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The Angel Condition

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Chloe sat at her desk in the precinct, shoulders tense as she went over the stack of case files in front of her. Her steel blue eyes read over the same paragraphs over and over again without making any sense of the words written on the papers. She was supposed to hand them in soon but the detective was nowhere near finishing them. The pen in her hand tapped thoughtlessly against the desk as her mind wandered off to what had happened between her and her partner just a few hours prior.

She remembered talking to him right after apprehending the sniper.

“How do you know what I deserve?”
Lucifer’s voice was tired, rough like the jagged glass that was shattered to hundreds of pieces under his and Chloe’s shoes. Chloe had looked him in the eyes, noticing the dark rings underneath that went along with his disheveled black hair sticking out in different directions. She had never seen him this distressed.

She had asked him to talk to her, to give her an inkling of an idea what was so wrong with him so maybe, just maybe she could help him. But he had simply stood silent, peering at her with his dark eyes, lips parted to say unspoken words. Her eyes stung, vision blurring from the sudden welling tears. Chloe had quickly told him to talk to his therapist before she could fall apart in front of him and she left for the precinct immediately after. A lump formed in her throat thinking about him again.

“Decker! Nice job on the case!”
Chloe jumped at the sudden intrusion as Ella swooped in out of nowhere. The detective snapped out of the trance in an instant. The forensics scientist was holding a steaming cup of coffee in each hand with a big smile on her face.

“Almond milk latte with vanilla, just how you like it. Thought we could celebrate the occasion,” Ella said, cheerfully handing one of the cups to the detective.

“Thanks, Ella.” Chloe wrapped her hands around the plastic container. The radiating warmth was a welcome sensation for her cold hands. “I thought you’d left already?”

The forensics scientist curled her lips and tilted her head in reply, “I was supposed to, but I may have gotten a bit distracted talking to the guys at FSD. Watkins told me about this kickass science bar down in central we got to check out!” She shook her hands in excitement and started going on about how the place had drinks named after chemical compounds Chloe could never wrap her head around.

The detective nodded in reply, not really listening to what she was saying. One word about Ella’s forensics science-y stuff and she had already started thinking about Lucifer again. She bit her lower lip to distract herself from her mind wandering off to that subject.

“Anyway, I need to finish the reports from today before I leave. I’d help you with yours but I got stuff I need to handle,” Ella finally said as she pointed to the pile of papers resting on top of the detective’s desk. She looked expectantly at Chloe for a reply but sighed when she nodded her head once more. “Chloe, are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m totally fine! Nothing wrong here. Not at all,” she replied a bit too fast. Ella looked at her with squinted eyes and crossed her arms.

Chloe let out a sigh, “Okay, I lied. I really appreciate the coffee and the pep talk, I’m just…” She drummed her fingers on the desk, “I’m just really worried for Lucifer. Have you noticed anything off about him?”

“I saw him stealing Dan’s pudding from the fridge yesterday if that’s what you mean,” Ella lowered her voice and leaned in a bit, “but you didn’t hear that from me, okay?”

“No, not like that. This is serious, Ella. He’s been evasive recently, even more than usual. He keeps lashing out on everything and I think he’s dealing with some personal stuff right now, but he won’t talk to me.” Chloe took a sip from her coffee in an attempt to rid herself of the constricting feeling reforming in her throat.

Ella’s eyes widened at the unexpected change of subject. She took the empty seat next to the detective’s desk. “Oh, I’m sorry; I didn’t realize you were being serious. Now that you mention it, he has been acting weird. Maybe it’s just his method actor shtick?”

“No, no, I’m sure it’s not that,” Chloe replied with a vigorous shake of her head. She wanted to be there for him, but Lucifer wasn’t making it easy.

“You can always give him a call.” Ella leaned in from her seat, a devilish grin appearing on her face, “Maybe take him out for dinner? That’ll give him something to talk about for days.”

A smirk replaced Chloe’s frown of worry, and then the room resounded with the sound of her soft laughter. The idea of her and her partner out on a dinner date, spending some time outside the stress and chaos of their workplace seemed nice enough. She felt her cheeks warm up but with a shake of her head she banished the thought, otherwise Ella would never shut up about them.

Lucifer had been very distressed in the past few days and if he wasn’t going to talk to her, the least she could do was make him feel better in another way.

“You’re right. I should.” Chloe smiled at her, “Spend time with him, I mean. Definitely not taking him out to a dinner date.” The forensics scientist laughed at the interjection and Chloe joined her in unison.
“Thanks, Ella.”

“Aw, no problem!” Ella replied, her features softening. She glanced at her wristwatch and with that she shot up from her seat, the sudden movement making Chloe jump a bit in her place. “Shit, I need to get my paperwork done soon! I’ll catch you later, Chlo!” She dashed off to her forensics lab and slammed the door to her office with a loud bang.

