Author's Note: I hope that you Once On This Island fans out there get to read this. We need a bigger fanfiction base! This story is the product of my being in this play recently and having it be the most life changing experience ever. I think we were all in tears for like, three hours after the final curtain on closing night. So touching. Anyways, please read, and drop a review. This is not a one-shot. I've got more written, but I'm not going to bother posting it if no one reads it. And if no one reviews, I'm gonna assume you didn't like it enough to bother. Ok, I'll shut up now and let you read.
The Death that Loved
Slam. A door. Next, a shaky breath.
Damn it. Why did that little insignificant girl get to him so much? She… she… why didn't Ti Moune kill that stupid aristocratic bastard? Why did she starve herself? Papa Ge sighed and plopped down onto a folding chair. The hall of their humble abode echoed loudly with the sound of his sighs and a light groan issued out of his cracked lips. His hand, still shaky, came up and brushed unruly black locks out of his dark face.
This was getting ridiculously maudlin. He was the God of Death. This was his job, his life's work. Why the Hell would…
The faces of his three best friends flashed through his mind. Erzulie's face… He closed his eyes and shook his head. Porcelain features, perfectly silver tears rolling down flushed cheeks. Another shaky sob issued forth from the powerful God's mouth.
Agwe, whose tears had often caused devastation the earth as he cried out his grief, letting gentle tears fall for the dead spirit of Ti Moune. Asaka, Papa Ge's sister, his confidant, holding the girl to her chest, sobbing, shaking.
Papa Ge, horrified, moved slender fingers to wipe his tears away from his face. The God of Death did not cry.
With his remarkable hearing, the rustling of fabric reached his ears. He stood quickly, trying to insert confidence, normalcy, into his stance. That broke the moment he saw his fellow Gods walk through the door of the clean and crisp mansion they called home.
Agwe had an arm wrapped around Asaka's shoulder, and silvery tears were still falling down his flawless face. The Goddess of the Earth was still hunched over, holding her stomach in pain.
"I-" Papa Ge couldn't think of anything to say.
Erzulie walked in behind the other two. Unlike the other three Gods, the Goddess of Love was holding her head high. Not a single golden strand of hair was out of place, and though her cheeks still glistened with tears, she seemed stoic, more mature and worldly wise than the other three.
She swept past her three friends, placing a comforting hand on Agwe's cheek as she passed him, and gripping Asaka's hand for one brief moment, a gesture of love and companionship.
And as she passed Papa Ge, she placed a hand on his shoulder. Come talk to me.
Erzulie had no need to speak the words aloud. Living with three other people since the beginning of time eliminated the need for words.
Sighing, Papa Ge allowed himself to be lead from the room by Erzulie. The door closed behind them. Although, of course, Asaka and Agwe could easily hear them through the flimsy wood, Erzulie and Papa Ge both knew that the closed door would be a symbol- they knew that their privacy would be respected.
"Papa Ge," Erzulie began, the clear bells of her voice making his name sound like music, rather than the curse that it really was.
"Erzulie… I can't understand…" of course, he had no need to finish. Erzulie knew exactly what her friend meant by his uncompleted sentence.
Papa Ge was the proudest of the four, but when he was alone with any one of the three of them, he could allow himself to be vulnerable, if only for a moment.
"You loved that girl, my friend," Erzulie said.
Papa Ge's eyes widened. Then, he scoffed. "That's ridic-
Swiftly, one of Erzulie's perfect fingers pressed against his dry lips to stop the flow of words.
"Don't finish that," she said softly.
"I'm the God of Death, Erzulie," Papa Ge said slowly.
She smiled a brilliant, sarcastic smile. "Yes, I know this."
A tentative smile crossed his harsh face, a very rare occurrence. "Love is not an emotion that I can feel."
Erzulie's eyes opened wide, and then narrowed. "Well, personally, Papa Ge, I find that rather offensive, and I'm sure Agwe and Asaka would back me up on that one."
