"There," Asmodeus said with satisfaction as she finished setting the mats out around the table in her bedroom, "everything's set."
Standing up to look upon the efforts of her work, she smiled as she turned her gaze to each available seat for her guests—Ange and her sisters, as a matter of fact.
It had been a while since she held a tea party. The last time she could remember having one was before Beatrice began playing against Battler in her games. The only reason why she didn't hold on since then was because nobody would join her at all, and even if they could, they were just too busy with other things.
Gaap thought the idea was nice, but not nearly as fun as hanging out with Virgilia, who was busy trying to win her title and powers as the Golden Witch back while also trying to teach Beatrice how to be a proper lady. It was pretty ironic how she was trying to help Beatrice at the same time she was trying to steal back her powers and the title of Golden Witch. Asmodeus didn't know why Virgilia would do something that could be considered…hypocritical, if that was the right word; all she knew was that Virgilia had no time to spare for her at all.
Zepar and Furfur were pretty mean about joining her tea parties, always claiming that tea parties came in second to dinner parties, which they said were far more entertaining, as well as theatrical and dramatic, but those two just categorized a lot of things as theatrical and dramatic anyway, so that didn't really bug Asmodeus too much. Besides, if anything, they were a last resort because their talk about was sort of creepy, even if it was true; still, if they weren't mean at all, Asmodeus would still invite them to attend her tea parties, but only if nobody else wanted to.
Ronove was polite and said that he would take part in some of her tea parties, but he was really busy with his own duties as Beatrice's butler, so he couldn't make any time to have one with her. Asmodeus understood that, so she wasn't bothered at all because of how nice he was.
As for the other witches and the sorcerers, besides Virgilia and including Battler, they had their own tea parties to hold, so they had no reason to attend hers.
That had just left all the other Stakes, but they each had their own reasons for not participating in her tea parties.
Lucifer and Belphegor were too busy with their own duties and keeping the other Stakes out of trouble, plus they told her to grow up and stop having childish tea parties.
Satan was always screaming at the others in rage because she didn't like the fact that they were criticizing, teasing, and mocking her, and she also said the same things Lucifer and Belphegor had said about growing up.
Leviathan only wanted to focus on finding something she could do to be better than the others, or something that she alone could have, something the others didn't possess.
Beelzebub kept thinking about food, and the only person she hung around the most was Ronove; when she wasn't with him, she was trying to steal food from the others and anyone else she deemed to be stupid enough to leave their food out in the open. Besides, the Stake of Gluttony was also a last resort, like Zepar and Furfur, not because she was mean or creepy like they were, but because she'd try and devour everything, leaving nothing for anyone else.
Mammon was pretty much a thief who would always steal anything that didn't belong to her, which was kind of expected since she represented Greed. She too was a last resort because she'd take everything for herself and not leave anything for anybody, like Beelzebub. In fact, the two of them, the Stakes of Greed and Gluttony, had a competitive streak; they were always going at it, trying to see which one of them would win or lose.
So the only guests Asmodeus had were her dolls, but she soon tired of having to hold tea parties with just them because all they did was listen. They never spoke a word, which was to be expected—they were dolls, after all—so the only one who did all the talking was her. She even adjusted the tone and the volume of her voice for each individual doll she had to at least give them a voice, but it still wasn't enough. In the end all she did was talk to herself, as she was the only person who even attended her tea parties in the first place.
That was why she stopped having tea parties.
She worked so hard to set them up and make the tea and snacks, but her work was always in vain since nobody would participate, or even play with her at all for that matter.
Why she even bothered to continue holding tea parties and asking others if they wanted to play with her was beyond her. If she had known they didn't want to join her, or couldn't even if they wanted to, then she wouldn't have gone through all the trouble of setting everything up in the first place.
But things just might be different now that she and her sisters were with Ange, so maybe it was time she gave her tea parties another chance by holding one.
"You've taken up those tea parties again? Asmodeus, do you realize that the tea parties you hold are for children, and that by having one now, you're actually regressing back to be even more of a child than you are now? You should learn to grow up."
"A tea party? Attended by dolls? Why should I accept an invitation to a tea party when the only other guests are dolls? Do you think it's fair for us to attend a tea party like that when we could accept an invitation to a real tea party with real people, instead of dolls?"
