He’s warm behind her, chest to back, knees tucked against hers, arm draped over her waist. The light has a hazy quality to it, the sun just beginning to rise, filtering in through her curtains as she slowly blinks her eyes open. Chloe sighs quietly when her alarm clock finally comes into focus, 5:04 staring at her steadily in dim red.
She needs to get up soon, start making breakfast and packing Trixie’s lunch, but there’s time still.
For once, she has time.
There’s a grumble behind her, and she can’t help the smile that pulls at her lips. She keeps her voice soft, unwilling to break the fragile peace of the morning as she murmurs, “Good morning, Lucifer.”
“Detective,” and she can hear the pout in his words, laughs quietly as she slides a hand down to cover the one splayed over her bare stomach. Lucifer shifts behind her, lips finding the soft hollow just behind her ear, and she shivers pleasantly at the low, coaxing tone he adopts. “Surely we don’t have to be up just yet, do we?”
“We’ll need to soon,” she tells him, but it’s half-hearted at best, and she can feel his mouth spread into a victorious grin against her skin. His thumb begins to rub soft circles against her skin, his other arm flexing under her pillow, and Chloe lets her eyes fall shut, content to enjoy the feeling of his cool skin against her.
She stiffens, eyes snapping open again.
“Lucifer?” She asks, shivering as he drags his rapidly chilling hand down to her hip, and this is wrong, something is wrong, his lips icy against her neck. She squirms, trying to turn in his hold, fighting down the panic that claws at her throat. “Lucifer, what--”
“Wake up,” he mutters, low and broken, and--
Chloe wakes up, rolling over and sliding her hand over the cold sheets next to her. She blinks back the stinging in her eyes, glancing over her shoulder to look at her clock, green numbers flashing 5:35 at her.
She swallows hard, turning back to stare at the empty side of the bed, and she waits until her breathing is calm before she finally gets up, shoving her hair back away from her face as she starts to get ready for the day.
It’s been a month since he left, and she still expects him to come strolling through her locked front door at any moment.
“Can we have breakfast sandwiches, please?” Trixie asks her in the kitchen, and Chloe smiles, smoothing a hand over her daughter’s hair before nodding her head back towards the living room.
“You bet, monkey. Your backpack ready?” She asks, and Trixie beams before darting away, calling back that it will be soon. She moves around the kitchen on autopilot, making fried eggs and toasting bread, and before she realizes it there are three sandwiches plated in front of her.
Chloe doesn’t realize she’s staring until Trixie’s curious voice cuts through the sudden static in her ears, “Mommy? Are you okay?”
“Yeah! Yeah, no, I’m fine, sweetheart, sorry,” she reassures, grinning as she places a plate in front of her daughter at the counter. Trixie only looks doubtful for another second before shrugging and digging in, and Chloe feels a surge of relief, turning to begin cleaning up. “Anything exciting happening at school today?”
“Not really. I have a math test,” and her daughter’s nose is wrinkled in distaste when she glances back at her. She bites back a grin, putting the two sandwiches into the fridge before starting on packing Trixie’s lunch. Trixie takes another bite before asking around a mouthful of food, “When’s Lucifer coming back?”
Chloe is startled into stillness, blinking twice before turning to face her daughter, leaning back against the counter. Trixie watches her patiently, chewing slowly before taking a sip of juice, and Chloe takes a breath before sighing heavily, shoulders sagging as she admits, “I don’t know, monkey. He didn’t say how long he’d be gone.”
“Oh.” Trixie frowns before popping the last bite of her breakfast into her mouth, glancing down at her empty plate. Chloe feels her chest constrict, breathes through the momentary pain until she can move forward to take the plate in one hand, other hand squeezing her daughter’s shoulder gently. Trixie looks back up at her with big eyes, mouth twisted and voice quavering when she says, “I miss him.”
“Oh, monkey. I miss him, too,” she murmurs, setting the plate back down and rounding the corner to wrap her arms around her daughter, rubbing her back gently as the girl buries her face in her neck. “I’m sure he’ll be back as soon as he can. He’s just really busy right now, that’s all.”
“He won’t even answer my texts!” Comes the muffled reply, and Chloe swallows hard, vision blurring as she hears the distress in her Trixie’s voice.
“Um, his phone doesn’t really work where he is,” she explains, carefully keeping her voice steady as she keeps rubbing soothing circles into her daughter’s back. “I know it really hurts, but trust me, he’d definitely answer if he could. I know he misses you as much as you miss him.”
“Really?” Trixie asks, voice so full of hope that Chloe can barely stand it, and so she gently pulls away until she can catch the little girl’s gaze.
