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Happily Ever After?

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“Tell me, if you could have one wish come true, what would it be?” 

The voice seemed to come from everywhere at once or was it just in Chloe’s head?  She looked around, all she could see was a hazy white mist.  Where was she?  How did she get here?  What had happened to her?

“Don’t be shy,”  The gentle voice came again,  “Anything at all; any wrong that you‘d like to put right…?”

The face of her father swam into focus in Chloe’s mind.  The worst thing that had ever happened to her, had been his murder…

***

Her head hurt, her back hurt; she was lying on something cold and hard.  In the dark.

She sat up - she wasn’t restrained or anything, bonus - she felt around in her pocket for her flashlight.  She had been lying on steps, in a large, circular space with pillars…

Memories of gunfire echoed in her head.  Gunfire and screams of pain and…

Lucifer.

Had he left her here?  She panned the flashlight around, no bodies, no blood, no damage to the art work that was stored here.  No Pierce.

Did she imagine it all?  Did she imagine Lucifer?  Crouched next to Pierce’s body, standing up, turning around and…

What had happened to Dan and Ella?  They had been going to send backup, hadn’t they?

***

A few hours later, it was an almost hysterical Chloe that ran past the doormen and into Lux.

Lucifer stood just beyond the top of the stairs, surveying his kingdom, when a young woman cannoned into him.  She pressed her body against his, her arms around him, her tears dampening his shirt.

“Lucifer, I’m so glad you’re here, I’ve been so scared and everything’s wrong and I don’t understand and… he was dead.. and now he’s alive and he got older and it’s all different and you…”  She looked up at his face and her voice trailed off.  “You’re not you…”

Her legs buckled and he effortlessly picked her up and carried her, unresisting, to the elevator.

Chloe opened her eyes to find Lucifer sponging her face with a cool, damp cloth.  He was looking at her with concern in his eyes but it was completely impersonal.

“Tell me what you’ve taken, Darling.”  He said, gently.

“Taken?”

“You’re hot, clammy and your pulse is racing.  The things you were saying downstairs made no sense.  What have you taken?”  He put some power into the last sentence and gazed into her eyes.

My Lucifer would know that that doesn’t work on me, or the ‘desire’ thing.  There’s only one Devil, right?  So how can there be two of you?”  she asked, sitting up.

“Maybe my brother…”  He said, puzzled.

“Yeah, right.  I’d have to be on serious drugs to mix you up with Amenadiel…”

“I meant my twin… hold on, how do you know Amenadiel?”

“You have a twin… you’ve never said; does he have another face?”

“What do you mean?”  Lucifer asked, trying to bluff her.

“Wow.  That must be why you don’t lie, you’re rubbish at it.  You… my Lucifer had another face; red, burnt, scarred, red fire in his eyes…”

“You saw it?”

“Well, yeah.”

“And it drove you insane.”  He said, flatly.

“I’m insane?  So I’m not in a weird reality where my dad didn’t die when I was nineteen, where I’m not a cop, where you don’t know me, where my… oh no, Trixie?”

“Well, judging from the name, Trixie is either a hooker or one of those ghastly handbag dogs…”

Chloe slapped him.  The force of it jarred the bones in her arm and seemed to have no effect on him at all.  She started to cry again and buried her face in his chest.  He tried to ignore how right her head felt, tucked under his chin that way.

“Trixie’s my daughter.” She sobbed, “I don’t even know if she exists in this world.  I went home and someone else lives there, I don’t even know where I live…”

“While you’re ruining my shirt and slapping me around, may I remind you that you have repeatedly told me that I’m not your Lucifer?”

“I know but you’re better than nothing.”

“Well, I have never been called that before.”  He said, with an amused smirk.  “I’d offer you a drink but it might not be safe on top of whatever it is…”

“I am not on drugs.  Why are you so down on the idea of drugs, anyway?  You love drugs, you have nothing against them…”

“No but I don’t need the bad publicity.  Just picture the headlines:  Chloe Decker, award winning actress, role model to young women everywhere, totally off her tits at Lux.  I imagine that there are already pictures online, of me carrying you up here.  Hopefully they’ll just think we’re having sex.”

Chloe giggled at that.  For once, she didn’t care what people thought of her.

“If I ever see my Lucifer again, I’m going to tear all his clothes off and finally give him what he’s been after for the last three years.”

“You’ve known me.. him for three years and you haven’t had sex?”

