Servartin listened in something close to wonder as the cheers slowly faded, blocked by wood and marble as they entered the anti-chamber. Everything seemed overlit, colors and shapes taking on new form and meaning as the realization swept through his veins. Like a flood of some unknown emotion it swamped him, and never had he been happier to drown. This was it. Two years of planning, months of battles that left all of them drenched in blood and doubt and tears, the politics that could make even a sage's head spin in confusion...it had all lead to this. They'd done it. The Corinthum Empire would release their hold on Redallion, a new royal family would be chosen, councils would be made, and at long last there would be freedom again.
"We did it." The words didn't even sound like him, the normal weary monotone wiped away in the moment. He grinned at Marcinus, putting a hand on his friend's shoulder. "We-"
And it hurt.
For a long moment it hurt so that he didn't truly comprehend it. But the quarrell smashed against the far stone wall, shattering into pieces with the sound of falling metal, and he knew. Recognized the red stain across his jerkin-the fine one, stitched for this day. He'd never had a brand new outfit made just for him, and it was just his luck that he'd go and ruin it.
Oh. He'd fallen. Marcinius had caught him, and that was nice, because it was a little too dark to see where his feet were. His friend was kind, the kind of person you expected a monk to be. Friendly and willing to listen, and handsome and....oh. Oh.
Well, hell. Maybe he did love him after all.
And too late, he thought, regret filling his breast even as the pain scorched along with it. Too damn late.
The world darkened further, and went out.
"We did it. We-"
Marc had been watching his friend and smiling at the joy in a normally frowning face. His friend was strong and brave, the kind of person warriors in storys were. The former monk had always looked up to him for that, loved him for that. And it wasn't like there wasn't time now. He'd told Serv, told him how he really felt, and he didn't hate him. His friend had even said that he thought he felt something but that he just needed to time to think. And they had it in spades now. The rest of their lives would be spent doing scholar's work which was what he had trained for, and it would be easy to teach. They could help build something really good after all the tragedy, and really do something good.
And then, the man had come around the corner. In a brown cloak and red uniform he looked like a palace guard, but his crossbow had been raised and he'd...
Oh Gods no.
"No!" Marcinus screamed, even after the arrow went through Servartin's chest. He raised a hand, calling on the power that lay within him, and screeched the words. Fire went crom his hands to the assassin, and blew him into dust. But it was too late.
"Serv..." He tried to hold the other man, wanted to say something, but there was so much blood. It made him sick to his stomach, all the blood, and he started to cry. "Servartin, please...."
But he was dead. Dead and gone and already cooling. With the Gods or in hell. Marcinus wasn't sure anymore. All his knowledge had died with the man he loved.