The Stars They Fell From

by: a psycho chibi named Wendy

Disclaimer: I don't own, but I Pwn. Love it.

Summary: Dragging themselves back to their safehouse after an explosive Preventers mission, 5 young men place things in perspective after a lifetime of fighting. Sometimes pain and exhaustion can be the best motivation.

Warnings: Shounen-ai/yaoi, fluff. May change later.

Pairings: 4x5, 1x2, hinted 4x5+3. May change later.

Author Rant: Howdy! I'm trying something a bit different with this one. It's not really a story with any sort of plot, but more of an excuse to write fluffy gooeyness that makes me smile. There will be no set length, no endings, and no TBCs. I will update whenever I feel like adding more to this storyline, but it will always say 'complete' in the description. You can think of it as a series of oneshots that I will add onto as the mood takes me.

Author note: Ten years after the war, all the boys are 25-ish

Enjoy~

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"Guys, I'm wiped... I don't think I can take another step.." Duo's voice grunted out as he stumbled across the deserted sidewalk.

He wobbled along as his muscles screamed in protest. His pulse was still at a rapid pace from the ordeal he and his comrades had barely escaped. He could feel his head begin to swim threateningly, but the braided man tripped over his own boots before he could stop himself. The lurching motion sent him running head long into Quatre who was attempting to help Wufei limp along on an injured ankle.

The collision pulled a startled cry from the blonde when it struck his left arm, but he gritted his teeth as he fought to keep himself and the Chinese man upright. Both of them would have crashed into the large storefront window they were passing if Trowa hadn't been quick enough to catch them.

"Duo! You clumsy idiot!" Wufei growled out when his ankle was jostled too much. The pain shot sharply up his leg to the point his set his jaw rigidly as he clung tight to the blonde still holding on to him.

Also wincing from his own injuries, Quatre steeled himself against the pain before holding Wufei closer to him in an attempt to keep him grounded. "Wufei! Please! Don't yell at Duo." His concerned blue gaze shot towards his best friend, and he was relieved when he saw Heero had managed to catch him before Duo's face hit the pavement.

With that worry out of the way, he gave a grateful smile over his shoulder to Trowa who was still holding on to them. "Thank you, Trowa... We need to get back to base soon. That last assignment took a major toll on all of us. At this rate, we're all going to collapse on the side of the street." he stated in as calm a voice as he could. His normal infinite patience was wearing thin, but he was able to get Wufei to wrap his arm around his right shoulder once more for better support.

They all quieted down after that statement, since it was undeniably true. Their last mission had been brutal. Even with their endless arsenal provided by the Preventers, it took them forever to break in and out of the insane defense system that guarded the manufacturing plant that was making illegal weapons. It was by sheer luck that they made it out in one piece.

Now they were dragging themselves to the small apartment they were currently using as a safe house located on the other side of the city. The streets were deserted, which seemed odd to them all on a Friday evening, but it was considered a blessing that they didn't have to waste time and energy sneaking past crowds and explaining their state of disarray.

"Lean on me, Duo, before you kill someone." Heero said flatly as he pulled the still swaying American closer to him.

Doing as commanded, Duo slung his arm over Heero's shoulders. The moment he felt those strong arms wrap around him some of the painful tension eased out of him. "I love you too, Heero..." he managed to chuckle weakly.

Heero glanced at his partner for a moment before trudging onward. Half dragging Duo along with him.

Their injured state made the once thirty minute walk seem like an eternity. Every step felt like it would be their last. What was worse was that they were only half way to their destination, and almost ready to fall over in exhaustion. If they didn't stop soon, they were going to be in even worse shape.

Clutching tighter to Wufei's chest, Quatre's tired eyes flickered to the gates of a public park that was further up the street. His weary mind recalled the place to be quiet and peaceful with a multitude of secluded areas where someone wouldn't be easily spotted.

"Hey... We can't keep going like this. Let's go into the park and find a spot to rest for a few minutes..." the blonde offered in the hopes that the others would agree. His own feet were beginning to feel unsteady, and he wasn't about to cause more harm to Wufei by tripping.

