Dancing on the Beach
Quatre was the one who noticed
it first. Seeing, after any missions that required Gundams and killing
and mass destruction, that Duo would disappear afterward. He didn't mention
it, thinking that it was really none of his business, but once he had
noted it, he couldn't help his curiosity.
The first time, he realized that Duo didn't come back to the safe house
with the rest of the team, but 'went for a walk' even though the night
was rather chilly. But he didn't think much of it and went to bed and
Duo came in some time after that, undetected.
But having come to his attention, he began to watch, and the next time
it happened, he waited up and it was hours before Duo came in, hunched
and shivering with cold, going straight to his bed with little more than
a grunted 'good night' to his friend. The next day everything seemed normal,
but Quatre couldn't quite put it out of his mind.
By the fourth time, he succumbed to his curiosity and followed his teammate,
careful not to be seen and knowing that there was something seriously
wrong here for him to even be able to tail Duo, the stealth master, undetected.
It was full dark, a pale half moon in the sky, and the night was very
cold. Quatre was surprised when they ended up on the beach. He hid under
the boardwalk and watched as Duo walked out onto the beach and stood for
a while at the waters edge, staring up at the moon. He was even more surprised
when Duo began to strip, carefully folding his clothes and piling them
neatly on the sand back from the water where they wouldn't get wet. He
was wearing swim trunks under the clothes and Quatre almost gasped out
loud as he realized that Duo was planning on going into the water, not
only that, but had been planning it since he had dressed that morning.
It was late November, and though the temperatures weren't below freezing,
it was far, far too cold to be going for a swim.
Duo walked back to the oceans edge, seeming not to notice as the icy water
swirled around his ankles. Slowly, he pulled his braid around and unbound
his hair, sifting it through his fingers until it was a loose fall around
his body, dancing on the evening breeze. He waded into the breakers until
he was thigh deep in the water and dove in.
Quatre slapped a hand over his own mouth to stifle the cry that bubbled
up and tried to come out passed his defenses. Gods! How could he stand
it? The water had to be ice cold!
Duo swam straight out, as though trying to follow the silvery path the
moonlight made across the water, and Quatre soon lost sight of him in
the dark. The water was fairly calm, and for a while he could hear the
sound of Duo's strokes splashing in the night. The minutes ticked by;
what the hell was going on here? Quatre took a faltering step forward.
What should he do? He couldn't possibly find him in the dark. What was
he intending? More minutes ran by, and Quatre began to panic, frozen between
running for help and going into the water after him. Was this some kind
of bizarre suicide attempt? Where was he swimming? What was he doing?
Quatre was making the first moves to run back and find a phone to call
for help when he heard sounds that indicated that Duo was coming back.
With a choked whimper of relief, he ducked back under cover and watched
as Duo emerged from the water again, rising up from the depths like some
strange, fey sea creature, his hair floating on the water around him,
plastering itself to his body as he surfaced. You would not have known
from watching that the water had to be the temperature of an icebox; he
walked out of the surf and up the beach as though stepping from the shower.
He turned and faced the moon again, standing for a bit, his pale skin
silvered with the moonlight, and then slowly... he began to dance.
Quatre couldn't believe his eyes. There was no music, at least not outside
Duo's head, but he began to move in time to some unheard melody, just
standing there at first, swaying in the moonlight. Then moving up the
beach, turning and swaying, arms sweeping in graceful arcs. The cold night
wind pulled his hair from his body and as it dried, it began to fan around
Quatre was enthralled. He couldn't have moved from the spot he was in
had his life depended on it. It was beautiful. Duo was beautiful. He worked
up and down the small stretch of sand, the dance becoming faster; adding
leaps and twirls and incredible stretches. The cold night wind dried him
quickly, and Quatre couldn't understand how he wasn't shivering and grabbing
for his clothes. He could have danced on any stage in the country; Quatre
knew that just watching him. His own upbringing had taken him to all the
finer theaters in his homeland, and Duo rivaled any dancer he had ever
seen. Though he obviously lacked formal training, he more than made up
for it with raw talent.
Completely dry now, Duo danced as though partnering the wind, leaping
high into its waiting arms, seeming to hang in the air for whole heartbeats,
his hair furling about him like dark wings. Though Quatre didn't see how,
the tempo of the dance only seemed to increase and soon Duo's skin was
sheened again, this time with sweat. Quatre could see him panting even
across the distance. He started a run up the beach, heading back toward
where he had started, and suddenly leaped as high in the air as Quatre
had seen him, his arms spread wide, his legs straight behind him and were
he coming off a diving board, it would have been a perfect dive, but seeing
as there was nothing in front of him but the sand and his pile of clothes,
Quatre couldn't understand; the move seemed almost as though he expected
someone to be there to catch him.
