gilgamesh had never before thought about how brief his time might have been. he'd been an arrogant child of the gods and then was suddenly spurned by them for challenging their rule and their entire way of thinking. he got too powerful for them, too unruly, too independent, and the second he was no longer fulfilling what they thought his role should be, they became bitter. none so bitter as ishtar, it seemed, who was willing to punish him for rejecting her; he rejected most people, and his lovers back in uruk had been minimal in comparison to what he did here now. he didn't need the mana back then, and laying with gilgamesh was a privilege for anyone he decided was worthy. normally, he was too busy collecting and keeping uruk safe to bother. but he had known what ishtar was capable of, knew that he would have lost every will to do anything, be anything; he would have fallen at her feet, a broken and unmotivated man. that sort of life wasn't for someone like him—she thought he should have considered it an honor. an honor to be turned to nothing? not likely. ishtar and her father could have taken his divinity, his immortality. they could have drained the gates of babylon, his entire life's work. there were so many other ways to hurt him and the whore goddess had managed to hit gilgamesh in that chink in his carefully crafted golden armor. she'd dug her filthy claws right into the very thing that had made him more human and took it from him; a most precious treasure that, frankly, was never actually his to have in the first place. he'd never seen enkidu as an object, as much as the golem had insisted he treat him as a tool. enkidu had been the first person gil had cared for other than himself, and he may not have cried on enkidu's death bed, but he mourned the rest of his life. in his own way, sure, by throwing himself into things with anger and bitterness, by ruling with more of an iron fist than he had before, and driving his people into hatred for their king. and, at the end of it, was a snake that stole his immortality from him and, honestly, gil was glad for death when it finally came to him. he had thought that, perhaps, he'd be able to see his friend in whatever afterlife would be provided for them, but he had not. he'd been lost in nothing, thrown into the grail, and given as a servant to serve in wars over and over again. it wasn't fair to enkidu what happened to him, and gil had grieved in his own way. that was very different from what he was doing now.
frankly, gil wasn't even aware that the heat on his cheeks was his own, that it was salt and water of his own design and not the rain he could feel building overhead. it was joy that welled in him, maybe a little bit of disbelief. gilgamesh still held his divinity, he knew that, even though this body was fully mortal and he possessed all his same powers. this body was fragile, perhaps not weak, but he bled and he could break bones, and he could die very easily. not without a fight, of course, but death was still something that could easily come to him. maybe death would be nice at this point, an actual death to put him out of his misery. though, for what it was worth, gilgamesh loved being alive. not that he feared death, there was nothing to fear, he'd seen it already, but there was a lot to be done while you were alive. in his chest he felt a heaviness, a tightness, and maybe he still didn't fully believe that enkidu could be here. but there were none of their gods here to play tricks on them. he was more willing to believe that this was real and that both of them were allowed, finally, to exist on the same plane. it was a perfect feeling, enkidu's fingers lightly on his skin; he hadn't opened his eyes yet, but he felt the minute shift in the atmosphere around them, in the strange density of it, and let red eyes flutter open. he had to blink a few times to clear his vision and it was then, with stunning clarity, he found that he was crying. the sensation was so unfamiliar to gilgamesh that he was almost afraid of the intimacy of the action itself. he'd never been upset enough to allow himself this vulnerable luxury, even enkidu's death, while it had tugged every heartstring he had and made him sick with grief and guilt, he hadn't felt it a cause for tears. they were something he couldn't afford. but this wasn't the same life, he wasn't the same person, as much as he wanted to boast and brag he was still the same gilgamesh as he'd always been. humbled, by no means, he'd seen so much more of their old world, of suffering and the pittance of humans; this place would likely be no different, but his role in it was new. no grail wars, no need to fight, he could indulge and be himself, and he could live, this time, with kirei without the need to eventually be summoned to war. they could wreak some havoc on this world, of that the king was sure.
"you dare tell the king of heroes what he is to find worthy, now?" he asked, though there was no bite to his question, despite how offended he would be were it anyone else. fingers in his hair, light as they'd always been, and enkidu's overwhelmingly calming presence set him at ease, and he lightly nuzzled himself in further, eyes shutting again to bask in it. he had felt powerful before, even more so upon finding kirei, now he knew, without a doubt, that he would be unmatched. taking a breath that was meant to calm, though it stuttered in his chest. talk of being lonely was a sore subject for him, and he was silent for a long moment. tipping his head up a little, his lips brushed the other's forehead and gil knew, without a doubt, that with two incredibly important people back in his life, he felt complete. enkidu had been one half of a whole, some piece he hadn't known he'd been missing until the gods had given it to him. upon enkidu's death, he'd been missing that piece for thousands of years. kirei was not quite a missing puzzle piece, but he was instrumental in some part of gilgamesh's life; he had yet to figure out just what role he'd give the priest, but he knew that they were meant to remain together as one whole unit rather than apart. would he admit that loneliness greeted him like an old friend? never. "you give yourself much credit for a simple clod of mud," he murmured, still no power behind it, no ill-will intended. it was likely that his tears alone would speak volumes for how he'd missed his friend, and some of that guilt at being the reason enkidu perished was dissipating and leaving lightness in its wake instead. "it is set to rain, this body will fall ill under the wrong circumstances. shall we go home then?" strange, that he might find some solace in the word 'home'; home was where he set himself up, yes, but not this home—with the priest and the clod of mud—would feel more like somewhere he would like to stay.
gil never shuts up