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All skin and no shame

...innocence is just an illusion...

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Round and Round [7]
Title: Round and Round
Pairing: YunJae
Rating: PG
Length: Chaptered
Genre: AU
Disclaimer: Goblin premise, the rest is mine.

Summary: In a thousand years, there have been more flowers than rain, but the Wanderer still wanders, searching for someone he knows will bring about his demise and yet, something within him compels him to keep on searching, for his heart has never been at peace in all that time.

AN: OVER 10k words. You need to read this crazy slowly ;;

If you ever need me
Just tell me, and I’ll be there
Have faith in me

Angels are created to be the servants of the Almighty, exercising His will and His alone. While given more autonomy than lesser beings like Grim Reapers who can only move or act upon orders, angels exist solely to serve the One. The choices they make are an extension of this indentured servitude. It is a false choice, and an illusion of freedom, but each and every one of them serve with gladness in their hearts for the Creator is a merciful Lord.

There are exceptions of course, one in particular whose will was a gift bestowed upon him by the one who created him and gave him a choice. The only angel with the power of free will, unfettered by the normal laws and rules of engagement, this angel is practically a deity himself. However that power is a double-edged sword and the trite saying with great power comes great responsibility is accurate.

To lose that will to uncertainty would mean a loss, even momentarily, of his power. A power that is completely and absolutely tied to the strength of his will.

An angel cannot be uncertain, for how could they be when they are carrying out the Creator’s work? His bidding? They are without choice, and when you have none, there is no uncertainty because your path is already laid out for you and all you need to do is follow it.

This angel in particular, with a power beyond that of reapers and all others of his kin, the matter is even more serious. With the wholly uncharacteristic uncertainty of the nature of his very existence that comes with the softly uttered question of the blond man, this uncertainty is from his own soul fighting its own knowledge of centuries, his will at odds with what he has always accepted to what he now wants to know, shaking his very faith in what he had always accepted for the last eight hundred years.

The healing laughter of the Angel of Death that walled off the Guardian’s anguish earlier is shattered.

And the gates of hell open.

Madness ensues in the world of the Grim Reapers.

Missing Souls who had worked hard to stay under the radar suddenly find themselves no longer afraid of that unknown being. It is as if a switch has been lifted, and the constant fear of being found no longer there. Most reapers are no match for the older Missing Souls, only held in check and in line by the spectre of the Angel of Death who will one day come to find them.

Battles ensue for these Missing Souls are evil and will not look a gift horse in the mouth when such an impossible opportunity presents itself. Reapers are injured in countless unexpected confrontations, for not many have met the Angel of Death to have been touched by his presence and the bearing down of his will on them.

Those who have met him, fear his loss. They feel the lifting of the memory of him and the effect he has on them. One Reaper in particular is in shock, sitting in his tearoom, his heart clenching so hard he is barely able to draw breath, feeling the acute emptiness of hundreds of years of the siren call of the White Reaper that he never ever forgot. And this terrifies him, for something like this should never happen.

The Underworld is a riot for the Angel’s recent rampage in rounding up the filth of the world is solely attributable to the fact that he wanted them to die. He willed their deaths. Without the intervention of the Almighty, these souls whose untimely deaths were wrought by a hurt Harbinger of Death lashing out at his Creator, would be seeking vengeance for their robbed time. Their demise was not prepared for, and space had yet to be made for them in the Underworld.

They were confined by the Angel’s sheer will alone.

And now those fetters are ripped and they wreak havoc.

“Is this still ordained?”

“Of course,” the man replies unperturbed though his eyes hold a warning to his companion clad in red.

She bites her lip before clamping her mouth shut, willing herself to stop the question but her will is not like that of her ward, and she clenches her eyes shut, but the words trickle from her tightly pressed lips anyway.

“Why are you doing this?”

The handsome features of the young man twist ruefully. Aware of the chaos in his Underworld, he snaps a finger, confining once more those whose time was cut short by a vengeful and hurt Angel. Turning towards the goddess, he snaps his finger once again and she vanishes, sent to the Reaper Academy with the unspoken command to help them.

“They loved each other more than they loved me.”

The immense pain that is unleashed on Guardian is by far nothing yet again, compared to what he has felt before and that is saying something for the last few weeks have been a haze of confusion and pain unlike no other.

Lots of it.

Curling over at the agony, he takes himself away from the source of his pain in a flash of blue flames, leaving behind nothing of himself except the shock of his faithful soldier, and a man so beloved by him that God himself is angry with them.

“Who are you really?”

Changmin is pacing the office, looking around, knowing it is a fruitless search. The skies had lightened the second Yunho had vanished which meant the man was no longer in the near vicinity. His eyes turn towards the golden statue on the couch.

Jae…or Jaejoong to him, has not moved since Yunho disappeared, and these are the first words he has uttered in almost half an hour, sitting so still that Changmin is convinced he wasn’t even breathing.

Taking one final walk around the floor, even going as far as leaving to check on his own brand new office, the tall young man walks towards the bereft blond and prostrates before him.

“I am not a god. Get up.”

Sitting back on his heels, Changmin stares at his crown prince. The man who had been destined to rule all of Goryeo and who would have been a far better ruler than his wretched father. A man despite his gentle and practically feminine beauty, had a core of steel that is only challenged in strength by that of his leader. A young man raised within the intricacies and deceptions of the Court and yet his heart came out unscathed, giving it away so completely, trusting that the general will never hurt him. He is the feared warrior’s angel, and he is angel to him and him alone.

The Crown Prince’s only weakness was always Yunho and in that weakness also came his strength for he would be everything that he should be and better because of Yunho. He battled his own natural disinclination towards anything too physical to be one of the top swordsman, even though he did not need to be one for his lover is the best swordsman in the land. As a teenager, he fought tooth and nail to be tutored in diplomacy and international politics, despite being told he was too young, but his agile mind surpassed even those of the king’s advisors. However the most crucial thing about the prince was the fear he instilled in people. He meted out justice swiftly without any type of second-guessing or the most marginal of hesitation. He could be called ruthless, though most would never think to use the word for the prince’s beauty was really quite distracting to use such an ugly word on someone so beautiful.