At the last minute, just before he would have crashed into the ground
on belly and chest, his arms and legs came down in an almost knee-jerk
reaction, and he came to a bone jarring halt right over his pile of clothes.
He just knelt there for a hand full of minutes, panting so hard, Quatre
could hear him, and then slowly, he seemed to just keel over sideways
and he fell in the sand.
The shivering began then, and Quatre watched long enough to make sure
that Duo was able to drag his clothes back on before he slipped away,
wanting to get back to the safe house ahead of his teammate.
Quatre made it with ease, and was in his room with the door cracked open,
watching the hall when Duo finally arrived. Quatre saw him coming, shivering
and still struggling to regain his breath, his arms wrapped around his
own chilled body, one hand pressed tight to the center of his chest. He
passed from view, and Quatre heard the other mans bedroom door open and
close, and not long after, the sound of the shower running.
Quatre shut his door and went to ready himself for bed, not sure what
to make of the evenings events. Knowing, in the back of his mind, that
this was really none of his business at all, but at the same time, feeling
strongly that something was very wrong here.
Morning found Duo in high spirits, coming into the kitchen and actually
offering to help Trowa and Quatre make breakfast. They let him chop the
onions and peppers for the omelets, though after watching him for several
minutes, Trowa threatened to make him eat anything he got blood in.
"I know how to handle a knife." Duo smirked at him, but Quatre
had to confess to himself that watching the flashing blade was making
him a little nervous as well.
Quatre was grating the cheese, and found it to be a mindless task that
allowed him to steal glances in Duo's direction. He caught him rubbing
surreptitiously at his chest several times, but nothing more than that.
Heero and Wufei came in not long after, and Duo brightened immediately,
throwing out the first volley in what promised to be a lengthy war of
wits if Quatre didn't miss his guess. Duo just seemed to be in that kind
of mood; bubbling and eyes bright with mischief. The kind of mood that
usually set Wufei off before Duo even had a chance to open his mouth.
It delighted the braided pilot that he could so easily affect the Chinese
man, and he never missed a chance to poke sharp, verbal sticks at him.
"Trowa,"Wufei intoned with a heavy sigh, ignoring Duo's barb,
"please tell me you are not letting Maxwell help cook?"
"We aren't letting him near the stove."Trowa informed him without
cracking a smile.
"Hey!"Duo grinned at them in mock injury, "I am perfectly
capable of cooking!"
"Just not anything we're capable of eating."Heero interjected,
with a wry almost-smile, and everyone glanced up in surprise, hearing
the normally quiet pilot join the match.
If anything, Duo brightened further, flipping his knife in the air to
deftly catch it again before resuming his mass murder of helpless vegetables.
"Nothing I have ever cooked has killed a single one of you."He
pointed out logically.
"Now there's a glowing endorsement for your culinary skills; has
not yet killed anybody."Wufei moved passed them to take down plates
and began setting the breakfast table.
"Hmmm... I could open a chain of restaurants and use that as my tag
line: 'A hundred served; no one dead.' "
Wufei grimaced at him as he came back for the silverware, "That would
certainly entice me to eat there. I'm sure you'll do well in your new
Duo was standing in front of the silverware drawer, and as Wufei approached,
he reached out and gave Duo a playful shove, touching the center of his
chest. Duo flinched, his breath hissing sharply, and stumbled a step backward.
The room was suddenly quiet, and every eye in the place was on him.
He flushed, "Damn Wufei; don't sneak up on me like that." He
stammered, and they all knew he was covering something, but for a frozen
moment, no one spoke.
Quietly, Heero rose from the seat he had taken at the table and came back
across the room, "What's wrong with your chest?"He asked, his
voice seeming a little loud in the sudden silence.
If anything, Duo blushed harder, attempting to return to the cutting board,
but Heero came around the counter, calmly walked up to him and slowly
began unbuttoning his denim shirt. Uncharacteristically, Duo lowered his
eyes and just stood and let him, sighing heavily and blushing furiously.
Heero unbuttoned the first three buttons, and gently pushed the shirt
open. In the center of Duo's chest, was a nasty gash, centered over his
breastbone, weeping fresh blood from Wufei's touch, obviously only hours
Wufei frowned, moving up to stand beside Heero, "Maxwell, I'm sorry...
