Name: A Soul Returned
Author: Aqua
Pairing: Heero and Duo
Warnings: some violence
Rated: G, mild shounen ai
Breif description: Heero meets a young 'girl' on the streets of L2 by the name of Duo.


Part 1: Accidental Meeting

L2 185 A.C.

Heero ran as fast as his small legs would carry him. They were not very muscular yet but he was still a very fast boy and was easily outrunning the large men behind him, having taken careful note of the floor plans before entering the large building. His target had never expected to be caught and certainly not by a six year old child, so this mission had been an simple thing to accomplish mostly because who would expect a person of such a young age to be holding a gun to their head? But Heero had been killing people for two years, having been trained since he was two years old to hold a gun. It was something that he was naturally good at and it was all he knew how to do. It was a skill he often used when fighting this war. And no one, not even these men, would cause him to fail a mission.

He ran through the front doors of the building and quickly veered to the right. His plan had been to simply run until he lost them, finding as many distractions as possible. It was not uncommon to see children running in the streets of this colony and he knew that no one would associate him with the others chasing him. And even if he was caught, all he would have to do would be to scream loud enough and perhaps people would come to his aid. Heero didn't trust anyone and certainly didn't think that he could let people he didn't know hold his pitiful life in their hands, but if worst came to worst that was what he would do.

As he ran through the alley, he came upon a large street with just as many people as he'd been hoping would be there. The three men were still behind him and perhaps gaining just a little, but they would not be able to catch up to him before he reached the crowd. They seemed to have finally realized his intent and were hiding their weapons, as Heero had done just a moment ago, and were yelling at him to stop.

Idiots, did they actually expect him to?

Launching himself into the crowd, Heero headed toward the largest swell of people. He couldn't actually see what was going on, but there seemed to be some sort of commotion off to the right. He could see a large cluster of people shifting around and circulating in the area while young voices were screaming swear words from within. Perfect to hide in.

He joined the crowd, using his small size to his advantage as he wormed past people's legs to the center of the group. He was just about at the heart of the commotion, when something came shooting at him. Seeing the other person, but knowing they were both running too quickly to stop in time, Heero simply closed his eyes and absorbed the impact as the two of them slammed into each other.

"Oof!" the other person gasped as they fell back onto the ground with a loud thud, the objects in their arms also falling. A huge amount of loose chestnut hair fell around a slender body that was smaller and shorter than even Heero.

"Get that little bastard!" someone screamed, and Heero had no doubt in his mind that they were talking about this particular child. More children were appearing around them, looking astonished and worried, their clothing tattered and mostly too large for their small bodies.

Heero looked up and blinked in astonishment as he met very angry violet eyes. They were huge and framed with long eyelashes. A small round face was also pulled into a glare as the little girl, dressed in black shorts and a black shirt that was ripped and far too big, jumped to her bare feet.

"Why the hell don't you watch where you're going?" the girl snapped as she turned to grab onto the fallen objects, which appeared to be apples.

Heero slowly stood up, keeping his own face statementless as he'd always been taught. He could see a man, obviously the owner of the apples, heading toward them and he turned to see his own pursuers weaving their way through the crowd.

"You were the one not watching," he answered calmly in a monotone that sounded odd from such a young boy.

The girl continued to glare at him as she frantically looked around for an easy escape. Heero had already found it, and was about to point it out when the girl spoke again. "The hell you were! It's all your fault that half my apples are bruised and it will also be your fault if we get caught! If it weren't for you, I would be out of here already. Shit! That guy's almost on us. Solo, which way do we go now?"

The older kid named Solo looked calm and collected but there was worry in his eyes as he clutched the bread in his arms closer. "I don't know," he replied.

Heero knew he would regret it, but he wasn't soulless yet! "That way," he said, pointing. Then he took off, not really caring if he was going to be followed or not.

However, the kids ran with him as he escaped his enemies and they escaped theirs. The crowd was thick, but easy to run through here and soon all seven of them were gasping for breath five blocks away but safe nonetheless.

