author: 0083
genre: AU, and now, in the realm of disbelief
pairings: 1x2, 3x4, 5xM
disclaimer: there is no need for one.
notes: okay, this part is a departure into non-reality in my book. i had to insert some silly drama.. and make things even more complicated. i do apologize for the long wait, it may not be worth it seeing how i FUCKED this up so bad. now, on to fixing what i did..........

Special + Part 15

-The Fourteenth Encounter-

The weather has decided to take the turn for the worst this past week, pelting down cold rain and blowing winds from the arctic. It is late November, but I cannot help but feel that the weather is cheating me out of something wonderful, like clear blue skies that reach out into forever and tart temperatures that make me want to roast chestnuts.

Usually, the weather would not effect me in such a negative way, but I am feeling less than charitable towards anything at all these days. It is a wonder for Heero and I seem to have made up and are now on speaking terms, if not kissing terms, once again and the stack of problems I have are crunched into a ball in the corner of my mind. Why should I be in such a horrible mood this week?

I just have this feeling that something unpleasant is going to occur soon. Maybe it has to do with the fact that Thanksgiving is coming up and I have to go home. I know for a fact that many people appreciate the holidays and love going home for their mother's home cooked meals and their father's advices, and in the past, I loved it too. But this year, the thought of my mother grilling me about who I was dating and when they could meet her.. makes me want to run for the hills.

And the closest thing to hills around here is quite a distance away, so I have a lot of running to do.

My malaise must have rubbed off on my friends, I think, for they have become rather snappish lately as well. Trowa and Quatre had a little lover's tiff and it ended with Trowa spending a night at my place, grousing about the inability of his lover to understand his way of looking at the world. Wufei called in the middle of the work day on Wednesday to whine about the injustice that was women, especially wives.

I am not the only one in the middle of a bad week. That made me feel marginally better since I do hate being the only one hating life.

Funny thing is, I don't really hate my life. In fact, I like the various aspects of my life quite a bit. My work is going splendidly, my family is wonderful, my friends are out of this world and my boyfriend.. well, what can I say about him that is not positive?

I just wish that some aspects of my life did not have to intersect with the other aspects.

I realize that I wish for the oddest things, but I still have not figured out how to fit Heero, my work and my family into a working unit. I am not even sure if there is a way that I can. What would I say about Heero to my firm, anyway? I mean, it is a private issue so they should not have to know about it, but let's talk reality for a moment. What work place does not want to know everything about you? I mean, there is a reason why employers can track and read your email without legal repercussions. They want to know your personal business.

More scary than that, what about my parents? I can't even come up with an excuse for keeping Heero private from them. He is an important part of my life, he takes up a lot of room in my mind and my heart, so why shouldn't my parents know about him?

Massive coronary comes to mind, but never mind that.

Yes, I guess I have not yet put my problems aside as I wished and I seem to be getting a case of ulcers from my stress. However, since there is no solution in sight, I must suffer in peace.

Heero noticed that something was definitely off with me. My friends would have noticed too if they had not been so preoccupied with their respective problems, it was that bad. I wonder, does Heero ever not have problems or what? He seemed to be leading a fairly hassle free existence and it irked me.

Today was a gloomy Saturday, much like the week that had preceded it, but I was in better spirits. Heero and I went out for some coffee which we both drank with an obsessive need, saw a mindless movie about a mindless person who followed an equally mindless plot and then came back to my place to kick up our feet and relax.

That was when it truly hit me, why I was so damned touchy. It was not the parent problem or even the work problem, I have known about them for some time now and was beginning to get my bearings on them.

No, the thing that bothered me more, the thing that I had not even recognized as bothering me, was the fact that Heero was so damned secretive. Oh yes, sure, I knew his favorite color to be purple, his favorite food to be anything with rice and his favorite lazy activity to be walking the park. But really, he had kept some vital shit from me that I had not kept from him.

"Heero," I begin, finally coming to terms with the feeling in my head, "I know almost nothing about you still."

