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Is it too late to fix this?

Chapter Text

It had been a month since Chloe learned the truth.

For the first week, the investigation into Pierce's death kept her mind occupied and separated from her partner. Every time they might have been left alone together, he left, and Chloe was secretly glad, too much going on to confront her new knowledge.

When the investigation moved out of the precinct, and on to taking down the Sinnerman's gang, there was nothing left to stop her processing what she'd seen and she spent a few days holed up in her apartment, forced to confront the disproval of her long-held beliefs and the truth of her partner's identity. She spent hours delving through books and webpages, accompanied by too much wine, as she tried to make sense of this new worldview. Dan had requested Trixie for a while, and Chloe was happy to let him look after her, knowing he needed someone who loved him close after Charlotte's death, and glad that her little girl didn't have to be around her while her world was turned upside down.

Chloe eventually returned to work, but he didn't. She threw herself into cases, and tried her best not to flinch when someone mentioned his name, and that Hellish apparition flashed before her eyes. Occasionally she would consider going to Lux and talking to him, but then that raw, red visage flashed and she chickened out. Trixie could tell something had happened between them, and kept quiet, even though Chloe could tell she missed him, and her heart ached at how much her daughter had been forced to grow up.

---------------*---------------

It was a month after that day that she saw him again.

She had stepped out of her apartment to put out the bins when she spotted him. Lucifer. He was stood watching her from the edge of the complex's parking lot, looking from a distance exactly as she remembered, the well put together club owner, not a hair out of place. As she walked towards him, drawn closer without thinking, she saw how wrong that initial assessment was. There were dark circles under his eyes, and his usually lightly tanned skin was pale. He stood frozen as she approached, looking as though he might bolt at any second. As she reached him, alone together for the first time in a month, she's a little surprised that she just sees him, with unusually loose black hair and bordering on unkempt stubble, and not the burned face of the Devil.

"What are you doing here?" she asked, but it came out harsher than she meant and he barely suppressed a flinch. 
"I'm sorry Detective. I- I had to see you again. One last time." he murmured, voice huskier than she remembered and the smell of alcohol on his breath. It took her a moment before she realised what he was saying. 
"You're leaving." she said, mind flashing back to when he fled for Vegas after her poisoning, and he winced again at the bite to her voice. 
"I am. You don't have to worry about seeing me again. There'll be a lawyer around tomorrow, with details of the things I have left for you and the spawn. You don't have to accept, but please consider them." he spoke quickly, evidently wanting to say his piece before she had a chance to interrupt, and Chloe suddenly felt hollow. 
"You're not coming back…" 
"I'm- I'm not planning to, no. Not for a long time." he sighed, looking horribly broken and defeated. Silence sat between them for a moment, Lucifer drinking in every detail of her face. 
"Goodbye, Chloe." he said with a small smile, before he turned and strode out of sight around a corner.

A moment later, Chloe ran after him, turning the corner as a gust of wind whooshed past her. 
"Lucifer! Wait-" she called as she rounded the corner and skidded to a halt.

He was gone.



And he wasn't coming back.

Chapter Text

At first, she blamed him. Running away from his problems instead of facing them, as he had done so many times before, but soon she realised it was as much her fault as his. She had come to terms with the truth, but every time she came close to seeing him again and telling him this, she chickened out. Maybe if she’d talked to him, he’d still be here.

Now all she saw when someone mentioned his name was the fear in those red eyes when he had realised what he was showing her.

True to his word, a lawyer appeared on her doorstep the next morning. Trixie was out at a friend's house, so she invited her in without worrying about how she'd explain his disappearance to Trixie. The lawyer settled into a chair at the dining table, putting their case on the table and pulling out a few official documents. 
"Thank you for letting me in Ms Decker. I am here regarding the estate of Mr Lucifer Morningstar. He has asked me to inform you that although this is very similar to the execution of a will, he is still alive, he is just leaving for an indeterminate amount of time and wishes to pass these on." 
"I know, I saw him yesterday. He told me." 
"He did mention wishing to see you before he left, so I'm glad he managed to. As for the estate, Mr Morningstar has left you this property, and his Steinway." she said as she pushed a piece of paper across the table towards her alongside a set of keys. On it was an address, and pictures of a beautiful house on the beachfront, and a note underneath.

