(A/N)- …Toma, you poor bastard. You get a sympathy ficlet from me.

After watching the finale, well, it's not to say I wanted to flip over a desk like the majority of the fandom, but overall I was okay with it. Although everything was rushed, everyone alive so far was happy. Hell, even the gay Shadow Angel sorta got his happy ending! He's mainly the reason why I watched the sequel. Then when I found out he was the manifestation of a sliver of Toma's soul and reincarnated!Apollonius was Zen…well, shit, congratulations Yuichi Nakamura, Mykage's seiyuu. I've never felt this much pity for a fictional anime character so my hat's off to you for all the emotion you poured into him. All these 24,000 years of dedicated yet unrequited love and all this heartache…shit. I hope Apollonius was worth all the feels. You should've moved on.

Honestly I am simply a bit unsatisfied with episode 26's pacing and the way Mykage got his so-called-happy ending. So here's my continuation of Aquarion EVOL, set immediately after episode 26. Undoubtedly, I don't own the show, but I want to write something that doesn't leave a slightly sour taste to my mouth. This plotbunny refuses to leave me alone until I breathe it life.

Warning, this will not be updated constantly until after the first book of my trilogy is finished so hiatuses are to be expected. Also, this story is heavily centered around Mykage Towano and Zen Fudo. I'll incorporate the anime's other characters to nudge the plot along but I will not promise to keep its pairings canon. I've tolerated the show's final pairings but…after Jin's death I've stopped watching Aquarion EVOL and all I know about the rest of the episodes barring episode 26 is based off of tumblr, myanimelist, and animesuki posts. Hence my knowledge of the show is spotty at best and heavily reliant on its prequel and OVAs...to which Kawamori then revealed that basically everything before was bogus.


Ad Infinitum

(To infinity…)

Prologue


"Curse you!" Mykage snarled, digging his nails into his sleeves. He desperately tried to maneuver his body back to Vega, twisting his mutinous limbs this way and that, but it was not meant to be. His breathing increased into panicked, harsh pants the further Vega diminished in size and the dark, midnight cover of the universe shrouded him. Stars and asteroids rushed by him, and a blanket of blue heat had enveloped him since his forced ejection from the Legendary Aquarion and his breach into the atmosphere. As his incorporeal body was flung further and further into the cosmos, rage coursed through his veins, boiling his blood to a volatile temperature. He gripped the front of his robes, pressing against the spot where his chest stung the most. The beam of pink light which had stabbed the harlot's chest penetrated his. Frustrated tears gathered at the edges of his vision but he would not let them fall.

No. No. No. No. His revenge...Apollonius…that harlot! That incomplete, pathetic excuse of a pet! "This cannot end here. I need…I need…."

His indigo eyes squeezed shut and his head shook back and forth. What did he need? What had made his carefully-crafted plans finally advance in the first place? That girl…Zessica Wong, the chosen Wingless One that had originally housed him...it was as if a mist had cleared from his head. He fisted his hands. "I need…I just need another body." However, that was near to nigh impossible considering he was orbiting space now.

He needed to get back and reverse the disaster as soon as possible, while there was still time to undo all his mistakes. Aquarion LOVE, he wanted to spit on it. He wanted to open his lips and sing to his heart's content, unleashing hell on Vega and Altair. More importantly, he wanted to see Apollonius' face when he crushed all that he held dear. He'd relish the pain and anguish and regret that he'd cause his former lover. Maybe that'd teach him to abandon their engagement for a mere Wingless harlot and betray him not once but twice over the span of 24,000 years.

His bloodshot eyes shot open and zeroed in on the back of a tall figure casually standing on one of the asteroids. Mykage's breath whooshed out into an elated gasp. What fortune! What luck! Retribution was within his grasps. Destiny foretold his success. Summoning all his remaining strength, he pushed against the gravitational force by his sheer will alone, directing his course forward, not in reverse. Sweat ran down his back, plastering the purple fabric of his garment to his skin like a disgusting adhesive.

Mine…mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. The word replayed in his mind with obsessive intensity. The speck of a figure grew bigger and bigger. He was not going fast enough. He felt like he was wading through quicksand. His vibrant wings unfurled from his hair, and they added more velocity with each forceful flap. "You!"

Shooting his hands out, he smiled in triumph when his nails sunk in through the creature's vest, in the spot between the Wingless' shoulder blades, as if he had simply pierced through a mirage. He wanted to laugh at how easy it was for him to acquire another body. This time he needed no manipulation.

