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For the One You Love: Chapter 8

For the One You Love
A Gundam Wing Fanfiction
By: Memory Dragon
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7
Disclaimer: Gundam Wing belongs to Sunrise and Bandai. I don't own it and make no claim to.
Notes:  Well, this was the fic that I let the readers chose the ending to.  XD  Yup.  I couldn't decide how I wanted to end it, so I left it up to them.  They decided they wanted the happy, sappy ending along with Duo's death as a follow up.  It was actually kind of fun, letting everyone chose what they wanted, though I don't think I'll do it again...  Usually I try to have the ending already plotted (because that's the important bit), but since this was such an unorganized fic to begin with, I just went with it.  Still, it's good to know readers can choose their own ending every once and a while and I end up satisfied with it.

Chapter 8: No kind of words are enough

It was a wonderful day.

Heero looked up from his student’s tests to watch his children and Duo. For once, they were actually working on their studies. No doubt because they’ve already hatched some practical joke to play on him or Relena later... He smiled briefly.

Duo was wonderful with the children. Little Duo (who wasn’t really so little anymore) and Leyna both adored their ‘Uncle.’ Little Duo was in high school now, with Leyna in the sixth grade... It’s astonishing how fast they grew up.

No less astonishing was how well the two siblings got along. Maybe it helped that the more annoying of the two had come first, or maybe it was just that no one could say no to Leyna. She had her mother’s serenity and grace, brilliant student as well. So quiet and calm most of the time (the only time she wasn’t was when acting in sync with her brother and Duo. Sigh.). Not to mention she could do all sorts of math problems from algebra to calculus in her head. Duo called her the “little genius.”

Little Duo could be a remarkable student when he applied himself. Not that Heero begrudged him for not getting his sister’s straight A’s. The history teacher understood that his son decided that there were other things in life besides studying. Little Duo was a huge baseball fan and played right field. With sports as one of his passions, he couldn’t let his grades drop too low, but they wouldn’t be their highest either.

Of course, Duo was always quick to point out that the only reason Heero was fine with Little Duo’s grades was because of his perfect scores in history.

Little Duo never quite lost his obsession for the Odyssey. And that obsession grew to reflect the entire classical period. Little Duo knew more Greek and Roman antiquity than Heero did and he found the rest of history nearly as fascinating.

With them today was little Duo’s girl friend of four months, Sandy. She didn’t talk nearly as much as little Duo (Heero doubted even the older Duo could do that) and she was a nice girl. One of those debaters. Duo had been right about his son. He was very popular with girls, though he wasn’t one with a constant flux of girlfriends. Rather, he stayed faithful to one for a long time.

Duo hadn’t changed much. Not really changed much since Heero’s wedding even. Still loud, outgoing, and playful. Still with a ridiculously long braid and wearing all black. But there were some things new to Heero that he had just never noticed before. Like how world weary Duo could be when he thought no one was looking and the sadness that never truly left his eyes...

But in some ways he had changed and for the better. Not much is able to withstand time’s ebbs and flows without changing, after all. Not even history, which was in a constant transformation depending on the culture.

Duo was much happier now than before, that was obvious even to Heero. Duo wasn’t hiding anything anymore and that freed him. While at first it had been awkward and the road a little rough, that was only to be expected. Soon their friendship grew by leaps and bounds. Heero could honestly say that he now knew Duo as well as the braided man knew him.

To think that Duo had been so close to him all those years...

Heero shook his head and fixed his glasses from falling down his nose. These test weren’t going to grade themselves. He had to get these done before the tutoring session later today then a dinner with one of Relena’s political allies that she wanted him there for...

“Hey, Dad!”

Heero looked up again. All four of the ‘children’ (Duo had never grown out of his childhood as far as Heero was concerned. The other man seemed quite proud of this) were now crowed around his desk. All four with a slightly evil glint in their eyes... Heero sighed. Best get whatever they were planning over with.

“Yes, Duo?”

“We’ve gotta do a project on OZ and its positive and negative influences during the war.” Heero waited expectantly, groaning inwardly as he saw where this was going. “Could-ya explain it to us, Dad?”

