Concept: Sabrina saved Nick from Hell, but Lucifer came along and is now roaming the earth. Nick is… Not himself.
She expected that.
How could she not?
One doesn’t go to Hell with Satan himself trapped inside them and not come back different.
But the Nicholas Scratch before her is a stranger.
Sometimes she thinks, maybe, she sees the Nick she knew before. His eyes shift just slightly or the corner of his lip turns up and she sees the boy who refused to let her be the one to lodge Lucifer, who told her he loved her before he pulled the Dark Lord into him and went to Hell so she didn’t have to.
It’s those times that, fleeting as they may be, keep her from giving up on him entirely.
Things didn’t go exactly as planned when they went to Hell to bring him back. They had failed to destroy Lucifer Morningstar, and he had tagged along, in human form, back to Greendale. His powers, while weakened, were still intact, and he was Heaven bent on both revenge and getting his throne back. He was an added complication in an already complicated situation. He had to be stopped, somehow, but so far, even with Lilith’s help, they haven’t found a way to destroy him entirely. And so he roams the earth, plotting and biding his time until he can find a way to wreak havoc - or she stops him first.
Lucifer has some sort of hold over Nicholas, of that Sabrina is certain. She can’t prove it. She can’t figure out what it is or how to break whatever spell or enchantment or charm Lucifer is using - and she’s ignoring Ambrose who insists there isn’t one, that Nicholas is behaving the way he is of his own choosing. She’s not buying it. Not when she occasionally sees those brief hints that he’s still there, deep deep down.
That little bit of hope she can’t give up on is how she’s found herself in her current predicament.
“It’s ten o’clock in the morning, Nicholas.”
He hears the judgment in her voice loud and clear. He takes a long sip of his bourbon just to ruffle her feathers.
“Your point?” he asks in a bored tone.
“That’s it. That’s my point.”
“That it’s an appropriate hour for brunch drinks?” he clarifies. She sighs that annoyed sigh of hers that he’s heard all too often lately.
“This isn’t healthy, Nicholas.”
“Neither is this.” He produces a pack of cigarettes from his jacket pocket, plucks one out, and lights it with a snap of his fingers. He looks at her as he takes a drag. She grimaces as he blows out a perfect smoke ring. “But I’m not a mortal, so I suppose it doesn’t matter, does it?”
“This isn’t you,” she tries. “This isn’t…”
“You’ve used this speech before,” he cuts her off. “A few times, now. None of those times were successful, so what makes you think it will work this time?”
“What happened?” she pushes, undeterred. He admires her persistence. “What happened down there to make you like this?”
“Like what?” he asks. “A warlock that has nothing better to do with his day than drink quality bourbon and smoke cheap cigarettes? If you ever left your Greendale bubble, you would see that I’m living my life the way most warlocks do.”
She sees it then, the faint flicker in his eyes that she clings to. It’s when she uses his shortened name that she tends to see that moment of recognition. She vows to use it more often, see if it helps break through - whatever she’s trying to break through.
“I suppose I could ask you the same question,” he says before she can get another word in. “Why are you here at ten o’clock in the morning?” He puffs his cigarette again. “Surely you’re not here to tell me you love me again.”