9-18-2002

Disclaimers: Still don't own em.

Rating: PG-13

Pairings: None yet.

Warnings: Yaoi maybe, past preggy, past NCS, Angst. surprises. Ficlet, may not be continued.

Status: Unbetaed

 

Secrets and Lies

 

~ Ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies. ~

 

Arc 1

 

He had saved the world twice. He had self destructed without flinching countless times. But nothing frightened him half as much as what he had to do today. It scared him enough to run but the memory of the look in his beloved Sasame's cobalt eyes was enough to make him stay. He was starting his life anew but he owed it to his son to try this. He owed it to Duo to try this. Then he would be able to disappear and raise his son in the peace that he had fought so hard for.

Its just how did you explain to your best friend a deception this deep? Sometimes lies were easier to live with. It was likely that Duo wouldn't even believe him.

Lifting his hand he knocked on the door. He just didn't know how he would explain to someone who didn't even remember kissing him they had a child together.

*****

They were soldiers, fighting one-man wars against impossible odds.

They were killers, with the blood of countless thousands upon their hands.

They were children, with no one to fight for them... no one left to protect them.

They sought each other’s company because anyone else would have been deadly.

They sought each other's bed because the nightmares didn't seem so bad when you weren't alone.

They sought each other's bodies because by burying yourself in the warmth of another’s flesh made you forget, if even for moments, the cold that was encompassing your own.

They dealt with it alone and in silence... never sharing. Maybe because they had nothing to truly call their own they refused to share their partners. Even their Gundams weren't truly their own.

*****

Duo was the first to stake a claim. It was in the way his eyes followed Heero that the others knew even before he did who he chased. But Quatre was actually the first to succeed; it was from his room the first cries of passion were heard. It surprised no one to hear Trowa's rich voice joining his in a lover’s concerto. Wufei was off limits. It was an understanding that he still grieved for his long dead wife. He didn't find his comfort in another’s embraces. He found it in dreams filled with half forgotten memories. Until the day he avenged his Meiran's death she couldn't rest in peace. And as long as her spirit wandered this mortal plane alone he couldn't touch another.

Heero was actually the first to make a move. One night when he and Duo were huddling together in a drafty storehouse waiting out a storm and the patrols of a nearby Oz base he began to talk. The normally taciturn boy found once he began he couldn't stop, those words that fell from his lips were soon followed by tears spilling from his eyes. Tears that Duo wiped away with out a word. Before it happened they had appeared to barely tolerate each other. They were too different like water and oil. They had always been good for each other too. When Duo was with Heero he seemed calmer more serious, and when Heero was with Duo he smiled, becoming human. Was it so surprising they became best friends?

It was that friendship that destroyed them in the end.

*****

They hid their love behind the friendship refusing to acknowledge their weakness and allowing it to take root and grow stronger. Sex was just sex, they never spoke when they were touching…and afterwards there was just silence in the musky room. They never questioned why every touch was so special. Why they needed each other so badly. Why when they were apart time dragged and when they were together the whole world stopped. Alone they could have born any pain upon their tortured body or soul the enemy wished. After all they were soldiers, the mission came before all else. They were trained to deal with their own pain… they weren’t trained to deal with each other’s pain. Or being hurt by a loved one… if it had been any of the other pilots Oz’s plan would have failed.

But they had managed to capture Duo and Heero together in the last fight. It hadn’t even been a huge base just a tiny experimental facility they were scouting for strange activities. It was pure bad luck that a guard had changed the schedules making their intelligence data worthless. Perhaps he could have gotten away alone, Duo had been around the corner hidden, but he couldn’t. For the first time in a long time he had lived as the boy not the soldier. He couldn’t leave his lover behind. No matter how Heero’s normally expressionless Prussian eyes pleaded with him to run. He had known then nothing would matter if Heero died. If he lost that boy the rest of the world could go to hell for all he cared.

He lost him anyway.

*****

As Heero glanced around the room the austerely fitted space seemed familiar some how. It wasn’t like their usual cells though. The walls were bare gundamian, Expensive and cold. The cell was a twelve by twelve square. The only furniture was a bed, which Heero was chained to, and the chair that Duo was chained to. Both were utilitarian and molded to the floor.

“Baka… you should have run.”

“I couldn’t.”

“Can you reach your pics?”

“No my hands are encased in some metal gloves. You?”

“…”

“I guess that means you’re stuck too, huh?”

Time passed in silence. No guards came to ‘interrogate’ them. The silence was uncanny and the sense of false peace stretched their nerves to breaking point. When the only sound other then Duo’s voice finally broke the silence. Heero wanted the silence back.

“Welcome home my son.” Came the soft voice and both boys turned to look at the woman standing in the doorway. Her words filling the room. Heero felt the bile rise in his throat half choking him as a thousand ruthlessly repressed memories were violently awoken. Only one woman spoke with the supple slither of a snake’s underbelly against granite.

“Mother…” He whispered.

*****

Heero hadn’t been born, he had been created in a lab by this woman. He was the result of years of research in the illegal science of genetic manipulation. The training J had given him was nothing compared what she did to him. Up until the year Heero had turned 4. That was the year that Odin had been sent to assassinate the woman Heero called mother. He had rescued Heero from the cage she kept him and had barely escaped before the place went up in the flames of a well-planed bomb.

*****

Looking at the petite woman in the doorway Duo wondered what she had done to cause his compatriot to stare at her with such undisguised fear. She wasn't much, delicate features not half as beautiful as her son's. Shoulder length black hair, porcelain skin and brown eyes that could never be called warm. This was Heero's mother?

"I knew you weren't dead `8-5-5-18-15'. I made you too well. A simple explosion couldn't destroy my masterpiece. Imagine my anger when I discovered that fool had stolen you. My billion dollar son."

"Hn."

"Tsk, Tssk I see allowing you to stay with my old mentor for far too long has been detrimental to your training. Even if I have been carefully watching you all this time."

Duo watched Heero turn even paler if possible.

"I can't believe you've sunk so low son. To not only allow a breeder to possess your interests but to also possess your body. The flesh that I worked so hard to perfect. You disgust me."

Duo saw Heero's head jerk back as if struck but the silent boy didn't back down.

*****

Heero could remember not to long ago a game he had played with Relena. She knew his dirty little secret.

~Flashback~
Ignoring the stares of everyone Heero set his jaw thankful that Duo wasn't there to see his humiliation.

"Fine Relena, Truth"

Her blue eyes had sparkled so brightly at his sigh of defeat but some how they failed to spark a response in his heart.

"What five things are more important then life to you?"