I did not realize."
"It's nothing." Duo waved them away, trying to move out from
under everyone's gaze.
"This looks like a knife wound, Duo." Heero's intense stare
was making Duo squirm.
"A knife wound?" he cocked his head and looked up at his partner
through his unruly bangs, "Get serious. My... my toolbox came loose
in Deathscythe during the fight."
Heero frowned, "Tool box?" he questioned, looking skeptical,
his fingers gently probing the wound.
"Ow! Watch it, Heero!" Duo winced and pulled free, "Yeah,
I had tools flying all over the damn cockpit, I'm not sure what hit me."
Quatre moved closer, looking around Heero's arm at the gash. That had
not been there last night on the beach. He would have seen a cut that
large even from where he had been crouched in hiding. He was positive
Duo's chest had been unmarked last night after the battle. He held his
tongue and went back to grating cheese.
"Well," Trowa tossed in with a raised eyebrow, "Whatever
it was, you should tend to it; looks deep."
Wufei and Heero had Duo backed up against the counter, one on either side.
"Maxwell," Wufei almost growled at him, "This goes to the
"Guys!"Duo wailed, pinned and cornered, "Lighten up, will
"Duo, it needs stitches." Heero had removed the knife from Duo's
hand, laying it on the cutting board and the two darker pilots took him
by the arms, one on each side and began to usher him out of the room.
"Don't be such a big baby about getting a couple of stitches, Duo."
Heero was telling him, "You shouldn't hide things like this from
Then they were gone, and Quatre never did hear what Duo's retort was,
but he knew the gash had not been kept a secret because of any fear on
Duo's part about having stitches put in. He himself had seen Duo sit quietly
through far more painful procedures than suturing. No, he was sure the
secret was where the mysterious wound had come from. He was positive it
had not been there on the beach. It did not come from any accident during
the heated Gundam battle. What could have happened to Duo in the time
between the beach and arriving at the house? He had not been ten minutes
behind Quatre, hardly enough time to have gotten into some sort of fight.
"Something wrong, Quatre?" Trowa asked, looking up from his
task of browning sausage quizzically.
Quatre hesitated, thinking that it would be nice to talk to someone about
what he knew, but feeling embarrassed to admit that he had followed and
spied on one of his own teammates. He wasn't sure how Trowa would take
"Uhmmm... that just seemed rather... odd, don't you think?"
He compromised, thinking that they might still discuss it without him
having to admit anything he didn't want to.
"Duo?" Trowa raised an eyebrow and glanced after the departed
trio, "Yeah, I suppose so. Don't know why he'd bother to hide something
"I don't remember seeing any blood on his clothes after we got back,
do you?" He watched the taller man closely, gauging his reaction.
There was a moment of silence while he considered it, then, "I...
don't remember that I saw Duo after we got back."
"He went for a walk." Quatre informed him; again watching for
a reaction, but all Trowa did was shrug and turn back to the stove.
The whole thing was just not all that odd if you didn't know what Quatre
knew, but didn't want to tell. He gnawed his lower lip in frustration,
but decided to just drop the subject before Trowa got suspicious.
After breakfast, during which Duo was much more subdued than he had been,
Quatre decided, on a sudden inspiration, to volunteer to do some laundry.
"I have to run some clothes through; anybody got anything they want
to throw in?" He asked the room at large, and, as expected from a
group of young men who really did not like housework, there was a chorus
of gleeful acceptance, and Quatre found himself with enough clothes for
several loads of laundry.
As soon as he was alone with the washing machine, Quatre dug through the
pile until he found Duo's clothes from the night before. While he found
the front of Duo's shirt blood soaked, he also found it totally unmarred;
there was no hole in the material from whatever 'tool' supposedly inflicted
So, the gash had definitely happened while Duo was on the beach, after
he got undressed to go swimming, but before he got dressed again. In point
of fact; while Quatre had been watching him. He was sure he had seen no
sign of blood while Duo had been dancing, and the only window of opportunity
had to have been at the very end, when Duo ran up the beach, jumped into
the air and fell. After that, Quatre realized, he had not seen Duo's chest
again. He had fallen over in the sand and gotten dressed not long after.
Had he fallen on something? No rock or stick or other beach debris would
have made such a clean cut. Not even a piece of glass. Quatre shook his
head, not able to puzzle it out, and set to doing the laundry with a sigh.
It had just become an all day job.
A week passed before there was another mission that involved Duo and Deathscythe.
