Chapter 1: In the Stillness of Remembering
“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.”
Chapter 2: I Took My Love, I Took it Down
Time's up for Chloe. With no other possible distractions, she needs to start talking and tell Lucifer where her head's at. But it's all so confusing, and it hurts.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
“What?” he presses as she fails to finish her sentence, his impatience showing for the first time.
She gets it, he’s frustrated, hell she is frustrated by herself too. She’s been skirting around the subject long enough, drove them all the way out here to the beach because she wasn’t ready, and now she still isn’t ready. They’ve been walking for a while, long enough to finish their coffees and discard off the cups, talking about the people they have in common, her job, her new hair, all the safe and mundane topics, but ignoring the big fat elephant in the room: his return and what it means for the both of them. It seems like he had decided he’s had enough when he asked her if they could pick up where they’ve left off, now that he’s back. Now, struggling to find words, she realises she wasn’t ready for that question. But will she ever actually feel ready? She takes a deep breath, letting it fill her lungs and finds his eyes with hers as she exhales.
“I’m just not sure I want to go back there” she admits.
If he is surprised by that statement, he doesn’t show it. “What changed?” he asks.
“I did, I changed,” she can feel the familiar sadness settle back in, “eleven months is a long time Lucifer and I felt gutted for so long, but now I’m finally back to some semblance of feeling okay and I just don’t know if I want to go back.”
“I…” he starts, but he doesn’t finish his sentence as he breaks eye contact to look at the ocean, a soft humming sound escaping his lips.
At a loss for words, Chloe stares down at her feet. Despite what she just said, she does feel like their feet are too far apart, she feels the need to take a step closer. She wishes she could. “Fuck” she mutters softly enough that she thought he didn’t hear, but he makes an affirmative sound which confirms that he did and she looks back up. He looks pained, agitated, like he would prefer to bolt but doesn’t have anywhere to go. This is also not what she wants and she hates to see him like this.
Her body wins, she lets herself take that step towards him. He startles as she places her hands on his sides. He tries to make eye contact, but she still can’t bear the look in his eyes, so she drops her head and lets her forehead come to rest just beneath his collarbone. He doesn’t move, which she assumes is a good sign, although what does a good sign mean at this point, she isn’t sure. That would require her knowing what she wants and she doesn’t have a clue. Well, she has several ‘clues’, but they all seem to contradict each other. She wishes she could ‘detective’ her way out of this mess.
“I’m sorry Lucifer, I am just so confused right now” she says after a beat, her head still resting on his chest. She feels him move and he places one hand on the back of her head, starting to softly card his fingers through her hair. They have never done something this intimate before, and the fact that it is happening as they seem to be falling apart is heartbreaking.
It becomes overwhelming and in an attempt to keep her tears at bay, she takes a deep breath. She sniffs again, because something is different. He smells different. She didn’t notice before but now with her face so close to him it’s hard to miss. The scent she loves so much, the one that is so uniquely his mixed with his cologne, is replaced by something much smokier and something she can’t place. She slips into detective-mode as she sniffs again, but this time he notices.
“What are you doing?” he pulls back from her to take a look.
She chases after him to get another whiff, unashamed of her actions and more concerned with solving this particular mystery. “You smell different, it’s weird, like smoke but not cigarette smoke, I was trying to figure out what it was” she explains.
“That would be Hell” he says matter of factly.
“….Oh.” She doesn’t completely understand how she could still smell Hell on him. They both take a step back.
He doesn’t know where to look and fidgets with his cufflinks. “Nothing a good shower won’t fix” he says eventually.
Her head snaps up, nose wrinkled. “You haven’t…?”
“Not yet” he admits. She looks him over. She can see it now, he isn’t his pristine self. He rolls his shoulders and it’s like he is suddenly very aware of the remnants of hell clinging to him. His expression of disgust is almost comical.
“I came straight to see you, Detective” he says by way of an explanation.
“I was your first stop on your way back from Hell?” she asks, not sure how she should feel about it. She is still avoiding his eyes, but Lucifer is looking right at her when he affirms her question with a simple: “Yes.”
This makes her eyes shift back up to meet his, and his gaze is so soft. It reminds her of how he looked at her on his balcony. He had that same soft look when she told him she loved him. Just before he left her. There is no way for her to keep the tears from gathering in her eyes this time. “Lucifer…” her voice breaks over his name and the tears in her eyes start spilling down her cheeks. He brings up a hand to cup her cheek and brushes away a tear with his thumb. More tears spill as she closes her eyes and leans into the comfort his palm is providing.
“Surely Detective, you must know?”
