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It had happened often enough by now that he really should have been prepared for it.

But somehow, Trixie running up to him and throwing her arms around him was just as much of a shock as it had been the first time. Distaste, he could have handled. An attack, he almost would have been comfortable with. But the sheer enthusiasm radiating out of the small creature, particularly when it was directed at him, was something that still baffled him. Except for a small collection of the truly sociopathic, he’d never interacted with children before this, and the concept of the non-sociopathic ones held no interest for him. He'd never even considered using his powers to draw children to him.

Given that, her affection for him was utterly incomprehensible.

The other small creatures continued to pour out of the school without paying either of them the slightest bit of attention, more proof that this wasn’t some side effect of his powers he hadn’t previously run into. Chloe just sighed at the sight, then headed into the school for some utterly dull discussion with Trixie’s teacher. It wasn’t until later that Lucifer would realize (to his alarm, of course) that she didn’t even glance back, simply assuming that the progeny to which she was obviously devoted would be safe with the Lord of Hell.

(He refused to think about the fact that Chloe’s assumption had been entirely correct.)

For the moment, though, dealing with the small creature in front of him was a far more pressing issue. She’d only just let go of him, practically vibrating with eagerness as she dug around in her backpack and pulled out a folded piece of paper. “I drew something for you!”

Gingerly he took it, mentally bracing himself for some sort of fluffy unicorn or appallingly pink ballerina. Instead, he unfolded the paper to find a rudimentary (but surprisingly non-hideous) drawing of a man in what looked to be a dark suit, black wings stretching out from his back.

Lucifer wrinkled his nose. Angels. He’d thought Trixie had better taste than that.

Trixie pulled his hands down so she could see the picture as well. “See?” she said brightly. “I drew you!”

Lucifer blinked, certain he hadn’t heard right. “Me?”

Trixie nodded. “I did one of you with horns and a tail at home, but I didn’t like it so I threw it away. And Google says that Lucifer is a fallen angel, which is why I put a band-aid on your wing.” She pointed to a small oval shape on one side that he’d failed to notice. She paused, then looked back up at him. “But maybe one band-aid isn’t enough for hurt wings. Do I need more?”

Lucifer still couldn’t seem to make his brain function properly. He understood adult adulation – except for Chloe, he was everyone’s favorite flavor – but Trixie was too young to even comprehend sexual urges. She was … innocent, the opposite of everything he was. Surely she should be able to sense that. “Why?”

Her brow furrowed, as if she couldn’t understand why he was asking such a ridiculous question. “Because I like you. You do stuff for the people you like.”

She said it as if it were a basic fact of the universe, but it was not a universe in which Lucifer had ever lived. “Once again, why?" He pushed harder. "It can’t be genetic.”

Trixie looked up at him curiously. “What’s ‘genetic’ mean?”

“My question first, then your question,” he argued. “Your fondness for me makes no sense.”

Trixie furrowed her brow again. “Why not? You’re funny, you help my mom, and you scared a girl just because she was mean to me.” She paused. “Also, you make good bacon. Dad always burns it.”

Shaking off a burst of satisfaction at proof of one more way he was superior to Chloe’s colorless ex, Lucifer valiantly tried to give Trixie a stern look. “I didn’t scare that girl for you. It’s my job to punish the wicked.”

Trixie shot him an “Are you kidding me?” look that was frighteningly similar to her mother’s. “Then why didn’t you punish all the bad people in the school? There are plenty of bullies just in my grade level.”

He lifted his chin, trying to pretend there was nothing defensive in it. “She was there, I was there. It was convenient.”

“Okay, then.” Trixie pointed at one burly-looking boy walking by. “You're here now. He’s always rude to his teacher. Calls her names and everything.”

Lucifer shrugged. “And I should care because?”

“No reason.” Trixie grinned up at him. “But you cared about the girl who was being mean to me.”

Lucifer opened his mouth, certain he could find an argument to counter such a ridiculous claim. When none came, he closed it and glared down at the child. “You’re as much trouble as your mother.”

Trixie’s grin only widened as she threw her arms around him again. “It’s okay. I care about you, too.”

It took effort to pretend the strange, warm feeling in his chest didn’t actually exist. "No comment."