Author Notes: This is the end. I tried my best with this, especially with
a looming deadline, and I made it. Thanks for stickiní with it for so
long (or for those who are reading it for the first time... This took
way too long to finish! *&$&%$@! Yes, well, anyway. Thank you
everyone for reading. Have a nice day. ^_^
This + Part 12
I stared hard out the window,
out at the city below, where the streets were busy with moving cars and
people crossing them, heads going back and forth in every direction. It
was windy outside. It was apparent by the way everyoneís hair was flying
wildly around. I sighed heavily, eyebrows scrunching in sickness as my
thoughts drifted away from watching people and back to the present problem.
My present job that I had to do - I didnít want to think about it though.
I wanted to close my eyes and go to sleep - go to sleep and dream away
everything that was happening to me. I felt very sick inside because of
it. It was hard to breathe sometimes. One moment I would be distracted
by something, and then my thoughts would return to the world around me
and I... couldnít breathe. Something heavy was on top of my chest. I tried
to raise my chest, to bring air in, but the heavy boulder on my lungs
wouldnít budge. I would begin to panic. I would begin to get sick. I would
And then I would force
all of the suffocating thoughts away, search outside to find my new distraction,
and delve into it with desperation. But I would always come back to this
point of time, to this constant ache under the surface of my skin, contracting
painfully with each beat in my chest. The pressure on my chest was pressing
down on the sides of my heart; I wasnít getting enough blood to my lungs.
I wish there was some other way to release the pressure on me. Maybe if
I finally gave in and threw up? Maybe my lungs would open up when the
bile exited my mouth. Maybe my tears would release the pain...
No. They didnít do any good either.
I pressed my head against the cold glass of the window, opening my mouth
to scream but already knowing it was useless. The weight was rising to
my throat and I wanted to grab it to stop it. I had to stop its travel
before it got to my brain. It was already full of thoughts. I did not
need anything else in there. Vaguely, I scratched at my throat, trying
to squeeze the pressure down. But then I felt my face starting to get
numb and I began to squint harshly against the blurriness in my eyes and
I let go. Breathe... I had to learn how to breathe all over again. In
and out. There we go. In and out. Concentrate on breathing, Duo. In and
out. There, it isnít so hard, now is it?
I sobbed, raised my hand, and punched the wall. I wanted to scream. But
then I would lose all my precious air. I needed the air to talk. I needed
to talk to someone. I had bought a video camera earlier. It was sitting
on the TV, waiting for me. I knew I should have done something else, like
talk to a doctor or something. But I couldnít tell anybody about this...
Not until I told the people I had done this to.
Wiping furiously at my face, I turned away from the mirror and walked
back to the living room and collapsed into a chair. I stared up at the
camera, forcing my chest to go up and down. I quelled the urge to start
screaming again. I knew that I probably wouldnít be able to stop this
time if I did.
Grabbing the remote, I turned both the TV and the camera on. I appeared
on the screen and I stared at myself, shuddering at my appearance. I looked
mangled and drunk; my eyes blood shot and my clothes wrinkly, out of order.
I had put the wrong button in its slot when I was getting dressed hurriedly
this morning. I thought about fixing it before pushing record. I thought
about maybe running a brush through my hair. Maybe wash my face a little.
