The world is ending, but Jimin doesn’t care. He hasn’t cared about anything for a long time. Hell is empty now, demons clawing and ripping at humanity while the fires of sin roar uncontrollably across the earth and devour everything they can, but this is the third apocalypse in the past century, and he’s grown bored of them. Heaven’s Finest always find a way to seal up the gates of Hell again, to restore order, to save the world and stop the demons, so there’s really no point in getting his hands dirty.
Taehyung and Seokjin disagreed. They’re probably out there among the flames right now, picking souls like berries from a bush and reveling in the world’s destruction.
“Who knows,” Seokjin had said. “Maybe the world really will end this time.”
Jimin had just shrugged and gone back to reading some stolen books. He doesn’t care either way. There are only so many souls one can take before they begin to spoil. The demon that had claimed this house had one too many spoiled souls, becoming almost feral, and Jimin had torn his face from his body, watching the ruined souls fade away into dust as they escaped their host. He’d done so out of boredom, but the house the demon had left behind was spacious, and Jimin’s claimed it as his own now.
The library is expansive, like a maze within the house, with shelves upon shelves of everything from contemporary novels to ancient books falling apart at the binding. It’s decorated extravagantly, and best of all, it’s right in the middle of the apocalypse. Seokjin and Taehyung may like going out into the chaos and harvesting souls that way, but Jimin prefers them to come to him. The best souls are ones of those that are drawn to demonic presences; all it will take are a few ambitious sinners, and Jimin will have had his fill until the next time the world ends.
He flips a page and suddenly inhales a burning purity that makes his eyes water. Of course.
It’s been several weeks now since the angel had started tailing him, watching from outside, always hiding away before Jimin can find him. At first, he’d thought it was probably Hoseok. Last apocalypse, he’d only just barely failed to send Jimin back to Hell, and if Jimin knows anything about him, it’s that he won’t give up so easily. Angels are stubborn creatures, but Hoseok is a whole category all his own.
But after the first few days, Jimin had ruled that out; Hoseok’s impatience at defeating him wouldn’t have permitted him to wait quite this long. No, this angel is uncertain; unconfident.
Poor thing must be young. This is probably his first apocalypse.
“Have you come to destroy me?” Jimin asks in a bored tone, not even bothering to lift his head. He can smell the angel’s grace from here, and while it doesn’t burn so much after a few seconds, it still tickles his nose unpleasantly.
“Yes,” comes the slightly unsteady reply.
“Well, get on with it, then. I don’t have all day, little angel.”
The angel steps closer to him, his soft white wings spread out into the space behind him, blindingly pure. Jimin finally looks up into his face, unsurprised when he sees how beautiful he is. All angels are, infuriatingly so. His eyes are big and round, curved lips pulled tightly down into a determined frown, youthful features too perfect to be real.
“You should know that I have sent ten demons back to Hell already,” the angel says. “I would look more scared if I were you.”
“Rest assured, I’m shaking in my boots, darling,” Jimin replies in the same bored tone, flipping a page in his book.
“D-do not mock me, demon,” the angel stutters. Jimin would pity him if he didn’t love so dearly the idea of destroying something so pure.
“Wouldn’t dream of it. Tell me, what is your name, little angel?”
“Nice to meet you, Jungkook,” Jimin grins. “I’m Jimin. You might have heard of me from Hoseok. He and I are very close.”
Jungkook’s eyes widen. “He has mentioned you a few times.”
“Then you know perfectly well what I am capable of,” Jimin says, rising from the couch and abandoning his book on its cushion, finally standing face to face with the angel.
“My brothers will come,” Jungkook warns, standing up straighter. Jimin spares a chuckle at the sentiment. He’s met Jungkook’s brothers in past apocalypses. Yoongi and Namjoon mostly keep quiet, their fury reflected only in their eyes. Hoseok is more talkative, a bright smile lighting up his features when he rips a demon’s sin from its body and flings it back to Hell. He knows Hoseok quite personally, in fact, considering how many times they’ve gone toe to toe in battle.
None of them are of any real threat to him, though, so he merely chuckles softly and blinks at Jungkook, watching him try so hard to remain confident in the face of a demon during his first apocalypse.