Detective, 

I know you probably never want to see or hear from me again, so I have left Earth and am not planning on coming back for a long time. This house is for you and the spawn. I know you will struggle to find the rent without Maze, and this house is entirely paid for and is also within a reasonable distance to both Beatrice's current school and a couple of highly-ranked high schools. 
If the house is not to your liking, talk to my lawyers and they will exchange the deed for that of another of my properties of your choice. All I ask is you visit this property at least once before changing the deed. 
I will miss you. 

Lucifer Morningstar

Chloe felt a lump in her throat at how considerate he had been in his choice, even though from what she saw yesterday he looked like he believed she hated him. The lawyer stayed quiet for a moment to let her look over the details before she spoke again. 
"Now, it is my understanding that Miss Beatrice Decker is a minor, and you are her mother, correct?" 
"Trixie's my daughter, yes." 
"Mr Morningstar has opened a savings account for Miss Beatrice's education, and named you as sole trustee until she reaches 18. Currently the account holds this amount." She slid another piece of paper across the table and Chloe baulked at the number of zeros. 
"A-Are you sure?" she asked, certain that there must have been some mistake or a misprint. 
"The figure is correct. Mr Morningstar wished to ensure that Miss Beatrice would be able to go to the college of her choice, and that you would not have to worry about the financial side of it."

After the lawyer finished up and left, Chloe curled up on the couch as an ache started to build in her chest as she mulled over her decisions. If she hadn't been so cowardly, and just sent him a text or something to let him know she wasn't afraid of him, he might still be here. As it was, she hoped he was alright in Hell, and not too miserable.

-----------------*-----------------

Pain blossomed in his chest as the bullet ripped a hole through him, and he choked on the breath stuck in his burning throat. He sunk to his knees, unable - or unwilling - to tear his eyes from the one holding the gun. 
"D-Detective…" he gasped, heart breaking to see the fear and horror on her face, and the steadiness of her hands as she held him in her sights. 
"Murderer… Monster!" she cried as he slumped sideways onto the floor of the loft, blood pooling beneath him as his vision started to close in. His heart shattered as he took in the coldness of her eyes, and the world ceased.

The next thing he knew, he was stood in his penthouse, Azrael's blade in hand and Uriel in front of him. 
"Not over me yet, Brother?" Uriel taunted, before the blade slipped into his stomach, warm blood gushing out to coat Lucifer's hand as tears began to leak unbidden down his cheeks.

He'd got caught in the cell less than a day after arriving in Hell, and figured out he was in a loop after the sixth time he died at the Detective’s hand. He knew it would only take a little effort to find the door and leave, but he didn't see the point.

Not when the only person who truly mattered hated him.

Not when he couldn't be with her.

Chapter Text

The next morning, Chloe found a letter for Trixie in the mailbox. The writing on the front was beautifully cursive, and Chloe immediately recognised it as his. For a moment, she debated whether or not to give it to her, but quickly dismissed the idea of hiding it. Trixie took the letter into her room to read, and a few minutes later she came out again, tears brimming in her eyes. "Lucifer's gone..?"
"Yes Monkey. He left a couple of days ago." she told her, opening her arms and pulling her daughter into a hug.
"When's he coming back?"
"I'm not sure Monkey."
"I hope it's soon."
"Me too Trix. Me too." she replied, surprising herself with how much she meant it.

That evening, after work, she went to see Linda. She'd texted earlier to make sure she'd still be in her office that late, and she didn't have any appointments, but she still felt nervous standing outside and debating over going in. Soon her decision was made for her, as Linda opened the door.
"Hi Chloe. Do you want to come in?" she asked, holding the door open, and Chloe screwed up her courage before nodding and walking in.