The girl stormed over to him and socked him in the face with surprising strength. "That was for nearly getting me caught!" she yelled.

Heero stared at her, then hit back with even more force, causing the girl to fall on her butt with surprise while the apples fell around her again. Her cheek was already starting to turn red and he could see that all the other kids were ready to pounce on him. They simply awaited the request from the fallen child on the ground. "That," he echoed emotionlessly, "was for nearly getting me caught."

The girl stared at him with huge eyes for a moment and Heero was almost regretting having hit her so hard. Then a huge grin appeared on her face and the girl jumped to her feet, holding out her hand. "My name is Duo! Great to meet ya!" she exclaimed.

Staring for a long time, he finally took the hand tentatively. "Heero," he stated.


A Soul Returned
Part 2: The Wrong Target

Heero's young mind was filled with visions of the young girl, Duo, he'd met just yesterday. He doubted he would ever have a chance to see her again and yet could not banish her from his thoughts. He was too mature to think along the lines of cooties, so he wondered if perhaps the thing about her was that he liked her? It wasn't a complete impossibility, even for someone his age. He had gazed into those purple eyes with a hint of blue and filled with mischief, feeling as though he was observing the perfection of a soul.

He told himself over and over to forget her. He was a soldier from birth, one who killed people and always would. There was no room in his life for friends. He had never been given the chance to play like a regular child. His toys had been hand grenades and pistols, not GI Joe's* or Tonka Trucks*.

He was on L2 still, and Heero found himself looking for Duo every time he was outdoors. He doubted he would see the enchanting girl again, but he looked all the same. He was always thinking about her, remembering the stuff she had told him about her lifestyle as an orphan. He remembered laughing a little when she'd called herself Shinigami, the God of Death. She hadn't even known the word was Japanese until he'd told her. The people he worked for never noticed the distraction in him, thinking he was just as dedicated to death as he'd always been. In fact, they had already given him his new mission.

Another hit-and-run target. He had to get into some guy's home, kill him, and leave. Heero had been tempted to question the reason but knew that he would never get an answer. He was trying to stop a war and that was what he had to do. It did not matter which tactics were used. If they wanted this guy dead, all he had to ask was how. But that was before he had seen that life was more than war. That was before he had witnessed children far more alive than he was, having to steal food. That was before he'd had a tentative chance to make a friend. After all, what kind of friend would a cold hearted killer make?

At that moment, Heero was dressed in the uniform of a schoolboy. It was a simple plan and his gun was well hidden in the folds of his jacket. He walked quickly toward the double story house in which his target lived, his cobalt blue eyes trained on the building with an intense statement.

Once there, he knocked on the door. Sure enough, an elderly man with a nice face answered. "Yes?" he questioned, not seeming surprised to see a strange child on his porch.

"I was on my way home from school. I got lost. Can you help me?" Heero questioned, trying to sound like an innocent young school boy.

The man smiled. "Of course. Come on in," he said, allowing Heero entry. "My wife is not home at the moment. And I'm afraid the other children have not yet arrived. But if you give me your phone number then you can play while I contact your parents, alright?"

Heero told him a fake number that he'd been given, pretending to head for the nearby room filled with little toys. He didn't recognize any of them aside from the kind of toys children he occasionally played with outdoors.

The man turned to use the phone and Heero reacted instantly. The gun was uncovered, in his hand, aimed, and silently shot within seconds. The man gave a grunt as he arched, before collapsing limply to the floor, a pool of blood starting to ooze out of his back.

Taking a deep breath, Heero returned the gun to its proper place and headed for the door. "Ninmu kanryou," he muttered under his breath, trying not to sound too bitter.

When he opened the door, Heero froze in astonishment as he spotted three children.

Duo was standing there, her hand lifted to open the door, but her body was too still. Her eyes were huge and filled with fear as she stared at him with incomprehension. Loose chestnut locks floated around her shoulders as she shook her head back and forth. She was pale, as were the children around her that shared similar statements of disbelief.

