Disclaimer: I don't own Candy, Candy and it's charaters. Candy Candy and all characters belong to Kyoko Mizuki, images to Yumiko Igarashi and anime a Toei Animation.

Chapter 1 – A Beautiful Sunset

After seeing his friend Demi died in his arms, Stear came to understand that death was inevitable. Thoughts came flowing in his mind, a shy girl with brown eyes, black hair with glasses ahhh… My Patricia, my love. Next, there this tomboyish girl with green eyes, blond and curly hair, ahhh… Candy, my best friend. And of course his beloved brother, who always teased and doubted his inventions but was always there for him… Archie. All of those special memories he longed for them. He wanted to see them. Yes, he understood his decision, nonetheless he couldn't accept continue living his normal life; doing nothing to help his country and England - Patty's country, and to protect his loved ones. He was not afraid to die but he didn't want to die. He didn't even have his first kiss. He has lots of plans for the future with Patty.

Sooner or later his time will come to fly and fight face to face against the reality of death. He was ready but he wanted to be safe. That night, he remembered Demi's last words not to make her love one suffer. As a natural inventor, Stear decided to make an action. He invented something that was to be considered his very first invention that will not fail. Of course, he didn't know that yet, for he knew all of his inventions failed at the end. But he said to himself, "I got to try. I just got to for Patty."

The next day, the day he dreaded, he was going to fly and fight for his own survival. Stear put on his invention underneath his uniform. Nobody can see it, he thought. But, Stear's chest got bigger as if he had been working out. He thought smiling; hey it doesn't look bad after all. However, his heart was racing as he climbed his airplane "Patricia."

Stear felt confident, nervous, and proud all at the same time. He was ready. Up in the air, Stear bathe in the beautiful sunset; like the sky engulfing his entire being. He reminded himself that this was not a leisure flight, it was war! He was fighting for his country and for his own life. Stear was an excellent pilot unfortunately, so was his enemies. He dodged the enemy's bullets, feeling proud of himself. The site was like an airplane air show. All of the planes were chasing and following one another. Then suddenly, he thought he saw Demi, flying the enemy's airplane which he had a clear target. But he couldn't fire, how can he? He was like a brother to me. In a split of a second, he got hit. I am hit he recognized. Stear continued to fly away but his plane was unable to fly any faster. Again and again, he got hit several times. Stear lost control of his plane.

As his plane descended below, Stear gazed at the sunset, thoughts of his love came flowing to his mind. Patricia, wishing you could see the beautiful sunset. As Stear started to lose consciousness, his hand dropped on his side. He felt a lever! Eject, he thought! His numbed arm managed to gain enough strength to pull the lever. In an instant, a strong force blasted Stear wounded body out of his plane. The strong wind bounced Stear's weak, bleeding, and unconscious body like a rag doll being toss and fro. Stear was falling rapidly. The brightness of the sun beamed on his face. The warmth felt so nice that he dreamt Patricia was touching his face. He wanted to see her for the last time. He was able to open his eye slightly. She's not here. I am falling, he admitted. Stear noticed something, a string in front of his chest, wiggling like a worm that someone had put a salt on. He saw his blood splashing against his face. His whole body was in shock, he remembered Demi and what he said. Stear managed to pull the string. Then something opened that pulled his body higher in the sky. Then it was total darkness. Darkness covered the horizon.

Far away from the battle fields, there was a small farm house of the Spencer Family. There were no neighbours in sight. The house was surrounded with green, spacious, thick, forest at the back, cornfields on the left side, green pasture on the right, and unpaved road on the front.

A small boy was chasing some sort of small animal. As he chased the creature, it led him into the forest. The forest didn't scared him, as long as he didn't go too far. After few minutes of running around, he finally jumped and landed on the ground near a humongous tree and caught the small creature. The creature looked like a squirrel. "Hah, I got you", excitingly shouted the boy while trying not to get bitten. As the boy played with the creature it started to rain; small drops fell on his face. Oh no! I need to get back; he got himself up and realized something was different from this rain. It was thick and looked as if it was only raining where he was. The boy touched his face and to his shock the rain was coloured RED! Even frightened, he managed to look up. Behold, he saw something he had never seen before. It was mysterious at first. Whatever it was, it was not moving. The fabric seemed to sway as the gentle breeze blows. He wondered what it can be. He continued to stare. Until the strong wind blew the large piece of fabric upwards, high enough that his eyes opened so big as if he has seen a ghost. He turned pale, dropped the small creature, and run screaming for his mom and dad.

