The rain falling in repetitive rivulets down the paned glass windows reminded Lucifer of Spain, 1658 A.D. Distant flashes of lightning over the grey sky sparked memories of monsoon season in the Mediterranean, of rosary beads dangling between olive-skinned breasts, Spanish whispers of forbidden passion echoing sweetly through otherwise abandoned pews in the old cathedral far from the British naval blockade at port –
He glanced up from his reverie to see Trixie standing at the end of the couch. “Ngh. Hello, child,” he grunted, shifting position carefully so as not to upset his stomach further. “Come to mock me in my current state of debilitation?”
Trixie’s smile twisted into a puzzled frown of concern, her eyebrows knitting together comically. “I’m not sure what that means,” she began, slowly, “but I’m guessing you’re just cranky because you’re sick.”
“Very astute of you to notice,” Lucifer muttered in response, eyes closing again, mouth hardening as the nausea swelled and ebbed. Inwardly, and not for the first time, he cursed his newfound human fragility.
Trixie persisted. “So…are you feeling any better? My mommy’s pretty good at fixing upset tummies.”
He dared to crack one eye open, finding her precocious brown eyes watching him intently. “If I were feeling better, I wouldn’t be draped across this sofa like an invalid, now would I?”
“Definitely cranky,” Trixie confirmed gravely, folding her arms. “You should try some ginger ale. It usually works for me when I feel sick.”
“Trixie,” came Chloe’s voice before Lucifer could respond. Both of them watched her round the corner into the living room, hair loose and face freshly scrubbed. “C’mon, leave Lucifer alone. He doesn’t feel good.”
“I know,” she replied, turning to face her mother smartly. “We were just discussing his treatment options.”
Chloe cocked an eyebrow, glancing over at Lucifer with an amused smirk. “Were you, now?”
“Yes, Detective,” Lucifer murmured, finding the strength to smile lightly at her. “Quite the observant little parasite, isn’t she?”
“My daughter is not a parasite,” Chloe chastised him, reaching for said daughter and appending a smirk. “Unlike whatever’s crawling around in your guts right now.”
“Really?” Trixie gasped, awestruck, at the same time Lucifer raised a hand to his mouth to stifle a gag.
“Really, Detective, must you be so vulgar?” He complained, face gone the color of curdled cream.
Chloe gently ushered Trixie from the living room, quirking a knowing smile at Lucifer as she did so. “Go on, Monkey. I’ll be in there in a minute. And don’t eat those brownies sitting on the counter!”
Lucifer groaned lowly from the couch, throwing an arm over his face, the other hand sliding up to rest over his stomach. “Ugh, please don’t mention food, Detective.”
Trixie scampered out of the room, and Chloe sighed, folding her own arms and turning to face Lucifer. Sprawled out on her couch in his three-piece suit, six foot three and perfectly tailored, Italian leather loafers sticking out over the arm – well, he looked absurdly out-of-place amidst her normal teal clutter.
“Pepto didn’t help, huh?” She asked, softly.
“Ugh, that chalky bismuth abomination? No, that it did not.”
He punctuated this declaration with a low, short moan, and Chloe stepped closer to reach out and lightly card her fingers through his hair, prompting him to open his eyes and stare up at her in wonder.
“You don’t feel feverish,” she proclaimed, letting her hand settle over his clammy forehead. “That’s good.”
Lucifer moaned again, closing his eyes and leaning into her touch. “I fail to see how any part of this is good.”
Chloe smiled down at him, warm and motherly and beautiful. “Let me go see if there’s any 7-up left.”
A distant peal of thunder reverberated outside as she straightened up and walked out of the room, and he thought it rather fitting ambience to her departure, and to his current state of being.
Lucifer took this brief opportunity of solitude to cast his gaze upward, ignoring the accompanying vertigo. “Dad, if you’re listening,” he muttered, swallowing, “you can knock off the bloody karmic retribution. Honestly a little juvenile, even for you.”
The sudden chirp of Trixie’s voice returning within his vicinity caused Lucifer to half sit-up in alarm, propping himself up on his elbow and opening his mouth to retort at the Detective’s spawn, when he noticed she was now clad in a…thoroughly disturbing new ensemble.
“Maze been playing dress-up, has she?” He asked her, unable to mask the quiver in his voice.
