12-6-2000

Disclaimers- Meredith: I'm not saying it! You can't make me! ::crosses her arms and stamps her foot stubbornly::
Duo: ::grabs Meredith and shakes her rapidly:: I'm gonna make you say it if it's the last thing I do!
Meredith: NO! You say it for me!
Duo: ::shrugs and lets her go:: k. Meredith here doesn't own anything. Nothing at all. Though I bet she wishes she does, ne Meri? ::smiles evilly in her direction::
Meredith- Du~o!!!!!
Warnings- 1x2, 3x4 pairings I don't think any of it falls under the 'lemon' category cuz I couldn't write a lemon if my life depended on it. There's a small kissing scene (1x2), but no fluffy details.

 


The Archangel looked down upon the Earth through a slit in the clouds. Death and Destruction had destroyed the land, leaving many mortals injured and most dead. The archangel sighed. "Something must be done." He turned to another angel.

The second one nodded in agreement. "But... but... what can we do?"

The Archangel looked around at other angels helplessly. Most were chatting with other angels, or looking down at the mortal world, watching loved ones. But one caught the Archangel's eye. He was scrunched up, arms clasped around his drawn-up legs, his eyes, cold and calculating, studying his surroundings carefully. <Nothing escapes those eyes. >

"He must be stopped! We can't let him destroy everything!" The second angel was speaking now.

"Oh, but he's only a child. He'll grow out of it soon enough." Compassion added thoughtfully, joining the conversation.

"No, he won't. He's the Angel of Death and he must be stopped. Immediately! I don't care if it's only a temper tantrum! He has to learn!"

"What can we do?!" He's only a little boy!" Compassion protested.

"Perfection." The Archangel spoke up suddenly, stopping the two's bickering quickly.

"What? What about him? Archangel? What does Perfection have to do with Death?"

"We'll send Perfection down to Earth, reborn as a mortal child. He can stop Death." The Archangel was gazing at the boy, floating on a perfect puffy cloud.

"What can Perfection do to Death, Archangel?" questioned the second angel.

The Archangel shook his head, frustrated. "No, what Death and Perfection can do to each other."

"What do you mean?" The second was confused.

The Archangel sighed and looked at the small angel child wreaking havoc on the mortal world. "Perfection isn't as perfect as we'd all like to believe. He's missing one key element, the same element that little Death himself is lacking."

"What?!" the second interrupted.

The Archangel watched as the small boy hopped off his perfect cloud and walked over to an angel whose halo was tilted. He reached up and adjusted the halo until it was perfectly even. That done, he gave a small smile and flew back to his perfect cloud, resuming his previous position, examining all his surroundings for a sign of imperfection. The Archangel replied: "Love. They can teach each other how to love."

- ~ -

"Blast it!" Heero fished through the even stacks of color-coded disks that were piled neatly on top of his desk. "Duo must have it!" He left his room, shutting the door behind him before continuing down the hall towards the braided pilot's disastrous room.

He knocked three times, absently making the spaces between each knock even. He waited a moment. "Duo!"

Duo heard the 3 knocks and knew it was Heero before the pilot called his name. No one else knocked so perfectly. He quickly stuffed a small picture he'd been gazing at under his pillows and headed over to open the door, a smile on his face.

"Hiya Heero!" Whatcha need?" Duo stepped aside to let Heero come in. Heero sighed and reluctantly entered the room. <Now I remember why I HATE coming here.> Heero hated messy rooms, and describing Duo's room as 'messy' would have been polite. Looking around, one couldn't see the carpet under the foot-thick pile of stuff everywhere. Clothes, clean and dirty, were scattered about the floor, mingling with the countless wrappers and books and various objects that Duo just had to have. Heero carefully walked around and over the minefield of junk to sit on the unkempt bed. Unconsciously, he began picking clothes off the floor and folding them.

"WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING!?!?" Duo shrieked, rushing over to Heero and yanking the clothes out of his hands. He unfolded them and threw them on the floor. "It's pointless Heero, they're only gonna be unfolded, why bother folding them? It's a big waste of time, and we don't have time to waste. We're Gundam pilots!"

