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Shinigami's Song

Aaeth Payne

~……~ denotes thought
//……// denotes a flashback
{……} denotes a song playing
~*~*~ denotes a change of person

Track 1


A single touch could heal my soul
And your kiss would make my psyche whole
But you left me for another
Now death is my only lover

You can call me Shinigami
If you'd ever care to call me
But I doubt you ever will
You tore my beating heart out
The day that you walked out
But through it all, I'm loving you still

I'm just a joker who's lost his mask
The stark truth has left me bare
For my forgiveness you'll never ask
But it's yours anyway. I just don't care.

You can call me Shinigami
If you'd ever care to call me
But I doubt you ever will
You tore my beating heart out
The day that you walked out
But through it all, I'm loving you still

Are you content in your ivory tower
With all the things money can buy
You sacrificed us to please another
Leaving me behind to cry
These tears in my eyes, can you see them?
They're for a love that's strong, fierce, and true
But I know in my heart I've been beaten
In the war that was fought over you

You can call me Shinigami
If you'd ever care to call me
But I doubt you ever will
You tore my beating heart out
The day that you walked out
But through it all, I'm loving you still

Yeah through it all, I'm loving you still

You're always my hero, and I love you still
-Duo Maxwell A.C. 204

Duo shuffled into his small bathroom and squeezed two drops of Visene into his bloodshot eyes. He tossed the well-used bottle back onto the counter and walked back into his bedroom. As he stepped into an old pair of black silk boxers, Duo wondered if he should back out of the interview. His fame hadn't spread far beyond L2, and he'd wanted to keep it that way. Somehow, his manager, Vinny, had gotten him to agree.

So here he was, miserable and hung-over, and getting ready for the interview that was to be aired live on all the colonies and earth. With an irritated sigh, Duo looked at his reflection, he was dressed in tight black leather pants, a silk shirt of the deepest red, and his hair was in it's comfortable braid.

"I must be crazy." Duo laughed and put on a pair of dark sunglasses before leaving.

Duo sprawled languidly across from Kiki, the reporter sent by channel 10. She was bubbly and flirty before the cameras went on, and Duo was in no way prepared for her insightful questions. Her first question was like an unexpected punch to his gut.

"So, who is your hero?"

Five simple words, and Duo almost choked on his small sip of water. "What?!"


Relena thumbed through an old copy of 'People' with her picture on the cover. She sighed and threw it on the empty seat beside her. She looked out the window of her pink limousine and sighed again. Her position as Minister of Peace wouldn't be so bad… if it were not for the long boring car rides.

"Heero…" Relena closed her eyes and pictured the pilot of Wing Gundam. She could still remember the day he'd conceded to her request, the day he came to work on her staff as head of security. She swallowed hard against the lump that rose in her throat and the tears that stung her eyes. To look back now, she could see how silly her infatuation had been… but back then…

Relena went over those months in her mind, how she had chased him, and how he always avoided her until that fateful night.

//"Why don't you love me, Heero? I can give you everything!" She waited with her heart in her throat.

"My heart cannot be commanded. Not by you. Not by me. Your love is a child's fascination." His cold blue eyes stared lifelessly at her.

"I'm a child?! Fine! I don't need you anymore! Go find your friend DUO and live like a monk!" She threw his paycheck in his face.

For a moment Heero seemed lost as he caught the piece of paper from the breeze. "I don't even know where he is." And with that he turned and walked into the darkness.//

Relena shook her head. Heero had been right about the depth of her emotion for him.

She took a deep breath and brought herself back to the present. Glancing at her watch Relena rolled her eyes in a very unladylike manner. ~Still three hours to go!~ She looked around for something other than memories to occupy her time. She grabbed the remote for the small television and turned it on… and she was confronted with another memory. There on the screen was the older, but still recognizable face of Duo Maxwell.

Relena's brows furrowed. ~What is he on television for?~ She quickly turned up the volume.

"… this is Kiki sitting here with the singing sensation, Duo Maxwell!" The camera focused on Duo's grinning face as he waved at the audience and cameras. "So what do you say we get this thing started, Duo?" The perky blonde took out a small stack of index cards.

"Go right ahead Kiki."

Relena was extremely interested in this. She couldn't remember Duo ever singing… or doing much of anything really besides annoying Heero and piloting his Gundam. She found she was really keen on finding out about the ex-pilot. Kiki's first question stunned her almost as much as it did Duo.

"So who is your hero?"

The girl sitting across from him didn't seem to realize the significance of the question… or maybe she did?

"In your title song, 'Shinigami', you refer to a lost love, but no name is given. Your song says 'you'll always be my hero.' So everyone wants to know…" She leaned forward and paused for dramatic effect. "who is it?"

For the thousandth time today Duo wished he'd never agreed to this interview. He also made a mental note to get a new agent. "Now, Kiki, you've heard the song. It doesn't end too well. I'm not going to broadcast my hero's…" He choked a little on the last word. "name just to fulfill some idle curiosity."

Kiki sat back and pouted. "Darn." Then she brightened and looked at a new index card. "Now, about your other song, 'Ya Gotta'..."

Duo sighed. This was going to be a very long interview.

"Now about your other song, 'Ya Gotta'…"

Relena blocked out the rest of the interview and considered what she'd just witnessed. A nagging suspicion tugged at her. Finally Relena held down the intercom button. "Driver! Change of plans… we're going to the mall!"

"Ms. Peacecraft?"

"Just do it!" She reclined against the supple leather seat. ~I feel the need to buy a CD.~

Kiki frowned as Duo practically ran out after the interview. ~Sorry kid, I had to do it.~

She flipped open her cell phone and called the number as she'd been instructed. It rang twice before being picked up.


"Mr. Winner?"

Quatre relaxed into the big chair. "Speaking… did you do as I asked?"

"Yes Mr. Winner…" There was a pause on the line. "He seemed so upset! Will he be ok?"

Quatre felt a hand on his shoulder, and he looked up into his love's eyes. Quatre put his hand over Trowa's and squeezed it gently. "Trust me, if my plan works this will be the best thing that's ever happened to him." Quatre beamed up into Trowa's solemn face.

"Thank you for your help!" He grinned and hung up the phone before she could ask any more questions.

Duo slammed the door shut behind him and headed straight for the refrigerator. He grabbed a bottle of Absolut, opened it, and downed a good portion of the bottle before he allowed himself to think about what he was doing. He groaned and rubbed his overheated face against the chilled bottle. The cool, or was it the vodka… eased his pounding headache, and Duo started to feel normal.

He deftly unbuttoned his shirt with one hand, and somewhere in between large gulps of vodka he managed to wrestle it off and toss it to the floor. He walked over to the couch and pushed some of the empty bottles onto the floor before collapsing on the soft cushions of his couch.

He looked across the room at the huge mirror and raised his bottle in a mock salute before taking another drink. As the alcohol burned down his throat Duo happened to open his eyes. He saw himself sprawled on the couch with his head tilted back, and his lips wrapped tightly around the neck of the bottle.

Duo lurched forward coughing and sputtering as memories of Heero, and their mirror in the bedroom came rushing back. He fought back tears and ground his teeth. "BAKA! You let that twit reporter get to you!" He surged out of his seat and paced around the room kicking random bottles and bits of furniture. "You want to know who my hero is, Kiki?!" He railed at the absent reporter who'd drudged up his long repressed emotions. "It's Heero fucking Yuy! How do you like that? Huh?" Duo whirled and threw the mostly empty bottle of Absolut at the mirror. Both the mirror and bottle shattered... showering Duo in tiny knives that cut him in several places, but he didn't care. He simply collapsed to his knees; curled into a tight ball on the floor while trying not to cry; lost in his misery.

~I'm Shinigami. Death does not cry.~
~You're not Shinigami anymore.~
~I'm Shinigami. Death does not cry.~
~The war is over.~
~I'm Shinigami. Death does not cry.~
~Then why are you crying?~
~I'm Shinigami. Death does not cry.~
~I'm Shinigami. Death does not cry.~
~I'm Shinigami. Death does not cry.~
~I'm Shinigami. Death does not cry.~
~I'm Shinigami. Death does not cry.~
~I'm Shinigami. Death does not cry.~

And there, curled up on the floor crying and bleeding is where Duo's manager found him.

Relena carefully maneuvered her way to the front of the crowd. There were teenage girls, and a few boys, jammed everywhere inside the music store… all trying to buy one CD, Duo Maxwell's 'Shinigami'.

She stood out conspicuously, an adult among children. When she felt their stares she was sorely tempted to yell out, 'I've actually met Duo.' but for as much time as she spent in his presence, Relena could never say she knew him. But Relena just bided her time and snatched one of the CDs the moment she was in range. Then she hurried to the register. The line for the register was almost as long as the line for the CD itself, and as Relena waited she had the time to examine its cover.

It was almost completely black. On the front cover there was the blade of a scythe extending from the left. It looked as if it had slashed the darkness from right to left. From the cut leaked scarlet blood that as it dripped clearly spelled 'Shinigami'. And there was nothing more. There was no picture of Duo, no smiling death… in fact, his name only appears in small red letters on the spine.

Relena quickly handed the money over to the cashier, tapping her foot in annoyance with his ineptitude. After having to void the register three times the kid got it right, and Relena hurried to her limo.

Duo barely heard the fists pounding on his door… or the bang that resulted when the hinges finally gave way. The next thing Duo knew his head was lifted onto a pillow. He cracked open his eyes to see a Frantic Vinny leaning over him. He started to slip into unconsciousness when a slap rocked him back awake. Duo wanted to tell Vinny to stop hitting him, but his muddled mind could only manage a soft "Itai…".

Duo finally opened his unfocused eyes, and Vinny stopped slapping him.

"I've called the ambulance!"

Duo was able to smile weakly before his eyes rolled up into his head and Duo was claimed by the darkness.

Relena pushed the power button for the CD player, and blinked in surprise that Duo's breakthrough song… was a slow ballad. The single piano complemented Duo's husky alto perfectly. It took her until the bridge before Relena realized just whom Duo was singing about.
{Are you content in your ivory tower
With all the things money can buy
You sacrificed us to please another
Leaving me behind to cry
These tears in my eyes, can you see them?
They're for a love that's strong, fierce, and true
But I know in my heart I've been beaten
In the war that was fought over you}
Relena clapped her hand over her mouth the moment she realized the truth. "Masaka…" But then everything made sense, and the last line truly drove it home to her.
{You're always my hero, and I love you still}
"Heero." In that instant Relena realized just how much of a fool she'd been. She pressed repeat on the machine and the song began again. With her new insight she saw just how much emotion was put into this song… and just how much it revealed about its writer. Relena couldn't help but think of the last time she'd seen Heero... and how her offhand remark must have hurt him.
//"Go find your friend, Duo, and live like a monk!"
"I don't even know where he is."//
For the first time, the absolute hopelessness of that statement struck Relena full force, and she was able to hold back her tears. Ten years after the war an older, wiser Relena Peacecraft cried for the two people she'd inadvertently destroyed.
It was warm. Duo was floating in a warm sea of darkness. He knew he was avoiding consciousness… but what was there for him in the real world but pain and memories? No, it was much nicer in here.

"…Duo… "

That voice!

"… please… wake up…"

He knew that voice!

"Just open your eyes, Duo."

Quatre! It was Quatre!"

"You need to wake up, Duo!"

Duo followed the sound of Quatre's voice… up out of the darkness and into the pain.

"Wake up for me, Duo!"

Duo slowly opened his eyes and saw the blonde boy leaning over him with his eyes tightly shut. He reached up and wiped a tear from his friend's cheek. "I never could deny you anything, Quatre."

The pilot's eyes flew open and he stared down at Duo. "Duo?!! Are you ok?"

Duo grinned at his friend. "I'm fine." But then he winced as he realized how much movement hurt. "No, scratch that… itai."

"What were you trying to do?"?

Duo suddenly felt very tired, tired of everything. "Can we talk later?" He smiled and pushed the button for a nurse. "Preferably after I'm doped up with morphine? ITAI!"

Quatre shook his head and smiled down at him. "Fine. But we will talk later."

"Yare, yare… now where is my nurse?"

Relena dried her eyes and pressed stop on the CD player, every song was a dagger in her heart. She needed to think. ~What can I do?~ She grabbed her pink cell phone and dialed a number she'd used many times before.

"Hello? Relena-sama?"

"Yes, its me." Relena released the breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding. This time the target was different. "I want you to find Duo Maxwell. Its urgent."

"Hai! Right away Relena-sama."

The phone went dead in her hands and Relena prayed she wasn't already too late.

"I must make this right."

Duo wasn't alone. The years and the booze hadn't done much to dull his training, and the pilot of Shinigami knew someone was sneaking around his room. Someone who didn't belong there.

He carefully removed the IV from his left arm. Duo would miss the steady drip of morphine that kept his brain happily fuzzy… but for this he would need mobility.

The room was almost pitch black, but Duo could faintly distinguish the form of someone standing at his bedside table. With every intention to incapacitate the stranger, Duo leapt out of his bed. Unfortunately, he forgot that he'd been in bed for a number of days, and his legs were quite weak. The moment Duo's weight was settled on his legs they collapsed under him, and erupted in the worst case of pins and needles ever.

"ITAI!" Duo screamed and hugged his legs up to his chest, but the movement only caused more pain. So as Duo sat perfectly still in an attempt to ease his throbbing legs, the stranger calmly stepped over him and walked out the door.


Suddenly the lights in his room flicked on. Duo released his legs and covered his eyes against the sudden bright light, but it was too late. His head felt like the entire percussion section of a high school band was simultaneously pounding on his brain. The movement also revived the pins and needles in his legs. Duo tried to laugh at the irony of living through the was and then dying of pins and needles on the floor of his hospital room.

In an instant the matronly nurse was lifting him back into bed tsk-ing him for being too thin and not taking care of himself. "What would your mother think?" She admonished while she reinserted the IV.

Duo didn't have the heart to tell her that he was an orphan.

When she finally finished fussing she stood with her arms crossed. "So what was so important that you had to get out of your bed hmmm?" The look on her face demanded answers even more than her words.

Duo looked down as his hands were suddenly very interesting. "I- uhhh… there was someone in my room who didn't belong here." Duo jerked his thumb over his shoulder at his bedside table. "They were standing over there."

At the muffled gasp Duo looked up at his nurse. She'd gone deathly pale and her wide unblinking eyes were focused on a point behind him.

Dreading what he would find, Duo turned and finally blinked a few times at what he saw, a large butcher's knife embedded in the wall with a note… 'Shinigami dies.'


Part 2

The phone rang and Relena answered immediately.

"We found him, Relena-sama."

She sagged into the chair relieved. "Excellent work. Where is he?"

"He was just admitted into a private hospital on L2 yesterday."

"H-Hospital?" Relena barely croaked out the word. Was she too late?

"Hai, we were unable to discover just why he was admitted, though."

"Call the closest shuttle service. I want a shuttle waiting for me and ready to go the minute I get there, understand?"

"Hai, Relena-sama!" *click*

Relena buzzed the driver on the intercom. "Change of plans. Go to the nearest shuttle service."

"Ms. Peacecraft?"

"Just do it!" She tried not to imagine the worst, but it was no use. ~Please don't let me be too late!~

Quatre walked down the hall to Duo's room beside Trowa. Even though his lover looked calm, Quatre could tell just how worried he was. It was screaming in his eyes, his tense shoulders, and how his hands would clench slightly then relax. After years with Trowa, he could read his every emotion, which was a good thing considering Trowa was still very closed off.

Finally turning the corner to Duo's room, Quatre was suddenly halted by what he saw, or rather… who, Relena. He quickly glanced up at Trowa, and the slight twitch of his eyebrow conveyed to Quatre that he was just as surprised.


She turned around to face them, and Quatre could clearly see how red and puffy her eyes were. He hurried over to her and hugged her tightly while she broke into choked sobs.

"They wouldn't tell me anything or let me in to see him!" She raised her tear stained face to regard them both. "How is he?"

Quatre released her slowly when he thought she could stand on her own. "Well, he is in here for minor cuts and bruises officially…. But he is really here for treatment of his alcohol problem, and…" He took an unsteady breath, "psychiatric evaluation."

~It's all my fault.~ Relena sank down to her knees before the startled couple. She raised her face to look up at Quatre. "I really messed them up, didn't I?"

No one needed to clarify who 'they' were.

"Relena, I-"

"Excuse me, Mr. Winner…" Everyone's attention focused on the doctor who stood holding Duo's chart. He looked nervously at the odd scene before he cleared his throat and continued, "I'm afraid we have run into some complications…"


"C-complications?" Instinctively, Quatre sought and found Trowa's hand with his own. "What kind of complications?"

The doctor opened Duo's file and handed some photos to Quatre, who wasn't quite sure of what to make of them "What are these?"

"Photos of long vertical scars on Duo's wrist and forearm." The doctor traced the pale lines that ran almost from the base of Duo's thumb, to the bend of his elbow. "They are fairly old, but we are still obligated to place him under suicide watch."

Quatre numbly nodded… he'd had no idea his old friend had tried such a thing. "And the other… problem?"

The doctor collected the photos from Quatre's trembling grasp before he answered. "This may or may not be related, frankly I don't know which to hope for-"

"Just tell us doctor." Trowa broke his silence, shocking the man back to the subject.

"On routine tests we've found rather large traces of arsenic in Duo's blood stream."

"What??!" Quatre collapsed to his knees beside Relena. The implications of this were staggering.

"It is possible that he is trying to kill himself again, but it is also possible that-"

"DUO!!" Quatre scrambled to his feet and raced down the hall to his friend's room. He threw open the door and was greeted with a peacefully sleeping Duo, but then Quatre's eyes grew large as he took in the whole scene. He turned into the corner before emptying the contents of his stomach onto the clean hospital floor.

Trowa was only a second behind Quatre, but he was a little better at containing his reaction to the appalling scene. While Quatre quietly wretched in the corner, Trowa analyzed the area for clues.

Duo was sleeping soundly, unharmed, but only inches away from his head, a large butchers knife was embedded in the pillow. Attached to the handle a note with the words 'Shinigami Dies.' Clearly printed on it.

Trowa walked over to where Quatre was slowly recovering as the doctor and Relena walked in.