The detective sank back in her seat and took a long sip from her coffee cup. The bitter taste was a pleasant distraction from everything that was going on with her at the moment. Ella was right; she could give Lucifer some space for the day, wait for him to come back to the precinct the following morning and ask him to spend time together. There was no way in Hell he would turn down such an offer.
A warm feeling arose in her chest. She smiled sheepishly to herself now that a semblance of reassurance was given to her.

The detective set the now empty cup of latte away and with a heavy sigh she pulled the heap of papers towards herself, ready to power through them with newfound energy.

She was going to be fine. Lucifer was going to be fine.

*

With every sudden turn of his Corvette the tires screeched on asphalt and left behind a plume of smoke in their wake. Cars honked as the vehicle sped through the streets and threatened to swerve into them at any moment. The evening city lights reflecting on the car’s dashboard tinged Lucifer’s hands red and blue, hiding his white knuckles as he dug his fingers into the steering wheel. He had just left the crime scene – and the Detective – and he needed a drink. Badly.

“Just a few more minutes,” he whispered to himself. He just needed to drive for a bit more before he could hole himself up in his penthouse and drink away. He couldn’t care less about the other vehicles screeching to a halt when he floored the gas pedal to reach his destination any sooner.

His thoughts were a mix of worry, stress and an unhealthy amount of self-loathing bottled up so much he could practically feel them suffocating him. What was he even going to tell Linda? He let out a groan of desperation. His dark eyes stung and he felt the wetness on his skin, a sob threatening to escape his throat.

The radio boomed to life with a swift flick and static spilled into the air, replacing the silence. Lucifer changed the stations, fingers frantically twisting the knob to find something, anything to hush his thoughts and give him some peace. The crackle of the radio died out after a moment and smooth jazz finally flowed out of the speakers. A faint smile appeared on his lips; the music was soothing, like putting a pack of ice on a wound.

 “Ah, finally!” he exclaimed as the club came into view. The Corvette came to a stop in front of the building and Lucifer hurried out. He swiftly climbed the stairs and entered the elevator, slamming his fist on the level Lux was.
He grimaced at the pressure building up behind his eyes.
The elevator dinged softly at its arrival to the club. The place looked tranquil but robbed of its usual boisterous spirit without the crowd of attendees.

“Good, just the way I want it,” he said to himself and walked into the club. Patrick was manning the bar, quietly sorting drinks and glasses before he was swarmed by demanding customers.

“Shut Lux down until I say so.” Lucifer approached the bar and on cue the bartender poured him a drink. “Do not let anyone into the club or the penthouse, or,” he took a sip from his whiskey, “I’ll throw every single person out myself.”

“Everything okay, boss?”

Lucifer slammed his shot glass onto the bar top and it gracelessly fractured into pieces. The pressure in his head was getting worse, threatening to turn into a headache. “I don’t pay you to ask questions, Patrick.”

Without another word he took off towards the elevator, gritting his teeth. He didn’t want to think about anything at the moment, absolutely not. The ride up to the penthouse seemed to take even longer than usual. When the cabin came to a soft stop at his home he let out a deep breath he didn’t even notice he was holding.

The Devil strode towards the array of drinks stocked onto the shelves and thoughtlessly took out two bottles. He didn’t even bother taking out a glass, instead he rushed to his piano and set them on top of the instrument. Shaking hands uncapped one of the bottles, clinging to it like it was a lifeline.

His heart ached so much it was getting unbearable. He couldn’t go on a second without guilt crushing his consciousness, shattering it to pieces like it was nothing. Why didn’t the bloody sniper end his miserable existence? He deserved it, didn’t he?
He downed the bottle before he set it aside and held his head in his hands.

“Shouldn’t have gone to the bastard to get the job done anyway,” He spoke, his voice rough like sandpaper. “Never trust someone else to do your own bidding.” His eyes stung once more but this time he didn’t hold the tears at bay.

He had an appointment with Linda the following day. What was he going to say? Doctor, I may have murdered my own brother with Azrael’s blade to save Chloe’s life. He scoffed at the thought; she was going to tell him it was just another metaphor, wasn’t that how it always went? No one believed a single word he said despite his honesty.

But wasn’t it better if neither Linda or Chloe knew the truth? Why should he tell them? Reveal his true self, the charred and rough skin that he used to punish criminals with? Tell them he stabbed his own brother, his own flesh and blood and watched him bleed out in his arms?

Little Uriel, the younger brother he picked on when they were still a family, the same brother he loved to fly and visit stars with was really gone wasn’t he?

 

They couldn’t know.

 

A sob escaped his lips and tears fell onto the wooden surface of his piano.

“You sick manipulative bastard!” Lucifer screamed with all the might he held in his body. “Is this what you wanted?! Has this all been a bloody game to you?!” He shot up from his seat, grabbed the empty bottle of scotch and tossed it across the room. A satisfying crack followed after.

