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Incentive

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“It’s my Pentecostal Coin. A subway token for the damned, if you will. I was planning on using it to return to Hell, eventually. But, for someone like you…”

Malcolm licked his lips, eyes fixed on the coin with such hunger, such a deep need, that Lucifer felt recoiled from holding it.

“I give you the coin, you don’t shoot me. Deal?” Lucifer didn’t really need the coin anyway. Not when he was mortal, and would end up back down there in a few decades anyway. But something on Malcolm’s face, a mix of skepticism and thoughtfulness, put him even further on edge than before.

“What’s stopping me from killing you and taking that coin anyway?”

Ah. There it was. The “other shoe”, so to speak. Lucifer kept his face neutral, but his mind was racing through his options. He didn’t have his wings, so using his powers was a no-go. Malcolm was too close for him to make a run for it, and even so he was a cop. Lucifer was around the precinct to know that they tended not to miss - the dirty cops especially. It was a twist of irony, probably at his Father’s hands, that the people who can do the most good are the ones who refuse to. In fact, all Lucifer really could do, he supposed, was make sure Malcolm took the deal. And well, he was the Devil. Convincing people was his nature.

“Well, that’s hardly necessary now, is it?” Lucifer pushed his charisma out towards Malcolm, ignoring the recoil in his chest even as he forced his lips into a sultry smirk. “I can offer you so much more than just the coin.”

It worked. Of course. No human had ever turned Lucifer down when he looked at them like that. Except for the Detective, of course. Malcolm, for his part, didn’t go as easily as some, preconceived notions of sexuality digging in its heels. But only for a moment. The gun dipped a little, hand going lax, and Malcolm had now turned his ravenous, transfixed gaze from the coin, to Lucifer.

“What-” Malcolm licked his lips, “What’re you offering?”

“A deal.” Lucifer’s smile slipped away. “You don’t shoot me, and you get the coin. And anything of my body you desire, for the next hour.” Thank Dad he had postponed the gala, it meant no one would be here for a while.

It meant the Detective wouldn’t be here, either.

Lucifer had no illusions of what it was Malcolm would want, but, well, he was the Devil. It wasn’t like there was unfamiliar territory for him, and he doubted Malcolm could ever hold a candle to some of the other men he’d slept with.

This was not important. It was just another deal. Not even a big one - literally, he had made deals of far more importance than this.

Malcolm was human, and he did not so much as hesitate. “Sounds like a deal to me.”

Lucifer twisted his face into a smile, and placed the coin on top of the counter of the penthouse bar, closer to Malcolm’s side than his own. “Deal.”

Malcolm fumbled with the gun for a moment, before placing it on the counter, just past the coin. He brushed his hair back a couple of times, some sort of self-soothing motion, before gesticulating one arm out as the other one crept to the back of his neck.

“I’m straight, you know.”

“Well,” Lucifer shrugged, “So was Oscar Wilde, when I met him.” Seeing Malcolm’s disgusted face, he switched tactics. With any luck, Malcolm was so disinterested that Lucifer wouldn’t have to get into bed with him. Despite common belief, Lucifer didn’t want to sleep with everyone. Especially not someone like Malcolm. Not after everything Malcolm had done to the Detective, or how he just kept looking at Lucifer with that mix of desire and hatred that so many of the angels wore when he fell.

“You know, you could just ask me to play the piano for an hour, or something more tolerable-”

“No. No, I want you.”

Lucifer fell silent, clicking his teeth shut. Well, it had been worth a shot. It looked like the desire won out, after all. For a brief moment, Lucifer wondered if it had been better for Malcolm to have just shot him. But, of course, that was absurd. Lucifer couldn’t afford to go back to Hell. Not when life had just become so interesting. And not when it had become… temporary.

“Very well.” Lucifer began unbuttoning his shirt, as he turned around and walked back towards his bed. “A deal’s a deal, after all.”

He sensed movement before he felt Malcolm’s hand on his arm. “C’mon, Luci - can I call you Luci? - there’s no need to go over there.”

Lucifer turned back around, eyebrow raised. “Well, you can’t expect me to go at it on the floor now, can you? It’s undignified.”

“Well, I’d say that I hate to make you feel undignified” Malcolm said in a sing-song voice, “But it just so happens I don’t.”

Lucifer felt a sinking feeling in his chest. Something must have shown on his face, because Malcolm’s already gigantic grin grew even bigger.

“In fact, I rather like the idea of debasing the Devil. After all, it’s not like you’ll ever get a chance to punish me now, will you?”

Lucifer frowned, “This is part of the deal. I don’t punish actions taken within the-”

“Geez, lighten up, Lucifer!” Malcolm gave his arm a shake. “Don’t get all worked up, it’s just for fun. I know you would never break a deal, now, would you?”

“No.” Lucifer said through gritted teeth.

“Exactly, exactly. I knew I could count on you, man. Now, chop chop, time’s-a-wastin!” Malcolm slapped his arm, before letting go, leaving the shirt sleeve crinkled.

Lucifer bit his tongue to avoid commenting on it. He was sure if he said anything, Malcolm would probably make him rip it to pieces. And that would be a waste of perfectly good Armani. Instead, he merely slipped his suspenders off from his shoulders, carefully taking off his shirt and casting it over the top of the counter as well.

Malcolm in turn eagerly pulled off his black jacket, then the flannel underneath, tossing both haphazardly over Lucifer’s own shirt. Lucifer felt his eye twitch, even as his hands kept moving to smoothly unknot and pull away his bowtie.

This was fine. He was the Devil. This was irrelevant to him, nothing more than a few moments to endure. It would be fine. It was fine. It was…

Malcolm was now much closer to him than before, crossing the distance between them with a quick step. His breath smelled like the sugary donuts from the precinct, something that Lucifer had come to enjoy as a reminder of going to the LAPD and working with the Detective. Now, it seemed sickly sweet, almost revolting. Malcolm lifted a hand, placing it against Lucifer’s face.

“Huh, guess I thought you’d be hotter.” Malcolm said with a shrug.

Any words Lucifer would have replied with were swallowed in Malcolm’s lips colliding with his own.

Lucifer was used to eager romantic partners - the Brittanies, Raj, Steve from accounting and Steve the EMT - but he controlled those situations. He knew what he wanted, he knew what they wanted, and he knew what to do. Here, he was standing in the middle of the foyer with Malcolm trying to force his tongue down his throat.

Lucifer complied, parting his lips and allowing Malcolm to continue his pursuits. He closed his eyes, trying to convince himself he could enjoy this. He was the Devil. He could find pleasure in anything, right? But Lucifer didn’t want this, try as he might to pretend otherwise.

Not that it mattered. Lucifer had made a deal, and he wasn’t going to break it over Malcolm. Lucifer always chased after his own desires. Was it too much to have him stop and deny it, just for this short time? What was an hour in the grand scheme of his eons of existence?

Lucifer felt one of Malcolm’s hands slide from where it was against his face to wrap into his hair, tugging hard. It didn’t hurt, of course, but it would ruin his hairdo.

Malcolm moved his other hand to Lucifer’s shoulder, giving a slight shove down. He took the hint, dropping to his knees with as much gracefulness as he could muster. Lucifer hated kneeling, hated it on a visceral level. Being looked down upon - literally - made his skin crawl, reminded him too much of how the entire world, entire universe saw him. As beneath them.

Malcolm was now fumbling with his belt. “How’re you even supposed to do this with a dude? Man, I’m beginning to wish I had taken Danny-boy before when I had the chance.”

Lucifer grimaced, “Well, it doesn’t really matter with gender-”

“Of course you’d say that.” Malcolm shot back, even as he pulled off his belt and threw it off to the side. “You’re evil incarnate. I bet you’re making me do all these things, aren’t you? Making me want you.”

“No!” Lucifer’s eyes flashed red, “I’m not making you do anything! I don’t want this.”

“Oh. You don’t?” Malcolm paused, seemingly disappointed.

“Not particularly, no. I’m not really in the mood.” Lucifer began to untense slightly, relieved. However, his cautious optimism was quickly stamped back into the Italian marble flooring.

“Well, that’s a shame. ‘Cause I am.” Malcolm shrugged. “Guess we can’t all get what we want now then, can we?”

“I suppose not.”

“Now, I don’t - well, I do, actually - know about you, but I think it’s time we start using that mouth for something other than talking, yeah?”

One of Lucifer’s many talents was sword swallowing. He’d learned it from a guy who’d choked to death on one and wound up in Hell. For a mostly unrelated reason. He also knew his way around a dick. It wasn’t that difficult to understand, especially not when there were so many fun picture books detailing it for him to study. He’d gotten off plenty of men, and a few women, with penises, so it wasn’t like it was unfamiliar.

In a way, this was a cold comfort. Lucifer was an expert in eliciting pleasure, he could get this done and over with quickly enough. Then, Malcolm would leave and he could get ready for the Gala. He was pretty sure the Detective was still upset with him over his whole “doing good” bit, and the sooner this whole night was over the sooner it could all go back to normal. They could go back to normal.

Malcolm, to his begrudged credit, didn’t have much to be ashamed of. It, obviously, wasn’t nearly as nice as Lucifer’s, but then few, if any, were.

Lucifer wrapped his lips around the head, giving a brief flick of his tongue to the tip, before promptly deepthroating the entire thing.

Malcolm cursed, one hand flashing out to grab the counter for balance, while the other dug back into Lucifer’s hair. There was no way he was getting out of this without massive bedhead, yet another way Malcolm was screwing him.

Lucifer worked Malcolm’s dick like it was his job, making sure to hit every single point every single time he bobbed his head. The better he did, the sooner it would be a happy ending, right? And while Malcolm would still have quite a bit of time with Lucifer, it’s not like he’d be able to do anything too severe.

All too soon, thankfully, Lucifer could tell an orgasm was building. Malcolm’s breathing was getting more sporadic, his pulse was racing, and the hand buried in Lucifer’s hair kept flexing.

Then, that hand pulled back, pushing Lucifer off of Malcolm, making him sit back on his heels. Malcolm ran a shaky hand over his face. “Damn, man, I can see why you’re so arrogant now. You’d make a great prostitute.”

“Thank you.” Lucifer quipped, deftly wiping the spit off his face as Malcolm closed his eyes again. “You don’t want me to finish you off?”

“Oh, I do, and I will.” Malcolm grinned. “I was just going to let you blow me, but what would it say about me if I was done and we still had, what, 40 minutes to spare?”

Lucifer’s face fell, and, this time, Malcolm noticed.

“Oh, don’t look at me like that. You promised me the hour, remember? It would be a true tragedy for you to go back on it now. Your word is your bond, isn’t it?”

Lucifer smoothed his face into as much of a neutral expression as he could manage.

“Thank you! Man, show a little respect to the Devil and see what happens.” Malcolm slapped Lucifer’s face lightly. “Won’t make that mistake again, am I right?”

He didn’t bother waiting for Lucifer to respond. “Well, time for you to lose the pants, too. It’s not the Middle Ages anymore, show some skin!”

Lucifer got to his feet, shucking off his pants, shoes, and socks, placing them carefully off to the side.

Lucifer froze as he heard the tell-tale clink of handcuffs. He turned, and Malcolm shrugged at his expression. “I’d feel more comfortable tapping that ass if I knew you wouldn’t punch my face in.”

“That’s not necessary.” Lucifer said tightly. “I won’t fight. And those won’t hold me.”

“Well, you called my bluff. Really, I just want to see you helpless and at my whim. And you’ll do it, too. We made a deal. Your body. Don’t make me ask again.”

Lucifer sighed, before holding out his wrists, crossed over each other.

“Always happy to have a team player!” Malcolm grinned, before pointing to the foot railing at the base of the bar, raised a few inches off of the ground. “Go ahead and slap your arms around that, would ya?”

Lucifer’s blood boiled as he knelt down on the floor on his hands and knees, as Malcolm came up behind him and fastened the cuffs around his wrists, one at a time. Just a little bit too tight, of course. Lucifer was never one to shy away from a little kink in his sex - he had invented half the stuff people did, anyway, but it felt decidedly un-fun coming from Malcolm.

“Alright, now, I want you to look at me as I make you mine, m’kay? And I don’t need to keep staring at those ugly-ass scars you got. So be a dear and flip around, would you?”

Lucifer awkwardly slid so that he was on his back, arms stretched uncomfortably over his head, and face-to-face with Malcolm.

“There we go. Now, I’m sure you’ve got pounds and pounds of lube lying around here, but frankly I don’t really care about all that. I mean, there’s so many types, and it’s just so much effort. So, let’s just get this party started like this, yeah? You okay with that?”

“Do you care?” Lucifer asked carefully, trying to maintain his dignity even as he was lying, chained up and naked on the floor of his penthouse at the mercy of some human.

“Nope.”

Then, Malcolm parted Lucifer’s unresisting legs, scooting between them. He frowned down at Lucifer’s extremely uninterested member.

“So much for being into guys too.” He snorted, “You can’t even get it up.”

“On the contrary, it’s not men I find disgusting, but you specifically.” Lucifer replied, not bothering to hide the revulsion in his voice.

Malcolm’s hand whipped across his face, sending a slight jolt of discomfort through Lucifer’s system. It didn’t hurt nearly as much as the Detective’s had in the elevator, though, and Lucifer made a note to let her know how incredibly weak-muscled Malcolm was. Still, it was enough force to send his head to the side, before it grabbed his hair, forcing him to look back at Malcolm’s face.

“Now, keep your eyes open and on me. I want to see this.” Malcolm instructed.

Then, without warning, Malcolm pushed his way into Lucifer, coming to a stop only when there was no further to go.

Lucifer hissed through clenched teeth. Once again, not painful, but definitely not something to do when he wasn’t looking forward to it. It felt wrong for Malcolm to be doing this, not even as part of a deal. He had never mixed sex and deals before quite like this, and he decided in that moment that he would never do so again.

Lucifer didn’t want this.

Malcolm was doing all of this purposefully, of course. Every single action he had taken was with the intention of making Lucifer seem less to him, a way of taking control from Lucifer in an attempt to make up for Hell. In a way, this was Lucifer’s punishment, in Malcolm’s eyes, for Hell.

Humans never understood that he had never wanted Hell in the first place. That he didn’t want suffering. Or at least, he hadn’t at first. At this point, it was getting harder and harder to tell what he wanted apart from what all the other angels wanted of him.

As Malcolm began his pace, moving into and out of Lucifer, hands gripping each of his thighs, Lucifer found his thoughts drifting away from this unhappy place, to something, anything, that could distract him, that could bring him comfort. The Detective was still working on the case with Tyler Dunley, and Lucifer was sure she would catch the bad guy. She always did. It was too bad Lucifer couldn’t be there to help her investigate, right now.

A part of Lucifer wished the Detective was here right now. She wouldn’t care about deals, she would help him. But another part of him was absolutely relieved. She shouldn’t see him like this. He wanted her respect, not her pity.

Malcolm was still above him, muttering things that Lucifer only half-heard about sex, and “damn if only I had known”, and so many other things that all muddled together into mush in Lucifer’s ears. What Lucifer did notice, however, was that Malcolm was beginning to lose control of his rhythm, beginning to falter and stutter his movements.

When Malcolm did come, it was when he was hilt-deep in Lucifer’s body, one hand dropping from Lucifer’s thighs to press against his chest for support.

“Got to admit,” Malcolm said after a few breaths, “Not as good as the BJ. But the way this felt when I was moving? You should be proud.” He slapped Lucifer’s thigh, shooting him a grin.

It felt like this had been going on forever, Lucifer having, at some point, just shut down all of his brain except for the part that thought about the Detective. Still, when Lucifer turned his head to check the clock, it had only been 46 minutes since their deal was struck.

“Fourteen more minutes, huh?” Malcolm looked back at Lucifer, thoughtful. “What am I supposed to do with you?”

“You can punch out early, you know.”

Malcolm waved his hand dismissively. “Where’s the fun in that? I’m the first human to get to do whatever they want with you, I’m not going to let a single second go to waste.” After a moment or two, he snapped his fingers. “I know! Tell me what Chloe’s doing with Palmetto.”

