All of the characters belong to Susan Cooper but the plot is my own.



"Is that you out there?"

"Who's out there? What are you doing here? What do you want?"

Owen went outside into the cool night air to see if it was his pale neighbor that he heard roaming around in his bushes. As he stepped outside the faint light of his flashlight shone on the bushes and showed someone other than Bran. Owen called out to the figure that he saw had brown hair and a stocky but muscular build. He knew this boy from somewhere but where he just could not remember.

"Stop! Come back! I just want to know who you are!"

Owen knew that it was hopeless to go running after him, he was too far gone in the darkness to find now. He would just ask around in the morning and see if anyone knew anything about this mysterious stranger. He walked back into his dark house and back once again to his peaceful sleep.

Will was running fast. He hadn't meant to be seen but he had been. Owen had seen him and so he was running. He knew that he never should have come in the first place. The reason that drove him here lived just beyond the bushes he had been hiding in. If he hadn't been heard then who knows what would have happened. He hadn't seen Bran since that fight and had wanted to look at him one last time before he left. The Light needed him elsewhere and so he would go. He was no longer needed in this time and tomorrow he would be long gone. He kept running until he could run no longer and then collapsed onto the ground.

He lay for a long time, he didn't know how long but he caught his breath somehow and now only memories plagued him. The memories were of a love that could never be and a love that he had wanted more than anything in his life. But fate was cruel to him and Bran had made his own decision. He couldn't do anything about what he had so freely chosen. Bran didn't understand what kept him from being with him and loving him. That was why they had fought that night.

He remembered it like it had happened only moments ago, though it had been three years. He had gone to visit his secret love and Bran had confronted him. He had asked why he was so casual so uncaring. Will wanted to pour out his heart and tell him that it was because if Bran got too close they might hurt him. He wouldn't understand who they were. Will knew that if the dark found out about his love for this pale beautiful boy they would hurt him. He couldn't bear the thought of Bran being hurt and so he had said that it because things had changed and so had they. Things had changed and so had they but not the way he had put it that night. Bran had just stared at him, his once best friend. He had gotten mad and told Will he didn't know why he even tried. All he ever got was coldness and hostility. He told him to get out and to never come back. When he said those word he didn't know that he was ripping Will's heart out. He didn't know that he was shattering it and that it would never be whole again, not without him.

Will came back to reality and realized that he was crying. He always did when he thought about that moment the thought of Bran always brought tears to his eyes that he blinked away. He loved him so much. He put thoughts of Bran from his head for the moment. He picked himself off of the hard ground and walked to a stream that was conveniently only a few steps away.

He washed his now swollen face and dried it on his rough feeling shirt. He felt refreshed but still heartbroken. That feeling would never go away he knew so he pushed all feeling to the back of his mind. He had to go on; even it felt like he was slowly dying from his broken heart.

Bran walked slowly into the kitchen of his cottage where someone was knocking on the door. He opened the door and saw Owen standing there. He invited him in and offered him something to drink. Owen refused saying he only stopped by for a moment.

"I just wanted to tell you that last night we had an intruder. He was in the bushes and I went to go see if it was you. When I got out there he ran away even when I called to him. I thought that I recognized him but I just can't remember who he is. He had brown hair and a stocky but muscular build. I would say that he was about your age but I could be wrong, I only caught a short glimpse of him." Owen stood in the doorway ready to leave now that his news had been told.

A look of surprise and then sorrow passed over Bran's features before he answered. "No I don't know who he is, probably someone that you have seen in town and just remember. I wouldn't think anything of it, nothing is missing right?"

Owen dismissed Bran's peculiar expression and thought then answered, "No nothing was taken I didn't even think of that really. Well I should be off now, I need to be back before dark and my business in town will take a long time I'm afraid." He turned to leave and Bran wished him farewell. As soon as he was out of the door Bran found the nearest chair and collapsed in it.

Why has he come back? Of all people why him? He was the one person that Bran had loved with all of his heart but had told never to come back into his life.

After the argument he had regretted what he had said. He was angry that Will had been so cold to him but he never should have gone so far. When he looked into his eyes he saw so much pain and sorrow that he knew he was wrong. But why had Will turned him away? He wanted to comfort him and to tell him that everything would be okay, but he couldn't. There was something about Will that he knew he couldn't touch; it was something that he almost knew but couldn't quite figure out.

He wished that he could tell Will that he was sorry and that he loved him but he couldn't. He hadn't seen Will in three years and he knew that he was destined to spend the rest of his life alone. He felt as though he were broken in two; missing a piece of him that he desperately needed. Why was fate so cruel to him?

A figure watched both of these scenes play out. The poor boys were so heartbroken and there was nothing he could do. The Old One was destined to battle the dark and the Pendragon was destined to live the mortal life as he had chosen. He knew that they would never be happy without each other and would always be missing a part of themselves. He wished there was something that he could do because he knew all too well how it felt to live a life without the one his heart wanted. He pushed thoughts of the two out of his mind and Merriman turned back down the path to the grove where Will waited.