INTRODUCTION -- UPDATES -- ROMANCE ARCHIVE -- LEMON ARCHIVE -- 2002 CONTEST ARCHIVE

NOTES:
Disclaimer: Shinkidousenki Gundam Wing and their related stories and characters belong to Bandai, Sunrise, etc.
Warnings: 1x2, 2+1, 1+R/R+1, angst, drama, rated from R to NC-17 for safe.
Notes: BIG thanks to Jupiter and Kristi for beta-ing this one for me...

Burden of Love
by Kaz Misaki


Part 1

Heero Yuy glanced once again to his sleeping lover on the bed. The long chestnut braid had unraveled from its mane and the smooth curved shoulders visible from where the blanket had pulled away. Heero had always thought that Duo was incredibly beautiful when he was asleep, especially after a long mission, or after their passionate lovemaking. This time it was the latter.

The young man opened the closet silently; careful not to make any noise so he wouldn't wake Duo. He grabbed the suit from the hanger and put it on. He had received a mission this late afternoon to escort a certain Vice Minister to a dinner party held for politicians tonight. It was the first contact Heero had with her after so long -- more than three months -- after their last reunion, before that he lived with his wartime lover, Duo. Heero had to admit that he had a great life with him.

He tried to fix his bowtie hastily, realizing that he would be late if he didn't. Long, slender fingers touched his neck softly, and he turned around to see Duo's face close to his own. His eyes were still heavy, and he was obviously still sore, but he knew that Duo would never complain.

"Let me fix that for you." He murmured and started to re-tie the garment. His eyes stared earnestly into deep prussian and a smile crossed his lips.

"Hn. I..." His answer was stopped by a slight kiss.

"There," Duo tipped the end of the tie and grinned, "you look so handsome now..."

Heero preened one more time, checking Duo's work on his tie and shrugged in satisfaction. "I may be late tonight, don't wait up for me."

Duo saluted him with a mocking gesture. "Mission accepted." He moved closer once again and seized Heero's mouth with his. "Have a good time."

The American handed him his coat and walked him to the door of their little apartment. Heero smirked at him when Duo tried to follow him out the apartment door. "You'd better get inside if you don't want anyone to see your naked ass." He commented.

Duo shrugged, "Well nobody except you lived after seeing my naked ass."

He shook his head at Duo's brilliant comment. "Bye, Duo."

"Bye."

The door closed behind him and he smiled. Heero Yuy never smiled in front of anyone, even Duo. He would only smile if he thought no one was looking; though Duo often caught him smiling about something. The baka would tease him mercilessly about it, but he didn't mind. He liked living with him, it was almost living like a normal person, instead of a veteran or ex-Gundam pilot, and yet somehow he wanted more, something he never had the chance to have before in his life.

Twenty-year-old Heero Yuy was a former Gundam pilot and the best agent of the Preventers. He had a great job and a great lover, but somehow he never realized it. Now he was going to find out just what life could possibly be like without the presence of love. Something he would regret all his life. Something that made him wish he could turn back time.


The opening ceremony of the new administration building was a success; the guests were lead to the vast hall where the dinner would take place. The young Vice Foreign Minister, Relena Darlian, seemed to be enjoying the night. She was one of the founders of the new ministry department, which made her one of the most important people on Earth, as well as colonies. By tomorrow morning, she would be the headline for every newspaper that existed.

The one and only Heero Yuy stood next to her, acting as her bodyguard. Relena had asked him to escort her that night through the Preventers leader herself. Lady Une didn't have any choice but to let her best agent to do the job, although she knew that he had a big case coming up. So Heero accepted it, it was a mission. After all, Relena had always been his friend.

"Heero, will you dance with me?" She asked shyly when she heard the waltz playing. Heero nodded mutely.

He led her to the ballroom and caught her slender fingers in his own. Relena's hand was on his shoulder and his own hand circled her waist. It always felt like déjà vu when he held her in his arms like this.

Once upon a time, Heero had dreamed to be with Relena. Maybe it had been the one thing that kept him from hunting the girl down and killing her on the spot. Maybe it was the reason why he had kissed the girl so long ago. He couldn't himself understand why. A few years had passed and they hadn't truly seen each other again. She was busy with her political life and he with the Preventers.

Long before then he had decided to go back to Duo, to the one he had spent so many nights with during the Eve War. They'd said goodbye after the war, but destiny always seemed to bring them together. It was that day Duo came to him with the message from Quatre to destroy their Gundams, and after the Christmas Eve's incident they had lived together.

He knew that their relationship wouldn't last forever. Not like this. They had become a great team in their division, great roommates in a small apartment they called home, and great partners in the bed they shared. Duo had said that he loved him, and with all his being the Japanese boy knew that he wasn't lying. It was frightening when Duo had first told him, but he learned to accepted it, and that Duo was with him not just because the lust and the loneliness, but because for the simple reason he called love. But that was all for Duo... what about himself?

He wasn't sure that he loved Duo the way Duo loved him, and his lover never forced him to say it. When he looked up at him when they made love, Duo would whisper the words 'I love you' and then close his eyes to feel Heero's kiss, without expecting an answer. It seemed like Duo never wanted an answer anyway. Never wanted, or never needed.

A soft touch on his arm brought him back from his thoughts. Relena stared at him thoughtfully. "Are you okay?" She asked, tilting her head to see his face better.

Heero was startled and nodded weakly, "Aa..."

Relena smiled at him and leaned her head against his chest, inhaling his scent deeply. Heero was stunned by her actions but didn't respond. "Heero..." Her voice was deep and low. "Do you want to stay with me?"

The boy staggered and jumped back almost immediately. The girl stared at him earnestly, and her deep blue eyes seem endless. She bit her bottom lip and Heero quivered. "What did you say?" His voice was rasp and diffident.

She looked down to the floor, after a long silence she looked up and gave a rueful smile. "Do you want to be with me, Heero?"

His mouth opened and closed, but no words came out. He turned away to avoid that intense cornflower gaze. "Relena, I..."

One slender finger against his lips cut off his next words and he saw her smiling at him. "Don't answer now. Think about it though..."

He didn't answer, but didn't say no, either.

He drove the girl to her palace in silence. She sat in silence, and he felt uncomfortable with the entire situation. Why did Relena ask him to stay with her? Why now?

She waved at him as he drove away. He had refused her invitation to come inside.


He entered the apartment room to find Duo's sleeping figure on the couch. It seemed that he had been waiting for him and fell asleep watching TV. He had braided his hair and put some clothes, even though it was only a t-shirt and boxers. Even in the slight light of the room he could see how beautiful Duo was. Long eyelashes fluttered and the violet orbs opened to see him crouching beside him.

"Hey, you're home." He murmured sleepily. "How was the party?"

"Just the usual." Heero whispered. "I told you not to wait for me."

Duo chuckled lightly. "Did you dance?"

The Japanese boy nodded. "For awhile."

"I wish I could see you dance," Duo smiled. Heero collected the braided boy and took him to his bedroom. He smiled brilliantly against Heero's neck. "You gonna dance with me someday?"

Heero threw him onto the bed and joined him, flinging his arm over Duo's body and feeling the other shift closer.

"You're trembling." Duo commented when he felt Heero's body shudder.

"And you're warm..." Heero mumbled sleepily and buried his face to the silken mass of Duo's hair. Duo clasped him closer and smiled happily, "Oyasumi, Hee-chan."

He waited for a long minute until Duo's breath evened before peering at his sleeping lover. Duo always had that smile when he was asleep; lips parted slightly, chestnut hair confined to a husky braid. Heero gathered him in his arms and held him tight. Duo didn't even stir, just unconsciously he held him back, clutching Heero's shirt in a strong grasp, and it almost brought Heero to tears.

Duo, you love me, right? That's enough for us, right? Even if I don't feel the same...


"What do you want for breakfast?" Duo asked him from the kitchen, it was his turn to cook today and Heero waited impatiently for his meal. Duo's cooking was no better than his, but there was something in the way he earnestly cooked it that made all Duo's meals something special. The Japanese boy smiled faintly to himself.

"Pancakes, if you don't mind."

He could hear Duo's chuckle from the kitchen and his animated 'ninmu ryoukai'. Heero turned the TV on and saw the news about last night party. Duo dashed from the kitchen and was suddenly at his side, watching the TV amazedly, pointing at the scene being shown. "Aw, Heero! That's you! Wow, I finally see you dance." There wasn't any hint of mocking in his tone and Heero felt his mouth twitch, "you and Relena are a cute couple didn't you? I'm sure that everybody thinks the same..."

Heero stole a glance at his braided lover's face and remembered what Relena had asked him the night before, that she wanted him to stay with him. But why? He just couldn't see the reason.

Duo shifted closer to him, hands snaking behind his neck and head rested in his shoulder. "Will you dance with me someday?" He was repeating the question he asked last night.

"Aa..." He retorted, he held Duo tightly and felt the other melt into his arms. He tilted his head to kiss the top of Duo's. "I'm free today. What do you want to do?"

"Mmm... We could always think of something..." Duo gasped as Heero bit his neck lightly.

"Want to go somewhere?"

Duo made a wounded face, but Heero knew he wasn't mad. The braided boy sat up and chimed, "Let's go to the beach!"

"Okay, once you finish cooking breakfast."

Duo gave him a sloppy kiss in the nose and rushed back to the kitchen, "Ryoukai."


The wind blew just perfectly as they finally arrived at the beach. Clouds hung in the sky, white and puffy, while the seawater licked the shore lightly at his ankle. The white, sandy beach looked like a desert of diamonds. Duo threw his hands into the air and screamed to the open sea, laughing and running to race with the waves.

"Hey Heero! Aren't you going to join me??!" He shouted from water, waving at him, smile plastered in his lips.

The shorthaired boy waved back and shook his head. He saw Duo pout, then run back to his side. "Ugh! No fun! You don't want to play with me!!" He put his hands on his waist and stuck out his tongue, then blew an exasperated sigh, giving up at trying to get any reaction from Heero. He turned back to the sea and grasped at the end of his braid, tugged the band so it came loose, and blew in the sea breeze.

Heero's eyes widened in surprised when Duo suddenly let his hair loose, cascading over his shoulders and back like a waterfall. Heero's hand moved without his control and he found himself wrapping the other boy in his arms. Duo leaned back and smiled, "Is this the only way I could make you play with me?" He chuckled as he felt Heero's arms tighten around his waist.

"It's getting dark soon." Heero said after a long minute in silence.

"I like it here..." Duo said, "especially because I'm with you..."

"Duo..."

"Mm...?" He tilted his head back to be able to see him clearly. Heero looked straight into his eyes, and Duo saw something there, something that said to him that he wasn't okay, "What is it?"

The Japanese boy shook his head and smiled. His smile was kept for special occasions and this is one of those moments. Duo shivered, not because of the wind -- Heero's body was enough to keep him warm -- there was something Heero hid behind that smile.

"Wanna go home already?" Duo turned to face him, not losing contact. Twining his hands behind Heero's neck he clasped him closer, close enough to kiss but he stopped instead to see his face clearer.

Heero shivered at seeing those violet depths, and buried his head in the crook of Duo's neck, arms tightening. He could not lie to those eyes. He lost every part of himself inside the violet pools. He didn't know why, but Relena's question still echoed inside his head, he couldn't make it go away. He was afraid of himself, he was so afraid that he was wrong. Wrong about his feelings for Duo, wrong about his decision about Relena's offer. Could he be happy with her? Could he be happy if he rejected it? Could it be his chance for happiness?

"Hey." Duo's voice brought him back from his thoughts, "It's getting cold, wanna go home, and err... warm up?" He winked mischievously.

He reached out that stretched fingers and entwined them with his, they walk together along the shore until the sun set at the west.


Another mission came suddenly, Lady Une called him directly from the office late that afternoon. Another job to be the bodyguard for the young Vice Minister Darlian. As much as he hated to admit it, he did wanted to see her again, if just to make certain his feelings for the girl. It made him think about the offer again and again. He was afraid he would make a mistake by accepting it, but even more afraid that the mistake would be turning it down. He was afraid that he would hurt Duo, his only friend all this time. What if...

"I thought you said you still have another hour to go?" Duo crept off of the bed, covering his lower body with the blanket. He reached for the necktie at Heero's collar, adjusting it perfectly. Heero frowned, feeling a sense of déjà vu.

"I don't want to be late." He answered shortly.

The American made a face, "Well, can I go with you then? You might need an extra hand..." He asked suggestively. Heero shook his head for an answer. Duo tsked.

"It's just another dinner party, Lady Une asked me to escort Relena there." He stated, "You need some sleep, you have a mission tomorrow, right? I don't think you'll survive if you're too...uhm -- sore." He smirked, glancing to the messy bed.

Duo flopped back onto the bed. "It's your fault, and it's your bed." He said half-heartedly. The other boy shrugged, checking his gun for bullets and putting it back in its holster. Duo eyed him lovingly and then sighed. Heero turned his head, noticing that the other boy needed his attention right now.

"Nanda?" He took his jacket and put it on.

"Nothin'." Duo lay in his back, eyes to the ceiling. "It's just that we haven't seen each other around much lately. Every time I have a day off you're on a mission, and vice versa. Why didn't they put us on one mission anyway... I miss you dammit..."

"We just made love." Heero frowned.

"Hentai!" Duo rolled to the side of the bed, "I mean I really miss you, I want you here with me, every single day..."

Heero sat beside him on the bed and tilting his head, he saw that glint of sorrow in Duo's eyes. He knew the thing he loved most about Duo were his eyes. He could read all Duo's emotions through those beautiful indigo eyes, the shade that he found so odd. They brightened when he was in a cheery mood, and blazed with fire when he was mad, darkened when he was sad, and shone with passion when they made love. He remembered every single moment of it very well.

"I'm not going to spoil you, baka." He leaned for a kiss, and stood up. "Now you get some sleep."

The other nodded, smiling like an angel. "Come home to me...?"

Heero nodded. It wasn't like he had another place to come home to, anyway.


The party wasn't exactly the kind of party he thought he would be attending with Relena. To his astonishment, it was a birthday party for one of their former classmates back in St. Gabriel, one of the girls from an aristocratic family he didn't even remember. Her father was an important man in the government. She looked stunning that night in a bright blue gown matched her eyes, her hair let down to make the shining mass looked even more beautiful. She would be the envy of any girl. The guests applauded when she entered the main hall, treating her as if she was the birthday girl. Heero Yuy walked beside her, awkward. He never liked being in the crowd, not even tonight. But her arm that slipped in his was just too assuring him to stay.

"Ah, Heero-kun, right?" One of their former classmates greeted him, a boy with short brown hair. Heero didn't remember his name, except that he was one of St. Gabriel's students. He smiled politely at the young vice minister and back to Heero. "So, are you and Relena-sama are an item now?"

Heero glared slightly, more because he was surprised by the question than for any other reason. Relena chuckled and shook her head, "No, no, Daniel, he's just my date for the night." She said honestly. Heero smiled faintly at her in appreciation.

"Oh, that's too bad. You look so perfect together..." He tsked, but his eyes showed delight. "May I dance with her, then?" Daniel offered her his hand. She was surprised, and she peered at her escort, hoping that he would say no. Heero just nodded and silently left the couple.

"He hasn't change much after all these years..." The boy commented. Relena didn't like the way he talked about Heero, but ignored it, following lead

He watched the couple dance in the middle of the ballroom. Relena didn't look very happy. In fact, she looked like she wasn't enjoying the dance at all, while the other man spoke to her nonstop. The music shifted and he saw that she tried to refuse the man for the next dance, but he wouldn't take no for an answer. Heero decided that it was time to come to the rescue.

