Duir felt himself lulled by the rocking motion, the beating of black wings fluttered at his back as the stag god laid back. She helped him to a laying a position, one he rather began to enjoy being in with his head to nest on the smooth of her legs of soft flesh and eyes staring longingly into hers. He couldn’t tear himself away from her, drinking each tender curl and soft color into his mind. It was all he could think about. His hands crossed over, fingers intertwined about his middle while his breath seemed to be stolen, the pain eased in the out laid position letting the bobs of the birds flight become nothing more than back motions. Like a sea of black being swept over the air to the meadow he loved.
Though her affections seemed focused on him her eyes spoke of her wandering thoughts. Hesitation, and worry were the present rulers as they swam about in her eyes leaving him wanting to sooth it over yet helpless with the experience of how. Her fingers made his skin tingle, excited, at the touch while wanting it press tightly to hers and let it all spread. He wanted to bash those worrisome thoughts into pieces seeing her eyes so conflicted, so unsure and different from before when she sent her stone arrow flying into the beast and slain him. Why was she afraid? Wasn’t what she wanted?
It seemed to take forever as Brianna spoke, her voice carried to Kisi, asking for the flower. Everything went to hell then in the breath of a butterfly’s wing beat. It began with the feathered fowls lowering into the woods surrounding the meadow instead of the open field itself! Tree branches clawed and reached for them, grabbing as Kisi’s mouth curled up in a smile at seeing the two distracted, a slight break when they drew nearer to the ground.
Kisi just stared at Brianna for the moment, his head cocked and looking triumphed in his eyes. He felt he won and his body rose, drawing him as the crows lowering pace quickened instantly, as if by some unseen signal, while his foot pulled towards the edge. It came closer and closer until it dropped completely off, letting his body sink from the birds too fast for Brianna to draw her bow. Making a free fall he let his body vanish from their spreading out his wings while the air breezed by
A smirk and wick look in his eyes, knowing if the human shot him with her bow and stone arrows then the fall from this high would crush the flower making it useless. To be healed Duir need to devour it whole in his natural form. If it was in pieces then it couldn’t be eaten. The white stag and allow the magic to heal him, though in truth there were other ways to heal him but Kisi wasn’t about to indulge in that with the two. Until he was addressed Kisi would overlook the part with mild amusement twisting the flower in his fingers.
“Well…it seems I have the upper hand as long as I have the flower. Shoot me, and I’ll make sure the flower is what I land on making it useless to Duir,” his dark blue eyes twinkled with pride and a grin crept across his face, smug and above her daring her to come up there to get it. Saying it in his eyes, come and get me little huntress in my world.
The huntress growled, the sound low in her throat and almost fareal soundingg. She had already grown tired of this meddling bird's games. Yes, he had offered the sultion that might save Duir, and he had been of great help retriving it. But he had been a pain the whole time and she wanted him gone from them badly. Sharply focused eyes followed him as she shifted away from Duir some so as to not hurt him more.
"Why must you continue to be so cruel?" She asked in that same low growl. She didn't reach for her bow this time, though the look in her eyes implyed that she wanted to. "What is so awful in your life that you insist on treating a fellow god who is nothing but gentle and kind, like he is worthless?" She shifed to stand, but found that while the beast they rode on moved, she could not find stable footing. So she remained on her knees instead.
"I begin more and more to see why my kind dislike crows so much," she murmured, hoping it would be lost in the wind as much as she hoped he would hear. Kisi was meddlesoem, cruel, and above all self serving. Duir's death would not do as much for him as he had deluded himself int thinking.
"Give me the flower, Kisi," she said, holding her hand out. "You need not let this end badly."
Damn him spat Duir, his eyes glared on the despicable excuse for a divine being he ever seen in his long life. Kisi of course had to be an ass, his normal, pleasant self. He hated the fact he hadn’t though of trouble when they arrived back, that Kisi actually wanted him better and not to farther bring a dire situation into a tragic one…in that moment the stag god felt like a fool. How could he had been so blind? That tiny voice, so quiet and faded on the volcanic plain, now spoke in slight volume that rocketed off the inside of his head sprouting a truth he wished wasn’t there. Her. Brianna’s presence, her worry, care, and most of all her love had distracted him. That, as desperate as he wished to be false, took his attention from what Kisi’s true intentions were all along. To make him suffer a slow miserable death, Kisi watching over head like a crow waiting on a walking corpse, him, to keel over before feasting.