But then I thought that they probably would have seen me in worse positions
I pressed record on the remote and opened my mouth to begin from the very
"Worried about me, doc?" I laughed charmingly, watching as Dr. G took
another blood sample from my arm. Even though I knew all of his instruments
would be clean, the place that he was hiding out was not. Machine rubble
was stashed in the corner, probably from past-time tinkering, and the
bed was nothing but a cot. Rust and mold were eating up the sink and I
would have put money on the bet that the water that came from the faucet
"Stressed out at all?" The doctor asked, ignoring my question like he
"Nah, not really," I said before looking back thoughtfully. "But...yanno,
01 has been acting a little freaky lately, what with killin' all those
people on accident. And 05's pissed off 'cause, well, 03 told me that
he lost a battle with Trieze and non' to happy 'bout it. And 04...he's
Quatre Winner, righ'? Well, I heard the whole Winner Corporation is kind
of messed up lately with the war and all. Or maybe because Daddy ain't
happy that his only son is out fighting on a Gundam. 03 and me are the
only real calm ones out of the bunch. Heh, then again, 03 is always
calm. He wouldn't whimper if a bomb just exploded next to his ear, I tell
"I believe you," the doctor said with lack of emotion. He shuffled away
with the blood sample and put it next to the sink before crouching down
and using his mechanical hand to open one of the cupboards. Shifting through
some things I couldn't see, he clinked on back with a medicine bottle
in his real hand.
"Here," he said and tossed the bottle to me. I caught it then held it
up to the dim light, squinting to make out the words. "Vitamins." He said.
I nodded with a slightly raised eyebrow before pocketing them in my black
"All right," he sighed as I continued to stare at him. "They'll stop you
from growing, but theyíre healthy. If you get any bigger, you won't be
able to fit in the Deathsycthe. Take two a day for the first week, then
one a day afterwards. Contact me a week before you run out. They'll be
consequences if you don't take them, so be loyal and prompt."
"Make me sick, yeah?" I said with a nod before sliding off the cot. "All
right, doc, I trust ya."
An emotion flitted across his features but it was gone took quick for
me to catch.
"Off you go, then," he said and shooed me from the small building. Glancing
at the steel door wearily as it slid shut with a resonant thud, I turned
away and brought the collar of my trench coat up higher before peeking
out of the alleyway. Making sure the coast was clear, I crept out and
strode with purpose down the nearly empty street before I turned and got
caught up in a busier area with people. Shopkeepers were hollering out
their wares, coming out from their stuffy shops to share the warmth of
the afternoon. It was hot underneath my coat and my priest attire, but
I had grown adapted to it, even though the priest collar itched like crazy.
And even though I tried to keep my outfit a little concealed, there was
still the average woman who noticed and smiled warmly at me, and I was
forced to do the same.
I was almost back to the church when I caught sight of a vegetable shop
showing off their items. Thinking that maybe the rest of the guys were
hungry, I walked to it between the shuffle of people and ordered a few
things from the selection. I thought about stealing them all, but one
quick look at the old shopkeeper and I decided against it. After all,
a war was going on and some people needed to make a profit to live. Paying
the old man, he smiled kindly at me, or at least at the collar around
my neck, since he stared intently at it.
"Coming from Old Mary, Father?" The man asked as he packed my food in
a brown bag.
"Yes," I said with a smile of my own.
"It's nice to see a new face," the old man said as he handed my purchase.
"My wife will be pleased. She's always hated confessing to a man whoís
her own age." He chuckled hoarsely, a dry laugh that had lost its warmth
against the fight of old age. I laughed with him so I could lend my own.
"I would be pleased to see her," I replied before nodding my head in farewell
and continuing my way to the church.
It was a despairing place from the outside, but warm and familiar on the
inside. People still came for confessions and ceremonies. While the rest
of the group hid underneath the planks of wood for the floor, I had become
a priest at the old church. I never did any of the Sunday sessions; I
don't think I could have gone through that. But I did do the confessions
of the many people who visited there. Many people prayed for their sons
to come back home safely once the war was over. Many people confessed
against the ugly thoughts they had against the ugly battle. Few spat out
their hate for OZ and the Gundams. A few.
The church was empty when I arrived and so I proceeded towards the back
and kicked off the carpet covering the door that led downstairs. Balancing
my purchase with my hip, I pulled open the door and crawled onto the stairs.
When the floorboards slammed shut behind me, I heard the sound of a gun
"Relax, 'ero," I said with a sigh. "It's me, Duo."
