take a gamble

all we need of hell

it is a worrying sight when hell is the most peaceful of all realms.

 

some hellions linger, ones that don’t care for revenge or mindless violence. making their way through the circles without being seen was hard even with burger around, but it’s safe to assume that if they’re not up there, then they’re on joohyun’s side. anyone not trying to kill her can be considered an ally at this point.

 

lucifer’s mansion is empty as one would expect, sahaquiel tracks blood across the floor but given the nightmare they’ve just been through, leaving a mess is hardly a concern. 

 

the angel lets joohyun down on the plush couch before plopping down beside her. burger joins them on the floor, staying near as if to keep an eye on the two. neither of them speaks, both taking time to gather their thoughts and have a moment to breathe without the threat of a demon trying to kill them.

 

joohyun trembles, the horrors of an otherworldly war are freshly ingrained in her memory and she wonders when she closes her eyes would the only thing she sees be those terrible creatures? seungwan hasn’t done the most fantastic job of convincing her that demons aren’t as evil as mortals make them out to be but everything she’s experienced today makes it seem that her demon was an exception. the memory of countless decapitated bodies lining the streets haunts her and joohyun has to ball her hands into fists to steady herself. 

 

yongsun rests a hand on her arm slowly in order not to startle her and it’s coupled with a reassuring squeeze. 

 

“it’s been a long day but you’re safe now and we will fix things.”

 

the soothing words of yongsun touch her ears and all it once, the emotions that she had set aside come rushing forth. joohyun allows herself to cry, a heart-wrenching wail rips from and a surge of tears leave streaks down her cheek. 

 

the flittering heartache that she ignored while she was running for her life returns in suffocating grief. it is only now that joohyun realise just how much she needs seungwan, how much the entire universe needs her. it’s been two days since she vanished, and everything is wrong without her presence. 

 

perhaps what makes everything feel worse is the sheer amount of demons clamouring for revenge. seungwan was loved by hundreds, if not thousands and yet, she still chose to stick by a mortal who didn’t reciprocate her feelings until it was too late. joohyun stills, the sinking realisation devours her and the final memory she has of seungwan resurfaces. seungwan was aware that she was going to vanish, and she was terrified but even in the face of death, her last words to joohyun were of love. 

 

that alone is enough to allow regret to eat at her, but to only be able to grasp the depth of her love after she’s gone breaks her.

 

yongsun slips an arm around her, allowing joohyun to fall apart entirely. she was not made for chaos, no mortal is and the turmoil she faces is unlike anything in this world. but her soul will always be tangled with matters of the other realms, this is the fate that lucifer chose for them.

 


 

the tears eventually stop, her body is too exhausted and the world spins in spite of her being stationary. looking down, joohyun finally notices that the wound that yerim inflicted on her has bled through the dressings, leaving a large red stain on her shirt.

 

yongsun traces her gaze and immediately demands, “who did this?” 

 

despite not being in the best shape herself, her friend’s well-being is of more concern.

 

joohyun grunts as she aids yongsun in manoeuvring out of her clothes, “yerim.”

 

of all demons, it seems fitting that baal would be the first one who lays a hand on joohyun.

 

kneeling beside her, the angel removes the bandages and gauze from joohyun’s wound, assessing it with a grim expression. it’s deeper than she expects, whatever joohyun is going through emotionally must hurt more than an injury like this.

 

“don’t look,” yongsun warns before lighting her hand up with arcane light. a sudden pain in her soul elicits a wince but the angel ignores it in favour of healing joohyun.

 

her wound tickles when yongsun touches her hand to it and joohyun has to look away thanks to the bright glow but whatever yongsun is doing is easing the pain. the dizziness she felt moments ago begins to dissipate as well. 

 

the angel manages to stop the bleeding but an attempt to fully heal the wound causes her to double over as she clutches her chest.

 

“yong?” joohyun gasps as she tries to steady her friend, “you’re hurt too.”

 

sahaquiel nods, “i’ll be fine.”

 

it’s half a lie, joohyun doesn’t need to know that she might have ruined all her progress when it comes to healing her soul.