Inwardly Duir cursed the god’s existence, his eyes filled with hate and pain at the trickery with passing time.
He was, in a small way, thankful when Brianna’s body tried to lift upright putting all her focus on Kisi only to fall back down on her knees. Instinctively his hands went out to balance her. Gripping her forearms, his ears flooded with the flapping of the birds bent on their path downward bring them closer to the ground the longer they talked. Duir almost chortled at her comment about why humans hated crows. It wasn’t their fault Kisi was their god, just explained their nature a bit better and their tendencies to be nasty.
The Crow god’s eyes rolled with boredom at her words, all the scolding and protesting merely brought a scoff from him, certainly not what he wanted. His blonde hair was shifted by his fingers, pulling it away from his face setting blue eyes on the huntress. Kisi’s voice no longer held the cheery and mirth he jeered at this brazen human before but full of wisdom and sorrow,” You call me cruel? You say he is kind and gentle, then why does he let his beloved forest die? Humans, your kind, have been destructive for centuries while each of my crows has watched it all. All the pains on this forest, other living creatures, and even yourselves, that’s the basis of humans is nothing more than cruelty. Nothing that humans started has ever ended good…”
Turning away from her figure, his blue eyes settled on the stunning flower twisting its stem in his forefinger and thumb with mixture of sadness and bitter resentment. By this time the stag god and Brianna were reaching the ground floor. Dead leaves were tossed up by the powerful breeze of the wing beats, rustling both the forest floor and the only living residents, millions of bugs, to scatter to seek better cover. The vibrations in the creatures’ backs became more violent and careless, sending trembles though both passengers while they started to land. Coming to a brief stop, a moment rest until the once solid beast dispersed into a flurry of shadowy shape and feathers.
Duir felt his fury wash away in torment once the black birds dashed away, scattering to the air in a moment leaving her and him on the ground. His body had hit the ground rather hard making him cringe, taken all his strength not utter a yell of agony. Dark feathers littered the forest’s pale green like unnatural snow, scattered among ground where the thick tree roots that dug into the earth herself without remorse, twisted and burrowing for needed nutrients that didn’t help. Moss covered the trunks of the giant towering trees while blots of sunlight dappled down and lay spots of pale yellow though the gaping treetops where Kisi now sat.
Something didn’t feel right.
His hand to his side, the palms flat upon the ribs and teeth clenched against the throbbing. It was wet sticky to his touch, seeped from the rewoven bandages and spreading across the fingers, coating them. His antler head looked down as he saw an uncomfortable sight of his wound reopened. Blood was freely flowing while his other hand reached over to stopper the loss, his body being to pale taking on an ashy complexion then, turning his head to gaze on Brianna. Inside he hoped she was too distracted to see the concern flickered for a second on his expression.
The ticking sands of Duir’s time seemed to pour through his fingers now, filling up the bottom of the hourglass. How much longer he had, he wasn’t sure.
"I said that you were cruel," she spat, her temper rising more. "Not that I wasn't. I know what I have done. I know what my kind has done. And I will bear the guilt of those actions for my whole life. You cannot make me feel any worse for them than I already do." And she knew that was true as she said it. Because there nothing at all that could make her feel any more guilt about what her kind had done to Duir's forest. Or about what she had done to Duir. Even if he the Stag God fully forgave her for what she did, she would never fully forgive herself. She hated herself for causing his pain.
She didn't seem to feel anything about hitting the ground, her eyes focused on the snarky crow. She found her feet, taking a few still somewhat wobbly steps forward. "And as for him letting this forest die...that is not his fault. And as cruel as it may seem to you, he was being kind to my kind. Even as we shunned him. So stop this stalling, stop this game playing. And help me save him so we all can save this place."
