Disclaimers:  I don’t own anything.

Notes:  Yes, Solo is still alive.  Now find out how.

Coming Home

Part One

Solo walked along the streets of V08744, going home after a long day of work.  Every now and then he looked around, looking
for anyone that needed his help.  Growing up on this L-2 colony, he knew what it was like to live on the streets, to struggle to
survive.  It was a miracle that he was even alive.

As he walked by an alley, he glanced into it.  Standing against the side of a building, was a young man.  He looked troubled, his
head bowed so that Solo couldn’t see his face.  By looking at the clothes he wore, that red silk shirt and those tight leather
pants, Solo knew that he wasn’t just some poor bum.  Maybe something else was on his mind.  There had to be some reason
he was out here in this dangerous area looking like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders.

“Hey  . . . Are you lost, kid?”  He asked, as he stepped into the alley and closer to the young man.  Solo never was one to just
pass by someone that obviously needed help, never could resist offering assistance.

The young man’s voice was low, so low that Solo almost hadn’t heard him.  “Yeah . . . have been for a long time.”  The young
man said, not looking up to see who was speaking to him.  “Hope I’m not crashing in your space.”

There was something about the young man’s voice.  It was like there was something familiar about it, but he couldn’t quite
pinpoint what it was.  So he shook it off, sure that he was mistaken.  “Nah, it’s okay.”  Solo replied.  “You look down in the
dumps, and like you could use some company.”

The young man chuckled.  “Yeah  . . . well unless you want a date with your maker, I’d suggest that you stay far away from
me.”  He then spoke in an even softer voice, adding, “I’m cursed.”

Solo didn’t want to believe that.  What could possibly be so bad that this young man thought he was cursed?  Of course, he
didn’t know this young man, so anything could be going on in his life to make him feel that way.  “What makes you say that?”

“Everything I touch dies.”  He said, after a moment of silence.  “I either kill it, or it leaves me before I get the chance.  
Everyone I loved died because of me.”

“I’m sure that isn’t true.”  Solo said, trying to cheer him up.

“Yeah, well it is.”  The young man replied.  He pushed himself away from the wall.  “I'll get going . . . Nice to have met you.”  
He said, although he hadn’t even seen Solo’s face.

He turned and took a few steps away.  Solo’s eyes widened, seeing that long braid.  He hadn’t seen the young man’s hair
earlier, because he had been standing up against that wall.  But now Solo saw it, that massive length of hair, the chestnut braid
that hung behind the young man’s back.

He reached out and grabbed the young man’s arm, the memory of his friend resurfacing in his mind for the briefest of
instants.  It had been so long since he had seen him, so long since their days together in the gang.  Solo had to be sure if it was
him or not.

“What is your problem?”  The young man shouted, as he was pulled around to face Solo.  His cobalt eyes locked on Solo’s, for
the first time seeing who had been speaking to him.  There was no mistaking those eyes of his.  It was him.  It really was him,
the Kid, as Solo had called him, since he never knew his real name or if he had even had one.

The Kid gasped, “Solo?  But . . . but you’re dead!”

The Kid was older, no longer a kid really, his hair even longer than Solo remembered it to be.  And now it was woven into a
braid instead of loose, the way Solo always remembered seeing it.

Solo smirked, so happy to see his friend after all these years.  Now they could get reacquainted again, catch up on old times.  
Maybe he could even find out where the Kid had been all these years, how he had survived when Solo had given him up for
dead long ago.    

“Funny . . . I thought the same about you.”  Solo said.

Then Solo’s happiness was shattered, as the Kid’s eyes rolled back in his head.  He fell forward, and Solo quickly caught him
in his arms.  Now, looking at him more carefully, Solo could see the paleness of his skin, the dark circles surrounding his
eyes.  How long had it been since he had eaten or slept?  By the look of the Kid it had been days.

