4-27-2003

Title: Suitcase of tears
Author: The Wordsmith
Category: AU
Warnings: Angst, Duo mental abuse
Rating: NC-17
Pairings: 1x2
Archives: Lady Firen's archive <www.geocities.com/angelfiren/> and Shades of Colour <http://www.fanfictiongw.homestead.com/Shades_of_color.html> AJ Maxwell's Realm <http://ajrealm.mygundam.net/>
Disclaimer: I don't own anything except the storyline, and even then I'm not too sure about it. All I own is my dog! Please don'tsue me!

Suitcase of Tears

 

It seems as if I had always loved Heero Yuy. As if there had always been a feeling of fulfillment within me that only came when he was around. Of course, there had been a time before this, before Heero had wormed his way into my heart, but that time seemed so pale and flat, black and white and two dimensional, in comparison.

It seems as if all the colour of my life, the good times and the bad, were all inserted with Heero. Before, good times had been good, bad times had been bad, but now, good times were fantastic bursts of brilliance, and bad times were shocking era's of gutwrenching depression. Heero had changed my world, sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worst, but always there was change. Heero was something of a catalyst. He always filled my thoughts, whether they be about him, or about doing something for him.

You could say that Heero was my life, or at least made life worth living. I suppose that for most people, that must be a sad thing. To have nothing else to live for except another person. To have handed yourself so completely over to someone else's keeping that you would be absolutely lost without them. Well, I had done that to the fullest extent that I was able to, and look where it had gotten me; crying into a half packed suitcase as I frantically filled it with more of my clothes.

 

It had all started years ago, this feeling of inadaquecy that had slowly built up within me. As soon as I had moved in with the perfect soldier after the war, and after joining the preventers. He had had his own apartment, and rather than us picking one together, he asked me to move in with him directly. At the time, I had thought that it was because he loved me, or at least cared for me, enough to let me into his world. To include me within his private life looked to be the biggest emotional step that Heero had ever made. Of course, time proved me to be wrong on that account, as I would be wrong on many other accounts about Heero.

Heero had not wanted to move because he did not like change, but because he was happy where he was and could not be bothered shifting himself just for me. The first day I was there was fantastic. It was a Saturday, and so no work at the preventers. I didn't unpack anything at all (not that I had much) and I basically spent all my time, and his, in his bed or going to and from the kitchen. The next day, had been much different, and this is where the journey to a half packed, tear filled suitcase truly begins.

To ask Heero Yuy to rearrange something for someone else's things was not something I had ever done before, and I hope I never have to do it again. Firstly, Heero was too damn caught up in that laptop to care where I put my things. "Find room for them." he said, and so I did just that, reorganising his clothing space to accomodate mine.

Then, when he finally went for some sweat pants later that day, I realised just how much of a control freak Heero Yuy was.

The tirade started out with him speaking in a deadly soft tone, anger predominant. That soon changed in the face of my confusion, and he began talking to me as if I were an idiot. After that, he rearranged my clothes, while I sat on the couch, feeling very sad and completely useless. A state of mind that rapidly went downhill as he went on to completely ignore me and leave the house for a run.

I may act like an idiot at times, play the fool so that others would laugh, but I was *not* stupid, and Heero damn well knew it. At least, that was what I thought. It soon became apparent that Heero *did* think I was an idiot, as this type of thing happened more and more often.

At first, the nights that we spent together made up for every belittling comment, every slur on my intelligence, that he made.

Then, they began to stop making up for them. Everything that I did was wrong. I could not clean to his standards, could not cook things to his taste, my very presence seemed to irritate him. In short, Heero began to stop appreciating me. In the beginning, he told me that all my efforts to please him were perfect, because they were done by me. That lasted about a week before he began to critisize. It was not a sudden thing either, this change in attitude. It began so gradually that at first I did not realise it was happening. I did not realise it was happening, or had happened even, until I reached the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

We were on a preventer mission, not just the two of us, but Wufei as well, and that made the straw that much more humiliating. We were infiltrating a base, Wufei was somewhere else at the time, but Heero and I were going through some corridors, trying to find the bad guy.

I had offered to go first. It was a logical descision, I was better at stealth and could shoot just as well as Heero and throw knives better. When it came to silent death, I could deal it out the best of us five. But, Heero ordered me to cover him, and then went on ahead of me, taking my aquiescence for granted. One thing you do not do on a stealth mission is stand there and argue with someone, and so I had no choice but to follow.

The mission had gone off smoothly, but I had not forgotten his 'order' by the time we were finished. And so, on the way back to our cars, with Wufei walking behind us, I asked him just what the hell he had been thinking, to do that right in the middle of the bloody mission. He replied, "Because I don't think that you could have handled it." I paused for a moment, as he continued onwards towards his car. Not my car, my motorcycle (a piece of 'wastefull junk' according to Heero) was still back at Heero's apartment.

In that pause, in that instant of time, I had an epiphamy. Heero Yuy did not love me. He probably no longer even liked me. He may enjoy the sex we had together, but it was still sex, nothing to base a real relationship on. I saw a vision of what my future would be like with him flash before my eyes. I would never be appreciated, never welcomed warmly when I got home, not until it was time for bed, and as I stated before, sex had long since lost the power to absolve all the hurts of the day.

I vaguely remember the car ride home, not really listening to anything that Heero had to say, not that he said much mind you. My thoughts were turned inward onto what I had to do now, where I would go, and what it would lead me to. I would have to leave Heero, I could not stay with him anymore I decided as we opened the door to the apartment. I walked to our room, already thinking about what to take and what to leave behind. Some changes of clothing, and some uniforms would do for now, after all, I could always come back later. I grabbed a duffel bag from the back of the closet and began to fill it with what my mind had decided upon.

