A/N:

Small idea based on the recent official Alastor comic released by the Hazbin crew :) Happy to have finally written my first fic for this show! 3

Blooming:

Chapter 1:

New Bloom


A small sheep demon walked down the street with her arms held close against her body. She wanted to run, but she couldn't - if she started running, she would start crying and then she would start screaming. And fleeing in panic in Hell signaled you as fearful and easy prey. If she started running, soon someone would chaster after her.

She just needed to get out of this bad part of the city near the cannibal neighborhood, slow and steady. Next, she would simply have to walk home back to her apartment in the Envy district - maybe a half hour's trip in total. Then she could lock herself away and hide in the dark and pretend she wasn't going to spend eternity in a place where going to a butcher shop to pick up something for dinner could lead to—

Luckily she had just come around the corner out of the cannibal neighborhood, because suddenly she was overwhelmed with the memory of her recent experience. She swayed and fell against the side of a building. She blinked and looked up. A cafe. And there was a garden in the back with fresh air. And no other customers. And suddenly the idea of trying to get home right away was too much, and she felt faint from hunger, and she wanted to cry.

A waiter came outside, shooing away a crow. He was some sort of bluish sea creature. She was just glad he wasn't bovine. He turned and saw her. She locked up inside, her eyes wide. She must look so weak, and he was so tall, and he could—

He blinked at the sight of her then took her arm and pulled her inside. When the door shut behind her she tried to scream but it was a faint squeak because if she screamed again maybe she would be saved again but maybe she would also have to watch that deer demon feast again.

The waiter held up his hands frowning. "No, please don't yell! You know how screams attract people. I'm sorry I grabbed you, but you looked kind of sick. I didn't want anyone to notice and take advantage. Are you okay?"

She blinked few times and felt tears in her eyes. She was trembling. She shook her head no.

He gestured to the back door. "Do you want to sit in the garden? No one's there, and the owner keeps it protected by powerful wards so we stay in business and don't get taken over. I'll bring you something on the house." He rubbed the back of his neck. "I kind of had a scary afternoon myself, and it'll be nice to have someone else here."

Her breathing slowed a little, and she nodded.

He smiled and led her to the backdoor. As she calmed down she became aware of the quiet of this place except for some faint radio music playing a gentle song.

He led her to a little red wooden table with a comfortable chair. She sat down. There was actual grass here and some trees and a few flowers and birds. Nice places like this were rare in Hell.

The waiter smiled and handed her a menu. "Here - just let me know what you want. Can I get you something to drink for now?"

She swallowed and tried to find her voice but still couldn't.

The waiter only smiled more. "How about this - would you like something warm?"

She hesitated then nodded.

"Coffee?"

She shook her head.

"Tea?"

She nodded.

"How about lemon grass. Always perks me up."

She nodded again.

He winked and left.

And for what felt like the first time in the last twenty minutes, the sheep demon took a deep breath. For just a moment in this pleasant place in the middle of Hell, she was safe.

She did jump a little when the waiter came back with a hot cup of tea. A couple cookies were beside it.

"Here's your tea. And I brought you some ginger snaps too - ginger always makes me feel better when I'm under the weather." He smiled. "You seem like you probably just want to relax so I'll leave you alone now, Miss... " He smiled sheepishly. "Sorry, I didn't event introduce myself. My name is Abel. It's nice to meet you..."

"Louise." After the first sip of tea, her voice felt like her own again. "I'm Louise. It's nice to meet you too, Abel." The cup of tea was a safe and warm thing that filled her with comfort. Abel made her feel comfortable too. And a bite of cookie actually made her smile.

Abel smiled back at her. "That's a pretty accent you have, Louise. You must have been from down south in the States when you were topside."

"Yes, I was. And thank you."

He nodded. "Well I'll leave you to your meal, Louise."

"Wait!" She held up a hand. "Please stay. If you can. I just don't want to be alone right now." She swallowed and looked down.

