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Actually, Do Shoot the Messenger

Chapter Text

He’d take it over screaming horror or blank-eyed catatonia, but the Detective’s endless questioning was getting somewhat tiresome. Especially the way she always started a new line of inquiry with:

“So, let’s say I buy the whole Devil thing,” Chloe began. Lucifer suppressed a sigh. He was driving Chloe’s car to the site of another grisly homicide, entertaining himself with a carefully-calculated ratio of minor traffic violations: precisely below the threshold where his partner would yell at him, but enough to visibly annoy her. Of course, that still left Chloe with time on her hands, and the only thing she wanted to do with her free time lately was quiz him over the events of the past few years: a process that involved frequent reference to a notepad with I-M-O-R-T-A-L-I-T-Y written on the first page. “What does that have to do with your lifestyle? The drinking, the parties, all the sex? It’s not a sin thing, is it?”

“Of course not,” Lucifer said, mildly affronted, as he changed lanes without signalling. “I’ve no interest in sin, and I don't deal in shame, just pleasure: mutual, consensual. Enthusiastic, even.”

“How do you know that, though?” Chloe asked.

“How do I know my partners are pleased? Well, Detective, methods vary, but oftentimes I can taste...”

“Lucifer! I mean how do you know they consent, if you,” she flipped a couple of pages over on her notebook, “‘usually don’t even have to ask’? Isn’t it wrong to use your… your mojo that way?” When Lucifer just looked blank, she went on: “Okay, look. Does anyone ever say ‘no’ to you?”

“There are all sorts of people I’m not interested in sleeping with, if that’s what you mean. And plenty of people whose particular tastes don’t align with anything I can provide. Although,” he added with a throaty chuckle, “you’d be surprised how many people thought they were Kinsey zeroes before they met me, and discovered they were more flexible than they imagined. Sometimes literally. In fact, the last time Cirque du Soleil was at the Waterfront, I met the most...”

“I get it!” Chloe said, but she couldn’t quite suppress a giggle as she cut him off. Lucifer smiled broadly, but Chloe put her Serious Detective face back on. “I mean, has anyone you’ve asked or, or invited or looked at with sultry intent or whatever it is you do, has someone ever said no to you at that point?” Lucifer had to think about it for a moment. Chloe briefly tried to imagine the parade of faces--well, she hoped it was faces--going through his mind’s eye, but gave up immediately as she realized what the numbers must actually be. Lucifer hadn’t slept with dozens or even hundreds of people, he’d slept with thousands.

“No,” he finally said. “Can’t say that anyone ever has, other than yourself, of course. Always been a ‘yes’ or a ‘please’ or in many cases a very enthusiastic ‘mmph’, or a gesture,” which he of course demonstrated, taking both hands off the wheel.

“Lucifer, that’s terrible.”

“It is?”

“Of course it is! If people literally can’t say no to you because of hypnosis or compulsion or Devilish sex magic, then it doesn’t mean anything when they say yes! People change their minds about wanting to have sex all the time, if you’ve never had to deal with that then, statistically, it makes you look very, very bad.”

“Now, Detective,” Lucifer said, “you know I only ever give people what they desire.”

“Their forbidden desires, Lucifer. Desires that they keep hidden for a reason, in a lot of cases.” Chloe reached for the most obvious example. “You got Dr. Martin to violate her professional ethics and sleep with a patient. Do you genuinely think she would have done that with anyone else? Anyone without your… gifts?”

Wrong word choice, as Chloe realized immediately. Lucifer’s smirk threatened to take over his entire face, crinkling the edges of his eyeliner. “Linda would be the first to vouch for my skill, stamina, and creativity as a lover,” Lucifer said. “In fact, if you ever need a reference…”

Chloe pinched the bridge of her nose. A lot of the irritating behavior she’d previously mentally tagged as Lucifer Being An Immature Sex-Crazed Dick she’d had to re-file under Lucifer Is Literally Not Human, but that readjustment hadn’t made him less frustrating to have a serious conversation with. “Lucifer, it doesn’t matter that you both had a good time, it matters that Linda had very good reasons to say no, independent of her secret innermost desires.” Lucifer was looking puzzled again, so Chloe tried a different angle. “When we first met, you wanted to sleep with me, and I didn’t want to sleep with you. You had a really hard time accepting that, remember?” He gave her a rather tight-lipped nod, accelerating to 4 mph over the speed limit precisely as they entered a school zone. “If you can normally just… just override people who say ‘no thanks’ to you, that means the only reason you didn’t do it to me is because your mojo doesn’t affect me. That’s not acceptable, Lucifer. I need to know that’s not who you are now.”

“I don’t know how to prove to you that I would never take advantage of anyone in that way,” Lucifer said helplessly, maneuvering into a street parking space.

“I’m not sure either,” Chloe replied, as they exited the vehicle and walked toward a police barricade. “Let me think about it.”

By which time they were at the crime scene, with Ella waving them over to take a look at a collection of evidence that pointed to a truly unorthodox murder weapon, and there was no time for personal conversations for a while.

+++

The ensuing investigation led them to a state park, back to the precinct to interrogate a potential suspect, and then, on that suspect’s testimony, out to a televised poker tournament, where Lucifer ended up recovering the murder weapon while briefly subbing in for the dealer. The murderer confessed on camera, to everyone’s surprise including his own, but by then Chloe had more than enough evidence to place him at the scene of the murder with the deadly antique ivory-handled umbrella in his hands, and all in all, it was a Deckerstar triumph.

+++

Lucifer was looking very pleased with himself as they carpooled back to the precinct, Chloe driving this time. 5 mph under the speed limit, as always, hands perfectly placed at the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions on the steering wheel. Chloe drove quietly for a few minutes, then resumed their earlier conversation as though they hadn’t been interrupted by a busy day of unorthodox crime-solving. “Wait, I know. Ask Dan.”

Lucifer immediately picked up on the context. “Ask Detective Douche if he wants to sleep with me?” he asked, incredulously. He stared at Chloe for a moment, his expression turning thoughtful. “I… hmm. Well, I suppose I could ask. Yes, I certainly could ask him,” he repeated. “But what if he says he does? Do you really want me to sleep with your ex?”

“He won’t,” said Chloe with confidence. “I know Dan. I lived with him for ten years. He’s as straight as they get, and even if he was secretly into men he wouldn’t be into you, and he’s still in mourning for Charlotte. He’s the perfect test case, someone with no reason whatsoever to want to sleep with you. If you proposition him, and he turns you down, I’ll know you haven’t been taking advantage of people, and we can move on from there.”

A produce truck passed them on the right, honking angrily. Lucifer eyed her askance. “And by ‘move on’, you mean…?”

Chloe took one hand off the wheel briefly to cover her smile. “You know what I mean.”

“Lovely,” Lucifer said, settling back into the seat. “Very well, you have a deal. I’ll invite Dan to have sex with me, and you’ll finally agree to joining me in my hot tub.”

“It sounds ridiculous when you put it like that.”

Lucifer wisely forbore to comment further on the plan.

+++

Dan Espinoza was spacing out at his desk again, staring into a pile of incomplete post-interview summaries. He was trapped somewhere in the gap between organizing his thoughts and actually doing the work, which was happening more and more often these days. It had been five weeks, six days, and seven hours since Charlotte’s funeral--not that he was counting--and work, at least, was more or less back to normal. People adapted. Positions were filled. The Sinnerman investigation, under the oversight of multiple precincts, Internal Affairs and the FBI, wrapped up with a lot of “inconclusive” material evidence but also a record number of arrests, and eventually Ella stopped muttering about crazed mutant swans.

After his brief suspension was up, Dan had managed three days of personal leave before the silence in his apartment started to drive him crazy (and he ran out of Body Bags movies to re-watch on Netflix). He came back to work, he made do. He kept himself busy. Interviews, interrogations, working out, spending time with his daughter: those things could feel almost normal. But being at home alone, or dealing with the paperwork that made up 80% of a homicide detective’s workload… without sufficient distraction, his mind always returned to the feeling of Charlotte’s body, lax in his arms, and the awful, crushing guilt that he could have prevented it, if only he’d known.

Dan realized he should schedule another appointment with the department psychologist--he’d seen other guys, normal guys, spin out in similar circumstances and eat a gun barrel or worse--but he kept putting it off. Making excuses. Getting distract-...

“Detective Douche!” a familiar voice rang out across the bullpen. Heads turned as Lucifer crossed the crowded space, as they always did, though the man who called himself the Devil was only mildly overdressed today, rather than extravagantly overdressed: a dark grey suit jacket and trousers, a pale blue shirt. No vest. He must have been out with Chloe.

“Sorry,” Lucifer said as he reached Dan’s desk, “not ‘Detective Douche’; I just got excited. My apologies.” To Dan’s astonishment, he pulled up a chair and sat opposite him, looking seriously into his eyes from across the interview sheets. “Daniel. I’m here to ask you a very important question and I need to know you’ll give it the consideration it deserves.”

“I… uh, okay. Shoot,” Dan said, thoroughly discomfited.

Lucifer, who often talked at or past Dan, rather than to him, was being unusually focused and attentive, and Dan couldn’t help but take notice, although it filled him with trepidation. Oh God, here it comes, he finally wants to talk about Charlotte. If he says it’s not my fault, I really will punch him. If he tries to apologize, I’m gonna shoot him. Dan braced himself. But “Would you go out for drinks with me?” was what Lucifer asked him instead.

Oh. Well, of course it was some bullshit; it was Lucifer. “That’s your important question? Dude, I’ve got work to do,” Dan said, pointedly turning his attention back to his worksheets.

“Much as I hate to take you away from your crucial reports--by the way, you misspelled ‘parallel’ just there, it’s two Ls and then one--I meant after work.” He put on his fake American accent to add, “Just a couple of dudes being bros, what could be better than that?”

Dan’s lip twitched in annoyance. A long time ago, he’d made a bet with Chloe that the British accent would turn out to be just as affected, whenever Lucifer finally spilled his real history, but it was considerably easier on his ears. “Don’t do that,” he muttered, glancing at his paperwork, where he had indeed written “paralell” a couple of times. Which Lucifer had noticed upside-down, at a glance. “Why would I want to drink with you?”

“Why wouldn’t you?” Lucifer countered, in his normal tones. “It’s Friday, your offspring is going on a roadtrip with your mother, you’ve got a whole day off stretching ahead of you to do whatever you please. Why not have a little fun for once?”

Dan breathed through a quick relaxation exercise, and it hit him: Lucifer was taking his feelings into consideration. Lucifer knew his work schedule and was paying attention to his family arrangements. Lucifer was trying to help. Lucifer was being nice to him. “Did Chloe put you up to this?” Dan asked, suspiciously.

Lucifer gave Dan a tight, pleased smile, as though Dan were a dog that had, with lots of praise and encouragement, done a simple trick. “She absolutely did.”

Dan sighed. No way out, then: he could capitulate now or Chloe would escalate this and throw him a damn surprise party or something. When she decided Dan needed taking out of himself, she didn’t back down. “Fine. Seven-thirty. At the Paddock, not your horrible club.”

Lucifer clicked his tongue.“Well, that’ll be inconvenient later. But... as you wish,” he said, with the air of a prince granting a boon to his most unworthy servant, and wandered off to go try on handcuffs for the rest of the day, or whatever he did when avoiding helping Chloe complete and file statements.

Chapter Text

Dan’s inability to collect his thoughts felt disproportionate to the amount of alcohol he’d consumed. He had been drinking a seltzer and lime at the Paddock when Lucifer had arrived, and the original plan was to stick to them, but then Lucifer noticed the dartboard. Really? People flick steel-tipped projectiles around drunk cops for fun? Dan’s agreed-upon forfeit, when Lucifer had proven himself an effortlessly perfect darts player and annihilated him, was a shot. And then another when Lucifer went on to trounce several of the regulars and challenge Jasmine Solano, a terrifying parking enforcement officer who had never, to Dan’s knowledge, ever lost a game. And then another when Jasmine had smiled as she finally went bust and Lucifer had stood a round for the entire bar and promised to have a plaque made.

Okay, maybe he was a bit buzzed. But three shots of the Paddock’s “finest swill” over the course of about two hours wasn’t enough to explain why he’d let Lucifer (who had been at least four rounds ahead of him) drive them both to Lux. “The Detective isn’t here, I have to work a lot harder than this to stay inebriated” had sounded like an explanation when Lucifer said it but on reflection it made absolutely no sense. It also didn’t explain why, instead of sitting at Lux’s bar trying to find a beer that wasn’t an IPA while Lucifer did something embarrassing involving the piano, Dan had followed Lucifer straight to the elevator, which was now headed to Lucifer’s penthouse.

The hell am I even doing here, he thought. He must have said it aloud. “The Hell indeed,” Lucifer replied, with a smirk like there was some innuendo Dan didn’t have the patience to puzzle out.

“Whatever that means, man,” Dan said, trying to clear his head as the doors eased open. Lucifer’s outrageous penthouse was at least quieter than either the club or the bar. Given the state the club had been in at this hour on a Friday night, the penthouse’s soundproofing was impressive. Peaceful, even. Dan leaned on the bar and closed his eyes for a moment.

