"Lucifer has wings?"
Trixie realized, a moment too late, that she probably should have kept her mouth shut. Her mother had that look on her face, the one that said, She's too young for this.
The last time Trixie had seen that look had been when Mom had told her that Charlotte was dead. Mom had cried, and so had Trixie, and it hurt Trixie's heart to remember the look on her father's face. So if this was going to be another one of those talks, maybe her mom was right. But Mom had been talking on the phone about Lucifer's wings. Wings!
"Babe," her mom began, and Trixie knew she wasn't going to tell.
"I can handle grown-up stuff," she protested. She took a breath, then, remembering what Maze had told her about whining. Smoothing her voice, she asked, "Are you okay, Mom?"
Mom smiled, though it was a shaky sort of smile. Had somebody else died? She patted the couch next to her, and Trixie came over to sit down, leaning lightly against her mother. Touching her helped, reassured Trixie that Mom was there.
"I'm fine, Monkey." And she sounded fine, mostly, but there was still that edge to her voice that she had when a case was going wrong. Trixie, daughter of two cops, knew that tone.
So she smiled and nodded, but didn't say anything, instead just watching her mother. Her teacher had said that she was a good listener, and it looked like maybe her mom needed somebody to talk to.
Mom took a deep breath, and Trixie could feel her shake a little bit. She leaned down and kissed the top of Trixie's head. "I've had kind of a weird day, babe."
"Is Lucifer okay?" Trixie ventured, trying to find the right words to get her mom to talk. Lucifer was fun and Trixie really liked him. She knew her mom liked him, too, but Trixie guessed that sometimes he was the reason Mom's voice got all weird.
Mom closed her eyes. "I think so." She curled an arm around Trixie, hugging her close. "So you heard what I said on the phone to Linda, huh? About Lucifer's wings?"
Trixie liked Dr. Linda, too. She talked to Trixie like she was a grown-up, and didn't say stupid things like how big Trixie had gotten or how was school. "Yeah."
She wished Linda was her therapist. She'd been going to see William since that time the bad man Malcolm had taken her, and William was nice, and they played games and drew pictures sometimes, but it felt like Linda really understood things more.
Trixie nestled against her mother, one hand gripping the soft fabric of her coat. Mom always said she'd never be too big to cuddle, and Trixie was kind of glad. She'd had a weird couple of days, too. Dad had cried when he had thought Trixie wasn't looking. Trixie knew it was okay to cry, but seeing Dad cry had been a little scary. She'd wanted to go hug him, but she'd thought that he maybe wouldn't want her to see him upset.
Looking up at her mom, she saw the hole in her shirt and felt her throat tighten, her heart beat faster. "Mommy," she whispered, forgetting about Lucifer's wings. "Are you okay?"
"What? Oh, yeah, Trixie, of course. I had on a vest; I left it at work." Mom hugged her more tightly, and Trixie struggled not to cry. She could deal with grown-up stuff, she told herself; she could.
But sometimes she wished that her parents had other jobs. Maddy's dad was a librarian. Trixie bet he never had to wear a Kevlar vest.
She felt something a little different about her mom's coat and gave it a tug, feeling the something pull away and tucking it into her hand.
Mom eased away so that Trixie could see her face, and then rested her forehead gently against Trixie's. "I'm fine, I promise. But it's bedtime, yeah? Why don't you go get ready and pick out a book? I'll be in in a minute."
Trixie felt her mother's hand trembling a little on her shoulder, so she didn't argue, but instead went into the bathroom to brush her teeth. Once the door was closed behind her, she looked at the thing she had pulled from her mom's coat.
It was a feather, bigger than the bird feathers Trixie sometimes found on the sidewalk outside the apartment. She lifted it higher so that she could get a better look.
It would have been beautiful, if not for the streaks marring the white.
Trixie was pretty sure those streaks were blood.
Trixie picked a picture book, the one about the panda and the three kids that she'd loved when she was little. She liked the different types of art, and the way the littler boy got mad at his brother, and how the panda's stories made things make sense. Her favorite panda story, the one about the snooty lady and the monks, kind of reminded her about how she still felt kind of sad-mad when she thought about Maze.
The book was one of her mom's favorites, too, and Trixie smiled a little to see her relaxing as she read it. Privately, Trixie thought she was maybe getting a little too old for bedtime stories, but they made her mom happy.
Maybe tomorrow night she would do the reading, and then Mom would relax more.
