Genre: Fantasy

Pairings: 1x2, other

Disclaimer: Don't own nothin' but these words

Warnings: Gratuitous violence, abuse, torture, yaoi, lemon, angels, demons, bigotry, hypocrisy, blasphemy, heresy, sacrilege, and general religion-bashing. THIS IS NOT A STORY FOR THE CLOSED-MINDED.

A/N: Just a short bit of sweetness to wrap it up. Thanks, as always, for sticking with me thru it all. This one was much longer than I anticipated.

The Eternal Quiet

"Ne, Hee-ro . . ."

Heero felt his lips twitching. For some reason, when Duo whine-drawled his name like that it made him smile. Maybe because Duo only whine-drawled his name like that when he wanted something. And that 'something' was usually sex.

"What, Duo?" he said in his best indulgent tone. A bit like a man might take with a begging, beloved dog.

Duo heard it. The most adorable expression of pouting anger settled on his face. "You talk to me like I'm a pet."

Smirking, Heero captured Duo's chin in his hand and kissed the tip of a wrinkled nose. "Can't help it," he refused to apologize.

Duo's face smoothed into a sweet smile. "I guess I don't mind." He jumped into Heero's arms, eyes bright.

A soft chuckle drifted over Heero's shoulder, and he turned to see Treize.

"You know," the once-General said, "you haven't changed at all, Duo. Not at all since I met you six hundred years ago. I would have thought you'd grow up a little . . . or something."

Duo stuck his tongue out at him. "And I thought dying would mellow you out."

Treize spread his hands, grinning in a placating manner.

The human had lived a long and productive life after Heero and Duo left Candora all those centuries ago. He and Zechs had begun dismantling the Way of Light, which was far more difficult than anyone could have believed. The immortal siren had stayed at the aging human's side through all the years of his life, and when Treize lay dying, Zechs chose to give up immortality to follow him into the next life.

Wufei, though he grieved to see his two friends leave, remained with Quatre and Trowa to continue their mission. It took almost two-hundred years. Humans were ever reluctant to accept change and admit they were wrong. But eventually their zeal cooled. It helped that many angels chose to descend from Heaven and begin reversing the damage done. One of them was a young female named Shaundria. She had been an avid supporter of Oraia, and perhaps stunned by the Bright Lady's demise, turned around and began speaking out against the religion.

Shaundria, with the support of the King and Queen of Heaven, arranged a meeting with the King and Queen of Hell. An uneasy peace was established. Things ground to a halt, everyone seemingly unsure of what to do now. Then Shaundria had her first child. Honoring her once-love of Oraia, she named her daughter after the Bright Lady. Ironically, her daughter looked a great deal like Oraia. She had the same cold gray eyes.

But Oraia was nothing like her predecessor. In fact, when she was old enough she descended to Candora to begin exactly the opposite of what the Bright Lady had done. It was she who finally dismantled the churches still devoted to the Way of Light. Her message could not have been more gentle and forgiving. It was said she went around to every kingdom to every dungeon and visited every criminal, speaking with them for lengths of time. Afterward, every single one was changed.

Oraia did what no other angel had been able to do. She began repairing the burned bridges between Heaven and Hell. After fifty years, the first 'demons' returned to Heaven. They were welcomed back a bit hesitantly, but twenty years later more demons came. Now, thirty years after first descending to Candora, there were no demons left in Hell. Oraia had brought them all back to Heaven, and Candora reveled in the first real peace in millennia.

Wufei, Trowa, and Quatre had by now all left Candora as well. Heero was happy to have his friends around him again, and their existence drifted by in total blissful peace. Here, in this place that was neither Heaven nor the mortal plane, time didn't exist. There was no urgency, no trouble came here. It was the place legend called the Realm of the Gods, the home of God himself.

"I'm glad there's peace now," Duo said. Rising, he moved to the open balcony and spread his wings. They were still luxurious, midnight black. "And even though it's selfish, I'm glad Heero and I didn't have to be the ones to fight for it."

Quatre, lounging in his gryphon form, fluffed his feathers. "It wasn't as hard as you'd think. All those humans who saw God that day left the church. They helped a lot."

