It started with a coin, a weird gold one with a star on one side. You found it on the road outside of a club as you walked home, sitting on the curb without anyone or anything around it. You flipped it over, weighed the heavy – and scalding – coin in your palm as you stared up at the club behind you.
The club was Lux.
You tilted your head, squinting as the sun glared off the multiple glass panes, and glanced down at the coin.
“Sorry, dear, but we have to let you go. Business reconstruction, you understand.”
“Listen, it’s not…This isn’t a personal thing, but your work this year just hasn’t been up to snuff. You’re gonna have to repeat the class next year, get your grade replaced with a better one.”
“We’ve given you extensions every month on you’re rent, we can’t keep doing this. You have to be on time, this month, or you have to find somewhere else to live.”
If divine providence was real, this was a holy intervention. You rolled the coin around in your palm, pressing the burning metal into your palm as you made your way to the door. It hurt to walk. Your arms ached as you pushed open the frosted glass door. The dark atmosphere immediately made your eyes heavy as you looked around the entrance and made your way down the hall and into the club proper.
A woman looked up from the bar, narrowing her dark eyes as she cleaned a set of glasses. “We’re closed.”
“Sorry, sorry, I—” You cleared your throat and plucked the coin from your hand. Even in the dark, you could see the pentagram seared into your flesh, already forming a welt where it had sat. “I found this? Outside?”
She made her way around the bar with echoing steps. “You found this?” She snatched it from your fingers. “Outside?”
You nodded extremely slowly. “Yes, I did.” You watched as she frowned, turning it over in her hands. “Um, can I ask you something?”
“Make it quick,” she answered, distracted, as she pulled her phone from her tight leather pants. She started to punch in a number, and set the phone on the counter.
“Are you guys hiring?”
She started to answer, still distracted by the coin in her hands, and paused. Stared at you. Narrowed her eyes even more. They traveled down your body, and the eyebrow with the scar cutting it in two slowly inched up. She nodded, satisfied, and returned her eyes to your face. “Can you dance?” she asked.
“Maze, you can take care of everything here for the day? The detective called, we have a case, and—” You and the bartender – Maze – turned towards the British voice. The man, dressed to the nines, paused as he came down the stairs from an elevator. “Oh, hello there.” He buttoned the coat at his waist and held out a hand. “I don’t believe we’ve had the pleasure.” You took his hand, voice catching on multiple starts of multiple sentences. “I’m Lucifer. Morningstar.”
You blindly reached out and sloppily grabbed the coin from Maze’s hand, holding it up in front of your face. And his. “Like the Devil?” you asked. His face, a mask of charm and allure, fell as he went cross-eyed, staring at the coin. “I found this outside on the curb.”
“Did you now,” he breathed, slowly, with a voice so full of reverence you thought you offered him diamonds. “Funny, I lost a coin just like this a while back to my father.” As he reached for it, you dropped the coin back into your palm. Now, it was him who was at a loss for words.
“Are you hiring?”
“Are you hiring?” you repeated. He released your hand to slide his into perfectly tailored pockets. You swallowed, and stuttered, “I need a job, badly. I can bartend, I can answer phones, I can do paperwork, Hell, I will clean—”
“Will you give me the coin?” You started at the sudden statement. He smiled. On another face, it would be slimy. “Consider the job a favor on my behalf, and all I ask is for the coin.” You stared at Maze, who had poured herself a drink between Lucifer arriving and that moment, and now drank slowly with a shrug. “You can answer phones? How about my assistant, hm? You can work here in the club, use the office – I don’t find much use for it anyway. Make sure paperwork is all in line, orders, all the not fun legal things that make Lux run.”
He turned to Maze. “What does a job like that pay? What do you make, catching all those nasty humans?”
“Hm.” He turned back to you. “How about we say…Thirty? An hour?” You choked on the air in your lungs.
“That sounds low, Lucifer, you could better,” Maze prompted.
You stepped back and pressed a hand to your chest. Were those palpitations? You were very sure you were having palpitations over the flippancy of which the British club owner was negotiating your wages. You could see Maze’s lips turn down in a massive, expressive frown. “Oh, why not fifty, that sounds reasonable.” He paused, and stared at a distant spot on the wall. “No, an even fifty-one. An hour, of course. That puts you just north of one-hundred-thousand dollars a year.”
You started to laugh: small, delirious giggles that bubbled out of your mouth like rabid foam. You covered your mouth to try and stifle them, and found it impossible. Tears pricked your eyes. Maze nodded slowly.
“That’s so much?” you tried to say around your laughter. “I—”
“Oh, don’t worry.” He smiled. “I will personally ensure that you earn that money.”
You held out the coin. He plucked it from your fingers, and tucked it into a pocket inside his blazer. “Perfect. I happen to know a few good lawyers, we can get the paperwork drawn up before the end of the day.” His hand slid over your shoulder, and turned you around, towards the door you had walked through. “Do you have the time? We can head to an office now, get everything settled, and you can start tomorrow.”
You pressed your fingers into your cheeks to smooth the tears away. “You don’t even know my name,” you whispered.
He leaned into the door to prop it open. “And what is it?” he asked. You gave it, quietly, breathlessly, and he smiled something akin to the sun. “Splendid…”
The paperwork was easy enough: a stack of legalese so small you thought you were getting dizzy, but you asked for a copy of it and found it sound. You even took notes. Lucifer escorted you out to his car as you read through the contract a second time, and then a third. You sank into the passenger’s seat of his beautiful convertible and sighed.
“Is something wrong? We can go back in and fix things,” he said as he sat in behind the wheel.
“No!” you exclaimed, looking up, “No, no, this is wonderful. I—” You gasped and shook your head, looking up through the windshield. Even in the parking lot, the lawyer he knew had a Hell of a view of the City of Angels. You sat back against the leather. “I never thought anything like this could happen.”
“What, you never thought you’d meet the Devil?” he asked with a grin.
You rolled your eyes. “Yeah, I…” You hugged the contract to your chest. “I never thought I’d get more second chances.” You looked up. “Thank you, Lucifer.”
He started the car. “Well, don’t thank me yet. You still owe me a favor.” He motioned to you. “Buckle up.”
“No? I don’t, I gave you your coin, that was the agreement.” You sat back as he turned out of the parking lot. “What do I need to know? Being your…assistant.”
“Oh, well, you’ll be helping me to manage Lux,” he slowed at a stop sign and continued on, peeling away from the intersection without a sound. “Like I said: orders, hiring—”
“Book acts, and parties, and setting up events—”
“Taking phone calls for me, like the ones from the police. I mean, I know I’m consultant, but it isn’t my day job.”
“Should I write this down?”
“Oh, and finding a way to make sure the Holy can’t just drop into my place of business.” He violently rolled his eyes. “Find a witch doctor, curse the place, I don’t care, I can’t stand my brother dropping in at all times when he feels like it.” He tapped his fingers against the wheel. “Except when he wants a drink, then he drop as much money as he wants. And then there’s my mother, I can’t stand getting her calls on top of the Detective’s and the police departments—do they not understand that I have other things to attend to? Not that I dislike either, but I—”
You sucked on your teeth, looked around in your bag, and scribbled a list out on the back of a receipt. “Got it.”
“Wha—” He stopped at a light and stared at you. “You did?”
You nodded and lifted the list. “Anything else?”
Lucifer paused. He sat back in the seat, and stared at the light above his head. “Huh. I should have thought of hiring you years ago.”
You tilted your head and smacked your lips. “Well, I didn’t live in L.A. years ago, so you’ve lucked out.”
“You didn’t?” He hummed, and started back down the road. “Well, tell me about yourself! I know nothing of you, save your name and the luck of your timing.”
You continued to scribble on the receipt, notes that for what you could do to fulfill the requests he’s made of you, and rattled off the information he asked of you, “I took a break after high school that turned into a decade of poor choices and shitty apartments in equally shitty cities and situations across the country, and now I’m here.”
“Here doing what?” he prodded.
“School?” you offered, “I dunno, I’m just trying to find something that catches my attention and gives me that spark.” You shrugged. “It’s hard. Just not enough of the right chemicals for my brain to sit in.”
You sighed. “It’s nothing.”
Lucifer took pause. “This must be what the Detective feels when I’m talking…”
You looked up, and folded the list together to stick into your bag. “Are you taking me home?” you asked when you finally looked up and saw the buildings whizzing past.
“No, back to Lux, but if you want me to take you home, I certainly can,” he answered with a wink and smile.
You nodded slowly. “Not what I meant.”
“Uh, what street are we on?” You turned around to stare at a street sign. “We need to go to McArthur Park.”
“McArthur—” You thought the tires burned with how hard he slammed on the brakes. You braced against the dashboard, wheezing as the seatbelt cut into your chest. “You will not be staying there, certainly not when you’re working for me.”
“It was the only place I could afford, given the circumstances,” you protested, looking over. “And I can update my lease by month, in case I need somewhere else to live.”
“Good.” He leaned on the wheel as he stared at you. “Then you will no problem moving into Lux.”
“Oh I will not be excusing any part of you. Consider Lux part of your employment package.” He scoffed, shifted gears, and continued to drive. You opened your mouth. “No exceptions!” He shook he head. “Cannot believe you thought you could drive from McArthur Park—what if I needed you right away?”
“I don’t drive, I take the bus,” you whispered.
“Well, that’s even worse!”
“It’s not??” You stared as he continued to complain, now on a completely new tangent, shaking his head. You wondered just what you got yourself into with such a deal – a new job, a new home, and a chance to restart?
Who in the world did you make a deal with?
Hello!! I hope that you enjoy chapter two!! I really like the set up? So I hope that you do, too!!
“So what do I call you?” you asked as you looked around the office. Maze leaned on the door, peeling an apple with a curved knife, and eating the pieces directly off the blade. You looked over as you pulled the computer around the desk and knelt to plug it in.
“My name is Mazikeen,” she answered. She sat on your desk as you worked beneath the ebony metal contraption, making sure that everything you had ran up to your desk and sat in the right spots. As you crawled out from under the desk, you saw she was right in your face. “You can call me Mazikeen,” she added.
You nodded slowly, and rose to your feet. “Alrighty then.” You connected the phone, and sat in your brightly colored rolling chair to program it.
And she stared all the while, eyes narrowed as she watched you. “What are you doing?”
“Programing numbers?” you suggested. She scooted around your desk. “So, between certain hours, the calls from Lucifer’s number will come to this phone, and I’m programing the numbers in so that I can see who it is,” you explained, “I’m also adding a short cut to this so that when I’m out, the calls all forward to my phone.”
Mazikeen slowly lifted a piece of the apple to her mouth. “Are you a witch?” she finally asked.
