“Okay, Charlotte, this has been a great chat, but are you actually going to confess?” Chloe asked, as their conversation faltered for the second time. She didn’t fool herself that she could take on a Goddess; her only plan was to stall for time until Lucifer got here. She was keeping the fact that she knew the truth as a last resort - she had no idea how Lucifer’s Mother would react to that news and didn’t much want to find out. Come on, Lucifer, hurry up.
“I’ll never understand why you concern yourselves with one little human, but fine. Yes, I was involved in Chet’s death, but not in the way you think.”
Chloe almost smiled. The Goddess had no idea what Chloe thought. “Well, correct me if I’m wrong: you killed him, you hired a cleaner to take care of the body, and then you killed the cleaner.”
For the first time, the other woman’s expression faltered. “The cleaner’s dead? Well, that’s unfortunate.” Chloe knew she was seeing the closest thing to regret the Goddess would ever feel for a human. “I certainly had nothing to do with that.”
Chloe blinked. That, she hadn’t expected, and what’s more, she believed her. “But if you didn’t, then who did?” Chloe said.
“Mum!” Lucifer’s voice rang out, sounding desperate and half-crazed as he appeared from around the corner, holding Azrael’s Blade. “I’ve got it! I’ve got the blade and the final piece. You let the Detective go, and they are yours.” But instead of his mother’s, it was Chloe’s eyes that he held imploringly with his gaze.
“Lucifer.” She tried to keep her voice as calm and soothing as possible. “It’s okay. I’m fine. I’m not going anywhere.”
Charlotte looked between them with slowly dawning realization. “Are- are you two…?”
Chloe didn’t know what either of them would have said to that, but it turned out it didn’t matter.
“No one’s going anywhere!” The new voice came from the opposite end of the pier, along with the click of a safety. Chloe whirled, gun drawn, and found herself facing Hector Ruiz.
“Well, I think we found our mystery killer,” Charlotte commented.
“How can you be so glib?” Hector exclaimed. “You were our lawyer! You betrayed us!”
“Put the gun down, Hector,” Chloe ordered.
It didn’t seem like Hector was listening. “Thank you for leading me to her, Detective,” he said. “You promised to approach this fairly, and you did. But now, I have to make things right for my family.”
“Well, a little wrinkle!” Lucifer cried. “You shoot her, and we’re all dead, okay?”
Chloe clenched her jaw. While it was the truth, it wouldn’t talk Hector down. She remained silent, however - too many voices in this situation could lead to disaster. She could only hope Lucifer knew what he was doing.
“Look, it’s very difficult to explain,” Lucifer continued, as Chloe watched Hector for any sign of movement. “But believe me when I say that there are many, many lives at stake here. So please, just... put the gun down.”
To her astonishment, it looked like Hector was doing just that. She slowly began to lower her gun as Hector lowered his, when suddenly something hardened in his face.
“No!” Lucifer shouted as the gun fired, and Chloe almost didn’t recognize his voice, panicked and raw. Then came a moment that felt like it lasted an eternity as Chloe waited for the world to explode.
Lucifer looked around at the motionless world. He didn’t know how it had happened, and at the moment he didn’t care. No one was going to die today.
He looked at Chloe, who was frozen in her firm, protective stance, and he thought his heart might burst with pride. Though he may have cursed the stubbornness that brought her here, she wouldn’t be the woman he loved without it. He gently caressed her cheek. She was here. Not dead. Alive.
Then he remembered his Mother, who was watching him with bemusement. He grabbed her by the arm, with no other thought in his mind than away, and dragged her off the pier with him.
All the wind left him in a rush as he hit the unforgiving sand, and he groaned in pain. Right. Chloe. Nearby.
Recovering, he grabbed the blade and the key where they’d fallen and brought them together, and the sword ignited at last. He stared at it briefly. With this blade, Adam and Eve had been driven from Eden. With it, he could cut a swath through the heavens, bring his Father to account.
With this sword, his rebellion might not have failed.
Swallowing hard, he firmed his resolve, lowering the sword to point it at his Mother.
“I’m sorry, Mum. But I’m afraid that this ends, now.”
She pushed back slightly, surprise scrawled across her features. Even after all this, she’d still believed he could be on her side.
