Title: Letting Go--A Sequel to Learning to Dance
Author: Karen, The Huntress
Disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Wing or its characters
Warning: none really, some angst, high sap content
A Sequel to Learning to Dance
The song ended. A soft click was all that was heard. A red light on the CD player blinked impatiently waiting for someone to either start the disk again or shut down the machine.
Duo and Heero were not aware of the silence left behind by the ending music nor did they notice the flashing red light. They continued to hold each other swaying slightly to the music that was still echoing in their minds. The song might have fading away but, in their hearts, it played on and on.
Heero had become surprisingly relaxed as he rested his head on Duo's shoulder. His arms were wrapping tightly about his partner's neck, his fingers intertwined in the silken slips of chestnut hair that had filtered from Duo's braid. Heero's breathing was regular, completely consistent with his loose posture.
From his side vision Duo could see that Heero's eyes were closed. They were not squeezed shut in a frightened or hurt manner but their lids lay lazily over his cobalt centers of sight. Duo sighed absolutely satisfied to be the person Heero was now trusting to keep him safe.
The music of the mind played on. The sweet melody shimmered through hazy thought patterns. A certain mystic aura floated with the harmonious strains that seem to ebb and flow like the ageless lullaby the ocean sings to the shore. A strong but gentle embrace comforted the two dancers enfolding them in an eternal connection of mind, body and soul.
If felt so right holding and being held. Duo drew in an easy breath not wanting to disturb the oneness, the all-inclusive closeness. "Heero I need you." he whispered daring not to raise his voice for fear it would mute the mind-music.
Heero offered no answer. There was no acknowledgement of the feathery words, the calling of his name. Nothing in form or reaction told Duo his Gundam partner had heard him at all.
Duo leaned back far enough to better see Heero's face. As content as his facial features seemed to be on the surface, there was a suggestion of something unfamiliar running across Heero's tanned, high cheekbones. There was tenseness in his face's contours that hinted of underlying stress.
Duo loosened his grip to reposition himself, to open up enough space for him to gain Heero's attention. "Heero." he called louder causing the phantom music to fade into the background.
This time Heero's response was quite unpredictable. His placid composition was suddenly replaced with a troubling tremble. Heero's once serene composure had altered so quickly that Duo was afraid he had done something wrong. Slipping his fingers under Zero Master's chin Duo applied gentle but firm pressure to persuade Heero to raise his head.
Heero look at me." Duo urged increasing the upward sweep of his fingers. "Please." he begged becoming more upset by the now obvious shaking of his partner's shoulders.
With a reluctant hesitation Heero raised first his sight, then his head, but only enough to let his eyes gaze on Duo's concerned face. Duo took in a startled breath shocked to see that Heero's cheeks were moist. Salty liquid pooled behind Heero's lower eyelids. Tears clung to wispy eyelashes until the surface tension became too great then the gathered moisture spilled over with abandoned swiftness. Wet tracks were clearly visible as they streaked downward joining previous droplets on Heero's chin.
Now not only were Yuy's shoulders shaking but his entire body had begun to shudder so hard that the trembling threatened to pull him from Duo's arms. Duo next became aware that Heero was holding his breath as he tried to choke back an onslaught of emotions he had never experienced before.
Duo, too, was trembling. Fear gripped his mind, stabbing into his heart as he watched his partner and friend do battle with an unseen assailant. Heero Yuy, the one who had ice water running through his veins was crying. The Gundam soldier who was so single-minded in battle that he never gave a passing thought to his life, who would self-destruct in a heartbeat, was shivering like a frightened fawn.
Heero's knees wobbled, his legs becoming more and more unable to support his sagging posture. Duo tightened his grasp then began to ease down guiding his dancing partner to the floor. Easing Heero's back against the sofa, Duo slipped his arms free settling beside Zero's Master who had lowered his head so Duo could not see his crying. But Heero's ragged breathing, the overall quivering, was an undeniable testimony to the upheaval of his emotional state.
"Heero what's wrong?" Duo insisted a tremble in his voice betraying his own anxiousness. Heero neither looked up nor reacted to Duo's prodding question.
Duo leaned forward until he peeked under the downward tilt of Heero's head. Heero squeezed his eyes shut forcing more moisture to spill over his face. He took in a labored breath trying to gather his nerve, to push pass the lump in his throat.
"Duo..." the name faded into a renewed stream of tears.
Duo slid his arm around Yuy's rounded shoulders determined to give him comfort and make it easier for Heero's to answer. "Go on, I'm here." he reassured his partner.
Heero took in another breath letting it flow over his quivering bottom lip, "I don't deserve this." he whispered so lowly that Duo could barely hear.
"Deserve what?" Duo asked becoming frustrated that he could not reach his friend. "You have to talk to me. Damnit Heero, talk to me." he ordered grasping at straws for any way to coax Heero into telling him what was wrong.
Heero gazed up at Duo through reddened eyes. Another sigh shivering from his throat. "You can't need me," he paused then began to look away. "Not me."
Duo would have none of that attitude. Quickly he cupped his hands around Heero's tear-stained face keeping their eyes aligned. "Don't do this." Duo demanded firming up his grip, "You are not going to doubt yourself, not this time." he announced leaving no room for misunderstanding.
"But..." Heero began.
Duo leaned closer, "But nothing. You have kept your distance long enough Heero Yuy. I have been patient beyond the call of duty. We are here now, together, and I will not listen to any excuses as to why we should not be. I will not consider you and me anywhere but where we are now. Do you understand that?" he finished moving forward until his lips brushed lightly over Heero's.
For a long moment Heero stared in stunned silence. His swollen eyes were locked, wide in disbelief. His mouth hung slightly open as he tried to make sense of what had just happened. Had Duo Maxwell kissed him or had his overtaxed system finally collapsed under the strain? But the aftertaste of the kiss still lingered on his lips. The warmth of Duo's hands touching his face still radiated through his skin.
Duo lifted one hand letting his fingers trace the damp lines shimmering across Heero's cheek, "I think I love you." he whispered his own building emotions making it difficult to speak. "I think I always have." he further confessed as his eyes filled with tears.
Heero nodded unable to find his voice. In his mind he knew the truth of Duo's confession. In his soul he felt the bond he had, until that moment successfully denied, become solid and unyielding. Had he, too, found love and been too stubborn, too afraid, to risk his heart? Were his tears the dam bursting? Had Duo's kiss unlocked the shackles that had bound his heart for too long?
Duo sensed Heero's realization, knew in his soul the exact second Heero found peace of mind and security of heart. Folding his arms around Heero, Duo laid back on the floor. Without pause Heero followed his partner's lead just like he had when they danced. Resting his head on Duo's chest Heero let go of his fear, his feelings that he was unworthy of Duo's friendship and love.
Duo Maxwell was no fool. Despite his outward folly, his oftentimes irritating chatter and wild tactics, Duo had a genuine understanding of his emotions. Duo had always had a sure grasp of his innermost feelings and, better yet, was not afraid to follow his heart. If Duo could believe in them, in he and Heero's future, then Heero could no longer allow his doubts to interfere with what was meant to be.
Heero raised his head pressing his mouth to Duo's lips completely certain of his commitment. "I love you Duo Maxwell." he declared without pause.
Duo returned the kiss laced with appreciative passion. In the silence there was not as absence of music, not at all. A song of celebration resounded in hearts joined in love. An ageless melody, a chorus composed as two souls that had become one played on and on.
Letting Go--Karen Hickman--March, 2002