Seeing him like this brought up old memories, the past that Solo had buried long ago when he thought his friend had died.  But
now that his friend was back, these memories were not so painful.  As Solo stared down at the face of his unconscious friend,
he smiled at the memories that resurfaced.


Solo was running.  Of course, it always seemed as if he were running from someone.  This time it was some store owner,
chasing him because he had stolen food for the other children in his gang.  He had to do it.  They needed food, especially the
younger kids.

He ducked into a dark alley, knowing he had to hide.  He would be caught if he kept running like this.  That store owner was
actually quite fast for an old guy.  Maybe it was time to move onto stealing from another store, although there weren’t that
many stores left open in this sector.  

Solo hid behind a group of trash cans, covering his mouth with his hand to try and keep his gasping breath quiet.  After a
moment, he heard a set of footsteps as someone ran by.  A few minutes later, he slipped out from behind the trash cans.  He
looked down at his hands, wondering if he had dropped anything.  Nope, it all seemed to be there.  Some fruit and a few bottles
of water, just what he had stolen, all in that bag he carried so carefully in his arms.

A strange whimpering sound, drew his attention.  He turned, looking further into the dark alleyway, wondering who or what
had made that noise.  He squinted his eyes in an attempt to see better.

He stepped forward, and gasped, as he saw what had been whimpering.  It was a boy, just some kid.  He was lying there on
the ground, his body curled up in a tight ball.  Solo knelt down beside him, laying his bag on the ground.  He gently rolled the
boy over, wanting to get a better look at him.   

The boy looked dead, so thin that Solo could see the bones through his pale skin.  But after seeing him make a slight move,
Solo knew that he was just unconscious.  His hair was so long, and hung loose around him.  Although it was full of knots and
filthy, Solo found it quite nice.  Solo had never seen a boy with hair like that before.  The boy’s clothes, a plain T-shirt and a
pair of shorts, were dirty and tattered. They looked to be two sizes too big for him, but that could have been because he was so
thin.  He looked like he was starving, and his lips were badly chapped from an obvious lack of water.  

Solo reached into his bag and pulled out one of the bottles of water.  This kid really needed something to drink.  He might die
soon, if he didn’t get some help.  Solo thought that he might as well be the one to do it . . . he had so many other times with the
other children in his gang.

He twisted off the cap and held the bottle of water to the boy’s lips, wrapping his other arm around his shoulders to lift him
from the ground slightly.  He smiled as the boy began to drink, although his eyes hadn’t opened yet.  Solo took the water away
as the boy began coughing.

Slowly, his eyes opened, and after a moment, they focused on Solo.  “You an angel?”  The boy asked, his voice weak and tired.

Solo tried hard not to laugh, but it was so adorable.  “No, I ain’t no angel.”  He helped the boy up.  “My name’s Solo.  What’s

“Don’t r’member.”  The boy replied, lowering his face to look at the ground, as he rubbed one of his small hands along a bruise
on his forehead . . . which had probably caused the child’s amnesia.

“That’s okay.  I’ll just call you Kid.  How’s that?” Solo asked, keeping an arm around the boy so that he wouldn’t fall over.

“Okay, I guess.”  

“Well then, come on Kid.  If you want, you can stay with me and my gang.  We don’t have much, but at least you’ll be out of
the cold.”  He said, picking up the bag from where he had left it.

“Yeah.  I’d like that.”  The Kid replied, offering a small smile to Solo, when he looked up at him in gratitude.

Solo smiled back at him.  But when the Kid turned away, he frowned, noticing that the Kid would probably be too weak to stay
standing, let alone walk.  He looked down, seeing for the first time that the boy wore no shoes.  His bare feet were covered in
bruises and small cuts.  It looked like he had walked quite a bit.  Solo wondered how far he had traveled.  Solo didn’t remember
ever seeing him around this sector before.

