by s.a.

Were anyone to look at Ethan and Wesley with normal sight, they'd see two rather intense gentlemen engaging in some odd yet amusing form of mime.

Needless to say, they were not.

Of course, had they been miming, it would make the telling of this story easier. As it does, this tale has far too many twists of fate and bends in the natural order of things to detail here. Rather, it is necessary only to tell that while the two had never been friends, they had never been enemies, which made this particular turn of events so interesting to put down.

You see, there was once a time when apocalypses had come and gone, and certain characters in this world took the form of a nuisance than what they truly were. In this world, a young woman's home met its demise at her hands, and yet the world moved on to accommodate the damage that had been wreaked.

And when it had settled a bit, twisting and curling around said woman's fate to create a balance of things, certain memories considered only nuisances chose to re-enter the picture, showing his true nature and working towards the natural order once again. For what is a hero without a villain? Even if she herself had never considered him more than a bug on her windshield, her mentor knew better--yet he too suffered from the arrogance of the victorious, and forgot in his haste to rebuild the world they left to watch for those who work best in the shadow of success.

Perhaps, then, the reader is wondering how Wesley comes into this, as he had not been a feature of the hero's world for many years, instead making his own part in the story of a far more conflicted champion. Well, to that the reader is asked to imagine a man whose expertise is requested in a situation where he had been disliked before. Every man has an ego, and were it bruised, there is nothing more healing than to return appreciated.

That said, back to the story at hand.

There was no mime; looking at the scene with sight tinged with magic, one sees instead both men pushing bright lights at each other, each the sum of their magical efforts. (That would explain the grunting.) Wesley's was a blinding blue-white, whereas Ethan's burned with a red-gold fury. They vied for conquest, their balls moving back and forth as either gained an inch on each other.

This went on for a very long time, until Ethan finally called a halt and they warily sat next to each other on a park bench near where they'd been dueling. After a few harsh words and initial trepidation, they began arguing good-naturedly about the best places to find beer from the homeland in the large annoying desert that was California. In fact, they were so into their discussion that they didn't notice they were supposed to be fighting. Once they'd agreed on a definitive pub, they got up and headed towards good English beer.


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