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If this is it, don't let me know (if this is it, just let me go)

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Lucifer tries to play the song but his hands shake on the keys, fingers twitching like they did over the bleeding he couldn’t stop – the first time in a while he regretted not having his wings on his back.

He's fine, though. He said so, and he never lies, so it must be true. Father Frank is dead, and Lucifer is fine.

But now, the Detective is here.

“I thought you could use a friend" she says, smiling knowingly at him, placing a gentle hand on his right one on top of the piano keys, and something in him suddenly breaks.

“I don’t need a friend" he croaks, a selfish, demanding thought forming in his head.

I found a friend, and I lost him. I need something else, right now. I need something more, from you.

Not that he'll ever say it, not that she doesn’t know it, already: he tells her all the time, after all, except for when it matters, like now. He made a mockery of his own desire, shaped it into something they can both deal with easily, Lucifer with his over-the-top propositions in public and Chloe with her snarky comebacks. It’s what they do, it’s what he likes: this dance around each other that always leaves him wanting more, when he can have anyone else with a snap of his fingers. It’s thrilling, exciting, entertaining, even; I just like to play in general, Detective, but tonight he’s in no mood for games.

Chloe's eyes widen in surprise, but not for long. She squeezes his hand and looks at him for a long moment, then stares down at their joined fingers on the ivory, studying them as if searching for something. She shifts on the bench with a resolve that Lucifer doesn’t truly get, until she lifts his hand with her own and brings it to her lips, turning it around so she can lightly kiss his knuckles.

Lucifer’s intake of breath is so loud that to his ears, it seems like the only sound in the whole world, for an instant. He stares at her in shock, rendered mute by the brushing of her lips along the jutting bones of his pianist hand, only recently cleaned of Frank’s blood. Chloe kisses every single knuckle without breaking eye-contact with him, sending shivers along his arm. Lucifer’s throat is dry, his brain struggles to process what is happening.

“Is this what you need?” she asks in a whisper, thumb stroking along the side of his hand, and he finds himself nodding vehemently, unable to put it into words, tethering on the edge of a whole new precipice, a whole new fall.

He closes his eyes and whimpers when her mouth finds his hand again, Chloe’s lips peppering kisses over his fingers before turning it around and trailing downward from the tips to his palm. Lucifer should stop her, he should. He shouldn’t let her do this for pity or comfort or whatever this is, shouldn’t take advantage of her nurturing nature; but no one has ever touched him like this, no one has ever taken the time, and this notion alone is shattering, overwhelming, terrifying.

Chloe’s mouth lingers on his pulse point before it moves upwards again to kiss his fingertips more wetly, purposefully, and he finds himself pressing in with his thumb, craving the feel of her tongue around it. He makes a choked-off noise at the sight, heat rushing south between his legs, just from this; this is the power she has over him, this is the extent of his helplessness before her, today more than any other day, when the barrier of his jokes and advances and innuendos is down, when he can’t seem to be in control of a single thing, from saving a priest from a drug dealer to playing a bloody song about knocking on a door that will never open for him again.

The Detective takes his index and middle finger in her mouth and Lucifer wants it, wants her, wants those same fingers to be clenching in her hair as he kisses her neck, to be gripping the flesh of her ass to hoist her up against his Sumerian wall; he wants his hand to cup her breast as he takes her from behind on his silk sheets, he wants it on her, in her, he wants it all.

Chloe's pupils are blown wide when she pulls back, her soft lips shining, and a brief glance downwards is enough for her to know what she just did to him, what she reduced him to. Lucifer wants to kiss her so badly, but even now, he doesn’t feel like he’s allowed. Then Chloe swallows visibly and gracefully slides to kneel on the floor between him and the piano, and it makes him feel weak and guilty, so guilty for how shamelessly he wants this, how desperately he needs whatever she’ll be willing to give.

Detective” he croaks, his voice strangled, not even knowing what might come out after. Detective, please, don’t. Detective, please, don’t stop.

“Shh,” she cooes, reaching for his fly, “it’s okay.”

She opens and slides his trousers down his legs, then kisses him through his briefs, and it’s unfair that Lucifer didn’t even touch her so far. He didn’t want it to be like this, if there ever was going to be something between them. He doesn’t do romance but he’s certainly better than this, better than letting a woman like her fall to her knees to suck him off to relieve him of his pain. You could use a friend, she said, and in the end he is using her, the same way he does to get a thrill out of a life that was becoming dull and stale and predictable like Hell before he left it.