You snorted. “No. I just read the instruction manual.” You held out the newspaper thin booklet for her to take. “I figured this would make life a little easier.” You finished with what you were doing, and taped a list of numbers next to the phone for your quick reference. “Actually, you’re in charge of the bar, yeah?”
You smiled. “Do you think I could have your order book? I can just order everything that you need at the same time as I order everything else. Make it easier on y—”
She hopped off the desk and stabbed the knife into the wooden side table next to you. You pressed your lips together and watched her leave. “I think I’ll like you,” she said as she reached the door.
You stuttered, lost for words as she left, and leaned back in your seat. “Okay,” you called to empty air. You heaved a sigh, and glanced around the massive office, at the blank walls and dark paint, and wondered what you could do with it all. You left the office, leaving behind a blazer, and rolled up the sleeves of your shirt as you entered the club proper. The phone behind you rang, calling for you, and you groaned and jogged back down the hall, leaving Mazikeen to stare after you and laugh.
You snagged the phone off the cradle on the fourth ring. “Lux,” you said, introducing yourself after, “How may I help you?”
There was a pause of silence. “Uh, is Lucifer…there?” a woman asked.
You wedged the phone between your ear and shoulder, and pulled a notepad over to you. “I’m actually his assistant.”
“Oh!” The woman laughed lightly. “I didn’t know…he…needed an assistant.”
“Apparently he does.” You smiled and clicked the pen. “So, what can I do for you, Ms…”
“Oh,” she said again, “This is Detective Decker. Chloe…D-Decker, I’m sorry, this is weird, is Lucifer around?”
You wrote her name down and pulled the cradle off the desk, peeking down the hall from your door. “I wish I could tell you, but I can’t see a thing from my hall. I’ve been banished to a dark corner to do all this work.”
“He needs to get a phone of his own,” Chloe Decker mused.
“You know, he has one, but I’ve been told to forward his calls to me,” you replied. You sighed and wandered back to your desk. “Detective? I’m assuming you have a case, right? Since he does the consulting thing?”
“Yeah, yeah, I do,” she finally answered. She gave you an address, which you jotted down and circled. “Can you have him meet me there?”
“Of course, Ms. Decker.”
“Oh, just…Chloe. Please,” she insisted. You nodded, and ended your call, setting the phone to forward to you, and heading out of the office.
Mazikeen leaned on the bar, pouring over a book, jotting down notes on its pages. She looked up when you entered. “Already working?” she asked.
“And you’re adding to my work, I see,” you chimed. She shrugged. “Is Lucifer here? Upstairs? Where would I find him?”
She pointed to the elevator above your head. You nodded, headed up the stairs, and entered the elevator. The penthouse button required a key, and you patted your pockets to search for your copy. As you inserted the key, Mazikeen’s head popped up above the alcove floor. “Oh, be careful. He might have company,” she commented.
You started to ask her what kind of company, but the elevator doors shut. You huffed, and picked at your sleeves as the elevator started up the building. You passed your floor, the sixth, where your FAR too big apartment took almost a sizable chunk of the floor. The furniture you had hardly filled the space, and that was from an eight-hundred square foot apartment! You heaved a sigh and watched the elevator continue up, heading to the penthouse that you knew Lucifer occupied at the top.
When it stopped, and the doors slid open, smoke wafted into the compartment. You coughed, surprised, and squinted into the room as you walked in. There were muffled giggles, soft gasps, and quiet moans that you couldn’t find the source of. As you walked in, you found beautiful crystal decanters in the shape of skulls, and a massive glass reservoir on the bar, with spouts on four sides, filled with the green liquid of absinthe.
“Lucifer?” you called into the smoky haze.
A sounds were cut short, and you heard quiet reassurances from your right as you crossed the room to the glass wall of his balcony. You pushed open the door, and coughed as the smoke was suctioned out past you, billowing into the air. Lucifer’s voice sounded behind you, a gentle purr of your name that had you turning around. He was belting a silk robe closed. “Fancy seeing you here!” he exclaimed.
“Not really, I work for you,” you replied. You felt your voice catch in your throat as men and women in various states of nudeness left the room, picking up clothes from the floor. A man with full dark hair winked as you met his gaze, and you felt your face flush before you looked away.
Lucifer glanced back, and grinned. “You know, I could introduce you to Henry, he’s a marvelous fellow, very well endowed—”
“Detective Decker called!” you rushed to cut him off. You politely turned away, pressed your lips together and did everything you could stop a grin from worming across your face. You cleared your throat. “She has a case for you?”
“Oh!” You heard Lucifer turn away. “Well, why didn’t you lead with that!” You turned away, and found Lucifer had disappeared into the area sectioned off for his room. The man, Henry, was leading the rest of the party into the elevator. He met your gaze before the door closed, and smiled, waving just enough to keep your attention before the door shut. “I told you I can introduce you, he’s a good man, and very talented,” Lucifer commented. It took you a moment to look up at him, finding him completely dressed.
“Uh, no, I’m….far too preoccupied—”
“A good shag always reorders the mind, you know,” he responded. He straightened his coat, a beautiful import by the looks of it, and smiled. “You ever been to a crime scene?” he asked.
“No?” you offered. “Because it’s generally frowned upon for normal, non law enforcement people to be loitering at a crime scene.”
“We just have to fix that then,” he said. He waved an arm around your back, hovering just above touch, and motioned to the elevator. “After you, dear.”
He brought you to a massive hotel – a ritzy one, where your car had to be at least one-hundred thousand dollars or even the valet wouldn’t look at you – and helped you out from the front seat. You followed him through the hotel, down lush red carpet on sleek onyx floors, and out to an infinity pool that overlooked the cliff the hotel sat on, with a view of the Los Angeles skyline to kill for.
To one side, where the outdoor patio backed up to where the laundry and pumps for the pool would be, stood who you assumed to be Detective Decker. Red and blue lights strobed against the building as you walked closer, following Lucifer’s confident strides. The Detective looked up once, twice, and finally settled a questioning gaze on you. You shook your head, and shrugged.
“Uh, Lucifer,” she started, turning to him.
He, in turn, swept an arm around you with the largest grin he could muster. “Detective, I would like you to meet my personal assistant.” You tried to smile, you really did, but it shrank as he kept talking. “Part of the job is to be with me while I work cases, in case anything else happens to come up, of course.”
You backed up and pointed at the ground. “I’m gonna stay right here, outside of the crime scene, and keep to myself, like a good civilian.”
“What, no, what if I need your eyes, or a second opinion?” Lucifer asked.
“No, that’s a very good idea, thank you,” the Detective said over him. Lucifer scoffed, and followed her beneath the yellow tape, around the corner, and out of sight. You heaved the heaviest of sighs as you looked around the area. It was a beautiful white stone patio, massive, with gorgeous metal tables and chairs with stuffed cushions, plush towels, and an incredible view of the city. You wandered along the edge of the pool, down a strip of stone that outlined the pool, right to its edge. Below you was a small fence, just a short distance away, but far enough that someone could, at least, break an ankle if they fell off the edge. The water of the pool trickled over its hidden glass rim, down into the lip surrounding it and back into the pool.
There was a familiar sound, one that made you squint the longer you heard it. It didn’t belong in a pool area, that was for sure. You turned as you tried to pinpoint its location, listening harder, trying to think of where you had heard it.
It was water on metal, like something you heard in your sink. You inched closer to the edge, your breath caught in your throat, and you shouted, “Detective Decker!” You twisted away, felt your foot slip off the edge, and stumbled forward back to the patio. The Detective’s head popped out around the corner, and she ducked under the tape. “Are you missing a gun?” you asked through a wheeze.
Lucifer peeked around the corner as the Detective made her way towards you. “See, what did I tell you? Useful!”
SO! Chapter three posted to Tumblr, so I need to post the new one here!! :D I hope that you enjoy it!! Please let me know what you think~!
You followed the case from the safety of the internet, Lucifer’s emoji filled texts, and wildly inappropriate pictures of the crime scene and suspects. For days, it was all that occupied your mornings, and afternoons you fell into the groove of managing Lux. Once the case was closed, it was all Lux all the time. And…well, running Lux was so much harder than it looked. Add being Lucifer’s personal assistant on top of it? It made your life a living Hell.
You laid down some ground rules after three weeks straight of nothing but Work: Monday and Tuesday you were Unavailable. You did not exist on Mondays and Tuesdays. Nothing, not even the end of the world, could get you off your couch between 12:00 AM Monday morning, to 11:59 PM Tuesday evening. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
So why were you standing in front of Lux in the middle of said unavailable Monday morning?
You clutched your beaten backpack in one hand as you struggled to dredge through the memories, staring up at the sleek silver sign of the club. It took time, but once you made it to the center of your Monday morning memory block, you recalled exactly why you had ended up at Lux’s front doors.
You withdrew from your classes to take the rest of the semester off, and evaluate if you even wanted to finish school. It was a blow to your pride. The meeting itself was difficult as you struggled not to cry while you explained to each of your professors that you needed to leave their classes. They gave the normal nods, the I understands, but you could tell from the looks on their faces that they didn’t expect you back. To them, you were just another drop out.
It made the upset anxiety turn into boiling anger.
You clutched your bag tighter, adjusted it on your back, and pushed the doors open to the club.
Maze was right where you expected her to be – behind the counter, taking inventory of the alcohol. She threw a cursory glance over her shoulder, then turned completely around, eyes only a fraction wider than normal. “You made Lucifer sign a piece of paper saying he couldn’t call you on Monday,” she pointed out.
You dropped your bag on the counter. “I left school,” you said.
She shrugged and set a glass on the counter before you. “Good,” she scoffed as she poured two fingers of the finest whiskey she had, “You were too good for that place.” She offered you the glass. When you declined, she took a sip instead. “A bunch of humans thinking they’re smarter than everyone else.” Her lip curled as she sucked on her teeth.
“Actually, that’s why I came by.” You upended your bag, sending a collection of old boxing wraps, gloves, and mitts scattering across the bar. “I wanna hit something.”
Maze moaned, taking in everything you had spilled on the counter. She looked up at you. “Have I told you that I enjoy you being here, yet?” She picked up the wraps. “You even practice safety in the gym.” She hissed, slow and sultry, and met your gaze.
Your jutted your jaw and widened your eyes. “Yeah, because I want ever trip to the gym to be oddly sexual,” you mumbled.
Maze scoffed and dropped the wraps. “Doesn’t everyone?”
“No, Mazikeen, that is not the point of the gym,” you sighed.
She squinted, and sipped her drink. “Then why do human women wear tight clothing there?”
