bangtan ; yoongi/jimin → pg-13 → 2.5k
angels!au ; Angels bleed gold but Yoongi bleeds black.
warnings! major religious themes, unrequited pining, obnoxious metaphors about blood and hearts but no actual blood or hearts, metaphorical death
written for elfscouts + crossposted to ao3
s/o to manni, my everything, for beta-ing and helping me with the plot even though it's so short and listening to all my complaining, and just overall greatness as per usual. s/o to my other everything, ze, who looked this over and hated me ily. also to my love reika reading over for me. you're all gems and i would be nothing without you.
God passes judgement in the form of the sun, in rays of light that beam upon the chosen from above and the wind blowing beneath their wings. When he does, it’s absolute, and divinity comes and sweeps everything away into the aether.
There are rules you have to follow in heaven, the unspoken but known guidelines the angels all follow in lockstep. In heaven, the atmosphere is filled with song and the airy lightness of the clouds, pure and holy.
There’s plenty of room to breathe up above the clouds, plenty of room to spread and flap your wings. However, there’s no room for that bit of leeway, no room for slip-ups because humans are the ones who make mistakes, not angels, and in the universe there has to be that bit of balance.
In heaven, there’s never a silver lining because everything’s already adorned with gold, and silver just doesn’t shine as bright.
Yoongi threads the rosary between his fingers. Lord, forgive me for I have sinned.
Some of them are born as angels, the purest creation God gives light to. Some of them—such as Yoongi—are not, having died on earth, earning their wings with a thousand prayers and a plead.
All angels are holy, with wings like the bleached white linens Yoongi recalls from the time he was alive, bed empty like a lone island. Beautiful like his mother, her face that he held in his hands, stroking her cheek with the pads of his thumb.
In Yoongi’s eyes, the most beautiful he’s ever seen is Jimin, veiled in a halo of light like how they described them in picture books—the perfect image of an angel. Yoongi isn’t fond of him out of admiration like the rest, but out of adoration, his presence more cleansing than anyone he’s ever met.
Yoongi doesn’t know if it’s the way his brown hair falls into his eyes, the way his face crinkles when he smiles. He doesn’t know if it’s the softness of his eyelashes on his cheeks or the way he just glows, as bright as the sun shining steadfast in the sky, but Yoongi’s a little transfixed. A little too in awe.
He knows this feeling in his chest, knows it like the longing for his mother’s arms around him, vague and fleeting.
Yoongi realizes it’ll never amount to anything, though, because angels aren’t supposed to love. Not like this.
Jimin’s never been down on earth, and Yoongi knows this because he always comes running to Jungkook, clutching at his arm and asking him what it’s like being a guardian, what kind of humans did he see, what events he witnessed.
Jungkook tells him all the beautiful things, sugarcoated and sweet on the tongue. He tells him about how flowers bloom with their heads held high to the sun like how angels drop to their knees, holding their hands together up at the sky. He tells Jimin about the procession of seasons, about how earth’s the most verdant in the spring. Jimin always smiles, full of that short-sighted naivety Yoongi’s thankful for, and takes what he gets.
He doesn’t tell him about the rest, though, about the sins that soak through ugly and unveiling like oil on paper. He doesn’t tell him about the toxicity, about how the purest feelings can grow to consume you.
Yoongi’s grateful to Jungkook because he knows how ugly human emotions are.
If it brings you to your knees, it’s a bad religion.
When the horns sound, the angels spread their wings.
Jimin drops to his knees and presses his hands together, head tilted towards the endless sky, benediction dripping from his lips like the tears Yoongi’s never witnessed from anybody but the humans on earth. Words dripping like the running faucets that wash hands like washing away sins, like liquid gold. Every beautiful dream’s manifestation.
Confitemini domino quoniam bonus, he chants, sings in the hymn that’s always been comforting to the ears, in the language of the angels.
Alea iacta est.
On earth, the light dies out like a tired flame, just as Yoongi’s words do, confession caught in the back of his throat. On earth, the air is freeing, far less cloying despite the pollution in the atmosphere.
In heaven, there are no stars to count, no constellations to connect. In heaven, there is no night time, and nothing passes unhidden.
When Yoongi closes his eyes, he paints an inky black sky under his lids.
Yoongi’s heels dig into aged foliage, softened by soil and the river that runs underneath the canopy of trees. The light shines in fragments through the leaves.
It’s awfully still, serene save for the rustling he hears behind him. He turns, and a young boy emerges from behind a cage of branches, squeezing his small body through the margins. He giggles to himself, proud, and totters around like there’s nothing to be afraid of.