And still, when she pulls his briefs down as well he doesn’t say anything like the coward that he is, because Frank is dead, because Lucifer won’t get to tease him or play with him or question his naively optimistic beliefs ever again, because he lost him like he loses everything in his life; because he will lose her, too, to a bullet or a car accident or disease or just death when it will come naturally for her, as it’s bound to do eventually, if she’s lucky. Because if this is what he can have of her, this mercy she’s granting in a moment of shared weakness, he might as well take it.

Her mouth on him is gentle at first, as it was with his hand, slow, lingering kisses leaving a wet trail from the base to the tip before she takes him inside hesitantly, probably getting used to the feeling as much as he is. Lucifer’s fingers grip the edge of the bench on either side of her face, straining with the effort not to sneak their way through her hair to guide her head. Tears of grief and anger and shame pool behind his closed eyelids and he's frozen on the spot, his head thrown back, muscles quivering under her care, unable to even look down at her and acknowledge what he’s letting himself enjoy.

Then one of Chloe’s hands hastily grips his right one, the same she kissed, and guides it to the back of her head before she resumes her ministrations, her mouth sliding up and down without any hurry, without the rush to get him to the end as quickly as possible. Lucifer’s fingers hold on to her golden locks and he finally glances down at her, at her face between his legs and her hand hooked into the flesh of his inner thigh as the other holds him up gently, and the sight alone makes his grip tighten automatically, eliciting a low moan out of her that he definitely didn’t expect.

It’s such a small thing, yet it’s enough, a clear indication that she’s liking this and Lucifer only has so much restraint, his body feeling raw as if someone plunged a fist into the middle of his chest and cracked it open. He lets out a desperate moan that mingles with a sob and pushes Chloe’s head a bit further down, hitting the back of her throat before she pulls back slightly, her soft whimper only making him grow harder in her mouth. Her hand leaves his thigh to grip his hip and pull it toward her in silent permission, inviting him to thrust up into her, and he does with little stuttering movements that rock the bench forward from its place on the floor.

Your Father has a plan for you, he hears in his head, and maybe it’s true, maybe Frank was right: maybe it’s part of His plan for Lucifer to ruin this, too, to taint this with a memory Chloe will surely come to regret in time. It’s been thousands of years and he’s still being punished, mocked with the promise of true friendship before it was ripped from him, bleeding out under his shaking fingers and the fabric of his balled-up jacket. And he doesn’t have the strength to rebel, not right now, so he gives up, gives in to chase the heat of Chloe’s mouth and the tightness of her lips around him, growing wilder, harsher, rougher.

And she lets him. She doesn’t pull back, doesn’t chastise him, doesn’t ask him to slow down. She adjusts her position on her knees and stops moving to let him set the pace, just swallowing around him, this woman who deserves more than this, more than he can give her, which at the very least is the pleasure he’s taking from her instead; what would she say if she believed him when he tells her who he is? What will she say, when the truth will eventually come out, realizing he let her do this to him regardless?

The heat in his groin is building steadily and he feels so angry for it, so mad at himself for the fact that this will help, yes, but only for a moment, and still he's letting it happen.

Close” he manages to groan, unable to form an actual sentence, his grip on Chloe’s head releasing so she can pull away and finish with her hand if she wants, or let him do it with his own if she doesn’t. This, this basic show of decency, feels so embarrassingly inadequate, and yet Chloe doesn’t budge, whimpering in disapproval when his hand leaves her hair to hover uncertainly above it.

His breath catching and stuttering in his chest, Lucifer places it back down, and when he starts thrusting again he realizes there is only one of her hands guiding him forward: the other is between Chloe’s legs as she cups herself through her jeans, hips rocking up in tiny, broken movements, and that’s it, he’s done, he'll never be able to think about anything else in his life and hell if it won’t be a long one.

He comes with an undignified growl, feeling nothing but relief for a precious moment of absolute bliss, absolute pleasure, absolute hollowness inside. Chloe takes what he has to give, his grief and his fury, his anguish and his suffering, until he feels like he can breathe again, muscles relaxing, jaw unclenching, fingers gently guiding her head away to cup her cheek. She looks up at him with a smile he has no right to receive, her own jaw working silently to chase the soreness away, and Lucifer decides he can’t stand to see her on her knees one moment longer, can’t bear to stop here because now that he had this, it’s not enough.

It never will be, he knows now, and he has to seize the opportunity before she wakes up from whatever haze is possessing her and pushes him away, outraged at herself or him or both.

After frantically putting his underwear and trousers back on, not even bothering with the zipper, he picks her up by her arms, sits her on his piano keys and kisses her, both of his hands on her cheeks as he settles between her open legs and chases the taste of himself with his tongue against hers. He’s doing everything backwards, everything wrong, kissing her now instead of doing it at the beginning, but Chloe hooks her calves around the back of his legs to guide him closer and maybe, just maybe, it doesn’t really matter.

