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Standard GW disclaimers apply. This fanfic contains shounen-ai, some lime and scenes of NCS. Be warned!


Author's notes:

This fanfic is written in the first person and alternates between Duo's point-of-view and Heero's point-of-view. It was written in answer to all those requests for a sequel to The Wait.

Finally, I'd like to thank Talya for all her help and comments in editing this fanfic. I hope you guys out there like it. As usual, your comments are very welcome, so be sure to e-mail me and tell me what you think about it ^_^.



It's raining .


It was the sound of the raindrops hitting against the windowpane that finally roused me from my sleep. Granted that the sleep was not very restful. It has never been ever since that day, that time. Sometimes I wonder whether I'll ever know rest again, whether I'll ever dream of beauty and gaeity as I once did. I wonder whether my soul will ever again have peace when I lie to embrace the temporary death that is sleep.


I lean my forehead against the flat glass of the picture window, letting the coolness of the surface seep through my skin, enjoying the feel of it. I close my eyes to savor the feeling, trying to make it last and take away the memories that haunt my every sleeping moment and lurk behind my every waking one.


Once, I had read of possession, when I had chanced upon a book on exorcism in the library of Maxwell Church. My childish mind had thought that it would tell of ghosts and demons. I'd devoured it with enthusiasm. But some way into its passages, I'd realized that those ghosts and demons wouldn't appear as I'd thought they would. The book was more on the rites and invocations involved during the actual process of exorcism. Religious academia, I dismissed. I had closed that volume in disappointment, returning it to its place on the shelf.


How I regret it now, for now I think I am possessed, possessed by memories that will not go away. These memories are my demons, the demons I can't exorcise, and they won't let me forget.


I sigh and pull up a chair, settling into it as I look out the window, seeing the raindrops fall with decreasing intensity. The drops hit against the glass, battering the ungiving surface as though trying to ram themselves through but failing miserably. In the process, those perfect spheres of moisture only break up, destroying themselves as they turn into narrow rivulets that run down the glass, joining to form larger ones as they make their way down and away.


Unconsciously, my hand strays to my hair, playing with the twists in my braid, tugging and pulling as I work my fingers between the crevices. I suddenly realise that my braid has come undone, albeit incompletely. I pull off the elastic that holds it together, watching the long, brown locks unravel, free from their bonds. Again I run my fingers through my hair, although this time, it is with consciousness and knowing. As I lean back into the chair, I gaze once more into the early morning sky, seeing that the early fingers of light have started to tease at the black cloak of night, pushing it away with a wonderful, poetic slowness. I gaze in wonder at the creation that is God's, in awe of the beauty he provides ordinary mortals as I in these early moments. I wonder why He gives beauty in such small doses, to so few people. It is fleeting, this beauty and peace He provides, yet it resides forever in my heart and my memory.


For my memory is not fleeting.


How can God give so much beauty and yet be so cruel?


I am surprised at my sudden train of thought. I, who have been taught that God is kind and forgiving. 'He provides...


Does He?


...and grants you what you ask for.'


What I ask for?


Why does everything I think about return to this same path? Why can't I just forget?


God. I ask that you make me forget. I ask that you take away my memories of that night as it had taken my ... innocence?


A smile curves upon my lips.




Such a deceptive word. One that doesn't fit me.


I was never innocent, was I? I don't think I've ever tasted innocence. For as long as I could remember, I've known of things that I've had no right to know. I had never wanted to know them, but I knew nonetheless. And now, I've turned into a killer. Yes, there may be a cause behind it, and yes, the cause is noble in its own sense. But that doesn't detract from the fact that I have killed. The people that have met their ends by my hands, by the scythe of my Shinigami, are too many to count. And I've stopped trying a long time ago.


No, I'm no innocent. I don't deserve to ask God to purge my tainted soul.


I should ask Death to take it.


But he has refused.


Numerous times I have asked. Ever since I took up this calling and more so since that night...


But even Death has abandoned me.


So I live. And I remain haunted by these memories of pain and regret.


Has it really been a month ago? Only a month, yet it feels like a lifetime. A lifetime that is filled with those hated images, images as fresh and clear as though it had only happened yesterday. If it were only images, perhaps I could learn to live with it. But these images come complete with the pain and the sensations of that time. And the memories are so real that I cringe at the thought.