He had the gall to smile at me and I had the nerve to melt in the warmth of it.

"I don't know many things about you either, Duo, but that's why we keep trying to figure each other out, right?"

"That's not what I mean," I say with a hint of frustration in my voice, "you know, I have never been to your place."

"True." Heero says without a hint of emotion or even regret. Does he not realize that we've been dating for nearly three months and I did not even know where he lived? That cannot be normal.

"I have never met any of your friends." I continue, unwilling to let his short answer stop me in my headlong ride into confrontation.

"Also true."

What was he trying to do, frustrate me to the point where I had to throttle him?

"Your friends probably don't even know about me."

I sound a bit childish and petulant, but I really can't help it. How important could I be to him if his friends had not even heard of me, if he had not even taken the time to mention me?

"Not. True."

Heero enunciated his answer carefully, looking into my eyes as he did so. His eyes blazed blue fire, as if daring me to contradict him. I felt relieved. He had mentioned me to his friends, so I could not be that unimportant. But what if he mentioned me only in passing as a friend or some guy he was kind of sort of seeing?

Can I get any more juvenile?

"So," I say quickly to hide my thought processes, "why haven't I met any of them? Why don't I even know their names? Are you hiding me from them?"

He has the sense to look abashed at my line of questioning. I have a very valid set of points here, you know. Three months we've been dating.. Three months longer than any other relationship I have ever had.. hell, I told my mother about him in my own way and my friends know about him. My friends consider Heero as a friend of theirs, too. He was in my life in a very deep sense and had been from the beginning.

So, why shouldn't I be in his life as well? After all, I should not be the only one trying to fit our relationship into my life. He should really try to fit me into his as well.

"I didn't even realize," Heero begins, still looking a bit pained, "that I had not let you in.. I wanted to keep you to myself. My friends would only have intruded."

Ouch. That, my friends, is cold. Why do I say this? Because as I said before, you do not ditch your friends for your new interest. Friends should not and would not intrude into a relationship, they would only support you.

Isn't that right?

"I'm sorry I have not been as open with my life as you have been with yours. I will make plans so that you can meet them."

Could it be this goddamned simple? I say it, I unearth the problem buried deeply within my head and he just solves it with an apology and some words?

I feel let down somehow. I was looking for a fight, the kind that has twitchy eyes, evil glares and ‘I can't believe you said that' kind of phrases. Why would I look for a fight when in the past every time we had a slight disagreement I felt miserable? I'm a fucking masochist, I think. I do love confrontations.

"Right.. I can meet your friends. At least, you can start by telling me who they are."

Is it just my imagination or does Heero look vaguely uncomfortable?

"I.. hmm.."

I quirk my eyebrow in slight surprise for Heero has been reduced to incoherent mumblings. For as long as I have known him, which isn't long but who cares really, Heero has not been verbal but has never been at a loss for words. Were his friends.. strange or something?

"There's Relena."

He said it like he was confessing to a terrible crime.

"And she is your friend."

"Yes." He says with faint traces of guilt in his voice. I can feel the nervous bunnies nibbling at my stomach lining.

"And.. she's important to you."

Gah, this is like pulling a perfectly healthy tooth with tiny forceps from a giant's mouth!

"Yes."

I resist the urge to roll my eyes and decide that more outward showing of curiosity was needed. I shoved him on his shoulders not too gently and gave him a look that bordered on murderous.

"Tell me about her. I told you about Quatre, Trowa and Wufei, didn't I? Fair trade, isn't it?"

"Before I tell you about her.. is it truly imperative that you meet her?"

Heero sounded completely desperate there. As if my meeting her would end life as we knew it on this planet. What was it about her that made him nervous?

"Look Heero, if you don't want me to meet her, why did you even tell me about her? You could've started with friends I had a hope of meeting."

Anger and dread coat my voice, letting Heero know that I am most unhappy about this outcome. What is going on, anyway? I told him what was wrong, he said he'd fix it, and now he wants to find a way to back out from it.

