Title: End Of Our Days
Author: Janine
Pairing: Leto/Ghanima (Children of Dune)
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Leto, Ghanima, Irulan or any of these fabulous characters (though, I do wish I owned James McAvoy grin). Frank Herbert, and the SciFi channel, and a bunch of other people I don't know own 'em, I'm just borrowing.
Rating: R (perhaps, hard R)

Warning: Leto and Ghanima are twins, so the incest alert goes beep, beep

Slipping all away
It's slipping all away
It's slipping all away, now
At the end of our days
We'll escape
We'll escape
Oh, there's no escape
-Howie Day, "End of our Days"

Ghanima stared at the fabric that made up the canopy of her bed, the material barely visible in the darkness of the room even though her eyes had long since adjusted to the lack of light. Her door had just creaked open, but she did not remove her eyes from the canopy or in fact move at all. There was no cause for alarm; even before the door had opened she knew that it was Leto.

"Ghani," she heard him say softly as she felt the side of her mattress depress. She turned her head to face him, a smile creeping across her features as their eyes met.

"You don't have to whisper, I'm awake," she replied her voice wry with amusement, his mere presence momentarily relieving the worry that had been plaguing her since his return from his meeting with Stilgar in the desert.

Leto smiled back at her, his grin almost bashful before his eyes dropped to the thin blanket covering Ghanima, his expression turning thoughtful once more.

"It just seems appropriate," he replied his voice still soft, barely louder than a whisper as he tipped his head up again so that he was looking at her through his eyelashes.

His hair was disheveled, sticking in every direction in a complete state of disarray. Ghani reached out her fingers trailing them along his cheek for a moment before diving into his unruly hair, running her fingers through the thick locks returning some order to his hair.

"I didn't know you knew the meaning," she commented softly as she fixed his hair, pausing her motions to grin at him once she had finished speaking.

"I'm not sure I do, but one can't let that stop them," Leto replied teasingly, his eyes fluttering shut as he tipped his head into his sister's gentle touch. "Nothing would ever get done," he continued, his tone far more relaxed than when he entered as the warmth from Ghanima's hand seemed to seep into him and throughout his body, easing his tensions and worries, loosening knots of anxiety he hadn't even been aware of before.

"What is it that needs to get done, Leto?" Ghanima asked gently, though there was a touch of urgency and anxiety in her tone that she could not completely eliminate. She could feel the tension in his body, his worry and anxiety like it was like a physical object that she could touch and see. It worried her. The idea that whatever burden he was carrying might be too big for him to bear, she wanted to ease his load, to share his pain whatever it was as they had shared everything else. To see him hurt was to be in pain herself, the agony he was in paining her heart so much she almost could not stand it.

"He left … so much undone, and I know … I've seen the path that can do it, but the way is not clear to me, and there are so many obstacles, a vast unknown," Leto responded shaking his head as he struggled to articulate what he was feeling. "I don't fully understand it and yet I know there's no other way."

"The Golden Path," Ghanima breathed out caught in the thrall of her brother's emotions. "But what is it?"

"A road that if taken, will change me, change human destiny … forever," Leto responded, his pronouncement vague and all encompassing, the last word whispered with a strength and significance that both fascinated and worried Ghanima.

"Change how?" Ghanima asked knowing that it would not be that easy, that it was never that easy yet unable to help herself. Shifting up slightly so that she was lying in a reclining position, her back against the headboard of her bed, she trained her eyes on Leto, who had himself moved so that he was stretched out on his side beside her.

"I don't know Ghani," he said shakily, his voice and motions inundated with helplessness and frustration as he reached out for her hand, taking it into his own, his eyes on his thumb as he stroked the smooth skin on the back of her hand. "I just don't know."

Ghanima released a deep troubled sigh at that, her eyes dropping down to watch their entwined hands before suddenly looking back up into Leto's eyes, her right hand moving to grasp him behind the neck, her thumb by his ear as she peered at him with urgent, troubled eyes. She meant to say something, for her troubled gesture to be followed by troubled words, but she couldn't force anything past her lips. There was a terrible feeling of foreboding within her. A sense of what was to come, a feeling of what it would result in, and it left her cold. Terrified. Her worry and apprehension so intense that it literally left her speechless, her mind unable to translate the horror that seized her heart into words. "Leto," was all she managed to choke out long moments later.

