Chloe shoved her way through the revolving door into the street, sending a courier flying. The several minutes it had taken to hustle down from the roof had seemed like forever and she was frantic. Her cell rang yet again - Dan. She dumped the call again, then switched her phone off. He’d already said he’d called for backup and he was not going to change her mind about getting to Lucifer so there was no need to talk any more.
She took off at a sprint, hardly feeling the pain from her bruised chest with all the adrenaline coursing through her system. She knew she was only a few blocks from the loft and somehow she also knew Lucifer was there, that he’d gone after Pierce. But as she ran uneasy thoughts kept pushing insistently at her, and she couldn’t help wondering what the hell had happened after she’d blacked out.
How did Lucifer get us out of there?
They’d been right out in the open with all those guns pointed at them.
Why did Lucifer take me to a roof? And how did he get off the rooftop so fast?
What he’d said to her last night kept running through her head, and she kept seeing the sadness in his eyes before she’d held his face and kissed him.
Chloe… I am the Devil.
Had she been denying the truth all along? Lucifer always said he never lied, and she’d taken that to mean that he always told his truth, but could he really be telling her the actual truth and she just didn’t want to see it?
Maybe I do know...
She barrelled around a corner, spotted the loft building up ahead, and stubbornly forced the thoughts away. What she was thinking was flat out impossible. It was weird, but this was Lucifer ! He did inexplicable shit all the time and then insisted it was because he was Satan. And now he’d run off to tackle the Sinnerman alone because the dumbass had a thing for facing down homicidal maniacs. Jimmy Barnes, Malcolm Graham, the Halloween sniper... and somehow he’d always brazened his way through. It was his mentalist / escape artist / hypnotist thing! She’d never been able to figure it out!
But, still… her brain kept trying to make connections. Absolutely insane connections that anyone in their right mind would reject out of hand. She was relieved when she finally reached the loft building, her lungs and legs burning, and could instead focus on getting inside.
Chloe noticed the front entranceway was standing wide open so veered towards it, unwilling to waste a single moment. She bounded up the steps three at a time, pausing at the top to force her breathing back under control and pull her second gun from its ankle holster. She became aware of the wail of sirens getting nearer and felt a surge of hope; Dan’s backup. But she couldn't wait for them; she had to find Lucifer.
She listened at the door, instincts on high alert. She couldn’t hear anything from inside; there were no further gunshots, shouting or sounds of a struggle. She felt a sudden stab of terror that she was too late; that Pierce had killed Lucifer and was lying in wait for her. She pushed down her fears and crept silently inside, heading upstairs for the atrium where they’d been ambushed.
Nearing the staircase she pulled up short in astonishment. The windows on the landing were completely destroyed, the wooden frames smashed inwards and hanging splintered as if rammed by a truck. Blue sky and skyscrapers peeked through. There were no shrapnel marks and nothing was singed, so it can’t have been a bomb. It looked more like a wrecking ball had smashed it in.
Chloe mentally filed it away and quickly crept closer, staying low and out of sight, hearing laughter echoing from the atrium ahead. She peeked around the balustrade and saw Lucifer, and the rush of relief she felt at seeing he was okay was tempered by the fact that he was crouched over a body on the floor. She could see that it was Marcus. She forced down the cascade of conflicted emotions that surged up at the realisation and threw quick glances around the room. Three of Pierce’s men were also lying motionless; there had been four, but one appeared to have fled the scene.
Right now she didn’t care about the how, she only cared that Lucifer was okay. She holstered her gun and stood up, legs weak with relief and the aftereffects of adrenaline. She quickly made her way down the steps towards him.
He stood up… but something was wrong. His head was… oh, God . She stopped dead, shock rooting her to the spot. That couldn’t be...
Lucifer smiled grimly to himself as Cain fell lifelessly to the floor. It had been quite a while since he’d felt such satisfaction at administering punishment, and if his wings had been up to it he would have been tempted to fly straight down to Hell to ensure the malevolent bastard was getting the toasty welcome he deserved. Preferably involving a very large and active volcano.
He felt a twinge of disquiet at killing a human, but ignored it. Cain had had it coming. If anyone had deserved it, it was him. And it was the Devil’s job to give sinners their due, after all. It’s not like he could ever go to Heaven anyway. Not that he would.
