Fic: Sleep 1/?
by: Zillie
warnings: language, relena sympathy, ayashi no duo (that is to say, mysterious duo. nothing to do with ayashi no ceres.)
pairings: this fic features 1xR but is to my mind a 2x1 love story.
type: AU? with gothic influences
note: this is one of my insomniac pieces--I will have the end of peace children out by the end of the week (multiple papers, being out of town, wonky internet, _not enough feedback_ and other problems) but I wanted to go ahead and post this. please, please, please send feedback. I get really really high off of it and a) amuse people endlessly and b) write quite a bit that tends to be somewhat amusing :) The song 'Sleep' belongs to the Dandy Warhols and is gorgeous. I feel ravished every time I listen to it. Lyrics appear in italics; dreams are in present tense; actual real-type stuff, including flashbacks, appear in past tense. Dialogue in flashbacks does not have quote marks--nor does dialogue in dreams. It's a little confusing, and I'm sorry for that, but I hope it'll be okay.

Sleep + Part 1

+

well i could sleep forever
but it's of (him) i'd dream

+

He woke up the first time she tapped him but waited to open his eyes until he was sure he had his control back.

"Heero. . . Heero. . . ." Her voice in the dark was comfortable, familiar. He had been hearing it for almost four years now.

About as long as he'd been having the dreams.

"Heero. . . are you all right?" She moved closer to him and he let her wrap around him like home. "Did you have another dream?"

"Yeah," he said, his voice rough with sleep.

She slipped a leg over his, dropped her head on his chest. "It's all right," she murmured, rubbing his bare stomach gently. "It's all over. You're here now. . . you're with me. . . and I'll keep you safe forever."

Despite his vows to himself he turned to her, his body full and hard. She welcomed him, of course -- sometimes he thought she'd do anything to make him happy. Not because it gave her a sense of power and control, as he'd once thought -- but because she genuinely loved him. Most of the time he appreciated it -- sometimes it made him feel guilty -- and sometimes, especially at night, especially after a dream, he used it. Like now. He drove into her body, closing his eyes, knotting a hand in her hair, and tried to imagine that he was fucking Relena, and knowing, as he used Relena's body, that he was fucking a dream.

+

They live in Siena, in the piazza that slopes down to the clock tower building, inside one of those lovely gelato shops. Heero knows a girl, slightly -- Hilde, he realizes -- and has seen her brother around. The boy is tall, confident, faintly sardonic, and Heero feels pulses of intensity in his chest every time he appears. It's like a Ruby Keeler movie -- the brother's band needs a singer. Hilde swears that her old friend Heero could do it. Duo weighs him with one glance and seems to know everything in Heero's soul -- what there is of it -- but for some reason still agrees with Hilde. And with those eyes on him Heero can't refuse -- he walks forward and begins to sing.

And it's not his voice -- it can't be -- it's croaky and awful. Even he isn't this bad. But for some reason Duo believes in him, believes he can do it, and because Duo believes it Heero knows he has to make it come true. He finds that his whole body is trying when he sings -- that nothing matters but the song. And Duo.

Who kisses him in the gelaterie. Who kisses him all the way down the windy paths of Siena. Who kisses him until his mouth is so perfect that he cannot sing any way but perfectly. Who kisses him until he wakes up with his body aching and Relena's concern suffocating him.

+

if i could sleep forever
i could forget about anything


+

The party was as dull as he had anticipated. More so. If such a thing was possible. His tie was too tight and his shoes uncomfortable. He had insisted on the jacket being cut to hide a gun, on the shirt being fitted to allow enough flexibility for him to move in various directions. The tailor had been shocked -- Relena Peacecraft's lover, with a gun? But Heero had been insistent. He had stared at himself in the mirror and tried not to think of some of Duo's last words to him.

They had been in bed -- after the Christmas Eve War they spent a lot of time there. Rediscovering bodies that had been more familiar to them than anything in the world except their Gundams, in that time before the short-lasting peace, before the bloody Holy Night. Duo had run his hands over Heero's spine. Never let anyone shoot you in the back, he had said, and Heero had almost grinned in surprise. I rarely let anyone shoot me anywhere.