Lucifer shook his head, voice laced with ice. “I promised you my body, not my thoughts. They’re off limits.”

“Mkay, fair. Not going to argue with that. Nope.” Malcolm nodded. “So, uh, do you got wings?”

“Cut them off.”

“Oh, damn. I would’ve loved to fuck with them.” Malcolm sighed, disappointed. “Oh, you know what?” Lucifer craned his neck as Malcolm walked out of sight, only to have him reappear in a few moments, bottle of liquor in hand. It was top shelf - well, everything up here was, but it was a fine brandy just the same.

“You mind if I have a drink?”

“Not particularly.”

“Good man. Or, Devil, I suppose.”

Malcolm sat, straddled, across Lucifer’s stomach, legs on either side. “Gotta admit, Lucifer, you’d make a great sofa, if the whole Devil thing doesn’t work out.”

“Is this generally what you do to your furniture?” Lucifer asked, eyebrow raised.

Malcolm chuckled. “Very funny. See, I knew I liked you.” He poured a glass for himself, then capped the bottle, screwing it tight. “I also know that you wouldn’t go running to the police when our time together runs out.”

“We made a deal, Malcolm. I don’t punish people for anything done within those parameters.”

“That’s what I thought.” Malcolm slid back so he was between Lucifer’s legs again, bottle in hand. “But, see, I just want to make sure you understand that I wouldn’t take to kindly to a… violation,” Lucifer bit his tongue as Malcolm shoved it into where he had vacated not too long ago. Malcolm kept talking smoothly, as if he hadn’t just- just wasted a perfectly good bottle of brandy, that is. “Of those parameters. I would be so hurt by your actions.” Malcolm emphasized every few words with a twist. “I don’t think you understand how it would just negatively impact me on such a personal level. Do you understand me?”

Lucifer didn’t trust himself to speak, so he just gave a short nod.

Malcolm kept toying with Lucifer for the remaining time, pulling out the bottle just to shove it back in, relishing in the way Lucifer’s mask would sometimes slip, body automatically flinching or wincing at Malcolm’s ministrations.

Finally, Malcolm stopped, getting to his feet to stand over Lucifer like he was some trophy hunt. “Well, looks like our time is just about up, in mmm 23 seconds. So, I’m going to take that coin and leave, now. You stay here.”

Lucifer didn’t speak, eyes merely glued to the clock, as they had been for the past thirteen minutes and 35- no 37 seconds, now.

Malcolm grabbed his clothes, gun, and the Pentecostal coin, before ducking into the elevator, door sliding shut on his smug face, and parting words. “I had fun, Lucifer! We should do it again, sometime!”

Chapter Text

Tick.

Only another few seconds to go.

Tick.

Malcolm had told him to ‘stay’, and Lucifer didn’t dare risk breaking the deal now.

Tick.

Not after he endured all of this.

Tick.

The second hand clicked to a new minute.

Lucifer sat up, ripping the handcuffs off with ease. With a groan, he felt between his legs, grabbing the base of the brandy bottle and yanking it out, a little harsher than was really necessary, or ideal.

Anything to get it out. Now.

Lucifer sat there, motionless, trying to breathe. The brandy was sloshing inside the bottle from how hard his hands were shaking. He looked down at it, feeling nauseous. With a snarl, he threw the bottle through the balcony window, letting it crash into Dad knows what.

Oh, it was at a time like this Lucifer wished he hadn’t fallen, if only so his Father could have smote Malcolm where he stood. Ha. As if his Father would ever hurt a human for the sake of Lucifer. It would be comical, if it wasn’t so humiliating.

Lucifer had thought he didn’t suffer from humility - a human concept. Yet, here he was, embarrassed and mortified and, and, and ashamed. He felt like he wanted to rip his own skin off. He felt… disgusting. It was a strange feeling, and one that he could not seem to will himself to stop.

Lucifer staggered to his feet, using the bar counter to keep his balance, tasting blood on his tongue from where he’d bitten down on it. As he surveyed the room, he was surprised to find how much of it looked… well, normal. Aside from his clothes being all around, which honestly wasn’t that unusual anyway, the penthouse looked just like it always did.

It was jarring, seeing that normalcy. As if nothing had even happened.

Well, nothing had happened, really. A deal that didn’t really go in his favor, no biggie. A night of sex that wasn’t fun for him? That was certainly a first, but then, considering how many stories women told him, he had certainly been in the minority before.

Lucifer had never been uncomfortable with his nakedness - that was a human quality picked up from the whole Temptation thing. Yet, he found himself relieved at the feel of cloth against his legs and his back as he practically threw his clothes back onto himself. It tamped down on that feeling of shame, if only a little. He glanced down to do up his buttons, and-

His fingers were shaking.

Lucifer flexed them, willing them to stop. They didn’t. With a groan, he strode behind the bar, grabbing a bottle of brandy- no, not that. Lucifer wasn't sure he'd be able to drink it anytime soon. He instead picked up a bottle of whiskey and poured himself a glass. Then a second, and a third, until he was practically drinking out of the bottle.

It didn’t fix the shaking, but he could pretend that it did. Maybe a shower would help, but the idea of being naked again bothered him. He knew he should, to get rid of evidence, but the thought of having to deal with it now was just too much. So, he went back to drinking.

The sound of the elevator dinging made Lucifer drop his glass. It shattered onto the floor, and his heart rate spiked. Malcolm couldn’t be-

“Lucifer?” It was Chloe. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.”

Lucifer stiffened, before forcing a grin to his face. “Detective! Oh, it’s fine.” He waved his hand flippantly, “Got plenty more. Care for a drink?”

Chloe was looking at him strangely. Lucifer was suddenly, immensely paranoid that she knew.

Not that anything had happened. It was just a deal. But… what if she thought he had betrayed her? It’s not like she would understand the importance of him keeping his word, even though he told her why nearly every day. She knew that he slept around - hell, the entire city knew it. She wouldn’t believe him, especially not with Malcolm. She’d think it was just Lucifer not taking anything seriously, just screwing around - literally - and screwing her over, too, with Palmetto.

The fact that the thought of Chloe knowing made Lucifer’s strange feeling of shame come back in full force had nothing to do with it.

“No, I’m on the clock.” Chloe replied automatically. “Look, Lucifer, I came here to talk about what I said earlier… I didn’t mean to make it seem like what you’re doing isn’t good. I just think that, well,” She hesitated, “You already do so much good for people, there’s no reason for you to feel like you have to do more to prove yourself.”

Lucifer blinked, confused. Oh, right. The little goodness shtick he’d been trying. “Don’t worry, Detective, I’m quite done with all of that. No more Saint Lucifer here, back to my Devilish ways.”

“Right. That’s… good.” Chloe stepped closer to him, the bar the only barrier between them, and Lucifer had to resist the urge to move back. “I already arrested the wife for the murder. She’d been embezzling money from the foundation, and Tyler found out. So, the gala can be cancelled, now. If you want.”

“Thank goodness.” Lucifer sighed. “Consider it done and over. I'll let Maze know.” He sent a quick text, and, when he looked up, Chloe was frowning at him.

Chloe’s eyes narrowed. “You, turning down a chance at partying? Why?”

“Oh, you know,” Lucifer shrugged, “Just not really feeling it.”

Lucifer did, however, begin to feel something akin to pain in his lower abdomen. It was strange - he hadn’t hurt before, but now there was a steady, aching discomfort that was beginning to make itself known. He poured a drink into a new glass, decidedly ignoring any sort of feeling whatsoever, both the physical pain, and the shame that wouldn’t stop nagging at his brain.

“No, I don’t know.” Chloe frowned. “Look, Lucifer, I wasn’t going to bring this up because I trust you, but… I saw Malcolm. Leaving the club.”

Lucifer nearly dropped the glass again, instead placing it onto the bar with a slight clatter. His voice came out slightly shaky. “And?”

“I just want to know what happened.”

“Nothing that concerns you!”

“First you act like a socialite, now you’re talking with Malcolm? You’re supposed to be my partner. God, Lucifer, what’s gotten into you?”

Lucifer smiled humorlessly. “A bottle of brandy, apparently.”

“Lucifer, I’m being serious. I’m worried that…” She hesitated, “That you…”

“Well spit it out, Detective. We haven’t got all day.” Lucifer shot out, hint of venom in his voice that he couldn’t quite tamp down. He was tired, and his body hurt, and he wanted to stop thinking about Malcolm, which was becoming increasingly difficult as Chloe kept bringing him up.

Chloe’s face set into a mix of determination and resignation. She knew what she was going to do, and she probably already decided what the outcome would be. It was the same face she wore when his shipment went missing, and she was sure he was smuggling.

“Lucifer, did you make a deal with Malcolm?”

Lucifer tried not to react, even as he felt a sudden wave of what suspiciously felt like nausea. “I did.”

“What was it for?”

“Devil-patient confidentiality, I’m afraid. Telling you would be improper.” Lucifer shrugged, not daring to pick up the glass, lest it fall through his unsteady fingers.

“You’ve never withheld information before in your life. If anything, you overshare.” Her voice rose slightly. “What are you hiding?”

Lucifer scoffed. It sounded false, even to his ears. “I’m not hiding, I-”

“Okay, that’s it.” The Detective interrupted. “I thought all of your weird behavior was about what I said - about trying to find a purpose. But that wasn’t it, was it? It had something to do with Malcolm. You made a deal with him.” She paused, then said, quieter, “It was about Palmetto, wasn’t it? You’re helping him cover it up, aren’t you.” It wasn’t really phrased as a question.

Lucifer drew back from her, eyes wide, hurt coloring his voice. “It wasn’t that.” She couldn’t think that he would ever, ever - “I’d never allow him to hurt you, Detective. I would never do that to you.”

“Then what did you do, Lucifer?” She sounded so upset, so confused. So lost.

Clarity would only make her more upset. Sometimes, it was better to be kept in the dark. Lucifer opened his mouth to speak, but found he couldn’t. After a few moments of silence, she threw her hands up into the air, letting them fall onto the counter with a smack.

“Dammit, Lucifer!”

Lucifer flinched.

He didn’t mean to do that, tried to compensate for the automatic reaction by shifting it into him turning to push the whiskey bottle further from the edge of the bar. That worked out about as well as could be expected, standing next to a cop whose job was to pick up human reactions. Not that he was human, but still.

“Lucifer…” Chloe’s voice changed, dropped from anger to a careful, polished concern. It wasn’t quite the “victim voice”, but it was damn close. “What happened?”

Lucifer shifted his eyes off of her face. He didn’t want to hide the truth from her, but he couldn’t… he couldn’t… telling her was not an option. “We made a deal. I… over-anticipated my own capabilities, is all.”

That was seeming to become more and more true, as Lucifer found himself leaning slightly against the counter, legs beginning to weaken under him. It was possible that his newfound mortality had a delayed response. Or shock? He knew that was something humans experienced, since Steve the EMT had kept trying to shove hideously neon blankets onto him after Chloe shot him.

“What does that mean?”

“I needed something from him, so we negotiated. I agreed to the terms, so, no harm no foul.” Lucifer shrugged, then automatically added, “Technically.”

“Lucifer,” Now Chloe sounded sad, and he immediately decided that that was far worse than the anger. “You flinched. You were afraid of me. Did he hurt you, did he threaten you, did he do something you didn’t agree to?”

She was edging too close to the truth, now, but Lucifer couldn’t stop her. He couldn’t lie or refuse to answer, only try to circumvent as long as possible. Merely trying to delay the inevitable until she gave up, frustrated. Please, Dad, let her give up. Frustration was not nearly so awful as the undoubtable anger she would feel at his actions.

“No, no, it was all within the agreed parameters. If it bothered me that much, I wouldn’t have agreed to… it, beforehand.”

Chloe was quieter now. He could practically see the cogs turning in her mind. He didn’t want her to make him tell her. He would, of course, but he didn’t want to. It didn’t really matter what he wanted, though, right? What mattered was everyone else’s desires.

“I… If you were to have the deal now, knowing everything, would you still do it?”

“No.”

Lucifer spoke before he even realized it, voice full of such a strong vehemence it threw even himself off guard. Chloe blinked at him, before her face suddenly changed to something that looked suspiciously like understanding.

“Lucifer…” Now it was the full victim voice. “You can tell me.”

“If I don’t want to, will you try and make me?” Lucifer had meant it to sound sarcastic, but it came out vulnerable, broken. He was truly asking her if she would respect his desires. The implications were not lost on him, and he doubted they’d be lost on her, either.

“Of course not.” Chloe said firmly, without hesitation. “I’d never force you to do anything.”

“Oh.” Chloe would never do that, she was sweet and kind and good. Lucifer felt ashamed that he would have even questioned her, even as he knew that he had to, for his own sake. He could not say anything, and she would not push him. She would let it drop, as long as he wanted.

Lucifer could not tell her anything, and she would be okay with it.

But she was good. She deserved to know, because she didn’t demand to know.

“The deal had to do with… me.” Lucifer said slowly, eyes focusing on the clock, watching it tick by. He could feel Chloe’s eyes on him.

“In exchange for something I wanted, I gave him a coin of mine and,” Lucifer moved one hand up and down his body, quirking up his lips to a pantomime of a smirk, “All of this.” His voice dropped off, quietly adding, “And he took it.”

“Lucifer…” Chloe choked out, horrified.

“It’s fine, Detective. I did consent, technically, when I agreed to the conditions.” Lucifer shrugged. “And, even if I hadn’t, it doesn’t matter. Part of the deal means I don’t punish based on actions taken within the parameters of the deal.”

Chloe was silent. Lucifer faced her, but couldn’t bear to look her in the eye, instead focusing to a spot just to the left of her. Her face was set hard.

“Are… are you mad?” His voice was so damn vulnerable.

“Yeah. Yeah, you’re right I am.” Her face was set hard, voice brimming with barely contained rage.

Lucifer winced away from her instinctively, feeling a mix of fear and acceptance. Chloe had every right to be upset at him, he had made her angry. “Alright. Just… get it over with, would you? Punish me and be done with it.”

“Punish- what? What?” Chloe sputtered, thrown off. “Lucifer, no, I’m not mad at you, I’m mad at Malcolm! He… he hurt you, he raped you!” She kept going as Lucifer opened his mouth to protest. “And, I don’t care if you said you consented. People don’t flinch away from their partner after a fun night out. That’s not consent.”

Lucifer slowly dragged his eyes to hers. She looked more than upset, eyes red and just past the brink of crying, hands twisting in front of her. Lucifer had been right. Telling her would make her feel worse. He was making her cry.

“I’m sorry, Detective.” Lucifer said quietly, “I didn’t want to hurt you.”

She shook her head, chuckling wetly. “Lucifer, it’s not your fault. You haven’t hurt me.” Her voice turned cold. “But Malcolm hurt you. I’m going to throw his ass in jail so fast-”

“I can’t allow that.” Lucifer interrupted. “Like I said, no punishment for actions taken within-”

“The confines of the deal, yeah, I heard you.” Chloe frowned, “But this isn’t part of a deal, it’s you… you suffering!”

“I’m fine, Detective. Really. Didn’t even hurt.” That wasn’t entirely true, anymore. Not as the aches kept registering. He really should sit down or something, before he fell. That would not be very helpful in calming down the Detective.

She reached out, but his body tensed and she dropped her arm to her side.

“Lucifer…”

“Chloe, please. I don’t-” Lucifer’s voice broke. “I don’t want to talk about it. Please, just… leave Malcolm alone. I don’t want to break the deal. Not now. Not after it’s all… happened. It won’t fix anything, not anymore.”

Chloe sighed, but didn't push it. “Technically, no case can be filed if the victim doesn’t want to press charges. So, I guess this never happened.” She frowned, “But, I think that we should do a kit, just in case you change your mind later on.”

“I won’t.”

“Are you sure? I really think that-”

“Yes. I’m positive.”

“Okay. Okay, you don’t have to.” Chloe’s voice was back to being sad. That, alone, nearly made Lucifer change his mind and offer her anything she wanted. Nearly. If she asked again, he wasn’t sure he’d be able to say no.

