there's a ringing in her ears that makes it hard to focus, and there's not enough air in her lungs no matter how hard she inhales. her hands tremble from however many punches she landed on sahaquiel. she won't slip back into her demon form, the pain will remind her of why she did this, why the mortal is staring at her with a haunted look.
the name leaves her lips in a breathy whisper, a thin film of guilt coating her words. not that she'd ever be sorry for giving the angel what she deserves, but rather regretful that joohyun has to see her like this.
as a demon.
a wail of sirens approaches in the distance as seungwan pushes herself to her feet with much difficulty. sahaquiel did a fair share of damage to her as well, she's certain that she had a broken rib and a fracture or two. staggering towards joohyun, she wonders how she'll be able to explain this, but joohyun takes a tentative step backwards as she draws close.
"stay away from me."
seungwan reels at the crack in her voice — she's crying now. the devil raises her hand with the intention to wipe away her tears but joohyun swats her hand away roughly.
"i said stay away from me!" the mortal screams, "don't ever come near me again!"
joohyun pushes past her to kneel beside the angel, calling out for anyone to help. a flock of mortals push past her as well and she can only stand and watch in silence. the angel can't die, but considering the wounds the demon has inflicted, she would need time to heal as a mortal.
was this the angels' plan all along? to get her all riled up so that she would hurt them in front of joohyun, exposing her for what she truly is? and then, joohyun would want nothing to do with her.
because it worked, she played right into their hands.
seungwan grits her teeth, is happiness for one lifetime too much to ask for? her punishment for betraying god has rippled across time, and it has yet to stop — maybe it will never stop.
a presence approaching from behind draws her from her thoughts, one sniff and the scent of divinity wafts up into her nostrils. with a harsh blue glow pouring from her irises, a sobered up byulyi comes up beside her. her wrath is oozing at the seams, an aura of vengeance that is hard to ignore, but she wants answers first.
"why?" the angel asks quietly.
"why?" seungwan repeats with a mirthless laugh, "i should be asking you that."
"i won't ask again." byulyi threatens lowly, "why did you do this, lucifer?"
the sirens are closing in. seungwan in a deep breath and looks towards the road where joohyun is still crying, worriedly hovering over her friend. sahaquiel's words replay in her head — she deserves lifetimes without you in it.
why did she do this?
to defend a love that joohyun knows nothing of?
no, this isn't about joohyun, or any of her previous lives. it has never been about her. this is about lucifer and her unwillingness to let go — this is her being selfish.
"because you keep trying to take her from me." there's a sharp ache in her jaw as she chokes back a sob and she looks at byulyi with reddened eyes, "i don't need her to love me, the chances of that happening are one in a thousand lifetimes. i just want to be with her, regardless of what happens, why is that so much to ask for?"
her chest hurts, sorrow and heartbreak flittering between her ribs. the moment she broke her halo, she knew that there would be a price to pay. what she didn't know was suffering through eons of grief would not be enough, nothing would ever be enough. she could fight and struggle all she wants, or stand by and watch her pass through, but the only way to truly end it is with death.
"it's not." byulyi rests a hand on her shoulder lightly, "i trust sahaquiel's judgment with my life but... not when it comes to you. love isn't just for mortals, luc."
seungwan takes a moment to process her words and her heart sinks at the realisation. heaven will once again be thrown into chaos should another angel of the seraphim fall. the demons would rejoice but she finds it hard to feel happy when someone might end up like her. leliel has treated her with more kindness and understanding than she deserves. this is a fate that she wouldn't wish upon anybody, not even her worst enemies.
she faces the angel of the night with a tightened jaw, "you don't want this."
"i think i do, i wouldn't be here with her if i didn't." byulyi conjures a small smile that fades a mere second later, "which is why i have to do this for yongsun."
the angel takes slow steps towards her companion, the azure glow of her eyes dimming as she turns to face the devil. in one swift motion, she lifts her leg and twists her body to send her foot slamming into the side of seungwan's head. the sheer force of the kick sends the devil to the ground where her arm takes most of the impact. she writhes in pain and gasps at the sudden hit.
"no hard feelings, luc."
not at all, she thinks. this is nothing compared to what she did. seungwan flips herself to lay on her back with her arms and legs outstretched. her limbs are heavy and her body hurts, bearable, but it still hurts. staring into the darkness of the heavens, she considers the truth in sahaquiel's words.
maybe they are no good for each other.
she shuts her eyes and draws up the memory of joohyun's sleepy smile as she's buried under a comfortable duvet. that joohyun isn't mad at her, that joohyun still wants her around, that joohyun waited for her to come back.
a single tear slides down her cheek and she slams a fist against the ground.
there's always someone else to blame — god, the angels, the fates.
tonight, she's the reason why that version of joohyun will only exist in her head.
yongsun is transported into emergency care while joohyun and byulyi are directed to the waiting area. the mortal can't bring herself to look her taller friend in the eye, she brought seungwan to meet them, she caused this. the demon is nowhere to be seen and for once, joohyun actually feels relieved.
