Title: Everyone's Entitled to a Second Chance
Pairings: 2x1x2 (eventually), various others
Parts: prologue - 7 / ?
Archive: Mediaminer.org, DHML, 1x2ml, Gundam Wing Universe
Notes: This takes place after Endless Waltz
Warnings: This is going to be very angsty but it will end happily *grins*
Heero opened his eyes but closed them quickly when harsh white light assaulted them. He kept them closed for a little while then cautiously opened them. When it didn't hurt, he fully opened his eyes and looked around. At first all he could see was white but then he was finally able to focus his eyes and he could make out the tiles on the ceiling. He moved his head carefully and realized he was in a hospital room on a hospital bed.
He didn't understand what he was doing in the hospital bed for a few minutes before his memories came back to him. He remembered how Wing Zero broke down after the last shot on the Barton hideout. Then pointing the gun at Mariemaia and "shooting" her. Then after that there was nothing. He was startled out of his thoughts when a nurse came in. The nurse didn't even look at him when she entered. She busied herself with getting him water and things before realizing he was actually awake.
"Oh, Mr. Yuy, you're awake."
Heero nodded his head, then asked, "Is it over?"
"Is what over?"
"The uprising with Mariamaia?"
"Yes, it's over. It's been over for a week. Stay put and I'll get the doctor to look at you." The nurse said then quickly left.
Heero sighed in relief, it was finally over and he was free. He didn't have to be a soldier anymore. His words rang through his head, `I don't have to kill anymore.' It disturbed him slightly that he was out for an entire week, but before he could think about it the nurse came back with the doctor in tow. The doctor picked up the chart and looked over it. He took a pen out of his white coat and then finally looked at him, "How are you feeling, Mr. Yuy."
"That's great. We were expecting you to be out for another week or so. I would like to keep you for today and run some tests to see how you are doing. If everything checks out then we can release you tomorrow. Sound good to you?"
Heero nodded his head and the doctor smiled. He made a few notes on the chart and put it back in its place, "I'll be back later to perform those tests. Right now I want you to rest. See you later, Mr. Yuy."
The doctor and nurse left the room leaving Heero alone.
Heero looked over the room more thoroughly and noticed it was quite bare. He slowly got out of bed and searched to find his clothing. He found them in the closet with some other pairs of clothing. Apparently someone brought him a change of clothing. He hoped that whoever it was didn't look through his clothing, especially Duo. He picked up the pants he last wore and searched the pockets. He smiled when he felt the box and pulled it out. It was a dark black velvet box, which he caressed gently. He slowly made his way back to his bed and got back in. He smiled to himself as he thought about what he planned to do. He couldn't wait for Duo to show up. He just hoped his question is well received.
Heero waited anxiously in his hospital bed. Hoping Duo would show up soon so he could ask his question. He fingered the box in his hand and smiled wistful at it. All the dreams he shouldn't have made and all the hopes he shouldn't have had were in this box. The dreams and hopes were a product of Duo's diligence in getting him to come out of his shell, and Heero wanted to show him how well it worked.
There was a knock at the door and Heero yelled, "Come in."
He looked with hopeful eyes but was disappointed when he saw Relena followed by Dorothy.
"How are you feeling today?"
"Well that's good." She sat down nervously in a chair while Dorothy stood at the door. She straightened her dress out and then looked up at Heero with steady eyes, "Look I'm here to talk to you about something important, and please hear me out before you say anything."
Heero nodded his head and waited. Relena took a long breath then started speaking again, "Heero, I don't love you. I have done a lot of thinking while I was with Mariemaia and I thought mostly about you and me. During the first war, I fell in love with you but then you disappeared for a whole year. I guess between then and now I have grown up a little bit. I still want you as a friend but I don't think we could be more than friends."
Relena stopped talking and was surprised when Heero started to laugh at her, "Heero, I'm not joking. I'm serious."
