Chloe watched the older couple make their way out of the precinct. The taller woman had a solicitous arm around her partner, who, despite being steady on her feet, didn’t seem to mind the extra assistance. They walked slowly and deliberately down the hall, and then the taller one shifted her grip so that they were holding hands.
Chloe smiled, but felt a little twist of something in her chest. She’d thought that was going to be her and Dan, growing old together.
Well, if she was perfectly honest with herself, she hadn’t thought that for very long. Sure, when their relationship was new, she saw it lasting forever; by the time she realized it might not, Trixie had arrived, and then Chloe wanted to stay with Dan for their daughter’s sake.
That wasn’t a mistake she’d make again. She and Dan were better as friends, and they had finally found a groove where they could work together, parent Trixie, and even still have Taco Tuesdays together sometimes.
As if her thoughts had summoned him, Dan ambled down the hall. “That couple, did you see them?” he asked, his smile reflective. Chloe nodded, and Dan continued, “You’d think they’ve been together forever, right?”
“Well, they sure look like it.”
“Nope.” Dan’s imitation of Lucifer’s consonant-popping was no doubt unintentional, but his quick, rueful smile suggested that he caught the similarity. “Two years.”
“So they found each other when they were, what, in their eighties?”
“Something like that.” Dan’s smile twisted, and Chloe guessed he was thinking of Charlotte.
“Hey,” she said gently. “You don’t need to worry about… finding somebody, Dan. Give yourself time, yeah?”
“Yeah,” Dan agreed. “I don’t know. I think I might be ready soon, but I’ve thought that for months. Did Lucifer tell you -?”
“Yeah.” Chloe rested a sympathetic hand on Dan’s arm. Lucifer had, in fact, mentioned the rather disastrous date that Dan had attempted at Lux, in which he had drunk just enough that he’d thought that talking to his date about Charlotte was a good idea. She cleared her throat. “Why were they here?” she asked, nodding after the couple in an attempt to change the subject.
“Witnessed a murder,” Dan replied, with a grimace. “I wouldn’t wish seeing that sort of thing on anyone, but they were really helpful.”
Chloe murmured something approving, though her attention was caught by the couple, who were going through the door that one of the unis was holding open for them. “They’re so cute.”
“Yeah,” Dan agreed. “Oh, hey, I meant to ask if I could take Trixie tonight? I know it’s your weekend,” he said quickly, “But I got tickets to an Angels game, last-minute, and she’s been asking to go.”
Chloe managed not to twitch at the mention of angels, as the fact that Lucifer really was the Actual Devil (and so also an angel) wasn’t common knowledge. In fact, as far as she knew, only she and Linda were in possession of that information.
“Uh, sure,” she replied. "I’m having dinner with my mother tonight, but I’m sure Trixie would much rather be at a ball game with you.
“Are you sure?” Dan asked, mostly in jest. “Don’t you want her to come with you, as a buffer?”
Chloe began to reply in the negative, but a familiar voice from behind her said, “A buffer? I can join you, Detective, whatever it is.”
“Dinner with my mom,” Chloe supplied, and she was unable to keep back a smile when Lucifer lit up. Figuratively. Though apparently light really was his thing. Chloe tried not to think too hard about that.
“With Penelope? Why should anyone need a buffer for such a lovely woman?” Dan and Chloe exchanged an amused look as Lucifer continued to extol Penelope’s praises.
“Right, then, dinner tonight,” Lucifer confirmed. Chloe gave the location, and Lucifer whistled. “Lovely. I’ve been wanting to try the branzino there. Shall I pick you up?”
“Uh, yeah.” Chloe fumbled over her response, but nodded. Her mother, of course, would make assumptions, but maybe she wouldn’t have to find out that Lucifer drove.
Though, really, her mother would make assumptions no matter what; she might as well enjoy herself, and riding in Lucifer’s Corvette certainly qualified.
Maybe Chloe would dress up a little. The restaurant was fancy, it seemed, and she should try to fit in. It wasn’t at all that she wanted to see Lucifer’s reaction to the dress she’d picked up last week - on sale, of course.
“So I’ll get Trixie from school,” Dan said, directing Chloe’s mind back to the present. “Do you want to just switch for the whole weekend? Then you can have a full one next time.”
“That’s great,” Chloe agreed. An unexpected weekend to herself, much as she loved her daughter, was a luxury. All she had to do was get through this dinner with her mother, and she’d be golden.
