Hello! Super short chapter! important message at the end!
"Nice day, huh?"
"Your lover doing okay with the kid?"
"She's having a lot of nightmares and still getting sick every now and then, but other than that, yeah."
Issei and Azazel sat at a cafe in downtown Kuoh, Issei sipping some black tea while Azazel toyed with the ice in his sake glass.
"Nightmares, huh? I've heard that some pregnant women get them, but she seems to have it pretty bad…"
"You're telling me. I can't count how many times now I've woken up to her nearly freaking out."
"Have you considered a therapist?"
"Have I considered a therapist? Oh, for sure, but will Raynare? Not on your life."
Azazel chuckled, expecting that answer.
"Yeah, I didn't think so."
"I was planning on asking Lisa Lisa if there's anything I can do to help her, but at the moment she's just trying to bear it."
"These seem a lot more consistent than normal nightmares."
"They probably aren't normal."
That got Azazel's attention. He cocked his head and narrowed his eyes, not having considered the possibility.
"You don't think…"
"That it's from Excalibur Nightmare?" Issei interjected.
Azazel was surprised how fast the kid put forward the idea. He'd obviously given it a lot of thought. "That would certainly explain it…" the Fallen replied, rubbing his chin.
"I've been wondering that for a while. Of course Freed wouldn't let her off with something so inconsequential as attacking me," Issei sighed in defeat, knowing that even in death the maniacal priest was laughing at them.
"I hadn't even considered something like that. If you want, I can look her over magically next time you two come in for a prenatal appointment."
"That'd be great."
They sat in silence for a moment, admiring the day. Before too long, Azazel spoke up again.
"So, small talk aside- why'd you call me? Said it was important, and I have a hunch you didn't just mean the nightmares."
The governor put on his diplomatic attitude, expecting something big.
"Yeah, about that- it's occurred to me...that I have absolutely no idea how to plan a wedding," Issei said, planting his face in his hands.
Azazel deflated, laughing. Issei stared at him in a deadpan until a moment later when he finally calmed down enough to talk.
"Should've known. Well, what kind of wedding? Japanese? Christian? Satanic? Fallen Angel?"
"Definitely Christian- wait, Fallen Angels have a special wedding?"
"More of an orgy. Probably not your thing."
Azazel abruptly laughed. "I'm flattered, but do you really think I know how to plan a wedding? How many times have I been married, kid?"
"...two?" Issei guessed, not really knowing at all how many times his surrogate uncle had tied the knot.
"None. And proudly," Azazel said, pumping his fist.
"Proudly? You've never been in love?"
"Oh, in love? Plenty. Just never married."
Issei furrowed his brow at that. Maybe it was the strict christian dogma of his step parents, but he didn't really understand the point in not getting married if you loved someone.
"Well, anyway, sorry to disappoint. Fact of the matter is, I don't know how to plan a wedding. Sorry," Azazel apologized, rather uncharacteristically.
"No worries, I guess."
"That said, if you need a bachelor party thrown, I'm your guy."
"Plan a wedding? How the hell should I know?"
Matsuda was outside the Kuoh Academy Old School Building, playing fetch with the manifestation of the Canis Lykaon, a shadowy golden retriever.
"I dunno, maybe Rias talks about it? I was planning on asking her next."
Matsuda stopped, and looked Issei dead in the eyes.
"Dude? Don't. For your sake and mine."
The bald boy physically shuddered.
"Whoa, why? What's the big deal, does she not like weddings?"
"No! The opposite! She loves them! And not to mention, ever since somebody proposed to his girlfriend like three times and got her a giant ring, the bar has been super high!"
Issei chuckled, a little embarrassed and a little weirded out- how had Matsuda and Rias known about his proposals, exactly?
Well, Raynare hadn't exactly kept them secret- and her ring was something she'd shown everyone in town at least twice.
Matsuda reared back and threw a tennis ball at least two hundred meters- his devil strength no doubt playing a large part- and his shadow-dog immediately took off after it, running only a little faster than a normal golden retriever might.
"So...you don't want me to go in there and ask Rias how to plan my wedding."
"Man, I'm literally begging."
"Issei? Hi, how's it going? Come on in, I'm just finishing some stuff up for the day."
Rias was on her laptop at her desk, typing away at what was undoubtedly the fastest words-per-minute speed he'd ever seen.
