Angels are creatures not restricted by a single plane of existence. They can, and do, travel between different dimensions as easy as breathing. The older and more powerful they are, the easier it is for them to bear being restricted to the earthly plane - deep down, however, they’re all meant to fly freely. God wanted so.
Contrary to how things with Lucifer usually go, it starts fairly innocently. If frustratingly, which is more than common with him.
“Lucifer, what is it with you today?”
He stops shifting on the car seat long enough to send her a distressed glance, and then gets back to doing his best impression of a caged tiger.
“What do you mean, Detective? I'm - fine. This car is a bit stuffy, that's all. I still don't understand why we couldn't use mine.”
Chloe rolls her eyes and brings her attention back to the seedy wearhouse they are observing.
“Because, Lucifer,” she says, trying to convince herself that she hasn’t explained it four times already, “a Corvette is not really the car that you bring to a stakeout. We're trying to be inconspicuous .”
She understands that this part of the job is not exactly exhilarating, and that Lucifer would much rather be chasing some criminals right about now, but if they catch the suspect leaving the warehouse they will have all the evidence they need. That case has been difficult enough, and she is more than ready to put an end to it.
Lucifer tries to adjust his legs and rolls his shoulders, fiddling with his cufflinks.
If only someone wasn't acting like a toddler on a sugar rush.
“ Lucifer ,” she snaps when he makes a move to turn on the radio, “don’t you fucking dare! This isn't the first stakeout you've been on, you know the rules, and we've been here for” - she checks her watch - “only one hour and a half. Why are you so restless?”
He chuckles and rolls his shoulders again. “Detective, this might be the first time that I've heard you swear! Didn't know I had such an effect on you.” He gives her one of his flirty smiles, teeth straight and perfect and so white she sees them flash even the semi-dark car.
Still, she can see that there is something strained behind it. And - of course - he hasn't actually answered her question.
“Lucifer,” she tries again, voice softer, more worried than irritated this time.
“You know, Detective”, he interrupts her. “You're right, I'm not being particularly useful. I'm sure you would do a better job without me distracting you.”
He gets out of the car before she can open her mouth to protest. “Call me if something interesting happens.”
And then he is gone, but Chloe is too confused and angry to chase after him.
Lucifer does a lot of weird things on a regular basis, that she knows, but abandoning her in the middle of a case? That is definitely out of character for him.
She is getting worried.
Angels all have a specific area of expertise. Some of them assisted their Father during the Creation, other do his bidding on a daily basis - either way, their abilities are there to make the job easier. As a side effect, they’re so deep-rooted in their being that they end up having a certain influence on their personality. God didn’t exactly want so, but he acts as if it‘s all part of the plan: He has a reputation to maintain.
Because, see, it doesn't stop at that. If anything, it gets worse.
Nothing interesting happened at the stakeout, i.e. their main suspect hadn't been there altogether, but that doesn't change the fact that Chloe's supposed to have a partner to rely on and that said partner decided to ditch her because - because, what? He was uncomfortable in the car? He didn't want to wrinkle his three thousand dollar Prada suit?
And if that isn't enough, Lieutenant Pierce is getting impatient with her and this case. He wants it closed, as soon as possible, and he's using that as a excuse to antagonize her even more. What good is having a partner if she can't count on him?
At least - at least professionally.
She snaps out of her thoughts and goes back to the mountain of paperwork on her desk. She promised herself to keep her relationship with Lucifer strictly work-related after the stunt he pulled the other day. “I want you to know the truth ”, his voicemail said, and she had really believed...that finally...but no. He came back days later and just kept doing his usual Devil-charade.
And now he abandoned her in the middle of work, too? That is the last straw.
She’s pissed, alright. And hurt.
So of course that is the moment he decides to reappear at the precinct, after two other days of radio silence, with coffee in hand and smirk on his face.
She ignores him.
He shifts in on his feet, taken aback.
“Oh, I see that you're still angry with me. But!” - he hands her the Starbucks cup he’s holding - “I come bearing gifts.Tall, non-fat, almond milk latte with sugar-free caramel drizzle, just how you like it.”
Despite her best efforts, she can't resist taking the offer. It's easier being angry with Lucifer when he's being a self-centered dick instead of this earnest, flamboyant version of himself.
She hides her half-smile behind the cup, and hates herself a bit for it.
“I wanted to apologize for my weird behaviour the other night”, he says. “I'm having some - physical problems.”
Skeptical, she gives him a once over: perfectly styled hair, tall and prideful stance, long legs clothed in trousers more expensive than her entire wardrobe. He seems fine, lookes (if she has to be honest with herself) as handsome as ever - and yet, he has never lied to her before. Point of pride, he has said many times.
“Lucifer, what problem? You can talk to me.”
Well, so much for keeping things strictly professional, she thinks, mentally rolling her eyes at herself. But the coffee is exactly as she likes it, and she still cares about him, and his eyes are awfully bright in the precinct's lights…
Wait, his eyes ? Apparently she's just a high schooler with a crush, all of a sudden.
Lucifer hesitates a second before answering. “It's a long story, Detective, and I'm not sure you would believe it.”
There's something clipped in his voice, an uncharacteristic nervousness in his fingers. He retrieves a small packet from his pocket while Chloe watches him, more and more curious by the second. “Don't worry, though, it's nothing serious.”
“Are you sure? Really, you can-”
“Yes, yes, Detective,” he interrupts her with a placating gesture. “I-I actually had something else for you. The coffee wasn't the only gift.”
Chloe wordlessly takes the small packet from his hand. Inside there is pair of diamond earrings, delicate and beautiful in their tear shape. They reflect all the lights around them, and look very expensive.
“Do you like them?” he asks, voice soft and hopeful.
She feels her stomach drop.
“Lucifer. Is this a joke? You can't just ditch me in the middle of a stakeout, disappear for days and then buy me something expensive as an apology.” She keeps her voice low, afraid that one of her colleagues would notice what was happening. “You know I don't care about this stuff, about your money. The only thing I ask of you is to - to be there.”
The smile slips from Lucifer's face, he takes a step closer to her. “No, Chloe, that's not - I just saw them, and thought of you. So I bought them.” He laughs, self-deprecating. “Couldn't help myself, really.”
“What does that even mean , Lucifer?”, she yells-whispers, thrusting the box back in his hands. “You know, you've always said things that make no sense, but I've reached my limit. Either start explaining yourself, or go .”
Is she being too harsh?
She thinks back to the many good moments, to the times he saved her life, to the times he let himself be vulnerable with her.
But the memories of him manipulating the truth, keeping her in the dark, acting weird with no explanation are just as many- for God’s sake, he had disappeared and came back married once, like that was a normal thing that normal people do.
She’s tired of all the heartbreak.
Lucifer looks crestfallen. “Detective, as I've told you before, I want you to believe me.” He rolls his shoulders, visibly uncomfortable. “But I need to-”
“Go then, Lucifer”, she interrupts him.
She doesn't want to argue with him anymore, not here in front of everyone.
He nods once, opens his mouth to talk but thinks better of it when he notices the hard set of her eyes. “Call me if you need me”, he adds, defeated, before turning her back to her to leave the precinct.
Chloe notices only hours later the earing box sitting in a corner of her table.
From the Wikipedia page about Nesting Instincts: [...] it refers to an instinct or urge to prepare a home for a new family. Nest building provides protection against predators and competitors; it also aids in family structure and is therefore influenced by different mating behaviours and social settings.