His body overlapped with the Wingless creature and he quickly laid his forehead against the back of the long, auburn locks. A frown upset his face when the Wingless, predictably, had tensed up momentarily upon awareness of the possession but, unpredictably, almost immediately relaxed, like the inferior being was resigned to his fate. What a clever, curious creature. He almost felt sorry for it. Almost. The last thing Mykage had been aware of before his conscious blended with the Wingless One was an enticingly spicy, sweet smell and then blue, the color of the purest seas of Earth when the whales were the populace, wetly shattered in his vision.


When he opened his eyes, Mykage found himself kneeling on a canvass of impenetrable black that stretched on for miles and miles. He pushed himself up on two shaky arms and swiveled his head around to take in the empty mindscape. A few strands of his avian hair fell into his eyesight and he impatiently brushed them back. This was the first time he'd seen such barrenness in a Wingless' mind.

When he had possessed the green-haired Element user, he entertained himself briefly by redecorating the girl's Chinese-influenced Mind Palace, which was mainly full of floating photographs of Amata Sora and some of who he had assumed to be her friends, into endless labyrinthine stairways and something more beautiful. Red and gold melted into dark, purple hues and stars and vegetation, and he had watched the process with much vicious satisfaction. The Venus flytrap prison had been a stroke of genius on his own part. Still—Mikage's chest suddenly throbbed, sharply reminding him he had taken collateral damage from two of his most hated beings—this didn't explain why this mindscape was so…void of anything. Was this Wingless One damaged? As much as he didn't want to associate himself with damaged goods, he supposed it would make it easier for him to overpower the being's higher thought processes and motor control. Biting his lower lip, he struggled to push himself to his feet and he gave a surprised cry when his feet gave out under him and he fell once more on all fours.

A heavy pressure—not unlike the gravitational atmospheric pressure on Altair, only a thousand times worse—suddenly pounded against his back and shoved him down, as if the once-existing Tree of Life had fallen on top of him. It took all he had to maintain that humiliating position. The hot feeling that had threatened his steel composure threatened to seep through again, nearly unraveling his decorum. His voice carrying a fearful, panicked note, Mykage cried, "What is going on? Why can't I move?"

Throwing his arm up, he vainly tried to summon all his power to force the mindscape into submission. He gritted his teeth against the strain his muscles were being placed under. He could do it. He would persevere. Something in him broke when all that replied to his silent, invisible plea was an even more intense pressure against his shoulder blades and a continuation of that soundless, hopeless darkness. His voice carried through the place, resonating with thrumming echoes before dying into faded existence. Lowering his head, he clenched his fists, clutching the thin material of his top, and once more he threw his arm into the air while he shouted desperately, "Why won't you obey me?"

Then he sensed the Wingless' strong mental presence and, while that might've distressed him even more, abruptly it projected an image of him in the blank space between its two tanned, cupped hands. At first he was confused by the projection—what sort of creature did he erroneously try to invade?—but then the Wingless whispered his name and Mykage's eyes widened in instant recognition. "Ap-Apollonius?"

He saw Apollonius' solemn expression, as if he was bowing his head in respect to a funeral procession, and then the reincarnation of his former lover slowly opened his eyes. Mykage's breath caught when he noticed himself in Apollonius' iridescent right iris and pupil, the same eye where a scar had overlaid the skin and where an eye patch once previously resided when Mykage had formally introduced himself to the physically reincarnated body of the traitorous Shadow Angel. The Wingless' piercing green eye struck a discord deep within Mykage's muddled thoughts.

"I will accept you into myself," Apollonius murmured, and Mykage flinched when he noticed his lips were moving tantamount to each syllable pronounced by his coarse, richly deep voice. As higher beings, they had pledged only to use their voice to impart blessings and sing to the heavens, for their voices were said to be strong and powerful. There were consequences were any Shadow Angel to foolishly ignore this sacred decree. That was why all Shadow Angels communicated telepathically. Toma and Apollonius were no exceptions.

As soon as those words flowed through, a wide circle, like the bastardized reflection of the moon on water, rippled into existence underneath the Shadow Angel. He stared down at the white light. I will, the words rewound themselves in his mind, accept you…accept you…accept you into…myself. Freezing in place, Mykage gasped once more once the sentence registered in his brain. His head shot up and his indigo orbs peered blindly into the darkness. His heart thudded against his sensitive ribs painfully, beating a rapid ensemble of a hummingbird's fluttering heartbeats. He swallowed against the hot ball lodged in his throat and he quashed down the uplifting feeling building up in his cold chest.

