?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

For the One You Love: Chapter 7

For the One You Love
A Gundam Wing Fanfiction
By: Memory Dragon
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6
Disclaimer: Gundam Wing belongs to Sunrise and Bandai. I don't own it and make no claim to.

Chapter Seven: Reflected in the Flowing Water

It had been two months since little Duo and Leyna were kidnapped. Two months since Heero had seen him.

The brunette had sat dazedly through Relena’s lectures. Wufei stopped her once he noticed Heero’s state of mind. It had taken him a while to admit it. It had taken him a while to believe his own eyes. But there was complete silence when he was finally able to say it.

Duo was alive.

At first he was angry. So angry that he had locked himself in his study, not answering to any calls. Why? Why didn’t Duo ever tell him? Why was he only there at that moment? Why did he...

It was in that state that Quatre found him. Relena had called him in, hoping the empath could do something for Heero. Somehow, the both of them managed to break the lock on Heero’s study.

“Heero?” Quatre asked quietly. He felt Relena’s presence back away, knowing there was nothing she could do. He walked in the door.

Heero didn’t reply. Quatre could tell by his eyes that he hadn’t gotten any sleep. And he was still furious... Maybe he should have told him after all... “Heero... I’m sorry. I mean, I had sorta guessed, about what he did. But I never said anything...”

“Why?!” He exploded, taking Quatre off guard. “Why didn’t he say anything? After all this time...”

The blond was vaguely surprised. “Because he was protecting you,” he said, without thinking. Immediately, he realized his mistake. This could get bad... But instead of erupting further, Heero went back into a daze.

“Pro... tect...” Heero gaze held no small amount of astonishment, as if he had never heard the word before. He shook his head, trying to free himself from the numbness.

Quatre grabbed onto this opportunity to explain. Heero wouldn’t stay dazed for long. “Duo wanted to help you, Heero. But I think he felt that he might get in between you and Relena... He didn’t want that to happen. So I think... I think he staged his own death.”

Pain returned to Heero’s eyes, waking him from his shock. “But why?” He closed his eyes, feeling frustrated. Why? It was the same question he had asked Quatre so many years ago...

“So he could watch over you. To make sure you or Relena never got hurt.” To watch over... Quatre took his stunned silence as a sign to go on. “Because he loved you and wanted you to be happy.”

Duo...

Quatre waited several moments. Finally, he sighed and turned to the door. Heero couldn’t think of anything to reply with. It was just too much... “Heero...” The blond tried once last time. He shook his head, reaching for the door knob.

“How long have you known?”

The blond seemed relieved at the question. Heero began to feel a little guilty when he realized that Quatre and Relena must have been worried about him. “I didn’t actually know... but it occurred to me three years ago that Duo would do something like that. It was when you told me about the unknown guard.”

That was... Of course it would be. Who else? That note too... Yes, Duo would have written something like that. It was in his style even. How many other times had Duo saved him or his wife? How many times...

“He’s not around now. I think he knows that I can sense him.”

Heero’s eyes shot open. “You can?”

Quatre blushed slightly. He hated when his ‘ability’ became the topic of a conversation. It most always lead to ridicule or disbelief. Even though Heero and the other pilots were some of the few who understood it, he still disliked when the subject came up, but he nodded.

Heero moved into deep thought. The blond tilted his head, waiting questioningly. There was still great turmoil in his friend, but he sensed it being organized, and quickly. Finally, Heero looked back into Quatre’s puzzled eyes. “Quatre, I have a favor to ask.”

That had been two months ago.

Now, he wasn’t angry anymore. Heero just wanted to talk to Duo. That was what he told Quatre and for the most part it was true. So if Duo knew about the ‘arrangement’ at all, then he should know that. Why hadn’t he come forward?

Unless he had been hurt before. If he hadn’t left himself enough time to get out before the bombs exploded. Unless this time he was really...

No.

He heard Quatre sigh on the other end of the line. The blond was always out of sight, but constantly connect to Heero. He would be able to tell Heero the moment Duo came back. He was doing what Duo must have done, all these years...

Unfortunately, Heero was about to give up. Quatre was getting as frustrated as he was about not finding anything. Where ever Duo was, he was remaining very well hidden.

Heero glanced down at the clock only to be startled at the time. Seven o’clock? Already? And the computer screen was just as blank as when he started. He shook his head. This article wasn’t going to be written anytime soon.

Thankfully, he had managed to grade all of his students work. Maybe that was because it required less thought than actually writing... And his thoughts lately all tended to drift back to one person.

Well, if nothing was going to get written here, he might as well return home. Relena would start to worry at any rate. And sooner or later, he’d have to explain to little Duo who his “Odysseus” really was. “An old friend” was far too little of an explanation to his ever curious son. He has to stop putting that off...

But as he was waving goodbye to the janitor, Heero heard a sharp intake of breath from the other side of the connection. “Heero,” Quatre whispered excitedly. “He’s here!” Heero nearly lost his own breath.

God... He was alive...

For a moment Heero hesitated, then he started walking out of the school. He would regret it, if he turned back now. No. Heero had to do this.

Instead of heading toward the parking lot, Heero turned into a near by park. At seven o’clock at night, it was surprisingly empty. Not even teenagers spotted the play ground, as romantic teens were often known to do. But just to be safe, Heero followed the walker’s mile to the half way point with a bench. It was there he sat and waited.

