Author: 0083
Genre: AU, fantasy, aka no spoilers
pairings: 1x2x1, 3x4x3
warnings: angst. oddness.
read previous parts for rest of warnings and notes.

Evergreen + Epilogue

Love and eternity are two small words that fail to describe the immensity of their true meaning.

Thirty years passed and Heero never left Duo's side. Their friends brought him food, shelter and anything else he might require during that time, their sorrow for him and Duo palpable with each visit. Each were leading happy lives, but every day when they visited Heero by the evergreen, they would feel the damning sorrow.

Heero watched as the seasons turned and as his friends grew older. He saw the joy that Quatre and Trowa had, growing brighter each year. He saw Wufei find the woman of his dreams, a spitfire of a girl named Meiran, and saw them have children and grandchildren. He saw Sally become a local doctor of renown, a respected member of the community. He saw Hilde gleefully torment and love her husband and children, showering them with affection and her awful cooking. He saw their lives pass before his eyes as he remained with Duo.

His friends knew better than to try to convince him to leave his beloved and for that, he was grateful. Each day, he talked to his lover, telling him about their friends, their lives and their trials in life. Each day, he told Duo how much he loved him, miss him. Each day, he bathed himself in Duo's tears, letting his own wash through the evergreen.

Thirty years passed like so until one day, Heero felt his body dying underneath the sorrow and the pain. His body was disintegrating, his soul was battered and his heart was growing weaker with the ache. Soon, he would die and leave Duo, an option that he could not entertain.

"Please," Heero pleaded with anyone that would listen, "please don't take me away from him. Please let me be with him."

His vision faded, his hearing dimmed. And yet, he could not give up on Duo.

"I can't leave you. I won't. I will forever be by your side. I love you.."

The tears from the evergreen soaked him, baptizing him in sorrow and longing.

"Then be with him, Heero."

Heero turned to the voice that had spoken, but he could no longer make out the face. Even the voice was distorted, his hearing having dimmed too far for him to recognize it.

Relena could only shed silent tears as Heero feebly raised his head and rested it against the evergreen. She could feel the torment of the lovers, each radiating a kind of longing that she could not imagine was possible. Thirty years was so short to gods, but could any of them live through the pain even for that short time?

"I will make sure that you're with him."

Relena was graced with a joyous smile from Heero's gaunt face. He had heard her.

"Say the words, Heero. I know you remember them."

A nod of confirmation was all she needed to begin the ritual of binding Heero's soul to Duo's. Without a word, Relena handed Heero a small band resembling a ring bearing the intricate symbols of the gods. It was the final treasure of the Fates, the Binder. Holding the ring in his hand, Heero intoned the words with his rusty voice, clinging tight to the evergreen.

"Duo.. With the blood of my blood and the bone of my bones, I become one with you."

The light that shone from the ring blinded Relena.

"With this ring, I thee wed."

A powerful beam of light wrapped itself around Heero's body.

"With my body, I thee worship."

The light enveloped the evergreen.

"With my soul, I thee love."

The light flared intensely and shot to the heavens. Relena could not see anything, but somehow, she imagined that she saw Heero smile one last time.

When the light dissipated, Heero's body was gone, but a vine with dusky red leaves was curling around the evergreen lovingly, intimately twined with the bark and leaves in a silent communion. They were intertwined so closely that it was hard to see where the vine ended and where the tree began. For a moment, Relena doubted if she did the right thing, but her doubts faded as she looked upon the evergreen.

The eyes no longer wept. Instead of the sorrow and the longing, the eyes radiated a completeness, an absolute joy.

Finally, Heero and Duo had found each other again.

The END

notes: you didn't think i'd let it end without them somehow ending up together did you? if you did, well, can't say shame on you because i've been known to do some nasty angsty things to the boys.. and i forgot the disclaimer on the parts (cya form incomplete!) but you all know i don't own gwboys..

anyway, notes.

Raduleum is a bastardization of rado (latin) that means to scratch out, to erase. i tried to squish it into an accusative form for noun's sake.

Metanilim, a horrendous mess of greek, for transformation to nothing. i thought it fit. the words Heero speaks with the Binder.. it's a very old wedding vow, originated by the highly passionate scotsmen. gotta love them. i used it because i love the resonance behind the words and the hint of eternity present. it fits as well.

and why evergreen? well, in wedding tradition, it was common for the recently married to jump over the evergreen branch if there was no thresh-hold to carry the bride over. a ritual of sorts, but i like the symbolism. evergreen, eternally the same and never changing, but a catalyst in a way for all kinds of change. okay, i don't make sense.

and yes, this was a loose adaptation of apollo and daphne's love gone wrong story.

i hope you liked what i did. if not, send me a critique.

-0083

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