"Oh my." The doctor seemed at a loss for words. Luckily he was there to catch Relena as her eyes rolled back into her head and she fell to the floor.

"No police." Duo repeated stubbornly. "I don't want the publicity. Besides, I can handle this joker myself." He lay back onto his pillow smiling. Quatre was struck by how much this Duo resembled the old one they used to know, not just in appearance, but in his attitude as well. Then he remembered the long scars on Duo's arms that were presently hidden by those long-sleeved pajama top, and remembered that this Duo was also very changed, possibly irreversibly. Then Quatre got an idea, an extremely sneaky idea that just might work.

"One person then, not a police officer," he hastily added, "to act as a personal bodyguard." Quatre could see the refusal on Duo's face before he even opened his mouth. "Onegai, Duo." Quatre let his eyes fill up with tears and turned on 'the look' before delivering the final blow. "For me?"

Sighing, Duo gave in to the inevitable. No one can stand up to 'the look'. "Fine. ONE bodyguard." Suddenly Quatre's face lit up, and Duo began to seriously regret his decision ~Too late now…~ As the group moved out the door Duo closed his tired eyes. ~Well… whoever it is… I can handle it.~
"I've got an idea…"

"I've got an idea!"

"I've got an idea."

They all looked at each other a moment before Quatre broke the tableau. "Relena, are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

She grinned for what seemed like the first time in days. "Or should we say... who we're thinking…"

They both looked to Trowa who nodded silently.




Heero Yuy sneezed into his napkin once before returning to picking at his food.

"Bless you."

Heero smiled at the girl sitting across the table. "Thanks Roz, I don't know what's wrong today... Perhaps I'm coming down with something." He pushed he rest of his food away and looked out the window of the diner. Outside there was a large crowd gathered around the music store. "What is going on over there?"

Roz rolled her eyes at her boss, friend, and much to her mother's disappointment nothing more. "Not only do you need to take better care of yourself, you need to get a life!" She threw down a thin wrapped package onto he table in front of Heero. "Happy Birthday, Heero!"

He stared dumbly at it for moment. "It's not my-"

"I know silly!" Roz shook her head a how naïve he could be some times. "I was going to give it as a present to me… but you definitely need it more! Go on! Open it!"

He almost cringed under her expectant gaze. He hated surprises, even ones from friends. Heero carefully peeled away the paper to uncover the CD inside. Then he turned it over in his hands, a slight frown puckering his brow. "Shinigami?"

Roz nodded enthusiastically, "Yes! It's the first released CD of that new singer… Duo Maxwell."

Heero froze. He felt as though his entire body had just been submerged in ice water. "Did you say, Duo Maxwell?"

The trio poured over the mountain of maps and charts of every known colony, spaceport, satellite, or meteorite (just to be thorough… this is Heero we're talking about) Heero could have possibly holed up in, on or around. After thirteen hours, five pots of coffee, two cat-naps, and countless paper-cuts later they all slumped in their respective chairs.

"We are so screwed."

Quatre raised his eyebrows at Relena's blunt remark, but he did have to agree. Things were looking rather dim.

"Hmmmm…" Trowa rapped his fingers on the tabletop. "I've got it."

"Trowa?" Quatre turned hopeful eyes to his partner, who almost seemed to be… smirking?

"Relena, are you still in contact with the people who used to track down Heero for you in the past?"

She slapped her forehead in a classic 'duh' manner. "Why didn't I think of that?"

For an instant Quatre was tempted to shout 'Because you're still a nit-wit!' But he was just too nice, and besides, they needed her connections. "Can you do it, Relena?" He chose to be kind… but damn, he wanted to call her a nit-wit.

"Oh yeah!" She whipped out her pink cell phone and pushed a button before beginning a rather cryptic message.

~Speed dial?~ Quatre decided not to comment, but rather, focus on playing footsie under the table with Trowa.

"Done! They'll be working on it around the clock until he is found!"

Giving Trowa's leg one last rub, Quatre nodded and sat up straight in his chair. "We'll have to send a message to him when they find him." He pulled out a small holographic recording device, recorded a short message, and put it away to be sent out ASAP.

Roz yawned and scratched her head. Trying to buy another copy of 'Shinigami' last night had been pure hell, but she was still glad she gave her first one to Heero. The look of utter shock on his face was simply priceless! ~Come to think of it… he was acting awfully strange for just-~

"Yeowch!!!" Roz hopped around on her left foot after she squarely slammed her right foot into the small metal box on the floor. "Son of a… what is a holocube doing there?" She picked it up and slowly hobbled over to her desk before activating the mechanism.

A young an with earnest blue eyes and platinum blonde hair appeared before her. "Help us, Heero of Wing Zero, you're our only hope!" That small fragment of a message ran in a loop until she deactivated it.

"Hope I didn't break it…" She massaged her still aching foot. "Heero of Wing Zero... I wonder if that's the boss!" She tossed the cube onto Heero's immaculate desk. "Probably…"

Quatre reclined in the cushy seat of his car. ~Home again…~ He opened his eyes when he felt Trowa's intent gaze upon him.


Trowa raised his visible eyebrow. "Star Wars?"

The blonde boy giggled merrily. "You got the reference? I wonder if Heero will…"

"Why Leia?"

Quatre blushed a bright red and tried to hide his embarrassment from Trowa, but failed miserably. "Whenever my sisters and I would play, they'd make me dress up as Leia. They said that the guys had that better parts…"

"Are we almost home?"

Startled out of his memories Quatre just looked around. "Yeah, I think so…. Why, Trowa?"

The other pilot wrapped his arms around Quatre, and nuzzled his cheek before whispering in his ear. "Because I'd love to find out if that old brass bikini still fits."

"How did you- oh…" He blushed as Quatre realized he'd pretty much revealed that there was a brass bikini in his past. "Ooooh!" Quatre rubbed his cheek against Trowa's muscular chest and decided it was definitely worth digging through the attic to find that old costume if it got Trowa tuned on so much. An experimental rub against Trowa confirmed it. It was definitely worth it.

"Hey boss! There is a holocube on your desk for you!"

"Hn?" Heero grunted as he walked into his office. Computer systems analyst wasn't a high profile job, but it certainly brought in the money. Flipping through some mail, Heero sat at his desk and picked up the holocube.

Pressing a few buttons on the small device resulted in a low pitched whirring and a miniature version of Quatre standing on his desk giving him 'the look'.

"Heero, I hope that this message finds you well. Unfortunately, this message is not just for pleasantries."

Heero frowned. Something had to be seriously wrong for Quatre to track him down, not only that, but he was using 'the look'!

"It has something to do with Duo."

At the sharp intake of breath, Heero realized that Roz had come up behind him and was listening in. Heero himself was mute. Something was seriously wrong, and it dealt with his Duo. ~Baka! You left him! He isn't your Duo anymore.~ But if Duo was the one involved… ~Why isn't he in the message?~

"Duo was recently admitted to the hospital for minor injuries, but on a routine blood test, traces of arsenic were found in his blood. Someone is trying to kill Duo, Heero, someone so good Duo didn't realize it. This person also got into his hospital room, left two death threats on two separate occasions while Trowa and I were in the hospital."

"We need your help. Duo has only agreed to one bodyguard, and you are the only one Trowa and I trust with this. We can be found at Winner Memorial Hospital on L2. Help us, Heero of Wing Zero, you're our only hope." With that the image faded away.

Heero stared at the little metal cube that had changed his entire life in under three minutes. There was really no question about it Duo needed him.

"Ninmu ryoukai."

Quatre looked at himself and Trowa in the mirror. They had found the old costume, and much to Quatre's chagrin, it still fit. The strapless top was padded to give the illusion of cleavage, and the bottoms pressed his stirring sex close to his body, all combined giving him a very feminine appearance.

As Trowa fastened a slave collar around his neck, Quatre licked his suddenly very dry lips. This was going to be fun.

Trowa tugged on the leash and Quatre happily followed, and when Trowa sat upon the bed Quatre obediently sat at his feet.

Glancing coyly up through his lashes, Quatre studied the perfection that was his lover's body. Tall and lean with exquisitely defined muscles that could never come from working out in a gym, only from hard physical labor and pushing oneself to his limits. His long brown hair fell carelessly over his face, obscuring one eye, and giving Trowa an extremely mysterious air. The only thing to mar this were some scars that marked his pale skin, but to Quatre, who had scars of his own, they only served to remind him of their past, what they went through, and how they survived. They only made him love Trowa more.

"What would you have me do… master?" Quatre played the submissive slave to the hilt, only allowing himself what he hoped was a small seductive smile.

"Dance for me, slave." Trowa's low husky voice issued his command. Quatre reveled in the effect he could have on his lover, even after the years they'd been together. He waited patiently for Trowa to release the leash before standing.

With a clap of his hands[1], the room was filled with the sensuous first notes of 'Taste of India', a song by an ancient band called Aerosmith.

Slowly Quatre began moving his body to the music as he'd seen many dancers do. Every movement to seduce, every gesture to entice, every look intended to set Trowa on fire. In a sense, he was trying to make love to Trowa without even touching him.

The blonde boy had been watching Trowa surreptitiously from under heavy-lidded eyes so he saw the gesture when it was made. Two more claps [2] and the music halted.

He quickly returned to his lover's feet and looked up anxiously, "Did I please you, master?" He couldn't tell if his elevated breathing and heartbeat were because of the exertion… or because of Trowa. But the steady pressure the bikini bottoms were putting on is erection, that was definitely because of Trowa.

Trowa reached out a hand and cupped Quatre's cheek, brushing his thumb lightly over his lips. Then the blond boy was delighted to see one of Trowa's rare smiles.

"Quatre, my love, you've pleased me more than words can express." Then Trowa's smile changed into a mysterious smirk and he pulled Quatre's face up to his until they were barely a centimeter apart. "And you will continue to do so… slave."

The blonde boy instinctively put a hand on Trowa's chest to brace himself from the sudden movement. Then he felt rather than heard a very distinctive metal click. He looked down and, sure enough, his right hand was securely cuffed. Before Quatre could open his mouth to protest, Trowa picked him up and deposited him onto the bed. Quickly as his first hand had been shackled, Quatre's other hand followed. Now he was very handcuffed to the headboard, very vulnerable, and very turned on by the whole situation.

"Are you awake, slave?" Quatre opened his eyes, which he for some reason he couldn't remember, were closed… to see Trowa standing at the foot of the bed. A very naked Trowa. A very aroused Trowa.

"Y-yes Master!" Quatre's eyes widened as Trowa began crawling up the bed and over his body in an extremely predatory manner. He was instantly reminded of the lions that Trowa always had an affinity for, and this lion was slowly making his way up to Quatre's face.

Trowa gently nuzzled at Quatre's neck before whispering into his ear. "Good. Because I want your full attention." Quatre swallowed convulsively as Trowa traced his earlobe with the tip of his tongue, "Do I have your full attention?

[1] Clap on! [2] Clap off! Clap on Clap off… the clapper!


Part 3

Relena sighed happily in her bubble-bath. The plan was coming together nicely, and her guilt could be absolved. She closed her eyes and luxuriated in the warm water. Bubble baths never failed to perk up her spirits. ~Hmmm… operation 'find Heero' completed…~

"Ninmu Kanryou." She tried to keep a straight face, but ended up in a fit of giggles anyway. No one could say Heero's phrase quite like him, its silly even trying. ~Operation 'Reunite lovebirds' pending…~

Relena blew a small bundle of bubbles off her hand and watched it float back onto the mountain of bubbles in the tub. "What to do with them once they are together…" She leaned her head against the cool tile of the wall and stared off into space. "They should definitely be left alone…" a pink blush that had nothing to do with the warm water rose in her cheeks as she imagined just how much 'catching up' they had to do.

"That's it! She snatched her cell phone that had been sitting on the counter by the tub. "Hello.. Pargan? I need a favor…"

Quatre's eyes fluttered open and he nodded wordlessly. He couldn't seem to form words around the lump in his throat.

"Good. Because I'd hate for you to miss this." Trowa softly chuckled into his lover's ear before raining small kisses all down his smooth jaw and throat. When his mouth reached the studded collar that encircled Quatre's neck, Trowa playfully tugged on it with his teeth. He then continued licking and kissing his way down to the junction where Quatre's neck met his shoulder while his hand stroked the blonde boy's stomach, side and hip in slow teasing stokes.

Quatre, lost under the assault of Trowa's tongue and hand mindlessly arched his body up into his lover, trying to gain attention to where he wanted it most, but Trowa had yet to even accidentally stroke his constrained erection.

Finally Trowa seemed satisfied with the string of red marks that were now scattered over Quatre's neck and upper chest. He continued his kisses down to Quatre's breastbone, right above the bikini top.

Then Trowa ran his hand that had been increasingly tormenting Quatre, up over his body and around to the clasp at Quatre's back. Quatre eagerly lifted his back to accommodate his lover's hand, and then with a deft movement of Trowa's fingers, the top was off revealing Quatre's delicately defined chest.

Trowa quickly bent down and captured one erect nipple in his mouth gently nipping at the nub with his teeth until he heard Quatre's stifled gasp. He looked up and frowned at the almost pained expression on Quatre's face. He was squeezing his eyes tightly shut and biting his lower lip trying to keep silent.

"No slave." Trowa brushed a finger down Quatre's cheek. "I want to hear you. I want to hear you gasp in pain." Trowa bit his lover's nipple a little harder than before. "I want to hear you moan with pleasure." He then licked the same spot as an apology. "I want to hear you hiss and pant…" He began running his index finger slooowly down Quatre's body beginning at his lips. "I want to hear you beg and plead…" The blonde boy watched as the finger traveled down his chest and over his stomach, drawing closer to the place he wanted it most. "… and maybe, just maybe, I'll listen." Quatre's breathing was coming in short rapid gasps as the finger slowly encircled his navel and halted. "Well slave…?"

"Please Trowa!" Quatre arched his body desperate for Trowa's touch.

Trowa smirked as he played innocent… well, maybe not innocent. "'Please' what Quatre?"

"Touch me! Lower… please Trowa!" The blonde boy sobbed in frustration as the hand still did not move. "I'm begging you! Trowa-MASTER, please!"

Trowa's smirk softened into a smile. He finally slid his hand down to Quatre's crotch and massaged him through the tight bikini bottoms. "I'm not a cruel master, you have pleased me well tonight, and I believe it is time for your reward." He ran his hands over Quatre's bikini clad bottom. "Is this what you want? Do you want me inside of you?"

"Yes!" Quatre's eyes shone with unshed tears of gratitude. "Yes master, please! I need you!"

Trowa quickly sat up on his knees and hooked his thumbs under the elastic of the bikini bottoms and pulled them off an ecstatic Quatre. Finally Trowa looked down on his lover, who was naked and squirming helplessly, just the way he loved to be- It never ceased to amaze Trowa that his Quatre, though he looked like an angel, could be quite a hentai. He loved it.

Normally, Trowa would torture Quatre like this for hours before finally giving them both release... perhaps sucking him until he was about to explode, and then stopping. But tonight neither was in the mood for teasing. Trowa placed three fingers on Quatre's lips, and the blonde boy fervently sucked them into his mouth, covering them thoroughly in his saliva. While Quatre was busy, Trowa used his other hand to place a pillow under Quatre so the smaller boy wouldn't be uncomfortable. For all their play, Trowa didn't want Quatre to be even the slightest bit uncomfortable if he could help it.

When his fingers were slick enough, Trowa withdrew them, and replaced his fingers with his tongue. While keeping Quatre occupied, he moved his hand down to the boy's parted thighs. He ran a slick finger over the puckered opening before sliding a finger inside.

Trowa steadily worked one finger past the strong muscle, then a second, and finally a third, keeping alert for any signs of discomfort from Quatre. Quatre, however, was responding enthusiastically, thrusting up to meet the intruding fingers with increasing force. When Trowa found the spot he'd been searching for, the small lump inside Quatre that would drive the blond wild, Quatre did just that.

Quatre practically screamed into Trowa's mouth as he pressed harder against Trowa's fingers seeking release. Trowa, however, did not want his pretty slave to come... not yet.

He removed his fingers, and then quickly knelt between Quatre's parted thighs. "Look at me, slave."

Quatre wrapped his pale legs around Trowa's body. "Please… now!"

Trowa steadily guided his shaft into Quatre's lubricated hole grinding his teeth. He tried to concentrate on something not so tight… so hot... so amazing as the feeling of being inside of his love.

Finally he froze when he was completely inside Quatre. He could not move, or even breathe for fear of coming too quickly. When he finally calmed down a little, Trowa gave in to the angel that was whimpering beneath him. He set a slow agonizing pace, guaranteed to drive Quatre, if not himself, out of his mind.

Quatre would have none of that teasing, he tightened his legs around his lover's waist. "Trowa-ah-ahh-ahhhhhhhhhhhh!" His cry reduced itself to helpless pants as Trowa thrust harder into him. Every time he entered, Trowa hit that spot within Quatre that reduced him to nothing but a body of pure sensation.

Everything became so much clearer and simpler for Quatre when he was with Trowa like this; the feel of his skin on silk bed sheets; the cold metal cuffs encircling his wrists; the chain of the handcuffs, slick with sweat, that he could hold onto; his straining erection caught between Trowa's hard stomach and his own; until finally the feel of Trowa stroking deep inside of his body becomes all he knows.

Compared to the smell of Trowa's hair, the taste of his sweat, the feel of his body, the sound of his moans, and the sight of his face when he comes, the war between the colonies and Earth suddenly seems less important. Much less, and he'd known it from the first time they'd found each other in an old, run-down safe-house.

Trowa trailed a hand down Quatre's chest, and reached between their bodies to gently squeeze the blonde's erection. He brushed his thumb over the sensitized tip. "Do you want to come, slave?"

Straining up to meet Trowa's thrusts and hand, Quatre whimpered vulnerably.

"Do you?" Trowa stroked him once firmly, but it was still not enough.

"Y-yes! I can't take it anymore!"

Trowa quickly sped up his pace while pumping the smaller boy's erection to the same rhythm. It wasn't too long before Quatre howled in his release and a puddle of semen formed on his stomach and chest.

Seconds later Trowa emptied himself into his love, collapsing onto his elbows so not to crush the smaller boy.

