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but our love (it was stronger by far)

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Chloe wakes up slowly, a rare feeling of refreshment settling deep in her bones. She has the whole day off, nowhere to be. She stretches, luxuriating in the pull of muscle.

Taking in a deep breath, she rolls over to snag her phone from the bedside table. She checks the time and mentally calculates how long she has before she has to get up and ready Trixie for school. Nearly an hour.

She grins. Switching over to her contacts, she hits the desired name and waits.

“Hello, love,” he answers the phone, voice rough with sleep. It sends a tingle of anticipation down Chloe’s spine, curling her toes.

“You know what today is?” she asks, trying to keep her excitement in check.

“I may not have been on earth as long as you have, but yes, I know what today is.”

She can practically hear his smile. “Have you got something planned or...?”

“I thought, in the true spirit of this ridiculous holiday...we could plan it together?” There’s an undercurrent of nervousness in his tone. Chloe smiles to herself, taken by how earnest and sweet he's being.

She wiggles down into the covers, tucking the phone between the pillow and her ear. “I’d like that.”

“Yeah?” he asks.

“Yeah,” she confirms. “I could come over after I get Trixie to school.”

“Sounds lovely, darling.” He pauses. “We could always get a head start on the festivities if you like? Really get into the spirit of things,” he suggests, his voice going low and seductive. “Are you alone?”

“You're incorrigible.” Chloe laughs.

“That’s not an answer,” he points out.

“Yeah, I’m alone” Chloe answers, a little flicker of heat beginning in her stomach. She can't hear anyone up and about in the apartment. “Are you?”

She hears him make a noise of confirmation over the sound of rustling sheets. She can picture him stretched out, long limbs splayed, back braced against the headboard.

“What are you wearing?” she asks, unable to complete her mental portrait.

He chuckles, “Isn't that supposed to be my line?”

“Lucifer,” she complains.

“I’m in my robe,” he replies, words slow like honey, “and nothing else. You?”

She glances down at herself. “Pajama pants, LAPD shirt.” There’s a hole in the seam of her sleeve. “Not very sexy.”

“I beg to differ,” Lucifer refutes.

Arousal slides southward, electric and heady, at the sound. She trails her fingers down her neck, past her stomach, making swirling patterns low on her belly.

“Are you...?” he asks, sounding curious.

Chloe hums an affirmative.

He groans. “Bloody hell, I wish I were there with you.”

“Yeah?” Chloe asks a bit breathlessly, “What would you do if you were?”

“I’d have my mouth on you. I wouldn't be able to help myself, kissing every inch of your warm skin.”

God, it was incredible what he could do with his voice and words alone. He could make reading the phonebook sound salacious.

“Then what?”

“I'd drag my hands down that lovely body of yours, grip at your hips just hard enough.” His voice falters and he hisses. “Press up against you so you could feel just how badly I want you.”

She slips her hand below her waistband, Lucifer’s breathing loud over the line. That's when her door swings open and Trixie bursts into her room.

“Mommy!” she cries, and launches herself on the bed. Chloe yanks her hand away and tries not to look as flushed as she feels. “Happy Valentine’s day!” Trixie says with an alarming amount of exuberance.

Chloe hears Lucifer yelp and a distant crashing noise through the phone.

“Is that Lucifer? Hi, Lucifer!” Trixie chirps into the speaker.

“Child,” Lucifer greets, voice strained.

“Are you taking Mommy out for Valentine's?” she asks.

“Ah, your mother and I were just deciding how to celebrate.” His reply is careful.

“Why don't you go get ready for school, baby. I'll be right down.” Chloe makes it sound like a suggestion, even though it's really not. Trixie eyes her suspiciously, but concedes when Chloe strengthens her gaze into a Mom Look.

“Okay. Bye, Lucifer!” Trixie doesn't stay to hear his reply, scampering off.

Chloe sits up, gripping the phone. “You alright?”

“I’m fine,” he replies, “Just a little... Tense.”

Chloe huffs a laugh. “Sorry about that.”

“Yes, well, as you should be.” He sighs. “I suppose you must go and prepare the little sproglet for school?”

“Yeah,” Chloe says regretfully.

His snort crackles over the line. “Perhaps it's just as well. After all, it wouldn't do to tire you out before we've even begun.”

“I'll show you tired out,” she growls back playfully.

“I look forward to it. In the meantime, I think I'll have a shower,” he continues. “A very, very cold one.”

They say their goodbyes and Chloe forces herself from the bed with a groan. She’d like a shower herself if she can squeeze one in. Still, breakfast first, because no one wants Maze to attempt an omelette again.

Soon everyone is fed and Chloe manages to grab a quick shower and change into fresh clothes. Maze says she’s going to be out for a few days with a razor edged smile and a bottle of lube tucked in her back pocket.