Solo put his arm through the handles on the bag, so that it hung from his arm.  Then he knelt slightly, and wrapped his arms
around the Kid, lifting him from the ground.  He held the boy in his arms, frowning once again as he felt that the incredibly light
boy was shivering.  Damn those heartless jerks, Solo thought of the men who ran the colony’s weather control systems.  They
made it so cold at night, an attempt on their part to save energy, but they never thought of the people that lived on the streets,
the kids that froze because the colony was so poor.

Solo looked down again, and smiled slightly when he saw that the Kid was asleep.  However, he knew that it might not be such
a good thing.  Solo definitely had to help this kid.  He wasn’t doing too well on his own.

*End of Flashback*

Solo smiled at the memory, the first time he had met the Kid.  He hadn’t been sure that the Kid would survive then, always
worrying through those days when the Kid was recovering.

Solo cradled the Kid in his arms, holding him close.  “Just like old times.”  He mumbled to himself as he carried the
unconscious young man back to his home.

It didn’t take long.  He only lived around the corner, in an apartment.  He had been going home, when he came across his old
friend in that alley.   His neighbors gave him strange looks as he passed by, but Solo didn’t comment.  He just wanted to get the
Kid into the apartment.  The Kid’s unconscious state probably had to do with the shock of seeing Solo alive, and on top of that,
the obvious lack of food over an unknown number of days.  Solo was worried.  Why wouldn’t the Kid be eating?  He looked
like he could afford it.  Well, Solo would find out soon enough.


Duo slowly awakened, feeling strangely warm and comfortable.  There was someone gently slapping his face, and he opened
his eyes, wondering who it was.

“Wake up.”  Said a voice, in a tone that sounded worried.

Duo’s eyes focused on a face leaning over him.  It was Solo.  Then it hadn't all been some wonderful dream.  It was real.  Solo
was alive.  “Solo?  Is it really you?”  He asked, still unsure if he should believe his own eyes.

Solo smiled, “Yeah, Kid . . . It’s really me.  We have got to stop meeting like this.”

Duo chuckled tiredly, remembering that the first time that Solo had found him, all those years ago, he had been unconscious in
an alley.  “Yeah, well . . .”  He started to say, but other thoughts struck him.  “Why are you still alive?  I thought you were
dead.  No, I was sure you were dead, I saw your body.  Where have you been all these years?  How did you survive?”  He
asked, pushing himself up so that he sat on the couch in this strange apartment.

Solo held up a hand, stopping Duo’s questions.  “Whoa, Kid!  Slow down.  Man, I still don’t know how you mange to say so
much in one breath.”  He took a breath of his own before speaking again.  “I’ll explain everything.  But first, tell me one thing.”

“What?”  Duo asked, his brow furrowing in confusion.

“When was the last time you ate?  You look terrible.”

Duo looked away as he answered.  “Two . . . maybe three days ago.”  He said quietly.

“Then, you’re going to eat now.”  Solo said, standing up.  “I’ll get you something, while you take a shower.”

“Wait . . . did you just say shower?”  Duo asked, surprised.  He knew that water was still rationed on this colony.  Solo had to
have fallen into some great luck to be able to afford offering his shower to somebody.

Solo nodded, and Duo’s eyes widened.  “Pal . . . you have just got to tell me what happened to you.”  Duo said.

“Later.  Right now, I want you to get in that shower and get yourself cleaned up.”  Solo said.  He pointed to a door.  “There’s
the bathroom . . . now get going.”

“I hope you don’t mind me using up most of your shampoo and conditioner.”  Duo said as he walked over to the bathroom.

“Nah, go right ahead.”  Solo replied, but by then Duo was already in the bathroom with the door closed behind him.

Duo slumped back against the door, wondering how Solo had survived the virus.  Duo had been so sure that he was dead.  He
had seen the body.  To Hell with the body, Duo’s mind screamed.  He could have sworn that Solo had died in his arms. How
had he lived?  He pushed away the thoughts as he unbuttoned his shirt.  Once he was done with his shower, he could ask Solo
those questions, and maybe get some answers.

