I'm pretty sure I got the lyrics right, this is a fairly easy song to hear... I lyricized by ear, so if I am wrong, sorry. This is dedicated to Skye for her support and wonderful friendship, without which I known not where I'd be now. Thank you and Blessed Be, sister.

The Dance by Willow (for Skye)
Lyrics/Music: Garth Brooks
Pairings: 1+2, implied 3+4
Warnings: songfic, shounen-ai, fluff/sap/WAFF, sad, death
Feedback: Please? I can not but ask, so I ask: please? utenakat@yahoo.com
~~~...~~~ = flashback
---...--- = scene change
[...] = lyrics


The Dance

Heero sat on the porch of his small cabin in the woods. It wasn't a large or grand place by any means; it was modest and simple, like he liked it. A smile graced his lips as the sun touched the trees and the sky faded into a deep hued purple.


[Looking back
On the memory of]


His ocean blue eyes twinkled as the fading light of dusk invoked found memories of his past... their past.



Heero watched from his seat on the soft green grass as the braided boy went about messing with his prone Gundam. He watched as the boy never ceased motion, flitting between one repair to another then back again; said actions amused him to no end.

He noticed that, during his musings, the boy had disappeared and now soft, mellow music drifted through the air. He peered through the darkness to locate the missing American and found himself face to face with the boy.


[The dance we shared
Beneath the stars above]


Duo smiled sweetly at him, standing straight and offering him a hand. "Dance with me, Hee-chan?" he asked softly. The small smile widened as Heero placed his hand in the smaller one, pulling himself to stand. He nodded decisively and nearly dragged Duo out from under the trees to stand in the clearing, beneath the canopy of stars.


[For a moment
All the world was right]


Heero reveled in the feel of the lithe body pressed against his, their movements fluid and synchronized. They danced slowly, rhythmicly, enjoying the moment of complete contentment and closeness. Heero closed his eyes and burried his face in the sweet-smelling chestnut silk that adorned his love's head. For that moment, all the world was right... and he was happy.



[How could I have known
That you'd ever say goodbye]


The trails of his tears glittered silver in the moonlight as he held the injured boy close to him. Duo's breathing was shallow and it was all he could to to remain conscious. He clung to Heero's waist as he felt himself slipping away.


The battle had been a fierce one and the enemy had far out numbered them, but they were Gundam pilots, they were used to impossible odds. So the battle raged on, endlessly it seemed, and the effects of its duration were beginning to make themselves known.

"We're getting nailed here!" Duo ground out, his teeth clenched as he swung his scythe around to wipe out two more Aries.

Heero ran a scan of the possible outcomes through Zero, frowning at the results. "Pull back," he said, hating to run, but seeing no other option.

"Ryoukai!" Duo chimed, retreating.

"Duo!" Heero yelled, just as a renegade Leo found it's way through the braided pilot's defenses. The hit landed hard and DeathScythe went down... hard. "Duo! Duo!" Heero was frantic as he leveled the MSes still surounding him and rushing over to the fallen Gundam. As fast as he could he ripped the hatch off the black suit and carefully removed the unconscious pilot then made a run for it.


Duo coughed raggedly as the blood in his lungs began to impede his breathing. Though no external damage was apparent save for a few bruises and a nasty cut across his forehead, Heero knew that, due to the force the boy'd impacted on his harnass, there was internal bleeding... And there was nothing he could do to stop it.

"He... Hee-chan..." Duo managed, tugging lightly on his love's tank-top. When the Soldier looked down, Duo gave him a small, sweet smile... one that was reserved only for him. Heero wanted to weep, but now was not the time.

"Duo," he said, his voice calm and soothing.

"I... I--"

"Shhh... Duo, we'll... we'll get you to a doctor, really soon... The others are on their way and... and then you'll be just fine... just hold on for me... please?" Heero said, his eyes tearing up again despite his resolution to be strong... if only for Duo's sake.

"Hee-chan... I'm... I'm not gonna make it...." Duo's voice was nothing but a whisper and Heero could hear the sickening burble of fluid as the boy breathed.