Threats that fall from his lush pouty mouth are taken even more seriously for he follows through with them, the best example of it would be the execution of the Minister of War, when he was only twenty, for treason. The Crown Prince had ordered it and chosen one of the most vicious and gory forms of execution, specifying the man to be dragged to the execution site by four horses, each horse then in turn tethered to each limb and then whipped, tearing the former Minister of War into several bloody pieces, the man’s death agonising in itself to watch. Since most who witnessed the execution were unable to watch it in its entirety, they turned to watch the beautiful crown prince instead, sitting on his throne, staring unblinkingly at the pieces that used to be his father’s Minister of War, his expression of cold fury would be remembered by one and all and no one dared to cross him after that.

Yunho and Changmin had both missed the spectacle due to Yunho’s poisoning, and while many found the young general too intimidating to approach to share the piece of news, fewer were afraid of Changmin and the young soldier found himself being regaled by different versions of the story.

Demon prince.

Those who dared to utter such in his presence were put in their place immediately - usually flat on their back in the mud with the tip of his sword at their throat for daring to speak in such a manner about their crown prince.

Changmin kept the details of the execution to himself, but he saw the prince in a new light. He figures the Minister may have threatened something or other when he had come to fetch the prince from Yunho’s side, and remembers clearly the man’s terror when he left without the prince. What Changmin will never know though is that the prince was always driven by the need to protect. To build a kingdom that would and could protect Yunho and their unnatural love, and if he had to die to ensure that protection then he will without hesitation.

“You are my prince.”

A crack in the blank features of the stunning man, and he turns his gaze down towards the man kneeling before him.

“I don’t remember…”

“Then let me tell you.”

The angel raises his hand to stop the man. “Before you do, tell me how you remember because no mortal is allowed to keep their memories upon passing to the Afterlife.”

Changmin smiles faintly, sitting back on the floor properly and unfurling his legs to hug his knees the way he used to when he was younger back in Goryeo, listening to Yunho and this man telling tales of old battles and reenacting them playfully with their heavy swords, their audience of one always ending up slipping away quietly when the play fights inevitably turn into a battle of the more carnal kind.

“I refused to drink the tea.”

“The reaper let you get away with that?”

The former lieutenant of Goryeo’s smile widens a little at the memory. “Well, he did sigh rather heavily and kept asking if I was sure. He was an older guy and he seemed resigned somewhat.”


“As if he’d been told to accept it despite it being something that goes completely against everything he knows.”

“It is,” the blond angel utters quietly, his mind working.

“It did seem that way,” Changmin agrees.

The angel tilts his head back and closes his eyes, slipping his hand under Yunho’s shirt to touch the butterfly tattoo on his chest, before opening his eyes again and staring at the ceiling, and gathering his will once again.

His powers that were lost momentarily come back blindingly.

It is as if an invisible explosion is let off on that separate plane where Grim Reapers and Missing Souls operate, the painful detonation bringing those vile and evil souls to their knees, howling in agony as his memory is once again imprinted on them, a warning, for his vengeance is coming.

Shocked, but not enough to forget their responsibilities, the reapers gather up as many of the Missing Souls as they can, all under the thoughtful and watchful eye of the temporarily banished Samshin Halmeoni.

“There better be a good explanation for all this,” the Angel of Death’s expression is closed, his statement meant for only one, and in it bears a challenge, an unspoken warning of what might happen if the justification is in any way bad.

Deities across the worlds cover their ears at the harsh ringing sound of a laughter so beautiful it hurts. The sound echoes around, the amusement within it clear, the power behind it absolute.

Samshin Halmeoni has her hands over her ears, just like many of her siblings, leaning for support against a wall to try and stay upright for the sound is so penetrating it brings tears to her eyes.

“Oh child…what have you done?”

“What are you doing here?”

Kim Shin had been taking an after-dinner stroll up his favourite hill in Quebec when he chances upon a familiar figure lying prone between his headstones.

There is no answer from his friend, but Kim Shin can hear the ragged, harsh breathing, as if the older man is in pain and trying to hold it in. More than a little concerned, the younger goblin practically flies to Yunho’s side.

“Where is it? Where are you injured? What happened?” His hands roam the body of the Guardian, trying to find the source of the injury, all while muttering agitatedly to himself. “You’re more powerful than me and I’m practically indestructible. How can anyone hurt you?”

A memory assails him. The memory of the only time he had ever seen Yunho truly in distress.

“You mean this sword?”

…and his gasp is of a mortal pain, almost more than he can bear and his legs tremble from the effort of holding himself up.

Clenching his jaw and damning the bewitching blond to purgatory, angel or not, the loyal Kim Shin draws the shaking Guardian to his chest and blinks them back to his hotel.

Changmin speaks for what feels like hours, eyes never leaving the blond’s. He tells him of the history that he lived through, of everything he saw, touched and felt. Even of the embarrassing crush he had on him when he was fourteen, to the very last time he saw him as the army led by Yunho prepared to ride north into the bitterest of winters at the King’s command.

However he falters at that point, wondering whether to continue into the tale of the battles they fought for nought, and the arrival of the King some weeks later that resulted in the general’s death. A hero’s death as the King had claimed, but Changmin had recognised the sword hilt buried in his leader’s body and a deep suspicion had formed as to what actually transpired.

Yunho’s army was disbanded and spread far and wide, Changmin essentially banished to the far South this time, unable to even return to the palace to inform the prince of the death of his beloved. News of the prince’s death travelled slowly, and by the time it reached Changmin, the prince had been gone for months.