“Really, Trix. I promise,” and there’s only a little guilt in the pit of her stomach when her daughter beams and relaxes. “Now go brush your teeth, you don’t want to be late for the bus.”
She doesn’t let herself think about him again until she’s walking into the precinct, coffee in hand as she heads for her desk. She sees Dan in the lab with Ella, heads bent together as the stare down at something on the table, and Chloe lets herself take a moment to sink into her chair, head bowing as she clasps her shaking hands together in her lap.
Who prays to the devil?
Hey, Lucifer , she starts, and a hysterical laugh begins to bubble up in her throat until she forces it back down. Trixie asked about you again this morning, when I accidentally made an extra breakfast sandwich. She’s asked about you every week since you left, you know? She really misses you.
Chloe takes a shaky breath, glancing over to watch Ella pointing at something on the other side of her lab, Dan frowning as he moves around to get it. Anyway, I don’t know if this works, but I figured it was worth a try. We’re in the middle of a case, and I wish-- well, never mind. I hope that you’re doing okay, Lucifer.
I miss you .
“Hey, Chloe! C’mere, Ella thinks we got something,” Dan calls out to her, and Chloe nods, rising from her desk as she walks over to meet him. Who prays to the devil and expects him to answer?
She looks down at her phone, but the screen stays dark, reflecting her tired gaze back at her.
She looks back up with a half smile, sliding past her ex-husband and tucking her phone back into her pocket, nodding at Ella. “So, what’ve we got?”
He peers over her shoulder as they look through the photos, a long line of heat as he leans in close, ignoring the concept of personal space as he always does. Chloe hums thoughtfully as she lingers on the fifth photo, eyes slowly scanning over the image. Ella is singing under her breath behind them as she putters around the lab, but Chloe pays no mind, tilting her head as she re-examines the image.
“What is it?” Lucifer asks, and there’s a small thrill up her spine as she realizes once again just how good he’s become at reading her body language and mannerisms. Being so known once scared her, but, well.
Things have changed, and she hopes that they've changed for the better.
She'd like to think she's changed for the better.
“Something isn’t right,” she tells him, banishing the errant thoughts as she turns her head enough to study his sharp profile, tilting the photos a little more in his direction. “What do you see?”
“The victim’s bedroom, but,” and he pauses with a frown, one hand coming up to wrap around her closest wrist, angling the photos more. She waits him out, watching as he narrows his eyes before they widen, a sly smile crossing his face as he tilts his head down to face her. “Detective, if there’s no splatter on the wall, then what was removed?”
“Exactly! We have to question the roommate again, he knows something.” He nods in agreement at her statement, and she smiles warmly before faltering at the strange look on his face. His eyes have gone far-away, suddenly, his smile turning sharp and false.
Chloe looks down at where his hand is still curled around her wrist, wonders when it turned so cold.
She frowns as she looks back up into red-tinged eyes, brow furrowing as she asks, “Lucifer, what--”
“Wake up,” he orders, voice clipped, and she shakes her head as he lets go, taking a step away and--
She wakes up with a gasp, hands spasming against the warm weight on her chest. Charlie gurgles, and she relaxes slowly, rubbing gentle circles against the baby’s back as he settles again. When she's sure that he's sleeping once more, Chloe lets her head fall back against the pillow, digging her heels into the couch cushion as she carefully shifts into a more comfortable position.
She becomes aware of another sound in the room, like dry palms rubbing together but sharper, repetitive and even. Chloe smiles a little, wonders what it means that the sound does nothing but comfort her.
“How long was I out?” She asks as she twists her head, looking across the living room to see Maze sprawled in an armchair, carefully sharpening a knife. The demon doesn't look up, just keeps rubbing the whetstone evenly over her blade.
“Just under an hour. Little guy has been totally dead to the world,” she replies, finally lifting the knife up to carefully inspect it. Chloe doesn't stop rubbing Charlie’s back, smiling gently when Maze finally lowers the blade to meet her gaze. The demon flashes her broad grin, twirling the knife between her fingers before making it vanish. She slouches back into the chair more, slinging a leg over one of the arms in a move that Chloe knows would make Linda sigh before something cautious passes over her face. “Decker, you been sleeping?”
“Hm? Yeah, of course, Maze. Why?” She asks, brow furrowing, and the other woman shrugs, looking down to inspect her nails with an air of indifference; Chloe recognizes the masked concern anyway, a rush of affection flooding behind her sternum.
“You just usually don't knock out in the middle of the day, that's all.” Maze shrugs as she speaks, finally looking back up to meet her gaze, and Chloe smiles wider, shaking her head.
“I'm fine, really. This case is just taking a lot out of me,” she admits, looking back down at Charlie. The baby sleeps on, snoring a little, and Chloe lifts a hand to lightly rub her thumb against his upturned cheek. She ignores the ache in her throat as she says, “It’s taking a lot out of all of us. Hard not to take this one personally.”
