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100 ways to say i love you

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  1. “pull over.  let me drive for awhile.”

it’s about nine o’clock at night. they’re fresh out of snacks, lucifer’s tongue smacking as he sucks the last of the cool ranch puff powder off his fingers. chloe’s exhausted, her eyes peeled open in order to stay focused on the road.

up until about five minutes ago, she’d had a hand resting on lucifer’s thigh, his larger one resting over the top of hers and stroking absentminded patterns over her knuckles as she hummed along to the quiet radio providing them with soft background noise. then he’d pulled away to reach into the bag of crisps and she’d relocated her hand back to the steering wheel to keep them straight on the road, chuckling tiredly at his whine of protest.

they’re on a country road, the empty planes lit sporadically by warm yellow streetlights. they haven’t seen a car for hours, the last sign of human life being the old woman who had been manning the tiny little roadhouse they’d stopped at for a quick dinner about four hours ago. that’s where lucifer had stocked up on snacks – chloe doesn’t know how they’ve run out already, her boyfriend is like a devil-shaped vacuum cleaner. they’d struck up conversation with the woman, heard her life story and about her twelve grandkids. lucifer had charmed his way into a free hot meal, a talent that often made chloe jealous, but one that in that moment she’d been ever-grateful for. laughing about how he reminded her of her youngest son, the woman had sent them away with extra cool ranch puffs and mugs of warm coffee for each of them, and lucifer had pressed a kiss to her powdery cheek and gushed about how ‘utterly delightful’ she was as a host.

the coffee has long worn off now, and chloe sneaks a look to the map on her phone screen, lighting up the console with a cool whiteness that contrasts the dark of the car. to her dismay, their arrival time is still stuck stubbornly over two hours from now, promising an almost-midnight check-in at the motel they were due to stay at for the night. to make matters worse, they have another full day of driving ahead of them tomorrow, which means if they want to avoid driving so late again they’ll have to get up and going early in the morning –

the thought of less than six hours of sleep has chloe blowing a tired sigh through her lips, her hands adjusting on the wheel as she blinks heavily again. lucifer looks up at the sound, setting his bag of chips on the back seat of the car in defeat.

“everything okay, love?” he cocks his head, looking at her. he’s been staring at her a lot this trip, unabashedly gazing with his head resting against the headrest and a smirk on his lips. if it were anyone else, chloe would probably hate it – she still finds it annoying occasionally, handing lucifer her phone to play a game on as if he was her child rather than her boyfriend – but most of the time, he manages to make it endearing.

“good,” she says, stealing a glance off the road to smile at him. “i’m just tired, is all.”

lucifer frowns, his forehead wrinkling. “here, pull over. let me drive for a while.”

“oh, no, it’s okay.” she smiles at him again. “we’re not too far away anyway.”

“chloe,” he raises an eyebrow. “pull over. we’re still two hours from the motel. i can drive.”

she hums, staring back at the road. “are you sure? you’re tired too.”

“devil doesn’t get tired, darling,” he winks. then he reaches over, poking her. “let me drive.”

“really, lucifer,” she says, flinching out of his reach. “it’s okay.”

“let me driiiiive,” he whines, poking her again, and again, and again. “pleeeeeease.”

“stop – poking me, lucifer – stop!” she laughs, pulling away. “fine. you can drive.”

he whoops in celebration, drawing another giggle from her as she pulls the car into a rest stop. they trade places, lucifer stealing a quick kiss as he opens her door, and chloe sighs as she settles into the warm passenger seat. lucifer gets them moving again quick enough, switching the radio station to something more to his taste as his hand finds a home on her knee.

chloe’s eyes drop closed, her head falling back against the headrest with a content sigh. “thank you, babe.”

lucifer hums, turning his head to smile at her. “get some rest. you can take first shift tomorrow.”

she nods, grabbing his hand off her knee to grasp in between her own. “wake me up when we arrive?”

“the plan was actually to carry you to the room bridal style,” he says, completely seriously, before his lip curls into a betraying smile. “i’ll wake you.”

“thank you,” she murmurs, sighing as his thumb begins to stroke the inside of her palm. within minutes, she drifts off, letting the smooth rumble of the car beneath her and lucifer’s soft singing lull her to sleep.

Chapter Text

2. “It reminded me of you.”

lucifer comes home with a cat.

trixie is thrilled.

chloe? not so much.

leaving trixie with the tiny bundle of tan fur, she pulls lucifer not-so-calmly into the kitchen by the cuff of his shirt, raising an eyebrow as she hisses at him. “what on earth is that?”

“a kitten, detective,” he says, eyes wide as he looks to the grip she has on his suit jacket. “i know you’re getting to your… more senior years… but surely you know animal breeds? a kitten is a baby cat.”

“i know what type of animal it is, lucifer,” she says, exasperated. “why is it in my house?”

he grins sheepishly, looking up at her with a tiny grin on his face. “we found it in the alley behind lux. its mum is missing, patrick was going to send it to the pound. that’s cruel.”

not for the first time, chloe curses her boyfriend’s heart of gold. “so why did you bring it here?”

“the penthouse isn’t a place for a baby! look at her, she’d be crushed instantly just by the weight of my decisions!” he’s astounded. “besides…”

he grins wider at her, a tiny blush spreading up his cheeks. she’s not amused. “besides?”

he gives her an innocent shrug. “it reminded me of you.”

chloe’s eyes widen. “how did that thing remind you of me?”

“oh, you should meet her, detective,” lucifer beams, rocking on the balls of his feet in excitement. “she’s so clever. so very no-nonsense. if she wasn’t a cat, i’d be quite sure she was your twin.”

chloe blinks at him. beneath the obvious weirdness of his connection of the cat to her, she supposes it’s a sweet sentiment. “okay…”

“come on,” he giggles – giggles! – and drags her back into the living room, where trixie’s entertaining the cat by pulling a ribbon from her hair along the ground. the kitten pounces after it, diving into a tumbled roll as she misses the colourful strand of fabric. the child looks up at them when they re-enter, her eyes bright. “look what i’ve taught her!”

she holds her hand up, the ribbon curling around her wrist. “sit, kitty.”

the cat sits expectantly, looking up at trixie with its eyes wide, ears twitching as trixie waggles the ribbon before streaming it across the floor. the cat darts behind it, pouncing, and looks proudly up at trixie as it grabs the ribbon between its claws.

“good girl,” trixie coos, scratching behind the kitten’s ears at it purrs. “you’re so clever.”

“see, detective?” lucifer grins. “quick learner, smart on the run, proud of her achievements. she’s you!”

chloe rolls her eyes. the cat has flopped onto it’s back, clawing playfully at the ribbon that trixie dangles teasingly above her, steady purrs spilling from its tiny mouth. trixie looks up, puppy dog eyes at the ready. “can we keep her, mom?”

chloe purses her lips. “babe…”

on one hand, they really don’t need a cat. but on the other, trixie’s old enough now that she doesn’t need a babysitter, coming home from school most days to spend a few hours alone before her mom and lucifer finish up at the precinct. she promises she doesn’t mind her parents’ late hours, but chloe just wonders…

“we’ll make a decision in the morning,” she decides. “we can keep her for tonight.”

great,” trixie grins, tickling the kitten again. “i’m gonna name you bean, because you are the tiniest, softest little bean i’ve ever seen in my life. isn’t that right, baby! isn’t that right!”

the cat preens, rubbing its head along trixie’s palm with a satisfied purr. next to chloe, lucifer nuzzles his neck into her shoulder in a similar fashion. “see?” he murmurs. “i knew you’d love it. she’s a little replica of you.”

“says the man who’s butting his head into my neck,” chloe remarks, huffing a laugh. “i didn’t say we could keep her. no promises.”

“you never say no to lucifer,” trixie pipes up. she turns back to the cat. “that means you’re ours, now, bean. welcome home.”

lucifer settles on the couch, pulling chloe with him. together, they watch trixie play with the cat, her laughs lighting up the room. “we can keep her, right, detective?” he asks softly, threading his fingers through her hair. “she was just… left. all alone on the streets. and she deserves to know what a loving family feels like.”

and that statement - coupled with the way the cat curls up in her lap later that evening as they watch their weekly movie - all but convinces chloe. and she realises that although lucifer might see her in the little creature, bean is a lot more like him than he expects.

and when has she ever been able to say no to him?

Chapter Text

3. "No, no, it’s my treat.”

her newly appointed devil consultant walks into the precinct the next morning with two styrofoam cups, steam curling from the lids and mingling with his stubble. he hands one to her with a charming grin, lounging on the corner of the desk as he pulls a flask from his inner pocket and tips it’s contents into his own cup, offering it to her after he’s done.

“this is work, lucifer,” she tells him, shaking his hand away.

she’d tried calling him mr morningstar for the first few days, but he’d shut that down immediately the second he remarked that it made them sound like ‘an utterly invigorating pornography couplet. the detective and mr morningstar.’

and thus, they’d become chloe and lucifer, detective and devil.

“no drinking on the job.”

he shrugs, muttering something that sounds like each to their own, i guess, and then looks at her. “i suppose whiskey wouldn’t particularly go with the absurd flavours that that cup contains, either.”

chloe raises an eyebrow, taking a cautious sip of her drink.

he’s gotten her order perfect.

“tall non-fat almond milk latte, sugar free caramel drizzle, isn’t it?” he smirks at her as though he knows exactly that it is, and chloe squints back at him. she wonders, for a second, how on earth he knows that already, and then lets her shoulders drop with a sigh.

“thanks. how much do i owe you?”

“no, no,” his eyes widen, shocked. “it’s my treat. you have a child to care for, we can’t let those stingy lapd wages go to waste.”

she snorts, taking another gulp of the coffee. “thank you.”

when she looks back up, he’s got his head cocked, looking at her like she’s the most confusing person he’s ever had the experience of meeting. “why do you work here?” he asks, furrowing his brow. “that douchey ex-husband of yours is wearing adidas, so clearly the salary isn’t up to standard. and dad knows the workspace isn’t nice.” he swipes a finger along her desk, bringing it up to his eye to closely examine non-existent dust. “so why?”

chloe shrugs. “i like helping people, i guess. the job’s not easy, and god knows it’s draining sometimes, but it’s nice to know you’re making a difference in the world.”

judging by the look on lucifer’s face, he’s not sure what to make of this. chloe’s the most interesting – and confusing – person he’s ever met, and he cannot wrap his head around why such a brilliantly smart person would remain in such a dull, low-wage job. “but – surely there’s other ways to help. i know how to help people, and it’s not –”

she cuts off his suggestive smirk with a smack to his arm, and shakes her head with a laugh. “it’s not about that. it’s about the look on people’s faces when you give them closure about a family member. it’s about the thrill of putting together the pieces until you solve the case, knowing you’ve taken another horrible person off the streets. it’s about the people you can save.

lucifer hums, his lips pursed around the coffee cup as it stills halfway to his mouth. chloe thinks she might have broken him.

“i go home most days knowing i’ve made the world a better and safer place for my daughter,” chloe shrugs. “that’s worth more to me than any salary.”

lucifer’s face scrunches slightly, not used to sentimentality. “i suppose so,” he says, in a tone that makes chloe think he doesn’t suppose anything. “although,” his eyes glint, following a younger detective’s slim form into the lunchroom with a hungry gaze. “i can see why you’d want to work here… for other reasons.”

“gross, lucifer,” chloe says, grabbing up a file and heading towards the elevator. “that’s so gross.”

“you’re a hypocrite, detective,” he calls, trailing behind her like a tiny puppy. “you procreated with one of these douches.”

chloe’s mouth drops open, stepping backwards into the elevator. “there’s a line, lucifer. don’t cross it.”

“oh, darling,” he smirks, reaching around her to press the button on the side of the elevator as the doors slide closed. his chest rests across hers, and he lingers just long enough to whisper the next words into her ear. “i was made to cross lines.”

Chapter Text

4. “Come here.  Let me fix it.”

they’re late.

they’re so late.

it’s the first time in years chloe’s been to one of these precinct galas – probably the first time since she had trixie. she’s been coming up with excuses like it’s the end of the world for eight years, rambling about toddler illnesses or school plays or god knows what else, anything that will get her out of the night quickly and without question.

but this year – ugh, this year.

someone had told lucifer it was on, which had basically doomed her from the start. her erratic devil of a boyfriend wouldn’t miss a night out for the world, and he’d come home with one of the scrappy printed invites with a skip in his step and a grin on his lips.

and as if that wasn’t enough, maze had joined lucifer’s begging, teasing that chloe was ‘becoming an old lady’ and ‘needed to get out of her granny panties for the night’.

she’d begrudgingly agreed to go, mainly just to shut them both up, and also because she’s not the lieutenant and it’s probably expected of her, but now –

now, she was regretting it. the one year she actually turns up to this thing and it had to be the year she’s eight months pregnant and very, very hormonal –

she lets out a frustrated cry as she pulls the curler away from her hair, watching the strand she’s been holding for the last thirty seconds fall back against her face with a limp thud.

they’ve got twenty minutes until they’re meant to be there – mind you, the drive itself is twenty minutes on a good day – and chloe hasn’t finished her makeup, hasn’t got dinner out for trixie, she needs to pee again, and her stupid hair won’t stay in place.

a sound from the other side of the room makes her turn towards it, her stomach brushing the sink. lucifer’s standing against the doorframe, looking as if he’s just stepped out of a modelling studio. he’s wearing a classic black tux, a purple bowtie that perfectly matches the colour of her dress sitting neatly under his chin. his hair is coiffed immaculately on top of his head, and he gives her an amused smirk as she bangs the curler against the bathroom counter.

“everything okay, love?”

she pouts at him childishly. “stupid curler won’t work.”

lucifer makes his way over, wrapping an arm around her waist from behind, hand resting on her swollen belly. he reaches over, and delicately shifts the strand of hair from her face to press a kiss to her cheek. “let me see.”

she shakes her head, bringing it dejectedly back up to her face and wrapping yet another strand around the hot iron. lucifer watches her hold it in place, pulling it away once it’s steaming and clenching her fist when the hair stubbornly refuses to curl.

“it’s not fucking staying,” chloe hisses, teeth clenched. “and we’re so late, and –”

“chloe,” lucifer says gently, reaching for the curler. “give it here –”

no,” she says, throwing it harshly onto the bench as she stalks out of the room towards their vanity, angrily grabbing at her bullet necklace as she tries and fails to fasten it around her neck. it falls to the floor with a tiny crinkle, and chloe blinks back furious tears as she leans over her stomach to the floor, huffing as her fingers wrap around the cool metal.

“chloe,” lucifer calls again. “come here. let me fix it.”

she looks up at him, tears brimming in her eyes. she’s so sick of being pregnant, so sick of having these insane reactions to minor issues in her life, so sick of feeling bloated and fat and swollen. he walks over, fastens the clasp carefully around her neck, and pulls her close, her round belly brushing his waistcoat as he rests his forehead on hers. “if this is too much,” he says gently. “we don’t have to go. there’s ice cream in the freezer and bones reruns recorded on the telly. we can have a quiet night in.”

she takes a deep breath, closing her eyes against his chest. “i want to go.”

“are you sure?”

she considers it, and nods. “yeah. it’ll be the last i can go to for a while, with a baby.” the last she can go to with him. “we may as well make the most of it.”

with a sad sigh that makes her think he knows exactly what part of that sentence she didn’t say aloud, he nods against her, pressing a careful kiss to her forehead. “okay. let me come do your hair, mm?”

she nods, letting him pull her back into the bathroom. after one more failed attempt at the curled, she settles for allowing him to pull the front of her hair back into a careful braid, the remaining wisps framing her tired face in little blond strands.

he turns her to face him, swipes clear lip gloss along her lips, and then smiles, proud of his work. “you look utterly ravishing.”

“eight months pregnant and on the verge of tears,” she laughs sadly. “i don’t think ravishing is the word.”

lucifer acts as if this is a personal attack. “excuse you, love,” he frowns. “ravishing is exactly the word. although, if you don’t like it,” he grins, “i have more. beautiful, breathtaking, extraordinary –”

okay,” she says, shaking her head with a laugh as she lets him press a smiling kiss to her forehead. “we’re gonna be late. come on.”

Chapter Text

5. “I’ll walk you home.”

the rest of the tribe has left. ella had offered to call her a cab about half an hour ago, but chloe, still nursing half an old fashioned, had waved her off with a dopey smile and watched as she and linda disappeared out the door.

maze had gone off somewhere an hour ago, seemingly giving up on coaxing chloe out onto the dancefloor. she’d tried her hardest, even pulling out puppy dog eyes that could rival trixie’s, but chloe had absolutely no interest in grinding up against some sweaty stranger, thank you very much.

not for the first time, her eyes are pulled to the club’s owner. lucifer is dressed in a smart navy tux, a grey pocket square falling haphazardly from his breast as a lone woman reaches for it. he brushes her off with a blank smile and gentle hands, his eyes searching until they land on what he’s looking for.

her.

caught staring, she blushes, looking back down into the final dregs of her drink before she downs it in one. she’s not drunk, but she’s definitely on the wrong side of tipsy. she always ends up like this, warm and flushed and just a little too confident when it comes to the man who owns the club they get their free drinks from.

“do you stare creepily at every man who buys you a drink, or am i lucky?” lucifer smirks, bumping her over in the booth with his hip as he slides in next to her and steals the remainder of maze’s abandoned vodka.

chloe blushes, a smile tugging at her lips. “only when they look that good playin’ piano.”

lucifer’s eyebrow shoots into his hairline, clearly surprised that she’s reciprocating his flirtatious advances. he shouldn’t be, he knows as well as anyone how handsy chloe gets when she’s drunk, but he certainly didn’t expect their on-and-off, casual flirting to become so… obvious.

they’ve been dancing around this for months now – a casual touch here, a warm smile there. this territory they’re in – floating hopelessly between friends, partners, and something more – it’s new, for lucifer, and he’s not entirely sure how to navigate it, so he’s left most of the advances to chloe, hardly daring to extend beyond his usual quips and innuendoes.

chloe giggles next to him, sliding forward to rest her chin in her hands as she looks up at him, bright eyed. “did i render the great luc’fer mornin’star ssspeechless?”

“not at all,” he recovers quickly, sliding his trademark smirk back into place. “we’re rather intoxicated tonight, hmm, detective?”

chloe’s face scrunches into a frown. it looks like it takes her quite a lot of effort. “’m not drunk.”

“okay,” lucifer says, amused. chloe slumps forward even further, her cheek resting on her folded forearms now as she hiccups with a sigh. lucifer gives her a tiny smile. “we should get you home, i think.”

chloe’s eyes narrow. “don’ wanna go home.”

lucifer snorts. “i’ll call you a cab.”

with an abrupt sort of huff that makes her sound like a drunken elephant, his detective furrows her brows at him. “tha’s not v’ry gentlemanly of you, dev’l man.”

lucifer laughs in surprise, looking at her with his head cocked. “what do you want me to do, detective? invite you upstairs?”

chloe shakes her head, eyes lighting up again. “walk me home. like an old-fashioned date.”

lucifer’s eyes widen. “walk you – what? i’m not walking you home, detective. it’s almost two am. surely you, of all people, know the dangers of walking home at night.”

chloe pouts, eyes filling with tears. (so what if she’s an emotional drunk?) “but –”

lucifer, ever scared off by any show of human emotion, backtracks immediately. “fine! fine! i’ll walk you home!”

chloe giggles, tears forgotten. lucifer wonders how mad she’d get if he told her she was currently reminding him of her eight-year-old spawn. looking at her face, set into a sunny grin, he decides against it. he never wants to see her face fall.

she bumps against him suddenly, urging him out of the booth. he’s smart enough to agree with her, to stop the waterworks, but he’s certainly not letting either of them walk out into the cool la air at almost two in the morning.

“i’ll walk you home,” he corrects. “in the morning. you’re welcome in the penthouse, but there’s plenty of other floors with empty rooms if you can’t bring yourself to stay in a space i’ve occupied.”

this takes a while to compute in chloe’s head, and when she thinks she’s figured it out, she holds her hands out for lucifer to take. “penthouse.”

lucifer gives a tiny laugh, pulling her up with him and leading them to the elevator, mentioning to his resident bartender that he’s out for the night. he steps them both into the elevator, balking slightly when chloe pushes her body into his, crowding his space as she wraps her arms around his waist.

still frozen, he frowns when her voice emerges, muffled slightly by his chest. “hug me back.”

it’s a demand that leaves no room for argument, and lucifer winds his arms back around her with a rumbling laugh. chloe nestles happily against him, letting out a content sigh as his hand finds it’s way into her hair.

by the time they reach the penthouse, she’s asleep.

Chapter Text

6. “Have a good day at work.”

he’d woken up to the text. at first, in his slightly hungover, sleep riddled brain, he’d thought – hoped – that it had been a text he’d received.

but then, as the sunlight seeped through the windows and into his skin, so had the realisation that that little blue bubble on his tiny phone screen was something that he – lucifer morningstar – had sent.

have a good day at work

what was he thinking? it had been less than twelve hours since chloe had stormed from his penthouse, spewing rubbish about not knowing if she could accept him.

(and who is he kidding? if she can’t, then who can? if chloe thinks he’s a monster, well, then… clearly, he is).

after she’d left, he’d debated calling linda (in retrospect, probably would have been a better decision) but had declared that idea inferior in the face of getting absolutely shitfaced and dancing topless downstairs until the early hours of the morning.

that, too, had backfired. he’d managed a single, half-hearted rendition of creep before he’d excused himself and retired for the night, claiming tiredness despite it being before ten. with boos and dejected shouts following him, he’d retreated back upstairs, drowned himself in liquor, and passed out.

and, clearly, texted chloe.

fuck.

how was she meant to have a good day? he’d upturned her life, practically ruined everything she’d ever known to be true. she probably hadn’t slept for months, haunted by nightmares of his stupid red face. she’s probably currently deciding how best to get him out of her life forever. how she’s meant to move on after the realisation of all things celestial, he doesn’t know.

with a groan and a splutter, he makes his way blindly to the bar behind his kitchen, throwing his traitor of a phone to the floor with a hiss. for good measure, he steps on it too, wondering if perhaps the silly humans had invented a clause in which messages would remain unread if their sender was in pieces on the floor.

he chugs the half bottle of whiskey he finds leftover on the piano, his head aching with every step. he doesn’t often get drunk, let alone hungover, so last night must really have been something.

not enough, his brain supplies helpfully. nothing would be enough to keep chloe safe from you.

“shut up, brain,” he mutters, huffing as he swallows the remainder of the whiskey with a gulp and collapses onto the couch. with a pained groan, his eyes slide shut again, and he falls into a restless sleep.

0o0o0

the first thing lucifer notices when he wakes up is that he feels considerably worse than before. the second thing is that chloe’s standing over him, her nose wrinkled and a disappointed frown on her face.

“glad to see you’re not cryin’ tonight, d’tective,” he murmurs, groaning. “’n upgrade.”

“shut up, lucifer,” she says, bending down closer. “how much have you had to drink?”

“lotssss,” he grins, blinking at her. she shines a light in his eyes, and he flinches away with a yelp. “wha’s th’t forrrr?”

“lucifer, this looks like alcohol poisoning. we need to get you to a hospital.” her voice is strung high with – dare he say – worry?

“’s not alcohol pois’nin’,” he sighs, hiccupping. “besides, jus’ need you t’ get out of here ‘n i’ll be… peachy… rem’mb’r? ‘coz y’ make me vul’n’r’ble…”

his head slumps, and chloe catches his cheek in her palm, eyes widening. her touch seems to shock lucifer, who scuttles backwards. “what’re you even doin’ here? thought you w’re scared.” he spits this last word, and she flushes.

“i came to see if you were alright,” she whispers, looking down. “i’ve been texting you all day. the hell was with the message this morning?”

he wracks his brain, searching for what she means. oh. “wanted you t’ have a good day at work,” he mutters. “’sn’t that what people say?”

chloe blinks at him. “well – yes, i suppose so. but – oh, for god’s sake, let me look at you.”

“don’ talk abou’ my father,” lucifer mumbles, and then her hand’s on his cheek again, and he leans into the touch reverently. “why’re y’ helpin’ me?”

chloe rolls her eyes, sighing. “i still care about you, lucifer. i just – i need some time to wrap my head around what i’ve seen.” she figures he won’t remember most of this in the morning. “besides, it’s really hard to see you as the devil when you look like you’re a split second away from throwing up.”

his face scrunches up. “’m not gonna throw up.”

“sure,” she raises an eyebrow. “when it happens, do not do it on me, or i swear to all things holy i actually will never talk to you again.”

lucifer blinks at her. “’s funny,” he says, swallowing. “y’re actin’ like finding out i’m –” he reaches clumsy hands up to make air quotes, “– the actual devil – has… m-messed up your whole world… when i b’n tellin’ you from the start.”

she sighs. “well –”

“i g’t it,” he shrugs, slumping further onto the couch. “but what y’ gotta understan’, d’t’ctive,” he looks up at her through hooded eyes, blinking sleepily against the palm that still rests against his cheek. “y’ broke my whole world, too. i was finally happy. finally had a home.”

he takes a shuddering breath, pulling away from her finally to curl his arms around his knees. “b’t then i ruined it. b’cause ’m a mons’er.

chloe’s eyes fill with tears, and she sinks onto the couch next to him, reaching out to brush a curl behind his ear. “you’re not a monster, lucifer,” she whispers, surprised to find she actually believes it. “you’re not.”

he chuckles humourlessly. “you think i am.”

“no, i don’t,” she whispers. “but i’m not telling you why now. you’re drunk out of your mind and probably about to pass out. come here.”

she shifts him, with minimal resistance, until his head is laid in her lap. he looks up at her, eyes glassy, curls a sweaty mess against his head. she gives him a tiny, sad smile, and doesn’t complain when he tangles their hands together.

“y’know,” he murmurs, eyes already closed. “when y’ walk’d out las’ night, i didn’ think i’d ever see you ag’n. ’n tha’ made m’ really sad.”

“lucifer…”

“’s fine,” he says, shrugging slightly in her lap. “y’re here now, right?”

she nods. “i am.”

he hums, happy with this. “ch’oe?”

the use of her first name, however slurred, makes her breath hitch. “hmm?”

“did you act’lly have a good day at work?”

she laughs sadly. “no.”

his eyes flutter open, a frown creasing his forehead. “why not?”

chloe shakes her head. “turns out i actually quite like working with the devil,” she murmurs, smoothing his hair over his head. “i hope you’ll come back when you feel better.”

he gazes up at her, blinking as if he can’t quite believe his eyes. with a tiny shake of his head, his eyes narrowing, he shrugs. “okay.” and then, as an afterthought – “am i dreaming?”

“not dreaming, lucifer,” she whispers, squeezing his hand. “i want you to come back.”

“wanna come back, too,” he murmurs sleepily. “don’t wanna scare you.”

“i’m not scared,” chloe breathes back. “not of you.”

Chapter Text

7. “I dreamt about you last night.”

lucifer’s been quiet all day.

if it was anyone else, chloe would probably brush it off as a late night or frustration with the case (which, by the way, they’ve been working on for weeks without so much as a hint of a new lead). she’d ignore the reserved way he goes about business, the lack of puns and innuendoes that fall from his lips. she’d claim exhaustion and maybe give him the night off, let him go early to catch up on sleep.

but this is lucifer, and in the three years they’ve been working together, she’s never once seen him so silent.

at first she’d thought it was an extended reaction to the bomb scare the other day, when he’d tried to make up for having favourites by paying excessive attention to everyone but her, but then ella had tried to give him a hug and he’d flinched like there was no tomorrow, cowering behind her as he sidestepped her arms.

he’s been touching her all day, too. not explicitly, not hugs or hand holding or any other stupid manoeuvre he sometimes pulls to get her close and hot and bothered. today it’s been more casual, and maybe she wouldn’t have noticed it – the brush of his hand here, an arm around her back there – if he hadn’t blatantly avoided her touching him back.

it’s only after he practically grabs her hand when a car brushes a tad too close to their cruiser on the way back to the crime scene for the umpteenth time that she snaps, pulling the car into the bay of a quiet little side road and turning to him with a raised eyebrow. “out with it.”

he flinches, snatching his hand from her arm as if she’s burned it and looking into his lap, cheeks flushing. chloe remains silent, tapping her fingers impatiently over the steering wheel as she looks at lucifer.

her fingers, however, fall flat as she takes him in. his eyes are rimmed with red, bags sagging beneath them. his leg is bouncing, hand twitching anxiously as he refuses to meet her eyes.

chloe lets her hand fall to his shoulder, and he jerks beneath her, eyes wide as they finally meet hers. “what?”

“don’t ‘what’ me,” chloe says, adapting a tone she used to use on trixie. “what’s the matter with you?”

he glares at her. “nothing, not that it’s any of your business.”

“fine,” she spits, dropping her hand. she hates this, hates the way their perfect partnership has been tainted by the intrusion of the new lieutenant, hates the way the ease of bickering has turned to sharp comments in biting tones. “don’t let it affect the case, then. whatever it is.” with a steadying breath, she clicks the car back on, and lets it sit idle for a second before turning to him. “lucifer.”

he grunts, refusing to look at her. she rolls her eyes. man child. “i’m here if you need to talk, okay?”

“you’ve said so,” he mutters, staring determinedly out the window. chloe scoffs. fine. be like that.

she pulls back out onto the main road, signalling left towards their destination. lucifer remains silent next to her, and she turns the radio on to fill the awkward quietness, not used to not having him chattering to fill the car with his observations.

they arrive within the hour, and chloe’s hand goes to the gun at her hip as they re-enter the room they’ve spent so much time in over the past few months. it should be an open and shut case – a murder of a single mother, presumably done by the father. but there’s one piece missing – the child of the parents is no where to be found, and she’d hesitated to shut the case until he was located.

there’s a bang from inside, the thud of something hitting the floor. the house is located on a cliff, so the chances are it was the wind knocking something against the wall, but she clicks her gun to attention even so. beside her, lucifer’s gone deathly pale, his eyes wide. chloe’s brow furrows, and she reaches back to coax him alongside her as she sneaks inside.

the bang comes again, and chloe watches as the curtain adorning the large window facing the sea rocks noisily against the sill. she lets out a relieved laugh, fastening it back against the hook it had presumably been blown from, her hand coming off her gun to survey their surroundings.

the room is basically engrained in her mind by now, her eyes skimming the details with distaste. she looks up, ready to ask lucifer what he thinks about a particular handprint on the oiled table, but he’s standing stock still in the middle of the room, staring at her.

chloe’s eyes narrow, and she makes her way over, reaching out hesitantly to place her hand on his wrist. “are you okay?”

he looks at her after a second, as if he’s lost completely in his own world. “i don’t think so, no.”

alarm bells ringing in her head, she leads him over to a plastic covered couch, settling them both down with a crinkle. “i need you to talk to me.”

she expects him to brush her off again, or at the very least, give her some half assed answer that’s not a lie, per say, but definitely not the truth. 

what she doesn’t expect, however, is for him to bite his lip, look away, and whisper “i dreamt about you last night.”

her confusion must show on her face, because he moves her hand from his wrist with a tired scoff. “it’s preposterous. don’t worry.”

“it’s not,” she says carefully, blinking. “what did you dream?”

almost imperceptibly, his body stiffens. “nothing. it’s okay.”

“lucifer,” she sighs, sick of his rubbish. “it’s not nothing. you’ve been weird all day. what’s going on?”

“have not been weird,” he shoots her a glare, but it falls flat. he looks as if he wants to reach for her – to curl her up against him and never let go.

she wants that, too.

she settles for placing her hand back on his knee, looking at him expectantly. he meets her eyes for a second, flicks them away self-consciously, and sighs. “your job is very dangerous, detective,” he mutters. “you were right. i didn’t realise how easily i could lose you.”

she softens in understanding. “you dreamt i died?”

he flinches again, but she keeps her hand strong on his knee. he inhales once, sharply, and looks at her again. “it was on this case. we found the kid – saved him, really – but right as you were about to hand him over to protective services, the father showed up again and shot you –dead…” his voice breaks, hands fiddling anxiously together. “i couldn’t get help in time. i had to –had to – i can’t lose you, chloe.”

chloe takes his hands in her own, bringing on to rest carefully over her heart, where he can feel her heart beating strong and steady under his palm. “it’s scary,” she murmurs, eyes remaining stubbornly on his even as he tries to look away. “it’s a dangerous job, you’re right. you and i could lose each other any day, and –”

“’m immortal,” he mumbles, and she ignores him.

“– and that’s scary. but that just means we have to make the most of the time we have. tomorrow isn’t promised, lucifer.”

he meets her eyes, finally, his own shining with tears. “i’m not sure we’ve really been making the most out of the time we have lately, detective.”

she gives him a sad smile. “no, we haven’t. and i hate it. can we agree to change that?”

he nods, small and soft, giving her a lopsided grin even as she lets his hand fall from her heart. “i’d like that.”

“me too, lucifer,” she whispers. “me too.”

 

Chapter Text

8. “Take my seat.”

chloe is four months pregnant, and lucifer is acting like it’s the end of the world.

if she’d thought he was protective before – well. she’s got another thought coming.

she’s hardly even showing yet, only the slightest hardening around her lower belly providing any indication that she’s carrying their daughter. other than some stubborn morning sickness and the overall fatigue that comes with carrying a new person, she’s doing well.

they’d decided lucifer could stay with her on earth until the birth, to help around the house and sort his affairs before he left for hell once and for all. and if that decision had been made by an overly hormonal, very emotionally unstable early-in-her-pregnancy chloe, who couldn’t bare the thought of having to rub her own feet at the end of the day… well, so be it.

so they’ve been existing, day in and day out, for three months or so. since the day rory left them on the beach, lucifer’s been treating each day as if it’s their last. buying extravagant gifts for both her and their unborn daughter, cooking her fancy dinners on the nights she can stomach them, doing fix-it jobs around her apartment like the d-i-y devil he is, all the while trying to convince her to move into the much larger penthouse he was going to leave to them.

chloe, conscious that the penthouse – spacious and modern as it is – sits atop a nightclub, has shut that particular thought down many times. she loves the penthouse – has made many, many cherished memories there, but she can’t wrap her mind around the idea of being there without him.

besides, she’d told him. my place is more suitable to raise a family. imagine losing a toddler only to find they’ve gotten into the elevator and are being passed around a group of drunken dancers?

he’d agreed eventually, a roll of her eyes following his pouted “i guess you’re right.”

so she’d won that battle.

but it’s lucifer, so there are more to win.

so many more.

today, it’s about her desk. she’s just been promoted to lieutenant, and lucifer is currently arguing with the police commissioner of los angeles that chloe needs her own office immediately. she’s pouring herself a decaf coffee, chattering with ella, when her ear catches his voice as it carries across the bullpen.

“she’s pregnant,” lucifer’s saying, his eyes wild as he and the commissioner walk down the stairs. “it’s utterly inhumane to make a pregnant woman work out here amongst the peasants you call detectives.”

“may i remind you, mr morningstar, that your partner was a detective until this morning?” the commissioner’s voice is clipped, appearance calm on the outside but her eyes betraying a hint of annoyance underneath.

lucifer must pick up on this, because he switches tactics, his voice bleeding into something as smooth and sweet as honey as he tries to charm the older woman into getting what he wants. “i understand that, commissioner,” he says cleanly. “she was one of the very best, and i assume that’s why you made the – utterly correct – decision to promote her. i am simply suggesting that as she’s with child at the moment, she would benefit from her own office.”

“i agree,” the commissioner says, and chloe watches with a grin as lucifer’s face lights up, only to fall again as she continues. “however, there’s maintenance going on at the moment and we simply cannot afford to award ms decker with her own office until the workers are finished. when she returns from maternity leave, rest assured that she will have her very own space in which to work.”

lucifer looks like he’s about to explode. chloe winks at ella. “my cue to interfere, i think,” she grins, and ella nods back.

“hey, babe,” chloe says smoothly, watching the angry frown adorning her boyfriend’s face slide off at her words. “wanna come sit with me? i think the presentation is about to start.”

“chloe –” he says, wide eyes back at the commissioner. “this woman –”

“okay,” chloe says quickly, shooting an apologetic smile at her boss. “let’s go get settled, hmm? i want a seat near the front.”  

it’s her induction ceremony – she has no doubt there’ll be marked seats for both of them front and centre. but the calm composure of the commissioner is fading with every second, and chloe’s certain there’s only so much her boyfriend can say until the annoyance wins over.

lucifer follows her with a grumble, just as she knew he would, leading him into the large conference room where the presentations are being held.

his hissed ‘bloody hell!’ is the first tip off. the second is the dot on the floor with her name on it, placed slightly next to the makeshift stage. chloe huffs a laugh, places a calming hand on his arm, and takes her place.

lucifer’s having none of it. “excuse me!” he cries, pushing through the groups of people mingling as they wait for the induction to start. chloe watches him until she can’t anymore, practically giving up, her eyes widening as he returns.

he’s got a smug smile on his face as he holds out the chair. “here,” he beams. “take my seat.”

the commissioner’s behind them again. “mr morningstar, lieutenant decker is required to stand for her induction. we –”

“she’s bloody pregnant!” lucifer cries, slamming the chair on the floor. “she’ll sit!”

“babe!” chloe’s beside him immediately, both her hands on his shoulders. “lucifer. it’s okay.”

lucifer huffs, glaring at the commissioner until she leaves them with a wink at chloe. chloe keeps her hand tangles in lucifer’s, rubbing her thumb along his palm. “you’d think you were the pregnant one,” she murmurs with a quiet laugh, and he smiles abashedly at her.

“sorry,” he says. “i just – i want to make sure you’re comfortable, when i – when i have to…”

she cuts him off with a quick kiss, smiling against his lips before the call comes for everyone to take their places. “i know, baby,” she breathes. “and you will. thank you.”

he gives her a tiny smile in return, and chloe thinks that maybe - that tiny quirk of his lips, matched with the sparkle in his eyes – is all she needs to feel comfortable.

Chapter Text

9. “I saved a piece for you.”

she goes to the penthouse as soon as rory falls asleep, burnt out from the sugar high and cuddling her brand new plush snake. trixie promises chloe that she’s got it, she can do the party clean up, chloe’s free to go, say hi to lucifer for her, won’t she?

chloe promises yes, wraps a piece of rory’s devil’s food cake in cling wrap, and drives towards lux.

the nightclub is silent – today is the one night of the year amenadiel refuses to open it, cautious of making sure his brother is neither seen nor heard. chloe slips her key into the big lock at the side entrance, making her way across the eerily empty dancefloor, sliding through the silence until she makes it to the elevator.

her hands are shaking as she presses the button for the penthouse. today – rory’s birthday – it’s always a bittersweet occasion. rory’s still young enough – six today! – to enjoy her birthday, waking her up early this morning with an excited squeal. chloe had dutifully made sandwiches and cupcakes for breakfast, and then, since it was a saturday, they’d had a joint party with some of rory’s friends from school and their family at home.

her daughter had been spoiled – a new board game from ella and carol, a set of books from charlie, linda and amenadiel, yet another blade from maze and eve, customised, a deep red to look like her wings. trixie had bought her sister a miniature version of her own film camera, and rory had been snapping shots all day. chloe had come up with a range of presents, content that her daughter had whatever she needed and was spoiled a little too.

and then – then – from someone chloe could not disclose but knew perfectly well – a shiny new acoustic guitar, a first-notes book of sheet music, and a shiny music stand embossed with two tiny silver wings. chloe, upon finding it when she walked into the kitchen, had had to pretend she was the one who had organised it all, had to hide the tears that gathered in her eyes as she watched her daughter gleam with excitement, clumsily picking a few notes before breakfast.

she’s thinking about the video she took, the one stored on her phone in her pocket, when the elevator announces it’s arrival at the penthouse with a few melodic dings. chloe takes a deep breath, and then steps into the place she used to call home.

all in all, the penthouse suite of lux isn’t homey in the slightest. with it’s sleek black furnishings and walls of liquor, it’s certainly not a place one would deem homely.

it’s him.

the man who makes her feel like she’s finally whole again – has finally come home – steps out of the shadows and opens his arms wordlessly, and chloe barrels into him, burying her face in his chest as his arms wrap tight around her, his nose nuzzling into her hair.

“i’ve missed you,” he murmurs, voice rumbling under her ear. “so much.”

“me too,” she whispers back, tilting her head up with a smile. he catches her lips in his, kissing her sweetly, his hand coming up to hold her head against his even as their lips detach. foreheads pressed together, they simply breathe one another’s air for a second, before lucifer gestures down with a chuckle.

“what’s this?”

chloe follows his gaze, laughing as she spots the slice of cake, squished in her hand during the rush to be held by him. “oh,” she grins. “rory’s birthday cake. i saved a piece for you.”

the smile on her lips drops when instead of laughing with her at the smashed mess of chocolate cling wrap in her hands, he drops his hold on her and steps away. she watches, confused, as he sits gingerly down on the loveseat they’d spent so many nights on – cuddling, watching movies, appreciating each other.

“babe,” she murmurs, as he lowers his head into his hands, fingers tussling at his curls. “what’s the matter?”

chloe sets the ruined cake on the lid of the piano, settling in next to him with a soothing hand on his elbow. “lucifer.”

she tries to pull his hands away from his face, but he refuses with a groan, his body tensing beneath her touch. more determined now, she pulls again, peeling his fingers from his chin with gentle whispers. “talk to me.”

turning towards her, his eyes are red. “i really –” his voice cracks, bottom lip wobbling as he tries to hold back his emotions. “i really don’t like missing her childhood.”

chloe’s face folds into an expression of sympathy, curling an arm around his back and bringing her hand up to scratch at the little hairs on the back of his neck. “i know.”

lucifer looks like he wants to say something else, his mouth opening and shutting a few times, before he sags in defeat, pawing at her gently to move backwards.

she obeys, scooting across the seat until her back hits the soft edge of the corner. he crawls towards her, settling his weight in between her legs as his head comes down to rest on her chest, eyes blinking against her neck. chloe brings a hand up to scratch at his curls, and he butts up into his, almost purring at her touch.

they stay like that for a while, lucifer’s body growing lax against hers, content simply to be with each other. it’s only when she thinks lucifer might be asleep that she remembers her phone, and pulls it out. “i have a present for you.”

an eternal child, his head pops up in excitement. “a present? it’s our daughter’s birthday, not mine.”

chloe grins, swiping through the many photos of the day before she gets to the video she’d taken that morning. she presses play, a soft smile immediately pulling at her lips as the sight of her daughter’s bright grin, her little fingers straining to stretch around the guitar neck.

she feels lucifer’s breath hitch above her, but he watches, rapt, as rory picks out a (very rough) rendition of ‘twinkle twinkle’.

when it’s done, the devil on top of her whines, reaching stabbing fingers out to press the replay button. she has no qualms about this, and watches again as he maps out his kid’s face, eyes searching across the screen as he takes her in. when it comes to the fourth replay, she presses his hand away gently, switching the phone off with a quiet click.

lucifer’s brow furrows, and he exhales slightly, upset, but chloe pulls him closer, whispering into his hair. “she loves it, baby. she’s been strumming at it all day, wants me to sign her up for lesson. trixie got her some youtube clips and now she can do mary had a little lamb as well, but her favourite is twinkle twinkle. she loves your stars.”

when he meets her eyes, there’s a tear rolling down his cheek. chloe swipes it gently away, but it’s quickly replaced with more, and more, until there’s so many that she can do nothing but kiss his nose and promise it’ll be okay.

it’s only once he’s settled down, his face buried in the curve of her neck, that she resumes stroking his hair and starts to tell him about their daughter’s last year of life. how rory had learned to rollerskate, holding tight to trixie’s hands as the older girl swept them confidently around the rink. how she’d started school, wildly popular already, pouting constantly about how she wants to show her friends her wings. how she sings sometimes and chloe can hear so much of him in her that it makes her cry. how rory wipes her tears away on the hard days with a soft what’s wrong, mama? that makes it simultaneously better and worse.

she doesn’t tell him about how rory’s eyes are just starting to cloud over when she looks at the family portrait on the mantle. how she’d walked in the other day to find her daughter picking angrily at her wings, the feathers red and inflamed as the little girl sobbed that she didn’t want such an obvious reminder of her daddy. how it had been fathers’ day just a few weeks ago, how rory had cried when is daddy coming back, and all three of them had ended up sobbing on the couch, held together only by their combined grief and each other’s arms.

those are stories for another day, far, far in the future, a day where she can curl up to lucifer and know she doesn’t have to let go in a few hours, ready to go back home to the monotony of making school lunches and corralling her girls into the car.

then, she’ll tell him.

but for now, they’ll take their one day a year, catch up on each other, and just be.

they’ll just be.

Chapter Text

10. “I’m sorry for your loss.”

everything he says seems useless. nothing he can possibly say right now is enough – nothing even comes close to fixing anything. he watches her through blank eyes, watches her try to stay strong for her daughter, watches her throughout the service, watches a single tear slip down her face.

“i’m sorry for your loss,” everyone’s saying, and he’s echoed the meaningless sentiment too many times himself. it doesn’t help. nothing helps.

the last two days, it’s been a blur of relatives he’s never met try to make arrangements, the monotony of funeral planning broken only by trixie’s haunting sobs and chloe’s empty eyes. unable to find his words, he’s slept on the couch outside trixie’s room each night as chloe held her daughter close, whispering promises that she wouldn’t leave.

lucifer’s found himself riddled with guilt – guilt that he let dan go out alone, guilt that he knows dan isn’t where he should be, guilt that he hasn’t told chloe yet.

guilt that if things go wrong in the next few days, trixie will be unfairly orphaned at eleven years old, and it will be all his fault.

for the first time all week, chloe steps out of trixie’s room and shuts the door quietly behind her. lucifer’s at her side in a second, hovering uselessly next to her as she turns her face to him. his arms hang mid-air, stuck between what he wants to do and what he thinks she wants him to do.

she makes the choice for him, stepping into his space with a shuddering breath and pressing her face close into his chest. he brings a hand up to tangle in her hair, oily and knotted from days with care for everyone but herself.

“chloe,” he murmurs, and she lets out a single sob, harsh and loud in the middle of the cold night. he feels himself deflate, clutching her tighter. a promise that he’s there, that he’s not going anywhere.

with a mammoth amount of strength, he watches her pull herself together, stepping back to look at him with red-rimmed eyes. “upstairs?”

he nods, pulling away, but her breath hitches and she grasps needily at his hand, pulling it between her two smaller ones with a barely concealed whimper. he wraps his spare hand around her waist, guiding her small body in front of his as he leads them towards the stairs.

he helps her strip, clothes forgotten on the floor of the bathroom as he reaches a hand in to test the warmth of the shower. when he thinks it’s sufficient, the hand still clutched between hers tightens around her wrists, pulling her carefully under the steam with him. she falters, wobbling slightly on the spot, and he wraps his wet body around hers and lets the water wash away some of the pain.

with shaking hands, he reaches for the shampoo, a breathy sob being the only thing stopping him from wrapping his hands around the bottle. he turns back to her with a raised eyebrow, a silent question, and she takes his hand back wordlessly, pulling it flush over her heart as she clutches it tight.

“okay,” he whispers, voice barely recognisable over the stream of water. “it’s okay. i just want to wash your hair. is that alright?”

she shakes her head, silent and sad. “wanna hold you.”

lucifer takes a deep breath, blowing it out through his lips in order to stave off the tears he can feel brimming in his eyes. “here,” he murmurs, pulling her flush against his chest. “like that.”

with a reluctant nod, she wraps herself around him, her tiny body shaking even under the hot water. he lets her hand go with a sigh, squeezing a dollop of shampoo onto his palm and massaging it gently into her scalp, his fingers working gently through the tangles.

by the time he’s done conditioning, he thinks she’s almost asleep, her eyes closed as she rests her cheek on his bare chest. he reaches around her to turn off the water, and she shivers subconsciously at the loss of warmth.

with steady arms, he manoeuvres them both out of the shower and wraps her in a towel, giving her his hand to hold as he quickly dries himself off before moving to her. with quick fingers and gentle touches, he smooths the droplets from her skin and offers her one of his shirts to pull over her head before he runs a brush quickly through her damp curls and pulls her over to the bed.

arms out, she scrambles into his lap, her body sagging only once she’s curled up against him. lucifer thumbs gently at the skin under her ear, lips finding their way to her temple as he strokes soothing patterns along her neck.

he’s lost. he’s never felt more lost in his life.

“what can i do?” he asks her, words soft and almost lost in her hair. her grip tightens on him, a desperate plea for closeness.

“stay with me,” she whispers, her voice rough. “please. just don’t go.”

“always, love,” he murmurs back, using his spare arm to pull her closer. “always.”

Chapter Text

11. “You can have half.”

chloeeee.”

her boyfriend is whining. whining.

she swats his hand away for the fifteenth time that minute, sheltering her muffin with her hand. “you have your own, lucifer. leave mine alone.”

they’d walked into the precinct café with the intention of buying their daily coffees, but, bewitched by lucifer, the young girl at the stand had begun making them every sort of sweet treat you could imagine. at first it had seemed coincidental – they’d walked in right on time for freshly browned croissants, or wow what a surprise, they’d turned up for morning tea right as a batch of steaming scones had slid their way out of the oven, ready and waiting for lucifer’s grabbing hands.

giving the girl a wink, he always bought more than he needed, handing the treats out around the precinct, keeping a stash for himself, hiding some from dan. and, she had to note, without fail, he always had a delicacy saved her for, filling the air around her desk with an almost constantly warm, sweet scent.

he’s had three of this morning’s muffins – raspberry and white chocolate – but his wandering fingers seem intent on stealing hers too. chloe hardly looks away from her screen, hand resting protectively over the warm goods, elbowing lucifer gently whenever he gets to close. he grumbles childishly from next to her, and she has to swallow a smile at his antics, stealing a bite of muffin as she types away.

lucifer’s silent for a moment, and then she hears a tiny aha! that, if she’s honest, makes her fear for her muffin’s life. not daring to give him the satisfaction of a response, she tightens her hold over the sweet treat, cupping it within her hand as her other manoeuvres the computer mouse across the screen.

lucifer’s next tactic is made known fairly quickly, and chloe feels him watch her out of the corner of her eye for a second before he scoots his swivel chair closer to hers and rests his head on her shoulder, feigning interest at the case on her screen. “hello, love. wonderful police work you’re doing there.”

“leave my muffin alone, lucifer,” chloe laughs, not taking her eyes off the screen. lucifer ignores her.

“i do so admire you,” he murmurs, sneaking an innocent kiss to her blazer-covered shoulder. “you work so hard.”

“and because i work so hard, i deserve to enjoy my muffin in peace,” chloe quips, popping her shoulder upwards just enough to push him gently off.

he replaces himself immediately, undeterred. he seems to just watch for a moment, chin digging into her shoulder, before he huffs slightly and turns his face into her neck, kissing gently patterns up behind her ear.

lucifer,” she hisses, pulling away as he begins to kiss a little too hard at her neck. “we are at work.”

“hasn’t stopped us before, darling,” he smirks, his lips curling up against her earlobe. chloe huffs, scooting away from him and laughing as he flounders, her shoulder now lacking support for his chin.

“go steal one of dan’s muffins, if you want one so bad,” she turns to him finally, raising an eyebrow. “i’m sure he won’t mind.”

“you know bloody well he will,” lucifer huffs, sliding insistently back next to her and resting his head more comfortably on her shoulder. “besides, i want yours.”

“so you admit it,” chloe hums, still tapping away. she’s so used to his constant niggling that it’s almost background noise at this point. “you want my muffin.”

lucifer’s mouth opens against her top a few times, lost for words, before he huffs indignantly. “didn’t say that.”

“you did, actually,” chloe snorts, turning slightly to kiss the muss of curls resting on his head. “i’m sure your little café friend would give you more anyway, if you asked nicely.”

“is someone jealous, detective?” lucifer’s head snaps up, grinning wickedly. “maybe sandy and i will go eat muffins elsewhere, since you don’t want to share.”

sandy is working, lucifer,” chloe says, rolling her eyes. “besides, she’s about twenty five.”

lucifer sighs, plopping back against her again. “never fear, darling,” he hums, tangling her hand in his. “i’m yours. completely and utterly.”

her heart fluttering slightly at that, she tries not to get distracted. “and i’m yours, lucifer.” softening for a moment, she squeezes his hand, bringing it up to her lips to kiss his knuckles, and then drops it immediately. “hey!”

lucifer drops the piece of muffin he’d stolen with his spare hand with a flinch, blinking at her innocently. “yes?”

chloe narrows her eyes. “did you say cute things about being mine just to distract me from the muffin?”

lucifer looks offended. “no!”

chloe raises an eyebrow.

“well… maybe. but it’s true! i am yours. totally. absolutely. entirely. thoroughly.” he blinks impishly at her before his face folds into a smaller, shier smile. “forever.”

chloe rolls her eyes, squeezing him into a quick side hug with a kiss to his temple before she shakes her head. “fine. you can have half.”

with a massive grin, he cheers, taking a huge bite right from her muffin and speaking around it. “you’re the best.

“so i’ve heard,” chloe says drily, taking her own piece of muffin. “you’re so lucky i love you.”

Chapter Text

12. “Take my jacket, it’s cold outside.”

rolling her eyes up towards the rolling roof of the stable they’re investigating, chloe steps neatly forward and crosses her arms. from behind her, there comes an indignant splutter, and she has to close her lips pointedly around a smile as her devil of a partner falls into step next to her, slightly out of breath from staggering through hay to catch up. “detective.”

“yes, lucifer?” she sighs. he’s been badgering her all day, endless questions and quips that impress her ten percent of the time and annoy her to no end for the other ninety percent.

brushing a stray horse hair off his suit, he turns to her with a charming smile. “dare i suggest it’s too stormy to go home tonight? wouldn’t want to get into a horrid car accident and deprive that child of yours of a mother.”

lucifer,” chloe says, teetering right on the edge of amused and frustrated. “not funny.”

“not at all!” he agrees easily. “which is why i simply have to suggest that you call that ex husband of yours and make arrangements for the child, and spend the evening in a romantic wintery cabin with me, myself, and i.”

chloe increases her steps, and he follows flawlessly. “we are not spending a romantic night in a cabin, lucifer. besides, we’ve been in here for hours. the storm has probably died down. i need to touch base with the crew at the main house, and then hopefully it’ll be calm enough to drive home.”

lucifer huffs, stopping her from advancing out with an arm flung across her chest dramatically. “detective.”

“yes, lucifer.”

he shoots her a grin. “at least take my jacket. it’s cold outside.” within seconds, he’s shrugged his suit jacket off, attempting to sling it over her shoulders. she shrugs it off with a scowl, stepping out of his reach.

“thank you, but i really don’t need you to seduce me with your old fashioned gentlemanly values, thanks very much. besides, you need to stay warm, too.”

“devil doesn’t get cold, darling,” he smirks, reaching for her again. “come on, detective. don’t let your pride win. put my jacket on.”

“i have my own jacket, lucifer,” chloe says, stepping pointedly out into the wind. “i’ll be fine.”

0o0o0

she’s not fine. the wind whips her hair into icy strands, dewy droplets collecting on her eyebrows. at some point during the walk back to their car, lucifer gives up on trying to convince her and simply drapes his jacket over her shoulders, and she lets him. the thick linen is warm and heavy, and it smells like a mix of bourbon and something simply wooden, wrapping her in a comfort she hasn’t felt since she was a kid and used to steal her father’s clothes for dress-ups.

as much as she hates to admit it, he’s right about the cabin, too. the weather, rather than calming down, has worsened since they’ve been in the stable, icy sheets of rain joining the whistling wind to make for conditions too dangerous to even consider driving in. with a reluctant sigh, she books one of the neighbouring cabins for the night, shuffling herself and lucifer into the cool room with a groan.

“you’d think on a day like this they’d have the decency to set the fire for us, wouldn’t you?” lucifer muses, poking aimlessly at a few sticks by the fireplace. “abominable service, really, detective. leave them a scathing review on tripadvisor.”

chloe’s too cold to even attempt a laugh, teeth rattling audibly as she shakes under his jacket. at her lack of response, lucifer turns, his eyebrow quirking in concern. “petty humans,” he mutters. “thermodynamic system is useless.”

she squawks as he grabs her arm, but then her eyes widen. “you’re warm.”

he blinks at her. “my name is lucifer, actually.”

chloe snorts, smile dropping as he drops her arm. she reaches back for him, pulling him over to the couch. “is your whole body as hot as your hand?”

she watches the second his eyes light up. “i knew you’d come around eventually, detective! yes, actually, my body is rather hot. most people prefer the nether region, as you might assume, but i don’t kink shame, so if you like my hands –”

lucifer,” she hisses, dropping his hand with a huff. “you know that’s not what i meant.”

he ducks his head with a laugh. “i know, detective. but you have to admit, you’re fun to tease.”

“shut up,” she mutters. “and don’t say a word about this to anyone.”

“about what? your hand kink?” his mouth starts to slide into a smirk, only to drop into an expression of shock a minute later. “what are you doing?”

“shut up, lucifer,” she says again, voice muffled by his chest. she’s crawled almost completely into his lap, curling up against him like a kitten. “you’re so – god, how are you so warm? do i need to get you to a hospital?”

no,” lucifer says immediately. “hate hospitals. horrid, evil places. i just… i run hot. why are you sitting on me if we’re not going to have sex?”

chloe groans against him, her voice rumbling through his chest. “please stop talking about us having sex. you’re warm, and i’m freezing, so forgive me for treating you like a space heater and let me warm up.”

she feels lucifer tense underneath her as she burrows closer, but ignores him in favour of pulling his jacket further around her shoulders. the tremors have eased somewhat, his body warmth seeping into her chest like a devil-shaped electric blanket.

he relaxes eventually, a hand coming up uncertainly to rest against her back, and by the time the wind dies down outside, chloe’s almost asleep. he shifts beneath her, mumbling something about collecting wood for the fire, but she tightens her grip around his waist and snuggles closer, and, well… the devil’s never been cold, but he wouldn’t mind experiencing the sensation if this is how he gets to warm up.  

Chapter Text

13. “Sorry I’m late.”

“lucifer?” her call echoes into the penthouse, voice reverberating back at her, long notes stretched eerily as they bounce around the room. “sorry i’m late. you wanted to see me?”

there’s nothing but silence for a minute, and she steps a little further inside cautiously. “babe?”

her boyfriend bounces out of the other room, a childish grin on his face as he comes to stand in front of her. “hello, detective!”

“hi, baby,” chloe grins back, pecking him quickly on the lips. “how was your day?”

his face scrunches into a frown, contemplating. “well, it would’ve been better if you were here. but i got everything done.”

chloe smiles, stepping past him to place her bags on the floor by the island bench. lucifer bounces behind her, full to the brim with contagious excitement, and chloe can’t help but turn to kiss him again.

he only relaxes slightly when her lips touch his, curling an arm around her waist with a happy sigh before he pulls back, forehead resting against hers. “i really did miss you today.”

“missed you too, babe,” she murmurs, kissing him again. “want to explain what was so important that you had to take the entire day off?”

on cue, his face splits into a grin again, head bouncing excitedly as he nods. “oh, detective. you’re going to love it.”

chloe’s eyebrow quirks. when lucifer had regretfully informed her he wouldn’t be joining her at the precinct that day, she’d assumed he had celestial business to deal with. they were a few months post-war with michael, and her boyfriend was slowly but surely advancing in his preparations to become god. so naturally, when he’d kissed her goodbye that morning, she’d come to the conclusion that he was ducking up to heaven for godly duties that he didn’t deem necessary for her to know about.

instead, lucifer grabs her hand and pulls her through the penthouse, almost skipping in his readiness to share whatever he’d prepared for her. he stops right before the door to the balcony, stepping in front of her with a barely contained grin. “close your eyes.”

chloe narrows them instead. “you know i hate surprises.”

“i know,” he grins, and he does. he’d learnt the hard way when he organised a surprise party for her for her birthday, organising everyone into hiding spots the second before she walked through the door only to be met with a gun barrel to the head the minute he jumped out and screamed surprise! “i think you’ll like this one, though. really.”

chloe’s unsure. “lucifer, babe, i love you, but…”

“detective.” his ecstatic grin drops into something more genuine, and he takes her other hand in his, holding them both between their chests. “you trust me, yes?”

“with my entire being,” chloe says honestly. “but –”

“please, then,” lucifer quirks his lips into a smile. “allow me?”

sighing – he knows he’s won – chloe nods, closing her eyes accordingly. “promise me you’ll tell me if we’re about to jump off the balcony, okay?”

“wouldn’t do that to you,” lucifer hums, excitement bleeding back into his voice. “come on, then.”

she feels the cool air of the dark night on her face, and furrows her face into a frown as a memory of a night long gone resurfaces, the same wind drying her tears as she gazed hopelessly into the dark stars that the man she loved had just disappeared into. lucifer tightens his grip on her hands as if he knows exactly what she’s thinking, coming behind her with a halt as he slots carefully into her back. “open them, now.”

she peels her eyelids open, blinking slightly into the dark, and then her breath falls out of her lips with a sigh. “oh, lucifer. wow.”

he’s bouncing again. “do you like it?”

like it? the hot tub, abandoned for so long, has been filled to the brim with sweet smelling bubbles, pale pink lights underneath the water glowing softly through the bubbles so that they look like fluffy clouds. there’s two flutes of champagne, no doubt costing more than chloe’s yearly salary, garnished with strawberries, sitting on the side table, a small charcuterie board between them. she turns to him with a genuine smile, kissing his cheek. “i love it. you didn’t have to do all of this.”

“it’s been a long week,” he shrugs. “and you’re so worried that i won’t have enough time for us when i’m god – don’t make that face, i can tell – so i thought it might be nice to have some time to ourselves, hmm?”

chloe nods, suddenly speechless. he’s still waiting patiently behind her, awaiting her verdict. she leans back against him with a quiet sigh, leaning up to kiss his stubble. “i love you.”

“and i you, chloe,” he murmurs, and then steps back. “come, now. hop in.”

her heart sinks. “i don’t have bathers.”

darling,” lucifer tuts. “i think we’re far past the need for clothes, don’t you?”

with a grin, chloe strips off, her clothes pooling on the cold deck. goosebumps erupt over her skin, and she shivers slightly, the steam floating off the hot tub promising warmth.

lucifer hops in first, offering his hand to help her over the slippery steps. she takes it gratefully, sliding into the warm water with a content sigh, giggling as he pulls her in by the waist to rest against his front.

he passes her a glass of champagne with a hum, kisses the skin under her ear, and whispers soft words against her neck. “no matter what happens,” he murmurs. “i will always have time for you.”

Chapter Text

14. “Can I have this dance?”

“what i saw… was my partner.”

her words echo through his head as they sit there, his good hand fiddling aimlessly with the keys in front of him. he’s not entirely sure where they go from here – chloe seems happy enough next to him, her eyes closed as she listens to the discordant notes he manages to stab out.

he’s lost. lucifer is a man who has always known exactly who he is. from the very outcrop, he has been sure in his very being – sure enough to lead a rebellion, to tempt eve, to insert himself in chloe’s life all those years ago. even with her, none of his sureness in his self – his belief, his being, his talents – that had never faltered.

until now.

now, his mindset is as flimsy as the fingers that dance clumsily over the keys of his baby grand. he has no clue what to say, what to do, what to think. chloe is the person he feels most comfortable with, but at the moment, lucifer is lost.

his fingers slip for the umpteenth time, and he growls lowly, annoyed at his inability to find steady footing, not just on the keys. chloe hums next to him, her own slim fingers hovering hesitantly over the black and white, but he shuffles off the seat with a sigh, feeling her eyes on the back of his head as he slides behind the bar.

he offers her a drink, and she takes it gratefully. he downs his own in one, pours himself another, and then bends behind the bar, reaching for the speakers.

“my hands don’t quite seem to be up for music, tonight,” he says, immediately frustrated with the insecurity in his voice. “i hope the radio will do.”

she nods, quiet and collected as she sips her drink.

lucifer misses her smile.

he misses a lot of things, really. her laugh, her eyes, the way she used to gravitate towards him when he entered the room, automatically seeking his presence. he misses the way her eyes look before he kisses her. the warmth of her hands in his.

most of all, he just misses them.

with a barely contained sigh, he cues up a song. he may not know how to find the words right now, but lucifer’s language is music, and hell be damned if he can’t use it somehow.

can i come around later on this evening? or do you need time? yes, of course, that’s fine.

as the soft words of finneas start to croon through the speakers, he steps back around the bar, holding his injured hand out hesitantly. “can i have this dance?”

chloe’s eyes flicker down to his bandage, and then back up to his face. she takes another sip, steps towards him, and nods. “of course.”

lucifer lets out a breath he didn’t know he was holding, letting chloe take his hand and leading her into the middle of the room. closing his eyes against memories of prom nights long gone, he takes his time placing a hand on her lower back, giving her time to move if she wants to.

she doesn’t.

but she doesn’t exactly relax into his hold either. her stance is stiff and awkward, so different from the way she’d let him take the lead that night of his prom. tonight, she remains tense in his arms, her hands splayed over his back in a distanced grip.

are you still breathing? won’t you tell me if you found that deeper meaning? do you think i’ve gone blind? i know it’s not the truth when you say ‘i’m fine.’

he has to hold his breath against the urge to bury his face in her shoulder, a lump growing in his throat. his hand throbs, an unwelcome reminder of his vulnerability around her, and he sniffs once, sharply, against the tears that threaten to spill down his cheek.

“detective…” he murmurs, voice breaking, her head resting over his shoulder. she hums quietly, noncommittal, her posture changing ever so slightly. so small that he wouldn’t notice, had he not been holding her.

he feels as if he’s holding them together. that the second he lets her go, he’ll lose her forever.

the thought scares him. bloody hell, it petrifies him.

“chloe,” he whispers, and she flinches.

flinches.

lucifer drops her like she’s burned him, stepping back with a choked breath. chloe’s not looking at him, her eyes on the floor, fiddling with her hands. he reaches for her, and she steps away. when she looks back up, her eyes are wet.

“i think i should leave.”

“please,” lucifer whispers. “don’t.”

with a sound that sounds almost like a little sob, chloe steps backwards again. “i’m sorry,” she says quietly. “i can’t – do this, right now.”

“chloe,” he pleads. “don’t go. please, don’t go.”

she shakes her head, hands twisting faster. “i need to leave.”

and how much of a hypocrite would he be to deny her free will?

so lucifer watches her leave, her ponytail flicking behind her as she walks out the door. he waits a few moments, and then he watches his hand heal over, the skin squeaky clean and smooth as a baby’s bottom.

and then he sinks down hopelessly against the leg of his piano, and cries.

Chapter Text

15. “I made your favourite.”

a million voicemails left and no answers received, chloe decides the best course of action is to simply turn up at lucifer’s. he’s hopeless at emotions, she knows that, so she’s not too concerned at his lack of communication. if she had to take a guess, she’d say that her kissing him was the first hint of genuine human connection he’d felt in years, if not ever. if the hushed whisper of her name, the confused look, the halted breath hadn’t been enough to tip her off, lucifer’s reactions since she’d kissed him on the beach had been plenty to let her know she should tread carefully if she doesn’t want to mess this up.

and she really, really doesn’t.

they’ve been dancing around this for months, and it’s not like chloe had particularly wanted to be the one to make the first move. she’d held off, flirting shamelessly with him, revelling in quiet touches and casual smiles, scared of this exact thing happening – that she’d kiss him, make her mark, and he’d run.

reprimanding herself internally, she tries to snap out of it. she’s not at the penthouse yet, for all she knows, lucifer’s forgotten to charge his phone again and simply didn’t receive her calls.

yes, that’ll be it.

he’ll be sitting at his piano, whiskey in hand, playing a careful tune and blissfully unaware of the mental anguish she’s going through in order to not startle him off like a spooked horse.

she tries not to read into the bouncer’s apologetic look as he lets her in, and spends the elevator ride trying to calm her breathing and clutching a brow paper bag by her hip, bouncing anxiously on her feet.

her first though when the doors slide open is that he’s having his entire apartment dry cleaned. there are stark white sheets thrown haphazardly over everything, the furniture needing protection from – what?

her?

“lucifer?” she calls, and hates how her voice cracks. she steps further in, looking around cautiously.

he’s probably just in the bathroom, her brain supplies, and she chooses to focus on that rather than the sinking feeling in her stomach she vaguely recognises as the truth.

“i made your favourite.” she pushes on despite the weight settling on her chest. “well, actually, i didn’t make it. and, come to think of it, i’m not sure it’s your favourite – but i bought burgers? like last time? i thought we could talk…”

and she’d thought it would end better, hadn’t she? that instead of being interrupted by a stray stewardess, she could let him kiss her over french fries and taste the burger – sans ketchup – on his tongue. she’d had childish hopes of cuddles in his giant bed and soft laughs in the early hours of the morning as he regaled her with stories she’d deem untrue but enjoy nonetheless.

maybe he’s with another woman? this thought, in comparison with the truth that’s slowly sinking in, seems plausible – preferable, even.

maybe the sheets are a sort of protective layer for some bizarre sexual activity she hasn’t heard of before. maybe he’s in the bedroom right now, dripping god-knows-what over a woman’s curved body, maybe he’s dealing with his thoughts about her brush with death by ignoring them completely, maybe she read the situation wrong, maybe she should go home, maybe lucifer doesn’t want to be any more than friends, maybe –

maybe he left.

the second she admits it to herself, the paper bag falls from her grip and crumples to the floor, and she blinks helplessly into the dark penthouse before it sways before her, and she has to grab the island bench for support. her eyes are coated with traitorous tears, the salty mist betraying her resolve as she tries to work through his thoughts.

when things get hard, she recalls linda saying at a prior tribe night, when things get real, lucifer runs.

“you don’t get to run,” chloe hisses, stepping behind the bar and pouring herself a drink she hopes it’s expensive. she hopes he’s been saving it for thousands of years.

it tastes like shit.

she downs it anyway, followed by another, and another. once she stops tasting it, she swallows another, and then one more, and then finally she feels a buzz start in the back of her head, the room spinning as she makes her way back into the middle of the penthouse. she kicks the bag of food angrily as she passes it, stepping out into the cool la air as she looks up at the stars.

fuck you,” she says softly, but her anger’s gone. it’s replaced with a heavy, sinking sadness, the inevitability of her loneliness hitting quicker in the dark of the night.

deciding it’s not a good idea to be drunk, sad, and alone on a balcony, she goes back inside, grabbing her keys before she realises she absolutely cannot drive now. with a huffed sigh, her throat working around the lump that’s been there ever since the elevator doors opened, she steps into lucifer’s bedroom, sitting dejectedly on the bench as she pulls her phone from her back pocket.

her fingers dial his number automatically, so used to calling it after so many attempts over the past hours. she presses the cool device to her ear, laying back against his fluffy pillows with a heaved sigh.

you’ve reached lucifer,” his voice crackles through her phone. “terribly sorry i didn’t pick up, i’m probably doing something important… or, make that someone. i’ll call back!”

“i hate you,” chloe says quietly, the phone’s silence blaringly obvious in the quiet nice. “and i don’t hate you, and i don’t know where you are or why you left but that’s not how this works, so you’d better come back soon.”

she hangs up, and then decides that’s really not all she wants to say, so she dials him again and listens to the obnoxious voicemail and then says –

“i really wanted to make this work.” her voice breaks, tears that she’s been trying so hard to hold back spilling down her cheeks without her permission. “i tried so hard to make this work. didn’t you want it, too?”

maybe he hadn’t. maybe she’d read the entire situation wrong, maybe he’d flinched when she kissed him out of disgust rather than fear. maybe his distance in the hospital hadn’t been out of respect for dan and trixie, but out of genuine dislike instead.

“i knew it wasn’t conventional,” she whispers. “i knew you were scared, and i was scared too, lucifer. but i really thought maybe this time would be different. that you cared. that you cared about me.”

sniffling, she curls tighter into his pillow, too exhausted to cry any longer. “i just… i really thought you would try. that you wanted to try.”

but he didn’t, did he?

if he’d wanted to try, why would he leave?

the phone beeps – she’s at the end of the allowed voicemail time – and goes black next to her, and chloe lets her eyes fall closed, and pretends that the pillows that are built up around her are him rather than his belongings.

Chapter Text

16. “It’s okay.  I couldn’t sleep anyway.”

lucifer rings her at three in the morning.

chloe picks up with a yawn, murmuring a tired ‘l’cif’r?’ into the phone as she blinks against the pressing darkness that threatens to pull her back into sleep.

there’s no answer, a snuffled breathing the only indication that anyone’s on the other end. she swallows, blinking again, before she rolls onto her stomach to squint at the clock.

3:17am.

“lucifer,” she says again, coughing slightly to clear her throat. “hey. what’s up?”

there’s still no answer. if anything, his breathing increases, short gasps down the line that make her furrow her brow in confusion. “babe?”

chloe.” his voice is raspy, thick with tears and high with panic. “ch-chloe…”

“hey, baby,” she says, heartrate jumping. she brings the phone closer to her ear, resting up on one elbow. “are you okay?”

there’s silence for a second, and then a quick gasp and a sobbed ‘no.’ chloe’s breath catches, and she scrambles into a sitting position, back leaning against the headboard.

“hey,” she says again, louder this time. “lucifer. it’s alright.”

“’s not alright.” his voice is quick, breaths wheezing into her ear. “it’s not, chloe.”

“it is, babe,” she soothes, her heart aching. “it’s alright. tell me what happened.”

he goes silent, even his breath stopping. chloe waits.

and waits.

and –

“lucifer?”

“i’m sorry,” he gasps, choking on a breath. “’m sorry, i shouldn’t have called – i woke you up, and – and i shouldn’t have, i don’t need – i don’t need –”

he can’t lie. he did need her, and she’s perfectly happy to be needed. “it’s okay,” she murmurs. “i couldn’t sleep anyway. you’re fine. do you want me to come over?”

he splutters, whining pathetically into her ear. “n-no…”

“do you want to come here?”

he falls silent again, and then says something so quiet she almost doesn’t hear it. “can i?”

“oh, babe,” she murmurs. “of course. want me to pick you up?” it would take some arranging – trixie’s in bed downstairs, and despite being almost twelve, chloe’s not quite confident enough to leave her alone at 3am. she also, however, doesn’t think lucifer’s really in the right mindset to drive alone right now…

“it’s okay,” he whispers. “are you sure i can come over?”

“one hundred percent,” chloe says patiently. she’s working on breaking down his barriers – letting him know that it’s okay to be open and vulnerable with her. in all honesty, the fact that he even called her is a step forward. the first time he’d had a nightmare, she hadn’t known until he’d broken down mid case when a bullet brushed a little too close to her arm. consoling him in the back of a stakeout truck had lead to a teary confession that he hadn’t slept for days, too scared of the horrors in his head to even consider closing his eyes.

since then, she’s made sure to let him know she’s always there if he needs a spare bed, a soothing presence, a hug. he barely takes her up on it, often just sending her stupid gifs in the middle of the night with captions like ‘me when you say it’s paperwork time’ and a picture of goofy the dog perched anxiously on a bedpost.

she’s learned to keep her phone off silent, returns his gifs with ones of her own to let him know it’s okay. she’s never actually seen him have a nightmare – he hardly sleeps when they’re together, always conscious of keeping a façade up. but she knows from the haunted looks in his eyes after the particularly hard nights, or the way he finds excuses to touch her more often the days after he’s been riddled with dreams of losing her… they’re bad.

there’s a rustling outside her window, and she lets the phone drop to the pillows below her as she stands up to let him in. although there are times she condemns her boyfriend’s overall celestial-ness, there are certainly advantages.

like now.

“hey, baby,” she mumbles, clicking the glass door open. he steps in, takes a shuddering breath, and throws himself at her, clutching to her like she’s the only thing keeping him from drowning. she stumbles back slightly under his weight before stabilising them both, his wings curling back into his shoulders as she leads them to the bed. “bad one tonight, hmm?”

he cries a broken rendition of her name, the two syllables fractured by heaving sobs that wrack his body, his mind unable to stave off the tears now that she’s in front of him. she sighs, murmurs gently as she guides him under the covers and wraps her arms around him. “want to talk about it?”

he shakes his head, stilling for a second before he lurches closer into her arms, fingers clawing into her back and face thrust into the curve of her neck, his head tucked between her chin and the pillow. she runs her fingers up and down his back, holding him tight, letting him work through it as she coaxes him into calming breaths.

eventually, his sobs peter off into tiny whimpers, the occasional hitch of his breath only noticeable when she shifts. chloe holds him closer, pressing tiny, featherlight kisses to his shoulder, his neck, his head. “you’re okay, baby,” she murmurs, fingers stroking along his back even as his grip on her loosens slightly. “it’s okay.”

he swallows, taking a deeper breath as he burrows himself closer into her. “you’re okay?”

“i’m fine,” she promises, squeezing him. “so are you, yeah?”

he nods, sniffing. “’m sorry.”

“don’t be sorry, babe,” chloe murmurs, tucking her chin on top of his head. “you did good. this is good, okay? i’d much prefer you come here and let me help than suffer on your own.”

“don’ wanna annoy you,” he whispers sleepily, eyes fluttering closed against her neck. “’s annoying.”

“not annoying,” she promises. “come anytime. come all the time.”

lucifer breathes out a tired huff, a tiny smirk pulling at his lips. “that’s what she said.”

chloe snorts, tugging him closer into her. “go to sleep, idiot.”

“stay,” he murmurs, already slipping out of consciousness. “stay w’th me…”

“of course,” she promises. “always.”

Chapter Text

17. “Watch your step.”

“lucifer!” lucifer’s trotting too quickly behind her like a tiny puppy, carrying a few files she’d sent him to fetch from dan. his smile is bright and contagious against the dull frost of the forest they’re working at. “watch your step. i don’t want to deal with you falling.”

“fall for you every day, detective,” he quips, passing her the files. “just waiting for you to fall back!”

“impossible, lucifer,” she says drily, taking his hand as to help him carefully over the slippery logs. the murder they’re investigating this morning had been committed at commune out in the woods, and the chilly air mixed with the early hour has made for a thin layer of frost that has him slipping every two steps. chloe had been smart enough to wear hiking boots, the rubber on the bottom granting her solid grip on the logs, but lucifer’s wearing his classic patent shoes, and he’s not faring nearly as well with the slippery wood.

lucifer lets go of her hand, and steps gracefully forwards without her help. “see, detective? i’m perfectly capa-”

he slides suddenly forward, feet slipping underneath him like a baby dear as he fights to gain friction, eyes wide. “detect-”

“i’ve got you,” she sighs, shaking her head as she catches him easily. “god, lucifer. bit uneasy on our feet today, aren’t we? drink a bit too much last night?”

he glares at her. “that was your fault.”

she gapes at him indignantly. “and how exactly was that my fault, lucifer? pray tell.”

“you let go of me,” he accuses. “your fault.”

chloe splutters. “if i had’ve held on, you would’ve said something like no need to hold on, detective, i’m not a piece of arm candy!” she’s adopted a horrible british accent, her voice slipping down a few octaves, and lucifer’s eyes widen.

“i do not sound like that.”

i do not sound like that,” she mimics, rolling her eyes. lucifer glares at her, trying and failing to shake her arm off.

“don’t need help,” he says petulantly. “i’m not your spawn.”

“you sure act like it,” chloe hums, leading him forward. “i’m not letting you go. you’ll go flying down that hill and then i’ll have to deal with your whinging all day about how your suit’s gotten wet from the puddles. deal with it.”

“it’s not fair,” lucifer whines. “the first time you hold my hand was meant to be romantic. not you leading me along like a bloody child.”

chloe rolls her eyes. “next time, dress appropriately for work, then, hmm?”

“you didn’t tell me we’d be working in this weather! you said it was ‘maybe going to be a bit wet!’ this is not wet, detective! this is hell!”

“thought you were accustomed to hell?” chloe quips, still helping him forward. he glares at her, brushing invisible snow off his jacket as if it’s offended him personally. chloe closes her lips around a smile, shaking her head.

lucifer seems to think that accepting any form of help from her is a crime against his ego, so he pulls his hand away as soon as they make it over the log, muttering something about being perfectly capable on his own, thanks very much.

chloe nods along, her hand at the ready just in case –

just in case he does that.

lucifer’s so busy concentrating on how much he doesn’t need her that he missteps, his hand flying up as he slides forward again, screeching her name in a tone three octaves higher than his usual tenor. chloe’s eyes widen, and she throws her hand out to steady him, but he’s sliding too fast for her to be much help, and they end in a crumpled heap on the wet floor of the forest.

detective!” lucifer huffs. “look what you’ve done now!”

chloe would look, she would – if she wasn’t so distracted. lucifer’s face is inches from her own, his lips set in a small pout as he does an intake of which parts of his suit are wet beyond repair.

he shifts at her lack of response, consequently bringing his lips closer to hers as he turns to look at her. she hates herself for it, but notices the second he realises what she’s thinking, his lips quirking into a suggestive smirk. “oh, hello.”

“shut up,” she says, pushing at him weakly. “get off me.”

“why?” he winks at her. “aren’t you having fun?”

“no,” chloe says, refusing to meet his eyes. “i am not. i’m cold, and i’m wet-”

“oh,” lucifer grins, voice dripping with innuendo. “i bet you are.”

“shut up, lucifer,” she hisses. she can feel her chest heaving under his, and she’s sure he can too. “i swear to –”

“is that a blush i can see, detective?” lucifer’s having the time of his life, his thumb coming up to stroke teasingly along her cheek. “wow.”

chloe kicks uselessly beneath him, but he’s heavy and she’s not and it’s helpless, he’s got her covered. she keeps her eyes on the ground, but then he uses the same thumb to tilt her chin up ever so gently, and the teasing look in his eyes is replaced with one of the most vulnerable expressions she’s ever seen.

“chloe,” he murmurs, and before he can even get the question out, she kisses him.

she kisses him, and he tastes like snow and pine trees and bourbon, and she forgets about how her ass is so wet it’ll look like her jeans have changed colour, and how her fingers are probably developing frostbite, and how she’s definitely not meant to be kissing her work partner.

and when he kisses her back, it feels like home.

Chapter Text

18. “Here, drink this.  You’ll feel better.”

lucifer’s playing the piano when she walks in. it’s something slow and cruel, a testament to the horrible day they’ve had. chloe feels the music right in her very being as soon as the elevator’s door opens, but instead of soothing her, it only makes it hurt more.

he doesn’t turn, even though she knows he heard the doors ping. the music floats through the air, notes hanging in the air in front of her as she steadies herself against the bar.

eventually, the song ends, though lucifer still doesn’t turn. “hello, detective.” he says gently, and she doesn’t even begin to wonder how he knows it’s her.

she takes a careful step towards the piano, inhaling slightly as she gets closer. she doesn’t know what exactly brought her here – maybe she should’ve gone to dan, or to her mother, or just curled up in front of the television with a generous glass of red.

but something about lucifer – he was the first person she thought of, when her breath fell out of her at the sight of the blood that dribbled down the shower drain, mixing with the water in a grotesque shade of baby pink. the only person she could think of as she gasped over the bathroom sink, trying and failing to regain her breath. the single person who could possibly help the way her hands trembled as she drove blindly towards lux.

only when she doesn’t come any closer does his head finally turn, and the look of concerned surprise on his face as he takes her in almost makes her turn right back around and go home. in fact, she’s halfway towards the elevator when he crosses the room in a few strides, catching her wrist in his hand.

“chloe…”

she turns her eyes up to him, and the look on his face mixed with the way he breathes her name is enough for her composure to break, completely and totally, and she barrels into his chest without any preamble. he stiffens beneath her, but she needs this, goddammit, so she refuses to let him go, pressing her swollen face tight into his shirt.

eventually, she feels his arms curl around her hesitantly, rubbing careful patterns down her back as she struggles to keep herself together, her small body trembling as he encases it with his.

she pulls back, because she thinks that’s what friends are meant to do. there’s no plausible reason for her to be here – only that she’s gone through a horrible experience and he was the only one who could possibly understand.

he looks at her, his eyebrows crumpled into a soft frown, before he leads her – still holding her wrist – over to the bar. “here,” he says, pouring her a stiff finger of whiskey. “drink this. you’ll feel better.”

chloe wants to tell him that the hardest whiskey ever distilled couldn’t possibly make her feel better right now, but lucifer looks like he’s out of his depth, so she downs it simply to make him feel like he’s helping.

he watches her drink it, nods slightly when she refuses another. and then…

then, they stand there. in silence. until –

“lucifer,” she says, at the same time he says ‘detective…’

he nods for her to continue, and the blush that lights up her cheeks almost overrides the lump in her throat. but then she blinks and the split second her eyes are closed her mind bombards her with images she needs to forget, so she turns teary eyes to him and says “can we watch a movie?”

blinking at her, he pauses before nodding. “are you sure you don’t just want to… go home?”

chloe shakes her head. “not home. please. not tonight.”

and if there’s anything lucifer can relate to, it’s not wanting to go home. so he leads her over to the couch and gives her full control of the remote. she half expects him to complain when she chooses 10 things i hate about you, but he looks at the tv as if he’s not even seeing it, and really – so does she.

it’s about fifteen minutes in when the effort of holding in her emotions becomes too much, and a tiny, barely stifled sob breaks from chloe’s lips. lucifer turns to her with a start, and then, eyes wide, holds a single hand out to her, as if he knows he needs to do something but isn’t quite sure what.

“can i have a hug?” she whispers, lip wobbling. “please?”

he looks at her, his hand dropping to her knee, and then cocks his head. chloe takes this as a rejection, and bows her head. “i know you don’t know me that well and we’re not – i don’t know, friends, really, but i know today was hard for you too, and i’m just – i’m not doing too well, here, and i – ”

“of course,” he says, coughing to cover up the slight crack in his voice. “of course. come here.”

she shuffles awkwardly into his arms, feeling the tell-tale flinch and the softening that follows as he wraps her up. she’s only hugged lucifer a handful of times – certainly never cuddled with him like this before – but each time, it feels like… she fits. like she belongs.

as if she hasn’t already made him uncomfortable enough, chloe’s horrified when she can no longer keep control, and watches in dismay as the shirt beneath her cheek darkens with her tears. “sorry,” she whispers, embarrassed. “god, i’m so sorry.” she starts to back off, but lucifer’s arms tighten around her, a silent plea for her to stay.