Quickly, he stripped and stepped over to the bathtub.  He pulled the elastic band off his hair, then began to unbraid it as he
looked around to see where what he needed was.  There were already a couple towels hanging off a nearby rack, so he didn’t
have to search around for them.  The shampoo and conditioner were close at hand, so no need to search around for them
either.  Everything he needed seemed to be within easy reach.

As he looked around the small bathroom, he caught sight of his reflection in the mirror above the sink. Solo was right, he did
look terrible.  He sighed, as he reached up and brushed his fingers along the smooth surface of the cross that hung from around
his neck.

The cross had belonged to Sister Helen.  She had almost been like a mother to him, the closest anyone had ever come to being
his mother.  The cross was all he had of her now.  He had lost that precious bible she had given him long ago, when the
Church had been destroyed.

“Sister Helen would be so disappointed with me.”  He mumbled to himself.  “Look at what I’ve become.  I’m nothing and that’
s all I’ll ever be.”

Duo reached around his neck, unclasping the chain.  He set the cross on the edge of the sink, hoping he wouldn’t forget it.  
Even though he knew he was no longer worthy of Sister Helen’s love, he would always wear the cross.  It was the least he
could do to honor the memories of Sister Helen and Father Maxwell.

Duo turned away from the sink and stepped into the shower.  He turned it on after blocking the drain, not bothering to wait for
it to get warm.  There was no need to waste water, not when it was such a precious commodity on this colony.  He bit his lip
as he turned his back to the shower head to get his hair wet, the cold water bringing goose bumps to his skin.  Boy, was he
glad that Solo did have a shower.  His head was starting to itch.  He shut the water off as soon as his hair was wet enough to

Not wasting any time, he squeezed a generous amount of shampoo into the palm of his hand and started massaging his scalp,
then running the shampoo through the length of his hair, to make sure that was clean as well.  The air from the vent hit him and
made him shiver a little, but he worked painstakingly on his hair.  

He looked up at the sound of someone knocking on the bathroom door.  “Yeah?”  He asked, still washing his hair.

“You need some pajamas?  I can lend you some of mine.  They’ll be a little big on you, but they’re clean.”

Duo chuckled.  “Yeah . . . I’ve been wearing the clothes on my back for over two days straight.  I was about tempted to burn
them.  I forgot how cold this colony got at night.”  With that, he turned the shower on and rinsed the suds out of his hair as
quickly as possible.  Although there was no need to on Earth, he’d never wasted water, so he had a lot of practice on fast
rinses.  Again, he turned the water off and reached for the conditioner.

There was another knock.  “I’m leaving the pajamas just outside the door.”  Solo said.

Duo grinned as he finger-combed his hair to make sure the conditioner was distributed evenly from root to tip.  “Thanks, man.  
Hey . . . can I make a call to a friend of mine when I get out of here?  I appreciate the pajamas, but I’d rather get my own stuff

Solo’s chuckle sounded from the other side of the door.  “Go on ahead.  And if you have nowhere else to stay, you can stay
here with me.  It’ll be just like the old days.  Besides . . . I could use someone to talk to when I get home at night.  I usually set
my alarm clock for 15 minutes before I get home just so the place isn’t quiet.”

Duo smiled as he dipped the washcloth in the water at the bottom of the stall.  “Yeah, I hear you.  I guess none of us war
orphans like the quiet.”  He worked the soap onto the cloth until he had a good lather and proceeded to scrub the two days of
dirt and sweat off his skin.  “Thanks  . . . I could use a place to crash.”  

He fought the urge to sigh at being clean.  He had never taken showers for granted.  He chuckled at the one time he had been
staying with Quatre, when he had seen his first swimming pool.  Quatre had jumped right in, but it took Duo a good hour to get
the mechanics of swimming down pat.  Once he realized he wouldn’t sink, he had just allowed himself to float and bask in all
the cool water around him.  He had relished his stay with the blonde Arabian for just that reason.