...Charlotte, eyes open, limp in his arms...

Dan blinked. Lucifer was looking at him with a strange cast to his dark eyes for an instant before he put his gracious-Devil-playing-host mask back on. “Can I interest you in a drink, Daniel?” he asked, pulling two glasses from under the bar and a decanter from behind it.

“Uh, yeah. Sure. What is it?” Dan asked, rubbing his hair.

“Japanese whisky,” Lucifer said, offering him a glass. Dan had never really cultivated a palate for brown liquors; whisky, Scotch, bourbon, it all tasted the same to him, usually. But this was a whole separate category from his occasional Jim Beam and Coke. It was how he imagined fire would taste if you could sip it: clean but complex, sharp, and smoky, and Dan sighed appreciatively, feeling the vapors burn in his sinuses.

“Good, isn’t it?” Lucifer said, tilting his own glass.

“Very,” Dan replied, deciding he could stay for perhaps one more drink before he went home to his lonely, empty apartment.

“Would you like to have sex with me?” Lucifer asked, and through truly heroic force of will, Dan managed not to choke on a mouthful of liquor which, by the bottle, was likely worth the Paddock’s entire top shelf. “You’re more than welcome to say no,” Lucifer added. “I want to be exceptionally clear about that.”

Good, great then, absolutely not, let’s never speak of this again and thank you for the whisky, Dan didn’t say, because Lucifer was still talking and oh God. “I can tell how much you need this, though. Physically. You haven’t even been getting yourself off lately, have you? Poor thing,” he said, with what sounded like genuine compassion.

The bitch of it was, Lucifer was right. How the hell he knew that, Dan had no idea. He shook his head wordlessly, as various potential responses occurred in his mind but failed to make it to his vocal cords. I’m straight and You’re not attractive and It would be disrespectful to Charlotte all died unspoken, since, Dan realized, none of them were true. Was that how Lucifer’s mentalist thing worked on people? They just couldn’t say anything to him other than the truth? Dan settled on “Is this some kind of joke?”

“Of course not. I’m completely sincere,” Lucifer said, and Dan noticed how close he was standing. Looming, as he sometimes did; inevitable, with the height, but Lucifer always seemed to take up exactly as much space as he wanted. “Don’t tell me you’ve never thought about it. I know you have.”

Which was… also true, if Dan was honest with himself. He’d seen how Lucifer watched him sometimes and he figured they'd be having this conversation eventually. Still a damned arrogant thing for Lucifer to assume. Dan knew he’d kept a tight lid on his curiosity, not wanting to indulge Lucifer’s delusions. Or his ego. “You’re not really my type,” Dan said, opting for diplomacy.

“No,” Lucifer said, somehow making the word perfectly neutral, neither agreeing nor disagreeing. He reached out, slowly, gave Dan time to evade before he ran the back of his knuckles across Dan’s cheekbone. Dan’s breath caught, but he didn’t move away. “Doesn’t seem like staying true to type is working out really well for you. Maybe a little something else is exactly what you need, hmm?” and there was the sultry drop in the voice, the no-one-turns-this-down-if-they-can-get-it tone.

Dan scrunched up his face, no longer certain this was an argument he wanted to lose, but bound by honor or some damn thing to voice his last, basic objection. “I'm not into, whatever you call it. Bottoming,” he blurted out, awkwardly, feeling the blush start in his ears. “Chloe and I played around with it when… anyway, it wasn’t my thing.”

Lucifer’s sudden smile was incandescent. “Oh, is that what you’re worrying about?” he asked. “Have a little imagination, honestly, Daniel. I promise there is a tremendous number of things two reasonably athletic people can do to each other, no need to try anything you don’t want to.” He tilted his head, leaning in conspiratorially. “Think it over; how badly do you want to wipe the smirk off my face, scale of one to ten?” Dan’s eyes flashed. Lucifer nodded. “There it is,” he said, and kissed Dan on the mouth.

Dan hesitated before returning the kiss, but only fractionally, surprised by his own desperate yearning. It felt… good. Different. The familiarity of physical intimacy, with enough strangeness to not remind Dan of what he’d lost. Lucifer’s carefully groomed stubble was rough against Dan’s face, but had just enough growth to feel soft under his hand. Lucifer knew what angle wouldn’t click their teeth together awkwardly, how much pressure to give, when and how long to pause for breath. Dan’s heart hammered but he let Lucifer explore him with tongue, tasting of whisky and smoke. Charlotte had been exactly Dan’s height, which made her a little taller in heels, but Dan had never had to tip his head back for anyone before, and that felt a little strange and vulnerable in a way Dan wasn’t sure he liked. But he had other things to think about.

Dan’s fly had come undone. Evidently Lucifer was such a good kisser that Dan had somehow managed not to notice him unfastening a belt buckle, a button, and a zipper one-handed. Now there was a warm hand squeezing his cock through his briefs, and Dan responded in the only sensible way, arching his back and tilting his hips to maximize contact. Dan’s head went back and Lucifer kissed along his jaw and throat, alternating teasing fingertip glides along the underside of Dan’s cock with firm squeezes through the cotton. “Ready for the pants to come off, Daniel?” Lucifer said quietly, next to Dan’s ear.

“No,” Dan gasped, to Lucifer’s brief disappointment, which melted into pleasure as Dan added, “you first.”

Lucifer leaned back and skinned off his jacket, neatly laying it over the bar. The shirt he was less cautious with, undoing the cuffs and buttons and letting it fall to the floor. It shouldn’t have been possible to get out of dress shoes and fitted suit trousers gracefully, but Lucifer clearly had a lot of practice in this arena, and he managed to escape from his outergarments in a way that was both sensual and swift.

Of course Lucifer wasn’t wearing underwear, and his meticulous manscaping continued downstairs: he was smoothly hairless everywhere except for a neatly trimmed patch over his pubic bone. Given his reputation, Dan was expecting him to have something truly remarkable in his pants, but he was, in fact, perfectly average, at least un-erect. Uncircumcised, not that Dan expected anything else, given his persona. Fully and splendidly nude, Lucifer favored Dan with a version of the turnaround he’d performed for Chloe years ago. He lifted his arms off his sides and turned a slow circle, displaying himself as he laid his trousers reverently next to his jacket and set his shoes on a barstool.

Unfortunately, just like his ex-wife had, Dan immediately got distracted by irrelevancies. “Whoa. Those huge scars you had on your back. Did you get plastic surgery or something?” Actually, now that he thought about it, Dan did remember a time several months ago when he’d clapped Lucifer casually on the shoulder and he’d nearly gone to his knees in pain. Oops.

“No, my wings grew back. The scars were where I’d cut them off, you see,” Lucifer quickly explained, in the tone of someone tired of outlining obvious facts for slow thinkers.

Dan shrugged. “Whatever. It’s a nice job, though, I can’t even see any repair scars, it’s like they’re just gone. Good for you, anyway, getting that taken care of. Chloe thought your father had cut strips of skin off your back or, or branded you or something.”

“Daniel,” Lucifer said sharply, “Talking about my father is not sexy. Would you like to dwell on the past, or would you like me to suck you off?”

To Lucifer’s immeasurable satisfaction, Dan reacted dramatically to the suggestion, swaying with desire as a soft moan escaped him. The poor detective really had been depriving himself. Understandable, given the circumstances, but Lucifer knew what it was like to starve for intimacy and wasted no time guiding Dan a few steps backwards to a barstool and sitting him down. He took the opportunity to skim Dan’s pants and underwear over his hips, letting them bunch, for now, over his shoes. Dan’s cock, freed from its restraining Fruit of the Looms, jutted into the space between them, and Lucifer made an impressed noise in the back of his throat.

Getting into someone’s pants was the brilliant part, as far as Lucifer was concerned; he had never been surprised or disappointed by anything he found there. But even by that standard, Dan’s rigid erection was worth a moment of contemplation. Lucifer had seen longer, in his time, but he had rarely encountered thicker; Dan’s girth was impressive. He was well-shaped, too, with a slight curve to him that Lucifer found appealing. Looking down, he stroked his hands over Dan’s hips as he shamelessly, overtly admired his cock. And out of the corner of his eye, caught Dan admiring his admiration.

Dan’s heart was beating very fast: Lucifer could both hear the pulse and feel it in the skin under his hands. He forced himself to slow down, leaning back in to kiss Daniel’s jawline as he slipped both hands under Dan’s shapeless cotton t-shirt. He lifted his fingers under the cloth, giving Dan the option to raise his arms, and relieved him of his shirt in a deft, smooth motion. “Ah,” Lucifer sighed, “look at you. It’s a mystery why you keep all this hidden away, my dear Daniel,” he said, flicking the shirt away and running his hands over the contours of Dan’s muscles, as he’d wanted to do since that afternoon at the bathhouse. He leaned in for another kiss, and Daniel responded this time without hesitation. Lucifer’s hands roamed lower, tracing Dan’s abs, the crease where his thighs met his body. Dan made a soft noise, and Lucifer kissed down his throat, over his collarbones, his pectoral muscles, taking a straightforward path as he sank to his knees between Dan’s thighs.

“Oh my God,” Dan said. Lucifer winced.

“That really is a terrible speech habit you Californians all have,” Lucifer said, settling between Dan’s legs. The barstool was a better height for this than the armchairs; kneeling, Lucifer was in exactly the right position and he wasted no time. Cupping Dan’s balls with one hand, he licked a delicate, slow line from the base of Dan’s rather splendid cock to the tip, just to see what he would do. When no objection was forthcoming, he caught the tip of Dan’s dick in his mouth, sucking gently. He’d have to be careful to avoid scraping him with teeth, but the Devil was always interested in a challenge. He started slowly, alternating wet tongue swipes with careful sucking, learning where Dan’s sensitive spots were: the frenulum was a clear too much to assail directly, but Dan really liked firm pressure gliding over the underside of his circumcision scar; Lucifer’s hand on Dan’s hips could feel him tense his buttocks and urge him forward whenever Lucifer’s mouth moved over it.

Dan moaned, letting his head loll back. He closed his eyes briefly, but his mind immediately flashed to the last time he’d been in a position like this, when... “Fuck.” He opened them and looked down. Lucifer’s eyes, at least, were closed; Dan wasn’t sure he could stand being seen in this moment, watching Lucifer work. He had a classic rhythm going now, bobbing up and down, taking Dan a little deeper on each downstroke while suction hollowed his cheeks each time he moved back. His free hand gently massaged Dan’s balls in counterpoint. It shouldn’t have been as soothing as it was, but Dan found a strange, raw comfort in it, letting the tension build without urgency as Lucifer took him deeper and deeper.

After a wordless interlude, Lucifer’s breath caught strangely, and Dan realized Lucifer was deep-throating him, that he’d gone all the way to the root without choking. “Fuck,” Dan repeated, and that was new, too, marvelling at the wet softness, feeling Lucifer’s pulse surround the tip of him. It was good, it was hot, but it wasn’t what he needed.

Something in Dan twisted and he made a decision. “Stop,” he said. It came out more quietly than he intended, but Lucifer heard him and immediately disengaged, dropping back onto his heels.

Lucifer stretched his jaw before trying to speak. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

“I’m…” Dan started, and tried again. “I want…” he couldn’t quite figure out how to name the large, dark thing that was uncoiling inside him.

“Daniel,” and there was something arresting in Lucifer’s voice, a demanding peace. “Tell me.” Lucifer’s eyes were solemn and dark and inviting as Dan looked into them.

Dan didn’t fight it, and the words that fell out of him felt like relief. “I want to fuck you. I want you to give it up to me until we’re both sore and exhausted. If you’re going to tease me about this forever, and I know you will, I want to take you apart.”

Lucifer’s reaction to the suggestion was as gratifying as Dan’s had been earlier; his eyes fluttered closed for a moment and he took a deep breath. “That sounds promising,” Lucifer murmured, getting to his feet like kneeling on a hardwood floor for ten minutes was no big deal. “Bedroom? Or here at the bar?”

“The bed,” Dan said, briefly confounded by trying to figure out how to hop off the barstool with his pants around his ankles without falling on his face. Lucifer grinned, sliding his hands under Dan’s elbows like he was going for an Ella-style hug, but instead he picked Dan up and set him on his feet, on the floor. Dan blinked. Did he just…? but Lucifer was already walking away, giving him a fairly blatant come-hither look as he took the single step to his bed area.

Dan swore, wriggled out of his shoes, socks, pants and underwear, gathered them into a bundle, and followed Lucifer to the bed, a ridiculously oversized affair with a dark crimson spread. Lucifer pulled it back, exposing black sheets, and sat down, eyeing Daniel appreciatively. “How do you want me?”

“Hands and knees,” Dan growled, tossing his clothes over a chair and kicking his shoes aside while Lucifer arranged himself on the bed, pillowing his head on his folded arms, raising his ass invitingly. The sight brought the blood which had retreated while Dan struggled with his pants throbbing back to his cock, but Dan hesitated. Lucifer guessed why.

“Condoms are in the nightstand. And the headboard. And the dresser. Everywhere, really. Not that you need one to bugger the Devil, of course, but if it makes you feel comfortable, please yourself.”

Dan rummaged in the nearest drawer. “Do you really never drop the Devil thing?”

