the absence of the devil has forced joohyun to halt in her step. winding her head, she spots her pressing her face up to a glass window of a nearby cafe. the mortal is used to her antics by now, she has a tendency to disappear whenever something interesting catches her attention.
doubling back, joohyun joins seungwan in staring into a cafe full of patrons. the ones seated in front of her are scowling and joohyun quickly shoots them an apologetic smile before tugging the demon away.
"you're being weird," joohyun hisses, "if you wanna stare, can you do it from a distance?"
seungwan grumbles unwillingly but still allows joohyun to pull her aside. no matter, she materializes a pair of binoculars in her hands and continues her not so discreet spying. the mortal stitches her brows in confusion as she tries to follow seungwan's gaze. squinting hard, it takes less than five seconds to realise what's going on.
she nudges seungwan lightly and the devil automatically hands over the binoculars. raising it to her eyes, she gets a good look at the people in the cafe, scanning through the crowd until she spots a familiar face.
byulyi is back on earth, and she's with ryujin.
"do i have permission to be nosy?"
nodding, joohyun shoves her in the direction of the entrance. "yes, permission granted, find out for the both of us."
seungwan wills the binoculars out of existence and clasp her fingers around joohyun's wrist, guiding them into the cafe with hurried strides. the cafe isn't all that crowded but there is still a considerable amount of patrons around, joohyun jumps into line to get them drinks while seungwan finds them a table.
truthfully, they should've swapped roles. seungwan picks the worst possible table for discreet spying — the one right next to the two beings. the mortal widens her eyes and shakes her head desperately but it's too late.
"lucifer?" leliel blurts in surprise, the corners of lifting pleasantly. it's been a little over two months since the seraphs received their punishments and while sahaquiel is stilled banned from the mortal realm, leliel got assigned to watch over a human.
the devil's gaze flits from the blue-eyed angel to the demon posing as a mortal, "what are you two doing here?"
just when ryujin thinks her date can't get any worse, of course, her boss shows up as well. sighing, she looks to the two seraphic beings and mumbles.
"i'm dating her charge."
"you're what?" seungwan gasps loudly, earning looks from just about everyone in the cafe. if she turns to the side, she would catch a scary glare from joohyun. thankfully, her mind is too occupied with the bomb that has just been dropped.
a hand clamps over and ryujin shushes her with widened eyes, "i'm begging you guys to not paint me as a psych ward escapee. i like her, okay? it's that simple."
the angel and devil's gaze catches and leliel raises her shoulders slightly. "i don't know, luc, she doesn't have the cleanest reputation amongst demons."
with everything ryujin has done for her and joohyun, who would seungwan be if she didn't stand up for her demonic underling? she appears before leliel in a split second and lifts the angel by the collar of her shirt to threaten her.
"i have no interest in flirting with death again," seungwan warns lowly, "but if you force my hand, then i will."
"we could settle this over darts, luc. i have barely a tenth of my powers now." sighs leliel as she raises her arm, heavy golden bracelets hover around her wrist, weakening her to the likes of a low-ranking angel.
right, seungwan completely forgot about their punishments. shrugging, she drawls, "you guys were s for lying to joohyun for half her life, can't say you don't deserve this."
"fair point, but you don't have to kick me when i'm down."
someone clearing their throat from behind the trio catches their attention and seungwan winds her head to look. hissing through clenched teeth, joohyun warns.
"seungwan, put her down and act normal."
with two steaming cups of coffee in hand, joohyun approaches them with a young girl following closely behind her, seemingly unaware that her guardian angel is currently on the brink of a tussle with the devil.
the mortals settle down while the devil releases her grip, allowing leliel to fall. the demons struggle to pretend to be normal, no mortal except joohyun can see leliel so seungwan is acting very oddly in the eyes of a human. leliel snorts loudly and wishes them good luck whilst scrambling to her feet. thankfully, despite the strange sight they returned to, joohyun is able to help angle the situation back to normal.
"this is ryujin's girlfriend, jisu. we talked a little just now," the mortal informs with a smile, "and jisu, this is seungwan."
the brunette girl with a gummy smile that is supposedly ryujin's girlfriend extends a hand out, "ryujin never mentioned an older sister, i'm jisu. choi jisu. it's nice to meet you, unnie."
she's lived for a long time, lived through many different lives, but being called unnie is... new. seungwan accepts her handshake tentatively and glances at ryujin who is silently pleading for her to go along with the lie. well, her girlfriend seems pleasant enough and she has just the thing to get back at ryujin for hiding her girl from the entirety of hell.
"right, um, i was abroad for a little while. i came back recently and didn't think i would bump into ryujin here." seungwan lies fluently, "oh, and this is my girlfriend, joohyun."