He can feel her hot and wet between her legs, under her clothes, and his mouth waters at the thought; all reasoning has flown out the window and he’s just left wanting, craving, desiring every inch of her, and if this is the end for them, if tomorrow she will not want to see him anymore, then let’s make it worth it, he thinks; let’s make it hurt less, when this other blow will eventually strike. He’ll take the grief and the loss and the agony for a taste of her sex, for the luxury of being the one to make her fall apart. Losing comes naturally to him: it’s the winning that he never gets to enjoy (because he rarely ever does, It’s a game nobody can win), and he'll be damned (well, he is) if he doesn’t now.

Lucifer reaches down between them to unbutton and unzip her trousers, his mouth trailing down her neck as Chloe throws her head back with a sigh, exposing it to him. Her shirt is loose around her collarbones and he licks them as he fumbles for a moment, before the garment gives way under his fingers. He starts pulling it down her legs from the hem, but she suddenly blocks him with a hand around his wrist.

“You- you don’t have to" she says, breathless and endearingly selfless, as if Lucifer hasn’t been fantasizing about touching her or tasting her since the very first moment he saw her, all work and no fun with her Detective notebook in hand. As if she isn’t the one he pictures between his sheets, sometimes, instead of Brittany #1 and #2 or whoever else walks up to the penthouse with him in the night to leave in the early morning or right after he fucks them.

But she’d stay instead, he knows, she’d stay and at the same time she never will, because she’s the kind of woman who would wake up early to make you coffee in the morning and deliver it to you in your shirt, and the King of Hell, although retired, has no use for the most conventional of human concepts, domesticity. No, not even with her. Right?

“I want to" he tells her, focusing on what he knows, what he understands, what he’s good at, and it’s such an understatement – I need to. “If- if that’s okay.”

She nods, and off go her boots and trousers and underwear, soft, practical cotton dampened by how much she wants him; the smell alone is intoxicating, once he stays on the floor and leans in between her legs. There was no need for all that, he should have just asked her to let him do this from the start. Chloe inches closer so that her weight isn’t fully resting on the keys, creating a cacophony of sounds, and plants her feet on the bench on either side of Lucifer’s crouching body. She opens up for him like a flower and he kisses the very center of her, of everything, breathing a sigh of contentment against her, all thoughts and memories of the day he has lived truly pushed aside, now.

Lucifer” she exhales, bolder than him in the way her fingers card through his hair with no hesitation, because she is bolder; how could he ever think she’d be shy when she’s so fierce in everything else?

And from the way she slumps forward, from the way she keeps him close, caressing his scalp as if to encourage him, Lucifer senses that maybe she needs this, too; she doesn’t need him, as much as he likes to tease her by telling her the opposite, but she does need a bit of care in a world that shows her nothing but ugliness and violence when she inspects one crime scene after the other, and nothing but spite or indifference from her own colleagues at work. Lucifer hates that she goes to sleep alone at night and he would gladly warm her bed if she let him, but she won’t, not even after this, he knows; so this will have to do, this will have to be good and he knows how to make it so – in this, he feels no shame. In a sea of failures, this is the one thing he can do right.

He draws it out for her sake and his own, torturing both of them with a slow, almost lazy ebb and flow, kissing her as he would her mouth more than properly eating her out. It doesn’t take long for him to be hard again just from the sounds Chloe makes, panting softly above him, her legs trembling in mounting ecstasy; but his need will remain forgotten, and he'll actually revel in the unsatisfied ache it will leave behind, the promise of an after that will never come.

When he properly gets to work, licking upward and then inside, she lets out a surprised, breathless “Oh” that he finds heartbreakingly endearing, as if she didn’t expect it, as if the sensation was entirely new to her, and it doesn’t sit right with him that it must have been a while since the last time someone cherished her this way; at the same time, he feels an unjustified spark of possessiveness at the thought that, maybe, no one ever made her feel the way he’s making her feel right now. She is not his, and it’s pointless to fool himself of the contrary, but in this very moment, oh, she is.

“Feels so good" she mumbles almost to herself when he sucks at the top, her hips undulating like timid waves along the shore. “Right- right there, Lucifer, just like that, yes.”