There was another one. Human, said as if she wasn’t one, but merely observing another species. It reminded you of an anthropologist, and created disturbing images of Maze in a Jane Goodall hat. You pursed your lips in a lemon pout. You didn’t really like that image, but didn’t say anything. Let her keep her weird vocabulary.
You sighed and shook your head. “Why do you, Mazikeen?”
“Maze.” Her correction snapped you out of your thoughts. Before you could ask, she downed the rest of her drink. “Because I know that this,” she waved to her body, “Is delectable.” She slammed the glass onto the bar a little too hard. “It’s like a candy wrapper.”
“You know, leather, and yoga pants.”
“That’s not it at all, Maze.”
“Especially the ones with the zipper in the front?”
You started to shove your work out gear back into the bag.
“Do you have sweat pants?” she asked. She tilted her head as she leaned on the bar. “Yoga pants?” You bounced a wrap roll off her shoulder.
“Stop,” you drawled impatiently. “I came to invite you, and now you’re being weird about it.” You shouldered the bag once everything was collected.
She sat up, spine straightening to the point that something popped. “Wait, you actually PAY to go use someone else’s equipment to work out?” she asked. You nodded, and earned a scoff. “No. No, no, no.” Maze rounded the bar and took your bag. “You can fight me. Here. Right now.” She pulled on a pair of target gloves. “I’ll teach you how to fight a hellion.”
So she did. She did just that for almost five hours. Maze decided that it was best to give you a break when you stumbled over your own feet, fell onto the steps of club, and couldn’t get back up.
“Are you beating up on our administration staff already, Maze?” You dropped your head back, and followed the motion until you were lying on the floor, to see Lucifer standing behind you. He was fixing a cufflink, and arched an eyebrow at your compromising position, with a smile worming across his face. “Oh, hello.”
Maze shouted your name from across Lux as she said, “Wanted to fight!”
Lucifer crouched to help you sit up, and took the space next to you. “Now, why the Me would you do something as silly as that?” he asked. He took your hand, undid your glove, and proceeded to roll your wraps off your scorching skin.
You heaved a heavy sigh, motioning to Maze. “She said it.”
“Well yes, but why?” he asked again. His fingers were cold on your wrist. Your pulse jumped. As the wrap left your hand and he started on the other one, you explained what happened. “No?” You mimicked the question, voice high and confused as he removed the second wrap completely. “No, why did you leave school? The point was to do school, and keep working!”
You yanked the things from his hands and stood. “One, I can’t do jack—”
“How about Jill?” Lucifer quipped. You rolled your eyes and headed back to the bar, shoving your items into the bag. Maze had come around the other side, and stared at her phone as she dumped ingredients into a blender. Before you could speak, she turned it on, stared at the chocolate brown concoction inside. Lucifer joined you at the bar to watch Maze stop the blender, pour the mixture into a tall glass, and drop it in front of you.
You arched an eyebrow. “What’s this?” you asked.
She shrugged. “A protein shake.” She looked at her phone. “This says its necessary for humans that work out, because like…muscle things, or whatever.” She looked back up at you. “I kicked your ass, you’re probably gonna be sore.” You tilted the glass towards you. “It’s chocolate,” Maze stated, “Don’t humans like chocolate?”
You sipped it. It was thick, and delicious, and so chocolatey you couldn’t taste the protein in it. You downed the shake without taking a break. It left a thin mustache of chocolate across your top lip. You sighed.
“Feel better?” Lucifer asked. You nodded slowly. “So, why did you leave school again?”
Maze whispered something you couldn’t hear as you turned to him ever so slowly. “Really?”
“Well, yes!” Lucifer adjusted his cufflink again. “I assumed you would continue during your employment here!”
You took a deep, slow inhale through your nose. Exhaled. Slid the glass towards Maze with a soft thank you, and went off:
“First of all, how am I supposed to do ANYTHING in my private life when I’m supposed to be at your beck and call twenty-four seven? Why do you think I demanded to have Monday and Tuesday off? Hm?” you shouted. Lucifer started to open his mouth. “That was rhetorical, you dingus. Secondly—” You snatched your bag off the bar to emphasis your words, “Secondly, I was failing. And it’s only for the semester.”
“What, how are you failing?” Lucifer asked. He tutted as you started to walk away, grabbing your arm and turning you back towards the bar. “No, no, no, sit. Explain.” He waved his hands. “Tell me everything!”
“It’s stupid, Lucifer—in fact, it’s already done, I talked to everyone I needed to this morning—”
“No, no, no!!” he protested again. He patted the bar. “First, you tell me what happened! And then we’ll figure out why.” He nodded, and turned to you with a satisfied look. “First rule of Detective School.”
You shook your head, but settled onto the stool he had perched you on, bag dangling from your fingers. “They just told me that my work wasn’t up to par,” you said. You shrugged. “That was it. I mean…it’s the same caliber of work I’ve been doing, better even, and I can’t…” You sighed and dropped your bag to cover your face.
When you looked back up, Maze and Lucifer were exchanging glances. The latter turned his attention back to you, a frown knitting his brow together. “What did you do in school, if I may ask?” he pondered.
“A little of everything?” you sighed. “I uh, I hadn’t really picked a major, but I had enough credits for, like…English, Criminal Justice, uh…a minor or two—”
“Why on Earth would you take so many classes, did you want to kill yourself?” he cut in.
You shrugged. “I have a plethora of unmedicated, and undiagnosed, mental illnesses that I tried to drown out with topics that I highly enjoyed,” you answered.
Maze knocked her knuckles against the bar. Lucifer hummed. “Right, so, we need to introduce you to Linda later, but please,” he shifted in his seat, “Continue.”
Your mouth tightened into an o of confusion as you stared at him. “What do you mean send me to…Linda?”
“Oh, well, Linda is this wonderful therapist I’ve been seeing while here on Earth, and if you say you have these mental illnesses – hold on, is that what you meant before by ‘brain thing’?”
“….Maybe. But that also wasn’t the point of this conversation,” you prompted. But you frowned. Pouted. Looked up at Lucifer. “Thank you,” you whispered.
He straightened his coat as he cleared his throat, tilting his head just a tad. “Oh, well, you’re quite welcome.”
“The school,” Maze cut in loudly.
You cleared your throat and nodded. “Yeah, uh…” You swallowed. “They just said my work wasn’t cutting it. All of them.” You frowned. “I just don’t understand, my work was….amazing. I mean, I had a ton of shorts stories for Creative Writing that my professor wanted to publish them? And my Criminology professor was going to write me a letter of recommendation for the police academy, so…” You sighed and stared at your hands. “This was just last semester, so I don’t know how things changed.”
Lucifer hummed. When you looked up, he was staring towards the ground in contemplation. “Interesting,” he murmured.
You shrugged, and jumped off the stool, scooping your bag up. “It’s life, actually.” You heaved a sigh. “I’m gonna go up to my apartment and shower and…probably eat ice cream for the rest of the day.”
“Nonsense!” Lucifer stood and buttoned his blazer. “Well, besides the shower—do you want company?”
He smiled. “Knee jerk reaction,” his eyebrows moved up and down as his smile grew. “But don’t just brush this off! Alright? Look, I will personally look into this little matter for you. A favor, if you will.”
“I didn’t ask for a favor,” you stated as you walked up the stairs.
Lucifer slid his hands into his pockets. His coin sat at the bottom, heavy, and smooth. He turned it over in his fingers with a frown. “Favors are done in good faith,” he commented absently. You rolled your eyes as you punched the button for your floor. As you disappeared behind the elevator doors, Lucifer pulled the coin from his pocket. The details were flat, smooth. The raised brushed gold pentagram that scarred your hand was now nothing more than a fanciful paint job that had chipped to reveal the silver beneath it. Lucifer set it on the bar and scratched at it with his nail until it all flaked away.
It wasn’t even a coin, just a single flattened metal disk. Lucifer scoffed as he held it up between his fingers. “That’s interesting,” he murmured.
Maze leaned into the space in front of him. “What happened to the Pentecostal coin?” she asked.
“I don’t think it was one at all,” he breathed. He released it, and spun it in the space between his fingers. One side was beautiful detailed, the other scratched away and plain. His eyes widened and he smiled. “Oh, this is interesting.”
Happy Saturday, guys!! I'm sorry this is late (I've posted it already over on Tumblr), but I hope you'll enjoy it! :D
Linda’s office was in a smaller, comfortable office building, with bright windows, soft chairs, and a couch that you sank in to almost too much. She smiled as you looked around her beautiful office, lowering herself into the chair across from you. You drummed your hands on your knees, then pulled one of the pillows over into your lap to hug it tight.
“You’re nervous,” Linda pointed out.
“Oh, my heart feels like it’s gonna flutter up my throat and out my mouth,” you replied with a high, rattling laugh. You stuttered, and felt your voice catch, dropping it into a whisper, “I’ve never done therapy, I’ve never had the money—”
“Well, I know you have insurance,” Linda said with a nod as she grabbed a file from the coffee table. “Lucifer sent over a copy of the card—why does he have your insurance card?”
“He’s Lucifer, I don’t think he realizes he shouldn’t open my mail,” you pointed out. You sighed and fell back against the couch, staring up at the ceiling. “But, I-I-I can’t complain! I mean….he gave me job, he gave me a place to stay, he’s paying me so much money, and all these perks, and it—” You stopped as you squeezed the pillow, sitting up. Your voice dropped back down to a whisper, “He said it was a favor, all so I could give him a coin? But, I won’t lie, this feels like Sugar Daddy thing? And I don’t? Know what to do about this.”
Linda set your file down. “You don’t know what to do about your situation? Or how you feel about it?” she asked. When you couldn’t answer, she smiled. “Has anyone every treated you this way before? Completely over the top?”
“Have you treated yourself this way before?” she asked.
You scoffed faintly, a small, bitter smile tugging at your lips. “I drown myself in work so that I don’t have to think of myself, so no, I don’t.” You looked up. “I mean, I get delivery.”
“That doesn’t count,” Linda pointed out. She crossed her legs, and frowned. “Why don’t…you tell me about yourself.”
You hugged the pillow and looked down. “Suuure…”
After an hour and a half, Linda sent you out with neatly penned prescriptions – anxiety, depression, and sleep – and her phone number. It was sweet of her to do, and you thanked her multiple times for it. She then demanded you see her every Monday, like clock work, and that if you missed she would find you.
You didn’t doubt that.
So you took the bus, filled your prescriptions, and headed back to Lux, more exhausted than you had been when you woke up. Walking through the doors, you yawned, and stretched, and fumbled your keys in search of your own.
Lucifer grabbed your arm and tugged you backwards, out the door and into the sunlight. “There you are! Do you not have your phone? I’ve been calling you for HOURS.”
