Title: Staying Buried
Warnings: serious AU, probable OOC, angsty/depressing, language... lots of language, yaoi later on
Disclaimer: some mine, some not
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"It was a few weeks after the new students had integrated, but the
system was still a mess. People were still being shifted from class to class
in an attempt to even out numbers. Then one day in my English class, we
received one last new student, someone who would change my life forever.
His name was Duo Maxwell."
Having said his name for the first time in nearly seven years, I want desperately to take it back. It's echoing back and forth through my head. The tones and nuances of my voice when I uttered it are mocking me, driving me deeper inside the emotion that came to the forefront with the speaking of his name. My confidence has been wiped clean away and in its wake is a trembling mass of who the hell knows what.
Alexis has been hanging off my every word, as though I were an author giving a reading of a best-selling book. But this isn't a book, as much as I fight against it, it's life. My life, my past and she's waiting for a resolve to the cliffhanger and expects a happy ending.
So we sit here, eating up the gas because of a human need for warmth and shelter. Silence. I know she wants more but my head is still revolving around the odd arrangement of letters that form his name. Maybe if I spin long enough, I'll just lose control of all coherent thought. Then I won't have to tell her the rest and I could kick back in a straight jacket with a nurse to feed me pills and wipe away the drool.
Who knew that all it would take for the rotation to stop was Alexis's pestering voice?
"Hey babe, are you alright?" The world snaps back into alignment. And I snap right along with it.
"No, I'm not fucking alright. If I was fucking alright, we wouldn't be sitting here in the middle of nowhere with me telling you stories of why I'm not fucking alright in the first place." I finally answer that question truthfully, much to my eminent regret.
"You are such an asshole. I don't know why I try, I don't know why I even give a damn about you. You just throw it back in my face. I understand that you haven't had a good life but that's no reason to be such a fucker about it." "You asked a question and I told you the truth." That's all I can muster right now. She doesn't reply.
"Do you want me to keep going?" I ask after a moment of quiet.
"Do whatever the hell you want." I only nod slightly, gathering the remnants of my courage.
"Duo " I hesitate. "He "
"He what?" she snaps.
"He was the most unique human being I've ever known." I let that sink in, not for Alexis, but for me. "But he was so much more than that. He had such an easy-going, open manner that he could make friends with anyone and everyone. And he did. But there was something behind that. The students were all friendly with him while he was around, but behind his back it was sinister. He wasn't normal, they used to say. There were ugly rumors flying around about him, but he either didn't notice or didn't care because he remained up-beat.
"He had a close-knit group of friends that had come with him from the other high school. They were all completely different but somehow they clicked into place perfectly. Quatre, Trowa, Wufei, and Duo. Always together, always happy. God, I envied them.
"So that day that Duo came into my class, he sat in the desk next to mine in the back of the room. He was wearing black, he always wore black and had a braid of hair that reached to his hips. He walked up towards me, plopped down in the next desk, and smiled at me. I swear that he was the first person since my parents died to actually smile at me.
"That same day, at lunch time, I was sitting alone in my usual corner of the cafeteria when all four of them, led by Duo, sat down with me. No one had ever sat with me at lunch. They all introduced themselves and I became acquainted with their personalities. Duo, the cheerful one. Quatre, the caring one. Trowa, the silent type. Wufei, the man of honor. And then, there was me. I don't know why but I became a part of their group. It was almost like they had been missing something before, but because I was there, I filled it somehow. I can't explain it, even now, but it just felt right.
"That's how I came to have four friends when all my life I had none. They invited me places and for the first time I was having fun, enjoying myself. By this point my uncle seemed to have forgotten that I existed, so was allowed to do things outside of school. I was finally part of a group. I couldn't believe I had friends and I had Duo to thank for it. Sure, the five of us were a group, but I considered Duo as my best friend. I think from the very first moment I met him, I knew there would be something more. And all because he smiled at me.
"Duo seemed so simple at first, but in truth he was like a drop-off in the ocean. You walked in the shallow waters, just skimming the surface and then all of a sudden you were drowning in him. He was so deep, so profound, but most people who met him thought he was a ditz because he was so damn cheerful.
"He lived across town in a small house with his adoptive mother, an old matronly woman who spoiled him rotten with what little they had. He never once mentioned his parents and I never pressed him to, I could tell how much that hurt him, and I wouldn't be the one to cause him more pain. When I told him that I lived with my aunt and uncle, he just nodded and I knew that he understood, that nothing else needed to be said. We had suffered similar fates, something that I believe brought us closer together.
"He and I--" An incessant ringing cuts off my narrative.