A short one, but I wanted to do it anyway - after not writing for so long, I intend to get back on track. I miss answering to my inspiration so freely as I once did...

This one was done remembering sakurabatou's short, A Perfect Lie.

As children, they were innocent and full of hope - time meant nothing to them, for time was and would always be aplenty.

They believed that life was filled with wonder, and these wonders were theirs to discover in each second. They believed in the ones who loved and protected them. And as they were loved and protected, they sought out others for hugs and cuddles, for such contact meant happiness and comfort to them.

When they met, they were filled with unguarded laughter as they played game after game, day in and day out. They enjoyed all that was good in each other, and all that was bad they forgot quickly, for they were each one's favorite playmate.

And neither one feared to fall, for the other would be there to catch him before he hit the ground.

As adolescents, they were filled with the dissatisfaction of transition, from boy to man - time meant everything to them, and time could not pass by quickly enough.

They believed that life was not too bad, and could always be better. They believed that they would one day be heroes and champions, as were the knights of legend. And as they believed in these things, they itched with anticipation for that day to come. They only clapped each other on the shoulders or exchanged friendly punches, and the most contact they ever had with one another was in their wrestling and roughhousing. After all, only babies - and girls - indulged in hugs and cuddles at that age.

When they met, they were filled with macho disinterest and attempts to be mature, strong adults, and they constantly strove to prove themselves to each other and the ones around them. They sought to be better than what was good in the other, and to change what was bad in their self, for they were best friends and rivals at the same time.

And if, for some reason, one of them were to fall, the other would be there to pick him up again.

As adults, reunited with their home and one another, they were filled with the quiet brooding of old men, for so very jaded they were from the long hard battles fought - time would pass as it always did, and they let time be.

They no longer believe in distant futures, neither do they give much thought for what could be, for the past nine years have shown them a harsh truth, that life is filled with almost terrifying uncertainty. With the struggles each had had to go through, they have made peace with their inescapable fates, and live each day for what it is, knowing that someone else may not be there tomorrow, and accepting that knowledge. In those brief moments of reprieve, they recline trustingly against each other, relishing the warmth of another's presence, and grateful that - for even just a few seconds - they are alive, and they are not alone.

When they meet, there is little exchange but a nod of acknowledgement, with perhaps a small ghost of a smile between them. Words are no longer necessary, for they know each other as they know their self. They no longer care for good or bad, as they accept each other wholly, for what they are and what they have always been, for as they are soldiers, they are also comrades.

And when the time comes that one of them has to fall, the other will take him by the hand, and fall all the way with him.