Heero looked at the park gates and thought for a moment before glancing at his team mates. Duo was close to passing out against him. Wufei was barely choking back the pained noises as he leaned his full weight on the blonde. Quatre's breathing was growing haggard as he struggled to keep the Chinese man moving.

His eyes flickered back towards Trowa, and he frowned when it appeared that he was the only one that had been spared any injury. However it only took one look at the way the Frenchman was resisting the urge to go to either Quatre's or Wufei's aid for Heero to notice the tension that was coiled there. That stoic mask was beginning to slip, and underneath could be seen a barely contained worry for the two that were clinging desperately to one another.

For Heero to see that so clearly, he knew they were at their limit. 'We're all strung out...' He lifted his gaze to the sky where the colors were beginning to change. The sun would be setting in a matter of minutes, giving them the cover of night to shield them as they licked their wounds.

"Alright." Heero glanced back at the nearly hovering Trowa. "Trowa, run ahead and find us a secluded spot. Somewhere people won't stumble on us."

Although he was hesitant to leave Quatre's side in case his strength gave out, Trowa was grateful for the distraction. "Right." He quickly moved ahead of his team and headed into the park.

With that in the works, Heero focused on the blonde. "Can you make it, Quatre?"

The blonde head nodded readily. "I can manage a bit further..." he answered only to wince when his voice cracked.

Noticing the pained hitch in the soft voice, Wufei glared down at the pavement in frustration. "I'm sorry.. I shouldn't have attempted that jump..." he mumbled, his grip turning less desperate and more apologetic.

Quatre immediately felt the way Wufei was attempting to shift his weight back to himself. "Stop that. If you hadn't then you would have been captured. There's no point in dwelling. Just lean on me. We'll make it."

The stubborn chord lining the Arabian's words left no room for discussion, so Wufei begrudgedly complied. He hated seeing the pale man in any pain, but what was worse was the knowledge that he was adding onto it. He silently cursed himself for being so weak, but his inner berating was cut short when he was caught in an ocean colored glare. "What..?"

The blonde's eyes narrowed. "You're dwelling. I said stop it." Quatre grunted. His patience was definitely running out.

Seeing the wordless threat in the bloodshot eyes, Wufei felt his lips twitch slightly upwards. "Yes, sir."

Up ahead, Duo was snickering as he clung to Heero helplessly while being drug along. "Wu's so whipped." he murmured to his partner.

"Now's not the time to tease." Heero hissed quietly.

"You always say that." Duo whined, clinging tighter to his partner's strong frame.

Rolling his eyes, Heero decided to stop dragging the nearly limp man. In one swift motion, he scooped Duo into his arms and continued for the gate. "You're such a woman sometimes.." he muttered in exasperation.

Gleefully wrapping his arms around the broad shoulders, Duo grinned idiotically. "Hey, it usually gets me what I want." he countered on a coy tone.

Deciding to keep his reply to himself, Heero merely let out a deep breath and continued. He made sure to keep checking on the pair lagging behind him with quick glances. He knew that had Quatre been able, he would have lifted a protesting Wufei into his arms the moment they set out. 'He's favoring his left arm.. I need to take a look at it soon.'

Moments later they were reaching the park gates just as Trowa was returning. Heero waited for the quiet man to reach them before speaking. "Find anything?"

The Frenchman nodded. "There's a small hill off the west path. It's surrounded by a fairly dense wooded area. We should be out of sight."

"That will do." Heero glanced back as Quatre finally helped Wufei reach them. When he saw the flush on the pale face, he knew the blonde wouldn't hold up much longer. "It would be best if Trowa carried Wufei from here." He lightly pinched Duo's leg when the braided man snickered again. The reason being the strange choking expression that flickered over Trowa's face for an instant.

Quatre looked to his old partner with a strange questioning expression on his face. Their eyes locked for a moment before Trowa suddenly looked away. The strange tension he saw made him frown, but Quatre focused on the figure he was still holding onto. "Is that okay, Wufei?"