She took a seat on the couch, and Linda sat facing her, obviously sensing that this was more than just a chat between friends. A slightly uncomfortable silence descended on the room, Linda waiting for Chloe to tell her what she wanted to talk about.
"I know Lucifer's the Devil." Chloe blurted out after a moment, the silence beginning to get to her.
"Learning that must have been quite a shock." Linda replied patiently, with her therapist voice firmly in place.
"It was, kind of. I was an atheist. I didn't expect it when he turned around and there was that face, but I was beginning to believe him. There were just too many inexplicable things he did, and then when I passed out after Pierce's goon shot me and I woke up on a roof away from the loft, there wasn't really any other explanation that made sense."
"Are you scared of him?"
"No. I was, for a bit, but I think it was more a knee-jerk reaction to that image, and fear of knowing all this is real than actual fear of him. I'm not really scared of any of it now."
"That's good. He was afraid he had condemned you to a life of fear."
"But now he’s gone and I can’t help thinking that if I’d just talked to him he would still be here. I just don’t know what he wanted. One moment he’s saying the sweetest things, the next he’s run off and married some stripper. I mean, he gave me a house! That’s not a small thing, so does he like me or not? I wish I could still talk to him."
"He cares deeply about you, Chloe. He may not have shown it very well, but human emotion was quite new to him, and he was very quick to believe any sign that invalidated your feelings. As for contacting him, I think that would be good for both of you. I would suggest asking Maze or Amenadiel how to. Maze may be easier to find." Linda explained, Lucifer having given her permission to tell Chloe anything she thought would help her.
"Do you know where I could find her?"
"She should be at Lux. Lucifer left the club and his properties in the building to her."
They stayed and talked for a little while longer, discussing the realities of being a Celestial Insider, and Linda telling her that she is welcome to come and talk at any time.

After she finished talking to Linda, Chloe went to see the house. Walking in, she was greeted by a wide open living area, much like her apartment, with the open-plan kitchen and dining room towards the back of the house, and a pair of couches in front of a flat screen TV towards the front. In the centre sat the piano, sleek and black, looking right at home but somehow still out of place, not sat in the dark elegance of hi-Lucifer's penthouse. As she wandered further into the house, she spotted an envelope on the music stand, simply labelled 'Detective' in Lucifer's timeless cursive. Opening it up, she found a business card and a note. Taking out the note, she continued to tour the house as she read.

Detective
I hope the house and the decorating is to your liking. If you decide to move in, call the number on the card. They will help you move free of charge.
Leaving was my choice, so please, try not to feel any misplaced guilt.
Best wishes for the future
Lucifer Morningstar

There was a sentence scratched out above his name, and she managed to read it just as she reached a room decorated like Trixie's in the apartment. The words struck deep in her core, and she sat down heavily against the wall, one hand on the bullet necklace that had returned to being a permanent fixture around her neck.

 

 

 

I love you.

-----------------*-----------------

This time when the shot rang out, he slumped against a pillar, gasping against the blood filling his lungs. The Detective's hands were shaking as she held the gun towards him. He hated this one. Not because it dragged out his death and the restarting of the loop, but because he could feel her guilt, dragging her towards where she should never be. Every time this one came around, he wanted to comfort her, relieve her guilt before it had a chance to fester, but the words never came, drowned in blood before they were given voice.

The loop always followed the same pattern. Uriel would taunt him, reminding him that he had been freed from this before, as his hands and the blade became slicker with red. Eventually he’d wrench himself away from the image of his brother, and the room would crack and warp until he was back in the loft, facing off against Cain. That part played out almost exactly as it had the first time, except Lucifer felt hollow, none of the righteous anger and adrenaline coursing through his veins.

The most varied part came next. When he turned around to see the Detective, and she saw him, truly saw him for the first time. Sometimes it was a breathless "It's all true…" before she stood frozen, almost catatonic, and time dragged like molasses before everything shuddered and the loop reset. Other times she dissolved into a gibbering mess, shoved towards insanity by the horror of his face, and he left quickly, flying out of the hole in the window and keeping going until he found himself back in the penthouse with Uriel. When she shot him, there were two ways it went, one where her hands were steady as she put down the monster in front of her, and his heart shattered to see the cold surety in her eyes, but that pain was nothing compared to the fear and anguish in her eyes when her hands shook.