“I really am the Devil,” Lucifer said, which was more or less the answer Dan expected. His fingertips brushed the condoms in their familiar foil wrappers. Dan slipped one on at random, tossing the packet aside, and caught Lucifer by the hips. The taller man obediently spread his knees a little wider, flattening himself to allow Dan easier access, and just like that, Dan had his dick pressed against Lucifer’s asshole. Some nameless emotion welled up in Dan and to quench it, he lurched his hips forward, briefly thinking oh shit I should have grabbed some more lube or something as the tight ring of muscle yielded and accepted him.

At which point Dan had to concede that some of Lucifer’s towering sexual reputation might be somewhat credible. Lucifer was ready for it, and showed no sign of dismay or discomfort as Dan slid into him, relaxing around Dan’s girth with a sigh, tilting his pelvis to let Dan in deeper. “There you are,” he said, in approving tones.

Dan tried moving, just a little bit, a gentle pull and press, and that was even better, the way Lucifer’s flesh didn’t quite resist, the way Lucifer arched his spine to push back against him. “Go on then,” Lucifer said, in a normal conversational tone. “Hard as you like, you won’t hurt me.” Which was probably true; if Lucifer had found time to lube himself like an Astroglide ninja, he could certainly have popped some amyls when Dan wasn’t looking. Dan, unhurried, gave Lucifer another slow, deep thrust as he contemplated the sheer outrageousness of it all, screwing “the Devil” in his own bed.

“Gentlemen, start your engines,” Dan muttered, as he began moving faster.

Lucifer, to his astonishment, was having an excellent time. He’d been cautiously optimistic when he’d seen what Dan was packing, and especially when he’d displayed an amazing amount of self-control for someone on the receiving end of the Devil’s blowjob skills. Having Dan’s cock inside him did not disappoint. In Lucifer’s fairly comprehensive experience, over-endowed men either had no finesse and went at you like bulls, stampeding toward orgasm, or conversely had learned to be too cautious, treating their own erections like a weapon they were afraid to fire. Dan wielded his girth with fine sensitivity, but also confidence in his own abilities and a refreshing awareness of his own pleasure. Suddenly Lucifer understood why Chloe had been so unwilling to let Dan go, even when he’d been a lying, manipulative, gaslighting… well, douche.

Dan impaled him with long, sure strokes, quickening the pace with slow-building intensity. He kept mixing it up, too: shallow quick ones, and then some slow deep ones, and then he’d do a sort of shimmy, adding a delicious lateral movement, then start thrusting again. “Are you certain this is your first time with a man?” Lucifer asked, a bit doubtfully, as Dan worked in him.

“Shut. The fuck. Up,” Dan informed him, punctuating each syllable with a sharp roll of his hips. Lucifer groaned, arching appreciatively as Dan kept driving into him, really working for it. It wasn’t until Dan actually stopped that Lucifer realized what he was trying to accomplish. “Oh God,” Dan almost sobbed, holding Lucifer in place by his hipbones.

“I’ll thank you to leave Him out of this,” Lucifer said. “Wait, are you actually trying to make me come first?” but then Dan, without replying, was fucking him again; short, brutal strokes, long deep ones. The man had incredible core muscles. And abs. And pecs. Honestly it was unfair to everyone that he wore such shapeless clothes. “You’ll have to go a lot harder than that if you want to bring me off that way,” Lucifer said, and Dan made a savage noise and leaned forward, grabbing Lucifer by the shoulders and really putting it to him. With a shudder of pleasure, Lucifer let Daniel’s weight bear him down, nailing him to the bed.

Dan was grateful for the extra time he’d been spending at the gym, but he was even more grateful for the condom. Without it he’d have lasted, oh, four strokes like this. Maaaybe six. He’d never fucked anyone this hard in his life and Lucifer was somehow asking for more, like Dan wasn’t working his ass off. He drilled Lucifer into the mattress, with enough force to make an audible slapping noise each time their bodies connected. Had Lucifer looked back, he might have recognized the look on Dan’s face as the same one he’d worn when he’d held a celestial blade to Lucifer’s throat: eyes wild, teeth bared, a curious blend of inward and outward focus.

Lucifer’s hands clenched the bedclothes and he went rigid under Dan with a shuddering moan. Dan felt Lucifer’s climax, a ghost-orgasm rippling in pulsing contractions around his dick, and he had to chew his lip almost to the point of blood and then mentally list police radio codes to stop himself from coming too. The pit of his stomach was starting to ache from exertion and denial, but if he was going to be a notch on Lucifer’s bedpost, Dan was determined to be a memorable one.

“Over,” Dan said, after Lucifer finally stopped trembling and gasping under him. How long could one orgasm even last? Lucifer hadn’t even touched himself, Dan had made him do that. He hadn’t even known that was possible. “On your back. We’re not done,” and Lucifer’s dreamy-eyed seriously? expression made up for a lot of “Detective Douche” over the years. Dan withdrew with a groan, sitting back on his heels and letting Lucifer rearrange himself.

“Give us… a minute,” Lucifer said, on his back, as Dan got into position again, but to no one’s surprise, the so-called Devil had a refractory period that a sixteen-year-old would envy and it was less than a minute before he nodded and lifted his knees.

“Put your legs up over my shoulders,” Dan said, feeling a twinge of near-guilt--it had been Charlotte’s favorite position--but Lucifer’s long, hard-muscled legs were nothing like hers, and his deep-voiced moans were nothing like hers, and the slippery mess he’d made of his groin and belly was definitely nothing like hers. Dan trailed his fingers through it and wrapped them around Lucifer’s dick--Dan could never bear to be touched like this right after an orgasm, but he was willing to bet Lucifer had no such reticence. The softness of the loose, hairless skin was an amazing texture as he started to thrust into Lucifer again.

Judging by the “oh, yes, Daniel”, he was right. Smoothing his slick hand over Lucifer’s flaccid cock, feeling it start to throb and stiffen under his fingers, he finally let himself seek his own climax, pounding into Lucifer with all the force he could muster. Which was when everything went horribly wrong somehow.

Lucifer made a harsh sound that wasn’t pleasure and Daniel, still moving urgently, felt him tense; his rhythm stuttered and slipped as Lucifer’s body suddenly resisted, his deeper muscles clenching painfully tight then giving way. Dan froze. “Daniel! Daniel. Stop,” Lucifer panted. “The Detective… the other Detective. Chloe. She’s… here. In the building.”

How can you possibly know that, Dan thought, but his hard-on certainly responded as though the statement was a bucket of cold water. Lucifer groaned in pain as Dan slipped free of him, and Dan noticed with alarm that there was blood on the condom, bright red against the pale latex. ”Shit, are you okay?” he asked, immediately followed by “Shit, Chloe’s here? How can she be here? Oh God,” he added, missing Lucifer’s flinch as he yanked his pants off the chair and tugged them on, “I’ve got to get out of here. This is… this is so fucked up.” Abandoning the search for his shoes, he picked his shirt off the floor, looking at the elevator.

“She’ll be on her way up,” Lucifer pointed out, drawing his knees up and sitting carefully. “Safe to assume she’s not here for a drink or to ogle the dancers.”

“Oh God,” Dan said again, looking wildly around for a place to hide once he’d pulled his T-shirt back over his head. “Jesus, man, why aren’t there any doors in this place?”

“I don’t like the look of them,” Lucifer said, shortly, his voice tight. “Go out on the balcony, if you wish; she won’t see you out there with the lights on in here, and I won’t invite her to stay. Really, though, you have nothing to be ashamed of.” But Dan was already headed outside.

Chapter Text

Lucifer winced, reaching back behind himself to survey the damage and coming back with blood on his fingertips. He made a small noise of disgust and grabbed some tissues, cleaning himself up as best he could and then tossing the screwed-up tissues in the wastebasket with the condom and wrapper. Lucifer wandered back to the bar, flicking on the interior lights as he went. He pulled his robe on and cinched it, giving serious consideration to implementing a firm “call me before you randomly show up” policy vis a vis the Detective visiting him at Lux. That had been a bit worse than a stubbed toe.

He had enough time to lean back against the bar, pick up Dan’s abandoned glass, and chase the last swallow of whisky before the elevator doors opened. “Detective,” he said, without turning around. “What’s the occasion? Corpses piling up, mysteries to be solved, I hope?” He tried to keep his tone light and friendly, but he knew Chloe would hear the edge in his voice. Couldn’t be helped, that had bloody hurt.

Chloe entered the penthouse a bit warily. As she walked around the bar, she could see two glasses and a decanter were out, one of Lucifer’s shirts was on the floor, and flicking a glance through the bedroom doorway, she could just see that the bedspread had been pulled back. Judging from that and Lucifer’s state of undress, he had a guest (or two, or three) but the penthouse was strangely quiet. “Been kind of a slow night for gruesome homicides,” she said. “There was something else I wanted to talk to you about. Am I interrupting something?” She peered out through the glass doors, trying to see if the hot tub was occupied, but it was too bright indoors to see out there. Chloe didn’t think she’d ever seen Lucifer’s place with all the lights on at once.

“Nothing important,” Lucifer said. “What’s on your mind, Detective?”

“It’s about our earlier conversation,” Chloe said, a little awkwardly.

“About Detective Espinoza?” Lucifer asked.

Chloe took a deep breath. “I’ve been thinking about it, and… I was wrong. To, er, push you at Dan, it’s not fair to him. He’s been through a lot lately and, well, blames you for some things, and I don’t want to make things any more awkward between you…” At which point Chloe registered that as she spoke, Lucifer looked increasingly as though an elephant was standing on his foot.

“Er, about that, Detective…” he began, shifting uncomfortably.

“You already spoke to Dan.” It wasn’t a question, Chloe could read Lucifer well enough by now. “At the station. That’s why he hasn’t called to ask me if Trixie got to his mom’s place okay. Damn it, Lucifer, did you actually tell him I sent you?”

Lucifer got that look on his face, that I-won’t-exactly-lie-but-I-definitely-don’t-want-to-tell-you-the-truth look that Chloe knew so infuriatingly well. “I did ask him to join me at the Paddock for drinks before I left the station today,” he said carefully. “We played some darts. As in, with a dartboard, not a euphemism for anything,” he added quickly. Too quickly. Maybe she was just being paranoid. Lucifer wasn’t human and his motivations and behavior didn’t always make sense to her in human terms, she needed to give him the benefit of the doubt.

“So… nothing happened?” Chloe asked, willing it to be true. “You didn’t drag Dan back here and have your way with him?” she said, and she meant it to be a joke, but she saw the invisible elephant on Lucifer’s foot bear down hard and a sick feeling of dread rose up in the pit of her stomach.

“I wouldn’t say precisely nothing happened,” Lucifer admitted, and now his attitude made sense. He was ashamed of what he’d done.

“What did you do to Dan, Lucifer,” Chloe growled, taking an aggressive step forward.

Lucifer threw up his hands placatingly. “Now hold on, Detective, it’s more about what Dan did to me! And nothing, er, much. We only had sex,” he explained, as though that resolved the matter.

Chloe was already storming through the penthouse, looking for evidence of… she didn’t even know, but she found it almost immediately: bloodied tissues in the wastepaper basket next to the bed. “Oh, Lucifer. No, no, no, no,” she moaned. “You didn’t.”

“It’s not what it looks like,” Lucifer protested. “That was an accident, it happened just before you arrived and it’s my…

But Chloe wasn’t listening. She’d found Dan’s sneaker, kicked partially under the bedskirt, with the other one a short distance away. Chloe stooped to pick them up. “Fuck,” she swore under her breath. “Dan’s still here, isn’t he?” She looked up at the loft, and then headed toward the bathroom. “Dan!”

When it became clear that Chloe intended to search the place, Lucifer sighed. “He’s hiding on the balcony, pretending to be a potted fern. I told him you were on your way up, and he didn’t want you to catch him here. But if you’d just let me explain...” And Decker became the second Detective in one evening to slam the door to Lucifer’s balcony while he was talking.

Chloe’s enraged momentum carried her a few steps onto the balcony, but she had to stop in her tracks to let her eyes adjust from the relatively brightly-lit penthouse to the dim glow of the hot tub lights, backed by the muted dazzle of the city below. Tears stung her and she swallowed, hard. She truly hadn’t wanted to believe that Lucifer was exploiting people, she had assumed that her test would yield a predictable, safe result and then she’d have… permission, or whatever, to pursue whatever was between her and the former Lord of Hell, without having to worry that his Luciferness was an insurmountable obstacle.

She took a deep breath, and put it in a box to worry about later. Dan, she reminded herself. Gotta take care of this first. “Dan, are you okay?” she called out blindly.

“Hey,” Dan said, giving her a direction to look in. “Yeah. I’m okay,” and she could make out his shape, standing a bit awkwardly in the corner, against the wall. He must have been watching her with Lucifer, and Chloe felt a twinge of anger at Lucifer, for letting this happen.

Dan let Chloe put her hands on his face, turning his head from side to side as though she were inspecting him for damage. He avoided looking her in the eye. “Chloe, what’s the matter? Look, I know it’s weird, but I can explain this.”

