7-20-2001

Title: It's A Wonderful War 5/?

Author: Sony_Mouse (AKA. L.A.T.S.F.) (Sony_Mouse@hotmail.com)

Pairings: 1+2 (though I was thinking of changing it to 1xR, what do you think? JOKING, JOKING. Ha ha ha ha)

Warnings: Language, AU (well OUR Universe really), different look on war (I hope).

Disclaimers: GW not mine, knowledge and info used for this fic came from James Clavell's Shogun (READ IT), Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha, David Mak's Kabuki, and Anthology of Japanese Literature. And from great people like Misa and Katu, and other's who've e-mailed me. (whew what a disclaimer).

Archives: If for any reason you wish to read my other fics or the first 4 chaps of this one go to www.gwaddiction.com

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Chapter 5

"And the battle's just begun
There's many lost, but tell me who has won
The trenches dug within our hearts
And mothers, children, brothers, sisters torn apart" –U2 Sunday Bloody Sunday

 

Nighttime claimed the small camp in the woods, turning everything it touched into darkness. Everything that is, except for the small area which surrounded the bright fire.

Heero was in the process of making supper while Duo laid on his back staring up into the stars. He had a lot on his mind, especially stuff involving the young Japanese man who was now sitting on the other side of the fire preparing some sort of dinner, one Duo was sure not to like.

It just surprised him how quickly Heero was growing on him. Yes, he hated being captured! Yes, he wanted to go home. But he was starting not to blame Heero for his crashing into the country in the first place. Heero could have done many things, killing him being the most obvious, but he hadn't. And everything he had done so far was for Duo's benefit, even if it was just to make him a good trade; it still was kind of nice to have the stoic soldier watching after him.

The most alarming of Duo's thoughts traced back to earlier that day at the small lake. The way he had randomly thought about Heero's `toned' body. It was no surprise that he thought about a guys body in that way, he had known of his preferences since he was thirteen, but for him to feel even remotely attracted to the man who could very easily be his worst nightmare, disturbed Duo greatly.

But as long as it stayed as nothing more than a simple attraction, Duo could handle it. After all, he was quite often attracted to other men, and most of them never found out, and it never became anything serious. His biggest crush would have had to have been with Captain Solo. Duo had fallen for him the moment he laid eyes on the attractive man, he was just so successful, kind, confident, gorgeous, and now he was also dead.

The thought of Solo made Duo flinch slightly, he'd hardly thought about the other man since his plane had crashed, there had just been too much on his mind. But the thought of his dead comrade brought a pang of guilt to Duo's conscience; it was after all his fault that Solo was dead, and not Heero's or that of Heero's people. Yet still, it was so easy to blame them, easier than Duo liked to admit.

Turning his gaze to the form of his captor, Duo suddenly decided he'd been quiet long enough, his thoughts were getting the better of him and he couldn't allow that now. He didn't want to think about what had happened at all.

Duo yelled cheerily over to the soldier, ignoring the scowl that covered the young man's face. "Heero! Heero! I wrote a Haiku! Do you wanna hear it?"

"No."

Pouting, Duo continued his assault. "It's really good, and it's only my first. I got it from `experiencing' nature, just like you told me to do. Ok here we go."

"Twinkle, twinkle
Little star.
How I wonder, how you are.
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Wish upon a star tonight."

Heero could only stare blankly at Duo before shaking his head in frustration.

"Duo, did you even write that?"

"Well, I may have borrowed a few words here and there from a poem I know, but it's very original I think."

"I'm sure, but it's not a Haiku."

"Well, at least I'm trying. Fine, you don't like me to learn your poems then I'll just have to do what I do best."

Wearily, out of some sort of twisted curiosity he possessed, Heero asked what that was

"Why I sing swing of course. It's time to get In The Mood! [1]" Jumping up to his feet with the help of his crutch, Duo began to do a moderately well done swing dance using only one leg. While at the same time he sang the words to his favorite Glen Miller piece.

"Who's the livin' dolly with the beautiful eyes?
What a pair o' lips, I'd like to try `em for size
I'll just tell her, "Baby, won't you swing it with me?"
Hope she tells me "maybe", what a wing it will be
So I said politely, Darlin' may I intrude?"
She said, "Don't keep me waitin' when I'm In The Mood"

"OKAY, SECOND verse, feel free to sing along,!"