The woman across from her hums softly in acknowledgement, and Chloe watches out of her peripheral vision as Maze nods, eyes going vacant as she stares at the front door. It doesn't surprise her when the demon switches topics, suggesting easily “Hey, we should have a girl’s night soon. Been too long.”
“Yeah, it has,” she agrees easily, rubbing Charlie’s cheek again. “We've all had a lot going on, to be fair. Linda had this little guy, you had Eve, Ella and I have been so busy with work, plus Trixie--”
“Excuses, excuses. Let's plan this thing!” Maze keeps her voice low but grins widely, eyes sliding over to meet Chloe’s gaze as they look back towards each other.
“I don't know if this is the best time for bar hopping,” she counters, raising an eyebrow as Maze groans. She changes tactics, offering a solution with a smile. “How about we do a girl’s night in? Amenadiel can watch Charlie, everyone can come over to mine. Trixie would love it.”
“Alright, if the little human’s gonna be there, I guess that could work.” Maze smiles and crosses her arms, seemingly satisfied, and Chloe laughs softly, careful not to disturb the baby sleeping away on her chest. An easy silence settles between them, and Chloe lets her mind wander, thinks about all of the empty spaces in her life.
She's so tired of it all.
“Maze, you know,” and she falters briefly when the demon casts her gaze back towards her, expression curious, “You know, if you ever needed some space away from Linda and Charlie, or just needed a break or anything, Trix and I would be happy to have you back in the apartment.”
Maze looks a little taken aback, eyes wide and lips slightly parted, and Chloe feels stricken, hates herself for the divide that came between them. She pushes on, smiling weakly, “Just, you know, if you ever needed to relax or something! We've still got the empty room, and--”
“Decker, breathe,” the other woman finally cuts in, smirk spreading across her face. Her eyes are soft as she nods, though, and Chloe breathes a sigh of relief when she says, “Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. You change the locks?”
“Nope. Your key will still work,” she assures her with a grin, and Maze nods, ducking her head as she drums her fingernails against her thigh. Charlie stirs with a gurgle, then, shifting and blinking up at her before screwing his face up. “Oh, hey, it's okay.”
Charlie begins to fuss, though, and Chloe sighs heavily as she begins to sit up, cradling him close as she does. Maze is there in a flash, reaching out to carefully take the baby just as he lets out a low wail. “Okay, little demon, let’s go get that bottle your mom left, huh?”
She grins as she speaks down to him, and Chloe winces as she rolls her neck, feeling the muscles twinge. “Thanks, Maze.”
“No problem. Auntie Maze is here, it's okay, let it out.” She keeps chatting as she wanders away towards the kitchen, and Chloe sighs, leaning her elbows on her knees as she watches them go.
The silence that surrounds her is oppressive, and she runs a hand down her face before slowly standing, making her way into the kitchen in time to watch Maze hop onto the counter, carefully offering Charlie a bottle.
“Maze?” She leans against the doorframe, waiting for the demon’s hum of acknowledgement before asking, “Have you, um. Have you heard from him?”
“Decker,” Maze warns, sharp gaze finding her instantly, but Chloe ducks her head, twisting her fingers together.
“I just, you know, it's been over two months, and I thought maybe you might've heard something!” She swallows hard, afraid of what she might sees if she looks up. “Sorry, it's okay--”
“Don't do this to yourself,” Maze cuts her off, more gently than expected, and when Chloe glances up her expression has softened a little. “Don't, okay?”
“Yeah, okay. Sorry,” she offers, but Maze shakes it off, looking back down to watch as Charlie keeps greedily sucking at the bottle. Chloe feels a lump building in her throat, and it's easy to make her quick excuses, dashing forward to kiss both friend and child on the cheek before she rushes out of Linda’s home, hopping on one foot as she tries to zip up her boots.
Her phone is buzzing in her pocket, but she ignores it as she slides into her car, swallowing hard as she slides key into ignition. Chloe shuts her eyes just before she turns the car on, curling both hands tightly over the steering wheel.
Hey, Lucifer. Hope everything is going okay in, well, Hell. This case keeps getting worse, it's so frustrating. She takes a moment to breathe through the stinging behind her eyelids, the aching in her throat. I hope that you’re happy, I really do. I hope you can hear me.
Her phone buzzes in her pocket again, but Chloe ignores it, opening her eyes to gaze at her bloodless knuckles. I miss you. I'm trying to fix what I did to Maze, I think we’re getting there. Linda finally went back to work this week, and your brother is trying to stay busy, too. They're such good parents, Lucifer.
