Total revamp!

Hope everything flows a bit smoother and more passionate this time around, and once you've spun through it for a second - or perhaps first or third - time, there'll be a bit more than I left with!

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Disclaimer: I don't own them. I only use them for non-profit mischief.

Notes: 1+4, sci-fi, yaoi, song fic

The Raven


by Spencer

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' I touch the fire and it freezes me, '

It had become something of a mantra recently.

' I look into it and it's black. '

He'd found himself scribbling it on scraps of paper, . . .

' Why can't I feel? '

. . . scratching it into rusty walls, . . .

' My skin should crack and peel. '

. . . and whispering it against the darkness at night.

' I want the fire back. '

He had no idea where the words had come from, just that they kept repeating themselves over and over inside his head.

With an inaudible sigh he hoisted himself up out of bed, slid on some pants and boots, all in black, and cranked open the heavy metal door to his bunk. The hallways were dim this hour of the cycle, but the mild bluish white glow sliced clearly off cold metal walls and floor, illuminating a clear path as he stalked toward the cockpit.

As he passed into the control room he was mildly surprised to find the pilot seat empty. Reaction spun immediately into action as he dropped, twirled and aimed his handgun into the shadow alongside the doorway. In the same instant he heard another weapon cocked to fire and caught sight of the muzzle trained between his eyes.

For a full breath neither weapon moved, . . .

. . . then another, . . .

. . . another, . . .

. . . and another.

Finally, Quatre smiled. "I win."

Holstering his weapon he turned and strode away starboard to the communications controls. The other gun vanished as Heero stepped from the shadows, silently returning to the pilot seat.

No new transmissions had arrived for several hours, so the blond turned his back on the instrument panel in favor of studying Heero. He stood, arms and ankles crossed, leaning against the console, and concentrated on staring at the side of the other man's neck, trying to evoke a response. When several minutes passed and none occurred, Quatre resorted to a more direct tactic: speech.

"Do you ever sleep?"

Heero glanced sideways to find himself matching stares with the blond, and returned question for question.

"Do you?" Quatre shrugged.

"Only when I'm bored." It was a statement Heero believed entirely, though he knew most would have brushed it aside as jest. No one knew much about the skinny blond rebel, his age, his past, his nationality, or how he managed to come back alive after every suicide mission, but Heero had his suspicions, and crazy as they seemed, he hadn't come to them lightly.

"You won't be bored for much longer."

Sky blue eyes suddenly changed, saddened, grew tired. A deep aching pain rose to the surface and danced across their liquid irises, which Quatre made no attempt to hide. He gazed steadily into Heero's own eyes, pleading, challenging, and baring himself utterly to the other boy. Heero felt the urge to squirm in his chair, but resisted, forcing himself to gaze calmly at his friend's naked spirit.

Quatre's voice reached him softly, sounding hollow, as though it echoed across a great distance. "You think so?"

"We fight in two hours."

And the revelation was gone. Heero could suddenly breathe again as deep blue eyes shifted away, sliding blankly over the endless celestial sea. For a long moment the silence hung thick and heavy, then the blond's mouth twitched at a wry smile.

"Of course." He pushed himself from the console and headed back toward the door, boots thumping lightly across the cold metal. He paused at the door, turning back just enough to toss a quiet farewell over one slim shoulder.

"'Night, Heero."

Heero watched his reflection disappear against the tapestry of midnight and stars and tried to ignore the chilling echo of resignation.

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Any comment is always appreciated, but constructive criticism is adored. Plus, bonus points to anyone who recognizes the song.