2-3-2001

Title: Ugly Like Me
Author: AstroKender
Pairings: 1+2/2+1
Rating: angst
Warnings: just angs...and language.
Spoilers: None.
Notes: Songfic. Outside is by Aaron Lewis and Fred Durst.
Feedback: AstroKender@aol.com
Disclaimers: GW isn't mine, go figure. So don't sue, k?

I watch as everyone surrounds you, eyes hopeful. WuFei gazes at you with approval, his arms crossed casually across his chest. Even Quatre, our "leader", cannot break the spell you weave over everyone. Trowa looks at you stoically, as he looks at anyone else. But his eyes hold a glow akin to worship. I shake my head in disgust. The Gods around here don't even deserve worship, not after all that they've let happen. But here you are, a living temple, an angel fallen to earth.

"Duo, do you have a problem with our plan?"

I snort. Our plan now, is it? Please, spare me. In truth I haven't even been paying attention. I give Mr. Perfect a goofy grin.

"No problems, man. We'll follow what ever you say, like cute little wind up soldiers."

Everyone looks at me. I curse softly under my breath. I hadn't meant to say that. Well, I had, just not in front of Quatre and the others. Heero is looking at me with that narrow-eyed glare. I've seen it so many times that it normally has no effect on me. But this time I feel myself swallowing nervously as I search for something witty and charming to say. No luck. I must have left them in my other pants.

"Duo. I want to speak with you privately."

Oh shit. That wasn't even a question. So like Heero, to expect everything he demands. He and that Peacecraft girl have a lot more in common than I thought. I grin again to cover the shiver that runs up my spine.

"Sure, man. Lead the way."

He stalks out the door in that man-on-a-mission kind of way and I follow diligently, like a faithful little puppy; when all I really want is to jump out the nearest window. But alas, we're pretty high up, and I left my chute in my room. I'm not even going to pull what he did, nuh uh. No fifty-story drops for me, no way, thank you.

We make it to his room in record time, oh joy of joys. I stroll in as casually as plausible and try not to jump as the door slams shut behind me. Heero throws the bolt and turns around to stare at me. Just stare. I stare back, trying to reach his level of impassiveness. Impossible I know. His Prussian blue eyes are colder than and Antarctic wind. What kind of color is Prussian anyway? Sound like some kind of Crayola reject, like limousine pink.

"Why?" He asks finally. Why? That's all he says.

"Why what?" I widen my eyes to look more innocent.

This was evidently the wrong answer as he now stalks over to me. No, Heero Yuy never walks like a normal person. He stalks. Another thing in common with that Relena chic. I wonder if they're related.

All thoughts leave me as he grabs the back of my head, painfully holding me in place with his fingers digging deep into my scalp. He pulls my face towards his and my breath catches in my throat. What the hell does he think he's doing? I prepare myself to deliver a quick knee to his groin, very likely my last act on this earth. But he stops, his face a bare inch from mine, and slams me to the floor.

//And you bring me to my knees.
All this time that I could beg and please//

"Why do you always question me? Why do you always act so recklessly? Why do you try to get everyone to think less of me? Why didn't I kill you?!" The last was nearly shouted.

I look up at him from my new position on the ground. My hair flies around me, impairing my vision but I ignore it.

"So this is how you want every one to be, on their knees in front of you? Begging and doing anything to please you?" I sneer. I can't help myself. "You're worse than Zechs."

I deserved that punch, I guess. My jaw throbs and my tongue sweeps out to taste the blood from my split lip. It's bitter. Like me, I guess. Heero just stares at me. I have to choices at this point. I could stay down, cowering before him, or I could stand up and face him.

I slowly make my way to my feet. The God of Death is no coward.

"I question you because no man's ideals should be taken on words alone. I act recklessly when everyone else is sitting on their asses trying to figure out a 'plan'." Wow, I'm on a roll. Watch me go, zoom! And it looks like he's actually listening to me.