“You’ve hurt so many people, Mum. It has to stop,” he told her point blank. She’d been walking a path of destruction since she’d arrived, and he’d mostly turned a blind eye. No more.
“You know that everything I’ve done, I’ve done for us, for our family,” his Mother protested, but she was losing it even more than he’d realized if she thought that was an argument that would sway him.
“You used me,” he said, and it felt good to say the words at last. He’d spent so long deceiving himself, but now he could see the truth. “Used Chloe.” Both were unforgivable.
“Me?” his Mother exclaimed, backing further away. “What about your Father? He created Chloe just to manipulate you.”
“Manipulate me how, exactly?” he demanded. Mum blinked, as though the thought had never occurred to her. “All Chloe has given me is her trust. Her acceptance. Her… love.” He swallowed against an onslaught of emotion before pressing on. “It’s you who’s been trying to use us against each other, force us apart.”
His Mother’s mouth had fallen open. She scrambled to her feet. “So it’s true. You and Chloe...”
“Yes,” he answered, feeling a rush of satisfaction. “I showed her my face, told her the truth, and she didn’t run from me. For so long, I thought it was because of Father’s plan, but it turns out it’s just… Chloe.” The woman who could love the Devil. He shook his head. “For the first time since my creation I have something that’s mine, and I am not leaving, Mum!”
He brandished the sword, and she raised her hands in surrender.
“Okay,” she said, but not like he’d convinced her; like she was agreeing under duress. “I can take care of it for both of us. Get revenge. Destroy Him. Just give me the sword, and I’ll do the rest.”
He was already shaking his head. If his Mother had proven anything during her time on Earth, it was that putting the Flaming Sword in her hands would be a nightmare waiting to happen.
“Please, son,” she begged. “I just want a chance to start over!”
Now that, he did believe. It was tempting. So tempting. But he’d been the black sheep of the family long enough that he didn’t attach the same fondness to old memories.
“But… going home?” He spoke slowly as his mind caught up with what his heart was telling him. “That’s not starting over, that’s… that’s going backwards.” Backwards. The word triggered the memory of what Chloe had said to him, as though it had been lying in wait for this very moment. “And that’s not good for anyone.” He took several deep breaths; he understood what he needed to do.
“So now it’s time for you to move forwards, Mum,” he decided. “Even if that means I’ll never see you again.” He raised the sword.
“Lucifer! No!” his Mother cried, misinterpreting his intentions. Lucifer barely heard her. He focused all his will into the point of the blade, and he cut a hole in the world.
Chloe blinked, and when she realized she wasn’t dead, she fired twice at Hector, dropping him. Then she looked around. Dan had appeared and Lucifer and his Mom were gone.
No, no, no! She refused to believe it. He promised! Lucifer had sworn he wouldn’t leave without saying goodbye.
“Lucifer!” she shouted, not sure what good it would do. “Lucifer!” He’d vanished in the space between one blink and the next. What other explanation could there be? Maybe he’d taken his Mum so that the bullet would miss her, in which case she would have to thank him, but she felt sick in the pit of her stomach at the thought of not knowing where he was or when he’d come back.
“Chloe!” Dan beckoned her over to the edge of the pier. Chloe peered over and there was Lucifer, standing on the beach over Charlotte’s body, looking lost.
All of the tension left her body in a moment of impossibly strong relief, and she collapsed against the railing. She couldn’t decide if she wanted to laugh or cry.
“Lucifer!” she called out to him, and he turned as if in a daze, raising his hand in a slight wave and she did laugh a little bit, out of relief, before the full impact of the scene hit her.
Without another thought, she was running down the ramp to the beach, flying across the sand. Lucifer took a few hesitant steps toward her, but he hadn’t gotten far before she threw herself into his arms.
“You’re here,” she sobbed into his shoulder. “You’re here. You’re okay.” For a moment, she just let herself hold him, before she remembered why she’d been worried in the first place. She pulled back to look into his face. He seemed to be having trouble focusing.
“Did you…?” she asked, unable to voice her actual query. Did you go to Heaven? Did you kill Goddess?
Lucifer shook his head slowly. “I never left,” he said. “Amenadiel. He slowed time, and I…” He looked down at his hands, which were empty except for the piece she recognized as Amenadiel’s necklace. “I used the sword to open a- a portal. Gave Mum her own universe.” His eyes found hers before she’d had time to process the implications of that, and his expression abruptly crumpled.