“I’m here for you. You know that, right?”

Lucifer didn’t respond, but instead reached one hand out, which had thankfully stopped trembling like a goddamn leaf, and patted Chloe on the shoulder. She reached a hand up, resting hers on top of his.

They stood that way for a few moments, before Lucifer spoke again. “You should go, Chloe. I do have evidence to remove, after all.”

She shook her head sadly. “I don’t care if you don’t want to do a kit. I’m not going to leave you alone up here.”

“Chloe…”

“I’m not going to let you shut everyone away and hide, not when you could be hurt. It’s not safe.”

“I’m hardly going to keel over and die, Detective.” He was back to referring to her by her title, trying to put back up the distance between them.

“I know. But you’re my partner. It’s my job to worry about you. Please, let me stay here for you.”

Lucifer blinked at her, before nodding once. “Alright, Detective, by all means. You’re always welcome in my home, after all.”

“Thank you, Lucifer.”

Lucifer was surprised by how grateful she sounded, as if he was doing her some honor by not kicking her out. He knew she would leave, too, if he asked her to. It was for that reason, that he didn’t mind her staying. Well, that and the fact that she somehow seemed capable of cutting through his walls to get to the heart of… well, everything.

“Fair warning, if you’re looking for a show, you won’t get much of one.” Lucifer said, forcing himself to sidle beyond the bar, which had quickly become his safe spot. His options were to go past either Chloe or where… well, Lucifer glanced down at the floor for just a second too long, before looking away.

If Chloe saw him looking, she tactfully pretended not to notice. Instead, she remained still as Lucifer walked past her, body practically pressed against the counter to make herself look as non-threatening as possible. He would feel grateful, except all he could feel was the sense of rising anxiety as he walked out from behind the protective boundary of the bar into the open.

Normally, Lucifer loved his penthouse’s setup. Obviously, since he had had it designed that way. But now, with his nerves on edge, it felt exposing, left him vulnerable to attack. He had a newfound appreciation for Chloe’s offer to stay. He knew that, left to his own devices, he would probably stand behind that bar until someone came and dragged him out from it.

Which, considering his infamous ability to rebel, meant that wouldn’t have been happening anytime soon.

Lucifer made haste across the room, pausing just before turning the corner out of the main foyer. “Oh, help yourself to a drink. I don’t know when -” He paused, “Just, have a drink or something. And, Detective, thank you. For… for staying.”

“Yeah, no problem. I’m here for you, Lucifer.”

He nodded once, uncomfortable at her genuineness, before ducking out of her vision down the hallway. Being alone should have made him feel more relaxed, but instead, her absence just made him more tense.

Lucifer wasn’t sure if he was relieved, or disheartened, that Chloe didn’t follow after him. Relief that she was respecting his requests, but strangely upset that she wasn’t there all the same, conflicted in his mind.

Of course, Lucifer would never ask her to follow him. He wasn’t weak, and this wasn’t something he wanted her to see.

Chloe was good.

And Lucifer was decidedly not.

Chapter Text

Chloe remained still, elbows resting on the bar as Lucifer vanished from her sight. The sound of the shower turning on seemed to jolt her into action, snapping her back into Detective mode.

She immediately stood up straight, gaze sweeping across the room, taking stock of the penthouse. The bar was her first priority - Lucifer had been thrown off guard by something, choosing to approach her rather than go around the side. Based on Lucifer’s avoidance tactics, there was no way he would do that naturally. Lucifer didn’t want physical contact, so why would he have risked it?

There was something wrong with that side of the bar. She walked towards it, inspecting the counter as she did. It was painfully normal, which by Lucifer's standards meant pristine and absurdly expensive. She peered over the side of it, not really expecting much. After all, Lucifer had been standing back there just fine, so it was doubtful that anything had happened there.

As she had anticipated, it was completely fine, racks of expensive alcohol behind it, and fancy glasses and tumblers underneath the countertop. There were also a few knives hidden away in various spots, but Chloe recognized them as Maze’s, deciding to not touch them. With a sigh, Chloe leaned back, crouching and checking the frontboard of the bar as well, slowly working her way down. No scratches or gouges, not even a suspicious stain or two. Chloe looked lower still, and her eyebrows furrowed.

The footrest of the bar was bent, a part of it warping outwards. It was metal, probably steel, and definitely solid. Tucked against the underneath of the bar, completely unnoticeable if not for her current angle, was a broken pair of handcuffs, snapped around the middle. Chloe recognized them instantly as department-issue.

Chloe sat back on her heels, fingers rubbing against her temple. She could already feel a headache forming. She was worried sick about Lucifer - as much as he tried to convey that he wasn’t bothered by it, Chloe knew better. And, even though he said he wasn’t going to press charges, and was in fact destroying all evidence as she sat here, she refused to let this slide.

If it truly hadn’t been important, he wouldn’t have tried to avoid telling her.

Lucifer may not believe in exacting punishment for Malcolm’s actions, but Chloe was not Lucifer. And she had no such qualms.

Chloe felt nauseous. Lucifer was a bit of an ass sometimes, but he tried to do the right thing, and he was so clearly hurting and alone right now. He had been, she knew, far before Malcolm. But now, he was her partner. And she wouldn’t let him suffer alone. Chloe sat there for how long, she wasn't entirely sure, trying to figure out what she was supposed to do now.

She needed a moment to just breathe.

Chloe walked over to the balcony, hoping that the fresh air would clear her head and help give her a moment to relax. The sound of the shower running faded away as she crossed further away from it, towards the balcony.

As she walked towards the closed windowed door, however, she felt a small breeze against her face. She turned her head, noticing for the first time the other windows.

One of the balcony windows was broken outwards, partially shattered with cracks emanating from a central point. Something had been thrown through it, or perhaps it had been punched. She frowned, aborting her plan to exit in favor of inspecting this new piece of data.

“What in the world…” She muttered, reaching out to trace her fingers around the gap. She couldn’t see anything beyond it, the night sky too dark to light up anything outside. She decided that she would go outside, check around to see if whatever had been thrown, if anything, was still intact, although she doubted it.

“Detective?”

Chloe gasped aloud, fingers slicing down the jagged edge of glass as she pulled back. She turned around to see Lucifer staring at her, eyes wide. He looked much less of a mess than before, fully dressed in yet another suit. What was unusual was his hair, not dripping but still damp, and completely unmanaged.

Lucifer took a step towards Chloe, asking, “What are you- Detective, your hand!” His voice instantly switching from guarded fear to visceral concern. His eyes, if possible, grew even wider, and he crossed the room in a few long strides, bending down slightly to lift up Chloe’s hand in his own, inspecting the thin lines of blood that etched horizontally across her fingers.

“Sit down, Detective, I’ll get the first-aid kit.” Lucifer crossed past the bent-metal portion of the bar without so much as a glance, leaning over the counter and rummaging around, before pulling out a pristine box and walking back across to her. Any trace of fear in his voice or posturing was gone, vanished away in his worry for her well-being.

It was painfully sweet, Lucifer seemingly pushing aside all of his feelings and thoughts, without hesitation, for her sake.

Lucifer was almost acting like normal, like this. Except Chloe also knew that Lucifer was definitely focusing on her on purpose, but she decided not to push it. Maybe this small reprieve from his own mind would be enough to help him?

Chloe wasn’t unfamiliar with rape victims, even though she worked homocide. There were so many, it was impossible not to meet or work with them. In fact, she knew of a couple coworkers in the office who’d been sexually assaulted at some point or another. Each of them handled it differently, some notably better than others, but Lucifer was, well… Lucifer. He didn’t deal with things like the average person would, and she was afraid that he would end up locking it away in his head.

He had already suffered enough. She felt sudden pressure on her hand, and looked down at it, startled.

Lucifer was carefully cleaning each of the cuts with antibacterial wipes, one hand holding hers still. He didn't even seem to realize, or care, that he was making contact.

“The only kind of alcohol you don’t drink, right?” Chloe asked lightly, pressing a smile to her face.

Lucifer looked up at her, body seemingly untensed for the first time since, well, since before she got here. He wasn’t smiling, but he looked amused, setting them aside and pulling out some bandaids.

“You say that like I haven’t tried, Detective.” Lucifer winked, carefully wrapping each of her fingers.

Chloe bent her fingers, testing. They were applied perfectly, secure without being on the wrong side of tight.

“Kiss to make it better?” Lucifer asked, raising an eyebrow.

Chloe laughed, holding out her hand, palm down, dramatically saying, “Dearest Lucifer, it would bring me no greater honor.”

Lucifer’s face broke into a smile, soft and almost bashful, taking her hand into his own with equal flair. “As you wish, Detective.”

He raised her hand, before pausing, her hand mere inches from his lips, face falling slightly.

“You… don’t mind that I’m… after all of this…”

“I don’t care about any of that.” Chloe said firmly, squeezing Lucifer’s hand in her own, slightly bandaged, one. “What Malcolm did is on him, not you.”

“But…” Lucifer was wavering, before asking, brokenly, “Do you forgive me?”

“Forgive you?” Chloe asked carefully. “For what?”

“I betrayed you, Detective." He said it with such authority and conviction that, if Chloe didn't know better, would have fooled her. At least, it would have until Lucifer kept talking. "I made a deal with Malcolm, who I know you don’t trust. I’m hurting you know, both with this knowledge and,” His downcast expression only saddened more as he looked at her hand, “now with this.”

“This isn’t your fault, Lucifer. You’re not to blame for any of this! Malcolm is. You didn’t do anything wrong, you did what you could with the opportunities you had at the time. It hurts me that you’re hurting, yes, but not because of you. Never because of you.” Her voice was desperate for Lucifer to just understand, even though she also knew that, at least for now, he would likely not be convinced. But she would still have to try.

“But your hand, Detective.” Lucifer replied stubbornly, seemingly determined to convince her that he was evil. “I broke that window, and I startled you. I keep hurting the people around me and I can’t- I can’t-” His face contorted, and he dropped Chloe’s hand, standing up and starting to turn away.

“Lucifer, wait!” Chloe called, hand automatically reaching out and catching Lucifer’s bicep.

Lucifer went rigid, head whipping around impossibly fast to fix Chloe with wide, fearful eyes. Any trace of guilt or upset vanished in the sudden wave of absolute fear that seemed to drench through him.

Chloe let go. “I’m, I’m so, so sorry, Lucifer. I didn’t mean to scare you-”

Lucifer swallowed hard, then laughed, sharp and cold, brushing off his jacket where she had touched it. “Detective, I am the Devil. You are hardly something to fear.” His eyes betrayed him, as did his shaking hands.

Chloe blinked, taking half a step back. She knew he was doing this on purpose, tried not to take it personally, but a trace of hurt still colored her words as she spoke. “I’m not going to let you pull away from me, from the world.”

Lucifer smiled dangerously. Even though Chloe knew it was him trying to push her away, it was unsettling, almost twisted somehow.

“Tell me, Detective. Do you really think you can stop me?”

Chapter Text

Chloe knew. This was the result Lucifer wanted most of all to not happen. But now it had, and Lucifer was… well, he was coping in his own way.

The fact that “coping” involved avoiding civilization like the plague was completely coincidental. The world, with Chloe and Malcolm, was out there, and Lucifer was secure here. In his penthouse, where even Maze dared not to step - not after he told her not to (and possibly threw some bottles of liquor at her head). Thankfully she had backed off, because he wasn’t looking forward to getting eviscerated.

Lucifer could hide up here as long as he wanted, the two weeks he’d been up here that was quickly heading towards forever.

At least, he could until he ran out of booze.

He should have thrown the tumblrs at Maze instead.

It was ridiculous, really. Lucifer ran a nightclub. There was no shortage of alcohol to be had, and it was only a few floors away.

It wasn’t like he even needed it anyway. Not really. But Lucifer also knew that, while he certainly could stay here forever, alcohol was one thing he refused to miss.

This whole… situation… had seemingly taken away quite a bit - although he had no one to blame but himself for that, really - of his earthly life, and he refused to let it take away the joys of indulgence, too. He would not deny himself his own desires. Not again.

Lucifer wasn’t really sure what to expect when he stepped out to the club. It was the morning, too late for partying, and the place was, as expected, empty, save Maze. She was standing behind the bar, looking at him with a borderline hopeful expression as he came up to her.

“Lucifer-”

“Maze, pass me the top shelf. Whole thing, if you please.”

Maze placed the mixer down onto the counter with a clang. “Are you going to tell me what’s going on with you? I’ve seen you angry, I’ve seen you sulk-”

“I do not sulk.”

Maze raised an eyebrow, and continued. “I’ve seen you in all kinds of moods and all kinds of reactions. This,” She waved her arm at him, “Whole thing is not how you act.”

“Well, maybe there are parts of me you haven’t seen, darling.”

“Oh, you already know that I’ve seen all of you.” Maze said it flippantly, with an air of casual statement of the fact.

Lucifer stiffened. “Maze! That-” He stopped, closing his eyes to take a breath slowly. There was no reason to be defensive, it was true. And Maze meant nothing from it. “That is not helpful. What would be helpful, is you handing over the stock of vodka.”

Maze shoved back from the counter with a snarl, grabbing a few bottles of random expensive drinks.

“This only proves my point, Lucifer. Something’s going on with you. I can help you.” Maze leaned forwards, placing the bottles in front of him but not letting go, either. “Whatever it is, you know I have your back. I always have your back. No matter what.”

Would Maze even understand? He had sex with everyone, and she was the same. She knew how his deals worked, and she worked for Hell, for, well, Heaven’s sake. This sort of sex - he refused to call it rape because that meant he would have to think about it and he would rather just not have to do that ever - she would probably not be able to distinguish between his normal activities. What’s worse, if she was able to distinguish it, and saw it the way Chloe did… He knew that, orders or not, she would most definitely end up breaking the rules of the deal and rip Malcolm apart limb from limb. And he didn’t break deals.

Lucifer opened his mouth, whether to thank her for the booze, to tell her to back off, or to actually talk to her, he wasn’t sure. He didn’t have to think about it for too long, however, as the sound of the club door opening sent him whipping around to face the front, simultaneously panicked and trying to maintain his cool indifference.

It clearly didn’t work, judging by Maze’s questioning glance she threw at him, but he didn’t care. Couldn’t care. If he cared about it then he’d have to care about everything else and he wouldn’t do that.

Linda would probably say he was in denial. She’d probably be right.

But Linda wasn’t the one walking towards him right now.

No, it was Chloe.

Lucifer wasn’t exactly surprised, nor was he disappointed. He actually felt almost… glad to see her. That happiness of course instantly being swallowed up by the crushing reality that she knew.

“Something bothering you, Detective? I’m afraid the bar’s closed, so drinking your troubles away isn’t going to work out.”

“Looks like it’s working for you.” Chloe replied, glancing at the bottles, before fixing her gaze back onto him.

“What do you want, Decker?” Maze asked, leaning around Lucifer, eyes narrowed.

Chloe frowned. “Sorry to interrupt whatever you two were getting up to, but Lucifer-” She hesitated for half a moment, “I’m…” Her eyes flitted to Maze, before seeming to change her mind. “There’s a new case.”

Lucifer forced himself to lean back casually, rejecting the instant urge to offer his help. It was unsettling how quickly he was willing to do anything for her, even though he knew that the case meant going outside. Meant going to the precinct. Meant seeing Malcolm.

“And you wanted to inform me because?”

“You’re my partner. I can’t do this without you.” She spoke as if stating the temperature outside, a statement of fact, eerily similar to Maze’s own commentary only shortly before.

“You seem to have been managing fine so far.” Lucifer said defensively.

“I wanted to give you some space, as you asked. But this case is a, well,” She grimaced, “An ‘exciting’ one, so I figured you might be interested.”

The fact was, Lucifer was interested. He wasn’t really the type to handle being alone well, and Chloe was, instead of disturbing, a welcome relief to his current predicament.

She knew. She knew he had made a deal with Malcolm, done something that he didn’t want and had betrayed her. And she wanted to work with him anyway? It was almost a comfort.

Of course, the real question was if she would treat him differently, now that she knew.

