Author: Robert (email@example.com)
Category: PWP (sort of), sap, yaoi
Warnings: lemon, general POV strangeness
Feedback: welcomed at the above address
Spoilers: episode 20
Notes: ‘...’ = thoughts
A Valentine To GW Fandom by Robert
[revision 4.1 1/7/01]
I was thinking about the musical play “Peter Pan,” which I first saw staged many years ago when I was an eight-year-old kid. It was a very strange, sexually ambiguous play because a full-grown woman was playing a lost, pixieish boy. I wondered what would have happened if Peter had decided to grow up after all, and I made a strong connection between a partially grown-up, adolescent Peter, and Duo. I remembered the fairy Tinkerbell’s near-death experience, and how Peter broke through the fourth wall of the stage to beg us, the audience, to believe, and so save her life. Stir that together with my recent discovery of and exploration of the GW fanfic community and my meeting some great people in the community by email, and you have this story.
They have come together in so many ways, their stories drawn from so many places, written by so many hands and hearts:
Somewhere in an Alternate Universe...
The boys were rooming together, incognito at a boarding school. Walking near the athletic field after class, Duo was accosted by a gang of muscle-bound oafs out to bloody anything incompatible with their infinitesimally narrow, straight worldview. Duo’s long hair alone made him a target for these testosterone-poisoned fools; they were too stupid to sense what he really felt for his taciturn roommate.
Playing alpha male to his sycophants, their leader spat at him, “Faggot! I’ll show you what we do to faggots here!”
Duo was down, blindsided, kicked and punched. But the Fates were on his side that day; Heero was walking close by. Drawn by Duo’s yelling, he rushed in, bloodying Duo’s tormentors with a berserker’s rage. Only by exercising all of his soldier’s discipline was he able to prevent himself from snapping the leader’s neck like a chicken wing.
Heero picked up the injured boy and carried him gently to the dorm room where he stripped and bandaged him. A cornucopia of emotions flashed over Heero’s normally impassive face—rage, fear, tenderness. Although first fearing that Heero would despise him for his weakness, Duo read something in his eyes and shivered when realized that he stood a chance; Heero would reciprocate his months-old attraction.
Or somewhere, before a Mission...
Heero’s mission: to infiltrate a trendy dance club. But Spandex Boy, so skilled in the subtle art of war, had two left feet and panicked at the prospect of trying to fit in without blowing his cover. The mission was doomed. Doomed!
The normally impassive Heero was sweating. “Hell and eternal damnation, Duo! Why me? Doctor J never taught me ballroom dancing!” sputtered Heero. “Shit, I doubt if J ever danced once in his miserable life, whose expectancy will be very short if I have anything to say about it!”
Ever irrepressible, the Braided One replied, “Hey Heero, the good doctor might have been quite the lady-killer in his misbegotten youth. Cuttin’ the rug. Trippin’ the light fantastic, and all that.”
He snickered and looked at Heero with puppydog eyes. “And besides, I have an idea.”
Catching on, Heero shuddered and contemplated issuing a level-three death threat. But Duo sounded so sweetly reasonable.
“C’mon Hee-chan, I’ll help you learn! I’ll even let you lead! C’mon!”
The fast dancing wasn’t too grueling. The boys kept their distance, and Heero learned that he could easily sense rhythm and synchronize his steps. But when the time came for him to learn the infamous box step, the vanilla move that had served so many lousy slow-dancers so well throughout human history, he balked. Not willing to be denied without a fight, Duo wheedled: “No, Heero. You’re not going to get out of it that easily. Front and center, soldier!”
Holding each other in a dancer’s embrace, the boys’ bodies crept closer together with infinitesimal slowness, as if they both were magnetized and could no more fight their coming together than they could alter the laws of the physical universe.
Duo felt Heero’s warmth and smelled his sweet breath. ‘Oh fuck! This is so not a good time to get a boner!’ thought Duo. ‘He’s gonna kill me if he catches on...’
‘Hnn. Why am I so hard?’ thought Heero anxiously. ‘I can’t let him find out or I’ll lose all his respect...’
Without quite understanding what drew them together, the boys close-danced until they were finally locked in each others’ arms, Duo’s chin on Heero’s shoulder, warm cheeks together. Their hidden, shameful erections collided like two live wires, kindling a sudden spark of hope.
