Blood. Gunshot. Lucifer. Floor. Blood. Gunshot. Help. Scream
But nothing came. Another string of gunshots rang through the air but Chloe couldn’t register anything. Lucifer bled on the floor of the compound with a look of bewilderment rather than excruciating pain.
He kept mumbling something that sounded ridiculously like “How can I bleed, I don’t bleed…” Until his eyes began to give away and his words became slurred. She was screaming internally, but nothing came out of her mouth. And forget about movement. She couldn’t move, Lucifer grew pale around his blood and that’s what she remembered.
Chloe woke up disoriented in a bright sunlit room that smelled like so much medicine, and nothing like home. She had no recollection of getting here, no part of her was evidently hurt, not that she had the energy to peep beneath the sheets and discover how wrong she could be.
Her eyes burnt; her hands shook as she tried to grab the glass to quench her parched throat. So dry that a gulp felt like inhaling chalk. Her vision blurred and she slumped back into the slumber she had fought.
Lucifer was mostly annoying during the brief time he would regain consciousness. Just mere minutes in an entire day, and he would only scuffle and mumble to get him out of stupid binding incapacitations. Doctors called it PTSD, but Maze knew better. Lucifer didn’t bleed. He never bled. She had cut out his wings for god’s sake and he hadn’t bled. How could some stupid 9mm bullets pierce into immortality?
She had exhausted google out of everything Reddit and Quora suggested. They were so limited in their discussion and capacity; Maze only grew more furious if anything. Of course, there wasn’t a Reddit thread that answered Hey so my devil boss who’s the ruler of hell, like actually the ruler, was just bleeding out like a punctured prune three days ago, any suggestions on what the fuck might be happening. Any suggestions welcome so I do not lose my shit.
Cruel as it were, Maze realized how they were in opposite positions in a matter of weeks. Days back Lucifer and Chloe sat near Maze’s bed, looking after her, and here she was, looking after them. Looking after would be a stretch for sure, but tasting horrible fluids and tablets before they were given to either of them, that’s what Maze was doing perfectly.
But she wasn’t equipped to deal with the onslaught of humanity to such an extent. And all she wished that it would end soon.
Chloe woke up later that night and instead of acting upon her detective instinct, she simply pressed the bell and called the nurse. Instead, Maze greeted her.
“Ssup Decker, done being a wuss yet?” Chloe gave her a weak smile.
“Well Good Morning to you too, if it is still morning, and I could still stay up…” Her voice turned faint as the familiar feeling of being parched returned and she put a hand around her neck. Only then did she realize, she had a scar. And she didn’t remember getting it.
“Maze, would you help me with a glass of water, and jog my memory up maybe?” Chloe laid back against the pillows, relishing the comfort her weak frame missed for the minutes she braved independence from her support.
“Sure, the doctors have told me not to give you any trauma, you could go batshit but I’m not really a fan of the white coats so I’ll give it to you. But remember you can’t rat me out or I won’t be responsible for a white coat in a room next to you.” Chloe nodded and laughed, winced too as her neck jerked. “Okay, so Friday night we all were at the drug bust thingy. Lucifer and you acted stupid, you locked him in a container and went solo. He broke the lock, saw you being shot at, jumped Infront of you, two bullets hit him.” Maze registered her gaping look and paused to ask if she should continue, Chloe urged her on. “Umm okay, so after Lucifer was shot, You went into some shock and kept sitting on the ground and Lucifer was in your lap bleeding the fuck out. It was something out of the stupid movies you humans make, very funny and sexy. Haven’t seen so much blood just lying about in quite a while actually, do you think I would come across all this more oft…”
“Okay Maze, well, that’s a lot, and thanks for updating me with the whole scenario. And I don’t remember shot at but I do remember seeing Lucifer getting hit. How’s that?”
“Yeah, actually after they picked your stiffy bod up, a perp came out of hiding, shot across at you but I threw a knife at him before he could take a proper shot and do more damage to you. You’re welcome and can repay me with an orgy or a new Rabbit vibrator.”
God, they both only had one-track mind that just never left the road to sex and the city.
Lucifer. Shot twice. Suddenly a fresh wave of pain and nausea hit her as she tried to register the details Maze gave her, as her brain pieced all the corresponding bits together to make faint flashes into a better chain of memories.
“Okay, more water, please. And what about the cartel?” Maze shifted in her chair.
“We caught the assholes; it was all good. Another officer was injured but just usual bruising like a peach. Nothing major other than you two idiots who can’t follow simple hideout orders.”
Yeah, bravery aside, Chloe did consider regret.
“How’s Lucifer Maze? Is he going to be okay? Can I see him please?”
