Pairing: 1x2, 2+1, 4x2
Warnings: a little squick, non-1x2 stuffs *gasp*, angst
Spoilers: ep. 10
Comments: why not?
Disclaimers: Don't own it. If I did, it wouldn't have been suitable to
air on US television.
Notes: Sequel to Cherished, which you may or may not want to read again.
I had to change it just a little to make it fit earlier in the timeline,
but nothing major. You probably wouldn't even notice.
I feel… cold.
Funny how one can be cold in the middle of a desert, but I seem to be
managing it just fine.
Cold and numb and sick… I find myself staring out at the sun-drenched
sand until I am almost blind from the brightness of the light shining
off the dunes. Staring out the window has become quite a hobby of mine
in the last two weeks. I'm sure Quatre thinks I'm a nut case, but I don't
I'm beyond caring.
Two weeks… two fucking long weeks since my world shattered. Two weeks
since the walls I had so carefully erected around myself since childhood,
walls that I have been hesitantly chipping away at these past few months,
came crashing down in one blazing, glorious ball of white and yellow light,
leaving me empty, bereft, and… cold.
May you burn in fucking hell, Yuy.
Just the thought of his name makes me double over in pain. My stomach
clenches and burns and suddenly I can't breathe. My vision blurs, and
all I can hear is the sound of the explosion as it echoed over the comm.
I stumble away from the window, searching blindly for the cabinet I know
is nearby. Violently throwing open the door in my haste, I grab the first
bottle I come to, knocking several other over in the process. I don't
care. All I care about is wrestling the crystal stopper from the bottle
and pouring the bitter contents down my throat. The fiery liquid burns
a path through my entire body, blocking out all other sensation until
I am numb again. I set the crystal decanter down carefully - I don't want
to break another one - then stumble across the room to the divan. I curl
up at one end, this time facing away from the window, and bury my head
in my arms.
I want to die.
Funny - death wanting to die. At any other time in my life I would have
found that amusingly ironic. But not now. Not today. Today I just want
to close my eyes and never wake up. As the alcohol continues to work its
magic, fogging my mind into a lethargic state, the image of fire and smoke
again plays itself against the backs of my closed eyelids. A feelings
of utter despair courses through me as I fall asleep with the vision of
fire and the echo of a scream in my ears.
The dream is always the same.
I was in Heero's room, just before… just before the Siberia mission. I'd
received my orders to attack the shipment of mobile suits to OZ's Siberia
base. I was pretty sure Heero had received the same set of orders, but
I wanted to know what his plan of attack was going to be before I decided
on my best course of action. And more than that… I want to say good-bye.
I'd never felt hesitant over a mission before. But this new one… it would
be the first big mission since Heero and I had… since he'd told me… he
loved me. And I was as nervous as a virgin on her wedding night. I wasn't
sure how I could handle being apart from him. Damn him. I hadn't felt
this self-conscious since those awful kids had teased me at the church
- and now, I was nervous and hesitant and scared and it was all
A surge of anger had swept through me. How dare he! How dare he make me
feel like this, stripping away my protective layers until all that was
left was nothing more than a frightened little child. I wanted to walk
right over to where he was sitting at that damned computer and punch him
for changing me, for making me stop hiding behind my masks…
But then he turned and looked at me, his
soft, sad gaze melting my anger and my heart along with it.
I turned my head away so I didn't have to look at him.
"They've got two supply routes," I said. "You want to take
the air route? You're better equipped for it than I am. I'll take the
"One will be a decoy," he replied, standing to move closer to
I took a step back. "Aa…" Shit. I was even starting to sound
like him. "All the more reason to split up. At least one of us will
hit the target." I swallowed hard as he moved even closer. "Do
you… do you think the others will show up?"
Heero shrugged and stepped closer still. I tried to step back, only to
find myself up against the wall. Heero brought his arm up to run the back
of his hand across my cheek before reaching around and burying his fingers
in my hair.
"The others are of no concern to me," he said, casually leaning
forward to invade my personal space. "I only care about the mission…"
His lips ghosted over mine. "…and you."
I shivered. He pressed himself closer to me, molding his body to mine,
not pressing hard, just leaning in to me so I could feel every hardened
plane of his chest against mine. I had trouble swallowing as he slid one
strong leg between my own. Had it been anyone else standing this close,
effectively trapping me so I couldn't move, I'd have felt claustrophobic,
slightly panicked, and severely pissed. But with Heero - my knees felt
weak, my palms sweaty, and I could have sworn a rabble of butterflies
had taken up residence in my stomach.
