Regret (part 4)
Duo buried his face in his pillow, pounding the mattress with closed fists. Tears brimmed his eyes but his resolve wouldn't let them fall. I will not cry. Boys don't cry. I can do this. I have to be able to stand this degree of pain. Feeling more assured, Duo rolled over to face the black abyss outside his window. Huh.. even the stars won't shine for me. He reached out with one hand and grabbed the end of his braid, lacing his fingers through the chestnut strands. His body shriveled in pain, such of which sleep could not deprive him of. The effects of the pain killers he'd been prescribed were dying off. Dying. What a bitch. If I had just stayed asleep for four more hours. I can't take another pill till morning. Ahrg.. damnit! It hurts! His head rolled to the side, taking in view the bedside table, a small bottle of white pills standing there next to an lukewarm glass of water. One before each meal and one before bed he recalled, What about for extreme emergencies? If you think about it, what harm could another pain killer do? The worst thing that could happen would be for it to kill me. No change in plans there. He reached out with his free hand and grasped the bottle in his clammy hands, "Your net exactly doing me any good in that bottle, are you? Come to think of it, your not exactly doing anything. You can't prolong my life, all you can do is make it easier. At what price though. You not only take away the pain, you take away my spirit and energy. For the past two days all I've been able to do is move from here to the kitchen. You make me grumpy, depressed… hell the effects are even warning down on Quatre! About the only time I feel like me is between doses." Another wave of pain tore threw him, his fingers digging deeply into his own palms, But without you, there's so much pain. God… why dose it have to hurt so much?!
"Damnit, what's the use? I always said I didn't want to just lie around and wait for death… so what the hell am I doing?" he looked at the bottle in his hand again, "I could end it all now if I wanted. No more pain, no more waiting and no more needing you. It's not like anyone would care. Heero made that crystal clear." He popped the top of the prescription case and sat up, pouring and handful of pills into his hand, "Why couldn't you just stay here with me, Heero? Was it that much to ask for? I had faith in you. I thought we were best friends." I love you….. Shaking his head free of all thought, he reached out for the glass of water, "I guess all dreamers have to wake up someday. It was some dream though, ne Heero? Sure wish we could have shared it. See ya in hell, Heero."
"Heero, why do you fight?"
Heero rolled over in his bed to stair at the fifteen-year old boy sleeping on the other side of the room, "Go to sleep, Dou. I mean it."
Duo sat up in his bed, "I'm serious. Why, Heero? Why do you fight?"
"Will it get you to shut up?"
Duo nodded vigorously.
Grunting, Heero propped himself up on his mattress, "Fine. I fight because I have to. I fight because I believe in our cause and I have to to survive."
"Really," Duo was silent for a while but as suspected, it didn't last, "How can you believe in a cause you don't know?"
"What? Is there a point to this, Duo?"
"Look, all I'm saying is this, we fight for peace but we've never lived in a peaceful time. In a sense, we're fighting for a dream. How can you fight not knowing what exactly it is you want?"
"I want an end to this war. I'm not fighting for peace. I don't believe such a thing truly exists. I'm fighting for the absence of battle." Whether by curiosity or inability to regain sleep, Heero returned the question, "Why do you fight, Duo?"
"Not for peace I can tell you that," the boy sighed and played with his braid, "For somebody whose never gotten anything without fighting for it, it's hard to imagine an existence without battles. I fight for life, not just my own but others. If I'm the one fighting, no one else will have to. I don't want innocent people to die. Innocent people have families and others who love them. I fight for them, to make sure they can keep what they've got."
"You realize, of course, that you've just contradicted your earlier statement." Heero gazed evenly at his friend, "You said it was impossible to fight for a dream yet you've just described one. You said you fight for love and the families in this universe but you've never had either."
Duo's eyes widened, "I…." I love you.... he lowered his head, "I guess we're both fighting for the dream then."
Heero nodded, "Never loose faith in your dream. A soul without faith or a purpose is lost forever."
The golden cross around Duo's neck suddenly felt heavier, "What if the dream is less than what we pictured?"
"Then we find a new dream to chase."
