hey. errr... i'm really getting into this songfic run, which alarms me. but anyways, i started my 'a song to sing' songfic... and i wanted to send it out in parts. don't ask me why. and yes, i know there will be 4 parts because each part will be a verse and a chorus (or,in the 3rd part's case, a bridge and a chorus). so. it's obviously called "A Song To Sing." it's by hanson, off their "This Time Around" album. *beams* i love it. ^_____^




Title: A Song To Sing
Author: chibiANGEL
Pairings: hint of 1+2 (not as much in this part. more later)
Rating: oh geez. like, PG? PG-13? i could never remember which one's lower. for all i know it could rate as, like, G. oy.
Archived: mine, eventually. (i change my aim sn more often than i update, i swear. it's so sad). ask if you want. o.O
Notes/Warnings: well... i started with the intention of a heero pov... then the first sentence kinda destroyed that. it's not a very long part, gomen.
[...] : lyrics
poem in the beginning is mine. seemed to sorta fit. will work more later. (...pony, you'll know who this poem is for. don't think too hard.)



(return to me
memories fade but never leave
i want to see
your words written out
for me
twelve point geneva
or maybe it was ten
come back to me
my friend, i begin to forget
and slander
the memory of you
files of conversations left untouched
have i seen
the sunrise since?
please be here again
even if reality
and 'here' was never real
twelve point geneva
or maybe it was ten
[12 pt geneva])


Heero slowly opened his eyes to the sunlight that woke him. There were a few birds outside his window, chirping a 'good morning' to him and to each other. He rose and closed the curtains.

[Good-bye four leaf clovers
Hello gone awry]

Within 5 minutes, the hot water was on, instant coffee on hand for when the water boiled. In the last few months he'd gotten quite adept and making pancakes, which was what he was doing. They were a nice golden-brown, piled on a dish on the counter. Six pancakes; three to eat now, three to put in the refrigerator and poke at in the afternoon.

It had been three months since the war had ended. It had been child's play for him to disappear completely and utterly, leaving no trace, no way for anyone to follow him.

Perhaps he'd done it too well. He almost missed the others. He almost longed for the company of someone who understood, someone who had been there also, and could empathize with the tumble of emotions he was learning.

[Don't cry the fight ain't over
Unless you let it pass you by]

Eating the last of his allotted pancakes absently, Heero found himself staring out the kitchen window. He lived in an apartment some 20 stories up, in an unimportant city on the L1 colony cluster. It was like a perfect hideaway. Everyone expected him to return to L1, so no one really looked there.

Besides, if anything, Heero Yuy knew how to manipulate information. They couldn't find him if he didn't want them to.

It was a warm spring day. Heero went to open the window slightly and let the air circulate. A slight breeze stirred up the curtains, then they settled down again. The artificial sunlight was benevolent and gentle, seemingly mocking him.

Heero knew he should find a job at some point or another, but he had enough money stowed away to last him a while. Still, it would probably look suspicious and alert someone of his odd presence in this city.

Probably the last thing Heero wanted.

[I'm looking for a song to sing]

Or maybe not.

He knew he wasn't thorough. He liked to take walks in parks, and had purposely located himself near a city park. Many a weekend, or even some weekdays, found him meandering the paths, petting the dogs, and nodding at the people. Letting himself be exposed and visible to the public eye, for one wary newsman to catch sight of him and lay him bare to the world and colonies.

And sometimes he thought he knew why he did it. Other times he simply told himself he didn't want to have to live as a recluse for the rest of his life. He enjoyed the parks, and would enjoy them, other people or no.

It was a beautiful day outside, so Heero grabbed a light coat and headed outside.

[I'm looking for a friend to borrow]

The wind ruffled through his hair. It was the end of March; the park was filled with flowers and trees were beginning to bloom as well. Heero had his hands in his pockets, a clear defensive gesture, and his eyes took in everything before him.

You could take the soldier out of the war, but he'd never really have left it.