"First I held her lightly and we started to dance
Then I held her tightly what a dreamy romance
And I said, "Hey baby, it's a quarter to three"
There's a mess of moonlight won't-cha share it with me?
"Well", she answered, "Mister, don't-cha know that it's rude
to keep my two lips waitin' when they're In The Mood."

In The Mood, that's what she told me
In the Mood…"

Heero practically jumped Duo and clamped his hand over the other boy's mouth in an effort to make him be quiet. "Stop that this instance, what horrible, horrible music. You have single handedly destroyed the harmony of these woods."

Trying to look like he understood what Heero was talking about, Duo broke free from the other's grasp and tried to apologize, though he wasn't quite sure why he had to.

"Sorry, I didn't realize you had such bad taste in music. Apologize to the woods for me next chance you get, wouldn't want their harmony to be destroyed for too long."

Slumping down into a sitting position, Duo made it clear he wasn't happy about being told to shut up. "You could at least talk to me if I'm not allowed to recite poetry or sing or live."

"I thought I was letting you live."

"Life without swing is no way to live."

"Hn, I'll remember that next time I talk to a monk."

Duo sighed loudly, trying as hard as he could to distract Heero from his task of making dinner and force the soldier to continue to talk with him. But before he could even really start, Heero placed a small plate in front of him and placed two of those strange fork-knives in his hand.

"You're not going to force feed me again are you?"

"Only if you don't eat up."

Looking down at the strangely wrapped food and the even stranger utensil, Duo tried to push the food away. "How do you expect me to eat this...this stuff, with those sticks."

"That `stuff' is Sushi, which is very good for you, and those `sticks' are Hashi. You use them like this." Heero demonstrated how to hold them, but Duo was unable to grasp the concept. He tried to give up by just stabbing the food, but Heero wouldn't allow it.

"You have to learn how to eat like a Japanese if you are to pass for one." Duo had finally managed to pick up a piece of sushi when he heard Heero's words. He was so surprised that he dropped the piece of food onto the ground.

"WHAT! Are you mad, me pass for a Jap? I don't think so, have you looked at me recently?"

Looking stern, Heero placed his own chopsticks down on his plate and prepared to fill Duo in on his small plan.

"It will be necessary for you to pass for one if you are to make it to the head quarters in the nearby city. There is no other way I can get you there safely without another patrol wanting to pick you up as a prisoner."

"Heero, I understand how much you want to save those soldiers, but LOOK AT ME! I look as Japanese as you do black. You're plan is stupid, stupid, stupid. I can't believe you, of all people, thought of it."

"Quiet and let me explain." The stern tone Heero used quickly shut Duo up. "When we do this, no one will hear you speak, or see your face. You are short enough to easily pass as one of us without suspicion, and with your hair done up under a farmer's hat and your face covered by bandages due to the `horrific burns' you gained during the war, no one should suspect anything. But you still have to learn how to eat and walk and move like a Japanese man."

Duo was struck silent by the length of the speech. It was obvious that Heero was forced into using his last resort, but it had still been well planned. The scary part was that it was starting to make sense to him.

"So you think I can do it? Pass for one of you?"

"I don't know, but it is your only chance if you want to escape here. Keep in mind my plan hasn't even been approved, you could very well have to remain here." Heero's voice was as serious as always, but there was something desperate and pleading in his eyes. He needed Duo's help for this, it was no longer something he could just force out of Duo. This was something the American had to be willing to perform; one slip and he could get them both killed.

For the first time since they had met, Heero's fate was now in Duo's hands.

Duo's voice lost all it's cheerfulness, all it's bitterness and sarcasm, until all that remained was a young man who desperately wanted to see his own people again.

"Fine, teach me how to be Japanese. Let's get your men back home."

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The `training' lasted for about a week or so, it was all the time they had. Heero's every breath dedicated to making Duo's naturally slack movements become a thing of grace. Turning his manners into something to be semi-proud of. Even teaching him some basic Japanese vocabulary so he could understand what was being said to him, or at least pretend to.

Every movement Duo made became calculated and examined until Heero was satisfied, which he never was.

It did help that the braided boy was a quick learner, but one week just wasn't enough time to teach him everything he needed to know.

They would be lucky if Duo `just' passed for a rude, clumsy and not too bright wanderer. It was the best they could hope for.

