2-22-2001

Title: Insomnia
By Keelywolfe (keelywolfe@aol.com)
Author's webpage: http://www.ravenswing.com/~keelywolfe/
Rating: PG
Pairing: 1+2
Feedback: Yes, please do! Any and all is well loved.

Summary: Late at night, Heero ponders reality, Duo, and whatever else pops into his little mind. Heero's POV.

Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their respective creators. I'm just borrowing them to toy with their little minds.

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I never sleep much.

It is nothing so trite as nightmares that keeps me awake. I simply don't need as much sleep as most people. So instead, tonight I stay lying awake in my bed, no missions pulling me shivering from the warm blankets.

Yes, I do shiver. I can feel warmth and coldness like any other human, despite what some people might believe. I feel pain when I am hurt. I bleed in the same shade of crimson as anyone else.

I am often more human than I would prefer, but then, we all have our weaknesses. One of mine is that I do not sleep very much, and neither do I dream.

My roommate more than makes up for whatever I lack in my dreams. Duo Maxwell. Usually, Duo is as still as the Death he claims himself to be in his sleep, but if his dreams are restless then so too must be his body.

He whimpers softly, just once, and I wonder what he sees in his dreams. Does he see the faces of those whom he had destroyed, the faces of the dead haunting him in the darkness of night? Does he see his own death, in a fiery wash of pain and blood?

I'm not afraid of pain, if I ever was. Sometimes I feel like I was born this way, all consumed with an ideal of perfection. There was a time when I didn't even consider it anymore. I took it for granted that I would not, could not, make a mistake and people paid for my presumption with their lives.

I paid for it with regret and a debt that I can never repay. But not nightmares.

He cries out again, rolling over and kicking away the blankets. Yes, it is a nightmare tonight, his face, usually graced with a bright smile, is twisted with pain this night as he cringes away from whatever horrors haunt his mind. I watch as he rolls over again, wrapping his arms around his head as if to silence something, or someone.

I simply watch, not even tempted to wake him. Humans need their nightmares, they are an outlet for their minds that keeps them from going mad, and from what I've seen, Duo needs as many outlets leading away from that path as he can get.

After a few minutes he settles down, loose strands of his hair clinging damply to his sweaty face as he relaxes, demons lying dormant once again.

I study his sleeping face in the dim light of our room. It's like my own, in a way, a pale youthful oval in the dark, slack with sleep. I wonder if I look this way in my sleep, though I doubt it. I am never so relaxed, even when I rest. Always riding the edge of awareness, just in case. It is simply what I am, something that I could not change even if I had wanted to.

I don't. I have no true pride in my abilities, they simply are, but I would not trade them away. They are what I am, everything that I am.

Still, I can't help but wonder sometimes what it would be like to be something, someone else. Someone like him, perhaps. I know that Duo had nothing resembling a normal childhood, but it was still something different than mine, and it certainly trained him to be someone different than I.

He seems careless, incautious, but there is more to it than that, far more. Duo Maxwell has a stronger will to live than any person I have ever known, and I find it a great irony that such a person would dub themselves the God of Death. Perhaps that is a touch of Maxwell's sense of humor, which is as foreign to me as his desire for life.

I am curious about him, I admit. He is like nothing I have ever seen. Quatre, I can understand. Innocents abound, even in this world, and I have met my share before. And Trowa, whose silence can speak volumes to one such as me. Even Chang, I understand. Revenge is a simple emotion and lesser men have been driven to it for worse reasons than he has.

But Duo is different, subtly, in a way that I do not understand. So I watch him, trying to learn.

Awake, asleep, it all reveals little slivers of what he is. I've watched him dream, watched him cry silent tears in the dark when he thinks I am asleep. More and more, I find my eyes drawn to him, wherever and whatever he is doing.

Perhaps I am obsessed. Or perhaps it's simpler than that. Duo Maxwell is also one of the more attractive people I have met. I am not inhuman and neither am I blind, and my body works the same as any fifteen year old. No amount of training can change that.

He starts to whimper again, twisting slightly, and without thinking, I reach out and touch him, rubbing a soothing hand down his spine. To my surprise, he relaxes almost instantly, burrowing into the warmth of the blanket as he sinks deeper into sleep.

I roll over into my own blankets and close my eyes, trying not to consider what I have done. It doesn't matter. One night of dreamless sleep won't hurt him. It has never hurt me.

Still, as I lie awake watching him, I cannot help but wonder what it is he sees late at night, behind his eyes that makes him suffer so. And I admit, if only to myself, I envy his dreams.

-finis-