Author: Dacia
Category: light angst, Duo POV, shounen ai, sap
Rating: PG-13 Warnings: lime-ish, AU
Disclaimer: I do not own GW. I've got my fingers crossed, though....
Notes: This is a kind of sequel to 'Flights of Angels', if you disregard that 5 years later part.
Feedback: cries, weeps *begs* for C/C (I think you can just about take this for a given by this point)

Ricochet

Life is just chock full of forgettable moments -- some of them because they're not worth remembering and some because you plain don't want to. But every now and then, something happens you don't want to, or at least can't, forget.

There are a couple of days that stand out in my memory. One is when I got Deathscythe (duh). One is when Father Maxwell got me. And one was when Heero Yuy first touched me.

It struck me as kind of odd that he never had, aside from stitching up a wound or two. And I mean never. We worked together, for chrissakes. Roomed together, even. It almost seemed as if he consciously avoided getting anywhere near me. I told myself I must be crazy when this idea first hit me, though later I found it to be absolutely true. I suppose I should have been grateful that he'd been so obviously thinking about me, even if it was only to plan how to stay far away.

This was in no way to suggest that I, for my part, had never touched him. If the thought that I could spend extended periods of time in his company without the miraculous agony of feeling the warmth and softness of his skin against mine had even crossed your mind, then you don't know me very well, now do you. Heero Yuy is, to put it plainly, one very pretty and distressingly indifferent Duo Maxwell magnet. I can't get enough of him, even when it becomes painfully clear that he has had more than his fill of me. At first, this undeniable fact didn't hurt me as much as you might think. I will be the first to admit that I am somewhat of an acquired taste. But as the days wore on into weeks, and the weeks into months, I could no longer deny that being near him was becoming a hell of a lot more painful than being apart from him. It ceased to be the bee/honey thing and came desperately close to the moth/flame one. Except this flame was ice cold. I can only chalk it up to the masochist in me that I stayed around him as much as I did. My life had already been one big, giant, careening ball of suffering. Why should this be any different?

+

This new school was so much like the last that I expected to bump into the same kids in the halls. I hadn't realized I'd grown so attached to them. After all, I never had before. I suppose it was that more than anything that made me at times so downright nasty. Ryu would barely have recognized me. Mind you, it was kind of refreshing to not be so happy and sunny all the time. I still managed to attract my share of admirers -- my Maxwell charm was something that couldn't be shed easily. Ryu had said I was unconsciously beguiling.

Ryu....

I wished more than anything that I could get him out of my head. I had known at the time that being with him could come to no good, but I could no more have stayed out of his bed than cut off my hair. I had needed a reminder that I was as human as I seemed when I looked in the mirror. Sometimes I swear I expected to see Deathscythe staring back at me. But through Ryu's eyes, I had seen a violet eyed teenaged boy.

So it goes without saying that I missed him something awful. I hadn't been in love with him, though at times I wish I had been. He gave to me like no one ever had and like I probably didn't deserve. He touched me like I was beautiful. His hands made me forget for a while that I was, after all, death walking.

I wasn't kidding when I said he felt like home.

+

"Duo -- are you ok?"

"What? Oh. Yeah, man. Of course." I allowed myself to grimace, knowing he could not see my face. "When am I not ok?"

He was satisfied with my answer, but now my curiosity was piqued. Heero didn't go around wondering how I was on a regular basis. It just wasn't done. They say that curiosity killed the cat. I don't know if that's true or not -- cats always seemed pretty together to me -- but there was no denying that it would most likely lead to my untimely demise one of these days. Pushing that thought back into the deep recesses of my mind where it belonged, I brought forth the one word which could have led to my undoing.

"Why?"

"You stopped talking."

I swung around to face him. My smile felt a tad strained, but I figured that was ok cuz he'd be the last person to notice. I was now officially annoyed. As much as I loved him, Heero could irritate me like nobody's business. It's a good thing, too, or right about now I'd be melting into a puddle of Duo goo in the light of all this unwarranted attention. And I don't know who'd started this rumour that I talk non-stop, anyways. I don't, you know. There's a big, huge, humungous difference between 'a lot' and 'all the time'.

"It does happen, you know."

He replied to me with a look that on anyone else would have been a straight face, but on him was a full force grin.

"I know."

Damn.

Just two little words and my insides turn to mush.

Love sucks, you know?