I couldn't leave the preventers, but it seemed impossible for me to see Heero everyday and try not to grovel at his feet. I was aware of Heero talking to me now, something frantic and desperate entering into his tone. I wasn't really aware of his words, they washed over me, no longer being of any concern.

"Duo what are you doing?"

Perhaps I could go to L2. I had lived there before, and I knew first hand how much help they needed, in any form possible. That might be a good place to start. Or maybe America on earth? The would be close to L2, I hear the crime rate in New York has risen once again, but...Would that be challenging enough to keep my mind off of Heero? I didn't know.

"Duo?"

After all, Heero had been such a big part of my life for so long that it would take a massive task to fill that space. Perhaps I could join the bomb squad? Nah, I already knew how to deal with most bombs, and I didn't really need more stress added to my work place.

"Don't leave me Duo."

Perhaps I could do something with children? I mean, domestic violence was frequent and a large problem still. Maybe there was a special section of the preventers that dealt with that.

"Marry me Duo."

Those words drove straight through my self involved haze and hit me upside the head. I stopped, shock paralysing me for an instant, allowing myself to drop the pair of jeans I had been folding.

"Excuse me?" I asked, staring at that determined face.

"Marry me Duo." Heero faithfully repeated. Without further thought, I flung myself at him, shrieking 'yes'. Had I but paid attention to what he had said earlier, perhaps I would have realised that he proposed merely to keep me with him forever, to make sure that I would not leave him. Not because he loved me, but because he did not wish to let me go. Perhaps I would have realised this, or perhaps my thoughts would have been so fixated on the idea of finally getting my heart's desire that it would have gone straight over my head.

With those three words, all memory of the way I had been treated by Heero seemed to flee from my mind, unable to be recalled. Gone were the many petty sneers on my intelligence, gone were the many belittlements of my skill. Gone also was the remembrance of the straw that had fallen so shortly beforehand.

And so the journey to my tear stained suit case is delayed once more, but not forever, for am I not at this very moment crying into my suitcase?

So it came about that Heero Yuy and I were married, in a very average garden, in very average clothes, going on to eat very average food, with a very small amount of guests. At the time, I could have gotten married in hell and still considered it to be heaven. But I had picked this, Heero not having much to say on the subject, as I now realised he could not have cared less.

So, off we went on our honeymoon, not too far away from where we lived, situated in a rather nice hotel that was cosy, well priced, and had fantastic food. Lady Unne had garunteed us two weeks off for the honey moon, with no missions to drag Heero away. The first few hours there were perfect. We screwed like rabbits, and I was rather shocked at Heero's stamina. Of course, history sometimes repeats itself, and this mind numbing bliss did not last.

It was maybe the fourth round, or perhaps the fifth, and Heero had just slid inside me, had just begun to fill me with his warm, pulsating shaft, starting a rythm that I knew would eventually bring us both to the very heights of heaven.

Then the laptop beeped.

Now, normally, I'm very tolerant with the laptop. Heero uses it for the missions, spends obscene amounts of time on it, and treats it almost as good as me. Almost. Until then, that little word was the only thing stopping me from picking up the stupid thing and tossing it out the window. Of course there had been instances in which the laptop had called, and Heero had answered, leaving me alone. But sex was my strongest hold on Heero. Nothing could stop him from enjoying my body, that had *always* been the way I had felt. After all, in the last few months, it seemed that that was all he was interested in, the only thing he wanted from me, so it had to be incredibly fantastic. Right?

Apperantly not, because Heero froze, then without hesitation, slid out of me and hastily moved to open up the laptop. I lay there, unmoving, my mouth open as my brain tried to work out what was happening. Heero had left me for that...thing! To say I was furious would be an understatement. I mean, was this how we were supposed to start our married life? With him putting an inanimate object before me? I did not think so, and suddenly, memories came rushing back, and the camel that had been propped up by marriage got another straw laid into his back. And what a straw it was! Marriage was a strong prop, capable of holding up many a camel, but it wasn't that strong, and this particular camel was carting around a lot of straw.

I must have lay there, in that position, for half an hour, expecting Heero to turn back towards me at any point in time and realise what an idiot he had just been. Finally, I pulled the blanket up over me, tightened myself into a ball, and watched him type. He stayed there for over an hour, reading whatever had been sent. Finally, he stood up, and walked back towards the bed.

My mind crowed in triumph. He had come back to me, yet I would not give into him so easily. I would make him beg a little first, take my time in deciding whether or not to let him crawl back into bed with me. I was thinking of how I could make Heero grovel when I looked up to see that he had not come back to bed, but was instead hastily getting dressed.

"What are you doing?" I asked, not sure I wanted the answer.

"Mission." Replied Heero, and began to pack a few of his things into his empty bag. I got up and flew to the computer, anxious to see what was so important that Unne would interrupt us. I sighed in relief.

The penny had not dropped yet, and I was feeling safe.

"It's ok Heero. You don't have to go." I smiled at him. "Lady Unne just wants your advice. You could e-mail it to her."

"Hn." Comes the reply, Heero still stolidly placing his clothes into his bag.

"Heero?" I asked. "Did you hear me? You don't have to go Heero, you can stay here, with me." My voice had taken on a slight pleading tone, of which I was thouroughly ashamed, but hey, if it got Heero to stay...

"I want to go." Heero said, picking up his bag. "They need me." He walked towards the door, and actually had a hand on it before I could form a reply.