"May I have this dance?"

The couple was startled when they saw the Japanese man stand there, slightly annoyed. Daniel saw something in Heero's eyes that he didn't like. It was normal to be afraid of even his slightest glare, it was enough to tell you to go away. He smiled awkwardly and left them alone. As soon as he reached her hand and started dancing, he noticed that the other couples left the ballroom for just the two of them. Relena's face flushed, she didn't even dare to look him in the face.

The crowd clapped as they finished dancing, Relena's face couldn't get any redder, yet Heero's flat expression was still in its place. He didn't know why, but for the first time, he felt comfortable being among the mass of people. Men congratulated him for something he didn't understand, while the girls surrounded the blushing Relena

"Relena-sama, you're so beautiful tonight. I remember when you and Heero-kun danced together at our school party." He heard one of the girls say to her.

When Relena noticed Heero watching her from across the room, she walked towards him and smiled happily. "I feel so happy tonight. What about you?"

"Aa..." He nodded, but he was being honest this time. "It's time for us to go now..."

She looked a little disappointed but smiled brightly anyway. "Okay, let's say goodbye to the others, then..." She slipped her arm into Heero's and led him to meet some of her old friends before meeting the host to excuse themselves and go home.

Heero drove her back to her mansion that night, she never stopped talking about the party. It was obvious that she was very happy. She'd needed a break from all her duties and the party had given her one. Heero understand that Relena was a very busy person right now. She was needed to achieve the peace back, now was needed to maintain it, and she had proven that she was capable of the job. He had to admit that he admired her for her role and persistency.

The girl stepped out of the limo and walked to her door accompanied by her handsome bodyguard. Heero opened the door for her and said goodnight, but when he started to turn away, Relena's slender arm caught his. He turned around and saw her smiled solemnly.

"Have you thought about it?"

He had assumed that the question would come sooner or later, but he still shocked when he finally heard it. He saw those blue eyes soften as if she could read his confused mind. He shook his head.

"I don't know..." He was telling the truth. It was so easy for him to just say no, that he didn't want to be with her, that he had someone who really loved him. But after the party he started to think how it would feel to stay with her. Could he be happy? Was he going to find love at last?

"Why, Heero?" Her eyes narrowed, seeking an answer in deep Prussian blue eyes.

"It's not easy. There's Duo."

Relena gasps as she heard the name. She stepped backward and remembered. Heero wasn't alone, he had Duo. She'd known about that, of course, but it had been so hard to believe, she never accepted it. She nodded knowingly. "Take your time then..."

Heero didn't respond. He left the girl and drove home.


The mission was a mind numbing one. Surveillance was just not Duo's style, he preferred action, undercover work, and busting bad guys. Now that peace was being maintained he struggled to stick to the job. Maybe he should think about retiring soon, he snickered. He could always start the salvage business, he remembered Hilde offered him to work together, she'd been thinking about opening a branch on Earth and wanted Duo to handle it. He never thought about it seriously, since he had Heero. He worked with Heero in the Preventers. It was the only thing that he could survive.

Thinking of Heero, he had waiting for the Japanese youth for the past hour to take him to dinner. Heero had surprised him that morning by asking him to go out for dinner after his mission. Heero himself had a mission outside of town and promised he'd be back before five to pick him up at headquarters. It'd been a long while since their last date, and he had been the one asking Heero to go out.

Duo was completely happy right now, waiting for his lover to pick him up. He peered at his watch. It's almost six and he didn't see any sign of the Japanese boy. There couldn't have been any sort of incident, he hoped. It only happened in the movies, right?

But he never late. Never. Heero 'The Perfect Soldier' Yuy was never late...Could he...?

He shook his braided head and walked to the parking lot, hoping to find his lover waiting for him there. He looked up and found the sky darkening. "Where are you, Yuy...?" He whined and paced towards the security post.

"Hey, Yuy had shown up yet?" He asked the security guard, face wary.

The man with the uniform shook his head. "Nope, Mr. Yuy had a mission this morning."

"I know... but he was supposed to be back before five..." He sighed and leaned against the wall.

The guard shrugged. "Haven't seen him anywhere, Mr. Maxwell."

"Thanks..." Duo walked to his car. He never had this kind of wariness over Heero before. He was strong, stronger than Duo was, but the truth was that Heero had never been late in his life, if he said he would come at five he would be.

He didn't understand why, maybe because they'd been seeing each other less and less, like he'd told Heero that night, he was becoming worried about every thing that happened. He panicked when he didn't see Heero by his side in the morning, and felt lost when he had to have dinner alone at the apartment. And every time that happened he would ask Heero to make love to him all night, as if it was the only thing that could assure him that he still had the other boy in his life, that Heero wasn't going anywhere. Duo thought about their relationship many times and considered that maybe it was time to make a real commitment.

He had never told anyone that he had bought a ring, a simple one, with a sentence engraved inside of it. He blushed when he remembered making the request to the jeweler.

Duo never had the guts to ask the other about it. He was afraid if he pushed things he might loose him, and that would be the end of his world. If Heero left him, he would die.

His cellphone beeped and all thoughts left him. A message appeared on the screen and he was forced to catch his breath for a second.

Be home before midnight, dinner canceled. Sorry.

The message was short, typical Heero. But he knew that he meant it when he said sorry. He was okay, of course... what had he been thinking? Of course Heero wasn't going to leave him. Duo could still feel his heart pounding and his mind clouding. He blew an exasperated sigh before driving home. It's going to be a long night alone again.


Heero was exhausted when he got home. He thought about a shower and sleep the minute he entered the small apartment. He never thought that the mission was going to be a long one, if he had, he would never have promised Duo dinner. He didn't know why he asked, but he felt that Duo was right, maybe they need to spend some time together, and that was what he'd tried to do. To fix his relationship with Duo, maybe it would help him to forget about Relena, too.

He was so surprised when a certain braided boy glomped at him from the behind, Heero almost spun him to the floor when he heard that mischievous chortle.

"Maxwell! What are you doing?!" Heero yanked the end of the braid and glared at the braided figure. But he was so surprised when Duo's arms are already behind his neck, and his mouth seizing his in a deep desperate kiss, he soon melted into the rhythm and let himself dragged to the sofa while they kissed each other hungrily.

"What's the matter?" He managed to ask between harsh breaths, eyes never leaving Duo's. The other just held him tight and smiled in his chest. "Duo?"

"You scared me today..." Duo looked up, the violet pools dragging him inside the depth. "You said you'd come at five, but..."

Heero gasped in surprise when he realized what he's been talking about. Duo's eyes told him anything he needed to know, so he holds him back with the same strength. "I'm sorry I didn't call you sooner..." He stopped when he felt that Duo had started unbuttoning his shirt. Duo grinned at him wickedly and winked, "Now that you're home... why don't we have some fun?" His voice was seductive. The Japanese boy couldn't say anything but nod and carry the slender boy to his room, exhaustion forgotten.


"Heero-kun, would you like to come inside? Maybe we could have some tea together..." The young vice minister asked him politely.

They just returned from a press conference. She had asked him to escort her again as her bodyguard. He was afraid that the girl would ask him about the question again. If only he could say no, he wouldn't be worried like this, but something inside of him wanted to say yes, because he wanted to know how it would feel to live with her instead. He'd had feelings for her long ago, but he didn't know what stopped him from at least telling her that he felt something, even when he wasn't sure what he'd been feeling. He'd kissed her long ago, but it was just as a friend, not one of the heated kisses he shared with...

"Heero?"

"Aa. That would be nice." He stepped inside and followed her to the living room, Relena's mansion was large and comfortable. The Japanese man sat down the nearest sofa while the girl asked the servant to bring them the tea.

She glanced at him uncertainly and sipped her tea. "I hope you didn't mind, I keep asking you as my bodyguard all the time.." She started.

"It's okay." He answered flatly, eyes to his teacup.

Relena sighed and put down her cup. "You know why I keep asking you to be my bodyguard, don't you?" She fixed her eyes on his face, observing his every expression. "I want to be close to you."

He took a sip of his drink, but his throat couldn't swallow the liquid right. "Relena..."

"Have you thought about my offer? Have you decided yet?" She cut him off before he could say any more. Heero's expression became troubled. "Heero?"

"I..." The young man stood up, "I can't leave him..."

"Heero! He would be okay without you, we all know that! He's not a little child, he was a Gundam pilot, just like you!" She cried out, "You must think about yourself! Do you want to or not? Do you want to be with me, Heero?"

Heero swallowed hard. He couldn't answer that, he would betray Duo if he did, because the answer would be a yes, he bit his lip hard and froze, not moving a single muscles.

"Why, Heero?" She started to sob, "Why you keep running back to him? You could just come to me... You know that you don't love him..."

"He loves me." It was a simple answer. Heero knew it was true as he spoke the words. Duo loved him, that was enough... wasn't it?

The girl looked up at him, eyes swimming with tears as she raised her chin and whispered. "I love you, too..."

The room was silent, Heero could heard his own heart pounding. Did she just say that she loved him? It couldn't be true. Why would a girl like her love a man like him...? His breathing was harsh as he croaked. "You never said..."

Relena shook her head. Tears started to creep down her cheek. "Of course not, but can't you see it? Can't you feel it?"

He couldn't think a single word to say, the girl stared at him with those eyes. Deep blue eyes that could give him the life he dreamed of, a new life together. How could a man be so blind? Not to notice the way those eyes looked at him all the time, so full with love and care.

"I know you don't understand about your own feelings, Heero. Duo had to teach you friendship, now let me teach you how to love... Will you let me?"

Heero shook his head weakly, "Nobody could teach me love, Relena. Duo tried but I still don't understand. He said... He said that we had to learn it by ourselves, that way we could really feel how love could bring happiness or sorrow..."

The girl smiled and nodded, "He is a wise man..." She lifted one hand to caress his cheek, providing him with warmth he suddenly needed. "We could learn it together."

Heero was hesitant, but he took her slender hand and brought it to his lips. She was startled, but just for a second. Soon she leaned forward claim him with a deep kiss. A kiss that she could only imagined in her dreams, a different kiss than they shared long ago. This time it was real, so soft, so slow. She closed her eyes and let him take control. Time and space ceased to be.

He released her and stepped to the door. "I'll think about it. I have to go home now. Good night, Relena..." He smiled faintly before reaching the doorknob and went home.

He lay in his bed alone that night.


"You look awful." Duo commented, pouring his coffee. "Couldn't sleep last night?" Duo knew him better than anyone.

The Japanese boy leaned his head back to the couch, not answering. The truth was that he hadn't slept at all. Every time he closed his eyes his thoughts returned to Relena, about how life might be if he was with her. He spent the night typing a report he didn't have to finish for two weeks.

Duo frowned, noticed that something was definitely wrong with his lover. He leaned forward and draped his arms to encircle Heero and felt the other stiffen in his arms. "Heero? What is it?" He tilted his head to see the Japanese boy's face.

"Nothing. Daijoubou, Duo." Heero nearly choked on his words. Duo's arms around his chest had startled him. He couldn't do anything except free himself from the other's hug gently hoping Duo wouldn't think he was being rejected. He stood up and made his way to the door, grabbing his jacket from the closet.

Duo looked up and saw the grimness in his lover's eyes. Was that sadness in those deep blue eyes?

"Heero, we needed to talk..." He started.

Heero had already taken his car key from the drawer. "Later. I have to go."

"But..." He followed Heero to the door, never receiving an answer. Duo gave up and sighed, giving him a faint smile. "Okay," he leaned to kiss Heero's cheek, "I'll see you tonight then."

Duo had that brilliant smile on his face again, the one that told him that he loved him, that he would wait for him to come home, that made Heero's heart ache in guilt. It hurt to see how much Duo trusted him. He had ignored the braided boy all morning, and the truth was that he didn't know how to act in front of him anymore. He could never flat-out lie to him. He had to end all of this.


"I've decided what I want." Heero's gaze was upon the pretty face of Relena. The blonde girl looked wary, her eyes uncertain. "I want to stay with you, Relena."

The girl gasped in shock at first, staring at him blankly, not quite believing what she'd heard. "Y-You do?" She stammered. The boy nodded and she hugged him. "Oh Heero, thank you... You don't know how much it means to me..." Her tears of happiness fell onto his shirt, dampening it. Heero froze for a moment before returning the embrace.

"But I have to tell Duo first..." Heero said suddenly. She pulled back to look him in the eyes, "Can't it wait?

"No." He turned his face away, "I can't lie to him, Relena. He knows... He knows that something's wrong, he can see it." Heero turned to face her, and she could see the pain and fear in his eyes. "You don't know him, Relena. He knows me too well, and I don't want to hurt him any longer. It would hurt him most if I stayed and kept ignoring him."

Relena swallowed hard and sat down. "O-Okay, sure, whatever you say..." She looked up and forced a smile, "so when will you tell him?"

"Soon. The sooner the better. I can't lie to him, he was the best friend I've ever had."

The girl nodded in consent. She didn't mind. If Heero and Duo had separated, she and Heero could be together and she simply couldn't wait. She wouldn't be the third person in their relationship any longer. Heero had chosen to be with her, and she would prove to him that it was the best decision he ever made.

He spent the rest of the night on the road, breathing the fresh air in the park, then going for beer in the nearest bar he could found. He didn't want to go home and find Duo waiting for him. Duo knew that something was wrong. If he went home he'd have to answer for it. He decided to tell the braided boy about everything tomorrow, and that the decision was final.

It was after midnight before he went home. He opened the door and sighed in relief, seeing that the room was dark and quiet. Duo wasn't waiting up for him. He locked the door and went to his room, where he stopped dead in his tracks.

Duo was curling on his bed, asleep, braid snaking to the floor. He'd waited for him to come back again tonight. He wore his usual white t-shirt and dark jeans, but he hadn't bothered to cover himself with the blanket. Heero studied Duo's breathing in silence. He had just turned, intending to sleep elsewhere, when he heard Duo stir and call his name.

"Heero?" The braided boy sat up and rubbed his eyes.

"Duo, go back to sleep." He whispered, still not moving nor looking at him.

"Where are you going?" He asked in confusion.

"I'll sleep in your bed tonight, or maybe the couch."

"Why don't you sleep with me?" His voice was assessing, but with a hint of disappointment.

The other boy whirled around again, "It's not that... I'm just tired and need to be alone." Heero saw a glint of disbelief in those violet eyes, covered by long chestnut bangs.

"I understand that, but it wouldn't hurt if we sleep together. You're not even touching me anymore... I-I want to know... What happened?"

He couldn't breathe. It was about time for Heero to give him an answer, but he stood in silence. He walked to the bed slowly and pulled the blanket to cover Duo's body. "We'll talk about it tomorrow, after the mission. You do remember that we have a mission together tomorrow, right?"

"Dinner?" He blinked expectantly. The Japanese boy nodded awkwardly, and the braided boy smiled. "Okay. You promised."

Heero pressed his lips together, not uttering a word. He pushed Duo to the bed and covered him with the blanket. "Now go to sleep. I'll be in your room."

Duo gave him a rueful smile and closed his eyes. "Oyasumi, Hee-chan..."

"Oyasumi." He replied and left the room without looking back.

Duo cracked his eyes open as Heero left the room. He'd seen Heero's shoulders stiffen when he'd asked if there was something wrong. He noticed how Heero's eyes never looked back at him when they talked. It was scaring him. Duo buried his face back to the pillow and clutched it hard.

