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Chapter Four: Hesitancy and Crossing the Bridge
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Chapter Four

Originally Chapters Eight and Nine


Disclaimer - The Gundam boys aren't mine. Duh.

I wanna be the one to walk in the sun...

Duo was looking at him expectantly, and he had no clue as to how to start. He looked down at the eggs, then looked to my hands. He had lost my appetite somehow, and had decided to place the fork back down without even realizing it.

"Try at the beginning," Duo said quietly, and he looked at him. Heero tried a small smile, but it didn't seem to come out right. It slipped from his expression like water falling from a high cliff.

"The beginning, " Heero echoed, and refused to look from Duo's violet eyes. "The beginning. Right. Hell." He rubbed his face. "I don't know how to say this, Duo."

His honesty seemed to somehow make Duo relax a bit. A tiny bit. An infinitesimal bit.

"Duo," he floundered, a need, a pain, sharpening through his gut. "I... did you really hurt yourself?"

Duo's eyes guarded triple-time, but he nodded, then held out his arms. It was then he saw the pale scars that snaked up his forearms, jagged marks that were cleanly sliced, testimony to the despair he had placed into Duo's heart. His heart jackhammered roughly in his chest. How had he survived? The marks looked really, really, really deep. His mouth opened, trying to say something. His hand lifted, wanting, needing to touch. To feel. His mind blanked, then raced, unable to process; he felt his face blanch and couldn't muster up the energy to care. Duo. Oh, God. Duo.

Duo dropped his hands and watched him with a strange apprehension. "Duo," he breathed, and his voice shook. His hand whispered toward Duo, but he suddenly stood and picked up his plate. Heero watched him, unable to say anything. How had he missed those scars before? How had he not seen them? Oh, God. Duo. "How did you..."

Duo shrugged nonchalantly. "Quatre showed up. You know," he said thoughtfully, "I never found out exactly why he had shown up right then... I guess Shinigami still didn't want me." He shrugged again.

Heero couldn't take it. "Do you really think your life is a game?"

"Isn't it?" he countered. "Whatever gods are out there sure are having fun with lil' old Duo Maxwell, aren't they?"

Heero couldn't understand. "Your life isn't something for anyone to toy with," he stated plainly. "Not a God, not Shinigami, not... not me." He looked directly at the frozen ex-Deathscythe-pilot, staring into his eyes and letting him see the conviction in his own cobalt gaze. "I should have been honest with my feelings since... gods, since I got a good look at you. I think it was lust, at first. Hell, at first, I didn't know what the hell it was. But then... it grew. It was... emotion. Emotion was... unacceptable. And so... I couldn't talk about it. I couldn't accept it. And... and I thought that you would... hate me. Despise me." Heero shook his head. "No, that was a lame excuse I used to not come before you about... this." He looked at Duo's face, seeing only confusion and a naked fear. Not fear of him, but... some other fear.

"Why would you think that I would... that I could ever hate you?"

"You... that outfit you wore," he said, his hands trying to explain further. "And... your cross. I don't know that much about God, or doves, or whatever, but I do know that homosexuality is... unorthodox. Unreligious. I thought that... well, you know." Knowing how stupid that made him sound, Heero quickly said, "I thought that you would be disgusted with my..."

Duo seemed to take pity on him. "I wore that to... remember."

"Remember?" Heero parroted. "Remember what?"

Something flashed through Duo's eyes for a moment before he could hide it. "My... responsibilities." Duo got to washing his food down the drain. Obviously, he, too, had lost his appetite. He absently threw his bacon on the ground. Hero, who had been lying nearby, almost tripped over himself running to snatch the food. Heero threw his down, as well. Hero looked as if in heaven.

"Your... responsibilities?" Heero again echoed. Duo turned to him and looked at his plate pointedly. He wordlessly handed it over, and Duo took it and scraped the eggs off. The garbage disposal was the only sound louder than the water; neither Heero or Duo willing to compete for supremacy.

Finally, Duo turned off the water and the disposal. The only sound now was Hero munching happily on the bacon. Both Heero and Duo watched for a moment. Then, "...So what made you come back?"