I felt like a fucking school girl.
But then his lips were hungrily devouring mine as though he were trying
to crawl into my mouth. At that moment, I would have cheerfully traded
in my pants for a pleated skirt and bobby socks if we could have stayed
like that forever and not have to worry about the stupid mission. I'd
even have put my hair in pigtails. Maybe.
He pulled away all too soon. He gave me a little smile and rubbed his
thumb back and forth across my cheek. "The mission will be dangerous."
"Danger's what I live for, Yuy," I replied with a smirk, then
frowned as I saw a hint of sadness creep into his eyes.
"I'd rather you live for me," he said softly, searching
my eyes with his own.
"I know. I'm… sorry," I finished lamely, looking away, ashamed
that I still could not give him what he wanted.
He gripped my chin and forced me to look at him again. "Promise me
"Promise that you'll come back to me."
My eyes opened wide, stunned that he'd just asked me that - asked me something
he couldn't give himself.
"You know I can't do that," I whispered, clutching his ugly
green tank top in my fists. "You said so yourself. This is war. Something
could happen and…"
"No," he interrupted, shaking his head violently. "Nothing
will happen. Promise me you'll come back when this mission is over."
I smiled at him sadly. "I wish I could." For the first time
in my life, it was a promise I really wanted to make. "But you know
He looked into my eyes for a long moment before he kissed me again. "At
least - promise me you'll try?"
I smiled again. "All right. I promise I'll try real hard."
Heh - it never occurred to me to ask the same of him.
He bent his head to nuzzle my neck. His hands slid down my sides and under
my shirt. I trembled but gave him access to my throat anyway. I moaned
and clutched at his arms, leaning against the wall because I didn't trust
my legs to hold me up anymore.
"I'll take the air route," my lover breathed against my skin.
I inhaled sharply as his wandering hands found and teased my nipples.
"You take the land. Attacking from a southern vector would probably
be your best option."
"Is that… is that so," I murmured, grinding myself against the
knee that was still pressed between my legs.
"Aa. Take out the Leos first if you can. Intelligence was vague on
the numbers, but I'd estimate thirty to forty to be safe."
I tried to respond but the words caught in my throat. One hand had crept
around to my back and then slid downwards, slipping beneath the waistband
of my pants to grip my ass. God… I wanted him. Unconsciously I tried to
make him move faster, but as usual, he was taking his own sweet time,
doing things his way, showing me he was in control of
my urges and desires.
"There may be an aerial escort following the train, but I doubt it
will be much of a threat. Most of their air units will be with the second
transport route," he continued, his finger searching for and rubbing
against my entrance, causing me to buck wildly in his arms.
"I've left coordinates for a possible ambush site. The hills in that
region should be able to provide you with ample cover as the train approaches."
I moaned with need, his fingers and lips driving me into a near frenzy.
I whimpered as he continued to talk about mission strategy. Surely his
mouth could be put to better use… elsewhere…
My eyes flew open. This wasn't right. This wasn't how it was supposed
to be. Something was wrong. Something…
It was bloody damn hard to think with one of Heero's hands on my cock,
the other slipping teasing fingers into my body. Mission details continued
to spill from his mouth as I writhed against the wall. Jesus, how could
he continue to think of the mission at a time like this?
And then it hit me. This wasn't what had happened. After Heero had extracted
the promise from me, he'd let me go and continued with the mission preparations.
He hadn't held me against the wall, his hands down my pants. This was
wrong. This hadn't happened. This wasn't… isn't real.
I open my eyes - when had I closed them? - and found myself staring up
at the ceiling. I'm on my back on Heero's bed. Something warm and wet
slides across my stomach. I look down to see Heero hunched over me, licking
a trail up my chest. We're both naked, though I don't remember how we
got this way. But then he takes my nipple in his mouth and all rational
thought flees my mind. I spread my legs wider, inviting him to move forward
those last few inches until - yes! - flesh meets flesh in one pure, electrifying
touch and then he's inside of me and I can feel nothing but his touch,
smell nothing but the scent of sweat upon his skin, see nothing but his
beautiful eyes staring back into mine.