“Thanks, Chlo. I really appreciate it. And have fun tonight.” Dan didn’t quite manage to hide his smirk as he left.
Yeah, Chloe was definitely having a glass of wine with dinner. Maybe several.
“And I’ll pick you up at six? That sound good?”
“Perfect, thanks. And thanks for coming tonight. Maybe you can keep Mom from nagging.”
“What would she nag you about?” Lucifer asked, as he trailed behind Chloe to her desk.
“Oh, my hair, my clothes, my job, my failure to provide Trixie with a sibling.”
“Well,” Lucifer began, clearly ready to provide his own opinions on those topics. Chloe regarded him steadily, her brows lifting, and Lucifer paused.
He’d been doing that more often lately: just taking a moment to think over his words. Chloe didn’t want to call attention to it; he’d probably just make a humorous comment anyway.
“I’m sure you’ll look lovely,” he concluded. “And you’re doing well here at work. And as for another child, well, I’d be happy to assist you in that, if that’s what you’d like.”
So close. Chloe sighed. “Really, Lucifer?”
Lucifer just smiled, his expression just a little too innocent. “What? The director of that fancy reproductive clinic on Wilshire owes me a favor. You didn’t think I meant me, did you?”
“Well,” Chloe began, but Lucifer continued as if she hadn’t spoken.
“I mean, sex, yes, absolutely. Sex is always on the table.” He rapped her desk lightly, with a quick, teasing grin. “But no offspring, please. Bad idea.”
“You’ve joked about it, but The Omen?” Chloe let her voice trail off.
“Pure fiction, with no basis in reality whatsoever,” Lucifer said briskly. “But let’s not tempt fate, shall we? Besides, infants are noisy and smelly. Much better when they’ve got to young Beatrice’s age.”
“Good to know.”
And that was another area where he’d improved. Part of it was that Trixie had gotten older, and was less likely to fling herself at him, but he also seemed more inclined to listen to her chatter.
His phone rang, and after a glance at it, Lucifer grimaced. “Apologies, Detective. It’s Patrick. He wouldn’t call unless it was urgent.”
“No, go take it,” Chloe urged. “I’ll see you tonight, yeah?”
Lucifer smiled and nodded, and took himself and his phone call out of the bullpen.
Chloe pulled at the hem of her dress. Was it too short? Too tight? She studied herself in the mirror.
The dress, a little number a few shades darker than her eyes, fit like a glove, giving her curves she hadn’t realized she had. But was it too much? She’d loved it in the shop, but now, anticipating wearing it in public, and particularly in front of Lucifer, she wasn’t sure.
Sighing, she pulled out her phone and snapped a picture and sent it to Linda: What do you think?
Once Chloe had learned that Linda also was aware of Lucifer’s identity, they had spent a lot of time together, and Chloe had come to rely on her opinion.
Not usually for clothes, mind, but Linda’s enthusiastic Wow!! made her breathe easier.
Chloe wasn’t surprised when her phone rang.
“You look amazing. What’s the occasion?”
“Dinner with my mom.”
Linda’s soft noise of disbelief came through loud and clear. “You’re wearing that for your mother?”
“Okay, Lucifer might be coming along, as a buffer. But tell the truth, Linda: is it too… everything?”
“No.” Linda’s reply was warm and bracing, and Chloe couldn’t help but think just how much better the world would be if everyone had a Linda. “It is exactly the right amount of everything, and Lucifer’s eyes are going to fall out of his head. Seriously, I wish you could get a picture of his face when he sees you.”
Chkoe laughed away Linda’s comment, but couldn’t help but feel pleased. “Thanks, Linda.”
“And you’ll let me know how dinner goes?” While Linda’s voice held a note of teasing, there was also a little concern there; she knew how Chloe’s mother could get under her skin.
“And… after dinner?”
“There’s not going to be an after dinner, Linda.”
“Well.” Linda hesitated, then said, “Just bear in mind that he’s really good at, uh, after dinner.”
“Sex, Linda,” Chloe said, biting back an embarrassed laugh. “You can say it. And, well, I heard that ninety-something times at the precinct. But that’s not going to happen. We’re still finding our feet after, well, everything.”
“All right, okay,” Linda replied, her tone mollifying. “I just wanted to give the recommendation.”
“He’s basically got five stars on Yelp already.”
Chloe was joking, but, really, she wouldn’t put it past him to have a listing on Yelp.
She was not going to check.
