Hanging By a Moment by Hikari-chan (Comet~Princess)

Disclaimer: Gundam Wing and Sailormoon aren´t mine. Hanging By A Moment is a song sung by Lifehouse. Not mine either. Beginning of the story is based on Hana Yori Dango. Not mine. Get it? Got it? Good. Moving on. . .

AN: So much for only working on Silent Waltz. ^^;;; But I´ve started to write Chapter 9, so don´t worry. Meanwhile, enjoy this. SilverRay-chan and Serenity5685 both asked me to post this, and Hiasobi-chan threatened me, even though she didn´t like my *insert funny look here* lack of elaboration and the ending. -_-;;; Thanks to all three of you for pre-reading through this. Anywho, I´ll decide later whether to keep this up here. ^^v The opening section of this story was based on Hana Yori Dango, just so you know. I´m not that brilliant.

Warnings: BE WARNED!! This is long, really, really, REALLY LONG!! Plus, Heero is really OOC, and I mean it. Hmm. . .now that we´re on that subject, most the G-boys are pretty OOC in the fic. =P AU timeline, different backgrounds for everyone. You´ve been warned.

Timeline: This is an AU fic. (Alternate Universe) No Gundams, no senshi, no special powers. Different backgrounds for everyone. If you don´t like that, then I warn you again!

Reference: Japanese Used

fukyou: wealth and power (also means displease or depression, see you catch the pun in that. ^_~)

chibi tenshi: little angel (chibi = little, tenshi = angel)

omae o korosu: I'm going to kill you.

sarabada: goodbye (used when you'll never ever see that person again)

Alright, I´ll see you at the bottom of page 49. ^^;;;

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She stared up at the huge school in front of her, partly in shock, partly in pleasure, and partly in fear. The iron gates of the large property was beautifully carved with intricate designs of vines and angels. Just beyond it, a long walkway led to a stone fountain in the middle of the courtyard, circling around it. On either side of the path, flowers of every kind were in full bloom, colourizing the magnificent scene.

Looking around, she noticed that students were gathering into their own groups. Their prim uniforms were unbelievably clean and proper. Each boy´s hair was neatly combed. Each girl´s make-up was done without a flaw. Instantly, she felt small and unworthy to be here. She clutched her worn schoolbag closer to her, and took a deep breath.

Fukyou Academy, the most prestige private school in the entire country. Known for its excellence in academics, it was the most famous, not to mention, expensive, private school of all. Those who had the privilege of attending it were considered rich and powerful. It was a place of nobility, a place for the wealthy, and most of all, not a place for her.

She walked up the path, ignoring the looks she received from the other students, who obviously did not recognize her. The long braid down her back felt unnatural, but she hadn´t wanted to attract attention, and if she had left it in its usual hairstyle, attention was exactly what she would have gotten. She wondered why she was here as she made her way through the grand building to the main office. Her parents weren´t rich. She was neither intelligent nor famous. In fact, she considered herself to have no talent at all. So why?

Because her parents had wanted her to go. They had wanted it so much, in fact, that she felt guilty about not going at the beginning of the school year. A little over a week ago, she had finally succumbed to their hope and gotten the transfer papers. To say her parents had been happy would have been the understatement of the year. It had been worth giving up going to the same school as her old friends to see that look on their faces. Of course, they all had to make some sacrifices. The family budget was now extremely tight due to the extra tuition fees.

The first bell rang, and she realized that if she didn´t hurry, she would be really late. Picking up her pace, she took off at a slow jog to the main office, muttering how the design of the building was inconvenient, with the office so far from the entrance.

~*~*~*~*~

Desperate for changing
Starving for truth

~*~*~*~*~

She smiled shakily at the people that were staring back at her. The teacher introduced her to the class. Unfortunately, few people smiled back. She gulped nervously. The school may be well-known for its academics, but she would give it an F for friendliness and enthusiasm.

She seated herself next to a blond haired boy who had been one of the few who smiled back at her. "Hi," she greeted him with a smile. "I´m Usagi Tsukino, nice to meet you."

"I´m Quatre Winner," the boy replied, shaking her hand.

He gave a gentle nod in the direction of the teacher, and Usagi understood that he´ll talk to her a little more after class. She couldn´t quite believe that she was paying attention, but she had improved over the years. In between listening to the teacher talk about the wonders of the atom and its structure, she couldn´t help losing herself in her thoughts. The boy next to her was Quatre Winner? This is the heir to the Winner Corporation, the largest business in the world? They really do only have the most well-known people in the world at the school.

As soon as class was over, she followed Quatre out of the classroom.

"Sorry about earlier," he told her, "but if the teachers here catch you talking in class, you´ll get extra homework."

Usagi made a face. "I hate homework," she stated. "Thanks for telling me."

"No problem," the boy answered. Together, they walked to their next class. On the way, Quatre told her about the different departments of the school, informing her of after-school activities that she could participate in, and so on.

"Do you do this introduction often?" Usagi asked with a grin once they reached the doorway of their class. "You sound like you´ve done this many times before."

Quatre blushed. "Not that often," he responded. "Once you´ve been here long enough, you just know."

Usagi was about to make a comment when a commotion in the room drew her attention away from her new friend. She turned her head, and what she saw made her frown. At the far end of the room, a boy sat looking out the window, dark circles under his eyes, hair in a wild mess. He looked as though he hadn´t bathed in days. Just then, a girl walked by, and purposely knocked the stack of books on his desk onto the floor. Slowly, the boy got up and picked them up. All the while, no one offered to help him. Instead, all Usagi saw from the other students were snickers hid behind their hands, or looks of disgust towards the boy.

She took a couple of steps towards him, determined to help, when Quatre suddenly grabbed her arm and dragged her back with a force she didn´t know he possessed. He shook his head vehemently at her, slight fear flickering in his eyes.

"Why not?" she hissed. She hadn´t thought the blond-haired boy in front of her could be so cold-hearted. Could she have misjudged him?

"Do you want to be next?" he asked her softly.

"Next to do what?" she replied, confused.

"Be tormented until you quit the school," he answered. "That boy´s been tagged by Wing 4. It´s in your best interest not to approach him."

"Wing 4?" she echoed, her brows furrowing.

"Wing 4 is like the elite of the students. They´re just four other students, but everyone else respects them and look up to them. If you do something to offend them, then you´d inevitably be tagged," Quatre offered her this very brief explanation.

"Don´t the teachers care?" Usagi questioned, scowling.

Quatre shook his head. "Being tagged is nothing more than having a piece of red ribbon stuck to your locker. Besides, Wing 4 doesn´t do anything other than tag you. The student body carries out the punishment."

Usagi frowned again, looking at the boy who was gathering his books with sympathy. Have the entire school turn on you and drive you to quit. That would be hard on anyone. She turned back to Quatre, who looked as though he also felt bad for not helping in fear of offending Wing 4. No one in their right mind would want the entire school against them.

"Quatre, who are the members of Wing 4?" she asked quietly.

Quatre looked surprised. He pondered whether or not to answer before telling her. "Their names are Duo Maxwell, Trowa Barton, Chang Wufei, and Heero Yuy."

~*~*~*~*~
I´m closer to where I started
I´m chasing after you
~*~*~*~*~

It had been almost two weeks since she started studying at Fukyou Academy. It had taken her all of the first week to get adjusted to their system of learning. As it turned out, there was a lot of independent study, and Usagi was so very glad that Quatre had been around to help her. They had become very good friends in that short amount of time, which was probably why she decided to do what she did that day.

The two had been walking down the hall, hurrying to class. Quatre, being faster than her, had been ahead. Around the corner he went, and then, all she saw was her best friend falling backwards and onto the floor.

"Oh my goodness! Are you okay, Quatre?" Usagi asked, hurrying towards him.

"Yes, I´m fine, Usagi," he replied. "I´m really sor-"

He instantly cut himself off when he saw who he had knocked to the floor, taking on an almost white colour. "I. . . I´m very, very sorry. Please forgive me. I didn´t mean to bump into you. I should have watched where I was going," he continued to babble.

Usagi frowned at her friend´s strange behavior. She turned to see that the guy Quatre had knocked over was scowling. He had ebony hair tied in a tight ponytail and sharp, raven-colour eyes. Behind him, one of the three guys looked as though he was going to fall to the floor laughing. He had a braid that was as long as hers and indigo eyes that twinkled with mischief. The other two stood with stoic expressions on their faces. One was extremely tall, with long brown bangs almost covering half of his face and emerald eyes that pierced right through their target. The other was a little shorter, but still tall as compared to her. His brown hair was tousled and fell into his deep Prussian blue eyes that absorbed everything. Despite the messiness of his hair, the effect seemed to be in complete contrast with that of the boy whom Usagi had seen on her first day. That guy had looked as though he had gotten through the past week without any sleep. This guy in front of her looked cold, dangerous, and strangely enough, very appealing to the eye.

"Shut up!" the guy on the floor snapped, picking himself up.

Quatre instantly did so, cowering back slightly from the angry Chinese boy. Usagi frowned. That was rude. The braided one was now making no effort to hide his amusement. "Someone actually dared to knock over Wu-man," he declared, howling with laughter.

"Maxwell, do not call me Wu-man!" the aforementioned guy yelled.

Usagi blinked. Maxwell? Wu-man? "You´re. . .you´re Wing 4?" she asked in almost a whisper.

The tallest of the group raised an eyebrow at her, as though asking her just how long she had been at the school. The Chinese boy rolled his eyes; it was his way of expressing the same thing as his companion. The braided boy grinned at her. "Duo Maxwell," he introduced himself, scanning her body quickly with obviously experienced eyes.

Usagi quickly shrank back from his gaze and stared at the floor, suddenly self-conscious and not liking the way he was looking at her. So this was why Quatre was acting so strangely. He had been trying to make up for knocking over a member of Wing 4. She carefully raised her eyes to look at them, if for nothing more than to avoid them in the future. By accident, she met the stare of the last member, whose hypnotic sea blue eyes seemed to pierce her soul. Once she started staring, she couldn´t tear her gaze away, that is, until she heard a cry of pain from Quatre.

Quickly, she ran to her best friend, who was on the floor after having been punched in the stomach by the Chinese guy. Usagi felt her anger bubble. Forgetting all about the consequences, she stood and stomped up to Quatre´s attacker.

"What the heck is wrong with you?!" she shouted, standing up to her full height, which allowed her to barely reach his shoulder. "It was an accident! He apologized. What right do you have to punch him?"

The black haired boy merely sneered at her. "I will do whatever I want, little girl. And just for what you said, you´re going to suffer first hand the consequences of messing with Wing 4."

Usagi braced herself, preparing to be knocked to the floor the same way Quatre had been. Instead, a quiet monotonous voice reached her before the punch she had been expecting.

"Wufei," came from the guy she had been having a staring contest with.

"What, Yuy?" Wufei asked with annoyance.

"Tomorrow," was the answer.

Wufei, along with the braided one, and the silent one, all smirked at this reply. They turned to walk down the hall, leaving the one Wufei had addressed as Yuy behind. He smirked slightly at her. "You´ll get exactly what Wufei promised," he told her quietly before following his friends.

It took Usagi a moment to realize Quatre was still on the floor. Quickly, she took him to the infirmary. Along the way, she couldn´t help but wonder, what did he mean when he said she´ll get what Wufei promised?

~*~*~*~*~
I´m falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I´ve held on to

~*~*~*~*~*

She felt unwanted and unwelcome once again as she walked towards the school building. She hadn´t felt like this since that first day, and she had thought she could expect the smiles of acceptance for the rest of her stay. It did not seem that way though, as she hurried to her locker. The other students seemed to be avoiding her like the plague, and she didn´t like it at all. She sighed. She had managed to get the identity of the four members of Wing 4 from Quatre yesterday. Wufei, she had singled out due to his friend calling his name. The braided one was Duo. The silent one had been Trowa. Last but not least, their mutually appointed leader, Heero.

She reached her locker and gulped visibly when she saw the piece of red ribbon attached to it. Not even a second after, an egg flew across the hall and hit her on the side of the head, the egg shell splattering and the yolk running through her originally clean hair.

She pretended nothing happened as she reached to get her books. She couldn´t help the feeling of loneliness and dread, but she tried her best to ignore the mocking laughter around her. Turning, she spotted Quatre, who was frozen a few meters away. She smiled at him, but he didn´t smile back. Instead, he was staring at the red ribbon that was stuck to her locker.

"Quatre," she whispered.

The blond haired boy turned pale, and instead of the friendship she had expected, he turned and ran away down the hall. If someone had kicked her in the shin, it would probably have hurt less. Usagi tried her best to hold back the tears that threatened to spill over. It would be no use to cry. Besides, her parents had to make all kinds of sacrifices just to send her here. She would make it through this school. She had to.

However, as the day went by, everything just got worse. She got pelted with eggs a few more times, and she had more bruises than she could count from people shoving her in the hallways. By the end of the day, all she wanted was to go home and have a shower, then go to bed. She had hidden in a broom closet until the halls got less crowded, and now, almost an hour after school had let out, she was making her way to her locker.

"Well, look who finally showed up," a prideful voice spoke up once she opened her locker.

She turned around with tired eyes to see the entire group of Wing 4 behind her. Usagi backed up into the locker, not liking the look she got from the Chinese one.

"So how was your day?" Duo asked, the taunting hidden well behind cheeriness.

Usagi stiffened. "Just fine," she answered in a small voice.

Trowa noticed her wariness of them, and smiled very slightly to himself. "Consequences always come after harsh decisions," he offered.

"Where´s your friend, the rich blond boy?" Wufei questioned.

When Usagi gave no answer, he smirked and continued, "Abandoned you, didn´t he? Dishonorable coward."

Usagi´s anger flared. They could pick on her. They could taunt her, mock her, beat her, ignore her. But no one insulted her family or her friends, even if Quatre hadn´t been the best friend today. "Don´t talk about him like that!" she snapped.

Wufei snorted. "Stupid little girl, standing up for people who don´t even care about you."

"Hey," Duo suddenly interrupted, "you know you´d look better without the eggs, right? How about a date tonight?" He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.

Normally, the golden haired girl would shrink away from him, but her anger and frustration level was so high right now, she did the exact opposite. Besides, she didn´t care about the consequences anymore. What else were they going to do anyway? Stick two pieces of red ribbon on her locker? Without a second thought, she threw the textbook she had been holding at his head.

Duo ducked gracefully, and the textbook sailed over him, caught easily by Heero. "That´s enough for today," he said. Instantly, the rest of the guys turned and walked away, leaving Heero and Usagi in the hall.

Usagi sighed. "Thank you," she said gratefully. Maybe he wasn´t as bad as the rest of them. She looked up at him to find him looking back with the tiniest bit of amusement in his eyes.

"I can´t have them break you just yet," he replied as though this was an everyday occurrence. "I do have a bet with them that you´ll last past the week."

~*~*~*~*~
I´m standing here until you make me move
I´m hanging by a moment here with you
~*~*~*~*~

That arrogant jerk! was the only thought running through her mind as she stomped home with renewed energy, ignoring the funny looks she got from the bystanders who whispered about the egg in her hair. She couldn´t believe he said that. And to think that she had thought he might not be as bad as the rest of them. She growled, and almost missed the blond haired boy standing in front of her house.

"Usagi," Quatre addressed her hesitantly.

"Quatre?" the girl replied, surprised to see him. "What are you doing here?"

"I. . .I just wanted to apologize for today," he whispered. "You were tagged because of me, and I didn´t even offer to be your support."

Usagi smiled a little and gave him a hug. "It´s okay. I mean, no one in their right mind would want to have the entire school against them," she stated.

"Are. . .are you going to quit because of Wing 4?" Quatre asked her. He didn´t want her to, but from experience, she would, eventually. All of those who had been tagged quit. He had lost more than one friend that way.

