The first time she wakes up, it’s to Lucifer and Dan fighting. She’s not sure which she’s more irritated about - the fact that Lucifer ignored her wishes and brought her to the hospital even after she’d asked him not to, or the fact that Dan still seems to think he has any say over her or her partner.
The more she thinks about it, the more she realizes that the last thing she remembers is walking down the stairs with Lucifer at that party, his jacket around her, wrapping her in his scent…and it was a really good scent…and she was getting off track. About her maybe…boyfriend? They needed to have a chat once this was over. If she didn’t die. She really didn’t want to die.
But anyway, the last thing she remembers is that party, and that must mean that she was at the fainting part of this…thing. And as much as she wants to solve this herself, she’s no good to anybody if she keeps passing out. She’d just slow Lucifer down, so she gives her blessing for him to work with Dan.
While Dan’s busy tracking down her lead, though, Lucifer sits next to her, giving her a look that manages to be apprehensive, nervous, and sad. To break him out of whatever melancholy he’s in, and also because she’s nervous, too, she asks him how she looks (and is she maybe hoping that her maybe-boyfriend might tell her she’s pretty? Maybe.).
His look changes from sad to sad and fond. “Heaven-sent,” he tells her, which seems like it can’t possibly be true. She’s been awake (or unconscious) for at least 24-hours, and now she’s sick and wearing unflattering hospital scrubs, under lighting that has to be making her look washed out and pale. But Lucifer never lies. And the look he’s giving her…that’s not a look from a man who’s disgusted by what he sees. So she smiles at him, and a moment later, Trixie bursts in, and he’s gone.
The second time she wakes up, it’s because she can hear Lucifer and Amenadiel talking in the hallway outside her room. She can see them through the window, but when Lucifer turns away and doesn’t come in, she lets her eyes fall closed again, exhausted.
She wakes again when Trixie climbs back into bed, and her eyes search the room, looking for Lucifer, but fall instead on Amenadiel, standing at attention near the door.
She must look confused, because Trixie scoots up a bit to whisper loudly in her ear. “Don’t worry, Mommy, that’s Lucifer’s brother,” she tries to reassure her mother, in a weird Freaky-Friday twist of fate. Shouldn’t Chloe be reassuring her right now? “He’s here to watch over you and be your guardian angel.”
Chloe smiles at Trixie, nodding briefly to Amenadiel, who is watching them with kind, sad eyes. She snuggles her daughter close to her, and tries not to think about how this might be the last time she would be able to do that. She has faith in Lucifer. Like, stupid faith. She knows there is no antidote. She knows there is no chance in hell she is getting out of this one, but somehow, Lucifer always comes through. The more impossible the task, like saving her and Trixie from Malcolm after he’d already been shot (and died, she was pretty sure), the more likely it is that he will come up with some insane solution.
So she pulls Trixie tighter against her chest, and breathes in the soothing scent of her daughter’s watermelon shampoo, and watches as Lucifer’s brother watches over them. Like a guardian angel.
Only…she already has a guardian angel, doesn’t she?
Lucifer, who is always there when she needs him.
Lucifer, who got shot, then got better.
Lucifer, who she was pretty sure couldn’t plan far enough in advance to show up to a hostage situation wearing a blood pack.
Lucifer, who never lies to her.
Lucifer, who told her he was the Devil.
Lucifer, who never, ever, EVER lies to her.
Oh God, her partner is the Devil. And she is…weirdly okay with that? Because, and she knows he’d be pissed that she even thought this, but he is also an angel. Her angel, who always looks out for her.
She contemplates that until she drifts off again.
The next thing she knows, there is a lot of noise and commotion below her.
She looks around, alarmed to find that she is kind of…floating mid-air. Below her, she can see doctors and nurses working on a body – wait, is that her body?
“Yep,” she hears, and whirls around to find a short, dark, bespectacled woman standing (hovering?) beside her. “That’s you,” she clarifies.
Chloe watches for a moment, noticing Amenadiel is acting strangely, fighting off guards and blocking the door. “Am I dead?” she finally asks.
“Not quite,” the woman says. “And it’s not your time, anyway, so if you could keep fighting, that would be great.” She grimaces. “Otherwise, Lu will kill me.”
The Detective frowns. “I have a choice about it?” she asks. She’d always kind of assumed that when you died, you died.
The other woman shrugs. “Maybe not every human, but you seem to have a lot of free will.” She glances up at the ceiling, scoffing and rolling her eyes. “Speaking of…do you have brothers, Chloe Decker?” she asks.
Chloe shakes her head. “Only child,” she responds, shooting her companion a curious glance, trying to follow the change of topic. Anything was better than looking down at her own body, seizing and fighting for life.
“Lucky,” the woman says. “Brothers are dumb. Like, literally stupid. Hey, um…don’t go anywhere?” she says, glancing up again. “I’ve got a…a situation to take care of. But I’ll be back,” she promises.
Chloe shrugs. She is feeling fairly numb about the whole “not quite dead” thing. Plus, where was she gonna go? She closes her eyes, feeling herself drifting with the air currents, and she hears her new friend make a distressed noise in the back of her throat. “Umm, maybe, hang on to your foot or something?” she suggests. “I don’t want to come back to find you’ve floated off.”