Chloe sighs and doesn't ask questions.

The drive to take Trixie to school is easy enough, even if her daughter bombards her with questions.

“Where are you and Lucifer going for Valentine’s?”

“I don’t know yet, baby. We’ll decide when I see him later.”

“Do you think he’ll take you to dinner?”

“He might,” Chloe allows, changing lanes.

“Will he have chocolates and flowers for you?”

Chloe laughs. “Maybe.” She looks back at her daughter through the rearview mirror. Trixie’s face is oddly knowing. “Did Lucifer ask you for advice?”

Trixie’s expression goes suddenly innocent. “What makes you think that?”

“Trixie,” Chloe says warningly.

“It’s Lucifer’s first real Valentine’s Day!” Trixie protests. “He just wants to do it right, Mom.”

There’s a pang in Chloe’s chest. “I know, monkey. I know.”

“You’ll go easy on him if he messes up, right? He thinks the stuff he sees on TV and movies is real.”

“I will,” Chloe says firmly. As she pulls into the school. “Besides, we’re going to plan it out together.”

Trixie is relieved. “Oh, good.”

Chloe pulls up to the curb and puts the car in park. She turns to face her daughter and raises an eyebrow. “Do I want to know?”

“No, you really don’t.” Trixie shakes her head.

Chloe has trouble smothering the smile that creeps across her mouth. “Have a good day at school, okay?”

Trixie hefts her backpack and opens the door. “I will! Love you!”

“Love you, too!” Chloe calls back, watching her daughter join the stream of kids heading inside. She watches to make sure Trixie makes it past the doors before pulling away.

She heads in the direction of Lux, a small smattering of butterflies in her stomach. She’s glad Trixie talked him down from whatever mad scheme he had come up with originally. Planning the day out together sounds much more fun anyway.

Deftly avoiding holiday traffic, Chloe pulls into the alley of Lux next to Lucifer’s corvette and heads inside.

She spots his tall form near the door. His back is to her, looking over Lux. A thin, light colored T-shirt stretches across his shoulders accompanied by floral print board shorts makes him look wildly out of place amongst the dark wood and sleek lines of the club.

What on earth possessed him to wear such an outfit? She shakes her head, heart full of love for this ridiculous man. She slips behind him, wrapping her arms around his waist. He goes completely still under her touch.

“I thought you’d still be upstairs getting ready. Were you wanting to hit the beach?” she asks with a bit of a laugh, pressing her cheek against his back, almost nuzzling. “I wouldn’t mind some surf and sun for our Valentine’s Day plans, you know.”

He twists to look over his shoulder at her, dark brows raised in something like surprise.

“But the only sex on the beach I’m agreeing to is the drink, Mister,” she says, poking him in the side. He jolts. “No way am I getting sand in places sand is not meant to be.”

There’s still no response from him, not even amusement at her joke, so she loosens her hold to come around to his front. “Lucifer?”

Something’s wrong.

Her brain immediately picks out the differences. It’s more than just a wardrobe change. He stands differently, back straight, posture less open. His hair is wild and curly. Most of all, he looks at her with absolutely no familiarity. No warmth. Only distant curiosity.

It’s like ice water has been dumped over her head. Chloe doesn’t hear the elevator doors open, too stricken by the stranger in front of her. “You’re not Lucifer,” she breathes.

“No,” he says. “No, I am not.”

She takes a step back. Suddenly, Lucifer is there, impeccable in his three piece suit. He’s snatched her wrist in an ironclad grip and tugged her protectively behind him. Chloe doesn’t even care to object, wrong footed by this doppelganger.

“Michael,” Lucifer growls. Chloe places a hand on Lucifer’s spine, between his shoulder blades. She can feel the flex of muscle that would move wings into a threat display, if he had them unfurled.

Michael eyes him coldly. “Brother.”

“Holy shit,” Chloe swears quietly under her breath. Twins.

Lucifer can’t help but snort. “In this case, you’re spot on, Detective,” he sneers.

“Charming,” Michael replies. His accent is different, the vowels stretch oddly and his consonants too sharp. It’s not like Lucifer's at all, something that sounds more middle eastern.

“What do you want, Michael?” Lucifer snaps.

Briefly, the expressionless persona fractures and uncertainty flickers across Michael’s face. He quickly tucks it behind anger, but Chloe sees it. She’s studied those features too many times on the man braced in front of her not to notice things like that.

“I came to warn you.”

Lucifer scoffs.

Michael clenches his jaw. “Hell grows restless, they gather in numbers at the Gates. The lower Dominions fear there will be a breach any moment.”

“And I care, why?” Lucifer retorts.

