Linked - Charlastor
It had never been the most comforting sight. The view never changed; the same red sky, the same boring pavement. This sector of Pentagram City hadn’t been touched for as long as she could remember and she was almost certain that it was due to the fact that she resided here.
Charlie let out a sigh and rubbed her cheek. She couldn’t remember a time in her life where she felt this unsettled. She’d been uncomfortable, sure, plenty of times. But now, she felt like something was just barely off and she wasn’t sure what it was.
“Hey, what’s with the moping?” A hand came to rest on her shoulder and she peeked over.
Vaggie looked concerned, which she appreciated. Charlie hadn’t really spoken much throughout the day - usually she was a chatterbox at best. She felt like her tongue was in too many knots and her stomach felt like heaving.
“Just thinking.” Charlie’s voice was quiet, just a touch above a whisper.
“Yeah? About what?” Vaggie nudged Charlie just the slightest and the blonde demon scoot over on the window seat so her best friend could sit next to her.
Charlie hummed, shrugging, “A lot of things, I guess.” She paused a second, watching a car move by outside, “Say, do you feel like anything is kind of, well, I don’t know, off?”
Vaggie rolled her eyes and leaned against the window, “The static is gone for once.”
It made sense in Charlie’s head then, why she felt so unbalanced. Alastor had been chased from the hotel earlier that day and was forbidden from returning until the next day - some human tradition that Vaggie and Angel had been very adamant on fulfilling.
“Oh, you’re right.” The normal sound of static that drifted through the halls of the hotel was gone and she suddenly felt ten times more lonely.
The pair sat in silence for another few minutes, watching the lights outside slowly dim and the people on the streets begin to fade. Nighttime in Pentagram City was either bustling or silent and there was no in-between.
Charlie began to gnaw on her lower lip, eyes darting back and forth. Was this even right? Some weight pressed on her chest and she took a deep breath, doing her best to push past it. She knew she was nervous for no reason; it wasn’t like anything would change.
Well, except for the fact -
“Hey! Why are you guys locked up in here! There’s shit to do!” The door flung open and Angel stood in the frame, a pair of hands on his hips, “At least Vags needs to come help!”
“I’ve been helping all day, I deserve a damn break.” Vaggie closed her eyes and groaned, rubbing her forehead, “Isn’t everything set up?”
“It’s nine at night! We should all be getting ready for bed, anyway!”
“Too much to do, party pooper. Let’s go!” Angel took a few steps to cross the room, looming over the pair of demons, “Miss Sunshine, too! We need your opinion on a few things.”
“Oh, alright, Angel.” Charlie let a smile come to her face - spending enough time with Alastor would have anyone smiling naturally.
When she woke up the next morning, it was because Niffty and Mimzy were prodding her awake with a steaming tray of breakfast foods. Angel, who had at some point taken control of all the planning, had ordered them up to wake her up and get her fed so she would be ready for the rest of the day.
“Thank you.” Charlie murmured as she picked up a fork, rubbing her eyes with the other hand.
“You’re welcome!” Niffty smiled wide at her, nodding.
“See you later,” Mimzy nodded and the two left the room, chatting quietly to each other.
The blonde focused on trying to eat, she really did. The nerves that were twisting her stomach up were forcing her to feel like she was going to dry heave; a bit of toast was all she was able to get down her throat.
She was really missing the usual sound of static that surrounded her.
Charlie pushed the tray away, mindful to move a few things around to make it look like she at least tried to eat and then pushed the covers down and crawled out of bed. A few carefully placed stretches helped to make her feel a little more relaxed.
Her phone buzzed on the table by the bed and she leaned over to pick it up, her heart fluttering just slightly. Charlie slid her thumb across the screen to open the phone call and pushed it against her ear.
“Good morning, darling!”
“Hi, Al.” The tension that was building in her lower stomach eased and she lowered herself onto the bed.
His voice sounded extra filtered over the phone and she knew he was using the old landline that was at the radio tower, “How did you sleep?”
“Oh, fine.” Her voice was clipped, short. She wanted to hear his voice more than anything, “Did you get any sleep?”
“Plenty! I have to be ready for today. Are you sure you slept well?” He sounded like he was shuffling around and Charlie could hear another voice in the background, “Ah, Husker is trying to swipe the phone away from me, my dear. I’m not quite sure why!”