She stopped her walk forward, her anger fading for a second to let the grief and pain she felt wash over her face, part of her hoping that would sway Kisi where her anger hadn't. "Please, this is for your good as well."
Brianna glanced back at Duir then, looking at the puddle of dark red that was quickly forming on the ground in front of him. She knew that turning back to him would do him no good at the moment. She had to press forward. Had to get the flower and save his life. But she wanted to go, wanted to pull him to her and save him with just her embrace. "Please," she said again, holding out her hand towards the other god.
Kisi heard what the human had to say but to say he was actually taking what she said to heart was another matter together. That anger so a kin to the humans and boiled over her common sense as she berated him for his reasons, not understanding or knowing the reasons. He wasn’t responsible for Duir’s injuries or his near death condition, the state of his forest and even the way the human discarded the god just to retrieve the flower. The much wounded god was. Dark lightless eyes drifted lazily over the slouched stag god, the red hissing and killing more greenery with the passing moments finding disgust at the carelessness. Duir might have been dying but must his forest, his home and power, suffer as well? Kisi wouldn’t have been so irresponsible to bleed out if his blood was poisonous to the very world he created.
What the archeress viewed as kindness to her species was another sort of cruel in its own way, a weak sort, the choice of doing harm to another or doing nothing at all. Duir had chosen nothing. He was more the cause of letting his forest died then the humans for killing it, something Kisi hated the stag god for. Brianna’s feet found the ground and lifted her upright with some trouble in each wobbly step. It brought her out of reach from Duir while she focused on him. Kisi couldn’t help the smirk at spotting a flash of ire, a deeper type, darken across Duir’s expression. A shiver of delight raced through him like lightning that sought an outlet only to be trapped in his form, a delicious feeling.
The flash of pain and misery hadn’t escape his notice and for a moment, believed it was genuine. However humans were very good actors when they wanted to be, this he knew quite well and she was no different to him. It made all the easier to ice over his emotions. Her mention of it being good for him as well seemed an odd tactic but a ruse never the less, Kisi’s head tilted to the side with his elbow raised in indecision. Naturally it was a fake display of compassion or at least appearing to considering her words. Inside however, a different conclusion came to surface and he wondered how far she would go to save Duir. His eyes once more glanced at the stag god looking so pathetic and weak, his sands of time passing bit by little bit until soon it would all fall away leaving him to fade. A wick glint of mischief came to mind as the crow god pushed off the tree branch with a flutter of his wings taking up the air, his feet kicking off for more power and his hand tightly wrapped about the flower’s coarse stem.
His hand shifted the flower stem between his fingers, cradling the flower in his palm easy to crush with one simple, quick motion before pulling it behind his back on his landing. The hard claw nails crushed the green beneath his crow feet landing close enough to hear a low rustle of discomfort from Duir and his face mere inches from Brianna’s. If she drew a weapon, the human would find it rather hard to kill him in this close range at least without interference. Besides would she really risk him crushing the flower in the seconds it took her to end his life? She had proven smarter than to do something foolish like that he hoped.
More than anything Kisi was curious to see how far this human female would go to see Duir running and alive through a thriving forest once more. Despite her words, the crow god was spectacle at best about her claims, even wondering if she realized Duir’s feelings yet. This Brianna faced a monster and slay it, a destructive act against nature itself, but there wasn’t remorse that he could sense for it. Humans…they were nothing but destruction and selfishness. She had only done for herself to be with Duir and forgiveness, not for the forest, not for Duir or even the better of the environment. Now was the time to prove it.
His voice was low enough for only her, his mouth pulling quickly to hover about her ear as long as it could breathing in a vile ultimatum,” You would do anything to save him? Then prove it… I’ll give you the flower if you kiss me here and now. Be warned, if you say another word beyond acceptance above a whisper, move to him or give him a lie you have no choice, I promise you will watch him died slowly. I’m not afraid to die or suffer should you pull the dagger or an arrow on me. All it would do is prove me right about you to him, that you are capable of nothing but cruelness. The choice is yours.”
