Pairing: 1x2 (duh, this is me)
Spoilers: Hell, no.
Warnings (overall): AU, mythos/fantasy, yaoi/shounen-ai, OOC(due to the
story), random lime, eventual M/M lemon, general weirdness
Disclaimer: GW and the boys are mine... and I also have a very nice bridge
you might like to buy. *snicker*
A/N: I'm about to date myself... as if I haven't done it a hundred times
already. This tale is loosely inspired by a relatively old, very silly
movie by the name of 'Splash'... yeah, *that* one. But, I stress, only
*very* loosely. I've always loved two myths occasionally associated with
Heero x Duo: the tenshi and the akuma, and -- even less typically -- the
human and the merboy. 'Wet' is my version of the latter. And remember,
people, it's pure fantasy. Let go your hold on reality for a while, and
welcome to my world...
// = direct thought
:: = mindspeech
+ Part 1
"Why are we here?"
"Ocean fishin', kid. Nothing better than watching the sun come up over
"It's too early, though. And wet. And it makes absolutely no sense! If
we want fish, we can get that at five different seafood markets."
Odin Lowe glanced over at the son he almost never saw and had lost touch
with emotionally long ago. Heero was fifteen now, and not likely to take
direction from a captain of the Coast Guard who was a) divorced from his
mother and b) never there. He sighed silently. So much for bonding.
"Look, Heero," he said, voice resigned, "I know you don't want to be here...
and I know you don't particularly like me. But do this for your Mom, huh?
She doesn't want to feel like she's taken you away from me."
He glanced at the silent boy whose features were so like those of Kirei
Yuy, the woman he still loved. The woman who refused to live with his
Heero looked up, and Odin found his own eyes staring back at him from
a delicate, Japanese-featured face.
"For Mom," the boy said gravely, before turning his gaze back towards
the gentle ripples of calm, early-morning ocean.
He thought of himself as Heero Yuy. Though Odin Lowe had provided half
his genetic material, he felt little connection and much hostility towards
the man standing opposite him in the Water Witch's roomy confines.
His mother had never spoken one ill word of Odin, but over the years,
Heero had often heard her quiet weeping... especially on those nights
his father should have been home, but wasn't.
There was always some extenuating circumstance. As an active officer in
the Coast Guard, Captain Lowe had any number of excuses for not being
where he should, when he ought.
At seven, Heero started to question his mother's explanations. By the
time he was ten, she'd filed for divorce. At fifteen... well, he had little
use for men outside his mother's brother, Jei.
These father/son outings were to be tolerated for Kirei's sake, nothing
Plopping down on the padded bench at the Witch's stern, Heero leaned against
the hull, gazing moodily out over slight waves. The boat was barely moving
and their wake was minimal, leaving the surrounding ocean clear. The dawn
sank golden fingers into unfathomable depths and the resulting chiaroscuro
mesmerized the teen who watched.
So fascinated by clear motes in dark water, he almost missed the flicker
of movement within them. Then shimmering patterns resolved themselves
into scintillating fins and iridescent skin and Heero stared, not believing
what sight declared to be true.
A creature of pure myth gazed back at him, eyes wide with wonder, graceful
limbs and long, fish-like tail moving languidly through darkly translucent
liquid. A lengthy braid snaked around the slender body, undulating with
the ocean's inner currents.
He shook his head once, trying to clear his vision, but the mer-creature
below remained, looking up at him. A small, slim hand rose, waved, and
a tentative smile curved a generous mouth. Dark eyes blinked curiously
at him and the heart-shaped face tilted to one side... an unspoken question.
Biting his lip, Heero darted a quick peek upwards at Odin. The man was
firmly ensconced in the cockpit, gaze fixed on the horizon. Turning his
eyes back to the alien boy -- for a boy he was -- Heero
shook his head just slightly. No one else was looking.