“don’t apologise to him,” he says, trying for a laugh. it falls flat, and he looks down at her with a gentle hum. “today wasn’t… good, was it?”

not for the first time, chloe wonders about her new partner. he’s an expert in quips and jokes, but he doesn’t seem to understand human emotions. earlier today they’d watched one of the most horrific scenes of her career, and she’d seen on his face that it affected him too, but he clearly didn’t know how to communicate that.

trauma response, her cop training brain says, but her mouth snuggles closer to him and whispers. “no. it really wasn’t.”

he nods against her, agreeing. his mouth moves as if he’s going to say something else, but he settles with ‘i didn’t think so.’ and holds her closer.

if she had to guess, chloe would say that lucifer needed the hug just as much as she did, but she’s not going to break his brain with the realisation that physical touch can be comforting tonight, so she just curls closer and pretends not to notice when he strokes his fingers carefully though her hair.

and once the movie finishes, if she also pretends she’s asleep so he doesn’t stop, then so be it. and if she whines when he tries to move her, or clutches him in a grip so tight he can’t possibly not hop into bed and hold her, or whispers something about not wanting to be alone so that he stays even once she’s awake… well, so be that too.

Chapter Text

19. “Can I hold your hand?”

she doesn’t notice lucifer’s gone until well after the crew’s left her to go and clean up and the lieutenant’s given her a good job, decker and taken her files. from paperwork to victim debriefing, she’s flat out busy and stressed, and it’s only when she turns to offer him a drink back at hers that she notices he’s… nowhere to be seen.

at first, she assumes he just left. lucifer’s not the type for paperwork – granted, he doesn’t usually leave, normally just standing around and poking dan for fun, or drawling fun facts about her pen type in her ear while she groans over write ups. she’s shaking her head, about to call it a night and just meet him back at work tomorrow, when one of the junior detectives catches her on the way out, a worried frown on his face.

“hey, it’s detective decker, right?” he asks, flashing a badge. “i’m johnson – riley, really. is mr morningstar your partner?”

chloe shakes his hand with a tired smile and introduces herself back. “chloe,” she says, “and yes. has been for a few years now.”

often, the less experienced detectives get paired with a higher up who’s able to show them the ropes, and chloe feels a flash of protectiveness shoot through her. they wouldn’t give a rookie lucifer, but what if they’ve given her a rookie? “why?”

“he’s back with the other’s pd’s lieutenant,” riley says. “looks pretty heated. thought you’d want to know.”

wondering what in the world the other pd’s lieutenant would want with her partner, chloe thanks the newbie with a nod and a tight smile and brushes past him, heading in the direction he’d pointed.

sure enough, as she gets closer, she can hear raised voices. they’re muffled by the door, but as she cracks it open and slips through, it dawns on her that’s it’s not voices, it’s just – one. a single voice.

and it’s not lucifer’s.

because lucifer is standing, looking smaller than she’s ever seen him look, arms behind his back and head bowed. the head of palmdale pd, a balding, red-faced man, is glaring at him, spit flying as he hurls insults towards her frozen partner.

“hi!” chloe says cheerily, stepping forward and making herself fully noticeable. “detective decker. mind telling me what’s going on here?”

“your partner,” the man hisses, at the same time she hears lucifer whisper ‘detective.’

she turns to him even as the lieutenant continues rambling on about not following proper procedure and tampering with evidence and probably making some solid points because lucifer really doesn’t follow the rules but they’ve all sort of just made their peace with that now, so why should she care?

besides, lucifer looks – well, he looks like hell.

he’s trembling – so slightly that she wouldn’t have noticed, if she hadn’t been trained from years of working side by side to pick up on the tiniest changes in his behaviour – and his teeth are worrying steadily at his lip, eyes flickering up to hers every two seconds as he pleads for an escape.

deciding there’s something more at play, chloe turns back to the lieutenant and dismisses him with a polite yes, i’ll be sure to talk to him, yes, i’ll report it, no, thank you for your time, safe travels home, and then, once she’s satisfied he’s well enough out of earshot, she turns back to her partner.

who, somehow, has gone severely downhill in the thirty seconds it took her to get rid of the bald man.

“lucifer,” she says carefully, watching him. he’s backing away, eyes wide like she’s going to hurt him, his hands thrust protectively out in front of him and shaking despite the warm weather. “hey. are you okay?”

“i’m good,” he says, voice immediately betraying his resolve. it’s high and tight, and littered with the shakiest breaths she’s ever heard, eyes so wide they’re akin to trauma response patients she used to deal with as a regular cop. “i’m fine.”

“i don’t think you are,” chloe says gently, taking a step towards him. he flinches immediately, scuttling backwards until his back hits the wall of the room and he sinks down against it, burying his face in his knees.

“i’m going to sit down next to you, okay?” chloe murmurs, narrating her moves as she slides down gently next to him, keeping a safe distance between them. “hey, lucifer, look at me.”

he shakes his head resolutely, burrowing further into his knees. his whole back is shaking now, gasped sobs muffled by his suit pants ripping from his chest.

chloe is –

well, chloe’s lost.

“hey,” she says again. “it’s alright, i promise. no one else is here except you and me, and i can leave if you want. i just want to –”

“don’t want you to leave,” he shudders, rolling his head so that a single red-rimmed eye peeks up at her from the ball he’s retreated into. “please. i don’t want you to leave me too.”

chloe’s breath catches. “okay,” she says softly. “i’m not leaving. what do you want? can i do anything?”

this question seems to perplex him, so she tries again. “can i hold your hand? sometimes it helps, to ground you, you know?”

looking just as confused, he nods, extracting one of his hands from where it’s curled around his legs to reach for her. chloe takes it in her own, encases his large one with two of her smaller ones. “there, that’s it. you’re gonna be okay. just take a few deep breaths with me, okay?”

“’m not a child, ’tective,” lucifer whispers, but she watches two tears dribble helplessly down his red cheeks and simply squeezes his hand tighter.

“deep breath, lucifer.”

eventually, he follows her, breathing in and out in time with her until the wheezing gasps slow to even breaths and tears stop dripping down his face. he keeps his hand securely in hers, gripping it tighter each time he takes a sharp breath in, her thumb rubbing gently across the webbing between his thumb and forefinger.

twenty minutes later, her ass numb and the room dead silent, chloe clears her throat. “do you want to tell me about it?”

lucifer turns away from her. he’d been staring at her the entire time, eyes set on hers as he followed her breathing, silently pleading with her to stay. now, however, he turns, his next words spoken to the wall as his grip tightens on hers. “my dad used to yell a lot.”

chloe’s chest constricts. “yeah?”

“yeah,” lucifer’s voice cracks. “mostly at me. and that – that man, he just –” he turns back to her, fresh tears brewing in his eyes as his lip wobbles. “why was he so mad at me?”

she’s not sure if it’s possible to feel a heart break, but something certainly snaps in chloe’s chest at the look on his face. “he wasn’t mad at you, babe,” she whispers, the pet name slipping out as if she were comforting trixie. “they’ve been here since four this morning, he was probably just tired. you didn’t do anything wrong.”

lucifer bites his lip, hesitating before he scoots slightly closer to her, taking a shaky breath. “you promise?”

“i promise,” chloe assures him, untangling one of her hands from his to guide his head gently down onto her shoulder. “you did nothing wrong. it’s okay.”

he nods, letting her scratch her fingers lightly through his curls, his breathing evening again as he lets his eyes flutter closed. “sorry, detective,” he whispers, sounding genuinely guilty as he shifts away from her. “didn’t mean to unload all my family trauma on you.”

“don’t be sorry,” she murmurs back, resting her head against his to keep him in place. “you can unload on me anytime.”

right on cue, she feels his head shift beneath hers, and she smacks the hand that’s still holding hers with a sigh. “not like that. don’t be weird.”

“oh, come on,” he mumbles lazily, reaching for her hand again. “you know you love it.”

and with the devil half-asleep on her shoulder, chloe decker thinks she actually might. because she’d do anything to keep the haunted look she’d seen not an hour earlier off his face, even if it means letting him go full lucifer on the sex jokes just because it makes him laugh.

and if that’s not love, what is?

Chapter Text

20. You can borrow mine.”

huffing a frustrated sigh, chloe glances at her stubbornly parked car and wards off more of trixie’s questions as she speaks into the phone. “no, it won’t start, no, i didn’t leave the lights on, yes, it’s a company car. no – i have to get my daughter to school, i don’t have time to wait for the mechanics. no. okay. thank you. right.”

her daughter looks up at her, front teeth missing as she smiles. “is someone coming to fix our car, mommy?”

chloe shakes her head. “no, baby. we’ll have to take the bus. daddy chose the wrong weekend to be out of town, huh?”

trixie nods, tugging at her schoolbag dejectedly. “will you come on the bus with me? last time i went with daddy there were loud men singing weird songs.”

making a mental note to ask dan why on earth he was taking their daughter on busses with loud men, chloe nods quickly. “of course. let mommy just call work and let them know she’ll be late, and then we’ll go, yeah?”

trixie nods, bouncing impatiently as chloe unlocks her phone, calling ahead to the precinct to confirm her absence for the morning and then grabbing trixie’s hand as they start the walk down to the bus stop. trixie chatters aimlessly about school, clutching chloe’s hand tight in her own, and then stops. “mommy, do you have to tell lucifer you’ll be late too?”

as always, her daughter’s lisp around his name makes chloe smile. “probably, baby. shall we call him?”

lucifer doesn’t have a mobile that chloe knows about, so she dials lux, rolling her eyes when a tired sounding bouncer picks up with a grunted we’re closed. she gets onto lucifer eventually, his voice silky smooth through the phone even at the early hour. “hey,” she says. “just letting you know that i’m gonna be late into work today, so you don’t need to come in til after lunch. got it?”

lucifer hums his agreement, and chloe’s about to hang up when he speaks again. “not that i particularly care,” he says, “but am i allowed to ask why you’re taking the morning off?”

chloe huffs. “nosey, much? our car broke down so i have to take trix to school on the bus. good enough for you?”

clearly, it’s not good enough for him. “the bus, detective?” he splutters. “now, i know your job doesn’t pay brilliantly, but surely you don’t stoop that low.”

“lucifer,” she sighs, exasperated. “our car won’t start. we don’t have another choice. i’ll see you after lunch.”

“you always have another choice, detective,” he says easily. “if your car doesn’t work, you can borrow mine. i’ll pick you up in fifteen.”

o0o0o

true to his word, he pulls up to the curb they’re on not twenty minutes later, giving them a carefree grin. “detective. urchin. good morning.”

“morning, lucifer!” trixie beams. unable to hug him, she settles for a reluctant high five, poking her tongue out at him when he wipes his hand on his suit once she’s done. chloe slides into the passenger seat, passing lucifer the coffee they’d picked up from a nearby café while they waited. “thanks for this.”

“of course,” he shrugs, “couldn’t let you take the bus like peasants.”

“lucifer,” chloe sighs. “you know people take the bus all the time, right?”

“they shouldn’t,” he shudders, pulling out and towards trixie’s school. “horrid vehicles. so busy and – and germy.”

chloe snorts, leaning back against the comfortable upholstery as she lets lucifer drive them to her kid’s school. only once trixie has kissed chloe’s cheek goodbye through the window (and disgusted lucifer by doing the same to him), and they’ve driven to the precinct, does chloe turn to him. “if we go anywhere today, i have to drive. as a consultant, you’re not meant to have charge over a vehicle in an investigation.”

lucifer balks. “detective, it’s my vehicle.”

“i know,” she grins. “but rules are rules. otherwise we have to take the bus.”

his eyes, if possible, open wider. “but –”

“but nothing,” chloe shakes her head, holding her hand out. “keys, please.”

looking as if it physically pains him, lucifer hands them over, hesitating before he drops them into her palm. “if you do anything to her…”

“her?” chloe asks, teasing. “does she have a name?”

“don’t be absurd,” he frowns. “why would she have a name?”

chloe snorts, shaking her head. “no reason. come on.”

when she drives later, lucifer is practically vibrating in his seat. she watches him physically restrain himself from reaching out to grab the steering wheel at one stage, and when the drive gets boring, she swerves just a little too hard, just because it’s funny to see him flustered.

he drops her off at her house later that evening, taking his keys back with a shaky exhale as he pockets them safely. “never again, detective.”

“why?” chloe grins. “she looks fine to me.”

“she’s emotionally traumatised,” lucifer says decidedly. “you’ve put her through hell, and that was meant to be my job.”

“oh, she’s traumatised, huh?” chloe grins. “not you?”

“me?” he looks at her, head cocked. “of course not. don’t be daft.”

daft. he’s so annoying.

“bye, lucifer,” she says, shaking her head. “see you tomorrow.”

“fix your car, detective,” he counters, saluting her with a tiny smirk. “you’re never driving mine again.”

Chapter Text

21. “You might like this.”

“here, lucifer,” trixie giggles, passing him the remote. “choose out of the ones me and mommy picked earlier.”

“urchin,” lucifer narrows his eyes. “these all appear to be animated.”

“that’s the point, silly,” trixie grins toothily, her tongue poking out between the gap in her front teeth. “they’re disney. my favourites.”

“i knew disney,” lucifer says lazily, flicking through the options on the scene. “unusual man. brilliant brain, you know, but very – eh – with people.”

“who’s eh with people?” chloe returns with a huge bowl of popcorn, setting it in her daughter’s lap before she sits down next to lucifer, careful to leave a casual – safe – space between their thighs.

“you, detective,” lucifer teases, reaching out to poke her arm. “very eh. want some pointers? i’m rather brilliant at them.”

“i’m good, thanks,” chloe raises her eyebrow. “did you two choose a movie?”

“i chose options,” trixie pipes up, mouth full of buttery popcorn. “but lucifer’s taking ages to make the last decision.”

“because these all look horrid!” he exclaims, flicking pointlessly through them again. “what on earth is a nemo and why does it need finding?”

“lucifer,” trixie tuts, stealing the remote back. “you’ve gone to the wrong screen. that’s not in my choices for tonight.” she flicks around for a second, pressing buttons, until her face lights up. “have you seen the greatest showman?”

“that sounds like a cheesy pornogr-”

chloe stiffens next to him. “no, lucifer.”

lucifer huffs. “no, urchin, i have not. what’s it about?”

trixie’s face lights up. “mom, can we watch it?”

chloe shrugs. she likes the greatest showman – for a feel good, family friendly movie, it’s certainly not as bad as some of the rubbish she’s watched for trixie. and there have definitely been times she’s caught herself humming along to this is me while doing the dishes. “sure, babe. i don’t mind.”

trixie squeals, pressing play and scooting closer to lucifer. “okay, so you need to understand that it’s about this guy, his name is barnah or burhan or something, and –”

“barnum, baby,” chloe supplies. “p.t. barnum.”

lucifer lights up. “oh, i knew him too! horrible chap. surprised he didn’t put me on show the second i showed him my eyes, the things he got up to –”

“lucifer,” chloe warns, mindful of her daughter’s innocent brain. “enjoy the movie, hmm? i think you might like this, actually.”

he raises an eyebrow at her, but soon enough, trixie’s singing along (off-key, lucifer notes) to the songs, and chloe’s given up on her safe distance and has her head resting against lucifer’s shoulder as she hums along to a million dreams.

“what would you wish for, lucifer?” trixie asks, as on-screen, barnum’s daughter closes her eyes and wishes for ballet slippers. “if you could have anything in the world?”

lucifer considers this. the question is uncomfortably similar to his own favourite – what does he desire? if he thinks about it, he could probably get most things. anything material – well, he’s got enough connections to get his hands on everything within hours. and his club means there’s never a shortage of people for him to have – relations – with (not that he’s very interested in that lately, his brain supplies helpfully).

“i don’t know,” he says honestly. trixie looks put out, but another song starts, and she lets him off so she can resume singing, the notes muffled through popcorn.

listlessly complaining about the millions of points they’d gotten wrong historically, lucifer regales them with stories of his own experiences with barnum, almost making trixie choke on her popcorn at a particular tale that involved working with the performers to tie barnum amongst the trapeze ropes. he makes one comment about zac efron that has trixie making a terrifying promise that their next movie night will involve something called high school musical, which, despite his hopes, chloe assures him is vastly different to hot tub high school.

and then two of the characters start singing about forbidden love, about rewriting fate through the stars, and trixie’s question from earlier comes back to haunt him. he hardly concentrates as the circus catches fire, stuck on the lyrics of the song that the couple on the hoops had sung.

you claim it’s not in the cards, that fate is pulling you miles away, and out of reach from me.

his gaze falls to the sleepy detective curled tight into his side, her breathing soft and eyes lidded. fate wasn’t pulling her away – quite the opposite, really. and he does want her.

lucifer created the stars, he knows they have nothing to do with chloe and how she feels about him. but stupidly, selfishly, he spares them a thought, remembering how it felt to hold them in his hands when he was young and creative, and thinks that if there’s a chance he created them with any idea of how they’d control his future, he hopes he wrote them correctly the first time.

he hopes his stars don’t need to be rewritten.

because –

“more like this,” he whispers, voice scratchy. “you asked what i would wish for? i want more nights like this.”

chloe stirs next to him, but he doesn’t want her to acknowledge the magnitude of what he just said, so he just curls his arm around her and pulls her close against him again, eyes laid resolutely on the screen in front of him. as if she knows what he means, she settles again, but not before he feels a soft kiss pressed to his shoulder, and her voice, soft and small.

“i want more, too.”

Chapter Text

22. “It’s not heavy.  I’m stronger than I look.”

“it’s not heavy,” she huffs, glaring at him. “i’m stronger than i look.”

“okay, love,” lucifer says, amused, watching as his – very pregnant – girlfriend tries to lift the last moving box into the back of the van they’d hired for the day. they were transporting all of lucifer’s stuff from the penthouse to chloe’s place, in preparation for his departure, a scary three weeks away.

chloe’s due any day now, her belly poking prominently out over the stretchy elastic pants she’d worn for the day of moving. predictably, lucifer had insisted she didn’t help at all, but she’d taken one look at the lonely seat he’d set up for her downstairs in the club and refused immediately, and had been helping determinedly ever since despite lucifer’s gripes.

watching her struggle with the box, lucifer tries to take it from her, but chloe stomps her foot with a growl and yanks it back, grasping it flimsily in her arms around her already-bulging stomach.

she makes it halfway to the van before the box’s base splits in two and the final books it had carried spill onto the ground, a few stray pages flying in the gentle breeze as chloe looks down at them, defeated.

“chloe,” lucifer says gently. “it’s okay.”

she looks up at him, pouting, before she drops the rest of the box and stamps angrily. “no, it’s not.”

“chloe,” he says again, taking a step forward. “it’s okay, i promise.”

“i broke your – stupid books,” she sulks, looking helplessly down at her feet over her stomach. “and now they’re wet and gross and it’s my fault –”

lucifer sighs as the breakdown he’d tried so hard to avoid hits full force, chloe’s cheeks colouring a bright red before she barrels into him, tears welling in her eyes.

“i don’t care about the books, love,” lucifer murmurs, kissing her hairline. “they’re worthless. but this… isn’t about the books, is it?”

“what are you talking about?” she snaps, stepping backwards with a teary glare. “course it’s about the books.”

when she’d first started getting snappy, back at the end of the second trimester, lucifer had packed his stuff and hidden at lux for days, sending her uber eats and cat gifs but keeping his distance lest she yell at him again. multiple sessions with linda later (during which she’d explained that chloe wasn’t mad at him, her hormones probably just couldn’t cope with his… luciferness that day) he’d gotten used to it, counteracting chloe’s bad days with hugs and trying not to take her general grumpiness personally.

“it’s not about the books,” he says now, gently, and folds her against him. “it’s okay. i know today was hard.”

he feels the exact moment she shifts from pissy to sad, her body sagging in her arms as she whispers, voice small. “i’m not ready for you to leave.”

“you’re never going to be ready, chloe,” he says softly. “neither am i. but we have to do this.”

“i don’t want to.” her grumpiness is back, petulant pout set on wobbling lips. “i don’t wanna do this, lucifer.”

he smooths her wrinkled forehead with his thumb and presses a kiss there once he’s done. “i know you don’t.”

“so don’t go.”

lucifer sighs. she’s been like this, lately, less eager for him to leave, more insistent he stays. on the days she feels good, she’s set in her insistence for him to go, sure that this is the right thing for him to do. but on the bad days – and they’re getting to be more frequent than the good ones the more pregnant she gets, the hormones coupled with swollen feet and an ever-aching spine – on the bad days, chloe will cling to him and whisper for him not to leave, and each time her shaking voice breaks his resolve just a little more.

he ignores it today, and shuffles her back inside to the bare penthouse, sitting her on one of the couches that’s covered in sheets before he settles next to her and pulls her carefully into his lap, delicate with her as if she’s a doll.

she snuggles sadly into his shoulder, arms coming up to wrap tight around his neck. lucifer’s hands gently massage her lower back, right where he knows it’s been hurting particularly badly lately, and she goes limp against him, arching into his touch.

when she moves, he knows exactly what’s coming next, and rolls his shoulders before she even has the chance to say ‘wings?’, a hint of hope shining in her voice. the limbs encase them both easily, and chloe sighs, cuddling closer still as lucifer’s hands work at her back.

“i’m scared,” she murmurs eventually, her quiet voice tickling his neck. “i don’t know if i can do this.”

“but i do,” he mumbles, placing a gentle kiss to her shoulder, and another to the soft hairs in front of her ear. his next words are breathed directly into her hairline, just loud enough for her to hear. “you’re the strongest person i know, chloe. you can do this.”

“i don’t think i can,” she whispers sadly, and lucifer sighs as he feels the tell-tale damp warmth of tears run down his neck from her cheeks. he brings a hand up to cup her head, holding her against him. “i don’t want to lose you.”

“you’re not losing me, love,” he promises. “i’ll be with you, remember? always. and i know you can do it. you’re a brilliant mum, and rory will be lucky to have you.”

chloe sniffles. lucifer continues.

“and when the time comes,” he murmurs, “i’ll be with you again. with both of you.” his hand finds it’s way to her belly, rubbing soothing circles over the swollen skin. “and then we won’t have to part again. ever.”

Chapter Text

23. “I’ll wait.”

this time when he visits, chloe is acting strange.

she’s not hiding anything from him – lucifer would be able to tell. but she’s definitely not acting like herself, and it scares him.

he waits until after they’ve… reunited… after he’s kissed her senseless and brought her to shaking bliss over and over again, after she’s whispered how much she misses him in between panting gasps and made him remember what it feels like to be whole.

and then, when she’s curled up to his side, her hand drawing aimless patterns on his chest, he presses a kiss to her head and says “what’s wrong, love?”

“wrong?” her voice is lazy. “nothing’s wrong.”

in fact, everything was right. for the first time in ages, she felt right.

he hums, considering his next move. he doesn’t want to upset her further, doesn’t want this gorgeously domestic cuddling schmick they’ve got going on to end just because he pushes her too far. “you seem on edge.”

“i’m not on edge,” she says, punctuating her words with soft kisses to his chest. “i’m good.”

lucifer kisses her head again, his nose resting in her hair as he inhales her in, taking in the coconutty, shea buttery scent of hers he’s missed so much. “okay.”

she shifts her leg over his, curling closer as she buries her head in the curve of his neck, humming happily as his hand finds it’s way into her hair, scratching gently at her scalp. they lay like this for a second, happy and content, before chloe speaks up.

“do you ever get bored, down there?”

“bored?” he gets a lot of things (mostly exasperated – who thought it was a good idea to leave souls trapped with their guilt – and only their guilt – for millennia? half his clients give stuck in their ways a whole new meaning) but bored isn’t one of them. he’s got plenty of work to do, plenty of souls to help, and while he adores his breaks up here with chloe, there’s never a shortage of things to do. “why would i get bored?”

chloe shrugs, falling quiet again, but lucifer’s sniffed the truth now and like hell is he doing to let it go. he runs his fingers down her bare back, feigning innocence, and then asks “do you get bored up here?”

he feels chloe’s eyebrows furrow against his neck, smiles slyly as she shifts. “i don’t know if you’ve ever raised a one year old,” she says, raising an eyebrow, “but the word bored is no longer in my vocabulary.”

oh, lucifer thinks, two can play this game. “well,” he says. “i don’t know if youve ever ran hell, but there’s not much room to get bored down there, either.”

chloe rolls her eyes at him, pecking him once quickly on the lips before she settles back into his arms. “that’s not what i meant.”

“oh?” his fingers resume their patterns across her back, skating lovingly over a stretch mark he’s particularly fond of on her hip. “what did you mean then, love?”

chloe nuzzles her face closer into his skin. “’s stupid. you’re gonna laugh at me.”

“i would never,” lucifer teases, and then laughs as she glares at him. “okay. seriously. i’m yours.”

the words, for a reason unbeknown to him, seem to calm her, and she smiles shyly up at him, laughing softly as he tickles her ribs. “mine,” she whispers, almost absently, her eyelids fluttering.

“completely yours,” lucifer says, frowning, and punctuates it with a kiss as his fingers lay the slightest amount of pressure on her hip, pulling her to him. “always.”

chloe nods, and then – only then – does it click for lucifer what she’s asking. “chloe,” he says seriously. “did you mean bored like… that?”

“maybe,” she shrugs, ducking her head back into his neck. her voice is muffled, and he can practically feel the blush lighting up her face. he shifts her so that he can look right into her eyes, eyebrows furrowed in confusion. “i’m just wondering… time moves differently in hell to here, and –”

“and nothing,” he says firmly, tilting her face to look at his even as she squirms in his touch. “i’m yours. i don’t care if it’s an hour or an eon – i’ll wait. i’ll always wait for you, chloe.”

she flushes, and he can’t help but grin at the shy smile that tugs at her lips, kissing it quickly before he shifts, sliding down her body as he peppers it with open mouthed kisses. “i’ll wait for this,” he whispers against her clavicle, “and this,” her pulse point, “and this,” her sternum, “and definitely these.” her breasts get special treatment, and she purrs under his lips. he makes his way down, lips buttery soft against her skin, and then pauses at her stomach.

“and these,” he whispers, his breath fluttering across the graveyard of stretch marks she’d developed since having rory. they litter her skin like stars, and lucifer thinks they’re perhaps the most beautiful constellation he’s ever had a hand in creating. “i’d wait forever for these.”

beneath him, chloe exhales shakily, her hand coming down to tangle in his hair as he presses kiss after reverent kiss against her belly, nuzzling at her belly button for a second before he looks up at her with a grin, scooting temporarily upwards to breathe his next words softly against her lips. “i’d wait forever for you,” he murmurs. “don’t you forget it.”

he's buried between her legs before his brows furrow again, and he pauses – much to chloe’s chagrin – to look up at her again. “that said,” he smirks. “i don’t want to wait forever. don’t take too long to die, will you?”

she gives him a huffed shut up, lucifer to that, and he does so happily, smiling so wide she can feel it as he presses a wet kiss to her thigh. “and i’d wait forever for this…”

Chapter Text

24. “Just because.”

she’s kissing him.

that’s the first thought that makes it through the mess of feelings in her head.

eve is kissing him.

and then –

he’s kissing her back.

nothing much else computes, the scene in front of her playing out like one of the cartoons she used to watch with trixie when she was little. by the time chloe tunes back in, lucifer’s leaning against the bar, his shirt untucked and a few buttons undone as he sips absently at some whiskey, and eve’s gone.

her feet carry her down the stairs without warning, and suddenly she’s standing in front of him with no clue what to say or do except –

“where’s eve?”

he turns to her with a raised eyebrow, the whiskey smothering his surprise with ease. “detective. what an unexpected pleasure.”

she waves him off, standing her ground. “where’s eve?”

“upstairs,” he says, confused. “why?”

chloe takes a shaky breath, begging herself to hold strong for just a moment more, to hold herself together for a little longer. she can break when she gets home. there’s a bottle of wine in the fridge calling her name, and no one who wants anything from her except a warm bed and empty sheets. “i want to talk to you. without her.”

he raises an eyebrow. “i told you, i’m done working with you. eve and i –”

“i don’t want to hear about eve.”

he looks surprised, cocks his head appreciatively as she steals his drink from the bar and downs it in one. “okay. why are you here, then?”

well. she can’t really tell him that, can she? “just because.”

“detective,” lucifer says, utterly done. “can we not do this, please?”

“do what?” she’s being childish and she knows it, her chin stuck defiantly out in front of her. “tell me, lucifer. can we not do what?”

“this,” he gestures vaguely between them, sighing heavily. “i understand that you have your… gripes, with me. i fully accept that. but i’m just –” his voice cracks, and he looks back down at his empty glass. “i’m not ready for this yet.”

“not ready for what?” she looks up at him desperately. they’re stuck between what they both want, and what they think they need. “please, lucifer.”

“don’t,” he whispers, meeting her eyes. “please don’t beg me.”

because he’s never been able to say no. not to her.

she stares at him until he drops his gaze again, exhaustion showing clear on his face. “i’m tired, detective. i can’t keep doing this. i understand if you never want to see me again, but i can’t –”

“you don’t know what i want.”

it’s true. he’s never been able to draw out her desire the way he can others. but her actions over the past weeks – the past months – they’ve been clear enough, even without celestial powers. “tell me, then,” he says, voice flat. “what do you desire?”

chloe swallows, blinking. “you,” she says quietly. “i want you.”

she wants him to laugh and say i knew you’d come around or pick her up and kiss her against the bar. she wants the sparkle in his eye to return as he looks at her in quiet wonder, wants to feel his lips against hers as he calls her his own.

but when he looks at her, it’s in pain, not wonder. “don’t do this,” he says. “don’t lie to me.”

“i’m not lying,” she whispers back. “i wouldn’t lie to you.”

he blinks at her, a storm raging in his eyes, and then turns away and says bluntly “then leave.”

what?

“lucifer –”

leave, detective.”

“no.” she steps towards him, places her arm on his shoulder.

he whips around, slamming a glass on the bar, towering over her. “i said leave.”

“and i said no.” she glares back up at him, standing defiantly. once upon a time she would’ve been scared, but not anymore. not ever again. “lucifer, i want this.”

“and i don’t care!” he’s yelling now, wringing his hands as he steps back. “you don’t get to do this, chloe!”

“why?” she’s yelling back, taking two steps towards him for every one he takes back. “why, lucifer?”

“because it’s not bloody fair!” he looks at her, really looks at her, angry tears brimming in his eyes. “you can’t run off to bloody europe and then come back and say you want me!”

“i said i’m sorry about that!” she’s grasping at straws, anything to keep him with her. “lucifer, i swear. it was a mistake –”

“i don’t care if it was a mistake, detective,” he says suddenly, numbly. he stops moving, defeated. “i’m happy, can’t you see?”

he’s got salty tear tracks down his cheeks, chest heaving with the effort of each breath, trembling slightly as he looks at her. bravely, she takes a step forward, reaching out a shaky hand towards his face before she falters and drops it over his heart instead. “you’re not happy.”

“you don’t know me, detective!” his voice is strained as he looks at her, brows furrowed into a desperate frown. “you don’t know if i’m happy. you can’t.”

“i do,” she pleads. “lucifer, i see you every day. i’ve seen you happy. this isn’t it, it’s not, please…”

he gives her a sad laugh, the pathetic sound coming out as more of a sob. “leave.” his voice cracks, exhausted, his hand shaking as he plucks hers off his chest. “please, chloe. leave.”

she drops her hand as if it’s been burned, her voice small. “is that what you want?”

not looking at her, he nods, stepping backwards. “it is.”

“very well,” she whispers, and he nods again. she watches his adam’s apple bob as he swallows, and she has to gulp against her own tears. “lucifer?”

his head tilts, the slightest indication that he heard her.

“you were the best partner i’ve ever had.”

he doesn’t look up, and chloe ducks her head, her footsteps clicking loudly against the empty club floors as she exits, strangled sobs bursting from her chest only once she’s out in the cool night air.

and, alone in his club, the devil watches the door swing shut with eyes full of matching tears, and wonders how he’s managed to fuck up the one good thing in his life.

Chapter Text

25. “Look both ways.”

“no, baby,” chloe says, throwing her arm out to stop a toddler rory from running into oncoming traffic. “we have to look first, remember?”

rory nods obediently, pigtails bouncing as she sways her head from side to side before looking back up at her mother. “okay?”

“okay, babe,” chloe grins, taking her hand and walking across the crossing towards lux. “who are we going to surprise at work, hmm?”

“daddy!” rory’s grin is bright and contagious, and she looks up at the large building in front of them with wide eyes. “big.”

“very big,” chloe nods, swinging her kid up onto her hip as they navigate through the dwindling crowds mingling outside her boyfriend’s club. “daddy’s very successful.”

“s’cessful,” rory nods wisely, burying her head in her mom’s shoulder as chloe pushes her way towards the club. “when i grow up i wanna be s’cessful like daddy.”

“i’m sure you will be, baby,” chloe grins, pressing a kiss to rory’s temple before they finally make it inside and her daughter squirms to be let down. placing her carefully on the ground, chloe laughs as rory beelines towards the piano in the middle of the empty club, clambering upwards until she’s seated precariously on the edge of the stool, her little hands bashing discordant notes as she presses keys randomly.

chloe’s watching on with a warm smile when she feels a soft kiss on the back of her neck, soon accompanied by a smooth british voice that croons “where’s that beautiful music coming from?”

“me, daddy!” rory shrieks, eyes lighting up as she reaches for her father. “’m playin’ the pano.”

piano, love,” lucifer corrects gently, bumping his hip against said instrument as he watches his daughter. “want to show me again?”

rory nods, excited, chubby fists crashing down onto the keys again as she yelps with excitement, a cheeky grin on her lips. lucifer watches with a smile, his arm wrapping automatically around chloe’s waist as she comes to stand next to him. “we’ve created a musical prodigy, darling,” he teases. “she puts even mozart to shame, and that kid was insane.”

the music stops as chloe laughs, rory looking up at them. “who’s mozart?”

lucifer scoops his daughter up with a smile, entertaining her with tales of how he’d helped mozart create some of his most renowned symphonies, the composer taking the top line while he took the bottom. rory listens, rapt with attention – as she always is, whenever her father decides it’s story time – and leans her head on lucifer’s shoulder as chloe leads them out of the club.

they’d decided to get takeaway from a cute little Italian place across the street from lux before spending the night together at the penthouse, a rare occasion nowadays. usually they resided at one of lucifer’s bigger properties north of the city, close enough to trixie’s school but large enough that they had room to grow their family. chloe had sold her apartment a few months after rory was born, the mixture of a newborn and a hormonal teenager too chaotic for such a tiny place.

but occasionally, business man as he was, lucifer still had to attend to his club, and thus these nights were born – little getaways to the penthouse that reminded chloe of the beginning, with hot chips and no ketchup (rory was just like her mother in that regard) and nights spent on the balcony with the love of her life and their daughters.

trixie was at a sleepover tonight, holed up somewhere and talking excitedly about crushes and celebrities with her friends. chloe had dropped her off a few hours ago, promising to save her some of the ice cream lucifer always had stored in the penthouse.

she’s interrupted from her musings by a screech from her daughter, and laughs as rory’s tiny arm is thrusted protectively across her dad’s chest, a pathetic mockery of chloe’s movements before. “daddy, you have to look.”

“that’s right, baby,” chloe says proudly. “look both ways, lucifer.”

her boyfriend huffs, doing as he’s told before he crosses the street, linking the hand that’s not holding rory with chloe’s as they make their way to the dinner place.

within twenty minutes, warm containers of pasta and pizza boxes held protectively in lucifer’s arms while rory finds her home on his shoulders, her little hands grasped in his curls, they make their way back across the street. lux is warming up now, only half an hour from opening time, and lucifer takes his girls through the back entrance to avoid the crowds, manoeuvring them through expertly before they make it into the elevator.

he places rory on the ground as chloe dishes bowls of carbonara and warm slices of deep dish pizza, and the toddler runs excitedly around, touching every artefact she hasn’t seen for months before she sits down on the ground and takes her pasta happily.

once they’re full to the brim with cream and carbs, lucifer seats himself on the stool of the baby grand and pulls rory into his lap, his hands covering hers as he guides them gently over the keys, plucking out a simple rendition of twinkle twinkle little star.

rory babbles along, getting some of the lyrics right, butchering the others, and then turns to her dad with a hopeful, tired smile. “want you to play your song, daddy.”

“my song?” his eyebrows furrow, and he looks to chloe, but she’s just as lost. “what song, love?”

“yours and mommy’s song,” rory murmurs, shifting in his lap as she leans her head back against his chest. “together.”

realisation dawning on him, lucifer beckons chloe to sit beside him, and together, they fall into a familiar duet of heart and soul. rory hums happily on top of them, her eyes fluttering closed as chloe’s head rests on lucifer’s shoulder, her lips pressing a kiss to his suit jacket and another to rory’s soft curls.

lucifer’s voice rumbles quietly through the penthouse, words whispered lovingly into rory’s hair and chloe’s forehead interchangeably.

but now i see what one embrace can do, look at me, it’s got me loving you, madly… that little kiss you stole, held all my heart and soul.

Chapter Text

26. “I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to.”

the night after lucifer brings dan to see her, chloe has a nightmare.

it starts off much the same as they normally do – the entrance to the gaping coliseum looming over her head, lucifer’s arms cradling her body, the sinking feeling that despite her words of reassurance, she still feels guilty

but then suddenly, rather than lurching into a horrid dream where she can’t escape hell, lucifer’s hand just out of reach as her guilt drags her down, her thoughts instead turn to the moments after she’d returned to earth, in the few minutes where she thought she’d lost lucifer.

in her dream, she lunges at michael, azrael’s blade glinting across his neck as she holds it there, shaking. a hint of hope blooming in her chest, chloe waits for lucifer to appear behind her, but the longer his twin struggles beneath her, the longer he doesn’t turn up – the longer her resolve wavers.

come back, she thinks. please. come back to me.

she turns back to michael, spitting at his neck with a hiss. he doesn’t listen, thrashing about beneath her, and chloe’s filled with a rage so sudden and pure that she forces the blade down and listens as it gives a sickening crunch, the sharp edge piercing his chest with a weak splatter.

she looks down, and screams, her whole body convulsing as the face she’d hated so much, scarred and manipulative, morphs easily into the too-similar face of the love of her life, his eyes wide and scared.

“lucifer!” her sob is breathless and sick, and she gags over the next cry as she hears michael sneer from behind her. “lucifer, i’m sorry. i’m so sorry.”

haunted sobs break from her lips, chest heaving with the effort of breathing. lucifer looks up at her, a sad smile stretched over his lips. “’s okay, d’tective,” he murmurs. “’lways knew you w’re cap’ble.”

with a splutter and a cough, his eyes fall closed, the blood spurting from his chest slowing as he slips away from her, gone somewhere she can now never follow. she falls onto him with a sob, screaming into his neck. “no. no! it wasn’t meant to be you! lucifer!”

“chloe.” the voice is far away, but insistent enough that she stutters. “chloe, love…”

“i’m sorry,” she wheezes, gasping for breath as she watches the blade in his chest wilt slightly as he takes his final breath. “i’m sorry. i’m so sorry.” she catches sight of her hands, coated in red blood – his blood – and gives a gasped cry, pressing them into his chest. “lucifer, i’m sorry.”

“chloe, love,” the voice, muddled and weak as though it’s trapped underwater, comes again. “wake up. it’s just a bad dream. you’re okay.”

she hesitates, jerking around to find the source of the sound. michael’s disappeared, the only thing left in a great expanse of white being lucifer’s cold body and her shaking, bloody hands.

“chloe,” it whispers. calling her. “come here, love.”

love.

that’s what he called her.

and look how she repaid him…

another glance downwards at his limp body has her thrashing around, taking a series of quick breaths before she freezes and screams.

chloe.” something lunges at her, crashing into her with a huff and pushing her off lucifer’s body into… dark.

it’s so dark.

“chloe, chloe, chloe,” the voice is soft and repetitive, and she whimpers as something presses down firmly on top of her. “open your eyes, love. everything’s okay.”

her eyes?

they are open. aren’t they?

with more effort than it should take, she peels her eyelids open, blinking anxiously into even more darkness. there’s something heavy on her, leaving her trapped on the floor even as she flails. she kicks at it, thrashing about underneath, but it’s desperate to remain on top of her, and eventually she gives up.

“hello, love,” the voice murmurs, scarily close to her ear. “that’s it. calm down. you’re okay.”

the weight on top of her shifts, and she whines, toes curling as her whole body tenses. blinking again, she manages to make out a body over her own, assumedly the same body the voice is emanating from. she curls underneath it, kicking out again, but the weight remains constant and even, pressing her down with hushed reassurances.

the person shifts, and chloe makes out his face. “lucifer?” lucifer.

she screams, and it surprises him, allowing her a second that she takes immediate advantage of, using all of her force to scuttle away from him. he sighs, leaping at her again, tackling her carefully to the bed as she thrashes and flails in his arms.

“shh, chloe,” he murmurs, holding her shaking body tight against his front. “shh, everything’s alright. deep breaths, now, you’re okay.”

she takes one look at his face and collapses into heaving sobs, clutching at his shoulders as she slobbers into his chest. “i’m so sorry. i’m sorry. i didn’t mean to. ’m sorry, lucifer…”

“shhh,” he whispers again. “you have nothing to be sorry for. it’s okay. calm down. you’re alright.”

she’s not alright. images flash through her head – holding the blade to him earlier that day, him holding her in much the same position as they’re in now when she finally surrendered it. the look on his face when she’d straddled him, blade shoved towards his chest. his face from her dream, looking as though he didn’t expect any less from her. the inevitably sad tone of his voice. always knew you were capable.

she makes him vulnerable, but what if that’s his downfall? what if she’s his ultimate weakness?

“get away,” she whispers, pushing weakly at him. he ignores her. “lucifer, get away.”

“i’m not going anywhere, love,” he whispers, mistaking her pleading for insecurity. “you’re stuck with me.”

and that’s the problem, isn’t it? she’s stuck with him, and he’s stuck with her, and in the end, that will be his demise. because she is a monster.

“chloe, love,” lucifer murmurs sadly, rocking her gently as he rests his cheek on her head. “it’s okay. you’re okay. i’m right here.”

“g-go,” she whispers, again, exhausted. “lu – luc’fer, go.”

“i’m not going,” he shakes his head, lifting her up easily and settling them both back into the bed, his larger frame encasing her trembling one as he rests against the headboard. “shh. it’s okay. i’m not going anywhere.”

and chloe’s too tired to argue, so instead, she crumples in his arms, letting his soft words and tight grip console her back into an exhausted sleep.

Chapter Text

27. “Try some.”

he’s grinning at her, amused, his face as happy and bright as hers is disgusted.

“no, lucifer,” she says, for what feels like the hundredth time. “i don’t want to try you cashew marzipan. it looks gross.”

casu marzu, love,” lucifer corrects, scooping another bite of the unusual cheese onto a cracker and popping it happily into his mouth. “seriously, darling. it’s delectable.

“i have absolutely no interest in trying maggot cheese,” chloe shakes her head resolutely, picking carefully at what appears to be a much safer option of sundried tomatoes. “thank you anyway.”

“but darling,” lucifer pouts, stretching the pet name out like she’s causing him the greatest discomfort. “when in rome…”

“when in rome, i deserve to not feel physically ill,” chloe says, eyeing the cheese with distaste. “and that makes me feel sick without even ingesting it.”

lucifer scrunches up his face at her, rolling his eyes before he wipes his hand on the napkin he’s got tucked adorably under his chin and scoots his chair back. “i’m going to get drinks, and since you’re clearly not in an experimental mood, mind telling me what you’d like?”

she orders a fancy italian red that she knows lucifer will replace with something much more expensive, and watches him fondly as he bounces towards the outdoor bar before she turns back to their food. they’ve been in italy for a week now, a nice vacation to celebrate their anniversary while linda and amenadiel take care of the girls back home. lucifer, as expected, had been thrilled to introduce chloe to some of his favourite places, and she’s spent the week learning more than anyone should ever know about his conquests with davinci and how he had a hand in painting the sistine chapel.

he'd tried to take her there, pulling her excitedly towards the church to show her a specifically crude drawing he’d hidden behind one of the higher up beams back in the sixteenth century, but the place had been packed and to his great dismay the crowds had been too dense to find his handiwork.

but chloe’s favourite moments of the week have been when lucifer pulls her aside from the crowded tourist attractions and shows her hidden pleasures he’s heard of or visited in past trips to italy. there are ancient ruins they visit on the outskirts of milan that lucifer tells her used to be the home of a great italian prince, cast out from his family because of a scandalous incident involving three molta bella ragazze, an incident he’d had a hand in, a story he tells with a cheeky grin and bright eyes.

or there was the clearing he took her to the other night, laying her down on a soft blanket and resting her head on his heart as he pointed out constellations and tells her of the preposterous stories the ancient romans came up with in order to explain the world. surprise surprise, lucifer’s favourite character out of the roman mythology was the goddess venus, creator of sex, love, and desire. he tells chloe about her while he peppers kisses across her bare neck, and later, she tells him she thinks he makes a much better king of desire than venus ever could.

she’d planned to avoid the vatican at all costs, but lucifer had insisted they replace bad memories with good ones, and so she’d reluctantly followed him into the city of priests. she’d tried not to cry as she watched him hide the way his face falls when she knows her way almost intrinsically around. he begs her to take him to the library, and she finds him doodling cartoony devil faces with poked out tongues and winking eyes inside all the books she’d so intimately studied, full of stories she now knows to be as false as the short stories rory writes for preschool.

wandering shamefully through the room she met father kinley, she gets approached by another priest who taps her on the shoulder, shocking her out of a trance as she flinches as if she’s been burned. the priest had simply raised an eyebrow as she bolted, slamming right into lucifer’s chest and whispering apology after teary apology before he whisks her out of there and feeds her gelato until her guilt lessens somewhat. they’d had a long conversation that night, her spilling her regret and him promising his forgiveness, and then she’d held him tight and promised never to doubt him ever again, and he’d kissed her and told her he knows he knows he knows.  

other than that, the reminder of their rocky past, the week has been blissful. she’s just as infatuated with him as she was the day they got together, if not more. each day, he manages to remind her just how easy he is to love, and each day, she reminds him of the same. though he pays little attention to it, chloe can tell he’s still insecure – no longer unsure of his worth, but still every bit as desperate to prove it to her. he holds her as if she’s just as breakable and delicate as the venetian blown glass animals he’d purchased for their daughters, and kisses the freckles on her cheeks like they’re a mirror image of the stars he’d created.

the only thing she hasn’t enjoyed as much is the food. lucifer is desperate to introduce her to new things, and over the course of the week, chloe thinks she’s eaten more things that one would normally attribute to an operating room (seriously – intestines? spleen?) than ever before. although, she has to admit – the pig’s blood pudding was delicious, served in a little orange shell with a name she couldn’t pronounce but that sounded just as delicious rolling off lucifer’s tongue in smooth italian.

speak of her devil, he places a glass of wine she definitely hadn’t ordered in front of her with a kiss to her head and grins at her wickedly.

she raises an eyebrow. “yes?”

his grins dissolves into a smirk, eyes shining, and then he says “the wine matches the cheese,” in a tone so innocent that it would’ve been had she not known what was coming.

“babe. i’m not trying your maggot cheese.”

“it’s yummy,” lucifer says, and chloe laughs. “come on…”

he’s behind her again suddenly, arms encircling her as his nose nuzzles the back of her neck, one hand bringing the cheese enticingly towards her as he speaks the next words into her skin. “try some, chloe…”

she shivers, trying and failing to lean away. there’s no way she’s saying no now, not with his lips so close to her ear and his hand resting gently on her thigh. he knows he’s got her trapped, but he’s a gentleman, so he’s not going to do it unless she gives her consent.

“fine,” she sighs, rolling her eyes as she leans her head back against him. “since you’re so eager.”

she feels his lips spread into a smile against her back, and he nuzzles her neck as he guides the cracker towards her, placing it in her mouth before he traces her bottom lip gently with his thumb.

the combination of the (admittedly delicious) cheese, his hand on her leg, his thumb, still stroking softly against her chin, and his lips on her ear as he whispers “how’s that, love? taste good?” has her unwillingly releasing a tiny moan, and lucifer’s thumb brushes her lower lip again as he laughs, delighted.

“good cheese,” she says, flushing, and feels him nod against her back.

“the cheese,” he agrees. “i’m sure.”

and with a final wet kiss to the back of her neck, he retakes his place across from her, hiding an amused smile behind his wine as she reaches for his hand, stroking her thumb across his palm, and takes another bite of the cheese. “i knew you’d like it.”

 

Chapter Text

28. “Drive safely.”

“drive safely!” he calls, his eyes lingering for a second too long on the gauze on her forehead, giving him away. she counts, one, two, three, and then his hand is on her elbow with a smooth grin. “change of plan. i’ll drive you.”

“lucifer,” she huffs, pulling away. “i told you, i’m fine. it’s a tiny scratch, i’m perfectly capable of driving.”

“clearly, you’re not,” he frowns, raising an eyebrow. “less than twenty-four hours, detective –”

“that was the dog’s fault,” she huffs, and he winks.

“that’s what they all say.”

with a flick of his fingers, he’s got her keys in his hand and is sauntering happily towards her cruiser, shooting her a smug grin when she sighs and slides resolutely into the passenger seat. no matter what she’d told him – and everyone – all day, she’s glad he’s driving, because the crash had unnerved her slightly.

though, not as much as it seems to have unnerved lucifer. the man has his fingers tapping anxiously against the steering wheel as he navigates them through the evening traffic, a rapid rhythm growing beneath his fingertips. he steals constant glances over at her, only relaxing once he sees she’s okay, and she’s had to stop him three times already today from picking through her food with one of ella’s forensic probes to check for poisons.

she’s tried asking him if he’s alright, but he’s lucifer, and trying to get any information out of him is about as fruitful as trying to get trixie to own up to stealing chocolate cake. he’s been blabbering about evil siblings and an all-powered father, but she’s chalked it up to a simple fear of losing her that he hadn’t realised until her accident yesterday.

so she lets him drive her home, and gives him a warm smile and a half hug before she gets out of the car, looking down at her purse as she searches for her keys, fingers fumbling.

when she finally finds them and looks back up, he’s in front of her, holding the door open expectantly.

“when did i give you a key to my place?” she asks, brows furrowed.

he shrugs innocently. “must’ve left it open. yet another reason you shouldn’t be left alone. you’re getting old.”

“lucifer, i’m thirty three. calm down.” she steps inside, welcoming him in behind her with a sigh. “look, this is ridiculous. it was just a car –”

“that’s what i’m telling you,” he exclaims, hands thrust frustratedly in the air as she locks the door behind him. “it wasn’t, detective. you have to believe me.”

“i believe you think it wasn’t,” she says, huffing. she’s exhausted – she hardly slept last night, and between that and today’s constant reassurances to everyone that she’s fine, there’s a dull ache developing behind her eyes that can’t be good. better not tell lucifer about it, though, he’ll never leave her alone. “but you weren’t there. a dog ran out in front, and i swerved, and the other car hit me. i’m fine.”

lucifer looks pained, bouncing from foot to foot impatiently. “detective…” his voice is strained. “please. i know you think i’m lying, but –”

“i don’t think you’re lying,” she says, stepping further into the house and depositing her keys in the little bowl on the entrance table. “you don’t lie, we both know that. but i promise you, lucifer,” here, she turns to him, holding his elbow to make him look at her. “it was nothing more than an accident.”

rather than soothing him as she’d expected, her promise makes him madder, stamping his foot like a child throwing a tantrum. “it wasn’t!

chloe’s had enough. “lucifer,” she snaps, flat and tired. “it was a car accident, and you need to calm down. i can take care of myself.”

he glares at her, and she glares back, and then he deflates and reaches a shaking hand towards the gauze on her head. “’m just worried, detective.”

“i know you are,” she says, softening. from the way he’s acting, she’d wager he’s never cared too much about the fate of another person. “i get it. but i assure you, i’m okay.”

he doesn’t look convinced, and to save herself – and only to save herself – from the constant, half hourly update texts she knows she’ll be forced into if she lets him leave, she steps closer and says “do you want to stay for dinner?”

his fingers brush her hair away from the white bandage on her forehead, dropping slowly before he nods carefully. “you don’t mind?”

“listen,” she says honestly. “if i didn’t offer, you’d want me to send gifs every five minutes to assure you i’m still alive. least this way, you can just see for yourself, huh?”

he nods, happy with this, and then he gestures to the kitchen. “sit down. at least let me make you dinner, if i’m going to intrude.”

she wants to say that’s the point, dumbass, you’re not intruding but he’s got enough nervous energy to power a ferris wheel so she nods, letting him help her onto a stool and pour her a glass of wine.

they make aimless conversation while he cooks, and then they eat the delicious ravioli he’s somehow made from scratch, and then he pulls out souffles with a matching sauce and chloe wonders if maybe she should have car accidents more often. she finds she doesn’t want him to leave just yet, so she pours him another glass of wine and offers a movie, and he accepts easily, as if he wasn’t just as hesitant to leave.

and then their movie finishes, and so does the next one, and still, he hovers.

and she doesn’t mind it.

when she says “what if you stay?” he nods before she’s even finished the sentence, taking the blanket and pillow she offers gratefully before settling on the couch with one last anxious look in her direction. chloe blinks against the urge to promise she’s right there if he needs her the way she’d tell trixie, and makes her way upstairs with the slightest sense of unease.

after the second time she hears him creep up and down the stairs, she cracks her eyes open. he’s standing in her doorway, fiddling anxiously with his sleeve, his eyes wide even in the dark.

“lucifer,” she says, softly reprimanding. “people don’t normally creep around other people’s houses.”

he apologises, clearly not meaning it, and stays standing in her doorway. chloe sighs, scooting up to rest against her headboard and flicking her bedside lamp on, raising her eyebrows at him.

he slips inside, sitting politely on the edge of the bed after she pats it with her palm invitingly, cocking her head at him.

“this is really stressing you out, huh?”

he nods, eyes downcast as he fiddles with a hole in her duvet cover. “you could say that.”

chloe sighs again. it really isn’t healthy, this dependence on her safety. she should send him home to teach him a lesson in trust.

but his eyes are wide and scared, and he flinches when she rests her fingers on his forearms. he looks small and worried and so utterly concerned for her wellbeing that she really just can’t bring herself to send him away, no matter how awkward he is.

“lucifer,” she says gently. “i promise, i’m okay.”

he nods erratically, clearly not believing her, and tenses when she removes her fingers. tangling them in his, pulling his hand into her lap, chloe coaxes his eyes to meet hers. “why don’t you believe me?”

he bites his lip, and the behaviour is so different from his usual cocky confidence that chloe frowns. “i know you don’t believe it,” he says, swallowing as his gaze falls to their entwined hands. “but my brother really is out to get you, and –” he pauses, trembling slightly. “i’m scared.”

the admission seems to pain him, and chloe nods, considering. she has no clue why lucifer’s brother – who she’s never even met – has it out for her, and even if she’s not sure that’s the truth, she knows how to deal with loss. “it can be scary, the reminder that you can lose someone.”

he nods, small and anxious as he looks up at her again. “i don’t want to lose you. and if he gets you, it’s my fault. i can’t – i can’t lose you.”

“you won’t lose me,” she promises, and she’s going to say more before a yawn cuts her off. very clearly, lucifer hadn’t slept last night either.

so instead of going into the logistics of a friendship, and trust, she just pats the bed beside her with a shake of her head. “will it make you feel better to be near me for the night?”

he blinks at her, and chloe tries not to worry at the lack of innuendo as he scoots silently under the sheets next to her. she lays down, rolling to face him, and reaches a hand out to smooth his brow. “i’m okay,” she murmurs, resting her hand on his cheek for a second before she pulls away. he looks more youthful, worried and scared as the frown returns to his brow.

she sighs, rolling back over, and then, without thinking too much about it, scoots backwards until her back rests flush against his chest. she feels him tense against her, and wonders for a moment if she’s made a mistake, but then his arm wraps tight around her waist, his head falling forward until it rests in the back of her neck.

and right before she drifts off to sleep, she feels him exhale shakily, the last of the tension draining out of him as he holds her tight, content that she’s safe and protected.

Chapter Text

29. “Well, what do you want to do?”

he stumbles in a few hours after rory’s gone to bed, face ashen and wings trembling. chloe opens the door in surprise, and he says nothing, simply looking at her with big, sad eyes, a feather making a slow, depressing drift down to the cold porch beneath his bare feet.

she beckons him in wordlessly, trailing her fingertips gently down his arm as she guides him silently to the living room, helping him down onto the couch before she presses a kiss to his temple and gestures at him to stay.

a quick message to trixie has her eldest promising she’ll be home in ten, and chloe pours lucifer a glass of water before making her way quietly back into the living room. it’s not lost on her how risky this is – she can’t wait to get trixie home so that she can whisk him away from all possible instances of interactions with his kid. but for now, she’ll keep him calm, and quiet, and ignore the fact that their six year old child is asleep mere metres from his shaking form.

he hasn’t even managed to put his wings away when she returns, staring blankly at a picture in his hands, his thumb rubbing gently across the glass in the frame. as she gets closer, chloe’s heart shatters – the picture is one she’d printed only a few months ago at christmas, her two girls huddled around the tree as she slung her arms around their shoulders.

she takes it gently from him, tugging as his hands tighten around it. placing it carefully back on the table, she palms his cheek, stubble scratching lightly at her hand. his eyes meet hers, finally, filled with anguish, and chloe sighs.

“five minutes, baby,” she murmurs, breathing the words against his hairline. “then trix’ll come home and we’ll get out of here and you can tell me what’s up.”

he makes a small, sad sound in the back of his throat, pressing his cheek further into her palm. chloe swallows, scratching at his curls with her fingers as her hand cups his face, soothing him quietly. they stay there for a moment, silent, and then –

“mommy?”

chloe feels lucifer freeze beneath her, and then the telltale dampness of tears coats her hand. ever so quietly, she presses a kiss to the top of his head, stealing a glance at him. he’s got silent tears streaming down his cheeks, face set into a blank expression devoid of any emotion betrayed only by the salty tracks marring his jaw.

“hi, baby,” she says, voice cracking. “go back to bed.”

lucifer’s wings are still spread dejectedly across the couch, flinching slightly with every shaky, restrained breath. chloe steps out of the room, swallowing as she makes out rory’s tiny form resting in the doorway.

she makes her way over, shepherding their daughter back into her room with a relieved sigh. rory rubs sleepily at her eyes. “is someone here?”

“no, monkey,” chloe whispers. “mommy’s just talking to herself, that’s all.”

rory seems content with this, snuggling back into her pillow as she clutches the toy snake she’s currently enamoured with. “okay. will you lay for a bit?”

“i have to go finish my jobs, babe,” chloe whispers, her heart breaking at rory’s pout, so similar to the one on her father’s face currently. “but trix is gonna be home soon, how about i ask her if she wants to cuddle?”

rory nods happily, her eyes closed. “kay. love you.”

“love you, baby,” chloe breathes, voice high. “sleep well.”

she closes the door quietly behind her with a shaky sigh, turning too quickly when the front door opens with a click. deflating once she realises it’s just her older daughter, she gives trixie a quick hello and a rundown, letting her daughter brush her hand over lucifer’s still silent head in hello before trixie makes her way in to say goodnight to rory.

content her kids are safe, chloe wraps her hand around lucifer’s wrist and pulls him to stand, his wings flapping pathetically behind him before falling flat against his back with a sad whoosh.

she thinks of taking him back to the penthouse, but a quick glance at his shaking figure has her giving up on long drives and leading him towards the beach. the salt air brings back memories of earlier days, of first kisses and solved cases and champagne cuddles. she turns to him, but he’s not looking at her, his face turned to the dark night sky.

“no stars in hell,” he says quietly, sniffling.

chloe squeezes his hand, and then decides that’s not enough, stepping into his side. his wing wraps around her, drawing her closer to him, and he turns his face into her hair.

“must be lonely,” she murmurs, trailing her fingers up and down the feather closest to her. “without your stars.”

“don’t care about them.” his voice is muffled by her head, vibrating into her scalp between little hiccupped breaths. “want you. ’n rory. and trix. brightest stars ever.”

chloe’s breath catches, and she snuggles closer into him. “i know, baby.”

he nods, whimpering against her, and then curls his arms, too, around her thin frame so that she’s almost entirely encased in his hold. she stays still for a moment, letting him hold her, and then looks up at him. “well,” she whispers, lips brushing his jawline. “what do you want to do?”

he raises an eyebrow at her. “you don’t have to –”

“lucifer.” her tone is kind, but firm. “you’re hurting. trixie’s got rory for the night. what do you want me to do?”

he hesitates, breathing against her forehead, and then swallows. “can we just –”

when he doesn’t continue, she kisses his jaw again. “anything, lucifer.”

she feels his next breath shudder against her chest, and traces careful patterns against his wing to calm him. she stays silent until he’s breathing steadily again, and then rests her head against his chest. “babe.”

as always, he softens at the pet name, clutching her closer. “hold me.”

“what?”

“hold me.” the words are repeated softly, whispered into her hair. “i want to be with you. just for tonight.”

and so she takes him, leads him off the beach and back to the penthouse and away from their daughter and wipes his tears when he catches sight of her phone screensaver, a selfie rory had taken a few weeks back. she folds him against her in the penthouse’s soft bed and lets him curl into her neck and peppers kisses across his head and lets him breathe her in.

and when he’s stopped trembling, she tells him about their daughter, and lets him tell her about his clients, and then she kisses each of his knuckles and strokes the short hairs behind his ears until his eyes flutter closed and his wings fall lax against her, trapping her to him.

“goodnight, baby,” she murmurs, words absorbed by his hair. “i’m always here.”

“’lways,” he echoes, soft against her. “always.”

Chapter Text

30. "One more chapter.”

chloe is happy.

she’s sitting in bed, a mug of coffee in one hand and a book in the other, flipping lazily through the pages. lucifer’s head is in her lap, his hand curled in the front of her shirt as he dozes, eyes blinking up at her every now and then as if to check she’s still there.

she places her mug down and tangles the now-free hand in his curls, scratching absentmindedly at his scalp as she reads. he purrs beneath her touch, arching his back like a cat before slumping even closer to her.

he butts his head into her stomach to get her attention, blinking up at her with a lazy, lopsided grin. chloe grins back at him, wondering, not for the first time, how on earth this man – her childish, sleepy boyfriend – could have ever ruled a horrific kingdom like hell. smothering a giggle, she imagines a sleepy lucifer trying to control a pack of demons, fails to do so, and smooths her hand over his head with a smile.

“what’re you grinning about?” he mumbles, voice muffled by her lap. “’s too early to be happy.”

she raises an eyebrow at him over her book. “aren’t you happy?”

he chuckles, caught out. “impossibly so, love. every moment of every day.”

she softens at that, rolling her eyes. “what are you, a poet?”

he nods. “mhm. what book are you reading?”

she tilts it to show him the cover, taking another sip of coffee. he cranes his neck to read, and then flops his head back into her lap. “read to me?”

“seriously?” she moves the book so she can better so his face, an eyebrow quirked. “you’re a grown man. you know how to read.”

he scrunches his face up. “reading’s awfully boring sometimes,” he says, nose wrinkled. “especially when you’ve read as many books as i have. i guarantee you would make it fun again, though.”

she blinks at him, unimpressed. he tries again. “please?”

rolling her eyes, chloe turns back a page to the start of the chapter she was on, clearing her throat before she begins to read aloud. her voice is soft and clear, and lucifer’s eyes flutter closed as she reads, head resting against her stomach before they fly open again. “chloe.”

she pauses, expecting a question about the context of the book. “yes?”

he furrows his brow. “is this a murder mystery?”

she nods, confused. “yeah. why?”

lucifer’s eyes are narrowed. “why wouldn’t you just go to work?”

chloe snorts, smoothing his brow before she looks down, blushing. “i like to see if i’d crack the case before them.”

rather than teasing her as she’d thought he would, lucifer’s eyes light up. “bet you do every single time,” he says happily, eyes closing again. “’cause you’re the best detective.”

she shakes her head, laughing, before she downs the last of her coffee and continues reading. they make it halfway down the page before he interrupts again. “chloe.”

yes, lucifer?”

“imagine how quickly we’ll solve the cases together. we’re a dream team.”

she laughs. “you think you’re reading the entire book with me now, huh?”

“oh, yes,” he nods seriously. “and all the rest. your voice is far superior to any audiobooks i’ve heard. besides, with the devil on your side, we’ll crack the case within the first chapter.”

she hums. “we do make a rather good team, hm? the devil and his detective?”

just as she knew he would, lucifer preens at her use of his. and it’s true – she is his, through and through.

“the best team,” he agrees. “keep reading.”

“okay, mr needy,” she rolls her eyes again, continuing. they make it the entire way through the chapter this time, both minds ticking over each new clue as they’re revealed by the author. she pauses at the end, hand stilling in lucifer’s hair, but he whines and reaches blindly up to swat at her book. “keep going.”

“shouldn’t we…” she pauses. “get up?”

“psh.” he’s adamant. “it’s sunday morning. we have nowhere to be. keep going.”

“i don’t know…”

he blinks his eyes open, and it’s then she knows she’s done for. lucifer’s puppy dog eyes are good at the best of times, but paired with his head in her lap and his pouted “one more chapter, chloe,” she really just… can’t say no.

so they read again, and manage to figure out the killer within the chapter. lucifer’s adamant they don’t spoil it, though, so they spend the rest of the day curled up together on the couch, taking turns reading aloud to each other until they finish the book later that night, chloe grinning at lucifer’s excited yelp when it becomes clear the killer is who they picked early on in the novel.

and so it becomes tradition. a few times a month, the devil and his detective read to one another. sometimes lucifer picks older books to read to chloe, and sometimes she enamours him with trashy romances, but most of the time, they stick to their strengths and read mystery after mystery. it becomes a kind of game – who can pick it earliest, how long it takes them together. chloe’s quickest time is three pages, but lucifer swears it’s a fluke, that she just picked a random character and got lucky. she thinks it’s because he’s a sore loser who’s fastest time is a chapter and a half. and he’ll never admit it, but she’s right.

but their fastest time lies together, at a striking five sentences into the book where they see a telltale verb and call the killer without having read more than the first paragraph. they share an excited victory kiss three hours later when they reach the reveal, all giggles and laughter and fun.

because they’re good alone, but they’re best together.

Chapter Text

31. “don’t worry about me.”

there’s a hole in chloe’s arm. 

there’s a hole in chloe’s arm, and she’s asking about him

her eyebrows are furrowed, a bead of sweat on her temple, words frantic as she reaches for him. “are you okay?” 

he swears, pressing his hastily crumpled suit jacket tighter against her wound. “bloody hell, detective,” he hisses, ignoring her sharp intake of pain. “don’t worry about me .” 

she narrows her eyes at him, but it’s halfhearted. even in the dull light of the compound they’re in, lucifer can see the blood draining from her face, her eyes flitting anxiously to her arm every two seconds even as she gives him a wan smile. 

grunting, he considers his options. he called for backup as soon as he heard the shots ring out, his heart dropping even before he heard chloe’s cursed shit! the wound isn’t too close to anything major, but they’ve been sitting here for a few minutes already and her breaths are getting shallower by the second - if she doesn’t pass out from blood loss, she’ll surely go into shock soon enough anyway. 

cursing again under his breath, he looks at her. her eyes are closed now, uninjured hand clutching the collar of his shirt as she takes careful breaths. he murmurs her name, and she blinks her eyes open, looking up at him in a daze. 

“hey,” he says, trying for a smile. “backup’s ages away. how do you feel about walking?” 

she nods, uncertain, and lets him pull her to standing, his palm still thrust firmly against her bicep. almost as soon as she’s vertical, she makes a small sound in the back of her throat and wobbles unsteadily, taking a few stumbling steps until she’s pressed into his side. 

“ow,” she says, voice small. when he meets her eyes, they’re full of tears. “hurts.” 

“i know it does,” he says gently, wrapping a steadying arm around her waist. “i know, and i’m sorry.”

“what’re you sorry for?” her words are slurred ever so slightly. it scares him. 

“shouldn’t have let you get hit.” he should’ve gone in front of her. should have made sure she was safe before going in behind. should have let the bullet hit him, not her. 

“luc’f’r…” chloe swallows, leaning more heavily into his side. “this isn’t your fault.” 

he shrugs, not willing to argue while she’s bleeding through his armani. he rearranges the makeshift tourniquet with a frustrated sound, leading her more quickly towards the cruiser. 

only once they get there does he realise his mistake. “where are the keys?” 

chloe’s head falls, chin hitting her chest with a sigh. “in my pocket.”

he’d ripped her jacket off as soon as he’d seen her fall, uncaring for the material in his haste to get to the wound. he doesn’t know where it had been thrown, but it’s definitely not here. 

“bloody hell.” he considers leaving her by the cruiser and running back, but she’s almost translucent, wobbling unsteadily on her feet as she looks up at him. according to the tracking on his police-issued phone, backup’s still twenty minutes away, and - 

chloe doesn’t have that long. 

“dear dad ,” lucifer swears, taking a long look at her. “i really didn’t want you to find out this way.” 

she’s barely got her lips around the words ‘find out what?’ when he rolls his shoulder and two brilliant wings shoot from his back, bathing the shadowy ground in a divine white glow. he flaps them a few times, preparing, and then steps towards her, scooping her into his arms with the ease of a mother holding a baby. 

he barely hears her breathed ‘what the fuck ’ before they’re shooting upwards, wings beating frantically as he steers them towards the closest hospital. chloe buries her face in his chest, her hand holding his jacket to her arm as she blinks, utterly out of it.

lucifer feels her head loll away from his body, and they drop slightly mid-air as he freezes. chloe’s eyes are closed, face pale and grip loosening on her arm, lips parted slightly. lucifer resumes flying, swearing copiously under his breath as he increases speed, thumb stroking soothingly across chloe’s cheek. 

“come on, detective,” he mutters, jostling her slightly. “wake up. stay with me.” 

she remains out cold, head dropping back against him with a thud. lucifer curls her closer, going faster still, his heart clenching. “detective - fuck, chloe - you can’t - it’s not time, yet. you can’t leave me. come on.” 

she stays unresponsive, blood dripping steadily down her arm and pooling in the crack of her elbow. lucifer lets out a strangled, choked sob, wings pumping to the maximum, his breaths frantic as he clutches her to him. “bloody hell , chloe, this isn’t how i lose you!” 

finally - finally - they touch down at the back entrance of a hospital, and lucifer tucks his wings away and carries her in with a yell. he wants to scream at every doctor who tries to take her from him, his grip tightening on her limp body, but he lets them take her and wheel her and mask her up and -

and when chloe wakes up, woozy on anaesthetic and arm wrapped safely in a protective gauze, he’s sitting right beside her, the easy grin on his face hiding the past three hours he’s spent praying to every single one of his siblings that she’d be okay. none of them had replied, of course, but watching her blink her eyes open, he sends a prayer up just in case. 

thank you , he prays. thank you for keeping her safe for me.

Chapter Text

32. “it looks good on you.” 

they break apart from the hug with shared smiles, chloe’s lips stretched into an expression as equally shy as his own. she looks down at the pendant dangling from her hands again and smiles wider, returning his gaze with a cheeky grin. 

“put it on for me?”  

he takes it from her hands, inhales as she turns her back to him expectantly. with slightly shaking hands, he reaches around her neck, fingers fumbling with the clasp as he sets the pendant against her sternum and trails his grip back around her her neck. she shudders slightly under the cold metal, exhaling.  

clasp now closed, chloe turns back to him, a shy smile still sitting cautiously on her lips. she fiddles with the cuff of her sleeve, and - 

wait.   

his sleeve? 

“that’s my shirt,” he says stupidly, eyebrows furrowing. “you’re wearing my shirt.” 

she's wearing his shirt, and nothing else but the sentimental necklace he’d just gifted her. she’s wearing his shirt, and she’s in his bed, and her hair is ruffled from naps against his pillows, and she smells like the whiskey he keeps behind  his  bar. she's wearing his shirt, and she’s tracing the necklace with soft fingers, and looking at him like he’s put the stars in the sky (which, by the way, he  did), and - 

she's wearing his shirt.   

when he can bring himself to meet her eyes again, she’s blushing. “sorry,” she murmurs. “it looked comfy, and i was cold, and mad, and -” 

“don’t worry,” he says, voice far off.  she's wearing his shirt.  “it looks good on you.” 

and it does. the white contrasts beautifully with the gentle ivory of her skin, his necklace sitting proudly between her collarbones.  

his necklace. his  shirt.  

they can be hers now.  he  wants to be hers.  

he’d be hers forever, if only she’d let him.  

she smiles up at him, tugging the cuffs further over her wrists insecurely as her eyes drop. a shaking hand comes up to fiddle nervously with the shell of the bullet now resting on her collarbone, and lucifer has to remind himself to breathe for a second before he can keep talking.  

“mad?” he asks, the only other thought he’s able to compute. “why are you mad?”  

“it’s stupid, now,” chloe laughs, small and anxious. “don’t worry about it.” 

“detective,” he admonishes, blinking back into himself and trying to ignore the fact that chloe is in his bed in his shirt . “i’m worried now.”  

she rolls her eyes at him, her next words spoken softly into hands thrown protectively over her burning face. “it’s my birthday , lucifer,” she grumbles. “i was mad that you weren’t here.”  

he furrows his brow, confused. “why would you be mad about that?”  

“i thought we were – friends !” chloe splutters, peeking out at him from between her fingers. “partners! and friends don’t run off to vegas with ravishing  women on their friends birthdays!”  

lucifer swallows, still confused. “i don’t get why you’re mad, though.”  

“because it’s my birthday,” she sighs, voice small. “i wanted you to be here, and you weren’t. that's all.” 

“i don’t understand,” he says quietly. “why would you want me to be here?”  

chloe's hands drop suddenly from her face, and she looks at him, eyebrows furrowed and eyes wide. “what?”  

“i didn’t think you’d care,” he shrugs, refusing to meet her eyes. “i actually thought maybe it’d be nice for you to be rid of me for the day, that maybe you’d get some actual work done. i didn’t mean for you to be  mad .”  

when he looks up again, chloe’s  much  closer, her hands hovering uselessly between them. “lucifer,” she whispers, and her voice cracks. “i  never  want to be rid of you. especially not on my birthday.”  

he shrugs, guarded now as he tries to shift away, ducking his head. “i wouldn’t blame you.”  

“i want you here ,” chloe murmurs, her hands finally dropping to rest in his lap. soft fingers entwine with his own, her thumb rubbing against the skin of his palm. “i just wanted you here.”  

“i’m sorry,” he whispers, because what else can he say? “i’m here now.”  

“i know.” her eyes are glassy. “thank you.”  

he simply nods, frozen as her hands continue to embrace his. “i should let you sleep, i'll go -” 

“i just  said i want you here,” chloe interrupts. “please, for the love of god, don’t leave again.” 

he wants to make a joke about never doing anything for the love of his father, but chloe’s staring at him like she’ll never speak to her again if he doesn’t listen, so he remains quiet, looking at her.  

“stay here,” she whispers, softer now. “please stay here.”  

he nods, never able to say no, and slides his shoes off, crawling awkwardly onto the bed next to her like a gangly baboon. she smiles up at him, eyes shining, and then tugs their still-connected hands until he’s laying down next to her. meeting his eyes, her own eyes drop, concerned. “is this okay? sorry, i shouldn’t have -” 

“detective,” he whispers, eyes tracing her features. “this is fine .”  

“oh.” she relaxes, smile returning. “good.” 

he looks at her, and after a moment, she offers him another beautiful smile and shifts slightly until her head rests on his shoulder, rolling over so that she lays on her side. she unhooks one of their hands to trace patterns over his suit jacket, humming softly before she falls back, forehead brushing his neck. 

before he can think too much about it, lucifer winds his arm around her waist and pulls her so that she’s laid across him, one of her legs tangling between his and her waist pressed flush against his hipbone.  

for a terrifying second, chloe freezes, and lucifer’s halfway to wishing his way back to hell before she relaxes even further, going as far as to bury her face in the gap between his shoulder and his neck.  

“goodnight, detective,” he whispers, words brushing her hairline. “happy birthday.” 

she doesn’t answer. he looks down, softening.  

chloe has a fist curled tight around her bullet necklace, eyes closed, a soft smile on her lips. 

and if lucifer presses a gentle kiss to her temple, well, call it a second birthday present.  

Chapter Text

33. "close your eyes and hold out your hands.”  

lucifer.” her tone is firm, leaving no room for argument. “you need to  stop .”   

he glares at her. “stop what, detective?  do tell.”   

she fights the urge to roll her eyes. “you’ve been acting weird for months. please just 
stop.”  

if possible, he glares harder. how is she meant to understand? she's happy and in love and he’s not about to step in and ruin that for her like he ruins everything else, no matter how much he  despises  the piece of floor garbage that is marcus pierce.   

cain.   

even his name is ugly, lucifer thinks. short and sharp and cruel, a perfect label for the immortal man who wears it.   

shuddering, he once again curses the mark his father had so gracefully bestowed on the first murderer, wondering for a second whether he could simply gauge it out of that  idiot’s  arm and -  

“lucifer,” chloe says again. her voice carries the tightly strung tone of being utterly fed up, as it often does when she talks to him these days. he wishes he could make it better. wishes they could go back to the days when she’d giggle hopelessly if he made a stupidly crass innuendo in an interrogation, rather than click her lips together in distaste and shoot him a disapproving look.    

he turns his eyes to her, fiddling with cuff links to give the impression he doesn’t give a right damn about whatever she says next, his mouth drying at the look in her eyes.   

she looks  sad . like she, too, doesn’t know how this gaping chasm has been formed between them. like she doesn’t know what to do in order to stop it growing.   

he watches her take a shaky breath, her fingers fiddling with the (god-ugly) ring on her finger. the ring  pierce  put there.   

the ring he should’ve had the honour of giving her.   

“i don’t know what your deal is,” chloe says finally, sighing. “i know you weren’t sleeping, and i know you’re going through some things, and that’s  okay , lucifer, it really is.” she looks at him, blinking tiredly. “but i can’t help - i can’t  fix  anything – unless you talk to me.”  

“i don’t  want -”  he pauses, because that’s a lie, and he does not lie. he  does  want to talk to her. more than he’s ever wanted anything, he wants to sit her down and make her understand and let her have the  choice . but... “you won’t believe me.”  

she sighs, and lucifer tries not to scream. it’s not  his  fault she doesn’t understand.   

almost squaring off, they stand there, tension boiling, before chloe deflates. “i don’t,” she says bluntly. “you’re right. you keep spewing nonsense about cain and abel and all these religious references, and i don’t  get  it, lucifer. but you know what i think?”   

he lifts his eyes, a challenge.   

“i think it’s not about the bible, or eve’s sons, or your so-called god of a father. i think this is about  you .” she pauses, taking a breath, before she meets his eyes. “about  us.”   

he swallows. “what on earth does your future nuptials to  him  have to do with me?”   

“you hate that i’m with him,” chloe says bravely, tilting her head. “and i think i know why.”   

he freezes, and then glares at her. how  dare  she have the nerve to think she knows  anything  about him when she won’t even consider the truth? “you don’t know anything.”   

“i do,” chloe counters, taking a step forward. “and i think you know it too.”   

“you’re speaking nonsense,” he tries for control, voice starting strong, but it falls off as she takes another step closer. their chests are almost flush now, and in the heat of the tiny room, he can feel her front brush his with every heaved breath.   

“i’m not speaking nonsense, lucifer,” she says, and then her eyes drop. “can you please be honest with me?”   

“i’ve never lied to you, detective,” he says honestly. he might be frustrated, but he won’t go back on that. “not before, and not ever.”   

“you don’t always tell me the truth, though,” she whispers, looking back up at him. “go on. ask me.”   

he almost splutters. “ask you  what , detective? you can’t go on about me not being truthful and then speak in  riddles  like -”  

“ask me what i desire,” she murmurs, pressing herself closer to him. she has to tilt her head up now, to meet his eyes. “it’s your thing. ask me.”   

“you know that doesn’t work on you,” he sighs, tired. he tries to take a step back, but she catches his wrist.   

ask   me .”   

fine .” he glares, eyes narrow. “what do you  desire , detective?”   

his voice has a mocking glow to it, but when she answers, it’s as honest as he’s ever heard.   

“i want you to tell me the truth,” she whispers, eyes clear as they bore into his own. “ why  don’t you want me to marry pierce? why does it hurt you so much that i'm with him?”   

her hand is still circled around his wrist, and she tightens her grip as if she knows he wants to run.   

“you told me the first day we met that you don’t lie, lucifer,” chloe whispers. “and you’ve kept that promise ever since. please don’t lie to me now.”   

“he’s a bad man,” lucifer’s brow furrows, his eyes flittering around the room anxiously. “i don’t want -”  

“you don’t want me with him,” she presses, her other hand coming up to hold his opposite wrist. “and it’s not just because you don’t like him. there's  more , isn’t there?”   

his breath catches, wrists pulling uselessly as she keeps him in her grasp.   

“tell me what else, lucifer,” she says, voice low. when he looks at her, her eyes are pleading, voice breaking. “please. i need to know. i need you to admit it.”   

and  fuck , if he can’t say yes to that.   

“you know what else,” he says flatly. “but that’s pointless, now, isn’t it?”   

“say it,” chloe begs. “please. i need you to say it.”   

and the look in her eyes, partnered with the way she drops his wrists only to trail her hands down to entwine with his, and the broken note in her voice -   

well, he loses it.   

“i don’t like you being with pierce because it should’ve been  me!”  he explodes, ripping himself from her grasp and stepping frantically to the other side of the room, his hands tugging at his curls as they curl into his scalp. “it should be  me  who gets to take you to concerts and bring you back at night from days at the beach and cook you breakfast and kiss you in the  bloody  evidence closet! not – not  fucking  pierce! me!”  

she's quiet, and he refuses to turn around, chest heaving with every anxious breath. he’s properly screwed it up, now, hasn’t he? he couldn’t turn off his damn feelings for her, couldn’t keep his stupid resolve in place, and now - 
 
“lucifer,” her voice says, and it’s close. he refuses to face her, face flushing, but suddenly there’s a soft hand on his back and he’s being forced to turn, and then - 

chloe has a tiny smile on her face, eyes bright as she looks at him. “thank you,” she whispers, voice rough. “that’s what i wanted. that's  all  i wanted.”   

“what?” he asks, eyes trained firmly on the floor. “a bloody jealousy fest? can't be at all  desirable .”   

chloe's hand is on his jaw, two fingers pressing gently until his eyes meet hers. “close your eyes,” she murmurs, thumb brushing his stubble. “and hold out your hands.”   

what ?”   

“just do it,” she whispers. “please.”  

sighing, he does as she says, two hands coming out expectantly and eyes fluttering closed. there's a bit of shuffling, and then chloe’s hand drops from his face, and he feels it’s loss immediately, swallowing a whine.   

and then something warm and round drops into his palms, and before he has the chance to wrap his fingers around it and figure out what it is, chloe is kissing him.   

his mouth opening in a little  oh , lucifer hesitates for a moment before pulling away, his eyes opening. “detective...”  

“look down,” chloe murmurs. his eyes drop, widening as they land on the small object in his hands.   

“your ring...”   

“not mine,” she breathes. “i don’t want it. i never wanted it.”   

“what did you want, then?” he asks, breath bated. “if not him, what?”   

“not a what,” chloe whispers, chest rising and falling with every tense breath. “a who.  you , lucifer. i wanted  you . i  want  you.”   

“still?” after everything?  

“still,” she murmurs. “you know what else i want?”   

he raises an eyebrow, eyes still trained on the ring in his palm as he turns it over in his hand.   

chloe closes her hand over his, hiding the ring from view. he looks back at her. “i want to kiss you again,” she says, tongue flicking out to wet her lips. “is that okay?”   

his breath catches, and he swallows. nods. “more than okay.”   

“good,” she murmurs, and then her lips are on his, and he forgets everything else.  

Chapter Text

34. "that's okay, i bought two." 

in his long, long life, lucifer morningstar cannot recall ever being nervous.

scared, yes. anxious? absolutely. he's even recently been acquainted with the feeling of being utterly terrified, after a particularly close call on a case a few weeks ago when a bullet had missed the detective by mere inches. 

but nervous? no. 

until now.

he's bouncing up and down on his feet, standing behind her cruiser, waiting for her to walk out the door. they'd finished the work day a few minutes ago, but she'd sent him on his way by saying she had a few things she needed to take care of. she probably hadn't expected him to wait, but -

he had something to do. 

he perks up too quickly when she walks out, eyes on her phone as her other hand works to pull her keys from her bag. she's not looking forward, concentrating on whatever's on her phone, which is probably why she jumps when he steps out in front of her with a smooth 'detective!'

"jesus christ, lucifer," chloe gasps, hand dropping her keys back into her bag to clutch at her chest. "god. you scared me." 

"my apologies, detective," he smiles, confidence only hindered by the flighty look in his eyes. "i, um - well, i wanted to see you." 

"you've seen me all day," she teases, recovering. she starts moving again, towards her car, reaching back for her keys, and lucifer trots behind her nervously. 

"well, yes," he agrees. "and that was lovely. but i - i have a present for you." 

she stops, finally looking at him. "a present?" 

he bobs his head, reaching into the inside of his jacket to pull out said present. he beckons chloe into the car, slides into the passenger seat next to her before holding out the slip. 

chloe cocks her head at him, a gorgeous smile pulling at her lips. it makes lucifer want to give her the heavens. "what's this?" 