She'd heard the shot. Even silenced, it had been loud enough. And she knew he'd done it.

"How... how could you?" she whispered, her eyes shifting past him to the dead man barely visible through the doorway.

Heero tried not to let his emotions show, tried to keep himself for reaching out to comfort her. Tried to keep himself from blurting out the entire situation. Instead he simply pushed his way past all three of them and tried to ignore the accusing glares sent his way.

"Why?" a trembling voice questioned softly.

Unable to go any farther, Heero stopped on the top step but didn't turn around. "A war must be fought by someone. Even this young, I have never had a childhood. He was my enemy. My mission is completed for now," he stated coolly.

Then he continued walking.

*Author note: I don't know if those toys exist still, but hey, what can I say?*


A Soul Returned
Part 3: A Friend's Vengence

Sorry about this chapter... it is sorta confusing... The point of view keeps changing from person to person and with Heero being the only one who doesn't realize Duo isn't a girl... well... <sweatdrops> just bear with me.

But Heero didn't get very far before something slammed roughly into his back, sending him flying forward. His body hit the ground and his face scraped across the cement painfully. Spinning around, Heero shoved Duo off of him and glared, his small hand forming a fist.

"Bastard! Why did you kill him? What did he ever do to you? Why?" Duo screamed, her own face furious. Tears were in her eyes, but they were unshed.

Heero lowered his hand, staring at the angry child in front of him. Why? The question echoed in his head. Why indeed.... But Heero didn't have any answers to that one word, that one question that he'd asked himself the entire day. Why did he have to kill? Why did he get no answers himself although he demanded them? Perhaps not with words, but he asked all the same. Why? Why did he have to destroy lives? Why had his own life, his own childhood, been sacrificed in order to stop this damn war?

"Tell me why... please... you owe me that much," Duo said softly.

Closing his eyes, Heero realized his fingers were turning numb from being held so tightly but couldn't bring himself to loosen them. "I had to," he said softly.

"Why did you have to?"

"I was ordered to."

"By who? Who could possibly order a child to kill an innocent man?"

"Hn. Good question. I hope you never find out," Heero said softly before he turned and continued walking.

He walked for five blocks without stopping. The place he was supposed to stay in was a good half hour walk and they'd told Heero to come directly there but he took his time anyway. He was thinking, trapped in thoughts far more serious than the thoughts of a child were meant to be. He had never felt regret for what he did before. Not truly; not like he did now. It had always been his duty and he'd never felt anything. Perhaps a bit of jealousy towards all those other children that got to live, but never anything beyond that. Now there was an indescribable feeling gnawing in his chest that Heero could not get rid of. And it didn't help to hear Duo's accusing words echoing in his head. One word spoken in that soft voice had changed everything.


"Buken," he heard a voice say. Recognizing his fake name, Heero looked up to see an adult before him whose face he'd come to hate. Leikeen worked directly for Dr. J, but his tactics were distinctly different from the older man's. His training was more painful, his tactics reached deep into Heero's soul and ripped it out little by little. He didn't follow the direct orders of Dr. J, but didn't let the other man know that. He had given Heero this mission; had given Heero all of his latest missions while on this colony.

"Ninmu kanryou," he repeated softly, looking down.

Leikeen studied the boy's face. It was just as statementless as usual, but there was something in those dark blue eyes. An emotion that should not have been present in the eyes of a perfect soldier.

"What went wrong?" he questioned.

Heero looked away from him. "Nothing," he stated. His tone was bitter.

He was lying. Leikeen could tell that much. Damn this child! Dr. J had said that his will had been easy to break! That he was willing to fight and despite his young age and had the true skills of a killer. More than just a soldier, for soldiers still had emotions. No, Heero was supposed to be a killer and that was what he was. Yet even now Leikeen could see a burning emotion in the depths of the boy. What had caused it?

"Hey! You owe me some answers, Heero! If you think that I'm going to let you get away with that stupid theoretical crap, you've got another thing coming!" he heard a young voice yell, the words nearly mispronounced but correct.

