When had it started?
When had they become each other's hope?
Was it in the arena? As they fought side by side against those who stood no chance?
Was it in their cells, carefully tapping out conversations as they waited to be brought to the light again?
Was it when they had been forced against each other? Seeing each other across the field and knowing one had to die?
Had it been when their blades had crossed? Axe to sword as they stared into a soul so much like their own.
Did it matter?
Now, as they stood, axe to one's throat, but not cutting the vital veins. They stared and they knew.
What was the point of this if only one of them made it out.
What was freedom if they fought the world alone?
Reckless fern green stared into blood thirst amber.
It was a wonder they hadn't done it before.
A simple kick, a desperate reload and careful aim was all it took for a riot.
A cross bow would kill the target in his hands.
Those few seconds of stunned silence as the audience watched the bolt rest between the king's eyes were bliss.
They were armed and they were angry when the guards came.
Swords and axes and potions meant to be used for the noble people’s entertainment turned on their suppliers as the two fell into a familiar rhythm.
Thousands of battles fought side by side, training them to match each other step for step in a dance of madness and bloodshed.
They were not cowards.
They would not fall.
The others that had yet to die in the rings started their own tune.
Cries of the king's fate shattered mental chains as true fighters struck.
Desperation and hatred and fear and spite. This was what fueled them on.
They ran. The two of them ran.
Steps falling in time with one another, they vanished from the blood shed.
And who were they to part from each other when they fought so well as two.
As they ran from the kingdom that had stolen them from their homes for entertainment, who were they to break apart?
So, they traveled.
They traveled from the empire that wanted their heads and didn’t stop.
Racing past towns and cities as they flead.
They fought well together.
Against those monsters in the caves and ghost towns.
It paid well, they noticed.
Clearing out places of monsters was easy for them with the deadly dance of blood the two had perfected in that damned ring.
They made a name for themselves outside of that kingdom. Standing at each other's side, they were unkillable.
They met other friends, of sorts, that they shared bonds with. Traveling partners they found amusing.
Yet, still, they stayed by the others side.
Was it so startling that battle partners did not suit them?
Was it really so appalling that lovers pleased them more?
When they fought at each other's sides and patched the others wounds.
When they woke together and cared together?
Even as they fell in step along the roads and chattered with others still they hung so close,
Even as the dust filled their lungs and blood coated their tongues,
Even as words not meant were thrown in fear and tears cut through the caked grime,
Even as soft words of apology where shared and cuts in their hearts were carefully sewn shut,
They would not part.
Despite the world being wide enough for one path to twist into two.
Despite scars of the Ring bringing nightmares.
Instead they talked.
Voices once silenced now sharing the littlest of things.
Pouring hearts to their other half late in the night when even the wolves grew tired.
How long before the ring took on a different meaning?
How long would it take for the word to wash off its blood?
How long as they struggled and healed and lived?
The Ring sang a different tune one night.
Tucked away in a town's cozzy inn, bodys beaten and battered.
Curled together as they whispered soft words of praise and comfort.
That is when the word ‘ring’ changed.
In soft murmurs of tomorrow, that is when the word changed.
Loving fern green greeting soft amber was when it changed.
Soft declarations of love and charm is when it changed.
The ‘ring’ didn't have to carry blood with it
That’s what was whispered, a careful suggestion not needing to be taken.
It can carry us with it instead.
A soft offer, a mild plee of a question,
One that was met with a gentle kiss.
How did they keep falling?
Was it while they fought together against those monsters?
Was it while they laughed together as they walked?
Was it while gentle hands gripped together after nightmares?
Was it while they whispered secrets in the dead of night?
Did it really matter?
Did it matter as they danced a blooded call only they knew?
Did it matter when they laughed at something only the two found funny?
Did it matter as soft coos calmed each other to sleep?
Did it matter as they already knew the secrets shared?
With hands laying together on the rail of a ship headed across the world far away from where they had met.
No, it didn't.
Not with two soft silver bands clinking together on war worn hands,
Not with a bond held close despite every chance to break,
Not with hopeful hearts that no longer relied on each other for light,
Not with friends of all kinds celebrating a union behind them,
Not with joy bubbling from scar covered hearts.
They were safe now.
A plan in mind, a family at their backs.
A new continent, a new home, and a new start.
No need to worry about the kingdom they had first fled from.
“I love you, Techno.”
“Say it back?”
A soft snort and a gentle hum.
“I love you too, nerd.”
With that, a friend called them over. Laughter erupting at the words spoken.
"Dream! Techno! Get over here and enjoy your own damn wedding already!"