A/N: Third installment of seven of this angsty bit of drama… god, now I sound like J.K. Rowling… not like that's a bad thing. And Deathmask could easily swap notes with Voldem- (slaps self) No, LSN! NO! NO HARRY POTTER CROSSOVERS! Anyways, thanks to everyone who took a look at this earlier.

His grave had no mourners… although it very easily could have had at least one. Instead, a solitary figure in gold learned back, wondering if a sudden downpour would be considered pathetic fallacy…

Cancer Deathmask snorted at the thought, the assassin of Sanctuary enjoying the quiet of the graves. In most cases, Pope "Shion", although Deathmask knew the truth behind the name, would send a Silver Saint or two to dispatch with any troublemakers. That was what they were meant for. But in case of Sanctuary's infamous and often-loathed Cancer Saint, there was one man that was sent to do the dirty tasks when even Silver Saints failed.

Maybe that was why he was stoically waiting here rather than talking with Saga up stairs and discussing necessary affairs with the rightful Pope. Then again, he always did consider himself soft… inflicting pain to his victims to let them know they were still alive, to give them focus whereas Aphrodite's roses caused you to just fade away. Occasionally, Deathmask wondered what the "mask" part of his nickname alluded to.

The Cancer Saint chuckled to himself… he was a killer. Nothing more. If anyone else saw otherwise, then-

"Come on, come out already." Sensing his quarry had caused Deathmask to get out of his angsty mood… and also focus on the present. The boy that walked out of the temple towards the graves was the one Deathmask had suspected, counted on. Then again, he was only three years younger than him.



There was obvious tension between the two… one the brother of a traitor, the other the infamously bloody and sadistic villain of Sanctuary. Aiolia himself was not yet the Leo Saint, but the position was very much assured considering his strength.

"What do you want?" Aiolia eventually said. Deathmask shrugged.

"You've been visiting your brother's grave a lot, haven't you?" Deathmask said, pointing at Aiolia. He knew it could very easily be the preparation for being sent to the gates of Hades, but nothing came of it. Aiolia didn't really expect it, either.

"And if I do?" Aiolia said, walking by him with a few flowers.

"First of all…" Deathmask said, "Are those Aphrodite's? He's been wondering where they went… he really gets upset and it's really just not nice and-" Deathmask corrected himself… that bishonen asshole had a way of screwing up people. He heard that the Lacerta Saint used to be a stone-cold badass…

"Second of all?"


"I said 'second of all'. If you say 'first of all', then there's usually a point that follows it, or are you just that dumb?"

"Oh… yeah…" Deathmask said. "Second of all… I don't give a damn, but if you're going to do it regularly, then you need to actually need to be more covert about it."

"Like you actually give a damn about that?" Aiolia scoffed as he walked past him. He was surprised Pope Shion had allowed Aiolos to receive a proper grave worthy of a Gold Saint.

"Well, it's not like I hate the guy or anything… seemed a decent enough guy," Deathmask said. He turned in time to see Aiolia staring at him, as if that was the most shocking thing Aiolia ever heard. "What? Stop looking at me like that!"

"Sorry… I guess…" Aiolia said as he walked away.

With Mu still MIA, Aldebaran snoring softly in his temple while cuddling up to a large plush Jigglypuff, and Saga still on whatever weird mission Pope Shion had given him, Aiolia knew only one Gold Saint would be there to congratulate him on finally acquiring a Gold Cloth.

Well… congratulate might not be the appropriate word, but it was close enough.

"You finally made Leo Saint?"

"What… you think I stole this?"

"I dunno…" a lesser Saint would have been tempted to take a cheap shot at Aiolia's relative and make a line along the lines of "guilty by association", but Deathmask didn't think it was necessary. "How hard was the fight?"

"Easy enough… going to take a look around my temple and decide what to bring up."

"Eh… an easy trick is to just teleport stuff from the entrance of a temple to the exit, lug it up to the next one, and repeat the process."

"Of course, telekinesis would make all that unnecessary…" Aiolia countered, Deathmask scowling at him for a moment.

