TW for character death in this chapter.
Chloe had had some time off work, it's so long since she's had a vacation. There's a break between cases anyway, so she's gone to a little town up in the mountains. She's been thinking lately of writing down about her time with Lucifer, get it down on record. Although she's a bit worried that it might be found one day by church officials who lock it away as heresy and blasphemy. Or burn it.
She's never written a novel in her life, but maybe instead try and write one about a duo who solve crimes. She's a by-the-book cop, he's a reckless but dashing mystery man who likes to see the guilty punished, sometimes by his own hand. Chloe can think of Lucifer without pain these days. That's what she tells herself. Then she shakes her head. She doesn't have time to write a novel, she thinks ruefully. That would have to wait until she retired.
Chloe walks into a store to get supplies, only to see a robbery in progress. The culprit is an anxious young man wanting cash and cigarettes from the owner, not wanting trouble.
Chloe speaks soothingly, managing to negotiate with the would-be robber. She's out of her jurisdiction, but hopefully she won't have to ask for backup.
But then his accomplice comes in from the open delivery door at the back, impatient and agitated at the delay.
Chloe turns to face the new threat, but she's a fraction too slow and his gun fires at her. She feels a sharp pain in her neck and crumples to the floor, the life fading from her. She's had near-misses and brushes with death over the years, but now she knows her lucks run out… she's going to die a similar way to her father. With sorrow she thinks of Trixie, who she will never see again. She thinks of Lucifer, whom she would have liked to see again, even just once. She never stopped loving him.
She hears the sound of footsteps running away, the shouting of the store owner.
Then there's the sound of vast wings and to her surprise, Lucifer is there, kneeling at her side and worry on his handsome face. He hasn't aged a day, which underlines the fact that he was never of this earth.
"Detective… you needed me and I wasn't at your side. I'm sorry," he says, his voice laced with grief.
His warm hand touches hers and she clutches at it with her last energy. He clasps her hand in his and carefully pulls her to her feet.
Chloe doesn't question why he's suddenly here after all these years, or why she's able to stand up at all.
"Lucifer? I missed you so much," she gulps and hugs him. He's dressed as if he's just stepped out of Lux, instead of ruling hell. What do you wear as a ruler of hell? He hugs her tightly in return and it's like they were never apart.
"I've had to stay in hell all this time, Detective, but when this moment came, not even Dad could keep me from your side," he says with quiet intensity against her hair.
"What-" Chloe begins to say, but she knows. She knows when she looks down and sees her crumpled body on the floor. She sways a bit, though.
Lucifer touches her cheek softly and she looks back at him.
"I'm sorry, Chloe," he said gently.
"I was on holiday," she burst out in frustration and she starts crying, a mixture of emotions inside her – for her life that's now over, her joy at seeing Lucifer again. He's as ancient as the brightly burning stars that were his namesake, something she can only properly realise now. Nevertheless, something inside her firmly says 'mine' when she looks at him.
He holds her again and lets her cry over his black jacket. When she's calmed down a bit, Lucifer looks down at her intently, taking her hand and drawing her off to the side, where she doesn't have to look at her body on the floor. The store owner had rushed up to her and is now calling on his phone for an ambulance… too late, she thinks sadly.
"I can take you to the gates of the Silver City myself," he says seriously, sounding every inch the angel he once started out as. "Not even Dad would fault me for doing that, and Dad knows, you've earned a place there."
Chloe blinks. He would actually do that for her?
Then he hesitates.
"Or," he says almost tentatively, "you could come with me, Detective."
"With you?" she repeats. Does he mean what she thinks he means?
He nods, his next words falling rapidly from his mouth.
"Yes, I've got a replica of Lux and the penthouse down there, looking even better than the real thing – that's a perk of being a king – with all of the chocolate body paint you could desire to put all over me."
With those last words he gives her that cheeky smirk she remembers so well, but she can see too the almost terrible yearning in his eyes. The loneliness.
It's an easy decision to make in the end.
"My home is where you are," she says simply, smiling up at him.
Lucifer stares at her and looks visibly shaken.
"It is?" he blurts out, looking like a lost little boy for a moment. "But – the Silver City. No one turns down the chance to go there."
"It wouldn't be home without you," Chloe says patiently. Then she narrows her eyes and pokes a finger gently in his chest.
"Because if you think you're leaving me again and not taking me with you this time," she says sternly, "you're in big trouble!"
Lucifer blinked, then smiled at Chloe.
