Change of Heart

Prologue

He walked into the small apartment house on L3 and smiled at the only occupant. "Hey Hilde! Any messages?"

The purple haired girl smiled at him and nodded. "Well Casanova, you got two since this morning, and one from last night."

Duo nodded and poured himself a cup of coffee. He worked late last night, and he was exhausted, but he had another job to go to, so he couldn't let it get him down. He pulled up his shirt and scratched his side, ignoring Hilde's shocked gasps.

"I just don't have time to go to the doctor Hilde, but I'm fine, really." He smiled at her and gave her a thumbs up sign.

"Duo, I can see your ribs. It's because of that guy isn't? Why don't you just talk to him, making yourself sick isn't going to change anything."

"Look, I said I'm fine and I am. Just drop it."

"But-"

Duo shot her a warning glare and she closed her mouth. Didn't he see? Didn't he know what he was doing to himself? He had changed so much in the last year, she hardly knew him. He wasn't as happy, wasn't as go lucky. He was reserved, quite, and sometimes cold. She wanted to make him snap out of it, to change back into the guy who had saved her life from Oz, the guy who she cared for as her best friend in the world. The only way to get him to change was for him to confront the past, something he didn't want to do. So if he didn't, she would.

"It wasn't your fault Duo."

"Yes it was! Don't you see? I HURT HIM! I hurt The Perfect Solider! He loved me, and I-I-how could I?" He looked at Hilde with water filled eyes, his eyes pleading with her to answer him. She reached out and touched his arm, pulling him into a tight embrace.

"Now listen to me Duo, you have to go to work. Pull yourself together and go get ready. It'll be better on the end of the day. I'll fix it, I'll fix it all."

He nodded from the nape of her shoulder and sniffed. "You're my best friend Hilde, what would I do without you?"

"Probably die in a Dumpster somewhere. Why?"

A brief light lit up his eyes, and flash of his old self crossed his face. He punched her lightly in the arm and kissed her cheek. "Thank you."

He disappeared down the hallway, and she waited for the click of the bathroom door. She raced to the phone and picked it up, dialing the operator.

"Operator, how may I help you?"

"Um, yeah, could you give me the number for Quatre Winner?"

 

He sighed heavily and shook out his wrist. His hand hurt from signing all those papers, but it was for the good of colony! A light knock sounded from his door and he called for the person to come in.

"Mr. Winner, you have a visitor."

"*sigh* Who is it?"

"Um, Trowa Barton sir."

Quatre smiled softly and nodded, waving a hand. "Send him in Miss Neko."

"Yes sir."

The secretary disappeared from sight and returned with a tall lanky boy walking behind her.

"Mr. Trowa Barton, sir."

"Thank you, leave us alone. No phone calls."

"Yes sir."

She left and closed the door, leaving Trowa and Quatre starring into each other's eyes. The two stayed that way for a minuet before bursting into laughter.

"Wow, I never could see you as a `sir' Trowa." Quatre giggled softly and smiled at him, motioning for him to take a seat. "So what have you been up to lately?"

Trowa shrugged and nodded a motion Quatre had figured out to mean the same as usual.

"That's good. What brings you here?"

"You."

Quatre blushed and nodded.

"Always easy to blush, weren't you Quatre?"

"Really Trowa!"

Quatre turned a bright red and shrunk back into his chair. "What are you doing tonight Trowa?"

Trowa shrugged.

"Want to go have dinner?"

He nodded and Quatre smiled, just before jumping a foot in the air when the secretary burst into the room.

"Sir, there is a girl on the phone, she's been calling the past hour trying to talk to you. She says that it's important, something about a Mr. Duo."

Quatre sat forward in his chair, looking at Trowa. "Put her threw." She left and his phone beeped.

"Hello?" he asked, putting the phone on speaker so Trowa could hear too.

"Quatre?"

"Hilde! Do you know where Duo is?"

"He's with me. He needs some-"

"How is he? Is he ok? Does he know anything about Heero? Is he in-"

"He's fine, everything is fine. He needs your help."

Quatre and Trowa listened intently as Hilde explained the situation, how thin Duo was, how easily he seemed to get sick, how much his attitude had changed.

"And this all happened because of.Heero? Because he and Heero broke up?"

Trowa asked, after Hilde had finished.

"Why exactly did they brake up in the first place if it hurts them both so much?" Hilde sighed loudly.

