"Welcome to my humble place," Santana said with a small smile as she held the door open for Quinn.
"Are you certain that I can stay here with you?" the blonde asked, already in awe of the place which had a very similar ceiling as the Council room, reaching high in the clouds.
"Well," Santana said thoughtfully: "They already know we've had sex so I don't see a problem with it.."
She laughed when Quinn hit her, an embarrassed blush coloring her cheeks crimson, telling her sternly that it was anything but funny.
They fell down on the king-sized bed, each letting out a deep sigh before they snuggled up together, Quinn safely engulfed by Santana's arms.
"I miss your apartment already," the angel whispered softly, her fingers trailing a path up and down Quinn's upper arm.
A hum of acknowledgement was pressed into the skin of her neck, followed by calm silence in which Quinn reviewed all what had happened today.
The same images as before resurfaced in the mind, like someone had clicked an endless replay button inside her memory and forced her eyes to watch it.
As her body tensed, Santana pulled her closer: "Do you want me to start?"
Quinn forced a small smile upon her lips, looking her lover in the eyes for a few moments before leaning forwards an lightly kissing her: "No, I'm fine, I'll feel much better once you know."
The angel frowned at the tears once again rolling down porcelain cheeks: "Just take your time.."
The girl within her arm nodded, before turning around in the embrace and pulling her hand over her stomach, in the process pressing her back snuggly upon the brunette's front, taking a deep breath: "She's not dead, my mom, apparently my father had the goodness in him to call an ambulance when he fled. They got there and took us both to the hospital where she underwent hours of surgery. They put her in a coma to spare her from most of the pain. That lasted a few weeks in which my aunt came to take care of me, god bless that woman, she tried to make everything normal for me, helping me with talking to the police and the councilor which had been assigned to me.
The day I came home from school and my aunt told me that they would wake up my mother I was happier than I could remember," Quinn smiled despite herself: "I jumped into my aunt's arms and hugged her all the way to the car when she had to tear me away from herself because I wouldn't let go. When we were at the hospital however, the doctor wanted to talk to my aunt alone for a moment, claiming it was grown-up talk, but I knew something was amiss.
Due to the amount of blood my mom had lost, there had been some brain damage. The doctor said there would be some things that she could not do or had to learn to do differently and that there was a possibility that her attitude might've changed.
I didn't quite understand at the time how my mother could've changed because of this and she seemed like herself when she woke up and saw me," a lone tear forced its way along her cheek, dropping onto their conjoined hands: "She was so happy to see me, she cried many happy tears and for some time everything went well. She went to physical therapy and even when she yelled at me sometimes in frustration, she became better every day.
But then I became a teenager, rebellious and stupid. I forgot the sacrifice she had made to save me, I forgot to care about her, I forgot to remind myself that I should care.."
A big lump formed in Quinn's throat and she could barely control her sobbing while Santana just pulled her closer and tighter against herself, whispering: "It's ok.."
"No, it's not, I forgot about her, I was wrapped up in myself while she needed me, she needed me and I wasn't there.." Quinn squeezed her eyes shut, wanting to stop the tears: "We had a fight about some stupid doctor's appointment and I didn't want to take her because I wanted to go out with my friends or something, I don't really remember. She was trying to be gentle with me but she got frustrated about everything and we started yelling at each other.
Then, I … I told her I wished she had died. It was the one and only time she ever hit me and I deserved it.
She asked me to leave, pack my things and leave. That night I crashed at a friend and the next day when I returned to our house, there was a for sale-sign and a note from my mother. It said that she would pay for living expenses for me for as long as I needed but that she did not wish to be contacted under any circumstances.
Despite that, I did try, I called my aunt but she politely declined my wishes to speak with my mother, on several occasions until I just gave up."
Santana did not know what to say, so she just buried her face in Quinn's hair, hoping it would be some comfort.
Santana snuck out of the room as soon as Quinn's breath had evened out, walking around and trying to wrap her head around it all.
Standing on one of the many balconies along the sky city, looking over the many lights illuminating it and being the only sign of life, a slight breeze played with the tops of her hair, making them dance along the rhythm of the wind.
Santana spun around to face deep blue eyes and wavy blonde hair and couldn't help but smile: "No, thoughts of uncertainty are keeping the dreams at bay."
Uriel came to stand besides his fellow angel, leaning against the balcony and gazing over the city: "I've been doing some research in the library," he glanced at Santana briefly: "On angels in similar situations as yours, they usually don't end well.."
The brunette took a deep breath: "I know, but there are some that do.. There is hope, right?"
Uriel couldn't answer that question so he turned away from his brother: "Humans really are remarkable creatures."
"You always believed that," Santana muttered numbly.
"Through my many lives, I've seen much proof of it, in all sorts of people and I see it in Quinn too," Santana's eyes snapped to Uriel's at hearing the name: "She may not be without sin but she has a good heart, a pure heart, worthy of love. I don't know why she would want it from you but so be it.."
Santana grinned and affectionately punched the blonde's shoulder who only smirked broader: "Well I've got to go, little Brother," Santana huffed indignantly as she was rubbed on the head in a rather patronizing way but couldn't help but laugh as the other angel skipped away.
