AN: This may or may not end up being a longer story.For now, it's just a short little piece to make you think.

Wordlessly they walked through the grand stone pillars, side by side, she with her hands fisted in the folds of her skirt, and he, casually, with his hands in his pockets. Neither led, and neither followed; by mutual, subconscious accord, they turned the same direction, stopped at the same time, looked at the same things, never communicating, or if they did, only through the blessed silence of the cathedral air. They spoke to no one, looked at no one, only at the inanimate objects around them.

Anyone looking upon the two might call them a couple; they also might call them both highly religious, taking in the gold, the stonework, the crucifixes, the countless imagery of Christ and the Madonna, all respectfully, and above all, silently, with only their footsteps to break the starkness of whispers.

But anyone would be wrong thinking either.

They were a couple, though not to be taken as matrimonial or carnal. No tender words of love ever passed between them, no caresses, and no kisses. They were two people lost in the faithlessness of the world around them, finding it only in a precious few, and of course, each other.

Her companion does not Believe. He lost his faith in a god, if he ever had it. However, unlike her, he has not lost his faith in humanity.

She does not Hope. Once, she believed in humanity, then lost that belief. But one cannot go on without either hope for humanity, or belief in a god, so she chose God.

They came around to the back of the sanctuary, to the last row of pews. She sits down, neatly brushing back her skirt, crossing her ankles, and laying her hands in her lap. She looks up with an unreadable gaze, up into the rafters, and the image of Jesus on the far wall.

He does not sit, but stands behind her, never looking at her, hands in his pockets. But he is still behind her, supporting her, trying to stoke the fire of Hope in her desolate heart.

And she, she looks up to the heavens and asks that her companion finds the small joy given to her by the Unwavering Ally.

She never realizes that he already has an ally; the mortal, earthly Madonna, sitting before him.