TITLE: I Love You, Goodbye
BY: Dev-Aki Basaa
PAIRING: 1x2, with past 2+OC and 1+R+1
CATEGORY: yaoi, het, angst
FEEDBACK: Yes, please! firstname.lastname@example.org
ARCHIVE: DHML, GW Addiction, Shinigami & Wing
WARNING: Character death (not Heero or Duo), angst
DISCLAIMER: Bandai and Sunrise own all. I'm just borrowing the boys and their world. The story, however, is mine.
SUMMARY: Duo introspection on his love life, past and present.
NOTES: Duo POV, takes place post EW
AUTHOR NOTES: Don't let the het chase you away; this is definitely a 1x2 fic. Er, okay, an angsty one, anyway. There will probably be a fic or two more in this timeline, but ^_^ it was recently implied to me (by more than one person) that I write too much sap. So, here's my response - and a little catharsis for me. Thank you Sakti for the beta.
I don't know why - perhaps it's the romantic in me, or perhaps I'm simply a fool, but I never did lose that notion that if I loved the person enough - truly loved them to the core of my soul - that everything would work out right. It seemed logical to a person bred on fairy stories and fictions, that true love not only existed, but that it was the most powerful force in the world, the kingdom, the galaxy and it conquered all.
It does make for a lovely story.
So when I loved, the first time, and meant it and it didn't happen, you'd think I would have clued in then. But the love wasn't perfect, wasn't requited and so, while I loved so much, I was playing with a handicap. In the end, it made sense to me why all the cards didn't fall into place. It hadn't been meant to be.
But it was the second time that I loved which threw me for a loop. See, he loved me back, with all his heart, we loved each other and I was willing to sacrifice and be patient and wait for the circumstances to be better so we could be together for all time.
But that's not what happened. My love abandoned me - professing his love and saying goodbye at the same time. It wasn't supposed to be like that. How can you love and leave?
You tell me.
See, my story goes something like this...
We met during the war. Ha! That's so blasé. You must realize it was far more complicated than that. I mean, I shot him - twice - when we first met... But see, none of that really matters because I hadn't even loved for the first time yet when I'd met him. I hadn't even felt that first painful backhand of reality, so it doesn't really matter how we met, just know that we'd known each other for a long while before I realized how much more he would come to mean to me.
For the sake of a complete story, I'll tell you about my first love. Christ, she was beautiful. I had always thought I had a preference towards the masculine, until I met her. She worked at a summer camp for orphans that I had volunteered for. That was about two years after the war, and I was there for three consecutive summers. I came back the second year for the kids; I came back the third year for her. She was nothing like what I would have called my type. Leggy, blonde, very feminine - I would have thought, with women, that I'd go for an athletic type, really independent - like Hilde, for example. Nope. I went head over heels for Michelle. I was such an idiot. I thought I was cool, could handle any situation thrown at me - fuck, I flew a Gundam in the wars! What couldn't I handle? But no, I wasn't cool; I was an idiot. She found me charming, but everyone thinks I'm charming.
So, why was I a fool?
Not because I made an ass out of myself or anything like that. Not that I fawned over her and she ignored me - quite the contrary, actually. We became friends, we lunched out, went to a few concerts. She was a hobby artist and had a few amateur shows. I attended them and she would take my hand and walk me around the gallery, telling me all the gossip of the other artists, the guests and the organizers. She knew everyone on the damn colony, I swear! But there was nothing in the world like the feel of her hand in mine, nothing like the way she used to look at me, piercing me to my soul... Well, nothing until Heero, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
See, I know that when I just liked her, the feeling was mutual. I was a fool because as I realized I was falling in love with her, I thought I knew. I knew this was love and I had found that person we all look for - that one to spend the rest of your life with. I even fucking called up Quatre Winner at his office and told him.
"I met the woman I'm going to marry!" I had practically shouted over the vid-phone.
He was so happy for me - surprised, but happy. I waxed poetic for an hour on how wonderful she was with those kids and Quatre indulged me. He told me he couldn't wait to invite us both to some gathering at his estate. I couldn't wait for that either. Quatre had also asked me if I'd spoken to Heero recently. This becomes more relevant later, but no, I hadn't. I was too far gone on Cloud 9 to even really notice what Quatre was saying to me, but I know now that about that time, Heero had realized he didn't love Relena and was rather devastated by this fact. I mean, he believed, as the rest of the world did (his fellow former Gundam pilots included), that he was supposed to end up with Relena. The stuff of fairy tales, remember? We're all sucked in, one way or another. Anyway, so feeling guilty towards Relena and confused about what he really wanted with this life he'd so recently acquired, Heero had gone missing. This was also about the same time Preventers started really badgering me about joining their forces. Seems they rather liked having former Gundam pilots on their roster and were itching to find someone to replace Heero. It would end up being me, but not for another summer. I had to come back for that third summer with the camp, see, because that last night of summer two, at the little banquet they threw for the staff and volunteers, Michelle kissed me. And yes, that's accurate. She kissed me. I was too fucking stunned to respond properly. 'Loser' should have been painted across my forehead. So, yes, she kissed me and told me how she couldn't wait to see me next summer.