Don’t tell any angel this, because they will feel offended, but they have more than one thing in common with birds.
“This is a bloody disaster”, Lucifer matters to himself.
He fixes a pillow with the air of a man who knows resistance is futile.
It looks like a very fluffy bomb exploded all over his bedroom: there are pillows and soft blankets on the bed and the floor; every conceivable surface is covered either in them or food. Snacks, chocolate bars, fruits, drinks of all kinds are carefully placed in plates on his nightstand and in strategic points near the bed.
Lucifer is lying in the middle of it all, face planted in the mattress and wings out to cover the expanse of the room.
“A disaster ”, he repeats.
He knows exactly what's happening: he’s nesting .
He’s nesting for his mate , except that his mate really isn't his mate - it's a human who knows nothing about bonding, hence can't even... appreciate all his efforts. Well, all the efforts that he’s desperately trying to hide from her but can't help making.
No wonder the Detective is pissed with him, he has been acting like a lunatic lately. He just doesn't how to stop, though, how to get used this...onslaught of feelings . Feelings, of all things!
Since his bloody wings grew back few weeks ago, certain angelic tendencies have made themselves known again: his need for cleanliness arrived first, but that one was easily manageable. He expected it, actually, memories of how sparkly and immaculate Heaven was still somewhat fresh in his mind. His first years in Hell had been terrible for many reasons, and the bloody ash and dirt everywhere was one of them.
He just hired someone to deep-clean his penthouse, and that pretty much solved it.
Then something more personal surfaced, him being the Lightbringer and all;
a mild obsession with shiny, pretty things. Jewellery, watches, new cars, it didn't matter - a few days ago he got so fascinated with his golden cufflinks that he spent hours just watching them, and then went and bought ten new pairs.
Everything that catches the light also catches his eyes, and he wants it for himself with an intensity he hasn't felt in eons.
Again, not that big of a problem: he's rich, and he's always had expensive tastes anyway.
But this ? This - he angrily ruffles his feathers - won't do at all. This desire to bond with Chloe, it needs to go away immediately before it seriously hurts them both. Those damn earrings were proof enough - he bought because he genuinely wanted Chloe to have them, he felt giddy just thinking about her wearing something he gave her...Fat lot of good did that move do. Did she really think he was manipulating her to gain her forgiveness? He's not his Father, thank you very much, he would never do anything of the kind.
In her defence, Lucifer is well aware that the Detective is just confused and coming to the most rational conclusion. But her continuous rejections sting like never before: all the gifts she refuses, even the simple thing he likes to do to make her spawn happy ( and that wretched doll wasn’t that expensive!), all the times she gets angry or scoffs at him when he tries to be protective...They all claw at something deep in him, some part of himself he had long forgotten.
She doesn't want you, it snarls in the back of his mind, You're simply not worthy. She deserves so much better.
And doesn't he know already.
Still, it hurts.
Bonding: Social animals develop bonds by living together and having to fend for survival day after day. Grooming, playing, reciprocal feeding, all have a relevant role in bonding. Intense experiences do too. Between adults, surviving moments of danger together is strongly bonding.
Definitely don’t tell Lucifer he has something in common with goats.
The case she's working on turns out to be less about a straightforward murder and more about a whole drug operation gone wrong, so Narcotics takes the lead despite her protests. If that doesn't sting enough, Pierce is acting like she single-handedly destroyed his faith in humanity because, no matter what Ella thinks, he's an asshole who hates her guts for some reason.
Yeah, well, the sentiment is mutual. She can at least admit it in her own head.
“I heard about the case, Chloe”, Dan tells her when she arrives at the precinct. “I'm sorry that it got taken out of your hands. You were working hard on it.”
Chloe gives him half a smile in return, glad for the support. “It is what it is. At least I have a few days of peace now, I don't have anything to do but filing some documents.”
“Speaking of days of peace, I haven't seen Lucifer in a while. Did something happen?”
Chloe's heart feels heavier all of a sudden. She almost changes topic without answering, but then thinks better of it: maybe venting to Dan would actually help her, she's certain he'd be happy to her complaints about Lucifer…
She's about to speak when she hears a familiar greeting coming from behind her.
Of course this is when he decides to show up, even though she made it clear she doesn't want to talk to him.
Or maybe , a part of her hopes, he's ready to finally drop all acts and tell me truth . What about, she doesn't know, but she's sure Lucifer's hiding something from her.
She wants him to trust her like she trusts him, is that too much to ask?
“Detective, good morning,” Lucifer says when he's finally standing right beside her and Dan.
He's much closer to her than usual, actually, so much so that she can smell his cologne and feel the warmth of his arm on hers. “Daniel.” He gives him a cold glance devoid of his usual humor.
“Hello to you, too, Lucifer”, Dan says, rolling his eyes. “I'll go...work. Or something.”
And then he's off. Chloe can't blame him: Lucifer seemed right about ready to punch him, for some reason.
She thought they had sort of tentative friendship going on, didn't they? Why so antagonizing all of a sudden?
“Lucifer, what was that ?”
He turns towards her, and warmth fills his gaze again. “Chloe”, he says, almost - dare she think it? - dreamily. A kind smile paints itself across his face.
“Are you high?” she asks, because she needs to clarify that before continuing this conversation. Or doing something stupid like petting his hair, even though she's angry at him and he does not need any positive reinforcement for weird behaviours.
“ What? No, no I'm not.” He clears his throat and actually takes a step back from her when he realizes just how close he was standing. “My apologies, I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable.”
Now that she’s not distracted by the scent of his cologne, she takes a second to observe him. He’s wearing a suit, of course, a dark blue one today, but he’s not as perfectly dressed as usual - one too many buttons of his shirt is undone, the vest is missing, and even his hair is messed up.
He doesn’t look bad, per se, because that's physically impossible for Lucifer; more like he woke up in a hurry and couldn’t do his usual grooming.
Or like he was having sex not long ago , a voice in her says, but Chloe pointedly ignores it and the pang of jealousy that comes with it.
“What are you doing at the precinct? We don’t have a new case, and I thought I made myself clear the other day”, Chloe says, not bothering to hide the hurt in her voice.
She’s finding it harder and harder to stay mad at him, possibly because he’s managing to look both like a kicked puppy and a hot mess, but she’s still - still disappointed in how he has been treating her lately.
“I thought about what you said the other day,” Lucifer admits, nervously playing with his ring. “And I made my decision. It was a quite obvious one to make, actually, if the options where telling you the truth or not being- not working with you again.”
Chloe just stares at him, hope coiling fast in her stomach. There’s determination in Lucifer’s eyes, in the square set of his shoulders, even if he still looks uncomfortable in his own skin. Is he really going to explain what the fuck was going on with him and trust her with the whole truth?
“Ok, ok, yeah. You can tell me whatever you want, Lucifer, you know that.” Chloe offers him a smile, small but genuine. “That’s what friends are for.”
Something troubled crosses his face. “Friends, right”, he repeats in a small voice. “It’s a matter of showing , really, more than telling, but I don’t think this is the right place. Can I see you tonight? At your place?”
Is it really something so serious that he can’t show her here? “I- sure, ok. Trixie will be with Dan, you can come over whenever after I’m done with work.”