“He’s pulling through, mostly he wakes up for minutes mumbled incoherent shit and goes back to sleep. Trust me he’s literally like your spawn right now, if only younger. And speaking off,” Maze went around her bed and pulled out a bag from underneath the bed. “Trix told me to give you Ms. Alien and she promised I can have it back as soon as you got out of here.” Chloe smiled widely.
“Oh, you met Trix is it?” She smirked as she stressed on Trix and choked on her water laughing. Trixie only let people close to her call her Trix, she was Beatrice and Trixie to most, Trix to only a handful and Maze was somehow one of those people now. Her enigmatic daughter.
“Well obviously, she’s an okay sample for most humans her size and I know how devious they are. You’re in the clear Decker.”
“Thank you for your trademark approval of my daughter Maze, I am glad. Did she come to see me? She did, but it’s all okay. She understood and was mostly okay. Other than the one time she couldn’t help but cry. But she’s doing okay. Dan brings her around dinner and then he reads her some stupid story about a penguin every night and she falls asleep. And then he just picks her and takes her back.”
Chloe couldn’t help her tears as she thought how much her little girl had to see in the past couple of weeks. She was her baby and she had to endure so much crap because of her job, she hated this part of her job. Her baby girl was so strong and mature for her age that sometimes she couldn’t help but ask herself when was she an actual child last. She was just growing up so fast and she felt her childhood slipping away through her fingers.
“Now don’t waterwork me Decker, I’ve given you your update sesh, now go back to sleep or these white coats will keep crowing in my ears.”
She didn’t have to be told twice. As soon as her head hit the bed, she was out.
It would be somewhere around 3 if she was right when she woke up. She felt much better, and her head and neck hurt a lot less. She decided to try walking.
She got up as she pulled out a wire and felt okay still. That was a good sign. She made her way to the door and thankfully, she felt no signs of dizziness, nausea, or anything to stop her from moving further. She was doing okay.
Alright, she needed to see Lucifer.
As she went down two doors on her left, she spotted Maze looking at her. Uh oh. She felt like a child who was just caught stealing candy out of the jar hidden away.
“I know you’re a stubborn little skank Decker, but Lucifer’s that way. Third door on the left corridor.”
Chloe felt her knees bucking but she was determined to not go back to her room before she saw Lucifer.
“Well, you could help this stubborn skank and not let any of the-“ she couldn’t believe her ears ”white coats give us a hard time.”
“Tight” That was all Maze said as she put an arm around her and led her scrawny frame up to Lucifer’s door.
Chloe sighed at the sight. He looked pale but he didn’t look bad. He just looked like someone who was weak and needed rest. Just like she did. Her knees reminded her of that but she wanted to get more of him. This stupid man who’d dived in front of gunfire to shield her out of the way of death, claiming to be the devil. This handsomely stupid man. This stupid man was hurt because of her.
“Before you get all weepy and I can see the possibility, let’s take you back to your domicile before I am held at gunpoint by a white coat for giving you trauma.”
Chloe’s tears left her eyes as she managed to laugh through her tears.
Sleep eloped her till the sun came up and Maze sat with her throughout the remnants of the night. She bitched about the bleached sheets, how it was too bleached, how the precinct was doing, how she tortured every single one of the Russian perps by twisting their fingers. Chloe argued how that was against the law, but she knew it was futile and Maze did as Maze pleased.
Lucifer was getting better as Chloe went back to work four days later. His recovery had sped up since Chloe’s discharge and she was glad. She had one less thing to be worried about as she caught up with the paperwork from the case she’d left.
She filed the paperwork and was headed home for the night when she asked for a brief from Dan for the case that came in that evening.
“So, what’s with the double homicide down at that plush Malibu beach house, any suspects.”
“Well, there could be and could be not. It shouldn’t concern you as it’s time to act on our deal from before.”
“I don’t remember any deal..” Chloe did remember it and she had secretly hoped Dan would’ve forgotten all about it.
“You know I’m not buying that Chloe, even if you had a concussion to your head, there’s no way I’d let you back out of it. 1 week off, no high-profile cases for a month. You promised me.”
“Well, I didn’t technically see the case to an end so the deal holds no bone.”
“Aa aa.. no way miss, you got injured at the scene, Lucifer got shot. I’d say your acts were pretty heroic to consider your contribution worthy and equivalent to an actual close, so you, Miss, are spending a week at home. With Trix and with lots of ice cream and take out. Now any argument is unnecessary at this point so I suggest you save your breath and head home in 3..2..1”
“Okay okay okay.. god you’re such an overbearing person. Are you sure you’re not my dad?”