“I? What?” You stumbled as he dragged you.
“I have been calling you, yes.” He righted you, smiled, and straightened your clothing with wandering hands. “I know you have your phone, you always have it.”
“Why does that matter?” He headed towards his car, jingling the keys. “Listen, I just got back from visiting Linda, I’d like to relax?”
“And do what, read?” He scoffed as he opened the door. “C’mon, get in. We’re doing some investigation.” You stood still on the curb, shaking your head, shrugging as you watched him roll his eyes. “Please?”
“It’s my day off,” you commented. You waved your free hand around. “Monday?” You let your hands slap your thighs as you dropped them. “I don’t have to listen to you, and I don’t have to get in your car.” You turned away.
“I want to investigate your school mates,” he called after you. You groaned as you turned back to him. “You know, see if there’s anything fishy, I believe is the term. Maybe question your professors.”
“Well that’s what friends are for, of course!” You sighed again, rolling your eyes. “If you’re done with the broody teenage sighing, we can head off.” Lucifer patted the door before walking around the front of the corvette. You climbed into the low seat, shoved your bag between your feet, and leaned back against the seat. He pulled away from the curb. “So? Off to the university, yes?”
You sighed, letting it melt into a groan as you dug into your bag. The water was there, given to you by Linda when you saw her, and you swallowed the biggest of gulps to down your brand new medications. “Yup…”
You felt Lucifer’s eyes on you as you dropped your head back against the head rest. “Alright now, out with it. What’s got your undies in a bunch?”
“Ever since the semester started, just thinking of campus has made me anxious as hell,” you answered. You shook your head. “Maybe it’s just me being paranoid? Maybe I really couldn’t take it all.”
“Nonsense!” You blinked at the loud exclamation. It left your left ear ringing and you wondered if your medication had kicked it quicker than you thought. Lucifer pulled over to the curb, turning in his seat to face you once he parked. “What in the world makes you think that, hm? You have, singlehandedly mind you, raised our profits by tens of thousands since you’ve been here!”
“So, going to the university, it should be simple! You deal with much more stressful situations that a simple paper about ethical dilemmas.” He nodded. “Besides, Kant is an obnoxious knob who worked himself up into guilty knots.” It was hard to agree with him when your head swam. You dropped your head back against the seat again. “Do you want to go? I feel I should have asked that before.”
“No, I told you that,” you ground out. You patted your bag, which still sat in your lap, and held up the bottle of anxiety medication. Where were the side effects listed?
“Oh, what’s this?” He snatched the bottle away and rolled it around. “Interesting that Dr. Linda would give you hard medications, but good on her.”
“Can you not?” You leaned up and took the bottle back, shoving it into your bag. “Look, can we get this trip over with, I really don’t wanna draw this out longer than necessary.”
UCLA’s campus gave you a sense of nostalgia as Lucifer drove through it. Or maybe it was the anxiety medication, it was really hard to tell the difference. As he pulled into a parking lot, you climbed out of the corvette and slung your bag over your shoulder.
“Ah. So.” Lucifer shut the door with thud. You squeezed your eyes shut. It rattled your skull. “Where to? The naughty professor—you know, I did always find that trope rather arousing.”
“Can you please keep it in your pants?”
“Rather hard to say,” he answered with a grin. You rolled your eyes and started up the stairs. “I can give it to you, if you’d like!” He hurried after you. “I can go all day!” You yanked the doors open and stalked in, only running smack into the professor you had spoken of—a middle aged man with grey stubble and a full head of hair.
You swallowed, ducked your head, and apologized as you walked inside. Lucifer glanced back at the man as he followed you. “Who—”
“My professor,” you puffed. Lucifer arched his eyebrow as he straightened his coat, turning back towards the door. “No! Please, I—”
“Not to worry, I can speak with him without you, now that I know what he looks like,” Lucifer murmured. He turned to you with a smile that held all the charm of a snake. “Where’s his office, darling?” You motioned towards the elevator with a mumble that sounded like the third floor, and sat on one of the many couches that littered the foyer of the building. You dropped your bag between your feet and doubled over with your head in your hands. “Are you alright?” he asked as he walked over.
“No, no, like I have said for the past hour.” You snapped your head up and stared at him, “I am not alright. This whole thing is a disaster, and I would rather not deal with going through the stress of being here again, Lucifer.”
Lucifer lowered himself onto the seat next to you with a guilty frown. “I didn’t realize that this affected you so much.”
“Are you—” The antique clock in the lobby chimed for one in the afternoon, “—Kidding me?”
“Now, now, no need to swear,” Lucifer chided. He unbuttoned his coat as he shifted towards you. “Tell me, dear, what do you truly desire?” he asked. You narrowed your eyes at him, felt a hum in your ears. “What could I give you that could make you better, hm?”
“What do I desire?” you asked. He nodded as a smile crept across his face. “Right now?” The smile faltered. “To not be here, because being here is torture,” you answered.
“But is that really what you want in life?” he asked.
You shook your head lightly as you stood, snagging your bag from the floor. “What, no, it’s what I want right now,” you replied. You waved at the door. “Let’s go, you can come back and do whatever you want with the professor or whatever when I’m not here.” You propped the door open. “Let’s go,” you ushered, wheeling your arms.
Lucifer patted his pocket as he stood, feeling the smooth coin press against his fingers. “Right, of course.” He followed you out to the Corvette, but stopped. “Where did you say you found the coin again?” he asked as he stopped.
You dropped your bag into the foot well as you looked up. “What?”
“The coin you gave me, where did you get it?” he asked again.
You threw your hands up with a huff, and planted your fists on your hips. “I told you, I found it on the curb out in front of Lux when I was walking past.”
“Yes, well, you didn’t plant it there, did you?” he asked.
Your mouth opened as you stared at him with narrowed eyes. “No, Lucifer, that is the opposite of finding it.” You reached over the door and pulled the lock free, climbing into the seat.
Lucifer nodded slowly as he followed, and turned the car over. He paused as he put the Corvette in drive. “Your professor, what is his name?”
“Manfred Sutherland,” you answered. You looked over as he eased the car out of the parking lot. “Why…?”
“Oh, just curious.” He smiled and it only made you worry more. “This way I can go see your professor whenever I please.”
He dropped you off in front of Lux with a smile, a wave, and permission to raid his penthouse for any alcohol that you wished, then left with little else to say. You swung your bag around and headed back inside, shaking your head. “Whatever,” you muttered, “Go ham.”
You literally stared at the seconds tick up towards five o’clock. The music had already started to pulse through Lux, and you just wanted to go upstairs, and sleep. Was that actually going to happen? No, and you knew it, but what harm did a little wishful thinking do?
Ten seconds until five, and Lucifer threw open your door.
“Grab your things, the Detective has a case.”
Maybe you shouldn’t have jinxed yourself. You still found yourself standing and grabbing your coat. “I’m not a detective.”
“You can’t say you aren’t excited by a little mystery.” Lucifer shut your office door and trailed after you. He danced around your shoulder and led you expertly around a man in a tan trench coat, whose shoulder clipped yours. You glanced back. His eyes flicked between you, then Lucifer, before he continued towards the bar. “Oh, don’t worry about him, he’s a regular,” Lucifer commented. He tilted his head, and absently said, “Or should I say constant.”
“Don’t worry about it,” he insisted. He took your arm and led you outside. “Do you want to hear what this case is about?” he asked, “Or.” He tapped the doors of the Corvette. “Do you want hear about your class situation?” You arched an eyebrow. “Perhaps I should tell you both, and see which one you like better.” He opened the door, and dramatically gestured to the seat.
You climbed in. “I really don’t want to be out long, Lucifer,” you mumbled.
“Nonsense!” The car roared to life before he touched the ignition. You squinted. You’d never noticed that he could do that before…maybe it was an AutoStart? “It’s a Friday, and the weather is lovely – perfect for staying out all hours.”
“Anyway, let’s start with your professor.” He pulled out into the street. You opened the glove box. “After visiting his house—”
“You found his house?” You snapped it closed when you found nothing of interest.
“Maze is very good at finding humans, it’s thrilling,” he continued, “You should follow her on one of her hunts! I think you’d both learn a lot from each other.” You leveled him with a withering stare, and he smiled. “We got him to confess. Someone had been buying him off to fail you. Maze is looking into the others on your impressive transcript, but one would assume it’s the same for the rest.”
You leaned back in your seat. “Someone wanted me to fail?” you whispered.
“To be fair, you were very well liked amongst your professors,” Lucifer pointed out. He pulled up to a light, revving the engine as a car crept into the lane next to him. “Now, what is the next problem, hm?”
You stared at him beneath the L.A. street lights, watching the way his brown eyes caught the light. They looked red, like iron rich clay. “What, do you have a laundry list of things you wanna solve, and my problems are at the top?” you murmured.
“I told you I would figure out why you were failing your classes, and I did,” he replied. He shrugged as he pulled away from the light, and turned down another road. “Perhaps I just want to solve the rest of your problems!”
“You already have,” you pointed out.
“Why were they going to boot you from your apartment, hm? I have been curious, you don’t seem the type to shirk on your payments.” He turned down another street, and a third, until he was in a residential area of massive homes and manicured, green lawns. The street lamps were bright white, and the stop signs were pristine. You watched the lights of the neighboring houses flick on as you grew closer to the crime scene.
“I didn’t,” you answered. Lucifer opened your door for you. “I never once missed a rent payment.”
“Exactly!” He shut the door harder than necessary. “Is that not strange?”
“I live in a beautiful building with the most impressive apartment I have ever seen? I really don’t care anymore,” you said.
“Well I do!” Lucifer exclaimed. He straightened his coat. “So I’ll look into it!”
You started up the driveway, slowing as someone behind the crime scene tape met your gaze – a short girl, with large glasses, and a bowl cut. She smiled, lifted her hand in a small wave, and then Lucifer stepped between the two of you to gain your attention. “You don’t have to,” you finally commented.
He shrugged as he fell in step with you. “I want to. And I don’t believe you have the power to stop me.” He smiled as he spoke. You rolled your eyes.
An officer, one taller than you, with enough muscle to strain the sleeves of her uniform, stopped you both with a brilliant smile. “Sorry,” she chirped, “But this is a closed crime scene!”
Lucifer tilted his head. “I’m sorry, do I know you? You look awfully familiar…”
She tilted her head, and you watched her silky brunette ponytail swish behind her head. “I’m not sure? I mean, we might’ve spoken in passing—”
“No, it’s not here that we met, I’m sure of it…”
Chloe’s voice cut through his musings, “He brought you again?” She patted the woman’s arm and smiled, asking her to secure another part of the crime scene, before she took her place in front of you.