"a present," he repeats. "for you." 

she smiles wider, almost teasing. "and why do i get a present?" 

"bloody hell," he huffs. she's really not making this easy. "just take it, will you? for no reason." 

"no reason, huh?" she's laughing at him now, and he swears this woman was made just to tease him. "okay."

"thank you," he says, as she finally starts to unfold it. he watches her, the amused smile fading slightly as she concentrates. he wrings his wrists together, tugging at his cufflinks, searching her face for any sign of joy - or horror.

"a ticket to a moonlight cinema?" she asks, eyes narrowing slightly. "thanks?" 

he huffs at her. she's really not making this easy. "you said you wanted to see the new little women.

"i do," chloe says carefully, tilting her eyes up to meet his. "normally people don't go to moonlight cinemas alone, lucifer."

blowing a calming breath out between his lips, he fights the urge not to roll his eyes. "that's okay, detective," he says. "i bought two." 

her brow furrows, eyes returning to the sheet in her hands. "this says 'admit one'."

"chloe." the use of her name makes her look up, concerned. he slides another ticket from his pocket, swallowing. "the other ticket is mine. i thought we could go..."

"together," she whispers, eyes dropping. "right." 

his heart sinks. "you don't want to? we don't have to, it was a stupid idea, i'll give the other one to maze or linda or -"

"lucifer," she says quickly, reaching her hand over the console to grab his wrist. "i'd love to go with you. stop freaking out." 

"i'm not freaking out," he says, twisting his cufflinks. "you're being weird about this." 

"i'm only being weird because you're making it weird," she laughs, shaking her head. "calm down. we can go to the movies. the world won't end." 

he gives her a mock glare, eyes narrowing. "you're teasing." 

"can't help it," she giggles, hand still on his arm. "you're blushing." 

"am not," he says indignantly. "devil doesn't blush!" 

"mmm," chloe nods seriously. "sure. what's this, then?" 

and then her hand is on his cheek, and he forgets that he's meant to be the devil and flushes a shade of red that would put his other face to shame. 

0o0o0

a week later, he picks chloe up from the front of her house as the sun sets. the urchin makes suggestive kissing faces at him from the front window, and he has to resist the urge to flip a finger up at her, because he's not sure chloe would approve of that. trixie just giggles when he glares, and then he glares harder, and she giggles harder, and he gives up and grins too. 

chloe looks breathtaking. she's wearing a soft maroon sweater, some dark jeans, her hair tumbling in curls down her back. there's a soft blush on her cheeks when she smiles at him as she gets in the corvette, and as they drive through the night, her hair flies behind her, and lucifer begins to believe she might really be an angel. 

he's stacked the back of the corvette with pillows and blankets and snacks, a myriad of fancy cheeses and a bottle of chloe's favourite red. there are chocolate coated strawberries in an ice box, and a bag of lemon bars for dessert. he lays a picnic blanket down a decent way from the screen, and she helps him set up the pillows with gentle smiles and bright eyes. 

they pick at the food while the movie plays, and then, when the only evidence of their meal is a few measly crumbs and empty glasses with strawberry tops in them, chloe shifts. 

it's only the slightest movement of her arm. a relocation of her body just to get more comfortable atop the beanbag she's sitting in. but as her hand falls, it brushes lucifer's arm, and suddenly, he isn't concentrating on the movie.

his every breath is calculated, careful not to unnerve her pinky from where it's resting, a whisper of skin against his own. when she doesn't move, he sighs quietly in relief.

he's nervous. again. 

bloody feelings. 

"lucifer," chloe whispers, not taking her eyes off the screen. "what's wrong?" 

"wrong?" he squeaks, and then hits himself for squeaking. "nothing's wrong, detective." 

she turns to him, then, raising her eyebrow. "your foot is bouncing a mile a minute. what's the matter?" 

he looks down, and sure enough, his foot is tapping anxiously against the ground. bloody feelings. 

"nothing," he says again, refusing to meet her eyes. "i'm just... cold."

"oh!" she grins, poking him. "if that's all, come here." 

he blinks at her. "what?" 

"come here," she repeats, tapping the pillow she's sitting on and holding up the blanket resting over her lap. "i'm warm. we can share."

he just sits there, utterly baffled, until chloe huffs next to him, grabbing his hand and pulling him flush against her side with a grunt. she settles the blanket over them both and curls up against him, her ear on his shoulder. "better?" 

she's still holding his hand. 

she's snuggling into him and they're watching a movie and she's still holding his hand. 

"lucifer," she whispers again. "are you warm enough?" 

"yes, detective," he manages, swallowing. "thank you." 

she smiles against him, turning back to the movie, and he might be imagining it, but he thinks he feels her hand squeeze his own. 

Chapter Text

35. “After you.” 

 

he holds the door open for her, stealing a kiss to her cheek as she passes. "after you, love."  

giggling, chloe beams at him. it's been a long day, back to back appointments in their still-new office tiring them both out, but the sky is growing blacker and they've shut down for the night. the novelty of having each other back is still brand new and delicate, and it's an obvious source of pure wonder for the both of them, displayed openly through their sparkling eyes at wide smiles.  

it had been a long few decades for chloe, many longer millennia for lucifer. but here, these past few weeks, working as partners once again in their mission to reprieve all hell's inmates from their suffocating guilt - both have the honour of knowing it was worth it.  

lucifer's so busy grinning down at his feet, picturing which way they might choose to do some more recreational activities tonight, that he bumps into chloe's back with a soft  hmph . she's stopped still a few steps in from the doorway, her arms hanging uselessly at her sides.  

"love?" he asks gently, stepping further in. "is everything -" 

lucifer's done a handy job at making the rooms in hell represent his homes on earth, each place impeccably similar to its earthly counterpart. linda's ( his ) office has a complimentary bowl of gummy bears on the table, the patchwork quilt in the room he's assimilated chloe's apartment is identical to its real life partner bar a tiny embroidered  L.M.  in one corner, and his penthouse...

the penthouse is perhaps what he's most proud of, tangibly. in the eons he spent settling in after first leaving earth, lucifer had managed to replicate his home right down to the markings in the assyrian bricks. each whiskey bottle was replaced right to the millilitre he'd left it at home, and there was even a pockmark in the wall next to his safe where daniel had once tried to jackhammer his secrets into exposure.  

the only thing missing, in those first lonely centuries, had been his family.  

but the last few months, that had changed. chloe's death had been a welcome one, her life lived to its fullest and both parties ready for their long-awaited reunion. the days since had been full of love and laughter and a complete wholeness lucifer couldn't remember feeling since that night on the piano. a happiness only chloe could draw from within him, for he was the lightbringer, but only she was able to give him the light.  

he's been floating on air for weeks. it's as if for the last few millennia, he's been breathing through a thick blanket, and only now has someone managed to pull it off. he'd known he missed her - of  course  he missed her - but he'd forgotten how it felt to be purely and absolutely connected to someone. chloe's return had implanted the final piece in whatever part of his heart had been missing. 

or so he'd thought.  

"rory," chloe breathes from behind him, and the young woman standing in the middle of his penthouse turns with a shy smile.  

"hi, mom," she says gently, and then, even gentler, "hi, dad..."  

lucifer remains frozen, even as his daughter takes a careful step towards him. when he still doesn't move, rory steps closer still and wraps her arms around his frame, her head tucking perfectly under his chin. "i've missed you."  

chloe's the one who notices. rory's too busy basking in having her dad back to take note of his reaction, but chloe does. chloe always does.  

"lucifer," she says softly. "are you okay?"  

his eyes find hers, wide and unsure, and slowly, he shakes his head. chloe nods sympathetically, steps forward to place a gentle hand on rory's arm. "don't crowd him, baby. it's been a long time." 

"right," rory says, stepping away quickly. "sorry, dad. it's been, like, a month, for me."  

lucifer swallows, blinking. his chest is rising and falling with each rapid breath, eyes still trained on his daughter. "you're here."  

she nods, shrugging, a tiny smile tugging at her lips. "i'm here."  

lucifer blinks again, and then shakes his head, turning fast on his feet and scuttling back towards the elevator. rory pauses, eyebrows furrowed, but chloe gives her a patient smile and follows her partner. 

"babe," she says, voice soft. a hand comes up to smooth lucifer's cheek. "it's okay. she can be here. it's alright."  

he shakes his head again, face contorting as he tries to control his emotions. "it's - it doesn't feel okay. i’m scared to ruin it."  

"i know," chloe murmurs, tangling her hand in his. "i promise you, this is okay. why don't you come say hi?"  

he nods, small and unsure, and lets her lead him over to their child. "hello, aurora," he says, voice cracking. "i'm - it's been a lot more than a month." 

"i bet," rory grins hesitantly. "can i - would you mind if i hugged you again?"  

at his agreement, she crosses the room immediately, wordlessly wrapping him in a hug. her partner still frozen, chloe places a placating hand on his back. his eyes are squeezed shut, arms wrapped tight around his child as if he's afraid it's a dream. chloe can practically see him fighting the past in his mind, conditioned from years of  no, you can't see her, and if she sees you it'll wreck the loop, and lucifer, i'm sorry...   

"it's okay, lucifer," she whispers. "it's over now. we can all be together. it's over."  

"over," he whispers, burying his face further into rory's hair. his back shakes, arms clutching tighter to his daughter as she, too, cries softly against his front. "it's over."  

"over, baby," chloe agrees, stepping into the hug. lucifer welcomes her immediately. "we're together now. a family."  

"family," he repeats, awestruck. 

"family," rory murmurs, stepping back with a smile. "welcome home, dad." 

Chapter Text

 36. “We’ll figure it out.”  

she wakes to shaking. 

in her sleep-ridden state, it takes chloe a moment to discern where the shaking originates. her head fills with thoughts of earth tremors and tectonic plates, dazed enough by melatonin not to understand anything but the fact that the bed she's laying on is trembling steadily and she doesn't know why.  

blinking her eyes open with a muted groan, she squints at the clock, frowning when the blinking red numbers register in her mind's eye - 2:47am. she's only been asleep for a few hours, after fitfully turning and finally giving into her dreams around midnight.  

"no!"  

the cry shakes her from her sleep completely, and she rolls over to face the source of it, brow furrowing further as she takes stock of her boyfriend. the devil, tossing and turning in his sleep, is curled almost totally away from her, his body a tense ball of tangible anxiety. his next cry ripples through the air, muted somewhat by the blanket that's somehow managed to bunch up between them, creating a wall of soft material that prevents chloe momentarily from rolling closer.  

she fights with the blanket for a second, coming out on top as she manages to spread it back over the two of them, granting her an easy passage towards her still trembling boyfriend. she scoots closer, slots herself around his back as she's done so many times before, and murmurs gently into his neck. "lucifer."  

unsurprisingly, he doesn't respond - doesn't even react. the curve of his body, tense and rigid against hers, bucks slightly away from her hold, anxious to get away. unperturbed, chloe tries again. "babe. wake up."  

a soft kiss to the back of his neck and a tightening of her arms around his stomach has lucifer's body going stock still, his limbs freezing for a moment before he shudders and turns quickly into her embrace, burying his head in her neck. chloe sighs, kisses the top of his ear as her hands work their way into his sweaty curls. "there you are. hey." 

he clutches tighter to her, breathing shallowly into the gap where her collarbone meets her shoulder. the shaking has stemmed slightly, only the slightest of trembles still wracking his body, but he feels weak in her arms. small. 

chloe unwinds her arms from his waist and uses her palms to press him gently away from her, just enough so that his face is within her view. lucifer's eyes are wide, his brow furrowed anxiously, and as she watches him, his face contorts.  

"i'm right here, babe," she murmurs, trailing her fingers gently down the side of her face. "i'm safe. you're safe. we're okay."  

the nightmares have been a common occurrence ever since the fight at the stadium. whether it be her mind wracked with dreams of dan in her arms or lucifer's face in flames, or his poisoned with memories of a stick in her gut, there has hardly been a night since where they haven't ended up in a position like this.  

he still hasn't spoken, his eyes trained uncertainly on hers, and chloe shuffles up against the headboard and guides his face into her stomach, stroking soothing patterns through his curls. he reaches up to fist a section of her shirt in his hand, swallowing repeatedly as he butts his face carefully into the place she'd been stabbed not three short weeks ago.  

"lucifer," she whispers again, hand stilling in his hair. "it's okay. i'm fine."  

he nods silently, staring at her stomach for a second before burying his face in it. chloe could swear she hears a whimper.  

it takes her a moment to realise he's even said anything, because his words are mumbled into her pyjamas and come out strangled and broken. she has to move his face back from where it's crowding her lap in order to even slightly distinguish the words that are coming out of his mouth. "d'nt'kn'wh't'do't." 

rolling her eyes slightly, chloe shifts down until she's laying next to him, her arms wrapping securely around his waist. "i'm gonna need you to repeat that, babe."  

he looks down, fiddling anxiously with her fingers. "i don't know how to do it."  

chloe catches his hands in her own, squeezing tight before she places a careful kiss to the underside of his left eye. "do what?"  

lucifer's lip wobbles, his eyes storming with uncertainty and stress. "all of it. this thing, with you. be a good father figure for trixie. be a good god." he meets her eyes. there are tears clinging to his bottom lashes, and chloe smooths them gently with her thumb, her heart breaking as he whispers 'i just don't know .' 

"hey, babe, listen," she murmurs, holding his face carefully between her palms. "you don't need to know all the answers. we'll figure it out. it'll be alright."  

he doesn't look convinced, face twitching as he looks at her. more tears spill down his cheeks, and he presses needily into one of her palms, eyes closing. "you don't know that."  

chloe shrugs. "i don't," she says honestly. "but i know that you are incredibly smart and amazingly strong, and no matter what decisions you make as god, they'll be the right ones."  

he hums, dubious, but then chloe's hand is scratching lightly at the hairs at the nape of his neck and he purrs, curling closer into her. "you have too much faith in me."  

"no such thing," chloe whispers, her words murmured into his hairline. "but for what it's worth, you're doing very well with 'this thing with me', and trixie adores you. you're a brilliant father figure and an even better boyfriend, and i have no doubt you'll make a perfect god."  

lucifer swallows on top of her, exhaling. "i hope so."  

"you will, baby," chloe promises, sneaking a kiss to his temple. "i know you will." she kisses the other side of his head, and then rests her forehead against his. "do you wanna go back to sleep? or we can get up, or read for a bit, i don't mind."  

"wanna sleep," lucifer mumbles, yawning. his eyes droop, sleepy pupils blinking up at her. "no m're dreams, though."  

chloe sighs, her hands raking up and down his back. the dreams - often so bad that chloe had asked linda if there was anything he could take for an uninterrupted night of sleep (there isn't. bloody celestial metabolism) - have lead lucifer to many a night of endless coffee and reruns of  bones  in order to stave off his demons. there'd been a period of time where he hadn't slept for days, too scared to close his eyes should he encounter any bad memories in his dreams.  

it's an area of their relationship chloe feels completely helpless in, utterly unable to offer him any reprieve from the horrors lurking behind his eyelids. with a shaky exhale, she pulls him even further on top of her, tangling their legs together before she pushes his face gently towards her shoulder. "close your eyes."  

they drop shut without much encouragement, and she starts the aimless patterns along his head and shoulders that she knows will lure him into slumber. her soft fingers coax a tired murmur from his lips, and she smiles slightly as she feels him relax. "goodnight, babe," she whispers, giving him a gentle squeeze. "i love you."  

tangled against her, the devil gives a mumble that might be  i love you  back, his eyes already closed and body warm against hers as they both fall back into sleep, ready to tackle any challenges that might face them the next day. together.  

Chapter Text

37. "Can I kiss you?”

the precinct christmas parties have never been something to brag about. usually, it’s a bunch of lukewarm coffees and day-old store-bought treats from the supermarket scattered haphazardly onto the break room table, the door decked pathetically out with a single strand of tinsel. If they’re lucky, a particularly festive lieutenant might haul the spindly plastic christmas tree out of storage and set it up in the corner of the room, decorated by the three flimsy baubles they’ve managed to collect over the years.

it's never been a cause for celebration. in past years, detectives and officers alike have used the night to get unabashedly drunk, talk shit about their superiors, and go home for the week-long break as if crime rates would lower just because there was some christmas cheer throughout the city.

not this year, though.

this year, lucifer had caught wind of the holiday celebrations, and god, had he been excited. despite his self-proclaimed hatred for the festive season, chloe has watched him order people around for three days in order to make this year’s christmas party the best yet.

he's offered lux for the occasion, claiming the breakroom was to ‘stingy and depression inducing’ to host such a prestigious event. when chloe had walked in earlier this evening, even she had to admit she was impressed. lucifer’s gone full out, in all aspects of the event. the nightclub is decorated from top to toe, from tinsel draped over the balconies to a christmas tree twice the size of chloe’s house resting proudly in the middle, topped with a grinning angel sporting glittery devil horns. there are carols pumping through the speaker system, a never-ending supply of eggnog, and random sprouts of holly sprinkled over the booths and bar. chloe herself is more of a traditional girl, preferring the handmade ornaments trixie brings home from school, but even she has to admit – lux looks gorgeous.

“merry christmas, lucifer,” she says, sliding into a booth next to him. at least half of the precinct is there already – already double the amount who usually turn up to the breakroom parties – but he’s alone in a more secluded booth, surveying his club proudly.

“merry christmas, detective,” he turns to her, a smile tugging at his lips. “you look lovely. as always, of course.”

chloe rolls her eyes, raising an eyebrow at him. “i’m literally in what i wore to work.”

“and you look good,” he counters, giving her an up and down that should make her feel uncomfortable, but sends a shiver down her spine instead. she’s only wearing dress pants and a red shirt, but lucifer is surveying her body as if she’s in nothing but a santa hat (which, judging by the look on his face, is exactly what he’s imagining).

before she has a chance to argue, cacuzza is sliding in next to them, accompanied by a bored looking maze who pours them all new drinks before slinking back into the shadows behind the bar. lucifer strikes up easy conversation, showing a surprising interest in cacuzza’s holiday traditions.

rather quickly, the conversation turns to chloe’s own traditions, and she smiles gently as she recalls trixie’s affinity for christmas lights. they haven’t put any of their own up this year, with dan not around to do the heavy lifting, but chloe’s made sure to take her kid out on many a night drive to take in the many lights that adorn the houses in the surrounding streets.

lucifer looks like he’s picturing christmas lights wrapped around something else, so she quickly steers the conversation away with a roll of her eyes. “what about you, lucifer? any traditions?”

“pssh,” he snorts, meeting her eyes. “do i look like the kind of devil who does traditions?”

“i don’t know,” cacuzza interrupts. “you look like a christmas tree man. or maybe a cookie decorator?”

lucifer splutters. “cookie decorator?” he’s indignant. “oh, no, detectives. i much prefer my sweet treats in the form of –”

“that’s quite enough of that,” chloe’s eyes widen, tugging at his hand. “come on. the same playlist has been playing for an hour and a half. surely you have more christmas songs than these.”

lucifer shakes his head, following her out of the booth anyhow. “try to steer clear of the more religious ones, myself,” he comments, pausing at the top of the stairs. watching him look over the party, chloe would almost say he looks proud.

“come, detective,” he says, offering her his hand. “you’re quite right. this party needs more than pentatonix. i have a perfect solution.”

it turns out his perfect solution is himself, a fact that shouldn’t surprise chloe at this point. he tugs her in the direction of his piano, and within minutes, he’s belting out a smooth rendition of winter wonderland.

he attracts a pretty big crowd fairly quickly, and by the third carol he’s got lapd employees singing along, the piano surrounded by people on their third drinks already. feeling almost like royalty, chloe has her place beside him, helping occasionally by tapping a single high note that he guides her hand to with a deep chuckle.

they finish the grand applause, and then someone is very drunk and chanting kiss, kiss, kiss! as chloe and lucifer take their respective bows. ever the gentleman, lucifer declines, placing a gentle kiss to her cheek with a ‘brilliant playing, detective. we’ll make a musician out of you yet.’

she rolls her eyes fondly, taking another sip of her drink as he shepherds her back to their booth, apologising about the crowd at the piano.

“it’s alright,” chloe assures him. in fact, she’d found that she really didn’t mind. it’s a well known fact that their colleagues at the precinct have a steady tab going on their relationship status, but until now, chloe’s assured everyone it’s a waste of money.

she and lucifer are just friends. partners.

right?

a few drinks later, and chloe’s ready to go home. the party had been fun – for sure, better than the breakroom tinsel fests of years past – but she’s still a full time working single mom, and she’s tired. she taps lucifer to get his attention, mouths i’m gonna go over the resumed music, and tries to slink out the back door.

he's at her side in a second, hooking her arm through his elbow. “allow me to walk you out, at least,” he says, a small smile on his lips. “what kind of host would i be to let a lady like yourself get to her car on her own?”

“lucifer,” she narrows her eyes. “i’m perfectly capable of getting to my car myself.”

“oh, i know you are,” he grins, tongue poking slightly through his teeth. “it’s actually about me. got to keep my reputation up, you know how it is.”

“of course,” chloe agrees, as if she has any idea at all of how it is. “your reputation.”

lucifer grins wickedly at her, and they stop together at the entrance to the carpark. “this is it, i suppose,” chloe says, mouth set. “merry christmas, lucifer.”

“merry christmas, detective,” he says, and she goes to walk out, stopped only by his hand on her wrist. slightly annoyed, she tugs, but he catches her and turns her back to face him, his eyes focussed on something above her head.

she follows his eyes, and then rolls her own. “you did this on purpose.”

“no,” he insists, but when she meets his eyes, they’re sparkling. chloe hides a smile, raising her eyebrow.

“oh? what happened to never lying?”

i didn’t do it,” he corrects, the corner of his mouth twitching. “i had a rather interesting visit from your spawn this morning. she seemed very sure i should hang that right there.”

not for the first time, chloe curses herself for somehow acquiring two children. lucifer and trixie are bad enough on their own, but together…

“detective,” lucifer breathes, his hand suddenly burning hot on her back. “can i kiss you?”

“lucifer,” she returns, voice dropping. “trixie is –”

“you said it yourself,” he interrupts, swallowing. “traditions are important. and mistletoe, i believe, is a rather long standing tradition in your country.”

“don’t use my words against me,” chloe breathes, stepping closer into his space. “you said you hate traditions.”

“did not,” he counters, mirroring her movements until they’re standing flush together. “i just don’t have traditions to uphold.”

“oh?” chloe raises an eyebrow, tilting her head up. “better create one then, hmm?”

“i think that’s a brilliant idea,” his eyes drop to her lips, tongue darting out to wet his own. “whatever shall we start with?”

“i have an idea,” chloe whispers, and then her hand tangles in his hair and she’s pulling him down to meet her, their lips joining in the middle. he tastes like peppermint and scotch, and chloe suddenly doesn’t want to leave.

before she can get too lost in him, she pulls back, flicking her eyes up to his dark ones for a second before stepping away. “happy holidays, lucifer,” she murmurs, untangling his hand from her waist. “see you next year.”

and the devil? he simply watches her leave, the promise of continuing their tradition dying on his tongue in the face of the taste of her lips. happy holidays, indeed.

Chapter Text

38. "I like your laugh.”

“i don’t understand.”

they’re the first words he speaks after they break apart, whispered into the tiny gap between their lips.

chloe takes a minute to collect herself. the plan, of course, had been to kiss him. it’s not like she’d walked onto the beach expecting to go for a quick swim and ended up kissing the devil. she shouldn’t be surprised.

but she hadn’t truly expected to carry her plan through. while the idea had been there – had been simmering ever since that night in his penthouse, or maybe before – chloe hadn’t really thought she’d actually kiss lucifer until…

until, well, she’d done it.

two seconds ago.

and now he’s whispering words into her skin that she doesn’t fully comprehend because she thinks maybe her whole body is possibly on fire, so excuse her for not responding immediately.

she looks up, rewarded by a very close view of lucifer’s face, and has to tighten her grip on his neck in order to stay standing. her head is spinning, and his voice – his voice is just not making sense, and can he please give her a second

“detective,” he says again, whispers it in that soft, insecure way that made her kiss him in the first place. “you’re not listening to me.”

clearly, she wants to cry. i’m malfunctioning.

“i am,” she says instead, swallowing as she tries to ground herself. she’s still gripping to him, their faces only inches apart, a seagull crowing in the background. “i’m listening.”

he gives her a small, sad smile. “i said i don’t understand.”

this bloody man. “don’t understand what?” she asks distantly, eyes dropping to his lips again. she wants to kiss him. wants to kiss that stupidly insecure pout off his face and make him believe that he’s just as good as he claims she is.

he takes a step back, but she refuses to let him go, clutching tighter to the back of his neck, her other hand coming up to grip his lapels. if he lets go, she’s going to fall over. he’s broken her. she’s utterly destroyed.

“detective,” he says again, sighing, and she wants to tell him to stop saying that, to let her kiss him again, to stop doubting himself and let her prove she cares about him. “you just kissed me.”

“yes,” she says, blinking. “i did.” and i want to do it again so badly that i can’t think straight.

“after i told you i wasn’t worthy.”

“yes.” she sounds like a broken record. “yes, i did.”

lucifer blinks at her. “forgive me for being confused, then.”

god, she wants to kiss that stupid look off his face.

shaking her head slightly, chloe narrows her eyes, looking at him properly. don’t look at his lips, decker. stay focused. “i kissed you because i wanted to, lucifer.” and i want to do it again. let me do it again.

“but why?” he sounds genuinely confused, and it’s this, coupled with the broken twitch of his eyebrow, that has her dropping her hand from his neck and taking his fingers in hers instead.

concentrate.

“i like you,” she says bluntly. “i really like you. it terrifies me, because you’re right. we’re different. we’re so different. but for some reason, that works.”

if possible, his eyebrows furrow further, eyes dropping down to their joined hands before he looks back up at her. “i don’t understand,” he whispers again. “why on earth would you like me?”

chloe resists the urge to roll her eyes. it’s sweet, really. the most confident man she’s ever met, insecure and pliable in her arms on a secluded beach, wondering why she loves him. “you’re insufferable,” she says, a teasing grin on her lips as she looks up at him. “truly. you piss me off half of the time and i wasn’t lying when i said i found you repulsive.”

he opens his mouth, but she continues, taking a step forward. “but i also know that underneath that mask, you’re a kind, funny, smart man. i’ve worked with you for almost two years now, and you still manage surprise me every single day. you’re impulsive, and cocky, and sometimes you make me want to rip my hair out, but you’re also the best partner i’ve ever had, and i like you.”

lucifer looks down at her, eyes storming with something she doesn’t know exactly how to describe. chloe tilts her head up, her lips millimetres away from his. “i like your charm,” she breathes, and his head falls to rest against hers. “i like your wit. i like the way you pretend you don’t care about anything but really care more than anyone else in the world. i like your laugh. i like how you make me laugh. i like the way you interact with my kid. i even like your weird eye mojo thing, no matter how much it weirds me out sometimes.”

his eyes are lidded, hands tightening on hers. her heart clenching suddenly, chloe comes to the realisation that maybe no one has ever told him this before. “i like your eyes, how they light up every time i walk in the room,” she continues, voice dropping to barely a whisper. “i like how you get my coffee order perfect every single time despite the fact i never told you what it was. i like how you push for justice in each case we work on, how you don’t give up even if the answer seems impossible. i like how you try your hardest even when you don’t know what to do.”

he swallows next to her, and she drops one of his hands to curl it around his neck again, drawing them so close that the next time she whispers, her lips brush his. “i like you, lucifer,” she murmurs. “please stop doubting yourself.”

“you’re so much better than me.” his eyes are fully closed now, his body trembling in her grasp. she squeezes his fingers.

“that may be true,” she darts her tongue out, wetting her lips. “but you haven’t stopped trying to be better man since the day i met you. i know you don’t think i realise – maybe you don’t even realise. but i do, lucifer. i always do.”

his eyes open, finally, staring straight into her own. he’s silent for a moment, and when he speaks next, it comes out strained. “chloe…”

“let me in,” she pleads, shamelessly begging. “you’re so used to being alone. let me be on your side.”

“i know how to be alone,” he whispers. “i’ve been alone my entire life. i don’t know how to – to do this.”

“i’ll teach you,” she promises, eyelashes blinking against his. “let me teach you.”

his lips press against hers again, finally, and that’s all the answer she needs.

Chapter Text

39. “Don’t cry.”

“will you stay?” she hates how insecure her voice sounds, hates that she wants – no, needs – him to stay with her tonight.

he hesitates, and she thinks that if he says no right now she might burst into tears, so she grabs his hand and stops him at the door. “please?”

he casts a look to trixie’s closed door, and then sighs with a nod. “of course, detective. whatever you desire.”

she scrunches her face up, backtracking. “i mean, only if you want to. it’s – it’s late, and you probably have things to do… i’m sorry. you don’t have to, it was –”

“detective,” he says softly, stepping forwards. there are tired lines around his eyes, and there’s still blood soaking through his shirt. “i’d be happy to stay, if you’ll have me. it’s been a long day.”

chloe nods, deflating. “you want to shower?”

he follows her back into the house, bobbing his head. “that would be lovely. thank you.”

chloe finds him a few towels, directs him to the guest bathroom. he slides the door shut behind him with a gentle smile, and she stares after him for a moment before heading back down the hallway.

she needs a glass of wine, and warm pyjamas, and she’ll be okay. she’s always okay.

pausing at trixie’s door, she ducks her head in, anxiety pulling at her chest. the urge to simply curl up with her daughter, make sure she’s protected from any and everything that could possibly hurt her pulls within her heart, but she compromises with simply tucking the blankets tighter around her kid and kissing trixie’s head before heading back out to the kitchen.

if she’d thought she was a protective mother before, it’s nothing compared to the feeling that the day’s events have stirred within her. there’s still primal fear coursing through her veins, the image of trixie in malcolm’s arms unlikely to leave her anytime soon. her heart thumps hard within her ribcage at the very thought, an unhelpful reminder of the pure fear that’s gripped her ever since she’d received the horrific phone call that morning.

she almost drops the wine at the memory of trixie’s terrified scream when she’d begged her to go hide, and sets it on the bench with a shaky sob. wine can wait. she needs to breathe.

stumbling towards the couch, she draws her legs up to her chest, resting her chin on her knees as she works oxygen in and out of her lungs. she almost lost her kid today. malcolm had her, and he had trixie, and he had lucifer, and –

she needs to see trixie.

she needs to see trixie.

she scrambles up without any preamble, thrusting her daughter’s door open with a barely contained sob.

trixie’s fine. she’s fine. she’s asleep in her bed with a calm expression on her face, her braids spread out over the pillow. she’s fine.

chloe closes the door again, her heart thumping as she steps back over to the couch, curling back up. her chest heaves, and she retreats back into a ball. she only looks up when a sound echoes from down the hall, and then she’s up immediately, blinded by tears as she scrambles towards the source of the sound, hands thrust out in front of her protectively.

she’s sobbing heartily by the time lucifer catches her, folding her almost roughly against his front with soothing whispers. she thrashes within his grasp, gasping for breath, but he’s unrelenting. his arms are tight around her, and she wants out – out.

“detective,” he murmurs. “it’s alright. it’s just me. i’ve got you. it’s me, okay? you’re safe.”

“trixie,” she sobs, banging her head into his chest.

“the urchin is safe too,” he says gently. “i promise. you’re both safe. come on, now.”

he leads her back to the couch, setting her down. chloe whines, her chest aching, unsure of what to do now. where to go.

lucifer sits next to her, looking around, before his eyes settle on her. he looks lost, eyes wide and conflicted, but chloe can’t bring herself to care.

“lucifer,” she whispers, lip wobbling. “i’m scared.”

scared is an understatement. she’s fucking terrified, scared to close her eyes for even a minute lest someone take her kid from her again. scared that she almost lost trixie, almost lost him

she wraps her arms around him without warning, barrelling into his chest with a strangled cry. his hands hover mid-air for a second before resting on her back, stroking up and down. “shh,” he whispers. “don’t cry. it’s okay now.”

shuddering, she buries her face in his neck. he smells like cedar and whiskey and the body wash she keeps in the spare bathroom, and his arms are warm around her. she swallows thickly, back shaking with held back sobs, and he keeps whispering, words warm and gentle in her ear.

“we did it, detective,” he murmurs. “we got out. we’re safe. trixie is safe. you saved her.”

she shifts, looking up at him with a sniffle. “you saved her, technically.” her voice is raw. “i thought you died.”

“i did die,” he smiles softly. “just for a second.” when she doesn’t return his smile, it drops from his lips. “none of that matters. what matters is that you’re safe, and your child is safe, and we punished a very bad man, and he won’t hurt anyone ever again.”

chloe nods, small in his arms. lucifer shifts beneath her, and she whimpers, begging him silently to stay still.

she doesn’t know how long they stay there. all she knows is that eventually her sobs give way to sporadic whimpers, and then to gentle breaths as he holds her in place. trixie comes out crying after the sun goes down, falling victim to a haunting nightmare that replicates the past twenty four hours all too well, and lucifer welcomes her into their embrace without so much as a quippy comment.

chloe wants to tell him how much that means to her. for a man who’s flinched away from physical contact for as long as she’s known him, to have her and her daughter snuggled into his lap simply because they’re scared means more to her than he’ll ever know.

they fall asleep together on her lumpy little couch, and to her surprise, neither chloe nor trixie wake again, lucifer’s arms wrapped tight around them throughout the night. when they wake, he’s still there, mouth open and head thrown back against the too-short couch, his arms still securely embracing the both of them.

deciding that trixie deserves a day off school, chloe helps her up, careful not to wake the sleeping devil under them, and lucifer wakes twenty minutes later to a squeaky seven-year-old voice crooning along to nineties jams and the smell of fresh pancakes, and he thanks his father for bringing him back with a shy smile upwards.

Chapter Text

40. “I made this for you.”

“lucifer!” it’s a screech, and it hurts his ears, and it wakes him up, and why is he awake so early?

“g’ away,” he mumbles, turning further into his pillow.

wait.

it’s not his pillow.

it’s softer, and lumpier, and it’s resting against something much harder than his usual headboard at the penthouse. as his senses come to him, the pillow starts to smell faintly of something sweet – something floral and pretty and oh so different to what he normally wakes up to when he wakes somewhere that isn’t his place.

“he’s joking, monkey.” the voice is soft, lifted slightly with the hint of a laugh. “he’s just sleepy.”

“devil doesn’t get sleepy,” lucifer groans, shifting. the unfamiliar bed creaks beneath him, a spring jabbing into his back, and he blinks groggy eyes open and tries to make sense of his surroundings.

he’s not on a bed – he’s on a couch. chloe’s couch. it’s skinny and bumpy and digging into his back, but there’s a warm, heavy blanket draped over his body, and he’s surprisingly not too uncomfortable. as soon as his eyes open, a harsh light glares above him, and he squints, scrunching his face up.

the screech comes again. “lucifer. wake up.”

“i’m awake,” he grumbles, shuffling up against the corner of the couch and reaching behind him to fluff the pillow. “hard not to be after that. you have a personal rooster, detective.”

chloe laughs, sitting gingerly down next to him. “happy birthday, lucifer.”

“happy birthday!” the squeal comes before he has a chance to respond, trixie throwing herself at him with a grin. “gosh. you’re so old now.”

“well, technically –” he doesn’t have a birthday, today’s just the date he came up with on the spot when the old lieutenant had asked when he first became a consultant. “i don’t age.”

“riiiiight,” trixie giggles, bouncing up and down in his lap. “because you’re the devil. we get it. you still don’t get out of birthdays, though!”

lucifer sighs, pushing halfheartedly to get her off him. “how very sad.”

“mom,” trixie pouts at him. “lucifer’s being a party pooper.”

“i am not a pooper!” he turns to chloe. “detective. tell your child she’s being disrespectful.”

chloe’s chest is shaking with silent laughter, and at lucifer’s indignant look, the giggles spill over. lucifer’s eyes widen, and he grasps at his chest with mocking indignance. “you wound me,” he pouts, crossing his arms. “i don’t know why i agreed to stay here last night.”

“because you love us,” trixie giggles, bouncing again. “you love me and mommy and you want us to be here on your birthday and we’re gonna have birthday breakfast and we bought you presents and –”

“presents?” lucifer cocks his head, shifting trixie so that he can see chloe. “you didn’t need to get me anything.”

being here is enough. their love is enough.

“of course we did, silly!” trixie’s grinning, her little tongue poked out between pearly white teeth. “i made you something at school, and mommy made you something too. wanna see?”

“seriously, detective,” he says, confused, watching as trixie bounds off to her room to retrieve his gifts. “i don’t need any presents. i don’t want you to give me things.”

“lucifer,” chloe murmurs, scooting closer. her shoulder bumps his, and he leans forward to rest his head against it. “when people love each other, they give gifts. trixie and i love you. it’s your birthday. we’re giving you presents.”

he swallows against her, wrestling with his mind, and then looks up. “no one’s ever bought me a gift before.”

“never?” chloe can’t stop the hurt from bleeding into her voice. “lucifer, never?”

he shakes his head. “i’m not sure if you’ve noticed, detective, but i’m not really the people type of devil.”

“well,” she says, giving him a gentle smile. “maybe you weren’t. but you are now. we know you are, and we love you for it.” she moves to settle against him, leaning into his chest with a content sigh. “now put away your pride, and let us spoil you. okay?”

“okay,” he mutters, kissing her pyjama clad shoulder. “’s long as you make me those sandwiches.”

“of course she’ll make you sandwiches!” trixie’s back, clutching a poorly wrapped square present. “tradition, remember? hey – mom, you stole my spot!”

chloe chuckles, nestling further into lucifer’s side. “sorry, baby. finders, keepers.”

trixie glares, but then her attention turns back to the present in her arms and she grins. “here, lucifer. open it!”

he takes it cautiously, giving it a hesitant shake. trixie giggles, almost shaking with excitement. “open it!”

he tears the paper off with a helping hand from the child next to him, and then falls immediately silent, his hands stilling.

trixie deflates. “you don’t like it.”

lucifer shakes his head, a hand reaching blindly out to grasp her smaller one. “no, urchin,” he whispers. “i love it.”

beneath his hands is a crudely drawn portrait of the three of them. there’s a box house in the background, and in the front yard stands three figures – a man in a dark suit, topped with devil horns. a smart woman, dressed in a pantsuit, golden hair tumbling down her back. and between them, a short child, curly little pigtails protruding from her head.

“it’s us,” trixie says quietly. “me and you and mommy. our family.”

“i can see that, child,” lucifer says, his voice cracking. “thank you. you’re a true artist.”

trixie grins, planting a fat kiss on his cheek as she takes the drawing from him. “i also got you some ranch puffs. they’re on the bench, i couldn’t wrap them very well. can i put this on the fridge?”

lucifer nods, lost for words. he watches as trixie skips out of the room, her drawing flapping behind her, and then turns to chloe. “i –”

“i have a gift too,” she says, smiling slightly. “can you deal with it?”

“i don’t know,” he says honestly. “we can try?”

“okay.” a smile stretches across her lips, and she leans over him, pulling a (better wrapped) gift from a drawer in the coffee table. “here. happy birthday, lucifer.”

her lips touch his, only slightly, before she’s pulling back. “open it,” she whispers, her breath warm on his skin. “i made this for you.”

he tears the paper off slower this time, his fingers scratching at the hard surface beneath. once it’s off, chloe throws it on the floor, her eyes cast downwards as lucifer turns the smooth brown book over.

the cover is emblazoned with one simple word, glowing golden against the smooth leather book.

home.

his breath hitching, lucifer flicks open the first page. there’s a photo of the three of them, back when he and chloe had only just met, taken haphazardly by trixie as she worked the selfie function on chloe’s phone. her face is split into a beaming smile, two front teeth missing, and even he and chloe are smiling in the background, chuckling at her antics.

the next page has the picture they’d bought from the carnival. lucifer skips it with a huff, his cheeks flushing at the expression on his face. the picture after is one he doesn’t remember taking, a candid photo of him and chloe at the precinct. he’s got his arm around her, her face lit up in a sunny smile as he smirks at something in the distance.

the rest of the book is filled with similar photos. shots of the three of them, shots of just him and chloe. an occasional doodle by trixie marring the edges. about halfway through, lucifer’s hand drops, and chloe’s eyes flick upwards, searching within his for any sign of anxiety.

“lucifer.”

he turns his eyes to hers, and they’re sparkling with tears. “detective… chloe. this is – this is the most thoughtful gift i’ve ever received.”

“considering you told me not ten minutes ago that you’ve never received any gifts,” chloe teases, bumping his nose with hers, “that doesn’t rank very high.”

chloe,” he whines, blinking imploringly. “i’m serious. thank you.”

her teasing grin drops, replaced with something much more genuine, and she presses her lips to his. “you’re welcome, lucifer.” another kiss. “the last few pages are blank. i hope you’ll let us help fill them with more memories.”

his fingers flit to the blank pages, mind filling with the ideas of new memories created with love. “i would love that,” he whispers, and then turns his face up to hers. “i love you. thank you.”

“of course, baby,” chloe murmurs, pressing her lips to his. “i love you too.”

and unbeknownst to them, trixie grins from the kitchen, bringing her mother’s phone up to snap a photo of them, ready to fill the blank pages.

Chapter Text

41. “Go back to sleep.”

“right,” chloe says, no nonsense. “we’ve got a hotel room for the night, and then we can drive out early tomorrow morning. if we leave early enough, we can get ahead, and we should catch the millers around midday. sound okay with you?”

lucifer hums. “whatever you say, detective.”

“don’t do this.” she shifts in her seat, turning to glare at him. “don’t. you didn’t have to come.”

he snorts, unimpressed. as if she’d given him much choice, rocking up at the penthouse with a panicked story of on-the-run suspects and an emergency roadtrip, acting as if she hasn’t spent the last few weeks plotting his return to hell. he’d said yes – of course he’d said yes, he wasn’t about to let her drive down into the middle of nowhere alone – but he wasn’t about to make it easy for her.

you didn’t have to go to rome and befriend a priest,” he says it calmly, a raging undertone of spite bubbling underneath. it’s a low blow, and maybe she doesn’t deserve it, but he’s had enough. “but you did, and i’m here, and that’s where we’re at.”

chloe glares at him, staring for a second before she turns back to the road. she looks as thought she’s got something crawling beneath her skin, unable to sit still long enough to stay quiet. “i said i’m sorry.”

lucifer stays quiet for a long, long time, staring out the window as fields of nothingness blur by. when he finally talks again, the silence in the car is palpable. “sometimes, detective,” he says quietly. “sorry isn’t enough.”

0o0o0

chloe resists the urge to scream, huffing out a frustrated breath as she turns back to the bored looking concierge. “are you sure there’s nothing you can do?”

“sorry, ma’am,” he drones, tapping his foot as he peers down the hall. “you’ve got the last room.”

how in all hell the little motel she’d chosen is booked out in the middle of may, chloe has no idea. all she knows is she asked for a twin bed room and they’d given her a room with one double, and she’s sure as hell not sleeping on the floor.

always the gentleman, lucifer offers immediately. he strips from his shoes and steps gingerly across the dirty carpet as if it’s not seriously activating his fight or flight response.

“lucifer,” she sighs. “don’t be ridiculous. we can both fit in the bed. it’s huge.”

it’s not huge. not at all. it could hardly even be called a double – more like an exaggerated single.

lucifer can tell she’s lying. “i’m happy to sleep on the floor, detective.”

“that’s stupid,” chloe huffs, kicking her own shoes off. “you’ve already told me god knows how many times that the car hurts your back, we don’t need to add to that. get in the bed.”

lucifer’s eyes fall, staring at the carpet. “you know what? i can probably get another room, i’ll just go talk to –”

“lucifer, don’t be dumb!” she’s on the verge of tears, her throat hindered by an ugly lump. “get on the damn bed. go to sleep. we have to be up in, like, seven hours.”

so they end up in the tiny bed, each clinging to the very edge as the chasm between them grows. chloe’s breathing is steady, her head soft against the pillow, blanket tugged up under her arms.

lucifer shifts around the bed for what feels like the millionth time, groaning internally as he tries and fails once again to get comfortable. there’s no blanket on his side, all bunched up around chloe’s sleeping form. he’s cold, and he’s sad, and he can’t get bloody comfortable –

“lucifer,” her voice is gentle in the silent room, accompanied by a tired sigh. “what’s the matter?”

“nothing,” he grumbles. “go back to sleep.”

“i wasn’t asleep.” he feels her roll over, but refuses to do the same. “and i know you weren’t, either.” it’s silent for a moment, and then she speaks again. “can we… talk?”

“last i heard, detective,” he sighs, staring resolutely at the dark wardrobe across from him, “it wasn’t talking you were interested in.”

“oh, lucifer, for god’s sake.” her hand is around his arm, tugging him to face her roughly. “i said sorry. when will it be enough?”

“i don’t know, detective,” he glares, snapping his arm out of her reach. “when i go back to hell? when you finally manage to kill me? when i’m gone?”

“lucifer.”

“i don’t want to hear it.” his voice is quipped, and he rolls over again so his back faces her.

lucifer.” she’s pleading, and he hates it. “will you at least look at me?”

his mouth set in a line, he rolls to face her. “happy?”

she blinks at him. “no.”

lucifer’s eyebrow raises. “no?”

chloe shakes her head, propping her head up on one arm. “no. i’m not happy.”

it’s not meant to be a continuation of her speech at the stakeout last night. she just wants to talk. “lucifer.”

“you keep saying my name,” he sighs, swallowing. “trying to remind yourself who i am? the devil, detective. i assure you.”

“i know who you are,” chloe whispers. “and it’s not the devil.”

“i am,” he insists. “and i can prove it, you’ve seen –”

“lucifer, i know who you are,” she repeats firmly. “i know. and who you are is not this monster you claim you are. you’re kind, and smart, and –”

stop.” the word, though simple, is choked. he scampers further away from her, almost falling off the bed in the process. “please, stop.”

“lucifer –”

no, detective!” he’s out of the bed completely now, hands flailing in front of him as he stares desperately at her. “you can’t run off to rome and try to send me back and then call me kind! that’s not fair!

“life isn’t fair, lucifer! which, apparently, is your dad’s fault, which, by the way, is something i’m still trying to wrap my head around, and –”

“you’re not the only one who was affected by this.” his voice is quiet, but his tone is deadly.

chloe falters. “what?”

“you’re acting as though me being – me – is the end of the world, and i’m sure it is. but have you ever considered that maybe i’m also hurting? that this is the end of my world, too?”

“lucifer…”

“stop lucifer-ing me!” he stamps his foot, exhaling heavily through his nose. “you hurt me. and i know i hurt you too, but it’s not fair that you’re acting like this is all my fault, when it’s not. i can’t help being the devil. if you want me gone, i’ll be gone. i just need you to know – i never wanted to hurt you. that was never my intention.”

“lucifer,” chloe whispers, sitting up. her arms reach hesitantly towards him, dropping with a sigh. “i – will you come here?”

he swallows audibly, taking a single step towards her. “why?”

“because i want to show you.”

“show me what?”

she holds out her hands again, and this time, he takes them.

“show you this,” she whispers, tugging him towards her. he falls onto the bed with a little grunt, her arms tightening around him. “i don’t want you gone, lucifer,” she breathes, pulling him into a tight hug. “i want you back.”

Chapter Text

42. “Is this okay?”

“i can’t sleep!” the outburst is dramatic, even for him, but he’s tired, goddamnit, and he just wants her to understand. the urge to cry grows as she points silently towards the interrogation room, raising an eyebrow as he slumps in behind her.

she stares pointedly at the chair until he flops into it, blinking mutely as she surveys him. “lucifer, what’s going on?”

she doesn’t sound mad, exactly. her tone is dry and strained, and she’s looking at him like she can’t believe he’s let it get to this point.

to be fair, neither can he.

“you won’t get it,” he mumbles, shoving his face into his hands as his fingers tug anxiously at his curls. “you never get it.”

the chair across from him scrapes against the cold floor, the sound grating across his nerves like fingernails on a blackboard. he shudders.

“you don’t let me ‘get it’,” chloe says, audibly frustrated. “lucifer, i can’t help you unless you tell me what’s going on.”

“that’s the thing, detective!” he exclaims, dropping his hands to stare at her helplessly. “i can’t tell you what’s going on.”

“lucifer,” chloe purses her lips, tilting dangerously over the line between caution for his health and pure frustration. “you know you can tell me anything –”

“i can’t!” he lets out a choked sob, scrambling backwards as the chair topples to the floor. his hands flail in front of him helplessly, and he stamps his foot, face crumpling. “i can’t, chloe.”

she softens slightly, standing up and stepping cautiously towards him. when he doesn’t move, she comes closer, taking his shaking hands carefully in hers. “come on,” she says gently. “we’re not getting anywhere with you like this. let’s go home.”

no, his mind screams. don’t leave her. you can’t be alone.

“don’t wanna go home,” he mumbles. she drops his hands, but he whines, rubbing childishly at his eyes before she takes them in her own again.

“you’re tired, lucifer,” she says carefully, as if she’s talking to trixie rather than him. “you need to rest. we can talk tomorrow. for now, let’s get you home.”

“i don’t want to go home, detective!”

“okay!” she holds a hand up, placating. “okay.” her brain whirs, scenarios running through her head. is he in danger? is something happening at lux? has she been so caught up in pierce and everything he entails that she’s forgotten to truly look at her partner?

she does so now, taking him in. lucifer’s eyes are red-rimmed, the dark orbs wide in distress. his hair is tussled – newly so, thanks to his fingers, thrumming in her own. he looks wrecked.

chloe’s heart clenches. maybe she has been neglecting him. maybe she should’ve been paying closer attention. maybe she could have –

“lucifer,” she says suddenly. “come on. come with me.”

a testament to how utterly exhausted he is, he lets her pull him out of the room, across the bullpen, into her car, without uttering a single word of restraint. he’s making small, inhumane sounds, little whimpers and whines that tug at her heartstrings and make her that much surer of her decision.

it's only once she starts the car that he reacts, pulling anxiously away from her as his breathing quickens. “i said i don’t wanna go home.”

“we’re not going to lux,” she says calmly, placing a gentle hand on his arm. “you’re coming with me.”

his brow furrows, and it takes him a lot of effort to form the next word. “where?”

“home,” she says, starting the car. “sit down. seatbelt on.”

when he stays still, she sighs, leaning over the console to tug the belt over his front. her hair dangles over his face as she reaches for the buckle, and she feels him butt his head tiredly against her shoulder.

he whines when she settles back into her own seat, missing the contact already, so she offers him her hand and tries not to react when he grabs it immediately between his own. her thumb strokes gently over his knuckles as she drives, and by the time they reach suburbia, he’s gone so quiet she’d think he was sleeping if not for the tightening of his grip on her own every time they go over a bump.

his eyes are closed when she finally pulls into her garage, shooting a text off to dan to ask him to pick up trixie before she gently extracts her hand from his and gets out of the car. he’s wide awake when she opens the passenger door, face twitching in distress as he searches for her touch again.

lucifer’s never liked physical contact. he’s hardly ever instigated it with her, preferring to flinch away from her whenever she decides to touch him. it’s gotten to the point where chloe makes a point of not touching him, just to make him more comfortable.

which is why, as the devil begs to hold her hand, a deep-seated feeling of discomfort stirs in her gut.

she offers it to him anyway, leading him inside. she considers making him shower, but he’s so tired he’s swaying on his feet, so instead she simply pulls him up the stairs and into her room, shows him the bathroom, and says ‘strip.’

he blinks at her, clueless, so she pulls an old shirt of dan’s from her bottom drawer and shoves it in his direction, nudging him into the bathroom and closing the door behind him.

he emerges a few moments later, eyes wide and body tense before he spots her and relaxes. she’s sitting on the bed, a book in her lap and reading glasses on, her legs crossed. at the sound of the door closing, she looks up.

“hey.”

his eyes flicker upwards, meeting hers temporarily before dropping again to the floor. she stands, takes his discarded clothes from his arms and drops them haphazardly onto the floor, to be dealt with tomorrow.

then she crosses the room, back to where he’s still standing, frozen on the spot, and places her palm gently on his elbow, nudging him towards the bed. “lay down.”

he looks up. “here?”

chloe nods, settling back into her spot and holding her hand out. she’d considered sitting downstairs on the couch, but he’s clearly exhausted, and he could do with a better night’s sleep than some lousy sofa nap. lucifer falters above her, and she sighs, reaching up again.

he takes her hand, finally, and then she tugs him forward until he’s laying on the bed next to her, his eyes on her face. chloe gives him a small smile, encouraging, and reaches down to pull the blanket up over him.

“detective,” he whispers, voice hoarse. “are you – is this okay?”

“you wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t,” she assures him. “lay down. get some rest.”

he nods but makes no move to do so, his eyes trained on her. chloe sighs, discarding her book to the side as she shifts closer to him. “come here, lucifer.”

his brow furrows again, and she decides to simply show him. reaching out awkwardly, she tugs at his body until he’s somewhat in her lap, his face turned up to look at her, blinking in confusion.

“shh,” she whispers, tangling a hand in his hair. “close your eyes.”

he shakes his head, blinking lethargically. each word seems to take him a mammoth amount of effort, the sound sluggish and slow. “why… ‘re y’… doin’ this?”

because i love you, she thinks.

“because you’re tired,” she says, swallowing. “and you need to sleep. you’re clearly not getting any rest while you’re alone, and you’re no help at work like this, so i’m taking one for the team. i’ll stay here, you sleep, i won’t let anything happen to you, and i’ll be here if you need. then, you wake up, refreshed, and we go back to work, and i get my partner back. deal?”

“deal,” lucifer mumbles, arching his head into her touch. “th’t feels nice.”

“mm?” she smiles softly, her other hand coming up to stroke gentle patterns across his face. she traces along the ridge of his brow, down his nose, under his swollen eyes. around his jaw to his ears, stopping for a second to tangle with her other hand in his curls. he’s close to sleep now, blinking slowly up at her through heavily lidded eyes, and when she drags her fingertips gently over his eyelids, they fall shut completely.

“get some sleep, lucifer,” she murmurs, rubbing her thumb soothingly over his brow. “i’m not going anywhere. you’re safe.”

he hums distantly, and when her fingertips flit over his lips, the ghost of a touch, she could swear he presses the softest of kisses to them.

and so when – and only when – she knows he’s long gone into the depth of slumber, chloe leans down ever so gently, and breathes a kiss against his forehead, murmuring her love to a sleeping devil and a quiet room.

Chapter Text

43. “I picked these for you.”

“chloe,” lucifer calls cautiously, stepping inside the penthouse. his arms are laden with heavy grocery bags, filled to the brim with snacks and treats and everything else he could think of to make her feel better. “love? are you home?”

the large room remains silent, so he dumps the bags on the bench counter and steps further in, eyes narrowing. “chloe?”

a quick skip up the stairs to his bedroom has his shoulders dropping in understanding. his girlfriend is curled up in the very middle of his – well, their – bed, the silky sheets draped around her as she clutches a pillow.

lucifer sits gingerly beside her, the mattress dipping beneath his weight. without opening her eyes, chloe rolls towards him, burying her face in his thigh with a low moan.

“hello, love,” he whispers, running his fingers through her hair. “feeling any better?”

she shakes her head, muted. she’d been feeling unwell all day, woken up with a headache and a slight fever, the cause of which had been identified relatively quickly afterwards – her period.

if he didn’t place such high acclaim on his name, lucifer might refer to chloe’s uterus as the real devil. each month, she spent a few days in such obvious discomfort that lucifer was tempted to take it up with his father. the reason why procreation (or, rather, the lack of procreation) had to be so painful for those with uteruses made absolutely no sense to the devil, despite his admittedly long history with the idea of satan’s sacrificial waterfall.

however, other than a foul mood and some crampy discomfort, chloe’s periods never seemed to bother her too much. she referred to it as a right pain and a nuisance, but before now, he’s never seen her too affected by her monthly visitor.

today, though…

despite his suggestions as she winced uncomfortably over breakfast that morning, she’d followed him to work as usual. she’d felt and sounded off, snapping at every and anybody she came in contact with, but it wasn’t until he found her doubled over at a particularly painful cramp that he declared the day over and strongly suggested she go home.

he'd stayed behind to help dan finish up some paperwork, just to take it off chloe’s neverending list of things to do and hopefully alleviate a touch of the stress he suspects is worsening this month’s experience. between the cases they’ve been working, the stacks of paperwork piling up on her desk, and trixie’s upcoming end of year tests, lucifer’s girlfriend has been run off her feet in the leadup to christmas.

another groan from his lap turns his attention back to chloe. her face is scrunched up in pain, eyebrows knotted together so tightly he thinks he could count the individual lines they create.

“oh, chloe,” he murmurs, smoothing her brow. “it’s alright.”

she presses into his touch, squirming slightly. “i don’t feel well,” she pouts, swallowing thickly. “everything just hurts.”

he pouts back at her for a moment before smiling, pushing her back slightly. “here,” he says. “i brought you some stuff, wait here.”

he scampers off before she can protest, pulling one of the bags back into his bedroom with him and beaming at her. “pads, tampons, more pads, liners,” he says proudly, lining them up on the dresser and grinning wider when he sees a hint of a smile tug at chloe’s lips. “a hot water bottle. chocolate, of course. some blue drugs that the chemist assured me would make you feel better, but they’re not illicit, so no promises.” he stares at them for a second, distrustful, and then places them down too. “more chocolate, and tea. normal aspirin. oh – and,” his face lights up, “i picked these for you!’

with a pathetic sort of flourish, he pulls a bouquet of flowers, a mix of anthuriums, camellias, and amaranths. they hit him in the face slightly and he recoils, grinning as chloe chuckles weakly from the bed.

“thank you, baby,” she smiles, nestling into his side again as he sits on the bed, his bag forgotten. “they’re beautiful. can i smell?”

he holds them down to her nose proudly, letting her sniff before he pulls back. “this one,” he says, pointing to the anthuriums. “are for health. the man told me they’ll make you feel better, but i think that’s probably bollocks. they look nice, though. and these –” the amaranths – “are ever-lasting and never fading love.” he gives her a look then, soft and vulnerable. she kisses his knuckle. “and these,” he brightens, tapping a camellia. “that’s for desire. you know why.”

“i do,” chloe smiles, leaning her forehead against his thigh before her face drops. “can’t imagine you find me at all desirable right now, though.”

lucifer drops the flowers, and it takes chloe a second to realise he’s actually offended. “excuse you, detective decker,” he frowns, folding his arms. “how dare you.”

chloe giggles, pursing her lips. “i take it back?”

“you bloody well better take it back,” lucifer says, huffing. “don’t you ever insult my girlfriend again.”

“okay,” she laughs, turning her face into his leg with a sigh. “thank you,” she mutters, voice muffled. “you’re the best.”

“i am the best,” he agrees. “let me get a vase for these flowers, you take some of the blue things and have a hot shower, it’s meant to help. then we can watch something?”

chloe nods, gazing at him. she’s so full of love for this man, it’s really not funny.

half an hour later, she’s dressed in one of lucifer’s old dress shirts, a hot water bottle thrust underneath the buttons against her belly. lucifer’s kicked off his shoes and undressed down to his shirt and slacks, the flowers now safely in a pretty vase on the coffee table. there’s a bowl of chocolate between them, a romcom on the television, and her head is leaning gently against lucifer’s shoulder as he strokes aimless patterns over their joined hands.

she took the pills before she showered, but they mustn’t have kicked in yet, because a particularly sharp cramp has her buckling slightly in pain, her hand jerking from lucifer’s to wrap protectively around her stomach.

he turns immediately to her. “are you okay?”

chloe nods, wincing as the cramp tears through her lower stomach, nausea stirring in her gut. “yup. just – fuck – it hurts.” she can feel it rolling across her body, muscles tensing painfully. she closes her eyes, breathing deep to ride it out, but then –

the hot water bottle is removed, replaced by cold hands that feel like heaven on earth. lucifer’s fingers push gently in all the right places, kneading her sore belly as she relaxes slightly. “oh.”

“good ‘oh’, or bad ‘oh’?” he asks, fingers not stopping as he places a kiss on her temple.

“good,” she whispers gratefully. “so good.”

she feels lucifer smile against her head, his hands massaging gently across her stomach as the cramp subsides somewhat. chloe turns her head into his shoulder, exhaling. “thank you.”

“any time,” lucifer murmurs, still rubbing gentle circles over her stomach. “whatever makes you feel better.”

“you make me feel better,” she whispers, eyes fluttering closed as his other hand joins the first on her belly. “i love you.”

lucifer hums, pressing more kisses to her hairline as he works his hands softly over her aching body. within minutes, she’s fast asleep, her hand tangled in his shirt, comfortable for the first time all day.

Chapter Text

44. “I’ll drive you to the hospital.”

“lucifer,” she insists, wincing slightly. “i’m fine. i promise.”

“you’re not fine, detective!” it’s quite comical, actually, the way he’s trying to help but also keeping his distance. “you just expelled some weird – fluid – from a region fluid is not meant to come from! you’re certainly not fine!”

if she didn’t feel so damn sick, chloe would’ve laughed. instead, she just closes her eyes, leaning her head back against his corvette’s headrest and inhaling deeply. “i threw up, lucifer. everyone does it. i’m not dying.”

i don’t do it,” he says. she can feel him watching her even through closed eyelids. “how do you know you’re not dying?”

“because,” she says, exhausted. “it’s a natural bodily function. i probably ate something bad. i’ll be okay.”

“you probably ate something bad?” he asks, panicked. “see! you have no idea what’s wrong with you. i’ll drive you to the hospital.”

“okay, no,” chloe says, eyes snapping open. “i only agreed to let you drive me home. we’re not going to the hospital. i’m okay.”

“i don’t know about that, detective,” he turns to look at her quickly before returning his eyes back to the road. “what if it happens again?” he pauses slightly, aghast. “will it happen again?”

chloe pauses too, taking stock of her body. her stomach is still rolling, the bumping of the car on the los angeles highways not doing anything to help its uneasiness. she’s clammy and pale and just overall sick, and if she’s honest, yeah, “probably.”

lucifer balks, and again, chloe would laugh if she didn’t think the movement would cause her lunch to end up on the floor of the car. the thought of lucifer’s car soiled by vomit is amusing, and a corner of her lip tugs up into a smile.

“don’t smile, detective,” lucifer yelps. he’s working himself into a right state, almost as if he’s the one sick rather than her. “this isn’t funny. what if you die?”

“oh, for god’s sake, lucifer, i’m not dying,” she rolls her eyes, swallowing. “i’ll be okay. i’ll go home, maybe throw up a few times, and then sleep it off. i’ll be fine by tomorrow.”

lucifer blinks at her. “you’re not going home,” he decides, turning towards lux. chloe opens her mouth to talk, but he continues. “your bathroom is atrocious. if you insist on – vomiting –” he shudders, “then at least do it in luxury. my penthouse’s bathroom is far superior.”

and, well, she’s not about to argue. she’s only visited the penthouse bathroom a handful of times, but if she has to throw up, she’s certain it’ll be more comfortable than her tiny little rectangle of a toilet back home.

by the time they pull into lux’s carpark, chloe’s feeling decidedly worse, the nausea returning tenfold as lucifer helps her carefully out of the car. being away from the corvette brings her a little peace of mind – at least now, if she’s sick, lucifer won’t totally kill her – but it doesn’t lessen the nausea at all.

quite the opposite, actually.

she spends the elevator ride swallowing continuously and begging her body to at least let her hold onto her dignity, if not her lunch as well. the doors have hardly dinged before she’s rushing into the bathroom and dropping in front of the toilet with a sick groan.

she hears lucifer swear behind her, hears his panicked footsteps before he’s hovering uncertainly above her, listening to her laboured breaths as she leans her head sadly against the toilet seat. lucifer’s muttering to himself, but chloe blocks it out as she focuses on breathing shallowly, her stomach turning uncomfortably.

a hand at the base of her neck gathers her hair into a rough ponytail, and she tries for a grateful smile as lucifer’s other hand settles gently onto her lower back.

“this doesn’t look fun,” he notes, impossibly passive, and chloe tries for a laugh before her stomach gives a gigantic flop and she heaves into the toilet bowl, her lunch resurfacing.

lucifer, despite his earlier proclaimed disgust, rubs careful circles on her back, holding her hair back dutifully as she gags. by the time she’s done, she’s crying softly, both from the force of throwing up and just how damn sick she feels.

“hope you’re done,” lucifer murmurs, as she turns from the toilet to crumple into his hold. “don’t even think about getting sick on my armani. it’s tailor made, you know.”

she tries for a laugh but ends up sobbing pathetically, butting her nose into his suit. they’re just friends and he’s been ignoring her ever since the kiss on the beach and there was that whole thing with candy but she can’t bring herself to care, crying softly into his stupid armani as he strokes her damp hair soothingly.

eventually, he stands her up, helping her wipe her face with a wet washcloth and offering her a drink of water and some toothpaste. she brushes her teeth with a spare toothbrush she remembers using once before, the night she turned up drunk at his place after dan broke up with her. it makes her smile, the fact that he kept it, and he catches her eye in the mirror with a gentle smile of his own.

“what’s going to make you feel better?” he asks, once she’s cleaned up and sitting on his bed. he’s twitching anxiously, fiddling with his cufflinks, and it hits chloe that maybe he’s never had to do this before.

“i’m okay,” she says again, because she thinks he needs to hear it. it mustn’t have much credibility, considering she just sobbed into his suit for a few minutes, but he smiles gratefully at her nonetheless. “i just need to rest.”

“you’re welcome to rest here,” he says, gesturing to his bed. “much more comfortable than your lumpy bed.”

“he says, as if he’s ever even sat on my bed,” she counters, raising an eyebrow. lucifer huffs a surprised laugh, eyes twinkling, and then moves away.

she watches him, curled up amongst his pillows, and smiles appreciatively when he returns with an ice bucket, gesturing vaguely from his mouth to his stomach to the bucket in a way that makes her understand perfectly what he intends she use it for.

and then he just… hovers.

chloe stares as he moves aimlessly around the room, flitting from one side to another as he moves stupid little things into stupid little places. in perfect honesty, his constant movement is making her feel more nauseous, so she lets him do it for a total of thirty seconds before she speaks up again.

“lucifer?”

turning immediately, he looks scared. “you’re not going to be sick again, are you?”

chloe chuckles slightly, smiling. “no,” she says. “but… there is one thing, that i do whenever trix gets sick.”

eager to please, just as she expected, he’s at her side in a split second. “yes?”

putting on her most innocent face, chloe blinks up at him. “when trixie’s sick, we often… cuddle.”

it takes a moment for the word to compute in lucifer’s head, and then he narrows his eyes at her. “cuddle?”

chloe nods, closing her lips around a smile. he’s adorable, really, staring at her like he’s not quite sure what he’s meant to do, only knowing that he needs to protect her, not how to do it. “yeah. it makes her feel better.”

“oh.” lucifer considers this, and then shrugs. “i suppose, then, if you think it would help… and if you’re sure you’re not about to throw up again…”

“it would,” chloe says immediately, scooting over so he can sit beside her. “and i’m not.”

still looking slightly dazed, lucifer lays next to her, freezing when she attaches herself immediately to his side and snuggles in, sighing contently.

when it becomes clear she’s not moving, he shifts, a hand coming up to rest on the small of her back and the other covering her own, which is resting just over his heart. chloe’s gone completely lax on top of him, tiny snuffles emerging from her lips as she blinks delicately into his neck.

“you said you need rest,” he mumbles, holding tight to her.

she nods sleepily. “and cuddles.”

“and cuddles.” right. well… he can do that, he supposes. he tightens his grip on her, just to let her know he’s got it, he can do it, he’s perfectly capable of looking after a sick human, thank you very much.

his detective drops off to sleep not long after, her little snuffles growing into snores. lucifer, still slightly dazed, keeps his hold on her. “rest well, detective,” he murmurs. “and get well soon.”

Chapter Text

  1. “What do you want to watch?”

date nights.

an arrangement lucifer had not been very familiar with, before the detective. before her, he tended to pick up his conquests, either from lux or somewhere similar – or, more likely, they’d come to him – and take them upstairs for some fun, only to be gone by morning. he liked it like that, the anonymity, the façade he could hide behind. he got to show them only what he chose to display – mostly his anatomy.

with chloe, it’s different.

with chloe, everything’s different.

starting with – but certainly not ending with – date nights.

at first, he’d tried what he knew – extravagance and wealth. taking her on expensive trips to madrid for a weekend, organising one-on-one experiences with michelin star restaurants, dragging her along to private screenings of movies that hadn’t even come out yet. she’d loved them – shown all the right interest, dressed up nice and hooked her arm with his as he brushed them through each and every event.

but although he’d never been able to draw out chloe’s desires, lucifer had realised rather quickly that this – his wealth, his riches, his life – wasn’t really her scene. it’s something he’s come to realise, actually. dating chloe has taught lucifer that even though his mojo trick doesn’t work on her, there’s little things she does that clue him in on her emotions, how she’s feeling and what she wants. much like the eyerolls she gives him at particularly bad puns, there’s also a twinkle in her eyes when their hands brush at the precinct, or a droop of her head on the mornings she doesn’t have coffee before work. she wears a specific shirt on the days she misses her dad more than usual, and she checks her phone more often when trixie’s out with friends she doesn’t know well.

they’re all little, insignificant facts. individually, they mean nothing, but together – well, it’s like learning to read. as if he’s learning new letters, new words, lucifer learns chloe’s expressions and her actions, and eventually, he’s able to read her just as well as he can read the many languages he’s fluent in.

which is why, after her umpteenth tired smile at the last opera they’d been to, he’d turned to her and asked what she wanted to do for their next date. she’d been skittish, not providing him with a straight answer, but with help from both ella and trixie, and eventually chloe herself, he’d gotten it out of her.

to his surprise, chloe just wanted to stay home.

“you’re sure you won’t be bored?” he’d asked, eyebrows furrowed in confusion. dad forbid she ever get bored of him, he’d make sure of that. “it can’t be much fun just sitting around doing nothing.”

“i never get to do nothing,” she’d shrugged, almost shy in the way she looked at him hopefully. “besides, i don’t care if we do everything or nothing at all. i like spending time with you.”

yet another concept the devil was unfamiliar with. people didn’t usually come to him because they enjoyed it. it was normally for a favour, or advice, or, before, sex. chloe was the first person who had truly liked him, not just for his connections or his looks or his celestial refractory period.

chloe was the first person who really saw him, too.

she’s the first person to do a lot of things.

like –

“i cannot believe you’ve turned the devil into a bloody cuddler,” he grumbles, tightening the arm that’s around her waist so she’s pulled even closer into his body. his girlfriend is sitting in his lap, her arms slung loosely around his neck as she rests her head on his shoulder. she’s warm and heavy and occasionally peppers kisses along his jawline, and lucifer is besotted.

“i didn’t turn you into one,” chloe mumbles, snuggling closer. “i think you were always a cuddler. i just happened to draw it out.”

“there’s a reason i was trying so hard to hide it,” lucifer tuts, but he lets his head flop against hers with a happy sigh. “you’re going to ruin my reputation.”

“aww,” chloe’s grinning, tongue poking slightly through her teeth as she leans back to look at him. “is the poor little devil afraid of people knowing he cuddles?”

“yes!” lucifer looks at her, completely serious, before his lip tugs traitorously into a smile. “imagine if someone comes looking for a deal and they find me – snuggling?”

chloe giggles, and the sound is enough to make lucifer melt back into her touch. usually, their positions are reversed – no matter how much he teases, he loves being held. surrounded by chloe, her arms tight around his waist and his head on her chest as they nap, or read, or watch tv. sometimes, if he’s nice, she’ll scratch her nails gently through his hair, and he may have grown up in the silver city, but nothing is as heavenly as the feeling of her soft fingers amongst his curls.

“they’ll have to deal with it,” chloe murmurs. “not letting you go.”

a smile pulls at lucifer’s lips. another thing he’s learnt over the past few months that girlfriend-chloe is much different to work-chloe. his no-nonsense detective turns to mush whenever he kisses her forehead, and she’s quite content to be cheesy if it means she’ll get her way. not that he’ll ever admit it, but there have been countless times over the past few months where he’s seen exactly where trixie gets her… more childish qualities from, from the clinginess so obviously mirrored in her mother to the way chloe can do better puppy dog eyes than he’d ever imagine.

“no complaints here, love,” he whispers, pressing a kiss to the skin under her ear. “what do you want to watch?”

they’ve had netflix open for hours, but the screen hasn’t left the recommended page. between eating takeout for dinner and the amount of times they’ve gotten distracted by stolen kisses and cheeky smiles, the television has almost been forgotten.

“don’t mind,” chloe yawns, curling impossibly closer into him. “you choose.”

knowing she’ll probably hop right off him and refuse him entrance to her embrace again if he suggests hot tub high school, lucifer presses play on a random sitcom and settles back into the couch, hardly even paying attention. chloe relaxes against him, her breathing even as she blinks at the screen. lucifer brings a hand up to splay against her head, holding her to him, thanking his father that after all they’ve been through, they ended up here.

“i love you,” he whispers, a while later. chloe stirs, clicking her tongue lazily as she turns her head to look at him. he presses a kiss to her tired lips and rests their foreheads together, content. “thank you.”

“for what?” she murmurs, voice rough with disuse.

“teaching me what it’s like to be loved,” the admittance is soft, but she hears it nonetheless, and responds by taking his face between both of her hands and planting a definite kiss upon his nose.

“it makes me sad that i’m the first one to teach you,” she says quietly, blinking up at him. “but it’s an honour. it’s an honour to love you, lucifer.”

he doesn’t know what to say to that, throat tightening with inexplicable emotions. chloe understands – she always understands – and allows him to tug her closer still, snuggling together like entwined kittens. lucifer breathes a kiss against her temple, and then lets his lips remain there, a constant reminder of both her presence in his arms, and his love for her, growing stronger with every breath she takes.

Chapter Text

  1. “You can go first.”

for trixie’s eleventh birthday, lucifer takes them camping.

well, chloe’s not actually sure it could be called camping. lucifer keeps saying ‘glamping’, which trixie says makes him sound like an upper class soccer mom, much to his chagrin. they’re staying in an area that’s more like a hotel room, the only semblance to a tent being the canvas walls. there are proper beds, one for him and her, one for trixie, along with fluffy duvets and a working stove.

chloe’s definition of camping includes s’mores, fires, and bedrolls. her childhood memories were littered with draughty tents and the smell of smoke, the recollection of weekends with her dad summoning a smile to her face.

trixie is thrilled when chloe reveals her present to her on the morning of her birthday. holding up three tickets for adventure abseiling, she beams, dropping the sandwiches they’d cooked on the stove back to her plate as she barrelled into chloe with a squealed “thanks, mom!”

she’s getting taller. trixie’s chin reaches chloe’s shoulder now, her eyes bright with excitement as she gushes about the abseiling. swallowing past the bittersweet tidal wave of emotions she’s been hit by, chloe presses a kiss to trixie’s braids with a grin, sending her off to get ready.

“ever been abseiling, lucifer?” she asks, making small conversation as her daughter ties her shoes. her boyfriend shakes his head, pulling a jacket from one of their suitcases.

“no,” he says, looking up. “i assure you, i’ll be great at it.”

“of course you will be,” chloe grins, pecking his cheek as she closes the tent behind them. “because you’re –”

“good at everything,” lucifer nods, winking at trixie. “you know me so well.”

0o0o0

the instructor harnesses them up and runs them through safety instructions for about twenty minutes after they get there. lucifer ignores him, tugging at the tight straps with a small frown. chloe ignores him – he’s dramatic – and watches her daughter with a smile. trixie’s bouncing up and down on the balls of her feet, listening intently to the guide as he hikes them up a mountain to the cliff they’ll be abseiling down.

once they’re all up to date on how not to die, one of the guides rigs the ropes and helps the other leader down the side of the mountain as a demonstration. lucifer’s watching intently now, his frown from earlier increasing as he turns to her. “is this safe?”

“perfectly safe.” the instructor, overhearing, steps in. “see? james down there is all good! right, james?”

“right!” james grins up at them, a little speck from below. “super fun. does someone wanna join me down here?”

trixie steps forwards, grinning. “can i go, mom?”

“sure, baby,” chloe nods, watching proudly as the guide hooks her kid up to the rig and helps her step carefully backwards. always fearless, trixie stands precariously at the edge of the cliff, waving cheerily to chloe and lucifer before she steps backwards and begins her descent down to join james.

lucifer tenses next to her, and chloe narrows her eyes, turning to him. “what is it?”

“this doesn’t seem safe,” he says, pursing his lips. “cliffs weren’t made to be jumped off.”

“it’s safe, baby,” chloe promises, raising her hand to hold his cheek for a second before she smiles reassuringly at him and gestures to the rig. “do you want to go next, or shall i?”

“you can go first,” lucifer says, lip worrying between his teeth. chloe brushes her hand against his, giving him a small smile.

“i’ll show you how fun it is, okay?” she grins, hearing trixie’s excited yelp as the little girl reaches the bottom. “was it fun, baby?”

so fun!” trixie yells. “i’m coming back up!”

chloe smiles, turning to lucifer as if she’s saying see?

he gives her a tiny shrug, reluctant, but watches carefully as she’s hooked up anyways. with a wide smile, chloe too steps backwards down the cliff, disappearing over the edge with a delighted giggle.

she sounds breathlessly excited when she reaches the bottom, and by that time, trixie’s climbing back up to see him, her eyes bright and face red. combined, lucifer decides that those two things are enough for him to at least try – after all, if it’s good enough for his girls, it’s good enough for him, right?

wrong.

he couldn’t have been more wrong.

he’s hardly taken the first step backwards when a feeling of pure dread hits him square in the chest, his eyes snapping closed as he clutches at the ropes. he takes another leap down the side of the cliff, just as the instructors had shown him earlier, trying to place why something feels so wrong.

his chest tight, lucifer pushes backwards again, leaning his weight into the harness. his knuckles are white, gripping at the ropes in his hand with strength he didn’t know he had. he forces a breath through his lips. only a few more jumps, and then he doesn’t have to do this again. he’ll claim fatigue from those stupid beds, or hunger, or play photographer while trixie and chloe keep –

his foot stumbles on some loose rubble, and lucifer falls.

a panicked squeak escapes his lips, but that’s the only sound he allows before his body shuts down completely. he’s still falling, and suddenly, his eyes squeezed shut, he’s no longer camping in the mountains with his family, he’s back in heaven and his father is screaming and michael’s cutting his back and he’s falling falling falling.

his body jerks to a stop with a painful cinch, but lucifer hardly feels it, fat tears rolling down his cheeks silently as his chest clenches painfully around nothing. he rocks in the harness, stuck mid-air, entire body trembling as his mind conjures up long gone memories of falling and burning and hurting and –

“lucifer,” chloe calls, concerned from below. “are you alright?”

he emits a strangled whimper, but it’s swept away with the breeze, lost forever. his entire body is tensed, cramps ripping through his calves as he squeezes them in place, desperate to stay still.

“lucifer,” his name is called again, his girlfriend sounding more worried now. “you need to come down, baby. just a few more steps, you can do it.”

he shakes his head, eyes still resolutely shut as choked gasps fall quietly from his lips. he can’t move. he can’t think, or get out, and he certainly can’t take more steps.

“lower him down,” he hears one of the instructors say distantly, and the harness starts moving again with a jerk that has him curling into a ball mid-air, bringing his elbows up over his ears as he tries to make himself as small as possible.

chloe’s hand on his shoulder is the first thing that shocks him back into reality, followed rather quickly by the soft thump of his body on the dirt below. he vaguely notices the on-ground instructor appear over him, but chloe says something that has him scuttling away to help trixie go again as chloe unhooks him and wraps her fingers around his elbow, leading him to a more secluded place around the mountain.

“hey,” she says gently, thumb scratching at his arm. “what happened up there?”

lucifer sets his lips in a line, heels of his palm coming up to rub angrily at his eyes. “’stupid – stupid –”

“hey, hey, hey,” chloe murmurs, catching his hands and tilting his head up to meet her eyes. “not stupid. what happened?”

his eyes flick anxiously away from hers, hands shaking against her own. “falling.”

chloe stares at him for a second, and then - “oh. oh, lucifer.”

she wraps him into a hug without any preamble, holding him tight against her as she shushes him gently. he likes it when she does this, tucks her body nice and close so that he knows she’s there. she doesn’t let go, aware of what he needs, but she pulls back slightly. “i’m sorry. i should’ve thought –”

“it’s not your f-fault,” he chokes out, because he might not know much right now, but he knows that. “’s’not your fault.”

“still…” chloe’s teeth worry at her lip. “are you okay?”

“’s not stopping,” lucifer whispers, turning troubled eyes to meet her own. she gazes down at him, eyes full of kindness.

“what’s not stopping?”

the flashbacks. the falling. the yelling. “the hurt.”

“where does it hurt?” her voice is soft, gentle and kind just for him. “tell me, baby. where do you hurt?”

everywhere, he wants to say. instead, he grabs her hand, places it over his frantically beating heart. it races beneath her palm, his skin flushed and sweaty.

chloe takes a step closer, her hand flat against his chest as she leans her head on his shoulder, her lips brushing his ear. “you’re safe now,” she breathes, smoothing her thumb over his sternum soothingly. “you’re safe now. i’ve got you. and i’m not letting you fall ever again.”

Chapter Text

  1. “Did you get my letter?”

he asks her one night, after, when they’re both cuddled up on the couch in front of a nature documentary trixie had been interested in. the child is asleep now, and chloe and lucifer, hesitant to move her, have been whispering back and forth in lazy conversation, the topics ebbing and flowing like the tide.

she’s telling him about rome – leaving out the evil priests and the vast amount of religious studying she’d undertaken, choosing instead to focus on the beautiful buildings and trixie’s favourite gelato flavours. her tone growing sombre, she mentions how trixie had wanted to send him some back in the mail, her little brain confused as to why her mom and her favourite devil were no longer talking.

“i would’ve loved some melted gelato in the mail,” lucifer says, a smile pulling at his lips as he surveys the child curled up on the couch next to him. “she should’ve sent it.”

“mm,” chloe looks up at him, amusement glittering in her eyes. “because we were definitely in a sending-each-other-mail sort of relationship at that point.”

a muscle in lucifer’s jaw ticks, set off by a memory. he tries to keep those months – those horrible, horrible months when chloe was away in rome – locked in a box at the back of his mind, only ever opened if he’s feeling especially bold or especially weak. he doesn’t like to remember the countless crime scenes he turned up at, hope stirring warm and tingly in his chest every single morning only to be snapped off like a light switch at ella’s apologetic shrug. he tries not to think about the state of his penthouse as he’d drunk himself silly each night, trying and failing not to think about her. how he’d done drive-bys of her house every so often, begging the warm glow of her living room light to send streaks of gold down the driveway. each time, it had been dark. empty, cold, grey – a fitting synonym for his heart.

“hey,” chloe says gently. “i’m sorry. that was a stupid comment. we’ll have to go back for gelato another time. together.”

“i wrote you something,” he whispers distantly. it had been linda’s idea initially, that he try and express his feelings in words. it wasn’t a sensation lucifer was familiar with – he normally chose to escape the pain through piano sonatas and stiff fingers of fine whiskey. but – and mostly just to shut his therapist up – he’d given it a go.

chloe’s looking at him still, an odd expression on her face. her fingers itch to touch him – despite her entire body being in his lap, she has this need to hold his face – but lucifer’s gone very still, and her fingers hang helplessly in the air.

“did you get it?” lucifer breathes, sounding as though he’s very, very far away. there’s a lilted, musical tone to his voice, eyes glazing over as the memories tug him under. “did you get my letter?”

he’s staring right through her, as if she’s nothing more than a piece of very fine glass. chloe swallows, her heart thumping against her ribs, and blinks. if lucifer’s memories are waves, pushing and pulling him through their harsh current and trying their best to drown him, chloe is his lifeboat.

“baby,” she breathes, fingers finally grazing his face. she strokes his stubble slightly, the scratchy feeling beneath her thumbpad soothing both her and him. “what letter?”

lucifer’s eyes narrow, and then, with what looks like a mammoth amount of effort, he zeroes back in on her concerned eyes, his head giving a little shake as if he’s trying to rid himself of the thought. the second their eyes meet – truly meet – he flushes, dropping his eyes to his lap. “it was linda’s idea,” he mumbles. “stupid.”