Duo shook himself out of his reverie and turned the shower on again.  He unplugged the drain and deftly manipulated his hair so
the rinse time was reduced dramatically.  Once he was done, he turned the shower off and proceeded to gently wring the
length of his hair to get the excess water out.  He had learned once that about a gallon of water could be stored in his hair when
it was wet.  One gallon could mean the difference between life and death to a whole family on the colony.  He stood for a good
five minutes, wringing his hair and letting his body drip dry in the shower.  Then he wrapped a towel around his damp hair, and
a second one around his waist before stepping out of the stall.  The entire shower took ten minutes, but he only had the water
on for three of those minutes.

Duo walked over to the door and opened it.  Lying on the floor were the pajamas Solo had left for him.  Quickly, Duo picked
them up and stepped back into the bathroom.  He shut the door and looked at the folded pajamas he held in his hands.  Not his
usual sleepwear, which tended to be a tank top and a pair of shorts.  Still, he welcomed the midnight colored flannel.  It had
already started getting chilly outside as the “sun” went down.  

Duo snorted as he threaded his arms through the sleeves.  “Man, I miss Earth’s sunsets!”  He muttered to himself.  “I know I
wanted to come back to outer space . . . but not like this.”  

He fought off a laugh when he noticed the sleeves were a little too long for his arms.  Cuffing the sleeves, he fumbled with the
buttons.  Doing that simple task was harder than he thought it would be.  Thinking about Earth, brought the painful truth back
to him and made his hands shake.  Heero was on Earth and he didn’t want Duo.  No one there wanted him, no one anywhere
truly cared about him.  He pushed the thoughts aside as he continued to get dressed.

After a moment, he gave up on the buttons altogether and reached for the pajama bottoms.  He sighed and resigned himself to
going alfresco underneath the pajamas.  He sure as Hell wasn’t about to ask if he could borrow a pair of boxers, and he wasn’t
about to wear his own again.

He stepped into the pants easily enough, then grumbled to himself when he noticed that he had to cuff the legs if he didn’t want
to trip over his own feet.  He glanced at his reflection again.  Granted, he was cleaner, but he still looked like something a cat
would drag in.  He was hungry, thirsty, and exhausted in every sense of the word.  He quickly straightened the bathroom and
let out a breath when he saw the elastic band that had held his braid in place.  He opened the door and walked out, not realizing
that he had left the cross on the edge of the sink.  “Hey, Solo?”

“In the kitchen, Kid!  What’s up?”  Solo answered.

Duo trudged into the kitchen as he answered, following where the voice had come from.  “I know this sounds dumb, but do
you have a rubber band I can use?  The elastic I was using decided to snap on me.”

Solo looked up and started snickering.

“What?  What’s so funny?”  Duo asked.  He had the distinct impression that Solo was laughing at him.

Solo shook his head.  “Sorry, but you really do look like a kid in those pajamas.  I must have grabbed the wrong pair!  Those
must be my dad’s.”

“Wait, since when do you have a dad?”  Duo asked, feeling as if he were missing something.  

“I’ll explain later.  Here . . .”  He pulled a box out of the fridge.  “I found some leftover pizza!  There’s about a half a pie left.”  
He dropped the box on the counter and flipped it open.  “And why not leave your hair like that?”

Duo shook his head as he grabbed a slice.  “No can do.  I made that mistake once about a month ago.  Took me three hours to
get all the tangles out.”

Solo laughed again.  “All right, Kid . . . Let me dig up a comb and see if I can find a rubber band.  I can understand why you
want to keep it braided.  I remember the tangled mess it was.  I don’t blame you for wanting to keep it neat.”

Duo grinned as he chomped on the crust of the slice of pizza he had just about inhaled while Solo had been talking.  He reached
over for a second slice and ate it more slowly than he had the first slice.

