Title: A Rose Forever
Author: chibiANGEL
Pairings: 1+2 (obviously)
Song: With You, by Linkin Park
Rating: R? PG-13? probably R would be better
Warnings: i dunno... they're both kinda bastardized. i mean, everyone says heero's bastardized 'cos he throws things or hits duo, but... duo isn't exactly the weakling who's taking the beatings here. he yells right back. o.O so.
Category: eh, rather angsty.
[blahblahblah] : lyrics
_______% : flashback


Some things never changed.

Despite words, despite tears, despite anger, it stayed the same. Days of tenderness, days of fury. Whoever said love and hate were bordered by a thin line knew exactly what they were talking about.

Duo wasn't sure if it was because they were too alike or too different.

Sometimes he thought it was a mixture of both. Regardless of what the cause, the result was a relationship that epitomized hot and cold. Or, rather, the extremes of emotion, because the feelings were anything but cold. They flared with passion all the time, but whether the passion was loving or hating was a different matter.

They fought. Duo would scream and Heero would throw things. They'd long ago learned not to buy expensive furniture or knickknacks. Sometimes neither of them knew exactly what they were fighting over; it was just a way to get out pent-up anguish and pain in a form of giving pain to their lover.

[i woke up in a dream today]

But they loved. And there were nights of steamy ardor and there were nights with the gentler caresses and promises to change. Promises to work things out, talk things out, make utopia with two soldiers out of war. There were gifts, romantic candlelit dinners, kisses stolen whenever they saw each other, locked eyes, and vowed again their love.


Duo was anxiously waiting for Heero to return home. He had begged Lady Une for a day off, to prepare for that evening. After Lady Une relented, he suspected it was because she didn't want to deal with his sniping for the day. Chuckling at the thought, he reached over to adjust the position of a rose.

Heero would be home any moment.


[to the cold of the static]

It was February 13th, and Heero wanted to set up something for the next day that his lover would never forget. Everyone in the Preventers Headquarters could feel the sexual energy radiating between Heero and Duo. It seemed to be like that every day. Sexual tension, a need and desire, or something smouldering between them.

Heero had already arranged to have fresh red and white roses waiting for him. Last year Duo had prepared the day for him. It was certainly his turn this year. His mind wasn't on his work; he was thinking about ways to make Lady Une give him the day off. Half his mind wondered how Duo had convinced the Lady, the other half laughed and said it had probably been Duo's 'persuasive' powers.

Thinking about Duo, he turned his head slightly and caught violet eyes flicker, twinkle, then disappear behind a computer screen. Closing his eyes, Heero could see his lover, smiling. But the smile flickered away and was replaced by the picture of a tearstained face, violet eyes darkened in pain and anger, lips parted to scream anything that came to mind. A bruise across one cheek, breathing almost labored and painful.

[and put my cold feet on the floor]

Clenching his eyes shut now, he forced that image out of his mind. They'd talked it over. It would be okay. Things would have to get better. They loved each other.

They loved each other. That was all that should matter, wasn't it? In the end, their love would overcome whatever barriers they were throwing up. Perhaps it was their fear of a life without war, perhaps it was fear of the complete intimacy.

Heero refused to believe it was because they weren't meant for each other.


A quick peek at the clock told Duo it was nearly 6:30. He bounced from one foot to the other, restless with anticipation, eyes gleaming. Everything was perfect: there were roses on the table, lights were slightly dimmed, and dinner was just about ready. And in his hands was the present he'd gotten Heero.

It had been nerve-wracking, trying to find a Valentine's Day present for Heero. Chocolates weren't good enough. Teddy bear? Hell, -he- wanted to be Heero's teddy bear! Roses didn't seem to fit Heero.

And he honestly felt odd about getting Heero a new gun for Valentine's Day.


Finally it was time to leave. Duo had been antsy for the last, oh, several hours. It wasn't helping that Heero was sneaking suggestive peeks at him every once in a while.

[forgot all about yesterday]

He snatched up his coat and walked over to where Heero was waiting in the doorway. They walked together wordlessly towards the car, side by side, almost touching but leaving a hairs-breadth of space between them.

