Author : Akuma
Disclaimer : The boys are not mine.
Pairings: 2+1
Rating: PG 13
Warning : yaoi, sap, the rest is secret! (I can't put the warning without opening the plot story)

Confusion of the Heart + Part 5

Duo opened his eyes and quickly shut them closed as the brightness assaulted them.

"Duo, can you hear me?"

"Hmm, Heero?" Duo slowly opened his eyes. As his eyes adjusted to the light, he could see someone bend over him.

"No, it's me, Quatre." Duo finally could see clearly. He looked at Quatre. Trowa was beside the blond, studying him. Duo was then aware of his surroundings. He was on his bed. What was he doing here?

"Hn, you're finally awake, Maxwell." The American pilot turned his head and saw Wufei walked in, bringing a bowl of soup. "Here, eat this."

Duo realized then that he was very hungry. With Quatre's help, Duo managed to sit up and lean against the headboard. He then took the bowl from Wufei and quickly ate it. As he ate, Duo noticed Wufei taking a seat on Heero's bed. Trowa was leaning against the wall across from his bed and Quatre sat on his bed with him. Something was missing. No, someone was missing.

"Where's Heero?"

"He went out this morning. What happened, Duo?" Quatre answered.

Duo frowned. What had happened?? He seemed to be forgetting something big. Let's see....Heero....Suddenly the image of Heero, redden cheek and bleeding mouth, flashed in his mind and Duo remembered. "Heero!" He shouted and straightened his body, almost spilling his soup in the process. "Where's he, Quatre? Is he okay?"

"I don't know where he is, Duo. Calm down. And what do you mean by asking if he's okay?" Quatre began to worry.

"I ...I...." Duo couldn't bring himself to tell his friends what had he done to Heero. "Didn't you see his face, Quatre??"

Quatre frowned. "I haven't seen him since last night, Duo. This morning, when I came out from my room, I found a note on my door. It was from Heero, here read it." Quatre pulled out the note from his pocket.

Duo snatched the paper right away and began to read it.

Quatre

Duo had a fever last night. Don't worry, his fever had ceased this morning, but I can't stay with him, so I hope you will take care of him.

Heero

His hands trembled as he read the letter. The American pilot had this feeling that he would never see Heero again. Duo put down the letter and looked at his comrades. "He didn't tell you where he went?" As the three shook their heads, Duo's face fell miserably.

"What had happened, Duo? Is Heero okay?" Quatre was really worried now.

"I don't know, Quatre. I don't know." Duo shook his head. He was worried about Heero but he didn't know what to do right now. What would he tell Heero? And how could he explain his behaviors to Heero if he was confused with them himself?

"You had known it, didn't you?" Trowa's voice penetrated Duo's ears. The braided pilot looked up and saw Trowa looking at him in his usual expressionless manner.

"What?"

"You know who Hitoe really is, don't you?"

Duo widened his eyes. "You know?"

Trowa nodded and looked at Wufei. Duo followed Trowa and looked at Wufei, confused. He couldn't believe it when Wufei nodded and spoke up, "I know too, Maxwell."

"You both know?" Duo spoke weakly.

"I know too, Duo." Duo looked at the blond in front of him in disbelief.

"How?" The word was spoken in despair.

"I had my suspicion when I noticed that every time you went out to meet Hitoe, Heero also disappeared from the safe house. And then later Trowa convinced me of my suspicion."

Duo looked at Trowa questioningly. "I knew it on the day Heero started wearing his turtleneck shirt. I saw him caressing something beneath his turtleneck when he thought no one was paying attention to him. Did you give him your cross?"

Duo nodded weakly and turned to Wufei.

"I knew it when you told us her name." The Chinese pilot said, then he noticed the confused look on Duo's face and explained further. "I studied Japanese years ago. Same as Hitoe, which means 'single', Heero means 'one' and judging from his reaction as I asked you about the girl's feature, I was convinced that the girl was Heero."

The Deathscythe pilot slumped back against the headboard and let out a despairing laugh. " So it was only me who didn't recognized that she was really him? How stupid....."

"But you know now. How did you found out, Duo?" Quatre asked, half afraid of the unpredictable reaction he would get.