"Absolutely not! I will not, under any circumstances, have a stupid play date! Those are for babies! Besides, I never, ever want to attend anything hosted by you, Asmodeus, because you're just a bratty, little bitch who just whines, complains, and cries all the time! You're even worse than Leviathan for Hell's sake! Why don't you go find some other little, bratty babies who would want to play with you, because I, and everyone else who is perfectly sane and grown up, don't want to, EVER!"
"Shouldn't you being doing something more productive with your free time, Asmodeus? If you're not going to do your work and be lazy instead, then you should leave us alone so we could do ours. This isn't the time and place for games."
"Aww, look, if it isn't our little, baby sister, Asmo. And she's having another one of those tea parties with all the little plastic cups, the plastic kettle, and dolls, because those are things babies play with. Tell you what, Asmo: when you finally grow up and learn the true definition of a tea party, I might just think about attending. Of course, you'll have to pay me for my time, after all. And if you can't pay, then I won't come. In fact, I'll just cut to the chase and spell my answer out for you: N-O."
"But you never have anything to eat when you hold your tea parties, Asmo! I'm a growing girl; I need food! Have you ever once considered that your guests are actually hungry, Asmo?! Real tea parties have food; your tea parties don't!"
And so, just like that, all six of Asmodeus' older sisters completely ruined her tea party without even bothering to attend, preferring to shoot down her invitation with their mean, hurtful remarks.
Because of this, Asmodeus was now in the kitchen, whimpering and sniffing as tears rolling down her face while she poured the tea from the pot down the drain. She had managed to hold back her tears while sounding like her older sisters' rude refusal hadn't hurt her feelings, but the moment she was alone she immediately began sniveling like the child her older sisters had said she was. But despite feeling very hurt because of what they said and how rudely they had put it, Asmodeus knew deep down that they were right. Therefore, she had no right to defend herself when they were telling the truth—albeit in a rude tone of voice and with mean remarks.
So she just did what she always did when they told her off, and that was to do as she was told. It wasn't her place to argue with them and refuse to listen to them because she was the youngest sister; she had no choice but to listen and follow their directions since they were older. As long as she was with them, she had to live under the rules they set for her to follow—if she went against those rules, she would be punished, and it would be her fault for always dragging them down and giving them a bad reputation.
If she had run away, they wouldn't give a damn if she ever came back, but they'd have no choice but to search for her and bring her back—either with orders or physical force—so that they could keep up appearances as loyal Furniture and a loving family.
A loving family…ha. They couldn't be called a loving family if they didn't love every single member of the family. All six of the older Stakes loved each other, even if they did tease one another from time to time, but they showed no care, compassion, or even love for her.
Someone could ask Asmodeus why she didn't see that sooner, why she didn't do something about it, but the truth was she had already seen it, but couldn't do a thing to change the truth.
What could she do to improve her situation?
Nothing…nothing at all.
In the end, all she could do was be the obedient little sister, the odd one out, the forgotten one.
After the tea was all gone, traveling along the drain pipe and into the sewers beneath the streets, Asmodeus then proceeded to rinse the pot with water and then lather it with dish soap before rinsing it again. Placing the pot on the dish towel besides, the sink, she turned around and walked over to the cupboard, bringing the tea cups with her. Opening the door, Asmodeus put them where they belonged and closed the door before she went and got the tray to put it in another cupboard next to the stove.
As she was walking out of the kitchen, she could hear her older sisters from within the den, but she didn't care at all about what they were saying. From the sound of it, they were playing a game, one they could've invited her to, but chose not to. Oh, well; it wasn't like they wanted her to play with them. After all, she was the youngest, so it was only natural they leave her out of the loop and have fun without her. Besides, she didn't want to ruin their fun by interrupting them just so she could ask if they'd allow her to join them, so she continued to go on her way and leave them be. That was essentially what she always did when she was excluded from what they were doing.
On her way up the stairs, Asmodeus noticed that Ange was walking in the opposite direction she was going in, but she didn't stop to say anything. It wasn't like Ange could do anything to make her feel better, or join her tea party if she asked her to, so Asmodeus let the witch do whatever she was doing without disturbing her. However, that didn't seem to be the case.
Asmodeus stopped dead in her tracks when she heard Ange say her name. Believing that the witch wanted to ask her something, she did her best to smile and keep up the appearance of a happy, young girl willing to do her best to help her master, but it was difficult to do so because she was still sniveling with tears pouring down her face and she was shivering badly. As such, she couldn't let Ange see how sad and hurt she was, she kept herself from turning around, allowing only for her voice to be heard as she spoke.
