4-13-2002

I don't member which lists I sent this to.. so if I send it and you guys are just like 'what?!?!' um.... sorry.... check ff.net under izora jade and you can catch up if you want.... Once more a BIG thanks to my beta Black Widow! *hugs*

Title: Beyond the Bounds of Earth 2/?
Author: Izora Jade
Pairings: 1+2+1, 3x4x3 in later parts
Warnings: Mention of cutting, depressing junk, abuse later yada ya, wonky parents... Normal teen life. If you didn't/don't like normal teen life or the hells of shool, don't read. ^_~
Archive: Just ask! It's on ff.net and will be on my site..sometime.. @_@;
Feed: Is always nice. ^______^

>> Begin Part Two (revised)

Wednesday. Two days of the week gone, two more to go.

But aren’t Wednesdays always hell?

“I want nothing to do with that freak,” Heero growled to Wufei at lunch.

“What did he do?” Wufei asked curiously.

“He accused me of doing this to myself!” Heero cried angrily, shoving his scarred wrists into Wufei’s face.

He knew damn well he did it to himself, but he wanted to make sure that no one else would know.

He also wanted as much sympathy as he could milk out of people. This, though, was subconscious. He was beating himself up about what Duo had said. He needed everyone’s approval and when Duo said that he messed up.... It truly frightened him.

“Well--”

“Heero, I was late today.” It was spoken in that soft voice which was quickly becoming a thing of his nightmares.

Heero turned his head to meet Duo’s hurt eyes.

“Am I supposed to care?” Heero spat.

Duo flinched back and Heero realized how good it made him feel to see Duo hurting for a change.

“I told you that you did not have to pick me up. I could have walked. Why did you tell me you would pick me up if you had no intention of doing so?”

“I don’t want to have anything to do with you,” Heero spoke without any plans of answering Duo’s question.

Duo’s brows furrowed a little. “Was thinking that bad, Heero?”

With that, he turned on his heels to where Trowa was sitting.

Wufei burst into outrageous laughter.

“You’re great, Heero! You told him you would drive him to school?”

“Yeah....” Heero murmured, suddenly upset by his actions. “I did....”

>>

Math was not particularly fun.

Being as it was nearing the end of the semester, Mr. Henderson decided that they needed a huge review before the EOC and finals.

Thus he decided to give them a fifty-page packet on problems and give them partners to work on it together over the next week and have it due next Wednesday.

Being the lazy person that he was, he decided just to pair everyone with the person sitting next to them in every two rows of seats.

When Heero heard this, he about fainted at the realization that for the next week he would be working out math problems with Duo Maxwell.

Duo smirked at him. “Is it not amazing how fate has a way of making two people have something to do with each other?”

Heero growled and stared at the white board.

“I don’t believe in fate.”

>>

“I guess you’re expecting me to drive you home?” Heero asked as they stood after class.

“No,” Duo replied, “I figured that since you would have nothing to do with me, I would ask some one else. Quatre will be giving me a ride home today.”

Heero growled, feeling somehow wronged that this was taken away from him and not really understanding why.

“What day do you want to meet to work on this shit?”

“How about a hundred problems Saturday, then a hundred Sunday?”

“Sounds fine,” Heero agreed stonily.

“Do you want to meet at your house first?”

“Whatever.”

“What is your address?”

Heero pulled a piece of paper out of his book bag, grabbed a pencil, and drew him a little map to show him how to get there by foot.

“Thank you. What time?”

“Twelve thirty.”

With that, Heero stormed out of the classroom and down the halls to his car.

>>

Thursday Heero vented on Wufei and avoided Duo as much as possible.

Friday wasn’t much better when he saw Duo in the parking lot with his dream car. A hot yellow Mustang convertible. Well, he didn’t like the yellow, but if it were black, then it would have been his dream car.

He’d always wanted a Mustang. That’s what he saved up for. But when he went out to by one, his parents basically said ‘no’ to such a fun looking car and made him buy a simpler, ‘more practical’ Honda.

Now that Duo had something he wanted, Heero was not only angry and hurt, but jealous.

And Duo also had friends.

Sure, Heero didn’t want to hang out with the pansy Quatre or the nobody Trowa, but Duo was laughing and he seemed as though he enjoyed being with these people and though Heero had many popular friends, he enjoyed being around very few of them.

He wasn’t looking forward to Saturday.

>>

Heero answered the door to see Duo standing there nervously.

“H-hello, Heero....”

“Come in,” Heero sighed and he followed him up the stairs and into his room.