"Ooh, I've missed my bossy detective," he purrs and his voice only sounds a bit wobbly.
"Just as well," she smiles, then hesitates.
"What?" Lucifer says urgently, imagining all kinds of things she might say.
"Could I at least visit the Silver City from time to time? My father…" she says hesitantly.
"Of course. Yes," he says instantly. "I can ask Amenadiel to take you there and back, it will give him some exercise… stop those wings of his going rusty."
From where she stood unseen in the shadows, Azrael smiled to herself before leaving. She knows she will be reprimanded when she returns to the Silver City without one Detective Chloe Decker. But Chloe has made her choice and Azrael will respect that. Also, she will point out there was at least the possibility that Lucifer would have stormed the gates of the Silver City, demanding to see Chloe. Something tells her any fuss will die down quickly after that.
Then it's Lucifer's turn to hesitate.
"And if you decide to stay at the Silver City, well, I'll understand-,"
His words are cut off when Chloe grabs hold of his black jacket and reaches up to kiss him firmly. Lucifer froze for a second before kissing her back hungrily, tasting the sweetness of her mouth. Then his mouth gentled and he kissed her tenderly. Chloe kissed him back, feeling warmth flow through her. Her life, such as it was now, felt like colour was returning again.
When they paused for breath, Chloe looked up at him soberly.
"Lucifer, in those first years after you left me, that was a type of hell for me at times. So going with you to actual hell… well, call me nuts, but if I'm with you, it'll be all right."
He touched her cheek softly again.
"You didn't marry again? No more urchins running around?" he asked gently.
Chloe shook her head. "No. No, I couldn't. There was no one else after you. I never stopped loving you," she said simply.
Lucifer blinked down at her then held her tightly against him for a moment.
"Well, then, love, let's get you home. The neighbourhood's a bit rough, but the people will adore you. I've been waiting for my queen all this time, after all."
He concentrated for a second and then vast white wings sprang from his back.
Chloe's mouth dropped open slightly. She could see up close how large a wingspan he had, how soft and shining each white feather looked. She had never forgotten the sight of his wings before he had left her.
"They're so beautiful," she whispered, awe on her face.
The wings puffed up a bit happily in response to her praise.
"Can I touch a wing?" she asked wistfully, prepared to hear a 'no'.
"You can touch me everywhere, Detective," Lucifer said encouragingly.
Chloe shook her head fondly. "I'd almost forgotten you're part randy teenager."
"Hey!" he said in mock protest. "Randy, yes, teenager, definitely not."
Chloe smiled as she walked around to his back and gently stroked some feathers. They felt warm and smooth to her touch and seemed to look brighter afterwards.
She hears Lucifer hum at her caresses.
"Yes, definitely taking you home with me, Detective. You can do that any time you like," he said happily.
Chloe chuckled as she walked back around to his front.
He smiled down at her. "Here we go. Hold on," he said gently and swept her off her feet as if she weighed nothing, holding her close to his chest.
Then she sensed rather than saw a vast gate opening right up underneath their feet and then the ground tilted under and over in a way that threatened to disorient her. Chloe gasped and then the landscape changed… they were flying over a vast grey plain, the sky a stormy grey with an ashy tinge. The air was warm, but not oppressively so to her senses.
Chloe could hear the sound of his wings as they made steady, even strokes through the air.
We're actually flying, she thought, dazed. It was like something from Superman.
Chloe could see a huge city below now, each building whether small or tall a uniform grey, each window shining with a light. She felt a bit cold inside at the sight, for this was where people who went to hell resided. This was hell, where she would be queen, if Lucifer had his way. How had this all happened to her again?
Then she shook her head. Maybe it was best to think of it as a special prison. She worked – had worked – at the LAPD, she was accustomed to prisons. She could see too a black, grim looking castle that looked like it promised that if you went in, you might not come out. There was a tall, rocky spire nearby; what was that all about?
Then Chloe saw a familiar, tall white building off to the side that gleamed softly, looking like it had just been transported from LA. It was where Lux and the penthouse was, though she had never seen it from this perspective before. She was relieved at the sight, though.
"We've arrived… thank you for flying Air Morningstar," Lucifer said lightly as they started to descend, looking down at Chloe searchingly to see how she was coping.
She smiled back up at him. It was a shaky smile, but he was relieved to see it was genuine.
"Hope there's a duty free shop," she teased and he laughed out loud as he landed carefully on the balcony of his penthouse.
Chloe's old life was over, but her new life had just begun, she thought.