I wish you were here to see it.
Her phone buzzes again, insistent, and this time Chloe reaches down to pull it out, watches the string of increasing urgent texts from Ella appear on her screen.
She starts the car, calling her friend as it rumbles to life beneath her. “Okay, where was the new victim found?”
The bouncer at Lux waves her past the line, and the wall of sound that washes over her is a relief as she enters the club. She spots him as she makes her way down the stairs, and she tamps down the urge to catch his attention, instead heading over to the bar. The song segues into another as she orders, and by the time she has her martini Lucifer is singing loudly, fingers sliding over keys as he sits at the piano.
Chloe watches with a smile as the club quiets a little, all attention drawn to the magnetic man in the center. He finishes with a flourish, wide grin on his face, and applause breaks out, people surging forward to vie for his attention. She stays at the bar, watching as his gaze is drawn over, raising her drink in greeting as his eyes finally meet hers.
He lights up, and her breath catches, heart skipping uncomfortably as she thinks that she'd do anything to keep him looking this happy and carefree. She watches as Lucifer begins moving his way through the crowd, sparing a glance and a word for anyone who tries to catch his attention, but still constantly making his way towards her, like an arrow pointing at true north.
She slams the rest of her drink to silence that line of thought.
“Detective!” He greets, spreading his arms wide as he reaches her, and she takes the chance to give him a quick once over, looking at the clean lines of his suit, the flash of purple lining on his coat. He catches her free hand as she looks back up, pressing a kiss to her knuckles before winking at her. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”
“Unexpected free night. Maze wanted to take Trixie to see a movie, so.” She shrugs as she says it, putting her empty glass down on the bar, and Lucifer arches an eyebrow at her, lowering their hands but not letting go.
Chloe has no plans to pull away.
“So you thought you'd stop by a club? Not your normal venue,” he says with a slow grin, and Chloe rolls her eyes at the obvious prying. His gaze is fond when she meets it again, his thumb slowly sliding over her knuckles, and the bubble of defensiveness that had been building in her gut bursts.
“No, but, I just thought I'd stop by and see if you wanted any company,” she admits, shrugging again. She glances around the packed club, trying to ignore the wave of embarrassment that slides through her gut. “Which is silly, I guess, but--”
“No, it isn't,” he interjects, a little more quickly than he meant if the grimace on his face is anything to go by. Chloe finds herself smiling as he squeezes her hand, expression smoothing out into one of his charming smiles as he says, “I'm always delighted when you grace me with your presence, detective. Always.”
“Okay.” She smiles up at him, doesn't doubt the truth in his words, never has to. Lucifer doesn't lie, has never lied, and she squeezes his hand, but it feels wrong, his grip gone cold and clammy, and when she meets his eyes there's a strange look in them, almost manic. “Lucifer?”
“You can't stay,” he says, almost mechanic, and his expression slides away, that icy mask back in place. “Wake up, now” and--
She wakes with a scream trapped behind clenched teeth, eyes itchy with smudged mascara and unshed tears. She blinks until her vision is clear, taking deep breaths until she feels a little more steady, a little less likely to shatter.
Ella is sprawled out on her couch, mouth open wide as she snores softly, empty bottle of tequila tucked between her arm and side; Linda is curled into one of the armchairs, chin tucked into her chest as she drools a wet spot onto her sweater. A scuffing sound in her kitchen catches her attention, and Chloe feels her heart leap into her throat, something terrible like hope ballooning behind her breastbone as she looks over.
Dan gives a sheepish smile as he pokes his head out from behind the counter, and Chloe makes herself smile back even as her stomach sinks like lead.
She disentangles herself carefully from a blanket as she clambers out of the other armchair, making her way to the kitchen as soon as she’s free. A glance into Trixie’s room finds her daughter and Maze both sacked out in the girl’s bed, and Chloe gently tugs the door the rest of the way shut before joining Dan in the kitchen.
“Morning,” he greets her quietly with a grin, offering a cup of coffee. Chloe drains half of the mocha in one go, ignoring Dan’s muffled snort of amusement. “Looks like I missed a hell of a party.”
“You are more than welcome to girl’s night next time,” she offers, finally pausing to take a breath, and her ex smiles warmly, leaning against the fridge as he jerks his head towards the dining room.
“Brought coffee for everyone, and donuts. Got enough texts last night to think none of you would really be up for making anything,” he tells her fondly, laughing when Chloe groans and leans into him for a hug. She lets herself soak in the affection for a long moment, finally pulling away to finish off her drink. There’s a bittersweet look on Dan’s face as she does, and she wants to wipe it away, though she knows time is the only thing that might ever be able to. “You okay, Chlo?”
