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Making Love to Death (Part 9)

Jana


 

Heero walked the long distance home, giving himself much needed time

to think. Knowing his reaction to Duo's haircut was inappropriate, if

not selfish, Heero was nonetheless still reeling from it. For as much

as he knew he would never again sit behind Duo, lost in the pleasure

he took from running the brush of his fingers through his hair, he

couldn't help but feel a seemingly different kind of loss. Unable to

identify the growing emotion, Heero turned his thoughts to more

pressing issues.

 

Despite the fact that things the past few weeks were slowly returning

to normal, Heero realized today that it was not going to be possible

for him to remain at the house, living with and attending school

alongside his fellow pilots. He needed to remove himself from the

source of his misery and move on with his life. Those thoughts now

crowding out all else, Heero increased his pace and hurried back to

the estate.

 

**********

 

Once inside the small front foyer, Heero paused at hearing the

laughter of his four friends in the den to his left. Not wanting to,

but knowing he had to, Heero made his entrance into the room. Quatre

and Trowa were seated on the floor in front of the television,

Playstation controllers in hand. Duo and Wufei sat on the couch, only

the tops of their heads visible as they their bodies sunk comfortably

into the leather sofa, watching the two lovers engrossed in their high

speed car chase, their backs were to Heero.

 

Heero walked into the room quietly and sat down on the chair nearest

the television, watching the two with feigned enthusiasm.

 

"Hey, Heero" Duo questioned, running the fingers of his right hand

through his incredibly short hair, "What do you think ?"

 

Heero took a moment to let his gaze take in Duo's lack of hair and the

smile on his face. Then smiling at the still strikingly beautiful boy

before him, he smiled "Looks great, Duo.....it really does." and much

to his surprise, he genuinely meant it.

 

Staying for quite sometime, almost enjoying himself, Heero took his

leave of the others and grabbing his packages made his way up to his

room. Closing the door behind him, Heero sat at his laptop and began

typing his message to Doctor J.

 

**********

 

Heero was notably missing at breakfast the first day of school. The

others sat having breakfast, chattering to each other, yet each

quietly wondering where he was. Several minutes later, Heero appeared

taking the seat across from Duo.

 

"Alarm didn't go off." Heero offered to the four sets of prying eyes.

 

Quickly finishing their breakfast the five neatly dressed boys grabbed

their backpacks and made their way into the waiting limo.

 

School was school and Heero welcomed the distraction. The first half

of the day went well, all of his classes seemed to be of sufficient

interest, although the calculus teacher seemed a bit absent-minded.

Lunchtime found the five pilots together again on the lunch line.

Each filling their trays, the five headed for their usual table and

sat. Comparing notes about their classes, the five chatted through

the entire hour with no awkwardness.

 

Meeting once again after dismissal at the large track field beside the

school, the boys awaited their limo ride home. Duo was the last to

arrive, as the limo pulled into view, his backpack nearly dragging on

the cement behind him, as he ran toward the others.

 

"Sorry, I'm late, got to talking" he continued, still breathless from

the run "and well......you know me." he winked.

 

The others smiled at him.

 

Duo continued "Anyway, I'm going to head over to the library for a

while with a couple of the guys. I'll catch up with you later at

home." Duo called, running back toward the school. His hand waving

goodbye over his shoulder.

 

"That's our Duo !" Quatre smiled to the others, glancing

apologetically toward Heero, regretful after the words had

thoughtlessly fallen from his mouth.

 

'It's not my Duo' Heero painfully reminded himself, as he turned his

gaze toward the sidewalk.

 

"I'm sorry, Heero......I didn't mean to....." Quatre started.

 

Heero quickly added "It's okay, Quatre, it's only logical for Duo to

behave normally, the breakup being his idea."

 

Heero walked toward Quatre putting his hand on his shoulder "I'm the

one who needs to get over it, doesn't look like I'm being very

successful though." he stated flatly, his hand falling from Quatre's

shoulder.

 

"It's only been 2 weeks, Heero, give yourself some time." Trowa added.

 

"Yeah" said Heero ".....time" smiling at Trowa.

 

************

 

Duo's absence from the house was a welcome relief to Heero. It wasn't

exactly an 'out of sight out of mind' scenario, but without Duo's

physical presence, which always managed to distract all of Heero's

five senses, Heero was more inclined to concentrate on his immediate

surroundings.

 

Quatre and Trowa were in the yard, tossing a Frisbee back and forth,

Wufei was seated in the grass nearby acting as both referee and

spectator.

 

Tired from his first day at school and anxious to get out of the

uncomfortable uniform, Heero left his place before the large window

where he stood watching the three and headed up to his room.

 

Dropping his backpack at the entrance to the small room, Heero removed

his uniform, carefully draping each item of clothing on the back of

the large chair. Grabbing at the shorts, which lay on the desk

nearby, Heero slipped himself into the comfort of his spandex and

threw his exhausted body down on the bed.