“Lucifer,” Chloe chides quietly. He glances down at her but doesn’t relax his stance, turning to pin Michael with his stare.

“Did Father send you? Come to tell me that I ought to be at his beck and call once again?”

Michael lifts his chin, that same vainglory running through him as much as it does in Lucifer. “No.”

That seems to stump Lucifer. “Then who did?”

“No one sent me.”

Lucifer stares at his brother in unbridled confusion. “Then...why would you...” Lucifer trails off and studies his brother with surprise. “You rebelled?”

“I am an obedient son,” he snaps. “I would never.” Silence falls and Michael shifts his weight slightly, glances away from them. “But no one said I couldn’t come speak to you.”

“You...exploited a loophole?” Lucifer sounds a bit faint. “You, mister by-the-book, never a foot out of place, exploited a loophole? I’ve never felt closer to you in my life.”

“There’s no need to be insulting,” Michael says sternly.

“There’s no need, perhaps, but there certainly is the desire. For instance, what the hell are you wearing?”

Michael looks down at himself, seemingly confused. “A T-shirt,” he answers. It’s emblazoned with a distinctive, wooden houseboat. Need an ark? it reads, I Noah guy.

“A crime against fashion is what that is,” Lucifer says, nose crinkled. Then he flaps his hand, “Regardless, I’m afraid I can’t educate you on the finer points of style, I don’t have the time.”

“Then you are going to handle things in Hell?” Michael looks hopeful.

“What? No. I have plans I simply can’t put off.” Lucifer looks back at Chloe where she’d been watching the two brother’s interactions with curiosity.

Plans,” Michael repeats. “What could be of such importance that you would risk the balance of the universe?”

Lucifer rolls his eyes. “Heavens above, I forgot how dramatic you are. A few demons squeezing past the Gates is hardly enough to warrant a single angel, let alone a garrison.”

“Lucifer, it's okay, really, if you have to handle things.” Chloe is quick to try and mediate, letting him off the hook despite the disappointment weighing at her. “It sounds important.”

Lucifer pauses to take her in, a confused little crinkle in his brow. “You're important,” he refutes. “Besides,” his gaze goes tender. “It’s Valentine’s Day.”

Chloe’s heart squeezes.

“Speaking of,” he says, deliberately turning his back on his brother.

Chloe relaxes. If Lucifer was confident enough to ignore Michael with her here, he didn’t feel like it was a threat he couldn’t handle. He might be far too lenient with his own safety, but he never was with hers.

“Did you have anything in mind, darling? There’s the Cupid Undies Run in Santa Monica.” He waggles his eyebrows shamelessly.

Chloe snorts and shakes her head. “Maybe something a little less exhibitionistic.”

Lucifer pretends at disappointment, pouting. She steps into his space, sliding arms around him, reassuring herself with his sturdy frame after mistaking Michael for him. She tilts her head to look up at him and smiles. “El Capitan is playing Lady and the Tramp.”

His head dips towards hers. “Mmm,” he hums, “But who is the lady and who is the tramp?”

“I don’t think you want me to answer that question, Morningstar.” She leans up to bump her nose playfully against his.

“No?” His lips brush hers as he speaks.

Michael clears his throat. Lucifer pulls back and shoots his brother a dark look. “Oh, buzz off. Go bother Amenadiel if you have nothing better to do.” He refocuses on her. “I think the theater sounds lovely. Shall we?”

She can see the slight strain around his eyes caused by his brothers’ presence and nods. “Yeah, show starts in an hour.”

“Wonderful.” Lucifer glances over at Michael. “Don't touch the liquor, it's not for you. You don't have the palate to appreciate it.”

Michael looks at him with brief consternation. “I am not staying,” he says. “I will go with you.”

Lucifer folds his arms. “You most certainly will not.

Michael narrows his eyes. “Will you attempt to stop me?”

“You're bloody right I will,” Lucifer growls and lunges forward. Michael startles backwards, wings unfurling reflexively. Lucifer makes a second grab at his brother, but there's the noise of rushing feathers and Michael is gone.

Lucifer makes a strangled noise of aggravation and says something highly uncomplimentary about his brother under his breath.

Chloe fights the urge to laugh. “Well, at least he's gone.”

Her statement seems to snap Lucifer back into the present moment. “Right! Where was I?” He strides back to her, sealing his mouth against hers, hand against her jaw. She laughs against his lips at his eagerness and sinks into a moment of sharing sweet, slow, kisses.

He pulls back. “I have something for you.” Lucifer doesn't go far, merely behind Lux’s bar to pull out a rose.

Chloe blushes, despite Trixie warning her of what to expect. “Thank you, Lucifer. It’s beautiful.” Chloe carefully takes the flower and brings it to her nose, inhaling its aroma. She looks up at a slight clunking noise to see Lucifer set down a water filled vase.

