+ Part 6 (cont)
"I should've killed you in
Antarctica," Heero said, circling closer to Zechs, nearly ready for his
next attack. "Then you wouldn't be in the way now."
"You're the one confusing him. Duo was happy until you came back into
"What the---" Duo said, dumbfounded. This fight was over him?
"Funny, he didn't seem unhappy when he was kissing me this morning," Heero
said, half smiling with the confession.
Zechs's eyes narrowed on his opponent. So Heero had dared to meet with
Duo again. "A mere trifle considering that he's been in my bed for the
last two months," Zechs shot back.
"Hey!" Duo shouted in protest. His face was red with anger and embarrassment
as he looked from the duel to the ogling bystanders. He rushed to one
of the open doors and tried to close them out. "Get the hell out of here!"
Shocked by his display of emotion and sheer force of will, a portion of
the group stepped back, and Duo was able to close and bolt one door. He
hurried to the other side, and began swinging that door shut as well,
needing desperately to close out the world as he prepared to deal with
his lovers privately.
Just then Noin and Relena burst into the room.
"We just heard..." Noin said as she looked from Duo to the duel. "Oh my
God, it's true!"
"Milliardo! Heero!" Relena called as she rushed in, distressed to see
the two men she cared most about battling each other. "Stop this foolishness
Duo rolled his eyes, knowing her pleas would be unheard. "This doesn't
"I thought their rivalry ended with the war..." Noin was saying, but then
shut her mouth as the taunts began to fly between the warring parties
"It's time for you to give Duo up and find a new hobby," Heero said, with
"And how long will you fuck him this time before you walk out on him...
again?" Zechs replied, angrily.
The pair clashed once again, their swords connecting and ringing out with
the high ping of metal on metal.
"You sons of bitches!" Duo cried out as he stalked forward, blood boiling
in his veins. He would tear them apart, limb from limb with his bare hands.
Anything to stop this bullshit.
Noin was on Duo in an instant, grabbing his arms from behind and jerking
him away from the fight. "Stay out of this, Duo," she said, her tone a
"You stay out of it!" Duo yelled as he worked to break free of her grasp.
Zechs and Heero were fighting over him as if he were a trophy to be won.
How dare they think that his heart could be secured by a duel! He was
horrified that they would have so little respect for him. Maybe he was
just a bed warmer after all...
Duo twisted out of Noin's hold, stumbling back and onto his ass. He hit
the wooden floor hard. Damn them all. Damn Zechs for using him as a convenient
fuck and damn Heero for making Duo think that things could be different
"I'm outa here," Duo said, trembling with rage as he got to his feet.
"They can kill each other for all I care."
"Duo don't..." Noin said, reaching out and trying to delay his departure.
Despite what she felt for Zechs, she knew that Duo made him happy.
Duo slapped her hand away as he tore out of the hall. He had been insulted
enough for one day.
With Duo gone, Noin turned to calming Relena.
"Have the guards stop this!" Relena demanded.
"Oh, Miss Relena, this needs to run its course or they'll never resolve
Relena huffed in frustration. She had never understood the need for violence.
Zechs and Heero were equally matched, and there was no doubt that this
duel could drag on for hours. Their match in Antarctica had gone on for
three hours before being interrupted by Relena and an army of OZ mobile
suits. This time it seemed that nothing would stop them from settling
their rivalry once and for all. The winner would gain more than just bragging
rights, he could make demands.
"I'm growing bored of this contest," Zechs said, dismissing Heero as though
suddenly not a worthy opponent.
"Then finish it... if you can," Heero dared.
Zechs gave a feral grin and then with explosive speed bolted forward,
swinging his sword down on Heero. The move was so fast and so unlike the
others Zechs had used that Heero was caught off guard. He jumped aside
and turned, but not in time. His left arm was grazed by Zechs's blade
slicing through his white shirt and into his skin.
The sight of blood made Relena scream, but Noin held her back from running
into the fray.