+

I had to remind myself continually that I was only fighting the one war. There were days when my mantra was along the lines of 'I will not kill Heero Yuy'. Actually, my mantras were a bit more graphic and long-winded than that, but you get my drift. At times it really seemed like it might be better if he just weren't there anymore. He wouldn't be around to threaten my life whenever I felt like singing ' Where Do I Begin' at the top of my lungs. [1] There would be no blank stares of doom if I left the milk out when we went on a mission causing us to come back to a safehouse that smelled like Betty Crocker had kicked the bucket. (In my defense, I didn't do this more than once. Ok -- twice. But I was in a hurry.) Not once more would I have to lay my eyes on those hideous and seemingly self-propagating green tank tops. And never again would he make me smile when he came home to me beaten and bruised yet still lively enough to growl menacingly while I tended his wounds, leaving me to revel in those few short moments when I was allowed to touch the body I daydreamed about...

Geez. I just can't win for losing, can I.

+

If you discounted all the days people I loved had died while I stood by helplessly, all the days I killed innocent bystanders stupid enough to get in my way, and all the days I was forced literally at gunpoint to eat Heero's cooking (he may be perfect in every other respect, but if Heero ever offers to cook for you, run as if your life depended on it -- which it probably does), the day Heero Yuy first touched me was one of the worst days of my life. It was a kind of bad day that people who weren't hell spawned terrorists had.

It all started off with me waking up late. True -- this wasn't exactly a rare occurrence, but this time someone had the blatant audacity to notice my subsequent tardiness. Then I proceeded to fail a truly worthless bio test given by a teacher who didn't realize that I wouldn't be around long enough for any 'final grades that would stay with me for the rest of my life' to be written up. Telling her in graphic detail where she could stick her antediluvian, pedantic, obnoxious twaddle probably didn't help matters any, but a boy can't be in a good mood every day. After an hour in the principal's office followed by a lunch that was more 'loaf' than 'meat', I was seriously considering the possibility that taking Deathscythe and flattening this place along with everybody in it would be doing them and me both a favour. By the time I got to gym class, I was ready to pound anyone who even looked at me funny. Either that or fuck the nearest pretty boy till he couldn't see straight, but somehow I couldn't see that happening, even if it was my first choice.

There have been a lot of things said about me that I will go to my grave denying, but the treatise on Duo Maxwell's body language is not one of them. Let us examine Exhibit A: Duo Maxwell with his hands behind his head. See that happy go lucky grin? Handsome little devil, isn't he. Note if you will the relaxed stance, the carefree carriage. Now if you will allow me to direct your attention to Exhibit B: Duo Maxwell with his hands on his hips. Do you notice any wreckage in the near vicinity? Perhaps the burning shell of a building or two? No? Then you'd better duck and cover cuz Duo Maxwell with his hands on his hips is either contemplating the carnage he's created or planning on carnage to come. It was about this time that Ryu would slip his arms around my waist and nuzzle my neck till I felt dizzy. In the absence of his calming influence, I did what I'd always done before -- I turned on the Duo Maxwell death glare. You think Heero Yuy has the penultimate stare of doom? Not even he can outdo me when I get riled. I was well into causing the unlucky and, I have to admit, perfectly innocent gym teacher to go into some sort of epileptic fit when I felt a hand on my shoulder. Somebody was touching me.

Somebody.

Was touching me.

Usually not a bad idea. Usually a very good idea. Especially if that hand is connected to a blue-eyed god from heaven. But today I was just not in the mood.

"If you don't get your hand off me in the next five seconds, you're going to regret the day your grandparents were born."

"Duo."

Ever feel your heart skip a beat? They always talk about it like it's a good thing.

"Don't you think you should calm down a little?"

Did I mention that he was still touching me? On purpose?

"I could do that."

The hand that in fact was connected to a blue-eyed god gave my shoulder a squeeze before lifting away.

"Good."

He wasn't touching me anymore, but he was still near. I could always tell. And may I now state for the record that for someone who speaks in a literal monotone most of the time, his voice could be uncannily expressive.

"Anyone ever tell you that you need to relax?"

That was the moment I decided that, when all was said and done, I'd have to track Ryu Asoko down someday and make him pay for creating this comedic giant. It was also the moment I knew that, come what may, Heero Yuy held the key to my heart forever. This wasn't exactly news to me, but abruptly the whole mindless situation became much, much worse. I think I might have mentioned that I had always written off my attraction to Heero as an extension of my more masochistic tendencies, right up there with becoming a Gundam pilot in terms of misery and pain. There really was no other rational explanation.

At least, not until now.

Heero's touch was like nothing I had ever felt. The warmth of it ricocheted through my entire body in the space of a heartbeat. When he took his hand away, it was as if he took a part of me with him because suddenly I felt an emptiness that I hadn't know before. At that moment, I would have given anything if he would only have touched me again.

