A/N:

Disclaimer: I own only this story; the rest (characters, events, etc.) belongs to the talented Wayne Thomas Batson.

Spoilers: Obviously The Door Within #1... Duh

This story is my take on what happened with the other characters just after the Battle of Mithegard. The story starts out set in The Door Within (book one), about the time when Captain Valithor is killed and Kaliam sends Aiden to Falon's stair.

My first fanfic EVER! Yay!


If Only

NOCK

Bolt turned to look at me, grinning. I watched him and grinned back. I distantly saw the tall, black Paragor knight stalk up behind my brother. I thought nothing of it. Bolt was invincible.

Maybe if I wasn't so caught up in the exhilaration of battle, I could have done something. Maybe if I was thinking and wasn't transfixed on Bolt, waiting for him to do what I expected him to do, what I thought I knew he would do- because he and I had done it a thousand times- I could have helped. Maybe I could have done something then, so I wouldn't regret this moment for the rest of my life.

I saw the black knight behind him as he looked at me, and I didn't say anything. I didn't do anything. I just stood there, grinning stupidly at my brother, my beloved twin brother, waiting for him to react. As the moment progressed, I realized he wasn't going to react. He didn't know. He didn't know. My expression changed but still I did nothing. Dread filled my blood as the Paragor knight raised his axe slowly, so slowly, so that the moment was stretched out, as if giving me time to react, as if he wanted me to stop him. I could've stopped him, too. But I was frozen in suspended dread, like the moment right before the arrow leaves my bow, when I'm holding my stance firmly, waiting for the arrow to sing. Not this time. What am I waiting for?

No, Bolt, my mouth formed the words, but nothing came out. In the last moment, the very last fraction of a second, Bolt looked at me strangely. I think he realized, then. He knew.

The axe finally came down, and I was jolted into action. Too late.

Even from the slight distance between us, I heard Bolt's breath of pain. His eyes were wide with shock. He gasped and slowly stumbled away from his attacker, like it would save him.

"Noooo! Bolt! Bolt!" My earlier voice was found and expressed. My heart was pounding in my head. No, this was not happening. It could not be. I desperately fought to get to him. I had to get to him. My only thought was to reach him. No, no, no, Bolt, Bolt, hang on, please, Bolt, hold on...

His confused, pain-filled eyes touched mine as I tried to fight through the mass of soldiers. In the eyes that were exactly like my own, I saw a sadness, an insecurity I had never seen there before, a fear in my brother's eyes. Another gasp of terror rocked through my body.

He looked at me sadly and blinked as he fell slowly to the ground.

I went into a full, horrified panic when I couldn't see him anymore. I was barely aware of the evil knights whose attention had now been drawn to me. I screamed as I fought uselessly against the mass, a terrible frustration ripping at my heart as I tried to force my way through. It was sheer luck that I wasn't cut down. I defended myself from instinct, but it wasn't enough, not nearly. I sensed more than saw a sword whistle toward me.

Again, the moment seemed suspended in time. Just like before when the Paragor rat cut down my brother. I waited impatiently for it to be over; I just wanted it to be over. Grief consumed me and in that frightening moment I didn't care. We should die together anyway. That was how it should be.

I closed my eyes and waited for the fall.

Please review. Comments, criticism, whatever. It would make my day! My week actually. :) Chapter Two will be up very soon.