Every once in a while he heard a tinkle of laughter that almost made him spin around to see the owner. Or he'd think he'd seen a reflection of serious eyes he almost wanted to recognize. Or he'd remember what it was like to have companions.

While walking, he started kicking a small stone, letting it lead his path. Head down, he wandered the paths, not quite sure where he was going, or what he was trying to do. Lose himself, maybe. Lose himself in what? Too many memories, too many revelations piled high, only damming back more.

Revelations. Simple things, like, learning how to breathe in the crisp air, without tensing at the slightest thing. Being able to walk through the park without feeling the need to hide. Finding out he liked the children who came up to him so innocently, offering a giggle and a smile.

[I'm looking for my radio
So I might find a heart to follow]

It was strange. His life had been so filled with war, with fighting, with nonemotion and coldness, that the mission of living was difficult to fulfill. Trying to smile. Trying to taste the flavors of ice cream and in the same way, trying to taste the flavors of the day to day changes. Spending a night on the balcony, watching the artificial stars, counting the artificial constellations, and trying to pretend that dreams were just as fake.

There was certainly an emptiness, Heero admitted to himself. The rock flew from his foot into a nearby pond. Heero stopped at the edge of the water and simply stared for a moment. Wondering if his life would be any more significant than a sinking stone.

He didn't matter anymore. The war was over. Heero Yuy was no longer needed, right?

Besides, it wasn't like the other pilots were throwing themselves in the public eye. Quatre didn't have much of a choice but even he managed to elude the cameramen most of the time. Trowa had disappeared, presumably to the circus. Wufei he was sure would find himself in the middle of China.

And Duo...

[I've never been just longing for your loving]

Duo... he had no idea.

With a gentle sigh, Heero turned away from the pond and continued down the path. A small boy was playing with a ball, bouncing it and throwing it small distances. The blue ball rolled too far and stopped by Heero's feet. Pulling one hand out of his pocket, Heero reached down and picked up the ball; he gently threw it back to the grateful boy. Heero nodded recognition of thanks, then turned away.

He could hear the boy scampering off - probably to his mother - behind his back. There was something alienating about that, the way the boy had simply waited at a distance for the ball to be returned.

Or maybe it was acceptance. Heero wasn't sure.

He stopped again, at the edge of a path. Suddenly, he collapsed into the bench in front of him, ignoring the hardness of the unforgiving wood. Eyes roved the grass in front of him, focusing on a patch of small flowers.

They were a dark blue-violet, small, but looking sturdy and beautiful.

[I've never been just wearing down to nothing]

Heero stayed some moments looking at the flowers, closing his eyes and remembering eyes of almost the exact same shade. A few people passed him, one or two deigning to acknowledge his existence, the rest continuing on their walk.

Not realizing an ex-soldier was desperately trying to find himself an epiphany of sorts, of any sort. Any realization or revelation to give him the hint of direction.

The breeze died down momentarily. In the back of his mind, he could still hear the echoes of battles, the sounds of people fighting and dying. Dying only because he had a better mecha than them, he was better at piloting than them. Other than that, there was no reason those people had to die. They had fought in what they'd believed in, and he'd fought as he'd been told to do.

Then why had he been on the winning side?

[I've never been just looking for a reason
So that maybe you'd be thinking of me
You'd be thinking of me]

Heero shook his head abruptly, trying to clear out such thoughts. The war was over. It was time for him to try to find a way on.

Even if everything he thought of brought him in circles and loops and dizzying spirals until he came back right where he'd begun. Feeling like life was suddenly incomplete. Did he miss the war so much? Did he really find an ambrosia in the adrenaline roused by battle? Was he really that much of a soldier? Then, he thought ruefully, the violet flower darkened by his closing eyes, he could try and try and never succeed. Never live.

[All that I have found in reason]

The breeze picked up again and wove through the blades of grass, dancing them, prancing them, laughing them. It was almost disturbing to see how peaceful it was here, almost as if the war had never happened.

That was partially why Heero had chosen that particular colony. The people seemed to be virtually untouched by the pain that had struck just months before. They smiled and said 'good day' and did their grocery shopping in the nearby stores.

