Ok everyone... this is my official farewell-present for you all... As some of you might already know, I'm leaving to Japan in two days (22.8.2001), and I'm going to spend the following ten months there as a foreign exchange student. ^____^ I'm just so excited... but I'm also feeling extremely sad!!! Gosh, I've come to love the people and the conversation here so much... I'm definitely gonna miss ya all!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this fic... it will be my last for ten months. Let's see, if there are any people I know still here, when I'll come back in next June! *smiles*
Take care all of you...
Author: Leena, email@example.com
Disclaimer: I own NOTHING. And I don't even claim to know anything about aeroplanes... though I know a lot about phobias ^__^ The plot's mine, though. The name comes from various RPGs, so I don't own it either.
Warnings: shounen ai, a bit of angst, sap, OOC, happy ending! (considering what kind of fics I usually write, I need to mention this separately! *laughs*)
Notes: Maggi, I love you... I'm so gonna miss you!!!
BGM: Malice Mizer - Au Revoir, Neil Sedaka - One Way Ticket, Gackt - Sayounara (noticing a trend here...?)
My other fics can be found at my hp:
"Cabin crew, please prepare for take off..."
Duo Maxwell was squeezing the armrests of his seat so tightly that his knuckles were slowly turning into a delicate white colour. He could feel how his stomach muscles were clenching and his whole being was coiling. A cool layer of cold sweat had broken out on his face as he nervously stared out of the small plastic window on his right, noticing how the weather hadn't gotten any better. The rain was pouring down and he could see the deadly lightning bolts almost touching the ground in front of him, though a bit further away.
Slowly Duo forced his gaze to leave the window and turn to face the crowded cabin of people. There were all kinds of people sitting there, waiting for the upcoming flight to Japan with Japan Airlines. He could see some businessmen in their black and grey suits, obviously trying to relax and get some sleep during the long flight from JFK, New York to Narita, Tokyo. He could also see families sitting together, laughing and smiling and joking around how the plane would crash down if the weather didn't get any better. Only a few people were travelling alone like he was.
Duo shook his head slightly, trying his best to calm down. He exhaled deeply, blowing away the few wisps of long, light brown hair, which had tangled to his face. He could feel some of the people in the huge aeroplane looking at him curiously: maybe it was because of his looks, or maybe it was because he was fidgeting nervously on his seat.
He did know he looked gorgeous with a long braid like his that shone in the sun like thousands of little golden flowers, and with a pair of huge amethyst eyes, which were currently almost visibly trembling and scared, scanning the crowd desperately. His figure was lean and slender, almost girlish, but his facial features were beautiful in a masculine kind of way that prevented people from thinking he was a girl.
But somehow Duo knew that people weren't staring at him because of his great looks: it was because of his obvious fear of flying. Actually, his phobia was a strange one, since it didn't affect his everyday life in any way. He was a young and adventurous person, always curious and willing to try and learn new things, and that alone required flying very often. The thought of flying never made him feel weak when he wasn't close to any aeroplane: he always freaked out only when he saw that huge steely machine of death.
He had been planning this trip to Japan together with his best friend, Hilde, for ages now. He had done his everything to collect all the money he needed and then they had finally booked the trip half a year ago. But then Hilde had suddenly called yesterday and told him she was terribly sick and couldn't some: she had caught a bad flu, and was currently throwing up in her bathroom. Duo had been furious and mad, but deep down he had been nothing more than lost and scared because he knew Hilde hadn't done this on purpose. She had been almost crying when she had called, her voice strained. Duo wanted Hilde to get better very soon, but now he had to fly alone: there would be no one to calm him down. And the fear was gripping his stomach so tightly that he had to lean forward to ease the physical pain he was feeling.
Duo barked out a dry laughter, imagining how the airhostesses would hold his trembling hand in disgust while he'd throw up in the middle of the flight, not being able to bear the weight of his scared mind anymore.
"Are you feeling well, sir?" Duo didn't raise his eyes and kept staring the back of the seat in front of him like it was the most interesting thing in the world. But he was surprised because the voice that had addressed him with that accented English had most definitely been a male voice. Duo didn't want to look at the steward who was speaking to him because he didn't want his inner bubble to shatter. His voice had been so wonderfully light and a bit nasal and Duo didn't want to face the reality, where the steward surely would be a fat and ugly freak. Somehow Duo's brain didn't register the fact, that the cabin crew of the plane was Japanese: they were hardly fat or ugly.
