fic by Aoe
song ("Escape") by Enrique Iglesias

You Can't Escape My Love

Well, I guess this proves I can still do the impossible: I've rendered Duo Maxwell speechless.

Look at him standing there, like a deer in the headlights... Like he's the only one in danger of getting painfully maimed here...

I can see in his eyes that he wants desperately to bolt right now. To just turn and run away, lock himself up in his new house and never come out again, rather than face the mess we've made.

Well, tough. It was really, really hard for me to admit all that stuff I just told him, to him and to myself. So he doesn't get to avoid the issue either, even if it is his all-time specialty.

I love him. And we're both going to have to face that.

You can run, you can hide
But you can't escape my love

He blinks, and I feel a little triumph for at least winning the staring contest. He looks away, looks around, shuffles his feet, clears his throat...

"Heero... " he says slowly, "I... thank you, but... we didn't work, Heero. We made each other miserable," he points out reluctantly.

I just shrug. Now that I've decided where I stand on this issue, I'm not backing down for a wishy-washy argument like that.

"So what? We didn't know what we were doing then," I counter, sweeping aside two years of confusion and frustration and unhappiness with that vast understatement. "To be completely honest, we've never really been on the same wavelength. We always had friction and misunderstandings and personality conflicts... We really don't have that much in common," I admit, watching him frown at me.

"So... you don't think it can work?" he asks slowly, and I fight not to smile, because something in his tone tells me he's not entirely thrilled by that idea.

"I didn't say that at all," I deny calmly, feeling more sure of myself every minute. It's all falling into place inside my head now, it's all starting to make sense... now I just have to make him see it...

"We've been fighting against the current all along," I state flatly. "So it's been a kind of rocky ride. But it doesn't have to be. The same things that we're always fighting about are what attracted us to each other in the first place. The differences... "

He's shaking his head dubiously. I'm not saying it right.

"Look, just... what if we just tried it again? One more time?" I ask, a little plaintively, afraid I'm losing him again already.

Here's how it goes, you and me,
Up and down but maybe this time

"I don't know, Heero," he says reluctantly. "I mean, everybody says opposites attract, but can they really live together?"

"I don't know," I admit candidly. "Maybe it's impossible. But... I want to try again. If we walk away now, can you say you'll never regret it? Do you really think there's no point to even trying anymore?"

He opens his mouth, and I'm so terrified he's going to say ‘yes'... But instead he just closes it again, watching me nervously from behind his long bangs. He always hides behind his hair when he's not sure of himself or the situation.

He's not sure. That means I've got a chance.

We'll get it right, worth the fight
'Cause love is something you can't shake

"But... Heero, we just didn't work," he points out. "Why would it be any different?"

"Because we've already made those mistakes, we won't do it again!" I insist.

He frowns dubiously at me. "Oh, so we can make all new ones?"

I pause and think about it a moment. "Well, probably," I admit. "Considering our track record and personalities."

Now he looks downright miserable, and he's edging toward the door. "I don't want to spend my whole life chained to a mistake, Heero," he says regretfully.

"It's not a mistake," I argue. "It's just... not that easy. We always knew we'd have to work on living together, Duo. We just... didn't work hard enough."

When it breaks
All it takes is some trying

Oh, that pissed him off. I guess he's justified. I think he gave a lot more than I did.

"You want to actually get me a slave collar this time?" he snaps, crossing his arms over his chest.

Why can't I ever make things come out of my mouth the way I mean them?

"No," I say flatly, acknowledging to myself that it just may be too soon to discuss this. Maybe I should just let him think about the things I've said for a while. Maybe I should give him his space. "No collars, no chains... I won't try to lock you up here again. I know... that's a better way to make you leave then letting you have your freedom. That's one mistake I can say I won't make again, Duo. If you want to leave, I won't stop you," I repeat, even though the words almost hurt to say. Even though I want to lock him up in our bedroom and keep him there forever.

I can't do that. Not to him. Or to me. If he wants to go, I have to let him.

If you feel like leaving
I'm not gonna beg you to stay

I have to trust...

If you love something, set it free. If it loves you, it will come back.

I'm... not entirely sure he'd come back.

But I know I'd follow him wherever he went. And maybe, eventually, that would be enough.

