Cross of Gold

by WSJ

Inspired by the Michael W. Smith song of the same name.

Disclaimer: I neither own nor claim to own any of the characters.

Summery: Four of our boys go to a bar, and Quatre confronts a slut who has, of all things possible, a gold cross around her neck.

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For some, it's simply something you wear around your neck, just a chain, jeweralry. Is it decoration? Is it an icon? Or proclamation? An icon of what? What? For some, it's simply something you wear around your neck, just a chain. It means a lot more then that to me. . .

~Michael W. Smith, "Cross of Gold"

Quatre hunched his shoulders, trying to burrow farther into his brown leather jacket and get away from the noisy crowds of the bar. He stared down into his drink, willing the pain to go away, the memories to leave him. But they stayed.

Quatre squeezed his eyes shut, wishing that he had the courage to get drunk. He sighed and straitened slightly, glancing around him. Trowa, Heero, and Wufei were easily within sight, all of them drunk senceless. But the Arabian could tell from the haunted look in their eyes that they still remembered.

Several seats down the bar, a pretty blond woman caught Quatre's eye. She was tall and slender, and dressed in as little black leather as possible. Her eyes were green, and her long blond hair fell in waves to mid-back. What caused Quatre to bristle, however, was the fact that she had a cross around her neck, when she was obviously no religious person.

His own hand moved automatically to the gold cross hanging around his own neck, tarnished, burnt, and half-melted though it was. He remembered suddenly how zealous Duo was concerning his religion. In fact, that was the main reason he wasn't here tonight.

Coming to a decision, Quatre stood up and made his way over to the blond, planting himself on the bar stool next to her. She looked up at him and smiled seductivly, expecting another customer for her services. "You look like a very sexy gentleman," she purred, running a finger lightly across his chest until it came in contact with his cross.

Quatre shuddered slightly, but forced the stern look to stay on his face. He batted her hand away, pointing at the cross that rested against her breast. "Why do you wear that?"

She giggled nervously, slightly surprised at this turn in the "conversation". Usually, she and whatever man she was talking to would have slunk off to some quiet back room by now. "I wear it because it's in fasion. See, even you are wearing one,"

"I wear mine because a friend asked me too, and because it represents all he, and I, stand for." Quatre said firmly, again knocking her hand away, since she had began to rub it up and down his leg.

She scowled at him. "Oh," she said in disgust. "So you're some religious fanatic, here to preach to the 'unmentionables'?"

Now it was Quatre's turn to scowl. "Hardly. I'm a soldier, here to relax after a battle and try to forget."

"Forget what?" she asked, leaning forward to give him the full effect of her big eyes and, to be honest, her cleavage.

Quatre's mind flashed back to that morning, when a large brown envelope had appeared on the front door-step of the pilots' safe house. He swallowed forcibly, trying to ignore the dull ache in his heart. "What every soldier tries to forget. Destruction, death. War."

The blond smiled at him, this time with a slight sympathetic air to it. "I know how that is," she whispered, half to herself and half to Quatre. "War makes us all do things we regret..." She was staring over Quatre's shoulder with a look of pure sadness in her eyes, and Quatre wondered what she could possibly be seeing. He half-turned in his seat, but all he saw behind him were the three other pilots.

By the time he turned back around, she'd shaken herself out of whatever trance she'd been in, and was again grinning serenly. "War is a terrible but necessary evil, I am afraid."

Quatre shook his head slightly and quoted Duo. "Wars take many lives away. People never forget the grief, but they also never stop fighting. Streams of blood and tears are only an ornament for their destructive rituals," he paused, and then went on to quote Dr. J as well. "People who commit war are stupid, but the blood they spill is not meaningless." That was a quote that Relena had oft repeated.

The girl frowned slightly. She hadn't expected to get tangled into a political debate on war over peace. Her mission was supposed to be simple. "War is horrible," she spat. "But soldiers are so brave! Surly everything will be all right with boys like you on the front lines."

Quatre shook his head saddly, his cheeks paling slightly and a tear drifting down his cheek. "Brave nothing." He unconciously clutched at the crucifix around his neck and didn't see the girl's eyes narrow. "I lost a comerade today, one I was very close to..." He shuddered as again the image of the brown envelope and its contents sprang to his mind. Photos, horrible photos, and a twisted and burned crucifix, the one he wore around his neck right now. And a note, stating Duo had been first to go, because those with religion 'needed to be exterminated'.

Duo had left on a mission several days prior, and had not returned. The photos, apparently taken by the enemy, showed every step of the braided one's death. Tortured to death. But as far as Dr. J and the other four docs could tell, Duo, true to his training, had reveiled nothing.

A sob caught in Quatre's throat, and the girl's eyes narrowed, her hand moving as if to brush her hair away from her face, tapping a small communicator behind her left ear as she did.

Quatre gasped and snapped to attention as sounds of a scuffle erupted behind him. He turned to see Trowa, Heero, and Wufei being dragged away by OZ soldiers-in-disguise, easily subdued in their drunken state. He turned back to see the girl again smiling sadly at him, absently fondling her cross between her fingers as two more soldiers stepped forward to grab the little Arabian.

"It seems, Mr. Winner," Midii said with a small note of regret in her voice. "That war shall take more lives this day."

()()()()()

Quatre: O.o;;

Duo: -.-;; I'm dead! Again!

Quatre: O.o;;

Trowa: ..... *blushing lightly* .......

Quatre: O.o;;

Duo: *waves his hand in front of Quatre's face* Hey 'SJ, I think he's in shock...

Trowa: ....Midii..... *blushes more*

Quatre: O.o;;

WSJ: *sighs* Oh great, here we go again... Reviews please!

God bless minna-san!