Essentially teasing the hell out of each other.

Heero turned to look at his lover when they reached the car. Beautiful.

Naturally sharp eyes picked up the faded bruise across the jaw. Eyes flickered down to see an equally dim bruise on an arm. Duo, pretending to have not noticed the scrutiny, pressed Heero up against the car and kissed him deeply.

Heero had no objections.


A key rustled in the lock and Duo bolted to the door, gift in hand. He nearly wrenches open the door to reveal a surprised - albeit pleased - Heero.

"Happy Valentine's Day," Duo said quickly, holding out his gift.

Heero looked at the wrapped box dumbly for a moment before accepting it. He, in turn, held out a dozen roses, which Duo took absently, waiting for a reaction from Heero.

[remembering i'm pretending to be where i'm not anymore]

Closing the door behind him, Heero began to carefully peel off the - pink and flowered - wrapping paper. Within was a plain box, which he opened. Duo held his breath as the contents were revealed.


Rough fingers trailed down Duo's cheek, after grazing over his closed eyes. He even forgot to flinch when Heero brushed across his bruise.

Heero wet his lips again, then brought his face down to kiss Duo gently.

"We should get home, koi," Duo breathed. "Maybe finish this off there," he added cheekily.

Heero smiled. Pushing Duo away gently, he turned to unlock the car and open the door. Tossing Duo the keys, he said simply, "You drive."

"Sure." Duo spun around the front of the car and jumped into the driver's seat.

[a little taste of hypocrisy]

Heero pushed away from the dinner table. "Wait a minute. I want to call someone."

With a smug, knowing grin, Duo murmured, "Lady Une? To beg a day off?"

A small smile. "Of course. How did you manage it?"

Duo leaned back in the chair, assuming an air of nonchalance. "If you want something, ask, ask, ask."

"Or beg and plead," Heero corrected, getting up. He stopped right outside the kitchen to look back at his lover. "I love you."

"I love you too, Heero," was the quiet, but heartfelt reply. And fights be damned.

Heero reached the vidphone and dialed for Lady Une's work number, knowing she'd still be there.

"Lady Une. Hello, Heero."

He nodded. "Lady, I-"

[and i'm left in the wake of the mistake]

"Want tomorrow off you prepare for something for Duo," Lady Une finished his sentence for him. Heero didn't bother to look stupefied - he would've thought less of Lady Une if she hadn't figured it out herself.

She sighed. "I can't exactly stop you, can I? Duo nagged me until I gave in, last year. You're just going to glare at me all day in work tomorrow if I make you come in. Take the day off."

Heero gave Lady Une a rare smile, nodding his thanks. "It will only be a day," he pointed out.

What he got was a pensive glare. "Probably not. If I know you two, you'll take the next day off as 'sick'."

Almost driven to flushing, Heero smirked and said, "Maybe."

"Maybe. Probably. Definitely. Oh, go ahead." Lady Une smiled a little. "Just don't bother me about Valentine's Day anymore. So far, about a third of the Preventers have begged leave tomorrow. And I wouldn't be surprised if more were out the next day."

[slow to react]

"We're lucky there's nothing major going on lately, then."

She laughed. "Goodbye, Heero." The screen flickered out.


Heero honestly didn't know what to say when opening the box revealed a leather-bound photo album. Setting the box down on a nearby table (which was battered, bruised, and had no sharp edges) he opened the cover with wonder. Duo hovered over him anxiously, almost crushing the roses in his hands.


[even though you're so close to me]


The first picture was all five pilots together, standing in front of their respective Gundams. It had been taken right before the Gundams had been blown up - Heero wasn't sure exactly how the picture had been taken.

The picture right underneath was Heero and Duo standing together in a safe house, Duo flopped on the bed and Heero sitting on the edge of it.

[you're still so distant]

Next was Heero on his Gundam in Howard's mobile suit repair place. Duo was on the floor, ranting at him, his braid actually flopping from side to side, as was evident in the picture as it wasn't exactly straight down.. Heero smirked; Howard must have taken that picture.