Trixie beamed, spreading her arms wide to show off her white doctor’s coat and black medicine bag, both bearing the red cross emblem. “Nope. Mommy got me this for Christmas last year. It’s all I ever wanted!” She strode up beside the couch and promptly extended her small hand to shove back onto the cushions. Stunned, Lucifer obeyed, settling back and watching with a strange mix of bemusement and dawning horror as Trixie began rummaging through her bag, procuring a fake thermometer, stethoscope, and several pink plastic band-aids. Oh, bloody hell.
Chloe, thank Dad, chose that moment to return, albeit empty-handed. “Hey, so…Trixie, what are you-?”
“That’s Doctor Trixie to you, Mommy,” Trixie snapped, pointing her thermometer authoritatively before turning and abruptly shoving it between Lucifer’s lips, eliciting a surprised cough from his end. “My patient needs assessed and treated.” She slightly lisped assessed, and it was lethally adorable.
Lucifer rolled his eyes toward Chloe, wide and terrified, silently screaming for help. Chloe struggled to hide her grin.
“Well, go easy on him, Monkey. He’s delicate.” She said as firmly as possible, sniffing to regain her composure before turning to face Lucifer with a frown. “So, bad news…we’re all out of 7-up.”
“Quite all right, Detective,” he mumbled around the thermometer, which Trixie reached out to pluck from his mouth and study critically, her small brow furrowing with precious consternation.
“Definitely feverish,” she declared, her expression gravely serious. “I need to run some more tests.”
Lucifer’s expression was similarly rigid. “I hope you don’t have any more probes hidden in that sack.”
“And I need to run to the store,” Chloe interrupted, just as Trixie began settling the stethoscope around her neck. “I’ll call Dan and ask him to come over while I’m gone. He should be getting off work any minute.”
Lucifer slid his hands up to cover his face, thoroughly chagrined and very unwell. “Not Detective Douche,” he moaned into his palms, too beside himself to care that Trixie had begun auscultating his chest cavity. Her small mouth was pursed with professionalism, attending the task at hand with utmost seriousness, moving the mock-plastic diaphragm between both sides of his chest. “Deep breath,” she instructed firmly.
“Well, he’s not answering,” Chloe announced, lowering the phone from her ear. “That’s great.”
“I can’t hear your breath sounds if you don’t breathe,” Trixie snapped, fixing Lucifer with a stern glare, to which he responded with an exaggerated sigh.
“I’d say someone needs to work on their bedside manner,” Chloe admonished, folding her arms. “Dammit, Dan,” she added, checking her phone again.
“Can I stay with him?” Trixie suddenly asked, stopping short. Lucifer groaned miserably at that notion.
Chloe’s brow furrowed, and she simply stared at her perceptive daughter. “I never said I was leaving.”
Trixie glanced over at Lucifer. “He needs 7-up, Mommy,” she whispered conspiratorially. “Or maybe a priest.”
At that, Lucifer spluttered with sudden and unexpected laughter, curling an arm over his stomach and reopening his eyes to look up at Chloe. “I think she’s right, Detective,” he rasped. “Maybe our little doctor does needs to stay here. After all, laughter is the best medicine.”
Trixie joined this proclamation with a pleading, puppy-dog look thrown at her mother. “Please, Mommy?”
Chloe, phone in one hand the other one tied, heaved a world-weary sigh of defeat. “Fine. You know what? Fine. Okay.” She threw her empty hand at Trixie, who clapped and grinned, and fixed Lucifer with a look. “You two hold down the fort, and I’ll run to the store really quick. Trixie, do not eat those brownies, and Lucifer…call me if you need to, okay?”
“He’ll be fine, Mommy,” Trixie insisted, unleashing maximum cuteness. “My patient is in good hands.”
Chloe and Lucifer spent a minute confirming this through a silent exchange of glances. Chloe relented, sighing again and sliding her phone into her pocket. She walked over to the coat rack and grabbed hers. “I’ll be back as soon as possible,” she assured them both. “Trixie, be nice. Lucifer…be strong.”
“Will do, Detective,” came Lucifer’s brave reply from the couch. “I’m feeling better already, thanks to your precocious offspring!” When, in fact, he was beginning to feel better due to Chloe’s impending departure.
But she didn’t need to know that, and if it brightened the lethally precious grin on Trixie’s face, then so be it.
Chloe shook her head, pulling up the hood on her raincoat, and her eyeroll was warm with fondness. Perhaps having Lucifer as a more permanent fixture around here wasn’t such a bad thing, after all.
After the door swung shut, Trixie turned back to Lucifer and brandished her plastic otoscope triumphantly. A distant crack of thunder and flash of lightning illuminated her face just like a mad scientist on television. “The doctor is in,” she declared grandly. “Stick out your tongue and say aah!”