Disclaimers: I figured that since I haven't been doing this, I probably should start now if I don't want my ass sued off. Um. *Stands up in front of a bunch of random MLers* My name is Naraku, and I realize that Gundam Wing is not mine and that it actually belongs to some people who I would give credit to if I knew who they are. *MLers clap* Wow. That was hard, but the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.
Warnings: uh, maybe shounen-ai. Maybe lightning bug mutilation >.< but I really can't imagine anyone would be too horribly offended by any of this. Kinda sappy, maybe into the realm of fluffy, but most of it isn't too lighthearted, so I think I'm safe from the fluff category.
Spoilers: None of any relevance
This isn't really about much in particular. I'm just trying out different ways of writing. And I'd like to think it's at least somewhat different from most things. And yes, people really do do this to fireflies. I never personally have, but my mother said she used to ^^;; But no killing of the poor insects occurred in the making of this fic. Also, since this _is_ Amp's going-away present, the shounen-ai is more implied than stated. (XD heehee) There's a kiss, but blink and you'll miss it (although way you would blink while reading is beyond me) and you'll probably know when it happens. Oh yeah, and no puns.
Amp- *glomp* I'll miss you!! *goes chibi-neko and clones herself, then goes back to normal* whew! *hands the chibi-neko to Amp* ther you go! your very own Nar to keep you company! I just hope she can stand the cold ^^;;
"Sometimes I wake up screaming so hard my head hurts. I keep screaming until my throat is hoarse and I realize I don't remember what I'm screaming about."
The speaker's companion stopped walking. "I know. I've heard you."
The dry autumn leaves and brush underneath mud-stained Nike running shoes continued to crunch and snap. "How? I thought you slept through it all the time."
"No." Leaves flew up behind the boy's scuffed and torn yellow high-tops as he ran to compensate for his pause and to catch up. "I just pretend to."
"I can see why, it must be uncomfortable for you."
There was no answer from the owner of the yellow shoes, and no faltering between the rhythmic crackling of leaves.
"You know... thanks. For, like, coming out here and walking with me. It's nice to have someone to talk to."
A hand reached down and idly rearranged a sock over a high-top.
"Or talk at, as the case may be." The Nikes stopped.
"I talk when I have something to say." The no-names stopped as well.
The heels on the dirty brown-white shoes lifted to shift body weight forward as their owner crouched low to the ground. "You must not have much on your mind then."
"Too much, really."
The boy's hands slowly cupped down on a small golden light, then were brought back up and the heels came back down. "Oh?"
"What's that?" The yellow high-tops shifted closer in curiosity.
"A lightning bug." There was a pause. "Where I grew up, there were a lot of these around. I guess they figured if they couldn't give us water, they might as well give us something pretty to look at."
"Let me see."
The hands opened up to reveal... nothing. Then after a second, a tiny, brilliant light shone and winked out again. "It's too dark to see when it's not lit." The boy paused again. "It's alive, you know, and pretty, but who cares about a firefly? So we used to squish them against our hands and fingers, because they keep glowing for a while after they're smashed. The girls made glowing rings and bracelets, and the boys used them for Indian war paint. For playing Cowboys and Indians." There was a laugh. "We probably didn't even know what we were doing. Killing them, you know."
"Can I?" Came a voice.
More laughter spiraled into the treetops "You're too old. You missed your chance, buddy. Anyway, you'd kill it."
"So? I kill people?"
"You have to..."
"You said yourself, who cares about a firefly?"
"The firefly." They were quiet. The bug opened it wings and flew away, mingling with all the other brief points of light.
After a moment, the two sets of sneakers begin moving and crunching at the leaves again. "Gomen. It was childish."
There was a pause. "You know what I'm talking about. I just feel like I should do the things that you did as a child. You said yourself I should live out my childhood now, before it's really too late."
The tinkling laughter floated away on the clouds once again. "Oh, the firefly thing. Don't worry about feeling like a kid! I was joking when you said you were too old. Hell, if I were too old to do things like that, I wouldn't ever have food fights or roll around on the grass. And then where would I be? I'd be sixty when I'm forty!" The dirty sneakers gave a little skip. "Tell you what, we can squish the buggers, and I'll even do it with you, so you won't feel stupid!"
