A/N: Whoa! Haven't written an author's note in a while... I was supposed to post this at the end of this week, but I guess I believed that Quatre and Dorothy desperately deserved a happy ending, not to mention a lot of sap. After all, I haven't done them much justice, putting them through piles of angst and torture. So here it is. I finally finished something! It has been a while since I have. Oh, another thing, lemony lime scene ahead, but it's nothing graphic.

Thanks to all those who have reviewed! I really appreciate it! Reviews make me feel giddy and inspired.

Solace

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My shoulders were slumped, and I descended the front steps of the grand house with a heavy heart. I balled my hands up in fists and stuffed them in my pockets. I could feel the pain of my own nails digging into my flesh...but no pain was greater than imagining the look on Dorothy's face the instant Millardo held her hand and touched her back. The moment Millardo tapped my shoulder, I refused to drown myself into more pain by seeing the look on her face. She must have been more than willing to dispose of me to finally touch the man of her dreams. I decided that I was walking my way out of her life forever. Would she even care? Would I even matter? All I knew at the moment was that she mattered more to me than I mattered to myself. I wondered how I could overcome that feeling. I deduced that I would feel the same even if she has moved on.

Why was it that I so idiotically set my heart on something that I could never have? She gave her heart to Millardo...and I knew that from the beginning, but I still chose to fall into the trap that she fell in. I would have done anything to have what she offered to him. Then again, I was sure that she would have done anything to have what Noin had. Was Millardo still oblivious to what she felt for him? I was sure that she was oblivious about my feelings. I wanted to tell her that night as we danced, regardless of the risk of being hurt, but before I could say anything, Millardo stopped it short. I ended up getting my feelings hurt anyway.

I was soaking in my own heartbreak that I overlooked the fact that Millardo was married and in love with a woman other than Dorothy. I forgot to take into account that Dorothy could never have had him. I guess I was too blind with resentment and thoughts of them together to remember that. It was funny how she had that power to let my heart overtake my mind. I wished I had that kind of effect on her.

Suddenly, with instincts that I never lost from the war, I turned around and realized that I was not alone. Dorothy was at the top of the front steps with her dress hitched and her shoes dangling on her fingers.

"Quatre! Quatre! Wait!" I heard her call after me. My heart fluttered and part of me was hoping that she chose me over Millardo. Part of me dreaded that she was going to tell me that she was going to run away with him. Half of her face showed relief and the other half showed fear. I can hardly remember if my mouth was hanging open or if I stared blankly.

I wanted to grab her by the shoulders, shake her and tell her that he didn't love her, but I did and that I would be there for her. Instead, I pressed my lips together and turned back around to resume my walking. I dreaded that she would look into my eyes and tell me that she was sorry that she didn't feel the same way if I did what I wished to do. She called my name again, but I ignored it. My hopeful mind imagined her running frantically down the steps, racing to reach me.

"Oh Quatre, please!" I heard her say, her voice getting nearer and nearer. The next thing I felt was her hand whirling me around to face her. I looked into her eyes and instantly read what she felt. She chose me. I wanted to jump for joy, but images of her pining for Millardo kept flashing in my head.

"Did you enjoy dancing with him, Dorothy?" I asked mockingly as I looked into her eyes, even though it hurt me to refer to him and it hurt me even more to inflict pain on her. But at that point, I was saturating in my own suffering, with images of his hands holding her. I must have been going crazy.

"Oh God, Quatre...I don't know how to tell you this, I couldn't let you go without--" she started, tears welling up in her eyes. I wanted to take her into my arms and murmur sweet, reassuring words in her ear that proved all my love, but I tried to look at her without emotion. The contents of my stomach were boiling up inside with envy and my chest twisted in pain and I didn't know if I was supposed to be angry at her or him or myself.

"Tell me what? Tell me how wonderful it felt to have his hands on you, tell me how you looked into his eyes and saw forever?" Oh Allah, I was stabbing my own heart as well as hers. She looked up at me with those piercing eyes of hers. She was the same dewy eyed beauty like she was in Millardo's wedding...but this was different. Tears were welling up because of her unspoken love for me. I realized that we were both bleeding inside.

With a look of determination, she placed her hands on my shoulders. She kept her gaze on me, but what I saw next astonished me. Tears were freely running down her cheeks. She never cried for Millardo, but now she is crying for me.

"Can't you see? I thought you read me so well...or are you pretending now that I am the one who is on pins and needles for you?" I saw that she made no attempt to brush her tears away, even though I wanted to.