Mindful of where her hand might reach, he was prepared to pull away should Brianna reach for the flower instead of taking his offer. Taking precious time from Duir that far beyond his to have, allowing him to suffer longer. Even if Brianna refused to see it, this kiss was likely the only way to save Duir. Now it was time to see if her claims were true or if he, Kisi, was right all the time.
She took in a sharp breath as Kisi landing right in front of her, pulling her hand back some. She had not expected that he would come so close to her like that. She had not expected him to come so easily into range of her arm and dagger. He would surely fight back, he would surely hurt her if she hurt him. But she would feel the better for it. She would feel so much better for making him suffer as he was letting Duir suffer. She would help him as well, as she'd caused the problem. But for a brief moment, she would feel the joy.
But he would crush the flower as well if she tired. And she could not risk that. So she did not draw her knife from her belt and send it through the crow gods ribs like she so wanted to.
His mouth came so close to her ear, his hot breath brushing her flyaway hair around her ear. She shivered at the feel of his breath on her skin, but she held her ground and waited for the vile words he was going to spew into her ears then. And sure enough, they were almost more than she could handle. her feet didn't move, though she pulled her head back some to look at Kisi to see just how delighted he was to be doing this. He did not wish to actually kiss her for her, but to hurt Duir more. To plunge a knife into his more figurative heart. She knew the way she felt about Duir, and she hoped desperately that he felt the same. Kisi saw though, hew knew. And he knew what this would do to him, to see her kiss the crow god.
Brianna's eyes held no expression of emotion for a long moment. They looked at the crow god like he was some foreign being she'd never seen before. Either choice was cruelness of a sort. She could be cruel and let Duir die, at least knowing how she felt. Or she could crush his heart and kiss Kisi and let him live thinking that she had not cared for him. She could explain to him if he lived, but would he believe her? She hoped he would, but that hope did not mean that it would be so. Either way, she would be left with her own broken heart.
If she did not, she would have slayed that monster in vain. She would have risked Kisi's life in vain. And wouldn't that make her just as cruel as well. To have gone through that for no other reason and to have almost taken the life of another god because of her mistake.
So her only choice was to kiss him. Because she could live with a broken heart knowing that she did everything to make sure he lived. And he would. Even if she could never have him like she wanted. He would live, and that was what she wanted more than anything.
The huntress didn't answer him with words. She didn't nod her head or say a thing. Please forgive me she prayed, hoping that Duir would hear, that he would understand in the end that she had done this for him. She pushed up on her toes some, the god standing just a bit taller than her and brushed her lips against his. It wasn't anything like the kisses that she'd shared with Duir, but she made sure that it was a good enough kiss that Kisi would not make her do it again. "Are you happy now?" she whispered against his mouth before pulling back, her voice full of the pain of what she'd just done.
"Give me the flower Kisi," she said louder, holding out her hand between their chests, palm up. "I paid your price."
She seemed frozen. Like a flower caught into the grips of winter high in the northern lands until the slight movement of her delicate little head brought him into her vision. Kisi knew she could see his enjoyment of her misery. Drinking it as if it was an over ripe wine and taking strength from it, feeding in the pain and suffering of the thing he hated most. They had made him suffer beyond words and now he had returned the favor to one little human. Power was what he held in his palm, his fingers caged the little flower within his grip reminding her and him about the precious gift held in the heart of his hand.
Then the pain emptied away into realization on his request. It was a damning choice either way and it was checkmate, a grandly played move in Kisi’s mind. The one thing he discovered about some humans was their pitiful excuse for a heart as hers no doubt played tug of war with the choices: her love or Duir’s life. Love was a foolish thing in the end, his mind considering pressuring her choice and edging to the one he desired most. It wasn’t needed it seemed. Her body began to push up on her toes bring Brianna closer to him, really to embrace him and chose. Kisi’s eyes caught the pain in Duir’s mere seconds before her dark hair shrouded him from view, savoring the pain etched into the deer god’s eyes that were unable to twist away.