"an amazing liar as always, luc." leliel lifts her thumbs encouragingly as she stands behind her charge.
seungwan shoots her a sharp glare while the two pairs exchange formalities with polite smiles. before joohyun can try to excuse them, seungwan descends into an interrogation, questioning jisu about everything and anything concerning ryujin and their relationship. the young mortal is too nice to not respond to seungwan's questions, genuinely believing that the two demons are related. leliel sits back and enjoys it all, it's a nice break from third wheeling her charge and the half-demon all the time.
sensing that the two seraphic beings are bent on tormenting her, ryujin turns to the only one she can trust. mouthing a discreet help me, ryujin begs the reincarnation of the queen of demons to save her. pitying her, joohyun swoops in to end her misery.
"babe," joohyun interrupts sweetly, reaching out to place her hand over seungwan's, "we were going to catch a movie, right? maybe we should leave them to their date." she emphasises the words their date and if looks could kill, seungwan would've been dead ten times over.
the words click in her head and the epiphany dawns upon the talkative demon. this is not a threat but rather a bribe. for the low price of being called babe, seungwan willingly grants her charge's unofficial wish.
the devil clears and blabbers, "y-yeah, of course, babe. slipped my mind, we're going to be late. we'll catch up another time, ryu. nice meeting you too, jisu, take care of ryujin. let's arrange dinner sometime soon! gotta go, bye!"
it takes no more than a few seconds for them to get out of their seats and seungwan is shoving them back to the cold outdoors. she slips back into her semi-demon form to bounce excitedly on her feet, her glee threatening to burst at the seams. her eyes shimmer with joy as she points a finger towards herself.
"babe? you really called me babe? me?" she blabbers, "me, joohyun?"
joohyun cracks into a smile at her literally jumping for joy, nodding, she scoffs. "well, someone had to get you to shut up to put ryujin out of her misery. can you get byul out of there too?"
the angel waves at them through the window, almost as if she's bidding them goodbye. a disappointed sigh leaves and she folds her arms across her chest stubbornly. it's not a wish, or a command, so seungwan isn't obliged to obey.
"i don't know, can i?" she mocks, "guardian angels aren't technically allowed to leave their charge's side."
what she's yet to realise is that with one single endearment, joohyun has the king of hell wrapped around her finger.
curse her for being whipped, curse her for folding at the slightest hint of affection. despite her incessant grumbling, seungwan teleports into the cafe and grabs byulyi in a headlock before returning to joohyun's side.
"one angel, like you requested." seungwan announces while byulyi tries to free herself from the demon's hold, but with her weakened state, it's a futile struggle.
"yah! i didn't mean drag her out in a headlock! let her go!" joohyun cries and smacks seungwan's arm to free the angel from her. the devil lets her go and wrinkles her nose slightly.
stumbling slightly, a soft chuckle escapes byulyi as straightens herself up. she shoots the couple with a warm smile and mumbles, "thank you, it's nice to see you again, joohyun."
without the distraction of ryujin and her date, joohyun is finally allowed to fully take in byulyi's presence. she looks the same, the only exception being her eyes that glow with a lovely azure hue. life without her two friends have been much lonelier and while seungwan does a good job of keeping the loneliness at bay, there is a void that even the devil herself is incapable of filling. the urge to cry washes over her and she throws herself into the angel's chest, wrapping her arms around the taller being's neck.
"i missed you, byul-ah."
taken aback, it takes a moment for the seraph to react but her hands eventually find their way around the small of her back to reciprocate the sudden embrace. ignoring the ominous glare from seungwan, she draws in a deep breath into her lungs and nods, "i missed you too."
"you two should totally go get caught up, holler if you need me." seungwan mutters bitterly from the side.
joohyun pulls away from byulyi with a sharp click of her teeth, "you're not spying on ryujin, we're all going to get caught up."
"i can't leave jisu alone."
"she has ryujin, she'll be fine." joohyun grabs the two seraphic beings by the wrists and yanks them towards a different cafe, "you two need to learn to leave them alone." she mutters.
byulyi throws seungwan a knowing glance and the devil merely shrugs. what a sight to behold — two powerful beings obeying the will of a mortal. perhaps it's not a stretch to say that there's a very good chance that one day, the entirety of heaven and hell will bow to lilith's soul.
byulyi starts their conversation with an apology, things have certainly changed over months that she and yongsun have been gone, a proper apology from the both of them is long overdue. she proceeds to introduce herself as leliel, the angel of night while yongsun is sahaquiel, the angel of the sky.
but joohyun doesn't care for that.
"are we still friends?" is the only thing she asks.
she wishes she could hate yongsun for trying to kill her, she wishes she could hate the both of them for lying to her, but two months without them and joohyun misses their friendship more than anything. with everything seungwan told her about their past, she can understand the animosity the angels have harbored towards them.
byulyi bobs her head and with a resounding yes, she says, "i'm sure yong would say yes too, but you won't be seeing her for a couple of lifetimes."
