HI everyone! Here's the final chapter of this story - I hope you enjoy as Alastor and Angel's relationship progresses just a little bit more!
Flowers in the Dark
In the Envy district of hell, in a small apartment, a sheep and a fish demon were cuddled close in bed, resting peacefully and smiling, safe in each other's company.
At the Hazbin Hotel, the Radio Demon was having a very different experience.
Alastor kept a small room in the back of his office in case he wished to spend the night at the hotel. And this evening he found himself there on his thin bed. He didn't feel like making a broadcast - in an unusual turn of events he was both physically full and emotionally content. He tried to lie in the dark like usual, his body barely resting as his mind worked out horrible plans for the future. But he was preoccupied.
It wasn't that he WANTED to go see Angel right now, but he felt inclined to make an in-person gesture regarding the special dessert the spider had prepared for him. And Angel was here tonight - a rare evening off instead of just a day. There had to be something Alastor could do that wouldn't be too flashy - otherwise the entire hotel would be speculating about it (Alastor had already noticed Charlie's doting looks at the fact that he and Angel were getting along). But the gesture also couldn't be too subtle or it wouldn't do the trick to satisfy his urge to bring the spider some comfort.
And then he decided. In a way, Angel had hosted him for dessert - and when one was a guest to a host, one usually brought a gift. And Alastor had been meaning to do some subtle decorating with the rooms anyway. So why not start with Angel's room? And why not start right now?
After conjuring the present and adjusting a few particular details, Alastor disappeared with a wave of his hand.
The Radio Demon's shadow followed behind him with his arms crossed and an eyebrow raised as Alastor headed down the hall, nearing his final destination.
Alastor rolled his eyes to the side. "I'm merely accelerating our hold on this establishment by giving this item to Angel Dust early." In the deer demon's hands was a small tube radio…colored pink. His shadow huffed. "Yes, I know the color is garish. But it's obviously his favorite hue. And he did remind me of mother today with those familiar pastries!"
The shadow just shrugged and disappeared as Alastor reached Angel's door. He straightened his tie, took a deep breath, held up his fist, and rapped three times.
"If it's Charlie, then whatever it is, I didn't do it. Seriously. And if it's Vaggie, fuck off and go to sleep, ya hot head. All I'm doing is lying in bed while sexy, and that ain't a sin!"
"None of the above - ha!" Alastor replied, feeling his face warm a little. He hid the radio behind his back.
He heard silence followed by the sound of movement. Then finally the door opened to reveal Angel in black shorts and long black socks and a pink t-shirt. "Alastor?" Angel raised an eyebrow then crossed his arms as he leaned against the doorway, grinning. "You really, really liked those zeppolis, didn't you?" He pointed teasingly. "Did I finally find your turn on?"
Alastor sighed. "Yes, I liked them. But no, you did not - you can't find what's not there."
"Point taken." Angel gestured inside. "It's probably polite to invite ya in, but I have to tell ya it's a bit of a sexy sty between me and Nuggets. Want to risk it though?"
Alastor glanced past Angel - he saw a bed with pink sheets, Fat Nuggets sitting on a pillow on the floor, many posters on the walls of Angel scantily clad…and a box labelled 'Work Stuff' that seemed to be full of a variety of colorful… "No, thank you!" Static buzzed between Alastor's ears and he turned his gaze back to Angel. "I don't want to keep you too long. But I have brought you a token of my appreciation of your confectionary accomplishment today."
"Presents!" Angel beamed. "All right! What'd ya get me! And for future reference, I'm a size six, extra tall!"
"Nothing so flashy I'm afraid." Alastor brought forth the radio. "My own way of wishing you some fresh entertainment while you're here at the hotel. And it's much more reliable than those flimsy digital devices everyone uses today." He lowered his voice. "And a certain television can never listen in on it either."
Angel took the little radio, turning it all around with admiration. He looked back up to the Radio Demon. "You know, you're really all right, Al. I'm glad you came here - the place has been a hell of a lot more interesting."