Why don't you tell me what 's wrong? What's happening between us? Am I losing you...?

Heero flopped down onto Duo's bed. The bed wasn't neat, and neither was the room. But it was simply Duo. Everything in the room resembled his cheerful nature and his vibrant way of life. Collections of CDs were lined up on the shelves, while the CD player stood proud on the table beside the computer. Spare hair bands were scattered all over the table, while an assortment of clothes covered the floor.

He shrugged his jacket off -- he had forgot to remove it early on -- he dropped it to the floor and leaned his head to the pillow. The pillow smelled like sandalwood, Duo's shampoo. He remembered how it felt to tug the end of his braid and spread the long brown tresses all over his body, and to run his fingers through the silken mass as they made love. He slammed his fist into the pillow and stood up. It was better to sleep on the couch.


The two former pilots woke up early the next morning, and went straight to the Preventers headquarters to receive their mission. The mission had been being worked on for weeks, they were busting a group that was suspected to be the remnant of OZ, and were trying to rebuild the whole organization and take over the government. Their informant had given them the signal that the group would be holding a meeting today.

Heero and Duo were placed in the same team for the assignment. He knew how serious Duo could be during a mission. It was more important than anything to him to keep the peace for the people on Earth and the colonies, and Duo's mission face today was as serious as always. Wide indigo eyes scanned the map with complete precision, and his hands locked the gun with amazing talent. They were all trained to kill back in war, to destroy fortresses with their killing machines.

This kind of job couldn't even compare with their old work.

They drove in units to the location, made the bust and cleaned the area. The mission had gone well until the leader had escaped. Luckily, Heero and Duo were prepared. The two got to their car and tailed him, with Wufei giving them direction through the communication channel. Heero was at the wheel while Duo navigated him with the on-screen map.

"Yuy, Maxwell, he turned at Fifth and Roschell. Can you see him?" Wufei's voice crackled through the intercom. The braided boy spotted the black Mercedes ahead and pointed it to his partner.

"Ryoukai." Heero spun the wheel, one foot slamming into the gas.

"Turn right after this one." Duo informed him, pointing at the screen where a small dot flashing on the radar system. Heero nodded and followed his instruction.

"Chang, he's headed your way." Duo told Wufei through the channel, "You spotted him yet?"

"Not yet." Come the short reply.

"Shit." Duo cursed and noticed that Heero had gained speed, "To the left."

In a few minutes Duo saw the black Mercedes again. He reached for his gun and slid half his body out of the window, then started shooting. One shot hit the trunk, while the other made the back glass window cracked. "Dammit." Duo was back in his seat. "Wufei, can you see him yet?!"

The answered was unclear, the braided boy had to shout to the intercom to ask. "He's coming your way, Wufei. He's all yours!"

"Ryoukai." Wufei answered from across the channel. Duo knew that they would certainly have the man, but Heero was still hitting the gas. Duo peered at his Japanese partner and frowned, "Heero, everything's cool, man. Wufei got the guy." He chirped.

"We could still get him..." His eyes shone with something Duo didn't understand as he felt them getting faster in the freeway. He had unbuckled his seatbelt when he shot the Mercedes before them, he tried to buckle it again, but with the speed the vehicle made it nearly impossible.

"Heero, stop it! Red light! Heero!"

Heero's eyes widened as he saw pedestrians begin crossing the street. It was impossible for him to hit the brake, he turned the wheel to the right and with a dreadful sound the car crashed into a concrete post.

"Yuy, Maxwell, we got the man. Mission accomplished."

"Yuy?"

"Maxwell?"


It was dark and cold, and he couldn't hear anything. There was a soft tugging on his tanktop and he turned to see who was behind him. He had to look down to the little girl. She smiled sincerely over him under her hat, her wide eyes shone brightly.

"Onii-chan, are you lost?" She asked.

"I..." He stopped and stared at her, confused. Didn't this thing happen years ago?

"Are you lost?"

I was lost since I was born.

"No."

It wasn't his voice answering the question. He turned around and saw the owner of the voice smiling not far away. He remembered the long chestnut braid, those lovely violet eyes, and the black priest garb.

"Duo."

"You're not lost," he smiled, and warmth went through to his heart, "because you're with me..."

"Heero?"

It was Relena's face he saw when he finally woke up. His head felt so heavy, and for a moment he didn't know where he was. Everything surrounding him was white, like the white of gravestones. His mind filled with fog as he tried to adjust his sight to the light peeking through the window.

"Where am I?" He asked hoarsely.

"Ssh... Go back to sleep," she whispered. "You're okay now. You're at the hospital."

The doctor rushed to his side and hurriedly checked his blood pressure and heartbeat. "Every thing seems okay with you, Mr. Yuy." The doctor informed him, "It's amazing you survived the crash."

"Crash?" His mind rolled. Memories flash through his mind.

The Mission. The crash. Duo.

"Duo!" He cried. Relena's face was indescribable. "How is he, doctor? Is he okay?"

The doctor looked uncertain but nodded. "My colleague is handling Mr. Maxwell right now, Mr. Yuy. I saw his condition when he was brought here. I think he had a mild concussion, but he'll be okay."

Color crept back to his face and the boy closed his eyes in relief, "Thank god... thank you..."

The doctor left him and Relena alone after that, assuring him that he'd be able to go home soon. Relena was pleased to hear that. She looked a bit pale herself, it wasn't a lie that she was concerned about what had happened to Heero. She sat on the edge of his bed and felt the boy peer at her hesitantly. Relena took his fingers and entwined them with hers.

"I was so afraid when I heard what happened..." She admitted, looking down at him. She felt Heero hold her hand in silence. She looked up and with glassy eyes she leaned to hug him. "I'm so glad you're okay."

"Hn." He nodded weakly. "I really need to know where Duo is. The accident was my fault, I want to make sure that he's okay."

She was startled, but pretended that it didn't bother her. "Of course, we'll find out soon. I'm sure they'd told us if they find anything..."


Duo ran down the alley, braid swinging behind him. He clutched his priest clothing in the chest part trying hard to breathe, he had run all the way to the church. He couldn't be late, right? He couldn't be...

His eyes widened as he saw the dead bodies of his beloved people all over the church's floor, blood everywhere. A man with a long black robe standing in the middle of the pool of blood. The black hood covered his face so he couldn't see him. But Duo knew who he was. Shinigami. The long scythe stood before him and the figure getting bigger in his eyes.

"Nooo!!! Leave me alone!!!" He ran as fast as he could to the street, he didn't want to look back because he knows that he was there. He's chasing after him.

Run, Duo run! Run and hide and you will be okay!!

"Heero! Heero! Noooo! Help me! Help me!"

"Mr. Maxwell, it's okay, you're okay now..." He heard voices around him but he could only see darkness.

Darkness, where Shinigami hides.

"Mr. Maxwell?" The female voice sounds wary for a second, "Mr. Maxwell, are you okay?"

Duo blinked his eyes and froze, his breathing become unsteady. "Mr. Maxwell?"

"I-I can't see anything..." He stammered, "Nurse, I can't see anything..."


"Heero, are you okay?" A blonde Arabian stood up from the place he sat and walking hastily over the Japanese youth. The tall man beside him also stood up to greet Heero.

"Quatre, Trowa, I'm glad that you're all here..." He said it sincerely.

Quatre nodded and smiled faintly, Trowa shook his hand and stared at him warily. "You're not completely healed yet." He observed. "Are you sure it's okay for you to come out like this?"

"Aa..." He nodded, "I have to check on Duo..."

The blonde boy trade glances with his tall lover. "Heero, I think you should go talk to the doctor." Trowa helped Quatre to speak what's on his mind.

Heero could read that something was definitely wrong. Quatre could never hide that kind of things from his eyes, there was something wrong, and he was certain that it was something to do with Duo. When he just thought about that, the doctor came out the trauma room and he hastily chased after him for an explanation.

"Mr. Yuy, thank God you're here..." He said with a relief tone when he saw Heero's presence. "I've talked to Mr. Winner and he told me that you're Mr. Maxwell's closest friend."

Heero nodded awkwardly. "What is it, doctor? Is there something wrong with Duo?"

"We've checked his condition and we were certain that he was in a good condition, his head trauma would be better soon and there's no broken bones like what we had afraid of..." The doctor sighed, "however..."

Heero started to get worried, "Doctor?"

"We found some neural damaged in his brain that caused by the crash between his head and the side of the road. Did you know that he was thrown out of the car?" The doctor asked.

The young man shook his head, and he continued, "The nerve that have been broken connected to his eyes..."

The Japanese boy froze, "Are you saying that he's... Masaka..."

"We're afraid that his eyes won't be able to see again. The chances are almost thirty percent for an operation but there's always hope."

"Heero..." Quatre touched his shoulder gently, but even Heero could feel that he was trembling, and the sob that he pushed inside. "Doctor, you think that Duo had regained conscious?" Trowa asked the doctor.

"Maybe, we gave him a tranquilizers to calm him down. I'm sorry Mr. Yuy, but he was so panicked when he realized that he couldn't see as he woke up..."

Heero startled, "You mean he knows?"

"We haven't told him clearly about it. We used to ask families to do that so the patient could handle it better. Do you want to tell him about this, Mr. Yuy? Or should we do that for you?"

Quatre stepped back, his body trembling. Trowa had to hold him so he could calm down. He looked so pale. Heero nodded his head absently, "I'll tell him myself..."


"Duo..."

He entered the room carefully, so as not to wake the sleeping boy on the bed. He walked closer to see that Duo's eyes had been bandaged and his clothes had switched in to hospital gown, he looked so pale and small. He remembered he had seen him in the same condition when he saved him from the OZ prison cell and brought him back to the colony. His chest moved up and down as he breathed deeply. Heero could see some bruises over the smooth skin and felt guilty for ever leaving marks on the beautiful boy's body. And the eyes...

"Heero?" Duo stirred as he felt someone's appearance beside him, "Heero, is that you?" His hand lifted up, only to grope at thin air. Heero reached for that hand and brought it to his lips.

"Yes, it's me... I'm here, Duo." He whispered.

"I've missed you..." Duo murmured back and smiled, not the bright smile he used to make, but a small sincere smile.

"I just came..." He told him, eyes never leaving that smile.

"The doctor told me that you were okay..." Duo said, "I was so worried about you, I thought..." He stopped, remembered his dream and Shinigami. And then he sat up even though Heero tried to push him back to the bed.

Heero saw his lips tremble. He knew how much Duo must've worried about him, he tightened his grasp to the pale fingers, entwining them with his. "I'm okay, and I'm glad that you are too..."

He looked up and saw Duo bite his bottom lip, hesitant. "Did... Did they tell you about my eyes?"

He almost choked, he saw Duo's expression change when he didn't heard him answer. "Duo, they said that your eye's nerve got compressed. And..."

"Am I blind?"

He didn't answer. Duo knew that the answer was a yes. "Can I be cured? How much of a chance? Heero?"

Heero swallowed hard, but he knew that the other needed an answer. "Less than thirty percent..."

Duo's expression didn't changed, but he couldn't be sure. He used to be able to see how Duo was feeling by seeing those eyes, but now...

Heero couldn't force the tears that hung just before his eyes back, so he buried himself into Duo's lap, wetting it with his tears, his body shaking with guilt and shame. Guilt for taking the vibrant light out of those beautiful eyes he adored so much, for ripping out the bright future he could have, and shame for betraying him. He couldn't even put it in words. He felt a giant lump in his throat and he couldn't speak, not without choking.

"I'm sorry... Duo, I'm so sorry... Can you ever forgive me for all this..." It wasn't exactly a question, he buried his face deeper, seeking for the forgiveness that he didn't deserve. He'd never cried like this before, not even after he accidentally killed Noventa back in war. That was war, everybody died... But this was supposed to be a peaceful time, they had succeeded in the war, it was their chance to live normal like other people. If only...

A soft touch in his shoulder startled him, Duo's slender fingers soothed him in a gentle rhythm. He looked up and saw him smile. Not the smile he used to see, not one of those cheerfully smile he used to save just for him. He didn't recognize that smile. Duo's fingers caressed his unruly hair lovingly and he felt himself drowned once again.

"It's not your fault..." Duo whispered, tried so hard not to cry, "It's okay..."

"Duo..." He enfolded that trembled body into his embrace and clutched him tight, sobbing. "I'm so sorry," he cried in his shoulder, "I'm really sorry..."

And then he felt it, Duo's arms reached up to ball into his back, he buried his heart shaped face in his chest and his sobs exploded forth. Never. Never he had he seen Duo cry like this before.

Boys don't cry...

He remembered the first day they were moving together in to the apartment. Duo was so happy that he had finally agree to stay with him, his eyes glassed over and he rubbed it away quickly. "Damn it, Yuy. I'm so happy I could've cried! But boys don't cry!" He laughed then, and reached for him to give him a long deep kiss.

"Duo, I'm sorry..." He whispered again and again, but the answer was just a sob.

Duo's cry turned to hiccups when he tilted his head so he could hear Heero's heartbeat under his ear. "You won't leave me, right?" He asked between his tears that started to dry in his cheeks, "You won't leave me now that I'm blind...?"

Heero gasped in shock, he pulled his body enough to face the braided boy's face. But he could barely see it with all the bandages around Duo's eyes and the long bangs covering the rest. "Never! You hear me? I will never leave you, Duo... I promise..."

Duo nodded vigorously and wiped the tears from his cheek, he smiled weakly, just enough to make Heero's heart twang in guilt once again, "I love you, Heero..."

"I know..." Heero's hold got tighter, and he could feel Duo melt in his arms. He felt like he could hold him forever. But he knew it wouldn't be that easy as his glance swept the door he forgot to close behind him.

A girl standing there, he didn't even hear her footsteps. He could see sadness in those sky-blue eyes, but the trembling body in his arms won't let him run to her and say his apologies. He gave her a rueful glance and went back to soothing the other boy in his cradled arms. Relena's eyes followed his every move, he knew then that everything was destroyed between them before it had even really started. But something was more important than all that, he thought about Duo's future, the future that he had destroyed. And now he held Duo's future in his hands, his happiness in his hands, even if it meant it would destroy his own future. A future with Relena.

Part 2

The boy sat in the hospital bed with his hospital gown still attached, the bed was directed to the big window facing the park so the sunshine came through. The light was blinding but all he could feel was the warmth that ran all over his skin, but even with his eyes open he couldn't see its glow. It was his third day in the hospital and he couldn't wait to go home to his apartment. Everybody treated him differently after he had the accident and was blinded, all his teammate from the Preventers had come to see him and bring him flowers or some snacks he liked, but no one dared to make a joke with him anymore like they used to. No laughs, no jokes, just sincere sympathetic words that he had heard too many times. Heero had promised to take him home tomorrow, despite his unfinished medication, but he didn't even care anymore. He didn't need anything as long as he was with his Japanese lover.

"Hello, Duo! I brought you some apples!" A shorthaired girl entered his room, smiling widely to him though she knew he couldn't even see her. Her smile faded as she approached the bed and put the bowl filled with apples on the table. "How are you today?" She asked.

Duo smiled as he felt her hand reach up to touch his cheek. "I'm fine, Hilde. The weather is nice today, isn't it?" He gestured from where he felt the warmth of sunlight.

Hilde nodded. She had arrived from L2 two days ago right after Heero called her and told her what had happened. She was in panic when she heard how it all happened and shot Heero with questions, but after she finally got to the braided boy herself all she could do was hold him tight and sob on his shoulder.