“I thought it would be prudent, so it wouldn't waste away during the day,” Lucifer explains a little self consciously.

“That's very thoughtful of you.” Chloe places the stem in the water and touches the delicate petals with the tips of her fingers.

“There's chocolates as well, but I thought we might save them for tonight.”

“Tonight?” Chloe raises a brow and has the pleasure of seeing one of Lucifer's rare blushes, ears pink.

He clears his throat. “Yes, well, we should get going if we don't want to miss the show.”

The theater is close enough to walk, so they head outside. They're walking in companionable quiet when Lucifer takes her hand, threading their fingers together. He won't quite meet her eyes when she glances over at him, but she squeezes his hand reassuringly, letting them swing together in between them as they stroll along the LA strip.

They reach the theater and Lucifer bypasses the ticket booth to go to Guest Check-In. He speaks quietly with a woman there, charming smile on his face. Chloe sees a flash of something out of the corner of her eye, but when she turns to look, there's nothing. She narrows her gaze suspiciously.

“Chloe?” Lucifer prompts, conversation apparently finished, and holding the door open for her.

“Sorry,” she apologizes, scooting inside the theater. Lucifer places a hand against the small of her back, keeping her close.

They stand in line for refreshments, Lucifer purchasing a large popcorn, a drink, and a box of sour patch kids, which he knows are her favorite.

Chloe takes the drink from him so he doesn't have to juggle it all at once and they head towards the theater.

The young woman at the door checks their tickets and an usher quickly runs up to meet them. “Right this way, Mister Morningstar, sir,” he says, directing them down into the front section, past the velvet ropes.

“Thank you, Charles.” Lucifer gives him a bill in a sly movement of hands.

“Enjoy the show. Sir.” He nods at Lucifer. “Madam.” He repeats the bob of his head at her. She offers him a smile and then he's off.

Lucifer settles in his head, shifting his long legs to get comfortable as the theater fills in.

“It’s been ages since I’ve seen this movie,” Chloe says, taking a handful of popcorn. “I nearly wore out the VHS as a kid. Have you seen it?”

“I have. Some time in the sixties, I think it was,” he muses thoughtfully.

She’s come to term with who and what he is, but, occasionally, it just hits her; how old he is, how many things he’s seen.

He continues, “It was on in some side room at a party and the sound of music lured me in. It had been a while since I’d visited Earth, and the hand drawn animation was fascinating.”

Chloe smiles at him. “Then I’m glad we decided to see it.” She opens her box of sour patch kids and pops one in her mouth while Lucifer watches. “Want one?”

He holds his hand out and she shakes the box till one falls into his palm. He winces a little at the sourness, but seems to enjoy it regardless. Then the lights dim and the screen brightens. They sit through the commercials, Chloe mentally tallying which ones she’d like to go see with Trixie and then the familiar opening credits begin.

Lucifer hums the song quietly to himself and Chloe smiles. They watch as Jim Dear surprises Darling with the little puppy and the antics Lady gets up to. Lucifer tenses slightly when Lady gets locked away and the door barred. Chloe carefully reaches out and lays her hand on his arm and he relaxes.

She studies his profile in the changing light. His dark eyes, the curve of his nose, the line of his jaw. Chloe’s a little surprised by him, honestly. He’s completely absorbed in watching the film, not taking the dark or their closeness as an excuse to push at boundaries. Not that Chloe is one for making out in a theater. Usually. Well, she might not have minded too much.

On screen, Tramp starts talking about children and how they’re a sign of trouble and Lucifer looks over at her with an arched brow wearing a knowing expression. She snorts and rolls her eyes, but winds her arms around his and lays her head against his shoulder.

Then comes the iconic scene, the italian restaurant and a shared plate of spaghetti. Lucifer quietly sings along to Bella Notte, his rich voice easily blending with the audio, rumbling in Chloe’s ear. She smiles when the song ends and Lucifer ducks to press a kiss to the top of her head. She nuzzles his arm a little in response, feeling warm.

Tramp tries to talk Lady into some mischief. “But we shouldn’t,” the dog protests. Lucifer leans down to put his mouth near Chloe’s ear, his breath hot, scruff tickling sensitive skin. “That’s what makes it fun,” he says in time with Tramp.

He slides a broad hand to her leg, but goes no further than that, despite his words. His fingers tuck under the bend of her leg, his thumb brushing the inside of her knee. The heat of his palm seeps through the denim. She shivers.

Lady gets taken to the pound and the stray dogs begin their song. Chloe hums along, but when Peg starts singing, Chloe quietly joins in for a pivotal line.

“He’s a tramp,” she sings softly, Lucifer’s head jerking towards her in surprise. “But I love him.” Then she smiles, the one she reserves just for him.