"Yes." Alastor chuckled. "I've found it interesting as well, and more so recently."
They shared a smiled.
Then Angel's phone went off. He blinked and Alastor noticed his pupil's shrink a little at the sound of the ringtone. "Uh…one sec. Sorry." Angel mumbled. He put the phone to his ear. He looked away from Alastor and blushed, and Alastor was reminded of their encounter with Vox on their first walk. "Hey, Val baby! Naw, you kidding? I always love to hear from you. What's the occasion?" He listened for a moment then swallowed and rubbed his arm. "Oh you were talking to Vo—" He hesitated, glancing at Alastor for a moment before looking away again. "I mean, well, yeah, I saw him and he said he might… Sure, a party with you three this weekend - of course I'll be there!"
Alastor gripped his cane considered what it might be like to rip every fiberoptic cable out of Vox's head one by one while the television demon watched until he couldn't watch anymore.
The spider swallowed and his tone became sweet, though he kept his eyes down. "Such a treat for me - thank you, Daddy. And thank Uncle V and Auntie V for me." He swallowed. "Anyway, I don't want to keep you, Val. I should go and make sure I'm ready for that full day of shooting tomorrow" More listening. "Right now? To your office? But… Val, I thought…" And Alastor watched as some of the pink parts of Angel's fur seemed to pale and he gripped the door a little with one hand. "I-I know what you do to stars who don't listen. I remember…" Angel cringed; he almost looked sick. "I'm sorry, Daddy, I just meant—"
Alastor stepped right in front of Angel and snapped his fingers. His shadow appeared and wrote a message in the air using the black smoke of its tail. YOU HAVE A CUSTOMER. Frowning, the shadow pointed down at Alastor as Alastor pointed up at it and the message.
Angel's eyes widened, and Alastor was interested to see the spider's white cheeks flush a little. "What I mean, Val, is…" Angel went on, "I forgot it was my night off so I've been working the street to score new customers. It's been slow, but I was right in the middle of a sale." Angel's countenance perked up and he even grinned a little. "Aw, Daddy, you're too sweet to me." He swallowed. "Yeah, sure, after shooting tomorrow - 'night, Val." And then he hung up the phone.
Angel's eyes went wide. "I…don't know what I'm more in shock about - that I just went and lied to Val with no plan, or that you called yourself one of my customers."
With a wave of his hand the writing and his shadow (who had a dry look of resignation at this point) disappeared. Alastor shrugged. "We were in the middle of an exchange, were we not? I was presenting you with something in regards to you having presented me with something. And we were having a conversation about it. He shouldn't interrupt." Alastor tilted his head. "Do you really never lie to him?"
Angel shuffled his feet and put the phone in his pocket. "Not unless I'm desperate or I've planned it out good. Spur of the moment usually doesn't work out well." He shrugged, pouting. "Shitty bosses, what are you gonna do?"
Alastor had a few ideas in mind for things to be done. But just like Angel tried to only lie when he had a plan, Alastor knew slaughtering tyrants was best done with a plan as well. It couldn't deny a certain thrill though from his sudden impulse to immediately gut the moth across town and his friends. Perhaps imagining such plans was how he would spend the rest of his evening. He gestured to Angel's room with his cane. "You should probably get some rest - it sounds like he'll need you tomorrow regardless."
"I can't." Angel sighed as he placed the radio on a table near the door. "He might call to check up on me and make sure I'm definitely working - I should stay up for at least another hour." Angel yawned though.
The Radio Demon considered and was surprised to find that a new thought struck him as more entertaining than immediately lying in the dark orchestrating heinous homicide. "Well, resting in bed probably won't help that situation - you might doze off. Come with me." He held out his hand.
Angel raised a hand but hesitated.
Alastor sighed. "It's fine to touch - you're not a plant, and I'm allowing it. Easier to get downstairs my way, and this way the ladies won't see us and question anything."