“Is that what I am here?  An actress?”  She asked, ignoring his question.

“Star of the ‘Weaponizer’ films.”

“What happened to Kimo Van Zandt?”

“You were in the first film, together.  Your character was a street kid who stole cars but by the end of the film she’d joined the police.  Kimo’s character was written out.  After that, his career went downhill and these days he’s doing time for murder.”

“For Wesley Cabot?  He didn’t do that.”

“No?  Who did?”

“Ryan Goldburg, their business manager.  Who worked the case?  Do you know?”

“Probably Detective Dildo - king of the open and shut.”

“Would that be Dan Espinoza, by any chance?”

“How’d you guess?”

“He’s my ex-husband… there… not here.  I saw the one from here at the precinct earlier… He’s nothing like the Dan I know; I mean, my ex-Dan has done questionable things but the one here?  He made my skin crawl and I really didn’t like the way this version of him looked at me…”

Lucifer raised an eyebrow, questioningly.

Utter contempt - like I was something he’d stepped in.  My Lucifer calls our version of him Detective Douche - which suits him, actually.”

“How did we meet?  Was it when Delilah..?”

“Yeah.  Dan wanted me to pin it on Eddie Deacon - the drug dealer who did the shooting - and close it.”

“That’s what Dildo actually did.”

“You.. other you told me what Deacon had said, before he died, so I dug deeper…”

I told him, he took no notice.  Who did hire Deacon?”

“Jimmy Barnes.”

Lucifer said nothing but his jaw muscles twitched.

“You and I worked that case together, we cracked it because of the Rolex.  Barnes paid for the hit with the Rolex that Delilah gave him.  He was broke, so he couldn‘t pay cash.  His motive was the profits from her post mortem album sales.  You and I went and confronted him and he shot me.”

She pulled her top down a bit so he could see her scar.  Her vest was clearly visible and the flattened bullet from earlier, that had so nearly missed it.

“Chloe Decker, actress, doesn’t have that scar.”

“You believe me, then?”

“I can tell that you’re not lying.  Where’s this bullet from?”

“The shootout earlier today.  You.. my lucifer protected me.  With his wings, I think.”

Abruptly Lucifer got up and went to the bar.  He poured himself a large glass of something, looked at Chloe and when she nodded he poured her one too.

“The Lucifer that you know, has wings?”

“I think so.  You have to understand that although he’s told me that he’s the Devil, from the start, he’s never tried to prove it.  Obviously, no one believes him.  Ella thinks he’s a method actor.”  Chloe smiles at the thought.  “Ella Lopez, forensic scientist, she works with us.”

“Here, she steals cars.”

“Yeah, she told me once that she used to do that.  So, you‘ve… he’s never tried to prove… oh, except for the time, a few weeks after we met, he goaded me into shooting him.”

“And that wasn’t enough proof, for you?”

“Hardly.  He bled, like a normal human.  It’s odd, though because when Jimmy Barnes shot me, I’m fairly sure that he shot Lucifer, too.  Six times.”

“And I… he didn’t bleed, then?”

“No, not ‘til I shot him in the leg a few weeks later.  Anyway, after that I just thought that you.. he.. was…”

“Deluded?”

“Compensating for an abusive childhood.  He had these scars, he said from where he had Maze cut his wings off…”

Lucifer swiftly shrugged out of his jacket and shirt and showed his bare back to her.  He still bore the scars that she had seen before.

“Yeah, those.”  She confirmed.

He shrugged the shirt back on but didn’t button it.  The jacket, he left off.

“So, what happened to the two of you that makes you think he has his wings back?”

“It’s complicated.  We were set up by Lt. Marcus Pierce, my boss, who turned out to be a criminal mastermind who calls himself ’The Sinnerman’, only Lucifer said that he was actually Cain - from the Bible.”

“I know who Cain is, he’s in L.A. is he?”

This L.A. I don’t know about, my version of L.A., yes.  Anyway, we walked into a trap.  Cain said he would let me live but that he had to kill Lucifer because he knew that he would hunt him down.  I stood in front of Lucifer…”

“You, got between Cain and m.. another version of me?”

I was wearing a vest, he wasn’t, I’m a cop, he’s a civilian and I believed he was human.”

“Atheist?”

“Yeah, I was.  Now…I find it hard to stomach a father treating his son the way your’s has treated you.”

Then what happened?”  Lucifer asked, beginning to admire this woman more and more.