"Hn, easy. 5. My gun 4. Wing 3. My laptop 2. My Mission 1. Duo Maxwell"

Total silence had descended.
~End Flashback~

"I am only human m…mother. I did nothing wrong."

Her eyes flashed in fury at his defiance and she stepped forward to hit him in a fit of rage her metal ring cutting the delicate skin of Heero's lip before she visibly gathered herself back together. As a chilling smile descended on her face Heero recognized the familiar mad fanaticism in her eyes.

"I see you have been corrupted my child. Too bad that foolish man destroyed all my research when he destroyed the lab. I don't have the time to start from the beginning again. It would have been simpler to kill you and that boy but now I'll just have to finish your final modifications."

The idea of what that might mean was too much for Heero's overwrought senses to contemplate. His eyes rolled back in his head and his body fell limp against the bed.

*****

No longer silent Duo gave the woman a glare worthy of his lover. "Bitch, What the Fuck do you think your doing to my Hee-Chan?" The anger revealed his emotions more clearly then any endearment.

"Far less then you will, boy." She replied with an evil smirk and two men came in pushing a cart of instruments. She snapped some latex gloves on and picked up a large syringe carefully filling it with the contents of a green vial. The sight of the milky substance filled Duo with unease. She viciously stabbed his thigh and Duo was aware of a feeling like acid crawling beneath his skin.

"Heero never was nor ever will belong to anyone but me." She whispered then everything faded away.

*****

Heero woke up unchained but it did him no good. He barely had enough strength to open his eyes to groggily survey the room. He could taste the stale taste of the residue left by the anesthesia in his mouth. The pain of several barely healed wounds on his abdomen and the prick of a needle implanted in his arm seemed more sensitive then usual. She must have given him something to increase his pain as a punishment. But he doubted it was the end of it.

The room hadn't changed much except for the fact the chair was gone. As he looked for his partner he prayed to every deity he didn't believe in for Duo's safety. He hated this sick helpless feeling that settled in his stomach whenever he thought about what his mother could do to Duo. Feeling an intense gaze settled on him he turned to see a man staring at him in the intense florescent light.

It took him a moment to realize that it was the person he had always secretly thought of as his best friend. The face and body may have been the ones he had memorized a thousand times but those eyes were those of a stranger. The pupils were almost completely dilated the irises just a thin violet ring. They held no humor, kindness or humanity in them. They were the eyes of a beast as his mother so loved to refer to humans as. He wondered if the change was permanent and wanted to throw up at the thought that the sparkling youth he had so loved was gone forever.

"Du…Duo…"

He got no answer just a low growl as his head was slammed back against the bed. His lips were roughly assaulted shredded against his teeth and filling his mouth with the bitter taste of blood. The second Duo lifted his head he let out a tortured gasp breathing much needed air. It ended in a roughly muffled scream as the weight of Duo's knee prodded his barely healed wounds ripping it the stitches. Seemingly incensed by the sound the braided boy clapped his hand over Heero's mouth and nose cutting off his oxygen. Too weak to fight he could feel himself start to drift off when Duo freed him to roughly roll him over and enter him ripping him open uncaringly. Heero's body may have been able to stand the abuse but his mind couldn't accept it. Not from a person he had allowed so deep into his heart. He withdrew into nothingness. The only sounds heard over the rest of the night were Duo's grunts and moans.

*****

When Heero finally allowed himself to return he felt sick to his stomach and the nausea had little to do with the blood he had lost or the intense pain that danced across his nerves. He had no doubt that this was his mother's fault. The one thing in his life that had been private, special she had tried to taint. She may have thought she succeeded but she was wrong. While his body may have been torn and broken it would heal. His heart though… his soul was intact. He knew the differences in touch. How could he not after so long? That may have been his beloved's body but he had no doubt that his Duo would never treat anyone like that.

It lasted for three days. Every morning she would return to take him away to be patched up and conduct more tests. First they always made sure to drug Duo into unconsciousness or else he wouldn't let anyone near Heero. His body was slowly adjusting to the drugs and his strength returning but he was careful not to reveal it. The third morning he was able to attack her. He killed her then methodolicly killed every other living thing in the lab. No one escaped but him and Duo. He had carried his lover's unconscious form out and incinerated the lab.

The memories of what he did to the boy he loved had destroyed Duo when they were able to return him to himself. He stopped smiling dwelling in memories of the monster he had become. He couldn't even touch Heero without flinching and Heero couldn't live with the knowledge that no matter how inadvertently he had destroyed his best friend. Not when he had walked into their room one day to find Duo laying in a pool of his own blood both wrists slashed. They had saved him just barely.

So Heero had gone to J to get the implant removed and find out what his mother had done to him. He figured he could ask J about Duo. The results of his mother's experiments and surgery were gruesomely obvious. A baby. It should have been a miracle, life born of their love. Instead it was more like a curse.

*****

“Heero?” Dr.J asked the boy sitting on the examining table. He silently cursed the unborn child, which had stolen his perfect soldier and left him this broken looking boy in his place.

“Hai?” Heero said dully and he had to restrain himself from shaking some sense into the irritating boy.

“You must have had an inkling of an idea about what she was doing to you.”

“I hoped I was wrong.”

“Your mother was too good a scientist to ever fail at what she did. From what you told me in your report I can conclude what the situation is.” His strident term seemed to bring Heero back to himself.

“Explain.” Heero demanded in a clipped tone and Dr.J was pleased to see his perfect soldier returning slowly.

“She made you to be more then a breeder as she called us. Your DNA is specially modified to be highly susceptible to suggestions. That implant was filled with biomechanical devices in saline solution. They started working the moment they entered your bloodstream. Your body was basically recreated so you would be able to carry a child to term. The shots she gave 02 not only immobilized all but his basic instincts they almost succeeded in killing him. Two more days and he would have been dead. You see each shot was changing his DNA to make him more compatible to you so your body would accept his seed. It insured he couldn’t stop until he impregnated you. She had lost her old research and the only way for her to start from the beginning is with your child.”

“A child.”

“Yes and from your examination I determined the way the womb is situated if I were to remove it now you would die from the internal bleeding. If you were to carry it to term I see no way you can actually deliver it and survive.”

“So either way I will die?”

“It’s a ninety five percent chance if you abort it and a ninety nine percent chance if you keep it.”

“The other pilots can’t know about this, it might interfere with their performance on their missions.” Heero stated but they both knew he was talking about Duo.

“I already figured that out Heero. Tomorrow you’ll receive a cover mission. Ignore the instructions and head to the lab where we first met.”

“Ninmu ryokai”

“Good, your dismissed Heero.” Instead of immediately following Dr.J’s order Heero stayed still seeming to war with himself before he spoke up.