Remembering how he felt at receiving the news, Changmin drops his chin, clenching his eyes shut, all the pain and confusion of Yunho’s death hitting him first, the loss is a scar on his soul and he had barely been able to function for weeks after. Then the grief that his angel had followed him strikes hard and deep. He remembers thinking that perhaps the Almighty is kind, and will let them find each other in their second, third, or perhaps their fourth life before being able to finally be together in the afterlife.

Or perhaps the Almighty has a strange sense of humour and doomed Yunho to walk the earth for a millennia without ever finding his love, also dooming the lovers to some type of weird amnesia.

Suddenly feeling extremely exhausted and drained, the young man loses his fight with the emotions that had returned from his retelling of their life as he knew and saw it, and a tear slips out and he wipes it away quickly before looking up at the blond man.

Thankfully, the angel does not appear to notice, deep in thought, his eyes take on a haunted look.

And even as he watches, the mesmerising eyes of the blond turn from the deepest black to a stormy grey and lightening further until they become incandescent - his power shining from them as he calls to a soul to answer him.

“Shim Changmin, loyal subject of Goryeo - Do you know how I died?”

The young man frowns, brow furrowing, his soul desperately wanting to be helpful to the beautiful being and give him a proper answer in the affirmative but it is impossible because he does not actually know. It hurts and tears at him, he scrambles into a prostrate position again, forehead against the cool bare toes of the angel, apologising profusely for his shortcomings before he answers.

“No, Taeja. I cannot answer for certain because I was not there and never saw your body. Forgive me for not returning to the palace to see you.”

The White Reaper leans forward, using the tips of two fingers against the bottom of the prone man’s chin, he coaxes Changmin up gently to look into his eyes.

“You are certain that I am your prince?”

Changmin’s eyes drop to the mark that mars the perfection of the being’s neck, and he nods before glancing back up to those glowing eyes. “You are still marked the same. My lord — I mean Yunho hyung used to tease you about that. He said it’s like a beacon just begging to be kissed and even if he were lost, your mark would take him home.”

“Oh?” A perfectly winged blond eyebrow shoots up, a languid sensuality pooling into the angel’s eyes. He is still the Angel of Death and he is still questioning the soul before him.

He flushes under the amused scrutiny. “It’s normally a shade darker than your skin, but whenever I saw it, it’s normally pink, sometimes even a little red…” He falters when the prince smirks, a look so familiar that an ache blooms deep in his chest, right where his heart is, and Changmin can feel his ears burning, but he cannot look away from those shining eyes and so he continues. “Your mannerisms are a little different, but everything is tinged with the familiar…even your smirks.”

Yunho is driven by memories of the life he started with, and of his death.

Primarily his death.

And the words of the White Reaper.


“I too loved a man, and I too died for him. Isn’t it ironic that I am also your bride? Someone who has lost the very same thing I did. I am over eight hundred years old, I guess it is the same thing for you. The right love, at a wrong time.”

Something stirs within Yunho at the familiar words and he takes a step towards the other man. “You’re only eight hundred years old?”

“Give or take a decade or two,” the blond shrugs. “You’re older by a couple of centuries.”

“Who are you exactly?”

A cloud falls across the blond’s features and after a long pause, he shakes his head. “I don’t know. I don’t remember. My only memory is of my death by your sword.”

“Impossible!” Yunho steps back as if slapped. “This sword has been with me for over a thousand years. It was already with me when you were human eight hundred years ago.

The reaper blinks and in an instant he is standing almost toe to toe with the goblin. Reaching out, he places a palm just off to the side of where the heart sits, and as he does, the glowing sword comes to life, materialising once again.

Yunho stands his ground, he does not look down nor does he look away, looking at his bride instead, for that is what the man is.


“No! No! No!” The agony grows with each denial and the mild Quebec evening turns violent in an instant.

Kim Shin who had left briefly to get a damp cloth for his friend’s sweaty brow is stunned at the ferocity of the storm outside. Hail rains down on the small balcony, the stones the size of golf balls and bigger. He can hear screams of terrified Quebec residents running for cover as lightning slashes across the sky, illuminating angry clouds gathering and moving quickly as the unnatural storm boils over the beautiful unassuming city. The destruction from the hailstones are just the beginning, as the winds start to pick up, gusting to an easy 80mph and growing stronger.

Yunho sits up suddenly, lit aflame by his goblin fire, eyes blind and unseeing, but filled with an unholy fury, an unspeakable pain driving it as he turns towards the younger goblin who takes a step back, the hand holding the cloth dropping limply to his side.

“He was already dead. Shin, he was already dead.” Yunho roars his anger at the sky and deafening thunder answers him, the storm picking up in strength. “The blood on the sword, the discolouration of the blade, this existence of mine — I killed him. His blood was on the sword and he knew. He knew. The King will pay for this.” Yunho’s voice is so deadly that there is no need to guess what his intentions are towards this king.

Kim Shin takes another step back, for his friends fury is even worse than the storm he has caused and that is saying something. He can still hear screams from the streets as the heavens open and a torrent the city has never seen comes with it.

And into this mess, an extremely terrified reaper arrives. Commanded by the crimson goddess, he had been ordered to bring both goblins back to the Seoul mansion by any means necessary.

However one look at Jung Yunho and the poor reaper is quite ready to face the Lord of Hell himself rather than the enraged Guardian.

Unfortunately for him, the goblin in question notices him, and as if he hears his thoughts, he asks, “How do I get to Hell, Reaper?”

Kim Shin turns around, unaware of their guest until his friend addresses him. Eyes narrowing, he stares at the pale man with the ugly hat who is veritably shaking in his black sodden boots.

“O—O—Only the—the—da-damned g-go to Hell.”

The poor reaper is pinned against the wall in an instant, a strong forearm across his throat, and almond eyes the colour of the darkest night scrutinising him closely.