“Mhmm, yeah,” she says with a smile, still keeping her voice soft for fear of waking their friends too early. That bittersweet look morphs, then, changes to sorrow and grief, and Chloe feels the answering pangs in her soul, a bone-deep weariness suddenly rushing through her. “Why?”
“Lucifer’s been gone almost four months? This fucking case is driving us into the ground, and kids keep getting taken? Charlotte?” He gave a mirthless laugh, shrugging and ducking his head. “I dunno, Chloe, take your pick. Been a hell of a six months.”
“Yeah, it has, huh?” She swallows hard, ignores the bitter taste of loss and regret that sours her mouth. Dan sighs, meeting her gaze with a sad smile, and she leans back into him, resting her head on her shoulder. “Are you okay, Dan?”
“Not really,” he murmurs, and she nods slowly, setting her empty cup down on the counter.
“Me either,” she admits, shutting her eyes, and for a moment she lets herself imagine leaning into someone else taller, warmer.
Dan’s quiet hums breaks the facade, and Chloe shifts away from him, opening her eyes again. He catches her gaze as she does, voice gentle and achingly sincere as he tells her, “I’m always here if you want to talk, Chloe. Always.”
“I know, Dan, promise,” she tells him with a smile, reaching out to squeeze his arm gently. “I’m always here for you, too.
He gives her a nod, relaxing as he does, before his gaze drifts past, a grin slowly stretching across his face. “I’m gonna go wake the others. Christ, she is really never silent, huh?”
“Not our Ella,” she agrees with a grin, letting him slide past her before padding into the dining room, pulling coffee cups out of carriers. She glances over to watch Dan carefully sliding Trixie’s door open, pulling his phone out of his pocket to start snapping photos, and she looks back down with a smile, studying her hands as she splays them over the table.
She swears she can still feel the ghost of lips against her left knuckles.
Hey, Lucifer. I hope that you’re okay, and that you’re happy. I wish you’d been here for last night, you would have totally crashed girl’s night. We would’ve loved it. She spares a look towards where Dan has made his way to the living room, taking pictures of their other friends, and a sudden wave of loneliness hits her so hard that she has to fight to stay standing.
Anyway, I know I check in every week, but I hope I’m not bugging you. I hope that you’re actually hearing these.
I don’t know what I’d do if you weren’t. I miss you, Lucifer. We all do.
“Ugh, god, what did I do to deserve this?” Ella groans from the living room, and Chloe laughs, turning to watch as Dan waves the bottle of tequila over her face. The forensic expert groans, sliding a hand over her face, and Chloe watches as Linda’s head pokes up from the back of the chair, hair tangled and glasses crooked on her face.
There’s a thump from Trixie’s room, then, and then Maze staggers out, Trixie giggling as she trails after her. The demon narrows her eyes at the living room, cracking her knuckles slowly as she asks, “Daniel, was I having a nightmare earlier, or did you take pictures of me while I was asleep?”
Chloe takes pictures of the ensuing chase, and doesn’t send them to who she wants to. She tells herself that she’ll show them to him when he comes back, and it only mostly feels like a lie. With a smile she pulls herself back into the moment, calling out to the heap of limbs in the living room, “Hey, I will eat all of these donuts if anyone breaks anything!”
The beach is quiet this late night at night, only the sounds of the the waves lapping gently at the sand to keep them company. Lucifer is a long line of heat behind her, one arm curled around her waist, chin resting against her temple.
“That one was my favorite,” he murmurs softly, free hand pointing out to a cluster of stars above the horizon, and Chloe’s gaze follows the shape he traces carefully.
“I can’t believe you did all of this,” she murmurs, leaning more of her weight back into him, knowing he won’t let her fall. Lucifer turns his head to press a smile against her skin, and she sighs softly, eyes fluttering before she stares back up at the vast sky above them. “They’re so beautiful.”
The man shifts behind her, pulling away slightly before replying quietly, “Yes, beautiful.”
Chloe looks back to find him staring down at her, gaze warm and adoring, and for a moment she swears she can see the stars reflected back in his eyes. She blushes under the attention, settling her hands over his arm and squeezing gently as she looks back out to the ocean. “Who would have ever pegged the devil as a romantic?”
“Well,” Lucifer starts, chuckling softly as he ducks down to press a kiss to her cheek, “I never was much one before you.”
“Lucky me,” Chloe murmurs softly, nudging towards his mouth just to feel him brush another kiss against her skin. She shivers gently at the breeze that blows over them from the waves, clutching more tightly at the solid arm wrapped around her. She shudders again, feeling Lucifer frown against her cheek before he straightens, pressing closer.
“Detective, are you alright?” He asks, worry making his accent that much thicker, and she nods even as she realizes that she’s trembling violently, can’t seem to make herself stop despite the heat radiating from the man behind her.