She sighed, but continued on. "I wanted to tell you...it did not feel wonderful to have his hands on me, only awful because I realized that I wanted you, and when I looked into his eyes, I saw that I missed yours and I had loved you and didn't know it until now."

She had said it. She said the words that I have dreamed of the night she fell asleep in my arms. I wanted to speak and tell her I felt the same way and that I was sorry for scorning her, but she let go of her grip on my shoulders.

"But Quatre, it's not fair to you...you covered my hand as my heart ached for Millardo on his wedding day, you paid for the drinks that I used to get drunk because I was not over the unrequited infatuation I had with him, you picked up the dirty pieces that no one would touch...I don't deserve someone like you. How can you love me back after the way I acted? It's truly not fair...but somehow, I can't help but hope for a chance with you..."

My arms automatically wrapped around her waist and I pulled her against me so close that I could hear her heartbeat against mine. I could no longer take my own cruelty. I felt her hands clasp on the back of my neck. I submerged my face into her hair. "Stop the nonsense Dorothy. Stop being ridiculous...I'm here...I'll always be here and you know that."

She started sobbing against me and hot tears began to dampen my suit. The suit was the least of my worries at the moment. Honestly, it felt pleasing to feel her tears dampen my suit. I ran my hand through her hair to try to soothe her and I pressed my lips to her head. 

I continued on. "I love you so much that at the moment I felt Millardo's fingers on my shoulder I knew I had to let go because being happy is all I hope you would ever be. I wasn't sure if it was gratitude or affection that you felt for me. Then as you cried for me tonight, I realized that I have done you a disservice." 

She looked up at me with tears of passing sadness and coming joy. A soft chuckle escaped her lips. "We are the scariest ghouls I have ever known. We're standing here, being melodramatic and overemotional over stupid things that didn't really exist. Do me a real service and kiss me," she said, in that tone of hers that commanded me. I willingly obliged. 

With my fingers, I tilted her head up gently to face me. As our lips touched, I took one last look at her before being lost into the depths of the kiss. I closed my eyes and I felt her wrap her arms about my neck and I deepened the kiss. As our tongues dueled, I felt my arm tighten around her waist. My index finger ran diagonally down her neck to her shoulder. My brain told me I needed air, but I had waited too long for this. Too long that breathing can wait just a little while longer...

My body mechanically pressed against hers. Her kiss tasted like wine and frankly, I didn't mind getting drunk. My fingers trailed from her shoulder up to her face and cupped it. It was our first and yet there was nothing gentle and innocent about it. The kiss was strong and raw and I knew that this was a result of locked feelings and pent up loneliness inside. Suddenly, she broke the kiss off and gasped for air.

In between breaths I told her I loved her over and over again. There was no holding back now. I stroked her hair and she kissed me and told me he loved me too. We were so wrapped up in each other that we forgot that we were in a public place, in someone else's engagement party, not ours. She looked at me with a devious smirk on my face.

She tiptoed to whisper the words to me. "I want you to come home with me." I nearly jumped as she finished her statement.

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I wanted to refuse her request, but we got there, on the point of no return. She lay underneath me, with her arms forming a loose circle around my arms, summoning me to her. In my selfish way I had hoped to be her first, but I also knew that if that was the case, I would hurt her. I often heard classmates and friends talk about the intimate details, but I have never experienced it. I have always been called the sentimental one and I waited for the right woman. I'm glad I did because I did find her.

As I entered her, I felt my soul soar into the sky with hers. She clenched in pain, but I had a hard time restraining myself. She tried not to whimper or sob, but I knew what she was going through. A part of me was happy that I was her first, but another part of me wanted to pull out so that I could cause her no more pain.

"I'm so sorry...I'm so sorry," I whispered, my breath shuddering and throaty.

I rubbed my cheek against hers and ran my hands up and down her thighs to soothe the pain. Her grip on me tightened but I felt her hips sway towards me, driving me deeper. I knew even that caused her pain and I rubbed my nose against her cheek. She said nothing, but beckoned me to carry on. I started to move against her gently, even though it was difficult for me to do so. She was driving me insane and it took all my will to prevent myself from making love to her like crazy. She was still adjusting.

At first it was only me who was moving, but after a few moments, she started matching my thrusts. I found her mouth and kissed her gently to find that she was returning my kiss hungrily. This made my effort to be gentle even more difficult, if possible, and I found myself pushing into her deeper and harder than I intended to. She didn't seem to mind as she arched her back to me. My hands could not help but slide up to her rear and push her against me even deeper. She made a soft sound against my mouth as she felt it.