Lucifer smiles, but behind the flirty default exterior and the warmth that he reserves only for her, there’s a resignation she has never seen before. “See you later then, Detective.”
Angels are both divine creatures on a level of perfection that humans could never reach and also, in many ways, first drafts. God made them powerful and immortal and immensibly knowledgable - then he smoothed the corners, fixed his plans, and created humans. One of the mistakes the he refused to own up to, is that when angels feel they do very deeply. Almost dangerously so.
What an egregiously bad decision.
Lucifer stands in front of Chloe's door, taking a few deep breaths to calm his nerves before knocking - or, well, barging in without permission as usual. The familiar frustration on the Detective's face would probably make him feel better; maybe he can even pretend that he wasn't about to destroy every semblance of a relationship with Chloe.
But he can't put it off anymore: she has to believe that he is who he says he is.
Sure, she will probably - a knot forms in his throat, he blanches at the thought alone - she will probably still refuse him again, after he shows her his Devil face. She will look at him with the disgust and horror a voice in his head keeps saying he deserves, but - still.
If he doesn't show her the truth, Chloe will grow more and more distant anyway, so what's the point of prolonging the torture?
It's like ripping off a band-aid, right? Isn't that what humans say?
But oh, does he hope that at least there won't be fear in her eyes. Just imagining her big blue eyes, so lovely, so dear to him, looking at him like he's going to hurt her, like he could ever-
He's going to throw up if he doesn't stop thinking about it. Every protective instinct that his bloody wings brought up viscerally rejects the idea that he would do anything to his mate.
He almost bangs his head against the door. The Detective is not his mate, doesn't even know what that even means - and why is this happening? Why is he reacting like this? Wasn't it enough for dear old Dad to force wings on him, now he has to also remind him that he will always be just one of his creations, biologically forced to follow his rules?
As the poster child for Free Will, that cuts deeply, fuck you very much.
Maybe he actually banged his head on the door, because a moment later the Detective opens it like he knocked.
“Hey, you actually came” she says, giving him a close-lipped smile that shows she's still not convinced he's gonna make good on his promise.
His wings, safely tucked away in another dimension, flare up and preen at the sight of her without his prompting. The reaction is not only annoying, but extremely uncomfortable given the poor state they're in: the feathers are all out of place, ruffled up where they should lie smooth, giving him a sensation akin to the one of having a pebble in your shoe.
Except that there's more than one pebble, and they're all very pointy, and also your shoe is on fire.
Yeah, he'll need to cut those off sooner than later. If only he could convince Maze to help him…
“Lucifer, are you ok?”
Lucifer snaps back to the present. Oh, he spaced out, didn't he?
“Yes” he says, too quickly, trying and failing to sound like his usual self, “Of course, Detective, as always. Can I come in?”
Chloe eyes him warily and then stands away from the door, giving him the space to get in the apartment. “So, what do you have to show me?” she asks tentatively.
Lucifer takes a moment to just look at her.
A last moment, before everything goes to hell, a second to sooth the dull pain in his chest while he drinks her image in.
Her golden hair, how it falls free on the slope of her shoulders; her button nose and the straight arch of her brows; the line of her neck; her cupid's bow. Her blue, blue eyes and the way they look at him like he's a - a friend, someone she can trust, a person . Not some monster.
Lucifer looks at all of it like it's the first and the last time he sees it, and longs to hold her tight just to put their hearts close together - but he can't, so he does the next best thing.
“First, Detective, I wanted to give you something.” He retrieves a small package for his pocket. Chloe tenses up as soon as she sees it, obviously making the connection to the pair of earrings he brought her not long ago.
“Lucifer, I told you-”
“No, please,” he interrupts her before she can get angry with him, “that's not what you think. I meant to give you this on your birthday, but I thought - well, nevermind what I thought. It wasn't expensive at all, if that’s what’s worrying you.”
Chloe frowns, and looks at the small package like it could bit her, then gingerly takes it from his hand.
Lucifer shifts from foot to foot, trying to distract himself from the discomfort of his wings. “Well, go ahead then! Open it.”
Bloody hell, I hope she likes it, he thinks, although he would refuse to admit he's nervous even under torture.
Oh, but who is kidding? At this point another rejection from Chloe would kill him on the spot, he's so far gone.
His- no, not his, the Detective eyes him suspiciously. “Alright, but calm down.”
She takes the package from his hand and opens it. The frown on her forehead deepens, but Lucifer notes with relief that she looks more curious that angry. “I- Lucifer, this is very pretty,” - she smiles softly at him - “thank you.”
He feels something soft and warm wash over him at her words, the age old instinct of proving himself good sated for the moment.
She holds so much power over him and she doesn't even know it, it should be terrifying.
“But, uhm, what is it?”
Lucifer takes the necklace from her raised hand and moves behind Chloe so he fasten it around her neck. “It's the bullet from when you so rudely shot me.”
“You were literally asking for it.”
Lucifer completely ignores her, busy calming the flattering of his heart while he gently frees her hair from under the chain.
She smells lovely; it's probably her shampoo or-or perfume, he doesn't know, but it's making his head spin. “Anyway, since I'd likely never penetrate you I thought I'd commemorate the only time me you penetrated me.”
Chloe's startled laughter shakes her shoulders and makes his wings flare up in pride again. Thankfully, they are still firmly hidden away.
“Thank you, Lucifer, this was - it was very thoughtful.”, Chloe tells him when she finally stops giggling. She turns around to face him, ending up closer to him that he expected - not that he minds, obviously. “ Can you show me what you need to show me, now?” she asks, not unkindly.
He had somehow managed to forget that he was about to ruin everything for good, and he could have done without the reminder. But he can't put this off any Ionger.
At least he'll have the memory of the Detective's delighted laughter at his gift now.
“Yes, yes, I think it's time” he says, and hates himself for it. “It's better if you sit down.”
Angels can lie, as much as humans can and with very little effort. It is a point of pride for Lucifer to go against his Father’s plans however possible .
Well, fuck, talk about a shift in mood. She needs to sit down for this, whatever this is? Couldn't they stay in that nice, uncomplicated moment a bit longer?
She didn't lie before, his gift was thoughtful - and Chloe has the feeling she is not going to take off that necklace for a long, long time. She still can't believe he kept that bullet for all this time, that he looked at it and saw it as a symbol of their partnership instead of the dreadful reminder of being shot in the thigh.
It's a such a Lucifer thing to do.
She almost forgets that he has been treating her like shit for weeks.
They make their way to the sofa and sit on it, Lucifer gingerly leaning against the pillows before springing back up like he got stung. He's strung tighter than a bow, all the lightheartedness from minutes before gone like it was never there.
“I want you to know, Detective” he starts, “that you have no reason to be afraid.” He gives her a haunted look, and the temptation to hug him is so strong she has to clench her fists not to.
Why, why is he saying that? Why would she ever be afraid of him, after all they've been through together?
“Please, just remember I would never hurt you, or the offspring.”
“Lucifer, you've saved both of our lives before, what are you-” she argues, but then sees the desperate look in his eyes - so out of character for him, what is going on?- and gives up. “Alright, I'll remember. I promise.”
Lucifer nods, seemingly not much reassured by her words, and takes a deep breath. “Detective, I've always told you the truth about my identity; but you are a woman of reason and you need proof. And it's high time I provided it to you.” He shifts on the sofa to face her. “So you can finally believe and understand...uhm, things; and why I've been so weird as of lately. At least, from you point of view.”
