Author: Maldoror
see 'two percent - dynamite' for warnings, disclaimer

Two Percent
Epilogue

(Duo's POV)

The door closes behind the perfect soldier and I go to sit on the bed. Some people might call it collapsing, but I'm a hard-core Gundam pilot. We don't collapse. We just sit down a bit heavily.

Well, you hypocrite, nice speech. Care to turn that mirror on yourself now?

He's not figured it out. And... I don't think I can tell him.

He's coming to terms that I may not be his weakness. I need to make sure he never realizes that for a moment he was mine.

My gaze falls on what I'd picked from his shoulder.

A couple of metal filings, caught in his t-shirt.

I'm sorry, Heero. I wanted to die. It's that simple. God knows, I'm ready to fight and kill and kick the bucket for the colonies, and yes, if I need to, I'll even pull that trigger on you, love, and then go on fighting all the same. I would do it because I love you, because you would expect me to...

The metal filings are from the bullet that hit the wall when neither of us expected it, before we'd even got to the harder part of the mission, when I wasn't even aware I could lose you.

It was just so... random. So meaningless. A soldier is on this side of a pair of fire-doors instead of that side. You turn to talk to me and live, you ignore me like you often do and you die.

I think of Solo, my former wall of strength, killed by chance and a stupid virus while a scrawny little brat like me survived.

OK. So I was scared. Who's blaming me? Let that person try losing everything they've ever cared for and loved not once but twice and see how they like it.

For just a few minutes, with the drugs lowering my barriers, it became so clear. I knew that pain intimately and it knew me, was waiting for me, but I wouldn't have to face it ever again if I was the one to die first...

Heero has just found out that being in a relationship is a source of strength (oh, sorry, ‘efficiency') but also weakness. I already knew that, but I'd managed to forget it. We lead rather distracting lives.

Well, I've hit the weakness, now I'll use the strength. I made him doubt himself. I think he knew, on some level, that I might have been drugged but I also think he knew that it wasn't just the chemicals talking. He took my weakness upon himself.

He won't have to again.

We have too much to fight for and live for.

And if nothing else the war effort can't afford to lose two pilots. It can't afford Heero running off to get tortured by Dr J and it can't afford me running off to murder Dr J, and I will if he ever lays a finger on my perfect soldier ever again. The echoes of the argument Heero was having with his conditioning make me shudder, I can guess at some of the horrors that lay behind it.

Heero closes the door behind himself and the medical kit. Was he really serious about the painkillers? Cause right now I'm feeling pretty sick of hurting. It gets old real fast.

"You could have just left me in Wing's cockpit, you didn't have to drag me here, baka." Heero growls as he gently removes the bandage which, it feels, is the only thing keeping my shoulder from falling off.

"Oh babe, you know I never lose an opportunity of tying you to the bed."

He sniffs under his breath, examining my stitches.

One day, Yuy, I'll make you laugh. One day, assuming of course we both survive ­hey look, I'm not on morphine and I'm still hallucinating- I'm going to teach you about the rest of the human thing, about reprogramming that computer you have in your head. No more cold equations for you, perfect soldier. You'll just have to muddle along like the rest of us.

You'll see. We make mistakes, plenty. But ­Heero's hands are so gentle, his brow furrowed in concentration over my shoulder- it can be plenty wonderful too.

end two percent

(OK, I did warn people that deep under the violence and weirdness and all that, I'm something of a romantic? Someone shoot me, please.

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