"Are you ok, Quatre?" Trowa reached up to press the release button on the cuffs. At any time Quatre could have freed himself. Trowa also reached for the washcloth on the bedside table and cleaned them both up before allowing himself to be pulled down along side Quatre.

"Oh yes, Trowa!" The blonde pressed his thighs together feeling the warmth Trowa had left inside him. He pillowed his head on Trowa's shoulder and brushed some brown hair out of his face. "I love you, Trowa." Then his eyes closed, and Quatre fell asleep soundly, secure in the arms of his love.

Well after Quatre was asleep, Trowa traced his fingers over his lover's innocent face. "I love you too Quatre." He closed his eyes with a sigh. ~Maybe some day I'll be able to tell you that.~



Part 4

Duo raised an unsteady hand and just looked at it. No matter how hard he tried to hold it still, his limb just would not cooperate. He let it drop to his side with an impatient snort.

"'Che. I need a drink."

"I'm afraid you won't be having anything of the sort for a very long time Duo…"

He stared slack jawed at someone he'd never imagined he'd see again. "Relena?"

She quickly crossed the room and sat in the chair beside his hospital bed. "So you remember me?"

~How could I ever forget her?~ Duo eyed the girl with an icy glare. She was sitting in front of him as if nothing had happened, the woman who'd stolen his only chance at happiness. "What are you doing here, Relena?" ~Good, Duo, pull no punches… Just DON'T ask about Heero... they're probably married with five kids by now.~

"Well, when I heard that one of my old friends was in the hospital I just had to come!" She leaned forward and Duo almost believed in her sincerity... almost.

"So how have you and Heero been?" ~BAKA!~ Duo winced as he realized what he'd just said. ~After all these years, I still can't deal with the fact that he is gone?! What is the matter with me?~

"So how have you and Heero been?"

Relena could barely keep herself from jumping up and down. ~He's still crazy for him!~ Though she didn't want to think about it, there had been a small chance that Duo could have gotten over Heero since the time he'd written Shinigami… thankfully it seemed like that wasn't the case.

Attempting to stay cool, she answered carefully. "Heero? I haven't seen him in years!" Shaking her head and shrugging, Relena looked like the absolute picture of innocence. "He quit very shortly after coming to work for me… he couldn't put up with my childish behavior anymore I guess."

Duo raised an eloquent eyebrow, but otherwise said nothing.

"Yes, Duo, I realized long ago what a horrible inconvenience… not to mention risk I must have been to all of you." She reached out and grasped Duo's hand. "Can you ever forgive me?" Relena looked into Duo's violet eyes and wondered again how she could have been so blind to his devotion to Heero.

He finally gave her hand a gentle squeeze. "Hai Ojousan."

Quatre walked through the empty hall; he could barely contain his excitement. ~Heero should be here any day now.~ He bit his lip and silently wondered if they were doing the right thing in interfering. Perhaps in throwing Duo and Heero together like this was doing more harm than good? Perhaps they were just not meant to be? Perhaps-

"It is too late for doubts now, little one."

Surprised Quatre almost jumped at his lover's voice. "Trowa?"

The solemn face regarded him silently. "You are doubting yourself. Listen to your instincts. What do they say?"

Closing his eyes Quatre meditated on the situation. He hadn't done this for years, but the answer was clear. "My uchou no kokoro says this is right, but-" Suddenly Trowa's strong arms encircled him and hugged him close, cutting off his sentence.

"Follow your feelings Quatre."

The blonde boy smiled sweetly at his lover's words… the same words Heero had told Trowa very long ago… and the same words Trowa had whispered to him on their first night together. "Follow my feelings… I think I can do that Trowa." He reluctantly pulled away from the embrace, trailing his hand down Trowa's arm as he began walking away. But then strong fingers laced with his own fingers and Quatre mutely turned to see Trowa still holding his hand.

Then the taller boy took the two steps that brought him to his lover's side and gently squeezed Quatre's hand before they continued down the hall hand-in-hand.

Quatre was elated! Trowa was showing affection in public! Only one thing could make this day any better.

"Heero?!" The name escaped a stunned Quatre and just seemed to hang in the air. Finally the dark head turned and he was staring straight into the cobalt eyes of the ex-pilot of Wing. He couldn't take any more shocks to his system today.

To bad for Quatre he would be shocked again when Heero actually smiled. "Good to see you two." Then his gaze turned thoughtful. "But Quatre… why princess Leia?"

Heero grinned as Quatre flushed a bright pink and Trowa seemed to smirk slightly. "So when can I see Duo?" Instantly the atmosphere chilled.

"Well… Heero, we sort of also had an ulterior motive for having you come here…"

Heero did not like the sound of this at all. He sent a frown that was a fraction of his usual death glare, to the blonde. "What do you mean… ulterior motive?"

"What Quatre is trying to politely ask is, do you still have feelings for Duo?" Heero spun around to face his worst nightmare, Relena, and he had no gun. Abruptly, her words filtered into his brain before his sympathetic system could kick him into an adrenaline high. "… still have feelings…" Heero caught himself. "I care for the baka! Of course, he was… is my best friend!"

Relena shook her head and stood beside Quatre. "Oh please, Heero, we all know that you and Duo were lovers." Quatre and Trowa nodded their agreement. "Now you managed to screw it up," she held up a hand to halt Heero's protest, "with my help… we both were to blame." She shook her head sadly.

"Now I know for fact Duo still loves you." She held up her own copy of 'Shinigami'. "It's obvious, the question is… do you still love him? Do you want to be together? Will you protect him from whoever it is that wants to do him harm?"

The urge to scream the answers to all those questions burned inside of him, but a habit ingrained in him over the years took over. "Ninmu Ryoukai."

"… H-Heero?..."

Duo practically danced down the hall, thrilled to finally be discharged fro this place. Winner Memorial Hospital was a nice enough facility, with a friendly staff and cute nurses, but Duo still hated hospitals. Hell, the last time he'd even stopped into a hospital had been when he'd rescued- but it's best not to think about that.

Duo merrily skipped around the corner, only to be halted in his tracks. Before him was a sight he'd never expected to see again… Heero. The boy was facing Quatre, Trowa, and Relena so he was unaware of Duo's presence behind him giving the braided boy a chance to observe his ex-lover.

Heero was dressed in a pair of faded blue jeans that weren't too tight or too baggy. They were loose enough to be comfortable, but they still displayed that great ass Duo had always loved. On top of that he was wearing a loose black t-shirt that accentuated his broad shoulders and showed off his biceps. ~He's certainly filled out!~ Duo swallowed his heart and tried to keep from running at full speed… in the opposite direction of Heero. ~What the hell is he here for?~

"Ninmu Ryoukai."

The implications of these two words sacked Duo in the face. ~No!~

"… H-Heero?…" He betrayed himself with a small stammer only to catch his breath as Heero turned.

If anything the former pilot had grown more attractive, the lanky youth had filled out into a man.

"No." Duo knew what Heero was here for… and he would have no part of it!

"What do you mean, 'no'? You agreed to one bodyguard. Here he is!" Quatre finished with an 'innocent' smile Duo just wasn't buying. He was the expert on fake smiles, and Quatre was not that good a liar.

"I said no!" Duo stomped his foot, fully aware that this was a tantrum, but what else could he do? Somehow he was sure things would become very bad for him very soon if he lost this fight. "No no no no no no no no no no! I don't agree to this!" He stalked up to the small blonde and put his hands on his hips in a defiant stance- "NO! And that is final!" Duo only barely registered the gentle touch on the pressure point in his neck before succumbing to the darkness and falling into Heero's waiting arms.


Part 5

Heero scooped the unconscious Duo into his arms and cradled him like a baby. He shrugged off the shocked stares of their friends. "He was hysterical…" When they still didn't react Heero shook his head. ~Do they actually think I'm going to hurt him now that I've finally got him back?~ "He'll wake up in a few hours with a slight headache.. I'll give him an aspirin ok? Now where does he live?"

Finally Trowa hastily scrawled an address on a piece of paper and handed it to Heero. Heero grabbed his small duffel bag and the paper, all the time aware of the message sent in Trowa's calm expression, 'Don't mess this up.' He nodded and looked down at the peaceful Duo in his arms. Then before leaving he sent Trowa a message of his own. 'I won't.' He swiftly turned on his heel and walked out of the hospital to Duo's apartment.

Duo fitfully rolled over on the bed's comfortable mattress and frowned. He should be pressed up against some extremely cold and uncomfortable bars now… come to think of it, since when are hospital beds comfortable??!

His eyes flew open, and Duo stared unblinking at the familiar walls of his room. ~It must have been a dream!~ He shook his head and winced as it started throbbing.

"Some pretty fucked up dream!" He shuffled out of bed and into his bathroom. He fished a can of beer from his hiding spot in the toilet tank, shook a few aspirin into his hand, and swallowed them quickly with a gulp of beer.

Humming an old L'Arc~en~Ciel song under his breath, Duo shuffled through the living room. Yawning, he entered the kitchen… where reality came crashing down. Standing by the sink in his robe was the Perfect Soldier himself, Heero Yuy, and to make matters worse, he appeared to be calmly pouring every drop of alcohol Duo owned down the sink.

Dumbfounded, Duo stood aghast as Heero poured the last of a bottle… Jack Daniels, his mind coolly supplied, into the drain. He didn't even move until Heero slipped the half empty can from his loosened fingers.

"Wait a minute! What in the hell do you think you are doing?"

Hero didn't even pause in his actions. "Carrying out my mission."

~Mission! Mission! It's always a mission!~ "And just how does wasting all my good alcohol fit into your mission?" He practically sneered the words at his ex-lover.

"I'm protecting you. That is my mission."

"So your mission is to protect me from the big bad beer manufacturers? Thanks, but no thanks!"

"Iie. Right now I'm protecting you from your own idiocy." Heero tossed the empty can into the garbage and walked out of the kitchen, leaving a speechless Duo in his wake.

Heero walked into the messy living room and smiled. He'd anticipated some resistance on Duo's part, after all, he'd been cruelly rejected and Duo did not handle rejection well. And the baka could be damn proud at times, and absolutely stubborn when he wanted to be.

~Too bad, Duo, you can't escape me. Now that I've found you I've found the other half of my soul again. I'm not going to give you up ever again.~ He then proceeded to search the apartment for any other alcohol he may have missed.

"Who the hell does he think he is?~" Duo searched his kitchen for any booze Heero hadn't found. The place was cleaned out, hell there wasn't even any Nyquill!

€ Your bodyguard. €

"Shut up."

€ Sorry you can't shut up your own mind! Gosh, this must feel just like how the other pilots felt when you wouldn't shut up, huh? €

"Omae o korosu."

€ Sure. Whatever. *Beeeedaaa* €

His own mind just blew him a raspberry and he wasn't even drunk! This day was not turning out as good as he'd originally hoped. "So who are you and what do you want?"

€ Don't go actin' like you're nuts or something! I'm you more specifically, I'm your voice of reason. That's why we haven't chatted recently, until a little while ago I was locked up in the dusty corner of your mind along with subtlety and tact. €

"I have tact?" He actually sounded surprised.

€ Yeah… well, he's not looking too good right now. But I'm not here to talk about that! €

"Why are you here?"

€ I'm here to help you deal with Heero! €

"Deal? What's there to deal with! Soon as this conversation is over I'm kicking his ass out of here!"

€ Do you really think it will be that easy? €


€ Smart boy. €


€ So what are you going to do? €

Duo poured himself a cup of coffee, poured in some milk and five spoons of sugar. "From the looks of things he's probably not leaving." He took a sip and added two more spoons of sugar. "If I heard correctly, before I was rudely knocked out, he accepted a mission…"

€ You. €

"Bingo… I'm so clever."

€ Fuck you. €

"Anyway... as his mission, I'm not likely to be out of his sight for very long.. If at all! You know how he obsesses."

€ Do I ever! €

"Yeah… so it's going to be business as usual around here…"

€ Business as usual… oh. You're evil. €

"Again, sankyou."

€ So how long before he cracks? €

"A mere mortal? A few hours… Heero? I give him a week."

€ Can you stand to be around him a week without breaking and prostrating yourself at his feet? €

"I hope so."

€ Question. €


€ Why not prostrate yourself at his feet? €

"Pride. Everyone's got it. Even a street brat."

€ What if he wants you back? He didn't have to come. €

"Too late. He made it abundantly clear just what he thought of me…" Duo grinned his Shinigami grin-the one few people saw, and even fewer lived to speak of. "But that doesn't mean I can't have fun…"

€ Fun? What kind of fun? € Even the voice in his head sounded worried.

"I'm going to drive him crazy! Before the 'mission' is over, Heero Yuy won't be able to tell which way is up!

€ So you're going to tease him to distraction and then leave him hanging? €


€ Let me reiterate, you are evil. €

"Sankyou! But first… a few phone calls… Vinny is probably going nuts!"

Heero shook his head and finally emptied the very last of Duo's alcohol down the bathroom drain… though how the American managed to fit an entire case of Heinekin, an six-pack of Becks, and a bottle of Johnny Walker in one toilet tank…

With the first step of Duo-proofing the apartment finished, Heero wandered into the living room in time to catch the tail end of Duo's conversation.

"Of course I'll be there today Vinny!"


"Yeah, we definitely have to use that drummer for 'Ya Gotta'… What do you mean?! Of course we're recording it!"

The whole conversation started to get interesting as Duo began pacing around the room gesturing angrily at this 'Vinny'. Heero could barely contain his laughter while Duo raved at this person.

"Listen, this is my song. It goes on my new album. If you don't like that then I'll find a new manager!"


"Fuck the little teeny-boppers! I don't care if they do find it offensive!! Good. Then maybe they'll grow up!"

**A squawk over the line even Heero could hear**

"Too bad, so sad, Vinny! It's in! Seeyalaterbye!" **SLAM**

Crossing his arms, Heero prepared for the fight. Up until this moment Duo had been relatively easy to handle, but that should be over soon.

~Yeah… knocking someone unconscious and shocking them senseless tends to keep people docile.~

"You ready Heero?"

"Ready?" Not quite the flurry of insults and cursing that he'd expected.

"Yeah man! I should be at the studio… GAH!! Five minutes ago!" Duo raced around the room grabbing a jacket, keys, and a pair of sunglasses. He hooked an arm around Heero on his last pass around the room and dragged him through the door.

"You drive!" Duo shoved the keys into Heero's hands and jumped into the passenger seat of a beaten old car.

Heero shrugged and slid into the driver's seat. "Hn. Where to?"

Usually riding in a car calmed Duo down, but not today. Today he was on his way to record the song that could make or break his career. Not only that, but he was effectively trapped with the most suicidal, psychotic, silent- § hot, sexy, and insatiable pilot ever to traipse around space.§

~Who are you?! You're not my voice of reason!~

§ Hell no! I'm your deepest desires... your darkest fantasies… I'm what makes you eat the chocolate chip cookie dough and forget about the cookies!!! You can call me id. [1]§

~Uhh… hi id.~

§ 'Sup Duo? So I see you're in a confined space with the subject of your every dream for the past… 11 years… why haven't you jumped him yet?!! Want me to remind you just how fun cars can be?§

~NO!~ Duo flushed. That would not be a good idea.

§ Hn. I guess not… hey, did that ever come out of the upholstery?§


§ Heh… but you still haven't answered my first question.§

~My voice of reason and I- ~

§ Hold it right there. Since when do we listen to that wimp??! Forget whatever garbage he told you and listen to me… lean over there, cop a feel, and forcefully remind that Adonis that you can do much more with your mouth than just sing!!§

Duo couldn't control the choke or the bright blush that spread over his face.


"Uhhh h-hai Heero"

~Now you listen here! He left me! I didn't want him to go!~

§ So? That doesn't mean he doesn't want back! People make mistakes!§

~Not the perfect soldier.~

§ He is only human! You can make the first move... open the lines of communication, make it easier! §

~He. Left. Me. I will not go running back to him. I have my pride!~

§ Aaaaaa…. Pride. Hold on tightly to that. It keeps you so warm on cold winter nights. §


[1] id is the term coined by Sigmund Freud. In his theory, id was your base emotions, desires & stuff… your 'I want!!' this was controlled by your ego, which sorted out the things you can physically do… like you can't wave your arms & fly. It doesn't work no matter how much you try. Lastly there is the Super ego, which decides what you SHOULD do. An id/ego/super ego conversation might go like this:

id: I want money! Lets rob a bank!
Ego: I have a gun & a ski mask…
Super ego: Shut up bakas! No!


Part 6

Heero shifted uncomfortably in his seat. Amongst the flurry of activity it seemed as if he were the only stationary object. Not surprisingly, Duo was at the center of the hurricane, giving last minute instructions.

"This is going to be perfect!" Then those bright violet eyes focused on him. "Comfy Hee-chan? This may take a while with all these rookies…" Duo's teasing gave rise to laughter and groans from some of the technicians, who had probably been doing their jobs longer than Duo had been alive.

Before Heero could comment, Duo stepped into the soundproofed booth and settled the huge headset over his ears. From his position in the recording booth, Heero could see and hear everything.

Suddenly a driving beat filed the room. Duo nodded his head to the beat, eyes closed in concentration.

{I'm no innocent}
{Don't think I've ever been}
{You think you're pretty 'with It'}
{You don't know half of what I've seen}
Duo's husky alto made lights on the machine bounce and go crazy, just like Heero's heart. This song was nothing like the ballad 'Shinigami', this energy is raw.
{Ya gotta eat me, beat me}
{bite me, blow me}
{suck me, fuck me}
{very slowly}
{If you kiss me don't be sassy}
{Use your tongue and make it nasty!}
Heero stared shocked as Duo rose out of his seat and began dancing around the microphone in a most provocative manner. Duo's movements were unrestrained sexuality, pure lust. Only NIN's 'Closer' with its "I want to fuck you like an animal" chorus came close to affecting him like this. And since Duo was now shaking his ass to this… Heero decided this was much better.
{What I need is a lover}
{Who can fulfill my every thought}
{If you can't I'll find another}
{Who can do what you could not}
Secretly, Heero compared himself to the 'standards' and found himself worthy. Hell, they'd done everything mentioned in the chorus and then some!
{Ya gotta eat me, beat me}
{bite me, blow me}
{suck me, fuck me}
{very slowly}
{If you kiss me don't be sassy}
{Use your tongue and make it nasty!}
He shifted uncomfortably in his chair as unbidden memories surfaced in his mind, specifically that time in the car. When Duo'd slid into the passenger seat, Heero'd been reminded of the time the braided boy just gave him a blowjob without warning, for no reason. While Heero was driving. On a four lane highway. During rush hour. Much to the amusement of passing truckers.
{So what would ya think}
{About just a little kink?}
{Fuck the feather, lets use the whole chicken}
{You and me, babe, could be finger-licking}
{So what do ya say?}
{Wanna go all the way?}
{If you do…}
{I'm warning you-}

{Ya gotta eat me, beat me}
{bite me, blow me}
{suck me, fuck me}
{very slowly}
{If you kiss me don't be sassy}
{Use your tongue and make it nasty!}

Heero was torn between two thoughts… kill Duo for even considering releasing this song for public consumption… or throwing everyone out of here and proving that he could do everything Duo sung about.
{Ya have ta be nasty}
Heero settled for waiting until they were alone to pounce. The music slowly faded until both rooms were absolutely silent, until that silence was broken by the sound of one person clapping.