“Ano.. Dr.J?”

“Yes?” exasperation was clear in his voice.

“Is there any way… you could erase Duo’s memory of the mission?”

“That’s a lot to ask for.”

“…I must ask it of you.”

“There is a way.”

“How?”

“It’s still in the experimental stages. It’s a type of hypnotism. Basically it locks away events in your memory connected with certain feelings. It also locks away those feelings.”

“Do it.”

“Are you sure? He will forget everything you two had beyond friendship. He might even forget that.”

Heero looked stricken by the possibility,

“Furthermore you will have to make sure you never get close to him again. The emotional stress would break any mental blocks I put up.”

“As a precaution it will all be tied up in a trigger phrase. In case you ever have to tell him the truth it will only take you saying this phrase to cause him to remember.”

“What if someone else says this phrase?”

“It won’t matter it has to be your voice.”

“I can’t imagine ever needing to do that.”

“Only a fool or a ellucid person would create a maze without an exit.”

*****

So the next day Heero and Duo went on a mission. Duo came back the next day happier then he had been in weeks but not as happy as he had been when he and Heero were together. Heero returned eight months later. Neither seemed close. They choose to sleep in separate rooms and seemed to be barely friends and overtures of friendship on Duo’s part were quickly and coldly rejected.

The others didn’t understand what happened but they knew better then to interfere.

*****

Heero’s son Sasame was as to be expected not quite human. It had been nothing short of a miracle that he had survived and recovered after the birth. But Heero had known it had been for him. He had been drifting off leaving the tortured confines of his body when he had heard that cry. In that instant he had known he would do anything to stay. He was the only one left to protect their child. His body had responded to his need to survive.

When he had to return to the world outside the safety of the lab and donned the perfect soldier mask again Sasame was put into suspended animation. He had tried to use a foster family at first but Sasame had refused to accept anyone else’s care. So as often as he could Heero spent anytime possible at the base instead of the safe houses it made it easier to ignore Duo. It was hard to lie in bed at night longing for your love’s touch when you were too busy trying to put a fussy baby to sleep. The lab was where he returned after the war ended and began to heal his lonely heart. But Siberia was nowhere to raise a child so he had begun searching for a new home when the Marimeia revolution had happened. He had no choice but to leave his son and fight again. He refused to let his son grow up in the strife of war.

He had thought not having Duo was painful it was nothing compared to finding out he had moved in with that Hilde chick. Quatre had felt his pain and tried to re assure him that the two were just roommates. Being pitied didn’t help. After when Quatre had approached him to say the four G-boys had decided to move in together on one of his estates Heero had refused. He had realized then the only way for him to heal would be to let go of everything in his past. He had returned to his son happier then ever and began to search for their future. He found a nice small two-bedroom in Nerima that was perfect to begin in. He had begun to smile again. Until that day.

*****

Sasame was laughing as he looked up at his father his sparkling cobalt eyes were a deeper shade of violet then Duo’s their edges were lined with the thinnest ring of navy. His skin was as perfect porcelain fine as Heero’s and he was small statured for his age too like his Japanese parent. He also had his same high cheekbones and rosebud lips. But his sweet outgoing personality was all Duo’s just like the long braid his father kept his chestnut hair in. He knew all about his other daddy. There was a picture of the two boys together on his bedside table. It was taken before he was born. Duo had his arm thrown over Heero’s shoulders and a huge grin plastered on his face. It was the same grin Sasame saw in the mirror every morning. Heero was scowling at the camera. It always made Sasame laugh. He had never seen Heero scowl in real life so he was convinced it was all a joke.

The week before they were to move into their new house it happened. Sasame had told Heero he wanted to meet his other daddy once. Heero had tried everything even arranging their meeting without Duo finding out who Sasame was. He knew that it was wrong to keep the two apart he was just so scared. He knew once Duo found out the truth he would take Sasame away from him. No matter how he tried what kind of parent was a twenty-year-old ex-soldier with no job or legal source of income? Just because Duo was living with the other guys didn’t mean he had broken it off with Hilde. He could offer Sasame a ‘Traditional’ family with two parents and maybe even future siblings. Heero couldn’t. Well sure he could always marry some unsuspecting girl but still after all these years and all that pain he couldn’t tolerate the thought of any one but Duo touching him ever.

But Sasame was adamant and just as stubborn as Heero. He stopped eating in protest and Heero had given in. After packing their merger belongings Heero got two tickets to where he knew the pilots were currently residing. He checked into a hotel for the night and tried to get a good night sleep. He ended up crying instead. This might just be his last night with his precious son. Leaving Sasame with the Hotel Daycare he took a cab to an address he had memorized a long time ago.

*****

He had saved the world twice. He had self destructed without flinching countless times. But nothing frightened him half as much as what he had to do today. It scared him enough to run but the memory of the look in his beloved Sasame’s cobalt eyes was enough to make him stay. He was starting his life anew but he owed it to his son to try this. He owed it to Duo to try this. Then he would be able to disappear and raise his son in the peace that he had fought so hard for.

Its just how did you explain to your best friend a deception this deep? Sometimes lies were easier to live with. It was likely that Duo wouldn’t even believe him.

Lifting his hand he knocked on the door. He just didn’t know how he would explain to someone who didn’t even remember kissing him they had a child together.

*****

The Door swung open so easily it was as if they had been waiting for his return. They hadn’t.

“Damn Hilde! Your early I thought that you were coming at…Heero?” Duo’s amused voice had drifted into a shocked whisper.

Heero wanted to throw up and was thankful he hadn’t eaten breakfast. So Duo was still seeing her. He knew Quatre had been wrong. It was stupid of him to have believed that compassionate boys pity for the truth. The only thing that kept him from running away was the memory of his sons pleading. Gritting his teeth he forced his face to remain coldly impassive. In the short year since he had last seen him Duo had grown. They were no longer the same height now Duo was at least a good five inches taller. His body was still lean but he hadn’t retained the rail thinness of boyhood instead his shoulders had broadened impressively. He wore his hair in a loose half ponytail and it was the first time Heero had ever seen Duo’s hair down outside the bedroom. He looked so relaxed in a pair of blue jeans and a white tee shirt. He seemed happy to Heero but there was a sparkle missing from his eyes that had been there even during the worst of their missions. Heero knew he was the one who had stolen it and cursed himself for ever getting close enough to Duo to hurt him.

“Maxwell.” His quiet clipped reply seemed to wake Duo from the daze he was in.

