Disclaimers: I don't own Gundam Wing. Nor do I own the song "I
will buy you a new life". The Gundams belong to Bandai and the song
belongs to Everclear. So don't sue cause I own Jack-all.
Warnings: None really. Just a lot of introspection and angst. Some alcohol abuse and self-mutilation. Implied lemon. Heero and Duo torture, that's it.
Pairings: 1+2, 3+4. Original characters.
A sequel to "Wonderful". <> Heero's thoughts. = Duos' thoughts. () Quatre's thoughts. ## flashbacks, //Song lyrics.
I will buy you a new life By Jim Morrison
Heero entered the house and closed the door behind him. But he stayed in the foyer and leaned against the door as if he was extremely tired. Physically, he wasn't. Mentally, it was a different story. He closed his eyes and absent-mindedly stroked the wood as he mentally relived his day.
<Why in the living daylights do you keep doing this to yourself?>
He asked himself for the millionth time. Every month, it was the same thing.
He always knew the outcome of the visits, but he still kept on making them.
He missed them horribly. He had been too proud to see it when they had just
left him. But after a year, it was painfully obvious that he was lonely.
## "Duo? He had asked as his son opened the door. He could have sworn it was his ex, until he saw the mis-matched eyes widen in surprise.
"No, it's Liam, father." Liam answered him in a quiet voice. "He's upstairs with Uncle Cat. Come in and I'll get him." The young man said as he stepped back to let his father inside.
"Thanks, Liam." Heero replied as he stepped into the entrance and looked around. He hadn't been inside the Barton-Winner home in awhile, so he took the opportunity to admire the paintings and other artwork that his sons had created and that Quatre and Trowa had hung up.
"Heero?" He turned away from the painting of an unicorn and smiled briefly when he saw him.
"Hello, Duo." He replied, his voice formal and polite as he spoke to his ex-husband.
Duo nodded and Heero saw, as the other man came closer, that several thick white streaks were present in the heavy masses of hair. "How are you?" He asked as he hungrily eyed the pale man.
<Do you miss me? Do you think of me at all? Do you hate me as much as I hate myself?>
Duo smiled briefly. He hadn't really given a true smile since the kids were small.
=Still feeling like shit, Yuy. You?= Duo thought as he did his own looking over.
Heero too, had streaks of white in his brown hair, and dark circles seemed to have taken permanent residence underneath his eyes. He was also too thin.
"All right. The boys and Cat's little ones also keep me busy. How about you?"
=Do you miss me? Do you still want me? Can we ever think of getting together again?=
Heero shrugged, but his eyes betrayed an emotion that Duo couldn't really place.
"The usual suspects." He replied as he ran a hand through his hair. <I miss you and my sons>
Duo nodded wisely as he tried to hide the emotions that Heero's simple gesture created in him.
=Those scars weren't there before.= He told himself as he saw the fine lines that decorated the base of the hand and wrist. =What the hell has he been doing with himself?=
They stood in silence for several minutes before Heero spoke again. "I just came by to drop off the cheque." He said as he reached into his coat and pulled out the crumpled cheque and handed it to a silent Duo, who nodded and put it in his pocket.
"There's a little extra for Jude's Birthday." Heero added unnecessarily. Duo smiled wistfully.
"Why don't you come over for his birthday party?" Duo asked quietly. Heero shook his head.
"I would, but I've caused too many problems to be welcomed back with open arms." Heero pointed out matter-of-factly. "Besides. I don't want to trespass. I know Liam still is holding a grudge against me. I think it's only fair for him not to be tormented by my presence."
"True." He agreed softly. "Will you at least take him out somewhere afterwards?"
=I know you will, but I just want to hear you say that you will= Heero smiled.
"Of course. Just give me a ring and I'll do the rest." He looked at his watch.
"It's time for me to leave. Trowa will be home soon." <You don't know how much I want to stay, to tell you I'm sorry and that I love you all the same. That I didn't want to hurt you...>
"All right. See you later then?" Duo asked =Please say you will= Heero nodded.
