Dan feels suspicion creep along his neck the third time one of them glances over at him while they cluster together talking.
Maze was trouble enough by herself, but paired with Ella’s enthusiasm? Who knows what they could be planning. He hoped that whatever it was, Chloe’s presence would, at least, contain the fallout. A few seconds later Lucifer is in his vision, blocking his spying, hip against his desk, snide and pretty. It’s enough to distract Dan from whatever the girls are plotting. He only realizes later that Lucifer’s timing was just a little too perfect.
It all comes to a less than perilous conclusion when Ella corners him in the breakroom.
“Girl’s night?” he repeats, staring blankly at Ella.
“Yeah!” she says brightly, waiting for him to accept the invitation.
“Girl’s night,” he says again, with emphasis.
“Hey,” Ella says, chipper expression crunched down into a frown. “Girl’s night is not gender exclusive. It’s not just for girls, it’s for everybody. Girl’s night is an emotion, Dan. An experience.”
“I’m sure,” he defers.
She huffs at him. “Come on. Lucifer will be there, too, ya know.”
Setting aside Lucifer’s less than strict adherence to masculinity, Dan raises an eyebrow. “I would think so, since it’s his club you’re having it at.”
Ella changes tack. “Free drinks, Dan. Free drinks with friends. Please?” She gazes up at him, her soft doe eyes wide and imploring.
And yeah, okay, that works.
But when it comes time to get dressed for...Drinks with Friends Night, Dan hesitates. Lux is both upscale and a nightclub, which leaves a wide range of possible outfits. And while he and Ella are still good friends, they’ve had sex and she invited him out to drinks. Drinks with Friends...but still.
He settles for a more polished version of his normal attire, a nicer jacket, shinier shoes. The line around Lux winds down the street, young and pretty things chattering excitedly while they wait. He gets a few curious looks as he steps up to the front and the bouncer, Jackson, lets him in with a nod.
Inside, Lux is already loud with music and people. A little overwhelmed, Dan casts his eyes about, looking for familiar faces. He spots Ella and Maze at a table, Lucifer standing nearby, chatting with them and Chloe sitting at the bar. He shifts his weight a little before deciding to join Chloe.
She turns when she feels his elbow brush her arm as he settles on the stool next to her and her expression brightens when she realizes it’s him. “Dan!” she says over the music. “You made it!” She graces him with a quick, one-armed hug. The bartender slides a drink in front of her and then looks at him, expression waiting. He orders something easy and the bartender sets off to fill it.
“Did you just get here?” he asks.
“Ah, no,” she says, tucking a bit of hair behind her ear. “I was upstairs.”
Ah. Right. Honestly, sometimes Dan forgets that she and Lucifer are together together now. They were always so deep in each other's orbit before that now that they're officially a thing, there hardly seems a difference. They’re professional at work, or as professional as Lucifer ever is. Overall, though, they've been respectful about the whole thing, not rubbing it in his face or showing off. Even though his grief over Charlotte no longer sits like a black hole in his chest, he still appreciates their kindness.
“And how is... All of that?” he asks.
“Good.” She clears her throat. “Really good.”
“Good,” Dan says. “That's good,” and desperately resists the urge to brain himself on the counter. Thankfully, a frothy, dark beer is placed in front of him and he thanks God and the bartender for the rescue, taking it and sucking down a long, cool, draught.
“I'm glad you came,” Chloe says, after he sets his beer back down, glass half empty. “I wasn't sure you would.”
He gives a half shrug. “Ella got me. Those puppy eyes.”
Chloe grins. “They’re hard to resist.” The grin turns mischievous. “She was really insistent that you join us.”
Dan doesn't rise to the bait, and if the heat in his cheeks gives him away, well, it's a strong beer. Chloe laughs at him, but it's not unkind. And maybe it’s the alcohol in his veins or the atmosphere or Chloe gently ribbing him, but it feels - well, for lack of a better term - it feels good.
