Universe: Manga (Also known as Iwamoto!verse)
Characters: Zero, X. Mentions of Marty and Dr. Cain.
Pairing: Zero / X. So Zero / X it hurts in the soul.
Warnings: Other than Zero being heavily romantic? Spoilers for the X3 manga? Second-hand embarrassment from reading this (because I know I got it while writing it!)?
Note: This is pretty much a romantic retelling of a seriously shippunching scene from the MMX4 manga. All but the last couple lines from X and Zero, dialogue-wise, are from said manga (if not adapted a bit from its literal Japanese translation to sound more natural), and I even stared at the comic panels to make sure they were moving and facing each other correctly, in accordance to the original comic pages (Which stopped at a particular bit. You'll know where). And the tons of sun metaphors? Considering that Zero uses these in that universe, I felt they were appropriate. NOT EVEN SORRY, GUYS.
Written to: "Endless Story" by Yuna Ito.
Summary: As Zero stays behind at X's homecoming, he's finally given the opportunity to give words to the dynamic the two of them have had for so long.
It was the party for a man who had come back from the dead; that much was obvious enough. The Sun who many had thought would never shine again returned from his longtime eclipse, bringing his protective light back onto the world and allowing it to bask in his rays once again.
...man, even in his head, that sounded cheesy. A poet he most certainly was not.
Then again, Zero was known for his prowess on the field of battle and his commanding skills rather than his literary gifts (or, rather, a lack thereof). He just said what came to mind, matching objects to words, uncaring whether or not the comparisons sounded 'right'. After all, who was going to hear them, other than him? It wasn't as though he was the type of Reploid who would shout his feelings from the heavens, allowing his words to shower down on the unsuspecting townsfolk below like meteors of verbose emotion.
And at the sound of that simile, Zero was sure that if he closed his eyes and listened, he could have heard a thousand human poets scream simultaneously in agony.
But it was true, regardless of how stupid it sounded. Whoever he touched, he affected. Dr. Cain, Marty, himself (most certainly himself) -- even when he didn't realize it, he was always in their thoughts, always right in front of them, guiding them with that innocent smile and steadfast gaze.
He never buckled. Never fell down against adversity, standing up and facing it head-on, again and again.
And Zero kept pace right beside him.
As it should have been. As, if he had anything to say about it, it would always be, working together to protect that world that X so lovingly illuminated.
The streetlights were beautiful. Even with the glare that bounced off the window, showing his own reflection amongst the chorus of lights, their radiance couldn't be denied. What did humans think, looking down at lights like this...? If he asked X, he would have said that they all thought the same thing. Reploids and humans, despite their different makeup were of similar minds, similar hearts--
--Zero wasn't sure. After all, he had never met a human like...
Ah, speak of the devil. He didn't turn to face him, but he could see the small, worried smile in the glass.
Zero laughed softly. "Is it all right for the Man of the Day to leave his own party?"
X ignored the jibe, opting instead to step closer.
"What are you looking at?" X asked.
"The..." Streetlights? Flickering lights of buildings below? "...Stars."
X's face scrunched with confusion. He blinked his eyes, almost as though he was trying to process the information, but it kept coming back as an error. It was...adorable, and so typical of X.
"The stars?" X blinked. "But Zero, you're looking down."
Shifting his weight, Zero turned his body fully towards X and away from the window. Meeting green eyes with blue, he couldn't help but chuckle a little before scooting forward and crossing his legs, allowing them to dangle off the edge of the platform.
"If they call outer space a "Sea of Stars", wouldn't it make sense that the Earth has one as well?"
Still cheesy, he had to admit. What was he doing, saying things like this? This was never anything that he would have said out loud, had it not been X.
But it was X, and he was saying it. And his words and emotions were flowing out of his mouth, free as rain. Regardless of how dumb it sounded, there was no hope of them stopping now. That was just how X was; he knew how to take the deepest part of your soul and have you bare it without even asking you to.
He knew how to make a person as open and honest as he was.
Another blink, before thoughtful curiosity melted across X's face. "What do you mean?"
"It's exactly what I say it is: A gorgeous starlit sky, here on Earth."
So soon after shifting his weight, his full body was back on the platform again, far closer to the window than before. At this distance, there seemed to be less glare; Zero couldn't see the reflection of the partygoers behind them. Staring down, seeing the lights shimmer in the blanket of night, the noise beyond even seemed to hush to silence.
It was just him, X, and the twinkling 'stars' below them.
Leaning against the glass and throwing X a smile, he motioned him to come closer with his free hand.
"Come on, see for yourself."
The clanging of armor was heard as X climbed onto the platform as well, taking a spot beside him.
Surprise, fascination. His eyes even widened as blue armored fingers touched against the glass, air from his internal vents misting it with each 'breath'. There was something so endearingly childlike about X's gaze, so eager to soak up the sight that expanded below him.
Zero moved closer, until the shoulders of their armor bumped one another. X didn't seem to notice; or if he did, he sure didn't make any mention of it.
"It really is just like a starlit sky, Zero." He whispered.
The other Reploid nodded. His hand rested on the small of X's back, but again, he didn't make a note of it.
"Yeah..." Zero murmured. "The starlit sky that you protected. As long as you, the sun, continue to shine, these 'stars' will just keep going on, sparkling away."
X shook his head. "No. It wasn't because of my 'power' alone, Zero."
It seemed that even the sun was humble. A gentle sun, one that didn't waste time on useless vanity or pride. So unlike the thunderous Gods that many humans had assumed took residence in the Heavens.
With a soft breath, X continued, so low only Zero could hear: "It was because of people like Dr. Cain and Marty...Theirs and everyone else's 'power'. It was everyone's light that protected it."
Wait. Was that...?!
It was. X's hand found itself resting on Zero's back, as though to pull him closer. Inwardly, he couldn't help but smile. Who was he to refuse?
"And Zero..." X's eyes were fixated on the lights below, but his attention was only beside him. "You were always there, right beside me. Through everything."
The two scooted closer to one another until their legs and sides were touching completely.
If Zero had a heart, it possibly would have started beating quickly. At a quick glance to X's face, it seemed that his cheeks weren't immune to the proximity; his pale flesh was glowing a rosy pink.
Why, if the two of them turned their heads, just a little bit...
"I can't shine on my own." Zero said with a breath of air that could have possibly been considered a laugh. "If I were to glow, then...I'm like the moon that's lit up by the sun."
Two heads turned.
They both smiled.
"Really, Zero? The moon to my sun?" X's eyes danced with amusement. "That sounds like something a human poet would say."
Zero's free hand cupped X's cheek, and he smirked. "Just because it's cheesy doesn't make it any less true."
Whatever words that would have been uttered were silenced by the pressing of lips against his own. A blue hand met the back of a helmet, and a red arm pulled the other close, closer, closest.
Blue and green eyes slid shut.
All that was left, all that existed, was them, the warmth between their joined mouths, and the twin skies of the micro and macrocosms, smiling over the sun and moon that would always watch over them.