"I know," he whispered back shifting closer to her, his own hand moving to touch her cheek as he leaned his head forward so that their forehead's were resting against each other. He could feel her terror as if it was his own. In fact he wasn't entirely sure that it wasn't his own. The feeling, that ominous feeling of dread had been with him too, but it wasn't until he saw it reflected back at him in Ghanima's eyes that he was able to fully accept the truth of it. Knowing that she felt it too made it almost too real for him to bear. It wasn't being paranoid, or dramatic, or pessimistic it was the acknowledgement of pre-ordained facts. In his talk with his grandmother he had been not been completely truthful. He knew that there was a road other than the Golden Path that was true, but for him the life that promised endless surprise and freedom had never truly been an option. He knew that as he had spoken the words, but as the crushing reality of what it meant to know weighed down upon him then, he also knew exactly why he had wanted to believe it.

"She was right," Ghanima said quietly, her tone pained with understanding yet coated with a tinge of disbelief as if she couldn't force herself to truly accept what she knew was coming. "Alia was right. We will be alone … one day, someday soon," she continued, her eyes dropping away from Leto's to look at the small space in-between their bodies.

"We'll never be apart. Never. Not really," Leto responded a moment later, his voice quiet and sincere though there was a despair in it that made his words sound hollow even to his own ears, even though he meant them with every fiber of his being and the entirety of his heart. "I'll always be with you."

"With," Ghanima breathed out, a sardonic, melancholy smile twisting her lips upwards. "In a way," she continued knowing that 'with' didn't mean there. She had thousands 'with' her already. She didn't want Leto 'with' her. She wanted him there, near, by her, by her side, always, warm and corporeal. She didn't want a feeling; some sense in her heart, she wanted flesh and bone, blood and warmth, smell, sight, touch. She wanted him, not some sense of him.

"I love you," Leto said, his voice barely a whisper though his words resounded, the intensity with which they were spoken giving a gravity to them not revealed by their volume. "There is nothing in this universe that has such a claim on my heart, on my being as you. As much as I am, I am yours," he continued, squeezing her hand for emphasis as like eyes looked up to meet his own.

She could ask him, not to do it, not to follow this Golden Path that had been haunting them both like some spidery wraith for months. She could ask him, and he would not refuse her. All she had to do was say the words, and with a certainty that The Voice would envy, she could be assured that he would acquiesce. She just needed to say it. But she wouldn't. They both knew she wouldn't, though some part, a significant part of both of them prayed that she would, cried out and begged for her to do so, for her to end their agonies before they had to start. As Leto knew, so did she that the Golden Path was the only path. That the other option was no option at all, for their joint contentment would not be worth the yawning agony that everyone else should suffer for their happiness, for their togetherness. Indeed, knowing what it cost, there could be no true happiness, no real contentment, only the guilt of nearness.

Once again, she found herself at a loss for words. The enormity of her emotions, the reality of their situation defied the ability of words to adequately express the knowledge in her heart. She was struck with a desire, to move, to act, the feeling pure, instinctual and full. Full, brimming, complete with everything words could not say. She closed the small distance between them and brushed her lips against Leto's softly, at first then pressing into him almost painfully as her fingers grasped at the material of his shirt, holding on as if her life depended on her physical connection to him.

Leto stared into Ghanima's eyes, bright not only with spice but with emotion, excruciatingly aware of the stillness of the room, of the sound of her breathing, of his heart beating within his chest, and the warmth of her body, burning like an inferno by him, the heat from her hand where it still tightly grasped his shirt occupying a fraction of his consciousness far to substantial for such a small body part. Yet, despite the distractions around him, his eyes never left hers, which never wavered from his.

The need to touch her, to feel her, to consume and be consumed by her was overwhelming. The mere thought of it creating a physical ache inside of him that tore at his heart until he thought it would quit on him, unable to take the tension, instead choosing to relieve itself from the horrible stress. It was more than sexual desire, the ache to join with her, it was both spiritual and all too natural. They were close, were closer than it was possible for most people to be, family, lover or friend. They were connected so deeply, through their memories, through their experiences, and pains and fears that the depth of their feelings for each other, the influence and hold that they held over each other was unimaginable for most. And yet despite the fact that what they had was beyond what most would or could even dream of sharing with another person, at the very idea of losing it, of it becoming a memory, at the idea of the oneness they shared becoming split, becoming two, separate, what they had, stupendous as it was, suddenly became lacking. It was not enough; they needed more, to be connected in everyway imaginable, this final connection presenting itself as a bridge between the life they had known and the life that would be forced upon them.