“Have more faith in your own abilities, little angel. I am sure if you’ve already banished ten demons, you’ll have no trouble with the likes of me,” Jimin says. “So go ahead. Send me back to Hell. Or are you planning to wait another month? Perhaps until the next apocalypse?”
“You shouldn’t be encouraging me like this,” Jungkook says in a shaky voice. “We’re enemies. You should be putting up a fight.”
“You’re cute,” Jimin says. “But I don’t have any rules like that. I just want to see what you’ve got.”
Jungkook stares at him in awe, furrowing his eyebrows and wringing his hands. “So you...you can just do whatever you like?” he asks.
“Sure,” Jimin says. “Why would there be restrictions on beings who exist to sin?” He watches Jungkook’s expression closely, delighted to see curiosity swimming in those wide dark eyes. “My my, is the little angel growing weary of being bossed around?”
“Don’t assume,” Jungkook says. “Not everyone is sinful like your kind would have humans believe.”
Jimin steps directly into Jungkook’s space and looks up into his unsteady expression. “I disagree,” he says, his tongue darting out to wet his lips. “I think you’ve got plenty of sin in you.” Curiosity has gotten the better of him now. Destroying Jungkook is no longer on Jimin’s mind; rather, the thought of destroying his purity.
“What are you doing?” Jungkook asks.
“What do you want me to do?” Jimin counters, already knowing the answer. The angel hadn’t been watching him all this time for nothing.
“My brothers will come,” Jungkook says again, more uncertain this time.
“Let them,” Jimin says in a low voice, and kisses him.
Jungkook doesn’t hesitate for even a moment before returning the favor, fisting his hands in Jimin’s shirt and molding their lips together with a ferocity that surprises even Jimin. His touch is searing, his grace reacting to Jimin’s sin and making their skin burn with every touch, but god, Jimin’s never felt anything quite so amazing.
“It burns,” Jungkook gasps against Jimin’s lips.
“We’re incompatible, little angel,” Jimin replies, licking into his mouth and sucking at his tongue. Every muffled mewl coming from the angel’s throat only makes the hunger burn hotter in Jimin’s veins. He wants to take and take and take until there is nothing left.
“Stop,” Jungkook says finally, tearing himself away. “Stop. This is… no. This isn’t right.” He covers his mouth with his hand, staring at the ground as though he can’t believe what he’s just done.
“And yet you’ve done it anyway. Looks like you have some sin inside you, after all.”
Jungkook drops his hand, his face contorted with distress, and backs away further. “No,” he whispers. “No.” He spares one last torn look at Jimin, then leaves him there in the study, disappearing through the window back into the hell on earth of the apocalypse.
“Hmm,” Jimin hums, a small smile on his lips that still tingle with the burn of Jungkook’s grace.
He’s heard tales of demons that fall for angels, pining after their exquisite beauty while they burn in the fires of Hell; tales of angels that fall for demons, looking down from their heavenly perches and wanting nothing more than to shed their wings and become enveloped in sin. But these are mere fairytales. Angels live to keep demons from destroying humanity, not to give up their wings for creatures who steal souls of the innocent and bask in the sins of man.
Yet somehow, somehow Jimin has a feeling that Jungkook will be back. It only takes one taste, after all. Just one tiny taste of sin to spread and corrupt like a drop of ink in a glass of water.
Jungkook does come back, this time with a firm determination unlike his hesitant demeanor before. He storms into the room exuding angelic fury, his fingers closing around Jimin’s neck, standing nose to nose with him, fire burning in his gaze. For a moment Jimin thinks he might actually have the courage to kill him this time, his hand so tight around Jimin’s neck, his eyes flashing...
Then his grip loosens, fingers trailing down from his neck, eyes glancing down to Jimin’s lips instead, the hesitation back, the youthful look replacing the one of rage. “You are wrong for me,” he whispers. “I know that I should kill you, but I… I can’t stop thinking about you. I want…”
“What is it?” Jimin breathes, their faces so close now that he can count every one of Jungkook’s eyelashes. “What do you want, little angel?”