“Is this who I was supposed to be looking for?” he asks nobody in particular. “What’re you doing here all by yourself? This is a dangerous place.”
Yoongi tilts his head and walks closer to the boy, and if he was still human, Yoongi would’ve casted a shadow over him. The boy turns, eyes wide and guileless, almost as if he can sense Yoongi there.
Maybe, just maybe.
Yoongi reaches out to him, wants to feel human warmth on his skin, and his hand passes right through. It falls back to his side, and he feels oddly despondent.
Yoongi laughs at himself, laughs at how he’s forgotten the fact that he’s not alive. At the fact that he’s not caught in flowing, steady time but rather floating on the outside. An eternal existence.
The boy smiles and goes back to running around, his little feet padding across the dirt and fallen leaves, eyes full of awe and naivety. They’re the eyes of Jimin, and he’s seen them so many times before, familiar. Yoongi wants to hold him in his arms.
Divinity comes at a cost, he realizes.
Is this what love is?
Angels don’t sleep, but they do grow tired from staring at the sun, from batting their wings and singing until their throats are raw.
Jimin is next to him, hunched over the ledge of the palace, his wings hanging to the floor. His hair blows with the wind, soft locks falling back into place when it calms, and even like this, he still looks just as breathtaking as he always does. Yoongi gazes at him, feels an aching wind around him, tighter and tighter, constricting.
It must be tiring to fly so close to the sun, and Yoongi wishes he could heal every bruise, ease every soreness of Jimin’s body. He can’t seem describe the feeling in his chest.
“Maybe this is what it feels like,” Yoongi mumbles, the words slipping out of his mouth unconsciously, washing over him before he can stop himself. He looks away.
“What do you mean?” Jimin asks, and Yoongi’s afraid to answer, so he doesn’t.
There are seven deadly sins, just like how there are seven archangels, seven days of the week. Seven lines you mustn’t cross.
Coepi te amare, says the voice in Yoongi’s head. He laments with his entire being, his entire meager existence. Angels aren’t supposed to go against the laws God sets.
But what’s the purpose of a rule if not to be broken?
Angels aren’t alive, not really, but Yoongi feels like he’s experiencing what it’s like to die for a second time, experiencing the end all over again.
He doesn’t know if this is love that he feels, the swell of this chest, the squeeze every time Jimin throws his arms around Jungkook and smiles the smile Yoongi would give all of him to see, piecing himself away bit by bit. He’s not sure if this is love, but he knows it’s a sin to want something you can’t have.
In heaven, there’s nothing you can hide because God is omniscient, and in his wake nothing is left unseen. They’ve never been allowed to be selfish, but that’s what Yoongi is. He is selfish.
Transit umbra, lux permanet, he remembers, and prays for forgiveness.
It brings Yoongi to his knees.
Si vis amari—
Yoongi does wish, he does.
“Hey Yoongi, tell me about humans.” It comes out of nowhere, and Yoongi looks at him in confusion. Jimin asks him again, perched on the same ledge Yoongi’s leaning on, his voice gentle, “What’re they like?”
“Don’t you usually ask Jungkook this?” Yoongi replies, tries to not let his bitterness show.
“Yeah, but I wanna hear about them from someone else’s perspective,” Jimin says, but his voice is quiet and it’s difficult to focus when Yoongi’s heart hammers so loud in his ears. He continues, “And I feel like Jungkook only tells me the nice things. Some humans still go to hell, right?”
“Yeah, some of them do,” Yoongi answers.
“Then tell me about it.” Jimin tilts his head and smiles, and he looks so unworldly. Yoongi knows can never resist him if it’s like this, so that’s what he does, he tells Jimin what he wants to hear.
“Well—” Yoongi pauses and tries to form an answer. “They’re flawed. Ugly and flawed, but they get away with it. Always sinning, always begging for pardon. It’s a constant cycle but it’s much easier for them to be forgiven.”
The answer comes unexpectedly, “Must be nice.”
“Why? Do you wanna be human?” Yoongi asks, a little caught up in Jimin’s laugh lines when he giggles, the tenderness of his expression. Jimin hops off the ledge and into the space next to Yoongi, and he’s so close, their wings touching and shoulders grazing, warmth rolling off of him and onto Yoongi’s skin.
Jimin grins at him and Yoongi melts, heart in his throat, feels the longing bleed out of his chest as if he were being emptied from everything he had left. Jimin answers him, voice a little mischievous, “Maybe.”
