing is finding Chloe. He is not ready to lose her yet and he is not going to let the last words he ever says to her be filled with anger.

----

When Lucifer storms his way into the precinct, Espinoza not far behind him, Cain almost punches the air in victory; he’s never seen the Devil so worried. And a worried Devil is more likely to make mistakes and fall into obvious traps.

This is going to be even easier than first thought.

Cain levels his features and approaches Lucifer before he can harass any unsuspecting officers for any details on the case. ‘Morningstar,’ he barks. ‘It’s about time. Judging by the state of your appearance I’m guessing you haven’t seen Decker in the last few hours.’

‘I want to know everything, and I want to know it now,’ says Lucifer, leaving no room for argument. That’s okay, Cain intends to tell him everything that the LAPD know, not doing so would just look far too suspicious, and he isn’t ready for Lucifer to suspect him yet.

‘Of course. Ella can probably fill you in the best, she’s gone over the crime scene about ten times and has been sneaking copies of possible witness statements, so she should have anything. Anything else you need, come to me.’

Cain doesn’t smile at the twitch that appears in Lucifer’s eye at hearing Chloe’s home being called a crime scene, but it’s a near thing.

Lucifer gives him a nod and hurries over to Ella’s lab. No doubt that once he’s all caught up, he’ll head out to interrogate all of Chloe’s neighbours. But Cain’s not worried. He already knows that no one saw anything apart from the one he told to say she did. Even if Lucifer uses his desire trick on Gladys, a nice old lady from South Dakota, all he’s going to find out about is her desire for an easy retirement, having worked on minimum wage all her life while struggling to raise her two kids by herself.

Nope, Cain's not worried in the slightest. Lucifer can investigate all he likes, but he’s not going to find anything until Cain wants him too. And Cain wants to wait until Lucifer is a complete wreck before setting his trap.

After all, killing the Devil is no easy task.

Chapter Text

Chloe eyes to the two men who are guarding her. They haven’t said a word and have barely even glanced in her direction since Cain left, so getting a read on them and figuring out their weaknesses has been a bit difficult.

But not impossible.

Chloe’s noticed that the taller of the two men seems to lean on his left leg when standing still, and shuffles his right when pacing. Judging by the look of him, Chloe would guess he suffers from an old combat wound – he looks very ex-military. The shorter man doesn’t appear to have any obvious injuries to exploit in an escape attempt, but he does have long hair which is tied in a ponytail, and Chloe knows from experience how much having hair pulled can hurt. Only one of the men, the taller ex-military one, has a gun, so if Chloe can get to it, she has a real chance of getting out of here.

‘I need to go to the bathroom,’ she tells them, deciding there’s no time like the present to try her plan. She has no idea how long she has before Cain comes back.

The two men turn to face her at last before giving each other the same look that says I ain’t cleaning that up. After Military Guy gives a nod, Ponytail Guy advances towards Chloe, pulling a knife out from seemingly nowhere. ‘We’ll take you, but no funny business, got it?’ he says, threateningly.

Chloe nods, trying to look meek and submissive.

Ponytail Guy regards her for a moment and then bends down to cut the zip tie on her right hand. Once the hand is free, Chloe makes a show of putting it in her lap.

Placid. Safe.

As soon as he frees her other hand, however, she delivers a well-aimed punch to his groin, causing him to double over in pain and drop the knife. She wastes no time in picking it up and throws it at Military Guy, hitting him square in the shoulder of his gun arm, causing him to also drop his weapon. Those knife throwing lessons have come in handy after all.

Thank you, Maze.

Ponytail Guy is starting to recover, so Chloe lunges forwards and grips him by the hair, yanking his head towards the cold hard cement below them. There’s a loud crack when it hits, and Ponytail Guy grumbles for a couple of seconds before his eyes close and he slumps against the floor. Chloe hopes she hasn’t killed him, but she doesn’t have time to check. Judging by the limited amount of blood coming from his head wound, she’s guessing she hasn’t. That will have to be enough to ease her conscience.

Getting to her feet, Chloe rushes towards Military Guy who is reaching for the knife in his shoulder. He grunts in pain as he pulls it out, but Chloe is took quick for him to use his new weapon; she grabs the gun that is still lying on the floor and uses it to hit him over the head, knocking him out alongside his buddy.