No, no. I'm serious. If you have to die, Heero, do it on your own terms. Not some assassin's. Not some weather condition's, not some car's. You go into it with your eyes open and your gun ready, and you make death fight for you.

Heero had rolled over and looked into his lover's strangely serious eyes.

Promise me, Heero, Duo had said, leaning in, his hair falling around them and creating a world consisting of nothing but two too- old faces. Promise me. Not if death comes softly -- not if death comes with stealth -- not if death comes as a sweet lover and tempts you with kisses. Promise me.

And Heero, who felt like a dying butterfly on a pin under the intensity of that gaze, had promised.

Four and a half years later he stared at himself in a tuxedo and wondered how many ways there were to die.

+

Relena has another function today -- Heero gets dressed to go along. He pulls on the usual black and white -- only this time he seems to be wearing a priest's outfit. He moves through the crowded room, brushing past men in tuxedos and women in habits and the odd feathered serpent.

Duo is standing on the far side of the room, drink in hand, staring out a window. He doesn't look over as Heero moves in, but their eyes meet in the mirror. Duo, in a tuxedo, looks at his former lover and then back to the glassed-out world. He swirls the glass in his hand but doesn't sip.

You came, Heero says.

Why did you?

Across the room Relena is smiling, laughing, making friends as easily as he once killed them. Heero watches her. I do love her. I know you do, Duo says, and his voice is without pain.

Without bitterness. His eyes are not.

They stare out the window. Outside there seems to be a circus -- Heero thinks he can see Quatre Winner, rolling in dust. The blond boy throws himself to the ground with gusto, rolls around, and then springs up, covered in dirt. He laughs in delight and repeats the process. Penguins form a circle around him.

Did you like Siena? Duo asks.

It was beautiful. It's too bad that we only got to see it in the dark when we had that mission there, Heero tells him. Duo lifts his glass in a mock toast, but still doesn't sip. You're still alive. Why don't you go? Take her and see it.

I don't want to, Heero says simply, and that's that. if i could sleep forever. . . .

Duo in a tuxedo is amazingly beautiful. Heero brushes a bit closer and wonders why he has not felt warm in four and a half years. Not like this -- no heater, no sun can seem to match the dreamt warmth of his true lover.

Why aren't you happy? Duo asks suddenly.

Heero considers.

Because you're gone.

That's not a good enough reason, Duo snaps. You weren't happy when I was here. Why aren't you happy?

Because every time I fall asleep I fall in love, Heero whispers, and every time I wake up I lose you again.

I shouldn't come, then, Duo says, turning away, but Heero reaches out.

I'd die if you didn't.

There is anger in Duo's eyes. Will you let Death come with kisses? he jeers, smacking his lips together.

I've let Death come a thousand other ways, Heero says, dragging his eyes deliberately over Duo's body.

Duo laughs -- slightly bitter -- and looks towards Relena. You'd do better to make Peace come. That's your job now. He looks around, and sighs. I should go now.

Say you'll come again, Heero says, aware that he is begging. I shouldn't, Duo demurs, but Heero reaches out and takes hold of that braid of his.

Say you will.

Duo's eyes are on Heero; he reaches up and covers Heero's hand with his own. Once more. That's all.

That's what he always says -- Heero smirks in triumph and plucks a strand of hair from his true lover's head. Duo takes it -- deliberate -- and twines it around the gold cross that Heero wears, then drops his head and kisses it. He looks up again and Heero kisses him. if i could sleep forever. . . .

Soon, Heero murmurs, and wakes. He touched a hand to the cross at his throat. Relena was sleeping soundly, soundlessly, beside him. He stole from the bed and went to a small box kept on a dresser. Carefully, carefully, in the moonlight he unwound a long brown hair from the cross and placed it with its fellows in the box.

[part 2] [back to Zillie's fic]