"I need you." Heero paused, and then without turning around, said;

"I'll be back tomorrow afternoon."

"I won't be here."

He turned, looked at me, said "But we're married now, you can't leave me." and walked out, shutting the door quietly behind him.

The penny dropped, and so did the last straw. How could I have been such an idiot?! God, here I was thinking I had some vestiges of intelligence, but how I had been fooled! Heero Yuy did not love me, did not like me, just thought of me as one of his possessions. A possession that was fast losing its appeal if this morning's incident was anything to go by.

With this stunning revelation, came not the numbing haze of the past epiphamy, but an all encompassing pain. I felt like my world had been turned upside down. Nothing made sense any more, the room was spinning around me, the floor was rising up and the ceiling was crashing down, and in the end, I just had to sit there to make everything stop. After a while, I pushed myself off the floor, a sudden need to get out of there as fast as possible overwhelming me. I ran to the shower, throwing myself inside before the water had reached its right temperature, trying to scrub the scent of HIM off of me. Ten minutes later, I was out, dressed, and packing my suitcase. This is where I find myself now.

 

Wiping away my tears, I finished shoving my clothes into my bag, and left the hotel hurriedly. I signed out, knowing that Heero took all his things, and I would not be coming back any time soon. I didn't feel like getting a taxi, the need to walk, to move around, prevailing. It was pleasant countryside, rolling hills and well spaced houses. I lost all sense of direction, not really caring where I was headed, and eventually found myself at an old style inn.

The cold wind blew past me, making me aware of the chilly night, and my stomach rumbled, reminding me that I had not had much to eat today. I decided to go in for a meal, noticing a sign advertising for a position as a day chef tacked onto the window. A thought began to grow in the back of my mind. I walked into to the inn and sat down, ordering some stew and bread, filling, yet plain, as I didn't think I could handle anything too spicy at the moment.

As I sat over my meal, my thought began to grow. I could cook simple things, and some not so simple things. I made a chocolate and orange mirangue that could melt in your mouth. I also needed some time and space to get my head together, to decide just exactly where I wanted to go without Heero in my life. Maybe I would be able to fill the position for a few weeks.

After my meal, I asked to speak to the manager. She was a plump, matronly woman who looked like one of those little apple pie grandmas that you see in all those classic food adds. There was a fiery spark in her eye, and she looked like a person who could take on a hoard of grandkids and come out on top. It was that air of competence that made me like her immediately.

"Hello ma'am, my name's Duo Maxwell. I was wondering if I would be able to apply for the position you advertised in the window." She looked me up and down, her figure seeming to plump itself up within the confines of her red button down dress and white apron as she appraised me.

"Hmmm." She said after a while. "Step into my office." She led me into a small room lined in honey gold oak panelling and sporting a roaring fire. She sat down on one side of a large desk, and waved me into the seat opposite. I sat nervously, intensely aware of how haggard I must look, and what she would think of a stranger carrying around luggage for no reason in particular.

"Getting straight to the point, can you cook at all?" She asked me, cutting to the heart of the matter.

I nodded. "I can cook almost anything that's relatively simple, and some things that are a little more complex. Especially anything to do with chocolate." I smiled nervously as I said it, hoping she would also share a love of the gooey brown stuff.

Her face smiled back at me, some measure of approval shining forth. "Well, the jobs open for two weeks, as the new chef won't be here until then, it pays room and board as well as 50 dollars a day. You'll be in charge of making lunch and breakfast. That's about eight hours of work, give or take, with a half hour to get your own lunch before the rush hour begins. The days are pretty full on, but the nights are your own. How does that sound?"

I smiled at her. "It sounds perfect." I replied, smiling wanly, not up to a large smile. She looked at me, seeming to consider my countanence.

"Humour the curiosity of an old woman hon." she said kindly, her face semming to gather its wrinkles and concentrate them. "Why would a pretty young thing like you want this job?"

I looked at her, not knowing how much sorrow was visable in my eyes. "I find myself in a position of great uncertainty, and I just need a place to stay for a while until I get things sorted out."

She nodded in understanding and then gestured vaguely towards my hand. "Does your partner know you're here?" I reflexively grasped my finger, twisting the plain gold ring nervously.

"No." I replied softly.

She nodded again and stood up, moving her bulk out from behind the table. "Well, the jobs yours. During the day, we have 1 maid, and at night we have a serving wench. Their names are Bessie and Josie respectively, and I'll expect you to let them do their jobs, as they'll let you do yours. My name's Margaret, but you call me Peg, like everyone else. If anyone comes looking for you, I'll have my husband George turn them away. Now, follow me and I'll show you to your room."

So I followed Peg up the back stairs of her establishment, inhaling the sweet scent of beeswax from the candles that burned along there and all through the servants quarters. "We make sure that there are a good supply of candles in a box at the end of each halway, for the guests you know. Have to give the impression that we're from those days way before the colonies were even built. Now, refilling the boxes is Bessie's job, but I expect you to fill them up if you notice them empty and have the time. If not, leave it and tell her when she's serving the lunches.

"We have no electric lights installed, but we have many phone outlets, so if you wake up in the middle of the night, needing to relieve yourself, remember to light a candle. You can use the phone for local calls for as long as you like, but in your own time, and no long distance. I think I've gone over everything, but if you want something else, you can just ask." She finished, standing before an oak door and gesturing towards me. "There's an alarm clock on the bedside table, I expect you in the kitchen at 7:00 sharp." And with that, Peg shoved the candle into my hand, turned, and began to descend the narrow staircase.