"Y-Yes…M-Miss Ange? I-Is th-there…s-something I-I can…d-do for you?"
Yet if Ange couldn't see her trembling or her tears or hear her sniveling, then she would hear how shaky her voice was. And she most definitely did hear it, and her sniveling too, as well as see her shivering and the tears covering her face.
If she wanted to, she certainly could've laughed at the poor Stake and hurt her feelings even more.
But from the look on Ange's face, it didn't appear as though she wanted to do that.
She could clearly see that Asmodeus was deeply hurt by something, so she wanted to find out what was the matter and help the young Stake in any way she could.
What worried her was that Asmodeus had apparently been crying, as evident from her tears and sniveling she heard. The Stake of Lust was also trembling pretty badly, so she might've also been given a bad scare, or something terrible, but not frightening, had happened to make her shiver. But the thing that added onto Ange's cause for concern was Asmodeus using a title when addressing her, as if she was believing that she herself was just Furniture—in fact, that was exactly the impression the young Stake gave off.
Ange didn't know what had happened, but she needed to know why Asmodeus was in such a sad state. Her concern for Asmodeus didn't stem from her friendship with her, but from a more personal bond she shared only with the youngest Stake. Asmodeus was so close to her that she was practically her younger sister, so as the older sister, it was Ange's duty to help her and make her feel better.
"Are you okay, Asmo?" She asked, placing a hand on the young Stake's shoulder in an attempt to comfort her. "Did something bad happen?"
Asmodeus shook her head, trying her best to hide her feelings and the truth from Ange. "N-No, it's n-nothing, M-Miss Ange." Her voice trembled with sorrow as she spoke. "P-Please don't worry about m-me. You c-can just g-go about your way."
"But you're my little sister," Ange countered gently, "I have every right to worry about you."
"R-Really, I-I'm fine." Asmodeus continued to insist she was alright. "I-I apologize f-for worrying you s-so m-much."
"You don't have to apologize for something that's not your fault."
"Y-Yes I-I d-do."
Ange grew even more concerned, fearing that Asmodeus' other sisters had done something to upset her. Taking another step up, she drew herself closer to the Stake of Lust to try and look at her face, but she only managed to catch a brief glimpse of a couple tears rolling gently down Asmodeus' cheek before the poor Stake turned away. "Asmo…" she said softly while getting even closer, "look at me."
When Asmodeus didn't turn to face her, Ange placed both of her hands on the young Stake's cheeks and gently turned her head so they were making eye contact, but Asmodeus immediately looked down at the stairs beneath their feet. Even so, Ange finally got to take a close look at the Stake of Lust's face so she could see how close she was to having a breakdown.
"Tell me," she began to ask as she moved her left hand underneath Asmodeus' chin and gently lifted her head up so they could look at each other, "why do you feel that you did something wrong? Did something happen between you and your sisters? Did they do something or say something to hurt you?"
Asmodeus slowly shook her head, not wanting for her older sisters to get in trouble for opening her eyes to the truth—even if they had been really mean in getting their point across. "N-No…"
"Then what's wrong?" Ange asked, becoming even more worried.
"N-Nothing's wrong. I-I'm alright."
"But why won't you tell me what's upsetting you? I promise to help you in any way I can if you'll just—"
"I-It's nothing, okay?!"
And with that sudden outburst which she had no intention of showing, Asmodeus broke away from Ange and ran up the rest of the stairs, rushing straight into her bedroom to hide under the covers of her bed as she finally broke down and cried. She knew full well that she shouldn't have directed such a rude tone of voice at the witch and that it wasn't her place to do so, but at that very moment when she and Ange were conversing she couldn't take it anymore.
Some people might've said it was a good thing to let off some anger by shouting, even if it was at someone else, but Asmodeus didn't see it that way. Yet her feelings blinded her from seeing other outlets that could've been utilized, so by taking those feelings out on Ange she likely damaged the relationship—their sisterly bond—they shared. They had been building up inside her ever since Lucifer rudely turned down her invitation, getting stronger each time her other sisters did the same thing. Because of that, she expected Ange to be rude and turn her down too, but when the witch showed how concerned she was for her, Asmodeus had no idea how to handle her bottled up feelings anymore. They just overflowed, exploding when she reached her breaking point.
