A/N: This is the last part, thank you so much for all of you who stuck with me. I did the best I could - I hoe you'll enjoy!
It was an accident that started the beginning (or perhaps the end) of things.
Santana stood on the shores of the small lake, feeling the gentle waves lap at her cold ankles. Winter had fallen through to spring and all around her life was starting to breathe once more, the trees shaking awake from their slumber and the birds swooping back from their warm winters. She could hear the sluggish heartbeats of the tiny animals stirring once more, if she took the time to listen. In this humid darkness Brittany seemed to bloom, new life feeding back into the shine of her hair and the pallor of her skin into ways Santana had never before seen. She attempted to put words to her beauty, but found none suitable.
(In one of the stories Light read to her, she spoke of perfection. Perhaps, in time, it would seem adequate to express all the things she did not know how to say.)
But there were other matters to attend to. Across the seas unease was stirring, corruption and poverty striking into the hearts of men. Injustice had made them angry, but pain had made them desperate. Darkness stepped carefully to the rippling surface of the water, humming approval when it didn't break under her weight. Languidly, she made her way to the center of what was more a pond than a lake, her steps creating tiny circles behind her until they all overlapped in a strange, chaotic pattern.
Once she stood in the center, she glanced down once at the black depths before extending her hand and allowing a wisp of shadow to leave her fingers. It spiralled through the air and touched the water; from it, countless constellations exploded beneath her feet until the liquid was glowing, swirling with stars and the ether from which she had come. She cupped her palms and scooped the sparkling water, feeling the reflections of the sleeping suns flicker softly across the regal plains of her features.
"Come," she whispered and threw her arms outwards, scattering the drops. They hung motionless for a moment before gathering together in an angry ball, streaking through the confines but always kept in a rough sphere. From it the continents formed across the surface, surrounded by the endless oceans and infinite space. Santana touched a piece of land, satisfied when the surface morphed and shifted until she was peering down on the people and their strife.
Even from here she could feel their rage, bright and hot like a beacon. Inside their bodies were the beginnings of her entropy, swelling and feeding from years and years of suppression. She grinned, unknowing how the inky darkness had leaked into her eyes and left them as shifting onyx pools. A single nail trailed over the small world and cut a deep swath in the ethereal bodies - from her touch Dark exploded, rising up and devouring all goodness in her path. Their minds snapped and went white with fury, forms lashing out and striking others down. The once subtle war, raged behind closed doors and hidden contracts, turned into a bloody conflagration that killed thousands and left the countries paralysed in fear.
Another whispered word and the gleaming water split open, yanked apart by invisible force. From it rose a figure, all hard muscles and dead eyes and white skin with black veins littering the sallow flesh. He watched her feet, head bowed and stiff joints folded to bask in her glory. "You have healed?" She asked him, cupping the tiny world in her palm and feeling the shockwave ripple under her feet.
"Yes, mistress." His voice was dry and rotten; when he spoke she was reminded of old scrolls and the musty scent of an item abandoned. There was no steady beat of his heart, nothing but silence echoed in his chest.
(For a moment she placed the sound in Brittany's body and swallowed down the sudden wave of panic.)
Around her the shadows licked at her skin, soothing and soft. Her hand came back to brush at her hair, intrigued with how it floated away and wrapped around her fingers. "Then I already have my first task for you." She opened her mouth to say more but his head tilted warily to the side, glassy eyes seeking something amongst the shadows of the shoreline. To me, she commanded the dark and it gave to show a figure crouching in the trees. A hand lashed out and turned to muscle; a moment later a shriek rang out; Santana drew the struggling human in by the slimy tendrils that had grasped its (her) neck. A flash of blonde and her eyes narrowed, lips curled to reveal shinybright teeth that reflected eerily in the stygian night.
"Give me a reason why I shouldn't kill you where you stand, Fabray." Darkness snarled, unaware of how her voice gathered to encompass multiple tongues, sweeping across the water with unseen force. Quinn struggled and her face was snowy in the light, blood pumping desperately from the heartbeat that they could see slamming under her skin. Santana raised her higher, ropes pinning her legs together and beginning to ooze across her face. Her mouth opened and they slid in - from them she could feel the heat of her insides, tempting and sweet. She recoiled but bit down and in returned the once solid substance burst into mist, rushing back out of her throat. Their gazes remained locked, unwilling to back down.
Here, she called and the man answered, dipping down so that her other hand could rest on his cold forehead. From her he witnessed broken shards of men dying, screaming, clutching their heads to pull out the dark things they had suddenly wished upon their enemies. A sprawling city with the seeds of discord waiting to be sowed. "Go now, and do not come back until you have fulfilled what I have asked of you." With a murmured agreement he sunk back down into the glowing water, rushing through his nose and mouth until it swallowed him whole and they were alone.