“That would make us very grossly related Chlo, get out of here.”
Chloe chuckled loudly as she packed up her desk for the day and what looked like it, for the week. Thought of having Trixie for an entire week to herself after how much time they’d spent apart seemed like a welcoming thought.
It seemed like ages since she made her daughter a good solid breakfast, dressed her up for school, helped her with homework, all the mom stuff. She could really use this week and rest herself better too.
“Also, Maze came around earlier when you were in the lab with Ella, she said Lucifer’s coming home later tomorrow, sometime around late evening, so you could check upon him as well.”
A week off felt all the better now. She could help Lucifer around with stuff and spend time with Trixie. This would be perfect. Little mercy of Dan’s impeccable memory.
“Yeah, it seems like a good idea, I should check up on him, haven’t had the chance to catch updates or visit him at the hospital. I hope he’s doing okay.”
Dan rubbed her shoulders and she eased her taught frame into it,
“He’s doing fine, Maze said he really picked up on recovery and treatment after you were discharged. They actually kept him under observation for the last 14 hours, he’s almost all fixed.”
Chloe sighed in relief “Well that’s really good to hear. And why hasn’t Maze told me any of this and you know all about the Lucifer- Maze bulletin.”
“Uhh, she texted you a couple of times but seems like you never saw them or forgot to respond. It’s okay, it has been an overwhelming amount of work that you had to cover up for. She understood and I took updates on your behalf.”
Shit. She pulled out her phone and saw 15 unread messages from Maze alone, 245 texts, and 23 missed calls in total. She and her habit of literally burying her phone in a cemetery when work plagued her.
“Oh god, I’m such a horrible person. I’ll catch up with her and Lucifer tomorrow after they’re back. Should definitely make up for the asshole detective who left the civilian consultant injured tag. And Dan, thank you for picking up the slack..” She engulfed him in what they called a bear hug.
“It’s been so crazy for you these past weeks, first Maze, then me and Lucifer. I am so sorry, and you are due a vacation too. Promise me you’ll take a couple of days off when I come back? Please?”
Dan rubbed her back and smiled into the hug, “Yeah, actually I’ve been thinking of taking Ella away for a weekend. She wanted me to meet with her brother.”
“OH MY GOD. And when we're going to tell me this? Oh god, is it serious serious? Tell me all about it!”
“Such a gossipmonger Chlo, you go home for now and I’ll come around the day after, and we can have Taco Tuesday together, been a while since we did that anyway. Alright?”
“And you’ll let me grill you on all the nasty deets over wine later?”
“Okay but only if you’re well-rested and you let me buy Trixie the fudge cake from that downtown fancy pâtissier. She deserves it.” Dan never forgot to pamper Trixie when she deserved it. No matter in what space they would be personally and professionally, Dan always put Trixie first.
True, their marriage had failed its term but it made her sleep better at night knowing that Dan would never be a shitty ex or a shitty father. Ever. And whoever he found next, she would always want him to have a chance at happiness again.
“Okay you’ve stalled enough and it’s 9:30 already, go home Chloe.” Dan kissed her forehead gently as he saw her off at the car park and got back to work.
The next two days were absolute bliss, Chloe couldn’t remember the last she’d felt so happy and seen her daughter so happy. The exhaustion from the hospital had almost vanished in the happy bubble of joyous breakfast mornings, fancy dinners which were always accompanied by not one, but two slices of chocolate cake. Chloe had realized that she had missed this more than she had let on. They had planned a board game schedule for the entire week ahead and promised to play fair, well, mostly.
The third morning, Chloe woke up to a call from Maze, as that died down before she could pick up, she saw there were five more in a two-minute time frame. Her mind jerked awake as her mind spiraled to Lucifer and if it could be bad news. She picked up her phone and feverishly called Maze back and she picked up at the first ring.
“Hey, Decker I was just..” She heard ruffling and snatching over the other side. What even was going on, it was 8 am and her sleep in time was still two hours later.
“Maze what’s going on, would you stop playing football with your phone,” Chloe screamed in her half sleepy voice, which it seemed had reached Trixie too, as she came scratching her head.
“Mommy, why is Maze calling so early, is Lucifer alright?” She snuggled close to Chloe, half asleep, half concerned.
“I don’t know baby, there’s a lot of disturbance on her end, I’m trying to..”
“Apologies detective, Maze seems to have completely lost any modicum of sanity she so possessed and is quite literally I believe, make my life hell. You can go back to sleep” More scratchy noises.
“Decker hey, this idiot won't let me tell you that they’re letting him off today, he’s got this stupid idea that he’s bothering you.”
