And thus it ends... the final installment in what was originally going to be a three chapter story. But it grew into so much more. Sorry it's taken this long; I didn't get it done before I started work and had to wait until I finished. Thanks to all my wonderful reviewers, for your comments, compliments, and criticisms. All of it helps so much, and the fact that you all take time to comment, even a little, is really rewarding. I hope you enjoy this ending... as much as one could enjoy something of this nature.

As you might have noticed, I finally bumped up the rating. So, if you feel so inclined, spread the word since my story no longer appears on the regular page.


He stood and watched. Watched, waited, and pondered. Pondered what could have been, what should have been, and what was. Glanced over the abrasive dust whipping around him, sank down on rock where they'd shared many memories, and looked out at the world where they'd shared so many more. Thought of his mistakes, his transgressions. Of her face and her angry words. Of her troublesand of his failures to solve them. Of how he would do anything to have a chance to help. To have a chance to go back to the way things had been before. To the way things would never be again.

He sighed and glanced around once more. He stood, looking again at the world, the world he'd promised to protect. They'd promised to protect. But it had changed. They were no longer protecting together, it seemed. He was alone. Alone on the moon, alone on the great planet looming before him, alone in the galaxy. He bit his lip, winced from the pain, and realized that it hurt a lot less than the pain inside. But more importantly, he realized that, like the fading pain in his lip, the pain inside would gradually subside, because regardless of the melodramas of individuals, life goes on. All life. And it would go on longer with him to protect it. He gazed deeply at the earth, and his chest swelled with pride as he simultaneously struggled with the immense burden that resided with him since he took the Oath. Then, without glancing back, he spoke the spell that would take him home to the responsibility and life that awaited.

xxx

She stood and watched. Watched, waited, and pondered. Pondered what could have been, what should have been, and what was. Glanced at the park debris lying at her feet, sank down on floor of the room where they'd shared many memories, and looked out the window at the world where they'd shared so many more. Thought of her mistakes, her transgressions. Of his face and their angry words. Of her troublesand of his attempt to solve them. Of how he would do anything to help her if she gave him a chance. To have a chance to go back to the way things had been before. To the way things would never be again.

She sighed and glanced around once more. She stood, looking again at the room in which she'd promised to protect the world. At the door where the one who had been protecting it with her stormed through. But it had changed. They were no longer protecting together, it seemed. She was alone. Alone in this room, alone on the earth stretching out her window, alone in the galaxy. She realized suddenly there was blood on her hand, realized it had dripped from her lip. She hadn't noticed the pain. She had numbed herself from it in recent days. But here Kit was, trying to stir up her life. Trying to make decisions for her. She gazed at the door, unable to focus her eyes, and her chest swelled with anger as she simultaneously struggled to keep back the tears threatening to spill onto her cheeks. Then, without glancing back, she spoke the spell that would take her away from home, to the path, however destructive, that she herself had chosen.

xxx

She appeared in the middle of His small apartment, eyes flying wildly around the room in search of Him. The moment she saw Him, she flung herself upon His body, mouth searching, hands groping, hungry, desperate—and angry. He responded, of course—how could He help it?—but He responded automatically, His mind locked in the previous seconds before, in the three seconds before this frantic connection. Her eyes had been puffy, her face, blotchy. Clearly, she had been crying. But why? And why had it driven her here?

He pulled himself into the current moment—she was tugging off His pants. With difficulty, He concentrated instead on the waves of emotion slamming against Him: her emotion. Lust, sure, but in much less force than should have warranted such a frenzy on her part. Shame. Self-doubt. Self-loathing. And anger. Mainly anger.

What had made her so angry? And what had brought back the other emotions, emotions that had been strong in the beginning, but that had subsided recently, replaced primarily by the lust? Who was she angry at? It wasn't Him; this much He could tell. He momentarily toyed with the idea of touching her forehand and siphoning off some of her anger. Of draining off the creases etched in her forehead by fury. Of easing the tension in her taut muscles. Of returning her to the soft, glowing Nita He had become... accustomed to. He dismissed this idea almost immediately. Her anger would drain, her features smooth out, and her muscles relax–but only until the moment she realized why she had become soft once again. Then her fury would return, but instead it would be directed at Him, for meddling with her emotion. This He wanted to avoid.

His hands brushed her bare back, feeling the muscles knotted beneath them. What has made you so angry, my Nita? He wondered.

But why did it matter? Why did any of it matter? Why was He blocking out His body's physical responses, acting automatically, rather than enjoying the moment—this being the moment she drug Him from the middle of the room on to the bed. They had had angry sex before, and it never bothered Him then. At the beginning, it was nearly all they had. But gradually her anger had faded; He had seen none of it recently. Why had it returned so strongly? Who was it directed at?

And why did it matter so much to Him?

xxx

He stood and watched. Watched, waited, and pondered. Pondered what could have been, what should have been and what was. Glanced over the sheets that twisted around the beautiful girl, sank down on bed beside her, and looked around at the windowless room that blocked them from the outside where they'd shared little but conflict. Thought of His mistakes, His transgressions. Of her face and many angry words. Of her troublesand of how He contributed to them. Of how He would never be able to do anything to help. Of how He never wanted to have to go back to the way things had been before. To the way things would never be again.

He sighed and glanced around once more. He stood, looking past the walls at the world He'd helped create, the world He'd worked so hard to improve. They'd ridiculed His improvements, cast Him out, Untouchable and Undesired. But it had changed. She had changed it. What began as a delightful game, having fun toying with mortals, had become so much more, had become... something he could no longer do. He was alone. Alone in His role, alone on the planet He had shaped with His Power, alone in the galaxy. He touched the lips of the body He wore, swollen and slightly sore from the pressure she had applied to them, winced from the pain, and realized that it hurt a lot less than the pain inside. But more importantly, he realized that, unlike the pain in the lip that would eave when He shed this form, the pain inside would never subside, because regardless of the sheer magnitude of life around Him—the life He had shaped in the beginning— He would never be a part of it, never touch any creation. He gazed deeply at the wall, holding all Creation in His mind's eye, and his chest swelled with pride as he simultaneously struggled with the immense pain that resided with him since the moment He realized what He had to do to make sure the Creation survived for as long as possible, if not in it's original form, than in one very similar. He looked down at the sleeping figure that had given Him so much pleasure these last several months and ran a hand over His current form. It was time for a change. Stooping toward her, He softly kissed her cheek, far more tenderly than might be expected from Someone of His unique caliber. Then, without glancing back, he strode firmly from the room, firmly from her life.