I tried to shoot Cain, someone shot me,”  She indicated the flattened bullet.  “I think I blacked out because the next thing I know I’m on the roof with Lucifer and he sees that I’m alright and there’s this… whooshing noise and he’s gone.  I was pretty sure, then, that he’d been telling the literal truth, all this time.  There was more gunfire so I made my way back to the scene…”

“Is that when you saw his face?”

“He was crouching by Cain’s body, he heard me come in, he stood up, turned around and… I knew that it was all true.  I think I actually said that to him… and there were blood covered feathers everywhere…”

The elevator dinged and Chloe looked up.

“Oh, hey Maze,”  She said, without thinking.

There was a movement of air and Lucifer’s hand was suddenly in front of her as he snatched Maze’s dagger from its lethal flight path.

“That was rude, Maze,”  He said, throwing the dagger back at her.  “You might want to use Jimmy Barnes for target practice, instead.”

“What’d he do?”  Maze asked, her voice low and menacing.

“Delilah.”  Lucifer said, coldly.

Maze nodded.  She glared at Chloe.

“Only my friends get to call me that.”  She snarled.

“Sorry, Mazikeen.  Where I come from, we were room mates for over a year.  You babysat my daughter, you took her trick-or-treating, she loves you…”  She didn’t bother explaining that there’d been a recent falling out.

Maze looked at Lucifer, questioningly.

“She seems to have come from a divergent reality.”  Lucifer explained.  “My Father’s probably behind it.”

“Riiight.”  Maze spun on her heel and left.

“You were, seriously, roomies?”

“Yeah, when she wasn’t off bounty hunting.”  Chloe said, still kinda shocked at the whole knife throwing thing and the creepy half-mask.

“Hunting humans for money, the perfect hobby for her.”

“She’s considered to be the best in the country, it was a bit more than a hobby.  Do you really think that this is down to your Dad?“

“Who else would have the power?  My guess is, one thing changed, in your past and this,”  He gestured around him, “Is the result.  It can’t be a coincidence that this happened after you had had proof that I am who I say I am.”

“My father being alive…  Do you have a computer?”

“Of course.  What did you have in mind?”

“We Google Chloe Decker, actress and see what happened in her life.”

The biography was easy to find and surprisingly detailed, citing ‘Hot Tub High School’ as her first movie (“I’m so glad that you at least made that movie, Detective.”  She shivered slightly when he called her that..)

Her father was still shot but, in this world, not fatally.  (“It’s interesting because it wasn’t a random thing,”  Chloe explained, “I found out, last year, that my dad had been targeted because he was looking into something…”  “Maybe he took it as a warning and stopped looking..”  Lucifer speculated.)

More low grade movies for Chloe and then another big event.  She was kidnapped.

The kidnapping had been uncharacteristically public, with the kidnappers posting footage of her, chained and blindfolded, to the internet.  She had been gone a month, before being dumped, outside the precinct, in a security camera blind-spot.  She had been beaten and raped.

Chloe felt Lucifer tense when he read that part but what she was looking at was the date.  She skimmed down the page of text and, sure enough, she had been off the radar for a full year afterwards.

“Look at the date she was taken, Lucifer.”  She said.

“What about it?  Is it significant?  I wasn’t on earth then.”

“I know.  When she was first taken, was around nine months before my daughter’s birth-date.  It says that she was in a private clinic being treated for PTSD.  For a year.  Plenty of time for her to have had a baby.”

“You think..?”

“Yeah.  I do.  The bio doesn’t mention children or relationships - I can see why she would find it hard to trust men - the baby was probably adopted.”

“This event and how she dealt with it, probably explains why she has been such an inspiration to young women.  Overcoming something this big…”

“Possibly bigger than the public know…”

“Do you think it was a message to your… her father?”

“It seems likely.  The whole thing was just so public and there were no arrests ever made.  I think he got too close to something, for a second time and this was how they warned him off.”  Chloe said, disgusted.

“And now, he just turns a blind eye to everything, letting Detective Dildo and the rest take the easiest options on each case..”

“I need to check…”

Chloe logged on to the police computer, using Dan’s password, valid, even in this reality.

First off, she checked the evidence log for Delilah’s case; Eddie Deacon’s list of possessions included the murder weapon and drugs matching the ones in Delilah’s purse but no cash and no Rolex watch.

“Stolen at the scene, do you suppose?”  Lucifer asked.