"Duo wasn't very.loyal. He played around a lot, slept around. He didn't know what it was like to have someone love you; he didn't know how to handle it. So he did what he had always done, until the day Heero caught him in the act. Duo was heart broken, but couldn't explain very easily how he felt. Not to mention the fact that Heero beat the shit out of him and the guy he was with."

Quatre almost laughed at that, but tears wheeled up in his throat.

"And he never thought to contact one of us to tell us he was alright? Why didn't he call me? I would have understood, we all would have! He didn't have to hide."

Hilde nodded on the other end, whipping her own tears away. "He wasn't hiding Quatre, he was trying to keep you guys out of it. He was afraid it would tear the group apart."

Quatre sighed and Trowa rubbed his shoulders, reassuring him.

"So anyway, do you have anyway I can contact Heero?"

"You don't know?"

"Know what?"

"Heero's with Relena Peacecraft."

"Are they married?"

"Not yet, I don't think Heero would sink that low."

Trowa and Hilde snickered at Quatre and he smiled to himself, whipping at his eyes.

 

Duo drove home in his truck, eyelids slowly slipping shut every so often. He snapped them open and blared his music, taking a long swig of the coke on the dashboard.

"Damn! When did this road get so bumpy?"

He looked down at the spilled liquid seeping into his pants and cursed, trying feebly to wipe them off. The last thing he remembered was a large tree smashing into the front of his truck.

 

Chapter One

Hilde paced back and forth, feet running a thin trail in the carpet. Quatre sat on the sofa, sipping a hot cup of tea. She looked up apologetically when Trowa yawned.

"I'm sorry. He usually comes home to change and go back for his night shift at the bridge. I don't know what's keeping him."

Quatre smiled at her and shrugged. No big deal to him. He'd waited two years to yell at Duo; he could wait a little longer. The phone rang, snapping the trio out of their daze and Hilde walked over to answer it.

"Hello?"

Hilde's eyes widened and she turned pale, sliding down the wall. "Are you sure?" She sobbed openly into the phone, nodding actionably. Trowa and Quatre neared her as she hung up. She stood and collapsed into Trowa's arms.

"It's Duo.he's at the hospital."

Quatre and Trowa exchanged worried looks.

"What's wrong with him?" asked Quatre, voice barely above a whisper.

"He's in a coma.they said.he might die."

 

"I want to go see him NOW!"

"Miss, you'll have to calm down-"

"Calm down my ass! I'm the only one he has, I've got to get in to go see him!"

The doctor looked at her sternly, shaking his head. "No, no one can go see him. He's in ICU. Only immediate family."

"He's doesn't have any family! I'M THE ONLY ONE HE'S GOT! Didn't you hear me? Please, please just let me.please?" Tears wheeled up in Hilde's eyes and she brushed them irritably away. "I've got to go see him."

Trowa walked forward and placed an arm around her shoulders. He looked at the doctor with his one emerald eye and scowled.

"Let us in. He doesn't have any family; we are the only family he's got. Now, let us in sir."

The doctor examined his charts, looking up Quatre and Hilde, trying to ignore Trowa's searing eye.

"Very well, but you must understand that he is in a coma. He can hear you, but he can't respond. Tell him that you support him, whatever you feel like, but if his condition worsens, contact the nurses station, understood?"

Hilde nodded, and walked forward, Quatre and Trowa following in a line behind her. They were led down a hallway that reeked of medicine and chemicals, the doctor pausing occasionally to check a chart or two. He led them to the end of hallway and turned.

"One at a time."

He left in a flutter of white, leaving the three to decide who went in first.

"You go first Hilde, he trusts you."

She nodded and turned the knob, looking back at Quatre and giving him a watery smile. She mouthed a Thank you and disappeared into the room.

She walked to the right side of the bed, sniffing and whipping away her tears. Her back was pressed against the wall, and she took his hand in hers.

"Hey Duo. What did you get yourself into this time?"

She looked at his solemn face, wishing for all the world he would sit up and chatter insestently at her. She brushed away some stray hair from his pale face, bending down to kiss his cheek.

"You stupid fool. Why didn't you just call him? HUH? *snicker* Well, I finally got you to go to the doctor. Not the way I wanted, but you got here. You get better, you hear? You get better and go find that guy and tell him you still care. If you don't Duo Maxwell *sob* I'll never forgive you. Oh God Duo.you had to go do this. Don't die on me, don't you dare leave me. You're all.all I have." She kissed his cheek again, patting his hand.