Finally, she thinks, finally he trusts me , but dares not to say anything in fear of him changing his mind.
Lucifer just looks at her then, a look of concentration on his face.
Chloe arches one brow, confused.
Lucifer touches his face, shakes his head, and stares again.
Chloe arches the other eyebrow. What the fuck is he doing?
She draws the line when he starts growling at the back of his throat.
“What the hell are you doing?”, she snaps, crossing her arms.
“I-I don't know what's wrong, Detective.” He sinks both hands in his hair. “I can't believe He did this, too”, Lucifer whispers, although Chloe doesn't think she's supposed to hear.
Not that it matters much considering that she doesn't know what the Hell is going on, once again.
“And I can't believe you keep doing this to me, Lucifer.” The voice is getting stuck in her throat, she knows that tears will arrive soon if she doesn't get a grip on herself. It's just - Lucifer keeps doing this, over and over, she doesn't understand why he wants to play with her like this, after all they've shared…
“You know, I keep caring and you - you just…” She dares not say more because she does not want to cry.
Lucifer’s head snaps back up to look at her, and the confused expression on his face morphs into an horrified one at, she assumes, the sight of tears welling in her eyes. So much for keeping it together, she thinks, mentally chastising herself.
“No, Detective, you don't understand-”
“Of course I don't understand, Lucifer! You never explain anything!”
She stands up from the sofa to put distance between them, but Lucifer quickly follows her, grasping one of her wrist. “Chloe, wait, wait” he says, boring his deep brown eyes into hers. “I'm trying to explain, but something is terribly wrong.”
Chloe laughs, humourless. “Yeah, like I've never heard that one before.”
His grip on her wrist tightens, seemingly without him realising. “I have never lied to you, Detective, surely you must know that.”
How dare he?, she thinks. How dare he act like I'm the one hurting him?
“ Oh, do I, now? Newsflash, Lucifer: lying by omission is still lying ”, she snaps. “And can you please let me go?”
He looks at her like she just punched him, face crumbling under the heated weight of her eyes. “Detective, please-” he chokes out, still grasping her wrist. His other hand goes to his heart, fingers digging in the breastbone like he's hurting there.
Chloe's anger deflates against her better judgement because he looks...he looks crestfallen, like she broke his heart or something, even though he's the reason they're in this absurd situation to begin with.
She can't help it, it's stronger than her: no matter how infuriating he is, she still cares. Hell, she wouldn't be this hurt and angry if she didn't care a lot .
“Okay, okay, listen-” she starts, but a hiss of pain cuts her words off. She knows he doesn't mean to, but the grip on her hand is really starting to hurt.
Lucifer looks at her, alarmed, and the down to where his much bigger hand is still holding her tight enough to get white-knuckled. He makes a distressed noise at the back of his throat and immediately lets go of her, actually taking a step back like he's scared. Of her? Of himself? Chloe doesn't know.
“Oh, Detective”, he almost whimpers, “I apologize, I truly didn't mean to hurt you.”
He looks miserable, which doesn't suit him at all. Not when he's usually so full of joie de vivre.
“It's nothing”, she reassures him, but it doesn't seem to help much.
They stay in silence for a few seconds, both unsure of what to do.
Chloe breaks first: “So, what now? You go away, disappear for days, and then when you come back we do this all over again?”
Lucifer takes a shuddering breath, squares his shoulders once again. “No, Chloe. I made you a promise, and I am a man of my word.”
And a second later two wings appear from behind him.
As mentioned previously, angels can be considered social animals. God meant for them to live peacefully, all together, in the wide, open spaces of the Silver City. They were not supposed to stay isolated away from their home. Especially not for millennia .
She's just - standing there. Staring.
Which, Lucifer guesses, is better than the running-away-screaming scenario he was so sure would take place.
He spreads his wings a bit, trying to find a more comfortable position, and Chloe reacts by choking back a scream and falling on the sofa behind her.
“It's real”, she murmures, “ it's all real .”
Lucifer holds up his hands in a placating gesture. “That's what I've been trying to explain this whole time, Detective.” He doesn't dare taking a step closer to Chloe, no matter how strong the urge to hold her is. She looks so shaken, he doesn't want to make things worse.
“Oh God, you’re an angel.” Shock paints itself across her face. “Oh God, God is real! God is your father?”
Pretty standard reaction, so far. On a scale from one to Doctor Linda , he thinks, she's on a solid four.
“Chloe”, he says, voice gone soft like he's talking to a spooked animal. “I will answer whatever question you have. But first, I need you to know” - he folds the wings closed; maybe so that she looks at his face instead of them , or maybe just because because he's ashamed - “that I am not an angel. Not anymore. This wings are not who I am, that's why I didn't want to show them to you.”
He's so angry at his Father, livid, that he dared took his Devil face away. His whole identity, the only part of Lucifer that wasn't created by Him .
And now he was forced to show her his wings, which he never wanted back, and she's going to get the wrong idea...
The Detective finally brings her eyes back to his face, although she seems close to tears. “Lucifer, I- oh fuck, you're the Devil.” She sinks both hands in her hair, still looking at him with huge, liquidy, blue eyes full of panic and - and something else he doesn't want to think about, because if it's fear than that will be the end of him.
“You've known the truth from the start”, he tries, rather lamely.
“So many things make sense, now”, Chloe says. “Well, many things about you. Everything else is suddenly a mess.”
“As I've told you, I will answer all of your questions.” He gets closer to her, hoping against hope that she's starting to calm down. “It's the least I can do.”
And he means it, too. The guilt of keeping her in the dark for years is hitting him all at once, and he's more than willing to do anything to earn her forgiveness.
If he even can. He doesn't look forward the moment she fully realises the implications of him being the biblical Devil - the world doesn't paint a pretty picture of him. Hopefully, she will remember he's still the same person, the same partner, her same Lucifer.
“No”, Chloe says resolutely, “not now. Absolutely not. Mh mh, not happening.” She stands up form the sofa, tries to smooth down the hairstyle that she messed up with her hands. Lucifer longs to tuck a strand that falls over her eyes behind her ear, but that's neither here nor there, is it?
“What do you mean, not happening?”
“I mean,” she says, “that if I ask you a question about life, the universe and everything, and you actually answer, I'm gonna lose it.”
Lucifer frowns. “Was that a Douglas Adam-”
“ Facts , facts, I need facts. Because I'm a cop , and cops need facts.” Her eyes snap back to his wings, which preen under her attention like he's nothing more than a common peacock, the treacherous bastards . To add injury to insult, the involuntary ruffling of feathers hurts considering how out of place they all are.
“Can I touch them?”
Touch them? , he thinks, and it's a miracle he doesn't spontaneously combust on the spot.
“I - uhm, mh - what? Touch them?”, is what comes out of his mouth before he can regain control. His heart is beating so hard in his chest, he's afraid Chloe is going to hear it.
She blushes, probably mistaking his flusterness for offense. “I mean, I'm sorry, I don't - I don't know if that's, like, prohibited or something…”, she trails off. “I need a physical proof. That all this is real.”
“Chloe”, he breathes out, already feeling drunk on the prospect of the Detective sinking her hands in his feathers. “You don't know what you're asking.”
And she doesn't, she possibly couldn't, know.
How intimate that can be for an angel. For how long no one has done that for him, even before the Fall.