“Hey Heero! Wow I never thought I’d see you again. Come in, have a seat. You just missed the guys by twenty minutes your lucky that you came when you did normally I’m at work but Hilde came down from L2 so I took the day off to take her around. So where have you been? Not even Relena could find you and that’s saying something considering her resources. We’ve all been so worried.” Duo seemed to talk nonstop as he led Heero into the living room. The house was big but not a mansion. It reminded Heero of that one safe house they had spent their first Christmas together in.

“Maxwell. I am not here to socialize.” Heero’s voice was so cold the tone so familiar from their wartime days that Duo immediately reacted his smile melting away to an expression of seriousness.

“So why are you here?” there was a hint of bitterness in his voice Heero was not the only one who never wanted to kill again.

“During the war at one time we were lovers no we were more we were best friends. We were sent on a mission that went wrong and got captured by the enemy. Various chemicals were injected in our systems and you were compelled to … for lack of a better word use me. We escaped but the memories of what you did destroyed you had lost the will to live with them and tried to kill your self. I went to Dr. J for help. Because it was obviously affecting your performance to the point you could no longer pilot Deathscythe he agreed. All your memories of our relationship were suppressed.”

*****

Duo didn’t marvel over the fact Heero had spoken to him more in that one breath then he had often spoken to him in a week. He was still trying to process what Heero was telling him in that cold voice and found himself confused. Heero? His Lover? He had never had a Lover. Even more shocking he wanted him to believe they had been not just friends but best friends? He had always wanted a friend like that but with this cold fish? Never. It just didn’t add up, why tell him now?

“Why? Why wait till now to tell me? The war ended years ago that little Marimeia Incident ended last year. Why the silence? I no longer piloted Deathscythe the Gundams are gone.”

“I know that. I just never planned to tell you. The only reason I broke my silence is because someone from our past wanted to meet you and you wouldn’t understand what they needed of you without those memories restored. Gomenasai.”

He remembered from somewhere that Heero reverted to his native tongue when he was upset. He noticed that the smaller boys voice had broken but he was too upset to really care at the moment. He was too angry to think straight.

“How dare you? I was supposedly your lover but what gave you the right to violate my mind and steal my memories? Who gave you the ok to play god with my life? If not for some strangers whim you have the nerve to tell me that you would have kept them from me forever? How dare you?” The last sentence came out a hissed whisper and Heero bowed his head in shame. How could he explain his fear, his pain and guilt to Duo? How could he tell him that anything even living without the only person who made him whole was better then living with the knowledge that person was dead because of him? How could he tell that to Duo much less this cruel stranger he had become?

“Just give me back my memories and get out of my life. People like you disgust me I honestly don’t see how I ever could have tolerated you as a friend much less a lover. I hate you, Heero fucking Yuy.” The words wounded him more effectively then any weapon Heero couldn’t help the tears that spilled down his cheeks at the open hate in Duo’s expression.

“I will only if you promise to meet this person and not take out any hate you have for me on them.”

Duo narrowed his eyes slightly ignoring the twinge in his heart whispering that this was so very wrong. That he never wanted to be the one to make Heero cry.

*****

Wiping his eyes Heero stood and Duo noticed abstractly that the Japanese boy was one of those few blessed with the ability to cry beautifully. Unlike Duo who knew his eyes got puffy, his face splotchy and his nose red. Heero mumbled something and Duo frowned he couldn’t even tell if it was a word.

“What?”

“Ai Shiteru.” Heero said softly and Duo remembered the first and last time Heero had ever spoken that word to him. Brilliant cobalt eyes dulled as his consciousness turned inward trying to integrate his newfound memories back into their proper place. So many things made sense.

Knowing he was no longer welcome Heero choked back a sob and fled. It didn’t help that he almost ran into Hilde who was about to knock on the door. He noticed the gold band on her ring finger and felt what little was left of his heart shatter. Too bad he didn’t notice the young man standing besides her wearing the matching wedding band as he fled.

 

Arc 2

 

Have you ever tried to flood a desert with the moisture from a single tear? Have you ever tried to stand your ground in the path of a Tsunami, as the water crushed your body and flung you about like a broken doll stealing every last breath from your lungs? Then you know how Duo felt and how fruitless it was as memories assaulted his consciousness each screaming for attention and coloring scenes from the past in a different shade. How could he have forgotten that jolt of awareness so strong it felt like pain when he had first met Heero’s eyes? Even now just the memory was enough to make him do a full body flush. So many things seemingly unimportant in their time, at that moment each were more precious to him then his braid.

He silently crumbled to the ground head in his hands vibrant eyes shallow and unseeing as he focused inward. How could he have forgotten even fore a moment the very person whom he lived for? Their first kiss clumsy and unsure but full of so much passion…the first time they touched as more then friends fingertips seeking to map the contours of each other’s body neither wanted to forget, to fill their fantasies on all the nights they would lay alone. The first time they had sex… no it wasn’t just sex it had been making love he had always known that on his side there had been love now he was surprised he never noticed Heero’s feeling. Looking back through the eyes of an adult he recognized those hesitant touches finally understood what Heero had been offering him silently with vulnerable eyes every time they touched. It had been his heart and Duo had been too unsure too immature and too scared to recognize it for what it was.

Duo remembered the first time he had raped Heero… Heero had never understood even though the drugs had altered his ability to control his baser instincts it hadn’t stopped him from understanding. That is why he had cried every time. He may have been unable to control his body but he had full control of his mind. He could remember how he had violated his best friend ripping him open making him bleed some part of himself which he feared more then anything had wanted it, craved it, loved the sight of the blood smeared on that pristine body had hated the fact that Heero hadn’t screamed. It was a darker side to himself that sickened him one that he knew now everyone had but they just kept it locked deep inside.

He remembered how much he had hated himself for hurting Heero. He hadn’t even been able to reach for him cause everytime he did he remembered ands the thought of what he might do to Heero if he ever lost control again had killed him frightened him so much. How could he protect Heero if he couldn’t even protect him from himself?

He remembered that night. He had gotten so low, to the very end of his rope. He hadn’t been able to see anything in his future but more pain and loneliness. He had given up everything for that damned war he wasn’t even sure if he could be human again. Surely the guys could do it on their own he had told himself. Surely they wouldn’t deny him this? Not when the pain of living so far outweighed the pain of letting go? He had stood their in the bathroom looking at his arm. When had he gotten so thin? He hadn’t remembered his wrist bone protruding so far before. When had he gotten so pale? He had always been so light but at that moment he could trace every vein through paper-thin skin. It had been so easy to take his razor blade out and follow that pattern.

Heero had been the one to find him. He was going to beg him to leave him, to let him die but the look on his beloveds face had stolen any words from his lips. He had never seen any person’s face drawn tightly with that much pain, never not even when he had done that horrible thing to his beloved over and over again. It was at that moment that he began to heal because he never wanted to see that look on Heero’s face again.