The boy's smile widened into a gamine grin as -- to Heero's delight
-- he turned a complicated set of loops through the water. The
dark-haired human grinned right back at the fascinating being beneath
He watched his new acquaintance swim lazily alongside the boat for a while,
exchanging occasional gestures and smiles. The boy got steadily closer
and closer, until finally a seal-sleek head breached the water-line, and
Heero was mere feet away from a creature logic dictated could not exist.
The merchild's first breath was a gasp as his lungs converted from water
to air inhalation. He clung to the swim-ladder on the side of the boat,
panting quietly as Heero watched anxiously from his perch.
"You okay down there, kid?"
Both boys froze at the sound of Lowe's voice and Heero whipped his head
around to make sure his father was still at his station.
"Fine. Just watching the water."
"I'm gonna drop anchor and cast a line. You're welcome to join me," Lowe
said in an even tone.
"No thank you, Sir," Heero replied politely. If nothing else, his mother
had instilled perfect manners in her only son. "I think I'll stay back
Heero waited until Lowe was settled in the bow of the boat -- feet
propped on the railing, rod beside him, a cigar clamped between his teeth
-- before turning his attention elsewhere.
Lowering his gaze, he found enormous violet eyes locked worriedly on him.
It's okay, he mouthed, smiling at the beautiful merchild. He couldn't
say whether the other boy understood the words, but his smile apparently
Anxiety vanished from bright eyes, a happy curve returning to the mobile
mouth. Scooting as close as possible to the braided boy's hand-hold, Heero
leaned over the side, extending his arm. Moments later lean, warm fingers
slid over his palm, twining themselves with his own.
/He's real! He's really there! I'm not imagining this!/
Cautiously reaching out with his other hand, he brushed his fingertips
against a smooth cheek, tucked a strand of water-dark hair behind a shell-like
ear. The merboy made a purring noise, nuzzling against stroking fingers.
"You're amazing," Heero whispered almost soundlessly and was rewarded
with a blinding grin. "Do you... understand me?"
A nod and another grin.
The other boy rolled the name soundlessly around on his tongue, trying
out the shape of it. Then, to Heero's astonishment, a -- sound?
thought?? -- echoed within the confines of his head.
He stared at the silent boy who looked so hopefully up at him, bluish-purple
eyes begging him to accept what he did not understand. Taking a deep breath,
he softly asked,
The pointed chin dipped in assent and the smile reappeared, even brighter
than before. Heero returned it without hesitation. There was nothing rational
about this entire situation. He would take Duo as he came and let the
inevitable questions lie. Curiosity was, after all, an overrated trait...
look what it had done to the cat.
Slight fingers wrapped more firmly around his and he relaxed into the
boat's rocking motion with a contented sigh. Heero Yuy wasn't intimately
familiar with happiness, but he rather thought it might feel something
Later, he wasn't sure how long they stayed like that, hands entwined,
just looking at each other, but eventually Duo straightened, head cocked
as though listening to a far-off sound, and reluctantly released Heero's
fingers. Turning regretful amaryllis eyes on his new friend, he gestured
towards the open sea.
"You have to go?" Heero murmured and the merboy nodded.
Brushing his hand lightly along Heero's arm in farewell, he shoved away
from the rudder he'd propped himself against and -- with a small
smile -- disappeared beneath the ocean's restless surface.
Heero's chest grew tight and he felt his little-used tear-ducts sting
just a bit. Then a lithe, opalescent tail-fin popped from the water and
waved pertly at him before vanishing once more.
Up on the bow, Odin Lowe woke with a start at an unusual sound. Puzzled,
he pushed to his feet, ready to go check on Heero, then froze abruptly,
having identified the noise.
For the first time in recent memory, his son was laughing.
That day was Heero's initial encounter with the aquatic-dwelling creature
who would become his best friend, but it wasn't the last by a long shot.
Odin Lowe was both surprised and pleased to discover that his previously
distant son had developed a love for the ocean. Not just any piece of
it either... Heero's new interest was confined to the waters off the Cape.