She leans back, away from his hand on her cheek, confused. “No,” she frowns, “I really don’t” she says, her tone more spiteful than she intended it to be. “I don’t know. You left, Lucifer.” Her voice breaks again and new tears start falling, though this time not because of the present emotional turmoil, but because of the pain his departure caused her months ago. It still hurts, it still makes her mad. “I told you I was afraid of losing you. I told you I loved you, I begged you not to go, and you still did! What was I supposed to think exactly?!”
She feels bad as soon as the words leave her mouth, because she knows it’s not fair. She knows he did it to protect her, because he loves her too. The hurt look that is now showing in his eyes only makes her feel worse.
“I had no choice” he says, and there is no mistaking his indignant tone. “I never wanted to go back there, not before I met you, and surely not after everything that happened between us.” She bites her lip to deal with the shame washing over her for accusing him of abandoning her for the sake of it. “I wanted nothing more but to stay” he continues, his voice no longer indignant but rather full of pain. “I lo-…” he starts, but he stops himself. “I had no choice” he repeats instead. She can feel the sincerity coming from his voice and she feels awful.
“I know...” she takes one of his hands in both of hers, “I’m sorry, I know that”.
He looks at their hands, but doesn’t speak. Desperate to get that look off his face she starts up again. “I know, Lucifer. It’s just that..” she pauses to take a steadying breath, “I was so upset” she admits. “And… and I didn’t even fully understand what had happened and why you had to go..” Another pause. “We were partners, we were supposed to solve problems together, you know..? I felt abandoned, and I guess it was just easier to be mad at you for leaving me and to blame you for my misery.”
He scoffs, jerks his hand out of her grasp and takes a big step back away from her. “Well you could have just blamed those demons, or I don’t know… my dad, but you humans love making me a scapegoat, so what did I expect really…”
Wow she was royally fucking this up… This was bad, but also, “What the fuck?!” Suddenly she was just one of you humans. How dare he? “This has nothing to do with you being the Devil Lucifer, and you know it,” she says firmly and she catches herself doing that decisive - don’t fuck with me - move with her pointy finger that she inherited from her mother.
He meets her fire with more fire, and raises his voice in exasperation “It bloody hell has everything to do with me being the Devil, don’t you think?” He throws up his arm as he says so and then takes a couple of exasperated steps away from her.
“That doesn’t mean I think you are evil incarnate” she spits back, still fuming.
“What then, Chloe” he says as he whirls back around to face her.
For a moment they just stare at each other, tensed up and ready to go another round. Both waiting to see who will pounce first. She needs to diffuse it because they’re in a public space, talking about devil stuff, and they are both spiralling, jumping to their own conclusions without understanding each other. She doesn’t want to fight and she never wants to hear her name fall from his lips in frustration ever again.
They are supposed to be past this right, they had dealt with all this. Does he still not believe her? She needs to change tact. She’s been building up walls since she found him on her doorstep and she knows it’s not working. She talked about her defence mechanisms with Linda. Damn, vulnerable is what they are supposed to be around each other right? She needs to be vulnerable right now.
So she draws a big breath and tries to calm herself down. The fight leaves her body on the second lung filling inhale. “The thing is Lucifer….” she drops her eyes to the ground, “I know it’s not your fault, okay?” Here goes, time to rip the bandaid off. “It’s just that every time we come together, we immediately fall apart.”
Even she hears how grave her voice sounds right now. She hears him exhale and from the corner of her eye she can see him trying to relieve the tension in his body, adjusting to her new tone and lack of fire. So she continues, “I mean, look at our track record. We kiss and you leave to Vegas to get married. We kiss again and I leave to Rome to conspire to send you back to Hell. We finally…” her voice breaks over the word, “we finally, find our way back to each other again and then you have to fucking leave. Again. I tell you I am afraid of losing you and that’s exactly what happens. Every time. It’s like my own personal Hell-loop. So forgive me for being a little hesitant about going through that, again.” She can’t help that little sass at the end.
“Well, Hell loops are based on guilt, not fear…” he starts, but she shoots him an annoyed look.
“Right, not the time nor the place” he admits.
She softens her gaze, finds his eyes once more. “Facts aside, I meant what I said. No Devil related qualms, I promise. Just me trying to mend my heart and prevent further damage.”
He drops his head, before she can decipher his expression. He won’t look at her and she has no idea what to do next or what to say next. She fidgets with her jacket, then brushes some strands of hair out of her face. The ocean breeze almost immediately whips them back, so she turns to face the ocean because then at least her locks will be blown out of her face. And she waits.