Heero glared at the innocently whistling Duo. “Your Uncle could explain it just as well as I could.”

“Aw, come on Heero. You know you’re much better at that kind of thing than me.”

“Please, Dad!”

“We want to hear you, Daddy!”

“Please, Mr. Yuy?”

He sighed again. These were unfair odds. Setting all three of them on him at once... And then he thought of revenge. “Alright. But while I’m doing that, your Uncle Duo can grade my tests.”

The older Duo blanched. “What? Hey, hold up! That’s your job, buddy! I don’t know half that stuff!”

“The answer sheet’s right here. These have to get done tonight. If you don’t do them, then I can’t explain OZ sufficiently...” Heero left it hanging. Now three sets of eyes turned imploringly to Duo, who snatched up the tests and took a seat off to the side grumbling.

Heero smirked. The humor wasn’t lost on the kids either. Their laughter earned the three of them glares from the older man. The said glares were still no where near as affective as Heero’s.

Yes, it was a wonderful day.

* * *

I took a few minutes from grading Heero’s tests to listen to him talk. It’s nice to hear Heero’s voice. What’s even better is not having to hide the fact that I enjoy it.

It’s amazing the difference of life in the shadows and in the sunlight. I can’t think of why I didn’t at least try it before. I mean, I really can’t think of any better way to spend my life.

I’ll admit. I was honestly a huge idiot for all those years. Not that I regret them at all, but I was a fool. Probably still am. Guess some things just never change no matter how long it’s been. Ah well. Even an idiot’s gotta get something right every once in a while and I think I finally have.

You know, I never would have guessed that Heero would be the key to my new life. Back during the wars, and even afterward to some extent, emotions often confused him. I’m proud to say I was one of the people he let help him adjust to a life of peace. It wasn’t easy, but is anything? And now it’s the other way around. He’s the one who taught me how to live outside of the shadows.

Lord only knows where he got the patience to put up with me, but he does. All those times I wanted to sneak back behind my masks, he wouldn’t let me. And I’m glad all my barriers are gone now. I never realized how constricting they were. They kept other people out, but they also kept me inside.

I don’t think Heero realizes quite how much that meant to me. It was one of the reasons I can’t just move on, though I suppose I could if I really wanted to. But loyal to the end I’ll stay, and I think he’s finally grasped that fact. Though it certainly was amusing, watching Relena and Dorothy scheming at his bidding, trying to set me up. They get points for trying.

It was rocky at first. Really rocky, trying to live normally again. Those were the times I wanted to crawl back into the shadows the most, but Heero never stopped trying. Never let me stop trying either. I didn’t think it was possible, but I love him even more for that.

I still play protector, but I’ve let the others in on my network. Wufei and Sally appreciate it the most, actually. Can’t believe I didn’t think of that in the first place. They are part of the Preventors after all. But then, I’m not known for my brilliance, rather a lack there of. But now I’ve got the ever clear-headed Wufei to point out my obvious oversights, so I’m actually much better at protecting Heero and Relena then I ever have been.

And naturally, the trouble little Duo, Leyna, and I have gotten into was worth all of it... Some of the pranks we’ve pulled were priceless. Which reminds me, I’ll have to plot revenge sometime soon. Making me grade his tests. Heero Yuy may have my heart, but no one can pull something like that on the God of Death and get away with it! Just you wait, Heero...

Suddenly, someone hit me in the arm. I looked up to find the aforementioned love of my life glaring at me. “What?”

“I said, those tests aren’t going to get graded while you sit there and stare into space.”

I gave him nasty look which earned me a slight smirk from Heero and laughs from the kids. This mean war. I’ll grade these stupid tests, but you’re going down, buddy...

I made sure they heard my grumbling as I went back to work. Let them think they’ve won. No one can win against Death. And no one can keep the God of Death from his victim. Not even a pair of beautiful Persian blue eyes that gave me a world full of happiness I had never known before. And I can’t let his ego get too big for besting me, after all. Heaven only knows that the world doesn’t need a Heero Yuy with a big head.

The things I do for the one I love.