Duo sighed resignedly and raised his gaze to meet the one of the stranger. A handsome stranger. A handsome Japanese stranger with the most piercing blue eyes he had ever seen. And he was apparently one of the stewards of this plane.
Duo closed his eyes and swallowed loudly, his hands still holding the armrests tightly. He knew he was pale and sweating: there was absolutely no need to ask if he was ok, because he obviously wasn't.
"Do I look like I'm feeling fine?" His voice sounded harsh to his own ears as he snapped on the steward crouching next to him and looking at him worriedly, his blue eyes blazing. "Do I look like I wanna be in this plane of yours?" He was getting angry because of the lack of answer from the stoic steward. But when a supportive hand was laid on top of his own, gently kneading the white knuckles, Duo's cold exterior started to crumble. He lowered his gaze again, enjoying the touch of another human being, who wasn't afraid of flying.
"Sir, I can assure this plane is completely safe and the captain is absolutely reliable." There was that beautiful and accented voice again, promising that everything would go fine. Duo nodded curtly, his mouth forming a stern line. Then the steward stood up and took his hand off of Duo's warm one. Duo could feel the panic rise in him again, steeling his insides and freezing his brain.
"Don't go!" His voice was so full of despair that the brown-haired steward turned around to face the American youth again. "I... I'm afraid." Duo felt how the annoying blush started to cover his whole face as the steward only looked at him, his face expressionless. Then he left, and after a moment Duo heard his voice once again, now speaking Japanese to some other steward or airhostess. They were possibly arguing, since their voices seem to take that impatient and stubborn note one usually got while having a quarrel. Then the sounds vanished and Duo let all his senses go blank. Maybe, if he tried very hard, all of this would happen so fast that he didn't have the time to realize it. Maybe he could sleep through the long flight happily, dreaming about his vacation and adventure in a totally new country.
He didn't even move when he felt someone sitting next to him, the warmth of the body making him feel content and a bit safer. The person sitting next to him didn't say anything either, just sat there doing nothing. After a while Duo felt how the plane took off, the whole body of the plane slowly leaving the safety of the ground behind. His own body was almost convulsing and a few tears had streamed from his eyes as he pretended not to be scared at all: that this was something he loved to experience. But this lonely feeling of flying was too much for Duo and he started to break down and panic, his eyes snapping wide open, revealing the fathomless violets behind. He almost missed the feeling of a solid hand placed in his own because of the monstrous images that were tormenting his mind. They were pictures of a burning and exploding aeroplane, which was heading towards the sea at full speed.
Another cool hand was placed on his forehead, stroking idly but reassuringly, sweeping the beads of sweat away easily. Duo willed his body to relax under those gentle ministrations, wanting to forget where he was.
"See, it's perfectly ok." Duo wasn't even surprised as he recognised the voice once again. Somehow he had known the person sitting next to him was the steward with two blue orbs as eyes. He tried to nod, but only a shuddering breath left his half-open mouth. His eyes opened on their own accord, adjusting to the dim lighting of the cabin. He was sitting almost in the back of the plane, only a few rows of seats could be seen behind his own. And for once he was happy because of it: he didn't need anyone staring at him with odd statement, thinking he was a total nutcase.
"Hitomi o tojite."
Duo stifled a hysterical laugh when the steward spoke to him in his own language, which sounded so funny to his ears. In a way it sounded so soft, as if they were hissing like snakes. But on the other hand, it sounded just way too peculiar for his tastes.
"Would you repeat that one, please," Duo glanced at the nametag fastened on the steward's uniform. "Mister Yuy?" However Duo wasn't expecting the answer he got from the stern-looking steward. His eyes widened as "Mr. Yuy", as Duo had called him, started to laugh abruptly, the sound surprisingly melodious. Then he turned to look at Duo's wondering statement, grinning the whole time.
"Please, do NOT call me that...!"
Duo felt his own mouth forming an answering smile that lifted his mouth slightly, making him seem even more beautiful. He was still pale and afraid, but somehow it didn't feel as bad now, when he had this gorgeous steward sitting next to him.
"So, what did you say then...Mr...?"
"I'm not a mister; just Heero. And I told you to close your eyes: it's always easier when you're not thinking about what you are doing. Just concentrate on all the nice things in your life and close your eyes. Trust me, I know. I have been a steward for a while now, and we have passengers like you every once in a while."
