Hope For A Magical Day
by Pirate Turner
"I feel like flying today."
He obliged her, shooting high into the sky with her astride his back, where the gentle breezes caressed them as they blew through their hair and over their bodies. He could feel her tenseness as easily as he felt her long legs pressing lightly into his sides. He knew she was fighting tears, just as he himself was, as they always did after having to part from their partners. He waited for the familiar splashes of her salty tears to strike his neck, but none came even as she leaned forward and buried her head deep into his mane.
He felt her pain and her struggle to keep from caving, and his heart hurt for her. Gently, he whickered. "You don't have to pretend with me, She-Ra. We both know each other better than any one else. I know you're sad; I know you're hurting." His muscles tensed for a moment underneath her, then he blew out, "So am I. I miss him." His next words came so softly that she couldn't hear him. He cleared his throat, then jumped back to the point. "It's okay to cry."
"Swifty -- "
"It's okay," he repeated, and she watched, in shock, as a tear rolled out of one of his big, brown eyes and fell down to the ground hundreds of miles beneath them. She realized then that, though he had undoubtedly told himself that he was only trying to comfort her, he had needed his words of reassurance as much as she had.
She stroked his neck but still couldn't understand. Why was he crying? Why was he hurting as much as she was? What had he whispered that she had missed? "Swifty, I -- "
"I feel your pain, She-Ra. I share your pain. I love him."
"He-Man?!" she questioned incredulously. He couldn't love her brother as she did, so what in Etheria? was he talking about?!
"I love him," he repeated more bravely. This was, after all, his best friend he was talking to; she'd never tell any one. "I love him, and I miss him, and every time they have to walk away, I feel like a part of my soul and of my heart is being ripped out . . . " He was crying openly now. "But I know it can't be helped right now. One day . . . One day, we'll be together and never have to part again, . . . but for now, there is no choice. It's okay to cry," he said again, now realizing that he was talking as much to himself as he was to her. His soft, sad whicker sounded far more like a whimper.
"Oh, Swifty," She-Ra cried, her heart aching now even more for her best friend. Her fingers splayed gently against the velvet of his neck, then coiled softly in his silky mane. "You really do love him, don't you?" she whispered, choking back her own emotions. As absurd as their union might seem to some, she could see it clearly now: all the looks that had passed between them, their determination to protect each other . . . It wasn't just because they were her and Adam's best friends. Maybe it had been at first, but now it was so much more. "You love Battle Cat!"
He lowered his head in shame for he knew no horse should ever love a tiger. "Yes." He paused, then asked with fear and uncertainty creeping in, "You won't tell him, will you?"
"No," she spoke hesitantly as she mulled over his shocking revelation. "No, I won't, but you should."
"I can't," he whinnied. "He'll never feel the same way about me! Look at me, She-Ra! I'm a horse; he's a tiger!"
Patting him reassuringly, she leaned down and kissed the back of his neck. "It's okay, Swifty. Species doesn't matter," she said, shaking her head and reminding herself that having the same blood flowing in the veins of two people who truly loved each other also didn't matter. "It's the heart inside that truly counts." She paused. "But if you need to cry, go ahead. It's okay. And if you really don't want him to know, even though I believe he loves you too," she continued, realizing that unspoken emotion she had recognized so many times in Battle Cat's eyes as he'd watched her beloved Swiftwind, "you don't have to worry. I promise I won't tell a soul until you're ready."
As he began to cry more freely, She-Ra was left alone with her own thoughts and worries. She knew Adam loved her, but would he ever be able to tell their parents the truth of their relationship, that they were so much more than just brother and sister? Would the bravest man she'd ever known ever be brave enough not to hide their true feelings from either of their worlds? Would, indeed, the day ever come when they could be together forever in the open just as they were intended to be, just as their hearts told them they were and their souls longed to be? Tears soon began to streak from her sad, blue eyes, as well.
And as their tears fell down like rain, in a dimension far away and yet near at the same time, another person comforted his best friend. "It's okay, Cringer," Adam said as he hugged the crying tiger to him. "One day, we'll be able to bring them home, and then nothing in this world or any other will ever part us again." They cried together, longing for that magical day yet fearing it would never come.