Usagi pondered to herself for a moment. She was tempted to quit before the week was over, just so that stupid guy would lose his stupid bet, but how could she justify that to her parents, to herself? Her old friends would all tell her to be strong, and she had never just succumbed to someone else´s will so easily before. Her thoughts slowly drifted to Wing 4, and she glowered just because she was remembering their names. The poor students who had to listen to them, who ended up quitting just because of some accident like bumping into them in the hall, or those like her, who only stood up for her friends. No, she couldn´t quit, not yet.

"No," she answered. "The battle has just started."

Quatre looked at her, surprised at her choice of words. Usagi grinned at him. "Don´t worry, you don´t have to help me. I understand," she informed him before he could say anything.

Quatre looked down at the floor. "I´m sorry," he told her. "It´s just. . .well, if I was driven to quit, my father would be very disappointed."

Usagi nodded. "I told you it was alright," she scolded him slightly. "Just promise me that we´ll still be friends, outside of school."

Quatre nodded. "Definitely," he replied with a smile.

They quickly said their goodbyes, and Usagi hurried into her house to wash the disgusting egg out of her hair, almost using up her bottle of shampoo in the process. By the time she got out of the shower, she was more determined to get rid of Wing 4´s hierarchy system than ever. She dressed quickly, and pulled her hair into the odango style that she had abandoned to avoid attention when she first started studying at Fukyou Academy. It wasn´t that she wanted attention now. She just didn´t care anymore.

She headed out to the nearest art supply store, and bought a huge amount of red ribbon, the kind that looked exactly like the one Wing 4 used on her locker that morning. Grinning triumphantly to herself, she almost skipped all the way home. Wing 4, and that arrogant jerk, were about to get the surprise of their lives.

~*~*~*~*~
Forgetting all I´m lacking
Completely incomplete

~*~*~*~*~

Usagi wanted to laugh. She really did, but if she did, then it would ruin the entire effect. She had gotten up extra early today to finish this task, and it was definitely worthwhile just to watch the reactions on the other students´ faces. Down the halls hung strands of red ribbon, across rows of lockers, taped to windows and classroom doors. In addition, she had her odangoes again, plus her entire person just screamed "tagged by Wing 4" and "defiance." The red ribbon wrapped around the buns on her head and streamed through the pigtails. She had a choker done with red ribbon, as well as a sash, bracelets, and even rings. To sum it up, she matched the school´s current state perfectly, and the school looked as though it was having a red-ribbon day.

The first person she saw was Quatre, who had looked at her first with astonishment, and then, with hidden laughter. Next, the teacher in her first period class had given her a funny look. After that, all the students had just stared at her. The boys had even forgotten about the eggs in their hands when they saw her get-up.

Lunch time rolled around, and Usagi had to say that this was one of her best ideas yet. Yea, people stared, but she didn´t care. Besides, even if she did, lunch was a time free of worries. She ate under a blooming sakura tree, half reading her notes for her next class, until a shadow blocked her view of the tiny print in her textbook. She looked up to find none other than the Wing 4 leader himself glaring down at her, a long piece of red ribbon hanging in his hand.

"Just what are you doing?" he growled at her.

She looked up innocently, smiling her sweetest smile. "I´m making sure you win your bet," she replied cheekily, snapping her textbook shut.

Heero scowled at her. "By decorating the school?" he stated rather than asked.

Usagi grinned at him. "Don´t like the school being tagged?" she questioned, pretending to be confused.

If his death glare could kill, Usagi would have died a few times over already. Much to his annoyance though, instead of being afraid of his famous look of death, she seemed to be amused by it. He knelt down on one knee and grabbed her chin roughly, making her look at him and squeezing until she had to blink to keep the tears from spilling out of her endless sapphire eyes. Yet, she made no sound to make him stop, stubbornly trying to outlast him, to win their staring contest.

Usagi felt her heart pick up its speed. It was so strange. Here was the guy that had driven her to rebel against the force of the entire school in front of her, and she couldn´t stop staring into his eyes. On one hand, if she stopped and looked away, then he would win their unspoken contest of will, and she refused to give in. On the other hand, if she kept staring, she knew she would drown in his Prussian blue depths. Why did the person she disliked most in the world have to have the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen on a guy?

After another good five minutes, he leaned closer to her, and her eyes widened. What was he doing?

Heero smirked to himself. He had a pretty good idea what she was thinking, but Wing 4 had a reputation to keep. They couldn´t just let this one girl get away with trying to destroy it.

"You´ll regret messing with Wing 4," he murmured in a low voice.

The message was not a pleasant one, but his voice and his closeness made her cheeks turn rosy and her heart flutter, for some strange reason she couldn´t understand.

Heero noticed her blush and smirked in amusement. Her reaction to him could be. . .fun, as Duo would put it. "And just because you want it," he added in the same husky tone before he closed the distance between them and pressed his lips against hers. It was a very brief kiss, but once he pulled away, he saw that she seemed to have gone into a stupor. He released her and walked away without another word. Yes, this could be fun. She would pay for messing with Wing 4, for messing with him. She would fall the hardest out of all the people Wing 4 had tagged.

~*~*~*~*~
I´ll take your invitation
You take all of me now
~*~*~*~*~*

"What were you doing over there, Yuy?" Wufei asked him as soon as he reached them on the roof of the school. The three of them had watched as their leader confronted the girl with the strange hairstyle. It had sent them into mild shock, but by the time Heero had reached the roof, they had snapped out of it.

"Sucking faces with the girl who dared to defy him," Duo answered in a sing-song voice.

He shut up when he got Heero´s death glare in return for his comment. Never ever make Heero mad. It was a lesson Duo had learnt a long time ago, even before Wing 4 came into existence.

Trowa merely looked questioningly at the other boy, waiting for an answer. Heero smirked internally. He had guessed right on all their reactions. Not that it had been hard, since the four of them had been best friends since their childhood.

Trowa was the brain of the group, the silent one who preferred to observe rather than to participate. Around the school, he was known for his quick mind and his athleticism, with a quiet charisma that attracted the girls even though he rarely spoke to them. He came from a middle-class family, which was the most "normal" out of the four of them. At the age of six, though, his parents had died, and his then sixteen years old sister had to care for him. She had not even graduated from high school when she married a man twenty years her senior. It was a man she didn´t love, but he cared for her and he was willing to provide for her and her brother if she agreed to marry him. Desperate to give Trowa what she couldn´t have, she had agreed.

Wufei was the fighter, a master at martial arts who held a love for his culture´s history. He was dubbed as "tall, dark, and handsome" by many girls in the younger grades, which only made Duo laugh. Carrying a fierce temper, he was very straightforward, never trying to hide what he wanted, which, for reasons that stumped even Trowa, attracted the female population of the Academy. Wufei was the younger son of a relatively rich family. Due to cultural beliefs, his older brother would be the one to inherit everything in the family. His parents had basically ignored him for most of his life, leaving him to train with his tutors in academics and his instructors in martial arts. He rarely saw his parents. Even though he had craved their love for the earlier part of his life, he had come to realize that, to his parents, he, and even his brother, were nothing more than possible inheritors of the family business.

Duo was the player in the group. If someone asked him how many girlfriends he´s had in his short life, he wouldn´t be able to count them. Heck, even if the question had been how many times he´s been laid in his life, he wouldn´t be able to answer. It was a hobby for him, a game, almost like collecting stamps, except he collected girls. It wasn´t like he had ever forced himself on anyone. They wanted it, so he delivered. The girls found him charming, and he was also the only one of Wing 4 who would stop in the halls to flirt. Despite his reputation, each girl in the school still wished they would be the one who lasted. His second hobby was teasing his friends, which he did often. But considering Wufei and Heero, the braided boy had learnt when to stop, and fast. Duo´s family was as strange as they came. His father was a government official in some foreign country. His mother was the most wanted prostitute in all of Japan. He hadn´t seen either of them for more than seven years, not that he wanted to. He got money in his bank account from his father, and as long as the money was enough, he didn´t care. Perhaps it was because of his mother that he was the way he was, just playing with the girls who threw themselves at him.

Lastly was Heero himself. Radiating coldness and danger wherever he went, he was the most complex of all of them. He was almost a combination of the other three´s personalities, with some ice in the mix. Like the rest of Wing 4, he was easy on the eyes. However, he held a dark appeal that none of the others had. He was what the girls like to call sexy. His past, however, was just as dark as the sky on a stormy day. No one, not even himself, knew his origin. He had no recollection of his parents, nor his family. The furthest back he could remember was an orphanage. He did, strangely enough, have a bank account that he gained access to when he turned thirteen. Like Duo, the money increased every month, but unlike Duo, he also had no idea where the extra money came from.

The four had met in elementary school, and through all kinds of problems and hardships, between themselves, with family and with strangers, they had stuck together, being loyal to each other. They had grown up trusting only each other, which was probably why Wing 4 was so strong as a group.

"She wants a game, so she´ll get a game," Heero replied quietly, walking past his friends to lean on the railing they had watched him from. He could see Usagi clearly from here. She was sitting with her legs folded gracefully underneath her, her pigtails blowing gently in the wind. The book she had been studying from lay forgotten to one side.

Wufei raised an eyebrow at him. "Game?" he echoed.

"My kind of game," Duo supplied, grinning from ear to ear. He would rather be the one playing it, but it was going to be something else altogether to watch the usually stoic Heero play it.

~*~*~*~*~
I´m falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I´ve held on to

~*~*~*~*~

Usagi was almost in a daze as she walked home from school. She couldn´t get over it. Heero Yuy, leader of Wing 4, one of the most wanted guys in school, had kissed her. For the rest of the day, she got various hateful looks from the females in the school, but she hardly noticed. That was what she expected when she walked into the school with red ribbon all over her. Heero kissing her was not! She muttered incoherent words as she reached her house.

"Hey Usagi," Quatre greeted her, making her jump.

"Oh hey," she replied with a smile. "Did you come to help me with my homework?"

Quatre studied her for a moment, then smiled slightly. "Yes, but there´s something else," he said.

"Yea?" Usagi prompted, opening the door to her house and ushering him inside.

"You won´t like it," he started.

"Just tell me," she responded nonchalantly. "Nothing else can surprise me today." She opened the refrigerator door to grab herself some orange juice.

Quatre turned bright red. "Um. . .uh. . .there´s rumors going around the school that you slept with Heero Yuy," he let out in a rush while staring at the floor.

Usagi spat out everything she was drinking a moment before.

"WHAT?!" she yelled. "I did not!" She let out a string of curses that would have put her friend Haruka to shame.

"I didn´t think so," Quatre muttered quietly from behind the kitchen table, where he had decided to take refuge. "I´m just wondering who started it, and why."

Usagi looked as though she was going to blow a fuse. She had a pretty good idea who and why. "Can we drop it now?" she sighed. "I´ve had enough surprises for today. I don´t care anymore, since the entire school hates me already."

"What other surprises happened today, other than your get-up?" Quatre asked with a grin, sitting down and opening his books.

Usagi followed suit. "Would you believe me if I said that Heero kissed me?" she mumbled.

This time, it was Quatre who went into shock. A strong feeling of jealousy threatened to overtake his emotions, even though he wondered why almost immediately after. "I. . .I guess so, if you say he did," he answered softly.

Usagi blinked. "Are you okay, Quatre?" she questioned.

"Just fine," the blond haired boy replied with a shaky smile. "I´m a little worried, that´s all."

"About what?" Usagi responded, flipping open her textbook.

"Why he kissed you."

"I don´t know," she began. "He seems more complicated than what we think. I´m just going to pretend it never happened."

"I have a feeling he´ll hurt you," Quatre told her, worry shining clearly in his blue-green eyes.

"That´s what he´s setting out to do, considering I went up against his precious Wing 4," Usagi bit out. "But he won´t, trust me. I don´t think he wants to go to jail for assault and battery."

Quatre didn´t say anything else, but he couldn´t help glancing at Usagi from time to time as he did his homework. The girl was so sweet and innocent. She didn´t even understand what he meant. Of course she wasn´t going to be hurt physically. Emotionally though, that´s a different story.

~*~*~*~*~
I´m standing here until you make me move
I´m hanging by a moment here with you
~*~*~*~*

Usagi sighed as she played with the ribbon in her hair. She had decorated herself in much the same way as yesterday. She did, however, leave the school alone. She did not have enough money to put red ribbon all over such a large school every day of the school year. She got sneers, insults, and hateful looks all day, not to mention suggestive ones from the male population, but she had just ignored them. The egg throwing had continued, but she had ducked, jumped, ran around corners, and all the rest. She was happy to say that not a single egg had hit her all day. In fact, they had sometimes missed her and hit someone else by mistake. It seemed like she would get plenty of day to day exercise though.

She looked around the empty classroom. Where was the teacher who said she would tutor her in physics if she showed up after class? It was one of the few classes she didn´t have with Quatre, so she couldn´t ask him.

The door opened, and she got up to greet the teacher. . .only to find that it wasn´t the teacher. It was three boys from her classes earlier today.

"Well, what do we have here?" one of them asked with a grin.

They all walked into the room. Usagi didn´t like the looks they were giving her, and she quickly took a few steps back, the fear evident in her eyes.

"Oh come on," the second one coaxed. "If you´ll give yourself to the guy who made you suffer for the past couple of days, why not to us? We´re rich too."

"I didn´t sleep with him!" Usagi yelled, still backing away from them. "I don´t care about your money. Go away!"

The three of them just chuckled, stalking towards her until she was against a wall. She could feel them fingering her hair and caressing her cheeks, but those hands were as despicable as flies on a nice summer day. Their laughter taunted her, and she couldn´t help the tears that spilled through her tightly shut eyelids.

Stop it, please stop it, she thought desperately. She didn´t want to hurt other people physically. Besides, could she even get away with three of them after her?

"What are you doing?" a voice suddenly interrupted.

The three boys were immediately off of her. They turned around to see who it was, then they all paled visibly. "We´re. . .we´re just carrying out the punishment for Wing 4," one of them replied.

"Really? I don´t recall that being a regular form of punishment."

The three backed away towards the other door in the room. "We´re sorry, we´re really, really sorry," one managed to stutter. "Please, we didn´t mean to."

Usagi finally opened her eyes to see Heero leaning casually against one door and her previous assaulters at the other. She let out a sigh of relief. She really shouldn´t have, since she didn´t know what he would do with her, but she did anyway.

"Just get out of here," Heero stated with a glare. He really hated people who apologized too much, though he supposed that nothing was ever perfect. If he wanted Wing 4, he was going to have this kind of people. The three guys bowed and ran out of the room as quickly as they could.

"You always seem to save me one way or another in the nick of time," Usagi commented softly from the floor, where she was sitting almost limply.

"No thank you this time?" he replied, not moving from his position.

Usagi scowled at him. "If it wasn´t for you, that wouldn´t have happened in the first place," she snapped, wiping the tearstains from her eyes.

"And what did I do that would cause other men to try and rape you?" he asked dryly. Whatever explanation she gave him, he had a feeling it would be different that what he was expecting.

Usagi stood up and glared at him. "You, Wing 4, and your stupid rumors!" she shouted. "I did NOT sleep with you!"

Heero raised an eyebrow. Oh, the answer was different alright. "I know that," he responded with a slight smirk.

Usagi turned bright red.

"I have more morals than go around starting that kind of rumor," he told her.

Usagi blinked, then sighed. "Well, anyone in the school could have done it. If it wasn´t you, then I don´t know who it was," she stated, walking back to her desk.

"What are you doing here at this time?" he asked.

She looked at him. "I´m waiting for the teacher to show up and tutor me in this physics work that I don´t understand, but I don´t see why you care," she answered. "Now, don´t you have some Wing 4 meeting to attend?"

He ignored her obvious attempt to insult him and his friends, instead walking around her so that he could read over her shoulder. Usagi didn´t move. She had learned that he was unpredictable, and she was strangely curious to find out what he wanted to do now.

"Do you want me to teach you?" he questioned gently, his breath brushing by her ear.

