Alastor heard the sound of fast little feet and almost thought that Charlie would run straight past him, but the demon princess paused and he felt a hand in his shoulder.
"Are you OK?" she asked. She had to lean down because he was still hunched over on the floor from where the one eyed moth had kicked him-RIGHT in the tenders!-his groin was throbbing, but for appearances sake he nodded.
"Yes...quite alright..." he probably would have been more convincing were his voice not so tight. Charlie knelt down beside him.
"Are-are you sure? She kicked you pretty hard..."
Oh, the words sounded so caring on paper, but he could hear the hollowness behind them, and when he looked up at her he saw that she wasn't even looking at him, but staring down the that hall Vaggie had just stormed down, a pain in her eyes that he knew wasn't for him.
Alastor sighed "Charlie, go after her"
Now she looked at him, and Alastor chuckled softly "It was fun while it lasted, my dear"
Charlie bit her lip, guilt shooting across her doll-like features "Al..."
...Ah, well, all good things must come to an end and all that. He'd always known that their little affair had an expiration date. A shame though, truly. She was a beast in the sack.
"The fuck happened to you?"
Aah, Husk, rising from beneath the bar like an alcoholic Jesus, bloodshot eyes regarding him with both contempt and just a dash of curiosity. Alastor rose, wincing a little as his groin protested.
"Good morning my friend! I'll have a whiskey, if you would be so kind"
Husk raised a furry eyebrow "Whiskey? Its like eight thirty in the morning-"
"Husker, get me a damn drink!"
Husk got him a drink.
Stupid...you're so stupid...what the fuck were you thinking?!
Charlie ran up the stairs as fast as her feet could carry her, blinking tears out of her eyes. She was such a stupid little idiot, what had she done?! She'd never meant to hurt Vaggie, she'd NEVER wanted to hurt her, she loved her more than life itself!
But the look on her face when she'd found out that she'd been sleeping with Alastor for a month, the tears on her face, the complete and utter heartbreak...
She was such a fucking idiot. She never should have stared this! She should have tried harder to resist, kicked Alastor out when he whispered his little proposition in her ear, she should have...should have...
Should have, should have, should have...
Finally she came to her and Vaggies room. The door was wide open, a scuff on the wood indicating that it had most likely been kicked open, and from within she could hear the sounds of something soft being thrown. Charlie walked in and saw Vaggie, face streaked with tears and hair in disarray, throwing clothes from the closet into a duffle bag on the bed.
"I'm taking one of the spare rooms" Vaggie snapped, not looking up at her as she packed "I'll stay here until I can find a place in the city. Don't worry, though, I'll try not to impose on you and Alastor for very long!"
Charlie's heart wrenched. No, she couldn't leave!
"Vaggie!" she cried "Please don't!"
Vaggie gave no inclination that she heard her other than her face tightening with rage "Fuck you, isn't this what you want? For me to get out of the way so that you and the Radio Demon can keep fucking each others brains out?"
Charlie flinched. She had heard Vaggie chew people out before, but had never had it directed at her before, not like this, and it hurt like hell.
"No!" she strode forward into the room, shaking her head emphatically "Vaggie, it wasn't like that, I swear-!"
"Oh yeah? Then what was it like? Actually you know what? Don't tell me, I don't give a shit!" her shoes began flying into the bag, one of them missing and falling onto the bed. Vaggie picked it up with the tips of her fingers, like she couldn't stand the idea of touching the place where Charlie had betrayed her.
Rushing forwards, Charlie grabbed the bags strap and pulled it away "Stop! Please just stop for one second!"
Snarling, Vaggie grabbed the handle of the duffle and tried to pull it back, but Charlie's grip was strong "Let go!"
"No! Not until you talk to me!"
"I DON'T WANNA TALK TO THE RADIO DEMONS WHORE!"
Charlie gasped, so startled that she let go of the bag. In all their years together, in all the fights they had, Vaggie had never looked at her like she was right now, such pure, unadulterated disgust.
Vaggie pulled the duffle back, zipping it closed and throwing it over her shoulder "I'll find my own fucking room" she spat, and she strode out of the room, leaving Charlie alone.
"So. Vags found out you been fuckin' her girlfriend, huh?"
Alastor almost spat out his drink "How on earth did you know that?!"
Husk shrugged, wiping down the counter with a rag like an extra from an old Western movie "I'm a bartender, I know everythin'. So, how'd she find out? You put a banner outside the door or somethin'?"
"...Something like that"
Husk snorted "You son of a bitch"
"It was entertaining" Alastor finished his drink and put the glass back on the counter on top of a pentegram shaped coaster. The alcohol had helped a little, the throb in his groin no longer noticeable, but the wide grin on his face was still a little harder to keep up.
Granted, the look on Vaggies face when she saw him with Charlie had been to DIE for, but it seemed that he had forgotten to take into account Charlie's reaction to it. He had known that he would be, ah, DUMPED, immediately of course, but he hadn't expected just how heartbroken she would be. The look on her little face, loathe as he was to admit it, was not as entertaining. And wasn't that just the oddest thing?
