"What the hell is wrong with you?"
"Why are you so surprised, detective? I'm the devil, remember. I'm evil."
"No, what you are is off this case. You go home, now. You're done."
Lucifer glared at her. He looked like he was about to argue her decision, so she cut him off before he could even get started with a forceful "Go!"
He all but stormed out of the place.
Chloe stared after him, wondering what the hell had gotten into him. Something must have happened, something he didn't want to share with her. She almost turned around to talk to Dan, but then she had a sudden vision of Lucifer speeding through the city at breakneck velocity, disregarding any and all traffic rules. He was a reckless driver on a good day, the state he was in, it was very likely that he might get somebody killed. Possibly himself.
Chloe sighed and ran after him. She caught up to him just as he was about to enter his car.
He gave her a smug grin that contained zero merriment. "Changed your mind so soon, detective? My, my, I didn't know you needed my assistance this badly."
"Give me your keys", she said in the most commanding tone she could muster and extended her hand.
Lucifer raised his eyebrows. "What, now you're trying to steal my car? In broad daylight?"
Chloe gave an exasperated sigh. He was always a handful, but today he was truly impossible to deal with. "I'm driving you home", she said in a tone that brook no argument.
"I thought we've been over this, detective. I've literally run hell for a timespan that exceeds the limits of your mortal imagination and I most certainly do not require a babysitter", he almost spat the last word at her, cold fury dancing behind his eyes.
"I'm not arguing with you about this. You're in no condition to drive. You can either let me drive you or I can call you a cab." She crossed her arms and glared at him defiantly.
For a moment, she thought he would just ignore her entirely and drive away, but then he sighed theatrically as if he could not believe what he had to put up with and threw the car key over to her.
Lucifer didn't say a single word for the entire duration of the drive. He stared stoically ahead, ignoring her. Chloe kept glancing over at him, trying to figure out what was going on. Was he mad at her? Was he trying to piss her off? No, she decided, the anger was just the tip of the iceberg. She had always prided herself on her ability to read people. Chloe was almost certain that what was coming off him in waves was not anger, but a different emotion entirely. She thought back to the things he'd said today. I'm evil was the first thing that popped into her head. As far as she could remember, he had always been insistent that he was not, up to this day. And then it suddenly hit her. Self-loathing. Disgust. That's what this was. It was blatantly obvious now that she thought about it. Guilt ? Possibly.
When they arrived, she almost took her leave immediately, but something kept her back. She looked at Lucifer again, took in his dishevelled state, the multitude of emotions warring on his face, barely concealed by the mask of uncaring he liked to show to the world. Would he harm himself? Not intentionally, she thought, but she had no doubt that he would try to drink himself unconscious the moment he was alone. So, she followed him into the empty club. He didn't comment, keeping up the eerie silence that had been with them for the entire car ride. Once inside Lux, he made a beeline for the bar, pouring himself a very generous amount of hard liquor and downing it in one go, confirming her fears.
She sat down at one of the tables, not knowing what to do next. It was obvious that he didn't want her there, he seemed intent on wallowing in his self-pity alone, yet she could not make herself leave. She watched him pour and down a second drink and realized that she had to do something. He needed to get something off his chest, that much was obvious, but if he was hell-bent not to confide in her, fine. It hurt a little, okay, maybe more than a little, to think that he didn't trust her enough to share what was eating at him with her.
"Play something for me." Chloe wasn't sure where exactly that had come from. True, she always enjoyed seeing him perform on the piano. And she knew his music had helped him work through tough times in the past.
Lucifer gave her a strange look she couldn't quite interpret, then shrugged and sat down at the piano, bringing his glass and what was left of the bottle with him. He sat there for a long time, just staring at the keys. Chloe had just made up her mind to leave when he started playing after all.
She wasn't familiar with the song. It was certainly beautiful. Sad, yet intense and powerful. Lucifer sat hunched over the piano, his eyes closed, his fingers flying over the keys, pouring his heart and soul into the music. Chloe watched him, awestruck.