It was almost innocent, in a transparent way.

It was the peace Heero desire, but even in the heart of it, its heart seemed to elude him.

[Is reason just to not believe]

A set of yapping dogs drove Heero away from the bench. Hands still in pockets, appearance still closed off, he continued down the path.

In the back of his mind, Heero thought about the last time he'd talked to the other pilots. Right before the war had ended, he'd ended up speaking to them all over the phone line connected to his laptop. On a whim, he had saved the conversations, visual and audio, on the laptop. Subconsciously realizing that would probably be the only memory of them he would be able to keep.

For some reason, he kept on wanting to remember, to look back.

He hadn't watched the conversations for over 2 months. Nevertheless, it comforted him to know he had a small scrape of them tucked away someplace safe, where he could always access it.

Without realizing, Heero had walked back to his apartment building, tired of walking in the park. He entered the elevator and mechanically pushed the button, then leaned against the wall.

[When all that you are left is treason
It's treason just to let it be]

It felt strange to had this freedom to do as he wished, no missions or directives to guide him. For a while he'd been floundering and confused, but he was starting to become settled with the idea of making his own decisions, telling himself what to do.

He threw his coat onto a chair and threw himself onto the couch. The problem with free will was that he still wasn't sure what there actually was to do.

Heero was quite unused to boredom.

A clock told him he'd been out about an hour. Usually Heero spent the day walking, thinking, trying to divert himself somehow. He'd amused himself by hacking into first the colony's database, then the colony cluster's database, then the new Alliance's database. Once there, though, he'd idly pilfered through the files, feeling somehow lacking with the knowledge that this skill didn't do much for him anymore. There weren't mission objectives to secure a certain piece of knowledge anymore.

[I'm looking for a song to sing
I'm looking for a friend to borrow]

He was well aware that he should make friends. Friends. It was so foreign an idea to him, though. The closest he'd had to friends were the other pilots of the Gundams. And, thinking about them, he only realized how little he knew about them. Any of them.

There was laughter in the hallway, louder then softer as children ran down the hall to their apartment. Even without trying, his mind analyzed the data: people in the hallway, speed of approach (due to Doppler's effect), if they were dangerous. Only children. It was only children, laughing and smiling like they should.

It was so difficult for him to laugh and smile, even after the war. There was simply nothing for him to be so happy about. To be honest with himself, he had little knowledge of happiness.

His days were filled with nothing, nothingness, a variety of nothings that stretched endlessly, ceaselessly. There was no variety, no change, nothing to make him feel like he was living again. He needed someone there with him; someone who could smile and laugh and teach Heero to do the same. Someone to understand, to empathize, and to lead him into the rest of life, the rest of living.

During the few months of peacetime, Heero had gotten into watching the television. News, usually, to keep up to date, but other programs often intrigued, if not amused, him. Some shows reflected recent war times, others were ancient programs begin revived due to mass interest: programs made when hazarding into space seemed momentous.

It was all like babble to his ears, but the different people, personalities, and soap opera lives portrayed always piqued his curiosity.

[I'm looking for my radio
So I might find a heart to follow]

He was filled with a sudden desire to see his... friends again. Yes, they were his friends. The only friends he had, the only people he trusted.

But how would they remember him? They'd only fought alongside as soldiers, and even then, the closest they got was simple comradeship. You learned to live with each other when they were the only ones you could communicate. Did any of them miss him? Did any really wonder where he was, what he was doing?

All of a sudden there was a knock at the door, sending Heero reaching for a gun that wasn't there anymore. He'd left the remainder of his weaponry in his bedroom, to use only if completely necessary.

Still somewhat wary, Heero rose and walked to the door, not sure of what was awaiting him. Human contact, no doubt.

Heero was confused as he peered out the peephole: no one in sight. Tensing a little, Heero threw open the lock and almost yanked open the door.

He looked around quickly, frowning when he saw no one. A small sound made him look down.

[I've never been just longing for your loving
I've never been just wearing down to nothing]

A small girl was in a girl's scout uniform, holding a packet of papers and catalogues.