Heero sighed again and stopped. "Duo, do you still have that disk I loaned you? With information about OZ?"

"Oh, yeah!" Duo jumped off the unmade bed and began flinging things off the cluttered desk. "Here it is!" He held up a disk proudly and gave it to the unsmiling pilot, who took it and left, anxious to leave this catastrophic room.

Duo's face fell, and he sat heavily on the messy bed, his shoulders slumped. "You're welcome..." He spoke to the disappeared Heero. <He didn't even say thanks... or goodbye...>

- ~ -

"I win again. What else is new?" Duo sighed; playing videogames (especially racing ones) were no fun without another person to play them with. "No one to play with..." He sadly sighed again and pressed restart, selecting his favorite car.

"I'll play you, Duo." A pleasant voice suggested, causing the braided pilot to fall off the track in his surprise. Duo turned to see Quatre smiling at him from behind the couch.

"What about Trowa?"

"Asleep."

"Do you even know how to play?!"

"I'm a quick learner, plus, you can teach me. It can't be any harder than flying a Gundam." Quatre added earnestly.

Duo nodded, beckoning Quatre to take a seat next to him. He handed the blonde pilot a controller and spent the next 10 minutes explaining what each button does.

After a couple of practice rounds, Quatre finally got the hang of it. "Hey, pretty good for a beginner, Quatre!" Duo looked pleased; maybe, if he's lucky, Quatre will get better and become a formidable racecar driver, a challenge to him. Duo hoped so.

Quatre perked up after the last practice round. "Hey, Duo, want to make this game more interesting? I have an idea. Do you want to hear?" He turned to the possessor of the other controller and smiled wickedly. Duo nodded energetically; he needed a new spark to make this game better, and you don't kick a gift horse in the mouth, even if it did have a wicked grin on its face. "Okay, here it is: Whoever wins the gold medal gets to ask the loser any question he wants. The loser has to answer, and truthfully at that. Care to accept my challenge?"

Duo nodded again; he hadn't expected Quatre to be able to think of something like that. It didn't dawn on him that maybe Quatre wanted to find something out about the braided pilot. "Yeah, good idea Quatre! But one more rule, k? The answers stay between us; we don't tell anyone, got it?" <That way, I'll find out more about Quatre.>

Quatre's turn to nod. "Of course."

Duo pressed the start button. "Here we... GO!"

- ~ -

(10 minutes later)

It was an unusual situation in the living room where Duo and Quatre were in the process of playing videogames: Duo was present, yet the room was void of all speaking. The only sounds audible were the ones coming from the screen, and an occasional colorful mutter from the pilots playing.

The braided youth was sitting upside-down on the couch, his tongue out of his mouth, deeply concentrated on steering the tiny black car through the jungle and across the finish line before Quatre. <If I win this race, I get the gold and beat Quatre! I just gotta win!>

Quatre wondered for the zillionth time how Duo could drive his car so perfectly while looking at it upside-down. His own pink and purple car was zigzagging all over the place, not wanting to fall in the sudden pools of quicksand, or into the rivers on either side of the twisty track. He drove his car towards the bright red finish line, behind Duo's car by one place. <I have to win! I need an answer to my suspicions!>

Quatre's car flashed by the finish line, shy of first place by a couple of milliseconds.

Duo smirked at Quatre as the gold medal flashed on Duo's side of the screen, proclaiming 'driver: Shinigami' the winner. He rubbed his palms together mysteriously. "Heh, heh, heh, tough luck Quatre. I get to ask you a question. hmmmm..." Duo paused for a minute, face contorted in thought. Suddenly, he grinned maliciously and casually asked: "Are you and Trowa-"

"Lovers? Yeah." Quatre interrupted, flushing.

Duo cleared his throat uncomfortably. "I was gonna ask if you and Trowa were together, like boyfriends, but now that we've got that established..." he trailed off and asked cautiously, "Play again?"

Quatre nodded and determinedly told himself that he'd beat Duo. He refused to stop until he succeeded.

