The gathering came quickly. Mune was already sat in the forest when Death came with Lune and Corelle.
In the middle of the forest clearing a giant fire, of all colours burned. Gathered around it were people dressed in all sorts of strange and wonderful clothing, some were human-like, some were animal hybrids. Mune was sat next to two girls that looked the same, except one had black hair and deep brown eyes, the other had golden eyes and hair. On the other side of Mune sat a man dressed in a long deep blue silk.
“Why’s he not looking at me?” I murmured and Death gave me an ‘you idiot,’ look.
“Take a guess,” she retorted, just as a woman stood. She wore a cloak of stars, and as she spoke the sky lit up, showing every star in the universe, you could even see the surrounding planets. She had deep black hair that seemed to blend into her cloak, and her eyes were hollow. But as I stared at them stars glistened in their depths.
“Welcome Gods,” She announced, then looked straight at me, “and humans.”
"Oh," I murmured inaudibly. "Um, evening," I mumbled.
Death leaned over, "that's Cosmos, if you didn't guess."
Cosmos smiled, "Tell me human," she walked closer to me, passing beside the fire, "Have you heard of us, do you know our stories?"
"I know a little," I replied shyly. "Mune showed me a fire dream."
"Mune?" She looked at him, "Time, yes. He's the only one of us that is still attached to his human name," she sighed.
“We Gods, some of us, never left you back in the old days. Time, Death, Fate, Love, Dusk and Dawn they all stayed, the rest of us shrunk away, left you to your ways. But you need us now, so we came back. Currently asleep, is War, Wrath and Muse.” She looked at me and smiled, “But some of us can never sleep. Time, Death, Fate. These must be the eternals that are always awake and it is a job that weighs heavily upon them.”
I winced. "Difficult job."
"But today is a celebration, not just for the world. But also that the world is intact, if not for Cyclone and Terra." Everyone laughed, "Now everyone, enjoy!" She threw up her arms and grinned as people began to rise and talk to each other.
Lune nudged me. "D'you want to talk to Mune, now?" he murmured. "Get it out of the way."
"Will you be there?" I asked.
"What a daft question - I promised I'd never leave you, didn't I?" I stood up and wandered over to Mune, Lune walking with me and holding my hand.
Death instantly appeared beside Mune and whispered something in his ear before disappearing in a shroud of black, he looked up and turned to a man with shocking red hair and shimmering blue eyes, he wore a red shirt and black trousers. He grinned at Mune and they began to chat.
"I'll wait till he's alone," I murmured to Lune and took him over to a tree where we could stand and talk (kiss) without being noticed.
A little girl skipped up to me and handed me a flower, grinning sweetly. "Hey! This is for you!" She had a tail like a bird, and wings on her back too.
"Aw, thank you," I said, taking the flower. "It's beautiful. What's your name?"
"I'm Purity," she smiled. "What's yours?"
"Corelle," I replied, smiling at the child. Lune was smiling too. "And this is Lune, ... my fiancé."
She curtseyed and smiled, "It's nice to meet you, I haven't talked to humans in a long while!"
"Oh, do you not see them often, then?" Lune asked.
"No, I'm not allowed. My father, Cyclone, told me that humans aren't meant to be so pure. So, Terra, my mother, founded a church. I live there."
"Oh wow. Well, be careful when you do talk to humans," I said. "They can be awful people sometimes."
Lune protested. "Not you, Corelle."
I turned to him and sighed gently "Some may argue differently," I said quietly. "Plus, you are rather biased."
"I wouldn't have become biased if you hadn't had such an attractive personality," he pointed out, grinning.
I smiled. "Okay. You win... For now."
I turned back to Purity and said "Which gods are you closest with?"
"You mean... friendship or affinity?"
"Friendship," I replied, smiling.
"Well, Time, Terra and Cyclone obviously, Death, Fate, Chaos, Cosmos, Typhoon, Muse, War, Wrath, Dusk, Dawn, Love, Flame and Fate." She grinned.
I grinned back. "So basically all of them? I can understand that if they're all as nice as Mune." I sighed, frowning. "D'you think he'll hate me if I upset him?" I whispered. Fortunately Lune was looking around, watching the fire whose flames occasionally leapt in the air and did a short dance.
