“I have a question,” said Mazikeen, leaning across the counter. “It’s about the whole what’s appropriate for Trixie thing.”
Chloe sipped her coffe, and nodded. “Shoot.” At this point, she was glad Maze was at least asking.
“So I had an…overnight guest, and he’s currently taking a shower.” Maze rolled her eyes. “He’s good in bed, but it takes ages to get him out of the shower. What should I make sure Trixie doesn’t see?”
“Make sure he’s dressed, and the preferred euphemism is ‘sleepover’. If Trixie asks if he’s your boyfriend…make it sound romantic?” Chloe was trying
Maze nodded. “I can do that. He’s a real prince.”
“Nice.” Chloe smiled. “A good guy?”
Trixie came in. “Maze! Can I have I have Chocolate Frosted Sugar bombs for Breakfast?”
“Those aren’t real sweetie,” Chloe said. “They’re from Calvin and Hobbes.”
“Maze brings them!”
“Tomorrow,” Maze said. She winked.
A tall, muscular man emerged from Maze’s bedroom, wearing nothing but green fish scale Speedos.
Chloe nearly choked on her coffee.
Trixie laughed. “You forgot to get dressed!”
The man glared at Trixie. He had, Chloe noticed, pointy ears. Really realistic ones. And tiny little wings on his ankles. And some weird ridges on his neck.
Comicon, Chloe thought. “He’s going swimming, honey,” she lied.
The man gave Chloe a surprised look. “That is correct.” He had ridiculously dramatic eyebrows. “I’m going to the sea.”
“Mommy, can I go swim in the sea?” Trixie asked. “Can we go to the beach?”
“I wouldn’t recommend it right now,” said the man. “The beach is…not going to be clean. Too much pollution. Not nice for children. I’d give it at least a few weeks.”
“Prince Namor is leaving,” said Maze. “We had a sleepover.” She smiled at Chloe.
Trixie turned to Chloe. “How come Maze gets to have a sleepover on a school night?”
“Because Maze is a grownup,” said Chloe.
‘Prince’ Namor stared at Chloe and Trixie for a moment, then walked away.
Chloe sat down at her desk and logged onto the computer.
“Morning,” said Jim. He set down a fresh cup of coffee.
“You don’t have to do this every morning,” Chloe said. It was sweet of Jim to do that, but weird. Uniform didn’t usually bring coffee to detectives.
“I like to be useful,” Jim said. “Plus, I figure it can’t hurt for the new guy to try to make a good impression. I’ve made a bad first impression in the past, and it’s incredibly hard to overcome.”
“I can’t imagine you making a bad impression,” said Chloe. Jim was such a sweet guy.
“Thanks. My...hot-headed streak used to be more of a problem, but I've gotten better at controlling it.” He glanced over at Dan’s desk. “How does Detective Espinoza like his coffee?”
“Morning, Detective.” Lucifer sauntered in.
“Afternoon,” said Chloe. She sighed. “Tell me, does Maze genuinely not get it when I explain things, or is she being willfully obtuse?”
“That depends entirely,” said Lucifer. He sat on the edge of the desk. “Do dish.”
“I asked her to be discreet about some of her…overnight friends. And this morning, she had this guy parading around in a Speedo, right in front of Trixie!”
“That might actually be a sincere mistake on her part. Maze is a little fuzzy about which garments are inappropriate. She's grasped that you need to cover the genitals, but beyond that, she gets a little confused.”
“Ridiculous looking guy,” Chloe muttered. “He had these Spock ears, and the eyebrows, but…ankle wings, and a fish-scale Speedo! What even is that supposed to be?”
There was a shattering sound behind her. Chloe turned.
“Sorry,” said Jim. “Dropped a mug.”
“Hang on,” Lucifer said. “Maze spent the night with Prince Namor?”
“You know that weirdo?”
“Yes! I can’t believe she didn’t invite me! Prince Namor loves a good threesome! Or a foursome or fivesome, if you have enough friends.”
“Ugh!” Chloe threw her hands up in the air. “Maze is parading her weird orgy friends around Trixie!”
“It’s good for her,” said Lucifer. “It will teach her about diversity. Most surface-dwelling children never meet any Atlanteans, let alone royalty!” He paused and turned to stare at Jim, who’d been moving closer. “I’m sorry, who are you again?”
“Jim.” He smiled politely. “From New York. You were talking about Prince Namor from Atlantis?”
“Don’t mind him,” said Chloe. “He talks weird nonsense. He says he’s the devil.”
Jim frowned. “Did Namor say where he was going?”
“You know him?” Lucifer frowned. “Who are you, Jim from New York?”
“I’m the new uniform officer. I moved here a couple of weeks ago.”
Lucifer gave Jim an intense stare. “Tell me, Jim, what do you desire?”
Jim blinked. “I desire…to be a good man. To have a soul.”
