Sleep 4/?
by: Zillie
pairing this features 1+R, but I consider it a 1+2 fic.
warnings language, strange dreams, Pacifist fighting (only the yelling kind. . . ;) and unexplained Stuff. All will be explained. Eventually. song 'you look so fine' by garbage. All theirs--not mine. I did fiddle with them, and skipped most of the song. it's a nice song, and I apologize for all liberties.

song lyrics
dreams--present tense, dialogue
flashbacks--past tense, dialogue
real stuff--past tense, "dialogue"

please enjoy it.

Sleep + Part 4

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Sometimes, he had said, gazing off into space, there are mistakes.

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The first stranger had made him think of London -- he wasn't sure why.

Her dark skin and darker hair, combined with the slight accent of her voice, placed her as Middle Eastern -- but something about her had made him remember weaving his way through misty streets and rainy squares with Duo, slightly drunk, slightly high on peace and sex. Maybe it was the gold rings -- two in each earlobe, one through the cartilage higher up in each ear, one through the center of her nose. She hadn't looked like a bull, though -- but like something exotic and completely out of place in the somewhat dingy hallway of the apartment they had shared. Bells had chimed when she walked; her beauty was such that it had taken him several minutes to realize that it was the anklet she wore rather any cause more mysterious. But he had been entranced by the gold ring through her belly button, and the golden curve of her hip.

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you look so fine

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I'm looking for my cousin, she had said.

There was something about the way she moved, as well -- somewhat like Trowa -- with a leonine grace and languor. Like she was an acrobat. . . or something more dangerous. A killer, or a ballerina, maybe. At that thought his eyes had narrowed and he had gone on full alert. Ballerinas always made him nervous.

I think you have the wrong apartment.

One hand had batted out and stopped the door before he could close it. I do not think so.

He had stared at her hands in fascinated repulsion -- the nails were longer than he had ever seen, and he could imagine that beneath the shiny gold lacquer they were white and wizened.

I'm looking for Duo Maxwell.

Her eyes, darkly lined, had given nothing away. Are you? he had asked.

May I come in?

He should have lied, should have told her she was off by three buildings. He had thought so often afterwards, despite knowing that it would have done no good. He's not here.

He will be. Soon, she had added, and seated herself with grace on a sagging orange chair that Duo had picked out from a charity shop. Duo said it had character. Heero was somewhat dubious, but. . . she sat on it like it was a throne, barely seeming to notice that it was hugely uncomfortable.

You're a friend of Duo's?

Her eyes made him want to squirm -- the way that little kids and obsessed girls did when he looked at them. He'd never appreciated what it felt like to be on the receiving end of that stare before.

I call him cousin, she replied.

You're from L2?

She had looked faintly amused. I've been there, yes.

His gun had called to his fingers, but somehow he kept from drawing it. And that's --

Home, I'm honey! The door slammed behind Duo and the braided boy waltzed into the room. Miss me? He had barely finished the word when his head had jerked and his eyes had fixed on the visitor with a sick fascination -- as if she had said something, Heero realized.

But she hadn't, didn't, wouldn't. She merely sat like she was the Queen of the World and raised one eyebrow.

Duo had gone pale.

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i want to

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After a minute she had stood, and walked to the door in much the same way a cat walks away from a particularly satisfying dish -- that is to say, with a sort of satisfied disdain.

Wait, Duo said.

She had paused, looked back over his shoulder. We've been waiting, she said. Long enough.

The door whispered shut behind her.

Who was she? Heero asked without preamble. She said she was your cousin.

Only in a polite way, Duo had said, and then walked over to the orange chair. You know, this thing is sort of ugly.

And he had managed to avoid the subject completely.

Heero had spent the next few days investigating every ballet currently within a hundred miles. He had not found her.

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break your heart

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That was the first step in the Leaving of Duo Maxwell.

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and give you mine

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Relena was expected to attend the opening of the Sanc Ballet's production of some ballet. Heero was less than interested.

