((I already broke the 'I'm not making anyone new' rule...and then made her the girlfriend of a canon character...and so I give you this...a short, possibly one-shot piece tying into Zaf's storyline...
Edited because I realised Sult was married.))
Bernard had been on holiday in Germany when all the chaos back home had started. The moment he got home, he was called to the Sanctuary and given an update on the situation. As an administrator, he had a duty to at least help organise and orchestrate things a little. He walked out into the street and took out his phone. This was the last night before the battle. Possibly the last battle he would ever see if he chose to take part, and he was actually seriously considering it. Part of him couldn't believe he had missed the disappearance of Kerias, for two different reasons. One was the disaster for the Sanctuary it had imposed, the second was that he had never liked her. Even so, he had to admit she was running things well and was good at making the right calls. It was dark out, about 8pm. That meant it would be 2:00 in the morning where she was. She would not be happy.
Rabe Behinderung had been having a wonderful dream. She was strolling through a beautiful icy paradise with pink unicorns and water that tasted like lemonade. Naturally no-one would hear about this slightly punky girl's girly side. She did have a tattoo of a pale pink unicorn riding on a cloud trailing a sparkly rainbow surrounded by hearts going from her left shoulder, looping round down her arm to her wrist, and that sort of gave it away to her boyfriend. She got a rather rude awakening from her wonderful dream when the tattoo unicorn opened its mouth and belted out a crude rendition of Nena's '99 Red Balloons'. She raised her head off her pillow and glared at her clock, then at her phone. "Bernard, this had better be good." She snarled down the line once she had answered. His voice came back, sounding tired and strained, a little sorrowful...and scared.
"It is, I promise. Aren't time differences just the best thing about long-distance relationships?"
"Get on with it. Wahrheit needs me in early tomorrow. I want a decent amount of sleep."
"By tomorrow, do you mean later today?"
"Hey, be happy for me, I'm phoning someone in the future."
She smiled, but kept the anger well embedded in her tone. "Well done you. Now get on with it." There was a morose sigh and Rabe softened her tone. "What's wrong, you demented puppy?"
"A war's begun, Rabe. The fight starts so soon...and I plan to be a part of it..."
"You're an administrator, Dep, not a fighter."
"I can be both!" He whined. The German Sorceress smiled, brushing some of her scraggly purple hair out of her face.
"No, you really can't. You'll be dead within the first five seconds, Bernie."
She knew he was being serious. She wasn't calling him Dep or Demented Puppy anymore. Those were her pet names for him. He could tell she was taking him seriously now because she actually called him by name. "You have so little faith in me, yet you have never seen me fight."
"I have never seen you as much of a fighter."
"Trust me, I'll be fine. I just wanted to hear your voice again before the fighting started."
"Bernard, please don't!"
"I'll be back, I promise."
"You can't promise that! That's a stupid promise! You can't make promises like that in a war!"
Bernard winced. "Don't make a fuss." He moaned. Secretly he was glad she was making such a fuss. It was reassuring. Showed she really cared. "This fight needs to happen, and the more people involved, the better."
"But why you? We both know what will happen."
"No. No we don't. We really don't. We know a possibility, but no-one knows for sure what will happen."
"Okay...if you get out of there alive, I'll kill you myself for making me worry."
"I'll be looking forward to it."
"Stay as safe as you can. I love you." She disconnected and went back to sleep. He sighed, put his phone away and headed back to the Sanctuary for debriefing.
Melantha Mirth waited for him by the front. "One of your friends said you were getting yourself into a fight. A war."
"Not the one you've been sleeping with, is it?" He hissed vehemently. Mel glared.
"We are not going back into that, Bern. I don't want you to die fighting when it isn't even your job."
"I'm making it my job, Mel. I don't want to sit back and twiddle my damn thumbs while others fight and die for the future of the entire damn world."
Mirth looked like she was about to cry. She stepped forward and enveloped her husband in a tight hug. A fat tear rolled down her cheek. "I'm a better fighter than you ever were."
"Shuddup." He murmured in response. "You're just annoyed because I'm putting my fighting skills to use and you just use yours to win arguments about stuff off cheesy soaps."
"You don't have fighting skills, so don't push it." She pushed him away and took a good look at him.
"I have a meeting."
"And I have a cold." He laughed, moved around her and went inside. "How'd the business in Germany go?"
"It went fine." He replied as a ball of guilt began to form in his chest. Mirth was following him. She didn't work for the Sanctuary, but she had been called in as a fighter. They had the same meeting to get to. The same things to prepare for. They sat at the back, listening intently to the newest set of instructions given to them, taking them in with some mental preparation. Their hands locked within each other's, each giving a reassuring squeeze. Finally they went home, spending the final night together as a husband and wife would. Early next morning they would assemble with the other fighters.