A loner by nature, Odin preferred his own company on his personal craft,
but found Heero to be an undemanding companion. The boy rarely spoke,
simply adding his quiet presence to rolling waves, crying gulls, and the
scent of the sea Odin loved so well.
Heero did have an odd habit of reading aloud to himself, but the low murmur
of his voice was pleasant and barely within audible range. All in all,
it was a more-than-acceptable arrangement, with the added benefit that
it pleased Kirei Yuy to see her former husband and beloved child reforming
the bond that had disintegrated with time.
It pleased Odin that he was able to please the woman he still considered
his mate, to say nothing of gaining the opportunity to spend more time
with her. At forty-five years of age, Odin Lowe had had enough solitude
in one respect. He wanted his wife and son back and was prepared to demonstrate
that fact to both of them.
Heero was beyond pleased, but his joy had little to do with either
of his parents. Like his father, he did not find the company of most people
worth pursuing, so the advent of a real friend in his life was a new and
wondrous thing... and such a friend!
Human boys did not have sleek, glistening skin of seafoam or feathery
tail-fins that could swipe your legs out from under you. No land-bound
teen he knew possessed eyes of laughing violet and a braid of thick chestnut
hair nearly as long as they were tall.
And no human -- child or adult, male or female -- could
speak mind-to-mind with the merest brush of skin against skin.
As soon as the heavy afternoon sun sent Odin to sleep, Heero was over
the side of the boat and in Duo's world. The minute his fingers touched
his friend's he could hear Duo's thoughts. And the instant the merboy's
mouth met his -- water streaming from one set of lips to another
-- Heero could breathe the ocean as if it was air.
They never went that deep or swam very far from the boat. Luckily, Odin
liked his privacy enough to get farther out than many leisure-fishermen
bothered going, so the possibility of being seen was almost nil.
Odin, himself, they watched like a pair of young peregrines tracking a
particularly wary rodent.
Lowe expected Heero to spend time in the Atlantic -- it was summer,
after all, the heat of the sun made that much more intense by the water's
reflective qualities -- but he preferred Heero not to leave the
boat's immediate surrounds
"That's what the damn swim-ladder's there for, kid! Hang on it and cool
off, swim a little, just don't go diving or anything else stupid. Your
mom'd have my ass if something happened to you. And hey... I wouldn't
be too pleased, either."
Giving Heero's perpetually messy hair a ruffle, he'd received a startled
look from his son and a very small smile that he took for assent. More
All in all, the hot months passed quietly: Odin and Kirei in blissful
ignorance and Heero and Duo in fascinated discovery. This unnaturally
peaceful state could not last, though, and at the end of August, Murphy
stepped in to prove his universal law dreadfully correct.
:: 2 ::
Duo stirred sleepily in Heero's arms, muscles flowing easily in a long
stretch. They'd attached themselves to the swim-ladder on the Witch's
shady side, resting after an underwater race. It was so lovely to lay
here against each other, half in water/half in air, tail and legs twined
Looking up at his friend through slitted eyes, the merboy couldn't help
Heero was just so beautiful. He'd thought so since that months-ago moment
he'd first seen the human youth gazing over the side of this small cruiser.
He'd been out early that morning, ditching class to indulge in his favorite
pastime: people watching. It had been late spring, then, the sea-traffic
around the Cape not so heavy. He'd followed the private pleasure-craft
since it was headed for an unpopulated area... he liked to observe humans,
but had no desire to be seen by one.
That had changed the instant he'd looked up through the water into Heero's
His father and older brother condemned his hobby as both reckless and
dangerous. If they ever caught him on one of his excursions, he'd be in
major hot water. It was worth taking the chance, though. Heero
was worth that and so much more...
Humming happily at Heero's mental voice, Duo wriggled, enjoying the feel
of their equally smooth, water-slick skin rubbing together.
:I am now. Mmm. Like this. Like you:
:Like you too: was the amused reply.
Duo wasn't quite sure why he liked to touch and be touched so much when
it came to Heero... he just did. It had never been that way with any of
his other friends... maybe it was because Heero was human instead of mer?
