The ride to the safe house had, so far, been made in utter silence. I
think we were all just too damn tired to talk, even the normally irrepressible
Duo. It had been a killer hand-full of months. Mission after mission,
duty after duty, endless flights, endless fighting. It was grinding us
down. I looked around the sparse back of the truck, at my teammates. Trowa
sat across from me, somehow dozing sitting on the hard bench, his head
resting against the wall of the truck, rocking back and forth with the
sway of the vehicle. Quatre sat beside him, slumped into his lap, eyes
staring straight ahead, but seeing nothing. Wufei was on their side of
the truck, but further up, trying to prop himself into the corner the
sidewall made with the cab. Duo was beside me, sitting sideways, keeping
watch out through the rear flap. His shoulders were hunched, and I noticed
him reach back to rub absently at tired back muscles.
I drug myself around and reached out to massage his shoulders, feeling
his muscles hard and tense under my fingers. He sighed as I gently began
kneading at them.
"Feels good." He muttered, and I could hear the tiredness in
his voice, "Know what would feel better?"
I chuckled faintly, "What?"
"Sleep." He turned his head slightly, so I could see the small
grin, "Sleep would feel better. I could sleep for days."
"Weeks." I heard Quatre's grumble from across the way,
"I could sleep for weeks."
"In a real bed; not a Gundam, or a sleeping bag, or a chair."
Trowa chimed in, apparently not as asleep as he looked.
"Without leaks in the roof or vermin in the bed." Wufei added
from his place at the front of the truck, without ever raising his head
to look our way.
Yes, the last couple of safe houses had been that bad. Especially the
one with the fleas in the bedding. I shivered and had to repress the urge
to scratch something.
I wondered about the hideout that awaited us. It was an odd arrangement;
we were going to the home of an agent posing as the head of a sort of
foster home/half-way house. The whole troubled youths thing. Well, you
couldn't get much more troubled than this group. I wondered if it would
be as bad as the last few places. I glanced down at my watch, and decided
that we should be arriving any time now and as if on cue, the truck slowed
and made a turn.
When it came to a stop, we retrieved our gear and climbed stiffly down
to the ground. I had time to note that it was gravel under our boots,
and not pavement, when the driver called a cheery, "Enjoy!"
out of the cab of his truck, and waved as he pulled away and left us standing
there in the last rays of the setting sun, in the middle of nowhere.
Nobody seemed to have the energy to move, we stood in the middle of the
gravel driveway, listening to the sound of the base truck departing, and
stared at the quaint little frame house in front of us. White, two-story
clapboard, big wrap around front porch, flowers everywhere, with rocking
chairs and a big porch swing. The porch light was on.
"This is just... surreal." Muttered Duo, and I knew just what
he meant. Not twenty hours ago, we were scrambling for our lives through
a dark mountain forest, dodging bullets and grenades. Between the five
of us, we had probably killed two or three dozen soldiers today. This
switching mental gears was getting harder and harder all the time.
There was a loud squeal as the front screen door swung open, and a middle
aged woman stepped onto the porch, wiping her hands on an apron and smiling
broadly. Every one of us flinched.
"Right on schedule!" she called to us, beckoning us to the porch
and holding the door wide, "Come along, boys; don't want to let the
I looked her over; she certainly didn't look like an agent, with her iron
gray hair pulled back in a coiled bun and her checkered apron. She was
not a fat woman nor a skinny one, but solid, and strong looking; probably
not as tall as the shortest of us. She wore a cotton dress that looked
decades out of style, and that bizarre apron that covered her whole front.
No jewelry, no make-up, and a pair of Nikes on her feet. No; she didn't
look like an agent at all. To my right somewhere, I thought I heard Quatre
She planted her beckoning hand on one hip and cocked her head at us, looking
vaguely sad, "Come on, kitlings; I haven't bitten anybody in days."
Quatre snorted out loud, and Duo broke our strange paralysis and made
the first move forward, hoisting his backpack to his shoulder and starting
up the porch steps as though he were climbing Mt. Everest. We followed
him. He stopped in front of the woman and dredged up one of his bright
smiles from somewhere, opening his mouth to begin the introductions, but
the woman just smiled and shushed him.
"No need, Duo, no need. I know who you all are. You may call me Mama-Marion."
And she stepped aside, shooing us into the house.
