By Keelywolfe
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: 4+2, 2+4
Archive: Darkflame knows that she is more than welcome, anyone else, just ask, I am pretty flexible. Feedback: Please, any and all. I live for it, I do. :)
Disclaimers: The characters within all belong to their owners and not me. I am only borrowing them and will return them immediately after their use
WARNINGS: Not a lemon. Sorry, I know I promised one but this isn't it. This is another travel-fic, that I am writing in my car as I am on the road. (No, I am not driving.<g>) So any errors you see are probably bumps in the road. Lemons soon, I promise. ;)
Authors note: This is NOT a sequel to my previous 'Interlude' story. I'm just using the phrase 'Interlude' for my short travel-fics. <g> Enjoy!

Different Degrees of Maybe

"Did you love him?"

Quatre watched with some interest as Duo choked on the mouthful of beer he'd just taken. Snuggling deeper into his blanket, he waited patiently for the other pilot to catch his breath. The bonfire that Duo had started hours ago had finally started to die down from the blazing inferno into something that was more comfortable, creating shadows that writhed around the small clearing they were camping in.

They had been out here for hours, in the middle of a wooded nowhere, huddled in the shadows of their Gundams while the two of them threw a wake for Heero Yuy, at Duo's insistence. Quatre didn't have the heart to point out to Duo that this was the fourth wake that they had held for the Wing pilot and chances were that Heero had survived this self- destruct as well. There was always a chance that Heero had finally managed to do it. Still, they had done this so many times, Trowa and Wufei with them sometimes, that Duo had started carrying a 6-pack with him, just in case.

Still coughing, Duo looked at him and finally managed to wheeze out, "What did you say?"

"I asked if you loved him," Quatre said, fidgeting with his barely touched bottle. He was being a little rude asking such a personal question, he knew, but he might never have the opportunity to ask again and, well...this had less to do with Duo and Heero than it did with his own confused emotions but one had to start somewhere.

Duo held up his own bottle and squinted at it. "Three bottles isn't enough to start having hallucinations," he muttered, and he raised it to his nose, sniffing suspiciously before shrugging and taking another deep swallow. Sighing deeply, he said clearly, "Did I love him? No, I didn't." Duo snorted and shook his head, a grin curving his lips. "Love him? That guy? Hell, no. He was an anti-social suicidal weirdo. I don't even think he was really human. I respected him as a pilot and he was a hell of a soldier, but that's all."

Feeling strangely disappointed, Quatre nodded a little and turned back to the fire, not questioning the other boy. Duo was a little on the insane side but he never lied. At least he hadn't gotten angry.

They were both silent for a long while, watching the dancing orange flames and lost in their own thoughts. Quatre was nearly nodding off when the longhaired pilot spoke again, his words jerking Quatre back into awareness.

"But I could have, you know?" Duo said softly, almost inaudibly, still staring at the fire. "Maybe." He sighed and leaned back, looking up at the stars with the bottle in his hands dangling precariously from his fingertips.

"You could have loved him?" Quatre repeated quietly, watching his friend.

"Yeah," Duo replied slowly and he smiled a little. "Yeah, I think so. He snorted. "If he'd have let me. Or if we'd had more time, maybe.

"If he'd opened up a little." Duo slanted Quatre an odd look but the blond was looking at the fire again, studiously avoiding his shrewd gaze.

"Yeah," Duo said finally. "If he'd have just listened to me."

"Talked to me."

"If he'd..."

"Just let me..."

"Maybe I could have..."

"Maybe..."

They fell silent, the fire crackling between them and the chirp of crickets filling in the quiet. Quatre tilted his bottle up and finished the last swallow of his beer, wrinkling his nose at the taste. He'd never liked it much but Duo had insisted. Wrapping up tightly in his blanket, he rolled onto his side and closed his eyes, trying to sleep despite the nagging ache in his heart. He'd gotten an answer to his question but somehow now he felt worse, even more alone knowing that Duo was.

"Quatre?"

Shifting up on his elbow, Quatre turned back to Duo with a mental sigh. He should have known better than to think he could go to sleep so early. He started to ask Duo what he wanted and abruptly found himself caught in a gentle embrace, the words dying before they were spoken as warm lips covered his own and for a moment he was too stunned to respond.

Hesitantly, he opened his mouth to the gentle, persistent caress and Duo took advantage of it, his tongue delving inside to tease at Quatre's. Closing his eyes, the blond concentrated on the feeling, the light velvet stroke of Duo's tongue against his own, a tender beer- flavored kiss like nothing he'd ever felt before or had expected to feel, at least not with Duo.

Pulling away, Duo pressed one last sweet kiss on the tip of Quatre's nose before he pulled away, his blue eyes darkened by the shadows and revealing nothing.

Quatre swallowed hard, his mouth working silently for a moment before a single word escaped, more like a squeak, "Duo?"

The other pilot said nothing, ignoring the soft question as he drank down the last of his beer in one swallow before calmly setting the bottle aside. Snagging his own blanket, Duo wrapped himself up and settled down next to the fire, eyes closed.

Wrapping his arms around his legs, Quatre rested his chin on his knees, even more confused than he had been at the beginning of the evening. His thoughts chased themselves in circles as his body finally gave in to exhaustion and alcohol. He was nearly asleep, lulled by the warmth of the fire and the soft chirp of crickets when Duo spoke again, the barest hint of a laugh in his voice as Quatre blinked awake.

"Well, Heero Yuy can't be the only maybe in the galaxy."

Tilting his head, Quatre studied the boy lying next to him, Duo Maxwell, Gundam pilot and one of the most feared terrorists in the war was nothing more than a still form huddled underneath a blanket, his long braid of hair trailing out like some kind of bizarre tail.

Smiling suddenly, Quatre shook his head before crawling over to Duo. He tugged lightly on the blanket and Duo opened his eyes, gave him a quizzical look and a grin, lifting the blanket and allowing Quatre underneath.

Snuggling close to warm body next to his own, Quatre whispered, softly against Duo's ear, "No, I suppose he can't." And he caught the American's lips with his own, a tender kiss that flirted with being more, maybe.

The silence of the night seeped back in, broken only occasionally by delighted laughter and perhaps more as the woods sole human occupants discovered each other, and the different nuances of maybe.

-finis-

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