Author: Sunhawk

Warnings : Angst, OOC, Duo POV, language.

This is a deathfic. Duo dies. In a not nice way. I know this violates my creed of 'always a happy ending', but the thing has generated some attention that deserves to be noted :

First there was a 'parody' : http://www.fanfiction.net/read.php?storyid=1908032

A piece of giftart : http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/8187217/

And finally, a sequel : http://www.livejournal.com/users/ravensilver/11593.html#cutid1

Acceptance

The light is painfully bright, and that just seems all wrong. The sun shouldn't shine down on you while you're dying. When you die, it should be in the dark. The comforting dark. But there's no dark for me... I get the bright, cheerful light of day. I imagine it makes the pool of blood all the more shocking, because when I care to focus my eyes on him, Quatre can't quite seem to take his eyes off it. Off me. He's very upset, and I think vaguely, that I should try to find my voice to comfort him. But it seems to have abandoned me here at the end of my life. Trowa is trying to put pressure on the wound, and I wish he'd stop, because it hurts like a son-of-a-bitch. It's not going to help in the long run anyway. 'Ah... God damn it, Duo...' Trowa mutters and our eyes lock for a moment. I can see that he knows, and I can see that he knows I know too. Wish I could tell them all goodbye. 'Hang on, Duo...' Quatre tells me, clutching my hand in his. I can see it there, between his... but I'm not at all sure I feel it. I can't feel much of anything except that pain where Trowa's hands are. And regret... yeah; a little bit of regret.

I distantly hear the sound of running feet; the gasp of panted breath and Heero is suddenly there on the other side of me from Quatre. He looks kind of sick, and I wish I could give him some flippant remark to ease his mind, but there just doesn't seem to be enough breath. 'The ambulance is on the way,' he says before his eyes tell him what Trowa and I already know. 'Damn it,' he whispers, echoing Trowa.

I think that Quatre is the only one who hasn't figured it out. But then he says softly, 'We're here with you, Duo... right here.' And I think maybe he does know.Yeah... the gang's all here. Except for one. Somehow, Heero seems to read my mind and I see him pull out the hand-held. He steps away, where I can't hear, before he calls the last member of our team. His voice rises. He is very... abrupt. I see him stuff the radio away in his pocket and then he returns to us.

'He's coming,' he tells me gently, and takes my other hand. Their presence is comforting, though I seem so divorced from my body that I'm not positive I feel their touches. Except for Trowa's... pressing his torn up shirt into the wound in my chest. Desperately trying to stop the bleeding, only succeeding in slowing it down... in buying me a few more minutes. I no longer care. I can't say my goodbyes and what good theirs? But they're here with me... the four men I'd sold my life for. Sold my future and my happiness for. Here, or soon would be. I could hold on that long. I'd known I would end this way. I think we will all end this way. We survived a war, and then we survived a second one. We bought peace for the entire Earth sphere with our blood, and what did we do afterward? Joined the Preventers to a man. Went on fighting.

Want to know a secret? I hadn't wanted to. I had just wanted to put down the weapons and walk away. I had wanted to live in that peace we'd bought. Wanted a life that hadn't included killing, hadn't included blood...That strikes me oddly funny, and I think to laugh, but nothing comes out but a funny little almost cough. The pain in my chest expands until I think it will all be over in another breath.

'Hold on, Duo,' Quatre whispers. 'Help is on the way.'

I wonder which one of us he thinks he's fooling. When I can see again, Wufei is there, behind Heero and he looks... stricken. I wanted to ask him if maybe he'd seen his own mortality. I wanted to ask if they understood now.'Oh, Hell,' Wufei whispers softly, and it's fitting I suppose. We're all here now, and we all know. But I still can't seem to say my goodbyes. There's just no breath. Maybe there's no real will either. What would I say to them, these men that have brought me here?

I never wanted this? I would not have been this thing that we are, if you hadn't pushed me? I did not want to die like this? But what was I to do, all those years ago, when I had hesitated... when I had wanted to step down, and my friends had turned from me?

Oh, there were no threats. There were no recriminations made. But things became... different. When our band of brothers had made their choice and I had not followed... I was no longer on the inside. I was treated... like a foreigner. An outcast. I no longer had that feeling of family that had sustained me all through the war. What was I to do? The only thing I had known to do... to heal the rift. To be let in out of the cold.

I joined the Preventers. I rejoined the band and become a brother again. Did they even know what they had done? Probably not; I had never thought it had been a conscious thing on their part.

And here I was, at the end of my life. My number had finally come up... my luck run out. The bullet hadn't been evaded. The miracle hadn't happened, and it was over. What was I to say to these, my brothers?

Goodbye. I never wanted this. In these last minutes... I'm sorry that I can't quite forgive you. But you'll never know that... will you?

My chest doesn't hurt anymore. Quatre is crying. It's very cold, but I can't seem to care. They're here, all around me, touching me though I can't feel it. Whispering their own goodbyes, but I can't hear them anymore.Friendship. Such an odd word. It can be so meaningful or it can be so... shallow. Had I had it? I sold my life for it... but I'm not sure I ever had it. Shouldn't true friendship weather change? Shouldn't friendship accept differences? Shouldn't it transcend simple principles and personal beliefs? Had they ever loved me... or had they merely loved the idea of the five of us? The Preventers elite?

I never wanted this. You couldn't accept me any other way. It is somehow fitting that the four of you sit here now with my blood on your hands. Goodbye.

end

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