I remember drifting in a peaceful darkness, happy in the belief that I was far away from the pain of the bullet graze on my scalp and the throbbing aches in my joints and my bones. I remember it well for the respite it gave me albeit its brevity. I remember it all the more for its contrast with the sensations that came after. I'd thought that the pain I was feeling before was great enough. It didn't prepare me for the sudden wrenching in my gut, the sudden ripping of my insides as he took me. Within that darkness, the flare of pain had been so great that it had shocked me awake. I'd thought that it was a dream, a nightmare of my disturbed imagination. I remember my dismay when I'd discovered that the pain was altogether too real as it radiated throughout my body, flaring alive with each of his violent thrusts. I struggled then, my hands behind my back grabbing and clawing whatever I could reach of my tormentor. I remember hearing him curse when I actually managed to scratch his skin. He had suddenly pulled out of me and I remember being surprised that his exit hurt almost as much as his entry.


"You little bastard," he said as he pulled back my shoulders and threw me onto my back. I could see him then. I still remember his face. His eyes were a light shade of blue, cold as ice. His anger and his hatred shone through them as his pupils dilated, pushing at the blueness and replacing the hue with a darkness that actually brought a touch of fear to my heart. It was mesmerizing and I didn't realize that he'd lifted his arm until his fist made violent contact with my jaw. Bright spots danced before my eyes as I tasted the salty richness of blood in my mouth. I must have cried out for I could hear the beast laugh in satisfaction. It was a satisfaction I would never afford him again, I remember thinking. So I had just bitten my lips and gritted my teeth as he pushed my legs up to continue the vile act my nails had so rudely interrupted.


I smile when I remember taking that opportunity of having my feet against his body. A stupid thought had passed through my mind then. I remember thinking how silly my pale legs looked, naked and wan against the darkness of his bulk. I had planted my feet against him and had pushed with all my strength, sending him sprawling backwards. His limbs flailed as he crashed into the wall of the vehicle, his pants flapping about his ankles. I had smirked at the sight, even as I'd tried to pull myself up against the wall behind me. But I had underestimated the man. He was up before I knew it and he had crossed the distance between us with surprising swiftness, considering his size.


"You wanna fight, eh? You like it that way, eh?"


His words chilled me and suddenly I had wished that I had not resisted. But I knew I couldn't have given up without at least trying.


My world had exploded in a blaze of excruciating pain then. His hands crushed me and pounded into me, even as he pushed my legs back so far that I felt like my back would break. He had ripped into me, again and again until I had blacked out. But he would not grant me that respite even, for his hand would slam into my face each time I threatened to lose consciousness, waking me to the reality that I wanted so much to run from.


Finally, after what felt like eternity, he forgot about hitting me, concentrating on his own sensations. I'd felt like throwing up when I saw his face then. His darkened features were screwed up in what may have been ecstasy, his facial muscles around his mouth twitching as he thrust into me with increasing intensity. At that point, I had detached myself from the situation. I still felt the physical pain but emotionally, I was numb. I could only remember being morbidly fascinated by the way he looked, the way his eyes scrunched shut and the way his teeth clenched as he neared his climax. He rammed into me one last time and I suppose I must have lost consciousness then, for the next thing I remember was feeling him once more tying together my numb legs.


Before, I could count the number of times I've ever cried on one hand. But since that moment, I've lost count. The tears fall unbidden, unexpected.


Roughly, I tug at my hair as I braid it once more, angry at the few droplets of moisture that have suddenly blurred my vision. It has almost stopped raining now. Only a light drizzle falls from the brightening sky, seeping onto the wet earth. The sun has finally appeared, its halo shyly peeking over the far horizon, throwing its bright, intangible arms across the fading night sky, turning it into a beautiful dawn.


But that brightness does not reach inside me. It does not lighten my darkened heart.





I wake up at the sound of Duo's rustling sheets. I do not know when my hearing has become so sensitized, even picking out the minor changes in the rhythm of his breathing. But it is a selective sensitivity for it only applies to him, to the long-haired boy who sleeps in the bed next to mine.


I keep my eyes closed, peeking through the dark fencing my lashes make as I trace his movement in the near-darkness. He does not notice that I am awake. He seems to be in his own world as he stands by the window, bathed in the delicate light of the oncoming dawn. Duo stands there in silence and my heart lurches at the sight. His slight figure is dark against the window, his body silhouetted through the fabric of his shirt. My friend is beautiful in the darkness. Just as he is in the light. That he does not realize this beauty he possesses makes him even more desirable to me.


I shift slightly so that I can see him easily from my position, still feigning sleep. Duo leans his face against the glass, letting the unliving surface touch him unappreciatively. How I wish that it is me in its place! He turns back and draws a chair toward him, settling his body into its arms. Again I wish that those arms were mine, and not some unfeeling piece of wood.


I cannot see him clearly now, for he is hidden by the chair, but I can still hear the small sounds he makes. I can still imagine that I hear his breaths as they enter and leave his body. I can hear the soft sighs that escapes his lips, sounds he makes when he thinks no one can hear. I do not always see Duo like this, vulnerable and lost. It is not his nature to show weakness, as it is not mine. But of late, it is a sight that I have grown familiar with, even if it is not obvious to others' eyes but my own.