Now that her two captives are out cold, Chloe allows herself a moment to catch her breath. But only a moment. Her head still throbs from her own injury and her wrists sting from the zip ties, but she can’t afford to wait for that to stop. Cain could be back any second and while her weapons may buy her time, they are ultimately no use against someone who is immortal.

So Chloe grits her teeth, ignores her pain, and picks the knife back up, just in case.

But she doesn’t get very far. She makes it through two more open rooms of whatever warehouse/factory she is in before she encounters more of Cain’s men. They are sitting down at a table playing cards, but they are not engrossed in the game enough to miss Chloe as she stumbles in. She still has the gun and the knife, but there are over a dozen men in front of her who, within seconds of seeing her, all pull out their own guns and point them at her.

Recognising that there is no way she will be able to fight that many men off, Chloe raises her hands in surrender.

Back to the drawing board.

----

In the 24 hours following Chloe’s disappearance, Lucifer uses up nearly every single one of his owed favours to try and find her. And so far, it’s all been for nothing. No one has heard anything of a police detective being taken in the middle of the night. None of Chloe’s neighbours saw anything of real use, no ransoms or ultimatums have been sent to either Lucifer or Penelope, and none of the hospitals have had any new patients matching Chloe’s description.

On the plus side, none of the morgues have had any either.

Basically, neither Lucifer or the LAPD have any leads, and as each second without any news ticks by, Lucifer gets even more anxious. His brain can’t stop coming up with horrible scenarios of where Chloe is and what is happening to her (he refuses to believe that she is dead) and unfortunately ruling Hell for millennia has left him with quite a vivid imagination.

Lucifer paces Chloe kitchen, trying not to look at the table where he and Chloe shared their last meal together which ended in their first proper fight as a couple. Maybe he should sift through the house for something – anything – that might give him a clue as to who has taken her. He knows that Ella has combed through the whole house an uncountable number of times, and Ella doesn’t miss anything, but he has to do something. He can’t just stand around and wait, not when Chloe’s life could be on the line.

He decides to start in the bedroom and starts making his way towards the stairs, but then stops and stares at the room that used to be Maze’s.

Maze! That’s who he needs right now. If anyone can help him find Chloe, it’s her.

Lucifer doesn’t even bother to check that he’s out of view from the open window before unfurling his wings, and three seconds later, he’s left the Earthly plane and is soaring over Hell’s rugged landscape.

It doesn’t take long to find Maze. She’s in one of the large amphitheatre-type structures not far from his castle, sparring with Dromos and Squee. They can’t have been sparring long, however, as the two other demons are both still standing.

Lucifer lands at the edge of the open area and folds his wings away. ‘Mazikeen,’ he shouts, making sure to slip back into his persona as King of Hell. He is no mood to deal with demons questioning his authority.

The demons stop fighting immediately and both Dromos and Squee instantly kneel before their King. Maze, however, knows him too well.

‘What’s happened?’ she asks at once, already twirling her knives in anticipation of the hunt that she no doubt senses is coming.

Lucifer looks to Dromos and Squee, who have now stood up again after showing what they feel is proper respect to their King (Lucifer doesn’t really like the whole kneeling thing, but it’s better than the demons running wild so he hasn’t discouraged it yet). ‘Leave us,’ he says, no longer shouting but keeping voice firm.

Dromos and Squee wisely comply and with a couple of muttered “Yes, my Lord”s, only Lucifer and Maze are left in the amphitheatre.

Only now does Lucifer let his mask fall. ‘Chloe’s gone,’ he says. ‘Someone took her in the middle of the night and no one knows where she is.’ He sighs, as if that could release all the frustration he feels. ‘Maze, I need your help. I know you haven’t called me and are probably not ready to come back yet, but-’

‘I’m in,’ says Maze, interrupting him. Her eyes are hard and her grip on her weapons has tightened noticeably.

Lucifer smiles. ‘I knew I could count on you.’

Maze doesn’t say anything to that, she just gives a singular nod and launches herself into his arms. Lucifer catches her easily, unfurls his wings once more, and flies his most trusted demon and LA’s best bounty hunter back to Earth.