I pushed open the door to my new room, and smiled softly. It was a small room, containing a single bed, one clothes chest, and a bedside table. The bed filled up most of the room, and the other furniture took up the rest of the space. It was small, yes, but it was cosy, and looked like just the thing to mend a broken heart in. I left my bag on the floor and tumbled into bed, undressing along the way.I didn't think that I would sleep, but the emotional turmoil must have taken its toll as I was out like a light, thankfully having no dreams that I remembered.

 

The next morning was one of the best I can ever remember having. I got up, awake and alert at 6:30, and was down at the kitchen right on time. The rest of the day passed as a blur as I was pretty much cooking all the time. The inn seemed to be a rather popular place to be, and my food seemed to go down rather well. At the end of the day, Peg had informed me that I could definitely stay on for the entire two weeks, and then sent me on up to bed. The rest of the time I was there was spent in a similar fashion to this, with me deciding that I definitely could do without Heero in my life. I was content, if not happy, and I felt useful again. It had been so long since I had gotten praise for a meal, or anything else that I had done, that i found it a bit of a novelty.

After the two weeks were up, I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I wanted to be a chef. I had always viewed the preventers as something of a time filler until I found something I really wanted to do. For a while, I had thought my way would lie in the salvage business, but that was not to be. I've always wanted to have a normal type of life, some way to get away from all the killing that seems to have followed me around ever since I could remember. I had never wanted to spend the rest of my life getting shot at. So what if I was good at it? So what if I was one of the best for the job? Didn't I deserve some semblance of a life too?

And now, I had decided what I wanted that life to be.

That night, I sent an e-mail to lady Unne, notifying her of my intentions, giving the required 2 weeks of notice, and then packed my things once more, calling for a taxi to come and pick me up.

Tomorrow, I would go back to work.

I rented a room in a classy hotel, about 15 minutes from work, and settled myself in for the evening, sending my rumpled uniform down to be pressed. Why did I bring my preventer uniform on my honey moon and then go spare at Heero for leaving? Because I brought mine for emergencies. He left me for something that was not an emergency.

I tucked myself up in bed, nervous tension coursing through me, and tried to get myself some sleep. At around half past two, I nodded off, the alarm clock waking me up rather rudely a few hours later. I got up stiffly, and got dressed slowly, dreading what was to come, but wanting to get into my office by the time that Heero was in. Safely ensconced in my office, I could hide behind my small, but fiery, secretary Eileen, mostly known as Elli. She wouldn't stand up to Heero's glare for long, but if I told her to give the impression that no-one was in...

I didn't particularly want to see Heero right now. I had no idea what he had been doing for the last two weeks, and I didn't particularly care. But if he didn't even know I had been missing...if he hadn't even gone back...I couldn't bear the thought. It would be the ultimate humiliation, and I didn't want to know whether I had to endure it or not.

I managed to drag my ass into the office half an hour earlier than usual, calling Lady Unne to let her know I was back, and that my resignation was still valid. I reassured her that when neccessary, she could always rely on me for the occaisional mission.

That done, I waited for my secretary to arrive, and informed her of the plan to allude that I was still not in. She agreed on the condition that I take the time to inform her of everything. I asked her to dinner (not up to being alone) and she readily accepted. She also told me that Quatre had called repeatedly in the last two weeks and that I may want to consider calling him back before he gave himself a small heart attack. Apperantly, Trowa and Wufei had also made noises of concern. I considered that information and decided to give Quatre a call.

After a few rings, a very tired and worn Quatre appeared on the screen. "He Q, what's up man? Heard you've been hassling my secretary. Trowa not enough for you anymore hey?"

Quatre's eyes widened to the point where they had taken up most of his pale face. A huge grin managed to use up the rest of it. "Duo! Where have you been?! We've been worried sick!"

I grinned back at him, genuinely happy to see him. "Oh, you know, the sailor's came into port a couple a days ago so I've been flat out. What about you though? You look like you've been dragged through the nine hells face down."

"We've all been looking for you! I've got all the maguanacs out right now! Trowa even took a week off to help us search, and Wufei has been ringing around everywhere. God Duo, it's so good to see you! What happened? All I know is that a couple of days after you left, Heero was ringing me asking where you were."

"Well, it's all very simple. I've left Heero."

"What?" The smile was gone now, and Quatre's eyes seem to have expanded even further. "Why?"

"Because he's a selfish asshole who doesn't give a toss about me."

"But he loves you Duo, he really does!"

I snorted increduously. "Well he sure as hell doesn't act like it. He left me on the first day of our honeymoon to tell Unne something that he could of said over the phone and a month later for all the urgency it held."

"I'm sure it wasn't all that bad-"

"We were right in the middle of sex Quatre. At the particular point that lube becomes obscenely neccessary. Don't tell me it wasn't that freakin' bad. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some work that has to be done." I hung up without waiting for his reply, too upset to be polite.

That done, I got on with my paperwork, getting through a substantial amount. I took a break to look for a decent chef college, and discovered that the most prestigious one was in Paris, France. I sent them an e-mail inquiring as to what I would need to do to apply, and then waited for the answer. About 4 hours later, it came, and I was startled at the amount of money that I would need. It wasn't a real problem though. After all, I had oodles of money lying around in bank accounts every place I could put them where they couldn't be traced. I would be able to survive, and I think that Paris would be a good place to begin again. Heero would probably avoid going to the traditionally romantic place for as long as inhumanly possible.

