“Come on monkey it’s time to go, we can’t be late for school.”
She urges Trixie towards the front door while letting her eyes roam around the apartment to make sure they aren’t forgetting anything.
She turns around as she opens the door and gasps when she locks eyes with the devil on the other side. The whisper of his name is lost in the sound of her daughter’s enthusiastic exclamation of it. Even as Trixie surges forward and wraps her arms around Lucifer’s waist his eyes remain on hers, only breaking the contact when Trixie starts tugging at him asking question after question.
Lucifer isn’t paying attention to what the child is saying so he looks at Trixie a little dazed, quickly settling his eyes back on Chloe with a questioning expression.
Chloe has no clue what to do next, so instead she focuses on what she was suppose to do, the reason they are out here in the first place. “I have to take her to school” are the first words she says to him in eleven months.
“Okay,” his eyes fall, this seemingly not being what he expected from his return. She knows it’s awful, this being so far from the reunion she had imagined over and over. In her fantasies they were always alone and she had all the time in the world, he’d open his arms and she’d walk into them feeling all her problems melt away. Instead, they aren’t alone, it’s daylight and there are a lot of people on the sidewalks. Plus, she’s in a hurry and, if she’s completely honest, she’s suddenly in a bad mood. This is all so highly inconvenient, him leaving her was a big inconvenience, her feeling heartbroken and abandoned for all these months has been a major inconvenience. She felt like crap for so long and just when she was finally starting to feel a little more like her old self, he shows up again, at a highly inconvenient time. The intensity of her feelings overtaking her now as she looks at him are a major fucking inconvenience. So she shoves them down and focuses on her annoyance, furrowing her brow as she continues to look at him.
He begins to fidget under her gaze. Trixie seems to pick up on the tense atmosphere because she lets go of Lucifer’s waist and is looking up at both of them like she’s watching a tennis match. Chloe shifts her attention to her daughter, who immediately steps closer to Lucifer. “He can come with us, right mommy?” she says as she grabs Lucifer’s hand.
Lucifer is still silent as he looks back and forth from Trixie to her. Why is he so subdued, so unlike himself? She doesn’t like it at all and she wants this awkward tension to end. So she takes a step forward and places a hand on his lapel. “Are you alright?” she asks him, “Do you want to come with us? We can go somewhere to talk after.” He seems to lean into the touch “I’m better now, Detective” and proceeds to nod as if to answer to her other question, “I would like to accompany you and your spawn very much.”
Hearing him say his nickname for her brings back a feeling of longing, which settles like a weight on her chest. She has missed the sound of it so much, has longed to hear him say it just one more time. She acknowledges her annoyance for the defence mechanism that it is and chooses to let go. She softens her gaze, gives his chest a little pet with the hand still resting there, before moving towards the car. “Okay then, let’s go!” she calls back over her shoulder spurring on both her daughter and Lucifer, who, surprisingly, is still allowing Trixie to hold his hand.
It’s still incredibly surreal to have him settle next to her in the passenger seat. So instead she focuses on her daughter who’s clambering into the middle seat in the back, not really paying attention to anything but Lucifer. Chloe is in full mom mode when she looks into the rear view mirror and sternly says “put your seatbelt on”. From the corner of her eye she sees Lucifer spring to attention and put his on.
She can’t help but chuckle. Yes this is surreal, but it’s also entirely familiar. He looks at her with mirth and maybe even hope in his eyes. “Incorrigible” she lets out in a laugh. Lucifer’s smile widens as he turns around toward Trixie and says “Better do as your mother tells you, offspring, or she might just lock you up and leave you in the car.”
“You absolutely deserved that” Chloe is quick to respond. And Trixie’s jaw drops.
“You did that mommy?”
“Yes I did monkey, Lucifer was being anything but helpful so I thought it would be best to leave him in the car. I believe my exact words were: act like a child...”
“Get treated like a child” Lucifer finishes for her. They both let out a laugh and their eyes find each other. The fondness in Lucifer’s is almost overwhelming.
“But you never locked me up in the car mommy, even though I am a child” Trixie says with a puzzled expression on her face.
“Well monkey, that’s because you actually know how to behave and listen to me sometimes” Chloe explains, laughing at Lucifer’s mock offence at the statement.
“Well what did you expect? I am the Devil after all” he says light heartedly.
“You’re silly, Lucifer” Trixie giggles from the back seat.
Lucifer’s eyes snap to Chloe, the question in them obvious. She gives her head a shake before she starts the car and pulls out of the driveway, because no, she hadn’t told Trixie any of it. At first she was too scared herself, and didn’t think Trixie could handle the news, shouldn’t have to handle it. And then she realised it didn’t actually matter. As she grew to love him, she realised that the Devil is just one of the many things that Lucifer is. It didn’t change the things she already knew about him. That he is good, and smart, kind and protective. That he loves and hurts like any human. Plus she didn’t know if he was ever coming back, so why go through that with Trixie.
Lucifer had started asking Trixie about her life and school, and she fills him in on all the things he missed while he was gone. The two have an easy rapport as they chat happily now that the mood had lightened. As Chloe listens to them talk, the fact that Lucifer was back became undeniable. He’s really sitting in her car, and she now realises they’ll have to figure out what to tell her daughter. They’ll have to explain this incredibly complicated situation to her child.
That is, if he is staying. She still has no idea why he’s here, or for how long he is going to stay this time. What if she opens up to him and he has to leave, again? The uncertainty formes a pit in her stomach and she suddenly starts feeling sick. She can feel her walls coming back up and her annoyance settling back in, so she focuses on the road instead as the two keep chatting, giggling and bickering the rest of the way.