Although she had no idea how long she had been asleep, it had been a good dreamless time that she desperately tried to hang on to but as the bed dipped on her side and a soft hand caressed her upper arm gently, she opened her eyes to see Santana smiling down at her: "How do you feel?"
"Better," the blonde replied honestly, grabbing the angel's hand and intertwining their fingers.
Santana watched the action and a warmth surged through her at how well they fit, it was like they were sculptured to be together.
"Are you going to tell me about Lucifer?" Quinn whispered softly, gripping Santana's hand a little more tightly.
"Are you certain you want to know?"
Nodding meekly, hazel eyes found chocolate brown, holding them gently.
"As you know, Lucifer was an Arch Angel, the one with the highest rank, held in highest regard. He was my dear friend, we were like two adolescent boys on a camping trip together, " Santana smiled fondly at the memory: "He, much like myself, had doubts about these creations of our Lord, terrorizing the earth all these years, polluting what we had built for them.
We were a team, following orders, sometimes quite begrudgingly, but we did our job."
"Did you fall in love?" Quinn asked under her breath, already very captivated by the story.
Santana snorted: "Nothing of the sort, the love we had for each other was brotherly love as I have for Uriel, Michael and Raphael, only stronger. Our bond reached deeper for some reason that we never questioned.
Unlike what humans believe, Lucifer did not fall thousands of years ago, up until recently he was one of us.
There was a place called Hell where demons did roam but it was not governed by anyone in particular. Our Father thought it best to stay out of their business so they would stay out of ours and an agreement stated that they would look after the people sent there, those were the very worst of people of course..."
"Why are you telling me this?"
Santana dared a glance into hazel eyes, swallowing around the growing lump in her throat: "I want you to understand completely, to have the whole picture.
About three live-cycles ago, where we both had male forms, the world had grown quite large and vastly populated so Lucifer and I were forced apart to different continents to cover more ground and help more people with their conflicts.
One day, I was called upon by our Holy Father. Lucifer had been messy, exposing himself, and in extension our existence, to a young woman.
Her name was Mia Ryders and she was going to be an artist, a very rare occupation for women in that era.. She was quite remarkable, I think you would've liked her."
Quinn couldn't not bring herself to smile, her heart beating at a faster rhythm than it was before: "What happened to her?"
"I.. I was tasked with eliminating any risk at exposure.."
Gabriel didn't feel much as he walked up the path to the small house, his Father had been very clear about the intention of this mission.
What he had not been expecting however was Lucifer, his brother, opening the door and gazing upon him with wide eyes: "Gabriel, what are you doing here?" he asked nervously, peering around the neighborhood.
"He sees everything, Brother, where is she?"
Before Lucifer could mumble out an excuse Mia came into view: "Who is it, Bobby?"
"Mia, get back, I'll deal with this," Lucifer forced out, his dark brown eyes betraying his concern before he turned back towards his brother: "Gabriel, please, I've got it under control, she won't talk."
Taking pity on his brother, Gabriel's eyes softened as he placed his hand on Lucifer's shoulder: "I respect that you are trying to save her but I have my orders, I will not go against them."
Lucifer sighed before his eyes hardened and he pushed Gabriel backwards, the bones in his back crushing and breaking as his wings sprang free.
"Lucifer, don't do this," Gabriel gritted out, flapping his wings in warning: "I don't want to fight you."
"Neither do I!" Lucifer shouted, sounding pained: "I don't want to fight my brother.." he added weakly, looking from Gabriel to the ground and then into the house where a fearful Mia was peeking around the corner.
"Then don't, brother," Gabriel urged, lowering his voice as he neared the distraught angel: "Come back with me, a single human is not worth it," he continued, forcing his brother to look into his eyes.
"That's just the problem," Lucifer whispered softly: "She is."
Within a second, Lucifer used his superior wing strength to blast Gabriel off his feet, taking advantage of the momentum to unsheathe both his weapons, two curved sword, and swinging them with deadly purpose at his brother.
Dodging one, the other sword hit Gabriel on his breastplate, small sparks flying of the connection.
Lucifer was quick to attack again, this time targeting the soft tissue of Gabriel's neck which is unprotected due to lack of his helmet, thrusting out with all his strength.
Gabriel ducked out of the way, placing his hands upon the wooden planks beneath him for extra support as he stretched out one of his powerful wings and sending Lucifer flying across the room, into the next one where Mia was hiding.
"Stop this now, brother, while you still can!" he shouted, slowly walking to the second room and taking his sword from where it was hanging from his belt, the cool steel ready to burn.
A cry of war emitted from his side and a flurry of swords clashing and grunts of exhaustion filled the otherwise silent house.
They matched each other almost blow for blow, a cut along Lucifer's thigh, a gash in Gabriel's side and a few bruises the only exception.
Gabriel still had one advantage though, the scared young woman cowering in the corner of the room; Lucifer searched for her now and then, losing his focus.