Abel nodded. "Okay. It's almost closing time anyway. Let me just lock up the front. And I'll bring the teapot out here for us both." A crow cawed and he jumped. "Heh, and I'll grad a snack for the crows. They get a little testy." He waved and took some steps backward toward the door but tripped as another crow swooped behind him. He barley managed to keep standing despite the awkward stumble, and Louise laughed. He shrugged sheepishly and headed in.

Louise broke off a piece of cookie and tossed it to the crows. She watched them eat until Abel came back a moment later with a teapot and some more cookies and a little plate that he set in the grass that the crows quickly flocked too.

"Organ bits," he explained. "Those birds are absolute scavengers."

Louise flinched and turned away from the sight.

"Sorry," he frowned. "I know it can be kind of gross. Maybe we should go inside."

Inside where she would feel trapped again just like the last time she had been inside. Louise shook her head. "No, out here is fine. I just... had a bad experience in a butcher shop a few blocks away." She tried to smile. "My fault really - serves me right liking lamb chops so much even though I am a lamb now. It's hard to find chops, but the cannibal district butchers have everything."

"Whatever happened is not your fault." He frowned. "There are some rough customers around here, especially in that area. People who get set off by Lucifer-knows-what. You're brave for going into there, and I'm glad you're safe."

She sipped and tried to smile again. "Did you say you had a rough day too?"

"Yeah..." Abel rubbed the back of his neck. "Just one of those customers who could go off and do something bad at any second - you know, an Overlord."

"It must be tough serving people like that."

"All part of the gig." He shrugged. "You get used to it. It's nice having a calm normal customer - and a rarity in Hell of course." He laughed and Louise did too.

He glanced over and raised an eyebrow."Hey the crows finished and they're not coming over to peck me."

"Maybe it's because I fed them a cookie." Louise tossed another half over to them. "I think they like them."

"I'll have to try that trick sometime."

Louise poured herself more tea. "Thanks for all of this. And for not trying to kill me or killing anyone in front of me. I appreciate it."

"The bar really is that low in Hell, huh?" He sipped his tea with a grin. "Well, thank you for not being a mild-mannered Overlord in disguise or something ready to turn into a murderous cannibal at any second." They clinked cups and laughed again.

Louise glanced at the sky and frowned. The red hue was getting dimmer. "It's getting late. I can't stay too long. I want to be home before sundown."

"I try to follow the same rule." Abel nodded. "I can call you a cab."

"I'm not really big on getting into cars with strangers. Doesn't work out well usually for small demons of prey." She shrugged. " it's okay, I'll just walk."

Abel considered, playing with his cup. "Hey, look, I know trusting new people around here- or anyone around here - isn't much of a good idea. But I'm walking home too. We could walk together as far as we're going to same way. I promise, I'm pretty pathetic as far as demons go."

"You're not pathetic - you're just one of the good ones."

He blinked then blushed purple against his blue scales.

Louise glanced away, smiling a little. "And that would be okay. It'd be nice actually. Thank you."

"Uh great!" His voice cracked and he cleared his throat and smiled sheepishly. "I mean, happy to help. And I'd appreciate the company. I'm heading to the Envy district."

"Me too!" Louise smiled and her tail wagged.

"Seriously?" Abel perked up.

She nodded. "Yeah."she clasped her hands together and shrugged. "We didn't have much money when I was growing up and my momma worked in a rich family's house. The daughter was always mean to me and I was jealous, and I stole from them I til I got caught and well..." She sighed. "Now I'm here, definitely less powerful than anyone else just like I was less powerful than that other family."

He nodded in understanding. "Not to be too biblically ironic, but my brother was always the confident and successful one, and I wanted everything he had. We got in a fight one night and ended up falling off a cliff together." He rubbed the back of his neck. "And now I'm a waiter in hell, doomed to mediocrity for eternity. And of course he's in heaven somewhere, still being perfect."

Louise considered. "It's bad here, but also not as bad as I thought it would be. There are some good moments." Her smile went back to Abel.

"Yeah. Only being on the brink of torture instead of actually being tortured all the time is definitely not a point they bring up topside." He finished a cookie. "Plus hell has cookies! Who knew?"

