“Where are we going?” Jinyoung asks, his grip on Inhyung’s hand threatening to slip because his own is clammy with sweat. He is quite nervous and the blindfold is not making it any better. “You’ll see soon enough. We’re almost there.” Inhyung says gently. She’s already dragged him across streets, through doors, up stairs and past hallways. Jinyoung is rather close to making her give up. “I am going to sit down very soon!” He protests. “Hold on just a little more.” Inhyung pushes open a slightly creaky door and Jinyoung imagines he recognises it. The cold air night strokes his skin. “You dragged me through a building only to end up outside again! What is this fuckery!” He pulls his sweaty hand from hers and raises it to rip off his blindfold. The piece of cloth falls to the ground and Jinyoung finds he is on the roof of the school. “What are we doing here?” He asks.
“You’ll find out soon enough. Practise some patience, it is a virtue.” Jaebum appears from the shadows, the golden stitches of his immaculate white uniform shimmering in the light of the stars. Jinyoung tenses up. If Jaebum is involved it is not going to be anything good. He’s always lost to the goldenwing, what can he want this time. “I don’t trust you.” Jinyoung’s mortal body tenses, as does Jaebum’s devine one. He rustles his golden wings and Jinyoung gets ready to duck. “Why don’t you sit down. Bambam and Yugyeom should be here soon too.” Inhyung says, to break the tension. Jinyoung looks at her. “Bambam? Yugyeom-ah? What do they have to do with this?” He asks sharply. “You really can’t just let this play out, can you?” Jaebum shoves Jinyoung butt-first into a chair. “You and I both know what happens every time I let things play out.” Jinyoung hisses, about to jump up again. Jaebum seats himself. “Do enlighten me.” He says, his voice as cold as his heart. “Oh stuff it ice queen. You always take away what is most dear to me.” Jinyoung’s eyes narrow at Jaebum in a flare of anger. “You lost because of your own greed, not because of me.” Jaebum isn’t in the least impressed.
Inhyung is about to tell both boys to quit it, when the rooftop door opens and Jackson enters, or rather, exits with Bambam. The taller of two looks flustered and a little disheveled. “I see you couldn’t keep your hands to yourself.” Says Jaebum, rather disapprovingly. “I had to, he wouldn’t come otherwise.” Jackson says. Bambam giggles. He seats himself beside Jinyoung. “I wanted to be one last time before we are punished.” He says innocently. ”We’re being punished? Is this a trap?” Jinyoung jumps up. Jaebum’s eyes glide from Jinyoung to Jackson. “I never said that!” Jackson calls out.
The door swings open again, giving way to Yugyeom and Youngjae. “Is Mark here yet?” Youngjae let’s go of Yugyeom’s hand and walks up to Jaebum. “No, but it can’t be long now. He said he’d be here once we are all gathered.” Jaebum replies. The thought of Mark joining the group makes Jinyoung’s heart beat in his throat. “Do you think she said yes?” Jackson asks. “Of course she has. She loves Mark most of all.” Youngjae answers. Jinyoung grows jealous. Who is this she? And why does she love Mark? His Mark!
The rustle of wings breaks through the nightly silence. Something that looks a lot like a dove approaches. It comes closer and closer. Jinyoung feels his heart skip a beat when he recognises it is Mark. Inhyung shrieks when Mark lands on the roof. “You have wings! What are you?” She blurts out. “I am an angel, sweet child, as are Jaebum, Jackson and Youngjae.” Mark folds away his pure white wings. Jaebum, Jackson and Youngjae spread theirs. Gold are Jaebum’s wings, black are Jackson’s and grey are Youngjae. Inhyung marvels at them with open mouth.
“Pray excuse me, but what do we have to do with this. We lost our grace quite a few years ago.” Yugyeom says. “Exactly, that is why you are here.” Mark thrusts a suitcase, small and square, in Jaebum’s hand. Jaebum opens it and reveals three arrows. One blue, one pink and the last silver. “O-our grace..” Bambam gasps and points. “Yes indeed. It took me a lot to convince Mother that you are worthy again. But with Shownu’s help I managed it.” Mark brims with pride.