Trixie wanted to ask who had shot her mother, but Mom had lost that tense look, so Trixie just smiled and said goodnight and gave her a hug. And then she closed her eyes, her fingers cradling the bloody feather.
She would get answers somewhere else.
The next day, Trixie went to school as usual, and then texted Olga that she was going home with Brooklyn to work on a project. She felt bad about that, but she figured that she would be home way before her mom, so Olga wouldn't get in trouble. And there were four Brooklyns in her grade, so even if Olga got suspicious, she wouldn't be able to figure out which Brooklyn.
She mapped out the bus route at lunchtime, and then just acted like she knew what she was doing after school. Her teacher said that you could get away with a lot if you were confident.
She had been talking about faking an oral book report when you hadn't really read the book, but it was pretty much the same thing.
When she got to Lux, there were only a few people in the bar. She waved to the guy with the man-bun, pretending like she was supposed to be there, and headed up to the penthouse. Hopefully Lucifer would be there.
Lucifer, she decided, really should get a lock or something. She bet he hadn't needed one when Maze was living there, since Maze could handle anything. But now that Maze was living somewhere else, he should get a lock. Anybody could walk right in.
But if Lucifer had wings, maybe he didn't care who came into his place.
Trixie had spent all day trying to figure out what Lucifer really was. She figured he probably wasn't a fairy prince, even though his clothes were right for it and sometimes he acted like a prince. She kind of hoped he was a dragon. That would be so cool.
The elevator doors opened, and Lucifer looked over from where he was sitting, already starting to frown. He had more hair on his face than usual, and his clothes looked wrinkled. Trixie figured he hadn't gone to work at all.
Well, he didn't really look like a prince just then. But dragons didn't care about clothes, right?
"Are you okay?" Trixie asked, before he could tell her to go home.
"Of course, child," he replied, setting down his drink. "I'm always all right." He watched as Trixie drew closer, then said, "Your mother. She didn't send you here, did she?"
Trixie shook her head as she put down her backpack. He said he never lied, and Trixie figured he liked hearing the truth, too. Plus, it would be too easy to check. Maze said that the best lies were the ones that were too much work to prove wrong, or so close to the truth that nobody would bother to check.
She sat down on the couch, not too close to Lucifer. She didn't want him to get that look he sometimes got around her, like when the boys said the girls had cooties. Lucifer never said ew, gross, but sometimes it looked like he was thinking it.
Lucifer leaned forward, looking more puzzled than anything else. "Then why are you here?"
Trixie dug in her pocket and pulled out the now-bedraggled feather. She had found herself touching it all during school; she liked the softness of it between her fingers. It made her feel happy, like the sun was shining on her. "Is this yours?" she asked. She was watching Lucifer and not the feather, so she saw his intake of breath and the way his eyes got big and darted from the feather to her face.
"How did you get that?" he asked, his voice just above a whisper.
Trixie hated it when people answered a question by asking another question. "It was stuck in my mom's coat," she said, trying not to sound impatient but maybe not entirely succeeding. "I found it last night."
"Sneaking about in her stuff, were you?" he asked, sounding amused, but maybe like he was proud of her, too. Weird.
"No," Trixie replied, wrinkling her nose. More questions, when all she wanted was an answer to her question. "Is it yours?"
Lucifer looked like he wasn't really paying attention to Trixie as he said, "Must've happened when -" He shook his head, with a sad little smile, and then Trixie suddenly realized that if Lucifer had been with her mother the previous night, he would have an answer to a far more important question.
"Lucifer?" Trixie tried to keep her voice steady, tried to act like a grown-up. "Who shot my mom?" She noticed the bullet holes in his shirt and wondered if the same person had shot Lucifer. She bet he'd been wearing a vest, too, because there wasn't any blood on his shirt.
And he wanted to tell her who had shot her mom. She could tell by his thoughtful look, and then the way he shook his head as he reconsidered, saying, "Maybe you should ask your mother." He got to his feet, looking toward the balcony.
"But she won't tell!" Trixie protested. "She thinks I'm a little kid." Trixie saw the way the corners of Lucifer's mouth turned up, and frowned. "I'm not! Come on, Lucifer, just -"
"Cain." The voice from the elevator was hard and angry, and Trixie almost didn't recognize it as belonging to Maze. She turned and gasped as she saw the state Maze was in, all bloody and bruised. Maze spared her a glance, though she mostly looked at Lucifer.
Maze and Lucifer locked eyes for a moment and then looked away, both of their faces gone stiff and angry. It was kind of like lunchtime the day after everybody had found out that Brooklyn H. hadn't invited Maddy to her birthday party.