His siblings weren't fond of him because of all the arguments he was having with their Father, and, among the other ways they found to isolate him, refusing to groom his wings was one of the most efficient.
And painful, if he has to be honest with himself.
It's been so long since anyone has done that for him that he forgot what it feels like, not being touch-starved.
He should say no, tuck his wings away and beg her to forget about them; spare himself the heartbreak of sharing something so meaningful with someone who has no idea of the importance of it.
Lucifer tries to tell her no just with the expression of his face, because he can't bring himself to actually say the word, but instead he gets stuck in the light blue of her eyes.
He’s not thinking clearly, he knows. He’s still not used to the intensity of the feelings his angelic status brought back. There’s a voice in the back of his mind warning him against something, but it gets drowned in how much he wants whatever Chloe is willing to give him. How can he say no when he has longed for eons for the thing she's offering so simply, so genuinely? He almost feels drunk on it.
He takes a deep breath, closes his eyes.
Divinity and humanity are considered opposites for a reason. Do not mix the two.
“Okay, then. Since you've asked so nicely”, Lucifer say after few seconds. The wings - massive, white, oh so very real - move towards her, closing both her and Lucifer in some sort of loose embrace.
Chloe is not freaking out. No, actually she is freaking out big time, but she's doing it somewhere in the back of her mind, while on a more superficial level she is...fine. Lucifer is who he has always said he is: the proof is in front of her, there is no denying.
A lot of things make, in retrospect, much more sense.
So yeah, she's fine for now. The existential crisis will arrive eventually, like the pain of a broken bone hits you only after the adrenaline has wore off.
She extends a hand and tentatively touches what she thinks is the safest place: the elegant arch at the top of the wing, where the feathers are small and smooth. Lucifer immediately tenses up and gasps.
“I'm sorry!”, Chloe exclaims, and retracts her hand like she got burned. Or like she burned him. “...Does it hurt?”
Lucifer, surprisingly, pales and refuse to meet her eyes. “No, no, of course it doesn't”, he says, “I'm just - not used to being touched, that's all.”
That doesn't come as a surprise. Lucifer might have sex with a different person every night, but Chloe has noticed how startled he is by every casual, uninterested touch. He's usually more relaxed when it comes to her, but there's no hiding how awkward he feels when Trixie hugs him or Dan pats his shoulder.
She suddenly feels the urge to cuddle him and keep him warm.
The Devil. She wants to snuggle with the actual, biblical Devil.
What the fuck is my life?, she thinks, and relegates the thought to the part of her mind where she's currently having a panic attack.
But instead of petting his hair and sobbing about how the world doesn't make sense anymore - which, mind, is very tempting - she gingerly touches the wing again, and lets the indisputable solidity of it calm her nerves a little.
In the soft light of her living room, the feathers look white enough to be luminescent. Their glow seeps through the skin of her hand where she touches them, filling her with warmth and settling her worries.
No doubt about it: she's standing in front of the proof of divinity.
And Lucifer is letting her touch it, like she's not just a...an ant in front of giant. Like she isn’t dirtying him up, in some way, just by looking at it.
The thought floats in her mind for a second, and she's about to take off her hand and possibly apologize for just existing, but then the sense of peace takes over. And all is well again.
“They can have this effect,” Lucifer says, voice as shaky as her legs feel. “leave humans quite... awestruck, if you will. You're reacting better than most.”
“How does it usually go?”
“Well,” he starts. “Not many angels have revealed themselves to humans. But, as a general rule, they tend to fall on their knees and- Ooh…”
Chloe looks at him, surprised by the almost-moan he just let out, as his eyelids drop to half-mast and his shoulders relax.
“...drool”, he finishes, in a voice that manages to make the word “drool” sound sexy, somehow.
Chloe gapes at him.
She shifts her eyes from his face to her hand: her fingers are sinking in the second line of feathers, longer than the ones attached directly to the bone but still as soft.
She didn't do anything to elicit that response from him, or at least she thinks.
But she can admit, in the privacy of her mind, that she'd like to know how to do it again.
“Uh. Mh, my apologies, Detective.” He clears his throat, regains his composure. “As I said, simply not used to being - touched.”
“It's okay”, Chloe breathes out, moving to straighten one feather out of place. “Don't worry about it.”
There are many more that would need some straightening, now that she really looks.
Both wings are a bit of a mess, actually. Gorgeous, that goes without saying, but also kind of... ruffled.
She thinks back to the pair of fake wings she saw at that auction, years ago now; at how neat and put together they looked in comparison to the tousled pair sprouting from Lucifer’s back.
And yet, they pale in comparison to the real deal. They lacked all the liveliness, the warmth that she can feel under her hand.
The urge to cuddle him comes back tenfold, this time accompanied by the desire to smooth down the feathers for him.
“... Detective”, Lucifer warns her while she carefully shifts two overlapping ones so that they're both pointing to the ground.
“Mh?” she responds distractedly. I wonder if they are hurting him. Is that why he’s been looking so uncomfortable lately…?
“ Detective , could you-”
It does look pretty uncomfortable, it would make sense. Oh my God, has he been in pain for weeks?
“ Chloe ”, Lucifer snaps, bringing her back to reality. He moves away from her touch like he got burned. “That's quite enough of that .”
As soon as she's not touching the wing anymore, that feeling of shame she so easily repressed before comes back.
Of course he doesn't want her to touch him, he's - he's an angel , he's immortal, and she is...what even is she? What it she to him ?
“Detective, please, don’t look so dejected”, she hears Lucifer say. “Oh, this is a mess..”
The words come out pained, and desperate. He passes a hand over his eyes, for the first time appearing like the ancient being he is - but then the hand slips away, and he looks back at her with his big dark eyes, and he’s her Lucifer again.
That clears the fog in her mind. He is, isn’t he?
The same Lucifer.
With his expensive fashion style, with his perfectly styled hair. With the same expressive eyes lined with kajal, reflecting all the lights around him like the onyx of his ring does.
It’s still him, in all of his inappropriate, earnest, larger-than-life familiarity.
“I-I have so many things to explain”, he confesses in a whisper when she doesn’t respond. “Detective, I'm trying to come clean but - but I keep hurting you, one way or another, and that is not my intention. You have to believe me.”
Without realising, like attracted by a magnet, he got close enough to her that she could count the long lashes that frame his eyes. The thought steals her breath for a second.
“No”, she says, resolutely. He looks at her like she stabbed him right in the chest, and like he thinks it’s well deserved.
A vice squeezes her heart at his expression, so she’s quick to add: “
, you’re not hurting me. This whole thing - the fact that you’re actually the Devil...I’m gonna need some time to get used to it.” She raises a hand to his face, gently cups his jaw. “But Lucifer, I’m so glad you told me the truth. It means a lot that you trust me with it.”
He leans into her touch like he’s starved for it. “I should have done this a long time ago”, he says regretfully.
Chloe chuckles, not unkindly. “Maybe. But let’s not dwell on that, okay?”
“Your wish is my command, Detective”, he jokes, relieved. The flirty smile he gives her is a much better look on him that the stricken expression from before.
“In that case, I would like to - I mean, can I help you with your wings? I have no idea if it’s the right term, but do they need some...uhm, grooming?”
Lucifer blinks, and then does something Chloe was sure he would never, ever do.
He blushes. To the tip of his ears.