One pair of battle-cries later, the two Gold Saints charged, wishing to test the idea of a fight between them either lasting a split-second or a thousand days… the force of the impact as their absurdly dense skulls smashing together knocking many of Deathmask's ceramic replica faces off onto the ground.

Both of them lay there, in a daze, staring up at the ceiling.

"Of course, you can't give so much shit to the Pope anymore. Gotta set an example and everything."

"'Course I can… you just can't cut me as much slack."

A moment of silence existed between them as the cold shower of Reality poured down on them. Aiolia promptly spoke up again afterwards. "You're still not going to tell me anything, are you?"

"Not a word. I have my reasons."

Aiolia sighed. "Well, it was worth a shot…" He sat up, Deathmask shrugging before looking around, confused. "Your headpiece is over there."

Deathmask quickly saw where Aiolia was pointing and picked it up. "Oh… thanks… heh. And besides…" he shrugged, "Expected you to ask anyways."

"Whatever…" Aiolia said, walking by him before noticing the misplaced masks. "Oh, sorry about that… I… know how much they mean to you…"

"What… those? I'll just fill out the mail-in order thing again."

Aiolia nodded. "For the sadistic assassin of Sanctuary, you have an odd habit of torturing yourself this way."

"I've made my choice in life, and I can handle the stress," Deathmask said. "Better me than some emotionally fragile newbie."

Aiolia nodded and started up to his temple. "Sure. The movie is at nine… don't miss it."

Aiolia checked the burning clock again… the fact that innocent blood had been spilled by his hands less than six hours ago still frightened him. Seiya and the others were still fighting up there… battling for their lives while he was still shaken by the death of a good man.

He had seen Shaina's face… he wondered how the woman could ever forgive him… He recalled she had often thought highly of him… one of the two Grecian Gold Saints that currently resided in Sanctuary. Seeing her look at him like that, the shock in her voice…

As he began walking down to the Cancer Temple, he suspected the Cancer Saint would have the foresight to leave a certain object behind for him. Hell, they were literally next door neighbors… if anyone would have realized he had been affected by the Pope's Genromaoken, then Deathmask would.

The temple, once Aiolia reached it, was bare… the masks seemingly destroyed. "You found your peace… Deathmask…" Aiolia sighed. The man that had to bear the brunt of being Sanctuary's villain… to do the dirty work so nobody else would have to. The first man that gave a damn about him after Aiolos's death except for Shura. The first man that congratulated him on becoming a Gold Saint. The man that, unlike Aphrodite, never justified killing by saying "Oh, well… they didn't feel any pain, so it's okay."

The man that had to die taking the dirty truth of the Pope's replacement to the grave just due to friendship. And he didn't even have a body left to bury.

"The strength you showed…" Aiolia said as he used his Cosmos to locate Deathmasks's last little gift to his friend, "I'll honor you by not shirking away from my sins."

He took the mask of Cassios's face, walked back to his temple, and placed it on his wall.

The tentacles were just too tight… if Aiolia had to credit the Specter… he fought fair. One on one… he was going to die at least to a real man.

Laimi's finish blow was coming in… he wondered if Deathmask's victims suffered fates like this… against an enemy that seemed so malevolent, so cruel…

By some chance, Aiolia managed to squirm away from an untimely death… but the sound of a pillar shattering behind him caused his blood to boil.

That was the one that…

Aiolia didn't bother checking… considering the rubble, there wouldn't be anything left. The bindings didn't matter any more… he understood now…

You wanted to die so many times… Aiolia thought, the anger and the strength welling up inside of him as he broke free. You respected strength… power… and the fact that people will fight so much harder against a malevolent reaper than a loving angel of death was your only hope…

Laimi was coming at him. It didn't matter. That goddamn son of a bitch Specter was as good as dead.

"Lightning Plasma."

A/N: Added the Laimi part at the end since it adds poetic justice to this all. As much as I like Laimi and think he's a nice guy for not letting everyone gang up on Aiolia, the bugger just had to take one for the literary team.