All around, there was nothing but cool, quiet darkness. The temperature slowly rose, warmer and warmer, until it was almost stifling, and noise began to leak in, getting louder and louder. The sound of sword on sword reverberated through the air, mixed in with the clash of shields and armor. The cacophony was nowhere near close to covering the screams of the dying and injured.

The over-powering stench of blood that hung stagnantly in the air was immediately recognizable by the young man standing there; blood. It was so powerful; it seemed as if the stench could condense all of a sudden and have a corporeal body. The man opened his watering eyes and found himself in an ancient village, a battle surrounding him as far as his eyes could see. Looking at the fighting surrounding him, though, he thought that battle had the wrong feeling to it. Battle would imply some sense of equality in opposing forces. This was no battle; it was a slaughter.

Men in armor were running around, murdering anyone not wearing armor with a cross on it. The young man began to panic, until he realized that he has a blood-covered sword in one hand, and was wearing the same armor as the others. Trying to make sense of what was going on around him, he looked up and down his pale, blood-spattered self. He tried to find some spark of recognition, but could find no answers.

One of the men in cross armor came and helped him up, speaking in flowing Latin. He asked if the heathen had injured him while pointed down to an older man dressed in Muslim garb. The younger man said no, that he didn't think so. He found himself surprised when the other man slapped him on the back and told him to get back into the fray. He watched the older man run away yelling "For the Holy Church… For Jerusalem!" and jump back into the slaughter happily alongside his brothers.

Stunned, the younger man walked around, trying to avoid the violence while trying to figure out what was happening all around him. Jumping into a side street to avoid a bloody man screaming his head off and clutching the stump that had once been his arm, the young man leaned against a weathered wall to catch his breath. All of a sudden, he heard a scream and felt an overwhelming compulsion to investigate that one scream out of the countlessly indistinguishable others. He ran in the direction the scream had seemed to come from, weaving through other side streets, until he reached what seemed to be just another normal house.

Entering the home he saw an older, sinister-looking man ordering two other men, all in the same armor, to hold down a struggling woman as he was taking off his armor. Turning away in distaste, the young man gripped the hilt of his sword till his knuckles turned white. Not being able to just leave the woman, he ran forward, yelling at the men to stop and let her go. Shrugging him off, the sinister man in charge told him to get his own spoils of war, or learn to be patient and wait until he was finished. Not taking such blatant disregard well, the young man instead swung his sword in a deadly arch and took the other man's head; the spray of blood covering him even further in crimson stickiness. The two other men looked at him like he was crazy, and one leapt into action, attacking the young man with crazed movements.

The young man parried the movements and ran his sword through him with ease. The other man coughed yet more blood onto the young man's armor before he was kicked off the sword and crumpled onto the ground next to his commander's head. His comrade trembled and let out a cry as he ran for his friend's killer, tears in his eyes. The young man blocked the other's wide attack, grabbed his sword arm and twisted. Finding himself spun about, the man found himself run through with his own sword and falling to the ground.

Looking at the carnage around him, the young man was about to turn and leave before movement in the corner of the room caught his eye. The woman he had fought so hard to save was moving to her feet to come closer to him. He met her halfway and found himself shocked. He was staring into the most vivid green eyes he had ever seen, framed by alluring dark lashes. She looked so eerily familiar, he wished he knew what was going on, and knew more about her.

Interrupting her profuse thanks, he asked her if she was okay, but was stopped when she let out an unexpected terrified scream. He turned to see what she had her screaming so, and found out the very hard way that there had been a fourth man in the room, as he stabbed him with a short and very sharp sword. Dropping to his knees as his blood poured out, the man that attacked him screamed at him, calling him a traitor and demanding to know why he would turn against hiss good Christian brothers to help a godless heathen.

The fourth man screamed profanities at him until he was completely prone and raised his sword for the final blow. Before he could complete the blow, though, his face contorted and he looked down, the young man's eyes following his shocked gaze. They both saw the silver tip of a sword protruding from the man's stomach. As he dropped, they both saw the woman holding the hilt, trying to push the blade into the man even farther, with a look of absolute rage on her face.

Trying to cause as much pain as possible, the woman didn't stop pushing the blade into the man until he slide off the blade and down onto the floor in a lifeless, bloody lump. Hearing the young man who had saved her cough, she finally dropped the blade and ran to kneel at his side on the floor. Carefully caressing his face, she cradled his head in her lap as he lay dying.

"Why did you help me?" she asked, tears gathering in her eyes.

Searching her face, he struggled to let the words out, "I just had to," before breaking out into a round of bloody coughs.

She smiled at him, "I will never forget the kindness you have showed me. . . Your reward for this deed will come someday, I promise."

"I don't think I'll be making it past this hour, let alone this day."

"You're right… We are both going to die. But… We will still meet again someday."

She then took the sleeve of her worn dress and, wiping the blood from his face, gave him the sweetest, heartache-filled kiss just as more crusaders barged into the room and took in all their dead comrades. They raised their swords and rushed for blood, and the woman just smiled at the young man and whispered, "Someday," just as the blades came down to strike them.


A/N: Wow, I've been meaning to upload this for a long while. I just need to stay on top of this, because I love where this story is gonna go. Lemme know what you think, as always, reviews are appreciated!

~Cae