Chloe Decker had enough of her ex-husband bailing on their only child, enough of the stares at the precinct whenever Lucifer blazed through – he was extraverted, and extravagant, and plainly not shy when talking about anything and everything, but you would think after a while the glazed expressions he left behind him would, you know, cease – and very recently, enough of the Devil shtick he refused to give up.
So she sat out on the back step, enjoying a rare peaceful moment in the sunshine, no less, and alone. If there was a God, He wanted her to have this moment. The breeze was soft against her skin, the small bit of grass her mother decided absolutely needed to be in the backyard (water restrictions be damned) was gentle and green and new. She closed her eyes and rested her chin in the crook of her arm, a small smile playing with the corners of her mouth.
She was lost in the moment, not hearing the back door open, or shut softly behind her.
Usually Lucifer would be one to breeze through all her doors with all the ease of a tornado, uncaring of what she happened to be doing at that particular moment – and quite happily accepting whatever consequences she cooked up if it meant he could catch her coming out of the shower again, her skin still wet and, from where he stood, invitingly warm. Which is exactly why Chloe had taken to dead bolting the front door.
“Personal space” was not a concept familiar to her partner.
Today, however, Lucifer had just left Linda, who had his mind reeling with her questions. He wanted nothing more than to see his detective, to hear her voice, and that was precisely the reason he went to see the good doctor that morning – to have her explain to him why, exactly, his partner was rapidly becoming the only thing on his mind.
But Linda only smiled and told him to think on it himself. He left her then, shooting a look over his shoulder at her still-smiling face, and asking what it was he was paying her for, again, exactly?
The distaste for his therapist all but left him at the sight of Chloe. His expression was soft as he gazed upon the woman, who was apparently oblivious to his presence. Her golden hair played gently upon the back of her black t-shirt, and he wished he could feel the tresses between his fingers.
In that moment, it didn’t even occur to him that he could wrap her hair around his hand and pull it, to pull new sounds out of her.
No, he only watched as she sighed, contentedly, against her arm, and suddenly his shoulder ached for the weight of her head against it. Slowly, he walked across the porch to the step, and sat in the space next to her, smoothing the creases from his trousers.
She opened her eyes, wide in surprise, and, seeing it was him, relaxed. She stretched her arms out in front her, hands clasped, and he admired the taunt muscles beneath her sun-kissed and freckled skin.
“And what were you thinking about?” he asked her, all hellos and good afternoons forgone for more important questions on his mind.
The smile on her face faded and the skin between her eyebrows creased slightly, her contemplative mood returning.
“Nothing you want to hear about,” she told him, and flashed him what he instantly recognized as one of his own sad smiles. “Why are you here?” she asked.
He tilted his head, searching. He wasn’t going to lie to her, of course, but “I wanted to see you” was not about to slip from his mouth.
Not when she had made it perfectly clear – over, and over again – that she was tired of his insistence that they sleep together.
So he settled for focusing on her, instead. “I want to know,” he told her. She made an unbelieving sound and looked back out in the yard, ignoring his gaze.
“Please,” he asked, with a softness in his voice she had not heard since, well – she placed it instantly. The same please that escaped from him when she saw his back.
The scars on his back, which he had told her – in so many words – were his father’s doing.
She wiped her face, trying to wipe away the sudden warmth rising in her face. The anger.
“I was thinking about Trixie,” she began. “And Dan.” That didn’t help her anger much, either.
He scoffed, inspecting his ring. “I wouldn’t bother thinking about him much.”
“Kind of hard not to,” she argued. “Especially –” the breath threatened to hitch in her throat. “Since he ought to be around more.”
She saw Lucifer’s face harden. Absent fathers.
Or was it jealously? Surely he knew she wanted him around for Trixie. She shouldn’t have brought it up.
But he was her partner, and he asked. So. He brought it on himself.
“Old news. He tries, I know,” she offered. “There’s a lot going on.”
“There always is, detective.” The look on his face hadn’t softened.
She brushed a loose hair behind her ears. “Trixie deserves more.”
“I suppose. As far as offspring goes, she’s alright.”
She smiled at his unease. “Just alright?”
He shrugged. “I’ve seen worse. Are they always so… sticky? And loud?”
She giggled at that. His love of children was anything but.
“Pretty much, yeah. Kids are just kids.”
“Spawn, honestly. Had I known I could have created a whole new division of hellions based on them. Tortured souls in Hell the same as children torture their parents here.” He padded the chest pocket of his suit jacket. “Maybe I should write this down,” he joked, his eyes twinkling mischievously.
It wasn’t working, this strange attitude of his. Chloe could only think, despite his charming smile: This again. The sunshine couldn’t help her mood, after all. More of this “spawn” and “offspring” nonsense from him.
“There’s no children in Hell, though,” he continued. “For obvious reasons, I hope.”
She felt her muscles tighten against him. He didn’t notice.
“What kind of a name is Trixie, anyway?” He asked, oblivious to her mounting tension. “Why not just call her by her given name? Sounds like –”
The question was innocent enough, she would think in retrospect, but the words that tumbled out of her mouth were not kind.
She cut him off. “What kind of a name is Lucifer?” she asked, looking him in his now-confused eyes. “Who names their child after the Devil? What kind of parents?”
He fell oddly quiet at that. She took a deep breath in. She knew what kind of parents. The same ones that could do… that.
“I’m sorry,” she said, quietly. “I don’t mean –”
“It’s not my given name,” he interrupted. “Though your concern is positively exciting,” he teased.
“I thought you had said, when we met –”
“’God-given,’ I remember,” he smiled a little, recalling the night they met, the murder of his – friend? – Delilah, the detective’s form in his club for the first time.
And, for some reason, he had hoped it wasn’t the last.
“I didn’t exactly… lie. But I chose it. After…” his voice trailed off.
For the first time, the Devil was speechless. After he fell, of course. There was no secrecy there. Why not just say it?
Chloe noticed his hesitation. She boldly eased her arm around to the back of him. He watched the ground between them, an ant crawling along a blade of grass (how fitting), when he felt her place a hand on the middle of his back, below his scars.
How desperately they ached to be touched. None of his partners for the evening ever dared, out of respect, perhaps. Out of fear, more likely, fear of his reaction – they weren’t looking for an emotional connection.
But as he silently urged her hands to go further up, he wondered if her hand physically connecting with them was all he wanted.
She could feel his muscles stiffening, and thought she must have made him uncomfortable. She allowed her fingers to trail back down his back as she eased it onto the ground.
For as often as they touched – a few stray fingers grabbing a coffee cup, a hand on his forearm to get him to stop walking – she plainly avoided his back.
“What –” she started, and cut herself off. It was probably too much. Though she wasn’t sure if she would get another chance.
His eyebrows raised in a question, still not meeting her eyes.
He shouldn’t hide this many things from me, she thought. Bolder now, perhaps by the odd vulnerability he was showing, she asked the question on her lips.
“What was your name before?”
It was too much, apparently. Lucifer stood and turned away in one fluid motion, walking back into her house, leaving her arms empty and the air around her suddenly cooler.
Normally, she would have gotten up and trailed after him, demanding an explanation, but today she let him go, and only flinched a little when she heard she front door slam.