Wufei didn't hesitate to nod. "That's fine. Let's just get there. I need to sit down.." he mumbled, his eyes beginning to feel heavy.

On hearing the drop in the strong voice, Trowa seemed to bite back whatever hesitation he had. He moved to the unsteady pair and carefully gathered Wufei into his arms. He tried to ignore the faint relieved breath that Quatre hissed out, but his eyes locked on the way the blonde gingerly held his left arm.

"Are you okay, Quatre?" Trowa questioned quietly.

Trying not to wince from his own touch, Quatre let out a strained breath and offered a weary smile. "As well as can be expected. Let's go."

Wufei frowned as he watched the blonde move on ahead of them into the park. He knew when the Arabian was putting on a front. This was definitely one of those times. He wanted to comfort him, but his own exhaustion was teaming up with his injuries against him.

Instead he took note of the green eyes that were focused on the pale man. It was obvious Trowa was concerned. 'Perhaps more than concerned...' When his eyes began to drop again, he made a quick decision.

Wufei moved in closer to whisper into Trowa's ear. "He's lying... You know as well as I do."

It took a considerable amount of willpower for Trowa to keep from shivering at the warm breath on his ear. "I know..."

"I'm not going to be able to stay awake much longer..." Wufei tightened his hold he had around the taller man's shoulders. "I need you to take care of him, Trowa... Don't let him neglect himself."

The request immediately sobered Trowa. He held the Chinese man a bit tighter and gave a firm nod. "I'll look after him, Wufei." 'I'll look after both of you...'

On hearing the conviction in that quiet voice, Wufei allowed himself to relax into the surprisingly comforting arms. Had he been in a better state, he may have even enjoyed the treatment. 'Hm.. Now there's an interesting thought... Perhaps I can...'

Trowa's eyes widened briefly when the injured form in his arms seemed to nuzzle against him. He felt his heart pick up speed, but he fought back the hope that tried to take over his mind. 'Stop thinking like that... Quatre and Wufei don't need me... I'm a comrade. Nothing more...' No matter how many times he told himself that, it still pained him every time.

Duo's tired eyes narrowed when he saw Trowa's shoulder's seem to stiffen like he was bracing himself. He shamelessly buried his face against Heero's neck and let out a deep sigh. "You don't think Q and Wu are oblivious to him... Do you?"

It wasn't really the time or place for this discussion, but Heero knew that things were getting a bit too obvious. "I don't know... There's nothing we can do. They will either sort it out, or they won't..."

Not liking that simplistic answer, Duo frowned as he clutched to Heero's singed jacket. "I just don't like seeing him alone..."

Heero didn't like it either. Trowa always seemed to be off on his own any more. Despite how closely they all worked together, the Frenchman always seemed to be at a distance. Like he didn't dare venture closer. 'But those two... They mean everything to him...' It was the worst when the pair was injured. Normally he could only stand back and offer aid where he could. Fighting with himself not to overstep some invisible bounds that he had set.

"I don't understand why all three of them seem to be holding back..." Heero finally muttered to the man in his arms.

Duo let out a weary sigh. "Maybe something happened..."

That didn't seem likely. The three were all polite and never uttered an off hand comment to anyone. 'Unless it was something that just didn't work...'

Heero shook his head to rid himself of the random questions and scenarios that tried to enter his thoughts. They were pointless. Things would either work out, or they wouldn't. Nothing either of them did would make a difference.

The sounds of crickets chirping and frogs croaking filled the cooling air as they continued down the west path. Quatre was walking a little further ahead of his comrades, his eyes and ears focused on anything that could pose a threat. So far everything seemed harmless, but he paused when he heard a faint rustling sound.

The Heero and Trowa immediately stopped when they saw the blonde tense. "Quatre...?" Trowa called out on a whisper.