Then there was the fact that without contact, Heero could not hear him.
And without Duo's breath, Heero's lungs wouldn't function underwater.
That thought momentarily paralyzed the braided mer. Living beings were
such frail, easily damaged things, and human water-vehicles were by no
means infallible. The oceans were littered with the evidence of that.
What if Heero went out on the water sometime when Duo wasn't there and
a storm blew in? What if he got caught in a rip? What if-?
:Hey. I can swim by myself, you know. I just have to keep my head above
water most of the time:
Propping his elbows on the rung just above Heero's shoulders, Duo searched
his friend's eyes.
:The ocean is not kind or just, Heero. You cannot trust her:
:I know, I know: Heero sighed. :Your mom died during a hurricane and storms
freak you out, big-time. But Duo... I'm fine. We're really not that far
out and Odin'll radio for help if we need it. Besides, he's career Coast
Guard... prepared is his middle name. Speaking of... he up yet?:
Not protesting the change in subject, Duo stretched his senses wide to
encompass the boat. The blue-green spark that was Heero's father appeared
quiescent, with only a few brief flares of cognizance that quickly subsided.
Looking up at Heero, Duo shook his head.
Pulling Duo's head back down to his shoulder, the dark-haired teen idly
stroked the mer's long, silken braid.
:Ever thought about cutting it?:
:What?!: Duo's mental signature was indignant. :Why would I want to? I
like my hair!:
A low laugh thrummed in Heero's throat.
:Kidding, baka. I wouldn't want you to, anyway. 'S beautiful...:
The mer's tone was arch.
Tilting his friend's chin up, Heero gazed into laughing violet.
"You're beautiful," he breathed aloud, and leaned down to touch
his mouth to Duo's.
It was the merest brush of lips, but as Heero pulled back, Duo stared
at him out of wide, unblinking eyes. Unsteady fingers rose to cover the
place Heero's mouth had touched.
:Why... why did you do that?: the mer asked, sounding dazed.
Realizing he might have just destroyed the most important thing in his
life with his own clumsy hands, Heero pushed away from Duo, hooking a
foot onto the ladder to swing himself up on deck. The mer's hand caught
his wrist though, pulling him back down with a strength that always surprised
the human. Though Duo looked slight, there was power in his lean body.
He used it now to hold Heero next to him as he searched the other teen's
:I'm not sorry you did... I just wanted to know why:
A gentle hand smoothed chocolate bangs away from cobalt eyes. Duo smiled
hopefully at his friend and Heero let go a relieved breath, staring down
at their joined hands.
:I... I did it because I wanted to. I have for a while. I look at you
and... I don't know! Can't explain. I just... I always want to be with
you. It's hard to think about anything else anymore:
Glancing up at Duo through messy bangs, he caught the gleam of understanding
in the mer's eyes. Understanding... and something more. Slender fingers
caressed his own.
:I feel that, too, Heero. I don't think it's bad, though. Is happiness
Heero just shook his head, caught in glowing violet. Then Duo's smile
turned impish and he reached a hand up to cup Heero's cheek.
:Wanna try that kissing thing again?:
Heero's answering smile was like the breaking of dawn.
A sharp tug on his line woke Odin from a light doze. Well, shit... he'd
been almost positive he wouldn't get a bite all the way out here, but
damned if that didn't feel like something well-over the ten pound mark.
False albacore, probably, given the time of year and their present location.
A rueful smile lifted salt-chapped lips. What the hell... maybe Kirei
would like something really fresh.
The Albie was a big sucker, and it made him work for it. Been a long time
since he'd actively fought a fish. These trips were more for relaxation
than any driving desire to catch some poor critter just swimming along
minding its own business.
When he finally had the silver-sided fish landed and gasping on the deck,
Odin's breath was coming quickly as well. As he stood over the flopping
ichthyoid, though, he found he just didn't have the heart to let it suffocate.
