Disclaimer: Okay, okay, let's get through the quick stuff. I don't own Gundam Wing, I think that was already a given, so I obviously don't own the characters. I also don't own the song used...that would be BBMak's "Back Here". I think that should take care of everything ^_^

First Trial: Pain
by: Serene Angel

//Baby set me free
From this misery
I can't take it no more
Since you ran away
Nothing's been the same
Don't know what I'm living for//

Have you ever had one of those experiences where you just couldn't put your own thoughts and feelings into words, and then you hear something by some stranger, someone that you have never met before in your life, and the words that they are saying are exactly how you are feeling? I don't mean just vaguely telling what you are feeling so that you can now figure it out, I mean word for word describing exactly what you are feeling. It's the most freaky thing that you can ever experience, I can tell you that. I just recently found out just how freaky it is, in fact.

I don't know why, but I started looking through some old stuff that I found a while back...maybe three or four years ago. I don't remember for sure, all I truly remember is that it was after the whole Marlemia thing.

Anyway, as I said, I don't know why I started looking through all of this stuff, but I did. I found this cd, and, since I was bored, I decided to listen to it, just to see if it was any good. The very first song ended up stopping me dead, and I've been listening to it on repeat for a few hours now, because it's saying everything that is in my heart so well.

//Here I am so alone
And there's nothing in this world I can do//

I suppose I should start from the beginning. Yeah, that would be the most logical thing to do, wouldn't it? Let you know exactly what's going on, let you know just what I'm talking about. Yeah, that's what I should do...so why does it scare me so much to let you know? Maybe I've just been hiding everything for so long.

Well, Heero and I, by some miracle or another, ended up together after the Marlemia thing. I'm still not sure just how it happened, but it did. And we were together for a while...almost four years, to be exact. But, just like everything else in my life, it ran out. You can say that luck isn't with me if you'd like, and I would agree with you on that. How else can you explain everything that I've been through? But I'm getting off track.

So we ended up together, but, as I said, it wasn't made to last. We had a good run...we were only a couple of weeks away from our fourth anniversary, so I was pretty pleased with the whole thing. I guess he wasn't, though. And who could blame him, really? I mean, think about it...there's not that much that I can offer to anyone, and he has so many problems of his own, there's no way that I would be able to be there for him if he needed me to be, because of all of my problems. And I didn't want to burden him with my problems. I guess he realized that I was holding back a lot from our relationship, and he probably got really annoyed by it, so he ended it. It wasn't the kindest break-up that the universe had ever seen. In fact, it was probably one of the worst. And it doesn't help that the whole thing is pretty hazy to me. I remember yelling, a lot of yelling from both of us, and I remember him telling me that I was being selfish, and, yeah, now that I think about it, I really was. All I was really thinking about was myself, not him. I wasn't telling him anything about myself because I was afraid that he would reject me because of it. Well, if you've never seen a plan backfire...

//Until you're back here baby
Miss you want you need you so
Until you're back here baby
There's a feeling inside
I want you to know
You are the one and I can't
Let you go//

I guess that it's kind of stupid of me, but I just can't help but believe that he'll come back one day...that he'll come back to me and take me into his arms...hold me close to him and never, ever let me go again. Like I said, it's stupid of me. I know, I know...Duo no baka. But, hey, a guy can dream, can't he?

I know I'm kidding myself. I'm not stupid. I know that it's over. But there's still that part of me that wants him to come back to me, that wants him to just come over here and take me into his arms. The part of me that wants him to tell me that he's sorry, and to hear me out, to understand just why I never told him everything...and then just hold me close. I have this feeling that, somewhere inside of him, he does love me, maybe even as much as I love him. It's a terrifying thing, to be in love, and I guess maybe, in the long run, it might be a good idea that he broke up with me. But for now...

All of that time together, and what do I have to say for it? Absolutely nothing. I never really told him that I love him, and he never told me that he loves me, either. I don't know, maybe he didn't love me. Anyone can tell you that I was never the best at reading him.

Oh well. It all boils down to one thing...we're over now, and I can't stand it. I'm not letting him go, because I just can't. If I do, I don't think I'll be able to make it through my life, so I'll remember every little thing about him forever. I love him too much to ever get over him.

It hurts so much, being so empty inside. My heart feels like it's been torn in two.

//So I told you lies
Even made you cry
Baby I was so wrong
Girl I promise you
Now my love is true
This is where my heart belongs//

Yeah, I'm Duo Maxwell...I run and I hide, I do everything, but I never lie...I've lived by that philosophy for so long. Well, I never did lie to him, really...I just never told him things. In the long run, that might actually be worse. After all, that's what drove him away...

I know that my heart will always be with him, and I wouldn't have it be any other way. I don't know why I feel this way, all I know is that I do, and I really don't mind it at all. I love being in love with him...and I am in love with him...with every little thing about him. His hair, his eyes, his gorgeous face...his heart, his mind, his soul...everything about him. And I would like to think that I was able to touch his soul even slightly. But, then, who is Shinigami to be able to kindly touch someone's soul?

The phone is ringing. It figures that someone would disturb me when I am trying to sort out the problems in my life. Oh well. Can't let the caller wait forever, now can I? After all, that would be rude...even if I do have half a mind to do just that. So I walk over to the phone and pick it up. "Hello?"

There is silence for a good half minute, and I seriously consider hanging up the phone when a familiar voice floats over the line...a voice that has made my heart do back flips on numerous occassions. "Duo?"

//'Cause here I am so alone
And there's nothing in this world I can do//

I couldn't believe my ears. My mind must be playing tricks on me, right? Right? Oh, who am I trying to fool? I just hope my voice doesn't shake. "Heero?" Well, there's a wish down the drain.

"It's been a while, Duo." His voice seems kind of soft...kind of sad. I wonder why. "How have you been?"