"Don't say things like that... You're gonna be just fine--"

Duo shook his head slightly. "Gomen ne, Hee-chan..." the violet eyes were sad as he looked up, his face solomn. "... I love you... I'm gonna... miss you...." By this time, Duo was having a hard time getting breath to speak, his lungs were labored under the stress of the thick fluid filling them and Duo knew he had very little time... and he had to make it count. "One... one last favor... love...?"

Heero'd lost all resolve, the tears once again flowed down his cheeks and he nodded. "Anything... anything for you, you know that... I could never refuse you... not anything..." he spoke softly, gazing deep into pain hazed violet eyes.

"One.... last kiss...." Duo whispered.

Heero licked his dry lips and nodded. Slowly, he lowered his lips to meet those of the boy he held dear. The kiss wasn't insistant, it wasn't demanding, it wasn't filled with fiery passion... it was sweet and gentle, saying everything they never could, never had the chance to. Heero felt his heart break as they parted and he heard the final whisper of breath from then now too still body.




[And I'm
I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end
The way it all would go]


The sun had set and the twinkle of distant stars filled the night sky like teardrops on satin. Heero sighed and picked himself up off the porch, reaching up to stretch his stiff muscles. He smiled to himself. He was glad that he didn't know in advance that loving Duo would cause him such pain... He supposed that the joy the boy'd brought to his life far outvalued and outweighed the pain of his loss.


[Our lives
Are better left to chance]



"What'cha doin'?" Duo said, plopping himself down on Heero's lap, ignoring the glare Heero sent him for disrupting his work.

"Typing a mission report...."

"Really?" Duo asked, smiling. "Doesn't look like it to me!"

Heero rolled his eyes and sighed, resigned to accept the distraction. He smiled, surprising the braided boy, and said, "No, I guess not." With that he picked the boy up in his arms and carried him over to the bed.


"Hee-chan.... what're you thinking?" Duo murmured, snuggling against his love's bare chest.

Heero sighed, stroking Duo's long, unbraided hair. "Just thinking, nothing particular..."

"Oh," Duo said, tracking random patterns on the smooth chest. "You ever think about... what would happen if... one of us left? Or stuff like that?"

"No, Duo, I don't..." He looked into curious, if startled, eyes. "Our lives are better left to chance... we don't need to think about 'what might have been's or 'what could happen'... live now, live for today..."

Duo sighed and nodded against Heero's chest. A sigh escaped his lips as he drifted off to sleep..."



[I could have missed the pain
But I'd've had to miss
The dance]


'It's as true now as it was then...' Heero thought, staring at the crackling fire in the stone fireplace.



"Do you ever regret... us?" Duo asked.

Heero looked at the unsmiling boy, taken aback by the question. Duo'd been acting rather meloncholly lately and it was beginning to worry Heero. Heero shook his head and pulled his love closer against him. "No, love... never... I never regret it and would never, and I mean ever, trade any of it for anything...."

Duo smiled against the tanned flesh. "... I'm glad... I love you."

Heero smiled, "... I love you, too..."

Heero felt a wetness on his chest and looked down at the slightly shaking boy. Had he said something wrong? "Duo?"

The violet eyed boy looked up at him, his violet eyes shining with love ad happiness. Heero let out the breath he hadn't realized he was holding; he need not have worried, those eyes told him just how much he'd said right. He smiled and calmly repeated it. "I love you..."



[Holding you
I held everything]


Heero watched out of the corner of his eye as he drove their procured Jeep Grand Cherokee along the long and winding highway. His braided lover was drifting off to sleep in the passenger seat, his lolling head sliding down the glass of the passenger side window. Sighing, he pulled the Jeep over and slid out of the driver's seat.

"Trowa?" he said, indicating the vacated seat. The European boy nodded and climbed into the front seat as Heero walked around the car.

Opening the passenger door, Heero caught the boy and lifted him out of the seat, allowing Quatre to slid up front. Wufei slid to the far side as Heero opened the door and sat the slumbering boy on the back seat. Wufei held the boy erect as Heero slid in and buckled up, then helped lay the boy across the back seat and their laps.

"Thank you," Heero said as Wufei arranged Duo's legs on his lap.

"No problem," Wufei said, nodding then turning to look out the window.

Heero ran his fingers through the tossled bangs, smiling as the boy sighed and turned into the caress.