"Ya look like you're thinkin' pretty hard, Al. Havin' a touch of conscience?"
Alastor chuckled merrily, but it sounded false even to his own ears "My friend, when have you EVER known me to possess that?"
Husk shrugged "Whatever. So where are they now? Did Vaggie already kill her and hide the body?"
"Pah! I sincerely doubt she could do something like that to her beloved princess!"
Husk joined him in his drinking, pouring himself a generous glass of bourbon "Eh, you'd be surprised. People tend to go a little nuts when their heart gets broken"
Since this was Hell, a hotel where you could go to get purified of your sins was never going to be very popular and today that worked in Vaggies favor. She chose a room on the top floor, right at the end of the hall. Basically as far away from her old room as she could get, just like Charlie knew she would.
She burst in there just as Vaggie was setting the duffle on the new bed, and when she saw her she closed her eye and inhaled deeply through her nose "Get. Out"
"No." Charlie closed the door behind her with a snap "Not until you hear me out!" and Vaggie would hear her out, whether she liked it or not. No matter how embarrassing it was, she deserved to know the truth!
But Vaggie wouldn't even look at her. She covered her face with her hands, breathing harshly "I already know everything I need to know, Charlie. Now get the hell out!"
"No, you don't know everything!" Charlie cried "Me and Alastor it...it wasn't what you think! Just let me explain, please!"
With a roar that shook Charlie to her bones, Vaggie grabbed the duffle and slammed it into the mattress. From the look on her face, she was wishing it was Charlie's head "Explain...you wanna explain? How can you explain this, Charlie? How can you explain cheating on me, huh?"
Trembling, Charlie took a step forward, her hands slightly raised "Just...just give me a chance! Please, Vaggie, I'm begging you! Just one chance and-and if you don't..." tears were welling up in her throat, fear and embarrassment and guilt all coalescing into what promised to be a full on emotinal breakdown, but Charlie fought it back. She had to do this, she had to or she might loose Vaggie forever.
Swallowing hard, she carried on, her voice shaking "if you don't like what I have to say, then I'll go. I'll leave you alone, I promise"
She stopped talking then, letting Vaggie make up her mind no matter how badly she wanted to beg and plead. The moth demon closed her eye, her hands twisting harshly into the duffle bag. She breathed once, twice, and then her eye opened, the pink and white orb as cold and hardened as stone.
Charlie breathed out with relief. Alright, OK, she had a chance. Now it was time to have the most humiliating talk of her life.
*Knock, knock, knock*
*Knock, knock, knock*
"Vaggie? Are you in there? Can one of you let me in?"
When she once again received no response, Niffty groaned, tilting her little pink head back in frustration. Well, this was not good! Vaggie had been so very firm about her not coming in to clean their room without their permission, but now that she was, no-one was opening the door! And she NEEDED to get in there, she hadn't cleaned the room for a full twenty four hours! By now had to be just FILTHY!
Still, a good cleaning lady never gave up! Raising her little black fist one more time, she banged on the door "Hellooooooo? ROOM SERVICE!"
"Knock it off, Niffty, they're not in there!
Niffty spun around as Angel emerged from his room (which was also on her list. She reminded herself to bring extra bleach) Angel looked like he'd just woken up from a nap. His hair was messy and he was wearing only a loosely tied pink robe, showing off his fur boobies which had so confused her on her first day. Niffty huffed and stamped her foot, an annoying itch erupting over her flesh with the powerful need to CLEAN THE DAMN ROOM!
"Well, do you know when they'll be back?" she asked now, her little fingers twitching around the handle of her cleaning bucket "Because I need to get in there because I know its gonna be super messy because its been a whole day since I was in there and I NEED TO CLEAN IT!" she cried shrilly. Angel waited until she was done before answering:
"I don't think you're gonna get in there today, toots. Vags and Charlie, they uh..." he rubbed the back of his messy head. So messy, Niffty wanted to brush it, make it neat and tidy "They got some stuff t'work out"
Niffty frowned "Stuff? What stuff?"
"Can't tell ya that, babe. Sorry."
Niffty frowned harder. What kind of 'Stuff' could happen between Vaggie and Charlie that they would forget about her coming over to clean?
The little demon gasped, her eye blowing wide and her little hands coming up to cover her mouth "Oh dear! Oh no! Did Vaggie find out about Charlie and Alastor?!"
Now it was Angels eyes that went wide "Wha-how the fuck do you know about that?!"
"I clean in there every day, Angel, I figured it out!"
"So you knew?! You knew Charlie was fuckin' Al this whole time? Why didn't you say something?!"
"Alastor ordered me not to! I can't defy him! Wait a minute..." she blinked as something else occurred to her "How do YOU know?"
Angel shrugged "Vaggie told me"
"WHAT?! How does SHE know?!"
"She saw them fuckin' in Charlie's room"
Niffty winced "Oof. That's rough"
Angel scoffed, "Tell me about it"
After several seconds of contemplative silence, Niffty began to fidget. Oh goodness, she knew that this probably wasn't the best time but Hell help her she just couldn't stop herself!
