Title: Christmas Eve
Notes: not your typical happy christmas fic. gomen!! it begged to be written! it's kinda... almost cliche, sorta retarded. i don't know. whatever.
The aroma of fresh-baked muffins swirled throughout the house. Heero decided if he didn't step outside, he'd be driven to stealing one, so he grabbed his coat and walked outside.
Everything about him - the snow, the laughing children, the brightly decorated houses - reminded him of the first Christmas he and Duo had shared, one year before. The first Christmas after all the wars, after the Barton incident, after everything. He'd never realized one day and one person could make his whole life perfect. Duo shy gift had been himself, and his love.
Trudging down across the snow-covered lawn, Heero turned to see Trowa watching him in the window. The rest of the pilots would be inside, sampling the muffins, probably. Trowa, seeing he'd been sighted, gave a small smile and a wave. Then he, too, went to steal muffins.
For some reason, Heero wasn't in the mood to join them. He preferred standing outside in the crisp air, reminiscing.
One of Quatre's dogs came tumbling out of nowhere and knocked Heero down. With a small smile, Heero ruffled the dog's ears, wrestling it gently. The mass of dark fur bounced around him for a few minutes, then went after someone else to knock over.
Heero rose silently and brushed himself off.
On an impulse, he checked his pocket to see if he had his wallet on him. Yes, he did. Then he may as well get his Christmas shopping done, never mind that it was Christmas Eve already. Then he began to walk into town.
The small town was lit up and well-decorated with just about everything an imagination could procure. The shops were old-fashioned and the owners welcoming. Heero stood in the middle and looked around for a place to begin.
Turning around, a small shop caught his eye. In the window were little crosses and several different models of the manger. Resolutely, Heero walked forward and opened the door, to hear a jingle coming from above.
Without hesitating, he walked forward to the rack of crosses. He examined each one, discarding them for being too plain, too ornate, not the right type... until he found a beautiful silver cross on a silver chain.
He brought it to the counter and wordlessly paid for it, shaking his head when the man behind the counter asked if he wanted it wrapped. He tucked it in his pocket carefully and walked back outside.
Looking around again, Heero decided Wufei might appreciate some incense and various related things. He found a shop that sold incense, candles, and other scented objects, and went it, again to hear a bell tinkling. This time, he gruffly requested help from one of the ladies, particularly because he wasn't sure what to get. With assistance, he picked up several packets of incense and a wooden incense burner. He paid for these and asked them to be wrapped.
Heero grinned a little when he saw the bright red and green paper it was being wrapped in. Wufei would... view it interestingly.
Trowa and Quatre, Heero shopped for together. One store carried an array of items for lovers and with a slightly pained but mischievous smile, Heero went in.
There was a boy standing behind the counter, and Heero saw that he was nervously shifting from foot to foot. Heero realized that the boy was probably standing in for a parent or an older sibling and was afraid of being asked for help. Shrugging, Heero went and chose various articles and brought them to the boy, who rang them up and wrapped them hastily.
Having all his packages, Heero realized it was getting somewhat dark and he should return back to Quatre's home soon. Despite the fact that Quatre was a Muslim, he insisted on setting up a Christmas tree and exchanging presents. Heero suspected it had something to do with Duo and his bullying tactics.
The walk back to the house was longer than coming. Heero dragged his feet slightly, watching tiny snowflakes fly down, catching the light and glistening at angles. Houses lining the street shone red, blue, green, purple, yellow, and white. Some people were out caroling, and Heero stopped to listen for a song or two.
Finally he reached the gateway of Quatre's drive way. The pathway was well lit with lamps and festive lights. Walking down the pathway was like walking down a wonderland of sorts.
Heero wondered if his friends had finished all the muffins. He sincerely hoped not.
Before he walked in, though, he had to do one more thing.
Stopping by a fairly large tree, Heero kneeled down in front of it and brushed the snow off the piece of marble in front of him. His finger traced the unforgiving letters:
Keeping his face straight, Heero fumbled in his pocket for the cross. Reverently, he buried the cross in the earth right in front of the gravestone. Then he stay there for a full half an hour, letting the snow collect on him.
When he rose, he saw his friends - Quatre, Wufei, and Trowa - standing in the doorway, watching him. As one, they turned away and let him have private time, alone with the one he loved.
"Duo." The voice cut across the dance of the snowflakes. "I never told you. And when I wanted to, it was too late. If I'd told you... would you have not killed yourself? Duo, I love you. Please come back, Duo. I love you. I need you."