She rolls her eyes, but dutifully grabs hold of her body’s toes, thinking idly that it’s probably time for a new pedicure. “Great!” the woman says with a beaming smile. “Smell ya later!”
She sounds cheerful, but Chloe can see the scowl on her face as she floats up through the ceiling.
The fifth time she wakes up, she finds herself back in her body, her hand tangled in Lucifer’s hair as he sleeps in a chair, body folded almost in half, with his head propped on his arms on the bed next to her. The woman from before is standing on their other side, smiling goofily at them. “You two are cute,” she says. “I’m Azrael, by the way.”
Chloe smiles softly, scratching her fingers through Lucifer’s hair, which is starting to riot into his natural curls. “He’s cute,” she murmurs, trying not to wake him. “I must look like…wait, am I dead? Is HE dead?” She sits up abruptly, making her entire body ache, and causing Lucifer to murmur sleepily and push his head further into her hand.
Azrael chuckles. “No, you’re not dead. Neither is he,” she adds, and then scowls again. “Not anymore.”
“What do you mean, ‘not anymore?’” Chloe asks, stilling her fingers, ignoring the Devil’s indignant huff. “Did he die?”
“Only for a minute. Because, like I mentioned before, brothers are dumb. And can’t come up with a plan to save their lives.” She snorts at her own pun. “Get it? To save their lives? Because he died.”
“But,” Chloe sputters. “Why did he die? When did he die? Is he okay?” she asks, rapid fire questions to a woman who she doesn’t even know, but who is apparently Lucifer’s…sister? Does that mean she’s an angel?
The woman rolls her eyes, slightly pissing Chloe off – it’s not like these were unusual questions, given the circumstances and the casual way things like ‘Lucifer died’ and ‘not anymore’ were being dropped. “He’s fine. Or, he’ll be fine,” she assures Chloe. “He saved you, though.”
That is not nearly as reassuring as Azrael seems to think it is. “He’ll be fine?” she asks. “Like, he died but he’ll just walk it off? Is this like the time he got shot and then got better?”
She shrugs. “I mean, I wasn’t really involved with that one, that was all Dad, and he didn’t tell me a lot about his plan,” she says. “But maybe?” Chloe can feel Lucifer tense slightly under her hand, and she is pretty sure the other woman notices, too, because she shoots him a nervous look, then glances over her shoulder, down the hall. “The lady in room 331, though…” she trails off, and starts moving towards the door. “Smell ya later, Chloe!” she calls cheerfully, and then Chloe blinks and she is gone.
“Smell ya later?” Chloe responds anyway, and now she knows she isn’t imagining it, Lucifer had definitely frozen. “You can stop pretending to be asleep now,” she says, tapping her thumb softly against his forehead, the rest of her fingers still buried in his hair. “Your sister is gone.”
Lucifer cracks one eye open and peers up at her sheepishly for a moment, before regaining his usual bluster. “Well, look who’s back. You didn’t die after all – that makes one of us,” he says, trying to stand. If the dark circles under his eyes are anything to go by, however, he is exhausted, so she catches his hand and pulls him back down into his chair.
“I heard you saved me,” she says, giving him a fond look when he’s settled, but not letting go of him.
“Well,” he huffs, “much as I’d like to take all the credit, this one was a…a team effort.”
“A team effort in which you died?” she asks, threading their fingers together.
He raises their joined fingers to his lips, kissing the back of her hand in a gesture so sweet and old fashioned, her heart melts. “Yes, well…” he trails off, then looks away. “Better me than you, darling. And I didn’t plan on staying dead.”
She tries to tug her hand away, her heart refreezing at his words. “No. No, Lucifer, it’s not better if you die,” she says, giving up when he just holds on. “That should never have been the plan. Who even came up with that plan?”
She can tell by the look that crosses his face that he had. Of course he had, the stupid, self-sacrificing idiot. “And nobody told you it was a terrible plan? You never thought, ‘Hey, maybe I should talk to my sister, the Angel of Death, about my plan to die temporarily?’”
He freezes again. “The Angel of Death?” he asks carefully.
She nods. “Yeah, I’m not stupid. I know Azrael is the name of the Angel of Death,” she confirms.
“And you believe me now that it’s…” He trails off again.
“That it’s all true? Yeah.”
He stands again, looking down in confusion when she keeps ahold of his hand. “I should go, I should give you some space,” he says, his face a picture of heartbreak.
Chloe shakes her head. “No, you shouldn’t,” she said.
She tugs on his hand and pulls him down again, this time onto the bed with her. “Lay down, you idiot, you look like you’re about to collapse,” she says fondly.
He does as she asks, rolling to face her. “Detective? I don’t understand…you’re not…afraid?” he asks, looking for all the world like a scared child as he waits for her answer.
“Of you?” she asks, reaching up with her free hand to stroke his cheek. She shakes her head. “Never.”
He looks at her, face a picture of awe and longing. “This can’t be real,” he murmurs. “I must be dreaming.”
She leans forward and presses herself against him, smiling against his chest when his arm comes up around her waist to hold her in place. She places a kiss to the skin bared by his half-buttoned shirt, just now noticing that it was, in fact, half-buttoned, and vowing to herself to ask about it later.
His hand skims up her back before running through her hair, and she feels him press his own kiss against the top of her head. “Detective…Chloe,” he begins, and she shakes her head.
“Can you just hold me right now?” she asks. “We can talk about everything tomorrow.”