Usagi´s cheeks took on a rosy pink again, her heart accelerating. "You. . .you´ll teach me?" she asked.

"If you want," he replied.

Usagi nodded dumbly, wondering why he was offering to help in the first place. Hadn´t he just said the day before that she was going to regret messing with him? He was doing the exact opposite. What was up with this guy? She forced these thoughts out of her mind as he started to teach her.

She was surprised to find that he knew the material very, very well. He spoke slowly, waiting for her to absorb what he had said about one thing before moving to the next. As he continued to simplify what was written in the textbook, the subject of electromagnetism started making sense to her. The terms no longer looked as though they were written in French, and she knew where the equations came from. He was surprisingly patient with her, willing to go over anything she didn't understand until she got it. They were so absorbed in what they were doing that they never noticed the appearance of the teacher, who had looked taken one look at the scene the two of them made, smiled dreamily, and left without a word.

Two hours later, Usagi had finished all the homework, and much to her delight, she understood everything she had done. She beamed at him, her smile outshining the day´s sunlight. "You should tutor more often. You´re a good teacher," she complimented.

Heero smirked at her childish behavior, finding a beautiful innocence to it. "Not everyone can pay the tuition fee," he replied.

Usagi´s hands flew to her mouth. "Oh, I don´t have any extra money," she whispered, flustered. If he charged a lot, how could she possibly pay out of their already tight family budget?

He caught her chin easily with one hand, directing her attention towards him. "I don´t take cash," he murmured, staring into her eyes.

Usagi blinked, then blushed again. She played with the bracelet on her hand, the one she had gotten from her friends before she left for Fukyou Academy. "What do you want?" she asked in a whisper, even though she had already guessed what he was going to do.

Heero noted her reaction with satisfaction. Knowing she wasn´t going to refuse, he closed the space between them, tasting her sweet lips. Her eyes had closed, and she was unconsciously kissing back a little. He wrapped his free arm around her tiny waist, pulling her into his lap. She went willingly, not understanding why her body was reacting in the opposite direction to her mind. Her heart was torn, not knowing who to believe, which way to follow. Colours swirled in her mind´s eye, making her dizzy, as he pulled away from her lips and instead, dropped butterfly kisses all the way down her jaw and on her neck, where he found her already racing pulse.

She couldn´t help the whimper that escaped her lips when he pulled away and deposited her back in her chair. Blinking, she opened her eyes to find him looking down at her with mild amusement in his eyes. She blushed furiously, realizing that he had caught her actually craving his kisses. She gathered her books quickly. He watched her as she scampered towards the door of the room, then paused.

"See you tomorrow," she offered shyly with a quick smile.

~*~*~*~*~
I´m living for the only thing I know
I´m running and I question where to go

~*~*~*~*~

"Are you alright, Usagi?" Quatre asked, his voice laced with worry.

"Hmm?" Usagi murmured, snapping out of her trance. "Yea, yea, why wouldn´t I be?"

"Because I´ve been calling your name for the past five minutes," Quatre answered.

Usagi blushed, then quickly flipped open a random book. She had homework in every subject anyway. Much to her dismay, she had chosen the physics textbook, which only served to remind her of that day a week ago, causing her to turn even more red.

"Are you sure you don´t have a fever?" Quatre asked, noting her change in colour.

Usagi nodded wordlessly, lost in her own thoughts. She hadn´t really talked to Heero since their tutoring session. Which almost turned into a make-out session, her mind reminded her without any mercy. She glowered slightly and squashed that annoying voice in her mind. She had seen him though. Everyday at lunch, if she looked up at the roof of the school, she would find him either observing her, or talking to the other members of Wing 4.

She had wondered on more than one occasion why she had let him to do that, why she had been so willing to accept his touches, his kisses, when hours before, she had been afraid of the same kind of affection from other guys. She didn´t even have anything against those other guys, but she did have a bone to pick with Heero Yuy. It was strange though. The cold, heartless portrait Quatre had painted for her had been all wrong. She couldn´t picture Heero like that anymore, not after the tutorial. If anything, he had been kind and patient with her, which led her to the question she still couldn´t answer. Why had he helped her?

The only answer she could come up with was the payment. But Heero had almost every other girl in the school at his feet. They´d be willing to give him the kind of payment he asked without the tutorial, so why her? She wasn´t particularly pretty, nor rich, nor intelligent. She even went against Wing 4. Usagi groaned mentally. She will never ever figure out men.

Quatre noticed the blank look on her face, and realized she had spaced out again. He wondered what she was thinking about. For the past week, she hadn´t been her cheery self, and on the occasion that she was, it seemed almost forced. He couldn´t figure out what was bothering his friend. He guessed that it had something to do with Wing 4 though, since she always seemed to be looking in their direction during lunch time. He had taken to watching her when he could. He was afraid of what Wing 4 would do with her, and he didn´t want her to be hurt. She was his friend, after all. At least, that´s what he kept telling himself.

"This is great," Usagi commented suddenly in a sarcastic tone of voice. "I understand all of these stupid symbols. Of course I do."

Quatre peered across the table at her work, then looked up at her apologetically. "I don´t take physics," he stated.

Usagi sighed. "Yea, I know."

"Why don´t you ask the teacher?" came from Quatre.

"I don´t think my teacher likes me," Usagi replied with a grimace. "I went for extra help and she never showed up."

Quatre frowned. "Then how´d you get help last time?" he asked, confused.

"I talked to-" she stopped, taking on a nice shade of pink.

"Who?" Quatre prompted.

Usagi fidgeted with her fingers, suddenly finding her nails very interesting. "Someone," she muttered. "Maybe I´ll ask them again."

Quatre forced a smile to his face and nodded his approval, but he couldn´t help feeling hurt. Usagi had never kept secrets from him, up to now. Why didn´t she want him to know who helped her?

~*~*~*~*~
And I don´t know what I´m tapping into
Just hanging by a moment here with you
~*~*~*~*~

Usagi slowed down from running, to jogging, to walking up the stairs to the roof. Her heart pounded furiously. She had yet to accept what had happened last time she had a question about physics, and here she was, going to him instead of him coming after her. She shook her head, hugging her textbook closer to her.

She stopped in front of the door that led to the roof, and taking a deep breath, she gently pushed it open. The scene that greeted her was far from what she had expected.

Duo was being chased around by Wufei, who was cursing and making death threats as he waved a katana around. Trowa stood on the sidelines, watching with as much pleasure as it would show on his face.

"Stand still, Maxwell!!"

"Do I look that stupid?!"

"YES!"

Usagi let out a giggle, causing all action to stop. She grinned when they looked at her. "Who knew? Wing 4 are people too," she stated.

Wufei snorted. "Do we not look like people, little girl?" he asked.

"You don´t act like normal people," Usagi replied. "You seem so. . .high above the rest of the students."

"You don´t think so," Duo pointed out. "Otherwise, you wouldn´t be dressed like that."

Usagi nodded, knowing he was referring to her red ribbon motif, which basically threw their threats in their faces. "So why don´t you be normal around us too?" she wondered aloud.

The three guys exchanged glances, then looked back at her. "What are you doing here?" Trowa questioned instead of answering her.

"Oh yes," Usagi said, remembering why she was there in the first place. "Is Heero here?"

"Problem, chibi tenshi?" came a voice right by her ear.

Usagi jumped, taking on a red tint again. She whirled around, and found herself face to face with the guy she was looking for. When did he appear? She hadn´t even noticed him till now. "Uh," she stammered, "I. . .I just have questions about the physics."

Trowa, Duo, and Wufei all looked on with interest. This ought to be good, considering Usagi´s reaction to their friend just now.

"I have time after school," Heero told her.

"Okay," she squeaked out. "Classroom?"

Heero leaned closer to her. "No," he murmured, reaching out to tuck a strand of her hair behind her ear. Usagi blushed more. "Café down the street? It´s called Sky Garden."

Usagi gasped. "That´s an expensive place!" she exclaimed. "I wouldn´t even be able to afford a cup of milk there!"

"My treat," Heero replied. "Just bring yourself."

"And my books," Usagi added.

"I don´t care about the books," Heero answered, smirking.

Usagi´s cheeks felt like they were on fire as she quickly ran past him and down the stairs. What was that? And why did she always blush around him? Sure, he was good-looking, but she wasn´t that shallow. He didn´t care whether she brought her books. So did that mean this was a date? She was so confused. Messing with Wing 4 seemed to be the best thing she had done. She had seen the boys behind the façade. She was getting help in the subject she didn´t understand, from one of the smartest guys in school no less. And now, for all she knew, Heero had just asked her out.

What in the world was going on?

~*~*~*~*~
There´s nothing else to lose

~*~*~*~*

A few minutes of silence ensued after Usagi had left. As usual, the loudmouthed Duo was the one who broke it. He pretended to fan himself as he grinned at Heero.

"Nice," he commented. "Didn´t know you had a little of me in you."

"Shut up, Duo," Heero replied, scowling.

"I agree with Duo," Trowa inputted with a smirk. "Chibi tenshi?"

Heero shrugged. "Whatever works," he stated in monotone.

"Not bad for one of the first times you´ve ever flirted with a girl," Duo chirped. "I must be rubbing off on you!"

"Hn," Heero grunted in reply. He wondered briefly if that was supposed to feel. . .natural. He noticed the attention from other girls. Who wouldn´t when half the female population in the school is chasing you down? But he had never acted on the attention. The first time he had noticed Usagi blushing, he had decided to try a different strategy than the norm. And the only other one he knew was Duo´s. He didn´t think he could pull it off, but when he was with her, it was so easy. The words, the tone of voice, the gestures, they all just came to him. For the past week, every time he studied her, he couldn´t help noticing her natural beauty, both inside and out. He could tell, just by comparing her to all the other girls in school, that she didn´t wear make-up, but her skin still glowed with health. Her eyes, an endless ocean of sapphire blue, were windows to her soul, almost hypnotizing him sometimes. And added to that was a true belief in the best in everyone, a compassionate and forgiving nature, and a purity he had never seen in his life. Usagi was really something else altogether. He was pretty sure that he would have noticed her one of these days, even if she hadn´t rebelled against Wing 4.

"Yes, I must be spending too much time with you," Heero muttered, directing the comment at Duo. "Remind me to ship you off to Antarctica for a few weeks."

Wufei snickered and nodded his agreement. "If I chip in for the shipping fee, can we make it a few months?" he asked.

Duo pouted. "The two of you are so mean to me!" he exclaimed, then slapped Trowa on the back. "Look at Tro-man! He´s nice."

Trowa raised an eyebrow. "How much would it be split three ways if it´s a year?"

~*~*~*~*~

There´s nothing else to find

~*~*~*~*~

Usagi tried her best to concentrate on the words he was saying instead of what he was doing, but to no avail. She wondered if he was purposely trying to distract her.

They were sitting close together in one of the many booths in the café, since he was reading over her shoulder. Usagi listened as best she could, trying to understand, but he was fingering the ends of one of her pigtails as he spoke. Anyone who walked by and didn´t know them could easily mistake them for lovers. Usagi´s cheeks took on a rosy pink as this crossed her thoughts. Heero stopped his explanation of nuclear reactors.

"I don´t think you heard any of that," he said.

"Sorry, sorry," she replied quickly. "I´ll try to pay more attention."

"Something distracting you?" he murmured.

"No, no," she lied. "Just spacing out. Keep talking."

He shot her a look that clearly read he knew exactly what was distracting her, but he didn´t comment. She wondered how he could read her so easily. Her close friends have always said that her face and her eyes gave all her thoughts and emotions away, but he hadn´t known her long enough to be able to read all her thoughts and emotions, had he?

She forced herself to steer clear of those thoughts for the remainder of the time they spent together. Somehow, she had managed to understand most of the things he explained. She smiled gratefully at him as she finished the hot chocolate he offered to buy for her.

"Pay time," he said softly when she finished.

If Usagi hadn´t already finished the drink, she would have choked on it. She had almost forgotten, almost. She smiled shakily at him, her heart pounding in her chest.

He looked almost amused at her reaction. "Do you plan on going to the Spring Formal?" he asked her.

Usagi blinked. "Um. . .I wasn´t going to, since the entire school hates me," she replied, shooting a glare in his direction.

Heero gently tilted her chin up. "Go with me," he suggested. It wasn´t forceful, neither a request nor a threat. It was just an invitation.

Usagi stared at him, dumbfounded. They sat like that for a full five minutes. "You are kidding, right?" she finally managed to choke out.

"I don´t joke around," he replied, still waiting for her response.

She could see from the looks of it that he was really serious. The entire school had been buzzing about the Spring Formal for the past two weeks, and the event was still another three weeks away. Everywhere she went, the girls talked of dresses, hair, make-up, and most of all, dates for the formal. Every girl in school was scheming to go with one of the members of Wing 4. And here was Heero, asking her, of all people, to go with him.

"I. . .I guess so," she said.

He flashed her a small smile, and she felt her heart skip a beat. She had never seen him smile before, and she had to say that it was really nice. He should smile more often. Wait, scratch that. If he did, she might actually like him.

Are you sure you don´t already? the annoying voice in her head taunted her.

"Wonderful," he replied. He let go of her and stood up from the booth. "I´ll pick you up at seven on the day of the formal."

"You´re not going to kiss me?" she blurted out in surprise.

Heero looked at her with a smirk, then leaned so close that when he talked, she could feel his breath against her own lips. "Do you want me to, chibi tenshi?" he whispered.

"I. . .I don´t know," she answered very softly. Why didn´t she just say no? Was he right? Did she want him to kiss her? Because she knew he was going to.

She was right. He cupped her face gently in his hands and pressed their lips together, enjoying the softness of her rosebud lips and the sweet taste of strawberries. She wrapped her arms around his neck hesitantly, pulling herself a little closer. Her heart was pounding so loudly that she was sure he could hear it. She really should be wary of what he did around her. She should stay as far away from him as possible. Yet, she found a strange comfort in his arms, a strange warmth when he kissed her.

When he pulled away from her, she just sat there and stared into his eyes, those never-ending orbs of blue that mesmerized her. He gave her another smirk.

"There´s your kiss, chibi tenshi," he murmured huskily. "See you tomorrow."

He quickly brushed his lips against hers again before leaving the café. What had he done? He had no plan of asking her to go to the formal with him, and yet, the words had acted on their own. Furthermore, whenever he thought of the day he would hurt her for going against Wing 4, he felt horrible about it. He was going to harm that beautiful purity and childish innocence, send her tumbling out of her bubble of optimism and enthusiasm, and completely crush her heart. He didn´t want to be the one who did that to her. He didn´t want to hurt her.

~*~*~*~*~

There´s nothing in the world
That can change my mind

~*~*~*~*~

Quatre sighed as he opened the door to his house. He had just gotten back from another day of school. Usually, he would go to Usagi´s house and they would do their homework together, but today, she had said she wasn´t feeling too well, so they had gone their separate ways. Quatre had to admit she did look paler than usual.

He flipped open his book and wondered to himself why he felt hurt when she had continuously refused to tell him who was helping her in physics. Yes, as a friend, perhaps he was worried, but why did he want to know so much?

At the thought of Usagi spending time alone with possibly another guy, feelings of jealousy started to gnaw at his heart. He was startled by the sudden emotion. Why would he be jealous? He pondered this new discovery for some time, completely ignoring his homework.

At the first, and only, possibility he came up with, his eyes widened. It seemed like somewhere along their friendship, the sweet, forgiving girl had become more than his friend.

Masaka, he thought, that can´t be right. I can´t be. . .in love with Usagi, can I?

~*~*~*~*~
There is nothing else

~*~*~*~*~

Usagi groaned as she turned over in her bed. She had been feeling kind of nauseous since yesterday afternoon, so her mother had made her stay in bed today, saying that "that nice blond haired friend" of hers could get her the homework, as though the thing she would miss the most was her schoolwork.

"Usagi?" came her mother´s voice from the doorway. "Quatre is here."

