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For the One You Love: Epilogue

I seem to like using the depressing Asch icon for story ends, despite them not being nearly that depressing for the most part.  Hm.  Ah, well.  Poor Asch.  Anyway, it's short, but here's the epilogue.

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 Chapter 8
Disclaimer: Gundam Wing belongs to Sunrise and Bandai. I don't own it and make no claim to.

Epilogue: For the One You Love

Here he was again, standing at the foot of Duo’s grave.

His family, much larger this time around, left him alone here. Leyna and Relena hadn’t stopped crying since the funeral and it was easy to see that little Duo had been devastated as well. Though, the young man rarely let on that he was.

Heero had sent them back. They didn’t need to stay here. It would just depress them more and Duo wouldn’t want that.

This time it was real. Not that the last time had been any less real to Heero, but now it was a fact. Duo was dead. No mistaking it this time. Not some clever ploy by Duo to return back to the old days. He was really dead this time.

So many things had changed since the last time Heero had stood here. So many years had passed. Little Duo was in college now, his enthusiasm in the classical period as keen as ever. Leyna was showing interest in law and she would make a fine lawyer. Relena had been nominated for president, but was relieved when she lost the race. Life moved on, never pausing in its eternal dance.

Heero was older now than he was then. He understood life and his feelings much better now. Understood Duo much better now. He had no questions this time around.

Duo had been happy. While Heero couldn’t ignore the pain that always resided in the other man’s heart, most of that had been ebbed away with time. Duo had no regrets. He had spent his last days in the sunlight and he almost out shone the sun itself.

The other pilots had all come by. In fact, many people that Heero hadn’t seen in years came to visit. Duo’s funeral had been a grand affair, for Duo had brightened many people’s lives. There was lots of talk of old times, none of it painful.

Heero liked to think Duo would have enjoyed it, had he been there.

It was peaceful time. No storm of emotions, no searing questions. Was this because he understood Duo better? Or maybe that Duo had been happy at the moment of death was the reason.

He’d gone out fighting. Terrorists had attacked a meeting of the World Nation (would there ever be an end to them?). It was largely because of Duo’s efforts that everyone but him had managed to escape safely.

Maybe that was why Heero was willing to let Duo go peacefully this time. Maybe.

It was a brilliantly sunny day, just like last time. Heero was glad for the sunlight. It had meant so much to Duo those last few years. Their friendship had meant so much to Duo those last few years...

Heero felt Quatre’s presence behind him. He didn’t turn to look at his old friend, preferring to keep the illusion solitude just a little longer. These peaceful hours had become so rare.

He was grateful for Quatre’s concerns. Heero guessed that Wufei and Trowa weren’t too far off either. It was easy to forget self-worth at times and his friends were a constant reminder that his life was precious. It was the life that Duo wanted to protect...

But Quatre and the others needn’t have worried. Heero wasn’t going to close up this time. He didn’t have Duo to rely on anymore, so he couldn’t afford to. And that to close up like that would have been the last thing Duo wanted...

Besides, Heero had missed out on much by closing himself up.

He shut his eyes briefly, just feeling the sunlight. There was Duo. His memory was there, every time Heero closed his eyes.

They were both working on evacuating the politicians. Partners again, just like so long ago. Duo had been excited, as opposed to Heero’s calmness, though adrenaline was ringing through both of their ears. Duo had seemed so alive and vibrant...

Then the fighting broke out close to them.

Heero, get everyone outta here! I’m going up ahead.

Don’t do that, Heero had silently begged. There’s too many. If you go, you won’t come back. You know that.

Shots rang down the hall, earning a few screams from the civilians.

No choice. I’ll see ya later, buddy!

Duo gave him one last smile before turning away. It was the last one Heero would ever see.

“Heero...” Quatre said softly.

Heero stood up, breathing deeply, eyes still closed. Duo’s grin never vanished from his mind’s sight.

He opened them then, turning to smile at Quatre. It wasn’t as lively as Duo’s smile (Heero doubted his smile ever could be) but the peaceful soft smile that still startled his friends when they saw it occasionally. Everyone but Duo.

This time, Quatre was visibly taken aback by it, not having been what the blond was expecting at all. But he returned it warmly with a gentle smile of his own, something much more natural than Heero’s. It held a small amount of sadness, just as Heero’s own smile had.

Heero looked back at the grave one last time before turning away. The things Duo had done for the one he loved...

“Let’s go.” Quatre nodded.

Thank you, Duo.


Two Quotes of the Chapter this time...

"All love is unrequited, Steven. All of it."
-- Susan Ivanova, Babylon 5

"The things you do for the one you love."
--Duo Maxwell, Gundam Wing