----

They arrive in Chloe's living room, next to the still broken window that the kidnapper used to enter the house. Maze jumps out of Lucifer’s arms and he shrugs his wings away. ‘Ella’s been through the place a hundred times and didn’t find a scrap of evidence,’ he tells her.

‘I thought Ellen was supposed to be the best,’ says Maze, peering at the broken glass of the window.

‘She is, which means that whoever took Chloe is better.’ That thought alone is almost enough to send Lucifer’s anxiety spiralling. ‘We have to find her, Maze. I can’t-’ He cuts himself off before he admits something incredibly sentimental and very un-Devilish.

But from the look on Maze’s face, he suspects that she knows exactly what he was going to say.

Thankfully, she also knows that dwelling on those thoughts would be a mistake. ‘Witnesses?’ she asks.

Lucifer shakes his head. ‘Next to useless. One heard the break in and called 911 but didn’t see anyone or hear any voices.’

Maze lets out a frustrated sound and mutters something about “useless humans” before carrying on in her questioning.

‘Security camera by the entrance?’

‘Totally wiped from about 6pm to 3.30am, which was about the time of the break in.’

Maze pauses at that. ‘Why wipe that much footage? I mean, they could’ve been casing the joint, but then why wipe footage from the morning when they knew where to go to avoid the camera? Unless…’ She looks up at him, brow furrowed in concentration and Lucifer allows himself to hope. ‘Do we have footage of Chloe coming home? Or is that part wiped too?’

Lucifer thinks for a moment. ‘No,’ he says at last. ‘A witness – actually, it was the same woman who heard the break in - said that she saw Chloe get home at about 8 o’clock the evening before. But she didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. And the times check out with Pierce dropping her off after their case.’

‘Pierce?’ asks Maze with a raised eyebrow. ‘As in the Pierce who’s been trying to get into Decker’s pants since before I left? Why was he dropping her off? Where were you?’

‘It doesn’t matter,’ snaps Lucifer, getting impatient and really not wanting to think about the last time he saw Chloe or how he treated her the last few days before her disappearance. ‘They were working a case, they found the murderer, and then Pierce dropped Chloe back home. Those are the only facts we need.’

Anyone else would have backed off, but not Maze. Instead, she crosses her arms across her chest and glares at him. ‘Hey, I’m trying to help you here. If you don’t want it, you can take me in Hell.’

Lucifer’s anger deflates and is replaced by shame. ‘You’re right, I’m sorry, I just... I need to find her.’

Maze acknowledges the apology by ignoring it entirely. ‘Besides, how do we know that those are actually the facts?’ she asks. ‘Someone could be lying.’

When Lucifer thinks about it, it does seem a little convenient that the same person who saw Chloe come home is the same person who heard the break in when no one else who lives in the building saw either. But he had used his desire mojo on everybody, and nobody had given any hints of nefarious intentions.

Although, there was one person he didn’t try his power on.

He looks up to Maze and can see that she is thinking the exact same thing.

‘How much do you trust that lieutenant of yours?’

----

Lucifer wants to go straight to Pierce and ask him what he desires, or possibly use a more hands on approach to get the information, but Maze holds him back, pointing out that it would be a bad idea and that it could possibly put Chloe in danger. So instead, he grits his teeth and tries his best not to look at Pierce’s office as he and Maze make their way to Dan’s desk.

‘We need the GPS information for Pierce’s car from when he dropped Chloe off home two nights ago,’ says Maze as soon as they are in front of Dan.

Dan glances up at her and humphs in annoyance. ‘Nice to see you, too, Maze. I thought you’d left.’

‘Yes, she did, and now she’s back,’ says Lucifer impatiently. ‘Now that that’s out of the way,’ he gestures to Dan’s computer, ‘Daniel, if you wouldn’t mind.’

It’s a show of how much Chloe’s disappearance is weighing on Dan that he just sighs and does as he’s told without any arguments. Truth be told, Lucifer is a little impressed that he is even at the station at all, what with having a very worried Urchin at home and all. But Dan is just as determined to find Chloe as Lucifer is.

‘So, what’s this about?’ asks Dan as he presses a few buttons on his keyboard and a map shows up on his screen, a little red dot signalling where Pierce’s car is. At the moment, it’s in the precinct parking lot, but Dan is working to find the right time in the log.