For the first time in a while, Heero heard someone's voice directed at him. "Hi, my name is Susan Berkley and I live downstairs in this apartment building. I'm part of my school's girl's scouts and I was wondering if you'd be interested in buying any cookies?"

Heero was completely thrown for a moment. She'd obviously memorized and recited her little speech and now she was holding out the papers. Glancing around again, this time he saw an older man waiting halfway down the hallway, no doubt her father making sure she'd be okay. But wanting her to learn a little independence.

Blinking, Heero reached for the catalogue and began to quickly skim through the listings. The cookies actually didn't look bad, and he decided he would probably like them.

Choices. Decisions he could make for himself. He could choose the mint cookies, or the chocolate chip cookies. Or he could opt for the sugar cookies. The choices almost overwhelmed him; he still felt new to the idea of doing something for himself. Even this little thing was teaching him.

"Wait here." He spoke for what felt like the first time in forever. "Let me get a pen and some money." He turned and walked towards his room.

"I have a pen," the girl said automatically.

Heero stopped walking and looked back. "I need to get some money, then. Wait."

The girl smiled brightly at him and obeyed, turning for a moment to smile and wave at her father. Heero didn't doubt that her father smiled and waved back.

What he'd give to be able to remember a father who had smiled and waved at him.

[I've never been just looking for a reason
So that you'd be thinking of me]

Heero returned with his wallet, and the girl helpfully held out the sign-up sheet and the pen. Purple ball-point, with the pen itself decorated in violet flowers. He looked at it, then moved it to the sign-up sheet, ordering 5 different boxes of cookies. As he handed her the money, he gave a small quirk of his lips that sufficed as a smile. She took it and stuffed it in an envelope.

"Thank you!" she said, before skipping down the hallway.

Heero closed the door behind her. The wallet in his hand was dropped on a nearby table as he slid back onto the couch.

It felt strangely ironic, him buying girl's scout cookies. Buying cookies from a girl looking around 7 years old, who smiled at him and had a purple pen with violet flowers. The girl probably knew little to nothing about the war, or the soldiers who had suffered and died in it. She probably went to a little brick building every day for school, with other children her age, who could laugh and smile and sell girl's scout cookies to a complete stranger.

Even if said complete stranger was a Gundam pilot who felt out of place in this little girl's world.

[These blue yonder dreams and second hand shoes]

He could hear voices echoing in the back of his head sometimes. Trowa' quiet, self-assured tone. Wufei's strong words. Quatre's, in which he always heard a smile and sympathy. Duo... laughing, being sarcastic, being silent. He could hear Duo's silence. The connotation of the echoing overtones that rang in the recesses of his mind.

A bluebird alighted onto the sill of the kitchen window, which Heero could see from his position. It fluttered its wings, stretched its neck, and chirped cheerily. Preening itself, it completely ignored Heero rising and walking slowly towards it. Even as Heero entered the kitchen, the bird refused to acknowledge his presence.

Stopping about 2 yards away from the bird, Heero realized it wasn't exactly blue. His mind running through words, it chose 'dusty heather', then promptly decided it was exerting too much effort on the color of a bird.

Finally, the creature turned and chirped at Heero, clearly pleased to see him.

Heero was startled. For all the blood shed on his hands, for all the coldness in him, it was difficult to understand why such a small creature wouldn't be able to sense it an flee.

Instead, the bird actually flew into the kitchen and perched on the sink faucet. Before Heero could react, it swooped into the living room, spun a couple circles, then left through another window, still cheeping.

[You're so far gone that you live to lose]

It was as if Nature was trying to coax him into the land of the living.

Trying to make him believe there was something ahead of him.

The slightest hint of a smile began to inch its way onto Heero's face, surprising him completely. It was strange, feeling something besides a lukewarm emotion.

In the back of his head, he wondered what the others would say about that. Being surprised into smiling, all because of a bluebird. Duo at least would laugh. Quatre would smile that smile of his. Wufei would probably congratulate him, and Trowa would give that funny smirk of his.