+

Rooming with Heero was a hellish prospect, whichever way you looked at it. If he wasn't doing his dangdest to ignore and/or insult me, he was looking good enough to eat with a spoon. It really wasn't fair. Here I was, risking my neck on an almost daily basis to save the freaking world and on my down time I was stuck with a guy who wouldn't give me the time of day until and unless his life depended on it. I had seen Ryu reach a part of him that I had long ago given up hope of finding. Right about now, I had begun to think that had all been a figment of my admittedly overactive imagination. The warmth I had felt growing between us had disappeared like it had never been. I don't think I need to tell you how this little turn of events sincerely and truly sucked. No wonder I was in such a pissy mood.

"Hey, Heero."

Nothing. What the hell else did I expect? Who was I but a guy who was good at blowing stuff up?

"Heero..."

He didn't even spare a breath to tell me to be quiet. If he had, I probably would have turned my mind to something else like... I don't know -- playing backgammon against myself or something. As it was, his continued silence moved me to do something much more idiotic.

I don't often lose control. Even at my most violent, I know exactly what I'm doing.

Now, however, was not one of those times.

With a strength I only seem to posses when I'm emotionally unraveled, I jerked Heero out of his chair and threw him onto my bed. Before I even knew it, I found myself pinning him down bodily, regardless of the fact that he was making no attempt to escape.

All this in the space of about five seconds.

"Talk to me, damn it!"

But he didn't. Hell, he hardly even breathed.

"Please! Say something! Say anything!"

I wasn't sure what I needed from him, but whatever it was, I needed it desperately. It seemed, however, that he wasn't going to give it to me. By this time, I was pretty much myself again, at least enough to begin to wonder what hideous repercussions my actions would precipitate and whether said repercussions would leave me able to have children one day. And still he just lay there -- the deadliest piece of eye candy you have ever seen. Just when I was about to remove myself to somewhere less danger prone, he finally spoke.

He only said one word.

He said my name.

And I swear no one has ever said it that way before.

It was only then, through the multiple layers of shock assailing me, that I realized I had never been this close to him before. It was mind-numbing to find him so near. Which explains a lot of what happened. I certainly didn't mean to kiss him. Honest and truly. As much and as long as I had wanted to, I put 'kissing Heero' up there with Russian roulette as a life threatening activity of the suicidal kind. But his lips were so near to mine. And I felt so alone. Mind you, I'd spent most of my life alone. I'd pulled away from every human being who had attempted to show me love or affection, and when I finally let them near me, they had to go and die. Every single friggin' one of them. All that time I could have spent loving and being loved had been wasted. Ryu had proven to me that it didn't have to be that way. If I now had a choice, it was because he had made things more clear than they ever had been before. Life seemed as if it'd be short enough in my youth and it was surely doomed to be even shorter now. Taking into account the fact that I would most likely die in a fiery mass of molten, twisted metal before my 16th birthday, spending my last few seconds kissing Heero didn't seem such a bad way to go.

The moment when I lowered myself towards him was endless. It was only then that I realized it wasn't about one moment at all. If one moment could feel like forever, why should I settle for anything less?

From a distance, I saw myself and I saw Heero, going on like we were, like we always had done. And I couldn't let that happen. Whether he wanted this or not no longer mattered. All I knew was that something had to change. I was a battle worn soldier in the war to end all wars, but it was only now that I was truly afraid. And then the moment was over. As my lips met his, suddenly a whole new infinity of moments began. He tasted like all the things I had ever wanted, but could never have. I had closed my eyes at that first intimate touch. They were closed as I kissed his stunned lips and swept my tongue across that warm, soft flesh. I kept them closed even after I pulled away off the bed. I moved backwards until I bumped into the far wall, and still I did not open them.

I had known I loved Heero -- I had been unpleasantly aware of the fact for quite some time. My love for him was by now as familiar as the flow of air into and out of my lungs. Yet I had never in my wildest dream imagined a simple kiss could mean so much.

"Don't cry."

He was near me again. I wanted to scream at him to stay away. It wasn't supposed to mean so much!

"Please. Don't cry."

I felt his fingers brush across my cheek.

"Open your eyes."

I have never been so brave a man than when I obeyed this simple request.

Have I ever mentioned that Heero Yuy was beautiful? Not even once? It's a fact that goes right up there with the sky being blue and 2+2 equaling 4 in terms of validity. I'd go so far as to say he was beauty incarnate, if not for it sounding so frivolous and romantic. He was gorgeous the day I met him, and he had been every day since. But he was never more lovely than the day I opened my eyes to see him smiling back at me.

"All the difference in the world..." [2]

It wasn't until much later that I understood what he meant.

I guess I'll have to thank Ryu for that, too.

+

"You mean all this time..."

"....."

"You liked me..."

"....."

"As much as I liked you?"

"....."

"Sha. And they call me the idiot."

end

[1] This would be the Shirley Bassey version which is, let's face it, fabulous...
[2] One of those things that'll only make sense if you've read 'Flights of Angels'.

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