Although it shamed him deeply, Gabriel pressed the advantage, taking his flaming sword in both hands like it was Michael's spear, aimed it at the human and with all his might throwing it.
Lucifer dropped his own swords without a thought and reached for the flying weapon, pushing it from his course and saving Mia in the process.
A small smile passed between them, an intimate moment cut short by the angel's grunt as he was pushed up against the wall and his wings were pinned by his own sword, piercing through the skin and making him scream out in anguish.
Gabriel, panting heavily, bound his hands before turning towards the human and picking up his weapon.
"Gabriel! Please! Stop!" Lucifer cried out, trashing against his bounds and cutting his own flesh in the process.
He was ignored however as Gabriel stood in front of Mia, who was shaking out of fear but still held some fight in her eyes, slowly and cautiously taking the hand that was offered to her by this mysterious figure who had just destroyed her house and hurt her Bobby and stood up.
"Miss Ryders," the angel said softly: "I have my orders," he continued, the hand around his weapon tightening.
Mia swallowed deeply: "What will happen to Bobby? Will he be saved if you kill me?"
Gabriel was momentarily confused by the question, did this human have no sense of self-preservation?
"I am not sure, it will depend on his actions toward our Father concerning your absence."
The woman snorted: "My absence? I'll be dead, by your hand," she tore her hand away from the angel's as if it was suddenly burning hot before she sighed deeply: "Is there any way… for him?"
"You must force him to give you up, you must force him to kill you to show that he can function without you."
Mia gasped at the gruesomeness of this all, clutching at her stomach as a sudden nausea came over her.
"I will never do that! Do you hear me, Gabriel? I will never kill her!" Lucifer roared from his placed on the wall, trashing wildly for a few moments until he was out of breath.
Mia went up to him, cradling his tear stained face in her hands: "You have to, it's the only way one of us survives, please," he voice cracked midsentence, trying to keep her own tears at bay.
"I can't…" Lucifer whimpered: "I can't.."
Pressing their forehead together, Mia stood on the tip of her toes, pressing a gentle kiss upon his lips: "You must."
A uncomfortable feeling raised in Gabriel's gut at seeing the interaction and before he could stop himself, the word were: "There is another way."
Two pair of hopeful eyes, one duller than the other, turned to him, urging him to explain: "I can send you there.." he tapped his foot twice.
"No," Lucifer immediately said: "They will rip her apart!"
"You could protect her, our Father has been receiving complaint about the place anyway and was thinking of installing someone to control it, you could do it Lucifer, together," he motioned at the pair.
"Where? Send us where?" Mia inquired, barely able to hide her hope, her joy at this other option.
"To Hell," Lucifer sighed out.
A shudder went though the human at the mention of the place but her eyes stayed void of fear: "And we would be together?"
"Yes," Gabriel answered carefully: "But you will be hunted by demons, for your soul, they feed off it, especially a willing one."
The woman nodded curtly before turning back towards her beloved, making him look at her: "We could do it, together."
"Do it," she said, coming to stand before Gabriel with a mostly determined look on her face.
The angel jammed his weapon into the floor, placing one hand on her shoulder and the other on top of her head, his thumb in the middle of her forehead as he tilted his head back, lowly muttering words in an old language, used only by the ancients.
A red glow was released from Gabriel's thumb and gradually burned away the flesh of the human's skin, a process which must've hurt to some degree but Mia remained quite stoic until she was no more, all that was left were her ashes scattered on the floor.
Gabriel took a deep breath, it had been the first time he had sent a soul to hell and to be honest he did not like the experience very much but knew he had to do it once more as he gazed up at his brother who had went quiet: "I hope you can forgive me one day, brother."
Lucifer lifted his eyes: "I hope the same."
Once more Gabriel placed his thumb upon a forehead, mumbling the words that would send his dearest brother to hell.
Before the red light consumed him fully, Lucifer had the strength to utter: "Goodbye, brother.."
Santana tried to keep a neutral expression as her eyes held Quinn's, whose hazel orbs were filled by a wide variation of emotions.
After what seemed like very long hours, she whisper in a shuddery breath: "You send them to hell?"
The disbelieving, disappointed tone cut through the angel like a finely sharpened blade, twisting and turning in her gut.
"You send them to hell?"
"Quinn, you don't understand-" Santana tried, reaching for the blonde's hands who snatched them away and jumped of the bed, pacing back and forth as she vented: "How do I not understand? You send them to hell!"
"Together..," the angel interrupted in a small voice.
"You're such a hypocrite!" Quinn yelled exasperated.
"It was the only way!" Santana roared, her voice echoing between the wall, her wings springing free from her flesh, flapping wildly in her frustration, making her look almost regal: "It was the only way they could be together!"
Quinn had grown quiet because of the angel's sudden outburst and the image of her scared the blonde a tad bit, making her take a few steps back until she felt the cool wall against her palms.
"What about us?" she whispered, locking eyes with the angel who lost the fierceness in her eyes before continuing: "What chance do we have?"
Santana's shoulders sagged and before she could utter a sound of response, Quinn fled the room, entering a maze of high-walled corridors and rooms.