“You,” Jungkook says, and his lips carry the weight of heaven when they mold against Jimin’s, pushing him up against the wall. Jimin is pliant under his touch, allowing him to lick into his mouth, tasting the stale prayers on his tongue and grabbing at the pure white of his clothes.
“Changed your mind, did you?” Jimin asks, moving to kiss at his jaw instead, following the lines of his perfect face.
“You said that everyone has some sin inside them,” Jungkook says. “Show me what that feels like.”
“Awfully bold,” Jimin murmurs. “Are you sure you want this?”
“I want you.”
That’s all Jimin needs to hear. Jungkook has him caged against the wall, but with one touch of his hands to his thin waist, Jungkook goes pliant against him, allowing Jimin to push him backwards toward the maze-like library.
Every touch felt between them is searing hot, every kiss filling Jimin’s lungs with enough of heaven’s grace that he could choke on it. Jimin is sure that Jungkook is feeling that same pain from the hellfire coursing through his own veins, but it’s abundantly clear that neither of them are going to stop.
It’s between two towering shelves of ancient scripts and texts in the labyrinthine library that Jungkook asks for Jimin to take every part of him, and it’s between those shelves that Jimin obliges.
Jungkook doesn’t run away this time, but he also can’t stay forever. His grace is a beacon to the other angels, a beacon that will lead them straight to Jimin.
And so he remains only long enough for Jimin to clean him up and to promise him that he will be back before he’s disappeared once more through the windows out in the sitting room.
Jimin watches him go, following his angelic glow until it’s completely gone from sight and then settles back into his armchair with the burn of Jungkook’s grace having calmed inside him down to a comforting ember.
The amazing thing about Jungkook’s continuous visits is that Jimin hasn’t used a single ounce of trickery. He’s been able to manipulate lower-ranking angels before, usually to make them forget his location, or to commit a sin and fall from grace, but Jungkook is coming back time and time again entirely of his own free will.
He comes back, lets Jimin fill him with sin until he’s got tears streaming down his impossibly perfect face, craving the burn from hellfire like it’s a drug. It’s baffling to Jimin, and yet he finds himself unable to stop either.
The novelty should have worn off after the first time; after all, Jimin’s motivation had been to destroy Jungkook’s purity, not to turn fraternizing with angels into something that he does regularly.
And yet, every time Jungkook’s presence causes that familiar prickle under his skin, Jimin drops whatever he’s doing to touch him, to feel him, to chase the burn of his grace.
He knows addiction. Demons created that particular sin, after all, gluttony forming in humans to get them to crave, to want, to need, to allow that sin to consume them, but never once has he felt that in himself before.
Jungkook’s touch, his voice, his gaze, his everything are all Jimin can think about anymore, and he hasn’t so much as harvested a single soul for how distracted he is.
“Why do you come to me?” Jimin asks him one evening, lightning and thunder tearing apart the earth just outside the window, the sounds of battle just white noise now. “Why do you seek me out so often, little angel? Your curiosity must be sated by now, no?”
Jungkook nuzzles his face into Jimin’s neck, sighing at the burn from their contact. “It was never just curiosity keeping me here,” he murmurs. “You are… everything I long for while locked away in Heaven.”
“I am corruption to your kind,” Jimin reminds him. “And corruption can reach a point of no return.”
“As long as it’s with you,” Jungkook says, pressing tender kisses along the slope where Jimin’s neck meets his shoulder, “I don’t mind.”
The apocalypse is nearing its end on the same day that Jungkook finally succumbs to corruption. Hell is razing the earth, and the cries of soul after soul being consumed are constantly echoing in Jimin’s ears, suggesting that the demons have gained the upper hand.
It’s a bit funny, Jimin thinks, to be here running his hands across the bare skin of an angel while the world ends around them. To be kissing the groans and yelps of pleasure out of an angel’s mouth while the screams of the last bits of humanity float in through the window.
“Do you think Heaven will take you back, now?” Jimin says into his ear, lips brushing his skin while he thrusts inside him, every whimper from that angelic mouth sending sparks of pleasure shooting down his spine. “Do you think you can face your brothers like this?”