"Uh, I'm good, thanks."
Issei shut the door behind him, then walked in. Taking a seat on one of the couches, he pondered on how to broach his question.
"Where's Raynare? I almost never see you guys apart."
"Oh, she's with one of our friends- a tailor."
That got Rias' attention.
"Oh? A tailor? Does that mean she's getting the dress?" she asked, stars twinkling in her eyes.
"Yeah, she said it was almost done-"
"You're on the phone?!"
He was on his feet in an instant, pointing accusatorily at Rias, who was completely disregarding his presence.
In mere instants after Issei confirmed Raynare was working with Abdalla on her dress, Rias had pulled out her cell phone and called his fiance.
"Yeah, it's Rias. Issei says you're getting your dress?"
"Did you just tattle on me?!"
Issei, being wholeheartedly ignored, plopped back down on the couch in disbelief.
Raynare said something in response, and Rias literally squealed. Issei had never heard such a noise come from the dignified devil princess before, and it only added to his shock.
"You've gotta send me a picture right away, okay? I'll be waiting! Okay, okay, bye~!"
Rias hung up and put the phone away. Turning around, she noticed Issei was still there and had the audacity to look surprised. She cleared her throat and sat back down, having stood up in excitement.
"Oh, right! What was it you wanted to talk about?"
Issei stared blankly at her for a few seconds, blinking slowly.
"I was going to ask you if you knew how to plan a wedding, but-"
Rias shot up from her desk, going to fetch something from a cabinet behind her.
Issei rubbed his forehead, realizing Matsuda had been totally right.
"Here's a catalogue I have of all the best wedding ideas I've ever seen."
Rias slammed down on her desk a massive scrapbook, bigger than most textbooks- Issei's eyes bulged at the sheer amount of time she'd had to have put into it. He gulped unconsciously, not realizing what he'd gotten himself into until just that moment.
"Oh hey, Raynare sent you the picture of her dress!" Issei said, pointing at her phone.
Rias hastily picked up her phone, and by the time she realized he was lying, Issei was already out the door.
"She's a maniac."
"I fuckin' told you, dude."
"Whatever. Do you know where Sona is?"
"Sure you don't wanna try Xenovia?"
Matsuda grinned while Issei shuddered. She was a warrior through and through, and weddings were almost definitely not her strong suit.
"Try Xenovia for what?"
Matsuda and Issei both turned to the intruding voice. It was Kiba, who'd just come from a meeting with Sona. Behind him was Xenovia, chatting with Asia.
Matsuda laughed out loud.
"Speak of the devils, huh?" he said, chuckling at his own pun.
"Uh, just something I'm having some problems with. You wouldn't happen to know anything about wedding planning, would you?"
Issei asked Kiba as he approached, giving the swordsman a fist bump when he got within range.
"I don't, sorry. Rias knows a lot, want me to ask her-"
"No!" Issei and Matsuda shouted in unison, both looking terrified.
"Issei? What are you doing here?"
"Hi mister Issei!"
Xenovia and Asia finally came up, having noticed the trio chatting. Xenovia was the first to speak, rather tactlessly.
"Uh, you do know I go to school here too, right?" he asked in return, rubbing the back of his head.
"Well yes, but it's a weekend. You're normally with Raynare any time you're not at school, so I was wondering."
"Is everyone gonna ask that? We're not joined at the hip, jeez…"
Issei's grumbling received no less than four deadpan stares in response.
"So why are you here? Not that I'm upset, mind you. In fact, you could drop by more often," Xenovia said with a suspicious looking grin. Issei recoiled just a bit, noticing a hungry glint in her eyes that he wasn't sure he was a fan of.
"He wants to know if any of you guys know how to plan a wedding," Matsuda explained after a moment.
"Oh, a wedding! I used to love watching the weddings the Fathers would perform at my chapel!" Asia exclaimed, squealing with glee.
Four sets of eyes slowly turned towards her, sensing an untapped source of knowledge that could very well be Issei's saving grace.
"Asia...did you ever help with the weddings?"
Issei hesitantly asked, not sure quite how to broach the subject.
"Eh? Oh, no, I only watched. I'm sorry…" she said sheepishly, bowing her head.
"Ugh...so none of you guys know either, huh?"
Issei sighed, resigning himself to spending a day asking random people if they knew how to plan a wedding.