"And tea!" Louise raised her cup and smiled more.

Abel snorted in laughter.

Louise took the last cookie. "I'll have to come back here sometime. Everything was so nice."

"I'd like that." Abel's smile brightened then he glanced down casually. "As long as you want to. I'm here pretty much everyday. And we do serve lamp chops - no judgment this close to the cannibal district."

"You're very kind. Even if earlier today was a little rough I'm glad I met you, Abel." She held out her hand.

Abel hesitated but then reached out and shook with her.

There was some commotion in the street - the usual hullabaloo of a scuff between demons probably resulting in a routine stabbing or kidnapping and ending quickly. But it was enough to make them both jump and move a little closer to each other across the table. They smiled sheepishly and blushed when they realized what they had done.

Abel stood up. "So yeah, we should get going before it gets any later."

Louise stood and nodded. "Agreed."

Abel grabbed the plates and Louise grabbed the teapot and they headed inside. The crows flew at Abel again to pluck some crumbs from the plates, but he and Louise managed to shoo them off together.

They headed inside. Abel locked the back door and turned off the radio. Then they both went on their way together, side by side and smiling despite the terror around them.


Alastor stood facing a back window of the hotel, his ears tilted in very specific directions and a light static around him. He heard Abel and Louise's voices and the light music of the cafe's radio until it was turned off. He sighed as the airwaves became silent. At least that delicate creature had gotten away safely. And at least that skittish waiter had found someone equally timid to talk to. And those delightful scavenger crows had gotten more to eat. Alastor would have to remember to ask for a plate of organ meat to share between himself and them for next time he dined there.

He hated to admit he was almost disappointed that those two had left the cafe and turned off the radio. Observing other creatures interact, particularly less demonic demons, was entertaining in a way. After all, most demons interactions consisted of either the commission of quick, brutal violence or the satisfaction sinful desires. Rare to see a friendship or anything stronger bloom in hell. And rare to hear a good conversation.

Alastor missed good conversation. He'd had many entertaining ones in life as a radio host and with his prey before slaughtering and serving them. But here, far too many creatures knew who he was to even come near him. Oh sure, the ladies in the cannibal neighborhood were happy to have him around. But he knew much of their interest in him was romantic if not carnal, and he had no intentions of satisfying those desires and none of leading them on either - quite rude, if he said so himself.

Most demons, as a rule, didn't want to share two words with him lest he 'trap them in a deal'. An understandable fear, but it wasn't like he made deals lightly or frequently. And speaking of deals, he had Husker and Nifty around who weren't afraid of him, but Husker was the strong silent type and Nifty's thoughts went so quickly out of her mouth that Alastor didn't dare try to keep up.

Sometimes he really did want to just say hello and have someone say hello back - and not under threat of death.

He had some new cohorts now, of course. But the odds of entertaining conversation with them were dim. Vaggie refused to be in the same room with him. Charlie only wanted to talk about hotel matters. And Angel Dust… After their first interaction, Alastor was the one avoiding him. Imagine, another creature openly propositioning him, the radio demon! Either the spider was very ignorant or very brave. But after Alastor's display with destroying Sir Pentious's airship, Angel Dust must have developed some respect for him…which probably meant the spider must be one more creature happy to keep out of his line of sight.

Come to think of it, Alastor hadn't seen much of Angel even during the day hours when Angel was supposed to be here after a night in the lust district performing his 'services'. Could the spider really be so terrified that he wouldn't wander the hotel at all in fear of encountering Alastor? The idea of that power made Alastor smile more. But the idea of one more person who wouldn't even exchange a polite 'good morning' with him made him grip his hands on the windowsill and sigh.

It was then that Alastor saw a rather interesting sight: Angel holding some burlap bags in his arms and also pushing a wheelbarrow out in the backyard with a pig and dirt inside of it. He stopped to wipe his brow - then the pig ran off and Angel ran after it.

A moment later, Alastor heard his voice and the sound of a few pairs of feet running.