"Cain shot her. Right? Marcus," Maze added, her gaze turning back to Trixie.
"Marcus?" Trixie echoed, her concern over Lucifer and Maze's anger forgotten. "He shot my mom?"
Lucifer sat down and sighed, raking a hand through his hair, or maybe over it. Trixie was surprised his hand didn't get stuck in all the goop, and wondered what Lucifer's hair looked like when he didn't put all that stuff in it. "Yes," he said, his voice tired.
"I'll kill him." Maze sounded like she meant it.
"Already handled," Lucifer said, his words stopping Maze from leaving. "One of your blades, if not your hand, and I'm quite curious to learn how he got hold of that. He's in Hell where he belongs."
Trixie stared at Lucifer. Had he just said Marcus was dead? Trixie wasn't sure how she felt about that.
"Good. Wish I was there to take care of him." Maze stepped fully into the room and eased to a seat in a chair, not too close to either Lucifer or Trixie. They almost made an equilateral triangle, Trixie realized. "He's in Hell because of Charlotte?"
Lucifer nodded, his gaze flicking to Trixie, something almost warning in his expression.
"What about Marcus and Charlotte?" Trixie asked hesitantly, not sure she wanted to know. Neither of the others answered, and Trixie, speaking slowly, puzzled it out. "He shot my mom. And Charlotte's dead." Her mouth tightened as she remembered her father crying; she missed Charlotte, but not as much as her dad did. "Did he kill Charlotte, too?"
Maze's small smile, fiercely proud of her, was answer enough.
"But why?" Trixie scrambled to her feet and moved to stand next to Maze. She wanted to reach out to Maze, but was afraid of hurting her. "Charlotte was a good lawyer, not the bad kind; not any more. She was helping! And we were going to go camping soon!" She swallowed hard, thinking about the trip she and Charlotte had planned, to help her get closer to her kids. They were going to make s'mores!
It would have been like having siblings. Sometimes it felt like Trixie was the only one in the world without a brother or sister.
"Marcus was… not a good person," Lucifer said heavily. He and Maze exchanged a look, and then Maze shrugged, looking away.
Trixie nodded, then realized aloud, "But my mom was going to marry him. Why?" It was a cry of protest; surely her mother had better judgment than to want to marry a bad person, one who killed great people like Charlotte.
Lucifer cast a look to Maze which could only be described as pleading, then shook his head when she smirked and gestured toward Trixie. Lucifer explained, his voice low, "She wanted someone stable."
Trixie frowned. "A guy who kills people on purpose doesn't sound stable to me, Lucifer."
Maze looked like she was trying not to look pleased, and extended her fist toward Trixie.
Trixie bumped her knuckles against Maze's. She smiled. So did Maze.
"Look, kid," Maze said, her tone holding a hint of that old affection. "Your mom was going to marry him, but she got smart and changed her mind. And that was before he killed Charlotte."
Trixie exhaled a soft sigh of relief, then looked down to study the toes of her pink Chuck Taylors, the spot where Maddy had drawn a smiley face at recess last week. She didn't feel like smiling, though. "I told my mom I liked him, but I didn't. Not really. I just, I wanted her to be happy. I didn't know him, but he was weird and then…" She couldn't say it, not until she felt Maze's hand on hers. "I was at Maddy's for a sleepover, and he came over." She looked up, admitting, "And I didn't want to, but he said we should go home, and then we watched TV on the couch until I fell asleep. It was weird." Maze's faraway expression made her ask, "Did I do something wrong?"
Maze shook her head. "No. He did the wrong stuff, Trixie."
Trixie relaxed, leaning against Maze: just because she wanted to, not because everything was okay. Maze stiffened a little, but didn't move away. Trixie hoped it didn't hurt her. After a moment, Maze put an arm around her and pulled her a little closer. Trixie smiled.
Lucifer cleared his throat and asked, "Your mother. Is she…"
Trixie waited, but Lucifer didn't finish the sentence.
Maze made a noise of inquiry and Lucifer said, his voice tight, "She saw. She knows."
Maze exhaled a quiet word that didn't sound like any language Trixie had ever heard, then added, "Took you long enough."
"Well, I didn't do it on purpose, did I?" Lucifer protested. "And it's not like I didn't tell her dozens of times."
Trixie figured that if she listened and kept her mouth shut, she might learn something interesting.
"Sure," Maze drawled, her voice resigned. "What did she see?"