A pale hand lifted to silence any questions. The rustling sounded close, so Quatre focused on the source of the sound. Soon his gaze dropped to the right of the path where a small pond was located. For a moment he couldn't see anything out of place, but then he noticed some taller grass moving.

Curious, he stepped off the path and approached the patch of grass. He knelt down on the ground and reached out to carefully part the blades of grass. On seeing what caught his attention, a smile curled his soot smudged face as a chuckle escaped him. "Well hello. I see you need some assistance."

Baffled at what his best friend was saying, Duo quirked up a brow. "Q? What are you talking to?"

Not answering at first, Quatre reached into the grass and pulled out a round object.

"A rock...?" Heero asked slowly.

A second later a tiny head poked out of a dark colored shell. "A turtle.." Trowa said, for some reason his lips twitched upwards on seeing the box turtle.

Quatre's smile grew as he held up the turtle for a closer inspection. "Little guy was flipped over... I don't think I've ever held a turtle before." After studying the tiny face that was staring at him, Quatre turned his attention to the pond. "Best put you back home..."

Wufei watched the gentle way the blonde carried the turtle to the pond and hummed softly. That tender nature always captivated him. Not an hour ago, Quatre was brimming with wild eyed determination as he held off the enemy, guns blazing as the others secured their escape route.

Now the Arabian was carefully placing a single, insignificant turtle back into its environment with a look of accomplishment on his tired face. Like that one act was the highlight of his entire day. 'Sentimental fool... but I wouldn't have him any other way...' Wufei mused with a smirk of pride tugging at his lips.

Quatre watched with interest as the turtle swam away once he released it into the water. The moment the turtle dove under the water, a wistful sigh left the pale lips. He glanced over his shoulder at the four watching him and he couldn't help but grin. "Think I'll get extra credit if I add a recuse mission to my report when we get back?"

Duo immediately snorted in amusement. "I can see it now. 'Former terrorist saves tipped terrapin'. It'll sell like hot cakes!"

Chuckling at the comment, Quatre stood straight and wiped the water off his hands on the back of his black jeans. "I was thinking 'Righteous rebel rescues run aground reptile'."

Rolling his eyes yet again, Heero continued back down the path. "Okay, when Quatre starts encouraging Duo's bad jokes, it's time to call it quits. Let's find that hill before they start singing out of key."

"I kissed a girl and I liked it~!" Duo suddenly called out.

"The taste of her cherry chapstick~!" Quatre replied, his grin even wider.

"Gah! Don't torture me! Neither of you can sing!" Wufei growled before clamping his hands over his ears.

Duo laughed and held his fist out to the blonde as Heero carted him past. "Love you, Q!"

Quatre readily bumped his fist against his best friend's. "Love you too. Remind me to schedule another drunken karaoke session later."

"Yes! It's been forever since we've done that!" Duo nearly squealed in delight.

Much to Heero's annoyance. "Baka! Don't scream into my ear!" he hissed while giving a hard pinch to the American's thigh.

Ignoring his best friend's indignant yelp, Quatre continued walking down the path with Trowa following close behind. Wufei had finally returned his arms around Trowa's shoulders and let out an over dramatic sigh. "I don't think you've ever told me why that idiot is your best friend."

"Oi! I can hear you, dammit!"

Quatre hummed softly and gave a slight shrug. "I don't know either. I've never saw the point in giving a reason for that sort of thing." He glanced back over his shoulder and smirked at the Chinese man. "Sort of like I don't have a reason for you."

Wufei blinked in alarm, but he soon shot back a glare. "I'll deal with you later, Winner!"

The blonde's smirk widened. "Promises promises."

Trowa watched a blush heat Wufei's cheeks in the fading light, and had to keep himself from smirking. That playful side that the blonde showed always fascinated him. He only caught it in glimpses, but it made him wonder if what it would feel like to have it directed towards him. Or if he would look as nice as Wufei did flushed and embarrassed. He wasn't even sure if he had ever been embarrassed before. 'I wouldn't mind it...' he thought as he silently watched the blonde move ahead of him.