Her hands scrabbled on the grime but she did not scream as the vile substance burned her skin; no, instead she dug her nails in, trying ever harder to escape Santana's grasp. Darkness smirked and drew her in so close she could see the abyss of her eyes, the mist of her skin and the sharpness of her teeth.
Darkness watched as her lips formed soundless words, syllables heavy and familiar on her own tongue.
"B-B...rit-ta...a-ny," she choked and immediately Santana stiffened, closing her eyes and throwing her mind forward to where she could feel the presence of the blonde, strong and welcoming. As her aura caressed the shimmer of Light she could see in her mind's eye, the darker girl felt an answering prod in her head, quizzical and seeking. She reassured her counterpart and returned to her body where Quinn was beginning to lose her thoughts to unconsciousness.
(But she was right. Knowing they had a connection, she could never sever it. Though Light's forgiveness went far, she did not wish to know where it ended.)
Under her feet stemmed a dry, cracked ground and she released the shorter blonde where she crumpled in a heap. Her arm twisted and shortened before returning to its original form - Santana absently flexed her clawed hands and waited for her to regain her breath. They stood still for what seemed like eternities on this tiny island (strange, how her perspective of Time was now so flawed) with nothing but Quinn's hacking coughs to pierce the air.
Eventually she rose, wiping the cold sweat from her brow and the imprint of the sticky black from her skin. They eyed each other for a moment; Santana's eyes had regained their whites and her hair was no longer whipping about her. For a vague moment, Quinn wondered if she could be an angel.
"What are you?" She mumbled, not quite in awe, peering down at the water that was still teeming with untold amounts of burning suns scattered within the deep blue void. Her fingers dipped into the water and she peered into the drops collected on her skin - when her tongue reached out to taste the budding warmth soothed her ravaged throat and tattooed galaxies on the backs of her eyes.
For a singular moment Quinn saw what Brittany saw whenever they came close; millions of things colliding and separating to form this one moment of Reality.
Somehow, she found herself relaxing under Santana's intense stare.
"I suppose the question would be, what aren't I?" Darkness mused carefully. She knew little of the blonde, unable to get past the protective layer of Light swirling at her belly. Or perhaps, unwilling.
Yet she did not wish to show this one her eternal home, troubled by the fact that it their secret to share. Quinn looked up almost as if she knew - and there was a glimpse of the Creators, sightless eyes peering down from the stratosphere. Something had been set in motion, the frenzy of their hands was enough to make her anxious, jaw clenching and whips lashing out nervously from all around her.
"Unloved." She whipped her head to the girl, one foot splayed threateningly out. Quinn held her ground, knuckles white.
"When I first saw you, I knew there was something off. You were as cold as ice and whenever you were near it felt like there was a hole in my chest, sucking the warmth from me. But the way Brittany looked at you, spoke about you-" she broke off for a second, furrowing her brow in an attempt to catch her words into coherent sentences, "she's nice to everybody. I know you've seen it. But I've known her since we were kids, and she's never looked at somebody like that."
There was a roaring in her ears, growing the faster the Creators moved. Their language washed all around her now in battering waves, speaking of Time and Light and Humanity that she was never able to hear. "Like what?"
"Like she'd end the world to keep you by her side." Quinn said softly, watching the first notion of fear flicker over Santana's features. "Like you're everything she ever asked for and all she ever wanted. She loves you, Santana. I can see it whenever she moves or talks about you. It spills out of her like a cup that's too full. I don't know what this is," she gestured to her, to the mist that swarmed about her in a frenzy, whipping cold wind that bit at her cheeks, "but you need to do something about it before it destroys her."
"I would never hurt her!" Darkness roared as the words hit too close to home. Her feet left the ground and her fingers curled into points, eyes glowing angrily and without direction. Quinn stepped back as her skin began to roil, swirls of black under her flesh pulsing outwards in buffeting waves that drove her to the edge of their little island.
Santana? Like a cooling balm to her anger, she exhaled shakily and allowed the fierce gale to quiet.
Are you okay? Why are you scared?
I'm fine. But Brittany knew - Santana had the flash of her brow drawn together, teeth worrying her lower lip.
Could you come?
And with that she turned again to Quinn, all wide eyes and ruffled hair as the waves licked her heels. "I am made of hate. They Created me from the discontent of the universe, how there was yet no suns to illuminate the void. Brittany is everything I am not... she is not of the Light, she is the Light. It was set from the beginning that we were meant to end the other. Fate had said it so."