"It was still quite a struggle," Zechs argued immediately.

"Yes," Trowa agreed quietly. "We were happy to leave it in Oraia's hands."

Heero didn't miss Duo's shiver. He knew his love didn't bear the young angel any ill will, but it was still hard for him. After all, Oraia's namesake had done despicable things to the once-demon Prince. Heero knew Oraia's soul being reborn as an angel had been God's way of giving her a second chance. He was absurdly greatful, and now he could see Oraia as she should have been.

"You know, I still can't quite believe you gave up your immortality for a human, Zechs," Duo said abruptly, giving the siren a teasing glance.

Zechs sat up, posture a little stiff.

"He just had to mature first," Treize added.

Heero coughed lightly to cover a bark of startled laughter.

Zechs leveled Treize with a cool look. "Keep that up, and I will leave you for Wufei. Permanently."

The Imperial dragon laughed softly. The three of them had long ago consummated their mutual love. Quatre, unsurprisingly, was the catalyst for that event. The meddling gryphon had said just the right words at just the right times to make them realize their relationship wasn't quite complete. Much to Trowa's everlasting amusement. Even long after their lives on Candora had expired the gryphon was still true to his own inherently mischievous nature.

Quatre had admitted to Heero one night that he was glad Trowa couldn't wander away from him anymore.

"On Candora, when I was younger I didn't mind. But after that last battle, I couldn't stand being away from him."

"Why didn't you just tell him?" Heero had asked.

Quatre had just shrugged. "It was who we were."

Duo turned and leaned against the balcony rail. "Tomorrow, we should go out again and see what else we can dream up. Maybe a warm, white sandy beach somewhere?"

Zechs smiled. "That sounds nice. Heero, any chance you'll stop being so possessive and share Duo with me? Just for awhile?"

Heero raised an eyebrow. "It isn't me you should worry about," he remarked when Wufei growled low in his throat.

Treize snorted.

Much later, after they had all left, Heero moved to stand behind Duo as the shorter youth looked out over the peaceful landscape. Dusk was settling in, the setting sun splashing pink, orange, and rich purple over the distant horizon. A masterpiece of abstract color and light. He wrapped his arms around Duo's slim waist.

"Are you happy?" he whispered.

He caught the edges of Duo's smile. "Mm, more than I ever thought I could be. Trust God to know what I needed."

"You needed to get away from Candora?"

Duo shrugged a bit. "Even if we stayed there and ended the war, we would have been apart. You would have returned to Heaven, and I to Hell. It's because we left that what Oraia did was possible. But the Kings and Queens no longer had an heir. There was no longer any sense in the separation."

That had been Oraia's reasoning. After all, it was only because angels and demons continued to make the distinction that they continued to remain apart.

Heero nuzzled Duo's neck. "I would have found a way to get back to you," he murmured.

Duo turned to snuggle against his chest. "I know you would have."

The silence lasted for a long, long time, until the soft colors of twilight had yielded to the gentle dark of night. Billions of stars glimmered against the black canvas. Eventually Duo shifted.

"Do you think we'll ever be reborn?"

Heero smiled. "I'm sure we will. We can't stay here forever."

"Will you promise me that when we are, you'll find me again and make me fall in love with you again?"

Chuckling, Heero pressed a kiss to Duo's forehead. "I promise."

"Good. Ne, Hee-ro . . ."

Smile tempering into a smirk, Heero tilted Duo's chin up. "What, love?"

"Mm. I had an idea."

"Yeah?" Soft. Indulgent.

"Yeah. How about you take me to bed and fuck me into the mattress."

Heero snorted. "Still so vulgar."

"Well?" Demanding. Pouting.

How could he ever resist that face? Taking Duo's hand, Heero pulled the unresisting demon to his bed. He didn't 'fuck him into the mattress,' but as he made love to Duo long into the night, he never heard any complaints.

Eventually, the two boys would be reborn. Into a tormented world known as Earth, they would once again be called upon to change the entire world and stop a terrible war. But for now, there was only peace, quiet, and the knowledge that they would always be safe in one another's love.