She sighed as she saw his smile. He was wearing his fake smile, the one he had always worn whenever he was troubled. She missed the cheerful smile that showed his true happiness.

"So, where's Tom?" Duo chirped, mentioning the name of Hilde's fiancé whom the girl had come with on the flight from L2. "You're not with him?"

"No. He'll come this afternoon." She smiled and hugged him. Duo's shoulders stiffened and after a moment of silence he hugged her back. "I'm sorry that we should meet again in this kind of situation..." He sighed.

Hilde gave him a little peck and jumped, "Everything will be okay, Duo..." She whispered, "Heero will take good care of you..."

"I know..." He breathed, "but..."

"What is it?" She frowned, "did he say something that hurt you?!" She assessed.

"No, no..." Duo shook his head and chortled, "not that..." His smile faded, "It's just... he keeps telling me that this was all his fault my eyes got blind, and..."

"Well it is!" Hilde cuts his words between air, "he was supposed to be responsible for all this! And I would never forgive him if he ever left you!" Her eyes glared.

"It's not true!!" Duo snarled angrily, his voice sharp.

Hilde stepped back in surprise as she saw the violet eyes glare at her, furious. Even when he wasn't able to see the light he could still gave her the expression. She gulped in hesitance to continue the argument, she knew it was one argument she could never win. She gasped and sat back on the bed, "I'm sorry, Duo. I know how much you love him..."

Duo's eyes softened, he pressed his lips together, slightly nodding. "Yeah, I do... just the way you love Tom maybe..." His smile reappeared and Hilde felt her heart lighten. "So, when is the wedding? Tom said that you two had discussed the day?"

"Uhm..." She blushed and walked to the table, reaching for the apples. "Another four months, I hope you'll be there!" She reminded him.

The longhaired boy chuckled, "Sure thing, I bet you're going to be a beautiful bride..."

Hilde shrugged, "I know, I know, I'm just too cute..." She stuck out her tongue, "now, what about some apples?"

Heero sighed heavily from behind the door. He'd been listening to Duo and Hilde's conversation since the girl had come into the room. His heart ached when he heard Hilde said that he was the one who supposed to responsible for Duo's eyes. He hated it because she was right, he kept telling himself that and it was killing him. But the thing that hurt him the most was that Duo still forgave him for anything he had done to him, Heero couldn't think that he could survive with Duo's love over him anymore. It was too big for him to handle. He remembered the look in Hilde's face when he told her everything that happened, about what the cause of Duo's blindness was. Her eyes were accusing, and he knew that the girl blamed him for anything that happened to her best friend.

What if Duo knew that he had betrayed his trust and promised Relena that he would to stay with her? Would he still be able to forgive him for that? Would he give up in his love for him? The thought was terrifying and he started his way down the hall.


"Heero, I wanted to talk to you." Relena showed up in the hospital again that day. She spotted Heero and the other two ex-pilots sat in the hospital's waiting room, waiting for Duo's examination for the day. The boy was finally going home and had to have his health checked for precaution of broken bones or internal trauma.

Trowa and Quatre glanced toward her and then to the ex-pilot of Wing Gundam. Heero eyed her hesitantly and felt her gaze go right through him. "Alone, please..." The girl continued as she felt the two other boy's eyes planted on her.

Trowa eyed the girl out of the corner of his eyes, while his blonde lover put a confused expression in his face. Heero traded glances with the other two, seeking permission, he saw Trowa nod slightly and Quatre just shrugged. He then nodded to the blonde girl and followed her to the park.

They stopped in a secluded area, where she thought that nobody could see them talk. Her eyes looked wary as she tried to see his face and seek affirmation that he'd still be hers after all, but he didn't even look at her. It was obvious that Heero didn't want to see her face, didn't want... or couldn't. She saw guilt hooding his face and she understood.

"Heero, I'm sorry about what had happened to Duo, but..." she stopped as she saw Heero's shoulders stiffen.

Heero shook his head weakly, "No, Relena. Please let's not talk about this right now."

"It's not fair!" She blurted it out, "It's not fair for you and me! We were just going to start a new life together, but now..." She started to sob.

The Japanese boy lifted his hand, intending to dry those tears away, but his hand stopped in air. "Relena, it's not fair for him either..." He finally said after a long silence filled with Relena's sobbing. "I just can't leave him, not right now...You understand that, do you?"

The girl bit her bottom lip, looking up to him with her eyes trembling. "I know... but I know that you're hurt... You can't stay with him just because you're feeling guilty about it. Heero, please... just promise me that you'll come back to me..."

Heero gasped and was taken aback, "But..." He stopped, "Relena, you don't understand... It was all my fault, I made him like this... I can't just leave him. He needs me, more than you are right now..."

"He'll get better, his eyes will be cured, and he'll be able to see again..." Her eyes filled with persistency, trying so hard to assure the boy before her, "that way.. we could be together again..."

"You know there's only a slight chance for him to get cured."

"No!" she exclaimed, "I'll find a doctor! The best doctor I could find! And he'll get the operation. And after he gets cured, you could come to me and start over..."

Heero swallowed hard and closed his eyes briefly, "I can't promise you anything now, Relena. I'm sorry..." He was trembling. Relena saw it and held him close, clasping the trembling body and cried with him. She was somehow surprised with how fragile Heero was. She could feel his guilt rushing through all over his vein and melting out to his skin and expression. The fact that Duo was now blind because of the accident made him responsible for the continuation of the American's life. But was it selfish if she wanted Heero too? Because she loved him more than anything, probably more than Duo loved him.

As she thought about that, she felt herself pushed away by the boy in her arms. Cold blue eyes stared at her guiltily, "I'm sorry, I have to take care of the papers now..." He said it in a rueful tone before turning away and quickly walked back into the hospital.

Relena sighed as she saw the man she loved go in the direction of the hospital, leaving her. Everything was so perfect the other day when Heero had said that he wanted to stay with her too and he was going to tell Duo about everything the next day. She remembered that was when the accident took place. Heero and Duo had an accident on a mission with the car that driven by Heero. The American had been thrown out from the car, he was lucky he didn't have any broken bones, in fact the two boys were lucky they weren't killed in the accident. But Duo was blinded and Heero was the one who got the blame just because he was the one who was driving. Life was not fair, not for her. Duo got to have Heero now and that hurt her.

There was only one thing that could bring Heero back to her, Duo had to be cured. If he was cured, Heero would be free from all his obligations and would finally be able to come back to her, just as simple as that. She had to make that all happen, she made up her mind and started making her way up toward the parking lot.


Duo finally went home to the apartment after a long mind-numbing health check, Hilde had gone back to L2 this morning to take care of her neglected salvage yard and had promised him to come visit him every month. Quatre and Trowa decided to stay on Earth longer for their friend; Quatre could control his business from anywhere and Trowa owned his own circus now, so he didn't have to perform. He decided to stay with his lover.

Duo sat on the living room accompanied by Quatre while Heero and Trowa volunteered themselves to make some drinks. They could hear Quatre's laughter from the kitchen when Duo told him some jokes that he had heard from the other patients in the hospital. Trowa's lips curved into a smile as he heard the blonde's chuckle and hurriedly made the tea. The Japanese boy's expression was the exact opposite. His eyes look troubled and saddened in the same time.

"Are you okay?" Trowa touched his shoulder lightly, felt Heero shiver and nod his head, but somehow, the taller man wasn't convinced.

"Aa... I'm okay."

"Don't worry about him, he'll be okay." Trowa smiled sincerely, "Quatre promised that he would find the best doctor for him, I know that the possibility was small, but if we tried..."

Heero nodded, he saw Trowa was very worried about what had happened to their best friend. Trowa and Duo weren't the closest friends in their group, but Heero remembered that it was Duo who set him up with Quatre long ago. Trowa was very grateful because of that, while Quatre and Duo had always become great friends. Then again, everybody loved Duo, there was something about the boy who enchanted everyone around him, the way he talked to people that cheered them. He couldn't believe that it was he, Heero Yuy, that was the one person Duo claimed to love. Why he chose him among all of the people who had treated him so nicely, better than Heero had treated him during the war. But he couldn't change what had gone through between them. Duo had given him everything, his love, his body, his heart...

He felt that he never deserved it.

Trowa and Quatre went back to the hotel after dinner, Trowa cooked and proved himself to be a better chef than Heero was, Duo had some trouble with his food though and Heero had to help him a lot. By the look of it, the braided boy seemed to be enjoying it very much. After a while he tried to eat by himself and without too much effort, succeeded. After the couple said goodbye, Heero helped him get a shower and washed his hair, it was a job Heero was familiar with. Duo asked him to braid it for him, and Heero gladly accepted it.

The boy sat in his lap, head resting in his shoulder while his hand busily braided the long chestnut hair. He could feel Duo getting drowsy, he must have been so tired after the long examination and the long trip home. Heero fastened the hair band with a perfect knot and draped it over the other boy's chest. He pushed Duo's body forward just enough to stir the other boy awake. "It's finished..." Heero murmured in his ear.

Duo smiled thankfully, his eyes getting heavier every second and Heero had to push him toward the mattress until the braided head touched the pillow. Duo sighed, "Thank you..." he whispered softly.

Heero tilted his head and hastily pulled the blanket down to cover Duo's body. He patted the bundle of warmth softly and turned out the light. "Oyasumi..." He said before walking to the door.

"You still don't wanna sleep with me?"

The question startled him and he whirled back to see Duo's face. But the longhaired boy had rolled over to the other side so he could see nothing but his back. "Oyasumi, Hee-chan..." He said weakly.

"Duo..." He was still frozen by the door. Duo didn't answer, just the hard breathing that could be heard from where he was laid down, back facing Heero. Heero was hesitant, he didn't want to sleep here, not after what he did to him, not like this. And then, there was Relena to be considered. But his legs carried him there, to the edge of Duo's bed. Gently he put his weight on top of it and touched the slender arm. He pushed Duo to face him and saw Duo's pale face under the long brown bangs, the violet eyes opened but there was nothing he could find inside the deep pool, no more laughter in those eyes. Just emptiness. His heart ached to see that and he felt that there was nothing else he could do in this world but to give everything Duo had asked him.

"You want me to sleep here with you tonight?" Heero asked to make sure.

"Only if you want to," came Duo's reply.

"Okay..." Heero stripped off his clothes and crawled inside the blanket to join the other boy, pulling Duo's body close to warm him. Duo was rigid at first, but he soothed the lean back to calm him. Ever so slowly, the stiffness faded away as Duo melted back into his arms. Duo buried his head in his chest, inhaling deeply as his hand clasped Heero tighter from the back. He could feel Duo's smile, but as much as he hated it, it made him feels so relieved.

"I thought..." Duo voice was muffled by his chest and Heero tilted his head to see his face, "I thought I'd lose you..."

Heero's heart was pounding, hard. Suddenly he couldn't see those violet eyes again, not without feeling guilty and disgusted over himself for ever betraying the braided boy, and still betraying him by giving Relena a hope for a life together. He tightened one arm to the other boy's waist and caressed the long bangs with his other hand. Duo's eyes were dark and unfocused.

"I thought you don't want to be with me anymore..."

Duo was trembling inside his embrace and he could feel that Duo was forcing his tears not to well over and spatter their way down his face. He leaned and planted gentle kisses on each close eyelid and whispered, "Ssh... Duo, I won't leave you. Now get some sleep, okay? I'm with you..."

He never thought that Duo would say the word. He knew that Duo had realized something was wrong in their relationship but the boy never really said it to him. No, he did tried to say it, he wanted them to talk about all that mattered, but Heero had refused that time and decided to wait until the mission was done, now look what happened. Duo was blinded and he was trapped in the middle of this whole mess. He closed his eyes and tried to breathe deeply, Duo's sobbing faded and he knew that the boy was finally asleep.

Duo closed his eyes happily, enjoying Heero's strong grasp in his back and the light kisses he planted. It felt so right in here, in Heero's arms, as if his body was the exact complement of the other's. It'd been a long time since the last time Heero had held him like this in bed. It seemed like they had lost so much time together. He almost believed that he was going to lose him, that Heero was going to leave him, but he knew now that it wasn't true. Heero's caresses were gentle and loving, his warm body was exactly the way he remembered, and the heart that beat beneath...

The warmth he loved, the soul he adored. He would happily died for the man he loved more than his own life.


Heero woke up the next morning without the presence of Duo in his arms, he had trouble sleeping last night -- he didn't even realize that the boy had climbed down from the bed. He sat up quickly and got dressed, his eyes swept the whole room, trying to find Duo's figure but found nothing. "Duo? Duo, where are you?"

There was no answer and he ran to the living room where he thought Duo might be, and then heard some noises from the bathroom. Frantically, he rushed inside and found the braided boy kneeling on the floor. His hand was roaming all over the floor where bottles of shampoo scattered.

"Duo!" He rushed to his side and knelt beside him, voice definitely worried.

Duo looked in his direction, not exactly finding his face. "I... I just looking for the oil to... to have a bubble bath..." He said meekly, feeling guilty for making the other boy worried.

"Oh, Duo..." Heero gasped in relief and pulled the boy to his arms, caressing his long braid softly. "Why didn't you just wake me up? I could find it for you..."

"No!" Duo pulled away from his embrace and started to roam his hand over the floor again, "I can do this! I'm not bothering you anymore..." He found one bottle and opened the cap, sniffing its scent. "Dammit, this is your shampoo..."

Heero bit his bottom lip, he didn't want to see Duo like that, he used to be so vibrant, the boy who always running back and forth in the living room, wasting his time in front of the TV all day, and standing by the window to see the sun set in the west. And now, the same boy crouching before him, he couldn't even find his own stuff... And it was all his fault...

Heero touched his shoulder gently and felt him shiver. He helped Duo to stand before he himself back to the floor to collect the remaining bottles from the floor. Heero arranged them back to the shelf and gently guided Duo's hand over them, one hand circled to Duo's waist to hold him tight.

"I want you to remember this, Duo..." Heero's hand moving with Duo's hand over the first line of the shelf, "from left to right it was your stuff. Shampoo, conditioner, liquid soap, ..." He explained their positions, lining up bottles and jars in the cabinet and felt Duo nodding after he explained the order to him. Duo was so enthusiastic to memorize all the content. Maybe it was one of his wishes not to bother Heero like he had said before.

"After you finished using it, you could put it anywhere and I'll put them back in their order for you, okay?" Heero said.

"Okay..." Duo nodded vigorously, "thanks, Heero..."

"Now..." Heero let go his hold of Duo's body and ran hot water to fill the bathtub. "Let me help you to prepare your bubble bath... After that I'll make you breakfast, 'kay?"

Duo's stomach growled, he grinned sheepishly and rubbed his head, "Okay..."

Heero finally finished and helped him with his clothes, after Duo finally sat in the bathtub, he closed the door and let the boy enjoy his bath.

The phone rang the soon as he stepped his feet to the living room, he took a glance over the bathroom door. He breathed hard and picked the phone. "Yuy."

"Heero, it's me." The voice was all too familiar for him, he gulped before answering.

"Relena."

"How is Duo doing?" She asked sincerely.

"He's better now, thank you for asking." He answered, "Relena, listen, I don't think it's the right time for you to call, for us to keep in touch..."

He could even heard her sighed in the other side of the line, "Heero, listen to me. I'll find a doctor for him, I promise you..."

Heero was silent all the time, though his heart was pounding harder than the usual. He was waiting for Relena's next words, expectant. "If he's cured..." Relena continued, "We could be together again, right?"