Lucifer gestured vaguely over one shoulder and then toward his face, and Trixie heard Maze's murmur of surprise. "How is she?"
Lucifer grimaced. "I'm not sure. I, ah, left." He bristled a little at Maze's exasperated sound, then added, "You didn't see the look on her face." He turned to Trixie, asking, "Your mum… how is she?"
Trixie shook her head. "I want answers first." She brandished the feather, adding, "Starting with this."
"Conniving," Lucifer murmured, though he sounded admiring. "I suppose you'll find out eventually, now that your mum knows." He gestured toward Trixie, as if inviting her to ask her questions.
"Is this yours?" Trixie asked, waving the feather. "Why is there blood on it? Do you really have wings? Can you fly?" In her experience, adults tended to get sick of answering questions after a while, and she wanted to be sure to get the good ones in while she could.
Lucifer leaned back in his chair. "Yes. Because I bled on it, I assume. Yes, and yes."
Trixie waited for more details.
"What, that's it?" Trixie asked. "Those aren't good answers."
Lucifer shrugged, pointing out, "You just asked for answers, child. You didn't ask for good ones. When you make a deal with the - me, you need to be specific."
Trixie looked up at Maze, who nodded in encouragement. "Well, maybe that's the kind of answers I'll give you about my mother," she retorted.
Lucifer sighed. He got up and poured himself another drink. "All right," he began. "I'll tell you what happened."
He did, and this time it was a good answer. Trixie listened, spellbound, as he told an unbelievable story. The most unbelievable part was that it was all real. Maze added a little here and there, but she didn't talk a lot. Trixie thought that maybe Maze and Lucifer were really mad at each other, but they weren't talking about it, like Brooklyn H. and Maddy.
Grownups were really weird sometimes.
"So you really are the Devil," Trixie said to Lucifer, more curious than anything else as she tried to wrap her head around the idea. She was a little disappointed that he wasn't a dragon, but this was pretty cool, too. "Like in the Bible?"
"Where did you get a Bible?" Maze interrupted Lucifer's definite negative statement. "I know Chloe and Dan didn't give you one."
"Abuela," Trixie replied with a little sigh. She'd really been hoping for something cool for her birthday, or at least money to buy something cool. "I found all the parts with Lucifer -" And the look on her mother's face upon seeing Trixie poring over her Bible had been hysterical. "- but you're not in there, Maze."
Maze snorted. "Of course I'm not. That would make it too interesting."
"It's not really accurate," Lucifer added. "It's sort of like what would happen if I had told Maze a story, and then she'd told your mum, and your mum told your dad, and he told you, and then you wrote it down."
Trixie grinned. "Like telephone. We play that at school sometimes." Growing serious, she added, "But everybody says the Devil is bad, and you're not." Lucifer had saved her, after all, and he'd saved her mom. She knew he couldn't be bad.
"Propaganda," Lucifer explained. When Trixie frowned a little, puzzled, he added, "Dear old Dad came off as the good guy, and so he got to spin the story. More people will worship him if there is someone to be afraid of." And he gestured to himself, his expression bitter. "An Adversary."
"I'm not scared of you," Trixie reassured. That got her a quick, sad smile. "And your dad's not the good guy," Trixie added, still confused. She looked up at Maze. "Is he?"
"No," Maze replied, her voice hard.
Wanting to make her friend happy again, for despite everything Maze was still her friend, Trixie asked, "Are you a Devil, too?"
Lucifer snorted and started to answer, an obvious negative, but Maze interrupted, saying, "She asked me. No, I'm a demon. There's only one Devil; I don't think the world could handle two of him."
Trixie grinned suddenly, realizing, "So your Halloween mask?"
Maze hesitated. "Not a mask." She seemed like she was holding her breath.
Trixie studied her, then said, "It's my turn for show-and-tell on Friday. Will you come?" Maze looked startled, and Trixie wheedled, "Please? You don't have to show your other face. Just bring your knives. It would be so cool!" And it would. Some of the kids in her class were really annoying, but they'd stop calling her Trix-are-for-kids if they met her friend the demon.
Maybe she wasn't as mad at Maze as she'd thought.
"You're okay with me being a demon?" Maze asked, frowning a little. "And that Lucifer is the Devil?"
Trixie shrugged, with a smile. "I mean, it's cool. Kind of like magic. It's not like you can change who you are. And I knew you weren't regular people. I mean, duh." She might not have thought demon or Devil, not really, but it had always been obvious that Maze and Lucifer were different.