 

Lying awake for only moments, Heero curled up and promptly fell into a

light sleep.

 

Heero's dreams now, as in the past, for the most part, centered around

Duo. His lover's absence of the past few weeks had only served to

intensify his connection to Duo in his unconscious. Heero's

Duo-centric fantasies grew more vivid each time he slept. Although

the stark un-dreamlike feel of his current fantasies sometimes

frightened him, Heero snapped from them quickly, reality hitting hard.

 

And so it was this time, the beep of Heero's computer waking him from

his lover's side.

 

Heero rushed over to the computer and clicking on the 'retrieve

messages' button that blinked from the top of the screen, Heero read

the message, his expression saddening gradually, as his eyes slowly

made their way through the lengthy message.

 

Opening a blank message window, Heero typed his brief reply,

hesitating for a only moment before hitting the send button.

 

**********

 

The following week was uneventful, everyone settling comfortably into

the new routine, the pilots unable to spend much time with each other,

as classes and homework occupied most of their waking hours.

 

With the weekend upon them, the five sat around the dinner table on

Friday night, making plans for the upcoming weekend. Heero sat

unusually quiet, watching the four attempting to agree on anything.

He smiled a bit noting that while everything had appeared to change,

very little in fact had. The five had been bound together forever.

Heero could see nothing beyond the friendship and laughter they had in

that instant and was glad that he was able to be a part of it.

 

Feigning a small yawn and excusing himself from the table, Heero said

his goodnights and headed for his room. Glancing over his shoulder

once more as he reached the other side of the room, Heero took one

more look at his four friends, taking the time to let the moment

register fully in his memory. Still unnoticed by the talking boys,

Heero let his eyes take in Duo's beauty one more time, the sight of

his absent braid making Heero wince, as he slowly made his way from

the room.

 

**********

 

Sitting now in front of the empty message window, Heero brought his

hands to the keyboard and watching as his fingers fell lightly down

onto the home keys, began typing

 

**********

 

It wasn't until around noon, that the four boys had gathered in the

kitchen, none of them rising early on this, their first day of freedom

since school had started. There was still an hour till they had to

leave for a concert in the city and they sat down to enjoy a leisurely

brunch.

 

"Anybody seen Heero this morning ?" Wufei asked.

 

Quatre and Trowa nodded a bit absent-mindedly.

 

"He's prolly still sleeping." Duo added "Want me to go wake him ?"

 

"Yeah, Duo...would you mind ? Wouldn't want him to miss the concert."

Wufei told him.

 

Knocking lightly on Heero's door, Duo waited for his response.

 

Nothing.

 

"Heero !" Duo called, his voice carrying its usual cheerful tone.

 

Knocking more firmly this time, Duo called again "Heero, time to get

up and eat ! Don't wanna be late for the concert !"

 

Still nothing.

 

Duo turned the doorknob a bit cautiously, and poking his head in

slowly, finally entering the room.

 

Duo's wide violet eyes searched the small room for only seconds,

before he sat down on the edge of the bed.

 

Heero was gone.

 

**********

 

It was Wufei who checked his messages first and slowly reading through

the last entry, addressed to the four remaining pilots, he printed the

lengthy letter and proceeded downstairs, the paper held tightly in his

hand.

 

Making his way into the den, where the three pilots sat, Wufei handed

the letter first to Trowa and Quatre, who read it silently together,

glancing up toward Duo several times. Duo's body language and facial

expression taking the others quite by surprise.

 

The past several weeks had shown them an impassive Duo, at least he

was impassive toward Heero, his ever-present cheerful demeanor, put

the pilots at ease. But since returning from Heero's empty room

almost an hour ago, Duo was behaving in a manner none of them were at

all accustomed to, altogether very un-Duo. Aside from the obvious

concern on his face, Duo was extremely agitated and couldn't quite

figure out what to do with himself. He paced the den at first, his

eyes never registering the other's stares. Then several times making

his way over to the large window, ran his spread fingers through his

hair in thought, the look on his face letting them know he had reached

no peace.

 

"Do you want to read it, Duo ?" Quatre asked, his hand still slightly

trembling as he offered the paper in Duo's direction.

 

Duo glanced over to Trowa, who nodded and taking the letter, Duo began

reading.

 

 

"I know this is the cowardly way out, and goes against what you have

witnessed as my oft callous behavior, but I was unable to bring myself

to come face to face with all of you. I will probably best be able to

express my emotions more adequately in this oddly familiar format.

 

The past several weeks have been unbearable for me and while I hope my

attempts at making you all feel as comfortable as I was able to, were

successful, I cannot continue with the charade any longer.

 

My years of vigorous training, having gone unused in the recent past,

were of great assistance to me these past few weeks and I have come to

realize that I was foolish to ever let my guard down and allow any of

you to affect me the way that you have. Especially you, Duo."

 

 

Duo's eyes glanced up to meet Trowa's then dropped sullenly to focus

again on the paper in his trembling hands. He continued reading.