“not stupid,” chloe breathes, smoothing her thumb under his eye. “hey, look at me. what was linda’s idea?”

lucifer takes a heavy breath, holding it for a second before he exhales with a sigh and shuffles her off his lap. chloe frowns, waiting with bated breath as he disappears up the stairs, unusually quiet.

when he returns, he’s fiddling with a piece of paper, head bowed. “i knew you didn’t get it,” he whispers sadly. “because i couldn’t bring myself to send it.”

reaching her hand out, chloe tugs him carefully back down to the couch. in a reversal of their prior positions, she helps him until he’s pressed gently against her side, his curls tickling her neck. “why?”

lucifer’s fingers run over the creased paper anxiously. it’s crumpled and yellowed, as if it’s been handled over and over again, well-loved. “when you went – away,” he murmurs, closing his eyes. “i – i wanted to pretend everything was okay. that you were just on holiday. that you wanted to take trixie to rome just because. that you weren’t… running away.” he swallows, and chloe feels it against her shoulder. “if i sent this, it would’ve been like admitting that something was wrong.”

wordlessly, she tugs the paper from his hands. he resists slightly, considering, but then relents and lets her take it, turning his head to bury his face in her neck. chloe brings a hand up to hold his head to her body, pressing a gentle kiss to his temple before she starts to read.

dearest detective,

the words, written so beautifully in lucifer’s handsome penmanship, almost bring her to tears. she can picture him writing it, curled up around a fountain pen on his desk, the words flowing through his hand as if they were honey. swallowing against the mental image, she continues.

i know i have no right to be writing this to you. it’s neither my place nor my time, and yet – i find myself thinking about you constantly. my thoughts are riddled by your presence – as if my brain is subconsciously trying to replace your absence here by doubling your presence in my mind. i constantly think about what i should have done differently. whether you still would have run, had i had the chance to explain. if it was worth it.

no matter how angry, or upset, or mildly intoxicated (yes, mildly. unfortunately, your insistence on escaping halfway across the globe has rendered me entirely invulnerable, hence i can no longer feel any of the more pleasant amnesiac effects of alcohol) i get, i cannot bring myself to regret my actions. cain was a bad, bad man, and he deserved the punishment he deserved. had i not done what i did, he would remain hurting people, and that isn’t that what you and i do (did?), punish bad people?

and had i not killed him, chloe, he would have killed you. and i simply could not let that happen.

i understand if you think i’m a monster. it is perfectly reasonable for you to need time, and –

here, the ink is smudged, words hardly legible through stains that chloe realises, a horrible sinking feeling settling in her chest, are teardrops.

and i would understand should you never want to see me again. should this be the case, i just have a few final words.

you were – and still are – the best thing that ever happened to me. i’ve done a lot of things in my time on earth, and not once have any of them compared to the feeling i get when you smile at me in the morning when i walk in with coffee. you taught me how to learn, to laugh, and possibly, i think, to love.

a sentence, perhaps three words in length, is scratched out, angry black lines marring it’s meaning.

i hope this isn’t goodbye. but if it is – if it has to be that way –

his handwriting has grown shaky, the tearstains increasing. chloe swallows hard so that she doesn’t add to them.

you were the greatest partner a devil could ask for.

all my heart and soul,

lucifer morningstar

the silence in the room is heavy, draped over them like a thick blanket. chloe can feel herself trembling, the paper rustling slightly in her shaking hands, and she presses lucifer’s face closer to her neck.

he sniffles sadly, pressing back against her hand, and turns to look at her. his lip is wobbling, eyes brimming with unshed tears, his forehead creased as he watches her every move.

chloe drops the letter, letting it float carelessly to the floor below them, and brings her shaking fingers up to brush gently under his eye. no sooner have the pads of her fingers touched his skin than lucifer’s face crumpled, and he curled into her with a heaved breath.

his back is shuddering beneath her grip with silent, held back sobs, and it’s not long before chloe’s joining him, tears slipping down her cheeks with quivering breaths. “i’m sorry,” she whispers, clutching him to her. “i’m so sorry.”

“it’s okay,” he whispers, voice hindered by thick tears. but it’s not – it’s never been okay, not this. “it’s okay.”

chloe nods, because she needs to believe it, and so does he. she pushes him off her, just enough to see his eyes, and then takes his face between her two hands and holds him steady. he’s shaking, entire body convulsing as he pleads with her silently, the two of them floating on a pain so long buried they’d forgotten it existed.

“lucifer,” she breathes, with no idea of how to finish the sentence. “i shouldn’t have –”

“and i shouldn’t have, either.” he takes a shuddering breath, bringing the heel of his palm up to rub at his wet cheeks before he encircles her wrists with his fingers, tugging them off his jaw so he can pepper kisses along her knuckles. “we both made mistakes. it’s okay. we’re here now.”

“here now,” chloe echoes, tilting forwards until her head rests against his. he meets her willingly, closing his eyes as he works them both through a few deep breaths. “now is good.”

“now is perfect,” lucifer whispers. “we made it.”

though there are a million things they both regret, that is the simple truth. they made it.

and it was worth a million regrets.

Chapter Text

48. “I’ll do it for you.”

“i can’t do it,” chloe groans, slamming the interrogation room door behind her with a frustrated sigh. “it’s useless! i’ve tried literally everything and i just. cannot. do it. he won’t talk.”

she gives lucifer a pouty frown, leaning her head on the one-way glass with a huff as she rolls her face to look at him. “i’m so – annoyed. it’s late, so if he doesn’t talk in the next –” she sneaks a look at her watch, face falling – “half hour, we’re out of time and we have to let him go, which means he could –”

lucifer shushes her, leaving the rest of the sentence unspoken. he could run. he could hide. he could hurt someone again, and they might never catch him.

“let me try,” he suggests instead, hand on her arm. “you know how persuasive i can be. i’ll do it for you.”

“you can’t do it for me,” chloe sighs, her eyes closing. they’d tried having lucifer in the room with her, tried his smouldering glares and devilish presence. he’d started with quirky jokes, but they’d died out pretty quickly as the vile man across from them had simply blinked back in their direction. chloe had had to send lucifer out, lips pursed, when he’d hit his breaking point as the accused had spat at chloe’s feet, fed up. “we tried, lucifer. it’s useless. we’ll have to give up.”

lucifer narrows his eyebrows at her. “no.”

hardly even opening her eyes, chloe groans tiredly. “no?”

“no.” he removes his hand from her arm, dusting his blazer off. “the detective i know doesn’t give up. i know you’re tired, and i know it’s been an awfully long day. but we’re not letting this man back out onto the streets tonight. that’s not what we do.”

chloe exhales, pushing herself off the glass with a sigh. “thanks for the pep talk, lucifer, but i really don’t think tonight’s the night. we’ll have to figure something else out.”

“nonsense,” lucifer insists, leading her to the door. “we still have half an hour, yes? let me back in there with you, and i’ll get something out of him. and –” he grins, as if this is his greatest attribute – “i promise not to kick anything this time, either.”

to his delight, a small smile pulls at chloe’s lips, and lucifer takes that as a yes, tugging her forward until they’re outside the interrogation room again. “now, detective, i know this will be hard for you,” he gives her a tiny smile, eyes sparkling. “but i need you to take a deep breath, and let me handle this.”

chloe rolls her eyes. “last time i ‘let you handle’ anything, we ended up two metres from dead.”

“and?” lucifer grins. “we’re still alive, aren’t we? and that perp is locked up. forever! thanks to yours truly. so you should let me handle this one, too.”

“ten minutes,” chloe concedes. “you have ten minutes, and then…”

“and then nothing.” lucifer brightens, a hand at the ready on the doorknob. he waits for chloe’s reluctant nod, and then enters. “hel-lo, criminal! ready to admit to any crimes?”

the man glares, face red. he’s resolutely silent, determined not to break, until lucifer drops the nice-devil act and slams his hands down onto the table with a bang. “here’s the deal, meat-face. you’re going to sit here and tell us what you’ve done, give my partner what she needs to ensure you’re punished, and then we’re going to lock you away and make sure you can’t ever hurt anyone ever again. got it?”

“no,” the perp snarls, hands clenched into fists in his cuffs. “i don’t got it. and i’m not admitting to anything, because i’m innocent.”

“oh?” lucifer cocks his head, nostrils flaring. “tell us why we found your –” a cough from chloe behind him has him faltering, and he switches tactics. “tell me,” he says, voice suddenly smooth as honey. “what is it you desire.”

the man’s fists unclench, going slack against the table as he’s pulled under lucifer’s charm. the devil grins – he’s good at this – and stares deeper still into the criminal’s beady eyes, until he hisses –

“i want your skank of a partner to keep her fat nose out of my business and leave me alone!” he tears his gaze from lucifer, slamming his fists against the metal table. lucifer releases an animalistic growl, his body tensing as he leans towards their perp with a snarl.

“do not speak of her like that,” his entire body is trembling with pent up rage, completely ignorant of chloe’s pleading in the background. “she is only doing her job, a job she wouldn’t have to do if there weren’t disgusting vermin like you out on the street. and because my partner is so good at her job, we know you killed those children, and you deserve to pay for your crimes.”

he's halfway to devil-town by the time chloe’s fingers wrap tight around his wrist, her grip strong against his own. “lucifer,” she hisses, pulling him backwards. “enough.”

she’s glaring at him by the time she finally drags him out of the interrogation room, his heart thumping in his chest as he gives a pathetic little growl in the direction of the door.

“what the hell was that?” chloe asks, her hand still tight on his arm as he takes a few steadying breaths. “you promised you wouldn’t make a scene.”

lucifer meets her eyes, blinking abashedly. “didn’t kick anything,” he mutters, pouting. “and he was being rude.”

“people are rude every single day, lucifer,” chloe sighs. “that doesn’t mean we get to go mental on them.” she pulls her hand from his arm, burying her face in her palms. “god, now i’ll never get anything out of him.”

lucifer blinks guiltily, considering for a moment before he tugs her hands away from her face. “i just wanted to help,” he says quietly, shrugging slightly. “i know this case is affecting you more than you let on, even if i don’t know why. and i didn’t want his stupid words to be the last straw.”

chloe softens, spare hand coming up to hold his own. “well, thank you,” she says gently, giving him a tiny smile. “but i don’t need protection. i can stand up for myself.”

lucifer is about to argue that he knows that, he knows she’s perfectly capable of holding her own, he just wanted to help, when chloe steps slightly closer, and his attention is drawn back to her face.

which has fallen, tears brimming in the detective’s tired eyes. “you’re right,” she breathes, hovering in front of him like she doesn’t know where to go. “this case is affecting me.” a tear dribbles down her cheek, slow and steady like a snail in the rain. “the man – he was found near trixie’s school. i’m scared that if we let him out…”

“he’ll hurt her,” lucifer breathes, the reality creeping in like an unwelcome storm. an icy, chilled feeling settles in the bottom of his ribcage, and he shudders slightly. “he’ll go back, and he’ll hurt her.”

chloe nods, head ducked. hardly thinking, lucifer steps forward, closing the final distance between them and folding her close against him. chloe melts into his touch, hands curled into anxious fists either side of her face as he holds her against him.

“i’ll get him,” he promises, holding her tight. “he won’t touch your little urchin, i give you my word.”

chloe sniffles, swallowing before she steps backwards with a sigh. “thank you, lucifer, but our time is up. he’s free.”

and so lucifer watches as the perp walks away a free man, protectiveness simmering angrily under the surface as he holds chloe tight and places a call to trixie’s school to make sure she’s only picked up by a demon with many knives.

and if said demon coincidentally brings in a half-dead bounty who looks a little like their perp the next day, well…

Chapter Text

49. “Call me when you get home.”

“here,” chloe says, shoving a hastily written list into lucifer’s outstretched hand. “you’d be a lifesaver if you could manage to get even half of the things on this done. the girls need to be picked up at three, and there’s dinner out on the bench to be cooked if you feel like it. okay?”

lucifer, though slightly overwhelmed, takes the list with a nod. it’s the final day before christmas holidays start, and, as lieutenant, chloe is staying back for a few extra hours to tie up some loose ends before she takes her allocated week of leave, leaving lucifer to run the final festive errands without her.

his wife gives him a grateful, tired smile. “thanks, baby,” she sighs, leaning forward for a quick peck. “you’re an angel. call me when you get home.”

he nods again, and chloe assumes that’s that. she’ll finish up at the precinct, close everything that needs to be closed down, and get home in time for a pasta dinner and christmas movies with her family.

which is why she’s surprised, when, not two minutes later, her phone vibrates needily in her pocket. she pauses in her trek back to her office, tugging it from her jeans, and frowns when lucifer’s name flashes up at her. “hello?”

“hello, love!” his voice is cheerful, immediately quelling any fears she might have had about parking lot accidents and encounters with the front-desk secretaries.

“hey, baby,” chloe laughs, confused. she resumes walking back to her office, filing some paperwork as she works to clean up her desk. “i thought you were calling when you made it home? it’s been two minutes.”

“i was,” lucifer grumbles, “but then i remembered – chores without you are boring. they’re only fun when we get to do them together.”

chloe snorts, tidying some stationary as she holds the phone to her ear with her shoulder. “you mean, i do the errands, you stand there and look annoying.”

she can practically hear lucifer’s indignant scoff. “annoying isn’t a synonym for handsome,” he argues, and it’s only then she realises he’s speaking to her through the car’s hands-free system. “doing errands by myself is boring and lonely, so i thought i’d just call you.” he seems proud of this decision, and even prouder when he exclaims – “hey! why don’t i facetime you, then it’ll be like you never left my side.”

“poor devil,” chloe grins, making a note to talk to another detective about a cold case she’d found. “can’t you do errands alone?”

lucifer’s pout is audible through the phone. “i can do it,” he huffs. “it’s just much more fun when you’re here.”

chloe softens, shaking her head with a wry smile. “here’s a deal, baby,” she says. “how about i put my headphones in and stay on call with you, but keep finishing up here so i don’t get home at midnight. sound good?”

“one of the best deals i’ve ever made,” lucifer agrees gleefully. “i’m just turning into the christmas shop now. are you sure we need new ornaments?”

chloe rummages around in her handbag, looking for her wireless earbuds. “who was the one who called my decorations trashy and an insult to jesus himself last year when we decorated?”

“you had papier mache baubles!”

“trixie made it when she was five!” chloe laughs, plugging her headphones into her ears as she sets her phone on the side table. “so i’m letting you choose your fancy ornaments, i don’t want to hear any complaints this year.”

there’s a ruffling on the end of the line, and chloe hears a car door slam as lucifer makes his way into the shop. “right,” he says, narrating his movements for her. “there’s red, and green, and gold – all boring colours. ooh – how about purple?”

“purple’s not very festive,” chloe counters, walking back into the bullpen. “but whatever you want, babe.”

lucifer goes quiet for a second, and then there’s an intake of breath followed by a lilted whisper. “chloe,” he breathes, sounding awed. “i’ve just found the best christmas ornament ever.”

“what is it?” she asks curiously, making her way over to forensics.

“a secret.” lucifer’s voice is brimming with excitement, and chloe can’t help but wish she had also been able to take the afternoon off. “okay, done. what’s next?”

0o0o0

by the time he hangs up to collect their daughters from school, chloe’s presently surprised at the number of tasks he’s been able to tick off her list. there’s (apparently) a tree on the roof of the cruiser, painstakingly picked by lucifer while chloe offered advice and criticism over facetime. he’s picked up the meats for their annual christmas gathering on christmas day, and ordered the seafood platter. he’s managed to grab a few more stocking stuffers for trixie and rory, and figured out the logistics of getting the hamster they’re planning to surprise the girls with on christmas morning.

chloe finishes the rest of her business at the precinct relatively quickly, and, being the only one still there on the final day of work, closes up what she can just after five. chuckling slightly to herself, she slides into lucifer’s corvette, running her fingers over the smooth leather. despite being together for almost eight years, and married for six, lucifer’s still hesitant to let her drive his car, but she’d pointed out that it would be almost impossible to balance a tree on top of a roofless convertible, and he’d folded with a grumble.

she makes it home in record time, considering the holiday traffic. it’s dark out, and she plays christmas carols through lucifer’s state of the art bluetooth system while she admires some of their neighbour’s twinkling lights before she switches the car off and gathers her things, making her way inside.

“mommy!” a five-year-old rory crashes into her legs, beaming excitedly up at her mother with a toothy grin. “look what i made at school! daddy says we can put it on the chris’ma’th tree!”

she’s missing teeth and lispy and holding up what looks suspiciously like a papier mache ornament, and chloe tells her just how beautiful it is before making amused eye contact with lucifer over her head. her husband just gives her a little shrug, rolling his eyes slightly before he scoops their youngest up into a bear hug and carries her over to the tree.

trixie’s already wrapping lights around the beautiful pine, humming along to the carols floating through the room. there’s a fire in the corner, crackling softly, and chloe discards her bag and shoes at the entrance before she joins her little family in the living room.

“the girls asked for pizza,” lucifer says, welcoming her with an arm around her waist that pulls her automatically into his side. “so your pasta might have to wait until tomorrow, we just ordered.”

“that’s okay,” chloe murmurs, snuggling into his touch. she’s been apart from him for barely six hours, but she missed his warmth nonetheless. “pizza sounds great.”

“gonna get pepperoni,” rory pipes up from where she’s sitting, cross-legged, untangling tinsel. “and daddy ordered your favourite.”

chloe grins, eyes sparkling. “did he, now?” when she’s rewarded with a concise nod from her daughter, she presses a kiss to the underside of lucifer’s jaw. “thank you, baby.”

“of course,” lucifer says easily, untangling himself from her with a smile. “do you want a glass of wine?”

the look chloe gives him can only be described as pure adoration, and he takes that as a yes with a wicked grin, returning a minute later with two glasses of her favourite red. “the girls are almost done with the tree,” he says, in a way that suggests trixie is almost done with the tree and rory’s been more of a hindrance than a help. “christmas movie and hot chocolate after dinner?”

their youngest bounces up at the mention of a movie, handing the tinsel to her big sister with a beaming grin. “here, trixie. put it on the tree for me, please? can’t reach.”

trixie’s lips pull into a smile, and she secures the bauble she was working on with a little jiggle. “here, sunshine,” she says, hoisting rory onto her hip. “you put it on. then we’re done.”

“not quite done,” lucifer interrupts, pulling a bag from the counter. “i bought a new ornament. something special.”

his eyes are sparkling in a way that makes chloe wonder if she needs to redefine the word special with her boyfriend, but her frown makes way for a surprised laugh when she watches what lucifer pulls from the bag and hands to their kids.

at first glance, it looks like a typical tree-topper, a holy angel that’s meant to sit on the upmost branch of the christmas tree. however, at closer inspection, chloe can see little red horns protruding from its head, its wings tainted with red paint splatters. trixie takes it with a laugh, and lucifer beams proudly.

“’s a devil,” rory breathes, awed. “like daddy! and it has wings, like me!” she pops them out for emphasis, the extra limbs still a fluffy plume of baby feathers. she beams at her father with bright ideas. “i love him.”

“thank you,” lucifer says, proud. “i think he’s perfect.”

with a hand on each of his wings, trixie helps rory place the devil-angel on top of the tree, stepping back to join their parents as they all admire their work.

“perfect,” rory parrots, leaning back to fall with a giggle into her father’s arms. she’s only repeating what lucifer said, but chloe can’t help but feel like it’s the perfect word to describe how she’s feeling. with a glowing fire warming her outside and a happy family warming her insides, she doesn’t think anything could be any more perfect.

that is, until lucifer leans over, takes his free hand, and curls it into the back of her hair, pulling her in for a soft kiss. that’s when chloe knows she finally understands perfection.

Chapter Text

50. “I think you’re beautiful.”

she looks good.

she looks so good that it takes him a moment to process that she’s saying anything, and yet another moment to realise the words coming out of her painted lips are directed at him.

“sorry?” he croaks, clearing his throat and hoping she doesn’t realise that she’s the reason for his sudden vocal difficulties.

the detective pulls at her suit cuffs anxiously, looking shyly up at him from beneath smoky eyelids. “do i look okay?”

lucifer swallows, resisting the urge to brush a stray sparkle from her cheek. “you look –” he pauses, eyes stilling on the necklace glinting against her neckline. “i think you’re beautiful.” a beat. “lucinda, i mean. i think lucinda’s beautiful.”

a tiny smirk tugs at the corner of chloe’s lips, and her eyes sparkle as she looks up at him. “okay,” she murmurs, sighing in preparation. “i think we’re ready, then.”

she’s gone before he manages to close his mouth.

0o0o0

he copes fine with the first man who talks to her. the man - ugly, inferior, certainly not a threat (to their investigation. not at all to him. no.) sidles up to chloe with a vile smirk and rubs his greasy hand down her suit jacket. lucifer shudders.

the next man, a long haired heath-ledger-wannabe, has chloe giving the most psychopathic chuckle lucifer’s ever heard. he admonishes her for it, and tries to ignore the warm glow it sparks in his chest. maybe he’s the one who should go easy on the prosecco.

their third suspect is full of cheesy pick-up lines, and has chloe giving him sultry eyes and stories of karen-from-miami meditation retreats. lucifer tries to resist rolling his eyes, fails, and tells her to steer away from anything that could be included on the women’s weekly’s top ten gifts for mother’s day list.

he scoffs at her olive trick to hide the hitch in his breath. he wants to pretend it doesn’t affect him, watching her drag sensually it over her cheekbones with lidded eyes and open lips. it’s a stupid, dramatic parlour trick, and it’s no wonder she didn’t make it as an actress because this is so over the top it’s making him uncomfortable, and –

and he makes a note to make her a martini the next time she visits lux.

the tanned man walks away, and lucifer waits a bated moment before he listens to the crackle of lost communication and shoves daniel out of the way under the guise of chloe needing his help and certainly not him needing to show the stupid suspects what’s up.

his eyes are drawn to her immediately when he slides in, getting past security with a slipped bill to their pockets and a seductive smirk. even in all black, the detective lights up the room, leaning carefully against the table she’s at as she talks to yet another greasy-looking male suspect.

“and what might your name be, lovely?” the man asks, voice dripping with an emotion lucifer doesn’t care to name. instead, he watches chloe, her eyes sparkling.

“lucinda,” she says smoothly, as if the name’s been hers her entire life. “lucinda morningstar.”

lucifer stops still, in the middle of the mingling dancefloor, his heart pounding. that’s right, he thinks, swallowing roughly. it sounds so perfect, sitting on her tongue like she owns it. he can’t help but run her own name through his mind, substituting decker for morningstar just to see what it sounds like.

chloe morningstar.

he watches her chat – flirt, really – to the suspect, his heart thumping unusually fast as it leaps into his throat. it shouldn’t sound that perfect. his name was made for him, and him only, and she has no right to make it sound that pretty, that fitting

the bullet necklace burns a sharp hole in his pocket, and he wishes, more than ever, that she’d kept it on her neck. she’s not his – not by any means, if anything, he’s hers – but the bullet shell in his breast pocket is so hot that he can feel its burning tendrils smoke their way into his own chest, wrapping fierce and fiery strong around his heart.

the man she’s talking to wraps his hand around her elbow, and lucifer snaps. he slides up to their table with a put-in-place grin, wicked and confident as he joins in. chloe’s not impressed, but lucifer can’t bring himself to care.

she swears as their suspect runs, and lucifer considers stopping her right there and leaving daniel to deal with the rest of the night – rest of the case, even. but chloe’s off and running after him before he can even suggest they let him go, and he gives a frustrated huff as he takes off after her.

“you run well in those heels,” he pants, skidding to a stop as their suspect is apprehended by dan. chloe smirks at him.

“lucinda has her perks,” she murmurs, raising an eyebrow. before he has a chance to answer, to agree, she’s pulling cuffs from the inside of her suit pocket, lucifer’s mouth has gone dry, and their man is being piled into the back of the van.

they drive back in silence, dan behind the wheel while he and chloe keep an eye on the suspect. chloe’s silent, other than checking protocol with dan, and offers him nothing but glares until they arrive back at the precinct and she pulls him into an empty interrogation room while dan processes their guy.

“what the hell was that?” she’s mad – seething – and lucifer swallows with a gulp. “you could’ve ruined that whole night just because – what? you didn’t trust me?”

“i trust you,” he mutters, eyes boring a hole into the concrete floor. “that was never an issue.”

“yeah?” chloe’s pacing. if she was a cartoon character, lucifer thinks, she’d have steam coming out of her ears. “well, you sure don’t know how to show it! the entire night, you’re out there, offering up your stupid comments and knowledge as if i’m not capable of conducting a sting by myself.”

lucifer’s mouth opens, but chloe’s not done. the look in her eyes alone shuts him up. “i know you think i’m a shoe,” she says curtly, lips pursed. “i know my home, my family, my domestic life – it’s not your thing. and that’s okay. but some of us, lucifer – some of us can do both.”

her chest is heaving by the time she meets his eyes again, a glare strong on her features. “i don’t care if you don’t want to be a shoe, or whatever. you’re allowed to pretend you don’t like game nights and karaoke and facepaint. do what you need to protect your masculinity, don’t let me stop you. but you –”

“it’s not about my bloody masculinity,” lucifer growls, stepping towards her. if it were anyone else, he might’ve scared them. but not chloe. chloe looks up at him, defiant, and stares him straight back down.

“oh, yeah?” she asks, cocking her head. “why won’t you admit you like singing disney songs with me and my daughter, then? why won’t you admit that seeing me do your thing made you insecure and because you can’t bring yourself to realise that you doing my thing makes you happy?”

“because!” he roars, stamping his foot. “it bloody scares me.”

chloe blinks, taken aback. “it… scares you?”

lucifer looks away, determined not to meet her eyes. “yes, detective, is that so hard to believe? my masculinity isn’t so fragile i don’t get scared.” he glares at the table. “i’m scared that i enjoy game nights, i’m scared that your urchin gave me a juice box and i almost liked it more than my whiskey, i’m scared that a man touched your elbow and i wanted to rip him apart by the throat, and i’m scared – no, bloody terrified – that you said my last name and nothing’s ever sounded as – as right as that did coming off your tongue!”

chloe’s chest raises beneath his, tantalisingly slow as she lifts her eyes hesitantly to his own. “you heard that?”

“of course i bloody heard it,” he groans, the sound escaping resembling a frustrated sob. “and now i’ve gone and –”

“you were jealous,” chloe breathes. lucifer flits his eyes towards her face for just a second, trying to read her expression. he can’t.

“the word jealous makes my masculinity seem as fragile as you claim it is,” he mutters, trying for a joke. it falls flat. “i wasn’t jealous.”

when he looks at her again, there’s a tiny smile tugging at chloe’s lips. she steps forward, her chest brushing his own. lucifer’s suddenly aware that she’s still in that damn suit, and her hair is still tumbling down her shoulders, and her lips ­–

­­“look me in the eyes,” chloe murmurs. she’s close. too close. “look me in the eyes, and tell me that again.”

lucifer takes a shuddering breath. “i don’t lie, detective,” he chokes, words strangled.

“right…” chloe swallows, taking a tiny step back. lucifer relaxes, only for a second, before her hand snakes into his jacket and fumbles in his inner pocket for a moment before she pulls out the chain holding his bullet and dangles it in front of his eyes. “so if i don’t put this back on right now… you won’t mind?”

a muscle ticks in his jaw, lips set resolutely in a line. he wants to say no. he doesn’t want to give her the satisfaction of being right. his mouth opens, and he searches desperately for a way to twist the truth into a no.

he can’t.

“put it on,” he breathes. “please, chloe. put it on.”

“what would that mean?” chloe whispers, her voice hardly louder than a breath. “if i put it back on, what does that mean?”

lucifer swallows. ever so slowly, he reaches out, taking the necklace from her fingertips. hands steady, he fastens it securely around her neck, stepping forward to clip the clasp. although he’s done, his hands remain on her neck, thumb stroking up and down the soft skin under her ear as he whispers the next words gently into her forehead.

“it means,” he murmurs, feeling her go still beneath him. “it means that you’re mine.”

 

Chapter Text

  1. “Are you sure?”

after the battle, lucifer doesn’t know how to stop crying. the tears start once everybody’s finally left him alone, once they’ve slunk off the steps and left him with chloe and chloe only. he drops the flaming sword with a clatter, makes it to her side in record time and bundles her up to his chest like he’ll never let her go again.

his hands run reassuring patterns over her body. it’s meant to convince her he’s there, but it doubles as assurance for himself – that she’s alive, she’s okay, he saved her. his hand stills above her heart, feeling the steady thumpthumpthump of the muscle he’d felt stop completely hardly an hour earlier.

he holds her for longer than his mind can comprehend. he holds her, and he thinks about how grateful he is that he can, and how he never wants to stop. he holds her, and he feels her sob quietly into his shoulder, and he watches his own tears mix with hers to create little rivulets of grief, and pain, and thankfulness.

he holds her until she pulls away with a sniffle, sucking in a steadying breath as she gazes up at him. “we should go home.”

he nods, swiping uselessly under his eyes. his tears haven’t stopped, and if he’s honest, he doesn’t want them too. the salty tracks dribbling down his face remind him that he’s alive, that he’s safe, that he’s okay.

chloe’s thumb reaches up, a whisper of soft skin against his own. he leans momentarily into her touch, and then turns his head as she drops her hand to catch her thumb with a gentle kiss.

she gives him something as close to a smile as he thinks she can get, and he tries to give her one back.

they don’t talk, on the way home. he wraps her in her arms and flaps unsteadily a few times with beaten wings before he lifts them off the ground. he’s so scared, sad, anxious – overwhelmed – that it takes him a second to find his rhythm, wings trembling behind him before instinct kicks in and they carry them both upwards.

chloe’s words are almost lost in the wind whistling past his ears, but he catches her murmured trixie and changes track, winding through the sky as he makes his way not to chloe’s condo, but dan’s parents’. he touches them down, tear tracks still prominent on his cheeks, and folds his wings away. he’s hesitant to let her down – to let her go – but she brushes her lips against his in a promise and leaves to collect her child while lucifer calls a favour in and gets them a private limo home.

chloe’s wound around trixie when they walk back out, and though lucifer’s sure the urchin doesn’t know the complete conundrum that was the past twenty four hours, she’s seen enough. he drops wordlessly into a kneel, and feels more tears drop down his cheeks as trixie steps into his arms.

she’s grown, since he met her, yet he can’t shake the image of her much smaller body barrelling into his legs, pigtails bouncing. the girl – young woman, really – that he holds now… she’s been through too much.

too quickly, he’s been apart from chloe too long. he disentangles himself from trixie, taking her smaller hand in his own as he leads her back over to her mother. as if chloe knows what he needs, she steps into his space, pressing a kiss to his shoulder and squeezing his hand as if to say i’m here.

their limo ride is quiet. lucifer misses trixie’s jokes, misses her lilted laugh and cheeky smile. he wants to go back to days of monopoly and lollipops, back before her dark eyes grew darker with pains she never should have had to experience.

once they’re home, and everyone’s showered and in warm, soft pyjamas, chloe orders takeout that nobody feels like eating, and orders lucifer and trixie into making hot cocoa. they all pile onto her bed, lucifer and chloe against the headrest and trixie curled between them like she’s three instead of thirteen. there’s a disney movie singalong on in the background, but they stay silent, three pairs of eyes staring, unseeing, at the tv.

trixie falls asleep first. she can’t have done much all day, but she looks exhausted. lucifer wonders if she managed to get any sleep at all the previous night, whether her sleep was interrupted by tears and grief and pain.

a shudder runs through him, the memory of chloe’s excited grin before michael stabbed her sending terror like cold icicles straight through his heart. she stills next to him, but stays unmoving, letting him do what he thinks he should.

casting an anxious look at the child between them, lucifer feels his bottom lip wobble. dispelling – or shunning – the guilt threatening to tear him apart, he tells himself that this is okay. it’s okay to be scared, and anxious, and guilty. he’s allowed to feel emotions, at least for tonight.

a hard, terrifying voice in the back of his mind suggests he might feel these emotions for a lot longer than a single night.

“lucifer,” chloe murmurs, her fingertips grazing his arm, an anchor in the real world. “are you okay?”

he nods mutely, eyes tracing her fingers. they’re back to normal, now, pale and alabaster rather than the haunting blood-red they’d been hours earlier. her arm reaches over her daughter’s sleeping body to wrap around his wrist. his pulse races beneath her fingertips. “are you sure?”

he's not sure. not at all. every second he goes without looking at her is a second the feeling from the colosseum returns. the feeling where his whole chest sinks in one huge, swooping motion. where the room goes fuzzy, and his brain feels as though it’s covered in a giant vat of children’s slime. where he swears that in every single moment of his long, eternal life, he’s never felt more helpless. more alone.

“i never want to feel that way again,” he whispers, and immediately feels so guilty he almost hops right out of her bed, chloe’s soft fingers gripping his wrist the only anchor begging him to stay.

she stares at him for a moment, and then lets his hand go. lucifer’s heart drops. she’s tired. she’s sick of you being selfish and only thinking about how you feel. she’s the one who died, you just had to be there to witness it. you have no right to feel so –

“get out of bed, lucifer,” chloe says, and he obeys immediately with a single choked sob. the whimpers that follow are swallowed instantly, his mind working to keep his guilt, his emotions, away from her.

he’s so wrapped up in his head that he doesn’t notice her shift trixie to one side of the bed. he doesn’t notice how she soothes her daughter back to sleep, or how she pulls the covers down on one side and moves to the middle.

he only notices when she’s standing in front of him, her fingers curling around his wrists and tugging until his hands fall away from where they’d found their way into the sockets of his eyes. “stay with me, baby,” she murmurs, pressing a kiss to each of his clenched fists. she leads him wordlessly back to bed, pulling gently until he topples onto the bed next to her, curling around him with a strained smile. “hey. there you are.”

lucifer clutches at her, teeth chattering. chloe must take this as a physical cold, rather than one that clenches at his heart with every rattling breath, because she reaches down and pulls the duvet up and tight around his shoulders.

he quietens, because this isn’t fair and she’s being so nice and he didn’t even die, he really just watched her die, and then flew up to heaven, and it’s not fair, really, that he’s the one utterly freaking out, because what right does he have to –

“lucifer, stay with me,” she repeats, and he wants to tell her that that’s a stupid thing to say, because where would he go, where would he want to go, he just wants to stay with her, and he doesn’t want her to –

“stay with me, baby,” she holds his face between her hands, anchoring him in place. “what’s going on in here?”

her thumb taps his temple, eyes imploring him to stay tied to her in an ocean of thoughts that threaten to drown him.

his guilt pulls at him, like a strong undercurrent, licking at his heels. he tries to fight it, but it’s so rational, and chloe’s too nice, she wouldn’t tell him if he was doing anything wrong, and this isn’t his place to be upset and she needs to –

lucifer.” her voice is stronger now. not necessarily harsher, just more forceful. it shocks him for a second, allows him to take a breath. his fingers scramble under her soft pyjama top, searching restlessly until they graze over the unmarked skin where the tree of life had impaled her. he feels her breath fall out of her in realisation beneath his fingers and looks pleadingly up at her, his lip trembling dangerously.

“it’s okay, baby,” chloe whispers, her breath tight with unshed tears. “you’re okay. i’m okay. you came to get me.”

“i almost lost you,” his voice is quiet, strangled, cried brokenly into the skin under his hand.

“but you didn’t,” chloe says, tugging him up to lay on her chest. his face finds its way into her neck immediately, ear resting over her pulse. “you saved me, lucifer.”

it should calm him, the fact that he was able to get her back, but selfishly, all he can think about is how it felt to lose her in the first place.

“was lost,” he mutters, lips downturned into a pout against her neck. “so lost. so lost –”

“i found you,” chloe whispers. “you found me. we’ll always find each other.”

he wants to ask how she knows that. how she’s so sure everything will be okay when it feels like his entire world is falling apart. he wants to know why she’s letting him do this, why she isn’t mad that he’s the one breaking when she’s the one who died. his body spasms slightly, trapped under the weight of his thoughts, and chloe sighs next to him.

“i’m right here, lucifer,” she murmurs, dragging his attention back to her. “don’t give in to those thoughts, okay? what matters right now is that you’re here with me, and we’re both safe, and it’s going to be okay.”

he bites his bottom lip, worrying it between perfect teeth, eyes wide as they take her in. “how do you know that?”

chloe’s not sure if it’s possible to feel a heart break, but if it is, she might have just experienced it. lucifer looks so lost, so unsure, such a stark contrast from her usual over-confident boyfriend that it makes tears spring to her eyes. “i knew it the second i saw you in heaven,” she murmurs, smoothing her thumb over his knuckles “i knew it the second you said you loved me.”

lucifer’s breath hitches, mouth twisting into a sad pout. “i should’ve said it earlier – what if – if i lost you, and i didn’t – if i hadn’t told you that, and –” he whines anxiously, jerking slightly into her arms with a sob. “chloe.

“i know, baby,” she breathes. “oh, lucifer.”

he’s crying again, little whimpers lost within the folds of her t-shirt. chloe sighs, rubbing circles over his back and hoping he won’t wake trixie. at some point, she joins him, her tears seeping silently into his curls as he clutches at her, desperate to know she’s okay.

“i can’t lose you again,” he whispers, a while later. his voice is rough, red-rimmed eyes blinking gummily up at her. “i won’t.”

“i know you won’t,” she murmurs, brushing a cooling tear from his cheek with her thumb. his eyes flutter closed, and she keeps her hand there. “hey, listen. at least we know you can get back into heaven now, hey? that means now there’s nowhere i can go that you can’t follow.”

lucifer looks at her, eyes glittering. “i meant what i said up there,” he whispers, a secret just for her. “i love you. i’d follow you anywhere.”

Chapter Text

52. “Have fun.”

he asks her, a million times, if she wants to come.

but it’s been a long year, and chloe’s quite happy to let lucifer do his lucifer-thing while she does her chloe-thing, so she shakes her head every time with a small smile and promises she’ll be okay.

“trixie’s out,” he argues. “you’ll be lonely.”

“i’m quite capable of existing on my own for a night,” she counters with a smile. “besides, i’m not alone. i have a bottle of red wine and ten things i hate about you.”

lucifer makes a face that makes her think he doesn’t approve of heath ledger as her only companion for the night, but she’s a grown adult, he can’t make her do anything.

and besides, he’s the one who gave her the wine. what did he think she’d do, drink it in the middle of a club?

he hovers for an unnecessarily long amount of time, fussing over her like she’s ill rather than making the normal – perfectly rational – decision to stay at home on new year’s eve.

“go, babe,” she says eventually, laughing slightly as he tugs a cushion straight. “they’re waiting for you. have fun.”

he kisses her one more time, makes her promise she’ll call him if she needs absolutely anything, and flounces out the door in a spick suit with a sparkly pink tie.

she laughs, grabs her book, pours a generous glass of the very expensive wine, and settles back to ring in the new year comfortably.

0o0o0

she watches the lux party through stories on instagram. mazeofthelilim shows her eve and ella, dancing seductively across the floor, bodies flowing in time with the pulsing music around them. storyofella has blurry, mismatched images that chloe can only assume means she’s very, very tipsy, and thefirstwoman takes a daring selfie of her and her girlfriend kissing, to which chloe replies ‘it’s not midnight yet, tone it down.’

maze replies with a middle finger emoji, and eve likes it, so really, chloe’s last opportunity is ella.

hey, my fav forensic scientist, she texts, sipping at her wine. mind sneaking me a vid of lucifer’s set?

within seconds, her phone’s buzzing with an incoming facetime, and she swipes it across with a grin. “hey, ella.”

“chloe, girl!” she’s almost yelling over the noise, her voice high and bright and very intoxicated. “you’re missing out. can’t believe you didn’t come!”

“i was tired,” chloe shrugs. “besides, you look like you’re having all the fun for me.”

ella beams. “it is very fun. your boyyyyfriend is giving us all free drinks! maze is doing shots with me.”

maze ducks her head into the frame. “hey, granny pants. you’re missing out.”

eve’s there, too, now. “devil boy is sad without you.”

chloe chuckles. “i’m sure he’ll survive. where is he?”

“about to play,” ella grins. “i figured since you didn’t want to be here in person, we’d give you the next best thing – virtual concert!”

“you’ve forgotten, ellen,” maze downs another shot of god-knows-what. “grandmas don’t know how to use facetime.”

“ha, ha.” chloe rolls her eyes, goodnaturedly. “very funny.”

maze winks at her, but then the music behind them dies out the crowd goes quiet. chloe’s always loved listening to lucifer play, especially when he’s playing specifically for her. but there’s something awe-inspiring, and beautiful, that happens when he plays for a crowd.

it's as though they become one, every breath bated, each waiting for the same thing. they breathe in and out with one another, rising and falling like the tide, until –

one single note rings out, clear and melodic in the near-quiet club. there’s a combined understanding amongst the crowd, a thick, heavy anticipation.

and then, he sings.

he starts with a classic, belting the chords to light my fire by the doors. this transitions into a slower, finer version of angels by josh groban, and then, finally, he looks up.

“this one,” he grins, eyes glinting. “is dedicated to someone very special to me. she’s not here tonight, but i’d like to sing it for her anyway.”

in her hand, ella breaths ooh, and chloe blushes.

lucifer falls into a hauntingly beautiful rendition of devil in her heart, grinning wickedly as he croons the lyrics. chloe rolls her eyes, but she’s loving it, secretly, and ella can tell.

“bet you’re regretting not coming now, granny pants,” maze coos, once lucifer’s bowed and exited his stage. “you’d be getting much more than a new year’s kiss.”

chloe simply shakes her head. “enjoy the rest of your night.”

0o0o0

it’s around quarter past eleven, and chloe is seriously considering going to bed. yes, it’s new year’s, but she’s been around for the better part of forty year changes and hardly any of them have been worth commenting on. surely missing one wouldn’t be life changing?

she’s swirling the last of her second glass of wine when the door opens, and she turns around, confused.

lucifer grins at her, hair messed from the rain that slants against the windows. “hello, detective.”

“you’re home early,” she says, frowning a little. he shrugs his suit jacket off, and discards the sparkly tie to another hook by the front door.

“finished my set,” he shrugs, giving her a shy smile. “realised i’d rather be here, anyway.”

chloe’s face splits into a bright smile, and she stands to meet him at the door. he wraps his arms immediately around her waist, swaying gently on the spot. “what, the great lucifer morningstar choosing a quiet night in over one of the biggest parties in los angeles?”

“i’m choosing you,” he murmurs, lips gentle against her hairline. “it doesn’t matter if we’re partying or here, i don’t care. i want to be wherever you are.”

chloe softens, relaxing into his embrace. “you’re sweet.”

he hums, holding her tight for a moment before pushing her gently back. “any of that wine left?”

she pours them both a glass, finishing the bottle. he takes it gratefully, sipping at the liquid with a warm sigh. chloe locks up, content to wait out the last half hour up in their room, and tugs him upwards with her.

“i need to shower,” he groans, flopping atop her bed. “it’s gross how filthy a crowd of humans can feel. would not recommend.”

she giggles. “shower, then?”

he opens his eyes, scrunching his face up at her. “that’s so much effort.”

“you’re so lazy.” chloe shakes her head, placing her glass next to his on the dresser and making her way over to him. “what if i shower with you, hmm? would that be less effort?”

lucifer’s eyes sparkle. “much less effort.”

0o0o0

they emerge, clean and fresh and wrapped in warm pyjamas, ten minutes before the clock strikes twelve. chloe retrieves their wine and then joins lucifer in bed, handing him his glass with a content sigh as he wraps his arm securely around her waist.

she leans her head against his shoulder, closing her eyes against the soft sound of the rain and feeling his heartbeat beneath her temple. “big year.”

lucifer huffs a laugh. “that’s one way to put it.”

she grins, looking up at him. “worth it, though, wouldn’t you say?”

he doesn’t return her grin. “chloe,” he says seriously. “i’d do this year a million times over if it meant i got to spend it with you.”

she smiles, leaning up to press a kiss against his jaw. he leans his head back against hers, both pairs of eyes staring at a random point across the room as they reflect silently together.

“i want more,” lucifer whispers suddenly, his voice shy.

chloe turns to him. “more? of what?”

his eyes turn down, fingers fiddling with a strand of her hair. “more years. like this. with you. with us.”

“lucifer,” chloe murmurs, reaching her hand out to tilt his chin up to meet her eyes. “if i have my way, we’ll have every year after this together, for all eternity.”

“i want that,” he mumbles. he wants it so badly it hurts. “forever?”

“forever,” she whispers, a promise against his skin. in the distance, citygoers of los angeles begin their annual countdown, the force with which they yell carrying all the way to her suburban home.

their muted yells get louder as the numbers decrease.

ten. nine. eight.

“i want to spend every new year’s with you,” lucifer whispers.

seven. six. five. four.

“me too.”

three. two.

“i love you.”

one.

she kisses him, and when he kisses her back, her head fills with thoughts of every new year’s gone, and the ones to come. of christmases with him by her side, easters and halloweens and every holiday in between.

when they finally break apart, he smiles at her, beautifully raw.

“happy new year’s, lucifer,” she whispers. “i love you too.”

Chapter Text

53. “Sit down, I’ll get it.”

it’s like every kiss is their first. he drinks in each touch of her lips, each panted i love you, each swallowed gasp, each soft graze of her palm against his waist. it’s been decades for her, millennia for him, and each is as grateful to be back together as the other.

they’re curled up on a loveseat in a room adjacent to their office, waiting out a break between clients by making out. lucifer’s tongue dances lazily around her mouth, simply revelling in reuniting with its partner, his hand tangled in her hair as he presses closer into her.

a knock startles them, has chloe pushing him gently away to cast a reluctant glance out towards the office. “time’s up,” she murmurs, swiping a thumb around her lips to clear any smudged lipstick and shifting him off her so she can get up and greet their guest.

“sit down,” lucifer mumbles, pecking her lips one last time as he straightens his shirt. “i’ll get it.”

chloe smiles, laughing slightly as he saunters out of the room, bouncing his ass. she looks, unashamedly. she’s missed that ass.

“no, thank you,” lucifer’s saying, as she gets up and makes her way over to the door frame. “we’re quite busy. i’m afraid you’ll have to reschedule.”

chloe snorts, coming up behind him and wrapping an arm around his waist. she casts an apologetic look towards the poor soul who’s looking lost in front of them.

“ignore him,” she rolls her eyes, turning to her boyfriend. “babe. behave.”

“but we were busy,” lucifer whines, pouting. “and i missed you. what’s one more day going to matter for this fella? he’s been down here eons already.”

“exactly,” chloe murmurs, pressing a kiss to his cheek. “and he doesn’t deserve to be here any longer.” she turns back to the man, eyes kind. “sorry about that. come in.”

as the man takes a coffee and a pastry and finds his seat, chloe whispers in lucifer’s ear. “behave,” she breathes, “and i’ll show you just how much i missed you when we finish up.”

she’s never seen him take out a notebook so fast.

0o0o0

later that night, their client sent off to heaven guilt-free and lucifer well convinced he’s been missed, chloe pours them both a wine and settles back down on his lap. he’s configured one of the hell-towers into a smart suite, decked out with a bedroom, a large bathroom, a living area, and of course, a fully functional bar.

she’d asked him, when she came down, why he hadn’t replicated the penthouse. his eyes had glazed over with a pain she could only imagine, and he’d simply whispered it hurt too much before kissing her again.

tonight, they’re seated in the bedroom. there’s a wide sofa in one corner, the soft cushions comforting and inviting. lucifer lays spread out against the corner seat, his long legs crossed at the ankles, and as she enters, he smiles lazily.

“thank you, love,” he murmurs, taking the glass of wine with a smile. he’s taking a sip when she sits, emitting a tiny oof as she takes her place on his lap. he raises an eyebrow. “you do know there’s a whole other end of the couch, yes?”

“mm,” chloe hums, resting her head against his shoulder. “i’m aware.”

“yet you chose to sit… here.” his voice is teasing, a hand coming to rest against her thigh.

“told you,” she murmurs. “i missed you. wanna be close.”

lucifer sighs, curling his spare arm around her waist and tugging her closer. “we have eternity to be close, love.”

“i know,” chloe says, sipping her wine. “but it doesn’t feel real yet.” she tilts her head up, looking at him with a smile. “until it does, i’m sitting on your lap.”

lucifer’s eyes are warm, and he presses a tiny kiss to her nose. “no complaints from me,” he murmurs, breath tickling her cheek. “i’m far superior to a couch.”

chloe breathes a laugh, snuggling closer. it’s mad – insane, even – to think that after years of longing, years of falling asleep to a cold bed and waking up the same, years of missing and hoping and pining and loss, that they’re back together.

“you’re right,” lucifer whispers, a moment later. “this doesn’t feel real. are you quite sure i’m not dreaming?”

she pinches him, and he yelps. “what was that for?”

“proving you’re not dreaming,” she giggles. “that it’s real.”

lucifer pouts. “you didn’t have to pinch me.”

“it’s a thing – oh, nevermind. fact is, this is real. we did it.”

his pout melts away, eyes softening immediately. “we did it.”

he leans down, and chloe meets him in the middle for a gentle kiss, his lips brushing hers with the fervour of a thousand feathers. “chloe,” he murmurs, blinking slowly. “we have eternity.”

“we do,” she bites her lip, eyes sparkling with grateful tears. “we have forever.”

he gazes at her for a long moment, his own eyes damp, and then kisses her again. it’s languid and slow, in no rush whatsoever, and she feels him pour a million different emotions into it, tries to return them with her own lips.

eventually, he pulls away, cheeks flushed and eyes twinkling. “i love you,” he whispers, a small, disbelieving smile on his lips. “chloe, i love you.”

she laughs, smiling so wide she feels her face might split into two. “i love you too, baby,” she murmurs. “are you okay?”

lucifer nods, but chloe’s smile twists into a frown as a few tears fall down his cheeks. she cocks her head. “babe?”

he blinks at her, eyes roaming over her face as if he can’t believe she’s really there. he brings soft fingertips up to trace her features, an awed, quiet look overtaking his features.

“i’m just happy,” he whispers, when her fingers reach up to brush his tears away in concern, eyes questioning. “i’m just really happy.”

chloe relaxes, cuddling closer into him with a content sigh. “i’m happy too,” she murmurs, pressing her lips to his skin. “i love you.”

“i love you too,” he breathes, arms tight around her. when he looks at her again, his words are an echo of ones he’d spoken long, long ago. “this is real, isn’t it?”

and just like so long ago, she nods, and he smiles, and she bumps their foreheads together, breathing him in.

together for eternity.

Chapter Text

  1. “I made reservations.”

he paces nervously, tugging the lacey white tablecloth straight as he fusses over the meal he’d set carefully out hours earlier.

had it been to early? what if it was cold?

shaking his head slightly, he checks the temperature of the (professionally) grilled cheese. it’s fine. everything’s fine.

so why does he feel like throwing up?

right, he thinks, this is ridiculous. the devil doesn’t get nervous, nor does he feel sick.

which may have been true, given his mile-long list of ex-conquests. not once, with any of his prior lovers, has he felt this – this peculiar feeling, the one where he thinks his stomach might tangle together simply because it’s playing jump-rope with itself.

but this isn’t an ex-conquest. this is chloe. his partner, his friend, his –

his what, exactly?

he hadn’t looked at her, yesterday. when she came to visit him, sitting down at the piano next to him as if she’d done it all her life – as if she belonged – he hadn’t been able to bring himself to meet her eyes.

because you were scared.

yet another feeling he shouldn’t be familiar with.

he hadn’t been familiar with many feeling before chloe. now, it’s almost like he’s too familiar with some of them.

his phone buzzes with an incoming text right as he triple-checks that chloe’s favourite brand of rosé is cooling correctly in the ice bucket. he tugs it from his pocket, swipes across –

the detective: so sorry, but i’m going to have to call raincheck on tonight’s dinner. something came up. sorry!

something akin to dread stirs in his stomach, his lower gut dropping in a way that reminds him eerily of his fall. steadying his breath, he types a reply.

her consultant: that’s unfortunate. i made reservations!

the elevator dings right as he tucks his phone back into his pocket, tugging at his tie in defeat as he tries to ignore the insistent trepidation tangling his stomach into knots.

“reservations?”

her voice is soft. too soft, in the silence of his penthouse. he’d planned on filling the air with cheesy nineties jams – chloe’s favourites – but he supposes that’s useless, now.

“you got here very quickly, for someone who had something come up,” he murmurs, matching her tone. his stomach somersaults, a dreadful, sick feeling rising in his throat. he’s frozen in place.

chloe stares at the ground, fiddling with a bracelet on her wrist. she’s not wearing his necklace, tonight, her neck painfully bare of any bullet shells. “something did come up,” she says quietly, but there’s a hint of something else clouding her tone.

guilt.

lucifer’s least favourite emotion.

he’s horribly familiar with that one, that’s for sure. eons of being surrounded – ruling – souls tortured by said feeling will do that to you. besides, he’s felt guilty before.

he feels guilty now.

he’s not sure why.

“reservations?” chloe prompts, again, her eyes trailing over the closhes that cover his carefully prepared grilled cheeses.

something similar to shame rises, red and hot, up lucifer’s neck. “the penthouse is a well sought-after affair, detective,” he says, hoping she doesn’t detect the crack in his voice. “very few get the honour of eating dinner here.”

rather than soothe the tension like he’d hoped, his joke lingers in stiff air before dropping to the proverbial ground with a thud as chloe’s face falls.

“i have to go,” she whispers, and lucifer’s limbs suddenly snap to attention, breaking him out of his frozen stature.

“no,” he says quickly, stepping between her and the elevator. she looks shocked, fingering something in her purse with a tiny frown on her face. he corrects himself. “please,” he tries. “at least take something to go.”

“lucifer, i have to –”

“detective,” he says, smooth and confident again. “you must let me feed you. what kind of host would i be if i let you walk out of here on an empty stomach?” his smile falters. “unless – you have another engagement?” another date?

chloe blinks. “i – no,” she mutters. “nowhere else to be. just –”

“then i simply insist,” lucifer says, his hand falling to the small of her back as he guides her back inside.

maybe if he can just get her to stay, then she’ll talk to him. then they’ll be okay.

chloe sits on the cushion he’s set out for her with a conflicted frown, and drops her purse with a bang that reverberates through the empty penthouse. lucifer suddenly remembers his nineties collection, stands to set it bopping through his state-of-the-art speaker system.

the crash comes right as he presses play, and he’s at chloe’s side in a second. her hands fumble in his, sweaty and panicked, and he panics in turn.

is she hurt? has he hurt her?

“i should go,” she whispers, voice tight. “i’m sorry. i need to go.”

“it’s okay,” he promises. “detective – chloe, it’s okay. please. let me help.”

she shakes her head, tears threatening to fall. “no,” she breathes. “no, i need to go. i shouldn’t have come.”

he cuts his hand on the glass, ignores it entirely as his eyes stay focussed on hers. “chloe –”

“your hand –”

“to hell with my hand,” he yells, quietening immediately at the look on her face. “i’m sorry. i’m so sorry.”

she backs up, breathing fast. “i need to go.”

lucifer’s breath quickens. “please – no, please. please stay.”

chloe shakes her head again, tight and fast. “is your hand okay? i need to – i’ve gotta go. trixie, and – and i need – i need to leave, okay? okay. are you okay? i need to leave.”

  1. no. he follows her out with his eyes, too stunned to stop her. how had his night – so precariously planned, so thought out – gone so horribly wrong.

the elevator doors have closed by the time his voice works again, a weak chloe slipping between cracked lips.

“please,” he murmurs. “come back.”

he doesn’t want to do this. he doesn’t want to do any of this. not without her.

he cradles his dripping hand in the clean one, the pain a dull throb beneath the sharp, haunting sting in his chest. his eyes fall, to the table, covered in glass, and the untouched grilled cheese, soiled by red droplets.

he’s ruined them. he’s ruined everything.

he brings his hands up to his mouth to stifle a choked sob, and tries to pretend the tears leaking from his eyes are due to the cut on his hand.

Chapter Text

55. "I don’t mind.”

“what do you want for dinner?” her fingers scroll nimbly through the takeout apps, nothing particularly piquing her interest.

lucifer shrugs, indifferent to her question as he focuses solely on his own phone. “i don’t mind.”

chloe sighs. he’s been… different, since he got back from hell. reserved. quiet. contained.

which, for a normal person, might seem rational. probable, even.

but this is lucifer. to see him - someone usually so bright and bubbly, the source of energy within a room – reduced to a shell of who he used to be, reticent and withdrawn... it's scary.

she tugs the phone from his hands, dedicated now to make sure this turns into one of what she’s come to claim as a good night. good nights mean he goes to sleep willingly, shares the occasional smile with her, eats more than a forkful of dinner. good nights mean only twenty minutes spent calming him from nightmares, rather than the hours it can take on bad nights.

bad nights… she doesn’t want to think about them.

lucifer looks up at the loss of his phone, hands searching uselessly for it as chloe places it on the table by the couch and raises her eyebrow. “dinner?”

he shrugs again, hands falling back into his lap. “’m not hungry. you choose.”

chloe sighs. she’s chosen every day since he got back, and she’d hoped that the promise of takeout might raise his appetite a bit. “what about i give you some options, you choose the best of the three?”

lucifer nods, looking like he could not care less. chloe forges onwards.

“japanese, italian, indian?” she suggests, but lucifer shakes his head at each of them. “vietnamese? greek? plain old fish ‘n’ chips?”

“i don’t mind, detective,” he sighs, closing his eyes as if it hurts to keep them open. “you choose. please?”

chloe sags, clicking a random order from her order history and confirming the payment before she tosses her phone to the opposite end of the couch and crawls towards her boyfriend. “half an hour til the food arrives, and no trixie til tomorrow. what do you want to do?”

his eyes remain closed, and he shrugs again listlessly. “whatever you want.”

biting her lip against a growl, chloe shakes her head, scooting closer so that her thigh brushes his. his eyes blink open at the contact, seeking hers.

they’re full of pain, swirling with horrors she can’t even begin to imagine. she strokes a soothing hand down his cheek, smiling slightly as he pushes into her palm, seeking her warmth.

she remembers her promise from before. tonight will be a good night.

she pulls her hand from his face, still smiling. “come here.”

without too much trouble, lucifer shuffles until he’s resting half-across her lap, his body falling in a heap over her thighs. chloe works her fingers into his curls, untangling the few that are knotted together with a warm sigh. “are you okay?”

he shrugs, silent. it’s hard to get him to open up, lately. hard to get him to talk. but she knows his weak spots, which of his buttons she can press in order to calm him down. instead of pushing, she simply combs through his hair, his body relaxing a fraction more with every stroke.

“you know,” she murmurs, voice soft in the quiet apartment. “when you left, trixie went to stay at dan’s for a few weeks?”

lucifer hums beneath her touch, a confused little sound as if to say why on earth are you telling me this, silly woman?

chloe chuckles slightly, her chest raising under where his ear has fallen to her heartbeat. “she was there for a month, maybe longer. i missed her like crazy, the house was so quiet. you know why she was with dan, not with me? not annoying me here?”

lucifer shakes his head, silent. chloe’s smile drops.

“it wasn’t safe for me to look after her,” she admits quietly. “i loved her as much as ever, that wasn’t the problem. i just… i wasn’t functioning. it wouldn’t have been fair to her for me to expect her to understand.”

lucifer’s gone still, but chloe’s hands remain grazing gently over his scalp. “i took a week off from work – probably should’ve taken longer, but you know me – and i just… i didn’t know what to do with myself.” she laughs again, but this time it’s without humour. “i remember thinking what’s wrong with me? how on earth had my life gotten to the point that i was helpless – utterly broken – by some man.”

she smiles again, poking him slightly. “should’ve been my first sign that something was wrong. you’re not some man. you’ve never been just some man.” her lips find his hairline, brushing gently across wiry curls. “losing you hurt. i didn’t want to admit that to myself, at the time. it felt pathetic. like failing.”

lucifer’s chest raises in a single, shaky breath. his head pushes carefully into her palm, desperate for contact. she grants it, her other hand coming up to tangle with his. “it’s not failing to admit you’re struggling, lucifer,” she whispers. “i know it hurts. i know it’s – embarrassing, in a way. but there’s no way to get better without telling someone how you feel.”

he trembles slightly against her, and for a moment, chloe fears she’s pushed too far. “it doesn’t have to be intensive sessions with linda straight away,” she says quickly. “you can just whisper it into the mirror at three in the morning. telling yourself i’m not okay, that’s the first step.”

chloe blows a long, sad breath through her lips, the air bouncing off his head and back at her chin. “i wish i had have asked for help earlier,” she admits quietly. “i missed my daughter, and i missed you, and maybe if i told someone how bad it was i could’ve fixed things earlier.” she presses a tiny kiss to his forehead, lip wobbling slightly. “please don’t make the same mistake as me.”

his breathing is even and slow, and for a moment chloe thinks he’s fallen asleep. it might be preferable, maybe, to have him nap now. at least he’d have slept willingly.

but then he shifts, his curls tickling her chin. chloe stills, waiting.

lucifer tucks his chin into the crevice between her shoulder and her neck, breathing steadily for a moment before his lips graze her ear. she feels him take a deep, shaking breath, and then he whispers, quiet as a mouse.

“i don’t think i’m okay.”

a wave of emotion rises within chloe’s chest, almost knocking her backwards with its force. she swallows it back down, tightens her arms slightly around his waist.

“that’s okay,” she murmurs, resting her chin on his shoulder in turn. “thank you for telling me. i’m proud of you.”

all at once, he sags against her, his body a dead weight on top of hers. his face turns to meet hers, expecting more, but she simply shrugs, giving him a small smile.

lucifer blinks for a second, and then swallows, his adam’s apple bobbing as he works words up and out of his lips. “thank you,” he mutters, voice hoarse.

chloe nods, dragging her fingernails up and down his back carefully. “when you’re ready,” she says gently, “i’m here. okay?”

he nods, not meeting her eyes, and tucks his body back against hers with a meek hiccup. “is it okay if i’m not ready yet?”

so okay, baby,” she promises, and in that moment, she’s not sure she’s ever loved him more.

“you know,” lucifer murmurs, his lips tickling her shoulder through the thin cotton of her shirt. “you really are a miracle.”

chloe laughs, shaking her head with a grin. “idiot.”

he giggles back, soft and raw. “chloe?”

“mm?”

he wrestles with the words for a second, swallowing a few times before he settles back against her. “i’m glad you’re here.”

it’s not i love you, but she hears the words for what they are. “lucifer,” she whispers, holding him tight. “i’m really glad you’re here too.”

 

Chapter Text

56. “It brings out your eyes.”

they’ve never been good at following the rules.

right from day one, their relationship hasn’t been… conventional. to start with, it consists of a detective and a devil, the very essence of them unorthodox.

and lucifer’s gone a long time without being assured of his place in the world, so it’s really… it’s only fair.

at least, that’s what chloe tells herself, as she tightens the last button on her wedding dress and unlocks the door.

he’s been whining for five minutes, a mix of please, darling, and it’s only fair that i get to see you first and you’re going to be my wife! so when she opens the door, his mouth is still half open in pleading.

it drops open further as his eyes rake up and down her body, meeting her eyes with a quiet oh.

chloe flushes, blinking at him. “you like?”

her dress is simple, a lacy corset top, silky white banded belt, flowing chiffon skirt. it’s close to white, offsetting her skin tone perfect, her hair tumbling in gentle curls down her shoulders and fanning out around her shoulders in a golden halo. there’s a dusting of blush set daintily upon her cheeks; her eyelids covered in a gentle, pale shadow that adds a casual glow to her complexion.

“i love,” lucifer breathes, taking a shaky breath. “i love you, chloe.”

“and i love you,” she smiles, stepping towards him to kiss him quickly on the lips. “you okay?”

lucifer nods. there’s something stirring in his eyes, something akin to adoration, maybe, or –

or love.

he’s completely, and utterly, totally in love with her.

he can’t believe he gets to marry her.

today.

“you know,” he says, clearing his throat. “it’s normally considered bad luck to see one’s wife before the actual occasion.”

chloe chuckles, leaning over the vanity to apply a line of eyeliner above her lid. “honestly, babe, ever since i found out that your brother controls the universe, i haven’t really concerned myself with superstition.”

lucifer chuckles, wrapping his arms around her from behind. “that’s good,” he breathes, words tickling her ear. “besides, i wouldn’t let anyone hurt you.”

“i know.” she turns to kiss him with a grin, rolling her eyes. “you’re cheesy.”

“was never the cheesy type before i met you,” lucifer grumbles, pulling out his pocket square to refold it and tucking it carefully back in. “also wasn’t really the marrying type. whatever have you done to me?”

chloe giggles again, leaning closer to the mirror as she fiddles with some mascara. she applies it finally, revelling in the feel of his arms around her – of his arms being able to be around her forever – before she turns in his grasp and smiles.

“veil?” she murmurs, reaching behind her to tug the thin fabric headdress over her curls, “or no veil?”

lucifer considers, taking it from her and placing it gently on her head. he fusses with the locks of fabric for a moment, styling her curls, before he smooths it down and presses a reverent kiss to her forehead. “veil,” he decides. “it brings out your eyes.”

chloe beams at him, eyes sparkling. he looks back at her in turn, eyes trailing over her features as if she’s the most beautiful creature he’s ever seen.

she is.

she’s so, so beautiful.

he reaches behind her, seemingly feeling up her back for something. chloe’s brow furrows in confusion, and she steps backwards slightly. “what is it?”

lucifer shakes his head, still focussed on her back. “turn around,” he murmurs. she obeys. his hands trail up and down the patterned fabric of her dress, tangling in the tightly knotted ribbons that keep the corset flush against her chest.

“lucifer,” she says incredulously, giggling as his fingers tickle her back slightly. she turns back to face him. “what are you doing?”

“i’m just –” his hands search for a moment longer before dropping in defeat. “i’m confused.”

“confused?” chloe’s eyebrow raises. “whatever for?”

the corner of lucifer’s lips turn upwards, the hint of a smile. “i do not understand how it’s possible you’re human,” he explains, completely serious. “i’m still not sure i believe you’re not an angel.”

chloe scoffs. “you know me. i’m not an angel, i promise.”

“besides, i’ve seen your naked back many times now, and there’s definitely no wings.” he smiles wryly, before his expression drops into something much more genuine. “i’m just finding it hard to believe how a mortal woman looks so… heavenly. so divine.”

chloe softens, but then lucifer shakes his head, letting the smile overtake his face. “silly me,” he grins. “you’re not just a mortal woman. just a mortal woman would never be able to turn the devil into a husband.”

she looks up at him, scratching lightly at his stubble as her hand cups his cheek. “if you don’t want to be a husband, you don’t –”

he cuts her off before she even has the chance. “chloe,” he murmurs, hand catching her own as it drops from his cheek. “do me a favour?”

she smiles slightly, thumb tracing his palm. “thought you were the one who granted deals?”

“things change, detective,” he cocks his head, gesturing clearly to the ring glinting on her fourth finger. “ask me.”

she doesn’t need to clarify, stepping further into his space as his arm encircles her waist. “lucifer,” she murmurs. “baby. what do you truly desire?”

she expects him to laugh, but instead, he gazes at her, looking deep into her eyes. “chloe,” he whispers, blowing a breath through his lips. “there is nothing i desire more than to marry you today.”

her mouth opens, but he’s not finished. “i met you seven years ago,” he breathes. “and – dare i get sentimental – those seven years have been, without a doubt, the best of my life. which –” he grins slightly – “might sound boring if you’re a normal human, but… i’ve lived a lot of years, and i can, without a doubt, say the ones with you have been by far superior.”

chloe tilts her head, listening.

“there are many things you’ve helped me realise,” he breathes. “turns out the devil is the marrying type, given the correct woman.”

chloe laughs slightly, leaning into him with a gentle smile. “well, i’m glad he found the correct woman, then.”

lucifer eyes her, not returning her smile yet. “i’m glad he did, too,” he says quietly. “really, really glad.” his hand finds his pocket square again, pulling it out of said pocket and folding it carefully.

chloe’s hand covers his, stilling his movement. “lucifer,” she murmurs, searching his eyes with her own. “it’s okay to be nervous.”

“i’m not –” his voice falters, pocket square dropping to the floor with a gentle thud. “i don’t want to be nervous.”

“but you are?”

lucifer’s face drops. “i am.”

chloe smiles knowingly, tugging him back towards her. “i’m nervous too,” she admits softly. “not because i don’t think this is the right thing to do – it is, i can’t wait to call you my husband. but i’m nervous about all of it. but i’m just – this is a big step. i love you – so very much – but of course i’m scared! and that’s’ – that’s okay. it’s okay to be scared.” she smiles at him gently. “we’ll figure it out together, okay?”

lucifer nods, relaxing into her touch as she rests her forehead against his. “i love you,” he mumbles, lips inches from hers. “i can’t wait to be your husband.”

“and i can’t wait to be your wife,” she smiles, pecking him once more. “are you ready, mr morningstar?”

he slips his hand through hers, squeezing lightly. “lead the way, mrs morningstar.”

Chapter Text

57. "There is enough room for both of us.”

“lucifer!” her cry comes out shriller than she anticipated. she clears her throat, trying again. “lucifer. it’s okay.”

“it’s not – not bloody okay, detective.” he means to sound shrill. it’s an accurate description of how he feels inside, all high-strung and tight and on edge. “surely – this has got to be a mistake.”

“lucifer,” she huffs, taking in their surroundings again as she drags her suitcase to a stop. “it’s only for a week. i’m sure it’ll be alright.”

“alright?” his voice, if possible, rises an octave. “detective, there’s one bed!

“and – and a perfectly comfortable looking couch!” chloe supplies, gesturing towards said, very not-comfortable looking couch with a flourish. “on which i’m definitely happy to sleep.”

“well –” he pauses, turning to her incredulously. “i’m not letting you take the couch. i’ll take the couch.”

“you’re not – oh, for god’s sake, lucifer, the bed can fit us both.” chloe pulls her suitcase behind her, tugging it further into the tiny room.

and it is tiny. it’s hardly more than a corridor, certainly not the ‘spacious, luxurious penthouse suite’ they’d been promised for their week working in san francisco. they’d been sent up by the lieutenant to assist on a big case with the sfpd, all expenses paid as part of the pull. lucifer had been wary of coming, originally, only spurred on by chloe’s insistence that he could drive them up the coast in his fancy car and drink as much scotch as would fit in his suitcase.

and the promise of the penthouse suite on the beach.

“detectiiiiive,” lucifer whines, kicking his suitcase to the side with a grunt. it clinks suspiciously. “this is unforgiveable. it’s false advertising. it’s blasphemy.”

“oh, don’t be dramatic.” she shoots him a grin, shaking her head. “there is enough room for both of us.”

“your definition of enough needs some sharpening,” he grumbles, but he slumps onto the bed with a tired groan. “i’ll take the couch.”

“yes, because you definitely look like you’re in a position to move,” chloe teases, her tongue peeking out through her lips. he’s sprawled across the admittedly tiny bed, his arms tucked under his head as he lays on his back. “seriously, lucifer. we can share the bed. we’ll fit.”

lucifer pouts at her, already kicking his shoes off. “you’re saying… you have no inhibitions about sharing a bed with me?”

chloe swallows, almost bumping into the bathroom door in her haste to turn away from him. “no,” she says innocently, hoping he mistakes the breathiness in her voice for fatigue. “i’m simply weighing up the cost of either sleeping in the same bed as you or dealing with your complaints about the couch all week, and i think future chloe will appreciate now-chloe if i just accept your body on that mattress tonight.”

she’s rambling. she knows she’s rambling.

so why can’t she seem to stop?

lucifer gives an amused chuckle, sidling behind her and brushing her waist with his own as he tucks himself through to the bathroom. chloe turns to him, ready to ask what he’s doing, before her toothbrush drops from her hand to the sink with a tinkle.

what are you doing?”

he turns his head from where he’s standing at the toilet, clearly urinating. “going to the bathroom, obviously. dear me, detective, you’d better get used to our proximity if we’re going to be here all week. we’re going to be best friends.”

0o0o0

he grunts when she slides into bed beside him, rolling pointedly over so that he’s facing away from her.

chloe shuffles restlessly. despite the crushing exhaustion she’d felt mere minutes ago, the sheer proximity of his body next to hers has her every nerve ending firing as if she’s been caught in the middle of a lightning storm. heat radiates off him, sending ripples of warmth towards her own body as he breathes shallowly beside her.

“detective,” he murmurs, not stirring from his position beside her. “are you sure i can’t interest you in some… activities?”

“oh, shut up, you,” chloe scoffs, reaching a hand out to poke his back. “don’t even think about it. there’s still the couch.”

“i offered,” he grumbles, rolling over. they’re suddenly close. very close, his face a foot from hers. “you insisted on this.”

“insisted on saving my future ass from hours of sore back complaints,” chloe sighs, poking him again. “roll over.”

why?” he complains, obeying her anyway. his face is a lot closer than she expected, and she scoots backwards slightly.

chloe grins. “i’m bored.”

his face contorts into an amusing expression. “detective, were you or were you not the one who denied us an outing into the enticing city of san-fran because you were – and i quote – too tired to function?”

“i said i was too tired to function,” she corrects, propping her head up on one hand as she looks at him. it’s possible she’s beyond exhaustion now, a feeling akin to delirium stirring in her chest as she gives him a weak giggle. “you were welcome to go out.”

detective,” lucifer groans. “i wasn’t about to leave you, a single woman, alone in a weird city you don’t know your way around.”

chloe scoffs. “a single woman who has been on the police force for ten years and brought multiple weapons with her, who has also visited san francisco more times than you can count on two hands.”

lucifer blinks at her, and chloe stifles another giggle. “okay,” he adjusts, bringing his elbow up to rest under his ear. “fine. you still said you didn’t want to go out.”

“mhm,” chloe hums, gazing at him. at some stage in the last two minutes, a goofy smile has made its way onto her lips, and she stares lazily at him as he raises an eyebrow. “i don’t wanna go out.”

“okay…” lucifer nods. “and you also said you wanted to sleep.”

chloe giggles. “i don’t want to sleep.”

lucifer groans. bloody humans. “what’s the plan, then, detective?”

his heart falls as chloe’s eyes sparkle, and she leans dramatically over the side of the bed, reaching into her suitcase. “lucifer,” she giggles. “gonna fall off the bed.”

“i – detective!” he catches her ankle as she topples, and pulls her gently back up. “i think you need sleep.”

“i’m not tired,” chloe grins, and then holds up her prize with a brighter smile. “card game?”

“detective, this isn’t a bloody road trip,” lucifer rolls his eyes, but chloe’s smile drops and he changes tactics immediately. “fine – fine. let’s play. you deal.”

“you’re the devil,” chloe frowns. “you’re the one who bases his whole thing on deals. you deal.”

lucifer’s beginning to wonder how quickly he can get to his own suitcase, stuffed to the brim with whiskey, and if chloe’s proximity would allow him to get drunk enough that his state would match her sleep-deprived delirium.

“fine,” he sighs. his usual night-time games aren’t usually… card related.

chloe beams. “yay!”

lucifer ignores the flutter within his chest, and deals the pack in three.

he’s hopeless at cheat. he’s unable to lie, and chloe wins within two rounds. they change to go fish, but he fails that too, distracted by chloe’s almost constant giggles, giggles that only grow as he growls in defeat as she empties his hand.

by the time they’ve moved to poker, her head is drooping steadily, and as he ponders over what to bet on, her drops to his shoulder.

lucifer freezes. “detective?”

she doesn’t answer.

he reaches out a hesitant finger, poking her gently. “detective?”

chloe snuffles, snorting slightly as she snuggles closer into him. “g’ to sleep.”

“we’re – we’re playing cards!”

“no. sleep.”

lucifer, wide-eyed, blinks at her. “detective?”

lucifer,” she grumbles, smacking him pathetically. “shut up.”

“but –”

“shut up!” she pushes weakly at his chest, crawling further towards him. her hand brushes numbly over the cards, upsetting their game, and she curls tight against his side. “’nd don’t tell an’one about this. ‘m tired.”

“yes, detective,” lucifer breathes, overwhelmed. he shuffles backwards, laying down again as one hand holds her against him. “are you – why are you on top of me?”

“’m tired,” chloe mumbles again, eyes fluttering sleepily against his neck. “stop talking.”

“okay, detective,” he sighs, kicking his foot slightly to dislodge a couple of fly cards. “i’ll shut up.”

good,” she makes a happy sound somewhere in the back of her throat, nuzzling her nose against him. lucifer freezes.

why does he feel so… comfortable?

it must be the bed.

0o0o0

 

accustomed to early mornings from years of school runs, chloe wakes at the crack of dawn. a lazy, warm light spreads through the slotted blinds, sending gentle lines of gold across the bedspread. they dance behind chloe’s closed eyes, tugging her encouragingly towards wakefulness.

her mouth widens in a yawn, and she blinks her eyes open groggily, straining slightly against the light. a light feeling of unease stirs within her as she struggles to make sense of her surroundings for a moment before it all comes back to her.

that’s right. we’re on a case, in san francisco, in this tiny hotel room.

no trixie, no precinct, just the case, and –

and lucifer.

all too suddenly, she’s made aware of a tight feeling encompassing her waist, something warm and heavy slotted against her chest. blinking her eyes back open, and casting them down slightly, she’s met face to face with a mess of black curls.

freezing, she closes her eyes again, taking stock of her body. she lays straight on the bed, resting on her hip, her head pillowed not only by soft linen but also… a shoulder.

swallowing, her eyes widen, and she looks down again. lucifer’s arms are wrapped securely around her waist, wrists interlocked behind her. his head droops against hers, wiry curls obscuring part of her vision, his breath sending warm puffs of air floating over her ear.

her heart thumping, chloe ponders what to do. she needs to pee, that’s one thing. and she’s also pretty sure – no, really sure – that partners aren’t meant to wake up entwined.

she shifts slightly, her thigh brushing his as she attempts to untangle it from where it’s curled between his legs. no sooner has she tugged it free from his grip than lucifer grumbles quietly, hooking his ankle behind her knee and pulling her back tight against him.

she’s closer now, her ear pillowed entirely on his chest as he clutches her tight. despite her predicament, a slow smile spread across chloe’s face.

who would’ve thought the devil was a cuddler?

she stifles a giggle, going back to the task of getting out without waking lucifer up. god knows how he’d react to waking up with her on top of him, and she doesn’t want to spend the next week in intimacy induced awkwardness.

but isn’t this nice? a voice in the back of her head suggests, and chloe’s cheeks flush.

it is nice. she doesn’t remember the last time someone simply held her.

fuck it, she thinks. my bladder can wait.

she closes her eyes again, thinking for a moment before snuggling experimentally further into his chest, slinging an arm back around his waist. he snuffles happily, clicking his tongue sleepily against the roof of his mouth before settling again.

chloe lays there, watching the sun rise and the lines across the floor grow brighter. lucifer is warm, and soft, and she’s content, and –

and she really needs to pee.

cursing herself for drinking so much water on the drive up yesterday, chloe sighs, resigning herself to having to get up.

shame, the voice murmurs. it’s so comfortable.

“shut up,” she whispers, and to her horror, lucifer stirs.

“didn’t say an’thin’,” he mumbles, tensing beneath her in a stretch before relaxing again. wide eyed, chloe tilts her head up to look at his face. the top of her (now-messy) ponytail scrapes his chin, and he makes an upset sound, arching away from her.

fuck it, chloe thinks, now he’s awake, i need to pee.

“lucifer,” she whispers. “i need to get up.”

“noooo,” he pouts, eyes still closed. “stay.”

the smile from before spreads back across chloe’s face, bigger and brighter. she bites her lip, butting her head gently into his chest. “please? i need the bathroom.”

“no, y’ don’t,” he mutters, tightening his grip on her waist.

“yes, i do,” she counters, her bladder pulsing. “lucifer. let go.

he huffs, obeying. “bloody human renal system.”

chloe bites her smile back, shifting. she steals a look at his face, her smile evident in her eyes, and lucifer’s own eyes blink open.

she snorts at the surprise in his eyes, and it takes all she has not to giggle as he blinks stupidly at her.

“you’re… there.”

chloe nods, pursing her lips over a grin. “right. and you know where i need to be?”

“right – right.” he lets her go immediately, flipping over onto his side to watch her waltz into the bathroom, brain whirring.

what in dad’s name…

chloe emerges a moment later, feeling much better, and steals a glance at her phone. it’s only six thirty, they really don’t need to be up for another hour, and now she’s curious

she slides back into bed, giggling slightly at lucifer’s bewildered expression. “calm down,” she laughs. “i’m not going to tell everyone your big secret.”

lucifer’s eyes grow wider, confused. “my… secret?”

“mhm.” chloe gives him a sly smile, enjoying watching him squirm.

“and – and, uh, what – what might that secret be?” bloody detective. he’s just woken up.

chloe grins wickedly, flopping her head back onto the pillow. “that you like to cuddle.”

“do not!” he’s up in an instant, glaring at her. “i do not.”

chloe grins. “oh, yeah?” she raises an eyebrow. “prove it.”

“fine,” he shoots her another glare, laying back down. “here. cuddle – ugh – cuddle me, then, detective, and i won’t enjoy it one bit.”

chloe tilts her head, gazing at him. “i think that’s just a ploy to get more cuddles.”

lucifer scoffs. “oh, you wish.”

i wish?”

he blinks at her. “oh, bloody hell, detective, it’s too early for this. just – just come here.”

his arm wraps around her waist, and he tugs her forward until she’s flush with his side, her head resting gently on his shoulder.

chloe stills, feeling his every muscle tense beneath hers. “relax, lucifer.”

“how am i meant to relax, detective?” he huffs, but she can hear a hint of a smile on his lips. “you’re accusing me of something that’s absolutely not true.”

“oh, really?” chloe bites her lip, grinning as she turns to look up at him. “you’re not – not enjoying this at all?”

her hand begins to scratch gentle patterns across his chest, and lucifer shudders slightly beneath her.

“no,” he squeaks, entire body jumping. “oh – well, okay. maybe that feels – okay.”

“just okay?” chloe teases, her other hand tangling with his as she leans back, looking up at him. “shame. might’ve kept doing it if you liked it.” her hand stills.

lucifer’s other hand is up in a beat, covering hers. “fine!” he pouts. “i – i might be – enjoying this. maybe.”

“there we are,” chloe grins, smiling so wide she thinks her face might split in two. “that wasn’t so hard, was it?”

“not for you, maybe,” lucifer grumbles. “just… shh. it’s too early.”

she does as she’s told, shutting up as her hand resumes it’s stroking over his shirt. she feels him relax beneath her, and, when she stays silent, his own hand starts to tap gentle patterns over her forearm.

“detective,” she hears, maybe ten minutes later, when she’s just beginning to doze off again. “you’re right. this is… nice.”

she bites back a grin, simply leaning closer into him as her hand scratches gently at some stubble on his chin.

he’s right, her inner voice says. this is nice.

Chapter Text

58. “You don’t have to say anything.”

despite what she’d said earlier, some bullshit about talking to dr martin and not drinking himself into a stupor, chloe doesn’t really feel comfortable with his admission of not wanting to talk to her.

there’s a gnawing, ugly pull in the pit of her stomach as she finishes up the paperwork, growing as she helps dan with the last of the witness statements – made all the more difficult by the added abnormity of a semi-manic devil begging to be shot – and ignores her uneasiness as she cleans up her desk for the night. it works – kind of – until she’s packed her last paper into her bag and is standing next to her cruiser.

lucifer’s discarded coffee cup sits in the cupholder, and chloe’s chest tugs uncomfortably with a feeling she can’t quite explain. unease? curiosity?

concern?

lucifer’s far from conventional, and he has a tendency to obliterate the line rather than toe it. but today’s behaviour – punching dan, making out with their witnesses, turning up drunk and dishevelled – it was a far cry from his usual harmless quirks.

and then there was the very matter of the pharmaceutical debacle. chloe’s brow ticks as she recalls lucifer’s manic, drunken pleading, the tone of his voice mocking but underlined by a softer, more serious beg for mercy.

she slides into her car, docking the keys in the ignition but leaving it standing for a moment as she taps her fingers in an anxious pattern over the steering wheel and bites her lip.

shoot me!

his eyes – his wild, wild eyes… they haunt her. if it had been any other day, maybe she would’ve excused him, taken it as just another lucifer-ism, another attempt at granting her some time and helping in the case in his weird, unorthodox way.

but… the deep, unsettled ache rearing its ugly head in her stomach, chomping anxiously at her heart… it suggests otherwise.

mind made up, she clicks her indicator left rather than right, guiding the cruiser away from her apartment and towards lux instead.

feeling steadily more guilty about the way she’d treated him throughout the day, chloe pushes further on the gas as she weaves in and out of traffic. she must’ve yelled at him ten times today, his eccentricities upped and just rubbing her completely the wrong way. she’d known something was off from the minute he walked in, but her concern had been bitten away by the bigger, more powerful feeling of annoyance.

but throughout the day, his reactions to her reprimands had grown from cockiness to indifference to finally settle on… meekness. rather than reflecting her anger back upon her, or countering her arguments with clever quips, he’d begun to flinch at her every harsh word, to shrink in upon himself whenever she opened her mouth.

blowing a breath through her lips, chloe finally pulls into her designated spot in lux’s private carpark. cutting the engine, she takes a steadying breath, wondering what her game plan is here. she’d thought it a good idea, but what if he’s drunk off his rocker again and in the middle of sex with five different women?

oh, well. there’s only so much she can do, and worst case scenario, she just goes home. at least she’ll have seen he’s okay.

can she even call that okay?

“shit,” she breathes, swallowing as she locks the car behind her and makes her way into the club. it’s early, but there’s already a steady crowd, people pulsing in and out as strobe lights stutter throughout the club. her eyes roam over the crowd, searching him out. she’s normally pretty good at spotting him – he’s very magnetic – but even after two entire sweeps of the dancefloor, she can’t seem to find him, so she makes her way over to the bar.

“hello, detective decker,” patrick smiles, abandoning the customer he was looking after to smile welcoming at her. “drink?”

chloe smiles back, shaking her head. “no, thank you. is lucifer around?”

patrick’s face drops, darkness clouding his eyes. “upstairs, i believe. do you – is he okay?”  

chloe’s smile turns sad, and she shrugs. “i was going to ask you the same thing.”

0o0o0

the music from the club fades as the elevator carries her northward, and chloe hopes it’ll be replaced by some sort of piano sonata, begging lucifer to be expressing his feelings in a semi-healthy way.

but the climb remains silent, and when the elevator doors slide open, the ding echoes into empty silence. chloe’s heart sinks.

“lucifer?” she calls, soft, non-threatening. she steps into the dark room, hand toying at the hem of her jacket. “lucifer?”

her heart shuddering, chloe takes another step forward, eyes roaming the room before they land on him, and then she drops her keys with a clatter and rushes forward.

lucifer!”

she drops to his side, crouching slightly as she checks his pulse. it jumps beneath her fingertips, speeding along, and as she holds her hand to his neck, she becomes aware of his shallow breathing whistling in and out of his lips.

he’s not passed out, like she thought. he’s very much conscious, and as she crouches beside him, she takes in the rest of his body. tense, trembling, muscles flexing beneath her hand. her mind whirs. “hey,” she murmurs. “lucifer?”