- ~ -

(half hour later)

Duo was in the same position he'd been in since the beginning. He hadn't lost a game yet, and was amazed (and suspicious) that Quatre still wanted to play. He'd learnt quite a bit about Quatre, some of which he wouldn't doubt that Trowa didn't know. He was surprised to discover that Trowa's 'innocent angel' wasn't so innocent.

"C'mon! TurnturnTURN you stupid car!! Turn TURN!" He pulled sharply on the joystick, forcing the small car on the screen to violently turn.

Quatre strategically shot a firebolt at Duo's car, causing it to turn too much. He giggled as he watched the black car tumble helplessly down the hill and land upside-down in the river.

Duo fell hard on his head as Quatre passed the finish line, a gold medal flashing on his side of the screen. "owwwww..."

Quatre jumped up off the sofa. "Hey, I WON!"

"Yeah, yeah, so ya did. Ask away, blondie." Duo muttered, rubbing his throbbing head.

"Oh, yeah, okay. Lemme think... Oh! I got one!" Quatre smiled evilly.

Duo swallowed on a dry throat. "Go ahead. Ask away." He said from the floor, easing himself to a sitting position slowly, so as not to jerk his sore head too much.

Quatre was bouncing up and down in his excitement, but quieted down and became serious before he voiced the question that had been bottled up inside of him for awhile. "Okay, Duo... now don't lie, who do you have a crush on?"

Duo thanked every god he knew that he was already sitting on the floor, otherwise that's where he'd have ended up. He put his aching head in his hands. "You really want to know?"

- ~ -

Heero trudged down the hall, heading for the living room, where he was certain Duo was. After all, that's where the videogame system was. <Blast that baka, gave me the wrong disk. I hate computer games, any games for that matter, with a passion! I'll bet he did that on purpose, just to annoy me.> He was about to enter the room when he heard Quatre speak.

"Okay, Duo... now don't lie, who do you have a crush on?"

Heero held his breath anxiously, unsure whether he wanted to hear Duo's answer or not.

"You really want to know?" Heero could barely recognize the choked voice that was Duo's.

- ~ -

Quatre nodded, and gently placed his hand on Duo's shoulder. "I won't tell, Duo, don't worry. But you have to tell me! After all that I've told you..."

<Oh, so that's why he kept on playing! He wanted to find out who I had a crush on, no matter what it cost him> Duo thought indignantly. <Of all the questions in the world, Quatre had to choose the one, the ONE question that I didn't want to answer!> Duo swallowed the lump in his throat and spoke in a hoarse whisper, refusing to meet the blonde boy's eyes. "... Heero..."

- ~ -

Heero strained to hear the braided boy's answer, yet not be seen in the process.

"... Heero..."

Heero gripped the wall for support. < Did I hear him correctly? I must be imagining things. How could he like me?! I'm so cold and unlovable. And I'm so cruel to Duo! Oh Duo... ai shiteru, if only I could tell you...> He hurried to the safe confinements of his room to think.

- ~ -

"I knew it! Trowa and I speculated that it was possible." Quatre giggled, then became serious when he saw how upset Duo obviously was.

"S'ok, Duo. I won't even tell Trowa!" Quatre promised, anxious to make the braided boy smile once more.

Duo nodded and stood up. He walked through the doorway where, moments before Heero had been listening, and headed for his room. <Oh, God, what did I just do? What did I just do!?>

- ~ -

"Hey, Quatre, where's Duo? He's never late for anything, especially meals, or anything that has to do with food for that matter." Trowa asked between bites of lunch.

Instantly, Quatre paled. "How... how... w-w-would I know? I dunno... where he is... really... no clue... why... h-h-he's... l-late..." Quatre stopped when he realized he was babbling. He shut his mouth with a snap. Seeing Trowa and Wufei's strange looks, he shrugged as casually as he possibly could.

Duo walked in and sat down at the table next to Heero. "Sorry I'm late." He mumbled, with a fearful glance at Quatre.

<He must be really paranoid. I didn't tell him Duo, I swear!> Quatre slightly shook his head at Duo, and the braided pilot visibly relaxed a little. Quatre handed him a plate. "Here, Duo, your favorites, I made them just for you!"