That wistful stoic expression was really starting to get on Duo's last nerve. "Grr... Dammit, can I tell Q and Wu to just go ahead a tie Tro to a bed already? This is starting to depress me." he hissed into Heero's ear.

"Duo, just leave them be. It's just as much Trowa's fault for not speaking out." Heero answered as they began to turn off the path and move into the woods.

Pouting, Duo nipped at the ear in retaliation. "It just irks me... If it was any more obvious, it'd be a bad romance novel." he grumbled in frustration.

Heero shifted the load in his arms and focused on the three head of them. He had known for a long time that Trowa's thoughts were always held captive by the two he first encountered during the war. Quatre had always been first no matter what, but there was another part of him that always held onto the impact Wufei had during their brief contact.

When the seemingly random relationship started between the Asian and the Arabian, Trowa's attention span seemed to dwindle down to a barely hidden tunnel vision. Heero couldn't count how many times he had caught Trowa simply watching the two interact. At first he had no idea what was piquing the silent man's interest, but then he noticed something. Whenever Quatre and Wufei were out together, laughing and happily conversing, Trowa would always smile. Truly smile.

It was drawing close to a year that the unlikely pair had been together. A year's worth of being able to do nothing but watch from afar. 'Trowa seemed content that they were together and happy... But now... He's feeling that distance begin to sting the more time passes.'

Silence had settled over them as they navigated through the woods, but ahead of everyone Quatre seemed to be casually strolling through the trees. The tension from before was steadily lifted from his shoulders as the soothing sounds of night stirred around them. Crickets chirping together in a high pitched duet with the frogs with the occasional cicada to break up the din.

The blonde's hands were stuffed into his jacket pockets as he appeared to be nodding his head in time with a photom stream of music that only he could hear. Within seconds they cleared the tree line onto the grassy hill that Trowa had directed them. Climbing the small hill up to the top, Quatre was still nodding along with that silent song. On reaching the top of the hill, Quatre came to a stop and lifted head and looked to the stars that were slowly starting to shine as the sky darkened.

A soft hum left him as he continued to look upward. "We may live among them.. But we're no closer to them..."

"Quatre? Are you okay?"

Breaking away from some sort of trance, Quatre turn his attention to where Trowa was standing with Wufei still cradled in his arms. On seeing the two in such a position, Quatre couldn't stop the beaming smile that curled his lips. "Yes. I'm very okay. Would you like to sit down now, Wufei?"

"Yes. Just make sure that idiot doesn't fall on me." Wufei grumbled as Trowa carefully let him down.

"Oi! Who you calling an idiot?!" Duo readily snapped.

Wufei glared at the now standing American blandly. "The one that keeps answering to it."

Nearly choking on his tongue, Duo stubbornly turned around and folded his arms stiffly over his chest. "Chinese bastard. What the hell does Q see in you?" he muttered loudly.

Quatre gave a slight chuckle and stepped closer to Wufei, who was still being held steady by Trowa. He gave a sly grin before moving in to whisper into the dark ear. "I see myself. Again and again and again.." he purred, nibbling at the slightly pink lobe.

It was Wufei's turn to choke at the blatant innuendo. "Quatre.. Not now.." He attempted to pull away, but Trowa's solid body was directly behind him. Feeling the warmth on both sides made his blush double as he kept his gaze fixed on the ground. "You're trying to make my face catch on fire, aren't you?"

A blissfully sweet smile pulled onto Quatre's pale face as he pulled away. "Yes. Yes I am. You're so adorable when you blush." His blue eyes flickered to the taller man behind Wufei as his smile turned into a smirk. "Don't you agree, Trowa?"

On the spot, Trowa had to resist the urge to flinch when that blushing tan face suddenly looked back at him with those bewildered ebony eyes. 'Okay.. Being embarrassed feels very weird..' "I... See nothing wrong with it..." he was able to admit, feeling his own cheeks heat faintly.