"byul... i'm sorry..." joohyun starts an apology with a soft murmur, "i didn't know she would be capable of this..."
didn't think that the devil would be ruthless enough to beat her human friend to a pulp?
deep down, a part of her thinks she knows though. the first day when seungwan brought her to the ninth circle, she broke someone's arm like a twig. the devil has no regard for mortals, from messing with her every day to threatening her friends at their first meeting, all of those were mere preludes to this very night. joohyun chose to ignore the red flags and give her chance after chance, thinking that the devil isn't as wicked as humans make her out to be.
but she's wrong, and now yongsun is paying for her mistakes.
"it's not your fault." byulyi pulls her in for a tight hug, allowing her to press her face into her chest, "we don't know what happened between them."
joohyun tries to muster up a response but it escapes as a strangled jumble that neither one can decipher, but the angel has a rough sense of the immense guilt and fear that is weighing down on her.
"it's okay," byulyi coos and runs a hand down her back, "nothing bad will happen to yong."
but everything bad has already happened.
she lets byulyi guide them to a row of chairs where they sit and wait for news about yongsun. joohyun thinks about what she would do if seungwan ever shows up again — if she even has the audacity to show up. the image of the vicious look in her eyes when she looks up from yongsun's bloody body is seared into her mind, what would've happened if she didn't stop? her stomach lurches at the thought and she buries her head in her hands.
she hopes seungwan never shows up again.
they sit there for a long time before a doctor arrives with an update — yongsun is going to be fine. a broken nose, fractured cheekbones and jaw, the damage to her face is extensive so it'll take weeks for her to completely heal.
varying shades of bruises dot her skin as yongsun sleeps with multiple bandages secured over her face. it's a sickening sight and joohyun has to fight the urge to break down in front of byulyi. it doesn't matter what the brunette says to reassure her, she's the reason that yongsun is lying in a hospital bed tonight.
"i'll stay with her." byulyi says quietly as she takes yongsun's hand into hers.
"it's okay, i promise." she nods, "it's been a long night, come back tomorrow when she's awake."
joohyun shifts her feet uncertainly, it didn't feel right to leave byulyi here alone when this is her fault. even if she couldn't do anything, she wants to be here for her friends.
"go home, joohyun." the angel sighs as she gently pushes the stubborn mortal out of the room. joohyun wants to protest but byulyi pats her on the back lightly, urging her with a soft tone, "get some sleep, we'll figure things out tomorrow."
looping her arms around the taller girl's neck, joohyun embraces her tightly, hoping that it would be enough to convey a million apologies that are perched on the tip of her tongue. exhaling slowly, she releases byulyi and bites her lower lip.
"call me if anything happens?"
"i will, now go on." byulyi waves her away and shuts the door behind her.
joohyun lingers for a moment, peering through the window in the door before deciding that it's best she leaves. pulling her jacket tighter around herself, she heads for the exit.
the familiar voice of the devil sends her heart plummeting into her stomach, joohyun swivels around sharply to see seungwan standing at the entrance to the hospital. she's still in her bloodstained clothes, and there's remnants of blood on her skin like she spared no effort to get it off. the usual red glow of her eyes is still absent, meaning that she's still in her human form.
it acts as a harsh reminder that this demon is merely wearing the skin of a human, no matter how silly or lighthearted she may act, it does not change the fact that she is still the devil.
balling her hand into fists, joohyun's nails dig into the skin of her palm, certain to leave a mark. there's so many things she wishes she could say, curses she could freely spew, but none of them will help the situation they're in now.
instead, joohyun swallows the lump in and mumbles almost inaudibly, "leave."
the mortal isn't looking for a fight with the otherworldly being. as much as she wishes she could demand answers, she's afraid of what seungwan — or lucifer, would do. the damage has already been dealt, and she can only stop it from getting worse.
"hyun... please..." seungwan reaches out for joohyun's hand, but the latter acts as if she's been scalded and escapes her hold with a firm shrug.
the mortal glares at her with eyes shimmering with tears. "don't hyun me," she warns lowly, "i trusted you and you made me a promise. maybe it's something that you take lightly, but when i make a promise, i don't break it. especially when i know it's important."
seungwan's shoulders sag and she shakes her head, "i really did try and i wish i could explain things... but i can't..."
"don't bother," joohyun hisses, "just stay away from me and my friends."
with joohyun's refusal to listen, seungwan has no choice but to let her walk away. her figure disappears into a cab moments later and the devil is left all alone again. a cruel twist of fate as always, seungwan shuts her eyes at the epiphany.
the fates don't want her dead, they want her to let go.
took my time with this one, i think i write a lot faster when it comes to angst.
wanna make this very clear before i dive into the actual conflict resolution, i'm not looking for criticism ok. i'm going to write what feels right to me, this is a fanfic at the end of the day, i'm here to have fun. if at any point you decide to stop reading for whatever reason, i don't need to know either. it's not that serious, nobody has been critical but i just don't want a repeat of what happened with kiyub. i'm sharing this au in hopes that people will enjoy it as much as i do, that's all. hope i don't sound harsh, i just don't want this fic to become something i even think of deleting.
on the brighter side of things, pvris is releasing new music soon and i'm super excited. a lot of their songs just fit the vibes of this fic, and i think 'stay gold' is an appropriate song rec for today.
anyway, sorry for the ramble, thanks for reading!