‘Just checking a theory,’ says Lucifer, not taking his eyes off the screen. Finally, it changes to show a map of the area around Chloe’s apartment, the red dot is on the street outside her place at exactly the same time Pierce’s statement said it should be.

‘Can you tell us how long the car was there?’ asks Maze, peering over Dan’s shoulder.

‘You guys don’t seriously think Pierce has something to do with Chloe going missing, do you?’ says Dan as he brings up the log again to answer Maze’s question. ‘I mean, I don’t exactly like the guy, but I doubt he’d do something like that. Besides, the break in was at 3.30 in the morning.’

‘The break in where nothing was taken,’ mutters Lucifer, mostly to himself.

‘Chloe was taken,’ says Dan, annoyed, and Lucifer has to fight to control his temper. He’s been thinking of nothing else since he found out, but hearing the words said out loud somehow makes it even worse.

‘The security footage from the apartment complex was wiped for the whole night,’ says Maze, choosing the perfect time to interrupt. ‘Why wipe that much for a quick in and out job?’

Dan shrugs. ‘They probably cased the place earlier that night.’

‘Can we get back to checking the GPS log, please,’ Lucifer grits out. He’s pretty sure Dan’s desk is going to have dents from how hard he is gripping it.

Dan lets out another one of those exhausted sighs and gets back to it. After a couple of minutes, he looks back up at Lucifer and Maze. ‘He was there for about twenty minutes,’ he says.

‘Pierce’s statement says he just dropped Chloe off,’ observes Lucifer. ‘He didn’t mention anything about staying for a little chat. And the witness,’ he puts air quotations around the word in his mind, ‘says that Chloe arrived home alone.’

‘He was probably just making a phone call or something,’ says Dan.

Lucifer eyes the dot on the screen that represents Pierce’s car at Chloe’s apartment before putting on the best smile he can manage and patting Dan on the back. ‘You’re right, it was probably just a phone call.’ A phone call to someone who would more than likely help him cover up his crime, he adds in his head. If their Pierce theory is correct, Lucifer doubts this was a premeditated crime; it’s a bit too rough around the edges. No, all this has a definite “last minute” feel to it.

He signals Maze and with a muttered thanks to Dan, they move over to Chloe’s desk. Lucifer sits down in his usual spot (if he leaves Chloe’s chair vacant, he can pretend that she will be back any minute) and tries to look busy. He desperately wants to confront Pierce, but he knows he needs more proof before he lets him know that he’s on to him.

It’s what the Detective would do.

----

Cain has been waiting for Lucifer to grow suspicious of him, and after the fifth time he catches him glancing towards his office, usually accompanied by a glare or tensing of the shoulders, he knows that that time has finally come. He knew Lucifer would eventually see what the LAPD officers are blinded to. It’s a bit disappointing really. Cain has made no secret of his advances towards Chloe, and rejected suitors are always number one suspects in cases like these, but because Cain is their lieutenant, no one even considers the possibility.

No one except the over-protective boyfriend of course. Cain’s honestly surprised that Lucifer hasn’t come barging in, throwing accusations and threats around and generally making a scene. Subtlety has never been the Devil’s strong suit, after all.

Cain keeps his face neutral but taps his fingers against his desk in an attempt to channel the equal parts tension and relief he is feeling. Relief because now that Lucifer suspects him of being involved in Chloe’s disappearance, the plan can get underway and Cain can set his trap; and tension because, immortal or not, trapping the Devil is not generally considered to be a smart thing to do.

And trying to do it while he has his right-hand demon by his side is just plain crazy.

But it’s a necessity at this point. Cain has come too far and done too much to be able to just slip away and start again this time.

Lucifer shoots yet another glare towards him and Cain decides that it’s time to move his chess pieces into place for the endgame. He gets out his burner phone and dials a number that he is not stupid enough to have saved in his everyday use phone.

‘Boss,’ greets John Barrow after picking up on the first ring.

‘How’s our guest?’ asks Cain. ‘Giving you much trouble?’

He would be terribly surprised if she hasn’t. Chloe Decker is not one to give up easily.

