look! it's almost over!
(there are no song lyrics in this part)
to make things a little clearer, I've done things as follows in this part:
+ Part 7
She took him out for dinner that night, to a small discreet restaurant
where paparazzi would not be notified of their presence until just as
they were leaving.
"You don't need to go," she said.
"Yes," he told her, "I do."
"Even if. . . even if you don't want to be with me anymore, I still wish
you'd stay. For as long as you want my home is yours."
But he has grown sick of it and longs for something different. "I appreciate
the offer," he said, quietly.
"But." Her voice was soft and breathy; he wondered if she was suppressing
tears. Saving them for after the photographers had shot their fill of
"But," he agreed.
When they walked out of the restaurant the sky lit around them; thousands
of furious flashes burned their way into his brain. He kept his arm through
hers and kept moving, wondering if she had actually cried, there in public,
if he would have agreed to stay.
He takes pills, wracking his brain for all he knows of medication. Relena,
thankfully, has several bottles containing sleep aids; the sleep techniques
he learned as a child have failed him, but his resistance to drugs has
not. He shakes a few out of every bottle and finishes with half a bottle's
worth of valerian root. And lies resolutely on the bed.
If sleep will not come to him he will hunt it with every means necessary.The
familiar current of a dream. . . .
<He is standing in the bathroom he shares with Relena; in the mirror
he can see himself. Haggard. Thin. When did he lose so much weight? He
touches his reflection; his fingers sink into it and he can feel his skin.
He pulls his hand back; in it there is a small white plastic container.
He opens it, pulls, drags the contents across the sharp hook.
And opens his mouth and flosses his teeth.>
When he woke up only half an hour had gone by. He cursed, swore, would
have screamed if Relena hadn't been in the room next door. What the hell
kind of person has dreams about flossing his teeth? He stalked to the
bathroom, grimly stuck a finger down his throat, and purged himself of
whatever drugs he had not yet metabolized. He had a feeling it made little
difference either way. He had never been much for sleep.
//Don't you ever sleep?
Baka. Of course I sleep. When I need to.
Duo had batted him on the head. I'm no baka.
That's right, he had agreed with only a small smile. Duo no baka.
But don't you ever just sleep for the fun of it?
At least don't you ever just get into bed for the fun of it? Not like
that, you hentai! I mean-just to enjoy the way that it feels. To sort
of rub yourself into it. Duo's eyes had been surprisingly open. Sometimes
I crawl into bed and wiggle around. . . just to feel it. That devastatingly
guileless half-grin of Duo's. I'll show you.
Heero had watched curiously as his lover had jumped gleefully to stand
on the bed they had bought together, even before they had settled on an
apartment. It was endless, an expanse of black satin and Duo's inviting
Duo stepped out of the shorts that were all he wore and dropped bonelessly.
Don't you ever just love the feeling of it? He rubbed his head against
Heero's pillow, letting his eyes drift closed and his lips part.
Heero had taken a step closer.
Duo had rubbed his face, catlike, into the pillow, and had opened his
eyes to stare at Heero. Come on, he said, pulling his lover onto the bed,
onto his body. Feel.
Under his hand Duo's skin had felt like nothing he had ever known before.
He had run his hand up from Duo's thigh, over a cluster of scars, over
the spot on his hip that always made the other boy sputter with laughter,
over his flat stomach, over the place where some soldier had thought it
would be funny to carve his name into the gundam pilot's skin. Heero had
a feeling that Ja-, wherever he was, had not thought it was funny for
very long. He had let his hand rest on Duo's chest, had brought his face
down to lie beside it. Duo's hand, on his hair, surprisingly gentle. Heero?
You all right? Heero had nodded, the motion causing his nose to rub against
Duo's skin. I just wanted to feel you, he had said.//
In Relena's guest bathroom Heero washed his mouth out and looked in the
//What are you doing?
What does it look like I'm doing?
It looks like you're in my bed. About to go to sleep.
Duo had said nothing.
Why are you in my bed?
Because I can't sleep in mine. I haven't slept in days. Just. . . for
Heero had shrugged, crawled into bed beside the braided boy. He had borne
it stoically when Duo had crept closer to him, when Duo had pressed his
head to Heero's chest.
Sometimes, Duo had whispered, his hushed voice echoing in the midnight-silent
room, I can't remember what life sounds like. What does life sound like?
Duo's hand, pressed flat against Heero's heart. Like this, he said. Like
His face was set with lines; he realized with a start that he had slammed
his fist into the mirror. He barely saw the blood; pressed his hand flat
against the shattered mirror. Touched his fractured skin, pulling his
hand down over the mirror until it rested against the reflection of his
//Tell me, he had demanded. His eyes were hot; he kept them closed as
he knotted his hand in Duo's hair. Tell me.