“I’ll call you tomorrow, okay, Linda?”
“Okay. Have fun!”
Chloe eyed herself in the mirror once more. She would wear the dress, she decided. But that meant she’d have to do something with her hair and it definitely called for the good mascara.
She would have to get moving. And if she panicked, she could always cover the dress with a jacket.
Chloe managed to get ready in time, and her heart pounded as she opened the door in response to Lucifer’s knock. She had not put on a jacket, and, if his reaction was any clue, she had made the right call.
“Detective,” he breathed, his jaw dropping.
Chloe couldn’t help but smile, though she felt a little self-conscious. “You look pretty good, too.”
And he did. He wore a dark suit, of course, but with a blue shirt that nearly matched Chloe’s dress.
“You look better than good,” Lucifer managed, still looking poleaxed.
Lucifer and Chloe made their way out to the street, and Lucifer opened the Corvette’s passenger side door for Chloe. The ride to the restaurant was pleasant, filled with chat about their day, their most recent case, and Dan and Trixie’s trip to the ball field.
“Didn’t realize that she was an Angels fan,” Lucifer quipped, though he shook his head.
“I think she likes the experience more than the team,” Chloe replied. “They get hot dogs, stuff like that. And it’s good for her and her dad to do that sort of thing.”
“Did you and your father?” Lucifer asked, with that odd expression he sometimes got when talking about family. Now, of course, Chloe knew why.
“Go to ball games? No, but we had our things. We went to the shooting range starting when I was pretty little. With guns in the house, he wanted to be sure I could handle them safely.”
“That stood you in good stead later, yes?”
Chloe smiled. “Yeah, it did. I don’t think Dad ever would have guessed that I’d end up a cop, not with Mom dragging me to auditions all the time.”
“Well, I’m glad you did. Otherwise we never would have met.” Lucifer paused a beat, then added, “And that whole helping people, catching bad guys bit as well, of course.”
“Of course.” Chloe waited as Lucifer parked his car in the drop-off zone and the valet opened the door for her. She smiled and thanked him, waiting for Lucifer to join her before saying, “Me, too.” He gave her a look of inquiry, and Chloe said, a little flustered, “I’m glad we met and… everything.”
“And everything,” Lucifer echoed, with a smile. He offered his arm and the two of them entered the restaurant.
“Decker, for three,” Chloe told the maître d’. “We’ll probably have to wait for Mom,” she told Lucifer, as the maître d’ directed someone to show them to their table. “You know she can never keep track of time.” As Chloe and Lucifer were a bit early, Chloe assumed that they would have time to chat a little more before her mother arrived.
This time, though, Penelope had managed to arrive not just on time but even early, as she was already waiting at the table.
She was not alone. Chloe had never seen her grey-haired companion, a tall man in a suit nearly as nice as Lucifer’s. He got to his feet as they approached, and Penelope looked up with a smile that almost seemed nervous.
Her mother, nervous?
“Sweetheart, you’re here. But I thought Trixie was coming, too. Not that I’m not glad to see you, Lucifer.”
The grey-haired man tipped his head in apparent puzzlement at the mention of Lucifer’s name, but rebounded well enough and smiled, all politeness.
“Dan got tickets to a baseball game, and you know how much she’s been wanting to go.” Since the man was standing, Chloe hovered awkwardly by the table. Lucifer, perhaps sensing her unease, pulled out the chair for her, and she felt a rush of gratitude as she sat, quickly followed by both Lucifer and the other man.
“Of course,” Penelope replied. She shot a quick look to the man at her right and then cleared her throat. “This is James Mitchell.” She hesitated, then added, “My fiancé.”
Chloe just stared at her mother, feeling as if she’d just been sucker-punched. Before she could get her feet under her, the server came to the table asking for their drink order. Lucifer smoothly stepped in and placed her order: something alcoholic, thank goodness.
“I’m sorry, what?” Chloe managed, once the server had left.
“Congratulations,” Lucifer said, with a broad smile. “When’s the big day?”
“No,” Chloe interrupted, before Penelope could answer. “I’m sorry,” she added to James, before turning back to her mother. “This is the first I’ve heard of this guy, and you’re marrying him?”
Penelope lifted her chin in a gesture Chloe recognized because she had done it herself. It did not bode well for the conversation. “Yes.”
“But Mom…” Chloe shook her head, unable to verbalize the wrongness of her mother’s actions.