"So...when do you think they'll be back? I just really need to get in there and-"
"Oh my God, theres no-one in there right now, why dont you just go in?" Angel gestured with one long arm to the door.
Niffty squirmed on the carpet "I would! But the last time I went in without permission, Vaggie yelled at me and tried to hit me in the head with her spear!"
"Because you went in there while they were fuckin' and refused to leave until you'd cleaned everything! INCLUDING the bed!"
"It was DIRTY!"
"Niff, they were still ON IT!"
Charlie could feel Vaggies glare like a thousand spears as she sat down on the bed. Her hands were folded in her lap to stop them from fidgeting, and she was finding it hard to breathe evenly.
OK...OK Charlie...come on, you can do this, you owe her this...
And yet it was like she had forgotten every single word she'd ever learned since birth. Vaggie stood with her back to the wall, tapping her foot and waiting. The tapping got faster and faster as she began to loose patience.
Charlie took a deep breath. Come on, you can do it, just open up your mouth and start talking...oh God...
"OK, um..." good, words! "You...you know about my mom, right? You know how she's the first succubus?"
Vaggie nodded stiffly "Yeah. So?"
"So...uh...well..." oh God, this was awful! Her hands unfolded and slid across the bedcover, incapable of remaining still in her anxiety "So-so like I said, she's my mom, she's my mom and she's the first succubus, and I'm the..the daughter of the uh, the first succubus-"
"Charlie, I swear to God if you don't get to the point I am leaving right now"
"R-right! Sorry! Uh..." oh God, she was starting to babble, why did she have to babble?! Come on, just DO IT!
"I-I'm like her, Vaggie. I-I mean I don't have the power to make men fall at their feet or, or change my face or anything, but-"
Vaggie held up her hand, silencing her "I already know all that, Charlie. What does this have to do with you and the Radio Demon?"
Oh no...Charlie's fingers curled into the blanket, causing the duffle to shift ever so slightly. She felt like her cheeks were going to burn right off. OK...OK, this was it, no backing out now. Taking another, deeper breath, she lifted her head met Vaggies eye. She wetted her lips nervously.
"I...I never told you this before, but...once a year I...I go into this kind of...period."
Vaggie arched an eyebrow "Period?"
"I'm not saying it right!" she covered her fiery face with her hands and fought the urge to scream. Shit, why was this so fucking hard?! "I mean I...there's a time, once a year where, for a few weeks, I go into a kind of...heat"
Her face was going to melt off at any minute, she just knew it. She had never talked about her Time before, it wasn't something she felt comfortable talking about, not even with her mom or Alastor. Fucking Alastor. If he hadn't scented it on her, maybe she wouldn't be here right now!
But no, that wasn't fair. Alastor had merely offered his services, SHE had been the one to take him up on it. This was nobody's fault but her own...
"Heat?" Vaggie promoted, and Charlie nodded, hardly able to look her in the eye but making herself do it anyway.
"Y-yeah. It-its basically this thing where-where I get really really, really...horny" oh GOD! "Usually when it happens I leave for a few days, got to a motel or something. I-I stay in my room and-and wait for it to...pass"
The memories of those times assaulted her all at once. Memories of being alone in the stagnant, smelly room with only the scent of her own sweat and the gripping agony in her stomach for company, trying to hide the sound of her crying from outsiders. She shivered at the memory, hunching her shoulders around her.
"Wait so...all those times you told me you were visiting your parents-"
"That was true!...Mostly..."
Vaggie sighed, running a hand over her face "Goddammit, Charlie..."
Charlie hung her head "I know" another lie, another betrayal exposed. This was not going well.
"...But you didn't do that this time. This time you stayed" Vaggie said, her voice like ice. With shame, Charlie nodded.
"Yeah. It was Alastor, he...he found out. Said he could smell it on me, he...he offered to help me"
Vaggie laughed coldly and Charlie's heart clenched "Help you? Are you fucking kidding me? He asked to fuck you and you said yes! You WANTED to!"
"NO!" Charlie cried "That's not true! It wasn't like that!"
"Yes it was! That's exactly what is was like!" Vaggie cried, tears pooling in her eyes. She ran a hand over her face, sweeping her fringe off of the left side and fisting her hand in it. "Why didn't you just come to me, Charlie? Why didn't you tell me? Why did you choose Alastor over ME?!" she let go and hit a fist into her chest, tears of anguish running freely now and Charlie wanted nothing more than to take Vaggie into her arms and kiss them away, but that wasnt going to happen, not now.
So instead, Charlie clenched her fists. This was it, time for the whole truth.
"Because I'm not myself when I'm like that, Vaggie!"
"The fuck is that supposed to mean?!"
"IT MEANS THAT I GET VIOLENT! I GET CRAZY!" Charlie yelled, the words exploding out of her like a bomb of humiliation, and from the way Vaggie stepped back it had surprised her as much as it did the princess. Taking a few deep breaths, she forced herself to calm down, running her shaking hands through her hair.