Lucifer appears next to Chloe, looking rich and dark in his black suit, the top few buttons of his shirt undone. He looks pretty wobbly and steadies himself against the bar. His eyes are shiny and his throat is flushed.
“Chloe!” he says, overly bright and delighted. His gaze drifts down, lingers on the short hem of Chloe's skirt before slowly rising. “You look beautiful.” The compliment is given guilelessly, total honesty tripping from his loose tongue.
“Thank you, Lucifer.” She smiles, warm and indulgent. “You said so earlier.”
“Did I?” he asks and sways slightly. “Well, it is...is a truth worth repeating.”
“Are you drunk?” she asks, a note of surprise in her voice. Dan muffles a snort, it’s clear to anyone who looks that Lucifer is far past tipsy.
“No!” Lucifer objects and then catches himself on the bartop when he leans a little too far. He reconsiders. “Well, perhaps a bit.”
“How many have you had?” Dan asks.
“Three!” Lucifer chirps.
“Three bottles!” he corrects with a grin.
Dan raises his eyebrows. “Why on earth did you drink three–actually, you know what, never mind. I don't want to know.”
His protests mean nothing to Lucifer, though, who answers regardless. “Won a bet. Maze and Ella said I... Said I couldn't. But I could. Can.” He lifts the hand he'd been using to brace himself to tap his breast pocket.
Chloe steadies him a little and he tips further into her space without his counterbalance. “Clearly.” But she's obviously amused at his antics. Lucifer’s hand falls clumsily to her knee to keep from leaning his weight completely against her.
“And then I saw you sitting over here and I had to tell you...” He seems to lose his train of thought, caught up in staring at Chloe. She brings a hand up to his jaw, smooths a thumb along his cheek. Lucifer leans into the contact. Dan shifts uncomfortably, feeling like he's abruptly witnessing something he shouldn't.
“Tell me what, Lucifer?”
“How the way the light hits your hair makes it look like spun gold. Far prettier than all the gilded streets of Heaven. That there’s none who could possibly compare to your splendor.”
Dans honestly a little amazed at how articulate Lucifer remains despite his level of intoxication, though his accent does waver a little, slipping briefly into something else, something more foreign, before meandering back. Chloe gently taps his face. “You’re sweet.”
“Am not. Honest.”
Dan isn’t sure if Lucifer means he’s being honest about the compliment or being honest about not being sweet, but it doesn’t matter because he dips his head to kiss her. They’ve been pretty circumspect about their relationship so far, so it surprises him to see this public display of affection right in front of him. The amount of booze Lucifer claims to have consumed probably has something to do with it.
Dan clears his throat awkwardly, but they either ignore him or don’t hear him as they press closer, mouths parting to deepen the kiss. Lucifer's hand shifts and Chloe’s skirt slips up a little, revealing a flash of thigh that is quickly encompassed by Lucifer’s palm as he moves his hand along her leg. It makes Dan swallow and look away. Yeah, definitely not something he should be witnessing.
He’s just about to speak up or slink off when the song in the background changes to something with a heavy beat and Lucifer’s distracted, pulling back. Dan breathes a sigh of relief and finishes his drink. He refuses to look over at them, feeling a dull flush of embarrassment and other things Dan doesn’t care to examine. Chloe looks a bit dazed herself.
Lucifer’s voice carries. “Do you want to dance? I want to dance. I want to dance with you.”
She slips from her seat and stumbles, just a little on slender, black heels. They’re new, Dan knows, and they look expensive. There's no doubt who bought them for her. Lucifer catches her as they both teeter. Chloe laughs and straightens. Dan fears they’ll both fall on their faces.
The two of them interlace fingers and Lucifer leads her out into the crowd as people part to let them through, enraptured by the sight of them. Dan grimaces and slides Chloe’s abandoned drink over and takes it for himself, downing it in one go. The burn is smooth and pleasant.