"I called your friends Quatre and Trowa. They're here. They want to see you too. I'm gonna go now, you stay strong."

Her only answer was the beep of the heart monitor, and the soft breathing of her dyeing friend.

Tears fell from her eyes and landed on his pillow, making small wet puddles before sinking into the fabric. She watched as they disappeared into the pillowcase, like her friend was. She rushed to the door and outside, whipping away her tears.

"You're turn Quatre."

 

"Hey buddy."

Quatre approached Duo's bed cautiously, as if he walked to fast he might harm his friend. He looked at Duo's pale face, and his eerily slim body.

"God Duo, what did you do to yourself?"

He almost expected Duo to sit up and tell him, but he didn't. And that brought the seriousness of the situation on Quatre's shoulders all the harder. He slumped forward in his chair, crying openly. "Duo, you can't go. The group would be so.so broken up. We couldn't get together without thinking about you. I couldn't stand it if you died. It would kill us, all of us. Hilde and Heero most of all. They care for you so much. You are their world. Don't leave them. I couldn't imagine ever having a reunion and you not being there. Duo. you're so strong. You're one of the strongest people I've ever met. When we were fighting, I looked up to you. I wanted to be strong like you and the others. I wanted to fight so freely and not feel a thing. I need you Duo, we all do. So don't you dare think about going anywhere, got it?"

Duo's face paled and Quatre cried harder. His friend, one of his best friends was dyeing, and he couldn't do a thing about it. He stumbled toward the door, falling into Trowa's arms. Trowa rubbed his back until his sobs subsided.

"Shh, little one, it's ok." Trowa whispered reassuringly into his ear. He clung to Trowa like a lifeline, and buried his face into the fabric of Trowa's jacket.

"Guys?"

The two turned to Hilde.

"Who else do we have to call?"

***Aw, isn't it great? Duo's dyeing!
Heero: Omae o Korosu!
Ember: Hey, you aren't even in this story yet! So chill out bucko!
Ok, allllll done for this chapter. Feedback is a good thing! Comments, Flames, anything, just send em on in! Lots of Love,
Ember

 

Chapter Two

RING RING

Wu Fei Chang rubbed his eyes as he flicked on the lamp next to his bed. He grabbed the phone and mumbled a hello.

"Winner? What are you doing calling at this time of night?.Slow down. What happened to Maxwell?.Ok, yeah..is he alright?.ok, I'll be there as soon as I can." He hung up the phone, flopping back on the bed.

"Who was that?" An arm snaked across his waist, and someone nuzzled his cheek lazily.

"Quatre he says that Maxwell's been in an accident."

"Is alright?"

He looked over at the cornflower blue eyes and sighed. "For the time being."

Sally Po nodded, and sat up in bed, pulling her nightshirt down where it had rid up from sleep.

"Well, do you want to go right now, or in the morning?"

He shrugged, lying down against the pillows. His eyes started to drift shut and he felt Sally lay down next to him. "In the morning."

 

"So who's left?"

Quatre looked at Hilde uneasily. "Heero."

"Oh. Well, I'll call."

"But-"

"I'll call."

 

Heero starred at the stars sleepily, leaning against an old oak tree in the back of the small house he and Relena had rented. His eyes focused on the stars, but his mind was on a certain American with twinkling violet eyes.

"Duo."

He sighed heavily, the old pain rising up in his chest. It hurt him terribly the way they had ended the relationship. He had loved Duo, still did love him, but the hurt just went so deep. As did his pride. He never could understand why Duo fell in love with him in the first place. Everything about Duo was still imprinted on his mind. His touch, his taste, his smell. The way he smiled lopsidedly at everything, and the way his braid would bounce with each step. His happy laughter, his unusual quiet moments when the two would just stare at one another mindlessly. Everything about Duo had drawn him in, and everything had pushed him away. If only he could talk to him, ask him why, then maybe, just maybe the pain would go away. He heard soft foot falls behind him and turned to Relena, nodding at her presence.

"Are you thinking about him again Heero?"

He nodded.

"Why do you think about it when you know it hurts you?"

"Because it's the only way I can really coop with it."

