Another day passes.

I make way to Didyme's studio to ask her to come to the baths with me. I cannot lie. It is my intention to hold and kiss her one last time, if she will let me. She and Marcus are leaving in the darkness of night, which is only hours away. Now is the only time left for us, for Marcus is away in the city, tying up loose ends, and Aro is occupied in the great hall, playing with his latest newborn acquisition, a vampire named Demetri.

I open the door, but I do not find Didyme's glowing happiness before her colorful paintings. Instead, I find devastation in the form of spattered paints and broken brushes.

There is no happiness in this room, only a ghostly silence and the wispy scent of incense.

I am the one who finds her ashes.

Closing Notes: If you've made it this far, thank you. I don't like long notes, but I'd like to say a few things. Even though this is just twific, "Arcana" is pretty important to me for a few reasons. This is my first slash piece of fiction, twific or otherwise. That it won anything is sort of awesome to me. I was very surprised and happy about that. I hope this fic yet again proves that there are many things still unexplored in canon and AU. All you have to do is look deeply. SM isn't the best writer, but her world is pretty extensive.

Finally, tragic as it is, "Arcana" is a love story. I didn't want to write something that was just angst or sex, although this story does have those things in it. Homosexuality and bisexuality are sometimes over-simplified as being just about sex, I think, and I didn't want to do that. That's why I felt Sulpicia and Didyme from the canon tale were perfect to write about, since they would have spent so much time together. In this story, they have a profound love and friendship that lasts centuries, but don't have any real physical contact beyond hugging and hand-holding. In twific land, sex seems to be given and shared so easily (How many fics do you know of that start a story with sex?), but frankly, a lot of times, there's a waiting game in real life, when it comes to relationships—one of which may never be resolved. On the whole, that's the tale I've given Sulpicia and Didyme. Ultimately, they only have their one moment together, due to the blind hate and jealousy of another.

Thanks again for reading. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I loved writing it.

Much love,