Lucifer almost didn’t want to take the risk.

But Chloe was looking at him hopefully, and he couldn’t bring himself to turn her down.

After all, a homicide could be a fun distraction. With any luck, it’d be a gory one, enough to distract him from the cracked window in the penthouse and the feeling of the floor tiles under his bare feet that was now decidedly unpleasant.

“Let me get my jacket.”

Chloe’s face lit up, and she couldn’t hide the slight smile that edged across her face. “I’ll drive.”

Lucifer left Maze and Chloe to one another, Maze staring down Chloe with a twisted smile, and Chloe staring right back at her. He had left the drinks, so hopefully Maze would have a glass, and refrain from threatening Chloe any more than usual.

When Lucifer returned, Chloe’s smile turned warm, and she pulled her keys out of her pocket. Normally Lucifer would complain, but he didn’t dare try to now.

Not when he had already betrayed her once.

So, he followed her dutifully to the car, getting in without complaint. She started the engine, and then turned to face Lucifer. He was sitting straight in the seat, hands resting on his knees, upright and stiff as a board.

“Are you sure about this? You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to.”

“Detective, you know me. I never pass up on a murder.”

“Alright. Just, let me know if you change your mind, okay?”

Lucifer clenched his fists, then relaxed them to fold across his lap instead.

“You know me, Detective, a fickle devil on a good day.” Lucifer grinned. Chloe glanced at him, the car still resolutely in park, and he sighed. “I’ll be fine! You don’t need to concern yourself with anything except making good on your promise of excitement.” He wiggled his eyebrows at the last word.

Chloe didn’t look satisfied, but she started the car without further comment. Lucifer was more than slightly relieved that she didn’t push him on it, turning his gaze to stare out through the windshield.

Although he was fine. There was no reason to worry, right? The deal was over and done with, so there was no reason to still be hung up on it.

No reason at all. The only people who knew were Chloe and Malcolm…

Wait.

Malcolm knew, too.

It seemed obvious, even now just thinking of it, but Lucifer’s brain seemed to short-circuit at the realization. Malcolm wasn’t bound to any form of secrecy - technically, Lucifer wasn’t either, but it wasn’t something he really felt like talking about. But Malcolm, nothing was stopping Malcolm from telling everyone that he had slept with Lucifer.

Lucifer had never been ashamed of who or how many people he slept with - it was a point of pride, actually, and he quite enjoyed regaling the encounters, if the individual was okay with it. But the thought of people knowing about Malcolm… it made his skin crawl with shame.

Shame was supposed to only apply to humans, but, well, he was becoming mortal more and more. He had already been feeling some extent of it throughout these past weeks, except when he successfully managed to get himself drunk enough, but now it had seemed to redouble its efforts.

Lucifer was helpless to him. Not really, of course. Lucifer could easily deal with whatever happened, and it wouldn’t really matter because Lucifer’d already slept with half the force. No one would care. But it, for some reason, felt like it mattered that Malcolm could hold this over him. Once again, all of the power rested resolutely in Malcolm’s hands. He was the one who could reveal the truth, now, tomorrow, whenever he so chose.

The one who really mattered, Chloe, already knew. The rest of them weren’t important. But, if everyone knew, then they would keep reminding Chloe of it, and then she would keep getting reminded of how he had betrayed her.

“Lucifer? Lucifer!”

Lucifer blinked. They were parked again, on a random street. Lucifer could see police tape a few meters away. He turned his head, and Chloe was staring at him, concern heavy in her eyes.

“Lucifer,” She repeated again, voice softer. “If you’re not ready, we don’t have to do this. You can-”

Lucifer didn’t respond, instead just opening the car door and getting out. He couldn’t back down now. He didn’t want to disappoint Chloe by hiding, now. Not when she was so eager to have him ‘back’.

Lucifer followed half-a-step behind Chloe, dipping under the tape and walking past the other officers.

Lucifer was struck by how… normal… it was. Officers milled around, taking statements from witnesses, and tried to get rid of the curious passerby as they arrived. Humans had such morbid curiosities. A few people glanced their direction, but most everyone was too absorbed in their activities to even notice their arrival.

One of the people who did, however, seem to notice, was Dan. He was kneeling next to the body, talking to the coroner. He stood up as they approached, frown firmly in place.

“Really, Chloe?” He asked as she stopped beside him, Lucifer still following after like a kicked puppy. “I told you we had the case handled. I don’t know why you feel the need to saddle yourself with as much inconvenience as possible, but here we are.”

“Yes, we are.” Lucifer replied with a forced grin, “So you can move along now, Detective Douche.”

Dan scoffed, stripping off his gloves and crossing his arms. Lucifer forced himself not to flinch.

“I’m surprised you managed to pull yourself away from whichever Brittany you were screwing to show up.” Dan jerked his chin at Lucifer’s hair. “At least the rest of us know how to use a goddamn comb.”

Lucifer did flinch, then. Any retort died in his throat, and Lucifer simply stared at Dan, struck silent. Dan raised his eyebrows at Lucifer’s lack of response.

“That was really all it took to stop you? Insulting your appearance? That’s even more shallow than I was-”

“Dan, shut up.” Chloe interjected, voice harsh. “It’s not like you’re ever on time for picking up Trixie, so you might not want to throw stones.”

“I’m not throwing- whatever. You always take his side anyway. Have fun with the case, Lucifer. You earned it.” Dan stepped past, striding away from them and towards another officer, who was taking a statement.

Chloe turned to face Lucifer, concerned. “Dan doesn’t mean to be rude. The case has just got him frustrated.”

Lucifer shrugged, “He also doesn’t mean to be stupid, but some things just come naturally to him.”

Chloe didn’t respond, unwilling to defend Dan, or to disagree with Lucifer. Normally, Lucifer would continue to wax poetic about the many ways in which Dan was annoying, until she eventually laughed, or told him to stop. Now, however, he didn’t want to make her frustrated, and instead remained quiet as well, letting the silence fill between them.

Lucifer looked down, and a dead man stared back at him. It looked like he wouldn’t be contributing to the conversation, either. Even as Lucifer tried to focus himself onto the body in front of him, Chloe seemed to constantly be in the edge of his sightline, twisting her hands. It was a nervous tic, Lucifer had noted, that she seemed to do whenever she wanted to say something, and was weighing the pros and cons of speaking. And she almost always chose to say what she was considering.

Lucifer was afraid of what she might ask. There was too much that he didn’t want to discuss. He had to sidetrack her, distract her from whatever it was she was thinking of.

It was tragically funny, actually. Lucifer had never hidden anything, before. Or, at least never intentionally. Now, after this, all he could seem to think of was making sure it stayed hidden, stayed unknown and undiscussed for as long as possible. Avoiding discussion, Lucifer could do no problem. Avoiding the truth… decidedly less common, for Lucifer.

“Well, Detective, it seems you were accurate in your assumption.” Lucifer said, “I do love some good tongue action.” The attempt at banter was automatic, but Lucifer couldn’t help but cringe at his own words. It felt wrong, to say it now. He was, however, being honest. The body was… curious.

A deep gash spread across the man’s entire neck, blood staining the front of his dress shirt. There was also blood spilled out of his mouth, and the tongue in question was currently lying, completely severed, in the victim’s hand.

“Hm? Oh, yeah.” Chloe replied after a moment, shifting to cross her arms. “Our victim is Cole Millard. He’s in his early 30s, has a managerial position in the PR department of Qualcomm, spends his free time volunteering at a local YMCA. Only living relative is a younger brother, they lost their mother to cancer a few years ago, father isn’t in the picture. This guy is squeaky clean. He doesn’t even have a speeding ticket.”

“Not speeding in LA? That's practically a traffic violation in and of itself! Of course, you would disag-”

“Lucifer?” Chloe glanced up as he cut himself off, confused.

Lucifer was frozen, seemingly every muscle in his entire body tensed. Chloe took a half-step forwards, confusion melting into concern.

“Lucifer? Are you alright?” Silence met her questions. “Say something? Please?” Her voice cracked on the last word, concern bypassing into borderline panic at her suddenly unresponsive partner.

He blinked, before looking down at Chloe, eyes just a bit too wide and too scared to be normal.

“Detective,” Lucifer’s voice was quiet, breathy. “We should go.”

“What? Why?” Chloe asked automatically. Then, immediately, she followed it up, “It doesn’t matter why. Of course, let’s go.” The reasons didn’t matter. Lucifer was her partner, and he was her priority right now.

Chloe turned around, hand already reaching into her pocket to fish out her car keys.

And almost collided with Malcolm, who was walking towards them both.

Chapter Text

Maze wasn’t stupid. She knew that. She spoke plenty of languages, was familiar with most of human history. And she was a demon. She could tell when things bothered people. She was used to dragging out the source of it, digging into the heart of matters without concern of anything except getting to the truth.

Truth she could then use to rip them apart piece by piece until they broke. Over and over again. It was, after all, one of her favorite pastimes. Lucifer was better at getting the weak spot, and she absolutely loved manipulating it. They had always made a good team in Hell, and they were both exceptionally good at working together.

She knew, too, that Lucifer had an avoidance streak. She had known that going in all those eons ago, and she was used to working with and around it as needed. In Hell, it was straightforward. They had established roles. And he trusted her. She had earned his respect.

The problem wasn’t that Lucifer was avoiding everything and refusing to talk about whatever was getting at him. No, the problem now was that Lucifer was avoiding her, refusing to speak to her. He clearly thought that if he didn’t disclose anything, she wouldn’t be able to figure it out. Lucifer always seemed to forget that demons aren’t just bloodthirsty, unthinking animals. She had a brain for a reason, and two eyes that worked just fine.

Like how it hadn’t escaped her notice that Chloe Decker was the last person to see Lucifer before he banished himself to his penthouse, after pedo-stache guy rolled by. Nor had she been oblivious to the draft from the broken window, when she had gone up there, worried about his sudden reclusion after a few days. Lucifer wasn’t the type to break things, generally. He always channeled his rage into something directed towards whatever it was that bothered him, especially when it was towards a person.

Of course, Lucifer had an attachment to Decker, so it was possible he was unwilling to do so.

But the fact remained, Lucifer had never taken out his emotions on unrelated things, unless it was himself. And Maze had asked Lucifer far more intrusive and insubordinate questions than “What the fuck is wrong with you?”, and he had never handed her a bottle of alcohol quite that firmly before. Well, not unless they were fighting each other, but in that case Maze would have fought back. And even then, she figured he wouldn’t have wasted the booze on it.

It hadn’t made sense. Lucifer didn’t do that kind of thing from rage. If anything, Maze would have considered it panic, if she hadn’t known any better.

Ugh.

Maybe she was stupid after all. Lucifer didn’t do panic. He was always in control of the situation, always knowing what to do, if not what was going on. He didn’t panic, not when he had realized he was mortal, not even when he had bled… it just didn’t make sense. It had to be something else. Someone else.

And Maze was certain it had to do with Decker.

So, a couple days later, when Decker first came in, asking to see Lucifer, Maze was all too happy to smile just a touch too wide to be human, and inform her that, “Lucifer isn’t seeing anyone.”

“Well, when will he be available?” Decker asked casually.

Maze also knew that Decker was observant, she always picked up on things. That being said, she also had an excellent poker face. She’d make a great demon, Maze rued, if only she wasn’t human.

And also possibly the reason Lucifer was hiding in the first place.

“Not for the foreseeable future. Why don’t you take a seat, Decker?” Maze let her smile spread a little further, showing too much teeth and a little further into the realm of predatory.

“No, I need to head to work. Thanks, though, Mazikeen.”

Maze would love nothing more than to grab Decker and make her say what was going on, but Maze didn’t want to do anything rash. Yet. She had been under orders from Lucifer not to mess with her.

Of course, messing with Decker might be exactly what Lucifer needs to get his ass down here, even if it was for the purpose of kicking Maze’s ass.

Hm. Maybe file that option away as a Plan B.

Chloe came in the next day, too.

“Good morning, Mazikeen. Is Lucifer available?”

“No. Try again some other time.”

“Alright. Thanks.”

And the next day.

“Morning. Is Lucifer-?”

“No.”

“Okay, thanks.”

“You’re not welcome.”

And the next day.

“Hey Mazik-”

“Nope.”

“Thanks.”

“Whatever.”

And the day after that.

“Mazik-”

“No.”

“Okay, tha-.”

“If you try to thank me one more time, I am going to rip out your tongue.”

“Oh, alright. Have a good day.”

“Once you leave, certainly.”

Maze glowered at Chloe’s back as she walked away from the bar. She still couldn’t tell what Decker’s game was. If she was the one who had hurt Lucifer, which was Maze’s working theory, then maybe she felt guilty for it?

Maze could always torture it out of her, but she didn’t want to do that quite yet. Not until one of them gave a sign that Decker was at fault. Maze had fucked up before, trying to do what Lucifer needed but not wanted, and that went to… well, to not-Hell, ironically enough. She didn’t want to take that risk again.

Not until she was sure.

So now, it was more waiting around.

And Maze hated waiting.

Day 10 after Decker had left the penthouse and Lucifer hadn’t, Decker didn’t show up to pester Maze with a stupid question. Maze would have been relieved, if only she knew what that meant.

Day 11 was the same, and Maze found herself wishing Decker would show up, if only so she could see how Decker was dealing.

Day 12, and Maze was wondering if Decker was up to something. She almost went to check on Lucifer, to see if Decker had somehow gotten to him, but decided not yet.

Waiting games were not to Maze’s enjoyment. But she knew the dangers of making the wrong decision all to clearly now, and refused to take the chance. Lucifer was unharmed, as of now, so drastic action wasn’t critically needed. Yet.

Day 13, Decker showed back up, looking unusually frazzled. She didn’t say anything, not right away. Maze looked at her skeptically over the box of vodka she was unpacking.

“Got nothing to say, today?”

“Mazikeen,” Decker was twiddling her hands, “Is Lucifer not seeing anyone, or just not seeing me?”

Maze leaned forward, instantly focused in, predatory. She made her voice carefully light, almost friendly but with enough edge that it would seem normal. This was her chance to figure out if Decker was the one who fucked with Lucifer.

“Is there a reason he wouldn’t want to see you?”

All Maze needed was a word, a confirmation, and she would rip Decker to pieces.

Decker looked confused. “Did he not tell you what happened?” It wasn’t the confirmation Maze was looking for. She pressed on.

“I want to hear what you have to say about it.”

Decker looked uncomfortable, but resolved. “It’s not my place. The only person whose thoughts matter about this is his.”

“So what, you’re just innocent in all of this?” Maze asked, hoping that the antagonist angle would work.

“No one’s innocent, Mazikeen. But I think that Lucifer is in this.”

Maze scowled. “Something we can both agree on.”

Decker didn’t argue.

Maze was ready to say screw it and throw Decker through the nearest wall, patience having long since worn thin. Lucifer was still hiding, Decker clearly knew what was going on and refused to resolve herself of responsibility one way or the other, and Maze was sick of not knowing what to do.

Not wanting to make the wrong decision be damned, it was beginning to look like not making a decision was a wrong decision too.

“Anyway, thanks, Mazikeen. I should head to work, now. Can you give Lucifer a message, at least?”

“What message?”

“That whenever he’s ready, I’m here for him.”

“I’ll see what I can do.”

Hardly an admission of guilt, either.

Maze decided that perhaps she was stupid.

Day 14, and Maze was cleaning a mixer that was already spotless. She was at loose ends with herself, for once in her life not knowing what the correct action was when Decker walked through the doors today. It was so much easier in Hell, when she was the one striding into the humans’ domains, not the other way around.

If this was the “growth” that Lucifer was always blathering on about, she decided she didn’t much like it.

Maze was so fixated on the doors, the sound of the elevator dinging open startled her. She felt something akin to hope rise up in her chest, hands stilling as she turned to see Lucifer walking towards her.

He looked normal. Ish. Dressed like normal, walking and carrying himself like normal. The only thing that looked changed was his hair, which was a tangled, unruly mess. Every aspect of him was so painstakingly, meticulously standard, but then to have this one piece out of place… it made Maze suspicious.