The living room was... not cluttered, it was neat and clean as anyplace
we had ever stayed, but... full. There was really more furniture than
there was room. There was an enticing smell of spices and cooking, the
warm glow of old-fashioned electric lights, and touches all over the room
of handmade things. Afghans and embroidered pillows, those strange little
white lacy things on the end tables.
As soon as we were all in the house, she let the wooden screen door close
behind us with another of those loud squeals. Somewhere underneath the
exhaustion, I felt a faint pang of guilt that none of us could seem to
work up the energy to speak to this woman who was opening her home to
us. She didn't seem to notice, coming around us and clucking her tongue
as she gave us the once over.
"Your rooms are upstairs, mine is at the top of the stairs, there
are three others, with two beds in each. I'm afraid you'll have to double
up, I hope that isn't a problem."
"No problem." Duo assured her, his eyes glinting with amusement
for a second.
"Supper will be in an hour. There's time for each of you to shower
if you don't take too long. There's a basket here at the bottom of the
stairs; dirty clothes go there, I'll be washing tomorrow." She was
brusque and all business, though not unkind, seeming to take us in hand
as though she dealt with battle weary soldiers every day, and perhaps
We stood for a moment, while the orders sank in. Quatre was in front,
and somehow seemed daunted by the stairs, because he didn't move, but
just stood, alternating glances between her and the surrounding room.
After an odd, uncomfortable moment, the woman stepped up to him and tousled
his hair lightly, "Go on, Sunshine; sooner started, sooner done."
She turned away and headed for what had to be the kitchen door and my
eyes flicked after her and I almost missed the moment when Quatre turned
into a five year old.
His hand rose, slowly reaching up to smooth his hair back down, and a
tiny little burst of a laugh escaped him. I blinked, and where Quatre
had stood was a child of no more than five and he was grabbing Trowa's
hand and pulling him, laughing, toward the stairs.
"Come on, Trowa! Let's go see the rooms!" He bounded up the
stairs and Trowa chuckled faintly, dragging both his gear and Quatre's,
and followed after.
No one seemed to notice. Wufei hoisted his pack and went stiffly after
them. Duo turned to me and shook his head.
"Where does he get his damned energy?" he muttered darkly and
then applied himself to the task of dragging his weary body up the stairs.
I gaped after them. I started to call Duo back. I started to raise the
alarm, to demand that we get the hell out of here, but... nobody seemed
to have noticed but me. Maybe... maybe I was just more tired than I had
thought. I went after them.
Wufei took the first available room he came to, disappearing inside without
a word and closing the door firmly behind him. Trowa and Quatre had already
claimed the one next to his, leaving only the one across the hall. Duo
was just opening the door as I came up behind him, and we went in together,
me stealing glances at the doorway across from us where I heard Trowa
"Don't jump on the bed, Quatre, come down from there before you hurt
The room was much like the downstairs, more furniture than was really
necessary. Two beds, two dressers, two nightstands, a desk, an overstuffed
armchair. Bright, cheery quilts on the beds, paintings on the walls, more
of those lacy doilies. There were two windows, and I suspected that we
had managed to get the largest room somehow.
Duo went straight to the bed across from us, dumping his gear and dropping
to sit down without so much as checking the closet.
I frowned; Gods, he must be tired for him to lose all caution like this.
I let him sit there and moved to secure the room. Satisfying myself that
the room was unoccupied, unmonitored, and danger-free, I turned my attention
back to Duo, only to find him slipping into a doze where he sat. I sighed
and went to kneel in front of him, unlacing his combat boots and pulling
the heavy, uncomfortable things off him. He roused under my hands, eyes
struggling open with a faint guilty look.
"S... sorry, Heero." He slurred, forcing himself to come more
fully awake. "I've got it... sorry."
I left him to finish, and went back to my bed to strip myself out of my
own sweaty, stiff camos, digging a pair of shorts out of my bag to wear
until I got my turn in the shower. This was not one of the Winner
estate houses with a private bath in every room, but I suppose it beat
the hell out of the last place that hadn't even had working indoor plumbing.
I heard Duo sigh heavily behind me, "Heero, do you have an extra
pair of shorts? I missed getting any of my clothes."
I chuckled, remembering the mad scramble to vacate that last safe house
before it went up in flames. It was a miracle that any of us had gotten
anything out in one piece. If there was any consolation at all, it was
that the explosion probably, finally took care of the damned fleas.
I dug another pair out, and turned to toss them to him.
"Duo, why the hell didn't you tell me you were hurt?"
He sighed heavily, "Because there wasn't anything you could have
done about it, it's just bruises."