Standing in the open door that separated the recording booth from the studio was a blonde man dressed in khaki pants and a loose white shirt with its first three buttons undone. He leaned nonchalantly against the doorframe looking casual and comfortable. Heero did not like him.


Duo threw himself at his manager and chatted non-stop. He didn't even know what he was saying. Deep down he knew he was laughing and fawning more than was actually necessary.

€ That's not nice you know, using Vinny to make Heero jealous. €

~I know.~

€ Besides… I thought you were done with Heero. €

~I AM!~

€ Then why bother making him jealous? €

~Well because… umm… oh dammit!~

Duo pulled away from Vinny and walked over to where Heero sat. "Heero, this is Vincent Thorpe, my manager. Vinny, this is Heero Yuy, my best friend."

They just sort of looked at each other.


"Anyway, Vinny and I gotta talk, so why don't you look around Heero? This shouldn't take too long."

"Hn." Heero turned and stalked away.

~Vocal as ever. That's what I love about you Heero… your conversational skills… *Loved* that's what I *loved* about you!~

€ Sure… €

~Shut up.~

Heero wandered aimlessly. The entire building was a seemingly endless maze of Doors and hallways. Somehow Heero found himself standing outside on a balcony that overlooked an alley. Below in the street were three girls chanting and waving homemade banners.

The one with the extremely long black hair looked at the girl with wavy blonde hair, and then at the one with shoulder-length red hair. They simultaneously screamed 'bishounen'. Quicker than he thought possible, they turned over their signs and scribbled on the back with a marker they produced from somewhere.

They held up the new signs. The blonde held up her new "I **heart** glaring bishounen!" she then turned it back to its original "Marry me Duo!" The one with the long black hair held up her new "I like 'em moody!" sign and then turned it back to the "Duo is God" side. The red-head's sign simply read "drool."

"Fan girls…" Heero swiftly turned at the sound of Duo's voice. There the singer stood, lounging casually in the doorway.

"Hn. Crazy, but harmless." Heero dismissed them as nothing but an annoyance.

"Indeed." Duo pushed away from the door and walked over to Heero. He leaned over the balcony and waved good-naturedly at the girls, who instantly went into joygasming fits.[1] He turned and took hold of Heero's arm and led him back into the building. "Time to go!"

Heero allowed himself to be propelled back inside. "So where are we going?"

Duo let out an exasperated sigh as he kept leading Heero through the winding halls. "Home baka!"

Duo looked intently out his window. Well, not really out his window… because the angle was just right, and he could see Heero's every movement mirrored in the clear glass.

~Is it sick to want him to drive just so I can watch the muscles in his arms? Yup definitely sick… oh well.~

Duo went back to Heero watching until some very familiar chords came from the radio. ~Oh. Shit.~ Duo didn't like listening to this song as it was, he certainly didn't want to in the presence of the guy it had been written for.

He reached for the dial, only to have is hand slapped away. "Leave it. I like this song."

Duo swallowed and looked out the window as his voice filled the car. When Heero began tapping the steering wheel to the beat, Duo looked over to the shocking sight of Heero Yuy smiling! ~I.will.not.jump.him.I.will.not.not.jump.him.I.will.not.jump.him.~

It seemed his prayers were answered as they pulled into his parking garage before the most damning part had been played. But fate was not feeling kind today. Instead of turning off the car immediately, Heero let it idle.

{You're still my hero, and I love you still}

"Ummmm yeah… heh heh heh…" Duo sprang out of his seat and sprinted all the way to his apartment.

Once inside, Duo locked himself in his bedroom. Away from Heero; away from temptation. From his barricaded position Duo heard Heero enter his apartment and approach his door.

"… Duo? Daijoubu?"

"Yes!" Duo called through the door, not even trusting himself enough to open it. "I'm going to be early, we have an early day tomorrow!"

"Aaa, oyasumi!"

Duo listened as Heero's footsteps left his door. "Yeah… oyasumi." He stripped naked and crawled into his bed. This was going to be a long night.

+ later +
Teasing lips brushed over his collar bone swiftly before covering his own. Duo knew he needed his kiss, more than he needed air or even his own life. He needed Heero's arms around him holding him tightly. "Mmmm Heero…" Duo heard his own ragged breathing as he strained up into Heero's feather light touches.

"Shhh Duo…" Heero's husky voice whispered in his ear. "I will take care of you."

Duo shivered in anticipation when he heard Heero open their small jar of lube. Then one slick finger slowly penetrated his opening. "Ohhh Heero!" Duo almost purred as he pushed back against Heero's hand.

"Do you like that Duo?" Heero slid in a second finger, grinning at Duo's unintelligible answer.

"M-more!" Duo moved desperately against Heero's intruding fingers, loving his touch but yearning for more. He was quickly rewarded with a third finger stretching his tight opening. "Yesssss!"

"Are you ready?" Duo's eyes fluttered open and he met Heero's steady gaze. He raised his hand to Heero's cheek and caressed it lovingly. "Yes koi."

Heero leaned in for a long kiss as he withdrew his fingers. Then Heero pressed his erection to Duo's entrance. Duo's tongue battled for dominance within Heero's mouth until he felt Heero enter him. Tossing his head back, Duo let out a long hiss as the pleasure/pain hit him.

Heero quickly took advantage of the exposed flesh; kissing and nipping it playfully as he slowly thrust into Duo's willing body.

Duo wound his arms around Heero's body and nuzzled his face into his lover's neck. When Heero's strong arms encircled him, Duo was struck by just how perfect this was- Heero inside of him, strong arms enveloping him, husky voice calling his name- Duo had never felt so happy and cherished. Tears of joy ran down his face.

Heero, alerted by the wetness pulled away, concern clear on his face. "Did I hurt you?" He rushed the tears from Duo's face and halted his movement.

"Oh no!" Duo forcefully ground himself onto Heero's erection until he resumed his movement. "I just…" Duo stared into his love's anxious face. "Don't ever leave me…" He looked down embarrassed at himself.

"Duo is that what this is about?" Heero took hold of his chin and forced the violet eyed boy to look at him. "I will never leave you!" He took a firm hold on Duo's hips. "Never, never, never, never!" Every word was punctuated by a deep thrust; Duo could feel his orgasm quickly approaching. "Never, never, never, never- beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep!

Duo's hand flailed out and killed the offending alarm. He
regretfully turned over, moaning as the silk sheets caressed his
lower body. He pulled back the sheets and saw that he sported the
biggest, most painful erection he'd had since Heero left.

"Dammit!" He scowled at his traitorous flesh, as if it could whither from anger alone. When this failed to work he flopped back upon his pillows and stared up at the ceiling with an odd look of disgruntled amazement on his face. "Whatta dream!"

[1] joygasm. Hmm noun I think. Term used by my friends & I to describe a state of absolute happy bliss… derived from the words joy… and well, orgasm! If used in a sentence it would be, "The Hotty Asian guy that works in the coffee beanery is so cute we were joygasming the whole time we were at the mall!!!" (Yes there is a hotty asian guy *Aaeth drools*)


Part 7

Heero marched into the hall and faced Duo's closed door. He prepared himself for the worst. Duo was definitely going to be a brat today. He'd been too complacent and now the braided boy would surely be his usual difficult self… right?

Heero paused a moment and grinned at some of the more colorful curses that could be heard from behind the closed door. He took one step inside before he burst out laughing. Duo was sitting on top of a suitcase that was filled with far too may clothes to allow it to close. He was also dressed in nothing but a pair of zebra striped boxer shorts.

Duo looked up immediately and blushed crimson. "Ohayo Heero…" Then inexplicably, the dirt under Duo's nails became fascinating, because he focused on cleaning them for over three minutes.

"Need some help?" Without waiting for an answer, Heero hopped up onto the suitcase beside Duo. Their combined weight caused the lid to sag a little before springing back open again.

Simultaneously they began bouncing up and down on the lid until it finally caught with a resounding 'click'.

"Sugoi!" Duo bounded off the piece of luggage and began pulling on a pair of warn jeans, much to Hero's disappointment. "Hurry up and pack! We gotta get moving."

"Huh?" ~Eloquent as ever Yuy.~

Duo shrugged a shirt on. "My lease ran out today. Frankly, even with my 'celebrity status' I don't think I'm encouraged to renew it."


"Besides, its time I kicked it off!" Duo resumed his frantic packing of random items into random boxes that lay scattered around the room. Items deemed unnecessary were tossed over his shoulder, to be left behind for the cleaners presumably.

~Did I miss something?~ "Kick what off?" Heero realized he wasn't picking up on something…

Thrusting a box into Heero's arms, Duo hustled him out into the living room. "My tour! Shinigami Lives!!"

~What I wouldn't give for a camera!~ Truly, the look on Heero's face was priceless. If Duo had let himself pause in retrieving Heero's bag (packed completely and resting upon the folded blankets on the couch) he would have been rendered just as speechless as Heero. But he was completely focused on ushering the stunned ex-soldier out the door.

Duo popped the few boxes into the back of his car and slid into the driver's seat.

After only briefly checking his mirrors, Duo whipped the car out into the street. He took the long way that was mostly back roads that hardly anyone drove on. Duo made it a point to see how long he could drive without touching the brakes. It freaked out anyone who rode with him, but it kept Duo entertained.

~Hmmm Heero is being awfully quiet.~ Duo glanced over; Heero was looking rather pale, reflexively clutching what Duo cheerfully referred to as the 'oh shit' bar.

~I guess I should slow down.~ Duo gently tapped his foot on the brake, but instead of slight resistance and deceleration, his foot pushed the pedal down to the floor. And the car kept gaining speed.

"Oh shit."


Duo glanced over at Heero's ashen face as regret and fear overwhelmed him. "There's no brakes! We're gaining speed and I can't stop this thing!" ~Why did I have to be such a stubborn baka?!~

Heero gaped for a moment. "Pull the emergency brake!!"

Duo maneuvered around a curve, barely avoiding a passing car. "This P.O.S. (1) didn't have one when I bought it!" Duo took yet another turn, this time taking it on only two wheels. ~If only there was a lake or something soft we could crash into!~ But Duo knew this was a futile hope. There was absolutely nothing like that around, and here was yet another corner coming up.

"Duo! Down shift into low gear, that should slow us down!" Heero braced himself in his seat as best he could.

"Got it!" Duo quickly changed gears and looked down at the speedometer. Amazingly it worked! The speed was indeed decreasing! But the corner was quickly approaching.

~There it is.~ Duo grimly clutched the wheel and prepared himself. He'd often taken this corner quickly when he'd felt suicidal, but never at this speed. And even though they'd slowed considerably, they were still traveling at a speed far above anything he'd ever consider safe around this turn.

Duo went into the left lane, ready to take the corner as widely as possible. Halfway through the turn, Duo realized that his speed was still decreasing and they actually had a chance of making it! ~I did I! We're going to be ok!~

That is when the car hit the patch of loose gravel.

(1) P.O.S.= Piece of shit! I've ridden & driven plenty of these, though if one has lacked an emergency brake.. I dunno. Lets just say its artistic license & leave it at that ^_^


Part 8

Heero listened to Duo's steady breathing as he watched over him. 'Two very lucky men with only a few bruised ribs between them.' is what the doctor said. Heero almost had to laugh. ~Lucky indeed.~ The car may not have had an emergency brake, but it'd had all the required airbags that saved their lives when the car skidded sideways into that concrete wall.


His attention snapped back to Duo lying in the hospital bed. His Duo in the hospital bed.

"Are we alive?"

Heero rolled his eyes in a very un-Heero like manner. "Of course we're alive baka! If we were dead we wouldn't be wearing these stylish paper dresses that leave nothing to the imagination."

"Did Heero 'A sense of humor is a weakness' Yuy just make a joke?! Oh my, I must be dead!"

Unable to stop himself, Heero laughed wryly. "Shut up baka."

"Baka baka baka… that's all I ever hear from you…" He paused for a minute. "Hey, Heero?" Duo's voice was uncharacteristically small.


"Do you think I can get out of here? I've spent way too much time in hospitals lately."

Heero nodded and pushed the call button. Five minutes and a few threats later they were in the lobby filing out the final release papers.

~Should I tell him why we lost the brakes?~ Heero debated the point before it was decided for him.

"Mr. Maxwell, Mr. Yuy?"


Duo turned to face the somber looking officer. "Oi man, before you go charging me with anything, I'm telling you it wasn't my fault!"

"We know it wasn't your fault Mr. Maxwell, in fact, it's surprising that you're alive at all."

Duo stopped his tirade and listened. "What do you mean?"

"Mr. Maxwell, your front and rear brake lines were deliberately severed."

"No…" His mouth fell open and he gaped at the officer. This couldn't really be happening. Then a strong arm encircled his waist. Duo leaned against Heero, grateful for the support. He couldn't have stood under his own power for much longer. "Is that all?"

The officer looked surprised. "Uhh… yes, bu-"

"I just want to go ok?! He looked up to Heero. "Please take me outta here ok?"

# 2 hours later #
Duo couldn't sit still. Much to Heero's obvious annoyance. ~Well too bad for him! He doesn't have to give his first major concert in an hour!~ Duo got up and paced around his small dressing room while Heero sat in the corner.

He wanted to start already! The skin tight leather pants weren't chafing really, but he knew by the way he was sweating they were going to be a bitch to take off later.

"Duo?" There was a small tentative knock on the door before Vinny walked in.

"Vinny! Ya gotta save me man I'm going crazy!" Duo practically glomped on the man the minute he walked in the door.

His manager laughed good-naturedly. "Well, its almost time to let them in the door, there is just one thing, we need you to do a sound check."

"All right! "Duo flew out of the room and down the hall. Finally he skidded to a halt and looked out into the empty theatre.

"You ready Duo?"

He turned to the open doorway where Vinny lounged. ~How does he always seem to do that?~ He nodded and moved to the microphone. ~But where is Heero?~

"Ok, now sing whatever… this is just a test."

"Ok!" He paused and thought, then decided on a song he'd always liked.

{Every now and then I know you'll never be the boy you always wanted to be}
The acoustics in this place were excellent! He'd never heard himself sound so good… outside of the shower.
{Every now and then I know you'll always be the only boy who wanted me the way that I am}
He glanced over to where Vinny stood, apparently amused by his song choice.
{Every now and then I know there's no one in the universe as magical or wondrous as you}
~Where is He?~ Duo wasn't sure why really, but he just wanted Heero to hear this song.
{Every now and then I know there's nothing any better… there's nothing that I just wouldn't do}
Unbelievably, Duo felt his eyes fill up with tears. This was supposed to be the best night of his life! ~I want Heero here!~
{Every now and then I fall apart!}
As the words tore from his throat, Duo felt himself be half pushed/half carried at least ten feet from here he'd been.

He finally opened his eyes and looked up into Heero's concerned face.


"What?! What in the hell do you think you're doing Yuy?" ~I take back anything nice I might have thought about him for the past 5 minutes!~

"Saving you baka." Heero gestured over his shoulder and so Duo peeked. Just in time to see one of the heavy overhead lights come crashing down on the place he'd just been standing.

"Oh my god."

"Duo! Are you ok?!" Vinny came running over to where the pair still lay sprawled on the ground.

"Oh my god."

Heero gathered Duo up in his arms and carried him back to the dressing room. "Duo? Talk to me!"

Duo looked up, his eyes wide, "I could have been killed."

"Duo, you've been faced with death many times before."

Duo shook his head. How could he explain it to Heero when he didn't really understand it himself! "But Heero, that was different!"


"I'll explain it later... Right now I've got a concert to do!" He pulled himself together and glanced in the mirror. Tight black leather pants, open black silk shirt, hair neatly braided… everything in its place.

Heero watched spellbound from backstage as Duo walked out into a flurry of cheers and screams. The braided boy seemed to eat the adoration up as he started the evening off right with 'Shinigami'.

When Duo went right into 'Ya Gotta', Hero allowed himself the luxury of watching him. Heero's mouth went dry as Duo moved across the stage, skin tight pants beckoning Heero with every step.

~Time to get to work.~ Heero pulled out his cell phone and quickly dialed the number for The Preventers' Headquarters.



**A momentary pause.** "Yuy?"

"Aaa. Listen, I was wondering if you could use your influence and find Duo and I a safe house."

"Maxwell? What trouble has he gotten into now?"


"Never mind. I probably don't want to know." There was a short clatter of keys then a beep. "OK. There's a house available in Pennsylvania. Acceptable?"


"Mind telling me what this is all about Yuy?"

"Actually, this is rather confidential right now."

"Later then." It wasn't a question. "I'll send the coordinates to your computer tonight."


Part 9

~I'm done!~ Duo beamed as he finished the last note. The audience applauded wildly as he turned to walk off stage. But then something caught his eyes. Duo turned amazed as the entire theatre became illuminated by hundreds- no thousands of lights... the unmistakable symbol for 'encore'. Then, just for good measure, the crowd began to chant "Encore! Encore!"

Duo shook his head and grinned- how could he say no? He gestured to the band, and they prepared to play a new song.

"Ok everybody! This is my newest release, its on 'Shinigami', Endless Sleep!"

The crowd quieted at the strains of the ballad.