“Oh, Dan,” she said, and he didn’t understand the tears in her eyes, or the heartbreak in her voice. “You don’t have to explain anything. I’m so sorry, this is all my fault.”

“It… what? How is it your...

But she had wrapped an arm around his waist and was guiding him back through the penthouse, toward the elevator. “C’mon, Dan, we’re getting out of here. I’ve got your shoes, let’s just go.” Dan met Lucifer’s eyes just once on the way out but couldn’t read the expression on his face. Chloe didn’t look in Lucifer’s direction at all.

+++

By the time they reached the parking garage, Chloe was apologizing continuously. “I’m so sorry, Dan, I knew Lucifer had abilities but I swear, I swear I didn’t believe they would work on you, I am so incredibly sorry…”

Dan shook her off. “Chloe, wait. What? Abilities? What the hell are you talking about?”

“It was my idea, I told Lucifer to ask you to sleep with him,” Chloe said in a rush. “Because I needed… well, I wanted to know if people, you know, if all the people he sleeps with could say no to him. I never thought his thing would work on you, you’ve never… Look, it doesn’t matter. Let me take you home. Unless… you need medical attention?” she said.

“Chlo! What? No, I don’t need medical attention! What do you mean, you told Lucifer to seduce me?”

“I never thought you’d be susceptible to him, Dan, I’m really sorry. This is all my fault,” she repeated, unlocking her car and hustling Dan into the passenger seat with the “watch your head” gesture that all cops did without thinking.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Dan said, a little defensively, as Chloe got into the car. “You’re acting like Lucifer roofied me, is that what you think happened?” He took a deep breath. “Look, I’m talking in complete sentences, I’m lucid, I mean we had a few drinks, but… god, I can’t believe I’m defending him. It wasn’t like that. He’s just really intuitive, and… and persuasive, or some damn thing.”

“It was just supposed to be a test! I never in a million years imagined you’d say yes,” Chloe said. “I know you couldn’t help it, but…”

“Whoa, seriously, Chlo, you’re freaking me out,” Dan interrupted. “Do you… actually believe Lucifer used Jedi mind tricks on me, or something? You know that’s not a real thing,” he said. “It’s just hypnotic suggestion, or whatever. It works on people who are off-guard and stressed out, and who don't know what he's doing.” Chloe was looking at him like he was spouting nonsense. “He’s just a playboy with too much time on his hands who watches the wrong Youtube videos, he’s not dangerous.

Chloe sighed. Probably best to just confront him with it, she thought. Get it over with. “Fine, Dan, then explain to me why you agreed to have sex with Lucifer freakin’ Morningstar.” It came out harsher than she intended, but she didn’t expect Dan to have an answer, any more than the subjects Lucifer interrogated knew exactly why they confessed to crimes. She assumed Dan would respond with an expression of dawning horror and a non-answer like I don’t know, or perhaps Something came over me, or Definitely sinister sexual mind control, I could tell by the way he made spooky hypnosis noises.

Instead, Dan sighed and stared out the window. “Lately, things have been… hard for me. Not just since Charlotte died, although that’s a big part of it, but before then. I shut you out, I refused to take you seriously, I distanced myself from Trixie, I let everything we could have been slip through my fingers, and… and then when Charlotte…” He made a soft, pained sound in the back of his throat. “It was real, it was good, I thought I had a second chance but we barely got any time at all, and now she’s just… gone. Forever. And I still have you, and Trixie, but God, Chloe… we could all just blink out like Charlotte at any moment and nothing really matters…”

Chloe folded her hands in her lap, listening attentively, but giving him the space. This was not what she’d expected, at all. She’d had her life so full the last few weeks, trying to get back to normal, trying to explain Pierce to her daughter, trying to wrap her head around Lucifer being the actual Devil, and what that meant, that she had just assumed Dan was fine. Sorry I haven’t been more emotionally available but my crime-solving partner is a supernatural being and my ex was an immortal and I kind of needed to step back from everything else for a while wasn’t a conversation she could really have with Dan.

Dan took a deep breath, gained composure. “Anyway. You know you and I haven’t really been talking since it all went down with… you getting shot, again, and uh, this group I spend time with is on hiatus, and I don’t really have a lot of close friends. It just ate me alive, Chlo. I guess pleasure got wrapped up in guilt in my head somehow and I didn’t know what to do except bury it in work. But then work wasn’t enough, and I… god, I don’t even know why I’m even telling you this, but I haven’t been able to fucking jerk off for more than a month. I just feel tired and guilty and ashamed when I’m done, like I don’t deserve it because Charlotte’s dead and I’m still here…” his voice broke. Chloe wanted to reach out and soothe him but she wasn’t sure how to any more. “Like nothing is really worth the effort.”

“And…?” Chloe prompted gently, after a moment.

“And... Lucifer gave me something I didn’t know I was looking for. Something new. Something that didn’t remind me of everything I’d lost with Charlotte, or wasted with you.” Dan blinked several times rapidly but didn’t rub at his eyes. “He made me feel worthy. Worthwhile.” He chewed his lip thoughtfully. “No, that’s not it. More like… I didn’t have anything to feel guilty about.”

This is my fault, she thought. But what she said was, “So… Lucifer didn’t force you?”

Dan rolled his eyes, coughed a sharp, mirthless bark of a laugh. “No, of course not. Do you think I’d put up with that shit from him?”

“He didn’t, er. Hurt you, at all?”

“Jesus Christ, Chlo. No. I, um,” Dan nervously passed his hands over his face. “I might have hurt him a little, actually.”

“Okay, that is definitely impossible,” Chloe said, back on firmer ground.

“No, it was right before you showed up. I got pretty rough with him. There, er. There was some blood,” Dan admitted. “I didn’t even apologize, I was too busy getting my clothes back on. God only knows how Lucifer knew you were on your way up. I am such an asshole.”

Chloe, who was now pretty certain she knew how Lucifer knew she was nearby, winced. Then winced again as she realized something else, something that should have been obvious from the start.

Lucifer didn’t lie. Lucifer wasn’t honest, as she herself had pointed out to him many times, but he never said anything he knew to be untrue. She remembered Lucifer’s Well, I suppose I could ask. Yes, I certainly could ask him, in a tone of voice she had mistaken for thoughtfulness, but which could just as easily have been pleased surprise. Lucifer never suppressed his desires, but he often went along with what Chloe wanted, even when he clearly didn’t understand her reasoning. Had he been waiting this whole time for her permission to proposition Dan? Meanwhile, Dan was spiralling out, he needed someone to throw him a lifeline… and Lucifer responded to that desire, as he responded to all desire.

Chloe groaned. She’d mistaken the cause for the effect. Lucifer was drawn to people who, for whatever reason… needed him. Something she could have established if she’d just, at any point, asked Linda why she’d decided to sleep with Lucifer, why she’d needed her comfortable but unchallenging therapist-to-the-stars life shaken up in the way Lucifer and Maze clearly had done for her. There was no need for stupid experiments at all. She could have just asked.

Good job, Decker.

Chloe rested her head on the steering wheel.

“What?” Dan asked.

“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but… I think you should go back up and talk to Lucifer.”

“Chlo, seriously, what the fuck.”

“I was wrong about how Lucifer’s thing works, okay? You should go back upstairs and at least... talk to him. I can’t tell you why, because it’s not my secret to tell, well, it’s not even a secret, but anyway, he may not even want to tell you but if he does, Dan, you should give him the chance.” Dan received this serving of wordslaw with a look of deep bafflement. “And I mean, it sounds like you were having a pretty good time before I interrupted so maybe just pretend I was never here?”

“Wait. You actually believe Lucifer has the power to hypnotize people into doing his bidding? Don’t tell me you’re buying his whole ‘I’m the Devil’ schtick again, I thought you were past that,” Dan said sharply, and then at Chloe’s rather shaky smile: “Oh hell, Chloe, no. Are you feeling okay?”

She sighed. “Just talk to Lucifer, all right? Let him explain if he wants to.”

Dan rubbed his temples like he was getting a headache. “I’m not sure I wouldn’t rather hear it from you. What aren’t you telling me?”

“A lot of things, Dan. But, well, you wouldn’t believe me anyway. You should let Lucifer show you. If he wants. And… if you want to… if you could tell him I’m sorry, and that I’ll… I’ll honor the deal we made. Tomorrow night. Okay? But he has to fix this mess, first.”

“Seriously? After all this, you want me to pass coded messages for you?”

Chloe bit back her frustration. It wasn’t Dan’s fault he didn’t know. “Just... trust me, okay? I know what you’re missing out on, it does make sense, and I think it’s time you knew, too. Tell Lucifer I said so.”

“Fine. I’ll tell him. But I’m coming right back down. Five minutes.” Dan opened the car door, stood up.

Chloe just smiled, a little thinly. “I’ll wait fifteen minutes, then I’m going to go home. But call me if you need me to come back,” she said.

Chapter Text

Dan could hear the piano before the elevator made it all the way to the penthouse, something with crashing rock chords that he didn’t recognize. The soundproofing really was very good; he couldn’t actually hear Lucifer singing until the doors opened. “I know that I’ve been wrong, but I know where I belong, I’m gonna fly between the moons of Venus… Ah, it’s you, Detective Espinoza. Forget something?”

He’d spent the ride up the elevator composing what he was going to say. It was a really good statement, too, covering all the salient points. In Dan’s mind, however, Lucifer had been wearing clothes. “I… uh,” Dan explained. His carefully organized thoughts couldn’t compete with the sight of Lucifer, stark naked, standing up from his piano, cigarette in hand. “Can you put some clothes back on?”

“Are you sure? This,” Lucifer said, gesturing at himself, “is still on offer, if you’re up for it. I could certainly use the distraction, now that the dear Detective has decided I’m a monster, again, without giving me a chance to explain, again.”

The bitterness in Lucifer’s voice rankled Dan almost as much as being called a “distraction”. He wasn’t sure there was a victim in this scenario, definitely not in the way Chloe had assumed, but if there was, it was certainly not Lucifer. “Chloe sent me up here, actually, to tell you,” he ground his teeth, “she’s sorry, and that she’ll hold up her end of the deal you two made. This, by the way, is your opportunity to explain what that was,” he said, jaw clenched.

“I’m fairly certain you don’t want to know.” Lucifer, unashamed, walked around the piano and shrugged his bathrobe back on. “But it must have been a truly interesting conversation you had. Oh, to have been a fly on that wall,” he said. He tugged the belt of the robe, cinching it with a yank. “There, satisfied?”

“No, actually,” Dan said. “Extremely not satisfied. Seriously, you and Chlo… conspire against me, you manipulate me into sex with you to score points off each other in some weird game, and I didn’t even get to come...” Dan choked. He hadn’t meant to say that last part, but he knew from experience that once you started confessing your feelings to Lucifer, it was hard to stop. The anger drained away abruptly, leaving him numb and tired and more sad than anything else. “No, that last thing at least wasn’t your fault. I’m sorry, man, I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

Lucifer’s expression softened slightly. “I’m fine. Now, anyway. The parking structure is out of range, so no damage done.”

Dan was shaking his head. “No, no more cryptic remarks. Chloe said… you had something to show me. Something that apparently got her to start buying into your Devil cult-of-personality bullshit again, even though she should know better.”

“The Detective said I should show you? Really?” Lucifer ground out his cigarette, giving Dan an appraising look. “Hmm.”

Dan was achy and emotionally wrung out, sobering up, and he’d had about enough of Lucifer. “Just cut it out with the dark mystery thing, man. It’s childish. Tell me whatever it is you have to tell me that you think will make a difference. Or don’t. I don’t even care any more. I’ve been a homicide detective for longer than ‘Lucifer Morningstar’ has existed, I guarantee I’ve seen worse than whatever sad little secret you’ve been holding onto to get Chloe to feel sorry for you. My father fucking hit me, too, Lucifer. It’s not an excuse to lie to people and jerk them around the way you do.”

Something dangerous flickered in Lucifer’s eyes and Dan remembered that he could be violent when provoked, but he discovered he didn’t much care. “Very well,” Lucifer said, his voice controlled. “If you insist. Come with me,” he said, and Dan followed Lucifer across the penthouse to… the bathroom. Which also didn’t have a door, Dan noticed, but which did have a pair of floor-length mirrors set at angles to each other. Lucifer gestured for Dan to step past him. Dan looked into four different versions of his own reflection.

The moment stretched, Dan watching Lucifer stand there behind him like he was about to say something. “O-kay. What am I looking at?” Dan finally said impatiently, and Lucifer took a step forward, putting his hands firmly on Dan’s upper arms. Dan started to object, trying to jerk away in annoyance, but Lucifer’s grip was sure as he squared up behind him so Dan was held tight against his chest, and Dan felt him take a deep breath, like he was bracing for something. Dan rolled his eyes. “Stop being a weirdo, I’m not in the mood for any more of your games, Lucif-...”

“Look,” Lucifer said. And Dan met the Devil’s eyes in the mirror.