Deep bruises from the look of them, and more than that, scrapes and scratches
and cuts, across abdomen and back, across his shoulders and down his right
arm. Knees and elbows. Damn.
I went to him, turning him towards the light and pressing gently, checking
for internal injuries, and when I didn't find any signs, took him gently
into my arms. He leaned his forehead on my shoulder, sighing in the comfort
I was offering.
"I could have carried your gear at least." I told him affectionately,
and he chuckled.
"Damn, I'd have thrown myself down a ravine ages ago if I'd known
"And I would certainly have been more careful rubbing your back."
I frowned, thinking back. "I didn't hurt you, did I?"
"Heero, don't be an idiot; I would have said Ouch, Ok?" He grinned
at me, and then drew away, "I think I hear the water shutting off,
I'm going to go see if I can get my turn in the bathroom."
I let him go, and used the time to unpack what little gear I had into
the waiting dresser, surprised and happy to find one drawer in each dresser
stuffed with various sizes of generic, innocuous clothing. I laid a pair
of tan cargo pants and a white t-shirt on Duo's bed for him, and then
gathered up the dirty clothes in a pile to go downstairs.
Try as I might, I couldn't keep myself occupied long enough that I didn't
wind up standing in the doorway listening to Quatre's voice giggling in
the room across the hall.
"Then what happened, Trowa? Did the lion save the little girl?
Did the little girl find her Mommy and Daddy?"
I could hear the rumble of Trowa's reply, but couldn't make out the words.
"Ahhhh, I don't wanna take a bath!"
More indiscernible words from Trowa, and then the bedroom door flew open
and Quatre darted out to run down the hall towards the bathroom. He barged
right in, and the faint sound of running water became louder.
"Duo!" he hollered over the sound of the shower, "Can I
have my bath next? Trowa won't tell me the end of the story until I take
Duo's voice came, bright and laughing, "Sorry, kiddo; Heero's next."
There was an exasperated groan, and Quatre flew back down the hall toward
me, slamming the bathroom door shut behind him.
He skidded to a stop in front of me, "You'll go fast, won'cha Heero?"
I stared down at him, in his tiny combat boots and camouflage gear. I
could see in his face, the man that he would become... the man that he
was, damnit. The same sky blue eyes, the same corn silk hair, something
about the shape of his face.
"Heero... " He whined, getting petulant, looking up at me expectantly.
"S... sure thing, Quatre." I finally managed, and he turned
to run back to the other room.
Why the hell was everyone else taking this all in stride? Why did no one
else seem to find this strange? I doubted my sanity. I doubted reality.
Duo came out of the bathroom and found me still staring at the other room,
listening to Trowa relent and tell just a little more of the story of
the little girl who was rescued from an evil witch by a pride of friendly
"Cute; isn't he?" Duo smiled lovingly toward the sound of their
voices and moved passed me into the room.
"I... found you some clothes." I muttered distractedly, and
made my way to the bathroom to take my turn in the shower, deciding I'd
better 'go fast' if I didn't want a certain five year old barging in on
me as well.
After the shower, I dressed and fled downstairs with the pile of dirty
clothes, trying to lose myself in the crowded living room, finding a bookcase
in the corner laden with all manner of books, and I sat down there to
peruse the titles so that I would have an excuse for being there if the
mysterious 'Mama-Marion' came wandering in and found me here alone. I
didn't really think I was ready to confront her with any bizarre accusations
Overhead, I heard the pounding of Quatre's feet as he thundered to take
possession of the bathroom, and he must have 'gone fast' himself, because,
in a surprisingly short amount of time, he pounded back down the hall
yelling at the top of his lungs.
"Trowa! I'm done! Now tell me if the lions beat the evil dragon!"
There was a pause, and then, "Awwww! You didn't say you had to have
a shower too!" Trowa's voice held firm, and then Quatre came
scrambling down the stairs, bellowing for,
"Mama-Marion!" It was amazing that he had grown up to be such
a quiet young man. I shook my head, trying to get my thoughts together.
It was almost as though something were trying to soothe me into not worrying
about it. I had trouble keeping it firmly in my mind that this was wrong.
Quatre was not a damned pre-schooler.
"In the kitchen, Sunshine." She called cheerily, and thankfully,
Quatre sped passed without seeing me and disappeared into the bowels of
I just stayed on the floor by the bookcase, trying to get my tired brain
to work this through. What in the hell was going on? Why was I the only
who seemed to think anything was odd?