 

the mortal eases her back onto the couch and releases a slow exhale. the reality of their situation begins to seep in once again but she doesn’t feel as distressed with yongsun around.

 

“what do we do now, yong?” joohyun murmurs, “i doubt the demons will stop until i’m dead.”

 

sahaquiel purses her lips, there is some truth to her words but the seraph has witnessed destruction of this scale before. many lives were lost but ultimately, they survived. 

 

and they will again.

 

“if we can keep you safe for long enough, eventually the seraphim will step in. with azrael’s help, they should be able to force them back. lots of people will die but it will end.” she proposes, hesitating slightly, “but there is an alternative, although it’s a gamble.”

 

joohyun leans closer, quirking a brow, “what is it?”

 

“i take you into the realm of the fates and you strike a deal with them.”

 

silence devours the room as joohyun tries to understand it in her own, mortal way but the seraph sees the confusion on her face and laughs softly. patting her thigh lightly, yongsun explains it as simply as she can.

 

“if you have something they want, then they might agree to bring lucifer back.”

 

the mortal stitches her brows in perplexity, “but seulgi said her soul can’t exist anywhere…”

 

yongsun’s aura shifts and her expression twists into a knowing smile. there are perks to being one of the first few angels created by god, mainly that the fates favour them as well.

 

“who do you think forces demons to obey when they’re commanded under a pact? rules are warped in the realm of the fates, and they do as they please.” the seraph muses, “it’s worth a shot, lucifer did manage to get a deal to have your soul reincarnated.”

 

joohyun’s lips curl into a smile, she grins at the thought of being able to get seungwan back and it feels like a weight has been lifted off of her shoulders.

 

“you should’ve told me this before i started crying.” she mutters with a shake of her head.

 

a smile tugs at her lips and the seraph raises her shoulders, “it might not work, the angels at the archive might stop you or the fates choose not to bring lucifer back. things may go awry when you’re in their realm, you could end up giving your life up for her.”

 

“if that happens… then it’s only fair.” joohyun swallows, “i’ll find her again in my next life.”

 

“don’t say that. your life, this life, is worth something too.” yongsun clicks her teeth sharply, “we will get her back.”

 

a warmth spreads through her chest and joohyun throws herself towards the angel, causing them both to wince before breaking into a fit of giggles. an embrace is long overdue and suddenly, everything feels like it’s going to be alright.

 


 

they spare a moment to patch up their wounds and change out of their blood-soaked clothes — can’t save the world if they’re on the verge of death themselves.

 

joohyun ends up in one of seungwan’s many grunge t-shirts, and adorning her favourite leather jacket makes her feel like she’s dressing up as the devil. if the circumstances were different, she would’ve complained. but the devil’s scent lingers on her clothes, and it brings comfort to joohyun.

 

“she needs a wider selection of clothes, take her shopping when she’s back…” yongsun mutters in disdain, tugging away at the offensive fabric. 

 

the angel has no choice but to change into lucifer’s clothes as well, her robes are stained beyond help and her magic is unfortunately at her limit so cleaning them won’t be possible.

 

joohyun chuckles and retorts, “as if she’s going to pick out anything but black clothes?”

 

the seraph shrugs and sighs, well aware of how stubborn lucifer can be. “well then, are we ready to go get your girlfriend back?”

 

“she’s not my girlfriend.” joohyun is quick to deny, but the flush on her face seems to convince yongsun otherwise.

 

“you cried your heart out an hour ago,” yongsun quips, “i’ve never seen you cry over anyone like that, including that one boy in high school.”

 

joohyun narrows her eyes and mutters, “shut up… let’s go already…” 

 

as they prepare to warp into the far shore, a whimper interrupts them. burger trots towards them and shoots joohyun a pleading look. for a moment, she’s reminded of how seungwan looks when she’s begging for permission to do something stupid.

 

“are dogs allowed?” joohyun asks.

 

the seraph sighs in exasperation, the hound falls under a grey area when it comes to rules but they can be bent.

 

“bring him.”

