<grins, with a slightly manic gleam in her eyes> It's me again, folks! I've spent my day bored to tears with homework... <rubs hands together gleefully> and that means Bob is in the perfect frame of mind for the creation of more fanfics! <insane laughter goes here> This goes out to all the wonderful people who've given me feedback!

Warnings: AU, probably OOC, the occasional "bad" word, yaoi... in other words, almost all the good stuff. I think all I'm missing is a lemon...

Monologue: Near Miss

I nearly made the biggest mistake of my life today.

The thought of it makes me shiver inside, and I readjust my grip on you just a little bit... You're mine now, and I'm never going to let you go again.

There's a knowing look in your eyes... Damn, how is it that you know exactly what it is that I'm thinking? I've worked for years to cultivate the mask that hides me from the world... How is it that you can read me like a book?

You shift closer to me, subtly letting me know you aren't going anywhere for a very long time.


It amazes me, as I watch you chatter animatedly, that a person with as much light in his soul could ever love me. *You* amaze me...

Heh. It's almost funny to think of all the time that I spent watching you when you were watching me in the same way, the two of us both convinced that the other would never love in return. It would be funny, if we hadn't come so close to missing each other completely.

God, you're beautiful. I'd never told you that before last night.

There are a lot of things I told you last night that I'd never told you before. I just wish I hadn't waited so long...

Shit. Here comes trouble. Just what the hell *was* in that note you sent her, anyway?

Never mind. I have a feeling that I'm going to be finding out, here in just a moment.

The crowd parts for her, and not just out of respect for her office, either. I don't believe I've ever seen her quite this angry. Honesty forces me to admit that she has every right to be angry. I *did* jilt her, after all, at the last possible minute. I doubt it helps that I chose you over her. She's never been very fond of you.

That was unexpected. As my face rocks back from the force of her slap, I have to wonder how a pacifist can be able to hit someone that hard.

Easy now. This is between her and me.

The crowd is nearly silent, watching the spectacle anxiously. You're tense, ready for anything. The others are making their way over, looking grim... well, Quatre's *trying* to look grim, anyway. He's largely failing.

You flinch, and I can barely keep myself from reacting. Damn. How does she reach that pitch? And who taught her to swear?

I stare at her levelly as she insults my ancestry--very ineffective, in my case--and my personal hygeine--not that I've ever given her opportunity to examine it closely--and my honor--it's just too bad for her that I'm not Wufei.

Gomen, Relena.

Another slap. I guess that was the wrong thing to say.

How dare I leave her? There must be a million reasons that I could give her... I don't like her, I don't want to marry her, I only agreed to this farce because I had nothing else, you're the only one who understands what it means to wake up at night, paralyzed by the nightmares of the past, you're damn good in bed, you're handsome, you're loving, you're the only one who can make me smile... All this and more runs through my mind.

It's because I love *him*.

She's making a strangled sound now, opening and closing her mouth like she can't make her voice work. But she no longer has my attention.

You're staring at me like you can't believe that I'd ever declare such a thing to anyone but you. Maybe you don't know me as well as you think you do, ne? The expression on your face is so dumbfounded that I have to smile at it.

Did you really think I'd be ashamed to say such a thing, Duo?

And now I'm fielding an armful of you, as you try to wrap yourself around me. Not that I'm really complaining, mind you. The two of us have a lot of catching up to do, ne?

With my arms wrapped around you, and my chin buried in your hair, I look at her with as much sympathy as I can muster.

Gomen, Relena, but you do understand, don't you? I wouldn't ever have been able to love you like you want me to. There's only one person that I'll ever love like that.

I have to restrain myself from laughing now. Yes, you are very much a boy, that's very obvious... If it doesn't bother us, why should it bother her so much?

Why? Why do I love him?

Because of everything he is. Because of everything he does. Because he's the one who forced me to question what I fought for and then helped me find a real reason when I realized that all I was fighting for was a sham. Because he wouldn't let me separate myself from the guilt. Because he wouldn't let me wallow in it, either. Because he showed me how to be human again. Because he is.

You make a small, choking noise, and burrow your face into my shoulder. And I stare searchingly into her eyes, trying to see if she can possibly understand what I'm trying to say.

Good. She does. She doesn't want to, but even she can't really deny what she's seeing.

Sayonara, Relena. Perhaps someday you will forgive me for having done this to you.

Come on. It's time for us to be going. I herd you gently through the crowd, since you seemed a bit too dazed to focus on much. Quatre has a huge, misty grin on his face. Hmmph. Hopeless romantic.

What? Of course I meant it, baka. Every last word of it.

I can't help smiling at you again. You're so funny when you're trying to pretend that you're not getting all emotional. Come on, let's get out of here... There's lots of lost time that I intend on making up for.. and I mean more than just talking.

We head for the car, and I can't resist slinging an arm over your shoulders as we walk. You smile up at me and whisper the words that managed to take my world, turn it inside out, and put it back in better order last night.

I love you, too, Duo.




<blinks> Well? What do ya think? Is Bob giving me good inspiration? Anything you've got, send it my way!