Usagi got up somewhat groggily and pulled on a robe. "I´ll be right down," she muttered as she tried to stop her hair from sticking up all over the place.

A few minutes later, she walked into the living room to find her friend looking somewhat troubled. She smiled at him and asked, "Something wrong?"

Quatre blushed. "No, not at all," he replied quickly. "I, uh, I was just wondering how you were feeling." After his realization yesterday, he was suddenly very aware of her presence and her nearness to him. Mentally, he smacked himself for his reaction to her. This was supposed to be a normal, everyday occurrence for them, so why was it so hard to keep his cheeks from flushing at the sight of her? If he didn´t control his emotions soon, she was going to figure it out, and the last thing he wanted was for her to find out if she didn´t feel the same way towards him. He didn´t want their friendship to become awkward.

"Much better, thanks," Usagi answered, plopping herself down across from him. "How was school?"

"Well, some people thought you quit," he said with a shy smile. "They´ll be surprised when you show up again tomorrow."

Usagi laughed. "Not to mention, some of them will be disappointed."

"Like Wing 4?"

Usagi smiled. "I don´t think so. They don´t seem like such bad people," she supplied.

Quatre blinked. "Are you sure you´re alright, Usagi? They are the ones who tagged you," he reminded her.

"Yea," Usagi replied with a shrug, "but the egg throwing has stopped, and even though some people still seem to hate my guts, others appeared to have forgotten I was tagged in the first place. I´ve talked to Wing 4 once. They really aren´t as bad as they seem."

Quatre managed to force a smile to his face. He didn´t like the fact that she was standing up for those who hurt her, but this was one of the reasons why he liked Usagi, and most probably one of the reasons why he wanted to be more than just her friend. He was about to comment when Usagi´s mother walked into the room, a long-stemmed white rose in her hand.

"Honey, a nice boy came up to me when I was sweeping the front yard just now," she explained, handing the rose to her daughter. "He said he wanted to give this to you."

Usagi looked at the beautiful flower curiously, not noticing the sudden change of emotion that was clear in her friend´s eyes. She flipped open the card that was attached to it.

A white rose symbolizes purity.

But even this flower can´t compare to your beauty and innocence.

Get well soon, chibi tenshi.

Usagi couldn´t help but smile as her cheeks turned pink. The card was unsigned, but it was obvious who it was from. She inhaled the sweet scent of the flower, then took the card off. "Mom, can you put this in water, please?" she asked.

Mrs. Tsukino nodded, then winked at Usagi. "You need to invite him to dinner sometime," she stated. "He looked like such a nice boy."

"You´ve never even seen him, Mom!" Usagi cried out, blushing brightly. She glanced at Quatre out of the corner of her eye, hoping he didn´t know who she was talking about. She knew he had his own opinion of Wing 4, and no matter what she said, he would disapprove of whatever relationship she had with them. Much to her surprise, he seemed to be looking back at her almost blankly, his demeanor unusually quiet and cold all of a sudden.

"Of course I have!" Mrs. Tsukino replied, momentarily forgetting that Quatre was still there. "I told you he was in the front yard, didn´t I? He has the most gorgeous blue eyes."

Usagi blinked. "He showed up himself?" she squeaked out. She really thought he would have gotten someone else to come for him. Being so rich, like most of the people at the Academy, why would he waste his time coming to a middle class district like the one she lived in? Then again, he had proved himself to be nothing like she expected time and time again. So this really shouldn´t have surprised her. She grinned suddenly, remembering her mother´s last comment. Well, at least she wasn´t the only one who thought so.

"Hey Quatre," she addressed, turning to her friend. "Are you okay?"

The blond haired boy smiled at her. "Yes, Usagi, I´m just fine," he answered. Usagi nodded happily, obviously believing him. She opened her books to do her homework, leaving Quatre to wonder. Who sent Usagi the rose? She obviously liked him a lot. But more importantly, now that he knew she had a crush on someone else, should he still tell her how he felt?

~*~*~*~*~

There is nothing else

~*~*~*~*~

She almost turned back before she reached the roof of the school, but she forced herself to keep climbing the stairs. She had done it once already, so the second time shouldn´t be so hard. Besides, she needed to thank him. Hesitantly, she opened the door. To her surprise, she was greeted with almost the exact same scene as the last time she came up here. The only difference was, Duo was now being chased by a bat-yielding Wufei instead of a katana-wielding one.

"Come back here, braided baka!"

"No way, Wu-man!"

Usagi broke out into a grin. "This happens often, doesn´t it?" she commented, drawing their attention to her.

"At least once everyday, if that qualifies under often," Trowa answered her. He was standing by the railing with Heero. Both had been enjoying the game of tag between Duo and Wufei until she had appeared.

"What can we do for you this time, gorgeous?" Duo asked her, slowly inching away from Wufei.

"I, um, I just want to, uh," she started, her words suddenly twisted and not making much sense under their watchful eyes.

"Want to what?" Duo prompted, "Sleep with Heero and make the rumors come true?"

"WHAT?! NO!" Usagi yelled. She glared at the braided boy, her cheeks bright red with embarrassment. Suddenly, an idea came to her, and she turned to the Chinese one. "Hey Wufei, can I borrow that bat?"

Wufei snickered. At least there was something he and this little girl agreed on. "Have a field day with it," he answered, handing it over.

Her eyes twinkled with playfulness as she chased Duo around the rooftop. Thanks to her mad dash to school everyday when she was younger, she was actually quite fast. She managed to hit Duo in the shoulder once and in the arms twice, lightly, of course, since she didn´t want to really injure him.

Wufei almost fell over laughing as he watched the puny girl who barely reached his shoulder chase down Duo. He was surprised she actually got him a few times. Darn, he wished he had brought his katana instead of the weak bat.

Trowa had to smirk in amusement. She was one of the few people who acted normally around them, and he was grateful for that. It wasn´t like the four of them had actually strive to be the elite of the school. But to them, anyone who messed with one of them messed with all of them, and it was because of this that people started being afraid to offend any of them in the first place.

Usagi finally stopped when Duo ran behind Heero. She laughed at the way he pretended to coward from her mock anger. "Now I know why you like doing this, Wufei," she stated. "It´s fun!"

"Yea, to you!" Duo retorted.

Usagi grinned as she handed the bat back to Wufei, who smirked in satisfaction. "Well, then you should try it sometime, Duo," she replied.

"Oh yes, I would love to die before I turn twenty. Sounds like a great plan to me," Duo answered, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

"I didn´t hurt you, did I, Duo?" Usagi asked suddenly, worry reflected in her eyes.

"Nah," Duo assured her, noticing her seriousness. "I´ve had much worse happen to me."

Usagi looked at him curiously, but decided not to pry when he didn´t elaborate. It was then that she realized that all the guys were staring at her. She flushed. "Oh, you wanted to know what I´m here for," she said.

"And you were about to tell us when the braided baka suggested you wanted to sleep with Yuy," Wufei added.

"Thanks, I needed to be reminded of that," Usagi muttered under her breath. She made a mental note to bring a bat and chase Wufei around next time too. "I, uh, I just wanted to thank you for the rose. It was very sweet of you."

She smiled at Heero, who could only stare in return. Since Wing 4 had established its reputation, no one had dared to do anything to offend them. It was good that they were respected, but sometimes, it was too much. When Usagi had first offended them by rebelling against their "rules," he had wanted nothing more than to put her in her place. However, after interacting with her, he found that she wasn´t a bad person. She didn´t treat them any differently than she treated anyone else. Yet, at the same time, she wasn´t condescending. She just treated them as friends, and for that, he was grateful. From the way she had just played with Duo and Wufei now, he could tell that reputations meant nothing to her. She was one of those rare people who could look beyond the surface and know them for who they really were.

"You´re welcome, chibi tenshi," he finally said, making her blush at the nickname. He smirked at her reaction. He surprised himself when he suddenly found that he enjoyed making her blush.

She smiled at them. "Well, thanks for making my day, Wufei," she added with a grin. "Bye!" She practically skipped out to the stairs that led down to the school, having thoroughly enjoyed talking to Wing 4. They really weren´t so bad after all.

~*~*~*~*~
There is nothing else
~*~*~*~*~

Usagi never noticed the blush that covered Quatre´s face as she dragged him through the mall against the traffic of frantic shoppers all going for the toilet paper that was on sale. She still needed to get a dress for the Spring Formal, and since she couldn´t lie to Quatre and say she wasn´t going, she thought she might as well make the best of him knowing she would be attending. He was going to act to a counselor to her choice in a dress.

"Usagi, why are you shopping for a dress for the Spring Formal again?" Quatre managed to ask when they were finally out of the other shoppers´ way. "I thought you said you didn´t want to go because the school didn´t like you."

"They don´t," Usagi replied, "but that makes no difference. As long as I´m a student at the Academy, I may as well enjoy myself."

Quatre shook his head. Most of the girls and women he knew were only after two things, money, and good looks, but Usagi was very different. She didn´t care about either of those things. Instead, she wanted friends and searched for happiness in life. She truly was a diamond in a sea of pebbles. He smiled as she pulled him into a store that sold formal dresses. She let go of him and started to search the racks.

"This is nice, isn´t it?" she asked him, pulling out a forest green, Oriental style, velvet dress with silver embroidery of a dragon. She could tell that it would be form fitting, with slits on both sides that allowed her to move.

Suddenly, a different one caught her eye, and she put the green one back. This next one was made of blue silk, with a tight strapless bodice and a flowing skirt. A line of sequins hung on the lower part of the bodice, drawing attention to the waist. "This is nice too," Usagi murmured to herself.

"How about that one?" Quatre suddenly called out. He pointed to one dress at the far end of the store, and Usagi´s eyes suddenly lit up at it. The dress was made of a material she couldn´t quite identify from where she stood. It was pure white, with a fitted bodice that flared gently outwards to form the dress. It seemed to be two layers, with an almost satiny look on the bottom one and a translucent top layer. The hem of the top layer was pinned up by a tiny pink rose at even intervals around the dress. Spaghetti straps were also decorated with the same roses. It was a very simple design, but Usagi found that she liked it very much. She was not one for designs that were too fancy.

Almost trancelike, she made her way to the back of the store and lifted the dress off the hanger, fingering it.

"It´s almost as beautiful as you, chibi tenshi," a familiar voice suddenly breathed into her ear.

Usagi could swear that she jumped two feet into the air. She whirled around and her eyes confirmed the owner of the voice. He smirked slightly as she blushed pink. "You have to stop doing that," she scolded him playfully.

He blinked at her, silently asking her what she was talking about.

"One of these days, I´m going to have a heart attack from you sneaking up on me," she clarified for him, smiling her enchanting smile. "Speaking of which, what are you doing in here? Don´t tell me one of you is shopping for a dress."

He raised an eyebrow at this suggestion, but his eyes suddenly took on a glint she had never seen before. "No," he muttered to himself, "but it would be nice payback for being dragged in here."

"Huh?" she asked.

He nodded his head in the direction behind her, so she turned around to see what he meant. She let out a giggle when she spotted Duo flirting with the salesgirl behind the counter. "So he pulled you in here just to hit on her?" she mused aloud, the smile disappearing. "Maybe. . .maybe she should be careful around him."

He glanced at her, knowing that she was referring to Duo´s reputation. "He never pressures them, you know?" he finally said, defending his friend. "They want him to."

Usagi blinked. This was news to her. She had heard so many stories around the school about girls being dumped not even a week after sleeping with the braided boy.

"I know what the rumors say," he told her, as though he could read exactly what she was thinking, "but it´s because he enjoys the chase. The girls become possessive after. That´s why he doesn´t stick around."

"But why does he do that even if he knows they´ll turn possessive after? Why take their innocence? He could leave them before," she protested.

"His mother," the Prussian blue-eyed teen said softly. He then turned to stare at her, and Usagi realized that he had never looked that solemn and serious when he was with her before. He looked menacing, but she found, to her surprise, that she wasn´t scared. He wouldn´t hurt her, and she knew this. "I shouldn´t tell you anymore. It´s Duo´s story. He´s more than the smile and the reputation. That´s all you need to know."

Usagi smiled in understanding. "You´re good friends," she commented.

"We´re almost family," he couldn´t stop himself from telling her.

"What do you mean?" she asked him.

He shook his head, as though clearing his thoughts. "Nothing," he answered in monotone. He quickly decided to change the subject. "Are you going to try that on?"

Suddenly remembering how she had found the dress in the first place, she quickly searched the area with her eyes. Where was Quatre? Finally, she spotted him standing behind a rack of dresses, looking at her with hurt in his eyes. Usagi furrowed her brow. What did she do that would make him feel that way?

Heero followed her gaze, his eyes landing on the blond haired boy. He frowned. What was he doing there? Hadn´t he abandoned her the day she was tagged? It was then that he noticed Usagi walking to the boy.

"Quatre, are you okay?" Usagi asked her friend.

"Usagi, why are talking to him?" he replied.

"Because he came to talk to me. Don´t be so negative. They´re really nice people," she told him.

Quatre opened his mouth to retort when he noticed the leader of Wing 4 standing behind Usagi. He gulped down what he was going to say. Whatever he thought, he could tell Usagi later.

Heero gave him a slight nod, acknowledging his presence. It was then that Usagi noticed the tension. She poked Heero´s chest with her index finger, giving him a glare that almost matched his. "Don´t hurt him," she told him. "He´s my friend."

"I resent the fact that you think I´m heartless," Heero countered with his own glare. "I´ve saved Duo from Wufei, so yes, I´m capable of not ordering your friend´s execution." The last part was bit out half bitterly and half sarcastically.

"Good! Now, I´ll go try this on," she answered his earlier question and walked to the dressing room.

Heero and Quatre seemed to have fallen into a silent truce, at least, for the moment. The blond haired boy glanced at the normally cold teen out of the corner of his eye. He had only encountered the members of Wing 4 this close twice before. Once when he saw them tag someone´s locker, and the second was when he bumped into Wufei. He had to say though, that Heero´s behavior seemed different when he was with his golden-haired best friend. As Quatre´s mind processed these thoughts, a revelation came to him, the white rose. Was it possible?

He was so lost in thought that he didn´t notice how much time had passed. That is, until he heard Usagi´s voice and saw her hand in front of his face.

"Earth to space cadet Quatre!" she said. "Come in, are you there?"

"Yes, yes," Quatre replied, smiling sheepishly. "I was just lost in thought."

Usagi giggled. "I´ll say," she agreed.

"Weren´t you going to try on the dress?" he asked.

"I did. It´s great, but I don´t want you guys to see it before the Spring Formal," she told him and the silent Heero.

"Girl habits," the stoic boy muttered, deciding to quote Duo.

"Uh-huh," Quatre agreed, nodding his head.

Usagi frowned. "Wait, so you guys are ganging up on me now?" she asked.

The two boys exchanged a look, then turned back at her, both of them falling silent. Usagi scowled and stomped off to the cash register. However, she was secretly pleased that the two of them were getting along somewhat, even if it was at her expense.

As the salesgirl rang up the cost of the dress, her eyes widened. She had completely forgotten to check the price. The total amounted to a little over $300, and Usagi felt herself growing disappointed. There was no way she could afford that. The salesgirl must have missed the look on her face, for she asked, "Is it going to be cash or credit?"

Usagi was about to tell her that she couldn´t afford it when he surprised her for the second time that day. "Debit."

She stared at him as he gave his bank card to the salesgirl. Quatre was also very shocked. He had thought about doing the same thing, but Heero had beat him to it. But why would Heero offer to pay for Usagi´s dress?

The salesgirl smiled brightly at them as she waited for the receipt. "Your boyfriend´s so sweet. I wish I had a guy like that," she told Usagi.

Usagi blushed and started to splutter like a fountain. "I, he, no, it´s, well. . . ."

"Oh! He´s not your boyfriend? I´m so sorry!" she added quickly. "You look like such a cute couple!"