Her voice trembled and the tendrils drooped, dropping limply as she hit the ground with a hard thump. "Light shows the good in man, the Humanity that I lack. Brittany feels - loves - too much. I was not made to love, Quinn. Certainly not made to love her." But the flower of something that had begun to bloom, warped and untouched by the sun, filled her endless chest and choked her with its weight. She was nothing without the taller girl's presence by her side, teaching her the simple joys of movement and smiles. Even now her warmth crawled through her skin, seeping down to linger in her bitter bones.
But the warmth was real, and she saw a slender hand resting tentatively on her bicep. She traced the tired nails up to her face, nervous and sad but so very open. For a second their eyes connected, and the understanding went deeper than anything they could ever put into words. "Fate is never set in stone, Santana. If you just give in, things may surprise you."
She opened her mouth to object but found she couldn't. Instead she glanced up once and her back split open, exploding in a writhing mass of thick ropes that dripped acidic slime. Quinn yelped and jumped back as she lifted herself up by these cables, thrust them into the glowing water and drew upon their Light.
Stardust travelled through and Darkness sucked in as much as she ever had, bloating herself with their girth. She moaned as the world was temporarily stolen of all illumination, plunged into terrifying shadow. Nothing was beyond her grasp and the possibilities were endless; she heard children screaming, families praying, animals barking. But from within her the snared suns pulsed, sending a feeble glow out from under her skin. She drowned herself in the courage they presented, feeling her muscles swell and tense as she struggled to take it all in. A pathway to the shore opened up, and the shorter blonde gasped at Santana's eyes flashed a brilliant white.
"Fate is not set in stone." She whispered again, and with a shuddering breath, was gone.
(If she had waited another moment before vanishing, she would have heard the Creators murmur of a new beginning to overwrite the end.)
It was mere seconds even though it felt like lifetimes, chasing through their connection and stumbling into Brittany's bedroom. Instead of gathering slowly she surged forward from the corner, narrowly avoiding the bowl Brittany threw in her alarm. They stared at each other for a moment; Light took in the tendrils that whipped around her form, heaving chest and glowing skin with a mixture of awe and concern.
"Are you okay?" From the background she could hear Elaine Paige singing of loss and regret, wailing mournfully as the other cats looked on.
But she wasn't. For a moment she looked so horribly lost standing naked and vulnerable amidst the fluffy toys that everything in Brittany ached to wipe it away, fingers visibly twitching. Santana looked around helplessly for a second before spreading her arms wide, feeling her chest gape open once more as she let all the things she couldn't say rush through the connection that once again stood stark in the dull light. Even through her haze of apprehension Brittany stood, mimicking her position and feeling something invisible punch its way through her sternum.
And for a blissful second there was nothingness.
Frenzied slashes of convoluted memory seared her way through her mind, slamming her back a step with the sheer amount of something hidden in Santana's feelings of hopelessness. For the first time she felt the true power of Santana's age press against her, tugging her high up above the world so they could watch the universe with impartial eyes. She watched the birth of space, the birth of her play out, celestial beings reaching out to morph and shape into the things she knew now.
There was a cold crawling along her skin and somehow she knew that they had moved until they were so so close together (they always gravitated until Brittany was here and Santana was there and there was no distance between them) but she was captivated at how the galaxies reflected in the dark of her eyes and the way the flux of Chaos slithered its way into the curl of her palm. Here, Darkness was simply so stunning that it took her breath away, robbed her of whatever feeble capability of speech she had learned. (Perfection.)
"You are everything to me," her voice trembled as she spoke but within it was the conviction of the ages, sweet like smoke that wrapped Brittany in satin. "and with you I feel warmth, and light, and happiness. You are my perfection, my missing half. But I-I don't want to taint you, Brittany. You are so pure and kind and I will only drag you down." But Light shook her head softly, smiling like a sparrow with a healing wing.
"I'm not afraid of the Darkness, Santana. It's a part of you. Anything that you are I'll love way past the day I die."
And instead of stumbling over herself Santana unravelled, stretched out until she touched the edges of space and let Light truly, fully see into her. Her ribs snapped open one by one as the skin split and curled, peeling back to reveal the shifting mass of black grime underneath. Even as she tugged away the barriers, the tendrils that made up her musculature shifted back, exposing the endless cavern that hid itself away under her flawless facade.