"What are you talking about?"
"You don't love us?"
"I-" Papa Ge's hand clenched reflexively. Damn it. "That's… different."
"Is it?" Erzulie challenge.
"You three are… you are… Ti Moune is mortal!" A pause. "Well, she was mortal."
"Love conquers Death; I've told you this before. Just because she doesn't live as a peasant any longer doesn't mean she is gone."
Papa Ge felt a tremor run through him, down his spine and into his toes. "Why don't you hate me?" he finally whispered.
Erzulie, for the first time during this conversation, lost her composure. "Wh-what?"
"I killed that girl. We all loved her and I killed her!" The God of Death felt his face crumple in grief, and his breaths came in short bursts.
"You didn't kill her."
"What?" Came his sharp and sarcastic laugh. "Yes, I did. She gave her soul to me, and I crushed it. I ended the spark in her eyes; I destroyed the life of that girl."
Erzulie, to Papa Ge's shock, smiled. "I could never hate you. None of us could ever hate you. Everyone must die eventually. And you didn't kill her."
"Why do you keep saying that?"
She smiled that annoyingly superior smile and turned toward the door. "Asaka, Agwe, could you come in here, please?"
The door opened in a swift movement. The other half of the four best friends entered the room. Agwe had Asaka's hand firmly clasped in his, and as he entered the room, his other calloused hand grabbed Erzulie's soft, warm one. Papa Ge watched them, a little envious of their closeness.
It was his pride that separated him from this.
"Erzulie, what-" Papa Ge started.
"Shh…" Asaka said. "She isn't dead."
Papa Ge shook his head. "She's dead. She lives no more. The last breath left her body, her heart beats no more. She's gone." Awfully, his voice cracked on the last word.
Agwe stepped closer to his forlorn companion, bringing the two beautiful women on each arm forward with him. "Her soul was too strong to be distinguished. You know this. I know this. We all know it. She'll be watching over her love and his family for as long as that tree stands between the two different worlds on the island."
"I want to kill that stupid bastard," Papa Ge said, feeling his fist clench once again. "As a matter of fact, I think I will kill him. Maybe a common disease, or, or a fatal accident. Hey, 'Saka, do you think you could help me with an earthquake? Or a storm, Agwe?"
"No," Agwe said. "You can't kill Daniel Beauxhomme."
"Why not? He deserves it."
Erzulie sighed and shook her head. Softly, she grabbed Papa Ge's hand. Asaka reached for the other one, and the four stood in a circle. "Ti Moune died to save that boy. Ti Moune let you take her life so that he would be spared. She was unable to kill him with your knife. How do you think she would feel if you took his life the day after her own death?"
Another tear escaped from Papa Ge's pitch-black eyes. He tried to pull his hand out of Erzulie's to wipe it away, but she tightened her grip and held him captive.
"This makes no sense," Asaka murmured suddenly.
"What?" Erzulie asked, staring at her friend, her sister.
"We're immortal. We will live for the rest of time. Human lives are too pitifully short for any one of us to get emotionally attached. And now, look at us."
"She would have died soon, anyway. Human lives are but a flicker of time to us," Agwe added. Subconsciously, three of the four gods were turned toward Erzulie, waiting for her answers. If anyone could explain this weird feeling, it would be her.
She smiled her radiant smile. Being the youngest, and often times, most foolish God did not mean that her opinion was not valued. "I pride myself on understanding love more than anyone. But today, I was proved wrong about myself."
Papa Ge jerked his hand away from Erzulie's. "What are you talking about? You won! Love conquered Death."
"Yes, it did. So I suppose I did win. But I didn't think I was going to, not really."
"Erzulie, what are…" Asaka began, shaking her head slowly back and forth. On occasion, even Gods had the right to be confused.
"I've seen too many ruined love stories to truly believe that Love is stronger than the desire to live. I knew in my heart that Ti Moune was helplessly in love with Daniel Beauxhomme, and that he returned this feeling."
