I don't really know how divorce works in Japan. All my knowledge comes from watching Divorce Court on television. ^_^
by: Caroline

Shall We Dance

XI : Foxtrot

The first sensation Heero became aware of was pain. A dull, aching throb blossomed from the back of his skull and radiated outward through his entire body. His ears were ringing with a high pitched whine. As he slowly became aware of his surroundings, he realized it wasn't a whine, but his wife's voice.

"He's awake! Milliardo, he's waking up! Heero, can you hear me?" Each word she uttered sent a jolt of pain through his head.

"Please... not so loud," he rasped, blinking his eyes to get used to the light. His wife and her brother were standing next to the bed he was lying on. He glanced around the room. "Where am I?"

"You're in the hospital," Milliardo answered softly. "Do you remember what happened?"

Heero thought for a moment. "The competition... Duo, Hilde..." His eyes widened. "Hilde! Is she alright?"

Relena's eyes darkened at the mention of his friends. However, it was Milliardo who answered him. "She's fine. She has a minor wrist sprain but nothing serious. You hit your head pretty hard. You've been in and out of consciousness for a whole day now."

Heero slowly sat up. Amazingly the pain wasn't so bad in an upright position. He was about to ask Milliardo for help out of the hospital bed when the door to his room opened. A tall woman with curly dark blonde hair entered carrying a clipboard.

"Yuy-san, I'm Dr. Sally Po. How are you feeling?" she asked, looking him over.

"My head still hurts and my neck is a little sore," he replied as he allowed her to poke and prod at him.

Dr. Po took out a penlight and shined it in his eyes. "Hm. That's to be expected. Can you stand?"

"I can try." He swung his legs over the edge of the bed and slid them down to the floor. Slowly, he stood.

"Good," commented the doctor. "Any dizziness?"

Heero shook his head.

"Okay. I'll give you some pain medication. That should take care of the headaches. You can go home now, Yuy-san, but get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids. If you experience any dizziness or blurred vision, come back to the hospital immediately." She dug around in her coat pocket and brought out a packet of two small, white pills. Take these two now and I'll write you a prescription for more."

"Thank you, doctor," Heero said, taking the slip of paper she handed him.

"You can sign your release forms at the nurse's station. Do you have any questions?"

"No. Thank you," he said again, bowing to her.

"Take care, Yuy-san," she said before she left the room, leaving the three of them alone once more.

"I brought you a change of clothes," Milliardo said, handing him a folded pair of jeans and a button-down shirt.

"As soon as you get dressed, we can go home," Relena added.

"I can't go home yet. There are some things I need to do."

"Things? What kinds of things?" Relena demanded, looking at him crossly. "You heard the doctor. You need to rest."

"Later. There is something I have to do first," he replied as he pulled on his jeans.

Relena's eyes darkened. "You're going to see him aren't you?"

Heero paused in the process of pulling off the paper hospital gown. His heart suddenly grew cold. "What do you mean?"

"That... that boy with the braid. I saw you two at the Exhibition Center." Her face was turning red with anger with each passing moment. "How could you do this to me? To us?"

Heero yanked off the paper gown. "Relena, there is no us. There hasn't been for a long time. Perhaps there never was."

"How can you say that?!"

"Look, Relena, I'm sorry you had to find out like this. I've been meaning to talk to you about it for a while." He looked her directly in the eyes. "I want a divorce."

Relena looked at him in surprise. "You can't possibly be serious."

"I've never been more serious in my life, Relena. I've already had the papers drawn up."

"No."

"Relena..."

"No! There will be no divorce! I won't allow such as scandal on my family name! I won't have it!" she shouted at him, stamping her foot like a child.

"It's too late, Relena," Heero said calmly.

"No it's not!" She walked over to him and clutched his arm possessively. "I know things haven't been right between us for a while, but maybe we can work things out. We could go away together, just the two of us." He could hear the desperation in her voice. "Or... or we could get some counseling..."

"No Relena. I am getting a divorce. I never should have married you in the first place. It wasn't fair to me and it certainly wasn't fair to you. And for that I am sorry."

"No! You can't mean that! You love me!" she protested vehemently.

Heero grabbed him wife's shoulders and set her away from him. "I want you to listen to me carefully, Relena. I. Don't. Love. You." He punctuated each word so she would get the point. "I'm sorry if I ever made you think otherwise. But it's time to end this charade of a marriage."

"No! No!" she cried, balling her fists. "I won't lose you! You're my husband. I wasn't lose you to that little faggot!"

Heero grabbed Relena's upper arms and shook her. "Don't you ever call him that," he said dangerously.

Relena looked into his eyes and laughed. "What makes you think he'll take you back anyway? From the look on his face, I'd say you never told him you were married."

Heero felt a cold chill pass through his body. "What do you mean?"

"The little slut came here looking for you yesterday. I told him you were my husband and couldn't be disturbed," she spat viciously. "He turned so pale I thought he was going to faint. But he didn't. He turned tail and ran away."

"That's not true," he protested, his voice wavering. 'Please God, let it not be true.'

"Heero," Milliardo interrupted gently. The Japanese man had almost forgotten he was there. "I'm afraid it is true. Duo was here. He knows."

Heero pushed Relena away from him and sat down heavily on the bed. "No. Duo..."

How could he have let this happen? He knew Duo had been betrayed before. How could he have done this to the one person he loved more than life itself? And now... now he may have lost Duo forever. The thought sickened him and chilled him to the bone. He stood up and pulled on his shirt, buttoning it hastily.

"I have to see him," he said as he quickly gathered his belongings.

"No! I won't allow this!" Relena cried again.

"You have no say in the matter," Heero snapped at her as he slid his shoes on. "Expect to hear from my lawyer soon."