Heero's eyes went wide and he spun around. Leikeen found this reaction interesting and he looked up to see a little girl storming up to them with a confused and furious statement on her face. Wait.... Years of experience had trained Leikeen's eyes. This child was a boy! A cute little boy with brown hair down to his waist and huge eyes, but a boy all the same. And, as Leikeen gazed at Heero, he suddenly put a name to the emotion he saw there.

Heero had a crush on him!

"Duo, what do you think you're doing?" Heero questioned coldly.

The little boy stomped his foot and put his hands on his hips in a most feminine manner. "I want to know why you killed my friend!" he declared in an obnoxious tone.

Heero bit his lip and looked away. Leikeen had seen and heard enough of this conversation. If this child was the cause of Heero's sudden realization of his lost childhood, then they needed to be separated as soon as possible.

"Buken, we're going home. Leave this little street brat and let's get going," he stated. He made sure to put an emphasis on the name.

With cobalt eyes flashing anger in his direction, Leikeen couldn't help the sneer that appeared on his face. So, even though he knew where his duty should lie, Heero was protective of the child. This was an interesting fact, but it gave this newcomer too much power. He motioned the child to his side.

Taking a deep breath, Heero turned and walked toward him.

"Buken?" Duo repeated, sounding even more confused. Then something seemed to click in his mind. "You!" he screamed, pointing up at Leikeen.

Blinking, Leikeen regarded the little boy with astonishment as the violet colored orbs glared up at him with barely masked fury. He was glad this was a residential area and there weren't any people around to overhear this. What did he know? Had Heero been stupid enough to have forgotten his foremost duty?


"You damn fucking bastard*! It was you who ordered Heero to kill that man, wasn't it? How many people have you made him fight? How many lives has he had to take because of you?" Duo yelled at top of his lungs, storming up to Heero's side.

Leikeen turned to Heero, his own anger coming out. "How much did you tell this kid? You are under direct orders not to give away any information! How many times have you gone out and blurted this out to people? Our mission could fail because of your faults! You are a useless soldier!" he exclaimed as he raised his hand and slapped Heero across the face with all his strength, causing the child to fall to the ground.

Duo gave a startled cry as Heero pushed himself to a sitting position, blood coming from his mouth and nose. But the fallen child refused to look at either of them as he pulled loose some of his coat and used it to block the flow.

"Did you think that was bad, kid? Well you'd better forget about your worthless friend here! When we get back home, BUKEN is getting the worst punishment he's ever been given. Maybe then he will remember what his only purpose for living is, and be more grateful to our cause," Leikeen snapped, hauling Heero to his feet and turning to walk away.

Suddenly something attacked him from behind and pain pierced his leg with such ferocity that Leikeen cried out. He looked down, startled to see that Duo was biting him! His teeth were clamped straight into the flesh of his right leg.

The kid jumped off of him and continued to glare, ignoring Heero's surprised protests. "Heero is my friend and I'm not going to just stand here while you beat him up!" he declared, then launched himself at Leikeen with all of his strength. For his size, Duo was a good fighter and the older man had no time to recover from his attack before a kick was strategically placed to his groin. Swearing, he fell to his knees and realized his mistake when Duo's fist smashed into his face.

Heero seemed to come to his senses then and he raced at Duo. "Stop it, you stupid girl," he said. "Leikeen might have been caught off guard, but he's a good fighter. He'll hurt you!" (Amazing that he managed more than two words, ne?)

Staring at him, Duo shook his head. "No way Heero! If you won't defend yourself, then someone has to."

"Demo..." Heero said softly, not even realizing he'd spoken the wrong language** and that Duo wouldn't understand him.

Leikeen got to his feet during this time and stalked over to the young boy that Heero thought was a girl and had enough gall to end up with a crush on! "Listen to me, you fucking little brat. Heero belongs to the colonies. He is a killer with no soul, no childhood, and no future beyond war. I've made it very clear to him, and I'm not going to let you stand in my way," he said darkly.

