He'd like to think this was his idea, and to be fair the more extravagant outings of the past had been his creation. But here on a night like this, clear skies and mild weather spent gazing at the moon, the Traveler, Mars, any and all celestial bodies that hung far above. Simply put, it laid all he'd accomplished in the past to shame. Odd since she'd never shown much of an interest in the ambiance of the date, yet here they were, taking in the cool air of dusk atop one of the many vacant outposts along the Last City's protective wall. So it certainly went without saying that the view was spectacular, almost as breathtaking as the sorceress herself, not that she'd ever take notice given the proper queues.

In a way the atmosphere was so relaxed he had trouble staying awake, especially after the hearty meal they'd shared. A brilliant spread of grilled meats and vegetables, lightly seasoned and conservatively presented. The Titan couldn't help be reminded of a previous incident featuring a similar situation, the first time the ex-guardian attempted to exercise her skills in the culinary arts. A lesson learned the hard way, much to the male's amusement. She was the one to initially suggest being the cook, but it appeared that the half a decade of mind warping survivalism had affected her paltte to quite a degree.

She was disappointed of course, even now she harbored a little resentment for how closely the stigma of death clung to her, even around her own child. She'd been ashamed to admit that armored, Knight-like appearance had made her jump, ready to dive for a weapon. It disgusted her beyond reason, never before had she wanted to be rid of such treacherous memories. It was just one of a countless number of reasons she suggested such a remote location to lounge. Not just away from the public eye, but devoid of all life in general, it was some time ago that he learned of her comfort of being alone was one of the few traits she didn't pick up from her hellish experience.

And yet such a preference proved to be quite pliable, because there he was, the wayward titan sitting beside her...well under her, it was relative position. A pleasant one at that, and unique. He insisted on more casual attire and to his relative surprise she agreed. It was actually pretty odd to she her outside of the rather spartan light armor she always wore. It wasn't like he represented a better example of the trend, it was the consequence of living in the military installation after all. Still that didn't stop her from donning more conservative wear...and pants. But of course it suited her with a customary combination of soft greens and silvery pastels, even the rather boxy hood was replaced with a more traditional looking hooded shawl. In some ways it resembled an old style, almost hijab like in fashion. He'd inquired if there was a connection with the long dead religion, but the sorceress simply shrugged, stating her position as it being more of a fashion statement, which in it of itself grew an insufferable smile across the Titan's face.

As luck would have it, the night had one more surprise to reveal. Eris had never been on for forwardness, less because of personality traits. But more so of the fleeting fear her scars were still able to manifest, no matter how much the titan debated otherwise. So it was little unexpected to suddenly feel her rigid fingers brush his cheek, the uncertain hand making unfamiliar moves. The intrepid, sickly green glow of her eyes more soothing than she probably ever realized, both no more so than the feel of her rough lips against his. Slow at first before it grew in heat, with a magnetic fervor that drew her free hand to his chest.

Normally the Titan would assert himself at such an avenue, driven by a base desire to hear the lightest whines uttered from the sorceress, but she appeared to have the same plan in mind, weaving her hand so abruptly down his torso it was startling. He could appreciate the enthusiasm, that of course wasn't too difficult. It was the inkling feeling if his conscious concurrence was encouraging a comfort zone she had long since pushed past. However the worry must have been obvious enough on his features for her to pause, shooting him not a smirk, but an all too familiar look of stern deliberation she gave him when she knew exactly what she was doing.

In the spirit of this new found leadership, he let her continue, thinking of no good reason to interfere as she slowly worked his shirt off. Her own head wear tickling his nose as that was removed as well, there was little study of his broad chest. Traveling further down she eventually spun her strong hands around his belt, unfastening it promptly and with conviction, but still with an air of hesitance. It was new territory, uncharted and daunting, but the way his face fluttered as her fingers coiled around his member was all the confidence she needed to push forward.

It became an interesting task to maneuver what remained of the intrusive amenities that covered their forms since the sorceress remained keen on keeping her grip where it lay. Not that the Titan would ever complain, especially now that they bare before each other once more. And as before she never failed to take his breath away, in fact the supple muscle and alluring curves seemed more defined than he remembered. As if she'd been taking a more liberal approach to her exercise regimen with gorgeous results. Moreover the power present the woman's display only seemed to accent the tender touch of her hand, providing a rather exciting contrast.

