This. Was written in the process of sobering up so I can write an essay. Please take that into consideration.

AU, Yaoi, OOC, verra weird, written under the influence, and so forth.

Dovetails with "Memorial Day" and "Indestructible" universe. Both can be found under Lys ap Adin at http://www.geocities.com/fenris_wolf0

Not my bish, no matter how much I try...

~~~
Oblique

Boys don't cry. That's what he says, when he's fighting some emotion too deep to sublimate in a wide smile and sparkling eyes. It's his mantra, his Ave Maria, the desperate plea that disaster might be averted, that the dam may not break and the flood not burst out, wiping away artifice in the power of nature's fury.

Boys don't cry. We're not weak, we don't give in to ourselves, even when we're hurting so bad inside that we'd like nothing better than to cry like little girls, wailing our anguish to the sky and forcing the uncaring world to stop and comfort us. Boys don't cry. We're strong.

I'm weak. I cried, the tears washing my cheeks clean in the bitter spring wind, eyes stinging and nose running and throat so tight I could barely breathe. Spring. New life, new world, new peace, bought with blood. Tinted red. Everything with a metallic taste to it, a ferrous scent. Purity gone, innocence (what innocence?) washed away. The belief in any higher goodness swept utterly away. We laid him to rest, and I cried.

He didn't cry, at least not then, not at the funeral. A slim figure, standing tall at the edge of a yawning abyss. Maybe the only thing I had left to cling to, if he was strong enough to carry us both. Strength. Always something I value, something I seek instinctively... something that has the power to either destroy me or protect me. Heero was strong. Sometimes too strong, forging ahead of himself and fumbling when he overreached his missions. But strong, like I wanted to be... like Relena wants to be.

It took him a long time to cry. We stayed together, uncertain, wobbling, not knowing if there was anything there to stay for, but much too uncertain to venture forth on our own. Not that we had anywhere to go... that's true, and not true... we both have our refuges, our sanctuaries, two women selfless enough to give of themselves when no tangible reward seems in the offing.

But he did cry. Eventually. One afternoon, standing in the kitchen and staring at the box of almond sandies. Heero loved almond sandies. And stupid me brought a box home from the grocery store, and Duo saw them, and then it broke.

He hates crying. That's what he says, it makes his eyes puff up and hisface blotchy and red, and it ruins his dignity. That's his excuse, anyway. I think he just hates feeling that helpless. I know I hate it, feeling miserable and vulnerable, and I hate watching him cry, knowing how much I depend on his strength. And he knows this.

He cried, and cursed, broke a few plates for good measure, and I watched, and waited.

He finished crying, and looked at me gloomily. "You do know the odds aren't favoring you, right?"

I shrugged. "Aa."

He smiled, maybe against his will. "So articulate. I sure know how to pick 'em." Moving swiftly, he grabbed me, wrapping his arms around me so tightly I could barely breathe. "Don't you dare leave me, Tro. Not ever, got that?"

It was the first time he'd ever admitted, however obliquely, that he cared about me.

~Owari~

Eh. Don't ask. It'll make more sense in context, I promise.

C&C. Please?