Stepping forward, Duo raised his fists so that he could fight. "He does have a future! And he does have a soul! No matter what you do to him, that is something that Heero will always have with him!" he declared.

Grabbing Duo's wrist, Leikeen pulled his arm around so that he was nearly breaking the bone. He was damn furious with this kid and was not going to let him get away with what he'd done. Duo seemed to realize his trouble at this point, giving a loud scream of pain. Leikeen ignored it and he ignored the looks people were giving him as they gazed out their windows, too frightened to intervene. He raised his fist, knowing the exact place to punch that would put this menace out of his misery forever.

The bang seemed to echo. Leikeen felt something pierce through him, but it was so quick he couldn't be sure. Then pain welled up in chest, heat scouring through him even as he froze. His vision went white, then black, then red to match the color oozing out of his chest where he'd been shot right through the heart.

Duo's eyes were huge as the hand that held him went slack and Leikeen's body slowly fell to the ground. The body landed with a dull thud. Behind him he could see Heero, his face cold, but his eyes filled with fear, the gun still in his trembling hands.

"Heero," he said softly, walking forward.

Heero let the gun drop to the ground. "I... I didn't want him to hurt you. You're my... my friend," he said softly. He was pale and seemed to be in shock.

Unable to resist, Duo felt a smile come to his lips. Not his usual smile, but a real one. He knew how much Heero hated to kill. He had seen it in the other boy's eyes when he'd walked out of the house, walked away from him, when he'd offered his unorthodox answer. And yet Heero had worked his way past his own fears and had destroyed someone who was truly an enemy. In order to protect Duo, someone he cared about.

He brought his hands up and pulled Heero to him in a strong hug. He knew that Heero still thought he was a girl and he didn't mind it. Usually he would, but something was special with Heero.

Besides his skills of war.

Heero froze for a moment. He had never experienced a hug before. He'd seen others do it and had thought it uncomfortable. But with Duo's warm body pressed up against him, he felt at perfect ease with everything. So instead of pulling away, Heero wrapped his arms around Duo and burst into tears.


Two hours later, Heero reported Leikeen's death, claiming it to be accidental: Heero had dropped his gun and it had gone off. Dr. J had believed it easily and hadn't asked any questions (he'd thought Leikeen was a bastard anyway). But Heero's time on L2 was over. Two more hours passed, and he was on a shuttle heading for L1. Dr. J had claimed he had a surprise for him called Wing. Whatever that was.....


But before leaving:

Duo hugged Heero swiftly as his friend got ready to board the flight that would take him so far away, almost unwilling to let him go. He would miss the slightly psychotic boy with all of his heart. Even though they'd known each other for such a short time, they had already been through so much. Never before had he felt such a bond towards nyone. He still hadn't told Heero that he was a boy, and didn't find a reason to do so now. But Heero pulled away quickly. Duo was a bit disappointed that Heero didn't want to hug him. It was not likely they'd see each other again. :P

"Duo," Heero suddenly said softly. "Before I go... um...."

"Yes Heero?" he questioned.

Heero glanced away for a second. "We've only known each other a very short while. But we are very similar in some ways. We are both far too mature for our ages," he said just as quietly.

Duo smiled a little sadly. "Yes," he agreed.

"But," Heero continued, looking up at him. "Perhaps that is for the best, isn't it? I'll never forget you."

Grinning, Duo put a hand on his shoulder. "Of course you won't! How many people do you meet like me?" he replied with a wink.

With a small smile, Heero pulled something out of his pocket. "Because of your clothing I always thought of you as the Shinigami you claim to be***. I got this for you so that you wouldn't forget me," he said.

His eyes widening, Duo took the cross and quickly wrapped it around his neck. "How does it look?" he questioned at the same time as Heero's plane was announced.

Heero smiled. "It looks good," he replied.

He slowly started walking toward his gate, unable to look back and look at the only friend he'd ever had; the friend he was leaving behind.