Maze you drop that call now.. and the line goes silent.
What in the actual fuck?
Chloe and Trixie decide that they won’t let a stupid cryptic call from Maze and Lucifer disturb their week of no rules. And slept cuddled next to each other for another hour.
It is only then that Chloe realized what had happened. Maze had called. MAZE. HAD. CALLED. LUCIFER. LUCIFER WAS DISCHARGED. Oh, damn it. She called up Maze again, went straight to voicemail. Called Lucifer but he didn’t pick up.
Oh god, how could she be so ignorant!
She rushed in for a shower, making a quick 5-minute routine of a hair wash with shampoo working like body wash foam, and rushed along Trixie for bath and breakfast too.
She plated two simple pancakes and syrup along with fresh juice for Trixie and ate hers as she cooked.
“Okay, so monkey, I have to go check on Lucifer, I have asked Olga to look after you and I’ll only be gone like two hours at the max and then we can continue with our day just the usual. I’ll pick up something from Wendy’s for you and we can both call that a cheat lunch weekend, is that alright honey?” Chloe was rambling, she was aware she was rambling. The nagging feeling of possibly abandoning her daughter came back as she cursed herself for leaving Trixie again. She did promise that this whole week would be about them, but she had to see Lucifer too, and with whatever he said this morning, she wanted to know what was going on with bothering the detective department.
“Mom, you don’t have to explain, Lucifer got injured while saving you, you should go see him and spend some time with him.” She was always blown away with the consideration and empathy Trixie evaluated situations, her precious little monkey.
“You promise you’re not mad?”
“Mom, if you don’t go then, I’ll be mad, tell him I said hi and gave him a hi5 okay?”
“I will baby” She kissed her goodbye as she sped through the empty Sunday roads of Los Angeles.
The elevator pinged open to the familiar simplicity of smoke mixed alcohol all wrapped in a sweet bundle of Lucifer’s signature scent. For anyone who knew him, knew that’s what he smelled like at all times. The familiarity grew as she walked in and saw Lucifer playing a somber tune, well he was trying his best.
With one hand up in a sling and the other being his left, the tune was turning out to be a child left alone with a fancy Steinway.
“You sure you want to keep messing the Reverie? I am sure Debussy wouldn’t be so proud of this rendition.” She walked up to him and sat down beside him on the bench as he shifted, facing her.
“Well hello detective, I believe this is still a better disaster than kissing your way out of a container. I’m sure Debussy wouldn’t approve of that either, won’t you agree?”
Well, the cat got her tongue. “Well, about that, I admit that was very foolish of me. I am sorry. I jeopardized your life and I should’ve thought more about that. But this instinct to be a part of the investigation I took on and sit out was eating me away. I am sure you find all this ridiculu…”
“Ah ah, didn’t say anything about it being ridiculous. In fact, I understand, going after something that is an inherent part of you. And you’re the best at what you do. And we did catch the bad guy, well guys really, all because we diverted their focus and funnily their bullets to ourselves.”
“But you got shot in the process and that is not exactly what I was looking forward to diverting their attention with. And I understand that you’ll not want to take the position as the civilian consultant, I am just here to help you recover and be a friend to someone who saved my life.”
“Well, I assure you, detective, this particular night has done more to submerge me in the idea of being your sidekick than drag me away. The Devil bled, I have to explore thrills of mortality, who knows what else this could bring you to know?”
Well, it did seem like he’d had a contusion and somehow fried his brains coz what?
“I’m sorry, let me get this straight. You got shot and you are now more excited to work with me?”
“American simplification aside, yes, that’s precisely what I’m implying.”
“Lucifer, but you got shot.”
“Yes, protecting you. Isn’t that what friends do detective?”
Chloe’s chest fluttered at the warmth in his eyes and the simplicity of his words. This madman.
“Well, your end of the friendship has been fulfilled and I would like to do my part. And the first order of command is to get away from the piano and not strain your wounds.”
“I assure you I’m perfectly fi-“ He winced as his sling shifted as he got up.
“Okay big guy, back to bed, and you tell what you need, alright?”
“Well, I’d like to take up that evidence room deal you offered. A sick man could use some release.” Chloe turned beet in a millisecond. The thought was very tempting and Lucifer, well his gaze made it hard enough to not push him down and suck him senseless. He leaned in and whispered in her ear, pushing back a loose strand of hair behind her lobe. “What are you thinking detective, I believe we could make good use of a bed this time.”
She had to gather herself, casual sex could wait, injury not.
“Uh, no. Nope. We’re not having sex while your arm is in a sling and you have more holes than necessary in your body. Right now, all we’re using your bed for is to rest your insatiable frame.”
