Title: When Duo's Family Comes Visiting...
Author: Maiki-hime
Category: GW/YYH crossover fanfic.
Status: Finished chapter of a discarded epic. Posted in July/August, 2000.
Disclaimers: You all know the drill, right? The characters belong to their rightful owners. This fic is mine.
Warnings: A little OOC. TWT. Mentioned shounen-ai. Somewhat pointless. Pairings: Mentioned Hiei+Kurama (from YYH). If you try *really* hard, some implied 1+2 (at least on Heero's part).
Archive: Sometime in the future, I'll have a webpage in which I'll put this on. In the meantime, if anyone wants this, please contact me first. To the ones who I already talked to, go ahead! And thanks for archiving my fics! They are: Sheyin <http://www7.ewebcity.com/ShinigamiShadow/index.html>, Amy (Kikotei) <http://members.spree.com/entertainment/DuoMaxwell39/> and Joy Lyn <http://www.geocities.com/animecrossovers/>. Love you, guys! Oh... and I hope I'm not breaking the ML rules by showing links to the sites that are archiving my fics... If I am, please tell me!

Author's notes: I haven't told what each symbol denotes in the previous parts, but I think everyone got it right. Anyways, things between asterisks (*) mean bold letters and between slant marks (/) mean italics. The section written between five consecutive slant marks (/////) is a... ha! I'm not spoiling things beforehand! But please pay attention to it!

 

Part IX

/////The night passed uneventfully. Heero woke up before dawn, but didn't move. Recognizing the small cabin, he relaxed a little and opened his eyes. Moving his head to the side, he saw his braided companion was lying on his side, back turned to him and facing the wall. But he was lying on his *wrong* side, the one injured. Heero sat up, and reached out for Duo.

Cold.

Fighting the inane urge to jerk his hand back, Heero gently turned Duo on his back. It might hurt, but he had to see if he was okay.

It didn't hurt. Duo's body was rigid.

He was cold. He wasn't breathing.

He was dead.

Heero's eyes widened. Duo died during the night? He died by Heero's side, and Heero didn't notice?

He died?

How?

"I *told* you gods can die, Heero. And more than once."

Heero swirled around, trembling. That voice...

"Duo..."

Standing in the middle of the room, just where he had fallen the night before, was Duo. He was wearing the same clothes as the day before; the same ones Heero cut in order to reach his wounds. He gave Heero a sad smile.

"Guess my time here was even shorter than what I had previously expected, ne?"

"But... *How*? *Why*?"

"How I died? Well, judging by the mess my body is - or was, whatever - I'd say I died of blood loss."

Heero shook his head. "Iie... You did lose a lot of blood, but it wasn't life threatening. Besides, that had happened before and you have pulled it off with a shrug... Why is this time different?"

Duo sighed and stepped closer. Heero could see Duo perfectly, but there was something amiss... perhaps a sense of solidity? Duo sat cross-legged in front of Heero, braid over one of his shoulders. "I don't know. All I know is that sometimes people who everybody *knows* is going to die don't, and people not so bad die easily. Perhaps it's a matter of will."

"And you don't want to live anymore?"

"Of course I do! I still have much to learn, and even more to do! But I have to admit, a part of me was set free with my death."

"And now you're going home and pretend nothing happened?"

"Damn you, Yuy! You still don't get it, do you? I'm DEAD, D-E-A-D. My life-force was cut from my body. It was a human body, alright, but a modified body. *My* body. Do you think when that body got old and died I would manage to make up another one, or return to my 'god' one? You're wrong! That was the only one I had! Kurama's body is still the same one he used when he lived as a human, he just made some adjustments to make it age as a youkai's one, and not a human's."

Heero remained silent. That was exactly what he was thinking; when Duo got tired of living as a human he would discard this body and take back his old one... Or something similar.

Duo blew his bangs off his eyes. "I don't know what will happen to me now. I was never told what happens to gods when they die, only knew that they *could*. I must confess I'm a little scared. If the Fates come to judge me... I'll be in serious trouble."