‘She managed to trick Gibb and Jones into untying her and gave them both some serious head injuries, but she didn’t get very far,’ reports Barrow and Cain chuckles. Yep, that’s exactly the sort of trouble he had expected; it’s the reason why he brought in so many men to guard her. What Chloe lacks in brute strength, she makes up for in cunning and smarts.

‘Well, now’s your time for a little retribution; it’s time to set things up. You know what to do.’

‘Yes, Boss,’ says Barrow with the tiniest bit of glee in his voice. Unlike Cain, who uses violence as a means to an end, Barrow seems to revel in it. It comes with the territory of being one of LA’s best assassins, Cain supposes.

‘Just try and keep it superficial,’ Cain tells him, and he can almost see Barrows smile fall. ‘No broken bones or anything. But we do need her unconscious, we can’t have her warning Morningstar that he’s walking into a trap.’

‘Yes, Boss,’ says Barrow, a lot less enthusiastic now.

‘And tell the men to expect Morningstar to have company. Mazikeen Smith is back in town.’

Barrow sucks in a breath - Maze’s reputation precedes her – but he replies with confidence nonetheless. ‘Not a problem, Boss. We’ll be ready. But are you sure they’ll fall for this? What if they don’t follow you?’

Cain grits his teeth; he doesn’t like people questioning him. ‘Then we’ll keep the trap set until they do,’ he snaps.

‘Yes, Boss,’ says Barrow again, suitably chastened.

‘And Barrow, remember, make any mistakes and she dies, and whatever fatal wound she sustains will be given to you. Am I clear?’

There’s a tense pause – Maze isn’t the only one with a reputation.

‘Crystal, Boss.’

‘Good. Get to it.’

Cain hangs up the phone, not waiting to hear anything more Barrow has to say on the matter. He’s sure that his men will heed his warning, Cain hasn’t spent the last century building up a criminal empire for nothing. His reputation has allowed him to find the best in the business and either buy or blackmail their loyalty. It’s made reinventing himself a lot easier in these times of advancing technology and facial recognition software.

Cain thinks to what he has just ordered Barrow to do. He doesn’t relish the thought of having Decker injured, but he can’t have Lucifer thinking clearly when he sees her, otherwise the trap is never going to work. Having Maze there just strengthens that fact.

But this aspect of his plan will make things more difficult for Cain in the future. He still needs Chloe to lift his curse somehow, which is why he plans to take her with him when he reinvents himself (he’s thinking of maybe trying Portland this time, or maybe crossing the border to Mexico). His plan to make her to fall in love with him has well and truly crumbled now, and having his men purposely hurt her is the last nail in that particular coffin, but Cain’s not ready to give up yet. There must be some other way of using her to become mortal again.

If all else fails, he could always try the Stockholm Syndrome angle, he reasons. Chloe’s strong and it would probably take a while, but hey, he’s got the rest of her life to make it work.

----

Lucifer and Maze spend the rest of the day monitoring Pierce, but the man doesn’t do much other than make some phone calls and bark some orders at detectives.

Normal lieutenant stuff.

Lucifer, meanwhile, feels like he’s doing nothing, and it is infuriating him. He should be out there, finding Chloe, but instead he’s sitting here watching someone who they aren’t even 100% sure is involved. The only thing of any real significance that he’s done in the past few hours is send Amenadiel and Charlotte (who insisted on helping) to Pierce’s house to look for clues as to where he might be hiding Chloe, but even that proved to be pointless.

Finally, at 9pm, Pierce looks at his phone one last time and then starts packing up. Five minutes later, he is leaving the precinct, Lucifer and Maze not far behind him. Lucifer automatically heads for his corvette but is suddenly stopped by Maze’s firm grip on his arm.

‘There’s no way he won’t spot us tailing him in that,’ she says, and Lucifer has to begrudgingly admit that she is right.

Giving her a small nod, he changes course and gets into one of the LAPD’s unmarked vehicles, the lock and ignition yielding without the need for a key. Normally, Lucifer would complain about the cramped interior and the woeful lack of style of the car, but right now he doesn’t care about any of that. He would drive a bloody minivan if it got him to Chloe.

An hour later, he and Maze pull up just a few metres down the road from where Pierce’s car is parked. He had gone home first, and Lucifer had worried that the whole day of waiting had been for nothing, but Pierce had merely switched cars – changing to an older model that was undoubtedly GPS-free and therefore less easily tracked - and headed straight back out again.

