Star Light, Star Bright

I've never looked at the stars. I don't know why -- one of the things we had to study was constellations, planets, all the different kinds of stars. I memorized the maps and the photos, but I never really went outside and looked. Never felt the need. Never became so lost that I had to go outside and find the north star and let it show me the way home. Or wherever I was going. I guess I never really cared which way I was going. I didn't think about it until I walked out onto the roof that night, side-stepping TJ as he helped Blake cart the mugs away, and headed over to where Peter was standing. He'd survived the fight -- again, sometimes I think he's blessed, sometimes I just pray -- and he was standing there, head tilted back, staring up.

I glanced up and didn't see much, a few clouds, a few buildings, a few stars. I looked at him again and for a second I couldn't say anything. If I had tried I would have just kissed him, right on the spot where his throat was most exposed. Instead I waited quietly for the impulse to pass. Pete looked at me, and smiled. He was going to have a black-eye tomorrow, unless Kwai Chang had some concoction to take care of it.

"Hey, Kermit," and I swear he sounded as if he hadn't just been throwing kicks and punches at trigger speed to save his life. Coulda been standing on a street corner looking for a cab... nah, he'd have sounded a lot more upset trying for a cab in this town.

"Didn't I warn you about Jacobs?" I wanted to grab his arm and shake him. I hadn't been feeling any anger until now -- now that he was safe and I didn't have to worry I could stop listening to the voices that said he was capable, strong, and could take care of himself.

He gave me that grin. God, sometimes I could-- "Ah, he was nothing. Piece of cake."

"Piece of cake, huh?" I tried to match his grin. "That explains the icing." I had only just seen it, the trickle of blood by his ear. Pete wiped at it and smiled, dug out a handkerchief and held it in place. How was I going to drag him down to where someone could check him out? How close had he been to getting killed? I didn't want to know.

"Kermit?"

"Yeah?" Peter was giving me a strange look. Now what? I had an uneasy feeling.

"What's wrong?"

I laughed. "You tell me. You're the one getting beaten up on rooftops."

"Three bruises is hardly what I'd call 'beaten up'. Seriously, what's wrong?" He was looking at me, straight on, and I knew if I wasn't careful I'd find myself falling into those eyes. Tell him everything. And people wonder why I wear sunglasses all the time.

I shrugged. "What could be wrong?"

"I don't know," he was looking at me like I was another one of his weird mysteries, like I would suddenly grow a third head or turn into a shade. I kept myself safely hidden and waited. The kid knows far too much sometimes, sees even more. Maybe it was time to back off.

"Well if you're all right there's no reason to hang out here." I started to turn around and head for the stairs.

"Kermit...." He sounded uncertain. He made no sense when he said, "I'm sorry." Before I could ask him for what, he raised his hand. I saw it, sneaky Shaolin move that it was, but didn't realise what he'd done until I found him looking at me -- right at me. My sunglasses were in his hand.

"What was that for?" I kept my anger deep down inside, kept my tone light and uncaring. What was Pete up to?

He didn't do anything except stare at me. It made me nervous. I don't do nervous, especially not where Peter is involved. I held out my hand for my glasses. He gave them back, and I figured that was the end of it -- whatever it was. It wasn't.

"How long has it been like this?" He sounded calm, as if he were asking... asking whatever. I didn't know what the hell he was talking about.

"Has *what* been like what?" I slipped my shades back on and felt better. I relaxed, knew I could handle anything now. Now that he couldn't see me.

"How long have you felt this way about me?"

Except, of course, he already had. I gave him my best 'what are you talking about?' bewildered look, because there was no way I would admit it. Besides which, how could he have seen *that* in one glance? "I think they must have kicked you in the head. Pete, are you feeling all right?"

He wasn't moved. He wasn't even fooled. OK, Kermit, time to regroup. New plan -- get the hell out and don't look back. I tried to think of a suitable parting shot before making my escape when he grabbed my arm. Something inside me was shaking. "What are you up to, Peter?" I sounded tired, not quite the mood I'd have gone for had I planned it. Joke it away and disappear would have been my intention. As soon as he let go of me, I would.

"Don't, not yet. Kermit... why didn't you tell me?" Before I could say anything he grinned, and shook his head. "Sorry, I that's a dumb question. Here's a better one -- were you ever going to tell me?"

"If I knew what you were talking about I could probably answer that. But I don't."

He just smiled. God, if he would just stop looking at me like that. Sorry, don't believe in god. Maybe I should--

"Kermit," he stepped closer and I wondered if I were too late. No fancy exits now. Just run. "Relax." He was laughing at me. Maybe I'd kill him, hide the body, then run. No, Paul would hunt me down and murder me. Then again, that might be better than-- oh god.

He's kissed me.

I discovered I had my arms around him, he was holding onto me and he or I was kissing the other. God, please don't let this... maybe I should start believing in you if this is going to turn out to be real. When Peter broke the kiss I just stared. The light green tint of my shades made him look strange. I pulled them off and he looked gorgeous. He always did. Another reason I always wore them. He slipped his hand down into mine and held it.

Maybe *I* was the one who'd been kicked in the head. Anyhow that's how we ended up here, sitting on the roof of his father's building, leaning back and staring up at the stars. I'd managed to speak coherently after that kiss -- in English, even -- and pointed out that the rooftop bust wasn't a good place for what he needed to say. God knows he needed to explain himself. Probably expected me to, as well. Pete had just grinned and took me downstairs, not letting go of my hand until we reached the third floor and ran the risk of being seen. We'd climbed into his car and he'd looked at me, said he wanted to show me something.

I'd grinned, then. He'd laughed and told me I could see that later. First he had something important to show me. I hadn't said a word -- knowing I'd say something dumb like 'what the hell is going on?' When we got to his father's place I knew I'd done the wrong thing, expecting him to tell his father all and ask for blessings. Maybe I'd been thinking about Peter too long. My mind was doing things it hadn't done to me in years -- making me see and hear things which couldn't really be there.

Peter had taken me inside, bypassed his father's floor and headed for the roof. I'd asked if he shouldn't tell his father we were here, but he shook his head and said he knew it was us. I didn't say anything else until we were standing on the roof.

"Nice. Much better than the other roof." I had my shades back on, and had wondered if I could salvage anything normal out of this.

Peter had stepped over, removed my glasses, and kissed me again. I decided to hell with normal and concentrated on kissing him back. We must have stood there for five minutes before Pete finally leaned back. He had grinned, said, "Come on," and walked us over to a small rise in the parapet. We'd sat down, settled in comfortably, and then Pete had directed me to lean back, and look up.

That's when I noticed the meteor shower.