Heero was sent to destroy a new base attempting to gain a foothold in
the inner solar system by setting up a station orbiting Mars. Duo, as
his partner went as backup.
A simple search and destroy. The kind of mission Duo hated the most. His
imagination painted personalities and families and whole damn life stories
behind the soldiers they were forced to cut down. The warrior in him told
him that this was war; they came here knowing exactly what they were getting
themselves into. They would not hesitate to kill him or anyone else who
got in their way, and it was just their sorry damn luck that it happened
to be his job to get in their way.
It went quickly and well, and if Duo was unusually quiet on the trip back,
Heero attributed it to the weariness that came from a long haul through
space, and found no reason of his own to break the silence. He worked
on his mission reports, his own way of dealing with the stress and guilt
and gave no thought what so ever to how Duo dealt with it.
They landed and secured their Gundams but when it came time for the walk
back to the safe house, Duo just shook his head and waved Heero on.
"Go ahead, man; I think I'll go for a walk first."
Heero frowned at him, taking in the jeans and t-shirt attire, "It's
damn cold out to be walking around dressed like that, isn't it?"
Duo ducked his head and grinned at his partner, "Cold doesn't bother
an old street rat like me."
Heero's frown deepened; he hated hearing Duo refer to himself like that,
but he just grunted and watched as Duo turned on his heel and walked away,
hands stuffed in his pockets. He watched the figure move in and out of
the pools of light cast down by the streetlamps with an odd pang. For
a moment, he considered calling for him to wait up, but discarded the
notion; Duo obviously wanted some privacy. Then his senses told him he
was not alone and he whirled to find Quatre standing not far up the path
that led to the street and back to the house.
"Is something wrong, Quatre?" He asked, surprised to find anyone
waiting for them.
Quatre moved closer, his eyes fixed on the spot where Duo was quickly
disappearing into the night.
"Follow him." He said simply.
"What?" Heero frowned at him as though he had grown a second
head, and Quatre finally turned his gaze on Heero and the look on his
face was disconcerting.
"I... I can't explain right now... but I think you need to follow
him." His voice was soft, but very serious, and Heero cast a glance
behind him again, just in time to see Duo step clear of the last pool
of light and vanish into the dark. It decided him somehow, and with a
last, puzzled look at Quatre, he turned and jogged lightly after his partner.
He moved quickly, but silently, and soon caught sight of Duo again, he
had the same odd sense that he should not be able to shadow Duo like this,
that Quatre had felt, and like Quatre, was equally surprised when Duo's
walk brought them to the beach. The moon was near full now, and Duo, just
like the time before, walked to the waters edge and stood staring up at
it. The night was colder, though Heero couldn't know that, and the wind
was blowing hard enough to lift and pull at Duo's braid.
Heero took the same hiding place that Quatre had employed, under the boardwalk,
though Heero dared edge closer, settling himself behind a large support
post with a bit of scrub brush growing around the base.
He watched aghast, just had Quatre had, as Duo moved back up the beach
and stripped to a pair of black swimming trunks. He carefully arranged
his clothes and gear in a neat pile and Heero felt it had a faint, ritualistic
feel to it. His heart was in his throat as he watched Duo slowly unbind
his hair, threading his fingers though it and freeing it for the wind
to take up and spread around him. He stood for several minutes, turning
his face into the wind, eyes closed and silver-pale in the bright moonlight.
Then he walked out into the icy ocean and dove in.
Heero stood up from his crouch and almost called after him. He couldn't
believe Duo wasn't scrambling back out instantly, pulling his clothes
on and yelping with the cold. The moon cast a white frosting on the surface
of the water, and Heero could easily make out Duo's dark form knifing
straight out into the water, swimming hard and showing no signs of turning
back. Heero inched forward, a sudden fear moving his body without his
conscious thought. Had Quatre known about this? Is this why he thought
Heero should follow Duo on his 'walk'? Damn! Why hadn't he given him more
information? What in the hell was happening here? Duo just kept swimming;
Heero could just barely still make out the shadow of him on the water
in the distance. Why the hell didn't he turn back? How far was he planning
on going? In his chest, Heero's heart began to pound painfully. He knew
that Duo was too far out for him to reach in time even if he saw him get
into trouble. Gods! Didn't sharks feed at night? He couldn't remember
if he had heard of any attacks in this part of the country. What was Duo
Just as Heero reached that panicky state that Quatre had been in the week
before; torn between going into the water and running for help, the small,
dark spot that was Duo stopped and after bobbing in the water a moment,
turned back, seeming an impossible distance out. The sweep of the arms
was more sporadic, the strokes uneven, and it took a lot longer for Duo
to make the return trip than it had for him to swim out. A sign of the
cold and his tiredness for sure. Heero slid carefully back under cover
and watched the shadow on the water grow in size as it approached, his
heart not calming until it was apparent that Duo was far enough in to
Again, though he didn't know it, he was treated to the same vision of
Duo rising from the depths of the icy ocean, wearing the mantel of his
own sleek hair, that Quatre had seen.