“Well, a man could try.”
After settling Lucifer in front of a heap of pillows and a comforter, Chloe couldn’t help but laugh at the image in front of her. He really looked the part of a man child with a pout she was tempted to kiss. But she resisted.
"Hey what was that about bothering me in the morning, why were you not letting Maze talk to me?"
"I ah- " Chloe could see him fighting for words but she didn't interrupt. "Well, I figured you would be home with your spawn, and umm well, you have been away from her for a long time so I didn't want to interrupt you, with coming to see me and everything." He was looking down, trying to find better words to describe how he felt. Well, Chloe knew. She knew how he felt uncomfortable acknowledging the fact that he would like someone to come see him, to just him how he was doing, try to be there for him. It took her back to the night in the evidence room. The surprise of being asked what he wanted, what he desired, of being put first, letting his vulnerability exposed, letting someone in on his fears. Of course, it would inflect in the fact where he felt less. Being shot at and needing someone was what he feared deeply and Chloe knew, he really did need her. But she wasn't going to make it uncomfortable for him. He didn't need that right now. So she subverted the topic away.
She pulled out a bar chair and sat unpacking his medical bag.
“Okay so you were discharged 4 hours ago, right? And would make it -” She read his prescriptions and arranged all the medicines he needed to take for the next week. “Time for your morning course, would you prefer it with milk, water, or juice?”
“An old-fashioned would be great thank you.” Could someone actually lose their mind from rolling their eyes so damn hard? Chloe was about to find out.
“We’ll work with a juice then, stubborn child.” She walked behind the bar leaving Lucifer gaping in horror.
Medicines were done, breakfast too. Although it took a lot of headwork to keep an old-fashioned and a neat joint out of the course, Chloe did a good job at keeping him focused on the bacon and pancakes she whipped him. Now, it was time for his bandages.
“Most of the annoying stuff for today is done for you, we just have to change your bandages.” Another man-child groan followed. “Now, is Maze going to do them or you’ve got a nurse?”
“Neither detective, I’m a grown man. Completely capable of nursing my wounds.”
“Oh sure. Of course. I would like you to remove your sling without wincing.” Of course, removing it was a far-fetched thought when a painful sigh followed as he moved his arm away to detach the sling. She let him try again, needing to see how stupid he really was. And it seemed there was no end to that. “BLOODY HELL” “BUGGER” “OH FOR DAD’S SAKE” and then he finally gave up.
“You want help Lucifer?” She stood cross-armed across the room, waiting for him to fight it like the stubborn asshole he was.
Grunt. Groan. Eye Roll. Defeated sigh. Slouching back into the pillows. “Please”
And with that, Chloe walked up to him and smacked his head playfully before laying him down.
“Okay, so bandages are done as well. Don’t strain or stretch much. Have a glass of water by your bed at all times. Do not drink the antibacterial solutions, that’s not the alcohol we drink. And, don’t try to shower by yourself. You can have someone draw you a bath and soak. You have to take your meds twice a day and three meals which are not just alcohol and fish and chips are necessary.”
Chloe wrote down as she spoke and Lucifer could only stare. Awe wouldn’t even cover what he felt at the moment. Who would ever have thought that the devil will be dictated his medicine schedule and would be too fragile for a bath?
“Yes, yes. I got this. Now I’m completely taken care of.” He said with a yawn, it was a little after noon and the meds were lulling his pain and his eyes felt heavy.
“Yes, but you need someone for this.”
Lucifer wasn’t sure how his request would be met but he said it anyway. “Can you?” As soon as the words left his mouth, he realized how needy he sounded and winced at the thought. He didn’t need this vulnerability and being taken care of; he would be fine. “I apologize, detective, I’ll have Maze or Patrick do it, I could call someone from the hospital and- “
“Lucifer, I definitely would. You saved my life. It is literally the least I could do for you. And well, I believe no would want to be subjected to a grumpy, shot- at, diva.”
“How dare you.” And they both laughed at exactly how much of a diva that statement truly was.
She leaned in and gave a soft peck on his cheek, “I’ll be back in the evening to fix you up, okay? Have to spend time with Trixie as well.”
She leaned back to get up but he held her hand and nudged her towards him. His eyes were just as soft as his words “Thank you Chloe” and dipped his head to kiss her bullet scar on her neck like a simple brush stroke whisper.
“I believe they say you can kiss it better, right?” He gave her a soft peck on the cheek and let her hand go. “Well, I shall see you in the evening detective, we both could use a lazy nap.”
“We could” with that she helped him under the covers and walked away to leave.