Usagi suddenly found the patterns on the floor tiles very interesting. She muttered something under her breath and refused to look up even when the cheery salesgirl gave her a bag with the dress inside.

Heero smirked when he heard what she had mumbled. He would have to agree with her. They had finally found someone with a mouth bigger than Duo´s.

The three of them walked out of the store and into the crowded mall again. Heero spotted Duo devouring a giant sundae on a bench near the dress store. "Enjoy the rest of your shopping trip," he said, giving Usagi a gentle tap under the chin with his index finger.

"W-Wait!" Usagi suddenly cried out, taking a hold of his sleeve.

"Something you wanted?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.

Usagi blushed. "Thank you," she whispered. "I´ll pay you back when I have money."

"Don´t bother."

"What?! I´m not just going to take this!" she cried in outrage, shaking the bag in her hand.

Heero blinked. Any other girl would just take it, hug him to death, then try to get him to go shopping with them again. Well, he had already known that she was different. This shouldn´t surprise him at all. He turned to her, an idea forming in his mind. "If you can get Duo into a dress before the Spring Formal, you can consider the debt paid," he suggested with a smirk.

"Deal!" Usagi cried out, determination shining in her eyes as she watched Heero walk away to his friend. She turned to Quatre and gave him a grin. "See? They´re not so bad."

"Yea," Quatre agreed reluctantly. He looked at his watch and smiled apologetically at Usagi. "I have to go now. Will you be alright by yourself?"

Usagi nodded and gave him a quick hug. "I have to start on Operation ´get Duo into a dress´, so I need to shop for some stuff. I´ll see you tomorrow!"

With a quick wave, she ran down the mall, heading for a less expensive clothing store. Quatre smiled as he watched her. Glancing back, he noticed that all of Wing 4 were now standing around the bench that Duo had previously occupied. Curious, and somewhat more comfortable with their presence now, he slowly approached them. He quickly ducked behind some shoppers when he heard them talking. Okay, so maybe he wasn´t that comfortable around them. Their conversation came as a shock to him though.

"Did you suck faces with her again?" came Duo´s playful voice. "You looked like you were having so much fun. I just couldn´t bear to drag you out of the dress store."

"Dress store?" Trowa asked, raising an eyebrow at the two of them.

"Salesgirl," Heero answered, jabbing a thumb at Duo.

"It´s not like you didn´t like being in there," Duo replied with a snicker. "I saw you talking to her."

"The little girl?" was Wufei´s outburst. "You know, Yuy, if you plan on going through with the original plan, you shouldn´t get too attached."

"I´m not getting attached," Heero growled out.

"Chill, Heero," Duo said nonchalantly. "We´re just saying that you shouldn´t be attached. I mean, you can´t break someone´s heart if you don´t want to do it."

"I suppose you speak from experience," Heero responded dryly, glaring at Duo.

"You´re playing my kind of game," Duo stated with a grin. "I think my reputation speaks for itself. It´s the best emotional strategy there is. Boy hates girl. Boy pretends to be nice to girl. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy breaks girl´s heart. Girl loses the game."

He jumped up from the bench and motioned for them to follow him. "I still have to get toothpaste, so let´s go. Otherwise, I´m going to miss my favourite TV show!" he suddenly exclaimed, bouncing away.

"Like My Little Pony?" Wufei muttered under his breath, but he chose to follow his friend along with Trowa, leaving Heero alone.

Boy hates girl. Boy pretends to be nice to girl. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy breaks girl´s heart. Girl loses the game, Heero repeated to himself. Yes, that was the original plan. But Duo left out one important element in his sequence of events. What about "boy suddenly realizes he likes girl?"

~*~*~*~*~
Desperate for changing
Starving for truth
~*~*~*~*~

Quatre hurried down the halls of the school, searching for Usagi. His eyes reflected his concern for his best friend as well as anger for Wing 4. He had tried to reach her after he found out yesterday, but she had been out almost all day, and by the time he was sure she would be home, it had been really late, so he had decided to wait.

Now, it was early in the morning, and he was searching for Usagi in the near empty school. He knew that she had started to come to school early to avoid the people who leered at her when she walked through the halls, so she should be in their homeroom class by then.

Sure enough, when he walked into the classroom, he found Usagi doodling in her notebook.

"Usagi," he started.

The girl looked up in surprise. "Quatre!" she acknowledged. "I didn´t think you´d be here so early." In addition, she also didn´t think he would talk to her in school. After all, she was still "tagged by Wing 4." People just seemed to have found torturing her boring.

"I. . .I heard something yesterday that I think you should know," he replied, shutting the classroom door quietly behind him.

Usagi cocked her head, looking at him curiously. "Go on."

"You really should stay away from Wing 4, especially Heero Yuy," he stated solemnly.

Usagi frowned. "I thought you accepted them when we saw them at the mall yesterday," she responded.

"But then, I overheard their conversation," Quatre argued. "They´re going to hurt you!"

"No they won´t," Usagi said calmly. "They´ve had many opportunities to hurt me before. If they wanted to, they could have hurt me by now."

"I´m just telling you this for your own good," Quatre replied. "You need to stay away from them."

Usagi felt herself slowly losing her temper. Anyone who knew her knew that she was a social person. She needed people around her; she needed company. Here at Fukyou Academy, she had no one to talk to during her breaks, no one to have fun with, no one to laugh with. Even though she appreciated Quatre´s friendship, they still didn´t talk in school. The people who have been her companions in school since she was tagged were, ironically, Duo, Trowa, Wufei, and Heero.

"You don´t understand at all, do you?" she managed to choke out. "They´re my friends, as much as you are. I don´t have anyone at school! I know we´re friends, but we´re not. You avoid me when we´re at school. Stop! Don´t interrupt yet! I understand why. I really do! And I don´t blame you, nor do I want you to acknowledge me in school at the price of you being able to stay here. But Quatre, I need someone to talk to! I need companionship! And they gave it to me. I talked to them. I laughed with them. I had fun with them! Why is that so bad? I don´t get it! I don´t get why you´re so against them!"

"I´m not. I don´t really know them that well," Quatre answered quietly, his eyes reflecting the sadness and despair he felt. "But I know I heard them very clearly yesterday. They´re going to befriend you, then toss you aside. It would be better for you if you stayed away from them."

"Stop saying that!" Usagi snapped uncharacteristically. "I know we´re friends, and it´s fine that you´re concerned, but I´m old enough to make my own decisions. If I´m hurt, then it´s my fault. Why do you insist that I stay away from them?"

Quatre reeled back from her outburst. "Because. . .because. . . ." he stopped. What could he say? The uncomfortable silence continued for a few minutes, then Quatre took a deep breath and looked straight into Usagi´s glittering blue eyes. "Because I don´t want you to be hurt. I don´t want to see you hurt. I love you."

This time, it was Usagi´s turn to step back in shock. Quatre took the opportunity to walk up to her and pressed their lips together. He tried to convey how he felt towards her, all the pent-up emotions that he had kept inside, but she never returned his kiss. He pulled away slightly.

"Heero," came out as a whimper from Usagi.

Quatre stepped back and stared at her. He felt his heart tighten painfully at the tears that spilled slowly down her cheek. He wasn´t sure which hurt him more, that he had hurt her, somehow, when it was the last thing he had wanted to do, or the fact that she wanted Heero with her.

"Usagi," he started softly, reaching out to touch her.

She shook her head vehemently, running out the door of the classroom before he could even finish his sentence.

~*~*~*~*~

I´m closer to where I started
I´m chasing after you
~*~*~*~*~

She ran as fast as she could up the stairs. She didn´t know what was going on anymore. When did life become so complicated? Why couldn´t everyone just get along? Everything that had happened since she first came to the Academy was taking a toll on her, and she was on the verge of breaking down.

She burst through the doors to the roof, the tears never stopping. The previous conversation died when the door slammed open. Not even a word was exchanged between the five people present before Usagi threw herself into Heero´s arms and sobbed. He gently tightened his hold on her, letting her tears soak his school uniform.

He looked at Duo over Usagi´s head, as though asking if this was some weird female disease.

The braided boy shrugged. "Don´t ask me. I´ve never had a girl come crying to me before," he answered.

"I hate crying women, so don´t even look at me, Yuy," Wufei added, crossing his arms.

Trowa remained silent, but it was obvious that he had no idea what was going on either.

Heero nodded towards the door, and the other three took the hint, leaving him alone with the still crying Usagi. He didn´t say anything, even after the other guys had left. He didn´t know what to say, so he just held her. Another couple of minutes passed, and Usagi´s sobs were replaced by soft hiccups. Her hands, however, still held the front of his shirt tightly, refusing to let go.

"What happened?" he finally asked as he gently removed her fingers from his uniform.

Usagi shook her head, then gave him a shaky smile. "You´ll think I´m silly," she told him. "I don´t even know why I´m crying."

"Just tell me. I promise not to judge you," he replied. "You didn´t even cry when the entire school made fun of you, so this must be something."

"I guess. . .I guess that everything that happened just made this big built-up of emotions in me, and. . .and just now, when Quatre told me that you were going to hurt me, and that. . .that he loves me, it was. . .it was just too much to handle," she finished in a whisper.

Heero blinked, then squeezed her hands, which he still held in his own. "He. . .loves you?" he managed to ask. He struggled to sound uncaring, but his voice came out unevenly, not like his usual tone. A gnawing feeling grew at the corner of his heart.

Usagi nodded wordlessly, too distraught to notice Heero´s tone of voice. "I don´t know what to do," she whispered.

Heero stared into her eyes, and found the pent-up sadness that was reflected as clear as day. He wondered briefly why she kept coming to the school. She didn´t belong here. She belonged in a place where everyone were friends, and money and social status didn´t matter. She was pure, and the longer she stayed with the Academy, with the students at the Academy, with Wing 4, and with him, the more she would suffer.

He didn´t want her to suffer, not anymore. Perhaps Duo and Wufei were right. He was attached. He cared about her. But was that such a bad thing? He felt almost. . .complete, right now, alone with her on the roof of the school, the sun shining brightly in the sky.

Gently, he reached up and brushed the tears off her face, effectively eliminating the tearstains on her cheeks. "Tears don´t suit you, chibi tenshi," he murmured softly, making Usagi blush at both the comment and the nickname.

"I´m sorry," she apologized. "I´m bugging you about my problems and crying all over you."

"You can pay the price when you feel better," he suggested with a slight smirk.

Usagi blinked, then slapped him in the chest. "You´re horrible!" she accused him. "I´m thinking about how to tell my best friend that I love him only as a friend without hurting him, and you´re thinking about-" She paused, flushing at the look he gave her. "About something else that doesn´t help at all!"

"Chibi tenshi, no matter how you tell him, it´s going to hurt," Heero answered her in his monotone. "There is nothing worse than knowing that a person you love doesn´t love you back, whether you´re talking about family, friends, or something else."

"That didn´t help, you know," Usagi bit out, glaring at him.

Heero turned away, staring into the horizon. "But it´s going to hurt them more if you keep putting off telling them the truth," he said.

"So you´re saying that I shouldn´t even butter it up?" she asked incredulously. "Just say that I don´t like him like that?"

"Suppose you told someone you loved them," Heero began, "and he didn´t love you like that. Would you want him to pretend he loves you?"

Usagi remained silent, staring at the Heero´s back. Suddenly, she realized that he was right, especially if she wanted to stay friends with Quatre. At least, she wouldn´t feel awkward and weird around him, maybe a little uncomfortable, but he could move on, knowing that there was someone better for him out there, instead of holding on to false hope that she might love him.

Usagi smiled, then hugged Heero from behind. "I feel. . .I feel that you speak from personal experience," she muttered softly into his back. "And even though I don´t know what happened to you or Duo, Trowa, and Wufei in the past, I think that you´re not what the rumors say. You guys aren´t mean, and. . .and I´m glad I became friends with you. Thank you for helping me. I owe you."

Heero unwound her arms from around his waist, turning to face her. "Yes, you do," he replied with the smirk she had grown quite used to.

Usagi grinned impishly, then stood on her tiptoes and kissed him quickly on the lips before pulling away and running to the door. "Bell´s going to ring," she explained innocently, giggling at the slightly surprised look on his face.

This was the first time she had taken the initiative and kissed him instead of the other way around. He glared at her, knowing full well that there was still more than enough time to get to class. He started to take slow steps towards her, his intent obvious to both him and her.

Usagi let out a soft squeal, then threw open the door to the staircase. She squeaked again when three figures tumbled forward with the door and landed at her feet.

Usagi laughed as curses and death threats came from the pile of tangled up Wing 4 members.

"Get off me, Maxwell!"

"I will, as soon as you let go of my braid!"

". . . . . . . . "

"And guys say girls are nosy?" Usagi stated rather than asked as she grinned at them.

~*~*~*~*~
I´m falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I´ve held on to
~*~*~*~*~

Usagi stared at her reflection in the mirror in her room, smiling brightly. Her dress swished softly as she twirled, making her four old friends laugh at her excited expression. They had all come to help her get ready, and she was extremely happy to be able to spend some time with them. She couldn´t remember the last time she had so much fun.

Minako, her look-alike, had spent hours just picking out the make-up that would go with her dress and her complexion. Rei, her best girl friend, and Makoto, her favourite cook, had argued over her hairstyle, doing twists, pinning up buns, and braiding her hair until she couldn´t feel her scalp anymore. Meanwhile, Ami, the genius of the group, had sat in a corner and read some magazines until she got fed up with the noise they were making. She had ordered them to settle on something since they had half an hour until Usagi was supposed to leave.

From there, everything had gone smoothly. Usagi´s hair was up in fancy twists and braids that wound around her head, and the make-up and nails were flawless. She had refused to wear the bold pieces of jewelry that Minako, Makoto, and Rei had brought, settling instead on the simple heart shaped locket that her parents had given her on her tenth birthday, as well as a couple of thin gold bracelets.

"You guys, I think we should make this a business!" Minako squealed as she clapped her hands together in glee.

"NO!" came from everyone else in the room.

"The last time we did a ´job´ you recommended, we ended up volunteering," Rei reminded her, shaking her head.

"Other than that, we could never do this effectively with clients. Our use of time and resources are not cost-efficient at all," Ami added.

"She means you took too long," Usagi supplied with a grin when she saw the blank looks on her other friends´ faces. "And before you ask how I knew, all my teachers talk like this."

"Good lord!" Minako said with horror.

The girls burst into laughter. They kept giggling until the sound of a doorbell interrupted them. Usagi took a look at the clock and blinked. It was exactly seven o´clock.

She shook her head as she made towards the staircase, the girls behind her. Trust Heero to be on time to the second. She almost tripped when Minako suddenly grabbed her just before she started walking downstairs.

"You´re supposed to make them wait!" she hissed when Usagi turned around and gave her a glare.

Usagi rolled her eyes and watched as her mother opened the door, inviting Heero into the foyer. Her father practically stomped in, glaring at her date for the night.

"Name, age, school, future career of choice, and what you plan to do to my little girl," Mr. Tsukino growled out, looking ready to shoot Heero if he didn´t give satisfactory answers.

"Heero Yuy, 18, Fukyou Academy, software programmer, take her to the Spring Formal and hope she enjoys herself," the Prussian blue-eyed teen answered without missing a beat.

Usagi tried to stifle her laughter, but without much success. She managed to draw all of their attention to the top of the stairs. She smiled when she saw her father and mother look at her with pride written clearly on their faces. Then, she blushed a little when she noticed Heero staring at her. Rei gave her a little push, and she took that as her hint to walk downstairs.

"I´m so happy, honey!" Mrs. Tsukino cried out. "You look just like a princess!"

"Oh mom," Usagi replied, reaching out to hug her mother. "Don´t cry. You´ll make me feel bad."

"Usagi, stand still," Mr. Tsukino ordered, pulling out a camera from a nearby drawer. He muttered and grumbled, and after many arguments from his wife and pleas from Usagi´s friends, finally agreed to take a picture of both Heero and Usagi.