“go away, ’tective,” he whispers, voice cracking. “gonna hurt.”

“i’m not going to hurt you, lucifer,” chloe promises, victim-relations training kicking in. he’s in shock, somehow, his every breath rattling in his chest. “can you open your eyes for me?”

he shakes his head, tensing further away from her calming hand. “i’m gonna hurt you.”

“you’re not going to hurt me, either,” she says gently. “lucifer, i need you to take a really big breath for me. can you come over to the couch?”

another head shake. chloe sighs. “right,” she murmurs. “that’s okay. it’s alright, okay?”

“’m gonna hurt you,” he insists, lip wobbling. “you need to leave.”

finally, his eyes blink open, if only to drop a few tears down flushed cheeks. “please, detective,” he whispers, eyes imploring into her own. “please.”

chloe’s breath hitches. “i’m not leaving, lucifer, you’re – you’re sick. and you’re not going to hurt me. i promise.” he opens his mouth, upset, but she touches his face with a gentle sigh. “you don’t have to say anything.”

“i hurt everyone,” he mutters anyway, jerking his face from her hands. “go. please. please, go.”

he turns fully away from her, back shuddering with every breath. there are tiny, inhumane whines emanating from his lips, and chloe’s heart shatters.

“lucifer,” she says softly, lips downturned. “look at me, babe.”

he turns his head at the accidental nickname, not lifting it from where it rests on his knees. tears drip silently down his cheeks, eyes red and swollen. “please, chloe,” he whispers again. “please. let me go. you go. please go.”

he’s not making any sense, still muttering uselessly as she shifts closer, dropping completely to her knees. “lucifer,” she hovers slightly, unsure. “can i touch you?”

“you shouldn’t,” he whispers, sucking his bottom lip in between his teeth.

“okay,” she agrees. “sure. but i want to. is that okay?”

he shrugs, burying his head back in his knees. “don’t care.”

chloe sighs. “okay,” she says. “i’m going to put my arm on your waist, okay? just to try and – just to… i’m here, okay?”

she wraps her arm around him, tugging him gently over until he falls against her shoulder. he’s stiff and tense and so angled that she feels like she’s hugging a bollard, but she holds him as close as she can and tries to emit calmness the way a scent wafts off a freshly baked cake.

“you don’t hurt people, lucifer,” she promises, brushing her fingers over his suit jacket. he shudders against her, breath caught in his chest. “and i don’t know what happened today, but i need you to know… i’m here for you, okay?”

he stays silent, stock still now as he steels his body against inhaling air.

“come on, babe,” chloe murmurs, and he softens slightly at the term of endearment. chloe sags in slight understanding, and tries again. “lucifer, can you take a deep breath for me, babe?”

he nods, choking in a mouthful of air and curling closer into her, his ankle tapping.

“there we go,” chloe smiles slightly, resting her head against his. “you alright?”

she feels him blink, burrowing further into her. “you don’t need to do this.”

“mm, maybe not. i want to.” she tugs him closer, running her hand up and down his arm. “friends are there for each other when it’s hard. i’m… worried about you.”

“you don’t need to be.” he looks up at her, defiant. “i’m fine.”

chloe resists the urge to laugh, eyes sparkling as she takes him in. the devil in her arms looks back up at her, eyes watery, cheeks raw and red. fine, her ass.

“you begged someone to shoot you not four hours ago,” she says instead, smile dropping. “that’s not something a fine person does.”

lucifer slackens, frowning. “i’m not going to go and off myself, if that’s what you’re worried about. you can leave, you won’t have a suspicious suicide on your hands. i’m not stupid, i know you don’t need more work in the form of my death.”

chloe sets her mouth in a line, concerned. “lucifer, i’m not here because i think if you die i’ll have more work to do. i’m here because i don’t want anything to happen to you. because i care about you.”

“well,” lucifer says, blinking, “you shouldn’t. you’ll just get hurt.”

“that’s the stupidest thing i’ve ever heard,” chloe raises her eyebrow, challenging him. “you’re not going to hurt me. shut up and let me help you, okay?”

she expects him to argue, but instead, he sags against her, whimpering slightly. “i’ve lost a lot of people in the last few days, detective,” he whispers. “i really don’t want to lose you too.”

chloe blinks. he’s burrowed himself back into her shoulder, hiding. when she shifts, his hand flies up to clutch her shirt, anchoring himself to her.

“you’re not losing me, babe,” chloe whispers, softening. she makes a mental note to dig deeper later, find out what he means by i’ve lost a lot of people, but for now, she simply holds him closer and murmurs “don’t let me lose you, either, okay?”

Chapter Text

59. “Wow.”

married, dan!” her voice cracks, tone jumping higher on the end of her sentence as she buries her face in her palms. “he got married.”

he got married.

all of the sudden, she wants dan out of there. she’s been on the verge of tears for two weeks straight now, only the slightest trigger needed to cue a downfall of salty droplets. to her dismay, she feels it again now – the tell-tale sting behind tired, sore eyes.

“i’m sorry, chlo,” dan sighs, running his hand through his hair. “the dude confuses me at the best of times, but i really have no clue what went through his head this time.”

“it’s fine,” chloe whispers, desperate to be alone. “it’s fine, i promise. i just – can you give me a moment?”

dan gives her a pity-filled smile, nodding silently as he slinks back out the door. “give me a call if you need anything, okay?”

she nods, foot tapping as he shuts the door behind him. as soon as it thuds to a close, she breathes out a shaky breath, the tears she’d been hiding so forcefully now sliding freely down her cheeks.

married.

0o0o0

“dude,” dan groans, shooting lucifer a glare. “what the hell?”

lucifer looks up from where he’s watching candy giggle at the figurine on dan’s desk. “hmm?”

“chloe,” dan huffs, slamming a coffee down. “listen, man, i know you have your ways, but… you really fucked up.”

lucifer’s face splits into a horrified frown, and he storms wordlessly past dan towards the door he’s just closed on chloe. ignoring dan’s protests, he pushes through the door, eyes landing on chloe’s seat in the corner of the spare room.

“detective,” he starts, huffing in annoyance. “not that i usually take daniel’s words to heart, but he’s especially wrong this time. he seems to think i have – and i quote – fucked up.”

chloe stays silent, the only sound emerging from her being a… a sniffle?

“detective,” he cocks his head, questioning. “have i fucked up?”

chloe keeps her head ducked, swearing internally as she tries to telepathically move her tears back up her face and into her eyes. it fails.

“go away, lucifer.”

“oh, so i have fucked up,” he muses, stepping further into the room and shutting the door behind him. “care to tell me what i did?”

seriously?” she looks up finally, swiping angrily at her eyes. “get out.”

“detective –”

“no, get out.” she glares at him, growling when tears continue to fall despite her best efforts. “i’m serious, lucifer. get out. i have nothing to say to you.”

“i don’t understand,” he frowns, eyebrows wrinkling. “what did i –”

“i almost died, lucifer!” she snaps, hands curling into fists beside her waist. “i almost died, and instead of acting rationally, you went off and – and got married!

“i did what i had to do,” he pleads, eyes widening. “detective, i –”

i almost died!”

“and you think i don’t know that?” he roars, stamping forward until he’s up close and in front of her. “i know you almost died. it bloody terrified me!”

chloe stills, trembling slightly as she trains her eyes on the floor. they sweep over his shoes, so clean, so shiny. she rests them on a crack in the department floor. “it scared you?”

her voice wavers, tears obviously stuck in her throat. “it has no right to scare you.”

“excuse you?” he stamps his foot, forcing chloe’s eyes further up his body. she trains them on his lapel, desperate not to meet his eyes. “it had every right to scare me. i went to hell for you, and even then, i still –”

he drops off suddenly, taking a careful step backwards. “it doesn’t matter. i’m – i’m glad you’re okay, and i am grateful to be back at work.”

“you still what, lucifer?” chloe presses, voice tight with barely held-back tears. “still what?”

“nothing, detective,” he bites, breathing angrily through his nose. “forget i said anything.”

wow, lucifer,” chloe spits, clenching her jaw so tightly a muscle twitches in her cheek. “wow. see, this is what you don’t get to do. you don’t get to kiss me and then run off and get married and then come back and lie to me!”

“i don’t lie, detective!” he blows an angry breath through his lips, swallowing harshly.

“well you’re not telling the truth!” chloe gives up trying to stem her tears, sobbing stupidly as she glares up at him. “you went to hell and you still what?”

“i still lost you!” he turns with a bang, hands flying into his hair anxiously as he makes a sad, petulant sound. “i did everything i could because i thought this was real and somehow i still managed to lose you!”

“you lost me because you got married, lucifer!” chloe huffs, indignant. “what did you think would happen? you’d go off and marry candy and then come back and we could all be one happy threesome? you left me for three weeks, and i was terrified that something had happened to you because you’re right! i also thought this was real!”

“well, it’s not,” lucifer yells, and then his voice drops, shoulders falling. “it’s not.”

chloe stares at him, blinking against even more tears that threaten to fall down her cheeks. “what do you mean, it’s not?”

“it’s all a bloody manipulation,” lucifer whispers, dropping to his knees against the wall. “it doesn’t matter. none of it matters.”

“it matters to me, lucifer,” she presses. “do you have any idea how much you hurt me?”

lucifer’s breath falls out of him all at once, his chest slumping. “i understand, detective. but i need you to know… that was never my intention.”

“it doesn’t matter what your intention was, lucifer,” chloe sighs, sagging. “it just matters that you hurt me. a lot.”

“i didn’t want to,” he promises, pleading with her to believe him. “please, detective. chloe. i didn’t want to.”

chloe exhales shakily, leaning back in her chair. “lucifer, you don’t get to –”

“i know,” he whispers. “i know i have no right. i don’t blame you for – for anything. just… please know that i really tried to do what i thought was right.”

“i’m sure you did,” she sighs, running the back of her hand over her cheek. “i don’t doubt that one bit. i just… i don’t understand. any of it.”

“i don’t expect you to,” lucifer breathes. “one day, maybe. but today… today is not that day.”

he stands suddenly, surprising her. “i really am sorry for hurting you, detective,” he whispers. “i hope you’ll be able to forgive me.”

chloe gives him a tiny smile, eyes sparkling. “maybe,” she considers. “maybe i will.”

of course i will, she thinks. i already have.

Chapter Text

60. “Happy birthday.”

the first thing chloe hears on the morning of her forty-second birthday is giggling.

at first, she thinks it’s only one tiny, high voice, little giggles stifled by a probably much bigger hand.

but as she lays there, eyes still closed, basking in the warmth of the sun and the pleasurable knowledge that it’s a saturday - and hence she does not have to get up for work – she realises that there’s more than one tenor making up the cacophony of laughter emenating from outside her door.

“shh – shh,” a much deeper voice hushes the higher ones, laughter evident in his voice also. “we can’t wake mummy. we’re letting her sleep.

“mommy seep!” her youngest’s voice echoes shrilly around the room, spiralling through towards chloe’s ears despite the wooden door between them.

“yes, well, she was,” her husband groans. “will you keep your tiny mouth shut? we’re trying to keep mummy asleep.”

rory giggles again, and chloe smiles lazily as she blinks her eyes open.

just in time, because trixie opens the door and steps in. she’s carrying a steaming mug of coffee, tailed by lucifer, who’s wrangling a squirming rory in one arm and a huge tray of breakfast in the other.

“good morning, love,” lucifer sighs, setting his daughter on the bed. rory squeals, bouncing happily. “sorry about the early hour. someone wouldn’t stay quiet.” he pokes rory, who giggles again, crawling haphazardly up towards her mother.

“mommy!”

“good morning, baby girl,” chloe grins, shuffling upwards until she’s resting against the headboard. she pulls rory into her lap, pressing a sloppy kiss to her curly head that makes her laugh.

“good morning, mom,” trixie grins, passing chloe the coffee. “here.”

“thank you, monkey,” chloe takes it gratefully, eyes sparkling. “good morning to you too.”

rory’s sick of her immediately, wriggling out of her grasp and flopping towards her older sister with a tiny chuckle. “tix!”

chloe watches trixie pick her up with a smile, turning to her husband. “good morning, babe.”

“good morning, love,” he smiles, setting the tray on the bedside table and leaning down to peck her lips quickly. “happy birthday.”

“thank you,” chloe’s lips tilt upwards in a warm smile, neck craning to chase his lips into another kiss. “and thank you.” she gestures to the gently steaming board of food next to them. “this is crazy. you’re the best.”

“da best,” rory nods, agreeing, before she reaches grabby hands back towards her father, giggling when he hoists her up. lucifer holds her with one hand, resting her against his hip, and bumps chloe’s arm with his own to shuffle her further across the bed. once he’s satisfied, he slides onto the bed next to her, shoulder to shoulder, and settles their squirming toddler in his lap.

trixie shuffles until she’s leant against chloe’s other side and leans cheekily over to steal some coffee from her mother’s mug, giggling as chloe pulls it from her reach. lucifer tugs the breakfast board over, sets it over their laps.

rory’s tiny hands reach immediately for the cherries, her fingers instantly stained a red that has chloe worrying about the pale sage duvet cover currently wrapped around her stomach.

“mama, cherries,” rory grins, teeth painted a dark red and juice running down her chin. lucifer reaches out to wipe it with his thumb, stealing a raspberry-white-chocolate muffin that he unwraps with a grin.

“well, lieutenant,” he murmurs, smiling gently at her. “your pick. any preference?”

chloe surveys the board, eyeing something in the very centre, her gaze softening. “lucifer…”

“trixie taught me,” he says shyly, shrugging slightly. “are they… okay?”

chloe’s eyes fall back down to the plate in front of her, toying slightly at the egg sandwich in her hand. “they’re perfect, lucifer, thank you.”

“of course,” lucifer starts to say, but rory’s eyes light up and she pitches toward her mother with an excited squeal.

“mommy, SAN-WISH!”

trixie catches chloe’s wayward mug with a grunt, and then rory’s scrambling into chloe’s lap and stealing the sandwich right from her hands.

lucifer, eyes wide, stares at her. “excuse you, urchin –”

“s’nwish,” rory mumbles, mouth wide around her bite. “’ummy.”

chloe’s eyes flick from her husband, to her daughter, and back to lucifer before she erupts into giggles. rory looks up at her, eyes sparkling, before she too giggles cheekily. “mommy sanwish?”

“thanks, baby,” chloe grins, stealing a bit from the sandwich that now resides in rory’s tight fist. “yum.”

“dada made,” rory informs her. “ummy.”

rolling his eyes, lucifer steals the other half of the sandwich and tears it in half, handing a bit to trixie. “everything i make is yummy, aurora. don’t you forget it.”

“dada chef?”

lucifer’s chest puffs outwards with pride, and chloe shares a sparkling smile with trixie. “i’ve founded multiple michelin star restaurants, rory,” he says proudly. “we’re going to one for mummy’s birthday tonight, actually.”

“michen stass,” rory nods wisely, swallowing her huge bite and then grinning up at chloe. “pesents now?”

“yes, yes, child,” lucifer groans, rolling his head dramatically to rest against chloe’s. “ask your sister to take you to go get the presents. daddy’s tired.”

trixie carries rory out with a chuckle, and their footsteps echo down the stairs as they  stomp lower. lucifer huffs out a tired breath, turning his head into chloe’s shoulder. “i miss being able to sleep in.”

chloe smiles, scratching gently at his curls. “you’re a good dad. and a brilliant husband.” she picks up a raspberry, popping it into her mouth before grabbing another. “thank you for this. really.”

“of course,” he mumbles, burying further into her. “what if my gift to you is a solid night’s sleep?”

“oh, it would be greatly appreciated,” chloe grins, turning her head to press her lips against his forehead. “she’s worth it, though. they both are.”

“that they are, chloe,” he murmurs, eyes drooping closed. “and believe me, i mean that, because our kid woke me up at five thirty in the morning to try and convince me to make you a cake.”

chloe perks up, giggling. “and did you?”

“of course,” lucifer grumbles, as if it’s not even a question. “have you seen her puppy dog eyes? could rival mine.”

“oh, they do,” chloe nods, curling closer into him. “and put them with trixie’s…”

“i did,” he huffs. “she wanted to help decorate. the sun hadn’t even come up yet!”

“well,” chloe smiles, eyes closed. “i’m sure i’ll love it either way. thank you, lucifer. for sacrificing your beauty street, and…”

she gestures vaguely around them, and he snuffles, understanding. chloe settles back against him, sighing contentedly. trixie and rory rush back in after a few moments, but chloe hardly pays attention to their whispered bickering in lieu of her real present – them.

because they could buy her anything, but everything would pale in comparison that she simply gets to spend her day eating sandwiches and spending time with her favourite people, her family.

Chapter Text

61. “I’ll pick it up after work.”

“just go home, lucifer,” chloe snaps, burying her face in her hands. her elbows rest on her desk, back slouched in defeat. “jesus. please go home.”

“but –” he stutters, anxious fingers finding their way to his cufflinks. “the evidence…”

“i’ll pick it up after work,” chloe says flippantly. she bites her lip, frustrated, and turns to glare at him again. “seriously. it’s fine. i’ve – i’ve got it under control.”

she doesn’t look like she’s got it under control, he thinks. she’s fussing with some papers, eyes boring into the words written atop them without taking a single note in. if only he could just help

“lucifer,” chloe says, warning clear in her voice. “go. home.”

she’s mad.

why is she mad?

“are you sure, detective?” he asks, cocking his head. “i’m quite happy to help –”

“no, thank you,” chloe says curtly. “you’ve helped enough. go home. i’ll see you tonight.”

the dismissal is evident, but he lingers anyway, teeth worrying at his lips. “chloe –”

“goodbye, lucifer,” she groans, head dropping with a thud to the stack of paperwork on her desk. he falters for a second, hands dropping.

“bye,” he mumbles, voice small. he stands for a moment longer, willing her to look up, to say something, but she remains entranced by her papers, and after a long minute he trails off towards the convertible.

he sits inside the lush interior for a long time before he even manages to put the keys in, mind rumbling as he replays the events of the day.

why is she mad?

yes, he’d lost some relatively important evidence during an off-the-books attempt at unveiling their killer. but they’d found it again, so what was the big deal?

he’d only been trying to help.

but chloe had seemed so mad at him. usually she just rolled her eyes and ignored her antics, but today it had seemed as if he couldn’t do anything right. she hadn’t smiled when he brought her coffee, hadn’t laughed under her breath at his inappropriate quips. he’d even tried to help with some of the paperwork to make up for the evidence thing, but instead of lessening her workload, she’d simply sighed very heavily and shoved the whole pile to the side.

as he reverses out of the car spot, lucifer considers calling her. maybe if he could just explain, everything would be okay? surely she’d understand.

but she was so mad.

it’s a miracle that he even makes it back to her – their – apartment. by the time he pulls into the driveway, he’s shaking slightly, shutting the car off with a strained breath and locking the doors behind him. the keys rattle in his trembling hands as he searches for the one that will unlock the house, and it’s with a grateful exhale that he finally makes it inside.

the relief lasts only seconds, because once he’s in there, he freezes.

it’s barely three in the afternoon. trixie has basketball after school, and she’s with dan tonight anyway, so there’s nothing for him to worry about there. there are clothes folded neatly on the rim of the couch, no obvious chores in sight, and lucifer is lost.

his eyes flick anxiously to the kitchen, wondering if he needs food, or alcohol, or both. they land on a stray cookbook, brought back with him from a trip to paris a few decades ago, and the fog in his mind clears slightly with an idea.

dinner, he thinks. she can’t stay mad if he makes her a really nice dinner.

flicking the book open, his eyes are drawn to a cauliflower and beetroot salad. it’s topped with a crumbly feta, chloe’s favourite, and he takes a steadying breath as he rustles through the fridge for the ingredients.

the predictable steps of the recipe placate him for a while, almost (but not really) fleeing the thought of chloe’s unpredictable anger from his mind as he follows each instruction numbly. there’s a close call with his finger and one of his sharp japanese cooking knives, but he salvages the piece of beetroot with a huff and returns to the fridge to find some balsamic.

the bottle they own is crusted with an unsightly black-brown rim, and only pours about half of the amount called for in his recipe. sighing, lucifer pours it down the drain, pulling his phone from his back pocket to call chloe.

“hello, love,” he starts, still chopping. “can you grab some balsamic on your way home, please? we seem to –”

he stops suddenly, listening.

and then the knife clutters from his hand, falling to the chopping board below and slicing a sliver of skin off his thumb as it goes.

lucifer hardly notices.

“chloe?”

the only answer is the resounding beep, beep, beep of her message bank.

0o0o0

“lucifer?” chloe calls, dropping her bags at the door and stepping into the quiet house. when he doesn’t answer, she steps further. “babe?”

the kitchen holds the remnants of a half-prepared dish, beetroot wilting on the counter. she shoves a fly-cover over the raw vegetables, calling up the stairs. “lucifer? i got your balsamic. do you need anything else done for dinner?”

still, she’s met with silence.

and if there’s one thing chloe’s learned through dating the devil, it’s that silence and lucifer is never a good sign.

she kicks her shoes off at the bottom of the stairs and starts to climb experimentally, ears pricked, trained after so many years to detect sounds in the thickest of silences.

but… nothing.

she’s met with absolutely nothing, until she walks into their bedroom, which is… a bombsite?

“lucifer?” she asks, prodding a stray sock in confusion. “what’s going on here?”

their clothes are spread haphazardly across the bed, a suitcase half-packed with scrunched up shirts. there are clothes thrown all over the floor, the picture from their bedside table tucked in under one of his socks. chloe surveys the mess, eyes trailing around the room for a moment before they land a familiar soft, glowing white.

she follows the feather until she finds him, wrapped up amongst his wings on the floor of their walk-in robe. he has a bottle of her perfume clenched in his hand, one of maze’s blades in the other. there are angry, red scratch marks littered across his face and arms, his entire body trembling.

“lucifer,” she breathes, falling to a crouch next to him. “what happened, baby? who did this to you?”

“don’t want to,” he mutters, words lost amongst white feathers. “don’t want to, please.”

“what don’t you want to do, babe?” chloe murmurs, reaching an experimental hand out to stroke the top of his wing. the feathers stiffen at her touch, and she pulls her hand away immediately. “lucifer?”

“please,” he whispers again. “i want to stay. i’ll be good.”

chloe blinks, lost for words. “where are you going?”

he ignores her, rocking slightly as his hand clenches tighter around her perfume. “want to stay,” he mumbles. “don’t want to go. please, don’t make me go. i’ll be good, promise.”

“nobody’s making you go anywhere, baby,” chloe promises, sitting back on her heels. “lucifer, what’s –”

“not making me go?” an anxious, red-rimmed eye peeks up at her from amongst brilliant white. “not casting me out?”

“what?” chloe frowns. “of course not. what are you –”

“you were mad,” his lip trembles. “i thought…” his eye traces a line, from her to the knife in his hand to his wings, shoulders shrugging.

and just like that, the pieces click.

“oh, lucifer,” chloe breathes, her breath catching. she reaches over, tugging the knife carefully from his grasp. the perfume is harder to get him to surrender, fingers wrapped tight around the neck of the bottle, but she unpeels them one by one and places it gently on the floor beside them. “baby, can i touch you?”

his wings life in a shrug, but then stretch hesitantly out to prod at her hand with a single feather until she can crawl beneath them and fold him into her arms. he relaxes as soon as she’s holding him, wings draping tiredly over her back.

“i’m not going anywhere,” chloe whispers, lips brushing the faint wrinkles near the crease of his eyeline. “and neither are you.”

“b-but…” his breath falters, sad, scared eyes turning upward to meet her own. “you were mad.”

“i was frustrated,” she corrects, carding her fingers gently through his curls. he presses upward into her touch, starved. “it’s been a long week and a shitty case and i’m exhausted, but i shouldn’t have taken it out on you. but either way, my being frustrated doesn’t equate to wanting you to leave, let alone casting you out.”

“you wanted me to leave the precinct,” he argues weakly, too desperate to remain in her arms to properly form a rebuttal. “said get out.”

“i know my limits, and i didn’t want to end up taking it out on you even more so,” chloe shrugs, shaking her head slightly. “a mistake, on my behalf. i should’ve explained why i was mad.”

lucifer sags, curling his wings tighter around her. “you’re not mad at me?”

“no, sweetheart,” chloe sighs, holding his temple to her lips. “not at all.”

“and i can stay?”

“lucifer, you can always stay. this is our home. you are my home.” she resumes raking her fingers through his curls, pressing gentle kisses to his head. “i’m not your father. i’m never going to want you to go. even if i was mad, we could talk about it, figure it out. there’s no need to – to pack your stuff, and…”

lucifer shrugs, ducking his head. “you said out…”

“i know,” chloe sighs, regret stirring in her gut. “and next time i’ll be more careful with my choice of words. i don’t want you to get out, not ever. i love you.”

finally, he relaxes completely, resting his head on her shoulder. “love you,” he murmurs, eyes fluttering closed. “promise i can stay? hurts to cut off my wings.”

heart wrenching, chloe slides maze’s blade further under the cabinet, out of his view. “nobody’s cutting off anything. you’re staying right here, where you belong. home. with me.”

“home,” lucifer nods, wing tightening around her. his hand finds hers, tangling them together in his lap as he rubs the pad of his thumb over her knuckles. he brings them up to his lips, considering. “i made you a salad.” he pauses. “well, half a salad.”

“do you want to finish it?” chloe asks, head tilting to lean against his. “together?”

“in a minute,” lucifer mumbles, not at all interested in moving from his spot. for a devil who had thought, literal minutes ago, that he’d never see his girlfriend again, he’s quite content to remain in her arms for a while longer. “stay here for a moment.”

“i’ll stay forever,” chloe promises, lips brushing his hairline. “that’s it, babe. you and me. forever.”  

Chapter Text

62. “It can wait until tomorrow.”

she should get up.

she knows she should get up.

there’s dinner to make, and case files to review, and a batch of cookies cooling on the counter she definitely needs to put in a container before they go bad. she has more work to do than she can even begin to imagine, and trixie will be back tomorrow and there’s almost nothing for school lunches.

she should get up.

almost as if he can read her mind, her boyfriend’s arm tightens around her waist, a sleepy huff tumbling from his lips. chloe stills, hoping not to wake him, and waits tentatively for him to settle back down beneath her.

lucifer hasn’t slept for nights, haunted by incessant nightmares that refuse to leave him in peace. it seems as though mere seconds have passed once he finally falls asleep that he’s suddenly right back down in hell, breath torn from his chest and the tall, blackened towers pressing in on him until he jerks back to wakefulness. on good nights, it takes her an hour to coax him back to bed. on bad ones, he remains awake and jittery until dawn.

lately, it seems as though there’s been more bad than good.

so, granted with the rare opportunity of a quiet afternoon at the precinct, chloe had taken advantage of their lack of work and signed them out early, tugging his tired body towards her car and driving them home just after lunch.

she’d tempted him to bed with the promise of a bones binge, smiling as his face lit up, childish in its exhaustion. much as she’d hoped, lucifer had made it through barely ten minutes of an episode before his eyes had slipped closed, too tired to stay open much longer.

that had been two hours ago. chloe’s not ashamed to admit she’d also taken a nap – the nights without sleep hadn’t gone without affecting her, too – but now she was awake, and it was time to start dinner, and she really should get up.

hesitantly, she attempts to untangle lucifer’s fingers from her own. she makes it about two fingers through when he stiffens, clutching her hand tighter as she freezes too.

he relaxes again with a tired sigh, thankfully staying asleep. chloe tries again, lifting his wrist by the cuff of his shirt, trying to set his arm down over a pillow rather than her body. beneath her, lucifer shudders unhappily, and she lets his hand drop limply to cover her body again with a tired sigh.

maybe if she just gets up, he’ll settle again around the many pillows they have piled up around them…

game face on, chloe tears her entire body away from lucifer’s, attempting to unwrap her limbs from his.

emphasis on attempting.

no sooner has she tugged her hand from his does he let out a truly grumpy whine, arm snapping out to pull her straight back against him and wrapping her up tighter than he’d held her before.

chloe exhales, sagging. so much for that.

“what are you doing?” lucifer groans, burying his face in the top of her head with an irritated grumble. “stay here.”

“i need to make dinner,” chloe says weakly, turning her face to look at him. his hair is ruffled, eyes blinking groggily down at her. she watches as he reaches a hand up to rub childishly at his face, sleep ravaging his features.

“noooo…” he frowns at her, squinting against the slowly setting light of the sun. “’m not hungry.”

“you still need to eat,” she argues, but her head falls to his shoulder again, hand clutched tight in his own again. “c’mon, lucifer. you can stay here.”

“but i don’t want to stay here,” he grumbles, butting his nose stubbornly into her head.

“then come help me with dinner?”

lucifer pouts. “don’t wanna get up.”

“so you don’t want to get up, but you don’t want to stay here?”

lucifer groans again, long and dramatic. “i wanna stay here but only with you.”

“needy,” chloe teases, grinning. lucifer huffs.

they lay in silence for a second, the only sound their gentle breaths. lucifer keeps his iron-clad hold on her, as if he’s scared she’ll try to escape the minute he lets go.

“i have work to do, baby,” chloe tries again, shuffling in his arms. they tighten around her, their owner huffing another sigh.

“it can wait until tomorrow.”

chloe smiles, amused. “and dinner?”

“can also wait til tomorrow.”

“lucifer, babe, we need to eat.”

“no, we don’t,” he mumbles, eyes closing again. “we can order in.”

“it’s not healthy or economically wise to order in every night.” chloe shifts in his arms, turning to look at him. “i’m serious, babe. we need to get up.”

“no we don’t,” lucifer pouts, brow wrinkling as he glares at her. “you’re just being mean.”

chloe bites back a smile, running her fingers through her devil’s curls. “someone woke up grumpy, huh?”

“not grumpy,” lucifer grumbles, eyes furrowed in a way that is decidedly very grumpy. “you just don’t wanna stay and cuddle with me.”

just-woke-up-lucifer has always been one of chloe’s favourite lucifers. like this, still pulling tentatively at the very last remnants of sleep, he’s raw. more vulnerable. innocent.

she doesn’t get to see him like this, often. usually this version of himself is shrouded in alcohol and innuendoes and posh british quips.

and it’s this thought that makes her sigh, settling back into his grasp, and press a kiss to his knuckles. “i always want to stay and cuddle with you, baby,” she murmurs, lips grazing his palm. “you’re my favourite.”

as if a switch has been flicked, lucifer brightens, cocking his head with a cheeky grin as he looks down at her. “we don’t have to get up?”

chloe shakes her head, rearranging herself so she can tangle her fingers in the curls at the nape of his neck. her hand slung across his chest, she traces patterns across his shoulder. “we can stay. for now.”

“forever,” lucifer says decisively, beaming at her. he blinks for a moment, tired, and then buries his head in the gap between her neck and her shoulder, relaxing almost immediately. “chloe,” he says seriously. “this is my favourite place to be.”

“right there?” she smiles, amused.

“mhm.” lucifer sags against her, boneless and lax. “exactly here.”

chloe just smiles, her hand playing gently with his curls as she strokes long lines over his back, wondering if maybe he’ll fall back asleep. he hums happily, blinking tiredly against her neck, and tightens his grip on her.

“i’m not going anywhere, lucifer,” she laughs, rubbing his back. “believe it or not, this is my favourite place to be, too.”

Chapter Text

63. “Cross my heart and hope to die.”

she asks it into the silence that sits, stifling, between them in the front seat of her cruiser, parked incognito on the side of a small, dark street.

there’s a lot of that nowadays – silence, that is. it feels as though every moment that was once filled with laughter, joy, happiness… it’s now overtaken by a heavy blanket of pure, suffocating silence.

it’s not like they didn’t have silences before. lucifer loves to talk, but even he gets tired on ten or twelve hour stakeouts. there had definitely been quiet times, often at about three am when their suspect was showing no signs of surfacing and the only sound in the night was his fingers, tearing open a new packet of cool ranch puffs.

but those silences, they’d been comfortable. he had been able to relax, not a single hair standing on the back of his neck. he’d felt safe, and happy, and secure in the fact that if he wanted to break said silence, whether it be a joke or a comment or a jab at dan, he was more than welcome to. he’d known, once, that if he was to speak, that she’d answer without a doubt. that she’d care.

he's not so sure, now.

lucifer’s never liked silence. when he’d first fallen, he’d had years and years of it, burning in hell with nothing but his own pained gasps and racing, regretful thoughts. even once he begun commanding the underworld, it was still too quiet, the tortured cries blending into a monotonous drone that bled into the background.

it's that type of silence that he fears. the one where he’s left to his own mind, trapped in a constant cycle of regret and disgust. the one where he dares not break it, lest it hurt more.

the one like now.

he’s been sitting, stock still, every single hair over his body raised in preparation for danger. he hasn’t even dared to open the packet of cool ranch puffs chloe had brought, sitting tantalisingly on the dashboard, the yellow lettering seemingly taunting him. he does not want to be the one to unsettle the stiff silence resting tangibly on the console between them.

“have you really forgiven me?”

he goes to turn instinctively to her side, second guesses himself, and remains facing forward. “pardon?”

“for everything,” chloe pushes, knowing full well he’d heard her. “you’ve forgiven me.”

“there wasn’t anything to forgive, detective,” he says stiffly. it’s the truth, but he knows she won’t accept it. “but yes. i have.”

chloe sits for a moment, contemplating. when she next speaks, he can feel her eyes on him. “promise?”

lucifer sighs, tired. “what’s that silly expression you humans are so fond of?” he asks, exhaling shakily. “cross my heart… and hope to die?”

chloe blows a breath through her nose. lucifer wonders if he could classify it as a laugh.

he misses making her laugh.

“or, hope not to die, i suppose might be more fitting here,” he quips. it’s risky, teetering almost too close to the line between whatever they are now and friends again. “cross my heart and hope not to die, i’ve forgiven you.”

chloe’s silent for so long that he turns, finally, to look at her. her chin is turned rigidly in his direction, jutting out from the shadows that douse her car. the angle, so harsh and jarring, is a cruel juxtaposition to her normal warmth, yet another reminder that things have gone so wrong.

“i apologise, detective,” he says, her eyes decidedly unreadable. “that was unnecessary. i –”

“you don’t have to do that, you know?” she blurts, and then casts her eyes downwards as if she’s ashamed. lucifer waits for her to continue, blinking when it appears she’s finished speaking.

“do what?”

“hide,” chloe mutters, stealing a glance back up at him before jerking her gaze back down to her thighs. her fingers fiddle anxiously with a thread in her pants before giving up and falling helplessly into her lap. “you always hide behind those little jokes, and – and you don’t have to.”

“i don’t –”

“you do,” chloe says firmly, but then she softens again, still not meeting his eyes. “i hurt you, lucifer. it’s okay to admit that.”

“you did,” he agrees, shrugging. “very much so. but i don’t lie, detective. i hold no blame on your behalf.”

something about his statement sends her gaze straight back up to his face, eyes boring into his own. “do you blame yourself?”

lucifer stiffens, tearing his eyes from hers. “i should have controlled myself. and i certainly should have given you more time, and –”

her hand darts out, covering his reverently. she’s squeezing tight before she realises what she’s doing, tears forming in stormy blue eyes. “it’s not your fault,” she whispers. “lucifer, please. you did nothing wrong.”

he pulls his hand from hers, and chloe tries not to focus on the way she can feel her heart shattering in her chest. “neither did you, detective.”

chloe almost growls, resisting the urge to slap the side of his face. “you need to let me admit fault, lucifer! yes, i reacted poorly. yes, i –”

“you reacted the exact way anyone would react when confronted with such a situation,” lucifer interrupts, voice cold. “you were afraid for your – and your spawn’s – safety, so you reacted appropriately.”

he tries not to think about the way his voice crack’s on spawn, and finds himself longing for silence again.

“it may have been appropriate for anyone,” chloe pleads, “but not for me! you’re my best friend, lucifer! my partner! i should’ve – i should’ve –”

horrified, lucifer begins to detect the starting tendrils of his least favourite emotion. guilt clouds chloe’s tone, and he turns back to her with a snap.

her hands are flailing in the air as she tries to explain herself, but he covers them in a millisecond with his own, grounding her. “you are not to feel guilty,” he says, voice low and serious. “you did what was expected of you, partners or not. do not – detective, please do not feel guilty for actions that i caused.”

“how can i not?” chloe whispers, lip trembling as a tear escapes down her cheek. lucifer resists the urge to wipe it away. “i almost killed you, lucifer. i can’t – i don’t know what i would’ve done if you were gone.”

the tears are coming more steadily now, igniting a lost – but never forgotten – instinct in lucifer that screams comfort her. he squeezes her hands, a tiny smile resting on his lips. “well, it’s a good thing i’m still here, then, isn’t it?”

chloe sniffles, eyes lifting as she nods. “i’m sorry, lucifer.”

“i know you are,” he promises, rubbing his thumb over her knuckles. “and i forgive you. i promise.”

chloe nods again, but her lip keeps trembling, and she doesn’t let go of his hands.

lucifer sighs. “detective, please. promise me you’ll try not to feel guilty. please.”

she looks at him, blinking past warm tears. “why?”

“because,” his smile drops, sad. “i will not let you go to hell. especially not on account of my actions.”

chloe’s shoulders sag in understanding, and she nods finally, pulling a hand from his to wipe across her face with another wet sniffle. “promise.”

lucifer relaxes, dropping her hands as if he’s just realised what he’s doing. he goes to place them back in his lap, but chloe freezes next to him, her breath bated.

“what?” he asks, voice gentle. when he turns back, the moonlight glints off the tear tracks on her cheeks, making her glow. “what’s the matter?”

chloe hesitates, wiping the back of her hand over her cheek again. the tears she’s smoothed away are immediately replaced with new ones, and as she looks at him, her heartbeat stutters. “please don’t let me lose you again.”

lucifer blinks, lost for words. “i don’t –”

“i hate doing this without you,” chloe continues, eyes trained on his hands so she doesn’t have to look at his face. “work is so boring without you by my side. i’m grumpy and i’m tired and i’m miserable and i want to go back to normal.”

she’d felt his absence like a missing limb, the ache constantly thudding, as if the empty space on her right side could talk. hell, she’d even missed him during those few weeks in europe, any time not spent in the vatican spent thinking lucifer would really love this.

“i want to go back to normal,” she whispers again, broken. she bites her lip, trying to stop its incessant wobbling, and finally casts her eyes up to his. “please?”

a look she can’t quite describe flashes across lucifer’s face, something storming behind his eyes before he softens immediately, taking her outstretched hand and covering it with his own. “someone quite smart once told me that going ‘back to normal’ often just hurts,” he says gently, but before her face can drop, he continues. “so i suppose we’ll have to make a new normal, hmm?”

chloe doesn’t dare to let the flicker of hope warming in her heart show on her face, teary eyes trained on him.

“what do you think of that, detective?” he asks, and that look flashes through his eyes again, only this time, chloe can name it. protectiveness. he cares about what she thinks. wants to make sure she’s okay. happy. safe.

she can’t believe she ever considered that this man – her partner – might’ve been a monster.

he gazes at her imploringly, and chloe returns the gentle look in his eyes by surging forwards. right before her lips crash into his, she murmurs something, words lost in the gap between their lips – let this be our new normal.

Chapter Text

64. “It’s two sugars, right?”

he’s reaching his hand out to knock when the door suddenly opens outwards, almost sending him toppling backwards down the slippery stairs. “detective!” he exclaims, recovering flawlessly. “i was just –”

“i was just coming to see you,” chloe whispers, a frown crinkling her brow. “what are you doing here?”

“well –” he stops still, caught on her eyes. they’re rimmed in a swollen pink, the salty remnants on tear tracks dried on her cheeks. “are you alright?”

chloe gives him a tiny smile, shrugging one of her shoulders before she steps backwards into her house. “come in?”

lucifer nods immediately, debating whether to shrug his jacket off at the door, or if perhaps they’re not quite comfortable enough around each other yet to call for that kind of domesticity. he decides to keep it on, lest he need to make a hasty escape.

as he steps in behind her, his eyes trace over her body, trained to pick up the tiniest details. it’s been months since he’s seen her so casual, exempt, since pierce, from her late nights and early mornings. and the tears that litter her cheeks? he cannot fathom how long it’s been since she showed him her weaker side.

since she was vulnerable.

ignoring the ugly pull at his heart, he shuts the door behind him and wonders how they’d got to the stage where even a quick drop in between friends had become this stunted, awkward mess. he’s about to make a joke, try to ease the mood, when chloe breathes a barely-stifled sob, the sound loud in the quiet apartment.

she looks up at him, eyes wide, and covers her mouth with her hands, as if the mere skin of her palms could stop the floodgates that seem to have been irreversibly opened. lucifer stands still, staring at her, as she wrestles fiercely with herself. her eyes blink rapidly, hand still plastered over her mouth to suppress the sobs that shake her chest, whole body heaving with the effort of staying put together.

she looks anguished.

“detective,” he whispers, horribly insufficient, and she gazes at him, tears beading stubbornly in her eyes. he wants to say more – she wants him to say more – but he’s lost.

he’s so, so lost.

and so, instead of doing what might be considered normal – instead of doing something doctor linda might recommend – lucifer watches the tears finally spill over, cascading freely down her cheeks and into her hand, and asks, “would you like a cup of tea?”

the sound that breaks from chloe’s lips is half sob, half laugh, and he stiffens in surprise. “what?”

“nothing,” she whispers, voice hopelessly tight with tears, the tiniest hint of a smile on her lips. “it’s just – you’ve never sounded – so british.

lucifer blinks. and then, in a truly despicable role reversal, he stares at her and rolls his eyes.

chloe giggles again, another half sob.

he counts that as a win.

“right,” he fixes himself up, making himself at home behind the counter. he reaches blindly into a cupboard, still achingly familiar with the layout of her kitchen, and tugs a kettle from the corner, plugging it in. his earlier insecurities surrounding domesticity fade to a dull ache, greatly diminished in the face of a sad chloe.

everything is diminished in the face of a sad chloe, lucifer thinks. he’d stop everything and anything he was doing if it meant he could make her feel better.

a tiny voice in the back of his head tries to remind him why he’s here, but he shuts it up, and asks her – “it’s two sugars, right?”

the ghost of a smile that had been resting tentatively on chloe’s lips drops immediately, and she gives him another little sob, lip wobbling precariously, because –

it’s only two sugars when she’s upset.

most of the time, she tries to be healthy. she drinks her tea straight and black and no-nonsense, not wasting time or money on milk or sweetener or anything other than a simple tea bag and hot water. lucifer had once called her tea order boring and rangé, immediately followed up by a comment about how it suited her perfectly.

but when she’s sad? screw no-nonsense. she wants sickly-sweet, something to cheer her up, and there’s no way she’s getting that from plain black tea.

“two sugars, detective?” lucifer asks again, quietly, and she nods, swiping a hand underneath her cheek with a sniffle.

they stand in a gentle silence while the kettle boils, and by the time it finally whistles, chloe’s sort of pulled herself together. well, at least enough to tear the hand from her mouth long enough to take the tea gratefully from lucifer’s outstretched hand.

“there’s chocolate in the cupboard,” she says softly. “if you want?”

lucifer shakes his head. “i’m okay. thank you.”

“are you sure? i have liquor pralines?”

lucifer swallows. they’re his favourite, and he knows for a fact that chloe doesn’t like them, and trixie obviously doesn’t eat them…

which means…

they’re for him.

he takes one, just to be polite, but it hurts his heart and the thought of eating it makes him want to cry. nibbling on the corner, he follows her into the living room, sets his own tea on a coaster, and traces his eyes over her features again.

she cowers beneath his gaze, looking horribly small, and before he can even compute what’s happening, she drops her tea and breaks into tiny, heartbreaking sobs.

“detective,” lucifer gasps, knocking the rest of the mug to the floor before more of the hot liquid can seep through her jeans. “chloe. are you – bloody hell. are you okay?” his hands swipe uselessly at the tea, trying to save her delicate skin from the scalding beverage. “that was hot, it’s going to – to burn –”

“lucifer,” chloe whimpers, her hands shaking as they cover his. “i don’t wanna lose you.”

lucifer stills, hands still resting protectively over her thighs, the liquid that’s soaked into her jeans cooling beneath his palms. “i’m sorry?”

her body trembles beneath his touch, aching for something she simply cannot have. lucifer huffs, more out of fear than anger, but chloe whimpers again anyway.

though it breaks his heart – shatters it, really – he pushes her searching hands away, giving her a sad smile as her face crumples. “you need to get out of those clothes,” he says gently. “we need to check if you’re hurt.”

chloe nods, tears dribbling down her cheeks silently. lucifer’s chest clenches, and he rubs her thigh soothingly before he clicks into action. “clothes off,” he says, voice, for once, bare of any innuendo. “get changed and let me know if there are any serious burns, okay?”

“don’t leave,” chloe whispers, eyes pleading. “you won’t leave?”

“i’m not going anywhere.” he gives her another soft smile, daring to reach out and squeeze her hand for a moment. she looks like she appreciates it.

while she’s changing, lucifer cleans up the rest of the split tea, throwing their mugs in the dishwasher and soaking up the now-cool liquid with a spare tea-towel he’d found in the third drawer. by the time the sofa is only semi-damp, his hands have stopped shaking, and chloe emerges again, soft pyjama pants coating her legs.

“are you alright?” he’s at her side in a second, and she lets him help her back to the couch.

“fine,” she whispers, brushing a hand over her face. she stares at him for a moment, rethinking. “you saved trixie.”

lucifer ducks his head. “really, it was eve –”

her hand is on his knee. “you saved trixie.” she doesn’t let go. “lucifer, i don’t want to lose you. i don’t want you to slip away.”

he meets her eyes again. “i came here instead of going to tiernan’s,” he whispers. she watches a muscle tick in his jaw, watches his adam’s apple bob as he swallows. “detective, i don’t want to slip away either.”

chloe looks at him for a long, long moment. there are tears clinging to her lashes, damp patches on both her cheeks, dark circles under her eyes. her hair is shoved into a haphazard bun, ratty t-shirt slipping off one shoulder.

lucifer thinks she’s never looked more beautiful.

“i told you,” she whispers finally. “you’re an angel.”

lucifer shakes his head, sullen. “no,” he says sadly. “i don’t think i am.”

chloe reaches out a shaking hand, using a long finger to tilt his chin towards hers. “you are,” she murmurs. “nobody forced you to come here. you had every right, every motive, every opportunity to go to tiernan’s. but you chose to come here.”

“to see you,” lucifer mutters. “i’m only the angel around you.”

“no, you’re not,” chloe argues gently. “lucifer, you’re good.”

too tired to argue (and wanting to believe her, just a little), he gives her a small smile. “thank you, detective,” he says softly. “i’m glad you think so.”

chloe nods, and lucifer realises her hand is still on his knee. swallowing, he gazes at her, contemplating. “you were on your way to see me,” he says, confused. “why?”

her hand stills against the soft material of his slacks, and, without thinking too much, he covers it with his own. “nothing makes sense,” she whispers, eyes falling to their hands. “nothing’s made sense for a long time. except… this. you. you make sense, lucifer.”

he inhales, hand still resting over hers.

“i almost lost my daughter today,” chloe murmurs, heart clenching. “i was coming to make sure i wouldn’t lose you, too.”

“you’re not losing me, detective,” lucifer breathes, and he finally – finally – squeezes her hand. “you’re stuck with me. forever.”

Chapter Text

65. “I’ll help you study.”

lucifer!”

she almost gives birth, right there in the living room. he chuckles lowly, smiling from his perch on the edge of the couch. “hello, love.”

fuck,” chloe grabs her swollen stomach, glaring at him. “you cannot scare a pregnant woman like that. do you want our daughter to be born on a knitted rug?”

lucifer shudders, stepping down lightly and taking her bag with a quick peck to her forehead. “absolutely not. duly noted, chloe, from now on i will announce my visits far in advance.”

“good devil,” chloe grins, poking her tongue out at him as she waddles further into the house, hands working at her tired back. “why are you here?”

it’s not that she doesn’t want him here, it’s just… lately, with the growing physical reminder of their future resting heavily in her belly, his visits seem to bring more sadness than joy.

but he’s grinning goofily at her, and it’s hard to stay sad with a happy, bouncing devil in her living room.

“stop dancing,” chloe rolls her eyes, a smile forming on her lips for the first time all day. “come on, then, make yourself useful. there’s pasta in the fridge, i was just going to heat it up –”

“oh, chloe,” lucifer tuts, his hands replacing hers on her lower back, digging in just right. his mouth finds her ear, hauntingly familiar. “is this what it’s come to? reheated dinners?”

she scoffs, leaning back into his touch. “it’s friday night, babe. i’m not freezing it again.”

“so it’s reheated and defrosted?” his hands pause, and chloe huffs. “darling, might i suggest reconsidering our situation?”

“shut up, lucifer,” she groans, pressing back into her hands. “if you’re so against reheated pasta, you make dinner.”

she feels him light up behind her, hands tickling her sides lightly. “oh, much better,” he grins, sliding out from behind her and rifling through the fridge. “chloe, these ingredients are simply abominable.”

0o0o0

once he’s made her an – admittedly lovely – focaccia and fresh salad, sat down to eat it with her, and cleaned the entire kitchen, he follows her around like a lost puppy.

chloe doesn’t mind. it’s nice to have him back, and she’s missed him, she really has. it’s nice to have the house not so quiet, and to feel his presence at her side again. he gives her kisses and dances her around the living room and it’s nice.

but then he won’t leave her side. other than cleaning the kitchen, he doesn’t stop touching her for over two hours. she sits on the couch; he’s right there, thigh to thigh. she moves to the kitchen, to grab a cup of tea; his hand is on her elbow, guiding her to the kettle.

she loves him, she does. it’s just… she’s very pregnant, and she’s trying to wrap the last few cases up before she goes on maternity leave, and she’s also trying to prep the nursery, and she’s hot, and –

and he’s just very close.

what are you doing?” she asks finally, when he scoots a chair from the dining room table to sit it right by her side. she shuts the laptop in front of her, turning to him with an affectionate – but slightly annoyed – smile.

lucifer grins sheepishly. “nothing.”

chloe pokes him. “you’re very close for someone who’s doing nothing.”

her devil giggles – giggles – and pokes her back. “didn’t you miss me?”

“of course i miss you, baby,” chloe smiles, resting her head on his shoulder. “and i love that you turned up randomly on a friday night, it’s made my entire week. but in case you hadn’t noticed, i’m very fat, very swollen, and very uncomfortable.”

lucifer pouts. “can i help?”

chloe shoots him a gentle smile, shaking her head. “it’s okay. i just need to finish this one thing, and then we can go to bed, okay?”

lucifer nods happily, smiling dopily. “what are you doing?”

chloe groans, shifting over from him and pulling a book from one of the drawers in her desk. “i have to read this before the lieutenant’s exam. it’s – god, it’s boring. it’s written in about size twelve text, and stupid pregnancy brain doesn’t let me concentrate for more than a few pages, and it’s not even good.”

her boyfriend laughs, tugging the thick book from her hands. “i’ll help you study,” he grins, opening it up to a random page. “chapter seven. six hundred and sixty-six reasons the detective (and soon to be lieutenant) should give up studying tonight and come to bed.

chloe snorts, jabbing him with her elbow. “how about this one: chapter nine. no.”

he pouts at her, shutting the book with a snap. “i don’t like this book.”

shaking her head, chloe takes the book back from him and stashes it back under the table. “come on, you,” she smiles, entangling his hand with her own. “i can study when there’s not a cuddly devil to snuggle with.”

“am not cuddly,” lucifer pouts, but he pulls her towards the stairs with a dopey grin. “you’re smart enough. i’m sure you could pass that test tomorrow.”

chloe softens, tugging him up the stairs. she shrugs off her maternity dress, pulling an old shirt of lucifer’s over her head. it sticks slightly on her belly; the buttons close to popping. he slides in behind her again, resting his hands on her stomach. “bed?”

chloe laughs. “teeth, toilet, face first,” she counters, feeling like she’s arguing with a toddler. “then bed.”

lucifer pouts, looking like a toddler, but follows her into the bathroom obediently anyway. his hand plays with her spare one as they brush their teeth, and once she’s spat, he runs an old brush through her knotty curls, squirting a little bit of oil onto his hands to run through the ends. he takes a glob of body butter that she offers him and lifts her shirt up carefully, gently spreading the moisturiser over her swollen stomach, the soft skin gurgling beneath his touch.

“lucifer,” chloe breathes, once he’s taken his hands off to wash them in the sink. “put your hands back.”

he frowns at her in the mirror, but obeys, hands planted firmly over her stomach as his arms curl around her from behind. chloe waits a second, grinning at him, before there’s a dull thud in her lower stomach, rory’s little foot kicking out into lucifer’s hand.

she watches his face in the mirror, smiling as his eyes widen.

“do it again.”

“it wasn’t me, baby,” chloe laughs. “it was her.”

if possible, they grow wider. he locks eyes with her in the mirror before dropping to his knees on the floor, pressing his cheek to her bare stomach. his lips graze her navel, nose tickling it slightly, before he whispers into her skin. “hi, little aurora.”

chloe’s heart melts, and she cards her hand through his curls with a smile. “she says –” she’s interrupted by a sharp kick, just left of lucifer’s lips. “she says hi.”

lucifer grins, large and free. “hi, rory,” he whispers again, awestruck. “i love you.”

another kick pummels chloe’s uterus, and she groans. “i know it’s exciting that daddy’s here, monkey,” she winces. “but maybe tone down the marshal arts, yeah?”

lucifer chuckles, pressing another kiss to her stomach before he heaves himself up. “time for bed, i think,” he winks at her, hand still on her belly. “rory’s so tired.”

chloe rolls her eyes. “classic,” she huffs. “hype the child up and then step back, i get it.”

“dad’s rite of passage,” he winks again, kissing her temple. “come on, love. bedtime.”

she lets him help her into bed, sighing happily once her tired back hits the soft mattress. with more effort than it should take, she rolls onto her side, propping her head up on her palm. “i love that you’re here,” she murmurs, gazing at him. “but was there any specific reason you came up?”

lucifer scoots closer, initiating contact again. he shifts until he’s laying down next to her, and when he next looks at her, his eyes are glazed with an emotion she can’t exactly name.

his hands drift over her body, hovering as though he doesn’t quite know how to ask for what he wants, so she turns his age-old question on him, and asks –

“lucifer, babe, what do you want?”

he ducks his head with a tiny smile, caught out, and then grins up at her sheepishly. “cuddle?”

chloe sets her lips around the giggle that threatens to break out. “you came up here to – to cuddle?”

“don’t tease,” he glares at her, scrunching his face up. “i missed you.”

chloe laughs, shaking her head before pulling him to her side. “i miss you too, baby. you know, next time, you can just tell me you want a hug?”

lucifer narrows his eyes. “why would i do that?”

“because,” chloe rolls her eyes back at him. “we could’ve been in bed an hour ago, instead of fluffing around doing nothing.”

he looks put out. “well, why didn’t you say so?”

chloe shakes her head, laughing slightly as she presses her lips to his with a grin. “goodnight, lucifer,” she murmurs, breath tickling his chin. “i love you.”

“i love you,” he echoes, humming happily as she slots her back against his chest. his arms wrap around her body to rest gently over her stomach, bulging under the shirt, and rory’s little leg gives another hefty kick, as if she’s asking what about me?

“yes, yes,” lucifer huffs, the words murmured into the back of chloe’s neck. “i love you, rory.”

and right before he falls asleep, he feels a tiny foot nudge his palm gently, an unspoken i love you too.

Chapter Text

66. "Stay over.”

there are different types of cases.

cases that are over quickly, that allow chloe to pick trixie up from school rather than sending her another apologetic sorry, babe, bus tonight text at twenty to four.

cases that take them weeks, following lead after helpless lead, that have them chasing their tails round in circles until they finally break through and solve it, exhausted and diminished.

cases that end well, where they save a second, third, fourth victim, watch the tearful reunions, get to leave work with a smile and an overall feeling of contentedness.

and there are cases that just hurt, where they watch the division guys drag their perp away in strained silence, where the feeling of relief is overshadowed by an exhaustion that droops their shoulders and weighs heavy on their hearts in the paperwork that follows. cases where the leering grin from their convicted killer haunts chloe’s dreams that night, where his whispered words won’t leave her alone. cases where lucifer’s hardly even in his corvette before his hands on the wheel and his feet on the pedals act of their own accordance and trail behind chloe’s little cruiser, following her home.

cases like this one.

he’s so tired that he doesn’t even have the energy to comment on the fact that she’s driving at exactly the speed limit, and couldn’t she speed, just a little? instead, he spends the drive staring numbly at chloe’s license plate and making sure to react in time when her brake lights go red. the twenty minute car ride, for once, is spent in silence, his radio turned off.

the thoughts racing through his mind are loud enough.

he tries, desperately, to name the feeling coursing hot and thick through his veins, thrumming with the very energy that has carried him through the day. it takes a while – it’s not adrenaline, not excitement, and certainly not an illicit drug.

  1. it’s fear.

it’s been a long, long time since lucifer has felt fear. he feared for the safety of the earth during his mother’s blade rampage, sure, and he feared for the urchin’s life back when malcolm had kidnapped her. but this fear tricks him, ripples through his blood and zips across his skin like static on a trampoline, trapping him in the worst possible embrace.

he shudders as he follows chloe’s left-turn, both overly alert and very numb to his surroundings. the fear, more prominent now that his adrenaline has dropped, wraps its tiny fists around his heart, and he clutches the steering wheel tighter as he follows chloe through an amber light.

he wishes he were driving with her. maybe then the fear would quieten. maybe then, his mind would cease its incessant whirring. maybe the world would go quiet.

she always seems to make it go quiet.

or she had, before he’d royally screwed it up. her face, encountered with a sparkly ring and a newlywed partner, haunts his very being with every step he takes. though the marriage is – obviously – off, now, its damage has been done. he doesn’t miss every hurtful flick of chloe’s eyes when he taps his fourth finger absentmindedly against the glass by her desk. he doesn’t miss the way she stiffens when he asks dan for some of his god-awful lollies, adorning a terrible american accent.

he doesn’t miss the way she looks at him. like she knows he put the stars in the sky, and wants him to create more using her love for him. like she can simultaneously read his very being and still, always, want to learn more.

like she sees him.

he parks outside her apartment, following her inside and taking her offered glass of sauvignon blanc (gifted, of course, by him) (he can’t very well have her drinking rosé for the remainder of her life, can he?) he sips at it, polite, and they sit in silence for a moment before he breaks it.

“detective,” he murmurs, but when she looks up, he trails off.

where was he going with that sentence?

chloe cocks her head, waiting, but the fear spikes in lucifer’s heart again and he winces, hurt. across from him, her face grows concerned, but she lets him sit through it.

his mind forms words, spits them out, sucks them back in again and twists them into something entirely different. he struggles to articulate the mess that is his brain, none of the words fitting quite right on his tongue, and eventually shoots her a desperate, searching look.

she takes pity on him, taking the half-full wine glass from his hand and setting it on the table in front of them, replacing it with a tv remote. “choose something,” she says simply, gesturing to the tv.

he nods, flicks it on, lands on a random cop show that he thinks chloe might enjoy, and leans his head back, feeling slightly ill. his mind whirs, thoughts crashing into one another like waves over sand, hardly retreating before the next tide surges forward. he is lost to it, tumbling through the current, and his eyes squeeze shut before he can stop himself.

his chest feels unusually tight, the clenching fear still sitting heavily in his gut as he listens to the mundane drone of the television in the background. it should be soothing, the sounds of normality, but instead it fades into a dull buzz and allows his mind to work overtime, thoughts banging around inside his head.

he tries a linda-approved technique, one she’d recommended for when everything felt too loud and too quiet all at once. starting with his toes, he tenses and untenses them, feeling the muscles flex inside his patent shoes. working his way up his body, he tenses each muscle, trying to restore some calm within his chest. toes. feet. calves. thighs. stomach.

it works, for a bit. until it doesn’t.

all of the sudden, his entire body is tense, and he can’t untense it, and the sudden pang of the stupid fear is all it takes for his heart to jump a mile and his mind to zone out completely from the cop show. he hits the cushion next to him with a clenched fist, squeezing his eyes even tighter as his tensed muscles curl in upon themselves.

“lucifer,” chloe says carefully, and he feels her shift beside him. “are you alright?”

yes, he tries, but the sound that comes out of his mouth is closer to a strangled sob, and he twists his body with a groan. he feels chloe scoot closer, her hand hovering so close to his arm that he can feel the warmth radiating off it.

he wishes she’d touch him.

the fear pounds at him again, and he tries desperately to locate its origin, convinced that if he manages to figure out why it’s here, he can maybe get rid of it. he tugs on the thread in his mind, hoping to unravel it, but it darts tauntingly out of his reach, teasing.

“lucifer,” chloe’s voice comes again, far away. “what’s going on?”

it hurts, he thinks distantly. something hurts.

“’tective,” he mutters, and briefly, he feels her hand drop to his skin, but then he’s gone.

something hurts, the woman says, her arm splattered in a gruesome jackson pollock wannabe across the ground. is something hurt?

chloe’s gagging silently next to him, her own arm wrapped securely around her stomach as her face pales. even lucifer’s gone white, his eyes almost as wide as the woman’s. beside her, another woman weeps silently, heavy sobs choked back as she whispers into the dying girl’s ear.

it's okay, she promises. you’re going to be okay.

she’s not going to be okay. half of her body is minced meat, a crude shade of scarlet sprinkled across the gravel.

her other half shudders with the force of her held-back sobs, her lips closer and closer to the dying woman’s ear as she rattles out her last breaths.

you can go, she promises. i’ll be okay. we’ll still be partners.

partners.

“partners,” lucifer chokes, eyes snapping open as his hand circles protectively around chloe’s wrist. too late, he identifies the cause of the fear, but his head hurts now and his chest hurts and his heart hurts and – and since when was he crying?

chloe’s face folds into a look he’s only ever seen her give trixie, and he hates it, because she shouldn’t be pitying him, she should keep herself safe, and being a cop is so dangerous, and why is she –

“lucifer,” she says gently. “come upstairs with me. come on.”

he shakes his head, fervently, tugging her back down when she tries to stand. “don’t go.”

“you’re coming with me,” she promises. “do you want to stay over?”

he blinks at her, confused, but the fear clutches his heart again and squeezes a sob up his throat and past his lips and chloe makes the decision for him. he lets her pull him up, lets himself be dragged up a flight of stairs and cajoled into a lumpy bed, and then he reaches for her, and she lets him hold her. it's been so long since he’s felt her like this. he doesn’t know what they are, but he doesn’t want to be anything where he doesn’t get to do this ever again. to have her warm, and solid, and safe in his arms –

“don’t leave,” he says again, breath tickling the top of her head. chloe makes a small sound, arms coming up to circle his waist.

“i’m not leaving,” she promises, and he feels her hand come up to trace a careful line down his back. she takes care not to graze his scars, her finger trailing gently right down the middle, and she does it with such reverence that he tugs her tighter, curling a leg between her own.

“it’s okay, lucifer,” she breathes, rubbing a circle lower on his back, below his scars. “i know it was scary. it’s okay.”

it’s not the first case he’s freaked out over. it’s not the first case he’s drawn unnaturally close parallels with. it’s certainly not the first case that has threatened her life.

but each time, it feels like it. he’s never cared for someone – for a human – so deeply in his long, lonely life. he’s slowly discovering the joys of what he’s coming to know as love – he sees it every day in the smile chloe gives him over her morning coffee, or the tight thigh-hugs he gets from the urchin.

but what he hadn’t expected from love is the hurt. the pain. the nightmares that shock him awake, terrified that he didn’t sacrifice himself in front of malcolm quick enough, that uriel took chloe without his interference. he hadn’t thought love was meant to hurt.

as he’s learning, it does. luckily, along with the pain comes a million different instances of pure happiness, and he’d all the hard cases if it meant chloe kept teaching him the good parts of being in love.  

Chapter Text

67. “I did the dishes.”

“the detective is grumpy.”

he says it before he even sits down, flopping onto the comfortable couch with a dramatic groan. across the room, linda shoots him a wan smile.

“what gives you that impression, lucifer?”

he glares at her. what a stupid question.

“she just is.”

are his eyes broken, or did linda’s smile get a little bit wanner?

“did she do anything that made you think she was grumpy? or is she just – have you just decided she’s grumpy?”

lucifer scoffs. another silly question. “obviously i didn’t just decide it, doctor. chloe is – she’s been acting up.”

linda closes her lips around a snort, raising an eyebrow. “acting up?”

lucifer nods, serious. “she didn’t even say goodnight, last night. and she got mad at me and the urchin for putting our dishes on the bench, not in the dishwasher. we were busy, doctor! i had mario kart to win!”

not for the first time, linda admires chloe’s patience. “lucifer, maybe chloe’s tired.”

lucifer’s brow scrunches. “well, she’s certainly getting enough sleep. we haven’t even been having as much –”

“stop right there,” linda coughs. “is there any reason chloe might be more tired than usual? any changes happening?”

lucifer hums, considering this. “we have a new case?”

“okay,” linda nods, pen tapping. “definitely cause for stress. anything else?”

“the case is a big one,” lucifer notes. “i’ve been doing more at lux, since maze is away. oh, and trixie’s starting middle school.”

“that’s quite the change, don’t you think?” linda peers at him over her glasses. “maybe she’s just trying to adjust, lucifer. maybe it’s coming over as grumpiness because she’s trying to deal with all of this inside.”

lucifer shrugs, contemplating. “but that doesn’t mean she should be angry with me and trix because we’re playing mario kart.”

“if chloe’s stressed, she probably wants you to help, lucifer,” linda suggests. “maybe do some chores. clean up a bit. give her a hand, rather than playing games?”

he considers this, then nods quickly and stands up. “thank you, doctor,” he smiles. “you’ve given me the perfect idea.”

0o0o0

“hello, yes, it’s lucifer morningstar speaking.”

chloe rolls over with a muffled groan, squinting at the clock.

“yes, lovely! i’m just ringing to tell you that detective decker won’t be in today. she’s –”

chloe’s ears prick up, frown settling on her face.

“yes, well, she’s – she’s not sick, she’s just – she’s busy.” lucifer’s voice quickens slightly with the bluff, but he recovers smoothly. “yes, yes, she’ll be back after the weekend. yes. only today, that’s right. no, i said she wasn’t sick. okay. perfect, thank you. see you monday!”

fully awake now, chloe rolls over, facing him with a glare. “what was that call about?”

lucifer starts, grinning sheepishly at her. “you’re meant to be asleep.”

“lucifer, it’s eight in the morning! i have to be at work in an hour! trixie’s got school!”

“both of you have the day off,” lucifer explains, hands thrown up placatingly. “i’ve sorted it –”

“lucifer,” chloe groans, wanting to bury her head in her pillow. “trixie needs to go to school. and i’m going to work.” she throws said pillow at him, sighing. “can you wake trix up? i’ll shower quickly, we can still make it.”

she’s halfway out of the bed when he stops her, a hand circling her wrist. “chloe,” he says. “you have the day off. get back in bed.”

his hand finds her chest, ready to nudge her back to bed. he meets her eyes, but to his absolute horror, he finds them filled with tears.

“i need to go to work,” chloe whispers, swiping at her face angrily. “please, just – stop, okay? i need to go to work. trix needs to go to school. we don’t get to take days off just because we feel like it, lucifer!”

taking a steadying breath, lucifer keeps his hand firmly over her heart. “chloe, love, look at yourself.” his hand hovers over her splotchy face, hesitating. more tears drip from her eyes. he lets his thumb drop to her cheek, smoothing the salty tears over her skin. “you’re exhausted. work will be okay if we leave it a day, and trixie had that dad-awful incursion all day anyway. i promise you, darling, i can teach her much better about the safety and laws of drug use.”

chloe tries for another soft glare, her efforts dampened by the sniffle that follows. “we can’t take a day off just because.”

“it’s not just because, love,” lucifer murmurs, drawing her closer still until her cheek rests flush on his chest. “you’re tired. you’re overworking yourself, and you need a rest.”

a sob catches in chloe’s throat, and she presses her face tighter against his dress shirt, taking a shaky breath. “i’m not tired.”

lucifer scoffs gently, resting his chin on the top of her head. his lips find the part of her hairline, murmuring softly into her scalp. “oh, really?”

chloe shakes her head, resolute. “no.”

she feels lucifer smile against her head, and tries to stop the matching expression that spreads across her lips by muffling it in his shirt.

“you’re very grumpy for someone who’s not tired, then,” lucifer says, cheeky grin on his lips as he pulls back to look at her. “or is that just old age getting to you?”

chloe smacks him, falling back into his chest with a sigh. “i’m not grumpy because i’m tired,” she whispers, voice small.

lucifer softens, teasing grin falling from his face as he looks at her, concerned. “no? are you okay?”

chloe shrugs, and then buries her face so tightly into his chest that he has trouble discerning her next words. he tugs her toward the bed, sitting down and pulling her to stand between his legs as he looks up at her. “chloe?”

his detective looks down, picking at her nail. “i’m not tired,” she says again, quiet. “i’m just grumpy because i miss you.”

lucifer raises an eyebrow. “because you what?

chloe shrugs again, gentle. “you’ve been spending so much time at lux, and i’ve been working a lot, and i just – i don’t know. i feel like i don’t see you as much, that’s all.”

lucifer makes a tiny, soft sound, and pulls her to him, curling his arms around her waist and butting his head into her stomach. “why didn’t you say something?”

chloe huffs, folding her fingers through his hair with a sigh that he feels through her stomach. “bit pathetic, don’t you think? i’ve been doing this single mom-working mom thing for twelve years, god forbid i get grumpy over a little less time with my boyfriend.”

“’t’s perfectly normal, i’m irresistible,” lucifer mumbles. he grins up at her, resting his head on her stomach before smiling more genuinely. “next time, just say something, okay? someone else can cover my sets at lux. i’d much prefer to be with you anyway.”

chloe gazes at him, swallowing past a lump in her throat. “really?”

“really, love,” he promises. he leans forward, ducking his head to place a quick kiss on her stomach before working up to capture her lips sweetly. “do you think it would be okay for the three of us to have the day off? together?”

chloe nods, tucking her head into his neck and letting him fold a silky robe over her shoulders. “that sounds amazing.”

he leads her out the door, down the hallway, mumbling grumpily all along. “i thought you were grumpy that the urchin and i weren’t doing our chores,” he complains. “i even did the – bloody hell, i did the dishes, detective! you know my stance on dishes!”

“dishes were made to be dirtied and we should just get new ones each time,” chloe nods, lips tightening around a smile. “i do. thank you, baby.”

lucifer narrows his eyes, surveying the spotless kitchen with a grumble. “does it help, at least?”

“help what?”

“your grumpiness.” he shoots her another tiny grin. “the clean kitchen, it was worth it, right?”

when she doesn’t answer, his eyes widen. “right, chloe?”

“of course it helps, baby,” she chuckles, taking pity on him. “thank you for doing the dishes, and for giving my kitchen the best clean it’s had since it was in a display home. you’re the best.” she pecks his lips, and then smiles up at him. “you know what helps more?”

lucifer cocks his head, a silent what?

“this,” chloe murmurs, tangling her arms around his waist and kissing the bottom of his jaw softly. “i’m just happy to have you here.”

lucifer softens slightly, dropping a kiss to her temple before slanting his lips across hers. he kisses her for a moment, and then pulls back, narrowing his eyes at the sparkling sink.

“next time,” he frowns, resting his cheek on her forehead. “just bloody kiss me, why don’t you? stupid dishes.”

Chapter Text

68. "You didn’t have to ask.”

he had called her just before midnight.

this in itself wasn’t particularly unusual – lucifer was often up at all hours for his club, and he had little to no awareness of chloe’s strict sleep schedule, set precariously in time with trixie’s early school start. there had been so many instances of her new partner giving her an unsuspecting call in the early hours of the morning that chloe had begun to wonder whether lucifer actually slept.

so, no. the late-night call wasn’t abnormal. she’d been just about to go to sleep, scrolling through her phone as she tried to tire her eyes out enough to shut peacefully, when the device buzzed insistently in her hand. with nothing to lose – and maybe, just maybe, his annoying accent would aid in her quest to sleep – she’d answered with a tired hey, lucifer, what’s up?

and then things had gotten weird.

for one, he hadn’t immediately asked her what she was doing. many of their late-night calls began with a poorly veiled innuendo that could – but never would – lead to phone sex. she’d started playing a little game, wondering how far she could string him along with breathy answers and teasing quips before he broke. she’d been excited for tonight’s call, even, little jokes on the tip of her tongue, ready to stretch his patience thin with a cheeky grin.

but then he’d answered in silence, unsteady breaths the only indicator that it wasn’t a pocket dial, and she’d had to whisper lucifer? before he acknowledged that she was even there.

“detective,” he’d said, resolve broken only by the crack in his voice. “would it be okay if – could i possibly come over?”

on a normal night, chloe might’ve answered come over? it’s midnight, you’ll see me in eight hours, but… something was off. so instead, with his rattling breaths echoing through her ear, she’d whispered sure, and now –

now he’s standing in her hallway, and something is definitely wrong.

“hey, lucifer,” she says, voice hardly louder than a breath, because trixie’s sleeping right there. “come in.”

she wants to ask if he’s okay. wants to know why his cheeks are gaunt, eyes flickering with a mixture of rage and betrayal. why a heavy sadness is draped almost visibly over his shoulders.

but it’s lucifer, and if she’s learnt anything in the short time they’ve worked together, it’s that asking him anything than do you want a drink almost guarantees a closed-off devil.

so she chooses the safe option, and asks – “do you want a drink?”

lucifer shakes his head, taking a long breath. chloe thinks about the wall of whiskey in his penthouse, and the almost constant crystal tumbler in his hands, and tries not to worry about the way his hand shakes beside his waist.

“come up stairs,” she murmurs. “trix is sleeping, we can talk up there.”

he stiffens at the word talk, and she tries not to comment on the way he flinches when she places a few gentle fingers on his elbow to lead him upwards.

“chloe,” he says suddenly, the disruption of silence almost as shocking as the use of her first name. “what are we?”

chloe blinks, shutting her bedroom door behind them with a thud and hovering awkwardly a few steps away from him. “pardon?”

“what are we?” lucifer repeats, like it’s simple. “our relationship. what is it?”

“coworkers.” the adjective slides immediately, neatly, off her tongue, and she’s happy with it for a moment before her eyes catch his, dark orbs flashing quickly, hurt covering his features. “friends,” she amends.

lucifer stares at her. he does this often, looks at her more deeply than anyone has ever looked at her before, as though she’s a confusing wordsearch that he’s trying to complete. after a moment, he blinks, and meets her eyes. “friends?”

“you’re my friend, lucifer,” she agrees, putting her phone on charge. “we’re partners, aren’t we?”

when she looks up again, he’s nodding, a confused little look furrowing his brow. “partners.”

the word sounds unusual on his tongue, coated in a thick british cloak that muddles the vowels and hardens the consonants. chloe waits for him to continue, confused, but he doesn’t seem to want to.

“here,” she says, patting the empty bed next to her. “sit down. i was just going to watch some tv.”

that’s a total lie, and if lucifer was feeling okay, he’d call her out on it immediately. instead, he sits down on her comforter, looking numb, and stares blankly at the television across the room.

chloe lasts about two minutes. it’s not her fault, there’s nothing actually on tv, just ad break after ad break and then some old, boring sitcom. she listens to the tinny laugh track for a few seconds, and then speaks over it. “partners are allowed to talk to each other,” she says lightly, hoping to make it clear that there’s absolutely no commitment required. “if they want.”

she feels the blanket bunch, and casts her eyes down to his hand. curled into a fist, it rests tensely by his side, veins pulsating under stretched skin.

she tries again. “partners are there for each other, when things get tough.” a beat. “they look out for one another.”

“friends are supposed to do that, too,” lucifer whispers. “so is family.”

his hand is squeezing the duvet so tightly that chloe fears for her blanket. hesitantly, staring straight ahead, she reaches a hand out and covers his with her own.

she feels him go still next to her, and remains silent for a moment before rubbing the soft pad of her thumb gently over the back of his hand. “they are,” she agrees, smoothing an angry vein. she opens her mouth to say more, interrupted by a murmured sniffle, and then a hasty hand flying up towards his face.

“why don’t mine, then?” lucifer whispers, the back of his hand tensing under chloe’s palm. “why don’t they care about me?”

chloe freezes. inside her chest, her heart thumps, a necessary reminder, because if it hadn’t, she’d be sure it was broken. “lucifer,” she whispers, helpless. “i’m sure –”

“they don’t,” he says, trying for flat and emotionless and landing somewhere between desperate and anguished. “nobody does.”

“no,” chloe says, and the fierce tone of her voice shocks her as much as it does him. she lowers it slightly, pausing. “that’s not true.”

“i don’t lie, detective,” he croaks. the statement, normally a point of pride, brings a choked sob up his throat. “nobody looks out for me. nobody is there –”

“hey, look at me,” chloe says firmly, giving up on all attempts of keeping him calm and looking straight into his eyes. “look where you are. it’s midnight, lucifer, and you’re with me. you didn’t have to ask – i wanted you here. i care. i’m looking out for you.”

lucifer pauses, nodding slightly before his shoulders slump. “you’ll just end up leaving, too. betraying me.”

“lucifer, look at me.” she strokes his hand again, trying to hold his gaze. “i don’t know what happened with your family, or what happened with your friends. but i promise you, i’m not going anywhere. and i certainly won’t betray you.”

finally, finally, he looks at her. to her dismay, his lip is trembling, tears held stubbornly in glassy eyes. “you can’t promise that.”

“yes, i can,” chloe argues, squeezing his hand. “we’re partners. that’s what partners do.”

next to her, a full-body shudder ripples through lucifer’s frame. his jaw is set in a thick line, teeth clenched together in a vain attempt to shelf the tears still resting precariously on his lower lashes.

“lucifer,” chloe breathes, shifting onto her side. she gazes up at him, chest clenching. “i know you don’t believe it, but you can trust me. i’m here, and i’m not going anywhere.”

lucifer takes a shaky breath, his throat bobbing with the effort. “you promise?”

“you may not lie,” chloe murmurs, covering his hand with her own. “but neither do i. partners don’t lie to each other, lucifer. i’m here to stay.”

he stares at her, and she’s reminded, too quickly, of trixie. she’d never tell him this, but he has the same look on his face as trixie when she has a bad nightmare, soft and scared and vulnerable.

“i promise, lucifer,” she whispers again. “you’re stuck with me.”

“stuck,” he breathes, and with one final, trembling breath, the tears break free from their lash prison and stream steadily down his cheeks, hitched only by the occasional little sob. “partners?”

“partners, lucifer,” she promises. when she holds out her arms, he stares blankly at her, but she’s hardly tugged him towards her body when he falls, burbling teary nonsense about wings and angels and demons and betrayal. she strains to listen, tries desperately to sort through the elaborate metaphors and cling to the facts, but in the end, she simply holds him tight and lets him speak.

when he’s tired himself out, leaving him a sniffling, lax mess in her lap, she shifts them both downwards and curls her leg around his, anchoring him to her. “no funny business,” she says, a gentle smile on her lips, but she doesn’t need to. he settles in against her, hot tears still dripping occasionally into her collarbone, and takes a shuddering breath.

“i’ve never had a partner before,” he whispers finally.

chloe strokes a line down his back, humming softly. “i have,” she muses, “but not like you.”

“so this is new to you, too, then?” he turns his face slightly, hopefully, looking up at her.

chloe bites back a smile. yes, she thinks, can’t say i’ve ever had a work friend have a panic attack in my bed before. “new to me, yes,” she agrees. “we’ll figure it out together. it’ll be okay.”

lucifer swallows, contemplating. “i like having a partner,” he says. “maybe this will be better.”

the next words are left unspoken – maybe it’ll be okay, maybe i’ll be loved, maybe you’ll stay – but chloe hears them loud and clear, and holds him tighter. “it will,” she promises. “it will.”

Chapter Text

69. “I bought you a ticket.”

rory giggles excitedly, hands tangling in his hair as she tugs on his curls. “daddy, ro-co’ssah!”

“your father doesn’t like rollercoasters, rory,” trixie grins, taking a gulp of her cotton candy before tearing off a cloud to give to her little sister. “one time, mom and me and your dad went on one and daddy almost cried.”

rory’s little hands still in his hair. “daddy cry?”

“daddy did not cry, urchin,” lucifer corrects, straightening his suit and readjusting his grip on rory’s stumpy little calves, currently hooked around his neck. “and i certainly like rollercoasters.”

“great!” chloe is suddenly behind them, her arm curling around lucifer’s waist as she hands trixie a bottle of water. “because i bought you a ticket.”

she has a cheeky grin on her face, eyes bright with a smile. “unless you don’t want it?”

and there are many things that lucifer morningstar is, but he is definitely not the type of devil to turn down a challenge, so he takes the red ticket nub from his wife’s fingers with a sly grin and sets his eyes daringly. “of course i want it, love,” he says, cocky. “rory and i are going to sit in the front carriage, aren’t we, rory?”

“really, lucifer?” trixie raises a challenging eyebrow, taking another bite of her treat. “because if i remember correctly, you had to hold mom’s hand last time. maybe i should go with rory, so you can sit with mom?”

“you probably need her more, child,” lucifer smiles innocently. “i’m doing you a favour, really.”

“oh, yeah, sure,” trixie bites her lip, a sparkle in her eyes oh-so-similar to her mother’s. “thanks, then.”

“you’re very welcome.” he pokes his tongue out at her while chloe’s not looking, and then tightens his grip on rory’s ankles and carries her towards the fast-track line for the rollercoaster. “come on, aurora, let’s show these wimps what us morningstar folk are made of, hmm?”

rory giggles, delighted. “wimps,” she says wisely. “mommy and trishy are wimps.”

“if anyone’s the wimp, it’s your father,” chloe remarks, catching up to them with trixie on her tail. “he’s just too proud to admit it.”

“daddy strong,” rory argues, finger jabbing into lucifer’s scalp.

“exactly, rory, you get it.” lucifer pats her knee thankfully, glaring at chloe. “your mother, however…”

“your mother is quite happy to sit in the back with your sister while you and daddy ride up front, baby,” chloe grins. she leans closer, beckoning rory to whisper in her ear. “do me a favour, monkey. promise me you’ll hold daddy’s hand when he gets scared, okay?”

rory nods, rapt with this responsibility, and ignores lucifer’s indignant splutter. they’re close to the front of the line now, maybe a cart-full of people still in front of them. trixie finishes her cotton candy, and runs off to put her stick in the bin. as she returns, another round of carts are sent off, and a bored-looking attendant surveys their family.

“she’s too small,” he drones, gesturing at the little girl resting on her father’s shoulders. “kids’ rides are that way.”

“excuse me?” lucifer glares. “she’s perfectly capable of riding this one. i’ll have you know she’s an angel, normal laws of –”

“babe,” chloe warns. “the minimum height is four feet. she’s too little.”

she’s so busy staring at the height sign that she doesn’t register lucifer’s lack of answer, and by the time she looks up, he’s got his face inches from the attendant’s, gazing into his eyes. on his shoulders, rory copies him, her little face set in concentration as she stares at the man denying her entry.

“hello –” lucifer does a quick name-tag check, and grins wickedly. “james. this job must be awfully boring for a lad like you, hmm?”

“well, actually –”

“what is it you truly desire, james?” lucifer interrupts, and above him, chloe hears rory breathe ‘tis’t too troolee d’ire?

“lucifer,” she says firmly, right as james’ eyes start to glaze over. “enough. it’s not safe.”

“but –”

“no buts, baby,” chloe says. she grabs his wrist, tugging him towards the exit line. “let’s go on a better ride. one that rory can go on.”

“that’s preposterous,” lucifer huffs. “you and trix go on this one. rory and i will go find an –” he shudders, “- age appropriate ride.”

“okay, baby, thank you.” chloe kisses him quickly, giving him a gentle smile. “and look at that! win for you, no rollercoaster!”

“i love rollercoasters, darling!” lucifer calls as she walks away. “and just in case the death machine kills you, i love you too!”

he thinks he hears chloe laugh, and he definitely hears trixie’s giggle, but he ignores them both, bouncing along with his daughter as he searches for a new, smaller ride to redeem their tickets on. “which one, aurora? your choice.”

rory scans the park, her view the best in the house, before she exclaims happily. “teacups! teacups, daddy!”

lucifer looks, sagging slightly when his eyes land on her choice of ride. “very well, urchin,” he sighs. “teacups it is.”

they line up for a few minutes, listening to the tinny melody of the ride, rory swaying gently along to the bright music happily on his shoulders. he shuffles her down to check her height against the ruler – thankfully, she’s much taller this time, and soon they’re waved through without a second look.

lucifer hoists rory up into one of the large teacups, climbing in after her before locking the gate. “listen, miss rory,” he says seriously. “you are to tell your mother that this ride was terrifying, and that daddy was very brave, okay?”

“okay, daddy,” rory nods. she pats the hard seat of the teacup delightedly. “gonna spin?”

“i think so, love,” lucifer looks around. “taking their time, aren’t they?”

no sooner has he spoken than the annoying xylophonic music begins again and their teacup strains to life beneath them, starting to rotate slowly.

lucifer raises an eyebrow, unimpressed, and turns to his daughter. if he must be subject to this torture, he hopes to at least see rory enjoying it.

but instead of the gleeful grin that had been residing on her face a moment before, rory’s little forehead is now furrowed into an intense frown, her eyes set on his.

“what’s the matter, rory?” lucifer asks. “is this ride insufficient, too?”

rory shakes her head, scooting closer to him on the spinning teacup. “mommy said gotta hold hands,” she says seriously. “hands, daddy.”

her tiny fist extends invitingly, and she stares at him impatiently for a moment before stomping her foot. “hand, daddy!”

