Title: As The Sun Sets Down

Author/Artist: unsugared aka Miracchin

Rating: G

Fandom: Saint Seiya (original series)

Character(s)/Pairing(s): Shion, mentions of other Gold Saints.

Theme: 16. Dying sun.

Genre/s: Gen

Warnings: Spoilers for before the series. Random characterisation for most characters.

Words: 1102

Summary: Shion knew it was the right time for him to step down.

Disclaimer/Claimer: Me no own anything.

He closed the book in front of him with a sigh. He then took off the glasses he was wearing before rubbing his forehead to cease away the throbbing pain he felt.

Shion never knew it would be this difficult; choosing the new Pope for Athena's Sanctuary.

Choosing the candidates was easy; Gemini Saga and Sagittarius Aiolos were the only two Saints that were old and experience enough to be chosen as the next leader for the Sanctuary. But to choose between the two was a different matter altogether.

Saga was a briliant child, quiet in his words yet bright in his deeds. Compared to the other candidate, the Gemini Saint was less known among his peers, for he prefered to stay in the library, studying and dealing with problems quietly.

Aiolos, however, seemed to do things differently. He approached the core of the matter directly, rather than waiting for the problem to get worse. Along with this behaviour, the Sagittarius Saint was often seen as bold, yet honest in his ways.

Both have their own specialties, and brilliant ways of dealing things. But the spot to become the Holy Pope was only one, and that was the one decision Shion was having problem making.

"If only Dohko is here…," Shion almost whined for nth time since forever, wishing his life-long friend was here in Sanctuary to give him advice. But the Libra had an important mission to do for the past 200 hundred years, so grieving for his friend's absence was no good.

Standing up, the current Pope of the Sanctuary walked to the open window, which was facing the open area down the stairs leading up to the Golden Temples. Looking out, he noticed the sun had started to go down, painting the sky red and orange with its bright colours.

He then looked down, watching a small, purple-haired boy running up and down the stairs, which elicited a small smile on his face. He knew he had made the right choice to make Mu the next Aries Saint; the child was dedicated in his work and responsibilities even at such a young age. He turned his attention to the rose garden just below his Temple as his student stopped by the Taurus Temple to chat with Aldebaran.

Despite the setting sun, Aphrodite was still tending to his roses, his diligence showed in his gentle way of handling the thorny flowers. Shion admired that part of him, but his vanity at such a young age worried him. What surprised him, however, was that young Deathmask was sitting just outside the range of the poisonous air, seemingly talking animatedly with the Pisces Saint. His eyebrow rose at the rare sight, but decided it was a good thing to happen.

He noticed a small, rapid movement at a corner of his eyes, and turned his eyes to a small boy running following another boy. Shion shook his head as he could almost imagine the stern words coming from the quiet Camus, reprimanding Milo not to run around every time they met. They then met with a blond boy in the middle of the stairs, and he continued to watch as Camus and Shaka lunged into a calm conversation, trying their best not to get distracted by the energetic young Scorpio Saint.

Trying to imagine what sort of topic that usually appear in the Aquarius and Virgo Saints, he was snapped out from his thoughts by a loud sound of laughter. His smile became wider at the familiar voice.

Sagittarius Aiolos had joined the conversation at the stairs, with a voice louder than the younger Saints combined. Standing beside him was Shura, a calm entity beside his cheerful persona, and his younger brother, Aiolia perched on his shoulders, laughing down at Milo.

His mind was distracted even further as he watched the group of Gold Saints conversing with each other. He noticed how everyone turned to Aiolos as he talked, giving calm advices to the younger ones, and talking animatedly to the Capricorn Saint who shared his age.

Talking about Saints who had the same age…

Saga appeared behind them, as quietly as ever. And as usual, he surprised Aiolia and Milo into being quiet, while Camus and Shaka stopped talking. As Aiolos approached him, Shion continued to observe as Saga said something to the other Saint, then walked away from the group after nodding his greetings towards the rest of the group.

The Pope sighed at that scene. Saga had never been a good conversationalist, but the fact that other Saints did not know actually how to approach him was another matter.

As Aiolos gathered the rest of the Saints around and dragged all of them down the stairs for dinner, Shion had straightened up from leaning by the window, eyes continued to follow the group until Mu and Aldebaran joined them at the bottom of the long-winded stairs.

As the noise from the large group quietened down, Shion looked up again at the setting sun. His thought returned back to the problem he still had to face. As he observed the Gold Saints interacted, he could not help but wonder if that was how he and his previous comrades of Gold Saints. Most of them were long gone; he and Dohko were the only left from the previous Holy War.

He still had his worries over the young Saints; most of them were too young to understand the burden they had to carry. Only few were aware enough of it, and he wondered if how many of those few would be wiling to help their comrades. Saints were still humans after all; and as humans they could not run away from the feelings of jealousy and greed.

But he knew that this was the right time; finally the time suitable for him to step down and let the younger ones to lead the Sanctuary. He would still be here; the new Pope needed to be taught on the right ways of being the leader of 88 Athena's Saints, and just having the right heart might not be enough.

Shion sat back on his chair, this time with a candle lighting his worktable, his mind set on who to choose to be the one to take his place.

With a satisfied smile, he wrote down the name of the chosen on the paper that had been on his table. This is the best choice, he thought, as he put down the pen. Everyone would prosper working under the Sagittarius Saint, he was sure of it.

And he knew Saga would understand his decision.

A/N: I tried not to connect Shion's past to either Lost Canvas or Next Dimension. Because ND is what can be considered canon, but the Pope is not actually worthy to be Shion's model.

And I think somewhere in the anime it was mentioned that some of the Gold Saints were not aware of other Gold Saints' existence, but I'm going to ignore that part. Kind of ridiculous anyway.

Thank you for reading and comments are well appreciated.