"I'll be here next month. I promise." He replied as he turned
and left the house.##
//here is the money that I owe you
so you can pay the bills
I will give you more
when I get paid again//
But he still came back every month. He could have his solicitor do the dirty work for him, spare himself the pain of seeing and being reminded that he lost his soul mate. He did it to remind himself that he was the only one to blame. That he could have prevented it from happening.
"I was a fool. A selfish fool. I guess I'll just have to pay for both my mistakes and sins." He whispered to the oak door supporting him. He stayed that way for a couple more minutes before he went to the kitchen.
He opened the fridge and pulled out a bottle of Absolut Mandarin. Cracking it open, he then walked to his bedroom and sat down on the bed. He frowned when he looked around the room. It felt so empty. Even though he had been alone for a year, he still couldn't get used to the emptiness that his family's leaving had created in him.
"You aren't the emotionless prick of yesterday, that's for sure." He muttered as he took a long draught of the orangey flavoured vodka. He flinched a bit, and shook his head as the booze hit him good and hard. The harshness dissipated into a fuzzy bliss that little by little forced him to lay down and watch the patterns of light playing on the ceiling. He took another swig and another until the bottle was empty. It only took him a couple of hours to get thoroughly wasted. "And now..." He whispered as he clumsily ripped off his shirt and hurled it across the room.
He had to lie down to make the room stop spinning a little bit. Or else he'd pass out.
He waited a minute before he sat up and squinted at the top of his night-table. Fumbling around for a bit, he smiled when his fingers closed around the cool, ornate handle of the blade.
Pulling it towards himself, he examined it closely before putting the sharp, metal edge against his hand. He closed his eyes and slashed his hand all the way up to his elbow, the stinging in his skin guiding the blade to its goal. He did it again and again until the stings became a full-blown angry pain that he couldn't ignore any longer.
Although he had extracted a promise out of Duo to not mutilate himself; When Duo had left, he found himself indulging in this self-destructive exercise. It kept his mind from dwelling on his loneliness. The drinking and the pain kept him dulled to emotions like he had been when he had been a teenager. So this had been his nightly ritual. No one at the Preventers knew and he wanted to keep it that way. He knew he was slowly killing himself, but he didn't care. It would be less conspicuous than if he decided to drive off the edge of a cliff.
He opened his eyes and smiled in satisfaction when he saw the lines running like webbing all-around his arm and how the blood dripped down onto his pants. <That's a pretty good set.>
He switched the blade to his left hand and began to follow the procedure once again until he finally passed out in a drunken stupor. Another evening taken care of.
Solo found Liam lying on the stone bench in Uncle Cat's rose garden. He frowned when he saw the blank, look on his twin's face. He shook his head and headed over to the bench.
"What's wrong?" He asked Liam as he sat down at the edge of the bench. Liam sat up.
"Father was here, today." He said in a quiet voice. Solo frowned. This certainly wasn't what he expected. Usually when their father showed up, Liam would rant for about an hour and take off with friends from school or some of their Winner cousins to work off his anger.
But he wisely kept his mouth shut and waited for his brother to continue. Liam scratched his head and tugged at the heavy plait that fell half-way to his back.
"He looked like shit." Liam said in a surprised and reflective voice. He looked at his brother.
"I don't mean it in the figurative sense of the word. I mean it literally. He looks like a concentration camp victim. His hair is all gray and he looks like he hasn't slept in months."
He shook his head as he continued. "His hands were the worst." He said, his voice dropping lower as he spoke the next words. "They're all mangled. Like he's been trying to slash his wrists and failing miserably." Solo's eyes widened at this revelation.
"Does Da know?" He asked as he began to search the recent memories of outings he and Jude had with his father to see if he had noticed anything out of the ordinary.
Liam shook his head. "I don't know. He may have noticed, since they talk for a bit before Uncle Trowa gets home. But I can't say yes or no for sure." Solo nodded making his ponytail bounce in time with his nodding.
"Should we tell Jude?" Liam shook his head. " No. He doesn't need to know."
Solo turned and looked at his brother. " So what do you propose we do?"