The server returned with the drinks, and Lucifer thanked her, adding, “We’re going to need a few minutes.” He all but shoved Chloe’s glass into her hand, and she took a sip as Lucifer asked, “So how did you two meet?”
Penelope preened a little under Lucifer’s charm. “Well, do you remember that last Hallmark Christmas movie I did?”
“Where you go to a small town?” Chloe guessed, finally managing to look at James. He smiled at her, looking pleasant.
Chloe hated him, though the small part of her brain still capable of rational thought acknowledged that she was being silly.
“What? No, Danica McKellar was the one who came to the small town. She’s a sweet girl, and so smart. You should get her math books for Trixie.” Chloe murmured something vague, and Penelope continued, “I played her love interest’s kind, understanding mother.”
“Must be typecasting,” Lucifer said, all charm. “Do go on.”
Penelope smiled, clearly flattered. “James was there with his grandson, who was playing my grandson.”
“Is that your job?” Chloe asked, her voice bland. “Stage grandpa?”
“Actually, I’m a doctor,” James replied, still affable. “I’ve cut back on my hours as I’ve gotten a little older, and I was able to have my partner handle things so I could go with Jimmy. It was a great opportunity for him, but his mom didn’t want to have to take the other kids out of school.”
“James,” Penelope said, her voice honeyed, “has three grandchildren.”
“Good for him,” Chloe muttered, fumbling to look at her menu.
“Yes, procreation, you must be so proud,” Lucifer said breezily. Chloe could have kissed him, though Penelope and James didn’t seem to catch the comment.
“Your mother has told me so much about your daughter,” James said. “I can’t wait to meet her. And she says that you’re a homicide detective.”
“Yeah, a cop,” Chloe agreed, her voice just as sweet as her mother’s had been a moment before. “Like my father.”
That drew a quick look from Penelope. “You know what? I need to use the ladies’ room. Chloe, why don’t you come with me?”
It did not appear to be a request.
“What’s the matter with you?” Penelope asked as the ladies’ room door closed behind them.
“You kind of sprung this on me,” Chloe replied, though she did her best to stay calm.
“I did,” Penelope acknowledged. “But this all happened quickly. James and I grew close on set, and we’ve been keeping things discreet while we figured out where we wanted it to go.”
“And you went from growing closer to engaged, just like that? And come on, Mom, there's keeping things discreet, but you didn't even tell me.”
“Well, sweetheart, you didn’t exactly keep me in the loop when you got engaged. Or when you broke up with him.”
Ouch. Chloe had to acknowledge her mother’s point, especially as, But I didn’t realize that he was one of the world’s first humans would probably not count as an excuse.
“I know that’s probably not the best example, seeing as how you and Marcus broke things off, but can you understand? Maybe a little? I didn’t want you to meet James unless I knew I was serious about him, and all that happened faster than I expected. Sometimes you meet the right person, and you just… know.”
“Yeah,” Chloe agreed, with a small smile.
“Like with you and Lucifer,” Penelope concluded, clearly pleased. “I’m so glad the two of you are finally working that out.”
“Oh, come on, Chloe. Didn’t you see the way he got you a drink? The way he was looking at you?”
“Really! Chloe, I’ve done enough of those Hallmark movies to know what love is supposed to look like, and you two are it.”
“Mom.” Chloe took a deep breath.
“And he even coordinated his shirt with this lovely dress,” Penelope continued.
“You like my dress?”
“Well, yes. And your hair looks great. Did you get highlights?”
If this was how it made her mother act, maybe Chloe didn’t mind having James around after all.
“I’m sure Lucifer has noticed. You two can go home and make me another grandchild. I mean, James has three.”
So close. “Let’s just go back out and order,” Chloe suggested.
Penelope shook her head. Her expression serious, she said, “That comment you made about your father being a cop… Chloe, are you upset about this? Do you think I’m replacing your father?”
“Mom, no. I swear. I mean, how long has it been? I just got thrown, that’s all. I’m sure James is a great guy. It’s just going to take a little time to get used to the idea.”
Penelope smiled. “Then let’s go back to the table, so you can start getting to know him. And maybe in a few weeks, we can have a big family dinner. You’ll love his daughters, and it’ll be like Trixie has cousins.”
Chloe nodded. “That sounds great, Mom.”
And it did. Mostly. She just needed some time. But when they returned to the table and she saw how concerned James looked, she couldn’t help but smile at him.
She had to admit, they looked good together, and it was nice to see her mother so happy.