Able to see the faint pink dusting even in the dusky light, Wufei raised an eyebrow high. He promptly shot a dirty look to the blonde. "It's bad enough you torment me. You don't need to pounce on Trowa." he chided, absently leaning into Trowa's hold on him.

Quatre chuckled and held out his hand. "You make me sound so abusive. I thought you liked the attention."

"It's your timing I take issue with." Wufei grumbled while taking the pale hand.

It took a bit of effort, but soon Quatre had his arms wrapped around the raven haired man and was gently helping him sit on the soft grass. "My timing is perfect, thank you. You're just a prude."

Once seated, Wufei grabbed hold of the blonde and kept him in his awkward kneeling position. "There is no way you can accuse me of that with a straight face."

The bland glare made Quatre giggle. "Prude." Without an ounce of grace, Quatre let himself fall on top of the Asian and laughed at the startled curses it drew.

"Dammit, Quatre! We're out in the open!" Wufei hissed. He noticed Duo staring directly at them and grinning, so was helpless to fight off the blood that rushed to his face. "I hate you..." he growled at the pale face hovering over his own.

Pinning the hostile man to the grass, Quatre leaned in and let their noses barely brush against each other. "I hate you, too." he purred before diving in for a quick kiss.

Duo watched with a wide grin as Wufei all but melted beneath the blonde. He snickered when the normally proud and vocal man went boneless on the grass. "Damn.. Wu is such a uke."

Before Wufei could growl at the comment, Quatre pulled away and kissed a line up the tan jaw. "Mmm.. But he's my uke.." he mumbled before biting gently at a spot just beneath the blushing ear.

That spot always made Wufei's toes curl as a hard chill shot through his spine. "You know I hate it when you do that..." he grunted through his clenched teeth.

"You can push me away any time you want..." Quatre whispered hotly before taking another bite.

Twitching at the sensation, Wufei squirmed for a brief moment before he finally pushed the blonde off of him. "Now is not the time for that, Quatre."

Quatre could hear how the words didn't really ring sincerely, but he went with the shove and landed on the grass with a soft grunt. "Bah. You're always saying that to me."

"Because you're always trying to jump me at the weirdest times!"

"So I like to be spontaneous." Quatre kept his gaze fixed on the star flecked sky for a moment as he listened to Heero and Duo settle on the ground nearby. A soft breeze made his long bangs sway gently and carried the scent of wild clover and honeysuckle. His eyes slipped shut as he inhaled the sweet aroma.

He held in the breath for a few seconds and let it out slowly. "You know... Today's actually been a pretty decent day. Despite all the running and trying not to get blown up. This right here kind of makes it worth it." he mused aloud, his hand absently reaching for Wufei's.

Taking hold of the lightly calloused hand, Wufei readily twined his fingers with the pale ones. "I agree... It's very peaceful here."

"Yeah... Good place for a nap..." Duo said through a yawn and he curled up like a cat on Heero's lap.

Heero's hands automatically petted back the chestnut locks . It was a tender gesture that was second nature at this point. He never gave the act thought, but he knew the effects of it. Within seconds a soft snore was escaping the American's lips.

He looked over the exhausted face resting on his thigh and felt the corners of his mouth twitch upwards. "He's out. How long do you think we should stay here?" Heero asked while looking towards the two more alert preventers.

"I would say a couple of hours at least." Trowa shoved his hands into his uniform jacket pockets and examined the area carefully. "We're all in need of rest. Pressing on too soon will only make things worse."

"I agree... I doubt I'll last much longer than Maxwell.." Wufei muttered as he struggled to keep his eyes open.

Chuckling softly, Quatre sat up on the grass and lightly tugged on the darker hand. "Don't fight it. Come here."

Wufei hesitated for a moment, but one glance at the warm smile that was focused on him had him shifting. In a matter of seconds he was seated between Quatre's legs and leaning back against the strong chest. He allowed his head to rest on the blonde's shoulder and placed a kiss to the pale neck when a pair of arms wrapped around him protectively.

"Don't let go..." Wufei whispered as his eyes fluttered closed.