"I found his wig." Duo smiled bitterly and looked at his friends as anger began to rise inside him again. "I don't believe this. You knew about this the entire time and yet you didn't tell me? I thought we're friends!"

"We are. And that's why we didn't tell you." Trowa spoke up.

Duo looked sharply at Trowa. "What do you mean?"

"You were so happy, and so was Heero. I caught him smiling once, Duo." Quatre decided to help his lover.

An image of Hitoe smiling at him flashed in Duo's mind. The American pilot bowed his head. "You know that this couldn't last forever."

"We know. Either you would recognize she was Heero or Heero would tell you. But when it does happen, we wished you two would have realized your feelings for each other." Quatre answered.

Duo looked at Quatre bitterly. "Why do you think that I have feelings for him, Quatre?"

Quatre was surprised. "You don't?"

Duo looked away. "I only think of him as my friend."

"No, you don't." Trowa spoke up, making Duo look at him in surprised. " Your feelings toward him are more than mere friendship." When Duo wanted to protest, Trowa held up his hand, gesturing Duo to stop. "Hear me out first, then you can say whatever you want."

Duo closed his mouth, biting his lower lip, and started a staring contest with Trowa. After several minutes, the American pilot finally nodded his head in agreement.

"Okay, I'll point to you some facts you didn't realize. Tell me if I'm right or wrong in my observations. First things first, are you opposed to relationships between individuals of the same gender?"

"If I was, I wouldn't be staying with you and Quatre."

"True. So, have you realized that you, yourself, don't have any objections in being part of a homosexual relationship?"

As Duo nodded, Trowa took a comfortable pose before continuing with the rests of his questions.

"Every time you have to share a room, you want it to be with Heero, right?"

Duo nodded.

"Every time you need a partner, you'll ask for him, right?"

Duo nodded again.

"If you only see the three of us, you'll ask where Heero is, right?"

Again, Duo nodded.

"If we sit down in the living room, you'll always sit next to Heero, right?"

Duo nodded. Trowa took a breath, taking a further step in his questions.

"Whenever you come home, the first thing you'll do is search for Heero, yes?"

Duo thought about that for awhile and then nodded weakly.

"You'll feel something was missing if Heero wasn't with you?"

Duo nodded.

"Do you feel happy when you see him, when he's around you?"

Again, a nod. Trowa swallowed, these were the last steps.

"Did you look for the similarities between Hitoe's and Heero's feature?"

Surprised, Duo looked at Trowa. When he saw Trowa looking seriously at him, Duo nodded his head again.

"Did you realize Hitoe and Heero act very similar?"

Duo nodded.

"Did you ever imagine you were with Heero while you were with Hitoe or vice versa?"

This time, Duo bit his lower lip before nodding.

"Do you want Hitoe to be with you all the time?"

Duo nodded.

"Do you care for Hitoe?"

Again a nod.

"Do you want Hitoe in your life?"

Duo nodded again.

"Do you love her?"

Duo looked at Trowa again, surprised and slightly angry but Trowa looked at him calmly. "Okay I rephrase it a bit. Did you love her?"

Bitting his lips, Duo nodded.

"Do you care for Heero?"

Duo nodded.

Final question, Trowa prayed that Duo could answer it. "Do you love Heero?"

Duo didn't nod.

"Duo? Do you?"

Duo still didn't nod, making Trowa feel disappointed as the braided pilot still denied his feelings.

"Duo?"

Duo shook his head. "I don't know Trowa, I really don't know."

Trowa sighed. He had done what he could. It was up to Duo now. "This is your decision. I can't help you anymore."

Quatre spoke up. "You loved Hitoe. Why can't you love Heero?"

Duo smiled bitterly. "Quatre, even if I do love him, I think it's too late for that. He must hate me right now........ After what I had done to him."

"What did you do to him?" Quatre feared that he didn't want to know the answer.

Still smiling bitterly, Duo answered. "What do you think, Quatre?"

At that moment, his uchuu no kokoro gave the Arabian an image of what Duo was picturing in his mind. An image of Heero lying on the bed with a red cheek and bleeding mouth. The blond one gasped. "Oh Allah. You didn't ...."