Liam sighed heavily. "Right now? I guess we wait and see what happens. As much as I hate to say it, that's the best course of action right now. If we start flinging accusations, we may splinter our family more than it already has been." He sighed and turned his odd eyes onto his brother.
"Besides, it'll hurt Da even more." He said softly . "And that's the last thing I want to do."
Quatre found Duo sitting on his bed with Heero's cheque clutched in his hand as he stared out the window into the garden. Quatre sighed to himself as he went inside and sat down beside the long- haired man on the large bed. Duo looked at Quatre and smiled faintly. "Hey Cat." He greeted the blond man, who smiled in return. He held up the cheque.
"Heero came by today." He said. Quatre frowned. (He doesn't look good.)
"Did he upset you?" The Arab asked him, his tone worried. Duo shook his head and tried to smile. Instead, he began to cry in silent sobs, making Quatre pull him into an embrace.
For several minutes, Duo sobbed out his grief into Quatre's shoulder while the blonde man only held him and comforted him. (If you've done something to hurt him again, Yuy. I will kill you)
Finally, Duo calmed down enough to tell Quatre why he was crying. "It's Heero, Quatre." He told the blonde man, making his aquamarine eyes spark dangerously.
"Has he done anything to hurt you? Said anything?" Quatre asked him, his voice low.
Duo shook his head. "More like he's hurting himself." Quatre looked puzzled.
"What do you mean by that, Duo?" Duo wiped his eyes before he answered.
"He looks like a walking skeleton and he's got scars on his hands and I'm guessing all the way up his arms too." Duo replied, his voice a harsh whisper as he stroked his own scars.
Quatre's lips pursed in thought as he digested this information.
"I think he needs help, but I just don't know how to bring it up. Considering that we're on somewhat neutral ground with each other right now, and the kids are finally feeling comfortable around him again, I don't want to wreck that if he gets defensive or is in denial."
"Are you positive that you saw the scars on his arms?" Quatre asked.
"Yes. They looked fairly resent. I'm worried, Quatre. Really worried."
"You still love him, Duo?" Duo's eyes widened at the unexpected question the blonde had posed.
He didn't answer for several minutes as he weighed his reply in his mind.
"Would you think less of me if I said I still do? That not a day goes by that I don't think of him? That every time I look at Solo, I see his father like the way he used to be?"
He leaned into the blonde man and sighed as Quatre began to gently stroke his hair.
"Now that Christmas is coming closer, I keep remembering the first Christmas we spent together after the boys he had brought Solo and Liam back . I just had Jude and I had gone all out, decorating the house with lights and wreaths and all the other holiday stuff." He broke off and looked up into Quatre's face, which had a look of intense concentration on his face.
"Do you remember that? You guys teased me about it for weeks. But you remember that he never said a word about it? He only went along with it. " He sniffed before continuing.
"He came into the room after I had put the children to bed. I guess
I had fallen asleep. He woke me up and smiled at me. You guys have never
seen that smile of his." Duo smiled himself and Quatre had to blink
rapidly to hide the tears that were welling up in his eyes. ( I haven't
seen him smile like that since his sons were small.) " It's like, I
don't know. The sun bursting through the clouds? The stars in a summer night?
I guess that's the closest I can describe it. He then leaned over and kissed
##"What was that for?" Duo asked as he sleepily rubbed his eyes and looked up at his husband.
"I don't know. Just felt that it would make your Christmas complete. That's all." Heero whispered as he lay down beside Duo and cuddled him closely, careful not to put any pressure on the recent incisions on Duo's abdomen and hurt him.
"You're probably wondering why I didn't say anything about all the decorations and the Christmas stuff." Heero said as he gently ran his hands through Duo's loosened braid.
"Uh. I actually wasn't. I just figured you were being your usual talkative self." Duo replied.
"Hn. Not by a longshot." Heero snorted out as he pulled even closer to Duo's body.
"You need to have good Christmases. So many years, you didn't get a chance to celebrate it." He buried his face into Duo's hair before he continued.