‘I don’t like this,’ whispers Maze as they make their way towards the alley that they had seen Pierce walk down. They round the corner just in time to see him enter one of the doors at the end. ‘I really don’t like this.’

‘And you think I do,’ hisses Lucifer. He doesn’t look at her, too focused on his target, so he misses Maze’s glare. She grumbles something too low for even him to make out but follows close behind him nonetheless.

When they reach the door Pierce had gone through, the lock yields to Lucifer at once and they slowly creep inside. Down the hall, there’s an elevator that is currently in use and they watch as the display on top changes with each floor the cart goes past. Finally, it stops at Floor 6 and Maze and Lucifer, start their journey up the stairs, not wanting to risk announcing their presence by calling the elevator back down.

When they finally get to the 6th floor, Maze takes the lead, carefully opening the door without so much as a creak. They both pause, listening, but there are no sounds to be heard other than their own soft breathing.

But that doesn’t mean they are alone.

The room that lays just beyond is quite a contrast to the bland, barely lit emergency stairwell that have just come from. The walls and floor are white and grey marble, only slightly dulled by the soft lighting. There are many statues and busts littering the room, and there’s a staircase that leads to balcony which circles the entire room.

But Lucifer doesn’t take in any of this. All he sees is the single chair bolted to the floor in the middle of the room with an unconscious woman tied to it.

‘Chloe…’

Her arms are tied behind her back and her whole body is sagged forwards, the ropes around her middle the only thing stopping her from falling to the floor. But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is all the dried blood that is covering her face and clothes and the purple bruise that covers almost the entire right side of her face.

It only takes Lucifer two seconds to come out of the shock of seeing her like this and run to her aide. Maze shouts something at him, but he doesn’t hear her, the need to help Chloe – to keep her safe – is drowning out all other thought processes.

He reaches her in seconds and bends down to cup her face. She begins to stir under his touch and Lucifer almost cries in relief.

‘Chloe, love, look at me,’ he pleads. ‘It’s okay, I’ve got you.’

Her eyes flicker open and then, to Lucifer’s confusion, widen in fear.

The next few seconds feel as though Amenadiel’s powers have returned and he has slowed time.

Chloe’s foot slams into Lucifer’s knee, causing him to lose his balance and fall to the ground; at the same time, a gunshot sounds, followed by the sickening squelch of a bullet piercing through flesh. Then there is yelling, lots of yelling, and then more gunfire, this time coming from automatic weapons.

Lucifer scrambles to his feet and unfurls his wings on instinct, using them as a shield to protect Chloe. But Chloe has become very still, and there is now fresh blood oozing from her chest. Her eyes are still open, but they stare unseeingly at the ceiling, her head now lulling backwards instead of forwards.

Deep down Lucifer knows what this all means, but he is still having trouble admitting to himself.

‘Detective…?’

The gunfire eases a little and a man screams in pain and it's only then that Lucifer realises that the bullets are hitting him… but they are not penetrating his skin. He's invulnerable again, and it’s this final confirmation that finally makes him admit to the terrible truth.

Chloe Decker is dead.

Chapter Text

Another man screams in the distance, the gunfire once again easing, and Lucifer realises the extent of the trap that he has walked into. The balcony that had seemed empty on arrival is now littered with armed men, some of whom are still firing at him, but most of whom are now more focused on the furious demon that is making her way through them.

Lucifer pays them no mind, sure that Maze can handle them; he has a bigger fish to catch. His sight turns red as he scans the room for the man responsible for this, responsible for Chloe.

‘Pierce!’ he bellows, and out of the corner of his eye he sees someone slip out of the room. With an inhuman growl, Lucifer takes chase, using his wings to catch up to the man in seconds. ‘Why?’ he shouts, grabbing Pierce’s arm and throwing him against the nearest wall. Before Pierce can pick himself up from the floor, Lucifer does it for him, wrapping a hand around his throat and holding him against the wall. ‘Why kill her?’

‘It- it was supposed to be you,’ gasps Pierce, clawing at Lucifer’s hand that is slowly turning red and scarred. ‘She shouldn’t have pushed you out the way.’