“You too? I thought you’d hit me if you found out,” said Duo, melting against Heero.
“I thought you’d hate me.”
“I could never hate you. Never...”
Or somewhere, beneath a Blanket...
It was winter and fighting had been heavy. Battered in combat, Heero staggered through the snow and into the safe house, blue with hypothermia, his clothes drenched, half-dead. Duo frantically pulled him through the front door and into the relative warmth of the building, where he collapsed on the floor.
Duo was frightened, almost hysterical. “Heero! Oh god, Heero! What happened!? Are you gonna be all right!?”
Heero could only reply by shivering convulsively as Duo pulled off his wet clothes and wrapped him with the house’s thickest blanket. Heero remained in deep trouble, trembling uncontrollably, skin clammy to the touch. Panicked, Duo stripped to his boxers and scrambled under the blanket, covering Heero’s body with his own.
‘My body is a furnace for you, Heero. Take all my warmth. Don’t die. Please...’
Seconds passed like minutes as Duo held Heero, warming him, willing him to survive. Hours later, Heero finally stopped shaking and, without really thinking, Duo kissed him. Instead of pushing Duo away, Heero kissed him back.
Or somewhere in another Time...
Tired and beaten down, Duo knelt in front of the altar in an old Catholic church on L2. The Eve War was long over. He lived with Hilde now in companionable friendship, but she did not share his bed—they had always been buddies, never more. He was still unable to forget the Wing pilot and was heartsick with missing him. The manic good cheer that had radiated from his face when he was younger had burned out long ago, and he lived quietly, hopelessly, from day to day.
Heero has been missing for two years. No one knew where he had gone, or even if he was alive. Duo felt shrunken inside, as if a part of him had gone missing with Heero and he would never be whole again. He still prayed out of respect for the memory of Father Maxwell, although his faith in God was almost extinguished.
Unexpectedly, he felt a hand on his shoulder.
Tiredly: “Hilde, not now.”
He turned, saw Prussian blue eyes, and was suddenly dizzy with joy.
And then, after the variegated preliminaries, comes the deepest part of our shared myth:
Heero and Duo, alone in a tiny room, busied themselves with unpacking. There was scarcely enough room for the bed, let alone their baggage. But they were soldiers so they traveled light. The night was clear and cold. The moon was full and the stars sang silently outside the window. Duo lit candles, and the moon, the candles, and the stars illuminated the room.
A wall inside Heero’s mind, created long ago by fanatics for their own purposes, was wavering. Like its creators, it had been imperfectly made—its foundation was riddled with cracks. Something was rotten within it, so it could no longer abide.
‘Something’s weakening inside me. Something’s breaking. But what does it mean? Duo! What does it mean?? Is this what it feels like to be afraid?’
Heero’s eyes, usually supernally calm, were confused, jumpy.
The wall fell in slow motion, like a video of some huge, archaic building’s demolition. Collapsing in on itself, it disintegrated in an enormous cloud of dust, the cloud looking like age itself. But the grime could not block out the light. The boys kissed, deeply and hungrily, as if to nullify months of tension and wanting and waiting and not having.
‘This can’t be happening. It can’t. Everything I get close to turns to shit and everyone I get close to dies, and now this? This can’t be happening. It can’t...’
Kissing. Each boy desperately held onto the other, as if their continued existence depended on their never letting go. Cobalt eyes snapped blazingly alive.
Heero felt giddy as new sensations inundated him. ‘What is this...feeling? Why do I feel so disoriented? So dizzy? Why does this feel so fine? So good?’
Duo fumbled with Heero’s tank top, then giggled when he realized that, to remove it, he would have to break the kiss. For just a second it felt lonely, as if all at once there were two people in the room instead of just one connected being. Resolutely, Duo tried to strip away Heero’s skin-tight spandex, and giggled again when he realized that only Heero knew the magic incantation that would make the damn thing come off.
A strange, unfamiliar emotion caught in Heero’s throat and, just for a moment, he felt weak. It was a wholly unfamiliar sensation. Heero thought, ‘He’s so alive. So human. Not like me.’
