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Finding a Balance

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Standard Disclaimer: All characters belong to Studio Dive to Dream Sea and Myung-Jin-Lee. Tokyopop is in there as well. I'm just borrowing them, I'll put them back when I'm done.

It was funny, once she thought about it long enough.

It was like some kind of great, cosmic joke had been played on her by the Gods and the fates. That she could have waited a thousand years, only to find Balder beside… someone else.

Of course, she told herself time and time again, He doesn't remember anything about being Balder… least of all me.

And it worked, most of the time. She was able to continue on their journey, convincing herself that it really didn't matter, that his safety was more important then some forgotten memories a thousand years gone.

Every battle they fought was another part of the journey, another step towards saving the world and everyone in it. Another step towards Balder's slowly returning memory.

And every so often, she would wish there was no one in the way, that Iris would meet with an unfortunate accident during the course of a fight, and leave Balder—Chaos, now,— alone.

And she would hate herself for those thoughts, because, as she told herself, it really doesn't matter and I only want Chaos to be happy, and if it means that someone else will take the place I once held, then that was alright, and I really didn't care that much anyways, and I'm sure we'd both be better off with someone else and—her thoughts always ended there.

But other times, when the night washed over the sky, and all fell still, she would look up at the stars and wish things were different. She had waited for him, searched for him, protected him;

Died for him, the small voice inside her would whisper, causing shivers up her spine as she remembered.

She hadn't really thought about the consequences, at the time. She had only seen the man she loved standing tall on the battlefield, laughing as death rode towards him in the shape of steel and spells. She hadn't thought twice about pushing in front of him, protecting him with everything she had, abandoning all thoughts of duty and responsibility. She had sacrificed herself so he could live.

And she had failed. As her life had ebbed away, he had fallen. Her last clear memory had been the look on his face as he'd been run through.

She tried not to think about it.

There were times when she wished she hadn't been reincarnated at all. Like when Chaos would laugh and smile and Iris's jokes, reach up his hand to brush hair off her face, let his fingers linger a moment too long… that's when she wished that none of this had ever happened.

Because, even after a thousand years of separation, it still hurt. And even if he didn't remember anything about her, and even if he didn't believe her when she told him she knew him, and even if he never thought about her in that way again, she still loved him.

And she knew she couldn't leave him.

So she had to find a balance. Because it wasn't really practical to be mooning over a man when people's lives were on the line. The mission came first, and that was all that mattered.

Being torn between love and duty was something Fenris Fenrir knew well. And she knew that this time she would choose duty. She would travel with Chaos, help him, protect him:

Watch him as he falls in love with another woman, as you lose any chance whatsoever of getting him back, have to live with the knowledge that he doesn't need you now and never really needed you to begin with, and doesn't even remember that—she forced herself to stop thinking.

After all, Ragnarok was more important then the problems of an amnesic former god and his forgotten lover. And there were countless obstacles that still needed to be eliminated.

So Fenris would say nothing, and push all thoughts of the past out of her mind, concentrating on the mission. That was the only way she could really cope, between the never ending journey that stretched out ahead and the painful memories that lay behind.

It was an uneasy peace, but it was the only way she could trust herself to concentrate. The situation was quickly worsening, and Fenris knew that. And that was why she had to choose.

But she didn't laugh at the position she was in. The gods—or what was left of them—had put her here, for one reason or another. And although it seemed funny, she wasn't laughing.