{Wanted always to be by your side
honest desire I could not hide
the one promise you didn't keep}
Duo let the music flow over him. He loved the dreamlike quality of this song- it was so unlike the others from the album.
{Did I matter? Why would you care
If I cry on the street and people stop to stare
I'm danglin' over a pit that's so deep.}
Out of the corner of his eye, Duo could see Heero watching him from off stage.

§ He wants you§

~I know.~

{You've wounded me bad
You branded my heart
It hurts so much; I can't fight no more}
§ So go to him.§

~I just CAN'T~


~I'm scared dammit! Is that what you want to hear? I'm scared!~

{As I lay me down
my soul you'll keep
I wanna fall into endless sleep}
~I'm afraid he'll just leave again! I COULDN'T'T take it! If I let myself love him again...~
{I can't feel your touch
it hurts so much
But I know you made your choice}
Duo glanced over to Heero again and that sexy frown practically made him melt. ~oh god. Its too late.~
{I can't tousle your hair
meet your intense stare
or listen to the sound of your voice}
§ You love him. §

~Yeah. Dammit.~

{You've wounded me bad
You branded my heart
It hurts so much; I can't fight no more}
§ What will you do? §

~I don't know!~

Duo looked over to Heero yet again. ~He seems to want me... but what if I'm wrong?~

{As I lay me down,
my soul you'll keep
Let me fall into endless sleep}
§ The song is almost over. What will you do after the concert? §

~I do not know!~

{Did you ever really care?
Or was I just fun?}
§ Wrong. You know what to do.§


{Another notch in your headboard
Another conquest to be won?}
§ You go to him. Go to him and be honest to him and yourself.. You fight and cry, you demand and beg until you two are back together where you belong! §
{Well maybe I was foolish
And maybe I was blind}
Duo looked out across the cheering crowd. Yes, that is what he would do- whatever it took to make Heero his again.
{I could really use some answers
to ease my troubled mind}
For the first time in a very long while, a feeling of peace and happiness swept over Duo. Joy found its way into his heart as he sung the last chorus.
{You've wounded me bad
You branded my heart
It hurts so much; I can't fight no more
As I lay me down
My soul you'll keep
I feel I'm drifting away... Into that endless sleep}
The stage went completely dark, and under the cover of the darkness, Duo ran over to Heero's side.

He draped a casual arm around Heero's shoulders, and grinned as he noticed that from this close up, he was a few inches taller than Heero.

Heero raised an eyebrow, but made no move to pull away. Duo smiled widely and squeezed him close in an almost hug. He was about to pull away when Heero's arm slid around his waist, and Heero squeezed him close returning the hug. Side by side the pair walked down the hall to Duo's dressing room.

Heero could barely contain his excitement as they walked arm in arm down the hall. ~Could he have forgiven me?~ He closed his eyes and suppressed a contented sigh. ~This feels so good- so right!~ Hero silently began planning on just how to spend their time in the safe house when he opened the door. And the door revealed a nightmare.

Hundreds of pictures of Duo, taken in the past few days- some even including Heero lined the walls and mirror. Every single one- destroyed, almost beyond recognition. 'Shinigami Dies' scrawled numerous times in red paint, the splatters looking almost like fresh blood.

The wanton destruction didn't really bother Hero, the fact that his security had been breached- that was unforgivable.

"Oh my god."

Heero tightened his arm around Duo, who looked positively ill.

Part 10

"Oh my god."

Heero slowly backed out the door and shut it. He flipped open his cell phone and called for a cab. "We need a ride to the airport. Immediately." After securing transportation Heero tried to move Duo somewhere safe, but the baka refused to budge.

"Heero, I need my stuff!"

Duo looked at him with such a lost look, Heero knew that he could deny him nothing. "Fine." He walked in and snagged the duffel bag that contained the few things that were salvaged from the wreck. He hustled out of the room just in time to hear the horn of the taxi.

He drew Duo close and carefully maneuvered him into the back seat of the waiting cab. In his haste, Heero never thought to search the bag, so nestled safely among Duo's clothes, a tiny radio transmitter betrayed their every step. ~*~*~

Duo threw open the door and looked around the place that was to be his home for what Heero called 'an indeterminate amount of time.'

~Not as nice as some of Quatre's houses, but definitely livable!~ All duo wanted to do, in light of the past few hours, was crash in bed and not wake up for a week. But judging from the look on Heero's face… that wouldn't be happening. He settled for sitting on the comfy couch.

"Duo, are you sure you're ok?"

He turned and smiled widely at Heero. "Sure I'm sure! Why wouldn't I be sure?! Yup! Kitto OK-"

"Duo, koi, be honest."

For the life of him, Duo didn't know why, but just hearing the endearment… he snapped. Years of anger, hurt and bitterness overwhelmed his resolve to reunite with Heero.

"Do. Not. Call. Me. Koi." Duo's voice was low- it sounded dangerous even to his own ears. "You gave up that right years ago." He closed his eyes as the memories of that night came flooding back.

*** Flashback ***

"I'm leaving."

"Huh?" Duo looked up from his latest inedible attempt at cooking.

"Relena called."

Still uncomprehending, Duo stared blankly as Heero began packing a small bag. "So?"

"So I have to go."

That was obvious enough. "For how long?" Jealousy positively poured out of his every pore. How was it that… that ojousan could order his lover around… when he couldn't?!

Heero didn't answer. He turned and walked to the door.

"Matte! For how long?!" Duo sprung out of his seat and ran to hero's retreating back. When Heero turned, Duo had his answer. There was nothing reflected in those cobalt eyes; none of the hope, happiness- none of the love that Duo had worked so hard to give to Heero, was there.

Duo could only stare at Heero as he turned and walked out the door, softly closing it behind him.

"No… NO!" Duo flung open the door and ran after his lover finally grabbing his arm. "Don't go Heero!"


But he wouldn't let go; he clung tighter… until the fist connected with the side of his face.

Covering the rapidly forming bruise on the left side of his face, Duo looked up from where he had fallen. Tears clouded his eyes and ran down his face as he watched Heero walk out of his life.

*** End Flashback ***

Duo squeezed his eyes shut against the tears that threatened to spill past his defenses. He hadn't realized that his left hand had unconsciously gone up to the left side of his face, until a warm hand covered it.

Slowly, Duo looked up and he was left staring into Heero's eyes- and those eyes shone with every emotion Duo had longed to see years ago.

"I am so sorry Duo."

He couldn't help but stare at the admission.

Heero raised his left hand and cupped Duo's right cheek. "I have regretted that night every day since then." Heero closed his eyes and leaned his forehead against Duo's.

~Do it Yuy!~

"Duo… I… I… Ai shiteru." Leaning forward just a little more, Heero softly kissed Duo on his lips. On his dry, unresponsive lips. ~Ohgod. Ohgod. Ohgod. I was wrong!~

Heero stood up and clenched his hands in to fists in an effort to control himself. But before he could apologize for his actions, he found himself with an armful of a sobbing Duo.

"Oh Heero! I love you too! I tried to stop but I just couldn't! And-" Duo continued babbling, but Heero's mind pretty much shut down after 'I love you too.' He wrapped his arms tightly around Duo- his Duo- and buried his face in the curve of his neck.


"Hn?" He didn't move from where he was…contently breathing in Duo's scent and kissing behind Duo's ear at intermittent times.

"Would you just hold me tonight?"

"Aaa." ~Tonight and for the rest of our lives.~


Duo gasped in surprise as Heero literally swept him off his feet and carried him into the aster bedroom before setting him down carefully on the bed.

"I'll be right back."

Then he left to do whatever it is he had to do- lock the doors, activate the security system, set loose the hounds… whatever. Duo yawned and toed off his shoes then stripped out of his clothes until he was only in his boxers. He slipped under the covers and sank happily into the great down pillows. He closed his weary eyes. ~I could definitely get used to this.~


Duo opened his eyes and smiled sweetly at Heero. "Join me?"

The Japanese boy slowly unbuttoned his shirt and removed his pants, leaving him in a pair of boxers and a tight white tank top, commonly referred to as a wife-beater.


When Hero slipped under the blankets and turned out the bedside lamp Duo quickly snuggled close. Years of sleeping alone hadn't put a damper on his proclivity for cuddling.

He sighed contentedly and nuzzled his face against Heero's chest as Heero's arms closed around him.

"Good night Heero."

"Oyasumi koi."

Duo smiled against Heero's chest and drifted off to sleep. ~Good night… koi.~

Part 11

///// Morning /////

Duo was slowly becoming awake against his will. He could tell without even opening his eyes that it was way too early for him to be getting up. He tried to borrow deeper into his pillow, but frowned. Whatever was under his head was much too hard to be a pillow!

Stubbornly refusing to open his eyes, Duo let his other senses take over. Whatever it was smelled nice… wonderful in fact. There was a thin layer of cloth under his cheek. And finally Duo heard an unmistakable 'Lub-Dub' sound.

Duo opened his eyes and smiled as he realized where he was- safely wrapped up in Heero Yuy's arms. He looked up at his still sleeping bodyguard and took the time to really study his face. The lovely boy had grown into an even lovelier man. His hair still refused to be tamed, and he still had his intensity… but somehow he was different, less harsh. ~I like it.~

The rest of him wasn't bad either! The arms that held him were well muscled, and the chest he rested his head on was broad, and judging from the way the wife-beater was stretched… nicely defined.

Duo ran a finger lightly over Heero's abdomen and found the six-pack he'd expected. What he didn't expect was the moan his touch evoked from Heero.

"Mmmmmm Duo…"

He quickly looked to Heero's face, expecting to see him looking back, but no! Heero was still sleeping- head tilted back, lips parted slightly, even snoring softly.

Duo's gaze zeroed in on those lips. They were an open invitation if he'd ever seen one! ~Far be it from me to refuse an invitation!~

Duo carefully slid up along Heero's body and leaned over until his face was mere centimeters from Heero's. He was close enough to feel Heero's breath on his face.

"Wake up sleeping beauty…" Finally he leaned in and brushed a soft kiss over Heero's lips. Then he tugged on his lower lip until arms tightened around his waist, and pulled him directly on top of Heero.

"Oh my prince hath awakened me from my slumber! Oh joyous day! The King and Queen will be ever so pleased-"

"Bastard! You were awake the entire time, weren't you?!" Duo couldn't help but laugh at Heero's princess impersonation… that sounded distinctly like Relena.


Duo grinned then crossed his arms over Heero's chest, resting his chin on his hands. "Were you just… teasing me Hee-chan?"


"I think you were!" Duo scooted up and quickly kissed Heero. "I liked it!" Ten Duo's adorable grin melted as he bent forward for another kiss… and another until Duo parted his lips and allowed Heero's tongue into his mouth.

There was no rush, just slow exploration- soft caresses and low throaty moans.

When he had to pull back, Duo stared down into Heero's equally flushed face. His beautiful cobalt eyes were so dilated there was only a small band of blue around the black.

Heero reached up and brushed the bangs out of Duo's face. "Your hair?" A question, a plea Duo immediately understood.

He sat up and pulled the band out of his hair and began unraveling the three sections. "The knots will be a bitch to get out," Finally the mass was unbound, and flowed around both their bodies. "but anything for you Hee-chan."

Heero knew he must look like an idiot staring openmouthed at the beauty that was, well, on top of him, but if you can't look like an idiot in front of your koi, who can you look like an idiot in front of?

"Beautiful." It was a gross understatement… but it was all he could think of.

Duo shook his head, sending tendrils of hair sweeping over his stomach in a soft caress. "I'm not beautiful."

Heero land up on his elbows and cupped Duo soft cheek in his hand. "You're right... not beautiful. Exquisite."[1]

Duo gently pushed him back upon the bed. "I've missed you Hee-chan." Heero shivered as Duo kissed along his collar bone and up his neck. "The nights have been so lonely…" Heero tightened his arms around Duo's shoulders- that was one question he'd been too afraid to ask.

Duo laughed gently into his ear. "No Hee-chan, there's been no one since you." Heero buried his hands in Duo's hair and brought him down for another long kiss, but while tongues danced, hands were not idle. Heero brushed his fingertips down along Duo's sides- delighting in his koi's husky chuckle, before slipping under the elastic of Duo's boxers. Heero cupped the globes of Duo's bottom and firmly pushed Duo's hips down to meet with his own.

Duo broke from the kiss with a low moan as their bodies rocked against each other. "Off! Boxers.. must come off!" Heero agreed wholeheartedly, and with a little help fro Duo, he finally managed to get him naked. A beautiful body… an equally beautiful soul… an insatiable libido… ~And he is all mine!~

Heero would have been content to stare for hours, but Duo had other ideas, and was quite intent on them. Impatient hands pushed up the bottom of Heero's shirt. "Wife-beaters are so sexy Hee-chan…. But on you… they're even better." Heero wasn't paying too much attention to Duo's words, but rather the fact that his mouth was very close to his own… just a few centimeters.

Then his shirt was roughly pulled off over his head. Before Heero could get his bearings, Duo was slowly kissing a path down his chest. But Duo's decent ended at his navel where he looked up.

"What do you want Heero?"

"Just you Duo… just you."

"Just you Duo. Just you."

~Music to my ears! I never thought it could be like this between us… I never imagined he could be this open!~ Duo sent up a prayer of thanks to any deity that was listening- Shinigami, god, Allah, Inari[2]- whoever was responsible for this miracle.

He deftly hooked his thumbs in the elastic of Heero's boxers and pulled them down- deliberately letting the elastic rub over Heero's previously neglected erection.


Duo smiled at the noise. Before the night was over he vowed to hear many more noises from his Japanese lover.

Duo's attention then shifted down to Heero's erection- painfully hard and leaking precome. "Oh Hee-chan! That looks painful… want me to take care of that for you?" He didn't hesitate, instead he bent down and gave the head a long swipe of his tongue- tasting the bitter liquid and almost laughing at Heero's reaction.


"Oh no Hee-chan… I've got other plans for you." He moved up Heero's body until he straddled Heero's hips and his koi's erection bumped against his bottom. Heero's expression went from disappointed, to comprehending to lusting in a split second.


Duo just grinned. "Shhhh Hee-chan. And people say I talk too much!" Duo ran a finger over Heero's lips, shivering when Heero sucked it into his mouth.

He pulled it from Heero's mouth regretfully- who knew something so simple could be so sexy? ~Of course….~ Duo mused as he sucked on his fingers, coating them with saliva. ~Heero could make damn near anything sexy.~

As Duo pulled his fingers from his mouth and reached back for his entrance, Heero's hands went from stroking his thighs and buttocks… to the sides of his face. When Duo's first finger pushed in past the tight muscle, Heero was there kissing away Duo's gasp. When the second and third finger joined the first in stretching Duo's opening, Heero was there to devour every moan growl and throaty purr that tried to make its way past Duo's lips.

Duo couldn't sand it any longer. He removed his fingers and broke away from Heero's kiss. Then sat up and positioned Heero's ignored erection at his entrance.

"Ai shiteru Heero." With that declaration, Duo lowered himself onto Heero's waiting shaft. It hurt- but compared to other hurts this was a cakewalk… and it quickly faded until it was just Heero inside of him, filling him completely.

~This is so perfect!~

~He is so perfect!~

"Ai shiteru Duo." Duo had just been sitting- impaled upon Heero, with his head tossed back and his eyes closed in rapture, but now he stared down at Heero with a silly smile on his adorable face.

"Oh Hee-chan!" Duo looked almost as if he was going to cry! ~Not right now koi.~

Heero placed his hands on Duo's hips and thrust up into Duo's body.

"Ohhh Hee-CHAN!!!!" Duo's amethyst eyes fluttered closed as he rocked fluidly against Heero's every thrust.

For his part, Heero was desperately trying to control the urge to come immediately. ~Not yet!~

His right hand slid from its position on Duo's hip to encircle Duo's cock, stroking it firmly.

"NNNnnnnnnnnnn Heero!!!" Duo's slow rocking escalated to a frantic pace, which Heero matched with his hand. Finally Duo was pushed over the edge and came with a hoarse cry- spilling over Heero's hand and stomach.

While Duo was screaming something unintelligible, his body clamped down on Heero's erection causing him to lose his tenuous grasp on control. Not a second behind Duo, Heero cried out with his own release.

Duo essentially collapsed upon Heero's chest and lay there for a few minutes. Feeling rather possessive, Heero brushed back Duo's sweat soaked bangs. ~I wonder if he'd be willing to get a tattoo that said 'Heero's'…~ Duo smiled up at him, naked and mussed positively glowing. ~On his forehead.~

Heero's musings were cut short by a loud rumble… coming from Duo's stomach.

"Guess that means we can't languish in bed all day, huh He-chan?" Duo grinned devilishly.. a grin that promised while they might not be in bed… bedroom activities would still go on as scheduled.

"Unfortunately, we can't even languish around the house." Duo's grin instantly turned to a pout.


"We gave very short notice. Wufei didn't have the chance to see hat the house was stocked. We're lucky to have electricity."

"Yare yare." Duo pushed off of his chest and walked out of the room, only to return with a bottle. "I'm taking a shower. Care to join me Hee-chan?" Heero was treated to one of Duo'd most lecherous grins.


"Your loss!"

Heero lay in the bed and ran a finger through the puddle on his abdomen. ~perhaps a shower is a good idea.~

[1] Guhhhhh I think he's capable of being this sappy… and this is post-war Heero! He's changed dammit….

Part 12

Duo stepped under the ho spray and smiled contentedly, he had his Hee-chan… and the dull ache in his backside was proof that his Hee-chan had him… all in all a very good way to start the day. "Fuck Wheaties!"

"What Duo?"

"Heero?!" Duo whipped around to face his lover, just stepping into the shower. "What are you doing?"

"I decided I needed a shower after all."

Grinning seductively, Duo wound his arms around Heero's neck. "Oh? Is hat all you want?" He nipped at Heero's earlobe.

"Yes baka. Now turn around."

Heero's tone meant he was serious, so Duo reluctantly turned… pouting the whole time. ~Well, maybe I can seduce h- oooooooohhhhhhhh…~ Rational thought was cut off when Heero's fingers began running through Duo's mass of wet hair, shampooing it.