"No..." There was a sigh. "The fireflies care. And besides, it's sort of disgusting...." the speaker trailed off.
"That it is. Oh! Detour, we're going to go somewhere else." The Nikes abruptly pivoted and switched direction, the brandless yellow high-tops not far behind.
"Where are we going?"
"Nowhere special. I'm sure you'll be disappointed when we get there."
A few minutes later, the two sets of shoes stood outside a convenient-mart.
"Not what I expected."
"I told you. Now wait here." The sneakers stepped into the mart, balking slightly at the doorway while their owner's eyes got adjusted to the light. They stepped down the cold white-tiled aisle and stopped in front of a particular shelf. After a few seconds there, they moved back down the aisle, and stopped in front of the front counter. There was a dinging noise and some shuffling of bills, then the sneakers walked back outside into the cool, crisp outside air and onto hard asphalt.
"What did you buy?" A voice asked from above the gaudy yellow shoes.
If the other boy thought the response was strange, he didn't comment about it. Neither set of shoes moved for several minutes, then they noiselessly and quickly slipped out of the parking lot and back into the woods. The leaves began to crunch again.
The two boys moved in silence save the noises of the woods and their footfalls. After several moments again, the normally quiet one was the one to break the silence. "Duo..." he said softly, and they stopped moving.
"Heero?" The two sets of shoes stood toe to toe for several long minutes before they wordlessly backed not so far away from each other and begin walking in silence again. Closer than they had been before.
"The air is nice." The silence was broken again when the house was in sight.
"It's just damp and cool and nice. Nothing like L2."
"About what?" The dirty Nikes stopped as the scuffed shoes moved on.
"It's what you wake up screaming about. It's L2 and everything that happened there. You talk even while you're asleep. From what I gather, it wasn't your fault."
"It doesn't matter." A laugh sounded, but it didn't float away. It stopped dead and fell to the ground in a rustle of bone-dry leaves. "Besides." The voice forced itself to brighten. "There's something that I love that hasn't gone away yet." By the end of the sentence, the cheer wasn't forced.
The four shoes stopped just outside the door. "Stay outside again, we're not done. I'll be right back out." The high-tops stood on the porch, than moved out onto the grass after a few moments. They kicked slowly at dandelions, the white puffs scattering and blowing away. A lightning bug landed on one of the shoes, and a hand bent down to pick it up. The cupped hands drew up slowly and the boy brought them to his face. He kept them shut tightly for a moment, slits of golden light briefly appearing between his fingers, then opened his hands slowly. For a moment there was nothing. Then the fly lit up brightly, illuminating the boy's clear blue eyes and tanned cheeks and nose of obvious Asian decent.
In the dark, the boy looked at the firefly for a very long time, before letting it go, and watching it for the next place it would light up, until he lost it amid the others.
An elongated rectangle of light spread over the grass, and the Nikes stepped out the door.
The Asian boy looked towards his companion just in time to be tackled. It was a hit and run. Duo had spread some cold, thick cream over his nose and cheeks, then run off across the lawn. Heero brought a hand to one cheek and wiped some of it off. When he brought the hand back to see, there was a silver glow spread across his fingers. He looked up at Duo, who was busy taking some of the pasty stuff out of a brightly glowing jar and smearing it all over his nose and onto his forehead.
"Look! War paint!" the boy called from across the meters of grass.
Heero stayed where he stood, slowly rubbing the glowing facepaint over his fingers, stopping to make a ring on his left ring finger. "I do..." he muttered wryly.
"What?" the longhaired, Nike wearing, stereotype-Indian wannabe called from across the yard.
"I said- I'm gonna get you!" Heero yelled back, cutting loose and being a kid. He let out a war cry designed to make Duo laugh, and sprinted to him, returning the tackle, grabbing the paint out of his hands, and smearing it across the boy's face.
Duo's laughter once again carried to the treetops, floating to all places at once, or so it seemed to Heero. And for a minute he forgot he had a real war to fight.
The rest of the night was filled with the sounds of crunching leaves and war-whoops, while the fireflies continued on, contented to be alive.