"Nuggets no! You can't go in dirt then run around the hall - Nifty'll kill us both!" The spider came around the corner chasing after a little demon pig, the burlap bags still in some of his hands. Just before they reached Alastor, Angle dove on Fat Nuggets and caught him. "There you are, baby, Momma's got you." Angel hugged him then blinked and looked up, his eyes meeting Alastor.

Alastor tilted his head.

Angel sighed and stood up. "Hey smiles. Look, don't tell Nifty about the dirty pig in the hall, okay? I'll clean up in here after I'm done out back." Nuggets struggled in his arms and Angel used his extra arms to get a better grip on him but almost lost hold of the burlap sacks. He looked to Alastor, "Smiles, I've got my hands full - all six. Any chance you and one of those spooky tentacles of yours could help me for a sec? I don't want this to take all day. I need my beauty sleep for my nightly rendezvouses." Angel smirked and winked at Alastor.

Alastor's head cocked sharply to one side. At this point he wondered if bravery and ignorance were off the table - perhaps the spider simply had a death wish.

Alastor was curious - things that made him curious were entertaining.

"Why of course my good fellow!" Alastor twirled his cane. "But no need for tentacles - I have help at the ready at all times." Alastor tapped his cane and his shadow appeared. It quickly swiped the sacks from Angel Dust.

Angel blinked in bewilderment but then just…smiled. "Not a bad trick. And thanks. Come on, we're heading to the back yard."

Angel turned and headed to the door.

This response was not the usual form of over-politeness he got from frightened demons. Even more interesting… Alastor and his shadow followed.

Once outside Angel set down Fat Nuggets and attached a rope to his collar and then to a fence posted. Nuggets rolled in the dirt. "There ya go, baby. I'll carry you inside when we're ready so you don't get the floor dirtier." Angel turned to Alastor. "Just drop the bags anywhere, Smiles."

Alastor's shadow set them down on the ground and disappeared. Alastor observed the scene. "And may I ask what you're doing, my porcine-loving fellow?"

"Eh," Angel shrugged and pulled some tools out of the wheelbarrow then dumped the dirt onto the ground. "Well, this yard is kind of shit. And Charlie says I gotta cook at least once a night to give Nifty a break. But if I'm doing that, then this place is gonna learn how to eat Italian. And the first step to eating Italian is fresh tomatoes." Angel opened a burlap sack to reveal some saplings and a small sign with a tomato on it. He grinned. "Isn't it great that the veggies that grow best in hell are the nightshades? Tomatoes, eggplant, some peppers, white potatoes for gnocchi - like hell was made for Italian food." Angel laughed. "Anyway," The next sack had some other saplings and a sign with an eggplant on it, "I got these as payment for some services and figured I'd get to growing. Charlie's thrilled that the yard's gonna look nice and that I'm doing something 'constructive', and I get something for dinner I know I'll like at least once a week."

"Ha ha, what a charming plan!" Alastor's eyes turned into red radio dials. "And you saying you didn't like my mother's jambalaya last week?" Now Angel would run for sure - he was probably just that rare breed of demon who need to see Alastor incensed to be wary of him.

Angel just raised an eyebrow as he finished pushing the tomato sign into the ground in front of his first row. "Uh, I had two bowls of it so, no Al - beats the shit out of what I get to eat at the studio. But I love my Ma's recipes more. And I figured the rest of you might like 'em too."

The radio dials disappeared.

Angel started digging with a trowel. Not one glance of fear.

The only other possibility to explain his casual behavior was that the spider was somehow more powerful than Alastor and not showing it. But that was impossible - Angel served Valentino, and Alastor was far more powerful than that slimy roach…the one who hung around with that uppity Velvet and that obnoxious, uncouth, pompous, low-definition, fucking piece of garbage Vo—

"Al, you doing okay? Your smile was getting creepy - like creepier than usual. And that static was making Fat Nuggets oink."

Alastor blinked and the static disappeared. Still Angel Dust was just casually gardening, looking only mildly interested as he glanced at Alastor.