He hit a wrong key and stopped suddenly. She watched him take a shaky breath and was certain that he would tell her to leave, that he preferred to deal with this, whatever this was, alone, but he remained uncharacteristically silent. Still, Chloe started doubting once more whether she was intruding. After all, she'd followed him to the club unbidden, and he'd basically told her that he didn't want her help already.
Lucifer poured himself another drink, his hand shaking slightly. Again, he emptied the glass in one go. When he reached for the bottle once more, Chloe made up her mind. If he told her to get out, fine, but she was not watching him drink himself into a stupor. She got up and walked over to the piano. As he started lifting the bottle, she placed her hand over his. He gave her a pointed look, then shook her hand off and demonstratively poured everything that was left in the bottle into the glass.
Chloe glared at him. It really was like dealing with a 5-year-old. Well, a highly intoxicated 5-year-old. What the hell was she doing here anyway? She had a case to work on, a case he should actually be helping her with, rather than distracting her from it. Lucifer downed the rest of his drink and Chloe seriously considered punching him in the face. Maybe that would get his attention.
And all of a sudden the pieces fell into place. He was punishing himself for something, suffering for some evil he thought he committed. He was probably trying to get punched in the face. Now it made perfect sense why he didn't want to talk about his issues, didn't seek out any comfort. He probably thought he didn't deserve it.
Instead of punching him, she sat down next to him at the piano and leaned her head against his shoulder. He startled, but didn't comment or move away. After a moment, he resumed playing the song. Chloe wondered about his alcohol tolerance. She'd have expected, at the very least, for his movements to get a little sluggish, but he played just as magnificently as usual.
Abruptly, he stopped, fingers hovering over the keys. Chloe lifted her head and was shocked to see that he was crying. He didn't make a sound but she could feel him taking heavy breaths next to her, clearly struggling to contain his emotions.
She placed her hand on his neck, slowly and softly, giving him every chance to pull away. When he didn't, she gently pulled him down towards her until his head rested on her shoulder. He came willingly, still completely silent. She could feel the tension running through him, the effort it cost him to remain in control. She wanted to tell him that everything was going to be okay, but it felt like an empty phrase, since she didn't even know why he was hurting in the first place.
They sat like this for long minutes. He didn't relax, but he didn't pull away either. Feeling bold, Chloe drew her hand through his hair. He took a deep, shaky breath but that was all the reaction she got.
"Looks like you got that warm and fuzzy hug after all." Her words were soft, with only the barest hint of sarcasm. He made a sound that was half-sob, half-chuckle and surprised them both by drawing his arms around her and pulling her so close to him that she had trouble breathing for a second.
Chloe rested her chin on his shoulder, closing her eyes. They sat like this for what seemed like a long time, but could only have been minutes, until she finally felt him relax against her, muscles going slack, tension bleeding out of him. Chloe kept carding her hand through his hair. She couldn't think of a single thing to say, so she kept quiet.
The sound of her cell phone was very loud in the empty club, causing them both to jerk backwards suddenly, as if they had been doing something they shouldn't have. Chloe smiled apologetically and took her cell out, checking the caller ID. It was Dan. He could have some new information regarding the case.
"I've got to take this", she said, getting up. Lucifer made a dismissive shooing gesture as if he was wondering what she was still doing here anyway. He gave her a smile that was purely superficial, his mask back in place. He sat up straight at the piano, starting to play a fast song that carried none of the sadness of what he'd played earlier. He was back in his impeccable club owner personality. The illusion was ruined a little by his red-rimmed eyes and mussed-up hair, which, in her opinion, looked utterly adorable and was completely at odds with his current demeanour.
She picked up the call and tried to listen, only taking in about half of what Dan was saying, her mind still too occupied with what had just happened. She turned away from Lucifer, giving her full attention to Dan, walking slowly away from the piano, towards the exit. When she hung up the phone, she turned around again. Lucifer paid her no mind, his full attention on the piano.
Chloe sighed and left, taking one last look back before exiting the club. Once she was gone, Lucifer stopped playing and turned around, his gaze lingering where the detective had stood only a moment before.