Things You Should Know:
Uh, yeah... Well, this is odd. I love Duo. I really do. So why do I feel the need to make him miserable? I don't know. Anyway...
Song is"Losing My Religion" by REM...
Other than that, there is... hmm... only shonen ai, really, plus a horking load of OOC, in my opinion, but I like it this way. Sort of. The last part is the best, but doesn't make a damn bit of sense without the first two parts. So you must suffer. Oh yeah, and angst, angst, ANGST all over the place. But no death, I promise. Just a very close call.
And without further ado (cuz really, how much ado do you need?), on with the fanfic!
by: Aoe

(Pendulum)
Descending

He made me angry again. I promised myself I wouldn't let him do that anymore, but I've never been that great at keeping promises. And he has a real knack for pissing me off.

He would snort at that idea, and say it's more the other way around, but that's just because he doesn't know me well enough to understand.

Heero-fucking-perfect-Yuy doesn't need friends, after all. I slam the door to our shared bedroom, and it feels good, so I slam it a few more times for the hell of it, but stop myself before I can do structural damage. Wouldn't want to trash Quatre's place.

Another consideration Heero would sneer at.

He is just the absolute center of his own bizarre little universe, you know? Nobody and nothing that is not directly related to his missions has any real importance or meaning for him.

Asshole.

He's not the center of the universe. The world does not revolve around Heero Yuy.

Life is bigger
It's bigger than you

I told him that, just a few minutes ago. Opened my big stupid mouth and bellowed across the table at him.

He just stared at me like I'd lost what few brain cells he had credited me with possessing and went back to eating.

Asshole.

I throw myself facedown on one of the twin beds, pounding my fist against the mattress. Where does he get off, telling me I'm being oversensitive? What the hell would he know about that? What the hell does he know about me?

Nothing, that's what!

And you are not me

God knows I've tried to be his friend... I cease pounding the bed as a sudden familiar weariness overtakes me.

I've tried so hard.

It makes me so... tired.

I'm not even sure when getting past his walls, inside his shell, got elevated from a matter of curiosity to an obsession, but it's long passed that turning point. I can't walk away from him, now. I can't let it go.

Lately, I've started to get a little desperate, I guess. But he ignores me so determinedly. I've been reduced to some excessive tactics, just to try and shock a reaction out of him.

The lengths that I will go to

I need to get a reaction from him. Any reaction. It was almost better when he used to hit me when I annoyed him. At least he acknowledged me. Now... nothing. Not even that old, brooding, simmering anger that used to be in his eyes whenever he looked at me.

The distance in your eyes

Tonight, though... I may have made some mistakes. May have crossed a line or two, said some things that perhaps should have remained unsaid.

Oh no I've said too much

I have to admit I walked right into it. I shouldn't have pushed so hard, shouldn't have let him push my buttons. He's too damn good at it.

I set it up

I can still see all their faces. I was just frozen, rooted to the spot for a moment in time, as the horrible truth clarified in my brain, as I processed the things I finally forced him to say, that everybody knew, but nobody, not even Heero or I, acknowledged...

They all just stared at me. It was such a weird feeling, being the absolute center of attention in that intensely uncomfortable silence I created for myself.

That's me in the corner
That's me in the spotlight

I flip over on my back, feeling the thin gold chain pinch the skin of my neck. I straighten it gently out of habit, then in a sudden fit of renewed temper, yank sharply, snapping the fragile chain. I hold the small crucifix up to catch the moonlight streaming in the window.

Stupid. Why do I still have this thing? I don't believe in the god it's supposed to represent. I never did, really. For me, it stands for something else. Faith, not in the Christian God, but in dreams. In hope. My secret religion, the belief in a better tomorrow waiting somewhere around the corner. There has to be, doesn't there?

Maybe not. I rub my thumb over the warm metal, wondering if I still believe.

Losing my religion

Maybe I'm crazy. I know I'm obsessed, so maybe I really have gone that one step further and become completely unbalanced. I sure can't rationally explain some of the things I've done or said lately, or even the way I've been acting when Heero's around. I don't know why I'm so focused on him. Maybe I just need an anchor, someone to connect with in the middle of this crazy war. Whatever my screwed up reasons, I do need to connect with him. Desperately. So I'm always running after him, chasing him. But I'm always just a few steps behind.

Trying to keep up with you

It's getting so hard to keep trying in the face of constant rejection.

And after tonight, well... I guess there's not much point in trying anymore.

And I don't know if I can do it

And if I can't have him... what have I got?

Big, fat nothing.