Vaguely I'm aware of this nagging feeling that I've forgotten something,
that something's not right. But I push that thought away as I move my
body in time with his. I close my eyes and arch my back, feeling the burning
snake of pleasure race up my spine. I reach up with one hand to touch
his face. I feel something wet come away on my fingers. I open my eyes
and bring my hand in front of my face. My heart flip-flops in my chest.
Blood. There's blood on my hands.
"Mmm, Duo," I hear Heero moan above me, still thrusting as steady
as a piston. "I love you."
I move my hand away, slowly, reluctantly, shifting my eyes to the man
What I see is not a man - not Heero. It's a corpse - a blackened, bloody
corpse… with the blue, blue eyes of my lover.
"I love you," the thing says again in Heero's voice. "I
want you to be with me… forever."
The thing leans down to kiss me, thrusting what's left of a shriveled
tongue into my mouth, gagging me. I panic, I struggle… but I can't move.
It continues to move inside of me, but I can't move! Can't breathe! All
I can do is wrench my head away and scream.
And scream and scream and scream…
I awake with the sound of my screams echoing in my ears. My throat is
raw, I'm drenched with sweat, and I can't seem to stop shaking.
I glance at the clock, gasping for air and trying to calm my erratic heart
before it beats itself right out of my chest. It's just after 3 a.m. Fuck.
That's the third night this week… and it's only Tuesday. If this keeps
up, I'll never get any sleep. And I need it. I already feel like a fucking
zombie. And… when I'm asleep, I don't have to remember…
My stomach churns, rebelling against the alcohol I'd forced it to accept
before I tumbled into bed. I feel sticky and clammy, and the sheets seem
to be weighing me down, having become a wet, sweaty mess in the night.
I roll over onto my side and close my eyes. But a vision of the blackened,
burned… thing from my dream enters my mind - and I lose it.
I throw myself out of bed and out of the room, rushing down the hall,
hoping to make it to the bathroom before I lose the entire contents of
my stomach all over the hallway and Quatre's expensive-looking oriental
rugs. I only barely make it, grateful that the lid to the toilet is already
I clutch the sides of the cold porcelain bowl, heaving until my stomach
muscles begin to cramp from the effort. I gasp for breath and wipe my
mouth with the back of my hand, grimacing at the sour tang that lingers
in the back of my throat. My tongue burns with it, and I eye my toothbrush
on the vanity but decide it's too far away and I don't have any strength
to get up and reach for it.
I lean back against the wall and close my eyes. I'm so very tired - tired
not just from lack of sleep, but from everything - fighting,
the war… my life. How I long to just close my eyes and drift away. But
Death cannot die. It can only take those closest to it…
I must have dozed a little, sitting on the cold tile floor, though I don't
remember falling asleep. An urgent need to relieve my bladder forces me
awake. I couldn't have been out for too long. One glance at the window
shows that it's still dark outside.
My bladder twinges again, and reluctantly I pull myself up. I wince as
I look down into the toilet to see what I had deposited there earlier.
The smell of bile assaults my nose, causing my stomach to clench painfully.
Hastily I flush the toilet, then relieve myself, flushing that away as
well. The toothbrush is the next thing I go for. I load it with some of
Quatre's spicy Arabian toothpaste and scrub at my teeth and tongue until
I can no longer taste the bitter tang in the back of my mouth. Rinsing
the toothbrush well, I glance up into the mirror and wince at what I see.
A section of hair that had come loose from my braid during the night hangs
in a matted mess beside my face. I touch it gingerly, frowning as it crackles
stiffly. I must have gotten some vomit in my hair when I was hunched over,
worshipping the porcelain god.
I feel like shit and I have puke in my hair. My life is just so fucking
Knowing I wouldn't be able to go to back to sleep until my hair was clean,
I shrug out of my clothes and turn on the shower. Stepping in, I make
quick work of my hair, washing it twice before I'm satisfied. My eyelids
start to droop as I rinse the last of the suds away. I'm so tired… I lean
against the shower wall for a moment and close my eyes.
What a mistake.
As soon as I close my eyes, my mind begins to wander, playing back memories
I've been trying so hard to forget these past couple of weeks. My chest
tightens painfully and I can't breathe. I can feel the onset of another
panic attack. I can't do this. I can't think - don't want to
think. I want to be cold, numb, frozen… so the memories can't touch me…
so I don't have to see.
Blindly I reach over and fumble for the hot water tap, turning it off.
A stream of frigid, cold water pours over my body as I sink down to the
shower floor. I curl up at the other end, letting the icy water turn me
into a human popsicle until I can't feel, can't think.
