⚜ It might’ve gone better, scrambling out of the city, clinging to her father with her face hidden from the lights and noises — he couldn’t carry her, they had to blend in — had someone not pulled at her and lost her in the haze of the riots.
If she could think, or breathe, or hear maybe she could crash through the barriers around this dimension to somewhere safer like they were meant to; but she’s lost and dizzy and she’s got nothing to hold onto and it’s so loud. She might be shaking; hands clamped over her ears, she finds the quietest spot she can. It’s some courtyard, paving stones warm under her fingertips, and curling up against a wall and forcing her eyes shut seems the best course of action until someone can find her.
The outcome may have been one she was hoping for had it been someone she knows.
Jerked up suddenly by her elbow, she shrieks, covers her hands with her mouth, stares in horror at the strangers. There’s three, four of them — it might be double vision, she can’t think — worrying their gazes at her. They’re demons, which should mean safe, but she can’t speak.
“— ’s a cambion —”
“— the fuck is it doing here? —”
“— this is meant to —” cutting off, they drop the dagger from her throat, curl their fingers around her jaw. “Why are you here?”
It sounds like they’re trying to calm her; but there’s salt in her eyes and the entire world is loud and bright and screaming — she can’t offer anything more in return than a whimper. Frowning heavier at her, they lift her face. “Your name?”
She wants to tell them, but she can’t — the words aren’t struggling up her throat like they normally can, lying dormant somewhere in her chest. If she can, they might let her go, make it quieter, be scared of what will happen if they know who she is. Whimpering again, she screws her eyes shut. It’s something like protection.
“Fucking look at me —” it mightn’t have been the loudest shout she’s heard, and the tiny screaming and flinching away might’ve made it worse — even if their panic from her movements was better than the sudden white-hot burn of pain in her ribs.
There’s a moment of silence as it pulls out, the dagger slick, and Sephiel moves shuddering fingers to stare at the damage.
“— what the fuck was that about?”
“They were going for me, you saw —”
They’re still arguing, she can hear, and there’s words about hiding and can’t let them go and leave them there but with the sanguine stickiness coating her fingers, it’s hard to concentrate on anything but that. Everything is quieter now, at least. Even if the demons close by are still hissing amongst themselves, the rest of the world has muffled itself. Turning her hand over, she stares at the blood coating it. She’s never seen this much come out of her before.
“Hey.” The word pulls her out of the stupor for a moment, enough to turn her gaze upwards to stare at them with wide eyes, frozen in movement like some caricature of a puppet and puppeteer. “Can you hear me?”
There’s nothing she can respond with. Sighing, they glance back at the others, turn to her. Silence drags on for a moment as she waits for her head to stop spinning.
“You really can’t remember our faces,” they sound apologetic, and it’s all she can process before the heated press of metal slips between her ribs.
— the puppet strings snap, metal on her tongue, and the world collapses sideways.
— she’s going to ʟ ı ν ε, though; there’s lifeblood effusing from her bones, of course, and maybe it will ebb away until the sum of her parts add up to nothing anymore but bones and flame — but there’s always the αғтεя that she knows she’ll come to, has to come to, with a brother that rules by and a brother to die by and purgatory has always wanted her —
— there’s someone, something new there, and that infinitesimal flicker of hope in the curling hollow of her chest forces a breath in. it’s close to something like optimism, and maybe they’ll know so they can get her back —
— maybe if she reaches out with her hand or her self she can tell them not to worry, it’s fine, she’s fine, her parent always said not to be scared, because if the glaring side of a knife or нσʟч shine of an angel ever got to her there’s no reason to be scared they can always find her be calm —
— it’s never really been enough, and she’s always wondered what it’s like to die.