I feel a sickening lurch, almost like vertigo, at the thought. I have nothing. Quatre and Trowa have each other. Wufei can't stand me. And...

And that's it.

My hand has clenched into a fist around the crucifix, and I finally notice how hard I am gripping it as a thin trickle of blood oozes down my wrist.

I shouldn't let myself think these things. I shouldn't ever let myself think this much.

Oh no I've said too much

Maybe... maybe I just didn't use the right words yet. Maybe I've confused him, or maybe he's just being defensive. I can understand that. And I shouldn't have started yelling. Nothing productive ever happens once I start yelling.

The thing is, one way or another, I've told him almost everything already. There's really only one thing left to say, and I don't know if I'm ready to say it, or if he is ready... or even wants... to hear it.

But maybe... maybe I should have said it. Laid it all on the line.

I haven't said enough

I close my eyes, seeing him in my mind, running through the hundreds, thousands of memory images I have carefully preserved. I am not permitted pictures, they could be found by our enemies and used against us, so memories have to serve.

But memories are imperfect. Memories can be altered in the mind's eye. After all, in the end, we all see what we want to, don't we?

So maybe that explains those few precious images I have of Heero with his face softened by a barely-glimpsed smile, the faint sound of laughter echoing down the hall when I know he's in our room alone, the one or two times after he knocked me to the floor that his hand twitched towards me like he wanted to help me back up...

I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

I open my eyes again, stare blindly at the blood already drying on my wrist, the events of the evening reasserting themselves in my mind. Actually, it's been going on for a while now, I guess. The last couple of weeks, while we've all been holed up in this house together, I've been hanging around him, trying to get him to talk to me, look at me, even yell at me. It's just been getting more intense the last few days, and tonight at dinner, I just couldn't seem to shut myself up. My mouth runs away with me sometimes. Sometimes I really want to be quiet, I know I'm pissing everybody off and just making him hate me more, but I just have to keep talking. Pushing. I need a response. Any response, positive or negative.

I got one.

It took me nearly an hour of verbally dancing around the subject of plans for the evening. All right, be honest with yourself, jackass, you were trying to work up the courage to ask him out.

And he figured that out.

"Are you trying to ask me out, Duo?" He asked me in that flat, cold monotone of his. I should have known then, I should have just said no and let it drop.

I said yes.

Every whisper
Of every waking hour I'm
Choosing my confessions

And he said... he said...

I roll off the bed to my feet with a curse, heading for the bathroom. I need a nice, long relaxing soak to deal with this.

A few minutes later I slide into the steaming water, immersing myself up to my chin.

He said no. He said my "little crush" was both stupid and irritating, and I should wake up and realize he wasn't really what I wanted.

Just said that, flat out, in front of everybody. I could only stare at him.

He then told me that he didn't know why I was so fixated on him, but that for my own sake, I should really get over it.

Get over it.

That's when I lost it.

Of course I got defensive. I was as embarrassed as hell, especially when it began to sink in that the things I'd said over the last hour painted a pretty damn clear picture of my feelings. And he tells me to get over it.

So I started yelling. I'm not even sure exactly what it was I said, but I know I vehemently denied caring about him at all, because he was such a jerk and treated me like shit, so how could I possibly care about him? And somewhere in there was when I informed him that the world does not revolve around him.

And he just blew the whole thing off. Stared at me for a few minutes, then just went right back to eating. At least the others had the decency to look horrified and shocked.

And I ran.

I close my eyes and hold my breath, pulling my head underwater for a minute, not even caring that I'm getting my hair wet. It's nice under the water, warm and dark and safe. I wish I could hide here forever. Never have to deal with anyone out there. Never have to face my friends' pity and condescension, never have to deal with Heero utterly ignoring me...

How can he? How can he act like I don't even exist, when I spend so much time just trying to stay near him? I'd do anything to just be in the same room with him for an hour a day, or even five minutes. I always want to be with him, watching him, watching over him. He needs somebody to look out for him, you know? And I wanted to be that somebody.

I'm such an idiot.

Trying to keep an eye on you
Like a hurt lost and blinded fool

And now he really knows everything. I really let it all out tonight. I don't know why. It's just that... being cooped up with him these past weeks, it's been getting worse, the need. The desire. This went far beyond friendship and simple lust a long time ago. But he never noticed that.

We probably could have stayed friends if I had just bit my tongue.

Oh no I've said too much

But no. Duo Maxwell never lies, and he never shuts up either. I asked for this.

I set it up

My lungs are starting to burn, so I surface, the air chilly on my wet skin. I stare at the overhead light fixture, and I realize with growing horror that I really have gone too far this time. I said some things in that last hysterical screaming fit that can't be taken back.