//All the times that I felt insecure.
And I lead my burdens out the door.//

" I try to make everyone think less of you cause they shouldn't be following you like sheep to slaughter. And you didn't kill me...I don't know why you didn't kill me. It's not like I didn't want you to..." The last was said in a whisper. Why didn't he kill me?

Heero stares at me some more, his eyes doing that googly, swimming-with-emotion thing. I just can't figure this guy out. At times it seems he wants to kill me, then...at other times...

He's walking closer to me again. I brace myself for whatever new surprise he's got up his sleeve. But he doesn't where sleeves. His spandex then. He keeps enough shit in there. I lick my lower lip again. I wish it would stop bleeding. I can feel it slowly trickle down my chin.

His hand comes up, hovering over my face. Then it drops away. He turns away, doesn't he know it's rude to talk to someone with you're back turned? No manners with kids these days...

"Just don't get in my way."

That's it. He walks out the door, in that determined stride he has. A moment later Quatre sticks his head in the door.

"Is everything okay?"

I self-consciously wipe the blood from my chin with the back of my hand. "Yeah Quatre, everything's just peachy keen."

//I'm on the outside,
I'm looking in.//

I keep my distance from Mr. Perfect for the next few days. I had a mission to prepare for anyways. No need to give the guy and ego boost by acting like he's important or anything. Yeah, right. So here I am, perched precariously on my buddy DeathScythe's arm, tightening a bolt that I must have tightened at least a hundred times. Howard needs to splurge on better parts. Damn shoddy American workmanship. Yeah, I know. Like I'm one to talk.

So here I am, having fun with a monkey wrench, trying my damnedest not to stare though the oh-so-conveniently-placed window while Mr. Perfect tries his hand at a little yoga. My life sucks. I mean look at me, trying not to drool over someone with less personality than the average kitchen appliance. If I didn't know better I'd swear he was doing this on purpose.

Just then the Heero turns around and looks out the window. At me. Facing me, he continues to do his reps, or whatever the hell they were.

Damn it! The little fag was doing this on purpose! Growling, I launch myself of DeathScythe's arm. Grabbing hold of a cord a few feet away, I quickly shimmy down to the, I guess you could call it a garage, floor. Grabbing a can of Coke, bleh, I hate Coke; I stomp into the house. The Maguanacs definitely have some advantages. Maybe I'll join up after the war.

//I can see through you
see your true colors.//

Stalking past Heero, yup, he's not the only one who can do that, I fling myself down on the couch. I'm probably getting the upholstery nice and greasy, but at this point I don't care. Gulping down half my drink at once, I stare at the TV. It would help if it was turned on, but...

Guess who stops exercising to sit down beside me. Close beside me. Yep. Mr. Muscles, covered in sweat, looking like a wet dream come to life. I resolutely continue to stare at the blank TV, willing it to come to life.

"Can I have a drink?" He gestures to the Coke in my hand. I glare at him.

"Get your own." He shrugs and leans back on the couch, getting all cozy. Fine. I shove the can at him.

"Take it."

"Arigato."

Aww... great! Now we're getting into the Japanese crap. Not that I don't speak it fluently, but it - shit. It just bugs me when he does it. Irrational? Me? Naw. I watch out of the corner of my eye as he takes a long swig from my Coke. His throat bobs with every swallow and his lips come away moist and caramel flavored I bet... what was I thinking!? I jump up.

"I know what your doing, and it isn't going to work!"

//Cause inside your ugly
ugly like me.//

He looks at me with that stoic stare. "What are you talking about?"

"You think you can win me over like this? Buddy, this is not the way to go about it. Casual sex was never my forte." I glare at him as he tries his best to look confused.

"You bastard. You'll do anything to get everyone to believe that you are this unstoppable force. Who do you think you are, Tinkerbell? Well, let me tell you, this is one person that ain't ever gonna clap for you. So give it up."

