Quiet Truths
by Alee



Courage isn't facing your enemy, it isn't looking down the barrel of a gun into your opponent's face. It's not fearlessness to dodge bullets, or place your life on the line for duty. All those things are easy, effortless, as natural as the flow of the river to the sea. He knows that for himself, knows that *about* himself, chalks those challenges up as a matter of course.

No, courage has nothing to do with danger to himself.

Bravery is waking up every morning, smiling in the fog-dimmed light as hair tickles across his nose and lips. It's holding Blair in his arms for three cycles of the snooze button, solid warmth shifting reluctantly toward awareness in his embrace. There's a glorious terror in that morn-first kiss, in the pledge of today, in the love that fills his heart.

Because what is found can be lost.

So he fights that fear, pouring it into his lips and tongue, writing his worries and cares into the mouth that feeds him, the hands that hold him, the flesh that gives his love form. Blair always understands, accepts, his eyes glowing with rich comfort, limbs twining sturdy and safe around him. He's silent, his breath harsh with so many things as he grips Blair close, the sobbing rhythm of his heart threatening to burst free of his skin as they move together.

Bravery is embracing this joy, knowing tomorrow he could be gone.

But not today, when the sun rises as the sweat dries on their skin. Not today, as the rain and blood of the streets fills his senses with a thousand unanswered questions, a thousand silent screams. Not today, as they come home safe once more, the quiet rituals of hearth soothing him again.

Courage is letting go of his fear.


The End



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