She set her face and leaned in towards the mirror. "You might like it."

"I don't like ballet." He watched the glint of silver in her hand as she glared relentlessly at her reflection.

"I didn't know you'd ever seen it."

He shrugged, and winced in sympathy as she pulled an errant hair from her brow. "Once or twice. Doesn't that hurt?"

He still remembered with displeasure the pr person who had tried to make Heero just a bit more camera-friendly; the man had found that having tweezers removed from the anal cavity could be a costly operation. Relena had not been amused, and from the way she upped her glare one level, he could tell she was remembering that account.

"No," she said. "It doesn't. But then again, some of us can handle a little pain." She yanked out another hair.

"And some of us can set our own bones and dig out our own bullets."

"And some of us are smarter than that," she snapped. And sighed. "Heero. . . why won't you come?"

"I don't like ballet."

That was obviously not enough reason for her, so he tried to expand.

"It just seems idiotic that these people warp their bodies for the sake of being able to stand on their toes and spin around in circles. I find it. . . distasteful."

"They do it for the sake of art, Heero."

"That sounds like what one of my instructors used to say," Heero said. "Of course, he was talking about bombs at the time." He shrugged. "Maybe I like art that has a function."

"Like blowing things up?" Relena scoffed. "I think that when it comes to art, ballet ranks a little higher on the scale than bombs do. Plus there's that whole safety factor."

"Well, then," Heero said, annoyed, "you go see ballet, and I'll stick to bombs."

Relena almost jabbed herself in the eye with a particularly sharp pencil.

"Just kidding," he said, and smiled humorlessly.

She followed him out of the bathroom into their bedroom. "Damn it, Heero, is that what you do all day? Think about explosions?" He said nothing; she walked over to a closet and tossed out, "oh, no, I forgot. You're reading your way through life. Get past Doctor Seuss yet?"

"I find that I prefer Machiavelli," Heero said, and had the pleasure of watching her flush. "And Lawrence. And Jane Austen. But I would rather read Dr. Seuss than go to the ballet."

"You'd rather read than do anything," Relena griped, pulling yet another dress out and examining it. "You've been reading for four years."

"You didn't object quite so much when I was reading the Kama Sutra," Heero said. "Or that book on massage."

"Maybe I'm afraid you'll start putting the Machiavelli into practice," she said, dropping her robe. She stood before him in black satin underwear -- he was unmoved.

"Better that than the Jane Austen," he said.

She rolled her eyes. "Heero -- I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with reading. But you've been lying around working your way through my library for four years now. Aren't you bored?"

"I'm barely through a quarter of the library yet," he objected.

"The Preventers would love to have you."

He turned and started for the door.

"Even if you don't want to do that, Heero, you could do something! Anything! We both know that even if I didn't have enough money to keep you in books for the rest of your life, you do! Hell, you probably know more about all that missing Oz money my people are always complaining about than I do! You don't have to do anything!"

He put his hand on the doorknob.

"But you don't do anything," she said, and there was a soft despair in her voice that froze him. "You just sit around and read, and sleep. You've been sleeping a lot lately," she said, sounding faintly worried. "And you live in my house and you sleep in my bed -- in my body -- but half the time I don't think you even know I'm here."

"Right now I wish you weren't," he murmured. She didn't hear him.

"And I've done my best not to ask you for anything, and I've defended you to all the journalists who make snide comments about the way you live here but never show up in public with me. But I feel like a whore, Heero."

He turned to look at her.

She wasn't looking at him, but rather was adjusting the necklace that shone around her neck. The necklace would have fed a colony for three years. "I feel like I'm the only one in a relationship here. You're just here for the sex."

"I consider myself to be in a relationship with you," he said, his voice cold. Wounded, but she couldn't hear that. "I do not and will not consider myself to be in a relationship with the Queen of the World, or with the press. And if you're a whore in any relationship, Relena, it's the one you have with those cameras."