“Fine, fine I’m just cold,” she tells him, barely able to keep herself from stuttering over the words, and Lucifer makes a soft noise of concern, free hand rubbing briskly over her bicep. There’s a growing sense of unease prickling at her skin, and she cocks her head to the side, slowly pulling away from her partner. “Something’s wrong, I shouldn’t-- I have to go, Lucifer.”
“What? Why, what is it?” He asks, alarm coloring his voice, but she twists out of his grasping hands, stumbling a few steps towards the rising tide before turning and bolting past him, boots digging into the sand. She hears him start to give chase, calling after her, “Detective! Where are you going?”
“I shouldn’t be here! I can’t stay, I have to go!” She doesn’t look back as she yells, and it’s so cold, she’s so cold, her legs shake under her own weight but she keeps forcing her feet to move, gasping as she stares up into the endless sky and--
She wakes up with a wet gasp, pain blooming bright in her body as she fights her way to consciousness. Chloe whimpers, blinking away the stinging in her eyes as her hands spasm and scrabble at the cold floor below her, trying to remember what happened. Her memory comes back to her in flashes: a confirmed identity from Ella; two possible locations, sending Dan to meet Maze at one, racing off by herself to the other; going into the warehouse, working through a maze of shelves and containers; finding their suspect, losing her gun, and--
One hand comes up to brush against her shirt, sticky with blood. Chloe can't fight down a sob as she glances down her body and sees the two sluggishly bleeding wounds in her torso. She tastes iron on the back of her tongue and sniffles hard, finally letting half a year’s worth of tears spill down her cheeks.
She doesn't want to die.
When she looks to her right she sees the kidnapper facedown where she'd dropped him with her taser before kicking him in the head; she can hear him breathing evenly over her own little hitching sobs and wheezing inhales, and she has the thought that she should call it in. Her hands don't cooperate well when she tries to fumble for her pockets, though, and it takes her too long to realize that her phone is off to her left, just out of reach from her shaking fingers.
She's so cold.
Chloe tries to take in a deep breath, desperate to calm herself enough to stop crying, but instead she finds herself coughing hard, spitting a glob of blood to the side as the fit finally subsides. She gazes up at the fluorescent lights, tears sliding down her temples as she wishes for a miracle.
Who prays to the devil?
“Hey, Lucifer,” and her voice is weak but she can't stop now, can't worry about how thick her throat is with tears and blood and fear. “I'm sorry, I think this might be my last prayer. Will you watch out for Trixie for me, please? And for Dan, and Ella, Linda, and Maze? And Amenadiel and Charlie?”
Chloe laughs a little hysterically as the lights begin to blur, and she rolls onto her left side, gasping as pain burns brighter. “Sorry, sorry, still here. Not sure how much longer though, I'm, um, I’m in trouble. I've never wanted to go to Hell before, but I wish that's where I was going, now. I just wanna see you again.
“I love you, so much, Lucifer. Bye.” She finishes with a choked off whisper, and she tastes more iron as she coughs, body protesting, and she tries to catch her breath but she can't, can't breathe she can't breathe fuck she can't--
“Detective, you do not get to say goodbye like this .” The angry voice is all too familiar, and Chloe thinks she might be hallucinating, wants to laugh but all that comes out is a wheezing cry as she is rolled onto her back. Lucifer stares down at her, fury and panic etched onto his face as he brings one hand to her cheek.
His palm is so warm.
“You came back,” she rasps out, ignoring the blood threatening to choke her again, smiling helplessly up at him. The devil looks awful, skin sickly pale with dark circles under his eyes, hair unkempt, and he's still the most beautiful man she's ever seen. Chloe reaches up a shaking hand, fingertips grazing along heavy stubble as she traces his jaw, eyes filling with tears anew. “You're here.”
“Of course I'm here, detective. I told you I'd always have your back, remember?” He sounds a little frantic, she thinks, watching dazedly as he surveys her injuries. “Although I certainly haven’t done a great job of that lately, for which I apologize.”
“No-- you’re here, it doesn’t--” she breaks off with another rattling cough, one that leaves her gasping and light-headed. Lucifer shushes her gently, thumb sweeping the tears from underneath her eye. His other hand rests at her waist, unnaturally warm even through her jacket and shirt, and she’s shivering so hard now that she can’t tell if there are tremors in his hands or not.
“I need you to trust me now, detective, alright?” He’s talking to her with an air of desperation, eyes wild as they meet her gaze, and Chloe nods, dropping her hand to curl her fingers in the lapel of his jacket. He gives her a pained smile, and it looks so wrong, he looks so sad , Chloe can hardly stand it. “I need you to close your eyes, Chloe, please.”
