“So,” his deep voice rumbled, growing louder as he walked towards where she was resting, “Now what...?”
He stood there, towering over her and she shook herself from her reverie to look up at him and squinted at both the sun and his eyes glaring down at her.
“Oh for God’s sake,” she groaned, “can’t you leave me in peace for even one day?”
“No”, the rumble became a purr as he softened both his voice and his approach, then lowering himself onto the sand beside her he nudged her gently with his shoulder, “you said you had a job to do and then suddenly you decide to retire?”
She sighed and shook her head, “I didn’t decide to retire, they did...” she raised her arm and shook it loosely at the sky, “Or rather”, she added with a giggle, “we did, collectively...” She cocked her head to the side and peeked at him through her long, silver streaked hair, “besides, it’s time. Look around you, they figured it out and now they are using what they have learned. They are doing amazing things, they don’t need us anymore...” She ran her hand along the surface of the sand and under her breath she mumbled, “Sometimes I think, they never did.”
“Have you lost your mind?” He grabbed her arm roughly, “You can’t possibly believe that? After everything you’ve done...”
“Oh,” she retorted angrily pulling her arm away, “and what is it I’ve done that somebody else could not have. No”, she took a deep breath to calm herself, “they would have figured it out on their own, given time, had we not interfered, they would have found their way.” She sighed again and shook her head then looked up into his steel blue eyes, “Why do you care? You never liked them anyways; I thought you would be happy...” She turned towards him and reached her hand up to tenderly touch his face. “Let’s not fight my heart, we managed to make it this far, let’s just move on and find some peace in this. We can get on with our lives now, with no more work to do we can just enjoy simply being. Isn’t that enough?”
“For me, yes of course it’s enough; for you though, I’m not so sure...” He pulled her close and as she rested her head against his massive chest he stroked her hair. “You came here with a purpose, you came here with a mission and it is that purpose that has energized you and kept you whole through so many challenges. You survived things others could not have survived, risen above and overcame fears that would have made grown men weep. Now you tell me you are done; just like that, you think to drop everything and walk away. I know you, you won’t survive this, it’s just a matter of time really, with nothing left to do, you’ll die,” he lifted her chin with his finger so he could look her in the eye, “I promised to protect you remember? Even from yourself...”
“So what then would you have me do?” She spoke softly as a tear leaked from her eye, “Our time here is done. There is nothing left to teach them, they can teach each other, the ones who know will assist those who have yet to see and not so far from now they will create a world far beyond their wildest imaginings.” She smiled a little crooked smile, “you know I was thinking, we could just stay here, and play in the world they create. We could hang out and see what they make of things, allow ourselves to just enjoy somebody else’s vision of beauty. I know it will take time, but really, time is not exactly something you or I have to worry about right, so we could stay and see what happens.”
“And what will you do to pass the time?” He laughed at her now, “You were never very good at doing nothing...”
“Yes,” she agreed smirking up at him, “I never was very good at doing nothing but right now, nothing is exactly what I feel like doing. It’s odd you know, I don’t have much drive left in me, no urge to create, nothing to put down on paper, no visions in my head to paint.” She took another deep breath and let it out slowly adding, “But then it has always been that way, one minute is intense and full of passion, the next minute there is nothing but silence and the strong desire to lie down and rest my weary heart. The only difference is that this time, there is no real rush for me to get back up... “
“Will you? Get back up I mean...” He sounded concerned, which for a demon is quite the feat, but then she mused he was not exactly your garden variety type dark angel. “I’m serious, you asked me if I would help you, and so I reluctantly agreed as long as you don’t expect...”
“You to help them...” she interrupted him, “Yes, yes I know... We’ve been over this.”
“So...” He grumbled, “since when do you tire of repeating yourself, you’ve been doing it for years for them...”
She mildly glanced at him but he knew he was pushing it, “Ok. Ok...” He put his hands up defensively, “I’m not dissing your love for your precious humans, I get it. Really, I do, as much as I thought they would never come around I have to admit the world it is a changing so it would seem your faith in them at least was warranted but... and don’t get mad at me for saying this, it’s not like they haven’t had a tonne of help so to be honest I would at this point be surprised if they had NOT figured it out. My point is that every time you have taken a time out or a break away from your work you get bored, and lady when you get bored...”
“Oh for goodness sakes Demon Boy, I’m not going to do anything rash...” She snorted, “Really you think I would work this hard and get this far only to blow it all up again?”
“Well you have been known to...” He trailed off not wanting to rehash old wounds.
“Yes, I’ve been known to, and every time I have, there has been some kind of reason for it, some kind of outcome that needed my seemingly irrational and radical behaviour to ignite the fires of change. I’m a warrior damn it, like it or not, it’s what I do...”
“Ha,” He barked a laugh, “And that is exactly what I am trying to say... You are a warrior, and what good is a warrior without a battle to fight. You will grow impatient, with nothing to do, and no cause to fight for, you will get restless and in time reckless and if you continue to ignore it you will burst into self made flames and self destruct. I simply can’t allow that”, he chuckled and kissed her forehead, “I like you too much.”
“Well sweetie, I hate to tell you but I don’t think I have a choice.” She offered him a wry smile, and still facing him allowed her next words to flow from her smoothly in the hopes that they may sooth the torment she could feel building up in him. “The time for battles is over, the fight has been won and with any luck it will be a very long time if ever that me and my brethren are needed here again. It’s what we were working towards, what we came for. What’s the point of being here if not to rejoice in the end of two thousand years of struggle and strife? Can’t you just be happy that you will have me all to yourself now? Can’t you just let me rest a while before you start worrying over what may or may not happen to me tomorrow? You never have before, you’ve walked with me through the fires of hells dozens of times without batting an eye or fearing for my safety and now after I have chosen to rest my blade you become anxious and wary of some unforeseen danger. My love, my heart, it makes no sense...What have you now to fear, when up until now you have feared nothing...”
She twisted her body around and rested her back against him giving him a moment to collect his thoughts, very clearly stating without saying a word that for now at least the discussion was over. As she settled into him, again running her delicate hands through the sand, he pondered her words. They had fought side by side for a very long time, he had stood aside more times than he could count when she had been in obvious danger because he had promised long ago that he would only do as she requested. She had warned him not to interfere, and he had kept his word for all these many long years so why now when it seems she and the others like her had decided they had won was he so afraid of losing her. Then it hit him as he sat there with her soaking up the warmth of the sun, it was her very last word that defined his fear; for all that he knew her to be immortal and eternal the one thing that could destroy her was the one thing she was proposing to do now...
Niki Norlock, author of Truth - My Synchromystic Journey