You shrugged. “I’ve stopped trying to tell him no, it doesn’t really work when he wants to drag me somewhere.” She glanced at her watch, looked at you, then turned her gaze to Lucifer. You nodded. “I’m well aware that I’m off the clock,” you commented.
“Not when the case came in!” Lucifer pointed out. He looped an arm over your shoulder. “Did you know that my lovely assistant has a transcript just riddled with criminal justice classes?” he asked. Your voice mixed with Chloe’s in a litany of confused questions and musings on how it was important. He waved his hand. “I could use another set of eyes, and this is just proof as to why—”
“I can be them?” you cut in. You shook your head. “I’d rather not, thanks.”
Chloe sighed. “It can’t hurt,” she mumbled, “I mean, we already have Lucifer.” The Devil clapped, and slipped between the two of you to head into the house. “You’ll at least wear gloves, right?” she asked you.
You turned to her with wide eyes and a whispered question of, “He doesn’t wear gloves?” She shook her head. A wheeze pushed through your lips and you sighed. A box of purple latex gloves sat in plain view, right next to Lucifer. You made a point of yanking out one pair, and held out another.
“Oh, no thank you, they make my hands sweat,” he commented. You flapped the gloves at him. He turned to you with wide eyes, and mouthed ‘no’.
“Don’t be a prima donna,” you hissed.
He turned sharply, and smiled, sighing between his teeth. “Will you let me look into your land lord if I put the bloody gloves on?” he asked.
“I’m the Devil, I’m always serious.”
“I also never lie,” he added. He held his hands out to you, wiggling his fingers as you tried to slip on the first glove. “I’m a little offended that you would think that of me.” You snapped the edge of the glove against his wrist. “Oh! That hurt!” He leaned in. “Do it again.”
“I will stomp on your Louboutin’s if you continue to be nasty,” you whispered.
He hummed. “I’m impressed! Not everyone can tell they’re Louboutin.” He grasped your shoulders and turned you towards the crime scene. “Precisely why you should be here. Use those sharp human eye balls of yours to find any clues.”
Chloe stared at the both of you. The woman kneeling next to the body looked up with a confused smile. “Uh…”
“Miss Lopez, this is my assistant,” Lucifer said, introducing you with a smile as he led you around the body. You nodded slowly, and sighed, and held out your hand. Lucifer repeated your name as he released you, “This is Ella Lopez, the forensics scientist behind the LAPD.”
Ella jumped up and threw her arms around you. “It’s so nice to meet you!” She released you with a grin. “Finally, I mean, you’ve been the talk of the precinct – Lucifer has an assistant? That’s so wild!” She leaned in to whisper, “Does he do the method acting thing all the time, or is it just around all of us?”
You smiled, slowly, and shrugged. “Hard to say. All the legal paperwork for Lux says Lucifer Morningstar.”
“Enough talking about me,” Lucifer scoffed. He waved to the body between you. “There’s a case to solve, isn’t there? Come now, I can’t be the only one focusing on it.” You rolled your eyes, stepped back, and waited. Maybe if you just didn’t touch anything, it would make you being there alright.
And at least Lucifer had gloves.
That was a plus.
You discovered that, after a long day in your office, the combination of lights and loud sounds that Lux had to offer made you leave your body in about fourteen different ways. You blinked as the songs transitioned, finding at least a part of your mind coming back while the bass thumped to a different beat. There was a glass of water in front of you – one you didn’t remember ordering – and someone leaning over your side to try to get your attention. You honestly thought you might have been drunk when it took you a moment to focus on their face.
They was a she, a lovely blonde woman with a nervous smile. “Is this seat taken?” she asked a little too loudly.
“Uh…” You picked up your glass and turned away from the bar, shaking your head. “Nope. Not at all.” She sat. You squinted. You recognized her; you knew you did—she’d been around Lux a lot in the past few weeks. Almost every day since you had started working there. You hadn’t gotten a chance to meet her, though – Lucifer made a point to steer you, or her, clear of the other. You held out your hand and introduced yourself. She took it with a smile. “I’m the…” You narrowed your eyes. “I’m Lucifer’s personal assistant,” you said instead.
“I’m Charlotte.” You thought she said that. It was terribly hard to tell beneath the growing bass and thrumming music. She repeated herself louder, tucking her head closer to yours, and you nodded.
“Nice to meet you, Charlotte!” you shouted.
She settled into the seat next to you, and waited for you to turn back to the bar, before asking, “Have we met before?”
You frowned. “Lucifer’s made it a point that we haven’t yet.”
Charlotte quickly swallowed the sip in her mouth. “I’ve noticed that my son has a tendency for that!”
You stared at her. “Mom?” you repeated. She nodded as she drained more of her drink. “You’re Lucifer’s mom?”
“You know, people seem very surprised when I tell them that,” Charlotte responded. You stared at her, really stared, until she looked down at herself, and then back at you. “Is something wrong?”
“No, nothing just…” You couldn’t put your finger on what it was. There was something about Charlotte, though – not just her saying she was Lucifer’s mom, even though that was strange – something different. “Nothing.” The two of you chatted for a few minutes longer, until you finished your water, and she found someone else to catch her attention.
You watched the water the bartender refilled your glass with. It sparkled with beautiful, crystalline rainbows right up to the moment Charlotte left your side.
You stuck around for a while afterwards, taking your fill of water and the occasional spirit, until your face was just on the other side of warm. As you left the bathroom for the third time that evening, you were greeted with Lucifer’s piano playing. It was a song you knew – a popular one played on the radio. His voice filled the club. You leaned on the rail and stared, struck with the fact that you had never heard Lucifer sing before.
A hand squeezed your elbow. You glanced up and smiled as you found Chloe next to you. “It’s weird, huh?” she asked as she motioned towards Lucifer. “He sings really well. You would never guess he’s…”
“Lucifer?” you offered. She smiled. “Stories say Lucifer was the greatest of the angels.”
Her eyes widened just a smidge. “Lucifer isn’t angelic,” she pointed out.
You laughed and shook your head as you agreed. “That’s an understatement.” You tilted your head, watching as Chloe made herself comfortable against the rail. “What brings you here so late?” You motioned absently to her, to the badge still on her belt. “Did you just get done with work?”
“Oh, yeah, that’s uh,” Chloe turned to you. The piano faded as the song ended, and the music picked up with a faster beat. “That’s why I came! That case we had? With the murder victim, in the house—”
“Yeah, that really nice place?”
“Guy came in and confessed.”
You widened your eyes. “Seriously? That must have been the easiest case for you,” you said.
She snorted faintly. “Yeah, actually. Still have to pay Lucifer that consultant fee, but it’s okay.”
You tapped your hands against the rail. “Hey, do you know Lucifer’s mom?” you suddenly asked. Chloe hummed. “I met her. She’s a little odd? And WOW, she’s young?”
“You know, that’s what I thought too.” She motioned for the bar, and you started back down to it. “But she’s alright.”
Lucifer approached before you could reach the bar, calling your name as he approached. “Detective,” he added, nodding. “Now I know you enjoy a drink, but you can’t keep my assistant out late like this.” You and Chloe exchanged incredulous glances. Chloe patted her pockets and pulled the check she mentioned out. “Oh? What’s this?”
“Really?” Chloe asked, “It’s your check, you know that.”
“Of course, I know, I’m joking.” Lucifer folded the check and slipped it into his suit coat pocket. “Want to stay?” he asked as he leaned on the rail. You noticed how close the two were. A bubble welled in your chest.
“Actually, Dan and I have plans tomorrow,” Chloe answered.
“Detective Dan?” You asked as you leaned around her.
“Detective Douche?” Lucifer asked. You stared at him. He shrugged. “It’s his name.”
“No, it’s not,” You replied.
Chloe waved her hand. “Yes, we decided that we’re going to work on things.” When Lucifer opened his mouth, you plucked an ice cube from the man’s glass next to you, mumbling a quick sorry, before throwing it at the Devil. He gaped at you.
“I hadn’t said a word!” he exclaimed.
Chloe patted the rail, gave your arm another squeeze, and pushed away. “I’ve gotta get going. Don’t have too late of a night, okay?” she managed to say between songs. You nodded and wished her a good night as she left.
Lucifer scoffed. “The Detective? Back together with Detective Douche?” There was such an emphasis on douche that you thought he might break something. “This is a disaster.”
You crossed your arms. “I’ll say.” He threw up his arms as he turned to you. “You’re jealous?”
“No!” he sputtered. He crossed his arms; set his hands on his hips; tugged his suit jacket into place. Finally, he pulled his phone from his coat. “I’m calling a few friends for a gathering upstairs, care to join?” he rushed to say.
You rolled your eyes. The bubble settled in your chest. “No, I’m going home.” You took the phone from him before he could press send and stared. “Please get some rest?” you suggested, “It’s late.”
He plucked the phone from your fingers. “I’ll rest when the party is over,” he answered. He lifted the phone to his ear.
You turned away and left to the elevator.
The morning came too soon, and the California sun was unforgiving. You shuffled through your apartment in slippers and your favorite pants, wondering how low you could turn your air conditioner. You found out, forty-five minutes later, it was to sixty degrees. You donned a sweatshirt as you made breakfast.
A knock on your door made you pause, a fork halfway to your mouth and a plate in your hand. The knocking started again. You shoveled a bite of food into your mouth as you made your way to the door.
Charlotte whipped around when you opened it, standing in the hall in bright Louboutin’s and a pencil skirt. You squinted at her. You couldn’t even remember if you showered last night, but here she was fully made up and ready for the day.
“How did you find my apartment?” you finally asked, mouth full of breakfast.
She opened her mouth, closed it, lifted a hand to her chin. “That’s not that important,” she finally said. She stepped past you and through your door. “Can I come in?”
You were starting to see the resemblance. She eyed your old couch, then the older chair with the stain on the arm, then perched carefully on the arm of the couch with a look of trepidation. “Yesterday, I said you looked familiar. Do you remember?” she asked.
You leaned on your kitchen bar to take another bite of your food. “Is that seriously what you came here to ask?”
“Well…” She sighed through her nose as she sat up. “There’s really only one place that you’d possibly be familiar.” She started across your living room towards you. “And it’s odd that I would see you here, of all places!” She crossed her arms. Her brow furrowed. “That you would be at Lux, with my son, who was also where I was, and—” She stopped short when you continued to eat. “Does none of this sound familiar to you?”
You shook your head. “I met Lucifer like…” You shrugged and waved your fork. “Two months ago.”
