Disclaimer: I don't own any aspect of Gundam Wing what-so-ever, so please
don't sue me!!
Duo rubbed his temples and sighed. As if his life couldn't get any worse. He and Heero were undercover at another school. This time, they were posing as fraternal twins, so they were roommates. <He's been acting really strange lately- stranger than usual, I mean. If I didn't know better I'd say that he was seriously upset. > Heero had been avoiding Duo lately. <Hard to do when we're sharing a room. > An alarming thought occurred to Duo. <I haven't done anything that would tip him off to how I feel, have I? He would be acting weird then, right? But I don't think I've done anything! Oh, come on, you braided baka! Confront him! Find out what's wrong!> Duo silently opened the door to the bedroom and peered inside. A strange sound came from the unmoving lump that was Heero. <Is that a... sob? I could have sworn it was, but Heero?! Sobbing?! > Duo cleared his throat.
"Um... Heero, are you all right? You've been acting strange lately."
"I'm fine," answered a slightly muffled voice.
"Oh, okay... just checking... " Duo began to get ready for bed, but a few seconds later, he hesitantly ventured, "Um... ahhh... Heero? Are you... errr... crying?"
"No," answered the muffled voice, this time sounding distinctly choked, as if he were fighting tears.
"All righty then. Good night." Duo drifted off to sleep pondering the problem of Heero.
* * *
<Good. He's asleep.> Heero listened to the sound of his friend's even breathing, his heart aching. He wanted to run into Duo's arms and tell him everything so badly that he almost couldn't stand it. <But he doesn't love me, he can't love me! I'm such a cold clod, I don't deserve the warmth of his love. I deserve to freeze from my loneliness for all eternity. But it hurts so much, gods it hurts so much, why so much?!> Heero swallowed his sobs. He was afraid to go to sleep, because of the dreams; but then again, he wanted them so much. They were so wonderful, but it made waking up everyday much harder. His thoughts dwelt on those wonderful, splendid, cursed dreams. The ones where Duo simply held him and smiled, and the ones where he did considerably more than just hold him. Heero wanted to be the one to bring light and happiness to those beautiful amethyst eyes, to cause those lovely lips to curve in a smile. He wanted to comb Duo's hair with his fingers and then braid it back up. Finally, Heero could no longer stop his exhausted body from falling asleep. He slipped into the oblivion of his dreams.
* * *
<I thought if I left him alone, them he would get over whatever's troubling him, but it hasn't gotten better; in fact, it's gotten worse. I don't think that he ate anything yesterday! He hasn't slept over two hours for the past six nights. It's time for more drastic measures.> Duo had seen Heero writing in a book, probably a diary, and had spied out where he kept it. <It's time for a little invasion of privacy, my dear friend. If you won't tell me what's wrong, I'll find out by any means necessary, dammit!! I care for you too much to watch you kill yourself by inches! You may not love me the same way that I love you, but I'll be damned if I stand by and do nothing.> Heero had a class now, and it was Duo's free period. <So I shouldn't be interrupted. > He lifted the mattress of Heero's bed up and slipped the small book out. He opened to the first page and began to read. <Normal, normal, come on I know something's up!> He skipped to the middle and started to read. Abruptly, his ability to think disappeared. <Oh. My. GOD!!!>
//I had a new dream last night. This one really hurt. I started to sob as soon as I woke up and realized that it wasn't real. In this one, he's holding me, just holding me. But then he looked at me from those beautiful, luminous eyes and said "I love you," to me. I can't eat because I think of him, and my stomach knots with despair because I know that he could never love me and I don't deserve his respect, let alone his love. He looks at me with a strange look now. I think it's pity. I don't dare dream that it could be caring. I can't fall asleep because the dreams are so wonderful that I won't want to get up. He got hurt today. I wanted to pick him up and protect him from the world, but he doesn't need me. No one really needs me, least of all that angel// and more of the same. Pages of it.
<Wow... Wow. Just-WOW. > Duo figured out from several references to violet eyes and long, braided hair that: <Me. He's talking about me. Holy flying monkeys and little green apples. Heero loves ME!! The world is a beautiful place. I love my life. This-this just couldn't get any better.>
Suddenly, Heero walked in, saw Duo with The Book on his knees, and promptly walked out. Duo leapt to his feet, dropping the precious, wonderful book, and ran after Heero, dragging him back into the bedroom.
"Heero, do you mean it?"
"Mean what?" he squeaked out.
"All of the stuff you said in that book, DO YOU MEAN IT?!!?"