Where he had been silent and shocked into passivity, she is vocal instead, more than he might have expected; Lucifer doesn’t need instructions, of course, but he loves to hear her say how she feels and what she wants, his hands spreading her legs wider at the words. He’d sink to his knees whenever and wherever for her, for this, in her car during stake-outs, in her shower to soothe her limbs after a tiring day, in her kitchen in the morning, under her desk at the precinct, on the pavement of a filthy alley or in the middle of the fucking street as the whole world watches, even if this is all she’ll ever let him do without giving him anything in return.

At the end of the day, Linda is right: he has very few friends, if any at all, and Chloe is one of them, and hopefully this doesn’t have to necessarily change that. There is a certain beauty to this desperation, to a moment between two friends comforting each other like this, two souls overwhelmed by evil and just looking for a sliver of good. Mazikeen wouldn’t get it, she would just mock him for how soft he has become (Why do you care about a priest? – I don’t, but he did, he does). Chloe is human instead, and knows what it means to lose a human to the pull of a trigger.

She starts to throb and flutter under his lips and he slips two fingers in, his eyes rolling back into his head at the feeling of her clenching around them, at the way she eventually loses her last remnant of composure and coordination to fuck herself on his fingers and tongue, keeping him impossibly close, using him, claiming him – she has the Devil on his knees and she doesn’t even know it, this infuriatingly, gloriously stubborn force of nature that she is.

“I- I need-" she stutters, and for a moment Lucifer feels at a loss and hopes she’ll finish the sentence, thinking Anything, anything you want, anything to be the one to make you come even just this once.

Chloe reaches for the hand he’s not using and hastily guides it under her shirt and the thin fabric of her bra, pressing it there until he squeezes and pinches, one of those things you have to learn about every woman, finding out what it is that pushes each of them over the edge in the end. And to learn this, to be the keeper of this knowledge from now on, gives him more satisfaction than the one he might have gotten out of drawing words of desire from her mouth, because for this, he didn’t need any power: this is a gift she conceded willingly.

She curls like a bowstring before snapping, keeping his hand on her breast and his head between her legs, demanding pleasure out of him with the same authority she uses to put him in his place on the job, and he loves it, shamelessly admitting to himself that she’s the only one who gets to tell him what to do, although most of the time he doesn’t listen.

The Detective comes with a broken version of his name on her lips, which is almost enough to send him spiralling along with her, the word infused with a renewed power that doesn’t come from fear or hatred but from the pure glory of the act, from an unapologetic sense of pride in what he can do to her; the pride that made him unworthy of the angels but apparently worthy of this.

But the moment she relaxes, the moment she comes down, Chloe will leave and he will be alone again – a condition he should be used to by now – so he tries to make it last, tries to keep her going until she whines in discomfort and guides his wrist and his face away. So he wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, licks his wet lips to enjoy whatever is left, and settles for trailing kisses from her inner thigh to her knee and back up again, just to keep her distracted from the eventual task of getting up and dressed.

For a moment, Chloe watches him in quiet awe, flushed and panting and sinfully disheveled in a way that will haunt Lucifer’s dreams for many nights to come. Then, she tentatively smooths out his hair, with more hesitation than the one she displayed before kissing his skin for the first time. Lucifer lets his head lean against the inside of her knee, and waits for her sentence like a criminal on trial.

When Chloe’s breathing gets back to normal, she slowly slides her feet off the bench and on the floor. Lucifer scoots to the side and sits down again, zipping up his slacks in silence as she covers her lower body again without a word, without looking at him. He imagines she will go, now, and hollowness spreads in his chest again, crushed under the phantom weight of severed angel wings at the thought of where Frank is now – It’s so boring where you’re headed, he told the dying man, but if his old piano is still up there Lucifer is sure the priest is already making good use of it, much to the Silver City’s delight.

But instead of leaving, the Detective sits next to him once she’s fully dressed, as if ready to start the night over like a loop, as if they didn’t just get each other off with their mouths so that Lucifer, or maybe Chloe as well, could muffle the grief between the other person’s thighs, as wrong and inappropriate and blasphemous as it sounds (isn’t he the embodiment of all these things, and more?).

“I interrupted you" she comments with a cheeky smile, nodding at the keys in front of them. “Why don’t you keep playing that song for me?”

But Lucifer is done knocking on Heaven’s door, and what happened tonight is probably the closest to it opening he'll ever get, which is fine; he has no place among the clouds anymore, no home besides the one he made for himself down here among his Father’s favorite clueless pawns, unknowingly dancing to the pull of His strings until they break or fall off the stage – whether they’re sinners or saints, whether they deserve it or not.

“Do you play?” he asks her instead.

“Uhm, no" she replies shyly, but at his insistence, she ends up showing him the only melody she knows how to follow.

And so he plays along, their shoulders bumping in the process, his fingers now steady on the keys.