"Vaggie, I...oh, baby, I am so sorry, but when I'm on heat it...its like I become a different person. I get...urges, v-violent ones..." tears welled in her eyes too fast for her to stop, they spilled down her cheeks and dripped down onto the shirt of her unicorn pajamas. Charlie fiercely wiped her eyes, hating herself for them. But not as much as she hated herself for what she was about to say:
"Vaggie...when I was with Alastor, I hurt him. I hurt him a lot, I made him bleed. And, and I didn't care! I didn't care that there was blood everywhere, I didn't care how much pain he was in, all I cared about was...was fucking getting off!" she sobbed, tears clouding her vision and she brought a hand up to palm them away, but in a way she was grateful for them. She didn't want to see the disgust that would be all over Vaggies face right now.
"Th-that's how I am wh-when I'm in heat" she continued miserably "I'm selfish. I'm violent and I hurt people...and I could never do that to you, honey! I-I would do anything to keep you from getting hurt...especially by me."
With that, Charlie began weeping into her hands. She couldn't look at Vaggie, too afraid of the disgust and horror she knew she would see there. Vaggie had been silent all through her explanation, not making so much as a sound. She was probably too revolted by her to say anything... Then she heard a sigh. Footsteps. Then the bed was dipping and Charlie's hand jerked away from her face in surprise. Vaggie was sitting beside her, hands on the bed and looking down at her knees. She didn't look disgusted, just...sad.
After a long, tense silence that Charlie fought not to break, Vaggie finally spoke "So...you only slept with Alastor, so that you wouldn't hurt me?"
Charlie nodded, feeling a flash of hope "Yes! Yes, exactly! Once the month was up we were done, and he knew that! Vaggie, my love..." she reached out and took one of Vaggies hands in her own, and felt a thrill of victory when she didn't automatically pull away "You are the only woman for me! The only one I'll ever truly want! I love you with all my heart!" she smiled wetly as she drew Vaggies hand up to that heart, the one that beat only for her.
But then Vaggie pulled it back. She crossed her arms over her stomach, shaking her head and biting her lip. Charlie's hand still hovered in the air, her smile fading as she felt her small hope die.
"Why didn't you just talk to me?!" the grey demoness demanded "Why didn't you tell me about your heats?! Did you really think that I wouldn't have wanted to help you anyway?! You think I would've just left you in pain like that?! Dammit, Charlie, I would've helped you through it no matter what happened to me! You could've just TALKED to me!"
"I didn't want to hurt you!"
"You think I would've cared if you hurt me?! I gave you everything I AM, Charlie, dont you think I wouldve given you THIS?!"
"I didn't want you to HAVE TO!"
"BECAUSE IT WOULDN'T BE FAIR AFTER EVERYTHING YOU WENT THROUGH!"
Vaggie gasped, phycially drawing back, and Charlie raised her hands to cup her mouth. Oh no, oh SHIT she hadn't meant to say that! She hadn't meant to-!
" Don't..." Vaggie raised one trembling finger and slowly shook her head "Don't you DARE use THAT as an excuse!"
"I'm not!" Charlie cried "I'm not, I swear!...But-"
"-after what your uncle did to you-"
"I couldn't put you through that with me! Vaggie, please, I was just trying to PROTECT you!"
"By doing the one thing you knew would hurt me the most?!" Vaggie cried, weeping herself once more, her voice shaking with her tears "H-How am I meant to understand THAT, Charlie? How-how am I supposed to forgive that?" she sobbed, and Charlie shook her head.
"I don't know..." she whispered weakly, bowing her head in repentance "I just...hoped"
She heard Vaggie breathe harshly, heard her sniff "That is so fucked up, Charlie. You're asking me to forgive you for fucking another demon behind my back. for a MONTH."
Charlie nodded. She understood. She had hoped, but she understood "I just thought, maybe...once I explained...you might-"
"I fucked Angel"
Charlies head snapped up. Her eyes rounded like dinner plates and her heart physically stopped in her chest. Vaggie looked back at her, her face set and unflinching.
"...What?" Charlie whispered, barely louder than a breeze.
"You heard me" Vaggie responded, her lips trembling even as she glared at her "Last night, I fucked Angel Dust. I ran into him at Mimzys after I saw you and Alastor, took him upstairs and fucked him because I was so fucking hurt by you!"
Charlie was speechless. Every word hit her heart like a rock, the confession, Vaggies anger, the way she was looking at her right now...and she'd slept with Angel. ANGEL.
"So you think you can forgive me? Still wanna be with me? Do you 'Understand why I did it?'" more tears trailed down from her eye, her throat bobbing as she swallowed "Or do you feel like your heart just got torn apart?"
After dressing, Angel made his way down to the lobby to grab his morning coffee. However, as he made his way to the kitchen he happened to come across an interesting sight:
Alastor, the Radio Demon himself, sitting at the bar and chatting away to Husk about fuck-knew what, happy as a clam.
Eh, Angel couldn't judge him, when he'd found out that Travis' wife had beaten the shit out of him with a crowbar he'd barely batted an eye. But still, for some reason his long legs were carrying him over to the bar, and before he knew it he had parked himself right next to the Radio Demon.
"Hey home wrecker" he said cheerily, and Alastor dropped the empty glass he'd been toying with. He closed his eyes, red tipped fingers pinching the bridge of his nose.
