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Amongst The Living

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It was late as Angel waited by the front steps of the hotel. Stolas had wanted to speak with him about a question he had asked over the phone a few days ago.

A few minutes later, a car with Stolas’ family crest rolls up to the curb. Angel immediately opens the door, a habit after all this time. Stolas gives Angel a hug before Angel takes a seat, and the car heads towards Stolas’ mansion.

“Angel,” Stolas begins. “How are you doing?”

Angel shrugs his shoulder noncommittally and says, “Eh. I’ve been betta.”

“Angel, why do you need my grimoire?” Stolas inquires softly, while resting a hand on Angel’s shoulder.

“I jus’ need it.” Angel looked him in the eyes, and Stolas took in a breath. “Please. This is the only time I’ll ever ask. I promise I’ll explain when we’re your place.”

Stolas agreed quietly, concerned for his friend.

-

You see, Stolas and Angel Dust had become close friends quite fast and now talked on a regular basis, usually about Blitzo and Husk or they would talk shit about Val. It wasn’t always that, though; sometimes it was a lot heavier.

Stolas would talk about his love for his daughter and, while his wife may not care for him, he does truly want her to be happy. He loves deeply for those close to him but tends to end up all alone.

Angel would talk about his family issues, his unconditional love for Molly and his pained love for Arackniss. He rarely spoke about his mother but when he did he could barely get the words out before sobbing. He would choke out how much he blames himself for her death, but there was nothing that would have changed it.

In the end, Stolas and Angel always were there for eachother when others couldn’t get past their walls. There would be gentle, comforting touches and kind words exchanged in the silence.

-

After getting to the mansion and heading up to Stolas’ study and library, Angel sat in a chair across from Stolas.

“Alright, here goes.” Angel took a deep breath. “I want to see my sista in the livin’ world. Ya know, my momma’s in Heaven, so I can’t see her and I’ve already had one too many altercations with my brotha and pops. I need my sista.”

Angel stared at the ground, beginning to shake slightly. Stolas didn’t know what to think. Angel had never asked anything like this before of him. But Stolas just couldn’t say no to Angel’s hunched form.

“Angel, I can do this for you,” Angel immediately looked at him, trying not to cry but failing. He stood up and gave Stolas a very tight hug.

“But you can’t go to see your sister like that. Thankfully there’s a transformation spell I know. It doesn’t last long, but it will have to do. Now wipe those tears, my dear friend.”

Stolas smiled at Angel, still wrapped around him. Angel wiped his eyes and nodded.

“God, I’m gonna see my sista again.” Angel whispered to himself.

Stolas went to work collecting all the materials, and Angel helped wherever he could after the shock dulled.

-

A few hours later, Stolas and Angel had set up the pentagram and laid out candles at each point. Stolas had also prepared the concoction for transformation. Stolas turned to face Angel.

“Okay. Let’s begin. Drink this.” He handed Angel the cup of a black liquid that smelled a lot like something from his past that he could only vaguely remember.

Angel downed it, not wanting to savor the familiar spice of liquor it left. He waited until a flash of white light drowned out the room, and Stolas quickly shielded his eyes.

After a moment, Stolas pulled his hand away and looked at Angel’s new form.

Angel was now his old self, his living self. He had his blond hair, pale human skin, his iconic hat, and his pink pinstripe suit with his brown coat and fluff along the neckline. He was also significantly shorter than Stolas, who is about the same height as Angel in his demon form at nearly nine feet tall.

Angel could barely process being human. It felt so strange after being a demon for so long.

“Angel, you’re so cute!” Stolas was staring with his big red eyes.

Angel crossed his one set of arms now, saying, “I am not.”

“Yes, you are! I just want to put you in my nest like I did with Via when she was just an owlet.” Stolas was gushing, and Angel knew he wouldn’t stop if he got too into it.

“Alright, alright,” Angel agreed. “Now let’s continue with this whole thing!”

Stolas nodded quickly and opened his grimoire, chanting in latin and something else he didn’t recognize. Before long the pentagram erupted in flames and Angel got ready to jump in.

Stolas put a gentle hand on his shoulder. “Angel, this will open up close to wherever your sister is. But I can’t go with you, so just be careful and come back before the transformation ends… And please be safe.”

Angel put a hand over his, saying kindly, “There’s nothing to worry about, Stolas. I was human for over thirty years, so I’ll be fine.”

Stolas nodded as Angel jumped through the portal, worry still evident in his expression.

-

In only a few seconds Angel was thrown out of the portal and hit the ground on his back. He coughed heavily and slowly sat up. He shook the fog from his head and looked around. He was behind a big building, so he grabbed his hat and in no time made his way around to the front.

When he got on the street, he gasped, mouth hanging open. The buildings were all the same, but now there were billboards, strange outfits, and cars that he had never seen before. A few passerbys gave him weird looks as he took it all in.

After a moment of ogling, he focused on the building he had popped up behind. A sign in the front read: Cherry Groves Retirement Home.

Angel covered his mouth. Is she really… Was I really gone that long? He thought, pain feeling like a needle in his heart.

He took in a deep breath to steady himself as he made his way to the front door. He pushed them open and walked inside.