Quatre kissed the top of the raven head as he held on tighter. "Never..." An instant later the tension drained as Wufei let his exhaustion win. The moment he knew the proud man was asleep, Quatre nuzzled against the dark neck and kissed it tenderly. A gesture he could never get away with out in the open.

Heero kept petting Duo's hair as he watched Quatre literally cherish their Chinese comrade. It was clear how much the blonde cared, but never had he heard any words that expressed how deeply that emotion went. It was like real words of affection weren't needed between the two of them. Which was probably why they seemed to work so well.

What they did together outweighed everything they ever said.

Heero's gaze flickered to the silent man standing a few feet away staring off at nothing. Purposely not looking at the pair that was directly behind him. Heero knew it had to hurt. Duo's concerns were all valid, but the more Heero watched, the more it appeared that Trowa was denying himself on purpose. 'He's deliberately trying not to get too close with either of them... He's forcing himself to keep at a distance.'

"Trowa? Why don't you sit? I know you must be tired as well."

Heero looked to the way Trowa froze for a brief moment once Quatre spoke. When he looked back to the blonde, he saw the pale face was still buried in the long raven hair. It was then he noticed while his right arm held tight to the Chinese man, Quatre's left arm had slipped down and hung almost lifelessly to his side.

Trowa noticed this as well and found himself moving closer before he could stop himself. "Quatre, how badly was your arm injured?"

Quatre kept his face pressed against the silky black hair so they couldn't see the grimace of pain etched there. "It's not that bad. I'm mainly tired. Nothing a couple of ice packs and some sleep won't help." Even as he spoke, he knew the two weren't buying it for a second. Still, he didn't want the matter pressed.

Forcing the pain off his expression, Quatre lifted his head and smiled up at the Frenchman. "Please. Just sit, Trowa." he repeated while faintly patting the grass next to him. His arm couldn't take a gesture beyond that. Had he less control, he was fairly certain he would have fallen over.

Sharp green eyes took note of the twinge that briefly made the cords of muscle on the left side of the pale neck tighten. 'If just that gesture was painful... He must have been in agony the entire way here...' His concern overriding his own hesitation, Trowa silent stepped closer before letting his long legs fold beneath him as he settled close to the blonde. A few inches separated, but he could swear that he felt the warmth that radiated off the pair. His throat suddenly felt dry.

His smile growing in spite of the pain he felt, Quatre let out a long sigh and lifted his gaze back towards the night sky. He could see the moon peeking out from a cluster of trees to the east, but his eyes drifted between each star that sparkled in the inky void. They really didn't seem any further away than how they looked on the colonies. If anything they seemed brighter.

Perhaps it was his eyes playing tricks on him, but he always enjoyed watching the stars from natural ground. They seemed more mysterious. In space it was such a common sight, but on Earth, they seemed to take on a near magical feel. 'On Earth.. You appreciate the beauty more...'

"Things have turned out better than I expected..."

The two stoic men looked to the blonde curiously. "What has?" Heero questioned, puzzled by the daydreaming look suddenly on the pale face.

Lips curling upwards once more, Quatre left out a soft hum. "Life... Ten years ago seems like another lifetime..."

Easily remembering the war that brought them together, the quiet two both felt a bit reflective. They all had survived so much. Fought against and with one another. At the end of it all the five of them still remained with each other.

It was quite a feat.

Closing his eyes as the images continued to play through his mind, Quatre brought his head down to place another kiss to the black hair. "I sometimes wonder if this is a dream... If when I wake up, it will still be in the midst of that war..." A rueful smirk tugged over his face, but he hid it against Wufei's soft hair. "I've even stayed awake at night... Just staring at the ceiling wondering if I even survived the war. That maybe I did die and everything around me was some strange purgatory."

The somber words had Heero and Trowa looking towards one another uneasily. Both of them had experienced nights of silent rumination where they questioned everything around them. The fact that Quatre had the strength to admit it was no surprise. The blonde always had the ability to cut himself open and allow all the festering doubts and fears bleed out.