Inwardly Kisi was telling Duir that he won and Brianna didn’t love him, a human’s affection was easily swayed. It was over. Her breath skirted his mouth, a sweet breeze of victory, making his heart stop in his ribs and his wings fluttered with exciting lightning racing through his feathered tips. His marble white skin danced with goose bumps that ran along his surface causing his head to tilt and mold to hers, casting another stinging heartache into Duir farther ripping his soul into pieces. Kisi was fanning the flames of hate, silently gloating in the feeling of rage at his direction heating the air using Brianna.
The kiss was hollow through the motions. Never the less the damage was done and Kisi hadn’t even cared, barely hearing her words as she requested the flower. There wasn’t a reason to hold it any longer and pulling his body back, Kisi’s hand moved the flower bedded down in his hand forward. He whispered softly, ready to hand her the flower after he was out of attack range. The fullness smug of his voice hung in the air while the words reached out to her,” Yes…here’s-“
His sentence never finished as a flames erupted about the forest, a scorch and engulfed tree crashed between the two. Parting like a sea, Kisi's head turned about to realize his mistake and the results of his little game. The fire had sent the only living residents scurrying for the hills in swarms while in moments Kisi was gone. His image consumed by the blazes caused by Duir, the stag god hurt and heart broken stood as the only thing untouched in this inferno.
Pain…he watched her kiss the crow god, her affection turned to another. It felt like his heart was torn out of his chest and grinded into the very soil of his home. His ear furled back, pressed against his head in shame letting the hollow emptiness swallow Duir up. He wanted it all to disappear. Kisi, the flower, her and even him, all too just disappear. His body still settled on the ground unable to rise and separate the two, not realizing she was doing for him, of Kisi’s filthy trick. It wasn’t worth this misery, to live knowing she could with draw her affections and so seemingly easily give them to another.
His fingers dug deeper into the forest’s greenery, spurred on by anger and hate at the Crow God’s mocking glance. Though deeply wanting to tear his eyes away, Duir found his vision sickly fixated on the two before taking in each detail. Each one purged and seared in his mind that sent needles pricking up and down his soul. No…he screamed inside, NO! The stag god tried to move only to slip back again, spilling out more blood that sizzled and blacked the moss it touched. The hissing sound pulled his attention causing Duir’s antler head to jerk spotting the slightly darkened spot. A new pain, not one of sorrow or heart break, tore through his physical body starting at his ribs flooding to his senses.
Pulling his hooved toes forward, Duir sat Indian style crossing his legs in an upright position but his eye never left the scene. He never felt this sort of torment before. Never in his long life did Duir suffer from the mere sight like the one before him, even as Brianna spoke loudly, he didn’t hear the reason or likely wanted to. The only want was to end it all. And end it he would, starting with the very thing that gave him life he would stop this agony. Smoke started quickly erupting into a blaze from underneath the stag god, the source and cause of the fire that spread rapidly to the nearest tree. In moments the wood was consumed being nothing more than kindling feeding the heat, the outside churned black and peeled away into grey ash. A loud sound cracked as the trunk gave away coming to crash down between Kisi and Brianna.
Duir was lost inside of himself. A coward that stared with empty and sadden eyes into space, letting his woods die in his self-inflicted fire. He lost her and now, it he would heal the hurt himself. His face took on a blank expression, not a fearful of what waiting him in death cause he discovered hell on earth already. Anything was better than this. Even death thought Duir, his body began taking on a ghostly appearance with each fresh tree that died and hearing their screams, he knew even if he wanted to save them it wasn’t possible now. It was over because he had no one to love anymore.
He'd said yes. Kisi was going to give her the flower to save Duir's life. And with it she would beg him for forgiveness for the kiss she'd had to share with the crow god. Duir would have to understand. He would have to forgive her. Eventually at least. She'd done it for him. She'd done everything for him. He may not wish to talk to her for a while, but he would see that she truly cared for him and that the kiss with Kisi had meant nothing at all to her. Nothing like the kisses they'd shared. Nothing at all like the brush of his soft lips against her, or the feelings that fluttered in her chest when he rested his head in her lap and let her run her fingers through his bouncy curls. But before he could hand it to her, her whole world went up in smoke.