 

she’s seen seungwan do this many times before, executing it won’t be too hard. joohyun extends her hands out to catch burger as he shrinks into her grasp. she then proceeds to put him in the pocket of seungwan’s leather jacket, and after ensuring he’s all tucked in, she gives yongsun a nod.

 

the world spins as they leave the underworld and joohyun braces herself for the far shore.

 


 

the seraph carries joohyun with one arm as she flies through the hazy realm. the air is freezing but thankfully burger is as warm or if not warmer than seungwan. the mortal feels uneasy, the whole place feels eerie but she trusts that yongsun knows where she’s headed even though it all looks the same to her.

 

eventually, a large colonial building comes into view and yongsun dives toward it. joohyun screams at the abrupt dip and the seraph has to clamp a hand over .

 

landing with a soft thud, sahaquiel smiles sheepishly at the mortal who looks as if she’s just been through a plane crash. for months, she’s been surrounded by celestials, she forgets that joohyun isn’t used to flying.

 

pushing past the tall double doors, yongsun leads her into the archives where all eyes instantly fall upon the pair. the scent of humanity infecting a realm of celestials causes tension in the atmosphere.

 

the seraph pushes her behind, allowing joohyun to hide behind her wings. it takes no more than a second for a certain cherub to appear, no doubt that she too has sensed joohyun’s presence as well. 

 

“what is the meaning of this, sahaquiel?” yves demands, unafraid to raise her voice against a disgraced seraph.

 

following the suspension of her duties, the angel of the sky has lost the respect of many angels, including ones in the far shore. to bring the soul of lilith to their doorstep will certainly incur their wrath but as of now, with the world thrown into chaos, sahaquiel is a seraph that outranks them all. 

 

“i am sure you have heard news of lucifer’s death, the demons are running amok on earth and the seraphim have allowed azrael to kill. she faces baal as we speak and even if she manages to kill her, the other demons will not stop.”

 

the cherub stiffens and exhales, “what do you intend to do?”

 

“allow joohyun into the realm of the fates.” sahaquiel tightens her jaw, “let her speak with them.”

 

the decision lies with the head of the archives and the cherub isn’t keen on the idea. alongside her duties of maintaining the archive, she acts as a gatekeeper to the fates.

 

“no,” the response sends joohyun’s heart to the depths of her stomach, she cowers behind yongsun as the angel locks eyes with her, “no mortal has been allowed an audience with them and it should not change solely for lucifer.”

 

sahaquiel scoffs incredulously, “you would rather have another war on your hands than to let a mortal speak with them? you have not gone through the horrors faced by the seraphs, have you? baal alone almost killed two seraphs, and until now they have not recovered even a fraction of their strength. are you sure you are willing to risk azrael?"

 

the angels of the far shore fall silent like their leader, everyone knows how lucifer wounded sahaquiel but they never expect the same fate to befall one of their own. the cherub’s face is devoid of emotions as she considers sahaquiel’s words.

 

“cast your prejudice aside, yves, or i will report this to the council as an act of disobedience. in case you are unaware, in times of anarchy, all punishments are nullified.” the seraph warns, “we need lucifer back and joohyun is our only hope.”

 

the threat alongside everything sahaquiel has pointed out leaves yves no choice but to agree. begrudingly, she beckons them to follow her into the upper floors.

 

they are led to her office where the entrance to the realm of the fates lies. resting against the right wall, a door opens up into what seems like a pitch-black void. sahaquiel lets joohyun down but she notices worry stitched into the mortal's brows. it's natural for her to be afraid, the seraph was once apprehensive to enter their realm as well.

 

resting a hand on her shoulder, yongsun reassures her gently, “don’t worry, it looks scary but once they sense you, they will appear.”

 

nodding slowly, joohyun musters up her courage, reminding herself that she has to do this for seungwan. inhaling deeply, she steps into the darkness without looking back.

 


end notes:

yongsun has been redeemed, i rest my case.
funny how this is a wr fic but seungwan hasn't been around for like 5 chapters.

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ILJIDO
it's been 30 chapters and they haven't kissed, is this counted as slowburn?
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