Physical Presence (part 2)
Lying in bed afterwards, however, a thought gnawed at him. There’s a lot I don’t know about myself, about us. He thought about the night that he had first come home from the hospital. . .
He lay awake in the dark after the light had shut off. “Duo, you’ve told me what I’ve done during the war. But you haven’t told me anything about what our relationship was like.”
There was a pause. In the darkness, Heero could see Duo’s eyes glisten from the moonlight coming in from the window. “What good would it do since you don’t remember anyway.”
“I want to know about our first kiss, the time we realized that we were in love, the first time we . . .”
Duo turned away from him.
“Did I say something wrong?” he said.
Heero put his hand on his shoulder and said, “I’m sorry.”
“I’ll tell you tomorrow. Go to sleep.” Duo then turned around with a smile, and said, “I’ll make you breakfast tomorrow. How does waffles and blueberries sound?”
“Sounds good. Was that my favorite?”
“Nah, it’s mine. Good night.”
But the morning after, he didn’t ask and the subject wasn’t brought up.
“Trowa?” Heero said, while typing into his computer, trying to trace which company had sold the guidance system of the satellite to the terrorist group.
“I have to ask you a favor.”
“I’ve downloaded and read everything I could about what I did during the war. I’ve looked through all the photo albums and every letter I could find. I even hacked into my own computer to find any files that weren’t completely erased, but it appears I did my job too thoroughly. I have a question that I need answered.”
“What was my relationship with Duo like?”
Trowa paused in his own hacking. “He didn’t tell you?”
Heero shook his head. “He only told me that we’d been together for quite a while, but he didn’t really say anything about us.”
“ . . .” Trowa looked hesitant to open his mouth.
“I’m only asking you because next to Duo, you’re the one I feel most comfortable with. I doubt Wufei would particularly like answering this question and everyone else is either too busy or aren’t in a position to be of much help . . .” Seeing Trowa continue to hesitate, Heero said, “You should know how I feel . . . You lost your memory once.”
Trowa started then nodded. “I remember. It was scary, not knowing who you are, who your friends are. I ended up clinging to the one person who offered me help. Every time I tried to remember further back, it was like staring into a dark, cold emptiness." He shuddered involuntarily when he did so.
"And when you got them back . . ."
Trowa said, "I was relieved because I knew who I was, that I knew who Quatre was. But the thing was that I needed to remember at that time and I didn't have a choice about getting them back. But there're a lot of things that I would have preferred to forget. I don't know what your memories before the war were like, so I can't tell you whether it's a good idea to get them back or not. All I know is that a guy with dozens of bone fractures has led a life I wouldn't wish on anyone."
"Dozens of bone fractures . . ."
"Yes, according to your medical check-up on entering the Preventers. She said that she had seen similar findings shortly after you first came to Earth so they’re not because of the wars. It must’ve been due to your training. Many of the things I reveal to you may prove to be equally as unpleasant.”
“Tell me anyway.”
Trowa paused, then said, “Nobody can truly know what a relationship is like except the people involved. I can only tell you what I’ve observed.”
“I understand that.” The way Trowa was hesitating was just making him more impatient.
Trowa finally began, "From the start, it's never been easy for you two. Duo said that he had felt something for you right from the start, but that you turned away all his attempts at getting close to you for a long time. In the beginning, he felt so frustrated with you that he would end up cursing the day that he broke you out of that hospital. He wondered why he was fascinated by a guy who didn't say thank you and who set his own broken leg."
"Really . . ." said Heero.
"During the whole month you were recuperating under my care, you didn't say one word about him."
Heero suddenly felt ashamed of himself. He looked down at the floor and thought, Not one word?
Trowa sighed, then said, "Don't feel bad. We were all busy being soldiers. There wasn't that much time and energy left for that kind of thing. But much later, after you and Quatre had went to Earth, after I was lost in space . . . He told me about that time you both went to Earth. He said during your stay at Sanc Kingdom, you finally talked to him about Duo. I think it was because he told you about how he felt about me, how terrible he felt about shooting me. You told him that you knew how it felt, pointing a gun at someone you cared about because you thought that he was in the way.”