Duo nodded. "Yes, I did. I hurt him, Quatre. I bit his lips until they were bleeding and I slapped him, hard. I also said many harsh words to him, trying to hurt him like he hurt me."

Wufei eyed the American pilot. He was shocked by everything Duo recounted to have done to the Japanese, but he kept his disapproval to himself when he saw the despair in those violet eyes. He knew the American pilot regretted everything he had done. "What did you do to him after that, Maxwell??"

"Huh?" Duo looked at Wufei.

"After you beat him, what did you do? Left him?"

"I don't know, Wufei. I fainted after I realized what had I done to him. And when I woke up, I saw Quatre and Trowa beside me."

Wufei contemplated for a minute before he spoke up, "Maxwell, if he hated you, he wouldn't have taken care of you while you sick with a fever, or asked Quatre to look after you. Why do you think he left only after you broke your fever? No matter what happened, he would make sure of your safety first."

"Well, he could have done that because I'm a gundam pilot. He needs my help to complete his missions, and after all, accomplishing the missions is his top priority." Duo spoke sarcastically.

Wufei didn't answer. He just looked at the American pilot who looked back at him squarely. After one minute of staring, the braided pilot looked away. That was when Wufei spoke up, "You know that isn't true. You're his top priority, Maxwell."

"Oh yeah? Why did he leave then? He doesn't want to see me, that's why." Duo still tried to debate, though deep inside his heart, he knew the truth. Heero left him not because of a mission.

"I think I have a suspicion as to why he left you." Trowa spoke up.

"Why, Trowa?" Quatre also wanted to know why Heero left Duo.

Trowa shook his head. "It's just my suspicion. I think you'll find the answer here, Duo." Trowa held up a sealed envelope. He walked to Duo and gave it to the braided pilot. "I found it on Heero's bed. It's for you."

Duo quickly tore the envelope and took out the paper inside. As he read through the words, Duo felt wave after wave of pain stab his heart and regretted every harsh word he had said.

Duo
I know you feel disgusted and hate me. But at least please read this letter. With this letter, I want to tell you what I can't say verbally.

You can blame me for everything I have done. But I want you to know that I am really thankful for this past week. You made me feel cared for and loved and gave me some childhood memories. It was the happiest week in my life.

I understand that you are angry and will hate me for life. You have every right to hit me because I am not sorry for tricking you into this. But I never thought I would hurt you this bad. You are wrong, I can't make you happy.

As you wish, I will not bother you anymore. You will not see me or hear from me again for I will have Dr J assign me to single missions. Please tell Trowa, Quatre, and Wufei that I care and respect them. ...even with a letter, I can't bring myself to write all I wanted to say to you. Only three words but still I can't say nor write it. I am really sorry that Hitoe could never say those words to you. But then again this is my last chance so I will try it.

.....Aishiteru Duo. You may not want to know the meaning. It's nothing, just wanting to prove that I can write it, that I still could feel. You can ignore it.

Heero

PS : I hope you will meet a girl who deserves to wear the cross. Thank you for letting me wear it if only for a moment. I just.....I ....motto.....motto soba ni itai, Duo.........

The cross! Unconsciously, Duo ran his hand over his chest and felt the metal beneath his clothes. He took it out slowly and brought his head down to the metal. It was his cross, the one he put on Hitoe, the one he saw on Heero's chest. As he stared at the cross on his hand, Duo could hear his conversation with Hitoe echoing in his mind.

// "Love most?" //

// "Yeah, the one I want to spend my life with."//

// "You'll feel disgusted and hate me when you know what I have done to be with you."//

Duo felt something wet at the corner of his eyes. It slid down his cheek and fell on the cross. The braided pilot wiped the tear away from the cross and caressed it for some time. Heero knew the consequence when his identity was revealed but he still.......

//I can't make you happy.//

"He left because he thought he had hurt me and because he thought I didn't like boys." Duo murmured and then looked at Trowa, who nodded in return. The tall pilot understood how Heero felt for he too once felt like that towards Quatre. He would rather die than see Quatre hurt because of his feelings for him. Luckily, Quatre had told him his feelings first and they ended happily. But Duo was not Quatre and the braided pilot didn't understand his own feelings. This was a problem. A problem that might not be able to end happily.

[part 4] [part 6] [back to Akuma's fic]