He bit his lip hard, maybe she was right. Maybe there was a chance for the two of them. In the perfect world, maybe they could be together.

"Maybe." He finally answered.

Relena sighed gladly over the phone, "Yes, Heero. If you still want it, we could still be together."

"Okay." He answered flatly and hung the phone.

He flopped himself onto the sofa, breathing hard as he buried his face in his palms. He didn't know why he kept giving her hope for a life together when he knew that he'd probably be attached to Duo forever. But maybe she had a point, maybe if Duo was cured, he and Relena could really be together, and maybe he would find what he'd been searching for. Love.

Duo's appearance in the living room startled him, the longhaired boy clad with only the white robe from the bathroom, water dripping from his slender form.

"What's for breakfast?" Duo grinned.

Heero stood up and stared at him apologetically, touching the curved shoulder as he lead the boy to his room. "I'm sorry, I haven't prepared it yet. Let's find you something to wear, ne?"

Duo made a pouting face playfully and enjoyed the sensation that Heero's touch on his shoulder was giving. Heero opened the cabinet for him and took out some of the fabric. "What do you want to wear?"

"Uhm -- what are you wearing?" Duo shrugged, tugging for Heero's shirt. "Aa... the white everlasting t-shirt, eh?"

The Japanese boy frowned and nodded, "so?"

"Just the usual jeans and shirt please..." Duo smiled.

Heero grabbed them from the closet and threw them lightheartedly to Duo's face; the fabric covered his face and he laughed. It's great to hear his laugh again, Heero thought, and see that wide smile plastered in his face. If only he could turn back time, he would gave up his life so the accident didn't happen, so Duo could still have that light in his eyes.

"Hey, why don't you cook breakfast while I change. I'm starving..." Duo said meekly, "I think I could find my way to the kitchen by myself..."

"Are you sure?"

"Uh-huh." Duo nodded and made a wounded face, "I'm not a baby."

Heero nodded for agreement just to realize that Duo couldn't see his approval. "Okay, then..." He said softly before made his way outside leaving the boy alone to change.

"Hey, Heero." Duo called back.

He turned back to see Duo had started putting on his shirt, "Who called this morning?" He asked, face oblivious.

Heero gasped, "Aa, Relena called, asking if you were okay." He didn't lie of course, but he didn't tell the whole truth either.

"Oh, it's very nice of her." Duo smiled and went back to the chore of buttoning his shirt.

"Hn." was Heero's only answer before rushing to the kitchen.

Duo showed up in the kitchen about twenty minutes later, hair loose and messy. Heero saw him roaming his way to the kitchen, eyes narrowed in earnestness. Heero helped him to his seat and put the pancakes to his plate, slicing it to pieces, he handed him the fork and showed him where the plate is.

"Can I ask you to brush my hair again after breakfast?" Duo asked awkwardly, face falling to his plate. Heero looked up and smiled, "Of course..."

"Great!" Duo chirped and snagged his first bite of the pancakes slices, he guided them to his mouth and made an appreciating expression. "This is delicious." He said before taking another slice to his mouth.

"Arigato." Heero cut off his own slice of pancake and began to eat. "Coffee?" He poured the coffee for his braided roommate even before he answered. Duo nodded and Heero handed him the mug.

The coffee made Duo remembered something and he spoke, "When are you going back to work?"

Heero thought about it for a second, Lady Une had asked him that after he had gotten out from the hospital. She had given him a week off and more if he wanted to stay with Duo longer, but he couldn't just let all the other agents to do all the jobs now that they lost Duo, one of their best agents in the force. Duo had been dismissed from all his jobs by a physical disability excuse.

"I don't know, maybe two or three weeks." He answered half-heartedly. He really didn't want to tell Duo about all this.

"It's because of me, isn't it?" His forehead made a frown, "Heero, I don't need you to baby-sit me."

"I need to do this, Duo." He said flatly.

"Why? Because you're feeling guilty? Because you thought that it was all your fault?" The American assessed.

Heero froze, he always knew that he couldn't lie to the other boy. "It is my fault."

"No, it's not! When will you stop saying that this is all your fault?!" Duo stood up and glared dangerously, "It's not your fault this is all happened..."

"Well your friend Hilde surely did think that was true!" He stopped the minute he said the words. He saw Duo gasp in surprise, violet eyes darkened.

"So that's what this all about..." He smiled mockingly, "You think that you need to responsible for my eyes, do you, Heero? You're with me because you're pitying me... Well, guess what buddy? I don't need your pity!" He snarled.

"I am not pitying you, dammit!" The Japanese boy retorted fiercely.

"Oh yeah? Good! Cause I don't need 'em! You could go to hell!"

"What do you want, Duo?!!" Heero barked at him.

"Nothin', just leave me alone!!!"

"Damn you, Maxwell!!"

"FUCK YOU!"

The two stopped at the same time, Heero's mouth opened, staring at him blankly. Duo's expression was incredulous, he couldn't find a word to utter. The blank violet eyes and the trembling shoulders told him that Duo was really mad at him. What the hell just happened?

Heero rounded the table and pushed him back to his seat, to his astonishment Duo didn't try to budge free. He crouched by his side and touched the pale hand gently. "I'm sorry that I yelled at you..." He whispered.

"S'okay..." Duo made a rueful smile, "I'm not gonna cry because of it..."

There was something in that voice that went straight to his heart and made it at ease. He took the hand to his lips and kissed the palm gently, causing a sighed from the other boy, "I just wanted to be with you for a while, I know that you'll be needing my help..."

Duo nodded in consent, "Okay, but only for a week, 'kay? Promised me that you'll get back to work after that."

"Hn. And I want you to get operated on too..."

"Operation? For my eyes?" Duo's eyes widened.

Heero tilted his head to see his strange expression, "Sure, don't you want your eyes fixed?"

"I... I guess..." He stammered for something Heero couldn't understand. "But the chances are..."

"I know, but nothing's wrong with trying, right?" Heero made hopeful tone. The other boy nodded hesitantly. "I'll think about it..."

Heero caressed the long brown bangs started to cover Duo's face again and stood up, "So, what do you want to do for today?"

Duo beamed, "Let's go to that beach again!"

Heero leaned to kiss the forehead of his lover, "I'd like that..." He murmured gladly.


The beach was as beautiful as Heero had remembered. The wind blew from the ocean right to his face, spreading the cool air to his body, he saw Duo shivering ever so slightly beside him. Heero looked up to the sky where the white clouds gracefully hooded the wide ocean among the blue vast sky, while the sun hid playfully between them. They spent the day walking by the shore, holding each other's hands.

He was startled when Duo suddenly sat himself down on the sand, looking straight to the open sea, his violet eyes shimmering with excitement. Heero almost believed that Duo could see the beautiful view before him, but he knew that he couldn't. Heero crouched down beside the longhaired boy, looking at him. Slowly, Duo opened the band that tied back his hair, unraveling his braid. Chestnut color spread out everywhere the wind blew, he is so breathtakingly gorgeous, Heero thought. Duo closed his eyes, just feeling the cool wind of the sea touch his face.

"Hey, Heero. Let's talk about the past." Said Duo, almost whispering between the sea breezes.

Heero was startled but he nodded, "Okay, what do you want to talk about?"

Duo's eyes fixed onto the sea, "You remember the first time we met?" Duo smiled wickedly. Heero knew that expression, he always had that face when they started talking about their first meeting. Duo had shot him that time and the braided baka always reminded him about that every time he saw the faded bullet mark in his right arm. Heero smirked, "Don't be too cocky about it, Maxwell..."

"Duh!" Duo faced him and gave him a mocking smile, "Who saved you from that hospital, eh Yuy?"

Heero smiled, "I remember, thank you..."

Duo shivered and leaned to his lover's shoulder. "You remember our first kiss?" He asked and felt the answer when he felt Heero nod. "Ah, it's not exactly our first kiss, you kissed me, Duo." He corrected him.

Duo chuckled and felt Heero's arm come up to support his waist just perfectly, "Yeah, so maybe I'm a little aggressive. Anyway, I was really surprised when you didn't kill me because of that or at least shoot me."

"Hn. It was great." Heero admitted, remembering that night in Howard's place, the night after Duo saved him from the Alliance hospital. "Why did you really kiss me like that, anyway?"

Duo's body stiffened for a minute, "Dunno, I thought maybe I should give this pretty boy a kiss before I died for a mission or something..." His cheeky grin reappeared.

"I'm sorry for stealing those parts from Deathscythe the morning after..." Heero twitched a smile.

Duo burst of a laugh, "Yeah... well, if I didn't have a crush on you, I would certainly have cut off your head..."

"Duo, you could never have cut off my head." Heero stated. His long braided lover made a face. "You don't know what Shinigami could do if someone pissed him off..."

He lifted his head up and kissed Heero's chin, "You remember the first time we made love?"

Heero shivered for the question and felt himself nod. It had been in one of their safehouses where he and Duo were trapped by a big snow-storm and had to share a small bed together. There had been nothing emotional for the two of them when they did it, but even he had to admit that it was great and intoxicating even when he remembered that they were both first timers and awkward that time. Since that night, every time they met, the two boys could feel the tension building up between them and soon released it into physical action, especially when they enrolled together at dorm schools.

"Don't you just love the sea, Heero?" Duo turned his face to the sea again, inhaling deeply for the salty scent, "It reminds me so much of our first meeting, it was by the sea, wasn't it?" He stopped when he felt Heero kneel behind him and touch his shoulders gently, "I always wondered what would have happened to me if we never met... My life would be worthless to live..."

"Don't say that, Duo..." Heero whispered, feeling guilty. Just how deep did Duo feel for him? He thought about that a lot, and read the answer in Duo's eyes, but now...

"I mean it..." He smiled towards the ocean, "I wish I could see the sky... It always reminded me of your eyes... blue and deep... just like a stormy day..." The tears started to wet those flushed cheeks.

The Japanese boy surged up to looked up to the sky, and gasped.

It was far from blue, the late afternoon sky was filled with the most beautiful indigo color he ever seen, just like Duo's eyes.


"Thank you for today..." Duo said that night after they went home and rested in Duo's bed, the longhaired boy's face flushed as Heero tightened his arm about his waist. He snuggled closer and felt Heero's other hand envelop him in a gentle hug.

"Heero..."

"Hn?" Heero could feel the other boy shift closer, slender finger tracing his lips and suddenly Duo's lips seized his in a passionate fervor. Half of his body had moved on top of Heero's while his hand moved down and down. Heero's body stiffened to the touch and he had to bite his lip when he felt himself hardened by Duo's hand.

"Duo... no..." He tried to speak, but Duo used the chance to thrust his tongue inside. The kiss was deep and intoxicating, he was soon lost in the sensations of Duo's lips covering his, his tongue inside his mouth, his hand gently squeezing his need.

No, Duo. Please don't do this...

"Heero, I need you tonight..." Duo breathed in his ear, licking the lobe with a deliciously long lick. "Make love to me, Koi..."

He didn't understand why, but the touch of Duo's hand, the soft gasps in his ear just bringing him to the edge. He felt his heart filled with embarrassment and guilt as he pinned the longhaired boy to the mattress and kissed the long graceful neck savagely. Maybe it was because of their conversation early on in the beach, or because of Duo's knowing touches to every sensitive spot on his body, but he really needed to make love to Duo that night. He couldn't hide his embarrassment that he had betrayed him but still enjoyed the sensation Duo gave to him. He looked down to the boy underneath him, saw him mew when he abandoned him, saw how beautiful he was every time they made love. It had been too long since the last time they made love, his body couldn't pretend that they didn't need the other's touches.

He stripped Duo's body and then himself with urgency, kissing him once again before whispering, "I'll be right back." He almost ran to his room and got the lube from his drawer, all the way thinking how on earth he could react this way when it came to Duo's seduction. But all thoughts soon left him when he saw the same boy lying on the bed, hair unraveled, cheeks flushed with passion.

"Heero..." He heard him call into the darkness. Heero joined him in the bed, kissing him one more time before gently stretching Duo's opening to receive him. He seized Duo's mouth with his before he finally entered him. Every thrust was a recollection for their time together. Heero knew that he was close when he felt Duo surrender under his fingers, and he buried his face in the crook of Duo's neck as he released his seed inside of his lover's body. It was endless, the amount of passion his body kept so long for Duo.

He collapsed on top of Duo, and trapped that beautiful mouth once again in a deep kiss before sliding out, curling beside the longhaired boy. He was the only person who could make him like this, he didn't understand why he still wanted to live with Relena after what Duo had been giving him all this time. He was happy living like this, maybe he even...

"Thank you..." He heard Duo gasp, "you're amazing..." Duo smiled into his chest. Heero took his shirt and cleaned them both before pulling the blanket up to cover their sweaty bodies. "Oyasumi, Duo..."

"Oyasumi..."

Heero woke up first the next morning, just staring at the ceiling of Duo's room. The American's head was still on top of his chest, and his hand rested on his waist, the rosy lips curved into a smile, the eyes peacefully shut. All the memories of last night events rushed to his head suddenly and he felt himself go rigid. His body shuddered as he kicked the blanket and disengaged himself from Duo.

"What have I done..." He stammered, looking down to Duo. Apparently he didn't awaken, his lips slightly parted, while his long hair cascaded all over the sheet. He was so beautiful, like an angel.

Heero felt his gut twist and he ran to the bathroom, locked it and rested his back to the door. He could see his expression in the mirror. Naked and sweaty. Disgusting.

He just couldn't take it anymore when he finally reached the toilet and vomited. He felt so sick about himself for using Duo like that, to enjoy every moment they spent together last night in bed. He had betrayed him, for god's sake. He had promised someone else to live with after Duo was cured.

You're shameless, Heero Yuy.

But he knew that he could never refuse that smooth pale skin, the devilish smile and everlasting charm. The gentle touches that could bring him out of the control of a perfect soldier, he knew... but he still couldn't forgive himself. As he flushed the toilet, he felt like throwing up again.


"Quatre called." Heero informed when he saw Duo enter the kitchen for breakfast. The braided boy frowned and sat on the nearest seat he could reach.

"Really? What for?"

Heero shoved him a plate filled with scrambled eggs, "He's going to take you to see some doctors..." He sat before him and smiled, "He said maybe there's a chance for you to get the operation."

Duo's shoulders stiffened and he pressed his lips together, wary. "Operation, eh?" He forced a smile. The Japanese boy arched his eyebrows together and touched Duo's hand softly, "What's the matter?"

Duo startled and made another smile, "Nothing, I'm okay. So, what time Quatre will come to pick us up?"

He sighed gladly, "Around ten, but I won't come with you 'cause I have some groceries to buy..." Heero smiled and started to eat his breakfast.

"What? You're not coming?" Duo made a wounded face, "I know that I couldn't help you much with the household... even when my eyes could see..." He pouted, "Okay then..."

Heero walked up beside him, reached for his hand and caressed it softly, "Duo, I just want you to be able to see again..."

"Why?"

Heero was startled, he never thought that Duo would ask the question. Yes, why...? Is it just a simple wish he had for his best friend in the whole world, or just it because that way he could run to Relena once Duo was cured?

"Why do you want me to see again?" He repeated.

"Don't you want it too?" He didn't have the answer for Duo's question, so he asked Duo instead.

"Maybe not." For his astonishment, Duo didn't seem like he needed any time to answer his question, but why not?

"Y-You're not serious. Right?" Heero felt his voice go hoarse and worried, "Why --?"

The American boy shrugged and grinned, "Nothing, just kidding." He smiled, he stood up and started to walk back to his room, "I'll better get ready before Quatre comes..."