He heard the Detective’s voice behind him; she’d made it back. That was rather quick; luckily he’d already defeated Cain but in hindsight he should probably have attempted to fly her to safety further away. His concealed wings throbbed painfully at the thought. He’d only just made it back here as it was.
He stood and turned to face her, smiling with relief that it was over; it had been a close thing but Cain was dead and Chloe was unharmed. He expected her to launch into her usual rant about him running into danger but to his surprise she stopped dead and just stared at him. She looked utterly gobsmacked. Was it because he’d killed Pierce? Surely she didn’t still harbour feelings for that treacherous git? He’d tried to kill her!
She started to back up, back away from him, her eyes never leaving his face, and gasped, “It’s all true.”
Lucifer felt a prickle of unease. What was true? She already knew Pierce was the Sinnerman, how could this possibly be a surprise to her now?
What was wrong? Why was she looking at him like that?
This can’t be real, Chloe thought desperately.
It is real. I’ve seen it before.
Her partner was gone, and in his place was something that belonged in a horror movie, or an hallucination. A scorched-looking creature with a misshapen, hairless head and fissured skin stood before her. Eyes that literally glowed with an otherworldly fire gazed back into hers. Then the Devil sighed and the corners of his mouth turned up in a small smile.
Chloe had a wild thought that it looked like he was happy to see her.
“It’s all true,” she faintly heard herself say. Lucifer really is the Devil. THE Devil. At this realisation Chloe’s thought processes came to a sudden juddering halt but for three words running on a loop through her brain.
It’s all true it’s all true it’s all true…
She saw him freeze, the easy smile dropping from his impossibly disfigured face.
Lucifer’s voice. Chloe’s stomach plummeted at hearing her partner’s familiar rich tones coming from that utterly inhuman body and the tiny hairs on the back of her neck stood up. She shuddered and her mouth moved again but she had no idea what she said as the sudden roaring in her ears drowned everything else out. Her feet moved without conscious direction and shuffled her backwards, as if trying to distance her from what she was seeing even as her brain fought to make sense of it.
How can he actually be who he says he is? How?
That Lucifer wasn’t human was now undeniable. Somehow this...creature… was him. Her eccentric partner was suddenly a stranger. Her rational mind had always demanded proof… well there it was. But how can this possibly be real?!
Lucifer’s hands abruptly lifted to his face, fingertips skimming across the rough, pitted skin. The glowing eyes widened, then closed, and Lucifer dropped his face in his hands, broad shoulders slumping. When he spoke, his muffled voice was bleak.
“Oh, no, no, no...of course it would happen now! Bollocks! ”
A moment later he lowered his hands and her dark-haired, dark-eyed partner was back, his face apprehensive. He said tentatively, “Detective? It’s alright, it’s... only me.”
She didn’t answer. She felt numb, detachedly watching flashes of disjointed memory, seeing the proof that Lucifer had always given her, and realising she’d wilfully refused to see the truth about him right from the start. Realising, also, how thoroughly he'd insinuated himself into her life.
One moment the man in front of her was dragging her onto the dancefloor at Lux and happily bouncing around to The Clash and the next he was hurling a grown man twenty feet through a glass wall.
She saw Lucifer juggling breast implants. Lucifer hypnotising suspects.
Lucifer lifting a man twice his girth off the floor with one hand and slamming him into a wall above his head.
Lucifer letting her giggling daughter paint a unicorn on his face. Lucifer facing down a sniper.
Lucifer stealing Trixie’s sandwich.
Lucifer standing over a cowering would-be murderer, his face reflecting for a split second in polished steel. A face exactly like the one she’d just seen, that she’d convinced herself she had imagined.
His concerned brown eyes gazing down at her as she regained consciousness on the roof cradled in his arms.
The look on his face when he told her she was special and he wasn’t worth it. The feel of his soft lips when she kissed him.
It’s all true it’s all true it’s all true
Lucifer took a couple of hesitant steps towards her, reaching for her, almost beseechingly. Her feet continued to shuffle her backwards until her heels bumped the bottom step of the staircase. She half turned, off balance, and grabbed the banister to steady herself. One foot placed itself on the first step, still subconsciously trying to give her space to think.