Relief flooded through Heero as he saw his partner return to the beach,
looking oddly not like the Duo he knew so well. There was a strange unrealness
to him; he moved with an unconscious grace that drew Heero's eyes to aspects
of his form he had never noticed before. He had never seen Duo with his
hair down like this. Oh, occasional glimpses after a shower while he combed
and then braided it, but never like this; with the wind tugging at it,
wreathing his body in the slowly drying strands. He had never noticed
how ... strikingly beautiful his partner was before. As that thought crossed
through his mind, out on the beach, Duo raised his arms and slowly began
to sway where he stood, and then... to dance.
Heero forgot to breathe.
He could almost hear the music that must be playing in Duo's head, as
he swept and turned and drifted up the sand. He moved almost slowly at
first, arms weaving intricate patterns in the air, feet ghosting across
the sand, sometimes seeming to barely touch the ground. The wind was drying
his hair as he moved, and the silken strands began to loosen their strangle
hold on his body, swirling around him like a cloak.
Heero was chilling in his crouch under the windbreak of the boardwalk,
and couldn't understand how Duo was bearing the icy wind on near naked,
wet flesh. The dance progressed up the beach, the tempo increasing, Duo
adding leaps and turns to the gentler movements he had been making. Heero
was captivated. He couldn't have pulled his gaze away from the sight in
front of him had the boardwalk collapsed on his head. Duo was an absolute
vision in the bright moonlight, his movements unbelievably graceful and
fluid. Heero had not known his teammate could dance like this. He lost
himself in the sheer beauty of it for a time, forgetting for the moment
about the cold, about the fear he had felt watching Duo swim out into
the ocean as though he wouldn't turn back, about the fact that he wasn't
supposed to be here, effectively spying on his partner.
Clouds brushed at the edges of the moon, gentling the light bathing the
beach, giving the whole scene a surreal aspect. He could have been watching
some elven creature from mythology dancing through some pagan ritual in
The dance became more frantic, the pace increasing, the leaps so high
that sand began to fly under his feet as he vaulted and landed. Heero
had no idea how long the dance had been going, but he could see the panting
movement of Duo's chest, could see his body starting to coat with sweat.
Heero couldn't fathom how he was standing the cold. Each time he thought
for sure that Duo would give way to exhaustion, the tempo of the dance
only increased. He was starting to be able to hear the gasping breaths
whenever Duo drifted towards the boardwalk.
Perhaps that was what brought Heero back to reality, the realization that
Duo was driving himself to collapse. When he forced himself to look with
a more clinical eye, he could see that the perfect, flowing motions weren't
so perfect now. The steps were a little faltering; the leaps weren't landing
The soldier took over his mind; began to evaluate the scene a little closer.
Something wasn't right. Duo's face, when it turned where Heero could see
it, was pained, the eyes glazed. The hard swim in the icy water right
on the heels of a long, hard mission. The dancing itself; it all seemed
a deliberate effort to push the body past the limits of fatigue. Just
what the hell was going on here?
Something about the dance suddenly seemed to change, and Duo, who had
leaped and twirled his way some distance away, was running full out back
toward the boardwalk. At first, Heero thought he had been seen, then realized
that Duo was running more toward where he had started, toward where his
clothes were piled. In that moment, three things happened; the clouds
completely cleared the moon, Heero spotted the knife blade jutting up
from the pile of clothes, and Duo made his diving leap.
Had Quatre seen the knife blade the week before, it might have solved
the puzzle for him, but it also might have changed the whole course of
events, for he surely would have screamed. And though Heero wanted to
scream, the mind of the perfect soldier put the pieces together in an
instant and realized that this was where the gash on Duo's chest had come
from. That he wasn't intending to impale himself on the knife, and that
if Heero screamed out, or otherwise distracted his longhaired partner,
that might just be the result. So he bit his tongue and watched the scene
play out, watched Duo arch his back and fling himself into a perfect swan
dive, aiming unerringly for the pile of clothes. At the last moment, his
hands and knees came down, almost seeming to jerk out of his control,
and he landed hard on the sand right over the knife blade.