The boy barged into their house, gasping for air, his little body trembling and his face was white as snow. He screamed for his parents, "Mom, Dad you need to come and see what I discovered", said the boy panting.

His parents ask him, "Ok, calm down what's going on?"

"No, no, you have to come and see now.", the boy pleaded earnestly. The boy took his parents' hand and dragged both of them outside. "Hurry, hurry," the boy begged. His parents have this doubtful looked on their faces. At last, the three of them reached the site, right in front of the big tree, where their children loved to climb. But this time part of the tree was covered with some sort of fabric that was ripped with burnt patches everywhere waving to them as the wind blows.

The boy cried, "Mom and Dad you have to see what's underneath it." As they step closer, the parents noticed something dripping, it was red! "Oh, no!", the mother gasped as she covered her mouth. Dad stepped closer, while his wife was frozen. Dad couldn't believe his own eyes. There he saw, a young man hanging by the threads of his parachute bleeding everywhere. He didn't know if the young man was still alive but hoping he was.

In disbelief Dad uttered, "A wounded soldier! We need to help him. Quickly, we need to bring him down. Abel, go back to the house and get a scissor." Dad commanded the young boy.

"Yes sir." replied Abel. He sprinted as fast as he can. He was crying. He was hoping that the wounded soldier was alive. Deep in his heart, he wanted to be a soldier, to protect his family. He was so attached to this young soldier even he didn't know him.

As the Dad waited for his son, he climbed the tree and tried to disengaged the soldier from his parachute. "Emma", he called his wife, "go get some blankets, he is still breathing."

"Yes right away dear". Immediately she gave thanks to God. Oh, dear God please help this young man survive. Emma prayed as she run back to the house.

Emma gathered some blankets as her eldest son came in to the door after gathering some fire woods. "Mother, what is happening?" asked Philippe. Emma replied without looking to her son, "Quick come we need to help your father outside, there is a wounded soldier that needs our help."

Philippe was the eldest, he was fourteen years old while Abel was only eight years old. His father will need him to carry the wounded soldier down. Emma and Philippe reached the place, his father Noel was already cutting the ropes, while Abel was impatiently waiting below. Philippe placed his hand on his brother's shoulder and said, "Go prepare a bed for him so we can lay him there." Abel widened his eyes, nodded towards Philippe and run back to the house with tears flowing in his eyes, praying that God would keep the wounded soldier safe.

Philippe looked on to his father, and his father nodded. Immediately, Philippe climbed the tree and helped his father cut the ropes. Father and son understood that they need to act quickly, "He is losing a lot of blood", his father whispered anxiously.

As Abel trembled and fumbled gathering the supply for the bed, his youngest twin sisters who were six years old came in; wondering what was he doing? "Hey, Abel are you playing house can we join you?" Julia asked innocently.

"Yup, yup, can we help?" Danielle added with a grin in her cute chubby face.

Abel made a face as he answered the twins, "No! I am not playing house and yes, you can help me. Go get some blankets and pillows." The twins looked at each other in astonishment but they knew better not to ask Abel. The twins merrily went to their room and got the supplies.

Outside, they finally were able to carry the wounded soldier down. They noticed that he was unconscious but breathing slowly. Pain pierced Emma's heart; she couldn't believe how young this soldier was. She thought about her eldest son and the parents of this young soldier; suffering unbearable grief of not knowing where their son could be. Instinctively, Emma wrapped the young soldier with blanket to keep him warm and stabilize his temperature. She gazed at her son Philippe, for a second she thought that, thank goodness he is still young to be a soldier. Noel and Philippe carried the young soldier back to their house.

Philippe asked his brother, "Abel is the bed ready?"

"Yes bring him here." Abel proudly replied. Emma went to the kitchen, took some warm water, bandages, and medicine. While father and son laid the helpless body of the young soldier, the twin girls watched and were scared for what was happening. Julia asked innocently, "Is he dead father?" And Danielle added, "What happened to him?"

Abel spurted into anger, "No he is not dead, and he can't be dead!" Emma comforted her youngest son as she answered her twins, "No Julia, he is not dead. We need to help him right away, and Danielle, his plane got shot down by the enemies."

Curiously, Danielle saw the French flag on his uniform. "Oh, Mother he is a French soldier then?" "Yes he is!" Emma answered. In her amazement Julia shouted, "He is fighting for our freedom."

He is a good and brave man. Abel said into his heart and closed his eye wiping away his tears.