Too bad he never had a chance to begin again…

Duo’s eyes were still closed as His last memory with Heero spilled on to his consciousness. He could still remember how Heero had looked at him that last day as they had headed into the steel doors of the lab.

“I can’t do this anymore Duo.” He had whispered and Duo wanted to reach out and Hold his lover to comfort him but he had been unable too. It had still been too soon. Maybe if he had none of this would have happened. The memories returned everytime he had touched Heero they were getting better but they still scared him enough to draw away. How would he be able to ever win Heero’s love after he had raped his lover while he had been to weak to protest or defend himself? He was sure that Heero was saying goodbye. Looking back Duo wished he had known he had already had it then it would have made thing so much easier. Back then Heero had read his heart to easily.

“That’s not what I’m talking about. I…I’m sorry for what happened. It was my fault for dragging you into this, if I had never touched you she wouldn’t have included you in my torture.”

There had been a suddenly fierce expression on Duo’s face as he turned to his friend.

“No Heero. None of this is your fault. Don’t ever regret what we have. You’re the reason I fight I want to make a world for you where you’ll never have to kill again. I want to be able to wake up next to you every day for the rest of my life secure in the knowledge that every time you walk out the door you won’t disappear. Because without you I know I would just die.” Heero’s eyes had grown wide at those words aware of the feelings behind them. It had been the first time either of them had ever spoken of the future or their feelings.

“Duo? Why did you wait till now to tell me? Now that its too late?”

Dou had stared at Heero uncomprehendingly

“Too late? What the hell do you mean too late Heero?”

“Mother wasn’t just torturing us Duo those serums and surgeries… I am pregnant Duo. I’m carrying your child. Dr.J tells me that I won’t survive either way.” Duo had turned pale then slumped against the wall. It suddenly made sense why they were at J’s lab.

“I don’t want you to hurt anymore Duo. I can’t live with the thought of you dieing. Do you have any idea how I felt when I walked in that bathroom and found you lying in a pool of your own blood? It hurt so much Duo. Deep inside where I was never trained to deal with the pain.”

“Heero…I didn’t know you cared either way. I wasn’t trying to hurt you. I never wanted to hurt you. I was just in so much pain.”

“Don’t worry Duo death isn’t the only way to deal with it.” Heero had whispered But Dou didn’t hear it he was too caught up in the though Heero was dieing because he was carrying his child…wait…Heero was pregnant? With his child?

Before he could ask how that impossibility had come about when Heero was a boy soft lips had covered his in a chaste kiss of benediction. He could taste saltiness and realized that Heero’s tears were anointing their joined lips.

“Gomen ne Duo. Anata wa Watashi no kokoro. Ai Shiteru. Itsumo”* Heero had whispered against their lips and everything had faded. Something else had been on Heero’s lips, something to knock him out completely.

Coming back from his thoughts Duo felt the tears leaking from his eyes as someone shook him gently.

“Heero?” He whispered ad focused on the face above him…It was Hilde.

*”I’m sorry Duo. You are my heart. I love you always/forever.”

*****

Focusing on Hilde Duo slowly sat up aware of the tightly clenched muscles in his back and abdomen. He glanced around the room with a frown. Where was Heero? All he saw was Hilde's husband Daniel standing next to the door looking traumatized but then he always looked like that.

"Duo, what the hell is going on? I almost got knocked over by a bawling blur that looked remarkably like Heero Yuy Who's been missing for over a year. Then I come in here and you're curled up on the floor in fetal position rocking back and forth seemingly unable to hear me shouting at you!"

Duo's mind latched on to the only important part of her tirade. Heero had been crying… even worse he had runaway. But why? Now that he had his memories back Duo finally had a word for that feeling that flooded him every time he saw his partner. Love. It had always been there unconsciously. It was why he hadn't felt the urge to accept any of the numerous offers he had during and after the war. Sure he was a normal horny male teenager but some part of him had recognized only one person could truly satisfy the aching loneliness that left him so incomplete. Heero. But why would Heero run? He wanted to ask him so mu…

*You disgust me.*

*I hate you*

*Just give me back my memories and get out of my life.*

The words interrupted his thoughts and Duo went even paler if possible. Heero… he had made Heero cry again. How could he have said such things to his baby? He had no excuse even if his mind had forgotten such memories his heart never did why else would he have pursued Heero so doggedly through both wars ignoring the constant painful rejection?

Rushing outside Duo looked down the street but he had a feeling that Heero was already gone. The only sight that greeted his eyes was the taxi Hilde probably came in.

"Aishiteru." Did Heero still feel that way about him? He would give anything in the world to make it true. But he was just glad Heero was still alive and well. That day so many years ago felt like yesterday for him. But if Heero was alive what did that mean about their child? The thought alternatingly filled Duo with such pain and such joy. He couldn't be anything but ecstatic at the thought Heero had his child but the memory of how that child came to be tore him apart. How could he be pleased with anything produced by such a heinous act?

He had always been able to tell what Heero was thinking and now with a sick feeling he knew Heero was planning on disappearing from his life permanently Sure he said he wanted Duo to meet some stranger but that diddn't mean Heero woiuld be there.

"Duo what's going on?" repeated Hilde from somewhere behind him. A determined look filled his cobalt eyes.

"I'm going to find my family."

*****

Reaching into his pocket Duo took out his cell and an irate looking Quatre answered the phone. Noticing the rumpled clothing and hair Duo could what he'd been doing Quatre was always grumpy when you interrupted his nookie time.

"Duo?"

"Sorry to bother you Q-man. But I need help ASAP."

"What's up?" Quatre asked as he responded to the desperation in his friend's voice.

"I think I've found Heero, he's somewhere in town but he won't be for long."

"I'm on it; give Wufei a call at the office he'll be able to use the Preventer's computer to check out the secured accounts."

"Hai… and Quatre we have to talk."

*****

As he saw the taxi approaching the hotel Heero visibly pulled himself together. He refused to let his son see him like this. Sasame had never seen him cry and he didn’t want him to ever know what this visit had cost him. It was amazing what a parent will go through for the love of a child. Stopping in a lobby restroom Heero rinsed the remaining traces of tears off his face and planted a small but genuine smile on his lips.

Sasame would need to see his smile. He always smiled when he came home from even the shortest trip. Showing his I.D. to the attendant he entered the small but secure daycare on the hotels first floor. Looking for his child a familiar shout turned his head.

*****

“Okaatousan!” Sasame’s special name for him didn’t even raise a few brows. Those who heard didn’t recognize the child’s grammatically incorrect mesh of the Japanese words for mother and father.

