Well, after a bit of thinking and some anger and a bit more thinking and then some resignation I decided what I wanted to do with this fic. Kyuketsuki no baka, the story leads me. Often into on-coming traffic, but that's another story. Surprisingly enough, it was easy to finish this part once I figured it out. It fizzles out at the end, but... desperate fic writers can't be choosers??
As Imperceptibly as Grief
Disclaimer: See part 1
Notes at bottom of page.
I sit in my old room, staring at the wall and waiting. I can smell the evidence of Quatre's cooking wafting from downstairs, hear the slow progress of traffic on the street, feel the cold seeping in from the cracked window, but I can't see. My vision has been assaulted with too many images in the last two days. The only time when my thoughts are clear anymore is in my sleep, but even that has been alluding me.
I can remember lots of sleepless nights in this place when I was younger. I would stay up thinking about the tragedies. Life is nothing but a sequence of tragedies. What else could effect someone so much as to really change them?
My life is one giant tragedy.
I wonder if his was too. I wonder if I can ask him that and not have to explain what I mean. I wonder if I can look him in the eye and not hate myself for the pain there. I wonder if I can escape the tragedies.
The cacophony of life outside the house if broken when the doorbell rings.
I would give anything now if only my thoughts would clear. Overlapping are images of past and present. Duo looking up at me as I knelt down beside him on the floor of his bedroom; Quatre walking out of the bathroom toweling his baby-soft blonde hair; Relena smoothing out her skirts as she walked down the hospital corridor; my father's eyes fluttering open briefly to meet my gaze of the same cold blue.
Another layer. Duo standing in the doorway, an adult now, concern brimming from his features.
"Are you okay?"
Duo closing the door behind him. Him turning back to me, his skin eerily pale in the dim light from the dark street. Him squatting on the floor before me. My hand skirting the soft flesh of his cheeks. His eyes fluttering closed as a blush captures his face.
"Why are you here?"
He looks up at me, a bit confused. "You invited me, remember?"
"Why are you still here?"
Duo looks helpless for a moment, studying the carpet beneath him intently. I should have known not to ask. I pressured him too much before I left--demanding that he not stay in Siddonsburg; pleading with him to join me in New York; refusing to let him out of our last embrace.
Now he kneels before me, frustrated and helpless.
I don't want to be angry anymore, but watching him combat his own emotions I can't help it. It wells up inside me until my hands are fists at my side.
Does that man have something that I don't? Is there some flaw that I possess that he was not born of? Why was it him, the raven hair and cold indifference, and not me? I'm selfish for feeling this way but I don't care. All I want anymore is honesty. I want to grab Duo by the arms and shake him until he knows that this place is killing him. I want to convince him that I am better than that other man. I want to press him against me until there is nothing but a welding of flesh.
"Heero, I can't leave. I couldn't then and I can't now."
"Why? What's keeping you here? Your job? Your mother? What?"
He closes his eyes again before leaning forward, folding his arms across my lap and resting his head against them. "No." He gives a fraction of a shake of the head. "My work is pointless and mom--" He hesitates. "She died a few years after you left."
This hurts. I didn't mind it when my own father died--I didn't love him. But, for all her flaws, Duo loved his mother. It had been one of the reasons behind his staying when I begged him to go with me. And she was dead. A few years after I left. I was his best friend and I wasn't there. Oh, God, I should have been here.
His neck is warm against my chilled hand and he starts at the contact but does not try to break it. He shifts against me slightly, drawing his body closer against my legs and the bed on which I sit.
He shakes his head again, this time more vehemently. "Don't be. There was nothing you could have done."
"When did you meet him?" I immediately hate myself for asking it. I guess the masochistic part of me is hoping to hear that the man was there at his mother's death bed and they fell in love. Some part of me wants to know that he loves him and is loved in return. I couldn't stand it if that wasn't the case. I would feel obligated to whisk him away.
"The guy at the funeral." Whether I mean my father's of his mother's I don't know. It feels suddenly, selfishly, as if he was my replacement.
"Wufei," he says.
There's something about the way his name falls off of Duo's lips that I don't like. I was stupid to think that I could be happy for him. In a moment I am burning with jealousy.
"I just kinda ran into him."
"How long have you two been together?"
Duo shakes his head. "Heero, why are you doing this? I don't understand. You just appear out of no where and..." He sat back on his haunches. "I know why you're here, it just seems like... God, what's so important about Wufei? Why the hell do you care so much?"
"Because you were my friend. I worried about you."
He sighed, closing his eyes for a moment. In the dim light of the bedroom he looked for a minute as if in meditation. But I could easily imagine a death-pallor across his soft flesh instead of the glow of the rosy bed-side table.
"I'm sorry about your father, Heero, but... I just don't understand. Why do you want to drudge up the past like this?"
I could have sat for years and not had an answer for him. Because I was selfish? Because I was tired? Because I was desperate? Because I was miserable?
"I don't know."
He nodded a bit. "Well," he nibbled the inside of his bottom lip. "I guess, there's really nothing to say, is there?"
Infinitely sad that it was true. Duo didn't take the weight from my shoulders, he added to it. He climbed to his feet, pushed back my bangs, and walked away.
Author's Notes: This story is really bizarre and fluctuates between abstract and stupid. The end is pitiful, but when I wrote it, I didn't mean it to be the end. But when I tried to add to it, I couldn't. I couldn't think of anything else to write. It just seemed so, fitting. Now, don't fear, there shall be an epilogue, but I think that people may think it contrite. I think I might just leave it like that. Final and yet not. *shrugs* Feel free to yell at me about the stupid ending. Anything for feedback. I really need to know what you thought of the ending.
Wow, the ending. It doesn't seem possible! *genki dance* That's two completed long-run stories in a week! I'm on a roll!! And I thought I would NEVER end that one!