“Am I not damned, Reaper?” the goblin asks, his tone deceptively mild and casual. “Have I not been damned for a thousand years to walk this earth alone? Have I not been damned to die by the hand that died by mine? Have I not been damned enough, Reaper, to be welcomed into Hell with open arms?”

Before the reaper can even think to formulate an answer, any answer, burning in pain from the goblin’s flames, a sudden hush comes over the room, everything silenced so completely that even the supernatural hearts of the room’s occupants cease to beat for several moments.

A white butterfly flies in carrying a long stemmed red rose.

The rose is dropped in the centre of the bed, and even before the butterfly flies up to the ceiling and disappears, Samshin Halmeoni materialises in all her crimson beauty and glory.

“You are not destined for Hell Jung Yunho, Guardian to the people, Goblin when angered, former General of Goryeo.”

Yunho pulls himself back, the reaper falling in a heap to the floor, coughing and choking, eyes watering, both thankful for the goddess’ timely intervention, and fearful for he did not carry out her orders.

He knows who she is, and he holds himself in check. Clenching his hands into fists, his nails digging into his palms so hard they leave marks, the Guardian of the people stares at her with inscrutable eyes.

“Damn me to Hell then. I will go willingly if it means I can get my hands on my King,” his voice is like acid. To touch him is to burn, and burn he is for his goblin fire has been raging unchecked, the flames turn from blue to red and back again.

“Do you want to know your other title, Guardian?”

Yunho knows the deity is trying to distract him, but he plays along. He can bide his time. He’s had a thousand years to mull over various problems that this one should have a solution too.

“What is it?”

“It was written when you were born. The only title you were born with, the rest came to you later.”

He makes an unforgivable impatient scoff that brings a smile to the crimson lips of the Goddess of Fate. “What is it?” he asks again.

“Lover of the Angel.”

Kim Shin is glad to be home.

Yunho had deflated instantly with the goddess’ words and coaxing him back to Seoul had been easy enough. The woman had been wily, and he is sure he knew the effect her words would have on his ancient friend.

Both Yunho and the random reaper that had been ordered by Samshin Halmeoni to tag along are in the living room, sitting opposite each other and staring at the coffee table. Kim Shin is just returning with three bottles of beer when the front door opens behind Yunho and two men walk in.

Yunho hears the door and he does not even manage to twist around in his seat to see who it is when he finds himself with a lapful of a blond virago.

“How could you just vanish like that?” the angel demands, cupping Yunho’s face in his hands, he pays no heed to his slack jawed audience, pressing his mouth against the goblin’s. “Don’t ever do that again. Ever. Don’t you ever do that again.”

Yunho finds his first smile in hours, raising a hand to stroke a diamond jawline, he nuzzles at the other’s nose. “You could always just call me back.”

The White Reaper huffs, leaning away and folding his arms across his chest, his eyes uncharacteristically full of worry, but he is still himself, still the Angel of Death. “That power is for my work, not to call an errant lover back.”

A slow, devastating smirk curls the cupid bow mouth of the goblin. “I don’t remember…care to remind me?”

Changmin rolls his eyes. “Didn’t we agree to lay everything out on the table and try to figure this out first?”

The Angel of Death lifts a hand and curls his fingers, and the unfortunate young man is frozen — not the nice type of frozen where you are placed in between time, but actually frozen and covered in ice shards,

Yunho eyes his unfortunate friend and shakes his head. “Jae…”

“I know, and he’s terribly sweet really, but that was a very mistimed cockblock.”

“I’d say it was timed perfectly,” Kim Shin retorts, debating whether to pour his ice cold beer down his throat or over his head. He forgot what Yunho was like with the White Reaper and even that short moment they had was a little too much for him.

Twin grey eyes laser in on him. “Do you want to be next?”

Kim Shin raises his hands in surrender.

“Unfreeze Changmin please.”

The angel grunts in annoyance, but he complies with Yunho’s request.

Shivering and shaking, his large eyes vaguely accusatory, the young man really does not know when to quit. With a seemingly complete and healthy disregard for his safety, as if he knows that he will always be protected, he starts to pace, waving his arms about as he speaks.

“That was completely unnecessary! Don’t you want your memories back? Don’t you want to know what hyung says to you when he teases you without me having to tell you what he says? Don’t you want to know what happened to the two of you? Don’t you want to know why your sword is in his chest?”

He really is a product of the prince and the general.

At the word sword, the angel turns to the goblin, placing both hands against the man’s chest, the sword flares instantly.

Yunho feels the pain all over again. That mortal pain of the sword entering his body and he is unable to keep in the gasp, curling his body forward as if to try and block himself from the agony, pressing his face against the angel’s shoulder. His goblin fire bursts aflame again, a defensive mechanism he cannot control unless he notices it and wills it away.

Jae feels the burn, and he knows it’s because he is causing the man pain, but he needs to see the sword again, to be absolutely certain that it is the sword from his visions, so he gladly takes the pain given to him in return for what he is inflicting on Yunho.

Three men watch breathlessly. All three unable to see the sword, but they can see Yunho’s flames and they can see that it is hurting the angel, but the blond does not move away, nor does he ask the goblin to cease.

Closing his eyes, he brings the visions back, watching with a clinical eye and ignoring any emotions that he feels because he needs to be quick for Yunho is suffering needlessly. He opens his eyes to find the man watching him, eyes shimmering with unshed tears, pain clear within them, but also trust.

Trust and love.

He looks down at the sword and his indrawn breath is sharp and high.

There is no mistake.

Even the engravings on the blade are the same, something he had not noticed previously but he had been looking for every single identifiable and distinguishable characteristic this time.


The characters shine red on the flaming green blade, drawing Yunho’s attention to it too. His gasp is loud, and the denial follows quickly. “No…No please god no.”

“You’ve never seen it?” Jaejoong asks quietly.