Therefore, the only way to make amends with Ange was to apologize for shouting at her—when she stopped crying, of course. But that might've been a lost cause given how Ange was probably very angry with her, and she had every right to be if she was. She was so scared that Ange would be extremely mad at her for being reluctant to approach her, lest she make her even angrier than the witch might've already been. If the situation got any worse, Ange might use the anti-magic on her a second time and make sure she never summoned her ever again, which would mean that Asmodeus would never see Ange ever again. Nothing terrified Asmodeus even more than that, but she didn't possess the courage needed to face her fears, nor did she even know how to face them. In the end she was nothing more than a little girl born to live an unfortunate life.
Right now she wondered how Ange was feeling, guessing that the witch really was angry at her while also feeling hurt herself because Asmodeus wouldn't tell her what was wrong.
If she hadn't been crying as loud as she was, she'd be able to hear Ange's shouting coming from downstairs, but even if she had, she wouldn't know what Ange was yelling about because she slammed her bedroom door shut after running in. Most likely Ange was angry about the conversation the two of them had, how Asmodeus insisted she was fine when she wasn't and then shouted at her before ditching her.
When the door to her room opened a half hour later, Asmodeus had no idea who it was, but she felt sure that Ange had come in to tell at her.
It was either her or the other Stakes coming to hurt her feelings even more by cruelly scolding her for making Ange upset and by teasing her relentlessly about how much trouble she was in.
Whoever it was, Asmodeus didn't care to know; she already knew she deserved their ire and whatever punishment that would be given to her.
Which was why she was surprised, and slightly startled at the same time, when one of her dolls, a stuffed bear she received as a present from Ange—who coincidently shared Asmodeus' fetish of dolls, baby animals, and other cute things—poked its head under the covers and stared at her. Asmodeus had no idea how that was possible, but she was certain that somebody was holding it. It could've been one of her sisters, but she highly doubted that they'd want to cheer her up—though perhaps it was Mammon, holding the bear out for her to see before she stole it just like she did with everything else she got her hands on.
If not one of the other Stakes, then it had to be Ange, but why the witch was holding Asmodeus' doll was beyond her.
"Hey there, Asmo." The bear greeted her in a sort of rough, girlish voice that sounded almost like Ange's own voice—so much so that Asmodeus most definitely knew that it actually was Ange speaking to her. "What's the matter? Why are you feeling down?"
Despite having already figured out that Ange was the one doing the talking instead of the bear, Asmodeus sniffed as she stopped bawling and sighed, knowing that now was the time for her to apologize to Ange for before. However, it seemed like Ange still wanted to find out what was wrong with her, so Asmodeus decided to just get that out of the way and then say she was sorry.
"I-It's n-not…" she sniffed again, "…I-It's not fair. Why d-do they…h-have t-to be s-so mean…? Why…? I-I just wanted…I-I just w-wanted t-to have a-a t-tea p-party…I-Is that…i-is that s-so…w-wrong?"
"There's nothing wrong with having a tea party." Ange responded in that rough, girlish voice whilst shaking the bear from side to side. "Who told you that it was a bad idea to have one?"
Asmodeus swallowed a lump in her throat, afraid that she was going to get in trouble with her sisters for tattling on them; however, if she didn't tell the truth, she'd only hurt Ange's feelings even more than when she did earlier by trying to hide the truth from her. Finding herself in a tight spot, Asmodeus opened her mouth to say something, but closed it again immediately, unsure of what to say. "I-I don't know wh-what to do…" She finally spoke up after a minute or two. "I-If I-I tell on m-my sisters…" here she paused and began sobbing again, whining out the last part of her sentence, "th-they'll be so mad at me."
"Don't worry, Asmo. Everything's going to be alright. Just tell me what's wrong and I'll make sure your sisters don't find out."
Ange maneuvered the bear's arm under the covers before moving it around in search of Asmodeus' hand.
With a small smile now forming on her face, Asmodeus gently took the bear's hand by grasping at it with her pinky finger. "Yeah…" she said softly just as she stopped sobbing, "pinky promise…"
There was a slight pause of silence as Asmodeus let go of the bear, but it didn't last long due to her and Ange giggling a couple seconds later.