The other boy had been alone on the balcony until Heero had hunted him
down; the expression on his face as he had turned from the celebratory
fireworks to meet his lover had done nothing to calm the awful feeling
of purposelessness that had been plaguing Heero all through the celebration.
The war was over; he needed to make sure that he wasn't.
The war is over, Duo said, his voice surprisingly gentle. It's all over
now, and you can rest.
Not that. Tell me.
You're here. You're alive despite your best efforts. You saved the world.
His hand had tightened. I don't care. Tell me.
Are you sure?
There had been a vulnerability in Duo's voice; in hindsight it grated
against his skin. At the time it had only seemed proof that he was not
the only one bewildered by this sudden wild peace. Yeah. I'm sure. So
And then there had been Duo's hand, making passes down his hair, and Duo's
body, trembling against him. And Duo, and the world made sense. I love
you, Duo had crooned. I'm with you. You can sleep now.//
His body crashed to the floor amid the glass.
<The war is over and his family has found him. His family wants him.
He leaves his solitary life eagerly, and heads to their ranch. His father
and stepmother and a dozen of their offspring greet him.
We've been waiting for you, they say. Welcome. Welcome home.
His stepbrother-his stepmother's second oldest son-has a smile that makes
the world stop spinning. He has a laugh that starts it again. He has eyes
that even the war couldn't kill. His name is Duo and Heero loves him intensely.
It takes some work, but in the end Duo stands before him and holds out
his hand. I'm not going to say no anymore, he says. I'm done with being
selfless. Will you come with me?
Heero steps forward.
I'll make you happy, Duo swears. I won't stop loving you-I couldn't. I'll
keep you happy. I'll touch you all the time-you'll forget what it's like
to not be touched by me. I'll feed you peeled grapes and run baths for
you. I promise you. I'll make you happy.
//Quatre, after Duo left, patiently bathing the almost- catatonic boy.
Scooping water up from the large bathtub and spilling it gently down his
back. Soothing stories of mundanity.//
//Wufei. First visit after he'd moved in with Relena. The beautifully
wrapped package that had turned out to contain a rubber ducky with devil
horns. Because you have a bathtub now, the other boy had said.//
//Relena. In bubbles she was washed clean of all her public masks. She
had leaned against him in the scented water and simply been his.//
//Trowa. Gently helping Heero through a bath in those first, shell-shocked
days at Quatre's. Following your emotions is all well and good, the boy
had said softly, but don't forget that there's more to life than feeling,
and that just because you saved the world doesn't mean you don't owe it
//And Duo. Heart-breakingly alive, apologizing for the dinkiness of the
bathtub in their apartment. Next time, he had promised. Duo. Who loved
to annoy Heero by farting in the bathtub. Who sculpted soap bubbles into
lewd shapes on his lover's skin. Who complained when his hair got wet
or his skin went pruney. Who had laughed in delight when he had found
a stray grey hair on Heero's leg one day. You're getting old, man! he
had crowed. And the two of them had laughed until it hurt, because they
were getting old, they would get old, and they would die. And before that
they would live.//
//Promise me, Duo demanded.//
I promise. . . .
<Heero pulled his hand back. I can't.
I can't go with you, he says. I'm sorry.
And he is. Galaxies cannot contain his sorrow; the force of his anger
at life could blow up the world. But. . . I promised, he explains. His
voice is weak but he is resolute.
I promised you, Heero says, and now he steps closer. And if you came softly.
. . if you came with stealth. . . if you came as my lover and tempted
me with kisses. . . I could not go with you.
Duo's eyes are too bright.
Heero kisses him, softly, sadly. Because I love you, and because I promised.
Duo's eyes close; Heero takes his lover chin gently in his hands. Look
at me, he says.
Duo shakes his head, but looks.
Heero leans forward, kisses him again. I won't forget you. Some flowers
don't fade. He pulls back.
I won't come again. I can't.
Heero memorizes his face-the arch of his eyebrows, the curve of his lips,
the gentle tear that is slipping down a rounded cheek that will never
lose all of its childhood. I know.
He turns and walks away.
The ranch house where he so briefly had a family melts around him, fades
to black.> And he is on his hands and knees, surrounded by glass in
the too-bright bathroom of Relena's best guest bathroom.
He does not move, just stares down at the glass and his blood. His face
has broken into a thousand pieces and fallen off of the wall. He stares
at the floor and wants a thousand things. He has no tears to cry.
i have a question for you all; it has to do with the ending. on one hand,
i feel that the fic should not end with heero and duo getting together
somehow because that would take cheating. on the other, i'm a hopeless
romantic. i find myself torn between giving them a together ending and
between being a little more faithful to the idea of the fic (which has
shifted around so much i'm not sure what it is anymore, but still). So
if you have any kind of feeling, one way or another, please let me know;
maybe i'll write alternate endings. . .
6] [part 8] [back to Zillie's fic]