Solo came back into the kitchen with a triumphant look on his face. “Found one!  Here you go!”  He handed the comb and
rubber band over. “Did you want some soda?”  He opened the fridge and pulled a can out. “Catch!”

Duo caught the can of soda easily and opened it.  “Thanks.  I really don’t wanna impose on you.”

“You're not imposing, Kid.  Hell . . . I’ve wished for some company for a while now.  I keep buying too much food.  Besides, I
was the one who offered.  You didn’t ask to stay.  I’m glad you accepted, though.”  Solo said, handing a napkin to Duo.

Duo wiped his hands off on the napkin and started combing his hair.  “Hey, where’s your phone?”  He asked.

“Over there.” Solo answered, pointing to the wall behind Duo.  

Duo turned and saw the video phone hanging on the wall.  He stepped over, as he finished combing all the tangles out of his
hair.  He separated the long hair into plaits, then paused and dialed the number he knew so well.

It didn’t even ring once, before it was answered.  “Hello?”  Hilde said from the other end, not yet looking at the screen.  She
was probably still at work.  He could hear the shuffling of paperwork in the background.  Duo was always telling her that she
worked too hard.  

“Hey, babe.  Shouldn’t you be home by now?”  He asked, smiling.

She quickly turned her attention to the video phone.  “Where have you been?”

“Are you worried about me?”  Duo asked sarcastically.  He knew she really didn’t care.  What she felt for him was just some
misplaced sense of respect because he had been a Gundam pilot.

“Well, you left to go to a party three days ago and never came back or even bothered to call . . .”

Duo stopped her before she could continue.  “Listen, Hilde, I just called to ask you to send some of my stuff here to me.  I’m
staying at a friend’s place for a while, and I don’t seem to have any clothes with me.”  He smiled again.

Hilde sighed.  “Where should I send it?  And do I know this friend of yours?”

“Nope, you’ve never met him.  I haven’t seen him in years.  In fact, I thought he was dead.”  He replied, trying to keep his
tone casual.  “Oh, and Hilde, if anyone cares to ask, tell them I’m okay, but that I’d rather not be found.”

Hilde frowned.  Duo could see that she was worried.  But she kept her voice normal as she answered him.  “Sure, I won’t tell
anyone where you are.  Now, just give me the address so I can send your stuff over.”

Duo frowned when he realized that he didn’t know the address.  He looked over his shoulder at Solo, while he secured the
rubber band on the end of his hair.  “Hey, Solo, what’s your address?”

Solo stepped forward.  “Colony V08744 of the L-2 Colony Cluster, Sector 4, Block 7, Lot 2, Apartment 51.  The number on
the building is 122.”  Solo replied as he stood beside Duo.

“You got all that?” Duo asked.  Duo was impressed, Solo really had a nice apartment, and in Sector 4.  It wasn’t ritzy, but it
was on the better side of town, so to speak.

“Yeah.”  Hilde replied.  “Your stuff will be there by morning.  You look tired, get some rest.  Bye.”  She looked over at Solo,
fixing a stern glare on him, as if sizing him up. “And you, take care of that idiot for me.”

“Of course.”  Solo answered, smiling.

Duo cut off the transmission.  He turned to Solo, placing his hands on his hips.  “Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I
want some answers.  Why aren’t you dead?  How in the Hell did you survive?”

“Can’t this wait until tomorrow?”  Solo sighed, as he walked into the living room.  He sat in a nearby armchair.

Duo followed him.  He stretched out on the sofa, facing Solo.  “Look, you remember how curious I was as a kid, right?  Well,
I’ve had over ten years and my curiosity never wavered.  You know as well as I do that I won’t be able to sleep unless my
curiosity is satisfied.”

“Kid, curiosity killed the cat.”  Solo said smugly.

“Yeah?  Well, satisfaction brought it back!”  Duo retorted.

Solo let out a laugh, then replied.  “Fine.  But to tell the truth, I really don’t know too much myself.”