(She offered everything that she was and could be, harboured in the vast space of her chest. In her hands were the stars and the moons and the Earth, Life and Death and Balance. Through her filtered the constant weave of Light and Dark, a glimpse into Santana's void. But what drew Brittany's attention was the soft thing that pulsed in terror the closer she drifted towards it, singing high and warbling and true. Inside her something tugged in return, and a smile painted itself upon her lips.)
Take me and all my shadow, and I promise I will be with you past the end of Time.
But she didn't need to ask; Brittany had always been waiting for Santana, before she even knew what it was she was waiting for.
Take me and all my light, and I promise I will chase away your pain.
But she didn't need to ask; Santana had been floating emptily without something to anchor her to the curve of the earth.
They gravitated together high up in the void and down below their bodies moved until nothing but a sliver of air passed between them, hot and cold breath mixing to form a storm. Santana smiled shakily and felt the words pass her mind from where she'd learned them the moment Brittany entered her sights.
(If you touch me, you'll understand what happiness is...)
I love you.
And all of a sudden there was no space between them.
Their lips met and from it rose a shockwave that threw the stars out of alignment, blasting meteors into the far reaches of the universe. They were yanked back down into her bedroom and Darkness gasped as she felt warmth for the first time; it seared through her chest like liquid and pooled behind her eyes. She knew of kindness and love, sacrifice and forgiveness. The tips of her fingers buzzed as she gripped Brittany's waist, pulled them flush together and opened her mouth to accept the offering brushed across her lips. In turn Light knew the chill of death, the far reaching cold of sadness and the boiling fury of hate. But Santana burned away the pain and seared a trail of kisses down her neck, sharp teeth latching onto her pulse and marking her forever.
Brittany buried her fingers in locks that moved on their own, inky shadow contrasting on her skin that glowed with a gleam so bright Santana was forced to slit her eyes. All around them beings from all walks of life bowed at the sudden influx of raw power that shook the core of the Earth, sending waves battering against the shores and rending the ground in two. The Creators howled as Chaos and Harmony clashed, tearing apart the fabric of their home until the galaxies were lit in an explosion of untold proportions. Light moaned and tugged Darkness up roughly, smashing their lips together again even as fingernails dipped in dark twisted and yanked the clothing from her body.
"Up," Santana snarled against her lips and Brittany obliged, wrapping her legs around slender hips and hissing in unison as their combined heat threatened to send them over. Santana's hands found strong thighs and she walked her over to the bed, never parting from her mouth and swallowing all the desperate sounds she wasn't sure who was making.
They fell in a tangle of black and gold, palms smoothing the nail-marks left by seeking fingers. The very air throbbed around them as skin slid along skin, creating trembles along the world. Brittany detached and bent down to take a nipple in her mouth, groaning around the tender skin as their joint connection sent a shudder of pleasure searing through them both. She could see it, dense and misty with cords joining them through the sternum. Her fingers skimmed it and the resulting ripple had Santana's head thrown back, a soundless howl leaving her lips.
People rushed into the street as the air swarmed, bloated with tension as both moon and sun wheeled blindingly fast overhead. Day and night flickered so fleetingly they were stuck on loop, casting and retrieving shadows over the world. In public people had thrown themselves to their knees, praying to a God they didn't know to save them from the end that was sure to come.
Santana rolled them so she was hovering over her counterpart, fingers flexing at her hips. She traced constellations at her navel, revelling at how every shudder drawn from Brittany's flesh would echo inside her own center. She studied the flush of Brittany's cheeks, the gentle part of her mouth and the heave of her chest. Once clear blue were now swimming with streaks of light to contrast how they'd darkened to the colour of roiling storms, pupils blown and feral in the shadow of the room. A quiet please dragged her from her stupor, and she placed a burning kiss to her mouth just as her fingers found a different kind of heat.
Brittany's spine arched and she groaned deep in her throat, fingers scrabbling for purchase on the long, sinuous muscle of Santana's back - she found the frenzied cords and gripped so hard that Santana's hips bucked in return, oblivious to the grime that was supposed to eat at her flesh. She could feel her all around her, so deep inside that her presence felt like it was brushing the bottom of her heart. As they began a punishing rhythm of drawn out strokes just to be slammed back in she slid a thigh between Santana's, feeling the slick warmth of her arousal coat her skin over the sheen of their sweat. They spoke in forevers as Brittany's tongue curled in her mouth, hips meeting and slamming together even as a hand snaked down and roughly pressed against Santana's clit. She swallowed her shaking moan and increased their pace, blindly crawling to the one thing that could save her from the heat that had begun to cloud her mind and overtake all rational thought.
