Lord Shojo/Julio Scoundrel

Atop the citadel, too old, tired men watched the city to burn.
"What are you thinking? asked the tall one, turning to stare at his companion. He had the look of a master athlete whose bones were beginning to fail him, but his stomach was still flat as a board and heavily muscled as a man half his age.
His face was perfect, as though someone had taken Balder's and added laughter lines and just the lurking hint of crows feet, and brushed his hair into a steel grey warriors braid and added long, luxurious, expertly waxed mustachios.
His companion and been worn down by the years, his hair peppered with silver and iron grey, his frame stooped and his body drooping. He looked like a strong man gone to seed, his once impressive frame now drooping with age and a pot belly. There was an oddly mischievous spark in his eye, but it was muted by a sadness he seemed to wear like a shroud.
He shrugs, his stoop disappearing for the second "Would have been, might have been, could have been." He muttered, blinking rapidly.
"Regrets then?"
They looked down again. Women and children were being put to the sword, an organized retreat had turned into a rout, and the city was lost. He had a place on his private junk, but he'd decided against it. He owed it to every one of the men who died for the city to watch their final moments.
"We'll get through it." His companion said, taking his hand in a reassuring squeeze. Shojo looked at him pityingly, but Julio was in his element, sweeping his arm in a dramatic gesture that would have made Elan weep.
"Hinjo will take back the city, and you'll watch him put up a sign. 'Here two old men fought their enemies to the last in high style, and here they sleep in high style.' Or something like that." He says in a rich voice that elicits a soft chuckle from Shojo. Julio always knew how to make him smile.
"So what about you? Going to die with a clear conscious?"
"Gods no, man. I've done some pretty bad things. Fun, but bad. Only one regret, though." He says, serious again.
"Really?" Shojo askes, although he knew what meant. Thirty years ago. So long? It seemed like yesterday. He remembered the soft, fiery feeling of Julio's lips against his, and the sweet taste of whiskey and sugar and pine and the faintest hint of copper. He'd been hot, so hot he'd burned against Shojo's flesh, and yat he'd drank in that heat, let it consume him, fill him with it's warmth until it had stopped and left him empty. They had both said it hadn't meant anything, yet after all this time here they were, standing together, remembering that brief, shinning moment in their lives.
Julio sighed. Suddenly he has to know. "Do you ever wish…"
"No." Shojo lies expertly, his voice admirably steady as he returns his gaze to his city, and the people he'd sacrificed so much for, even what had perhaps been his only chance at happiness and love. Maybe the gods were cruel after all.
"No. Me neither."

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