I made the arrangements, and sent of the enrolment form later that day, just before leaving work. Of course, before I left, I sent Elli around to check where Heero was. Apparently, Heero had already gone home, and so I felt safe in escorting Elli to dinner. Over some hot tomato soup, I told her about the war. Over deliscous roast beef, I told her about my love for Heero. Over chocolate ice cream and strawberries, I told her about my plans to move to Paris. Elli listened intently, and afterwards, she sat in silence for a moment, pondering what I had just said.

"Duo, I know you may not believe it at this point in time, but Heero does love you. I can see it whenever he looks at you, the way his eyes follow you around the room. He needs you Duo. Try and take that into consideration when you plan your move. You should at least tell him. Let him make it up to you. People make mistakes, and from what I can tell, Heero has never really learned to love before."

I nodded and replied. "Then maybe this will be a lesson to him. Teach him that he can't treat people as objects."

She looked at my in resignation, knowing that I would not change my mind. I took her home, and that was the last we spoke of it that evening.

The next morning found me in my office, sending out the appropriate replies to the reply of my enrolement, them telling me I was accepted, and me thanking them profusely and making the neccessary cash transfers. When that was done, I finally began to make some headway in the mound of paperwork I had to complete before leaving my job.

It wasn't until the next day that I finally had my confrontation with Heero.

It was 2:00 when Heero burst into my office, looking fit to be tied. "Where were you?" He growled out, demanding an answer. I looked up at him, startled, and then I schooled my features into an expression of polite interest as if a stranger had just asked me what time of day it was.

"Hello Heero, how are you today?" I replied nuetrally, not letting any emotion other than cheerful pleasentness enter my voice.

"I said where were you?" He repeated, his trade mark glare now aimed at me with a vengeance.

"To which period of time are you referring to?" I asked him, knowing exactly what he wanted to hear, but not about to make this easy for him. I had made things entirely too easy for and on one Heero Yuy in the past, and it was going to stop now. I was no longer the ignorant little twit that he had lived with, had married...God, I almost forgot that we had gotten married. Strange huh? But with all that had been happening, it was not really taking any part of my focus.

"The period of time from when I left you on our honeymoon to now! That period of time!"

"Oh, that period of time." I said, steepling my fingers in front of my face, resting my elbows on the desk, and looking past Heero, as if contemplating the question. "Why do you wish to know?" I asked, puzzlement entering my voice, as if I truly wondered why. OK, so I was playing with him. So sue me! Didn't I deserve some pleasure? Even if it was evil vindictive pleasure.

Heero looked at me for a moment, his glare intensifying, before blurting out, "You're my husband!"

I looked at him in surprise. "Really? That didn't seem to concern you a few weeks ago. Why the sudden interest?"

Heero's expression was a study in gobsmackedness. "Because...because...Damnit, we're married!" Heero's face had flushed red, and a small tick had began near his temple.

"That didn't concern you a few weeks ago either."

"Of course it *concerned* me! We had just gotten married, we were on our *honeymoon* for christ sake! How could it *not* concern me?""Exactly." I said, watching as his brain processed the comment, and then confusion entered his face.

"What do you mean 'exactly'?"

"We had just gotten married, we were on our honeymoon, and you got a message that wasn't urgent, and didn't even have to be answered straight away. Yet, you stopped having sex with me to answer your laptop. You then proceeded to pack up everything and leave, saying that you would be back the next day, and that I couldn't leave you because we were married." I leaned back in my chair, looking at him over my still folded hands. "I took in all this information after you left, including how you acted towards me before we were married, and came to the conclusion that you are a possessive, selfish, heartless asshole who doesn't deserve me."

Heero looked as if he was about to say something, but I forged onwards. "After coming to said conclusion, I decided that there was no point in waiting for you to come back, as I had nothing whatsoever to say to you. I still have nothing whatsoever to say to you, so please leave my office." I finished my little speech as outwardly calm as when I had begun it.

"Well I have something to say to you! You -" The ringing of a mobile phone interrupted him, and he turned his back to me as he answered it. A few murmurs later - he didn't even trust me enough to allow me to listen to his conversations - and Heero turned back to me. "I have to go now, but we'll continue this conversation later. I should be free by Tuesday, we'll have lunch."

 

Tuesday rolled around, and I waited nervously for what Heero would do. I had heard nothing more from the silent man during my time at the preventers. I had gotten a few intense glares from him across the office as I travelled from one place to another though. It was slightly unnerving, but I did my best to ignore him, focusing on my plans for travel instead.

I had decided to catch a boat from Japan to the continent of asia, taking my motorbike with me. Then, I could just ride across the country, using a small part of the massive amounts of funds I had collected during the war. I couldn't enrol in cooking school until the beginning of the new year, and that wasn't for another four months yet. I had thought to take french classes in that time, just so that I would be able to understand what was going on. I could still take classes, I'd just have to do it later. The thought of riding across all that land was just way too tempting to resist.

I was so caught up in looking through apartment advertisements that I completely forgot that today was Heero-lunch day. Therefore, I was surprised off my ass when Heero walked in at 12:30 and told me that we would be going now.

"What?" Was my stunningly witty reply.

"You said you'd have lunch with me today." He answered, raising an eyebrow in impatience. That little raised eyebrow incited all my rage once more. How dare that bastard order me to have lunch with him and then show up here like I should be jumping to go out with him. After what he did...

"Actually Heero, no I didn't. I never said I would have lunch with you. *You* said I would have lunch with you, then you walked out of the office without getting my opinion on the matter at all, demonstrating once again your complete inability to take any of my feelings into consideration. Now if you don't mind, I have quite a lot of work to do before Friday."