With a sudden gesture, Heero peeled off the spandex and stood naked, his erection pointing toward the ceiling of the little room, his balls tight against his body. There was no option other than total excitement—no conceivable way he could be cool and unruffled with this flawless boy breathing so close to his body. He couldn’t remember ever being this hard, this aroused. He was exposed and vulnerable for Duo, and it felt so right. For once, the Yuy glare was lustful, not angry.
Duo grinned as he enjoyed the view. Heero was hard everywhere. Defined. Ripped. His scars added a poignant reminder of countless MS battles. “Holy shit, Heero! You’re unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything so gorgeous!”
“Hnn.” As was so often true, Spandex Boy was at a loss for words. But his brilliant mind was racing, trying to integrate all this new data. ‘Me? Beautiful? With all that scarred flesh? No one’s ever called me that before. Why does it feel so good when Duo says it? And what the hell do I do next? Why am I so confused? Why am I hesitating? I don’t hesitate. This never happens to me...’
Duo stuck out his tongue at Heero. “Hey Heero! How come I’m the only one in the room who’s still wearing clothes?!”
“Is that a command?” retorted Heero.
“No, Heero, it’s a question. But if ya want a command, it’s ‘Chaaarrrrge’!!”
Heero had never undressed a priest before, but in the heat of this particular battle, he discovered that it was not much different than undressing anyone else. Which, of course, Heero had never actually done either except in combat, when circumstances forced him to serve as medic. But Heero had always been a fast learner, and Duo quickly discovered that Heero was an “A” student when the subject was “priest-undressing.” In less time than it took to break open a pack of Pocky, Duo stood dressed in nothing but Cheshire-cat grin. He was as aroused as Heero.
‘Hnn. He’s so slender and smooth. So fine...’ thought Heero.
Despite all his time rooming with the braided one and all the glimpses of tented boxers concealing morning hard-ons, Heero had never before seen a Duo-boner up close and personal.
Duo removed the tie from his braid and let down his hair for Heero.
‘Let’s see how he likes this!’ thought Duo eagerly.
The sight hit Heero like a revelation. “Gods, Duo! You call yourself Shinigami but you look like some kind of angel!”
Duo suppressed a chuckle. “Well Heero, Shinigami is a dark angel, ya know. The looks just come with the territory. And you’ve heard about looks being deceiving, right? Well, this angel has some deviltry on his mind!”
Heero’s thoughts were racing. ‘Damn, that boy could give a mummy a woody! Why am I so nervous? Maybe it’s because I don’t know what the hell I’m doing? I’ve never had sex with an angel before. Shit, I’ve never had sex before!’
Duo grabbed Heero’s hand and led him to the small bed, smiling and teasing. “O.K., Heero. Lie down and I’ll show ya what you’ve been missing all those nights in the shower with just Rosy Palm and her five little sisters for company!”
Heero couldn’t quite believe his ears. “Hnn.”
“I assume that particular ‘Hnn’ could be translated as ‘How the fuck did I find out’? Well, you weren’t too quiet about it, were you?” snickered Duo.
Heero almost said it: ‘I will kill you, Maxwell.’ But he intuited that death threats would do absolutely nothing to reinforce the mood. Not a good idea. Wisely, he zipped it. Instead, deadpan, he replied, “Hnn. Maxwell, you know that was just stress relief. For the good of the mission.” And gave Duo his best, blank, perfect soldier glare. Duo exploded with laughter.
“A patriotic jerk-off, eh, Heero? Sounds to me like it was the best part of the mission!” he countered, grinning maniacally and following that with a quick, unexpected hug and a kiss on the tip of Heero’s nose.
Amazed, Duo thought, ‘Is it possible? Is Heero actually developing a sense of humor?’
Heero lay down on the bed, knowing when to surrender. ‘All right,’ he thought, ‘I’ll let him lead me into this particular battle. I’ll trust him. Duo wouldn’t do anything to mess it up.’
Duo straddled the prone Heero, and, bending down, started licking Heero’s smooth, tight body like an energetic cat, starting with the curve of his throat and working his way down over chest, nipples, and hard, defined belly. Duo’s hair caressed Heero’s skin in the most delightful and unexpected ways, making him shiver.