After the tree fell, the heat licked at her first as she reached desperately for the flower. But it was too quickly consumed. Brianna stepped back quickly, feeling the burns on her finger tips but ignored them as best she could. Turning, hurrying back to avoid the flames that lapped up the other god, that were running wild through the trees, making the animals run for shelter. But she knew there would be none to find.
"Duir!" she called over the sound of the flames. She dropped to her knees, coughing as the smoke had already started to find its way into her lungs. This was madness. Was this the cost of her kiss then? Was this because she had chosen the path of anything to save him? Another swatch of burning branches fell in front of her and she stopped up short, gasping at fire and ashes that filled her vision. What have I done? she thought desperately as she pushed the branch away with no thought of she might burn herself. Please, save him, she begged of whoever was listening, who ever could fix this. Because surely someone had made the gods, some original god and surely they could save Duir. Save his forest. Save them. Because she was finally not alone anymore, and now everything was slipping away.
"Duir," she coughed as she tried to call out again. He was there, right in front of her, eyes looking out unfocused in front of him. The fire was moving in closer but she didn't care anymore. Nothing at all mattered but him. She could feel the heat coming at her fast, leaping and dancing towards the stag god and herself as she came to rest on her knees right in front oh him.
She felt her heart breaking as she looked at him, saw the hurt that she had caused. Not just the physical hurt, which was nearly gushing out of his wounded side. But the hurt she'd caused his heart at her actions. Brianna looked at him, and the seconds stretched out into long minutes as she did so. There was nothing she could do to stop this now. He might have been the source of the fire, but he was no longer in control of it. There was nothing either of them could do to stop it now.
Tears welled up in her eyes, not just from the smoke, as she inched forward and took his face into her calloused hands. And then she spoke words she knew she would never say again and if they were to be her last, she would be happy with them. "I love you," she said in what felt a soft whisper as the tears brimmed over and spilled down her cheeks. And she knew without a doubt that the words were true and that she felt them in every fiber of her being. She could hear it in her own voice. "I love you, Duir."
Hollow. That was how he felt, empty as a decaying tree with its insides falling away to the earth. The image of her kissing the crow god repeated in his head like leaves battered in the winds. Dark blue eyes, Kisi’s, greedily were lapping up his misery like a wolf thirsty for water. Savoring it. Nothing had a right to hurt this much, it’s hot and cold sensation deep down in his core, but this did. This unfamiliar feeling that snaked around his limps, pinning him in place and chaining Duir to the spot as he longed to be consumed by the fire that ate up his beautiful forest.
Even his heart seemed to stop beating, the rhythm lost to the crackling embers flickering up from the ground catching on anything that wasn’t flames. His body seemed only made of bones. A heavy and useless skeleton that propped his body upright, keeping him from landing face first into the black ash left behind. His side wet with the blood trailing down his side and coated the white skin in red.
“Duir!” A small voice, female, overcame the loud popping of crumbling wood.
Go away, Duir’s dark voice cried fed by his sorrow and self-pity, making him wanting to be alone. He saw little point in searching for the source, believing it not to be Brianna. She wouldn’t have stayed. The huntress was human after all, would have fled like the rest of her race and never to have feel guilty about his wound again. Brianna, the name dug into his chest at the mere thought, would be free of her guilt.
Again, the voice refused to be silence. Even though when the thick grey smoke threatened to muffle it, his name once again cracked though, making his ears twitch towards the direction. A darken shape, was moving quickly and rushing carelessly towards him in desperation it seemed. Almost dream like. The haze caused by the fire parted and revealed Brianna, her eyes wild and worried as she didn’t even care that her feet were trampling scorched ground. The soles likely being cooked with the contact, pulling her closer was the need to seek him while he didn’t even look up. He didn’t want to know what creature had failed to run, just waiting for the forest to collapse and his end to come. Louder sounds, so close slowly started to pull his focus to the surface while a fuzzy shape with dark red brown hair waft a sweet scent into his nose. Flowers, lively and strong, chased away the choking smoke from his nose bring recognition to his mind. It couldn’t be, he refused to believe but made no effort to fight the contact of skin upon his own. There wasn’t flinching as he felt hands, rough but gentle, press along the sides of his head and lifted it.