“Sit down anywhere you like. We should try to do these alone and only ask for help when needed so we can pass the test.”

Duo nodded. “Sounds good to me.”

And thus, after pulling out paper and pencils, they began into total silence.

Heero did question a lot of his problems, but Duo didn’t seem to have any trouble and he most certainly did not want to be the first to show any sign of weakness.

One hour later and hitting problem fifty, Duo looked over at Heero, who was pensively studying the papers in his lap.

“Does this seem particularly dull to you?” he asked carefully.

Heero lifted his head to look at Duo.

“What number are you on?”

“Does it matter? Do you feel this is a competition?”

Heero paused. He did, didn’t he? He did think this was competition. Why did he feel this way? Duo obviously didn’t. Why didn’t he feel the same? Why was everything a competition and pain with Duo, who seemed so kind and carefree?

“No, I was just curious. I’m on forty one.” Heero stood then and pulled out a CD from his extensive collection, setting it near the boom box. “Do you want a Coke or something? I’m going to get one. This is boring.”

Duo finally smiled, looking more at ease now that Heero wasn’t dictating his actions as he was before.

“Sure. Thank you.”

With that, Heero disappeared down the stairs.

As he did so, he began to realize how unfairly he had been treating Duo. It was disgusting. Duo didn’t spread rumors about him or try to hurt him in anyway. All he did was speak his mind and tell the truth and try to help.

If anything, Heero realized he should be more like Duo, rather than trying to oppose him and hurt him.

Feeling bad about himself for letting his jealousy control him, he returned with two cans of Coke and a bag of chips.

He threw Duo both a can and the bag of chips, which Duo didn’t seem to be expecting and caught it hastily with a little giggle.

Heero set his own Coke down and put in ‘Magazine’ by Jump Little Children.

“I had no idea that you played violin,” Duo spoke up hesitantly. Heero consciously noticed his nervousness this time and realized that he was afraid of him. Why should anyone be afraid of him? Was everyone afraid of him and he just wasn’t able to see it?

“No one expects it when I tell them,” he spoke quietly, still berating himself for making people feel this way as he settled down on the bed once more.

“I play cello....”

“Really?” Heero asked, genuinely interested. Classical music had always been one of his passions, however according to his father he was a man and he should like things that represented masculine themes like football. That was the only real reason Heero joined. His father was the star of the football team when he was younger and Heero knew that he wanted him to follow in his footsteps, so he became the quarterback on his school team, against all of his wishes and dreams and tried to push violin as much to the side as he could, although it was so hard when he wanted to spend so much of his time working on it. He tried not to tell people because he knew that it was a shameful part of himself.

At least now he knew someone who could share in the shame, even if he was probably a queer. He didn’t look down on him for this and that was what mattered right then.

Duo nodded. “I find the human hand such a fascinating thing. Art and music are amazing to me. Most people rely solely on the spoken word to get their feelings and emotions across, but sometimes there are some emotions that are impossible to express with only the spoken word. Music and art is another medium for that. I just...I feel I can express so much more of myself by using my hands to create another dimension to do so.”

Duo was blushing profoundly after his speech and Heero just blinked at him.

“I’d never thought of it that way before, but I’m forced to agree.”

Duo’s head snapped over to look at Heero, his eyes finding the Prussian blue depths of the other’s.

Now it was Heero’s turn to gain a little color in his cheeks.

“I’m afraid that I can’t even use the English language as well as you do to express what I mean.”

Duo shook his head, long braid wafting back and forth at his ass. “No, that just shows that you are not such a lame person as me. I have spent way too much of my time studying the English language.”

‘That must be why he doesn’t use contractions....’ Heero thought to himself. It was just one of those jarringly obvious things in his speech.

“You must be into Shakespeare and all of them, huh?”

A lazy smile drawled across Duo’s face as he settled once more into the chair he was working problems in. “Yeah, you could say that.”

“I actually like a lot of Shakespeare’s work. Romeo and Juliet could be better, along with some of the others, but you kind of have to cut him a break. I mean, damn, some of his plays were nothing short of inhuman, not to mention he was working a lot of plays at one time in that part of his life.”

Duo nodded his head vigorously. “Definitely, definitely. ‘Hamlet’ is just amazing, along with all the King Henrys and ‘The Tempest’ and ‘The Twelfth Night’.... I could go on and on. Believe it or not, I absolutely adored ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.”

“Really?” Heero asked, surprised. “I did too....”