Apollonius, with his arms crossed against his chest and his spine ramrod straight, was stoically staring into the distance back at the planet where their battle had once taken place. Mykage felt an overwhelming surge of remorse and peaceful acceptance from his reincarnated love. The Shadow Angel's head whirled with stunned amazement. "Let us watch over this age together," Apollonius said softly, closing his eyes once more. "Sleep within me, shadow of love."

Love…love…love…the words repeated endlessly within his head. Mykage's mouth quivered.

"After all these eons, we are now together." Apollonius clapped his gloved hands together and a golden light emitted from those marvelous, joined appendages. I'm sorry, he projected silently to Mykage, who took in the apology with a tremulous reception. An awed coo escaped the Shadow Angel's lips when the golden light flooded into the dark mindscape, bathing him in a warm glow. The unbearable pressure waned, then lessened into something akin to a gentle embrace. If he closed his eyes, he could envision Apollonius' strong arms wrapped around his torso.

Swallowing hard, Mykage's eyes slowly, shyly pointed down. Pressing a pale hand to his left eye, he whispered brokenly, "You betrayed me not once but twice." He sniffled and that unleashed the tears he had been trying to stem since his encounter with Aquarion LOVE. Oh, but his raw heartache had spawned centuries ago, twenty-four millenniums before his lover's Wings of the Sun were embedded in Aquarion to fuel the giant robot's powers, twenty-four millenniums before Apollonius forsake his wings for a human, twenty-four millenniums when he had been brought up on the news of the forbidden affair. He'd thought he was incapable of crying anymore. Those many years heartbrokenly watching his once close fiancé happily mingling with the Wingless Ones instead of slaughtering them, which he'd once just as happily done as the Angel of Massacre, and then having his expectations crushed again and again embittered him to outward displays of love.

I know, Apollonius projected lightly.

Mykage swallowed thickly and he fiddled with the hem of his white sleeves.

Apollonius stayed mute, realizing this was the decisive moment where Mykage's reaction would determine his next course of action. If the sliver of Toma's soul reacted negatively to his tentative olive branch, he'd have no choice but to put Mykage under permanent stasis and go from there. But, if he reacted favorably—at this point, Apollonius would accept anything—in any way conceivable, the reincarnated human would happily find peace living as one with his former, admittedly slighted lover, as his responsibility.

"Yet why…," Mykage twisted his head and floated upright. Surprised by the sudden action, Apollonius stepped back and mentally held up his hands. Mykage wrapped his arms around himself, closing his eyes rapturously, to breathlessly marvel, "…yet why do I feel so warm inside you?"

While he was relieved it was the latter outcome, Apollonius smirked awkwardly at the Shadow Angel's childlike question. He projected a light, friendly pat on Mykage's head. The Shadow Angel jumped, placing a hand on the area where Apollonius' hand would've been had Mykage been corporal. His astonished but happy expression made the guilt Apollonius felt crashing back in immense tidal waves. His lips thinned into a long, white line. If only he hadn't fallen in love with Celiane in his previous life, Toma—no, he was dead, along with Apollo and Sirius—Mykage wouldn't be in this mess.

Apollonius shook his head, recalling the rhetorical question. Typical Toma behavior, if not a bit more exaggeratedly feminine. His slipping in of a suggestive innuendo was not lost on Apollonius. The poor, incomplete soul probably didn't even realize he did it. That was how lost the Shadow Angel was in his euphoric bliss.

Apollonius tilted his head and emerged from his mindscape to peer down at Vega. Blue was spreading everywhere and his smirk increased when he grasped the ridiculous utilization of robot tears. Well, at least the kids knew how to drag out every inch of power from his discarded wings of old. He had been prepared to pull a kamikaze, sacrificing himself and most likely Mykage to undo the damage the Shadow Angel had dealt to both planets, to heal the two and end the cycle.

"Dues ex machina," Mykage sighed by his ear and it took all Apollonius' willpower not to call Aquarion on him to get him away from his person. He'd forgotten how…clingy his betrothed had been.

