Title: P.R.O.U.D. From the Depths of Hell Chapter 12, Penance
Genre: het, horror, angst, fantasy
Pairing: Yoochun x female oc
Length 12 of ?
Rating: PG-13 for serious angst
A/N: This is a retelling of P.R.O.U.D; mostly from the perspective of Lilith, the half-angel, half-demon child of Satan and her pursuit of Yoochun, the pit fiend who fights as a gladiator in the arena. If you are new to my fics, you need to read the original P.R.O.U.D. ; it’s under my master fic list. I have taken a few liberties with the retelling of the story.
Warning: serious angst
Her screams were unbearable. He covered his ears but he could not block out the sound. They had ushered him away; the old granny and the other females.
“This is women’s work,” they told him.
He sat huddled in a corner listening to his mate in agony.
“Lilith,” he whispered her name. “Please stop.”
But the screams continued.
And then, suddenly, they ended.
He stood up; body shaking; waiting for the tiny cries of a newborn babe.
But there was nothing. Silence. All was silent as the grave.
The door slowly creaked open. The maids ran out; some carrying bowls of water; others grasping bloody cloth in their clawed hands.
The demon Yoochun swallowed hard.
He slipped through the door but didn’t get far. The old granny stood at Lilith’s bedside; body stooped over; wings drooping.
Something was wrong; something was very wrong.
In her arms, wrapped in swaddling clothes, his baby did not stir nor make a sound. In that instant, he knew the child was dead.
He staggered to the bed and grabbed a hold of the post; body shaking, he could barely stand.
“I’m sorry,” the granny whispered as she helped Yoochun to sit down.
“Does she know?” he asked her, tears streaming down his face.
The granny managed a nod.
“Let her sleep. She’s had a rough night.”
She placed the baby in Yoochun’s arms; the gladiator gently holding the precious child.
“He looks like you,” the granny said as she slowly walked away and closed the door behind her.
Yoochun gingerly peeled back the cloth from the infants face.
The boy did look like him.
He wept hard; bringing the infants frail body close to his in a tight embrace.
His pitiful sobs woke Lilith from her slumber.
The pit fiend answered; his words unexpected.
“I’m here my love.”
Lilith managed to sit up despite her weakened condition.
“Forgive me,” she begged him.
“Shh, my love,” he whispered. He planted a gentle peck upon her troubled brow.
He sat next to her on the bed; one arm around her waist; the other still holding the child. Lilith reached out and took the infant in her arms. She stroked the baby’s dark hair; Yoochun looking away; tears still streaming down his face.
“He’s beautiful, just like his father.”
It was more than the pit fiend could take. He buried his face in Lilith’s shoulder and openly wept.
“I’m so sorry,” he sobbed; his arms encircling her tiny waist.
She smiled despite her pain.
“It’s alright, my love. We are young; we can try again.”
He shook his head.
“No. I won’t put you through this again.”
“I know it’s hard to take. Perhaps the reality has not hit me yet. Mayhap one day I will fall to my knees and weep and moan, but for now, let us look upon his little face and be a family. The three of us; together in a loving embrace. See; he looks so peaceful. He’s sleeping; resting happily for all eternity.”
Yoochun looked at his mate in disbelief. Lilith managed to smile at him as she wiped his tears away. He kissed her fingertips; his lips trembling.
“Shall we name him?”
Yoochun nodded his head. He didn’t know if Lilith had lost her mind or if she was just incredibly brave. He thought he was the courageous one; all those years facing death in the arena, but nothing could have prepared him for this.
“We will call him Zakai.”
Yoochun bit his lip. The name meant pure, clean and innocent, in the language of the angels. It seemed that despite her infamous father, Lilith still clung to her angelic ancestry.
She kissed the babe and handed it Yoochun.
“It is time,” she told him. “Time to say good bye.”
The pit fiend took a deep breath.
“Don’t put him in the fire,” she begged him.
Yoochun looked into her eyes; eyes as wide as saucers and full of pain. He left her; baby in his arms, her voice soft and sweet whispering in the dark.
“I love you...”
The driving rain fell down upon his face as he climbed the craggy cliffs of the borderlands. Strapped tightly to his body, still wrapped in swaddling clothes was little Zakai, his son. He would fulfill Lilith’s wishes; he would not toss the baby into the inferno as was the custom of their kind.
The climb was difficult; his wings wrapped around his body to keep the baby dry. Claws dug into the mountainside; further and further he climbed; until he found the ledge where the tiny tree had seemingly sprung from nowhere.
It was still there, and to Yoochun’s surprise, it had grown tremendously.
“You’re still here my friend. I’ve brought you some company.”
Yoochun touched the tree. It was sturdy; it’s leaves broad and it’s bark thick.
“This is my son, Zakai. May his body nurture you and help you to grow. I will visit both of you when I can and share a drink and a tale or two of my exploits in the arena. I think you both would like that. But first, I have some business to attend to.”
He resumed his ascent until he could go no further. There, off in the distance, he could make out the edge of Heaven. He gingerly untied the infant from the sling. Raising the dead child high in the air he cried out, defying the heavens.
“Here is the sacrifice you have demanded of me. Here is my child; my first born; the innocent you deemed to take from me because of my sins. Look upon his face and know my pain. His blood is upon your hands. You smote him. I will never bend my knee or my will to you or any other; not even the lord of my lands will command me. I am free; just as free as this child. I do not commit him to the flames as Satan wills it; I bury him here because it is the wish of my mate whose heart has been torn in two. Remember me; remember my face. I will never forgive you just as I will never forgive myself.”
All was silent across the great chasm; the angels heard his cries, but did not respond. They stood awestruck as the foul creature from the depths of Hell dared to defy them.
Yoochun stood motionless. He waited for a response, but received none. He narrowed his eyes and nodded his head. He had triumphed in a small way; but the pride was short lived as he strapped the babe back into the sling and descended to the craggy ledge.
There, sheltered by the leaves of the tree he dug a hole. Grief stricken; eyes swollen from crying he held the child one last time; he whispered in the boy’s ear; kissed him repeatedly.
“The ground is cold my son, I’m sorry; but the tree will keep you from harm.”
A cloth was laid in the hole; Yoochun gently removing the baby from the sling and placing him in the center.
“You’ll be safe here, I promise.”
He draped the cloth over the child and with a heavy heart filled in the hole with soggy earth. He patted it down until he was satisfied that the grave was complete.
“Forgive me, my friend,” he said as his claws raked across the bark of the tree; his mark forever imbedded in it’s trunk.
Yoochun took a deep breath and exhaled.
“Farewell, for now.”
His great, bat-like wings expanded to their fullest; he propelled himself into the air and soared upon the currents.
“I am free,” he shouted, as he flew away; his spirit strangely lifted as he made his way home.