A/N: This idea kinda came out of nowhere. I was thinking about while I was working on "In The Midst of the Storm". The idea was partially inspired by Quistis's talk with Squall toward the beginning of Final Fantasy VIII. I hope you all like it! Enjoy!
In A Hopeless Place
Days had passed since Abaddon the Destroyer had been defeated and the Four Horsemen had reunited. The Riders regrouped on Earth, near the Anvil's Forge, contemplating a new strategy. The best plan they had, so far, was to take their battle directly to the Charred Council for their betrayal and worry about everything else as it came along. But even attacking the Council was something required a lot of planning before going in.
One night, War was sitting alone outside, keeping watch for any enemies and contemplating all that had happened, when he heard something fly in the sky.
Or, rather, someone.
War looked up and saw Uriel flying overhead. She circled around and landed in front of War.
"Uriel," War greeted, remaining seated.
"War," Uriel said in return.
"What are you doing here?" He remembered what she said to him when they last met. "Has the order been given? Have you come to complete a mission?"
"No. No one knows I'm here."
War stared at her, contemplatively.
"I speak the truth, War," Uriel declared, seeing his uncertainty. She spread her arms out, "I swear that to you."
Uriel was a lot of things, but War knew for a fact that she was not a liar.
He nodded. "Very well."
"May I sit?" she asked.
They sat in silence for a while, simply observing the landscape and the sky. Despite what War thought he should feel and what he would admit, for some reason, just sitting with Uriel felt nice. Even comforting. Something about her presence brought him peace.
But he was left very curious.
"Why are you here, Uriel?" War asked.
Uriel looked at him, then back at the landscape. "What has happened?"
"What do you mean?"
"To us. The humans. The world. What has…" She stopped. "Why… has this all happened?"
"I cannot say," he replied. "I… cannot give you any reason."
"I've lost the White City. You've lost the Charred Council."
"I'm probably better off with losing the Council."
"Perhaps," she agreed. "But… the loss the White City…"
"You'll find your way back there," he said.
Uriel turned to him, suddenly, "That's something I must know."
"Why are you being kind to me?"
"I am not sure as I would classify it as being kind."
"But that's what it is!" Uriel raised to her feet. She started to pace, "I swore to you I would kill you! I swore I would have vengeance against you for what you did to Abaddon. And you! You fought against me! My soldiers! You killed my soldiers! Slaughtered entire ranks!"
"Not my proudest moment," War confessed.
"In my challenge to you… you insulted me by not going through with your word."
"You know my reasons for…"
"That's not the point!" Uriel interrupted. "You insulted me! Belittled me!" She drew her sword. "Time! And time again!"
"I did what was necessary," War reminded. "I had to find the truth behind the seals being broken."
"Perhaps. But you still attacked me. You killed my soldiers. You nearly killed me! And…" Uriel began to calm down, "and… you spared me. You… even saved me. Despite all of my promises to kill you… you still spared me."
"I did," War replied. "I already explained to you why. You were not my enemy. Not truly. Not then." He eyed her sword then looked back at her. "Has that changed?"
Uriel's grip on her sword tightened.
War narrowed his eyes.
Uriel stared into War's eyes until her gaze softened. Then her grip on the sword loosened until the blade dropped to the ground.
War was shocked at the gesture, jerking his head back.
"No," Uriel declared. "It hasn't."
War narrowed his eyes, "Uriel?"
"I failed. I lost. I lost it all, War."
"You haven't," War said.
"I have," Uriel argued. "Because… I believed in someone… I shouldn't have. Even loved him. I cannot return to my home. I'm doing all I can to keep my command together and encouraged but… I do not know how much longer I can keep up this pretense. And… I'm… just… so tired. My faith is shaken, nearly broken." She sighed, pressing her hand to her forehead. She lowered her hand and exhaustingly gazed back at War. "I am so very tired, War."
War thought about all she just said. He never thought he would see the day Uriel, of all people, would lose her faith.
"This ordeal wasn't your fault," War reassured. "None of it was your doing." He thought back. "However… I do understand. We've all lost faith in something."
