At the end of all things.
He'd told her once that he would never let anyone treat her as a possession, especially not him. He'd meant it at the time, too.
But now, he wanted nothing more than to sweep her up in his arms and take her somewhere far away from all this, somewhere safe, somewhere protected. But he couldn't prevent her from fighting, could he? Her spear was as much a part of her as his sword was a part of him. She'd led armies, fought dragons before and rescued him more than once. He knew that she was more than capable of looking after herself. That didn't mean he had to like it.
It had been a long time since he had truly been afraid. But his heart was in his throat as he watched her battle far above him. He had never had anything precious to lose, before now.
His Gwendolyn. Fierce, brave, devoted, kind, beautiful. He'd loved her from the very first moment he saw her and it was more than he had ever dared to hope for that she would feel the same for him. She'd given him so much, all the love, contentment and joy that he had been missing his whole life. She'd given him somewhere where he belonged, completely and utterly. She was the bright light in his dark and empty life.
So watching her battle against the fully-grown Leventhan was the most difficult thing he'd ever done. He'd rather take twice the risk then have her fight at all. She was a magnificent warrior, her form and technique as he watched were perfect, but his muscles were tense as if he were striking each blow with her. He wished that he was.
He didn't care about the fate of the world. His whole world was high above him, fighting to fulfil her destiny. Without her, there may as well be oblivion. Oswald knew that thought was selfish, but he didn't care. He just needed her to be safe.
He watched her take the final strike, having only a split second to feel proud before he realised she was falling. He watched in horror as he saw her tumble, freefalling through the sky, all grace gone. What had happened? He pushed those thoughts out of his head as he shifted into his stronger shadow form and tensed to catch her. For the first time in his whole faithless life, he prayed for her safety, hoping that someone, somewhere, was listening.
He relaxed as he felt her familiar warm weight in his arms and her breath against his skin. She was alive. His relief melted into sorrow when he saw her wings, however. Her glorious feathered appendages were burnt away, destroyed. It was no wonder she'd fallen. He wondered if she would ever be able to fly again. He knew how much she loved flying and what this loss would mean to her. But she would live. That was the main thing.
He knew that he needed to find help, find anyone in the remains of their ruined world, but he was exhausted from his own battles and from all the fear and emotion of hers. Darkness was eating away at the edge of his vision and he knew that he could not keep walking for much longer. He carried her carefully, so carefully, his greatest treasure. He headed towards the magic cauldron in the hope of finding people, but when he got there, not caring if they were friend or foe, he collapsed.
As his consciousness melted away, there was only one comforting thought in his head. He wasn't alone. Gwendolyn was with him. At least here, at the end of all things, they were together.
He didn't expect to wake again.
He didn't expect them to be alone in wasteland. After all their battles, all their struggles, was this how it ended? Their own survival was enough of a miracle. But he could see Gwendolyn's shock and her despair and could think of no words to comfort her. Her presence was enough of a comfort for him.
They were together when they witnessed the true miracle, life, slowly overtaking the barren land, the new growth of a new land. The colours almost hurt his eyes, but this was a kind of pain he didn't mind. He felt joy spring up in his soul, and saw the answering smile on Gwendolyn's face.
He held her hand as they watched the re-birth of the world, and felt the re-birth of hope in his soul.
Here, at the beginning of a new world, they were together. That was all that mattered.
I love Odin's Sphere, especially Oswald! However, I do not own it. I also borrowed the phrase 'at the end of all things' from The Lord of the Rings, thinking it would be just as appropriate here.
Just a short piece inspired by Oswald catching Gwendolyn at the end. Reviews are always appreciated.