In bed, the young soldier groaned with pain but didn't open his eyes. Noel said, "Emma quickly we need to get the bullets out and stitch his wounds." Noel was a farmer he knew a lot about animals, he took care of his own and he knew that he can help this young man. He was hoping that he was not too late and the bullet hadn't hit any major organs.

Emma instructed the children to leave the room except for Philippe. "Abel, please bring your sisters outside." Abel crossed his arms and complained, "But mother, I want to be here."

"You are too young I need you to comfort your sisters."

"But I found him I am responsible for him." Abel pleaded.

"Yes I know darling, that's why I need you to take care of your sisters so we can tend to this young soldiers wounds. Ok, do you understand?" With tears of uncertainty flows to his eyes Abel sadly complied.

Noel started unbuttoning the young soldier's uniform. Few of the bullets hit name patch, therefore they couldn't identify him. It only shows the beginning letter was "C" and the last letter was "L". "That doesn't help us identify his name." Noel said in disappointment.

"My God those bullets are so close to his heart but he is still breathing. Actually his uniform is hardly recognizable." Philippe said shockingly.

To their amazement, they came to a grey material covering this young soldier upper body. But it didn't cover his arms or his legs. Surprisingly Noel noted that, "It appears that he is bleeding only from his arms and legs." With a thoughtful look in his eyes Philippe said, "That's a good thing isn't it Father?"

"Yes it is, yes it is". Noel answered full of hope in his heart and let out a big sighed of relief.

They discovered this grey clothing which appeared to be hard but flexible. They never have seen anything like it before. Suddenly, they all realized that whatever it was, it protected his vital organs from the bullets. Finally, when everything was removed, Noel took a prong which has been in the fire earlier to be sterilized. He went inside deep into the wound to get the bullets out. Each time penetration the young man, moaned in pain, his body twitched and trembled responding to the painful stimuli. Emma and Philippe controlled him down, so that Noel could get into the bullets hoping that he could take them all.

Hours had past, bullets of sweats dripped down Noel's head and his hands were trembling. His heart was racing like a horse trying to finish the last lap of the race. Emma holds her husband's hand and said, "Darling I know you can do this." Noel looked at his wife thoughtfully and nodded. He couldn't imagine the amount of pain this young soldier experiencing right now. But he had no choice. You see this poor farmer's family had no means of providing medicine to numb or ease the pain. Noel only knew he had to do everything as quickly as he can. Every seconds counts. Who knows how long he has been hanging on the tree. How much blood he lost? Noel thought to himself.

Outside the room, the younger children were all crying as they listened to the sound of pain and agony. The three children knelt down and each prayed for the safety of this young soldier. After long hours of agonizing torture, Noel stitched the last wound. Emma covered the young soldier helpless body and continued to applied warm compress on his head.

Finally, the young soldier's body calmed down, sleeping but breathing slowly as if he was hanging by a thread. His face was full of discomfort and agony. His hand was in shape of a fist starting to calm down. Silent echoed in the room, they all looked at one another, smiling in contentment that the worst was over. Finally, Noel spoke, "All we can do now is to wait and pray." The family hold hands, knelt, and pray.

Abel came in with excitement and said," Can I help him now, Mom, Dad?" Emma knelt down to look into Abel's eyes and said, "Yes, you may and thank you for being patient. You can put this warm facecloth to his forehead every now and then ok?"

Abel felt great. He had a duty to fulfill. He saluted his Mom and Dad and said, "Yes, I will. I am not going to sleep tonight so I can watch over him. I am on duty."

With a grin on his face Noel said, "We will see".

"We need to inform the French base my dear" Emma suggested.

"I know, but it is too dangerous to go out there. We only have the carriage. There are bombs everywhere. Most of the roads are not safe. If I go out there, there is a possibility that I might die, what will happen to you and the children then? Also, we don't even know his name. We will wait to see once he regains consciousness and will go from there.", Noel said as his heart breaks. Husband and wife hugged each other. As their children watched their parents and the young soldier they looked at each other and somewhat understood that they have a dilemma.

Truly, it was a dangerous place to live in their area at that time. The family never left their house. Since they have a small farm they were able to manage on their own. They heard one time, that their neighbour left for town and did not came back. Noel wanted to help the young soldier, but he also feared for his own and family safety. War is everywhere. But at least, the young soldier was safe and ALIVE.

Please be kind and R/R. Depends on the R/R whether I will continue or not. Thank you and your R/R are greatly appreciated.