This sidestory takes place during Part 47, when Duo left Quatre at Wufei's apartment.

Duo's Drive

"Duo, you can't leave! You're my best friend!"

I kicked the stairwell door open and let it slam itself behind me, cutting off anything else that Quatre could've possibly said. I didn't want to hear anymore, and he didn't need to say anymore. If his goal was to put some doubt into my mind, he succeeded. That more than anything pissed me off. Here I was, mentally and physically prepared to leave everything important to me behind, and Quatre fuckin' makes me doubt my decision. Sometimes I really wish I was a coward. Telling him goodbye over the phone on the shuttle would've been much better, not to mention if I tried to change my mind, they wouldn't stop the shuttle for little ol' me.

I ran as fast as I could down the stairs without tripping, while at the same time turning our argument over and over in my head. His callousness surprised me, along with his smart ass remarks, but when he told me that it was over between Heero and Relena, and that she was the one that said it was over, well, that pretty much knocked me on my ass. I had been fighting with her over Heero since I first laid eyes on him, and I couldn't imagine her just turning him loose like that.

I came to the door and kicked that open too, running out into the rain without pulling my jacket over my head. That's all I needed was to get my cast wet. Then Sally would be next to give me hell. But since I'd parked about ten spaces away from the stairwell, it didn't take me too long to reach the Wrangler. As I started her up and pulled out of Wufei's spot, I continued to think the whole conversation through. Quatre's my best friend, and I know he wouldn't lie to me, but...he knew exactly how to pull my strings to make me dance. And as much as I wanted to just take what he said as gold, I couldn't allow myself to do that. He would lie to me, cheat me, and do whatever it took if he felt it was in my best interest. But I swear to God if he lied about this, I'm fuckin' leaving tonight. And our friendship will be over.

Two feelings were fighting for dominance in my head. I was hoping with every cell in my body that he was telling me the truth. That didn't mean things would be peachy between Heero and me, but that wasn't what Quatre was talking about. He said that she called it quits. He didn't say anything about a happy ending.

But I was also hoping that he wasn't telling me the truth, that he just said those things in order to keep me from leaving. That would make leaving him and Wufei behind so much easier, ‘cause I would be justified. Then I could say ‘well, if Quatre lied to me it's only a matter of time before Wufei will,' and not feel any need to miss them.

I needed to know, and the only person who could clear this up for me wasn't home. Of course.

I drove around her estate (after shacking up with Heero she went ahead and bought a house here), and noticing how relaxed the security was being, I figured Relena wasn't there. With the rain making it more difficult to see potential danger, security should be more alert, not smoking cigarettes (at least I hoped they were cigarettes).

"Good idea," I murmured to myself, digging through my glove compartment til I found my smokes. Doubling back, I tried to guess where she could be. Even though I quit being a part of her bodyguard, I still knew her itinerary, and with her and Quatre's disappearances and strange reappearances all over the news, she wasn't going anywhere for a while. She really didn't leave the estate without security up the ying yang, and the only time she did without forty thousand cops around her was when she was going to–


I stomped on the brakes, nearly choking myself on the seatbelt to double back again. Plucking a random CD from my visor, I stuck it in the player just to have some noise around me besides the windshield wiper, the rain, and my breath blowing out smoke. I was nervous, and me being nervous was not a good thing. It felt like I was coming to the end of a countdown, and in a way I was. Whatever she said was going to determine what I was about to do with my life for probably the next few years. And the fact that she wasn't someone I was very fond of just made everything shittier for me.

/If you're doing this because of Relena and Odin, I'm going to slap you./

"God, he looked pissed enough," I said around taking a drag. "He probably would've too."

/Of course I'm losing it! I come back and it's like I walked into the twilight zone!/

"Ch'. We've all been there," I said to a car full of smoke.

/You're complaining about how MY running away won't solve anything but it's okay for you./

I cracked my window open and blew my smoke out, not really caring if some of the rain got in. Hell, I wouldn't have cared if a tsunami knocked me out of my boxers right now. I felt so damn flustered I didn't know if I should wind my butt or scratch my watch. I see why Quatre ran out in the rain like a crazy person. I'm at that point, I really am, of just going berserk and doing whatever comes naturally. But since I have two Desert Eagles under my seat and a Makarov [1] in my glove compartment, going berserk wouldn't be a good idea.

Not yet anyway.

