It's done! It was done even when I posted the first chapter. I went about it for an extra day to give it some extra polishing! I hope you enjoy the ending. Thanks again.
Chapter 2: The Fisherman
She labored to open eyes, blinking fervently to cast the haze.
She was not in her room.
She sat up slowly, looking about her.
A little hut, crowded with bare necessities.
Her heart began to flutter in her ribcage like mad bird.
The sound of crackling wood in the hearth though tried to lay comfort on her, the ember in its light soothing her nevers.
She looked down at her lap. A thick wool blanket was spread over her legs. She was not in the dress she left the palace with.
And she remembered suddenly. The water and the cold.
Panic filled her heart.
She was about stand up, when the door cracked open and he stepped into the view.
His eyes immediately went to her.
Her heart leaped with sudden recognition. Frozen in her place, she watched him quietly close the door, mesmerized be the sheer green of his eyes, They held her gaze. He had been in her thoughts before she surrendered herself to the lake.
The Fisherman walked towards the bed, pulling close a stool to sit next to the bed.
And for moments frozen and stretched in time she just stared into his green green eyes.
"Are you alright?" He croaked.
She shook her head.
"You shouldn't do such stupid things!" He scolded.
She looked down at her lap. Her long hair, gold and tussled, splayed about her on the bed.
He studied her quietly waiting for a response but when it didn't arrive he turned on his place to pour a bowl of soup steaming in a kettle over the hearth.
"Drink this! It'll warm you."
She took the bowl with two hands and sipped carefully. It was hot.
He was still watching her.
He waited until she could drink no more and nestled the bowl securely over her lap.
"They are already searching for you, will be here soon." He informed her.
"You shouldn't have saved me!" she began to sob.
He took the bowl from her hands before she spilled its content all over herself.
Her body began to shake as she started to cry.
He lifted her chin, grazing her soft skin with his fingers. "I had all the reasons to save you!"
She looked at him in midst of tears.
He looked rugged and tired.
She wondered if he was able to sell his catch that morning.
"Who did this to you?" He demanded as if he had the rights.
She bit hear lips. Her tears fell so openly before his eyes.
"Is it your husband?" It was a stupid question.
She was silent.
Anger filled his heart.
They heard the sound of hounds outside the village.
"Your dress is beyond repair. All I can give you is some of my old clothes, until you reach the palace."
They were drawing near, they heard. The sound of hounds and the gallop of horses.
"Please…" She begged, "Don't let them take me!"
She clung to his arms desperately, seeking salvation from the hands of the Fisherman.
"I can't help you."
"PLEASE!" she cried.
He lifted her up to her like child, placing her on the ground and wrapping the blanket about her shoulders. She'd never felt so much gentleness in the hands his kind.
The old yellowed tunic was the only thing he had found fitting her. Then again he owned very little, and what he had was not enough to keep her warm.
His fingers ran over the gold strands thoughtfully.
He never asked for permission.
She never cared.
She looked frail and pale to his eyes.
Still, so fair to his eyes.
Her little hands went to clutch at his dress shirt, "I cannot return there. I don't want to return there. Please help me!"
The horsemen reared and stopped outside the hut, the hounds coming wildly to scrap at the doors.
He cupped her face between his hands before the door burst open.
"You can always find me by the lake!" He whispered, kissing her on the mouth.
She melted into his arms, warmth by his embrace, but not long enough to absorb it.
He pulled away and pushed her in a safe distance as the door opened.
The watchmen came in and dragged him out. She shrieked in mad terror as they shoved him down to his knees in the dirt and hit him in face. Blood trailed down the side of his mouth, and he spit it on the ground before their feet. He seemed unfazed and little bothered.
Her eyes though held nothing but anguish and pain. "Don't hurt him! Take your hands away you fools."
The watchmen froze in place, staring at her as if she were a mad woman.
"So feisty you've become, Cagalli!" A man said from behind her, riding atop of his black steed, "Is this the lover you've taken? Such little taste for a little little girl."
She turned and found her husband riding behind the watchmen in his usual black and lavender outfit.
"He saved my life!" she defended, "I fell into the waters and would've drowned if it weren't for him."
"Oh! Is that so?"
"Stop this folly."
"I think I owe him many thanks for having saved my beloved wife."