Heero started. “He told me that I rescued him from there.”
“That’s because you couldn’t bring yourself to kill him when he closed his eyes and waited for you to shoot him. When you got him out of there, he was pretty banged up. You took care of him before going off to fight again. He understood how things were. Often, there would be meetings separated by weeks, maybe months of absence. Sometimes, either you or he would try to turn away from the other because neither of you wanted to suffer if there was a day that there would be no more meetings. We all did cruel things to each other because of that war. I’m not saying these things to make you feel guilt. I just want you to know how things were."
A question occurred to Heero. "I also noticed that Duo doesn't like to talk about Relena much. Why is that?"
Trowa looked surprised then laughed much to Heero's amazement. "I'm sorry for laughing. It's just that that question is proof positive that you don't remember."
Heero set his mouth in a straight line of annoyance. "Why?"
"Relena was infatuated with you for a long time. She still has a little thing for you even now. She once tracked you down to a school that you and Duo were attending just to see you. She was interested in you even though you once ripped up an invitation to her birthday right in front of her and told her 'omae o korosu.' That's why Duo gets a bit irritated whenever she calls in or sends a card. It's nothing serious though, he's used to her calling once in a while. He just doesn't particularly enjoy her teasing about taking you away someday."
"I wasn't actually involved with her, was I?"
"As far as I know, no."
At least I don't have that complication, he thought. Then he said, “But how about after the war?"
"After the war, you moved in together. The both of you were trying to live together and become civilians at the same time. It's a difficult transition for most people, but especially for the two of you. Over the course of a year, Duo left you three times, but each time you’d look for him. The first time, he went to L2 and stayed at Hilde’s house. The other two times, he stayed at one of the rental buildings that Quatre owned. He’d be gone from anywhere from a few weeks to a month.”
“He ran from me?”
“Yes, but he didn’t try to really hide himself from you and when you went to look for him, he always came back.”
“If that’s how it was, then why does he stay with me?”
Trowa turned back towards his computer and said, “In the end, Heero, the only person who can really answer your questions is Duo.”
“Thank you for telling me.”
Duo took the airport shuttle back to the house. I could've gotten Heero to pick me up, but there's no sense in having him waste a vacation day in picking me up. Anyway, he'll be home soon enough. Oh, I really want to take a nice long bath.
He opened up the front door and dumped his suitcase by the door when he heard a voice say, "Aren't you going to say, 'Tadaima?'" Duo looked to see Heero standing by the kitchen door. "Heero, what are you doing home?"
"Waiting for you, of course." With that, Heero took his suitcase down the hall and into their room.
That's the one thing that hasn't changed about him, he keeps surprising me, thought Duo as he shut the front door behind him.
Then Heero came back. "You must be tired. Why don’t you take a nap while I unpack your suitcase?"
“I slept on the shuttle the entire way. I’ll be taking a bath, though." said Duo. "I'll be out in an hour."
Duo lay down in his oversize bathtub and smiled. He had his bubble bath, his waterproof pillow and warm water filling up the tub. Yeah, yeah, it's a waste, but I really enjoy this, he thought, twiddling his toes. He leaned back and closed his eyes as the water ran between his feet. Then he opened his eyes when he heard the door open. “Heero?”
Heero knelt by the bathtub and said, “Do you want me to help you wash your hair?”
“If you want to . . .”
Heero slowly took his clothes, then let them slide off his body to the floor. He took a metal bowl and rested it on the edge of the tub. He then slowly stepped into the tub then sat down in front Duo.
He wrapped his arms around him and said, “Welcome back.” Then he turned Duo’s face towards him and began kissing him, sucking, nibbling, licking those lips he’d been dreaming about for the past month. He felt Duo open his mouth in welcome, then he slowly slid his tongue into that mouth and found Duo’s tongue caressing his.
After a particular long kiss, Heero said, “Close your eyes, I’m going to shampoo your hair.”