Relena had tracked him down the moment he had returned to earth, asking him to come and live with her. He agreed automatically, thinking that in someway she could help dull his pain. But she hadn't, she had heightened it. They small simple gestures of love reminded him so much of Duo that he often cried himself to sleep. She found him that way one night, curled into a ball, sobbing childishly. She was asked what was wrong and he confessed what had happened. When he had finished, she had taken him into her arms and held him, cradling him like a tiny infant.

"I knew you could never truly love me Heero."

He looked at her skeptical.

"But I thought that maybe if I pushed hard enough, maybe, just maybe, you would love me that much back. I'm glad you got to know love Heero."

The two became close friends since then, just staying that way. Relena would hint every now and again that she still cared for him, eyes pleading for the response she wanted, but she knew it was in vain.

She sighed heavily in the night air and looked up at him. "There's a phone call for you Heero. I think you might want to take it." He nodded at her and the two walked back to the house.

Hilde waited patiently for the other line to pick up. Relena had gone to get Heero at least 3 minuets ago and she was getting bored.

"Hello?"

The soft croak on the other end snapped her out of her trance and she cleared her throat. "Is this Heero Yuy?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Um, it's about Duo."

Heero's heart jumped into his throat. "What's wrong with him?"

"He's in the hospital. He had an accident."

Heero grabbed the phone tighter.

"Oh God, I can't.he needs you Heero."

"Who are you?"

"My name's Hilde. Do you remember me?"

He nodded on the other end and Hilde took the silence as a yes. "Is.is anyone else there?"

"Yes, Quatre and Trowa are here. Wu Fei is coming in the morning."

"Can, can I talk to Quatre?"

"Yeah, hold on." He heard the girl call Quatre's name, and then heard the phone being handed to another person.

"Heero?"

"Quatre? What's wrong, what's wrong with Duo?"

"He's *sniff* in a coma Heero."

Heero almost blacked out, but Relena steadied him. "Is he."

"Heero, Heero are you still there?"

".alright?" Heero croaked out. He wanted to cry, faint, DIE, anything but be where he was. Or be in the situation he was in. Duo couldn't die! He couldn't die without knowing that he still cared.

"He's fine for the time being. We already called Wu Fei-"

"WHAT?!?!? YOU SHOULD HAVE CALLED ME FIRST!"

"I'm sorry Heero, we just-"

"YOU ARE SO STUPID SOMETIMES QUATRE! ME, YOU SHOULD HAVE CALLED ME FIRST! WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH YOU!?!?!"

Quatre sobbed openly into the phone. "I'm really sorry Heero. We just didn't know how to tell you."

"You tell me idiot."

Quatre cried harder, and Heero was about to tell him to shut up when Trowa's voice echoed dangerously over the phone. "There is no need Heero Yuy to yell at Quatre. It's not his fault. It's more your fault than anyone's. Now get over yourself and get down here. It's the hospital in Tokyo."

Trowa slammed the phone down and Heero blinked. He hadn't meant to yell at Quatre, he just felt the sudden rush of rage, of angry passion that he had to release or he was going to explode. Relena steadied him with her arm and helped him out to the car. They grabbed their coats on the way out, and a single tear rolled down Heero's cheek. Not one of sadness, or anger, but of regret.

 

Trowa rubbed his temples slowly, sighing. Quatre's head lay in his lap and Hilde slept stretched out over two chairs. He was the only one still awake. He could tell it was nearing dawn, and he longed for a hot cup of coffee. He muscles ached from sitting in the uncomfortable position for so long and his neck ached. Shifting Quatre into a comfortable position, he stood up and stretched, popping his back.

"Coffee?"

He looked up at a young nurse, holding out a steaming cup. He nodded and smiled at her, taking the cup with his hands gently.

"Thanks."

"Oh, no problem. You've been here all night. I felt a little sorry for you. Who are you here for?"

Trowa nodded toward Duo's door and her faced turned grim.

"Well, I wish you the best of luck."

"Hey, could you tell me what's wrong with him?"

The nurse nodded and picked up Duo's chart hanging out side of the door, studying it intently.

"His left lung was punctured by his ribs, malnutrition, broken leg, concussion, several cuts and bruises, and his right eye was punctured by a small limb from the tree. He might go blind in that eye." The nurse looked up at him, her pale blonde hair framing her face. If Trowa weren't as loyal to Quatre as he was, he wouldn't have second thoughts about asking the girl out. She patted his arm, and smiled. "Have faith in God Trowa Barton."