I am so angry I am shaking. To think I let this guy get under my skin like this. This guy was so...so...like me. We are so alike it's scary. Well. I never did like myself. I won't like him either. Flipping my braid over my shoulder, I walk out of the room.

//I can see through you
see to the real you.//

For some reason, I stop. I don't know why. I just do. I find myself tiptoeing back towards the lounge where I left Heero gazing at my retreating backside. Peeking through a crack in the door, I stare.

The Perfect soldier was still sitting where I had left him, staring at his pilfered can of pop. Suddenly he growled and slung it across the room where it landed with a clatter. I didn't flinch, I swear. The head did something unexpected. He lowered his face into his hands.

I've never seen him so...vulnerable. I find myself edging closer before I stop myself. Shaking my head in total disgust with myself, I leave Mr. Not So Perfect with his thoughts, what ever those were.

//All these time that I've felt like this won't end
was for you//

God dammit. I groggily open my eyes to stair blearily around my dank prison cell. What was I thinking, pulling a stunt like that? Groaning, I pull myself out of my fetal position. I feel like I've been run over by a Leo.

Serves me right I guess. I just wanted to show the other guys that Heero's plans weren't always the best idea. The guy was reckless, an egomaniac, and didn't give a shit about what happens to anyone else, as long as he accomplishes his mission. Looked like I proved him right anyway.

He didn't want me to come, said I'd interfere with the mission. But I went anyway, and saved his fool life in the process. And what did it get me? The beating of my life and an overnight stay in one of OZ's five star prisons, that's what. I wonder how long I'll stay in here till Mr. Mission himself deems me as a security risk and comes to silence me. Hell. As many times as I've been caught, I don't blame him.

//And I taste what I could never have
is from you//

I lie there trying to ignore how hungry I was. My hosts have neglected to bring me any meals, or even water for that matter. I hope they get the runs from all that rich food I bet their eating. I cradle my aching middle. Oh, why do they always have to hit me in the stomach? It's like my Achilles' heel or something. One punch and, wham, I'm out for the count. It sucks to be me.

I wonder what Heero's doing right now. Typing on his laptop? Nah, to cliché. Threatening to kill Relena? Possible, but I doubt it. Masturbating to the newsreel of my capture? Yeah, right. Dream on, Duo.

I hear the door click open and I find myself face to face with Mr. Yuy himself. As he stares at me, with quiet a large gun in his hand I must add, I can't help but have flashback on how he got me caught in the first place. Bastard.

//All those times that I tried
my intention, full of pride.//

"Duo! What the hell are you doing here?" Heero shouted over the roar of gunfire. Trowa just looked over at me, impassive as always. Rocks show more facial expression. Better conversationalists too.

"Well, I was in the neighborhood and I thought I'd drop by." I casually drop the line as I launch a grenade at our attackers. Am I smooth or what?

Heero opened his mouth again, presumably to give me the bitching of my life, but I wasn't paying attention. I was far more interested in the Mobile Doll that currently had its sights on my to comrades. Fuck that. I felt inside my jacket, one grenade left. Oh well.

I did the stupidest thing I've ever done in my life. I ran in front of a Mobile Doll with the power to squish me into a grease stain with the mere lift of its foot. And I shouted at it.

"Hey you! Yeah you, the big bucket of bolts! You're momma was a snow blower!" I had heard that in a movie once. It seemed to fit at the time.

I doubt my ranting caught the Mobile Doll's attention, but my grenade did. It moved it's laser gun off Heero and Trowa, go team, and settled on me. Shit. Fuck. Random swear word. I don't remember what all was going through my head at the time.

All I know is I was watching my comrades, my partners, run out of the base while I was surrounded by OZ's finest Neanderthals. I'm sure Trowa would have liked to stay and assist me in my little problem, but a quick word from Heero and he made haste to the nearest exit. Yeah, sure, thanks for the help.

At least they called off the Doll.