Heero slowly got himself under control and smiled at Relena, "Relena, I don't love you either. I love Duo Maxwell and I'm glad that you have grown up. I would also like to be friends with you."
Relena looked a little put out, "Well then I would love to be friends too." Then she smirked, "And here I thought I would have you grovel at my feet or at least cry."
Heero smiled at her, "I'm not one to cry for anyone."
"Well, fine. Be that way," she mocked pouted but it was ruined when she smiled, "I would love to have lunch with you sometime. Here's my number to my private line. Call me anytime you need to."
She smiled serenely at him then stood to leave, "Well I best be going. Places to go and people to see. Call me, okay?"
"I will. Thanks Relena."
She smiled at him and left with Dorothy in tow. Heero was kind of surprised that Dorothy hadn't said anything but he didn't really think about it. He got comfortable in the bed and waited.
It was a good two hours before the door reopened. Heero smiled when he saw Duo walk in, "Duo."
Duo looked up at him and smiled slightly in return, "Hi Heero."
"Duo I need to " "Heero I need to "
Duo and Heero said at the same time. They chuckled for a little bit before getting themselves under control.
"Go first Heero."
"Alright, Duo I need to ask you something."
"Well, I know traditionally I should be kneeling on one knee but I guess I'll just make do. Duo, I love you. I love the way you talk, the way you move, I love everything about you and I wanted to ask you will you marry me?"
Heero opened the box with the ring inside and held it out to Duo. He looked expectantly at Duo for his answer.
Heero fidgeted in his bed. `Why isn't Duo answering?' He thought. He looked up at Duo hopefully but Duo wouldn't meet his eyes. Then Duo moved, he reached out his hand towards the ring, and Heero smiled. That smile turned into a frown when Duo closed the box and pushed it back into Heero's hand. Heero looked up at Duo confused to why he would do that.
Duo didn't look at Heero, "No, Heero I can't marry you."
Those words shattered Heero's heart. He stopped breathing as pain coursed through his system. He didn't want to hear what Duo had to say but he couldn't tell Duo to leave. He clenched the box in his hands and looked down at his lap.
"Listen Heero, It's not like I don't care for you. You're my best friend. I just can't marry you. Not now maybe never."
Heero felt tears prick well up in his eyes but he refused to allow them to fall. He gathered his strength and asked, "Why?"
"I need to find out who I am, what's left in the world for me. I need to find my place and I can't do that married to you. I want to find out if what I'm feeling for you is love or just lust. We're young and we have our whole lives ahead of us. Who knows how we'll feel tomorrow, a month, or maybe a year from now. Do you understand?"
Heero wanted to say many things to Duo but he didn't. The lump in his throat prevented him from speaking so all he could do was nod.
"Okay, listen. I'm leaving and I don't know when I'll return. In the meantime I want you to go out and meet people. And if you find someone you really like, date them. Who knows you might find the right person for you while I'm away. I'll be doing the same thing. I'll email you so you won't worry."
Duo looked at his watched and cursed, "Look, Heero. My shuttle is leaving soon and I gotta go. You'll always be my best friend. See ya later Heero."
Heero felt a multitude of emotions in him. All of them swirled inside of him almost making him sick. He felt pain and confusion but most of all anger. Duo was leaving him alone when he had promised during the war that he would never be alone again. He saw Duo make his way to the door and he had to say something. He didn't want to lose Duo but if he left, Heero didn't think he could stand it.
Duo had just reached the door when Heero spoke, "If you leave through that door right now you'll lose everything you had with me. Because I won't take you back."
Heero waited for a reply but the only thing he got was the closing of the hospital door. He sat there and cried, the anger he felt seeped out of him and all he felt was the pain of loss.
"I was wrong Relena, Duo can make me cry." Heero said to himself.
He cried himself to sleep. His heart in pieces on the floor and the box still held securely in his hand.
