Summary: He was such a paradox: he was a warrior, yet he strove for peace. He was a recluse at times, yet he was such a good friend nonetheless. Our bond was forbidden…but I loved him anyway. One-shot.

A/N: I know I'm going to get flames for this, and if you don't know why, you'll see at the end. I've got marshmallows for s'mores ready and waiting. Bring 'em on, baby!

WARNING: note the rating, k?

Disclaimer: Brian Jacques. Enough said.

I still remember him. His scent, his voice, and every kiss, every caress, every single move he made. He was always so gentle with me; I would never quite understand that paradox. He, a warrior born and bred, probably born with the knowledge of how to wield a sword, yet the gentlest creature ever to grace these woods.

I remember when I first met him, how he looked, moved, spoke. He wasn't like other creatures I'd known. He spoke eloquently, wisely, even if he was a little brash. All warriors are like that, I suppose. But that first time he smiled, my heart melted! I felt a strange fire rise up inside me when he first touched my paw, spilling over me in a wave of heat, soft as a breath and yet as petrifying as frost on a windowpane.

Breath still catches in my throat whenever I remember him. I wonder sometimes whether he had any lovers before me, and how they must have felt upon first sighting this…this angel, this ethereal spirit; he couldn't have been real, I told myself.

I was cheerful and friendly towards him, and fine, I suppose I flirted a little bit, thinking he was a warrior and wouldn't get it—they are often so dense that they wouldn't know flirting if I kicked them in the tail. Not this one. He was like no other. He was intelligent, dogged and dedicated beyond measure. That sword he always carried an instant reminder of his past sufferings and lost friends.

I had wished that he would be like an open book to me, that somehow our relationship would deepen beyond mere platonic feelings of friendship. I never expected it to actually happen.

We were caught alone one blissfully quiet night. He was on edge in the woodlands, his brown eyes scanning the darkness, as if waiting for something to jump out. I wanted to put his mind at ease; I reached out and took his paw, trying to reassure him.

I confess that I don't rightly remember the words we said, but what I certainly remember was the instant his lips brushed against mine. It was a shock, but it felt so…wonderful. His lips were bruised and chapped, but to me, they were perfect, all of what made him so exceptional. Our kiss deepened, and surprise of surprises, I felt his tongue slide into my mouth. I gasped and melted into his embrace, his muscled arms wrapping around me like a security blanket.

I had never felt such elation, such ecstasy before that night. His kisses were like a narcotic that I couldn't get enough of, his caresses as intoxicating as any drink.

Not too long after that night did we make love for the first time. It may have been nothing more than fumbled touching and sloppy kisses of the type that adolescents and first-timers enjoy, but to me it was oh so magical.

As I looked into his eyes I saw the fire of his passion, and all of it was geared to me. Me. His one and only. As we reached that point of no return, and I think I heard three small words, but it could have been my imagination.

As fondly as I remember our first time; I regretfully remembered our last as well.

It was the day before the big event was to happen, and I was shaking with nervousness. He had come to me, offered an ear to listen, a hand to hold. I let out all my fears to him, he who I know had strength worthy of a dozen badger lords. And he confessed to me that he was scared as well.

"After tomorrow," he told me, "Things will never be the same."

I knew he was right. I hated to admit it, but I knew. And I knew that night would be our last chance.

I should probably regret it, that night, but how was I to fight it? I couldn't stop myself, anymore than he could control himself. Every kiss was a bitter goodbye, every moment we wished would last forever.

No mistakes tonight. No interruptions. Just us, and no one else.

His lips on mine, his paws clenched in mine, I lift my head up and catch his lips. He returns the favor with relish, aching, pleading, making no mystery of the wish on both our minds: that this could never end. Yet it does. As he holds me in the afterglow, sweat cooling on his brow, still out of breath, he whispers in my ear, "I love you."

The next day it was over between us. Whereas everyone was celebrating, I was inwardly mourning. Yet for me, it was a happy occasion: the end of one relationship, and the beginning of a new one. I felt sorry for him, though, that he should be alone.

And now that all these seasons have passed since he left, I wish I could say to him, 'You are never truly alone. You never have been. I will always be there for you. Always.'

The day he left us was a day that will be engrained on my mind forever. I held his hand one last time and shamelessly let my tears fall.

Looking back on in now, in my last days, I think to myself: He was such a paradox: he was a warrior, yet he strove for peace. He was a recluse at times, yet he was such a good friend nonetheless. He was dangerous…and the bond we shared was forbidden…but I loved him anyway.

I always have, Martin.

I always will—eternally your love and best friend.

See what happens when i try to break the writer's block? Think about it: it could have been much worse... Read and Review!