“Fuck!” Dan choked out, staring into them: burning, inhuman, orange-red irises with black sclera like a reptile, filled with banked flame that flickered to life as he watched. And the face was worse, fearsome and twisted and scarred and burned, like… like… “The Devil,” Dan whispered. But not a friendly red cartoon satyr or a video game boss or Tim Curry in Legend. The actual, unmistakable Devil: an angel, fallen, cast into a lake of fire. Lucifer Morningstar. Layers of willful self-delusion peeled away as Dan stared helplessly at the version of Lucifer that had always been there, never hidden, yet somehow just beyond his ability to comprehend. He could feel his brain trying to come up with a sensible explanation for what he was seeing. “It’s a… a trick… trick mirror…” he gasped, taking short, panicky breaths, knowing he was hyperventilating but unable to stop.

“I’m afraid not,” the gnarled horror said in Lucifer’s voice, giving his right arm a firm squeeze. Dan looked down at the hand, leathery burnt scarlet, twisted and withered like the hands of a charred cadaver, but alive: flexing against his upper arm and wearing the ring Lucifer never took off. Dan screamed in sudden animal panic and recoiled, tried to twist free, but the Devil’s grip was like iron, keeping his arms pinned to his sides. “Easy, Daniel,” Lucifer’s voice said. Dan kicked the floor, trying to pitch them both over backwards and break the Devil’s hold that way, but he might as well have been fighting a custom-fitted Dan-clamp. Lucifer’s grip yielded just enough to prevent Dan from hurting himself in his struggles and no more, even as Dan lashed out at him savagely. The angle was bad and Dan was weakening, struggling to breathe in his panic, as his vision shot with sparks and started to grey out.

Dan’s knees buckled. Lucifer let him collapse, easing him to the floor, but maintaining his grip. “Daniel! Daniel. Dan.” He shook Dan gently, then more firmly, trying to get a response, then loudly said “Detective Douche.”

Dan’s eyes flew open and he gasped. It was just Lucifer in the mirror again, dark eyes, pale skin, curly black hair, bathrobe somewhat in disarray, kneeling behind him on the floor, still holding him firmly. “Breathe, Douche. Remember your improv. Right? You’re fine. It’s only me. Become a tree or whatever it is you do.”

He gasped again, hauled in a ragged breath. Let it out slowly. Drink in the sunlight, push it out to the tips of the branches and roots. Lucifer’s hands eased on his upper arms as Dan got himself under control, although it was clear from his posture that he was ready to pounce on Dan if he bolted.

Dan scooted away from him, scrambling backward until he hit a wall. Lucifer tried to look harmless. “Daniel? Remember this was Chloe’s idea, don’t shoot the messenger. Or, actually, do shoot the messenger if you think it’ll help you feel better: you can’t hurt me, I’m the Devil. Also, say something.”

“Jesus fucking Christ,” Dan breathed.

“All right, that’s a start. Say something else.

“Fuck! Is he real, too?”

Lucifer stood up, smoothing down his robe. “That’s your first question?” He offered Dan his hand. Dan stared at it. “Come on, then, if you’re past the screaming-and-trying-to-run stage I’d like to have the rest of this conversation nearer the alcohol, I’m feeling a bit dry,” which was such a Lucifer thing to say that Dan put out a shaking hand, grasped Lucifer’s forearm, and let Lucifer, without exertion, lift him to his feet.

And… that felt normal, too. Dan had always known how deceptively strong Lucifer was. He’d seen the CCTV footage of that time Lucifer threw a 200lb public relations executive 15 feet through plate glass, one handed. In fact, not even an hour ago, Lucifer had picked Dan up and set him down like a kitten, and Dan had barely noticed that at the time... oh right, I fucked the real actual Devil, in the ass. “Guh,” Dan said. “Hnnngh.”

“Ooh,” Lucifer said, still holding Dan upright with one hand. “That one looked like it hurt. Tell me all about it, over by the booze.” Steering Dan back across the penthouse by his elbow, Lucifer calculated the odds of his staying on a barstool and settled him into one of the armchairs instead. “Stay. Good Daniel.”

Some incalculable amount of time later, a drink was put in Dan’s hand, and he downed it at once, without tasting it or looking at it. Lucifer brought the bottle with him and sat down, opposite Dan, another glass in his hand. “If it helps, you’re doing very well. Linda took two weeks to start speaking to me again and another week to make any sense, and Chloe completely forgot I existed for three days. And as for Charlotte… she was a bit of a special case, but I wouldn’t say she handled it well, exactly. I really need to stop underestimating you, Daniel, you’re full of pleasant surprises.”

Dan took a deep breath. “If you’re for real, does that mean… Hell? Charlotte,” he said shakily. “She was so afraid. Is she…?”

So Lucifer tried to explain that Dan had actually known two Charlottes, and what had become of each of them, and it all got very convoluted, and Dan, jagged with panic adrenaline and from slamming 100-proof like apple juice, felt like he understood about half of it. But Lucifer finished it off with “She’s in Heaven. With Amenadiel, I believe, though I’ve not spoken to him in some time.” Dan wasn’t sure whether he wanted to scream at Lucifer for not saying anything sooner or maybe cry in desperate relief that Charlotte, the essence of Charlotte, wasn’t destroyed forever, or perhaps just collapse from the sheer existential overload of it all. He settled for gulping his whisky and listening to his brain fizzle.

Lucifer did impossible things all the time. He also did improbable things regularly, which made the impossible things sort of blend in. Unlocking handcuffs? Sure, he’s some kind of escape artist. Getting murder suspects to speak the truth of their hearts, regardless of their own self-interest? He’s a hypnotist, too. That time Dan had been certain that Lucifer had been shot dead by Malcolm? Well, he must have been wearing a vest (and if Dan thought he’d seen bare skin through the holes in Lucifer’s shirt and in the gaps between buttons before Lucifer had smoothed out his tux, well, he must have been mistaken, obviously). Perfectly explainable, nothing unusual, that’s just Lucifer.

Dan hadn’t even noticed when the blanket of “that’s just Lucifer” had spread to cover things that were physically impossible, but it went back a long time, all the way back to when Chloe had tried to arrest Lucifer for the murder of that crazy street preacher and Lucifer had vanished in front of five witnesses. Recovering the complex and specific formula for an antidote from the mind of a dead man who kept no notes? Teleporting himself and Charlotte Richards off the pier in the blink of an eye? Not to mention whatever the hell had happened to make Lt. Marcus “the Sinnerman” Pierce’s trusted, handpicked ambush team turn their weapons randomly on a spot in the center of the room, and then on each other, and then hand themselves in to law enforcement, sobbing with gratitude at the chance to confess their crimes and implicate their boss in every major operation that had gone down in Los Angeles County in the last 9 months. So much for Ella's killer mutant swan theory, Dan thought. 

Lucifer leaned forward and clicked his fingers loudly under Dan’s chin. He jumped. “If you’re going to have an existential crisis, at least do it aloud. It’s incredibly boring to watch you sit there, monologuing internally.”

Dan’s eyes widened. “You can hear my thoughts?”

“Of course not,” Lucifer said quickly. “No, I definitely wouldn’t have invited you up here if I could hear your thoughts. You slept with my mum. That’s a comparative assessment of my skills I can live without, thank you.” Lucifer gestured, on with it. “Well go on, ask your questions, Chloe is still working through hers and she’s known for ages. Would you believe she actually kept notes on me all this time?”

Dan looked at the Adversary, the Beast of the Pit, the God of This World, Satan, and Lucifer who is called Morning Star, who was drinking, making inappropriate sexual remarks, and looking at him like he was waiting for him to do something amusing. Like always. Dan just looked back at him for a moment. “No questions,” he said. “Not now, anyway. You being the Devil doesn’t actually change anything, does it?”

“Oh, well done, Daniel! No, it doesn’t change anything, not really,” Lucifer replied, leaning forward. “Well, it might help you put some facts in order, maybe shake you up enough that you stop feeling like you’ve seen everything. And you might be more kindly disposed toward me if you don’t think I’m lying about everything all the time. But no, you don’t really know anything you didn’t know before.” Lucifer gestured with his glass, encompassing himself, the penthouse, Los Angeles. Maybe reality. “You can’t! If you comprehended the universe in any real fashion you’d go gibbering round the bend.” He drank his whisky with an appreciative sound. “Mm. I would, too. I might have a bit more perspective than you but I don’t know what the Hell is going on most of the time, either, if it helps. Dear old Dad doesn’t share his plans with family members any more than he does with humans, we’re all just blundering around and guessing.”

“Your dad…” Dan started, and trailed off, not sure he wanted to prod that particular sore spot again. “So who all knows? Who you really are, I mean.”

“My dear Daniel, I tell everyone. I’ve never kept it a secret. But to answer your question, the people who believe me are yourself, Chloe, Candy, my therapist, and of course Maze and my brother. And Beatrice: your clever spawn saw through me right away.” He paused, considering. “Oh, and I’m not sure about Miss Lopez; if she hasn’t guessed some part of it by now, I’d be astonished, but she’s kept it to herself.”

Dan covered his sudden pang of sympathy with a sip of whisky. For a moment he caught a glimpse of how impossibly lonely it was, immortal in a mortal world, telling everyone who you were but never being believed, only humored. Lucifer’s playboy persona made more sense in that context, Dan had to admit. If the only personal connections you could make were brief, shallow ones, you might as well have your pick of L.A.’s most beautiful people.

Lucifer clicked his fingers again near Dan’s ear. “Stay with me, Dan. Mortal brains don’t like being confronted with evidence of the divine, I don’t want you thinking this was all a dream tomorrow. Though you’ve already shown remarkable resilience to divine influences.”

“I… what? When?”

“Ooh,” Lucifer said, looking chagrined. “Not sure I should tell you about that one, actually, you’re going to take it the wrong way.”

Dan set down his glass. “Yeah, you definitely need to tell me now.”

Lucifer emptied his own glass and topped up Dan’s. “Right. So you remember the Full Yoga Massacre of 2016, I’m sure. Well, what happened then was my mum, inhabiting the body of Charlotte Richards, got it into her head to try to aggravate my father…” Even glossing over Maze’s and Amendadiel’s involvement and what had happened with Uriel, it took a long time to explain.

As predicted, Dan was upset. “You’re telling me nine people died because of your supernatural bullshit? And you didn’t say anyth-...” Dan groaned. “Oh, no. You probably did say something, didn’t you, and no one paid attention, like always.”

“Actually, in that particular case I didn’t tell anyone what was really going on,” Lucifer said. “Sorry about that, by the way, but I had to get the knife back before any more humans touched it.” And then he had to explain what the Blade did in human hands. Dan had several questions that required Lucifer to backtrack and fill in more details, but eventually Lucifer managed to convince Dan that the whole mess really wasn’t his fault and that he’d done his best to contain it.

“And I stabbed you? I don’t remember that at all,” Dan said.

“Hardly a stab, more of an aggressive prod, I’d say,” Lucifer said. “Scarcely felt it.”

“So, since you came to L.A., how many people have died because of supernatural-...”

“Celestial,” Lucifer corrected.

“...fine, because of celestial bullshit.”

“Uh,” Lucifer said. “A moment,” as he sipped thoughtfully. “Counting the nine we just discussed?” At Dan’s nod, Lucifer said “Fourteen, then. But two of those were more supernatural-adjacent. And one was Cain. I mean, Pierce.”

“Christ,” Dan said, then “Sorry. Shit,” although Lucifer hadn’t reacted to the blasphemy. “I can’t believe I almost forgot you said that back when.... So I guess that’s true, then, Pierce was Cain. From the Bible.”

Lucifer was watching Dan intently. “After a fashion. Probably best to think of the Bible as something like, oh, fanfiction, based on an adaptation of a true story, but yes, Cain was the eldest son of the first humans on earth, and also the Sinnerman, and also Marcus Pierce. Also a complete prick,” he apparently couldn’t help adding.

Dan got up, and walked away from Lucifer, to the window, looking out over the city, and realized what Lucifer was waiting for him to say. “You knew,” Dan said. “You knew who he was, the whole time. You let him pursue Chloe, you let him in the house where my daughter sleeps…

“Daniel…”

“...you let him murder…” He couldn’t finish the thought. Dan clenched his fists, let a sharp breath out through his nose.

“I made a mistake,” Lucifer admitted, very quietly, and Dan, without turning around, heard him set his glass down and stand up. “Several mistakes, the most innocent of which was wanting to believe Cain could actually change, could be a better person, because Chloe wanted him to be.” Dan scoffed, but Lucifer continued. “After all, that’s how it worked out for me.” He joined Dan at the window. “But I made other mistakes, too, to… to protect my ego, to express my anger, because I was frightened... and I don’t deserve forgiveness for those.” Dan looked over at Lucifer’s rather wan smile. “And if my brother is right, then my other face being back is the manifestation of my guilt over those mistakes.”

Sounds like a conversation you should have with your therapist, Dan thought, realizing as he did so that Lucifer probably had--he’d listed “my therapist” among his inner circle, after all. Dan looked out at the spectacular view from Lucifer's apartment, watching the traffic crawl in the distance, trying to imagine how Lucifer saw the world from his window. “Our lives are probably so meaningless to you,” Dan said quietly, after a moment. 