Suddenly, Usagi remembered something. "Hold on," she told Heero, and ran into the living room. After a minute, she came back with a couple of pictures, waving them at Heero.

He raised at eyebrow and took the pictures from her. He smirked when he saw the first one. A not-so-content Duo sat in a room foreign to him, wearing a frilly pink dress. The second had him in a furry red dress, complete with a feather boa. "How did you manage this, chibi tenshi?" he asked with amusement, not even noticing the slip of the nickname.

Usagi shrugged innocently. "I bribed him with Makoto´s food," she said simply, ignoring the squeals from her friends when they heard his nickname for her.

Noticing that her father looked like he was about to blow a gasket, she quickly pushed Heero out the front door. "Bye! I´ll be back before midnight! Thanks guys!" she called.

She practically dragged Heero to his car, where, much to her surprise, he opened the door to the passenger side and helped her in. "Aren´t we a gentleman this evening?" she teased him once he got into the driver´s seat.

He let a slow smirk spread across his face as he floored the pedal. He was surprised when she didn´t seem to mind the speed he was traveling at. Most people, including Duo and Wufei, freaked out at the way he drove. "I wanted to bring the motorcycle instead," he replied, "but it didn´t seem fitting for escorting a tenshi."

Usagi blushed, fidgeting with her fingers. "Where are the others?" she asked suddenly.

"Duo´s picking up his girlfriend of the day, and Trowa and Wufei are probably at the formal," he answered.

"Girlfriend of the day?" she echoed.

Heero shrugged. "We gave up keeping track of them," he stated.

Usagi giggled. "Go figure," she said.

Heero glanced at her, and she smiled at him, making his heart soften at her sweet innocence and beauty. He held the steering wheel with one hand and reached for her hand with the other, giving it a gentle squeeze.

Usagi was slightly surprised, but the warmth of his hand made her feel safe, even if he was now driving with one hand. She smiled again and squeezed back.

~*~*~*~*~

I´m standing here until you make me move
I´m hanging by a moment here with you

~*~*~*~*~

The Spring Formal was indeed as grand an event as everyone had made it out to be. There had been no exaggeration at all. Usagi had been absolutely awed at the beautiful combination of flowers used as decoration. The interior of the large, castle-like building used for the banquet had a huge, crystal chandelier hanging in the center of the room. The walls had mirrors that reflected the already grand ballroom. A large set of doors let out to a deck which overlooked a lake. There were fresh flowers strung up in vines, placed on tables, and even scattered on the dance floor. Tiny lanterns out outside, lighting up the deck like fireflies.

Usagi felt light fingers brush across her bare shoulders, and she looked up to find him watching her. "This is absolutely beautiful," she commented, her eyes still scanning the room.

"Yes," he agreed, still watching the way her eyes sparkled and how the dim light in the room seemed to dance around her form.

Usagi looked at him again and blushed. "You´re not talking about the same thing as I am, are you?" she asked.

Heero smirked and took her hand, leading her out to the dance floor without a word. "Would you be disappointed if I was talking about the room?" he whispered in her ear, pulling her close to him as they danced.

"Why would I be?" she answered, her voice as soft as his. Her eyes glinted with playfulness, her smile was teasing. They both knew that he wasn´t impressed with the décor of the room.

"Alright, then I was," he decided.

Usagi giggled. She rested her head on Heero´s shoulder, sighing softly in content. The warmth of his hand seeped through the material of her dress to her waist, making her feel secure in his embrace. She could hear the steady rhythm of his heart as they swayed slowly to the music. If she was the princess her mother said she was this evening, then Heero was her prince.

The song came to an end, and she slowly lifted her head. "You can stay there if you want," he murmured, enjoying the feel of her petite body against his.

Usagi blushed, then she smiled slyly. "Maybe I will," she said. She burst out laughing when he blinked in surprise. As much as he teased her, it looked like he wasn´t prepared for her to make the same comments to him. Standing on her tiptoes, she kissed his cheek.

"Don´t think you´re going to get away with that," he commented darkly. "Which reminds me, you still owe me from that day on the roof."

"I have no idea what you´re talking about," Usagi replied innocently, taking a few steps away from him. She giggled at the glare he sent her. Somehow, it seemed different from all the other ones he had given her before. There was a glint that was never there before, as though he had realized something about life, about himself.

That, however, didn´t make her situation any better. Knowing exactly what his next move would be, she quickly picked up her skirts and made a run for the nearest exit. She muttered about running in high heels as Heero started to chase her through the ballroom. The attention they drew was inevitable. The cold, emotionless leader of Wing 4 was chasing around a tiny girl in high heels at the most anticipated event of the year. How many times in a lifetime would you see that?

Yet, Usagi was beginning to find a thrill to it. She was having fun. It was like her childhood all over again. She could be normal around Heero when she couldn´t be herself around anyone else in the school. Unknowingly, she had led the two of them out of the ballroom and into one of the quiet hallways outside. Spotting a grand set of stairs, and being curious, she ran up the marble staircase, ending up on a balcony that overlooked the deck outside.

Stars shone brightly in the sky, and the moonlight cast a mysterious glow around the building. Usagi couldn´t stop herself from gasping in astonishment at the sight that greeted her. And as she stared out into the horizon, she never noticed Heero observing her from the doorway of the balcony. She looked absolutely ethereal, an angel from heaven. He couldn´t remember the last time he had fun with people outside of his friends, let alone a girl. As far as his opinion went, women wanted his money, not him. He had no interest in them, until now. But Usagi wasn´t just a woman. She was a blessing from the gods, his light of hope. He was fascinated by her innocence, intrigued by her beauty, both inside and out. He loved the way he could say anything and do anything around her without being judged. He loved her optimistic acceptance of the cruel world. He loved her smile, the way her eyes lit up when she was happy, the way he could make her blush whenever he wanted. He loved her.

Being careful not to make a single sound, he walked up behind her and slipped his arms around her waist, pulling her to him. "Got you," he whispered.

"You could have gotten me long ago," she pointed out, turning slightly to face him. "I´m running from you in high heels, for Pete´s sake."

"I shouldn´t ruin your fun," he answered, gently kissing her temple.

Usagi leaned back in his embrace, suddenly looking thoughtful. "Tell me something, Heero," she started. "You´ve met my parents, my friends, and you know me well, since you always seem to know what I´m thinking."

"You´re easy to read, chibi tenshi. Your eyes can´t lie," he told her.

Usagi smiled, unable to keep from blushing. "Well, what about you?" she asked. "I mean, I know about Wing 4, but what about your family?"

Heero stiffened. He had never shared his background with anyone but Duo, Wufei, and Trowa, and that was because they had grown up together. Before he could rethink his decision, he blurted out, "I don´t have a family."

"What?" Usagi replied softly.

"I don´t have a family," Heero repeated. "The furthest back I can remember is an orphanage. As far as I´m concerned, I have no parents."

"I. . .I´m sorry," Usagi whispered. "I shouldn´t have asked. I didn´t know. I-"

She was cut off when Heero placed a finger on her lips. "My parents are faceless," Heero continued. "I don´t miss them. I don´t love them. I don´t know them. I don´t feel sorry for myself, so don´t pity me."

"Does. . .does Duo not have parents either? Is that why you said that you were almost family?" she questioned again, her curiosity getting the better of her.

Heero smirked, tightening his hold on her. "Go ask him," he suggested. "I´m sure he´ll love to give you the details."

Usagi blushed. "I´m sorry, I didn´t mean to pry," she apologized, looking down at the floor.

Heero gently reached for her chin, making her look at him. He studied her for long moments, taking in her every feature. "You´re everything that I´ve never thought possible," he commented suddenly. "A beautiful fallen angel with a spirit as pure as snow."

Usagi flushed at his words. "I never knew you were so eloquent, considering the grunt language you´ve developed," she teased him.

"You´ve been talking to Duo," he noted, knowing that he rarely used his grunts and threats with her.

Usagi giggled. "Actually, it was Trowa who told me," she said, "which surprised me. He rarely talks."

"It just means you´re special," Heero replied, watching her break into a shy smile. "Sometimes, I think you´re not really here. You´ll just disappear like a fading dream if I let go."

"Then don´t let go," Usagi stated softly, snuggling into his arms. "Don´t ever let me go."

~*~*~*~*~

I´m living for the only thing I know
I´m running and I question where to go

~*~*~*~*~

She wasn´t sure how it happened. All she knew was that a minute ago, he had simply been holding her. Now, he was kissing her like there was no tomorrow. Her fingers ran easily through his soft, spiky hair. Her legs felt like they would give away if he wasn´t holding on to her. Her lungs begged for air, and she knew that she had to break the kiss if she didn´t want to die right here and now.

Her eyes sparkled as they looked into his. "Now, I don´t owe you anything from the day on the roof," she giggled.

"Was your debt such a bad thing?" Heero asked, raising an eyebrow. "You seemed to have enjoyed yourself, chibi tenshi." He pulled her even closer, so that her body rested lightly against his, her face and those sweet, full lips, swollen from his earlier kisses, were only an inch away from his own.

Usagi felt her heart beat faster. His closeness used to make her nervous, but now, it seemed so comfortable, so safe. A grin threatened to break out across her face, and just before he kissed her again, she quickly spoke up, "As much as I want to continue this, Heero, I have to use the restrooms first, and I highly doubt you want to follow me."

Heero blinked, her words taking a moment to register in his fogged-up mind. Then, realizing what she had said, he untangled himself from her, gently shaking his head as she laughed. He watched as she picked up her skirt and made her way to the bathroom. He slowly followed her into the hallway, and once she was out of sight, he felt a tap on his shoulder. Trowa and Wufei standing behind him. At a nod from Trowa, the three of them made their way to back to the balcony where he and Usagi had been just minutes before. They remained silent, observing the events on the deck outside. A few minutes later, their happy-go-lucky friend joined them.

"So," he started with a grin, "You´re enjoying yourself at a social event, for the first time in your life. How does it feel?"

"Omae o korosu, Duo," Heero answered, annoyed.

"Personally, I think she´s interested in you," the braided boy continued, pretending that Heero hadn´t said anything at all.

"I agree," Trowa said quietly.

"So do I," Heero muttered to himself. He kept the second part of his train of thought to himself. He would never hear the end of it, especially from Duo, if the braided boy found out that he actually loved Usagi. He wouldn´t be able to hide it forever, but later, in this case, later was better than sooner. He knew that they thought he was still pretending to be nice to the blond haired angel. Little did they know that the acting had stopped long ago.

"Then you´re going to finish this tonight?" Wufei asked.

"I´m awed at your timing," Duo joked. "You´re going to tell her that you´ve only been pretending to care about her all along in front of every person present tonight, just when she might be in love in you. By the way, you do remember that this the night of the Spring Formal, when everyone gets laid, right? Are you sure you don´t want to wait until tomorrow morning?"

Heero glared at his so-called best friend, ready to throw a nasty remark back, when a soft sob made all of them look at the entrance to the balcony. He couldn´t describe the panic that overtook him when he realized she had heard Duo´s last comment. Raw guilt washed over him, and instead of replying to Duo, all he could utter was, "Chibi tenshi."

"That. . .that´s not true, right?" Usagi whispered. "You. . .you haven´t really just been nice to me all this time because you were meaning to break my heart all along, have you?"

"How long have you been there?" Heero managed to ask, trying to avoid looking into her sorrowful eyes.

"Heero, tell me what Duo said isn´t true. Tell me. . .tell me you didn´t just use me all along," Usagi uttered, ignoring his question. "Everything we´ve shared, everything that happened here just now. . .you weren´t just pretending, right?"

He wanted to. He really did want to tell her that he wasn´t using her. He truly cared, but the words wouldn´t come. He felt like he was choking on the words that wanted to be spoken.

"Hey, Wing 4 aren´t good guys," Duo interrupted them with a shrug. "We´re well-known for breaking hearts and rumored to be the mean people you should never cross. Why would this surprise you?"

"But I thought. . .I thought you weren´t like that," Usagi stuttered. "I thought that-" At this point, she couldn´t hold back her tears anymore. They rolled down her porcelain face like drops of crystals, and Heero´s silence was making it worse. The truth was sinking in, and she was trying as hard as she could to keep her current composure. Everything he had ever said to her was fake, taken from a script that he had prepared since the day she had walked into the Academy with red ribbon all over her. Closing her eyes, she finally allowed her tears to fall. Quatre had been right all along. They had been using her. She was going to be their example of the person who opposed Wing 4. She knew from the beginning that she should be wary of them, of Heero. But this really hurt. It hurt more than she had ever thought possible. The pain was like a sharp stab to her heart.

Usagi´s eyes snapped open when she felt gentle hands wipe away her tears. Her heart fluttered when she saw Heero caring for her the same way he had that day on the roof of the school. "Tears don´t suit you," he repeated himself softly.

Her head and heart were in turmoil. She didn´t want to believe that they had only been playing with her, but everything was starting to piece themselves together. He had said she would regret it, but he had then been unusually nice and tender. Now she understood why. She was such a fool. Everyone in the school probably knew, everyone but her. Angry at herself and at Wing 4 altogether, she slapped his hands from her face.

"Don´t," she bit out bitterly. "Don´t pretend anymore. Make your own life easier. Did you feel disgusted every time you kissed me? Every time I kissed back? Did you laugh behind my back every time you realized that I wanted you with me? All the times you realized that I. . .that I liked talking to you, that I liked having you hold me, that I wanted you to kiss me?! Did you make up stories to tell me about yourself?!"

Trowa watched the drama unfold, wishing that his friend would say something. He knew that Heero had stopped pretending long ago, but this was something Usagi needed to be told by Heero himself, not by him. He had wondered if Duo and Wufei noticed, but he didn´t think so now.

"Which book did you take all those things you said to me from? Just so I know where to go the next time I need a good romance novel," Usagi continued angrily.

"I never planned to take it this far," Heero replied, unable to cover the slight guilt that shone in his eyes. He wondered briefly if he was talking to himself or to her. No, he hadn´t wanted to take it this far. He hadn´t wanted to like her, to cherish their time together, to learn to love her. He had wanted to tell her everything the day he realized he loved her, back when they had that talk on the roof of the school. But he had been afraid she would hate him after she found out. If anyone knew, they would laugh in his face. Him, the leader of Wing 4, the most elite group in the most famous private school in all of Japan, afraid of the rejection of a girl.

"So it is true," Usagi confirmed softly. "You did plan to play with my heart from the beginning."

She turned around, intent on leaving before she made an even bigger fool out of herself than she already had. He reached out to stop her, but she whirled around suddenly, startling him as well as his friends.

"By the way," she added quietly, "you win."

At his confused look, she let out a short, biting laugh. "I won´t come back to this school, even if my parents want me to. I´ve already hurt everyone I cared about here, including myself."

Before he could react, she fled down the empty hallway and marble stairs, the echo of her high heels hitting the stone being the only reminder of her even having been there. All the extravagant decoration that she had been awed at became nothing more than wasted money in her eyes. She realized in that brief moment that the ballroom, the deck, and even the balcony, had never been beautiful. The decoration was merely a cover-up for the hideous hearts of the people present. A place was only beautiful because of the people inside, just as this building had only been beautiful because she had been with Heero, and because she had thought he cared about her.

~*~*~*~*~

And I don´t know what I´m tapping into
Just hanging by a moment here with you
~*~*~*~*~

Quatre stomped up the stairs to the roof, fuming uncharacteristically as he went. He was an idiot for not going the Spring Formal. Yes, he had been worried about Usagi, but it would have been painful to watch her with the leader of Wing 4, so he had opted to stay home instead. He had been both shocked and relieved when he got a telephone call from the golden-haired girl. He didn´t think Heero would be cruel enough to tell her on the night of the Spring Formal, and he had been shocked when Usagi told him that she was leaving the Academy. He was, however, relieved that she had found out before she did something she would really regret. Usagi had apologized profusely for not believing him, but he had merely said that he was thankful she found out the truth.