Lucifer froze. The Detective looked poised to bolt up the stairs and he felt a sudden jolt of panic.
“Detective, PLEASE! Don’t… don’t run away,” He pleaded, his voice shaking slightly. “You must know that I would never hurt you,” he said desperately, terrified that she would flee any second and he’d never see her again.
Through her shock Chloe dimly realised that yes, of course she knew. She remembered what he’d said to her not ten minutes ago up on the roof.
You’re safe. That’s all that matters.
She wasn’t going to run; this was Lucifer . Not a stranger.
“Detective… say something…” her partner implored her, his voice hoarse.
She wanted to, she knew she needed to, but she simply couldn't do it. They’d been partners for years now and he’d become such a big part of her life, and she knew him better than she’d ever known anyone, for all that she hadn’t known this. She wanted so desperately to tell him so, tell him that she'd be okay, but she was trapped in her own frozen body and speechless with shock.
She could barely even think, fragmented thoughts whirling chaotically through her head… she just needed a minute to get herself together…
...no wonder he’s so weird, he really isn’t human
…how did he survive those burns, they must be so painful
… I KISSED SATAN AND SLAPPED HIM ON THE ASS
...why did I see that face? which one is the real one?
…all this time I kept accusing him of not being honest with me
In the face of Chloe’s silence Lucifer tried a different tack, his tone turning cajoling. “Detective, I…uh, I know you hate surprises. But, really, it can hardly be a surprise at this stage, can it? I’ve been telling you who I am since day one! Not to mention you sort of believed me once already, remember? At least, believed me enough to shoot me that time...” He quickly held up his hands as he realised what he’d just said. “Ah, just to be clear, I am not suggesting you try that again...”
Just shut up, shut up a minute would you, thought Chloe exasperatedly, squeezing her eyes shut and jerking her head from side to side. Give me a freakin’ second to take this in, for God’s sake … then she gasped as a new realisation hit like another bullet to the chest.
God. He’s real. He really is Lucifer’s father. Heaven is real. That’s where Charlotte’s gone, Lucifer said so and he doesn’t lie. Tears sprang to her eyes.
And Dad too - he’s safe. He’s not gone forever… one day I’m gonna see him again. A tiny choked sob escaped her throat . He’s okay. Dad’s really okay. And one day Mom will see him again too, and Trixie… he’ll get to meet my baby after all.
It all hit her then, how much more big picture existence had just become, what it all really meant, and she sank slowly onto the step, her chest heaving and silent tears streaming down her face.
It’s all true… ALL of it...
Lucifer watched Chloe crumple to the floor in tears and felt despair settle over him like a shroud. A moment later he knew that his Devil face had reasserted itself and try as he might, he could not make his human form return. Chloe was the only person whose opinion he had ever truly cared about, and now - now she was terrified of him, didn’t want him near her.
He nodded desolately. Of course.
He wanted to be angry, to fight it because he couldn’t bear the alternative; losing her and everything he cared about. But he knew it was already too late. He couldn’t blame Chloe for her reaction; after all he’d just proved he really was the fiend everyone thought him to be.
He had betrayed his father, annihilated his own brother, banished his mum, put his friends in mortal danger, and hurt the woman he cared about... many times. And now he had broken his father’s ultimate commandment and taken a human life. In anger, for revenge, which made him no better than Cain. His face again showed who he truly was on the inside; who he had always been.
Lucifer had never in his life felt more like a monster.
“I’m sorry, Detective,” he choked. Suddenly he couldn’t bear forcing Chloe to look at him a moment longer, and hid himself from her sight.
The sirens were right outside now, their piercing racket coming in the shattered window and echoing through the halls and high ceilings around them. The police would be inside in a matter of moments, and they would find a dead hero with an otherworldly dagger stuck in him, surrounded by proof of the divine. They could also find a creature of unspeakable evil standing over him; but much as Lucifer welcomed the thought of them pulling their guns and putting him out of his misery he couldn’t allow that to happen. He looked at Chloe, who had half turned towards the sound of the sirens with a stricken look on her face, then turned back toward him, her blue-green eyes widening when she registered his disappearance.
Lucifer placed his hands together and closed his eyes.
Amenadiel. It’s Lucifer. I need your help.