“No,” the stark pain in Yunho’s eyes is difficult to face, and all three men watching look away, eyes darting around looking at anything buy the man’s eyes.

Jaejoong drops his hands into his lap, head bent as the sword once again disappears and Yunho’s tense body relaxes.

Everyone is silent, watching the couple. Yunho’s breathing is a little harsh but it calms down slowly, the blond angel taking his larger hand into his lap and caressing it comfortingly, tracing the man’s palm with his finger, unknowingly spelling out something.

The same characters over and over again as if trying to brand it into the man’s hand.


The ache in Changmin’s chest deepens at the casual action, for he can see what it actually is, even if the angel is unaware of it himself.

“You used to do that all the time.”

Both men look up at the shimmering eyes of the youngest.

“Do what?” Yunho asks, clearing his throat for his voice is a little hoarse.

“He used to write his name on your palm over and over again. When you realised what he was doing, you teased him, telling him you didn’t need his name on your body to know who you belonged to.”

Jaejoong stops the motion, clenching his fist and closing his eyes, trying to capture the distant memory Changmin’s words are trying to invoke, but try as he might, he cannot bring forth anything. The man could be lying for all he knows, but his soul knows the truth. His memories might be gone but his body and soul recognise Yunho’s on some level.

“I want to know what happened.”

Yunho shakes his head, remembering the agony he felt at the realisation of what probably had come to past, and he cannot subject Jaejoong to the same.

The angel smiles in understanding, but his eyes are sad, even as they start to glow with the power the Creator bestowed on him. A sharp flare of pain ignites in his soul as he bears down his will on the only person he shouldn’t need to.

Questioning someone as the Angel of Death is one thing, questioning someone as Jaejoong is another, for he has separated the two for the first time in eight hundred years and that split will tear him apart.


The baby reaper, having tagged along on this ride on the orders of the goddess, finally speaks up. His part is a simple one, his presence a mere vessel for higher beings to pass on their messages and warning.

“His powers are not meant to be used on you. If you force him to use them on you, there will be no difference between the Angel of Death and Jaejoong and you will lose him forever.”

“I want to know, reaper,” the Angel’s voice resonates around the room.

“I know,” tears fill the younger reaper’s eyes, “but you cannot force him. If you do, you will be lost.”

“I don’t care,” there is a strange music-like quality to the Angel’s voice. “I will be lost a thousand times over if it means I can remember him.”

“I will not lose you again,” the Guardian’s voice breaks through the mesmerising lassitude that the Angel is imbuing on their audience. “Stop it, Jaejoong. I’ll tell you what I know.”

The Angel’s incandescence winks out like a switch, and the three watching men shake off the strange feeling that had come over them, as if they needed to spill all their secrets right there and then and even if they wanted to stop, they wouldn’t be able to. The Angel wouldn’t even need to ask, so strong is his hold already on the three men.

However, his will bends to one person and one person alone.

Yunho keeps it short and simple. No details, just the bare minimum. “The king came to me in the north, telling me to leave you. He told me to leave you or you would die.”

Jaejoong recognises the words for they had been said to him too.


He lowers his sword and flexes his fingers on the handle, shaking his head. “I let him go, on the promise that he will return to me.”

“He will never return.”

“Then those are my only choices?”

“Leave him and I will allow him to live.”

“I cannot and will not leave him, father…”

“Then he will die.”


Awareness and disbelief wash through him slowly at the memories, a suspicion borne within him that is taking root and fanning the flames of his growing anger.

“Did he have my sword?”

The furrow in Yunho’s brow is deep, his expression grim, staring off to the side and unable to look at his angel, he nods curtly, unable to answer.

Jaejoong draws in a shuddering breath, closing his eyes once again, he replays his memory of his death, trying to find a clue, anything.

Yunho’s voice is a mere murmur, but every man in the room can hear him. They can hear the anguish in each word, and their audience hurts for him.

“I didn’t question why he had your sword, but I believed him. I believed my king when he told me to leave you or you would die. His words implied you were still alive, but I should have known, shouldn’t I? I trusted him…I trusted my king, your father. I trusted that a father would love his son more than his hatred for me. You were never without that sword, but it was different this time, stained.”

Jaejoong opens his eyes then, incandescent and filled with the fire of his wrath at a betrayal so deep, his voice is without inflection. “Stained with my blood.”

“Why did you do it?” Yunho asks, his voice raw with heartache. “Why…”

The angel finally unfolds himself from the goblin’s lap and stands, his head turning left and right as if looking for something or someone, and when the three men watching catch the look on his face, and see his blazing eyes, all three recoil and step back.

“Because I would rather die then leave you.”

“I heard your laughter,” Yunho closes his eyes. “When he ran your sword through me, my final memory was of that throaty laugh of yours in my ear and it sent goosebumps up my arms and body even as the blood left my body. It followed me to this day, though I did not know what it was. Whenever I touched the sword and tried to pull it out, I would hear your laughter…” his voice tapers off, a tears falling from his closed eyes at the memory.

If his words had not done it already, knowing that the death blow had come from the king with his sword, the tears of his beloved pushes him completely over the edge and the blazing fury of the Angel of Death comes to fore.

The shirt he is wearing burns off and the wing tattoos on the angel’s back unfurl, snapping out in their full glory.

Yunho opens his eyes and stares up at the vision, but what he sees is not what everyone else sees. He has nothing to fear from the vengeful Angel.

The pale man caresses his lover’s cheek before he turns, bare chested, the butterfly on his chest seemingly alive with the ripple of his muscle, he bears down on the three men watching, no cowering, against the furthest wall.

Turning on Changmin first, he directs his incandescent gaze.

“Do you know where he is?”

The poor mortal knew the prince could be terrifying when thwarted or crossed but in this form, his beauty is otherworldly and the terror it brings is even worse.

