“Lu, are you sure?” they’d asked. Uriel had known it was their fault Lucy was in this situation. They’d been the one to snap at her and then complain a little in front of Michael. Their complaining had been the only reason Michael and snapped at Lucy, the only reason she’d lashed out.
And then Michael had wanted to throw her out. Over her stupid teasing? Lucy had seen it as an opportunity, however.
“He’s going to have me banished one way or the other, there’s no reason he should deadname me as he does it,” she’d reasoned.
She’d given some sort of heartfelt speech in coming out. Everyone but Michael had planned to vote to let her stay. Then he’d taken them aside and essentially threatened them all into banishing her. That was what Lucy had planned for.
Uriel couldn’t remember many details, only that everyone was crying. Even Cameel had tears in her eyes. Lucy and Michael were the only ones not crying, probably because they were too busy staring each other down.
Apparently, Lucy had asked Gabriel to be the one to take her wings. With some reluctance, he had complied.
It had been nearly a year now of complete radio silence from Lucy, at least as far as Michael was concerned. Uriel had been exchanging weekly letters and had come down to meet her in the neutral graveyard on several occasions. Once, they’d asked Gabriel to come, but he turned them down. Uriel hadn’t really expected him to say yes. He was, as ever, in Michael’s pocket.
Today, Uriel sat on the wall at the edge of the graveyard, the last place that fell within heaven. Legs dangling over the edge, they looked out over the misty headstones and memorials. A few months ago, they and Lucy had picniced there and, after eating, and read every marker in the little plot. Uriel had honored them with a small light that hovered over each name and date of death. The lights had long faded away by now, and Uriel wondered about replacing them.
They had no plans to meet Lucy that day, and others seldom visited the graveyard, so Uriel jumped when the black iron gate creaked. For a moment, they considered hiding or perhaps leaving altogether, but quickly decided against it. They were completely within their rights to be there.
A short demon with carefully combed reddish-orange hair stepped into the cemetery. Uriel might not have recognized them, but they were, as always, dressed in their signature teal and green. They were Melvin, one of Hell’s most infamous demons, one of only seven who held a non-satanic title. They represented the deadly sin of Pride, and they were also, incidentally, dating Lucy.
Uriel had never met Melvin, but the fact that Lucy liked them so much set them at ease, so they hopped down from the wall and greeted them.
“Hey, Melvin, right?” Uriel said, calling out only just above speaking volume.
Melvin looked up from where they knelt at a headstone and nodded. They seemed preoccupied at that grave, so Uriel moved closer.
“I’m honored to finally meet you,” they said. “My sister has told me a lot about you.”
“She’s told me much about you, too, I’m afraid,” Melvin said, eyes sparkling. Uriel could see why Lucy liked them. The two were birds of a feather, it seemed.
“Hm, that’s a shame, I was hoping to make a good impression,” Uriel responded.
“Well actually,” Melvin said more seriously, “you still can. Lucy said the two of you sometimes clean up the graves a little, and I have a few friends here to whom I’d like to pay my respects. Do you think you could help me?”
Uriel summoned a warm orb of light between his hands.
“Will this do?”