Normally, Quatre would pretend that nothing happened. After all, he didn´t want to leave the school. His father really would be disappointed. Besides, Usagi didn´t belong in this world where the only things that mattered were money and yourself. She would be so much happier elsewhere, but this situation was different.

Even though neither of them had ever said anything, Quatre could tell that they really cared about each other. Usagi was easy to read. He knew that she cared about Heero, and all of Wing 4, even though they had hurt her. He also knew that she loved Heero. When she had told him about the stabbing pain in her heart last night, he had immediately realized it. It hurt him to know that she didn´t feel the same about him, but the heart worked in strange ways. She had apologized for not loving him the same way as he did her as well. However, it was at that moment that the blond haired boy realized that, as much as he loved Usagi, they weren´t meant to be. There had been no sparks when they kissed that one time, no fire. Still though, it made him angry to see his best friend hurt.

He didn´t give himself a chance to hesitate as he slammed open the door to the roof. Duo and Wufei both looked surprised to see someone there. Trowa remained impassive, while Heero barely noticed that there had been a new addition to the roof. He merely looked blankly into the distance.

Quatre stomped past the wary members of Wing 4, and upon reaching Heero, he grabbed the other boy´s shoulder, spun him around, and punched him square in the jaw.

It took a moment for Heero to react, and by the time he did, Trowa and Wufei were already holding down the normally calm Quatre, one on each side. Strangely enough, he wasn´t resisting. He merely glared at Heero.

"Hey, you okay, Heero?" Duo asked, glancing at Quatre out of the corner of his eye.

"Hn," was the grunted reply.

"So what are we doing with this crazy guy?" Duo continued, watching his best friend. Heero hadn´t been himself since Usagi ran out on them last night, and no matter what method he tried, the Prussian blue-eyed teen just wouldn´t say a thing. He was getting worried. He had never seen Heero like this before.

"Let him go," Heero answered in monotone, turning back to the horizon. "I deserved that."

Trowa released the blond haired boy, wondering if Quatre was thinking the same thing as him. From the looks of it, he knew about the same as Trowa himself. Wufei, however, wasn´t so nonchalant about the decision.

"What?! Are you crazy too, Yuy?" he blurted out. "What the hell is wrong with you? You´ve been weird since last night, and now, you´re going to let this wimp get away with punching you?"

Heero gave a grunt in reply, and Quatre felt his anger die down a little. It looked like his hunch was right. The leader of Wing 4 was suffering as much as Usagi, or perhaps, even more than her. She, at least, talked about her pain and cried it out. He was keeping it all inside. Apparently, not even his friends knew about his affection for the blond haired angel.

"You know, if it bothers you so much, why don´t you just talk to her?" Quatre spoke up suddenly, gaining a sudden courage.

"It´s none of your business," Heero replied tonelessly, not bothering to turn around and look at him.

"I consider my friends´ business my business," Quatre responded, "and Usagi is my friend, my best friend."

"So go talk to her," Heero answered.

Quatre frowned, feeling his anger returning. "I did, last night," he stated dryly, noting the sudden stiffening of Heero´s body when he mentioned the night before. "She was crying her heart out. Is that what you wanted?"

Duo opened his mouth to say that it had been the plan when Trowa suddenly slapped a hand over his mouth, shaking his head. He wanted to hear this answer from Heero, and he knew that Wufei and Duo needed to know as well.

The silence continued until Heero realized that none of his friends were going to talk for him. "Originally," he answered.

"But?" Quatre prompted.

". . .but. . .not anymore," Heero admitted aloud for the first time. Duo´s eyes widened at this revelation, while Wufei merely stared in shock.

"And why not?" Quatre continued.

Heero turned and glared darkly at the blond haired boy. "What is this, mental therapy?" he snapped. "Why do you care about the reason why?"

"Because I want Usagi to be happy," he replied plainly. "I don´t want to see her hurt and crying."

"Then go comfort her," Heero said in monotone. "Usagi told me that you love her, so go make her feel better. Isn´t this the perfect chance for you to show her that you´ll always be there for her?"

Quatre clenched his fists. One side of him wanted to stare in disbelief. Usagi had trusted Heero enough to tell him what he had confessed to her, but she hadn´t trusted him enough to tell him that Heero had been the one who had helped her in physics. It hurt to know, but the other side of him wanted to punch this stupid boy again. He was either so blind that he couldn´t see Usagi´s love for him, or he was just in denial that he himself cared about her.

"Yes, I do love her, " he began, his voice shaking, "but unfortunately, she doesn´t want me to be there for her. I´m not the one she wants to be there to comfort her."

He looked straight into Heero´s eyes, daring him to challenge what he was about to say next. "You are," Quatre finished. "She wants you to hold her, to comfort her."

Heero was silent for a moment. "I don´t have a right to her anymore," he finally muttered.

"Why not?" Quatre asked with a frown.

"I hurt her," Heero answered simply.

"If you think that´s going to matter, then you don´t know Usagi at all," Quatre told him. "You´re right, you did hurt her. But she´ll forgive you if you talk to her. She forgives everyone."

"No," Heero replied. "She was never happy at the Academy. She can be happy now. I´m not going to hurt her again."

All of a sudden, it was as though someone had possessed the normally passive blond. He stomped up to Heero and grabbed the collar of his shirt. Wufei and Duo both made a move to help their friend, but Trowa grabbed their arms, silently telling them that this was a time when they shouldn´t step in.

"Look," Quatre hissed, uncharacteristically mad, "I didn´t come up here so that you can tell me you´re never going to see her again. You think she´s going to be happy without you? The very least you owe her is an explanation as to why you did what you did."

He let go and walked towards the door. Suddenly, he paused, turning to look at Heero again. "If you really care about her, if you really love her, then you´ll do something to fix her broken heart. If she doesn´t hear from you in a week, then I´m going to encourage her to get on with her life. You know as well as I do that she´s one in a million. Right now, you hold her heart in your hands. What you do with the essence of an angel is your choice," he stated softly before disappearing down the stairs, leaving Heero to think about what he had said while the other members of Wing 4 watched this once-in-a-lifetime event.

The last thing Quatre heard was Duo´s voice, saying "This is it. This is the girl that he´s going to marry, because Heero doesn´t fall in love, let alone fall in love twice."

~*~*~*~*~

Just hanging by a moment

~*~*~*~*~


He was being ridiculous. He knew he was, but he couldn´t do this. He didn´t talk about himself. So why was he here?

He stared up at the house he had already walked past five times in the past thirty minutes. That blond haired kid was right. The least he owed Usagi was an explanation, but he just couldn´t bring himself to knock.

Suddenly, the front door opened, and an exasperated Usagi stood in the doorway, glaring at him with unusually indifferent eyes. "What do you want?" she asked icily, willing herself not to cry. "I saw you through the living room window three times in the past fifteen minutes."

If he had been anyone else, he would have blushed. Instead, he merely stared at her, noticing that she was wearing the uniform for a nearby public school. Her hair was still up in those unusual buns, but her eyes had lost their joy. They looked almost dull and. . .red. Had she been crying? Gingerly, he stepped forward, the instinct to comfort her taking over his senses.

"Chibi tenshi," he started softly.

"Don´t call me that," she stated. "What do you want?" As much as she knew she should slam the door in his face right now, her heart wouldn´t let her. She knew that she still hoped he truly cared about her.

"I want to talk to you," he said hoarsely, as though something was caught in his throat. "I want to explain."

The rational part of her mind was yelling at her to say no. She didn´t need him in her life. In a few months, she could forget him and enjoy her time with her friends. However, the emotional part of her was thinking otherwise. She would never forget him. She wanted to hear the explanation. She wanted him with her.

"Come in then," she invited him. "My dad won´t be home till later, and my mom´s out shopping."

He followed her inside, taking in the cozy layout of the house, the warmth that the family inside had given the atmosphere. The wallpaper, the plants, the paintings on the wall all informed him that people lived here. There was a loving family inside these walls, unlike his own place.

She led him to the living room, motioning for him to sit on the couch. Instead of sitting next to him, she placed herself in the armchair on the other side of the room. "Go ahead," she commanded.

Heero stared at her blankly. She wasn´t going to ask questions. She was merely giving him a chance to explain, and he had no idea where to start. "I didn´t lie to you," he blurted out the first thing that came to mind.

Usagi frowned. "Of course not," she commented sarcastically. "That´s why I never knew that you wanted to toy with me from the beginning."

"That wasn´t what I meant," Heero stated, his eyes turning dull. "I´m talking about my past. I. . .really don´t have parents."

Usagi searched his face, trying to find any signs of him lying to her, but she couldn´t read anything.

He seemed to debate with himself, deciding whether or not to tell her. "We all met when we were kids," he started. "We became best friends, all four of us. Each of us had problems at home, or in my case, I don´t have a home or a family. When one of us got in trouble, the others all stood up for that person. We were each other´s support. We provided for each other the stability that our families should have given us. I´ve said before, I can´t remember my parents. Duo, Trowa, and Wufei were the only people who I trusted as a child, as an innocent. We grew up wiser and having seen more things than we should have in life. You may think money is a blessing, a sign of being above everyone else, but I think it´s a curse. We all tried to befriend people, and found out later that they were after our money. That´s why we don´t trust anyone, including women. We never pay attention to them because they´re interested in the material things, never who we are. But you. . . ." he trailed off, then shook his head before continuing, "At thirteen, the orphanage agreed to let me out, and I gained access to my bank account. When Trowa turned fourteen, his sister told him she was sending him to Fukyou. We weren´t happy with it, because we would have been separated. Then Trowa suggested that all of us went with him."

Usagi listened to all this with wide eyes. She knew that there was a chance that he was making all this up, but the pain in his eyes was undeniable. "Then, you took over and made Wing 4," she concluded.

"Wing 4 is just the name the other students made for us," Heero countered with a shrug. "First year students always have it the worst because of the hierarchy system in the school. But for us, living the way we had, we were strong as a group. Living by yourself teaches you a few things. Plus, Wufei was a master at martial arts. They learned to stop picking on us, and strangely enough, respected us, even the senior students."

"Then where did Wing 4 come from?" Usagi asked, suddenly intrigued.

"They wanted to name us," Heero answered almost bitterly, "because all the rich and wealthy needed a name. Duo picked ´Wing´ because he said it symbolized freedom. That was something we all wanted, to be free from our problems."

They remained silent, as though both reflecting on the situation before Heero continued, "We ended up establishing a reputation. Mess with us and you get hurt. Those bastards liked to be on the powerful side, so they all helped. You saw the results of all that. We were never respected by anyone before. Our families didn´t care. Strangers didn´t care about anything but our money. Being respected as people was something we never had. The rumors got worse, and as Duo put it, we´re just bad guys now."

He paused, looking into Usagi´s eyes for the first time since he came into the house. "Letting you get away would destroy everything we´ve worked so hard to build. That´s why we couldn´t."

"Is that what you meant when you said that you were almost family, back in the dress store?" she questioned, her curiosity getting the better of her. "Does Duo remember his parents?"

"He remembers them. He just never sees them," Heero answered. "And before you ask, Trowa´s parents are dead, and Wufei´s parents don´t care about what happens to him."

"That can´t be true!" Usagi protested. "Every parent loves their child!"

"Maybe in your world, but in ours, children are merely tools to continue their businesses, to carry on the family name. To them, money equals love," Heero stated plainly in monotone.

"Then, all of your money. . . ." Usagi trailed off.

"Wufei´s parents, Trowa´s brother-in-law, Duo´s father, and me, I have no clue. It´s just there," he answered shortly.

"That can´t be true in all cases," Usagi said again. "Quatre´s father loves him."

"He´s lucky then," Heero said.

Her heart cried in pain at the suffering they had endured. Somehow, she understood them better now, but there was something that bothered her. "Heero, why are you telling me all this?" she whispered.

Heero stared at the coffee table in front of him. Why? "Because. . .I owe you the explanation," he managed to say. "I. . .didn´t mean to hurt you."

Usagi´s heart softened. "Do you. . .really care?" she asked softly. She wanted desperately to believe him.

Heero stood up and walked towards her, taking slow steps, as though he was afraid she´d run away. Once he reached her, he kneeled down on one knee so that he was looking up at her. She still looked as pure and beautiful as she had on the night of the Spring Formal. Carefully, he reached for her, and she succumbed to him. He buried his face in her neck, marveling at the way she seemed to fit perfectly into his arms. The sweet scent of vanilla filled his senses, making him tighten his arms around her waist. Gently, he kissed her jaw, trailing his tongue down to her neck. She sighed softly in content.

"Yes," he answered, "but I don´t just care about you. I . . .love you. . .Usagi."

Her head snapped up, her wide eyes staring into his. She could not be more shocked if someone had told her that her favourite stuffed rabbit had just put on a grass skirt and was dancing around outside to the latest rap song. He had said he loved her. Heero Yuy of Wing 4 just told her that he loves her. Not only that, but he had also called her by her name.

"You. . .said my name," she whispered.

He smiled briefly, playing with her fingers. "If it bothers you, I won´t do it again," he said.

"It´s the first time you´ve ever called me by my name," she continued, as though he hadn´t said anything at all. Her emotions were going out of control. Part of her wanted to believe him. Her heart wrenched in pain, wanting this to be true so desperately. Yet, another part of her was beating her senseless for believing everything he had said. Hadn´t he lied to her enough? The words she overheard that night came back to her, and Duo´s voice echoed in her head. She stared blankly at Heero. Was he after what he hadn´t had a chance to take from her?

"Chibi tenshi?" Heero called softly, noticing that her mind seemed to have wandered away.

"Please leave," she murmured, gently pushing him away from her. "I. . .I don´t know. I don´t know if this is all just a joke. I . . . ."

The world seemed to turn gray around him. There were no colours, no shapes. Everything was just a blur. She didn´t know whether he was telling the truth or not. She didn´t know if she could trust him, not that he could blame her. He took a deep breath, willing his eyes and face to turn emotionless, so that she couldn´t read him. The only thing he had owed her was an explanation, and he had given it to her. Whether she believed him or not was her choice, something he couldn´t change. Watching her, he made the same revelation as he had a few weeks ago.

She would be happier away from Fukyou Academy and all those people who only cared about money and social status. She would be happier away from him. He would never force her to love him back. He was undeserving of someone like Usagi anyway.

"I understand," he stated in monotone, standing up.

"Heero, I-" Usagi started, immediately noticing his change of emotion.

He silenced her by placing two fingers on her lips. "Don´t," he said softly. "I just want you to smile. It used to light up a room better than a crystal chandelier that used thirty light bulbs. Bring that joy back in your life."

Quickly, he leaned down and brushed her lips with his own. "Sarabada, chibi tenshi," he whispered.

He walked out of the living room and the house, never looking back. The stinging pain in his heart was worse than anything he had experience before. Everywhere he looked, he was reminded of the times he had spent with her. Her smile haunted his thoughts, and he no longer knew whether to be thankful or to scream in agony. He never wanted to forget her. He would never forget her. However, at the same time, he just wanted to the pain to go away. He didn´t want to be reminded of what he had to let go.

She was the reason he had come to believe in love for the first time. He was able to feel all the joys, all the happiness and the incredible rush of energy just by thinking of her. However, she was also the reason he was now feeling this agony, this pain of losing someone you love with all your heart.

~*~*~*~*~
Hanging by a moment

~*~*~*~*~

She woke up to the loud ringing of her alarm clock. A week had passed since she had quit going to Fukyou Academy. Her parents had taken it better than she had thought, and all her friends had welcomed her with open arms back to their school. She should be happy. She should be bouncing down the streets, laughing with her friends, both old and new. Yet, she wasn´t content. She felt empty, like a walking zombie.

Quatre had continued to visit her after school, but he had tried to avoid talking about the Academy at all. Minako had started coming to her house every day to study, and she seemed to have hit it off pretty well with the blond haired boy. Usagi was happy for them, whether there was something going on between them or not. Still, her smile never reached her eyes, and this morning was no different.