"What should we do with him?" The watchman asked.
"Rid him of his insolent eyes!"
She shook in horror. He was watching her, as though there was nothing but the two of them in this world.
A small pained smirk touched his lips.
She saw the cold steel look in his eyes.
"Don't touch him, I said." She hissed, "He saved my life! You do not pay a life by taking two eyes."
"Then rid him of his life!" The husband said.
The princess flew between the host and the Fisherman.
"Don't you dare!" She snarled at glared at her husband, "Touch him and you'll regret this day. He's done nothing but help his liege by saving his wife."
The husband chuckled sinisterly, and beckoned at the watchman, "release the fool."
The husband went to lift her up before him. She leaned back against his chest for support, but her eyes were only on Fisherman's face as they rode away.
He only rose when they rode up the hill and clapped his hand to rid them of the dirt.
Her lingering taste was still rich on his lips.
Even blood could not erase that.
He went inside the hut and looked at the very bed she had been lying down moments ago.
He had given her the only blanket he owned.
He had a cold night ahead.
But he didn't care.
Her body had told him enough of the mistreatment and abuse she received from her husband. Her husband had been right! They should have rid him of his insolent eyes, for having seen too much for his own good. His face was as hard as stone when he tore open the remainder of her clothes inside the hut. The tears he cried by the edge of the lake had long dried and was replaced by an unknown and indescribable amount of rage.
He had cleaned her with a clean cloth and warm water first before applying yarrow on her wounds. His hands were smooth and gentle on her skin as he ran it over her torso and thighs, where she had sustained the most amounts of injuries.
She was too young and precious to be treated in such way.
He remembered Meer.
The poor orphan girl lived a happier life than her.
He did not expect to see her again, not after what had come to pass. But she came to the village a week later, her eyes desperately searching for a sight of him. He remained in the shadows, and left the village earlier during her next visits.
He decided it was for best that he kept away.
It was a mistake.
For her visits stopped all of a sudden and his heart filled with worry of what might have come to her.
The lake still needed her Lady.
He found himself by the banks of the great lake more often than before, looking into the mist across the waters where he had found her. He hated the spot now, for it was the very place she had chosen to take her own life. It had been sacred to him, because it was the very place he discovered her the first time.
She came to him on one late and cold autumn night, as he was inspecting the nets before retreating for the evening. It was dark. He did not see her in her midnight cloak. She came from the forest, walking quietly toward the banks. Her breath was ragged. It was the warmth and steam from her breath that caught his attention. He stood erect and alarmed with dagger in hand. But she took no heed of the blade, and ran to him from the safety of the shrubs.
She collided with his lean frame and went to hold onto his torso.
"You shouldn't have come at this hour!"
"I was waiting for you, but you chose not to come. What else do you expect?"
"I expect you to look after yourself!"
She looked up at the Fisherman.
His eyes and face were all that were in her mind since she left the rickety hut.
He was always present in her thoughts, coming in and out of the shadows of her mind, ever since she saw him years ago, rowing so calm and at home over the shimmering waters in middle of the lake.
He held her safely in his arms. She felt so fine and at home. Her hands went to tug at his hair and bring his face down to hers. His arms tightened about her.
"Finish what you started!" She whispered.
His mouth went to hers, so eager and hungry.
She moaned his mouth and her breath shook in the cold air.
She was at his mercy.
She took his hand and urged him toward the hut.
"No!" He defied.
She looked at him in surprise.
"They will come looking there."
He took her hand and drew her deep into the forest, his stride fast and familiar. She was breathing hard by the time he brought her to his place of worship. He pushed her down in between the bushes where the forest floor was still warm and soft to hold her, and mount her with the only intention to take. He was warm despite of the cold. His lips nuzzling over the pulse that only quickened for him.
"Alex, you are called." She twittered.
He gazed into her eyes against the dim light of the forest, and took her lips with his. She was sweet, warm, and loving. So unlike what he'd come to know.
"Athrun" he whispered to her, "keep it a secret, and hide in your heart, like your love."
The lake stood watch, as the Fisherman took the light that she had bestowed him for lover under the crescent moon. Their love was mute and scorching. They were both young, the Lakes little children. He taught her how was it to be loved and learned how to treat with her love in return. Through the kisses he laid on his temple, worshiping her as he draw them to apex of ecstasy. Over and over again until she was serenading her passion for him.