"where is she?"
"stuck in heaven, she's banned from the mortal realm for a millennium as punishment." byulyi raises an eyebrow, "i'm pretty sure heaven sent luc a letter regarding out punishments."
joohyun throws a glance at the devil who rubs the nape of her neck sheepishly, said letter that she skimmed through and burnt within thirty seconds of its arrival.
"all we needed to know was that there's no war," seungwan mumbles defensively.
byulyi chuckles, "good to know that you didn't wage one, the seraphim were afraid of a war too, that's why they spared joohyun and sooyoung."
"oh we weren't afraid, my kings were raring to go."
"not so good to know," byulyi murmurs while taking a sip of her drink, "so how have things been for you two?"
joohyun updates her the things they've been up to, or rather what she's been up to. putting aside the fact that her friends pretty much disappeared into thin air, school has been manageable with seungwan's help. life is the same as usual, if one can ignore daily flirtatious remarks from the devil.
byulyi gives them an update regarding their relationship. much to seungwan's delight, what she said during her fight with sahaquiel helped them to realise that what they feel for each other is more than just devotion. though, they're still taking things in stride for fear of the rest of the seraphim finding out. her current task it to watch over choi jisu, a klutz of a mortal, and it's not as dreary since the girl is dating a half-demon.
put it simply, things are far from perfect but at least they're all doing well. they make a promise to hang out every week, if not for joohyun then for ryujin, the poor demon should be allowed some time alone with her girlfriend. joohyun asks byulyi to convey her well wishes to yongsun, even if they might not see each other again, she wants to thank the angel for their friendship. joohyun thinks she'll be fine without human friends, after all, these otherworldly entities have cared for her more than a regular human would.
with that, they part ways with a tight embrace and their hearts feeling a little lighter from a much needed conversation.
they end their night with a trip to the movies, seungwan forces them to watch yet another horror film, just because she got jealous of joohyun hugging leliel today. the mortal can whine about her choice of film as much as she wants, as long as seungwan gets her well-deserved hug too.
with one foot in the door of the apartment, the devil is in the midst of mocking joohyun's reactions when she stops abruptly. the acrid scent of divinity wafts into her nostrils and a distinct, archaic fear strikes her heart. it's unlike the threat of sahaquiel, this one is one that would unnerve yerim as well. seungwan quickly pushes joohyun behind her while she steps into the apartment cautiously. flicking the lights on, they find a blue-eyed angel standing in the middle of the living room.
with platinum grey hair hanging over her shoulders, the embodiment of perfection turns to face them with a stoic expression. despite being a good distance away, seungwan can still feel her thirst for blood seeping into the air around them. she's definitely holding back the urge to rip the devil's soul out right now, not a comforting fact to know.
"w-who's that?" joohyun chances a question as she tries to peer past seungwan's shoulders.
"another one of the seraphim," seungwan reluctantly replies. one that she's definitely not able to fight alone, or even with a legion of demons standing with her. she doesn't say it out loud, no need to worry joohyun with the fact that this angel scares just about everyone in hell.
"where's the file, lucifer?" the angel of death asks, hints of a threat are unintentionally laced into her words.
, her voice is still terrifying even after all these years. seungwan narrows her eyes and she swallows, "what file?"
"bae joohyun's redacted file."
her memories come flooding back all at once, getting yerim to investigate the seraphs, stealing a redacted file from the far shore, and keeping that file in her damn drawer. once again, the consequences of her stupidity have come back to bite her in the . of course, of all angels, the ones in charge of maintaining the archive would send azrael to reclaim the missing file.
"what is she talking about, seungwan?"
she should've returned the file when she could, how the hell is she going to explain to joohyun that she had access to an archive of her entire life, including some very private information that she's yet to share? joohyun would have her head, but she can deal with joohyun's wrath later, she has more dire things to worry about now, like stopping azrael from taking another step closer.
"i'll explain later," seungwan whispers to joohyun before turning her attention to the angel, raising a hand in surrender, "nobody needs to get hurt, azrael. the file you want is down in hell."
"it's olivia hye now," azrael corrects and returns to the matter at hand, "did you read its contents?"
seungwan quickly shakes her head, thank she didn't, the angel of death can spot a lie from a mile away and even if yerim and seulgi rushed to the surface, they wouldn't be fast enough to stop az— olivia hye, from committing murder.
"good, give them back now." olivia commands sternly and grabs the devil by the collar of her shirt to drag her back down to hell. the ground swallows them whole and joohyun is left to process everything that's just happened.
if there's anything she's learnt from the past few months, it's that another angel appearing is a bad omen.
idk i don't have much to say abt this one,,, i'm just slowing down a little because i don't have the next conflict thought out properly, not gonna rush into that until i'm 80% sure it's not going to flop :/