"Why are you asking all of us anyway? Isn't there a book for this shit, or, I dunno, the internet?" Matsuda asked, giving Issei a look like he was stupid.
"Yeah, but that just seems so...impersonal. I dunno, I guess I thought somebody would know. Wait, wait-..."
Issei nearly facepalmed. He'd forgotten all about a certain someone.
"…-isn't Akeno a priestess?" he mumbled from underneath his hand after a second.
"Uh, yeah, actually. Hey, where is she, anyway?" Matsuda asked Kiba, having been under the impression Akeno was with him.
"She and Sona are still talking about some stuff. She's probably still in the Student Council room, if you wanted to check," Kiba told Issei, gesturing in that direction.
"Oh, perfect. Thanks, guys."
Issei closed the student council door behind him, shuffling inside. Akeno and Sona were both looking at something on Sona's phone, and as he walked in they both had a mischievous glint in their eyes. Yes, even Sona, the stalwart and straight-laced student council president, had a nasty look.
"Uh...is everything okay?" Issei asked, sensing something was wrong with the way they stared at him.
"Oh, sure, sure. We just got a picture from Rias, that's all," Akeno explained, looking at Sona's phone again.
"It seems your fiance has acquired her dress, Issei."
Sona smirked, apparently pleased with the picture she'd been sent.
"Huh? Seriously?! You gotta let me see it-"
Issei moved a step closer, only to be immediately shut down by both girls holding their hands out with magic flaring to life.
Akeno's lightning and Sona's water were both ready to fly the instant he took another step closer, and Issei sighed in resignation. He'd momentarily forgotten the rule about not being able to see it until the wedding day, but these girls were quick to remind him.
"Alright, fine, fine. Look, I just wanted to know if either of you know how to plan a wedding."
"Oh yes, of course. As a demon lord, my sister has had to conduct many weddings, and I've helped with a few."
"...I'm almost scared to ask, but we're talking about Christian weddings here, right?"
"Oh. No, I suppose that's a valid point. Sometimes I forget you aren't a devil, Issei. I was definitely talking about devil weddings. My apologies."
Now down to his last hope, Issei looked at Akeno.
"I just do Shinto weddings. Sorry~," she cooed, apologetic.
Issei sighed. Back to square one.
"Alright, no worries."
Issei flung himself down on the couch, exhausted and annoyed. He let out an exaggerated sigh, thinking he was alone.
"Damn, who pissed in your cereal?"
He was not.
Issei cracked an eye at the intruding voice, which belonged to none other than his bluenette roommate with a bad attitude.
"Hey, Kala," he said, shutting his eye and re-burying his face in the couch. "I thought you went with Raynare."
"Hey, loverboy. And no, I didn't. Her shopping habits make me puke. So, what's got you upset?"
Without warning, Kalawarner sat on his back, putting her legs up and reclining on top of him like she owned the place. Issei groaned at the sudden weight, but otherwise didn't resist.
Not like he could, anyway. What with, you know, being underneath her.
He spoke into the couch cushion, muffled.
"I've talked to everyone in Kuoh trying to get some help for planning this wedding, but nobody knows how! I'm at my wits' end, here."
"Huh? Is that what you were doing out all day? Jeez, you're seriously unlucky, you know that?"
"Has Raynare ever mentioned that I've had a lot of random jobs?"
"Maybe once or twice…"
"Yeah, well, assassin wasn't exactly my first career choice. I was actually a wedding planner for a while."
After a moment of silence, Issei groaned into the couch again.
"You've gotta be kidding."
Kalawarner laughed at his misfortune.
"Nope. So, when do you wanna start?"
I'm gonna keep it real with you guys... I kinda lost the muse for this story. The more I go back and read, the less I like what Past Belial did with certain things, and it kinda kills my motivation to write. No big long winded message here, just wanted to say this:
As of now, this story is on hiatus. I don't know if I'll revisit it in the future, but it would be a dick move of me to keep everyone waiting with bated breath while I have no plans to update. Sorry, guys. No wedding or baby for now, but maybe at some point!
To everyone who's been with me thus far, I have but one more thing to say: Thank You! You guys are truly the best fans a writer could ask for, and it's been an absolute pleasure to write this story for you. Writing His Angel over the past 3 years has been nothing but a constant stream of enjoyment for me, and I have all of you to thank for it. So, here's to you.
This time, for real:
See you next mission!