"Are you ready to tell me what happened, now?" Ange then asked while bringing the bear a tad closer to the young Stake.
"Yeah," Asmodeus nodded, "but you won't tell them that I told you, right?"
"Of course I won't! We pinky promised to that, silly!" Ange laughed, swinging both of her legs onto the bed so she could lay beside her little sister. "But what about Ange?" She asked in the third person to try and get Asmodeus to open up to her, already aware that Asmodeus knew she was there.
Asmodeus' eyes widened slightly. "I-I don't know." Her voice trembled a little as she swallowed a lump in her throat and shuddered. "What if she's still mad at me for not telling her what was wrong and shouting at her?"
"Don't be silly! How could Ange be angry with you? She's your big sister; Ange loves you very much!"
Asmodeus smiled again, partially closing her eyes as she thought of Ange's words and her special, personal relationship with the witch. Giggling a little as she completely closed them, she evaluated her doubt and thought that maybe she was being silly. Perhaps Ange was right about her not being mad at her, but Asmodeus definitely knew she was telling the truth about how she loved her. After all, they were sisters; they did everything together.
In the end, Asmodeus decided that it wouldn't be a bad thing if she told Ange about what how cruel her sisters were when they refused to join her tea party. She and Ange opened up to each other a lot, so it made sense to share her feelings with someone who understood her even more than her actual sisters. True, Ange wasn't related to her by blood, but they were so close and loved each other so much that they were practically like twin sisters—maybe even closer.
"W-Well, alright." Asmodeus blushed a little as she spoke up, feeling slightly embarrassed and happy at the same time. "I suppose it wouldn't hurt if I told you what my sisters had said, and it's okay if you tell Ange."
"Do you want me to speak to her for you, or would you like me to be there with you to help relate to her what you have to say?"
Asmodeus thought about it for a couple moments. "Hmmm…I'm not sure. Is it okay if I decide after we talk?"
"That's fine. You don't have to decide right away. If you need some time to think things over before you want Ange to hear this, then take as much time as you need."
"Alright, I will. Thank you."
Asmodeus took a deep breath…and then she related all the mean things her older sisters said earlier when they refused to join the tea party she was holding. The rude remarks, the name-calling, the put-downs, everything. All the things her sisters said about her flowed freely from her mouth as she told Ange about them. She tried to be as calm as she possibly could, but eventually tears seeped out of her eyes and rolled down to her pillow, forming very tiny, wet stains on the fabric. Fortunately she didn't feel as worse as before when she was bawling like the child her sisters said she was, so she didn't let her emotions get out of control to the point where she was sobbing loudly. And once she had finished her narrative, Asmodeus began to feel like a huge weight had been lifted from her shoulders, freeing her from a burden too difficult to carry all by herself.
"Do you feel better now?" Ange asked in that rough, girlish tone with a warm smile on her face.
"Yeah…" Asmodeus responded while wiping the tears from her face and her eyes on her sleeve. "Thank you, Ange."
"You're welcome, Asmo." Ange said in her regular tone of voice now that Asmodeus opened up to her.
Pushing her covers back and sitting up in bed, Asmodeus turned her head to see Ange smiling at her, so she closed her eyes and smiled back at her, giggling as she brought her legs out from under the covers and straightened them out. While she smoothed the wrinkles out of her red jacket with her hands, Ange opened her eyes and wrapped her arms around Asmodeus waist, pulling herself closer and pressing her body up against the young Stake's just as she pressed her cheek up against Asmodeus' cheek and giggled too.
Ange did like to give her friends hugs, but she loved it when she and Asmodeus snuggled together by pressing their bodies up against one another and wrapping their arms around each other. It left her with a warm, cozy feeling in her heart, as well as the young Stake's heart too, for she knew full well that Asmodeus loved to snuggle with her too. After all, it was one of their favorite things to do together—of course, they did everything together and they cherished each and every moment they spent together.
"So, Ange," Asmodeus inquired a tad nervously while wrapping her arms around Ange's waist, "you're not mad at me for getting mad at you when I had no reason to?"
"Of course not." Ange said as she looked at her little sister with their cheeks still pressed together. "Why would I be?"
"But I shouted at you when you were only trying to help me. I should've told you the truth instead of hiding it."