"Hey Heero! You can't leave yet!" he heard Duo yell. Then he was spun around, pulled against a warm body, and Duo slammed her mouth on top of his. It was a small kiss and Heero's mind and body were too young to understand what to do with it, but he kissed her back. His cheeks burned with shyness and embarrassment at what people must be thinking, but he didn't want to pull away from this. It was a good feeling he'd never felt before.

When Duo pulled back, she looked a little startled. Her cheeks were flushed too. "Ok," she said in a breathless tone, "now you can go to wherever it is you must. But some day, when we are truly grown up, I'm expecting you to catch me just as off guard with a kiss as I did you!"

Heero stared at her for a few seconds. Then he nodded. "I will," he stated, his tone full of youthful promise.


Dr. G watched as the soldier from L1 got onto his flight. The child standing at the gate watching him leave had a silly grin on his face, his eyes shining. He'd been astonished when he had noticed Heero standing there with the other child. And he'd been even more astonished when he had discovered that the other child was a boy. And he'd fallen right off of his chair when they'd kissed.

Apparently this boy meant a lot to the L1 pilot. And breaking past those defences that Dr. J had obviously built up probably took a lot of talent.

Hm... perhaps this boy was the person he'd been looking for. With a little shaping up and a bit of discipline, he could prove to be a good pilot for the L2 Gundam.

(*Author's note: -_-' sorry about the swearing, but I mean, this is a young, street kid version of Duo pissed off. Were you expecting him 'not' to swear? What kind of GW did you see???)

(**Author's note: Duo is American. Unlike some, I don't believe a six year old child (no matter how mature) would know how to speak Japanese when they live in an English community. It is just not very possible if you ask me. I was very careful to make sure Duo speaks English for this part. But later on, when he's older, he does speak Japanese.)


A Soul Returned
Part 4: The Fifth Pilot

Author note: I would like to say again that I have altered a lot of the GW timeline. Even though this might not have happened in the episodes, it happens for this fic. ;P so nah! Characters (as in Heero) might be slightly OOC.

Heero could barely keep his anger under control, which was surprising for a soulless soldier. He couldn't believe the nerve of Dr. J! After pulling him into this war ten years ago, he'd pulled in three other boys as well. Their pasts had been a secret until Heero had been fed up enough to check them out, discovering that just as he had, each of them had been taken in by their colony and trained to fight. It was enough to make Heero see red, knowing that their lives had been shattered just as his had. Sure, Heero would admit that their help was very much needed at some points of the war but he was very pissed off that others had also been forced to give up their lives for this. He was expendable, his life was cheap and not worth living anyway, but why did Dr. J have to pull in these other innocents to fight?

He'd lost his soul long ago. Heero could admit that now. There was nothing left of him but a shell whose duty it was to kill. He couldn't remember the last time he'd felt, the last time he'd had fun, or the last time he'd done anything that hadn't been for the colony he represented. What little bit he'd had as a child had slowly been eaten away until nothing had remained of him.

He deserved to fight and die in this war. The others didn't.

And now, just a short while ago, the fifth pilot had shown up! Black Gundam going so quick that the other MS couldn't keep up with it, the thermal scythe crashing through the enemy machines, the pilot laughing like a maniac as he disemboweled mechanism after mechanism. Heero had not been given a chance to question the new pilot. None of them had, as they'd desperately fought the many mobile suits that were surounding them, fighting together surprisingly well for having known each other for such a short time. Immediately afterward, they'd been called back to base and the mysterious pilot had turned off their communication line.

The new person's arrival had been the last straw. Heero was not going to deal with a fifth life in this battle. He already had to bail out the others whenever they were in trouble since they weren't as trained to do battle as he was. A fourth person to protect was just too much!

Although Heero had to admit that he was remarkably good at piloting....

Walking into the conference room with a dark scowl on his face, Heero immediately took in the forms of Quatre and Trowa, who seemed to have hit it off remarkably well, Wufei standing off to one side and gazing down at a katana that Heero found very impractical. Dr. J was standing in front of a large monitor with images of the battle going across it, a person Heero didn't recognize beside him.