The thing was, after this many loops he didn't know which really happened, or if any really did.

All he knew was how much each of them hurt.

Chapter Text

Chloe and Trixie moved into the house a few days later, and later that day she went to find Maze. Linda's advice turned out to be right, as as soon as she walked into the club she spotted Maze by the bar.
"Um, hi Maze." Chloe said, suddenly feeling a little unsure. She hadn't seen the demon since she'd found out, and that information had just come crashing back into her consciousness.
"Decker. What do you want?"
Chloe resisted the urge to preface her request with small talk, knowing how much Maze hated that sort of thing, and the look on her face that said she was very close to just throwing her out.
"I wanted to know if you knew how to contact Lucifer." she said, and Maze couldn't hold back a humourless laugh. "If you wanted to tell him to never come near you again, don't bother. He left."
"I know he left Maze, I want to see him again," she explained, and she continued as Maze opened her mouth to snark at her, "I know I screwed up and I should've talked to him before, but I didn't, and now I need your help. Please?"
Maze huffed, and got out her phone.
"Fine. Amenadiel'll be better to teach you." she explained, sending off a text.

A few seconds later, there was a whoosh of displaced air, and Amenadiel was stood next to Maze. Chloe's brain momentarily blanked as she remembered her research, and that she was now stood face-to-face with the First of God's angels.
"Hello Chloe. How are you?" he asked, obviously carefully watching her face to see how she was handling learning of the Divine.
"I'm, I'm ok. Can you tell me how to contact Lucifer?" She cut straight to the point, not really wanting to engage in small talk now she was talking to someone who could tell her how to contact him.
"I can. It will be a one-way communication, but I am willing to teach you if your desire is sincere." he replied. He knew how much his brother cared about her, and heavily doubted he genuinely wanted never to see her again.
"Thank you Amenadiel."

They spent the next hour with Amenadiel teaching Chloe the proper form for prayers, testing her technique by sending small prayers to him, and when her voice sounded in his head, he smiled at her.

That evening, before she went to bed in her new bedroom, she pressed her hands together, and sent her first prayer to Lucifer.

-----------------*-----------------

Lucifer didn't know how many times he had been through the loop, but this time, a time slowed as she froze in horror, something changed.

"Lucifer?"

This time, despite seeing her stood horrified and silent in front of him, he could have sworn he heard her voice, unsure and questioning as he heard his name for the first time since he entered the cell.

"Lucifer, it's Chloe. I don’t know if you can hear me, but Amenadiel told me how to pray to you. I know I didn’t react well, but I want to see you again. If you don’t want to, that’s ok, but don’t stay away because I’m scared, because I’m not anymore. Please Lucifer. I miss you."

The voice spoke through the loop resetting, and when it stopped he felt emptier than before. Why must his own realm be so cruel as to force him into hearing her voice asking him to come back?

 

He never once thought it could be real.

Chapter Text

Chloe prayed every night for two weeks, hoping every day that she'd get a response. When there was still nothing, she put her hands together and prayed to Amenadiel when Trixie was with Dan, after she realised she didn't have his phone number. Barely five seconds after she concluded her prayer, there was a knock on the door. She quickly got up to answer it, and invited Amenadiel in as soon as she saw it was him.

"What did you wish to talk about Chloe?" he asked when they were both seated on her couch.
"Is there any way for me to know if he's actually heard me? I've prayed every day for two weeks and nothing's happened."
"Not really. Prayers are only one way, and if Luci doesn't want to leave Hell, there is no way for him to communicate with you directly," he explained, before his expression turned thoughtful, "Although, it may be that he is blocking any prayers to Lucifer from humans. I would imagine he gets a lot, and as that is not his Father-given name he would be able to do that."
"What can I do?"
Amenadiel looked torn for a moment before making a decision.
"You could pray to his original name. Just be aware that he hates it, but I believe the benefits of you being able to pray to him outweigh his hatred of it. You could also ask him to tell me if he doesn't want to leave Hell, and I would tell you as soon as I heard anything."
"What was his name?" Chloe asked, after considering what he had told her.
"Samael. His name was Samael."

