Lir contemplates the meaning of a word and the consequences of actions. There are a lot of "her"s in this story- I hope you can keep them straight. I do not own The Last Unicorn.Based on the book. By that I mean I took the girl that Schmendrick sends after Lir at the end and fleshed out her character somewhat. Mostly pointless rambling with the seemings of a plot. Let me know what you think.

"Reflections on Love, Dreams of Immortality"

Love.

What a strange word. So small, so simple, yet so full of import.

I love her. I told him it did not matter what form he gave her- I love whom I love. Ah, but living that love... That is something else entirely.

We both have responsibilities. Whenever I looked in her eyes, I could see those she protected waiting for her return. I could see the generations of those who would live without the magic of unicorns if she failed.

And I must rebuild this kingdom, left to me by a man I thought of as my father and containing a people I never claimed as my own. I must find a wife and get an heir. Schmendrick, the crafty old goat, beat me to that one. If he'd been around to ask I'm sure he would have babbled some nonsense about getting right back on the horse, and spurred me on by calling on my honor and telling me to honor my calling. She obviously was in need of a hero.

But I wanted to savor what I'd had, what I'd so recently lost, so I looked upon his gift with resentment. I helped her- could any hero have done less? But that was it. I was understandably surprised when, six months later, she showed up on my crumbling doorstep, finding myself and several men from the village stripped to the waist and trying to wrestle some semblance of a dwelling from a pile of rocks. I blushed and stammered and she politely averted her eyes while I scrounged a shirt. I noticed at once that she was there on more than a passing fancy- the men of her escort seemed to know more about building than guarding ladies, and when she mentioned, casually, that her tailor would love to add the styles of her own country to my wardrobe the man was rather well supplied for a day excursion. I accepted her aid willingly if slightly warily. The castle needed to be built, and I could not continue to wear other people's cast off clothing. My "wardrobe" was currently at the bottom of the bay and headed out to sea, along with the rest of whatever Haggard's castle had contained.

I knew she wanted something for what she gave me. I had no money, and only the shreds of a country. She told me, one evening while she watched the waves through her long lashes as they rolled crashing away from the land, that all she'd ever wanted from life was a room with an ocean view.

What could I do? She had given me everything- could I deny her anything she asked? To my great joy and surprise, I came to care for her and genuinely love her as much, or maybe more, than I had ever loved anything before. At first I was confused, and I berated myself for my betrayal of her memory. But when our daughter was born I had only to look at her, then at her mother, and suddenly the world seemed to grow larger and love was magnified and multiplied in its importance and grandeur. Love was no longer something that could be contained or limited to any one face. We named her Amalthia, for it was Amalthia who first taught me love.

If I'd have known how memories stay with you, I would not have pushed her away that first time. But then, perhaps it was my resistance that made her so determined. I'm really not sure, if I could go back and change things, if I would. Everything works together, and time is an endless river where the sediment is carried down from before and all things are built upon the past. I swear I heard her laugh when I thought that.

But the river tends to wipe out, smooth over the older parts that lie furthest from the new path being cut. I remember what it was like to love her, but I have forgotten how it felt to hold her. The pain of losing her still haunts me daily, though sometimes I have forgotten its name and it wears other guises. I know soon the memory will be only a warm place in my heart and I will have forgotten her entirely. She will not forget, and this sends a chill through me. To have caused her the pain that haunts me daily, for all of eternity... But it is a chill of strange joy as well, for what man has not dreamt of immortality?