I am very sorry for any emotional distress this chapter may have caused. It wasn't easy for me either. I hate to see them fight, but chins up buttercups, next chapter might not be so glum.
& Thanks for all the hits, kudos, bookmarks and comments everyone! I really appreciate it, they made my day :)
Chapter 3: Something We Think We Know
Lucifer is still brooding, giving Chloe some much needed time to think and sort herself out. Her mind gets made up with each new piece of information Lucifer reveals.
For anyone who's interested: a note about the songs behind the chapter titles.
The fic and this chapter's title are both from the song: Yesterday Was Hard On All of Us by Fink, which is a beautiful song about that point in a relationship where you're questioning if you want to move forward together or part ways. It has been the song I listen to when relationship get rocky for the longest time. & I thought it was fitting.
Chapter 1 was from Dreams by Fleetwood Mac.
Chapter 2 was from Landslide also by Fleetwood Mac.
Thanks so much for your continued love and support for this fic! I hope you like it's conclusion as much. Happy reading!
Where do they go from here? She has no idea. For all she said that she doesn’t want to go back there, she also can’t stand the idea of leaving him. And what? Go back to the whole being friends thing? Dating other people while he is right there? She was assigned a new partner in his absence, so even a work-related partnership is no longer an option. Just friends, completely platonic. How could that work when she is itching to offer him comfort by squeezing his hand, and brushing that wayward lock of hair out of his face?
He’s been standing next to her as they face the ocean for what feels like an hour, but is probably only a minute. He hasn’t spoken. Not since she admitted that she’s too afraid to try again with him; explained it’s been hard this last year and she doesn’t want to go through the same shit again. She had no luck deciphering his reaction to what she said. He had hide his face and he’s been unnaturally still ever since.
What is he thinking? What could he possibly be thinking? You never know with Lucifer. Some of his patterns are hardwired into that brain of his so deep. She can’t even begin to imagine what questionable behavior trying to quell a demon rebellion might have brought him back to. Probably back to his self-loathing ways. She wonders if his progress to forgive himself has truly come undone. Shit. So far she is making this all about her, while he’s actually the one who had to live through hell. He just came back to his self-proclaimed home, and she’s given him anything but a warm welcome. At least he still has his normal face and he must think he still deserves her love if he is asking for it right? So, not all is lost. She thinks about possible ways to interpret what she just said. In her eyes, it isn’t personal, it is just self-preservation. Logical, to be expected, right? But to someone with a tendency to make everything about himself, it might actually seem like an accusation. Fuck, she basically said that he has given her abandonment issues. She made it clear that she fully expects to be hurt again if they get together now. Does he believe she thinks he can’t help but hurt her? She hopes not.
She looks over at him, trying to catch a glimpse of what is going on his head. What does she want him to think? She needs to get her shit together. This hot and cold thing she’s got going on right now is not fair to him, and too exhausting to keep up. What does she want? If she shoves down the fear, what is left? A small smile appears on her lips when she thinks of the earlier car ride. She wants him in her car messing with the radio.
She wants him by her side at a crime scene.
She wants him in her kitchen, making breakfast.
Damn, she wants him in her bed the night before. She has waited forever. She remembers herself telling him years ago that she would sleep with him “when hell freezes over.” He had said he could actually arrange that and, like she always did back then, she rolled her eyes at his devil talk. Maybe he did have hell freeze over and that’s why he is back right now. She almost snickers at the thought. But she can’t laugh right now, not until she makes this right.
Okay, so she is going to let him in her life again. Is she sure? She sees a flash of them and Trixie snuggled on the couch watching a movie together. She wants more of that. She wants that, but in the future she wants to be able to play with his fingers while they do that. She wants his hand stroking her hair while they watch. She wants his nose nuzzling by her ear as he whispers commentary to her not fit for Trixie. She wants to laugh at his jokes and then kiss his cheek. She wants his lips on her neck when they are alone later that night.
Maybe staying just friends and having to live with all those secret desires is worse torture than another broken heart. She is a badass, she can deal with eventual heartbreak. Right? She starts to nod along to her own thoughts. Although it took quite a while this time around. She frowns and looks up at the sky. Fuck it, it’s going to be worth it. Right? She sighs in frustration. What the hell is wrong with her? Make up your fucking mind Chloe, she chides herself. Let’s ask him about hell and his future plans first, and go from there. Yeah? She nods once. Okay. Here goes. You got this, she tell's herself.
She turns to him, she wants to touch him but she doesn’t. Not yet. Not until she knows how he feels. “What happened in Hell?” she blurts out.