Several long, tense moments later the wail of sirens cut off and there was a strong gust of wind as his brother landed. He heard Amenadiel say drily into the sudden silence, “Can’t you even go a day without me before getting into trouble, Luci?” Then the cheerful tone abruptly changed as he realised something was wrong. “What th...?… Your face. ..” he trailed off.
“Hello, Brother.” Lucifer opened his eyes, resigned to seeing revulsion in his eldest sibling’s expression but was surprised to see only concern. He lowered his hands and half turned to indicate Cain’s body on the floor behind him. Amenadiel’s eyes widened in shock.
“What in Father’s name happened?” Amenadiel couldn’t hide his dismay at seeing the hilt of Maze’s dagger protruding from Cain’s chest. “ You did this? You killed a human?”
“His humanity was questionable.” Lucifer’s attempt at levity fell flat, and he couldn’t meet his brother’s gaze. A multitude of excuses crowded his tongue but he knew that’s all they were. Excuses. For all his talk of a ‘fair fight’ he’d known Cain had never stood a chance against him, despite his injured wings. He’d been toying with him. He hadn’t needed to kill him. The fact of the matter was, he had been so consumed with rage in that moment with the Detective shot and Cain determined to shove Maze’s blade through his heart that he had wanted him dead, to Hell with the consequences.
His thoughts flashed back to the Spider, dangling helplessly in his grip after murdering Frank. He’d been incandescent with fury in that moment too, but the Detective had talked him down. And he remembered the liar Jerry Blackcrow, when it was Amenadiel’s turn to calm the raging beast inside him. But he suspected even the Detective wouldn’t have been able to stop him this time.
It was my choice to do this, he thought. I’ve damned myself all over again. He glanced at Chloe . I’m at least thankful the Detective was spared the sight of me skewering the bastard .
Cain had used Chloe, lied to her, manipulated her, and tried to kill her. Lucifer would end him again in a heartbeat. And that’s how he knew he truly wasn’t worthy.
Amenadiel looked down at the body on the floor with open contempt. “Well,” he said coldly, “He tried to kill me, but took poor brave Charlotte’s life instead. I’m inclined to agree with you on that point, Brother.” Amenadiel looked up at Lucifer, belatedly noting the front of his white shirt was shredded. “Are those bullet holes?”
Lucifer glanced down at himself. “Yes, but it’s nothing. It’s my wings that are damaged - I can’t fly. Not now. Vengeful fury will only get you a few blocks, it seems.” He attempted a shrug, then winced.
Lucifer huffed and spread his hands to indicate the room around them. Amenadiel suddenly noticed all the trash on the floor - hundreds of bullet casings, chunks of wood, tile and glass, and… Lucifer’s distinctive white feathers scattered from one end of the enormous room to the other.
There was one right next to his foot, so he bent down to pick it up. It was a broken covert and like all the rest, stained with blood. He realised what Lucifer must have done, and he was overcome with both compassion and pride for his little brother.
Amenadiel’s shocked tone was so uncharacteristically gentle Lucifer had to swallow past a sudden lump in his throat.
He cleared it, then continued in a forced light tone, “So you can see why I called. The police are right outside and we need to clear this place before they come in. Can’t have divine relics or even just formerly-immortal, crusty old human ones,” - at this he aimed a kick at the prone form of the ancient corpse on the floor - “falling into human hands. There’s no telling what an autopsy might dig up from a millennia-old body. And that’s aside from the fact that he’s got one of the Detective’s bullets in him and Miss Lopez will be able to discern the type of weapon that finished him off.” Amenadiel raised an incredulous eyebrow.
Lucifer scowled. “I do pay attention when it suits me, Brother.”
Despite himself, Amenadiel was impressed. “So it would seem.”
Lucifer went on, “Anyway, Maze’s Hell-forged blades are known to the police; much as the little shit has angered me lately I don’t wish to have her falsely sent up for murder.” He snorted. “For the second time in under a month, no less.”
Amenadiel nodded. Lucifer was right, leaving Cain’s body behind would make things far too complicated.
“Agreed. So we take it with us. Then what? And what are we going to do about Chloe?” He glanced over at the Detective sitting on the stairs on the far side of the room, frozen with an astonished expression on her face.
“She saw you.” Amenadiel’s eyes softened in understanding.