"Duh," Maze echoed softly, with a small smile. She cleared her throat. "I'll think about it."
Trixie asked, as the thought occurred to her, "Is Hogwarts real, too?" She would be eleven soon, after all; these things were good to know. Lucifer shook his head, though, and Trixie sighed.
"Now, child," Lucifer prompted. "I gave you what I think we all can agree was an excellent answer. Your turn. How is your mum?"
"I don't know," Trixie admitted. Before Lucifer could get mad, she added, "I asked her if she was okay, and she said she was, but I think she doesn't want me to worry. She was kind of shaking, a little."
Lucifer rocked back against his chair. "That's it, then," he whispered.
"Are you kidding me?" Maze asked, sounding amused and maybe a little irritated. "She doesn't fall into your arms, and you think it's over? Whatever it is."
"Point of fact: she did fall into -" Lucifer must have seen Trixie's interest, for he broke off his words, muttering, "Not in the fun way."
"Lucifer, you rocked her world," Maze said, her voice blunt. "And not in the fun way. Look, just because she saw your face…"
Lucifer closed his eyes. "I didn't know. I didn't know I'd gotten my Devil face back. I looked at her like everything was normal, and she…"
"It took Linda some time," Maze said, her voice rough. "And you hadn't just saved Linda when you showed her. I'm sure Chloe will come around." Lucifer didn't say anything, and Maze looked out the window. "Look, these humans, they were always just for fun. I never thought you'd actually…" She cleared her throat, then turned back to Lucifer. "If any human can deal with being with the Devil, it's Chloe Decker. If you don't mess things up."
"I should go," Lucifer muttered. "Away."
Maze looked at Trixie like, Did he even hear what I just said?
"No!" Trixie protested, tumbling out of the chair in her haste to get to Lucifer. She grabbed his arm with both of her hands, adding, "You can't go away. The last time you did, it made my mom so sad. You can't do that again, Lucifer. There's -" Trixie heard her voice hitch and took a breath, reminding herself that she could handle grown-up stuff, though these things seemed especially grown-up these days. "There's too much sad now, Lucifer. Please don't make more."
"Well," Lucifer murmured. He rested a hand briefly on Trixie's, and she couldn't believe he'd done it on purpose. "Since you asked." He smiled a little. "Was she really sad when I left?"
"You're not supposed to be happy about that," Trixie scolded, though she smiled too when she heard Maze laughing. "But yeah. She cried when she thought I couldn't hear. So don't make her sad like that again, Lucifer, or I'll get you!" Lucifer straightened, his expression amused and a little bit surprised, and Trixie added, "I don't care if you really are the Devil! Don't hurt my mom."
"That goes for me, too," Maze said, though quietly.
"All right." Lucifer settled back in the chair and Trixie let go of his arm. She didn't think she imagined him relaxing as he turned to Maze. "Back on Team Chloe, then?" he asked, an odd note in his voice.
Maze shook her head. "I'm not team anybody," she said flatly, "Except maybe Linda. But you shouldn't take off again. Human emotions suck, but running away from them isn't going to help."
"Yeah," Trixie agreed. She didn't entirely understand what they were talking about, but she knew she didn't want Lucifer to leave.
Lucifer, his brows arched, said, "Thought that was what you wanted to do, though. Back to Hell, wasn't it?"
"Maze, no!" Trixie protested, and Maze gave Lucifer a killing glare.
"I was," Maze admitted. "But Linda and I… talked, and I guess I'm staying."
"Talked?" Lucifer echoed, and there was something in his tone that Trixie didn't understand. She smiled at the thought of Linda and Maze talking, though. Really, why couldn't everybody just be friends?
"So everybody's staying," Trixie decided. "Maze, what happened to you?" she added, gesturing to her friend's face. "Lucifer, where's your first aid kit?"
Lucifer turned to Maze, his look one of amused inquiry. "Do I have one?"
"Downstairs, at Lux, but I don't -"
Trixie bounded to Maze's side wearing her best pleading look. "But you're hurt."
"Linda already -" Maze began.
"Ooh, playing doctor," Lucifer teased. "She's quite good at that, as I recall."
"Shut up," Maze growled, and it was a growl, her angry tone almost sending Trixie back a step.
"It's not nice to make fun of people, Lucifer," Trixie chided. She didn't quite get why it was making fun, since of course Dr. Linda was a doctor, but she could tell that it was. She asked Maze, "Are you sure? I'll bet Patrick has lollipops."
