DISCLAIMER: Not mine. It's probably better that way. ^_^
NOTES: This takes place the night after Heero and Duo meet again, same as part 1. I take a look at my life at this point, a point where I've basically hit rock bottom. I come in my anime (GW, SM, DBZ, and Eva at this point, I don't have all my posters put up right now.) postered room tonight, after watching some Fushigi Yuugi, Gundam Wing and Rurouni Kenshin to go on my computer to write this story, but end up coloring my current GW pic instead. As Photoshop loads, I am amused by my Luna "working in background" cursor and my Ryoga's umbrella "working" cursor, contemplating when I started using them and being surprised that the beam cannon cursor was still in use. Photoshop loads, covering my ShinjiXKaworu wallpaper and I begin to color, Megumi Hayashibara crooning "Risky Gamble" in my ear, though by the time I'm writing this, "Knocking on Tomorrow's Door" and "Star Gaze" have played. Heh... I guess I need a little rehab. ^_^
Part 2: And Here I Am
Duo surveyed the small apartment and smiled. "All clean." Well... if you didn't count all the jars of spices, boxes of pasta and other dried foods, too many to fit in the small cabinets or the numerous pictures and trinkets taking up all available space on every table in their home. Heero would call it all junk, but each piece was special to Duo. There was a black glazed ceramic panther, ruby eyes glinting dangerously in the moonlight, a myriad of candles, a blown glass dragon, at least fifteen stuffed animals, two candy dishes, a small stone fox that Heero had given him soon after they began living together, and so many other things. Memories.
Duo skipped into the equally cluttered bedroom and flopped down on the bed. Heero should have been home already. He shot a look at his lover's side of the room -- the one perfectly clean space in the entire apartment. Heero's night stand was bare, save a small lamp and alarm clock. Not even a picture of him, but that was okay. Duo snatched the photo from his own table and studied it for the thousandth time since it was taken around two months earlier. Captured in the silver frame, he and Heero stood in the gardens surrounding Quatre's mansion. All of his masks down, the young man smiled openly for the camera, arms wrapped protectively around his lover. Heero, on the other hand, stood by stoically as usual, one arm slung over Duo's shoulder.
"Nope. Not smiling." Heero never smiled, well, almost never. Every once in a while, Duo caught the smallest grin flitting across the ex-pilot's face, but it was always gone so quickly that Duo had to convince himself it wasn't imagined. And there were Heero's eyes: the true windows to a person's soul. There was something in his eyes that gave Duo the illusion that Heero was happy. He lived for that hope. Because... if Heero wasn't happy, then there was no point in them staying together.
Almost since the beginning Duo had wanted the cold, emotionless little bastard. Something about him had struck a chord in the violet eyed man that refused to be quieted. And all through the war, he'd gotten next to nothing from Heero showing that the other boy might feel the same way.
But apparently he had.
Heero had to be happy with him. Why else would they still be together? Pity? No, that was out of the question. Sex? Maybe. Lack of anything better to do?
But he did have something, no, someone better.
Smart, rich, beautiful, she was everything a person would want in a woman. Hell, he'd go for her if he wasn't so annoyingly in love with Heero. He was happy with Heero. He had everything he'd ever wanted out of life, but Heero....
"Maybe it's time to give up." Duo sat up just as he heard the door to the apartment swing open, nearly a half hour later than it should have. I love you so much, Heero, so maybe I have to let you go. Do I have to force you to leave? Do you really want to stay?"
"Duo?" The sultry voice filtered in from the kitchen.
Heero... what do you want? Do you even know? You've been with me ever since the war. Because you want to be... or because it was something to do? I think I need to give you time to figure it out. Not just for you, but for me. We all deserve happiness, and if you can't find it with me, then I'm sure you'll find it with someone else.
What do I say to him when he comes in? How am I supposed to break my own heart?
"In here, Heero."
A knock on the door pulled Duo from his reverie. He pushed himself out of his chair... the same one he'd sat in when... He couldn't force himself to leave the apartment. He'd known it was over since the moment Heero had left, but he wasn't able to face it. Wu Fei had told him it was unhealthy.
Of course it was. So what?
A second knock.
"Coming!" Pulling open the solid oak door, Duo found himself face to face with his current boyfriend.
"Hey, Wu-chan. How are ya?"
"What happened in the park today?" Wu Fei pushed past him and sat on the couch, waiting patiently for Duo to join him. As soon as Duo sat down, Wu Fei wrapped him in a fierce hug, leaning his cheek against the other man's. "You know I love you, right, Duo?"