He nodded, and turned when he heard Quatre groan and start to wake up. He turned back around automatically to ask how she knew his name, but she was gone.

 

Duo lay quietly in his hospital bed as a figure neared his bedside. She had long beautiful blond hair, and she seemed to glow with a soft essence. She bent and whispered into Duo's ear.

"Dear Duo Maxwell, it's not time for you to leave yet." Duo moaned and she framed his face in her hands. "Your friends and your love still need you." She kissed him on the forehead disappeared in a bright light.

 

Heero staggered into the waiting room, Relena following close behind. His legs felt like Jell-O. "How is he?"

Trowa looked up at him and almost smiled.

"Geeze Yuy, you look like shit." He turned and glared at Wu Fei, promising death for the comment.

"He's stable. That's all the doctors are telling us."

Heero nodded at Quatre and slumped into a chair. "I'm sorry I yelled at you Quatre." Everyone in the room blinked.

"Are you feeling ok Heero?"

"No. What kind of question is that?"

They group snickered and Quatre, much to Heero's surprise, threw his arms around him and squeezed him tightly.

"You're forgiven."

Trowa smiled at the heart-warming scene. Well, if you replaced Heero's shock with happiness then it would be heart warming.

Right now, it looked funny. He started to chuckle softly, then harder until it was all out hysterics. Soon Hilde joined in, and the rest followed, except Heero, who was just looking at them like they needed to shut up or death would quickly follow.

"Can we see Duo?"

Trowa dried his eyes and nodded. "We've all already had our turns, you're the only one left."

Heero stood on shaky legs, steadying himself against the wall. "Which room?"

"I'll take you." Hilde and Heero walked down the hallway in silence, until Hilde sighed heavily. "He still loves you, you know."

Heero gave her a skeptical look and shook his head. "He can't love me. He-"

"Shut up and listen to yourself! Duo wasn't very loyal, yes, but he WAS in love with you. You would have had to be blind to hot see that. He loved you so much, he still does, all he knows is that you left him and it was his fault. He thinks you don't care. You tell him when you go in there that you still love him, and you say it like you mean it. He needs you support. Now go!"

Hilde's glare was fearful, but not enough to make Heero consider running for his life. He could tell that she loved him too. He reached and grabbed the doorknob, turning it and shuddering. Duo lay still on his bed, face paling. His eyes moved quickly under his eyelids, like he was awake but couldn't open his eyes. His right eye was covered with several amounts of gauze, and his leg was in a cast, as was his chest. His head was wrapped in gauze as well. His hair fanned out behind him like a chestnut blanket, and Heero fingered it longingly.

"Duo, my Duo." was all he could get out before breaking down and crying.

"I'm sorry things went the way they did Duo. I still; I still love you Duo. So please, please don't leave me. I know that.that we parted. badly. But you're, and always will be, my world. When I went to earth to stay with Relena, that was the biggest mistake of my life. I just couldn't stand the fact that you didn't love me back. This is really. really hard for me to say Duo. So you've got to understand. Understand that I still care, and that I always will."

Heero leaned over and kissed him longingly tears falling on Duo's still face. He felt Duo responds softly, and pulled back. He still lay still, but with a content smile on his face. As he turned to leave a long beep made Heero turn and race back to Duo's side.

The monitor had flat lined, and Heero started to breathe heavily. He punched the call button for the nurse, seconds before the doctor rushed in.

"You've gotta leave."

The doctor pushed Heero out of the room and slammed the door closed. Hilde rushed up to him, asking what was wrong.

"He.flat lined."

Hilde's eyes rolled back in her head and she collapsed on the floor. Heero stepped around her and started to punch the wall repeatedly. "Fuck.fuck.NOOOOOO!"

Heero knocked over everything in his path, pushing everyone out of his way. He heard a nurse call for a guard, and ran back to the waiting room. The others looked up at him.

"What's wrong Heero?"

".flat.line."

Quatre's eyes filled with tears and he clutched Trowa's arm. Every single face teared up, and Heero exploded. "DON'T ANY OF YOU DARE CRY! HE DIDN'T LOVE YOU! HE DIDN'T.love ME!"

Heero picked up a lamp and hurled it at the wall. It shattered and fell into the chair underneath it. Trowa tried to restrain him, but he punched him and sent him flying. He threw everything he could get his hands on.