“Don’t ever wanna go back,” pants Jungkook, his head tipped back, hair fanned out on the floor and sweat shining on his forehead. “I’ll stay...stay here with you.” He arches his back on the last syllable, his voice rising in pitch as Jimin grabs him by the hips and thrusts into him.
“Keep saying that and you’ll get your wish.” The grace inside Jungkook is fighting back against him, burning at his insides as it tries to battle the sin that Jimin knows is seeping into him with every passing moment.
“My wings are—oh, God—”
Sure enough, the pure white of Jungkook’s wings is becoming filthier by the second, the feathers shedding and shrinking, turning black like they’ve been dipped in tar. They no longer spread out majestically behind him; instead they droop, their jagged edges giving the appearance that he’s been attacked.
The sight of them is enough to send Jimin over the edge, pleasure coursing through him with his release. Jungkook comes soon after, ribbons of white decorating the pure planes of his chest and stomach.
Jimin pulls out, leaning down to taste Jungkook with his tongue, the grace burning him in the best way with Jungkook trembling under his touch. He stops at his chest, biting gently at his nipples, smiling around them at the sound of Jungkook’s whimpers.
When he lifts his head, it’s with an ear splitting smile at what he sees. Jungkook’s wings are black as pitch, as wrecked and vulnerable as their owner, dripping with sin while his skin burns with the fires of Hell.
“Pretty,” Jimin murmurs, lifting him upright into a sitting position and licking up his neck, sucking bruises into his delicate skin. “Such pretty wings you have, all sullied like this.”
“It hurts,” whispers Jungkook. “It hurts so much.”
“What does?” Jimin asks, kissing his chin. “What hurts, little angel?”
“My grace,” Jungkook breathes, his fingers scrabbling for purchase around Jimin’s back, holding him close as though he’s seeking comfort. “I feel like it’s being ripped away from me.”
Jimin kisses him softly, just lips on lips, nothing more. “Do you want it to be?”
“Will it mean I can stay with you?”
Jungkook closes his eyes, a smile tugging at his lips. “Then touch me once more.”
Jimin reaches out and places his hands on Jungkook’s chest, sliding them up around his neck, leaning in for a kiss. At first nothing happens, but then Jungkook tears his face away, crying out in pain with his spine bent over nearly in half, his hair hanging down toward the ground and his wings rippling where they connect to his back.
A blinding light rips through the room, forcing Jimin to look away and filling his ears with an awful ringing noise that makes his head pound, but when he opens his eyes again he can no longer smell Jungkook’s grace.
Jungkook collapses against him, jagged scars down his shoulder blades where his wings had been, and a scorch mark in the shape of his wings burned into the ground, scattered feathers spread across the room.
Jimin strokes his hair and holds him close, no longer feeling that burn of sin reacting to his grace. Now he just feels warmth, a comfortable ember like that of sin reacting to sin. When Jungkook finally lifts his head, his eyes are out of focus, but there is a satisfied smile on his lips.
“I’m yours, now,” he says in a hoarse whisper.
The words echo in Jimin’s mind. I’m yours.
Jimin kisses him chastely, still stroking his hair. “You’re mine.”
It has been quiet in Jimin’s stolen manor for so long that the tremor of a voice that isn’t Jungkook’s sounds foreign in Jimin’s ears. Jimin turns, raising his eyebrows at the smell of an angel nearby. “Yoongi,” he says, not entirely surprised to see the eldest of Jungkook’s brothers glowering at him. “Long time no see.”
“Where is Jungkook.” Yoongi is not amused, speaking in short, curt sentences.
“In my bedroom,” Jimin answers easily. “Waiting for me.”
Yoongi’s eyes narrow, a calm fury amidst all the chaos outside. “You will return him to us. I am not here to play games with you, demon.”
“So you haven’t heard, then?” Jimin’s eyes curve up. “Delightful.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Jungkook has fallen,” Jimin says, relishing in the horror flashing across Yoongi’s expression. “He is mine, now.”
“Lies. I don’t believe you.”
Jimin’s smile grows. “Such a shame. You can’t even recognize your own brother’s wings, there?”
