Chloe sat at her desk, a mess of folders and casefiles littering the space.
Lucifer had taken off hours before, kissing her on the cheek and promising to see her later. It annoyed her that he had left her alone, even if he still never helped with monotonous paperwork, his company made it exponentially more enjoyable.
A pair of familiar laughs pulled her attention away, her eyes immediately scanning the precinct. Trixie bounded down the stairs, Lucifer not far behind her. A few seconds later, her daughter was at her desk.
“Hi, Mom!” The girl hopped into Chloe’s lap, and though she had grown significantly in the past months, it was a welcomed greeting.
When Lucifer came to stand in front of them both, she looked up at her partner with a question in her eye. Trixie was supposed to be at Dan’s for the week, her presence a surprise.
“It’s been a rough week,” he started, shoving his hands into his pockets.
That was the understatement of the century—their week had been horrible. Dead end cases and short tempers, meaningless arguments and silent car rides.
“I know it’s technically her week with Daniel, but I called in a favor.” Leaning his hip against her desk, Lucifer looked down at them. “Plus, it was her last day of school today, and I do believe we have a tradition to uphold.”
Chloe pursed her lips, trying to control the wave of emotion that flooded her. It had been nearly a year of being together— really together—but his thoughtfulness never ceased to amaze her. She found it funny that even though she was the one person he couldn’t read, he rarely got it wrong.
“Lucifer already promised that we could take his car again,” Trixie added, popping up out of her mom’s lap and standing next to Lucifer.
Two pairs of expectant eyes stayed on her, and when her own flickered over to the mess of work on her desk, Lucifer spoke. “Surely this can wait.”
Smiling up at him, she moved to turn off her computer and grab her things. By the time she stood up, Lucifer was waiting with her coat.
She slipped into it, his arm looping around her shoulders once she zipped it up. It had taken months for her to give in to his request for light PDA at work, but she couldn’t deny that she enjoyed the casual touches.
They made their way out of the bullpen as a family, Lucifer kissing her temple only when they had made it into the privacy of the parking garage. “Sorry for leaving earlier,” he whispered, both of them watching Trixie climb into his car.
“I forgive you,” she answered simply, not bothering to hide the smile on her face. Turning towards him, she pressed her lips to his cheek, waiting for him to face her before kissing him properly.
After fighting through the early evening traffic, Lucifer pulled onto the same road of lights they had driven down the year before. Slowing down the car, both adults watched carefully as Trixie hopped up between them, perching herself along the back of their seats.
Everything about the moment felt right, and unlike the year before, Chloe let herself do what she wanted. Reaching across the now vacant middle, she tangled her fingers through Lucifer’s.
She rested against the seat, content to toy with his fingers and listen to the easy banter between the two people she loved the most. They argued over light placement, critiqued themes and offered their own solutions for how they could do it better.
For a moment, Chloe considered the fact that this was a part of the holidays they were missing out on. Between the penthouse and her apartment, traditional decorating was out of the picture. She hadn’t ever given much thought to moving, never had a reason to, but for the first time she found a small part of herself longing for a place they could call theirs.
Not her apartment that they just so happened to spend most of their nights at or his penthouse that they used as a fun getaway when Trixie was with Dan.
She found herself imagining a home .
Lucifer squeezed her hand, pulling her from flashes of a Christmas years from now where everyone she loved filled the house they shared.
“Where were you just now?” His question was soft, and Trixie was too engrossed in lights to care what they were talking about.
She grinned at him, a soft and gentle smile. Reaching over, she covered their tangled fingers with her other hand. “I’ll tell you later.”
He narrowed his eyes at her. “Promise?”
Nodding, she pulled his hand up to her lips, dropping a kiss to his knuckles. “Promise.”
Trixie fell asleep halfway through the movie, her long and lanky limbs spread out on a pile of blankets she had covered the living room floor with.
Chloe hummed as Lucifer carded his fingers through her hair, scratching gently at her scalp with each pass. “Thank you for tonight,” she murmured into his chest, her arm slung loosely across his stomach. “It means a lot that you remembered.”
She had been more than content to simply celebrate once Trixie had come back from Dan’s, knowing that shared custody was just a part of their life.
“It’s important,” he said softly, fingers tugging at a curl. “I like that we have traditions,” he added, even quieter, like he was a little embarrassed to admit it out loud.
Chloe made a quiet noise of agreement, her eyes fluttering shut for a moment. They only opened again when Lucifer spoke, his words gentle but serious.
“I wanted this ,” he pulled her in closer, “so badly when we did this all last year.”
Pulling back just enough to look at his face, Chloe gave him a sad smile. She had been cautious, hurting and still a little tattered from watching him with Eve, but she had wanted it too.
“Even when I let myself pretend it was real, I never came close to imagining something as wonderful as this year has been.” A smile snuck onto his face, a matching one spreading on Chloe’s.
“Me either,” she echoed, stretching up to kiss the underside of his jaw. The year truly had been wonderful. Sure, they had experienced the highs and lows that came with relationships, but through it all they had remained partners.