Some woman makes eyes at him a few seats down, but he’s not here to flirt. He slides off the bar stool as surreptitiously as he can and makes his way over to the table where the rest of the girls are. Maze and Ella go back and forth with half-sensible banter, a collection of brightly colored drinks around them. They pause when he approaches.
“Mind if I join?”
“Of course not, dude!” Ella slides over to give him a spot. “Come on in.”
The three of them talk, having a surprising amount in common once conversation begins to flow. Ella somehow manages to wiggle out a story about his high school d&d playing days and they get embroiled in a conversation about monster features that Maze has an alarming amount of nonchalant info to impart. “Nah, ogre’s are the ones you gotta worry about eating flesh.”
Linda joins them about halfway through the night, a large margarita in her hand, joking about trying to catch up to the rest of them. “Dan,” she says, warm in a way that reminds him of the way she begins therapy. “I’m so glad you decided to join everyone.”
Dan gets the inkling that all the women in his life are in cahoots with each other. “Yeah, well, you were telling me that I should get out now and then, not just stay in the apartment and then this one practicaly begged me.” He jostles Ella lightly with his elbow.
“I did not!” she refutes. Pauses. “Okay, yeah, I guess I did. But you’re having a good time, aren't you?”
He smiles. “Yeah. I am. Thanks for making me come along.”
He glances over at the dancing every now and then, catches flashes of Chloe and Lucifer intertwined in the cluster. A laugh huffs under his breath at the sight of them dancing together, Lucifer’s expression joyful and open. Dan shakes his head a little, amused despite himself. Ella makes an inquiring noise, eyebrows raised. “Lucifer is sloshed,” he says. “Not sure I’ve ever seen him so far gone. He’s not going to be able to last the night if he keeps drinking like that.”
“Nah,” Maze says easily, “He’ll be fine in an hour or so. He’d have to drink a third of our stores to keep that level of buzz.”
He and Ella both look at Maze in a mix of skepticism and disbelief. “No way,” Dan refutes. Even a man of Lucifer’s size and drinking habits couldn’t possibly maintain that level of alcohol in his system.
Maze shrugs, unconcerned with their lack of faith. “You’ll see.”
“Maze,” Linda says exasperatedly. Maze appears unrepentant.
Linda provides unique insights to their discussion and she’s funny in a wry, clever way that he doesn't get to see much in their sessions. The song ends and Lucifer and Chloe rejoin them after a brief stop for fresh drinks at the bar, Lucifer’s guiding hand at the small of her back. They settle down into the booth fairly flushed between the drinking and dancing, but there's an added blush to Chloe’s cheeks and a dark mark near the hollow of Lucifer’s throat that’s not quite low enough to be hidden by his open collar. They put up with the subsequent teasing with good grace, both of them clearly too pleased to have their mood dampened.
Lucifer’s got a glass of something dark and strong, but it hardly appears to affect him as he sips, watching his friends enjoy themselves. It looks like Maze was right. There is something incredibly disturbing watching Lucifer go from stumbling drunk to completely clear headed while everyone else around him progressively gets more and more tipsy.
Chloe is leaning most of her weight on Lucifer, their shoulders pressed together. Her hair falls forward as she moves forward to make a point to Linda and Ella and she messily pushes it back. Chloe gets like that, all tactile and loose. All that carefully wound restraint abruptly undone. Dan used to joke that she went from solid to liquid form, and it’s not an inaccurate comparison as she flows into Lucifer, trusting him to be there to support her.
Lucifer is looking at her like she's the sun and moon and all the stars. Like she's a miracle he cannot fathom. His eyes are dark and tender and impossibly sober. He looks up, meets Dan's gaze and pauses. There's a moment where once they might have fallen into posturing, but they're older and wiser and beyond that now.
Dan merely flicks his eyes from Chloe to Lucifer and tips his glass in acknowledgement. Lucifer, for his part, is gracious in response, a small, genuine smile stealing across his face. After all, Dan knows the look of a man in love with the incredible Chloe Decker.