Lucifer’s eyes suddenly glisten where the light catches them. He’s not good at saying the words. The few times he’s managed it Chloe holds careful and precious in her memory. Still, the tender kiss he brushes against her lips says it just as well.

She bites at her lip when he pulls away and his gaze drops to it. She can visibly see him wrest with his self control and finally returns his attention back to the film. They’re nearly to the conclusion now, an evil rat, a misunderstanding and Trusty and Jock chasing after the animal control wagon.

Lucifer’s hand tightens a bit where he grips her leg when the wagon crashes and Trusty is wounded, but eases at the story’s conclusion. Tramp, who had once lived a life of reckless freedom, happily living in domesticity. She looks at the Devil sitting contentedly beside her and can’t help but draw parallels. The credits roll and the audience claps.

Lucifer gets to his feet and stretches. Chloe enjoys the view, admiring the long, lean lines of him. He notices and preens a little. Chloe laughs and takes the hand he offers as he easily pulls her to her feet.

They exit the theater and stand, blinking, into the sun. Chloe digs around in her bag for her sunglasses while Lucifer slips his own pair from his breast pocket. A very tall shadow from around the corner of the theater shifts further behind the wall when Chloe's eyes pass over it.

“Now where shall we go, darling?” Lucifer asks, once again taking her hand.

“You’re allowed input, too, you know. We don’t just have to do what I want.” She doesn’t want to drag him around because he’s trying to please her.

Lucifer hums. “Well, perhaps for this evening we can go out for italian?” he asks, something like humor hovering at the edges of his mouth. “I have a sudden craving for spaghetti.”

“Alright,” Chloe agrees easily. “And in the meantime?”

“There’s the Naked at the Getty Scavenger Hunt. Win a few prizes, look at some art, oogle some statues.” He sends her a classic leer.

Chloe hums, pretending at snootiness, but unable to keep how amused she is by him under wraps. “Tempting.”

“We could do the classic romantic walk on the beach. We’ve had some great moments on the beach.” He grins.

That doesn’t sound too bad. Chloe certainly wouldn’t mind a little sun and sand, but then her mind suddenly flashes back to Michael and that heart stopping moment when she realized it wasn’t Lucifer. Chloe just shakes her head when Lucifer peers at her curiously.

“There’s a wine tasting not to far from here. Some excellent vintages and the owner owes me a favor.”

Chloe nods. “Yeah, let’s do that.”

“It’s only a few blocks away if you don’t mind the walk,” he suggests.

She tugs his arm a little via their intertwined hands. “I don't mind at all.”

They weave easily through the holiday crowds, dodging the occasional rollerblader, as they make their way towards wherever Lucifer is taking her. Chloe catches sight of a familiar profile in the reflection of a building window.

“Your brother has been following us,” Chloe tells him, looking over the rim of her sunglasses.

Lucifer sighs, “You must forgive him, darling. Angels aren’t exactly known for their subtlety.”

She arches a sarcastic eyebrow. “I never would have guessed.”

He tuts. “I don't know what you're implying.” He affects his speech with aloofness.

Chloe simply hums.

“Just ignore him,” Lucifer eventually decides, an old hurt crouched in his words. “Dad knows, he’s done it plenty of times to me.”

“Lucifer,” Chloe says gently.

“Oh, look, we’re here.” Lucifer halts and Chloe sees that they are indeed in front of a winery.

“Lucifer,” she says, more insistent, gripping his hand tight when he attempts to proceed inside, pulling him to a halt.

“What?” he asks, playing dumb, expression innocent.

“Just - Just listen, for a second. You’re important. You shouldn’t have been ignored.” She stares at him intently, as if she could impress the words into him by sheer force.

“Chloe,” he exhales roughly.

“You’re important, okay?” she repeats, “Especially to me.”

Lucifer dips to kiss her, his free hand coming to grip at her waist. Chloe pulls back to murmur against his mouth. “Your brother is watching.”

“Let him watch,” Lucifer replies, diving in to kiss her deep, wet and sinful. She clutches at his waist, lets him tug her closer. A soft moan drifts up her throat when he bites down on her lip. Heat swoops low and pleasant, settling in her belly.

They part just long enough for her to whisper, “Lucifer,” before meeting again. She gets lost in the skillful press of his mouth, the slide of his tongue. She digs her nails in and feels him shudder against her.

The sudden onset of her phone ringing makes her groan in a less fun way, resting her forehead against Lucifer’s chest as she catches her breath.

She digs the phone out of her pocket and answers. “Decker.”

“Hey,” comes Dan’s voice, already sounding regretful, “I’ve got something you’ll want to take a look at.”

“I thought you had the day off.” Lucifer pouts a little, near enough that his words get picked up over the line.