"I'm dandy, Angel! Just remembering something from earlier today."

"Oh - did ya go anywhere special?"

"Just for a walk."

Angel scoffed as he poured a handful of seeds into a dirt hole and covered it up. "Bet you clear the streets when you go by."

"Ha ha" Alastor's laugh came out stiffly. "And how would you know?"

Angel shrugged. "Vaggie told me all about your big reputation and toppling old overlords, yada yada. Most demons clear out when they see someone like that passing through. I mean, you even got the daughter of Lucifer on edge."

"Hmm, and you as well…?" Alastor leaned close, eyes and grin wide.

Angel leaned back, blinking, then just laughed and shook his head. "Nah. No offense, Smiles, I'm sure your regular a death machine. And I saw what you did to Pentious - nice by the way. That guy needs to be taken down a peg or two." He continued to dig and sow the seeds. "But between the hell I went through on earth and the hell I've gone through here, no one really scares me anymore." His smile fell, his eyes down at the earth. "If I'm gonna get taken out, I'm gonna get taken out. And it'll probably happen at some point considering the life I lead down here. Getting scared of anyone who could do it would just be an upsetting waste of time." He glanced at Al. "Besides, I can take care of myself better than you think. Comes from handling a lot of rough johns over the years."

Alastor gripped his cane. "I'd prefer if you didn't share details of your profession with me!"

"Hey, you don't give me any detailed accounts of those cannibal radio broadcasts of yours and you've got a deal, Mister Gentleman." Angel held out one of his hands that wasn't covered in dirt.

Alastor hesitated very much - then let his shadow shake with Angel.

"Speaking of your mom's Jambalaya, Al, if you want to grow anything out here be my guest. If you can conjure some seeds, you can get started right now. I don't mind helping - beats avoiding Charlie's attempts to get me to sit down for some talk therapy."

"Ha ha," Alastor stepped back, "I'm…afraid I don't have much of a green thumb, Angel. Quite the opposite."

"Oh, it's easy!" Angel waved him off then picked up one of the saplings. "It's just a plant." He popped the plant into Al's hand.

The plant instantly withered and died.

Alastor tensed up.

"Wow," Angel raised an eyebrow, "you weren't kidding." He considered for a moment. "If I bring pot into this place, don't ever touch it."

"Why would this affect pots, they're just metal?" Alastor's laugh track sounded.

Angel smirked and rolled his eyes. "Yikes, sometimes I can't tell whether you're joking or just old. Anyway…oh, I know! I'll put the plants in, you be in charge of the watering can!" Angel grabbed it from the ground and smirked. "Careful, she's a squirter."

"Ha, I don't know what that means and I don't want to know!" Alastor took the cane.

"You're a riot, Smiles, truly." Angel looked him over. "Yet I'm guessing you got put down here for wrath. Huh, it takes all kinds."

"And you for lust, yet I'm the only one you've propositioned so far in the hotel, at least to my knowledge."

Angel smirked. "Well, you are the cutest." He winked. "And also I'm not into chicks, and Husk seems like he'd claw your eyes out if you tried to get too close."

Alastor expected his eyes to turn red. Instead he felt his face warm like it was turning red. "Ha, just keep your distance, my good man, or spider might be on the menu one evening."

Angel grinned as he went to the next group of plants. "Aw, I can wait for you to get over your prim and proper shyness about being with another guy."

"You'll be waiting an eternity. The cannibal district is more my interest than the lust one, no matter who the proposer is." Alastor watered the plant. And it didn't die. And the experience was refreshing. He snapped his fingers - a few more seedlings appeared. "Plant these as well. Okra fares fairly well in hell too!"

"You got it." Angel took one of the new seedlings and shoved it into the dirt. "And eh, all you overlords get uptight about something. But whatever floats your boat." Angel was almost done with the second row of plants. "But with all those manners and proper speak, don't be surprised if you're fielding a few crushes when we get more guests in this place."