He shakes his head mutely, unable to speak.

The Angel leans forward, eyes of fire branding the mortal as if daring him to lie, but of course, nobody can lie to the Angel of Death and the man moves to the next body.

Kim Shin is already shaking his head before the Angel is able to ask him the question, averting his gaze from the blazing fire, he turns to look at the floor, but he does offer some information.

“Yunho wanted to look for him in Hell when he realised that you had probably died before the king even reached him.”

A growl of anger sets the rest of the Angel’s body alight, a white fire rippling all over his body and wings at the words of the younger goblin before he moves to the final being.

The poor young reaper is beside himself, but like earlier when he felt like he needed to spill all his deepest darkest secrets, he too speaks without waiting to be questioned.

“He is in Hell…the lowest level…the Ninth Gate.”

The Angel steps back, standing in the middle of the room that seems smaller by the moment as his wings grow even larger, as does his body. Barely 6 foot normally, he now stands at 7…

“Wang Sun…” he calls, again a strange melody in his voice. A note in it that cannot be resisted. “Wang Sun,” his voice grows louder, head tilted towards the ceiling, his fists clenched. “WANG SUN,” he roars, the sound deafening and everyone but Yunho covers their ears in abject terror, quaking where they stand.

And to everyone’s further shock, especially the Reaper who knows there is no way anyone can be called back from Hell, it has never happened and yet he is witnessing it, a blackened shrivelled being appears, hunched over before the glorious Angel.

A foul stench of burnt flesh permeates the room causing the only mortal in the room to start coughing and gagging from the putrid smell, eyes watering, he buries his nose into the back of Kim Shin’s shirt, the goblin himself barely able to stand the smell but he stands firm.


“You recognise me, father?” the Angel’s voice is preternaturally calm. Conversational even. He snaps a finger and a single white rose appears in his hand.

And just as he did before, he brings the stem to his lips, inhaling the rose and blowing out soft plumes of smoke, the smell of freshly cut roses starts to fill the room and overpowers the stench of the wretched being cowering before him.

The poor reaper is near fainting. He knows the White Reaper is powerful. He knows everyone, even his superiors and his superiors’ superiors are quite terrified of the man after the last rampage that sent countless souls off before their time. He also knows that nothing can cut through the smell of Death. Even when a Missing Soul visits, there is a lingering smell that tells of its presence that cannot be erased unless the being leaves.

And this creature has come straight from Hell itself, his stench would and should remain overpowering.

However as always, the rules don’t seem to apply to the blazing angel waiting for an answer.

He hears a quiet sob, and turns towards the sound.

The mortal is crying, head bent against the back of the younger goblin’s shoulder, Changmin is weeping.

Out of fear?

Of thankfulness?

The baby Reaper doesn’t know, but he knows how the man feels. If he weren’t who he was, he’d be crying too.

“Y..y..you look like my son.”

“Look closely, father…” the Angel flicks his rose away and it disappears into thin air, leaning down and reducing his size to his original. He snaps his fingers again and the burnt out shell starts to reform.

Before everyone’s eyes, the former 8th ruler of Goryeo regains his physical body. The transformation is slow, muscle reforming, flesh growing where it wasn’t, bones clicking into place. And when his nude body is intact, clothes flow over him, the royal dress of a King.

The man looks at his hands in awe, patting down his body, his face stretches into a smile as he reaches out his hand to the Angel watching him without expression.

“Yes. You are my son.”

Yunho stands just then, his expression now grim as it was earlier and takes his place next to the Angel. His clothes change too, as does the Angel’s, and in a few seconds, they are resplendent in their former clothing. Yunho in his military uniform as the foremost General of Goryeo and the Crown Prince, in the robes that announce who he is with just one look.

Kim Shin and the reaper both gasp at the change, for truly, the Prince Angel is beautiful in his royal robes, and Yunho seems to become even more handsome.

Changmin lifts his head at the sounds and his breath is caught in his throat as he sees his leader and his prince standing just as he remembered them. However there is one telling difference. The Prince was always softer when standing next to his lover general. It’s as if he automatically defers to the taller and younger man. Even when angered, he tempers it and any acts of mercy in meting out punishments would always be with Yunho by his side.

However there is no mercy in his eyes as he stares at his father.

“Do you recognise him, father?”

The man is already staring at Yunho, his expression morphing from being aghast to shock, and then…to hatred.

“Jung Yunho,” his voice is bitter. “What would it take to get rid of you from my sight?”

The warrior remains silent for a moment, before turning to the Angel and smiling faintly. “I think you can remedy that, my love.”

The Angel smiles, and the three men watching feel a cold shiver running up their spines, for the inhuman beauty is glowing even as he speaks. “Pluck out your eyes, father.”

The former King’s features twist in shock and agony and against his will, for you can see him fighting it, his hands reach up to do just that.

And just like that execution a millennia ago, the watchers look away.

Neither lover nor angel flinches, watching the man cry out in pain as he pulls his eyes from their sockets, but there is no sympathy, no mercy, for they have suffered more at his hands.

“Do you feel better now?” the Angel asks sweetly.

The King sinks to his knees, head bowed, his hands bloody and holding his eyeballs, his robe streaked with blood.


The Angel is now ready to start his interrogation.

“How did you find out about us?”

“I saw you in the grotto…when we were travelling East.”

At his words, a memory flashes through both the Guardian and the Angel.


”Yunho-yah!” The shamelessly nude prince stomps his foot on a rock. “Come back here!”

The warrior turns around, still swimming languidly, his eyes full of appreciation, running his lips over the length of his bottom lip, practically able to taste the prince’s arousal. “You’re a little old to be throwing a tantrum, my love.”

“Old? Old?” The pale prince is turning pink then red in disbelief.

“Mmmm…yes, aren’t you what? Over 30 now? Ancient.”