‘Beautiful. So beautiful. The way the colors shift. It smells of strawberries. And Duo.’
Meanwhile, Duo’s hands busily massaged Heero’s shoulders, the side of his neck, the back of his head, and the top of his spine. When Duo’s tongue arrived at Heero’s belly, Duo’s hands started gently scratching Heero’s chest and nipples, fingernails used just forcefully enough to elicit a heavy sigh and hard breathing from his soldier boy.
Duo dismounted long enough to do a quick 180, his face adjacent to Heero’s dripping cock, and his own erection close to Heero’s face. Heero’s scent was strong and musky down here; Duo’s heart pounded as Heero’s essence went to his head like a dangerous, intoxicating drug.
Duo’s hands stroked and massaged Heero’s inner thighs. Moving higher, he teasingly caressed the silken, hairless skin of Heero’s ballsac with his fingertips. Finally granting mercy to the now-squirming boy, Duo licked the bottom of Heero’s arousal before taking the velvety hardness into his mouth and deeply down his throat.
Thoughts flowed like a mantra through Duo’s head: ‘Heero. Heero. Let me make this perfect for you. Perfect. I’ve waited so long for this to happen. I want you to remember it always. Perfect. Always...’
Heero gasped as Duo took him. The sight of the slender boy’s tight abs and hard cock and his musky scent affected Heero oddly. He thought, ‘Just being with him and having him so close to me are making me dizzy, like something in my body’s overloading. And what he’s doing to me down there is unbelievable. It feels wonderful.’
Abruptly the answer to a problem he’d been trying to solve most of his life leapt effortlessly into his consciousness in one brilliant, disorienting flash. His jaw dropped. He felt like he was in an MS that had just gone into free-fall...like Einstein must have felt in that moment he realized that matter and energy were just two different facets on one precious jewel. All in one life-changing instant:
‘It feels wonderful because it’s him. That’s what matters. Duo. Because it’s him.’
Feeling without thinking, Heero took Duo’s cock into his mouth and started pleasuring it, imitating his young teacher. He was rewarded by an “mmmm” from the other boy, who started moving faster, up and down on Heero, applying subtle pressure with his throat, the motion focused single-mindedly on increasing Heero’s gratification. But, as Heero’s abs tightened, his nuts pulled up tight against his body, and he started thrusting hard into Duo’s mouth, Duo thought, ‘Uh oh!--time to jam on the brakes!’ Suddenly, Heero felt cold air on his cock.
“Whoa! Down boy! Not yet, Heero. Mission’s so not over.” Duo started licking lower, starting with Heero’s silky ballsac and working his way between Heero’s legs to the little pucker hidden between his sculpted, muscular glutes. Heero’s musk was strongest here, and, overwhelmed by its spice, Duo almost came in Heero’s mouth as his tongue penetrated the secret opening, working its way in deeper and deeper, licking and teasing.
‘He’s not doing what I think he’s doing!? How could anything feel that wicked!? Duo! Because it’s you. ‘
Heero’s last private “tension-relief-for-the-good-of-the-mission” session had been almost two weeks ago, and Duo’s busy tongue abruptly pushed him over the edge.
“Duo. Oh gods, Duo!” The tight little pucker spasmed, and Duo felt Heero spray his seed, warm, heavy, and sticky, on Duo’s chest.
Duo pulled himself up and around to grin at Heero. “I’ll bet you haven’t done any of that ‘tension relief’ stuff for a while, am I right? Not to worry, Heero—you were just working off some nervous energy. We’re not through yet. Not even close!”
Heero looked directly at Duo and smiled. That smile was the only thing that could possibly have made him look more perfect than he already did. Looking into Heero’s eyes, Duo took his index finger, scraped some of Heero’s seed off his chest, and slowly licked his finger clean. It was the lewdest, sexiest thing that Heero had ever seen, and his cock, only slightly softened after his orgasm, stiffened again as Duo leaned down for a long, soulful kiss and Heero tasted his own essence in Duo’s mouth.
Heero shivered. He thought, ‘Together. Us. Sharing that. I feel so close to him...’
Violet eyes met Prussian blue. “Heero, I want you inside me,” whispered Duo. “Fill me up and take me. I’m yours. I want you to fuck me, Heero.”