Yoongi turns, his face contorting when he sees the oozing black feathers still scattered across the floor, along with the scorch marks from Jungkook’s grace. “You clipped his wings,” Yoongi says, fury and sorrow in every syllable. “You mutilated him.”
“He did it himself,” Jimin says. “His wings turned black for me, and his poor grace couldn’t take so much sin, with a demon buried deep inside him every night—”
“Enough!” Yoongi growls, but that only spurs Jimin on.
“Oh? You don’t want to hear how your precious little angel begged for me to destroy him? How he cast his dying grace aside, how he blasphemed over and over again while I fucked him until he couldn’t remember what Heaven looked like?” Jimin grins, the burn from Yoongi’s grace flaring with every one of his words.
“You are evil,” Yoongi hisses between gritted teeth. “Have you no shame? Taking such a young thing from his family and making him like you.” His lip curls in disgust. “Have you no remorse?”
“Remorse? When have you ever known a demon to have remorse?”
“He has no reason for remorse, brother.” A voice cuts through the room, interrupting Yoongi before he can respond. Jungkook strides across the room, stepping over the blackened remains of his wings and settling against Jimin’s side. The warm brown of his eyes has already turned black, as though someone’s dotted his eyes with ink, and the sin curling inside him that only grows by the hour smells so sweet. Jimin inhales, his smile growing as he slips a possessive arm around Jungkook’s waist, watching Yoongi’s expression soften at the sight of his youngest brother.
“Jungkook,” he says. “Jungkook, please. It is not too late. Repent, and perhaps you may still be allowed to come back home.”
“I don’t want to go back,” Jungkook tells him. “My home is here now, with him.”
“He’s tricked you,” Yoongi says, his voice tense with desperation. “He’s a demon, Jungkook, you know what they do. They manipulate, they trick, they destroy.”
Jimin rests his head against Jungkook’s shoulder, still smiling demurely. “Tell him, darling. Tell him that you are the one who came to me in the beginning. No trickery involved.”
“I will not listen to your drivel—”
“I love him,” Jungkook interrupts, silencing Yoongi with the shock from his statement.
“Love? Do you even know what it is you’re saying, Jungkook? How can you love a demon?”
“He is everything I couldn’t have before. He listens to me, he lets me see the truth of the world beyond Heaven’s rules and my own blindness.” Jungkook leans into Jimin’s body, relaxing even in the face of his elder brother. “He is freedom.”
“Your mind is not your own anymore,” Yoongi says. “You can’t see past his lies—“
“He’s never lied to me,” Jungkook interrupts. “Not once. I’m staying with him, brother.”
Jimin nods, stroking Jungkook’s hair. “Listen to him, Yoongi. He speaks the truth.”
Yoongi draws himself up to his full height, the force of his glare making Jimin’s lips twitch up into a smirk. “When the apocalypse has ended, and we force your kind to rot back in Hell where you belong, I will remember what you’ve done, demon,” Yoongi warns him, eyes glinting dangerously. “I will remember what you’ve done to our brother. And I will make sure your trip back to Hell is as painful as possible.”
“Good to know,” Jimin says with a flippant wave of his hand. “I’ll see you when the world ends, then, Yoongi.”
The angel disappears in a flash of blinding light and Jungkook clings to Jimin ever so tightly.
“If only I had come into existence as a hellspawn as well,” Jungkook laments. “We could have spent so many more centuries together.”
“That’s alright, love,” Jimin says. “You wouldn’t want to be a demon anyway. It’s quite dull when there’s no apocalypse going on. But rest assured, no matter the outcome this time around, we’ll still have thousands of years to spend together.”
A smile tugs Jungkook’s lips upward and Jimin feels a warmth in his chest that comes from neither the sensation of a newly devoured soul nor the burning residue from contact with an angel. It’s a sensation he’s only ever felt when he’s with Jungkook, and it is something that he thinks he’d like to get used to.
Time doesn’t pass normally during an apocalypse, so Jimin doesn’t know how long he’s stayed in his manor with Jungkook, reading and resting and ravishing him on every available space in the expanse of the house.