* * *

Relena Yuy sighed, rubbing her shoulders as she put her house key down on the table. It had been a long night of open debate, and this time no Duo to crack jokes at her afterward. But she was glad she had told him to take the night off. He seemed to be stretching himself as thin as she was lately. Although, how she had managed without him before was beyond her. Wether he was imitating some stubborn old windbag or poking fun at her own speaking, Duo always seemed to find a way to make her smile after a hard day.

Relena supposed she should feel at least a little bit of rivalry towards Duo, but she didn’t. Not in the slightest. In fact, she did not even feel awkward around him as she thought she would when she first found out he was still alive. Most normal people would feel threatened almost. So why didn’t she?

She had told her thoughts about this to Duo once and he just laughed. “You stopped being ‘normal’ the moment you started stalking Heero,” was what he said. The two still seemed unrelated to Relena, but she supposed he had a point. She was probably a special case. What she didn’t understand how anyone could ever feel differently.

That Duo was just as much as a special case as she was also a factor. It was impossible to count how many times he had saved her life. From her knowledge of human nature, this was far from the usual activities of the shunned lover and he was one of her dearest friends as well. Perhaps one of the reasons she could not comprehend what a more ‘normal’ person would be feeling is because they both recognized that they shared something remarkable. That two people could share something like that negated any feelings of animosity that she might have developed towards Duo.

They shared the feeling of love for Heero Yuy.

Her husband was the center of both of their worlds. In a way, they could understand each other much deeper than anyone else could because of this. She alone knew how much Heero meant to Duo, for he meant the same to her. Relena could not begrudge him for loving Heero anymore than she could hate herself for it.

It was purest chance that she ended up as the object of Heero’s affections. Maybe fate had some hand in it as well, but she as well beyond her childhood’s romantic notions of fate. Relena could only pray that she could have been as strong as Duo was if things had been the other way around.

She checked briefly on her children, two of the greatest joys her life had ever been graced with. Sleeping peacefully, both of them. There was school tomorrow and for once little Duo was not still awake. He only went to bed early for exams in history... Relena smiled softly before closing his door. Little Duo was almost a perfect cross-breed of her husband and their ‘Uncle.’ How that was even possible, she could not say, but the truth remained.

Next she checked the room she shared with Heero. But all of her soft steps had been for not, she noticed upon further inspection. That only left one place that he could be...

Moving silently through the house, Relena only paused to retrieve a blanket out of the closet. The pacifist slowly opened the door to peek her head in when she finally reached her love’s study.

There he was. Asleep at his desk again, just as always. Her heart fluttered when she saw him, glasses falling down his nose, papers underneath his arm proving to be student essays rather than one of his own projects. But something was not right with the picture she carried in her mind from previous times...

Heero already had a blanket draped over his shoulders.

Curious, she moved further into the room. It was that moment that Relena noticed a small crack in the wall. Moving quietly, so not to disturb Heero, she walked over to the wall in question. It wasn’t a crack, but a door! This must be one of Duo’s hiding places...

She slid her fingers through the crack and pushed gently in the opposite direction. The door eased open and Relena was finally able to see the small compartment behind it. Yes, there would be use for her blanket after all...

For there was Duo, sleeping just as peacefully as her beloved. It was a small space, but Duo managed to stretch out his bad leg while his other was folded neatly underneath him. The light from the brightly flashing monitor in front of him chased the shadows away from his figure, revealing his still handsome features. With his head leaned against the wall like that, Duo was the picture of innocence. None of the mischief was there now, nor the sadness that haunted him by day.

She felt a warm smile play across her lips as Relena gently covered the other man in her life with the blanket she had brought for Heero. He didn’t stir. After that, she closed the compartment completely, so the space would still remain secret. Giving her husband a quick kiss on the cheek, she turned off the lights and left the room.

~TBC~

Quote of the Chapter:

"I love you to the point it breaks me.
No kind of words are enough.
If it's a love that can't be granted,
then I'll wish only for your happiness.
"
-- Translation of Although It's Painful... Always, Tasuki image song from Fushigi Yuugi.