With a deft twist, he detached the hook from the gills and heaved the
wriggling creature back over the railing.
It landed in the water with a splash and didn't resurface. The relief
that came with knowing he hadn't killed the thing made Odin laugh silently
/Gettin' soft in your old age, Lowe./
Cocking an ear towards the ship's tail end, he mopped blood-tinged seawater
from the deck. He hadn't heard anything from Heero in a while. Kid was
as silent as the grave, a fact for which Odin was daily grateful.
Probably should check on him. He felt a little guilty, bringing the boy
out here then abandoning him for the day. Although, Heero certainly didn't
The kid had a sleek, satisfied look to him these days that Odin couldn't
quite figure out. He seemed, for want of a better word, content. That
was not an emotion he'd ever associated with his taciturn son, but damned
if he was gonna argue with it. It had silent resentment beat by a country
Rolling his shoulders to work the kinks out, he ambled down the narrow
passage between cabin and railing, towards the stern. The Witch was a
fairly large craft -- roomy enough for comfort -- and he
often bunked on it whenever he was off-duty. His apartment was little
more than storage space.
"Hey, kid, you about ready to-,"
At first glance, he didn't understand what he was seeing. At second glance,
he thought he understood, but was having trouble believing what his eyes
were telling him. Shock and adrenaline shot their toxic combination along
his nervous system, straight to his brain, and he reacted without thinking,
something he would regret almost before the rush had left him.
Stumbling backwards into the cabin, he pulled open a locker, fumbling
for the side-arm he kept there.
They'd been so wrapped up in each other they hadn't even noticed Odin
until he'd called out.
Heero's eyes snapped open and he froze, the pliant form in his arms doing
the same. He turned in time to see his father disappear through the cabin
door, then jerked his gaze back to Duo. Onyx had swallowed violet, the
expressive eyes widening into dark pools of fear.
: 'S okay. I'll talk to him:
Heero made to climb the swim-ladder, but Duo clung tenaciously.
:He's my father, Duo: Heero soothed. :He won't hurt me:
Brushing a quick kiss against Duo's mouth, he disentangled himself from
the mer's reluctant arms and scrambled quickly up slippery rungs. He was
not prepared to find Odin standing at the top, a gun held in shaking fingers...
a gun which was pointed right at Duo.
Heero's voice cracked sharply across the endless murmur of the ocean,
dragging Lowe's eyes from Duo to him.
"What... what is that?" the older man grated out, his voice harsh.
The dark-haired boy's temper rose swiftly at the words.
"He is Duo, Lowe. And he's my friend." Heero sighed. "Look, just
put the gun down and I'll-,"
"No. I want to know what the hell he was doing with you."
A fierce frown pulled Heero's brows together. He shot a quick glance down
at Duo, whose skin was now as pale as fresh milk.
"None of your business. Don't start pulling your 'father' crap with me
at this late date. Put the fucking gun down, you're scaring him!"
Duo's frightened mental voice made the frantic feelings swell inside him
and he couldn't think beyond the dark muzzle pointed towards the mer.
/I heard him and we're not even touching./ :Duo!:
His sudden lunge took Odin by surprise and the older man gave a startled
yelp. Heero grabbed for the gun, shoving Lowe's hand skyward as the weapon
involuntarily discharged, the bullet streaking harmlessly into the ocean.
Odin jerked his arm, shaking Heero off and the teen stumbled backwards,
thrown off-balance. The shove's momentum carried him towards the Witch's
side and over it and then he was crashing into the water, his head connecting
with the rudder on the way down.
:Heero! Heero wake up... please!:
Slim, strong arms held him tightly. Warm lips touched his own. He didn't
want to wake up... he liked it here in this dark, womb-like place. Liked
the feeling of being held like this.
:Love, you're bleeding. That's dangerous in the water. I'm taking you
to the surface:
No! He didn't want to go back up there. There was a reason for that, but
his muddled thoughts couldn't quite process the whys and wherefores of
Then he was rising towards the light, being pushed steadily upwards until
a new set of hands grasped his shoulders and he was yanked, gasping, from
his wet cradle and laid flat on something hard.
