In a Moment
Somewhere in the middle of listening to Quatre recount the battle outside Libra, and taking a bite of her hot dog, she knew. Heero passed a bowl to Duo, and when Duo’s hand lingered on his, Heero gave him a tender smile. A simple gesture, and Quatre’s voice faded in the background, her hot dog went untouched as she lowered it to her plate.
She blinked and dropped her eyes, wondering at the rush of blood to her ears. But there it was; her unspoken question answered. Her hands were in her lap, folding and unfolding her napkin, smoothing its edges. Like a halo-vid on the blink, the sudden rush of other gestures, other smiles pushed themselves to the fore. It had been happening for a good long while.
Raising her head, she watched as he finished scooping the potato salad onto his plate, licked his thumb after setting the plastic bowl back on the table, and nudge Heero’s shoulder, asking for the salt. Unsure, she picked up a chip and broke it in half, nibbling on part and casting glances at the two. Duo half stood and reached across the table to snag another bun, his braid nearly landed in his food if not for Heero’s quick reflexes. Heero saw she watched and gave her a concerned look. Hastily she turned away, asking Howard about his latest project she knew next to nothing about and had no interest in.
It surprised her there was no pain. The vague half formed dream from the year before of Someday had been heavy on occasion, but always, there was someone, something claiming her attention and she believed there would be time. She expected the revelation to hurt, expected the knowledge to somehow tear her asunder. The best she could come up with to describe her feelings was a slight discomfort and a mild embarrassment at not recognizing it sooner.
She nodded at something Howard had said, and caught Quatre giving her an amused look. She took a bite of her hot dog, wrinkled her nose at the tang of mustard and chewed slowly. A hardy breeze blew, tugging her hair from its confining band, and a lock flashed across her face. Fingers slid over her cheek, catching the hair and pushing it back behind her ear.
Turning to thank her rescuer, she paused, her words dying on her lips. His fingers brushed the shell of her ear before they retreated. And she wondered why she hadn’t seen the depth of his eyes before. Wondered why she’d never noticed how gentle he could be for the warrior he was; wondered how it was she’d just discovered that he was wearing the bluest tank top, and how well it looked on him.
She offered him a hesitant smile and recalled a few other gestures, other smiles – ones for her alone. And opened her eyes.