Warning: AU, Fantasy, PG-13, Ran/Ken (already established).

Disclaimer: Weiss belongs to Takehito Koyasu and Project Weiss.

First Born: Sacred Flame

Epilogue

The three elders sat in the dark. They listened. They watched. They'd been sitting there for a long time. Longer than anyone knew. Sitting and waiting in silence. So it was startling to those that served them when they suddenly sighed as one. The sound cut the air, unusually loud in the seemingly endless silence.

"The Master's voice is gone," the tall man said. His own voice carried no note of loss or grief. Just resolve. As though he were simply stating a fact.

"Yes," the thin woman agreed, calm, unmoved. "Our efforts have failed yet again."

They sat on in silence for a time after that. Their ears tuned to things only they could hear. Their eyes, half-lidded but sharp, looked on events outside of their dark room, in their dark castle. After a time the heavy man spoke.

"Our operatives continued despite the renewal," he said as though he were observing the wind moving the branch of a tree.

"Yes, but their efforts were in vain. Why even make the attempt?" asked the tall man.

"Had they been successful the plan could still have progressed," said the thin woman. "The Master could have arisen. But who would have stood in his esteem?"

"If they had gained the power and freed him would the honor have been ours', as their masters, or theirs'?" asked the heavy man.

"Have we been betrayed?" asked the tall man.

A much heavier silence blanketed the room. The servants hurried to complete their tasks so they could escape it.

"We have waited a long time," the thin woman said at last. "But there will be another chance."

"We have failed twice," the tall man said.

"We did not know the life of the Flame would continue," the heavy man said. "But there will be another chance."

"We will wait," the thin woman said.

The three elders sat in the dark.

They listened.

They watched.

They waited.

XXXXXXXXXX

Author's Note: O.O

Thanks to Angel! Thank you, I wanted him to have a power and the scars just seemed to scream "use us!".

Phew! Okay, for anyone's that's interested here's a few tidbits about where I got inspiration from. The Sacred Flame and the Sisterhood were based on things of the same name in a Doctor Who episode called "The Brain of Morbius"( 1970s Tom Baker episode ). Yes, I am a Whovian (still not used to the new Doctor though). Although I altered both the Flame and the Sisterhood to suit my own designs that's where the germ of the idea was from.

The great dark beast and the three elders...well, we all should know where they came from. I simply used them straight from the Weiss universe. They fit rather conveniently, don't you think?

What else, what else? The card game, "Epiant Amoure", I completely made up, but the idea was based on the old dance cards people used at balls in Victorian times. I never have been able to figure out how those were supposed to work, but they inspired me anyway.

Oh! The whole idea of Ken renewing the Flame started with the last story. I was very interested in the strange idea that seems to crop up in fanfiction of men getting pregnant and giving birth. Very odd, but it keeps reappearing. Well, I wasn't interested in Ken getting pregnant, but I thought if he has a great potential for creativity...what's the most creative thing a body can do? Create new life, in this case magic. The idea of the Sisterhood and the flame (that really is a fun episode, I might add) came together with the image of Amberle in Terry Brook's "Elfstones of Shanara" (which was at one time my most favorite book in the world). The part where she renews the seed in the flame, but then takes the power into herself. (Sorry if I just ruined that book for anyone.) And I just couldn't give Ken and Ran the ability to create new life without a woman. That's our gift (for those of us who choose to exercise it) and so I used Chiho. I swear to God that I'd already written this entire story before I ever saw "Howl's Moving Castle". I swear!

As to Chiho, I did not make her up. She's cannon. She's mentioned in the big, glossy book of Weiss anime as Ken's girlfriend from when he was in J-League, and that she doesn't know he's still alive.

Oh! I almost forgot. My most favorite unused line. Omi: If this means Ken has to impregnate a nun we could be in real trouble. ;)

And that, I guess, is that. Well, I really hope everyone enjoyed it. That's what it's all about after all. And now I'm off to do more writing. Many more things to work on and not enough time to do them in! Thank you all for reading, and thanks to all my wonderful reviewers for your comments and enthusiasm! I love you all! Take care!

Ta for now!

HeatherR