"YUY! STOP!"

Heero turned to Wu Fei and glared. "What do you want? Huh Wu Fei? All you care about is your precious justice. Duo was the only one that EVER even cared about me, and he didn't care that much."

"How can you say that? Duo loved you!"

He looked at Sally and regressed the urge to punch her. "If he loved me.he wouldn't have.wouldn't have.left."

He picked up another lamp and threw at Wu Fei and Sally, before collapsing on the ground. Quatre stood behind him, a broken lamp in his hands.

"He was making a mess."

Wu Fei and Trowa picked up Heero and threw him into a chair, starting to clean up the mess the enraged boy had made.

Relena sat next to him and sighed. At least that boy was outta the way. The doctor walked into the waiting room, eyeing the mess. "Your friend is stabilized. There is nothing more I can do for him."

The group sighed with heavy relief. "Thank you."

A nurse wheeled Hilde in with a wheel chair, and helped her sit into a free chair. Her long blonde hair hung down her back and she smiled at the group. "What happened in here?"

Trowa thumbed towards Heero and she nodded. "Yes, Heero Yuy always did have a bad temper."

Trowa recognized her as the nurse from last night and asked for her name.

"Helen." She bowed and left, walking briskly down the hall.

"Trowa, who was that?" Quatre asked, helping Wu Fei pick up an over turned table.

"This nurse I met last night before you and Hilde woke up. She bought me a cup of coffee."

Hilde let out a soft sob and curled into a tight ball in her chair.

Sally sat down beside her and rubbed her back.

"It's ok, he'll be fine."

Hilde nodded, but continued to sob. Everyone teared up again. Trowa disappeared from the room, not wanting to watch as the group mourned openly and freely. He could never really feel things like that; he had become so good at blocking them out. He walked down the hall toward Duo's room, and saw Helen walk into it. He quickened his step, wanting to see Duo and wondering if was still all right. He opened Duo's door softly, incase Helen was giving Duo medicine or changing his IV. A flowery sent flooded his senses, and he felt calm and peaceful, until he looked up at Helen. A bright light surrounded her slim body, and long elegant wings sprouted out of her shoulders. She smiled warmly at Trowa and bent down and kissed Duo on the mouth. "He will be fine dear Trowa."

She became transparent and faded away, whispering something that only Duo could hear.

Trowa stood in awe for a moment before blinking himself out of his daze. He was just upset, that's all. He didn't really see what he thought he saw. He walked to Duo's bedside and sighed. He remembered the first time he met Duo. At first he had wanted to bop him upside the head, but as he got to know him better he started to really like Duo. He was the one that ALWAYS put others first. He and Quatre had always been like that. He loved Quatre for that purity that Duo seemed to lack, but if Duo had what Quatre had, Trowa would defiantly have different feelings toward him.

 

"*groan*"

"I think he's coming around!"

"Are you ok Heero?"

"Quatre?"

"Hm?"

"Thank you, but next time don't hit so hard." Quatre giggled and nodded, patting Heero on the back. For a brief instant he wondered where Trowa went, then pushed it out of his mind.

"Here."

Sally handed him a cup of coffee and he eagerly downed the entire cup.

"Thanks."

She smiled at him and nodded, before walking off and sitting down next to Wu Fei. "They said he was stabilized Heero. You can go see him if you want."

He shook his head. "I can't go see him."

"And just why not?"

"Because, I have no reason to go see him. He doesn't love me."

"How can you say that?"

"Because he almost left! He wouldn't have left if cared!" Heero shrunk back in his chair to brood, when his left cheek started to burn. He looked up and saw Hilde standing above him.

"GET OFF IT!" Tears fell from her eyes, and dragged her arm across her eyes, drying them off all their wetness. "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD HEERO YUY, CAN'T YOU SEE PASSED YOUR OWN NOSE?"

"What?"

"You heard me bastered! Duo cared, he cared a lot. He still does. I'm so sick of this fucking self-pity act. You should know better if you really knew Duo at all. Maybe you don't deserve him; maybe you don't need him in your like if you're so sure he doesn't need you in his. He got sick and stopped eating because of you! YOU! All he ever did, all his actions for the past two years where because of you. He got two jobs so he could support me. He didn't want me to work."

"Why not?"

Hilde looked at the floor.