[And it's too late to go home all alone]

Heero realized he was thinking of the others far more than usual this day.

His usual day was trying to bring his emotions and mind out of a mechanical self-induced stupor. Instead, he was simply content with breathing and remembering. For the first time, he was allowing himself to be overcome by a wave of memories.

Sitting down in the nearest chair, Heero closed his eyes for a moment, and let his mind blank. It was refreshing, in a way. Images and memories came to mind, for the first time not steeped in pain and blood. Instead they were images of togetherness and friendship, Trowa taking care of him after he'd self-destructed, meeting Duo for the first - and second - time, staying with Quatre in the Sanq Kingdom, finally getting to know Wufei somewhat better on Peacemillion.

The trace of a smile felt good. It felt warm and comforting, much like Duo's smile and laughter always did.

[You're the tar in that old cigar
And that worn out cable on a cable car
And you're too tired to admit you've got to choose]

But, even in his moment of peace, Heero still had the nagging in the back of his head that reminded him everything wasn't okay.

Even remembering his past left him feeling unfulfilled. There was still something missing in him, even if the mental images filled an ample gap he'd refused to fill before. Opening his eyes again, Heero let the smile slide of his face as he recollected all pain and horror in war. True he'd found friends and had had some memorable times, but that couldn't wipe out everything he'd done.

There was a little better of balance in his mind, he decided, as he fetched out the other three pancakes from the refrigerator. He plopped them in the microwave and set it to 45 seconds, then sat down at the small table.

Day by day, he also admitted to himself, it was getting easier to breathe. Easier to wake up. Easier to look at himself in the mirror and not see a monster.

Easier, if only by a little bit.

Off hand, Heero wondered what he was going to do with 5 boxes of girl's scout cookies. He'd randomly chosen boxes he'd thought to be good, but even he couldn't eat that many cookies without being sick.

He wondered if any of the other former Gundam pilots would be interested in girl's scout cookies.

[I'm looking for a song to sing
I'm looking for a friend to borrow
I'm looking for my radio
So I might find a heart to follow]

A zephyr came in one open window and flowed out another, leaving Heero's hair ruffling in the wake. Ignoring it, he retrieved the pancakes from the microwave and began eating. Mechanically. As he seemed to do everything.

Sudden he remembered a time when Duo had challenged one of the Maguanacs to an eating contest. To everyone's surprise, Duo, at least half the size of the Maguanac, had manage to wolf down insane amounts of food.

Heero also remembered Duo being a little green for the next day or so. Inwardly, he chuckled. Duo had won, but for what?

He had amused everyone. That was the point of the eating contest. They'd been edgy for a while, and Duo had taken the first opportunity to lighten them up, when his sarcastic jokes hadn't worked sufficiently. It was odd to think that Duo would play the jokester to that level... but it made more sense to think that he felt it might be better for their sanity to relax a bit.

"Where are you now?" Heero caught himself whispering into the air. He stopped, confused. Not understanding why he cared so much.

He pushed that to the back of his head as he munched on another piece of pancake.

In all honesty, Heero decided to himself, to the people God hates, God makes a soldier in peacetime. There were boring existences, and then there were soldiers' lives with no war to fight in.

Reaching for the remote control to the tiny kitchen TV, he flicked on to a random channel.

Ruefully, Heero also added to that mental thought that to those God hates, God makes the chasee of all press, people, and princesses. Or, even, one princess, which was bad enough. It had been three months and the search was still on. Heero could tell because the channel was a news broadcast on the 'still missing champion of the war, Heero Yuy'. Snorting gracelessly, Heero changed the channel.

Cartoons. Much better than people trying to find him.

I've never been just longing for your loving
I've never been just wearing down to nothing]

"You don't love me, Relena." Again, speaking to himself. He really had to stop doing it; it was probably a sign of some form of mental breakdown. That and doing nearly the same exact thing every day, for days on end. "You only love the ideal I've represented for you." Still talking to himself. "Go back and find that ideal in your pacifism. Maybe, if you love your ideals so fiercely, this peace may last. For a while, at least." Cynicism kicking in.