If nobody knew exactly how I felt about him before, they could hardly have missed the blatantly obvious message.

Consider this... consider this
The hint of the century

And... and he just...

Ignored it. It didn't mean anything to him. Wasn't even important enough to beat me up over.

So. Now what?

I feel strangely hollow inside. My hand clutches reflexively at the spot over my collarbone, but I left the crucifix back on the bed. It's broken. Like my faith. Like my heart.

I don't know how I let him become so important to me. I thought I'd learned my lesson about investing too much in other people. They always leave me in the end...

But no. This is worse than if he'd died. He rejected me. The others... they may have left, but they didn't want to. He... doesn't want me at all. He doesn't care.

Nobody does. Why should they? I'm just a stupid, weak, useless, big-mouthed street brat. Nothing special. I'm not like him, perfect and beautiful as a marble statue. I'm not like him at all. And so of course he wants nothing to do with me.

But I said it all anyway. And now...

Consider this
The slip that brought me
To my knees, failed

I sink down until the water is just below my nose.

And now.

I sit there in the pleasantly hot water, and I'm still thinking of him, all my precious memories running through my mind, but more than that, all my secret dreams, and worse, my fantasies...

I guess I never really believed they'd come true anyway, but where they used to be a pleasant way to pass the lonely hours, now they are rapidly becoming a torment. They fill my head with images and feelings of closeness, warmth, happiness, comfort, that I will never know. I want... I just want them to stop...

It hurts, and I want it to stop hurting. I want it to stop.

I want it all to stop.

What if all these fantasies
Come flailing around

I dimly realize that I am crying. Normally, this would horrify me, because boys shouldn't cry. But right now, I only distantly register the fact as I sit up in the tub. The single thought absorbing all my attention is that I want it all to stop. I can't go on like this. It just hurts too much, and now I know the pain will never be eased...

I reach out to the drawers under the sink, half-lifting myself out of the tub, shivering in the cool air. It doesn't take me long to find what I'm looking for, a pack of disposable razors obviously left behind by one of Quatre's sisters. They're the cheap plastic kind, and it just takes me a few minutes of careful prying and sliced up fingertips to free the thin slivers of metal from their safe pink plastic housing.

I take one of the small blades in my fingers and stare at it for a moment, wondering briefly if maybe I'm overreacting, going too far. So what if Heero doesn't like me? So what if he never speaks to me again? I'm only fifteen, I have the rest of my life...

To be miserable and alone. It was really more than I ever should have expected that I was lucky enough to have three people love me.

It's not like my life has been overflowing with close companionship since then. All I have are casual acquaintances, people I sort of know, but don't really care about, who don't really care about me either. And I'm tired of that.

I needed Heero to give me something more, but he couldn't, or didn't want to.

So I am alone. I will always be alone.

I shouldn't let myself think this much.

Now I've said too much

My skin is pink from the heat of the water, blood pressure elevated. I grip the little blade tightly and slice quickly and deeply down the length of my forearm. The right way, this time. I almost sneer at the foolish, childish crisscrossing scars across my wrist, where they are usually hidden by my watch. The blood wells up quickly, and I hardly feel any pain from the cut. The blade was sharp enough that it only stings a bit.

I consider doing the other arm, too, just to be thorough, but both my hands are slippery with blood, and I might not make as neat a cut. I don't really want any more pain right now. So I set the blade on the side of the tub amid crimson smears from my fingers, and let my slashed arm sink beneath the water. The cut stings a bit more at the contact, but it's an almost pleasant pain. I watch the blood flow out into the water in lazy spirals, staining it pink.

I am surprised at how quickly my vision starts to darken. I lay back against the tub, settling into the water as my grip on reality starts to fade into blackness.

I think again of Heero, picture him in my mind smiling welcomingly at me, holding his arms out to embrace me...

Oddly enough, for a moment my vision is overlaid by that familiar pair of cobalt eyes, but instead of being filled with warmth and love they are brimming with fear and grief. His voice seems to echo in my mind, strangely ragged with something like panic.

I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

Well, I suppose it only makes sense that I would like to imagine he will react that way.

I know he won't, though.

But that was just a dream
Try... cry... why try?

The sad truth is, if he reacts at all, it will probably be with an irritated frown that there will be one less pilot to complete our missions. Until I can be replaced.

That was just a dream

And for Heero, I know... I can be easily replaced.

Just a dream

Goodbye, Heero.

Just a dream

I loved you.

Dream...

[nadir] [back to Aoe's fic]