She gasped as if she'd been slapped, and her eyes filled. He had the thought that she'd better be careful, or she'd ruin all that makeup -- but she was already pressing a tissue to her eyes, making sure to avoid all the paint surrounding them.

Duo would have fallen to the floor and let the tears come.

"I don't know what else I can give you," she said, her voice calm, with only a slight hitch revealing the emotion she would barely allow herself to feel.

Duo would have screamed. Duo would have decked him.

But Relena wasn't Duo.

"I don't, either," he said, and walked out the door.

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and give you mine
you're taking me over


+

He kills him accidentally.

Then stands back, horrified, his only thought to flee. He drops the statue he has beaten the man with, and runs. Home to his mother and his father, home to hide.

He goes to school the next day and everyone is talking of it. The man's face is in the newspapers, the man's story is everywhere. The law is On Top of It.

He finds he cannot escape.

So he goes to them, and admits it. I killed him.

They gaze at him with bored eyes. Why?

He doesn't even know until he begins to tell them. Of clandestine meetings, of being coerced into illicit sex. Of not meaning too -- of simply having the small gold statue in his hand and seeing the man's breathless body lying there.

They take him back to the man's house; cameras are everywhere. He refuses to look at them, refuses to acknowledge his parents, his friends from school. They stare at him, but he only looks straight ahead.

At the house, he meets the man's sister. She is crying, trying to go inside, but the police hold her back. She looks at him with confusion, and then, when told, collapses. Not anger, he sees with confusion, but pain. A tearing emptiness.

She cries for the man who twisted him; she loves the man who he so hated.

While they deal with her he slips inside the room. The man still lies in the bed. As he crosses the room he becomes vaguely aware that when he was last here he was a girl; he might still be, but that's not what he cares about now. He's there for a reason, and he pulls back the sheet with that reason in mind.

The man has his face.

He cries out, aware that half of his body has gone numb, that half of him feels like it is being pulled down, stuck somewhere. He is crying at the sheer inevitability of it.

The policeman follows him in, and he turns to the man, knowing that his actions have kept him from ever being able to touch the man's long braid, to press kisses to his velvet eyes.

Can't I go back? he begs. It was only yesterday. . . can't I change it?

Duo's eyes are miserable. Some things you can't undo. He looks at the man on the bed. Sometimes. . . there are mistakes.

And all Heero can do is stand there and know that because of a silly thing that he never meant, he can never have Duo.

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you're taking me over

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He woke up, realizing that he had overslept again, and looked around the room. It was a few doors down the hall from the one he usually shared with Relena -- he'd felt the need for some space.

He got up and padded over to the window. It was easily past noon -- Relena would be long gone.

He thought about breakfast but didn't care; he thought about the half-finished book beside his bed. But didn't care. He turned away from the window and crawled back into bed, falling asleep with ease.

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you've got me

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He dreams about London, about traveling, about meeting a soft- eyed stranger on the boat to Italy who turned out to be his long lost best friend. About almost missing trains and about floating down lotus filled streams.

I have missed you, he says.

Duo leans his head back, lets his hair dangle in the stream. It's been a long time, he agrees.

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tethered and chained

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Do you remember being little? Heero asks, somewhat wistfully. When we were together -- all the time -- and knowing what I was thinking before I said it -- and promising to never change?

Humans all change, Duo said, almost bitterly. No matter how much they promise otherwise.

You haven't changed, Heero said, needing to believe that.

Maybe not. . . . Duo skimmed his hand along the water. But you have. He looks down into the clear water as if he can see forever in it. Before long you'll have forgotten me.

Heero is silent.

His once-lover slides a flower from the water, and hands it to him. Flowers fade, he said, people die, and lovers forget.

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I hear your name

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He woke to find Relena pressing kisses to his still body.

"I'm sorry," she said, kissing his bare arm. "I'm so sorry." He felt her lips dig against his skin with a fierce desperation, and was mildly disgusted by the realization that he would have lipstick all over him. "I'm sorry," she said again, and he reached up to touch her hair.

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you're taking me over

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