The One Who Knew

© 2000 by Sofía 'Toffee' Francisco

This page was last modified: 2000/06/14

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Author's Note:

This story takes place in the same universe as my Unbroken series, but it is prior to them. It's an independent story, anyway. Dedicated to Natsumi for drawing such a lovely pic of my fanfic! *winks*

"It is rare for you to come and see me... Are things really so peaceful that you can risk getting away?" Dohko's face cracked into a smile, old as it was it could still convey some expression. His visitor, however, remained as silently serious as before. Dohko sighed and closed his eyes. "Things are beginning to go wrong?"

At last the visitor moved, his pale silver-blue hair rustling faintly in the wind caused by the waterfalls. He sat down beside Dohko and breathed in deeply, as if he could never again breathe such purity as the one found in Rozan. "I have been... thinking. About the past, and about the future..."

"Do you wish it could have been different? Three hundred years is a long time, even for you, Shion..." But the visitor shook his head. That was not what he meant.

"No, this is the way we chose, and I do not regret it, but..." He turned to face the falls, eyes lidded. "Lately, I cannot help thinking that there has to be a higher reason for all of this... for this eternal circle-bound fate, that we warriors fight to break."

"What do you mean? Of course there is a higher reason, to protect our Goddess, to destroy this very cycle you speak about!" The old man's face crumpled into a frown, as he stared at his life long friend.

"Has it ever occurred to you that we might actually be enforcing the cycles?" Shion's words seemed to drown the ever present roar of the falls for a few seconds.

"Enforcing them! Shion, was has gotten into you!" Dohko could not keep the anger out of his voice.

"Supporting evil? Is that what you say we are doing?"

"No! It's just that... How long has this been going on? Why is there never an ending to this eternal war of Gods? Why has there never been one true winner?" Shion clenched his fists and bowed his head.

"Because evil will always be there... That is the one thing we cannot prevent." A bird cried in the distance, breaking the spell of anger that had enveloped them both.

"Evil, no. But Hades? Shouldn't there be a way to seal him forever, just like Zeus disappeared?" The tall man shook his head and sighed.

"Don't you think that if there was a way, Athena would have done it by now?" Had his body not been the shrivelled husk it was, Dohko would have hugged his friend.

"That is exactly the point! Once Hades was sealed forever -- what would possibly keep her in power?" Shion faced Dohko then, his eyes darker than they should have been.

"Shion..." But there was little he could say.

"Think about it... Athena protects the earth, and she is worshipped because she has always saved us! But if there was no menace to save us from, then why should we pay her any homage? And every three or four hundred years, evil returns and so does she. Then we all fight, and the earth is saved, and Athena leaves until the next war. Why Dohko! Why do you think this happens over and over and over?" Shion stood up, fury burned in the liquid depths of his eyes like fire.

"Shion... The things you say... may be true. But we are only human, and being so, we must fight to live, there is no other way." Peace was a utopia where the human heart could not live.

"Precisely! And as long as we have to fight, Athena will remain in power, and the earth will be under he command. How could she want to win for good, when it would mean she would no longer have a leverage on us? War brings us together under her wing... Do you think she is so selfless that she could not think of these things?" Dohko did not answer; he could not. After a while Shion sighed and slumped down beside the old man.

"So what you are saying, is that we should rebel against Athena?" There was a dangerous edge to the Libra saint's voice, one that Shion had not heard in many many years.

"No... That would be ridiculous. You said it yourself, we are only human..." He smiled then, and touched the two spots that rested upon his forehead. "Even me. And thus I know how things happen. Even now we fight against each other, and only in the face of a greater danger do we find the strength to become allies. The cycles are made to bind us to Athena, and she exists to bring peace to this world... through war."

"Why are you telling me all of this, if you mean to do nothing about it?" There was pain and confusion in Dohko's voice, and an underlying tone of sadness.

"Because I had to tell someone, at least someone who would understand. Athena is a Goddess of Just WAR, don't you see? And that is exactly what we fight for: A war that will unite humanity for a short time, and its ripples will affect our world for centuries; and when at last, we begin to forget that, and we begin to destroy ourselves, Athena will come back, and so will Hades. And so, humanity will survive." Shion laughed then, but there were tears in his voice.

"Perhaps you are right... but you still haven't answered my question... why have you come here?" Shion looked up then, his eyes too bright.

"The war is soon to come. And now at last I realise that it must come, that we must welcome this war, and all this pain, for it is the only way for us to survive. Yet nothing is more painful than knowing that you are a pawn on the chessboard, and that you must continue to be one forever." He wiped his eyes with the sleeve of his tunic, unceremoniously. "Evil must return, so that we can fight for the peace we dream of, and understand that we really do want it. So... knowing that Hades is at our door, we must let him in."

"Shion..." There was fear in the old man's voice now. "Shion, answer my question."

Shion turned to his friend then, and smiled. A pained, sad smile that twisted the Libra saint's heart in his chest. "It will start soon. The wheels of our destiny will be set in motion again, as evil approaches, and settles in. I will die soon, my friend." Dohko jerked slightly, his eyes widening.

"How is that possible, you are the Kyoko!" He exclaimed, distressed.

"There is a young man back in Sanctuary, who is torn between good and evil. He will murder me, and take my place... and his ambition shall be the beginning of this war. It will start again, like that." Dohko shook his head stiffly.

"You could prevent it, if you know that he..." But Shion held up a hand, bid him silence.

"That is what I have been trying to tell you. I know that it will happen, and I know that it must happen. But I wanted to tell you, so at least someone would know the truth."

"And the one who will kill you... A man torn between good and evil? Torn!? The Gemini saint? Saga!? He is practically an angel!" Dohko looked at Shion, trying to find a glimmer of hope in the tall man's eyes. Yet there was none.

"It has to be that way. Evil out of good, and good out of evil. That is the way it goes. He will be defeated, Athena shall make sure of that." He got up, and stood at on the very rim of the ledge Dohko sat on, his hair billowing in the humid wind. "I came here... to tell you this, and to say goodbye, friend."

A tear fell down the old man's cheek, the first in almost three hundred years. He looked up, and Shion turned to face him again, a soft smile gracing his pale features. Yes... thought the Libra saint, deep down I knew all of this, and I know that we must fight like this forever, until humanity understands itself enough to not need war on order to find peace.

"Farewell, Shion." It was all he could say. And all that was needed.

In a flash of blue light the visitor was gone, and once again there was nothing but the falls, and the seemingly peaceful landscape. The roar of water falling and the cries of birds were all that could be heard, oblivious to the war growing around them, for now.

Yes, farewell, my friend...

* * *

A few weeks later Dohko opened his eyes and realised that he could not longer feel Shion. It hurt, even though he knew it would be that way. Still he grieved for his friend, for he of all people understood what sacrifices had to be made, and was willing to let them happen. And he grieved for the Gemini saint, too, who was, like them, nothing more than a pawn in this great game of Gods.

Yet, as the years went by Dohko saw something else, he saw love. Not for himself, but growing around the winding fate of war, and so he knew that just as love lent them the strength to live, it would also be their undoing.

Love will be your death, Gemini Saga...

Or so he thought, as the wind rustled in the forests below him, and the world was still at peace.

For a time.

The End

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