TITLE: Happy Endings
sequel to "Being Happy"
By: Dev-Aki Basaa
PAIRING: 1x2, implied 3+4, references to past 1xR
CATEGORY: yaoi, sap
FEEDBACK: oh yes, please! email@example.com
ARCHIVE: DHML, GW Addiction, Shinigami & Wing
DISCLAIMER: Bandai and Sunrise own all. I'm just borrowing the boys and their world. The story, however, is mine.
SUMMARY: Sequel to "Being Happy", Duo is bitter and resentful.
NOTES: Takes place after EW, not necessary to read "Being Happy", but it wouldn't hurt ^_^
AUTHOR NOTES: Thanks to Sakti for the beta!
Duo picked up another alloy drop and brought it up close to his eyes, scanning for the engraved MP number.
He scribbled it down, in triplicate, on the various forms clipped to a board he had perched on his lap. His wrist twinged again, cramping. The pain was nothing, really, and easy to ignore in light of his splitting headache. Duo tossed the drop into the appropriate bin and raised his free hand to rub over the knot that had formed on his forehead. A regular goose egg growing off his noggin. He winced at the touch, jerking his fingers away from his skin, his face screwed up in discomfort. Damned scraps bin, toppling over on him. Damned pile of alloy to be charted.
Damned fucking day.
Hilde kept avoiding him like he had a disease or something, and really, he couldn't blame her after the way he'd snapped at her. Now he had no one to talk to (his own damned fault), plenty to gripe about and worst of all - and this was the crux of his extreme foul mood - he hadn't heard from Heero in at least five days. Yeah, maybe it was just a vid-phone call, but that's all he had and he'd take every last ounce of contact he could squeeze out of Yuy. Of course, they were just friends - friends who wanted to be far more to each other than the occasional call and the very rare visit. They wanted more than putting every emotion they felt for each other into handshakes and trite words like, 'how have you been?' - all things friends say and do, all a guise to what they really felt.
Going more than a day without hearing from Heero made his life seem that much more pointless and empty.
And maybe the call this morning from Quatre hadn't helped matters. Just another update to tell him how miserable everyone was. Wufei had been injured again in a Preventer's assignment and the scuttlebutt said they were considering taking him off the active roster, claiming mental distress which is just another way to say wacko. Duo shook his head and scribbled down the next MP number, 6-55-39. Gods, if they did that, it would kill Wufei. He needed that activity; he needed to go a little nuts in the field sometimes. Didn't anyone understand that?
Another alloy drop chinked in the bin.
Well, no, they didn't. How stupid. If they did, he'd still be at Preventers himself, not Honorably Discharged for Mental Distress. Bastards. What did they know? Hopefully Wufei will have the good sense to not take the desk job they were bound to offer and just leave the organization altogether, as he had. The desk job. That's what would really sink the knife deep in Wufei's chest. Damned shame. Maybe Hilde could find room for another ex-Gundam pilot, former Preventer psycho at the Salvage yard as she had for him.
Another alloy drop chinked in the bin.
Maybe not. Wufei would find his niche. At least, Duo really hoped he did.
But it hadn't been just Wufei. Quatre was just as miserable in his own way, even if he avoided discussing it. He had looked awful, dark circles under his eyes, gaunt cheeks, lifeless eyes.
Still no word from Trowa. Duo suspected Quatre kept a stake-out posted at Catherine's grave, thinking if Trowa were to surface, that'd be the first place he'd go. The memory of Trowa at the funeral came to the fore of Duo's mind, though he tried to block it out. He'd never seen anyone look so lost, so hopeless. It had just been a freak, tragic accident at the circus. Trowa had been away, visiting Quatre, so there was nothing he could have done, but he'd had that look about him, one that said, 'it should have been me.' Not long after, he'd said goodbye to Quatre without the poor guy realizing it was a goodbye until too late. Now it'd been a year and still not one goddamned sign of him. Well the man was a master infiltrator; he could hide in plain sight. Duo had once joked that he was probably on Quatre's staff and they didn't even know it. Quatre had tried to laugh, but some things were just too painful.
Fuck that - it seemed like everything these days was just too painful.
Duo threw the next alloy drop into the bin, feeling some satisfaction for the echoing bang it caused when it slammed against the side. Where were the happy endings, huh? Where were the hero's spoils of war? All they had were lives none of them wanted and some stigma of being fucked in the head. Even Quatre, head of the largest and most successful colony construction company, struggled with his own Board of Directors constantly questioning his ideas. Why? Because weren't all the former Gundam pilots crazy? After some stupid and completely false television expose on the Zero System a year ago, the public seemed to think they were all ticking time bombs. So, yeah, maybe they saw things differently from the general public because of the life they'd led. Maybe he and Wufei had a no-holds-barred attitude towards being a Preventer. It didn't justify the bullshit they had to contend with in their lives. He didn't deserve to be treated like a cracked eggshell.
The only one who didn't get the same kind of grief the rest of them had was Heero because he'd been all sensible and married well.
But that was just a lie too. Duo knew. He was unhappy; just as miserable and unhappy as the rest of them and it wasn't goddamned fair!
"Duo! If you throw ONE more of those alloys into the bin I'm going come over there and wrap your braid around your neck so tight you'll have to look sideways to see your dick!"
Duo nodded to himself - yeah, he'd pissed Hilde off good. At least she didn't treat him with kid gloves; that was refreshing. Who knows, maybe this would be a good place for Wufei too. He'd probably find yelling matches with Hilde to be cathartic.
A shout carried over the mountains of alloy that surrounded Duo, echoing in his valley of metal. He only shrugged in response; it was an argument he'd heard far too often.
