First they were boys.

Everything was brilliant. Everything was fantastic. Everything was wonderful. Every cloud, every corner, every textbook held some wonderful discovery. Every discovery was a chance to see the stars, see the lights, see the wonder. And they could smell the mountains covered with cold snow, the silver forest full of life, and the red grass beneath them. Sharp, cold air and warm, wet air. They could lie by a warm fire and read to each other, think aloud to each other, and breathe their secrets to each other. The world was big and new and bright, and beautiful. So beautiful. Every breath was like life coming into them, their little hearts thumping warmly, so full of love and power. Their eyes held dancing fires, their smiles beamed warmly at each other, their hands grabbed firmly, life and warmth pulsing beneath their skin. And they could laugh. So much. Laugh, for no other reason than pure joy. And everything was wonderful.

Then they were students.

Endless reams of facts and dates and theories and ideas, like an overwhelming wave. But they didn't mind. They loved it. They drank it in, growing more and more thrilled as their understanding of their brilliant, fantastic, wonderful world grew more complete, more clear. They played mischief on the teachers. To those who scolded, they hung their heads, minds far away in the golden sunlight on the red hill. To those who sadly implored them, they looked sorry and felt sorry, while their minds wondered how to return, how to leave the white mountains of Solitude and come back to the school. To that one woman, that special woman, that special teacher, they cried bitter tears and buried their faces in her robe, swearing repentance. But they took her away. More scolding. Their parents couldn't see them anymore. And their minds wandered again. Wandered too far, and the Drums came to one, and the other ran away.

They became Academy Time Tots.

Wonders. Golden wonders. Shining metal. Blue energy. More amazing facts and figures then they had ever seen. They should have drunk it in. They should have loved it. But they didn't. One studied without love, almost devouringly, desperate to escape from the sound in his head by flying through the stars. The other fled, fled from scolding teachers and strict rules and a friend who should have been there, but wasn't. Without one, school was no fun for the other. He loved the knowledge, but hated the teaching, the teachers, the grades, the competition. His friend still talked with him, they shared mischief, fun, laughter. But the laughter was hollow. The mischief was meaner. And the secrets were no longer shared.

They became Timelords.

It escelated. The desperation and the hatred of authority in them both drove them off the face of the planet. But they weren't together. Pride had sneaked in and seized their souls. They went their separate ways into space. They met again many years later, changed, older, but still so proud. And they fought. Drums of madness. They fought. They grew older, and fought across the Universe. Space shivered with the echoes of their battles, the stars trembled, planets were scorched, legends were born, and their minds were so far, far apart. They no longer danced on the red hill.

The Time War came.

Gone. It was all gone. The mountains, the silver forest, the red grass, the golden sunlight, it burned away into ashes. Ashes that tasted bitter and floated into space, atomized. And they met again, so old. Old, broken men. One dropped his pride, understood, and reached out. Desperation and anger gave place to hope, and the other took his hand. A long, long journey, through night and drums and day, and then, together, as they had been 900 years ago, back through madness and terror and weariness and bitterness,

They were together,

On the red hill.