"Can't you- I mean, would you have lunch with me?" I looked up at him, and saw that while his voice may have changed in tone, his face was still the usual impassive mask.

"Today I can't make it till at least 1:30 Heero. If you still want to have lunch with me, then I'll meet you here."

Heero shook his head. "I have a meeting. I'm sure any work that you're doing can't be that urgent Duo."

That comment made me see red. "What do you mean 'any work that you're doing'?" I stood up and leaned over my desk. "Are you implying that I can only handle menial tasks Heero?" My voice had gone deathly quiet, and I was filled with an icy rage.

Heero shifted his feet, and I took that to be a nervous sign of guilt. "Well I'm sorry to disabuse you of the notion that I'm a drooling idiot, but I *do* actually have a brain. I *was* actually a gundam pilot. I *have* actually fought in several wars. I've lived through life on the streets, rapings, beatings and much more than *you've* ever seen. I've lost loved ones, my pride, self respect, dignity and sometimes even my sanity. I completed several years of strenuous training for Dr G, proving to myself and anyone else that cared enough to notice that I am a damned capable person. I did not do all that just so that I could become your fucking dormat! I will not sit around, waiting for you to finish whatever the hell it is that you deem so bloody important, just so that I can grab a few measly moments of your time and attention. I am done with all that, all the washing and the cooking and the insults and the critisism! I am not letting you do that to me anymore Heero Yuy, now get the fuck out of my office!!!"

He looked at me in what I assume was stunned silence, before turning and stalking out. At the door, he paused for a moment. "Would you go out to lunch with me on Thursday Duo?" He asked me, his monotone contrasting sharply with the emotional tones I had just used.

"I think I can fit you in." I said icily, and sat down again as he shut the door quietly behind him.

I continued to look through the apartment advertisements, finding none that I liked and then e-mailed the real estate agent to ask for more, saying that I wouldn't need something for at least a month, and emphasising my need for space and a large kitchen. I intended to practice what I was taught, and could not think of doing so in a cramped space.

After that, I debated going to Heero's apartment and getting the rest of my stuff. But then I remembered that I was planning to travel a long way on the back of a not so big motorbike, and that I had to travel light. Deiciding that Heero could keep all my stuff, I buried my head back down in my work.

From that day on, my life formed a vague sort of pattern; work my ass off and sleep. In between those times, I may have snacked, but quite frankly, I was just too busy. I also managed to find myself issued with a special preventers card that would allow me to basically go anywhere, carrying anything, to do whatever I wanted, anytime I decided to. It was pretty cool, and made of that flexi-plastic stuff that could survive a nuclear explosion. Needless to say, I was very priveledged to get one.

So when Thursday came around, I was rather hungry, and had calmed down enough to actually listen to Heero. This was good in some ways, but bad in others. Good because I would behave more rationally...i guess. Bad because my anger was the only thing that was masking my hurt. If I was angry at Heero, nothing he did could hurt me.

I was in the middle of these frightening thoughts when Heero stepped in the door.

 

part c

"Why did you leave?" Heero said, startling me with the sudden noise. "I would have thought that you would have realised why by now." I replied, looking up as the waiter brought over our food. I looked at the generous slice of lasagne with anticipation. Soon, I would know how to make stuff like this.

"I do, I mean, I figured it out after we spoke on Tuesday. I just wanted to say...well, what I really wanted to do was to explain to you why I've never really...well you know." I stared at Heero, watching as he fumbled his words in a very disconcerting way.

"No, I don't know Heero. You'll have to tell me." I replied, knowing what Heero was trying to say, but not wanting to end his suffering. If he wanted to prove to me that we could have a relationship that had some semblance of normalcy to it, he had to at least learn to talk about his feelings.

"I've never loved anyone before Duo." He said, fiddling with his fork as he pondered the intricate swirls of his linguini.

"Well, that's not my problem any more Heero." I stated, and found myself staring into shocked prussian blue eyes. His face was slack, and his mouth was open in surprise. He looked vaguely horrified, and I realised that this was the most emotion I had seen from Heero out of bed. I shrugged and continued, "I'm sorry that you've never loved anyone Heero, truly I am as that makes you a very sad person, but you can't use that as an excuse to be an asshole to people. I mean, you've been living in the real world for years now, you have to have at least a *basic* knowledge of human behaviour. You should know by now how to treat people you like, how to be *nice*. But you don't, you just wander around, stomping on people and their feelings, not giving a damn about how your actions affect them."

"I'm sorry." Heero said, hanging his head and continuing his study of his pasta.

My mouth gaped open, and my eyes decided to take over my face. I never thought Heero would say something like that. I had to forcibly stop myself from jumping him right there in the restaurant and taking him back, no questions asked. Instead of doing that, I had to make him *work* to get back into my good graces. If he wanted another chance, and I was fast reaching the point where I was hoping desperately that he did, he had to convince me that he could be a good husband. Hopefully, I'd be able to determine whether or not that would be possible in this conversation.

"So am I Heero, we could have had something really good together." I said, watching his reaction very carefully.

"Could have?" He parroted back at me, turning it in to a question. I smiled and shrugged again, leaving the metaphorical ball in his court. At least I knew that he wanted to get back into our relationship.

"Are we over Duo? Couldn't we...try again?" I looked at him, noticing the light in his eyes which had gone from shocked to pleading.

That look, that single look, melted my heart into a large pile of goo. It was merely the fact of the waiter coming to ask us if we wanted something more to drink that snapped me out of my 'let me come crawling back to you' trance.

"Heero, it's not that simple, or that easy." I said instead of 'of course we can sweety, all's forgiven'.