A sudden hesitation. ‘I’m yours?’ thought Heero nervously. ‘He really means it, doesn’t he? How can I claim anyone? I’ve barely begun to learn how to feel anything more than anger. Am I truly ready for this responsibility? Duo wants to be mine?’
Duo lay on his back, legs raised and supported by Heero’s shoulders. Heero knelt between Duo’s legs because he absolutely needed to see Duo’s eyes as they made love. There was simply no other possibility—he had to make the strongest possible emotional connection to the other boy during the physical act. Duo coated his own opening and Heero’s hard cock with the rest of Heero’s slick seed. He felt Heero’s hardness at his portal. “Slowly, Heero,” gasped Duo. “You’re so big. Give me time to adjust to you.”
Heero pushed in, millimeter by agonizing millimeter. Eyes locked to Duo’s, he anxiously watched Duo’s face for any sign of pain.
Heero thought, ‘Pain does not belong here. Pain belongs out there, in the war. In the streets. Not here in this safe place. Never here...’
Astonished, he realized that his length was fully inside Duo’s body. It felt like warm velvet, caressing him. It felt new and strange. It felt like Duo, and that made it right. Violet eyes locked to blue. “Fuck me, Heero!” growled Duo. “Take me! I’m yours!”
Supporting himself on one hand and stroking Duo with the other, Heero thrust again and again.
He thought, ‘He wants this. I want this. Feels right. Feels perfect. Because it’s you, Duo.’
Violet locked to blue.
Duo’s weeping cock was rigid as Heero surrounded and caressed and stroked it with his hand, while his every thrust plundered the long-haired boy, pounding Duo’s buzzing prostate.
‘Heero’s inside me, completing me. He’s hard as nails. As a rock. As steel. No! That’s all wrong. They’re all cold and rough and dead. The living flesh that’s filling me is warm, and vital, and silken, and it’s all Heero. Heero.’
Violet to blue.
Two boys together, glowing, wholly connected. Heero bent down to touch Duo’s lips. Tongues dueled as Heero thrust, caressing and kissing his Duo. Their eyes, so close, were wide open, as if each boy were trying to connect to some secret, unknowable pattern hidden in the other’s being, concealed deep behind their eyes’ shining surfaces.
“Heero! Coming! For you!” Duo exploded out of Heero’s hand, the first volley hitting the underside of Heero’s chin as he thrust his tongue deeply into Duo’s mouth. Duo responded with a hard, hard kiss back. Time slowed.
Heero felt the buzzing electricity building in his nuts and between his legs, and knew that in a few more seconds...
Duo shot again, the second thick spurt landing on his neck.
Violet/blue, connected by a vibration, a charge containing infinite energy...
Duo spasmed again, covering his slender chest and belly with thick, milky ropes of whiteness.
Heero gasped out Duo’s name as he emptied himself into Duo. Maintaining his sated cock inside Duo’s enveloping warmth, Heero arched his back as he licked Duo’s seed from his soft, glowing skin. His tongue moved up Duo’s body from his come-slicked cock to his neck to his mouth, where he finally stopped to hug his Duo and to mingle their essences into one glorious, long, messy kiss.
After what seemed a lifetime they separated, a disheveled Heero falling back on the narrow bed and throwing his arm around the other boy. “Duo? That felt totally amazing. Uh...did you know that was my first time?”
Duo stretched and smiled. “So, Hee-chan, do you really mean I just took your cherry?” he asked. “Whoa, hold on! Wait just a minute! I seem to remember my cherry getting popped. If I’m not mistaken, yours is still in an un-popped condition. My tongue just wasn’t quite long enough to finish the job!”
He stuck out his tongue, batted his eyelashes at Heero and sing-songed: “Heeero’s got an un-popped cheeerrrry!”
‘Omigod! Is Heero blushing?’ thought Duo in amazement. ‘He’s sure come a long way in the last hour!’
Calming down slightly, Duo continued: “Well, I gotta say that you may have been a virgin, but judging from your performance, you could have fooled me! I’m still tingling back there!”
Heero actually chuckled, and Duo responded with a tiny, thrilled little shiver. Heero said, “Duo, are you seriously telling me that you were a virgin too? Seems like you knew an awful lot about sex for a guy who’s never done it before.”
