Title: Memory
Author: Mair
Pairings: 1+2+1
Genre: Good question
Rating: PG?
Feedback: Welcomed, craved, worshiped. Anyone who replies gets me as a wifey!
Warnings: POV, TWT, language... wounded pilot... odd ending.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. The G-boys are owned by someone far richer than I. Evil/lucky bastards.

Memory

You know, I always thought that once the war was over I would be happy. Never mind the fact that I wouldn't be piloting Deathscythe any more. Never mind that I wouldn't have to share a room with Heero Yuy any more. Never mind that I wouldn't have to hear Chang Wufei ranting about justice any more. I would have peace and quiet. I could go do scavenging with Howard, open a shop, open a mortuary...

Eh, who the hell am I kidding. I loved going into battle with Deathscythe and the other gundam pilots. I love instigating Wufei's rants. And hell, I love Heero Yuy period.

Would you believe I still remember every detail of when we met and when I first spoke with him, sorry ummm... to him about anything. He tried to shoot Relena. I shot him. Twice. Relena patched him up from bits of her dress. Me? I seem to remember wanting to pinch myself. Relena actually asked ME why I shot him. He fired some missiles at our gundams. Sunk both and succeeded in knocking himself into the water. Next thing I knew the Alliance was positively swarming over the place. We got Heero out of the water but had to leave him.

When I actually took the time to speak with him it was with him lip-reading me on a monitor. I rescued him and he took a nose dive out of the hospital. And people think I'm weird for calling myself death! Let me tell you, that short time I had seen Heero made me want to save him from himself. He didn't even open his chute in time, that day. He nearly stopped my heart with his plunge. And then he stood up! He had a broken leg, two bullet holes and God knows what else and he survived an explosion and a very high story drop by breaking his fall on the friggin' cliff. The guy is amazing. Now that I think about it... That may be when I started to fall in love with him. Not quite love at first sight but close enough. Never mind the fact that I didn't realize it for a hell of a long time. As a matter of fact... it took me having to be taken care of, and healed, by Heero, I think, to figure it out.

Lets see...

There was a burning pain in my side from the bullet and the surrounding bruises from well placed boots kept me from speaking much. Sometimes I scare myself with some of the things I do. Get myself captured by OZ... Shot by OZ during the escape... I shut my eyes, my mind narrowing as I tried to block out the pain caused by the truck happily bouncing along the road.

Heero, for some odd reason, had started saving me now. Send him on a mission to kill me and what do you know... He saves me instead. I guess it's his small way of rebelling against Dr. J: his own you-can-go-to-hell-bouncing-on-the-pogo-stick-I-shoved-up-your-ass. Heero had his own way of doing things. Oh sure, he would go and start to do something for one reason, example, the "mission", and then he would change it ever so slightly so things would come out even better. Something I find very annoying at times cause he never tells me ahead of time what he's gonna do.

I mean, I can barely do things right the first time sometimes. And he can pull something off that you shouldn't be able to do! It's a little scary having the Perfect Soldier as a best friend. A bump in the road brings my mind back to the pain of my present injuries.

"Duo?"

We stopped. Suddenly. Oh God, if I could hurl I think I would. My stomach is not coping well with all of this. Strike that. I would hurt more if I hurled.

"Duo, we have to get inside."

"No shit Sherlock." I shot back. Lets face it. Duo Maxwell does NOT like pain.

"You are going to have to get out of the truck. I opened the door. Get out." Heero said coldly.

I open one eye. Light... Ahhhh, time to close they eye, the sunlight makes me hurt more... I'm starting to get a headache. "Forget it... I hurt to much." I shut my eye again, blocking Heero out.

Suddenly I'm moving. Oh ow. Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow OW! "Jesus Heero!" I blurt out as my eyes open to reinforce what my mind tells me is happening. Heero takes me from my semi upright position and wraps his arms around me. I'm out of the truck and being carried like a baby to the safe house. My confused mind wants to swear or something but I can't think of a thing to say.

He kicks open the door and sidesteps in. I catch a glimpse of Quatre's face as it spins past me, I close my eyes again. Yech... spinning rooms are not my friend. Heero walks off in the direction of our room.

"You saved him?" Quatre's voice called after us.

Gee thanks. I open my eyes in time to see Heero push open the door to our room and step inside. My foot knocks against the doorjamb. If we were going any faster that might have really hurt. The skin on my side pulls a little at his movement causing me to hiss out loud in unexpected pain. I had almost managed to block it all out too.

Damn.

I'm being set down on a bed. I can feel the familiar, even if I haven't had them for the past week, feeling of clean sheets. Spots and neon lights dance in my eyes as the world fades. I nearly pass out from the change in posture re-opening the bullet wound. Only problem being that my stubborn mind fails to oblige me by letting me pass out. I can't even come up with a decent curse. Not like I could really say it. I get the feeling that if I tried it would hurt a lot.