It was just weird.
Lucifer, of course, seemed amused by the whole thing. “Really, Detective, why were you so upset? He seemed like a perfectly nice chap.”
“Yes,” Chloe agreed, watching the taillights ahead of them going red and grimacing at the traffic. At least Trixie was with Dan all weekend, and she didn’t have to worry about being late. And, from the pictures on her Snapchat story, Trixie was having a great time.
“But his presence there bothered you?” Lucifer pressed, his voice gentle.
Chloe looked over with a smile. “What, have you been paying attention to Linda’s techniques?” He just smiled in return, and Chloe nodded. “Yeah. I was just surprised, I guess. I mean, wouldn’t you be?”
“My father is hardly likely to re… well, technically my parents were never married, so the lot of us are bastards.” Lucifer seemed delighted by his realization. “I’ll have to call Michael down to tell him that.”
“Oh? I’d love to meet him.”
“Really, Detective, you wouldn’t. Take Amenadiel’s holier-than-thou attitude and double it.”
Chloe made a wry face, but persisted, “But what about when Dan was sleeping with your mom? I mean, they weren’t going to get married, but I’ll bet that surprised you.”
Charlotte Richards’ temporary identity as Lucifer’s mother was, in fact, one of the reasons that Chloe would prefer that Dan didn’t find out about Lucifer’s identity. She was pretty sure he could handle it, eventually, but reaching that point would be tough.
“Surprised… yes.” Something about Lucifer’s tone suggested understatement.
“And if they had gotten married, Dan would have been your stepfather.”
There was a decided lack of response from the other side of the car. Chloe honestly didn’t blame him. It was hard to wrap her brain around it all.
“Well, they didn’t get married,” Lucifer said finally. “And that all… well. It doesn’t bear thinking about.”
“Was it hard for you to see Charlotte… after?”
Lucifer was silent for a moment before replying, “Yes. I’d grown used to her as my mother, and seeing her, not knowing who she had been. Well. But she’s in the Silver City now, and Mum is… wherever it is that I sent her.” He shook his head and cleared his throat, easing the car forward. “And you’re to be matron of honor, and young Beatrice a… what was it?”
“Junior bridesmaid,” Chloe replied, going with the subject change. “Since James’ littler grandkids will be ring bearer and flower girl.”
“As he has three grandchildren,” Lucifer deadpanned, and Chloe rolled her eyes.
“You heard my mother mention that, what, five times? But she did say she liked my dress,” she added, softening a little.
“So maybe James is good for her,” Lucifer suggested. “Or maybe it’s just that she’s getting regular -”
“Lucifer!” Chloe protested.
“What? She’s getting regular companionship. What did you think I was going to say?”
Chloe couldn’t help but laugh. “You know what I thought you were going to say, because it’s what you were going to say. Companionship. I just don’t want to think about my mother and companionship.”
“Well, why not? Surely her age doesn’t have anything to do with it.”
Something about Lucifer’s tone made Chloe look over. The red of the brake lights illuminated his frown and made him look, well.
“What? No. It’s because she’s my mom. Even if she were as young as she was when she did all those sci-fi movies, I still wouldn’t want to think about her having sex.” She couldn’t help but shudder.
“Your brain just went there, didn’t it?”
“Well, I am glad that’s your issue.”
“Why?” Chloe teased. “Because you’re so old?”
He tried to play it off as a joke, but Chloe could tell that it really was the reason.
“I mean, not that looks are everything, but you don’t look old,” Chloe observed, a note of teasing in her voice as she added, “And most of the time you act more like a teenager than one of the oldest beings on the planet. Though I’m glad you’re at Lux instead of in some high school. That would be a little too Twilight.”
Lucifer gave a whole-body shudder that seemed only a little feigned. “High school, barring the kind with hot tubs, is horrifying. All those children.”
“Okay, true,” Chloe agreed, letting the allusion to her film career pass. “And age isn’t all bad. I mean, you’ve done a lot. Experiences,” she added, as he inhaled for an obviously delighted reply.
“People, too,” Lucifer quipped. “So you wouldn’t say no to an older man,” he added, suddenly a little tentative.
“Lucifer,” she began, and she was grateful that he interrupted her, as she wasn’t sure where that sentence was going to go. After all, she had certainly thought about it.
“I’m not pushing for anything just now. And I know that recent events may have made you change your mind.”
“That you’re the Devil?”
“That I’m the Devil.”
