<sweats> I have a terrible propensity for doing these horrible angst-fest fics when I sit down to write a gift fic... I must be cursed or something.

Anyway.

Angel Ikari, darling wifey of mine, this is your birthday present. I hope I haven't given you grounds for divorce in it.

Angst. Yaoi. Weird. Heh. Deathfic, in fact.

GW ain't mine, and neither is the song, which belongs to Jars of Clay.

~...~ Thought.
/.../ Lyrics

~~~
Flood

/Rain rain on my face/

He lifted his face to the sky, letting the cool water wash over too-hot skin.

His eyes hurt... burned, felt puffy and raw.

~I hate crying.~

/It hasn't stopped raining for days/

Oppressive, the grey sky. He hated that, too, wanted to see the blue of the infinite bowl of heaven, or the soft velvet of the night sky. Not this ceiling of clouds pressing in, smothering him like a wet wool blanket.

The clouds were too much like the walls of a prison. Too confining.

~I'm going crazy here.~

/My world is a flood/

Too much rain, too much water, too many tears. There'd been a time, not even very long ago, when he'd thought there could never be enough rain, enough water.

Now, standing in the storm, water plastering his hair and clothes to his body, he knew better.

~I hate the rain.~

/Slowly I become one with the mud/

He lifted a foot, the mud sucking at it, hungry, desperate to keep its grasp on him.

He set his foot back down with a sigh. It was just like being a soldier,... what had started out with good intentions had just mired him down and gotten him dirty in the process.

He looked across the expanse of the muddy field, to the safehouse where he'd spend the time till the next mission waited.

~Hopeless.~

/But if I can't swim after forty days/

Christ, it'd been over a month already. It was time to move on, right?

~Easier said than done.~

/And my mind is crushed by the thrashing waves/

Guilt. Too much guilt, and not enough water in the world to wash it away.

~My fault...~

/Lift me up so high that I cannot fall/

He began the trek to the house, every footstep made more difficult by the heaving clinging mud and his sodden clothes.

He slipped, falling to his knees, mud and water spraying around him.

Defeated, his shoulders sagged as the mud ground into his already saturated clothes.

~I want to just fly away.~

/Lift me up/

There was supposed to be someone there, someone to offer support, to pick him up from his knees. Someone to be strong for him...

~I need you...~

/Lift me up - When I'm falling/

A bitter smile.

Nothing lasted.. Even if there *had* been someone to help him when he fell ... it was over now.

~I miss you...~

/Lift me up - when I'm dying/

The cold eventually motivated him to push himself to his feet, the clamminess of the mud clinging to his hands and knees.

He shuddered at the feeling. Chilly, like dead flesh.

~What does a dead soul feel like?/

/Lift me up - I need you to hold me/

Aching, weary, wet. Against his will, he whimpered a little in his throat, even as he admitted how childish it was to do so.

~I need to feel your arms... just once more...~

/Lift me up - Keep me from drowning again/

Grounded - he had to stay grounded. There was only him, and he was the one who'd have to save himself now. Maybe before there had been someone else, but he was gone now.

~Heero, I miss you.~

/Downpour on my soul/

The emptiness. The pain. The guilt of knowing that he'd done it - again - pounding ceaselessly home.

It never stopped, not even in his dreams.

~How many times do I have to watch the blood rain?~

/Splashing in the ocean I'm losing control/

Sometimes he had to wonder how he managed to stay sane, how he managed to even stay functional. He was a walking bag of neuroses and guilt complexes, just waiting to explode.

And there was only one reason to keep struggling to stay afloat.

~I'll finish the war for you, Heero.~

/Dark sky all around/

It was getting even darker; somewhere the sun was going down.

Or had it already set without his knowing?

~No, I definitely noticed it going down.~

/I can't feel my feet touching the ground/

The rain falling down from the sky, the mud squelching beneath his feet, and the gloom around him. He trudged on, only vaguely bothering to give himself direction.

Direction... he'd left that to Heero. Heero'd always managed to know where he was going, or had done a good job of seeming to know.

~What did you see in me, Heero?~

/But if I can't swim after forty days/

Smart. He'd always thought of himself as smart - cunning, too wily to get bogged down by anyone or thing with out his prior consent.

Stupid. He was just stupid. Stupid to have fallen, stupid to have run, stupid to have pushed Heero away, and stupid now for not being able to move on.

~Heero, I'm sorry.~

/And my mind is crushed by the thrashing waves/

He was weak, too, because now he was crying again, throat closed tight and hot tears irritating already swollen eyes.

~I was never this messed-up before I met you.~

/Lift me up so high that I cannot fall/

Of course, everything had changed once he'd met Heero - everything. Most of it... not for the worse.

Heero had made him feel almost safe.