"I just want to make you happy. I want to see you smile and laugh."##
Duo swallowed as he looked into Quatre's innocent blue eyes. "That was why it took so long for me to leave him. He would do stuff like that a lot. And the memories of those times kept me going through the dark ones." He let out a shuddering sigh.
//I hate those people who love to tell you
money is the root of all that kills
they have never been poor
they have never had the joy
of a welfare Christmas//
Heero woke up with a start. Someone was in the house. He debated getting up and seeing if it was a burglar or not, but the alcohol he had consumed made him decide against it. Besides, he really didn't care if anyone broke into the house. It wasn't a home to him anymore. It was just a place to crash and burn. It wouldn't be a home until an actual family moved in. Or came back.
He didn't know and didn't care, he told himself before he closed his eyes once again.
But he couldn't sleep just yet. Someone was coming closer to where he lay. Closer.
He debated pulling his gun out and shooting this intruder, but he was too apathetic to actually put that plan into action. So he opted to play dead instead and hope that whoever it would get bored with him and leave him alone in his drunken misery.
"Heero?" Heero's eyes opened and he looked up. He'd be able to recognize that voice anywhere in the world. He didn't smile. He never had been the smiling type. Instead, he looked away. He was suddenly ashamed to have Duo see him in such a state.
"What are you doing here?" He asked, his voice hoarse from the liquor. "Do Trowa and Quatre know that you're here?" Duo knelt down in front of him and tilted his head up.
"They don't know. I snuck out." He replied, his eyes darting back and forth as he carefully studied Heero's face. Heero sighed and tried to pull away, but Duo wouldn't let him.
"Do you know that I cry for you at night? That the kids cry for you, even when they say they don't?" Duo told him as he looked down and took in all of the blood and scars on him.
"I do miss you, Heero. Don't think you're the only one that's hurting." Heero winced at the words. He didn't know whether he actually wanted to hear those admissions. They had been broken irrevocably. They couldn't get togther again and be a family like they always had been.
"We can't get back together." He finally said quietly. Duo shook his head.
"I don't know about that. I don't know about anything. Where did it all go wrong, Heero?"
//I know we will never look back
you say you wake up crying
yes and you don't know why
you get up and you go lay down
inside my baby's room//
Heero shrugged as he looked into those deep eyes. Duo's braid was hanging down his chest and was coiled around them both as he knelt in front of him. Heero reached up and stroked it, gently, carefully. He missed the feel of that hair in his hands. How it would spread like a veil around them as they made love in the quiet darkness of this room.
"Are you happy at Trowa and Quatre's?" He asked him as he kept on running his hand up and down the thick and smooth length in front of him. Duo let out a small laugh.
"I live. That's all I do, Heero. I live." He whispered in a broken voice.
//I guess I'm doing ok
I moved in with the strangest guy
can you believe
he actually thinks
that I am really alive//
Heero stopped caressing the braid. He raised his hand and placed it on Duo's cheek, making the braided man flinch as if he expected to be hit. <I can't believe I let you become afraid of me. After I had sworn to protect you, and I end up making myself your enemy and your fear.>
"I won't ever hit you again." Heero said as he began to caress the smooth flesh of Duo's face.
Duo held himself stiff when he felt Heero's hand caress his face. =Is this some trick?=
It apparently wasn't, because Heero's hand still kept on being gentle as it travelled up and down his flesh. =Just like it used to be all those times. Before he started being so abusive=
"Why did you come here?" Heero asked him, his dead voice holding only the barest hint of curiosity. =Does he feel anything anymore? Is he as dead as he used to be so long ago?=
"To tell you that only once in awhile do I become alive since I left you." Duo replied.
Heero raised an eyebrow.< What could he mean by that? He's always been alive!>
"Every month, when you come to Trowa and Quatre's house. That's the only time."
//I will buy you a garden
where your flowers can bloom
I will buy you a new car
perfect shiny and new
I will buy you that big house
way up in the west hills
I will buy you a new life
yes I will//
Heero laughed mirthlessly at Duo's answer. He shook his head, as if he was trying not to believe.