The braided boy now stood silently leaning on his crutch in his freshly cleaned Kimono, watching as Heero packed the last of their necessary items into bags. The rest had already been bartered off for money.

In the time that he had been in the camp Duo had healed much. His leg was still broken, but it was healing, and with the help of the crutch he could walk quite easily, though much slower than Heero.

The Japanese soldier gave the American pilot one slightly nervous nod, the signal to head out. From this point on Heero would speak no English unless they were absolutely sure that they were alone. There was enough risk already without worrying about someone noticing that Heero had to speak English to his `soldier friend'.

They two walked in silence for hours on end, only stopping every now and then to give Duo's leg a rest, and to drink some water. The American pilot was quite happy with the slow pace, because he was in awe of the surrounding area, he'd never seen anything even remotely as beautiful. If he weren't being constantly reminded of where he was, Duo would have said he was falling in love with the land.

They walked through many villages that day, never even bothering to stop in one, fewer people to explain things too. Duo couldn't help but look at everything with new eyes. It was just so different from the small town he'd grown up in. Even the children held a wonder for him. He couldn't help but be a bit jealous that they had mastered the language he could barely make sense of. Even the way people acted around each other was so different. It was like the world had been turned upside-down.

Oddly enough people weren't that scared or nervous around him in his indigo and white Yukata. But once they got a single look at Heero, they'd back off quickly.

Duo just figured that they didn't like the military, or Heero frightened them with his set scowl. What else could it be?

By suppertime, the braided boy was extremely happy to finally stop at an inn to get some food. He would finally get to use all those table manners he'd been working so hard to learn, but more importantly he was starving.

As they entered the smile, yet very elegant inn, Heero motioned with his hand for Duo to stand near the back of the room while he made talked to the mistress of the house.

The lady was dressed in the most interesting outfit that Duo had seen, it was like his but a hundred times as elegant and ornamental. Even her hair was done up in a fashion he'd never before seen. She came forward and at first showed interest in whatever Heero was saying, but after she'd turned on all the lamps and could see both Heero and himself clearly, something changed in her eye, and her disgust was thinly veiled. Even with the language barrier it was clear to see that she was eager to get rid of them.

Heero replied in a few angry, yet polite words of his own. The lady proceeded to get really mad while she pointed at Duo and shouted something into Heero's face. Whatever it was, it made him see tense up incredibly. He bowed swiftly before grabbing Duo's arm and helping him out of the inn. Eager to get as far away as he could from the awful woman.

The entire way Heero wouldn't even look at Duo as they walked away from the small town. It wasn't until they were a safe distance that Heero suddenly walked off the rode and spread the only blanket they had neatly on the ground. He sat down with a precise grace, trying to let off steam without showing it. But it was obvious he was upset.

Duo cautiously sat down next to him, placing his crutch on the ground. Looking down while he refused to make eye contact with Heero, Duo whispered something so quietly that the Japanese soldier almost missed it.

"What was that?"

"I said...I said, I'm sorry." Heero looked slightly puzzled by Duo's words, but let him continue.

"I really did try to fit in. I didn't slouch, and I didn't wave my arms around. I tried to walk in step with you like a soldier; I even bowed when people bowed to me. But I guess I'm just not a good enough actor, I really am sorry."

"Why?"

Duo practically sputtered in surprise. "Because you got caught. They wouldn't let us stay there because of me. And who knows who that witch's talked to by now."

Heero's usual glare was replaced by a wide-eyed look. "You think that's why she didn't let us stay there?"

"Well yes...why else wouldn't she? She was angry with you and pointing at me. It's obvious that she was mad at you for bringing an enemy with you."

"That's not why she kicked us out."

Now it was Duo's turn to act surprised. "Wh-what?"

"She was pointing at you because she was using you as an example."

"An example?"

"An example of what a real soldier was like. She told me I was unworthy to even be around you, that she would gladly let you stay, but never wanted to see my face again."

"Wow, guess I'm a better actor than I thought. But why'd she hate you so much. Just because you weren't `injured' like me."

Picking up the rifle that he still carried with him as part of his uniform, Heero tried to concentrate on it and not Duo's gaze.

"I told you before. I'm Ainu! As far as that lady and many others are concerned, I'm not worthy to be in this uniform. I should be working up in Hokkaido making food for the armies, not `playing soldier', as she put it."