"Uhhh…" Duo closed his eyes and put a hand out to the wall to steady himself. Very few things are as relaxing and sensuous as someone else washing or brushing your hair… especially when your hair is extremely long. [1]

Duo lost himself in the sensation of Heero's hands in his hair… a gentle massage of his scalp and below. By the time Heero got around to rinsing it, Duo was feeling very good indeed.

It registered when Heero pushed him under the spray, but Duo was all about relaxing and letting the water do most of the work for him. He watched, mildly interested, as Heero washed his own hair. Then mild interest became less than mild as Heero took up the soap and lathered his body.

The semi-erection Duo'd gotten from Heero's earlier ministrations instantly became a full-blown erection. Duo's situation was not helped any when Heero ran his soapy hands over Duo's chest and shoulders. "Heero."

"What's wrong Duo?" That look was all innocence. Duo was not fooled.


"Oh is this the matter?" He grasped Duo's shaft and slowly pumped it.

"Ohhh yesssss!" Duo wrapped his arms around Heero's neck and leaned his forehead on Heero's shoulder. He thrust into Heero's slick hand… almost there…

But then Heero was gone. Walking out of the bathroom.

"W-What?! Where are you going? You can't leave me like this!"

"We have to get going. Your shower is over. Get out and get dressed."

Duo stalked out of the bathroom and stared at Heero, who was already dressed and tying a shoe. "But…but I'll have a hard-on all day!"

Heero stood up and turned to walk out. "I know." And he was gone before the meaning hit Duo.

"Why that little cocktease!" Duo braided his hair and put on his loosest pair of pants and a shirt. "When we get back…your ass is so mine Yuy!"

Heero slyly grinned as he pulled into their driveway. Duo had been sending him 'I'm going to fuck you 'til you can't walk' stares the whole time since they left the house. He knew the moment that they walked into the house Duo would pounce. Heero couldn't wait. ~Oh koi what you do to me.~

Heero pushed the door open and moved to step inside. As he walked inside Hero felt a resistance on his leg. He looked down at the thin wire strung tautly about three inches from the ground- a trip wire. ~Oh shit.~

"Duo! Get cover now!" He heard the sound of bags dropping and Duo scrambling away from the house. Heero noted the almost blatant wire… ~Amateurish. Or is it?~ He examined the rest of the doorframe. The scrutiny paid off- another wire, this one was broken the instant the door opened. It was the real trip wire.

Heero dropped the bags he was carrying and pivoted- running for the cover of the car. He didn't make it. After only three strides he was flung forward by the force of the blast that destroyed the entire house.

When Heero opened his eyes he looked up and smiled at the violet eyed angel that hovered worriedly over him.

"Heero! I was so worried!" Duo gathered him close.

Heero wasn't really complaining, but the fear was unwarranted. "Duo no baka. How many times have I self-destructed in Wing? Did you honestly think a puny house going boom was going to kill me?"

Duo bit his lip. "But Heero… it's different now! You're-" He cut himself off, but Heero already knew what he'd wanted to say.

"I'm more human, and not the perfect soldier?" Duo nodded with such a miserable look on his face Heero had to laugh. "Yes, I have changed greatly." Heero brushed back Duo's bangs. "But make no mistake, I'm still the tough bastard you knew and loved."

The pair looked over the smoldering rubble that was the house.

"Wu-man is gonna be pissed."

Heero nodded yes, Wufei would be angry… but not for the house. He'd be mad that he wasn't a part of protecting Duo.

"Where are we gonna stay?"

The question shocked Heero from his reverie…. Musings can wait, shelter cannot. He flipped open his cell phone and dialed.


"Quatre? It's Heero… listen Duo and I need a place to hole up. Our accommodations just blew up."

"WHAT??!" There was the sound of other voices then a new one on the line. "Heero?"

~Relena.~ "Listen, I need to talk to Quatre to find a place to stay-"

"It's already taken care of. Montana. Secluded, fully stocked kitchen, no one else for miles, and a killer security system."

It sounded tempting. "Unfortunately, we don't have the transport-"

"Taken care of! Go to the Avoca Airport and tell them your names at the desk. There are two first class tickets to Montana and a rental car with directions waiting for you when you get there."

~She's thorough.~ "All right." He paused. "Arigato."

"Don't mention it Heero. It's the least I could do… how are you and Duo getting along?"

Hero looked to where Duo sat in the car- probably reading his lips. "Well."

She laughed. "Well I'd say from that tone its going *very* well! Good for you, now take care!" **click**

"Hn." Heero got into the car and turned onto the interstate before Duo finally asked.

"Where are we going?"


"Ooooh! Can we grow dentil floss?!"

"What?!" Heero stared at Duo, as much as he could and still keep the car on the road anyway.

"I might be moving to Montana soon. Just to raise me up a crop of dentil floss. I'll be raising it up, and waxing it down. In a little white box that I can… sell up town. I won't have me no boss! Just me and my pygmy pony over by the dentil floss bush!"

"Duo, what the hell are you talking about?"

"Hee-chan! It's Frank Zappa! A musical genius unappreciated in his time!"

"Sounds bizarre to me."

"Exactly!" And Duo settled back and got comfy… before singing every Zappa song he knew, from 'Don't Eat the Yellow Snow' to 'The Slime'.

Halfway through 'Valley Girl' Heero decided never to let Duo get on the subject of Frank Zappa ever again.[2]

The flight was extremely uneventful. The in-flight movie was a horrible piece of work called 'Gone Fishing'. Needless to say, they downed their far share of tiny complimentary boozes and joined the mile high club. Many, many times. It got to the point Duo almost considered protesting when Heero would drag him to the tiny lavatory… almost.

When the plane touched down Duo was the first one out and down the hall. He bolted to the rental car desk and was pleasantly surprised when he was handed a set of keys upon telling the lady his name.

Duo turned and waited impatiently for Heero to show up. When he did, Duo grabbed him by the arm and led him to the car waiting out front. "Come on Hee-chan." ~The faster I get you to our little hideout, the faster I get to ravish you properly.~

When Duo finally go a good look at the car that was to be his transportation Duo's eyes lit up with inhuman glee, and Heero got very pale. "Oooohhh goody. Do you know what this is Heero?"

"No… but I have the feeling its fast."

Duo didn't even other opening he door, opting instead to vault over the door and into the convertible. "This, Heero, is the Ferrari 360 Spider. Goes from zero to 62 in 4.6 seconds! With a top speed of 180 miles per hour! This is a dream!"

Duo did hear Heero's little "And is my nightmare." That the ex-perfect soldier mumbled as he slid into the passenger seat. But Duo chose not to mention it as he gunned the engine and sped out of the parking lot.

[1] Long hair has is advantages. I hope I find someone who'll wash & brush my hair someday! *LOL* Cuz seriously... it gets to be a pain sometimes ^_~

[2] I like Zappa. Anyone else out there know who I'm talking about?

Duo whistled appreciatively as he pulled into the garage of the modest sate Relena lent them. ~Modest my ass.~ "This is what she calls modest??!"

Duo and Heero walked through the ornate French doors and gaped at the tasteful yet obviously expensive furniture. Well, Duo gaped; Heero's eyes just widened slightly... but he's Heero so it counts for something.

"Duo, I'm going to check out the house and grounds. I'll be back in… 15 minutes." Heero was gone leaving Duo standing alone in the doorway of the estate- oh forget it! It's a mansion.

He wandered around a bit, careful not to touch anything, until he arrived at his destination… where else but the kitchen? Posted on the door of the refrigerator was a paper. Upon closer inspection I turned out to be a map of the house and its surrounding lands. Duo took special note of the lake in the back yard.

"Oh shit! I forgot to call Vinny! He's probably going ape shit by now!" Duo rushed over to the phone and dialed his manager's house.


"Vinny! It's Duo!"

"DUO?! Oh my god! Where have you been? I've been going out of my mind!"

"Sheesh calm down Vinny!! I'm fine! It's just that with everything that's been happening, Heero thought it'd be best for me to lay low for a while."


"Yeah that guy who was with me in the studio? He's my bodyguard…" Duo considered telling Vinny the truth, but he knew the blonde had a small crush on him… and he didn't want to hurt his friend.

"Oh… so I guess telling me where you are is out of the question, huh?"

"You got it… sorry man."

"Oh no! It's ok… I just want you to be ok and safe! I got too much money invested in you to lose you now!"

Duo laughed. "I knew it! You're only looking out for your wallet!"

"You know it!"

"Listen Vinny, I gotta go. I just wanted to tell you I was ok, and you pass it along to everyone else all right?"

"You got it man."


Duo hung up, content he hadn't divulged his location- even to his friend. Unfortunately, the damage was already done. Somewhere a red light blinked. A signal that tapping a phone paid off and now Duo Maxwell's whereabouts were only the push of a button away.

Heero was pleased overall with the location. The only cover was a sparse amount of trees surrounding the artificial lake in the backyard. But they were approximately a hundred yards from the house, once they were cleared anyone would be easy picking with a rifle... or a pistol for that matter.

Heero was also pleased that Relena's 'killer security system' was no hyperbole. It consisted of motion, sound, and touch sensors at every entrance and window of the house, there were also spot lights that illuminated the entire yard, front and back.

He smiled contentedly. The place was a veritable fortress… now to turn everything on and find Duo… and turn him on too.

"Ninmu Ryoukai."

Duo grinned at his reflection in the mirror. He was shirtless, wearing only an indecently short and tight pair of denim shorts. His hair was pulled up into a high ponytail- the easier to let it down. He sun two towels over his arm and walked out of the bedroom with his little discovery hidden in his hand… a brand new tube of Ky. When the Queen of the World says a place is fully stocked, its fully stocked!

He walked out into the living room just in time to see Heero approaching the house from the direction of the lake. ~Target acquired. Seek and seduce.~

Heero took one look at the Duo that emerged from the house, and one thought stuck in his mind as his half dressed koi strutted up to him. ~Here comes trouble.~

The violet eyed beauty stopped mere inches from him. "Hee-chan, I'm hot." Duo's voice was husky yet petulant… undeniably sexy. "I'm going swimming! Will you come with me?"

The invitation and innuendo hung in the air before Heero could think of a reply. "I- I don't have a swimsuit."

Duo's smile lit up his whole face. "That's ok Hee-chan!" He skipped past Heero, only pausing to murmur, "Neither do I." in his ear before bounding down to the lake.

~I will not run!~ Heero repeated over and over in his head as he slowly followed Duo back to the lake. But then the bottom that looked like it had been poured into those jeans got to him and Heero took off after Duo at full speed.

Duo skipped happily down to the man made lake and dug his toes in the sandy bank. ~Convenient.~

He could almost hear Heero's control snap as he bent to deposit the towels and his surprise on the sand. Very deliberately, Duo unbuttoned the tight jean shorts and slid them off his body. His ass was on perfect display to Heero, and he knew it.

As if on cue, Duo heard Heero pick up his pace and flat out run to catch up to him.

Still teasing, he acted as if he hadn't heard Heero's advance, and began wading into the clear water of the lake. He reached up and pulled the and out of his hair, setting it free to drift on the water. Duo glanced out of the corner of his eye and saw Heero standing at the edge of the water pulling off his shirt. Smirking triumphantly, Duo dove beneath the surface and swam a bit back toward shore.

Heero waded naked into the small lake and looked for a sign of Duo. He'd seen him slip under the surface… but where did he swim to?

A second later Duo surfaced only a few feet from Heero. His bangs dripped down into his face so Duo had to wipe the water away before he could open his eyes. When he did, Heero stared. ~He looks like some mythical creature- a water sprite... or siren. And those siren's eyes shone with love and humor. And no surprise.

Heero walked forward and wrapped his arms around his siren. "You knew I would follow, didn't you?"

Duo winked at his lover. "Maybe."

Heero reached out and brushed some hair from Duo's face and rested palm on his cheek- a tender gesture. "You know me too well."

Duo covered that hand with his own and turned his face into the caress, kissing Heero's palm. "It's never too much." He then proceeded to place small kisses all along Heero's arm and shoulder, neck, and chin until he reached his destination- Heero's mouth.

Duo started as Heero wound his arms around his neck and seemed to melt against his body. Not to be outdone, Duo swept his right arm under Heero's legs, lifting him out of the water.

Heero's arms tightened around his neck as Duo wrapped his left arm around Heero's back. His blue eyed lover broke the kiss suddenly. "Why?"

Duo smirked. "As interesting as autoerotic asphyxiation sounds- I have no desire to practice it."

Heero nodded. "Drowning during sex would be pleasurable- but ultimately stupid. Definitely cloud 13 material."[1]

Duo snickered as he bent and deposited his lover on the sandy bank. Then he stood back a moment to enjoy the view. Heero- sprawled out on the sand, his lips swollen and red from kisses, his eyes heavy lidded and his breathing shallow and quick… he'd never looked better to Duo than he did right now. He dropped to his knees, straddling Heero's hips and ground his erection against Heero's as he plundered his lover's sweet mouth.

Heero's hands tangled in his hair as he kissed a trail down his neck and across Heero's chest, attacking one pert nipple with his tongue and teeth before moving to the next. Only when they were thoroughly reddened, did he continue further down Heero's body. The hands were guiding him to where he knew Heero wanted him the most, but Duo lingered at Heero's navel until his koi growled. "God dammit Duo!"

"Yes Heero?" Sweetness. Innocence. Sweetness. Innocence. No one was fooled.


Thoroughly enjoying his lover's tenuous grasp on control, Duo traced his tongue around Heero's navel. "Please what Heero?"

Heero's hands forced Duo to lookup and meet Heero's desperate face. "Suck me koi. Onegai."

Duo slid further down Heero's body and secretly grabbed the tube of KY from its hiding place in the towels. "You only had to ask!" And with a saucy wink, Duo wrapped his lips around Heero's length, swirling his tongue at the tip and tasting the bitter fluid there.

"Aaaaaa…" Heero threw his head back in abandon while Duo deep throated his member and began humming. "Nnnnn… Aaaaaaaa~!"

While Heero was thoroughly distracted, Duo opened the lube and coated three of his fingers. After drawing back for a moment, Duo went down once again, humming harder than ever.

Delighting in Heero's moans, Duo inserted his first finger into Heero's tight hole.

Heero's eyes flew open. "Duo?! How?"

Duo pulled up giving Heero one last lick before holding up the KY. "Thank Relena next time you see her, ne?"

"Hn. Ahhh!" Heero drew up his knees as Duo penetrated him with a second finger- stretching him… searching inside of him. "AHHH! MORE!"

~Bingo.~ Duo pushed against Heero's prostate again and again adding a third finger until he was sure his koi was ready for him.

He removed his fingers, smiling at Heero's disappointed groan. He quickly covered his erection with the lube before moving between Heero's spread legs.


Duo nodded at the entreaty and he firmly grasped Heero's hips. Biting his lip Duo pushed ever so slowly into the tight heat of Heero's body.

Heero tossed his head in the sand as Duo slowly entered his body. When the braided boy was finally fully sheathed, he slid his hands into Duo's hair and pulled him down for a long kiss.

While their tongues spares, Heero hooked his right leg around Duo's hip and bucked up in an obvious demand for attention.

And attention he got. Duo pulled out of Heero's body- almost completely before slowly pushing back in.

"Aaaaa…" Heero couldn't help but cry out as Duo slowly filled him over and over… but he still needed more. "D~U~O!"

The braided boy chuckled and ran his hands up along Heero's legs and thighs, never halting his steady thrusting. Heero felt him drape his legs over Duo's shoulders before Duo began a series of sharp rapid thrusts that made Heero groan deep in his throat.

"Is this what you wanted Heero?" Duo pounded mercilessly into Heero's body. He reached down and wrapped is hand around Heero's straining erection and pumped it roughly, causing more sounds to escape from Heero's parted lips.

"Yeah, I knew it." Heero looked up into Duo's smiling face… he felt slightly nervous "That whole scene in the shower…" Duo bent and bit gently on his right nipple. "You didn't think I forgot that did you?" The braided boy laughed softly as he increased his speed.

Heero felt as though he were going to explode at any moment.. just a little more. Suddenly Duo stopped.

Heero gasped and looked wildly at his lover, his eyes asking for what he couldn't verbalize. "Say it Heero."

He shook his head no, over come with need and emotions… but still unable to admit what he wanted…

Duo blew gently on the nipple he'd recently bitten. "I'm not going to move until you ask Heero. Not going to move until you beg me for what you want, what you need."

Heero squeezed with his internal muscles, trying to make Duo continue without having to admit…

"Naughty Hee-chan." Duo slapped Heero's thigh. "Not until you beg."

Heero looked up into Duo's violet eyes pleading silently. ~Duo please.. please...~

But the braided boy seemed determined to attain his total submission. Only after a few moments of being filled by his unmoving lover did Heero surrender.

"Duo, please?"

"Nani Heero? I didn't quite hear that." The laughter was clear in Duo's soft voice. He wouldn't continue until he deemed it time.

"Duo…" Hero dug his fingers into the sand as he tried to thrust his body against Duo's in a last ditch effort to spur his lover into action. When that failed, Heero reached up and cradled Duo's cheek with his palm in a sweet gesture. "Onegai Duo. Take me. I've missed you so much."

A tear trickled from Duo's eye, but he was also smiling. "I too you, Heero."[2] He planted a swift kiss upon Heero's parted lips before gently rocking his body against Heero's.

"Uhhhnnn." The delicious feel of Duo inside of him increased one thousand fold when his koi actually began moving. "More! Oh gods Duo…" The usual check Heero kept on his tongue was broken with his confession, and now, he couldn't keep the flood of words and pleas and moans from making themselves known.

"Harder Duo!"

Duo smiled to himself as his usually stoic lover let himself go to sensation. Twisting beneath him was the 'perfect soldier', and Duo reveled in the knowledge that only he could ring such a reaction from Heero.

Complying with his koi's demand, Duo increased his pace, rubbing that special spot inside Heero that made him cry out with every push.

"Nnnnn more Duo! I'm almost-" Heero thrashed in the sand, mindless of everything… of the noise he was making… of where they were… of who they were… all that mattered was the pleasure that was overriding his every thought.

He felt Duo's calloused hand wrap around his shaft, stroking it in time with the rhythm of his thrusts. ~Just a little bit more-~ "Ahhhhhhhhh~"

As Duo hit that special spot once more, Heero closed his eyes and cried out as he covered Duo's hand and his own abdomen with the sticky result of his release.

