A/N: Thanks for the reviews and recs. You guys rock. And sorry for the long wait, but I was busy with another story. Speaking of - Beta Needed
: Any volunteers for a beta job on a 150 pages long Anita Blake crossover? I need someone to check for continuity, plot holes and other mistakes and at the end of it, you'll hate me for being a nit picky perfectionist. So.... Anybody want some?ETA: Thanks for the offers people. I'm saved.
The city doesn’t last ten years. It might have been five, or fifteen. These things are rarely as straight cut and simple as history makes them out to be.
The city doesn’t last ten years. But it lasted and when it falls it is in a storm of fire and sparks, brought down by trickery and betrayal, by dishonour and lies.
These things mean nothing to Sun as she stands before that flaming gates of Troy and watches the Greeks slaughter thousands. Like time, these human follies - broken trust and broken bodies - cease to touch, eventually.
Why does she fight this war then? She fights it because forever is a long time to be alone and there was a man, barely more than a boy, barely less than an old man, who caught her eye. Brave and loud, boisterous and arrogant, he calls himself a son of gods and maybe he is. He is beautiful at any rate.
So here she stands, and Troy falls under Ulysses’ mind for trickery, a bitter king’s need for revenge and Achilles’ thirst for glory.
Sighing, she hefts her sword a bit higher and takes off toward the burning centre of the city. Might as well see how it ends.
She pulls a Greek off a teenage girl with disgust, knocking the man out with the pommel of her sword. She ignores the girl’s cries of gratitude and just keeps walking. She is not benevolent god come to save this city. She is not a benevolent anything. She just…
A group of soldiers comes barrelling past her, weapons drawn, screaming and howling with adrenaline. With a raised eyebrow, she shrugs and follows. Just to find out what they are up to.
She catches up to them in a dead end alley where they have cornered one of the Trojan lieutenants, by the looks of his armour.
He is bloodstained, unarmed, cornered and –
And he raises his head to meet her eyes across a horde of rabid enemy soldiers and what she sees stops her in her tracks.
He whispers her name in the tongue they once both spoke, before time began and they ended, back when there was only sun and heat and brittle things. Back when he had three brothers and she a family.
She knew he wasn’t dead, would have felt it if he had died but to see him here, centuries later, face unchanged, it seems surreal. And maybe that is a good thing because she draws one of her hidden daggers, flings her sword at him and spins into an attack before he catches the weapon. Between them the mortal soldiers stand no chance, betrayal and confusion forever etched into their faces as one of their own slits their throats and tramples their corpses.
The last soldier's last act is to stab him in the gut and as she spins to face him, he is already dying. She sighs – whether in annoyance, sadness or exhaustion she doesn’t know – and finishes the last kill.
Somewhere closer to the palace, screams of rage and triumph proclaim Achilles’ death by Trojan hands. Even as they die by the thousands, this people still fights. She has to respect that.
Sheathing sword and dagger she grabs his arm and hauls it over her shoulders, intent on getting him somewhere more inconspicuous. With a grunt she decides that he has gotten heavier.
He wakes minutes after the palace goes up in flames and the last of the Trojan city crumbles into anarchy and death. Tomorrow the streets will be washed clean by the blood of a whole people and new banners will be raised. The dead will be burnt, the survivors treated.
One empire falls, another rises. How many times has she seen it now?
“Sun,” he says, voice rough from blood and the ever elusive death. He sounds uncertain.
“Methos,” she returns, careful to keep her voice free of emotion.
He sits up with a groan, inspecting the bloody edges of the hole left in his armour. After a minute he declares his garments a lost cause and discards the breast plate and shirt, leaving him bare from the waist up. Then he stands.
“Thank you,” he says and offers her a hand up.
The city has fallen and whatever – whoever – either of them cared about is lost to them so the only thing left to do is for Methos to lead the way down a secret passage way and for Sun to follow in his wake, roles twisted for once.
They reach the end of the tunnel by daybreak, finding what little is left of the royal family just after the last vestiges of night fade. Some raise weapons against the Greek but Methos pushes them down and simply shakes his head. Unsure of anything – their world, their future, their lives, their very existence - they obey. There is little else left to do.
Sun just smiles at a little girl hiding behind her mother’s legs and picks up a pack to carry. They walk.
For three days the march, side by side. At night they gravitate toward each other at the edge of their little camp and during the day they read directions and suggestions off each others faces like they did an age ago. But they never speak a word.
Finally, on the afternoon of the third day they cross a small stream. Methos lifts a little girl over and then turns to give her a hand he knows she doesn’t need. Still she takes it, twists his arm and throws him into the chilly water. He winces as his back hits sharp rocks but makes not comment.
The few warriors in the small group push the women back and aim their weapons at her. But she only has eyes for the man in the water and he knows it, stays motionless and awaits her verdict like he did when he was still young and she was all he knew.
“I would have come,” she finally says, voice even. The soldiers lower their weapons a bit.
Methos just keeps staring at her with those dark eyes, full of memory and regret.
“I would have come,” she repeats, desperate to get some reaction – any reaction – out of him. “All you had to do was ask. I would have left with you.”
His reaction, when it finally comes is the one she expects but not the one she wants to answer. Ever.
“Why?” He asks and he truly doesn’t know. After all this time, he still doesn’t know.
She sinks onto the wet, muddy bank of the stream and wraps her arms around herself as the last weapons are lowered and all that is left in the mortals surrounding them is the slow coming certainty that this is pain.
“Because you are everything.”
For a few short moments he stares at her and it feels longer than any century ever had before he finally nods once and climbs to his feet.
He doesn’t apologize for leaving. He doesn’t ask for a better explanation. He doesn’t yell. He doesn’t declare his love and kiss her senseless. He doesn’t do anything but offer her a hand up.
And when she takes it and stumbles, he is there to catch her.