"Oh, he does," Lucifer agreed, not looking as if the scolding had made any difference at all. "But they're shaped like - well, your mother would be quite put out if I let you have one. Ah, spoil your supper."
Maze snorted at Lucifer, still looking annoyed but maybe also a little amused. She reassured Trixie, "I'm fine - or I will be," she amended, at Trixie's skeptical look.
Trixie still wasn't convinced, but she figured Maze was a grown-up - how old was she? - and could decide that stuff for herself. She looked between them and, remembering that unit in Greek mythology that had become her obsession, said, "Can I ask something else?" The two exchanged a look, and then Lucifer nodded, so Trixie asked, "Is Cerberus real?"
"Cerberus," he echoed, correcting her pronunciation. "No." Looking a little amused, he explained, "The way I figure it, someone saw some hellpuppies and thought that they were one creature. They tend to travel in packs, as that's the only way they can challenge the fully grown hellhounds. Sometimes it's hard to tell where one pup ends and another begins," he added, his expression growing fond. "As they get older, they become more solitary."
Trixie, though, really heard only one thing: Hell had puppies. How could that be bad?
"- wasn't making a comparison to you and your siblings, Maze," Lucifer was saying, though the sound Maze made suggested that she didn't believe him.
"You have brothers and sisters?" Trixie demanded of Maze, both delighted for her friend and perhaps a little jealous. Sometimes it felt like everybody had siblings but her. Maddy said her little brother was a pain, but Trixie thought he was adorable. Sadly, Maddy's dad had stopped their plans to trade Maddy's brother for Trixie's second favorite stuffed animal, two books, and some strawberry Pocky.
Maze shook her head. "Yeah, but it's not anything to get excited about, Trixie."
Trixie sighed. Nobody with siblings seemed to like them, but she knew that she would love a brother or a sister, or even one of each. She asked Maze, "Would you trade me one? I've got some really good stuff."
Lucifer said no before Maze could even answer.
"I wouldn't do that," Maze protested. "Not to Trixie, at least," she added, her lips curving.
Lucifer grinned. "I can think of some people I'd wish your siblings on," he agreed. Then it was as if he realized that he was smiling at Maze, for his expression went stiff, and he looked away.
"Why are you mad at each other?" Trixie asked. When neither of them answered, she said, "You guys are going to live forever, right?" Both Lucifer and Maze made some vaguely affirmative sound, and Trixie added, "You can't stay mad at each other forever."
"Watch me," Maze drawled, even as Lucifer said, "Oh, can't I?"
They exchanged a look, and then Trixie said, "Come on, why are you mad?" They still wouldn't answer, and Trixie sighed. "Okay. I'm going to tell you part of the story that Mom read to last night." She made sure that Maze and Lucifer were paying attention, took a deep breath, and began, in her best reading-class voice, "Once there were two monks, and old one and a young one. In the book, they're mice or something, and they're really cute."
"Mice aren't cute," Maze pointed out, though she subsided when Trixie gave her a Teacher Look. Ms. Nuñez could make the whole class stop talking just by doing that thing with her eyebrow.
"These mice are cute," Trixie announced. "Anyway, the monks were going for a walk, and they saw a snooty lady. She was a mouse, too. She was mad because she wanted to get out of her chair thing - the cool kind, with handles - but there were great big puddles. And her chair people were holding all the stuff she bought, so they couldn't help her."
"Why didn't they put the packages in the chair?" Lucifer suggested. "Then they could help her."
"Or just move the chair away from the puddle?" Maze didn't say "duh," but Trixie heard it in her voice. She sighed and decided to maybe be a little nicer to Ms. Nuñez. But if Maze and Lucifer had questions, at least it meant they were paying attention.
"That's not in this story," Trixie replied. "What happened was the young monk walked on by, and the old monk picked her up out of the chair and carried her over the puddle. And then she left."
"Presumably leaving her packages behind." Lucifer got up and poured another drink and then, after a moment, poured a second for Maze. She accepted it with a nod.
"Lucifer!" He returned to his chair, and Trixie continued, "The monks walked and walked, and finally the young one said, all mad, 'That lady was so rude! And then you helped her, and she didn't even say thank you!' And the older monk said, 'I set the woman down hours ago. Why are you still carrying her?'"
Trixie gave Lucifer and Maze a meaningful look, but didn't feel like their response was worthy of the great story she had just told. She sighed again, and explained, "Mom says the snooty lady is bad feelings, like being mad or sad or something, and you shouldn't keep carrying them around with you." She snuck a peek at Maze, who was looking outside, then added, "That means you guys should be friends again."