They were all like that. Heero began to flip through the pictures a little quicker, counting 63 pictures in all.

"Do - do you like it?" Duo finally ventured.

Heero only had to look at him for Duo to get his answer.


Heero walked back into the kitchen, where Duo was putting the dishes into the sink. He wrapped his arms around his violet-eyed lover, startling the latter. Duo quickly wiped off his hands on a dishrag and turned to face Heero.

[and i can't bring you back]



With a stifled giggle, Duo asked, "So. What'd she say?"

Heero smirked. "We technically have permission to be out on the 15th. She said she expected nothing less of us."

Duo beamed. "Score! She's getting the picture now."

Heero kissed him.

This time Duo flinched a little as one hand pressed on his arm, unwittingly provoking the bruised skin.

Feeling the flinch, Heero pulled away and looked at Duo inquiringly.

"Sorry, Heero," Duo said, blinking. He jerked his head towards Heero's hand on his arm, wincing a little. "Your hand."

[it's true
the way i feel]

Startled, Heero pulled his hand away as if on fire. "What?"

"No, no," Duo soothed, reaching out and taking Heero's hands in his. "You just squeezed too hard right there."

Heero glanced down and noticed where he'd held Duo on the harm. Flushing slightly, he murmured, "Gomenasai, koibito."

"Nothing to be sorry for." Duo pulled Heero's arms around him and leaned forward. "We worked things out, remember? It's all going to be okay from now on. I promise."

[was promised by your face]

"I promise," Heero echoed, as fervently as possible. He truly believed it. Things were going to change; it wasn't going to stay so rocky between them. They'd had their fair share of troubles and more, wasn't it time for everything to be perfect for them. Heero mentally vowed that Valentine's Day would be the beginning of a change.



"Look at what I got you," Heero finally said.

Duo looked down and his roses and caressed a petal. "They're beautif-" He paused. In the midst of the rest roses was a single wooden rose. Eyes wide, he reached into the spray of petals to pull it out.

[the sound of your voice]

It was intricately carved, complete to every possible detail. The stems were slightly rough, but the petals had been carved and sanded down until they were as smooth as real rose petals. Duo looked up in surprise.

"I - I thought you'd like something I made for you," Heero said shyly.

So this was what Heero's secret project had been. For the last month, Heero had been 'doing extra work' often, staying in the office or somewhere secluded for prolonged times. Duo had finally accepted the excuse that it would be over soon.

"You... made this?" His voice was filled with awe, violet eyes positively purple in wonder and amazement.

"The roses I bought are probably more beautiful-" Heero paused to see Duo shaking his head wordlessly, vehemently. "But the carven rose won't fade. It's sturdy and it can last forever. It will be a rose forever." He ended in a soft, breathy voice.

Duo's vision began to blur slightly. "Oh, Heero," he managed to gasp out, before, crying in earnest, holding onto his lover for dear life.

[painted on my memories]

"Duo...?" Heero sounded concerned.

"Thank you so much. I love you."

A contented sigh. "I love you."


As Heero felt Duo rock into his arms, he felt absolutely and blissfully happy. It was always like this, a part in the back of his head reminded him. He always felt happy for moments; there were always moments where he felt like he surpassed utopia - then it passed.

[even if you're not with me]

It was going to last, he told himself fiercely. They had survived a war together, there was no reason they couldn't survive peace together. In fact, that was only more reason for them to click, to match, to belong.

Duo curled up into his chest, making small sounds of contentment.

It was perfect.

[i'm with you]

He placed a tender kiss on the chestnut head, reveling in sheer touch. Fingers traced a cheek whisper-soft, caressing and rectifying the earlier harm. The sound of Duo breathing against his chest was enough to make his heart swell with love and desire.


After sobbing for a few minutes, Duo finally pulled away with a smile. "I ruined your shirt," he remarked softly.

"It's okay."

"Let's go eat dinner. I cooked." Heero raised an eyebrow and Duo squealed playfully. "I promise it's not poisoned."

"Maybe not intentionally," was Heero's teasing retort.