"Tell me what I have to do." He said, gazing at me with an intensity I had, again, never seen outside of bed.

I sighed, thinking of all the things that I could possibly say to him. I went through a thousand type of behaviours, sensitivities, expressions and various other things for him to do, but in the end, they all boiled down to the same goal.

"I want you to make me fall in love with you again." I looked at him straight in the eye, needing to communicate how important this was to me. "I want to feel that warmth inside of me that only comes when you smile at me, to be held by you, to feel safe and secure. To be put above everything else in your life, to come first, to be considered in any descisions you make. To be your equal and your partner instead of just a good fuck. That's what I want."

Heero was silent for a while, and I finished off my lasagne slowly, waiting for his answer.

He looked up at me and uttered the one phrase that could possibly have changed me mind; "Ninmu Ryouko."

I stared at him, my brain frantically trying to tell me that he could not have said that, that he had said anything but *that*. Silently, I got up and walked out of the resturaunt, heading straight to my hotel room. I heard Heero trying to come after me, calling my name in confusion, but I managed to get myself into a cab and be on my way before he could catch me.

Tears raced down my cheeks, blurring my vision, and I cursed myself for letting him get to me, for letting him hurt me again. How could that bastard say that! How could he even think of treating me like a-*mission*! Was that all I was to him? Something to be won? A challenge? After he completed his 'mission', would he just move on to something else?

I made up my mind, I would leave tonight. My work was almost done, and even though I hadn't finished it yet, Lady Unne would just have to understand and give it to someone else. I ran up the stairs to the hotel, continuing inside and hurrying to the elevator. Hopping inside just as the doors were closing, I pressed the button and was speedily transported up to my room. The steel doors parted, and I ran to my room door, my hands shaking as I tried to fit my key into the lock. Suddenly, there was a warm body pressing up against my back, and strong hands taking the key from my grasp. Heero opened the door and guided me inside, gently removing my coat and sitting me down on the bed.

"What's wrong Duo?" Chocolate tones of concern drifted towards me, and gentle hands were stroking my own.

I pushed him away, suddenly furious at him for not knowing, for not understanding. "I'm not your fucking mission." I cried out, my voice hoarse from crying. I stumbled towards the bathroom, tears still flowing from my eyes. I was stopped by bands of steel wrapping themselves around my chest, and a soft face burying itself in my hair.

"I'm sorry," Heero whispered into my hair, over and over and over, and I cried, soaking his shirt with my tears after he turned me around so that I faced his chest.

His hands started to stroke my back, and then when my tears eventually stopped, they turned into carresses. He turned my face up towards his, and gently kissed away the remains of my tears. "I love you Duo." He whispered. "Please, let me try again. Give me another chance."

I looked into his intense blue eyes and nodded, seeing the sincerity there. "One more chance Heero." I replied, and let him back into my heart.

Part d

I watched him as he slept, his hair twisting around his calm body, highlighting a dip here, a curve there. His chest rose and fell softly, a blessed sign that he was still alive. The moonlight filtered in around the blinds, landing softly on his milky skin, giving him a surreal appearance. As if he could melt away if I blinked or breathed wrong.

It had been difficult, especially in the beginning, but even now, for me to love him. He was so vibrant, so full of life, and I...was not. He never asked me for anything else after that day. He never issued another ultimatum, he never threatened me. He had stated his wish, and if I didn't comply, he would leave. That was all I needed to inspire me to love him as he should be loved.

When I had married him, I had thought that my heart had had no say in the matter. It was a coldly calculated decision, designed to keep what was mine in my possession. It was only after, when I could not find Duo, that my heart made it's wishes known.

Duo had been in a place that had no computer records, to keep up the impression that it was pre-colony. I had no way to trace him, and I felt useless and incomplete. As if a part of me was missing, and my chest ached, as if I was continually suffering from heart burn. It hurt to think, to breath, to *live*. I couldn't sleep without him. The bed was cold and empty, impassive and uncaring towards my misery. At first, I outwardly appeared not to care. He was a person, someone that a soldier wouldn't need, and I was still a soldier. It wasn't until I realised that he may never come back that I knew I didn't want to be a soldier anymore. That was the first night I wept, crying myself to sleep, using his pillow as a poor substitute for his body. The days after that became a blur of depression and self pity. I went over everything in my mind, time and time again. I realised that I had been calous and rude, hurtful and mean. I hadn't meant to be, I just hadn't put any effort into being nice.

After he came back, when he had given me a second chance, I started to pay more attention to the way couples behaved towards each other. They would touch each other, alot more than I would touch Duo in public. When I actually thought about it, I didn't touch Duo in public at all, my soldier's conscious dictating that I could not let an enemy know my weakness. In an effort to banish this mind set, I began to touch him more, small gestures at first, but then I would hug him upon greeting him, hold his hand when we walked, stroke his arm while he sat across a cafe table. This was Paris, and two men in a romantic relationship was not unusual. I would not kiss him however, needing to prove to him that I could *love* him before trying to *make love* to him.

I changed other things as well. Firstly, we devided the chores up equally between us. I no longer expected him to be my personal maid. He still cooked for us though, making whatever culinary delights he had happened to learn that week, or even making them up as he went along. I made sure to praise his work, to support his decision to study, especially as I had not decided what to do with my life yet. Apart from the general dusting, vacuming and dishes that I did around the house my life was only focused on one thing at the moment; Duo. I had followed Duo to Paris, knowing I didn't want to fight anymore, but not knowing what I would be able to do instead. So I had accompanied Duo when he travelled off to his cooking school. It had been cramped on that bike of his, but it gave me an excuse to cling to him. Unlike Duo, I did not give notice-I just took off. I had left my cell phone and my pager behind me, lying on top of my uniform. Needless to say, Duo had approved wholeheartedly with my decision. I look down at him now, and remember what had led us to being here, sharing the same bed once more.