"How come you didn't make my favorites, Quatre?" Trowa teased.

Quatre giggled. "I did yesterday! It's was Duo's turn!" He poked at Trowa. "You like this too, so don't complain!"

"Yeah, Maxwell looks like he could use some sunshine on this cloudy day." Wufei stated with a glance at Duo.

Duo was picking, poking, squishing, mashing, swirling, stabbing, doing everything to his food, everything but eating it, that is.

"Maxwell, are you ill?"

Duo shook his head. "Just not hungry."

Wufei gaped at Duo. "NOT HUNGRY?! Is that even possible?!"

"What's wrong, Duo?" Trowa looked apprehensively at the braided pilot. Duo usually ate more than ten elephants who had been starved for a week, and here he was, in front of his favorite meal, and not eating even a bite. "You're not talking or even smiling!"

"Nuthin, just don't feel like eating today. I'm not hungry." He looked up at Trowa and plastered a smile on his face.

The constant clicking coming from Heero and his laptop suddenly ended. He turned Duo to face him, grabbing the braided boy's shoulders. "DUO!! You're NEVER not hungry, and that's a fake smile, you can't fool me! Something's wrong with you today, I know it!"

Duo glared up at Heero. "Oh really? And how, might I ask, would you know?" His eyes widened with sudden realization and he looked at Quatre in horror. He brushed Heero's arms off his shoulders, looking at Quatre with a hurt statement on his heart-shaped face. Slowly, he stood up and raised a shaking hand to point at the blonde youth. "Y-y-you... d-d-didn't..." He let out a choked cry and ran from the room, face in his hands. A moment later, the four remaining Gundam pilots heard a door slam shut.

Three pairs of eyes turned to the blonde boy. Heero spoke, his tone menacing as he glared at Quatre. "What was that all about, Quatre?"

He thinks I told you that he likes yo-" Quatre gasped and clamped a hand over his mouth. He muttered "dishes" before running into the kitchen. Trowa followed.

"You and Maxwell..." Wufei grabbed the nearest napkin and held it up to his dripping nose, willing his head to stop conjuring up X-rated pictures.

- ~ -

Duo flew into his room and slammed the door. <Forget the lock, I don't give a damn.> He flung himself on his bed and promptly began sobbing. <Quatre, Quatre, how could you do this to me?! How could you? I thought I could trust you, and so I told. I had to tell someone and I thought YOU would be able to keep a secret, but I guess not. I shouldn't have given in to the temptation...> He sobbed harder and pulled out the little picture he'd been looking at this morning when Heero had come, wanting his disk back. It was of Heero; a rare moment when he was kinda smiling, cleaning his Gundam. <This is as close to you as I'll ever get now. > "Quatre... why did you tell him, why oh why?!!!??" Duo sobbed brokenly into his pillow.
- ~ -

Quatre hurriedly ran into the kitchen and furiously scrubbed at the pans in the sink. <I'm such an idiot! Now Heero's going to be even crueler to poor Duo! > "Oh, what did I start?"

"Quatre? Angel?" Trowa's voice filtered into the kitchen and through Quatre's thoughts. Trowa entered the kitchen and encircled his angel in a hug. "What happened between you and Duo?"

Quatre couldn't take it anymore. He broke down and told Trowa everything that happened this morning- the videogame, the contest, everything. "Oh Trowa, what are we going to do?! Heero is going to totally ignore Duo now, and it's ALL MY FAULT!"

Trowa rubbed Quatre's back consolingly. "I think we should go check on Duo, angel, don't you think?" Quatre looked up at Trowa and nodded. Hand in hand, they headed out of the kitchen and to the dining room, where Wufei had used up the supply of tissues, and Heero hadn't moved.

- ~ -

Heero couldn't move. Having Quatre tell him that Duo liked him was no surprise; Heero already knew that. But the information was finally sinking in through his perfect soldier shell; he hadn't imagined it, he hadn't misheard; Duo really did have a crush on him. And from the way he acted, obviously a pretty big one. <Too many emotions... I'm not supposed to have emotions... I'm the Perfect Soldier - emotions not included... like batteries... at least, so I thought... >

"Heero? HEERO?" Trowa waved his hands in front of Heero. "Heero? Snap out of it!"

