Title: Gratitude
Author: Lily (ann_marie_martino@ emerson.edu)
Archive: ask first...
Pairing: past 1+2
Categories: angst, yaoi
Rating: R
Warnings: self-destructive violence (language in notes)
Spoilers: none
Notes: *italics* Duo POV - switches at one point to third person.
This fic is dedicated to every person who either replied to me directly or replied to Sunday's post {OT} I'm Being a Bitch. This is the last thing I'm posting for awhile, as I am taking a break from the fandom. There is, however, a good chance I will be back due to the support I received. Thanks everyone! *GLOMP*
Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam Wing.
Feedback: Hungry Bob loves to eat up positive comments! Throw snacks at him and he throws fic ideas at me. send to: ann_marie_martino@emerson.edu

~*~ Gratitude ~*~

The nature of gratitude. I ask myself questions, sometimes when I should be sleeping - what did I do wrong? What did I do right - if anything?

There's a cold sliver of wonder digging underneath one of my fingernails.

I suppose it's the memory of Heero's warm, sweet lips barely touching my forehead. The look in his eyes - complete with the glassiness of tears that will never fall - when he told me the truth.

And so I ask myself these questions. Was I grateful enough? Did I love him enough? Did he ever love me?

His eyes. Sharp blue, like the ocean, shimmering with salty water. I felt like I was swimming in the sea. Drowning. I didn't really believe it. God.

Now, beneath the smoothness of time, that wonderful, amazing, heartbreaking thing that dims eyes and dulls memory, I'm not sure I can remember everything he said.

I remember that he said goodbye.

I -



"Duo, gomen. I wanted this to work, I wanted to be your husband - I wanted to marry you, I loved you. I believed we could do this. But..."

"But? Have you met someone? What happened? What happened to us, Heero? You are the only person I will ever love."

"I cannot do this any longer. I am breaking our engagement."

"What?! No - no, please, you can't. Please!" Duo's eyes filled, but the tears never fell. He growled angrily at himself for pleading, and turned away. Heero put his hand on Duo's shoulder. The rough fingers lay splayed gently over Duo's turtleneck. Duo pushed the heavy, comforting touch away and whirled to face his lover, his former fiance.

"All right, I accept that. But you owe me an explanation."

"I've thought a lot about this. I will return the ring you bought, naturally. Duo, you have had your problems, but you made me a promise - to go see a counselor, to work through all of the killing you - we - did. But you have not done so. The nightmares wake me up at night. You stay out of work. You're ruining your life, and in the process, mine. I've decided that I've had enough. The frustration is simply not worth it."

~end flashback~


I'm looking out this cracked window, and I can still see his face, slightly older, browned and beautiful. I never thought I'd miss him this much, even after so long. The photograph of his daughter lies on the floor, fading slowly in the sunlight that always decorates this room. I have not touched the picture since I saw it - and dropped it. I hope he's happy, I do. But I love him, and I always shall. With nothing else to do with my life, I pick up the sharp honed blade by my fingers that are resting on the sill. A quick slash here, and another there, and the room colors red as the sun streams through the warm flow. There's not much, and it drips lazily on his two year old child's face.

I walk into the bathroom, and I put band-aids over my freshly created injuries. He's correct, I've never healed, and I've never much tried. What was the point, once he'd gone? Outside the sun begins to slip down and disappear, and I crawl under my cold sheets.

It's all right, I tell myself. Even as blood beads and soaks into the white sheet, I know I am alive. As alive as I could ever hope to be.

As I watch the band-aids become saturated I feel my eyes saturate similarly. As the night descends I begin to go through my litany yet again.

What if I had proved to him that I loved him?

What if I had finally said thank you?

What if - what if...

...I had gone to that counselor with him, and expressed the gratitude I felt so deeply it nearly strangled me?

I will never know.

I will ask these questions of myself every night...

...until I die.