His mind was quickly awash with the sensitive caress on his girth, the feel of each finger passing along the ridge, only to flow back down again was truly maddening. But even with such a euphoric sensation stalling his legs, an instinctual need was hard to completely suppress. Whatever she was originally intended was interrupted with the assertive touch of the Titan, his hands found her torso so that he might wiggle back a little control. When their lips came together, the heated exchange flared immediately, the slightest of moans escaping someone's lips as she hand loosened around his length long enough for him switch their roles. She hardly contested this time as he slowly guided her to the ground, making quick work positioning himself between her moist folds.

A cough of hesitation floated from her lips, yet it was soon forgotten as a heavenly sensation of his lips began to burn at her core. The intensity of the act so primal was practically surreal, as if his touch itself had been electrified, her back arched so abruptly that he broke contact for a moment. She hadn't reached any sort of peak, but the short break served to clear her head for moment, allowing her to place a tentative hand on his chin to stop his return. He sat unsure of her request until she motioned for him to lie on his back, readying herself in a position that left him a little surprised.

He wanted to protest all the way up until her firm lips kissed the tip of his length, true it was new experience for her, but as many times as he'd brought her to bliss in such position, she wanted him to share in that exhilaration. And it wasn't long after she began did the results of that wish come true, his breathless face contorted in bliss as she gently worked his length with the delicate touch of her tongue. Each pass causing him to twitch higher and higher until the only responses he would give her were grunts and sighs. But with such a new sensation, his resistance to such an indulgence was limited and a closing climax served as a warning to pause before something rather awkward could happen. Still practically breathless, he managed to stop her, this time eliciting a sideways glance from the sorceress. But an expression about how much he truly loved her softened the gaze he received. She was about voice her want to continue when his mouth found her neck, passing a soft tongue over some of the faint scars that lay there. A light noise passed from her lips as he worked way down her collar and continued on towards her chest.

Still, given how heated the trading of oral entertainment had been just minutes prior, both guardian and sorceress were hardly in a position of wanting to continue in such a moderate manner. With the Titan lounging up against a surprisingly comfortable tree, Eris clutched his shoulders for a moment, enduring the dull pinch as his length slowly made it's way in between her folds before she rested against him.

For moment no one moved, both simply content in being so close to the warmth the other provided. But it lasted only for a short spell before the sorceress found that compelling initiative she had earlier, bringing their lips together as she shifted her hips, finding an angle that would allow the contact she craved and satisfy the pressure in her core. The Titan simply seemed to be along for ride, but what a trip it was. The utterly intoxicating sensation her supple yet powerful form gliding along his broad chest, the taste of her lips as their tongues tangled for dominance, there was honestly nothing that came even remotely close to the joy felt of having such a woman in his arms. Every ripple of her battle hardened muscles, the gashes and scars that decorated her lithe body, three ever glowing eyes that pierced his every time their gazes crossed. Whatever miracle was allowing this moment to happen, he dared not challenge it, not now and not ever in the future, no matter what it brought.

The pace the sorceress set for them soon found the strong hand of the Titan taking the reins as he took a firm grip of her hips, moving in unison with each gyration. Her legs coiled around his, as each push threw a shudder down a her spine, a maddening rush that burning hotter with passing moment. So much so that she had to lift herself sightly, planting herself in order to feel every earth shaking thrust that left a sensual gasp leaving her lips. When the moment presented itself, the Titan dove for her pert, bobbing chest, lapping at each bud with a heated fervor. With each passing moment the carnal rhythm increased, the tight twist in her center grew more exhilarating by the second, desperately needing to take as much of him as possible.

Both arms snaked around his back, bringing them as close as could be, their lips crashing together with abandon as a peak drew closer and closer. Thrusts so frenzied it was impossible to know who dictated the pace, but within moments it was of no consequence. The sensation, the euphoric release was so extraordinary, the sharp gasp that normally followed was the passionate, almost wanton cry of each other's name. With sensual shudders so similar in how they fluttered about their bodies, it was hard to say who was shaking who, and it didn't much matter. To share such a powerful, otherworldly ecstasy so close to one another was as emotion neither could explain, yet neither could give up. Even as the waves of bliss waned, they held tight, unwilling to be separated, even for moment until the final minute traces of the high wandered away.