My vision starts returning and I manage to make out the ceiling above my bed. Suddenly Heero is blocking my view. His eyes call to me. For once I can see an emotion in them. It's an emotion that I'm shocked as hell to see. Heero's worried. Don't get me wrong, it's not written all over his face in bright green marker or anything, his expression is hiding in the back of his eyes. Where only I can see it. Slowly, I become aware of something tugging at my chest. Heero is undoing my shirt.

Some how I find my voice. "What are you doing?"

He blinks. "Caring for your wound. I can't do that if your shirt is on. I need to be able to see."

A speech! Today's ride in the truck and the aftermath, so far, is the most I've heard him say in the past month and a half.

He gets my shirt open and studies the wound. Evidently, it doesn't look too good because I detect a frown on his face. He gets up and walks out the door. Now my curiosity is stirred. I crane my neck, trying to get a look at my abdomen without causing any more pain. Ow. My head flops back down on the pillow as I concentrate on breathing.

Heero walks back into the room and shuts the door behind him. My eyes immediately track him. What in the heck is he doing anyway? He has a first aid kit in one hand and a pair of tweezers in the other. Long sturdy tweezers, not those little flimsy pocketknife things.

"Uhhh, Heero?"

He simply looks at me and sets the first aid kit down on the bed. He opens it and takes out some cloth wipes, antiseptic, gauze and a needle and thread.

Oh shit. He is going to stitch me himself. I've never even SEEN him pick up a needle and thread before. My thoughts are suddenly drowned out by the fresh dose of pain welling up from the bullet wound. Spots dance in front of my eyes. He dumped hydrogen peroxide in the fucking wound. The pain gets worse as Heero mops some of the antiseptic out of the way with one of the pads. I can no longer see and I really wish I could pass out.

A pause in the pain. "Duo?"

I try to speak but whimper instead.

There is another pause. I think he gave me a shot of something. After a few minutes the pain has receeded to a slightly-less-than-gut-wrenching pain. I can even see again.

"Better?" He asks, picking up the tweezers.

"Shit Heero... Why didn't you just knock me out?"

"I have to keep you awake to monitor you." He starts poking about for the bullet. I wince as he finds it.

This is really odd... I think as my mind drifts back to the conversation bits. He has exceeded his word quota for the rest of this month and the next two in the space of ten minutes. "Why are you doing this?" I ask. Part of me fears the answer, I know Trowa is better at patching people up. He and his sister did heal Heero after all.

"Shut up, Duo." He removes it and I hear a metallic tink of it being set down in the lid of the emergency kit. He picks up the spool of thread and takes some off. He threads the needle and begins stitching.

Every once and a while I manage to feel the prick of the needle where the local anesthesia hasn't quite taken hold. I don't even count the stitches. When he is done he makes a bandage out of the gauze and gets me secured.

By the time he's done I am barely awake. The relief from that pain has started me shaking, I'm shaking and sleepy. Not a good combination.

Heero covers me but when that does nothing to stop the shaking he lay's down next to me and wraps his arms around me. It felt really good. I really wish circumstances were different. Like having him mean that my affections were returned. Oh well, I'd enjoy it while it lasted. However, my last thought that day was a repetition of the question I had asked him earlier; why was he doing this?

* * *

When I woke up that night, he was still there, but he wasn't asleep. He also wasn't holding me. I felt disappointed. "Thank you Heero."

He said nothing. Argh.

"Heero?"

No response. He was just laying there looking up at the ceiling. He must have realized how many words he used up talking to me earlier. Damn.

I lifted a hand and touched his shoulder. "Heero, why didn't you let Trowa stitch me up? Not that I'm complaining or anything, but he is better at it than you are."

Silence. I removed my hand from his shoulder and wiped my forehead. Surprised, I found it warm, really warm. Great, the wound is infected. I'm surprised I'm even awake. I swallowed, my throat dry.

"Are you thirsty?"

He speaks! "Yes..." I said. How in the hell did he know?

He sat up and slid off the end of the bed. He walked off. A few minutes later Heero returned with a cup. He knelt down next to me and set the cup down on the desk. He helped me sit up a little then handed me the cup.

I took a sip, then another. God, I wanted to down the whole thing the water tasted so good. I took a larger one.

"Be careful."

I glanced up at him. He sat just watching me on the bed. "I know."

He sat a moment more in the darkness. Still. I didn't see him move but suddenly his cool hand was on my forehead. It didn't stay very long. He got up again and walked to the desk, turning on the small lamp to see by.

I blinked in the sudden light. Squinting, I saw him prep a needle. "Uh... Heero?"

"You have a fever. This will help." He replied as he squirted a bit of liquid out of the needle.

"Can't Trowa do it?"

"No." Came his soft response. Heero picked up a rubber tie and walked back over to the bed. He sat down on the edge, shoving my legs a little to the side.

I gasped as the movement pulled on my stitches. SHIT!

Heero looked up at me sharply. "Can you feel the wound?" He tied the tie around my arm and pulled my arm up toward the light. I nodded, not quite trusting myself to speak. It felt like something was tearing inside. God it hurt. Not like the needle wasn't either.

