Title: Staying Buried
Author: Yokatta
Warnings: serious AU, probable OOC, language, yaoi, sappy-ness ^_^
Pairings: past 1+2; 1+2/2+1
Disclaimer: *draws line* this is my half of the fic and that's your half... you stay on your side and we'll get along fine
Feedback: yes... yes!... YES!!


"You were right. You can't draw." I glare and he laughs again, harder this time around. "Want something to drink?"

"No thanks." The conversation drops off. He's watching me and I'm looking at him. It seems like he's just a trick of the light and if I blink he'll vanish. I have to keep an eye on him. In the ensuing silence, I realize that I'll be the one to break the unspoken rule.

"Duo, maybe we weren't supposed to get it right the first time."
Part 14

It makes sense to me. Maybe I just shocked him.

"What do you mean?" he asks.

"Well, we weren't completely open about everything. I never told you about how I came to live with my uncle. I never heard about your parents." He drops his chin at the mention of his parents. "I don't like talking about my parents either, but holding things back doesn't make for a healthy relationship."

"What kind of relationship are you looking for?" He's successfully changed the subject.

"If I have to settle for being your friend, Duo, then I will happily do it. I'll do whatever it takes to keep some part of you in my life."

"What will it take to be with me again?" His question stops my heart from beating. Oh shit, he's waiting for an answer. Please let my voice work.

"An eye for an eye. I'll be open if you will too." He ponders me for a moment then sits down on his couch.

"Have a seat, Heero, because this might take awhile." And this might be the hardest conversation of our lives. I sit down on the opposite side of the couch. We both stare straight ahead at the charcoaled wall, not knowing where to start. Welcome to the uncomfortable silence.

"I guess I'll begin with my childhood," I say. I recount the details of my early years for the second time in three days and add a few things that I never told Alexis. Like although kids stayed away from me because I was different, the real reason was because I shattered a boy's cheekbone in sixth grade for making a comment about my mother. And I had also downplayed how much my uncle beat me. Duo gets the gory details. I finally get around to the part where we met. He knows the rest from here.

"You know, Duo, I wish I had pulled his plug myself."


"My uncle. I wish I had killed him."

"So do I. Hell's too good for that bastard," he says vehemently. His face softens with an inward reflection. "I suppose it's my turn, huh?" I nod. He sighs and scratches his head. "You really want to know this stuff about me?"

"Duo, stop stalling."

"Alright, alright, sheesh. I... I guess I'll start with my father. I never met him, I don't know who he is, and I don't want to know who he is. I never had to ask if I was adopted, I just knew. I never really felt the need to find my real parents, there was just something inside me that said I shouldn't. But I was stupid and decided to look for them anyway. My adoptive mother understood and even helped me. I went to the adoption center, got permission to look at my mother's file. I knew the moment I laid my hands on it that I shouldn't have been there. My mother had been very open about why she was giving me up, it even said so in the file. She was a... she..." He covers his face with his hands, trying to calm down.

"My mother was a prostitute. She had no idea who my father was, probably just one of her fucking clients. She told the people at the adoption agency that she would have aborted me but didn't realize she was pregnant until it was too late. So, if my mother hadn't been such a fucking idiot I would never have been born. I'm better off without family." How do I even begin to console him? Maybe I can't, shouldn't. I can only listen and absorb and hope that my presence alone will help.

"Now what?" he asks almost angry.

"I don't know," I say quietly.

"I don't want your sympathy!" he yells as he leaps off the couch, fists clenched and eyes blazing.

"I wasn't offering it," I reply and stand up.

"Like hell you weren't! It's coming off you in fucking waves."

"We're well past any form of comfort. This isn't about sympathy. This is about you telling me your deep secrets and me telling you mine. And then forgetting all about them. Yes, I want to soothe your pain but can I? No. Will I? No. Because that helps nothing. Just as it won't help me. I plan on doing something that I've never done before and swore I wouldn't do. I'm going to move on. I'm not going to forgive but I sure as hell am going to try to forget. This shit is gnawing at me and I'm going to pull it's teeth out." My words have become more and more heated, effectively snuffing out his anger. He looks sad and deflated again.

"Where does that leave me?" he asks hesitantly.

"That's completely up to you. I already told you that I want you back. I'll meet you half way if you decide that's what you want. If not, I'll leave here and you'll never see me again."

"It just doesn't feel like things are resolved yet."