The gun uncocked and the safety was put back on. With a hand on my elbow,
Heero led me down the stairs as I was nearly blind against the darkness
and led me into the room where everyone was waiting silently. When Heero
and I appeared in the doorway, a light was turned back on and everybody
started to breathe again. I walked to the table purposefully and dumped
the food on it without sparing a glance at the others. Well, barely. Wufei
had been sitting on the bed in the corner, a gun pointing at the doorway,
but now he was cleaning it slowly with a tired rag. Trowa sat on the kitchen
counters. An old fire stove was part of that side of the room, so thatís
what I assumed it had to be. Quatre had been sitting at the table and
looked happy at my thoughtfulness to get them some more food down there.
"Thank you, Duo," Quatre said warmly as he took a banana and peeled back
"Any orders?" Heero asked as he came further into the room and took an
apple for himself.
"Nope," I said cheerfully, taking off my coat and tossing it carelessly
on the chair. "He just wanted to give me these." I dug in my pocket as
I remembered and produced the pills. I took a glance at my watch and decided
that taking it now was a good time as any. Opening the cap, I poured out
two red and white pills, and swallowed them dry. "How about you, Heero?"
Heero shook his head slowly.
"Well then," I said, smiling. "I guess itís just a quiet evening for the
rest of us."
"You guys do realize you're
playing poker in a church, right?" Quatre asked from his corner of the
room, flipping to the next page in his novel. Folding three cards on the
table and scooting them away, I took three different ones from the stack
while looking over at my teammate, smiling slightly.
"Yep," I said cheerfully, now glancing at my new cards.
"Just checking," Quatre mumbled back, shifting on the bed. For a moment
I forgot my cards and gazed at the shy flesh of Quatre's side as it peeked
out from under his shirt. Then Trowa moved, putting a few more crumbled
bills in the middle of the stack and I pouted, putting the stiff cards
to my lips.
"Evil, vile man," I grumbled and looked down at my cards.
"Amen," Quatre replied behind his book, causing Trowa and I to smirk behind
our hands. We had been at it for about an hour, fighting for each other's
spare money by ways of a stack of cards and not getting any closer to
calling it quits for the night. The old church groaned around us as it
began to fall asleep, a twitch of noise causing every one of us to tense
shoulders and send a hand or two for gun or knife. Heero was restless,
pacing in front of the entrance for fifteen minutes before setting himself
to work on cooking. Slightly burnt eggs was stifling the small room and
making me very, very hungry. I glared at Heero from the table for not
making something for everyone else, but he was oblivious, staring up at
the stairwell with a vacant expression on his face. Wufei was meditating
somewhere behind me, mumbling words underneath his breath and getting
really, really underneath my skin. More then once, Trowa had to stray
my hand from slicing Wufei's throat with the Queen of Hearts. It was like
he was chanting voodoo or something and it made me feel like the spell
was directed towards me.
"You going to fold?" Trowa asked, rolling up his sleeves. I looked over
his arms for a moment, curious at a large freckle on the cease of Trowa's
left arm before blinking up to meet his solid gaze. Smirking, I laid out
"Tsk," he murmured, looking down at them before splaying his out and swiping
all the takings. "Too proud to give in, Duo."
"You guys should be thankful for that," I sniffed, taking the cards and
reshuffling them again.
"Have you taken your vitamins yet?" Trowa asked suddenly and I groaned.
"Nooo," I whined, standing up. "I forgot."
"Should we be thankful for that too?" Trowa asked, smirking. I tilted
my head a little, confused. "Proud and forgetful. We wouldn't ever have
to worry if you got caught my OZ. A week there and you wouldn't remember
who you are - but you would be too proud to admit it."
Chuckling, I threw the stack of cards at him and went to the sink to swallow
those red and white pills.
Fisting my bangs in my hand, I sat, secluded, in the confession box and
sighed, staring at nothing. I couldn't understand what was going on with
me lately. Chewing the roots of my nails, my eyes flickered upwards at
the cross that peered through the holes of the box and prayed for some
I couldn't say that I ever really felt a part the group. Not really. I
was either one step ahead of them or one step behind them. I was funny.
