A/N: Written for fanfic100 community challenge. Prompt #30 - Death.

Warnings: None. Worksafe.

Disclaimer: Square Enix owns; I'm just playing with their characters.


Killing was a dance.

A dance with Death and a bargain with the Devil himself. And only those not faint of heart could accept that with as much ease as the three Remnants showed. Demigods by definition, they were almost holy beings; creatures ruling over death and destruction. To them, killing was more than just the highest peak of their skill. It was an art. It was something to admire and revere. And dying was an object of worship and a subject of complete devotion.

It was Mother – the end and the beginning, the omega before the alpha. They would die for Her, in Her, and be reborn again as something new, something much stronger and closer in form to Her. She was their reason. She was their heartbeat and their dreams, and every thought of their waking hours. There was no being greater than Her. There was no bigger force than Her. And as Her children the trio was privileged to share the infinite power She possessed. And to them, their existence in exchange for Her greatness was a small price to pay.

The Remnants revelled in the strength their Mother had gifted them with and expressed their gratitude by giving her the blood of innocents – the holy sacrifice that was absolutely necessary in every ritual of worship. Because worshipping Mother meant worshipping Death itself, and there was no greater force than that on this planet or any other in the vast infinity of the outer space from whence She had come.

The Remnants thought it to be a blessing – her coming to this planet. Had that never happened, they would not have come into existence, and in such a case Mother would never be able to receive such generous sacrifices and such ardent prayers they were gifting her with now. This world was in a dire need of a proper god to worship, as it had none, and sometimes the three silver-haired males were forced to think that the humans of this planet just did not know of such a mighty deity as Mother. Otherwise they would have built shrines and temples in Her honour, and annual worship rituals would take place in every small town.

But now that they had come down onto this planet, Mother needed not to worry. Her three demigod sons would make sure Her name was widely known and Her name was spoken with reverie and worship the way it was supposed to be since the beginning of the time.

And so they killed. In Her name and for Her they soaked the soil of this planet with blood whenever they found someone not worthy of Her holy reign. And more often than not it was mildly surprising to find so many beings who were only good for eternal damnation and Mother's hatred. They did not even make good sacrifices because Mother's enemies were to be killed in the name of greater justice and not granted with the honour of becoming a ritual sacrifice, a token of the trio's devotion to their cause.

Every battle they fought was a further proof of their readiness to go to great lengths for Her. With each victory, no matter how small, they came closer to finding Her holy remains. Each such small step forwards brought them closer to the moment when they could finally be united with Her and sacrifice themselves in order to have Her returning to this world. That was what they strived for in their dreams and waking thoughts. That was what they fought for and sought for so desperately. That was why every smallest failure seemed like such a huge barricade in their path, like a threat and an obstacle impossible to overcome. But they never gave up. Their pilgrimage would only end the moment when they finally were reunited with Mother.

The trio would have gladly ripped this planet to shreds themselves, but there was always a fear that by doing so they could harm Mother's remains. Even the thought of it was a sacrilege! It would be a betrayal of Her trust. And it would break them even more than their quest had already done. The very idea that their Mother could be in pain because of the humans inhabiting this planet made their insides twist into icy knots and white-hot rage run amok in their veins. Sometimes, the painful longing to be complete and one in Her was almost physical, but all they could do was struggle along and wait for that faithful hour...

They were Her saints and Her martyrs. They were carrying an invisible stigmata; one that was more of mind than physical body even though the pain was too real sometimes. They were beautiful and broken. Shattered, even. But it only made them long more for their Mother and the Reunion She had promised them once. Her word was law, her wishes were orders and they were her damned prophets, forsaken and lost, but still struggling to hold on to the barest trace of a hope.

Yet the outcome would always be the same – either you lived or died – you could never belong only to yourself. They were Hers. Always. And they did not want it any other way. Despite sometimes wishing for a more stable ground underneath their feet, for something more than empty promises and false directions, they would never choose anything different from the life they led right now, they would never try to change their current situation because settling for something else would mean settling for something less.

Death was everything and nothing. Intangible, yet real. It was Mother. The omega before the alpha. The goddess that destroyed the world to keep herself alive. The end that brought only one beginning for only one person. It was their goal and reason to live. It was the only thing that really mattered. The only thing they were striving for.

Their destiny was preordained. They were meant to walk the dying path and they did it with pride. The path of the prophets was never an easy one, not when the entire world seemed to consist only of enemies. Death was going to be their salvation, but they would never choose to end their lives prematurely. It was not Her wish and so it was not their wish either.

Death was always near. Trailing them, sometimes running ahead of them, but it was always there – right at the ends of their fingertips. And most of the time they were the ones delivering it to those unworthy and useless. It was blessing and punishment all in one. It was who they were – blessing and punishment for this planet.

Life was but a travel from one darkness into another, and they made sure to always keep a reminder of it close at hand, whether they were aware of it or not. They never forgot one thing: gods and demigods – they all died eventually. Whether it was a physical death or merely disappearance from everyone's memories – it was still the same. Once they parted from this world, they would be forgotten and there would be no ancient crypts with signs of worship that could confirm their existence. Memories faded out and temples collapsed, scripts got worn out and ink faded, words disappeared and languages died.

From one darkness into another: that was their path as well. Even as demigods, they would still die; it was their destiny. But while they were alive, they made sure to walk their path without looking back, without giving it a second thought. Everything was preordained, everything was planned long before; they only had to carry out the plan of a God.

Death awaited them, but there was nothing to fear once they knew that this was the purpose of their existence. As demigods they had one privilege – they would live on in Mother even after their death.

And so they danced to the tune of Death, performed for Her with a smile for as long as they lived. When their final hour would come around, they would meet it with a smile as well, taking the final steps with as much ease as they had showed in the beginning. And their final heartbeat would be the finale grande of this wild waltz.