Charlie laughed, “He’s probably been told by Angel to keep you away from me.”
“How foolish.” There was a scuffle for a moment and she heard Alastor in his ever-calming voice, tell Husk to back away or he’d eat him before his voice became clearer again, “I admit I’m not used to not seeing you every morning, so when I woke, I figured I’d somehow work this device to ring you!”
“Ever a gentleman, Al.” Charlie grinned softly.
She could feel him preen at her words, “I do strive to be so!”
She hummed a sound of contentment, twirling a lock of her curls, “Did you eat this morning?”
“I did!” His voice turned even more chipper and she rolled her eyes, “I won’t go into specifics, but I am feeling rather energetic!”
“Well, I’m glad about that. I’m, uh -” She cleared her throat, “I’m sorta nervous!”
“Darling,” His voice lowered and she felt like he got closer to the receiver, “It will all be well soon.”
She felt any remaining anxiety start to melt away as he continued to speak.
“All the buildup, the theatrics! Of course it’s nerve wracking. I wouldn’t suspect anything else. You’ll find it’s easier than you suspect.”
“You sound like an expert.” She teased him, her heart fluttering.
He laughed, “No, not in the slightest! I suppose I just know you, darling.”
She didn’t respond, just letting out a shaky breath. He didn’t seem offended by her not speaking back; Alastor continued to ramble about the radio tower and how he’d found it in slight disarray when he’d gotten there yesterday. Over time, she found herself moving back up to the pillows and tugging one of the blankets over her. His voice was soothing in the best way, the white noise in the background lulling her eyelids closed.
Just as Charlie was sure she was about to fall asleep, a resounding knock hit her door and she gasped, sitting up.
“Charlie?” His voice had an edge to concern and she shook her head to wake herself back up.
“Someone’s just knocking on my door. I was about to fall back asleep.”
He chuckled and she got up to open the door. Angel was staring at her, both sets of arms crossed and an unamused expression on his face.
“Who’s that you’re talking to?”
“Uh - Al, I should probably go.”
“You’re talking to him! You swore you wouldn’t!”
“I’ll see you soon, darling!”
“Bye, Alastor!” Charlie pulled the phone away from her ear and pressed the end call button, swallowing the lump that started to form in her throat once more, “For the record, I told you I wouldn’t call him.”
Angel snorted, “You expect me to believe that he called you?”
“He did! Look!” She turned the phone screen over to him so that he could see that the most recent call had been received and not sent out, “I wouldn’t lie, you know me better than that Angel.”
He huffed and snatched the phone from her hand, shoving it into a pocket in his jacket, “You’ll get this back later, Blondie.”
“Angel!” She tried to swipe it back but he dodged her and he let out a snicker, “C’mon!”
“No! We have so much to do. Didja even eat any of that breakfast?”
She went quiet.
Angel sighed. It was going to be a very long day.
Charlie closed her eyes and took a deep breath. The lace that was so delicately lain on her skin; the soft feel of silk helped calm her down and ground her to where she was right now. Thought it was a smaller affair, she could still feel the tension in the air.
Perhaps that was just her tension.
It was due to start any minute now - Angel would be opening a door for her to walk through soon. He had dictated what she should be doing and how to do it, even running through it the whole time. She had told him that he would be a marvellous planner for other events for the hotel and he had scoffed at her, telling her that doing this had been enough for him for the next century.
Was she even doing the correct thing? One foot took a half step back. What would come about with this? Would it hit her reputation in some disastrous way?
The hotel was doing great; she’d been able to redeem a handful of souls throughout the years since the startup. It kept her going on - would doing this make demons want to keep away from the hotel? She still owed an enormous debt to her citizens. Charlie could save them; it was the only thing she had ever dreamed of doing.
Never once had something like this occurred to her. Taking the time to just do something for herself was causing a war to stir in her mind and Charlie wasn’t sure how to deal with it.
Just as her wobbly knees were going to give out, the door opened and Angel slipped through, a playful grin on his face.
“C’mon then, princess.” He extended a hand, “Time to go.”
He must have not noticed the look on her face or he opted to ignore her, but she felt obliged to reach out and grab onto the offered hand. He pulled her close and then reached with another set of hands to fix the flower crown that rested across her head.
“Hey,” Angel murmured, softer than Charlie had ever seen him, “Break a leg.”