“Take the pink arrow Jackson.” Mark says. He pulls a bow from around his shoulders. He hands it to Jackson and gestures to the arrows in the suitcase. “Do I look like fucking Cupid to you?” Jackson grumbles. “Just do it Jackson.” Jaebum says. Jackson huffs and takes the pink arrow in his hand. “Notch.” Jaebum orders. “Draw.” Youngjae whispers. “Carefully aim.” Mark says. “Loose!” Bambam cries out. The arrow flies from the bow, straight to Bambam’s heart. When it hits target, Bambam is caught, mid fall, in suspended animation. From his shoulder joints prout wings, spreading pink and wide. With one firm beat of his wings, Bambam stands upright. “I can’t believe this. I am an angel again!” He cheers. Jackson drops the bow and runs to Bambam to take him in his arms and kiss his breath away.
Jaebum coughs dryly. “Youngjae, it is your turn, take the blue arrow.” He says. Youngjae bends to pick up the bow an turges over to Jaebum to take the blue arrow and turns to Yugyeom. Carefully he notches the arrow and draws back the bowstring. With the tip of his tongue poking over his lips, he takes aim at Yugyeom’s heart and loses the arrow. The moment the tip of the arrow bores into Yugyeom, his blue wings unfurl. The blond cheers triumphantly and he flies a circle above the roof. “I missed this.” He lands beside Youngjae and wraps an arm around the smaller angel.
Mark takes the bow from Youngjae and lifts the last arrow from the suitcase. “Please be good to me, Jinyoung-ah.” He whispers, notching the arrow before he turns to the raven haired boy. He draws and loses in the blink of an eye. Jinyoung moans euphorically as his wings come back to him. Mark puts the bow down and approaches the silverwing.
“Jinyoung-ah… Please act wiser this time.” He whispers. Jinyoung cups Mark’s cheek with one hand. “I can only promise I will try. But you know how your love works, better than me.” Jinyoung whispers. Mark flusters. “Just kiss already!” Youngjae calls out. Jinyoung leans forward and kisses Mark softly at first, but he deepens his kiss soon.
Inhyun sits down beside Jaebum. “Did you know each other before me?” She asks. Jaebum nods. “We all attended Knights Academia in the spirit realm. My flight shared a dorm with Jinyoung’s.” Jaebum replies calmly. “Why does Jinyoung Oppa hate you so much?” Inhyung looks on while Bambam and Jackson leave together. “That is a long story.” Jaebum glances at Mark and Jinyoung. They are cuddles up on the edge of the roof and whisper softly to each other. “I’d still like to hear it.” Inhyung cooes. Jaebum takes her hand and plays with her fingers.”But there would be so much I can’t explain to you.” Jaebum mutters. “Try it, at least. If you don’t, I will ask Jinyoung Oppa.” Inhyung says. Jaebum sighs. “Fine, fine.” He grumbles.
“Jinyoung was first our mentor. He had already trained a years worth more than us and the teachers deemed him worthy of helping me and Mark get on as well.” Jaebum begins to tell. Inhyung listens with intent. “From the moment he laid eyes on Mark, I knew he desired him.” Jaebum steals a glance at Jinyoung, who gently kisses Mark. “And you?” Inhyung asks. “All I ever wanted was to protect my friend. But eventually his powers got to me too. I was not the only one. Youngjae and Yugyeom have experienced it too. But there was an accident with Mark’s powers that drove Jinyoung to intense greed. He fought with any angel that even dared look at Mark. An elder angel and I talked to The Mother and she send Jinyoung and his flight to Earth. When this happens, we forget each other. Jinyoung forgot Makr and we forgot him. But Jinyoung’s greed was never Forgotten.” Jaebum sighs deeply.