“i don’t need to hold your hand, child,” lucifer gapes. “we’re on a teacup ride.”

“mommy said promise,” rory won’t budge. “hand, daddy. please?”

lucifer sighs dramatically, rolling his eyes. “fine, then,” he says, locking his fingers with her. her face splits into a beaming grin, little fingers squeezing his own. “happy?”

“happy,” rory agrees, eyes sparkling. “daddy, spinning!

lucifer just laughs, watching his daughter’s little pigtails whip around in the wind as they spin slowly, her mouth thrown open in an exclamation of utter delight.

“s’like flying,” she whispers to him as he hoists her back onto his shoulders once they exit the ride. “but spinny.”

“you make a good point,” lucifer muses. “let’s go find mummy, okay?”

rory hums. “daddy, me and you spin flying, next time, okay?”

“okay,” lucifer agrees absently, searching the crowd for his wife and step-daughter. “here, rory, tell –”

mommy!” rory screeches, nearly deafening him. “me and daddy went on teacups! like flying, but spinning! and me held daddy’s hand, like – like this!”

eyes wide, lucifer lets chloe take their burbling bundle of excitement, rolling his eyes. “and how was your boring rollercoaster?”

“oh, super boring,” trixie nods, a smile pulling at her lips. “you would’ve loved it. actually, if you want, i think mom has some more tickets? i’ll take rory to get an ice cream, you two can –”

“that’s quite alright, urchin,” lucifer says quickly, “i’m sure once is enough for your mother.”

“i’d be quite happy to go again,” chloe pipes up. “it’s fun, babe, you go upside –”

“it’s not safe to leave two children alone in a busy fair.” his eyes widen. “it is imperative that i stay with these two troublemakers. you know, for their – safety.”

“lucifer, just say you don’t want to go on the ride,” trixie laughs. “no one will care.”

“oh, i do!” he assures her. “i’m simply looking out for your safety. you should thank me. and – oh, would you look at that! the line is simply abominable. better we leave this one for another day, don’t you think?”

chloe laughs, swinging rory onto her hip and tangling her hand with lucifer’s. “that’s okay, baby,” she teases, kissing his cheek. “you went on the teacups. i’m sure that’s enough excitement for one day, hmm?”

lucifer glares at her, but as the rails of their rollercoaster screech above them, and screams echo from the cars, he lets out a silent shudder, steering his little family away from the probable death-trap. for now, he’ll stick with the teacups (for rory’s sake).

Chapter Text

70. “You’re warm.”

chloe jane decker can do many things.

she’s a single mom, a brilliant detective, and a damn good monopoly player. if you put her in a room with a suspect, nine times out of ten she can pull information from them and ultimately solve a case. she’s smart with her wits, trusts her instincts, and she’s bankrupted lucifer more times than she can count on mayfair alone.

but she absolutely, irrevocably, categorically cannot flirt.

jed had told her, constantly. he’d wooed her from the start, but she’d been utterly hopeless at reciprocating, turning him down accidentally until she’d finally blurted i want this too in a stingy diner bathroom when he’d had his tongue in her mouth. dan could never flirt, either, so he hardly commented on it. if he had, she could’ve easily come back with look in the mirror, so he had chosen not to poke that particular dragon.

lucifer, however…

he’s the devil. the king of desire. he’s charming and annoying and magnetic, and god, does he know how to flirt.

and because he’s also confident and cocky and teasing, he likes to pick her up on her less-than-satisfactory attempts at seducing him, and every single time, he wins the battle, and she ends up blushing and stammering and not improving her flirtation game.

but chloe shares his stubborn streak, and she refuses to give up, which is why she’s standing, shivering, in only a short-sleeved shirt and pants on a chilly winter morning, trying to muster up the courage to cuddle into his side.

she’s made peace – mostly – with her miracle-ness, and although he’s been admittedly brilliant at giving her space, she’s –

well, she’s had enough.

he was gone for months, and then he’d gotten back and she’d – stupidly – asked for space?

a voice in her head, sounding suspiciously like five-drink-chloe, reminds her off the many nights she’d spent crying uncontrollably into a pillow stolen from the penthouse while he was gone, and wonders why she’d continued to send him away after his return.

and because five-drink-chloe often tells the best, most ruthless truths, sober-chloe listens. and decides to up her flirting game.

“good morning, lucifer,” she says, trying and failing to sound smooth.

you sound like a high school math teacher trying to make trigonometry sound interesting, five-drink-chloe supplies. outwardly, chloe huffs.

“good morning to you, detective,” lucifer grins, raising an eyebrow. “aren’t you a bit underdressed?”

tell him to undress you.

i am not doing that. “forgot my jacket,” she says instead, knowing fully well that she’d left it purposefully in the back of her car. she brushes her arm against his, humming appreciatively. “you’re warm.”

“thank you, love, perks of living in hell most of my life,” he says, giving her a weird look and stepping away. “what do we have here?”

“ask ella,” chloe says absently, inwardly glaring. she quickens her steps, falling into stride with him so she can rub up against his arm again.

is this sexy?

no, five-drink-chloe scoffs. you look like a needy house cat.

sober-chloe tries not to hiss like a house cat, jerking her arm away from lucifer’s with a frown. lucifer shoots her another weird look, but he’s giving her space, so he doesn’t say anything.

new strategy, this isn’t working.

no shit, sherlock.

“lucifer,” she says suddenly. “i haven’t had coffee this morning.”

“oh,” he raises an eyebrow again. “is that why you’re acting so strange?”

chloe huffs. “no – well, yes, i don’t – do you wanna come get a coffee with me?”

all of the sudden, lucifer’s eyes brighten, and it’s then that chloe knows she’s been caught. she ducks her head, trying desperately to hide her blush, but then his hand is on her elbow and he’s smiling, charming, right in her face, and she sags in defeat.

“are you asking me on a coffee date, detective?” he croons, biting his lip around a smile. “is that what this is?”

no,” chloe glares. her cheeks are flaming, warming her entire face, and she refuses to meet his eyes. “i am not.”

yes, you are?

“well –”

“oh, that’s too bad, then,” lucifer grins. he’s enjoying this, now, and chloe hates it. “i know a brilliant coffee place just around the corner. their espresso is utterly divine.”

“well, i don’t want your divine espresso,” chloe hums, and in her mind, five-drink-chloe hits her clumsily over the head with a baseball bat.

“no?” lucifer smiles, blinking innocently at her. “i’m so upset to hear that. so, if i said i was going there… right now… you wouldn’t want to join me?”

“no,” chloe says, and now five-drink-chloe is bashing her own head with the baseball bat. “not at all.”

“very well,” lucifer nods, grin just barely hidden by the calculated look on his face. “just one espresso for me then, i assume. none for the cold, coffee-deprived detective.”

“none for me!” she watches him walk away, and wishes five-drink-chloe existed outside of her brain, so she could borrow the baseball bat. (actually, maybe she should borrow lucifer’s flask, surely that would have a few shots’ worth… she could let five-drink-chloe take over!)

inwardly cursing, she hurries over to ella, letting the bubbly scientist’s dramatic re-enaction of the crime scene wash over her like a wave.

lucifer – 1, chloe – 0.

ella’s in the middle of angrily stabbing herself in the arm when chloe feels a warm arm slide around her waist, and then a hot cup of espresso is placed into her palm.

“you’re very stubborn,” lucifer murmurs, his breath deliciously warm against her ear. “but you do need to warm up. i’m afraid i don’t quite know how to deal with human frostbite, and i don’t particularly want you to die.”

five-drink-chloe has completely abandoned the scene, and sober-chloe has no idea how to answer that, so she murmurs a bashful thank you and sips gratefully at her coffee.

lucifer actually listens to ella, because he’s a good person, and chloe ignores her and tries not to move, because lucifer’s still got his arm around her and she really doesn’t want to alert him to that fact, because then he’ll move, and she’s warm. it’s not until both ella and lucifer stare expectantly at her than she realises that they’re waiting for an answer, and she has no clue what the question was.

and because he’s cocky and the devil and knows her better than she knows herself, lucifer grins proudly and whispers “for a coffee you didn’t want, you seem to be very much so enjoying that, darling.”

“it’s good coffee,” chloe admits, grumbling. “what did you want, sorry, ella?”

“all good, decker,” ella grins, eyes flicking between the two of them. “i was just saying i’m about to head off, get all this boring lab work done, leave you two alone… ya know?”

“oh, you don’t have to leave us alone,” chloe says, and five-drink-chloe sticks her head back in just to give her a final bash with the baseball bat. chloe stutters. “i mean – yeah. lab work. boring. got it!”

ella snorts, bumping chloe’s hip with her own as she passes. “oh, you’re wrecked, decker,” she murmurs, too low for lucifer to pick up. chloe glares at her.

she’s right.

“may i take your cup, detective?” lucifer asks smoothly, and it occurs to chloe that that would involve him leaving her side, and, you know, she’s cold, so she says no, and lucifer chuckles.

“it’s empty, though, is it not?”

“no,” chloe says, taking a long, drawn out sip of air. “so full.”

“you’re a terrible liar, detective,” lucifer smiles. he turns so that they’re chest to chest, and chloe’s suddenly aware of the fact that they’re now alone. “almost as bad at lying as you are at flirting.”

“i’m good at flirting,” she insists, and his hand encircles her wrist.

“no, you’re not,” he says, matter-of-fact. “but that’s okay. it’s endearing.”

“it is not endearing!

“oh, darling,” lucifer murmurs, bringing her hand up to brush his lips against her knuckles. “it’s very endearing. you’re quite adorable when you’re flustered.”

“i’m not adorable,” chloe pouts, but lucifer only smiles. “and i’m not flustered.”

“oh?” he smiles wider. “really? what’s this, then?”

his thumb grazes the pale blush on her cheeks, and it blooms to a deep red under his touch. chloe swears internally. bloody devil. “definitely not a flustered blush.”

“definitely not,” lucifer agrees, grinning openly now. he brushes her cheek again, tilting her face up towards his. “and it’s definitely not getting bigger, right?”

“i hate you,” chloe mutters, the words stuttered into the suddenly very small gap between their faces. “i really hate you.”

“no, you don’t.” lucifer breathes, and when his lips brush hers, she thinks no, i don’t.

Chapter Text

71. “No reason.”

when chloe leaves ella and linda and maze to keep drinking at the club that certainly isn’t lux, she’s more than a little tipsy, and the thought of going home to marcus makes her want to throw up.

that’s not good, right?

definitely not good. nor is the fact that kissing him makes her want to wash her mouth out immediately, or the way she shies away from his touch, or that she sent trixie to dan’s tonight despite him being out and marcus being home alone and not at all busy.

none of that is good.

and the mix of many, many tequila shots and more than one expensive cocktail slushing around in her belly – it’s making for brilliant decision making.

“lux,” she says confidently, grinning at the uber driver with too many teeth and bright red cheeks. “take me t’ lux.

it’s only once she’s in the elevator, holding onto the wall for support, that she starts to question her choices. like, pierce is at home. he’s her fiancé. she has his ring on her finger.

she’s wearing a hot pink bachelorette shirt with her face on it.

she’s halfway through getting said shirt off her body – meaning, it’s tangled around her elbows and her face is obscured by amaranth pink – when the elevator slides smoothly to a stop and lucifer’s voice murmurs hello, detective.

“hey!” chloe frowns, eyes narrowing, voice muffled by the fabric over her face. “hey… how’d you know it was me?”

from where his voice is sounding from, chloe wagers he’s sitting at his piano. she wants him to play something for her.

she tells him that.

“play for me,” she demands, stepping uncertainly into the penthouse, eyes narrowing as she tugs uselessly at the shirt over her head.

she hears a sad laugh, the voice getting closer somewhat as she wrestles with the pink material. it seems to only be getting more stuck, the fabric tangling around her fingers, when a pair of gentle hands pull the shirt from her grip and work carefully to free her from her materialistic constraints.

“t’ank you,” chloe hiccups, grinning lazily up at the man now holding her shirt in his hands. “i hate that shirt. stupid.”

“indeed, it’s a step down from your usual fashion choices,” lucifer notes calmly, folding it and placing it on the bench. “how much have you had to drink?”

“oh, not much,” chloe assures him, waving her hand haphazardly around the air and almost knocking a bottle of whiskey to the floor. “ooh! whiskey!”

lucifer takes it from her as she pours a swig down her throat, shaking his head. chloe pouts at him. “took my whiskey.”

she thinks she hears a chuckle. “i believe it’s actually my whiskey, detective,” he raises an eyebrow, setting it back on the shelf it came from. “and i don’t think you need any more alcohol.”

“that’s rude,” chloe glares at him, reaching grabby hands up for the whiskey. when he doesn’t budge, she seems to forget about it, whirling around unsteadily and lighting up when she sees the piano. “hey! you said you were gonna play for me.”

“actually, you said that,” lucifer sighs, but he follows her over anyways, a hand finding her elbow to keep her steady. “does the lady take requests?”

chloe shakes her head, eyes closed as she sways to non-existent music. “you’re the music man. you choose.”

raising an eyebrow again, lucifer taps out the beginning to a calm melody, a piece he’d picked up in 1620s paris. a tiny smile spreads across chloe’s flushed face, her head nodding sleepily along to the pretty notes.

“’s beautiful,” she murmurs, halfway through the song. “d’you make it up?”

“not this one, no.” he stares at her. “detective, are you –”

“play me one you made,” chloe pouts, her eyes fluttering open. “wanna hear a lu’th’fer mornin’star original.”

lucifer sighs, dropping his shoulders. “of course, detective,” he mutters, staring blankly down at his keys for a second before his fingers burst to life and he breaks into a new piece.

in stark contrast to the last, this one is hauntingly discordant, notes fluttering out only to be horribly juxtaposed by angry, spiking alto tones that somehow match them perfectly. it’s sad, and lost, and it makes chloe’s heart hurt, so she manages to work her fingers and place them over the keys, tapping out the introduction to the one piano duet she knows.

lucifer stills, notes hanging jarringly in the air as his eyes catch on her hands, golden ring glinting on her ring finger. “detective –”

our song, lucifer,” chloe frowns, tapping out the three notes again. why isn’t he joining?

“detective, why are you here?”

chloe’s fingers fall flat, and she looks at him through lidded eyes. “no reason.”

“it’s your bachelorette party,” lucifer murmurs, eyes still caught on her fingers. on her ring. “you shouldn’t be here.”

“i know,” chloe giggles slightly, smile only dropping when he doesn’t reciprocate it. “wanted to, though.”

“you wanted to be here?”

she bobs her head, nodding. it seems wrong to tell him that going home to pierce made her want to jump in front of a bus. she tells him anyway.

“going home to marcus made me want to ask the party bus driver to run me over,” she murmurs, and it’s the longest sentence she’s spoken in the past three hours. interestingly, she thinks distantly, it’s also the most honest one.

“well, we don’t want that,” lucifer tries for a smile, but all he manages is a grotesque grimace. “detective, you need to go home.”

“noooo…” her lips turn into a pout, eyes filling with tears. “don’t wanna.”

“well, i’m sorry about that,” lucifer says, sounding truly apologetic. “but you have – you have a –” his voice breaks. “pierce is waiting for you.”

the pout intensifies. “i don’t want pierce.”

“i’m sorry, detective,” lucifer repeats, tired. “but that isn’t my problem. you are marry – you’re marrying pierce, and that’s it. that’s what you wanted.”

chloe glares at him for a moment, lip wobbling, before she leans backwards slightly. “no, it’s not.”

“sorry?”

“it’s not what i wanted.” she stamps her foot. “i don’t want pierce, lucifer! i’ve never wanted pierce.”

“then why are you bloody marrying him?”

“i don’t know!” her hand slams down onto the keys, a discordant crash sounding throughout the penthouse. lucifer flinches slightly, and she feels horrible, partially digested liquor rising in her throat. “i don’t know,” she repeats, voice small.

before, lucifer had been leaning towards her, his body open and welcoming. now, he sits, frozen, aura about as welcoming as a brick wall.

“lucifer,” chloe pleads, suddenly feeling very sober. “help?”

“i don’t know what you want me to do, detective,” he says, sounding defeated. “i don’t know where we go from here.”

the tears that have been sitting, barely contained, on chloe’s eyelids for the past ten minutes finally fall, salty drops tracking down her cheeks unbridled. “i don’t want to marry him,” she whispers finally. “i really don’t want to marry him, lucifer.”

“then don’t.” it comes out blunt, but he doesn’t mean it to, and he turns to face her again, softening. “don’t, chloe. please, don’t marry him.”

chloe’s heart jumps into her throat, and she swallows constantly, chest fluttering. she reaches a hand out, fingers trembling, and holds it in front of him. “take it off,” she whispers. “take it away.”

lucifer’s hand is shaking just as much, but he tugs the ring from her finger with ease and tucks it gently into his suit pocket, turning to stare at her. “you’re drunk.”

“i’m not,” she whispers, but her head spins and the room shakes and maybe she is, just a little. “i don’t want to marry him.”

“i know,” lucifer murmurs, staring at her. there’s a look in his eyes that she can’t quite put her finger on, and she stares back at him for a moment before sitting back on the piano seat next to him, blinking up into his eyes.

“can i stay?” she asks, voice small. “i know i need to go – go speak to him, and i will, lucifer, i will. i just – i need to be –”

“sober,” lucifer finishes, a tiny smile pulling at the corner of his mouth. “yes, detective, you can stay. shall i call patrick to set up one of the downstairs rooms, or do you want to stay here?”

“here,” chloe says quickly, blinking again. “lucifer, i don’t wanna marry him.”

“i know,” her partner murmurs, covering her hand with his own. “i know. it’s okay. you don’t have to.”

“promise?”

“promise,” he whispers, and chloe folds herself into his space, ignoring the hitch of his breath and the way he stiffens under her hold. she simply stays there, curling her arms around his waist and tucking her head into his neck, waiting.

and eventually, his arms wrap back around her, coming to rest gently on her back as he holds her to his chest, secure.

“pinky promise?” chloe mumbles, eyes fluttering against his suit. she feels his laugh rumble through his chest, and right before she drifts off to sleep, she hears him breathe pinky promise, detective.

Chapter Text

72. “I’ll meet you halfway.”

“no, thank you,” lucifer says, shooting brittany or beverly or bella a chaste smile. “not tonight.”

she gives him a look as if to say excuse me, why not? and to be fair, she is very attractive, with long golden hair and a face sculpted like a modern greek statue. and he’s probably slept with her before, so it probably is unusual that he’s saying no, and she probably is asking why…

lucifer tries not to think about the why.

because the why has a name, and a face, and a crazy gelato-loving imp of a child. the why is his partner, and the reason why he’s said no to every single woman who’s walked up to him in lux for the past month and a half.

and the why also recently tried to send him back to hell, and somehow, she’s still the why.

he’s downing that particular thought in a whiskey shot when his phone buzzes insistently against his breast, the vibrations making him shiver. with fumbling hands, he manages to pull the device from his inner pocket, face scrunching at the caller id.

“douche,” he says in greeting, signalling for another shot. “to what do i not owe this –”

“it’s chloe,” dan says, voice flat and urgent.

lucifer’s heart shudders.

“pardon?”

“chloe,” dan repeats. he mumbles something else, lost amongst the pulsing music and brittany/beverly/bella’s nagging.

“hang on, daniel,” lucifer murmurs, swearing internally as he pushes the brunette hastily out of the way, uncaring for the way her champagne spills down her sparkly dress. it takes him less than a minute to squeeze through the crowd, ducking into a spare room and shutting the door until the loud music becomes a dull thud behind him. “sorry. you were saying?”

“it’s chloe, lucifer,” dan snaps, his frustration palpable even over the phone line. “she’s been shot, we’re in an ambulance, how fast can you get here?”

“she won’t –” want me there. the rest of his sentence goes unheard, because the desperation in dan’s voice is almost tangible.

“lucifer, you need to be here.”

“i want to speak to her,” he says. he won’t come if she doesn’t want him to. she deserves that choice. he won’t deny her a choice.

dan swears, muttering something about bloody devil, and then, as lucifer slips out the side door of his club and into a quiet alleyway, a rattling breath echoes down the line, chilling his bones from the very inside out.

“hey,” chloe whispers, voice weak. “something happened.”

“bloody hell, detective,” lucifer curses, stepping quickly between moving cars as he contemplates what to do. “you weren’t supposed to go – you weren’t meant to go without me.”

“i’m strong,” chloe counters, coughing slightly. “are you coming?”

“if you want me to,” lucifer says, trying to sound calm. controlled. as if his entire wellbeing doesn’t revolve around her next few words.

another breath rattles through his ear. it sounds shallower than the last.

“i do,” chloe whispers, and before she’s even got the words out, lucifer breathes i’ll meet you halfway.

0o0o0

he hasn’t used his wings much since they decided to sprout back up last summer. for a while there, he cut them off constantly, but the bloody nuisances, apparently determined to remain on his back, refused to stay mutilated, and eventually he’d given up on disposing of them and had kept them furled within their celestial plane ever since.

dad, is he grateful for them now.

as he’s flying, wings beating strong and proud, thrilled to be of use again, lucifer prays.

first, to raphael. he’s always been one of lucifer’s favourite siblings, an angel with whom he once had fond memories of – games of hide and seek in the silver city, an incident in eden involving a rabbit and raph’s developing healing powers. lucifer hasn’t spoken to him since his fall, but he tries anyway, making a feeble attempt at cool and aloof.

hello, brother, long time no chat, hmm? just a quick favour i’m asking for, nothing much, just a little human that i need not to die tonight, the name’s chloe decker – his wings flutter for a moment, unsteady, but he swallows and pushes on. if you could just fix her up really quickly, i’d be forever in your debt. i hear you’re into grey’s anatomy lately – if that’s still of interest, i’m sure i can fix you up with a meeting with my dear friend ellen… or patrick, if he’s more your type? either way, maybe just pop down and fix detective decker up…

nothing. he gets absolutely nothing back.

raphael must be sleeping.

moving on, he tries azrael. other than amenadiel, she’s the only one he’s had contact with since his banishment, so he figures she’s his second best shot.

rae-rae, he greets, wings beating faster as he tracks dan’s phone with his own. if you feel the inexplicable urge to duck down and borrow chloe tonight, don’t worry about it, it’s probably just a glitch in the system. you know how dad is, always stuffing things up –

his sister responds immediately, an apologetic sorry, lu, if duty calls, duty calls.

lucifer swears, and flies faster.

amenadiel, he whispers, his last shot. please. the detective – chloe’s hurt. can you – i don’t know, slow things down?

but, just like those long, long years in hell, he’s met with dead silence, and he chokes back a sob as he forces his wings, rough with disuse, further through the black sky.

0o0o0

he catches up with the ambulance with ease, soaring just high enough above it to stay out of human eyesight, low enough to follow it along towards the hospital. he lands before them, meets dan as soon as the other man jumps down from the paramedic van, watches them unload chloe onto a hospital issued stretched.

she looks, ironically, like hell.

her face is devoid of all colour, cheekbones poking out through translucent skin. there’s blood caked over her stomach, dan’s police-issued shirt clutched in her hand, a makeshift tourniquet. there’s a temporary gauze over her, a large white pad, and lucifer feels his heart shatter as she blinks lazily up at him, listening to the paramedics bark orders.

“devil,” chloe murmurs, the corner of her mouth oozing red. it’s a stark, horrifying contrast to the pale nature of her face, and lucifer hates it.

come on, raphael, he prays. now would be great.

“hold m’ hand,” chloe mumbles, her eyes slipping shut again. dan’s talking to the medics, and the other hospital staff are still working on getting her out of the ambulance without dislodging any of her organs, so lucifer moves in beside her and folds her cold hand into his own.

“i’m here, detective,” he says quietly, and chloe’s eyes blink back open.

“here,” she mutters, head rolling to the side on the papery ambulance-order pillow. “hurts.”

“i know.” he rubs his thumb over her knuckles, sighing softly as they finally click the stretcher down from the back of the van. “you’re going to be okay. i have to let go, now, so that they can take you back, but you –” his voice breaks. “hold on for me, okay, chloe?”

almost imperceptibly, she squeezes his hand lightly, weakly, her mouth tilting up in a drugged up wince. “bye.”

“not goodbye, detective,” lucifer whispers, tears pricking behind his eyes. “not yet.”

0o0o0

hours later, when dan’s gone to pick trixie up and maze has been sent to deal with the shooter and lucifer’s knocked back every offer of linda’s to help him work through this traumatic experience, he finally gets to see her.

it feels selfish, crying in her presence. she’s hooked up to so many machines, a large bandage wrapped around her midsection and an iv in each arm, and he really doesn’t deserve to hurt while she’s so obviously in pain.

but one of the tubes snaked up her wrist is feeding her almost constant doses of morphine, and there’s a sated, goofy smile on her closed lips, and she doesn’t look in pain, so he lets himself hurt for her.

“i’m sorry, detective,” he murmurs, lacing their fingers together again. no one else is here to see it, and she’s not waking up anytime soon, so he allows himself this one comfort. to hold her hand one last time before she wakes up and realises he failed to protect her again.

before she cuts him out completely.

he brings her veined hand up to his lips, letting tears drip softly onto the still-red skin. clutching her fingers, he’s about to let his eyes fall closed when out of the corner of his eye he spots a flash of downy grey.

no,” he begs, up like a flash and standing so that his body covers her own. “no, azrael. i forbid it.”

“relax, lu,” his sister soothes, reaching an arm out to pacify him. it serves only to scare him more, a hand beating her own with a defensive strike. azrael takes a placating step backwards, her hands up. “i’m not here for her.”

lucifer’s brow furrows, eyes searching the room. “for me?”

“to see if you were okay.” azrael shrugs, eyes cast down on chloe’s sleeping form. “you sounded… shaken, last night. it’s not often that a human injury affects you so.”

“not just a human,” lucifer mumbles, his gaze softening as he looks over chloe. “she’s special.”

“i can tell,” azrael shoots him a genuine smile, her eyes sweeping over chloe’s body. “well, if it makes you feel any better, it’s not her time yet. and it won’t be for a while.”

“good,” lucifer breathes, thumb rubbing gently over chloe’s hand. “she has more to do.”

Chapter Text

73. “Take mine.”

“you’re not going,” chloe says, crossing her arms. “it’s too dangerous.”

lucifer, ever annoying, eternally stubborn – he just pokes his tongue out at her. “am so.”

resisting the urge to cry out in frustration – they’ve been having this conversation for ten minutes, now – chloe turns to dan. “tell him it’s too dangerous.”

“if the man wants to kill himself, far be it from me to stop him.”

dan!

“what?” her ex husband shoots her current partner a glare. “it’s his choice, chloe. you’re not changing his mind, look at him!”

and he’s right. lucifer has his heart set on apprehending this victim, claiming some random connection to his life that has him hell-bent on sending them to jail. granted, chloe also wants them in jail, because that’s her job, but the lieutenant had warned her against invasion until they knew more, which meant she was stuck waiting for the lab reports to be returned, most likely until tomorrow.

but lucifer – bloody lucifer – is determined to raid their place tonight.

he makes a few good points – their suspect isn’t known to stay in one place for long, and tonight’s the first night they’re completely sure of their whereabouts. and they’ve been looking for this person for weeks, it might be silly to let them go…

but the lieutenant also makes a good point, and that’s where chloe stands. it’s too dangerous. she’s not letting her partner go in alone, and she’s not putting herself in danger, either.

“not tonight, lucifer,” she says again, and the devil pouts at her.

“but, detective,” he whines, sounding suspiciously like her nine-year-old. “i want to.”

“sometimes we don’t get what we want, lucifer,” chloe sighs. her hands drop from where they were crossed over her chest, final. “not tonight. it’s too dangerous.”

“it’s not!” he glares at her, stamping his foot. “i’m the devil, detective. you stay a couple hundred feet away and i’ll be fine.”

he grins hopefully at her, smile tugging at her heartstrings, and then brightens again. “besides, i have daniel’s gun!”

said weapon is pulled out of his waistband, and a few unsuspecting detectives, onlooking the fight with glee, jump back in surprise.

lucifer,” chloe hisses, right as dan snatches the gun from her partner’s hand. “you cannot steal weaponry from an lapd detective.”

lucifer shrugs, unfazed. “dan never uses it. it seemed mine for the taking.”

“you are not licensed to carry a police-issued gun, lucifer,” chloe sighs, stepping forward and pressing her fingers to his elbow, leading him out towards her car. she can still hear dan grumbling in the background. “why do you want to end this guy so badly?”

“he’s a bad man, detective,” lucifer huffs, sliding into the passenger seat with a harrumph. “he needs to be punished.”

“and he will be,” chloe promises. her hand finds his knee for a moment, soothing, before she replaces it on the wheel and backs out of the carpark. “but for now, it’s simply too dangerous. we’ll stake him out one more time, just for tonight, and i promise you can run in and get him once we get the lab results back, okay?”

lucifer’s forehead furrows, lips downturned into a pout. “fine,” he grumbles, rearranging his legs restlessly. “can i work the handcuffs when we arrest him?”

“no,” chloe says, laughing slightly at his indignant groan. “but you can do your mojo thing?”

he brightens, and shifts one last time before finally stilling, seemingly content with the terms of the deal.

0o0o0

“detective,” lucifer groans from beside her, not two hours into their hideout in the car across the street from their suspect’s current residence. “stakeouts are boring.”

“you’re welcome to leave,” chloe raises an eyebrow, challenging. she doesn’t remove her gaze from the upstairs window, where she can see a shadow moving about slowly.

just as she expected, lucifer turns to her with a growl. “and leave you here all alone, darling? you were the one saying it’s too dangerous for me.”

“it is!” chloe insists, finally ripping her eyes from the window and turning to him. “listen, i don’t want to be here, either. i’m paying twenty dollars an hour for a babysitter to watch trix when i’d much rather be home watching her myself, so believe me, if i thought it was safe for you to go get our guy, i’d let you do it in a heartbeat.”

lucifer’s eyes sparkle, face brightening slightly in hope.

chloe sags. “but i’m not willing to put your safety on the line, lucifer. this is a dangerous man we’re dealing with; you can’t just go in there looking all devil and mojo your way out of some trouble.”

“she insists, not even letting me try,” lucifer grumbles, but he settles back into his seat with a defeated groan. “i’m telling you, detective. if you just park a little further down the street…” he looks around in the darkness, pointing to a spot a few more cars down. “there would do. if you park there, and let me go inside, i’ll be invincible. nothing would be able to get me.”

“as much as i admire your belief in your immortality,” chloe starts, biting back a smile. “me parking between two cars isn’t magically going to save your life. i’m sorry, lucifer, i can’t let you go in.”

and maybe he’s about to nod, maybe he’s finally about to agree, but…

a shot rings out around them, shattering the night-time silence in an instant. it’s followed immediately by a shrill, high-pitched scream, and lucifer’s hand jumps to the door handle.

no, lucifer,” chloe says, eyes trained on the house.

“detective,” he pleads. “she’s in danger.”

“it’s too dangerous,” she tries, but another scream echoes through the night and she knows she’s lost the battle.

“drive further than those cars,” lucifer says seriously. “go around the block, maybe around two. get far away from me, i’ll be okay.”

“lucifer…”

“chloe,” he says, and as always, her name flutters within the air between them, carrying much more than a few syllables. “please. i have to.”

he doesn’t even have a weapon.

“you don’t have a gun,” she says stupidly, rummaging in her glove box. “here. take mine.”

“i don’t need it, darling, i’m immortal,” he quips, but at her withering look he takes the weapon from her hands. “thank you.”

“be safe,” she murmurs, putting the car in drive. “don’t do anything stupid.”

“can’t promise that, love,” lucifer smirks, but he sticks his head through the open window of the passenger door and his smile drops. “drive far away. i’ll meet you later.”

she hesitates, and he must notice, because he gives her a gentle smile with his next words as he asks softly – “do you trust me?”

“of course,” she whispers automatically. she’s just scared.

“then go,” lucifer pleads. “go, and i’ll see you later. i promise.”

and lucifer never lies, so she gives him one last look, and drives.

she finds a park four blocks away and manoeuvres her little car into it, foot tapping anxiously as she waits. she scrolls through her phone for a while, almost drops it, facetimes her daughter and tries to pretend she’s not so terrified that her hands are shaking. trixie notices eventually, she always does, so chloe hangs up with a goodnight kiss and a wish for sweet dreams, and is left in heady silence once again.

she switches the radio on, feeling naked without her gun by her side, and listens to the late night talk show hosts crack terrible jokes and try to not sound sleep deprived. she tries to take a nap, but she’s stressed, and she’s scared, and if she listens closely enough, was that another gunshot?

she’s just about to doze off when her car’s radio crackles, and dan’s voice breaks the silence stirring around her. “chloe? can you hear me?”

“hey – hi,” she says, bolting upright. “what’s happening?”

“we’re getting reports of a disturbance on east street,” dan says, his voice distorted. “are you and lucifer okay?”

chloe’s breath halts, and she swallows around a dry throat before answering. “yeah,” she croaks. trust your gut, decker. “we’re good.”

dan’s silent for a moment, but then he exhales finally. “good. let me know if you need backup.”

chloe murmurs an affirmative, and then shuts her radio off and finally lets herself cry, anxious tears falling down her cheeks and dripping steadily into her lap.

she’s searching for a tissue when there’s a sharp rap on the window. she jumps halfway out of her seat, car keys clutched between two fingers in a pathetic attempt at protection.

but it’s just lucifer. it’s always just lucifer.

she winds her window down, then thinks twice and opens the car door, folding him into a tight hug. the smug smile that had been sitting on his face drops into an expression of pure surprise, and he stiffens for a second before wrapping his arms back around her.

“don’t say it,” chloe murmurs, her chest brushing his own as she buries her face in his shoulder. “do not even –”

“say what?”

i told you so.”

his chest rumbles with a laugh beneath her own, and he turns his face to bury his lips in her hair. “i would never.”

Chapter Text

74. “We can share.”

“more wine, ms decker?”

lucifer holds the bottle of red out invitingly, and penelope extends her empty glass with a charming grin. “why thank you, mr morningstar. after the day we’ve had, i think more wine is certainly in order.”

lucifer flashes her a grin of his own, filling chloe’s glass automatically before he sets the bottle back down on the table and cuts trixie another slice of chocolate cake. “since urchins aren’t allowed wine,” he concedes, flopping it off the knife and onto her plate. he ignores chloe’s sharp look, muttering something about a stupid rule – whether that be about the wine or the cake, chloe doesn’t know.

her daughter is stretched out on the sofa, her head in her grandmother’s lap and her feet dangling off the other end. it’s a three-person couch, but trixie’s getting so gangly now that she manages to lay completely across it. chloe, in turn, is curled up on the other armchair, her knees tucked underneath her and the wine glass dangling between her fingertips.

lucifer returns the wine to the fridge, and stands in the doorway for a moment, surveying them all. with a tea-towel tucked into his waistband, white shirt sleeves rolled up to his elbows, and his suit jacket discarded somewhere in the kitchen, chloe’s not sure he’s ever looked more domestic.

he catches her staring, raises a teasing eyebrow, and she ducks her head, pretending the blush on her cheeks is the wine’s fault.

“i’d best be off, if you ladies are all taken care of,” he’s saying, and chloe’s head snaps suddenly up again.

“you can stay,” she says quickly, and trixie mumbles her agreement around a mouthful of chocolate icing. “we’ll watch a movie.”

lucifer meets her eyes, and she tries not to look like she’s pleading with him. wondering if his so-called divinity extends to telepathic powers, she thinks don’t leave me with my mother, and then gives herself away by casting her eyes towards said mother.

lucifer’s eyes light up, and she widens her own, convinced he’s misunderstood. instead, he takes in their surroundings, shrugging quietly. “it looks as though there’s no room for this poor old devil,” he says gently.

the look on his face is something between defeated and lost, and chloe’s heart clenches, her mind whirring as she looks to trixie, ready to force her off the couch.

but her daughter loves lucifer just as much as she does, if not more, and before chloe even has the chance to open her mouth, trixie’s handing her cake to penelope and scrambling off the couch, chocolatey grin murmuring something about we have a mattress for movie nights with dad you can sit on it with me i’ll bring miss alien and –

before she can run off to set up an undoubtedly disastrous pillow fort, chloe places her wine down and shifts, tilting her head towards lucifer. “don’t worry about the mattress, monkey,” she says carefully. “you stay there. lucifer and i… we can share.”

a startled expression settling on his face, lucifer looks as shocked as she feels by the invitation. he stares at her, hesitating, a clear opening for her to backtrack and demand the mattress’s presence.

but his words from the courtroom earlier – she is truly good – resonate in her mind, and she shrugs shyly at him, patting the seat next to her.

a few, heavily silent seconds later, he crosses the room, sitting gingerly on the tiny armchair next to her, still casting her confused looks every few moments. chloe ignores the way her heartrate has suddenly, inexplicably jumped, and tries to keep her voice steady as she directs trixie to choose a movie.

her kid chooses moana, opting for a calm, friendly, relaxing movie after their hell of a day. lucifer remains unusually silent, his leg tensed next to hers as he purposefully keeps a gap between their thighs. chloe indulges him for a moment, but thirty seconds in and she’s already getting a leg cramp from the way she’s straining not to touch him, and it’s a two hour movie, so eventually she gives up and lets her leg fall against his.

he tries to stifle his reaction, but they’re sitting right next to each other, and she can absolutely hear the murmured sigh that falls from his lips. shaking her head internally, she bumps her knee against his in time with the music, and by the end of the first song, he’s back to his normal self, giving a running commentary and complaining listlessly about each musical number.

about halfway through, around when trixie is rapping – very out of tune, very out of time – along with maui, the gravity of the day catches up to her, and chloe’s hit with the overwhelming sensation of pure exhaustion.

she fights it for a while, stiffening yawns behind applause for trixie’s the rock impressions, but after two more runs of you’re welcome, she gives up and drops her head onto lucifer’s shoulder, yawning into the soft silk of his shirt.

she feels him tense beneath her, but she’s too tired to do anything about it, so she stays put and waits for him to relax before curling closer to him, another yawn pricking liquid at the corners of her eyes.

she can feel her mom’s eyes on her, but she chooses to ignore them, watching her daughter giggle at the giant crab through heavily hooded eyes. it is funny, she murmurs sleepily, when trixie asks her why she isn’t joining in, but the mixture of trixie’s soft giggles and lucifer’s warm body next to her has her pulling her knees back up to her chest and her eyes slipping shut against lucifer’s shoulder.

“lucifer,” the urchin whispers, eyes widening dramatically as the credits finally roll. “mommy’s asleep.”

lucifer freezes, looking down at the sleeping detective on his shoulder. to his surprise, somehow in the past hour, his arm has snaked around her, resting protectively over her back. brow furrowing, he goes to move it, to stir her awake, but penelope coughs.

“let me put this one to bed,” she says gently, prodding trixie’s neck and drawing a giggle from the little girl. “chloe needs to sleep.”

lucifer’s mouth opens, probably to say something like in her own bed or the urchin needs her mother or anything to get chloe off him, but he shuts it again gently as penelope drags a tired trixie up and towards her bedroom.

the sounds of bedtime preparation are muffled by distance, trixie’s sleepy giggles distorted by the bathroom tiles and the toothpaste spilling from her mouth. lucifer lets the monotony of domesticity fade into the background, turning his attention instead to focus on the woman beside him.

as he turns to look at her, chloe snuffles adorably, nuzzling her forehead further into his shoulder. in slumber, her arm has dropped from its place curled around her knees, and one of her legs dangles uncomfortably over the edge of the couch. finally moving for the first time since he sat down, lucifer scoots backward on the couch, tugging her gently up closer to him so that she is no longer draped awkwardly over the sofa.

she shifts slightly as he moves her, mumbling softly before stretching against him and relaxing back into his hold. she has crinkled lines from his shirt across her face, the skin they mar tinged pink with sleep.

he’s tracing the crumpled lines with his eyes when penelope walks back in, clearing her throat with a small smile. lucifer’s arm drops from chloe’s back as if she’s burned him, but she huffs grumpily and cuddles closer, only relaxing once he replaces his hand.

“she’s comfortable around you,” penelope notes, lips pulled into a soft smile.

lucifer swallows, coughing slightly. “she’s just tired.”

“oh, i know she’s tired,” penelope grins wider, eyes kind. “but i’ve seen my daughter on the very bridge of exhaustion, still pushing through. she’s pulled multiple all-nighters in a row and got through without coffee.” she sighs, gazing at her sleeping daughter. “she’s comfortable around you.”

lucifer looks back down at her, softening slightly, but stays silent. he feels penelope’s eyes on them for a moment, but he refuses to look back at her, busying himself instead by pulling chloe’s soft sweater further down her back from where it was riding up slightly.

“goodnight, lucifer,” penelope says, and he can hear the smile in her voice. “sweet dreams.”

“sweet dreams,” he echoes. he doesn’t look up until her footsteps have petered off up the stairs to the guest room, and even then, he finds it disturbingly hard to tear his eyes away from chloe’s peaceful face.

eventually, though, he can’t put it off any longer. the light leaking from the bathroom upstairs has long turned off, and it’s so late that even he is fighting off yawns.

“detective,” he croaks, voice rough from the late hour. he coughs gently, clearing his throat, and then tries again. “detective, wake up.”

chloe groans, clicking her tongue sleepily against the roof of her mouth. “hrrngh?”  

pursing his lips around a breathy chuckle, he jostles her again, trying to gently bring her to wakefulness. “you need to get to bed.”

“no, i don’t,” chloe murmurs, stretching even further over the top of him. her knee curves around his waist, anchoring her against his front. “’m comfy.”

“yes, well…” he swallows, face crumpling into a frown. “detective, i think – time for bed?”

“nuh, uh.” she tenses before relaxing again, clicking her lips together. finally peeling her eyes open, she blinks up at him in the darkness. “tired.”

he considers telling her how much she looks like trixie, but decides against it, attempting instead to untangle her body from his own. she shoots him an admittedly adorable, sleepy glare, and curls her fingers into his shirt, wrinkling the fabric.

“come on, you big sloth,” lucifer rolls his eyes, trying and failing to contain the smile threatening to overtake his face. “bedtime. tired detectives need their rest.”

“tired ’tectives don’t wanna walk up the stairs,” chloe mumbles, letting her eyes slip closed again, content that her current position has her locked in place on top of him.

that is, until they snap back open as he scoops her up, carrying her easily off the couch and across the room. “careful, darling,” he says softly. “one might consider this lazy.”

“one migh’ cons’der this love,” chloe murmurs deliriously, giggling as lucifer mounts the first step. “’re we in love?”

he pauses, and she butts her head into his shoulder. “keep walkin’, devil man,” she mumbles. “you said bed.”

“right,” he coughs, and drags her the rest of the way up the stairs. when he tries to deposit her in the bed, though, she tightens her death grip on his suit and tugs desperately until he falls onto the bed next to her.

“better,” she mumbles, rearranging herself until she’s a mirror image of her prior position on the couch. he lays still, tense, until chloe pokes him with a rogue finger. “you’re like a rock,” she grumbles, poking him again. “relax.”

“bloody hell,” he murmurs, but does as she asks. she shifts once more, final, and then closes her eyes with a sleepy grin, butting her forehead into his chin. bloody hell.  

Chapter Text

75. “I was just thinking about you.”

since he started dating chloe, lucifer has learned that there are a lot of rules.

he’s not the greatest rule follower – never has been. that’s his whole thing, right? he’s known for fighting the rules, for leading rebellions, for not bowing to the societal norms placed upon him by an unforgiving patriarch.

until chloe.

he’s not sure what it is about her, but he would quite willingly do anything she wanted, no questions asked.

maybe it’s her face. or that hair. or the way she looks right after he kisses her, all swollen lips and bright eyes and shy smiles.

bloody hell. it’s everything. it’s just her.

she’s got him wrapped around his little finger, and…

and he doesn’t have any complaints. not one.

…well, maybe one.

“chloe,” he whines, for the third time that day. “this is torture.”

“lucifer,” she sighs. if he didn’t know better, he’d say she sounded fed up. “we’ve talked about this. no pda at work. it’s inappropriate.”

“you dated the lieutenant!” he cries, brows knitting as chloe removes his hand from hers. “and daniel!”

“yes,” she agrees, turning back to the paperwork currently occupying her attention. attention that should be on him. “and they followed the same rules. it’s unprofessional, lucifer.”

“unpro- what?” he gapes at her, spluttering. “chloe. need i remind you of the evidence closet incident with –”

“okay!” chloe glares at him, slapping a hand over his mouth. her eyes narrow. “enough. that’s enough. you can deal with not holding my hand for another few hours, okay?”

he looks at her. her hand is still plastered over his mouth. with a gleam in his eyes, he darts his tongue out, licking her palm.

“lucifer!” it’s not a screech, but it’s close. “gross. you’re gross.”

winking at her, he grins wickedly. “i know for a fact both dan and –” he shudders “pierce – engaged in… certain activities with you here. it’s only fair that i continue the tradition.”

“okay –” chloe rolls her eyes, snapping her fingers around his wrist and pulling him towards the interrogation room. she shuts the door behind them with a thud and turns to him, eyebrows raised. “there is no tradition, babe. we need to follow precinct rules – god, the lieutenant was tetchy enough about us remaining partners – so the least we can do is obey the rules, okay?”

he gives her a look, as if to say have you ever known me to follow the rules? but she returns it with a pointed look of her own, her set lips clearly indicating a no.

she brushes his hand against his on the way out, but he still pouts at her all day. he grumbles throughout ella’s analysis of their evidence, and scowls when chloe’s knee bumps his under the table.

she thinks he’s being petty, and childish, and she narrows her eyes at him each time he purposefully leaves a gap between them. it gets to the point that dan asks if they’re fighting, but chloe just shakes her head and mutters something about dramatic devil.

until he gets into her car after work, waits until they’ve pulled out of the precinct carpark, and he says –

“pull over.”

there’s such urgency in his tone that chloe doesn’t hesitate before pulling into a park on one edge of the little side street that their precinct resides on. she turns to him without turning the car off, concern lacing her tone.

“are you –”

he cuts off her question with a kiss, his hand finding the side of her face, holding her cheek reverently in his hand. her bottom lip is halfway into his mouth, his tongue grazing the delicate skin, before she pulls away.

“lucifer.”

“chloe,” he grins, delighted. his hand drops from her cheek and finds her hand, tangling them together over the console. he brings their joined limbs up to press a fervent kiss to her knuckle, and then sits back in his seat with a satiated smile.

“that was not worth pulling over for.”

his spare hand clutches dramatically at his chest, eyes narrowing as he mock-glares at her. “you wound me, darling.”

she bites back the smile threatening to overtake her lips and shakes her head, rolling her eyes in the hope that the action will veil her adoration. “idiot.”

0o0o0

he doesn’t force her to stop the car in the street, after that. but he does become clingier at home, and when he kisses her before work, she thinks it’s possibly a little bit stronger, a more passionate kiss than one might expect for a pre-work peck on the cheek. he holds her hand in the car until they roll up to the precinct, and occasionally only drops it once they exit the elevator, but other than that, he follows the rules.

chloe doesn’t think much changes. he still sticks by her side like a parrot on a pirate’s shoulder, and he doesn’t complain any less when she sits down to tackle the paperwork. they go a week, maybe two, where all he does is brush her hand while passing her coffee, or ghost his palm over her back as he guides her under some crime tape, leaving his clingy, affectionate side for behind closed doors when they’re at home.

and then, one day, when she’s typing up a report frantically, determined to finish it before the day ends, she groans suddenly at a lack of returned-application from the da’s office and flops her head dramatically onto his shoulder. he looks at her in surprise, turning from where he’s clicking uselessly at her newton’s cradle, and shuffles out of reach.

she doesn’t think anything of it, giving him a weird look before she shuts the document she was working on and condemns herself to finishing it tomorrow, grabbing her keys and pulling him up to leave for the day. when they get in the car, as is routine for them now, he slides their fingers together, and when they get home, he kisses her, long and slow, and holds her until the sun goes down.

and then, another time, she reaches for a bite of the bagel they’re sharing as she studies a case file and he’s doodling moustaches on an old precinct photo-day print out, and finds her eyes straying from her work towards his hand.

it’s crawling across the table absentmindedly, fingers dancing over the wooden grain of her desk. she hesitates, assuming he’s going for the bagel, but his fingertips bypass the treat entirely and continue to crawl across until he reaches her hand.

a gentle thumb strokes the side of her hand for a moment, and she softens, squeezing his hand back. as if she’s flicked a switch, he snatches his hand away from hers, looking up at her with wide, panicked eyes. she wonders if she’s startled him, and gives him a teasing grin, shaking her head as she steals her bite of the bagel.

but as she turns back to her case file, she finds herself unable to concentrate on the grotesque photos beneath her fingers, bagel turning to mush in her mouth as she chews uncertainly.

“lucifer,” she says suddenly. he looks up, head cocked adorably as his pen pauses from where it’s drawing a monocle on cacuzza’s younger face. chloe sags slightly, eyes on his face. “you can hold my hand,” she says, calculating his reaction. “if you want to.”

her boyfriend ducks his head, shaking it slightly, and chloe’s brow furrows into a frown.

“babe,” she says carefully, reaching her hand across the table and laying it in front of him, palm up. “do you want to hold my hand?”

he shakes his head again, erratic and horribly tense, and chloe’s frown deepens.

“lucifer,” she says, firmer now. “please will you hold my hand?”

finally, he looks up at her, hand hovering hesitantly over her open palm. she gives him an encouraging grin, and he drops his fingers into hers, shooting her a questioning look.

chloe folds her fingers around his, giving his rough hand a reassuring squeeze, and turns back to her work. she misses the confused look lucifer gives her, but when she doesn’t react, he simply blows a breath out his nose and goes back to giving dan a goatee.

once she’s sure he’s engrossed in his drawing again, chloe lets her eyes roam up to her boyfriend’s face again, her eyes softening as she takes him in. lucifer’s entire figure has sagged, his body leaning towards hers in a way she hadn’t realised she loved until he stopped doing it a few weeks back. the wrinkles above his eyes have uncreased, and he lets his fingers sit heavy in her palm as he doodles.

she strokes her thumb experimentally over his knuckles, and he shudders slightly, unconsciously pressing further into her touch.

curious now, chloe untangles their fingers, standing up and grabbing a fiver from her top drawer as an excuse. she crosses around to the other side of the desk and takes her position next to him, the hand that had been previously entwined with his tangling gently through his curls as she presses his head to her stomach.

“i’m going to get a coffee,” she says, her voice gentle in the quiet precinct. “do you want anything?”

lucifer’s gone completely lax against her, his head pushing needily into her hand as she strokes a few knots out of his hair. she bends down to press a kiss to his head, untangling her hand, and when he mewls unhappily, chloe realises something.

her boyfriend is touch starved.

and she’s been further starving him for the past few weeks.

so, that night, she backtracks on any previous rules she’d had set in place and tells lucifer he can do whatever he wants at work, as long as she’d be happy for trixie to see it too. he grumbles something about evidence room shenanigans, but she doesn’t miss the way his face lights up at her suggestion, and she definitely doesn’t miss the way he grips her hand proudly as they stroll into work together the next morning.

and when he meets her in ella’s lab with a cup of dan’s pudding in his hand, chocolate smeared across his lower lip, she slides an arm automatically around his waist and welcomes him into her side with a whispered hello.

“i was just thinking about you,” she murmurs, her thumb smoothing the chocolate off his face as she stands on tiptoes to press her lips to his temple.

as always, he preens at the affection, nuzzling his face into her hair for a moment before resuming professionalism, his hand never leaving her waist. “good things only, i hope, darling.”

“always, baby,” she promises, and, surprising even herself, gives his ass a firm squeeze. “always good things.”

and when he grins at her, there’s a sparkle in his eye that hasn’t been there for ten days, and she wonders if perhaps she would also quite willingly do anything he wanted, no questions asked.

Chapter Text

76. “I want you to have this.”

lucifer’s voice is calm when he calls.

if she hadn’t known him for almost four years, she probably wouldn’t have thought anything of it. he calls her all the time, often to simply annoy her, or to ask how her day’s going. it’s not out of the ordinary for him to grow bored with his surroundings and take interest in her own.

so when he rings to ask what she had for dinner, she doesn’t question it. she tells him about the meatballs she made with trixie, and the tub of ice cream they’d devoured after it, before dan came to pick her up. she’s about to inform him of the popcorn popping away in the microwave when she registers the tiniest, most minute intake of air. it’s hardly a breath, but she’s trained enough – both in the police force and simply in lucifer – that she picks up on it immediately, and it’s enough to turn her away from the kitchen sink, to interrupt his nonsensical rambling to ask –

“where are you?”

“what?” lucifer asks, but she can hear the shame in his voice.

“where are you?’

on the other end of the phone, he sighs sheepishly. “my brother came to visit,” he says, trying to sound light, failing somewhat as chloe hears another pained wheeze. “it didn’t go as planned. he wanted to meet… a little too close to you.”

“what?” chloe’s brow furrows, brain desperately whirring to try and make sense of his words. “what do you mean, you met close to me? lucifer, where are you?”

“two doors down,” he gasps, biting back a whine. “at a park? just wanted to call… and say… hello?”

“that’s not why you called,” chloe says, her voice low. “are you in danger?”

“define danger, detective,” he pushes out. chloe can hear his teeth clench. “i would say that the imminent danger has passed, yes.”

she ignores him. “are you hurt?”

“’s just a graze,” lucifer promises, but the next second there’s a choked grimace sounding down the line, and chloe swears internally.

“lucifer, i’m calling for backup and coming to help, okay?” she says quickly, already shoving her feet into sneakers. “don’t – don’t move, alright? you’ll just hurt yourself more.”

“don’t worry, detective,” he says cheerfully. “don’t think not moving will be a problem!”

fuck. she locks the door behind her, feet pumping as she hightails it down the street.

0o0o0

it is immediately clear why lucifer wasn’t concerned about moving.

it’s also immediately clear that it’s not just a graze.

“fuck, lucifer,” chloe grits, sliding to a stop when she gets to the park he’d directed her to through pained whimpers over the phone. she hadn’t managed to get any further information out of him, nothing more than he’d met his brother and they’d had a fight and now he was… well, not good.

lucifer, try as he might to convince her he’s okay, is curled up next to a park bench, his arm thrown over his face to hide his eyes from the harsh light of the streetlamp above him. he has what looks like a nasty black eye, and there’s a gash above his hip that’s torn through his shirt, dark red staining the expensive white silk.

but that’s not where the problem is.

no, the real problem is his wings, which are thrown out awkwardly behind him, their feathers tainted with splattered red. one of them is bent at an uncomfortable angle, the primaries twitching occasionally – pathetically – against the stained concrete.

but perhaps worst of all is the cut just below the joint of his wing, blood blooming out, soaking the feathers surrounding it a sickly dark pink. viscous, red droplets drip steadily down his back, and when she places a cautious hand on the uppermost feathers, he chokes out a no, and she withdraws it immediately.

“lucifer,” she breathes again. “what… happened?”

“bloody celestial family,” he groans. one of his wings gives a half-hearted flutter, as if to prove its worth, but he grimaces and it falls back against the ground. “they like to fight.”

“i can’t believe your own family would do something like this,” chloe mutters, still trying to get a better look at him. she paces around, wondering whether she should call amenadiel, linda, take him to a doctor…

“you’ve met some of my family, detective,” lucifer says weakly. “you can’t tell me you’re surprised?”

“i didn’t…” think they’d go this far. believe they’d actually hurt you. want to acknowledge the millennia-long abuse cycle. “can you stand up?”

“mm… no. bit of a problem there.” he gives her a lopsided, pained grin, and lifts his other arm up, revealing yet another deep gash. “think i can see bone.”

trixie’s meatballs jump into chloe’s throat, and for a moment she’s scared she’ll be sick. there’s blood oozing out of the wound, the skin around it a searing red, and yes, he’s right, she can see bone. “lucifer, we need to get you to a hospital.”

her phone is already in her hand, but he clears his throat with a pained gasp. “can’t go hospital,” he chokes. “wings won’t go away. hurts too much.”

chloe stills. “will amenadiel take your side, or your brother’s?”

“can’t tell, really,” lucifer shrugs, wincing. “depends on the day.”

fuck. she scrolls through her phone contacts. “what about maze?”

lucifer stays silent, and when she looks down, his eyes plead with her.

“you know why i rang you, detective?” he murmurs, hand cradling his injured arm.

chloe shakes her head. she wants to help, to call someone, to look away from the bone protruding from her partner’s rib cage… but his eyes are wide, and scared, and he’s begging her not to go.

“wanted to hear you, in my last moments.” his eyes flutter closed, uninjured arm reaching up to her with a stuttered breath. “wanted you to be here.”

“no,” chloe shakes her head, but she lets him pull her down anyways. “no, this is not it. this is not the end.”

“my family cast me out,” lucifer shrugs, blinking his eyes open again. he stares at her, eyelids heavily lidded, and then closes them once more. “they caused me pain for most of my lifetime. it only makes sense that they’d be the ones who finally got rid of me, too.”

“lucifer, no.” she reaches out, determined to help, but the second her hand lands on his wing he goes white, stiffening in her arms.

when he next speaks, his voice is croaky. “here,” he says, pulling something from behind him with a muted gasp. “i want you to have this.”

there are tears pooling in her eyes now, and she pushes his hand away from hers with a choked sob. “no.”

“please, detective – chloe.” he’s begging her. “it will protect you. provide you with safety, with comfort, when i – when i can’t.”

her lip trembling, she places her hand palm up, and watches as he places a glowing feather upon her fingers. it’s slightly heavier than she expects, and almost immediately, against her will, it sends a comforting wave of warmth over her entire body.

“lucifer,” she mumbles, eyes trained on the gently glowing feather. “you can’t leave me.”

“it’s not my choice, love,” he breathes, lips chapped. “i would never leave you by choice. don’t you know that, chloe?”

chloe shakes her head, choking on another pent-up sob as her partner takes a heaving, shallow breath. “you can’t.”

“i don’t want to,” he promises. “i don’t want to.”

her hand finds his cut, trying, too late, to stem the blood. “please,” she begs, to everyone and no one at the same time. “please.”

“detective,” lucifer whispers beneath her. “it’s too late.”

“it’s not,” she sobs, hands prodding uselessly at his wounds. “it’s not, lucifer, please.”

“it is, love, and it’s okay.” his hand, caked in too much red, finds her face, wiping away her tears. “it’s okay.”

she wants to tell him that it’s not okay, it’ll never be okay, she couldn’t ever be okay without him again.

“i’ll come back to you,” he promises then, and she feels the warmth of his hand on her cheek. “i’ll always come back to you. wait for me.”

she finds herself nodding, still crying, and lets him hold her as his blood seeps into her palm. with a low, pained growl, he wraps the still-attached wing around them both, anchoring her to him, and buries his face in her shoulder.

“i love you,” chloe sobs, clutching desperately at him, as if she has any chance at keeping him there. “i’ve always loved you.”

“and i you, chloe,” he promises. “always.”

and she feels him slip slowly away, his last breath exhaled gently into her neck before he goes slack in her arms and she lets out a pained, agonised cry.

“chloe,” lucifer’s voice is distant, a lifeline. she reaches at it, pulls at it, tries desperately to get to it. “chloe, love, look at me.”

she wakes with a gasp, turning immediately into his side with a hearty sob. lucifer’s arms wrap automatically around her, anchoring her to him, and he shushes her gently as she cries into his chest. her hands flit over his body, reassuring her of his presence, and when she turns her face to his neck and whispers ‘wings, please?’ he unfurls them and wraps them around her without asking why.  

and when she curls a fist around one of his flight feathers and clutches it to her chest, he lets her, pressing a kiss to her sweaty forehead and soothing her back to sleep.

Chapter Text

77. “Call me if you need anything.”

“lucifer, it’s three days.”

“three days is a long time!” he insists, sitting petulantly atop her suitcase. “besides, this is not enough clothes for three days.”

“i have three outfits,” chloe protests, swatting at him in a half-hearted attempt to get him off it so she can finish packing. “that’s plenty. i’ll be home by dinnertime sunday.”

“that is –” he pauses, swiping a pair of socks from her hands – “seventy-nine hours away.”

“and i’m sure you’ll survive those seventy nine hours,” chloe raises her eyebrow, stealing her socks back and finally succeeding in shoving him off her suitcase. she zips it up with a triumphant huff, turning to him. “don’t forget, trix has soccer on saturday, and rory’s got karate in the morning. there’s –”

“lasagne in the freezer, i know,” lucifer parrots, looking as if he has absolutely no intention of defrosting the lasagne. “i’ve got it all under control, love, but that doesn’t mean i’m happy about losing you for three days.”

his tone is light, but there’s a genuine undertone of distress beneath it. chloe pauses, turning from where she’s packing some earrings, and makes her way to stand between lucifer’s legs.

he tilts his head up automatically, resting his chin on her stomach. her hands tangle in his curls, still damp from the shower they’d taken twenty minutes ago, and scratch lightly at his scalp. his eyelids flutter.

“you’re not losing me, baby,” she promises. “i’m going away for three days. i’m hardly more than four hours away, if worse comes to worst, i’ll just drive home. you’ll be okay.”

his eyes still closed, her husband pouts. “four hours is a lot.”

“you could fly there in half an hour, babe,” chloe laughs, leaning to press a kiss to his wrinkled forehead. “you’re going to be fine.”

“’s been ages since we’ve been apart,” lucifer groans, butting his head into her belly. years ago, he would’ve been horrified at the thought of sounding this needy. now, the only thing he’s horrified by is the idea of waking up without chloe beside him. “and for three days!”

and he’s right. there’s hardly been a night they’ve been apart since… since the war, really. after almost losing her, lucifer had practically moved in, and chloe would be pushed to remember a morning where she hadn’t opened her eyes to him by her side. she thinks it comforts him, to fall asleep beside her, to have her be the first thing he sees each morning. she knows it comforts her.

“we’ll be okay,” she promises, instead of fixating on the idea of not having him around all the time. co-dependency issues, much? “call me if you need anything.”

lucifer gives her a faux glare, but he drags her suitcase downstairs with a grumble and watches with a tiny smile as she says bye to her girls.

trixie barely notices as chloe kisses her cheek goodbye, but rory, four now, clings to her mother with worryingly misty eyes. widening her eyes, chloe hands her quickly back to her father before the mist can escalate into full-blown tears, and kisses lucifer gently before she leaves.

“bye!” she calls, hopping into her car. “be good! listen to daddy! love you!”

and then she’s gone, and lucifer makes them a new pasta, and leaves chloe’s lasagne safely in the freezer for a leftovers night when she’s back.

“is mommy coming in to say goodnight?” rory asks later, her hands rubbing in fists against tired eyes. she looks up at him hopefully, snuggled into her duvet with a toy dinosaur tucked under her arm. “want mommy to come in.”

“not tonight, sweetheart,” lucifer says gently, and tears spring automatically to his daughter’s eyes. “what about your sister? do you want her to come in and give you a kiss?”

rory’s lip trembles, stuck out into a pout, but she nods. “trix.”

“urchin,” lucifer calls. “this little monster wants to bid you goodnight.”

he growls teasingly, imitating a monster, and rory giggles, tears forgotten. trixie comes in with tickling hands, and soon rory’s a mess of laughter, far too revved up to even consider sleep. lucifer gives trixie a mock-head shake, rolling his eyes as his daughter writhes, pealing with laughter.

but then trixie kisses her sister on the forehead, making her promise to stop laughing, and trots back off to her bedroom to finish her homework, and rory asks again.

“mommy, now?”

“not tonight, rory,” lucifer says again, and before the pout can return, suggests something else. “what about if we have a cuddle, and i’ll read you a story? does that sound okay?”

“not read,” rory insists, big eyes pleading. “tell me your story. star story.”

“very well,” lucifer sighs, gesturing for her to move over so he can sit on her bed. as soon as his legs are up, rory scoots into his lap, curling up against his chest so she can listen to his voice rumble through as he talks. “once upon a time, daddy made a star…”

0o0o0

he wakes to a racing heart, and a knock on the door.

his immediate urge is to protect chloe, and it’s only once he rolls to the side to warn her that he realises she’s not there. he sits bolt upright, eyes adjusting to the dark, and uses a cracked voice to call –

“come in…”

his daughter walks in, thumb in her mouth and dinosaur trailing on the floor behind her by the tail. her wings are out, fluffy fuchsia sagging over her back, almost too heavy to hold at her young age. she climbs wordlessly up onto the bed, sniffling slightly, and then crawls over to him.

“i want mommy.”

lucifer takes a long breath, sighing. “i know, darling.”

“mommy not in bed?”

“not this one, sweetheart.” he pats his lap, holding his arms out. “come here.”

rory drops her dinosaur and uses her spare arm to hoist herself into her father’s lap, thumb still sucked stubbornly between her lips. she’s almost completely grown out of this habit, the manner only returning when she’s tired or sad. as she settles in his arms, her wings tickle his back, fluffy, underdeveloped down feathers floating over his soft pyjamas.

“want mommy,” she whispers again, bottom lip wobbling.

“i know,” lucifer sighs, stroking his fingers through her plumage. “me too.”

rory looks up, hand finally plopping out of her mouth to reach up and hold his face. “daddy sad?”

it’s only then that he registers the cooling tears on his cheek, and he gives his daughter a small smile. “just a bad dream, darling. i’m okay.”

“’cause mommy’s not here,” rory nods wisely, her hand dropping as she snuggles in further. “need cuddle?”

“a cuddle would be lovely,” lucifer smiles. he buries his nose in her hair, so soft and curly, a feature she inherited from him. “thank you.”

rory nods again, tucking her little body close to his. “mommy gives me cuddles when i have scary dreams.”

“she’s very good at cuddles, isn’t she?”

“the best.” rory moves again, looking up at him. “’cept you. you’re best too.”

lucifer breathes a laugh, kissing her head. “you’re not so bad yourself.”

happy with that, rory plants a sloppy kiss on his stubble and sighs, curling into him again. “night, dada,” she mumbles, wrapping a wing around herself and returning her thumb to her mouth. “’ove oo.”

“love you too, darling,” lucifer whispers, and when he falls asleep with her in his arms, his mind is blissfully empty.

0o0o0

rory spends the entirety of sunday with her face pressed up against the front window, wings pricking up each time a car turns into their street, onto to deflate again when it drives straight past her house.

trixie’s at a friend’s, and lucifer regrets not organising anything for him and rory to do. he’s gotten them through the past few days simply by keeping busy – between trixie’s school drop-off on friday, karate, soccer, and a million other activities, they’ve made it through without an incident.

last night, though, in their nightly facetime with chloe, she’d made the mistake of whispering see you tomorrow after saying goodnight to rory, and now the toddler was almost trembling with anticipation of seeing her mother again.

“your mother won’t be home until dinner,” lucifer says, for probably the thirtieth time. “do you want to help me cook?”

usually, this would be an automatic distraction for the culinary-inclined child, but she shakes her head stubbornly and presses her face closer to the window, squishing her nose. “watchin’ for mommy.”

lucifer rolls his eyes. “who, i assure you, won’t be home for a few hours. do you want to help, or not?”

but rory remains put, sitting idly in the window until the sun shrinks and finally – finally – chloe’s commodore pulls into the driveway, and she pulls her suitcase up the steps with a tired grin.

mommy!” rory screeches, barrelling into chloe as soon as she opens the door. chloe drops her suitcase and scoops her up seconds before she collides with her mother’s legs, blowing a grinning raspberry into rory’s cheek as the little girl squeals happily.

“hi, monkey. did you miss me?”

rory’s nodding erratically when lucifer appears in the doorway, wiping his hands on a tea towel peeking out from his waistline. “hello, love.”

“hi, baby,” chloe smiles. she tries to put rory down, but her daughter stays attached, so she swings her onto her hip instead. “did you survive without me?”  

“didn’t s’bive, mommy,” rory interrupts, shaking her head seriously as chloe turns to her. “gotta have lo’s’of cuddles.”

“lots of cuddles, hey?” chloe bites back a smile, meeting lucifer’s eyes over their kid’s head. “and i missed out? we’d better have a big family cuddle right now to make up for it, hmm?”

rory nods, giggling again as chloe holds an arm out to welcome lucifer into their hold, the three of them huddling in a circle. rory wraps one wing around each parent and smiles, finally satisfied. “better.”

Chapter Text

78. “Do you want to come too?”

“the detective is going undercover,” lucifer says in greeting. he flops immediately onto the couch opposite her, but rather than his usual fiddling, his hands remain unusually still.

linda sets her notepad down, concentrating. “and how does that make you feel?”

the devil shrugs, eyes trained carefully on his still hands, sitting limp in his lap. “don’t know.”

“are you going with her?”

that does it. his shoulders tense, almost unnoticeable, had it not been her job to watch. when he looks at her again, his jaw is set. “no.”

“and how does that make you feel?”

lucifer remains silent. he does this often, linda’s learnt, when he doesn’t want to tell her the truth, but doesn’t want to lie. the first few times, she’d pushed him.

now, she just waits.

eventually, he looks up, and there’s a look on his face that the doctor can only describe as torn. lucifer looks anguished, his brow furrowed, his eyes troubled.

“it worries me,” he says quietly, eyes immediately falling to his lap again. “i don’t want her to go alone.”

“chloe is quite capable of looking after herself,” linda notes, watching for his reaction. “what makes you feel worried that she won’t be safe alone?”

he shrinks into the cushions behind him, toying with one of their frayed edges as he considers his response. “it’s a dangerous case,” he says eventually. “i would feel… better, should i be allowed to accompany her.”

“i’m sure as one of the lapd’s highest ranking detectives, they won’t let harm come to her,” linda counters. lucifer has stopped playing with the pillow now, his hands now tugging anxiously at his hair. “that doesn’t calm your worries?”

“the lapd is useless,” lucifer grumbles. “i don’t trust them – other than chloe, and maybe daniel and miss lopez – to do anything right.”

“detective decker’s safety is of such high regard to you that you only trust yourself?”

lucifer stiffens, body locked in a defensive position as he turns his gaze up to look at her. “i didn’t say that.”

“you don’t trust the police department,” linda explains. “dan and ella are two of hundreds. you want to look after her yourself.”

over the past few years, linda has become pretty well-read in the language of lucifer. she knows his tells, knows when to keep pressing and when to leave it for the day. she’s been his doctor through – quite literally – heaven and hell, and she thinks she knows him relatively well by now.

which is why, when he looks up at her and there are tears dribbling silently down his cheeks, she’s surprised.

“lucifer…” she starts, gentle, unbecoming, but he breaks her off.

“if something happens to her, i can’t save her,” he whispers, lip trembling. “i wouldn’t be able to help, doctor. she could – she could be hurt, and i couldn’t help.”

it’s the same thought that plagued him throughout those long, hopeless eons during his last trip to hell. he lost sleep over it, agonised over it, and he continues to do so now.

“you can’t place chloe’s life in your hands, lucifer,” linda says gently. “if something happens to her –” it’s not your fault, she’s going to say, but a panicked sob cuts her off.

“something can’t happen to her,” lucifer says desperately, little breaths hiccupped through his sobs. “i can’t let anything happen to her, doctor. i can’t lose her.”

“nothing’s going to happen to her,” linda soothes, but she can’t promise that, and lucifer knows it. she hands him a tissue, hoping the task of stemming his running nose will calm him for a moment, but he only grows more and more panicked, looking up at her through desperate eyes.

“lucifer, if something happened –”

no,” he shudders, pulling his knees up to his chest and backing anxiously into the corner of the couch, head buried in his hands. “don’t. please, please don’t.”

her eyes widening, linda puts her hands up, placating. “okay,” she agrees, nodding. “that’s okay. i do think you need to talk about this with chloe, though, okay?”

“okay.” he chokes the word out through gasped breathes, face crumpled so tightly it looks painful. “can i leave?”

“i don’t think you’re in much of a state to drive,” linda suggests gently, giving up on passing him tissues and sliding the entire box in his direction. “what if i call someone to pick you up, hmm? chloe? maze?”

“’m fine,” lucifer mutters, nudging the tissue box back in her direction with a wet snuffle. “thank you, doctor. same time next week.”

“lucifer –”

he’s gone.

he crashes into chloe as soon as he exits the building. his eyes are blurred with anxious tears and he’s not looking where he’s going and if she hadn’t have stopped him, he might have walked straight into the busy la traffic.

“’tective,” he mumbles, the same time as she says “linda messaged me.”

her hand is still on his arm. he takes a long, tremulous breath, and falls into her with a sob.

“oh - okay,” chloe breathes, her heart breaking. “okay, lucifer. let’s go inside, come on.”

he lets her pull him, hardly resisting as she leads them back into the building, into the elevator, into linda’s office. it barely registers as they have a hushed conversation, something along the lines of i wasn’t far away and talk to him and just broke down, really, not talking to me.

he doesn’t listen. he doesn’t care to listen. he just clutches chloe and moves where she does and only looks up when she murmurs his name.

“sit down, lucifer,” she whispers, voice so gentle that it soothes, temporarily, the ache in his head. “sit down, it’s okay.”

“don’t wanna be here,” he mumbles, because it’s true, he doesn’t, he wants to go home and curl up with a bottle of booze and a few handfuls of hard drugs.

chloe hums sympathetically, sitting down next to him. she lets go of his arm and he flails for contact, heart racing until he manages to sling their fingers back together and press his shoulder flush against hers.

“do you want to tell chloe what we were just talking about, lucifer?” linda prompts, but he growls softly and turns his head stubbornly into chloe’s shoulder.

“you tell her.”

linda sighs. “lucifer is… concerned. about what might happen, should something happen to –”

no.” his hand grips chloe’s, chest collapsing. “please, no.”

“i know it’s hard to think about –”

please,” he whispers, sobs shaking his figure. “i can’t. i can’t.”

can’t picture what it would be like to lose her. to live in a world without her. to wake up each day knowing she wouldn’t be by his side, to continue existing in a place where her light would never be seen again.

“hey, hey,” chloe murmurs, smoothing a gentle thumb across his furrowed brow as he lets out a particularly anguished sob. “it’s alright, you’re alright. it’ll be okay.”

lucifer writhes against her, his entire body bucking with each breathless sob. “it’s not.”

“yes, it is,” she promises. she shifts him so that her arms encase his entire body, professionalism and pretences be damned. her lips find his temple, soothing. “everything’s okay, sweetheart. take a deep breath, and we can talk about it, alright?”

he tries to speak, the words catching on the lump of barbed wire that has taken residence in his throat. his mouth opens and shuts uselessly, tiringly, and eventually he gives up with a broken stutter and concentrates instead on maintaining every individual point of contact with her that he can.

“it’s okay, lucifer,” chloe promises again, running her hand through his curls. “you’re okay.”

they sit in silence, the three of them, the only sounds in the room lucifer’s shaky breaths and the soft scratch of chloe’s nails against his suit. chloe soothes, lucifer calms, and linda simply observes, wondering how on earth her fiery devil has been tamed by love.

eventually, the devil pops his head up, eyes rimmed with red and nose raw. he glances skittishly at linda and then back to chloe, who rewards him with an encouraging smile, her eyes warm.

“i’m –” his voice cracks, and he huffs, upset, but tries again. “i’m s-scared of – of this underc-cover thing.”

“the stakeout?”

lucifer nods, squeezing his eyes shut, as if that could stem the incessant thoughts jabbing at his mind. “if something happens to you –”

“nothing is –”

“if something happens, i can’t save you.” he gazes up at her, pleading with her to understand. “i wouldn’t be there to help. i could lose you.”

“you’re not going to lose me,” chloe soothes, running her thumb under his eye to catch a few stray tears. “but if it makes you feel better, i can check if you can tag along. would that be better? do you want to come too?”

lucifer shoots linda a look, unsure, but when she nods reassuringly at him, he echoes the nod into chloe’s shoulder. “i’d like that, i think,” he whispers, taking a long breath. “please.”

“i’ll sort it out, okay?” chloe promises, kissing his head. “you don’t have to torture yourself like this, baby. we can sort it out. just talk to me, okay? you don’t have to think like this alone.”

“okay,” he promises, content now just to sit with her, holding the knowledge that he’ll be by her side, ready to protect her, whatever comes. perhaps more importantly, however, she’ll be by his, protector in return.

Chapter Text

79. “I’ll still be here when you’re ready.”

he’s changed, when she sees him again.

he’s still her lucifer. he still bounds around, full to the brim with endless energy, eyes lighting up whenever she comes into view. he’s still insatiable, stealing kisses whenever the opportunities present themselves, his tongue down her throat or lips on her head or hands on her ass at any given moment. and he’s still sweet, pouring her glass after glass of her favourite champagne, or covering her with his body if she ever shivers in bed. she wakes up each morning to him by her side, a gentle smile on his lips and the promise of forever shimmering delicately between them.

but there’s a darkness to him, too. it’s always been there, she thinks, but in their time apart – decades for her, eons for him – she thinks it’s grown. what used to be a flicker of pain in the deepest parts of his eyes often flares to encompass his entire pupil, now. he wakes in sweats in the middle of the night, and doesn’t calm unless she curls him into her side. if she enters a room too quickly, unannounced, he’s at the defensive immediately, and he flinches, just momentarily, when she touches him.

she doesn’t comment on it. she’s too caught up in the novelty of having him with her, of being together after so long apart. and when she does comment on it, he brushes her concern away with another kiss or a deeper hug or a tell-tale joke and she lets him, because she’s missed him and she doesn’t want to ruin it.

they never got around to getting married, but this feels like their honeymoon phase. reunited after so long apart, they can’t keep their hands off each other. they’ve cancelled meeting after meeting simply because lucifer’s head is between her thighs or her hand is down his slacks, and when their day finally ends, she finds solace in the fact that she can curl up to his chest once more and be assured that she’ll wake in the same position.

but.

one day, she walks into his – their – office, and wraps her arms around his neck from behind him, and he turns so suddenly that she hardly has time to react before he’s holding a demon-forged blade to her neck and snarling.

she throws her hands up, raising an eyebrow. the knowledge that she can’t die – she’s already dead, of course – plays a pretty large role in her lack of fear, and the usual adrenaline rush is replaced with overwhelming concern.

he is, of course, horrified.

as soon as he realised what she is – who she is – he drops the blade with a clatter and gathers her to his chest, murmuring a desperate apology between appalled gasps. she promises it’s okay, rubbing his back and suggesting that perhaps he talks to linda, who, she has no doubt, has endured many visits from the hell-healer since her time on earth ended a few years back.

he returns from heaven later that evening and succumbs to her hold with a tired sigh. phantasmal, now, chloe doesn’t feel fatigue, but her partner has always been borne of the otherworldly planes, and his emotions are affected here as much as hers once were on earth.

she pours him a whiskey and sits in his lap on the loveseat, taking an offered sip from his glass with a gentle smile. “how was linda?”

“lovely, as always,” lucifer returns her smile, his eyes tired. “worked me hard.”

“she’s good at that.” chloe had become a regular in her office during the many decades without her partner by her side. there’s so much she’s thankful to linda for, so much she owes her. “are you okay?”

“am now,” he murmurs, leaning forward to rest his forehead on her shoulder. “missed you.”

it’s something he’s repeated, randomly, ever since she came back. at first it was almost constant, each kiss peppered with i missed you, a sentiment she’d returned relentlessly. but even once she’d stopped, once she’d thought for sure he knew exactly how much she’d missed him, lucifer had continued to tell her.

sometimes it was after she’d been somewhere. if she’d ducked up to heaven to pay dan and charlotte a visit while he remained downward, he’d greet her at the end of the day with a quiet i missed you and a kiss to the head. or if he stayed back longer with a client and she went home to begin dinner, he’d meet her later and murmur it into her lips.

but other times, he’d just say it. they’d be mid-meeting, and he’d underline the client’s droning with a head to her shoulder and a mumbled missed you. or she’d be making them coffee in the morning and he’d wrap his arms around her waist and breathe how much he missed her into the back of her neck.

“i missed you, too,” she murmurs now, kissing his forehead. she remains quiet for a moment, resting her lips on his warm skin, and considers what she wants to say. “you weren’t gone for long.”

“long enough,” lucifer shrugs, burrowing further into her shoulder.

chloe purses her lips. it sends a shiver through his body. “baby?”

he hums in response, eyes still closed.

“are you okay?”

his eyes flick open. “you already asked that.”

“i know.” she gives him a soft smile. “it’s just… you’ve been – different, lately. sadder.”

“i’m not sad,” he says immediately, tilting his head quickly to look at her. “i’m not.”

“i know.”

“you’re here,” lucifer says, as if that explains everything. “i couldn’t possibly be anything but happy.”

chloe smiles. “i know you’re happy i’m back. i’m pretty thrilled myself.” she bops his nose, smiling wider before the expression drops from her face. “but you’re allowed to be sad, too. i know it can’t have been easy, all those years. it wasn’t easy for me.”

the darkness, storming quietly in the background, returns to lucifer’s eyes. “it wasn’t,” he says quietly. “but i don’t want to talk about it.”

and because she loves him, because she wants the darkness to go away and never return, chloe nods, kisses his brow, and whispers – “okay, baby. i’ll still be here when you’re ready.”

and she will. because now, she’s here forever.

0o0o0

she doesn’t bring it up again for a while. the darkness fades slightly, retreating back into his eyes and leaving them warm and brown once more. he kisses her and cuddles her and carries her everywhere, as if he’s her own personal chauffeur of hell. they spend almost every waking second together, trying to make up for lost time. it’s a vast difference to the past few years, and neither of them complain.

but one day, after amenadiel flies her back down from visiting her parents up above, chloe returns to hell and cannot find her partner. he’s not in their home, or their office, or drinking with some of his favourite demons. she checks some of the more frequented doors, but he’s nowhere to be found.

she’s about to call amenadiel again, convinced they’d crossed paths somewhere in heaven and missed each other, when a particular door catches her eye. it’s not one she’s seen before – not unusual, considering there’s thousands in hell, and she’s been there a mere month – but it’s engraved with a sharp golden carving, and the handle is shiny and clean in comparison to the run down dumps that make up the rest of the gateways.

drawn towards it by some unseen pull, chloe gravitates over and finds her palm resting on the handle. before she can control herself, she’s pulled it open, stepping eagerly into the dark room beyond.

at first, it appears to be empty. she’s half-convinced it’s a side effect of amenadiel’s godliness entering hell, until her eyes adjust to the darkness and she can make out a pale pink lump in the middle of the room.

the closer she gets, the more she can establish. it’s less of a lump and more of a body, not so much pale pink as white linen stained rose by blood. she doesn’t realise she’s standing over it until she is, and she can make out pained whimpers emanating from the body beneath her. horrified, chloe reaches out to touch it, to help, and then two things happen, very quickly, at once.

one, the body rolls over, and her own bloodied face stares up at her, pain seared across her expression. and two, her daughter’s voice, so hauntingly familiar, calls out to her.

“this is your fault,” rory sobs, her voice cracking. “you shouldn’t have left!

chloe’s eyes widen. “i didn’t,” she tries to plead, “i died.”

but her voice remains useless, and she can do nothing but stare at her own dying corpse as her daughter sobs, accusing, from the shadows.

there are tears streaming down her face by the time the door opens, and the room is flooded with light. the corpse at her feet disappears, and rory’s voice quietens, but all chloe can do is mumble please, please, please as strong, capable arms encase her.

lucifer carries her back to their room, rocking her gently as she cries pitifully into his shoulder, rory’s voice echoing in her mind.

“she’s mad, lucifer,” she whimpers, letting him rock her trembling body. “she hates me.”

“she does not,” he promises. “it was just a loop, love, you’re okay.”

peace comes slowly, and then suddenly, accompanied by growing understanding, and growing horror. “that wasn’t my loop,” chloe whispers, horrified comprehension dawning on her. “lucifer, that wasn’t my loop, was it?”

he shakes his head sadly, wipes a stray tear from her cheek. “no, love.”

she asks the question, not sure if she wants to know the answer. “who’s was it?”

“mine.”

suddenly, the darkness, the nightmares, the i missed you makes sense. his hesitancy towards their daughter makes sense. his neediness makes sense.

“oh, lucifer,” she murmurs, wrapping herself around him. “all this time?”

he nods, and then she isn’t the only one crying. his tears mingle with her own, dripping gently to create a mixed pool of equal parts regret and gratitude in their laps.

“i love you,” she whispers.

“i missed you,” he returns.

and this time, she says it back. “i missed you, too,” she murmurs. “but never again.”

Chapter Text

80. “Is your seatbelt on?”

“mommy,” rory asks, as lucifer wrestles her into her carseat. “how long?”

“how long what, babe?” chloe’s wrangling a final suitcase into the boot, tucking it in amongst the others in a game of luggage-tetris before slamming the door shut to avoid any spillage. they’re taking one of lucifer’s more sensible cars today, the corvette left to reside in lux’s garage in favour of a car that seats their luggage and rory’s seat, as well as enough room for trixie’s increasingly long legs.

“drive,” rory hums, giggling as lucifer’s stubble tickles her as he tries to buckle her in. “how long driving?”

chloe slides into the passenger seat, craning her neck around to look at her youngest daughter as she pulls blindly at her own seatbelt. “five hours today, baby. more tomorrow.”

rory, clever as she was at three years old, couldn’t quite grasp the idea of a road trip. until now, the car had been used as a vessel for travelling to and from places – mostly linda’s, or maze and eve’s, or occasionally lux. she couldn’t understand why they’d take the car on a holiday.

she furrows her brow, a gesture so similar to her father’s that it makes chloe grin. “long car ride?”

“long car ride, baby,” chloe nods, laughing as lucifer finally slots the final buckle over rory’s wriggling body. “that’s why we downloaded the movies. trix’ll help you set it up.”

trixie shoots her mother a mock-glare, pulling a headphone out to help her little sister with the ipad. “toy story, ror? or land before time?”

rory shakes her head. “storks,” she demands, and inwardly, chloe groans. they’d watched it for family movie night a few weeks ago, and since then, her daughter hadn’t wanted to watch anything else.

