DISCLAIMER: Still don't own them, though they're fun to play with.
WARNING: Um... angst?
NOTES: This takes place the night after Heero and Duo meet again, well, except for the flashbacks. And, in case it's unclear, Heero and Relena are in separate beds.
Part 1: This Side of the City
"Duo?" Heero tried to keep the excitement from his voice. He didn't want his lover to realize anything was up until it was too late. He hung his jacket up by the door, removing a small, midnight blue velvet box from a pocket and slipping it into his jeans.
It had been over a year since he last stepped foot in a Gundam, and he'd never been happier. Life was simple now. He had ended up working as an auto mechanic -- not the best job available for someone with his qualifications, but good paying, hard work nonetheless. And he really enjoyed it.
The little apartment he and Duo shared was nicely cluttered and forever smelled of cinnamon. Heero stood in their kitchen for a few moments, absorbing the atmosphere, very glad to be home. He rested a hand over the pocket containing the little velvet box and smiled. After two months of indecision, he was finally going to do it.
"Duo?" Heero called again, noting for the first time the heaviness in the air. Few lights were on in the apartment and the psychotic ball of energy he liked to call a boyfriend was no where to be seen. A trickle of dread slid down Heero's spine. "Du--"
"In here, Heero."
Heero jerked awake, hopelessly twisted in the sweat soaked sheets. He scrambled away from the bed rather clumsily and fell hard on his tail bone as his foot caught in the pile of heavy sheets and blankets. The floor was soothingly cool against Heero's back as he lay on the carpet catching his breath.
Swallowing hard, the young man pulled himself up and began to efficiently straighten his bed. Across the hotel room, Relena sat up in her own bed, watching him with warm eyes. "You called out for him... again." It was just a statement, concealing not even a hint of malice. "Is everything all right?"
"Hn." Heero climbed back into bed and faced away from her.
A muffled snort sounded from his side of the room. "How many times are you going to repeat that? I heard you the first time."
Relena didn't try to hide the hurt in her voice. She wasn't sure he'd care anyway. "I know you still love him. Why are you here with me?"
Heero was silent for a long time. Just when she thought he wouldn't answer, his deep, calm voice broke into her thoughts. "I love you, Relena."
This time it was her turn to be silent. Relena sat on bed, mindlessly twisting the lavender sheets, unsure whether she should smile or cy. "You've never said that before."
She sat for a few moments, listening to him breath.
"Do you mean it?"
A hesitation. Heero finally turned to look at her, prussian blue eyes gleaming slightly in the moonlight. "Yes."
Relena's heart filled with overwhelming relief and joy. She was only mildly surprised to see the twin drops of moisture fall on her clenched fists. Finally. She'd waited for so long to hear those words from him, but.... "But what about... what about Duo?"
No response. She didn't expect one.
"In here, Heero."
The voice from the bedroom was dead, and for a moment, Heero wondered if it was really Duo. From down the short hall, he could see that the room was bathed in the soft yellow light of a bedside lamp. Duo was perched on the side of their bed, gazing fondly at a framed photo. Without even looking at it, Heero knew the picture. It was taken only a few months earlier during one of their infrequent trips to L4. Though the quieter men just wanted to get on with their lives, Duo and Quatre insisted they all keep in touch. And, secretly, Heero was glad. The five were thrown together by war and would be friends forever. Good friends were hard to come by.
Still, as content as Heero was with his life, he hardly ever smiled. For some reason, it was too difficult. Maybe he was unconsciously still trying to ignore his emotions. Maybe it was wrong to be so happy after all the death he'd caused. Whatever the reason, the picture Duo held showed no different. While the braided man smiled openly for the camera, Heero had remained fairly emotionless, except perhaps in his eyes.
"Duo?" Heero leaned casually against the door frame while his lover looked up and smiled.
"Heero. You're late."
"I had to pick something up."
"Oh?" Duo looked distracted. He set the photo in its place on the night stand and joined Heero at the door. After a brief moment of hesitation, he kissed the Japanese man quickly and pulled away without giving him a chance to respond. "I've been thinking."
Heero watched Duo's back for a few moments before following him into the living room. Duo sat in a lone chair and turned towards the window where the city below sparkled with life.
"When I came to you after the war and told you how I felt, I never imagined that you felt the same way. I mean, you had Relena. The queen of the world was in love with you. That's got to be a nice ego boost."
Heero stood by silently, unsure of where this was going, but pretty sure he wouldn't like it.
"But you said you liked me, too." Duo turned to his lover and smiled. "And I swore to myself that I would do everything possible to make you happy."
"I am happy."
"Are you?" The smile dropped from Duo's face and he turned once again to face the window. "I thought you were. I mean, I think... but... I don't know. Maybe I think too much. I just... you deserve more than this."
Heero scowled and stalked over to Duo, blocking his view of the city. "More than what, Duo? More than you? Why? What makes me so special?"
Duo slumped down in his chair, refusing to meet Heero's eyes. "I don't know, but it's how I feel. You're here with me, in this pathetic little city when you could have everything you want with Her."
Heero dropped to his knees and took Duo's face in his hands, forcing the other to see him. "I don't want her."
"But you deserve her."
Heero growled and shot up, walking to the other side of the room in a pathetic attempt to put as much space between he and Duo as possible. "Why do you keep saying that?"
"If you stay with me, then you'll regret it. I don't want you to hate me when you realize what you should have done with your life."
Excuses! Heero watched his boyfriend out of the corner of his eye while he tried to control his anger. This whole story, just a lot of excuses to get rid of him. Did Duo think that'd he'd just be around for a quick fling? Had he not expected it to last this long? Was there someone else? "What do you want from me? Do you want me to leave?"
Heero stopped breathing for a second. Duo hadn't even hesitated. He took one last look at the silent form framed by the night sky and turned to leave, not once looking back.
End Part 2
I'm confusing myself. This is part two of the story, but it's part one. Get it? No? That's oaky. ^_^
C&C always welcome.