Gathering courage from the darkness of their nightly quarters, Duo crawled to the edge of the bed and closer to Heero's, "Will you be my other dream, Heero?"
The look on the other's boys face was enough to send Duo into a stuttering mess, "I-I-I don't mean it like it sounds. I mean, if I can't find my dream for a family and love, can I have faith in you to still fight and fallow you in your path. I.. I don't want to end up lost and alone."
Heero closed his eyes, "Do whatever you want. Just go to sleep."
"Damnit Heero, if we're going to do this than we should do it right. If what we're fighting for isn't what we wanted, we'll have faith in each other and continue to stay true to our missions. Right?"
"Duo," Heero stood and walked to the other bed, eyes narrowed and Swiss Army Knife in hand.
"Shit, your going to kill me aren't you?"
Heero flipped out the blade and slit his palm, the blood seeping out of the wound , "Like you said, if we're going to do this, we should do it right." He handed the blade to Duo, no concern what so ever for the blood dripping down his arm.
Duo's eyes widened in fear and surprise but he took the knife and did the same to his own hand. It hurt more than Heero had made it seem. Heero extended his hand and clasped Duo's, "For our dreams and our faith in each other."
Duo nodded, too moved to speak. Heero pulled away and walked to the bathroom, grabbing some medical supplies and passing them on to Duo, "Put something over that, you don't want it to get infected."
Not answering, Duo grabbed some gauze and wrapped his hand, You will always be my dream, Heero. I'll never get lost as long as you are here. I have faith in you. Forever.
The glass in Duo's hand fell to the floor with a loud clunk, water soaking the wood floor, "Our dreams….." He looked to his hand, the handful of pills laying over the scar he'd made five years back, "Our faith." The pills slipped from his hand, joining the puddle of liquid on the floor. We promised to be here for each other, and I have faith in you. You'll come back.
He touched his cross, its heavy presence a reminder of all his beliefs, "As long as I wear this, I will never loose my faith again."
With a disapproving glance towards the bottle of pills, Duo settled back into his covers and slept, ignoring the pain and discomfort that plagued his body. He'd have no more painkillers tonight.
Quatre whipped his brow and sighed as he placed the phone's receiver back onto the base unit. "Duo, ya got another call." He said to no one in particular, knowing his friend lie asleep in his room, "It was your lawyer wanting to discuss your will. You put everything you have into charities, churches and orphanages. Guess it looked suspicious or something. You've got a big heart, Duo, but not that big of a wallet. I'm sure it will all go to good use though." He stepped to the door and cracked it open. Still asleep. Quatre had come in early to find the mess of pills and water at the bedside. It had scared him more than anything. Though he wouldn't put suicide above someone in the boy's condition, it just seemed so out of character. A quick pulse check had set his mind at ease though. How the pills had gotten on the floor was still a mystery but one that could wait till the American awoke on his own. He closed the door again and flipped on the television in the living room. Nothing on, big surprise there. "Oh well, I guess there are more important things I should be doing. I've got a long day ahead of me." He sighed slightly and slid out of his chair. Being Duo's maid wasn't an easy task. Perhaps in the physical sense it wasn't draining but emotionally it could be devastating. Duo had surrounded himself with so many memories. Things as simple as sweeping the floor seemed painful reminders of the past and what lay ahead in the future. Visions of Duo wearing an oversized T-shirt and short shorts came to mind, his rich voice echoing off the hallow walls as he swept and sang, the broom acting as his microphone. The Deathscythe pilot had turned such a satisfying crimson color when Trowa had let slip the fact that he had seen and overheard him.
"You… you saw me?"
Trowa nodded, "You're quite the performer, Shinigami."
Duo ducked his head between his shoulders, "You didn't tell anyone else, did you?"
Trowa shook his head. At that moment, Heero walked into the room, an evil grin creeping onto his face as he walked past the two pilots, "Duo."
The said boy turned, "Yea, Heero?"
That had done it. The American pulled off a whole body blush, every inch of visible skin from his normal black attire burning red. "You said you didn't tell anyone," he hissed through clenched teeth.