It’s this small and simple statement that sends Lucifer over the edge. How dare he blame Chloe for this! How dare he insinuate that her death is her own fault. Without even thinking about it, Lucifer lets go of Pierce’s neck and instead takes a hold of his head with both hands, twisting until he hears the tell-tale crack of a neck being broken.

His whole body heaving, Lucifer lets go of Pierce, whose limp body falls to the ground at his feet. He takes a few stumbling steps backwards, almost falling down himself.

Chloe’s gone.

The two words that have been running through Lucifer’s head for the past day and a half suddenly gain an even worse meaning as a third word joins the mantra.

Forever.

Chloe’s gone forever.

Lucifer suddenly finds that he is having trouble breathing.

But then a gasp of breath sounds from the floor below him and Lucifer stares in shock as Pierce pushes himself up to a crouching position, coughing and wheezing. Eventually, the coughing fit subsides and he gets to his feet, using one hand to rub at his very much unbroken neck.

‘Impossible,’ breathes Lucifer.

‘I wish,’ says Pierce, wincing a little in pain.

Lucifer finally snaps out of his shock and the anger returns, somehow even more fierce than before. In seconds, Lucifer’s hand is back at Pierce’s throat and they are against the wall again. ‘Explain,’ he growls.

Pierce doesn’t look frightened anymore, more like he is resigned to his fate and is only vaguely annoyed at it. It’s the kind of apathy Lucifer is very familiar with and makes him wonder just how old Marcus Pierce really is.

‘Can’t work it out?’ Pierce sneers. ‘Well why don’t you ask the million-dollar question?’

Lucifer bristles and his hand tightens around Pierce’s throat for a moment before he gives in to the game the lieutenant is playing.

‘Fine,’ he hisses. ‘Tell me, what do you desire?’

His voice is nowhere near the velvet seduction he usually uses, but the power behind it is still there and Pierce caves just as easily as anyone else.

‘I want to die. And Decker was supposed to be the key to that.’

Lucifer lets go of Pierce and takes a small step back but flares his wings threateningly, letting Pierce know that he cannot escape. ‘How was Chl…’ a lump forms in Lucifer’s throat and he finds that he can’t say her name. ‘How was the Detective supposed to help you die?’ he asks instead. ‘And, more to the point, why can’t you die?’

Pierce ignores the second question and focuses on the first. ‘I've walked this Earth for thousands of years. I have seen everything. I have done everything. I have watched everything I've ever known turn to ashes over and over again.’ He lets out a huff of laughter. ‘It’s been a living Hell. And I've been searching for a way out forever. Keeping an eye on every celestial on Earth and what they're doing. How and why they seem to come and go. So imagine my surprise when I find out there's a detective who somehow made the Devil bleed. For the first time, I had hope. Maybe she could do for me what she did for you. And then finally I'd be free.’

As Pierce makes his little speech, Lucifer manages to put the pieces together and realises just who the man in front of him is. ‘Cain,’ he breathes, shocked that this immortal man had been hiding right under his nose for months. ‘The world’s first murderer, cursed by Dad himself to walk the Earth for eternity.’

Cain nods and Lucifer’s anger flares again. ‘You’ve been toying with us this whole time,’ he growls. ‘Manipulating us, trying to use the Detective for your own personal gain. Is that why you took her? But why bring her here?’

‘She found out,’ says Cain without a hint of remorse, though there is irritation in his eyes. ‘The plan was to make her love me like she loved you, and then once my mark was gone and I was vulnerable around her, I could die. But once she realised what I was doing, I knew she would tell you and you would never let me live in peace.’

‘You’re damn right I won’t,’ snarls Lucifer, hands twitching as he fights the urge to break Cain’s neck again, even if the effect would only be temporary. ‘So you tried to use her to trap me instead. Lured me here and made sure I was vulnerable.’

Cain smirks. ‘It really was too easy.’ His smile fades. ‘But of course Chloe had to go and ruin my plans again.’

This time Lucifer doesn’t fight the urge to wraps his fingers around Cain’s throat. ‘You don’t get to speak her name,’ he hisses, leaning in so close that he can see the red glow of his eyes reflected in Cain’s. ‘You killed her, took her away from me… and that deserves punishment.’

Cain doesn’t seem frightened, but Lucifer intends to change that.