Lucifer frowned again. “You want to have a soul? I mean you obviously already have one, so I don’t know if you want two souls, or…”
“I have a soul?” Jim asked.
“Of course you do,” said Lucifer. “Why would you think you didn’t?”
“All officers! An unknown assailant is on Venice Beach! He’s threatening the city with a wall of water!”
Jim shook his head. “Not again!" He sighed and looked at Chloe and Lucifer. "Look, this is going to be weird, but I promise, I will keep you humans safe!” He stepped away and shouted, “Flame on!”
Jim burst into flames, and flew out of the building.
Chloe gaped and blinked. “What was that?”
Lucifer looked disgusted. “A complete showoff.”
“Attention surface dwellers!” The man shouting was hovering in the air. “I am the Avenging Son of Atlantis here to make you pay for your wrongs against the sea!”
He was flying, apparently using his tiny little ankle wings.
It was definitely Prince Namor, the guy Maze had hooked up with. Chloe was pretty sure she should tell someone, but she was still wrapping her head around Maze having spent the night with the weird flying guy who’d summoned the wall of water to threaten LA.
“If you don’t stop polluting the ocean, I am going to destroy your city!”
A bright streak of fire shot through the sky. “Namor, knock if off!” He paused and turned to the people on the ground. “Look, I will take care of this, if you all just stay back!”
Chloe knew that voice. It was Jim, the new guy.
This was the weirdest day in Chloe’s life. What was next, discovering Maze was secretly a ghost? Lucifer actually being the devil?
“The surface dwellers must pay for their pollution!” Namor shouted.
“Oh dear,” said Lucifer. “Namor’s always had a bit of a temper. I’d step back and let Burning Man there take care of this. It doesn’t look much fun for mortals.”
“Lucifer, we have to do something.”
“No, we don’t have to. You and all of the other fragile little mortals need to toddle on off, and I’ll go face down the angry fish man myself. You’d be amazed at how a good spanking sets him right. Did you know his nickname is ‘Subby’?” Lucifer looked up. “Oh, the flaming gentleman just knocked him down. I suspect it’s all been settled.”
Chloe and Lucifer were back at the station when Jim came flying down.
“Hi,” said Jim. “I wanted to apologize and explain.”
“Don’t bother,” said Lucifer. “Whatever it is, she won’t believe you.”
“I’m an android.” Jim looked down. “That’s why I can fly and burst into flames.”
“That is incredible!” Chloe grasped. “I’ve never seen anything like that!” She stepped forward. “You’re the most amazing person I’ve ever met in my life!”
Lucifer cleared his throat.
“Person?” Jim blinked. “Thank you. I…I thought people would think of me as a monster.”
“You? A monster? Please!” Lucifer rolled his eyes. "Don't flatter yourself."
“You’re not a monster,” said Chloe. “You’re a hero!” She gave Jim an impulsive hug.
Jim blushed. “Thank you. Now I have to go. Namor…he needs me.”
“You and Namor?” Chloe asked. "What's the story?"
“It’s complicated. He…needs me. He’s…better than you’d think, but he’s impulsive, he has anger issues, and don’t ask me about his family. He needs someone to help him learn to be better. Someone who can support him when he’s going right, and put him back in line when he’s going wrong. And I want to be there for him.” Jim looked down. “He means a lot to me.”
“Try spanking,” said Lucifer. “It calms him down amazingly.”
Chloe looked at Jim. “I get it. Go take care of him. Keep him from attacking cities!”
“I’ll do my best! Thank you!” He looked at Lucifer. “I may have questions for you in the future. Goodbye, both of you! Flame on!” He burst into flames and flew away.
“That was the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen! I mean my whole life, I’ve been around normal people.”
“And me,” said Lucifer.
“More-or-less normal people, and suddenly there’s this other world, these utterly amazing people out of myth!”
“Please, it’s an angry amphibian and a talking flamethrower. Hardly on a Biblical scale.”
“They flew! They actually flew! And Jim, this ordinary guy, this guy I new from work, he was just this amazing hero with these incredible powers! I can’t believe I got to hug him!”
“He’s a robot. I’m the actual devil.”
“Look,” said Chloe. “I know your thing is being the devil, but this…this is real!”
“Talk to me when you can summon flames and fly.”
“I could fly, but I got rid of my wings!”
“Sure you did.”
Maze found Lucifer sitting at the bar, drinking sadly
“What’s wrong?” Maze asked. “Your eyes. They look wrong. Wet.”
Lucifer blinked. “It’s nothing important.”
“You’re…crying?” Maze wrinkled her nose in disgust. “What happened to you?”
“Nothing to worry about.”
“Is it Decker? Did she do something to you? Do I need to kill her?”
“No!” Lucifer finished his drink. “Don’t hurt her over this. It’s just…”. He sniffled. “She thinks I’m less impressive than Namor.”
Maze sighed. “I’ll get you another bottle.”