Disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Wing or its characters
Title: Autumn Crossing
Author: Karen, The Huntress hickman@rockbridge. net
Feedback: Always appreciated
Archive: DHML http://www.kikotei. net/gw/dhml/ ficarch/karen. html
"The sugar maple is really red." Duo observes as he gazes out double windows framed in blue and white Delft tiles.
Late afternoon sun shining through diaphanous curtains lends a hint of color to his pale cheeks and accentuates the cinnamon highlights in his hair.
Heero pauses beside a small oak table opposite the window and takes a moment to study the massive tree, adorned with a profusion of crimson foliage, that dominates the back garden.
"It is extraordinarily bright." he agrees.
Two bronze chrysanthemums nestle in a crystal vase next to a book of Robert Frost poetry bound in creased leather.
A yellow porcelain teapot decorated with a pair of green dragons rests on a copper trivet. Heero pours lemon-ginseng tea into matching cups set side by side on bamboo placemats.
"Join me before the tea gets cold." Heero invites.
Tea is sipped in silence. Sunlight flickers through the maple. A mirage of light and shadows creep around the curtains and play tag about the margins of the room.
Duo tilts his head. Waning rays cast a shimmering aura along his profile. "The days are shorter."
Heero stares into his cup; examines the bitter dregs that might foretell the future. "I know."
Duo reaches across the table, lays his hand on Heero's hand. A chilly touch.
"We have time."
"But in between." Heero's begins.
"I never leave you." Duo assures with certainty.
A mantel clock perched above the sooty fireplace strikes out the hour in tinny tones of worn coils and lax springs.
Damn the clock.
Damn the minutes.
Damn the seconds.
Sunset is as fiery as the maple.
The sun hovers on the horizon...a great bloodshot dragon's eye. Heat ripples in bands, warps the firmament's fabric to fuse yellow and orange and red.
"Spring is rebirth. Summer does not hurry." Heero recalls the cadence of seasons. "But Autumn is a harbinger of frosty ground and icy air and long purple nights. The maple will soon be bare."
"Winter is dormant, only asleep and always awakens." Duo declares.
He intertwines his fingers, squeezes Heero's hand and promises."I will walk with you by day. I will hold you in your dreams at night. You know that to be true."
The corners dim, the curtains fade, the tea grows cold. Duo's silhouette frays around the edges.
Heero closes his eyes.
He feels Duo's fingertips feather ghostly against his cheek. His lips tingle from a brushing caress. Duo's musky scent is so pungent it lingers like an aftertaste on his tongue.
"I love you Heero Yuy" is whispered, not in Heero's ears but in his heart and when he opens his eyes Duo is gone.
"I love you." Heero whispers back, sure of Duo's promise to return when the seasonal rift once again unlocks Valhalla's portal.
Autumn Crossing--Karen Hickman--October 2006