Shaina and Milo

Loss

© 2007 by Ariadne

This page was last modified: 2007/12/11


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Shaina had reached Sanctuary's cemetery. The long path had nothing but scared her, for she was fearing the worst. The energy around the sacred place had been fluctuating, changing from Athena's protective aura to one that was dangerous to an extent she could not comprehend. Yet, the woman understood as soon as she saw the graves opened from the inside. Only one in the world had such power and in that way, she let the other Saints know. What were they to do? She a Silver Saint and the others? Nothing but Bronze Saints that the truth said, had done nothing for Athena in the past?

Shaina shivered, for there was a bad omen in all that.

That morning, when they had woken up, Milo and her had talked about death. It was not a common conversation to have with the person you talk about spending your life with, yet, that had been the topic. Milo had said he was not afraid of death. That he respected death for he knew it better than anyone, especially given that he was death itself. The woman had listened carefully to each one of his words and had hugged him from behind, he still sitting at the table, while she was making breakfast. Ophiuchus trembled again. She never cooked—had that been a bad omen as well?

There had been a moment though, in which Milo had remained silent, making her uncomfortable. It had also been at that moment, that Shaina had felt more vulnerable. 'I don't wanna die, though...' he had said, smiling sadly, 'I'm scared...you know? What will happen to what I was in this life? Will you miss me? Will I be ready to let you go?' the depth of his words had made her fear as well, for she understood them. And him.

The woman had hugged him, and kissed him deeply; while he, feeling bewitched by her had fallen to her enchantments and had responded with all his being. They had shared their time and laughed that day—until the afternoon befell and they took different paths. Shaina knew not of Milo's whereabouts yet at that moment, when she was lost in her thoughts and trying to prevent a higher tragedy to happen, she felt him. What was he doing in Athena's temple?

The ground under her feet had started to shake, and in a moment in which she turned to look towards the place Milo was in, she saw his cosmos shining brightly and pain pierced through her, as if she had been stung by him. The woman opened her eyes, and for a second, she intended to scream and go to see what was happening, but she could not. Her duty was first. Milo's duty was first. And more importantly, Sanctuary was first.

The Bronze Saints faithful to Athena were already there. Just a few moments ago, she had exchanged a few words with Cygnus and Andromeda and they were already running upstairs, to the twelve Temples. Jabu was now helping her burn the opened graves and with them, the ones that were still closed.

The cosmos of the Gold Saints had been burning in the place. Even those of the ones who had been long dead had revived and were now shining next to their fellows—and against them. One by one, they had started to disappear. Deathmask and Aphrodite, then Shaka. She gasped. For Saga, Camus and Shura were now facing Aioria, Mu and Milo.

Milo—the morning they had spent was before her eyes once again. Yes, it was definitely a bad omen.

She sat near the Coliseum, for her place was not among those closest to Athena. Jabu and the others were rounding Sanctuary, making sure nothing else was to happen. She was concentrating on that which was taking place far from her. Two more cosmos were facing each other in Aries. Shaka was gone, she could assure and now the others were moving upstairs, back to Athena's.

She followed her feet through the rocks and the sand and climbed the hills until she found herself hidden behind the columns of the last of the Temples. Shaina had walked that path many times before, never with such weight on her heart. The Amazon saw them reunited. The last six Saints, all dressed with their armours, shining gold, deep dark. Athena and Kanon with them.

The woman feared. Athena had suddenly taken the blade to her throat and seconds later, Milo was smiling towards the place she was standing as if saying goodbye.

Shaina wanted to scream, yet Milo's name was said in her mind alone. She had meant to run to him before he disappeared, clearly following their enemy.

"No." she finally managed to say, before falling on her knees and break into tears.

* * *

Grief

If it weren't for the sound of the waves pounding against the rocks, you could've heard the laughter of the children who lived once in Sanctuary, but were now gone. You could've seen the twelve gold saints were they were still a bunch of little children and were just getting along with each other; they could've been seen sharing with each other—if only it weren't for the reality surrounding them.

Though it was sunny, the day was also cold. Perhaps it was the fact that the ones who had survived felt cold inside. Perhaps it was the fact that they were going through a commemorative burial. The Masters of the Zodiac Houses had passed away. Only a few silver saints and another few of bronzes remained. Athena had returned with the surviving former bronze saints and was now secluded back in her home, looking after the Pegasus Saint. None of the others, Phoenix, Andromeda, Cygnus or Dragon had set foot on Sanctuary. Only those souls forsaken by Athena that were now gathered in Cape Sunion were the remnants of what Sanctuary once was.

Marin had started the ceremony. Since there were no bodies to mourn for, she had decided to make it all end quickly. There were only the memories of what had been lived with those who were not anymore. The glory gained through their sacrifice and service to Athena.

Jabu, Ban, Geki, Nachi and Ichi were now walking back to the old Parthenon. The silver saints who were there, had also departed along with them. Only Marin and Shaina remained.

"Are you ok?" Marin asked finding no response from Shaina. The woman took her mask off, allowing Shaina to witness her own suffering. Red, swollen eyes faced the cold mask that appeared to stare back. Marin meant to take Shaina's mask off herself, but the woman's freezing hand stopped her. Yet, Marin insisted, and though she didn't try to take the mask off again, she did touch it with sorrow. "Will you be ok?" Marin asked again.

Shaina simply remained silent. The woman turned away, her gaze wandering on the sea and the landscape, "Will you?" she responded, for she knew her loss was also Marin's.

"Have to." Marin said, "We have to." She said again in a whisper.

"What now, Marin?" Eagle shrugged instinctively, before noticing Shaina's face was facing hers.

"We'll turn our love into Sanctuary and we'll ensure its life."

"Why?"

"Because they loved Sanctuary and died for it, otherwise, it would've all been in vain."

"Right." Shaina murmured and then silence fell upon them.

"For now, let's just grieve, Shaina." Marin said in a lower voice.

Marin believed the two of them had covetously loved those who like them, belonged to Athena alone. And they had been loved back; it was all because of that that they felt they could at least that one time let go and cry. Or so, Shaina tried. The woman held Eagle silently. Shaina acknowledged Marin needed that moment for herself in order to release her pain. She felt Marin trembling in her arms, and then she felt calmed. Both did, though Shaina hadn't cried. A silent hug that drew them closer as friends; their grief for both Aioria and Milo, and for Sanctuary bounded them for a lifetime.

The time to return came hastily. Night had arrived, yet, there wasn't a single star in the sky. Were the stars grieving as well, Shaina wondered standing on the place; Marin was already returning to Sanctuary. Were the stars really mourning for the death of those they protected? One more loss to them, she whispered. One more guardian who will come to be.

The moon was shining bright in a cloudless night. And as the wind blew her hair and made it untangled, Shaina turned to look around her. In the silence she was now enjoying, she could actually hear the laughter of those who were dead. It wasn't a child's laughter after all. It was a grown man, one who had fallen for her many years ago and who had shared with her until recently. The woman could see him in the moonlight. Shaina smiled and this time, when Milo smiled at her, she didn't scream out of pain.

The woman murmured something to the wind, and she saw him smiling broadly, before walking away from her and joining the other souls a few meters from him. She waved goodbye.

With Athena gone and no gold saints in the place, Shaina and Marin were now the most powerful Saints remaining in Sanctuary. Its future was on their shoulders but that, Shaina thought, would have to wait until the next day. For now, Shaina reached Marin and walked by her side to their cottages; having an absurd conversation that would help them survive the unbearable pain that despite understanding, threatened with consuming them.

The End


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