All too soon I pulled up to the gate, and before I could punch in my code, the gate magically opened for me. I drove to the garage and found that its door opened for me too, so that I could park in my favorite spot. Or maybe the fact that there were forty Maguanacs waiting in the garage had something to do with it. Maybe.

"Master Duo!" Rashid's voice boomed. Damn, I'm gonna need some earplugs.

"Hey Rashid!" I called, my jester's smile snapping into place. I didn't know why I felt so defensive, but I did. It could've been because there were grown men standing around like the mafia, idle in a garage at two something in the morning. That could be it. "Sorry to interrupt your tea party, but I needed to speak to Relena for a sec. Is she here?" I asked, even though I spotted her atrocity of a car in the far left hand corner, near the stack of car filters. I couldn't help but see it. It was a yellow Bug.

"Yes. She's--"

"Duo!" Iria screamed, charging to me at break neck speed from who--the--hell--knew--where. She managed to slide right into me before she stopped. Thank God I have two legs. Owww. "Where's Quatre?! Is he alright? Is he hurt? Did he have shoes on? He could catch a cold! What the hell was he thinking, running out like that--"

"Hey, whoa, chill okay? He's fine." I placed my hands on her shoulders and whipped out my most charming grin. At least I hoped it was charming. "He got a run in his fish net panty hose and had a fit. That's all." I heard soft chuckles around the room. I'm so good. "He's at Wufei's place and I got him fed and everything, so he should be snuggled up in bed. Just leave him alone for tonight. He'll be home tomorrow morning--afternoonish."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm sure Iria. Either he comes home on his own, or you send Godzilla to go get him." I winked at Rashid. He didn't find it funny. His loss.

"Well, you be sure to tell him I'm going to give him hell, or you're going to get it too."

I raised my hands in surrender. "Whatever you say master."

Iria snorted and rolled her eyes at me. But then this look passed over her face, like she was watching something grow out of my head, trying to figure out what it could be before it finished. "Duo, why are you here to see Relena? It's just about two thirty in the morning."

I hope the shock didn't register on my face. Iria was an extremely intelligent woman, and nothing really got past her. But she picked that up pretty slowly. Quatre must've really showed his ass to have distracted her like that! "Well, she said she was thinking of raising money for the government by selling calenders. And she told me we could really sell them if they had pictures of me in," I dropped my voice to a conspiratorial whisper, "naughty poses."

"Oh whatever!" She punched me in my shoulder. "Duo, you are too much!"

"That's what they all say!" I started for the garage door, the one that lead into the house. Throwing Rashid a significant look, he made his way towards the door as well. "I can't help it. I'm gifted! Curse me and this luscious body."

Their laughter and anything else said was lost to me as the door closed. I felt the tenseness around my eyes disappear as I dropped my act. The corners of my mouth were drawn down though, and I slid one of my sticks in my mouth, lighting it up in one fluid motion. It dangled by the edge of my lip as I walked, and I looked for all I was worth like a high school kid trying to be cool for the girls.

"Is it that bad?" Rashid asked as we passed through the empty kitchen.

"I don't know yet," I mumbled without dropping any ash. It was heartbreaking to me how much control she had over my life right now. Worse yet, she didn't even know it. "It all depends on what Relena has to say for herself."

"I see," he said. I wonder if he really did. "Well, if that's the case-"

"Yeah, it is."

"--then I would suggest you and Miss Relena leave the premises for a while." We made a left at one of the staircases. "I'm sure that Mr. Pagan will feel more protective of her while you're here, and he will not be happy with your...questions."

"It's a good thing it doesn't concern him then." We reached the top. "Where is she?"

"In Quatre's study."

Good. "Thanks Rashid." I made another left and started down the dark hallway, swaying to my own groove. "Hope to be seeing ya," I called back over my shoulder.

His voice was soft as he answered back. "The feeling is mutual, Master Duo."

In the blink of an eye I was in front of Quatre's study. I had to stand there for a moment to stare at the closed door because it felt like it was begging me to enter, trying to light my path to salvation with its yellow glow spilling through the keyhole. The whole thing was so omnipotent feeling that I completely relaxed, damn near dropping my cigarette from between my lips. I swear to God that I was at that place, that meditative state where you were at such peace you knew all the answers to any question you had. Why the hell couldn't I do this in yoga class last week?

In one move I opened the door, went through and closed it without a sound. I realized then that I probably should've knocked, but I doubt that Relena and her sidekick were doing anything worth my curiosity. Besides, she saw me enter.