The prince growls and takes a deep breath, bracing himself against the cold, he dives into the pristine water of the grotto they had discovered. They are travelling with his father to check on the lands to the East and after hours of horseback riding, the prince had called a halt. The royal entourage is guarded heavily by the best, and General Jung is leading it.

Yunho laughs and starts swimming towards the opposite bank. He knows they are safe because the camp is a good half hour’s walk away and the prince had requested a stroll to shake off his riding legs. The king had ordered him to accompany the prince, and who is he to deny his liege?

Pulling himself up onto a sun warmed ledge, the nude general stacks his hands behind his head and closes his eyes. He hears rather than sees the irate prince and soon, cold speckles of water fall on him.

“I could have been nice and warm and dry instead of cold, shivering and shrivelled up like those stupid persimmons you love.”

Yunho cracks open an eye at the irate prince dripping all over him. His eyes zero in on one thing and he smirks, licking his lips.

“Would you like to sit on my face? I’m sure you’ll be warm in no time.”


“Good god…” Yunho utters quietly, closing his eyes briefly to the heart stopping memory. How many more has he forgotten?

“I think you mean angel.”

The man still kneeling before them lifts up his head, following the sounds of their voices.

Noticing his movement, the Angel’s countenance changes immediately.

“Did you mean to have Yunho killed when you sent him to the North?”

The man covers his mouth with his bloodied hands, as if trying to stop himself from speaking.

Yunho cocks his head and stares down at his former liege. “Do you think he could write out his answers while blind if you took out his tongue?”

“I could always just burn him up till only his soul is left. That black burned out creature I called from Hell. In that form, he cannot deny me anything.”

“N-no please. Yes…yes I meant to have him killed but he wouldn’t be killed. He just kept fighting and expanding our borders. Even the cold wouldn’t kill him and no assassins could touch him, his men protected him too well.”

Changmin stirs at the king’s words, eyes now filled with angry tears. He remembers this. He remembers the poisoned daggers, the poisoned food, and even the poisoned drink. They lost several good men, but Yunho seemed to be protected somehow.

As if momentarily assaulted by another memory or he heard Changmin’s thoughts, the mortal will never know but Yunho’s voice is cold when he next speaks.

“You killed my men. I lost several to poisonings that we believed were done by the people whose lands we were conquering, but it was you. It isn’t just my blood on your hands is it? You killed more than ten innocent men. Good men who would have been willing to lay down their life for you in a heartbeat. Your son loved you too, did you know that? Did you know the Minister of War was plotting to have you assassinated and Jaejoong to take the throne because he thought the pretty prince would be a fine puppet. He was executed for plotting against you. Your son saved your life and you took his in return. Did you have Jaejoong’s blood on his sword when you came for me?”

“Yes…that blood was his but—“

The Guardian turns towards the Angel again and cuts him off. “Do it.”

The Angel smiles again, and the three men watching close their eyes. They do not see the Angel burst into a blazing fire of white, his wings extended out once again, nor do they see him reaching out to touch a flaming fingertip to the forehead of his father, but they do hear the crackle as the body of the king burst into flames at the merest of contact, and they hear his cries of agony.

The avenging couple waits, watching the fire strip the body from the soul, ignoring the cries of mercy until the blackened husk is once again before them. The air is again filled with the stench of burnt and rotting flesh, but there is no respite this time from a merciful Angel and his rose.

“Was I still alive when you told Yunho that if he did not leave me, that I would die?”

The man wails in pain, putting whatever that is left of his hands to his husk of a head, the question burning into him like the penance he has been serving for a millennia over his treatment of his son and his lover. “N—n—no.”

“And yet you tricked him, knowing he would rather die then leave me?”


The Angel lifts his hand, fingers curling in a claw-like manner.

“Jaejoong,” Yunho’s voice is quiet, finally done. He has his answers and it is just like his suspicions and he had wanted to tear the man limb from limb, in Hell if he had to, but this shaking, snivelling creature before him will be tortured enough for the rest of his existence. “Enough.”

The Angel of Death drops his hand. Bending over, he leans down towards the empty husk and he blows against the man’s face.

The king’s head forms again, but just his head, his body remaining blackened as it was, and the picture is grotesque. The three men watching hold to each other in support and even sympathy to some extent.

There are tears in the Angel’s eyes, and a bright glistening silvery dew drop slides from one glowing eye. “I loved you, father,” his voice is achingly soft. “But I cannot forgive you.” Another tear slides out. “You will remember my face and you will remember me, and it will hurt more than you will ever know,” he pauses, taking a deep breath before leaning forward even more till his lips are merely ghosting over the mouth of the man he used to call father. “Goodbye,” and he kisses the man gently.

Black wretched arms appear out of thin air behind the body of the king and clasp him, before disappearing with him back to Hell where they came from.

The Angel slumps against his Lover in a dead faint.

Three men sit at a table, their hands shaking violently as they try to drink their beer. They try really hard but the bottles clatter at their teeth and they finally give up, dropping the full bottles with a loud thunk on the dining table.

“I think I just lost a few hundred years off my existence.”

“Gee, how unfortunate for you,” mutters the only mortal.

Kim Shin clasps his hands together to try and force them to stop shaking. He turns to Changmin, “Have they always been like that?”

The human stares at his bottle morosely. “Like what?”

“Jae…the Angel…he seems to listen to hyung.”

“He always listens to hyung.”

“Even when he is more powerful and doesn’t need to?”

“Even then,” Changmin sighs and nods. “I didn’t know he knew about the execution, but I should have known anyway since the prince has never hidden anything from him.”

“How was the execution?”

Changmin suppresses a shudder. “Bloody.”

The silent reaper lays his cheek on the table top. “I wish I could forget all this. I wish I never met any of you. This will give me nightmares till the end of my days and the worst part of it all is that I still want a kiss from the Angel.”

A silent butterfly flits in the uppermost corner of the room.