The club grows darker and fuller, the low bass of the music rumbling in his chest. A song comes on that Ella demands they all get out and dance for and Dan finds himself dragged along. Still, Ella in close quarters, the heavy press of people, the warm alcohol in his veins, it’s nice. He needed to get out of his head for a bit.
Ella snatches up his hand, leads him in a bit of impromptu salsa. “Te dije que iba a ser divertido!” she shouts over the music. She’s right, tonight has been fun.
“Sí, sí,” he teases, letting her pull him along. “You’re so smart, Lopez.” He turns the tables, maneuvering her into a spin and then allowing the momentum to bring her against him, his front to her back, arms around her.
“Mierda, Daniel, tú puedes bailar.” He can feel her laughter trapped against her ribs in his hold. He has half a mind to be offended at her disbelief. Of course, he’s got dance moves.
“You haven’t seen anything yet,” he retorts with all the confidence of a man one too many drinks in. They dance until Dan can feel sweat drip down his back, as one song bleeds into another.
“Whoo, Decker! Get it!” Ella calls out towards the dance floor, startling him with the volume. Dan looks over, despite himself.
The two of them are pressed up against a far wall. He can’t see much around Lucifer’s back turned towards them, but it’s clear they’re getting handsy. Chloe's fingers are gripping Lucifer's hair, her other hand keeping balance at his shoulder and honestly, Dan doesn't need to know anymore, jerking his gaze away.
“I’m gonna get some water,” he says to Ella, and she nods, moving over to dance with Linda.
Dan squeezes through the pack of dancers and downs a glass of cool ice water. He presses the glass to his head for a moment, the pouding threatening to bloom into a headache when Maze shows up, requests shots and slams them back, one after the other. Dan looks on in horrid fascination.
“What?” she asks aggressively.
She snorts. “Come on,” she says, grabbing his arm and dragging him back to the table.
“How are you so strong?” he whines, just a little. Dan’s not entirely sure how but they end up entangled in an arm wrestling competition that the others come over to watch once the song is over. He loses spectacularly, but he didn’t really expect otherwise.
They all pile into the booth. Chloe, somehow, ends up in Lucifer’s lap. The man doesn't seem averse to the situation, taking a slow swallow of his drink, eyes dipping to just below the table. Dan would honestly be more suspicious about what was going on under there if Lucifer didn't have one hand around a glass and the other visible at Chloe's waist. Lucifer nuzzles her shoulder and murmurs something, the low rumble of his voice audible but the specific words lost.
Lucifer doesn’t seem inclined to conversation at the moment, setting his drink down to wrap both arms around her and press his face to her back. She reaches down to briefly touch at his hand before rejoining the conversation as if Lucifer plastering himself to Chloe is a regular occurrence. Who knows? Perhaps it is. No one else at the table seems to find it unusual. Their touches are filled with a casual intimacy, something proprietary and certain in the way Chloe’s fingers brush him or the slow glide of Lucifer’s palm at her side.
The bartender brings them a fresh round of drinks at some unseen signal from either Lucifer or Maze. Lucifer attempts to shift to reach his pocket, but can’t quite get there with Chloe on his legs, so she reaches down for him, rooting around and pulling a bill out to hand to the man. “Thank you, Patrick,” Chloe beams.
Patrick stifles a grin. “You’re very welcome, boss.” He parts with a wink.
Lucifer grumbles a little, but there’s no real heat in it. He seems remarkably comfortable with Chloe laying claim to anything, including, but not limited to his money, his time, and his lap.
She sits back and tilts her head up at him impishly. He glances down and raises one dark eyebrow. Unspoken challenge accepted, she mouths a kiss to the underside of his jaw and deliberately shifts her hips against him, made bold by her drinks. Lucifer’s gaze blackens and he pulls her against him with a soft growl that presses against the senses like the deep bass of the nightclub music.