My mouth then drifted down to kiss her neck, and her hand traveled up to the back of my head to caress it. I felt the pressure mounting and mounting as our bodies melded and meshed together. Her legs wrapped about my waist and I was pleased to know that all of the pain had gone. She shuddered and moaned at every move I made and I found myself matching the sounds she made. As I felt the pressure nearing the peak, I gave a push so hard that I drove her to the edge and I felt her clench around me. This triggered my own and I cried out her name like a mantra in doing so before being consumed by a glorious white light.

We lay there for a few more moments, holding each other tightly, trying to recover from the overpowering but pleasant aftermaths of what had just been. I was too consumed and overwhelmed to quickly realize that I was squashing her. I unfolded her legs around me and I rolled both of us over so I could not crush her any longer. As I lay under her, my skin was pleasurably tickled by the feel of her spilled hair around us. I ran my hands up and down her bare back and savored the feel of her, the scent of her. I closed my eyes and tried to recapture the night we spent together. It seemed so unreal that I had to remember it to prove to myself that it really happened. This night was so much like the dreams that only I came up with when I was alone in my bed. She quickly buried her damp head on the side of my neck and kissed it.

"If we're ever pulled apart, the memory of tonight is all I need to make my life worthwhile. To know that you love me tonight is enough," she whispered. I felt her hot breath against mine and it made me shiver. I quickly reacted to her bold statement.

I turned my head so I could see into her eyes and my nose could touch hers. "Oh darling..." I breathed. As I looked at her, she looked very much like a lost little child. She was so used to loss and grief now that she has come to accept it as a part of her life. I was touched by what she said but I don't think I could ever stand being without her. She became my life and without her, I would lose my desire for living. I closed my eyes for a moment and re-opened them to say what I needed to say.

"Don't say that. We won't be pulled apart, I won't let it happen."

She didn't say anything after that, but I could tell that she was assured by my words because she rested her head on my shoulder. There was no way that she was going to lose me like she lost the other men in her life. She was deprived of love so many times that it was my duty to give her what she needed. I just hoped that she still learned to have faith. With disappointment and broken promises frequently present in her life, I would not be surprised if she forgot how to believe.

I felt her eyes and her hand roam over that old scar that she gave me. The old scar was just a remnant of war, but as her fingers ran through it, it burned.

"I never had the chance or the courage to apologize for this...I can't believe I did this to you, I'm so sorry," she began. I took the hand that was over my scar and kissed it. "I hurt you tonight...and I'm sorry, but let's call it even, hmm?" I replied. She raised her head and kissed me softly with bruised lips from my kisses before resting her head against me once again and sighing in sleepy contentment. She wrapped her arms loosely around my neck and I rested my hands on her back.

"I love you," was the last thing that I said and heard from her before being consumed in the best sleep of all my life.

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I placed my head gently on her stomach, afraid to crush her and the fragile being inside her. I found it hard to use her head as a pillow as her long, slender fingers rested on my head automatically. I could hardly believe that something in her burst with life as my ear was gently pressed to her bosom. I couldn't believe that she had known for a few weeks now and decided to withhold information from me. She said she wasn't sure until a week ago, but I've noticed some changes within the past few weeks. She gave me gentle smiles in public that she only reserved for me in the dark, and I noticed a glow in her cheeks that seemed to be indicating that she knew something that I didn't.

"I can't believe that I'm going to be a father," I breathed on her stomach.

"Well you better, because I believe it. You've been so good to me that I know that you will spoil this one rotten, Quatre."

I chuckled as I raised my head to meet her gaze and to lie beside her. I kissed her forehead and pressed her head against my neck. I wrapped my arm gently but protectively about her waist. She was going to have a child. She was going to have my child. The feeling has never been this right. Automatically she wrapped her arms around me and relaxed. I closed my eyes.

"What are you thinking about?" she asked me quietly with curiosity. I opened my eyes and squeezed her side.

"What name are we going to give to our baby?"

She took her arms off of me and she propped herself up on her elbows. I raised my head a bit.

"I would like to make a deal with you," she proposed.

Dorothy...she always made interesting deals. She always won, too...but I had to hear this one.

"Well, what is it?"

"If it's a boy, I get to name him...if it's a girl you get to name her. Fair enough?"