"Come on... Wu...." Duo returned the hug, genuinely glad to have his lover with him. "You don't think that one little conversation is going to make me go back to him, do you?"
Wu Fei pulled back and searched his violet eyes. "I don't know what to think."
Duo rolled his eyes. "Don't you trust me?"
"I do. I trust *you*, Duo." Wu Fei leaned back, studying the ceiling. "It's your heart that I'm worried about."
Duo grabbed his shoulders, forcing their eyes to meet. "Wu Fei. I love you."
"His things are still here, aren't they?"
The braided man shifted his eyes downward, feeling more than a little guilty. "I just can't...."
"Duo, you may love me, but you're in love with him. I will never have your heart."
Duo looked up suddenly, feeling a surge of anger, or maybe just desperation wrack his body. "You're wrong." He pushed forward, forcibly capturing Wu Fei's lips with his own. He put as much of himself as he could into the kiss. Heero was gone now, no matter what was said. It was time to move on, time to find his own happiness. "I'm with you now, Wu, and nothing Heero can do or say will change that. He's been gone for a year, and that's enough to show that what we had means nothing to him anymore."
"What did he say?"
Duo frowned and stood, briskly crossing the room towards the wall length windows. "What does it matter?"
"He wants you back, doesn't he?"
"He can't have me!" Duo turned back to his lover, anger marring the boyish features. "Aren't you listening?"
"Yes, Duo, I am." Wu Fei watched the young man from the couch, deep in thought. "Are you angry with me for accepting his invitation?"
Duo contemplated that as he slowly walked back to the couch. "I guess not...." The mischievous twinkle had returned to his eyes. "At least I can show you that there's nothing more between us."
Wu Fei sighed. "We've been together for nearly eight months and you haven't had the will to get rid of his things yet? That doesn't look like nothing to me."
"Wu-chaaan!" Duo whined, "Do we have to talk about this now?"
"I suppose not." Wu Fei's eyes drifted briefly to the door. "Perhaps I should go now."
"Aw, come on! You just got here!" Duo flung his arms around the other man's waist, giving him what he hoped to be a pathetically cute expression. "Can't we snuggle or something?"
Apparently, it worked. Wu Fei glanced one last time at the door before giving in to the adorable mass attached to his shirt.
"In here, Heero."
Duo waited patiently as Heero made his way slowly to their bedroom. He didn't look up as he felt Heero's eyes on him, the other man casually studying him.
He looked up, smiling at Heero. He couldn't help it: no matter how Heero felt about him, he was in love. "Heero, you're late."
"I had to pick something up."
"Oh?" Duo set the frame down, mind no longer on the current conversation. He sauntered over to the door, mind made up, though he couldn't resist the urge to kiss those lips one last time. Duo pulled away before Heero had a chance to return the kiss. He'd definitely lose his resolve if that happened. "I've been thinking."
Duo made his way into the living room, mind working furiously. How was he supposed to do this? He bypassed the couch to sit in a lone armchair facing the window. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. "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." Duo opened his eyes, smiling wryly. "That's got to be a nice ego boost." He could hear Heero shifting uncertainly in the background and rushed on before he gave himself a chance to analyze that.
"But you said you liked me too." Duo turned to face Heero, those ice blue eyes cutting mercilessly into his and forced a smile. "And I swore to myself that I would make you happy."
"I am happy." The response was immediate.
"Are you?" Duo let the smile drop from his lips as he turned to face the window once again. "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." Duo sighed. This was tearing him apart. Was it worth it? Should he still go through with this? He felt Heero's presence more than saw him. His eyes weren't focused on much of anything anymore.
"More than what, Duo?" Heero was definitely angry by this point and almost yelling. "More than you? Why? What makes me so special?" Eyes still downcast, Duo slumped in his chair. "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."
Suddenly, Heero dropped to his knees before him. He lifted Duo's face in the gentle, calloused hands, forcing him to once again stare into those cold, blue eyes.
"I don't want her."
Duo had to shut his eyes -- to shut out the vision before him before answering. "But you deserve her."
Heero suddenly jerked away and stomped off, breathing heavily. "Why do you keep saying that?"
Duo took a deep breath and told himself to lie. "If you stay with me," please stay, "then you'll regret it. I don't want you to hate me" Do you hate me? "when you realize what you should have done with your life."
Heero was silent for a long moment. When he spoke again his voice was calm, the anger just barely concealed. "What do you want from me? Do you want me to leave?"
The door slammed shut. Heero was gone.
End Part 2