"Oh God, does everyone in this wretched establishment know?"
Angel shrugged "Pretty fuckin' much-wait a minute, YOU know?!" he pointed at Husk, who shrugged as he cleaned Alastors glass.
"Bartender. I know everythin'. How the fuck do YOU know?"
"Vaggie told me" well, actually she'd kinda screamed it. In Mimzys, in front of two other people, but whatever. Edging closer, he leaned on the bar and gave Husk his best enticing smile "So, what's a guy gotta do to get a decent coffee around here, baby?"
"Go to the kitchen like everyone else, ya sex pest"
"Hey, who you callin' a sex pest? Al's the one who can't keep his hands off a taken lady!"
Alastor sighed "Well, I must say it is refreshing to know that gossip spreads just as fast in Hell as it did when I was alive!"
Angel rolled his eyes. Motherfucker shouldn't have left the door open if he didn't want the whole of Hell finding out his shit. It was such an ameture move! Angel looked over at him now, and despite his tone he sure as hell didn't look annoyed. Granted that big-ass fuckin' smile was always on his face, but he was pretty sure it was wider than normal.
"So, ya don't feel even a little bad, huh? Y'know, about your little fuck buddy being up there right now, probably getting dumped as we speak?"
Was that a flicker he saw there? A little dip in the trademark grin? Alastor turned to him, and he was pretty sure that there was a little more red in those luminescent eyes.
"My dear boy, Charlie and I are two consenting adults. She knew perfectly well what she was doing when she took me to her bed, as well as what effect her actions would have on her relationship. Any consequences of those actions are now solely on her"
Heh, Angel wondered how Alastor would react if he told him that he'd heard those exact words come from the mouths of some of the best hookers in the business. He glanced over at Husk and saw that even the cat was giving his boss the stink eye, cleaning a glass with a little more vigor than required. Not that Alastor noticed.
"Husk, I am simply parched this morning, would you be so good as to get me a glass of water?"
"Me too. Since I'm not getting my coffee" Angel chimed in. Besides, he'd just had an idea...
Husk prepared both waters in identical glasses and passed them to the two demons. Angel drank as Alastor did, even placing his glass down at the same time. He saw Husk look at his glass, and Angel winked.
"You really are as much of an asshole as people say, aintcha Al?" he said, and the older demon chortled.
"Does that surprise you, Angel Dust? The star whore of Hell?" Alastor shot back, and Angel preened like he'd just been complimented "What surprises me is that you seem to care so much, dear boy!"
Angel shrugged, gloved hands fiddling with his glass "Eh, what can I say? Im a romantic at heart"
"Ah, is that it? So it couldn't possibly have anything to do with the fact that I can smell Vaggies scent on your skin?"
Husk groaned "Oh, for fucks sake, can everybody get the fuck off of each other for five fuckin' minutes and actually run this place?!"
Meanwhile, Alastor's radio laughter was on full volume as he took another sip of the water Husk had poured. Angel glared at him for a full second and then sighed, resting an elbow on the bar "Jeeze Al, you got a good nose on ya"
"One of my many talents" Alastor winked, lifting his glass again.
"I'll bet" Angel replied as he watched him finish off his water "You sure do got a lot of talents, Mr Scary Radio Demon"
Alastor chuckled smugly. He didn't seem to notice Angels smirk as he polished off his water.
Boy, it was too bad for him one of his talents wasn't being able to tell when someone switched your drink.
Or having a taste for spider venom.
Charlie was quiet for a long time. So was Vaggie.
At some point the two of them had moved off of the bed, Charlie sitting on the carpet with the back against the bedframe, Vaggie sitting on the far side of the room in the same position. Lunch had come along while they sat there, and Niffty had brought them up some sandwiches and juice. Neither of them were hungry, but they still ate, if not for nothing else than to have something to do other than talking about things.
Things being the fact that Vaggie had slept with Angel Dust. ANGEL DUST. Charlie's mind was still reeling, and she was torn between crying hysterically or finding the spider demon and punching him in the nuts as hard as she could.
She still couldn't believe it. She didn't want to believe it, but now that she knew she realised that she could smell Angels perfume lingering on Vaggies skin. The floral scent of it, mingling with Vaggies own sweet natural smell, was like fire to her nose and made her feel physically sick.
"So" finally she talked, that one word cutting through the tangible tension like a knife "You and Angel, huh?"
She looked up at Vaggies sigh and saw her putting a half eaten crust back on her plate. She didnt look at Charlie "Um...yeah" she bit her lip, fiddling with her plate.
Charlie swallowed, and put her own plate onto the floor "Was it...was it just that one time, or-"
"Just once. Last night"
A silence rife with awkwardness descended between the two of them, then. Charlie bit her lip, wanting to say more, but what could she say right now that wouldn't be full of hipocrisy? How could you do it? Why did it have to be Angel? Why didn't you just out me for doing the exact same thing and act totally reasonable about it?
Yeah, no, that wasn't going to work. God, this was torture...
