~Once, as my heart remembers
all the stars were fallen embers.
Once, when night seemed forever
I was with you.~
He placed the jade elephant carving carefully back on the mantelpiece, glancing restlessly about the room and tugging the sleeves of his sweater down over his hands in a nervous gesture. The sound of the second hand clock in the corner seemed impossibly loud in the tense silence and was beginning to grate on his usually calm nerves. He strode over to the couch but did not sit. Instead he ran a finger along the back of it, staring out the den's large window. He frowned slightly at the setting sun, inwardly begging it not to fall and drag his heart along with it.
He took a deep breath, sternly ordering himself to relax.
"Would you like some tea, Quatre-sama?"
He jumped, whirling to face the tray-weilding man in the doorway, a sleeve-covered fist coming up instinctively over his heart at the small shock. "Rashid," he breathed. "You startled me."
"So I see," the big man said dryly, walking over to set the tea tray crisply on the long coffee table. He lifted a steaming mug, offering it to the young heir with a cocked eyebrow. "Still pacing, young Quatre?"
"He's late," Quatre fretted, accepting the mug and taking a careful sip.
The large man glanced towards the ancient grandfather clock solemnly counting down the hours and minutes. "You should know better than most that it is difficult to keep any kind of schedule with the - occupation you have chosen, young sir. He promised he would come tonight, didn't he?"
Quatre nodded silently, staring into his tea to avoid the sharp, knowing eyes of his old friend.
But all the bodyguard said was, "Then he will come." He turned and headed for the door.
~Once, in the care of morning
in the air was all belonging.
Once, when that day was dawning
I was with you.~
Quatre sat down slowly, slender fingers wrapping tightly around the porcelain mug. He blew on it gently to cool it, settling his back into the comfortable cushions.
The clock struck eight as he set down his second cup of tea and gazed forlornly at the darkness outside, forcing back a sigh. He hesitated, then rose reluctantly to his feet, gathering up the book he had been reading. He turned towards the door with a heavy heart and an undeniable stinging in the back of his eyes.
He came to an abrupt halt, baby-blue eyes widening, his mouth opening but no words coming out.
He stood there in the doorway, silent and still as a sentinal, the light jacket open and nearly falling off his shoulders, revealing the blood spots on the rumpled white t-shirt. His hands hung empty by his sides, but the tightness of the band of his jeans suggested a gun thrust into the back of them, pressed against his back and hidden by the jacket.
He didn't bother to shake the dark hair from his face, staring through the ragged bangs at his surprised host with a burning, steady gaze of midnight blue.
"Heero," Quatre gasped, dropping the book onto the couch and practically running to him.
Strong, lithe arms warpped around his small body without hesitation, pulling him up close. Quatre hugged back tightly, burying his face in the taller boy's shoulder, drawing in the scent of him greedily. At last... At last.
"You're late," he managed to get out, warming his nose in the hollow of the other's throat. "I thought..." he stopped, the other's silence infecting him, closing his eyes and basking in the soldier's warmth and strength.
"You didn't have to wait up for me," Heero said at last, gazing over the small blonde's head at the tea tray and the abandoned book.
"You said you'd come," Quatre said stubbornly, glancing ruefully towards the clock. "You said seven at the latest," he admonished. "I was worried..."
Heero silenced him, covering the boy's lips with his own in a deep kiss that had the other limp in his arms.
Quatre was a little surprised by the hunger and desperation in the kiss. His face flushed, but he didn't complain, reaching up almost shyly to twine his arms around Heero's neck and allowing himself to be pulled taut against the other's body so that it was hard to tell where one ended and the other began.
~How far we are from morning,
how far are we
and the stars shining through the darkness,
falling in the air.~
He lifted his hazy eyes to meet his lover's, smiling softly as tanned fingers traced almost tenderly over his lips. "Mmm?"
The normally calm, shielded cobalt eyes took in his face with something very much akin to pain. Something deep inside Quatre gave a sudden cold twist of fear. "Heero...?"
The small blonde pulled away slightly, eyes widening at the blood slowly spreading under Heero's shirt, coloring the front of Quatre's expensive sweater. Words refused to come.
"Quatre," Heero mumbled, hands suddenly clumsy as he gripped his small lover's face in his palms, forcing him to meet his eyes. "I came to...say goodbye..."
"Heero...?" The word came out so breathy it was almost silent, and the cold feeling inside of him was almost more than he could bear. Blood was staining his sweater and his prized rug given to him by one of his sisters, but his terrified eyes stayed locked with Heero's.
He was awake.
~Once, as the night was leaving
into us our dreams were weaving.
Once, all dreams were worth keeping.
I was with you.~
He shot up so fast he almost knocked heads with Rashid, who was leaning over him, an anxious look on his rough features.
"Quatre-sama, are you all right? I came in to check on you and you were thrashing. Did you have a nightmare? You're crying..." He fumbled for a handkerchief.
Quatre didn't hear him, his harsh breathing slowly starting to calm, the hot wetness on his cheeks ignored. His book was on the floor where he had dropped it when he'd dozed off and his second cup of tea was cold. It was dark outside, and when he looked quickly at the lcok he saw it was half past ten.
"A dream," he murmured to himself, leaning slowly back against the couch and closing his eyes weakly. He allowed Rashid to dab at his face, comforted by the big man's words of assurance. Ten thirty. He must have slept for a while....
Where was Heero?
His eyes snapped open and he gave a startled jump as the phone beside him suddenly rang shrilly, breaking the calm of the night. Frozen fear seized him in an iron grip, his heart hovering in his throat as he ignored his bodyguard's offer to answer it, cold hands grabbing hastily and clumsily for the receiver. He brought it to his ear as Rashid rose to clear away the cold tea, clutching the phone in a death grip. "Hello?" His voice was quavering, no longer in his control.
"Quatre?" Duo's unusually nervous, dark voice answered after a moment's tense hesitance. "Uh...hi. Um...Hey, you sitting down, kid?"
Can't breathe...can't..."Duo, what's wrong?" Quatre asked, sharper than he'd intended. Rashid glanced up at his tone.
"Quatre, something - happened to Heero on the mission."
Quatre noticed the tears in his friend's voice belatedly and his entire body went cold. He tried to speak but found he couldn't.
"Heero's...Heero's dead, Quatre."
~I came to say goodbye...~
The receiver fell from Quatre's numb hands, banging against the floor.
His piercing wail woke the entire house, and the moon hid her face in the clouds in pain at the sound.
~Once, when our hearts were singing,
I was with you.~
Author's Notes: Trust me, this was not intended to be angst, but I realized halfway thru that angst fit the lyrics. ^^; gomen~~~!
The song "Fallen Embers" is by Enya.
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