She wasn't surprised like I would've been if someone had just appeared in a location they shouldn't have known I was in. Or if she was surprised, she didn't show it. But Relena was not that kind of person. She was a politician, so yeah she was supposed to be polite and think before speaking, but she wasn't the poker-faced kind. She was the shrieking, ‘oh my god, what are you doing here' kind of gal. At least that's what I took her for. "Relena."

She nodded slightly. "Duo." I saw penguin boy out of the corner of my eye, sitting on one of the leather couches, reading. Well, he was reading until I came into the room, and from the way he's watching me, I'm guessing he's trying to count the hairs on my body. He sure was staring enough.

"Relena...let's go."

Her eyebrows raised to her hairline. Kind of reminded me of Treize. Creepy. "I'm sorry?"

"Come on, let's go for a drive. I'm up, you're up, the rain's falling, it's a great night."

"You can't be serious!" There went Curious George. "Miss Relena, it's the middle of the night and it's raining!"

"I know Pagan. But I also know that Duo wouldn't do something like this without a reason. Besides, like he said, he's up and I'm up. No one's really being inconvenienced." She carefully stood from behind the desk and slipped into some house slippers while throwing a light pink (a nice shade of pink for her I might add) robe around her shoulders. Without a word from me she went straight for the door, giving me a glance that I couldn't quite decipher. She wasn't mad, but she wasn't happy either, and I couldn't tell if she was anticipating this in some form or not. I'll just sum it up as weird.

As we made our way for the stairs, I could tell that the light bob of a shadow behind me was Pagan. I could almost see the leash from his neck to Relena's hand, and it took a lot of energy for me not to turn around and give him the finger. I also hoped that Relena would soon realize he was following us, and tell him to sit, stay or roll over. I mean, shit! What did he think I wanted with her anyway? Not a damn date, that's for sure.

Soon enough we were down the stairs, through the kitchen and out into the garage. I had to help her up into her seat, but other than that things went pretty smoothly. Pagan had followed us down to the garage, but I saw he was holding an umbrella and a thermos for when she got back. That was cool of him. I guess.

I didn't want to go far, and since Quatre's house took up a block or so anyway I decided to just drive in circles. But how his castle was built (he says it's an estate, but it's too god damn huge!), the road was really winding and curved, so it wouldn't be a boring drive. And the rain made it slightly more challenging. I needed that.

Before I would ask the question I'd been dreading ever since Quatre flapped his lips, I took another cigarette out and lit it. I knew that Relena couldn't stand smokers, but since this was my car, she really didn't have a say in the matter. Plus, my feeling of utopia was starting to ebb, and I was fighting like hell to hang onto it. Especially if what she was going to tell me would crush my world. "Relena?"


"What were you doing up?"

She shrugged. I think. "Couldn't sleep. Quatre had Sophie so upset she woke everyone up."

"So, you're staying the night?"

"Yes. I wanted to talk to him about something, and when we were through I didn't feel like going home."

"Oh." Enough procrastinating. "Are you and Heero together?"

"I don't know a Heero, but I know an Odin."

I was so shocked that I damn near choked on my smoke. "Right. Well...are you?"

If I didn't know any better, I would've thought she was about to cry. "No," she said in a trembly voice. "No, we're not together. I'm breaking it off when he gets back. He'll probably sense it though. He's funny that way." She paused--well--she had time to pause, because inside of my head a million cheers with fireworks and horns were going off. Hallelujah! "I guess Quatre told you what he and I talked about--"

"No," I said very sharply. I knew exactly where she was going with this. He did not betray her trust, and I knew that's what she was going to say. "No, he didn't tell me what you two talked about. He only said that you said it was over. That's all."

"But why did he tell you that?"

/You're about to make a mistake. You just don't know it yet./ "I was going something he thought would be very stupid, and he said that to stop me."

"Oh." Pause. "What were you going to do?"

Eek! "I really don't want to answer that Relena."

"Oh. Alright."


"Why what?"

At this point I stopped the car, put it in park, faced Relena and took the cigarette out of my mouth. This whole thing was so mind-blowing I couldn't believe it. "Why are you letting him go? Why are you ending your engagement?"

She wasn't crying, but her eyes were filled with unshed tears. She wouldn't dare let them drop in front of me. And at that moment, respect I didn't know I had for her swelled through me. I saw a lot of me in her, and it was no wonder we didn't get along often. You can't have two leaders in a group, and you can't have two stubborn mules either. "I really don't want to answer that, Duo."

