I haven't written a fic in months, so I choose this as a short idea as practice. Thank Avo that I wasn't loopy enough to add mpreg.

I plan to make this a two or three-shot and am open to suggestions.

Some of his memories had already fluttered away like the Guild's sparrows, silenced and forgotten. All he had left was gold earned, whether it be 5 gold per sparrow or a 1000 per bandit.

But some memories not only remained, but lingered, as glistening and golden as the Murren Greataxe he still owned. These memories didn't rust like swords or fly away; they stayed as alternatively painful and pleasant recollections of his past. They were treasured candies, both sweet and sour, that gave him a distraction until death. When he had hit middle-age, he spent small luxuries at the Temple of Avo for youth; now, he only wanted to age further, forget deeper, and finally, reach the end of his life. One day, his mind would finally collapse into itself, crushing all memories, both good and bad, as he faded into a neutral nonexistence. Heroes seemed to be cursed with longer lifespans, which was a mental torture placed upon those who weren't lucky enough to die in battle.

He was old now, old enough to scare the neighborhood children in Oakvale, but he remembered a world that had been young. It was an age of heroes who weren't forced into hiding. Magic and heroic vitality had been flaunted. The people's heroes loomed over their fellow Albion citizens both metaphorically and physically. Now, he was frail, his muscles had deteriorated along with most of his armor.

With no more strength left, all he had were stories. Tales of heroes offered him at least a free drink here or there from the still-standing town tavern. He didn't name himself as the hero, it might still have been too risky.

Old tomes like himself were easily burned or left to rot. Oakvale had burned; an old man wouldn't even be worthy of kindling.

None of the heroes from his time caught his attention, burning into his memories. No one was worthy to recall besides Thunder. Whisper, Briar Rose, Maze, and even the Guildmaster had faded from his memories: becoming mere abstractions and summaries of quests they had done. He could no longer recall their faces, filled with an arrogant naïvety of their strength that should have brought a slight smile to his old face.

Whisper had been a rival, but he no longer recalled her jealous gaze eyeing the Hobbes he had slain around them. Their friendship and rivalry was blurred with blood. Her hate, her love, her bite, all had blurred beyond vision. She was surely dead now, rightfully so; she had at last beaten him to something. She had died earlier, as if his entire life's goal had been to die.

How simply she had eaten beaten him. He could laugh.

Of Briar Rose, he knew less. She had helped him track Jack of Blades, but an old man needed comfort in the legend of a hero defeating Jack in dragon form by himself. He intentionally forgot her, spinning tales of an annoying older female hero who had shamefully died when trying to kill the Wasp Queen.

Briar Rose lay amongst the roses, adorned in a deep heart red...a new spin on her life was already slipping past his tongue.

At least he could still see Maze's eyes if he tried. The wizard's blue eyes, drunk on will, were silenced in Hook Coast. Fittingly, the town soon collapsed into obscurity after his death. Be doubted fish even swam near Hook Coast anymore, as if the sea and air around it had also died, frozen in his only memory of Maze.

By contrast, the Guildmaster wasn't remembered beyond an annoying, patronizing tone of his voice. None of the Guildmaster's words stuck with him. The old man supposed he was the same age the Guildmaster had been upon meeting him for the first time, but like most heroes, he couldn't have known his real age. It was too personal for their kind.

The old man's health was too low to care for the Guildmaster.

Thunder, a side-note hero whom he had idolized in youth and defeated in adulthood, was still available as a memory. His mind at least let him have that: a mix of regret and nostalgia for Thunder. Whisper's brother had been enough brawn to be gold-like, which was a build unseen by any mortal since their time.

Before he could remember more, the man shut his eyes, forcing himself into a momentary point without recalling foggy memories. It was a brief reprieve from the dull, constant pain that filled his now boring, quest-less and friendless life. He continued sitting next to the fire, cuddled up, as if returning to his youth in how unproductive and undemanding his life was.

He had every right to be at ease, but with no one from his past left alive, all he had for comfort was what he could divine from the recesses of his mind.

AN: I'm not sure how much I should push the Thunder/Sparrow slash. Sparrow might reveal his feelings and have them returned (happy ending) or not/possibly be rejected (bring on the angst).