She doesn’t speak, doesn’t know if she can, but she nods before shutting her eyes, keeping her hand curled tightly around the fabric of his suit. She hears air being displaced, the the ruffle of feathers, some of the light suddenly blocked. Chloe keeps her eyes shut even as Lucifer takes one of his hands away, but she can’t stop her voice from wavering when she asks, “Lucifer?”
“Yes, darling?” He replies, almost absently, and her laugh tastes like blood but she doesn’t care anymore. Chloe feels him press his hand down between to the two bullet wounds, something trapped between his hand and her shirt, and she whimpers but he doesn’t alleviate the pressure, shushing her gently instead. “I know, detective, I know, I’m sorry. I need to do this.”
“Fine, just,” and she grits her teeth, clenching her eyes against the urge to open them. Her head feels fuzzy, and Chloe nudges into the warm palm on her cheek, rewarded with a gentle brush of Lucifer’s thumb against her skin. “Just, listen. I love you, Lucifer, all of you. Thank you.”
“Stop talking like you’re dying,” he snaps at her, but she just smiles, tugging at his lapel gently as a hysterical laugh forces its way up her throat.
“I am,” Chloe gasps, and then there’s lips pressing against her forehead, Lucifer exhaling shakily over her.
“No, Chloe, you are not.” The words are whispered into her skin, and then his hand presses down harder between her wounds. Chloe can’t choke back the wail that is ripped from her throat, raw and bloody, and her free hand comes up to clutch at Lucifer's bicep weakly. She can’t think beyond the pain for a moment, bright and all consuming, and then she realizes--
The room is getting brighter, light bursting from somewhere close by, and Chloe gasps, fingers tightening where they hold onto Lucifer’s suit. The glow is intensifying, so bright it seems white even with her eyes shut tight, and she focuses on Lucifer’s unsteady breath, his lips brushing against her forehead still, doesn’t open her eyes no matter how badly she wants to know what’s happening.
It’s gone suddenly, the light blinking out like a snuffed candle, and Chloe is left with just the blackness behind her eyelids, Lucifer’s hands warm against her. It is silent save for their ragged breaths, and the pain is gone; she feels good, really good, as though she wasn’t just on the brink of death.
She is terrified, for one overwhelming moment, that she really has died.
“Lucifer?” Her voice shakes, but she is no longer trembling, no longer cold nor bleeding out. All that greets her for a moment is a shaky laugh, and then a kiss is pressed to her forehead, his fingers tightening against her cheek.
“I told you you wouldn’t die, detective,” and she blinks her eyes open to find him smiling down at her, relief spilled so plainly across his features that Chloe can only laugh, shaking her head.
“What did you do?” She asks, and he shrugs, sliding the hand on her stomach over until it curls gently around her ribcage. Chloe doesn’t let go of his arm or lapel, uncaring if she is wrinkling his suit.
If he disappears now, she’ll never survive it. She can’t let go.
“The feathers from my wings, they contain healing properties. I merely used a couple to make sure that you would survive your ordeal,” he explains, eyes never straying from hers, and Chloe swallows hard at the adoration she sees reflected back at her. “Chloe, I--”
“Did you hear me?” She cuts him off gently, feels a slight pang of guilt but she has to know, has to know now while she still has the courage to ask, while he’s still here, with her. Her partner-- former partner, former , he isn't hers anymore-- blinks, a little startled, and Chloe swallows hard, lifting her hand from his lapel to brush gently against his jaw. “All those times I prayed to you, did you hear me?”
Lucifer sighs, shifting back a little and dropping his hand to her shoulder. “Can you sit up?” He asks, and she huffs an almost laugh at the familiar avoidance. She braces her palms against the floor, slowly pushing herself up as Lucifer helps steady her. He lifts a hand to brush a few errant strands of hair away from her face, tucking them behind her ear before he meets her eyes again. His voice is quiet when he finally says, “Yes, detective, I heard you. Every time.”
“Oh,” is all she can think to say, nodding slowly at his words. Chloe hesitates for a just a second before leaning forward, throwing her arms around his shoulders and holding on tightly. Her voice is only a little choked when she tells him, “Good. I meant everything I said.”
Strong arms wrap around her back, pulling her in tighter, and Chloe buries her face in his neck, sighing shakily as she relaxes. She feels one warm hand cup the back of her head, and Lucifer’s voice is achingly gentle when he murmurs, “I can’t tell you how relieved I am to know that, Chloe.”
One moment. She can have this one moment.