“You knew this would happen, didn’t you? You knew and yet you didn’t do a single thing to stop it!” He took the other bottle from where it sat. The cold glass contrasted against his warm skin. He swigged the contents in an instant and flung the container to the floor.

His eyes turned a threatening glowing red.

This was all his father’s fault. It always was.

But how could he deny the fact that it was himself that mercilessly killed his own brother?

“You wanted me to suffer for what I’ve done?” His voice shook with anger he couldn’t hold in anymore. “Of course! Why else would you send Mum and Uriel of all people down here?! Uriel, he’s- he’s dead! I did it! And the Detective, she has nothing to do with all of this, yet you go ahead and try to take the only person I care for-“

The words died out in his throat before he could continue any further. Another sob escaped his parted lips. And another one. And another.
He stumbled back to the piano stool and sat. Its cushion deflated under his exhausted form.

“You got what you wanted. You want me to suffer. Anyone I dare get close to ends up getting hurt,” he whispered, his voice trembling with sadness. “I can’t- I can’t-“

He was the Devil, evil incarnate. He wasn’t worthy of anything better.
But that didn’t mean the people around him deserved the pain he caused them.

He wiped the tears away with his palm.

 

Lucifer Morningstar didn’t deserve to live.

 

The words he couldn’t bring himself to express amalgamated into a scream so harsh it burned his throat. He sprang from his place and his mighty hands picked up the stool he was sitting on. With a quick, angry swing he smashed it onto the piano and broke it into a pile of splinters.
He couldn’t keep his emotions restrained anymore as he released his anger on the furniture, wrecking anything he came into contact with.

Books fell from the bookcase to the floor, pages were ripped out mercilessly and piano keys sprawled about everywhere in the penthouse. Entire shelves of drinks were reduced to particles as he threw every container of alcohol around. He yelled his guts out, broke glass and tore down the furniture to small pieces until he couldn’t go on anymore and fell to his knees.

By the time he was done the penthouse was almost unrecognizable. Dust and splinters specked his black Prada suit and sweat rolled down his forehead. Lucifer’s chest heaved as an excruciating headache pounded in his skull, the pain beating against his cranium like hot iron digging into flesh. The house wasn’t looking any better with shards littering the floor. Puddles of alcohol stained the marble under his feet and chips of wood coated every surface.

“You win, Dad,” he mumbled. His voice carried none of the fury he held as he had spent it on tearing his home down to the ground. Guilt constricted his chest and he struggled to breathe for a moment.

Slowly he arose from his place and staggered to his bedroom, the only place that had been safe from his destruction. That was the best he could do, wasn’t it? He left chaos and pain where he set foot and ruined everything whether he meant to or not. He had hurt the Detective, Uriel and even Amenadiel because he couldn’t help but be a selfish bastard.

Lucifer threw himself on the mattress with a grunt. He took off his suit and fished out his phone from one of its pockets to text his therapist. The screen’s light burned his reddened eyes.
He carelessly composed a message to Linda and threw his phone on the nightstand next to the bed.

I’m not attending tomorrow’s session, the message said.

His head hurt and his body ached but nothing could compare to the crushing pain he felt in his heart. Lucifer smiled sadly as he thought about Chloe and how her smile made him feel invincible despite his mortality. But he didn’t deserve her. She needed someone better in her life, not someone like the Devil who could never even reveal his true identity in fear of scaring her away.

Even that was selfish, wasn’t it? He withheld the truth from her for his own gain because for once in eons she made him feel happy.

“It should have been me instead of Uriel,” he spoke, “I should be lying in that shallow grave I dug.”

His tired eyes widened at the revelation he just made. A tremor overtook his body at the idea. He had been such a spineless coward to do anything himself so he had walked into the sniper’s line of fire, hoping the killer would finish him off. But this time…

 

“Azrael’s blade.”

 

He pushed himself up with every muscle in his body begging him to rest. Lucifer ignored the exhaustion and made his way to the elevator, debris cracking under his shoes as he stumbled weakly.
He was really going to do this, wasn’t he? Should he write something for the Detective? One last pitiful word? Anything?

No, it was best if he left quietly.

Lucifer rode the elevator down, leaving the penthouse in a state of utter disarray. The sun was beginning to set when he walked out of the building. The orange hues of the sun shone brightly in the polished chassis of his car.

He got into the Corvette, his tired form ready to give out as he sunk into the driver’s seat. The engine roared and the same jazz music started playing from the radio. His addled mind needed rest but he ignored it and mindlessly drove out of Los Angeles to where Uriel was buried, his lifeless corpse sitting still in a pathetic grave.

Lucifer was going to do what the sniper couldn’t. He was going to dig out Azrael’s blade and finish it.

After all, what was a better punishment than ceasing to exist and never seeing his Detective again?