Even if I were not a criminal lawyer, I'd get suspicious.

"Look, Duo," he replies, "I know this is coming across completely wrong. I mean, I have no objections for you meeting Zechs, or Noin or even Dorothy. But Relena.. well.. she's.."

"She is.." I say in encouragement, "what.. scary? Disfigured? Too good for me?"

Heero has his eyes closed, practically clenched shut. He is really, truly nervous about telling me about her and most likely frightened out of his mind about me meeting her. I feel the anger and dread leave my system, leaving only concern behind. What could be so damned bad that he had been reduced to this? Where was my confident, slightly cool but generously warm Heero?

"Not any of that," he says, "not at all. No one is too good for you, if anything, no one is good enough for you."

I'm feeling flattered, but I don't show it since I have this nagging feeling he is buttering me up for something bad.

"The thing is, she's ill."

"Oh?" I say very intelligently.

"She has a very delicate physical and mental constitution."

So Relena is not the healthiest of individuals, but would our meeting really tip her over the edge or something? I mean, I'm not all that unpleasant.

"She thinks we're engaged."

Hold the train, stop the presses, let me off this strange and nauseous ride. I rewind what Heero said just now and replay it over and over to make sure I had not imagined it.

"Whu-a?"

Heero looks chagrined and I know I look like someone had just punched me in the gut with brass knuckles.

"She.. thinks we're engaged.. and has thought so for the past few years."

"But you are gay!"

Okay, I know how to state the obvious. But what a fucking shocker! Heero has a friend who thinks that they are engaged? What the hell?

"I know," he says as he gets up to pace up and down my living room, "everyone knows, except her. We dated in college before I came out.. and she announced to the whole damned world that we were getting married. Then she became so damned sick and she kept saying that the only reason she could hold on was because I was there for her. She still says it. None of us could shatter that for her."

At this point, I pinch myself to make sure that I'm still rooted in reality. I feel like I just leapt into a soap opera, cheesy plot lines and all.

"And.." he continues in a low voice, "she lives with me."

A short intermission must be inserted here for my brain has run away screaming to Tijuana. Can there be a shock so great that it superceded the shock I had when I found out I liked Heero? I had not thought so, but obviously, I was dead wrong.

Just to clarify my current situation: I'm in love with Heero who has a pretend fiancée that happens to live with him.

I'm surprised that my voice functions at all.

"Please," I hear myself say very pleasantly, "if you would, get out."

All said with a smile and a blank stare.

"Duo, I have to explain this.. I meant to tell you, but.. it sounded so utterly ridiculous. It still does."

"I repeat, get out please."

If I have to say it one more time.. the smile is plastered frozen onto my face and my teeth are gritting so hard that I know I'm tearing off enamel.

Heero is damned lucky that I'm in too much shock to be really angry.

"I'm leaving, but promise me you'll hear me out. Please. I can't let you go, not like this, not in any way."

I nod stiffly, still smiling. I watch as Heero leaves and I stare at the space Heero occupied for another hour or so more.

What had just happened? I just wanted to meet his friends and become a part of his life. I wanted to be integrated into his space just as much as he was into mine. But no, I could not leave things alone as usual. I had to go looking for a fight and the end results.. just had to be devastating.

So what if he is not really engaged? So what if he let his friend think that for the sake of keeping her alive or whatever?

The fact was, he kept it from me. This huge, completely integral part of his life, had been kept secret from me.

Now I know why I have not met his friends or been to his place. It was not that he did not think that I was not important, because he has let me know on several occasions that I was a big part of his life. No, it was because there were more important and pressing things in his life than me and I would have gotten in the way.

Just like he got in my way for work.. with my family.. with my life plan.

What can I do now that Heero has dropped this huge bombshell on me? Well, there is only one thing to do, only one thing I can do.

It is time for me to go out and get absolutely, completely and utterly shitfaced.

Thank god for bars.

[part 14] [part 16] [back to 0083's fic]