But soon you'll be finding
You can run, you can hide
But you can't escape my love

"So... I can just go, if I want?" Duo presses, obviously not sure I'm serious, and maybe upset about something. I've never been that good at reading him. Something I'll have to work on.

"That's what I said," I agree.

He flashes a quirky little grin at me, his eyes uncertain. "I don't know, Heero, you might regret that," he says. "Duo Maxwell is pretty good at running and hiding, you know."

"I know," I reply calmly. His grin falters a little. "But don't think I wouldn't move Heaven and Earth to find you," I add calmly.

You can run, you can hide
But you can't escape my love

He blinks, a little surprised by that declaration. It's not the kind of thing I generally say out loud.

He looks even more nervous now. I definitely should have let this wait a while. But I hate to put things off, or leave things unsaid. We've already gone so long without really talking...

"I... should probably go," he says quietly. "For now," he adds after a moment, shifting his weight to the foot closer to the door.

"Whatever you want," I force myself to reply calmly, when I want to scream in denial. I can't rush this, I can't force him...

"But I'll be here... if you want to talk," I can't help but add, pathetic as it may make me sound. "Maybe you could just... think about us... being together."

He smirks at me, the most ‘Duo' expression I've seen on his face in a long time.

"We lived together for two years, Heero," he reminds me dryly. "That's not exactly something I can put out of my head in a few days."

"Well, I should hope not," I blurt out without thinking.

So, if you go, you should know
It's hard to just forget the past so fast

He surprises me by laughing even as I blush. Maybe because I blush.

When he stops laughing, he looks at me kind of wistfully for a moment, and asks, "Why couldn't you have been like this... before?"

I shrug, not knowing the answer myself. I don't know what made me act like such an ass for so long. I could probably guess, and so could Duo, but who really knows? Still...

"I wasn't so terrible all the time, was I?" I ask, feeling a little wistful myself. If I was never what he wanted, if every minute was torture... then he has no reason to come back. Then I'm just completely wrong for him...

"Well," he says reluctantly, "maybe not all the time. Sometimes you were awful. But... there were some good times, too. Back before you had that stick permanently inserted in your ass."

And surprisingly, I find myself smiling ruefully instead of turning an angry red and saying something nasty in reply.

"So maybe we weren't so far off the mark?" I suggest hopefully. "Good times, bad times... sounds like life to me."

He's not sure he's ready to agree to that. And maybe there were too many bad times to dismiss them so lightly. But he's listening.

We seem to be actually... talking.

It was good, it was bad but it was real

"I don't think we were even close to the bulls-eye," he drawls after a moment, making my heart sink. But then he grins and adds, "But maybe we did hit the board."

"So maybe our aim will be a little better this time?" I press hopefully, knowing I'm pushing again, but... But I need something from him.

Something to hold on to.

He grabs his braid and plays with it for a while, then looks up at me again and says quietly, "Well... maybe." I feel myself smile... actually smile... And he watches me in what looks very much like amazement and mutters under his breath, "Hell, it's worth a shot, at least."


Shit! Did I actually do something right?

And that's all you have
In the end our love mattered

He actually shifts just a little bit toward me, like he's going to take a step into the room, in my direction...

Then he stops, and smiles a little at himself, and at me, because of course he knows I can tell how he almost moved.

"I think I should probably go now," he says again, more firmly this time. "We... both have a lot to think about."

"Yeah," I agree. He's right. We both need to think. He should go, for now.

If you feel like leaving
I'm not gonna beg you to stay

But somehow he's not moving.

And... I am.

His eyes are getting wider and wider as I walk across the room toward him. When I'm halfway across the floor, he starts to back away, and I know I should stop, but I just keep coming, until he hits the wall.

But soon you'll be finding
You can run, you can hide
But you can't escape my love

I stop when there's just a foot or so between us. He looks nervous, but not really frightened. Of course, he shouldn't be frightened. He could get away easily if he wanted to. I'm stronger, but he's quicker, and a lot harder to hold when he doesn't want to be.

So... if he's still here...

I brace my arms against the wall, one on either side of his head, just to make sure.

You can run, you can hide
But you can't escape my love

He just stands there, staring at me, his eyes wide and dark...

You can run
You can hide
But you can't escape my love

Opposites really do attract, because I can't seem to hold myself away from him. I lean in, closer and closer...