The silence stretches for many, painful seconds. “...Lucifer? Did I break you?”
Grooming: a behaviour in which social animals, including humans (and angels), clean or maintain one another's body or appearance. Grooming each other’s wings is something that angels have been doing since the dawn on time as a way of reinforcing social structures and family links, and to build companionships. They’re not meant to go without it for long.
She didn’t break him, but it’s a close thing.
“I don’t need grooming-”, he sputters.
Yes I do, please, it’s so uncomfortable-
I’m not a bloody fledgling, I can take care of them by myself no problem.”
No I can’t, I’ve tried - and it’s been so, so long since-
“Actually,” he exclaims with a grin that passed charming and is squarely into the territory of manic, “I will cut them off altogether. So no need to waste time taking care of the bloody things anyway.”
But I can keep them for a while if you’d like, let you play with them-
He used to have a shred of dignity left, once upon a time. He wonders when he’d lost it.
“Cut them off?”, Chloe says in horror. Her hand still on his face gets joined by the other, and she holds him like he might break at the touch. “Why would you do that? That’s- that’s self mutilation, Lucifer!”
Ah , he thinks, staring into her worried eyes. Of course, when I met her. Obviously.
“I’ve done it before”, he tries to explain.
“That’s even worse! What, they just - grew back?”
He sighs, takes a hold of her wrists to gently bring them away from his face. “I wish it was that easy. No, my Father” - he glares at the ceiling - “is the one who put them back. Without my permission, might I add.” All his frustration and anger at his Dad comes back when he thinks about what he’s done to him for more than a second, but he bites it back: he doesn’t want to scare the Detective. It’s a miracle that she’s reacting this well to the whole thing, he doesn’t want to compromise that with his bloody daddy issues.
Lucifer refuses to let Him ruin this for him, as He’s done with everything else in his life.
He tries not to get distracted by how the light dances on the necklace he gave Chloe, falling tantalizingly close to her cleavage. He needs to focus, and finally explain to the Detective why he’s been acting so weird around her lately. “I didn’t want my wings back, I never did. They’re a painful reminder of what I’ve lost.”
All this honesty burns his throat on its way out. He’s not used to baring himself like this, not even with Linda.
He forces himself to continue. “Weeks ago, I woke up in the desert - and they were back. I still don’t understand how it happened, but I know that this was my Father’s doing. After a few days certain...angelic tendencies that I wasn’t used to anymore came back as well.”
Chloe frowns, but easily puts the pieces on information he gave her back together, his clever Detective. “Is that why you’ve been so skittish lately? Oh, what about the diamond earrings?”
“I'm the Lightbringer. It only makes sense that I'm attracted to shiny things”, he explains, matter-of-factly.
The Detective's eyes widen. “You mean, like a magpie?”
He opens his mouth to say that absolutely not , not like a magpie, but she what she says next shuts his protest down.
“What about the stakeout? You basically run away in the middle of it.”
Her tone isn’t accusatory, but Lucifer feels ashamed anyway. The wings, useless things that they are, betray his poker face by dejectedly lowering to the ground. “I- yes. That’s why. I felt caged in the car, and my back was still sore. Sitting or leaning on the seat just wasn’t feasible at the time. Thankfully, in the end you didn’t need my assistance anyway.” His stomach churns just at the idea of leaving the Detective in danger simply because he felt uncomfortable . He wouldn’t have forgiven himself if something had happened to her that night.
Chloe tilts her head, eyeing his wings. “Yeah, that’s why I offered to help you fix them up.” Her gaze snaps back to his. “I mean, I figured you couldn’t feel okay when they are all...ruffled like that. But I totally understand if it's not something that, you know...humans are allowed to do”, she adds. Her voice awkwardly trails off after the word ‘humans’, like she can't believe she's actually having this conversation.
A shiver goes down his spine. “I wouldn't let any human help me with that, no.”
The thought is actually a bit nauseating. He views grooming as a very intimate act, always has, and just letting a random person do it… Sex and all sorts of other dirty, mindless, human things? Bring it on.
Grooming? He'll keep that experience to himself, thank you very much.
A dreamy sigh almost leaves his lips - to himself
He can at least admit to himself that he's been daydreaming about it for weeks; but if the brief moment from before taught him anything, is that he's not able to control himself when she has her fingers sinked in his feathers. And there’s still this voice in the back of his head, screaming at him to be careful about something...If only he could think straight, if only she wasn’t standing so close, perhaps he could understand what that something i s.
Chloe, oblivious to his line of thought, comes to worst possible conclusion. “Oh, well, see?” she stammers, “I thought so. Uh, mh, I'm sorry I touched them before. Won't happen again.”
She nods all the way through her sentences, speaking in a too-cheerful tone. He feels a familiar pang of guilt - he knows the Detective acts like this when she’s embarrassed or hurt and trying to hide it.
How does he keep making things worse?
“You misunderstand me, Detective”, he says softly. He smiles, trying to reassure her that he could never, ever be disgusted by her touch. He hates to admit it, but he feels actually quite...shaken at her offer.
The part of himself that was feeding off her continuous (if oblivious) rejections for the past weeks quiets down, relents its bite on his heart. The Detective doesn’t know the social implications that grooming has for an angel, but that doesn’t stop Lucifer from feeling warmer inside than he has in months. “I wouldn’t let a human stranger help me with it. But with you it’s quite different.”
Chloe’s eyes widen in surprise, and for a second he’s scared his eyes were too honest, his smile too revealing, that his words let on more than he intended - but if Chloe notices the vulnerability he just showed, she blissfully doesn’t comment on it.
“Is that a yes, then? I can help you with them?” she asks instead. Her gaze drifts off to his wings again, glazes over for a split second. “Don’t get me wrong, Lucifer, they are still breathtaking. I- just...wow.”
Lucifer’s genuine smile fades away.
He knows that look - he’s quite used to receiving it. Of course, it’s usually directed to his body and not his wings and he’s certain Chloe has never looked at him like that before; but still, he recognizes it.
It’s want - no, not want, he corrects himself while watching the way her eyes are following the line of the primary feather, it’s longing. Not for him, who would love nothing more than finally be hers, but for the atrocities his Father stuck on his back against his will.
Ah, so that’s what the voice was trying to make him remember. That humans are susceptible to divinity.
He should have known better that let himself hope. That that warm feeling was there to stay, that the Detective would defy expectations once more.
He even saw it few minutes ago, for Hell’s sake, that the bloody things still have an effect on her despite her indifference to his charms. Did he manage to forget about it as soon as she touched him? Has he really sunk that low?
He feels his stomach burn like he drank a bottle or two of cheap alcohol. The self-hatred hits him with so much force he’s surprised he doesn’t topple over.
He suddenly hates himself for revealing the wings to Chloe, hates himself even more for not enjoying the fact that finally, finally the Detective desires him for something.
His head, his stomach, the spaces between his ribs - every part of him is so filled with the sentiment that he has no space left to be angry at his Father for creating the situation in the first place.
Why can’t he revel in the heat of Chloe’s eyes instead of loathing the fact that it’s not for him , not really? Did he dare hope for more, when his long life has only been a sequence of proof after proof that he can’t have more?
He should have known better. He knows better.
Maybe that’s why Dad gave him his wings back. Just another admonishment.
The realization wouldn’t be hitting him so hard, had he been braced for it - but oh, no , he had to spend weeks daydreaming and nesting and buying gifts and daydreaming some more.