The spider took hold of deer demon's hand, and with a snap of Alastor's fingers they disappeared and reappeared in Alastor's office downstairs.
Angel looked around at the red decor and dark wood paneling and red leather furniture, the neat desk and large old radio, the hardwood floors. And then there was a door marked private at the back of the room.
The Radio Demon gestured for Angel to take a seat at one end of a sofa. Alastor pulled a bottle of wine and two glasses from a cupboard and sat at the opposite end. "We'll stay in here for a bit talking. That will certainly keep you awake and it will amuse me. And who knows - perhaps 'Val' will send Vox to check up on you, and perhaps I will use that breach of privacy as an excuse to shatter his insides pixel by pixel and serve what's left of his flesh with a nice chianti!" He held a fist high, his eyes narrowed and smile curled at the edges.
Angel whistled. "You spend a lot of time thinking of how to kill that TV, dontchya?"
Alastor's look returned to normal and he shrugged as he uncorked the bottle and poured for them both. "All demons should, in my opinion."
Angel chuckled and picked up his glass. "You know, sometimes when he's grumpy Vox mumbles things about 'that damn deer' or brings in radios from pawnshops to smash them. I just figured he had some really weird kinks but…nice to put a face to the frustration, you know?" Angel took a deep swig. "Just so you know, he's definitely a fucking jerk too compared to you. I can't believe he really told Val about me walking with you. Now I've gotta make nice with the three of them for a whole day next weekend."
"We'll keep away from his areas in the future on our walks," Alastor assured. "He knows better than to meddle in my affairs regularly." He sipped his wine. "Are you comfortable?"
"Yeah." Angel rested against the arm of the sofa and stretched. "In cozy pajamas, good wine, anywhere that's not the studio - I'm good. You?"
"Acceptably so." Alastor nodded and glanced around. "I've tried to make this office as subtly threatening as possible between the expensive furniture and the color scheme. It's practically like being in my booth at the radio tower!"
"I'm sure you never get this request from anyone, but I'd kind of like to see your radio tower one day. You know, just not during a broadcast." Angel swallowed and drank more wine.
Alastor tilted his head at the novel idea. "I don't see why not. But yes you are the first person to ask to be taken to the place where I commit my rather public murders. And yet…I almost forgot, you are an entertainer as well. I think you're one of the few demons who would appreciate the tower."
"An entertainer." Angel smiled to himself. "I don't get to do stuff for live audiences as often as you'd think but…yeah, I get how much work performing is."
"Hmm… it's unfortunate that neither of us is quite comfortable seeing the other put on a show in their element. But our conversation is always entertaining enough to me on its own," Alastor assured with a nod of his head.
"Yeah, I think we're good at gabbing too, Smiles." Angel poured more wine for himself and after a nod from Alastor topped off the deer's glass as well.
Then Angel glanced at the door marked private and gestured that way with his glass. "Some scary secret Overlord stuff go on back there?"
"Ha, no, everything about me can't reek of mystery and violence. That is merely my sleeping quarters."
"Why don't you just ask Charlie for a room?"
"I have no intention of moving in - it seems like a waste a perfectly good space that some poor delusional demon could use to attempt reform and fail miserably while I watch." Alastor put on his laugh track.
Angel sighed and shook his head. "Well, if you're ever spending the night and get lonely, feel free to knock on my door." As Alastor scowled and static picked up around his head, Angel just grinned and went on, "I meant to talk or to get a nightcap at the bar. Get it out of the gutter, Smiles."
Alastor rolled his eyes, the darkness around him ceasing. "Very funny."
"I always am!" Angel drank another swig of wine and stretched. Then his look softened. "Hey, Alastor? Thanks for…helping me keep my night off. And for waiting up with me. You didn't have to do that."
The spider's questioning look reminded Alastor that such a considerate gesture had been rather bold. But he kept his smile steady and put down his wine glass. "Consider it recompense for your discretion earlier."