I was charming. But that didn't mean I belonged. I felt a little cut off
from them. I didnít mind that ≠ in fact, I rather preferred it. It was
just the way I worked, I guessed. I would enjoy being in their company,
but I didnít really want them to get to know me. I just gave them enough
to trust me ≠ to carry out a civil conversation for boring nights. I really
didnít have time to even get to know myself. To stop and think what I
like better. Was television on the top five or was it chocolate? Did I
like hot, tea-like jello or would I rather have coffee? Because, well,
that didnít matter to me. None of that petty stuff did. I was fine with
living from day to day and taking what I had in front of me. But now...
especially with such free time on my hands, I supposed... I was beginning
to question things. And... looking at things. Staring at things that I
had never cared to glance at before; noticing tiny little details with
a fleeting glimpse.
Heero, for example, was ideal. Strong, courageous - completely emotionless.
Well, that wasn't true. He did feel. He felt pain, heartache, the loss
of a battle. He beat himself up a lot. Heero liked to bark and blame someone
else, but he was really only blaming himself and it was hard to get close
to someone like that. Somebody so moody, anyway. Thatís all I thought
of Heero until this past week. Now...well, I was beginning to notice his
physical features. For one, I never knew he had blue eyes. Blue eyes -
I mean, how could I not notice that? He was Japanese for Christ's sake.
Then there was Quatre - soft, charming Quatre. Me and him had a lot in
common; we laughed and tried to have a good time in our current situation.
We were also very intense on the battlefield. If I ever felt like Heero,
Trowa, And Wufei's stifling seriousness was caving in on me too much,
I sought Quatre out. He usually brought me out of the gloom. But now...I
found myself staring at his lips. Just staring at them, even when he wasn't
talking or smiling. It was the oddest situation I found myself in. Now,
Trowa had always been comfortable company for me. We talked calmly to
one another and shared the same wiry humor. We also argued and debated
on the same things, usually banning together against everyone else because
our opinions matched so well. But his body...His body was something we
were beginning to argue about. He was shy and felt conscious of himself.
And for some reason, I couldn't help but tell him that he should really
start walking bare-chested more often. Lastly, Wufei - boy, did we oppose
each other a lot. Usually, we got along with each other pretty well. But
whenever his overbearing confidence, or whenever he started to look down
his nose at me...well, I just couldn't stand the man. We would begin to
argue, quietly at first, and then soon we were yelling at each other and
Trowa usually had to hold me back from hitting him. Wufei was a man that
was constantly grating on my nerves - yet, his skin made me...well, drool.
DROOL. I was beginning to wonder if it felt like silk...
"Christ," I cursed out loud, my eyes wide and my fist finding its way
into my mouth. WHAT was going on with me? I'd never been interested in
people sexually. Not once could I recall 'checking someone out'. Yet,
here I was, about ready to jump one of my partners and I couldn't understand
it! Couldn't fathom it! And it was beginning to drive me nuts! Uncomfortable!
I would sit at the table and couldn't string three words together if they
were even looking at me. I thought they were beginning to notice as well
- I mean, it was making me a little more irritable lately. I was quicker
to snap at Wufei and even he was starting to raise an eyebrow at me. Trowa
couldn't debate with me any more 'cause I was too busy staring at his
throat whenever he swallowed. I was just so...so...
"UGH!" I cried out in frustration, my voice echoing in the empty church
and buried my face in my miserable hands. They itched to touch them. And
I didn't know how long I could hold out.
"Heero, would you get the fuck off the roof?" I mumbled grumpily, wiping
a tired and blood shot eye. I hadn't been sleeping lately and having Heero
make a ruckus when he got up for his midnight walks was getting a little
irritating and fucking old. I pulled the trapdoor up more, then climbed
on top of the old building, letting the plank slam shut. Heero jumped
slightly at the sound and turned towards me from where he was standing
at the edge of the church. His eyes raked me over before turning away,
staring hard at the distance. Teeth chattering against the cold and wrapping
my arms around myself, I joined him unwillingly and stared at his profile,
not bothering to appreciate the view.