With a light shove, Duo directed his lover towards the dining room, where roses were scattered on the table and two candles in the center made the room glow warmly. He placed his bouquet of roses on a sideboard, keeping the wooden rose with him. Setting the solitary rose on the table, Duo beckoned Heero to sit in the chair opposite him.

now i see]

Then, seeing that his lover was watching his curiously, Duo scuttled off to the kitchen to bring out the food.


[keeping everything inside]

Duo curled up next to Heero in bed. The moon was shining through the blinds, ghosting across Duo's still features. Heero watching his sleeping lover, carefully memorizing every feature for the millionth time.

"I love you," he whispered to the silence. A gentle hand caressed Duo's cheek, mindful of the pain he might unwittingly inflict.

Suddenly, Duo began to whimper in his sleep. At first, Heero tried to soothe the young man in his arms by holding him, rocking him gently. But Duo began to writhe and push away from Heero, still sleeping.

"Duo!" Heero finally hissed, alarmed. "Duo?"

With a low cry, Duo wrenched himself out of Heero's arms, then woke up, panting.

"Wh- what happened?" Duo spoke first.

Heero stared for a moment. Then he reached forward to take his love in his arms again. Duo was trembling. "Did you have a nightmare?"

Slowly, Duo calmed down. "Yeah."

"What was it?"

Silence for a moment. Eyes began to close pointedly, snuggling closer again. "Nothing important."

now i see]

Duo woke up to the smell of pancakes and strawberry syrup, and a cold bed. Weighing the merits of pancakes versus a warm body, he finally concluded that the pancakes pulled forward... but only because of the strawberry syrup.


Heero was quite impressed at the dinner Duo served. It was simple - chicken, rice, potatoes - but tasted wonderful. He had to wonder when and where Duo had acquired the skills to cook.

"Quatre got his cook to give me recipes," Duo said, interrupting Heero's train of thought.

"But you cooked." The tone seemed noncommittal.


Heero smiled. "It's wonderful." Duo beamed at the compliment to his cooking. Heero's statement turned sly as he added, "Maybe that means you should cook more often."

Laughing and trying to scowl in protest, Duo threw a rose petal. Or, tried to throw a rose petal. It sort of drifted halfway and settled back onto the table, leaving the two snickering. The candlelight flickered slightly.

"Well, I tried," Duo murmured.

Reaching across the table to run fingers over Duo's lips, Heero merely smiled tenderly.


Duo popped into the kitchen to see Heero setting the last stack of pancakes on the table. "Good morning sunshine," Heero said, without turning.

With a smile, Duo replied cheerily, "Ohayo! Geez, Heero, this is for me?"

Heero turned and pulled Duo close for a kiss. "Everything is for you," he answered huskily, holding Duo in his arms. They didn't move for a moment.

Finally Heero lightly pushed Duo towards the table. "I know you're starving," he said with a small smile.

Laughing, Duo grabbed a plate of pancakes and Heero seated himself opposite.

[even when i close my eyes]

They made their way through breakfast as a leisurely pace. As Duo finished his last bite, Heero gathered the plates and set them in the sink. "Better take a quick shower," Heero warned, glancing at the clock.

"Oh, shit!" Duo dropped a quick kiss on Heero's mouth and dashed off, leaving Heero watching him with a fond quirk of the lips.


Duo and Heero clasped hands and went to bed together, glowing with the pleasure of the evening with each other's company.

Looking forward to the night with each other's company.


It wasn't until a few months later that the arguments began.


Duo rapidly scrubbed himself, ignoring his hair. In minutes, he was dried and dressed. Another minute to kiss Heero deeply, then run out the door.

Heero waited a minute, breathing in the remaining scent on Duo in the air. He licked his lips and tasted his love. Then, after waiting long enough, he decided it was time to start preparing for the day. First thing: get the roses.


Arguments soon led to fights, and eventually they would not remember what had caused it to begin. Sometimes they resorted to words, other times, things flew.

[i hit you and you hit me back]

It wasn't just once or twice that one or the other had stormed out of the apartment in fury. It wasn't just once or twice Duo had to have a bone set, once it had been broken. Or glass had to be picked up from the floor, or the window had to be repaired, or a hole in a wall mended.