I brush my fingers across my face, rubbing at my eyes. My fingers come
away wet. I convince myself the moisture is from the shower…
I don't know how long I sit there, huddled on the floor of the shower,
letting the cold water turn my skin to an icy shade of blue. I sit there
until I can't feel anything, until my body feels as numb and frozen as
I can barely stand. I only just remember to turn off the water as I stumble
out of the shower stall. My limbs are stiff from the cold. I can barely
move, barely think…
My hair drips all over the floor as I languidly pull on the boxers and
t-shirt I'd worn to bed, not bothering to dry myself first. My teeth chatter
so hard I'm surprised I haven't chipped a tooth yet. I exit the bathroom
and stumble down the dark hall as fast as my frozen legs can carry me,
hoping I hadn't finished all the alcohol in my room. My body is numb,
my mind nearly so. The liquor would finish me off.
And if I drank enough
of it… maybe it really would.
But first, I have to get to my room. Concentrate, Maxwell. One foot in
front of the other. Left, right left… turn the corner…
Something small but solid slams into me as I round the corner, sending
me crashing to the floor, not like I had much balance anyway at the moment.
I land on my back, staring up at the ceiling. Pain spreads outward from
the back of my skull where it hit the floor, and the ceiling suddenly
becomes interesting enough to stare at for a while.
A blonde shadow falls over my face, blocking my view of that oh-so- fascinating
ceiling. I'd be cranky if I could feel anything besides the pain.
"Allah! Duo, I'm so sorry," Quatre stammers, worried blue eyes
shimmering down at me in the near darkness. "I didn't see you! Are
you all right?"
I blink and finally find the energy to focus on his face. "Y…yeah.
I'm o…o…okay," I manage to reply through chattering teeth.
"You don't sound okay. Let me help you up."
He takes my hand and the world spins as I find myself sitting up and staring
at Quatre's chest.
"Duo! You're ice cold!" he says, placing a hand on my forehead.
"And soaking wet! What happened?"
"N…nothing. To…oo…k a sh…shower," I chatter, not wanting to
explain myself. I'd managed to keep most of my misery hidden from him,
or so I had thought. Of course, that wasn't too hard considering I'd been
mostly avoiding him for the past couple of weeks. I don't want him to
pry. If he starts asking questions… it would mean I'd have to think about
the answers, and that's something I'm not ready to do yet.
He gives me a look, and I know he doesn't believe me, but bless him, he
doesn't pry any further. He can be a cool guy like that.
Helping me to my feet, he props me up against the wall before disappearing.
Before I can even register that he's gone, he's back, carrying a towel
and a brush, which I assume he got from the bathroom. I wince and feel
guilty for leaving it such a mess. But he doesn't say anything about it.
"Come on, Duo," he says, taking my hand. "Let's get you
warmed up and out of those wet clothes."
I let him lead me down the hall and into his room. He sits me down on
a soft, plush rug in front of a darkened hearth. With one hand, he reaches
over and flips a button. Instantly, a roaring fire starts dancing merrily
in the fire place.
Cool. I want one.
Sitting behind me, he raises my shirt over my head and tosses the damp
garment away. I don't resist. I'm tired of resisting. He wraps the towel
around me and begins rubbing it against my skin. When my torso is dry,
he wraps his arms around me from behind and rests his chin on my shoulder.
"Do you want to talk about it?" he asks.
I stiffen in his embrace, silently damning myself at the same time. I've
tried so hard to keep from dragging Quatre into my little self- pity party.
I've even amazed myself with my performances over the last couple of weeks.
Whenever I was with Quatre - and that wasn't often since I avoided him
whenever I could - I slipped on my old mask. The Duo he knew was the cocky,
smiling bastard I'd always been… I had been until… Well, I hadn't wanted
Quatre to know about… about him. It was too complicated. Hell,
I didn't even understand it myself some times. I still don't.
And now… I'll never get a chance to.
Poor Quatre. I'd tried so hard to hide my misery from him. He doesn't
deserve to be saddled with my problems. I have a feeling he has his own
to worry about. He's so innocent and naďve - something I never was. And
I don't want to be the one to take any part of that innocence away. I
had hoped to get through our "down time" without burdening him
with this pathetic, broken shell of a person that I've become. But after
my little performance tonight… I doubt that'll be possible.
"Hmmm?" I murmur, still lost in my own thoughts.
"I asked you if you'd like to talk about it."