"They aren't and probably never will be." He stands there, watching me, chewing on my last statement and the end of his braid. He reaches into his pocket and takes out a coin.

"Heads, you stay. Tales, you go." He's deciding the fate of our relationship with the flip of one dull quarter. He places it on his thumb and forefinger, looking at me quickly before propelling it into the air. Time stops and waits for the coin to spin up and reach it's peak. I've never willed for anything in my life, but right now I'm trying to call whatever telekinetic power I can. The quarter speeds back downward to be caught nimbly in a swipe of Duo's hand.

His fist tightens around it and he looks at me again, only to close his eyes as he places the coin on the back of his right hand. Opening his eyes, lifting his hand. It's still blocked from my view. A sharp pain in my chest erupts when his shoulders slump and his eyes avoid mine. His hand drops to his side, revealing the coin, sitting innocently between his wrist and knuckles. I stare at the imprinted metal, not believing what I see there. My gaze returns to his face and the most brilliant smile I've ever seen.

"Heads," he says simply. "Now you're stuck with me." He laughs at me, at my still shocked statement. His laughter dies when he notices that I haven't moved, haven't blinked, haven't breathed.

"Heero?" No response. "Heero, I didn't mean... to..." Blink, breath.

"Duo, you... you flipped a coin!?" If I weren't so ecstatic, I'd strangle him.

"Oops. I have problems making decisions so I usually use a coin to make them for me. If it makes you feel any better, had it been tales, I would have cheated."

"A... a coin?"

"We've been over this already," he chides.


"No, no buts. Just get over here already."

"Huh?" He rolls his eyes and moves towards me, enveloping me in a gentle hug.

"Heero, you're supposed to hug me back."

"Okay." My arms raise up to his shoulders.

"I hope you're not going to be like this forever."

"Like what?"

"Shock, I think."

"Well, considering what you just did to me, I have a right to be shocked." He chuckles.

"I didn't think you'd take it so badly."

"Neither did I." We simply stand here, content in each other's embrace.

A devilish part of my brain decides to hit me with a "kiss him, you fool!" notion right about now. I move my head slowly towards him, my eyes gracing those tempting lips. But before I finish the last few inches he puts his hand up to stop me. A million questions blaze through my head as I look into his nervous eyes.

"Your uncle, are you sure he's dead?" he asks. He smiles when I start laughing.

"Positive," I assure him. "Would you like to dance on his grave with me later?"

"Tempting, but no. I make it a point to respect the dead. You never know who'll become a ghost. And your uncle was the type of person who would make people miserable even from the afterlife. Taunting him would not be a good idea."

"Alexis pointed out something earlier. She said that it was my uncle who broke us apart, but it was also my uncle who brought us back together in a way. She believes this was his way of making amends. She's mostly full of crap, but it's an interesting thought."

He smiles softly, but I become serious.

"I want it to be right this time," I say, taking his face in my hands.

"I do too." He yawns suddenly. "Oh, sorry. Hope I didn't ruin the mood," he says sleepily.

"Nope," I say and kiss his nose.

"You know that you're staying the night, right?"

"Of course."

"Well, come on then," he says, tugging me towards his room. I let him pull me through the doorway. We mutually divest ourselves of a majority of clothing, climb under the covers, curl around each other.

"Good night, Heero."

"Good night, Duo." I know that tonight, for the first time in a hellishly long period, I will sleep.

Morning comes and I wake up to the comfort of not knowing which limbs are mine and which are his. The warm silence is broken by a timid question.

"Heero, how do you feel about me?" I take a second to think.

"I want to buy a heavy duty rope and tie you to me with double knots so that I can have you around for a long time." He laughs until his lungs can't take anymore.

"You're such a romantic," he says sarcastically and out of breath.

"I just found out what I missed most about you."

"And that is?" He snuggles closer.

"Your laughter."

"What about the rest of me?"

"I missed the rest of you too, but there's something about your laughter that lightens my heart. It's like a high, I can't get enough of it." I get a kiss for that one.

"You sneak, you never answered my first question."

"Technically, I did, but I guess I can answer it again." I pause just for effect. "I'll add duct tape to the rope, just for security purposes."

"What about rope burn?"

"Oh I'll be gentle." He laughs again.

Finally. Finally, I know this is real. This is lasting. This is peaceful sleep and no longer pretending. This is being full and not empty. This is happiness and love. This is Duo. And this is me framing that quarter.