Seeing the happiness light his baby’s violet eyes made his lips relax into an even sweeter smile. Even if Duo…hated…him. Damn that was so hard to acknowledge even in the solitude of his thoughts. Even if he did there was no way his ex-lover could hate their son.

“Okaatousan?”

“Hai Me-Chan?”

“Is it…okay?”

“Of course Me-Chan, I will take you to him to morrow morning before our flight back.”

“Just once…but…”

Unfazed by the puppy dog look he received that reminded him so of Duo’s one Heero gave a kind but firm frown.

“Oi, little one remember our deal?”

“Ha…Hai.” Came the subdued response.

“Awww don’t frown at me Sasame, when we get back to our room you can play with my laptop.”

“Honto ni?”

“Hai, but no more hacking into secret government files for fun. Though I didn’t agree with that lady at the old play center saying those things when you told her I was your mother or for slapping you that was no reason to arrange a Drug raid on the facility. Those people had no idea what hit them.”

“Hai Okaatousan, you know I never figured out how come the police and DEA found so much evidence against there.”

Heero hid a satisfied smirk call him an unnatural slut and hit his son and watch what happens to your life.

“Don’t worry about it baby that bad lady died in a freak car explosion on her way to court.”

*****

“Maxwell” It had been seventeen hours since Heero had left, Duo hadn’t expected the call to come so soon.

“Wu-man.” For once Wufei didn’t bother to object to the mangling of his honored name.

“I have an address.”

“So what is it?” Duo’s face was impatient he was planning on bolting as soon as he knew where to run too.

“I have thought it over. I never interfered during the war when I saw the two of you destroy yourselves with subtle cruelty. I only watched in silence. I never said anything as the wars ended and Heero disappeared while you faded. When I should have. It was wrong of me… of us all to keep silent while such a special thing died in our presence. We were a team some of us lovers but our friendships were forged in fire we were closer then brothers yet we did nothing to help you two.”

“Wufei is right.” Quatre said as he appeared on the screen joining in the conference call. All of them were in separate areas using their unique connections to find one person. His Aquamarine eyes were suspiciously bright as he continued speaking.

“I knew something was wrong after that mission. It was an easy job it should have taken the two of you mere hours but you came back days later. Neither of you spoke of it but there was so much pain between the two of you and you were so broken inside Duo it was like shattered glass all sharp jagged edges and bleeding points where you use to hold your heart. But you started to heal so slowly…then that other mission. Heero came back such a mixture of pain and fear and happiness. You came back empty. I felt nothing from you for so long. But today this pain, this curiosity, this joy and fear are so real!”

Trowa finally spoke up.

“Do not tell him the address Wufei.”

“WHAT?” Duo shouted and three shocked gazes fell on Trowa’s image on the phone.

“I’m not trying to be mean guys but there was nothing we could have done, this was between Heero and Duo. Heero came to Duo of his own free will when he was ready to yesterday. Then he left of his own free will. Tracking him down like a lost dog will accomplish nothing. It won’t make him stay and once he notices what’s going on He’ll bolt then we’ll never see him again. He will return to Duo on his own when he is ready. I would do the same with Quatre its hard to stay away from your beloved.”

“Even if Quatre told you he hated you?” came the bitter retort.

“Of course, I would know he was lying.”

“I’m afraid I don’t have the luxury of that confidence Trowa. Now Wufei I ne… Wufei? Wufei?” It was too late the line was dead apparently Wufei agreed with Trowa. Giving Duo a sad look Quatre too hung up too. How could his friends do that? How would he find Heero now? Staring at the piercing green gaze of the only one left on the line Duo croaked out,

“Why?”

“I’m sorry Duo, I couldn’t betray one friend to another.” He looked to the bed behind him and Duo recognized the sleeping form of his love before the screen went blank.

*****

The click of the phone touching the desk woke up Heero from his restless sleep. The Prussian eyes that focused on Trowa held so much pain… It was as if something vital had been shattered within Heero beyond repair. He had never seen his friend in so much pain before and he had been there at Sasame’s birth. He didn’t know why Heero had chosen him but he had accepted his responsibility with determination. As Heero’s only confidant he had been required to keep yet another secret from his love. But it had never interfered in his and Quatre’s relationship or any of his friendships with the other G-boys until today. But he couldn’t regret his decision without his help during the war he had no doubt the silent Japanese boy would have fallen apart. Heero was more fragile then any of them had ever imagined. He hadn’t realized how fragile until that first time Heero had come to him asking for his help.

He had said he was going to die and wanted Trowa to make sure his unborn child wouldn’t fall into the doctors unethical hands and have to live a life like his. He wanted Trowa to ensure his child would grow up knowing Duo-his other father. Trowa had been shocked at first. Heero’s story had sounded so unbelievable but he couldn’t turn his back on his friend. Truthfully seeing the baby rip its way out of Heero’s body had sickened him so much he had passed out. So it was a good thing that Heero had survived to make sure J couldn’t run off with his kid. He never did understand How Heero had healed so quickly and without scar but he didn’t really want to know.

That had been the last time Trowa had seen Sasame until today. After the War Heero had disappeared twice. And he hadn’t known anymore then the rest of them where Heero was except for the occasional desperate phone call in the middle of the night and a tearful voice demanding to know if Duo was doing okay. But he had never seen Heero cry, not till tonight. Heero was lucky that he had been the one to check on the seemingly unrelated lead last night. None of the other guys would have understood. He hadn’t even spoken when the door had opened he hadn’t had the chance to do so. Heero had taken one look at him and started crying silently. Beautifully as tears trailed down his face leaving crystalline paths.

“Please” The broken whisper had shocked Trowa the most. Heero begging? He knew then that something must have happened so instead of dragging him off or calling Duo he had simply stayed and talked. Hours were spent trying to convince Heero that Duo couldn’t really mean those things he had said, that he didn’t mean those hateful words. But Heero was stubborn after all this time he really believed there was no longer a chance for him and Duo. In the end Trowa found he was the one who relented, agreeing to be the one to take Sasame to his other father.

*****

Looking at Trowa’s silent visage Heero bit his lip and glanced at the clock. It was time. Getting up he handed Trowa a small-repacked bag. It had various photos that Duo might want to see and a few of Sasame’s necessities. Heading to the other room he got ready to wake Sasame and hand him over to Trowa. Tears pricked his eyes. How could he just hand over the most precious part of his life? But he couldn’t go; he just couldn’t face Duo again. He knew Duo couldn’t still love him not after what he said. He was just searching for Heero now because he remembered and felt guilty about the past. Heero wasn’t about to go and break what was left of his heart when the guilt wore off and Duo left him.