Trowa nodded and walked towards the couch, "I didn't have to. We were all here to see for ourselves."
Quatre smiled. Duo had certainly been angry after being the butt of the jokes for weeks on end. He'd gotten them back though, he always came out on top. A loud knock at the door interrupted his memories, At first he thought he had imagined it. No one came to the house, but again the loud knock resounded.
"Just a second!" Quatre ran to the door, nearly tripping over the entry rug. He flung the door open and stood before an equally surprising sight, "Oh.. my… God!"
A familiar dark haired boy brushed past him, his eyes searching around for Duo, "Where is he?" he asked immediately.
"He's sleeping in his…"
The man marched off to the room and opened the door. On the bed before him lay what might have been the most beautiful sight he'd ever seen. The day's light fell onto his bed through the open window, casting a majestic glow upon the sleeping boy. Duo looked like an angel. Despite all this, he still looked like he'd been through hell. His hair was coming undone from his braid and his bangs clung to his forehead with perspiration. The man brushed aside the chestnut hair. "Duo, wake up." He ordered the boy, wishing the words had sounded more human. Duo opened his eyes slowly, adjusting to the morning light falling onto his face.
"I'm tired, Quatre. Give me a few more minutes, please."
The voice was small and weak. Could this be the boy he had seen just weeks before who'd dragged him along on his little extrusions?
"I'm not Quatre, Duo."
Cobalt eyes grew wide, focusing immediately onto the face hovering above him, "HEERO!"
The said man nodded, "I've completed my mission. I thought that perhaps you would enjoy a visit."
"Of course I would!" Duo tried to sit up but pain kept his nailed to the bed, "Uhrg... He-ero, where have you been, man? What was so important that you had to leave to do?"
"He had to find us."
Realizing he was no longer alone with the Japanese man, Duo quickly surveyed the room. It didn't take long to see what he needed to see. Duo's voice caught in his throat, joy making it hard to even breath let alone speak. He had to be still dreaming. First Heero and now..."TROWA! WUFEI!"
The long banged boy smiled from behind his mask of hair, "Sorry it took us so long to get here. We've both been out of service for a while.
Wufei nodded, eyeing the sick boy with his large black eyes, "Maxwell, it is good to see you again."
Duo lay in shock, "I'd almost given up hope that I would ever see you all again! I must still be dreaming!"
Heero smiled faintly, "It is a dream. Seeing all those pictures you've kept reminded me. I knew what my mission was and what I had been searching for in coming here in the first place. I had to bring Trowa and Wufei to you to keep the dream. We promised.. a long time ago." Heero turned over his left hand, a faint scar evident in the bright light of the room.
Duo nodded, "I had faith in you, Heero, then and I still do. Thank you." Unconsciously, one hand went to the cross at his neck, It's my faith in you that allows me to be here today. I'll never regret my decision last night. Not as long as I live and longer.
Heero walked back to the door and pushed his friends out of the room, "We'll let you get some sleep, Duo. I just wanted to make sure you knew we were here."
"Oh, like I'm going to be able to get back to sleep now!" Duo struggled to a sitting position and looked longingly at the door, "Whose up for a game of chess?!"
Trowa shook his head, "Do you really think anyone here is going to turn you down? If you can get out of bed, it's a match."
Duo did as he was told, steadying himself with one hand on the bedside table. His legs shook and knees buckled but he stood there, determined not to fall and not to let his pain show, Not today. I'm not taking any medication today. I want to be like my old self and I'm not going to let a little pain stop me!
Trowa walked over and wrapped an arm around his friend's waist, supporting most of his weight, "All you had to do was stand. We'll help you from here."
Grateful, Duo wrapped an arm over the tall boy's shoulders and allowed himself to be helped out of the room and into the house.
Heero watched as the three settled down in the comfortable settings of the living room. He's so weak and tired but he still refuses to let that slow him down. Have I been gone that long? How much longer do we have to be a group again? He looks so happy to see us all. His family. His dream. Visions of his own nightmares came to mind but at the moment, they had no effect on him, Not only his dream, but all of ours. We'll exist for each other.
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