“Well, it’s not like you haven’t been telling me that since we’ve known each other,” Chloe said, earning herself a startled look.
“So you… you don’t care?”
“I didn’t say that. No, don’t look like that. I mean, I care because it’s your identity; it’s who you are, like how Ella is religious. But you being the Devil doesn’t bother me.”
Lucifer turned to stare at her, eyes wide, and Chloe was for once grateful for the traffic. “Whyever not? Haven’t you heard the stories?”
“Look, even Ella said the - you got a bad deal, and I’d take her word on that over anybody else’s. But even if she hadn’t said that, I know you, Lucifer. Even though you try to hide it sometimes, you’re good.”
“I’m not.” His words were quiet, barely audible over the rumble of the engine.
“You are. I wish you could see that about yourself. Maybe you’ve listened to too many of those stories, yeah?”
The traffic let up a little, and Lucifer paid careful attention to the road for a few minutes before admitting, voice still soft, “Maybe I have. But maybe there’s some truth in them.”
“You think so?” Chloe couldn’t help the challenge in her voice, and Lucifer cast her a quick, startled look before returning his attention to the road. “Well, you shouldn’t listen to them. For years, starting when I was younger than Trixie, people told me I was pretty.”
“Well, I’m sure you were, considering how lovely you are now.”
“Thanks. But hearing that over and over made me think that was all I was: a pretty face.”
“Well, you’re certainly more than that,” Lucifer retorted, drawing himself up.
“Thank you.” Chloe smiled at his fervor. “My dad said that, too. I could always count on him to mention a good grade I’d gotten, or something kind that I’d done for a neighbor. And it was his words, even after he was gone, that helped me decide to quit acting and join the force.”
“LAPD’s gain, though I do wish that you’d made just one more film before you changed careers,” Lucifer quipped.
“See that? You’re funny, and you think on your feet. Even when I wish you wouldn’t imply that I should have done more nude scenes.”
“With your -” Lucifer must have seen Chloe’s side-eye, for he amended, “Assets? Of course you should have. But you’re also an asset to the LAPD. And I don’t just mean your assets.”
Chloe shook her head, amused. “Thank you. But so are you, Lucifer. Since we paired up, our solve rate has gone way up. That’s you catching criminals, which is definitely not evil.”
“It’s a diversion,” Lucifer said dismissively, though Chloe saw his lips curve.
“Yeah, well it’s a diversion that’s helped make the world a better place. I know you’re worried about your dad controlling your life, and I get that. But if he was, wouldn’t he try to make you do more evil stuff, so you would be more… devilish? If you’re supposed to be his adversary and scare people into going to church, after all, wouldn’t it make more sense for him to want you to be evil? But here you are solving crimes, and saving Trix and me -” Chloe’s voice caught at that; she still wasn’t over what Lucifer had done to rescue them from Malcolm, not to mention from Marcus. “- and giving up your mother to save the world? I mean, that’s huge, Lucifer.”
“It wasn’t like I was trying to be good,” Lucifer protested.
Chloe leaned back against the car seat, speaking slowly as she considered her words. “Maybe… maybe that doesn’t matter that much. I mean, when you brought Trixie those art supplies last week, why did you do it?”
Chloe already knew the answer, but couldn’t help but smile as Lucifer replied, “So she would go off and be creative instead of sitting between us while we watched that movie.”
The movie had been Chloe’s idea. They’d successfully closed a case that had reminded her of the movie’s plot, and then she’d spontaneously suggested that Lucifer come watch it. She still wasn’t sure which of them had been more surprised by the suggestion, but it had been a fun night.
“But it still made her happy, even though you had an ulterior motive.” And it wasn’t like Chloe had especially wanted Trixie to watch the movie, as it got a little dark, so it had worked out for everyone. “I mean, it’s not that people’s motives don’t matter at all, but you’re doing good, Lucifer.” She grinned, then, teasing, “Imagine what you could accomplish if you actually tried.”
“Perish the thought,” Lucifer replied, though his horror was a bit overdone.
“Why don’t you try?” Chloe suggested, surprising herself.
“To be good.”
That drew a short laugh. “But I’m the Devil.”
Chloe shook her head. “You’re missing my point, Lucifer. Yes, you’re the Devil, but that doesn’t mean you can’t…” She looked over and saw his look of incomprehension. “You know what? Never mind.”
She turned her attention to the taillights, managing to keep back her sigh. How many times had he been told that he was evil, that he couldn’t imagine anything otherwise?