That night she prayed to his old name, hoping that Amenadiel was right and the only reason Lucifer hadn't responded was that he hadn't heard her.

-----------------*-----------------

Her voice in his head became the only regular and predictable part of his loop. If he was more aware, he would have realised the prayers came once a day on Earth, at almost exactly the same time every day. He quickly began to crave hearing her voice, despite the bittersweet ache it caused. Everything would seem better for a moment when she said his name, until the name she said changed, and took him by surprise.

"Samael?"

If it was any voice but hers, that name would cause nothing but pain and rage, but that name in her voice made him feel almost angelic, almost Divine again.

"Samael, it's Chloe. Amenadiel told me that name, he said you might be able to block out human prayers to Lucifer, but you wouldn't be able to block Samael. I still miss you, and I still want to see you again. I understand if you don't want to see me though, but if you want to stay in Hell, please tell Amenadiel. He'll tell me, and I'll stop bothering you. I hope you're ok."

 

He almost listened to the voice, because he wasn't ok, as much as he knew he deserved this, but then a bullet ripped through his chest and the moment was gone.

Chapter Text

Another two weeks passed with no response before Chloe called Amenadiel again. He arrived as quickly as the last time, and Chloe got straight to the point.
"Have you heard anything from Lucifer?"
"He hasn’t returned?"
"No, and I’m getting worried that something’s wrong. I've been praying to him every night for a month, and asking him to at least talk to you for two weeks."
Amenadiel looked like he shared her concern.
"I'll pop down and check on him if you want Chloe. I haven't so far because I have not exactly been truthful to him before, and I believed he was just being stubborn in not responding to your prayers."
"Please Amenadiel. Just to see he's ok." she almost begged.
"I'll be back in a minute." he said with a small nod, before disappearing in a rush of wind.

It was ten minutes before he reappeared, looking quite worried, and Chloe questioned him immediately.
"Is he ok?"
Amenadiel paused before replying, like he was trying to work out how to tell her what he knew, and dread started to pool in Chloe's stomach. "No Chloe. He's not. He's stuck in a cell."
"A cell?"
"Hell is formed of cells, each of which contains a single damned soul and loops their personal torment."
"And Lucifer’s trapped in one? Can you get him out?"
"I can't. He needs to believe he has no reason to be guilty in order to break its hold on him, and I have lied to him too many times for him to believe me if I told him so."
"Could Maze? We can't leave him there! He doesn't deserve it at all!"
"Maze is possibly worse than me. She was working with Cain and Lucifer understandably didn't take that well." he explained, and Chloe started to dread what he was saying.
"So we can't help him? He's trapped forever?" she asked, voice small as a lump began to build in her throat.
"Maze and I may be unable to help him, but you can."
"Me? How? He's probably not hearing my prayers and I can't do anything else. I'm just a human, unlike you and Maze."
"You may be human, but he cares about you, he'll listen to you. You might be the only person who can convince him he doesn't deserve this, Chloe."

Chloe wasn't quite sure what to make of all Amenadiel had said, feeling almost as thrown off as when she first found out. Lucifer was trapped in Hell, and she might be the only person who could get him out? How did her life come to this?
"What do I have to do?"
"Is Trixie here?"
"She's with Dan tonight. Why?"
"Good. I didn't think you'd want to leave her alone. I can give you a lift down to Hell and we'll be back in less than an hour."
"Do you think I can get through to him that quickly?"
"Time in Hell runs differently than here. An hour here would give you several there." he explained, and Chloe nodded before it struck her what that meant for Lucifer.
"Lucifer's been trapped for over a month?"
Amenadiel nodded, but Chloe could tell from his face that he thought that was an understatement.
"How do I get there?"

Amenadiel explained the logistics of getting to Hell, and Chloe put on her boots and jacket before standing in front of him in the middle of her living room. "Are you ready to go?"
"Let’s go save him." Chloe replied, and they vanished in a whoosh of air and a rush of feathers.