Duo knew the repairmen far too well.

The first day Duo had come into work with bruises, several Preventers had come up to him with a flurry of questions. Heero had stood protectively nearby while Duo had curtly answered that he'd "fallen down the stairs."

Neither of them cared if no one believed them.


Duo went to work humming under his breath, wondering what kind of surprises would be awaiting him at home. The wooden rose Heero had given him last year was suspended above the fireplace, held in place with slender threads tied to nails up above. He could close his eyes and picture it there.

Parking in the lot, Duo allowed himself a minute to simply smile and think about his lover. Think about the future for them.


Heero returned to the apartment with his arms full of roses. Red roses and white roses. Duo always said he loved white roses. They seemed to match him somehow, vibrant and pure and sweet and beautiful. Always beautiful.

He took one deep breath, smelling in the scent of the roses. Their alluring aroma made him smile, thinking of somehow covering his lover in that scent.

Heero was so happy he was almost humming to himself as he drifted around the apartment, placing roses in strategic and aesthetically pleasing places. One he managed to entwine with the wooden rose over the fireplace.

Stopping, he stared at the fireplace. "It needs a fire," he said to himself out loud. There was wood stacked outside; he just needed to get some. With that resolve, Heero went to hunt for his jacket.

Twenty minutes later, a merry fire was crackling in the fireplace. It warmed up the whole apartment and made Heero feel mellow, peaceful.

[we fall to the floor]


Duo was curled up in the corner of the living room. Heero had nearly pulled the door off the hinges on his way out of the apartment, radiating sheer anger. Which left Duo angry himself, and completely drained, mentally and physically. And wondering if they were meant to be.

He glanced up and looked at the wooden rose with an air of melancholy.

"A rose forever, eh?"

With that, he resolved to try harder to make things work out.

[the rest of the day stands still]


Nearing the end of the day, Duo was practically falling out of his chair in anticipation. Quatre smirked when he caught Duo looking at the clock for the 12th time in 10 minutes.

"Duo," he soothed. "Calm down."

"I'm trying to," Duo assured him, sprawling back onto his chair. "It's a bit hard, you know?"

Quatre nodded, completely understanding. Trowa was home that day, preparing something for them, so he'd been fairly fidgety the whole day, too. In fact, he'd caught himself typing 'TrowaTrowaTrowaTrowa' across his screen several times.

Lady Une passed by them that moment and sighed. "You know, I'd send you two home early but Trowa and Heero would never forgive me for letting you spoil their surprise. It's only another hour."

Duo and Quatre gave a simultaneous squeal. "A whole hour?" Quatre wailed.

Duo snickered. "And who was telling me to chill for looking at the clock about 5 seconds ago?"

Quatre didn't answer.


"Shut up."

"No, for once you're going to listen to me," Duo seethed. "You always get your way, always what you want to say. Listen to me!"

Heero was trying his best not to hit his lover. "You've been talking," he pointed out, in his dangerously low voice.

Duo ignored the warning signs. "Yeah, but you haven't been listening! It's always what you want, I never get what I want!"

"You always get what you want!" Heero finally broke. "You ask and you beg and you plead and finally I just give you what you want to shut you up."

With a sneer, Duo replied, "Oh, but that's only when what I what coincides with what you want, Yuy. Name me one time - just one time - I got something you disagreed with."

Heero was silent for a moment. Then, swiftly, he punched Duo in the face. If not for the face that Duo had been expecting the blow, his jaw would have been broken. As it was, Duo had noticed the clenching of Heero's fist and had automatically ducked, which resulted in a mere grazing of his cheekbone.

[fine line between this and that]

"Fuck you, Heero," Duo ground out. "Fuck for you all the times you say you care. Perfect Soldier, huh? Perfectly SELFISH!"

"And you're not?" It was all Heero could do not to hit Duo again. As Heero spoke, Duo began to nervously migrate away from Heero, around Heero, away from the table in the middle of the living room. Away from the television at the other side. "You put on your pretty face and everyone falls at your feet."

"Except you, of course," Duo retorted sarcastically. "Is that what you want? For me to fall at your feet?"