Duo’s face darkened for a moment, and Heero, always observant, picked up on it immediately. “Sorry, Duo. That was a crude thing to ask. Just forget I ever said it.”
Duo sighed. “No Heero, it’s OK.”
He hesitated. “In fact, I’m going to tell you something I’ve never told anyone before. I don’t know if what happened tonight means we’re going to be together for a while, but, if we are, you should probably know what you’re getting yourself into.
“You know I was a street rat on L2 before Doctor G got hold of me. Well, life was pretty hard on L2 for anyone, but if you were a kid without a home or a family, there wasn’t much you could do to earn a living. There were no legal jobs open to kids my age. You could steal, or...you could, uh, rent yourself out to anyone who could help pay for food, or clothes, or whatever. All the street kids knew about sex. I was around it all the time.”
Heero’s face went blank. “God, Duo. That must have been—”
Duo sighed, but his expression was wistful—not as sad as Heero might have expected.
“No, Heero, it wasn’t nearly as bad as you might think,” he replied. “I put on little shows for my guys. Stripped, got naked, jacked off. But I never let anyone touch me. I never gave that part of me away. That was the deal going in. I could have made much more money the other way, but I saw what it had done to some of the other kids, and I knew that it would eat me alive. I was fragile enough after the Maxwell church bombing, and I needed to keep part of myself locked away from anyone.
“I already knew I was gay, so doing it in front of men didn’t bother me. And most of the guys were actually really nice. Lonely and kind, looking for some sort of connection and paying me because they couldn’t find the connection they needed anywhere else. When I look back, I think many of those guys actually cared about me more than the politicians on L2. Those fuckers just wanted to use me as a toy in their war machine, and they turned against me the instant the OZ propaganda mill started working and I got too hot politically.
“I was lucky that I had a sort of sixth sense about creeps and sadists, because I never went with anyone who hurt me or caused me any trouble. When you get right down to it, it was the guys in the suits and uniforms that got away with screwing me, ‘cuz I wasn’t expecting it from them and I let my guard down. But, except for Father and Sister,” ‘...and Solo...’ “I always saved my heart...I never gave it away to anyone...
“...until I met you.”
Duo steeled himself mentally. ‘Here goes nothing,’ he thought.
“Heero, I love you. I’ve loved you for a long time—at least since I helped you escape from that hospital and you decided you could fly 30 stories without a parachute. God! It already seems a lifetime ago. I held it inside me for such a long time, and tonight, letting it all out felt...liberating...amazing—like soaring through space in zero-G.”
Duo paused for the briefest moment.
“You must remember when you broke into the OZ prison where I was being held.”
‘Duo, how could I ever forget?’ thought Heero anxiously. ‘That one night troubled me more than anything else I’ve done in this long, bloody goddamn war.’
“You intended to kill me because I was no longer of any use—I was just a danger to the cause,” continued Duo. “And maybe you wonder why I was ready to accept your bullet so gladly. Heero, it was because I thought I was going to die anyway. And when I died, I wanted to be with the one person I loved, even if he was the one pulling the trigger. But, you know, I never really understood why you changed your mind and busted me out.”
Heero sensed that the reply he was about to give was crucially important. He paused for the better part of a minute before speaking, his face tense.
“Duo, I don’t understand what love is. I don’t. The good doctor never included that information when he conditioned me. It’s a part of my program that never got filled in. It’s missing.
“When I was about to shoot you in that prison, I was overwhelmed by an intense emotion that I couldn’t understand. Killing you was impossible. When I faced actually doing it, I was paralyzed. I felt like I would sooner turn the gun on myself than take your life.
“When you asked me if I was going to shoot you, I said ‘Only if you want me to’. That was just bravado. It was only a mask, trying to project an illusion of strength to hide my weakness. In reality, my power had vanished. If you had said ‘yes, I want you to’, I couldn’t have done it. There was no possible way.
“That incident always haunted me. It was a worrisome mystery. How did I know that some other weakness might not emerge unexpectedly at exactly the wrong time, and cause me to fail in combat? A weakness like that could have cost me my life. Until tonight, I never even had a hint of where that feeling might have come from. But now I think the reason was that I would have lost a part of myself that night. Killing you would have been like killing part of me.
