Title: Wishes

Author: Nomooretears

Universe: ATF

Summary - A comparison of childhood wishes. Response to VFD 1-Hour Fic Challenge theme - 'wish'

Feedback - Yes please!

Vin sighed and stared up at the night sky from his relaxed sprawl on the roof of Chris Larabee's ranch house. The rest of the team was gathered around the tv, watching a game, but Vin had needed some space. They had just completed an exhausting case, fortunately ending with no injuries to any of his teammates.

He heard a soft shuffle behind him but didn't bother to look over his shoulder. Only one other person shared his love of high places when the need to get away took over. He simply acknowledged the newcomer by shuffling over a bit. Together they sat in silence, just watching the stars.

"Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight."

Vin looked over at his companion, surprised by his comment. "You ever wish on a star as a kid, Ez?"

"Certainly, Mr. Tanner, although I was quite young and foolish. Yourself?"

"Yeah, a time or two. Your wish ever come true?"

"It been a long time, but I am starting to believe that it did."

"What did you wish for?" After a long pause, he added quietly "I'm sorry, Ez, I know that's a real personal question. You don't have to answer."

"That's quite all right, Mr. Tanner, I am just considering how to articulate my response." Ezra thought for a moment. "I guess I should start with a 'thank you', Vin."

Elated that Ezra had called him by his first name, amazed that Ezra was being so open, and confused as to why he was being thanked, Vin waited for Ezra to continue.

"When I was little, I don't even remember how old I was, perhaps seven or eight, I was living at the first of many boarding schools. It was Christmas, and only a handful of students had remained for the holidays. I was supposed to have gone to spend the holidays with Maude and Stepfather Number Two, I think, but she hadn't shown up. She finally called the school and told them that she was 'unavoidably detained' and wouldn't be coming. I think I had always known in my mind that she wouldn't, but I was still disappointed." Ezra paused again. Vin was barely breathing, scared of causing Ezra to bring up his walls again.

"That was the first time I wished on a star. I tried it again a couple years later, but Maude overheard and lectured me about such foolishness." He glanced at Vin, then returned his gaze to the stars. "I'm thanking you, Vin, because just by simply asking what I wished for, you have given the final proof that my wish has indeed been answered. All I wanted was someone to be interested in me, to want me around. I am finding myself believing that I have finally found that with you and the team, you're the closest thing to family that I have ever experienced."

Clearing his throat, Ezra seemed to realize how much he had just revealed about himself. Before Vin could say anything, he spoke again. "Apparently I have had a bit too much of Chris's fine scotch. What about you, Vin, what was your wish? Most assuredly a much better request than mine."

Blinking at the quick change in tone and topic, Vin looked over at Ezra again, who steadfastly kept his eyes on the sky. Deciding that Ezra had earned the same honesty that he had given, Vin started his own story.

"I think we're a lot more alike than we think, Ez. You may have had a mother, and spent your childhood in fancy schools and higher social circles, while I was shipped from foster home to foster home, but we both had the same wish. And you're right, it may have taken years to come true, but I wouldn't trade the family I've found for a million wishes." He smiled as Ezra met his gaze. "I'm proud to call you my brother, Ez."

Clasping each other's forearms in a gesture reserved only for their teammates, and only for special circumstances, they smiled. Both had gotten their wish, and shared each other's joy.

They released each other's arms and laughed as the heard Buck yell from below. "Hey, quit your stargazing and get your butts in here! We wanna play some poker!" Smiling, they headed off the roof to rejoin their family.

The End