Over the years, basking in the dull glow of the moonlight night had very much become a familiar occurrence for the two, as much as it became a sort of unspoken topic for the Eris, a woman who both thrived an loathed the Darkness she need to live.

But it was the evenings like this, where simply bathing in not just the calm night air but conjugal warmth of one another that both he and she felt truly comfortable. It became a trust they shared, a pact that whatever the other considered this moment, right here and now, was something that would last a lifetime.

However at the same time the comfortable bliss allowed a certain amount of clairvoyance into what the other half might have been thinking, or what was about to be said, so it was no surprise that the Titan had to ruin the comfortable moment with an item she knew she needed to discuss, but wanted more than anything to avoid.

"Well, I know something is bothering you." Gate chuckled as he ran his fingers through her short locks of hair. Hiding something was pretty much impossible when the preferred orientation for lounging was having her in his lap, any twitch of the muscle, or fluctuation of the heart beat was fairly easy to detect. But nothing was more telling than the consistency of the black fluid that flowed down her cheeks, it had a tendency to feel just a little bit thinner in the hand when her mind was occupied with rather stress inducing thoughts.

"Well you're wrong." she lied, shooing his hand away.

"Mm-hm." came a pointedly sarcastic reply. "Might as well get it out in the open now, we're both butt ass naked and miles away from the nearest ear or untimely intervention."

It was a fair point, but she wouldn't admit it, in fact it was hardly on her mind. What she wanted to reveal had taken a lot of thought, a lot of doubt, and a more than her fair share of internal debate. But in the end perhaps the only way to pose such a critical question was to articulate it's circumstance.

"The darkness is an interesting entity…" she began to which the Titan snorted.

"Oh geez, one of these again." he teased, receiving a good natured elbow to the ribs.

"Unlike the Traveler which lies dormant above our city, the Darkness is an ever present secretion of chaos, an agent of entropy that has infected every facet of space and time. Affecting anything foolish enough to wish upon its malicious power..." she trailed off, leaving the Titan to quickly surmise that she was speaking about herself to an extent, it wouldn't be the first time her Hive extremities were picking up some unwanted signals from the Traveler's enternal enemy.

"I...sensed something." she continued, her words warped by a hesitation that made it seem that she herself couldn't trust them. "Something out there, moved by the shadows."

"That's hardly an out of the ordinary sight these days Eris, but I suppose that's why what you're saying scares me a little." he chuckled.

"And scared you should be Titan." she advised. "Of the feats the cities has accomplished, what is just beyond the horizon could prove to be the most difficult trial yet. I felt not the chilling cold of death, but the ever burning inferno of life, something so vile in its conquest of destruction it challenges the equilibrium the Traveler forged."

"Eris." Gate spoke, taking a firm grip of her bare hips to halt what he knew was another less than stable doom prophecy bubbling forth. She was years older and a mother of one, but the middle aged sorceresses was still a merchant for disparaging rants and paranoid warnings, some things truly never changed.

She was conflicted between sinking into the warmth of his hands and scolding him for interrupting, but ultimately took his unspoken advice to simply take a small breath.

"Atheon was a test of a guardian's mind, Oryx…" he could almost sense her growing physically ill at the mention of the Taken King, "was...a test of our souls, our wills...but what I hear, what I feel now is something that will test the strength of our forms."

"Interesting theory." Gate nodded, "But you'll have to excuse me if I want to get to the real point of this story."

He knew she building up to something, and it very much must have concerned something that could have an enormous impact on what her next actions might have been. As she went rigid, the slight, anxious shiver crawling down her spine, he felt light for moment. Eris lifted herself from his lap, shifting herself smoothly around to face him. She kneeled over his lounging form, hands draped firmly on his shoulders, the ebony ectoplasm seeping from her eyes tickling his chest.

"I have never felt something so malicious carried on the winds of the Darkness, Atheon was just the framework of an endless machine, already apart of existence, his death but a ripple in time. Oryx, so self righteous in his quest, so horrid in his path of the sword. But this rotting taste I have in my mouth now, it is nothing but singular hatred and vengeance. So much so that I fear the City will not survive."