The Creators watched from their home as Matter began to unravel under their combined power, Light and Dark mixing for the first time until it was a single blend of half-gloom that eclipsed any attempt to see into the future. They shook as Santana did, jaw dropping and lips desperately meeting Brittany's when a clench in her belly shot straight up to their connection and burned. A clash of teeth and tongue and sharp inhales; Darkness ground down rapidly as she felt herself teetering on the brink of everything she had ever come to know. Her back curled and the tendrils slammed holes in the walls, anchoring her though she was about to fly away.
"I-I'm gonna-" she was cut off as Brittany nodded, threading one hand through her writhing hair and tugging them together until they were one being. "I love you," was panted, heavy and strained into her ear and Santana lost it, roaring her release. The rush sparked through her and down through Brittany who joined her in ecstasy, wrapping both legs back around her waist and crushing them together. From the center of their chests an explosion bloomed, waves of blinding fire searing across the planet. Brittany's eyes exuded a dizzying rush of light while Santana's gathered the shadow, opposites writhing and clawing and falling into oblivion. Countless Realities were torn from the flow of Time as they shook, clinging to each other through the heights of their highs. Somewhere along the line Brittany had started crying and Santana trembled as she kissed away her tears.
In the aftermath of the union that had burned away the stars, people stumbled upright, bruised and bleeding. Buildings were crushed and countless dead, not taking into consideration whole Realities that were cleaved from existence, simply devoured as Chaos took their feeble lives and tore them apart. Some were already calling it the Final Reckoning, while others had no words left after the wall of light had knocked them over and stole their breath. But in the small, unassuming town of Lima, Ohio, two forms were intertwined so closely together they could be one being. Their hair swirled to form whimsical patterns and a pale leg was slung over twitching hips. From inside the room, a soft glow emitted from the connection that pulsed in the aftermaths of everything.
Santana closed her eyes and reached inside herself, prodding at the swirling mass of shadow. On the outside little had changed, but if she peered into the very eye of the void there was a pinprick of Light, and in it she sees the ocean of Brittany's eyes and hears the sea breeze of her voice. There was a smile she wasn't aware she was making until soft fingers mapped the pattern of her lips, drawing her back. When she turned her head she's met by sparkling blue peeking out from under blonde lashes.
She smiled softly, and felt her heart swell impossibly large.
"Hi," she whispered, voice hoarse.
"Hi." Light mumbled back, burying her head in Santana's shoulder. She could already feel her skin deepening, taking on the thrill of immortality that resided so heavily inside the heart of Darkness. Together they would remain, Eternal, keepers of Balance. Soon she would learn the secrets of the world, how to bring the ground to her feet and mend something that could only be broken. Their lips met in a lazy kiss at the promise of forever with the knowledge that nothing could tear them apart.
Around them there were the sounds of sirens painfully loud in the ruined room, but in their bubble of quiet something caught her eye. The darker girl carefully got up from the bed on shaky legs, fingers gliding along the cracked walls as her feet took her to the window.
Outside people ran and sobbed, fleeing from burning cars and cradling injured relatives. Dogs barked, alarms wailed and houses crumbled. But Darkness gasped and she looked to the street, seeing it absent of shadow and the cloying presence of the night.
Light slid along her skin like oil and wrapped her arms around the shorter girl, hands finding homes in the indent of her hips and pulling her body close. She drank in the awe that shivered from the dark flesh, vibrating from her bones and crying out from their bond.
Brittany smiled. "Yeah."
(Years from now, they will be known as gods. Night and Day will bend to their call, so bright along their celestial skin it blinds the unworthy and hand in hand they will walk the streets, Brittany healing what Santana destroys. She will wield Harmony just as the other holds Chaos, breaking the world just to create it stronger from the rubble. Her power will be known for miracles, ridding the world of disease and heartache while Santana creates new pain to decimate those who cause them harm. People will throw themselves at their feet, renouncing their god for a power they cannot understand. The world will watch in horror as Santana's hand stops an atomic bomb from hitting her lover, her being, her everything, hovering momentarily in the air to defy what they've come to know before flinging it back with an infuriated roar to whence it came.
None will see the passionate kiss in thanks nor the quiet moments in the dark of a room where they reach so far inside that they travel back through countless threads of Time, reshaping and rebuilding the sole Reality they have left. All will try and fail to comprehend the love that shatters all boundaries, impressing its Truth until they will be remembered when descendants have turned to dust.)
But nothing is set in stone, and the Creators smiled to themselves with quiet approval at something they had never seen with their sightless eyes as Quinn glanced up from the bank of the lake, unharmed in the Chaos but forever changed.
And for the first time, Santana raised her face to the sun.