“I know you’re off work, Chlo. I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t think it was serious,” Dan replies. “I think it’s linked to the serial killer case from January.”

Chloe sighs. “Send me the address.” She ends the call and looks up at Lucifer with apologetic eyes.

“No,” he holds up a hand to stop her. “I don’t want to hear you say you’re sorry.”

Hurt and sorrow stab painfully in her chest. “Lucifer, it might be connected to the case from January, it it was anything else I wouldn’t -”

“Yes, that’s why we shouldn't waste time arguing and get going,” he cuts in.

Chloe blinks. “What?”

He looks at her, a bit impatient. “We have a case.”

Realization dawns on her. “You’re not mad?”

He face rearranges into an expression of bafflement. “Whatever for? You’re a Detective, let’s go detect. What’s Valentine’s Day without a little murder? Come now, if we make enough headway I can still take you out to dinner afterwards.”

Gratitude for him and exactly who he is floods through her powerful enough to constrict her lungs. She wraps her arms around him and squeezes as tight as she can, hearing a faint wheeze escape him.

“I love you,” she tells him quietly, fervently, almost inaudible with her mouth pressed against his shirt. She eases her hold and he looks down at her like she’s a thing of inexplicable wonder.

She sees his throat bob. “And I love you.” His voice only shakes a little.

She's helpless against the desire to kiss him again and does absolutely nothing to stop it. Lucifer makes a small noise of surprise that devolves into a rumble of pleasure as she digs her fingers and does her best to kiss the breath from him. She finally breaks away, chest heaving. “We - we ought to call a cab,” she says, feeling light headed.

Lucifer blinks through the fog and nods slowly. “Yes, right.” Then he takes a step back, lifts his fingers to his mouth and lets out an ear-piercing whistle. A cab comes to a halt nearby. “Let’s go catch a killer, Detective.”

The crime scene is across town. Lucifer pays the cab while Chloe looks over the section roped off by yellow tape, getting an overview. Then comes the telltale snap and rustle of wings and she turns to see Lucifer and Michael side by side, looking like some kind of fun house reflection of the other.

“What do you want?” Lucifer asks, “And can it wait? I’m working.”

“I must speak with you,” Michael replies, looking far too serious.

Right. She can’t deal with whatever angel drama Michael brings with him when she’s got her mind focused on the case.

“Stay here and work out whatever is going on with you two. I’m going to talk to Dan, see what we know so far, alright?”

“Very well, Detective.”

She knows he’s unhappy about being sidelined, but she gives him a significant toward his brother and a deal with whatever this is expression. Lucifer rolls his eyes but remains obediently where he stands as she crosses over to where Dan is standing, looking over his notes.

“Hey,” she calls out to Dan. He glances up at her, catches sight of Lucifer and does a double-take.

“Oh God, there are two of them. Tell me you see that and I’m not hallucinating.” Dan looks at Lucifer and Michael with something like horror.

Chloe snorts. “It's Lucifer's brother,” she pauses for effect. “Michael.”

“You're kidding.”

Chloe shakes her head, trying to contain her grin. “Nope.”

Dan shakes his head. “Damn, that family is weird.”

“You have no idea.” Chloe gives him a commiserating look. “So, what have we got here?”

*

“What’s so urgent?” Lucifer asks, wanting to get this over with as quickly as possible. “Surely, you’re not still nattering on about Hell. I told you it’s not a big deal, alright? Let it go.”

“Whatever scheme you're enacting upon this poor woman must end, brother.” Michael's voice is terse.

“Scheme?” Lucifer replies, feeling anger start to heat in his veins. “There is no scheme.”

Michael looks perturbed. “She is enraptured by your charms, you’ve influenced her free will with your thrall. It is unfair to her, don't be cruel.”

“My abilities only brings out latent desires, brother. It cannot force them. You know this.” Lucifer replies, annoyed.

Michael shakes his head, as if ridding himself of an errant thought. “Lucifer, this is folly. Your involvement with the human -”

“Chloe,” Lucifer corrects.

Michael's jaw clenches briefly, but he amends. “Chloe cannot last and will only endanger her in its duration.”

Lucifer looks at his brother with disdain. “There's no bloody point in trying to explain to any of you is there? You never listen.” He snorts and starts to leave when Michael reaches out and grabs his arm.

Lucifer stills.

“I would unhand me, if I were you.” Lucifer keeps his voice quiet, but the warning is clear.

“If you do not put an end to it, I will,” Michael says, voice dire.

“I will not be driven from her. You're wasting your breath,” Lucifer says, a low, simmering fury in his voice.

“See reason -”

“I will not!” His eyes flash. “And if you harm her in any way,” Lucifer replies with deadly calm. “I will kill you.”