Swiveling his eyes this way and that wildly, his tensed shoulders collapsed with relief when he still registered the peculiar presence within his mind. The Shadow Angel was simply manipulating his senses in what he deemed an innocuous way. In hindsight, he could see himself growing old of this quite quickly in the years to come. Mikage made a dissatisfied trill at the back of his throat and the Neo-DEAVA self-proclaimed magician was instantly given the mental image of the Shadow Angel glaring up at the golden light.

Raising a brow, Apollonius was about to voice his incomprehension as to how the light had offended Mykage so when just a few moments ago he was crooning to its faux sunshine, when a frozen ice pick sledge hammered his brain. He winced at the pain and was about to demand what Mykage was doing—did he know it was somewhat late for revenge after their oh-so-emotional episode?—when the throbbing stopped and in its place were two warm hands cupping the sides of his face, their warmth soothing the pain away with each repetitive stroke of a thumb. His eyelashes fluttering open, he stared incredulously at the see-through, physical projection.

Indigo eyes full of concern and tender affection, Mykage didn't cease his massage when he elaborated, "When someone or something appears or is introduced suddenly and unexpectedly and provides a contrived solution to an apparently insoluble difficulty. You really know how to pick them."

He angled his head and smiled sadly in Apollonius' direction. "The last thought you had…it wasn't guarded, like the other times. I…I heard it."

Pulling his head away—it was admittedly difficult for him to pull away from those soft hands which were quite unlike Toma's calloused ones—Apollonius stuck his hands into his trouser pockets. He turned away and asked noncommittally, "That so?" If Crea had been here, she'd chew him out for being so careless and use this as an excuse to take away all his donuts.

"I wouldn't have minded," Mykage whispered softly, "as long as I was with you."

Apollonius' heterochromic eyes softened. True to his word, the real Holy Angel had been happy to die reunited by soul 12,000 years ago with the man he once loved. Unfortunately he had discovered the vessel reputed to house Apollonius' soul didn't exactly match up. "You had Otoha…everyone knew she was head over heels in love with you. I remember she was by your side years after I initially reincarnated in mortal coil. Even when you were challenging Apollo, she was there. You could have gotten over me."

"I-I couldn't."

"You had every opportunity—"

"You promised me." He stumbled closer, reaching down to grasp one of Apollonius' gloved hands. "We made the vow of wings."

"That was between Apollonius and Toma," Apollonius corrected, trying to discreetly withdraw his appendage away but stopped when Mykage's grip on his hand tightened warningly. "We are simply afterimages of them—Neo-DEVEA High Commander Fudo, Zen and Shadow Angel Towano, Mykage. And they—we have never made such a promise."

Mykage shook his head vehemently in denial. The iridescent white feathers swayed with each movement. "No, but we had discussed it. We had prepared for it, studied the holy ritual intensively until we both collapsed in exhaustion, enough that Elder Angel Johannes scolded us daily for taking it too seriously. After the ritual, you were to pollinate the Tree of Life. It was seven moonrises until the day of our union when you were sent out on assignment on Earth...until you changed. It's still possible. We're the last two Shadow Angels. We can repopulate our superior race, we can be the Adam and Eve of our generation—"

"I'm Wingless," Apollonius deadpanned.

Mykage recoiled, looking as Apollonius had physically struck him instead of dealing a verbal bombshell. He snatched his hands back, reacting as if he'd burnt himself without realizing it until too late. His fleetingly horror-struck expression cleared into a placid mask. "That may be true but if you physically pilot the Solar Wings, we can still—"

"Perhaps this time, instead of chasing after a long lost memory of what once was, you should ask Amata or Kagura, either one of the Winged Hound's reincarnation, to do the deed. If you ask nicely and repent for all your crimes and apologize, you might be able to attain similar results of what you're looking for."

Mykage's face contorted in a sneer. "When Earth split into two—into Vega and Altair—I was privy to observe alternate versions of ourselves 12,000 years ago. In one of them your precious pet Apollo fought Holy Angel Toma and in midst of their dance, they've successfully completed the ritual. Even if he didn't comprehend the full extent of his love for that harlot, his feelings were shoved into me and that gave birth to the start of a new generation of Shadow Angels..."

"But there was a miscarriage," Apollonius said. He crossed his arms and peered steadfast at the spirit's darkening countenance. "I know, I saw the same thing as you when I stood in the background as an observer. You couldn't have done anything about it. That light that carried his strong feelings was initially meant for Silvia. It would have been an artificially endorsed pregnancy, which you know contaminated Aquarion's Holy Light as it wasn't meant for Toma."