"None of the gods have ever died before?"

"Yeah, some of them. The very first ones, and my grandmother too. Never heard of them anymore, so I guess you'll never hear from me again, not even when you die. This is the last time I'll see any of you."

Heero averted his eyes. He will never see Duo again? Not even after his death?

Duo got up and stepped back. "I can hear someone coming... I have a favor to ask, Heero. I won't have time to see the other guys... please tell them I'll miss all of you... and even if we got somewhat distant in this last weeks, I still think you were some of the best friends I've ever had in all my life... corny as it may sound, it's true."

Heero watched silently as a black-haired girl appeared out of nowhere and bowed reverently to Duo. Nodding to her, Duo looked at Heero for the last time. "Oh, one more thing, Heero. Next time you try to lend your body heat to someone, get a bit closer!" With a wink and a small wave, both were gone.

***

Quatre ran down the path. Heero's message got him a bit off-balance, and he wanted to see how Duo was. Their delay was only for a night... that was a good sign, right? It meant Duo's injuries weren't too severe...

Heero looked a bit too tired... more so than usual. He was carrying a big white bundle... And where was Duo?

When Heero got close enough, Quatre realized his bundle wasn't an object... it was... wrapped in a white sheet...

"Duo!?"

Heero looked up and shook his head. Quatre paled. Both entered the house and as Heero put his bundle in one of the rooms Quatre sat on a chair. Heero soon returned, and both sat for a moment, no words between them.

Quatre was the first one to break the silence. "I was so worried... I had a strange dream last night. Duo was bleeding, but I couldn't find where the cut was. Then he said he had no cut on his body... just one in his heart. And I could see he was dying because of it..."

Heero gave him a funny look. Quatre lowered his eyes. "I asked him why his heart was bleeding, but he didn't answer me. Then I realized he was dying because of us... because we hurt him. He confessed his utmost secret to us and we met it with rebuff. And even then he didn't want us to know and feel guilty over his passing... Heero, what was the /causa mortis/?"

"Blood loss."

Quatre hung his head. "I see. Perhaps the dream I had last night was a kind of warning... guess we'll have to wait some time until we meet him again and apologize for everything."

Heero shook his head. "I saw him after he died. He said we'd never see him again."

"What!?"

"He said he didn't know what would happen to him, but that when gods died no one ever saw them again. He... he asked me to tell he'll miss all of us... and that he considers us some of the best friends of his life..."

Quatre shook his head and got up. "I'd better go. I... I'll see the arrangements for the funeral."

***

The funeral was very quick and simple. There was no reason for not being this way; after all, only the pilots knew where and who was being put to rest. Quatre filled the other two on his dream and what Heero said to him. He got no reactions, just thoughtful looks.

Night found Heero on his bed, staring at the ceiling and thinking things over. Quatre's words echoed in his head. Had they really hurt Duo? Did Duo really care about what they thought of him? Quatre seemed very impressed by his dream... and Wufei didn't really help when he said it could have had some significance.

"The ancient believed dreams exist to not only remind us of the past, but also warn us of the future... of what would happen if the 'what ifs' of life became real."

Those words kept dancing inside his head, until Heero fell into the oblivion of sleep./////

***

Heero opened his eyes. It was still dark, and it took him some moments to get his bearings. Where was he...? The cabin! He was in the cabin! Does that mean...

He slowly moved his head to the side. Then he saw *him*.

Duo.

He was lying on his side, back turned... to the wall. The braided boy was lying on his uninjured side, facing Heero. Hesitantly, Heero reached out and touched Duo's wrist. The skin was cold, but Heero quickly found a pulse.

He was alive.

Was that all a dream? It felt so real...

He checked the time. It had been only an hour and a half since he had laid down to sleep... and yet he dreamed the happenings of three days. Dreams really are weird things...