Enough time has passed that Taehyung and Seokjin have finally returned for a moment’s rest, having had their fill of souls for the time being.
Taehyung sniffs the air when he crawls in through the window, dark eyes slowly sweeping across the room until they lock with Jimin’s.
“Was there an angel here?” he asks slowly, Seokjin creeping in behind him.
“There still is,” Jimin says calmly. “A fallen angel, anyhow. His name is Jungkook.”
“Namjoon’s brother?” Seokjin asks, his eyes glinting in interest. “I just scuffled with him a short time ago. No wonder he seemed so vengeful.”
“What are you doing housing a fallen angel?” Taehyung demands. “Kill him and parade him around. The other hellspawn will rally around you and cause even more chaos.”
“I won’t be killing him. We are lovers.”
“Lovers? So he fell from grace… for you?”
Taehyung’s expression shifts to one of awe and disbelief. “You took an angel as a lover and forced him to fall?” He licks his lips hungrily. “And his wings? You cut them off, yes?”
“I forced nothing. He chose to clip his own wings. He chose to be with me,” Jimin says, hearing a hint of pride in his own voice. “And I’m choosing him.”
It’s then that Jungkook emerges from the bedroom, his doelike eyes that still retain some innocence and white clothing the only reminder that he had once been an angelic being.
“More demons?” he asks as Jimin crosses the room to join him. “Your brothers?”
“Brothers?” Jimin laughs. “No, no. Demons aren’t related like all you angels. Taehyung and Seokjin are my companions.”
“And this must be our fallen angel,” Seokjin croons, sidling up to Jungkook and inspecting him with a gleam in his eye and pursed lips. He drags a hand up Jungkook’s back, lingering where his wings once bloomed out into a pure white. “Rebellious little thing, aren’t you?”
“No more than you demons,” Jungkook replies.
Seokjin grins. “And not afraid, either. I like this one.”
Taehyung joins them as well, but before he can make a comment about Jungkook, his head snaps over to Jimin, his eyes narrowed and his eyebrows furrowed in confusion.
“You smell different,” Taehyung says. “Your eyes, too. Different.”
Odd. He doesn’t feel any different. “Different how?” he asks.
“Dunno. Just different.”
Seokjin nods. “Something about you seems… human.”
Jimin laughs and turns to Jungkook. “Human? Do you hear that, my love? Do I seem human to you?”
“Not at all,” Jungkook replies. “Humans have souls. You have nothing but sin.”
Taehyung and Seokjin exchange glances but don’t interject again, and when they depart once more after sufficiently resting, their odd comments soon fade from the forefront of his mind.
“The angels are winning,” Jungkook tells Jimin one morning, when heavenly light is shining through the window in the study, drowning out the sight of hellfire. “Are you frightened?”
“Of course not,” Jimin reassures him. “Tell me, love, when have us demons ever won? No, it was always going to be this way.”
“My brothers do not make threats lightly,” Jungkook insists. “Yoongi may not fight demons himself, but he will send someone after you.”
Jimin hums and presses a kiss to Jungkook’s shoulder. “You worry too much, little angel. Heaven will win and coddle humanity back to normal, yes, but it can never truly purge sin from existence.”
“Then what will you do when the apocalypse has ended?”
“Whatever I want,” Jimin says easily, capturing his mouth with the next kiss. “And you, of course, are welcome to join me.”
“I would follow you anywhere,” Jungkook gasps, kissing him with a fervor that can only come from the sin growing inside him. And oh, Jimin loves his desperate whines and short breaths and pleas for more, more, always more.
He has been bored senseless, existing without purpose for so long, and now at last he has a reason to continue on.
Jungkook has said that he would follow Jimin anywhere, and Jimin is beginning to think that perhaps he might do the same. After all, he can’t imagine saying “no” to the beautiful creature here in his arms, not for anything.
“Oh my,” a voice rings out through the room, and Jimin turns, his lips curled in a snarl, ready to tear apart whoever dares to interrupt, only to be hit with the smell of an angel, overpowering and eye-watering. Jungkook recoils beside him, not used to the concept of an angel’s presence causing pain.