Heero sat in his hospital room staring out the window but not seeing anything. He kept thinking about what happened the other day. After Duo had left, he had cried himself to sleep. The next thing he remembered was being awakened by the doctor to take those tests. He passed with flying colors so he was being released today. All he was doing right now was waiting for Quatre to finish with the paperwork so he could go back to his apartment. Wufei was gathering up all of Heero's things in the room and placing them in a duffle bag. He didn't say anything respecting Heero's need for privacy. Trowa was out in the car waiting for them.
Heero turned his head towards the door when Quatre walked through wheeling a wheelchair.
"Well, let's go Heero." He said brightly.
Heero nodded his head and got up from the bed and sat down in the wheelchair. Quatre proceeded to wheel him out of the hospital while Wufei walked behind them. Once out of the hospital, Heero got up out of the wheelchair and walked towards the car. He got in the back seat with Wufei while Quatre got in the front seat. Trowa started the car and drove towards Heero's apartment. Quatre turned in his seat so he could look at Heero, "Where's Duo? I thought he would be with you when you got out?"
"I don't know."
"Oh. Well what kind of friend is he if he isn't even here when you get out of the hospital."
Quatre kept talking on about Duo while Heero tuned him out. Heero and Duo had both agreed to keep their relationship a secret until the end of the Mariemaia uprising. As he thought about their agreement things started to make sense in a way he didn't like. The main thought was that Duo was ashamed of him and their relationship, and instead of saying so, he ran away. Heero felt hurt and pain well up in him again but he brutally pushed it down.
They finally arrived at Heero's apartment and Heero got out of the car. Trowa called from out of the driver's window, "Heero, do you need help getting to your apartment."
"No. Thanks anyway."
"Alright, but don't forget we're going to go out and have dinner tomorrow night."
"Okay, I won't forget."
Trowa nodded his head and said goodbye. Wufei and Quatre waved to him while Trowa drove away. Heero watched them leave then turned and made his way to his apartment. He unlocked the door and went inside, setting his bag that Wufei packed on the floor. He looked around and the apartment seemed the same. It looked as if Duo had not left and was still here. Heero thought for a second it was all a bad dream and Duo was going to come out and give him a welcome home kiss. But that didn't happen. The apartment was quiet. Heero went into their room and found that the only thing missing were Duo's clothing.
That was when it really it him. Duo had left him here alone. Heero sat on the bed and let all the pain and hurt roll through him. Tears coursed down his cheeks but he did nothing to stop it. He just couldn't believe that Duo would leave him alone, but then Duo never promised he wouldn't leave. Heero remembered all the things they went through and all the memories they made together. As he was remembering he was shocked to find out that Duo had never said that he loved him either. It was implied but never said. Heero searched his memory to be sure and he sat there dumbfounded. His world shattered around him again as he put pieces together.
Duo had never loved him. The thought circled around in his head fueling his anger. He felt angry, betrayed, and used. He wanted to throw or break something very badly, but he controlled the urge. He needed a plan of action so he wouldn't do anything he would regret later. He went back into the living room and sat down on the couch. He spent the better part of the day thinking about what he was going to do now. He remembered to eat but it was more of a requirement than an actual need. He hadn't felt hungry since Duo left. That night he came up with a plan that he would put into effect tomorrow.
As he lay down in bed and prepared for sleep he felt alone and cold. Duo wouldn't be there to keep him warm at night anymore. Heero right then and there sealed that part of his heart away for good. He swore nothing would get through the wall this time. He fell into a troubled sleep.
Heero looked around his new smaller apartment and nodded. The preventor at the door smiled and left Heero to his privacy. Heero strode into the bedroom and set his duffle bag on the bed. He placed his new badge on the nightstand and sat down.
Earlier that day he had called Une and gotten a job with her at Preventors. He was now the head computer technician. After that he talked with his landlord and told him that he was moving out. The landlord got the paper work for Heero to fill out. After that was done Heero found some packing boxes and packed up the apartment.