Lucifer was looking introspective when they pulled into the parking lot behind Chloe’s building. “Want to come in?” Chloe asked. My alcohol isn’t as good as yours, but it’s something."
“No, I don’t think so,” Lucifer replied. “Not that tonight wasn’t lovely, but I think… not tonight.”
“Huh. Okay. Well, thanks for coming along. It was fun.”
Chloe, a little perplexed, went back inside and made an early night of it. Alone.
“What did you do? Did you have sex?”
“Hi to you, too, Linda?” Chloe couldn’t help but laugh as she settled the phone more comfortably. “No sex, no. I told you we wouldn’t. He didn’t even come back to my place after.”
“Okay, then maybe he’s been captured by pod people or something.”
“Why, what happened?”
“Well, we had an appointment this afternoon, to make up for the one he missed on Tuesday, and he brought me coffee.”
Chloe wasn’t entirely sure why that merited such surprise from Linda. “He’s brought me coffee before.”
“I can’t tell you what happened during session, because, well, you know. But afterwards he thanked me.”
“And he shaved, Chloe. I thought maybe… I don’t know what I thought.”
“His face?” Chloe didn’t want to think too hard about where else he could have shaved, though she did know that he manscaped.
“Of course his face! I wouldn’t have any opportunity to see anything else, and even if I did think it was an ethical thing to do, I wouldn’t, because…”
“Because why?” Chloe prompted, after a moment of silence from the other end of the line.
“Chloe, have you seriously not admitted it to yourself? I mean, you told me you kissed him.”
“Yeah, but that was before… everything.”
There was another pause from Linda. “Does, um, everything matter that much? In the grand scheme of things?”
“In the grand scheme of things… no. He’s still the same guy - Devil - I’ve known all this time. And I’ve told him that.”
“You said you’d felt like you were moving toward something, before everything.”
Chloe didn’t answer. Yes, she’d felt like she and Lucifer might finally be moving toward something real, despite his insistence that he was the Devil. That had somehow become an endearing quirk, rather than the cause for concern it had been when they met. Seeing his wings, and his face, and then finding out that she had almost married Actual Cain, well. That had thrown her for a loop.
Finding out about Abel had made a lot of sense, though.
“Chloe,” Linda prompted.
“Sorry. Yeah. We were, and maybe we will again. I just didn’t feel right starting a new relationship with the Devil right after I’d broken up with the world’s first murderer.”
Saying it out loud, Chloe realized the absurdity of her situation, and couldn’t help but laugh. She could hear Linda’s laughter from the other side of the line.
“I guess you do have a type,” Linda teased. “You like bad boys.”
“But seriously, Linda, was Lucifer acting that strangely?” Chloe asked, once she’d recovered her breath.
“Stop by Lux, see for yourself.”
“And you thought it was because of something I - Linda! Seriously, did you think we had sex and that’s why he changed?”
After a pause that Chloe tried not to read as meaningful, Linda said, “Let’s just say that sex can be… profound.”
“Especially with him, yeah, I got it. But if that was what made him change his behavior, that would be kind of disturbing, you know?”
“Of course.” Linda had her therapist voice on, soothing and reassuring.
Chloe sighed. “I guess I’ll go over to Lux and see for myself.”
“Let me know how it goes?”
“Sure. Bye, Linda.”
Chloe hung up the phone and shook her head, wondering what exactly Lucifer was up to.
Chloe hesitated outside the entrance to Lux, not sure what she was going to find inside. She should have asked Linda for more details. Life with Lucifer was always an adventure, but if he was acting oddly enough to make Linda call wondering what had happened, she could be in for an unusual afternoon.
The door opened, and Chloe pulled on a pleasant smile, but it was only Ricky, the bouncer. “You coming in, Detective?”
She tried to read his expression, but Ricky, as usual, looked fairly neutral.
“Yeah. Is he in?”
“Just finished up some inventory.” Ricky stepped aside, holding open the door, and Chloe went inside.
Lux looked the same, so that was something. Lucifer stood behind the bar, perhaps counting bottles, though it took Chloe a moment to recognize him. She wouldn’t have thought that being clean-shaven would have made such a difference, but it did, as did the tie Lucifer was wearing. Other than the bow tie he wore with his tux, Chloe hadn’t realized that Lucifer really owned ties. She wasn’t surprised to find that it matched his pocket square, though.
“Hey, there,” she greeted, as she crossed to the bar.