Zechs attacked again, not waiting for Heero to recover from the flash
of pain racing down his arm. This time he came in from Heero's right and
strategically went for the grip of his opponent's blade. Zechs's sword
slid past Heero's hand and hooked under the guard, and then Zechs swung
out, yanking the sword out of Heero's hand. The sword flew high into the
air, tumbling over end to end until it hit the floor with a clatter.
Heero stared at it disbelieving until he registered the feel of cold metal
at his throat. His eyes turned back to Zechs who held his sword to Heero's
"The duel is over," Zechs said, his tone no less threatening than it had
been during the conflict.
"And once again we've proven our weakness to fight," Heero said.
Zechs gave a toss of his head, clearing the hair from his eyes. "It's
over, Heero," he repeated.
"Please don't hurt him, Milliardo!" Relena cried from across the room.
Zechs glanced at his sister. No, he would not hurt Heero... physically.
That kind of pain meant nothing to soldiers such as them.
"Are you prepared for the terms of your surrender?" Zechs asked, purposefully
choosing the language of war.
"You won honorably," Heero said, accepting the fact that he was in no
position to argue.
"Then listen carefully, Heero Yuy... We may well meet again, but it will
never be on Sankian soil. This is a peaceful nation and as such, I hereby
exile you from the Sank Kingdom... never to return!"
"No!" Relena cried, tearing away from Lucrezia and running to Heero's
side. "Take that back, Milliardo! Heero is my friend and protector!"
"I will protect you now, dear sister," Zechs said, slowly lowering his
Heero stared intently at Zechs. He might have guessed that Zechs would
want him out of his life for good... and away from Duo. But Heero also
gave Zechs credit, the man understood that the two of them could not live
peaceably, and Sank was a peaceful nation.
"He's right, Relena," Heero said, turning to look at the girl. "It's your
brother's job to protect you now. Had I known he was alive, I might never
have come here."
"Oh, Heero, please don't go... Milliardo will take it back," the girl
pleaded with tears in her eyes.
"No, he won't," Heero said, flatly. "We'll see each other again Relena,
it just won't be in Sank."
Relena threw her arms around the boy and gave him a fierce hug. "Where
will you go?"
"I don't know," Heero said, truthfully.
"The guards will escort you to your room to pack your belongings," Zechs
said, softening at the scene before him, but not enough to recant his
Heero nodded at Zechs and then gently pushed Relena away. "I'll be fine,"
he said and then walked from the hall with the stoicism of a true soldier.
The guards never left Heero's side. He was escorted back to his room and
given just enough time to throw a few things into his backpack, change
his torn shirt and slip on his black jean jacket. No problem, he always
did pack light. Then Heero was taken on a circuitous route through the
palace, avoiding the busiest corridors, but surprisingly ending up at
the grand entryway with Relena waiting.
"I'm sure you didn't expect to see anyone," she said, sadly. "But it's
wrong to send you away with no one here."
Heero's mind flashed on the day of Duo's arrival. He had purposely not
been present, but it was not for lack of wanting. And now Duo wasn't here
to see him off. Oh, that he could have seen Duo one last time....
Relena gave the guards a harsh look, prompting them to step back several
paces. With a bit more privacy, she held out her hand, revealing a long,
snow-white envelope emblazoned in blue with the official crest of the
"This is not charity," she said as she handed it to him. "This is your
last month's pay. Please accept it and my fondest wishes for a happy life."
Heero took the envelope and opened it to find several thousand sovereigns.
Though it was awkward receiving such a large sum this way, it was owed
him, and the cash would come in handy. His previous months' pay had been
banked and could be transferred when he had settled in a new place.
"Thank you," he said, barely meeting her eyes.
"Oh, there's one more thing," Relena said brightly, gesturing for him
to follow her outside.
A servant opened the ornate door for the princess, and Heero followed
her into the sunny day. They stood on the stone landing, a surprisingly
cool breeze meeting them.
"Isn't it wonderful?" Relena asked as she breathed in deeply. "I love
it when the wind comes in off the sea."
Heero's bangs stirred about his face, but he did not reply. Sank was a
beautiful country, but he was in the process of trying to forget it now.
Relena regained her focus and pointed below them to the foot of the steps.
