There are truths that Mammon knows, and then there are truths that he accepts. There is a discrepancy in the numbers when he compares the two.
He knows that he fell apart the day that his sister fell from the heavens, and he knows that he never bothered to put himself back together. He knows that he has become brash, irrational, overwhelmed by the sin he embodies and powerless to rein it in. He knows that his heart hurts, and aches, and cries - he knows that he misses his brothers, the way they all used to be.
He accepts none of it.
He knew that the human who stumbled into their world unwillingly was in the process of single-handedly upending everything around him. He knew that she was breaking down walls with every laugh, every smile, every reprimand.
He knew that he would have to accept his feelings one day, but he didn’t think it would be like this.
“Hey,” he gasps, her name sounding strangled when it falls from his lips. The woman in his arms is tinier than he remembers, looks frailer - the blood dripping from her lip looks wrong in a way that nothing ever has before. “H-hey, ya gotta hold on, okay? We’ll get you fixed right up, you hear?”
A trembling, small hand raises to his face, dropping back before it reaches its mark, and Mammon is quick to catch it with his own. Her lips quirk up into a smile as she looks up at him, and her face is so, so very pale. How can she be smiling at him now?
“It’ll be okay, you’ll be okay. Ya got The Great Mammon with you, you know? Just, just keep on breathing, I’ve got ya,” he pleads in a voice that isn’t his.
“Mammon,” she whispers, her voice faint and fragile, not full of life like it normally is, and his eyes are drawn to the purpling bruises around her neck, “I’m glad you were my first man.”
“Hey, hey, now don’t say that, of - of course you’re glad, but… hey, no, ya gotta come back to me.”
The smile is still present, but her eyes flutter shut. Her breathing is getting fainter, isn’t it? Isn’t it???
“Hey hey hey, no no, ya can’t do this to me, you stupid human! We’ve got things to do! I’ve got things I’ve got to tell ya, things we’ve got to - to talk about, ya gotta come back now!”
Her name is leaving his lips and somewhere, distantly, he’s aware that he’s screaming. For help, for his brothers, for anything to fix this. He can’t see past his tears, can’t hear past his sobs. How had it come to this? She was fine, just hours ago, absolutely fine and full of life and fuck, oh fuck, she can’t be gone this can’t be real no no no no no.
There are hands on his back but his demon form must have slipped, at some point, because he’s vaguely aware of his thrashing tail.
She’s his best friend. He doesn’t really think she’s a stupid human - he didn’t tell her, why didn’t he ever tell her? She’s everything to him, everything good, no one has ever made him feel like she does when she’s around, not in decades and decades. Like he’s worth something, like he means something, like there’s something more to life than his sins. Seeing her laugh beside him and bump his shoulder when they walk and pat his knee during horror movies and smile genuinely at his ridiculous plans - those things have changed who he is at the core.
He loves her, he loves her, she’s gotta come back.
But her skin is growing colder in his hands, his body curled protectively around a shell with no heartbeat.
His world is falling apart, and he hopes that he’ll shatter with it.
It’s muffled - he wants everyone to go away, just go away, let him protect her. He’s gotta make her come back.
It’s louder this time, more commanding, and two hands stronger than his own shove at his shoulders. Like someone else is operating his body, he looks up from where his head was buried in her hair - Lucifer’s scarlet eyes are right in front of him, and it gains his attention because of how very, very long it has been since his brother has looked at him with anything less than contempt.
He follows his brother’s gaze, feels his steady hands on his shoulder, and to his utter bewilderment, there on the stairs stands the most beautiful person he’s ever had the pleasure of meeting — his favorite person. Alive, breathing, cheeks flushed and neck unmarred. But that doesn’t make any sense, because she’s right here, he can feel her, she just fucking died -
And the body in his arms just...disappears.
Her name is the only word that his mouth can form. Lost and scared and too terrified to be hopeful, he looks to Lucifer, whose brow is furrowed but who is now holding his forearms and pulling Mammon to his feet.
His hands tremble as he clings to his older brother, but so do Lucifer’s, and that’s more grounding than anything else.
What the hell is going on?
Others are talking, and crying, and yelling, and Lucifer has left him. Mammon takes in his surroundings like he is in a bubble, watching his eldest brother approach his youngest with death in his strides (Had he done this? Belphie? That was too much, way way too much.)
His steps take him closer, and closer, and amidst the chaos and her explanations that he can’t hear, he watches her speak and move and yeah, yeah that has to be her. She’s favoring her left hip and her hands are flailing in her urgency to explain, like they do when she gets excited, and there’s an earnestness in her face that is more than unusual in the land of devils. Her voice and her mannerisms and her her her her -
She looks at him when he says her name, though he knows his voice is weak. He can only imagine what she sees in his face that makes hers contort in that way - but then she’s running to him, and he hates seeing tears stream down her face but it is so worth it to just see life.
When she collides with his chest, he constricts trembling arms around her forms. She’s crying and he’s crying and they’ve both sunken to the ground. The smell of her hair makes him feel like he’s found fresh air for the first time in millennia.
The way he says her name over and over is the closest he’s coming to praying in as long as he can remember.
“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I don’t know what’s happenin’ but - but, I’ll never let it happen again, I won’t let you get hurt, I’m sorry,” he apologizes over and over, but her gentle hands are wiping his tears as fast as they come.
“None of this is your fault. I’m right here, Mammon, I’m alive and here and I’m not hurt, you’ve got me, okay? You’ve got me. I’m so sorry that that happened - I’m so sorry that I hurt you.”
There’s no time to argue with her because his breath is crushed out of his chest in the next moment, the familiar arms of Beelzebub wrapping around the two of them protectively, squeezing them for comfort. When Mammon looks up, he sees most of his brothers huddled around them, faces painted in relief and regret, some streaked with tears but all of them more open than he’s seen them before.
They’ll figure this out, he thinks, pressing his lips to his human’s hair. They’ll figure this out and for once, they’ll do it together.