Heero took it for the diversion it was, and accepted it. Now, perhaps, was not the time to delve into the other's past. He wanted to get this out right, but wanted to make sure he didn't let anything from the journal slip. That probably wouldn't go well. So he settled for, "I realized, after the war, that I couldn't stand to be away from you. I always complained about your voice disrupting me... and it was the God's honest truth. I couldn't concentrate on a damn thing when I heard your voice." He looked from Hero back to Duo, and found Duo's piercing gaze on him. "I couldn't... think about much of anything when you were around."

"You... what?" Duo said, confused.

"I couldn't concentrate on the damn mission. I couldn't understand it. Why couldn't I keep my mind on the mission parameters? I... I wanted to hate you for doing that to me," Heero confessed. "For confusing my thoughts, for giving me... all these different emotions and... and confusing the Perfect Soldier."

"I confused you?" Duo asked, amazed. "But... you were never confused. You were always so damn focused I wanted to fucking puke."

Heero shook his head. "Not around you."

Duo lifted his head. "Prove it."

"That time I told you to punch me," he said immediately. "I... I wanted you to knock me out. I wanted you to be the one to escape. It was stupid and reckless. I still thank whoever was watching for letting my training come in enough to have me punch you back. It would've meant... everyone's death. But I wanted you safe. Stupidly, I wanted you to be free and not endure the... Gods, what did they do to you?" Heero shook his head again. "And then there was the time I lived through falling down that cliff after you came to save me."

"Say what?"

"When I decided to fight to stay alive."

"Uh, Heero, not to disappoint you, but you pulled that parachute loose because Relena screamed your name." He gave me a funny look that obviously said, are you okay?

He shook his head. "Stupidly, I thought you had called me. My mind was flitting images of you... when I had seen you after you shot me" – Heero saw Duo visibly flinch at that memory- "and when you had come back... when you had rescued me. And my mind remembered your voice... and then I heard someone shout my name... and I had thought it was you."

A soft "oh" sounded out of Duo's gaping lips. He looked funny, like he was trying to imitate a fish for that Guesstures game. Heero smiled softly with that thought, and Duo seemed to snap out of his daze. "But then... why now? Why me?"

"Why not you?" Heero parried softly. "Who the hell else?"

"Relena," Duo said without hesitation, and he noticed Heero's immediate look of soft disgust.

"No, thank you," Heero said simply. "She's... a bit too naive for me. Too innocent. I feel... strange around her, as if I might break her if I said the wrong thing. She just doesn't understand a warrior's world. I can't speak to her without having to edit it."

Duo looked incredulous. "But... you spent so much time around her. You sent her a teddy bear."

Heero winced. "I don't know what I was thinking. She wanted it, and I thought it would be only right to give it to her, since I had just left and joined Preventers. But she just stalked me more. I didn't want that. That was why I had stopped being her bodyguard in the first damn place." Heero took a calming breath. "But I couldn't stand being around her. And it made it hurt more... hearing her voice during the day and remembering yours at night."

He felt himself blush and ducked his head, but not without seeing Duo smile softly. "Sounds that seemed like they were out of reach, and eluded you at day's light?"

Heero's head snapped up, eyes wide. "Y-Yeah," he admitted. "Exactly like that."

Duo looked at him oddly. "What... Dammit, I can't see you doing this because... for me. Because you wanted to... to see me. It's not like you!" He peered at him closely. "You are Heero Yuy, aren't you?"

Heero gave Duo his old death glare. "What the hell do you think, Maxwell?" Then he smiled. "Yes, Duo, it's really me." I took a slow step forward, saw him looking at me with a vaguely dazed expression. "Maybe... maybe I've just changed."

He snorted, and the swirling depths cleared. "Or maybe you were cloned. With a better personality."

"I can't argue the fact that I was a heartless machine during the war." Heero grabbed Duo's hand before he could notice how close he had gotten. Instead of fighting like Heero had expected, Duo just looked down at their linked digits and slowly looked up at Heero. Heero saw the pain naked in his eyes, and tried to speak. Duo's anguished words cut him off.

"It... hurts... it hurts too much to believe."