Throughout the ride she could occasionally feel Lucifer look at her, silently asking to join in on the conversation, but she pretended not to notice as she kept her eyes glued to the road. But now, as her daughter disappears from view into the school building and he turns back to face her, she can no longer ignore him.
She lets out a sigh and she closes her eyes, only opening them at the end of a very long and slow inhaled breath. Their eyes lock, but she still isn’t ready so she remains silent.
“You are upset with me” he says. It’s not a question, but a statement. She doesn’t know what to say because it’s both true and false.
“Should I not have come back? Have you changed your mind about me?”
These are definitely questions, but they mask another. He’s afraid she doesn’t love him anymore, she can see it in his eyes. It’s too much, she’s not ready to answer that yet. They are too close and this space is too small. There’s too many people outside and the muffled sounds they make as they walk around the car isn’t helping her calm her mind.
“I can’t do this here, I need to move” is all she says as she fumbles around to shift the gear to drive.
She can sense him growing anxious and she knows it is not fair to leave him feeling like this while she drives them to a place where she can breathe. She needs him to know that she’s been waiting for this moment despite herself. So before she pulls out of the parking spot she turns to him.
“Hey” she starts. She waits until he’s looking at her. “I am feeling a lot of different things, but I haven’t changed my mind about you.”
About trusting him at least, she is still okay with him being the devil, but she is glad she kept it vague enough so that it doesn’t imply that she still loves him. She’s not sure she can deal with those feelings again, at least not right now. She places a hand on his forearm without thinking and the action surprises them both. Her mind might be all over the place, and her heart might be broken, but apparently her body still knows what it wants.
“I want us to talk about all of this. But I can’t do this here, in the car, in front of my daughter’s school. So I’m going to drive us somewhere, okay?” she tells him, trying to sound calm, but the rising pitch of her voice is betraying her.
Of course Lucifer notices, he seems to relax a little at the knowledge that she is not unaffected and takes a steadying breath before saying “As you wish, Detective,” with none of his usual charm. Damn they are both such a mess, both not acting like themselves. Chloe knows it can’t be easy for him either. Hell must have been, well, hell. She gives his arm a little squeeze for comfort and feels him relax further under the touch before she pulls away and pulls out of the parking spot.
Thank God, no thank Lucifer, he doesn’t try to talk to her as she drives them to the beach, which is where she decides to go to for this conversation. Instead he starts to mess with the car radio.
Like before, he can’t really settle on one radio station, almost always finding something wrong with the song that follows the one he likes. Whereas she rather listens to one mediocre song than fragments of five songs. Like always his fidgeting with the buttons is getting on her nerves. She glares at him every now and then when he’s switching between stations. She’s about to chide him when he chuckles and raises both hands in surrender.
“I know, detective, I’m being ‘impossible’,” putting the last word in finger air quotes, “I won’t touch it again,” he says with a laugh.
“Thank you” Chloe says, but groans as the next song comes on. She hates this song, with every fibre of her being, and he knows she does. Lucifer is trying very hard not to laugh at her self-imposed predicament but loses his self control when she glares at him. She rolls her eyes.
“Fine, go, please change the station” she says, anything to make this stop. He takes pity on her and just changes the station once. Settling for whatever it has to offer.
They drive for a little while and Lucifer hums along with some of the songs while he looks out the window. Then this one song comes on and she can’t help but laugh at the memory that accompanies it.
“What is it?” Lucifer asks.
“Well, remember when Linda and I spend my birthday in your penthouse?”
“I remember finding you in my bed, wearing my shirt and nothing else, yes” he says with a seductive grin on his face. There is the Lucifer she knows, an innuendo with every other breath. She can’t help the smile that spreads on her face, but otherwise ignores it to continue her story.
“Well at one point I was dancing around in yOuR sHiRt”, imitating his accent on those last two words, “while lip syncing this song” she chuckles, “it was the performance of a lifetime.”
“I bet” Lucifer says before chiming in with the start of the second chorus:
“I love me”
“I love me” Chloe takes over the second line.
“I don’t know about you” both of them sing together while pointing at each other, “but baby I love me.”
With the next line they both start bouncing to the best of their abilities while sitting strapped into a car. Chloe laughs freely for the first time since he showed up at her doorstep, because this is more familiar than anything that’s happened so far. These sing alongs happened all the time when they were still working together and were driving around L.A. solving murders. She lets out a deep breath, because this is the reminder that she needed. This is what it’s all about. Fun, companionship, love, even. It’s not all heartbreak and celestial drama.
They finish the song and their singing continues for another couple of songs until Chloe pulls up at the beach. Lucifer recognises it immediately as the beach where they shared their first kiss and he looks as surprised as Chloe feels for pulling up at this particular spot.
They both get out of the car. Lucifer looks around as they do.
“I have to call the precinct first, to let them know I’ll be late” she tells him.
“Sure, detective. I’ll grab us some coffee while you do” he says, radiating nervous energy, and walks away. Her eyes follow him for a bit, slightly concerned, before turning around to make the call.
“Here I got you your favourite” he says as he comes back “a non-fat almond milk latte with sugar free caramel drizzle.” He shoves the drink he is referring to in front of her, a pleased smile on his face.
“Thank you Lucifer” she says softly, touched by the fact that he remembers. She’s not sure the caffeine will do her any favours, since she’s already nervous, but she’s glad to have something to do with her hands and to have the excuse of having her mouth too busy to speak.
He lets her have this moment of silence, but still he motions her towards the beach “after you, Detective.”