I blink when I suddenly hear a sharp indrawn breath from Duo. He is crying! I cannot help myself as my body reacts involuntarily, rearing up from the mattress. But I catch myself in time, knowing that it would only embarrass him were he to know that another had witnessed his sudden lapse of control. I forcibly restrain myself to lie once more on the bed, wrapped within the sheets that drape across my body. His sobs are few but the sound of them wrenches at my heart as though I am the one who is crying.


Duo has never cried in my presence, or in anyone else's, to my knowledge. He is the one who always has that ever-present smirk on his face, a cheer so irritating that sometimes I feel like smacking it off his mouth whenever I am in one of my darker moods. I have always wondered how he could smile at a time like this, a time where death lurks around every corner and where each day may be our last. But I have seen how his cheerfulness seems to spread to the others, bringing them out of their morose and morbid existence, if only for a little while. He has even managed to affect me without my realizing it. I have come to expect his smiles and his jokes after every mission. I have come to look forward to his playful taunts and jibes. I have come to embrace the happiness he brings, a brief respite from the reality of my existence.


That is Duo's gift to us. A gift I cherish dearly.


But now it seems the gift-giver is in need of his own gift. But what can I do? I do not know how to give him back what he has so generously given to me. I am not Duo. How can I help him when he does not even acknowledge that he needs help?


Suddenly he stands up, pushing the chair backwards with his actions. The sun has begun to shine through the dark sky, portending the coming of dawn. It would be another beautiful day, although a slightly wet one for the rain has not stopped, merely decreasing in intensity to a slight drizzle. I watch Duo walk toward the closet, hurriedly closing my eyes in case he should glance my way. He undresses quickly and pulls on a loose T-shirt and a pair of running shorts. He sits on the floor and begins to tug on his sneakers, lacing them fiercely. I can sense the anger in his stilted movements, the jerkiness of his arms and legs as they move his body through each motion.


Where does he think he is going in this rain? Jogging?


Before I know it Duo is gone, opening the door to our room silently and exiting just as quietly. I sit up and pull off the sheets that cling to my body. I stand and walk up to the window, standing where Duo had stood only moments ago.


Dawn is breaking and the heavens are crying at the sight.


I look down into the yard and notice a lone figure coming from around the corner. It is Duo. There is no mistaking that long braid that hangs down his back, swaying to and fro with his steps, as though beckoning at me to follow. He stops and stands, lifting his face to the rain. What is that idiot doing? Then suddenly, I see Duo break out into a run, pumping his legs and arms as though his life depended upon it. From our room I can see that he is already soaked to the skin, the fabric of his shirt clinging intimately to every curve of his body. His braid waves to me, pleads me to follow. I see that Duo is heading down the path towards the sparse woods that surround the complex, a track that is less frequented by our friends and myself whenever we get the urge to have a brisk run to relieve the tension.


I turn from the sight of his rapidly retreating back, changing into more suitable garb to give chase to that silly fool with the braid.





My lungs feel like bursting but I don't care. I need this. I need to feel the adrenaline surge through my muscles and my brain. I need to feel that wonderful giddiness it brings, lifting me from this utter helplessness that I feel so keenly.


I run on, heedless of the fact that I am dripping wet. My hair thumps into my back painfully, its heavy bulk made heavier by the water it has absorbed. But it's a pain I can live with and I double my efforts, pushing myself to my limits and beyond. I don't even bother to appreciate the scenery as I run, concentrating on making my feet fall in front of the other, in tandem. My hands clench and unclench as I run, even as my arms pump harder to retain the momentum. The muscles in my legs scream at the torture I am putting them through but I refuse to listen, forcing them to move faster and faster.


The screams of the body are a welcome respite to the screams in my mind.





He is fast but I am faster.


I do not often come through these woods but I know every twist and turn, every knoll and hollow. It is second nature to me. It is what I have been trained in. Everywhere that I have been, I have tried to memorize. One can never know when knowing where a little path may lead can be a question of life and death. Earlier, I had taken a shortcut and now I can see Duo before me, within shouting distance. I increase my speed, bridging the gap between us quickly.


Finally he notices me, his head snapping back at the sound of my footfalls on the wet ground. A cautious, dangerous look passes through his face as he realizes that he is being followed. But the look disappears almost immediately when he sees that it is only me. For a brief instant, his familiar, carefree smile shines through, lifting my spirits. He has only let up his speed a tiny bit, continuing to race down the shaded path.


"Duo!" I gasp, feeling my lungs complain at my indiscriminate use of precious oxygen. "Wait..."