She frowned, "Why you gonna hurt Mune?"
"I don't want to," I murmured, lowering my gaze. "But ... it's just happened."
"Don't hurt Mune! Don't hurt him!" She cried, running away to a man with thin, wispy silver hair who lifted her up with a frown, shaking his head at me.
I sighed. "Yeah, maybe that wasn't the best of ideas," I murmured to no one in particular. Lune squeezed my hand and looked at me. I realised he'd still been listening to my conversation. "Let's go before I say anything else I shouldn't," I murmured. "I'll tell Mune later - it was wrong to think of ruining his night anyway."
Mune stood behind us. "Don't worry," he murmured, "she's purity. She gets scared by anything slightly evil."
I turned in shock. "Whoa!" Then I blushed. "How much did you hear?"
"Everyone heard her shout and run off, I heard my name. I was curious. What do you want to tell me?"
"I'll tell you later," I replied evasively. I could sense Lune's steady gaze on Mune, telling him to back off.
Mune looked at Lune and shook his head, "I wouldn't it wouldn't take me two seconds or half as much power to put you back where you belong."
I grasped Lune's hand tightly in fear. "Don't! He's just .... anxious. He cares about me."
"Of course, of course," Mune snarled, "Why don't you just get lost. Go run into his arms, you don't belong here. Nothing divine about you."
Tears sprung to my eyes. "Okay. You're right. I'll go away." I turned. Lune held me back and said "Don't you dare speak to Corelle like that."
"Lune, come on - let's go! It's clear we're not wanted," I said, tugging at him.
"You can't stand for this-..."
"Well, I am. Let's go." I ran off into the forest. When we had left it, I burst into tears. But then, Death appeared. "Death," I cried, shocked by her sudden appearance. "What's up?"
She ignored me, turning to Lune. "And you won't talk to Mune like that. After all he did for you!" She cried, "He's tearing himself apart after what he did! He loved Corelle enough to bring you back to her to make her happy and you're acting protective. He knows his place, he will leave her alone! He's not allowed to bring people from the dead. That's my job. He slept for you. Don't you dare speak to him like that!"
Lune looked scared. "Ok-kay," he stammered. "I'm sorry."
"I'm sorry too," I said. "I love him - I /do/. But Lune was my first ... Maybe I shouldn't have ever loved Mune. Please forgive me, Death - I know how much you must hate me at the moment."
"Hate you? If I had permission from fate I'd /kill/ you! You and your stupid love!" She shouted, as a man put a hand on her shoulder and whispered softly, "and you'll not mess with troubles of the heart." She looked at him, then shrunk away, powerless.
"Kill me then," I sobbed. "That way I'll never be able to hurt Mune again."
"No!" Lune cried, anguished.
I ignored him. "If you want to kill me then go ahead. You have my permission if not Fate's."
"Now, now," he murmured. "I won't have anyone bothering Death. She's just fallen again and she hates it. Of course, that's my fault. She deserves to be happy. Leave her alone."
"Love," I said. "You are Love, aren't you? What should I do, Love? Can you help me?"
"The one and only," he grinned, "all I can say is follow your heart. This is one big mess. You see, fate made Lune die. When a human dies, the threads of the lives of others change. We all adapted ourselves to make you feel better. After Mune was shot, it was perfect. I could make two people happy in one. Then he learnt about Lune and bent the rules to bring him back. Now all hell's loose and we all have to pay."
I sighed. "No easy options then."
"I suggest you stick with Lune, no one's happy about this but we'll adjust eventually. Don't waste what you've got here."
I nodded. "Thank you."
"Don't. It's okay, but I've got a lot of work to do. Excuse me."
“Bye Love," I murmured. "Thanks for the advice."
"Another hint? Stay away from the others."
"Will they hate me?" I asked in concern.
"They already do."
"Oops. Would they have hated me if I hadn't chose Lune? Oh... does even Purity hate me?"
"Purity hates anything that isn't pure, don't worry about her and they hate you because Mune is highly loved in our little community.”
"I love him too," I mumbled sadly. "Oh well, I won't bother any of you again. If you see Mune again tell him I'm really sorry. And that ... I'll always love him." Crying again, I left, followed by a very quiet Lune.