He made her feel cherished and valued, protected in a way that never felt smothering. She loved him for who he was, flaws and all, and he loved her back the same. It was a liberating kind of love, something she was proud to show the world.
“Your mother came over that night.” He laughed at just how nervous he had been around the woman. “I never told you what she said to me.”
Chloe groaned, tucking her face into his neck. His arm tightened around her, his chest vibrating with laughter underneath her cheek.
“She told me that life is hard enough with us making it more difficult for ourselves,” he recalled easily.
She kissed the skin underneath her lips, pulling back slightly to speak. “Well, she’s not always wrong.”
A soft chuckle fell from his lips. “I told her I had enjoyed our night far more than I expected to,” he smiled at the memory, “and then she told me that almost everything is enjoyable when it's with people that we love.”
Chloe pulled her head away from where it was resting on his chest. Even if somewhere deep down she had known she had been in love with Lucifer then, she knew that there was no way he had been ready to admit it.
“I’m sure you handled that well.”
Narrowing his eyes at her, his fingers closed around her ear and gave a teasing tug. She gave a soft sound of protest.
“I may have panicked a bit.” Chloe laughed as he shivered at the uncomfortable memory, nuzzling her nose back into his neck. “Looking back now I’m fairly certain she was right, but I don’t think I really knew what it meant to love someone at that point. I told her I cared for you a lot. Both of you.” His eyes landed softly on Trixie.
Overwhelmed by his admission, Chloe felt the need to be even closer to him. She got up quickly, startling Lucifer with her movements. “Let’s go to bed.”
They made quick work of cleaning up, Lucifer lifting Trixie up off the floor and carrying her into her bedroom. Chloe leaned against the door frame, a peculiar feeling flooding her when she watched him drop a kiss to Trixie’s forehead before turning out the light.
Hand in hand, they climbed the stairs and moved quickly through their nightly routines. A few minutes later, they slid into bed, meeting in the middle and twining their bodies together.
“I love you,” Chloe said softly, her voice smooth and sure. Closing the small gap between them, she kissed his nose before pressing her lips to his.
Lucifer smiled, half sure that at any moment he would wake up from this dream of a life he had been living the last year. The look on Chloe’s face was full of promise and hope, the same emotions that he had seen when they’d been in the car.
Reaching up, he brushed some of her hair out of her face. “What were you thinking about earlier?”
“Christmas lights,” she said with a cheeky smile. When she was met with a look of feigned annoyance, she continued. “ Our Christmas lights.”
Lucifer gave her a confused look.
“I was just thinking about how we don’t really have a place that’s ours . I mean, I feel at home wherever you are,” he smiled at that, relaxing into her touch, “but I do think about what it would be like to have somewhere that we can call ours. A place where Trixie can grow up and we can fill with memories of our own.”
Lucifer pouted. “What about the memories that we have here?”
Reaching out, she trailed a finger along the ridge of his cheek, down his nose, across his lips. “We will always have them,” she said softly. “Plus we have a few very beautiful photo albums that I've seen you staring at more than you’d ever admit.”
He considered her words, knowing deep down that she was right—nothing could ever take away what her apartment had given him.
He thought about egg sandwiches and game nights. Decorating trees and baking chocolate cakes. Slow dances in the living room and nights spent learning just how close two people could get to occupying the same space.
It was the place where he had learned to love and be loved.
“It was just a thought,” Chloe said after a few minutes of silence, her voice shy. “I’m perfectly happy with what we have now.”
Lucifer rolled onto his back, pulling her with him so that she rested flush against his side.
“I think a place that’s ours sounds wonderful.” Turning his head slightly, he pressed his lips to her forehead. “A house with Christmas lights. Old traditions and new ones.” He spoke slowly, like he was tasting the words as he mused aloud.
Chloe couldn’t stop a smile from splitting her face. She hadn’t known just how much she wanted it all until he started painting a picture of a life together. Their life. With their family.
“Speaking of new traditions,” he said before she could respond, “I thought it might be fun to bake together—the three of us.”
Chloe’s heart soared every time he included Trixie. Their bond had always been something special, but the way they had grown closer of the year was truly magical.
“I figured we could make the pastries we learned to make when we took her to that pastry chef last year.”
He was talking about the gift he had given Trixie. They had all spent the day covered in flour and sugar, leaving with boxes of treats that had lasted them weeks. It had been a day that had only further convinced her that this family was the one she was always meant to find.
Snaking her thigh across his hips, she situated herself fully on top of him, arms braced on either side of his head.
“I love that idea,” she said, bending down to kiss him properly. He kissed her back thoroughly, passionate and slow, like they had a lifetime of kisses to go. She was breathless in a matter of minutes, mind hazy. “We can do whatever you want,” she told him with a dopey grin, knowing that it would spark him into action.
Rolling them quickly, he pressed her into the mattress, his body hot and solid above her.
“I want everything with you.”