“got any spare headphones, trix?” she asks, wondering if her toddler would even keep a pair on. trixie nods knowingly, also unwilling to sit through the umpteenth rewatch of the week, and slides a pair of gaming headphones over rory’s pigtails.

a chirp of laughter has chloe turning back around, and she can’t stop the smile that spreads over her face at rory’s tiny head encompassed by the larger, jet-black earphones. she snaps a picture, because it’s cute, and sticks her head out the window to yell at her husband.

“lucifer, baby, are you almost ready?”

“almost, darling!” he calls, locking up the front door. two seconds later, he slides into the driving seat, grinning before he holds up a bag triumphantly. “had to get some snacks.”

behind them, her headphones now off, rory cheers. “puffs!”

lucifer leans around to wink at her, sliding the key into the ignition. “your mother might kill us if we eat them all now,” he says, as the car purrs to life. “what about you watch half of your movie, and then we’ll open the cool ranch puffs. sound good?”

“lovely plan,” chloe agrees, rolling her eyes. “seatbelts on, kids?”

trixie murmurs an affirmative, her music already back in her ears, but rory leans forward conspiratorially and whispers in her mother’s ear. “gotta check daddy’s belt, mama.”

chloe chokes on her breath, ignores lucifer’s breathed yes, darling, do check my belt, and side-eyes him instead. “lucifer, is your seatbelt on?”

“no,” he shoots her a grin, winking at rory again. “i’ve chosen to live life on the edge.”

“well, that’s great for you,” chloe huffs, leaning over him to tug at the seatbelt. “but we have two children to care and provide for and i refuse to do it alone. seatbelt on.”

“seatbelt on, daddy,” rory backs her up, and chloe gives her a rewarding smile.

“listen to your daughter, lucifer.”

“i’m listening!” he takes the belt from her and buckles himself in, releasing the handbrake with a mutter that sounds suspiciously like being a bloody role model sucks.

0o0o0

they’re hardly an hour in when rory throws her headphones off and asks, “are we there yet?”

“not even close, darling,” lucifer pipes up, and chloe rolls her eyes.

“not quite, baby,” she says. “what happened to your movie?”

rory sighs. “don’t like this bit. boring.”

chloe purses her lips, wondering how she’d even considered a five-day road trip with a toddler. taking a breath, she twists in her seat to look at her daughter. “which bit, sweetheart?”

rory casts her eyes back down to the ipad, cocking her head, and holds one headphone up to her ear before grinning. “look, mommy, it’s me and daddy!”

chloe narrows her eyes, confused. “where?”

flipping the ipad around, rory points to a large, fluffy white bird, giggling. “that’s daddy,” she says, as if it’s obvious, “and that’s me!”

me is a pink-haired infant, carried in a white sling from the bird’s beak. holding back a smile, chloe nods. “i see,” she says, tilting her head away from rory’s reaching palms. “and –”

“this is daddy because wings,” rory giggles, tapping the ipad with a pointed finger. “and that’s me because – pink?”

“pink, baby, that’s right,” chloe nods, smiling. “you have pink wings, don’t you?”

her daughter lights up. “wings out?”

“no!” chloe says quickly, softening as rory’s lip wobbles. “sorry, baby. no wings in the car.”

“s’not fair,” rory pouts. “daddy fly? no car. wings out.”

“daddy doesn’t have his wings out either, love,” lucifer pipes up. “later, when we get to the hotel, okay?”

no,” rory starts to grizzle, her eyes darkening in warning. “wings now.”

chloe, sensing trouble, tugs the ipad from her daughter’s hands and gestures to trixie. “look, rory, trix is having a nap. do you want to sleep too?”

“want wings,” rory protests, her lip stuck out and wobbling precariously. “now.”

“here, darling,” lucifer turns around quickly, meeting rory’s eyes before turning back to the road. “how about you have a little sleep now, and when you wake up, we can stop for some lunch and you can have your wings out for a bit, okay?”

rory considers this, but when chloe nods her head in encouragement, she deflates, nodding. “wings after sleep?” she asks, thumb finding its way to her mouth. “promise?”

“promise, sweetheart.” lucifer reaches a hand back blindly to rub her little knee. “go to sleep, and then you can have your wings out at lunch.”

seemingly happy with this arrangement, rory stops complaining, but it’s only once lucifer finds a radio station and starts to sing softly along that she finally drifts off to sleep, thumb still stuck between her lips.

with two napping kids and a quiet car, chloe turns the ipad off and leans her head back, content to listen to her husband sing and enjoy the cool air of the ac. she reaches a hand over the console to rest against lucifer’s thigh, and he casts her a gentle smile as one of his hands falls from the steering wheel to cover her own. between the gentle hum of the car and lucifer’s husky voice, it’s not long before chloe joins her daughters in a comfortable slumber.

0o0o0

she’s woken by poking fingers jabbing incessantly at her face, and then an immediate oof as thirty pounds of toddler is deposited onto her lap.

“mommy, mommy, mommy,” rory giggles, bright eyed and excitable once more. “daddy says he’s gonna fly with me!”

chloe blinks her own eyes open. through the open door, she can see that they’re parked across from a lush green park. trixie’s stretching her legs, walking around, and lucifer is chest-deep in the trunk of the car, searching for lunch food.

“fly, huh?” she asks her daughter, hoisting rory onto one hip as she climbs out of the seat and tries to shake the pins and needles from her left foot. “where’s he flying you too?”

“top of the car,” rory beams, and squeals as chloe places her on the roof of the car jokingly. “you drive, me and daddy fly?”

“really, now?” she pops rory on the ground, letting her toddle off to join trixie in the park, and sticks her head into the boot to help lucifer search for sandwich ingredients. “you want to fly?”

“we’ll stay high enough,” he shrugs, cocking his head as he pulls mayonnaise from an esky. “and it’ll keep her out of your hair for an hour. are you okay to drive?”

“sure,” chloe shrugs, following behind as he lugs bread and butter towards their kids. “trix can sit in the front, she’ll be thrilled.”

and she is thrilled. she sits up next to her mother and plays dj as chloe drives, filling the car with a mix of pop-punk and alternative tunes. above them, an equally-thrilled rory clings to her father, downy-pink wings batting unconsciously as lucifer soars them above the clouds, occasionally ducking down to show off by doing a flip or a spin that has chloe rolling her eyes and rory squealing with delight.

and when they finally arrive at their hotel, wings tucked away, rory proudly tells the concierge that she flew there, and when the receptionist asks if it was her first time on a plane, rory shoots her a concerned look as if to say are you quite okay, and chloe has to hide her smile as her daughter promptly informs her that there were no planes involved, thank you very much, she flew here with her wings, they’re pink, and daddy helped her.

as both the concierge and receptionist send their daughter bewildered looks, chloe looks over her head to share an amused look with lucifer, who’s grinning wildly back at her.

and suddenly, the roadtrip doesn’t seem impossible at all.

Chapter Text

81. “Sweet dreams.”

god doesn’t answer his half-prayer.

lucifer doesn’t want him to, but let it be noted that for the first time in a very long time, he’s not entirely sure what to do, so a bit of guidance wouldn’t go completely unnoticed.

he’d ask maze, but he hasn’t been on the best of terms with her lately and he’s not very keen to throw himself back at her when he’s still feeling the burn from the debacle with his brother. therefore, he also can’t ask amenadiel – not that that was really an option in the first place, the righteous git would have no clue how to deal with his current situation.

the person he’d normally go to would be… the detective.

but he can’t do that, can he?

because she is… otherwise occupied.

in his lap.

she’s snuggling him.

lucifer casts one final distressed look at the sky, sighing as he looks down. chloe’s been asleep for fifteen minutes now, her congested snuffling petering out into gentle, even breaths. she has a hand fisted in his shirt, anchoring her to him, and her hair is mussed under his chin. it tickles slightly.

although he’s not nearly as uncomfortable as he had been ten minutes ago – actually, she’s quite warm, and solid, and is he… comfortable? – he knows she can’t stay. at least, not on top of him. he can already feel the beginnings of pins and needles in the arm that’s trapped under chloe’s warm body, and though the penthouse couch is very useful, it’s not exactly made for napping.

sighing reluctantly, he shuffles her experimentally, hoping that the movement doesn’t trigger any nausea – he’s wearing armani, after all. but chloe doesn’t throw up, hardly stirring, actually, until he jostles her again and she turns her face into his shoulder, scowling.

“come now, detective,” he murmurs. “bedtime.”

“nuh uh,” chloe groans, sounding suspiciously like her daughter. lucifer rolls his eyes.

“we can’t stay on the couch,” he informs her, and she glares at him, brow furrowed. her bottom lip pokes out into an adorable pout, and lucifer softens slightly. “would you like to borrow my bed?”

“but you don’t want me in your bed,” chloe huffs, pout intensifying. “i tried.”

“i’d prefer you in my bed than on me,” lucifer argues, chuckling as she burrows further into him in protest. “i can stay out here. you need to go to bed.”

“do not,” chloe argues, but her indignant glare is almost immediately replaced with a yawn, and even she looks surprised at the magnitude of it. “…maybe.”

“definitely,” lucifer decides. “can you walk?”

with a little assistance, she climbs off him, but her hand stays attached to the cuff of his suit, and as she wobbles unsteadily on her feet, he lets her pull him up to help her, folding an easy arm around her waist and guiding her towards his bedroom.

“ooh,” chloe says, trailing her fingers over his sheets. “soft.”

“yes, yes, they’re artisan silk,” lucifer says distantly, scanning her. “boots off, into bed.”

“yes, sir,” she giggles, kicking her boots halfway across the room and flopping backwards. “so comfy.”

“i’m glad you approve,” he says drily, sitting on the edge of the bed. “under the covers, detective, let’s go.”

“so bossy,” chloe groans, but she does what he says, perching up on her elbows and gazing at him. “where will you sleep?”

“out there,” lucifer says, gesturing vaguely towards the penthouse. there are plenty of other rooms available in lux, obviously, but something in him tells him not to leave chloe. “are you alright? do you need anything?”

she’s laid her head down on the pillow, hair spread across the black silk like moonlight glittering on the sea. through hooded lids, she gazes up at him, a lazy smile tugging at her lips. “can’t believe the devil is nice,” she murmurs, reaching a hand towards him half-heartedly before letting it drop. “you’re a sweetheart.”

“i am nothing of the sort,” lucifer says immediately, and chloe giggles. “you’re drunk, detective. you need to sleep this off and get some rest. dad knows what sort of hangover you’ll wake up with in the morning.”

“’m not drunk, and ’m not tired,” chloe promises, but the next time he brings himself to look at her, she’s fast asleep, her cheek mushed against the pillow and a hand slipped under her neck.

“sweet dreams, detective,” lucifer murmurs, tucking the duvet around her shoulders.

it’s not until he’s back in the living room that he realises that although it’s not the first time a woman has been in his bed, he’s definitely never tucked anyone in before.

0o0o0

she wakes twice more.

the first time is with a nauseous gurgle, and he points wordlessly towards the bathroom, watching as she hauls her body towards it and throws it in front of the toilet.

he waits patiently outside, chuckling in sympathy when she groans a go away from inside, and hands her a wet facecloth, a clean toothbrush, and a glass of water when she emerges. she takes them all thankfully, ducks back inside to clean herself off, and then slinks back to bed with a bucket by her side.

the second time, he’s reading in the corner, a lamp casting a warm glow over his shoulders and his book, when a whimper from across the room startles him out of his thoughts.

at first, he thinks he’s imagined it. the book he’s got his head buried in is in dutch, and although he’s fluent, it takes a fair amount of brain power to concentrate, and he’s convinced the sound was a manifestation of his brain.

until another whimper emanates from the bed, followed almost immediately by a sniffle.

“detective?” he asks warily, tucking a credit card into his book to mark his place and setting it on the side table. “are you alright? do you feel ill again?”

nothing. nothing to acknowledge she’s even awake, other than another sniffle and a wet sob.

“there’s a bucket on the right side of the bed,” lucifer says cautiously, eyeing her dark form under the covers. “if you need it.”

“i don’t,” chloe whispers, and he relaxes slightly.

“oh,” he says, lost. “then –”

“what am i gonna tell trixie?”

  1. oh.

dad help him, this is not his forte.

nevertheless, he pushes his reading glasses onto his head and makes his way through the darkness to sit gently on the side of the bed. chloe turns to him, her hair now in a very messy bun, face swollen and red. as he reaches out to smooth the blanket away from her face, she lets out another tired sob.

“via text, lucifer,” her lip wobbles, eyes filling with imminent tears. “was i that – am i that insufferable?”

he’d been rubbing his thumb along the duvet, but at this, his face snaps to hers. “no. detective –”

“we were married. we have a child. he’s my husband! trixie’s dad! and he broke up with me via text. surely that has to – to say something about me. that i was a horrible wife, such a terrible wife that he couldn’t even bring himself to say it to my face –”

“detective –”

“am i so bad of a mother that –”

chloe.”

she looks up at him, tears finally falling, her voice quiet as she responds. “yes?”

“you are not a terrible mother.” he stares pointedly at her, unrelenting until she wilts and nods, not meeting his eyes. “i’ve had my fair share of terrible parenting, and i assure you, that urchin is the luckiest child on earth to be able to call you her mother. okay?”

“but dan –”

“daniel is a douche.” the nickname, normally said with some sort of reluctant warmth, is spat. “i’ve never had you as a wife – never seen you as a wife – but i can say without any uncertainty that you’d be as brilliant a wife as you are a mother.”

chloe hiccups. lucifer isn’t done.

“breaking up with someone via text is quite the cowardly act, i believe,” he continues. “yet another aspect of daniel’s dwindling dignity lost.” he snorts, bare of any humous. “yet his real loss, detective, was you. do not let him, for once second, try to persuade you that you are the issue here. you’re a wonderful parent and an even better partner, and his decision to break up with you is at the top of a very long list of stupid decisions detective douche has made.”

chloe shifts beside him, shuffling over his bed until she can rest her head on his thigh, her cheek flush with his pants as she looks up at him. “lucifer…”

“you are too good for someone who will break up with you via text, detective,” he says, sincerity lacing his tone. “please do not undersell yourself.”

chloe nods, closing her eyes with a tired mumble. “why are you being so nice to me?”

“when you are a nice person, you deserve to be treated nicely in return,” lucifer shrugs, his fingertips dancing over the cuff of her flannel. “and you, detective decker, are possible the nicest person i’ve had the pleasure of meeting.”

finally, a gentle smile finds its way to chloe’s lips. “you’re pretty nice, too,” she murmurs. “for the devil.”

“shh,” his eyes are bright, smile teasing. “don’t tell anyone.”

Chapter Text

82. “I was in the neighbourhood.”

daddy!” he’s hardly opened the door when fifty pounds of excitable seven-year-old crashes into his legs, two curly pigtails bouncing over his suit. he huffs, dropping one of many grocery bags in his hands to the floor, and attempts half-heartedly to untangle her from his waist.

“lucifer?” rory’s exclamation is echoed in a more surprised – if not somewhat reserved – nature as her mother steps into the hallway behind her. “i wasn’t expecting to see you back so soon.”

giving up on removing his daughter from his front and deciding it would simply be easier to give into her affections, he lets the seven-year-old climb up his body like a lizard and hoists her easily onto his hip, groaning teasingly as she probes his stubble with her tiny fingers. “i was in the neighbourhood,” he winks, in lieu of explanation, and scoops the remaining grocery bags up with the hand that’s not busy holding rory.

he makes his way into the kitchen, rory chattering uselessly into his ear, and realises only when chloe doesn’t follow that she’s still staring at him, confused.

“what, darling?” he asks, raising an eyebrow. “as if my company isn’t always appreciated.”

“no – it’s not that,” chloe says quickly, looking apologetic. “it’s just, i was about to put her to bed, it’s a school night, and –”

“it is not!” lucifer shoots her an easy grin, gaining backup from rory as he looks to her for approval of his following sentence. “aurora informs me that tomorrow is what they call a curriculum day, and thus, this little urchin is freed from her educational shackles for the day. am i correct?”

chloe’s heart sinks. tomorrow is a curriculum day, a fact that had totally slipped her mind. she groans inwardly – now she’s going to have to sort a sitter, and find something for rory to do all day, and –

“your mother’s having a tough time at work,” lucifer’s whispering to rory when chloe next looks up. “would you care to assist me in cooking her a lovely dinner to take her mind of it all?”

rory nods, thrilled, and giggles when he pulls a bottle of chloe’s favourite red wine from one of the bags. she points to the kitchen cupboard where they keep the wine glasses, and ‘helps’ him pop the cork off the top of the bottle, giggling as it flies across the room.

lucifer passes chloe the glass, gesturing to her living room. “allow us, love,” he murmurs, flitting the palm of his hand across the small of her back fleetingly. it’s such a small touch that chloe barely feels the pressure, but the warmth of his palm remains strong as she takes a seat.

“you didn’t –” have to, she wants to say, but lucifer shushes her, and tightens his grip on rory’s waist as he bends down to unpack the rest of the grocery bags.

his daughter slides down lucifer’s hip to sit on the bench, her little legs dangling as she directs him around the kitchen. first to the third drawer, where she instructs him to pull out matching aprons, the larger one adorned with a pink banner and the phrase mommy – head chef. rory’s is smaller, and has a darker pink banner and a little sous chef embossed in glitter. she pulls it from lucifer’s hands, attempting to put it around her neck, but he tuts and takes it back with a cheeky grin.

“you’re head chef today, young lady,” he says, tucking the big apron over her head. it almost reaches the floor from where she’s sat on the counter, draping way past her legs, and she giggles manically, tiny body shaking with laughter.

laughter, chloe notes, that only increases as lucifer, straight-faced, pulls the tiny apron over his own head. it hardly covers his midriff, the tiny pink embellishments pulled taut against his abs, but he pretends not to notice, wiping his hands on an invisible washcloth and staring at rory as if to say what now?

she’s laughing too hard to help, and lucifer, still impressively passive, throws his hands up and turns to chloe. “this head chef is a disaster,” he says, rolling his eyes. “what do you think, should we replace her?”

no!” rory squeals, and chloe’s own laughs finally spill over. “mommy, tell daddy not to replace me!”

“i don’t know, babe,” chloe grins. “are you going to be helpful?”

“he’s being silly!

“excuse you, aurora,” lucifer tuts, coming at her with extended tickling fingers. they find her ribs and she screeches, little body trembling in laughter as lucifer tickles her relentlessly. “the devil is not silly.”

rory squeals, wriggling under lucifer’s fingers before he lets up and she catches her breath. “silly devil,” she giggles, eyes bright, and lucifer shoots her a mock glare.

“silly little angel, i think,” he corrects, poking her once more in the belly before shaking his head with a smile. “come now, rory, we should really work on dinner, don’t you think?”

“i’ve had dinner,” rory tells him. “mommy made me mac n cheese.”

lucifer’s eyebrow hikes into his hairline, and he turns to chloe. “you do not like mac n cheese, love.”

“i know,” she sighs, resting her forehead on her wineglass. “but she does. i haven’t eaten yet.”

“oh,” lucifer processes this, and then a smile breaks over his face. “perfect! rory, you can help me with your mum’s dinner, and then you can share dessert, okay?”

“okay,” rory grins. she’s missing a front tooth, and every second word is impeded by the slightest lisp. “what’s for dinner?”

“you really are a terrible head chef,” lucifer shakes his head, but he winks at her behind chloe’s back and pulls out a recipe book. “tonight’s menu includes… drumroll please…” rory taps her hands against the bench obediently, eyes shining. “…an old favourite of your mum’s – grilled cheese sandwiches!”

chloe bursts out laughing, and lucifer grins at her gleefully, happy to see a smile on her face. it’s been a long week, a long month, and on top of all his extra work at lux, chloe’s been a bit run down.

lucifer pops some funky spanish music on and dances around the kitchen, placing a kiss on chloe’s head as he passes her. he pulls the sandwich press from the cupboard and bread from the bread bin and a tub of butter and some cheese from the fridge, passing them all to rory before doing a dramatic jiggle in the middle of the kitchen.

rory claps along with the music, dancing slightly on her own, and chloe watches her dumbass husband in his stupid tiny apron making her silly little grilled cheeses, and wonders how on earth she got so lucky.

“fries in the air-fryer, rory,” lucifer instructs, having seemingly forgotten that his daughter is the head chef, not him. “and hold the ketchup. foolish condiment, isn’t that right, love?”

chloe smiles. lucifer grins back.

god, she loves him. she loves their life.

ten minutes later and they’re sitting on the couch in front of frozen, a grilled cheese on each of their laps. lucifer’s is currently being devoured by a hungry head chef, but he doesn’t seem to mind, his eyes on chloe as she takes a bite of her dinner.

“mm,” she murmurs, closing her eyes. “that hits the spot.”

when she opens them, he’s beaming, and rory’s stealing a chip from her dad’s plate. she shakes her head with a laugh, eating a fry of her own, and lets the sound of her husband and her daughter duetting love is an open door take over any other rational thought.

0o0o0

later that night, with rory tucked in bed and a pint of ice cream sitting between them, chloe rolls on her side to look at him.

he’s staring at something on the television, glasses on, hair mussed from rory’s revenge bedtime tickle fight. his shirt is open a few buttons, legs bare bar from a pair of boxers, and as she watches, he brings a lazy spoonful of ice cream up to his mouth and closes his lips around it.

“i love you,” chloe says quietly, and his attention turns immediately from the television to her, spoon dropping from his lips.

“and i you,” he says carefully, eyes narrowing slightly. “are you alright?”

chloe nods, but when she closes her eyes, a tear slips down her cheek.

lucifer moves the ice cream immediately, shuffling down so he’s at her level and reaching out to cup her cheek. “chloe, darling…”

“i’m fine,” she promises, but her voice breaks. “i just love you.”

“and i love you too,” he agrees, confused. “but that’s not normally a crying matter?”

chloe laughs wetly, because how is she meant to explain? that it meant so much to her that he’d notice she was having an off week and decide to do something to make her feel better? that every night since their first moment, she’d thought of him every time she saw ketchup? that she’d expected to fall asleep without him tonight and having him next to her right now meant more than anything she could imagine? that seeing him with rory every day fills her heart with more love and joy than she’d ever thought she could harbour, so much so that she thinks her heart grows a size every time he makes their kid laugh?

she can’t explain it. it’s too much and not enough and she’s not nearly as good with words as he is, so instead of trying to enunciate what she’s thinking, she simply burrows into his body and whispers, “you’re a good dad.”

as she knew he would, lucifer tenses slightly, then softens. “thank you,” he murmurs, his breath tickling her hairline.

“i mean it,” she promises. her lips brush the column of his neck. “i love watching you with her. it makes everything else go away.”

“she has that affect.” lucifer breathes a gentle laugh, gathering her closer. “i’m glad we could take your mind off things for a moment.”

chloe hums, nestling closer into him before she relaxes completely, her body lax against his. lucifer draws soft patterns across her back, coaxing her towards sleep, and presses his lips to her hairline. “i love you,” he murmurs, and chloe whispers something nonsensical in a sleepy response.

after he’s sure she’s fast asleep, he flicks the television off, curls tighter around her, and follows her into slumber.

and when they’re woken the next morning with a screech of mommy, daddy, you let the ice cream melt! chloe locks eyes with lucifer, and she knows it’s all worth it.

Chapter Text

83. “Stay there.  I’m coming to get you.”

even though he’d told her – convinced her, really – that he’d be fine, chloe spends the whole night worrying.

“mom?” trixie’s staring pointedly at her, and chloe sighs, rubbing her eyes before she turns back to her kid.

“sorry, babe. i missed that. what were you saying?”

trixie rolls her eyes, shaking her head with a small smile. “big storm,” she repeats, eyes on the window. “weird, for summer.”

really weird,” chloe says absently. she stares outside, watches the wind whip through the trees, the rain falling in great sheets against the window. their power had cut out an hour ago, their only source of light a few candles and the flashlight on trixie’s phone. chloe had suggested bed twenty minutes ago, but her idea had been met with a furrowed brow and a mom, it’s seven thirty…

she wants to do something, suggest a board game or a book or a tub of ice cream to share, but she keeps getting distracted by the storm outside and the constantly whirring thoughts of lucifer in her head. she wants to tell trixie to get off her phone, that the battery won’t last if she keeps watching tiktoks, that they don’t know how long the storm will last, because it wasn’t forecasted, and she’ll regret it in the morning if she has no charge.

but she doesn’t say any of this, because her phone rings.

she swipes it up and answers, knowing instinctually who it’s going to be and why it’s going to be him. lucifer’s hardly gotten a word out of his mouth before chloe’s grabbing her raincoat and snapping her fingers at trixie and murmuring – “stay there, lucifer. i’m coming to get you.”

0o0o0

by the time she gets there, he’s soaking wet and trembling with every thunderclap. she gathers him into the car, shuffles trixie into the backseat, and hands him a picnic blanket, trying not to worry as he wraps it around himself and curls up in the passenger seat, looking awfully small.

another loud burst of thunder has him whimpering, and chloe curses as she tries to navigate the horrible storm, windscreen wipers working overtime to create a clear window of vision. the rain, rather than simply dropping, appears to be falling in heavy, angry sheets, and each slam of raindrops against her windscreen sends lucifer further into an anxious fit. every thunderclap reminds him too much of his father’s harsh words, the dark clouds colliding and prodding each dark corner of his mind, stirring up memories he hasn’t accessed for a while now.

a particularly loud thunderclap draws a panicked whine from his lips, and chloe sighs, letting her hand fall to his thigh as trixie pulls her airpod out and leans forward from the back.

“do you want me to do something, mom?”

“no, monkey,” chloe shoots her a tired, grateful smile through the rearview mirror. “thank you, though. we just need to get home.”

this damn storm.

once the car has been safely navigated back into their driveway, chloe takes a deep breath and opens her door.

almost immediately, rain pours into the side compartment of her car, soaking the lower carpet instantly. bracing herself against the storm, she pulls her hand from lucifer’s thigh and forces herself into the rain, coming around to open the passenger doors.

she hands the keys to trixie, rain coming down so hard against her back that it hurts. “run, baby!” she yells, voice raised to be heard over the storm. “unlock the door and wait in the hall, okay?”

trixie nods, making a mad dash through the rain towards their house, and chloe turns to lucifer. “hey, sweetheart,” she says softly, rubbing his back. at her voice, he looks up, wrapped in the blanket and trembling with the cold. “we’re going to go inside, okay? i need you to come with me, let’s go. ready? one… two… three –”

she wraps an arm around his waist and pulls, dragging him through the storm and into the house. by the time they’re all inside and chloe’s shut and locked the door behind them, her hair is plastered to her face, and there’s a puddle growing steadily beneath their feet.

trixie kicks immediately into helper mode, shrugging off her coat and taking chloe’s to hang in the laundry. chloe unwraps lucifer from his blanket cocoon and leaves him, shivering, in the hallway while she searches for a new quilt to wrap around his shoulders.

he shivers beneath her touch, and she sends trixie off to get changed into warmer pyjamas before leading lucifer upstairs, corralling him into the bathroom. “clothes off,” she says quietly, turning towards the shower and reaching in to turn it on. “and no funny business.”

her hand remains beneath the shower spray, and she wonders why it won’t warm for around thirty seconds when it clicks. their power still hasn’t returned, so their hot water won’t work, and -

fuck,” chloe swears, and behind her, lucifer whimpers. she cuts off the water, drying her freezing hand on a towel, and turns back to him, sighing. “sorry. the hot water’s off, we’re going to have to just dry off and get warm another way, okay?”

he hasn’t managed to pull his clothes off. they’re stuck to him, the fabric glued to his skin and soaked to the bone. chloe sighs again, leaving him momentarily to pull one of his shirts from her robe, and passes it to him, along with an old pair of basketball shorts. “i don’t have any of your pants,” she shrugs, grabbing a towel to dry off her hair. “can you get changed? i’ll put some hot chocolate on downstairs.”

at his nod, she shuts the door carefully behind him and dries herself off quickly, changing into some old pyjamas and leaving her damp clothes in the wash basket, to be dealt with in the morning. she checks her phone, a news article of the unexpected storm the only notable notification, and treads downstairs, placing some water on to boil.

trixie’s on the couch, dry now, her hair tumbling in damp curls down her back. chloe grabs a spare towel and places it over her shoulders, pulling her hair back over it so that the dampness doesn’t seep into her skin and get her sick. she presses a kiss to her daughter’s head and then scoops a copious amount of cocoa into three mugs, tapping her foot as she waits for the water to boil.

it's only once she’s poured the boiling water and milk into the mugs and topped them with cream and marshmallows that it occurs to her that lucifer still hasn’t resurfaced. she hands trixie her hot cocoa and leaves her own on the bench, traipsing upstairs with a steadily increasing feeling of trepidation.

“lucifer?” she calls, knocking on the bathroom door. “can i come in?”

her heart sinks as she’s met with silence, and she waits another moment before sliding the door open carefully. “oh, lucifer.”

he sobs once, trembling as she walks further into the dark bathroom and crouches on the floor next to him. cautiously, chloe reaches out, offering him her hand, and he takes it immediately, clutching it to his chest.

up here, in the bathroom, the storm worsens. the rain slams against the corrugated roof, hail thrashing against the windows, and each new booming thunder sends lucifer’s face further into his knees.

“you don’t like the storm?” chloe asks gently, desperate to understand.

lucifer whimpers. chloe takes the hand that’s not buried in his chest and rubs her thumb softly along his neck, trying to stem his shaking. “you need to get changed, baby. you’ll get sick.”

“’s so loud, chloe,” he mumbles, breath catching as lightning dances across the sky. “i want it to stop. please?”

chloe’s heart clenches. “come on,” she murmurs, pressing a kiss to his forehead. “stand up, let’s go downstairs. it’s quieter, down there.”

he lets her pull him up, out of the bathroom and into the walk-in robe. he’s freezing cold, so she stands him across from her and uses shaky fingers to undo his buttons, switching one soaked shirt for a dry one. he trembles as she helps him into it, his eyes following her every movement, and when she’s done, she takes his hand and leads him down the stairs.

trixie’s in bed, now, her hot chocolate on her bedside table as she reads a book by candlelight. chloe drags lucifer over to the couch and pulls him down next to her, manoeuvring herself so she’s laid lengthways along the couch, so that he can curl up on top of her.

as she knew he would, he drapes his body over hers, shuffling for a moment to get comfortable before he sags, all the fight draining from his very being.

“don’t like storms,” he says quietly, “they happen when my dad is mad.”

“oh, sweetheart, your dad isn’t mad –”

“yes, he is,” lucifer whispers, his chest caving beneath her soothing hand. “he doesn’t love me.”

“he does, lucifer –”

“what kind of parent admits that?” his voice is high, strung tight with tears as he looks desperately to her. “why would he say that? why doesn’t he love me?” he breaks off, taking a shuddering breath, and his voice is soft when he next speaks. “why doesn’t he love me, chloe?”

chloe feels as though the breath has been knocked out of her. what kind of parent does admit that? her eyes automatically flick to trixie’s room – that kid is her pride and joy, she cannot even imagine what it must be like to tell your child you don’t love them.

her heart breaks for the man in her lap.

chloe breathes gently, trying to coax him to follow, but a large clap of thunder has him punching out a choked sob, hand flying up to grasp at her as he buries his face in her neck. one sob turns to many, and soon he’s crying steadily, with chloe helpless to do anything other than simply stroking his back and murmuring that he’s safe, that he’s okay, that she’s there.

eventually, he must fall asleep, because his sobs turn to whimpers and his whimpers peter off into gentle, even breaths. he falls completely lax against her, head drooping to her shoulder, though his grip never loosens from where he’s clutching a section of her shirt in his fist.

she’s never been the religious type, and she thinks she’s prayed maybe twice before in her entire life, but right now, there’s nothing she wants to do more. she wants to scream at god, let, quite literally, all hell unleash on him for hurting his son.

instead, she settles for tugging lucifer closer to her, pasting her lips to his head, and murmuring, “i love you, lucifer. you’re so loved. you are so loved.”

Chapter Text

84. “The key is under the mat.”

“it just makes sense, detective,” lucifer insists for the hundredth time, and maybe it’s exhaustion, but chloe’s starting to believe him. “you have a case, in which we need to go undercover, in sausalito, and i happen to have a beachhouse in sausalito. why on earth would you stay in one of your dingy two-star hotels, when a morningstar property is on offer?”

and as they pull up to the stunning mansion after the six hour drive from los angeles, chloe definitely believes him, and she can’t remember why she’d been against the idea in the first place.

maybe because we’re still madly in love with him and he couldn’t care less, her brain suggests sarcastically. spending four days in his house with him definitely won’t hurt, right?

but she ignores that, because despite owning sixty-five thousand cars, lucifer refused to drive up here, and spent the day complaining about her music taste from where he’d been cramped up in the passenger seat, and chloe is tired. so no, she doesn’t care about any implications of any feelings that may or may not still be lingering for her partner, she’s just grateful that his house is sure to have comfortable beds.

beds that he’s probably slept on with millions of other people, her mind supplies helpfully. regretting this yet?

no, chloe thinks, working stubbornly to keep the idea of a bed in her mind’s eye. she skips up the last two steps, taking in the giant house in front of her. built entirely in white, it exists in stark contrast to the darkness of lux, and chloe bites back a smile as she wonders if he’s got his wings on show here. the place, even in the haze of the setting sun, is shrouded in light, and as chloe makes her way up the marbled steps, lucifer calls from behind her.

“the key is under the mat, darling!”

chloe snorts. leave it to the so-called devil to have security measures as flimsy as trixie’s eight times tables. she bends down, holding onto her suitcase, and swipes the key from under the mat, sliding in into the door.

lucifer’s hurrying up the path behind her, and he bangs straight into her back as chloe takes a step inside and stops still.

he’s brought her to a sex house.

they’re on official work business, and lucifer’s brought her to his sex dungeon.

her mouth drops open, and she gapes for a moment before turning on her feet, spinning to face him. he’s very close, and it knocks her of kilter for a second. he stills her with a hand to her elbow, but she jerks out of his grasp with a step backwards with a disbelieving blink.

“we’re getting a motel.”

“what?” he looks genuinely surprised, as if he’d actually expected her not to mind.

“this is – this is a sex house!” chloe splutters. “we can’t run an investigation here!”

as if it’s only just dawned on him, lucifer looks around, pursing his lips as he takes in the sex swing in the middle of the foyer, and the various sensual statues littered amongst the granite walls. when he meets her eyes again, there’s a smile tugging at his lips, teasing. “we could certainly do other things here, darling,” he smirks.

chloe swallows.

call work and say you got food poisoning or something, a few days can’t hurt.

a few days can and will hurt.

hurt in a good way.

lucifer’s still standing close to her, warm breath from his lips splayed across her forehead with every exhale. chloe clears her throat, taking a step backwards.

it’s too late to get another hotel. that’s counterproductive.

“we can stay here for tonight,” she reasons, sighing. “but tomorrow – new hotel, okay? no more sex dungeon.”

“this is not a sex dungeon,” lucifer glares at her, looking genuinely offended. “more like a sex castle, darling. sex with me is nothing if not royal.”

“i’m sure,” chloe rolls her eyes, shaking her head. so much for a comfortable bed – she’s going to struggle to fall asleep, knowing the likely things the bed has had to endure in the past. “please tell me there’s a shower in your sex dungeon.”

“sex castle, love,” lucifer corrects, but her points her towards the shower with a cheeky grin. “just down there to the right. past the picture of the clitoris!”

chloe blows a breath through her lips, closing her eyes momentarily before she heads in the direction he pointed. as she moves from room to room, her eyes catch on the décor of the place. it’s like she’s just walked into an adult store the size of a walmart, each counter littered with a myriad of different toys and appliances. there are machines she’s never even considered before, and ornaments she has to look twice at to even think about how they’d be used.

her eye catches on a particularly interesting contraption, and she pauses for a moment, her suitcase sliding to a stop as she contemplates the intricacies of the toy. if that goes there, then – oh. oh.

by the time she gets to the shower, she’s decidedly turned on.

lucifer could fix that.

lucifer is not fixing that.

why not? we’re in his sex dungeon, after all. make the most of it!

we are perfectly capable of fixing this ourselves, thank you very much.

it’s a sex dungeon, so the shower is insane. there are multiple shower heads, brilliant white tiles, and as many different products as chloe has hairs on her head. she chooses a single showerhead and turns the spray to warm, slipping her clothes off and sliding into the water.

fuck, that’s nice.

you know what would be nicer?

no.

she finds another showerhead, conveniently fitted with many different spray settings, and holds it curiously, experimentally, downwards.

oh.

it doesn’t take much to work her up (stupid sex dungeon), but it’s also not super invigorating, and as her hand works, her mind wanders.

how many people has lucifer brought here before? did he bring her here, just to entice her? she wants to believe that he didn’t, that he genuinely just wanted to be helpful. but could she judge him if he did have ulterior motives? she’s the one having sex dreams, goddammit. and so what if he’s had other people here, she has no right to be jealous.

have other people had sex with lucifer in this shower?

fuck,” chloe whispers, immediately turned off. she shuts off the shower with a huff, stepping out and feeling less refreshed than when she came in.

we have no right to be jealous, he’s not ours, we are not allowed to be jealous.

but we are.

so what are we going to do about it?

fuck. turned off from the shower as she is, there’s still an unsatisfied ache growing in her lower belly, and hell be damned if she’s going to let it be soothed by her fingers later that night in a bed that lucifer, no doubt, has also had people in before.

mind made up, and possibly influenced by the lack of sleep she’s had in the past three days, chloe wraps a towel haphazardly around herself and stalks out of the bathroom, past the stupid clitoris drawing, and down the hall the way she’d come.

lucifer is piling sex toys into a storage unit. he looks up when she comes in, unfazed, and blinks slightly at her choice of attired. “detective! i’m just clearing some things up, thought it might make you more comfortable if they were –”

“come here,” chloe says quietly, and lucifer, bless his heart, obeys immediately.

“listen, detective, i’m sorry about the house, it honestly just slipped my mind, i promise i –”

“shut up, lucifer,” she whispers, and kisses him. he freezes, but she pushes into him, needy, and eventually, his hand finds a home on her towelled hip, and he kisses her back.

it starts slow, not too dissimilar to their kiss on the beach all those long weeks ago, but chloe wants more. the feeling from the shower, temporarily muted by her realisation, is back in full force, and she presses further against his body, darting her tongue out to lick into his mouth.

“detective,” lucifer pants, breaking apart. “are you –”

“i said shut up,” chloe murmurs, but she meets his eyes, hoping that, just this once, he can read what she desires. just in case he’s still confused, she leans back in, brushing her lips over the underside of his jaw, feeling a muscle tick.

when she pulls back, he’s staring at her, awed. “okay,” he breathes. “i can do that.”

turns out he can’t. he’s very vocal. between murmuring his surprise or checking she’s okay or making sure she’s still absolutely okay with everything he’s doing or telling her how beautiful she is, he doesn’t shut up.

chloe doesn’t mind.

granted, she’s a bit distracted. at some point, she’d let her towel drop, and lucifer’s – lucifer’s fucking mouth had been introduced to her breasts, and he seems to be getting along brilliantly with them, and when her fingers catch his wrist and drag his hand downwards, he lets out a delightfully strangled gasp, pulling her closer as he maps her entire body with tiny kisses.

and then his hand is between her legs and all chloe can think about is how this is so much better than the shower, and why did she even consider not doing this, and how is he so good at it, and

lucifer,” she gasps, and he removes his lips from her nipple to grin up at her, as if he knows exactly what he’s doing, and his eyes are dark and hooded and blown to black, and chloe whispers fuck, and pulls her phone off the coffee table.

“hi,” she breathes, when the head office picks up. lucifer’s face has found it’s way between her legs, and she bites back a gasp before she continues her sentence. “i’m afraid we’ve picked up food poisoning, we might be out of action for a few days.”

Chapter Text

85. “It doesn’t bother me.”

they’re babysitting charlie.

lucifer, despite his proclaimed enmity for children, doesn’t mind. for one, he loves his nephew. and looking after charlie while linda and amenadiel go out for dinner with his father means that lucifer doesn’t have to deal with his father himself. it’s a nice respite, after days of having god on his back.

and it doesn’t hurt that his co-babysitter, self-appointed head cuddler, is none other than chloe.

his partner is just as besotted with the baby as linda is. if he didn’t know her so well, lucifer might say chloe has baby fever.

instead, he lets her coddle charlie and feed him and change him and bath him and sits back with a small smile, willing to let chloe get it out of her system.

it works. she fusses over the child for a few hours, feeding him some disgusting mixture of mashed peas and pear and asparagus, and lucifer sits back with a glass of water (not whiskey. he’d reluctantly surrendered that at chloe’s raised eyebrow) and watches them.

everything is going fine. in fact, lucifer might even go as far to say it’s going well. charlie is a happy baby, for the most part, and chloe is obsessed with him, and he loves the attention. all lucifer really has to do is stay there and watch over both of them.

currently, chloe is reading a book to his nephew. she’d disappeared with charlie an hour ago, hauling the giggling baby upstairs to bathe him and change him into a clean onesie, and lucifer had found just enough time to whip up a lasagne and slide it into the oven for him and chloe. now, dishes done and apron off, he’s sidled upstairs, searching for his partner.

he leans against the doorframe as chloe’s voice rises and lowers, her tone floating across each sentence soothingly. in her arms, charlie suckles his thumb, eyes lidded.

guess how much i love you, chloe murmurs, her voice gentle. i love you all the way up to the moon, and back.

as it has every time she’s uttered those three words since he got back, lucifer’s chest tightens and warms, and his eyes fall to her face. her eyelashes are long, painting dark, spindling lines over her lids, and her lips are quirked into a tiny smile as she stares at charlie, now asleep.

she shuts the book with a quiet thud, and sets it on the side table, taking a mostly-empty bottle from charlie’s tiny hands and placing it next to the book before she bundles him closer and stands up, placing him in his cradle.

he stirs immediately. chloe remains unfazed, tucking his sleep sack around him tighter, and moving a stray pacifier before she takes her hand off his stomach and steps back.

charlie screams.

to lucifer’s utter shock, chloe whispers a pained fuck, and he lets out a bark of laughter as his nephew’s cries grow stronger. chloe turns to him, a smile peeking through her teasing glare, and grabs his wrist as she passes, shutting the door behind them.

“you didn’t here that,” she whispers, grinning, and lucifer raises an eyebrow.

“oh, i most certainly did,” he winks, lip quirking. “what on earth will linda say?”

“nothing, she’ll be too busy killing us for not getting her kid to sleep,” chloe sighs, groaning as charlie’s cries grow. “he was asleep! was he not asleep when i was reading?”

“maybe he was just pretending,” lucifer hums. “your voice was quite soothing.”

a hint of a blush colours chloe’s cheeks, and she drops his wrist. lucifer tries not to miss the warmth.

“we give him five minutes,” chloe decides, “and then we try again. sound good?”

“you tell me, you’re the expert,” lucifer agrees easily. “my experience with children is narrowed down to your urchin and a single night with daniel, amenadiel, and this nuisance.”

chloe’s brow furrows. “you – when did you babysit with dan? you know what, nevermind, we need to get out of here. charlie can probably hear us.”

“i don’t know much about babies, detective,” lucifer quips, trotting down the stairs behind her, “but i do think it’s looked down on if you simply ‘get out of here’ while a child is in your care.”

chloe leans back to flick him, but her eyes widen in distraction as they get down the stairs. “can i smell garlic bread?

lucifer coughs, suddenly quiet. “i made dinner,” he says sheepishly. “unless you wanted to eat that dad-awful mush you fed my nephew?”

“he needs his nutrients, lucifer!” she shakes her head, but follows him into the kitchen with an appreciative sniff. “god, that smells heavenly.”

“heaven actually smells rather boring,” lucifer says absently, checking the lasagne. he pulls it out to cool, setting a timer for the garlic bread. “not sure screaming-child is the right ambience for such a dinner, but it’ll have to do.”

“i’d take anything,” chloe sighs, casting a tired look up to charlie’s room. “i forgot how much work babies are.”

“not having another one, then?” lucifer asks, slicing the lasagne into even pieces. “one parasite enough?”

“she’s not a parasite, lucifer, you love her,” chloe chuckles, pulling wine from the fridge. she laughs as he lights up. “here, i’ll help you out. first rule of parenting: wine after the kids are asleep.”

“that baby is not asleep, detective,” lucifer notes, and charlie chooses that time to scream particularly loudly. “should we – is he okay?”

chloe hides a smile. concerned lucifer is adorable. “you could go grab him. maybe he’ll calm down if he’s with us. he might fall asleep down here.”

she pours them wine and grabs the garlic bread as lucifer returns a moment later, his nephew red-faced and screaming in his arms. chloe bites back a smile, watching the awkward way lucifer holds the baby, and holds her own arms out to take him, trying not to laugh as her partner hands him over.

“hey, hey, mister charlie,” she murmurs, bouncing the seven-month old. “this will not do, buddy. do you wanna stay down here with me and uncle lucifer?”

just lucifer,” lucifer inputs quickly. “uncle makes me sound like a middle aged beer collector with a penchant for collecting sports cars.”

“you do collect sports cars,” chloe grins, laughing as lucifer gapes at her. she settles charlie on her hip, taking a forkful of lasagne, and bites into it with an appreciative murmur. “you’re a brilliant chef, you know that?”

“exactly,” lucifer agrees. “uncles can never cook well.”

“weirdo,” chloe mumbles around another mouthful. charlie screams in her ear, and she drops her fork with a sigh. “you’re not gonna let me eat uncle lucifer’s delicious dinner, are you, bud?”

he screams again. lucifer winces. chloe bounces him, murmurs to him, hands him water and offers him a tiny bite of her lasagne. he pushes them all away, going purple with the effort of crying.

eventually, she hands him to lucifer. “he’s your nephew,” she argues. “maybe he just wants you.”

lucifer takes the baby and holds him at arm’s length, looking unsure, so chloe forgoes their dinner and leads him to the lounge, settling them on the couch with a grin. “rock him in your lap,” she suggests, sitting at lucifer’s knee. “maybe he’ll sleep in your arms.”

“i don’t know about you, but this is not how i look when i’m about to sleep,” lucifer says warily, eyeing charlie’s purple face. “detective, do babies explode?”

chloe snorts, but her laugh falls flat as real, heavy tears start to roll down charlie’s red cheeks. “you’re right,” she sighs, slumping. “i’m stuck. he probably just wants his mom.”

lucifer looks down at his nephew, considering. charlie screams back. chloe can see the cogs ticking in her partner’s head.

and then, suddenly, a switch flicks in his brain. “there was… something,” lucifer says carefully. “when i babysat with daniel and amenadiel.”

chloe perks up. “yes?”

“you might want to leave,” he gazes at her, wary. “it’s not… pretty.”

chloe chuckles. “i’d take anything at this point,” she grins, but it falls when she sees lucifer’s serious face. “what?”

“last time he calmed down at the sight of my… other face,” lucifer says, staring pointedly away from her. “you might want to leave.”

chloe’s breath catches, but she swallows and places her hand gently on lucifer’s arm. “do it,” she says gently. “i don’t mind.”

he shoots her a sceptical look, and flashes his eyes red almost hesitantly. almost instantly, charlie’s screams peter into whimpers.

lucifer’s eyes bleed back to brown, and the baby screams.

“you can do the whole face,” chloe murmurs, eyes gentle. “it doesn’t bother me.”

he doesn’t look like he believes her. she wants him to do it so he can.

and then, ever so slowly, lucifer’s face morphs into its red counterpart, soft skin melting into scarred red. charlie quietens.

in the sudden silence, chloe lets her head fall to lucifer’s shoulder. he stiffens beneath her but doesn’t comment, bouncing charlie gently in his arms. the child’s thumb finds its way back into his mouth, his eyes staring sleepily up at his uncle.

before she can think about it too much, chloe tilts her head, and brushes her lips over lucifer’s scarred cheek.

he shudders. she wraps an arm around his back, and burrows her head into his shoulder, and lets herself imagine, just for a moment, that this could be them. their life. their baby.

just her and her devil.

and the next time she whispers guess how much i love you? she’s not talking to charlie.

Chapter Text

86. “You’re important too.”

he hasn’t let her go for hours.

chloe tries to ignore the voice in her head, the one arguing that a man who leaves you in the middle of a god-infested precinct after you’d just been rescued from being kidnapped by his twin brother and –

ah, fuck. she needs a drink.

and she’s sure lucifer would happily get her one, if he’d only let her go.

but he won’t. she’s tried. she wiggles and squirms and even kisses his arm, but try as she might, he will not let her go.

“lucifer,” she tries again. “can i go to the bathroom?”

“you went half an hour ago,” he mumbles, his face buried in the back of her neck. he’s trying to sound sleepy, but she knows what he sounds like when he’s sleepy, and this is not it.

she knows what he sounds like in a lot of moods. happy, sad, angry, panicked – she’s heard them all, and she could pick them all too. it’s part of the reason she didn’t fall for michael’s games. partly how well she knows him, and partly -

she’s in love with him.

the voice in her head changes tune. maybe we should enjoy this, it suggests wryly. it’s not often that he puts away his thinking and decides to just hold us.

she sighs. it’s right. she can count on one hand the number of times lucifer’s held her like this – after her dad’s killer was caught, after their first night (before and after the midnight round of sex, the devil is a post-coital cuddler, who would’ve thought?) and now. and she’s spent the day locked in a rocky cage on the side of a mountain. who is she to complain?

she should just relax.

relax, and focus on how his breath rolls across her shoulder blades in tiny waves. on how his arms are tight around her middle, holding her back securely to his front. on how his legs tuck in between hers, anchoring her to him.

on how, every now and then, he presses his nose so far into the back of her neck that she feels it squish, and kisses the freckle below her hairline.

and she would relax. she really would.

if he would.

unlike chloe, who could easily melt into sleep, lucifer is as tense as a brick. he lays behind her, moulded to each curve like he was made to be (he was, her brain reminds her unhappily. she pushes that thought away), yet he’s somehow more stressed than she’s ever seen him.

she rolls over. his hands tighten, and she huffs grumpily as she tries to shift. “lucifer, let go.”

no,” he growls, pressing closer to her. she blows a frustrated breath through her lips, twisting again.

he clutches at her, so tight that it pinches her ribs, and she startles. “ow. that hurt!”

it’s like a switch has been flicked. he drops his arms immediately, scrambling away from her, his eyes wide. chloe starts, blinking. what?

finally, she’s able to roll over, and does so. “um. what?”

her partner stares at her. his face is blank, save for panicked, scared eyes, that shine through despite his clear attempts at remaining calm. chloe pauses. then, ever so slowly, she inches towards him, her brow furrowing. “i didn’t mean let go let go. i just wanted to roll over. to see you.”

she tries to curl back into his side, but he scoots further away from her, still staring at her with that unusually fearful look in his eyes. chloe frowns. “lucifer, what are you doing?”

“i h-hurt you,” he whispers, eyes growing hard. “i hurt you.”

“you – what? you – you pinched my rib, lucifer, that’s all!” her face drops, watching as he grows more distressed. “lucifer, i’m fine. i’m fine. something just got caught on my skin, i’m okay.”

“n-no,” he shakes his head rapidly, face crumpling. “no, i hurt you. i h-hurt you-”

“hey,” chloe says quickly, scrambling into a sitting position and reaching her hand out towards him, hesitantly, as one might do to a shy puppy. “hey, it’s okay. come here.”

he shakes further, backing away from her, guilt tearing at him. “i let m-michael take you b-because i was too – too busy f-figuring out h-how to hurt d-daniel.” his hand finds its way to his hair, tugging anxiously at the product-encased curls. “what if i didn’t f-find you? what if he – he h-hurt you, and – and –”

a keening whine breaks from his lips, and he hits the assyrian wall with a gentle thud, sliding down it until he can bury his face in his knees. “he t-took you,” he whispers, over and over again. “he hurt you.”

“hey,” chloe says again, pulling herself off the bed and stepping carefully over to him. she crouches down, and then sits, back against the same wall, a foot from him. “he didn’t hurt me. he didn’t even touch me. i’m okay.”

“i d-didn’t save you,” lucifer whimpers. “i didn’t help.”

“hey. look at me.” he doesn’t listen, back heaving unevenly with each breath. “lucifer, look at me.”

it’s the touch of her hand to his arm that does it, and he meets her kind eyes with equally panicked ones. “i didn’t –”

“you found me, lucifer,” chloe murmurs, her hand still resting gently on his forearm. “you found me, and i’m safe, and we’re here, together. okay?”

“n-no,” he shakes his head, lip wobbling precariously. chloe aches to reach out and smooth it, but she resists. “i t-took too long. you could’ve – you could’ve –”

“nothing would have happened to me,” chloe saves him from saying it. “i knew you were on it. you were never going to let anything happen to me.”

it doesn’t calm him. nothing calms him, at least not until she gives up on boundaries and pulls him into her side. it’s only once he’s practically in her lap, cutting off the circulation to her leg, that he stops trembling.

“i hate michael,” he whispers, and she kisses his forehead and murmurs i know and me too.

and then she considers something. “what about your dad?” she asks gently. “if he –” she pauses slightly. “if he made me for you, surely he wouldn’t let his own son hurt me. right?”

lucifer’s gone still again. chloe assumes he’s considering this, presses onwards. “can’t he see everything? and aren’t angels not meant to kill humans? he wouldn’t be happy with –”

“michael is his favourite,” lucifer spits, eyes flashing red. “michael can do no wrong. michael is an angel. michael –” he breaks off, shuddering, his eyes closing as if he’s in pain. “my dad loves michael.”

chloe hesitates. “but –”

“chloe,” lucifer whispers tiredly. “my dad saw everything that happened today – everything – the lead up, the execution, the aftermath – and his response was to come down and tell us to behave like good school children or we wouldn’t get any playtime.”

he scoffs, but there’s a raw, panicked undertone to his anger. “he wants me to be friends with michael. to love michael. how am i meant to – to even look at him, after what he’s done to me? to you?

he wriggles in her arms, an anxious mirror to her position prior, but chloe’s stuck on something else. “your dad spoke to you?”

“what?” lucifer stops twisting, staring at her. “oh, yeah. he’s here. on earth.”

chloe blinks. god is on earth? “why didn’t you tell me?”

her partner shrugs, sniffing quietly. “it didn’t seem important. it’s not important. you were kidnapped by my brother!”

“and i’m fine,” she presses. “but your dad being here? that’s important, lucifer! you’re important too, okay?”

“you spent the day in a cage!”

“and i’m fine!” she cries, banging her hand on the floor beside them. lucifer flinches, and chloe sags. “i’m sorry,” she whispers, gathering him to her in an embrace as his eyes begin to fill with tears. “hey, i’m sorry. i didn’t mean to yell.”

“you don’t understand,” he whispers, sucking in a shaky breath. a single tear rolls down his cheek, but he makes no move to stop it. “michael is capable of hurting you. killing you. and he’d do it, just to get to me.”

“i know,” chloe sighs. “i know, and i was rattled too, i promise. i just – i’m safe, now, okay? and i think we need to talk about your dad.”

“i don’t w-want to talk about him,” lucifer mumbles, turning his face into her shoulder childishly. “he doesn’t care about me. or about you. h-he was ready to watch michael hurt you. the only reason he came down was ’cause me and amenadiel were gonna kill michael.”

“and you had every right to,” chloe agrees, kissing his temple with a sigh. “but he’s here now, lucifer, don’t you think –”

“no,” he says, stubborn now as he presses his face further into the soft material of her shirt. “don’t wanna think.”

chloe snorts, leaning back against the wall and letting her hand curl into the back of his head, tangling amongst the curls. “okay, baby,” she murmurs, and he softens immediately. “no thinking for now.”

he curls up to her side, content, and she wants to tell him she loves him. she wants to shout it from the rooftops, tell him about how it fills her up inside, how it spills over in the moments like these where he’s truly vulnerable.

but if she said it, he’d close up, and she can’t bring herself to do that. so instead, she murmurs, “thank you for finding me, today.”

“’s’okay,” he mumbles, and now he does sound sleepy. she wonders if she should move them to the bed, and decides against it. “sorry it took so long.”

chloe shrugs. “i’m here now,” she whispers, her lips finding the tip of his ear. “with you. and we’re okay.”

Chapter Text

87. “I saved you a seat.”

for the twentieth time in the last five minutes, lucifer cranes his neck to peer around the room. beside him, trixie places her hand on his knee. “dude. calm down. there’s still fifteen minutes til it starts.”

“yes, and your mother isn’t here yet,” lucifer huffs, tugging his hand from trixie’s grasp. “what if she misses it?”

“dad missed a million of my school performances, and i’m perfectly fine,” trixie rolls her eyes, looking suspiciously like her mother. “i’m sure rory will survive if mom’s five minutes late.”

“someone might take her spot,” lucifer worries. in his lap, a plastic-wrapped bouquet of flowers crinkles. “and you might say you’re fine, but i’m sure all those missed performances left deep psychological damage.”

trixie snorts. “sure, lucifer. rory probably won’t even be able to see us.”

“excuse me, urchin, we have prime seating,” lucifer splutters, waving his arm around. “look! front row!”

trixie’s about to speak up, probably to complain about said seats, when she’s thankfully saved by the bustling arrival of chloe.

“hey,” the lieutenant puffs, out of breath as she wriggles past a few other bored-looking parents. “sorry, got held up at work.”

“that’s okay, darling,” lucifer says, visibly relaxing. “i saved you a seat.”

“thank you, babe,” chloe says gratefully, sinking into the hard auditorium chair. “did rory get on alright?”

“perfectly,” lucifer nods, his hand entwining absentmindedly with chloe’s. “she was practically shaking with excitement.”

“well, a first school play is always cause for a little excitement,” chloe laughs. “she wasn’t nervous? no stage fright?”

“love, she’s playing a tree,” lucifer points out, and chloe shrugs, grinning. she would’ve been scared. trixie was scared, back when she used to be involved in the annual school productions.

but it makes sense that rory isn’t. she’d inherited all of her father’s confidence and none of chloe’s nerves. chloe’s not sure she’s ever met such an outgoing five year old.

right as she’s about to ask if lucifer bought any snacks, the lights dim, and the words die on her lips as her husband leans towards the stage with a hushed ooo.

chloe shares a smile with trixie, biting back a laugh. it’s funny, really, to see lucifer – the actual devil – so enraptured by a school production, put on in a shitty public hall, with horribly hard plastic chairs and a stingy bedsheet used as the red curtains.

but then again, that makes sense too. rory could simply breathe, and lucifer would beam with pride. it’s no surprise that he’s so excited about her acting debut.

the elementary school is doing a production of junior wizard of oz, and rory, in her first year of school, had been over the moon when she came home with her audition sheet. it bore a simple two-line script, but she’d practised with lucifer over and over again until she deemed it perfect, and toddled off to school the following day wriggling with excitement.

and then, two days later, lucifer had picked her up and she’d hardly scrambled into the car before squealing in his ear and handing him the cast sheet, which, at the very bottom, read proudly:

aurora morningstar – tree 6

they’d gone out to dinner to celebrate.

rory had spent the following weeks begging her parents and her sister to critique her ‘tree pose’, often standing stock-still at the drop of a hat, her eyes staring straight ahead, and her mouth set in a line. she’d gotten scarily good at it, actually, and chloe swears she’d lost three years of her life when she’d walked into their bathroom one day and her daughter had been standing behind the door, straight as a stick, and said cheerily “hi, mommy!”

but the real excitement hadn’t begun until last week, when tree 5 had come down with laryngitis, and their single line of dialogue had been handed down to rory.

she’d practised that line – “go, dorothy, get him!” – over and over again. in the car on the way to school, over dinner, around her toothbrush as she brushed her teeth each night. chloe’s pretty sure that she’s been hearing rory say go, dorothy, get him in her dreams.

her youngest had been a ball of excitement this morning, carrying her handmade tree costume to school and whispering go, dorothy, get him under her breath. chloe had put in a long day at work in order to get tonight off, so she’d sent rory to school with lucifer, but not before crouching down to her daughter’s level and whispering ‘break a leg, monkey.’

rory had raised an eyebrow perfectly and scrunched her face up. “that’s a silly saying, mommy,” she’d said. “trees don’t have legs.”

“break a branch, then, honey,” chloe had laughed, and rory had given her one of her great smiles, kissing her cheek and bounding off to do tree things.

“she’s not on until the second act,” chloe whispers, leaning across to murmur in lucifer’s ear. he shushes her without turning, eyes focused intently on the makeshift stage.

chloe’s surprised he’s not complaining. the little girl who’s playing dorothy is so tone deaf she’d struggle to find music in a recital hall, and the wicked witch of the west keeps forgetting her lines. dorothy is dragging a tired-looking stuffed dog by a ribbon, and keeps saying her toto lines as if the poor thing will talk back.

all in all, it’s what you’d expect an elementary school production to be, and lucifer’s not one to take the arts lightly, so chloe expects at least a scowl when the head teacher sticks her head around from backstage to cue in the munchkins, who have forgotten their entry.

but lucifer remains silent, watching raptly as the story unfolds. chloe hides a chuckle and squeezes his hand.

0o0o0

finally, the bedsheet-made-curtain falls, and the audience erupts into applause. chloe turns to lucifer, who is clapping gently as he stares at the stage.

“babe,” she says, and he blinks slightly. “can we get something to eat? i’m starving.”

“feel free, love,” he whispers distractedly. “i don’t want to miss anything.”

“there’s a ten minute break, baby, you’re not going to miss anything,” chloe laughs, but lucifer simply shakes her head and sends her and trixie off with a twenty dollar bill.

as soon as they’ve left their seats, they’re immediately filled again, and lucifer turns to find another parent he’s seen around the playground.

“what’s your little one doing?” she asks, smiling gently.

“she’s tree six,” lucifer says proudly, grinning back. “keep an eye out! she’s made her very own costume, has adorable little ringlets, and a face some have even called angelic.”

the woman blinks. “oh,” she nods, taken aback. “y-yes. i shall.”

lucifer grins. “she’s very talented,” he praises. “she’s about to knock it out of the park.”

“i’m sure,” the woman nods. she changes tune. “well, my daughter is playing dorothy. quite a step up from tree six, but it’s okay, we all have to start somewhere, i suppose.”

finally, lucifer draws his eyes away from the empty stage. “tree six is arguably the best role of the show,” he says, cocking his head, a steely glimmer to his gaze.

“oh, arguably,” the woman smiles again, sickly sweet. “it’s okay. not everyone can be dorothy like my arabella.”

lucifer’s eyes harden. “and absolutely nobody wants to be,” he tuts. when the lady glares, he follows it innocently, “do tell your arabella that her dorothy is incredibly sharp, won’t you?”

the lady huffs, standing up with a stomp and storming away right as chloe and trixie return with a box of popcorn. “what was that about?”

“nothing, darling,” lucifer smiles, stealing a kernel. “shh. the show is starting.”

0o0o0

go, dorothy, get him!” rory says proudly. her head pokes out from a round hole cut into brown fabric, arms coated with bright green leaves. she’d asked her parents if she could perhaps just die her wings green, but despite her enthusiasm that the costume would be simply that, a costume, chloe wasn’t convinced. she waves her arms slightly, rustling the leaves, and then makes eye-contact with her family, grin widening.

beside chloe, lucifer whoops. and then, as if that isn’t enough (has she ever heard anyone whoop before?) he stands up and cheers. on stage, rory beams.

lucifer,” trixie hisses. “sit down.”

lucifer pokes his tongue out at her and gives rory one final cheer before sitting back down. “she deserves a tony,” he whispers, gazing at her fondly. “she’s a true talent.”

0o0o0

afterwards, rory sprints out, still tree-d up, and catapults herself into her father’s arms. “did you see, daddy?” she squeals, leaves rustling. “did you see?”

“oh, i did, sweetheart,” lucifer grins, squeezing her. “you were an absolutely force to be reckoned with! you’ll be on broadway in no time!”

rory giggles, turning to grin at her mother. “did you see, mommy?”

“i did, baby,” chloe smiles. “you did awesome.”

“i did,” rory sighs knowingly, curling closer into her father’s arms. “’m the best tree.”

“the very best,” lucifer agrees. “your sister and i chose you some flowers, if you’d like to get down and see?”

rory slides down and pinks up the fuchsia peonies with a giant grin. “flowers!”

“for good luck,” trixie pipes up, and lucifer adds – “big, famous actresses get pretty flowers when they do a brilliant performance.”

i did a brilliant ’formance,” rory giggles, sticking her nose into the petals. “right?”

“that you did, babe,” chloe promises, her chest warming as she smiles down at her little girl. “a very brilliant performance.”  

Chapter Text

88. “I’ll see you later.”

“lucifer – lucifer, fuck, i can’t do this right now.” she’s almost in tears. “i need to go home. trixie and – trixie’s at home, and i need to –”

trixie’s at dan’s. the only thing waiting for her at home is… him.

pierce.

“i need to go,” she whispers, throat tight. he’s still sitting at that stupid table, with his stupid, perfect white tablecloths, and the wine, and the roses, and why can’t he just admit it, goddammit?

she’s standing, but she pauses, willing him to stop her. begging him to say something. anything.

there are candles everywhere. stupid, fucking candles, and roses, and lucifer won’t move.

chloe wants to scream.

“say something,” she pleads finally, her voice wobbling. “please, lucifer. say something.”

as soon as the words leave her mouth, she knows she’s set herself up for disappointment. she’d felt the same twinge of hope when he’d said he had ‘a question’ for her, begged her to answer ‘honestly.’ she’d wanted him to ask her then, ask her if he could be hers, if she could be his. she’d been ready. ready for them to finally stop sidestepping, to stop dancing around whatever they are, whatever they could be.

but then he’d said something so fucking stupid about pierce, and she’d wanted to curl into a ball and sob, and he’d just sat there with that stupid fucking smile and those stupid gorgeous eyes and looked at her as if what he had just asked wasn’t complete batshit.

for a moment, she’d wondered if he really was telling the truth when he said he couldn’t read her. because sitting there, across from him in possibly the most romantic setting she’d ever stepped foot in, on the very verge of tears with him asking if he’d bested her boyfriend…

she doesn’t know if she even knows who lucifer is anymore.

please, she begs silently, to who, she doesn’t know. please, bring my partner back.

but still, lucifer doesn’t speak.

and so, biting back tears, chloe steps further into the elevator. “fine,” she whispers, blowing a shaky breath through a bitten lip. “i guess – i’ll see you later, then, okay?”

lucifer remains silent. chloe jabs at the door-close button, begging it to speed up. ever so slowly, the metal doors of the lift begin to slide. she tenses her jaw. thirty more seconds.

tears prick at her eyes. her lip wobbles. her entire body wants to shut down.

twenty more seconds.

just hold it together for twenty more seconds, and then you can break.

the doors are three feet apart. two feet. one foot –

no.”

the elevator shudders. the doors slide back open, more quickly than they’d closed.

lucifer stands there, in front of her, and chloe breaks.

she backs into the elevator, trembling, and he follows, hands out placatingly. chloe, body shaking with the effort of keeping her tears at bay, squeezes her eyes shut and crashes into the back mirror of the lift, crumpling into a ball.

“detective,” lucifer murmurs, and she makes some sort of resistance noise, but he pays no attention. any suave confidence from before is gone, replaced with concern, warmth.

selfishly, chloe is grateful for it.

that’s more like him. her partner.

“detective,” he whispers again, his voice closer now. “come back inside. we can talk, we’ll figure this out.”

he doesn’t speak like this to anyone else. chloe knows that, knows that his so-called vulnerability around her extends to this, to his care, his love.

instead of reassuring her, it fuels her anger.

“let me downstairs,” she says, voice muffled by her legs. “go away.”

“that will get us absolutely nowhere,” lucifer counters. she feels his hand make contact with her knee and flinches from his touch, seething. “detective, please…”

“you don’t get to plead with me,” chloe sobs, peeking up at him from her ball on the floor. “that’s not how this works.”

“then explain!” he is pleading now, eyebrows downturned, hand still reaching for her. “please, chloe, i don’t know how to fix this.” his voice trembles, broken, quieter now. “i don’t know how to fix this.”

chloe tenses herself against another bout of sobs that threaten to overtake her form. “don’t do this to me,” she begs, for the second time that night. “please don’t do this to me.”

she thinks she hears a sob, but she can’t bring herself to look up at him to check.

“let me downstairs,” she says again, unsure whether her shaking is due to anger or sadness. “lucifer, let me downstairs.”

“no,” he says, a second time. “we need to fix this.”

“there’s nothing to fix!” chloe explodes, scampering away from him as she looks up at him with wild eyes. “you and me – there’s nothing.”

“you don’t mean that.” his own eyes are wide, scared, panicked. “detective, you don’t mean that.”

“don’t call me that,” she cries, standing up and backing into the penthouse, away from him. “there’s nothing left here, lucifer. we’ve ruined it all!”

“we haven’t,” lucifer shakes his head, unsure whether he’s reassuring her, or himself. “detect – chloe, please.”

no.” she’s crying now, the stupid candles blurred with tears, streaks of red and white and fire burning her eyes. she paces around, taking in his stupid perfect date night and his stupid perfect meal and his stupid perfect roses, and feels herself fill with white hot rage. “you can’t do this to me!”

lucifer stills. he’s still in the elevator, watching her. chloe isn’t done.

“you complain about my boyfriend, but you never say why and then you don’t sleep for a week and come back with some stupid fucking celestial story, and now you’ve lured me here for a date, but you won’t call it that, and this is just – we don’t work, lucifer!”

her chest heaves, and she gasps in a long breath. “we don’t work,” she says again, trying for angry, her voice failing her as it breaks. “we don’t work, because you –” a poorly stifled sob – “you don’t want me.”

she falls against the back of the couch, exhausted. he rushes over. “oh, darling,” he murmurs, giving up on any and all professional pretences and gathering her shaking body into his lap.  “that’s not true. that’s never been true.”

chloe whimpers. she wants to stay mad at him – fuck, any glimpse of the decorated penthouse sends her riling with rage – but she also can’t ignore how right it feels to be held so delicately in his lap.

his deft fingers find her hair, and she can’t help but fall further into him, shuddering. “detective,” he whispers, and his lips are so close to her forehead. “why do you think i hate pierce?”

“because he’s some murderer’s brother from the beginning of time?” she suggests snarkily. “or because he’s not as lenient about your time off as the old lieutenant?”

lucifer chuckles, and chloe feels it against her chest. it calms her somewhat, fills her with a warmth she wasn’t expecting, that she’s not sure she likes.

“well, yes, both of those things,” he agrees, still laughing. his chest falls flat, and chloe tries not to miss the warmth. “but you don’t think there’s another? a more significant reason?”

chloe sniffs. “i need you to say it,” she whispers, because that’s what it’s been about all along. when he was sleep-deprived and throwing a tantrum, she needed him to admit it. when she took the axara tickets and he watched her with those eyes and she knew, she still needed him to say it.

when he’d sat across from her with a flute of champagne and a french-sounding dish that smelt incredible, she’d practically begged him to admit it.

if he doesn’t say it now, she’s not sure what she’ll do.

probably go home to a few bottles of wine and a raging hangover. certainly never speak to him again.

either way, she’s not sure she can go back to pierce.

“say it,” she whispers again, and when she turns her face out of his shoulder to look at him, his eyes are troubled. “please, lucifer. i need you to –” a little sob, escaped without her permission. “please say it.”

lucifer takes a deep breath, her body rising as his chest does. “oh, detective,” he murmurs, gazing at her. “don’t you get it? pierce is – irritable, that’s for sure. but he wouldn’t be much different to daniel, or perhaps maze on a bad day, if not for –”

he breaks off, hesitant, and chloe bites her lip. “say it,” she whispers gently, her fingertips grazing his stubble. “please. say it.”

“if not for you,” lucifer finishes, all in one big breath. “i hate him because he’s with you. are you happy, now?”

but chloe shakes her head. “no,” she whispers. “i’m not.”

“no,” lucifer gives her a sad smile. “me neither.”

chloe hesitates. lucifer turns his head so his lips finally brush her forehead, sighing into the soft skin that stretches between her brows. “you say i don’t want you,” he murmurs, “but you’re wrong. there’s no one i want more, chloe. i’ve wanted you since the beginning of time.”

she butts her head into his lips, then tilts her face, slowly, so he is perfectly clear of her intentions, and can back out at any point.

he doesn’t. and then, right before their lips meet, she murmurs – “i want you, too.”

Chapter Text

89. “I noticed.”

his voicemail echoes through her wine-ridden brain, and chloe emits another pitiful sob as she starts to refill her glass.

actually, she thinks, fuck it. she drains what’s in her glass and forgoes the crystal, grabbing the bottle of wine by the neck and taking a swig as she patters towards the couch. sinking into it, her hand gets halfway to finding the remote before she wilts and grabs the wine instead.

god, when did her life become so pathetic?

probably the minute you found out you’re a miracle!

she pushes the thought from her brain. that’s what the wine is for. to make her forget.

again, lucifer’s voicemail replays in her head.

detective, darling, i’m truly sorry. i know nothing will change what i’ve told you, and i am willing to honour your request for space, but i’m just… i’m calling in case there’s a chance you’ve changed your mind. because – i miss you. really, i do.

the worst part about it is that she misses him, too. terribly.

yeah, brilliant plan, decker. the man comes back from a two month stint in hell and you decide to push him away again. so smart!

chloe drags the wine back to her lips. she’s halfway through the bottle now, and it is not having the desired effect. she just needs to forget. forget that she was apparently made for lucifer, that he’s the devil, that his father is god and has been controlling her entire life, that –

fuck.

she takes another, longer swig, and wishes she had lucifer’s extensive collection of whiskey. she craves the burn, the fire, of hard alcohol. this wine is getting her nowhere.

she curses sober-chloe’s smart parenting decisions. the side of her that said no, drunk-chloe, we do not need a stash of hard liquor in our pantry.

lucifer would have hard liquor.

she should go see lucifer.

she makes it to the door before she remembers exactly why she can’t go see lucifer, and slides down against it with a put-out sob, burying her face in her knees. she wants to go to him. to go, to drink his alcohol, and lay on his ridiculously comfortable bed, and let him do that thing where he runs his fingers through her hair and rests his lips on her head.

but she can’t. because they’re taking a break.

after two months of not seeing him.

yes.

why are we pushing him away, again?

she was made for him. she’s a miracle. he can’t expect her to simply accept that, can he?

yes, but that’s not his fault, is it?

well… no.

maybe she should go see him.

she glares at the wine bottle like it might have the answer, and when it doesn’t reply, she takes another long swig. the liquid settles in her belly with a queasy slush, and chloe regrets, momentarily, her lack of dinner.

she should go see lucifer. maybe he’ll make her a grilled cheese. or burgers and fries.

she’ll just finish this bottle, and if it still seems like a good idea, she’ll go.

yes. that’s a plan.

she takes another gulp. the air bubbles up her throat into a soft burp, and she pushes the wine away, suddenly ill. if she’s feeling sick, though, it’s probably a good indicator that she’s well on her way to drunk, and being drunk means she can forget.

she pulls the wine back towards her, sculling the last dregs. she’s about to get up and get another bottle when there’s a knock at the door. it reverberates through her spine, and chloe freezes, wine bottle dangling from her fingers.

“detective?”

fuck.

pretend you’re not here.

her drunken brain scrambles for an excuse as her body scrambles for safety, and within it, she manages to make more noise than a marching band on a football field.

pretend you’re ill.

well, that’s not so hard. she forces a cough out, but it comes out sounding more like a sob, and then she’s crying again, and lucifer definitely knows she’s in here, and he’s talking still, but she can’t make any sense of his words until he says before i have to go home.

and then it hits her, though slightly late –

no matter how thrown she is by this miracle realisation, there is nothing that could trump her need for him to stay, and nothing within her that will let him leave her again.

she shoots towards the door on her hands and knees, dropping the wine bottle with a dull thud. she hardly notices, though, reaching up pathetically to hang onto the doorhandle, pulling it down and sliding the entrance open.

lucifer is walking away.

unsure of her legs’ abilities, chloe settles for calling out to him, pathetically. “wait.”

he turns, a glimmer of hope lighting up his entire space. his back, bent, straightens, and his eyes sparkle, traitorous love shining through. “detective.”

chloe opens and closes her mouth, the wine catching up to her all too quickly, fuzzy tongue unable to form words. “come back,” she tries, but it comes out more like c’ack.

lucifer’s brow furrows in concern, and he turns back, making his way towards her. chloe softens, smiling, happy he’s here, now, finally.

“hi, l’cifer,” she slurs, a dopey smile spreading across her face. “wan’ssome wine?”

“no, thank you,” lucifer forces a smile back, leaning down to take the empty bottle from her. “and i’m not sure you need more wine, either.”

he’s right. she doesn’t need wine.

she needs whiskey.

struck by brilliance, she reaches up and slides her hand in between his blazer and his shirt, searching clumsily for his flask. her hand wraps around it, and he realises what she’s doing, encircling her wrist with a tired chuckle. “no more alcohol for you, detective.”

“mooooore alcohol,” chloe grins, but as she meets his eyes, her grin drops. “why are you here?”

lucifer stops. he sighs, shuts the door behind him, and slides onto the floor beside her. “i know i’m not meant to be here,” he says sadly. “you asked for space, and i respect that, i do.” he takes a long breath, drooping. “but you’re… you. and i had to see you again before i went back down.”

wait. back down?

“i’ve been giving you space,” lucifer starts, and chloe interrupts.

“i noticed.”

noticed his absence, every single minute of every single day. noticed how cold she was, without his warmth by her side. noticed how much slower her cases seemed, not egged along by his stupid quips. noticed how she missed him. how she loved him.

“but i had to say goodbye,” he finishes, and chloe feels suddenly – awfully – sober.

“goodbye?”

lucifer nods, solemn. “i have to go back down, detective,” he says softly. “the world isn’t safe – you aren’t safe – with no one there to hold the fort. it’s my duty, and i will fulfill it.”

“no,” chloe says. her voice grows. “no. i won’t let you.”

“i’m afraid it’s not up to you, darling.”

“your dad made me for you,” chloe hiccups, frowning, upset. “we’re meant to be together. not apart. you can’t go back.”

the sentence hits her as soon as she says it, and she knows it immediately to be true. he can’t go back. “you can’t, lucifer.”

she kicks herself for asking for space. for pushing him away when she’d spent two months mourning his absence, thinking she’d never see him again. for getting him back and losing him again in a matter of hours.

fuck space.

she shifts until she’s curled into his side, wrapping an arm around his waist to anchor herself to him. he stiffens, but she remains still, stubborn. “i’m gonna keep you here.”

lucifer huffs a surprised laugh. “what, by cuddling me?”

chloe nods wisely, like a child. “if i don’t let go, you can’t leave.”

“darling, you do know i’m much stronger than you…”

but he relaxes, curling her closer to him, rocking her gently as the wine lulls her to sleep on her hard kitchen floors. she fits perfectly into his side – almost like she was made for him – and tightens her grip on his blazer as he relaxes against the underside of the bench.

and then his fingers tangle in her hair and start to stroke gently, and she can’t believe she ever thought pushing him away was the right thing to do. miracle or not, lucifer is her person, and she never wants to be without him again.

Chapter Text

90. “You can tell me anything.”

chloe decker is a smart woman.

she’s the best cop in her precinct – she has the best solve rate, she made detective much sooner than any other female officer had done before her, and she juggles being a single mom, detective, and partner to the devil all on a daily basis.

so she knows that lucifer has secrets. he’s always had secrets. from the day she met him, when he wouldn’t admit why the case with delilah had rattled him so much, to last week, when he dropped that he might have a daughter like he was reading her the morning news.

and there are things he’s done that she’s known about that she’s simply never asked about. take killing pierce, for example. he’d done it, she’d run, and they’d never spoken of it again. he’d had to do it, and she’d understood, eventually, so that was that.

she’s known there were other things – other sacrifices – forever. from hints from his meddling mother to little clues maze has dropped at tribe nights, chloe’s always suspected that lucifer’s dedication to her – and to his life on earth – has had some pricey costs. sometimes he’ll wake in the middle of the night, shuddering with fears and memories of experiences she can only try to imagine, unknown horrors that haunt him that she’ll never be able to fully comprehend.

it hurts her, to know he’s hurting.

which is why, once rory leaves with linda and amenadiel, and ella’s camped up downstairs to try and sleep off the four bottles of champagne she’d drunk, chloe doesn’t yell.

she regrets her words from earlier. she’d suggested he’d leave, and known as soon as the words left her mouth that they’d scar. throughout their entire relationship, lucifer’s worried of his worth, and she tries constantly to reassure him, she does, but she’d undermined it immediately by prompting the thought that he’d willingly leave her.

she doesn’t believe he will. not truly. there’s a niggling doubt in the corner of her mind, the part of her brain that urges her to always trust her kids, the part she’d normally listen to in a trixie vs dan faceoff.

but nothing about this is normal. their daughter has time-travelled, from a future unknown, and chloe has nothing left to trust but her instincts, and her love for the devil in front of her.

he sighs when she sits, immediately taking her hand in his own. his fingers brush over her knuckles, again and again, a soothing, repetitive motion that he often does when he’s stressed. she covers his large hand with her smaller one, and turns to him.

“i know you don’t want to have this conversation,” she says gently, meaning absolutely no harm. “i don’t either. i love you, and i trust you, and i know you don’t lie. i didn’t mean what i said before, i promise, but there are things i need to know, okay?”

“okay.” lucifer’s voice is quiet, solemn, lacking all traces of the devil she knows, the devil she cares so deeply for. he’s scared, and panicked, and chloe hates the way he questions himself because of words she’d said.

“you’re not going to leave,” she assures him, placing a second hand on his thigh as it begins to bounce. “you’re not, okay?”

he ducks his head, silent. chloe squeezes his leg. “lucifer, you’re not leaving me, you hear me? this – you and i – it’s us forever, okay?”

still, he stays silent. chloe sighs.

“you’d do anything for me, right?” she changes tactic. “if it meant keeping me safe?”

anything,” lucifer says immediately, his voice raw. under her hand, his leg jiggles. “chloe, i –”

“i need you to tell me what you’ve done,” chloe interrupts gently. “what rory was talking about, those… sacrifices. i need to know.”

he shakes his head, upset. “no, you don’t.”

“i do, baby.” she’s forceful, but not angrily so. he flinches nonetheless. chloe sighs, edging closer to him and removing her hand from his thigh, wrapping it around his waist until her fingers splay across his hips. “lucifer, baby,” she murmurs, her head dropping to rest on his shoulder. “please, will you tell me?”

his body shudders beneath her ear, as if he’s formed a sob and is trying desperately to hold it in. chloe rubs her thumb along the ribbed waistline of his shirt, soothing. “i can’t tell you,” he whispers finally. “you’ll see me differently.”

“lucifer, that’s not true,” she says immediately, truthfully. “i just want to know so that we can prevent anything from happening with rory. you’re going to stay, baby, we just need to figure out how.”

“why don’t we figure out how i leave,” he deflects, growing tense beneath her hand. “that seems much more important. rory’s convinced i’ve royally screwed her up, so it must be right. i must leave you, and –” he’s growing panicked now, voice rising, chest shuddering. “and never come back, and mess your lives up, and hurt you…”

“lucifer, lucifer, look,” chloe soothes, forever gentle. “you’re not going to hurt me, and you’re not going to leave. i won’t let you.” her arm tightens around him, secure. “please, baby. tell me what rory was talking about?”

the sob that he’s been trying so desperately to hold back finally breaks through, his voice cracking on it. “i can’t.”

“you can, sweetheart,” she promises, stroking his side. “you can tell me anything.”

lucifer whimpers, writhing out of her grasp and turning into the corner of the couch. he looks small, gentle, breakable. “can’t,” he whispers brokenly. “you won’t love me anymore.”

the admission of his fear seems to shock him as much as it does chloe, and his back begins to shake with steady tears as he lets the panic crash over him, full-forced. “you won’t,” he sobs, shuddering. “you won’t love me.”

chloe startles, inching her way towards him with gentle, searching hands. “that’s not true, lucifer,” she says gently. calming. “that’s not true, and you know it.”

but he’s not listening to truth, and the fear, now spoken, seems to control him. “i-if i t-tell you,” he trembles, hiccupping. “you’ll hate m-me. you won’t l-love me anymore.”

“lucifer –”

“you won’t.” his voice comes out in a panicked whine, terrified. “you won’t love me.”

“can you stop saying that, please?” she doesn’t mean to snap, but her voice comes out loud and mean. lucifer lets out a tiny, frightened whimper, and scuttles further from her hand, burying himself in the cushion. chloe sags, guilty. “i meant – you need to stop saying that, because it’s not true.”

she edges further in his direction, reaching for him. he shies away from her touch, but she doesn’t give up. “hey,” she murmurs. “i love you. come here, please.”

her words soften him slightly, and he relaxes, just a little bit. his head tilts ever so slightly towards hers, the tiniest recognition, and she soothes again. “lucifer, i love you. come here.”

slowly, he turns, like a wounded animal, crawling over to rest between her legs. she guides his head down to rest on her chest, playing softly with the wiry curls below his ear. “i love you,” she promises, lips finding his hairline. “there is nothing you could say – or do – to change that.”

“you don’t know that,” lucifer whispers, a small sob spilling from his lips. she feels it against her neck, and shifts him until his face meets her own. the eye contact only strengthens his voice. “you don’t know that.”

“i do,” chloe promises. “you wanna know why?”

lucifer’s lip trembles. he does want to know why. he wants chloe to hold him in her arms like this forever and never let go. he nods, small.