Something else was off, too. Lucifer looked tired. He slept for fun, not out of necessity, but he looked like he needed to take a nap anyway. Now, he was staring at her, some mix of confusion and that other thing, not fear because he didn’t do fear he instilled it not have it.

“Lucifer-”

“Maze, pass me the top shelf. Whole thing, if you please.”

Maze felt her fingers clench around the mixer, placing it onto the counter, hard. He finally shows up and now he’s acting like nothing happened. Something happened, she knew that. It was her job to know what that something was.

“Are you going to tell me what’s going on with you? I’ve seen you angry, I’ve seen you sulk-”

“I do not sulk.”

Maze raised an eyebrow, but let it go, not wanting to have him get annoyed and leave again. “I’ve seen you in all kinds of moods and all kinds of reactions. This,” She waved her arm at him, somehow trying to encompass the hair, the vanishing, the behavior, into that one gesture. “Whole thing is not how you act.”

“Well, maybe there are parts of me you haven’t seen, darling.” Lucifer was shooting for humor, she knew, but it fell flat.

“Oh, you already know that I’ve seen all of you.” Maze replied. It was true. She had seen him at his lowest points before this, when the first guilt-laden child stepped into Hell, claiming that they deserved punishment. When the first rape - well, not survivor, in her case - victim had been unable to find redemption, even though she had done nothing wrong.

Demons, including Maze, liked to torture. Lucifer liked to punish people who did wrong. The distinction, in Hell, often overlapped, but the times when it didn’t were always difficult on him. Maze was always the one to help him find the balance, recover from those hard spots to keep moving forward. Hell didn’t function without a ruler, and it had become her duty to keep the ruler sane.

Even if he had essentially abdicated that rule, it was still her job to make sure the king didn’t lose his head. Mentally or physically.

Lucifer’s reaction, however, was truly unexpected. Maze made her statement overtly sexual, in the hopes that Lucifer would snap into it and make some filthy comment in that simultaneously lewd and naive way of his.

Instead, Lucifer froze up like she had just slapped a patron. Granted, the person deserved it, but whatever.

“Maze! That- that is not helpful. What would be helpful, is you handing over the stock of vodka.”

Maze glared at Lucifer, whipping around to pull down a few bottles from top shelf. It didn’t make sense, none of this made sense and she wasn’t stupid, she knew there was a problem but she didn’t know what she was supposed to do.

“This only proves my point, Lucifer. Something’s going on with you. I can help you.” Maze leaned across the counter, keeping her grip on the drinks so he couldn’t take them and run for it. “Whatever it is, you know I have your back. I always have your back. No matter what.”

Maze just wanted to know what was wrong. She didn’t care what it was, or how important it was, or anything. She just wanted to help, and he wasn’t letting her.

Lucifer could say that Amenadiel had broken a vase, and she would have gladly offered to slit the angel’s throat in a heartbeat.

Maze only wanted to do her job. Protect. Lucifer.

Lucifer looked like he was about to say something, but then, in the classic timing of a human, the door opened. Maze had almost forgotten Decker’s little visits, immediately dismissed from her mind as irrelevant now that Lucifer was here.

Lucifer, of course, hadn’t known she was coming. But his reaction was… unsettling.

Lucifer jerked around, hands grabbing the bar edge, knuckles white and granite cracking underneath them. His breath - which didn’t technically need to happen - seemed to catch.

Maze’s concern slipped into her expression, before she concealed it immediately, not wanting to give Decker any sort of insight.

She was still suspect in all of this, after all.

Maze kept her eyes glued to Lucifer, watching for any sign of something being amiss. His expression momentarily brightened, tiredness seeming to ease away for a brief moment. Then, it almost instantly crashed down into that expression that Maze was beginning to suspect was, actually, fear.

That was all the proof she needed.

Maze grinned at Chloe, itching to let her demon face out to play. Her fingers wrapped around the knives under the counter, trying to decide what she should cut out first - the left eye, or the right? She had more than one knife - why not do both at once? Her grin widened even further.

She stood up from leaning against the counter, ready to leap over it and rip into her new enemy.

Whatever Decker had done to Lucifer, Maze wasn’t sure what the range was. She had to act now, before- Lucifer had returned.

Ugh.

Maze had fucked up. She should have just gone for her when she had the chance. Now the both of them were headed out the door. Maze stood still as the door shut after them, before letting out a snarling growl, throwing her knives into one of the tables and running her fingers through her hair.

Decker had almost certainly been the one to hurt Lucifer. And Maze’s job was to destroy the danger and obstacles that stood in Lucifer’s path.

Next time, she wouldn’t hesitate.

Maze protects Lucifer. She always has, and she always will. No matter what.

Chapter Text

Lucifer’s breath caught in his throat, ice spreading through his veins. He wanted to move, but it was as if he had forgotten how, body no longer responding to his command.

He couldn’t tear his gaze away from the sight of Malcolm standing cockily before him.

Chloe’s look of confusion and concern had turned, almost immediately, into a scowl as she saw Malcolm, one hand dropping to the handle of her gun automatically. Lucifer wanted to remind her that it was fine but he couldn’t seem to will himself to speak.

He was afraid of what would come out if he did. A whispered plea? A broken, shaky voice? Whatever it could be, it would be nothing good. Considering he couldn't even brush his hair currently because it made him think of Malcolm, he doubted he would be able to string words together in a normal way staring straight at him.

Finally, after what felt like centuries but could have only been a few seconds, Chloe spoke. Her voice was steady, but noticeably firmer than her usual tone. “Detective Graham, we’ve already begun working on the case. Why don’t you work on witness statements with Officer Nigel?”

Malcolm shrugged. “She’s got it covered.” He shifted, slipping one hand into his jeans pocket, eyes casually raking over Lucifer’s body.

Lucifer nearly gagged.

He was used to being looked at with carnal desire, it was par for the course of being the Devil, but it was always with an understanding that he would be down with whatever happened. Here… here Lucifer was not. Malcolm’s eyes were not welcome, they were invasive, ripping and tearing into Lucifer’s skin with his gaze like knives.

It made Lucifer feel the way he felt after Malcolm had… had made a deal. It made him feel viola- no, not violated, he’s the Devil, sex was standard, sex could never be bad when he was involved.

But it still made Lucifer feel… wrong.

Chloe shifted as well, putting herself partially between Malcolm and Lucifer, creating a barrier with her body. She was mostly fixed on Malcolm, warily watching him as the potential threat, but she seemed to be observing Lucifer out of the corner of her eye.

Her action made a small, irrational part of himself relieved - Malcolm wouldn’t be able to touch him, wouldn’t be able to hurt him. But the larger part of Lucifer was screaming to not let him near the Detective. Malcolm couldn’t hurt him, but he could hurt -

“Detective Decker!” Lucifer found himself speaking, “We’ve already gathered information here. Perhaps we should get a leg on and start hunting down suspects?” He was trying to sound his normal, cheery self, but it came across desperate, words coming out a little bit too fast and too harried.

“Yes, of course. You’re right, Lucifer. We should get on that.” Chloe, to her credit, sounded much more together than Lucifer did, although her hand was still gripping her gun, knuckles white. She dipped her head informally. “Malcolm.” An edge of cold played into the name, slipping out past whatever amount she was trying to cover.

Malcolm’s eyes were narrowed, and they flitted from Lucifer to Chloe, and then back to Lucifer. Something akin to suspicion seemed to be growing on his face, and Lucifer willed himself to keep acting normal. Chloe was very carefully controlled, and Lucifer found himself envying her. He couldn’t seem to act normal, get over this whole stupid thing and move on.

After all, it hadn’t been a big deal. Lucifer knew that, but he couldn’t seem to stop himself from panicking around anyway. Chloe, though, she was better at this than he was. She understood that it wasn’t important, that was why she was able to be so calm and collected. No, the slight anger she was directing towards Malcolm was just her frustrations about Palmetto leaking through.

That had to be it.

After all, Chloe wouldn’t be acting like this for Lucifer’s sake. That wouldn’t make sense at all.

Malcolm stepped to the side, gesturing with one arm, other hand still in his pocket. “By all means.”

Lucifer swallowed hard, hands going numb. Malcolm was no longer important, because the deal was fulfilled. The time slot was used up, so there was no reason to not want to walk past Malcolm.

It was fine.

Chloe walked partially past Malcolm, then hesitated, glancing back at Lucifer. She looked… concerned.

Lucifer glanced at her hand, which was still gripping her gun. The injuries she sustained… because of him, because Lucifer had broken the window and surprised her and it was his fault had healed up, but Lucifer knew that it had been there. He had hurt her, and now he was wasting her time, risking her Palmetto case even further than he already had by making a deal with Malcolm in the first place, just because he didn’t have the courage to walk past the man.

Lucifer had never felt more disgusted with himself in his life.

He walked past Malcolm quickly. Malcolm leaned forward slightly on the balls of his feet as he passed by, and Lucifer could have sworn he smelled donuts and metal. Malcolm’s hand, which had been outstretched, came back in to tuck into his other pocket, nearly making contact with Lucifer’s unkempt hair. He would have thought it was purposeful, except then it would have touched, right? He was being paranoid, now, which was ridiculous. Malcolm understood the rules of the deal, Lucifer was just getting caught up on things that didn’t matter.

Things Lucifer had agreed to, anyway.

Once Lucifer was next to Chloe, past Malcolm, she began walking quickly, hand releasing from her gun in order to dig her keys out of her pocket.

“See you around.” Malcolm called after them.

It was an innocuous goodbye. But it made Lucifer nervous, anyway. He couldn’t bring himself to turn around, shoulders tensing up, as if turning around would trigger an attack like in the gory movies he would watch with Maze.

Chloe unlocked the car, and Lucifer gratefully slipped into it. She, however, remained outside the car until he closed the passenger door, only then opening her own and getting in, quickly shutting it after her.

Lucifer opened his mouth, and Chloe shook her head.

“Not now. People could be watching.”

Of course. The Palmetto case had had another dirty cop involved, hadn’t it? Chloe was worried about people thinking she was still after Malcolm.

She started the car, carefully backing out and driving down the street, clicking her blinker to turn left. The protected arrow turned green, and she turned. The moment the yellow police tape and black and white cruisers disappeared from view, her foot slammed down onto the accelerator.

Lucifer glanced at the speedometer. “Going 60 in a 35? And here I thought you were a lawful good, Detective. Of course, by now, I’d be going 80-”

Chloe didn’t respond, simply letting her speed creep back down to 50, and then 40, and then she was turning off into a parking lot of a YMCA and cutting the engine.

“Lucifer,” Chloe began, voice careful. “I’m not sure this is a good idea.”

“Of course not, this is a terrible parking job. Look, you’re taking up two spaces and cutting off-”

“Lucifer!”

He slammed his jaw shut so hard he heard it click. Right. Banter was something she did with partners who hadn’t betrayed her.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to… ugh,” Chloe groaned, putting her head onto the top of the steering wheel, taking a deep breath. When she spoke again, her voice was low, but resigned. “I shouldn’t have brought you today, I didn’t think he,” She spat the word, “Was going to be there. I’m sorry, Lucifer.”

Lucifer’s heart sank somehow even further. Of course the Detective was regretting bringing him along, of course she was upset. He deserved to be yelled at by her, and it was only because she was so good that she believed she had to apologize for the disruptance he was causing her.

Lucifer forced his voice to be light, unwilling to give her any sense of guilt about her responsible and fair decision.

“Nothing to be sorry for, Detective. This is your case, you decide who is a part of it. If I’m not worthy of it, then there’s no point in pretending otherwise.”

“That’s not-” Chloe frowned, turning her head to look up at him, “Worthy? That’s not what I meant, Lucifer. Of course you’re… I mean that doesn’t even fit, here. I’m trying to say that I’m sorry you had to see Malcolm, and that I don’t want to keep putting you into situations where you might see him.”

“... Because I betrayed you by making a deal with him?”

“Because he hurt you, and you don’t deserve to keep being hurt by being forced to be around him.”

Now, it was Lucifer’s turn to frown. “Detective, he isn’t hurting me. He hasn’t even touched me.” Lucifer scowled further, voice raising slightly. “And I’m not being ‘forced’ to do anything! No one is making me do anything, not you, and especially not Malcolm!”

Lucifer was in control of his own existence, he was in control of what happened to him. He made deals with people, not the other way around. He chose to work with Chloe, not the other way around. He chose to make a deal with Malcolm - a bargain he was not entirely satisfied with but still - not the other way around. Malcolm was going to shoot him, Lucifer was the one who had suggested a deal.

Lucifer couldn’t be forced into anything he didn’t want.

Which didn’t really explain why he couldn’t force himself to comb his hair without feeling irrational bouts of panic and this claustrophobic sensation of being trapped. But that was probably just Lucifer acting all dramatic, making a production out of something that didn’t matter, like always. It didn’t mean anything.

“You’re right.” Chloe sat back. “No one can force you to do anything. You can refuse anyone, anytime, about anything. No matter what. Right?”

“... Well, that’s a simplistic outlook on choice now, isn’t it?” Lucifer raised an eyebrow, “Although I suppose it does hold true, in most regards.”

Chloe looked like she wanted to protest, so Lucifer quickly cut in again.

“So, what are we doing in a YMCA? Are we here to pick up your spawn, again? Because, really, these places are absolute cesspools of bacteria and, worse, children.”

Chloe chuckled. “Yeah, the children are the bad part.” Lucifer nodded, and she shook her head, smiling. “Our victim did some volunteer work here. Was a basketball coach for some of those ‘bacterial cesspools’.”

“Wait, does this mean we have to… go inside?” Lucifer asked, horrified.

“Yes.”

“I don’t think I’m going to make it. I volunteer myself to sit in the car, like the dogs in those hilarious PSAs Maze is always telling me about.”

“That’s not what those are for. Now, come on. Suspects aren’t going to interview themselves.” Chloe pushed open her door.

“It would be so much more convenient if they did though.” Lucifer suggested, even as he obediently got out of the car.

Chloe looked at her parking, then laughed. “You were right. This is terrible.”

Would I ever lie, Detective?”

“I should fix it.”

“Splendid idea! I’m warning you, the perfect parking job can take hours-”

“Forget I asked.” Chloe shook her head, amused. “Let’s just head inside, yeah?”

“Are you sure? Because I would be more than happy to work on driving lessons.”

“You would rather drive my car than solve a murder you personally described as ‘awesome’?”

“No.” Lucifer admitted, “Lead the way, Detective.”

As Chloe turned away from him, Lucifer thought he saw a glimpse of what looked like relief spread across her face.

Probably relief at him finally stopping annoying her, he realized with a sinking feeling. He would have to make more of an effort to stop chatting incessantly, and just do what Chloe asked him to. She didn’t have time for his shenanigans, and he had lost the right to screw around the moment he had screwed Malcolm.

It was so easy to slip back into their casual interactions, he kept forgetting that he had betrayed Chloe, and she had every right to despise him. It was only because she was a good person, she was putting up with him.

Lucifer had to behave himself more, and talk less.

Maybe if he did that enough, he would stop getting hung up on his deal with Malcolm, and figure out a way to repair what he had broken with Chloe.

As Chloe held the door open for him, and as Lucifer walked through without a second thought, the only thing on his mind was how he could ever make it up to her.

And Lucifer would do anything to make it up to her.

Chapter Text

Chloe was unsettled. Somewhere between the car and the basketball court, Lucifer had gone silent. Lucifer was always talking, always moving, always doing something. Now, he was standing still, silent, beside her as she spoke to one of the managers. He didn’t even pipe in with a dirty joke, of which there were many opportunities.

The fact that Chloe had purposefully phrased things, inviting his form of commentary, went unused, only struck her even further that something, somehow, had changed.

Maybe he really had wanted to fix the parking. Maybe he had seen something that spooked him and he didn’t want to tell her. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

Chloe could weigh options and consider theories all day, but the fact was, push to shove, Lucifer was not acting like himself. He was acting like he was trying to blend in with the pictures of athletes on the wall, turn himself invisible.