He was dimly aware of Duo calling out a second after him, and of the sensation of being filled with Duo's own release.

Duo carefully lowered Heero's legs down from his shoulders, and cuddled up next his koi. Trailing a finger slowly through the still warm puddle on Heero's stomach, Duo watched Heero slowly come back to reality.

When he was sure Heero watching, Duo brought his finger up to his mouth and cleaned his fingers of Heero's semen with a small moan of appreciation. Looking into Heero's heavy lidded eyes, Duo leaned down and stole a kiss sharing the taste with Heero.

Heero almost laughed as he tasted himself on Duo's tongue, but settled instead for rolling on top of his koi. He stopped abruptly when Duo frowned and shifted uncomfortably. "Nani?"

Duo's frown deepened as he shifted yet again. "Errrr Let me up koi."

Duo slipped out from beneath Heero's body & sprinted into the lake.

"Duo?" Heero followed Duo into the water, concern clear upon his face.

Smiling shyly, Duo wrapped his arms around Heero's neck and whispered softly into his ear. "I seem to have gotten sand in my… nether regions."

Heero lifted Duo up into a tight embrace, allowing Duo to wrap his legs around his hips. "Oh dear! That's not good…" He walked out of the water and began making his way back to the house. "We'll just have to replace it with something more pleasurable."

Laughing delightedly because of the joke, Duo rested his head on Heero's shoulder and sighed contentedly. ~I wish we could stay here forever.~

[1] I saw this somewhere on comedy central, a comic was going on about how people who died in stupid deaths would be relegated to the 'dumb' cloud.. cloud 13. Examples of cloud 13 deaths are 'going jogging with your headphones on too loud & being hit by a train', 'blow drying your hair in the tub & getting electrocuted', and 'sticking a fork in the toaster'

[2] I know I heard this somewhere, but it was just too sweet not to use... I'm such a crackhead.. I have no idea where I did see it, so it could be from a book, movie, TV, or a fanfic. So if this is yours, I love it & I'm trying to give ya credit here.

Duo almost purred as Heero ran his fingers through his hair as they lay entangled on the couch.


"Hn?" Duo snuggled deeper into the cocoon of warmth created by Heero's arms.

"Why is your reaction to facing death so different now than when we were in the war? I mean, you were constantly in danger then…"

Sighing sadly, Duo considered his answer before whispering his reasons to Heero. "The war was different. Back then people were trying to kill me yes, but they weren't really trying to kill ME. They were trying to kill the pilot of 02. I was just an anonymous body to them. But this person knows me, knows who I am and where I've been. This person has stalked me, tracked me, for the sole purpose of ending my life!" Duo clutched at Heero's arms, willing them to tighten their hold, to keep him safe in the face of all danger.

"I can handle the mindless attempts, but when it's a planned, purposeful threat to me… I just… I can't stand it Heero!" He fought against the tears that burned in his eyes.

Heero murmured soft assurances into Duo's ear as he tried to keep himself from crying. He'd never imagined the boy to be so sensitive about this, but now that he looked back, Heero realized just how much this ordeal had taken it toll on his koi.

He scooped the shivering boy up into his arms and carried him carefully into the master suite. Smiling gently, he lowered Duo upon the bed before joining him in the next second. He opened his arms and let Duo snuggle close to him before drawing the blankets over their exhausted bodied. This day hade been very tiring for them both.

Heero brushed his hand along Duo's shoulder and watched his sleepy koi fight the inevitable. "Go to sleep baka."

Duo giggled softly, recognizing the endearment for what it was. "'M not sleepy…" The sentence was punctuated by a large yawn that betrayed him.

"Hn." Heero combed his fingers through Duo's hair, causing him to melt even more. "Go to sleep, and tomorrow I have a surprise for you."

"What?!!" Duo regained a spark of awareness at the word 'surprise'.

"If I told you it wouldn't be a surprise."

"Damn." And Dou pouted up until the moment sleep claimed him.

Recognizing the breathing patterns of sleep, Heero kissed the top of Duo's head and closed his own eyes. "Oyasumi koi."

Duo blinked sleepily and snuggled deeper into Heero's arms. The morning rays filtered trough the window and shone across the poorly placed bed. No amount of snuggling or turning could keep the offending light from his face, so Duo resigned himself to consciousness.

Heero yawned and smiled sleepily down at him. "Ohayo."

"Mmmm Ohayo." He arched into the hand that Heero slowly ran down his back.

"Are you ready for your surprise?"

Instantly full of energy, Duo sat up in bead and nodded wildly. "Yes!! YES! What is it?!"

"Get dressed & I'll show you."

Heero slid behind the wheel and had to silently admit to himself that the Ferrari was a pretty sweet car. He looked over to Duo in the passenger seat and almost had to laugh, the braided boy was so excited he was visibly vibrating.

When he pulled into the large parking lot and parked in front of the building who's sign proclaimed "Southgate Mall" Duo stared openmouthed.


Heero pocketed the keys and opened Duo's door for him. "You like?"

Duo wound his arm around Heero's waist and bent the surprised boy over and kissed him deeply, complete with sparring tongues and swapped spit. "Oh yeah."

Still keeping his arm around Heero, Duo raced off for the front door, dragging Heero behind him. "Now lets go sopping!"

The crowds seemed to part like the red sea before the couple as they moved from store to store.

"Ooooh cool!"

Heero followed Duo's line of sight to a dark gothic looking store with wrought iron gates and a blood red sign that read 'Hot Topic'.[1] Duo propelled them steadily through the doors and all around the store.

Gloomy music blared through the dimly lit store. Pierced and tattooed sales clerks looked up from their registers and nodded at the new comers. Slowly they walked through the aisles of t-shirts, leather pants, assorted bondage items, and vinyl dresses.

Heero snickered when he spotted a particular black t-shirt among the others. He pulled the shirt off the shelf and tossed it to Duo.

"What?" He looked at the shirt and burst out laughing. "'I only wear black because all my pink clothes are dirty'… cute Heero."


Duo inevitably bounded off to a new part of the store that held great interest for him- the jewelry section. "Ya know, I always wanted to get my ear pierced…"

As if on cue, a guy with a few piercings himself, swooped down upon Duo and began extolling the virtues of nose, eyebrow, tongue, and other piercings. As Duo's eyes began to glaze over at the mention of the different size 'gauges' Heero skillfully retreated beck into the normal part of the mall.

~I should have about ten minutes to get in, out and back before Duo realizes I've fled. That should be enough time.~

Mentally humming the Mission Impossible theme, Heero sprinted into the nearest jewelry store. The lady behind the counter eyed him warily, but he didn't care, Heero was on a mission.

"Can I help you?"

He looked up from the display and nodded sharply. "Wedding rings."

Her stern expression softened as she ushered him to a corner in the back where a single glass case stood apart from the rest of the jewelry. Heero peered into the display and searched for the perfect one. When his eyes came across it he came very close to laughing his head off.

Side by side was a pair of rings. The bands were etched to look like they were made of feathers being blown in the wind. One was a bright silver, while the other was darker, not tarnished, but it was gray bordering on black.

He called the lady over with a quick gesture and pointed to the pair of rings. "These two."

[1] Yes there is a store called Hot Topic, and the place positively rocks! I'd spend all my money there if I could, but alas I'm a poor college student & must buy important things like.. food. Umm the description of the place is rather accurate except for the bondage items… well, some of the clothes could DEFINITELY be used by a dominatrix… Bitch boots *drools*

The man just went on and on! He continued way longer than Relena or Wufei could ever continue a rant… it got to the point where Duo found himself absently nodding his head every few minutes just pretending to be interested.

Duo found suddenly himself sitting in a tall chair with some disinfectant being spread on his ear. He was so preoccupied with a long needle like object approaching his ear, he didn't notice them unbutton his shirt and spread some more disinfectant on his chest. His right nipple to be exact.

Duo eeped in surprise as a clamp was secured to his chest, but his attention was soon drawn back to the long implement that was now… well, piercing his ear. The pain was soon over, and Duo looked into the handy mirror at his new silver hoop dangling from his ear.


He jerked around to see Heero's amused expression.

"What are you doing?"

"Huh?" Suddenly intense pain radiated from his chest, and only the restraining hands on his shoulders kept him from jumping out of the chair. "What the hell??!!!" He grabbed the guy by his shirt and lifted him a few inches from the ground before Heero rescued the poor clerk.

"Duo!" He pulled the startled man out of Duo's grip and pointed to Duo's chest. "Look."

Extremely pissed at losing his bloody vengeance Duo glared at his own chest. In an instant the glare turned to a dumb look of surprise. Another silver hoop now hung from his nipple.[1] His extremely red and dreadfully sore nipple.


He stared hard at the piece of stainless steel as if willing it to go away and stop causing pain to his abused flesh. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Heero ushering the terrorized workers out of the area.

Really not paying attention to anything around him, Duo was jolted out of his reverie when arms wrapped around his shoulders.

"You should keep it."

Duo screeched like a scalded cat. "WHAT??!!"

Laughing softly, Heero nibbled on his unpierced ear. "I like it."

"Oh." Really, Duo couldn't think of anything more to say. So he buttoned his shirt and walked to the register where the nervous clerks cowered. He retrieved his care kit, and actually listened as they instructed him on how to use it. He paid the bill and walked out of the store with his head held high… and his hand on Heero's ass.

Heero slowly pulled into the driveway. He could barely keep himself from asking Duo right that second. ~Tonight. I'll ask him tonight.~

He got out of the car and opened Duo's door, conscious the entire time of the weight of the small back velvet box in his pocket. Suddenly something caught his attention- the door.

His eyes narrowed as he put a hand in front of Duo. "Hold up."

Duo froze at the familiar tone- the soldier was in charge. "What is it?"

"Stay here." Heero slowly advanced on the door of the mansion, and sure enough, it was slightly ajar. Someone was inside the house. ~Got you now, mother fucker.~

Heero pulled his gun from his jeans and cautiously entered the darkened building. ~It's funny how so happy a place can look so sinister when the lights are out.~ And it was the truth. Every piece of furniture, every statue that delighted now cast an eerie shadow upon the wall.

Heero continued silently through the house, listening for any clue as to where the person could be. But even his sharp hearing could pick up no clue. That was when he heard the sound of a car starting.


He ran to a window in time to see the Ferrari peel out of the driveway so fast it left behind tire marks.

Heero ran out of the house after the car, but he already knew it was no use. The Ferrari had too much of a lead, and any car the perpetrator might have left behind could never compare to the speed of the sports car.

"NOOOOO!" He fell to his knees beside a puddle of suspiciously dark liquid… blood. Duo's blood. He'd failed.

Before he could slip into shock Heero pulled out his cell phone and called Wufei.


"Duo has been taken!"

"What??!!" The Chinese boy shouted loudly into the phone causing Heero to flinch.

"He's the victim of a stalker, and now he's been taken! I need your resources to track him down…"

"Explain yourself Yuy."

"Listen, this will take some time……."

Duo watched anxiously as Heero entered the building with his gun out. Some small part in the back of his head had been pissed that Heero had brought the gun with them to the mall, but right now Duo was extremely glad that he had.

His being so intent on Heero's progress might have been his downfall. Suddenly Duo felt something strike the back of his head and he fell to the ground with a soft thump.

His vision slowly faded to black.

Duo's first impression was a blinding whiteness. He groaned miserably and turned his head from the light that shone through his eyelids.

Suddenly it all came back to him, the mansion- Heero- the stalker. His eyes flew open. He instantly regretted it.

"Sonuvabitch!" He flung an arm over his sensitive eyes to try to ease the horrible stinging.


"Huh?" He carefully peeked an eye open and looked up at the concerned figure leaning over his bed. "Vinny?"

"OH GOD Duo! We thought you'd never wake up! Three weeks Duo… you've had us so scared for three weeks!"

His hysterical manager was making absolutely no sense whatsoever.

"What are you talking about Vinny?"

The blonde man stopped his tirade and stared down at him. "Duo, you've been in a coma for the past three weeks."

[1] Hehe I did research for this! No, I didn't get pierced… that's above and BEYOND what I'm willing to do for fic research! No, I went to a piecing website.. Anyhoo the point is, this isn't realistic. (DUH!) They estimated it takes about 20 minutes to pierce a nipple.. I wanted to surprise Duo with it… a 20 minute ordeal isn't a surprise.

"What are you talking about?" Duo stared agape. "I've been…"

Vinny shook his head. "Duo, you've been in a coma since the day of your interview. I found you on the floor of your apartment…" Vinny shivered noticeably. "Everyone has been so worried! I've… been so worried."

This was too much to process. ~What the hell is he talking about? I've been with Heero! … Haven't I?~

"You seemed to wake up around five times, but each time you'd barely blink before you slipped back into a coma."

~Five times… I've 'been in a hospital' five times since I remember Vinny breaking down my door…~ Duo's heart clenched in his chest. Was everything a dream? Quatre… Trowa… Relena's apology… Heero? ~Oh god.. Heero! Have I been dreaming all this time?!~

Tears ran down Duo's face as he realized that the past bliss with Heero had been nothing but a figment of his imagination- nothing but hopeless fantasies made up by his own treacherous mind to taunt and torment him.


He looked up into Vinny's concerned eyes. "Daijoubu."


Shaking his head Duo waved away his concerned friend. "I'm fine.. I just… want to be alone ok?"

Vinny seemed to understand, and he patted Duo's shoulder as he stood and turned to the door. "Fine, but if you need anything… I'm here Duo."

He managed a weak smile for his friend. "Ok Vinny…"

Sitting in the stark white room with nothing to occupy his mind was a living hell for Duo. He could have gone back to sleep, in fact, he really wanted to. But he was too afraid that if he did, he would once again fall into that happy world he'd made for himself in his coma. He was sure he'd never want to leave.

So he just lay there… unsure as to how to proceed. Should he just let himself go back to sleep? There was nothing keeping him in this world but pain. Should he seek out the real Heero once he was released? Could they really start again?

The mind does funny things when you've got nothing to do but think. The body can become hypersensitive to the point where a simple itch can drive you absolutely insane. It was when he reached such a state did Duo finally acknowledge the throbbing pain on his chest.

"What the…" He lifted up the blankets and peered down the front of his hospital gown. Sure enough, his right nipple was red and swollen compared to the left. He cautiously poked it with his index finger, and the dull throbbing became sharp intense pain.

His brow furrowed thoughtfully. This was not the type of injury he'd expect from someone who's been in a coma for the past three weeks. In fact, all of his other abrasions were healed. Why would this one remain?

He frowned harder and inspected his chest even more. There appeared to be a small red hole in his nipple… ~The piercing!~

He replaced the blankets and reclined on his bed to think. ~I could be just trying to convince myself that what happened in my dream was real, so I'm using anything I can to corroborate my story. But what other explanation could there be?~

Duo's eyes narrowed and he felt his earlobe. Similar pain resulted. There was definitely a hole in his earlobe as well. This was just too much!

There was something going on. And Duo had the feeing that Vinny was a part of it.

Duo silently slipped out of his bed and quietly walked to the door. It wouldn't do to be caught out of bed… just in case he was right. He opened the door slightly and peered out.

Duo took in the décor of the hall. Immediately outside of his door the façade of it being a hospital stopped. It was obviously a private home he was being kept in, and it was even more obvious to him was the fact that Vinny was lying.

Duo slipped back into his bed to think. It wouldn't do to blunder around without a plan… Vinny was obviously a dangerous man, or at least somehow involved with the person stalking him.

The more Duo thought about it, the surer he was that it had been Vinny behind every attempt on his life.

~Think Duo! Think! How can I contact Heero…~ He massaged his temples in frustration. He couldn't make a move until he knew what to do.

~How can I get in touch with Heero??! Wait a minute…~ Duo grinned evilly. He didn't need to find Heero… Heero could find him! ~I just hope Wu-man has the right equipment!~

~Now all I have to do is wait for Vinny.~ Comforted by the knowledge that he hadn't been dreaming, that Heero really did love him, that he had a reason to go on… Duo fell asleep.

"... duo… Duo?"

"hmnnn whaat?" Duo cracked open bleary eyes.

"Time for dinner!" Vinny pushed a tray onto Duo's lap.

"Oh…" He lifted the cover and stared at what could have been hospital food. Oddly disappointed he picked a bit before deciding to put operation 'get me the hell outta here' into action. "Ne, Vinny…"

The blonde man looked surprised to be addressed. "What?"

"Ya know what I could reeeaaaaly go for?" He grinned playfully and flirted as if his life depended upon it… oh wait, it did.

"What?" Suspicion laced the question, but not overly much… not enough to make Duo abort operation 'get me the hell outta here'.

"A nice cold beer! I'm dieing for a cold one man!" He leaned closer to Vinny in a 'confidential' manner. "Do ya think you could help me out man?"

"Well… uhhh…" Obviously flustered, Vinny blinked in surprise.

"Pleeeeasssseeee?" An obvious come on, but Duo was a desperate man, and desperate times called for desperate measures.

A smile flashed on his manager's face, and Duo knew he'd won. "Sure man! Anything for a friend! Anything…." The last anything was softer and sounded almost sincere, so sincere Duo almost felt badly for tricking the guy… almost.

~ninety eight Mississippi… ninety nine Mississippi… one hundred Mississippi.~ Duo jumped out of the bed and made his way to the door. He quietly slipped out into the hall and sprinted silently to his left. There weren't may doors, but the ones that there were didn't have much in the way of furniture. This place was obviously an empty house, possibly one that was for sale. In other words, no one knew anyone was staying in here.

Duo was almost going to turn back before one of his keen senses told him he was close to his destination- the kitchen. Duo smelled where food was cooking or recently cooked.

He followed his nose down the hall and around a few corners until he reached the dining area. Positive he was close now, Duo carefully peered around the corner into the kitchen. No one was there. ~Perfect.~

He quickly ran to the phone and punched in the number for the Preventers head office.


"I need Wufei Chang. Immediately."

"I'm sorry, Mr. Chang isn't accepting any calls at this mome-"

Duo was running out of time and patience. "Listen. I need to talk to him NOW. Tell him that this is Duo Maxwell on the phone!"

"I really don't think-"


Duo smirked as the call was quickly punched through.


"Wu-man, am I glad to hear you!"


Duo wished he could see the look on the Chinese man's face right at that moment… but there were more important things to think about.