[For a moment
Wasn't I the king]


"C'mon, Hee-chan!" Duo cried jovially, tugging on Heero's hand. "Let's go to the school dance!"

"Duo," Heero chided. "Do you think they'd approve? Do we want to blow our cover?"

Duo's face fell and he dropped his hold on Heero's hand, looking down as he scuffed a toe in the dirt. "No..."

Heero's heart ached as he watched the unhappy statement settle on Duo's heart-shaped face. "... but..." he placed a finger under the pointed chin, lifting the gamin face to look him in the eye. "... we're not gonna let that stop us... are we?" He watched as Duo's face lit up and the boy threw his arms around Heero's neck.

"Thank you, Hee-chan!" Duo cried happily. Heero just placed his arms around Duo's waist, pulling them flush against one another. He felt like a king.



[But if I'd only known
How the king would fall
Then who's to say
You know I might've changed it all]


The fire had dwindled down to embers long ago and Heero now sat in the dark, staring beyond the glowing ashes.

He drew his attention back to the present and looked up at the small digital wall clock... the soothing blue-green numbers read 11:54 pm. Two hours and nineteen minutes... until the anniversary of Duo's death. He sighed as he arranged himself on the couch, smiling suddenly at a memory.



"But Hee-chan... I like it!" Duo whined and Heero chringed at the weedling tone.

"Duo... you sound like Relena when you do that... don't...." Heero said, grimacing.

"Can't we get it though?" Duo asked, turning large violet eyes on his love. Heero was pinned, he couldn't deny the boy anything, especially when he turned that look on him.

"Fine fine, we'll get the couch!" Heero said, opening his wallet and paying the salesman for the red covered couch.

Duo bounced happily beside the boy who just rolled his eyes and stared at their purchase.


"It'll go great in a cabin... wouldn't it be nice to have a cabin in the woods? After the war and all..." Duo said grinning from ear to ear.

Heero had to agree that it would be a nice touch to a woodsy chalet. And it made him happy to see his love so enthusiastic about such a prospect... living together after the war... Subconsciously, Heero began making plans for their future....


Heero stared at the small headstone marking the grave. It was the first time, since the funeral, that he'd been there. He stooped down and lay the flowers beside the stone.

Running an eye over the carvings, he memorized them for the fifty-ith time or so.

A Celtic cross with ornate Celtic designs scrawled across the cement block and below read:

"Duo Maxwell
'Our lives
Are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I'd've had to miss
The Dance'"

Heero hummed the tune to the old song as he ran a caloused finger over the ornate patterns lovingly.



[And I'm
I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end
The way it all would go]


2:06 am

Heero stared at the ceiling. Another nine minutes... Another nine minutes until he would hav been without his Duo for a whole year. He knew he'd do this every year until it was his time to meet back up with his love... so until then he'd continue this vigil... every year until then.

2:11 am



[Our lives
Are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I'd've had to miss
The dance]



"D'you believe in soulmates?" Duo asked, staring up at the puffy white clouds that floted listlessly across the baby-blue sky.

Heero shrugged. "I haven't much experiance any anything of the sort... though I suppose it's possible..."

Duo just continued to stare at the sky.

"Why?" Heero asked.

"Hm?" Duo blinked, then rolled his shoulders. "Oh, no reason... I just.... nevermind..."


"'Yes' what?" Duo asked, sitting up and looking at the dark haired boy.

"Yes, I believe in soulmates..." Heero paused and looked deep into violet-indigo eyes. "I believe... that we... are soulmates..." Heero smiled and kissed Duo on the nose before going back to reading a mission report from Trowa. Before he knew it he had a bundle of violet-eyed-energy sitting atop his chest and kissing him passionately. He didn't complain one bit.



[Yes my life
Is better left to chance]


2:14 am Heero got up from his place on the couch and walked across the living room. He lifted the silver framed picture that rested on the mantle for all to see.

2:15 am

He smiled at the radiant being captured within, the bright eyes and sun-shaming smile warming him even in the chill of the night. He looked at the clock and back at the picture. He smiled again before placing a sweet kiss on the face of the boy that smiled angelically out at him.

"Goodnight, Duo... I love you...."


[I could have missed the pain
But I'd've had to miss
The dance]