"Heero..."

Walking to the door, he took one last look at his wife. "Good-bye, Relena."

Relena's wail of outrage followed him out into the hall. He quickly walked to the nurse's station and signed all the necessary forms. He was about to turn away when a voice stopped him.

"Heero, wait."

Heero turned to see Milliardo walking briskly toward him. "Milliardo, I'm sorry for doing this to your sister. I hope one day both you and she can understand..."

"Heero," his brother-in-law interrupted, "there's nothing to forgive. I already understand. I came out here to wish you luck. Duo is very special."

Heero blinked at him incredulously, not knowing what to say.

"Look, I'll talk to Relena for you. I'll try to make her see the light on all this. You go to Duo. Explain everything to him. And don't leave anything out this time."

"A... arigatou."

"Go," Milliardo ordered, giving him a little push. "I'll see Relena home."

Heero nodded his thanks, amazed that Milliardo was on his side... and actually understood! But all thoughts of his soon-to-be ex-wife and brother-in-law left his mind as he bolted down the hallway. All he could think of now was the beautiful violet-eyed dancer who had stolen his heart.

'I'm so sorry, Duo...'

+

In the end, Heero was glad Dr. Po had given him those pain pills. Duo's house wasn't too far from the hospital, but the hustle and bustle of the busy afternoon crowd aggravated his head. And he'd need a clear head to face Duo.

He paused at the little gate in front of Duo's house. He was afraid, more so than he had ever been in his entire life. But he wasn't going to run away like he had all those times he had tried to tell Duo the truth. He couldn't afford to run away, not if he didn't want to lose the one precious thing in his life. Taking a deep breath, he walked up the stone path to the door and rang the bell.

It was Une who answered the door. As soon as she saw him standing there, her eyes narrowed. "What do you want, Yuy-san?" He could hear the barely controlled anger in her voice.

"Une-sensei, is Duo home? May I see him?" he asked plaintively.

"Do you really think that's a good idea?" she asked as she stepped out onto the porch, closing the door behind her.

"Please, I... I need to explain..."

"I think your wife already explained everything Duo needed to know, Yuy-san," she said viciously.

Heero looked at the ground. "I'm sorry, I..."

"You're sorry? Do you really understand what you've done?" Her voice rose higher in pitch as tears began gathering in the corners of her eyes. "Do you know how long it took for Duo to get over what Treize had done to him? I don't know what he told you, but I know he didn't tell you the whole truth. He didn't eat or sleep for days after he came home from Blackpool. I was so afraid I was going to lose him, too. But he pulled out of it. It took almost a year, but he managed to somehow get over what that bastard had done. And yet, he wasn't the same. The bright, happy child I knew was gone. In his place was a quiet, sullen young man."

Une paused to wipe the tears from her face. "And then you came along. I don't know what you did, but somehow... somehow he started to smile and laugh again. I was so happy and grateful that I had my Duo-chan back. And it was all because of you! But yesterday... yesterday you sent him right back to where he was after Blackpool. And I don't know if I can ever forgive you for that."

Heero felt tears slip silently down his cheeks as he listened to Une's tirade. She was right. What he had done, or rather, what he had not done was unforgivable. He didn't blame Une for not letting him in to see Duo. Had he been in Duo's position, he probably wouldn't want to see him either. The best thing he could do was go. He would leave Duo alone and hope that someday Duo could forgive him.

"I'm so sorry. Please, just tell him I'm sorry. I never meant to hurt him." He looked back into her eyes. "I love him."

"I think you should go," Une whispered as she stepped back into the house.

"Please? Just tell him that?" he begged.

Une looked at him for a long moment before reluctantly nodding. "I will tell him."

"Arigatou." It was all he could say. He stared at the door after Une had closed it for a long minute before turning and walking away.

+

Une shut the door, wiping furiously at the tears on her face. She didn't want Duo to know she had been crying. She climbed the stairs, calling Duo's name softly. Her brother-in-law was where she had left him - curled up on the futon in the corner of their upstairs dance studio. His tear-streaked face looked up as she entered the room.

"Was that... was that him?" he sniffed, tugging unconsciously at the end of his braid.

Une paused. "Yes."

Duo nodded and picked at his hair. Une sat down beside him on the futon. Duo inched closer to curl up beside her. She wrapped her long arms around him and gently rubbed soothing circles on his back. "It's okay to cry, Duo-chan."

Duo buried his face in her shoulder and mumbled, "Boys don't cry." Half a second later, Une felt hot little droplets seeping through her shirt. She held him and rocked him and hummed a little tune his mother used to sing when he was a baby. Gradually, Duo's tears slowed, though his still kept a death grip on her shirt.

"What did he say?" he asked, almost too softly for her to hear.

Une hesitated. "He said... he said he was sorry," she answered finally.

Duo gave a small laugh. "They all say they're sorry."

"He... he sounded sincere enough."

Duo shifted in her arms. "Yes. Heero would." His voice became softer. "Did he say anything else?"

Une closed her eyes. She didn't want to tell him. And yet... and yet, Duo was right. Heero may have hurt her Duo-chan terribly, but she could see the truth in the young man's eyes. He was sincere. And Duo needed to know that.

"He said he loved you," she whispered, holding him tightly.

Duo pressed his face into the crook of her arm. "I thought I'd never feel the same after Treize. But then I met Heero." He looked up at her and smiled, really smiled. "After I met him, I realized I had never loved Treize. Because what I had felt for him was nothing compared to what I felt for Heero."

"Oh, Duo..."

Silver tears began streaming down his heart-shaped face once more. "I love him, Une. I love him. I love him."

Une held Duo's sobbing form as the young man chanted those three words over and over until the sun had long since set over the city.

+

[cont]