“How come?” Yoongi runs a hand through his hair, and from the side, Jimin looks so ethereal, so unreal.
“They’re interesting, and they seem really beautiful,” Jimin says as he gazes down, soft and serene, and Yoongi feels every breath he takes being snatched away from him, pickpocketed right out of his lungs. It’s horrible because Yoongi wants to tell Jimin how he’s hurting him, how the feeling’s eating him from the inside out.
He laughs, his ribcage strangled as if it’s being crushed in a vicegrip, and wants to say, wants to choke out despite the pain, but not as beautiful as you.
Yoongi may not be alive, but his heart still beats, threatens to pound out of his chest like lost souls hammering their fists against the gates of hell. Faster, faster, faster.
He just wants to love.
Yoongi claps his palms together, guilt on his lips, but maybe it’s not a prayer that he needs.
Sometimes his eyes grow tired from seeing constant sunlight, so he closes them.
Fiat lux, they sing all around him.
They say there’s a second death a soul can go through, a death beyond the moment the heart quakes into cessation, beyond the moment the brain short-circuits and every nerve burns itself out.
To lose grace is to truly die, to cease and desist completely. That’s the real ending, and maybe it’ll come easier than it seems.
Yoongi wonders for a split second if Jimin will miss him.
“As if,” he mutters to himself, and maybe Yoongi’s finally learned to accept it. The pain opens up and encompasses him like his mother’s arms, but solitude had always been much colder in contrast.
Sometimes even God grows tired with his own creation.
If this is what love is—
Yoongi would say he’s running out of places to hide but there were never any to begin with.
“Do angels die?” Jimin asks him, a little more detached than usual, as if he has something else on his mind.
“You’re full of questions, aren’t you?” Yoongi responds, almost as if he were trying to avoid the question, as if he were afraid that Jimin knows.
“But do they?” Jimin repeats himself, and Yoongi feels every ugly emotion hit him in fast, successive motion—each subsequent moment more painful than the last. Yoongi only ever had one thing to hide, and he doesn’t want to answer. But he still does.
“Yeah,” Yoongi croaks, and fear wraps its fingers around his throat, runs its thumb at the skin of his neck, rough and malignant. “Yeah, they do.”
To humans, a sin is an ephemeral, temporary baggage that doesn’t rip off their limbs like it rips out the wings of an angel.
The heart forgives but that’s no longer the reprieve he’s looking for.
In the holy books, they say Lucifer fell like lightning. He wonders if he’ll be the same.
How long will you continue to love him like this?
The voice shakes him to his core, and Yoongi bows his head as if everything wasn’t already displayed, as if he didn’t already serve his heart on a silver platter. Even in his thoughts, there are no places the light doesn’t hit.
In perpetuum et unum diem.
Do angels cry?
Yoongi’s wings are heavy, weighing down on his back as if he were bearing every sin in the world, carrying every burden on his shoulders. He sees how lethal love can really be, sees the selfishness in the reflection of himself, crystalline and clear across the water of the fountain.
They say God is forgiving, but maybe that’s not the case.
He hobbles into an alley and hides in the shadow of a building, coiling himself into his feathers. They’ve already morphed black, his lungs aching like they’re about to implode, his breath being ripped out of him but what else is there for God to take? He holds his hands out in the light and feels his skin burn.
“So it’s time,” he mutters to himself, and he hears a voice that’s blurred by distance, one that he wants to ignore.
Yoongi accepts that this is the end, knows he can’t sustain himself like this. He lets one last apology slip through his lips, one last mantra on his tongue, takes one last look at the sky. His last testimony. Cor meum tibi est.
He decides that this must be what it’s like. Yoongi decides that, yeah, this is what love is.
The gates open, the clouds underneath his feet thinning, a shout that pierces sharp in his ears. His wings drag him down as if he were experiencing gravity again, and he falls.
A hand reaches out from above him.
this was written to frank ocean's bad religion and by some incredible cosmic chance, it happens to fit absolutely perfectly with this fic. absolutely, minus the taxi driver. my latin's kinda rusty but here are the translations:
Confitemini domino quoniam bonus: Praise to the lord, for he is good
Alea iacta est: The dice has been cast
Coepi te amare: I have begun to love you
(i actually got this line from this fic which i also drew a little of inspiration from with the latin. it's gorgeous, go read it)
Si vis amari—: If you wish to be loved—
Transit umbra, lux permanet: Shadow passes, light remains
Fiat lux: Let there be light
In perpetuum et unum diem: Forever and a day
Cor meum tibi est: My heart belongs to you
feel free to come and cry with me!!
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