"Trowa said to come see if I could help you with dinner while he's
in the shower." I heard Quatre telling Mama-Marion.
"Think you can set the table, poppet?" she asked him, and there
was the rattle of dishes and Quatre relating the tale of the lions and
the evil dragon, in an odd never ending string that didn't seem to require
him to draw breath.
Why wasn't I acting? Why wasn't I overcome with panic? Something had just
taken one of my teammates and turned the clock of his life back a dozen
years, I should be quaking in terror. My entire team should be quaking
I heard the sounds of Duo and Wufei coming down the stairs.
"Maxwell, are you well?"
"Yeah; fine... just tired. I guess."
"You look like shit."
"Uhmmmm... .thanks, man."
"Don't mention it."
Even their banter was blunted with exhaustion. Not just Duo's, but Wufei's
as well, though he seemed to be holding up better. But then, Duo ran himself
so close to the edge most of the time, that he didn't have the reserves
that Wufei did.
I rose from my spot on the floor and glanced at Duo critically.
"He actually looks better since the shower." I grunted and was
rewarded with a chuckle from Wufei and a glare from Duo.
My mouth was open to broach the subject of Quatre's uncanny transformation,
when said five-year-old burst out of the kitchen and almost plowed into
"Mama-Marion says supper's ready!" He beamed up at Wufei and
I held my breath waiting to see what would happen, but Wufei only smiled
down and said,
"Tell her we are on the way, little one. Trowa is right behind us."
All I could do was follow them to the kitchen and take my place at the
The kitchen was large and spacious, warm and... full, just like the rest
of the house. Things everywhere. There was a large metal and Formica table
on the right side of the room, with the stove, sink and refrigerator on
the left. There was a huge hutch where the dishes seemed to be displayed,
near the table, and a large counter top 'island' in the center of the
room. The smells were making my mouth water. We had been eating our own
cooking for so long, I had forgotten how good real food could smell.
Marion was bustling about, plopping huge dishes of food on the table,
beaming at each of us as we came into the room. There were large glasses
of milk at each place, and I caught Duo eyeing his with a resigned air
and I knew he was longing for a bottle of soda.
There was enough food here to feed an army, and I almost snorted at the
bizarre thought; we were an army, in our own way. I caught Marion
catching me with the faint smile on my face, and she flashed me a cocky
grin, just as though she knew what I was thinking. I looked away.
There was a huge platter with a pot roast on it, already sliced, and surrounded
by those strange little potatoes that seem to always be with pot roasts
as if one can't exist without the other. There were green beans and corn,
biscuits and apple butter, the milk was icy cold, and I had no doubt everything
on the table was made from scratch. I ate because my stomach was growling,
but I had to admit everything was delicious; fresh and hot and cooked
to perfection. Even Duo, normally a light eater, especially when he isn't
feeling well, ate his fair share. Quatre didn't seem to stop talking through
the entire meal, so much so, that both Trowa and Marion had to admonish
him not to talk with his mouth full more than once.
"... and there's kittens, Trowa! Mama-Marion showed me before supper,
she said we can feed them after supper, they eat the scraps, there's a
pot on the back of the sink and all the stuff goes in there and it's really
gross and you gotta carry it way out here like this, "cause
it stinks really bad, but Mama-Marion says the cats like it and we can
take it out after supper, she feeds them every night and she says... "
I had never been around a child like this before; he talked without punctuation
or breath either one. I alternated staring at him with staring at my oblivious
"I'll expect you all to carry your weight around here." Marion
was saying, I could not bring myself to think of her as Mama anything
no matter how hard I tried, "This is a self-sufficient farm and there's
plenty to do to keep idle hands busy."
No one responded, except Quatre who wanted to know if she had cows.
She smiled at him warmly, a twinkle in her eye, and shook her head, "No
cows, Sunshine, just a couple of chickens, the cats and the dogs."
Quatre forgot the cows and came around the table to Duo, "You wanna
go see the kittens with us, Duo?" he asked brightly and I turned
to see my partner with his head braced on one hand, eyes heavy-lidded
"Not tonight, kiddo." He smiled down at the little blond head,
"I'm kinda tired."
"You sick, Duo?" Quatre's voice became concerned, his five year
old mind not able to comprehend Duo's resistance to the lure of kittens.
Duo chuckled, tousling Quatre's hair, "No. Just really, really...
