**Author's Notes: I wuz scannin' around under my profile lookin' for unfinished crap I really should finish and spotted The Wrong Notes. -_-;; Actually, I had meant for that third part to be the end, but since I never actually officially wrapped it up, here's an epilogue. ^_^; Enjoy~!**
"Eh?" The Shinigami pilot looked up from braiding his hair, smiling cheerfully at the girl standing hesitantly in the doorway. "Ohayo, Hilde. What's up?"
"Ano.." She glanced away, chewing on her lip for a moment before blurting, "Can I come in? I have to talk to you about...stuff."
"Ok.." Duo motioned to the bed. "Plop yourself down and tell me what's up."
He hummed softly to himself as she sat on the bed and watched him swiftly and efficiently finish up his braid. He was in a good mood. Especially after last night... ^_^
"So what's bitin' ya, kiddo?" He chirped, flipping his braid over his shoulder and giving her his full attention. Inwardly he prepared himself. If this was a confession of love, he was really in for it.
The spunky girl stared down at the hands clasped in her hands, face redder than usual.
Duo blinked, tilting his head. If he didn't know any better... he'd say she was *blushing*.
"I heard you last night," she muttered in one quick breath, averting her eyes, the rosy tint to her cheeks blooming into a full-fledged blush. "Er... when I came up to..to check on you, I...."
Duo leaned back slightly, clearing his throat and glancing away as well, cursing the red that seeped into his own cheeks. Aw, shit.
"Uhh.....Yeah, well.." he cleared his throat again, looking down at his lap, then at the ceiling. "Well......Uhhhh..."
Tentatively she peeked up at him, her head bowed, shoulders hunched in mingled embarassment and sorrow. "It was Heero, wasn't it?" she asked softly.
Duo blinked, turning his eyes on her at last. "Eh? How..how did you..."
She laughed quietly, glancing away once more, licking dry lips. "You...He.....Well, I guess I always kinda suspected, in a way... The way you talked about him and the way you kept looking at him, especially last night..." She swallowed thickly. "I'm happy for you, actually," she said hesitatingly, giving him a nervous look. "If...if you're happy...?"
He drew in a deep breath, closing his eyes momentarily and giving a slightly pained smile. "Hai..." he whispered. "I'm sorry for not telling you....but....I am happy. Very happy..." Because his eyes were closed he did not see the shy smile she gave him as she straightened slightly, reaching out to touch his knee.
"Good," she said with a hint of the old warmth in her voice as he opened his eyes to look at her. "I'm glad you're happy, Duo."
"Demo..." he watched her warily, remembering Relena's..ah...scene from the previous night. "You aren't mad?"
"Mad?" she laughed lightly. "Why should I be mad? I liked you, Duo...And I guess I did hope maybe you would like me back someday.." She shook her head, still smiling, "but I always knew you were more like an older brother to me than anything else. I knew it and you knew it. You've found someone you love and you're happy. So..." She spread her hands, her smile cheerful. "I'm happy."
"Thanks, Hilde," Duo murmured, smiling back. "That means a lot."
She leaned forward, hugging him on an impulse, and he hugged her back after only a moment of hesitation. Leaning back, she punched his shoulder lightly, grinning cockily at him. "Enjoy it, tiger. I hope you can control the 'Perfect Soldier'." She nodded towards the half-packed bag at the foot of the bed as Duo laughed. "You're leaving already?"
Duo nodded, toying with the end of his braid a little nervously. "Relena...well...she kind of had a fit when she found out Heero didn't love her," he admitted, making a face. "She's not *quite* as stupid as she looks. Sooner or later it will dawn on her exactly *who* he's seeing, and Heero doesn't wanna be around when the shit hits the fan." He shrugged, rising and reaching for the bag. "We're gonna leave today around lunch time."
She nodded, standing as well. "That's probably best," she said briskly, turning towards the door. "Good luck to both of you..."
Duo hesitated, watching as she walked towards the door, then dropped his shirt on the bedsheet and strode over to her, enveloping her from behind in a tight squeeze, burying his face against her neck. Her face flushed and she froze in shock, her eyes widening. Her heart pounded in her breast as she asked breathlessly, "Duo...?"
"Thank you," he said quietly, voice muffled. "Thank you for being my friend, Hilde-chan."
She swallowed, nodding slightly and reaching up to clasp his hand, smiling as she closed her eyes. "Hai, Duo," she whispered. "Thank you, also... For being there for me when I needed you."
"...You're going to miss her."
It was a statement, rather than a question. Duo didn't look up from where he was cramming his night clothes into his small duffel bag, blowing a stray lock of hair from his face. "Yeah..." he said calmly, yanking the zipper closed. "I am."
There was silence, then the sound of feet padding across the floor.
Strong arms looped around his waist, pulling him back against a hard chest, and he leaned his head back, resting it on Heero's shoulder as he gazed up at the impassive face above him, reaching up to trail one hand down a smooth cheek. "But she understands," he said softly, running his thumb along Heero's bottom lip.
The Perfect Soldier merely nodded, leaning down to capture the other pilot's mouth.
Duo let him, melting against his embrace.
Perhaps Heero was the one who didn't understand.
Maybe Hilde and Relena were the ones who saw things all too clearly.
Maybe Heero was the one blind to exactly what was going on.
But he was going to try to understand. And he was going to take steps to make this happen.
And for now....
That was enough.
back to Amiko's fanfics