He startles, apparently just as lost in his thoughts as she was in hers. When her question registers he frowns, looks at her, looks back at the ocean. He stays quiet for a little while and then he sighs as if he is highly inconvenienced by her question. “The usual really. Torture, with a side of torture”
She rolls her eyes at his blasé attitude. “No I mean, what happened with you? And how come you are back?”
He shrugs, “Let’s just say that I will be seeing Linda a lot”
“Lucifer, please stop..” she starts, exasperation in her voice.
“What? Deflecting? Why? I am so good at it”
It is silly, and annoying, but his answer makes her smile all the same. He timidly smiles back at her, but doesn’t give her an answer and turns back towards the sea instead. He seems reluctant to share, so she takes over.
“Look. What I said before. I didn’t mean to imply that I think you hurting me is inevitable if that’s what you’re thinking. I know you would never intentionally hurt me.” She takes a step closer to him and continues: “I just meant that I don’t want to get together if you know you have to leave again.” She nervously runs a hand through her own hair. This is it, vulnerability. “And I know there are no guarantees, and I know we have no control over what happens, but I just need something… Some way of knowing that I won’t let you in just to have a Lucifer-shaped-hole in my life again after.”
He finally turns towards her a little, looking at her from the corner of his eyes, sly grin in place. “Don’t” she says, realising the innuendo he’s about to make. Bad choice of words, but otherwise this is good. She’ll count this as progress, so she rewards him with a quick smile anyway.
She turns serious again as she asks: “Have you found a solution to the demon problem?” Her tone is hopeful.
“Not a permanent one, but it will be long enough” he responds, the look in his eyes rather mournful.
“What does that mean?”
“Well, so, in the century I was down under I started -” he starts.
Chloe’s jaw drops and her eyes widen as she interrupts him: “Excuse me, what? Did you just say a ‘century’?”
“Time moves differently in Hell, Detective. It’s been almost a hundred years for me” he responds matter of factly.
“What…” she stammer, “I-... Holy shit.”
He gives her a look, a mix between an apologetic ‘I don’t know what to tell you’ and an impatient ‘Are you done?’.
“Yeah, sorry, continue. I will freak out about that particular piece of information later.” She says as she motions for him to go on with his story, but she almost immediately breaks her promise. “Oh my God, Lucifer” she says dumbfounded.
He narrows his eyes at her use of ‘God’, but he chooses not to remark on it this time. “As I was saying...” he continues.
“How are you still okay? How did you survive?” she interrupts again.
“Detective, I’ve told you... I’m immortal.”
“Yeah, but no. That’s not what I meant. I mean, shit, you must have been lonely.”
His head drops down quickly, hiding his expression from her carefully, but she knows she assumed right. He was lonely.
Whatever she has been struggling with since she found him on her doorstep, becomes clear as day and she makes a split second decision to slam her body into his. She wraps her arms around his neck and holds him in a tight hug. He stands there, frozen. “I’m so sorry, Lucifer. I didn’t know. I didn’t understand that going back would…" she stops, choking on her feelings. Feelings for this incredible, selfless man, who has always had her back. Who went above and beyond to protect her. She squeezes him a little tighter and tries again, “I didn’t realise how much you’ve sacrificed to keep us safe. I’m so sorry.” This particular piece of information is like the straw that broke the camel’s back, along with all her walls and all her inhibitions. She is so proud of him, so grateful. She knows for certain now, she still loves him. “I’m so sorry, Lucifer,” she is sobbing now. “I-, I love you.”
She hears him gasp and then he finally returns the hug as he wraps his arms around her body.
“I still love you” she says, just so it’s extra clear. “I tried, but I don’t think I could ever truly stop loving you.”
He takes a shaky breath and she pulls away a little so she can look at him. They are both crying now and she brushes away his tears with her thumbs. “Thank you for keeping us safe” she says before moving in to press her lips to his.
He latches on, it feels desperate, returning the pressure of her kiss. He moves his hands to her face, holding her delicately as the kiss lasts. It’s chaste, but they linger until they need to come up for air. The crying made her nose all stuffy and it’s difficult to breathe.
She pulls away and looks at his goofy grin, probably matched only by her own. She moves her hand to wipe her nose with the back of it, and chuckles, kind of embarrassed, but also feeling giddy.
He slides the back of his fingers over her cheeks. Looking at her with wonder.
“What is it?” she asks.
“My dear Chloe” is all he says in answer as he continues to caress her face and her hair. They stay like that for a while, as Chloe embraces the contact, the feeling of warmth it gives her, closing her eyes to soak it all in. He presses her lips to hers once more and then, barely pulling back, he whispers:
“I love you too.”