-----------------*-----------------

They landed in a dark, blue-tinged corridor, lined with doors and paved in hexagonal stones. The door they landed in front of seemed no different to any of the others, but Chloe could guess that it belonged to Lucifer’s cell.
"So what do I do?"
"You go in, find him, and convince him that he doesn’t deserve the punishment he’s putting himself through. I’ll wait out here for your return, and then I’ll ensure both of you safely return to Earth, if Lucifer wants to."
"You're not coming with me?"
"I can't Chloe. I fear if I do, I will end up trapped in there as well. I know the cells have power over angels, and I have done quite a few things that would earn me a place inside," he explained, before he caught sight of her suddenly worried expression, "You don't need to worry Chloe. You are still living, and you are truly good. Hell should have no hold on you."
Chloe paused for a moment to gather her thoughts, before giving a small nod to Amenadiel.
"Alright. I'll see you when Lucifer's with me."

As she stepped through the door, a gunshot rang out.

For a moment, Lucifer stood staring at her, a stunned expression on his face. As Chloe watched, a red stain spread quickly across the front of his shirt, and she could do nothing as he collapsed.

Chapter Text

Chloe rushed to his side, falling to her knees and pressing desperate hands to the centre of the still-growing stain.
"D't'ctive?" he murmured, eyes beginning to lose focus as he looked up at her, confusion evident on his face.
"Stay with me, please. W-we can fix this." she said a little desperately as tears began to well up in her eyes as his grew ever more glassy.
"Miss you…" The words were carried on his last breath, almost too quiet to hear as his chest stilled under her hands. For a moment she was stunned, unable to even beg for him to breathe, before the room around her shattered and warped. She tried to watch, but soon the shifting forced her to close her eyes against the motion sickness it created.

When she opened them again, she was knelt in the corner of his penthouse, his body no longer underneath her hands. Before she had a chance to look round, a voice she didn’t recognise spoke up.
"We have an audience now, Brother. I wonder what she'll think of you committing fratricide." The voice was American, and when she looked over she saw it belonged to a short man in some sort of robe, stood facing Lucifer.
"She's- she's not real." he replied, voice slightly shaky like he was trying to convince himself what he was saying was true.
"Oh she is. But you're taking too long." As the other man finished speaking, Chloe spotted a gleam of metal in Lucifer's hand as he surged forward with an anguished roar, pulling the man in close before stepping back, revealing the handle of the blade stuck out of his torso.
"She can't be here. She is on Earth, happy without me." The brokenhearted certainty in his voice brought tears to her eyes, but any thought of going to him to prove him wrong was halted by the reappearance of the blade in his hand, now coated in red.
"Are you sure, Brother? You heard her prayers."
Lucifer resisted for a moment before surging forward again and burying the blade in the other man. "They were illusions from the loop. She could never- I'm a monster, why would she?"
"You must have truly broken her, Brother."

For a while, she watched this grim loop, Lucifer descending into repeatedly almost-sobbing "I'm sorry, I didn't want to.", but never finding an opening to interrupt. It didn't take long for her to realise that the other man was voicing all of his fears, reinforcing his self-hatred and guilt. Just as she built up enough courage to stand up and attempt to stop the cycle, Lucifer pulled himself away, stumbling to the elevator. She made to follow him, but as she did he turned, a pained expression on his face.
"Don't. Leave me, and don't you dare wear her face, demon. Torture me all you like, but don't ever pretend to be her."
Before she had a chance to respond, the elevator doors slid closed and the room warped again.

When she heard voices and opened her eyes again, a familiar face was standing off against Lucifer. As she watched, Pierce drew a blade that looked suspiciously like one of Maze's before lunging at Lucifer. He easily dodged the attack, almost dancing around Pierce as he made more frustrated swipes at him until he finally managed to catch his arm, a thin line of red welling up between the parted fabric.

With that, Lucifer's body language shifted. No longer loose and defensive, he took a moment to look at the wound before Pierce attacked again, and this time Lucifer caught his swing, getting in a few well-placed blows before flipping him over his shoulder. Pierce scrambled to his feet, and Lucifer caught his arm as the blade hovered dangerously near his throat. Despite the fact she knew how this would end, her heart was in her throat as they exchanged indistinct words before there was a horrible crunch and Lucifer drove the blade deep into Pierce's chest.