“She’s gone,” he said, and that, she did understand. “Mum’s gone.”
Goddess had been a manipulative, homicidal psychopath, but she was still his Mother, and had been since before the dawn of time.
“I’m sorry,” Chloe told him. “Lucifer, I’m so sorry.” She pulled him into her arms. If he let out a sob or two of his own into her shoulder, she didn’t draw attention to it. They stood like that for a long time.
Presently, the real world invaded their bubble. Charlotte - the real Charlotte - awakened with no memory of anything that had happened in the past several months, including her tryst with Dan, who was dividing his attention between her and shooting bewildered glances at Chloe.
She’d given Lucifer a moment alone to compose himself (his quiet “Mum?” when Charlotte had turned out not to be dead had broken her heart), and when he joined her again he was almost back to his normal self.
“What do you think will happen to Charlotte?” he asked as the woman in question was carted off by EMS.
“Judging by her law firm’s track record, probably not much,” Chloe answered. “We’re pinning both deaths on Hector. He killed Ava - Ella found a Mondo blowtorch in his car, and seeing as it wasn’t really Charlotte who killed Chet…” She shook her head. “Normally I wouldn’t approve of shifting blame, but since Hector’s dead and can’t stand trial... it’s the neatest solution.”
She bit the inside of her cheek. She always hated when she was forced to kill someone in the line of duty. Her decision to use lethal force on Hector had been made in a split second, when she’d still thought he was a threat to Charlotte, and by extension most of Santa Monica pier. It was pointless to wish she could take it back. Instead, she took Lucifer’s hand, still overwhelmed with gratitude that he was here with her.
“Chloe…” Lucifer murmured her name. She wanted to ask him what had happened, with the sword, and what he’d meant by “another universe,” but she didn’t want to push so soon - he still looked like he was about to crack.
“I guess the cat’s sort of out of the bag now, huh?” she said instead, smiling up at him. “With Dan, at least.”
Lucifer huffed a laugh. “I suppose so. You did put on quite a show, Detective.”
Chloe blushed, punching his arm lightly. “Yeah, well, I was worried about you. When I couldn’t see you, I thought…”
Understanding dawned, and Lucifer traced a hand through the hair behind her ear. “I’m sorry. I never meant to-”
She shook her head. “It’s okay. You did what you had to do.” Her brows drew together in a frown. “So… Amenadiel can control time?”
“Yes,” Lucifer said, his expression lightening. “Though he’s lost his powers recently, so I’m not sure how he managed… Linda!” Panic crossed his face, and Chloe squeezed his hand, keeping him by her side.
“I got a call, actually: apparently Maze brought her into emergency and listed me as next of kin. She’s been admitted to St. Claire’s. Her condition is stable, Lucifer.”
Lucifer only looked mildly appeased by her words. “It’s my Mother’s fault she’s injured,” he burst out, confirming Chloe’s suspicions. “I have to see her.”
Chloe nodded. “Do you want me to go with you?” she asked. “Only, I’m going to be tied up in red tape for a while with this case since I shot Hector - visiting hours might be over by the time I’m done.” Lucifer was already shaking his head.
“Visiting hours won’t be a problem for me, remember?” Chloe chuckled - how could she have forgotten? “But I’ll be all right to go on my own, Detective.”
Chloe didn’t want to let him leave. But she also didn’t want him to think she was coddling him, and really, it wasn’t fair to expect him to wait around doing nothing while his friend was in the hospital.
“Okay,” she said softly. “Tell Linda I’m thinking about her, and I’ll visit soon.” Lucifer nodded. “Come by my place after?” she asked. “We can get drunk and watch Supernatural, and you can tell me how they got it all wrong.” Drunk-watching that show had been a favourite pastime of theirs for a while now and seemed like just the thing they needed to unwind after the insane few days they’d had. She was especially looking forward to it now that she knew he was telling the truth.
Lucifer chuckled, shaking his head as he looked at her candidly. “Wouldn’t miss it.” He kissed her cheek, in deference to the fact that they were still at an active crime scene, and smiled. “I’ll see you soon, Chloe.”
The memory of that smile would haunt Chloe for days to come.