“On the contrary, my dear Daniel. I get so little time with you, how could you be anything but precious to me?” At Dan’s blank expression, Lucifer continued, “Human souls are eternal. Try to make the world a better place, learn to forgive yourself, and someday, hopefully not soon, you’ll see Charlotte again.” And I never will, Lucifer didn’t say aloud, but Dan heard it anyway. And there was that strange little twist of sympathy, again.

Dan looked out over the city, noticing how the traffic patterns on the distant freeway had shifted. “What time is it?” he suddenly wondered aloud.

“Gone two a.m.,” Lucifer said without looking.

“Hell,” Dan said. “I should probably be getting home.”

Lucifer eyed him. “You could stay here.”

“Ugh,” Dan said. “Thanks, man, but I’m not really in the mood to couch it tonight.”

“I meant in bed, with me. Ideally after an orgasm or two,” Lucifer said blandly.

If Dan had still been holding his glass, he definitely would have dropped it. “You have got to be joking.”

“I wasn’t before, and I’m not now,” Lucifer said, mildly. “Think of the harm to my reputation if I let you go home without getting you off. Not to mention it’s practically a public service at this point, relieving you of nigh-terminal blue balls.”

“You’re the Devil.”

“The irrationally sexy Devil, yes. You said you wanted to take me apart, and I’m not ashamed to admit you nearly succeeded,” Lucifer said with a wry smile. “I’m up for another go, if you are.”

Apparently it was just Dan’s night to feel every emotion there was. Between the whisky, the shock still lingering in his system, and his state of trembling emotional exhaustion, Dan was reasonably sure he wasn’t going to be able to get it up. However, as Lucifer shucked his robe off and stood invitingly naked in the window, Dan’s body immediately proved him wrong. It was Dan, this time, that closed the distance between them and pulled Lucifer’s face down into a hungry kiss.

Lucifer made a pleased noise, nearly a purr, and guided Dan back to the bed, stripping him efficiently as they went. Dan was semi-hard as his pants came down and it was the matter of a few practiced strokes to get him fully ready again. He sat down on the bed to scuff his shoes off. “So what you said earlier about not needing a condom…”

“To bugger the Devil?” Lucifer asked slyly, just to see Dan blush. “No, it’s true, I can’t catch or carry any human diseases, nor get anyone pregnant--not that that’s an issue in this case--but some partners prefer one to contain the mess. It’s up to you.”

“No thanks, then,” Dan said, decisively, scooting to the middle of the bed.

“How daring.” Lucifer pushed Dan gently down onto the bed, straddling his hips.“Although if you don’t mind, I’ll drive.”

“Er, are you okay to do this some more? Did I hurt you, bef-... oh!” Dan gasped as Lucifer grasped his cock, lining Dan up with his asshole. “Guess not,” he said.

“I’ll explain later,” Lucifer said, leaning back and sinking down onto Dan with a soft sigh of satisfaction. “I’m fine,” he purred. “Oh, yes. Very fine indeed.” He leaned back and hitched his hips and Dan must have hit him in a good spot, because Lucifer’s cock twitched and he gasped. It was such a good sound that Dan immediately wanted him to do it again, and he started to bring his knees up so he could thrust. Lucifer stilled him with a hand on his thigh. “Let me,” he said. “At least to start.”

The urge to move was still strong for Dan, but he suppressed it, letting Lucifer set the pace. As Lucifer started to ride him, he let his hands roam over Lucifer’s thighs, feeling the flex of muscle under smooth skin. Something occurred to him. “When you change… is it all over, or just your face and hands?”

Lucifer paused. “All over,” he said. “Why?”

“I just… I dunno. It’s interesting to think about,” Dan said, as Lucifer started to rise and sink again. And it was, the image of the scarred, scarlet Devil riding his dick was strangely compelling. Dan could remember how terrified he had been, but it was oddly detached from his recollection of Lucifer’s inhuman features, as though what Lucifer looked like and how Dan had felt when looking at him were completely unrelated things.

“Really? Hmm. Interesting you think so,” Lucifer said, moving faster, leaning forward to kiss Dan. Dan raised his legs again and this time Lucifer let him, let him brace against the bed so he could drive into Lucifer with short, urgent thrusts. “Developing a Devil fetish, are you? That’s--ah!--new.” Lucifer leaned back and let Dan’s curved shaft work that sweet spot just inside him, panting as Dan’s girth rubbed it over and over. Through slitted eyes he saw Dan watching him hungrily, and let his head roll back, let Dan see what he was doing to him.

Dan, ever eager to please, reached for Lucifer’s dick, but Lucifer caught his wrist before he made contact. “I won’t last,” Lucifer warned him, “if you touch me there. And I very much want to last.” Dan whimpered with startled lust, his eyes wide and blue. “Oh, really?” Lucifer asked, playfulness in his voice. “Do you like being held down? I can certainly do that,” and he grabbed Dan’s other wrist, forced his hands above his head and pinned them down. Dan lost his rhythm for a moment as he squirmed, testing Lucifer’s grip.

“G-... Devil damn it,” Dan whispered. “That’s… really fucking hot.” It was more than hot; Lucifer’s weight on his wrists gave Dan the leverage he needed to really pound into Lucifer from this angle. There was no reassuring latex barrier between him and the slick clench of Lucifer’s ass this time, and he could feel the grip and drag of the delicate skin around his cock, the wringing heat of Lucifer’s body. “Fuck,” he gasped. He tried to slow down but Lucifer was riding him hard with a motion that came more from flexion of spine than the lift of legs or thighs, pistoning up and down on him freely. “Shit. Stop,” he panted.

Lucifer froze, still pinning Dan by his wrists and hips. “Are you all right?”

Dan tried to force himself to relax, to let go of the tension that was building too fast. He shuddered. “Yes, I’m... really, really close.”

Lucifer laughed, and Dan could feel the squeeze of it in his pelvic muscles, which did nothing for his desperately-trying-not-to-come situation. “Let it go, Daniel. Honestly, if anyone’s earned it…” he said, looking down into Dan’s eyes, and started to roll his hips again.

“Not… before… you,” Dan managed, through clenched teeth.

“You really are something else,” Lucifer marvelled. “Very well.” He shifted his weight and Dan thought, with a twinge of disappointment, that Lucifer was going to let go of him, but instead he transferred one of Dan’s wrists to his other hand, using his long fingers to keep Dan’s wrists together. His now-free hand went to his own cock, pulling the loose skin taut, gently at first and then more urgently as he rose up on his thighs again, giving Dan the room to thrust as he pleased. Dan did so, watching Lucifer’s face as he fucked into him steadily. The actual Devil. Former lord of hell, he reminded himself, with something like awe. Satan, jerking himself off while he rode Dan’s dick. Dan wasn’t sure whether that additional detail made the burden of celestial understanding easier or more difficult to bear. The Devil’s guyliner doesn’t smudge when he sweats, that was definitely forbidden knowledge, as was the knowledge that the Devil preferred a thumb-underneath reverse grip with a twist at the end when stroking himself off. Dan felt the electrical charge of climax starting to build again but he could tell Lucifer was close, too, could feel the tension in him. The hand gripping his wrist was grinding the bones together painfully, probably with bruising force, but it was fucking magnificent Dan could make the Devil lose even that much control.

Lucifer moaned and bowed his spine, arching over Dan as he came, spurting hot over Dan’s chest and neck. Dan pounded into Lucifer’s ass for a half-dozen more erratic thrusts before he finally let go himself, crying out with the unrelenting force of it, burying himself deep as Lucifer sank down onto him with a pleased sigh.

“Oh, Daniel,” Lucifer said, as Dan, shuddering, pulsed inside him. “What am I going to do with you?”

“Find something I can wipe off with,” came the breathless reply. “And let go of my hands before you break something.”

“Oh,” Lucifer said, releasing his grip and letting Dan try to massage the blood back into his wrists, “did I hurt you?” He lifted himself up on his hands and knees so Dan, softening, could pull gently out, then collapsed next to Dan rather ungracefully. “Just a moment,” he said. “Ah, Daniel, that was brilliant, you’ve completely undone me. When my legs are working again I’ll get some towelettes,” he promised.

“And some water,” Dan murmured.

“Of course,” Lucifer said.

+++

Dan must have dozed off. When consciousness drifted back in, most of the lights in the penthouse were off, his chest was clean and Lucifer was pressing a bottle of water into his hand. “Sorry to wake you,” Lucifer said, “but you went through a lot of my liquor and I wouldn’t want to be your head in the morning if you don’t have some of this.”

“Ngh,” Dan replied. “Thank you,” he added automatically after he downed about half the bottle in two long swallows. “I must have just… checked out for a minute, that hasn’t happened to me since before Trixie was born.”

Lucifer smiled. “Believe me, I’m delighted with your stamina, my dear Daniel. It’s been quite a day for Luci-Dan, hasn’t it?”

Dan chuckled. “I thought it was Douchifer,” he said, finishing off the water.

“I was being polite,” Lucifer retorted, pulling the bedspread back into some semblance of order. Dan sank into the pillows with a profound sigh. He didn’t often sleep fully nude but he couldn’t muster the energy to go hunting for his briefs, and Lucifer didn’t seem like the pajamas type, so he snuggled into the too-soft mattress with its decadent high-threadcount sheets.

The last lamp flicked off, the blankets moved and Lucifer slid into bed beside him, not touching, but perhaps closer than was perfectly necessary. Close enough to feel the warmth of his skin. “Do you really think I’m a douche?” Dan asked.

“Sometimes,” Lucifer admitted. “Not very often, any more, but I hate to let go of a good nickname. Do you still think I’m a dick?”

Dan was quiet for so long Lucifer thought he’d fallen asleep, but he had been thinking it over. “For a while, I thought you were an immature, sexually irresponsible, alcoholic playboy junkie who liked pretending to fight crime, who screwed up as many investigations as he assisted in, who got everyone to indulge him and excuse him by being rich and eccentric. I thought you were using Chloe and dangerous to have around my daughter.”

“Mm. And now?”

“Well, maybe some of those things I thought about you are true,” Dan said sleepily, “But some of them aren’t. I stopped worrying about Chloe and Trixie a while ago, anyway; they can both run circles around you.”

“That’s certainly true,” Lucifer conceded.

“I could never be friends with the man I thought you were. But I dunno... the Devil on earth, just trying to figure his shit out with the rest of us? Maybe me and that guy can be friends.”

“Naked friends?” Lucifer asked hopefully.

“Yeah,” Dan said, sinking into unconsciousness at last. “Why not.” He fell asleep with the Devil’s long fingers idly stroking his spine.

Chapter Text

Dan slept without dreaming. He wasn’t disoriented to wake up in Lucifer’s bed, which he did a few times before he committed to actually getting up. Dan was an aggressively early riser, but this particular morning, the triple-pronged attack of mental exhaustion, physical exertion, and his lurking hangover dragged the pillow back over his head and let him sleep in, even after he realized Lucifer was nowhere to be found.

Eventually his other physical needs overrode his desire for more sleep and he headed first to the bathroom, and then to the refrigerator, which thankfully contained bottles of cold water. He drank one straight off and pressed another against his temple and eye socket to soothe the headache. And behind the water bottles… pudding. Dan stared at the pudding, one-eyed. What the hell did it mean, that the Devil had stocked his fridge in the hope that Dan would stay the night?

On the other hand, pudding. He grabbed a cup and went to find a spoon.

A few minutes later, somewhat refreshed, Dan wasn’t quite up to the challenge of pants, but he found his underwear and pulled those on. Lucifer had left a note on the nightstand, which Dan had overlooked in his initial rush to the bathroom. Stay if you like. Back soon. Advil in the nightstand, pudding in the fridge. And a little crude drawing of a smiley devil face, with jagged teeth and horns. Dan wasn’t sure how he felt about that either, so he checked his phone.

[10:51], his phone said. Also: [4 missed calls.] All Chloe. He tapped DIAL, expecting it to go to voicemail, but she picked up on the second ring.

“Dan, hi.”

“Hey, Chlo. How’s Trixie?” he asked, but he couldn’t hold back a groan.

“She called me from the hotel last night and talked my ear off about how Disney princesses are way cooler in person. What’s wrong?”

“Ugh. I might have overdone it a bit. Remember that New Year’s Eve when your mom made the giant thing of… oh, I forget what it was called. With the vodka and beer.”

Chloe muffled a laugh. “Strip and Go Naked? Yeah, I remember. Is it that bad?”

“Not quite that bad,” Dan admitted. It had been years before Dan could touch regular unadulterated lemonade after The Night Of Penelope Decker's Killer Punch Bowl. His current hangover was about a 6 on the scale where that was a 10.

“At least it’s Saturday. Did you make it home okay after I left?”

Dan hesitated. “Not exactly.”

“Oh. ...Are you still at Lux?”

“Yeah, Lucifer’s out. His note said ‘make yourself at home,’ but…”

“You’re thinking about sneaking away before he gets back? And you called me for moral support?”

“Well, mostly I wanted to see if he was with you, but I guess, yeah. Maybe. Were you going to provide some?”

“Still thinking about it,” Chloe said. “Tell me what happened after I talked to you.”

Dan chuckled, a little awkwardly. “You want details?”

“Yes! I mean, no. I mean, yes, of course, if there’s something you want to share, but first, tell me if Lucifer showed you… uh, anything.”