"So, uh..." fuck, she didn't wanna ask, but she just had to keep the dialogue going or else she would go insane. Besides, she didn't want Vaggie to think that she was mad, it wasn't like she had any right to be "is he really as...good as people say?"
Say no. Say he was awful. Say he had a pencil dick or something!
Colour rose to Vaggies cheeks, she fiddled with her hair "He was...okay. I guess"
Goddammit, that meant he was awesome! Charlie tried to mantain her aloofness and not break down screaming.
"He...has a purple dick"
Charlie blinked and her lashes came up wet "Yeah? Huh..."
"Yeah, he's got both down there too. If you can believe it"
"I can believe it"
"His boobs are fake. They're just fur, but he's got real sensitive-"
"Stop!" dammit, Charlie! But Satan help her, she just couldn't bear to hear anymore! Every word Vaggie spoke was putting images into her head, lewd scenarios of Vaggie and Angel together, touching, kissing, FUCKING, and it made her want to vomit and scream at the same time.
...Oh God, this was how Vaggie felt, wasnt it? This was what SHE had done to HER! Guilt weighed down her heart like a thousand stones, but she fought not to cry. She didn't deserve to cry.
...But, maybe...just maybe, there could be a silver lining to this. Her hands had come up to cover her face, but now she removed them and looked over at the little demon sitting against the wall. She was watching her too, her face stony, not carrying an inch of regret.
Gathering her knees in her arms, she breathed deeply so that she didn't burst into tears "So...I slept with Alastor, and you slept with A-Angel" oh, even saying his name made her want to break something, but she wouldn't let it show, not now. She leaned her head on her knees, keeping it tilted towards Vaggie "do you think...that could make us even?"
Vaggie had been looking at the floor. Now she looked up and Charlie knew immediately that it had been the wrong thing to say because the moth demons pink and white eye was ablaze.
"Even?" she repeated, her voice dark with disbelief and anger "You-you think thats what this is? Some kind of COMPETITION?!"
Oh fuck, oh shit oh no! " N-no! No, o-of course not-"
"Because its not, Charlie! This-this isn't a game! This isn't about who fucked who, this is about YOU. You cheated on me, for WEEKS, in OUR bed, with HIM. Because you wanted him more than you wanted me!"
At last, Charlie felt the first flash of anger and it lifted her too her feet, her fists clenched "That is NOT TRUE! Didnt you hear a word I said?!"
Vaggie rose to her feet, too, face flushing with anger of her own "I heard every fucking word! You slept with Alastor because you didn't think I could handle your heat! You didn't trust me! You thought I was WEAK-!"
"THATS A GODDAMN LIE!" Charlie screamed, and at last Vaggie was silent. Charlie could feel her face heating up, felt the tears coming back with a vengeance, but now she was too angry to care "You think I don't know how strong you are?! We've been together for five years, Vag, I've seen you out there! For years you've protected me! Defended me! Fought for me and for everything I've ever tried to do! I didn't tell you about my time because I wanted to protect you! I was gonna leave! I was gonna go somewhere alone and ride the heat out but...but then Alastor offered and...and..." Charlie cut herself off, her head a mess of anger and regret and self loathing.
How could she explain it in a way that she would understand? How the prospect of those long weeks in agony made her feel more afraid than going up against the strongest demons in Hell by herself? How it was for that reason she'd taken Alastors offer? How the thought of not suffering through her heat alone for once in her life had made her risk everything, even Vaggie?
Charlie screwed her eyes shut, tears spilling out ""I'M THE ONE WHO WAS WEAK!"
Vaggie opened her mouth to speak, but Charlie wouldn't let her. It was all coming out now, against her will, and there was no way to stop it.
"I took Alastors offer because I was SCARED! I was so scared of the pain! I was so scared that you would find out about me and you would see me like that! I thought you'd hate me once you found out what I was! I thought you wouldn't wanna be near me and why would you?! Why would anyone except the Radio Demon wanna be with me when I'm like that?! My heat makes me a MONSTER, Vaggie! I'm a M-MONSTER!" and now she was crying all out, tears running like faucets and her palms sweaty as she raised her hands to cover them. Her legs didn't want to carry her anymore and she collapsed to the ground, howling uncontrollably.
"I'm a monster...a nightmare, I didn't...I didn't..."
"Stop it, Charlie"
But all she could do was cry harder "I didn't mean to...I didn't mean to hurt you..."
But she couldn't. She felt like her soul was breaking and she sobbed he pain into her hands.
Soft arms wrapped around her then and Charlie cried harder, grabbing one and weeping into it, nuzzling her cheek against the soft, familiar grey skin and never wanting to let go.
"I'm sorry..." she wept, her voice weak and pathetic, just like her, and Vaggie held her tighter "I-Im s-so, s-so sorry! I-I'm so-"
"Shh-sh-sh" Vaggie stroked a gentle hand through her hair, pressing her face into it and kissing the top of Charlie's head, gently rocking her as they held eachother "Stop it now, its alright. I've got you, hon...I've got you..."
Charlie, beyond responding now, pressed her face into Vaggies shoulder and just wept.