It’s Hoseok standing there, having come to confront him at last, and he looks positively ecstatic. His eyes flicker to Jungkook for the briefest moment, sorrow crossing his expression, but once he focuses on Jimin, he looks so triumphant that it’s irritating.
“Hoseok,” Jimin says. “You’re being rude, you know. Interrupting my private time with Jungkookie.” Hoseok’s lip twitches in disgust at that, bringing a bit of satisfaction to combat Jimin’s irritation.
“I would hate to be rude,” Hoseok says. “In that case, why don’t I just send you back to Hell real quick, and then you can have all the private time in the world?”
“You would send your own brother to Hell?” Jimin counters, arching his eyebrow.
“Not him,” Hoseok says, grinning. “Just you.” With that, he lunges at Jimin without any warning, grabbing him by the neck and slamming him against the wall, knocking the breath straight from his lungs.
Hoseok’s fingers are tight around his windpipe, and there’s an uncomfortable burn from the grace and sin reacting, but it’s unlike anything Jimin’s felt before. Even with Jungkook, a young angel, their contact had been painful, and all the times Jimin has fought with Hoseok in the past, it had been a searing pain like a white-hot poker against his skin.
Hoseok, too, looks confused, enough to loosen his grip ever so slightly as he furrows his eyebrows at the lack of reaction between them. It’s just enough for Jungkook to push his brother away, stepping between them and shielding Jimin with his body.
“Brother,” he says slowly. “Brother, go home. Leave us alone. You don’t need to avenge me.”
“Jungkook,” Hoseok says quietly, still deep in thought. “You… you’ve got part of him inside you, don’t you? A bit of Hell.” Without waiting for a response, he addresses Jimin next, voice still just as soft. “And you. You’ve got a bit of Heaven.”
“What does that mean?” asks Jungkook.
“It means you are neither demon nor angel. You are… nearly human. I didn’t think it was possible. Most fallen angels become demons eventually, but you…”
Hoseok’s voice fades into the background as Jimin becomes lost in his own thoughts. Jungkook has a bit of Hell, and he himself has a bit of Heaven within him? Then every time he’d been eagerly filling Jungkook with sin while he begged for more, every time he’d been siphoning more of Jungkook’s grace, the same had been happening to his own sin?
He looks down at his own hands, never having been too concerned with his earthly appearance before but now becoming all too aware of its existence.
Angels and demons don’t fraternize like this. He has heard of angels falling for demons, demons falling for angels, but never an angel and demon falling for each other, falling in love. This has never happened before, so they have nothing to reference, nothing to look back on.
“I cannot banish you to Hell,” Hoseok says to Jimin, bringing him back from his own mind. Then to his brother, “And I cannot help you repent and bring you home. If you remain like this, you will become human.”
Jungkook looks to Jimin with wide, innocent eyes, and Jimin finds himself smiling. “Then humans we will be,” he says, surprising even himself with his words.
Hoseok backs away, nodding his head. “As much as it pains me to say goodbye to you, dear brother, you made your choice the day you rebelled against Heaven.”
“I did,” Jungkook agrees, holding onto Jimin’s hand with every remaining bit of his angelic strength. “I will miss you brother.”
Hoseok holds a fist over his heart, and before he disappears in heavenly light like Yoongi had before, he fixes his eyes on Jimin. “Take care of him, demon. Humanity can be more horrifying than even the deepest pit of Hell.”
“Luckily I have more than a fair share of experience there,” Jimin says with a wink, giving Jungkook’s hand a squeeze, and then Hoseok is gone, leaving Jungkook and Jimin alone again in the manor at the center of the apocalypse.
The world does not end after all. Jungkook’s brothers manage to drag the army of demons back to Hell by their necks, sealing the tear behind them. They miss a few, of course, like Seokjin and Taehyung, but for the most part the world has been brought back to its unsteady balance.
And there, in the center of it all, an angel and a demon caught in equal parts sin and grace, good and evil, black and white, Heaven and Hell.
Jimin doesn’t know where they’ll go from here. He’s never known, really.
But as long as Jungkook is there, he doesn’t think he’ll mind.