“Oh. Oh. That. Yeah. Yeah, he showed me,” Dan said.

“Great! Well, I mean, not great, obviously, but good, hopefully? And you’re… okay?”

“Not the word I would choose, but it’s not like he hid any of it, ever. We just… fit him into our worldview, right? Ella thinks he’s a method actor, everyone at the station thinks he’s delusional, his friends think he’s covering up childhood trauma with eccentric metaphors, but he’s for real. We just can’t see it until he lets us, for some reason.”

“Yeah. The actual Devil.”

“Is he, though?” Dan asked, thoughtfully. “Or is ‘the Devil’ just another box we can put him in to explain what he really is?”

“Don’t overthink it, Dan. But you’re right, it’d probably be arrogant to assume we understand vast cosmic secrets just because we got one little piece of the puzzle, right?” Chloe paused, letting it stretch into a comfortable silence that she broke reluctantly. “God, it really is great that you know, I’ve been wanting to just scream it at everyone for weeks now. Are you okay, though?”

“I dunno. You must have seen the same thing, how did you feel?”

“What I saw was… worse,” Chloe said, after another pause. “You got the kind and gentle version. Lucifer didn’t mean for me to see, it just sort of happened, and… well. Anyway. I’m still processing it, I think, but you sound... kinda surprisingly coherent.”

“I’m still thinking about it, but it feels… good, I guess. Knowing that the universe is weirder than I thought. It’s kinda freeing to realize you’re wrong about everything.”

Chloe said, “Not quite everything.”

“No?”

“You were right all along, that accent must be super fake,” Chloe said, and Dan could hear the smile in her voice. Dan laughed. “So, have you decided what you’re going to do?” Chloe asked.

Dan stretched, feeling his abs burn like he’d done a thousand crunches. Which was more or less the case. “Oof. I feel like the responsible adult thing to do in this situation is call a ride, go pick up my car, drive home, and think seriously about all the stuff I just wasn’t paying attention to the last few years and what it all means.”

“...But?”

“But what I’d really like to do is wait for Lucifer and see if he’s up for more sex,” Dan said.

“Geez, Dan. Seriously? I never suspected…” Chloe didn’t finish the thought, somewhat to Dan’s relief. “He can’t be that good,” she said.

Dan was a little startled Chloe didn’t already know. They really never…? He supposed it was none of his business, but that was a genuine surprise. He thought back on the version of himself that had been incensed with jealousy at the idea of Chloe and Lucifer together and laughed softly to himself. Had that only been a year ago? Dan rubbed his hands, noticing for the first time the faint bruises developing over his wristbones. “Yeah. He really, really is.”

“Wow. I guess he was right about being like heroin,” Chloe said, amused. “Well, get it out of your system. Enjoy your day, Dan. I’ve still got your spare keys; I’ll ask Maze to pick up your car and drive it to Lux when she gets back. Oh, and text me when you get home, so I can let Trixie know when to call you. Bye!”

“Wait, no, Chloe, don’t let Maze drive my...” but she had already disconnected the call. Dan sighed and went to grab another pudding cup from the fridge.

+++

It was actually only about forty minutes until Lucifer returned. Dan had time for a lengthy shower, and he made full use of Lucifer’s frankly decadent array of shower attachments and nozzles. Carefully, with the massage setting on the removable showerhead, he spent some time cleaning a part of himself he didn’t usually think a lot about.

Dan briefly entertained the idea that the Devil had worked some sort of sinister sexual spell on him, but he knew, deep down, that this particular impulse was more likely the result of chaining his own sex drive in the basement for over a month, then turning it loose on a target he’d never considered seriously before.

And, yeah, the whole Devil thing. Dan contemplated that weird emotional knot while he washed his ass. It was unreal that all the guilt which had been crushing him was just… gone. He still missed Charlotte, that ache of longing when he thought about her was still there, but knowing she still existed, even if he couldn’t see her… Dan wasn’t sure he’d forgiven himself, exactly, but that knowledge at least made forgiveness possible. He knew in his heart that Charlotte wouldn’t begrudge him any happiness or pleasure he found before he saw her again.

Dan soaped himself one more time and rinsed, and was spared the decision of whether to put his clothes back on or not, since Lucifer arrived as he was toweling himself off.

Dan wrapped the towel around his waist and padded around the corner. Lucifer greeted him warmly, “Daniel! I wasn’t sure whether you’d stay.” Lucifer drank in the sight of him, lowering his eyes and inhaling deeply through his nose. “And you’ve been thinking of me. Lovely,” he added. He was wearing a plain white shirt with the cuffs open and sleeves rolled, dark slacks, and hadn’t fixed his hair or his makeup before going out; Lucifer’s own equivalent of wearing nothing but a towel, Dan supposed. He had a white bakery bag in one hand, which he set on the bar. “Doughnuts,” he said. “I wasn’t sure what you liked, so I got a few. Pudding-filled are on the bottom."

“I’m good, but thank you,” Dan said automatically. “Watching my carbs,” and he knew as he said it that Lucifer’s response couldn’t possibly be anything other than…

“If you need any assistance working off the extra calories, I can think of a few ways I could help,” Lucifer suggested, with a wicked smile.

Dan snorted. It wasn’t as though he hadn’t had the exact same idea; had hardly been able to think of anything else, since awakening in Lucifer’s bed. “Or we could just skip the doughnuts and go straight to the workout,” said Dan.

Really,” Lucifer said, and it was a delight to see the Devil surprised by someone else’s forthrightness for once. “Hm. Clearly you have something in mind. Been plotting in my absence, have you?”

Dan just smiled and let the towel fall, and it was Lucifer’s turn to follow him to the bed, shedding clothing in his wake.

Sitting down on the bed, though, Dan felt suddenly awkward. Lucifer, shamelessly naked, sat down next to him and looked deeply into his eyes, but before Lucifer could ask him anything, Dan blurted out, “I’d like… to try anal again.” Dan blushed nearly as crimson as the Devil in his unearthly form, going scarlet from his bare chest to his hairline. “I mean, you doing me.”

“Oh,” Lucifer said, an exhaled syllable of pure lust. “Are you certain? I thought that was a hard limit for you.”

“Well,” Dan said, feeling his ears burn, “you made it look like so much fun last night that I’m curious about what it would be like. With you. Plus you’re a lot smaller than me, or the toy Chloe and I used…” he trailed off at Lucifer’s wry expression. “I mean, not that you’re small… just, it was a really big toy...”

Lucifer let him verbally flounder for a moment, amusement dancing in his eyes. “I’m not that insecure, Daniel, in either my equipment or my skills. Although if men are on the menu for you now, you might want to be careful who you say that sort of thing to,” he added. Dan rubbed his neck, trying to put some of the embarrassment back where it belonged, as Lucifer continued. “Anyway, if you’ve decided to give anal pleasure another chance, I’m happy to assist you. We can start with toys, if you like, I have some that are quite modest.”

“No, I… I want you,” Dan said. “If that’s okay.”

“More than okay,” Lucifer affirmed, his voice gentle. “Is there a particular position you’d like to try?”

“Uh, I don’t know,” Dan said, uncertainly. “What’s the best one for this?”

“Doggy-style is probably easiest entry for me, missionary gives us the most access to each other, straddling me gives you the most control… but it doesn’t matter where we start, if you really want to thoroughly explore the possibilities. We can try a few different positions and pick whichever one you like best.”

“Doggy, then,” Dan said, and Lucifer let Dan’s implied request--not to be in control--pass without remark.

He patted the bed behind him. “Up you get.”

Dan felt decidedly un-sexy as he got into position. Lucifer had looked sensual and inviting and utterly relaxed like this, but Dan imagined he just looked exposed. Lucifer passed him a pillow, and Dan looked at it worriedly. “Am I supposed to bite down on this?”

No,” Lucifer said, somewhat appalled. “Well, only if you want to. But my legs are longer than yours, and I meant for you put it under your knees.” As Dan complied, Lucifer said, reaching into the nightstand for a bottle of lube, “What did the Detective do to you, to make you this nervous?”

Early in her pregnancy with Trixie, regular intercourse had been uncomfortable for Chloe. Dan suggested anal, and Chloe had agreed, but only if she got to do it to him first. Unfortunately the only sex toy they had was a giant purple dong she’d gotten as a bachelorette gift, and the combination of inexperience, not enough lube, and too much force had been rather uncomfortable for Dan, who definitely wasn’t going to tell that story to Lucifer. “It was a really big toy.”

“Mmm. That would do it, I suppose.” Lucifer stroked his thumb over Dan’s hole, and Dan tensed automatically, but Lucifer didn’t try to penetrate, just rubbed Dan’s anus slowly, circling, like a massage. Lucifer’s hands were warm and the lube he’d applied to his fingers made them glide easily over his skin. Lucifer stroked his lubed knuckles over Dan’s asshole, encouraging him to relax, while his other hand paid attention to Dan’s cock. More teasing than anything else, although it was more than enough to get him hard.

Lucifer shifted behind Dan and replaced his knuckles with the head of his dick. Regardless of what Dan had said about it, it certainly felt plenty large, pressed up against him. “This shouldn’t really hurt,” Lucifer said quietly. “A little bit of a burn is okay, but if you feel any sharp pain, or if it hurts and doesn’t let up, let me know,” and Dan’s breath caught, but he forced a deep inhale, pulling air all the way into his belly, then let it out slowly.

“I have,” Dan said levelly, “done this before.”

The pressure on Dan’s hole increased, slowly became an intrusion. It felt very strange as Lucifer pressed into him, but he accepted it, just breathing evenly, trying not to resist. The sensation was intense in a way that wasn’t quite pleasant, but Lucifer was right, it didn’t exactly hurt. “Let me all the way in, and it’ll go easier, I promise,” Lucifer said. Dan focused internally, breathed through the discomfort, and slowly his inner ring of muscle stopped trying to resist Lucifer’s slow, slick encroachment. He sighed as Lucifer settled in place.

“How does that feel?”

“I don’t know,” Dan replied, honestly. “It’s… a little weird. But you’re right, it didn’t hurt, at least.”

“It can get better,” Lucifer assured him. “Let me know when you’re ready for me to move.”

“Yeah, give me a minute,” said Dan. He wasn’t sure how he felt about the sensation of fullness; it was a little too adjacent to the urge to go to the bathroom, but it wasn’t unpleasant. He tried consciously squeezing, just to see what happened. He felt a little bit of the burn of stressed muscle, but subdued; meanwhile, Lucifer’s breath hitched and his hands tensed on Dan’s back, and that was very good. “All right,” Dan said. “Take it slow.”

“Of course, dear Daniel.” Lucifer laid himself over Dan’s back, letting Dan take his weight, and gave him some slow, rippling thrusts, with a movement that came from his belly muscles more than his legs. It was enough to wake up Dan’s cock, which had withered into flaccidity as soon as Lucifer had pushed inside him, and the throb and stir of his groin combined with the pressure in his ass was… really interesting. “Still okay?” Lucifer breathed.

“Yes,” Dan said. “Oh, G-... I mean, very. Yes.” And it was, even as Lucifer started to move a little faster. Dan was surprised that he could actually feel the way Lucifer’s cock was sliding mostly within its own skin, making it a lot gentler in motion than fingers or Chloe’s toy had ever been. It felt… good, actually. Dan wanted to touch himself but Lucifer had something else in mind.

“I’m going to try something,” Lucifer warned him. “Let me move you around a little,” and Lucifer wrapped an arm around Dan’s chest and drew them both smoothly upright, still connected, Lucifer kneeling and Dan speared in his lap. “Tell me when I hit it,” Lucifer murmured, starting to thrust slowly, varying angle and depth slightly on each stroke. Hit what? Dan thought, but the answer became clear on the fourth stroke, when… something happened, something that was like a cross between the blissful relief of starting to empty a full bladder, and the spark of a mild static charge. Dan jerked like a trout on a line and his cock, barely stirring to semi-hardness, throbbed rigidly erect in the span of a few heartbeats.

“Oh, that was dramatic,” Lucifer said, and Dan couldn’t see Lucifer’s face but he could hear the words whistling around his teeth like they did when Lucifer spoke while smiling. “Too much? Some people don’t like contact that direct,” but Dan shook his head wordlessly while his entire body screamed whatever that was, do it again, at Lucifer.

Lucifer got the hint. He leaned a little further back, settling Dan more squarely in his lap, and started fucking him for real, driving up into him with confident, brisk strokes, his face buried in Dan’s shoulder. He really was extraordinarily strong, working against Dan’s weight to resolutely, thoroughly claim his ass. He didn’t quite hit Dan’s prostate on every stroke, but every other thrust there was that shock of bliss-relief-pleasure and it was just impossibly good, a sharp ecstasy that went right up to the border of pain and looked over the edge. It built and built, mellowing and deepening as Dan grew more and more aroused, and while Dan didn’t think he could come like this, he had a pretty clear idea of how Lucifer had done it.

And then Lucifer’s free hand reached around and touched Dan’s straining cock, gripped him in his lubricated hand, and that was almost too much. Lucifer knew Dan’s sensitive spots and made a curved tunnel of his fingers, inviting Dan to fuck through it in counterpoint to his own thrusts. A couple of minutes of that treatment, Lucifer’s panting breath in his ear, and the internal tension built swiftly, rising inside Dan like a cresting wave.