He loved her.
He'd loved her.
From the start.
She, the Lady of the Lake, gave her heart to her Fisherman that night, and watched the green in his eyes turn as deep and dark as the lake that had brought him to her.
He watched his lover from afar the next time, careful not to be so open, as he covetly brushed his fingers against hers when she handed him a loaf of bread.
No one knew how eagerly she'd go to him again in darkness of the night, to renew a love that had given her so much life.
She told him of her tale.
Of her tragic union with a man who did not love her and cared about her even less; of a man who had another woman in bed at that very hour; of how he took her against in pain on her wedding bed; of how she lost her first child at tender age of seventeen; of how he withdrew from her afterward; of how he was repulsed by the very presence of her; of how he only came to her to do his duty; of how she tried her best to never get with his child; of how she heard his lover give him a son; of the scorns she received for not giving him an child; of the pain, so much pain, that she had to endure when he came her at last, to force her to fulfill her duty.
He listened to her quietly, his heart breaking over and over again at the sound of her voice, the story that had been caged in her chest for so long waiting to be heard.
And when she was done, he mounted to unit with her again, laying tender touches on the body that was as fertile as the soil she was laying down upon. Rich and young, filled with life.
He asked her then, if she wanted to give life.
'Only yours' she whispered, leaving it to the fate to decide.
They came one morning, four horseman shrouded in red and black.
One was the one-eyed man.
The other three the friends he lost long ago.
They looked at him with steeled eyes.
"The time has come." The one-eyed man said to him.
He threw the long sword the Fisherman thought had lost long go.
"It's time to raise it again, to take what is yours by right."
They left him by the doorstep of the hut, with the long-sword resting on dirt and glaring back at him.
He went to her for one final time before he left. Meeting her by the very rock they had seen each other for the first time.
She was dressed in green. For him, who had told her how he loved the color on her.
He drew her into the waters, letting the cold ripples surround them and loved her in the very lake that bound them together from the start.
She let the Fisherman guide her as she hung at his neck, and let the waters sanctify his words as he whispered that she is his for life.
They were both nineteen.
The Fisherman left at dawn.
And she, the Lady of the Lake, sank at the banks of his very home looking to the west where he said his home once was.
"I will come for you!" He'd said before he disappeared into the mists.
She was twenty when they came. A large army behind the portcullis, heralding their support for the very man who called himself her husband as the red army drew closer across his lands.
She watched with sadness as the waters of the lake turned dark with blood. The revolting smell of rotting bodies was all she felt from the waters she so revered.
Her eyes still looked where the sun end its journey, over the lake in search of a Fisherman who had gone long ago.
They came when the sun was up and sky at its bluest. The men clad in red and black, carrying the slayed body of the lord and master of the castle-town and laying it by her feet.
She watched the dead man's crushed faced as they removed his broken helmet, and ordered for the slayed to be removed and buried away.
She was wife to a Fisherman.
The man before him was a stranger.
A lost face.
A fallen soldier like any other.
She mourned him like any other man who had fallen by the city gates nonetheless.
The husband of a young girl she knew from long ago.
She was wife to a Fisherman.
She went and stayed at his little home, everyday looking into the waters and waiting for him to come home.
He came at dawn, as he had left long ago, while she stood gazing into the lake.
He came from land unlike what she was expecting. Behind him rode the four horsemen.
His faithful servants.
They watched in silence as their lord went down his horse and walked toward the banks of the lake, to the ethereal enchantress with long golden hair.
She seemed like a ghost in the morning mist, almost one with the lake in her green dress, so beautiful and calm against the ripples of the water.
The Fisherman stood before her, gazing into the sun in her eyes, one that he had missed every day.
"I've come to take you home, my lady." He kissed her knuckle with reverence.
"This is my home, my lord." She muttered between tears.
He looked at her for a moment, wearing nothing but smile. "Then I'll make home here if my lady wills."
The four horsemen watched quietly, as the Fisherman went to hold the Lady of the Lake in his arms.
He carried her to his steed and made a turn for the very for the home he wanted to build.
"I am sorry for all you had to endure." He whispered to her as she laid her face against his chest.
"It was nothing!"
"I knew you'd come home."