*****

 

Heero had come to a hard decision last night. Sometimes when you love
someone you have to let them go. No matter how much you want to cling
to
them. He could only offer Sasame so much.
As soon as Trowa left he opened his laptop and clicked on an icon.
Instantly
the screen was filled with schematics and numbers. He had Hilde’s
location
now he just had to do it. Taking the carefully packed bags off the bed
he
headed out the door and down the hall. She was staying in a room just
three
floors below. The elevator ride was short. Knocking on the door he felt
detached from himself. It was like he was in the passenger seat of a
car
rolling off the cliff he knew he was going to his own painful end yet
there
was nothing he could do to stop it.
“Yes?” Hilde said as she opened the door and he let the perfect soldier
mask
descend.
“Hilde Maxwell?” His voice was curt yet expressionless.

*****

Standing up from where he was talking to Wufei and Quatre as he heard the front door open Duo looked ready to kill.

“TROWA! You fucking son of a bitch I’m gonna ki…” His threat died away to silence as he noticed the tiny person Trowa was carrying. As the other guys rushed in behind him he barely registered their joint exclamations of surprise. No not the person but the child Trowa was carrying, with just one look he knew who it was. After all it was the same smile that he often saw in the mirror adorning the child’s lips. But the face… those delicate features and ivory skin…he knew without being told this was his child…his and Heero’s. He slumped to the floor as his legs gave out completely.

“Boku no Otousan. Watashi WA Yuy-Maxwell, Sasame solo Desu< note 1>” came the soft voice and he felt to tiny arms surround him. The tears streaming down his cheeks were long in coming as he embraced the fragile form.

“My son, our son, we have a son, Heero and I have a baby, I’m a daddy.” His incoherent mumblings were soaked into the child’s shirt like his tears. “I guess I better explain.” Trowa said softly and he looked up at his friend forgiving him everything in that instant for bringing him his child.

*****

Taking a calming breath Heero continued, “I have a flight in twenty minutes. I wanted to bring you the rest of Sasame’s things. I know you are Duo’s wife, and as such will help him raise my son, probably better than I can on my own. So, I will back down, but you better treat him like he was your own. And, if you ever fail to give him the love and kindness he deserves, I won’t just kill you, I will make sure you live as long as possible in more agony than you can dream of.”

His Prussian eyes were the only things living in the icy façade of his face. They were so hot, burning with anger and promised vengeance. It was almost impossible, almost but not quite impossible to see the pain underlying it all.

“Um, Heero? I’m Hilde Schultz, not Hilde Maxwell. My husband Daniel’s last name is Schultz. I’m not Duo’s wife, I never have been. I had a crush on him a long time ago, but it was never mutual. No matter how good friends we are, I have absolutely no intention of raising a kid with him.”

“You’re not his wife? It wasn’t mutual?”

“No, Heero, for as long as I have known him he has never been interested in anyone who chased him. When Daniel was in a car accident and Duo was my roommate taking care of my junkyard, while I watched over Daniel in the hospital, he never accepted any of the offers he received. I think he never did because he was in love. You probably know, better than me, who it was. After all, you were the one he would wake up screaming for in the middle of the night.”

“Me?”

“You, Heero. I think I’m not the one you should be talking to this morning. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to get back to bed before my husband wakes up.” With that, she closed the door.

Heero stood there torn by indecision before a determined look spread over his face. With a last look at the plain white door, he left. He had a taxi to catch.

 

<1> You’re my father, I’m Sasame Solo Yuy-Maxwell

*****

Looking at everyone’s surprised faces Trowa gulped.

“Heero and Duo had a child during the war. Just slightly after ‘that’ mission. Heero was not sure he would survive Sasame’s birth so he asked me to be Sasame’s guardian. He wanted to be sure that the doctors would not get his child and that Sasame would grow up knowing Duo.”

“Why you?” Duo asked in a choked voice.

“At first he didn’t want any of us to know, but then in his sixth month he got very sick during a mission. I had to go in and ‘rescue’ him. There was no way I could ignore the changes in his body; so he told me what happened. From then I helped with the mission. I did double loads in his ninth month, Heero was so sick…He couldn’t even stand and I thought he would surely die.” Trowa’s eyes darkened in remembered fear.

“But, he didn’t. I swear the delivery was so bad. There was so much blood… But Heero never cried, he couldn’t scream. By then he was too weak to do more than moan silently. Somehow the second Sasame started crying it was almost as if he drew himself together, you could see him gathering his strength. The next day he was on his way to recovery.”

Holding Sasame gently as Trowa spoke, Duo carried him into the living room and the others followed. As silence descended, he settled into the couch comfortably holding the boy loosely. Sasame looked around with a smile, his violet blue eyes taking delight in his surroundings. If it were up to him, soon he and Heero would be living there too.

“Hiya Unca Wu, Unca Qwata.” His smile was so genuine the two boys couldn’t find it in them to complain about their new names. His English was heavily accented and so cute.

“You know who we are?” Quatre asked surprised.

“Of course” he answered in Japanese. His Japanese was much smoother, almost perfect. “Okaatousan told me all about you guys and the war. You guys were the ones he went to help when I was in the tank.”

“The tank?” Duo questioned softly.

“Uh huh I can remember everything from the moment I was born. Okaatousan says I’ll learn to block it later. But the first time he went away to help you guys Okaatousan tried to leave me with this family. I didn’t like it at all so I stopped eating and tried to runaway. It was hard cause I couldn’t walk yet so I crawled into a safe place and stayed there till Okaatousan got back. I got sick and after that Okaatousan never left me alone, instead I slept in a sleep stasis tank while he was gone.”

“He was perfectly fine in the tank it just slowed down his growth.” Trowa inserted and Sasame smiled and cuddled into Duo’s chest.

“I hate being away from Okaatousan.”

“I hate being away from Heero too…” Duo whispered kissing his forehead.

“I get scared sometimes that he might not come back. Uncle Trowa was there when I was born. He was supposed to take me to you Daddy, when Okaatousan died at my birth. But, Okaatousan didn’t die, he knew I needed him and stayed.” Wiggly and slipping out of Duo’s grasp, Sasame headed to Trowa and picked thru the pack he was holding. Triumphantly grabbing a black case and holding it carefully, he climbed back into Duo’s lap and opened it. Picking up the first picture he smiled,

“Here’s you and Okaatousan with Uncle Trowa, Wufei and Quatre.” The others gathered near to look at it.

“Doesn’t Okaatousan look weird? He’s glaring, he never glares. He cries sometimes when he thinks I’m asleep, but he never glares like that!”