His lips were upon hers, tender but insistent, loving and rapacious. Desperate and terrified, longing and reverent, as the hand that had been grasping the material of his shirt loosened and slipped underneath to brush against skin that burned with an intensity that was a match to their own, her hand running along the smooth, hard skin of his torso.

The way they undressed was excruciatingly slow and yet far too fast, both an eternity and an instant, leaving them naked, trembling, knowing, shy, overwhelmed and oddly calm. It was both new and familiar, comfortable and yet awkward in its comfortableness. It was exotic and new, and yet perfectly natural, their hands and mouths moving with an easy familiarity, though their hearts thundered and their skin tingled with the heightened sensations of newly discovered pleasure. It was a first for them, not just together but ever, yet in that moment it would have been impossible for either to say why it had taken so long to come together.

Ghanima's eyes closed as she was entered for the first time, her features tightening momentarily with discomfort then relaxing once again as her body adjusted to him, her eyes opening with pleasure and surprise, her hips shifting as she became fully aware of the feel of him inside of her.

"Ghani?" His voice was soft with concern as he watched her eyes close and then open again. She was warm and wet around him, her body inviting him in yet he was uncertain what to make of the pained hiss she had made as her eyes closed, though the content sigh that accompanied their opening relieved his worries somewhat.

"I'm fine," Ghanima whispered, her hands coming to rest on the smooth skin of his hips for a moment, before trailing up his sides, her nails scraping down his back hard enough for him to distinctly feel them, yet light enough not to leave marks before her arms wrapped around him, drawing him down to her once again as he began to move within her.

She couldn't say for certain where she ended and where he began, what was her skin and what was his, the smell and taste and feel of it all seeming to create a fog around them, blinding them to the room around them, the world around them, creating a cocoon about their bodies, encapsulating them perfectly in their own little world of flesh, sensation, blood, heat, love, sweat, and need. A joining that was physical and beyond, elevating them above themselves, until it was impossible to tell if they were two people or one.

"Leto," Ghanima gasped, her body arching up into his, his arms wrapping more tightly around her, holding her too him, pressing them together as their bodies tensed, and shivered, their breath mingling as their hearts thundered in their chests, their minds exploding with colour and overflowing with feeling as they crashed together one last time.

Ghanima looked up as her breathing slowed, up into Leto's face, into his wide, watery, bright blue eyes, her hand trailing up his neck and into his hair ruffling the short, dark strands at the back of his head lightly as he leaned down and kissed her, softly, tenderly, the brush of his lips so light at times that she wondered if she was imagining his touch before they made firmer contact, letting her know that he was there, and they were together, and it was very real.

Leto removed his lips from Ghanima's and smiled down at her lovingly and with amusement as he felt her run her hand up and down through his hair, the familiar action suffusing his body with warmth and contentment, the familiarity of it comfortably offsetting the newness and strangeness of the position they found themselves in.

"You just fixed that," he commented lightly, remembering her attempt to make him look presentable, or at least somewhat decent when he had first entered her room.

"Doesn't matter, it's always wild and unkempt anyway," she replied smiling up at him, her eyes twinkling mischievously. "You savage."

"Irulan says I can be a passable gentleman when I put some effort into it," Leto responded. "Some even find me imposing and … stately," he continued puffing his bare chest forward for a moment before grinning back down at her and tipping over to rest on his side, the arm he still had wrapped around her waist drawing Ghanima along with him to that they ended up lying face to face.

"Life would be a very different proposition if everything went along with what Irulan says," Ghanima replied, dipping her head slightly so that she was looking at Leto through her eyelashes, studying him for a moment, her expression haunted before she shifted closer to him allowing him to encircle her in his arms.

"The events unfolding in Arrakeen will meet up with us in the desert," Leto said softly breaking the silence that had accompanied Ghanima resting her head on his shoulder.

"I know, I feel it," Ghanima sighed against his shoulder. "It won't be much longer at all now."

Leto bent his head, pressing a kiss to her forehead, his eyes closing as he hugged her tighter to him and prayed for the inevitable dawn to never come and take away the light.

The End