"I am a Devil of my word!" he exclaimed as Pierce went down. His body language radiated anger, but his expression was one of resignation and regret. Chloe felt frozen in the quiet that followed, Pierce's ragged breathing the only sound until he spoke up.
"Is Chloe ok?"
Lucifer's expression changed at his question, something complicated and pained passing over his face before he replied, voice so soft Chloe could barely hear his answer.
"I- I don't know. I hope so." He sounded so heartbroken and lost that Chloe wanted nothing more than to go to him, but stayed back as he crouched down by Pierce, their conversation becoming indistinct as she noticed flames begin to lick at his face, eyes taking on an unearthly glow as the features she knew so well melted away, leaving behind the face seared into her memory from that day, settling fully as Pierce took his last breath.

Her breath caught when she saw it again, but she wasn't afraid. The face looked more raw than she remembered, and he was obviously apprehensive as they both heard footsteps coming down the stairs.

Chloe looked up and was struck by a very strange feeling as she watched herself walk down the stairs, oblivious to the sight awaiting her. It was an odd sensation of external déjà vu as she watched herself see his face for the first time - almost exactly like she remembered, until her doppelganger drew her gun. She barely thought before scrambling to her feet and rushing at Lucifer, tackling him to the ground as a shot rang out, almost able to feel the bullet as it passed.

When she lifted her head to check he was unharmed, he looked completely stunned, the familiar dark hair and eyes returning.
"De- Detective? No, it can’t- You- you can’t- You’re not real."
"I am real. Are you ok?" she asked, getting off him and kneeling by his side as he pushed himself up until he was half-sitting. "You can't be here - Unless…." he trailed off, looking in horror at where her doppelganger was stood. She was staring at where he should have been, gun shaking in her trembling hands and guilt evident on her face. Understanding dawned after a moment, and Chloe quickly moved to reassure him.
"No, I'm fine. I'm alive, I'm ok, Lucifer. I didn’t shoot you."
His head shot back to her when she said his name, hearing it for the first time since he left Earth, his mouth dropping open.
"Chloe…?"
"Yeah, it's me, Lucifer. I came to get you out of here."
"But I belong here Detective. I- I killed my brother, and I killed a-a human, and I hurt you." he replied, voice dropping to a whisper at the end.
"Pierce tried to kill both of us, Lucifer. You were acting in self-defence. I don't know what happened with your brother, but I'm sure you only did what you had to. And you didn't hurt me when I saw your face. I won't deny that I was scared, but it was mostly of what it all meant, the bigger picture. I should have come and talked to you. I'm not scared of you, Lucifer." she explained, hoping that her perspective would help break the loop's hold on him.
"But- I'm a monster. I- I should be punished."
"You're not a monster, you're a good man, Lucifer. And you still don't deserve this," she replied, so completely sincerely that Lucifer couldn’t find a response, beginning to believe what she was saying, "Come home, Lucifer. You're still my best friend, and I- I miss you."

For a moment he sat there unmoving, looking at her outstretched hand, and Chloe was a little afraid that that hadn’t been enough, and he needed more convincing, but then he reached up and took it. She didn’t dare let go of his hand as she helped him up and led him to the door she'd entered through.

Amenadiel was waiting on the other side, and looked relieved to see Lucifer leaving the cell with Chloe.
"Luci, are you ok?" he asked, concern evident on his face.
"I am physically unharmed, brother, but can we leave? I don’t believe the Detective would appreciate standing around in Hell any longer." he replied before shrugging and letting his wings unfurl. Amenadiel’s face fell when he saw them, horrified at their state.
"Brother… your wings…"
"You can lecture me when we’re on Earth. Shall we be off?"
"We're going back to Chloe's house, and we will talk. I'll carry her, I doubt your wings can carry two in that state."
Lucifer nodded, and all three vanished in a flutter of wings.