"Come on, man," I said. "It's freezing out here. What are you doing, anyway?"
Heero didn't answer, not like I expected him to. I already knew what the
problem was anyway. He'd been having trouble sleeping lately; the nightmares
he had kept me up too. Usually, I had more patience than this, but lately,
I had been grumpy and on edge. I felt funny all the time when I was around
Heero - when I was around any of the pilots, for that matter. As you know,
I felt...attracted to them, somehow. I've never thought of someone attractive
before and it was making me quite uncomfortable. I wanted to blame them
all for being so damn good-looking, but it was a kind of silly notion
at best. But that didn't make me feel any happier.
"I went to one of the wives whose husband was killed by me," Heero spoke
softly and dredged me out of my thoughts. "I asked her to kill me for
it. But she wouldn't."
A pause, where only the wind spoke to us. I couldn't understand it.
"None of them would."
"Oh, boo hoo," I grumbled sharply when another shiver wracked my frame.
I regretted my words immediately when Heero's enlarged eyes turned on
"What?" He said.
Well, I couldn't be very sympathetic now, I thought miserably and rubbed
my arms quickly to return blood flow.
"Christ, Heero," I grumbled. "So, you made a mistake and killed a few
Generals. Big fucking whoo."
"They were trying to establish peace!" Heero cried out, angry that I was
mocking his pain. "I killed that chance!"
"Yeah?" I snarled, temper flying. I ignored Quatre's voice in the back
of my head that tried to tell me to calm down. "So what! Get over it,
Heero! So we have to fight a bit longer to get peace! Nothing worth it
is ever going to be easy!"
"And everything comes so easy for you, doesn't it, Duo?" Heero mocked,
a twisted grin on his face. My eyes narrowed. I knew Heero was just stabbing
back at me for not being sympathetic to him. But that didn't mean I was
going to understand that at that moment. All I felt was hurt. Anger. A
burning frustration to grab the man in front of me and do something rough
with him, even if I didn't know what it was. But touching him was definitely
part of the equation.
So I did. I punched him.
"I'm just as good as you!" I yelled, even though my fist throbbed and
Heero's flesh barely gave underneath my punch. He didn't wince against
the hit; it was like he didn't even feel it. I knew I was in trouble before
he even launched at me. But that didn't mean I was going to back down.
I was stubborn like that.
We fought each other like soldiers, then like crazy, idiotic boys. To
the point where my body hurt so bad I could only hold onto him so his
fists were weaker against my body. I pressed myself against him, hoping
his body wasn't as tired and wouldn't fall, because he was the only thing
keeping my shaky legs straight. His fists were weak on my back, trying
to get me off of him. But soon his legs gave out underneath him and we
fell on the roof. Then we just fought on our backs. I punched him with
only half my strength, but it was enough to tilt his beautiful face away
from me. He crawled on top of me to deliver a devastating blow, his blue
eyes abright. I let him in between my legs, accepting a vulnerable position
without thought. I beat his chest to keep him from falling on top of me.
He struck my shoulder to keep himself from falling over me.
And then, suddenly, I was kissing him. I don't know how it happened -
I was fighting him one moment and then I just had his lips on mine. He
struggled for a moment against the new attack, but I held onto him with
strength that I didn't know I had left. Eventually, he laid still and
I probed his mouth with an experimental tongue. I'd never kissed anyone
I liked it.
Heero seemed to too.
I lifted my eyes back to the screen and the video camera, offering a wane,
but shy smile.
"After that night..." I said. "I couldn't control it." I sighed at the
memory. "I just...had to have all of you."
"Jesus, Wufei!" I snarled as he pushed me hard against the wall. My
spine throbbed on the
impact and I pushed Wufei away from me roughly before using the wall as
momentum and pushing myself off to tackle him. He tilted his body just
right to flip me over him and I landed hard on the mat, breath exiting
my lungs quickly.