“He’s following you, slowly. He’s kinda confused... But it’s hard to read him deeper. He’s gotten better at hiding...” Quatre trailed off. Then, on an impulse, he added, “He’s within hearing distance. I’ll cut the line now and make sure no one else come by.” And the line cut off, as the voice in his head did as promised.

Now it was up to Heero.

It took him awhile for any sound to come out of his throat. It was hard to forgive Duo for what he did. That was what was stopping him, really. How could Heero speak to the one who hurt him so much by faking his own death... What would he say?

It was now or never.

“Duo...” He shook his head briefly, making his voice more firm. “Duo, I know you’re there.”

At first, nothing happened. Duo didn’t come out and Heero began to despair. What if Quatre was wrong? What if Duo never showed himself, regardless?

But then there was a snap of a twig behind him. Heero turned around to see Duo walking up, smiling sadly. “Guess I was found out,” was all he said.

Waring emotions tore through Heero. While he was sure none of them were apparent on his face, Duo seemed to sense this. The braided man simply limped over and sat down on the bench next to Heero, waiting.

Heero’s eyes never left the other man’s face. As if he looked away, Duo would disappear again. He finally settled for the obvious. “What happened to your leg?” It was beside the point, but much better than some of his other questions.

“Twisted it a couple years back. It’s bothered me ever since. Nothing major.”

Heero looked away. “Ah,” was all he said.

They both sat in silence for a while. Neither looked at the other, but instead stared straight ahead. It felt like a painful gap had somehow opened up between them. And Heero wasn’t sure if it could ever be breached...

Finally, Duo leaned back, eyes closed. A small, painful smile played across his lips. “I knew I’d screw up one day. I always do.” Pain became more evident in his voice as he said, “I... I failed in looking after little Duo and Leyna... I’m sorry...”

Heero knew from Duo’s tone that the apology wasn’t just for letting his children be kidnapped. Any anger he had felt toward his friend melted away when he looked back at Duo. That small, pained smile Duo had... Life had been so cruel to him. Heero had been cruel to him. It was his fault Duo was like this now and there was nothing he could do to change it.

“Why?” How many times had Heero asked that question? In other circumstances, he might have scoffed at the number. Such a pathetic question, especially since Heero knew he didn’t want the answer. But he needed Duo’s answer, in Duo’s own words. Whether he wanted to hear it or not.

Duo’s smile broadened, though it was still the saddest Heero had ever seen it. What had happened to Duo’s real smile? This one pierced through him like a knife... With eyes still closed, Duo let out a short and bitter laugh before answering. “The things you do for the one you love.”

Heero looked away, unable to stand it any longer. Of all people, why did Duo choose him to fall in love with? Why put himself through that much suffering? Why not move on with his life, instead of trying to protect him?

He knew Duo’s answer. He didn’t have to ask it aloud. Even before Duo had spoken. He had just wanted... to hear Duo say it. The phrase that he spoken so long ago... His voice just as Heero remembered it. Older, much more weary, but still Duo.

The braided man sat back up suddenly, his cheery exterior that Heero remembered so well returning. How much of that had been an act? “Well, you should just forget about it, Heero. No use in thinking about how pathetic I am.” Duo leaned forward, preparing to stand up. “Don’t worry. I’ll try not to let you see me again.”

No.

Duo stood, started walking away. Rage filled Heero again. Standing up purposefully, he moved in front of Duo and punched him. Hard.

Duo stumbled back, surprised. His shocked cobalt blue eyes looked up to meet Heero’s furious gaze and a small chill went through him. But Heero did not hate Duo, as the other man feared. So his next words shocked his friend to the core.

“Damn it! Don’t walk away again!”

It was Duo’s turn to be stunned. More than because of just the punch. Heero’s words seemed like a million blows that hit him harder each time.

Heero wasn’t going to let him disappear a second time. “Stop hiding everything.” He was being selfish, yes. Maybe if Duo came back, it would be even more painful, but.. “I... I can’t love you. You know that. But I still...” Heero paused when he saw tears forming in Duo’s eyes, unsure if to go on. But something pushed him forward. “I still... want you as my friend.”

Duo reached out and touched Heero’s cheek. It took a lot of effort not to flinch away, but Heero kept his gaze steady.

“I...” He started, before pulling back suddenly. Duo held his hand as if he had touched hot coals. He looked away, but not before Heero could see the longing in his eyes. “I’ve wanted that too. So bad. At least that much...”

An awkward silence fell between them, but this one didn’t have the undertone of torment. It was almost a relief from the other one. The gap had closed, finally.

Then Duo smiled, taking Heero aback. It was a real smile this time, the one he remembered from his youth. “Let’s get going then. You don’t want Relena to worry!!”

The two walked off, leaving Quatre smiling after them. He had turned off the link. But that didn’t stop him from eavesdropping... And now Duo was back... Back to stay this time. The blond would let the two of them alone now, he could catch up with Duo later.

But now, he was contented to sit in the grass and smile.

* * *

Thank you, Heero.

~TBC~


Quote of the chapter:

"If you make even one meeting wrong,
Then even the feelings of love become thorns
The pain I submerged deep in my heart
screamed and was revived
Sometimes I try to blame myself, saying "Why did I do that?"
Sometimes I ask my friend, saying "But why?"

Reflected in the flowing water,
a fragment of memory
I swore in my heart
I'd never repeat those thoughts again.
Reflected in the flowing water,
there is sorrow, so
with this power, with this life,
I want to protect you.
"
--Translation of Water-Mirror, Chichiri image song from Fushigi Yuugi.