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You Call this Healing?

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Angel Dust was a simple spider. He liked all of three things; Money, sex, and his pet pig Nuggets. That was the end of it. He didn’t have room for anything else.

Of course, then he wound up at the pet project hotel of the Princess and suddenly he had friends. Not close friends, but friends nonetheless. He hadn’t meant to get attached. Heaven, he hadn’t even meant to stay. It all just… happened. He didn’t really have much control over it now. He liked Charlie and Husk. He could even tolerate Vaggie most of the time. Alastor, though…

After Vaggie told him how Alastor got famous, or infamous rather, he had made a drunken pass at Alastor in a halfassed effort to get into the Radio Demon’s favor. Alastor, upon being propositioned, had promptly snapped his own neck. Angel gave him a wide berth after that. That didn’t mean they never saw each other though.

Alastor made Angel nervous. The guy was creepy, even by Hell’s standards. He had a tendency to stare. Not just at Angel, but at everything. Between the shark toothed grin and the lack of blinking, it gave Angel the impression that Alastor was hungry and only holding himself back from eating other demons because he had promised not to cause trouble for the hotel.

At the moment, Alastor was at Husk’s desk with a book open in front of him but he wasn’t reading. Instead he was watching Nuggets, the pig, who was fruitlessly trying to root something out of the carpet. There wasn’t anything in the carpet, or under it, but pigs would be pigs. As usual, the staring made Angel nervous and he was for once sober enough to listen to his own sense of caution.

“Nuggets, come here buddy.” Angel called, and the pig oinked the whole way to the spider’s waiting arms. “How’d a sweet piggy even get to hell?” He wondered under his breath.

“It may be because pork is considered a sin to eat in several religions.” Alastor chimed. “As is shellfish!”

Angel looked up with a frown, “I wasn’t askin’ you.” He said, then carried Nuggets to his room where he felt the pig would be safer.

Nuggets, to their credit, didn’t seem to notice anything amiss. Angel loved them for that. Nothing could phase a pig. They were fearless. Or maybe just stupid. Angel had heard pigs were one of the smartest animals out there, but Nuggets didn’t seem to fit that bill. That was fine. Angel liked knowing he could be the smartest thing in the room every now and then.

The spider sat down on the floor rolling a ball to Nuggets and smiling when the pig pushed it back. He rolled it again and sighed as a craving hit him. He wasn’t allowed drugs in the Hotel and after last time’s fiasco he couldn’t leave without a chaperone. It was annoying and without the assistance of narcotics there was just too much room in his head for thoughts he didn’t want. Thoughts he knew, rationally, didn’t even matter because he was dead and so was everyone else. Knowing didn’t make them hurt any less.

Waste of space. Lost cause. Useless. Can’t even drink myself to death, I’m already here. Should just pick a hole and sleep in it for the rest of my afterlife…

Nuggets noticed their owner had stopped rolling their ball to him and crawled into Angel’s lap. Angel picked Nuggets up again and hugged him, hiding his face in his pet’s side and trying to keep his crying quiet since once he started he knew he wouldn’t be able to stop for a few minutes at least. He just knew he was smudging his makeup all to hell, but it was an afterthought drowned out by the fact that he suddenly couldn’t breathe correctly. At some point he even started rocking himself and his pig, trying and failing to calm down. He didn’t even know what set him off this time, and that made it all the worse.

A knock sounded at the door, and Angel held his breath.

“Mister Dust?” Charlie’s voice sounded, muffled by the door.

Angel scooted himself so he could rest his back against the door, just in time as the knob turned. The door didn’t budge, and there was another knock. Angel took a breath to get his voice under control.

“What?” He snapped, wincing slightly as his voice cracked. “Can’t a guy get any privacy in his own room?”

“I just wanted to make sure you were still h-” Charlie cut herself off. “Vaggie saw you come up here and said you looked a little off.”

“Thought I ran off, huh?” Angel huffed. “Tell you what, doll. You can tie me down for some PCP. Hell, I’ll take a leash for some weed at least.”

He heard Charlie sigh, and what sounded like he whispering. Another voice chimed in to say something he only half-heard about not making exceptions.

“Oh hey, Vaggie.” Angel greeted, wiping his face and standing, putting Nuggets down on his bed. He glanced at the mirror on his vanity and grimaced. He’d definitely looked better.

“You know we can’t enable you. It would be counterproductive.” Charlie explained, even though Angel had heard it before. “Don’t you want to get out of Hell?”

What’s the point in going to heaven if I’ll still have to put up with myself? Angel didn’t trust himself to answer that out loud without breaking down again, so he didn’t.

“I’m still here. I’m not tryin’a break out. I just… Look I don’t gotta explain why I’m in my own fuckin’ room. Just fuck off, a’ight?” Angel said, becoming angered.

There was no answer. Just footsteps. Nuggets oinked.

Angel deflated, washed his face in the bathroom attached to his room, and curled up in his bed to take a nap. After some more unwelcomed thoughts he realized that the trigger had been how Alastor looked at his pig. He knew Alastor wouldn’t do anything to Nuggets but the thought of losing one of the only things he gave a shit about had been a heaven of a doozy... Added with his withdrawals it was a wonder he had’t snapped right there in the lobby.

He was too tired to deal with this shit.