//And I waste more time than anyone.//

Which brings us to the present, where I'm staring at Heero, he's staring at me, yadda yadda, cue dramatic music. Finally, he rolls his eyes, rolls his eyes for Christ's sake, and steps over to my pitiful little beat up form.

"Stop wasting time and come on." Grabbing my hand, he pulls me to my feet.

Jerk.

//I'm on the outside,
I'm looking in.//

I hear a shuffling behind the door of my cozy little room at the Maguanac base. Growling, I reach under my pillow for my handy dandy hunter's knife. I clearly informed everyone that I did not want to be bothered. I just wanted to crawl into my bed, lick my wounds, and maybe sleep for a week. I thought that I even pressed the severity of the consequences to even mother hen Quatre.

With a creak the door opened and the corridor lights silhouetted a dark figure. Heero. Someone must have had wax in his ears when I gave my little speech.

"What do you want?"

I love how much disgust I can put in that one little 'you'. Like I was walking outside barefoot at night and just stepped on a slug that was trailing its slimy little way across the sidewalk.

"Why did you disobey my orders to stay here while me and Trowa took care of the base?"

I stand up, heedless of the fact that I was only in my boxer shorts. Well, maybe not completely heedless...

"I don't take orders from anyone, especially you. In case you didn't notice I saved your ass out there and you left me!" I oughtta put down the knife now, before I think about using it. But I can't get my hand to unclench.

He looked at me in distaste. "I didn't need any help. And it was your own fault you got caught. Trowa agreed with me that it was in the best interest of the mission to continue on without you."

//I can see through you
see your true colors.//

"Fuck you and your missions! You don't give a damn about anyone do you?"

"What I feel is meaningless in comparison to attaining peace at any cost..."

I glare at him. "Stop talking like a damn robot! Heero Yuy, the perfect soldier, Able to do what no one else can. That's bullshit."

I grab his hand, palm upwards, and slashed it with my knife. Blood immediately wells up from the cut, but the Heero doesn't even flinch. He just keeps looking at me, with those emotionless eyes. I force him to look at his hand.

"Look! You bleed! You are human God dammit! Act like it! Scream, cry, punch me! Show me these emotions you supposedly follow! Show me something!" I drop the knife and draw back my fist, intent on beating a response out of him. Not the smartest of ideas.

Heero's expression doesn't waiver but my punch never connected. I stare at the bloody hand that holds my arm. I can't win with this guy. And I'm tired of trying. I look at him in resignation and prepare to get the shit beat out of me for the second time this week.

I don't get what I expect.

//Cause inside your ugly
ugly like me.//

The bloody hand trails its way up my bare arm, skimming across my chest to gently cup my cheek. I shiver and look at Heero in confusion. A crimson covered thumb caresses my slightly parted lips and dips inside to brush against my tongue. Heero dips his head down silently and his lips meet my own is a soft kiss, not forceful, or demanding, but...understanding. In a daze, I part my lips in response and Heero's tongue invades my mouth. The taste of Heero mixes in with the metallic taste of blood.

Heero finally pulls back and looks at me. All I can do is stutter.

"B-b-but why?"

"Because no man's ideals should be taken on words alone."

Copycat. "If you're trying to impress me, it's not working." Damn, I wish my voice wouldn't crack so much. Heero smiles at me. He. Smiles.

"I'm not trying to impress anyone. I was sent to earth to do what had to be done. I just-I just wish you would trust me. You are the one person that I want to believe in me."

My eyes widen even more. I must look like some sort of owl or something. I just can't believe what I'm hearing. I watch as he quietly walks out of the room, wishing I'd open my mouth and say something, anything to make him stay. But my words come too late.

"I guess everyone should believe in something..."

//I can see through you
see to the real you.//

I stare at the door long after Heero had left. Pathetic huh? Then I look down to see my arm and the right side of my chest covered in blood. His blood. My cheek is sticky with the stuff. Grabbing the corner of my sheet, I furiously scrub as much as I can off my skin. The community bathroom is all the way down the hall and I'd rather nobody see me like this. They'd ask questions. Questions I don't have the answers to.