“Thanks.” Her voice was a whisper and he squeezed her hand once before slipping back through the door.
There was only a handful of people through that door and the thought calmed her down. Just her friends - not that anyone else in Hell would have wanted to come. She’d sent a few invitations out to some others, but no one had replied and she hadn’t expected them to.
Just as Charlie was about to reach out to open the door, a hand pressed against her elbow and she felt her throat tighten. Her head snapped over to the left and all reservations seemed to drop in that moment.
Lucifer stood there, eyes firmly locked on hers. He seemed to have some sort of anger burning in the back of his eyes and she couldn’t blame him - there would be no universe that he would be pleased with her decision. He was dressed in the same outfit he usually wore and something about him being there calmed her down; he wasn’t there to berate her. She could tell.
“What are you doing here?” She could hear the faint tones of a piano playing inside of the room.
He cleared his throat, rearranging their arms so that hers was linked with his, “I suppose I shouldn’t miss my own daughter’s wedding.”
Charlie let out a choked laugh and tried her best to not let the tears fall. Angel would kill her if her makeup was ruined; he’d spent hours on it earlier. Lucifer looked at her once and squeezed her arm in an affectionate way before reaching out and opening the door for them.
The music swirled around them and Charlie found herself looking around. There were a few chairs that were arranged down a makeshift aisle - they were in one of the prettier parlours in the hotel. Angel had really gone all out for the room and had spent ages looking for faux flowers that he’d spun around the room and there were candles lit to bring a nice ambiance. Her friends were stood, turned toward her and she could see the surprise on all of their faces to see Lucifer standing right next to her.
Charlie’s breath caught when she realized her own mother was standing by one of the seats in the front - she had a cool smile on her face and Charlie could see the pride shimmering in her eyes. Regardless of who she was choosing to marry, Lillith was proud of her daughter.
Once she had taken in the environment as they slowly inched their way up the aisle, her eyes suddenly came to meet with Alastor and her breath was stolen once more. Instead of the usual red that he wore, he was dressed in a simple black tux - something she wasn’t even certain he would wear unless it was an occasion as this. She had to admit, it looked amazing on him and she liked the fact that he didn’t change his bowtie. The grin on his face was reserved, eyes hooded as he watched her approach.
Charlie felt her foot pace increase and when there was a light pressure on her arm, she remembered to slow down. Lucifer gave her another squeeze and nodded just barely so she knew she was still doing alright.
Once they reached the end of the aisle, where an arch decorated in a variety of faux flowers rose above them, Lucifer took hold of Charlie’s hand and then turned to Alastor.
“If I find out you’ve hurt her in any way, Radio Demon -”
“She is safe with me.” Alastor’s voice was less filtered; genuine, “I would never hurt such a bright ray of sunshine.”
Lucifer pursed his lips, contemplating, before settling Charlie’s hand in Alastor’s outstretched one. He squeezed all of their hands together for a moment before letting go. Charlie felt almost the rest of her anxiety melt away when Alastor squeezed her fingers and the normal sound of white noise returned to her.
Her father moved to their other side - another reason he had decided to come was to be able to officiate the wedding. He was one of the few in Hell with the power; most demons did not marry for the very reason that they were here to not have bonds. Lucifer didn’t care to have anyone else head it.
The words spoken were soft and filled Charlie’s head but didn’t seem to make too much sense. She copied the promises that fell from her father’s mouth and felt her head fog. All she could focus on was that Alastor was here and his eyes were like windows to whatever soul he had left; he was so genuine and articulate with every word he spoke during the ceremony.
When Alastor took hold of her left hand and slid on the ring, she was unable to actually see what it looked like since her eyes were so clouded with tears. Her own fingers shook when she took hold of his hand and slid on the plain gold band; it contrasted against his skin in the best of ways.
When his hand cupped her cheek and he kissed her and stole her breath, Charlie was unable to help herself from tossing her arms around his neck and pulling him closer. He didn’t seem to mind; wrapping one arm around her waist and drawing her against him. The sound of applause drifted through her head.
When Alastor withdrew, she nearly followed him to keep him connected but he was able to move fast enough back that they parted. She blinked her eyes, dazed, tightening her hold on his neck.
Alastor’s voice was soft as it crackled against her ear and he spoke the words that had her heart racing and made everything feel as if it was all worth it.