"Ah, Heero, I trust Wing is okay?" Dr. J questioned when he spotted the thirteen year old.

The name caused the newcomer to start before spinning around to fix Heero with a schocked amethyst gaze. Heero also froze, unable to stop staring. That round face with huge eyes and full lips that were pulled into a devil-may-care grin, chestnut brown hair going down to a slim waist, pulled back into a braid. Clothing that was all black, looking oddly like something a priest would wear and keeping the figure looking boyish. The simple golden cross pendant hanging around a slender throat.

Duo! Masaka....

"Oi! Heero! Never thought I'd see you again! Small world isn't it? To think that we would both end up piloting Gundams. 'Course I always had my suspicions that this is what became of you. Though I never would have guessed it. Shit man! This is just so damn amazing!"

Yep, that was Duo. She* hadn't changed much.

Heero turned away. "Hn. You talk a lot," he stated.

"You know each other?" Quatre questioned, sounding surprised.

Heero ignored him and instead focused on the fight that was playing on the monitor. Duo came up beside him and clamped a hand onto his shoulder. "Sure thing! We met, like, ten years ago I think it was. Heero here killed an old friend of mine the day after we met. Then he saved my life!" she declared.

Shrugging off her hand, Heero turned to Dr. J and tried to ignore the smiling figure beside him. "OZ is getting smarter. Perhaps bringing in a fifth pilot was a good idea. But we still have to be careful," he said in a monotone.

"Yes. I noticed during your fight that they have seemed to have gotten their act together. That main mobile suit didn't look like the others and the pilot was exceptionally good," Dr. J said slowly.

Knowing exactly what was expected of him, Heero nodded and headed for the door with swift strides. "I'll hand in a report tonight," he stated, knowing that it would not take him long to find out information on that particular OZ soldier.

"Take Duo with you. You'll be bunking together," Dr. J called.

Heero tried not to make any outward sign of his disapproval. As much as he liked the girl, liked her soul filled life and joyful personality, he did not fancy a roommate.

"Oi, pretty cool, ne? Heero? We'll be roommates. We can share secrets and stuff!" Duo declared, following him from the room with her own bouncing steps.

Heero said nothing.

"Maybe I could lend you some clothes. Those spandex must get cool during winter," she continued.

"...." was all Heero said.

Duo pouted a little from the lack of response, then proceeded to walk backward in front of Heero. "So they call you the 'Perfect Soldier' now do they? Kinda fits you I bet. What do you think about the nickname?" she questioned.

"Hn," Heero replied.

"Do you talk?"

"Why should I? You talk enough for both of us," Heero stated coolly.

Duo eyed him with a funny look, then shrugged. "Saa~aa. I suppose fighting as long as you have must have gotten to you or something. I was expecting a least a "how are you, Duo?" or a "Good to see you again, Duo," or something!"

Heero paused for a second. "Baka," he stated, then walked into his room.

He sat down in front of his computer and immediately got to work, trying to find out who this mysterious new pilot was. The latest OZ soldiers were a fairly new group and although their leader was a brilliant and tricky man, his subordinates were very incompetent. Their computer systems were not hard to get into.

Heero had just gotten past the password when he felt thin arms slip around his shoulders and a body leaning against his back. "What are you doing?" Duo questioned, her breath tickling his ear in an almost erotic fashion.

Reacting the way any thirteen year old Gundam pilot named Heero Yuy would, Heero pulled his fist back and smashed it into Duo's face, sending her sprawling across the floor. "Don't touch me," he stated.

Duo stared at him for a few seconds. Then her lower lip stuck out and her fingers went to her nose. "What the hell was that for? You could have broken my nose! My poor beautiful nose! All I did was look over your shoulder! What, do you have a phobia of physical human contact or are you naturally like that?" Duo declaired, glaring up at him.

"Don't touch me," Heero replied, then turned back to his computer.