Duo turns again and laughs. Really laughs.


"You wanna race, Heero? Come on! Betcha can't keep up!"


He turns and runs again, increasing his speed. How can he keep up at this? I feel that I am in far better shape than he is, yet already I feel short of breath. But Heero Yuy never passes off a challenge. I grit my teeth and run after him, matching his speed.


I groan when I see where he leads me. Duo is running up a grassy hill. The steep incline slows him down somewhat and I can hear his rasping breaths as he jogs upwards. I grin in satisfaction for I know that he is tired. His muscles must be full of lactic acid by now and I would be able to catch up with him in no time.


I do catch up with him just as he reaches the top of the hill. I reach out to grab his arm but he sees me from the corner of an eye and neatly averts my hand. He gives me a little chuckle and starts to run down the slope. I growl, tired of the chase and jump at him, flinging my body across the tiny space that separate us. My body crashes into his and we both tumble down the grassy slope, head over heels, clinging onto each other's bodies.


"What the hell did you do that for?" Duo shouts angrily at me when we stop rolling, landing in a heap of tangled limbs at the foot of the hill. "Heero Yuy, you idiot! You could have broken both our necks!"


It was a consequence that had not crossed my mind when I did what I had. But I am glad that it had not.


"I think it is broken," I said quietly, closing my eyes as I lay back on the wet grass. There was a silence then, a silence that made me smile inwardly as I imagine the look of horror that must be crossing Duo's face. A soft exclamation confirmed my speculation.


"Don't move! You just stay right there and I'll go get some help. Oh my God, this isn't happening! Why the hell is this happening? Does it hurt, Heero? Shit!Shit!Shit! Heero! Wake up! Oh Shit!"


I want to laugh at his babbling but I resist the urge. Instead I pretend to open my eyes with difficulty, calling out his name with a gasp.




"What? Heero! Speak! Speak!"


I can see him through my lashes, his hands reaching out to grab at my face yet not daring to for fear that he might hurt me. The worry is obvious in his dark blue eyes, eyes almost violet in the morning light.


"Duo!" I whisper again, letting an urgency creep into my words.


"What? What?" Duo asks agitatedly, bringing his face closer to mine so as to be able to hear what I might have to say.


I smile and wink at him. He looks at me in open-mouthed surprise and I grab his wrist and pull him down onto me before he regains his senses.


"Heero no baka!" Duo howls when he realizes that he has been tricked. I am surprised at the violence of his struggle and release him when I feel his bones grate against each other beneath my grasp. He scoots away as soon as he is free, anger evident behind those violet pools. For a brief instant I imagine that I can see fear flash across his features but I must be wrong. Why would Duo be afraid of me? I lay back, ignoring the curses Duo flings at me, knowing that he does not really mean them. After a little while, he quiets down and all is silent again. I turn toward him and see that he too, is gazing up into the early morning sky, stretched out on the wet grass.


"Why are you running, Duo?" I ask. I see a look of incomprehension behind his eyes but it disappears almost as quickly as it appears. He smiles at me in that maddeningly endearing way of his.


"I needed the exercise. I felt like running. It's not against the law, is it?" He gives me an answer I half-expect, grinning away as he looks straight into my eyes.


Sighing, I push myself up, supporting my upper body with my elbows. I glare at him, conveying anger that I do not feel.


"That's not what I meant, Duo. And you know it. Why are you running from me? From yourself ? From us?"


At my last question, my voice falters, dropping to a husky whisper. Apprehension dances across Duo's face but he does not answer. Instead he scowls at me and turns away, once more turning his face to greet the warmth of the early morning sun. The rain has stopped, I realize, noticing the wetness of our clothes and our bodies. I look at him, seeing the conflicting emotions flit across his features. I remember a night not long ago when I had first discovered the bruises on his body. There are none to mar his skin now but I know their shadows exist still within him.


"Do you wanna talk about it?" I finally ask, searching his face for affirmation.


Again Duo does not answer me. He closes his eyes and I can sense that he wants to but something is holding him back. I cannot force it from him, not before he is ready. I wait for a little while, waiting for him to answer. But he does not say a word.


"Come on," I said wearily, getting up to my feet. "We'd better be getting back."


I extend my hand to him and he grasps it, pulling himself up against my weight. For a while we stand unmoving, looking into each others' eyes, searching for answers to questions, both asked and unasked. Duo breaks his gaze first, turning to move back towards the complex. I follow, falling into step with him. He turns toward me then, a small, wry smile on his face.


"One day, Heero," Duo says softly, giving me hope in those three small words. I smile back and we walk back in silence.


It is then that I realize that Duo's hand is still in mine.





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