Ever present.

Ever watchful.

He is in a meadow. It’s a favourite of Yunho’s, somewhere he comes to think or to just be alone and away from people. He owns the land and has done so for centuries. It is pristine and untouched by anyone for he has always been the only visitor.

Till that night.

He feels the man stirring and feels the gentle hand, before the pain of his doom hits him.

“Will it always be like this?” Jaejoong asks in a whisper, pulling his hand away regretfully and watching the sword disappear. “I can’t touch you there at all.” He moves his hand lower, slipping it underneath Yunho’s sweater and rubs his belly.

A familiar action, for Yunho as a Goryeo warrior used to have spells of belly problems and the prince was always there to soothe his pains away.

Closing his eyes, he slips his own hand under his top to join the blond’s and they link fingers, settling comfortably. They had just returned from South Africa where his money had bought a marriage license and a marriage officer to officiate faster than you can spell Afrikaans. With their memories back, Jaejoong had been insistent. He wanted to be married a thousand years ago, and he wasn’t about to be thwarted now, so here they are, spending the start of their honeymoon in the middle of nowhere.

“I think it’s worse actually…you’re truly my bride now,” he chuckles at the immediate huff from the man on his left.

“Why is everything couched in effeminate terms? I’m not a bride.”

“A groom then?” Yunho teases, turning to kiss the cold nose of his…bride.

After Jaejoong had fainted, Yunho had taken him back to the penthouse. The angel had slept for a full day before waking up, eyes wild, telling Yunho he remembers everything. Between a few heated kisses, the former prince with the one-track mind had made Yunho arrange for them to get married immediately. Having spent the day being bombarded by visions of their shared past, Yunho wasn’t hard-pressed to disagree.

Jaejoong sits up in the grass. “I’m serious. I don’t think we can start our relationship properly with that thing sticking out of your chest. Even if I tried to avoid it, I know it’s there and if there isn’t a colder way to dampen anyone’s lust, I don’t know what is.”

Yunho sits up too and moves to sit behind the blond, hugging him from behind and resting his chin on the man’s shoulder. “One last test then?”

“Kim Shin,” the Angel calls out sotto voce. He doesn’t even need to call a second time when the man appears, holding a spatula and looking around before sighing.

“Do you know how it sounds to the soul being called? It’s like I want so badly to go to you and it would kill me if I didn’t. That’s how it feels, and it’s not very nice seeing as you’re married and all.”

“I called you nicely,” the Angel replies, an amused smile on his lips. “You can go back now.”

“Use the door,” Yunho thumbs over his shoulder at the nondescript shed behind them.

“What? No kiss?”

“Unless you want to be sent to Hell,” the Angel replies sweetly, causing the Goblin to shudder and hurry to the door, slamming it behind him.

“That’s wasn’t very nice,” Yunho laughs, licking up the curve of an elfin ear that he finds.

“Keep doing that and you’re going to get hurt again.”

“I’m going to be hurt anyway,” he replies, suddenly serious as he leans back. “Are you ready to do this?”

Jaejoong turns in the circle of his lover’s legs, eyes centered on the man’s chest. He lifts both hands, placing both palms by his heart, and the sword materialises. He can feel Yunho’s sharp indrawn breath from the pain, and he looks up, seeing nothing but love and trust in the eyes of the Guardian.

He looks down, wrapping his hands around the tsuka of his katana. Taking a firm grip, he raises his eyes again, watching the pain and emotions play across the face of his handsome husband as he draws out the sword slowly.

There is a strange hissing sound, but Jaejoong doesn’t look down. He knows when the sword is out when Yunho starts to break away.

Into ash.

Leaning forward, he touches his mouth to his beloved, unable to stop his tears even though he knows he can call the man back. His husband is without voice now, ash swirling around them, but Jaejoong can speak enough for both of them.

“I love you.”

It is over in less than a minute but even a minute seems too long to be apart from his love.

“Jung Yunho,” he calls, his face tilted up towards the sky, a beatific smile upon his angelic features.

The wind picks up, leaves overhead rustling, but he remains alone.

“Jung Yunho,” he calls again, a little more firmly, eyes looking around, trying to find his beloved somewhere, but he remains alone.

“Jung Yunho,” he calls a third time, still unworried for the number three is a magic number for him and nothing has ever been able to resist his call, not even a damned soul in the lowest level of Hell can deny him.

It has never failed.

But fail it does, the angel remains alone under the starless sky, powerless beyond his abilities, this is the first time it has ever failed him.

Realisation is slow in coming, and when it does, the heavens and earth cry in sympathy.

Jaejoong screams - the inhuman unearthly sound of an angel in pain, something no one has ever heard, and never will again, the sound rending through the air, cutting like a knife, anyone too close will suffer inexplicable nosebleeds and ruptured eardrums. No punishment is worse than this, the second time in his existence that he has caused the end of the one he loves more than himself.

And no matter how much he screams.

No matter how much Samshin Halmeoni pleads on his behalf.

The Almighty simply watches with an unfathomable expression as his child crumples to the ground, crying pearl red tears from the deepest of sorrow, the marks streaking down his pale cheeks, the colour is a warning to everyone.

His one rule for his angels, all of them, with no exception, is that He be loved above all else.

Your power is given to you by one more powerful, and He can take it back whenever he wants so do not suffer the arrogance of believing you are infallible for all Creation is weak, but the Creator is forever merciful.

AN: Next chapter is the end…i’m sorry this took so long to finish when I started so quickly. Also, fuck there is so much going on. I’m really sorry if there a few gaps or sth here and there. I can barely keep track ;;

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Yunho is gone? As in gone? Please...let him come back to jae..

P.s. I feel the pain in my heart..omg..why am i i so emotional..

P.s.s. I'm listening to heechul and kyunghoon 나비잠 while reading this..and i'm crying a river

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