Lucifer set down his drink. "It's not quite as simple as that, child," he began.
"Why not? Look, I'll do it." Trixie got to her feet and made her way over to Maze. "What you said about me being a brat really hurt my feelings, but I'm not going to be mad or sad about it any more, because you're my friend and I love you." And when she said it, she realized that it was true. Charlotte had died, her dad was sad, and Marcus had shot her mom and was maybe dead. She couldn't do anything about those things, but she could fix this. She all but threw herself at Maze, who, fortunately, caught her and hugged back, though Trixie thought she was maybe a little bit slow on the hug.
"Emotions don't work like that," Lucifer protested. "You can't just tell bad feelings to go away and have that happen. Trust me, I'd sleep a lot better if I could do that, and I wouldn't need Doctor Linda."
"Lucifer, shut up." Maze's voice was very quiet, and not at all growly, but it was almost scarier for that. Was she crying? Trixie wasn't sure, but she thought maybe Maze's eyes were a little wet.
"Now you," Trixie prompted, still nestled against Maze.
They hesitated, and then Lucifer said, "I think it's going to take a little more than just your say-so."
And Trixie got that. Whatever trouble Maze and Lucifer were having seemed like kind of a big deal. "You don't have to make up right now," she said, the way Ms. Nuñez had said to Maddy and Brooklyn H. "But you can try. Maybe if you pretend you're not mad, then soon you won't be. You can't keep carrying around all those bad feelings, like the younger monk. It's not good for you."
Maybe it was something about her Pretty-Please Face, the one Trixie always used when she talked to Mom about puppies, but Lucifer and Maze seemed to have softened a little. They didn't quite smile at each other, but they seemed less mad.
Trixie was just like Doctor Linda, getting people to talk! This therapy stuff was easy. Maybe she could be President and First Therapist of Mars.
She was so busy being happy that maybe Lucifer and Maze would be friends again that she noticed neither the elevator doors opening nor her mother's rather frazzled entrance.
It was only when she heard the doors slide shut that Trixie looked up and realized the magnitude of the Big Trouble that she was in.
Maze's arms tightened around her, but then, maybe after she got a good look at Mom's expression, she let Trixie go.
"Detective," Lucifer greeted, sounding uneasy. "Ah, how are you? You're looking… ah, here you are, aren't you?"
Because, well, Mom didn't look so great, not with her messy hair and her red eyes. She held up a finger, never a good sign, and then pulled out her phone, making a call. "I've got her, Dan. You were right."
Trixie decided that a diversion was in order. As her mother tucked away her phone and approached, she asked the only thing that came into her mind, "Lucifer, do you have a Halloween face, too?"
It was only after the words left her mouth and she saw Lucifer's stunned expression that it occurred to Trixie that throwing the actual Devil under the bus wasn't her best idea. Had his eyes flickered red? Nah, no, definitely not.
"A… what?" Lucifer asked, though his attention was focused on Trixie's mother, rather than on Trixie herself.
And Mom was staring right back at him, her eyes gone a little wide. "Yeah, Trix," she said, her voice just above a whisper. "He does.
How did her mother know that? Trixie snuck a look at Maze. She was also watching Lucifer and Mom, with an expression on her face that wasn't quite a smile. She didn't look surprised, but Trixie guessed she had already known.
Had everybody seen Lucifer's Halloween face but her?
Lucifer looked for a moment like he was going to stand, but then eased back against the chair, carefully resting his hands in his lap. "Detective, I swear," he said, voice quiet and pleading, "I didn't know that I - I thought it had gone."
"It?" Mom echoed, and Trixie began to hope that maybe she wouldn't end up in so much trouble after all.
"My… my Devil face," Lucifer replied, sounding almost ashamed. "If I'd known it had come back, I wouldn't have…"
Mom and Lucifer were looking across the room at each other and it was like they were in a movie. Trixie thought that if it really had been a movie, this would have been the part where the violins started playing, but happy violins. Not the sad violins like that commercial with the puppies.
She whispered to Maze, "Are they going to kiss?"
Maze snorted, amused. "They have to be standing a little closer for that to happen. Don't tell me you forgot how it all works."
Trixie remembered. That had been an interesting talk.
Maze had spoken a little more loudly that Trixie, and the two of them were suddenly the focus of both Mom's and Lucifer's attention.