*********

Today had been the 6th month anniversary of my getting a second chance. Duo had not thought to celebrate, but I had. Getting up early, I had snuck out of the house to buy some things, and then I had snuck back in, ready to awaken Duo with some croissants and other more important things.

He woke up slowly, blinking the sleep out of his eyes, smiling lazily up at me. I could see the love he felt for me shining from his face, and I knew that this was definitely the right thing to do.

"Good morning koi." I whispered softly, holding the tray out for his inspection. Duo hauled himself up the bed until he was sitting up, ready to look at what I had provided. He grinned in delight when he saw the pastries, and immediately started to rip one apart. Finishing that one, he downed another before stopping to take a juice break. When he was finally sated, he sat back and eyed me curiously.

"What was that for?" He asked me. "Not that I'm complainging or anything, but you have that look on your face that means you know something that I don't know, and can't wait to have it pried out of you. So spill."

I leaned forward and whispered "Happy anniversary." Before kissing him on the mouth, slipping my tongue inside of it when he gasped in surprise. I leaned forward, wrapping my arms around him, the tray falling unheeded to the floor. His hands came up and wrapped around my back, moving to tangle themselves in my hair. I pulled away eventually, needing ot come up for air.

He looked up at me, and began to laugh. "Hee-chan," he giggled, "our anniversarie's on the 29th!"

I smiled down at him, and kissed him into silence. "No, this is our real anniversary, the day when you gave me another chance. I consider our relationship to have started from that point.

"Since then, I have tried to treat you as you should be treated, to love you with every fibre of my being. I don't think that I've succeeded yet, but I know that I've improved, and I want to be here next to you, wake up with you, for the rest of our lives, and learn to improve even more. Not because you asked me to, but because you are the most beautiful person in the world, and I would rather die than make you sad." I reached into my pocket and pulled out a box. Opening it, I presented it to Duo. "Will you marry me? Will you be mine, and take me, for what ever time we have here?"

He looked up at me, tears of happiness glittering in his amethyst eyes before spilling down his soft cheeks. "Nothing would make me happier." He replied, and I barely managed to get the ring on his finger before he threw himself into my arms.

It had taken me months to find a ring suitable to give to Duo. The band was made of platinum with a design of calla lillies twining around several chunks of obsidian. It looked like lace from a distance, and it suited his delicacy, beauty, strength and immense worth. It was perfect, and I wanted him to wear it forever.

My thoughts of the ring were abruptly cut off as Duo's mouth met mine in a dazzling display of passion that had me seeing stars. He then proceeded to show me exactly how happy I had made him.

Several times.

************

And now here I was, lying next to the other half of my soul, knowing that he would be next to me for the rest of my life, and after that, that he would be waiting for me wherever we went.

I ran a hand down his cheek, stroking my thumb along his jaw, and then carressing his lower lip.

His violet eyes opened slowly, and he smiled at me, satisfied for the time being, before stretching leisurely. I smirked down at him, and ran my hand down his flank, feeling the taught muscles move under my hand as his body flexed. My hand landed on his hip, as the other one came up to tangle itself in the hair at the nape of his neck.

Duo's smile took on a different hue as he realised what I wanted. I leaned down and captured his mouth with my own, inviting his tongue out to play. He rubbed against me, his body once more feeling desire course through it. His hands roamed up my spine, tenderly stroking the long scratches that he had gouged out only hours earlier. I moaned into his mouth and pressed my aching arousel agains his thigh. I had been up for a while, and my body craved completion more urgently than his did.

Duo, however, was good at body language, and understood the message that I was trying to convey. His body moved more swiftly, his arousel now rubbing against my own. I could stand it no longer, I had to have him again. I turned him over on his belly, raising his hips and parting his thighs. I knew that he would still be slick from my earlier ministrations, but I would not take any chances.

I kissed my way down his slender back, trailing the indentation his spine made. At last I came to the firm globes of his buttocks, and began to bite them gently, sucking in apology when he moaned in response.

I parted the creamy mounds and licked his small opening, my erection twitching in response to his desperate mewls. I thrust my tongue swiftly into his channel, loving the taste and the feeling of him clenching around me, and the way he was screaming, crying out for me to take him now. I held out as long as I could, knowing that the waiting was pleasurable for Duo, despite how it sounded at the moment. Finally, I could bear it no longer, and thrust my now painful arousel into his tight passage. He felt like silk, warm and wet and pulsing around me. I lost control completely when he began to frantically thrust agianst me, sobbing into his pillow, crying out in need.

I thrust wildy into him, losing myself in him. The smell of his skin, sweaty and musky with lust, the sound of his cries, frantic and desperate with need, and the feel of his skin, slick and wet from exertion.

I felt myself on the brink, and reached beneath him, capturing his hardness in my hand, determined that he would cum before me. I only had to touch him once before he came, screaming in ecstasy and shooting his milky contents onto my palm and the sheet beneath him. I came as soon as his body began to contract around me. The change in pressure was too much, and the world exploded around me, shattering and melting, washing over me until I was nothing but a puddle of happiness, collapsed on the bed next to Duo.

We were both panting hard, and I smirked at him in satisfaction, knowing that I had rocked his world. He smiled back at me, and slowly I drifted off to sleep, holding him to me, locked in my embrace.