His eyes never left Duo as he entered his room and finally disappeared behind the door, he kept thinking about Duo's answer, it wasn't a joke like the way the other said to him, but it couldn't be, right? Why Duo didn't want his sight back? He shook his head and bit his lip, maybe he was saying the truth, but then again, Duo never lied.

Quatre picked him up at ten a.m. sharp without Trowa whom suddenly had to go to L3 to take care his circus business while the blonde boy maintained his corporation from Earth. Duo and Quatre soon left the apartment, his blonde friend was very enthusiastic about this and half-dragged the braided boy from Heero's side. The examination took quite a while, when it was finally finished it was almost lunch, and Quatre, knowing about Duo's appetite for food had asked him for lunch together in one of his favorite restaurants, which the American happily accepted.

They didn't have any results for Duo's eyes condition yet, it took a few days for the doctors to check it even with advanced technology. Duo had been cooperating the whole time, but Quatre knew that there was something bothering him, somehow the operation didn't interest Duo much, as if he did all this just to make Quatre happy. And he remembered Heero's face when he came this morning, he was worried about something too. The Arabian boy thought about asking him now that it was just the two of them.

"Are you okay, Duo?" Quatre started, watching his expression closely.

The braided boy startled, "Sure, why you have to ask?"

"You didn't finish your food..." Quatre answered shortly, trying to clear out all the tension. It seemed to work when Duo started laughing. He arranged his words more carefully, "Is there something you wanted to tell me, Duo?" He asked again, "About how you are doing lately?"

Duo shrugged, "Just like before, but I never watched TV, I think it's a karma. You know that Heero always said that I watched TV too much?" He chuckled as if it was something funny.

Quatre eyed his expression and saw that Duo was actually telling him the truth, he never regretted that his eyes were gone, as if he was enjoying it. "Duo, don't you want to have your eyes back?"

Duo gasped and bit his bottom lip, "What are you talking about? I do, of course..."

"You're lying." Quatre assessed, "you don't like it when people start to mention something about the operation."

"Oh." Duo leaned to his chair, "You realized that, huh? Sorry..."

"Why?!" Quatre almost screamed, "Don't you want to see again?"

The braided American sighed and shifted forward, "Heero spoiled me." He shrugged. Quatre frowned, "What?"

"A few days before the accident, he was so cold to me..." Duo stopped and took a deep breath, "He... he was avoiding me for some reason I don't understand, I thought I'd lose him..."

Quatre shook his head, "There's no way Heero wanted to leave you, Duo..."

"You don't understand. He wasn't even touching me, we barely talked except for work or missions, I was so scared that I would finally lost him..."

He could feel that Duo was telling him the truth, his raspy voice hid no hint of jokes beneath his words. His eyes trembled for something he couldn't understand. "And then?"

"After the accident he treated me differently, suddenly I had him back... He's mine again and mine only... Maybe it was because of his guilt, but..." He bit his trembling lip, "Am I being selfish, Quatre? Tell me, am I?"

He took Duo's hand in his and caressed it softly, "Everybody has their rights to be selfish when it concerns someone they love, but Duo, it's not a right thing to do. Heero would be very sad if you said that you didn't want your eyes back..."

"I told him that this morning..."

"What?" Quatre's eyes went wide. "You said that to him?"

"Yeah... but I said that I was kidding afterwards. He sounded very surprised..." He made a rueful gesture. "It's just that... I want him to understand how I feel about it..."

Quatre stiffened, "Is that it, Duo? You're punishing him, aren't you?"

"No! I'm not punishing him, okay?! I never blamed him for anything that happened to me!" Duo shrieked out, "I... I just want him to be mine again!!" He dropped his face to his palm on the table. Quatre realized that people started to stare at them and he patted Duo's hand gently.

"I'm sorry, Duo..." He whispered, "I know how much you love him..."

The other boy raised his head, nodded and weakly smiled. "Yes, I do. Just the way you love Trowa actually..." He sighed, "I'm sorry that I yelled at you..."

The blonde smiled, "It's okay, just never say that kind of thing like you didn't want to be operated on ever again, promised?"

Duo nodded, "Aa, I don't want to be a burden for him too..."

"You're not a burden for him, Duo." Quatre said, "He loves you."

"I don't know that anymore..." He sighed.


Heero dropped all his groceries on the kitchen table, he thought about fixing it all later. He took a glass of water from the refrigerator and drank it down to the last drop, and then hastily put it in the kitchen counter when he heard the doorbell ring. That's probably Duo, he thought. He hastily rushed to the door and flung it open. He was so surprised when he didn't find his braided roommate there, instead he found a blonde girl smiling to him ruefully.

"Can I come in?" She asked hesitantly when she saw Heero's expression. The boy nodded numbly and gave her way to come inside. "Sure, come in..."

She sat in the couch awkwardly. Heero took a seat across from her, not uttering a word. They sat in silence, none of them had the guts to start. Relena shifted uncomfortably in her seat, Heero stood up abruptly. "Duo will be back soon..." He informed her.

The girl nodded, "I heard that he went to the hospital this morning with Quatre Winner, that's why I came here..." She explained.

"Aa..." Heero gave his head a nod and stood up, "I'll get you something to drink..."

Relena stood up with him and caught his wrist. He froze halfway and faced her. The crystalline color in her eyes seem to be welled with tears and she started to cry out, "Why --, Heero?" She asked hoarsely. "Why are you doing this to us...?" She stopped and clutched to his shirt, "I thought everything will be okay after Duo got better, that we could finally be happy, but... but..."

"Relena..." He tried to get away from those eyes that started to shed tears, tears for him. "I..."

His heart pounding so hard he could barely breathe because of it, he felt her hands snaking behind his neck and pulled him down, guiding his mouth to hers. "We're alone now..." She whispered as she brushed her lips to his.

"I slept with him..." Heero said ruefully.

The girl took a step back, eyes widened. "W-What? Just slept... right?" She stammered for her words.

Heero flopped back to the couch, face to his hands while fingers balled in his hair. "No, we had sex. Is that what you wanted to hear?!" He snarled, eyes straight to hers, "It's not the first time, you see?! I had sex with him for almost four years, why stop now?!" His eyes filled with anger, anger for himself. He saw the tears in her eyes and turned his face away. "I'm so sorry, Relena... I disappointed you, I'm sorry." He said weakly. But what was there to forgive? She was not the person he'd been living with for the past three years, she wasn't the person he slept with during the war until last night, she wasn't the person who got blinded because of his carelessness when driving...

"It's okay..." She sat down with him, circling him with her arms and kissed him again. "I know you do it because you have to..." She cried in his neck. He was startled, Relena's palm was so warm against his face, "but now... you can do it with me because you want to..." She pulled him close, Heero's lips parted as he felt her hand moved down to his chest, and he seized the girl's lips in his mouth.

Quatre had his car just outside if Duo's apartment. The braided boy seemed to have his cheerfulness back after the lunch and jumped out from the car with him, if Quatre didn't know better he would thought that Duo as just a normal boy, no one would ever thought that he couldn't see. He shook his head as he saw Duo started to make his pace towards the building without his guidance. Suddenly the cellphone bipped and they both stopped.

"Winner. Aa... Yes? What?! Okay. Now? Hm... I'll be right there." He ended the call and glanced at the longhaired boy. Duo's eyes narrowed, eyebrows arched together. "Problem at work?" He asked.

Quatre nodded, "Yes, just a slight problem..."

"Hey, are you trying to lie to me here, Mr. Winner." Duo made a gesture with his finger, "I'm blind, remember? I could hear that tone in your voice..." He smirked. "Don't worry about me, I can get upstairs on my own."

"But, Duo..." Quatre frowned, there was no way he would ever leave his best friend go to the fifth floor alone when he couldn't see, "C'mon, I'll take you at least until the elevator..."

"Quat..." But his word were stopped by Quatre's persistent grasp in his wrist. He chuckled and followed the blonde Arabian towards the elevator. "Leave me after you push the fifth floor button for me, 'kay? I don't want to trouble you." Duo winked. "I know my way to my room, Shinigami never lies."

Quatre sighed, knew that he couldn't defeat Duo in that situation, "Okay... tell Heero I'm sorry." With that, he pushed the button. Duo waved to him and smiled. Quatre sighed and then rushed to his car, he believed Duo could take care of himself, in the mean time he had an urgent problem that had to be taken care of.

Duo stepped out from the elevator car after he heard the ding sound, he jumped forward and started to roam his hand to the wall, he smiled as he felt the fifth door in the right. The blind boy sighed gladly and reached the doorknob, he pushed it inside.

"I'm home."

Her kisses were so different from his, that was the first thing that rushed to his mind as he seized her mouth with his, feeling her melt in his arms. Her lips feel so smooth and sweet, but it was so different. He didn't realized it when he kissed her before, but after what he and Duo did last night the passionate kiss he had now with Relena couldn't even compare to Duo's light kisses. It didn't make him want to make love to her all night, it didn't drive him crazy just to touch the smooth skin beneath. He tried to push her shoulder as he felt she started to unbutton his shirt while trailing kisses all the way to his neck. Then the door opened and Duo came inside.

"I'm home." The braided boy chided from the door.

"D-Duo?!" The couple turned in shock towards the door. Heero jumped to both feet and started to button his shirt back, "Duo?" He was so scared. What if Duo saw him and Relena kissed? What if he saw him and was mad? What would happen if he left him?

Oh God, this couldn't be happening...

Duo's mouth curved to a smile when he heard Heero's voice calling his name. "Hey, are we having company? It smells like perfume..."

Heero's eyes widened, he was surprised. He had forgotten. Duo couldn't see. He was blind. He rushed to Duo's side and guided him inside. Duo smiled thankfully.

"Relena's here." Heero answered, he knows there was no point in lying to him anyway. "Where's Quatre?"

"Oh, Relena-san! Glad to meet you." His eyes brightened, "Quatre had some business to take care of, he took me to the elevator though..."

The young vice minister stuttered in her seat still in complete shock. "Hello, Duo." She finally said, "How have you been lately?"

"I'm fine, thank you." He nodded vigorously, "Did Heero get you anything to drink, he probably forgot again, let me get you something..."

"No, Duo. I'll do it." Heero caught his wrist and felt his hand patted playfully by the other. Duo grinned at him lovingly, "S'okay. I can do this..." He winked and rushed off to the kitchen.

The girl eyed him with a troubled eyes, it was so obvious how much the Japanese boy cared for his American roommate, and she was jealous. Of course she was, but she knew that Heero would never leave him unless his eyes were cured. That's just the way he was, Heero Yuy, the Perfect Soldier. She remembered what had happened after he accidentally killed Noventa back in war, how he searched all over the world for the rest of the Noventa family to receive his punishment for killing the peace representative.

"I'll find a doctor for him, and he'll be cured." She promised while all the time her eyes were fixed to the deep prussian blue eyes. She reached his bag from the couch and made her way to the door, "Tell Duo it was nice to see him again."

Heero chased her to the door, not looking to her eyes. Relena was so happy when she felt him followed her. Maybe there was a chance after all for the two of them. She leaned to kiss his cheek and smiled, "He'll get cured, Heero. And I promised you, we can be together soon..." She pulled him closer, their lips were about to touch when they heard a sound of glass breaking in the kitchen. Heero pushed her away and hastily ran to the kitchen like there was nothing more important in his life but a certain braided boy in there. Relena gasped in surprise and turned to the door.

"Soon Heero. We can finally be together..." She whispered.

He froze as he reached the kitchen door, blue eyes widened as he saw Duo crouched on the floor, blood dripping from his fingers when he tried to collected the shards that scattered all over the floor. He rushed to his side and took Duo's hands in his. He felt Duo trembling and the violet depths of his eyes were unfocused.

"S-Sorry... I broke the glass." Duo stammered, "I didn't know there was a glass there." He bit his lip and looked up.

Heero's blood rushed suddenly to the head, gasping. He remembered the glass he put at the counter early on and pulled the braided boy to his arms, cradling him. "It's okay... It's my fault. I put it there without telling you... It's okay..." He felt Duo started to relax in his arms. He pushed him just enough to see the blood still glistened from the slender fingers. He stood up and helped him to the sink so the blood won't drip the floor. "Wait here..." He whispered before he ran to the bathroom to get the first aid kit. He came back as soon as he found it and started to clean Duo's wound and bandaged it.

"Sorry." Duo said it again, louder this time and made a rueful smile. Heero shook his head. How could he still apologize after he knew that it was Heero's fault and not his?

He sighed and collected the braided boy in his arms, crossing the kitchen carefully so he wouldn't step on the shards of glass. Duo clutched his shirt and smiled. He asked about Relena and his Japanese lover explained that the girl went home. Heero dropped him on the couch and caressed his bangs lovingly, "Don't go anywhere. I'll clean the kitchen, okay?"

Duo nodded and heard the other half-running to the kitchen. Heero was back in a few minutes and flopped onto the couch beside him. Duo leaned his head to Heero's shoulder, feeling the warmth run into his blood and nerves. The short-haired boy turned the TV on to a channel where a classic movie was on. The scene was at a ballroom where the main characters danced in a waltz.

"Wanna dance with me?" Duo turned his face towards him, their noses touched and awkwardly he felt himself nod. He helped Duo to stand and took the position, "You lead." He heard Duo said.

He was amazed by how their bodies met with complete precision, Duo's hand in his shoulder and his hand in Duo's waist was just perfect. Their fingers intertwined while Duo buried his face in the crook of his neck, kissing him lightly just under the ear. They stopped after a long deep kiss and Duo pushed him back to the sofa, falling on top of him. They kissed passionately and they had already hardened by the friction that their bodies created.

"Here?" Heero couldn't believe his voice sounded so hoarse and needy.

Duo chuckled while kissing Heero's collarbone, "Why not? It wouldn't be the first time." He shrugged.

After a long passionate lovemaking, Heero moved the two of them to his bed. Duo was almost asleep in Heero's loving embrace when he heard Heero's question. "What did the doctor say about your eyes today?"

Duo squirmed uncomfortably in his arms. Snuggling back, he breathed hard. "Just the usual, they couldn't tell me about it yet, maybe in a couple of days..."

Heero peered at him, tilting his head so he got a better angle to see Duo's face that was hooded by the long bangs. He knew how Duo didn't care very much for his medication and that's hurt him. "Duo, why do you hate your medication so much?" He finally asked. He felt the body in his arms stiffen and heard the other boy snorted softly. "I don't know, it didn't change anything between us, did it?"

"Aa..." He turned his face to avoid the earnest look in Duo's face.

"It did, huh?" Duo freed himself from Heero's arms and sat up. The Japanese boy was so startled, he followed Duo and stopped just right behind him. He couldn't see his face and he was afraid.

"I guess everything did changed, eh?" Duo said, "I felt much closer to you this way. I never regretted what had happened, I never am..."

"Duo..." Heero felt him shiver as he touched one shoulder.

"The only thing I regretted was..." Duo stopped, "That I couldn't see your face when we made love..."

Heero turned the other's body and held him in his arms again. He felt Duo start to kiss his neck and throat, and softly pushed him back to the mattress. "Speaking of that... You wanna fool around a little? ...again?" He grinned on top of him, put his best brilliant smile toward his lover.

"I..." Heero had to force down the urge inside of him that started to creep up his spine to just take the braided boy, even after what they had done before. "I can't, Duo... I have to go to headquarters tomorrow..."

Duo jumped up back into his sitting position, "Really?!" He beamed. "You're going back on duty? That's great, man... Damn, I wish I could be with you. But who cares, right? You're back in mission, bad guys just you beware..." He chuckled and snuggled back into Heero's arms.