When Angel raised an eyebrow, Alastor responded by shrugging out of his coat and resting it on the arm of the sofa. His tail became visible - red and white and distinctly fluffy. Angel blushed a little. Alastor's eyelids went down in a dry look. "It stays between us."
A little smile quirked up on the side of Angel's mouth and he nodded. He sipped again. "You know…when you knocked on my door and I realized it was you…I almost didn't bother finding socks to put on. Almost didn't see the point. But still…" He shifted his legs. "I just figured I'd err on the side of caution, especially since you're the only guy in hell who prefers me as clothed as possible."
"I prefer you not on call for idiots." Alastor's eyes narrowed and he positioned himself directly facing Angel on the sofa. "If you wish to strike a deal with me to make that happen, I promise I'd make the terms fair." He held out his hand - green energy swirled around it.
Angel blinked and put down his glass. "I… You could do that? But…" he shook his head and frowned. "Al, why would you want to?"
Alastor's ears twitched. "Explain please."
"Like, you probably got something out of roping in Nifty and Husk. But I don't have anything you want." Angel shrugged. "No money, no territory, no influence - at least not for your crowd. And…you I know you don't want me for sex." Angel blushed. "So what would you want from me?"
"Conversation!" Alastor leaned in, hand still out. "You agree and bind yourself to me, I give you protection, and in return you're my companion for eternity. And of course I own your soul. Nifty adores you and Husk tolerates you - it's really the perfect solution."
"Uh…" Angel tilted his head, "Alastor, first of all… I'm pretty sure selling my soul to you would cancel out Charlie trying to send me to heaven. Second, I think Val, Vox, and Vel would be PISSED and they'd take it out on the hotel - I know you can blow up Pentious easy but those three are another story. And Vaggie would hunt us both down if this place got leveled because of us, especially now that we got real guests. And third - well, okay, fourth - third is that Husk hogs all the alcohol in your outfit. Fourth is…" he shrugged. "I'm already giving you conversation for free. And if you like talking to me that much, all you have to do is say so - you don't have to 'deal' me into keeping it up. We're friends, remember?"
Alastor's hand stopped glowing. His eyes were wide.
Angel scooted a little closer. "How about this? I promise you I'm not looking to go anywhere and you promise me the same thing. Okay?" Angel gave him a thumbs up.
Alastor hesitated then reluctantly raised his hands into a thumbs up gesture as well.
"But, uh…" Angel shrugged, twirling the top of his hair with one of his hands, "if any part of that deal thing right now was also you just trying to help me get out of some of my shit, thanks. I'll figure it out though. And who knows, maybe by doing it on my own I'll get some freedom instead of losing it, even if belonging to you would definitely be better than belonging to Val." His smile had started to fall but now Angel looked to Alastor again with all of his usual enthusiasm. "I told you, I can handle myself - I'm Angel Dust, heh."
Alastor leaned a little closer. Angel blinked a few times. With a flick of his wrist Alastor made his cane appear in hand and reached up to delicately push back the top of Angel's hair with the end of his microphone. "It was out of place and very disconcerting. Able to 'handle yourself' or not, someone really needs to take you for a good trip to the barber."
Angel chuckled. "You first, Mister goofy deer ear hair." Without thinking he reached up and tapped the top of one of Alastor's ears.
A light static sizzled between Alastor's ears and his eyes became radio dials.
Angel's fingertips darted back. "Sorry! I forgot for a sec—"
Alastor's eyes returned to normal and instantly his cane was gone and and hand reached up and grasped Angel's wrist. "I don't—" The he realized he was all but holding Angel's soft warm hand and his distressed smile widened so much that his face hurt as Angel looked on in confusion.
Suddenly Angel's phone rang. Angel jumped and pulled out of Alastor's grasp. He scrambled for the phone, opened it, held a finger up to silence Alastor and mouthed the word 'sorry'. When he spoke, his voice was heavy and lustful. "Oh Val baby… I'm really right in the middle of… oh yes!"