"Of course you knew it," Papa Ge muttered. "You're the one who made them fall in love."
Erzulie laughed. "There are no magic words, no secret power that causes two people to fall in love. The emotion is all human. I simply help the seed grow into something slightly sturdier."
"If you knew that they loved each other, why did you doubt your power over Papa Ge's?" Agwe asked.
"The moment that our brother here gave that knife to the grieving Ti Moune, I was sure I had lost. I thought that no matter what happened, no girl, no matter how in love, would chose the life and happiness of another over her own spirit. Who would do such a thing?"
"Ti Moune would," Agwe said, closing his eyes and letting a few fresh tears fall.
Erzulie placed her forehead against Agwe's temple and closed her eyes, sharing in his grief.
"We know she was special to you, Agwe," Asaka said, resting her head on his broad shoulder. She pulled Papa Ge closer to the group, since their hands were still intertwined.
"Do you remember when I first noticed her?" Agwe asked.
Erzulie grimaced. "Yes, I do."
"Erzulie?" Asaka called. "What happened? Agwe won't speak to Papa Ge or I."
The beautiful Goddess of Love sighed and turned to face her sister.
"He is upset with me."
Asaka's eyes widened. The four Gods never fought. That wasn't to say they didn't argue- animosity always existed when Papa Ge took the life of one of Erzulie's charges, or when Agwe's floods uprooted Asaka's trees, but these small quarrels were always resolved nearly instantly.
"He attempted to overflow a river where an old man was washing. I saved his life." Erzulie said the words quietly, with her head bowed, waiting for reprimand.
"Erzulie! How could you interfere like that?"
Erzulie made no response.
Asaka continued, seething. "The life of that man, the spirit of that man… that was between Agwe and Papa Ge."
"He did nothing wrong!" Erzulie argued.
"That's not for you to decide, 'Zulie," Asaka said. Then she sighed. "I'd better go talk to him."
"Papa Ge," Agwe said, his voice cloaked in fury. "Come help me with something."
Papa Ge, who was sitting in the corner of the room, sprang lithely to his feet, and with the swiftness of a proud feline, he approached Agwe's side.
"Are you going to tell me what it is Erzulie did, my brother?" Papa Ge's voice came out gruff and uncaring, but secretly he was worried for Agwe. The God of Water seemed genuinely upset by something.
"I had a plan for an old peasant man, by the name of Julian. Drowning. Erzulie interfered.
Papa Ge's fists clenched reflexively.
"No matter," Agwe continued, his voice dark. "Now Julian's entire village will pay for Erzulie's foolishness."
"Agwe…" Papa Ge was shocked, but allowed the God to step forward and drop to the earth. He followed close behind Agwe, and the two stood on the edge of a large field where peasants were laboring.
"Are you sure?" Papa Ge continued.
"They've been taking my kindness for granted, of late. It's time they show me proper respect."
Papa Ge clasped a hand on Agwe's shoulder. "If this is what you want, then." He said, a whisper.
"It is," Agwe said, and he closed his eyes and clenched both hands into fists. Every muscle tensed in his body.
To anybody but another God, Agwe's posture would have meant very little. But Papa Ge understood. He watched as the sky darkened and clouds started to cluster together.
The peasants working in the field saw the change in weather and sent up a quick prayer that Agwe would be merciful.
Papa Ge turned to his friend. Agwe merely smiled maliciously and summoned forth a rumbling of terrific thunder.
"Papa Ge, what is he doing?" Asaka moaned as the first big lash of wind uprooted shrubbery on the edge of the field.
With hushed tones, so as not to disturb Agwe, Papa Ge filled Asaka in.
The Earth Goddess sighed and stepped back, watching peasants gathering their things and running toward their huts.
Wind lashed at their faces, rain drenched them. But Gods could not be bothered to care about any of these trivial things.