The manager in front of them wasn’t even remotely Malcolm-like, either. They were lanky, dark-skinned, and dressed head-to-toe in Under Armour athletic-wear. If they had been similar, maybe then Chloe would have been able to see a correlation.

But there was none. And, even if there had been, Lucifer wasn’t really the type to generalize anyone. He could always seem to just… know how people were different from one another.

“Lucifer?” Chloe turned to her partner, pretending not to notice how he flinched slightly when she spoke to him. “Do you have any questions for the manager?”

“No, Detective.” Lucifer replied quietly, seeming to almost hunch in on himself - if he didn’t have such impeccable posture, Chloe would say he had.

Chloe furrowed her eyebrows. “Would you be willing to ask your standard question?”

Lucifer nodded hastily. “Of course, Detective, on it.” He couldn’t seem to get the words out fast enough, and he turned to face the manager quickly, shoulders tense.

“Is there a difference in questions?” The manager asked, polite confusion coloring their tone.

“Oh, not really.” Lucifer shrugged, “I’m just curious,” His voice dropped in tone, “Why don’t you tell me what it is you really wanted out of Cole. What did you desire?” Lucifer nearly gagged on the last word, feeling sick. The last time he had asked that, Malcolm had-

“I wanted him to log more hours.” The manager sighed, staring into Lucifer’s eyes. “He was so good with the kids, I wanted him to be here more. I offered to hire him, but he couldn’t take the pay cut, what with his younger brother and all. I begged him to do it, but he just couldn’t take on the extra burden. He didn’t want to let down the people he cared about, but I wish he could have done both.” They blinked, momentarily confused at having said all of that out loud. “Oh, pardon me. I’m not supposed to disclose hiring offers or job statuses.”

“It’s quite alright. Thank you for your time.” Chloe replied, “Please call us if you remember anything else.”

As the manager walked away, Chloe turned to Lucifer. He was pale, well, paler than usual, and looked faintly ill. His hands were shoved in his pockets, but Chloe was sure they were clenched.

“Lucifer?”

He flinched again, eyes flicking to her, and then down. “Yes, Detective?”

“Thanks for asking the question. I guess we can officially cross the manager off our suspect list.”

“Oh. Certainly.” Lucifer nodded stiffly. “I am glad to be of assistance.”

More weirdly formal language. Chloe didn’t call him out on it, though - she doubted it would be productive, and the last thing she wanted was for him to curl even further in on himself.

Instead, she suggested they head back to the precinct, go over the files further, and try to get in contact with his boss - unsurprisingly, tech companies weren’t particularly thrilled about having the police poking around their proprietary work, or their employees.

Lucifer agreed to that as well, in the same polite, vaguely distanced voice as before. On the way back out, Chloe watched Lucifer closely, looking for any sign of what had bothered him - a sign, a person, anything. But, whatever it was, it must have been moved or had moved since they walked in, as Lucifer seemed to take no issue with anything - or anyone - they crossed paths with.

Still, something was clearly up. Chloe held the door open, but this time Lucifer balked, seemingly unwilling to cross in front of her. After a moment, she went through herself, not wanting to make Lucifer feel any more uncomfortable than he already did.

Chloe didn’t know what had changed over just this one visit, but she was bound and determined to make it clear to Lucifer that he was always safe with her, regardless of how much or little he wanted to interact with her.

He was her partner, after all. And she would look after him, whether he was his normal cheery self, or hurting and distant like he was now.

Huh. She was starting to sound a bit like Maze.

Lucifer couldn’t have been too off, though, as he got into her car without hesitation, but still seemed to be radiating a sort of cool, quiet professionalism. It was so unlike Lucifer, it was almost as if he was trying to be a different person entirely.

Chloe drove back to the precinct much more carefully than she had driven before, watching her speed. This time, Lucifer didn’t throw a single comment about her driving like a snail, or a granny, or his brother, who apparently followed rules far too closely, according to Lucifer.

Chloe made a couple of attempts at conversation, but Lucifer responded politely but with finality, not really inviting a continuation. After those few tries, they drove in silence.

Chloe didn’t want to push Lucifer. She didn’t want to force him to speak, for fear he would just hide back away.

He had vanished for two weeks. If he vanished again, Chloe wasn’t sure he would come back at all.

So, Chloe didn’t push, and Lucifer didn’t invite. The two were standing at a sort of impasse, both too afraid to make a move.

They had been making progress, Chloe knew. For a few minutes, it was as if everything was normal. Except now Lucifer was silent, and sitting still, and his hair was a mess, and he wouldn’t look her in the eye anymore.

That was certainly new, and Chloe hoped that it wouldn’t last long. She didn’t want her partner to be afraid of her - didn’t want Lucifer to be afraid of her. She would never hurt him, could never hurt him.

She didn’t care what he said or did otherwise, Chloe knew that Lucifer had not consented, had not been willing. It didn’t matter what Lucifer had agreed to or not, there was more to it than that, there was always more to it than that. Lucifer had said he had made a deal - what in the world Lucifer could have valued enough to be raped for, she didn’t know.

Chloe Decker didn’t want to know.

But Detective Decker did.

Right now, though, Lucifer didn’t need Detective Decker on the scene, demanding answers and posing questions. He needed a friend, someone he could rely on and trust. A partner.

Chloe was going to be that for him, however she could.

Lucifer didn’t deserve to suffer like this. No one did.

But she couldn’t get the image of Lucifer’s wide, fearful eyes and shaking form standing behind the bar counter out of her mind, couldn’t stop thinking about how, even just now, he flinched from her, expecting retribution for whatever it was he thought he had done wrong.

Chloe swore to herself, then and there, driving down this godforsaken highway, that she would do everything she could to let him know that he had done nothing wrong. That he did not deserve to be ‘punished’ for anything.

In the moment, she hadn’t really acknowledged that particular statement properly, too distracted by the overwhelming knowledge that Malcolm had hurt Lucifer. She wanted to talk about it with him, proper this time, but there had to be an opportunity for it. Had to be some way to do it without hurting him more.

She wanted to tell him that he was good. But she knew that he wouldn’t accept it, and would just try to push her away again, so she didn’t dare.

Not yet. But, someday, she would tell him how good he was. And he would believe her.

Chloe was still deep in thought as she pulled into the precinct parking lot, taking care to do a better job at parking than she had at the YMCA. Lucifer didn’t comment on it, only further proof that something was bothering him.

He never passed up on an opportunity to make fun of her car.

This time, Lucifer walked ahead of her, holding the door open for her, and then falling in half a step behind her. He was still stiffly formal, somehow moving completely silently. Chloe found herself glancing back a couple of times, just to make sure he was still there. To have him be so nearly invisible, when his presence practically announced itself, was unsettling.

It felt like Lucifer wasn’t even there.

Although, Chloe supposed, maybe he wasn’t. She hadn’t really thought Lucifer was the type to just… check out, after trauma, but then again, she had never thought he’d experience something like this, either.

He hadn’t even projected once onto the case, something that was actually, truly concerning.

The precinct was bustling with activity, as it was wont to do, various officers milling around and working at desks. Officer Nigel glanced up, and then hurried over to them, handing Chloe a few folders.

“Doesn’t look like the witnesses saw much. Found the body, but it’d already been dead for a while.” She shook her head sadly, “And we still can’t get into Qualcomm for alibis for Millard’s coworkers. And the brother hasn’t turned up yet, either.” Officer Nigel glanced over Chloe’s shoulder towards Lucifer, before turning back to Chloe. “How’d the YMCA guy work out?”

“It didn’t.”

“Well shit. Not much to go off of, huh?” Nigel looked back at Lucifer. Chloe turned, following her gaze, and saw Lucifer standing behind her, just as quiet and still as before.

Nigel seemed confused, but unbothered, everyone in the precinct used to Lucifer’s weird mannerisms.

Only Chloe seemed to be worried about his behavior, namely his lack of it.

Maybe she was paranoid, overthinking everything. She didn’t believe that, though. She was the only one here besides Lucifer and Malcolm who knew, and Lucifer wanted to keep it that way. She knew his behavior was unusual because she knew what had caused it.

Officer Nigel wandered off after a few pleasantries, and then Chloe, still being dutifully followed by Lucifer, went to her desk.

Dan was, one again, awkwardly standing behind it, coffee in hand.

Chloe didn’t say anything, expecting Lucifer to make some wiseass comment about Dan not being able to find his own desk, but he didn’t say anything.

In fact, the only way Chloe knew that Lucifer had even seen Dan at all was how his steps seemed to falter for a moment, before resuming its nearly silent gait.

“Chloe, Lucifer.” Dan nodded at them, “I’ve been on the phone with Qualcomm for the past hour, they just keep talking in circles.” He gestured to Lucifer with the precinct phone, “As much as I hate it, would you use your hypnosis thing and get them to hurry up?”

Lucifer looked distinctly uncomfortable, glancing at Chloe as he reached out to take the phone. His hand seemed slightly shaky, and Dan clearly noticed, one eyebrow rising skeptically.

“Hey, man, maybe you-”

Chloe coughed into her hand, fixing Dan with a glare. Dan glanced at her, then did a double take, looking at her in confusion, voice trailing off.

“I’ve got it, Detective Espinoza.” Lucifer said quietly, taking the phone off mute and raising it to his ear.

At that, Dan’s face morphed from confusion to actual concern, and he reached out to take Chloe’s shoulder, as if to pull her aside.

Lucifer’s hand shot out, gripping Dan’s hand like a vice, halting him from making contact with Chloe. Dan stilled, head whipping to face Lucifer, other hand almost going to his gun, instinct kicking in. He had gotten a beat down by too many perps to really appreciate being manhandled, and Chloe quickly stepped in before it turned into a mess.

“Lucifer, it’s fine. Just try and get the people on the line to give us clearance, okay? I’m going to talk to Dan about another case.”

Lucifer nodded tightly. He looked terrified of holding Dan, and seemed relieved as he let go of him, drawing back as if he had been burned. However, he still seemed anxious at letting go, as if Dan was going to attack her.

In normal circumstances, Chloe would absolutely have a throwdown with Lucifer about how she could take care of herself, patriarchy, et cetera, but this wasn’t normal circumstances, and he had already been acting far too out of character for her to push that particular thing now.

Besides, it didn’t take too much of a leap in logic to figure what he was afraid of.

Chloe led Dan to an empty room, closing the door behind them, and letting out a sigh.

“What the hell is going on, Chloe?”

She didn’t even know how to answer that. She wasn’t going to talk about what Lucifer had been through - even if he hadn’t expressly told her not to, it was pretty clear he didn’t want people to know. Although she wasn’t sure that was the healthiest decision, she would respect it.

“A couple of weeks ago, we had a case, about the charity foundation, remember? Well, something… happened, with Lucifer. Nothing to me!” Chloe added hastily, seeing Dan open his mouth to interject. “But he got hurt, and he’s just a bit… wary, now.”

“Hurt?” Dan asked skeptically. “Sorry, wait.” He paused, and when he spoke again, it was more professional. “He got hurt? Was it serious, or…?”

“It’s not really something I can get into.” Chloe deflected, “What’s important is that Lucifer’s acting a little off, and I just want you to not be a dick about it. He already feels bad enough.”

“Okay.” Dan replied slowly, “Do we at least know who hurt him?”

Chloe paused for a second too long before denying it, and Dan’s eyes narrowed.

“Someone hurt him, and you’re protecting who did it? That’s not like you, Chloe.”

“What, so now you care about him?”

“I don’t like it, but you care about him. That means I care about him, too. Tangentially.” Dan defended.

“I can’t tell you. Lucifer doesn’t want it to… be a whole thing. Don’t treat him differently, just, don’t pay attention to anything unusual he does.” Chloe was trying to not give anything away, and Dan accepted it. He was different from Chloe, in that sense - he knew when to stop pushing.

“Well, thanks for letting me know.” Dan said, running a hand through his hair. “I’ll just be my normal brand of annoying, leave out the extra bit.”

“Thanks, Dan. Seriously. I… I appreciate it.”

“Yeah, no problem.” Dan shrugged, opening the door, voice smoothly transitioning into cop-talk. “… the BOLO is still out, so we might get a hit, but at this point they’ve probably already dropped the car off in some body shop, if they’re smart.”

“Yeah, you’re right. Once it turns up there, though, we may be able to track the guy using DNA inside the car.” Chloe replied, slipping into this new conversation as well.

As the pair walked back to her desk, continuing this conversation about whatever case it was, she noticed the phone was on its rest, and Lucifer had vanished. She glanced around the precinct, unable to spot him.

“Is that normal levels of weird, or unusual weird?” Dan asked Chloe quietly, glancing around with surface casualness, eyes betraying his concern.

“Unusual.” Chloe muttered, “He hasn’t left my side since this all started.”

“Well, you left his.” Dan shrugged, “Maybe that has something to do with it.”

Chloe felt her heart sink a little. She had left him, alone, in the precinct. In the precinct. Surrounded by cops and - wait. Where was-?

Chloe whipped her head around, eyes scanning rapidly, fear rising in her chest as her heart sank lower and lower. Dan asked her something, but she couldn't seem to hear him over the rapid pounding of blood in her ears.

Lucifer was gone.

And Malcolm was nowhere in sight.

Chapter Text

Lucifer had been doing fine. Better than fine, actually. He had been doing perfectly - silent, helpful, quiet. He was making Chloe’s life easier, he was working the case and not being a distraction, not being a liability. He was doing everything right.

His skin was crawling with antsy energy, his chest hurt and his lungs, which didn’t technically need air, were struggling to do so.

But that was okay - he deserved to be uncomfortable. He had to make it up to Chloe, for risking Palmetto. If that meant being the perfect assistant to the Detective, he was more than willing to do it.

A few honeyed words, and the Qualcomm rep was giving him access codes and scheduling a time slot with the “wonderful police department”.

It was so easy it was disgusting. Lucifer was manipulating him with ease, making him do what he wanted without even having to look him in the eyes. The man couldn’t refuse, after all, it was Lucifer and when he asked for something they would always do it, whether they wanted to or not.

Lucifer felt sick.

He placed the phone back onto its receiver, leaning one hand against the desk as he covered his mouth with the other, closing his eyes. This wasn’t what he wanted to be doing. He didn’t want to make the rep do anything. What if he lost his job for not being able to stonewall the LAPD long enough? What if he got in trouble? What if he hadn’t wanted to tell Lucifer to meet, or hadn’t wanted to meet them in the first place?

Lucifer knew, logically, that it was a murder investigation, and Dan would have managed to do the same thing he had, anyway, although it would have probably taken him another few hours.

But Lucifer didn’t like it, anyway. It made him feel… slimy.

He pushed off from the desk, suddenly feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of people surrounding him. As if they could all see into his head and know what he was thinking.

It was silly. Only a couple of angels were capable of telepathy, and he would have known if they were here. That knowledge didn’t stop the paranoia, though, and he found himself leaving the bullpen - he had finally bothered to learn what the room was called - walking quickly off in the opposite direction of Chloe and Dan. He walked into a, thankfully empty, interrogation room, closing the door behind him and leaning against it.

He just needed a second to catch his breath, is all. Then, he could rationalize all of this nonsense, and go back to being the perfect partner for Chloe. It was a foolproof plan, except he couldn’t seem to get himself to calm no matter how long he stood there.

Lucifer looked up, then flinched away as someone else met his eyes.

Stupid.

It was his own reflection.

What kind of Devil was he, afraid of his own face? Not even his fun red one, either.

His hair was a mess. Lucifer reached up to fix it, but the feel of fingers running through it sent him dropping his hand down to his face, covering his eyes as he tried to regain some semblance of control.

Lucifer forced himself away from the door, walking towards the table and plunking his foot onto it, leaning forwards and staring at his reflection’s haggard eyes.

He didn’t know why he couldn’t just get over all of this. Why he couldn’t make it up to Chloe, why he couldn’t stop panicking for no reason, why he kept getting hung up on a deal that had happened weeks ago.

Granted, time did pass differently for him, what with being an immortal being and all, but that didn’t change the fact that, even for him, he was being ridiculous.