Heero glared at Trowa. "Hn."

"We are all going to go check on Duo. And. You. Are. Coming." Trowa pulled Heero to his feet. "No ifs, ands or buts!"

"Hn." He wasn't sure how to act around Duo anymore. < Feelings are too difficult. I think I liked it better without them. > He let himself be hauled to the braided pilot's room.

- ~ -

The door to Duo's room was still shut, yet sobbing was still audible, even through the wood. Quatre tried the doorknob and found it to be unlocked. He hesitantly opened the door. "I'll go in first. I have to apologize to him." He softly whispered, but Heero grabbed his arm.

"No, I'll go." <What am I doing?!> Heero walked in ahead of Quatre, signaling behind him for them to stay behind. He shuffled through the myriad of clothes on the floor.

"Quatre, why, oh why did you have to tell him?!" Duo hadn't realized that he had company; he was too busy sobbing to notice.

"He didn't tell me, I overheard."

Duo jumped, and buried himself deeper into the bed. "Go away!" His voice was muffled.

Heero gently sat on the bed next to the shaking lump that was Duo, causing the lump to shake harder. "Duo... don't cry because of me..." <This is too hard. What am I doing? I can't go through with this, but I have to, otherwise Duo will never smile or laugh again.> He tentatively reached out to Duo. He could see Quatre urging him on from the hallway. He scowled at him and signaled for him to shut the door. Quatre hugged Trowa, then pointed to Heero, before shutting the door. <What? He wants me to hug him? I can't do that! Oh, but it's so tempting...> Instinctively, before he could think about what he was doing, Heero reached out and removed the covers off of the now-visible sobbing boy. Duo looked up, startled. Heero softly brushed Duo's jagged bangs out of his eyes and drew the boy close. Duo stiffened, surprised, before relaxing in Heero's protective hold.

"...Heero...?" Duo looked up at the pilot questionably. Heero held him tighter.

"Duo... Quatre didn't tell me. I overheard you and him talking... and..."

<Grrr. Those damn emotions again! They only get in the way!>

"And what, Heero?" Duo asked softly. "What?"

"....." Heero paused and started over again. "I think that I... feel the same way." <There. I said it.> He flushed.

Duo looked up, shocked. "You DO?!!?? You never act like it!"

Heero sighed. "Emotions suck." He muttered, looking up at the ceiling.

Duo nuzzled closer to Heero. "I think you're just suffering from denial." Then he thought of something. "...Heero?"

"Hai?" Heero looked down at the braided pilot. Duo reached up and grabbed Heero's face with his hands. The boy's eyes widened. "Duo...? What ar-" Duo's persistent mouth cut him off. Caught off-guard in a passionate kiss, it took Heero a couple of seconds to realize what was going on. When he did, he kissed back just as passionately.

- ~ -

"Archangel!" The second angel was upset about something. He marched over to where the Archangel was watching the mortal angels discover each other.

"Yes, Impatience?" The Archangel chuckled to himself.

"Did you authorize for Temptation to be reborn as a mortal as well!?"

"Of course. Did you actually think Perfection and Death could fall in love without help?! Sometimes, Impatience, you act quite a bit like Stupidity."

"But... why? I don't understand, Archangel!"

The Archangel sighed. "Death and Perfection were both too stubborn and devoted to their ideals to care about petty things such as love, so naturally, they needed help. You can't grow a flower without a seed, Impatience, no matter how many times you water and fertilize the dirt." He looked reflectively at the mortal world, prospering.

"Our little Temptation did the job quite well, don't you think?" He watched as the blonde angel ran into a brown-haired mortal's arms, all happy that things ended out the way he wanted them to.

"Yes, Archangel, he did." Impatience was forced to agree. Death and Perfection would be inseparable now, that much was obvious.

The Archangel smiled, pleased. "Our little plan worked well, did it not? There shall not be pointless deaths anymore, but what, dear Impatience, are we to do about Destruction?"

**OWARI**