Looking at the bloodstained cloth in my hand, I sigh. With a quick rip, the corner was gone. It would be easier to tell Quatre I ripped the sheet than telling him I got someone else's blood all over it. A stare at the little bloodstained piece of cloth, already browning as it dries. I walk over to my pants, which I discarded for the night in a neat little pile on the floor. Picking of the soft, black fabric, I quickly stuff the piece of fabric into one of the pockets.

It would be a long time till I get to sleep.

//All the times that I cried.
All this wasted; it's all inside//

"Damn it, Heero! You can't do this!"

It's my fault. It's all my fault. I should have listened to him. I shouldn't have followed him again.

"I have to, Duo."

No you don't. If it wasn't for me getting in your way, you wouldn't have to do this. Shit, DeathScythe, move! But it's no use. I've been hit too badly.

HeavyArms is dragging me away now. Dragging me away from Heero, as he turns in Wing Zero to face the ranks of mobile dolls. So we can escape. Without him.

"No! Damn it, no!"

Heero's face pops up on my screen. His brow furrows as he sees the blood pouring down my face. That last blast caught me pretty hard. After giving quick instructions to Trowa, something about getting me to a doctor quick, he gives me one of those stares of his. He has beautiful eyes.

"Don't do this, Heero..." Why am I crying? It's not as though this guy means anything to me. It's not like I can't live without the jerk. It's not like I love him...

Heero smiles for the second time since I've known him. "Please, Duo. Just trust me."

And then he's gone. Flying off to fight the hordes of mobile dolls. Flying off to be the hero.

//And I feel all this pain
Stuffed it down
It's back again.//

I try desperately to get DeathScythe to move, to have him struggle against the steely hold of HeavyArms. But it's no use. I barely have enough power to keep up the communications system. I put out an audio feed, letting it blast through all the channels I can, anything to let him hear it.

"Heero! Don't die, ya hear me? We have some talking to do! Don't give up your life for this, please Heero! And don't even think of yelling at me later for not maintaining radio silence!"

I clutch the piece of torn sheet in my fist. It is all stiff from Heero's blood. My voice is getting hoarse from screaming, but I had one last thing I had to say.

"I BELIEVE IN YOU!"

Static crackles over the link and then I hear a small voice.

"Thank you..."

Then the sky explodes.

//And I lie hear in bed
All alone, I can mend.//

I'm lying back on my small bed in the Maguanac stronghold. My head is covered in bandages. The doctor says I have a mild concussion. I have more than that. I wanted to tell the man about this great aching space in my chest. It feels like someone went in with a Spork and just started ripping things out. But I didn't. This is a pain I'll keep to myself.

I told everyone to leave me alone, that I needed to rest. They listened to me. No one came in against my orders. No perfect soldier came to make me believe. I clutch the bloodstained cloth to my chest. Why? Why did I trust him? Now he's gone. And I'm alone again.

My laptop starts to beep and I just barely control the urge to throw it across the room. It could be a mission. What I'm feeling is meaningless in comparison to attaining peace at any cost...

//And I feel tomorrow will be okay.//

My dull and burning eyes scan the post. It came from a secure line, so it's legit. I wonder if this will be a recovery mission. If it is...I'll give it to someone else. I couldn't bear to see those eyes staring sightlessly at me. I can't...

What's this? This wasn't a mission. It was from...Oh my god! I can't help it; I start to laugh. It's a relieved, joyful sound. I've never laughed like that before. I stare at the message before me and start clapping. Quatre must think I went nuts. But, this is one recovery mission I don't mind going on. I jot down the co-ordinates and rush out the door, forgetting to delete the message.

Coke,

I'm on the outside, I'm looking in.
I can see through you, see your true colors.
Cause inside your ugly, ugly like me.
I can see through you...see to the real you.

Tinkerbell