He was fine. Malcolm was in the past, and all that mattered now was showing the Detective, through this case, how he wasn’t a liability for her. That even though he had betrayed her, she could still trust him.

Trust he didn’t deserve. But trust he desperately wanted, anyway.

And there was nothing standing in his way except his own ridiculous hang-ups about a pedo-stached Detective Malcolm.

Lucifer let out a cry of frustration, reaching up and resolutely digging his hands into his hair, ignoring the spike of panic that ricocheted through every nerve in his body, ignoring the way he could feel the tile under him even though he was standing upright, how he could smell sugar and the metal of guns, ignoring that he swore he could feel cuffs wrapped around his wrists. This was fine, this was fine, this was fine, this was- the fingers weren’t his and he could taste-

Fuck.

Lucifer had tears in his eyes, and he was gouging nail marks into his hands. Stupid, stupid, he shouldn’t be doing that, he shouldn’t be acting like some broken toy. He was Lucifer Morningstar, the Devil Himself, not some pathetic victim who couldn’t look themselves in the eye. This was meaningless, it was meaningless. He’d had his hair pulled more times than he could count, and he loved it each and every time. He even loved the rare occurrences of post-sex cuddling, where one of his guests would stroke his hair and whisper their awe to him.

And now, the thought of someone touching his hair made him physically nauseous. Touching it himself made him want to break his own hands. Hands, that were currently trembling so hard he was afraid he was going to dislodge the bones inside them.

Lucifer was seriously deliberating just having Maze strap him down and comb it, no questions asked, when he heard the door open behind him. He turned around, quickly shoving everything under, forcing a polite smile to his face.

“Detective, I managed to get us into Qual-” Lucifer’s smile slipped from his face, and his voice cut off as his throat closed in on itself.

It wasn’t Chloe.

Malcolm raised an eyebrow, leaning against the door and letting it fall closed with a click.

“Danny will be delighted to hear that - the whole precinct could hear him shouting about being on hold.”

Lucifer’s mouth was dry.

Malcolm was talking casually, posture completely relaxed. Of course he was. Malcolm had understood that it was a deal, that the time was agreed upon and carried out. It was Lucifer who was getting hung up on it.

“I saw Decker talking to him, actually. Having a water cooler-talk, I suppose.” Malcolm didn’t move from the door. “I was curious about that, actually. Decker seemed a bit… on edge, today. You know why that is?”

Lucifer shrugged. “This case is complex.” His voice came out shaky.

Malcolm’s lips twitched, and he seemed pleased. It made Lucifer’s skin crawl.

“See, that’s what I figured.” His voice lilted up. “It’s just that, well, it was my understanding that what happened a while ago would, ah, be staying between us. Ya know? And, I can’t help but feel like maybe you didn’t.” At the last word, Malcolm’s voice tinged sharp, and Lucifer found himself hunching slightly away from it.

Lucifer’s tongue seemed glued to the roof of his mouth, unable to speak. Malcolm continued, voice shifting back into a friendly tone.

“After all, I know that you wouldn’t go around telling people, right? That wouldn’t be very nice. And what would everyone think, knowing that you’d be a home wrecker? And poor Chloe, absolutely distraught, I’m sure.”

Lucifer didn’t want people to know - as he had decided before, the less people knew, the quicker Chloe would forget about his betrayal and they could move on. He didn't particularly care about the home wrecker part - the relationships he had 'ended' had already been destroyed long before he showed up.

“I don’t want people to know.” Lucifer replied tightly. “And I’d prefer you not discuss this with the Detective.”

“See, here’s the thing.” Malcolm banged his head lightly against the door, as if reminding Lucifer that he had blocked off the only escape route, “No part of the deal said that I couldn’t talk about it. Now, for obvious reasons, explaining that I’m dead would be a bit of a hassle, but believing that I’d fucked you? Not exactly a revolutionary action, as I’m sure you’re well aware.”

Lucifer frowned, feeling his heart rate pick up. This wasn’t the type of conversation he was sure he should be having - it was veering into a dangerous territory, and he was pretty sure Malcolm knew it.

“It’s quite well established that I have standards, actually, so it would be a touch unbelievable.” Lucifer forced himself to shrug casually, “Besides, I could always deny it.”

“But that would make you a liar, wouldn’t it?” Malcolm asked in a sing-song, falsely innocent voice, “And the Devil hates to lie.”

“About my standards? I’ll admit, I might’ve gone for it in the ‘80s, but nowadays you hardly cross the mark-”

Malcolm stood up straight, taking an aggressive step towards Lucifer. Lucifer flinched back, hard, backing up a couple of steps himself, eyes going wide and jaw snapping shut.

Malcolm chuckled, bemused. “Well, I didn’t even have to finish walking over there, huh? Are you always this cowed?”

Lucifer eyed the door again. Malcolm was still in front of it. Obviously, Lucifer could just break through the mirror - bulletproof had nothing on him - but his limbs felt paralyzed. Even if Malcolm hadn’t been physically blocking the door, Lucifer wasn’t sure he’d be able to make a go for it, anyway.

“Look, it’s not every day a guy like me gets to screw a deity like you.” Malcolm continued, now back to his casual voice again - all of these voice changes were disorienting, making it difficult for Lucifer to keep track of double meanings in his panicked state. “And, look, it’s pretty normal to want to brag about something like that. Getting to top Lucifer Morningstar? It’s a pretty big deal, and I’m pretty damn tempted to just… announce it to the world.”

“Don’t!” Lucifer surprised himself by speaking, voice catching in his haste, voice practically begging. He didn’t want Chloe to be reminded, didn’t want everyone to look at him and know.

“Well, I could keep it to myself,” Malcolm shrugged, “But that’s going to be pretty hard for me to do. A human has needs, after all.”

Lucifer didn’t respond, and Malcolm took it as an invitation, sauntering towards him casually, keeping himself between Lucifer and the door. Lucifer turned slightly to watch him carefully, his legs hitting the interrogation table.

“Unless you would make my silence worth it, anyway.” Malcolm’s hand reached out, placing itself onto Lucifer’s chest, in the exact same spot that he had that night in the penthouse.

Lucifer felt his heart stop. This wasn’t happening. Not again. Not again, no, no, he didn’t want this. He didn’t want this, this wasn’t what he wanted, this was awful and he felt like he was going to scream or maybe die or kill Malcolm or something. But Malcolm was looking at him and he couldn't move.

Malcolm saw the expression on his face, and shrugged again, dropping his hands and leaning back. “Or, I could just walk out there and announce that I fucked you in front of everyone, including - and especially - Decker.”

Lucifer grimaced. “Don’t tell her.” It was one thing hearing about it from him. Her hearing it from Malcolm, her suspect, would only make her more upset. And Lucifer didn’t want that. He wanted her to forgive him, to trust him as her partner. Not be reminded of his betrayal with her enemy, by her enemy.

“Okay, then.” Malcolm placed his hand back onto Lucifer’s chest, other hand sliding to curl around Lucifer’s shoulder, pulling him towards Malcolm just a touch closer. “Buy my silence.”

“How much do you want?”

“All of it.” Malcolm’s hand slid down from his chest to the waist of Lucifer’s pants. “I get to have more fun with you, and I won’t tell. Deal?”

Lucifer didn’t like that deal. It left too much open for interpretation, too many open ends that didn’t go in his favor.

“No. You don’t reveal the truth about this to anyone, in any format or context, and I will allow you a set period of time with -”

“No, see, that’s not going to work.” Malcolm pulled back slightly, tsking. “You’re asking for my silence. Permanently. Shouldn’t I get something permanent, too?”

Lucifer floundered, “It can’t interfere with my work, or anything I do. Otherwise it’ll affect my life outside of … you, and that can’t happen.”

“Fine. I won't tell anyone about what I do to you, and our activities won’t interrupt your oh-so-important life.”

Lucifer felt fear creeping up his spine, wrapping its icy tendrils around his lungs and squeezing the breath out of him. This wasn’t what he wanted. But he couldn’t let Chloe get more hurt from this. There were still loopholes he could exploit, but Malcolm’s were limited. This was a best-case scenario. Malcolm was a temporary problem, Lucifer would find a way out of it. He always did. What mattered was making sure that no one ever had to find out about this, that he could keep being a good partner to Chloe and could keep living this oddly mortal life with the humans.

Besides, if it ever got to be too much, Lucifer reflected, he could always just kill himself and wind up back in Hell - someplace Malcolm wouldn’t be for another couple lifetimes, anyway. Of course, that also meant never getting to see Chloe again…

Well, no, that was unacceptable, too. What was a little discomfort in the grand scheme of things? Having Chloe in his life was considerably better than not having her, and if Malcolm was the cost of that, so be it.

“Deal.” Lucifer replied shakily.

“Knew I could count on you!” Malcolm clapped Lucifer on the shoulder, fingers leaving a burning feeling behind.

“I gotta ask, though,” Malcolm glanced at his watch, “Are you busy now?”

Lucifer bit back a shudder. “No.”

“Great.” Malcolm's shark-like grin spread even wider.

And the hand at Lucifer's waist slipped even lower.

Chapter Text

Lucifer could feel the mop handle digging into his back as Malcolm ground up against him, one knee between his thighs.

It was relatively dark, but illuminated enough that he could see Malcolm’s hands roaming hungrily across his bare chest - their clothes were scattered on top of the shelves, and Lucifer silently bemoaned the fact that, yet again, his clothes would be a mess - he didn’t want to have anyone even suspect what was going on.

That would make all of these sacrifices worthless.

Of all the places Lucifer had fucked, a broom closet was… decidedly not high on his list. That decision was further punctuated as the back of his calf banged into a metal bucket as Malcolm pushed him further against the wall - really, this was hardly efficient. But Lucifer hadn’t wanted to stay in the interrogation room - he liked being there, when it was him and Chloe questioning a suspect. Malcolm had been disappointed, but had suggested this instead. And Lucifer hadn’t dared disagree again.

Lucifer wasn’t sure he’d be able to convince Malcolm to change his plans, next time.

Next time. Lucifer resisted the urge to vomit. He didn’t want this to happen again. He didn’t even want it to happen now. But Chloe - he couldn’t risk Chloe.

Lucifer had a not unreasonable concern that Malcolm would have, eventually, suggested going after Chloe if Lucifer rejected him. It wasn’t an implausible action, and considering Malcolm’s desire for life’s pleasures, it seemed more likely than not he would act on it. He knew they were partners, knew that Lucifer was protecting her, granted, in the only way he really could - with his body. Lucifer wanted to protect Chloe from Malcolm because of Palmetto - and also, selfishly, because he didn’t want her to keep being reminded of his betrayal - and if using his body would accomplish that, then so be it. After all, this was just the same as being shot at, but better because he wouldn’t die, so really it was fine.

This... was better than dying. Of course it was, he got to stay on earth and work with Chloe. That made this worth it. Right? It was just his body. It doesn't matter...

Speaking of bodies - Malcolm’s pressed even closer, one leg bracing against the wall, the other one still pushing between Lucifer’s. One hand dropped from his chest down to his stomach, and then lower still.

Lucifer tried not to flinch.

“C’mon, man, we haven’t even started yet. There’s no need to get antsy.” Malcolm complained lightly, hand pressing down harder, other hand stroking down his arm in a pantomime of a comforting gesture.

Lucifer swallowed hard, hands pressed against the wall to hold himself steady, back pressing against the cinderblock wall. It was cold, and Lucifer hated how much it reminded him of before. At least this time his hands were free, although they felt strangely weak. In a way, Lucifer almost wished that they weren’t doing this vertical - at least, then, he wouldn’t have to rely on his legs being able to support him.

Or feel this accursed bucket indenting into his leg for that matter, either.

Malcolm’s hand slid onto Lucifer’s thigh, pushing his legs open, gripping with bruising force. Lucifer braced his hands harder against the wall, fingers digging in hard, trying to maintain some semblance of stoicism. His eyes seemed frozen on Malcolm, unable to blink, disturbed by seeing, but afraid to look away - he needed to know when it was going to start, that way he could be in control, that way he would-

Malcolm roughly pushed into Lucifer, and Lucifer choked back a groan, hands flexing hard enough that he heard the sound of cracking concrete behind him.

Malcolm pressed himself tightly against Lucifer, hands still roaming, hungry and wanting and possessive. He pulled back far enough to ram himself back forwards, hips pressed against Lucifer’s skin.

This hurt. Lucifer couldn’t hide his grimace, but thankfully, for the moment, Malcolm was preoccupied, and didn’t notice. It didn’t make sense, not really. It hadn’t hurt the first time Malcolm had… made a deal… with him. Although, Lucifer reflected as Malcolm’s nails dug into his hip, gouging marks into his skin, it was a bit of a different experience. Malcolm was a bit more nervous the first time, worried about his sexuality and using up the time slot.

There was no nervousness now. No time limitation, either.

No, Malcolm seemed eager, desperate, even, to gain access to as much of Lucifer’s body as he could.

At least this time he hadn’t restrained him. It was an absurd thing to be relieved about, Lucifer knew, but he didn’t want to think about the implications of that right now. Or ever, possibly. But it was grounding, in a way, to be able to use his arms to brace the wall, to be able to release the adrenaline-induced energy coursing through him into doing something, even if that something was just pushing divots into said wall.

It didn’t distract him from the cold pushing against his back, seeping away his body heat. Lucifer never particularly liked the cold, and, as Malcolm shoved into him hard enough to push him back against it even further, he decided he really didn’t like it.

Malcolm shifted slightly, before ramming in again, and Lucifer let out a low, breathy groan as it sent another wave of pain rushing through his body.

The hand on his arm rose, wrapping around Lucifer’s mouth and jaw.

It would be so easy to bite it. To rip Malcolm's fingers off and give his blood to the hounds.

Lucifer didn’t. That would be a panicked reaction, and Lucifer. Didn't. Panic.

“You have to keep it down, Lucifer. Otherwise people are gonna find out from your moaning what we’re getting up to.”

“As opposed to-,” Lucifer’s voice was muffled, “The completely normal activity of hanging out in janitorial closets, right?”

“Very good. You’re learning. And who says that we can’t teach an old dog - or, Devil - new tricks?” Malcolm grinned, reaching up to ruffle Lucifer’s hair.

Lucifer raised one hand defensively to block Malcolm, knocking his hand away, muscles tensing.

Malcolm raised an eyebrow, but seemed unbothered. “A sore spot, huh? Well, it wouldn’t be very professional of you to deny aspects of your body after promising it to me, isn’t it?”

Lucifer slowly, painstakingly, lowered his arm, feeling his lungs stop moving entirely as Malcolm dug his hand back into his hair.

“You know,” Malcolm breathed, “You all tensed up…” He pulled on Lucifer’s hair, hard, forcing his head to the side, “It feels really nice.”

Lucifer shuddered, wanting to cry out but not wanting anyone to hear, because then people would know. So, instead, he choked back his groans just as he choked on his air, hands twitching against the rapidly deteriorating cement that was too cold, trying to convince his body to stop fighting and to just relax, because being tense only made it hurt more and he didn’t like it.

Oh, Dad, being tense made it hurt so, so much more. Malcolm enjoyed that, though, and kept moving the hand in his hair as he thrusted in, making Lucifer twitch and clench in tandem with his motion.

That ended up not lasting too long, as Malcolm pushed up one final time before stuttering to a finish. He pulled out after another moment, self-satisfied grin on his face.

Lucifer couldn’t quite hide the look of relief on his face, but Malcolm seemed to enjoy that, too.

“You gonna clean me off, or…?” Malcolm asked sarcastically, hand in his hair already pushing down.

Lucifer sank to his knees, albeit significantly less gracefully than in the past, taking care not to knock over the absurd amount of floor-cleaning tools that seemed to be scattered around them. Malcolm’s hand in his hair kept freezing him up, making Lucifer feel unsteady and off-balance, almost unsure of how to act.

Impatient, Malcolm pulled Lucifer towards himself, and Lucifer sucked off Malcolm. It tasted like sweat, salt, and strangely metallic copper. Lucifer had gotten off a truly obscene amount of men, and he had never quite tasted copper before.

