::Still laughing after reading Lasha Lee's "Gift Certificates" fic:: If you haven't read her stuff, you should, she has a very interesting sense of humour.
This story, however, isn't much fun. It's what I get from reading "Heart of Darkness". . .again. "I felt I was becoming scientifically interesting."
The title "Jerks Like Us" came from something my best friend said when I found out I needed to get some tests done in the event that I may have cancer. [I have been putting this off to finish up final projects]. He said I shouldn't be worried because "jerks like us live forever." It seemed fitting.
I feel very guilty for not giving feedback. In penance I will expect none in return though it will much appreciated. I've been reading and appreciating. I don't always have time to give feedback.
When reading this, it looks like I've gone quotes happy. The truth is, if you've ever read Joseph Conrad's `Heart of Darkness', that this is a story about a story being told. If that makes any sense at all. If not, in the next part it should.
Disclaimers: Don't own, I will not be giving you all of my recent artwork,
it's all I've got. I spent all my money to make it. [Starving artist?
Me? Nah. . .]
Warnings: it depends on whose opinion, but possible OOC. Your perception is not, however, my reality. Angst, banging [again open to opinion], lime
Takes place after EW.
Jerks Like Us
"It all started about a year ago. The war had ended about five months before and life was routine. Empty, purposeless. I did my best but I was missing something. Salvage only gets you so far I guess. I thought maybe it was me, you know? Maybe it was just me feeling so discontented.
"I should have been happy, war was over. Eternal peace blah blah blah. . . . Yeah, so it's bull shit.
"I'm a soldier, I've never been anything else and even though we wanted peace who the fuck could teach me how to live my life after it happens? How the fuck was I supposed to live now? No one can give you an instruction manual and say `here, go live.' No. Life isn't like that.
"But I was adjusting by myself. Sure, Hilde and I hung out for a while but she couldn't live the way I was or, rather, I couldn't live. I needed to think. Alone, disconnected from my past.
"So, I was adjusting. Three months alone. Routine, like I said. Work, monotony, same mask, less to live for. You see, I'd had a purpose during the war. Peace took that away, even if it WAS my purpose. But I was okay. I was adjusting, calming down.
"That all stopped when he showed up at my door. I don't know why he did. Maybe I do. I don't know. I'd been finishing making dinner when the door system informed me of a presence `requiring entry.' I wasn't expecting anyone but every now and then someone drops by to see how I'm doing, making sure I'm still functioning or alive. The distinction between the two isn't all that clear anymore. Would you believe I'd become withdrawn? I wonder if he noticed. . . . .
"But there he was, standing in the hall. After I opened the door he remained staring at the floor for a minute, then looked up at me. No one said anything. We didn't need to. His eyes said it all, he was lost too.
"Dinner was silent. I don't know what he thought about, but I fought my own conflicting resentment for this token of my past and the contentment that it was I he chose to impose upon.
"In the past, I might have felt uncomfortable with the silence. I would have been stiffed in the seriousness, trying to lighten the mood with meaningless babble. But I had grown accustomed to silence in my five months alone. Sooner or later words would need to be spoken but now was not the time. I understood that now. I understood that with the birth of peace, I had died.
"He helped me with the dishes. Ninmu ryoukai. Ninmu kanryou. And we sat across from one another in my studio apartment. I on my bed, he at the chair by the solitary desk. It was all I could afford.
"He looked around. I watched him; waiting.
"`What brings you here, Heero?' I said it quietly. Maybe my voice was off. Harsh from disuse or melancholy. He looked confused.
"I continued, `I thought you were working with Relena.'
"His presence was a wall. I don't know. There was always something. . .I can't describe it. . .reassuring? Frightening? But now it was a slap in the face, a reminder of hell? Heaven?
"`I. . .I don't know why I am here. . .I don't. . . .'
"I knew exactly what it was. No direction. The question was why he came to me.
"Next question: `Have you tried contacting anyone else? Trowa? Wufei?'
"Quatre was dead. Killed somehow. I got a letter about it. Don't know why they sent it, maybe they thought I cared. I should have. Instead, I felt nothing. Felt like he was just another body. Wondered if Trowa knew. Then tossed the letter in the bin and watched a movie. Life. . . .
"Heero was silent for a moment, then answered in the clipped tones I was so familiar with, `Wufei seems to have adjusted well. I spoke with him at Quatre's memorial. Trowa was withdrawn. That is to be expected. I have seen neither since."
"`I thought you would come,' he said quietly.