Oh, I was SO coming back after that!
Hilde had pretty much taken over the salvage business by then and I was just in her way from August to the end of May. Then it was summer again and I kept putting off Preventers, because as I saw it, how could I start a career with them when I was going to be having a wedding to help plan come Fall? I mean, the Groom-to-be had duties too, you know. But as you might guess, that wasn't the summer of love for me. She wasn't cold, per se, but she was pretty damn clear that we were friends and only friends and there was nothing more to it. I don't know what happened for her between August and the following June, it wasn't as though I saw any new guy or gal fawning over her.
I guess I'll never know. But the fact remains, she never promised me anything, and a kiss doesn't mean squat in the greater scheme of things.
Nonetheless, she broke my heart and in the pain of that rejection, I made some sweeping changes in my life. I sold off my half of the business to Hilde, bought a condo planet-side and joined Preventers. Talk about a life change.
They immediately put me on special ops, all their training and testing said I still had the skills I did five years ago. I suppose there are just some things you never forget. I threw myself into work, I even talked Trowa into joining - I should have received some kind of bonus for that, I swear! But with Trowa's addition, he, Wufei, Sally and I became THE A, number one, crack special ops team for Preventers. Life was pretty damn good, and I was even putting everything with Michelle to rest.
Then Yuy returned and all hell broke loose.
He was still pretty much the guy I remembered, but with a softer edge to him, more personable. He'd even found a hobby - photography. An expensive hobby, mind, but I always did think he'd siphoned off some funds from Romefeller during their heyday and had it stashed somewhere. I never asked, but in no way did Heero ever hurt for money nor had many worries about spending it when he wanted to. He bought me a necklace once, an amazing cross, beautiful in its simplicity, a few stones; I think it was platinum. I loathed getting it appraised out of fear of what the jeweler would say. I know the damn thing cost a pretty penny, but you know, it could have been made of tin for all I cared - Heero gave it to me and that's all that ever mattered. But I'm getting ahead of myself again.
See, from the moment Heero arrived, there was tension between us. And I didn't know what it was all about. Une offered him a position on our team and he shocked everyone by turning it down. Then I heard through the grapevine that his refusal had something to do with me. I, of course, thought the worse. Who wouldn't? I thought he hated me. However, it seems that his reaction to seeing me after so long was identical to my reaction to seeing him - a totally, out of the blue, somebody-just-punched-me-in-the-stomach, instant attraction. Where that came from, I don't know! I mean, okay, I was definitely drawn to him during the war and Heero had said I was a distraction to him - which says a fucking lot, if you ask me. Especially since he said Relena was a distraction too and I know what she meant to him. So, whatever it was, the seeds began during the war, we just didn't know it. And since he'd gone off in hiding and reflection after his whole incident with Relena, deciding that him and love weren't meant to go hand-in-hand, I could understand his reluctance when he came back, a year later, and bam, his theory went flying right out the window.
But at first, it was just mis-understanding city. Heero was avoiding me, and I couldn't keep out of his face. I kept trying to push the right button to get him to come at me with both barrels blasting and clear up whatever it was between us. Imagine my surprise when at a Preventers banquet - I seem to have a running theme with banquets - Heero hauled off and kissed me. Then disappeared. Bastard! You don't kiss someone the way he kissed me - I'm talking, took me by the waist, bent me backwards and fucking devoured my mouth - then storm off into a crowd, not to be found until work the following Monday.
We made out in the East conference room for a better part of the late morning, ahem sorting things out between us. The rumor mill processes fast around here and by late afternoon, it was official. We were a couple.
And I was pretty damned happy, you know? I mean, I was very attracted to Heero - more so than Michelle, as Heero was definitely my type. And he was attracted back, something that had never happened to me before. No, wait. Don't misunderstand that, yes, I've been hit on before - numerous times - and had my share of wham-bam-thankyou-whoever lovers, but I never gave a damn about those people. Suddenly, the person that meant the world to me, thought the sun rose by my command. Do you even know how amazing that is? We went from 0 to 60 in a month's time. We just knew; this was love. Of course, Heero's not terribly demonstrative, but he had his ways of letting me know what I meant to him. There were overt gestures, like the time he filed forged flight plans, just so he could make an unscheduled stop on L1 while I was there on business and he was supposed to be elsewhere on his own business. He risked getting reamed by Une to see me - and it wasn't a special day or anything. He'd missed me, he'd said. That was enough. There's, of course, the necklace he bought me and then the time I got injured on an assignment - he never left my side at the hospital. And it was simply understood that he would be at my side. Now that's validation for you.