Coughing, he rolled his head weakly in refusal. This wasn't what he wanted...
what he needed.
:Love you: the voice of home whispered as the surface beneath him vibrated
to life and motion blurred what remained of his vision.
Then even that was gone, darkness encroaching quickly on his mind's cognizance.
Helpless against the rising waves of oblivion, he gave in to their persistence,
letting them drag him under to insensibility. There was room for one last
thought... then nothing.
:: 3 ::
"What are you talking about, Odin? Why should I lie to my son?"
Angrily pacing the stark ER waiting room, Kirei Yuy paused momentarily
to glare at her ex. She'd thought they might finally work things out between
them, but now...
"Kirei, please..." Odin crossed the worn linoleum to take her slim hands,
gripping them tightly in his. "You don't have a damn reason to trust me,
but... God, you need to do this. Not for me. This is about Heero, not
Searching wild blue eyes so like her son's, the petite Japanese-American
finally realized what she was seeing. Fear. Odin's gaze was haunted by
something she couldn't even begin to guess at and she could feel her own
worry rise to meet the dark emotions swirling in cobalt depths.
"I can't... can't tell you why. Not right now. Not sure I'll ever be able
to. I doubt you'd even believe me! But for his sake... I'm begging you.
Long minutes passed before she nodded reluctantly, eyes still locked on
a face that seemed to have aged years in a day.
"I will trust you because -- though you were never ideal as husband
or father -- I have never believed other than that you would die
before deliberately harming either Heero or me."
Giving Odin one last, searching look, she pulled her hands from his and
turned away, walking towards the open door where a nurse waited patiently.
"Odin." Kirei Yuy stopped in the rectangular frame and spoke without looking
back. "If I am wrong about this, I will find out. And no ocean will be
wide enough, as the saying goes."
Then she was gone and Odin sat down abruptly, his legs finally giving
out. Leaning forward, he dropped his face into his hands, resting his
aching head against clammy palms.
/Is this the right thing to do? I sure as hell don't know. But it's the
only thing I can think of./
Straightening slowly, he leaned his head against an off-white wall and
closed his eyes. As they'd been doing all afternoon, his thoughts circled
back to the boat... the water... and the impossibility that had floated
there; enormous, terror-filled eyes staring up at him.
/Christ almighty... that kid had a fucking tail!/
"Heero? Come on, baby, come back to me."
Duo? No... the voice was too soft, too feminine. And besides, his ears
were picking it up along with his mind.
Very slowly and with great effort, Heero slitted his eyes.
This definitely wasn't his house. The bed was both too hard and yet not
firm enough to be his own. A thin curtain surrounded it, muting the electric
light illuminating the room.
"Good to see you conscious again, baby-boy."
His mother's face swam into smiling view and Heero did his best to smile
back, though it wasn't very successful. The minute he tried to move his
neck, an agony of pain surged through his head, leaving nausea and dizziness
in its wake.
"Don't try to move, kiddo, you'll just make yourself sick."
"Now she tells me," he mumbled, surprising a laugh from the woman beside
Rising, Kirei moved so he could look at her without disturbing his throbbing
skull and he grimaced in rueful thanks.
"I've seen better efforts from three-thousand-year-old mummies," his mother
the ancient history professor remarked acerbically.
"Yeah, well, they have the distinct pleasure of being dead," he groaned.
"I'm just working on it."
Kirei's laughter sounded once more within the muffled enclosure and Heero's
mind began to feel somewhat less foggy.
"Mom, what am I doing in the hospital? How-?"
His voice trailed off as his memories returned in a gut-churning flood.
The boat... And Lowe had... Duo!
"Where's Dad, Mom?"
A slight, puzzled frown furrowed Kirei's golden brow.
"What does your father have to do with anything, Heero? I expect he's
off rescuing some rich idiot's ocean-ignorant, undeserving ass."