“Then something weird happened to me when we were having sex tonight. When we started, I was getting off on how hot you were, how beautiful, how angelic. And that, in itself, was disturbing, because I’d always thought that’s something that’s only supposed to happen when you’re with a girl. Before tonight, it had never happened to me at all, with anyone. But suddenly, almost in an instant, something changed inside me, and the only thing that mattered was that I was with you. It’s as if I starting by thinking of you as a perfect centerfold, and then I suddenly connected with your heart, and after that, everything we did felt magical because I was doing it with you.
“Later, I thought about what it would feel like if I lost you—if you went on a mission and never came back. If you died. I have a very high pain tolerance. But that thought hurt so much that it was like taking poison. It was like torture. It was like the worst nightmare I ever had of the war, when I unwittingly killed innocents and their ghosts returned to haunt me in my dreams. I always thought I was stronger than anyone else, but I can’t stand up and face that thought for more than an instant. It’s a huge black hole full of terror and nothingness.
“I learned tonight that I could experience happiness, even after everything I’ve done in the war. Something broke through my goddamn Perfect Soldier conditioning and made it possible. I think it was you. You couldn’t have explained it to me before, rationally, no matter how hard you tried. I had to feel it for myself.
“Maybe love is like that. Perhaps I experienced love tonight, when being with you pulled everyone into focus, and I just don’t understand it yet. I think maybe it’s been building up all along, ever since I got to know you, hidden underneath all that crap Doctor J put in my brain, and tonight something finally gave way and let it all out. All I know is that I can’t imagine my world without you in it anymore. Duo, I want to be with you for as long as you’ll let me. I want to share your life and your bed. But I’m not going to say ‘I love you’ until I understand what it means.”
Duo smiled dazzlingly back at him. “Gee, Heero, that’s the longest speech I’ve ever heard you make! Are you trying the break a world’s record here!? O.K., If what you just described isn’t love, then it sounds to me like it’s...” Duo gave Heero a 300-watt grin.
“...a completely acceptable substitute.”
And with that, Duo gave his sated lover a hug and one last kiss before Heero passed out, fast asleep. Quietly, Duo got up and blew out the candles.
And so our story ends, told yet again by one more caring heart in his own private way. But our lovers remain in the darkened room, lit only by the night sky outside the window.
A shaft of moonlight flows through the glass, illuminating Duo’s hair. It glows silver, and red, and blue, shimmering like the aurora borealis. On the wall, in the moonlight, are shadows of gossamer bat’s wings: Shinigami, the Dark Angel, is standing watch over his sleeping love.
The greasepaint has been removed, his jester’s mask is off, and his eyes are infinitely knowing. Another tale is complete. With his arm still around Heero’s shoulders, Duo turns and focuses his beautiful gaze directly upon Us. Quietly, so as not to disturb his lover’s dreams, he says:
“We were born as puppets in a two-dimensional shadow-play about war and giant robots, for the entertainment of children. When the war was ended and the robots were destroyed, our creators had no more use for us, so they buried us in a drawer in some dusty back room.
“You rescued us from oblivion.
“I know that You love us; sometimes I can feel it as clearly as I felt Father Maxwell’s love, before...”
He stops, composes himself, and continues:
“We are five Lost Boys, not of Your world. We exist only in Your minds and hearts and imaginations. We have been surrogates for Your greatest personal tragedies and victories. We act out Your deepest fantasies and most potent dreams. Every time You write about us, every time a story is read, our lives are richer. We become stronger, more complex, more human with every word, with every page, with every author.”
Duo moves closer to Heero. “I will love him until the end of my life, if You let me. We have died countless times, but we always come back to You. The only thing that will kill us is to be forgotten.
Duo’s voice is suddenly raw, and the slender, ageless boy starts to tremble. Deep violet eyes look directly at Us, pleading, praying:
“Don’t forget us.
“Don’t let us get lost again. Let us live inside of You.”
In the fragile, shimmering moonlit room, the Dark Angel snuggles against his lover, and sleeps.
Special thanks to Bonnejeanne and Tyr for encouraging me to turn from a GW fanfic reader into a writer, and an extra hug to Bonnejeanne for beta reading.