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because five really isn't enough!

#6 leans heavily on a certain scene in Jaws.


One

He was eight when he broke his arm. He had been climbing a tree, trying to drop apples down where his brother was waiting below. A limb decided it wasn’t going to hold his weight any longer and sent him plummeting to the ground.

Surprisingly, Noah had been the one to panic. Basch didn’t know why; he wasn’t the one that had a bone sticking out of his skin. When the healer had finished applying the bandage to aid the proper knitting of the bone, it had been the first time anyone had been able to tell the twins apart. Basch almost didn’t want to take the wrappings off when his arm had healed.

Two

He was eleven when he killed a man for the first time. He had been defending his home; Noah was inside protecting their ill mother and Basch had only meant to knock the Imperial invader out. He remembered hearing the sick crack as the flat of his sword – he could almost hear his brother chastising him for holding the thing improperly. Noah always was best with a blade – hit the back of the man’s head, much like an egg breaking. The man went down like a sack of grain, his arms and legs twitching before stopping completely.

Noah helped him drag the body away. After they finished hiding it amongst the tall grass, Basch had been violently ill in a nearby bush. He had heaved even after the contents of his stomach had been emptied, tears rolling down his reddened face.

Three

He was fourteen when he lost his virginity. She had been a girl in his village who sold blankets and pottery with her father. The encounter had been awkward and fumbling and over much sooner than he had expected it would be. She had cried in pain, which made him wonder just what all the other adults thought was so fun about the whole deal.

Four

He was sixteen when he finally understood what the big deal was. She had been a barmaid at the tavern and nearly five years his senior. She had laughed good-naturedly at his fumbling attempts and gently corrected him to both their satisfaction. Years down the road, Basch couldn’t recall her name, but he could clearly picture the way her golden hair had fanned out over her pillow.

“Don’t fall in love with me,” she had warned half playfully after he dressed and left her bed. He hadn’t.

Five

The Empire took his home when he was seventeen. He could remember fire and the coppery tang of blood in the air and yelling for Noah as they were separated. He also remembered running: running and running and running without resting until he reached the arid desert.

He had passed out then, opening his eyes days later to see Dalmasca’s king staring down at him. He hadn’t any way to repay him for saving his life, so he offered the only thing he could: his loyalty. The king had smiled at him indulgently, probably wondering just how well a half-starved and pathetically filthy teenager could wield a sword. Basch was determined not to let his savior down.

Six

His chest and sides were a roadmap of scars by the time he was twenty-five. Here was where an assassin’s dagger had sliced him across the ribs as he lunged in front of their royal target. There was a puckered circle dangerously close to his heart where a bullet had gone through his armor. Various other scars, some raised and others barely noticeable littered the canvas of his body, though none of them compared to the invisible one over his heart that the weapon shop owner’s pretty daughter had inflicted.

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