Heero's heart wrenched in the wrong direction, tripping over itself. God, how hadn't he seen this? How had he been able to ignore it? Had he really been that heartless, that... stoic? Was he really just some sick, twisted, sadistic little bastard, that he would make Duo go through all this?

They jerked as if they'd been shot when the doorbell rang.


Heero thanked the man and let him leave, carrying his suitcases into Duo's house. He looked helplessly at Duo, but saw that the boy had again closed himself off with that stupid grin of his. Heero's brow furrowed, and he dropped the suitcase down, not caring that he'd left it in the middle of the living room. He went over to Duo, who was busy looking elsewhere. Gently, he placed his thumb and finger under Duo's chin and moved it to look at him. Duo's smile faltered for a second, and he was struggling away. Heero placed a hand on Duo's bare back and smiled softly. He felt Duo's tense muscles beneath his fingers, felt them shift ever so slightly, and felt a hot feeling course through his system.

"Duo," he whispered, and the boy's eyes darted down to his lips. And lingered. "I've said this before. The best way to live one's life is to act on one's emotions." He let Duo think about that before explaining, "my heart led me to you."

Duo's smile vanished to be replaced by tears that Heero knew he wouldn't shed. But it seemed that he had broken through that wall that was created. Heero let go of Duo's chin to link his hand in Duo's. Then, responding to his need, he lifted their hands up and looked at the scars again. They were as long as he remembered, pale and deep and unsettling. He let go of Duo's hand to lightly trace their way up Duo's arm, feeling the sharp indent they had created on Duo's fair skin. He felt Duo shiver and slowly traced his way back down.

He bent his head forward ever so slightly and whispered against Duo's neck, "remind me to thank Quatre. A lot."

Duo hummed something and leaned into him, pressing his chest to Heero's. Heero stifled a groan as he felt Duo's nipples rake lightly over his shirt. But when Duo came forward and rubbed his erection over his own, the groan came out loud and deep. He threw his head back and rocked lightly, grabbing at Duo's hips. Duo returned the swaying motion, linking his arms around Heero's neck and burying his face into Heero's chest. Heero had never really realized how short the Deathscythe pilot was. He was always so stubborn and strong he had appeared twice his real height. But now he was hyper-aware, feeling Duo's lips lift up to kiss his neck, slowly making his way to the fluttering pulse there. When he touched it, Heero felt himself go weak, and he tightened his grip on Duo as another moan erupted from his chest.

Hero snapped a playful bark in their direction, and Heero saw Duo's eyes slowly unfold from their glazed state. As soon as Duo gained back his senses, he shoved off of Heero like a rocket. Heero reluctantly let him go.

Duo looked around, Seemingly still disoriented. He took in Hero, who had his butt up high in the air as his front paws lie on the ground. His tongue was lolling out of his mouth, and he seemed to have a big, goofy smile on his face.

"Still," Duo said shakily, and the dog lie immediately on the ground, watching Duo carefully. Duo managed a weak smile for him.

Heero watched all this with fascination. Usually a dog so well trained wouldn't bother with fun. It seemed Duo wouldn't allow that. The dog was everything his master was: smart, quick, and fun-loving. Heero was in awe of them both.

Duo's eyes came back to him then, and showed chagrin. Heero promptly went over to him and tilted his chin up once more. "I'm sorry," he whispered. "I should've stopped myself." Duo tried to speak, but Heero knew it would be to take the blame and continued. "But I've wanted you like that, against me, for a very, very long time. I don't know if you want me the way I want you. I don't know your feelings. But I want to," he added, and Duo's amethyst eyes showed something akin to hope. "If you'd like, I'll move into a hotel, and-"

"No!" Duo shouted, and both of them were shocked by the outburst. Quietly, Duo said, "I don't want you to leave. I don't want this to have just been a dream."

Heero's heart wrenched up to his throat, and without another word, he threw his arms around Duo. "It's not a dream," he assured, "Because it's finally become reality."

He felt Duo's arms reach round him and sift through his hair, and he let his head fall to burrow into Duo's mass of chestnut locks. He smelled the scent of Duo, of some sweet herb that hadn't been discovered yet, and let himself believe what he had said.

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Every story unless otherwise claimed is Kayura's, and is copyrighted 2006 under her name.