Uriel looked away, regrettably, before looking back at War. "I apologize. I… I didn't realize all you've lost in this ordeal as well."
"Lost… with no possibility of getting it back. Perhaps that's for the best." War stepped toward her. "You still have a chance."
"It doesn't matter. Not anymore."
"No, you're wrong."
Uriel stared at him.
"Everything you do matters," he declared. "You've faithfully served the White City and the Creator, despite all you've been through."
"And that's supposed to matter? I'm still trapped here."
"We all are. For now."
Uriel shook her head, "I'm just so tired, War. I just can't see the end to this. And… it's beginning to break me."
"I understand," War replied. "But if I've learned anything… after all we've been through… the situations are far more complicated than we believe. And I can't imagine any command or holy ruler who would cast aside a dedicated, fearless warrior like you. And as for your weariness, there is no one who could not understand that."
Uriel could hear a lot in his voice. An almost compassionate tone; at least, as close as War could come to a compassionate tone.
"I must ask again, why do you care so much, War?" Uriel asked.
"Why are you questioning it?" War asked in return.
Uriel paused. "I…" She sighed. "You know why. It's hard to trust… anyone or anything… after Abaddon's betrayal. Before he betrayed us… I didn't know anyone with more honor than him. But… since his death… I realized someone has far more honor than he did." She stared into War's eyes. "You."
War jerked his head back. "Now, there, I question your judgment."
"You shouldn't." Uriel stepped toward him. "You let me live. Regardless of your reasons, you owed me nothing. You owed me absolutely nothing."
"But I knew you better than the rest of my pursuers," War replied. "Your reasons for hunting me… are reasons I honestly understood. Despite the circumstances, I was to blame for what happened."
"No," Uriel said, immediately. "You were not. You were…" She paused. "…innocent."
"That is a strong word."
He stared at her. "To answer your question… I care… because you are not a mindless monster or a conniving schemer. You are an honorable warrior. A strong commander. I believed in you. And, if I were to fall to anyone's blade, I prefer it be yours."
"Better to fall to the blade of a true soldier than foolish, power-hungry coward."
She smiled a little. She took a moment to look around, then taking a deep breath. She took another step toward him. "War. I don't know… why… we are both here… at this seemingly hopeless place in time. But… I no longer see the… futility of this battle… as I did moments ago. And, I have you to thank for that."
"Me?" War asked.
Uriel nodded. "You're far… kinder than I was expecting. And it… helps reaffirm my hope."
"I apologize, War. I'm not… trying to say more than I should. But I had to… let out the rage and despair… so it wouldn't erupt at… less than convenient time."
"That, I can understand," War admitted.
"But, despite my rage, I have never forgotten my duty… because of you. Thank you. For your bravery and your honor. For your…" She took a deep breath. "…your kindness."
"I'm not sure that's a quality I possess."
"I know for a fact that it is." She stared into his eyes. "I don't know where this road will lead us but… I hope… and pray… it is road that will lead to victory for us all… and to you being safe."
"Safe was never an option for me," he replied.
"Nor I. But… if anyone has earned it… you have."
"You have a strong soul, Uriel." War looked down at her sword. He picked it up. "Stronger than most. Perhaps one of the strongest of all. Do not forget that. You're one of the few constants in this. Your power to hope, your faith and bravery, and your commitment to fight on… inspires others." He presented her sword to her. "I know it is an arduous task you face. But you must remain strong. For your soldiers, for yourself. Please… I implore you… do not lose hope."
Uriel stared at the sword. "I promise." She took the sword from him. She stared into his eyes. "Thank you, War."
"Would… there be another chance… for us to talk again? Alone?"
"Is that what you want?" War asked.
"It is," Uriel replied.
War nodded. "Very well. Until we meet again."
"Until we meet again."
Uriel lifted up and flew off into the air. She smiled as she sailed through the sky.
War watched her until she was out of sight. He turned and walked on.
With small grin forming on his face.
A/N: I still have some plans for Darksiders chapter story but I can't guarantee when I'll be able to get to it. For now, I hope you all enjoyed these one-shots. Hopefully, I can do some more one-shots soon. Thanks, everyone! See you next time!