 

 

"It was my weakness and perhaps the glimpse at the normalcy you four

had gained, that allowed me to drop the stoic facade. I thought that I

was perhaps capable, or more importantly worthy of the joys the

remotely normal life had afforded you. That fleeting glimpse has cost

me more dearly than I can ever begin to tell you. As I sit here on

the eve of my departure, looking back, I can only now bring myself to

admit that my greatest regret was my failure to self-destruct upon

entry into earth's atmosphere two years ago.

 

I will be spending the next several months here on L1 with Doctor J.

He has arranged it so that I will be given credits for the work we

will perform here, towards my eventual graduation. While I cannot say

with any certainty that I will never return to Earth, I am relatively

certain that if and when I do, I shall have successfully re-programmed

myself to never again allow the weakness, that up until three weeks

ago, was the very essence of my blissful existence.

 

Please promise me that you will take care of my Duo. Despite the mask

he wears so eloquently, inside lies a very vulnerable and frightened

child. I am, most unfortunately, unable to tell you how to keep this

magnificent being happy, as I have obviously failed to do so."

 

Heero Yuy

 

 

Duo sat motionless for several minutes, the others not daring to

disturb him, unable to gage his mood.

 

Duo looked up into the eyes of the other three pilots, his face

turning slowly to glance at each one, his face still void of any

identifiable emotion. He left the room and quietly made his way

upstairs, the crumbled letter still held tightly in his fist.

 

*********

 

Heero had landed on L1 several minutes before noon and realized that

by this time his feelings would be known to those he had left behind.

He didn't try to imagine how they would feel reading his raw

emotions, but felt relief that they would now be able to put this

entire scene behind them and get on with their lives. Which is

precisely what Heero wished to do more than anything else.

 

Doctor J welcomed Heero with open arms, the boy coming closer than

anyone he had ever known to being his own son.

 

"Heero !" the bespeckled man called, his smile warm and open.

 

Heero walked slowly to greet the man who, without questioning him,

offered Heero sanctuary from his dilemma.

 

"Doctor J" Heero gently saying his name, as he extended his hand to

the small man in friendship "It's been a long time. How have you been

?"

 

'I am glad you have returned, Heero, but I am truly sorry that it is

for the wrong reasons." Doctor J stated flatly.

 

Heero only stared at the man's gentle face and walked behind him into

the laboratory.

 

*************

 

Wufei spent the remainder of the afternoon in his room. He listened

to classical music, the small headphone buds buried tightly into his

ears, as he sat on his bed, legs folded, and a large sketchpad on his

lap. His right hand drawing furiously, the pencil dancing in time

with the thundering rhythm of the Rachmaninoff crescendo that blared

inside his head.

 

Quatre and Trowa had decided on a long walk, their lunch neatly tucked

into a small backpack, which Trowa slung over his left shoulder. Trowa

took Quatre's right hand in his and the two made their way across the

grassy yard, eventually disappearing over the large hill some distance

away.

 

And Duo ?

 

Well, Duo was still trying to absorb things.

 

Heero's letter had drawn mixed emotions from the normally extroverted

and clear thinking pilot. The first emotion he was able to identify

as he sat in the padded chair was anger. He was clearly angry at

Heero's degradation of their relationship. Especially that he spoke

about it with such venom, knowing the others would be reading it too.

Giving the matter the required additional amount of thought, Duo

found that he was also angry with Heero for being angry with himself,

for thinking himself unworthy of the happiness the two of them had

shared.

 

Duo's attention then focused on Heero's repeated assertion of his

weakness. He never imagined that Heero saw himself as weak. The word

was just one that didn't come to one's mind where Heero was concerned.

Duo knew that the others felt the same way and silently scolded Heero

for his poor self-perception.

 

Next came more anger.....no, it was more rage than anger that Duo

could feel building up inside as Heero words came back to nearly haunt

him. 'my greatest regret was my failure to self-destruct upon entry

into earth's atmosphere two years ago.' Duo shifted on the bed,

uneasy at the thought of Heero never being part of his life...... that

Heero could despise the thought so much that Duo was ever a part of

his.....that death would surely have been better than what they had

together. He felt himself on the verge of tears, unable to believe

that Heero truly ever felt that way.

 

And then there was the guilt....layer upon layer of heavy unmitigated

guilt.

 

Duo nearly collapsed under the weight of it, his body subconsciously

sinking further into the thick mattress under the imaginary pressure.

Duo brought his hands up to his head and laying one on each temple,

applied more than a mild amount of force, his hands trembling slightly

at the exertion. Duo could feel the sound building from deep within

him and slowly let it rise up to his chest, the idea of suppressing

it, never crossing his still very confused mind. He felt the rumble

make its way up through his throat and taking in a one last calculated

breath, Duo let the loudest, almost guttural scream imaginable escape

from his lips. Finding his pain had only increased in its intensity

since the screams release, Duo continued pushing the unbearable hurt

from deep within, until his voice gave out, at which time his silent

sobs replaced all else.

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