He wouldn't say it, wouldn't give the other person a clue, as to how much the simple touch had shaken him. Duo had hardly meant it beyond a simple way to gaze at the monitor, but those arms wrapped loosely around his shoulders and chest had sent Heero's entire body on fire. He was supposed to be immune to emotion, his hormones were supposed to have been destroyed years ago. He'd never had to deal with them before. But just the simplest caress from that long haired pilot had caused his blood to start pounding, his heart to race, his mind to go blank of everything but the feeling, and his manhood to stiffen. It... it was not something that was supposed to happen! Duo was nothing more than another pilot! He had no room for an attraction toward this unorthodox female.

"Well fine if that's the way you want to be. Man, Heero, you are one strange guy. I mean, a lot of people would have simply told me to stop touching them. Although that isn't usually the case.... Anyway, you didn't have to punch me. Maybe you're a man of few words. You know, one of those 'all action and no speech' kinda guys, but I would appreciate a little warning next time."

All the while this speech was declared, Duo had gotten up and was unbuttoning her shirt. Heero was not used to seeing women naked. Sure he knew it was something he should get used to especially now that there was a girl on the team, but he couldn't help himself as he held his breath, staring at the reflection in the monitor.

When the black shirt fell to the floor, it took Heero a minute to compute what he was seeing. Then he spun around and stared, his blue eyes emotionless but still filled with surprise. Duo stared back at him with an equally startled statement, not understanding what had shocked the other person so much.

(*Author's note: remember, Heero was the only one who hadn't figured out that Duo was a boy. <snickers> how observant.....)


A Soul Returned
Part 5: Self Titled, A Soul Returned

(Author's note: I think ur getting sick of these arent' u? Well this is the last one until the end. Lotta swearing... from Heero no less!)

"You're a boy," Heero said slowly.

Duo looked down at his flat chest which was now bare. "Apparently," he replied, his lips quirking into a grin.

"But I thought.... You.... What?" Heero stammered.

Unable to stop himself, Duo burst into a fit of laughter. "Shit man, you should see your face! I've never seen so much emotion on it! Didn't you know I was a boy?" he stuttered between giggles.

Heero began glowering, cursing when he felt his cheeks beginning to turn red. When had his discipline abandoned him? "No I didn't," he stated.

Some of the humor died in Duo at the tone but he was unable to get rid of his huge grin. "Well, it was an honest misunderstanding. But I can prove easily enough that I'm a guy now!" he declared, lifting his arms and showing off his muscular chest.

Heero glared at it. Thin but muscular, his ribs just barely visible, his nipples pale in color just as his skin was. Absolutely hairless, which was not surprising for an American thirteen year old. His black pants hung off of flat hips, almost too big for him but tight enough to keep from falling to his knees.

Slowly Heero began to realize that he still had a semi-erection. And staring at the half naked boy before him was NOT helping get rid of it in the least. What the hell?!! He wasn't gay! He wasn't even supposed to like girls, much less guys! Yet here he was, staring at the other boy and trying to deny that his body was reacting, his mind was thirsting, and he felt an unsatiable hunger to possess that which was before him. What the fuck was going on?

Catching the odd look in Heero's eyes but unable to figure out what it was, Duo stepped forward and placed a hand on his shoulder. He hadn't forgotten what happened last time he'd touched this intriguing character, but he didn't want to just stand there if something was wrong.

"Heero, are you alright? Are you injured or something?" he questioned.

Heero shrugged off the hand and turned back to his computer. "I'm fine," he stated emotionlessly.

Eyeing the unusual boy with an almost hungry gaze, Duo shrugged and went back to getting changed, having a one-sided conversation with Heero as the latter typed away on his computer.

As he fought to ignore the loud boy behind him, Heero reflected upon the thought he'd had just a little while ago. He was feeling something: he was amused by the boy behind him, he had the strangest feeling of purpose, as if he didn't want this boy to become harmed by the cruelty of the war.

If he didn't know better, he'd say he'd found his soul.