Ange closed her eyes and giggled. "It's okay. I understand how you feel, so I hold no grudge against you. We're sisters after all. Besides, if you hadn't taken your feelings out on me then we wouldn't be snuggling together right now, would we?"
Asmodeus smiled and giggled too. "I guess so."
Asmodeus opened her eyes and looked at Ange in confusion. "What?"
"After you ran off I went downstairs to find your sisters so I could ask them if they knew why you were upset." Ange explained. "After they told me that you were holding a tea party they complained about it, basically saying that you were old enough to know that you couldn't hold tea parties like the one you wanted to have and that you should've been doing something more productive. Even though they didn't call you a child or a baby directly, I could definitely tell that they were implying it from how they were complaining. There were other gripes too, but knowing them, I could already tell what they were before they even got to them."
Noticing that Asmodeus looked down sadly, Ange smiled again. "Hey, cheer up, Asmo. I already said there's nothing wrong with wanting to have a tea party, so don't look so sad."
"I know…" Asmodeus replied as she looked at looked at Ange again and frowned, "but I really wanted them to play with me. They've never let me choose what to do whenever we did things together, so I thought that for once they'd ease up and let me make the decision for a change."
"I know how you feel, Asmo." Ange spoke softly as she gently caressed Asmodeus' cheek with her own cheek. "The other girls at St. Lucia have never let me choose what we did for a school project whenever we had to get together in a group. They always excluded me from all the fun activities and always made me go last when we had to do something in a group, so I understand what it's like you're seen as nothing but a burden that hinges the others."
Asmodeus closed her eyes and sighed. "I know that, but why do people have to be like that in the first place? Shouldn't they all just get along?"
"I hope they do, but what else can be done?" Ange asked. "The strong only pick on the weak because they want more, to have everything they could possibly want."
Asmodeus smiled, giggling as she closed her eyes. "Like Mammon?"
Ange giggled too. "Exactly like Mammon."
"Though that's not really fair. Everything should be equally distributed to everyone so they all have a fair share. Then everybody would be happy."
"I couldn't agree more, Asmo." Ange nodded, her cheek rubbing up against Asmodeus' cheek. "It's too bad life isn't really like that, though there are some people out there who believe the same thing we do. I only hoped that your older sisters would be fully aware of that and believe it too, but although it looks like they do to some degree, it's a shame they couldn't include you and give you the same treatment they give each other."
Asmodeus sighed, upset that her older sisters were nothing but a bunch of bullies to her. "Yeah…I just wish they'd be a lot nicer to me than they currently are."
"I know, Asmo." Ange frowned as she spoke, but a small smile soon replaced it. "In any case, even if your sisters wanted to play with you by joining your tea party as an apology for their earlier behavior towards you, I'm afraid they won't be able to take part any time soon."
Asmodeus looked confused when she heard what Ange said. "Why's that?"
Ange's smile grew wider as she giggled. "Oh, I just yelled at them for being mean to you before and grounded them, so they'll be confined to their rooms for some time."
"How much time, exactly?"
"About a month I'd say." Ange answered. "In fact, with them grounded they won't be able to exclude you from any activities, so why not exclude them all the fun things we can do in around a month?"
"Hmmm…" Asmodeus closed her eyes and thought about Ange's proposition, though she already approved of it. "I think that's fair." She said, smiling as she opened her eyes. "But what could we do?"
"I have an idea." Ange stated as she removed one of her arms from Asmodeus' body and reached inside one of the pockets of her jeans, pulling out a long piece of cloth.
"What?" Asmodeus asked as she turned to look at Ange, noticing the cloth her big sister had. "What's that?"
"It's a surprise. Now hold still; I'm going to tie this blindfold around your head to cover your eyes and I'll remove it once everything is ready."
"Okay!" Asmodeus beamed as she wondered about it was that Ange had planned.
Once her eyes were covered, she couldn't see anything but heard Ange's footsteps against the carpeted floor and the door opening before her big sister stepped out into the hallway. After the door closed, all was silent for around a quarter of an hour, save for Asmodeus' breathing, but it didn't matter to her because she was waiting patiently her surprise.
When she heard her door open again, she heard the familiar sound of Ange's footsteps and what sounded like the fine China that was kept in those cabinets in the dining room. There was the also a much softer sound, but Asmodeus had no idea where it was coming from. She didn't dare to ask, lest she ruined the surprise.