Nevertheless, knowing Relena's infatuation for him wasn't real left him to ponder the inevitable, was he only an ideal? A picture of a fighter who fought for peace, in some convoluted, twisted way? It was certainly what Relena had seen in him; was it what everyone saw in him?

He still didn't know what the public thought of the Gundam pilots. He'd actually actively gone through lengths to avoid knowing.

For some reason, he didn't want to know if they despised him. He less wanted to know that they were fascinated with fabricated stories filled with glory and purity. Somebody had to tell them that war wasn't as beautiful as they may dream.

Which brought him to Dorothy. He'd heard stories of the girl who was in love with war.

[I've never been just looking for a reason
So that maybe you'd be thinking of me
You'd be thinking of me]

The idea that someone could love war made him nervous. It made it painfully obvious that this peace, this lack of war, was only temporary.

History revolved around wars, after all.

Soldier though he was, he still wanted to live the rest of his life in relative peace. If war called, he would go, but he was so sick of the death and destruction. He missed his mecha, but was grateful it was in pieces and destroyed. The beautiful machine only created havoc.

He finished the last of his pancakes and set the plate in the sink - he'd wash it later.

Circular thinking. Could he be loved? Not by Relena, but someone else? Would someone venture the stress and hardship it would take to love him?

Probably not.

[Don't wander through this glassy surface
Expecting to find more than me]

For the first time, Heero realized exactly how long and lonely the days were. During the last three months he had automatically shut off emotions like boredom and longing, focusing on the mission of getting through the day by ritual. Now he was understanding that daily plans were a good idea to keep life organized, but spontaneity and new things wouldn't hurt. Opening up a little more wouldn't break him.

On a whim, he'd reminisced by the violet flowers; on a whim, he'd ordered girl's scout cookies; and now, on a whim, he flicked on his laptop. Maybe erasing the memories, ignoring the memories, wasn't the answer. Maybe he wasn't meant to deprogram the soldier in him; rather, he should build himself on and around who he'd been before.

The screen flashed for a password and Heero reached out a hand and typed "Wing0."

A blank white background popped up and a couple icons were neatly lined up on the top. Heero stared at it for a moment before recollecting himself and opening a folder. He sat down almost gingerly in the chair. As if his own actions surprised him, which wasn't exactly untrue.

There were four files in the folder and he knew he had many other files that would serve the same purpose. Everything was his Gundam was on file on the laptop: the mission videos, the radio contacts, the status files, the stills taken at random intervals, taken by the Gundam's programming. Occasionally taken by Heero.

['Cause what am I without a purpose]

He opened Quatre's file and the blond's voice, as well as his own in small snippets, filtered into the air. The Arabian was trying to convince Heero to stay with him a while on an estate; he wanted to keep all the pilots close.

When Heero quietly refused, Quatre suggested at least keeping in touch. Heero said he couldn't promise that.

The 5 minute conversation ended with Quatre looking slightly sorrowful, commenting on the end of war and peace at last.

Heero closed the file.

Wufei's and Trowa's were shorter, concise. Less emotional. They said their good-byes, short comments on peace and working together, and that was it. Heero liked it better that way.

Duo's was fascinating, Heero realized. Underlying his cheerful words was a thin line of cynicism and pessimism, unable to be caught unless one was looking for it. Heero just realized it. The facade had served its purpose during the war; Heero suspected wherever - and whoever - Duo was now, he had torn away the bounciness and was at least trying to return to himself.

It had taken him so long for Heero to see through Duo's masks, or at least know they existed. It was strange to see it almost being chipped away, in a short 5 minute chitchat. Duo was rambling conversationally about nothing important. Heero noticed Duo never mentioned meeting up again, or keeping in contact. He fully meant to disappear, much like Heero.

Heero understood the sentiment. But why was he feeling a bit of disappointment welling up in his heart?