"That's not the point. This isn't about you. This is about Duo. Don't you see-"

"Why not? Did you fuck him to make him feel better when he came to you? Is that is? Did you get pregnant?"

Hilde's eyes darkened and she punched Heero with all her wait leaning behind it. "I've got cancer you shit. I'm dyeing. Duo wanted me stay home and rest. Is that alright with you?"

Heero blinked, he wasn't expecting that. His jaw ached where she had punched him, and he knew that she meant every word she was saying. He looked up at her and grabbed her arms, pulling her to his chest. The gesture surprised her as well as the others in the room.

"It's ok," he whispered, eyes tearing up; "I love him too."

 

Trowa pulled a chair over toward Duo's bed and flopped down in it. He eyed Duo's slender form and shook his head. What was Duo thinking? He was so ghostly thin; Trowa could easily see his ribs. His whole body was in terrible condition, and Trowa wished with all his might that he'd be ok. Not for him, but Quatre and Heero. Those two need him more than he realized. He was the one that kept the spirits up when things got bad; he was the living joke of the group. He was more than just a friend to Quatre, he was a brother, and something Quatre had never had. He was more to Heero too. He was Heero's heart, his mind and body. His life. Trowa reached out with his hand and touched Duo's pale skin. It was so cold, almost like ice. He thought for an instent that he already died, but thought better of it. His heart still thumped steadily in his chest and his IV still stayed hooked to his left arm. Trowa smiled to himself. Duo was a fighter, and if he had anything to do with it, he'd be alive and kicking it in no time. He decided to sit there and wait it out.

****Yay! Second Chapter Done! *falls off chair* Don't worry, it won't be too much longer. *giggle* And I won't kill Duo, I can't! I mean, then who is Hee-chan gonna love? Besides, the gun Heero's been pressing into my back it not very comfortable. Cut it out!
Lots of Love,
Ember!

 

Chapter Three

He was floating in a mindless void. He felt weightless, but heavy at the same time. He couldn't control his body movements, and his head ached from an unseen force. His right eye felt like it was going to explode, and his legs felt crushed. Oh.I think I should have listened to Hilde when she told me to go to the doctor.

He brought his hand up to brush something wet off his forehead and pulled it back sticky. Blood poured from his eye, and he felt like screaming in anguish. It hurt, his whole body did. What was going on? What had happened? He remembered driving and drinking his coke, then- Holy Shit! Am I dead?

A bright light appeared and figure walked toward him.

"Duo Maxwell."

"Who ARE you?"

This was really starting to freak him out. First, the blood thing, he was used to it but he couldn't deal with it sometimes. Then this lady and her.wait.wasn't that?

"How are you dear boy?"

"Sister Helen? Holy Shit!" She gave him a disapproving glare he shrugged. "Sorry sister. How did you.where am I?"

"Between life and death Duo. Limbo."

"Then am I?"

She shook her head. "No silly boy, not yet. It is up to you rather to live or die. I've been sent to help you on your decision. Come, take my hand."

"But-"

She reached down and took his hand and the two appeared on one side of a stream. His body felt weak and she released his hand and let him fall to the ground.

"Duo."

A voice whispered in his ear and he scrunched his forehead in confusion. That sounded like Solo, but Solo was dead.

"Hey man, you don't look so hot."

"Solo?"

A boy stood in front of him and nodded. His black hair was cut neatly, and looked healthy, happy. Not sick and dyeing like the last time Duo had seen him. Duo stood and threw his arms around the figure of the boy, crying. "Solo! I missed you!"

The boy rubbed his face into Duo's hair and fought back tears of his own. "Well little sprite, that sounds like you. Always the softy."

"Hey I've got a name now!"

"Hai, I know. So original too! I loved it when you picked it out. Congrats man."

Duo pulled back and smiled at him. "I'm so glad you're here! There is so much I want you to know so much I want to talk to you about! Like see I have this slight problem-"

Solo pressed a finger to his lips. "Iie Duo, I have no time. I've only come here to show you what awaits you in heaven."

"That's where I'm going? Cool! I thought for sure I would-"

"No dear Duo," Sister Helen spoke walking up behind him, " you have a good heart, pure and kind. God looks at your heart Duo dear, not your deeds."

"Really? I have a good heart? I mean, after all that I've done and killed, God can just forgive that?"

The two heavenly bodies nodded. "You did it for others, not yourself. It was an unselfish act. You ARE pure Duo, and kind. That's all that matters." Solo hugged Duo closer, and kissed his forehead.