"No!" one of his fellow employees yelled - sounded like Kale. "I'm not letting you pass. He doesn't want to be interviewed."
Would the press ever leave them alone?
"I'm not here to interview him."
Duo's attention piqued at the calm familiarity of that voice.
"Yeah, that's what they all say," Kale said, his tone edged with his sarcasm.
Duo tossed aside the clipboard and bolted from his spot, scrambling up the alloy pile. His footing slipped as drops rolled under his feet and broke away, tumbling down the pile. He climbed as best he could and fell to his knees at the peak, peering down at the exchange before him.
"Get lost!" It was indeed Kale and he was scowling and yelling at a highly un-amused Heero Yuy.
Heero and Kale turned towards him.
"Duo." Heero marched passed a shocked Kale, giving a slight shove as their shoulders brushed. He climbed up to the top of Duo's pile, the eagerness of his statement freezing Duo in his spot. He was shocked to see him, surprised by the light in his eyes. Heero stumbled to the crest, steadied his feet on the alloy drops, then reached down and grabbed Duo by his shoulders, pulling him up and drawing him close.
"What are you doing here," Duo asked, overwhelmed to be wrapped in Heero's arms. They'd only embraced once before, when they'd realized how they'd felt for each other. It had been one of the greatest and worst moments of Duo's life.
"I'm free," Heero answered, his hand rubbing a gentle circle across Duo's back.
"It's over - Relena and I," he explained further. "She'll be sending me the paperwork to make it official, but as far as we're concerned, she's released me. She wants me to be happy, so that's why I'm here with you."
"Be happy..." Duo echoed in a whisper. It didn't seem possible. Life had tricked and cheated him over and over again, stealing from him every glimpse of true happiness he'd ever found. He'd watched it be ripped from the hands of those he loved. Duo snorted a little. "What's that?"
Heero smiled, his arms sliding down to curl around Duo's waist. "What I'm going to use every resource at my disposal to make you."
That dark jaded part of Duo wanted to scoff still. Life, so far, had been too cruel for him to think he'd ever find happiness. He'd stopped expecting it. But looking into Heero's eyes, hearing the strength behind his words... He couldn't help it, he believed him.
The joy at that realization seemed to explode in his chest and radiate throughout his body. He circled his arms around Heero's waist, feeling hope take root in his mind.
"It's really over? She must be devastated."
Heero's statement fell and he dropped his chin a little. "Yes, she is," he said and Duo knew it must have been a hard talk to bring this about. "But I think she also realized that she never had what she thought she'd found."
"Shit." Duo felt bad for her. Really. Even for all the bitter, hateful things he'd said about her when he crawled into his cold empty bed at night, dreaming of Heero and knowing she was the one in his arms - he understood the pain she must be feeling, reality having just slapped her in the face.
Duo buried himself in Heero's embrace, feeling his warmth bleed into him, drugging him with Heero's heat and scent, so heady he could sink into it and never emerge. He didn't want to let go; maybe now, he didn't have to.
Somewhere behind them, Duo could hear Hilde chastise Kale. "What's that matter with you? Can't you even recognize Heero Yuy!? He's only all over the news, you moron." It made him chuckle at first, but then he held Heero that much tighter to him. The media would have a field day with this, but at least they'd be going through it together.
After a long pleasant moment of enjoying each other's embrace and hearing Hilde shoo off her other employees to give them some privacy, Heero spoke, his voice sounding intensely serious.
"Everything's going to change," he said and Duo lifted his head to see Heero staring off, a distant, glazed look in his eyes. He then looked back to Duo, a smile spreading across his face. "But only for the better," he added. "Always for the better. For you, for me, for all of us."
Duo quirked a brow and swallowed the instinctual, derisive snort that rose in his throat. No more of that. "That's a nice dream and, you know, I actually think if anyone can pull it off, you can." And he meant it, with all his heart. "What's your big plan?"
"We'll travel," Heero told him.
Heero nodded with conviction, tightening his hold on Duo. "Yes, we'll start a business where neither of us ever has to sit still. Maybe investigating, maybe bounty hunting," he shrugged, "whatever - as long as its you and me and we're out there doing something worthwhile." He reached up and brushed the bangs off Duo's forehead, his fingers lingering across his skin, even brushing Duo's goose egg, but it didn't seem to hurt when he touched it. "We'll pull Wufei in, give him the job he deserves. Forget Preventers and their inability to understand what it means to be a former Gundam pilot." Then Heero's grin widened. "And our first assignment will be for Quatre. We'll find Trowa and bring him home. Because this," he trailed his fingers down to touch Duo's cheek, his thumb rubbing across Duo's lips, "friendship, camaraderie, love - this is home. I am home."
Duo threw his head back and laughed, full bellied and brimming with joy. He was amazed that such a sound of delight could come out of him. Was this really him? Did he really feel such life welling inside for the first time since before he cared to remember? Duo shook his head at himself and focused on Heero again. "Sounds damn fine, Yuy. I'll follow you to the ends of the Universe - you know that."
Heero nodded again. "Yes, I do and I love you for it."
Duo smiled, losing himself in the gorgeous blue eyes before him. He'd already lost to the wonderful feeling in his chest that continued to grow. "So this is what being happy feels like, huh?"
Heero leaned in close. "Get used to it," he told him and then captured his lips.
Their first kiss already told of the passion building between them, a fire they'd tempered with platonic friendship, staving off the pain of what they'd believed to be their hopeless circumstances.
Nothing seemed hopeless now.
Now they felt as if they could take on the world - they'd done it once before. Happiness for themselves and their friends seemed just as worthy a cause as any they'd had - and a cause that was long in coming.
After all, to the victor go the spoils.