“Yes, of course she bloody saw me! My face came back at the absolute worst possible time...” Lucifer trailed off, then gave a bark of mirthless laughter.
“Or rather… I inadvertently chose the worst possible time to bring it back, right?” Lucifer laughed bitterly, teeth brilliantly white against darkly burned flesh. “I really am the master of self sabotage. All this time… my wings constantly regrowing, thinking Father forced the Detective to have feelings for me, losing my Devil face and now being stuck with it… I’ve done it all to myself, haven’t I?”
Amenadiel shrugged helplessly. It certainly seemed that way. “So that means you can un do it as well, Luci. You just have to believe in yourself.”
Lucifer snorted in derision. “Spare me the Hallmark platitudes, Amenadiel. I can’t . Not when even the Detective…” he stopped, his ravaged features twisting in pain. Whether it was physical or emotional Amenadiel couldn’t tell.
He looked around the huge space and suppressed a shudder; it was a mess. Bullet holes and bodies everywhere, and it looked like someone had thrown a blood-soaked feather pillow into helicopter blades. He dreaded to think what his brother’s beautiful wings must look like now, and the agony he must be enduring being so close to Chloe and unable to heal. Not to mention his emotional state, judging by the fact he was unable to summon his angelic form.
Not since he’d last seen Lucifer in Hell had Amenadiel seen his brother so melancholy. He tried to think; what would Lucifer do for him if their situations were reversed? He shook his head; since both booze and sex with strangers were currently off the table, he settled on cracking a dumb joke.
He squeezed Lucifer’s arm then brandished the feather in his hand. He said lightly, “Too bad with time stopped we can’t Hoover all these up. A dustbuster worked great on mine.”
Lucifer stared at him in disbelief for a few seconds, then gave a little amused snort. It was so unlike his staid older sibling to try to cheer him up, and more than a little weird. But he appreciated it all the same.
The two brothers got the job done quickly and efficiently, pulling a dust sheet off a statue to wipe the drops of Lucifer’s blood from the floor, then bundling all the larger feather fragments that Amenadiel gathered into it. Lucifer walked the room, grudgingly using his long-scorned Lightbringer powers to incinerate every last tattered shred of divinity he could find. The acrid stench of burned feathers filled the air and fine ash lay in tiny piles all around the room, so Amenadiel gave several powerful beats of his wings to disperse them. Lucifer handed the bundled sheet to Amenadiel, yanked the blade from Cain’s breastbone with rather more force than was strictly necessary, then grabbed the corpse by the shirtfront and lifted it easily off the floor.
“To the penthouse, I assume?”
“Yes… wait, no!” Lucifer amended. “No, we can’t bloody well go there, Daniel and Miss Lopez are still there with the hitman.” At his brother’s single raised eyebrow he added, “Long story.” He jiggled Cain. “His fault.” Then he flinched sharply and added, “Besides, I could really do with some of Linda’s doctoring skills.”
“Alright. We’ll go to Linda’s then.” Amenadiel’s eyes softened. “I should speak with her anyway.” Then he glanced over at the Detective, still frozen on the stairs.
“You want to just leave Chloe here?” His tone was disapproving.
Lucifer exploded, “Of course I bloody don’t, but what choice do I have, Brother?” Lucifer threw him an exasperated look but Amenadiel could tell he was deeply distressed.
“She’s terrified of me. Look at her; she doesn’t want to be anywhere near me and I even made her cry. We can’t take her with us, she’d...” He stopped, his face falling as he seemed to realise something.
He promptly dropped Cain back onto the floor with a thud, walked over to Chloe, and crouched on one knee in front of her. She stared, unseeing, at him, her blue-green eyes glistening. He saw a tear, frozen in time rolled halfway down her cheek, and reached out to brush it away. He stopped short of cupping her face when he saw the grotesquely seared flesh of his hand and was reminded anew; unclean … unworthy.
She was close enough for him to feel her warmth on his palm but he knew he would never touch her again. If this was the price he had to pay for keeping her safe he couldn’t regret it, but his eyes prickled and his throat constricted so tightly he thought it would choke him. He swallowed thickly as he gazed at her one last time.
“I’m… so sorry, Chloe,” he said, his voice hollow with anguish. “Goodbye.”