Chapter Text

They landed in Chloe’s living room only five minutes after they had left. Amenadiel quickly put her down and walked around to properly look at Lucifer’s wings. They were in a terrible state, feathers misaligned and missing, some pin feathers still in their sheaths, and patches of red-brown dried blood marring the expanse of white. He reached out to realign one of the worst, but as soon as his fingers brushed the feather, Lucifer span around, wings puffing up in threat and narrowly missing Chloe.

"Don't, brother, please." he said, and Chloe was reminded of when she saw his scars for the first time, the unexpected vulnerability and hurt on his face as he stopped her touching them.

"Alright, Luci, but you need to let someone help you. You can't reach all of your wings by yourself, and they need to be preened. It can't be comfortable, brother."

"Maybe I deserve the pain. I know you said I don't belong in Hell, but there must be some consequences to what I've done." he replied bitterly, wings pulled away from him and still puffed out.

"Lucifer, please. You've been hurt enough, let us help you. Or if you don't want Amenadiel to help, let me." Chloe asked, moving around so she was stood in front of him too. He stayed defensive for a moment longer before his feathers relaxed and his shoulders slumped.

"Very well, Detective. If you insist. But only you."

"I won't touch your wings, brother, but let me instruct Chloe on what to do."

"Fine. Just get on with it."

Chloe was sent to get a bowl of warm water and some cloths to clean the dried blood from his feathers, and when she got back Lucifer was shirtless, wings spread as he sat backwards on a stool at her breakfast bar. Amenadiel was sat a good way away from him, but still able to see the full expanse of Lucifer's wings, arms folded and looking displeased.

Lucifer was resting his head on his arms, but looked up as she approached and set the bowl and cloths down on the bar.

"Are you ready, Lucifer?" Chloe asked, as she picked up one of the damp cloths and moved behind him. He gave her a curt nod.

"Just make sure to go in the direction of the feathers please, Detective."

Slowly and carefully she began to wash the blood from his wings, stopping every so often to wring out or change the cloth when it became too saturated with rust-red water.

After a little while, his wings were back to pure white, still bedraggled and misaligned, but free from blood and dust for the first time since the loft. Before she started rectifying that, Amenadiel demonstrated what she had to do on his own wings, before she was allowed to start on Lucifer's. He flinched away when she touched them, before visibly making an effort to relax.

"Are you alright? I'll stop if you want me to." she said, pulling her hands back from the feathers.

"I'm- I'll be alright. Just- be careful Detective. The feathers can be sharp." he warned, before forcing his wings to relax.

When she smoothed the first feather back into alignment, a shudder ran through him, and Chloe was worried she'd hurt him for a second before he sighed minutely and his wing gently pressed back into her hand.

She steadily worked her way over his wings, straightening feathers and gently breaking open pin feather sheaths. Amenadiel left about five minutes in, content that Chloe wasn’t going to accidentally hurt Lucifer.

He relaxed more and more as she worked, until he was resting bonelessly on the bar, wings barely still held aloft as she smoothed the last feather into place. When she tried to get him up, he tiredly turned his head away and looked as though he was happy to sleep where he sat.

Eventually she managed to get him up and into a guest room, glad of the wide doorways as he was too exhausted to fold his wings away. He flopped into the double bed, wings spread out to either side of him. Chloe stood there for a little while before she left him to sleep and went to bed herself.

She spent almost an hour tossing and turning, trying to sleep, before she gave up on that. Quietly, she padded back to Lucifer’s room, needing to reassure herself that he was back and ok.

As she reached the threshold and peered through the doorway, intending just to check on him and leave, Lucifer shifted and his eyes met hers. After a moment, he lifted one of his wings and raised an eyebrow in invitation.

She hesitated for a moment before joining him, warmth enveloping her as he gently lowered his wing over her like a blanket. It didn’t take long before they were cuddled close together, both reassuring themselves that they were both on Earth and alright.

"I’m glad you’re home, Lucifer." she murmured as she settled down to sleep, and as she drifted off, she heard him whisper a reply.

"I’m glad I’m home too, Chloe."