Heero was moving the instant it was over, his heart hammering in his ears,
his hands shaking, his mind yipping in little circles in his head. Whatthehellwhatthehellwhatthehell!
He pitched himself down beside where Duo still hung, suspended above the
wicked looking knife blade, his arms were shaking and his breath was wheezing
in great, erratic gasps. Heero threw his arms around Duo's waist, shocked
at the chill of the flesh under his hands, and jerked him away. Knocking
the blade free and away with an almost angry backhanded swat.
Duo went limp in his arms then, collapsing completely, and Heero's heart
almost closed his throat off as he realized how close the trembling pilot
had come to stabbing himself. He pulled him into his lap, rubbing icy
skin briskly; not even coming close to understanding what in the hell
had just happened.
"Duo?" He shook his partner, hard, and for a moment, the violet
eyes met his and that familiar lop-sided grin sprang forth.
"Guess Shinigami forgave me again, huh?"
Heero blinked down at him, his fear giving way to anger.
"What the hell did you think you were doing?" He snapped, knowing
the grip he had on Duo's arms was too tight, but not able to let go.
Duo was starting to tremble, the cold pouncing on him hard now that he
had stopped moving. His body began to shake almost convulsively, and Heero
fought off the urge to pull his partner into his arms, reaching passed
him for his clothes instead.
Duo pulled away from him, his disconcertion giving way to an anger of
his own. He jerked his clothes out of Heero's hands and sat up to begin
pulling them on. There was fresh blood on his chest.
The breath hissed sharply through Heero's teeth, and he reached out to
check the wound, but Duo pulled away.
"What the hell are you doing here?" He snapped, trying to get
his shaking hands stuffed into uncooperative shirtsleeves.
"What am I doing?" Snapped Heero, "What in the seven hells
were you doing?"
The shirt was on, pulled down and covering the wound, and Duo was struggling
with the pants, "None of your damn business!"
Heero couldn't take his eyes off the center of Duo's chest, watching the
white t-shirt as it spotted slightly with red. "Duo! You damn near...
You almost... Don't you ever do something like this again!"
Their eyes locked for a moment, and Heero realized that Duo was flushing
darkly, the blush standing out starkly on his pale, icy skin.
"Don't tell me what to do, Heero." He growled, clutching the
rest of his gear to his chest.
"Damnit, Duo!" Heero forced his voice to stay steady, "What
were you thinking?"
Duo was pushing away from him, staggering to his feet and he hissed darkly,
"I said; none of your damn business." And he stumbled away,
leaving Heero kneeling in the sand, watching him go.
He stopped, a hundred yards or so up the beach and struggled into the
rest of his clothes before resuming his drunken wobbling trek to the street
Heero watched him go, absolutely baffled by the whole incident.
He shifted in the sand and hugged his knees to his chest for warmth, his
eyes still seeing the lithe, graceful form, his heart still hammering
in his ears. He had determined ages ago that his attraction to his partner
was something that stayed locked strictly in his own heart. That kind
of complication was not something either of them needed in the middle
of a stupid war. In Heero's mind, there existed a gallery of images that
he kept to ward against the darkness. All remembrances of Duo; the flash
of that bright smile, the swing of that damn braid, those hands on the
controls of a shuttle, strong and competent; piloting like no one Heero
had ever seen. All memories that brought a pang to his heart, making him
want to reach out and offer more than just friendship. This new image,
though; Duo on the beach dancing in the wind... that brought a pang to
his body... filling him with a desire stronger than he had ever known.
Making him want... things.
But that final image; Duo and the knife blade. That brought a stinging,
clinching fear to his gut that left him trembling and afraid, not sure
what he should do now.
He thought about the wound he and Wufei had tended to the other week,
realized when he thought hard, that there had been other scars scattered
across that smooth skin; some not so bad, some worse. How long had this
been going on? What in the hell, exactly, was going on? How long before
he didn't catch himself? Before he fell on that knife with all his weight
and... and... Heero shook his head sharply before that image could lodge
itself permanently in his brain.
What had he said? 'Guess Shinigami forgave me again, huh?' What the hell
was that supposed to mean? Why hadn't Quatre warned him what he was walking
into? And that prompted Heero to finally pull himself up out of the sand
and head back for the house. He needed to go talk to the man who sent
him on this trip.