Alastor decided that his next project would be to soundproof his office because if anyone was walking by in this moment he would be in a situation he did not relish explaining.
"Of course I had him pay up front—oh! Oh yeah! Yeah, see you in the studio tomorrow! Love you, daddy! Oh!" Angel hung up. He put the phone away (quickly tucking it into the fluff of his chest instead of his pocket, Alastor noticed) and held up his hands. "Okay, I am sorry, but that degree of acting was necessary. I should have warned you but I kind of panicked and you're the one who gave me red wine after ten."
Alastor took a breath and clasped his hands together on his lap. "Please don't concern yourself - it wasn't graphic, I didn't have to touch anything, and you lied to that overgrown moth again. I'm very entertained."
"And sorry about the ear touching…"
"Quite all right! I believe I started it technically."
Angel breathed a sigh of relief. "Just glad you're okay, best and first guy buddy."
Desperate, Alastor changed the subject. "Won't he be expecting payment in the morning though?"
"Val? Eh, I keep a little dough saved on the side, just in case. I'll give him a small cut of that, tell him the guy was a cheap date." Angel glanced away awkwardly. "Well, Val did his check up call. I should get going and get to bed." He raised the glass and polished it off then stood up and stretched.
"I think we should have a party!" Left Alastor's mouth rather impulsively and rather loudly.
Angel's mouth fell open. He looked to the wine then back to Al. "Al, were you into a bottle of this before I got here or something?"
"Ha!" Alastor laughed and stood as well. "No, but I've been considering - I really would like Rosie to see this place, and you've been meaning to have your friend Cherry stop by. And our small evening reverie together gave me an idea. Why not have a little garden soiree and invite both ladies over at once? We can cook, you can pick some flowers for the table. And I have a feeling getting our two friends to meet would be just dynamite!" Alastor's laugh track played.
"Literally." Angel couldn't help smiling a lot though. "Still, the chaos would be epic. Yeah, as long as no one takes a bite of out Cherry, that you have a deal about." Angel held out his hand.
Alastor took his hand and raised up the back of it. "It's arranged then, darling."
"Darling? Okay, now I know you're drunk." Angel chuckled and removed his hand, strolling past him. "I'm gonna head upstairs before you accidentally ply yourself with more liquor for me and start having your shadow bring bouquets to my room. Have a good night, babe." He blew a kiss then departed.
Alastor watched him go with a wave. "Goodnight!" As soon as the door closed Alastor's shadow appeared, staring directly at Alastor, hands on hips. Alastor just grinned and swung a fist through the air. "I'm having so many new experiences here! Isn't it entertaining? Ha!"
The shadow narrowed its eyes but eventually faded away. Alastor strolled through the door marked private to his bedroom and closed it behind him. He sat in the dark and had some thoughts. There were many to consider…maybe some a little too confusing to consider…but he focused on the big thing this evening that had set him off. He had officially finally seen Angel scared - scared of Valentino and whatever that grotesque moth would do to 'stars who didn't listen'. But nothing about the fear was satisfying. If Alastor didn't have the power to make Angel feel that way then no one should, let alone an insect and a cupcake and a worthless, vile, unforgivable, pathetic fucking rectangle of cheap glass.
Alastor's eyes glowed as red radio dials in the darkness and his smile glowed its rusty gold color. He had never done a show with THREE overlords as the guest of honor. But one day very, very, very soon he would.
Before he succumbed completely to the darkness of his thoughts Alastor twitched his ears and set Angel's radio upstairs to play a nice tune. It would be a surprise for when the Spider got back to his room: the spider who had agreed to be his conversation companion for now with no strings attached. And yet somehow Alastor craved strings and the security that went with them. He held up his arm, staring at his fingertips, and remembered the feeling of Angel's hand near his own. Angel Dust, his new special friend.
Thank you all for reading, I hope you enjoyed the story! There will be a sequel story, I just have to write it first ^^ But I already have some scenes written out. I hope everyone has a lovely holiday!