“i’ve been in love with you for a very long time,” chloe chuckles softly. “five years at least, maybe six. sometime during the first year of our partnership.”

she knows the exact moment she fell in love with him. sitting at the empty bar, cradling a pity drink, knowing that her entire cohort despised her, and he’d said, in that forsaken accent – i’m available.

it had been the first time since her dad died that someone had believed in her without reason. that she’d been gifted blind faith, the trust that she was correct without anything in return.

“i watched you kiss me on the beach and then disappear to vegas,” chloe laughs sadly. “i watched you come back, married, with no explanation. i watched you push me away, over and over again, before you killed pierce. i ran, for a moment, convinced that knowing who you were was going to finally end my silly crush – and all it did was strengthen it.” she breaks off with a tired chuckle. “that whole time in rome, i was telling myself – no, decker, there’s no way you were in love with the devil. that’s preposterous. i spent the whole time trying to convince myself that i didn’t know you.”

she kisses his head, continuing. “and then i came back, and you were so – so you, that i think i fell a hundred times more in love with you. everything i’d tried to disprove came rushing back, and i knew i was done for. and then i watched you with eve, and i watched you leave, and i watched you come back and finally i knew what it was like to be loved by you. and then i watched you save me from heaven, and now i get to watch you father our daughter.” her voice turns breathy, still in awe that she can say that sentence. a family. with the man she loves. how lucky can she get?

“we’ve been through heaven and hell, lucifer,” chloe murmurs, tracing gentle patterns on his back. “i have loved you through our worst, and i will continue to love you through our best. believe me, there is nothing you can say that could even begin to change that.”

lucifer is trembling again, silent tears dribbling slowly down his cheeks. every now and then, he takes a quiet, shuddering breath, clutching tighter at her as she wipes his cheeks. “you really mean that?”

“of course i mean it, baby,” chloe promises. she ducks her head to nuzzle her nose against his, smiling softly. “i love you. unconditionally.

his lip wobbles again, but this time, she soothes it with her own, cradling his cheek with her palm as she kisses him gently. “i love you,” she murmurs, the words lost between their lips. “that doesn’t change. it can’t.”

he kisses her back, and lays against her chest, his tired eyes fluttering against her neck. “i loved you all that time, too,” he admits quietly.

and later, curled up in his lap as he tells her tales of meddling mothers, dead siblings, blades of death, and of poison, and defibrillators, and hell loops, and of long nights spent in dark corridors with demons on the loose, and of a burning entry into a place he’d been banned from…

chloe knows he loves her.

she knows he always has.

and she knows, above everything else, that he won’t leave her.

Chapter Text

91. “I hope you like it.”

chloe’s eyes flutter closed. lucifer pokes her impishly, raising a brow as she turns her eyes upwards to meet his. “am i boring you, love?”

she shakes her head, letting a lazy smile stretch her lips. she’s far from bored – in fact, this is possibly (no, definitely) her favourite place to be. she’s laying in bed, sunlight streaming gently in through tinted windows, the golden sheets glinting with every tiny movement she makes. beneath her back, lucifer’s bare chest warms her skin, one arm tangled in her hair, the other stretched around her waist, his hand spread across her barely-protruding stomach.

chloe moves her palm to cover his with a wider smile, slotting their fingers together over the taut, tiny bump of her uterus. she’d only really started showing a few weeks ago, but lucifer – who has been holding her stomach since the minute she handed him the positive test – is, if possible, even more obsessed with it.

this morning is one of many in which he simply holds her close and lets the sun wake them. slowly. surely. securely. sometimes he’ll read to her, other times they’ll doze together until it’s time to really get up, and the sun has transitioned from gentle waves to bright, eyelid-piercing rays. sometimes he whispers words to the foetus rory in her belly, his lips grazing her skin and stubble brushing her bellybutton. sometimes, he lets his lips wander lower, wakes her up in the best way.

this morning, he’s telling her stories.

he points lazily towards one of many artifacts around his penthouse – there are no doors, so he’s been picking trinkets from the lounge, the bar, the bathroom, all from his perch on their bed – and lets his lips find the shell of her ear.

that one,” he croons, picking out a particularly grotesque statue of a goblin/dragon/winged creature, “was sculpted especially for me after a night of… debauchery with donatello. lovely chap, he was, though a little bit too frugal for me, if you know what i mean.”

chloe hums. his fingers have started to draw tiny circles across her abdomen, and the sun has risen slightly and is casting a warm ray across her belly, and his lips are so soft

“and this one –” he shifts, and she’s knocked from her reverie. he’s pointing, now, to the pot of a large houseplant that chloe thinks she once gifted maze. “that one i made myself, at a pottery show in 1863, in venice! if you look closely, it’s inscribed with a plant that looks like a –”

chloe smacks him, laughing. he chuckles back, pulling her closer, ducking his head to press a kiss to her neck. she sighs, content, letting her eyes roam around the room. “what about that one?”

lucifer follows her pointed finger with his eyes, head knocking her temple as he hums.

“now that one,” he huffs a smile. “that one has a real story, my love, with a very intriguing main character. care to hear it?”

“of course,” chloe grins, bumping her head back against his. “far be it from me to stop you.”

she’s teasing him, but in reality, she’s not sure she’s ever been happier. if you had’ve told her, six years ago, that she’d be curled up to the devil on a lazy sunday morning, listening to his stories of centuries past, she would’ve called you crazy.

now, she can’t believe she ever did sundays differently.

she returns her gaze to the painting she’d picked out, a monstrosity of a piece that she’d never choose for her own home. she’s pretty sure lucifer’s had it most of the time she’s known him – she can only remember visiting a few times before he’d had it framed and installed.

the piece features a colourful mermaid, relaxing in a body of water amongst corals, fish, seaweed. if the artist had left it like that, it might’ve been okay, but the artwork is ruined by the crudely applied clown makeup, and the way she’s clutching a startled starfish in her right hand.

and why is the mermaid wearing a wristwatch?

“that painting was acquired during one of the most stressful days of my life,” lucifer says. he shakes his head with a tired laugh, curls tickling chloe’s cheek. “you do remember getting poisoned, yes?”

chloe snorts. “come to think of it, that is a memory i have.”

lucifer laughs. “who would’ve thought…” he kisses her temple, settles back down, eyes cast over the offending painting. “daniel and i went to visit this drug lord type, some dealer who was an artist on the side. his gig was that he sold the drugs under the guise of selling artworks, and we needed something from him, i don’t recall what.”

he pauses, shrugging. “it had been such a stressful day that most of the details are rather blurry – i mostly recall my thought process being something along the lines of save the detective, save the detective, save the detective… you understand.”

chloe chuckles, leaning back so he can kiss her. his lips find hers, soft and comforting, before he continues his story. “so we went off to visit this fellow – maybe we thought he had the antidote recipe, who knows – and dan got beaten up, and once that was over, i did my mojo thing and found out that the only thing this guy wanted was for someone to genuinely like his art.”

her boyfriend snorts, chuckles as if the idea is utterly ludicrous. “and what was i meant to say to that, chloe? you know i don’t lie, there was no way in hell i was telling him i genuinely liked… whatever that is.”

they both pause, taking in the ugly painting. chloe finds herself noticing more and more tiny, unusual details – the dolphin, swimming belly-up, the woman’s heart-lips, the starfish scattered around her that she’d clearly plucked up to make a bralette.

“so i took it without speaking, hoping that the fact that i had taken it would make him think that i liked it and i wouldn’t have to lie.” lucifer gazes at it, shaking his head in disbelief. “the guy didn’t even give us anything valuable, there was still a whole trip to hell to complete.”

chloe sighs, nuzzling further into him. “well, at least you got this gorgeous artwork out of it, hey?”

lucifer laughs. “maybe i’ll gift it to you as our anniversary present… i hope you like it.” he ducks away from chloe’s outstretched palm, giggling before he falls quieter. “i’m not sure why it’s even still up,” he sighs, staring at it. “i think some part of me thought that if i put it up and admired it, it might keep you safe?”

chloe smiles. “aww,” she teases. “you’d deal with the ugly clown-mermaid just to keep me safe?”

“a million clown-mermaids,” lucifer murmurs, grinning. he stares at the painting for a moment longer, eyebrows furrowing. “why did he make it into a clown? it could’ve been… decent… had he just kept it a mermaid?” he pauses. “well, maybe decent is a stretch. but it could’ve been more fifth-grade artwork than IT-meets-little-mermaid, don’t you think?”

chloe nods, laughing. “definitely some stylistic choices made,” she agrees, grinning. it really is ugly. “that thing’ll give our little rory some right nightmares when she’s older.”

“oh, you’ve met her,” lucifer huffs a laugh. “she’ll probably name it bert and make it her invisible friend. that thing will haunt us.”

chloe snorts. “parenthood awaits,” she shrugs, laughing. “may bert be the worst thing we have to deal with.”

“chloe.” he’s staring at her incredulously. “love, look at us. bert will probably be the easiest thing we deal with as a family.”

he’s right, of course. between the devil and a detective, they’re certainly not the most conventional family.

“whatever the best or worst ends up being,” chloe sighs, “we’ll work through it together, as a family.” she leans up to kiss him, bringing his hand up to feel the ghost of a kick from within her womb. “you, me, and rory.”

“and bert,” lucifer whispers, rubbing her stomach. “don’t forget about bert.”

Chapter Text

92. "I want you to be happy.”

the elevator chimes. lucifer ignores it, backing towards his bar, hands thrown protectively behind him. he crashes into the bench with a bang that shudders through his wings, making them wilt, and he tries yet again to furl them back within his shoulder blades.

the attempt is fruitless, and he feels more tears fall quickly down his cheeks as he sobs, frustrated. part of him wants to reach for a glass of whiskey, but his hands are shaking too badly to do anything but sink to his knees, utterly helpless.

linda is still talking to him. she’s been talking since she got here, since he called her late at night – pathetic – and forced her, once again, to attend to his needs. her voice is soft, calming, the way trixie sometimes speaks to small, fluffy animals. lucifer wishes he could concentrate on it, that he could fixate on anything other than his – stupid. fucking. wings.

the offending limbs give another pathetic shudder, and he whines as he fails once more to tuck them away. he gives them each a solid beating against the floor of the penthouse, hoping that they’ll cower into submission, but all that achieves is a throbbing pain that shoots up his spinal cord, his back bucking.

lucifer,” linda says again, closer this time. “look at me. look at me.”

he shakes his head, forcing a breath into his lungs. he wishes he could wrap his wings around himself, hide from the outside world, but they’re so grotesque that he can’t bring himself to pull them any nearer than necessarily.

maybe he should tell linda he’s fine, and then he can get maze to come and chop them off again. it worked once, surely it would work this time.

“’m fi-” he gets halfway through the sentence, head raising to look at her, before the scene in his penthouse cuts him off. “no.”

“i called chloe to help, lucifer. she’s here to help.”

no, she’s not.” any thoughts of maze are forgotten, and lucifer scrambles desperately around the island bench, taking cover behind his bar. his breaths are coming fast and high now, chest collapsing in on itself. “make her leave.”

she’d been the one he’d wanted to call in the first place. in the beginnings of a panic attack, his wings spread out behind him in the bathroom mirror in all their horror, his first port of call was to call chloe to soothe him. he’d had his phone in his hand, her number dialled, before he’d remembered why he shouldn’t. why he couldn’t.

she wanted to hurt him. if he recalled, she’d been off visiting the priest tonight, undoubtedly scheduling some other drastic plan to send him back to hell.

well, he thinks hysterically. if she wants him gone so badly, he might as well just give into her desires and take himself back down there.

what’s the use of being on earth when she hates him? he’d lived in hell for eons, but he cannot remember a time as torturous as the past few months, when she’d run, and cried, and feared his very face.

“lucifer…” her voice comes from across the room, gentle, hesitant. he gulps in a breath, chokes it back out in a series of panicked sobs. she needs to leave.

linda’s head pops around the corner of the buffet. she crouches next to him, soothing. “lucifer, chloe wants to help. talk to her?”

he can’t talk to her. she’ll probably try and exorcise him.

he wants to talk to her. he wants her to come and wrap her arms around him and let him stay there until his chest stops convulsing and he doesn’t feel as though he’s about to be sick.

her voice comes again, a soft call. she’s still far away, not as close as linda. that’s good. “lucifer, do you want to come out here?”

he shakes his head quickly. no. linda sighs, heaving her body up from a crouch and saying something to chloe that he doesn’t catch. he backs further into the bar, the cool glass soothing the ache in his back, and tries to catch his breath. his head falls into his lap, knees pressing into his eye sockets, back heaving.

“lucifer?”

close. too close.

he forgets entirely about his wings and wraps them immediately around himself in a cocoon, but the texture, so different from the usual calming silkiness of his feathers, has him choking out a gasp and wrenching the limbs back from his body. it’s not at all the same, certainly not comforting, the wiry leather of the skin rubbing the wrong away across his body. he wants them off, off, off.

“off,” he whispers, lip wobbling as he loses sense of what’s going on entirely and submits himself totally to the unrelenting panic that grips his very being. “please, off.”

“if you stay still, we can help with your wings,” linda says carefully, calculating. lucifer whips his head about, searching for her, and comes face to face with chloe, who’s bent down to help him.

off,” he sobs, shuddering. he pushes weakly at her, gasping desperately for a breath, and then turns his head again.

linda. linda is safe.

he scrambles towards the doctor, throwing himself out of chloe’s line of sight, genuinely terrified.

linda’s never been scared of him. linda is kind, and smart, and she can make this stop.

he tries to heave his body up, to stand, to meet the doctor’s eyes, but his legs fail him, and he crumples helplessly to the floor, his wings getting crushed against the bar. it should hurt, but he hardly registers the pain, working solely on wheezing air into his lungs.

he doesn’t realise he’s scratching at the burned skin of his wings until one of chloe’s cool hands covers his hot one and pulls it off. there’s blood caked under his fingernails, and he whines when she refuses to let go.

“come here,” she says, flicking her eyes up to linda as if to check she’s doing okay. “come on.”

despite every nerve in his body screaming at him not to, he lets her pull him over to the couch, curling his face into the cushions as she helps him sit down. his back shakes, wings flapping, and when chloe places a hand on one, he startles with a panicked cry, and the lithe limb jerks from her grasp, knocking a vase to the floor with a crash.

“sorry,” chloe says quickly, drawing her hand back. “sorry, sorry. i didn’t mean to touch.” he’s looking at her now, and she lowers her voice, gentle. “can you come here? we can try and figure it out together, hey?”

his whole body shakes, tears dripping steadily down his face. come to think of it, chloe’s eyes are also teary.

why is she crying?

he goes to her, not because he wants to, but because he never wants to see her sad, ever, and if he can do what she wants then maybe she’ll be happier. he crawls over, chest still heaving with intermittent sobs, and tries not to remember what happened last time she was on this couch, with red wine, and a vial, and –

“i’m not going to hurt you,” chloe whispers. “i promise. i’m just trying to help.”

he looks up at her. despite everything, he trusts her. despite everything, he wants to believe she really will help.

chloe’s hand reaches hesitantly for his face, and he allows his cheek to bump gently into her palm, breath hitching. chloe gives him a watery smile – why is she upset? – and strokes her thumb carefully a few times over his swollen cheekbone. “there you are. d’you wanna lay down?”

he nods erratically, letting her guide his bowed head into her lap. he turns to press his face into her stomach, hiding, and she laughs slightly. her hand tangles in his hair. his eyes flutter closed.

behind them, linda drapes a soft blanket over his wings, encasing them in fluffy mink. the soft material soothes the discomfort of the texture, and he flaps them a few times, pleased.

“better?” chloe whispers, one of her hands smoothing teardrops from her cheeks. “you feel okay?”

he nods, hiccupping. his wings do feel better, hidden from sight, their presence on his back not quite as irksome. “want them off,” he whispers, a lump forming in his throat. “don’t wanna be a monster.”

“you’re not a monster, lucifer,” linda murmurs, and he watches her, from his position in chloe’s lap, send daggers towards his former partner. “i promise.”

lucifer feels a rush of gratitude towards his doctor, and tries to send her a weak smile. it probably comes out as more of a pained grimace, but she seems to understand, smiling back.

“i should go,” linda says, still smiling gently. lucifer wants to cry no, she can’t, chloe will hurt him, but he’s warm, and chloe’s hand is still trailing softly across his scalp, and if this is how she kills him, well, he’ll take it happily.

the elevator dings again, and then they’re alone.

“should i call eve?” chloe murmurs, and all at once, every trace of relaxation disappears from his body.

no,” he hisses, tensing horribly, and she apologises immediately, hands moving to stroke his back, calm him down. he quietens, then looks up at her. “do you want to call eve?”

chloe shrugs, but she doesn’t meet his eyes. “i want you to be happy,” she murmurs. “and if eve can make that happen, well…”

lucifer sniffs, shaking his head again. “she can’t.”

chloe nods. they’re quiet for a moment, only the sound of his irregular breaths and her gentle fingers penetrating the still silence of the penthouse. lucifer lets his eyes fall closed, allowing himself this one moment of peace, where he’s being held, being soothed, feeling safe.

it hits him all at once, the realisation that he never wants to leave, and he whimpers slightly as he admits it to her. “please don’t leave,” he pleads quietly. “i’m not a monster.”

“i know you’re not,” chloe promises. she looks down at him, the corner of her mouth tilting upwards in a smile. “shh, it’s okay. alright? you’re okay.”

“and you’re okay?” her voice still haunts him, only metres from here, i’m terrified!

but she smooths his hair back against his head and leans down to press a kiss against his exposed forehead. “i’m perfectly fine,” she promises, giving him a warm smile. “and you?”

lucifer hums, eyes falling closed as her lips kiss one final tear from his cheek. “i’m happy.”

Chapter Text

93. “I believe in you.”

“two weeks?” he splutters, the first time she hands him an undercover case. “fourteen whole days?”

“mommy, lucifer can count the days of the week!” trixie pipes up, from where she’s sitting in her mother’s suitcase, being decidedly unhelpful.

lucifer pokes his tongue out at her, turning back to chloe. “they expect us to live in downtown la for two entire weeks? we’ll be murdered!”

lucifer.” chloe crosses the room to shove a hand over his mouth, glaring at him as she stares pointedly at her daughter, whose ears are piqued. “nothing will happen to us. it’s safe as anything.”

“darling, we’re homicide detectives. they wouldn’t be sending us out there if there hadn’t already been a murder committed.”

chloe’s glare strengthens as she pulls a pair of pants from the washing machine and hands them to trixie to fold into her suitcase. “i’m a homicide detective, you’re a consultant. and we’re going to make sure there are no more murders committed.”

“mommy helps people,” trixie announces, patting the folded jeans proudly. “saves people.”

“that’s right, baby,” chloe smiles warmly at her daughter before turning back to lucifer. “which is why we’re going to go undercover and not complain. saving people, right?”

lucifer huffs, frowning. “i suppose,” he grumbles, turning in a circle as he watches chloe pack. “but two weeks? without contact with the outer world? only each other?

“believe me,” chloe deadpans, raising an eyebrow. “i’m more concerned than you are.”

lucifer’s face splits into a grin. “oh, i’m sure you’ll survive,” he teases, smirking. “i believe in you.”

0o0o0

she’s not the problem.

she’s not the one who baulks at the idea of wearing tracksuit pants. she slides into her police-supplied adidas and breathes a sigh of relief, happy to finally work in something comfortable. he is the one who complains listlessly when he opens the supply box and finds only new balance sportswear and washed out denim jeans.

and chloe’s not the one who finds their accommodation unsatisfactory. there’s two bedrooms, a shower, a tiny kitchenette. they’re posing as a middle-class couple of newlyweds, she wasn’t expecting anything too fancy. she’s just happy that they’re not stuck sharing a queen bed.

but lucifer complains, and complains, and complains. he doesn’t shut up – whether it’s about the size of the little corolla they’ve been given for the two weeks, or the itchiness of his jean cut-offs, or the lack of hair straightener he’s been supplied with – he won’t stop.

in the beginning, it’s endearing. kind of. she’s comfortable enough around him that she puts up with it, figures that if she lets him get all of his annoyance out in the first few hours, he’ll make do for the remaining two weeks.

but now they’re on day three, and lucifer is doing her head in.

“stupid bloody instant coffee,” he groans over breakfast, tipping the offending cup out. “i miss my espresso machine.”

it’s like his mood has cast a black cloud over their entire temporary abode, and chloe snaps. “if you miss it so much, why don’t you just go home?”

lucifer blinks up at her, coffee still dripping from his hands. “home? why would i want to go home?”

“oh, please,” she laughs shortly, unimpressed. “you’ve done nothing but complain since we got here. it’s unhelpful and, quite frankly, driving me mad, so if you don’t have anything decent to add, you can leave.”

lucifer’s face darkens. “do you want me to leave?”

chloe pauses. “well – no. but if you’re not enjoying yourself, then i certainly don’t want to keep you here.”

“who said i’m not enjoying myself?”

what?

she splutters, confused. “all you’ve done is complain!”

lucifer’s brow furrows. “i’m not complaining about you.”

chloe sighs, tired. “yeah, well,” she shrugs, standing up to put her plate in the dishwasher. “it doesn’t make me feel great that you can’t even stomach two weeks with me.”  

she slams the plate down and stalks out of the room, heading to her bedroom to read a book or call trixie or do something to calm herself down.

lucifer comes in twenty minutes later. he stands at the door, ashamed, and knocks twice on the wooden frame.

chloe flits her eyes up to him, childishly stubborn, and raises a bored eyebrow. “yes?”

he comes further in, sitting delicately on the edge of the bed. “i’m sorry for complaining.”

chloe’s brow raises further. it’s the first time she’s heard him apologise for… anything, really. she nods at him, cocking her head. “thank you for apologising.”

he nods. his fingers rub over the soft comforter, and she waits, confused.

“it’s not that i don’t want to spend two weeks with you,” he says finally, lifting his eyes to hers for a moment before he drops them back down. “two weeks with you sounds heavenly, actually. so heavenly that it scares me.”

chloe tilts her head, lips pursed. “spending two weeks with me scares you?”

lucifer huffs. “when you say it like that…” he steals another glance at her, and her gaze softens. “i’m scared of the person i become when i’m around you.”

another eyeroll. “you’re really not selling yourself here, lucifer.”

“bloody hell,” he huffs, stamping his foot slightly. “i can’t – being in a house – a home, with you, for two weeks, and – and we’re meant to be married, detective – chloe – don’t you understand what that makes me want to do?

no!” she cries, throwing down the book finally and staring at him. “because all you’ve done is complain, and act as if the very thought of being around me makes you want to leave!”

“i don’t want to bloody leave!” his voice is raised, foot tapping. “you – you really – oh, bloody hell.”

and then he’s kissing her. she doesn’t know how he got over her bed so fast, but he’s sitting right next to her, and his lips are on hers, and she missed this, so she kisses him back, lets her arm slide around his neck, her lips mould to his.

that’s what you make me want to do,” he pants, pulling back finally and breathing the words into the tiny space between their lips. “that’s why you scare me. because i knew – i bloody knew that i wouldn’t be able to make it two weeks without – without –”

she kisses him again. he catches her lips with a muffled fuck, and she can feel him try to resist, and she doesn’t want him to. “lucifer,” she mumbles, lips wet against his. “lucifer, this is okay.”

“it’s not,” he groans, kissing her again. his hand tangles in her hair, holding her to him even as his lips voice words she doesn’t want to hear. “there’s a reason – a reason we stopped doing this –”

“yeah, because you got married.” her other hand splays across his hip, dancing. she arches her neck, swiping her tongue over his lower lip, swallowing the groan he emits. “i never wanted to stop. you’re the one who went off to vegas.”

“for a reason, detective,” he murmurs, breath hitching as she bites gently down on his lip, sucking slightly. “you’re a – a bloody miracle, and –”

chloe smiles. her lips curve into a grin against his, and he groans again, licking his tongue into her mouth. “i know i’m a brilliant kisser,” she teases. “but miracle? that’s taking it a little too far.”

no –” he huffs, frustrated, and kisses her again. “you don’t understand.”

she’d quite happily kiss him all day, but he really is growing agitated, so instead, she pushes him gently away with one finally peck, and lets her bright eyes find his conflicted ones. “how about we do something else for a while, and you can try and make me understand, and we can come back to this. hey?”

lucifer nods. he looks utterly wrecked, lips kiss-swollen, hands still tangled amongst her body. chloe kisses him once more, and takes a moment to revel in the fact that she did that – she’s the one to leave the devil so totally ruined.

“what do you wanna do?” she asks casually, as if his tongue wasn’t just inside her mouth. as if he isn’t straddling her. as if she doesn’t want to jump his very bones.

lucifer clears his throat. “do you think these newlyweds have monopoly?”

chloe snorts. “monopoly? trixie isn’t here, you don’t have to pretend to enjoy it. we can play an adult game.”

lucifer looks at her. “no offence to your urchin,” he says, raising an eyebrow. “but do you really think that she’s the one i enjoy playing monopoly with?” he smiles at chloe’s blush, but the expression soon turns cheeky. “adult games, you say, detective. how about strip monopoly?”

“not sure i’ve ever played,” chloe hums, “but i do like the sound of it. care to explain the rules?”

lucifer’s face lights up, and he climbs off her lap, rushing out of the room. he returns a minute later with a monopoly box and a bottle of top-shelf vodka, which he hands to chloe. she takes a swig, and swallows against the burn. “your clothes are your currency,” he says in explanation, setting up the bored. “first person to go bankrupt – aka, get naked – loses.”

chloe blinks. she’s not even wearing that many clothes, only a ratty t-shirt and her adidas trackies. “do accessories count?”

lucifer grins. “nope!”

chloe shakes her head. “i’m so losing,” she sighs, biting back a smile. “you have double the clothes i do.”

“if you lose,” lucifer smirks, “then i win. in multiple ways.”

Chapter Text

94. “You can do it.”

no one wants to work with me.

he can’t imagine why. he’s known her for barely two weeks, and already, lucifer morningstar’s life has been utterly turned around by chloe decker. it’s not just the fact that he can’t read her – the woman is an enigma, and there’s something about her that he can’t put his finger on, but it makes him want to simply spend time with her.

no one wants to work with me.

i’m available, he’d replied immediately, intrigued. he hadn’t really expected her to take him up on it, but there’d been a look in her eyes, sitting across from him in the empty bar, something about her so lost and alone. something that he recognised from too many mornings staring in the mirror. a deep-seated feeling of being totally alone in the world.

he’s never been sentimental, but something in him had decided in that moment that he’d be hers, through and through. in his millions of years on earth, he can’t remember a time he’s gone this long without some sort of drug, sex or alcohol. he’s certain that will return in time, but for the moment, he’s surprised to find that he’s… content, with being a consultant.

the work is interesting, sure. he likes the mystery, the methodical placing of clues to figure out who the bad guy is. and he loves the punishing, of course he does.

but his favourite part of the job?

it would have to be working with detective decker. and for the life of him, lucifer cannot figure out why. she presses every single one of his buttons, pushes him in ways no one else has ever dared to do. she doesn’t seem to believe a word of his devil schtick, but she also hasn’t let that get in the way of their steadily developing partnership.

for the first time in his life, lucifer might have a friend. or, if not a friend, chloe’s certainly the first person in a long time with whom he’s spent longer than a few pleasurable hours, a night at most. it’s unusual, seeing the same face every day. learning new things about her. looking forward to seeing her each morning when he wakes up.

he’s not sure he likes it, but he’s been alive a long time, and the novelty of the detective is something that both scares and intrigues him, so dad be damned if he’s not about to continue working with her.

when he’d whispered well, i’m available – that had been the first time he’d seen it. the look in her eyes, a careful mixture of hesitancy and hope, as if she recognised him as a potential cure to her loneliness but didn’t quite want to believe it to save herself the pain if he wasn’t.

he knows that look, because he’s pretty sure it was in his eyes the first time she’d shoved him into the back of her car on the way to the doctor’s place. when he’d seen her after she’d had surgery on her arm. when he rocked up to work the next day and she didn’t immediately send him away.

and now, for some reason, he can’t get enough of her. he keeps coming back, day after day after day.

“good morning, detective,” he says cheerily, a warm smile spreading across his face as he waltzes into the precinct, towards her desk. “what’ll it be today? a shooting? some knives? i do love knives.”

“no knives,” chloe shoots him a look, softening when he hands her a takeaway coffee. “thank you. we sort of have a new case – it’s old, first came in a few months back, but it’s gone through half of the precinct at this point, and no one can get any leads, so it’s our turn now.”

lucifer grins, taking a sip of his own – slightly spiked – latte. “well, if anyone’s going to crack it,” he muses, winking at her, “i’m sure you can do it.”

that’s the second time he sees the look. and this time, it’s more hope than hesitancy.

0o0o0

the third time, he’s telling her the same thing. “you can do it,” he eggs her on, jabbing her hip with his elbow. “come now, detective, i thought you had good aim?”

chloe glares at him. “we’re on a stakeout, lucifer,” she frowns, eyes trained on the entry they’re meant to be covering. “i am not shooting you.”

“please,” he chuckles, unfazed. he unwraps a salad roll, takes a bite, and offers it to her. she pushes it away, eyes narrow. “it won’t hurt me! i promise. just try.”

“firstly,” chloe counts on her fingers pointedly. “if i shoot you, you’ll never let me forget about it, til the day i die. secondly, you’d make a mess of the car and it’s a police-issued vehicle. no blood or guts allowed, thanks.”

 lucifer glares back, but there’s a sparkle in his eye. “firstly,” he mocks. “you’re insinuating i’ll know you until the day i die, and you’re right, i certainly wouldn’t let you forget – that i asked you to do it. secondly, there’s not going to be any blood or guts, that’s what i keep telling you.”

“yeah, well, you’re delusional,” chloe laughs, stealing her own salad sandwich and taking a bite. she chews for a moment, staring at him, her eyes narrowed. he watches her swallow, and stares pointedly at the gun in her lap. she rolls her eyes. “we’re going to sit here and enjoy our sandwiches, and we’re going to wait for the suspect, and i’m not going to shoot you.”

the fourth time he sees that look, he’s limping along beside her, his leg wrapped in gauze, a wicked grin on his face.

0o0o0

“partners,” he repeats, awed. as much as he’d wanted this – as much time he’d put in over the past few months, the amount of effort – he’s still surprised she’s noticed. and now… partners?

lucifer’s never had a partner before. he supposes the closest he could compare to would be maze – and she’s definitely not going to be happy when he feeds her this little update, no – but with the detective, it’s different. maze is his protector, his right-hand woman, someone that he trusts without fail.

chloe is…

she’s funny, and kind, and she looks at him sometimes like she can’t believe he’s real (often, after he’s made a particularly sexual joke, and she’s considering strangling him) (come to think of it, he’d like that). she’d seen his scars, and not only admired them, she’d stopped touching immediately when he’d asked, and she hadn’t brought it up since. she smiles every time he gives her her morning coffee, and now she wants to be…

his partner.

chloe is his partner.

for the first time, he watches the hesitancy leave her eyes, and the hope is tainted with something different, something he can’t quite define.

0o0o0

“hey, you can do it,” she says, when he won’t play piano for weeks after father frank’s passing. “one finger at a time, okay?”

she taps out the familiar melody – the only thing she knows – and coaxes him to join her. the song still hurts, a reminder of a still-fresh wound that he’s sure won’t close over for quite some time, but he’s found that when it comes to chloe, he has an inexplicable need to please her, so he sits, tense and anxious, on the stool, and lets his fingertips fall to the ivory.

“there we go.” chloe gives him a radiant grin, sliding onto the stool next to him. “take the bottom line?”

he shakes his head, unable to conjure up the will to press the buttons down. chloe nods knowingly, resting her hand over his. “tell me which notes,” she murmurs. “we’ll do it together.”

so he raises his fingertips to indicate which key, and in turn, she presses his nail down to draw out a deep, melancholy tune. it’s one of the saddest pieces he’s ever composed – fitting, really – but chloe doesn’t comment, nor does she seem to mind. she just allows him to play, and when his fingers fall back into the familiar groove of musicality, she lets him guide her own fingers towards the other keys to tap out a short, simple top line.

it's the first time that they create something beautiful together. the first time that the possibility arises that they’re better together than apart.

0o0o0

“you can do it,” lucifer promises, pushing a bottle of his finest wine into her hands as she backs towards the elevator. “some liquid courage, but i’m sure it won’t be needed. your urchin is smart, i assure you, she’ll understand what’s going on.”

“she’s seven, lucifer,” chloe whispers, her voice cracking. “she shouldn’t have to deal with her screw-ups of parents.”

“screw-up, singular,” lucifer corrects. “you are the best parent i know. which is why the little imp will understand. you’ll explain it perfectly, i’m sure.”

chloe sniffles, and lucifer pats her hand awkwardly, wishing her luck as the elevator doors slide shut, and wondering why he hasn’t stopped thinking about the weight of her body, fast asleep atop his own.

0o0o0

“hey,” he whispers, breathing shallowly. “you can do it. for me. for trixie.”

“i can’t,” chloe shakes her head, tears resting precariously on the lids of her eyes. “he’s going to kill us.”

“he’s not,” lucifer promises. he takes her hand, a warm comfort in the cool warehouse. “i’m going to go out there, you take trixie and run. i’ll –”

“but –”

“i’ll be okay,” he gives her a tiny smile, cocking his head. “i’ll be okay. i need you to grab the urchin, and get out of here. okay? promise me, detective. promise me you’ll leave.”

chloe sniffs, her eyes darting out from behind her hiding spot to check that trixie remains in hers. “promise,” she murmurs, and lucifer smiles. “promise me you won’t die?”

“promise i’ll come back if i do,” he grins, and then squeezes her hand. “ready? three… two… one… go.”

he watches her run for her daughter, and steps towards malcolm, offering himself up. a few months ago, he never would have considered being the ultimate sacrifice, but now, he does so without a second thought.

and as he lays on the ground, bleeding slowly out, he can finally identify the look that’s been haunting chloe’s eyes whenever she’s looked at him lately.

belonging, he thinks. in chloe, he’s finally found a place to belong.

Chapter Text

95. “Good luck.”

lucifer hates feeling helpless.

it’s part of the reason he’s spent all day searching for the antidote with dan. the job keeps him busy, distracts him from the grim reality of the situation, and best of all – it makes him feel as though he’s doing something. as though he might actually have a chance at making a difference.

of course, he doesn’t lie, so he only puts up with this naïve state of mind for so long. in reality, he realises, no matter what busy work he and daniel do, they’ve got no chance of saving chloe unless they can find the recipe for the antidote, and at the moment, the chances of that happening are looking abysmally small.

which is why, in amongst the chaos of artists-turned-criminals and ella’s car-stealing past, lucifer steals a moment to just be in the hospital.

in the beginning, he doesn’t allow himself to enter her room. he stands outside, watching through a window as she breathes with the help of a few tubed machines, her face so unusually pale, even against the stark white sheets. she’s always been slight, but in the hospital bed, with that dad-awful gown wrapped around her features, chloe looks frail.

she’d hate it, he thinks, the hint of a smile pulling at his lips. she’d absolutely hate looking so weak.

she’s a strong woman, his partner. he’s never met someone so strong. and yet, here she lays, knocked down by an antidote-less poison, administered to her by someone long dead.

lucifer can’t help but feel as though it’s his fault that she’s laying there so helplessly. he’s the one who had encouraged her to make contact with the professor, he’s the one who sent her on a wild goose hunt with the man so that he could save the other two victims. and, really, he’s the one reason why she exists.

pain, blunt and numbing, curls through lucifer’s chest. it’s not fair that she should suffer – that trixie should, that dan should – simply because his father decided his son needed a mate.

the pain quickly morphs into anger, less numbing, still very blunt, and lucifer channels it. he’s in half a mind to abandon the hospital, go back to help dan find the possibly non-existent antidote formula, when a sudden, shrill beeping echoes from chloe’s room.

he’s by her side in a second, silencing the machine as he takes her in. she’d simply laid wrong on a cord as she rolled into wakefulness, that’s all, nothing’s really the matter. he’s surprised to find his heartrate speeding, and tries to coax it back to normality. linda had told him once that humans – especially sick, frail ones – could sense others’ anxiety, and lucifer has no interest in worsening chloe’s state.

“restful nap?” he asks her instead, cracking a smile that seems to say everything is just fine.

“best sleep of my life,” chloe croaks. in contrast to her pale, sunken face, her eyes contain their same brilliant warmth, and lucifer finds a surprising comfort in their familiarity. “any luck on the antidote?”

he pauses. this is one – arguably the best – reason he’d had for not coming in here. he can’t lie, but he also doesn’t want to cause her panic by admitting the truth – that they’re no closer to curing her than they had been when she’d collapsed yesterday evening. “we’re working on it,” he says instead, offering her a tiny smile.

she gives him one back, like she knows everything he’s not saying, but exactly why he won’t say it, too. “i know you are.”

she shifts again, all rustling sheets and the sounds of hospital. lucifer has always hated hospitals – they’ve featured in one too many hell loops, and the smell and sight and sound of the sick and injured is certainly not welcoming. in fact, he’s so steadily against them that he’d vowed never to step foot in one again, a few years back, when a run in with his sister (on her way to collect a soul from the elderly ward) had ruined a particularly interesting consult with an attractive doctor.

he's been back to a hospital twice since. once, the night jimmy barnes had shot chloe, and the second time… now.

wincing against the clean, disinfectant smell, lucifer turns back to his partner, noting once again how much he hates seeing her like this. her expression, usually so set and confident, is lost, worried. chloe looks, for the first time since he’d met her, unsure.

“you’re going to be okay,” he says, something stirring uncomfortably in his gut at the admission. he silences it, argues that he’s not lying, because he’ll do anything in his power to make sure the statement remains the truth. “daniel and ella – they’re working on it. me, too.”

“i know,” chloe nods. she looks up at him, trust and faith so strong in her eyes that he wants to cry. to tell her that he, of all people, isn’t the one to have faith in. instead, he reaches over the horrid bedsheets and takes her hand, smoothing his thumb over her knuckles.

“they’re following a lead right now,” he says, desperate to fill the silence. “i wasn’t needed – police business only, you know how it is – so i thought you might like a visitor?”

he’s rambling. chloe’s smile grows, and she squeezes his hand gratefully. “i’d love a visitor,” she agrees, eyes dropping to their joined fingers before she looks back up at him. “especially when it’s you.”

“oh, yes.” he quirks an eyebrow, trying for a grin. “i’m a brilliant visitor, you know?” he reaches behind her, fluffing her pillows. “there. top service right there.”

“the very best,” chloe agrees solemnly, and then laughs. her laugh makes way into a rasping cough, and she squeezes his hand tightly for a moment as she tries to catch her breath.

a few bated moments later, her wheezing chest now silent, she gazes at him. “lucifer, if you can’t find the antidote…”

“we will,” he says quickly, and again, that stirring in his gut… we have to.

he tries not to concentrate on the tiny voice in the back of his mind that points out he’s never been as scared to lose someone in his entire, long life. that last night, in the limbo between dropping chloe at the hospital and helping dan arrange the urchin and beginning his own research into the whereabouts of the antidote, he’d had some sort of spell in the penthouse that had ended with him gasping for breath, hunched stiffly over his piano.

he wants to ignore that voice. if he listens to it, the sound of chloe’s heart monitor will emerge from the vague buzz it currently resides as in the background to a constant beeping, a reminder of time passing. if he listens to the voice, he’ll no longer be able to avoid the smell of the hospital, or the way that chloe’s hand in his is freezing, deathly cold.

so he ignores it.

but chloe, ever practical, pushes him. “if you can’t,” she says again, firm. “then there are things you need to –”

no,” lucifer says, or perhaps it’s the voice in the back of his head that finally finds the ability to speak. “we’ll find it.”

he expects her to rebut him, but she doesn’t. “good luck,” she whispers simply, and the fact that she only sighs with a sad smile and wilts back into her pillows is reminder enough of the time he’s wasting.

but, for whatever reason, as she slips back into sleep, he can’t bring himself to leave. there are things he could be doing – that he should be doing – but with her cool hand in his own, he won’t move. he can’t move.

0o0o0

the next time he enters her room, her hand is warm.

there’s an iv drip in her arm, pumping her full of safe, curing antidote. it’s late, and her heartrate monitor is the only sound in the otherwise dark, silent hospital room. dan took trixie home long ago, content with the knowledge her mother would live to see another day. lucifer’s own mother had left to grieve her son, and maze, linda, and amenadiel were no doubt at the bar across the street, bonding over the fact that they’d helped take part in a day trip to hell.

to them, it had been a necessary trip, something a little out of the ordinary, but a tale to tell over drinks nonetheless. to lucifer, however, today’s trip to hell had solidified something in his mind.

it was never a fun business, returning to the place of his detainment, but this trip in particular had evoked a realisation in the devil. and as he holds chloe’s warm hand in his own, listening to her breathe evening without the assistance of a machine, he ponders it.

if chloe had been made for him – and she had, his father had made sure of that – then surely she’d been made for hell, too. the place was a part of lucifer, whether he liked it or not – he’d spent eons there, hurting, burning, reviving – and he couldn’t deny its deep-seated impact on his being.

but his return to the underworld today had been far from nostalgic, and his run-in with his own loop had only solidified the thought in his mind – chloe could not become entangled in his messes. he’d rather drink walmart whiskey than let chloe even come near hell, and it was such a part of him that he worried he’d tangle her in it simply by being by her side.

and there was the issue of free will, of course – her choices were not her own if they’d been set in stone by his father decades in advance. the anger returns, dulled down this time by the sheer yearning he’s harbouring for the woman in the bed beside him, a pain that encompasses his entire body and wraps him up like a cloudy fog.

she stirs, and lucifer’s breath hitches. his plan had been to simply say goodbye, to hopefully slip out before she woke up. yet now, as her eyes blink into drugged consciousness, he wonders if perhaps a few words are not necessary.

she’d almost died a few hours earlier, he reminds himself. the regret he would have felt if she’d left the earth without knowing the truth…

lucifer’s always prided himself on telling the truth. and that’s why, when chloe’s eyes search anxiously for a moment in the dark, unfamiliar hospital suite before landing on his with a warm flicker of recognition, lucifer squeezes her hand before murmuring softly –

“i care quite a lot about you, detective.”

chloe hums, a lazy, meperidine induced haze covering her eyes with a foggy filter. “’s nice.”

“and i would rather die than let any harm come to you. in fact, i did.”

she blinks lethargically, straining to understand him. when the words compute, she lets out a tiny giggle. “you didn’t die,” she says, smiling, high. “tha’s my job.”

“you’re wrong there, darling,” lucifer chuckles, bringing her hand up to press a kiss to the back of her palm. “i’m going to leave now, okay? and your job is to not die.”

chloe’s brow contorts painfully. “wait, you’re leaving?”

“i’m afraid it’s necessary,” lucifer says sadly, dropping her hand even as she whimpers. “but do know that – i did – i do – care for you immensely.”

he’s gone before she can even press the button to call for the nurse, complaining of something that sounds suspiciously like a broken heart.

Chapter Text

96. “I brought you an umbrella.”

detective, his fingers type out the words, shaking slightly. after that abomination of a dinner date, surely you’ll allow me to take you somewhere where you won’t get high on sleeping gas?

her reply comes immediately – it’s late, and they only parted an hour ago. dinner sounds heavenly, she sends, responding with a little smiling emoji. i’m near lux – meet you out the front in ten?

lucifer texts her his affirmative and shrugs on his suit jacket. outside, the rain that had been threatening all day slashes against the windows, and he finds himself missing the dad-awful ponchos that had been provided to them on their segway tour with the broken heart killer wannabe. he grabs an umbrella from the small collection of things resting by the entrance to the elevator, and presses the button to go down.

as the shaft descends, lucifer finds himself taking a long, steading breath. for one, he can still feel the remainders of the anger that had coursed through him at the sight of their suspect, on his way to kill chloe and pierce. and secondly, things with chloe have been… tense, lately.

he’d like to pretend that it’s been since she and pierce really started hanging out – that awful axara concert, maybe – but if he’s honest (and he always, always is), he’s felt this way for much, much longer.

maybe it’s jealousy, like linda thinks. maybe it’s a need to prove himself to her, to show her that he can be whatever she’s looking for in pierce. or maybe he’s just overthinking things, and everything is fine, as always.

he’s not sure.

what he is sure of, though, is that most – if not all – of his worries melt away at the sight of her, standing alone under the shelter of lux’s private side entrance, a small half-smile on her face as she watches him approach.

“good evening again, detective,” he greets her, charming smile on his lips. “i brought you an umbrella – the place i’m thinking is a short walk, but i know it’s a bit wet, do you mind?”

chloe shakes her head. lucifer pushes past memories from the last few hours, of holding that head in his lap as he begged her to wake, of stroking her hair behind her ears, of willing her eyes to open.

now, as he guides them out into the rain, her hair is plastered to her face, any remnants of the gas that had knocked her out now gone in the wake of whatever drugs the ambulance had given her. she’d texted him before this, too, complaining of feeling too awake, a sensation lucifer was all too familiar with.

and so, this was his solution. a late night walk to get hot burgers, fries, and maybe, if he’s feeling peckish, a thickshake. none of which would be his go-to meal, but there are only so many places open at one in the morning, and chloe looks like she could use some fatty goodness.

the pavements are almost empty as they stroll the streets, a consequence of both the early hour and the relentless rain. he stands a foot from her for a while until she rolls her eyes with a smile and tugs him closer to her, squeezing beside him under the tiny umbrella.

“you’ll catch your death,” she says, laughing gently. “stay out of the rain.”

he’s about to rebut with something like i don’t get sick, but then it hits him that with her around, he just bloody might, so he shuts his mouth and listens.

there’s a moment of silence, during which lucifer wonders desperately of how to fill it. it’s not often that he gets struck speechless, but the abnormality of the day – chloe’s not-date with pierce, her brush with death, the looming elephant in the room of their dwindling partnership – it catches up with him, and he’s only able to speak when he realises she’s shivering next to him.

“you must be freezing,” he gasps, turning to her. “here, take my jacket.”

chloe smiles. “then you’ll be freezing,” she teases, bumping him. “or does the devil not get cold?”

“not at all,” he promises, winking. she laughs. lucifer shrugs his jacket off and wraps it around her shoulders, and is hit immediately with the feeling that this is a date.

this is not a date, his brain argues. she went on a date with pierce. you’re just being friendly.

friendly or not, the idea of intimacy, as always, casts a further filter over his actions, and he finds himself second guessing the rest of his actions the entire night.

should he pay for their burgers? or would she take that the wrong way? he makes much more money than her, so surely she’d just take it as a kind gesture, not a boyfriend gesture, but maybe –

in the end, the man who serves him is an old friend of chloe’s dad, and gives them their burgers for free. lucifer tips him generously, not just for the delicious sandwiches, but for taking the decision off his hands. the elderly man claps him on the back and winks at chloe with a twinkle in his eye, and lucifer wants to say no, that’s not what this is, but then again, is it?

the rain has calmed down some by the time they exit the burger joint, and lucifer takes hold of the umbrella so chloe can eat her burger with two hands. she takes a bit, letting a pleased hum rumble from her lips. “so good.”

lucifer swallows. “glad my recommendation is satisfactory.”

chloe turns to him, grinning around her burger. “as if you’ve ever recommended something bad in your life.”

lucifer snorts, ignoring the rush of relief that hits him. this is more like his detective. “you’re right, of course. my taste is impeccable.”

“i’m sure,” chloe raises an amused eyebrow, going back to her burger. lucifer reaches the hand that’s not holding the umbrella over to steal one of her fries, chuckling when she darts out of his reach.

they make it back to the penthouse quickly, and lucifer leaves the umbrella to dry in the underground carpark before he welcomes her inside, relieved when she doesn’t try to resist. the elevator ride is short, but long enough to steam up the inside with the smell of fried food, and by the time they reach his penthouse, lucifer’s mouth is watering.

he pours them both a drink and beckons chloe over to the coffee table, unwrapping his own burger as he switches the television on. “do you want to watch anything?”

chloe shakes her head. “my brain is too wired to just sit and do nothing,” she sighs, leaning back against the couch. “i know they had to wake me up somehow, but this is the reason i don’t do drugs. i feel like i’ve had seventeen coffees.”

lucifer smirks. “that’s the reason you don’t do drugs? i would’ve thought it would be the dastardly impact on your urchin, or maybe the withdrawals…”

chloe throws a fry at him. he catches it in his mouth, eyes sparkling. “if you’d like, i’d probably have something that could take off the hyper edge you seem to have developed?”

“oh, yes, let’s play mix-a-drug-cocktail-in-chloe’s-body,” chloe snorts, shaking her head. “it’s okay. i’ll probably just go home and play a million games of solitaire before i fall asleep. i wish we were working on a case, maybe then i’d have something productive to do.”

lucifer hums, considering as he takes another bite of his burger. “solitaire is a boring game,” he says carefully, “but i could recommend others?”

“no, we are not playing strip poker,” chloe raises her brow, and lucifer chuckles.

“no,” he agrees. “perhaps not tonight.”

but true to his word, he knows a million different card games, and once they’re finished their burgers, he teaches them to her. klondike, go fish, cribbage, schnapsen, golf, and lucifer’s personal favourite, devil’s grip.

as they play, he keeps pouring them drinks, and eventually, they start to place bets on the games – if i win, you chug that glass, if you win, you do a shot – and by three in the morning, chloe’s just this side of drunk, and even lucifer is feeling vaguely tipsy.

and it’s this – and only this – that leads him to agree when chloe asks to stay.

he’s a gentleman, so he offers her the bed, and she’s tipsy enough that she doesn’t let her ego stop her from saying yes. he hands her an old shirt to use as pyjamas, and she disappears into the bathroom to change while he packs up their cards.

he’s putting them back in his bureau when her phone buzzes on top of it. pierce.

“detective,” he calls, taken immediately from tipsy to ill. “the lieutenant is calling you.”

chloe is by his side in a second, standing comically still next to him as they both stare at the vibrating phone. “should i answer?”

lucifer, uncharacteristically inhibited, shrugs. “no,” he says truthfully, always honest. “i don’t want you to.”

chloe giggles. “me neither,” she whispers, leaning her head on his shoulder, a secret just for him. “should i turn it off?”

lucifer nods, still staring at the phone. without moving her head, chloe reaches down and switches the phone off, turning it face down to the table. “there,” she says decisively. “done.”

“perfect,” lucifer murmurs. he turns his face to hers, staring slightly at her lips, and repeats his words. “perfect.”

chloe blinks. her pupils are blown, and all at once, she feels tired. “bed,” she suggests, bumping her hip to his. “come with me? like a sleepover.”

lucifer snorts. “terrible choice of words, detective,” he murmurs. “come on, then. let’s get you to bed.”

“so we can have a sleepover,” chloe nods, grabbing his hand and tugging him towards the bed. “ooh! maybe we should sleep top and tail?”

“or maybe i should take the couch,” lucifer prompts, but his brain is just fuzzy enough that he doesn’t know why he’s so insistent on that, and he doesn’t resist when chloe pulls him down next to her.

“thanks for the burgers,” she whispers innocently, rolling to face him even as he freezes. “oh! and thanks for saving my life, earlier. y’know, with pierce. and the gas.” she giggles slightly. “silly murderer. didn’t realise you were there, did he? you wouldn’t let me die.”

“no,” lucifer smiles, agreeing with her for once. “no, i wouldn’t.”

chloe hums, satisfied, and rolls to curl into his side. he freezes, but she prods insistently at his hand until he wraps it around her waist, holding her to him, and then relaxes.

“thanks for not letting me die,” chloe breathes, finally sleepy. “goodnight.”

Chapter Text

97. “I’ll pick you up at the airport.”

chloe hisses, casting a panicked look over to where trixie’s asleep in their double bed. she remains peaceful, though, and chloe allows herself a moment of relieved silence before the sobs overtake her body once more.

she’s trying so hard to be quiet, curled up in the entrance to the tiny bathroom in the tiny hotel room she’s currently staying in. trixie’s mere feet away, and she’s had a long day of exploring and eating gelato, she really doesn’t need chloe’s sobs to wake her up – god knows she’s seen enough tears in the past weeks.

but with every further sip of her wine (glass – discarded, bottle – chugged), her sobs grow harder to stem, and her resolve grows shakier.

they’ve been in rome for three weeks now, and chloe’s never felt more lost, nor more alone. she’d spent the first week under the guise that they were simply on holiday, ignoring the fact that her entire world back home had blown apart, that she didn’t know what to believe anymore. they’d spent their days traipsing the colosseum and shovelling pasta in their mouths, and the time with her daughter and the many, many carbs had almost – almost – taken chloe’s mind off… everything.

almost.

but then she’d – she says accidentally, but there’s a reason they chose rome – stumbled into the vatican, and to trixie’s great dismay, they’d spent the last ten days holed up in the library.

and in those ten days, everything chloe had known about lucifer was thrown out the window.

and it hurt.

the man she’d known – the kind, beautiful, vulnerable man – everything she knew about him has been utterly disproved in the face of the vatican and their many, many religious books and opinions.

she’s a smart woman, and she’d thought she was doing well at keeping the lucifer she knew and the devil she was learning about separate in her mind as she read. in her brain, there was her lucifer, the man who threw her proms and kissed her on the beach and bought her fries without ketchup, and then there was the devil, the child-eating hell-bringer, the man she can’t imagine her lucifer ever was.

but late at night, after she’s stuffed herself with bible tales and stories of centuries of horrors, and trixie’s fast asleep, chloe finds herself haunted by nightmares of red faces and world wars and maybe, just maybe, in the early hours of the morning, her lucifer could have done those things.

maybe she really didn’t know him.

it’s a miracle that italy has both a steady supply of devil stories and good wine, because chloe’s bought out the minibar multiple times since they arrived. it seems like she only just manages to get trixie down before she’s cracking open a second, third bottle per night. when she’s addled by veneto red, the two lucifers in her mind can merge, and she’s not so confused.

then, she just hurts.

because the thought of two lucifers is hard. she can’t reconcile her best friend with the devil from the library, and it’s hard to even consider that they could be one and the same. but when she lets that thought happen – when she really layers them together, considers each angle –

it feels like she’s losing him.

today, a priest had come up to her. he’s been watching her for a few days, making slight comments on her choices of literature, recommending other books with a gentle smirk. if she’d been in her right mind, chloe might’ve thought him a little off, but she’d simply put him off as overly helpful and dived right back into her books.

but today – oh, today – she’d come across a scenario that had credited lucifer as the cause of one of the most horrid scenes she’s ever witnessed, and she just couldn’t. she’d laid her head down on the book, tears coming fast and thick, and let herself cry until the words that incriminated him had bled together beneath her eyes.

and this priest – kinley, his name was – he’d popped out of the shadows, comforting, telling her it wasn’t her fault, that that’s just what lucifer did, let people in, pretended he cared –

chloe lets out a particularly frantic sob, dropping the empty wine bottle to the floor as she gathers her knees to her chest, burying her mouth in the soft fabric of her pants in the hope of quieting her sobs. trixie’s already cottoned onto the fact that something’s wrong, and she’s smart for her age, it won’t be long until she starts questioning why they’re spending their holiday in a dusty old library, why her mom doesn’t talk to her favourite devil anymore, and when are they going home?

no, she can’t let trixie find out. which means she needs to pull herself together.

if lucifer was here, she’d be able to.

but he’s not.

because he’s the devil.

she sucks in another pained breath, a vein in her neck bulging with the effort of staying quiet as her back shudders. a pain echoes through her ribcage, worsening every time she breathes in, and briefly, distantly, she wonders if she’s dying.

anyone the devil comes into contact with shall eventually meet their own painful ends.

the line, a memory from one of the many books she’s scoured over the past week, echoes in her mind, and chloe releases an unwilling whine, conflicted.

she’s never felt so lost.

a month ago, you could’ve asked her, and she would’ve answered with 98% accuracy and told you that yes, she was pretty sure she was in love with lucifer morningstar. hell, you could’ve asked her that at any point in the past two years, and the answer would never have strayed far.

and it’s this reason, and probably this reason only, that she’s struggling so much with believing everything that the vatican city library books are trying to tell her. she loves – loved – lucifer, surely she would’ve known if he was the origin of all evil. right?

or maybe she’s just a terrible judge of character. maybe the books are right, and he’s been ripening her up for years in preparation for some kind of ritualistic sacrifice. god, what if he hurts trixie?

this line of thinking probably stems from the eight hours a day she spends in the library, surrounded by sacred texts and creepy priests.

and maybe, just maybe, the fact that she hasn’t talked to lucifer. for weeks.

not for a lack of trying, on his part. in fact, chloe had had to put her phone away, after the first hundred calls. for the first few days, it hadn’t stopped – the buzzing, the calls, the texts. and then, slowly but surely, it had dribbled down, and now she only pulls her phone out when she’s desperate.

like now.

one missed call, three new messages. she skims through them – i’m sorry, detective, and please, come home, and i’ll stop now. i’m here if you need.

that’s all it’s been, the last few days. i’m here if you need. if you have questions. if you want to talk.

fuck, why is she spending all her time in a goddamn library when he’s right there?

she knows he’ll tell the truth. he never lies.

or does he? does she know him at all?

at that, chloe’s heart shatters, completely shatters, and with it, so does her resolve. she stops trying to be quiet, sobs keening throughout the hotel room as she clutches her phone, bringing the cold metal to her forehead as if his words could soothe the ever-present ache there. it hurts. she wants him. she doesn’t know him. it hurts.

“mommy?”

fuck. chloe takes a shuddering breath, trying desperately to gather herself together as slowly, she raises her head to take in her daughter. trixie’s fist is rubbing at her eye, her little body leaning against the door frame. when she speaks, she looks at her mother with pity. “did you have another bad dream?”

“n-no, baby,” chloe whispers. her whole body tenses, trying desperately to rid itself of the pain through helpless sobs that she forces back down. “go back to sleep.”

but trixie’s clever, and she shakes her head, crouching down. “you’re sad.”

“please, monkey,” chloe breathes shallowly. i can’t do this anymore. “please, go back to bed.”

no, mommy,” trixie says. “what’s the matter?”

chloe sucks in another breath, whole chest caving with the effort of holding back her tears. “please, trix…”

trixie waits a beat. chloe does too, held horribly on edge, feeling sicker by the second. and then her daughter inches forwards, reaches out gently, and holds her hand. “do you miss lucifer?”

despite all her intentions, chloe’s body betrays her, and she crumples upon herself in a fit of anguished tears. each breath hurts, and trixie’s hand in hers is a useless lifeline, and she can’t do it anymore. she gasps in breath after strangled breath, chokes them out in a series of horrified sobs, curling closer in on herself with each keening cry.

“oh, mommy,” trixie says distantly, and vaguely, chloe registers her phone being tugged from her hand as her kid’s delicate, tiny fingers rub soothing patterns across her mother’s shoulder. “it’s okay.”

if anything, that just solidifies that nothing is okay, because a child isn’t meant to comfort their mother, it should be the other way around, and chloe’s sobs worsen as she turns to trixie. “oh, baby, i’m s-so sorry, this was m-meant to be a f-f-fun holiday, and – and –”

“it’s okay, mommy,” trixie whispers again, tinkering with her mother’s phone. she shrugs as she offers chloe a small smile. “i’ve eaten a lot of gelato, and i love gelato.”

chloe gives her a half-chuckle, the laugh breaking off into a sob as she buries her face in her legs again. “g-go back to bed,” she says, shaking. “i’ll be okay.”

it sounds weak even to her own ears, and trixie simply raises an eyebrow before handing her the phone.

it’s dialled, and chloe raises it to her ear with a whimper, confused. trixie simply sits, waiting, until –

“detective, i wasn’t expecting –”

“lucifer,” she sobs, lip trembling. “help.”

any trace of surprise disappears from his tone, replaced immediately with concern. “what can i do?”

she shudders, pressing the small, cold device further into her ear, as if he can travel through the phone to reach her. another sob spills from her lips. “i wanna come home.”

he’s silent for a moment, and when he speaks again, it’s full of the greatest care she’s felt in a long, long time, and she can’t find even a trace of the devil from her research. “your flights are booked,” he says gently. “i’ll pick you up at the airport.”

Chapter Text

98. “Take a deep breath.”

he’s been planning this for months.

it’s what’s gotten him through the millennia of ruling hell, the one thought that’s staved off the nightmares for so long, that’s kept him going.

the idea of reuniting with his partner – and imagining their reunion – is what got lucifer through hell.

what he didn’t count on was to walk into his penthouse and find her seducing his twin brother.

thankfully, chloe’s too invested in michael’s face to notice, and lucifer’s able to slip back into the elevator without being spotted by either of them. as the carriage descends, so does he – further into panic.

he’s so focused on controlling his breathing (linda would be proud!) that he almost bashes into his brother on his way out of the lift, towards lux.

“michael!” amenadiel raises an eyebrow. he’s focused on a box of wine in his arms, puffing. “i didn’t expect you back so soon!”

lucifer shakes his head, heart in his throat. “no –”

“not to worry,” amenadiel recovers quickly. “would you mind re-filling the decanter on the bar? normally lucifer would do it, but…”

he trails off, shrugging, and then looks up again from the wine. “michael?”

lucifer’s lip wobbles, because he’s not michael – michael’s upstairs, with his detective. “brother,” he says shakily. “l-long time, no see?”

amenadiel’s brow raises higher, and he leans forward over the box of wine, peering at the man in front of him. “lucifer?

lucifer nods, taking another deep breath. “if you n-need michael, he’s –”

upstairs. with chloe.

his resolve shatters, and he falls backwards against the wall beside the elevator, sinking to the ground. distantly, he hears amenadiel make a small, questioning sound, to which he answers with his own whimper, lost.

he was meant to be coming home. why does he feel so out of place?

amenadiel remains still, staring down at his younger brother, confused. lucifer simply curls tighter, wondering if perhaps he wishes he were still in hell, or if maybe – maybe! – he’s just wandered into the wrong door, and this is his own, his very own hell loop.

yes, that makes sense. none of this is real, and all he needs to do is stand up and walk back out the door, and he’ll find himself in the dark, ashy corridors, and he can snap out of it and go back to earth properly. and when he gets there, chloe will be there, at home, probably reading her urchin a story, with her lips nowhere near his dickhead twin’s.

that’s right. if he can just… stand… up…

beside him, the elevator dings. is the elevator the door to the hell loop? come to think of it, he can’t remember anything before the elevator – before chloe and michael – so maybe – maybe he just needs to walk into the elevator and that’ll take him back outside. to safety.

eyes squeezed shut, he jerks to a stand and rushes into the open elevator, crashing smack bang into chloe.

“get off, michael,” she hisses, and lucifer thinks that she sounds like she’s crying. “i’ve had enough of you.”

his breath hitches, and he remains still even as she pushes at him. “d-detective –”

enough,” chloe snarls, and lucifer barrels backward into the elevator, scared, disoriented, confused. he draws his hands up over his ears, eyes still squeezed shut, and whimpers lowly.

“chloe – chloe,” amenadiel says quickly. “that’s – that’s not michael.”

“what?” chloe asks, voice tight with tears. “of course it is, i just –” she stops. “i just left him up there…”

“right,” amenadiel nods, encouraging. “and angels cannot teleport, so –”

“oh, my god,” chloe breathes. “oh – oh.”

and then she’s close to him for the first time in eons. she surrounds him – her musky smell, the intoxicating fragrance of her shampoo, her words close in his ears. he wants her, but –

none of this is real.

he lashes out, narrowly avoiding her cheek, and lets out a small, harrowing cry. “no,” he whimpers, jerking from her reach. “stop.”

he needs to get out. he just needs to get out of this damn elevator, out of hell, and then he can go up to earth, and everything will be okay. chloe will be there, and michael won’t be, and everything can work out well again.

“lucifer, it’s me,” chloe says carefully, still sounding unusually teary. “hey, can you look at me?”

he shakes his head. he needs to get out.

chloe steps closer.

the elevator doors slide shut, blocking amenadiel, and lucifer sobs.

if the doors are shut, then he can’t get out, and he’s stuck here with this hell-chloe, and – and –

“lucifer…”

the elevator shudders to a start, and, his eyes still shut, lucifer sucks in a gasping breath, chest caving in on itself. he hears hell-chloe start to pace, and he buries his face further into his knees, utterly terrified. he can’t think, he can’t see, he can’t breathe

they say distance makes the heart grow fonder, but in his case, it’s just made his heart hurt.

he needs to get out.

without warning, he scrambles upwards, lunging at the doors even as they ascend further. “out,” he pants, stumbling over his feet. “out.”

“i’m trying,” chloe says tearfully. “i’m trying, lucifer, we’re almost th- fuck.”

her palm slams onto the emergency stop button, and lucifer emits an anguished whine followed by a couple of choked sobs, throwing himself onto the floor like a toddler throwing a tantrum. “out…”

“i know, sweetheart,” chloe murmurs, sinking down next to him. “oh, lucifer, i know.” there’s a reason his penthouse doesn’t have doors, and she’d experienced firsthand his claustrophobia when she’d shut the door on him one games night when he’d stayed in their spare room. she assumes the same fears are gripping him now. “the elevator was going to take us to the penthouse, and michael’s up there. we don’t want to see him, now, do we?”

he shakes his head, confused. a twisted, mangled word breaks from his lips, indiscernible, and chloe reaches carefully to rub his sweaty back. “i don’t know what you’re trying to tell me, baby. take a deep breath, try again. you’re okay.”

“i want to go home,” he sobs, fat tears dribbling down his cheeks. he doesn’t want to be down here, in this horrid, horrid replica of his home, with this weird hell-chloe. he wants the real one, the one who doesn’t seduce his brother, who loves him, who –

chloe presses a gentle kiss to his damp temple, curling her hand through his sweaty curls. lucifer falters.

and then, finally, he turns his face out from his legs, and peers curiously up at her. “chloe?”

and chloe – his detective – gives him a beautiful, earth-shattering smile. “hi.”

“hello,” he whispers. “am i on earth?”

it’s a silly question, one that makes him feel entirely stupid, until she gives him another glorious smile and nods. “you are indeed.”

“and you’re not evil?”

she pretends to give herself a once over. “i don’t think so, no.”

all at once – he trusts her – he relaxes, sagging into chloe’s side. she chuckles slightly, moving so that she can wrap an arm around him, pull him close to her. “oh, i missed you,” she murmurs, her lips grazing his head. “are you okay?”

“thought i was stuck,” lucifer says softly, shrugging. “you, and michael…”

“michael has been dealt with,” chloe assures him. “i don’t think he’s my biggest fan.”

“he has terrible taste,” lucifer mumbles, letting his eyes slip shut as chloe ruffles his hair. “dickhead twin.”

chloe hums her approval. “your dickhead twin is still inside your penthouse,” she points out. “so we should probably steer clear of there for tonight. do you want to stay at mine?”

she phrases it as a question, as if every particle in her body isn’t desperate to have him close, to keep an eye on him, to love him after so long apart. as she knew he would, he nods softly. “please.”

“deal,” chloe nods, shooting him another smile. god, she can’t seem to keep the smile off her face. “are you sure you’re okay?”

lucifer nods. he is now. “i just… didn’t expect to come home and see you seducing my twin.”

chloe softens. “lucifer, i knew it wasn’t you. it hasn’t felt right since the first time he kissed me.”

beside her, lucifer stiffens. “he kissed you?”

chloe pauses. “yes,” she says finally. “but –”

lucifer’s lips are on hers before she can finish, and she sighs willingly into the kiss as he brings his hand up to curl around her neck. she brushes her bottom lip against his, smiling at the tiny sigh he emits, and hums. “there you are,” she says softly, when he pulls back. “that feels right.”

Chapter Text

99. “Be careful.”

chloe returns to her house to pure chaos.

the floor from the door is littered with grocery bags, some open, some still stuffed to the brim. there’s a trail of various foods, from flour to lettuce to a packet of crisps, each of them leading the way to the kitchen like some sort of screwed-up hansel and gretel trail.

chloe follows it willingly, tossing her bags onto the couch, shrugging off her jacket. somewhere in the distance, she can hear gleeful singing, the gentle sound of music echoing through the sound system in the kitchen. she follows the sound with a soft smile, heading into the kitchen.

she clears her throat to make herself known, and almost immediately, both her boyfriend and her daughter turn to her with identical guilty faces. biting back a snort, chloe wonders how they ever doubted that rory was lucifer’s – the two are twins.

“hey, troublemakers,” she says, grinning. “what’s going on here?”

“dammit,” lucifer whispers under his breath. “your mother’s home.”

rory shoots him a guilty grin, turning to her mom with a smile. “hi, mom.”

“hi, baby,” chloe raises an eyebrow. “what on earth are you doing?”

lucifer steps forward, shielding rory from the expected punishment. “aurora and i are having a father-daughter bonding day,” he says proudly, cocking his head at her like a dog waiting for praise. “we had a water fight, we went for a fly, we ate pastries, and now – now…”

“we’re cooking dinner!” rory pipes up. “for you. of course.”

“right,” chloe nods, impassive. “and dinner includes making a mess of my kitchen, i assume?”

“a five course meal can only be prepared in one way,” lucifer advises her. “very messily.”

“ah, i see.” chloe’s lips stretch, but she refuses to let them off the hook yet. “so that’s why there’s flour across the entire counter and mayonnaise on the roof?”

both rory and lucifer flush bright red. chloe stares at them.

lucifer breaks first.

“we might have had a little food fight,” he says sheepishly. he holds up two fingers close together. “just a little one, though.”

chloe can’t hold back anymore, and a snort flutters through her lips. “right,” she laughs. “brilliant. i now have three children, apparently.”

“i’m eternally young, love, it’s one of the many things you love about me.” lucifer shoots her a bright grin, looking slightly guilty. “sorry about the mess. we’ll clean it up.”

“speak for yourself,” rory frowns. “you lost the fight, you clean.”

chloe’s eyes widen dramatically, a grin tugging at her lips. “you lost?”

lucifer looks affronted. “tell your mother the truth, rory. i let you win.”

“sure, sure.” rory nods passively, and then turns immediately to chloe. “he did not.”

chloe snorts, shaking her head. “the two of you are insufferable,” she says, though lovingly. “care to share the menu with me, then?”

“nope!” rory pops her p’s, just as lucifer does. “a surprise, just for you. we’ll actually need you to leave now, wait in the lounge, you know…”

“gee,” chloe rolls her eyebrows sarcastically. “kicking me out of my own kitchen, i see how it is.”

“exactly!” her daughter gives her a joy-filled grin, shuffling her towards the couch. “enjoy your peace. your first course will be served in… three hours.”

three?” it’s already six-thirty.

she hears lucifer splutter from the other room, and then a reassuring call comes from the kitchen. “half an hour, love. it’ll be ready in half an hour.”

0o0o0

true to his word, rory carries out their first dish twenty-eight minutes later. chloe’s gotten changed and is now lazing comfortably on the couch, a true-crime documentary on in the background. lucifer waltzes in behind his daughter, flourishing his hands proudly.

“and for your first course,” rory announces, like a ringmaster. “we have… sushi. lucifer called in a favour and some dude came to teach us how to roll them, but i’m afraid some of them still look like sea cucumbers.”

chloe laughs – she’s not wrong. she can tell which have been done by the professional – fat, full california rolls compared to lucifer and rory’s skimpier, wilted ones. lucifer notices her looking with an affronted grin. “they taste the same,” he points out, and she digs in.

“mmm,” chloe hums. “delicious.”

rory and lucifer beam, identical. chloe laughs around her roll.

over the next hour, they duck in and out of the kitchen, presenting her with dish after dish until she’s so full she could sleep for days. there’s the sushi, then a little thai salad, some ravioli, a serve of gelato, and finally, a warm, gooey chocolate lava cake.

“you’ll have to remake this when trixie’s back from camp,” chloe points out around a spoonful of the chocolatey goodness. “she’d be obsessed.”

“oh, we will,” lucifer nods. “five course dinners every week, for the whole family.”

“okay, that seems a bit much,” chloe laughs, staring pointedly in the direction of the many dishes stacked up to be washed in the kitchen. “maybe monthly.”

lucifer’s eyes narrow, but he sags with a nod. “deal,” he says, and then brightens again. “movie night weekly?”

“absolutely,” chloe laughs, giving him a soft smile as he reaches out to take her plate. “starting tonight?”

“oh, no,” rory puts in, grinning wickedly. “lucifer said he’d verse me at karaoke.”

chloe’s eyes sparkle. “did he, now?”

0o0o0

when all the dishes are done and drip-drying and the mayonnaise has been wiped off the ceiling, chloe wraps herself in a blanket and settles into the couch as rory plugs in the old karaoke machine to the tv. “me first,” she says, queueing up a song. “so that lucifer realises how serious his competition is.”

“don’t worry, darling, i know exactly what i’m dealing with,” lucifer grins, from his position opposite on the couch. “what you really need to worry about is your mother.”

rory snorts, throwing chloe an apologetic glance. “sorry, mom, i just…”

chloe giggles. “it’s okay, baby,” she glares teasingly, breaking into a laugh. “i know my place in this family, and it’s certainly not as a singer.”

lucifer looks at her, and chooses this moment to crawl across the couch and curl into her lap like a tired housecat. “don’t worry, darling,” he says, looking up at her. “we love you. horrible singing voice and all.”

“ouch,” chloe grins. “horrible, that’s strong.”

“deserved, though, mom,” rory grins, poking her tongue out, and starts to sing.

three songs later – including a glorious duet of NSYNC’s bye bye bye by lucifer and rory at chloe’s request, they’re all red-faced from laughing, and chloe decides it’s her turn to shine.

“i may not be a singer,” she bargains, “but i play a mean game of clue. care for a game?”

rory groans. “i have never beaten mom at clue,” she complains to lucifer. “trix and i normally team up, but even then, she thrashes us.”

“what you haven’t bargained on,” lucifer smirks, “is that your mother and i are a team, and with me against her, she won’t be nearly as good. teammates?”

“be careful,” chloe warns teasingly. “i have never lost a game of clue in my life, and i don’t plan to start tonight.”

and thus, rory and lucifer become a father-daughter murder-solving duo, moving their piece around the board as they try to figure out who, when, with what. at multiple points, lucifer shouts aha, and goes to make a guess, only to be trumped by rory going, no, lucifer, your instinct does not count as evidence.

it’s such a chloe sentence that lucifer shuts right up, narrowing his eyes but listening nonetheless as they continue playing. collecting clue after clue, rory’s feeling the most confident she ever has, and is a second away from making a guess when chloe looks up, eyes gleaming.

“professor plum, in the living room, with the candlestick,” she states, and rory, enraged, throws her paper down. it reads plum, living room, rope/candlestick, and chloe snorts, thrilled. “and the winner is?”

“you, love,” lucifer sighs, defeated, and claps rory’s back. “good game, urchin. we’ll beat her someday.”

“we will not,” rory sighs. “she’s unbeatable. a real sagacity in the world of clue.”

“practise makes perfect, aurora,” lucifer counters. “your mother shall be defeated, just wait. you and i will be the best fake-crime-solving duo out there.”

“hey!” chloe huffs. “that’s meant to be us!”

“we solve real crimes, love,” lucifer points out. “there needs to be room for two women in my life, now. you can’t solve fake crimes with me too, that’s rory’s job.”

chloe splutters, giggling, but as she packs the game away, she can’t help but notice rory’s face. the young woman is staring up at her father, something akin to adoration in her eyes. “my job?” she asks softly.

“why, of course.” lucifer shoots her a winning grin. “we can’t let your mother be the winner all the time, can we?”

“no,” rory says, awed. “no, we can’t.”

and when chloe returns from putting the game back in the games cupboard upstairs, rory’s curled into lucifer’s side, her eyes closed, looking totally at home. chloe sidles up under his other arm, smiling happily, and sighs. “maybe we can be a crime-solving trio.”

the smile that lights up lucifer’s face as he gazes at his snoozing daughter is like nothing chloe’s ever seen, and she presses a gentle kiss to his stubble as he watches rory, awestruck.

“you’re a good dad, lucifer,” she says gently. “she loves you.”

“and i love her,” lucifer murmurs. “and you. i love our family.”

Chapter Text

100. “I love you.”

it still shocks him; how much he loves her.

there are times – there have been so many times – where he’s thought right, that’s it, it’s impossible to feel anymore than i currently do. when he’d first met her, the night he’d saved her life, he’d felt a physical squeezing, something in his chest signalling the change, that this time it might be different.

he knows now that that was his heart growing. there’s a christmas story, one that rory loves, called the grinch, where an ugly green fellow starts off all isolated and alone and grumpy and slowly, surely, his heart grows three times the size. the first time rory had begged him to read it to her, lucifer had obliged but later scoffed under his breath – it’s impossible for a heart to grow, they’re sedentary organs.

he'd been proven wrong not two seconds later, when he’d walked into the kitchen and chloe was doing the dinner dishes, humming under her breath, elbow-deep in soap suds, wearing his kiss the cook apron.

there it was again. that squeeze. for the past ten years - from the moment they’d met to now, where they have a rampant toddler, a moody teen, and an excitable kitten – he’s felt these squeezes, and assumed they were just another part of his extended vulnerability – after all, they only seemed to occur around chloe.

once, in a drunken stupor, he’d told maze about them, and she’d suggested – though warily – that perhaps he should see a doctor. but lucifer is steadily against needles, and had pushed that thought away without preamble, and she’d never brought it up again.

but alas, the squeezes remained. he can hardly count how many times they’ve occurred, but he remembers the various moments, the situations in which his heart has blossomed within his chest, threatening to rise right up his throat and out of his mouth, spreading a warmth throughout his body that he can’t quite explain.

when he’d plonked the urchin on chloe’s hospital bed, after she’d taken that bullet through her shoulder, his heart had squeezed. that had been before he realised he was vulnerable, and he’d written it off as a muscle twinge in response to lifting trixie. of course, the devil doesn’t get muscle twinges, and the squeeze had occurred a few minutes too late for the two events to be correlated, but he now knows – thanks, linda – that he’d been in denial, and an out-of-the-ordinary twinge had seemed the best explanation. leaning against the doorframe of a hospital room and wondering why he’d just saved a human’s life, he’d been preoccupied, not concentrating on the unusual fluttering in his chest.

but then it had occurred again. when chloe touched his scars, pulled immediately back, listened to what he wanted – squeeze. when she’d come to visit him after father frank’s passing, played a rocky rendition of heart and soul, given him a smile so bright that it had been able to break through the gloomy clouds of grief surrounding him… squeeze.

they’d been spread out, in the beginning. the occasional flutter in his sternum, so varied and inconsistent that he’d paid them no mind, hadn’t correlated them to anything particular, had just assumed he’d forgotten to breathe, or that the morning’s coffee had been slightly off. they’d trickled in, happening so occasionally that he hardly noticed until suddenly, they were coming in great bounds.

they’d started happening more frequently during his second year working with her, grown steadily in appearance through court cases and grief and moments, until that day on the beach where she’d kissed him, and his chest had constricted so badly that he’d worried he was having a heart attack. it was funny, he recalls thinking, that a heart attack could be so pleasant. it was less painful, more a comfortable, seeping warmth that spread across his body like the honey on trixie’s morning toast.

and so the squeezes had ebbed and flowed, sometimes appearing all at once, other times disappearing for months at a time. he remembers feeling uselessly empty for a long, lonely period with pierce, yet keeling rapidly over, hand clutched to his heart, when she looked at him for just a little too long one night after work. how his heart had had no purpose but to beat, keeping him blankly alive while she was in rome, and how the shock of a squeeze when she returned had almost rendered him bedridden, so foreign the feeling was to him then. how perhaps the biggest squeeze of all had occurred when, sweaty and tired, chloe had handed him a bundle of wriggling joy wrapped in a bright pink blanket, one tiny hand peaking over the side as his daughter’s eyes stared up at him, the same woody brown as his own.

it had been at that point, exhausted from the eighteen hours of labour and wanting nothing more than to hold his daughter and his wife in his arms and sleep, that lucifer had thought this is it.

he’d assumed it had to stop somewhere. if, as he expected, each squeeze of his heart was the muscle trying to expand to contain more love, there had to be a breaking point. he couldn’t well explode, so surely, right then, with the love of his life and their brand new tiny daughter, that was the limit. he couldn’t possibly love anything more. there was no more room left in his heart.

and then chloe had turned to him and whispered this is what happens when you go in full-cocked, and suddenly, just like that, he loved her more.

to his surprise – and, if he’s honest, his slight concern – it hadn’t stopped. his heart had proven itself capable of growing further, of loving more. with every milestone rory reached – her first giggle, first tooth, first word, first step, first flight – lucifer loved her more, and with it, his heart expanded.

chloe found him one day, bare-chested in the bathroom, prodding his ribcage with poking fingers and a curious expression on his face. she’d folded her arms around his waist, resting her head on his shoulder as she stood on her tip toes, and he’d felt his heart expand beneath his very fingers. it might not have been visible, but he knew it had happened, because when she reached up to kiss him and told him to come back to bed, he’d agreed immediately, because he loves her.

he'd begun to expect it. in the beginning of their life together, it had been clear to lucifer when he’d feel most loved, when his heart would grow. usually it happened on date nights, or if chloe got a promotion and he was proud, or if his tongue was between her legs and she was pulling on his hair just like that.

or it would happen in the dead of the night, when he’d wake shuddering from a horrible nightmare and chloe would coax him back to sleep with soft whispers and gentle lips. when she’d hold him close when everything got too much and he’d collapse into what linda liked to call an episode, where his chest squeezed in the wrong way and the only thing that could fix it was chloe’s soft words.

but lately, he feels it without warning. she could be doing the most mundane of tasks – folding the washing, feeding the cat, watching tv – and lucifer still feels his heart expand. hell, yesterday she’d been doing paperwork and the mere sight of her – hair framing her face, bottom lip bitten between her teeth in concentration – had almost sent him into orbit.

and now – now

lucifer sighs, rolling back over. he can’t sleep – he’d had a long night trying to coax an excited rory to bed (multiple dr suess books had been required), yet when he’d closed his eyes, sleep evaded him.

he’s chosen to look at chloe instead. she’s fast asleep, her mouth parted slightly, stray hairs escaping from a hasty braid down her back and draping in frizzy curtains around her ears. her hand is tangled in his own, heavy and warm, and the very beginnings of the sunrise flit gently across her face. he and rory are the angels of the family, but sometimes, looking at chloe like this, lucifer wonders if somehow, she too holds some divinity.

he reaches his spare hand out selfishly to tuck a curl behind her ear. in her sleep, she clicks her tongue against the roof of her mouth fuzzily, titling her head to press her cheek into the pad of his thumb. he lets it rest there for a moment, stroking gently, and smiles as her mouth lifts in a sleepy grin.

“why are you awake?” she murmurs, eyes still closed, and he freezes caught out. chloe cracks one eye open, and grins wider at him, raising an eyebrow halfway up her forehead. “surely it’s not morning yet.”  

lucifer shakes his head, cradling the side of her face in his palm. “can’t sleep.”

“poor devil,” chloe mumbles, her eyes sliding closed again. she untangles their hands and stretches blindly towards him, hitting him in the face in the process. she lets out an unruly, tired giggle, sounding suspiciously like their daughter, and finally finds a home for her palm between his shoulder blades. she pushes, ever so gently, but he falls without restraint, letting her pull him to her as she tugs at him until she’s comfortable. “better?”

“better,” he tries to croak, but his words are obscured by the delicate column of her throat, and he simply presses a kiss there as a thank you.

he feels chloe start to drift off again beside him, but still, he can’t seem to fall asleep. he moves around, repositioning, shuffling, until chloe gives him a huff, somewhere between amused and fed-up.

“you have ten seconds to get comfortable,” she whispers into the darkness. “anywhere you want, but after that, you stop moving and get some rest. okay?”

“okay,” lucifer nods, and chloe starts to count quietly. he inches into yet another position, his favourite this time, with his whole body draped across chloe’s chest, a leg slotted in between hers, his hand coming up to clutch at the soft lapel of her pyjama top. he tucks his head into the soft dip of her neck, letting his forehead brush the underside of her jaw as he finally relaxes.

chloe reaches ten, and slides her fingers through the short hairs at the nape of his neck, holding his face to her as she curls her leg around his own. “go to sleep, baby,” she whispers. “our little devil is going to be up in an hour, anyways.”

lucifer nods. she’s right, rory’s in a terrible stage where she thinks the crack of dawn means it’s time to wake up, and he’ll likely only get another half hour of silence before she demands to be freed from her cot. a day that spans from 5am to 11pm is a long one, and he really should sleep if he wants to get anything done.

and yet, something stops him. he buries his nose in chloe’s neck and breathes her in, savouring the musky scent of sleep that clings to her warm being. he’s been in this position millions of times – post-sex, post-panic attack, whenever he simply wants to cuddle. but for some reason, right now, his chest swells and gurgles with that familiar warmth, and to his surprise and great confusion, tears well in his eyes.

“lucifer,” chloe whispers, her hold on him tightening, a hint of worry lacing her tone as the first warm tears pool in a dip in her collarbone. “are you okay? what’s the matter?”

her soft fingers find his face, tilting it up to meet her own eyes before he can resist. her face, lined with tiredness, is set in concern, and this simply causes the swelling in his heart to strengthen. he remains silent as chloe asks again. “are you okay?”

he nods, speechless, gazing at her. he’s the one who put the stars in the sky, but she might as well have been been, the way he’s looking at her. “i just…” words, normally his greatest friend, fail him, and he shrugs at her with a teary smile. “i love you.”

chloe softens, returning his smile with one of her own, bright and open and happy. “i love you too, baby,” she murmurs. “so, so much.”

lucifer stares at her, pressing a gentle kiss to her lips before he cuddles back into her neck. chloe makes it impossible to be incapable of love, he thinks. he can’t believe he ever thought otherwise.

she makes it impossible to do anything but love her more and more every day, and he’s sure now that his heart will never stop growing, for he will keep loving her, more and more, every day for their eternal lives.