He felt detached as he packed. He didn't allow himself to acknowledge that it hurt to pack up all the pictures that Duo took of them together. Once he was finished packing he rented a moving van and went to the nearest storage warehouse. He rented a garage and placed all the boxes in there. He pulled out the engagement ring and put it on top of the boxes. He looked at it for a long moment then he closed he garage and locked it. He stood outside it and looked at the closed garage. It felt final to him and he sighed then tucked the key into his pocked and walked back to the van. He then took the van back and then headed to Preventors HQ.
Une was there to meet him and took him through what his job would entail. Then she gave him his badge and had one of her personnel show him to his new apartment.
Heero sighed and unpacked his meager belongings. He put his laptop on top of the desk in the corner and hooked it up. Then he put his clothes in the dresser. After he was done he went out into the living room and into the kitchen. He looked through the fridge and realized he would have to go grocery shopping.
He decided to wait on the grocery shopping until tomorrow. He looked at the time and realized it was close to the time he would have to go meet the others for dinner. He grabbed his keys and left.
Trowa was there to greet him outside the restaurant they had picked. He led Heero to the table quietly. Wufei nodded to him when he sat down.
"Hi Heero." Quatre said.
Heero nodded his head in greeting and looked at the menu. Quatre frowned and was about to say something but Trowa just shook his head at Quatre. Quatre sighed and decided to drop it. The waiter soon came and they ordered their food. As soon as the waiter left, Quatre started speaking.
"I got a message from Duo. It seems he's already left to go find himself. He'll keep in touch and he left a contact number in case he was really needed."
Heero didn't say anything about it. He just let Quatre talk and tuned him out. Quatre kept talking about his job with the other two saying a word or two. Heero stayed silent through the dinner.
Quatre finally looked at him, "You okay Heero?"
"Are you sure."
"I said I was fine Quatre." Heero said harshly.
The others looked at him in shock but they decided to leave him alone about it. They figured if Heero wanted to talk to them then he would. The rest of dinner went fine, but Heero could feel their inquisitive stares on him.
When he finally got back to his new apartment he set the keys on the counter and went into his room. He was about to go to sleep when he saw the red light flashing on his laptop indicating an email was waiting for him.
He sat down at the desk and opened the email. He frowned when he read it was from Duo. He read the email and frowned harder. Duo described his adventures and how he had met some `nice girls.' He then said he'll send an weekly email so Heero wouldn't worry about him. Heero pushed the cursor over the delete button but hesitated.
A part of him wanted to keep the email but the pain and the hurt was stronger and he pushed the delete button. He shut down the computer and laid down on the bed. He stared at the ceiling for a long while. Duo's smiling face flashed before his eyes and he sighed. He rolled over on the bed and held the pillow like a teddy bear. He curled into a fetal position and cried. He eventually fell asleep.
The days passed slowly for Heero. It has been almost a year since Duo left but to Heero it felt like five years. He stayed mostly to himself only going out when his friends asked him too. He didn't talk with his fellow coworkers nor interact with them unless he had to. His friends seemed to notice how he reverted to his Perfect Soldier persona since the end of the uprising. They tried to get him out from behind the mask but all their efforts ended in failure.
Duo still sent Heero weekly updates and Heero still never responded. No matter how much Duo wanted him too. Heero would delete them right after reading like usual.
Quatre was running his father's business now with the help of his sisters. Trowa lived with him for the most part while still helping out with the circus. Wufei was now engaged to Sally Po but they still haven't set a date for the wedding. They both work for the Preventors still but more as advisors than agents. Relena and Dorothy came out to their close friends but not to the public. They didn't want to put their relationship out in the public but if anyone asked they would answer honestly. Thankfully none of the reporters ever asked or seemed to notice.
Duo had traveled around a lot actually if he was truthful he was running away. From what he didn't quite understand. All he knew was that he had to keep running. He had been all over Earth before heading to the colonies. He was done running in six months. He was tired of running and needed to settle for a little bit to get his head back on straight. He eventually made his way back to L2 and stayed with Hilde. He helped her with the salvage company she had started. Although he frequently left to go help the sweepers with salvage runs as well. It seemed to be going well for him but he never got closer to figuring out why he had run.