"Okay, Asmo, I'm going to guide you towards the surprise and then I'll take the blindfold off." She heard Ange say as she felt her legs being pulled over the side of the bed.
"Alright, Ange." Asmodeus nodded her head, pigtails bouncing up and down while her body was lifted off the bed with her feet firmly touching the floor.
Then she was walking, but not of her own accord since she felt one of Ange's hands on her left shoulder while the witch's other hand was around her waist. Giggling a little, Asmodeus couldn't help but think that she was on a game show, being led to the grand prize she had won after correctly answering all the questions and acquiring more points than the other contestants. Of course, this wasn't a game show, but the feeling was nonetheless the same.
"Now, Asmo, I'm going to remove the blindfold, but I want you to close your eyes until I let you tell you to open them." Ange instructed after she sat her little sister down on the floor before sitting down next to her.
"On the count of three, you may open them."
Asmodeus opened her eyes…and they widened in surprise as her mouth hung open once she saw what was before her.
Her dolls were all sitting around the cute table in the center of her room. On the surface of it was a tea set, resting on a tray made from fine China—Asmodeus was right about that. Next to her was Ange herself, a wide smile on her face as she put her arm around Asmodeus and placed her hand on the Stake's shoulder.
"Ange…you…" Asmodeus was at a loss for words.
"Yep, I did. I did all of this for you, Asmo." Ange said with as Asmodeus' surprise turned to joy. "I knew you wanted to have one after your sisters complained about it, so I went ahead and planned it out so you wouldn't be upset about your tea party being ruined."
"Oh, thank you, Ange!" Asmodeus squealed happily, throwing her arms around Ange to embrace her in a hug. "Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
Ange laughed. "You're quite welcome, Asmo."
"But why?" Asmodeus looked up at Ange. "Why would you throw a tea party for me?"
"I told you before, didn't I?" Ange responded. "You're my little sister; I'd be more than glad to help you feel better."
Asmodeus stared at Ange for a few moments then slowly closed her eyes as a small smile appeared on her face. "Thank you, Ange."
Suddenly feeling something against her forehead, she immediately opened her eyes to find that Ange was parting strands of her blond hair out of her eyes.
"Ange, what are you—"
But she couldn't finish her question since Ange pressed her lips up against Asmodeus' forehead to give the young Stake a tender kiss, leaving them there for a couple seconds until she pulled them away.
With a small smile on her face, Asmodeus giggled happily because she was so glad Ange was her big sister.
"Now," Ange said as she poured the tea into the cups they were using before setting plastic cups up in front of the dolls and then picking up the plastic tea pot, "shall we discuss what we'll do this month while your sisters are grounded?"
"Yes, let's." Asmodeus replied, taking the plastic tea pot from Ange and tipping it slightly to pour imaginary tea for the dolls.
True, it wasn't a real tea party like the ones Leviathan and Beelzebub had mentioned, nor did have any food, as the latter of her two older sisters pointed out. Lucifer and Satan pointed out that it was childish and Mammon backed up their claim by referring to the objects involved, saying that children played with them. And it certainly wasn't productive as Belphegor said—though, ironically, she wasn't doing anything productive either since she was playing with the other Stakes.
But it was still a tea party nonetheless, even if her only guests were dolls—except for one very special guest who was more than happy to attend: her big sister, Ange.
Having Ange as one of her guests certainly made it feel like a real tea party. After all, it didn't matter if tea parties like this one were childish and unproductive and whether or not food was available. As long as there was one guest—a live person—whom she could interact with, than it was a tea party.
Ange's participation was very welcome, for without her, Asmodeus would never be able to hold one of her tea parties ever again. Now that she had a reason to start more of them, she would continue to throw tea parties as long as Ange wanted to join her.
Looking at each other, they both smiled and giggled happily.
"I love you, Asmo." Ange said as she embraced her little sister in a hug.
"I love you too, Ange." Asmodeus replied while hugging her back, just as Ange gave her another kiss on her forehead.
I had tried to publish this sooner, but I had some serious changes to make to it. Now that I'm satisfied with how it turned out, I feel that it's now ready to be published.
I'm also looking to try and get some more work done on the next one-shot for "I Can't", as well as an Amnesia: Dark Descent/Fire Emblem crossover that I began. I started working on both of them a while ago, but I'm going to get back to them when I can.
I don't own Umineko; it's owned by 007 Expansion.