"Ha!" Alastor moved down the line of plants. "Most demons know better except the other cannibals, and I doubt many of them will seek reform. Because I can be rather vicious as well, Angel Dust." The radio dials came back, and his voice distorted. "I tore someone to pieces on my way back here and finished them off as a snack."

Angel did gulp and pause in planting for a moment. But he didn't leave. "They did something, didn't they?"

The radio dials faded. Alastor took a breath. "Indeed they did."

"Yeah. You don't strike me as the type of guy who would get his hands dirty without a reason." Angel frowned. "Did it work out okay? Or did they get away with it before you got to 'em."

"I stopped a grave injustice. Some people deserve agonizing death. Some very specifically do not."

"Good." Angel frowned as he stuck another plant into the ground. "Nice to see someone with the muscle to back himself up putting shittier demons in their place."

"I make it a point to do just that." Alastor went back to watering.

"You're lucky people steer clear of you when you go for a walk - I get out there and every other jerk is offering me money for a quickie. Sometimes I just want to be off and get a coffee and take Nuggets for a stroll, you know?" Angel smiled at Nuggets who was rolling on his back in the mud and sniffing the dead grass.

"On the contrary!" Alastor shook his head as he finished watering the final row. "I find good conversation very entertaining. But when no one will even stop to say hello to you, it gets quite boring. Why do you think I'm out here with you right now?"

Angel blinked then raised an eyebrow. "You like talking to me?"

"Well, you are the funniest." Alastor's eyes hazed and Angel Dust flushed slightly. "Ha!" Alastor laughed. "Except for me of course! Really don't flatter yourself - you're just the best of a bad situation!"

"Right, Smiles…" Angel grinned, his eyes hazed. "Whatever you say. Maybe one day you and I should go for a walk together. Really freak everyone out!"

"Hmm, now that sounds like it could be very entertaining."

As Angel moved to stand, all of the saplings planted, Alastor held out a hand and helped him up. They shared a very intrigued smile, and Fat Nuggets oinked.


Inside of the hotel, Charlie watched the scene from a window with her eyes wide. Vaggie watched with her jaw fallen.

"Aye, que…" She shook her head. "What sick trick…"

"Not a trick." Charlie shook her head, beaming. "They're smiling."

"Alastor always smiles. And Angel's probably just thinking about sex."

"No, they're just talking! Opening up! It's therapeutic!" She gasped and backed away. "We can't interfere. Let's just pretend we saw nothing. It's too delicate, I won't risk ruining it."

"But Alastor alone with anyone is bad news!" Vaggie gestured out the window with a frustrated pout.

"Or the start of a new best friendship!" Charlie held up her arms, excited. "Imagine if we reformed Angel AND the Radio Demon too!"

Vaggie's look went dry. "Alastor eats people."

"Never say never!" Charlie pumped her fist in the air. "Now come on…" she tiptoed backward, whispering. "We can't risk upsetting the balance!" She slowly backed away, and with a sigh Vaggie followed.


In the bar, Nifty watched from a window while Husk drank straight from a bottle. Nifty bounced up and down. "I think Mister Alastor made a friend! With Miss Angel Dust!"

Husk lowered the bottle. "I don't care. If that idiot spider wants to screw up his whole afterlife like we did ours by making a deal…"

"No, no deals! They're gardening!" Nifty zipped around the bar. "This is so exciting!"

Husk paused. He glanced out the window and blinked. Then he suspiciously eyed the bottle he was holding. Then he slowly poured it out down the sink. "This is weird. I'm going to my room."

Nifty just giggled and zipped over to the window again. "I hope Miss Angel Dust will be our new mommy!"

Husk grumbled and shook his head. "If Al doesn't eat him, it'll be a miracle."

Nifty watched outside as Al and Angel continued to garden until finally Angel scooped up Fat Nuggets, and they all strolled inside together.


A/N:

That's all for now! I may do a little sequel chapter. I made up the names for the sheep demon and fish demon, but I've got a head canon that Al reacted so strongly to the sheep's situation in part because she has a southern accent). Thank you for reading 3