When Lucifer tried to lean back, done, Malcolm’s hand remained firmly in place, keeping his mouth trapped for just a moment before letting go. Malcolm patted Lucifer on the head condescendingly, before smoothing it down to remove at least some of the bed-head look.

“There we go. Can’t have you looking a mess.” Malcolm gathered up his clothes, shucking them on efficiently. He finally paused, doing up the last few buttons of his flannel, looking back up and flashing Lucifer a sharp grin. “I had fun. We should do this again, sometime.” Malcolm listened at the door for a moment, before pulling out his phone, holding it to his ear, and beginning to speak into it, opening the door.

“-honey, I’ll be home in time for dinner. You know me, I wouldn’t miss your lasagna for the world. Love you too-” The door clicked shut, and his voice faded.

Lucifer sagged back, head hitting the wall behind him, an overwhelming feeling of relief sweeping over him as Malcolm left his presence.

Lucifer didn’t understand why it had hurt so much. It hadn’t been that painful before, hadn’t even really hurt at all, until a bit afterwards, around when Chloe got there. But, at least this time, it had ended sooner. Now, he could go back to Chloe’s desk, hopefully she hadn’t noticed he was gone, and…

And…

There was something wet on his thigh. Lucifer froze. Nausea rose in his throat, and he had to fight down the newfound urge to be sick - something that, for having never experienced before, was becoming an altogether too-common feeling. He didn’t want to reach down, but he definitely couldn’t go back out there and face Chloe covered in evidence.

Besides, Lucifer already had it inside of him, already had it on his tongue. It wasn’t that important where else it went, now. Gritting his teeth, he brushed his thigh with a shaky hand, feeling the slick, slightly sticky liquid there. Strangely, there seemed to be quite a bit, and Lucifer curiously, fearfully, brought up his hand to see.

Ah. Well. That would explain the copper smell from before.

Blood gathered between his fingers, the color edging under his fingernails and staining his skin. In a way, it was horrifying - Malcolm had hurt him this badly? But on the other, it was a relief - blood was not nearly so disgusting to him as what Malcolm had left in him.

And, he was in a closet full of cleaning supplies.

-----

When Lucifer came out of the closet, it was almost directly into the path of an Officer.

“Lucifer, what are you-?” He stopped in his tracks to avoid crashing into him. “What are you doing in a closet, man?”

“I was, uh, damaging property. Bill me for the repairs.” Lucifer grinned tightly, “You know how company interview politics are.” Not technically a lie. He was just letting the Officer fill in the details himself.

The Officer - whose name Lucifer didn’t bother to read - sighed and nodded conspiratorially. “I get what you mean, man. I’ve nearly lost my cool with those bastards more times than I can count. Oh, shit,” he snapped his fingers, “Decker’s on the warpath, man. She’s been going nuts looking for you.”

Lucifer felt his heart plummet, and his barely held-together mask cracked. “Oh, I will… go check on that. Thanks for letting me know.”

“Yeah, no prob, man. Have a good one.”

Lucifer wasn’t sure if he actually said goodbye or just walked away entirely, trying to get his brain to get back to speed. It seemed sluggish, barely moving and it was hard to think - Chloe was looking for him. Which meant that Chloe… was mad at him? No, that would only make sense if she was mad and looking for him. Wait. He had already thought that thought, right?

Lucifer walked down a hall, walking stiffly but trying to pass it off as looking like he was in a hurry. It seemed to work well enough, receiving only the most cursory of glances - well, cursory for when people were looking at Lucifer, anyway. The hungry, desire-filled eyes did tend to follow him, which now seemed to send his skin crawling, but it was just a part of him. He couldn’t change it any more than he could anything else about himself.

It was how he was made, after all.

Lucifer was most of the way down the hall when Chloe, and Dan right behind her, came around the corner. Chloe was speed-walking with the best of them, eyes scanning the doors near them, Dan splitting off to check inside the rooms.

Lucifer stopped in his tracks. Chloe looked… angry. Really, really angry. Maybe his weird train of thought had been correct. Lucifer knew he should probably say something, or do something, but Lucifer couldn’t seem to will himself to move. Instead, he only watched silently, frozen, as Chloe looked forwards from the door she was checking and eyes locked onto him.

She didn’t speak, but instead walked - practically ran - to him, stopping a few inches away, one hand outstretched as if to touch, but deciding against it.

Lucifer was grateful that she had decided not to. Which was strange, because he loved being touched, normally. Anyone, really. Physical contact was more important to him than pretty much everything, the exception maybe being alcohol. And Chloe was the most important thing to him, hands down. To be relieved at not having it, especially from Chloe, was… odd.

“Lucifer…?” Chloe asked, slightly out of breath, “Where were you? We were looking all over the place.”

“Just down the hall.” Lucifer pointed, turning slightly to the side and glancing back at the, now empty, hallway.

Dan grimaced. “We were separated from you by one freaking wall.” Then, he glanced at Lucifer again, frown etching further into his face. “You okay, man? You look a little… off.”

Lucifer raised an eyebrow. “I’m fine. I was just finishing up with the lovely company rep when I decided to take a break - and I proceeded to break some property.”

Dan looked annoyed. “Look, we’re not allowed to break shit when reps piss us off. Otherwise, I’d have torn down the entire building ages ago.” Then, his face softened. “But, hey, man, I’m glad you’re okay. You had us worried that, uh,”

“Worried about what?” Lucifer asked sharply, before turning to Chloe, throat tightening. “What did you tell him?”

“Just that I was worried that you weren’t here, and that you might be having a reaction to something you wouldn’t tell me about a couple weeks ago.” Chloe said carefully.

Her words weren’t soothing, but they did put Lucifer a little at ease. Dan didn’t know, either. That narrowed it down to just one person outside the deal knowing - the downside, of course, was it being the one person who mattered most, Chloe Decker.

“Well, you don’t have to worry.” Lucifer smiled as convincingly as possible, locking his knees so he wouldn’t stumble where he stood. “I’m doing perfectly fine.”

Judging by the concerned look Chloe casts him out of the corner of her eye, it didn’t convince her quite as effectively as he had hoped.

But, for now, it would be enough.

It had to be.

Chapter Text

Linda was worried.

Lucifer had told her he no longer required her services. Via text.

Normally, patients no longer needing her services could be a good, neutral, or bad thing.

For Lucifer, it was almost decidedly bad.

Considering his penchant for choosing the worst possible option in literally everything he did, not to mention his whole ‘Devil’ shtick, Lucifer was the sort of person she would recommend going to therapy… well, forever.

Sure, it was possible that Lucifer had found a therapist who was “better” - she wasn’t so arrogant as to believe she was the only capable shrink out there - but Lucifer hadn’t even intended to get therapy in the first place. It had just kind of… happened. Mainly because of pillow talk, actually.

She still wasn’t sure how she felt about that, actually. She knew that she should be disappointed in herself, should be morally outraged. But she just… wasn’t. Lucifer had made it clear that his body was the same as money, and, frankly, considering some of the celebrities she worked with, she wasn’t exactly in need of money. But she wanted him, and he was offering, so… it was wrong, maybe, but it wasn’t like their power dynamic was really all that much off. Especially not since Lucifer thought he was an immortal fallen angel.

She was justifying. Again.

Linda had found herself doing more and more of that, as time went on.

Really, it was for the best that Lucifer no longer wanted her as his therapist - it was an easy way of solving a problem that she knew, but didn’t want to acknowledge, was growing. It was for the best. For her.

It was not the best for him, though. Linda was certain of it.

Lucifer could quit her therapy as much as he wanted - but he really should have someone to talk to.

Which is why Linda was now standing awkwardly in front of the bar, watching Maze sharpen already razor-edged knives.

“Lucifer dropped you as a shrink?” Maze asked slowly, raking her eyes over Linda. “Then maybe I could… use your services.”

Linda ignored that. For the time being. “Do you know if he was going to another one?”

“Mm, feeling jealous?” Maze grinned sharply, “Lucifer’s loyal, sure, but he never said he would be to you.”

“Mazikeen, I’m being serious.” Linda frowned, “I’m really worried about him. You know him, he’s not exactly… healthy. I just want to make sure he’s getting the help he needs.”

“He hasn’t mentioned going to another therapist, no.” Mazikeen shrugged, face set hard. “And I don’t think he’ll be reaching out to one anytime soon.”

“What do you mean?”

“He’s…” Maze frowned. “Your therapy… it helps him, right?”

“I’d like to think so, yes.”

“Hm. Well, Lucifer’s been… withdrawing, lately. After a case, a couple weeks back. I’m not sure what happened, and he won’t tell me - but he shut himself off. Completely. He just came out of it this morning, and even then he’s been weird about it. He left with Decker to go do something, but he’s been acting… off.”

Linda leaned forwards, resting against the bar, intent. “Do you know anything else?”

Maze didn’t hesitate. “Nope.” She spun her knives in her hand, before tucking them away. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a hunt.”

“Hunt?”

“Yeah. I’m going after a pig.” Maze grinned wolfishly. “Help yourself to a drink. Or twenty. I’m eager to discuss your therapy benefits when I return.” She slapped down a tumbler and some random dark-colored alcohol onto the counter.

“Thanks, but I should really get going. Work to do, people to therap-ize.” Linda said, straightening up to leave.

“Nonsense. I insist.” Maze smiled wider, “Drinks on the house. Have a little indulgence.”

Linda raised an eyebrow, but obliged, pouring a drink.

Maze looked pleased.

Hm. Maybe Linda should consider taking on Maze as a patient, too. She seemed nearly as much in need of it as Lucifer.

Well, that was a bit unfair. Maze was, after all, functioning.

Which was more than could be said for Lucifer, a lot of the time.

Linda took a sip of her drink. It was brandy - not exactly her favorite drink in the world. She was actually more of a tequila gal, but she found that brandy was the most-tolerable form of “professional” alcohol.

But alcohol was alcohol, and it could get you drunk either way.

Linda had finished her first drink, and was seriously deliberating taking a second and just hailing a cab home, when she heard the doors open behind her.

“That was fast-” Linda said, turning around, expecting to see Maze.

Instead, she saw… Dr. Cannan? “What are you doing here?”

He looked taken aback to see Linda, but quickly recovered, face switching from its stern, almost angry expression, to a warm smile.

“Dr. Martin! I wasn’t expecting you.”

“Neither was I. What are you doing?”

“Just… dropping by. A bartender here, Mazikeen Smith, and I were… discussing some options for therapy, if she was interested.

“Oh. Well, she was just here. Left to go…” Linda waved her hand in the air aimlessly, “Do whatever.” She chuckled a little. “Never thought I’d see the day when I’d be day drinking.” She tilted the bottle to Cannan. “Want any?”

“No, thank you.” He declined, stiff. “Have you seen Lucifer, either?”

“No. Not for a while, actually. That’s why I came by. Just… wanted to check up on him.”

“Did you?”

“No, he’s not here right now.”

“Ah.”

“Cannan, I… worry about him. I have a fair few patients, and he’s… definitely the most troubled. I don’t think him dropping therapy is a wise choice.”

“Oh, you know Lucifer. He’s not known for making wise choices.” Cannan said casually.

“Well, whatever’s bothering him, I’m sure will manifest in some way or another. And it’s almost guaranteed to be something unhealthy!”

“I wouldn’t worry about that too much, Linda.”

“What?”

Cannan shook his head, “Sorry, that’s not what I meant. Just… Lucifer, when faced with obstacles, seems to prefer to pick the wrong choice, out of fear. He was very immediate goals - focuses on what he wants in the moment, not what will help him long-term. So, it’ll be unhealthy, certainly, but it will go away once whatever is bothering him goes away, too.”

“Not if it’s trauma.”

Cannan visibly startled. “Trauma? Lucifer? I don’t think-”

“He’s my patient. Not yours.” Linda snapped, “And, frankly, you don’t seem to have the level of understanding of Lucifer that I do - so what you think isn’t really relevant right now, is it?”

“Lucifer’s been traumatized?” Cannan frowned. “I didn’t think that was possible.”

“He thinks the world is stacked against him, he has every single bad habit and unhealthy lifestyle choice in the books, and he’s avoidant to the point of absurdity. Oh, yeah, and he thinks he’s Satan! I’m amazed he’s functioning at all.”

Cannan dipped his head. “No, you’re right. Of course. I apologize if I overstepped.”

“No, no, it’s fine.”

Suddenly, Linda felt tired. It was exhausting, this job, and she hadn’t meant to snap at her well-meaning, albeit odd, coworker.

Maybe she should invest in going to therapy herself.

She certainly felt like she was going to need it once whatever Lucifer was busy not-coping with blew up in his face.

In the end, Linda decided against the second drink. She might as well get some paperwork done back at the office.

Cannan said he was going to wait for Maze to come back, and Linda left, shaking her head. He had no idea what he was signing up for with her. She had just pulled onto the highway, mind racing with thoughts of whether or not she should reach out to Lucifer, when her phone started ringing.

Now, this was California. No texting while driving. Linda was supposed to let it go to voicemail - but she glanced at it, just because it might be important.

She quickly cut across two lanes of traffic, pulling onto the emergency stop shoulder, pressing on her hazards and grabbing her phone up from the cup holder.

The Caller ID read Lucifer.

“Lucifer?” She asked, holding it up to her ear.

“Dr. Martin?” It was Detective Decker. “I think Lucifer needs your help.”

----
Amenadiel was a bit annoyed by Dr. Martin’s presence. He hadn’t anticipated her being there, and it made it difficult to question Maze when Maze wasn’t even there.

Not that that was Linda’s fault, but still. It felt like everything that could go wrong, well, was.

Lucifer was still skipping around somewhere on earth, Malcolm was nowhere in sight, Maze was gone, and now Linda was getting in the way.

Her little comment about Lucifer being traumatized was… odd. It shouldn’t have stuck, but it did. Amenadiel and Lucifer had their fights - and by Father did they fight - but Amenadiel cared deeply for Lucifer. He always had.

And yet… it had never even occurred to him that Lucifer was even capable of experiencing trauma. Sure, being cast out of Heaven couldn’t have been a good experience, but it couldn’t have scarred him too much.

It wasn’t like Lucifer had ever wanted to be in the family to begin with.

Right?

Being on earth was beginning to affect Amenadiel’s judgement. He wasn’t sure he liked that. He didn’t want to be altered - what he is, is how he was designed. To change would be to possibly stray from their Father’s will.

Amenadiel glanced around to make sure there were no humans around, before unfurling his wings. He was already changing, already straying. His wings were, to his great shame, proof of that. His long, dark brown feathers were ragged, with bare patches where they had begun to fall out spotted across.

He was straying from his path. The sooner Lucifer was back in Hell, the sooner he could return to Heaven and this problem would stop.

Amenadiel tucked his wings back, not wanting to have to look at them any longer than strictly necessary. Maybe he could stop by that resurrected human - remind him to hurry up and get the job done.

The sooner the better - Amenadiel was well aware that resurrected souls don’t exactly deal well with being alive again, and the sooner the human finished the job, the sooner Amenadiel would no longer be responsible for him.

All Amenadiel needed to do, was have the human not do anything stupid. Just return Lucifer to Hell, and that was it.

Somehow, the concept that was so simple was seeming to become increasingly difficult.

Amenadiel could still freeze time well enough to get to the LAPD. He would find the human, put some angelic fear into him, and get him to finish his job.

So, without wasting any time, Amenadiel spread his wings, and took off for the precinct.

He would take care of the human problem, which would take care of his Lucifer problem.

Easy.

Linda would probably say that dying is traumatic.

Amenadiel would point out, then, that death wasn’t even real. Not to them. Lucifer would be upset, sure, but he wouldn’t be traumatized.

He wouldn’t be.

He couldn’t be.

Father would not allow one of his children to be capable of such a thing. They were angels.

Amenadiel couldn’t help but shake the creeping feeling that he was making excuses to himself.

Or possibly for himself.

It didn’t matter.

Once Lucifer was back, nice and cozy in Hell, none of it would matter anymore.

And that thought gave Amenadiel solace.