A/N: Takes place at the very end of Time of the Twins, with a very special little twist.

If you don't like character deaths, I would highly suggest not reading this.

"I survived your test," Caramon repeated, "as you survived the Test of the Tower. There, they shattered your body. Here, you shattered my heart."

The words had only fallen from the warrior's lips just moments ago. But, not unlike the first battle Caramon Majere had ever fought in, time had stilled in those last moments before this. He felt he had lived years instead of seconds. He might have just as well said it a lifetime before. And it had been a lifetime, for one.

Caramon cradled the bundle in his arms. It was a natural position for him, a usually completely instinctual feeling. Yet, now, it was wrong. The figure was limp, its limbs sprawled lifelessly, the skin that had once been burning hot now chilling with death. Blood caked over the velvet black robes over where the heart evidently had been. When the big man had plunged the sword into that delicate chest, he had honestly begun to wonder if he would strike anything at all. Yet, there it was, evident in the body stilled forever in the cold void of lifelessness.

There was no grace in this death. The face was set in a terrible, vehement grimace. There was no love in the features, no compassion in the now sightless eyes. Caramon might have been holding a bitter enemy, rather than his own twin brother.

Caramon's judgement had been swift. The lives of dozens—most likely more, paid with his brother's life's blood. His brother, and his protector, the cleric of Paladine. The big man had completely forgotten her by now. She had been nothing, nothing but an obstacle in his way. He had cut her down just as that. Her body lay on the floor beside the kneeling warrior, forgotten, not so much as glanced at by her killer. Caramon's eyes remained on only one thing.

A large, meaty hand reached to stroke hair away from Raistlin's forehead. It only served to further emphasize the emotion on the dead, hate-filled face, but the big man didn't seem to notice. The tears mercifully obscured his view.

He did not grieve for his brother. He found that he could not. He grieved for Tasslehoff that Raistlin had no doubt sent to his death, for Crysania. He grieved for Pheragus and and Kiiri and all other victims of his twin's terrible crimes.

He grieved for himself.

All the dreams he had ever had lay in a shattered heap in his arms. The hopes of reconciliation with his companion since birth gone. They were nothing but foolish notions from the start. He had lost his brother the moment the blue eyes were replaced with hourglass, the pale skin turned golden, the brown hair gone white. When Raistlin had killed the illusion of Caramon, so he killed their brotherhood.

The destruction of Istar surrounded them. Rubble fell on every side of the warrior and his dead cargo, tremors of destruction jostled him in his place. He paid little heed. Merely kept his eyes on Raistlin.

The mage had no idea what was coming, Caramon guessed. He must have assumed all the warrior was making were idle threats. A temper tantrum from an angry child, nothing more. Or... Caramon shuddered to think, yet he knew, Raistlin viewed it more like the tantrum of a pet.

But he underestimated Caramon's anger. He overestimated Caramon's love. And when the blade finally plunged into his skin, Raistlin could nary speak a word of magic, either to protect or avenge himself. His death came swiftly after that, falling without intention into the big man's arms.

And now Caramon waited to die.

Fire blazed around him. Soon the smoke added to his already copious amount of tears. He was forced to break his gaze on Raistlin, if only for a moment, head tilting up in hopes of getting the last bit of fresh air, the last he would ever breathe. He watched as the rubble formed angry and violent shadows across the walls, like frightened, dreadful dancers. So awful were they that the warrior flinched and tried to turn away.

But he stopped. No, he would not look away. Not now. This was the end. Into the world the twins had come side by side. And now, they would leave just the same. And he would not be afraid. Not when he had Raist beside him. Raist had always been so very, cripplingly, afraid. And yet it had been he that would reach out to alleviate Caramon's fear at every uncertain turn. Just once, Caramon decided. Just this last time, he would be strong for his brother. He would hold him, help him slowly through to the end.

Shifting the weight in his arms, he lolled Raistlin's head against his hulking shoulder, facing the angry stare towards one of the walls still somehow managing to remain intact. With the faintest sound of a sob, Caramon gave his brother a last, soothing rub against his arm. Then, his hands raised. Those hands, the same that had defended, cared for, protected the brother that he had murdered just moments ago with the very same appendages, began to take shape.

Istar crashed around them—and they would with it soon after. But for the second time that day, time slowed. Time ceased to have meaning. Caramon was alone, suspended in time with no one, but his twin brother. Just as it had always been.

"Look, Raist..." his voice rasped weakly, just in time for the ceiling to collapse over them. He only barely managed one last, final word, before his world became nothing but destruction and debris. Then, mercifully, darkness.