Duo closed his eyes, then felt the warm water fall and totally saturate his hair. Then he felt Heero’s hands sweep his hair back from his face, then firmly but gently massage his scalp with a handful of the cool wonderful smelling gel. Then he felt the hands massage his temples, then travel down to the ends of his hair. While all this was going on, he felt the tip of his nose being licked, then the area around his mouth being kissed, then a long trail of warm wetness along his cheek as Heero licked his face. Then he felt his neck being nuzzled. “Heero . . .”
Then he felt Heero begin to soap him up. He felt the smooth, hard surface of the soap slide over his chest and shoulder and back. He heard the soap put back in its dish, then he felt Heero’s hands caress him, moving smoothly and slowly over his skin, then feeling those hands circle and gently thumb his nipples. He frowned in frustration. He wanted to open his eyes, but didn’t want the soap to go into his eyes. “I want to open my eyes. I want to . . .”
“Shhh, I’ll rinse you off in a minute.”
Then he felt Heero begin to knead and massage the soles of his feet. Duo sighed. There was nothing like a foot massage to relax one.
“You’re smirking at me, aren’t you?”
“You’re bad, Heero Yuy.”
Then Duo heard Heero turn on the water on, then felt warm water pour over his body, then his hair. He felt Heero thoroughly finger-comb his hair as the water poured over his head. He wiped his face with his hands, then opened his eyes
“Why all of a sudden?”
“Because I want to. Because I love you.”
Duo wrapped his arms around Heero’s shoulders and whispered, “Fuck me, Heero. I’ve been going crazy these past months. Fuck me good and hard.” Heero pulled him up on his lap, pushing Duo’s legs apart. Duo put his hands on Heero’s shoulders then slowly let Heero guide him down unto his cock. It was already lubricated with waterproof gel he’d put on while Duo had had his eyes closed.
I feel like I want to bury myself in him forever, thought Heero as Duo slowly raised himself up and down on his shaft. He sucked and teased with his mouth everything he could reach, Duo’s neck, his nipples, his shoulders his mouth. Then he took his right hand and began massaging his balls, then slowly rubbing Duo’s foreskin. Watching Duo’s eyes shut and lips part in ecstasy filled him with the joy and the sense of accomplishment that comes out of making someone you care about really happy.
Duo finally exploded first, sparks going off behind closed eyelids. Then he felt Heero come inside of him and felt his head rest on his chest, hearing him gasp and whisper his name.
“Lets just rest here for a little while,” said Duo.
With that, Duo lay in Heero’s arms as they both relaxed in the tub, almost brimming over with water. For a while, I was wondering if this part of our relationship was dead. I’m glad it’s not, Duo thought.
"Were we this happy before?"
"And other times . . ."
Duo was quiet this time.
"Duo, I just don't want to repeat the mistakes I made before."
"Heero . . . "
"When I think of you not being here, it scares me."
Duo turned his head and they looked into each other's eyes. "The Heero I knew before would never have admitted that. He always had to be so tough and silent. You're quiet, but it's different somehow.”
“I asked someone how things were between us. I was told that you left me three times in the space of a year, why?”
Duo blinked. "Because you were still acting as if you were in the middle of wartime. When something was seriously bothering you, you wouldn't tell me what it was. Sometimes, you'd wake up in the middle of the night and cry out, but you wouldn't let me do anything. You'd just turn and refuse to say anything. I'd get so frustrated. I didn't know how to help you and sometimes I wondered if you wanted me around simply because it was better than being alone. Once in a while, you asked for some space so you could deal with things, saying that you needed it. So, I’d give you some space, but I wouldn’t tell you where I’d gone. I made you dig for me a little."
"Then why did you stay with me? Why did you always come back to me?"
"Because you always went to look after me when you’d gotten your head straight. Because there were times when you acted like a human being and smiled, times when I thought I was doing you some good. And you really did try sometimes, like taking care of me when I got really sick. Even during the wars, I could tell . . ." Duo said, caressing his cheek.
"Duo, I'm sorry."