“Would have to have been.  I remember Dan saying to me, by the time I got there, that it was probably a fake; so, even in this reality, it didn’t go missing until after the PD arrived.”

“The scene would have been ‘secured’ as soon as they got here…”

“So one of them had to have been the thief.”

“Evidence that would have convicted Barnes, was stolen by police officers.  And they say I’m evil.”  Lucifer said, his voice disgusted.

“You’re not evil, Lucifer.  I’ve seen plenty of evil in my job, you’re not it.”  She said it in a matter-of-fact way that told him that she had probably said it to her version of himself, as well.

“How long did the sweaty little homunculus get, anyway?”

“In my world?  He’s in an institution for the criminally insane.  He raves about The Devil and bangs his head on the walls until he bleeds… I can’t see him ever getting out.”

“He saw my true face, then.”

“How is it your true face?  You didn’t always have it, you were described as the brightest and most beautiful…”

“Looked me up, did you, Detective?”

“At the beginning, yes.”  She said, trying to ignore the way she felt when he called her that.  “I wanted to see what drew you to that persona.  Obviously, I now know that it’s who you are.”

“It’s how I looked, when I arrived in Hell.  They broke my wings, chained me and let me fall through atmospheres and dimensions.  I was burnt to a cinder.”

“Show me?”

“Are you sure?”

“I’ve seen it already but I didn’t get a chance to…”

He changed.  He kept his eyes lowered and did his best to look non-threatening.

“Does it hurt?”  She asked, her voice full of compassion.

“Not now; at the time, very much.”  He was lisping slightly and Chloe realized that his tongue was forked.

“One of my siblings split my tongue with a sword, to remind me that my words got me cast out.  I was unconscious at the time, so I don’t know which one of them it was…”

“Whichever of them is the most cowardly.”  Chloe said, her venomous tone telling him exactly what she thought of whoever had done this.  “You healed, though?”

“Yes.  It took longer than usual, the damage was extensive and I found that the demons I was sharing Hell with, preferred this look, to my natural form.”

“So you kept it.  Like a costume.”

“I suppose so…”  He said, slowly; changing back to his usual self.

“Then it’s not your true form, is it?  It’s more like… cosplay.”

You should have been a lawyer.”

“No, I like to sleep at night.  Let’s look at some more cases.”

The next one she looked at was the manslaughter of Robbie Russell Jr., for which, it seemed, Nick Hofmeister was doing time.  This left Josh Bryant free to carry on his nasty trade in ‘exclusive’ photographs.  Dead or damaged A-Listers, paying the price for his career.

Ty Huntley had, at least, got a much reduced sentence for the death of Ali Thornton, when blood tests revealed a ‘date-rape’ drug in his system.  His agent, Joe Hanson, valiantly pledged his support at this ‘vile miscarriage of justice’ and publicly stated that he was certain of Ty’s innocence.  Of course he was; as certain as only the true killer can be.

After reading about Carver Cruz’s death at a ‘ransom drop gone wrong- unsolved‘; Chloe stopped looking.  It was too hard to see this world’s version of the cases that she and Lucifer had worked,  in what she was now thinking of as the ‘real’ world.  They’d worked, ensuring that the right people were punished; to see those same cases being so badly mishandled in a world that didn’t feature Detective Chloe Decker in partnership with Lucifer Morningstar was just depressing

Did the other detectives working for the LAPD not care about getting it right?  It was fairly basic, surely?  Convict the wrong person and the guilty party gets to keep on doing whatever they want.  An innocent person goes to jail.  She couldn’t have been the only person working there who cared about that, could she?  Surely the job was about justice not results.  Getting a quick result might look good but not if an innocent is convicted while the guilty go free.

“Would you like to stay here for the night?”  Lucifer asked, breaking her train of thought.  “In my guest room, obviously.”

“Thank you.  You’ve been very kind to me.”  She meant it; he had listened to her insane story, believed her and helped her.  “Tomorrow I need to go and see Linda; it seems I was seeing her, in this reality and, apparently, helping her get her own TV show.”

Lucifer looked blank.

“Doctor Linda Martin?  Your therapist?  Okay, not in this world, I guess.”

“Why would I need a therapist?”

I don’t know.  That was between my Lucifer and the doctor.  She was Delilah’s therapist, we went to talk to her, he ended up seeing her professionally.  Oh and they were sleeping together for a while.”

“Oh, well, that’s alright then.”  Lucifer said, sounding relieved.