It took Hilde to whack him upside his head while yelling at him to realize why he had run. He knew he had to go back and least try and put things back together. But he kept putting it off until Quatre unknowingly solved his problems. Quatre sent him an invitation to a party he was holding at one of his estates on Earth. It was going to be a small, friends' only party and the press wasn't invited.
Duo smiled as he read the invitation. He immediately sent a reply saying he would be there. Now all that was left to do was apologize to Heero and get back together with him. Shouldn't be too hard he thought.
Heero looked at the invitation and sighed. He didn't really want to go but he knew his friends would worry, meaning they would hound him until he either agreed or told them what was wrong. Since he didn't want to tell them what was wrong he decided he better agree and save some trouble. So he sent the reply stating that he would go.
Quatre smiled as he received the two replies. He looked up at Wufei and Trowa, "They're both coming. Now we can start on the next phase of our plan. To get them to fall in love with each other."
Heero sighed for what seemed like the billionth time. The party was so dull to him. In fact everything was dull to him, but he didn't dwell on the reason why. He knew why of course but it still caused him pain to think about it. He tried hard to forget about Duo and his feelings for him. But everything he tried ended up failing. He couldn't get the braided boy out of his head or his heart.
He stood near the back of the ballroom and sipped at his drink. His eyes roamed over all the patrons, wondering when he could leave. He spotted Relena sitting very close to Dorothy at one of the tables. He was happy that she finally found someone for herself although he wasn't sure if Dorothy was the one he would have picked for her. But he knew that they were good for each other. Although thinking about what they had and what he didn't made his heart ache and he quickly looked away. He paused and gasped when he saw the person standing in the doorway. Pain flared through his chest as he tried to breath.
Duo was nervously excited as he entered the ballroom. He was so excited to finally be back and nervous at the same time. He really hoped that Heero was here so that they didn't have to waste time. He knew getting Heero back wasn't going to be that easy. At first he thought he could just come here and sweep Heero off his feet but after really thinking about it. He had to smack himself. Heero was going to be upset with him but he vowed that tonight they would repair all the damage he had done and then they could be together again. A big order, but he was sure he could get it done.
Heero looked around for a quick escape and found a glass door open near him. He made his way for the door in hopes that Duo wouldn't see him.
Duo looked over the people there and smiled to people he knew. He finally found Heero trying to sneak out the glass door and made his way there. He was stopped when Relena pounced on him.
"Duo, it's so good to see you."
"Hello Relena. It's nice to see you to, but could you hold your thought for a second I need to go find Heero."
"Oh, really? Why?"
"Because I have to talk to him. I haven't seen him in awhile."
"Oh? So now you want to talk to him?"
"Listen up Duo. You hurt him, hurt him so bad he's reverted back to the way he was during the war. I remember visiting him in the hospital. Right after the last war. He was happy about something but he didn't tell me what and I never asked. Then later he seemed to be more withdrawn than usual. He hardly ever leaves his apartment now. "
Duo looked out the glass door in concern. He felt immense guilt at how he had hurt Heero. But he told himself that he would fix it all tonight.
Relena glared hard at him, "You better fix this. If he's still like this the next time I see him. Heads will roll, Duo."
Duo grinned nervously, "Uhh I promise I will fix it. Thanks Relena."
Duo quickly walked away from the glaring Relena and headed toward the glass door.
Heero sighed in relief that Relena stopped Duo from following him. He walked out the glass doors and realized that he was trapped. He looked over the balcony railing and noticed it was a long fall to the ground. Too long for him to jump down from and live. He was still looking when he heard the door behind him shut.
Duo smiled as he realized that Heero was now trapped out there. He closed the door behind him.
Heero closed his eyes at the sound of Duo's voice. Once it had been so nice to hear but now it hurt. He bottled up his emotions and put on a blank face. Then he turned around and faced Duo.