"Yes, I've realized that but in retrospect I am glad that fate did not fall upon the shoulders of the actual Toma whose despair had given me birth." He smiled bitterly. "While it certainly would've powered me, I wouldn't want to be be betrayed by you yet again. You've done enough already."

Hoo boy, the lingering, possessive attachment of an envious ex-fiancé, even if it was coming from the fragment of a familiar soul...what had he gotten himself into? Apollonius—at this point he didn't know whether he should refer to himself by his old name or the current alias he took up—sighed. Talking to another Shadow Angel, his lover and previous enemy, was seriously exhausting. He empathized with Mykage's resentment. It was all his fault, the original Apollonius' inability to separate from his selfishness. He understood that. However that did not mean he agreed with Toma's and Mykage's misguided conviction that it was Celiane and all her incarnations who were at fault for stealing the one they'd loved, twice. With heavy regret tinting his baritone voice, he murmured, "A sincere apology is somewhat long past overdue, I understand."

"'Somewhat' is a bit of an understatement."

"Personally I wished things had not played out the way it had these twenty-four millenniums. I'd mistakenly assumed you could move on and perhaps find someone else, someone like the Music Angel that's always been by your side, and try to forget all about me. I would've preferred if you had forgotten me or hated me instead of…," he cleared his throat, "instead of loving me these 24,000 years."

"Oh, I did. I've both abhorred and adored you, still to this day, beloved." Hesitantly Mykage floated closer. "Why did you change? What about that harlot appealed to you on an emotional or physical level that made you fall in love with her? What about her empowered you to abandon your precious wings and your people?"

Apollonius stayed silent and Mykage's breath whooshed out in surprise when the Neo-DEAVA High Commander suddenly took a leap forward, effortlessly landing on the pitted surface of another craggy asteroid. They were going back to Vega, Mykage realized belatedly, and not the motherworld. An invisible string tugged at the pit of his stomach, yanking him forward with each jump Apollonius took. He felt an overwhelming pity for the true reincarnated vessel of the Wings of the Sun, who had his mode of transportation reduced from easy flight to strenuous physical exercise. Mykage was pleasantly surprised that Apollonius still retained a level of superiority over the Wingless' weak and trite incapability to function in any place without air and other facilities.

I loved her, Apollonius whispered into Mykage's mind.

"…Apollonius?"

I fell in love with Celiane.

"I'm aware of that," Mykage retorted wryly.

Love does weird things to you. Love makes anything unreasonable reasonable. It makes you crazy. It makes you happy. It can make you sad or angry. He slanted his eyes back at the trailing Shadow Angel. But I do not need to explain that to you.

Mykage's lips quirked up. "Really."

I cannot recall exactly why I fell for her. That request I cannot satisfy. Maybe I admired her spirit, her courage and character since I laid eyes on her in the battleground. Maybe I appreciated her beauty. But, for a Wingless, she was…exquisite. Unlike the rest. That much I remember.

"I see."

You don't, Apollonius chuckled. You don't need to lie. I don't even understand it myself.

"If you loved her so much, why did you not pursue her reincarnations?"

You've noticed?

"Once I realized you weren't who you were believed to be, yes. You've allowed the Winged Hound to pursue your precious Wingless. Why?" Why did Apollonius lead him on to believe he was Apollo? That he was still in love with that whore's soul? Did he hate the idea of being together with Toma so much he'd resort to petty deception?

"I know what you're thinking," Apollonius mumbled quietly, "but it's not that complicated."

"You love her."

"Yes, I did 'love' her."

Mykage instantly picked up on the use of the past tense. His eyes narrowed and he feigned ignorance. As much as he'd love to launch himself at his lover and forget everything that had happened, he wanted answers. What better time than now when the man himself was receptive to inquiries?

Apollonius continued, "Apollonius loved Celiane, not her reincarnations. Celiane was the one he loved."

"I…do not understand."

"Silvia de Alisia was the offspring of our Union. Not directly but she descended from Celiane's lineage of long ago. As her great-ancestor, I'm afraid it twisted my stomach to turn my affections to such a young girl who carried my blood."

"Even though she was the reincarnation of your illicit lover?"

"Even when she was the reincarnation of my illicit lover," he affirmed. "Even so, I wanted her to be happy. That was why I took a step back when Pollon actively began chasing after her."

"Pollon?"