Charlotte closed the gap between you two faster than you expected. You gripped the counter and pulled yourself onto it, trying to get space between the two of you. “See, that’s impossible!” she said with a frantic laugh, “Because I know you from somewhere, and—”
“Mum?” You snapped your head to the side to find Lucifer standing in your doorway. In your peripheral, Charlotte clenched her fists in front of her. Lucifer adjusted his cuffs. “What are you doing here?”
You turned yourself around on the counter and jumped off in your kitchen, putting a great distance and an object between yourself and Charlotte. Setting your plate in the sink, you cleared your throat. “Nothing,” you answered for her.
Charlotte’s eyes widened as Lucifer turned to you. You shrugged. “It’s fine, nothing happened, just a weird conversation.”
“Are you sure?” he asked. He joined you, a frown on his face. “Mum has a habit of—”
“It’s fine,” you cut in. You turned to Charlotte. “Maybe we can talk about the whole thing later?” you asked. “Because you do have a point.” She stared at you for a beat too long, which drew Lucifer’s attention to you once again. You nodded faintly. Charlotte nodded as well, until a look of realization dawned across her face.
“Oh,” she whispered. She clapped her hand together. “Right. Of course.” She stepped back towards the door. “We can talk later.” You nodded until she left.
The California sun seemed dimmer through your windows.
“Are you sure you’re alright?” Lucifer asked quietly.
You nodded as you looked up at him. “Is there a reason you didn’t want me to meet your mom?” you asked softly.
His eyebrow arched just a tad as his eyes widened a smidge and his fingers tugged at his cufflinks. Small things. Lying things. “There isn’t,” he finally said. He cleared his throat. “She’s overbearing, like Mums. I told you that when I hired you: I needed help to keep her from dropping in all the time.”
You couldn’t help the frown that tugged down your lips. “Right…” You finally yawned and stretched your arms above your head. “What do you have planned for today, Luci?” you asked. It made him smile.
The bubble in your chest finally melted away.
You were finding your days off to be quiet. You had contemplated returning to studying, more so you were prepared for if you returned to school, then you considered publishing some of the things you wrote when you were in school, and decided against that when you found you didn’t have enough shorter stories to put together for a collection.
So, instead, you got dressed in the clothes you found were the cutest on you and headed out. Maze stopped you as soon as you stepped off the elevator, a sultry laugh on her lips.
“What is this?” she asked slowly. She fanned her face as she started around you. You, in turn, rolled your eyes and started for the door. “You dressed for Lucifer?” she asked.
That made you stop. “No?” came your incredulous voice. You turned to her. “Why would I be dressed like this for Lucifer?”
“Where are you going?” she asked.
“Well…” You pursed your lips. “I don’t know,” you confessed. She rolled her eyes this time. “Maybe I just want a day out of my apartment. Hm?”
“Looking like a snack?” she asked.
You twirled your keys and shoved them in your pocket. “Good-bye, Maze.”
As you head for the door, she shouted, “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!”
“That’s not much!” you shouted back. When you were outside, you headed for the bus stop, trying to think of where you wanted to go. When you looked at the time, an idea came to you. You pulled out your phone, searched for Chloe’s name, and called.
She picked up on the second ring. “Are you looking for Lucifer?” she immediately asked.
You thumped your hand against your thigh, digging your money out of your pocket once the bus pulled up. “No?” You made your way to a seat in the back. “Why?” you drawled.
“Could you be?” Her voice dropped to a whisper. “He’s on a roll today about something and I don’t need him around when I’m trying to do paperwork, or—” Her voice fell away from the phone, directed at someone else. “—Or trying to use my log in for something!”
“I’m doing detective work, Detective!” Lucifer’s whine came through. “Is that not what this database is for?”
“What work?” Chole snapped. You heard a struggle when he didn’t answer. “Get out of my chair.” Her voice was even further away.
“Are you on the phone? Who are you talking to?” Lucifer asked. He must have seen your name, because his voice was suddenly in your ear. “Tell the Detective that I’m working a case for you!”
“Give me my phone.”
“What? No, not until you know that I’m doing actual work here.”
“Give it—” There were obvious sounds of a scuffle before the call ended. You leaned back in your seat, staring at the phone. Glancing out the window, you calculated it was about two stops and another bus that would take you to the police station and settled in for the ride.
Lucifer was still there when you arrived. You told the desk you were there to help escort him out, and they were more than happy to let you past the desk. When you walked down into the bank of desks, you slowed, and finally stopped completely.
Lucifer was in a chair, which was rolled away from any desk, and was fastened to it with tape around one wrist. Chloe was crouched in front of her desk, no chair in sight, and a look of irritation on her face.
Dan, on the other hand, looked up as you stepped off the stairs. He held his pudding in one hand and grinned. “It’s been like this for half an hour,” he whispered. He waved his spoon in Lucifer’s direction. “He used all the tape on Chlo’s desk and now he can’t figure out how to get out of it.”
Lucifer rolled back to Chloe’s desk as you and Dan talked. “Can I—will you give me the scissors?”
“No,” Chloe answered. Lucifer rolled the chair around the desk. Without taking her eyes off the screen, she reached past her monitor and took the scissors from the cup they sat in. You could hear Lucifer’s annoyed inhale. He turned the chair and shoved against the floor, rolling past you and Dan, to another desk. Before he reached it, Chloe snapped her attention to the office sitting at it. “Do not give him your scissors.”
Lucifer noticed you as he banged into the divider, shouting your name with as much energy as he could handle. “Are you here to prove me right? That I was actually working a case?”
“I don’t think you can have a case if you’re not a cop or a private investigator?” you tried.
Chloe stood with a soft but triumphant, “Hah!”
Lucifer hummed. “What would I need to do to be a private investigator?” Chloe groaned. Lucifer, in turn, directed his chair towards the lab door, craning his head to make sure he was rolling it in the right direction while singing Ella’s name as loud as he could.
“I am so sorry,” you said as you wandered to Chloe’s desk.
“What for?” She tugged her blazer straight. “You didn’t make him a…man-child.” You snorted. She waved to the chair next to her desk. “He did tell me why he was using my computer, though.”
You paused as you sat, looking up to find her staring a hole into your head. “Why didn’t you tell me that your apartment kicked you out for lack of rent?” she asked.
You finally sat with a sigh. “Because I didn’t even want to tell Lucifer?” you tried. She crossed her arms. “It’s really not a big deal, I have a better place to live now.” There was a gleeful shout from the lab. Chloe’s chair raced out of the door.
She sighed. A stack of paper sat by her keyboard, which she picked up and shook. “I looked into it.”
You groaned. “Chloe—”
She held up a hand. “We’ve arrested your landlord.” You snapped your head up. She held up the papers. “This is lease that you signed, with the rent you agreed to. The original. When they said that your rent was going up, they told you it was due to a change in the agreement that you, apparently, signed. Because they forged your signature.” She held out the stack to you. “You can press charges if you want. But you’ll be getting a check for about six thousand dollars in the mail in the next few days.”
You took the papers, staring at her, dazed. You couldn’t believe what she told you. Tears welled in your eyes.
Lucifer was fixing his cuffs when he approached, a smile on his face as he spoke, “You won’t believe what we found—” He stopped, watched your face as you looked down at your old rent agreement. Then, he threw his hands up. “You told—why the me would you do that?!”
“You were busy,” Chloe answered sharply. The cop from before, the pretty brunette with the large smile and the neat bun, approached Chloe’s desk with a report. She nodded at you before she left, squeezing your shoulder as she passed. You squinted as you stared after her.
“Right.” Lucifer grasped your arms and pulled you right up from the chair. “Now. What was the last problem? It was your old job, right?”
You couldn’t help but scoff as you looked up at him. “I told you that my problems are not your problems.”
“What uh…” Chloe crossed her arms. You turned to her, clutching the papers to your chest. “What problems were with your job? I bet we can help.”
You rolled your eyes up to Lucifer. He was grinning. “I hate you,” you muttered.
He sucked on his teeth. “I’ve never heard ‘thank you’ said that way before. It’s quite alright, you are very welcome.”
You sat by the windows of your apartment, staring out over the twinkling lights of Los Angeles. You still couldn’t believe your luck – the job with the surprisingly consistent hours, the great pay, the beautiful apartment. The friends you’d made. Not to mention the fact that you hadn’t stressed out about anything for weeks now.
You smiled as you took a drink from your cup and relaxed into your seat. Your television played your favorite show, something you had seen thousands of times, and between it, and the warmth of comfort, you found yourself drifting off for a nap.
Knocking on your door finally roused you from your sleep. It was insistent and continued in a string of steady knocks until you finally opened the door. On the other side was Lucifer, who was looking away and down the hall to the elevator until his fist no longer met a door, and who turned just in time to stop his fist from knocking into your forehead. You stared at him, a little bleary, and tilted your head.
“What time is it?” you groaned.
His mouth slowly opened the longer he stared at you, the awe morphing into an aghast surprise. “Far too early for you to be sleeping on a Friday,” he gasped. You couldn’t help but roll your eyes as he pushed past you, walking further into the apartment, followed by the familiar crinkle of paper and a delicious smell of fast food.
You shut the door. “What is that smell?” you whispered.
He dropped a bag onto your kitchen counter. “Dinner,” he proclaimed. He turned to you, shed his coat, and rolled the sleeves of the light blue button up he wore underneath. “If you want it. The Detective—I didn’t know you were such good friends with her, by the way?” He hummed. “Keeping secrets, are we?”
You leaned against the counter next to him, crossing your arms. “I didn’t think it was important?” you said, confused as you eyed the bag in front of him. It smelled familiar. “I am allowed to have friends outside of you.”
“Oh, of course.”
“Like Chloe, and Maze, and Dan—”
“Poor choice.” He started to open the bag.
“I’ve even talked with that Henry guy a couple of times.”
“You what?” He stopped then. You stood on your toes to peek into the bag. A very familiar bright blue aluminum barely poked out through the bag. A bright blue you knew from the diner a few blocks away, a small thing tucked into a corner, between a bar and a barber shop. You gasped and reached for it, earning a smack against the top of your hand. “No, no, only good little devils get free dinner, and good little devils spill the dirty details,” he gasped.
“You brought me dinner?” you asked.
“I brought dinner to someone I didn’t know was sleeping with the dirty little demon, Henry,” he stated.
You stuttered, looking up at him with narrowed eyes and overwhelming confusion. “I’m sorry, when did ‘talking’,” you stressed the word, repeated it again, “Talking, you know, the thing we are doing right now? Turn into sleeping with someone? And…” You crossed your arms again. “Why do you care?”
“Why are you talking to him?”
“Why do you care?” you asked again.