Duo's shivering brought Heero's attention back to the present. He was still cold. Heero remembered Duo's words in his dream: /'Next time you try to lend your body heat to someone, get a bit closer!'/

Heero shrugged. Duo's dream self had been right. He scooted closer to the other boy and settled himself to sleep once more. But he kept replaying scenes from the dream over his mind, and the last thing he remembered before sleep overtook him were Wufei's words.

/'The ancient believed dreams exist to not only remind us of the past, but also warn us of the future... of what would happen if the 'what ifs' of life became real.'/

***

Duo woke up feeling like a meat grinder played with him. Opening his eyes, all he could see was a patch of green. Wait a minute... green!?

He tried to back off, and ended on his back... and suddenly remembered why he was feeling that way. A small hiss escaped his lips before he could stop it. Looking at his side, he realized the green came from Heero's tank top. The boy was lying next to Duo on his mattress, Heero's own being close, but not in use.

Duo remembered Heero saying he had lost blood... and he did remember feeling cold. By their position, he assumed Heero had tried to lend some body heat... and considering the fact he woke up half on his side and half over Heero... he had appreciated it.

His thoughts were interrupted when Heero shifted. Focusing his gaze, he noticed Heero was awake and looking at him. He blinked. Heero seemed... different? But he soon dismissed that thought.

Heero quickly examined Duo again. After making sure the braided boy was alright he picked up a can of soup, heated it and brought it back to Duo. He helped him sit up and put the mug on his hands. All without a word.

Duo examined the mug in his hands for a moment, then broke the silence. "Heero... arigatou."

Heero nodded. "I already sent the data over to Quatre and informed him of your condition."

Duo sipped from his mug then gave a small snort. "Yeah, so much for all that planning. And here I thought this one would be the easiest of all our assignments."

"It wasn't your fault. You did everything according to the plans. I... I was the one at the wrong place."

Duo blinked again, this time at Heero's retreating back. What was that? Heero admitting he screwed up? If he weren't so tired, he would have made a smart remark. But not now... perhaps later. Finishing his mug, Duo put it aside and eased himself back down. And soon he was dozing off again.

The next time he woke, Heero was nowhere in sight. Felling a little better, Duo decided to clean himself. After all, dried blood isn't the best thing to have on your hair. Only after getting up he realized he had only his boxers on. Shrugging, he assumed Heero threw his torn clothes away and picked up clean ones from his bag.

The small bathroom inside the cabin was just that - small. Still, it had a shower and an outdated generator; since the generator still worked, it suited Duo just fine. He'd have enough hot water to take a quick shower and wash away the blood. Duo removed the bandages, noting that the more superficial wounds had already started to heal, and quickly stepped into the shower, swaying a little. The warm water left his wounds stinging, but otherwise felt good. After cleaning himself he put on his boxers and pants and left the bathroom with wet hair plastered over his right shoulder. And ran straight into Heero.

"What were you doing?"

Duo rolled his eyes. "Isn't that obvious? I was taking a shower."

Heero narrowed his eyes. "You took off the bandages. And now you've started bleeding again."

Duo gave him a sheepishly smile. "Well, I had to take all that dried blood off my hair... Hey, since you're nearby, do you think you could help me with my back? I don't think I'll manage to reach behind and redo your wonderful job." He gave a small wink and walked back to the mattress, but Heero could see the slight swaying in his steps. With a small sound of acquiescence, Heero bandaged the other boy again, feeling once more the same sweet scent as the night before. 'Definitely the shampoo.'

"We'll be leaving in a few hours. Can you make it?"

Duo nodded. Taking a brush from his bag, he started untangling his hair while Heero was still kneeled behind him, seemingly frozen. After some moments Duo noticed that, and turned around. "Heero?"

Heero hastily shook his head and jumped up. Backing away, he opened his laptop. "The rendezvous point will be in one of Quatre's safehouses. He already gave me the coordinates."

Duo gave him a funny look. "I know that already, Heero. I already had the coordinates before I left." Turning his attention back to his hair, Duo shrugged. 'Weird...'