Heero was stunned by the way he reacted to the news, he was even happier when he heard that he was going back to his mission than about his medication. So he held him tightly and felt him smiled in his chest.

"So, I guess the sex thing could wait until tomorrow..." Duo chuckled.

Heero pressed his lips together, "We'll see about that tomorrow..." He said that instead of answering the statement.

"It's a promise then..." Duo flung one leg over his, closing his eyes. He was soon falling to sleep.

The promise was never fulfilled.


The apartment felt too empty after Heero had gone to work this morning. He had another call from Lady Une that said that he was needed for a mission urgently today, and that she would offer to have someone to keep Duo company for the day, but the braided boy refused it. Heero had prepared him his lunch at the table and his dinner in the refrigerator just in case he came late, but he promised he would come home as fast as he could to have dinner together.

Duo was about to turn the CD player on when he heard the doorbell rang. He wondered who would visit in this kind of hour, and when Heero wasn't at home. He hesitantly reached the doorknob, remembered Heero's words that he shouldn't just let anyone entered the house. Maybe it was Quatre?

"Who is it?" He asked from behind the door.

"It's Relena." The female voice was unmistakable, Duo opened it hastily and smiled.

"Relena." He called, "I'm sorry, but Heero's not at home." He said without thinking, but what else he could have answered the girl with. She couldn't possibly come here for him, did she? Maybe she had another job for his lover to do or something.

Relena awkwardly entered the door, he eyed the blind boy guiltily. "I know that he's not here. I'd like to talk to you alone, Duo."

"Oh?" The boy's eyes widened and he gestured her to sit down, "Please take a seat..."

Relena shook her head, "No, thank you. I need to tell you something, Duo. Something I thought you needed to know."

Something in that tone just enough to made him shivered. He didn't like it one bit, "Is there something wrong?" He managed to speak.

"It's about Heero."

"Yes?" Now he's really scared. Was something happened to Heero, and Relena is here to tell him?

"Heero would never forgive me for telling you this, but you needed to know... And I just couldn't take it anymore..." Duo could heard her trembled as she said the words. His mouth opened and closed back when he felt that there was no word came out of his mouth. He nodded in consent for her to continue her story. "Before the accident, Heero and I... We... We agreed to start a new life together."

Duo went rigid, "W-What's that supposed to mean?" His heart was pounding, hoping so much that she meant differently than what his brain had processed.

"I mean..." She was hesitated, "I'm sorry, Duo. But he... Heero was going to... to leave you to be with me... I..."

"He said that?" The world stopped rotating and his eyes suddenly felt heavy. He wasn't sure whether he wanted to cry or smile, or even laugh the hell out of it.

Relena gulped, saw the changing expression in Duo's face, but he couldn't see that the boy was going to start crying like she would have reacted if someone told her that his lover betrayed her for someone else. "Yes, Heero and I... are going to start a new life together... He was going to tell you about it, but the accident happened and..."

"And he felt so guilty about it, thought that it was all his fault..." Duo continued, "typically Heero."

Relena caught in surprise this time, the violet eyes weakly shone. She remembered the former pilot always had those shimmering lights inside his eyes, which she couldn't see right now. She was sorry she ever had to say that to him, but she didn't want Heero to suffer any longer, so she had to do this.

"Oh my god..." Duo fell to the couch, trembling. He remembered all the rejections and the cold reactions he had from the Japanese boy before the accident took place, how he refused to sleep together in his bed, how he avoided his kisses, and...

The memory of their lovemaking the other night came to his head and he shivered. "What have I done?" He was shivering. Heero never wanted to make love to him that night, was he? He did it because he asked him to, and he would do anything he asked him, because now he's blind, and Heero thought that it was his fault...

Stupid fool...

"I'm so sorry, Duo..." Relena whispered in silence.

He gave her a rueful grin instead and shook his head, "Don't, Relena-san. It's me who should apologize. I didn't know that you two were a couple right now..."

Relena's mouth closed, still amazed with how strongly he took the truth she just revealed. She would've been angry and cried out loud, maybe even denying all that. She saw the pain cross the handsome face, eyes and lips trembling in disappointment. "What do you want me to do now?" Duo asked her after along silence between them.

The girl gasped, "I... I've met a great doctor for your eyes." She informed him, "Heero would never leave you unless your eyes were cured, that's why... I'm begging you to take this operation... Please?"

"Operation..." Duo nodded, he remembered how much Heero wanted him to get operated on. Is this the real reason? He wondered.

"Yes, if your eyes were cured Heero would be more than happy..."

Yes, and he would finally leave me for you. Would he, ojou-san?

Duo nodded, "Ah... I'll think about it."

Her face fell, she was hoping for a direct answer, but understood that it must have been difficult for Duo, maybe he needed to think about it first. "Okay then, if you're interested, please give me a call..."

Duo smiled weakly, "Sure..."

She stood up and walked to the door, "It's nice to see you today, Duo."

"Good bye." The braided boy closed the door as he heard her footsteps disappear. He went back to the couch, closing his eyes, and didn't move for quite awhile. He was hoping that it was all just a nightmare, and he would soon wake up and could finally see again, but as he opened his eyes he could see nothing but darkness. His mouth curved to a smile and he started to laugh, a hysteric one. He knew he needed it.

"Baka... You're always be a baka..."

Part 3

Heero drove home that night, listening to the radio all the way back. He had spent more time at headquarters than what he had expected he would. He didn't want to go home late tonight, knowing that Duo would be alone, but there were so many papers he needed to take care of off duty, it was better to take care of everything now than tomorrow. Wufei barked at him from outside his office telling him to go home to Duo, and maybe he was right. Duo needed him right now; the mission could wait. In the moment, Duo was more important than anything in this world. He peered at the clock before him and saw that it was already past dinnertime, Duo must've eaten dinner alone. He sighed in disappointment and drove faster.

The apartment was dark to his astonishment, and there was no sign of his braided roommate anywhere. He didn't wait for him at the couch like he usually did. But it was too quiet, he thought as shivers started to crept up his spine: no sound of music, TV, or at least humming. It was like Duo wasn't even there. He rushed to the kitchen and saw that the lunch wasn't even touched, he opened the refrigerator and saw that the dinner still wrapped in the aluminum paper.

He swallowed hard, and ran to the boy's room. He couldn't believe that his eyes almost shed a tear as he saw him there, curled in his bed, all bad thoughts gone. He stepped closer and touched one arm. The boy went rigid as he looked down to see the expression, "Duo, are you awake?" He asked, but received no answer even though he knew perfectly well that Duo was not sleeping. "Duo, you haven't eaten your lunch and dinner too. Are you sick?" His voice sounded wary.

"Not hungry." Duo answered shortly.

"But you have to eat, just a little, okay?" Heero rolled the slender form to his side, eyeing him all the while.

"No, I don't wanna eat anything, please..." His voice weak, face pale as a doll's.

Heero nodded then, "Okay, I'll take a shower before going to sleep." He patted Duo's arm gently before standing up.

"Heero."

"Hai?" Heero looked down to the other boy, who had opened his eyes but stared blankly into the darkness. "What is it, Duo?"

"I wanna sleep alone tonight."

Heero's mouth opened and closed, there was something wrong with his braided lover and he knew it. "Are you okay?" He asked, crouching beside the bed and caressed his cheek lovingly. "Duo?"

"I'm okay..." Duo smiled faintly as if he was about to cry, "Oyasumi..."

Heero couldn't utter another word after Duo closed their conversation. The braided boy had closed his eyes and rolled to the other side of the bed. He froze on the spot and went to the door. Duo's acting strangely tonight, he thought. If only he knew what was going on! Is this what Duo felt when he was ignoring him the last few days before the accident? Is this how it feels to lose someone you care about?

Duo, am I losing you...?


It was cold and dark, the air smelled like blood, and Duo was still running along the street, not knowing where to go. He ran and ran, screaming the name he didn't recognize. He stopped in an alley, dirty and filled with dead corpses sprawling all over the street. Two little boys leaned against the wall, the boy with short hair was in the other's, who had long chestnut hair, arms. The shorthaired boy's face covered with sweat and chapped lips trembling due to high fever while the other screamed his name.

"Solo! Hang on for me, man! Don't leave me! I'll find ya the antidote, buddy! Solo!" He heard him scream.

The boy in his arms said something but he just couldn't hear him. Duo saw the boy smile to the longhaired boy, who held him at all times.

"Solo! Solo! Solo! Nooo!!"

Duo screamed and ran to his side, only to feel empty air around him. The street was gone and was replaced by a long clean alley. He followed the steps to the main hall, when he saw dead bodies scattered just like leaves that whither from its tree.

He saw the same longhaired boy kneeling on the floor, only this time in priest garb, braided hair, and a nurse in his arms, not breathing. Duo knelt down beside him and cried.

"No, not this again... Don't show me this... please, God..." He cried until he couldn't hear the boy's sobbing, heart aching, so familiar, and yet... so far away.

He opened his eyes and saw the light from outside the church building. Duo stepped out and saw him standing there. With the graceful black robe and long scythe shimmered by the sunlight. He finally saw him. But why did he have such a sad eyes? Violet eyes shone remorsefully and his mouth curved to a weak smile. The black hood fell down as he looked up to the sky and Duo could see long chestnut braid on his back.

Shinigami. Is that you?

Shinigami turned his head and spotted him, pale hands reached out for him.

"No!" Duo took a step back, away from the black robed figure. "No, don't touch me! Solo! Sister Helen! Father Maxwell! Heeelp!!!" He started to run as he saw Shinigami chasing after him, his lungs actually hurt when he stumbled to the ground, "No, no, Heero, Heero, help, help me..."

He sat up immediately in his bed. For one awful moment he thought that he was still in the nightmare, for it was dark and cold. His hand reached the bed lamp and yanked it on, but he still couldn't see anything. And then he remembered... he was blind, he couldn't see the light. And there's no one by his side to tell him that everything will be okay, no Heero. Heero wasn't here.

It'd been three days since he started sleeping alone, and he felt lonely. He had tried to act normal in front of the other boy for the last three days, but he knew that nothing would ever be the same again. He knew that Heero would leave him sooner or later. The nightmares had come the for the last three days and he was getting more afraid every day. What would he do if Heero finally left him? Where would he go?

His hand reached for the bed lamp once again, intending to turn it off, but he yanked it too hard, and the lamp was thrown, causing it crashed to the floor. He gasped in surprise, and Heero rushed to his room.

"Duo?! Daijoubu ka?" He was immediately by his side, touching his hand gently, "What happened?"

The longhaired boy just shook his head, "Sorry, I tried to turned the light off, when..."

He didn't have to continue cause the other boy had obviously seen the pieces of the lamp on the floor. Duo heard him gasp, and suddenly strong hands pushed him back to the mattress. "I'll clean all this, you go back to sleep..." Heero murmured. And before he managed to answer, he heard Heero leave the room. A minute later he was back and started to collect the lamp pieces.

"Thank you..." Duo said weakly, ashamed that he needed Heero's help for all the mess he had created.

Heero smiled to him, "No problem, Duo..." He said, "Are you sure you don't want me to sleep here? You're sweating... are you having nightmares?"

"I'm okay..." Retorted Duo.

The Japanese boy sighed and nodded, "Okay, then..." He made his way to the door, carried the lamp pieces in a plastic bag when he heard Duo called him back.

"Heero... What do you think about me getting my eyes operated on?" He asked suddenly. Heero rushed to his side, taking Duo's hand in his. "What did you say?"

Duo felt himself shiver, and tears almost welled his eyes. "I want to get the operation." He smiled forcefully, "I wanna be able to see again..."

"H-Hontou?" Heero's voice was stammering.

The braided boy nodded, "Maybe you could call Relena-san tomorrow about it."

Heero hugged him tightly and kissed his chin lovingly, "Thank you, Duo." He breathed, "I'm so happy."

He didn't know, but Duo shed his tears as soon as he closed the door. The braided boy clutched his pillow tightly and sobbed. He had never cried like this before, never in his life had he felt so empty. The people he loved died, but they never really left him, not like this. He rubbed his eyes and opened his eyes to the ceiling, hoping that the tears would stop. He had to bite his bottom lip for it and again he tried to sleep.


"You're looking strangely, Duo." Quatre commented as he visited him in the hospital for early checking for the operation procedures.

Duo faced the direction of his voice and forced a smile. "Nah, nothing really, Quatre. Just nightmares... you know the usual..."

"Wartime nightmares?" He asked carefully. He, himself, still had one of those nightmares, but Trowa by his side strengthened him the most.

The American shook his head, "No, old time memories..."

"Oh." Quatre nodded faintly, "did you tell Heero about your dreams?"

"No, it's better for him this way."

Quatre frowned and made a face, "But he must've thought something was wrong when you wake up in the middle of the night."

Duo chuckled bitterly, "I told him it was just the usual nightmares, but then again, we don't sleep together anymore..."

"What?" The blonde Arabian was taken aback, he shifted closer, "what do you mean? Is there something happening between the two of you?"

"I don't know... I don't know anymore..." Duo shook his head, baffled. Quatre took him into his arms and held him tight. Duo's body was shaking and he knew that the boy had hid something from him. Duo was strong, at least he had thought that, for he was taking all his pain for himself, but Quatre knew better, that he was only human like the rest of them. But something told him that it was not the time yet to ask, maybe someday, Duo would tell him what happened. He would never let anyone hurt him, not Duo, the boy who he had owed so much in life, cheerfulness, confident, Trowa...

He rocked the boy in his arms until he stopped trembling and left him alone in his room when the nurse started to check his condition. The operation would be in another three days and Duo was ready. Ready to have his sight back, and to lose his life with it, to lose the one and only love in his life, Heero Yuy.


Heero rushed to Duo's room, the operation would start in five hours and the doctors had given him the chance to see the braided boy before giving him treatment for the operation. The doctor had told him that the chance for the operation was almost fifty percent and he was so excited. He couldn't understand why, but the thought that Duo would be able to see again, and that he could see that light in Duo's eyes once more was enough to make him happy.

The braided boy sat on his bed while his shorthaired girl friend sat down beside him, they were talking in a low tone. Heero could hear the girl tell the longhaired boy about all the wedding stuff she had bought and that the wedding was on after another three months. Heero could see Duo smile when Hilde told him about how nervous Tom was in their wedding rehearsal, he made a brilliant comment about how nervous men could be in their wedding day but at least Tom had the nerve to ask her to marry.

Duo's words stopped as he heard the familiar footsteps enter his room. He lifted his face up and Hilde followed it with her eyes, smiling as she saw the Japanese boy was finally standing behind her. "Heero," She waved and told him to come closer to the bed, "I didn't hear you come..."

Heero nodded, eyes never leaving Duo. "I just came." He answered, "Duo, your operation will start in five hours."

Duo could hear that enthusiastic tone in Heero's voice, and he forced a smile. "That will be great." He nodded.

The nurse popped her head inside and frowned as she saw Heero and Hilde were still inside the patient room. "I'm sorry, Mr. Yuy, Miss. Schbeiker, the patient will need some time before the operation for some examination, I hope you will follow me to the waiting room now..."

Hilde pouted, "Ow, just another minute, nurse. We promised." She winked.

The nurse sighed and shrugged. "Okay, two minutes." She said.

The shorthaired girl smiled widely and went back to the edge of the bed. "Okay, big boy, you better behave now... The operation would work, I just know it..." She gave him a peck and eeped as she saw Heero. "Oops... Sorry, Heero. Hey, why don't you kiss him for good luck, eh?" She winked and pushed him to Duo's side.