Michael stumbles away from the sheer force of Lucifer's threat. “I - I would never. Killing a human is forbidden, sacrilegious.”

Lucifer offers him a brittle smile. “And yet I find myself somehow skeptical. Amenadiel and Uriel had no such compunction. They just found the right loophole. Know this, brother, you will have far larger concerns than a few escaped demons if you attempt to hurt her. I will bring the full might of my kingdom against you and Heaven.”

“You... You genuinely care for her, don't you?” Michael says, like he's just now realized it.

Lucifer looks over to where Chloe confers with Dan. He takes care on how he replies. “And if I did?”

“Then you know as long as you use your supernatural charms, she will never be free of her desire of you. If you hold any affection for her, release her.”

Lucifer holds his brother's gaze for a long moment and then decides to trust him, if only so far. “Chloe is immune.”

Michael blinks. “I’m sorry, she’s what?”

Lucifer studies his mirror image, enjoying the feeling of knowing more than Michael. “Did you not know? Chloe is a Miracle, her parents blessed by Amenadiel himself on Father’s orders. She’s completely immune to me. I can’t pull on her desires at all, brother mine.”

“I... don't understand,” Michael says slowly.

“Yes, that does seem to be the running theme of this conversation,” Lucifer supposes. Chloe turns and makes eye contact, gestures him over. “Now, if that’s all, I have business to attend to.”

Michael, the bastard, follows him. Of course.

“It is connected to our case,” Chloe says as soon as he’s near.

“Same M.O. as before. Ella thinks it’s probably the same murder weapon, and a lock of hair waste taken as a trophy.” Dan’s mouth is flat.

“That brings him up to seven known victims.” Chloe is equally displeased. “Will you take a look and see if you notice anything?”

“Of course,” Lucifer dips his head and turns to stride over to the scene itself. It’s brutal in the way most repeat killers are, but the skill of it has been refined. The victim, a man, lies out on the ground, eyes open.

Michael's face has gone stony, jaw tight, as he looks on at the crime scene. “A terrible thing was done here.”

Lucifer fights the temptation to scoff. Michael was always very good at stating the obvious. “Terrible things are done all the time, brother. Catch up. Besides, Chloe is a homicide detective, murder is quite literally in the job description.”

“You treat such tragedy with sarcasm?” Michael snaps.

“It bothers you,” Lucifer says with surprise. “What happened here.”

Michael looks away, everything about him tense.

“Well, fret not, this is what I was made for after all, punishing evil.” Lucifer says jauntily. “And I’m quite good at it. Ah! Miss Lopez! Have you found anything noteworthy about this victim?”

Ella looks up and then between himself and his brother with confusion. “Um...am I seeing double?”

“This is Michael, my insufferable prat of a brother,” Lucifer explains.

Michael cuts a glare at him, which Lucifer ignores.

“Woah, I didn’t know you were a twin, Lucifer! How cool.” She stands and directs a sunny smile to a befuddled Michael. “It’s awesome to meet you!” she says, and goes to hug him. Lucifer quickly catches her shoulder and pulls her back while Michael takes a quick step away.

“Ah, he’s far less huggable than I am, I’m afraid.” Lucifer looks at a discomforted Michael with a bit of amusement.

Ella seems disappointed, but then nods. “Noted.”

“The case, Miss Lopez?” Lucifer gently redirects.

“Right. Well, I can’t confirm 100% until I make a casing back at the lab, but I’d say it’s the same murder weapon, the serration looks the same. Fingerprints match the same crime scenes.”

“You have the murderer’s prints and have yet to catch him?” Michael asks, not intending offense, but receiving it anyway when Ella bristles.

“We have a lot more than fingerprints, but it doesn’t do us much good if the guy isn’t in the system. We know he’s a white, dark-haired man, probably in his late thirties. He kills them elsewhere and then leaves them for us to find in public areas, but we still haven’t managed to catch him.”

Michael’s brow furrows, “Would a man like that return to the scene of the crime?”

Ella looks thoughtful. “He might. He likes taunting the police.”

“Why do you ask?” Lucifer questions, curious.

“Because that man there matches each of your qualifications.” Michael says and points. The man in question, realizing attention is on him, pales. He turns and runs.

“Stop! Freeze!” Chloe yells, starting pursuit, Lucifer on her heels. But Michael. Michael is faster.

By the time Lucifer and Chloe catch up, Michael has the man by the throat. He shakes him, like a dog would a rat. “You did this great badness, didn’t you? Your soul is stained with sin,” he hisses.

“Please, I didn’t - I don’t know what you’re talking about, mister.”

Michaels eyes flash white with anger. He ducks a little to catch the man’s eyes and holds them. “Repent,” he commands, voice layered with power. He lets the man go. The man crumbles to his knees on the ground.