Duo had involuntarily closed his eyes, obeying Heero without question. It felt so good to have someone looking after him and taking care of him while he was flying with the white wings of steel, letting the air carry him forward towards the unknown. Never had the cabin crew treated him like this before: they had always spoken to him in a gentle tone, but still so obviously not caring at all. They stayed close to him, but only because they didn't want him to start wreaking havoc in the air. But this was so different: it was almost like Heero was slowly replacing Hilde's position as the one who used to comfort and help him through this.
"You speak English very well." Heero smiled at that, nodding shortly and finally letting go of Duo's hand.
"Yes. I'm a steward after all. How do you expect me to serve all of these people if I don't speak English? I seriously doubt they speak Japanese."
Duo didn't know what else to do, and so he just nodded and fell silent. His mind was alone in the dark again, flying with the wings that were in flames, falling slowly. The fear came back as quickly as it had gone away, leaving his stomach almost literally curled in a small ball, and making him shake violently.
Then the warm hand reached his again, and that steady voice told him to breathe in.
"Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out."
And before he even realized it himself, he had fallen into a disturbing slumber full of horrible nightmares of aeroplanes and man- eating airhostesses.
"I apologize deeply, but we're encountering slight turbulence in the air. So I suggest you..."
Duo woke up to the captain's voice, which was announcing why the plane was bouncing like it was at the moment. Turbulence... that one word had been enough to trigger Duo's sense of self-defence and quickly he started to open his seatbelt, his finger already freezing over with panic. Once the annoying seatbelt was out of the way, he stumbled to his feet and looked around, his eyes wild. His mind didn't even want to listen to the captain. It just wasn't turbulence: it had to be something more. The plane was shaking all over, or at least that was Duo was feeling. Or maybe he was shaking so badly, that he couldn't make out the difference between his body and the aeroplane's anymore.
He had started to sob loudly, not caring if the people stopped only to stare at him. He wanted to get out. He needed to get out of the aeroplane before it would explode. But there was no place for him to escape to: the cabin was only a small space without any other doors than the emergency exits. And, they were 13 000 metres above the sea. There was no way Duo could hide from the fate he was sure would follow soon.
"Sir! Sir, calm down!"
Vaguely Duo recognised the voice of Heero through the maniacal haze in his mind. He collapsed against him, crying and trembling, moaning desperately and telling him they wouldn't survive. He didn't even notice when Heero gently guided him towards his own seat and sat next to him again, all the time hugging the scared young man against his chest. Duo's voice had calmed down a bit, the only sound he made now was small but keening wails. He didn't understand how he could be afraid of flying: nothing had ever happened to cause this fear on him. He hadn't been in any accident involving planes, but still he was so afraid. Hilde had called this fear aviophobia: the fear of flying. She had told him that when usually there was something to trigger the fear lurking inside the human mind, sometimes there was absolutely nothing. The fear just appeared and in some cases it also vanished as quickly as it had come. Duo's fear was one of those mysterious phobias appearing without any special reason.
"Do you want to talk about it, sir?" Heero's voice sounded a bit hesitant as he asked the question in a silent tone, not wanting to pressurise the American in his arms. Duo was quiet for a moment, but then he nodded timidly, not looking at Heero.
"Call me Duo."
Because Duo was currently trying to avoid everything that was going on inside the plane, he missed the short smile that had lighted Heero's face the moment he had told him his name.
"Would you like to have something to drink, Duo?" The way Heero pronounced his name sent a small group of bubbles floating around in his belly. That small gesture relieved his mental pain and he felt himself nodding again, desperately aching for something to make this burning in his throat to go away. Heero rose quickly, his uniform looking a bit crumpled. The other stewards and airhostesses looked at him curiously as he made his way towards the back of the plane, where they kept their drinks and meals. He gave the other ones of the cabin crew a short nod and pointed his finger slightly towards the seat where Duo was curled up, shaking and staring forward with empty violet eyes, not really seeing anything.
"Here's your water, Duo."
They sat there next to each other again, not knowing how to start. Duo was feeling elated because of the fact that there was someone who was willing to take care of him, although he was behaving like a childish idiot with no brain at all. He wasn't sure if he should share his fears with this prettily handsome steward, who was obviously waiting for him to start speaking. Duo let his eyes take on the whole cabin at once. All the other people were behaving like nothing concerned them: like flying was the most normal thing in the world to do. But of course it wasn't. A human being wasn't meant for flying: it didn't even have wings. Flying was against the forces of nature, thought Duo sadly, tracing some idle patterns on his other arm nervously. He had managed to seal the fear away for a moment, had managed to think straight for once. Then he just looked at Heero intently, his eyes burning and began to talk. First he didn't even know what he was talking about, if it was about the weather or about the sports. And frankly, he couldn't have cared less. He knew he was babbling incoherently, but he just couldn't talk about his fears so openly right away.