"The Winged Hound. Apollo? You…do not remember his name?"

Mykage's cheeks flushed pink. "Evidently not."

"So you pledged 12,000 years of revenge against another being for my own admittedly underhanded dishonesty and you do not even know his name?" Apollonius retorted dryly, disbelievingly. Breathing in the crisp oxygen after broaching Vega's atmosphere—his body's initial collision against the vast space felt similar to a rubber band being stretched to its maximum—he glided down slowly, casually from the blue sky. An uncomfortable heat licked his clothes but Apollonius brushed it off. After formerly housing the Sun's Gift, this heat couldn't compare to it. Houses and buildings and Wingless Ones made up tiny specks of colorful dots in his vision.

What he wouldn't give to tell Pollon's divided reincarnations that the Shadow Angel didn't know the name of whom they had stemmed from. Of course, they'd probably resent both Mykage and Zen Fudo more since he predicted the two would question how he'd come to know this.

"What about this current incarnation?"

He blinked and ran his fingers through his hair. "What about her?"

"You do not want the cursed bride?"

"What an interesting nickname. No, I hold no love for Suzushiro, Mikono. She amuses me, but that's the extent of my affections for her. The fondness I hold for her is a far cry from the one I held for Celiane." Not one of Celiane's vessels for her reincarnated soul matched the original's personality and appearance. She was the one he'd loved, the one he was willing to give up everything for at one point so long as it kept her safe and happy. He shrugged helplessly. "I do not see myself having a torrid love affair anytime soon again after what had happened between us."

"If only you'd come to that realization sooner, we wouldn't be in this mess." Mykage glanced around their surroundings. His indigo eyes shined with recognition when they swerved over the tall scaffolds of metallic grays and whites. He twisted around to gawk at the blasé High Commander. "You're taking me to your base? Is that really a wise idea?"

"That was one of my early concerns," he confessed, "but, tell me, can anyone aside from me see you?"

Mykage rubbed the bottom of his lip pensively. To tell or not to tell. He quashed down a smile when the man started drumming his fingers along the fabric of his long green sleeves impatiently. He'd tell. If Apollonius had not reason to turn him away, he might…he would still have a chance. Even if he was the shadow of Toma's feelings, he truly loved him. Chuckling, he expounded, "Only when I physically possess you. By that I mean take control over your higher thought and motor controls, trapping you deep within our joined subconscious, and essentially changing your facial structure to reflect mine. Other than that, I do not believe so. You will not pilot Aquarion, which is rightfully yours?"

Apollonius' lips thinned. "No."

"Then you have no worries. If you had piloted Aquarion, anyone doing a Union with you would be able to see a projection of myself beside you. I also won't wrestle you for control, as long as there isn't any need to." Faint traces of suspicion lingered at the back of Apollonius' mind and Mykage winced at the amount of distrust directed at him. It would be an uphill battle before the Wingless—was he truly Wingless?—tore down his mental shields and fully accepted his existence. Mykage held his hands to his chest in protest. "I'm not looking forward actively corrupting your mind. You've had 24,000 years to strengthen your abilities and sharpen your mental facilities. Compared to my 12,000 years and less of experience, you'd have the advantage."

"For someone who vowed to crush all that I held dear, it's remarkable how quickly your passion toward my destruction turned around."

"No, not you. Never you." Mykage tightly grabbed Apollonius by the crook of his elbow and they halted midflight in the middle of the Caribbean blue, seven feet away from the headquarters of Neo-DEAVA. He simply wanted to join the two worlds back into one and reign over it as its new god, maybe sharing his throne with Apollonius if the man repented for all the suffering he'd caused Toma and the denizens of Atlandia. He smiled weakly. "You have a real roundabout way of asking why I'm acting out of character, why I'm suddenly okay with all this. I'm not offended. If anyone told me in the near future Apollonius was willing to accept me into his body despite my attempts to attain godhood, I'd laugh at them and possibly absorb their Prana for wasting my time on false hopes."

The High Commander shifted uncomfortably in the air. "All I did was acknowledging my responsibilities," he said lowly, "and taking affirmative action."

"You've finally accepted me…after all this time…." The pure white feathers fell into his eyes when he shook his head, shrouding his sorrowful gaze. "I would've quietly resigned myself to anything you'd subject me to. Anything, as long as you recognized me…and my efforts to get your attention." And the years he had spent chasing a desperate but hopeless dream, but Apollonius didn't need to know that. He didn't want his pity.