“Just tell me what you know.”  Duo said.

Solo took in a deep breath before speaking.  “Well, I remember you holding me in your arms, and then there was darkness.  
And the next thing I remember is waking up in a hospital.  The doctors told me that I had been in a coma, as close to death as  
a person could get without actually dying.  They told me that my breathing and heart rate were so low when I was brought in
that even they thought I was dead at first.  So I guess it’s not surprising that you thought I was dead . . . you were just a kid
afterall.”  Solo sighed, taking another deep breath before continuing.  “I remember overhearing the hospital officials talking
about how I shouldn’t have even been treated, since I was only going to end up back on the streets again.”

“Heartless bastards.”  Duo muttered, then he yawned.

“Around that same time, a woman was admitted to the hospital.  She had a miscarriage.  Her husband saw me, and decided to
take me in.  The hospital was so overrun with sick people as it was, so they were more than happy to release me into the
Wolfson’s care.  They adopted me.”

Duo was trying to listen, but he was so tired.  He felt his eyes getting heavier, making it harder to keep them open.  And soon
he just let them close, Solo’s words drifting off.


Solo looked over to the sofa as he finished speaking of his stay at the hospital.  He smiled, seeing that the Kid was asleep.  Solo
stood, quickly crossing the distance between the chair and the sofa.

He knelt slightly, lifting the Kid into his arms, frowning once again as he felt how light he was.  The Kid had said that he hadn’t
eaten in two or three days, it could be a regular occurrence.  Maybe the Kid wasn’t as well off as Solo had thought, he could
have stolen those clothes.  For all Solo knew, the Kid could just be living on scraps.

“Where are we going?”  The Kid mumbled, tiredly, as Solo was carrying him down the hallway to the spare bedroom.

“You are going to bed.”  Solo replied.

“Okay.”  The Kid replied with a yawn.  He wrapped his arms around Solo, snuggling closer to him.

Solo couldn’t help but smile at the thoughts that entered his mind.  The Kid’s body felt so warm against his.  He had almost
forgotten what it was like to be this close to somebody.  It had been so long since anyone had gotten this close to him, even
longer since anyone had entered his heart as the Kid had done years ago when they were still children.

Solo sighed.  He had realized his sexual preference long ago, and now he was faced with a love from his past.  Sure, he had
only been ten years old when he had last seen the seven year-old Kid, but even then he had loved him.  Back then, he hadn’t
understood those feelings, the feelings he still had for him.  And now, here the Kid was, alive and well.  He was right there in
his arms.  But Solo knew he couldn’t express his feelings.  

He stepped into the bedroom, and quickly crossed the room.  He gently laid the Kid down on the full size bed, pulling the
blankets up to his chest as he knelt beside the bed.  He looked at the Kid’s face, and slowly reached out to brush the bangs
away from his eyes.

The Kid mumbled something in his sleep, too low for Solo to understand.  Then he rolled over, laying on his side.  Solo stood
up and took a step back toward the door.  He closed the door as he stepped into the hallway and went back to his own
bedroom, directly next to the Kid’s.

He wanted to tell the Kid how he felt, wanted desperately to know if he could ever feel the same for him.  But he couldn’t take
that chance.  He didn’t know if the Kid liked boys in that way.  He didn’t want to risk losing him again if he didn’t.

There was that phone call to consider.  The Kid had called that girl, ‘Babe.’  What if they were more than just friends?  By
listening to their conversation, it seemed as if there was something going on.  And if he wasn’t mistaken, it sounded like the
two of them were living together.  Why else would she have been upset that he hadn’t called or come back?

There had to be something going on there.  Well, Solo thought, only time would tell.  If the Kid really did have a girlfriend, he
would just have to be satisfied with only being his friend and nothing more.  It would be difficult, but he couldn’t lose the Kid
now, not after all those years of thinking him dead.  It would hurt too much to not have him in his life.

To Be Continued . . .