"There," she said, her face alight. At the place where the drive curved
in to the wide, stone steps was a motorcycle---the type used by the border
patrols. "I know you can manage on your own," Relena said with the familiarity
of old friends, "but I thought it would be good for you to have your own
mode of transportation."
"Does Zechs know about this?" Heero asked, a bit sharply.
Relena giggled. "He may be running this country, but he doesn't need to
know everything that goes on!"
Heero couldn't help a little grin. The girl's logic was on target and
it was only right that he accept her help this once.
Relena smiled, delighted that her gift was appreciated. "I won't say goodbye,
Heero," she said, biting her lower lip to keep it from trembling.
He nodded, slipping the envelope into his pack and then descending to
the driveway below. Shit, was he really leaving? Without turning back,
he went about his preparations for final departure, securing his pack,
donning the helmet and finally mounting the bike. There was a moment's
hesitation before he started the engine, his thoughts and his heart racing
back to Duo... mapping out how he could get back into the palace and find
Duo before anyone could stop him. He shook his head. If Duo wanted him,
he would have told Heero by now.
With a final nod to Relena, Heero started the engine and set off on his
journey. Relena's eyes had glistened with tears and he thought once again
how he admired her determination and bravery. Of course, he felt some
relief in knowing that the responsibility for her preservation was now
in another's hands. Whether he liked it or not, he was a free man... in
more ways than one.
Nearly one mile from the palace, Heero slowed his bike, and despite his
better judgment gazed back. The open fields surrounding the palace were
blossoming with spring, and the Sankian palace gleamed white in the distance.
The tranquil setting belied the struggle that had gone on within, a struggle
that had ended with his leaving.
Heero said, nearly begging for his lover to return to him. He had done
everything possible to help Duo see the change inside of him. Now it was
time to let Duo go, and so a different plea formed on Heero's lips and
he whispered it into the breeze...
"Please, Duo... be happy."
With a hard swallow and the shedding of a single tear, Heero turned away
from Sank for good, heading out onto the open road.
Despite his great victory, Zechs was not in the mood to receive congratulations
from his staff. He was exhausted and pushed through the circle of admirers
with nods and half smiles. All he wanted right now was a hot, scented
bath, a bottle of his best champagne, and a very naked and wet Duo to
enjoy it with. Thoughts of his lover stirred Zechs back to life when only
moments before he doubted he could walk back to his suite of his own volition.
Zechs headed upstairs contemplating how he would spend the rest of the
day fucking Duo, his Duo, and making a final claim on him. Now there would
be no more Heero to interfere and to distract. Duo would settle down and
they could begin making a life together in Sank.
That little fantasy lasted until Zechs opened the door into his Royal
suite. The once pristine chamber was now torn apart. The bed linens were
stripped from the bed, the draperies askew, and every drawer open and
its contents---clothing and otherwise---tumbled onto the floor. It looked
quite literally as though a storm had torn through the room... and in
seconds, Zechs would meet that storm.
"Stupid, fucking, no good, son of a bitch...," came the litany of profanity
from the bathroom.
Zechs straightened. Okay, maybe he shouldn't have expected a victor's
"Duo?" Zechs called, tentatively.
A second later, Duo emerged from the bathroom with his duffel bag in hand
and a look on his face that Zechs had never seen before... one a mix of
frazzled nerves, grief and wild anger. Duo flashed Zechs a threatening
glare and then set his bag down and proceeded to look through the piles
of clothes on the floor.
"You're leaving?" Zechs asked, confused.
"Where the fuck's my cap?" Duo replied snappishly, ignoring the question.
"Your cap?" Zechs asked. Why was Duo acting this way?
"Yeah, my fucking black cap!" Duo shouted, pointing to his head, but not
Zechs blinked. "That's why you've torn apart our room?"
Duo shot up, standing tall for all of five feet, one inch. "You mean YOUR
room! I am so gone..."
"You're upset about the duel?" Zechs reasoned.
Duo sighed heavily. "Oh, gee, I can't imagine why," he said, sarcastically.
"It's not like I should mind being treated like a commodity."
"You could never be that..."
"Oh, no? Well, you and Heero sure made it clear that I'm a Grade A piece