“I did it. I killed that man, and I killed all the others, too,” he says, almost weeping. The man fumbles for his pocket and Chloe brings her gun up to bear. “Look! I still have his lock of hair, I hadn’t put it with all the others.” He holds it up, irrefutable evidence. “Even the ones you haven’t found yet. I’ll tell you everything, I promise.”

Chloe handcuffs him, face dispassionate while Dan looks on. She starts reading him his rights and hauls him away.

Michael stands there and trembles. Lucifer actually feels concerned. “Are you alright, brother?”

“I -” he looks down at his hands, “I don’t know. I was just so, so angry. I...”

Lucifer hesitantly grips Michael’s shoulder. “It’s alright. What you did was righteous.” He gives his brother a little shake. “One less murderer on the streets is a good thing.”

“You do this all the time?” Michael says, sounding aghast.

Lucifer is unsure how to respond to that. “I’ve found it’s work I’m well suited for, and I enjoy it.”

“Then you are far more righteous than me, brother.”

Lucifer stares at Michael’s back in shock as he walks away.

*

“Might I speak with you for a moment?”

Chloe turns to see Michael, looking uncharacteristically hesitant.

“If it’s about the case, don’t worry. Between the confession and all the evidence we have, that man won't be getting out of prison for a very long time.” Chloe can’t help but grin.

“No. It’s not about that.”

“Is it about whatever you said to Lucifer earlier? It seemed like things got a little heated between you guys for a minute.”

“Yes, well. I made an erroneous assumption.” Michael’s fingers fidget at his sides.

“Well, you know what they say about assuming,” Chloe teases.

“No,” Michael replies, curious. “What do they say?”

Chloe laughs. “That assuming makes an ass out of you and me.”

Michaels face goes blank for a moment before he snorts. “Yes, well, I believe I did make an ass of myself, as you say.”

“Well, surely it couldn't have been too terrible,” Chloe prompts when Michael seems unwilling to continue.

He hesitates. “I thought, perhaps, he had taken advantage of you.” Michael sounds bit ashamed. “I demanded that he end whatever was between you two or I would intervene. Then I realized he is bound to you as much as you are to him.”

Chloe eyes him. She wants to feel indignant, but really...she just feels pity for Michael, so far removed from everything that he can't even see his brother for who he really is.

“I fear at this point there is no way to undo it.”

Nothing will separate me from Lucifer,” Chloe snaps, quick to put that thought to rest.

Michael regards her with his heavy, ancient gaze. “I believe you,” he says solemnly. Then he quirks a smile and it makes him look oddly like Lucifer. “I don't think the full might of heaven could sever the bond you have with him, despite how unwise it is.”

“Good,” Chloe replies.

Michael shakes his head, smiling at her stubbornness. “You and my brother are well suited to each other, I think.”

“I think so, too.” Chloe smiles slowly.

They watch as the murderer gets loaded in a squad car and driven away.

“Thank you for helping solve this case.” Michael starts refutes her words, but Chloe catches his wrist and he goes stock-still. “I mean it,” she tells him sincerely. “You didn’t have to help, but you did. That means something and I’m grateful.”

She lets go and he brings his arm to his chest, cradling it like her touch had burned him. “Yes. Well. You’re welcome.” He does a strange full body shudder. “I ought to return to Heaven. Who knows how the situation has progressed since I’ve been here.”

“Come visit sometime,” Chloe says impulsively. Michael looks at her with wide eyes. “I’d like to get to know Lucifer’s family better.”

Michael stares for a moment. “Perhaps I will...Chloe.” Then with a dry, rustling sound, he’s gone.

Chloe carefully looks around to see if anyone noticed the suddenly disappearing Michael, but it appears no one did. She pushes her hand against her face. God save her from clueless angels. She joins Lucifer where he’s waiting for her.

“My brother didn’t say anything foolish to you, did he?” Lucifer asks, a protective anger lacing his voice.

“No, not really. It was actually kind of...sweet.”

Lucifer pulls a face.

Chloe laughs. “Don’t worry, I only have eyes for the big, bad Devil.”

“As you should.” Lucifer says with pretend arrogance.

Chloe leans up on her toes to press a quick peck to his mouth. “Dan’s going to handle the rest of the case, so we’re free to continue our date.”

Lucifer hums. “There’s still time for dinner.”

“Uh-huh.” Chloe nods.

“And perhaps we can retire to Lux afterwards?” he asks.

This time it’s Chloe who hums, “You still have those chocolates.”

Lucifer’s eyes darken. “And a myriad of ideas on what to do with them.”

“Dinner, first,” she tells him, winding her arms around his waist. “Then, dessert.”

Lucifer grins. “Deal.”