“Well, Detective! How lovely to see you. Bit early for a drink, but you’re welcome to one, if you like.”
“Maybe a club soda?” Chloe suggested, and Lucifer nodded, filling a glass and setting it before her.
“What brings you here?” Lucifer asked, all pleasantry. “Not that I’m not happy to see you,” he added quickly. “Only you don’t tend to come to Lux.”
“Just thought I’d stop by.”
“Is it about the bachelorette party?” Perhaps sensing her puzzlement, Lucifer clarified, “For your mum. The wedding isn’t for a while, I know, but you’re welcome to have it here.”
A bachelorette party. Chloe hadn’t made the connection that she was going to have to do that. For her mother.
Would she want strippers? Chloe didn’t want to think about that.
“We can close to the public, whatever you like,” Lucifer added, clearly warming to the subject.
“Um. Maybe, yeah, thanks. Let me talk to Mom, see what she wants. Thanks, though. That’s really generous.”
“Still struggling with the thought of her remarrying?” Lucifer asked, startling Chloe with his insight.
“No. I mean, not really. It’s not like I’m feeling like my dad has been replaced or anything. It’s been so long.”
“And she’s surely dated other people,” Lucifer agreed.
Chloe wrinkled her nose at the thought, but nodded. “Thanks for that.” Gesturing at Lucifer, she asked, “What’s all this?”
Something about his smile suggested he was teasing her as he relied, “My face? Same as it’s ever been, at least this version of it.”
Okay, if that was how he wanted to play it. “I don’t think I’ve seen you wear a tie for everyday, though.”
He shrugged. “Just felt like it.” he studied her for a moment, then said, “Linda called you, didn’t she? She did asked if we’d gotten up to anything unusual last night at dinner. Or, no, she said after dinner.”
Remembering exactly what Linda had suggested they do after dinner, Chloe took a quick drink. “She didn’t tell me anything that happened in session, just that you brought her coffee. That was nice of you. And, uh, that you shaved. It really does make a difference.”
“Well, I try not to worry too much about appearances.”
That drew a smile from Lucifer. He nodded, then said, “I thought about what you said last night.”
Chloe wracked her brain, trying to think of what, exactly, she had said. She was pretty sure that shaving had never come up, but she had indulged in a little more wine than usual. “Oh. Uh, great.”
He smiled, though he looked a little self-conscious. “About, ah, trying to be good.”
“So you bringing Linda coffee…?”
“Just to be nice. No ulterior motives.”
“Wait, so when you brought me coffee, you had - you know what, don’t answer that. I don’t want to know.”
“And I did inventory this morning, so Patrick wouldn’t have to deal with it. His partner’s son is ill.”
“How nice of you,” Chloe said, still turning all this over in her head.
“I thought so.” His smile was, again, self-conscious, rather than the self-congratulatory manner he might have used in the past.
“Okay, but -” Chloe shook her head. “Just because I suggested it?”
“I thought, well, I was curious. I’ve done good on purpose before, the whole Saint Lucifer thing, but not really for good reasons.”
“But you have,” Chloe protested. “I really hope you don’t think I believe that you’re not good, Lucifer. I thought I said that last night.”
“You did,” he confirmed. “I just…”
“Didn’t believe me,” Chloe concluded, and Lucifer nodded. “Well you are,” she added, reaching to rest a hand on his. “That’s one of the things I love about you.”
“Lucifer, I love you. I know things have been kind of confused because of, well, everything, but I love you. I knew it before everything went down with Marcus. I just needed a little while to process. And you don’t have to try to be good for me.”
“I wasn’t,” Lucifer replied, though he still looked stunned. “I wanted to see what I could do, if I tried.” He turned his hand to take yours. “I love you, too, Chloe. I know you don’t think my father made you for me, and I have come to agree. But if he had made someone for me, he couldn’t have done better.”
Chloe made a sound somewhere between a laugh and a sob, and leaned across the bar to kiss Lucifer. The feel of his cheek under her hand as she kissed him was oddly smooth, after the usual prickle of stubble, but she didn’t mind.
She wasn’t sure how long he would choose intentional goodness; he was capricious, after all. But she found herself not really caring. It wasn't why she loved him, after all. She leaned her forehead against Lucifer’s, her thoughts going back to the older couple at the precinct, and to her mother and James. She and Lucifer had come into each other’s lives at an odd time for both of them, but maybe now the timing was finally right.