The warmth of the Detective’s delicate fingers on his feathers brings him back to the present. She’s so close now he could count her eyelashes - and despite his best efforts, the thought disarms him. Lucifer barely holds in the sigh that threatens to escape, clenches his jaw.
He furrows his brow while he glares at the ceiling, defiant and prideful and hurt like he’s used to feeling while thinking of his Father.
Let her have it
, he thinks.
Let her have whatever she wants from him, however she want it. Let the proof of divinity in front of her fill her with the warmth and light he doesn’t have anymore; let her pluck one feather after the other until he’s stripped bare so she can keep them in her bedside drawer and take them out when she’s lonely and hurt.
Let her touch and probe and stare and take take take until he has nothing left to give, he doesn’t care.
He’s so pathetic he would thank her for the attention.
Maybe he’ll feel empty enough by the end of it not to care anymore.
Decision made, then.
The familiar mask of bravado slips on as easy as breathing.
He gives her what he hopes comes across as a seductive grin and tilts his head like he’s going to kiss her. “Very well, then”, he says instead, “How do you want me?”
Chloe blinks. “What do you mean?”
“We’ll need space if you want to do this properly”, he explains, shrugging the jacket of his shoulders - the Detective’s mouth hangs open at how the fabric passes through the wings like they arent’ even there - and draping it over the sofa. “Your bed would suffice, I believe.”
The Detective frowns raises an eyebrow, but she seems happy enough to banter with him. “Nice try, Lucifer. I’m sure the couch is good enough.”
This, he can do. The back-and-forth, the teasing, that’s what normal is between him and the Detective. In different circumstances he would enjoy it.
He still feels rather self-deprecating, so he decides to take off his shirt, too - why not, at this point. He’s curious to see how far he can push before Chloe calls him out on his shit. Is she too focused on the wings to notice anything else? Should he even bother trying to flirt with her?
He doesn’t even know how he would react if she responded well to his advances. He doesn’t think he has it in him to refuse her this time.
“Always spoiling my fun, Detective”, he says, aiming for “light-hearted tease” and missing it by half a mile. He sounds jagged, curt, even to his own ears.
Chin up, Lucifer, he can almost hear Michael say in his best self-righteous voice. You ungrateful child. You’ve wanted this for so long, don’t pretend to hate it now that it’s in your hands.
Want. Like this is about what he wants and not just him being weak and desperate and so stupidly in love he couldn’t refuse to give his own head on a plate if Chloe asked.
More than anything, though, Lucifer hopes she will not hate him after, when she inevitably finds out the meaning of her offer. Hopes that she won’t feel betrayed, or - or, Hell forbid, used. If anything, he’s the one being used here!
His heart skips a beat. She wouldn’t like that either, would she? If she was in her right mind, certainly Chloe would be horrified...then again, he can see how fascinated she is by, by them ...and who is he to refuse...can he even, to this point, turn around and say- if she please could - if she please couldn’t …?
No. He needs to get a grip.
He uses retrieving a chair from the kitchen as an excuse to hide his face from Chloe.
“What are you doing?”, she asks from behind him.
“The couch is actually not good enough, darling”, he explains. He plops the chair in front of the sofa and invites Chloe with a gesture of a hand to sit down on the couch. “Not enough space for the wings if I lie down. I’ll just sit on the chair and you” - he forces himself to smile - “can have your way with me.”
Side note on Miracles: they tend to be quite indifferent to proof on divinity. It’s in the job description.
He’s acting weird.
Even with her brain all jumbled up by the notion that
Lucifer is the Devil
God is real
, she can see that, behind the facade of lascivious grins and innuendos, he’s distant. Almost cold, all of a sudden.
She mentally reenacts their conversation, trying to understand what went wrong. For a moment he seemed so open, willing to be vulnerable with her...and the next all the light left his eyes, like a gust of wind blowing off a candle. Did she say something wrong? Is he trying to hide that he really doesn’t want her to touch his wings?
Then again, he’s never lied to her - in retrospect, he has always been almost painfully honest…
“Detective?” Lucifer’s questioning voice snaps her out of his thoughts. “Everything alright? Is divinity finally catching up on you? Please tell me if you are going to start drooling.”
Chloe rolls her eyes. “No, no drooling for now. I’m just, uh - trying to figure out where to start.”
“From wherever you want, Detective. I’m all yours.” He straightens and spreads his wings a bit, showing off the defined muscles of his back in a way that would make her mouth water, could she not see how tense the line of his shoulders is. The knot in her stomach tightens: does he really non want this? She hopes Lucifer is not letting her do it as a misplaced attempt to be accepted by her. Chloe offered because she wants to help, not to torture.
“Hey, are you sure-” she starts, letting her hand experimentally touch the place where skin meets feathers between his shoulders. Lucifer’s shuddering breath makes the words die in her throat, though.
Well, then. He does like it, there’s no hiding that, so why all the angst?
Maybe he’s just nervous , Chloe thinks, trying to stay hopeful.
“...Nevermind”, she mutters to herself, and gets to work.
The wings are as stunning from the back as they were from the front - and, she notices with a grimace, even more messed up. Obviously Lucifer managed to straighten down the feathers he could reach, but the rest is sticking out in every direction, making even her shoulders itch in sympathy. No wonder he has been looking wildly uncomfortable lately.
She keeps her touch light and quick, carefully shifting the feathers until the area closer so his back is smoothed down. Lucifer relaxes after a while, despite his best efforts not to, she thinks.
They feel so incredibly soft that, without even thinking, she gets close enough to pass her cheek over the smooth surface and feel the feathers tickle her lips. Her hand shifts down until it meets impossibly warm skin, and stays there in a soft caress.
She feels Lucifer's breath hitch.
“Why do you want to get rid of them?”, she asks, soaking in the warmth under her cheek. It really does feel lovely - and now she gets it, what Lucifer was talking about before. Taking care of him like this does feel awfully intimate; the thing that comes closer to ‘grooming wings’ in human terms is probably...washing someone's hair, maybe? Not something that she had ever be comfortable doing with anyone but Dan, back when they were married - well and Trixie, obviously. So, her family.
It feels right doing to for Lucifer, the perfect reminder that despite the fact that divinity crushed through every certainty she had in life, her best friend is still just her best friend.
He doesn't seem as relaxed as she's feeling, though.
“Because they're not part of me ”, he answers, the cold tone of his voice barely concealing the tremor behind it. “This is not who I am . They haven’t been for a long time. My Father forced them back on me, the reason still escapes me, and now you-”. He passes a hand over his eyes, dejected. “Nevermind that.”
Chloe, who had sat back down on the sofa at the vitriol in his voice, frowns. What was he about to say about her? He shouldn't have a reason to hide anything anymore. All the cards are on the table, aren't they?
“Now me, what?”
Lucifer turns his head to glare at her through watery eyes. “I said , nevermind that. So, are you done toying with these atrocities?” He spares his wings a glance that probably means he could really use a drink right about now, or possibly a pair of sharp scissors. “Had your fill of divinity or shall we finally take this to the bedroom? No reason not to throw some profanity in the mix as well.”
He looks at her then and he seems...so unbelievably sad, even with the 24k smile plastered on his face, that Chloe's heart breaks in two there and then. Something is hurting him enough that even a master of denial like Lucifer can't hide it.