“We need to call this in,” she finally says, pulling away slowly. Lucifer seems reluctant to let her go, carefully helping her stand as he rises, hands lingering on her shoulder, her waist. She glances down at her bloody shirt, the unmarred skin visible through what are clearly bullet holes, and laughs, shaking her head. “Shit, I don't know how I'm going to explain this. I don't know how I'm going to explain you.”
“Well,” Lucifer starts, and Chloe feels a cold knot of fear start to twist in her stomach at the odd tone of his voice. She swallows hard, shaking her head and gently pulling away so she can kneel and pick up her phone.
“I guess I only need to explain you if you'll still be here, though, so maybe not,” she offers, standing back up as she unlocks her phone. A dozen messages and several missed calls stare up at her accusingly, and Chloe bites at her lower lip, thumb hovering over the screen. She gathers herself, taking a deep breath before turning to face Lucifer. “I know it’s a lot to ask--”
“Detective, please,” he interjects, but Chloe shakes her head, determined to say her piece.
She knows she'll regret it if she doesn't.
“I still love you, Lucifer. Stay with me, stay in LA. I can't lose you again.” She holds his gaze as she speaks, gripping her phone like a lifeline as she stares into unfathomable depths. “If there’s still problems with the demons, I’m sure we can figure something out. Stay, please?”
Lucifer stares at her for a long moment, unblinking and utterly still, as beautiful and unknowable as a statue carved from marble. Chloe holds her breath, yearning to reach out and touch but unsure if the action would be welcome, unsure if she is allowed, unsure if he will stay if she does. The moment stretches, then finally snaps when Lucifer’s mouth curls into an honest smile, open and trusting.
Who prays to the devil? Who gets an answer?
“Detective, I’m not going anywhere,” he says, and Chloe hears herself let out something that might be a laugh, might be a sob. She steps back into his space, and Lucifer flexes his hands where they rest at his side. “Chloe, I love you, I’m not leaving again. I choose you.”
“Say it again,” she demand, begs, pleads, and she really doesn't mean to say it, but now that she has Chloe aches to hear those words again. She sways forward, and Lucifer reaches up to cradle her face between his palms, head dipping down until their mouths are scant inches apart.
“I choose you, Chloe Decker,” the devil murmurs like a promise, and like any good deal, Chloe seals it with a kiss.
The sky is painted in pink and gold as the sun sets low over the water, just beginning to dip beyond the horizon, and Chloe pushes her sunglasses up the bridge of her nose as she watches the figures splashing through the waves. Trixie catches her eye and waves, and Chloe smiles broadly, waving back before her daughter returns to the game she's created with her friends.
A taller figure disengages from the group, pressing a kiss to the birthday girl’s head before wading out of the water, and Chloe feels her smile soften into something a little more private before she turns away.
Amenadiel and Maze are bickering good-naturedly about the best way to start their bonfire, Linda watching on fondly with Charlie asleep in her arms. A little further down the beach, Dan is steadying Ella as she sits on his shoulders, fond smile on his face as he listens to her rattle on about angles and lighting, large camera held up to her face.
Damp hands settle on her hips, and Chloe smiles as she thinks about what a difference a year can make.
“Don't you dare--” she starts, but then Lucifer is molding himself against her back, damp ocean clinging to her dress and soaking through. She laughs, squirming as he ducks his head to press kisses to her bare shoulder, and it's too easy to throw an elbow back into his side. “You ass, I just got dry.”
“Detective, you can't expect me to keep my hands to myself, can you?” He murmurs against her skin, mouth stretching into a smile, and she huffs a laugh before elbowing him again, relishing in his slight wince. “Don't worry, darling, I will be perfectly appropriate in front of the children.”
“You are never perfectly appropriate,” she counters, and he hums agreement, loosening his grip on her enough to let her twist around to face him. Chloe loops her hands behind his neck, fingers sliding through salt coated hair at the base of his skull, and she smiles when she catches his gaze.
He still looks at her like she hung all the stars in the sky, and Chloe doesn't know that she'll ever grow used to that kind of love.
She hopes she deserves it, either way.
“What's going on in that clever mind of yours?” Lucifer asks, hands sweeping up her back, and Chloe shakes off her uncertainties, grinning before she presses up onto her toes to catch his mouth in a gentle kiss.
“You,” she murmurs against his lips as she pulls back, gratified and awed by the adoring look sliding across his face. “Just you, and how lucky I am to have you.”
Lucifer blinks in surprise before laughing quietly, shaking his head as he presses her impossibly closer. “I quite think I'm the lucky one here, Chloe.”
“Maybe we both are,” she offers, smiling gently, and Lucifer sighs softly as he leans in to kiss her once more, tasting of the sea and promises and hope.
Who prays to the devil, and gets everything they want?
Chloe doesn't pray anymore. There's little need when her family is finally right where they belong.