"Well I'll be damned, you're almost as much as an outcaste as I am." To that Heero shook his head angrily.

"Oh no, you are much more than an outcaste to my people. You are the symbol of what is preventing us from taking what is ours. You are barbarians, incapable of rational thought or reason. Nothing you do makes sense, yet you are so predictable. You are cocky and self-riotous, thinking that everything you know is right and the only way. That no one else could possibly think of a better way to live. You take nothing seriously; the war is a joke to you. A way to bring glory to your self, not honor to your people."

In the darkness that surrounded them, only broken by the glow of the moon, hurt flashed briefly across Duo's face. "Is that my people, or me you're talking about."

"I don't know..."

The hurt was quickly replaced by anger. "Is that what you really think of me? That this is a joke to me and my people. Do you have any idea how much pain this war has brought to us just because you guys feel like `expanding'? Can you even contemplate how hard it is to know that my fellow pilots are dead? Not captured, but DEAD!"

"They died for their country with honor, nothing as bad as being captured." Duo could only shake his head in disbelief. "I don't give a damn if they died for their country." Tears of frustration and guilt were beginning to appear in Duo's eyes. "They died for me, just because I felt like being a hero. Well, I'll tell you one thing, I'm sick of this war and I'm sick of you. I'm sick of you hating me, and you wanting me dead, but only keeping me alive for your troops that you were stupid enough to let get caught."

Standing up in anger, Duo motioned towards Heero's gun. "If you hate me so much, if I'm such a horrible person to be around, shoot me! I'd rather that then you have go through one more moment of hell by being around me." Duo was really crying now, but he didn't care. Everything was just so foreign to him, and the one person he was starting to feel safe around turns out to hate him.

"Duo…"

"What, having second thoughts."

"I don't hate you." Heero ground out in frustration.

"Oh I'm sorry I must have misheard you earlier."

"I was upset. I was mad that my people could easily except you to be Japanese while wanting nothing to do with me." Heero's voice was starting to crack, showing just how upset the young man really was. "Maybe I also get sick of fighting wars, maybe I get sick and tired of having to give up everything for a country that would rather I didn't exist."

Much calmer now, Heero changed the tone of his voice. "I'm sure that your comrades were proud to die for you. You must have had great friends."

Adverting the intense gaze that Heero now gave him, Duo mumbled his reply, still shocked at both his and Heero's outburst. "I didn't even know them. I kinda knew Solo, but the rest, I didn't even know their names. They didn't even know who they were dying for."

"I'm sure if they ever got to know you, they'd know that you were worth the sacrifice."

Duo's mouth quirked in a mocking smile. "Are you saying that because I'll be able to save all of your men?"

"No, I'm saying that because it's true."

Completely worn out from fighting and the long day's walk, Duo slumped back down to the ground, feeling much calmer. He looked over at the usually emotionless face that now showed anger, bitterness, and despair all at once. And for some reason he felt like he had never understood Heero better than at that moment.

"Fine Heero."

"What?"

"I accept your apology."

"But I didn't…" Duo interrupted him and lay down on the blanket, staring up into the endless sky. The cool breeze washing over his flushed skin. "Oyasumi Heero."

Blinking in surprise, it took Heero a few minutes to realize what had just happened. Duo had let bygones be bygones. He had said his piece, let Heero say his, and now they were…equals.

It was a frightening thought that he no longer held anything over Duo, but at the same time refreshing. A small smile played at Heero's lips, not big enough to actually notice, but a smile none the less.

"Good night Duo." He then joined the American pilot by lying down next to him on the blanket, at once knowing that he and Duo had understood each other perfectly, if only for a few moments.

They had opened the door to new possibilities. Heero just hoped that one of those possibilities was getting Duo home. He felt he owed the boy that much.

 

TBC….

 

Wellllllll I didn't get to the point I wanted to be at, but I still hope it was ok. The funny thing about when I leave a story is that I forget what I wrote. So I had to go back and reread my story. I HATE rereading my stories weeks later because I always see how horrible it is, but this time I actually got into it. I was actually reading it like a new fic and excited to see what I wrote. Yeah I knew the general plot, but I real forgot what I had written. It was kinda neat. So I hope that this well be `kinda neat' when I read it weeks from now. If not, I can only apologize.

 

RESPOND please for my sake sony_mouse@hotmail.com