“I am not the only creature to both live and die, angel. They have long since been blinded by time, but if they looked a little closer, they would not need a gift from me to see what they have to share. You spend much time with them both?”
“Then you would know best, would you not? Perhaps better than I, unless you have died and lived many times as I have?”
“If I have, I don’t remember any of it,” Forgiveness admitted.
For some reason, the phoenix seemed mollified by this, though she continued on as though there had been no doubt. “Without the cacophony of changing forms, you have spent much time with Life and Death. You have seen them occupy the same space?”
Forgiveness nodded again.
“You would know best, would you not? How they do not affect each other at a distance? How destructive they are upon reality when they are close together? Things which are not alive don’t know what to make of near death. Things which are dead do not know what to do with returning life. Yet, at the very crux of it, when touching?”
This time when she extended her wings, it was simply to display her full splendor. The beauty of a phoenix. A gesture she would make at any time in her life. The meeting point of Life and Death.
“Thank you,” said the angel
“Go with this gift, but forget not who gave it to you. Whether in this life or another, I will wish the favour returned, angel. I may lose the occasional detail, but I do not forget what I am owed.”
Not likely to forget such a thing within their own life, Forgiveness climbed back down the volcano. The warmth of the phoenix’s gift gave them the strength where they might not have had it before. Nevertheless, returning to where Life or Death would be might take some time. There were the places that Forgiveness knew well, but the world was vast. While Life and Death might traverse all of it, the angel had yet to do so. Finding either might take longer than finding a phoenix had.