Chloe giggles and squirms. Lucifer closes his eyes and stills her, his grip on her going white-knuckled. She pouts at him and he gives her a stern look. It’s such a reversal from their normal interactions that Dan can’t help but laugh. Temporarily put off, because Dan knows Chloe won’t give up that easy, she subsides in her teasing for now.
The evening begins to wind down, even though the party at Lux doesn’t stop until last call, but it’s been plenty long enough for Dan and for the rest of them as well as their drinks catch up to them.
“I think it’s time to call it a night and put little Detectives to sleep.” Chloe’s eyes have gone heavy and her movements lethargic.
“Don’t wanna,” she says sounding so much like their daughter that Dan has to smother another laugh.
“I can share an Uber with Dan,” Ella suggests, her voice just a smidge too loud.
“Yeah, I bet you will,” Maze answers, licking the edge of her teeth in appreciation. “You want any company?”
“Maze!” Ella objects with a laugh.
“What? It never hurts to ask.” Maze casts an appreciative gaze over the two of them and Dan feels oddly like a prey animal in the eyes of a jaguar.
Ella only cackles and punches Maze in the arm.
“I’ve got to be going home myself,” Linda says apologetically.
“Should we split the check?” Ella asked with a giggle, knowing they drank and ate at Lux for free.
“I could think of something I’d like to split,” Lucifer says quietly, but Dan catches it. He coughs, but Lucifer only grins, unrepentant.
Dan groans and files out of the booth, the rest of them following after in various states of inebriation. Ella starts arranging for an Uber on her phone while Linda waits for Amendiel to pick her up. Maze disappears somewhere, but no one seems overly concerned. Chloe trips over her feet, or perhaps Lucifer’s feet, on her way out of the booth.
“Easy there, Detective,” he says, bracing her at the forearm.
“M fine. M okay.” Still, she lets Lucifer take most of her weight. She blinks up at him. “Gosh, you’re so pretty,” she breathes and slides a hand down his chest to curl around his belt. She leans until her cheek is smashed against his chest.
“Thank you,” he says, cupping the back of her head. “So are you.”
“Yeah, yeah, take it upstairs, you two!” Ella razzes them.
Lucifer wraps his arms around Chloe, tucking her in close, and waggles his eyebrows at Ella from over Chloe’s head. “What an excellent idea, Miss Lopez.” He tilts down to kiss Chloe’s hair. “Shall we heed the fine forensic scientist’s suggestion?”
They manage to say their goodbyes and then Lucifer is carefully directing an uncoordinated Chloe towards the elevators, his hands gentlemanly and stable even as she attempts to unbutton his shirt with limited success. They step into the elevator and they vanish from his sight. Ella’s warm touch pulls his attention back.
“Don’t worry, Dan. They’ll be okay,” she assures him.
“I know,” Dan replies, “they’re together.”
He doesn’t see Chloe, drunkenly leaning against the elevator doors on the penthouse floor, protesting when they attempt to close on her. He doesn’t hear her threaten them with incarceration. “Your…yr…under arrest for ‘saultin nnofficer.”
He doesn’t see the doors attempt to close again, or Lucifer, gently scooping her up and taking her to their bed. He doesn’t hear Lucifer’s soft reply. “I think it’s time for you to go to sleep, Detective. You can fight the elevator for resisting arrest in the morning.”
Or Chloe’s objection and Lucifer’s patient response.
“I almos’ had’em!”
“I’m sure you did.”
He doesn’t know how carefully Lucifer undresses Chloe and tucks her in, or how he sets aside a glass of water and painkillers on the bedside table for her later. Or how she kicks off the sheets when she gets too hot, but snuggles up to Lucifer's warmth. He can’t see them twine together in the twinkling lights of LA’s nightlife.
But, he doesn’t need to. After all, Dan knows they’re together and that's enough. He lets Ella slip her fingers in his and tug him towards the car.