Disclaimer: I do not own the Animorphs or anything associated with them.

A/N: This is my first ever Animorphs fic, and it's really just a quick one-shot. But I've been reading some Animorphs ff lately, and I decided to try my hand at it.

It's up to you, the reader, to decide which Animorph is the narrator for this. It could concievably be from any of them. (Except maybe Ax).

What is Bravery?

Have you ever wondered what the word 'brave' means?

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to be a 'hero'?

I have. Long ago. But not anymore. Because now I know, and it's nothing like I thought. It's nothing like the reality.

I used to watch cartoons of superheros, where the brave superhero hunted down, thwarted, fought and captured or destroyed the evil villain, and always with no thought to him or herself.

I have watched the news. All those reports of our American soldiers fighting for the freedom of others, so many dying, and the survivors knowing they were lucky to live.

It was so easy to say, 'wow, they're so brave. They're over there and fighting, they could die or be captured by the enemy, and they're not even scared. That's a real hero!'.

I know better now.

Because my friends and I- we're fighting our own war. It's just as real, just as important, and completely secret. And it's just us. If we're overrun, there's no backup troop ready to come rescue us. And our whole planet is at stake. Our friends, our families. Strangers. The whole world.

If our enemies win, the wars in the other countries will stop, because they will no longer be in charge. No one among the human race will ever know freedom again. Anywhere.

And let me tell you something. This hero stuff? It's not as easy as they make it look.

We've done some things that, a couple years ago, I'd have never believed. If someone had told me of some of these things....I'd have lauged if I'd thought it was a joke. I'd have shuddered if I'd have known it was real.

Because I'm never brave. And neither are my friends. Oh, some of them pretend. I do, too, sometimes. We have to hold on to the bravado or we'll crumble. We do things every day that could mean not only the end of our lives, but the end of the human race as we know it.

And that shows one of the changes in me right there. That there is something worth fighting for more important than my own life.

Yeah, we pretend, but we're not as brave as one would think, and now I think I might know alot about how those soldiers feel. Every soldier, from every side, in every war.

When you watch a movie, or play a video game or read a comic book, nobody ever shows the hero crying.

If one could hear the thoughts of the hero, would they hear the hero wishing he or she could see their family one more time, just in case?

Or wishing that they'd been nicer to their brother or sister, or said I love you to their mom or dad, just in case?

They don't show the tremors of fear that keep the hands from being still, even as the hero is about to do whatever it is that's so terrifying. They rarely show the hero praying to get through this, just get through this then we can go home. And then, if the hero is captured or about to meet the end, they don't show the hero's prayer change to 'please, just let my friends accomplish their part, let my friends go home even if I can't. Because if I die here, the world will still be depending on them.

I have known such terror that my mind has frozen, my ribs in danger of shattering from the force of my heartbeats.

I have seen my friends lose their minds with fear, screaming to the limits of their voices, able to bring themselves under control only because they remembered our reasons for fighting.

We have despaired of the lives of each other and ourselves - and the enemy lives we've taken- until the grief consumed us.

We have struggled over the morals of some of the things we do, the whole time knowing that we have must.

We have shared such hopelessness that no amount of pretending could hide the tears.

And then we have dried our tears, slowed our hearts, lifted our heads and forced ourselves to continue on. Because, after all, the war was still there.

No. The hero is never shown as human. Nobody wants to think that the hero, the one they're depending on to save them, could really just be a terrified kid that hopes he or she will just make it out alive.

We are soldiers of a different kind.

I am not brave.

And the war still continues.

We are not heros.