“Lucifer, I don't - what are you talking about? Fill of divinity ?”
He snickers, without humor, like she's seen him do plenty of times with criminals right before they start crying and begging for forgiveness. “Oh, no need to pretend, Detective. I've seen the look in your eyes, the fascination . I know you're not -- grooming me out of the goodness of your heart.”
Now she's offended. “I can't believe”, she manages to say despite the knot in her throat, “you would actually think that.”
“I don't think, I know . This reaction is nothing new for a simple human like yourself.”
He's trying to distance himself from her and seem alien, larger than life...but it's not working. He's never looked more human, with his furrowed brows and bright, tormented eyes.
“Cut the act, Lucifer”, she snaps. “If you think I offered to help out of some fucked up fascination then forget it, you can take care of them yourself and I'll never ask again.”
He flinches, face losing all colour. The wings disappear in one blink of her eyes and a faint woosh that echoes through the room. “Very well, then”, he murmures. “As you wish. I'll be on my way.”
Chloe grasps his arm while he finishes buttoning up his shirt, in fear that he’s gonna disappear into thin air. She doesn't want a repeat of Candy, doesn't want him to flee Los Angeles with no way for her to find him.
Especially not when she doesn’t know what the fuck went wrong now. He looks like a kicked puppy.
“Wait, wait”, she says, “you don't have to leave. Can't you just tell me what's wrong? We've been doing this dance for far too long.” The grip on his arm turns gentle when he looks at her with dejected eyes. “Just talk to me, please. I don't want any more secrets between us.”
Lucifer smile, and although it's a small, melancholy thing at least it's genuine. “I'd like that, too”, he admits. Tentatively, like she could ever deny him when he looks so hurt and lonely, he gathers her in his arms. Chloe hugs back, breathing in the familiar scent of his cologne.
He releases a shaky breath and hides his face in her hair. “You did nothing wrong, Chloe, I want you to know that”, he says softly. “The return of my - well, I guess we can call it 'angelic status’ brought back many conflicting feelings I wasn't expecting.”
“And we all know you're not good with those”, she jokes.
Lucifer chuckles. “Fair enough, I can admit that.” He distances himself for her to break the hug, but not enough that their legs aren't brushing against each other. He opens his mouth to say something else, but he shuts it with an audible click of his teeth.
“No, hey, don't do that”, she says. She tugs him closer by a fistful of his shirt. “What did you want to say?”
Lucifer clenches his jaw and diverts his dark eyes, still watery with tears, from her face. “Forgive me for the reaction I had. You said you wouldn't -- groom my wings anymore.” The self-deprecating smile he gives her makes her heart ache. “and it just hit too close to home, that's all.”
“What do you mean?”
He sighs. “Must you torture me like this, woman?”, he jokes, but it falls flat. Chloe's only response is one raised eyebrows. “I'll take it as a yes. My siblings, when I was still in the Silver City”, he glances at the ceiling and she understands that he's talking about Heaven, “used to refuse to help me with my wings because of my arguments with dear old Dad. Grooming is a...you can call it social activity, and ostracizing someone from it is not taken lightly. You saying that you would stop brought back memories of a not-so-good time of my life, right before the Fall.” His eyes snap to her, suddenly alarmed. “Not that you could know that, Detective, I don't blame you for changing your mind. I don't want you to force yourself to touch me if you don't wish to, certainly not out of pity. That- that would defeat the whole point.” The urgency in his voice fades out, leaving behind a pained whisper that she couldn't hear if they weren't standing so close. “If it's not genuine, then no matter how much I miss it, I wouldn't want you to do it. But hearing you say it was - again, forgive me, Detective. I wish I could say I didn't know how much it would affect me.”
Chloe's listens to him, closer and closer to tears with every word he says, and by the end it's all she can do to tug him flush against her in a fierce hug.
“Oh, Lucifer”, she says, voice muffled by the fabric of his shirt, “I'm so sorry, I didn't mean anything by it. I just said it because - because you were acting weird, like you were angry with me.”
“Never, Chloe.” The solemnity in his voice would seem out of place on anyone else - but Lucifer, whose every word is an unbreakable promise, it’s right at home. “You needn't be afraid of me, ever. Please don't cry, love.”
“I'm not afraid of you, Lucifer, that's not what this is about”, she tries to explain. She looks up at him, wanting to see if he believes her next words. “I'm crying because you're hurt, and I hate seeing you like this.”
His expression goes impossibly soft and, to her relief, some colour returns to his face. But there's still tension in his arms, in the small smile he's offering her, that Chloe doesn't know how to fix. The urge to smooth out the frown between his brows is too strong, so she doesn't resist it - a soft touch of her thumb, and her hand slides down to cup his cheek.
Lucifer leans into it with a sigh. He really isn't used to this kind of touch, is he? The affectionate, selfless, disinterested sort?
“I-Detective, I'm quite alright, really.” The helplessness in his voice tells another story, Chloe knows. Lucifer doesn't lie, but he sure can deflect like the best of them.
“Are you now?”, she presses. She's still half-crying, but her voice is steady - if quiet, and thick with emotion, because they truly are just a whisper apart from kissing and he looks unfairly beautiful with eyes wet with tears. Suddenly, she sees in him the Lucifer from every painting or sculpture of him after the Fall - hurt, betrayed, prideful.
“Well,” he says, “I imagine- mh. You said...you didn't mean it? About the wings, the grooming?”
Chloe frowns. “That I wouldn't do it anymore?”
He almost flinches away from her touch, but restrains himself at the last second. Gives her a reassuring smile, nods. “Of course I didn't, I told you! Was that the problem?”
“So what you're saying is, you would. If I ever asked, and you had the time, of course, wouldn't want to steal your attention from the Urchin for too long, and feel free-”
Chloe can't help it. She rises on her tiptoes and interrupts his panicked rumbling in the way she had imagined doing many, many times.
She kisses him.
It's a soft kiss, for all the rollercoaster of confusion and delight and pain she felt since he revealed himself - barely there, at first; almost graceless because of his surprise.
But even that is familiar to her, because this is not the first time that she shuts him up this way, she hopes not the last, either - and why, why did they ever stop doing it? Why did they let months and months pass between the last time she got to taste him and now?
Lucifer needs only a second to get with the program, and suddenly he's kissing back just as softly - and then not so much. It’s more than familiar , she thinks, it’s like coming home . Sinking her hands in his hair, and shifting them back to his jaw to hold him close...she’s done this before. She’s dreamt of this, more times than she’s willing to admit. The way their noses touch in an involuntary caress, or how his long eyelashes flutter against her cheek - all small, insignificant details that leave her awestruck. Oh, how she’s missed it, being so close she forgets where she ends and he starts. Now that she has it, she can’t bear to go another second without.
Lucifer’s tongue curls around hers and Chloe forgets to breath for a second, two, three until he’s pulling back so she can gasp for air. He leaves a tender kiss on the tip of her nose that makes her smile.
“I’ll take it as a yes”, he whispers, voice soft and low. It takes a second for Chloe to remember what they were talking about, but when she does her smile widens.
“You better”. She angles her head for another quick kiss, and Lucifer obliges. “And maybe with less drama this time around.”
He doesn’t even have the decency to look embarrassed, he just smirks and bites his bottom lip. “No promises, Detective.”
Oh, Chloe thinks, heart filled with something she recognizes all too well, he’s lucky he’s cute.