The picture was of them during the war. It was a surprisingly intimate picture; Duo was poking at Heero, laughing as he glared. Wufei was in the corner polishing his sword. Trowa cuddled Quatre on the couch as the blonde boy read a book on business economics.

“Okaatousan’s laptop took this picture when I wasn’t even made yet!” His voice took on a wondering sound, like all children as if he couldn’t imagine the world had gone on just fine before he was even a thought. He took out another picture. It brought a gasp from Duo.

Heero was sitting on a bleak hospital bed. His stomach was gently distended under a hospital gown, but Duo had never seen him more beautiful. There was a soft smile on his lips, a gentle light in his eyes and a glow to his skin that all mothers got when they held a life wrapped protectively in their own bodies.

“I’m six months old in this one, that’s me in Okaatousan’s belly! It’s my first picture, you can keep this one Daddy, it’s a copy. I figure you want it since you didn’t know about me back then.” He sounded mature saying that and the understanding in his voice would have fit an adult better. It was just another reminder that he never was and never could be called a ‘normal’ human child. Duo’s hand shook slightly as he took the picture from Sasame his eyes never leaving Heero’s lips. It had been too long since he had last seen that smile.

Did Heero smile like that now? It must have been hard, unbelievably hard raising Sasame all alone. He should have been There…Heero should have trusted he loved him enough, would love their child enough to go thru anything.

The doorbell rang and Quatre got up to get it as Sasame brought out another picture.

“Here was when the war was over, its me and Okaatousan.”

A weary looking Heero was holding a baby carefully; he looked tired, too thin from malnutrition they had all suffered at one time or another during the war. He had his other arm in bandages, but apparently the majority of the serious injuries they had last seen his sporting were healed. Glancing at the date in the corner Duo noted with surprise it was just the day after Heero disappeared.

“I look cute ne Okaatousan?” Sasame said and looked up. Duo followed his gaze to where Heero stood in the doorway Quatre standing slightly behind his.

“Heero…” Duo whispered not knowing what else to say. At that moment words didn’t really matter.

*****

“Hai me-Chan you are zutto kawaii,” Heero said softly. Jumping off of Duo’s lap, Sasame ran across the room to hug Heero’s legs.

“Don’t you think Daddy is kawaii too?” He stated and took Heero’s hand, leading him over to where Duo sat.

“Hai. Me-Chan Duo is always kawaii, just like you.” At Heero’s soft words Duo blushed surprisingly.

“Hey Sasame, why don’t we go check out the kitchen, I bet you are hungry; and I make an awesome set of waffles.”

Eyes brightening at the sound of food, Sasame held up his arms and let Trowa take him away.

*****

Quatre stood up next looking at his two best friends who were staring at each other across a two-foot space like it was an ocean. Neither was ready to take the first step after coming so far. Wufei spoke first; it was one of his sincere moments.

“I don’t know what happened that time. The details don’t matter to me beyond the fact that someone took the beginning of something infinitely delicate and precious that was growing between two of my best friends and tried to destroy it. By doing so they almost

destroyed the both of you. But I don’t believe it was destroyed. I believe it is still there between you two, stronger than ever. For lack of a better word, the ‘love’ between you two is still there. It would be wrong to ignore it.” With that he stood and left his two friends.

Quatre walked over to the two standing there and put a hand on each of their shoulders bridging the distance between.

“I blame myself in a way. I should have said something from t he beginning, I knew…I could feel something was desperately wrong but I did nothing. After all you guys have done for me. I was lucky the war happened. I hated the killing, I hated losing so many people I loved, I hated seeing that part of myself that is cynical, cruel side which did not care about doing anything to win. But I was still lucky it happened. If the war hadn’t happened, we would have never met each other.”

Seeing the surprised expressions on their faces, especially Duo’s, made up his mind.

“For the war we all at times did things we weren’t proud of, we didn’t always have a choice. It would have been impossible to go thru a war and remain untouched. I was so angry and idealistic when I first started to pilot Sandrock. Even as a child surrounded by my sisters and servants, I was always alone and terribly spoiled. You guys were my first friends, you felt more like family than those related to me by blood. I love you all no matter what. It may be a little too late, but you two have to work it out, not just for each other but also for that little boy who deserves to have both of his parents in his life. I think both of you want it too, to give your son a family, a childhood like neither of you had.”

Quatre blinked at the sudden tears that sprang into his eyes as he turned around and left.

*****

Finally it was just the two of them standing there. The sudden silence seemed to stretch and fill the room until there was nothing left between them but silence. Neither wanted to speak first, to be the one to shatter it with a word. Both were scared that no simple word would be enough to fill the silence, to bridge the years and pain. So neither spoke, they just stood there staring at each other their eyes sharing words their lips couldn’t speak. Heero was beginning to take a step when in one stride Duo bridged the distance between them and took Heero into his arms. Heero stiffened in shock before melting into Duo’s embrace with a soft sob. He could feel the dampness of Heero’s tears on his chest thru his shirt and understood.

The fear was still there beneath the surface, the knowledge he could hurt his best friend, possibly kill the one he loved; but his need to have Heero back in his arms was much stronger. The awful hunger was gone, he was aware and completely in control of his own body. With that realization that he could hold Heero without becoming that monster, made him realize the truth of Quatre’s words, and he shuddered as he felt the last of the fear fade away.

“Heero…its completely gone. You don’t have to be afraid of me anymore.” The tears were choking his normally smooth voice.

“I was never afraid of you Duo,” Heero whispered softly.

“I love you Heero, and I never stopped, even if I didn’t know it. I know I’ll love you forever. I don’t care what I have to do, or how long it will take, one day I’ll earn your love again. One day you’ll be able to say I love you to me and mean it.”

“Oh, Duo…Ai Shiteru…I never stopped.” Heero whispered and bent his head back to look into Duo’s eyes as he spoke. With a tender smile Duo dipped his head and captured Heero’s lips in a gentle kiss. Slipping his tongue through Heero’s lips to taste what he had missed. Pulling him closer into his arms Duo enjoyed the passion flooding his senses the natural hunger for his lover. Pulling away to breathe, Duo stared down into Heero’s too-bright eyes and whispered softly,

“Come home, Heero, its time for you to come home to us again.”

Hearing a soft mumble, Duo questioned,

“Hmmmm?”

“I said I am home, home for me has always been in your arms.”

“Um, but I meant…”

Heero rolled his eyes,

“Baka I know what you meant, trust you to ruin such a sweet moment.”

“But, Hee-Chan!” Duo whined in protest, a smile filling his eyes.

“Hn. Come on, me and Sasame’s stuff is all in the hallway. Quatre should know where I could put it.”

OWARI… finally!