There was a look in his eye, a kind of hesitance that gave so many different answers. He adjusted the waistcoat, a darker blue silk thing that fit him nicely, and looked away. “Is a friend not allowed to care?” he asked softly.
You nodded slowly. “I suppose a friend can,” you whispered.
He cleared his throat and tugged the bag closer to him. “I brought you dinner.” He cleared his throat as he opened the bag once again. “The Detective told me you liked that little diner down the way. I thought, that, well…” He tilted his head, his jaw moving ever so slightly, eyes narrowing.
You leaned into his side to give him a gentle, one-armed hug, while also picking up a few of the seasoned fries. “Thank you.”
He smiled when you looked up at him, a softer smile, and he returned the one-armed hug with one of his own. You popped the fries into your mouth and ducked around him, opening your cabinets for plates. “We’re only friends, you know,” you finally answered. Lucifer hummed as though he hadn’t a clue what you were talking about. You set the plates next to him. “Henry and I.”
“Really hard to be ‘just friends’ with a man with such a large—”
“What?” He met your gaze. The hesitance that once lingered in his eyes was gone now, replaced by his usual mischievous glint, and something soft and gentle. “You really should try it, at least once. Maybe not alone, mind you. And your mouth might be a little small for some of the more fun things.”
“Hey!” You felt your cheeks warm, and your outraged expression brought a smile to his face. You grabbed a plate and moved around him, sitting on the couch, fishing around for the remote that you must have fallen asleep on. “Don’t be nasty.”
“That’s asking me to push away at least half of my personality,” he commented. He fell into the seat next to you. You both reached across and pulled the coffee table closer to you. “Now.” He leaned back, his fingers deftly unbuttoning the top button of his shirt. “What were you watching?”
It was still dark when the last of your movies finished and the lights of L.A. seemed a little dimmer in the windows behind your television. You yawned as the credits rolled, stretching your arms above your head, dislodging yourself from Lucifer’s side. His arm slid down your back. His socked feet shifted on the coffee table, his shoes long discarded, and he pushed himself up from the plush cushions.
“So, the doll was possessed?” he asked slowly.
You looked back. He was rumbled, with a red mark on his cheek from him leaning against your head. “No? That was the point, you know? They said the demon couldn’t possess the doll.”
“Moved it around instead, yes, I heard you,” he mumbled. He tilted his head. “It sounds like something Maze would do.” He checked the time on his phone and whistled, dropping his feet to the carpet. “Well, it’s rather late.”
You stared suspiciously as you picked up the plates. “How late is late…?”
He arched an eyebrow when he looked up. “I’m sure Lux is closed by now.” You whistled as well. As you took the plates back to the kitchen, you heard Lucifer stand, stretch, and grab his things. “I do hate to…well, run…” The words came out awkwardly. You looked up from the sink. “But I should…”
“Right.” You cleared your throat as you picked up his suit coat. “I mean, you live upstairs and everything. Don’t even have to go far.”
“And there is work to be done tomorrow,” you added. Lucifer hesitated as he reached for his coat, fingers enclosing around yours.
“What other movies would you recommend?” he murmured.
“About creepy dolls?” you asked, “Or in general?”
“Anything.” He set his coat down and shifted. Glancing down, you noticed he hadn’t even put his shoes back on. “I don’t really want to go back upstairs,” he whispered.
You smiled. “You know? I’m not all that tired.”
Lucifer smiled, very slow, and very bright. “No?”
You grinned. “Have you ever built a blanket fort, Lucifer?”
“I can’t say I have, no,” he mused.
You clapped your hands together. “It’s really the only way to enjoy a horror movie. Or any movie.” You waved your hand at him as you hurried past. “I’d take your vest off. You’ll be here a while.”
Charlotte Richards could have been a God damn ninja with how quietly she appeared in your office, standing in front of your desk in absolute silence until you looked up. You jumped, swore, and shoved your chair back away from your desk.
She merely arched an eyebrow and swept her fingers over your desk. “Sorry, I should have called ahead, but this little problem just came up while I was out,” she said.
“Uh…” You cleared your throat and stood up. “Hi? Again? How are you? It’s been a while?” you tried. You reached into the mini fridge next to your desk and produced a small glass bottle of water.
“I’m not here on a social call,” she said. She waved to a seat behind her. “May I?”
“Of course.” You set the bottle in front of her as she sat down. “If you’re not here for a social visit,” you drawled as you sat back down, pulling your chair up to your desk, “Then why are you here?”
“I’m here on behalf of my client, actually.” You arched an eyebrow at her statement, warily meeting her gaze. “Your previous employer?” she added.
“Oh.” It took far too long to connect to dot between ‘previous employer’ and ‘previous employer that was under a criminal investigation by Chloe’. “Oh!” You sat up more in your seat. “Should you be here? Like…legally, isn’t this a bad thing?”
“It’s called trying to settle outside of court,” Charlotte said.
“Yeah but isn’t that generally done like…. with police knowledge?” you asked. You reached for your phone. “Maybe I should call Detective Decker.”
“Oh, you don’t need to do that.” Charlotte stood and placed a hand over your phone, staring as she leaned over your desk. “This can be a very civil conversation.”
“Is it?” you asked, “Because this is a little threatening, if you ask me.”
“Not at all! This is purely friendly, I assure you.”
You swallowed as she pulled the phone off the cradle and set it on the desk before sitting back in her chair. You brushed your fingers over the edge of your desk and found a quarter sized button with your thumb, one that gave way with the lightest push. “Charlotte, the last time I saw you, you weren’t all that friendly. This feels a little worse than that,” you said.
“Nonsense,” she scoffed, crossing her legs.
The door of your office was pushed open. Charlotte craned her neck to find Maze standing in the doorway, crossing her arms, and releasing the slowest, most sarcastic laugh you had ever heard. “Well, well, well,” Maze taunted. Charlotte’s head turned back to you. You leaned back in your seat. Her glare could have set you on fire. “I don’t think you’re welcome here,” Maze cooed. She walked closer. Her nails drummed against Charlotte’s seat. “I can walk you out.”
You watched them both as they left and slumped further into your chair. Your small desk fan whirred. You stared at nothing in particular. Turning your chair, you doubled over and buried your face in your hands.
It wasn’t much, but Charlotte being there confirmed that your bosses at your last job had been doing something sketchy. You turned enough to take your phone off the desk and texted Chloe about what had just happened. Maybe it would help in her investigation? You couldn’t say for sure. You watched your thumbs tremble as you sent the text.
You heard shoes click against the floor, even, light, quick. You recognized them and felt yourself relax before he even spoke. “I just saw Maze walking Mum to the door? Is…” Lucifer’s voice trailed off as you stood. He whispered your name, his hands lowering from his cuffs, and opened his arms as you stepped into his space for a hug. He repeated your name, softer, and slowly wrapped his arms around your shoulders. “Are you alright?”
“’m fine,” you mumbled. You pressed your face into his shoulder.
“I would believe you if you weren’t so tense,” he mumbled. His hands rubbed up and down your back. “Did something happen?” You pulled your hand to your face and pressed your palms into your eyes. You couldn’t tell if your arms were shaking, or if they were just so tense that they vibrated. Lucifer’s hands cupped your cheeks. He tilted your face up, cradled it, brushed his thumbs over the backs of your hands as you brought your hands down over your chin. He looked genuinely worried. “Now, now, don’t keep secrets, especially when you’re like this.”
He looked softer. It was strange. There was usually a sharpness to his face, but it was gone now. You cleared your throat. “She said she was here because of my last job,” you whispered.
“Your last—” He dropped his hands. You stepped back, smoothed your fingers over your warm cheeks, and suddenly felt just a little colder. “You mean your prick boss that’s under investigation?” he asked. You nodded. He laughed. “Well that, that solves it then, doesn’t it? Proves his guilt, the little bastard.” He pushed his coat aside to plant his fists on his hips. Tapping his foot, he turned away and headed back down the hall into Lux. “I’m calling the Detective, she should—” He stumbled a bit, moved aside as Maze appeared in the hall, “—She should know what happened!” Lucifer was gone before you could tell him that Chloe was aware.
Maze slinked her way back to you, dragging her gaze from Lucifer’s back to you. “Huh.” She nodded slowly and pursed her lips. You crossed your arms. “So, when did you uh…” She waved her hand from you to the hall and arched her eyebrows suggestively. “When did THAT happen?”
You squinted. “What?”
“When did you two fuck?” she asked louder. Your shoulders hunched up. You felt your mouth slowly drop as you stared at Maze, processing what she said until your face burned. She nodded with the widest, most smug grin you had ever seen. “I knew it. I knew you two were—”
“We’re not!” you protested.
She waved her hand in front of her face as she spoke over you, “He’s got that ‘freshly fucked’ look about him lately with the smile and the laid back—”
She continued, though, “You can’t hide it, I mean, I’ve seen that look too many times to mistake it for something else.”
“We haven’t done anything!” you hissed, grabbing her hand from the air. “I swear to God—”
“—I have never seen more of Lucifer than I did when I walked in on his little absinthe orgy forever ago.” You shook her arm for emphasis. You released her and shrugged. “Maybe he just…” You shrugged, flapping your hands against your thighs. “Maybe he enjoyed building a blanket fort? I dunno, Maze.”
She recoiled, defensively lifting her hands in front of her. “A what?” she finally asked.
“A blanket fort,” you replied slowly. “With…blankets? And sheets and…” You waved your hand over your head. “Chairs?”
She stared at you, her eyes narrowing, and crossed her arms. “Is it something that…human children like?” she asked.
“…I don’t really like the progression of this conversation and I’m a little confused.”
“Human children!” she shouted. She waved her hands. “Do human children enjoy making those?!” She grabbed your arms and shook you.
“Yes, yes, Jesus—”
“No? No, don’t bring Him into this he has nothing to do with this?” she muttered. She squeezed your arms, patted them, and finally released you. “Good, so, I’ll be by to pick you up later—”
“Wait, what?” you asked.
Maze started down the hall, continuing as though you had never spoken. “—And we’ll build one of these and have it judged by a professional.” She disappeared from sight once she finished her sentence.
You stared blankly down the hall. First Lucifer, then Maze. Shaking your head, you turned back to your desk. Two peas in a weird Hell themed pod, they were.
Maze was true to her word, though. After you were done with your shift, you headed up to your apartment, changed, and found yourself answering your door a few hours later. Maze stood there with her hands on the shoulder of a child that you recognized from pictures – Trixie. She waved at you with a wide, toothy grin.
“Did you steal Chole’s daughter?” you asked slowly.
Maze slapped the child on the back, urging Trixie into your apartment. “Nope. I’m watching her.” She brushed past you. “We are, I guess.”