"Oof," I said intelligently as Wufei loomed over me triumphantly, hands
on his naked hips, his work out pants low on waist. Sweat dribbled between
his muscled pecks and I tilted my head against the lighting above us with
a sore eye closed to appreciate the view. Ever since my encounter with
Heero a week before...heh...it seemed that everything had taken a much
more fantastic turn. Wufei, for example. GOD, was his body to die for.
It just made my toes curl at the thought of it. Not to mention his strength
and confidence just really turned me on.
Hah! Turned me on! I never thought that phrase would ever pass my mind.
But here I was, drinking Wufei in as we caught our collected breaths before
we continued to train. Even though Heero and I did some heavy petting
(hah! there's another one! insert high pitched giggly laugh) during our
last mission, we never said we were...together. We just happened to like
each other's presence. And bodies. And mouths. And certain other tributes.
Besides, Heero was so secretive about anything, that he would never publicize
our relationship in the least. Wufei was the same. They would keep their
lips closed and never question one another, especially concerning me,
Mr. Middle Man.
So, there was no harm thinking about touching Wufei, was there? There
was no harm wanting to shove HIM against the wall, was there? No. Certainly
not. I'm glad you agree with me.
"Ready, yet?" I mocked, grinning cheesily as I put my hands behind my
head. He snorted and turned away to stride for a drink of water. I stared
at his backside with a quirked eyebrow, grinning slightly. God, did Wufei
look hot in sweats.
"Whenever you get up," Wufei retorted, sitting on the bench as he opened
a fresh bottle. I rolled onto my stomach and stared at him thoughtfully
as he tipped his head and the bottle back to take a long, refreshing drink.
I stared as his throat muscles tightened and moved. It was funny how I
never thought of Wufei in such a way before. We've worked countless of
times together and not once did I ever stop and enjoy the view. Heero
certainly was an influence on waking up the senses!
"Hey, Wufei?" I said. "Can I ask you a personal question?"
He grunted his assent as he swallowed one last gulp.
"What happened between you and Trieze?"
His movements froze and he looked over at me with bewildered, but strong,
eyes. I met them steadily, resting my head in the crook of my arms, blinking
owlishly at him. After a long moment, he broke eye contact and slammed
the cap on top of the bottle lid.
"Nothing," he said curtly. "Are you ready to continue?"
"No," I sighed. "Did you challenge him?"
"Then you're wasting my time," Wufei said and started picking up his things
from the bench. I immediately jerked my head up from my arms, waving my
hands in an erasing gesture.
"No, Wufei," I started hastily. "I didn't mean it - Just curious is all,
and, well. We're compadre's right? Gotta look out for one another, you
Wufei snorted. "Who said I need anyone to look after me?"
I smiled at that. Simple Wufei. Strong and not looking for any hand-outs.
He was undeniably sexy.
"You've been a little odd, is all," I said softly. For a moment, both
of us didn't speak and I watched Wufei dredge up the sore memory by the
look in his eyes.
"You haven't been acting yourself lately either," he retorted. I grinned
shyly at that. Yeah, I guessed I was acting a little on Cloud Nine, wasn't
"But we're talking about you, man," I pointed out and probed the air for
emphasis. Wufei turned his eyes slowly to me.
I paused and swallowed this scene, imagining Wufei's cheeks turning an
angry crimson. What he had said that day to me...it was only for me to
"Hey, Wufei," I said softly, kneeling in front of him and taking his cheek
within my hand. "I...I know something that will make you feel better."
He snorted, trying to turn his wet face away from me, but I persisted
and tilted my head to follow it. He couldn't escape the hand on his cheek
either and finally he looked up at me defiantly.
"Oh yeah?" He choked out, though it was still strong. "What?"
I closed the distance and kissed him softly on the lips.
I expected some resistance. A little fighting before he gave into me.