"Don't twist my words!"


Duo certainly broke the speed limit on the way home. All he could think about was Heero, Heero's smile, Heero's touch, Heero's kisses...

Realizing he better get home before thinking about such things, Duo forced himself to think unsexy thoughts and keep his eyes on the road. He definitely didn't want an accident today of all days.

But he managed to squeal into the apartment building's garage at 80 miles per hour, proving the car had an excellent breaking system going from 80 to 0 in 300 yards. Making Duo infinitely grateful for good seatbelts.

Locking the car, Duo raced to the elevator, impatiently waiting for the elevator to come down, then for it to rise up. He literally paced around the small box as it rose from floor to floor, not fast enough.

Duo was happy that he'd had the foresight to buy Heero's gift early. He'd scoured the whole town for something, and then had hidden the gift in the closet. With a warning for Heero not to plow through the bottom.

[when things go wrong i pretend the past isn't real]

In record time, he was at his door and fumbling for the key. As Duo had done last year, Heero flung open the door before his lover could put key to lock.

Smiling, Duo flung himself into his lover's arms. "So," he murmured into Heero's shoulder. "Miss me?"

Heero's face was buried in Duo's hair. "Of course. I hope you like dinner."

"If you cooked, I'll like it," Duo promised.


"Why the hell do I have to be in love with such an asshole?" Duo said bitterly. He was tired of screaming - his throat was sore - and in the back of his head he was already calculating the cost of repairs for the wall, the bedroom door hinges, and the chair leg. Most importantly, Heero had ripped off his chain and the cross had been bent in the process.

"And why do I have to be in love with a brat?" came the silky-sweet venomous reply.

Duo instinctively ducked as a book came in his general direction. Almost amused, he turned to survey the title. "'Macbeth', huh? Classy taste we have." He glanced up. "Don't you dare throw that!!"

Heero had picked up a random picture off a sideboard and had raised it above his head. Duo jerked sharply and lunged for it, successfully knocking Heero down.

Angrily, Heero shoved Duo off, but glanced at the picture.

[now i'm trapped in this memory]

It was the two of them together, standing in the snow right after the war had ended.

Without a word, Heero gently put the picture back down, stepped over Duo, and stormed out of the apartment. Duo reached out and gently figured the bent cross and began to cry anew.


Duo ran into the bedroom and fished Heero's gift out of the closet. When he reemerged to the living room, Heero was shyly holding a boxed present.

"Here." Duo shoved his gift into Heero's hands and accepted the gift in return. They both began to slowly peel away wrapping paper, then simultaneously opened the boxes.

"Oh," Duo breathed, just as Heero's eyes widened.

Duo pushed away the tissue paper to reveal a golden chain. He lifted it to see two pendants dangling from it: an elegant but not overly lavish cross and a ring.

Heero pulled out a teddy bear - which made his raise an eyebrow - holding a small flat box. Setting the box and tissue paper down, he pried the box out of the bear's paws and opened it. Inside was a small picture of the two of them on the bottom and an inscription on the top. 'Heero, Love you forever. Duo'.

By unsaid agreement, they rushed together to hold each other tightly, whispering 'thank yous' and promises of forever.

As they pulled apart, slowly, Duo slipped the necklace on and lingeringly touched the cross, then the ring.

"Read the inside of the ring." Duo obeyed.

"Oh, Heero," he murmured. 'To my beautiful Duo. Ai shiteru. - Heero', in small but fine calligraphy that Duo suddenly recognized as Heero's.

[and i'm left in the wake of the mistake]


Heero came back later that night to see Duo curled up in a love seat, having cried himself to sleep.

"Duo," he said softly, forlornly. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."

Gently, he picked up his lover and carried him to the bedroom. He set Duo down on the bed then shut the door, blocking off the mass destruction, ignoring the broken hinge to the bedroom door.

Softly, so as not to wake Duo, Heero peeled off Duo's clothes and put him in more comfortable t-shirt and boxers. He changed himself, then curled into bed with Duo.

Automatically, Duo snuggled closer, writhing into Heero's arms.