You shut the door behind her. “Thanks for asking me?” you whispered, thoroughly confused.
“Mom and Dad went on a date,” Trixie said from the couch. She was digging through the folded blankets, pulling sheets from the pile you had used with Lucifer. “Maze said you built a blanket fort, can we make one?”
“That’s what we’re here for, kid,” Maze called. Trixie tossed her pink backpack onto a chair and zoomed around the apartment, dragging chairs and other, taller things from various places as she got to work. You waved at Maze’s boots after a moment, asking her to take them off.
“They’re on a date?” you murmured. Maze gave an affirmative hum. “When did that start happening again?”
“This is, like…their third of fourth date in a month, I think?” Maze replied. She looked over at you. “She didn’t tell you?”
“Not really,” you mumbled.
“Well, bring that up to her!” she exclaimed. She steered you towards the couches. Trixie had already draped a sheet over your television. “Tribe doesn’t keep secrets!” She squeezed your shoulders almost painfully. “You hear that?”
“Maze for the last time—”
“Yeah, you and Lucifer didn’t do the horizontal mambo,” she said, rolling her eyes. “But you better tell me when you do.”
You shook your head. Trixie cleared her throat, planted her hands on her hips, and took the lead on the construction of her blanket fort. You bowed to her and followed her lead, until she, Maze, and yourself had constructed a blanket fort that was miles better than what you had built with Lucifer. You crawled through the maze between a couch and a chair, pushing a large bowl of chips in front of you. Maze took it from you once you came into view and moved over enough for you to lean back against the couch. Trixie sat in front of you both, reciting a speech from a movie that she had picked out.
As you relaxed, Maze nudged your shoulder. “Charlotte said something to me when I was escorting her out,” she murmured. You looked over, crunching down on a handful of chips, waiting for her to continue. She pursed her lips and frowned. “She said she knew you from somewhere?” Her voice had dropped to something softer than a whisper.
“You know, she said that before, too,” you breathed, “Came to my apartment, asked me how it was possible?” You tilted your head. “No, she…said it was impossible that she would know me from somewhere…was real…manic about it.”
Maze’s frown deepened. “Was that it?”
You nodded. “I mean, there was other stuff. Said that if she didn’t know me from Lux that it was from somewhere else but…” You shook your head. “It didn’t make any sense.”
A handful of popcorn sprinkled your face. You turned in time to see Trixie throwing another handful at Maze. “You guys aren’t watching the movie,” she pointed out. She grabbed the remote and rewound it, scooting back across the floor until she sat between you both. “Now,” she sighed dramatically, “We have to start it over.”
You planted a loud smooch against Trixie’s head. Maze watched you.
You felt her watching you for the rest of the night.
“So, after I got your message—” Chloe sat on her desk, throwing her hair over her shoulder as she turned to face you. You leaned back in her chair with a grin and folded your hands in your lap. “After I got your text,” she repeated, “I went to your former boss’s house. Turns out? That whole thing about Charlotte coming to you was a cover.”
“No,” you gasped.
“Yes!” She beamed. “He was getting ready to leave the country. And he wasn’t the smartest of scumbags either – he kept detailed records of the embezzlement.” She flipped through the papers she grasped between her fingers. “It was insane, honestly.”
You leaned forward in your seat. “Is there something about me that screams ‘rob me but make it flashy’?” you asked.
She leaned over as well, snapping the papers closed. “I was actually gonna ask if you had that, like, embroidered somewhere?” You started to laugh. “I’m serious, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much crime around one person where that person was innocent,” she added with a giggle.
You grinned. “Are you supposed to be telling me all of this?”
She hummed. “Probably not,” she answered, “But I am updating you on your case, so…”
You hummed in return, tilting your head. “That sounds like Lucifer talking,” you pointed out.
She scoffed, exclaiming how that wasn’t a funny comment, when the topic of conversation spoke over her. “What’s the saying? Speak of me and I will appear?” Lucifer called. You both turned to him. He stopped just behind Chloe’s desk. “My ears were burning, were you talking about me?”
“No,” you and Chloe answered together.
Lucifer straightened the sleeves of his coat with a pout. “Oh.” He glanced around the office. “One of these days I’ll say that, and it’ll be true,” he muttered.
You stood from Chloe’s chair. “What are you doing here?” you asked as you moved aside.
Chloe fell into her seat and tossed your file onto a pile. “Yeah, we don’t have a case,” she added.
Lucifer motioned between you two. “Have you both been practicing that?” he asked. He smiled slowly, slyly. “Been spending a lot of time together, have you? Hm?”
You rolled your eyes. “Be worried when I start copying Maze,” you said.
“Worried? No, I’ll be downright delighted when that day comes.” You heard Chloe groan. Lucifer patted his coat and fished through an inside pocket. “No, I came to give this to the captain!” he exclaimed. He yanked a folded plastic badge that had been shoved into a pocket that was too small. “Hah!” He flipped it open. “Now, Detective,” he said with a shake of the badge, “You will have a professional partner.”
Chloe stood and yanked the badge from his grasp. “No.”
“What did you do?” you asked.
Lucifer tilted his head with an amused shrug. “It turns out that becoming a private investigator isn’t nearly as hard as everyone says!”
You stared at him in awe, torn between being a little proud and a little aghast at his declaration. The officer you had run into multiple times – the one with the large donut bun on her head and the million-watt smile – walked past.
“Did you say you became a private investigator?” she asked.
Lucifer turned only slightly, just a swing of his body in her direction. “I did, actually.”
“That’s awesome!” she chirped.
Your jaw dropped even more. “No? No, it’s not.”
“It’s really not,” Chloe agreed, “This means you can go anywhere.”
“I already have a hard-enough job keeping track of you as your personal assistant,” you pointed out. “You being a private investigator is going to make it worse.”
The woman shrugged, hugging the files in her arms tighter. “I mean, it’s not awful, right?”
Heels stomped down the stairs behind her, drawing the attention of almost everyone in the office, and announcing Mazikeen’s arrival. She dragged with her a man about three times her size, who she deposited into the care of the first officer she saw.
She stretched her legs as she approached. “What are we talkin’ about over here?” she groaned.
Lucifer snatched the badge from Chloe’s grasp. You stared at him with a soft sigh. “Really?”
“Yes, really,” he muttered, “It’s my property!”
“You can ask.”
“Detective, would you have given me my badge back?” Lucifer asked.
Chloe started to nod, which prompted you to wave a hand at her. She quickly shook her head, though. “No, not a chance.”
“Maze, did you know that he was getting his private investigator license?” you asked.
She nodded slowly, her eyes on the officer next to her. “Do I know you?” she suddenly asked. You threw your hands up, turning back to Lucifer as the officer ducked her head. You vaguely heard her decline Maze’s question.
“Do you even know how to be a private investigator?” you asked him. The officer excused herself from the group. Maze followed her with a curious glare.
“Yes?” he tried. He buttoned his coat once the badge was back in his pocket. “I studied extensively.” You crossed your arms. “As in I watched all of ‘Veronica Mars’.” Chloe groaned. “Plucky girl, that Kristen Bell, though I don’t know how I feel about that last season,” Lucifer added.
“Is that why my Hulu keeps suggesting I watch Veronica Mars?” you asked.
“You know you don’t have to watch that stuff alone, right?” You suggested with a smile.
Lucifer straightened his coat. “I don’t,” he scoffed. He hesitated, eyes flicking from you, to Chloe, then back. “I watch it with Amenadiel when you’re not around.”
You smiled fondly, crossing your arms around your front. When you started to speak, Maze burst out into laughter across the office. You leaned around Lucifer, who turned towards the cackling woman. She still stood with the officer, who was flushed and pulled the files up to her face. You and Lucifer exchanged a look before crossing the room.
Maze patted the woman’s arm and shoved the files down away from her face. “Have—” She snickered and heaved a heavy breath. “Have you met Milena?” she wheezed, “The—”
“Beat cop,” Milena cut in. Maze mouthed sound as she fell into another bought of soundless laughter, leaning onto her knees.
Lucifer narrowed his eyes. “Milena?” he murmured. He tilted his head, eyes drifting up Milena’s form until they settled on her face. You shuffled your arms around until they gripped your sides again. Your eyes darted from Lucifer to the newly dubbed Milena. “Do I know you?” he asked.
“Nope,” she protested flatly, “Just have one of those faces.”
“No, no, hold on,” he complained, “I swear I’ve seen you before.”
Someone cleared their throat behind you. Then, the patted your back. You looked up. Ella dropped her hand back to the box she carried, filled with teetering glass lab equipment.
“Hey, hi, hey,” she wheezed. She readjusted her grip. “Can you help me? Maybe get the door.”
“Oh.” You didn’t miss how absent your voice sounded. You hurried across the office to the lab door, Ella hot on your heels, and pushed the door open with your backside. She wheezed her thanks as she set the box on the table. You leaned further back against the door.
Ella called your name.
She called it again. You didn’t answer. She grabbed your arms and pulled you away from the door. “Can I ask you something?” she said once you turned to face her. You nodded. She pulled you further into the lab. “When uh…” She leaned over, balancing on one foot, and quickly snapped back up. “When did that happen?”
Your brow furrowed slightly. “When did what?” you asked slowly.
“You,” she drawled, squeezing your elbows. She bobbed her head from side to side. “Feelin’ that for Lucifer.”
“Feeling…?” You wheezed as her words sunk in. Your face flushed. “Nooo,” you breathed. She nodded slowly. “Nooo!” you protested. Her whole body was nodding now. “No, I don’t—”
You groaned. “I…” You took a deep breath and held it, frozen. As you exhaled, you thought you deflated. “No?” you weakly tried to convince yourself. Ella shook you by your arms. “Okay!” you squealed. “Okay.” You patted her arms. “I…do…”
She stamped her feet. “I knew it!” She jumped back and clapped her hands together. “When are you gonna tell him?”
“NO!” she whined. You widened your eyes. “You have to!”
“No, I don’t, I don’t have to, and I don’t plan to, and it won’t happen because…” You threw your hands into the air, frowning. “Because that’s not how this works, Ella.”
“But you’re already friends! That’s the first big thing, right?”
“And that’s fine.” You gripped the box on the table. Your palms were sweating. “I’m fine with just friends, Ella. I really am.”
Ella waved her hand over your shoulder. “And you’re fine with Lucifer makin’ the weird…staring eyes at Milena, the office match maker?” she asked.
You drummed your fingers against the box. “He can do whatever he wants,” you muttered.
Ella was silent for a long moment. “You don’t sound convinced.” You pressed your lips together, staring at the lab equipment, and started to pull them out of the box.