"I need you to trace this call Wufei! I have no idea where I am, and I can't be on the phone long… can you do it?"

"Just a moment." There was a short pause on the line, and finally he heard a short sigh of relief. "I've got your location. Hold tight Duo. We're on our way."

"Out." Duo hung up the phone and quickly retraced his steps to his small room. He had to be back before Vinny saw that he was missing.

He slipped into the room and into his small bed. Satisfied with his bit of sneaking, Duo dug into his meal with gusto. He hadn't been eating for five minutes when Vinny strolled through the door with a bottle of beer in his hand. ~Ok… show time.~

He sent a brilliant smile to his manager. "Vinny! My man you are an angel!" He snagged the offered beer and took a long drink. Then he turned back to is meal and made short work of the remains.

"You sure were in a hurry!" Vinny laughed and set the tray aside. Presumably for the 'nurse' to remove later.

"You bet man! I gotta rebuild my strength ASAP!"[1]

The blonde man seemed puzzled. "Why? You should focus on getting better."

"I know man! But I owe it to the fans to start my tour soon!"

Vinny seemed to accept the answer, and Duo decided to push it just a little bit more. "Do you think they'd allow me a phone and fax in here? I need to start negotiating with people! I want it to start the minute I'm out of here!" He looked hopefully to Vinny. ~Please no please no…~

"I don't think so Duo. But I'll do it for you ok? I'll go and arrange it so everything is ready for you when you're released ok?"

~Got ya.~ "That'd be great Vinny! Wow man, you're the best!"

Duo grinned widely as Vinny smiled and walked from the room. ~Now all I gotta do is sit and wait for the cavalry.~

Nearly an hour later Duo heard the unmistakable click of shoes on the tile outside his room. ~Damn. Don't tell me I have to act all genki genki for that bastard again.~

He plastered a fake smile on his face when the door opened, only to have it bloom into a sincere one immediately. "Heero!!!!"

He bounded out of his bed and ran to his lover, clinging tightly to him. "I missed you!!!! I knew you'd come for me!" He wrapped his arms around Heero's neck and pulled him down for a very satisfying kiss.

"Ai shiteru Duo…"

He smiled up at Heero, his hero.[2] "Ai shiteru Heero."

Heero tightened his hold around Duo's waist. He could feel the box press into his side, he'd never removed it from his jacket.

"This isn't really the perfect moment I'd envisioned… but…"

Heero slowly pulled the box from his pocket and began opening it, when suddenly a fiery pain shot through his chest. He looked down to see a bright patch of red blood on his chest grow larger and larger.

The worlds seemed to go slow motion as he fell to his knees and dropped the box. The sound of Duo's screams echoed in his ears along with the ping of the rings as they clattered onto the tile floor.

The last thing Heero saw were Duo's beautiful eyes crying.

It couldn't be happening! "NOOOOO!" Duo fell to his knees beside Heero and tried to stop the flow of blood. There was just so much! It covered his hands and wrists. He was looking for something to staunch the flow when his eyes rested on the pair of rings that had fallen.. one black the other white.

Duo snatched them from the floor before secretly taking Heero's gun and extra clip. He slowly turned to where Vinny stood smirking in the doorway. "Why."

The man seemed very pleased with himself and like anyone that is happy, he explained why. "You were supposed to be mine! I took care of you & made you a star, but still you didn't see me as more than a friend! So I invented the stalker… the letters, the poison, the accidents… you were supposed to turn to me!" He pointed the gun to Heero's prone body. "But you went to him! He was the one that left you! I never would have left you… I saw what you were doing Duo. And I now know that I can never have you."

He bowed his head as if saddened, but then he looked up again with a wide smile on his face. "But now… neither can he!" And Vinny laughed loudly. He pointed the gun at Duo. "And now, you can die too."

Duo pulled the gun from its concealment and shot Vinny's hand. "I don't think so."

The blonde man stares incredulously at the bloody stump that was once his right hand. "How…"

"Hollow point bullets Vinny. Ain't they a bitch?" Duo then shot the blonde man's right foot, sending him to his knee. "Hurt a little?"

Vinny sobbed in shock pain and terror, but Duo wasn't through. He aimed and shot the man's other foot.

"I might have let you go!!" He shot Vinny in his right knee and quickly then his left. "You did manage to bring us back together after years of separation!" Duo shot Vinny's stomach twice.

He quickly reloaded the gun, not fearing retaliation from Vinny, but not wanting the man to pass out from pain before he was through with his revenge.

"But no! You couldn't leave me alone!" He shot both of Vinny's elbows, sending new sprays of crimson blood onto the white wall behind the howling man.

He sent two more bullets into the man/s shoulders, completely severing his arms from his body. "You killed my Heero!!" Duo shot Vinny's right lung, and smiled viciously at the sick sucking noise that resulted when the man tried to breathe.

"You took away my only chance at happiness!! " He shot once more, this time in Vinny's right lung. Now bright red blood leaked from that lying mouth.

Duo placed the barrel at Vinny's temple and looked into the man's wild eyes. "I bet you want me to pull this trigger huh? You want me to end it." Duo tossed the gun away and stared into Vinny's gray eyes. "Too bad. Suffer."

Drained, physically and emotionally, Duo crawled back to Heero and wrapped his arms around him. He was sure that his koi would already be growing cold. But instead, he felt Heero struggling to breathe. Duo's eyes widened. ~He's still alive!~

Just that moment he heard a noise at the door. There stood Wufei, staring at the bloody remains of Vinny.

"WUFEI!!! Heero's been shot!"

The Chinese man gestured and men rushed into the room and began immediate care of his lover. Tubes were inserted and bandages were applied. Secure that Heero could be cared for, Duo's eyes rolled up into his head and he lost consciousness.

[1] ASAP: As Soon As Possible.
[2] pun intended…

Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep……

Duo sipped the coffee that had gone ice cold long ago. There was no comfort of any kind to be found in the austere room filled only with the noise of the heart monitor and the whoosh of the respirator.

The incessant beeps and whooshing could have driven him insane a long time ago, if not for the fact that the noises were proof that Heero still lived.

Quatre and the others had tried to get Duo to leave the room after the first 10 hours of his vigil, but once he'd made it clear nothing short of physical violence would budge him they gave up.

It wasn't looking very hopeful. Duo knew that his friends were planning on intervening immediately if things were to go bad. And it looked like they would.

Heero had yet to regain consciousness from the coma he was in.

The doctors said the longer he stayed in the coma, the less likely it was that he would ever wake up. As much as it hurt, Duo had already planned for that possibility. If Heero died, Duo would soon follow him.

He knew deep down that Heero wouldn't want him to resort to that… but there was no way he would be left alone again, not now.

Duo reached up to the two rings on the silver chain that rested on the base of his throat. He wouldn't wear the ring… not until Heero put it on his finger. So until the day Heero woke up and slipped it on his finger… or until the day he- Duo shook his head. He refused to think of that right now.

Duo leaned over Heero's body and rested his head on the undamaged shoulder and linked the fingers of his right hand with Heero's. "Heero… come back to me. I can't live without you now, so you have to wake up!"

The tears blurred his vision until he buried his face in Heero's neck. "Can you hear me Heero? I need you! Please don't leave me. Please don't leave me… Please don't leave me… please don't leave me……… please don't leave me…………."

Please don't leave me…. Please don't leave me… Please don't leave me…

Heero swam in blackness. Unending unrelieved blackness. He couldn't see, couldn't feel, he could only hear. And he could barely hear the voice of someone calling for him. Someone… who…. Important… violet… only vague impressions of the voice that called him.

Love. Bright shining. The only warmth in this cold, cold place.. came from that voice. He followed.

Please don't leave me…. Please don't leave me… Please don't leave me…

Leave? Never. He couldn't leave the warmth… It grew brighter as he followed that voice. He grew closer and closer to the source, and as he did he could hear it more clearly.

He could hear the pain and anguish in broken sobs. What could have caused such pain? Not him… he would never….

Please don't leave me… Please don't leave me… Please don't leave me…

So close! He could smell… apples. Apple shampoo. But underneath was the smell of sweat and tears and blood… underneath everything was the unmistakable scent of blood.

"Please don't leave me… Please don't leave me… Please don't leave me…"

Slowly feeling returned to him, and he could feel a weight upon his chest. Next to the weight was pain. Dull throbbing pain. He could feel a hand clasping his own, and wetness soaking his shoulder. Tears. Crying.

"Please don't leave me… Please don't leave me… Please don't leave me…"

He clearly heard it now, sobbing pleas, pleas from Duo… DUO!!

Heero's eyes flew open as recognition hit him. He tried to speak, but there was a tube down his throat. Instead, he squeezed Duo's hand tightly. Suddenly the body on his chest froze.

Incredulous eyes opened and met his own. Duo's mouth opened and closed but no sound issued fourth. A look of total shock registered on Duo's pale, gaunt face.

Duo stared for only a moment. "nurse… nurse…" His voice was only a dull croak, but as realization hit him, a wide smile lit up his face. "NUUUUURRRSEEEE!!!!"

Minutes later a nurse Duo knew to be surly and grim walked slowly into the room. "Mr. Maxwell, I know you seem to think that this hospital is at your beck and call, but that is simply-" She finally looked over from her admonishing to the bed where Heero glared at her… as much as someone who had just awakened from a six day coma can glare… "Oh my!"

She turned on her heel and hurried out into he hall.

Duo looked own at Heero and chuckled. "You always had to make an entrance…"

Suddenly people in white jackets rushed into the room and tried to push Duo out of the way. Tried. He snarled at the nearest doctor, causing the balding man to take a few steps back.

He regained his composure in a moment and tried to stare down the younger man. Tried. When that failed he tried to reason with him. "Mr. Maxwell, we need to check his vitals… He seems ok but there might be something else wrong."

Duo reluctantly relinquished Heero's hand, but he only moved to the corner, out of the way, but he could still see Heero and Heero could still see him.

The first thing they did was remove the tube from Heero's throat and give him a drink to soothe his throat. After a few minutes of shining lights, asking questions, and holding up fingers, they deemed Heero in good shape. Then left the room and patted themselves on the back, leaving Duo and Heero alone again.

"… Heero…" Afraid he was dreaming, Duo slowly walked back to the bed. He reached out a trembling hand to grasp Heero's hand. Duo limply fell into his chair and mutely stared at Heero. His mind was officially on overload. It was over.

A big goofy grin spread over Duo's face. It was over.

Heero stared at the emaciated face of his lover. He frowned at Duo's haggard appearance, the boy who refused to go more than a day unwashed looked as if he hadn't showered in a week!

"… Heero.."


Duo leaned over Heero's prone body and clasped his hands. "I.. Heero… You…"

Heero smiled while his usually glib lover stumbled over the words that were in both of their hearts. So Heero decided to help. "Duo. Ai shiteru."

This statement was just the catharsis needed. "Heero, I love you too!" Duo buried his face in Heero's neck and sobbed quietly in relief.

Fighting his own tears, Heero wrapped his arms around Duo's shaking body and held him close until the other boy seemed to cry himself out.

Reluctantly, Hero let Duo pull back from the embrace. Just as he was about to say something, A glimmer caught Heero's eye. Dangling on a chain at Duo's throat were a pair of rings. One light and one dark.

He reached out and touched them with the tips of his fingers. He then gripped the rings and tore them from around Duo's neck. As the raided boy stared speechless, Heero held out the dark ring with his shaking hand. Before Duo could get the wrong idea, Heero cleared his dry throat.

"Duo, I was interrupted before. But... will you marry me?"

Tears filled Duo's eyes as he looked down at the ring in Heero's hand. He reached out with his left hand and let Heero slip it on his finger. "Yes… Oh, yes Heero!!" Duo quickly took the other ring and slipped it upon Heero's finger as well. "I love you!"

Duo hugged Heero once more, and smiled as he heard clapping. The pair looked over to the door where everyone stood. Wufei was grinning ear to ear, even Trowa seemed to be smiling at their happiness. Quatre was clearly in tears.

The blonde tried to regain his composure, but failed horribly. Finally a new voice piped up. "Congratulations you two!"

Relena Peacecraft walked into the room carrying a huge basket of flowers and placed them on the table beside the bed.

"Here is your get well gift! And now, about your wedding gift!"

Heero frowned. "Relena, really you've done enough for us…"

She waved her hand totally dismissing him. "Nonsense! I owe this to you both! Hmmm. "Her eyes lit up and finally she grinned widely. "How did you enjoy the Montana estate?"

Duo blinked at the sudden change of topic. "Uhh it was rally nice! We had lots of fun-" He was abruptly cut off when Heero softly elbowed him in the side.

"Perfect! It's yours! I'll have the papers drawn up immediately!"

Everyone in the room stared at her socked by the generous gift, even Quatre. Heero was the first to recover. "We can't…"

But he was once again cut off by the woman. "I insist. Consider it payment for all the times you saved my life." She winked at the couple and turned to leave. "Get well soon. Oh and Duo, I expect front row seats for your next performance!!" And with those parting words, she swept out of the room.

The minute everyone realized she was gone, they all proceeded to surround the bed and talk at once.

Duo caught Heero's eyes and grinned wickedly. At Heero's questioning look Duo mouthed the words… ::I might be moving to Montana soon…::

Duo began to sing his newest song for the crowd of adoring fans. They really seemed to love this long slow song. He smiled at the chorus. This had to be why it was so damn popular. It was happy. There is only so much a person can listen to a sad song. But there is always a demand for love songs. And this one débuted at number one. Duo Maxwell's first 'happy' song was an amazing success. Duo looked off into the area backstage where his new manager watched every move of his performance. Bright cobalt blue eyes met his violet ones, and he just had to wink. He meant every single word, and Heero knew it. Things were perfect… or they would be made that way tomorrow. Tomorrow is al Duo could think about. He sang his life for the people out in the crowd, and reveled in the love that they returned. Heero watched from backstage. He drank in the beauty that was Duo. Tonight his koi wore a skin tight pair of black leather pants, and a completely see through shirt. In fact, Duo's nipple ring could clearly be seen from the audience. Heero snickered as he imagined what the little teeny bopper magazines would write about Duo's 'New look'. ~Hn. Nothing nearly as interesting as what the papers will write about him after tomorrow.~

Heero waited patiently for Duo to finish this final song. The minute Duo took his final bows and swept off stage Heero wrapped his koi up in a tight embrace.

"How'd I do?"

He suppressed a smile. "Beautifully." When Duo smiled, Heero felt his heart skip, just like it always did . "Lets go."

Duo grabbed his hand and didn't let go until they reached the plane.

A collective gasp came from the crows as Duo stepped out into the clearing. He looked extremely handsome in his perfect black tuxedo with blood red dress shirt and black tie holding a bouquet of calla lilies. He stood in an archway made of white roses and calla lilies.[1] The lilies had been suggested by Quatre when Duo almost had a fit that he couldn't have black roses. Luckily Duo loved the idea.

He slowly walked forward and smiled at everyone in the crowd. Hilde waved happily and dabbed at her eyed with a tissue. Beside her Wufei looked happy to be there, but unhappy to be sitting next to two 'emotional onnas'. Sally had elbowed him sharply in the ribs for that comment at all the rehearsals.

Duo got so caught in the moment of looking at his friends that he slowed down noticeably. "Get moving!" Relena whispered quickly.

He smiled at her and continued down the aisle. It was really no contest, she just had to be is maid of honor after all the things she had done for him. The tears in her eyes when he'd asked her were priceless.

Quatre and Trowa stood up in front of the altar looking stunning in their matching gray suits. Quatre's dress shirt was a light blue, and Trowa's was a dark emerald green. Never let it be said that Duo and his friends couldn't color coordinate well. They stood there next to Heero, proud to be his best men.

Heero. He stood silently watching everything in his pure white tuxedo. His dress shirt was also white, the only color was in his tie and cummerbund which were such a light gray they looked silver.

He looked absolutely handsome. But the most amazing thing about him was the fact he was smiling. Not just his usual smirk, but a complete 'I'm actually happy' smile!

Duo hurried down the aisle to his koi.

Heero couldn't keep the smile from his face, so he decided to just give up. He watched Duo slowly walk down the aisle with the most amazing look on his face, it was a cross between shock and rapture.

Finally Duo reached his side and the took each other's hands. Heero gave Duo's hand a small squeeze before they turned to the priest.

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to join these two in matrimony…"

It was such a lovely ceremony brimming with such emotion, no one paid the buzz of the helicopters any mind.

"This is Kiki with channel 10's eye in the sky! We've been given a hint that pop sensation Duo Maxwell is getting married this very day in a private ceremony on his Montana property."

The cameras switched from the bubbly reporter down into the field that seemed to hold an amazing amount of white flowers along with a small group of people.

"Lets see if we can zoom in any further shall we?"

The people in the chairs are the first to come into focus, a stern looking Asian man is in between two crying women, one with honey blonde braids, the other with dark purple hair. He is looking highly amused.

"No! We want the couple!"

The cameras now zooms in on a pair of men in gray suits who are standing at the front alter. They're holding hands while silently watching the proceedings. The blonde is smiling happily.

"Well, they're a couple, but not the one we want!"

This time the camera zooms in on the blissfully smiling face of Duo Maxwell.

"Yes! There is the happy groom! Now lets see the bride!"

The cameras switch to the face of another man, Asian with surprisingly blue eyes.

"Wait! That is the Gundam Pilot Heero Yuy! Folks below us sit the entire team of Gundam Pilots! Wait a minute… Heero…"

The camera pans with Heero when he moves and he kisses Duo. The couple stay locked together in a passionate kiss for what seemed like forever before they broke apart. The camera zoomed in more still to see the tears in Duo's eyes as he looked up into Heero's face.

"I think we've just solved the mystery of Duo Maxwell's music. Meet Shinigami's hero."


[1] Calla lilies represent death. Even at his wedding Duo won't shake his nickname ^_~
It is done!!! I can't believe that I've finished it. I hope you've enjoyed reading this as much as I've enjoyed writing it.

Extra notes: I want to thank everyone for reading!! I have special shouts to my dad, for helping me with the car accident... uhhh no we didn't smash up a car, but my dad gave me advice ^_^ I want to say hi to my imoutos Ryu and Julie, and I want to thank Kitana Bradford…


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