"Would you believe it if I told you that I feel the same way? That I only feel alive when I see you for those ten minutes? That I only feel joy when I take Jude and Solo fishing? That I bleed every time Liam rejects me?" He shook his head again, but the tears he tried so desperately to hide were spilling down his face. Duo bit his lip when he saw how broken Heero had become.
Without a word, Duo pulled Heero into his arms. Heero didn't resist. He just snuggled into the American's chest and began to cry. Silently and chokingly, like he was trying to tear something out of himself. Something that was hurting him severely. Duo held him tightly as Heero let himself finally break in front of his beloved.
They didn't know how many minutes or hours later it was when they pulled apart from each other. Heero kept on looking down, feeling slightly ashamed at having cried and at having being caught doing cutting himself up. Duo was hurt at seeing the angry wounds on Heero's arms, but he decided not to bring the issue up unless Heero himself mentioned it. He had hated it when people got on his case about his own scars, so when he had seen Heero's scars, he had kept quiet.
Heero sniffed a couple of times as he tried to compose himself enough to speak.
"I'm sorry. It's not fair for you to have to come and deal with my messed up self." He swallowed as he said the next part. He had always thought it was a possibility, but he had never dared to ask.
"Have you ever gone out with anyone since we split up?" He asked. <This is utterly fucked up.>
Duo laughed, but his laughter sounded forced rather than amused. "If you promise not to hit me, I might tell you." It was Heero's turn to flinch.<Direct point. Ow.>
"I promise on my son's head that I won't do anything like that. I promise that violence shall not occur between us ever again. Once again, promising on my children's heads."
"Yeah. I did. A couple of times." He said, his voice utterly casual. Heero's eyebrows shot up.
"Nothing did happen. Even though they wanted it to." He shook his head. "Maybe I'm a fool for saying no to them." He looked at Heero. "After all, they were nice, sweet and treated me like gold. They also liked the boys too. But they weren't you." He laughed that forced laugh again.
"Is that what you wanted to hear?" He asked in a low voice.
"No. Not really. But I guess I deserved it all the same." Heero answered softly.
//I know all about that other guy
the handsome man with athletic thighs
I know about the times before
with that obsessive little rich boy
they might make you think you're happy
yeah maybe for a minute or two
they can't make you laugh
no they can't make you feel
the way that I do//
Duo shook his head as he got to his feet. He stood there, looking down at Heero with a thought ful look on his face, making Heero wonder what exactly he was getting himself into right now. <What are you waiting for? You can really hurt me right now. Just like I hurt you for so many years. It would even the score and we both could make a clean break if this was all we had to remember from each other. I could kill myself happily and you could go to those that want you.>
To his surprise, Duo grasped him by the shoulders and hauled his skeletal body to a standing position in front of him. Heero blinked in surprise and swayed slightly as the blood left his head.
"Come on, into the bathroom." Heero opened his mouth to protest, but was cut short by a Duo mommy-glare; Which was twice as effective as his own trademark glare had been.
"Don't tell me that you don't need it cause you do. Just like you need to have those cuts cleaned up and taken care of. Come on." Heero followed meekly without any protest. He knew that if he protested, he'd still get his ass dragged into the bathroom. He'd seen it happen with his own sons and he as sure as hell wouldn't let it happen to him.
//I know we can never look back//
Heero felt like he was his youngest son. As he sat on his bed, wearing clean pajamas in lord knew how long, while Duo combed out his short, messy mop of hair, he felt like he had been forcefully hi- jacked into a childhood that he never had.
"Sheesh! You call this hair?" Duo asked as he forcefully pulled the comb through, making Heero wince and finally give out a muffled "Itai" After the comb had been pulled free.
"Really, Duo. Could you leave my hair alone? It's fine just the way it is!" Heero finally yelped.
Duo looked at him for a long time before he shook his head. "No. Besides, when was the last time you combed out your hair, Heero Yuy?" Heero frowned.
"I don't know! Duo! Ease off!" Heero yelled as he tried to dodge the comb. But Duo was relentless and in ten minutes, after much struggling and yelping, Heero's hair was combed.
"I swear." Duo said as he got up and put the comb on the dresser. "You didn't make that much noise when I was cleaning out your wounds!"