Luckily Heero was a good listener, and as time passed, and they were served a meal, Duo had finally stumbled upon the menacing subject. Heero had listened to him with great enthusiasm, enjoying this something that made this flight differ from all the others. He offered Duo his shoulder to cry on as the words were falling from Duo's lips together with the tears from his eyes, and gave him comfort whenever he wanted it.
Many times Duo had been interrupted when Heero had to get up and do his duty as a steward. But all of this had a great effect on Duo nevertheless. The fear was now constantly lurking somewhere in his mind, not having the courage to come out and laugh at his face, to make him go berserk again. Heero's mere presence kept the fear at bay, and Duo was more than grateful for that.
"How long will this flight still take?" The annoyance in Duo's voice was clear: he was far from calm though he wasn't panicking anymore. Heero squeezed his hand reassuringly, sending the warmth from their linked hands straight to Duo's heart.
"Only three more hours to go."
"Hitomi o tojite."
This time Duo only smiled slightly, understanding the meaning behind the words. He let all the thought leave his head and surrendered his body and mind to the tight grip of sleep once more. Even in his sleep, he more knew than felt Heero's presence next to him all the time, never letting go of his hand. He marvelled the way he had found a friend in the most absurd way possible: through his own phobias.
He slept peacefully, and didn't wake up until the captain once again turned on the speaker.
"Please fasten your seatbelt."
"Cabin crew, prepare for landing."
He closed his eyes again, not letting the panic fill his mind like he had let it do before. Heero had taught him self-control: he knew now that he was the one controlling the fear and not the other way round. He would still need a lot of practise, but he would manage to overcome all of this.
This time Duo let his mind and body to relax completely as the plane slowly made its way towards the airport near it. He breathed in and out, just like Heero had told him to do, telling the phobia inside him to go away, to not bother him anymore.
And then they were in Tokyo, at the Narita International airport, arrived slightly before the actual time. The plane had landed safely, and in his happiness, Duo couldn't prevent the tears of total happiness that fell from his eyes and to the soft floor of the cabin. He had made it alone to Japan without Hilde. With Heero's help.
As he was stepping out of the aeroplane, he still desperately searched for the blue-eyed steward since he knew he owed the Japanese man big time. Finally, after a while of searching, his eyes found those captivating blue eyes and without he could prevent himself, he was almost running towards Heero, smiling like he had never smiled before. Heero smiled back at him, though Duo was sure he could see a tinge of sadness in the edge of Heero's eyes and mouth. It was almost like his whole being had slumped somehow.
"Umm..." Duo's voice took on a nervous but excited note. "I mean, thanks."
Duo just grinned, figuring out what Heero had just said. But when he looked at the steward that had kept him company through the whole long and despairing flight by talking to him and caressing him with his voice, the grin was quickly wiped away.
"Why are you looking so sad?"
"No reason... I think I just started to like you a bit. I mean, you sharing your thoughts and all with me... being so open. And brave." Heero's quiet words and voice were something Duo had never heard before: longing and sad. Then he smiled at Heero cheerfully, trying not to think about the fluttering and giddy feeling in his belly.
"I could use a guide... if you don't have any work that is..." His smile broadened when he saw Heero's startled statement slowly changing into a full smile. Then Heero took his hand and kissed it softly. It was only a soft touch of skin against skin, but it was so pure that Duo couldn't help but blush all the way up to his hairline. Then he almost giggled and told Heero the name of his hotel.
"Ok, I'll get you at seven o'clock. You better be ready to learn what being Japanese and living in Japan is like." The harsh tone of the words that left Heero's voice was ignored because of the tender smile that graced his features. Duo only smiled back at him and turned around, stepping out of the aeroplane and in to the heat that was Japan in August. He couldn't wait to tell Hilde what had happened on his flight: she would be just so darn jealous.
And at that moment, the flight back to New York was the last thing in his mind. And why would he think about that now, when he had a full two weeks to spend with that glorious steward Heero Yuy.
Phew... this was actually my first fic where I used Japanese at all!!! ^_^ Anyway... I think I have nothing else to say anymore... gotta go before I'll burst in tears!!! O_o
Feedback is, as always, appreciated. Anyway, if you're going to send it to me privately, please use my other email address: firstname.lastname@example.org