~You always caught me. Even when I didn't want it.~

/Lift me up/

It should have been him.

That's what hurt the most.

It should have been him, but once more time, someone else had taken his fall instead.

~I wasn't worth it!~

/Lift me up - when I'm falling/

He still remembered it, too clearly. Still saw it, in bloodstained colors. Still heard the sound of the shouting soldiers, the whine of the bullets. Still felt the rough love in Heero's hands pushing him into a mobile suit before turning on the soldiers thirsty for blood.

He still remembered the way the blood had sprayed, baptizing the feet of the purloined mobile suit.

~I should have stayed.~

/Lift me up - I'm weak and I'm dying/

Shock. Training. Numbness. They were the only things to make good the sacrifice. The only things that had preserved him when he felt like he was dying with Heero.

Now it was only the training. And the thought that it would betray Heero even more to just give up.

~You still lend me strength.~

/Lift me up - I need you to hold me again/

Funny - It had seemed like just sex at the time. Maybe not as casual as he had known before, but he had trained himself not to place any greater value on the act.

Now, though, he'd give his tarnished soul to fall asleep with Heero's arm around him again.

~You... you loved me, I think.~

/Lift me up - Keep me from drowning again/

Focus. He had to stay focused, for just a little while longer. The safehouse wasn't too far away, and from the way OZ was infighting and Relena was gaining strength, neither was some sort of armistice.

Maybe by then he'd have assigned some kind of new order to his life.

~I think... I loved you.~

/Calm the storms that drench my eyes/

He cried fro Heero... strange that he should do that. He hadn't cried in years. Refused to cry, because it only made him hurt more.

But there were a lot of things he'd done for Heero that he'd sworn off doing. Love, for instance.

~Heero... do you want my tears? They're all I can give you now.~

/Dry the streams till flowing/

Stumbling through the safehouse door, he sighed, scrubbing at his face with the slightly less muddy back of his hand.

The tears had stopped again.

~I'm starting to get used to it.~

/Cast down all the waves of sin and guilt that overthrow me/

Quiet. Empty. Dark. He laughed softly at the reflection of the occupant that the house demonstrated.

At least it wasn't the worst safehouse he'd ever seen. That prize went to the falling-down shack in Venezuela with the cockroaches as big as his head. But Heero had been there for that episode and they'd managed to make the experience bearable.

The memory only made him smile.

~We had some good times.~

/But if I can't swim after forty days/

A hot shower felt good, washing off the muck and the cold.

A month. Such a short span of time.

~It feels like it's been forever.~

/And my mind is crushed by the thrashing waves/

Too tired to think, he crawled into bed.

Too tired to sleep, he stared mindlessly at the ceiling.

~I was so much easier to fall asleep to the sound of your snoring.~

/Lift me up so high that I cannot fall/

Eventually he fell asleep, knowing that the dreams would come.

~Heero..~

/Lift me up/

One of Heero's rare smiles, the value of which he'd never known until after they'd disappeared.

"Not long ," Heero promised.

~Take me with you.~

/Lift me up - When I'm falling/

A sad expression. "I can't."

~I'm falling apart without you.~

/Lift me up - I'm weak and I'm dying/

Gently., "You have to be strong."

~I need you...~

/Lift me up - I need you to hold me/

A hand lifted to touch a face. "I'm still there with you."

~Hold me... please?~

/Lift me up - Keep me from drowning again/

Warm, strong, safe. All the things that weren't there for him while he was awake. "I love you."

~Wait for me.~

/Lift me up - when I'm falling/

Waking to tears - the new routine. Life was composed now of these new habits, carefully created to sidestep the rawness of old habits.

Anything to keep from falling over the edge of sanity.

A mission.

~No rest for the wicked, ne Heero?~

/Lift me up - I'm weak and I'm dying/

The comfort of piloting his gundam, but the savage joy of battle had long since fled.

Every soldier, OZ, colony, White Fang, had someone to care if he died.

There was no more innocence left in killing.

~I've lost my edge, Heero. Did you account for that?~

/Lift me up - I need you to hold me/

Perhaps it was the improvements in the new mobile suits. Perhaps it was his own apathy.

He wasn't doing too well... and was suffering a beating for it.

Tossed around like a rag doll in his cockpit, he felt fear.

~Heero, I'm scared.~

/Lift me up - Keep me from drowning again/

A missile blast rocked his gundam, and on the console, half the indicator lights flashed to red.

"Don't worry... I'm here... waiting." A whisper, meant just for his ears.

Another crashing impact of missiles. The rest of the lights flashed to red. He closed his eyes to them.

Warm arms lifted him up, pulling him closer. "I missed you."

~I love you, Heero.~

The world flared to shades of white.

~Owari~

Er... C&C?

Hope you liked it, babe.