Well, well, leave it to Heero to catch me off guard, I suppose. Who would have thought that he would want to know how I've been? And, along that line, who would have thought that I would find it impossible to be even slightly sarcastic in my answer, even though that's _exactly_ how I would have liked to answer that question. "I've been pretty good, I guess..." I'm unable to keep the sadness and pain from my voice, and I cringe slightly.

"Are you sure?" Ah, bless his heart, he's still as astute as ever. Well, I suppose I don't say he's perfect for nothing, then. After a few moments of silence, he sighs slightly. "Duo, I...I guess you're wondering why I called, ne?"

Well, like that wasn't the biggest understatement of the year. Come on, Heero, get a clue! Of course, I won't say that to him...I don't want to sound like a jerk or anything. "Um...well...yeah, I am, sorta..." I manage to mumble out, half hoping that he doesn't hear me. Well, there's something else down the drain.

I hear him take a deep breath, and I can almost see him preparing himself to tell me something important. "Duo, I need to talk to you. It's really important, and I can't say it over the phone. I need to come see you." I don't respond...not because I don't want to, but mainly because I'm so shocked that I can't find my voice. Heero wants to come to see me? No, more than that...he said he needs to come see me. "I...you don't mind if I come by today, do you?"

Today?!? He wants to come here today?!? But...but...but I'm a mess! The whole place is a mess...he can't...oh, who am I kidding...it's Heero, for crying out loud. He's seen me like this...he's seen this place in worse shape than this. I have to answer him, I suppose. "Today? Sure thing. I'm looking forward to it." I try to sound pretty nonchallant about it...I'm not sure how well that worked, really.

"Thank you, Duo. I'll...be there as soon as I can." The line went dead after that, and I felt my heart leap. Heero was coming to see me today.

I guess maybe I can let my heart begin to hope once again.

//Until you're back here baby
Miss you want you need you so
Until you're back here baby
There's a feeling inside
I want you to know
You are the one and I can't
Let you go//

I spend the next few hours trying to clean the place up a bit, putting things away and such. It really would not do to have someone come over and the place to be a mess. It's maybe half an hour later when I pass by a mirror and get a good look at myself.

Jeez, I look like I've been to hell and back...and that's understating it, even. I really should try to fix myself up a bit. I mean, Heero's coming by to see me...maybe if things go well, we could get back together...or something. Well, at least in my mind, I think we have a chance of getting back together. But then, I've been told I have a warped mind sometimes...

Let's see...my hair could stand to be rebraided...it's half undone by now. And my face...whoa, could it be more obvious that I haven't slept well in the past couple of weeks? I make my way to the bathroom and turn on the faucet for the sink, splashing some water onto my face. Not much of an improvement, really...but an improvement nonetheless. Now for my hair...

//And I wonder (wonder)
Are you thinking of me
'Cause I'm thinking of you
And I wonder (wonder)
Are you ever coming back in my life//

All right...it's been about seven hours since he called, and he's still not here. Like I should have expected anything else? I guess...I guess that I just hoped that maybe he still wanted me...that maybe he still thought about me. I mean...why else would he have called after over a year? I guess dreams really are for fools.

Duo no baka. How could I let myself get all hopeful, thinking that he would actually come here to be with me? How much of an idiot can I really be? I mean, I should have known that he doesn't hold anything for me anymore. This was probably just some sort of sick joke. Well, very funny, Heero Yuy! You've ruined my life! I hope you're satisfied!

I bet that he doesn't even have any idea what it feels like to be stood up by the one person that you love more than anything else in the world.

//'Cause here I am so alone
And there's nothing in this world I can do//

I slowly and dejectedly make my way over to the couch, still hoping that there will be a knock on the door or something as I reach for the remote and turn on the tv. Automatically, I stop on the news, which is just starting. Might as well get caught up on the current events, since nothing else is going on in my life, am I right?

Of course, considering the way that the day is going, this is probably not one of my best ideas. I figure out just how bad of an idea it is when I see the headline story. A picture of the man I love is on the screen, and my eyes go wide as I stare at his handsome face and raise the volume to see what's going on. My heart sinks as I listen to the newscaster.

_"Twenty-two-year-old Heero Yuy, former gundam pilot, was caught in a head-on collision earlier today, at 2:30 pm. Reports show that it is possible that he was alive after the crash. However, by the time that authorities arrived at the scene, not only was Mr. Yuy dead, but so were any other persons involved in the accident. We now go to-"_

I hit the power button on the remote, turning off the tv, before letting it drop from my now-lifeless hand. I can't believe it...I just can't believe. No...he...he can't be dead. He just can't be. It's not fair. He died when he was coming to visit me. It's my fault...all my fault. If he hadn't been coming to see me, he would still be alive...he wouldn't have gotten into that collision...

My hope is gone...as soon as I heard that newscaster say that Heero is dead, I lost any hope that I had. After all...how can I date someone who's dead? There go my dreams...there goes the possibility that he could have been coming here to take me back.

After about an hour on the couch, I get up and trudge to my room, barely able to hold myself up, not even noticing my own movements. I walk in, not even bothering to close the door behind myself. Who would walk in, anyway? I live alone...and I'm probably destined to stay that way, now that the person I love is gone for good.

//Until you're back here baby
Miss you want you need you so
Until you're back here baby
There's a feeling inside
I want you to know
You are the one and I can't//

So, as I fall onto my bed, I feel my heart breaking at least a hundred times over, and I know that I will never be able to tell him that I love him.

I never even notice that tears that are falling from my eyes, soaking the pillow that my head is now burried into.

//Until you're back here baby...//

*****

Okey dokey...that's my fic. Comments? Constructive criticism? "Don't quit your day job"'s? Opinions are welcome ^_^