I expected him to ask me questions, ask me why and what. But...and Wufei
always did this to me...he surprised me and just opened his mouth. Not
that I was complaining. Wasting any time away from his mouth was not something
I desired, even though his voice was incredibly sexy. I probed forward,
pushing him back with the force and crawled onto his lap with one knee
on either side of him and on the bench. My hands got caught in his hair
and his own winded around my waist. There was tension inside of him -
I could feel it and I wanted it gone. I wanted him to feel good. This
ugliness being stored up inside of him was heart breaking. I was willing
to take some of that burden, at least for a little while.
I broke the kiss and spoke against his lips. "Wufei...if it makes you
feel better..." I opened my eyes to look into his, so incredibly close
to mine. "You can hurt me."
I drew my eyes to the screen quickly, staring with a piercing gaze at
him when he finally got to see the tape. "I asked for it, Wufei."
"I can't believe...I just can't..."
I drew Quatre close to me with a sigh, a comforting arm over his shoulders
that leaned against my body. Trowa was dead. I still couldn't believe
it. Even the thought that Quatre was the one to deliver the blow had been
something hard to swallow. Quatre was having a hard time accepting that
it had been a mistake - that it hadn't been entirely his fault. The Zero
System wasn't something to be trusted, especially when you had a weak
head on your shoulders. And Quatre had been in no state to pilot his Gundam
or control the Zero System - especially after his father's death. I sighed
heavily on the top of the blonde's head, gripping his shoulder to see
if it would stop the shaking. It didn't.
"You can't blame yourself, Quatre," I said firmly into his hair. He started
to shake his head and I jerked him back quickly, startling him. Flecks
of tears were caught in his eyes, a few tracks drying on his childish
cheeks. I glared at him firmly, holding him out at arm's length.
"I won't let you," I told him. "What happened...it wasn't your fault and
Trowa knows that. He stepped in front of you to save you, Quatre. He knew
the consequences...and he paid them."
Quatre's shoulders shivered and I watched his chest shudder in an attempt
to keep all his thoughts and feelings inside. I shook my head, bringing
my eyes back up to him.
"It wasn't you who killed him, Quatre," I said. "It was Zero. It was OZ.
It was the doctors. It was everyone but you."
I brushed a wet strand out of Quatre's eye, smiling grimly.
"Mobile dolls," I said, "are not the only the toys in war, Quatre. Sometimes
a human can be a doll too."
"I just... I just donít understand what we are fighting for anymore...
" Quatre said softly, scrunching his eyebrows up as if in pain. Probably
from the tight squeeze that I applied to his shoulders.
"None of you ever do," I accused bluntly. "Heero never had a choice in
the manner, Wufei is simply avenging his dead colony, and Trowa replaced
the real Trowa Barton because he liked the machine he worked on for so
long." From the startled and hurt expression in Quatreís gaze, it was
obvious that Quatre hadnít even known that. That was a shame, since I
knew how they looked at each other occasionally. But those glances didnít
stop my own longing and desire for either of them.
"And you... " I stopped and licked my lips carefully. "What are you fighting
"I donít... I have nothing... " Quatre started quietly.
"No!" I shouted, suddenly and completely furious, and shook his shoulders
roughly. "No, Quatre, you have me! And you have my ambitions! Weíre fighting
the oppression, Quatre ≠ the oppression that sent thousands of homeless
kids onto the street to die slowly and painfully. Weíre fighting the oppression
that kills every freedom of speech; the people who destroy others when
they strive for a peaceful solution or express their opinion in any manner
not to their liking! We are fighting those assholes who killed Trowa today,
who killed your father, and destroyed your resolution to the cause! Those
people need to pay!"
"And which people are they!?" Quatre shouted back, frustrated and tears
beginning to trek down his face again. "Who am I fighting, Duo!? Who!?"
Surprisingly, I felt tears spark the corners of my eyes as the words welled
out of my mouth. Maybe it was the seriousness of the conversation, or
Quatreís lost desperation; maybe it was hate that welled too far into
my chest and pushed it out, or maybe it was reality who finally decided
to shock me into the certainty that Trowa was dead for sure and Quatre
only had me now.