Heero gaped at his mother.
"But he... I... what did...?"
Sighing, Kirei carefully sat down on Heero's bed, laying a delicate hand
over her son's restless fingers.
"I asked you to clean out the attic today, since it's almost fall and
sooner or later we'll have to store the summer stuff and break out winter
clothes. You missed a rung coming down the ladder and whacked yourself
a good one." Reaching forward, she gently brushed a lock of unruly chocolate
hair back from Heero's face. "You've got one heck of a concussion, baby-boy.
They're keeping you tonight for observation."
Heero's mind whirled pointlessly, unable to make sense of what his mother
was telling him.
The attic? But... he'd been out on the boat with Odin today. And his father
"Mom, I was with Dad today. We took the boat out around ten."
Kirei sat back, the frown once more in place.
"You couldn't have, Heero. Your Dad's not even in port, right now. He's
been gone for almost a month."
Heero reeled. If it had been anyone but his mother saying these things,
he'd have automatically assumed they were lying. But Kirei had never lied
to him. Not about Santa or the Tooth Fairy or even religion. Not about
If she said Lowe was out of town, he was. If she told Heero that he'd
hit his head tumbling down the attic ladder, he damn well had.
And if that was the case...
It hadn't been real. All of it -- the Cape, Odin... Duo--
had been some fantastic dream brought on by a bruised brain. The friendship
and caring he'd found with an unbelievably beautiful boy who happened
to live beneath the waves... it was nothing more than his imagination
The sudden, tearing pain of it ripped a gasp from him and he shut his
eyes tight against the tears he could feel building.
"Heero? Baby are you alright?"
Letting his lids slide briefly upwards, Heero looked up into his mother's
"'M fine, Mom, just really tired. Can I... will they let me go back to
Kirei smiled in relief.
"Of course, Heero. The nurses will wake you up every hour, but until then,
you just rest."
He hadn't been lying. He was exhausted, though the feeling was more mental
than physical, so he closed his eyes a final time.
"I'll be back in the morning to take you home, kiddo. Love you."
His mother's lips brushed his forehead, and he couldn't help but wish
the soft caress had been given by someone else. Pretending sleep so he
wouldn't have to talk, he gradually slowed his breathing and relaxed his
Footsteps faded along with the glow of light against his shuttered lids.
The darkness was absolute and all-encompassing. It easily hid the silvery
liquid tracking from tightly-closed eyes.
"You told him...?"
"I told him he hit his head on the way down from the attic." Kirei's eyes
blazed into Odin's. "I just lied to my son for the first time in his life...
I hope I had a damn good reason for doing so."
When Odin nodded wordlessly, she waved a hand at the door.
"Go on. Get out of town. I told him you've been gone for the last month.
So give things some verisimilitude. Is there anyone besides Jei and me
who knows you're in Mass?"
"No... not really," Odin said slowly. "Out at the Cape, maybe a couple..."
"But this is Boston," Kirei finished for him. Her eyes narrowed. "And
you won't be taking him back there again."
He nodded again. He wouldn't be going back to the Cape, himself, much
less dragging Heero along for the ride.
Arms crossed, Kirei studied the man before her. Maybe it was time, after
"Sell that damned boat and think real hard about partial retirement,"
she said without preamble, "and then maybe I'll think about you coming
Odin's head jerked up. Kirei was smiling wryly, her eyes wary but willing
Leaning forward, he drew her into a brief, hard hug, then let her go.
"I'll be waiting on your call, babe," he said quietly, then turned on
his heel and left.
Staring sightlessly at the space he no longer occupied, Kirei prayed silently
to any god that might be listening.
/Whoever's out there... if you're out there... let this be what Heero
needs. Don't let us fuck his life up again./
Somewhere normal sound could not reach... in a place unfathomable by human
minds, a boy curled around his pain, keening his anguish in silence.
In the ocean, it's impossible to separate tears from salt-water. That
doesn't mean they aren't there.
[part 2] [back to