‘I figured,’ says Cain, sounding almost blasé about it. ‘But don’t expect to gain too much from it, I’m used to punishment. Like I said, the past few thousand years have been-’

‘A living Hell,’ Lucifer finishes, a feral smile forming on his lips as he realises the perfect punishment for Cain. ‘Well let’s turn that metaphor into a reality, shall we?’

Before Cain can even open his mouth to reply, Lucifer flaps his wings and the pair leave the Earthly plane.

----

Lucifer lands near one of the Lakes of Fire and throws Cain down onto Hell’s ashy floor. A moment later, two demons appear at Lucifer’s sides, flanking their King, ready to heed any orders he gives them. Many more demons slink in the shadows nearby, curiosity bringing them closer, but experience keeping them from interfering with what is obviously Lucifer’s vendetta.

And finally, there is fear in Cain’s eyes as he looks up and realises just where he is.

‘Thank you for the idea,’ says Lucifer, a cruelness that he hasn’t felt for many years creeping into his voice. ‘A living Hell, you said. Well, believe me, living on Earth is a million times less painful than being tortured here, which is what that curse has spared you from all this time.’ He laughs humorlessly. ‘I mean, why did you even want to die in the first place? Surely you knew this is where you would end up.’

‘Hell is for the guilty,’ says Cain, getting to his feet. He has managed to put his mask of indifference back on, but Lucifer can still see how his eyes dart from side to side every time one of their onlookers gets a bit braver and moves a bit closer. ‘I feel no guilt.’

The flames in Lucifer’s eyes flare as a new rage settles over him but he otherwise appears unaffected by Cain’s admission. ‘Yes, well my sister may have some bad news for you on that front. We discovered that particular flaw a long time ago, and now Azrael is always on the lookout for those whose lack of remorse spares them their due punishment. And somehow I doubt she would let your soul slip through the cracks. The price of fame, I’m afraid. I mean, even my demons have heard of you, Cain. And they’ve been waiting a long time to meet you.’

As if to prove his point, an excited tittering rises from the crowd of demons at the mention of Cain's name.

Cain’s mask falls and he pales under the realisation that there really is no escape for him. Even if he somehow manages to die down here, his soul is just going to brought straight back and the torture will continue.

Lucifer nods to the two demons flanking him. ‘He’s all yours.’

The two demons smile and bow to their King before setting their dark eyes onto the first living human they have ever encountered. As one, they pounce on Cain, who tries to shake them off but is ultimately no match for their inhuman strength. The demons drag him, kicking and screaming, into Hell’s corridors, the other demons following apart from the two who have taken their place at Lucifer’s sides.

Lucifer doesn’t want to know what the demons will do to Cain; his stomach is tying itself in knots at the thought of what he has just sentenced the man to. He doesn’t regret it, Cain deserves to be punished and this is the only way to really do it, but in doing so he has become the monster that humanity has always painted him to be.

What would Chloe say about what he has just done?

The thought of Chloe almost brings him to his knees but Lucifer manages to keep himself under control, instead focusing on the lake beside him, counting the seconds between each spurt of fire that erupts from its depths.

He thinks that maybe he should go back and see how Maze is getting on. He has no doubt that she took care all of Cain’s men, but he should still go check on her. But that would mean he would have to see Chloe’s lifeless body again, and although it may be selfish of him, he just can’t bring himself to do it. He knows he should go back and explain things to the LAPD, to Dan and Ella. He should probably be there for Beatrice too, but how can he face them knowing that it’s his fault that Chloe is gone?

Gone. Gone. Gone.

Lucifer snaps an order for the two demons by his side to leave and they don’t hesitate to obey, leaving him alone in his grief and guilt.

Hell is what he deserves, he tells himself as he skims a black pebble across the lake in front of him. It only makes two jumps before melting in the heat. He repeats this process over and over until there is a good six-foot pebbleless radius around him.

Lucifer lets out a long sigh and he’s just about to head to his throne in the sky, to let his subjects know that their King has returned for good, when suddenly a voice rings in his head.

‘Samael.’

This time Lucifer does fall to his knees. He would recognise that voice anywhere. It should be impossible, but Lucifer is sure that he’s not imagining things.

Chloe is praying to him.