"`Why didn't you?'
"I was getting angry. I hadn't seen him since. . . . And now he came and fouled my silence with his questions. Shattered the numbness.
"`Why do you care?' I gritted out.
"`You should have been there.'
"That did it. He, obviously, had not adjusted. Still expressing his opinions in a way that made a person feel compelled to act on them as if acting on an order.
"`You're telling me what to do? What I should have done? Why do you care what I do? Maybe I didn't want to go.'
"Heero looked shocked? Surprised? I was angry. Really angry. At him.
"Then he stood up. Angry.
"`He was your friend.'
"`Oh,' I felt my face twist into something dirty, wrong. `Maybe I didn't care that he was dead. He's just another bod`
"He punched me. I knew it was coming, I turned my head slowly to face him again and brought my fist up to impact with his body. He flew back into the wall, hitting hard and knocking plaster lose. Then slid down, shaking his head. He regarded me with a snarl, almost a smile. A beautiful animal, cornered and threatened.
"`Omae o korosu'
"He came at me, swinging. I was laughing now. `So nice to see nothing's changed, Heero. Will continue on our previous path of mutual abuse?'
"`You're not Duo.'
"He swung again and connected with my shoulder, I swung and got him in the solar plexus. He was angry, the adrenaline rush was so intense that the blow had no effect. Not that it could have anyway.
"`That's right Heero. We always did this. You always won, always hit harder. Maybe you'll finish the job now?'
"More blows, the chair broke, plates shattered. I was bleeding from several small cuts in various places. Heero was in similar shape. More angry words, more pain. I reveled in it. This was like. . . .
"At this point it wasn't about Quatre anymore, it was simply the fight. Any words spoken were spoken to prolong it. I felt alive, more alive than I had since the war had ended. I needed this. The pain, the thrill, the. . .
"`You know Heero. All this is so much shit. I hated you all. I DIDN'T care he died. How's that? In fact, he was so annoying. Him and that pacifist bitch you live to serve. You're nothing more than a dog, Yuy. Never have been anything more.'
"With a snarl, he launched himself at me, pinning me to the bed, his gun now in my face.
"I felt myself go limp, looking up at him. Both of us were panting heavily. I gazed at him calmly, smiling, trusting him to finish.
"`I was wondering why you didn't bring that out earlier. Will you, Heero? Will you?'
"He stared at me, felt like if he didn't shoot me soon I would grab the gun and do it myself. After five months of fighting it, I wanted to stop now. I wanted rest and I kind of peace I wouldn't have any difficulty adjusting to.
"He twitched like he was waking up, had just realized what he was doing.
"`What's stopping you?' I panted.
"The gun shook. I watched his face he was. . .crying?
"The gun steadied and his statement grew hard, tears staining his cheeks, hating me for making him weak. The gun trembled again and he dropped it, kissing me hard. It hurt, it felt good and I found myself kissing him back, my hands digging into his shirt trying to pull him closer. Pull him apart. He did the same.
"Oddly, enough I found myself being more careful with his clothing. He had nothing but what he wore. But he tore at mine desperately, both of us scrabbling for some sort of lifeline. Some affirmation of reality.
"And then I stopped thinking and reveled in the clash of dualities. The sort of thing that had always characterized our relationship before, but never to this extreme. Each kiss was a blow that delivered both pleasure and pain. Each thrust a perfect partnership of control and surrender, spiraling thoughtlessly, animalistically off into oblivion.
"An explosion of sensory information and nothing at all.
"But processing could wait until tomorrow."
Alright. And though I really hate it when people do this. . . I'm gonna ask if I ought to and then I'm gonna ask [since I have too ending ideas in mind] how many of you want a happy ending and how many of you want a CLAMP. . .I mean not so happy ending? Guess what I had the oddest craving for? Cinnamon rolls. [But I think I'll stay away from peanut butter and jelly for a while].
Recommended reading after reading this: "Gift Certificates" [trust me, you don't want me telling jokes I mess up the punch line. The only one I've ever gotten right was "Did you hear about the dyslexic Satan worshiper who sold his soul to Santa?" Well. . .that and the dead monkey joke . . . .]
My uncle is a folk singer. Folk songs are mostly very depressing, with the occasional nasty drinking song and gems like "Blue Haired Jimmy." He typically tells very bad jokes after a really depressing song to lighten the mood.
Don't worry, I talk a lot more in emails than I ever to in real life. And only rarely. I'll shut up now.