I winced as Heero moved the needle around in my arm. Ow. I closed my eyes tightly. This would leave a bruise. A big nasty bruise. Another one for the collection I suppose. He must have hit it cause a second after it stopped moving he took the damn thing out. "Jeez Heero, why'd you give me a shot in the vein? The arm would've worked just as well!"

"Your shoulders and upper arms are too swollen and bruised. A shot here enters your system faster and will do more good." A pad pressed against my inner arm and the rubber tie came off. "Keep pressure on that."

The cup left my hand and I opened my eyes. I replaced his fingers on my arm and watched him go back to the desk. He started to prep another shot and I looked down at my hand. He taped the cotton to my arm. Funny, I never felt the tape. I looked up at the cup next to me on the small chest of drawers. Water. Damn it I should have drank the whole thing when I had the chance.

Heero unscrewed the cap on another bottle and plunged the fresh needle into it. He pulled back the plunger, filling it with liquid. He pulled the needle out of the bottle and set the syringe down on the desk. I looked back down at my arm and slowly relaxed my fingers, taking them away.

When no blood welled up I looked up to see him standing over me. I blinked. Heero picked up the water cup and handed it to me. I accepted it and drank the rest. There wasn't much.

Heero took the cup away and set both needle and cup down next to the alarm clock. He helped me lay back down and peeled back the bandage on my abdomen. It must not look good because he glared at it. You know that's a really freaky sight. Heero Yuy glaring at a wound. It's not even like it's his!

I found the situation almost amusing until he reached for the peroxide again. He poured it on me and I -KNEW- the bedamned anesthesia wore off. "CHRIST!" Yes, I did yell. IT HURT!!! What in the hell are you supposed to do when something hurts? Whine, bitch and moan until the pain goes away? Hell no. Curse at it, -then- bitch and moan until it leaves.

Would you believe that earned me the glare of death from Heero? He cleaned the peroxide off and the last of the anesthetic wore off right then and there. By the time he finished I know I was the color of green soldier at the sight of the first dead body. I know the wound had to be clean to stick a needle in but DAMN! I know I passed out a little that time.

I woke up when he jabbed me with the first shot. A couple of shot's later and once more I was blessedly numb. "God Heero. I'm sorry I shot you." I breathed out. It must have really fuckin' hurt." I looked over to where he turned off the lamp on the desk. I blinked in the darkness.

"I know."

I blinked. I wasn't expecting an answer to my apology. As I drifted off to sleep, I wondered why he saved me and why he did all of this for me. Not like I'd do anything different, but I had a reason. I loved him. Love? I fought against sleep. "H'ro? Why?" My eyes really wanted to close in sleep.

Silence. "Because."

Sleep claimed me as the word echoed in my soul.

I don't know how long I was out. I remember partially waking up a couple of times, but not much else. All I know is that every time I woke up Heero was there. Infection really set in and he cared for me through the entire thing. The others offered to help but Heero told them all, more or less, to go take a flying leap off a cliff. I really wish I'd been awake to see that.

As it was, when I finally woke up, I asked him if he stayed and took care of me the entire time. He nodded. Then I asked what day it was. He told me.

I'd been out of my head for almost a week. Evidently my initial imprisonment gave me the flu. It took a day or so to set in so of course it didn't rear its ugly head until the night after my escape. The infection of the bullet wound also started that night. That's also the last night I remember.

"Thanks a lot Heero." I said soberly. He looked like shit. He must've been up with me through the entire thing.

Heero just shrugged, but when he met my eyes I saw something. Relief.

"Hey," He'd been about to leave the room. "Why did you save me? Why is it when ever we end up in some fight and I end up in trouble, even if I can get out of it, you come in and save me? I'm not complaining but why?"

I kid you not it was like his face closed shut except for his eyes. Those held a glimmer of worry. That closed expression in response with everything else tagging along behind it told me everything. I smiled in response. Not a grin, but a slow happy smile that comes with understanding. I knew. I knew and it blew my mind. Heero Yuy cared about me. I mean he knew he cared before but he Cared about me. Capital "C" as in the kind of caring reserved for those in someone's heart.

My smile must have told him something too because he relaxed. Just before he left the doorway he'd stood in for the entire conversation, he smiled. It wasn't one of my smiles, just the softening around the eyes and the edges of his mouth quirked up a little.

After he left, I glanced over at the mirror on the wall and saw my own smile. I watched as my expression changed to one of surprise. Hot Damn. If the look on his face told me that he loved me well shit! Mine must have screamed that the feeling was mutual.

Yes, I remember laughing myself silly in my own mind over that one. My abdomen still didn't like the movement of laughter. But even now that memory brings a smile to my face.

Of course, so does one particularly underdressed Heero Yuy coming out of our bathroom. If you'll excuse me? Time to go make some more memories. Maybe ones that involve the whip cream from Thanksgiving?

end

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