[But a lone mirage to see]

"Hey, Heero, the war is finally over. Time to kick back and watch the sun rise, sometime. Maybe time to watch the sun set, too." And then he'd grinned that over-exuberant, fake, mask-grin of his, then closed the connection. Closed any ties between them, perhaps. Probably, Heero amended to himself wistfully.

It was strange hearing the voices again after three months. Even if it was only a recording, it was still them. Still the same people he'd ended up entrusting his life with, for what felt like his whole life.

Again the memories welled up, as if protesting his former clamp on them and rebelling now through the hole he'd created in the dam. Bringing up images of simply relaxing for a moment after checking Wing's status (for what was probably the 12th time in the day). The time he'd tried to kill Duo and realized he couldn't.

He felt relieved to be able to loosen his hold on the memories and still not break apart. He felt mildly worried as to what would happen if he continued to let himself remember.

Suddenly, the life he'd set for himself seemed inexplicably dull and shallow. He was trying to force himself to cut any and all ties, when the ties he was trying to cut were perhaps his only lifelines. Heero wanted to go out and be able to enjoy the sunlight, share the girl's scout cookies with friends while chatting over a warm fire and maybe glasses of wine. There was so much more to life than watching the days go by one by one.

There was so much more to feeling, Heero realized, than he'd anticipated. The thought wasn't as frightening as it should have been.

[I'm looking for a song to sing
I'm looking for a friend to borrow
I'm looking for my radio
So I might find a heart to follow]

No, he couldn't immediately change himself and become as jubilant and cheerful as Duo's mask was. He couldn't alter everything about his personality: his stoicism, his slowness to emotion, quickness to reaction.

But he shouldn't be so afraid to try.

It was like a door was opened. Not like the main doors to Troy, which could let in a massive wooden horse that could lead to downfall. He was simply opening a side door to let in weary travelers with exotic stories of faraway lands and myths from millennia past. All these strange and new things, and he wanted to taste them little by little; he wasn't ready to open the floodgates.

Tasting could include contact, couldn't it?

For the first time, Heero genuinely wondered how he would go about finding the former Gundam pilots, and how to contact them. He was sure he could -find- Quatre, but he wasn't sure how easy it would be to reach the heir to a massive company. Heero figured it was probably easier to rebuild his Wing Gundam from scratch and take over the whole of the universe by himself.


[I've never been just longing for your loving
I've never been just wearing down to nothing]

For the next two hours, Heero put all his hacking skills to good use. Surely someone as talented as he was could find a person hiding out, presumably under an unknown alias, only by the memory of what they looked like?

Heero had given half-hearted attempts before, simply as a precaution, and had never found him. This time, though, he was honestly trying and was determined to find him.

It was generally difficult to stand in the way of Heero Yuy when he was following an ideal.

Either Duo had wanted to be found by Heero, or he'd simply neglected to cover all his tracks. In two hours, Heero found Duo's phone number and address. He was on the L2 colony cluster, as expected, in an urban setting, much like Heero. With so many people, it was often easier to lose oneself and to avoid contact with anyone else.

[I've never been just looking for a reason
So that maybe you'd be thinking of me]

Heero hesitated before reaching for the phone. What if Duo was happily situated, making friends with the neighboring grocer, starting to go on dates with the girl down the hallway, going to a job every weekday morning? What if he was beginning to adapt, would he want a stark reminder of the reason he had to -learn- to adapt?

The phone was on the other table. Heero reached out carefully and brought it over, and set it in front of him.

He found himself taking a deep breath.

Heero almost laughed out loud. In former years he hadn't been afraid of dying, how ironic that he now had to calm himself before speaking to the self-proclaimed God of Death.

One more moment and he flicked on the vidphone. Dial tone and blank screen, waiting for him to punch in the numbers.

[You'd be thinking of me
You'd be thinking of me]

Quickly dialed. The phone was ringing, and Heero schooled his expression not to betray his nervousness.


A familiar face popped up, relaxed and almost confused for a moment. Then the familiar smile came up. Except it felt a little more real.

"Hey, Duo," Heero said softly. "I've missed you."

Duo swallowed. "Yeah. Missed you, too."