“I do not really care if some people brush it off as nothing spectacular, I appreciated the humor.”

Heero snorted a laugh. “You’ve read ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, right?”

“Of course!” Duo giggled. “I love it! Shakespeare was just amazing.... His metaphors and comebacks are hilarious. I think, besides ‘The Tempest’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is definitely up there with my favorites.”

“Have you seen the movie they made?”

“No, I didn’t.”

“It’s a shame.... You should rent it. It’s really fantastic. I was impressed.”

“I just might have to do that....”

A silence descended between the two boys and he realized that they had carried on a very nice, comfortable conversation with each other and there were no insults or pain as a result.

Heero wondered why he was ever upset with Duo in the first place. He never intentionally wanted to hurt him; he was just a little more psychological than your everyday average idiot. He never meant any offense, Heero was sure of it; he just wanted to point out the psychology behind his emotions so as to better understand himself. It was something Heero wasn’t used to, so he was offended and hurt. However now that he realized these things.... He would like a friend who was smarter than your everyday average idiot.

“Um, Duo....”

“Yeah?”

“What problem are you on?”

“Fifty, why?” Duo replied hesitantly.

“I was.... Maybe you could help me...?”

Heero saw a light in Duo’s eyes, almost as if he was smiling at him from the inside.

“You are an okay guy, Heero, you are okay....”

>>

“Who was that guy who came over, Heero?” his mother asked that night at dinner.

“Huh? Duo Maxwell?” Heero asked.

“I guess.”

“We were working on math. Mr. Henderson assigned us as partners. I have to go over to his house tomorrow to finish it up.”

Both parents were silent a moment while they shared a look and then both turned to him and when his father opened his mouth, he knew he was in deep shit.

“We don’t approve of that boy. He has hair to his butt. He has to be a fag.”

Heero didn’t know why, but he flinched at the word.

“We just don’t want you to have any negative influences,” his mother spoke gently, in a caring voice.

Heero snorted. “If you think Duo is a negative influence than you obviously don’t know teenagers.”

Both of his parent’s eyebrows rose about a half a foot at his talking back.

“I don’t know his sexuality, nor do I really care. The guy is like a genius in math and literature, not to mention more psychologically advanced than anyone I know. If you even gave him half a chance he’s exactly the kind of guy you would approve of.”

There was a long pause between the three of them.

“No, Heero, we don’t approve of him,” his father repeated.

“Well you can’t tell me who I hang out with! I’ll see him everyday at school anyway! If I want to hang out with him, I will,” Heero growled, setting down his fork and standing before leaving the table angrily.

What right did they have to tell him whom he could and could not talk to? It made him even angrier that they would do this. All it really did was fuel his desire to get to know Duo even better.

When really, it didn’t need to be fueled much more at all.

>>

Heero found himself ringing Duo’s doorbell noon of that Sunday. It was immediately answered by Duo’s shy yet cheery face.

“Hello Heero. Come in?”

Heero replied with a similar hello and entered, following Duo down the stairs and into his room, which happened to be quite plain and bare.

“I am sorry my room is not so interesting as yours, Heero.”

“Well, you just moved. You have to recollect your stuff, right? You shouldn’t be sorry for that.”

Duo smiled. “You are right, I should not be, but it is a slight embarrassment.”

Heero sat down next to the bed, which happened to be a futon. It was close to the ground and had a similarly small glass table next to it with an incense burner and a purple and orange lava lamp sitting on it. His sheets were leopard print and Heero found this particular fact highly amusing and slightly retro.

They got down to working a lot more enjoyably this time. Duo possessed very few CDs, but put Stereotype A’s ‘Cibo Matto’ into his small boom box. They talked and held steady conversations all the way through, laughing together, even.

But as it slowly came to a close, the question drew heavier and heavier on Heero’s mind.

“We don’t approve of that boy. He has hair to his butt. He has to be a fag.”

“We just don’t want you to have any negative influences.”

“Something is bothering you,” Duo spoke as they finished the last problem, confident that they would pass the EOC and finals.

“Yeah....”

“Would you mind speaking of it? If not, I will not lose sleep over it or anything,” Duo replied, smiling.

“Um, well, can I ask you kind of a personal question, Duo?” Heero asked, his whole body tense and nervous.

“Yeah, go ahead. If I do not wish to answer it, I will not answer it.”

Heero took a deep breath and a long pause before exhaling slowly and asking what was on his mind.

“Duo, are...are you a homosexual?”

There was a silence so thick in the room that you would have had to cut it with a steak knife.