"Heero . . . you're crying." Duo kissed the tear going down his face. I think I've tasted the rarest thing in the world, he thought. "Don't cry, I'm not going anywhere." He put his hands on each side of Heero's face. "These last five months . . . I've been happy. No matter what happens next, I'm happy now. Lets see what the future holds . . ."
"And we should get out of the bathtub before we turn into a bunch of prunes." Heero laughed then Duo laughed, too.
"I'm bad, aren't I?" Duo said to Sally as they both looked over the data he’d received from Ralph.
"Why do you say that?"
"I'm beginning to wish that Heero never gets his memories back. It's been over five months now. It's not likely that they're going to come back any time soon. It's like I got to see the Heero that could've been. I remember Relena telling me how Dr. J said what a nice kid he once was. I felt like I finally got to see that person."
Duo licked his lips, then said, "Sally, I wonder if you wish you could've seen Wufei before he became a pilot."
Sally looked pensive. "From what he told me, I might not like him as much."
"Oh, really?" Duo said, cocking his head and widening his eyes in surprise.
"I wouldn't wish the things that happened to Wufei on anyone. However, because of what he went through, he grew up a lot. His perspective is a lot broader than it would've been. He said that he used to be this arrogant, provincial guy who thought that world could be captured within the corners of a book, that he thought he knew everything that there was to know. He told me that he treated his first wife terribly, that he didn't know he cared about her until she died."
"I think Wufei's being hard on himself."
"Probably," said Sally. "But he wouldn't be what he is today without all that happening to him. We would never have met if things hadn't happened the way they did. But I think that you should think about your relationship based on what you feel in the here and now. If this works for you, and it looks like it does, then you shouldn't feel bad about enjoying it."
"Somehow when I talk to you, I end up feeling better."
Sally smiled. "It's a knack."
Duo caught up to Heero and said, "Wait up! You've been running all the way down the beach. I can't keep up!"
Then Heero squatted, then said, "Then I'll give you a piggyback ride."
"Say what?" This guy is so unpredictable, Duo thought.
Duo laughed, then said, "You are so out of your mind. No way."
Heero then stood up, turned around and kissed him. "Now will you hop on?"
"Whatever you say." Duo hopped up on Heero's back and grabbed his shoulders as Heero carried him down the beach.
"I didn't think you got embarrassed."
"Hey, everybody has their limits."
“Taking a vacation was such a good idea of mine. As always, I had to nag you into it.”
“It must be one of the reasons I love you.”
Duo leaned his head against Heero’s shoulder, then kissed him on the neck and shoulders. “I love you, too.” His body was always warm, he thought, it’s nice to see him act warm, too. I really do love you, Heero.
"Hey, there's a message on the videophone." Duo said, once they’d gotten into their hotel room.
“You take shower first,” said Heero. “I’ll take care of it.”
“Hokay,” yawned Duo before walking into the bathroom. The door closed and the sound of running water and Duo humming a song could be heard through the door.
Heero pushed the button.
"Hello, this is Relena."
Relena continued with a look of triumph on her face. "I've got some important news to share with you two. I used my influence to track down any experimental treatment that would restore Heero's memory. I think I've actually found one that has a reasonable chance of success. I even got you on top of the waiting list. All you have to do is fill out the forms and send in your records. Please call me back." The message stopped.
Heero stared at the screen after it went black. Should I do this? Get my memories back? Try to make myself whole? Remember what drew us two together? I’ll understand why things are the way they are, how we came to be. I’ll remember all the good I’ve done. But then I’ll remember all the pain, the terror, all the times that I’ve hurt the people around me, including him. The memories I get back will be that of a stranger; someone I no longer want to be. With that, he made his decision.
Heero then said, “Sleep forever, Heero Yuy. The world doesn’t need you anymore.” With that, he pressed the delete button on the answering machine. He closed his eyes.
“Oi, Heero, aren’t you going to join me?” Duo’s head poked out of the bathroom.
“Ah,” Heero said.
“What about the message?”
“It was for someone else.” With that, he turned and smiled at him, opening eyes that seemed to be filled with the radiance of the stars.
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