Papa Ge was focused intently on the spirits that were dying all around him. He frowned slightly, taking the soul of a young man, and next, a frail old woman. This was Agwe's wish. Guilt could not prevail- taking people into the next world was his job.
So intently focused were Agwe and Papa Ge in their respective works that they did not hear Erzulie's approach.
"Stop. Agwe, please! I-I'm sorry, please don't kill them. Papa Ge, please, please!"
Asaka pulled Erzulie back. "You're being foolish, Erzulie. You now this is what must be done. There's no stopping it."
But no sooner had the Goddess spoken than did Agwe's shoulders relax slightly. His eyes snapped open.
The girls watched, confused.
Suddenly, Agwe's strong hand shot out and grabbed Papa Ge's shoulder. "Stop, please," he said, his voice choked.
Papa Ge came out of his intensive killing trance and stood straight. When Papa Ge killed, he crouched low to the ground, focused on destroying spirits, stealing souls.
"Mamaaaa!" A voice called. Papa Ge recognized the little girl's voice as that of the spirit he had been about to take.
"Stop," Agwe said again, completely unnecessarily, since Papa Ge was doing nothing but staring at the God of Water.
"Mamaaaa!" the voice sounded again. Erzulie stood straighter, and her gaze fell on a small peasant girl, of about age five or six, lying helplessly in the mud. Smiling, Erzulie took a step toward Agwe and grabbed his hand.
"Agwe, will you save her?"
The God of Water looked at the insignificant peasant girl, and then at the few dead peasants strewn across the flooded field. This girl didn't seem particularly special at the time, but some intuition told him… this little girl would be something to him some day, if only as a source of entertainment. She would be spared. As a plus, it would probably eliminate the strange tension between him and Erzulie.
Agwe squeezed the Love Goddess's hand lightly. "I'm not sure why, but, yes. I'll spare her life."
Asaka grinned at Erzulie and lithely skipped across the clearing, picking up the little Ti Moune in her strong and slender arms, and placing her in a spritely tree. "You, little girl, are extremely lucky to have a guy like Agwe looking after you," she whispered, and then kissed the little girl on the forehead. "He'll be your loa, now. He'll watch after you, Ti Moune."
Ti Moune whimpered and tried to keep her pudgy arms around the Goddess's neck, but Asaka, smiling at her in adoration, stepped away and left her in the branches.
She was a rather pretty little thing, with dark smooth skin and soulful black eyes framed with thick lashes. Asaka couldn't see what was particularly special about her, but who was she to question Agwe's judgment?
When she returned to the other three, she saw Agwe smiling easily, a familiar friendly spark filling his light blue eyes.
"I am truly sorry, Agwe, for everything," Erzulie said.
Papa Ge snorted, and Asaka laughed. "No you're not," she said. "You'd be feeling even worse if you had left that poor old man die."
Erzulie shrugged, allowing this. "I may have plans for him and his wife, now."
"He's married?" Agwe said, swallowing back a lump in his throat. "I didn't know that."
"They've been lovers since they were young. I facilitated that one," Erzulie said, grinning.
Asaka laughed. "Don't you always?"
"And then we brought Julian and Euralie to little Ti Moune, and…" Agwe trailed off. "Well, you were there."
"Yes, we were," Asaka murmured.
Papa Ge, suddenly a little uncomfortable with the incessant amount of reminiscing, stepped back from the cuddly group.
"There's a- a lot of work to be done, so we should get to it."
The other three stared at him critically, but Papa Ge would not back down. "There's a sickly Grand Homme in the hotel…"
He swept out of the room, and he heard Agwe call out to him as he left- "Stay away from Daniel."
Papa Ge smirked.
"And his new wife, too!"
Author's Note: Please remember to leave a review! It always helps to know what my readers are thinking. Also, if any of you are Twilight or Gilmore Girls fans, I've got some other fanfictions for these stories posted. You can find them on my profile.