“Why do you ask such questions?”

Heero immediately realized that he should have just kept his fucking mouth shut and that now Duo would want to have absolutely nothing to do with him.

So he stared at the wall and tried quickly to get out his reasoning.

“My parents said last night that they didn’t approve of you because they said you were a negative influence because you had hair to your ass and you were probably gay and they said they didn’t want me to talk to you.”

Once more there was silence as Duo contemplated his words and finally spoke.

“It is hard for me to say precisely what I am. I do love women as much as I do men, however I am not attracted to them in the same manner. I do not feel that this is anything that should be disgraced because I feel that my love would be the same as any woman’s love for a man. I feel that all love is powerful no matter who is giving and who is receiving. It is the same, it just happens to be that the body parts are the same also. I would be the same person I was whether I felt attracted to women, or attracted to men. If this will cause some unrest between us, then I am greatly sorry for being the source of this disturbance, but I cannot change who I am. If I am a bad influence and you can not talk to me anymore, I am sorry for this problem and I will attempt to make myself scarce if it will be of benefit to you.”

For the first time in his life, Heero was actually wondering why in the hell people put labels on other people. Why did people always claim that fags were mean, that they were girly, that they would hit on everyone, that they would touch you, that they were nasty, that they were wrong in some way? Why were these words attached to people just because of the way that they loved?

Duo wasn’t mean, he was slightly feminine, but you could tell that he was muscular and masculine in his own ways, he never attempted to hit on or touch Heero in any way, shape, or form, he wasn’t nasty, and though he was a little off-balance and slightly geeky, in a sense, he wasn’t wrong and he was most certainly the smartest, wisest, most caring person that he knew.

Why didn’t his parents want him to talk to Duo? It seemed completely ridiculous. Duo had done nothing wrong, Duo was just like any of his other friends except he actually had emotions and cared about other people and thought. In Heero’s own mind, those seemed to be more positive things than negative, so why would anyone try to drag Duo down? Were they afraid to think?

And if they were, could he really blame them? Wasn’t he just as bad as them? Wasn’t he still learning?

Lord, he wanted to learn. He wanted to learn so badly. He wanted to be smart like Duo. Slow to anger and quick to think and love. He was so tired of being so angry at everything. He wanted to see the brighter side of the world. He wanted to look through Duo’s eyes for once and see what he must see.

Like hell he was going to stop talking to Duo because he happened to have a preference for men over women!

“No,” Heero whispered softly at first, then turned to look at Duo and repeated the word once more, firmly. “No. I don’t want to stop talking to you because of something stupid like that. You’re my friend now and you’re going to continue to be my friend.”

Duo blinked and looked at him.

“Are you sure? If it will be an incon--”

“I’m really beginning to wonder why people automatically label everything. You’re no different than anyone else even if you happen to like men and the whole idea is kinda strange, but that doesn’t make you less than anyone, does it?”

“I suppose, Heero. There are two parts to thinking. Part one is to question everything that is said and known to be ‘true’, and part two is to think of the reasons as to why this is said and known to be ‘true’. You are progressing well through part one, but you have to begin to concentrate on part two.

“However I will help you in this case. People label things so that they can be a part of something. It is in the human nature to want to be a part of a group, any group. In order to be part of a group, there has to be another group. If you are of one group, then you are able to say why you are better than the other group and thus you have achieved self-pride. People want to feel special, especially in adolescence. They want to be able to be above some one else. All of their young life they have been commanded by their parents, now that they have a little bit of freedom, they want to control something. So they in turn create these social groups and boundaries, this way they have a way of not only being able to control, but also being able to belong. People wish to belong because people do not wish to be alone. Social groups are also a way of belonging.

“Of course, there are always exceptions to these ‘rules’. But one thing you must remember is that there is always an exception to everything.”

Heero thought about what he said and nodded.

“You’re right.... How do you know so much, Duo? You’re only what, seventeen? Eighteen? How can you possibly know so much?”

Duo sighed. “There are ways that people would not even believe of becoming knowledgeable about things. As I said when I first met you, people tell me I think too much.”

Heero laughed. “Maybe, but I don’t care. You’re the fucking smartest guy I know.”

Duo blushed slightly. “Maybe, Heero, but do not berate yourself too much. Maybe you do not have it all figured out yet, but who does? I do not believe for an instant that I have it all figured out. Heero, you are smart yourself, really, you are smart, because you want to try to think. I have faith in you.”

 

>> End Part Two