"Well, If you had left my hair alone, I wouldn't have made so much noise!" Heero growled back as he rubbed his sore and abused scalp. Duo laughed before he sat down beside Heero again.
"You don't know how much you sound like Jude right about now, Heero." Duo chided him.
Heero only made a face, which served to make Duo laugh again. Heero looked at him.
<He's laughing again! Just like he used to do when he was young! Before everything..>
Heero smiled in return, basking in that small amount of comfort that Duo's laughter was providing in his bleak and miserable life.
Impulsively, carelessly even, Heero leaned over and kissed Duo's lips. Not long and not hard. Only a small, soft brush of the lips, like a shy lover would do when stealing a kiss from his one and only. =He's kissing me! He feels so good! Even after all this time? How? Oh ye gods! Heero!= Duo jerked back in shock and surprise. He was so stunned over Heero's actions that he didn't know what to say or do. So he did the only logical thing he could think of at that time. He returned the kiss. Hungrily and forcefully, almost ripping Heero's lips apart from the neglected desire he had to deny ever since he had left Heero almost two years earlier.
He only pulled away when he and Heero both had to take in more oxygen. When he pulled back, He saw that Heero's eyes were glowing softly, almost like sapphires in the sunlight as he stared back at the man that he needed so. His lips looked swollen and bruised and Duo smiled briefly.
"I'm sorry." He whispered as he stood up to leave. He hadn't meant to take advantage of the situation. It wouldn't have been fair to come and nurse him out of a bad spell and then fuck him because he had missed his body. =God! Idiot! Idiot!= Duo cursed himself. =Idiot!= Heero stood up too, and placed his hand on Duo's shoulder, making him pause.
"Do you have to leave so soon?" He said in a quiet voice that barely hid the urgency and desire that was coursing through his body at that moment. Duo looked down at the floor.
" Duo...I know you're feeling it too. I'd rather you didn't leave. That you could stay for this night, at least. " He paused and looked at his ex, who was still as stone. <Does he hear me?>
"I can't make you stay. All I want is an answer from you. And If you want to leave, the door is right there. I just need to know. Please? Can you let me know?"
Silence fell between them. Heero felt like he was waiting for a death-sentence to be handed out as Duo kept the silence a strong and tangible wall between them. <Let me know.> He begged silently with the violet-eyed man who stared fixedly at the floor. <Let me know whether it's worth waking up another day. Please, let me know if I should stay. Duo...>
After what seemed an eternity, Duo raised his eyes up to Heero's worried and pleading ones.
"Just for tonight. I will. Just for tonight." He replied before he moved closer to Heero and engulfed his mouth with yet another deep and searing kiss.
//will you please let me stay the night
no one will ever know//
He woke up early the next morning, hoping to watch Duo sleeping beside him as he used to do all those nights ago. <They seem like a lifetime ago.> But he was met only by a cooling space beside him, rumpled sheets and a note on the pillow. Disappointed, he reached over and picked up the note, unsure of what to feel about it s appearance. <I'd rather have him here than a note>
"Heero: I know that you probably will be a bit sad at not finding me here in the morning. But I had to leave before they found me gone. I don't want anyone to know that I was with you last night. It's not because I'm ashamed or sorry. Not at all. Last night was just like the first time we had ever made love and I was glad that it happened. I'd rather them not know until some things are cleared up between us. I want to come back to you and be a family again, but I don't know if I am ready to take such a drastic step. In other words, I'm afraid. I don't know what to expect from you.
Seeing you last night scared me. I don't know why, but it did. I love you, Heero. But I have to know whether taking this gambit will be worthwhile. Until I know, I can't see you. I need time to think, just like you probably do as well. When you and I are both ready, things will happen.
Till then, I have to keep my distance. I love you still, Duo"
Heero sighed as he read the note. <He's right. Things have to change and decisions have to be made between us.> Heero ran his fingers through his hair and sat up in his bed.
"I will buy you a new life, Duo. Not with money or trinkets, but by proving we can make things work out between us without any broken promises or violence." He lowered his head.
"Yes I will."