It was one strength the two of them knew they would never possess.

But Quatre had a knack for making the cuts that others couldn't bring themselves to start.

"If it is a purgatory, I'm not too concerned with it. I'm content to allow this illusion to continue." Heero stated as he threaded his fingers in Duo's thick locks. As long as he could tangle his fingers in those strands of thick chestnut silk, he would remain in this dream for eternity.

A gentle laugh escaped pale lips as a faintly trembling hand fisted in the material of Wufei's uniform jacket. "I've reached that decision as well..." His voice wavered as his throat tightened. His eyes began blur when a sharp sting pricked at them. The raven hair pulled him in as he buried his face in it, breathing in the scent that was tinged with smoke and gunpowder desperately.

The sudden motion drew Trowa's attention, but his visible eye widened when he saw the blonde's shoulders shake with a painful tension. A barely audible sob came out muffled against the black tresses, but it had Trowa immediately closing the distance between them. "Quatre? What's wrong?" he asked, his hands carefully gripping the tremor wracked shoulders as he stood on his knees to the blonde's left side.

A weak sound was still muffled against the black stands, sounding like broken sobs. After another deep breath of the smokey scent, Quatre pulled his face away from the raven head. His head was still bowed, his long bangs hiding his eyes.

The tremors had stopped, but, when he looked, Trowa saw shining wet trails rolling down flushed cheeks. His heart thudded painfully in his chest, and without thinking he took hold of the pale chin and tilted it up. Glossy blue eyes locked with his own, and he felt his breath catch in his throat when he saw the heavy tears falling from the dark lashes.

Just as he felt his heart begin to crack, he froze. When his eyes followed the tear stains, he found the most radiant smile curving the pale lips. "Quatre...?"

Ignoring the screaming pain in his left arm, Quatre was able to lift it and placed his palm tenderly on Trowa's cheek. "I've also decided... That I've never been happier."

Stunned was the only way to describe Trowa's reaction to the beautiful gesture. The way those shimmering blue eyes looked at him, and the warmth from the hand on his cheek meant so many things. Had so much potential that Trowa literally feared thinking of it.

When it looked as if the Frenchman was frozen in shock, a soft giggle left Quatre's lips as his eyes sparkled with amusement. "Trowa..."

Blinking out of his daze, Trowa struggled to find his voice. "Yes..?"

Quatre saw the confused concern in that solitary green eye. It made the smile seem to grow. Dazzling Trowa with the sight of those perfect white teeth. "I believe you promised Wufei that you would take care of me..."

A blush immediately heated Trowa's face, bewildered that the blonde had heard their quiet conversation. "... I..." His lack of communication skills was destroying any hope of making a response to that.

The longer he looked at the beautiful smile reflected in those unwavering eyes, the more Trowa realized that a response wasn't necessary. Not a vocal one.

Suddenly his mind and heart were both steady as he tore at the cut Quatre had made in the doubts that restrained him. Without a sound, he moved to sit behind the blonde. Within seconds, his chest was pressed against Quatre's back as his arms wrapped protectively around pair. A moment later he felt long fingers lace with his own where they rested on Wufei's rising and falling chest.

Heero watched silently as Trowa let his chin find a comfortable perch on the blonde's shoulder. When Quatre's head found an equally comfortable place at the crook of Trowa's neck, he couldn't stop the pleased smile that tugged at his lips.

This was just undeniably right. The five of them together under a starry sky. Finding comfort within a moment of peace. It was like they were finally being rewarded. After the hell they fought their way through, they were finally receiving what they spent their lives searching for.

Deciding to let his three comrades have a private moment, Heero cast his gaze back to the sky. Up to the stars they fell from. 'It really does seem like a dream...'

His smile twitched wider as he looked down to the form fast asleep on his lap. He absently twirled his finger in a lock of the chestnut bangs. 'I'm sorry you missed this.. But I don't think this will be the end.'

No.

He was certain it would never be the end.

fjfjfjfjfjfj

Later~