Quatre raised himself up on his toes, and wrapped his small arms around
Duo's neck, squeezing tight. "Maybe tomorrow night." It surprised
Duo, and he took a second to return the hug, a strange look of pain washing
over his features. I caught it, and Marion did as well, I saw the sad
frown cross her face. Then Quatre and the look were both gone. Duo's pain,
back behind the gilded mask he could pull on at will. Quatre to Trowa's
side, who wouldn't refuse his partner anything, not even a trip to the
barn at this Gods awful hour.
As Trowa and Quatre
took the, as promised, truly gross pan, out through the pantry to the
back door, the rest of us rose as one to begin the job of clearing the
table and doing the dishes. But Marion put the lie to her earlier remark
about us carrying our own weight, and shooed us out the door.
"Not tonight, sweetlings." She told us, almost tenderly, "You've
had your showers and your dinner; now off you go to bed." And she
tousled Duo's hair as she came by him.
My heart staggered, and I stared at him hard, moving to slip an arm around
him in support, as if my presence could keep the thing that had happened
to Quatre from happening to him.
He smiled at me softly, accepting the support, telling me just how very
tired he must be. I thought back, realizing his fall had to have happened
not long after the explosion, just before the twenty mile run through
the damned, dark forest, under full pack.
"Marion," I asked, not liking to speak with her directly at
all, but having little choice, "do you have any... "
"Pain medication's in the bathroom." She told me, before I could
finish the sentence, and I glanced up to see her busily clearing the table,
not even looking our way. I shivered. Duo didn't seem to notice.
"Let's get you upstairs." I told him softly, and the three of
us left the kitchen.
I would have carried him, but he wasn't so far gone that he was ready
to put up with that, glaring at the both of us as we hovered over him
on the stairs. I made him stop off in the bathroom and convinced him to
swallow a couple of the pain pills. He was starting to complain rather
loudly about being treated like an invalid, but I was just so relieved
that he was still... normal, that I didn't respond to his barbs.
Wufei vanished into his own room while we were still arguing in the bathroom,
and then finally, I had Duo stripped and in a pair of shorts, sitting
on the side of his bed and we were alone.
"Duo... " I began, and then I heard the pounding of little running
feet and the sharp squeal of Quatre's laughter and... something else.
I went to the door in time to see Quatre and Trowa racing each other down
the hall, laughing in wild, childish screams. I hadn't been there to see
Trowa's transformation, but there he was... no more than five. They darted
into their room, and I watched long enough to see them climb together
into the center of one of the beds and begin to bounce like they were
on a trampoline. I closed our door and turned away only to find Duo curled
in a ball in the center of his bed, sound asleep.
I sighed, went and drew his quilts over him and sought my own bed, suddenly
just too damned tired to care.
I awoke to a near dark room, momentarily disoriented, not sure what had
disturbed me, and not certain where I was, and that scared me a little;
a soldier should never wake like that. Then it flooded back and I remembered
the strange house and the strange woman and the stranger thing that had
happened. But that wasn't what had roused me from an exhausted sleep,
and my eyes sought Duo's bed, terrified that I would find him there, reduced
like Trowa and Quatre, to early childhood. What I found instead was my
partner sitting up in the center of his bed, hands clutching at the cross
at his throat, rocking himself gently back and forth, utterly soundless
in the darkness.
I rose without speaking and went to sit beside his hunched form, wrapping
myself around him close and warm. I knew this wasn't one of the infamous
nightmares, the whole house would have known if it had been. But I wasn't
sure what thing had laid claim to him in the night. I pulled myself into
his dark world, moving with him until it was me doing the rocking and
his face was buried against my shoulder. He was tense and trembling, very
"Heero... .Oh Gods, Heero... I've lost her... she's gone... "
I was utterly clueless. I didn't know this nightmare, I didn't know who
he was talking about. So I just held him and rocked him and stroked his
hair and waited for him to tell me.
"The little ones... Ren, Py, Dart, Cat, Cutter, Mary Lynn,
Mad Dog, Race, Eel, Long Tom, Solo." He said the names slowly
and solemnly, pausing after each one, voice faint and far away. "I've
lost Py... I can't see her."
I made soft noises, unsure of my ground here, unsure what was wrong.
"I have the names... I can remember all the names... and the faces
that go with them... but I've lost Py. I can't see Py."
He was in agony, his voice full of pain, twisted with guilt. I still wasn't
sure I understood completely, but I understood a little, and I tried to
reassure him with words that even I knew were meaningless, and he got
a little angry.