Once she reached the breakfast table, her mother put down some toast in front of her and asked worriedly, "Honey, are you alright?"

"Yes, Mom," Usagi replied automatically as she picked up the unbuttered toast and started to eat.

Mrs. Tsukino sighed. "Honey, you say that every morning, but I´m beginning to wonder how true that is," she began. "You asked to quit the Academy because you would be happier at the high school your friends are going to, and your father and I both thought it to be true after hearing some of your stories from school, but you don´t seem happy. To be perfectly honest, you looked much happier when you were going to the Academy. You smiled, you laughed, but you don´t anymore. I´m worried about you."

"Mom, I. . . ." Usagi paused, not really knowing what to say. Her mother was right, and she had no explanation for her. Her hands shook, and she put down the toast she was holding.

"Go on," Mrs. Tsukino prompted gently. "I´ve already called the school. Ami will bring your homework."

Usagi couldn´t be more grateful to her mother right now. She got up and ran sobbing into her mother´s lap, letting out everything she had tried to hide. Mrs. Tsukino smiled softly, stroking her daughter´s hair as though she was a five-year-old again.

It was a good fifteen minutes before Usagi was calm enough to talk. Slowly, she told her mother everything that had happened since she had first started studying at Fukyou Academy. She began with her meeting with Quatre, finding out who Wing 4 was, being tagged, befriending the same people who tagged her and coming to care for them. Her mother listened, never interrupting. Usagi choked on her own sobs as she finished the story, revealing what had happened on the night of the Spring Formal.

"Honey, if that is truly the reason he was nice to you, then you shouldn´t cry about it," Mrs. Tsukino told her.

"But that´s just it, Mom," Usagi whispered. "Do you remember the day you went shopping in the afternoon instead of the morning? He came. Here."

She proceeded to mutter bits and pieces of the conversation she had with Heero, leaving out the bits about Duo, Trowa, and Wufei´s pasts. "He said. . .he said he loves me," she murmured, as though not quite believing it herself. "But I don´t know anymore. I don´t know if he really means it, or if it´s just another scam."

"Emotions are a scam," Mrs. Tsukino told her, mirth in her tone.

"What? Mom! Being happy, or sad, or angry isn´t fake!" Usagi exclaimed.

"Well, they certainly aren´t solid facts," her mother clarified. "You can feel anyway you choose to. And there´s only one factor that makes your emotions real."

"What separates real emotions from fake ones then?" Usagi asked, her curious eyes looking into her mother´s.

"Faith," her mother replied simply.

"Faith?" Usagi echoed.

"If you believe in that emotion, then it is real," Mrs. Tsukino stated. She paused, giving her daughter a few minutes to reflect on what she said before continuing, "Do you think he loves you?"

"I don´t know," Usagi answered. "He looked sincere. The pain was so evident when he talked about his childhood."

"What makes you believe he doesn´t?" her mother questioned.

"He lied to me, Mom! He was toying with me from the start!" Usagi exclaimed. "He hated me."

"Sweetie, if you hated someone, what would you do to them?" Mrs. Tsukino asked patiently. "Would you go to the trouble of helping them in school, paying for their food, listening to their problems, giving them advice, even going to the biggest event of the school year with them?"

Usagi lowered her eyes, thinking over the words. "No," she answered softly. "But. . .Heero is different. He always knew what I was thinking, and I could never expect what he´d do next. He could be so cold one minute, then he´d be really sweet the next. What I´d do. . .is different from what he´d do."

Mrs. Tsukino watched as Usagi described the boy she herself had only seen once. She smiled internally when her daughter´s cheeks turned pink at the thought of the boy. "Alright, but what was his goal from the beginning?"

"Kick me out of the Academy," Usagi answered simply. Heero knew this; she knew this; her mother knew this.

"What happened at the end of his ´scheme,´ if you will?" Mrs. Tsukino continued.

"I left the school," Usagi replied.

"How should he feel about this?" was the next question.

"Happy. He accomplished what he set out to do," Usagi responded.

"How does he feel about this?" her mother asked.

"Not happy," Usagi admitted softly and slowly. "He looked like he hadn´t eaten in days. He didn´t look like the confident leader of Wing 4 that I met and got to know. He looked. . .sad, almost."

"Heartbroken," Mrs. Tsukino corrected, smiling as her daughter´s eyes widened at her words.

"How can he be heartbroken, Mom?" she couldn´t help asking. "He can have any girl he wants. I´m not as pretty as those girls at school, not as talented, not as smart, not as graceful. The list goes on! It´s not possible."

"Anything´s possible. Let me ask you. How you feel about this, about him?" Mrs. Tsukino replied.

Usagi lowered her eyes, trying to find the right answer. That was a good question. "I don´t know," she murmured. "I was nervous around him at first, but then, his presence became comforting. It felt. . .safe. I was really happy the night of the Spring Formal, and I thought he really cared about me. Then, I felt like someone stabbed me in the heart when I found out he was toying with me, and even though on the day he came to explain, he said the only thing he wanted was for me to smile, I still felt horrible for doubting him. And after he left, I feel . . .empty. Incomplete."

"You´ve grown up, Usagi," her mother remarked. "I thought I´d have my little girl for another couple of years, at least, but I was wrong."

She stopped, waiting for Usagi to realize what she was feeling. When her daughter made no sound, she continued, "If he really was only toying with you from the beginning to the end, would he go to the trouble to come here and explain everything? If he was as conscious about social status as the other students at the Academy, then what does he gain by confessing what he had?"

Usagi´s eyes filled with tears. She had never thought about the way he felt. She had never looked at the situation the way her mother had. "He really-"

She was cut off by her mother´s finger on her lips. "I just want you to think about it," Mrs. Tsukino whispered. She gave her daughter a hug before standing up to finish the housework. "Have faith, sweetheart."

~*~*~*~*~

Hanging by a moment

~*~*~*~*~

It was another afternoon of studying with her friends. The girls, Quatre, and her all sat around the kitchen table, their homework spread out around them. Quatre had considerably more books and papers than the rest of them, but everyone had gotten used to this. Minako tried to keep the atmosphere light by flirting with the only boy at the table, but everyone just kept glancing worriedly at Usagi, whose eyes seemed to have misted over, her mind elsewhere.

Quatre frowned. He hadn´t thought the situation would move in this direction. Knowing Usagi like he had, he thought she would forgive Heero for sure. And with the news that had buzzed around the school this morning, he knew the distance between Heero and Usagi would increase significantly, and he wasn´t talking figuratively.

"Usagi," he finally started, leaning across the table to shake the girl out of her reverie.

"I´m sorry, Quatre," Usagi replied, blinking. "What was that?"

"There´s something I was wondering about," Quatre began, fidgeting with his pencil. "I tried to avoid asking you, but, uh. . .what exactly is your. . .relationship with. . .Wing 4?"

The chatter around the table stopped, and Usagi´s friends now looked between the two of them in confusion. The blond haired girl had avoided any questions about her stay at the Academy, and this conversation was not making any sense to them.

Usagi sighed. "Friends, I guess," she answered, lowering her eyes. She was friends with Duo, Trowa, and Wufei, perhaps, but Heero was a different story altogether.

Quatre seemed to realize this, and he winced as he asked the next question. "Um. . .Usagi, about Heero. . . ."

"Yea?" Usagi asked softly, her eyes meeting his. Her mind whirled and her heart thumped, trying to absorb what Quatre was saying and figure out what her mother had asked her that very morning at the same time.

Quatre sighed. "They. . .they´re going to leave," he announced quietly. "Japan, I mean. Duo told everyone that they were studying overseas from tomorrow on. They don´t know if they´re going to come back."

Usagi sat there, stunned as she absorbed this information. "They´re. . .all leaving?" she whispered.

"Yea," Quatre answered shortly, studying her. "Their plane takes off from the International Airport . . .this . . .afternoon, at five-thirty."

"What?!" Usagi blurted out, jumping up from the chair. "But. . .but, he didn´t even say goodbye! I never told him that I-" She stopped, her eyes widening. What didn´t you tell him, Usagi? she asked herself. You made it clear that you didn´t want anything to do with him, right? No, that wasn´t right. She wanted him with her. As much as she denied it, she cherished her time with him. She had liked talking to him. She had liked having him hold her. She loved the way he could make her feel secure whenever they were together. She loved the way he could make her forget all her problems with a simple kiss.

Have faith. Did she believe what he had told her that day? She surprised herself when she realized that she wanted to believe him; she did believe him. She had always trusted other people, and she hadn´t realized why she didn´t trust him then. Maybe it had been because he had shattered that trust first, or maybe, she had been afraid of her own overwhelmingly powerful emotions for one person, for him.

"I. . .I never told him that," she whispered brokenly, her tears splashing onto her untouched homework papers, "that I, that I love him."

Silence ensued. No one knew how to respond to Usagi´s revelation. Ami stared unblinkingly at her friend, knowing that once the blonde was ready, they would be told everything. Makoto had a hand clasped over Minako´s mouth, preventing her from blurting out anything that would kill the moment. Rei merely stared at Usagi, surprised that she had not heard anything about this earlier. Usagi usually showed her feelings to the world.

Quatre smiled, knowing that his best friend would come down to this realization sooner or later. He was just glad it was now as opposed afterwards, when it would be too late to fix. He glanced at the clock. It read four-thirty. "There´s still time, Usagi," he prompted, getting up and grabbing the keys to his car.

"You drive?" Usagi asked, dumbfounded.

"Just today," Quatre replied nonchalantly. "Usually, the chauffeur likes to pick me up."

Usagi blinked. "You knew!" she accused him, her tears forgotten. "You knew I would want to go after him!"

"As much as I hate to interrupt this," Makoto said sensibly, "the more time you spend here, the less you´re going to have to get to the airport."

Quatre nodded, and he quickly pulled Usagi towards the door. "Wait! I´m a mess! I can´t go like this!" Usagi protested, suddenly very self-conscious about her clothes. She pointed down to the simple black flares and ice blue shirt that she had tossed on when she got home.

"Trust me," Quatre said dryly as he pulled her out the front door. "He´s not going to care. Besides, we´re going to have to speed all the way there as it is."

~*~*~*~*~
Hanging by a moment here with you

~*~*~*~*~

She was running blindly through the airport, looking for the right boarding gate. Quatre hadn´t been kidding when he had told her that the airport was big. As she looked for the gate number 732, she made a mental note to do something really nice for Duo after. Not knowing where the boys were headed made the task of finding them twice as hard as it would have been. Thankfully, some of the workers at the check-in gate had remembered a boy with a really long braid who stood out against the crowd.

729, 730, 731, she counted as she rushed down the hall.

732! There it was! She looked around frantically for him. She wasn´t sure how she would tell him yet, but at least, she couldn´t let him leave.

She didn´t know whether to be happy or sad when she saw him. He stood right in front of the counter, checking in with the desk as the other three waited for him just beyond the gate. Her voice caught in her throat, and she realized with horror that she couldn´t speak.

Doing the only thing she could, she quickly ran through the crowd, ignoring the shouts of protest from the people as she made her way through the line-up.

Just as he was about to step through the gate to board the plane, he felt a pair of small arms wrap tightly around his waist, holding on as though the owner would never let go. Heero blinked, coming out of the brooding state he had been in. The silly grin on Duo´s face was enough to tell him that something wasn´t quite right. He craned his neck to see who was holding on to him so tightly, his heart already giving him the answer when he felt the figure snuggle against his back.

Still, he stopped breathing once he spotted odangoes and long blonde hair. His heart did flip-flops as he tried to gain control of his unusually wild emotions.

"Don´t leave," she whispered, her voice barely audible above the noise in the airport.

"You wanted to get rid of Wing 4 at Fukyou Academy, didn´t you?" he stated in monotone. "It´s done. What you wanted has been done."

Usagi stiffened, a sudden feeling of shame washing over her. She had been so focused on the fact that he had originally wanted to hurt her that she hadn´t remembered that she had set out to hurt him as well. He had found out. He had known. Yet, he continued to love her. "I don´t care about that anymore," she answered. "The only thing I want is. . ." she trailed off, blushing.

"Yes?" he prompted tonelessly, still not facing her.

"Stay," Usagi pleaded softly. "Please?"

"I have no reason to stay," Heero stated. "There´s also no reason for you to want me to stay." And it was true. This town just brought back painful memories, both of his childhood, and of the people he and his friends had hurt, including the beautiful angel behind him.

"Yes, there is!" Usagi exclaimed, lifting her head. "Don´t leave me. I . . .I believe you, Heero. I´m sorry for ever doubting you. I. . .I need you. I love you."

She waited for his reaction, her heart beating so wildly that she was sure it would jump out of her chest.

He walked out of her embrace and towards the gate where his friends stood. "Let´s go," he muttered.

Usagi felt her heart shatter into a million pieces. A few days ago, he had claimed to love her. How could he be so indifferent now? Her tears threatened to fall again, and she reached for his hand. "But-"

She was silenced when he suddenly pulled her close to him and kissed her. It wasn´t passionate and it wasn´t fierce. It was simple, soft, and breathtaking. The light contact of his lips against hers left Usagi wanting more. "Heero, I-" she began.

She was cut off again when Heero brushed his lips lightly across hers. Those three words she had said to him were all that he needed. He would go anywhere, stay anywhere, if she so wished, because for him, her love, and her, were enough of a reason for him to do anything. "I love you too, Usagi," he murmured softly. "Chibi tenshi. You have no idea how happy I am right now."

"If you´re happy, then why are you still leaving me?" she asked, barely aware of the hundred of passengers, and the few workers, who were watching the young couple profess their love for each other right in front of them.

Heero smirked. "Who said I was leaving?" he countered. "I meant, let´s go, as in, let´s go home."

Usagi looked over his shoulder to find Duo, Wufei, and even Trowa trying to hold back their laughter. "You tricked me!" she accused them, trying to pull out of Heero´s arms.

"I don´t think so," Heero growled as he tightened his hold on the girl. He quickly swept her up off the ground with his other arm, so that he was carrying her, princess style. Usagi giggled as Heero carried her towards the exit, the other three guys following him.

"You know," Usagi began, her arms around Heero´s neck, "we have Quatre to thank for this."

Heero looked over his shoulder at his three friends, his silent question ringing in his eyes.

"He´s a good friend," Trowa commented thoughtfully, nodding towards Usagi. "He did a lot of things for her. I don´t doubt he´d be a good addition."

"He´s got my approval," Wufei stated with a smirk. "He punched you, Yuy, so he´s got to have some guts."

Usagi´s eyes widened, looking back worriedly at Heero, who smiled in reassurance.

"We´ll have to be Wing 5 then!" Duo joked.

"Oh! So you guys are going try to be his friends? That would be so great! He needs someone other than my girlfriends and me," Usagi added, laughing.

Heero nodded. "I think we owe him that much," he stated.

Usagi practically bounced with excitement, even though she was still being carried by Heero. "Put me down, Heero," she chirped. "I want to go tell him!"

The Prussian blue-eyed teen smirked at his chibi tenshi. She was back to the Usagi he knew, sweet, innocent, enthusiastic and childish, but absolutely beautiful. "No," he stated in response to her plea. At her look of mock hurt, he leaned closer so that their foreheads touched lightly.

"I won´t let you go again."

*********************************************

End of Story.

Reference - ideas taken from HYD:

F4 in HYD = Wing 4 in this story, though personalities and backgrounds are completely different.

The tagging factor with the red ribbon on the locker.

AN: My fingers feel like they´re going fall off. Now you know why I haven´t updated in 2 months. =P Please tell me what you thought. Compliments, comments, complaints, flames are all welcome. JUST REVIEW, PLEASE!!! Hmm. . .actually, if you don´t review, then I´d have a reason to take this off ff.net without being hacked to pieces by Hiasobi-chan!! =D