2-16-2003

TITLE: February 15th
by Dev-Aki Basaa

PAIRING: 1+2, 3x4
RATING: PG-13
CATEGORY: yaoi, angst, ficlet
FEEDBACK: oh yes, please!
ARCHIVE: DHML, GW Addiction, Shinigami & Wing
WARNING: Not a deathfic
DISCLAIMER: Bandai and Sunrise own all. I'm just borrowing the boys and their world. The story, however, is mine.
SUMMARY: Heero wants to spend Valentine's Day with Duo, but he doesn't get the chance.
NOTES: Takes place post EW, Trowa POV
AUTHOR NOTES: Thank you to Sharon for the beta!

~~*~~

"How much longer are you going to wait? It's already after midnight."

He didn't answer me; didn't even turn at the sound of my voice. I wasn't supposed to be here, anyway, so what did I expect? Quatre specifically forbade me to get involved, but here I am.

I had feared it would end like this.

When Heero Yuy became a romantic, I will never know. Yet here he was, atop the Sanq Peace Memorial Tower in the middle of the night, waiting. It's cold, blustery - especially up this high. I know that coat he's wearing isn't warm enough, but I've kept the thought to myself. I'm not the mothering sort. That's more Quatre's department. I just wrapped my arms tighter around myself.

It had been Valentine's Day - well, until about 45 minutes ago - and I should still be at home, enjoying my evening with Quatre. We'd had a wonderful dinner and talked of making love in front of the fireplace until the coal cooled and we had only ourselves to keep warm. Instead, I was here, freezing to death because I knew my best friend would catch pneumonia before he admitted defeat on this one.

"I think you need to accept he's not coming."

"Go away, Trowa."

His voice was as cold as the fierce wind that whipped around us and made my skin sting. That fireplace sounded even more damn inviting now than it had before.

Quatre was right, I shouldn't have come.

Only, I couldn’t stop worrying about Heero. He seemed so certain that Duo would find the coded message he'd sent skipping though hacker circles and Net circuits. That he'd understand it; that he'd come running here to his arms...

...and, deep down, I knew...he wouldn't. Yet I couldn’t bear to tell this to Heero. How could I? Yes, I agreed that there was some spark there between them. More than that, even. I'd seen the devotion in Duo's eyes as he'd sat at Heero's bedside, hovering while he recovered after the Mariemeia incident. It had been plain to me how Duo felt about Heero - the strength of it echoing my own emotions for Quatre. I knew - and knowing that, I knew that if Duo had survived that salvage job he took a year ago, there would be no other place for him BUT at Heero's side.

Heero thought Duo had left and not returned because of something he'd done - or, really, something he hadn't done. He feared he'd not reciprocated Duo's feelings enough, hadn't validated this something that had begun building between them. But that wasn't how I saw it. Heero was more than capable, in his subtle way, of letting those around him know how he felt. That included Duo. I don't think Duo doubted his future with Heero. I think he left for that job just because he needed the money.

And when he didn't return, I knew then that something had happened.

But tell that to Heero as he waited like some romantic martyr on the highest point in Sanq, staring out over the night-black ocean beyond? Tell him that what should have been would never be? Confess that I believed Duo to be dead? The words caught in my throat. He'd have to accept it himself. I shouldn't have come here to force the issue.

I squeezed myself as a shiver ran down my spine and sighed, resigning myself to leaving Heero up here alone.

"When you do leave here, why don't you come and stay with Quatre and me for a while, okay? Just to...take your mind off...things."

As expected, he didn't respond. But I knew he was listening, so I just sighed again and turned my back on the sad sight of him. I headed for the stairwell and the long walk down. My footfalls echoed in the narrow tower and the hollow sound matched how I felt. I needed to rush back to Quatre and wrap him in my arms - love him, appreciate him while I had him - for who knows what might happen tomorrow.

To any of us.

When I pushed the door that led to the tower vestibule open, the wind whipped in and almost threw me back against the stairs with its force. I shoved hard, grunting as I fought to get beyond the stairwell and to the exiting door. Once I had the stairwell door closed behind me, the room fell to pitch blackness. The vestibule lacked the lighting of the stairwell and it was just a few paces forward to the outside door, only I expected to find it open. Why else would that wind have been fighting against the opening of the stairwell door? I then heard breathing that wasn't my own and felt myself go suddenly taut, ready for anything. I wished for the gun I'd not carried in many years.

"Trowa?"

My heart slammed into my throat, pounding, and I couldn’t speak for the shock. It couldn’t be... I could see nothing, but I knew I'd never have forgotten that voice.

"Is he still up there?"

I nodded before I realized he couldn't see me. Swallowing hard, I answered him.

"Yes"

There was a long pause before he spoke again.

"I'm not too late?"

I heard the desperation in his voice, the fear, the intensity. It reminded me of his eyes whenever he'd looked at Heero. He was referring to more than just the hour and the pause between his words and mine was pregnant with both his hope and apprehension.

"No, Duo, not too late."

Though I couldn’t see him, I knew him well enough to know he was smiling.

I'm surprised I didn't jump when his phantom hand clapped my shoulder, but then I was watching the light burst through from the stairwell, illuminating him just enough so I could see his retreating back pass over the threshold, his braid whipping behind him.

Then I was in darkness again.

I stood there for a long time, imagining the reunion taking place above me, wondering on the joy Heero would certainly feel. The joy I know I'd feel had I lost and then found Quatre again. But also, a thousand questions buzzed through my head: on where Duo had been, why he'd been gone so long, if he'd truly run as Heero suspected. Only I realized those answers didn't really matter. It was enough for now that he was here, giving Heero the Valentine's Day he'd hoped for.

Even if it was a day late.

 

The End.