"No! I'm the last of us! I'm the only one left to remember them,
when I forget, then... then they're dead forever! I swore I'd remember...
I swore... "
A single tear forced its way passed his defenses, tracking a silver trail
down his cheek in the dim, dim light of a distant moon.
I stopped trying to make it better, and just held him, sliding into his
bed with him and letting him wrap himself around me to take what comfort
he could find in my presence. He grew quiet, and I might have thought
he had eased back into sleep had I not felt how taut and tense his body
was next to mine. He would shiver hard every little bit, like a man who
was diving deep in the water desperately searching for a drowning friend,
only to be forced back to the surface to gasp for air himself. He was
diving in his own memory, trying to make the pictures come back, trying
to resurrect the face of this Py from a mind overloaded with pain and
loss. He tried, I could feel him trying, as desperate as a father for
the life of his own, and I suddenly flashed on the pain that had washed
over him at the supper table when little Quatre had hugged him tight.
At great length, he grew still and whispered soft as a sigh, "She's
All I could say was, "I'm so sorry, love. So very sorry." Understanding
without fully understanding.
He slid his arms tight around my torso, pressing himself close, and I
stroked his cheek, his brow, sifted wisps of his hair in my fingers and
murmured soft nonsense until he was carried away by sleep again, and I
saw to it that he slept long and deep.
I lay awake the remainder of the night, using my voice and my hands to
assure his rest; I was determined that nothing would disturb him. He so
sorely needed respite, to put aside these heavy burdens and just let himself
rest. He had been riding the ragged edge of his endurance for so long,
barely recovering from one blow before it seemed he was struck down by
another. It tore at my heart to watch him rise again and again, bloodied
and bowed, but somehow never quite broken. Never letting himself give
up, never letting himself just stay down and say, enough. He owned
me; heart and mind, body and soul. How could you ever glimpse the bright,
shining spirit that lived behind the laughing mask and not give yourself
up entirely? And then, of course, there was the incredible miracle that
he loved me. He loved me; Heero the perfect damn soldier Yuy. I
didn't deserve what I had with him; I didn't deserve what he gave me with
every breath he drew. I could spend my life trying to repay what he had
gifted me with and never manage it. I wanted to bear every one of his
burdens; take every one of his scars, lift the pain from his heart so
I never had to see its ghost in his eyes again.
Gods, I was tired. Duo would tell me I was getting damned poetic for a
Gundam pilot. But then he would smile that tender, sweet smile, and kiss
I missed his music. I think he had lost most of his CDs in the mad scramble
to get out of that last safe house alive. I missed most the soft lilting
voice and the gentle harps of the one we had taken to falling asleep to
at night. I vowed to replace it for him the next chance I got, it seemed
to ease him off to sleep at night, and I had grown accustomed to the sounds
Dawn came, at long last, and I yearned to stretch cramped muscles, but
Duo was still sprawled across me, limp and sunk so deeply in his sleep
that I could barely feel the brush of his breathing; his heart a slow,
steady pulse against my chest. So I watched him now that there was light
enough to see; watched his face, unlined and clear in the innocence of
sleep, all the pain erased, all the care set aside. Not the bright mask,
jeweled with his manic grin, that he wore so often, but a true look of
peace, and how I wished I could grant him that expression with his eyes
I began to hear the sounds of the house awakening around us, water running,
the sound of doors opening and closing. I heard Quatre and Trowa come
out of their room, talking in loud whispers, cautioning each other to
"Be quiet!" as they made their way downstairs. Then I heard
Wufei come out of his room, and was relieved to measure the sound of his
tread and know that he was, at least for now, still all right.
I don't know if the sounds filtered through or not, but beside me, Duo
began to stir. I felt it in his breathing first, a very subtle change
that I doubt anyone else would have noticed. Slowly, he shifted and his
eyes were blinked open under a deepening frown, a groan escaping as he
rolled free of me, hands moving to rub sore spots, finding painful bruises
and dropping away.
"Oh Gods... tell me you got the number of the truck that ran over
me." He moaned piteously, hands finally settling on rubbing at his
I propped myself up on one elbow to look down at him, "Not the first
time." I chuckled, "But when he backed up and ran over you again,
we wrote it down."
He laughed out-right, dropping his hands to look up at me, "Well,
aren't we perky this morning?"
"Been watching you sleep." I smiled and leaned down to kiss
the end of his nose.
2] [back to Sunhawk's fic]