Author: Dacia
Notes: The title is from the song, which I hope you all know and which inspired me to write a fic where Duo loved Heero, but Heero didn't know. That, of course, metamorphosed into a fic where Duo loved Heero, but Duo didn't *want* Heero to know. *shrug*
'Nother note: Yes, it is actually 'The *Girl* From Ipanema', but on the Red Hot and Rio CD, it's 'boy', so...
Disclaimer: *sigh* I keep asking for them but I *still* don't own them...

The Boy From Ipanema

I'm in love. Head over heels in love. I'd die for him, give my soul for him, walk the wire for him in love. All the love songs in the history of mankind have nothing on what I feel for this guy. You might think this sort of thing would make me happy. After all, love is a good thing, right? Everybody wants it, everybody needs it, everybody spends their whole life searching for it... Me?

I think I'd prefer to live without it.

+

For years I thought I'd lost the capacity to love and considered it a good thing. I had loved twice in my life, before now, and that had been more than enough. You've heard the saying -- 'it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all'? Speaking as one who has both loved and lost, I have the supreme luxury of being able to say that whoever came up with that one had more than a few screws loose. Not that love itself is a bad thing, although I must admit that I associate it more with bad things than with good. Being in love again reminded me of all those things I had wanted so desperately to forget. Never had I felt more complete that when I had loved. The sun shone brighter, the birds sang sweeter, the friggin' sky was bluer... The good things in life were better and the bad stuff wasn't quite so bad. Sounds like a good deal, huh? The ultimate bargain. You feel all warm and snuggly and you don't mind that you haven't had a full meal in two days. What could be better? Thing about love is that it's fragile. Love in the grand, universal sense is forever. Cavemen tromping across the earth thousands of years ago had known it, and so would the race we evolved into thousands of years from now. But love on a personal level is the very definition of ephemeral, as tenuous as the human heart itself. Even as love -- the concept -- lives and breathes and fucking frolics in the spring grass, love -- the reality -- can lie dying in your arms. And there's not a thing you can do about it.

After love died that first time, I didn't know any better than to not love again. Love's face, which had been that of a beautiful blonde boy with a disarmingly crooked smile, shifted and waxed until there were two sets of eyes looking back at me instead of one. I had missed how love made me feel, what it did for me. Those few years without love had been lonely and bitter. I might have laughed through it all, I might have smiled and grinned and played the fool, but that's only because to do otherwise would have damned me. Boys in my situation did not cry. They did not mope and wail and tear their hair out. And, most of all, they did not grieve. What they did was put the past behind them because life was too harsh to not focus entirely on what's in front of you. I lived in the present and, even though I was well aware of the necessity, I will never argue that the present is not a cold and sterile place.

I suppose it was no wonder, then, that when love reared its medusan head that second time, I all but threw myself at it. Any struggles on my part had been purely for show. My life depended on what I allowed people to see of me, so if I squirmed and cursed it was merely to save my carefully crafted image. I wonder sometimes if they knew, anyway, that I loved them. I never told them. I didn't do much of a job of showing them, either. If there was room in my life for regret... But there isn't. There can't be. By the time I might have told them, they were gone, too, leaving nothing but a bloody hole in my heart that I couldn't fill.

It wasn't a conscious decision to never love again. If anything, you could call it a defense mechanism. Physical pain, I can handle. Sure it hurts, but even the worst wound eventually heals. But that bloody hole in my heart -- it stayed just as bloody and just as empty as the moment love died. I couldn't face that again. That pain I locked away, deep inside, where no one could see it or touch it. The sun didn't shine as brightly and damned if I ever noticed any birdsong, but in time the memory of my lost loves was dulled, its keen edge no longer so hurtful.

Besides, who has time to mourn the loss of innocence, the opalescent bastion of love, in the middle of a war? The idea was almost laughable. Fighting was all I knew -- all I allowed myself to know -- and when I wasn't fighting I did my damnedest to keep my image bright and shiny, never tolerating anyone to see past it or even to realize that anything might lay beyond it worth looking for. And it worked, too. They all came to accept me, but they all, also, underestimated me. There's something about love that goes hand in hand with truth. I never lie -- it goes against what few principles I have left. To this day I don't understand why people would assume, then, that everything I say is truth. But they did, and in the shadow of that false truth love didn't stand a snowball's chance in hell.

It was inevitable, considering what life has seen fit to put me through, that my all hard work be for naught. The walls I had unconsciously, yet painstakingly, erected around the bloody hole that was my heart weren't torn down in a day, but they were razed nonetheless and by the time I noticed it was too late. That damn boy and his damn x-ray eyes pierced straight through to what was the real me and wouldn't settle for anything less.

I will admit that it was my own fault. He fascinated me. I couldn't help but try to worm my way through his defenses, which were at once so like and unlike my own. Getting close to him seemed harmless enough. What I didn't foresee -- what I couldn't have possibly foreseen -- was that he would choose to become close to me, too. I was his idiot, his distraction, his reason for making 'omae o korosu' a catchphrase. As much as I might have bristled at his rough treatment, that's how it was supposed to be. But suddenly I was his partner, his friend, his confidante... And damn if it didn't feel good.

I had lived without love for long enough that I had forgotten what it was like and when I finally recognized it for what it was I was in too deep to extract myself without ripping myself to pieces. So I'm in love. Deeply and irrevocably. It's the miracle I never hoped for.

+

The only thing that makes it bearable is that he has no idea. Having never known love, he doesn't have a clue of what to look for and I'm not about to enlighten him. My love is not unrequited or hopeless, you see. He feels for me -- I know that without a doubt -- but he can't see the forest for the trees. He puts 2 and 2 together and gets 4, never realizing that love is anything but logical and that under its influence 2 and 2 is more than likely to equal 7. And I plan to keep it that way. It's better that way.

+

If I were a praying man, I would have prayed for Solo's tarnished soul, and for Sister Helen's and Father Maxwell's unblemished ones. But I have never believed in god.

Now...

Now I would believe in anything if only he doesn't see. Please, don't let him see.

After all, I can't suffer the loss of him if I never had him...

Right?


end

[back to Dacia's fic]