I didn't say anything. I just put the car in drive and took her back to Quatre's. Just as I pulled into the garage, Pagan appeared out of the shadows and helped Relena down so that I didn't need to move. Right as she stepped down, she turned her head slightly over her shoulder and said, "He doesn't want me," before she closed the door and walked back into the house. I just moved to reverse, punched the gas and split.


I never thought of myself as a chain smoker, but by the time I decided to head back to Wufei's, I was empty of a pack and a quarter of a tank less from where I started. I had no idea how long I was driving around, and I never bothered to look at the clock either. The time just wasn't important.

I didn't try to be too quiet as I came into the apartment. We all have that thing where if it's too quiet we investigate and if it's too noisy we investigate. So I tried to make the right amount of noise. I'm pretty sure he heard me. Anyway, I hung my jacket next to the door, went into the bedroom and laid down next to Quatre. I had to admit I was a bit tired.

"Go take a shower."

"In a minute," I said softly, which was really as loudly as I could talk. I think I overdid it tonight. My throat feels scratchy, and I must smell as bad as I feel. "What did she say to you, exactly?"

It was hard to hear him because his back was to me. "Not much. Well, she didn't need to explain much to me. She just asked what I thought about Odin's feelings for her."


"And I told her. Then she said that it was stupid of him to turn you away."

"Oh." I snorted, even though I thought I should be shouting ‘thief!' since I felt gypped. "Never thought she'd ever say that."

"Well, she did."

"She didn't tell me that," I said, watching the ceiling for some sign.

I heard Quatre roll over. "When did you see her?"

"Just now. After you said that it was over between them, I had to find out for myself."

"Duo. It's four in the morning."

"It was around two thirty when I went to see her." Or so Iria said.

"That's not any better."

"She was up though. And so was Pagan, strangely." Thank God for small miracles.

"Where was she?"

"At your house."

"How's Rashid and my sister?"

"Pissed as hell at you. But I told them to leave you alone, so you won't be bothered tonight. But you're catching hell when you do get home." And I'm going to make sure I'm there for it! I could use the laugh.

"Nothing new there." I snorted. He was right about that one. "So, what did you say?"

"I asked her if she and Heero were together." And waited for my world to collapse.


"And she said that they weren't. She's breaking it off when he gets back, although she figures he will be able to sense it when he comes back."

"Oh. How do you feel about that?"

That's a good question. How DO I feel about that? "I don't know yet. I feel like I'm getting someone else's seconds." I sighed. Even though I got the answer I wanted, I still didn't feel real good about it. "I don't know what to make of this. I don't know why she would just let him go after all this time."

"Well, she can't keep someone who doesn't want to stay."

That really caught my attention. It had that ominous meaning, the type that seemed to hang over my head but out of my reach. Relena had that same kind of meaning when she said he didn't want her anymore.

"What makes you think he doesn't want her?"

It was harder to hear him now since he mashed his face in the pillow. "I don't know. You have to ask her."

Hell, I knew where that'll lead me. No damn where. "No. I asked what makes YOU think he doesn't want her?"

Since he was half asleep, I figured he'd tell me what I wanted to know. Plus, I wasn't going to let him sleep until he did. Ha! "What makes me think that is, I guess, the way he looks at you."

Huh? "What?"

He sighed. Guess who didn't care? "He will never look at her the way he looks at you."

"Oh. What else?"

He sighed again. Guess who STILL didn't care. "You know more about him that he willingly tells you than he would ever breathe to her. You've also always been his partner and he's always been yours. When I met you he was only a few feet away. You two have been together since the beginning, and that is something that's never going to change."

Boy, that last part was a definite ego booster. As stealthily as I could, I slid out of my pants and under the covers, ready to finally hit the hay. What Quatre said had really put my soul to rest. It didn't matter to me the ‘why, who and what' anymore, and I was back at that peaceful place where I was earlier tonight, with all of my questions answered. But this time there was hope there as deep as a well.

"You're my best friend Quatre."

And he was. I bitched about how Solo, Sister Helen and Father Maxwell were taken from me, but in their places I got the love of my life, the guys and Hilde.

Heero wouldn't be the only one stupid enough to turn someone away.

(the end)

[1] A Desert Eagle and a Makarov are types of guns. I imagine Duo would have the Desert Eagle .50 A.E. Pistol with a 6 inch barrel and a Makarov Bulgarian pistol with a walnut thumbrest grip.

Here's a pic of his Desert Eagles, and his Makarov.