You can run
You can hide
But you can't escape my love

Just a few inches away, I finally freeze. His eyes are enormous from so close, vibrant pools of violet-blue, full of so many things I can't begin to interpret or comprehend... But I want to learn...

I imagine standing there forever, staring into his eyes...

I think I just might have, if he hadn't leaned forward and pressed his mouth against mine hungrily.

Here's how it goes
All it takes is some trying

He kisses me, I kiss him back... for a long, wonderful, endless span of time, I lose myself in him again, like I did two years ago. My arms wrap around him, and holding him is like holding sunlight, it's warm and bright and fills me with fire and energy and passion...

But I feel him begin to pull away.

I don't want to let go.

But... I have to.

Reluctantly, I release my tight hold on him and let him step away a little, watching me warily.

If you feel like leaving
I'm not gonna beg you to stay

There's something in his eyes, though, a warmth, a heat, that I haven't seen for a long time. There's a little smile playing around the edges of his mouth. There's something in the angle of his body that seems to tilt almost imperceptibly in my direction...

But soon you'll be finding
You can run, you can hide
But you can't escape my love

He breaks the intense eye contact, and looks around the room again. The nascent smile shifts to a frown, making my blood run cold again.

"You know... I really hate this fucking house," he announces abruptly.

Oh, God, no... I was so close... We were so close...

I can't bear to lose him now...

But... I can't keep him here if he wants to leave...

If you feel like leaving
I'm not gonna beg you to stay

He looks at me again, his eyes narrowed and a hint of a speculative smirk on his lips.

"I like the townhouse much better," he states bluntly, watching me for a reaction.

I can feel myself starting to smirk a little, too. I know what he's doing now.

The bastard is fucking playing with me.

Nobody else would dare.

I love him so much.

"Well, we could sell this dump and move over there," I suggest just as bluntly.

His eyebrows lift in exaggerated confusion. "But, Heero," he protests mildly, "if we sold this place, where would you go when I get sick of your shit and kick you out?"

I just shrug and reply calmly, "I wouldn't go far at all. Because you'll never get rid of me."

But soon you'll be finding
You can run, you can hide
But you can't escape my love

The eyebrows go up another notch, and his eyes get a little bit chilly.

"I thought you said I could go if I wanted," he says coldly.

You can run

I shrug again. "Of course you can," I agree. "But just because you leave doesn't mean I won't follow you."

He looks surprised by that, and turns the idea over in his head for a moment or two.

You can run

Finally, he decides it's not a bad thing, and smiles, just a little.

I've missed his smile.

"Let's go back to my place and... talk," he suggests.

You can run

"Our place," I correct mildly, wondering if that's pushing it too far.

He just smirks at me and drawls, "Look at you, Yuy, taking liberties already... Give you a kiss and you start naming the children."

You can run

I relax again. He's decided to take me with a grain of salt. That's good, because I imagine it will take me some time to tone down these little demands my insecurities push me to make. Good thing he's always had a healthy sense of humor.

"Kids make me itch," I inform him solemnly. "I was thinking maybe a dog."

You can run

He actually laughs aloud at that, and turns toward the door, waving at me to follow him.

Like he has to prompt me to do that.

You can run

By 2:00 the rain has stopped and the clouds blown away. Sunlight is slanting in through the window of the bedroom of the townhouse and I'm lying on the floor, soaking up the warmth while Duo plays with my hair.

"So no more keeping me in a cage, right Heero?" he asks quietly.

You can run

I open my eyes a little so I can see him, leaning over me, hair falling in his face, eyes focused on my hairline. He's got a hickey on his neck.

"You can go wherever you want, whenever you want," I promise. "You can do whatever you want. If you need to... you can even leave me."

You can run

His eyes shift down, focusing on mine. "You'd let me go?" he asks slowly, not sounding entirely thrilled by the idea.

I smile up at him like a lazy cat in the sunshine and reply, "Yeah. But I'd be two steps behind you all the way."

You can run, you can hide
But you can't escape my love

He grins at that. "It might be kind of fun, to lead you on a little chase," he murmurs. "I wonder, though, what would happen if I managed to lose you?"

You can run

"I wouldn't worry about that," I tell him, reaching up to pull his face down where I can kiss him.

You can run, you can hide
But you can't escape my love

"You'll never shake me."

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