Apollonius peered down over Mykage's bowed head and he felt something in his heart break at the disconsolate picture the self-proclaimed Destroyer of Love made. He looked up in the air for a few seconds, privately sighing within the shielded section of his mindscape. He hated not taking a neutral stance to everything. Now he was an active player interacting with the white pawn he'd avoided capturing until said pawn switched to a queen, thereby forcing his hand and coercing his black king into the game.

"Apollonius?"

Coming out of his thoughts, Apollonius tentatively slung an arm around Mykage's shoulders, his hand pushing the head forward until it knocked gently against the jut of his collarbone. He'd seen mothers comfort their children this way on Vega.

Mykage's eyes widened and he melted against Apollonius' hard, solid frame. His arms automatically looped around the Wingless' slim waist. Even if his lover was in a different form, the soul was just the same. With his nose pressed against Apollonius' neck, he inhaled the Wingless' natural cologne, a musky fragrance of cinnamon stalks and sugarcanes underneath a sheen of sweat. His long eyelashes fluttered close.

"I cannot love you," he said bluntly, noticing how the lithe form tensed up almost immediately against his, "at least, not the way you want, shadow of Toma's love." He stroked the feathers which stuck up wildly in Mykage's hair and he smiled when the Shadow Angel practically purred at the soothing motions. "You are an incomplete soul piece. I am the container for a piece of Apollonius' soul. Our circumstances are similar in that, but you are a Shadow Angel and I am…mostly human. And I'm afraid you're stuck with me for many centuries to come. My reincarnation cycle…is different from Celiane's and Pollon's."

"How so?"

"You'll see."

Mykage tightened his grip on Apollonius' vest when he felt the other try to step away. Irrational, he knew, but he didn't want to let him go. The last time he did, it was 24,000 years of suffering and heartbreak.

Apollonius laughed breathlessly by his ear, blowing hot puffs against his pale skin with each verbalization of his mirth. "What's this? We cannot get to Neo-DEAVA if we are locked in passionate embrace."

Mykage didn't think it was funny but if it made the other happy…he glanced up, indigo orbs coyly peering up from underneath long lashes. "We can continue on like this and we'll eventually get there by flight. Or, you can carry me."

An eyebrow shot up. "Aren't you a little big for a piggyback ride?"

"Is a Wingless capacity for strength that inferior to that of a Shadow Angel's?" he countered, bringing his arms up to encircle around Apollonius' neck. Mykage pressed his forehead against Apollonius'. He smirked challengingly into those heterochromic eyes. He didn't know if this was pushing the boundaries but hopefully Apollonius would allow this much closeness.

"I suppose I could carry you on my shoulder like I do for Crea," he hummed contemplatively. A similar smirk on his face matched the Shadow Angel's. He quickly pulled up an image of the tiny Chairwoman when he sensed Mykage's bubbling curiosity at the mentioned name. He almost gave a sigh of relief when he didn't sense the same crippling jealousy that had haunted Toma every time Apollonius had interacted with a pretty female. Maybe it was how deceptively young she looked that Mykage didn't consider her a threat for his affections. "But she's a little girl and hardly weighs over ninety pounds. You, on the other hand, have to weigh two, maybe three times that. My shoulder wouldn't be able to support your weight."

"Weakling," Mykage teased. "We only have a short distance to go. If you can't support me, I'm afraid you're not good enough for me. It was no wonder it had been so easy for me to overpower your team. If they're anything like their commander, I shouldn't be surprised."

"Well, I acknowledge that Chief Commander Donar has his shortcomings," he shot back cheerfully, "but even as a crippled old man, he has his strengths and the children love him."

Mykage blinked and resisted the childish urge to roll his eyes when Apollonius pulled up a mental image of the veteran soldier. "I was not referring to Chief Commander Donar Dantes."

"I know." Grinning wickedly—Mykage felt a hot pang of interest in the pit of his belly when he caught sight of the lupine smile—Apollonius bent down and swept Mykage's legs up into his arms. The Shadow Angel grunted at the sudden move and peered dizzily down at the empty space where his legs once were. His painted purple lips was parted in a surprised 'o'.

"…You are not carrying me bridal style."

"So that's what it's called!" Apollonius exclaimed, leering broadly from ear to ear. "I'd always wondered why women blush and why men shout about this making them effeminate when they're picked up this way. Do you feel just as effeminate when I carry you this way?"