"Right now?" I said softly. "Youíre only fighting yourself."
I leaned forward and the cushion creaked as I caught Quatreís open mouth.
Sobs and tears entangled with our tongues as I pushed him underneath me.
"Stop it!" I shouted, holding back Trowa's fists from my face. "Stop it,
Trowa! Calm the fuck down!"
Trowa pushed me again the wall and I braced my feet against the plaster,
using Trowa's weight as a lever as I pushed back on him.
"Itís me, Trowa!" I shouted at him. "Itís me, Duo!"
"I don't remember you," Trowa said blankly.
"I noticed," I snarled, both of our arms shaking from bracing against
each other. I started taking deep breaths to release my anxiety - anybody
could be a little jumpy after a circus clown just came out of nowhere
and nearly took you down. Although I could just imagine what Heero would
say if I told him that -
'He came out of nowhere!'
'No. He came out right over there.'
I resisted rolling my eyes in Trowa's face.
"Come on, man," I said a little shakily. "Remember...how we used to discuss...uh,
fuck ≠ remember the time we were staying at the Hilt-."
"I don't remember anything!" Trowa shouted in my face and I stopped, pausing
for a moment to actually look at Trowa's face. He looked a little paler
now, a bit more sickly. His jaw was tense and his eyes were constantly
moving around, expecting more shadows to take form and creep out to get
him. His hair was a little fuzzy and disorganized in itís fro, like he
had just rolled out of a scuffle and came out on the losing end. I frowned,
relaxing my tense shoulders a bit and letting his hands slam up on either
side of me. It came to a little shock to him that I had suddenly stopped
fighting and he seemed a little off balance when his fists made impact
above my shoulders. That second was mine to take advantage of him and
turn the tables, but I didn't. I needed Trowa to trust me right then.
"You look like shit, Trowa," I said softly and he blinked at me, startled
again. I was amazed at how easily all his emotions were displayed on his
face - fascinated really ≠ or maybe mesmerized being more of the key word.
Trowa had always been a good friend to me - his calm words, his intense
posture, and his street-like knowledge always came of a great interest
to me. But for all of our long talks, or our shared secrets - not once
had Trowa opened his face up for me so widely. He had always been closed
off in that department, like his facial muscles didn't work at all. But
to see all of what he thought and felt, splayed open in front of me like
that - it made my gut clench and my jaw unhook. The intensity of his eyes
never faltered though - he stared at me so hard, like he was willing me
to break in front of him. My lower body shuddered and I gasped unconsciously,
feeling my temperature rise.
"What?" He asked. "What are you looking at?"
"You," I said softly and with a hesitant hand, I put it up to his cheek.
The Trowa I knew had never let me touch him. This Trowa though...didn't
even jerk away. "Your face..."
"What about..." he started but I shook my head, cutting him off, fingers
trailing into Trowa's hair by his ear.
"You've never let me see you," I said, a bit sadly. Why didn't Trowa show
this to me? Weren't we good enough friends to see each other like this?
So open? We didn't have to be soldiers all the time...We could just be
friends... or... lovers...
"Are we..." Trowa asked and my eyes were drawn to his throat when he swallowed.
"Are we together...?"
I blinked my eyes back up at him; probably looking a little shocked myself
because Trowa diverted his eyes, an embarrassed streak of red appearing
on his cheeks. I mentally groaned.
"Sorry," he apologized. "Itís just... you're so familiar all of a sudden...and
My chest suddenly tightened and I leaned my head close, making him draw
his head up and look at me.
"What do you feel, Trowa?"
"When your hand...it felt like..."
"Like a lover's?" I prodded, eyebrows lifting with a smile that curled
my lips. Trowa blushed slightly again and I felt my body throb.
"We can be lovers, Trowa," I whispered and closed the space between our
bodies tightly. "We can be anything you want..."