There she was: Brianna. The one he least expected, his dark eyes met her bright green filled with that sense of warmth. Her tears, were they for him? He couldn’t help but wonder, tore between the truth and lie of the memory running through his head. Then words, surreal and otherworldly, came from her full lips making his eyes wide with realization even as she repeated them with fresh tears streaming along her cheeks and down her face. Words…they shouldn’t be so strong since they were so small, merely air passing through the mouth but the simple meaning they held was so much greater. “I love you” was the ones he been waiting for what seemed like eternality to hear from someone. She shouldn’t have been here, it was too dangerous yet here, this woman that had spilled his blood with a stone arrow, leaned over his crippled body telling him that she loved him. Duir’s heart seemed to be filled with life and dread.
He had been a fool all along, now he couldn’t stop it. Brianna’s life would be lost unless…The stag god’s hands pulled across her arms, following and measuring the lovely contours while destruction continued to fall around them. His flesh skimmed the outside with one hand settling against one if hers rested on his face, the other trailing farther up stopping behind her head and gently stroking her hair in his thick fingers. Duir leaned in to her crying face resting his forehead against hers, his eyes filled with regret while a weak voice echoed it, spoke.
“I’m sorry, my love,” He said, struggling with the words. They were soul mates after all,” Don’t be sad.”
Gripping her hair softly but firm, Duir pulled her lips into his kissing deeply as his body radiated light. Energy darted off him like fireflies, extinguishing where they touched making the fire slowly died out. A heat, not overwhelming or burning, budded from the core of Brianna’s heart flooding her with a light feeling of power. It was his last gift to her. A gift of surviving his greatest mistake, one he gave willingly. Mentally he whispered his good byes, a bitter sweet thing as his body faded out of her grasp. His forest gone there was no source of life or ties to keep him earth bounded, at least not yet. He knew it would take a long time, years even, but with his last gift his Brianna would remain. They would again be together some day.
“It’s only for a little while…,” his last words disappeared into the air. In hours the flames would have faded to nothing, leaving Brianna the only thing living among a pile of ashes.
He didn't push her away. She felt her heart pound a little harder in her chest when he looked at her and really saw her. She knew that he'd heard what she'd said. And he'd understood her. She could die happy now knowing that she'd told him. That he knew, that he'd heard and understood. He had to see now that her actions had been for him, to save him. Even if it was too late now, she knew she'd done all she could to make sure that he was safe and that he lived. Even if now he was ending himself and her. At least neither of them would be lonely without the other.
When he pulled her in she went willingly, knowing that this would be her last chance to kiss him. But as she kissed him, she knew something was wrong about it. Something was very wrong. This was like how he'd kissed her before when she'd been hungry. He was filling her up with his energy. He was saving her at the cost of himself. His voice echoed softly through her mind though she couldn't hear it with her ears. She felt his goodbyes and she could feel the tears renewing themselves as they spilled over her lashes again and ran down her face.
Brianna didn't want to live without him. She couldn't do that. He was not allowed to leave her after she'd gone through all of that to save him. Couldn't they both just let it end her so she didn't have to suffer the years without him? She didn't want to suffer the years without him. There was no turning back from this, from knowing him, having him near. It would never ever be the same again.
"No, Duir please," she murmured softly, her voice thick with her pain as she watched him fade away in front of her. "No please..." Even a little while was too long, too much for her. She felt the sobs push through her body, though she couldn't hear herself crying. All she could hear was the last thing that Duir had said to her play over and over.
The tears fell for a long time before she had cried herself out enough. She had grown cold by then, and the fire around her was down to cinders, a few hot patches still burning further away. She looked out, hunched over herself some and refusing to move just then. "I will wait for you," she whispered, letting the wind catch her words and blow them about the ashy trees that lingered so he knew, whereever he was, that she was not going to leave him, even while he was away. "I will wait for you always."