"I- I-" his mouth worked for awhile without producing any sound. "I- dammit! Yes!! YES!! I meant everything! I can't take it anymore." Heero threw himself down upon the bed in an agony of despair. Duo reached behind him and took out his own diary, which he hid in a much better place than under the mattress. IN the mattress. Wordlessly, he handed Heero the book. Heero gulped down tears and started to read. An incredulous look came over his face. He looked up at Duo, tears shining in his eyes. "Do- do-"
"Yeah, I meant it all as much as you meant what you said." Duo said softly and captured Heero's face with his hands. As they kissed, Duo thought. <This looks like the end of a beautiful friendship... and the start of something even better!>
Heero awoke in his cold bed and panicked for a second before he remembered that Duo was on a mission. He sighed. <He's been gone for a long time. Sometimes I don't think he'll ever come back.> He quickly squashed that depressing thought immediately, but it left doubt in his mind. Heero grabbed a book off the bedside table, turned on the light and began to read.
//Sometimes I don't think that he notices me. Other times, I just want him to kill me, at least then I'd get attention from him. I think he hates me and I can't stand it. I want to make him smile. I want to see him laugh. I want to chase away the ghosts of his old life that I can see haunting him. I want him to love me, or at least, let me love him. The most precious gift I can ever imagine would be his kiss on my cheek. If he ever succeeds in killing himself, I might die.// Heero stopped at that part. This was Duo's diary, which he had given Heero to read, to prove that he loved Heero. In the events which followed, the diary had been forgotten about. But Heero saved it, to read on nights like this, when Duo was not with him. He turned over, much comforted, but still lonely.
* * *
Heero stared at the message, his mind frozen in disbelief. <NO, no, no!! It can't be! IT CAN'T!!!>
//Pilot 02, known as Duo Maxwell, sent on Mission 0735-B. Mission successful. Pilot missing and presumed dead.//
<I would know!! I know I would, I would feel something if he died! He's not dead. He's not dead and I'm going to find him!> Sudden conviction filled his being. He began packing right away. A thought made him pause. <What if he really is dead?> he thought for a second and calmly decided, <then I will die too.> he resumed his packing, his face totally blank.
* * *
Heero hesitantly stepped into the cool interior of the church. It was deserted, except for an old priest at the front.
"Excuse me Father." He softly said. "But I'm looking for someone. I thought you could help me."
"Of course my son." The priest walked up to him. "Who are we searching for?"
<His eyes. There's such peace there. Duo would look like that after he prayed. I wish that I could find such peace.> "I'm looking for a friend of mine. He is very religious; I though he might come here. His name is..." he paused and licked his lips, "His name is Duo Maxwell."
"Oh yes, I see him everyday. Let us eat first together and then I will take you to him." Heero was hard put to relax enough to seem polite. All during the meal, all Heero wanted to do was find Duo. "Well, let's pay a visit to the young boy." Heero followed the priest as he headed outside. He began to experience a sinking feeling in his stomach as he realized where they were heading.
They paused before the plain white headstone, which read: //Duo Maxwell. He lies with God and his angels.// Heero stood frozen in front of the stone as the priest left. Duo was dead.
Two days later Heero stood in front of Duo's grave again. He carefully placed the bouquet of red and white roses on the slight mound, and placed a small vial on the headstone. He'd had to make the poison himself; he hadn't been able to buy it. The ironic thing was that it was Duo's birthday.
"Happy Birthday, Duo." Suddenly, a strong wind came up and knocked the vial over. Before Heero could catch it, the small, but beautiful, amount of poison had spilled out and soaked into the ground.
<// "If you do that, I will be very angry."//> Heero froze as he heard the cheerful voice. A misty form cascaded on top of the headstone. It looked like... Duo!
"D- D- D- Duo?!!?!?!?!?!!?"
<// "Hey lover!" //> The figure smiled the familiar grin.
"B- but you're dead!"
<// "A small technicality." //> Duo abruptly sobered. <// "Heero, I need to tell you something important. I'm dead, but by no means gone! You have a job to do Heero, and you can't do that if you die! You have to stay alive!!" //>
"But I'm all alone!"
Duo's pale face softened. He reached a hand up to cradle Heero's cheek. <// "You won't be alone Hee-chan, never alone. I'll always be with you. I'm the God of Death, always following in your path." >// He took the gold cross off his neck and placed it around Heero's neck. <// "Here. I want you to have this. Ai shitero Heero, forever." //> Heero closed his eyes as he felt Duo's arms around him and the touch of Duo's lips on his own. A gust of wind and a tightening of his arms, then Duo was gone. Heero stood, his eyes closed, his hand clenched around the cross, as the gentle breeze dried his tears. He knew Duo would never leave him.
"Ai shitero Duo, forever."