Then there was the sex. Jesus, don't get me started about the sex! At times fiery-hot, scorching, anyway, anywhere, we couldn't keep our hands off each other. Then there was the love-making. Together we learned about love-making and THAT, my friends, is a soul-altering experience. To love and be loved by the person who holds your heart... There is nothing more beautiful, nothing so tender and sensual as making love with Heero.
There just aren't words.
But then also, he would say it. "I love you, Duo," in this soft, sweet voice that probably only I've ever heard. His gaze would soften, his lips parted as if just saying the words made him breathless - they always made me breathless. And he was so gracious to receive my own gestures - I told him how much I loved him everyday of my life, in as many ways possible. Where Heero lacked in demonstrativeness, I made up for it. At first, he almost wanted to shrug off my declarations - not that he didn't believe me, but that he didn't deserve them. Which was total bull, of course. But soon enough, I would catch him buried in work at his desk, come up to his side and whisper, "I love you," and he'd pause, take my hand, kiss my knuckles and go back to work with a grin on his face.
I loved those grins.
So, you read all this and you think, that's pretty damn perfect, Duo, what went wrong?
Well, I'll tell you.
I have no idea.
I just know that it all started with Relena's death. There'd been an accident - a shuttle crash, just terribly tragic - and Heero was devastated by it. Heero does not openly cry, not even for me, but he did this time. I held him, crying as well while he wept until he fell asleep in my arms. It was so awful, that whole time. The world was grieving, and Heero started to talk crazy.
He'd go on about how he couldn't bear to lose me - that Relena's death had made him think that much more acutely about my death and how he couldn't bear it. Or worse yet, what if I left him on purpose?! I tried to reassure him, I said everything I could, every ounce of meaning and truth behind it - I wasn't going ANYWHERE. But he couldn't be assuaged. He feared my death. He wanted me off Preventers and I refused to leave. I wouldn't let him lock me up in some gilded cage for the rest of our lives because he suddenly realized human life was fragile.
Next thing I know, he's saying he loves me too much to be with me. What does that mean?! Do people really think like this? I can't be with you because you might die?! We ALL die! How can this be logical? And Wufei, the bastard, actually understood all this and I wanted to strangle him for validating Heero's complete absurdity! Quatre felt I should humor Heero and let him come to terms with Relena's death and my mortality and then he'd come back.
But what if he didn't? How could I risk that? How could I let go the person I loved, that I knew loved me, over such complete and utter irrationality? If he were so irrational as to come to this conclusion, who's to say he'd ever get back to a place where we could be together again?
But the fact remained; I didn't really have a choice. If Heero wanted to end things, even for what I believed to be a ridiculous reason, what could I do? I had to let him go. I told him a hundred times over how much I loved him, and he told me a hundred and one times back that he loved me too, and then turned around and walked out of our condo - sorry, MY condo.
So, here I am, bereft. They put me on leave from Preventers anyway because of my total devastation. I feel like some kind of freaking zombie, walking around the condo, trying to function like a normal person and failing miserably. I never did cry much myself, but I can't stop now. Everything reminds me of him, our lives were woven together. See, from that night at the banquet to today, it's been two years. He walked away from two years together.
And what I don't understand is why didn't he stick around and fight? He kept saying that he was confused again, as he'd been before when things ended with Relena, too confused to even have worked it out with her. But he also knew he didn't love her and that was a huge part of his confusion. I KNOW he loved me, and yet he didn't even try to work through this with me in his life, he just left.
I thought I was worth more than that. I thought, to him, I commanded the sun. When did that change? When did our 'I love you's become not enough?
See, again, I fucked up. I thought being this in love with each other was enough to battle even our own inner demons. It doesn't mean things will be easy, but it's always worth it. Or so I thought.
And what frightens me most, with him being gone now for almost two months, is that I don't know if I can trust him anymore if he were to come back. That basic, core element of trust between us was broken when he abandoned me. Could I even risk taking him back if he did return? Can I put myself through THAT vulnerability - that he might leave me again?
I honestly don't know.
But I'm left to wonder if he's ever coming back. Oh, he might contact me, but I do fear that it'll only be to assure me, as Michelle did, that we're just friends, nothing more.
And I'd hate him for this, if I didn't love him so fucking much.