10-30-2001

Author: Lil~
Warnings: non-yaoi.. or is it yaoi? I'm confused - poor me. Girl Duo. pg-13
Pairings: 1x2 5+2 3+2 more to come....im so very wicked! muwahahaha!
Hello! I'm back with part 2 a of Heero's Pledge.*looks around* does anyone wanna be here? *silence*. didn't think so. *cries* nobody wants to read my fic! *sniffs*

My ever lasting thanxx goes to Ume and Sphynxpuck for finding a site that I had been looking for everywhere for months! Sankyou!

And thanks to da and Kaylie for being my AWESOME beta readers! and also thanxx to Poe for being a great friend!

My site: http://www.geocities.com/dark_lillie/ sites where this fic is posted: I love bishonen and fanfiction.net, anywhere else just ask me! and ill be glad to let you post it!

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Duo raised her chin, climbed into her buggy and started for Yuy ranch. It was northeast of town, a good step farther than her own family's homestead, and over the prairie with hardly a shrub to shade her way. When the house came into sight, it was like an oasis in a grass desert. She pulled the horse to a stop beneath an arching cottonwood.

The house before her was impressive with a distinctive southern flair. She had not seen it up close before, though the town had buzzed over it for months. Heero Yuy had chosen the sight well, availing the shade of the trees already established by the creek that ran behind. Centered on the pink stone face of the lower story was a sweeping portico with white pillars and wide stone steps flanked by matching large-paned windows, and on the west side rose the narrow, arched windows of a room her eyes could only imagine.

Duo raised her gaze to the white-painted second story, with its curved tower room at one end and five black shuttered windows. So much glass dazzled her. Even the eaves and arches of the attic had small rounded panes. She was impressed in spite of herself. The house was generally considered extravagant, showy, and improvident, and every mother in town hoped her daughter would live there as the wife of the handsome, cultured Heero Yuy. Duo's chin jutted. She had no such aspirations.

She mounted the stairs and applied the large brass knocker to the door . It resounded hollowly, and Duo stepped back when the door opened almost immediately. She stared at the grizzled black face of a man in a white coat and gray trousers.

"Yes miss?"

She straightened. "I wish to see Mr.Yuy.....Please."

"Who may I say is callin?"

"Duo... Duo Maxwell."

He actually bowed and backed out! Duo eyed the low lacquered walnut table and a matching secretary with a marquetry of vines and leaves. She ran her hand over the seat, plush and velvety soft, tucked with buttons and edged with sloping wood, carved into an elegant floral fan at the center. She stroked the fabric again for the pure pleasure of its softness.

Across from the velvet draped windows, the stone fireplace was crowned by a mantel that held a marble clock and two silver candelabras as well as a daguerreotype of a man in a gray confederate uniform and a small portrait of a stunning woman in a lace edged gown.

Duo drew up close, studying the arched brows and delicate curve of the woman's mouth. In spite of her stiff pose, there was a sweetness in her smile, and she looked very young. Duo jumped when Heero Yuy spoke behind her.

"My mother and father."

Duo saw the likeness. "Your mother is beautiful."

"Yes she was." His voice softened. "She died when I was seven."

"I'm very sorry." She turned to face him.

He bowed his head. " This is indeed an honor, Miss Maxwell." He was cleaned and groomed, as though the afternoon's altercation had never happened. She was certain he would never mention it if she did not. But then, Wufei was sitting in jail...

Duo squared her shoulders. "I had expected-hoped-to be to continue our conversation in town, but you'd already left when I finished at the jail.

The corners of Heero's mouth flickered. "I see. I'm sorry to have inconvenienced you. I didn't realize you had more you wanted to say in the matter."

Duo's temper flashed. "You might have considered that I would give you Wufei's answer."

"Again I apologize. I failed to understand the immediacy of your concern." He motioned her to the seat. " I presume you told him the nature of your feelings?"

Duo flushed. Why had Fei taken it to his head to embarrass her so? "Yes, and he's agreed not to bother you in any way. He gave his word and very much regrets his actions."

Heero's smile broadened. "He said so?"

Duo stammered for a reply, realizing he'd seen through her establishment. They were interrupted by a woman carrying a tray with a picture of tea. The sent of fresh mint tea leaves filled the room.

"Refreshments Mastuh Heero." Her skin was like oiled mahogany, her hands large and thick.

"Thank you Pearl. Set it there on the table."

She obliged and left the room.

"Are they your slaves?" Duo bit her lip as Heero frowned.

"Slavery was abolished by the war Miss Maxwell. Although I expect you don't know much about that, do you?" He pored and handed her a glass.

Duo wrapped her fingers around its chill. "I know what I've read and what Pa has told me. Its all rather complicated."

"As is all war."

"Pa was sympathetic to both sides but believed we ought to remain a single nation, not divided by warring states."

Heero turned to the picture of his father on the mantle, his back straight and firm as his tailored coat. "I think my father believed that as well. But he fought for the confederacy."

"Why?"

"Because honor demanded it. He knew we couldn't win. Unlike some, he saw that our resources would fall short if the war prolonged, but our sovereignty and honor were being wrenched from us. For that he fought."

He faced her, and Duo saw a fire behind his words. Not only did he believe what he was saying, he embraced it deep inside. His voice was low, but there was no masking the intensity.

"That is the honor I understand. The ability to do what one must, even when it's against ones heart." He softened. "Do you believe that's the honor with which your friend hold's his word?"

At last she and a chance. " Yes I do. Wufei's impetuous, but he's honest through and through." And that was true. Fei would keep his promise if it killed him.

Heero stood and leaned against the mantel, sipping his tea. "Where I come from dueling, though not unheard of, is illegal. On occasion it may be handled privately by arrangement, but one does not accost another on a public street, like two mongrels after the same scrap. Here, 'calling someone out' seems an acceptable means of settling quarrels."

Duo sighed. "Its not so much acceptable as unstoppable. There are few enough who try to block a bullet aimed at another." Duo could see that the afternoon's event had disturbed him more than she thought. Wufei had insulted Heero's honor and made a spectacle of them both. "But truly Wufei would never had shot you. And he won't repeat it."