"You gotta have a fuckin' death wish, kid"
Angel cackled happily as he held up his hell-phone "Eh, I'm already dead, so whats the harm?"
Husk sighed, but he was smiling just a bit "The harm comes when Bambi here finds out what ya spiked his drink with spider venom and fuckin' rips you in half!"
"Hey, its not that bad, I gave him the good stuff!"
"You think he'll care?"
Angel sniggered, adjusting his phone for a better angle "I think its fuckin' hilarious, baby!"
"This counter is sooooooooooo smoooooooooth!"
Husk sighed deeply, because seriously, fuck his life. Right now on his fuckin' bar was a fuckin' demon overlord that was high as a FUCKIN' KITE, completely sprawled out over his countertop, a huge drunk smile on his face and giggling-GIGGLING-as he kicked his feet in the air.
"I looove this bar!" Alastor trilled, his New Orleans accent thicker than ever. He trailed his newly ungloved hands over the velvet sides, sighing with pleasure "It smells like booze! An' cat! Hey, Husker! Husker! HUSKER!"
Husk ran an irritable paw over his face "God fuckin' dammit, WHAT?!"
"Aren'tcha a cat? Th'bar smells like you!" Alastor crowed, apparently thrilled that he had made this conncection. Shakily raising a hand, he pointed at the bartender "CAT!"
Husk cursed and Angel cackled, recording gleefully as Alastor giggled with joy and jagged radio laughter filled the air. But it only got better when Alastor wriggled up into his knees and edged closer to his old friend, giggling mischeviously.
Husk frowned "What the fuck are you-? No. No, Al, what the fuck-Oh my God, get the fuck offa me!"
"Sooo fluffy~!" Alastor purred as he leaned on Husk and ran his hands enthusiastically over his face "Fluffy, fluffy kitty~"
"GET THE HELL OFFA ME YOU IDIOT!" roared Husk, futiely shoving the high as fuck Radio Demon, Angel laughing borderline hysterically and making sure he got it all on camera.
"...What the heck are you guys doing?"
Angel turned around just briefly to catch Niffty, arms laden with a stack of silver lunch trays that was almost twice her size, standing behind them and watching the scene with the utmost bewilderment. The spider demon shot her a grin "Ah, nuthin'. Alastor just got unexpectedly high"
" Thats a crock of fuckin' bullshit-DAMMIT ALASTOR, GET YOUR FINGER OUTTA MY EAR!"
Angel giggled, happily watching as Husk attempted to fight off the demon who was so insistent on feeling his "Silky ears, just like my mommas hankies!"
Behind him, he heard Niffty speak again "Okaaay...Oh, guess what! I found Charlie and Vaggie while I was up there"
Just a little, though not enough to be noticed, Angels smile dropped "Yeah?" he said. He didn't turn, but he wasn't focusing on the recording anymore.
"Yeah, it was pretty quiet when I brought them lunch, but when I passed the room again I think I heard Charlie crying"
Now, at last, Angel dropped his phone, his good mood dropping with it "...Fuck"
"GOD FUCKIN' DAMMIT!" *THUD!*
Husk had finally managed to shove the newly touchy-feely Alastor off of him and now the Radio Demon was sprawled out and face down the floor. He didn't move, except to let out a giggly "Ow..."
Husk leaned over the bar, straightening his hat "So, Vags ended it, huh?"
"I don't know!" Niffty responded, somehow under no strain from the heavy trays she was carrying "But it didn't sound like they were having fun in there, Husk!"
"Well DUH!" Angel scoffed "Jesus, Niff, aint you ever been cheated on before?"
"Oh yeah! Bunch of times. But they're all dead now, so its OK" Niffty beamed, leaving Angel to wonder just how exactly all her cheating ex's had ended up dead.
"Makes ya wonder if Vag's gonna stay, if her and the princess split" Husk commented, and for some reason Angel felt the urge to contradict him immediately. Huh, weird.
Instead of doing that, he shrugged "Eh, so what if she does? This place will still be a fully functionin' crap-hole without her"
Husk gave him a look, then scoffed and shook his head. Meanwhile Niffty frowned and opened her mouth, but whatever she was about to say completely flew out of her head when she saw what was happening on the floor "Uhh...any particular reason Alastor is taking off his shirt?!"
Angels eyes almost popped out of his head "Holy shit! Husk, gimmie my phone, GIMMIE MY PHONE!"
Charlie cried for a long time, and Vaggie held her all the way through it. Eventually, the tears tapered off into little sniffles, the hysterical gulps of breath became easier, and when the time came Vaggie handed her a tissue to wipe her face.
But she didn't let go, and for that Charlie was grateful.
They were silent for a while, their breathing the only sound that entered the little room. Charlie held on to Vaggie, no longer clutching her arm in a death grip but not wanting to let her go, either. Oh, how she wished they could just stay like this, no problems, no hurt, no anger, forever...
Then Vaggies fingers were combing through her hair, soothing her just like they would at night sometimes if Charlie had had a bad dream. She closed her eyes, savouring it.
"I'm sorry" Vaggie whispered into her hair "I'm sorry that I said those things, I shouldn't have..."