“It made him leave the woman we were tasked to protect. Because she did not love him like he did her. We lost our grace and became mortal when she killed herself. Jinyoung has searched for love ever since.” Yugyeom picks up the thread of the tale. Inhyung listens breathlessly. “And then we met you and your guardians. Everything we forgotten came back to us. Jinyoung knew you had to die to make Mark remember him. Bambam and I did our best to lead Youngjae and Mark astray. Jackson needed no help. But they were too loyal. So Jinyoung decided to lead you away from them instead. None of it worked and it vexed him endlessly.” Yugyeom falls silent.
“When we returned to Knight Academia we realized what we did. We had to fix this. I have hardly seen Makr so determined. And I have seen him quite determined before. With the help of an elder guardian, he managed to obtain the grace of the three fallen one’s. They have a lot of repenting to do, but they are angels again.” Jaebum concludes. “So he hates you because you parted him from Mark?” Inhyung asks. Jaebum slowly nods. Inhyung clings to his arm. “You have me now, Jinyoung Oppa has nothing to worry about anymore now.” She cooes. Jaebum chuckles. “I sure hope you are right.” Yugyeom says.
Soon Youngjae and Yugyeom take to the air, Youngjae’s wings are like a storm cloud and Yugyeom’s are the soft blue of the young spring sky.
“What will they do now?” Inhyung asks. “We are all studying to become True Guardians. Well, I should be, but I am given time with you. The Mother is truly fond of love wherever it sprouts.” Jaebum smiled admittingly at her. “Is that their punishment too?” Inhyung looks over her shoulder at Jinyoung. “I am not sure what Youngjae and Jackson bargained for Bambam and Yugyeom. But when Jinyoung returns to the Spirit Realm he has to undergo a very complicated and intense ritual. It seems to be the only way to calm down a silverwing.” Jaebum’s voice is gentle and sweet for a change. Inhyung tilts her head. “What is that ritual?” She asks. Jaebum chuckles softly.
“Mark, Jinyoung, come sit with us. You’ll have eternity together. Inhyung wants to know about the ritual.” Jaebum says. Mark stands from the edge of the roof, pulling Jinyoung to his feet. They take the two empty seats opposite to Inhyung and Jaebum. “The omnious ritual to subdue a silverwing.” Mark’s voice sounds like he is about to tell a ghost story. Inhyung leans in, anticipating a tale full of terrible punishment. But instead Mark takes Jinyoung’s hand with a flauncing gesture. This way the attention is the attracted to a silver rung his wears. Then Inhyung sees Jinyoung wears a similar ring, of a strange pure white metal. It reminds her of wedding rings.
“We will soon travel to the inner circle of the spirit realm. Here The Mother will teach us a ritual that is unique to us. In which we will be mated.” Mark smiles sweetly, obviously very happy. Inhyung seems to think on the given information and the current situation. In the end she turns to Jaebum. “Why is this the only way … to erm .. subdue … erm Jinyoung Oppa?” She seems insecure about her words. “Not only Jinyoung, all silverwings we know.” Jaebum replies. “Do you know more silverwings?” Inhyung asks. Jaebum nods calmly. “We know two others, of which we are closely befriended with one.” He replies. “Kihyunie is a very savage person, but now that he is mates to Shownu, he’s mellow out some. Me mating with Jinyoung-ah will mellow out his obsessive and greedy behaviours.” Mark adds. “He is especially obsessed with you.” Jaebum reminds him. Mark flusters.
“I wish I could witness the ritual.” Inhyung whispers to Jaebum. He looks at her. “I am quite sure you can’t….” Jaebum mumbles. Inhyung looks beyond disappointed. “And I am quite sure she can. I’ve brought her so much grief in the past. She deserved this.” Jinyoung disagrees with Jaebum, like he always does. “I would want Inhyung to be there as well. We were her guardians after all.” Mark interjects. He turns to Inhyung. “I am quite sure Mother wouldn’t mind.” He cooes. Inhyung grins and flusters a little.