"I must go."

"But you just got here! Can't he stay Sister Helen?"

She shook her head.

"But you can't go! I don't want you to! You have to stay!" Tears ran down Duo's pale cheeks and he gripped Solo like a lifeline. "Iie, I won't let you."

"Duo.let go."

"IIE!" Duo grip tightened and he cried openly into Solo's chest. He didn't want this to happen. He didn't want his best friend to leave him, again. Sister Helen pulled Duo off of Solo, and Duo screamed. "NO! LET ME GO! HE CAN'T LEAVE ME AGAIN!"

Sister Helen pressed Duo's face into her neck and nodded to a crying Solo to go. The figure left reluctantly, leaving a whisper hanging in the air. "I'll always be here."

Duo sat at the edge of stream, ignoring Sister Helen.

"You're mad at me Duo, why?"

He didn't answer her, just threw a rock into the stream. He pulled off his shoes and stuck his feet in the icy water, sighing somewhat in relief.

"I'm sorry Duo, but your friend had to go."

"No," Duo hissed, "he didn't, you made him."

"God can only work wonders for a certain amount of time, not as long as you like. He doesn't work that way."

"Whatever."

"Come here Duo."

"Iie-"

"NOW."

Duo sighed and stood up, walking over toward Sister Helen. She smiled gently at him and placed an arm around his waist.

"Your friends miss you Duo. Especially one who calls himself Heero."

"He doesn't miss me, he hates me."

"When one door of opportunity closes, another one opens. But sometimes we stare so hard at the closed door we do not see the open one before us."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"You have another chance to make things right Duo."

He slumped against her and inhaled her sent. "I'm sorry Sister, I'm just.scared. How do I make such a life altering decision? What if I make the wrong choice?" He hugged her tightly and she returned the embrace.

"If you follow your heart, you can't go wrong. Trust yourself Duo, trust your heart."

He nodded and pulled away from her. He looked at her shyly and mumbled a question under his breath.

"Of course silly boy!"

She waved an arm a portal appeared. He walked toward it and almost cried. His Heero was standing there, next to him. ".I still care."

Heero's voice whispered in his ear and tears dampened his cheeks. He smiled at her and hugged her. "Thank you Sister Helen."

She nodded. "Someone else wants to meet you Duo." His eyes perked up.

"Who?"

A mist covered the damp land that the two where standing on and a bright light shown across the river. A dark blur began to walk toward them. Duo looked at her curiously.

"Who.?"

She pressed a finger to her lips and pointed.

"FATHER MAXWELL!" Duo laughed happily and ran toward the figure, latching his arms around the older man's waist. Strong arms surrounded him and hugged him back and a hand ruffled his hair.

"Duo my boy, how are you?" Duo smiled through his tears and laughed harder. He was his only father figure in his life and was taken away from his before his time. Noway was he going before Duo would let him. He threw an arm around his shoulders, and gripped him tightly. "I remember when you couldn't reach my shoulders Duo, now you're taller than me."

Duo smiled. "Well, you where always kinda short."

Father Maxwell laughed. "Still the smart one, eh Duo boy?"

Duo nodded and hugged him tightly. "Geeze, I missed you."

Sister Helen and Father Maxwell looked at each other and smiled. "Dear Duo, we have another surprise for you."

"Who? I don't know anyone else that died. Unless, Heero didn't.he didn't kill himself right?"

Father Maxwell laughed and slapped Duo on the back. "No.it is some one you have longed for."

"Well then it has to be Heero!"

"Iie. Someone you want more than him. Something you've been looking for your whole life. Trying to remember, something you've been waiting for."

"My.?"

"Duo."

He turned, the figure blinked at him. They had his heart shaped face, his bright violet eyes, and his upturned nose.

"Mama?"

"Hello Sweet Heart."

"Mama?"

"How have you been my sweet boy? Has life been treating you well?"

"Mama."

Duo's knees gave out and he fell into the women's arms. She cradled his head gently, as if it where a new born. She made cooing noises and kissed his head repeatedly.

"My boy."

"Mama."

He gripped her tightly, crying harshly. He hadn't seen her since before he was 2, before his father left him on the streets, before he met Solo and his gang, before Deathscythe and-

"I've missed you."

"This can't be real! You're here, just like I've always wanted."