The wave broke. Dan stepped outside of himself for a moment, overtaken by a vision of the Devil himself, burning red eyes, scorched by the fires of hell, claiming Dan for his own in the most unmistakable way while the flames roared around them both. Then he was coming harder than he ever had in his life, harder than he had last night, utterly unspooling between Lucifer’s hand and his cock. It just went on and on, until a part of Dan wondered if you could hurt yourself coming too hard for too long, and then it was over and Lucifer had withdrawn from him, letting him fold over onto the sheets.

Dan lay trembling with the aftershocks. “Fuck,” he said. “Shit. Fuck. Oh my… fuck,” he muttered into another one of Lucifer’s plentiful pillows. “Hell. Damn.” Having run out of convenient expletives, he borrowed one from Lucifer. “Bloody hell.

“Good?” Lucifer asked, still hard, still slick, rubbing gently against the crease of Dan’s ass.

“Nnngh. You know you are,” Dan turned his head to the side so he could mock-growl at Lucifer. “Don’t fish for compliments.” Lucifer laughed, and as signals from Dan’s lower body started reporting back in, he realized what exactly was massaging his buttocks. “Wait, you didn’t come?”

“No,” Lucifer said, only a little out of breath, as though he’d hurried slightly to catch an elevator, not like he’d been supporting most of Dan’s weight while fucking his brains out and then fucking them back in. “Felt like I owed you that one, and I wasn’t sure you wanted to deal with the sticky finish. But don’t worry about it, I can take care of myself.”

“I’d… like to take care of you,” Dan said, unable to quite express the rush of post-orgasmic gratitude he was riding on. He rolled partially onto his side, reaching for Lucifer, who let him make contact with a delicious shudder. Dan grasped the Devil’s shaft, gave him an experimental squeeze.

“I’m close,” Lucifer warned him, a shiver in his voice. Dan remembered Lucifer working his own cock and shifted his grip so his fingers were on top and his thumb was on the underside. Lucifer moaned softly and Dan got to work, the angle different than he was used to but the basic motion well-practiced. His other hand reached for Lucifer’s balls and gave them a gentle squeeze, enjoying the way the hairless skin rolled under his hands. Dan remembered the other thing about how Lucifer had handled himself and tried to replicate the way Lucifer had twisted his grip at the end of each stroke. Lucifer made an encouraging noise and thrust shallowly into Dan’s hands; after a brief interval filled with soft breathing and the whisper of skin on skin, Lucifer’s hips lurched forward and he held himself in a taut, shuddering line. After a few more strokes, Dan felt Lucifer’s balls draw up toward his body as Lucifer caught and held his breath, and then Lucifer’s cock twitched and come was pulsing slippery over Dan’s other hand. Dan stroked Lucifer through his climax until he arched gently away, panting, and fell bonelessly over on the pillow beside him.

They just breathed together for a few minutes, Lucifer with his eyes closed. Finally Dan asked “Are you asleep?”

“No,” Lucifer said. “You can, if you want. You’re safe here.”

“I’m awake, I think,” Dan replied. “Mostly. Not sure about my legs.”

“That’s fine,” Lucifer said. “Whoever can stand up first can order pizza.”

“Okay, yeah, actual food would be good,” Dan said, suddenly ravenous. “I think you cured my headache.”

“I’m the Devil, darling, of course I did.”

Chapter Text

Despite Lucifer’s insistence that the hot tub was clothing-optional, nudity-preferred, Chloe brought her bathing suit, a sweet black two-piece which seemed like a reasonable compromise between “too mom” and “too young”. Lucifer was, of course, naked, save for his ring, as she clearly saw when he got out of the tub to crack open a bottle of champagne and pour them some mimosas. Oh, well, she’d seen it all before, and she wasn’t going to police Lucifer’s sartorial choices now that they weren’t in the middle of a pawnshop.

Drink in hand, she had barely gotten one foot into the water when her phone rang, vibrating loudly against the glass-topped table. “It’s probably Trixie,” she said apologetically. “Give me one minute.” Lucifer waved her to it.

“Mommy!” Trixie said, when Chloe picked up. “You’ll never guess what I deduced today,” she said, overemphasizing the word. It was a new one and she was proud of it.

“What’s that, monkey?”

“Tigger,” her daughter said, in the tones of one divulging a precious secret, “is a girl.”

“How’d you find that out?” And Trixie explained in delighted tones how she’d heard the performer playing Tigger say something in what sounded like a high-pitched voice, so she’d made a note of the same performer’s progress around the park, gathering evidence to support her theory, and then gotten into an argument with her cousin who insisted that Tigger could only be played by a boy. It sounded like Trixie had defused the argument on her own before her grandmother needed to intervene.

Chloe was proud of her daughter’s maturity and independence, but she knew what Trixie wanted to hear her say. “Wow, that’s really good detective work,” Chloe said. “Are you doing what Grandma tells you?” They chatted for a few more minutes, then Trixie said good night and hung up without offering the phone to Dan’s mother, for which Chloe was grateful. She’d thank Gina later; right now she really didn’t want to talk to her ex-mother-in-law with Lucifer peering over the hot tub, brimming with carnal knowledge of Gina’s son.

She returned to the process of easing herself into the hot water, inch by inch, with Lucifer alternating between teasing her and encouraging her. With the help of half a mimosa, Chloe got to the point where she was sitting comfortably with the water above her waist, and she decided: oh, the hell with it, and untied her top. She was a little self-conscious of the discolored spot below her collarbones from where her vest had stopped a bullet, but Lucifer wasn't going to say anything. Certainly nothing worth missing out on the turbulence of the jets against her bare breasts as she slid down the rest of the way.

“Ding-dong,” Lucifer said in approval as Chloe draped her top over the handrail. “There we are, a proper hot tub epilogue to a truly interesting day.”

Finally all the way in the water, Chloe was ready to address the elephant in the room, but when she tried to apologize for the previous night’s misunderstanding, Lucifer waved her to silence and topped her mimosa with champagne. “Perfectly understandable, darling. You saw a situation you’d created and hyperfocused on your own perceived personal error, disregarding my feelings and Dan’s in what was ultimately an attempt to mitigate harm. I can’t blame you for that. It’s charming, really, the way you sometimes act like you’re the only adult in the room.” At Chloe’s shocked expression, he added, “What? I can’t be insightful sometimes?”

“You already talked to Linda. About what happened,” Chloe guessed.

Lucifer chuckled. “Correct, Detective. She was kind enough to slot me in for an emergency weekend session this morning while I left dear Dan to sleep off his hangover.” Chloe’s eyes narrowed and Lucifer held up his hands. “He’s fine! Now, I mean. Although he did put away quite a lot of my Yamazaki after I showed him my Devil face, and after all that exertion...”

“Lucifer!” Chloe almost, but did not quite, shout. “I meant for you to show him your wings.”

“You know they’re in no fit state to display these days,” Lucifer said uncomfortably, “and anyway I… ugh. I can’t.” He shuddered violently enough that the water leapt around him.

“But you’re okay with them now!” Chloe protested.

“I’ve accepted them as something I did to myself, rather than something that was done to me, yes… and all right, having them did save our lives that one time, at the expense of considerable personal suffering, I might add, but that’s a long way from ‘okay’.”

“Yeah, sorry, I don’t understand why you would choose to terrorize Dan when you could just as easily-...”

“Oh, right! It’s so bloody easy!” Lucifer slid down into the water up to his neck, and held that position for a moment, before continuing in a more reasonable tone. “Look, what if someone said to you ‘prove you’re Chloe Decker, I don’t believe you’. Would you hold up your badge, or would you send them to your IMDb page?”

“That’s ridiculous, that’s not even comparable in any way to proof of the divine,” Chloe began. “I was barely an adult when I did Hot Tub High School, I didn’t know anything back then, I thought taking my top off would make me famous! I’m a completely different person now, I earned this badge, I have… authority…” Chloe trailed off at Lucifer’s expectant look. “Fine. Fine. You’re right, it’s pretty much the same. I miss metaphors.”

“That’s what the Doctor keeps telling me,” Lucifer said, cheerful again, although his expression turned thoughtful after a moment. “Although… if Amenadiel is right, then it’s all still metaphors, isn’t it? I feel guilty about what I did to Cai-... Pierce, so I got my Devil face back, but I did it to protect you, so I have my wings as well.”

Chloe made a disgusted noise. “Ugh. Pierce got what was coming to him. Never think otherwise.”

“Perhaps, but I took a human life. An ancient, cursed human life, but human, just the same. The one thing my father specifically forbid his angels to do. There will be divine retribution; I only hope it falls on me and not you.”

Chloe found that she was largely untroubled by this. Even if she accepted Lucifer’s father as real, concrete, a person, in the same sense that Lucifer was, which she wasn’t entirely sure she did, He’d been a pretty hands-off deity up to this point, as far as she could tell. She cleared her throat. “So. You and Dan.”

“Mmm,” Lucifer said. He let her change the subject, smiling into his champagne flute. “Me and Dan. Did you know, he actually came back for another round, after he believed who I was? Twice. Extraordinary. No one’s done that since I came to Los Angeles. There really is a lot more to Detective Douche than he lets people see.”

Chloe echoed the smile, a little sadly, and let Lucifer refill her again. “Yeah, I know.”

“Of course, he’s historically a douche, and you’re better off without him,” Lucifer proclaimed, loyally, gesturing with his glass. “Still, you could have mentioned he’s hung like a bear and has the stamina of an Olympic-class sexcathlete, it explains a great deal about why you kept him around for all those douch-iful years… hey!” Chloe expressed her opinion of Dan’s sexual prowess by splashing Lucifer, who lifted his glass out of the way but did not otherwise attempt to avoid his fate, and she got to enjoy the sight of his hair plastered down and streaming water into his eyes.

“So what are you going to do about him?”

“Well. I’m of two minds, actually. Obviously, you can have me all to yourself, any time you like, by crooking your smallest finger…” Chloe started to object, but Lucifer held up his hand. “I know, you’re not ready for me to make you deliriously erotically satisfied. Yet. I have all the time in the world, remember? And I’ve come to realize, over the past few months, is that this, right here, is what I value about our partnership.”

“Hot tubbing?” Chloe asked innocently, sipping champagne.

It was Lucifer’s turn to flick water at her. “No. Intimacy. Emotional intimacy. You bring out the best in me, Chloe, you keep me… invested, anchored in the human world. You make my existence here mean something. I want you as my crime-solving, hot-tubbing, frequently exasperated partner, and I’d give my life for that. Have done so, a couple of times now, if you noticed.”

“I noticed,” Chloe said softly. And Lucifer’s self-destructiveness was another topic they’d have to address, especially as it related to his proximity to her, but that could happen later, since champagne was delicious and Lucifer was still saying nice things about her.

“...whenever you desire,” Lucifer was saying, “but if you’re not ready to do that with me yet, I might be interested in exploring this side of Daniel.”

She waited for the twist of irrational jealousy she always felt when Lucifer talked about his sexual conquests, but it didn’t arrive. Perhaps because she already knew what Dan had to offer in bed, or maybe the champagne was stifling it. “I might be interested in seeing that sometime,” the champagne said, in Chloe’s voice. She found, to her surprise, that she didn’t disagree. She was still having trouble reconciling Lucifer-the-Devil with Lucifer-her-partner, much less incorporating both into Lucifer as something more, but the idea of Lucifer and Dan together… well. That was intriguing, in an is-it-hot-in-this-hot-tub-or-is-it-just-me way.

Lucifer’s face lit up in delight. “Oh, my dear Detective. What a lovely set of possibilities that raises,” he said, his eyes unfocusing as he dwelt on them all. “I’ll see if I can’t persuade Daniel.”

Chloe giggled at the idea, but then she remembered Dan in her passenger seat, looking haunted, saying He made me feel worthy. She scooted closer to Lucifer, both so she could reach the bottle and so that she could be sure of his full attention when she said, “Be careful with Dan, okay? He thinks he can do casual, but his heart always follows where his body goes, always.”

For just an instant, Chloe saw the weight of ages in Lucifer’s dark eyes, the ancient being that was behind both the playful hedonist she was so familiar with and the Devil face that was still strange to her. “I will,” Lucifer promised.

She finished off the bottle, topping up Lucifer’s glass and her own. “I know,” she said. “Look, I do owe you a real apology.”

“Detective, you really don’t…” and this time it was Chloe who held up her hand for silence.

“No, I do. I’m sorry for making assumptions about you. For all your, er, promiscuity, I’ve never, ever known you to violate anyone’s boundaries or make anyone feel unsafe, even back when you were nagging me for sex, and I shouldn’t have forgotten that just because you’re…” she trailed off.

“Actually the Devil,” Lucifer supplied.

“...a little more complicated than I thought you were,” Chloe finished.

“Well,” Lucifer said. “You did the right thing, sending Daniel to me. Both times, actually. So let’s call this one a win for both teams, yes?” He raised his glass, and Chloe clinked it with a smile. “All’s well. Now, tell me about the time you used a giant dildo on Daniel, I just know there’s a story there.”