"It's unexpected but not unwanted." He adjusted his hold on Apollonius' neck and wiggled around a bit to settle more comfortably against the hard plane of Apollonius' body. In the haughtiest voice possible—he channeled Izumo Kamurogi for inspiration—he mandated, "You may carry on."

"Bossy as I'd remembered." Then something occurred to him and he visibly winced at the revelation. "Say, Mykage, I know you said only I can see you—by extension, I supposed I'm the only one that can feel you—but can you touch and move objects?"

"…I should."

"I don't want to drop you…although you wouldn't touch the ground since you can hover and fly…."

"Where is it?"

Wow, a Shadow Angel certainly didn't mess around…not. What a ridiculous thought. He'd never imagined he'd be telling his ex-fiancé to search him, essentially frisking his body for an eye patch. "In my chest pocket, to the left."

"Wait." Mykage twisted his body and squinted down Apollonius' torso. Pinching the black piece by its strings from the pouch, he smiled triumphantly when he pulled it out successfully and he dangled it before amused heterochromic eyes. He could see himself reflected in the right eye. "You don't want the other Wingless Ones to know you've accepted me in your body?"

"Not yet," he divulged, staying still as Mykage leaned forward to loop a little knot to join the two strings. He watched on as the other, brows puckered in intense concentration, nibbled on his painted lower lip, paying his task with such attentiveness that Apollonius wanted to laugh. Had anyone erected a stony barrier around their hearts, it would've shattered to bits once they witnessed that adorable display. The soul fragment really resembled an innocent child, so intent and focused on the task at hand for the sole purpose of pleasing somebody. "The Element users had only just come out successful from the long, drawn-out war against the Abductors and you. Were I to reveal I voluntarily agreed to house their reformed but once major adversary in my body at this volatile time, not only would I lose their trust but I would also unnecessarily fall under heavy scrutiny under the grounds of potentially having my body be possessed by the villainous Towano, Mykage. It is not an ideal situation to be in, especially when we all need to band together and fix what's left on Vega."

When the knot was tightened, Mykage planted a kiss against the covered eye and pulled back. "I understand. But, what about the motherworld? I'd absorbed all of Ianthe's energy, using the life force of Altair to power Ancient AQ. Have I…have I destroyed it?"

"Aquarion LOVE's tears of joy have replenished the supply of water of Vega and Altair," he said slowly. "That much I do know. Amata and Mikono should be trying to replant the Legendary Aquarion back into Vega's crust or finding another substitute for the once-existing Tree of Life to maintain the world's balance. However I do not know if life remains on that heavily industrialized planet. While I wouldn't get my hopes up after all the Prana you absorbed, there is a small probability that Altair is still salvageable."

The brunette's gaze slid to the stone walkway underneath his boots and then back up to peer into inquiring indigo orbs. "We're here," he clarified. "Do you think you can manage by yourself now? I do not think it would sit well with others if I was seemingly having one-sided conversations with myself and walking around command center with my arms in the air carrying nothing."

Mykage grinned savagely and hopped down from his comfortable perch and stretched his arms above his head. Yawning, he tilted his head and asked, "So where to, High Commander Fudo?"

"To where everyone else is. I have a ban on love I have to lift."


(A/N)- There you go—a fluffy prologue to match the fluffy finale. The interaction between Mykage and Fudo here made me want to vomit at times but this is what I'd expect from a soul fragment who's born from despair and obsessive love, and from the reincarnation of the epic troll!Apollonius who I'd expect to be a bit standoffish but nice and tolerant of the physical manifestation of a shadow of Toma's feelings. You can expect a lot of fluffy moments between the two to make up for the 24,000 years of misery. Apollonius, you jerk. Be happy I tried to find a reasonable way to justify your insensitivity.

I honestly don't care about Mikono and Amata and Kagura and Zessica and Andy and Mix. Maybe it's because after Jin's death and the epic troll moments between Mykage and Fudo that I haven't developed any love for the main and majority of the side characters. I might consider changing the final pairings or keeping them canon, I'm uncertain at this point. I need to watch the other episodes to get a better feel for them.

One of the things I will be keeping canon is Mix's sudden re-growth of her "big bangs." However they won't be magically re-grown. In my version she will still be a boy but I'll be introducing back her "big bangs" with a more rational back-story than a magical surge of luuuurve.

Mikage or Mykage? Toma or Touma? –sighs-