"Hello, Mr. Maxwell."
"Hello, Mr. Maxwell."
Duo winced when he heard the cold voice coming from his love. He looked nervously at Heero while his hands moved to fiddle with his suit jacket. His nervousness vanished when he got a real good look at Heero.
Heero looked much paler than he last remembered him. His deep blue eyes that used to sparkle with determination now looked dull and lifeless. His hair was still messy but was more limp and looked like it hadn't been taken care of for months. He was also skinnier than before and his cheeks looked sunken in. In all he looked like a skeleton that had been brought to life.
"Heero" Duo gasped. He moved to take a step forward but stopped when Heero took a step back.
"Don't come near me." Heero harshly stated.
Duo looked down at him and that took him by surprise to. He was always smaller than Heero and now he was several inches taller. He smiled slightly at Heero, "Okay Heero."
Heero glared at him, "Don't call me that. You lost that privilege when you left."
Duo grimaced, "I'm sorry, He Mr. Yuy. I need to talk to you."
"We have nothing to talk about. Now leave."
Duo glared at Heero. He was making this hard for him but he knew he had to talk about this, "Look, I have something to say to you and you are going to listen "
"No!" Heero shouted, "The last time I listened to you, you left. Now you listen to me. I don't want you near me ever again. I have moved on with my life and my new life doesn't include you. So leave me alone."
Heero brushed past Duo, intent on returning to the ballroom and leaving the estate. Duo reached out and grabbed Heero by the elbow, "Wait, please."
Heero stood stock-still and waited. Duo took a deep breath, "Please Heero. All I want to do is talk. Can't you just hear me out?"
Heero kept silent, not wanting to answer.
"Heero? Why don't we go back to the apartment and have a talk?"
Heero roughly pulled his arm away from Duo and glared angrily up at him.
"I told you not to call me Heero. I'm Mr. Yuy to you. And as for the apartment, I sold it."
Duo gasped, "What?"
"You heard me. I sold that piece of trash apartment and moved somewhere else. Somewhere better without you. But don't worry about your precious stuff," Heero sneered, "I put it in a storage shed. Here's the key."
Heero dug the key out from one of his pockets and threw it at Duo. Duo reflexively caught the key and looked sadly at Heero.
"Now I don't want to see you ever again."
Heero then walked back into the ballroom. Duo watched from the balcony as Heero left the ballroom. He continued to look at the people inside without really seeing them. All he could hear was the hate in Heero's voice but the love, pain, and anger in Heero's eyes.
Heero glared angrily at everybody as he stalked from the room. He heard voices shout his name but didn't stop to say anything to him. The hurt was too much to bear. Just seeing Duo again brought back a lot of pain that he thought he had put behind him.
He was stopped when someone grabbed his arm. He whirled around to make the person let go but halted when he saw Wufei's concerned gaze. He stood there and waited, knowing Wufei wouldn't touch him in this state unless it was important.
"What's wrong, Heero?"
"Come on, something must be wrong. Quatre, Trowa and I thought you would be happy when Duo returned."
Heero narrowed his eyes at Wufei, "Why would you think that?"
Wufei gulped nervously. He could hear the violent undertone in Heero's voice and he didn't want to upset him further.
"Well, the three of us had noticed that you seemed more withdrawn since Duo left. And we thought that bringing him back will make it better."
"Well you were wrong." Heero glared and turned to walk away. But Wufei moved in front of him, stopping him from moving forward.
"I don't believe you. We know you have feelings and we know those feelings are for Duo. And I know for a fact that Duo has been a good influence. He isn't here for more than a couple of hours and you're already talking more than you have for the past year."
"You don't understand. Move," Heero whispered but Wufei could hear the restrained anger in it.
He hastily moved out of the way and watched as Heero stormed out of the mansion. He frowned in thought and decided it was best to talk with Duo and see if he understood what was wrong.
He moved back to the party and went in search of Duo.