"What?" Maze asked. "We were talking about kissing. Not sex."
"But you have to be closer for that, too," Trixie added, happy to be helpful.
Mom gave Maze one of those what did you do? looks, and Maze shrugged. "That picture book you read her about it was boring. She had questions. And we both know I know way more than you do about sex."
Mom did that thing where she pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed. That never meant anything good. "Okay. We'll talk about that later." She walked past them to stand closer to Lucifer. "And we need to talk, too, yeah?"
Lucifer looked like he wasn't breathing.
Did the Devil even need to breathe?
Nobody on the playground would ever believe this. But Trixie probably wouldn't tell them anyway. It hadn't worked out so well when she'd shared what Maze had told her about sex, and Dad and Ms. Nuñez had said that there were things that were for parents and kids to talk about that shouldn't be shared on the playground. This seemed like another one of those things.
"That wasn't how I wanted - that is to say…" Lucifer took a breath (so yes, he needed to breathe) and shook his head. "Are you… quite well? Only the child said you were shaking last night."
Mom flicked a quick look at Trixie, then back to Lucifer. "I'd had kind of a tough day, all right?" she said, her voice gentle. "I mean, Marcus was dead and you were… and we…" She had a smile in her voice as she finished, "I guess we flew. Well, you flew. I… never imagined that was possible."
They flew? I mean, sure Trixie knew for sure that Marcus was dead, but Mom and Lucifer flying was way more interesting.
"That's so cool," Trixie whispered. Maybe she could fly with Lucifer sometime, if she promised not to get anything on his suit. And she definitely wanted a look at his Halloween face. They could all go trick-or-treating next year, and if Lucifer's Halloween face was half as cool as Maze's, Trixie would get enough candy to last until Christmas.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Detective…" Lucifer grinned suddenly. "You wouldn't believe what I'd just done to Will, when he wrote that."
Mom turned her head a little, and Trixie could see her closing her eyes. "And you knew Shakespeare."
"Oh, yeah," Maze agreed, her tone a little smug.
Trixie nudged Maze. "What did he do to Will?"
"No," Mom said, before Maze could explain.
"You're such a spoilsport, Decker," Maze complained. "But you're still talking to us, so I guess I can forgive you."
"Yes, you're doing much better than Doctor Linda did," Lucifer added, "though I suppose you had the wings to kind of offset the, ah, face."
Mom looked over at Maze when Lucifer mentioned Doctor Linda, and she had a funny sort of smile. "I heard you two… talked."
Maze smiled, too, and it was a soft smile, but definitely not the way she smiled at Trixie. "Yeah."
"I'm really glad, Maze. You two… I'm glad." Mom's voice sounded like her throat was a little scratchy. "She explained what you did to get to her. You're a good friend to have."
Maze looked away, muttering something Trixie didn't quite catch about stupid human emotions, and Trixie leaned closer to her. Maze was a good friend. Sometimes she got mad and said things, but Trixie knew that Maze would always help if she needed her.
And then Mom turned back to Trixie. "So did Brooklyn move in here when I wasn't looking?" she asked, brows lifting in that way that meant that Trixie hadn't entirely escaped the trouble.
"Hey, Decker," Maze said, sounding like she was trying not to laugh. "Don't hang on to your bad feelings."
"Yeah!" Trixie agreed, suddenly hopeful. "Be like the old monk, Mom. You put down your anger hours ago… right?" She felt compelled to add, "I stopped by Brooklyn P's house on the way here. We really do have a project. So technically I didn't lie."
"Oh, nice," Lucifer approved, and Mom shook her head. "You're a bad influence," she said, her tone mock-severe.
"Mm. Well, you're welcome to punish me when the child is elsewhere."
Mom chuckled, but drew Lucifer out to the balcony to talk to him in private. Trixie watched them for a minute, then turned back to Maze. "Things are going to be different now, aren't they?"
"Yeah," Maze agreed. She eased an arm around Trixie, turning to watch Mom and Lucifer. "But maybe that's a good thing. Sometimes change is a good thing."
Trixie nodded as she turned back to watch the two on the balcony, her mom talking earnestly to Lucifer, Lucifer bending down just a little bit to listen. The setting sun almost made Mom's messy hair look like a halo, and it made Lucifer's hair a little red. Settling against Maze, Trixie smiled.
Maybe everything wasn't back to normal yet, maybe it wouldn't be for a while, but everybody was talking to each other, and Trixie knew that helped.
And Lucifer had wings.
The world was full of possibility.