Heero, with a sigh, held Duo as close as possible and willed himself to sleep.


Duo and Heero finished dinner at a leisurely pace, murmuring comments and exchanging soft words.

After they finished, Heero removed the dishes, then turned to kiss Duo.

"I love you," Heero murmured.

"I love you too," Duo moaned, pressing himself against his lover.

Heero immediately picked his lover off the floor and carried him into the bedroom. The door was kicked closed.


Duo woke up disoriented. The only thing he knew was there was a warm body next to him.

[slow to react]

Slowly the events of the night before came back at him. But no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't bring himself to wake up and lash out at Heero.

He completely lost that resolve when he looked over at his sleeping lover. Heero was holding Duo's braid tightly, his statement was calm and almost serene. Softening into a smile, Duo cuddled up against Heero.


"Heero?" Duo whispered softly into the heated night. Sated, naked, sweaty, they lay beneath the sheets.


"Think we could, ever, y'know, adopt kids?"

Heero stiffened slightly. Then, in a wry tone, he answered, "I'm not sure how adept either of us would be in raising children." He paused. "And I'm not particularly pleased with the idea."

Duo sulked slightly. "Not even maybe?"

"I'm honestly rather not."

"Oh." Duo curled up into himself again. "Why?"

"Why do you want to?" Heero voice held a tinge of exasperation.

Duo flipped onto his back so he was staring at the ceiling.

[even though you're so close to me]

"Remember, Heero?" he said softly. "I used to live in an orphanage. They tried to take care of kids like us. Maybe they succeeded, maybe they didn't. All that matters is over a hundred kids died."

"And you think raising a child will make it up to them," Heero said flatly.

Duo chose to ignore Heero's tone. "Maybe."

Heero raised himself up on an elbow, looking at Duo critically. "Duo. Do you really think either of us is capable of raising a child?"

"Well you could at least think about it," Duo snapped.

A scowl appeared on Heero's face as he flopped back down on his back. "Duo, if you feel so inclined, volunteer at an orphanage," he said crisply. "I don't like kids." Duo abruptly rolled out of bed and tumbled into a pair of boxers. "Where are you going?"

"Just into the living room. To be by myself."

Heero jerked out of bed himself and grabbed his own boxers. "Duo," he protested, holding his lover back by the arm. "You're being unreasonable."

"I'm being unreasonable?" Duo was honestly surprised. "How am I being unreasonable?"

"You're springing this on me and now you're mad that I'm not accepting it."

"You're not even thinking about it," Duo pointed out as he shoved his legs into jeans. "Just leave me alone for a little while to think." He yanked his arm out of Heero's grasp and stalked out of the bedroom. Heero followed him.

"Duo," Heero said, bordering on angry. "You're being ridiculous."

"You can't even think about it?" Duo's voice was soft, frail.

Heero let out his breath all at once. "Duo. I don't like kids. We have differences and you know that This is one."

"But you're being unnecessarily cold," Duo shot back. He settled onto the rug in front of the fire.

[you're still so distant]

"I'm being-" Heero gaped.

"You ... nevermind," Duo said, before Heero could finish the sentence. He began to rise, but halfway up, Heero yanked him up by the hair. "Ow, Heero!"

Heero was clearly incensed. "It's past midnight," he growled. "And you're being utterly unreasonable. It's late. Come to bed. We'll talk in the morning. Stop being ridiculous."

Duo stared. He suddenly wrenched out of Heero's grasp. "Oh," he said softly. "I'm unreasonable? Ridiculous?" Without warning he walked over to the fireplace and yanked the wooden rose down. Eyes blurring with tears, he began to talk slowly, trying to stay calm. "You said it's a rose forever, and we'd be in love forever."


"Listen to me," Duo cut him off. "Obviously, this hasn't been working. Maybe this is just another proof of it. You said the wooden rose would last forever, well," he turned and flung it into the fireplace. Facing Heero again, he whispered, "But the wooden rose was dead to begin with."

Leaving Heero speechless, Duo grabbed his coat, shoved his feet into shoes, and stumbled out.

[and i can't bring you back]