There was no use in saying no. It seemed fair at the moment, so I shrugged and said yes. I would find out later that it was a boy after all. 

"Excellent!" She went back to her comfortable position with me and I closed my eyes and yawned.

"Quatre?" she said after a few moments.

"Hmm?"

"Promise me that you'll be there for our child. I don't want her or him lose a parent or both parents like I did," she said, startling me.

My arms tightened about her and gave her a reassuring squeeze. "I told you I won't let that happen, I promise I won't, you're not going to lose me," I replied as I took her hand, kissed her palm and placed it on my heart.

----

Dorothy stood from her sitting position on the chair and placed our sleeping son on his crib. She placed a kiss on his forehead and rose to feel my arms wrapping about her waist. A gasp came out from her mouth, but she quickly relaxed when she realized that it was me. She immediately placed her hands on my arms, forming a loose circle.

"He's growing so fast, I don't know how I can cope with it," she whispered to me.

"Hmm hmmm, maybe he's growing so fast he'll get lonely soon..." I replied, busying myself with nuzzling her neck.

She whirled around to face me and shot me a disapproving look. "Why, Quatre Raberba Winner...I clearly remember doing all the work in that delivery room not so long ago." She looked at me as if I couldn't remember...as if I couldn't feel her pain. But I was there and I saw what she went through. With disheveled hair, and sweaty brows, she held my hand with a grip so tight that the pads of my fingers became purple. She terrorized me with threats for doing that to her. I felt very guilty and actually believed her threats even though I was excited to see our child. By the way that she held my hand, I could feel her pain.

I raised my eyebrow and challenged her glare. "If I'm not mistaken, you cut off my circulation and nearly gave me a heart attack with those threats of yours." I didn't want to complain to her, but I enjoyed coming up with replies.

She lowered her eyes and sighed. "Yes, I suppose I did cut off your circulation a bit...and I threatened to dice you up..." She looked up at me in a defeated, but determined way, running her fingers through my nightshirt. "...But you know I didn't mean any of it."

"So what do you say we try tonight, hmm?" I said, pushing my nose against hers.

"That's just your excuse, to get lucky tonight, your mischievous, voracious appet--" she said slyly, slightly pulling away from me. I frowned and I rummaged my brain for an answer.

"Well...don't pretend that you don't like it, in fact you always tempt me every night...not wearing any underwear under your nightgowns..." I smirked as she frowned. Two points for me.

She narrowed her eyes and sighed in defeat. "Fine, you win." My grin grew wider at the mention of this. I pulled her against me, capturing her lips with mine and just when she parted her lips for me, she pulled away. She turned around and brushed our son's head with her fingers.

"Good night Wills, sleep tight," I heard her whisper. When I first held our son, my eyes were blurry with tears. Dorothy, tired and spent, managed to tell me that he looked almost exactly like me. I took one last look at my son's sleeping form before taking Dorothy's hand and tugging it.

She shot me another disapproving look before smirking at me. "A little impatient, are we?"

My grip on her hand tightened. "Try very impatient."

She allowed herself to be led, and we quietly exited the bedroom, closing the door behind us. Once we were out in the hall, I quickly pulled her against me and carried her the same way I did when I tried to carry her over the threshold. "What are you doing?" she asked, even though she showed no signs of protest.

"What does it look like? I'm trying to make sure you don't get away."

I could see her eyes rolling even though we were in the dark. She put her arms around me and rested her head against mine anyway. She seemed to be content in our silence because she made no more remarks as I walked the two of us to the bedroom. When we reached the bed, I carefully placed her on it, and walked quickly to close the door and bolt it shut. I wish I had a "no disturb" sign to place on the doorknob. She was smirking at me in the dark as she sat up on the bed. This made me speed up to join her on the bed.

When I reached the foot of the bed, I quickly hopped up and crawled on it, reaching her. I felt her hand touch my face as I straddled her.

"I want a girl, Dorothy."

"Girl or boy, you can name the next one," she quickly replied, as both of her hands crept under my shirt, pulling me to her gently.

My hands fingered the lavender nightgown she wore before pushing them down to her shoulders, feeling the softness that was her skin. I lowered my face to meet hers and she dived up to meet me, my lips brushing against hers softly before building up into something more. Her hands on my back pushed me down to her and I quickly surrendered.

No words were needed or said because the way she held me and kissed me showed me and told me what she really felt. I could tell that she felt the same way too. She always told me that I had a great talent in reading her, and it was true. Words would have been inadequate to describe what we share.

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