Charlie drew in a shaky breath "You don't have to apologise, Vaggie. I'm the one who messed up, remember? I deserve all I get"
The other demoness sighed into her hair, and then she was holding her tighter "Don't. Don't torture yourself that way, hon"
Hon. Charlie could've wept "But its true, I-"
Then Vaggie was clasping her arms and pulling her up, holding Charlie a small distance away so she could look her in the face. Her one eye was veiled with water, and she reached a hand up to brush away some of the loose hair that was stuck to Charlie's cheek. She took a deep breath, and Charlie felt the soft gust of air brush across her skin
"I want you to know..." she said, so softly that Charlie would never have heard her had she not been sitting so close "That I'm not...I'm not mad at you, for going into heat. I'm not mad that you wanted to protect me, I'm not. I understand why you did it, Charlie, I really do"
Charlie breathed out then, relief flooding in and filling her right to the bones. Maybe everything really would be OK, maybe they really could move past this.
"So...does that mean you can forgive me?" Charlie asked, hoping with everything she had in her to give.
But then Vaggie was pulling away, her face was tightening with sadness, and Charlie felt her blood run cold. No, no...
As she watched, Vaggies eye was filling with tears, and her small grey hands came up to cup Charlie's face "Im sorry...I can't"
The way those four simple words felt, Charlie thought someone had reached into her chest and squeezed her heart until it burst. She grabbed one of Vaggies wrists, touching her soft skin "Please..."
"I want to, Charlie, I really do..."
"-But I just can't get past the thought of you and Alastor together!" Vaggie cried, and now she was crying, too "I want to, but-but I can't, because now all I can think about is that you touched him and kissed him, on our bed where we slept-"
Charlie grabbed her hands desperately "I'll get rid of him!" she swore, gripping her hands tight "I swear, Vaggie, I'll kick him out! I'll never ever see him again if that's what you want! I swear to you, he means nothing to me, not as much as you!"
But Vaggies head was shaking, and then she was standing up "Its not enough, baby..."
Charlie sobbed, her desperation growing as she still held Vaggies hands, staying on her knees and staring up at her with glassy eyes "Then-then what is? What would be enough? Just-just tell me what to do and I'll do it! I'll do anything you want, baby, just please..." she tugged on Vaggies hands, holding them both pleadingly between her own "please don't leave me! I'll do anything!"
Vaggie looked down at her, breathing harshly and tears freely cascading down her right cheek as she looked at her partner of five years, begging her on the knees of her cute unicorn pajamas to stay with her. Her face crumpled, and Charlie, when her small grey hands pulled themselves out of her grip, felt like a part if herself had been pulled out, too
"There's nothing you can do, what's done is done"
"No..." Charlie wept "No, there has to be a way.."
"I'll stay with the hotel. I'll help you run things like we agreed..."
"Please Vaggie...don't do this..."
"But..." Charlie heard her swallow hard, saw her fingers clench into fists that shook with the effort it took to get out the words that she needed to say "But...I...I can't be with you, not anymore"
The pain of it was so sudden, so intense, Charlie felt her chest physically constrict. She gasped, holding her arms around herself as she openly sobbed "No...no, no, Vaggie please-"
"I'm sorry..." and it sounded like she truly meant it this time, her voice choked with tears "But we're over"
Charlie couldn't even speak anymore. She just raised her hands to her face and wept, and she could hear Vaggie doing the same thing above her. This was terrible, the worst thing in the world to ever happen, she didn't even know how to describe it. Having the crap beaten out of her by Katie Killjoy couldnt compare to this, being eaten alive by Cerebus couldnt compare to this, the eons old tortures of Hell could never compare to this.
After a while, she felt a soft hand on her shoulder, and then Vaggie was pulling her up, letting her go just as fast like she couldn't risk the contact.
"Y-y-you..." she stammered, emotion choking her so badly that she could barely speak "You...you need to go now, Charlie. OK? You-you need to...to leave me alone for a while"
Charlie's fists clenched in front of her. She didn't want to go, she wanted to stay, she wanted to be with her. That's all she'd ever wanted, was to be with her!
"Charlie." Vaggie whispered "Please go..."
'NO!' she wanted to scream, Don't shut me out! Don't send me away! Stay with me, be with me, I'll do anything you want but please don't make me leave!
But in the end what else could she do, but what she was asked? She looked at Vaggie one last time, pleading with her eyes. Vaggie looked away. Tears rolling down her cheeks, Charlie walked past her and crossed the room on feet she didn't feel. She reached for the door with a hand she had forgotten was even there. The door came open with a soft click, and Charlie stood in the opening, her face wet and her heart broken into a thousand pieces.
But she didn't leave yet. There was still one thing she had to do. Without turning around, she said one last thing to the crying woman behind her:
"I love you, Vaggie. I'll always love you"
Charlie waited, and after a sharp, watery intake of breath, she heard Vaggie answer, her voice barely above a whisper.
Her whole body numb, tears streaking across her face, and the place where her heart used to be completely empty, Charlie Magne mpved on out of the door, and walked away to the sound of her love sobbing out her heart.