"You think the City will fall?" Gate breathed, that was a truly haunting prediction to level.

"I do not know, the Darkness is always violent, always changing…."

"Eris." Gate stopped her, meeting the green gaze with his own rigid one, silently asking of the climax she'd so clearly been building to.

"If this is truly the end, if what I sense has even a remote chance of truth, then I do not want to stay here." she confessed, an odd mix of harsh and harmonious in her tone. Yet with such a simple phrase he knew exactly what she was implying.

She foresaw, predicted, even simply guessed of the City's future Armageddon, but unlike many a soldier, instead of standing strong she wanted survival. And he wouldn't even once question why, after living a lunar hell, after facing down the very forces, the undead gods that ripped everything away from her. Of course she was tired of the fight, they all were. Whether she meant to say she had made her peace, done her time, there was still an element missing.

"I don't...if the worst is really yet to come...Gate, I do not want to leave alone."

That was a sobering statement, heavy with implication, laced with abandonment, and full of a desperation he had never heard before from the sorceress.

"You're asking me to leave the City with you…" he clarified. "If the City falls, you want me to just leave the Tower, turn my back on the Vanguard, to forsake the everything we've been fighting for just to save ourselves?!"

The woman remained silent, withdrawn even as the Titan detailed the very betrayal she was acutely aware off. But the disappointment she expected, resentment even, didn't appear to be present. Maybe he wasn't disgusted with what she was proposing, but now he seemed almost impossible to read. Before she could give the event anymore thought, he leaned forward placing kiss on her full lips that quickly turned fervent, but only for a moment.

"Yes Eris, or course we'd be going together." he nodded, flashing a little smile. "I admit, I hadn't really thought about it, but If I had to guess you're not so much worried about you as you are Ryora, are you?"

"I can't leave my daughter in such an environment." she replied.

"Our daughter, babe." he smirked, knowing she still felt slight annoyance from the pet name.

"I know it seems bad, but I guess it never really occurred to me all these years until you brought it up just now. We're a family, the real kind, the civilian kind, and I wouldn't give that up for anything at all. Yes maybe I might feel some apprehension in leaving my squad, a team that needs me." he frowned slightly, but cupped the sorceress's cheek to emphasize his lack of regret.

"But you're right, things are changing, priorities have shifted, and I won't leave my family even if it costs me my life."

"Neither would I." she nodded, a rare smile crossing her lips.

"Although this does bring up an important point, what would Ryora have to say about all of this? You know she's at that age where she's getting mature enough to be perceptive but still need to utterly ignore the warnings of her old man and lady." Gate snorted.

"Oh I'm aware, she certainly inherited the Hive's confrontational ideals when it comes to combat." Eris nodded.

"Well I suppose if the fall of the City doesn't kill us, our scrappy daughter will." he added, sharing a warm laugh that felt as good any intimate moment with the woman he was so totally in love with.

For the sorceresses, the concept was just as natural as hunger or sleep. He always quelled every doubt, disproved every fluctuation of trust, laid to rest any chance that his affection could wane for any reason. It was such a unique phenomenon to occur, to go from the fractured person that she was to a mother of all things. She relearned emotions she long forgot, felt things she assumed the Hive sheared from her skin. Found loyalty and love in a man that could have had his pick from a number others, bore a daughter who grew into a capable young woman.

To be quite frank, this absurd combination of factors and chances came together in a way that could only be classified as destiny. But if that were the case, then the nightmarish years were a cost she would gladly suffer through again.

For the first time in a long time she felt like she deserved something other than the voices naging at the back of her mind, the aches of her scars, and constant sense of self loathing that came with abandoning the Traveler's light.

For the first time in a long time the end of an era didn't have to spell beginning of a disastrous new one, but rather the chance to simply live again as the Huntress she was then and the sorceress she is now. She learn for a name of chaos and sadness to blossom into a symphony of love and satisfaction, all it takes is one dark night.


I can't even begin to describe the series of events that occurred behind this story, but I can say without exaggeration, that it has been life changing for me. Thanks for your support and kind words of motivation. I don't know what the future holds, but it looks as bright as can be.

~For Alli, the Clover that blooms twice~