He hesitated when he saw Duo's eyes weaken, but he leaned anyway and brushed his lips just slightly over Duo's. He gasped as he felt him not responding. His lips were dry and cold. It was like kissing ice. He took a step back, trying to find answers in those eyes, but it was empty.

"Du..."

"Mr. Yuy, Miss. Schbeiker, please follow me..." The nurse came in and made a face.

Hilde blew the boy a kiss and followed the nurse out. Heero froze, still watching over Duo's figure. Those eyes didn't shimmer the way they were supposed to. He shook his head weakly and turned back to the door. Maybe it was nothing, maybe he was just delusional.


It was almost three hours ago when Duo finally entered the operation room. Heero came into the VIP waiting room, hoping to meet his friends. Quatre and Trowa had promised to wait there during the operation, even Wufei and Sally had asked permission from the Preventer to stay for the day of Duo's operation. They were all so excited about it, and hoped that the boy would have his sight back. He was surprised at first with how many people sent their good wishes for the success of Duo's operation; he always know that Duo could handle people better than himself but he never knew how much Duo was loved by everyone. And he was one of them.

He was so surprised when he saw that the only person in the waiting room was Relena. She lifted her head as she heard him come in and smiled. Heero frowned, somehow uncomfortable with the situation. She stood up and walked to him. "The operation will be over soon..." She told him.

"Aa... Arigato..." He said sincerely, "where's Trowa, and the others?"

The girl shrugged, "I don't know, I guess they're looking for lunch."

"Hn."

Heero thought about leaving the room, but he couldn't even moved his feet as she clutched his arm and forced him to looked at her face. The beautiful face was oblivious, he couldn't read what was on her mind while her fingers were strongly planted in the fabrics of his shirt.

"Heero, Duo will be okay..." She started, "and soon... you could live with me." She blushed. Fingers entwined behind his neck, she pulled him down for a kiss. But she was surprised when he pushed her away instead, and turned his face away. "Please don't , Relena..."

"Hee-- ..." She stopped. "But... you're not..." Her eyes widened in confusion.

"Relena, I..."

"Mr. Yuy, Miss. Darlian." The doctor showed up at the door, smiling sincerely. "Mr. Maxwell had returned to his room."

The girl couldn't believe her eyes as she saw him practically running down the alley and went straight to Duo's room. It was obvious the glint of happiness that had crossed his face, and the boy didn't even say anything when he left her. Relena shook her head firmly, "No, he loves me. He's happy because this way we could finally be together... forever..."

Heero followed the doctor to Duo's room. The boy was sleeping in the bed with his eyes bandaged. He looked so fragile, just the way he saw him that day after the accident. But today was different, Duo would have his sight back and everything would be normal again, just like before. He turned to see the doctor and saw him smile.

"We couldn't decide whether his eyes were cured yet. We would have to wait until tomorrow when we open his bandages, Mr. Yuy." The doctor said.

Heero nodded and walked beside the bed. The doctor excused himself and left him alone with the patient. The Japanese boy stared at that sleeping figure on the bed and caressed long bangs that covered the bandaged eyes again. His fingers trailed over the smooth cheek and to the rosy lips that parted slightly. He couldn't help himself; he leaned and kissed those lips and felt them open under him. He gasped, thinking that the boy had awakened, but no, Duo was still asleep.

"Heero..." He heard him whisper in his sleep. Heero's mouth twitched to a smile as he heard his name on his tongue. Even when he was asleep, he called his name. It relieved him, somehow. When he remembered the cold response Duo gave him when he kissed the boy before, he felt afraid. He shook his head and kissed the lips again. It was soft and smooth just the way he remembered it, and he thought he could've gone crazy when Duo started to kiss him back.


Duo had waited for this day to finally arrive. The doctors and his friends had gathered around at his room to see the bandages finally unwrapped from his eyes. He could hear Quatre's enthusiastic comments, Hilde's happy laugh, and Trowa wish him good luck. Like always, Heero was silence all the time, but he could hear Relena's voice as she spoke to the Japanese boy. Duo swallowed hard, why was it so hard to accept that they were actually an item now? Why was it so difficult for him to understand that Heero wasn't his anymore...

"Mr. Maxwell, we're going to open your bandages now..."

Duo shivered as he heard the statement. Cold scissors touched his temple slowly. The bandages fell down, his heart pounding hard as the doctor remove the antibiotic contained cottons from his eyes. He was so afraid. What if he could finally see again? If he was cured, then what? He didn't have anything anymore... He would have his vision back, but what was the point?

"Open your eyes now, Mr. Maxwell. Slowly..." The doctor ordered.

Duo did what he told him, opening his eyes slowly. He didn't know what he wanted, but one thing was for sure. If he was able to see again, he wanted to see Heero's face again, even if he had to lose him after that.

He opened his eyes... and found darkness.

His breath came hard, almost choking. "I -- I can't see anything." He whispered, "I'm sorry..."

The doctor and the others in the room gasped in shock. But the room was completely silenced when the doctor had his eyes checked one more time with the flashlight. No reaction, nothing. The doctor shook his head and gave up.

"Doctor..." Relena's voice was hoarse and demanding, "How can it be possible?"

The doctor shook his head once again and told the nurse to have Duo's eyes cleaned and to give him some pills so he could sleep better. The nurses went to work and told everybody in the room to wait outside while they worked.

"Mr. Yuy, Miss. Darlian, please come with me..." The doctor said once they were outside.

The two teenagers followed the doctor to his office. Heero sat down before him and took a deep breath. They were all shocked from the result of Duo's operation even if his face didn't show it. The girl's face was the exact opposite, she looked definitely troubled, face pale as she demanded an explanation from the doctor.

"Doctor, I don't understand. I thought you said that it would work, but..." She stammered.

The doctor sighed, couldn't blame her disappointment. He also felt that way. "I'm sorry, but I don't know either, Miss. Darlian. We tried the best we could, but..."

Heero stood up abruptly, blue gazes went through the doctor's eyes. The man was so startled to see those cold eyes. "When can I take him home?" Heero said suddenly.

"Tomorrow will be fine, Mr. Yuy."

"Heero!" Relena was surprised.

"Thank you, doctor. Thank you for your effort." He said, smiling sincerely before he left the room. The blonde girl followed him to the hall, finally managed to catch up with him and tugged the end of his jacket to force him to stop.

"Wait, Heero." She insisted. The boy turned his face and frowned. "Relena..."

She looked up to him and bit her lips, "I guess this means that we have to wait a little longer..."

The boy snorted softly, "Why are you keep talking about us and us again? Don't you ever really want to see him cured?" His eyes were dangerous. The girl took a step back.

"O-Of course I do." She said weakly, "Why are you looking at me like that?"

Heero shook his head, "You keep saying that but you don't mean it..."

"Heero..."

"You don't know him like I do..."

"I..."

Before she could finish her words, he left her alone in the hallway.


Heero could see the glint of disappointment in those beautiful violet eyes when he told him that the operation had failed, and he might have to try another doctor and experiment for his eyes. Duo forced a rueful smile to him that time, and tried to act normal, but failed. Heero stayed with him that night at the hospital. He didn't know why but he wanted to be by Duo's side when he needed him. The braided boy was very grateful for it and let him stay, sleeping on the edge of his bed.

Duo had to admit that he felt safer when Heero was by his side, just talking to him. For a minute he didn't care if Heero had promised to be with Relena after he was cured, he didn't care the fact that Heero might not love him and was in love with someone else. He didn't care, as long as he had him by his side. He had wished that the time could stop and that he would still have him, just like he used to. They were happy back then, never thinking about anything else besides a normal life, peace, and, for him, love. He loved Heero, maybe since the first time they shared kisses, since the first time they made love, the time Heero saved him from the OZ base, or maybe even since the first time their eyes met.

He had admitted his feelings to the boy he loved, and sometimes he felt Heero loved him back. Wasn't it obvious the way Heero returned his kisses and passion with a mutual reaction? Or was it just wishful thinking?

He peered once again over the sleeping boy on the edge of his bed, the tousled dark brown hair tilted to the side just beside his hand. Duo moved his fingers and buried it in the messy hair, smiling when he felt the silken mass he used to caress during their nights together. He pulled his hand abruptly when he remembered the conversation he had with Relena. He wasn't suppose to do this, Heero wasn't his anymore, he belonged to Relena...

He looked up to the white ceiling of the hospital and felt his cheek burned by tears. If only there was a chance for them... If only...

I love you, Heero. Do you still love me...?


Duo went home to his and Heero's apartment the next day. Their friends wanted to stay a while, but Hilde hushed them all out to leave Heero and Duo alone together. Duo was rather quiet since the minute they entered the apartment and that scared Heero a little, Duo was never that quiet. Maybe he was still upset because the operation failed, he thought. But Duo just shook his head and offered him a weak smile when he asked him about that. The braided boy just had a sandwich for lunch and he started to get worried again when he refused to have dinner. The house was too quiet without Duo's endless laughter and humming. Heero remembered that he used to tell the boy to be quiet when he was working, but now he lost him already when he didn't say a word.

He closed his eyes and tossed those thoughts aside when Duo finally smiled to him, those eyes shone with something he didn't understand. "I'm okay, Heero. Don't worry about me..." He said that time before going to the bathroom.

He helped him get dress afterwards and laid him on the bed, feeling Duo's body shiver from his touch. Heero hesitated but when he saw those eyes he couldn't keep it for himself any longer.

"Duo, is there something wrong?" He asked, "Is there something you want to tell me?"

The other boy started and shook his head, "nothing, I'm fine." He said, sitting up in his bed.

Heero bit his lip, gently put his weight into the bed and touched Duo's arm gently. He was so shocked when Duo jerked from the touch. "Duo, what's the matter?"

"Nothing really..." He forced a smile, "I just... well, the operation failed... and that means that I'm going to bother you again... That just upsets me..."

"Duo, you're not!" Heero bit his bottom lip so to not yell at his roommate, "I want to do this, trust me..."

Duo's face fell. He turned his face away even when he couldn't see those deep prussian blue eyes look straight to his eyes. The Asian boy caressed the long bangs that covered those violet pools and smiled, "Duo, listen to me. I want you to be cured too... But if the operation failed, then let it be. We could try other procedures, Quatre said that he would find another doctor for you..."

"Heero..." Duo stopped him, "are you... are you happy with me?"

Heero was taken aback, "Of course I am, what kind of question was that?"

The boy startled, "You think... You think you could be happier if... if you lived with someone else...?"

"Duo, don't ever said that!" Now he was afraid. He jumped to his feet, eyes trembling. The braided boy looked up when he felt Heero was now standing right before him.

"But it's true!! I'm just a burden for you! I'm useless! I can't be with you anymore! Why don't you just leave me alone?!!" He shouted, eyes glaring.

Heero froze, "What did you say?"

"I said I don't want to be with you anymore!" He screamed loud enough, it made Heero shivered down his spine.

"Duo... I'll do anything for you... Just... just don't said that, okay?" He fell to his knees, hand reached for Duo's. "Don't say... that you don't want to be with me anymore..." And he meant it. He couldn't stop his heart pounding so hard it actually hurt when Duo said those words.

"I don't want to be with you unless you mean it..." Duo said, more faintly this time.

"I'll do anything for you, just tell me..." Heero surged up to feel Duo closer.

The braided boy's eyes were dangerous. "Do you really?"

"Tell me what you want."

Duo's blind eyes seemed to be seeing through his eyes, but there was no light in those eyes, just a dark pool now filled with a mocking gesture and challenge. Heero had to swallow hard as the boy finally opened his mouth, heart thumping, his breath caught in his throat. Duo's voice seemed so faraway.

"Marry me."

He thought he could hear Heero's gasping in the darkness. Well, of course he was shocked, why didn't he? He had all the right to be. Duo smirked in triumph. "Well?" He challenged. "I thought you'll do anything for me, Hee-ro?"

"I... Duo..." He didn't understand why he was stammering. His hands went cold and his lips dried.

"You can't, right?" The boy chuckled evilly, as if the answer was already predicted. "Now leave me alone!" Duo snarled angrily. "I don't want you here! Leave me alone!!"

Heero stood up and walked limply to the door, still watching those deep violets staring at him with rage. Is that hatred in those eyes? He wondered. Or is it sadness?

He closed the door as soon as he got out, barely breathing. Duo had asked him to marry him? Was it possible? But what about Relena?

Does it matter anymore, Heero Yuy?

He reached for his jacket and flew out from the apartment.

Duo felt his heart twanged as he heard the door of their apartment closed in a soft sound. Heero left. Maybe that's for the best, he thought. He knew all along that Heero would never accept the marriage, and that's exactly why he asked him. So he could finally have a reason to leave him. So Heero could be free, he could finally find his happiness with Relena, the girl he wanted to stay with. It wasn't him, the person he wanted to spend life with, for the rest of their time, even if Heero did love him like the way he thought all the while. Not you, Duo Maxwell...

But where should you go now? He asked himself. It's not so easy as you thought, is it, Maxwell? You're a blind man now, you can't even leave the building without Heero helping you, his mind rolled.

There's always Quatre. But it means that he would have to explain everything to him.


It was almost midnight when Duo finally decided to pack for his stuff, it was not easy now that he was blind. Heero hadn't come back yet and he started to accept that he would probably never come home. He just couldn't stay here anymore, there was too much recollection between him and his lover in the apartment, the place they chose together to start a new life together almost four years ago. A place where he thought he could have his love forever, the only person he would always love and adore.

He thought he could never love anyone anymore after so many people left him alone, his parents whoever they were, Solo and the others, Sister Helen, and Father Maxwell, but he knew once he laid his eyes on the Japanese boy, that he was different, that he would always be there for him, and that was one of the reasons why he loved him, because he believed... And now, he would lose Heero too.

He threw his clothes hastily to the baggage he dropped on the bed when he heard his door creaked open. He froze and almost dropped a bundle of clothes from his hands.

"Duo..." The voice was thick and wary.

Duo stopped, eyes widened as he heard Heero's voice.

"What are you doing?" He could hear him panic and felt strong hands removed the clothes from between his fingers. "What do you think you're doing?!" He demanded.

"I-I am leaving..." Duo was shivering.

"No!" Heero caught his wrist and lifted it upward, his palm opened. Heero put something in his palm and he gasped in shock as he felt that round object in his hand.

No. No. Don't do this Yuy...

"Would you marry me, Duo?" His voice was rasped and desperate.

In Duo's imagination all this time, he always knew that he would cry if Heero finally said the words. When he finally said that he wanted to spend the rest of his life together with him, to share their love and happiness. But the tears that shed on his cheeks right now weren't the happy tears he thought would come. Heero didn't do this because of his love to him, he did it because he was feeling guilty, because he had caused the blindness. Duo knew that Heero Yuy would give him anything he asked even though it would cost him his own happiness. Duo closed his eyes, fisted the ring in his palm. Oh how he had wished...

"NOOOO!!!" He threw the ring away, it clanged when it touched the floor and rolled to the corner of the room. "Don't do this, Heero! Please don't!"

There's pain in Heero's heart when he saw the ring thrown away by those pale slender fingers. It hurt more than when Duo had shot him years ago, it hurt more than when he saw Duo in that cold OZ prison cell, it even more hurt than the wound he had for months after his self-destruction. His eyes trembled, and he felt tears started to creep down his cheeks.

He saw Duo dropped to his knees and started crying, those shoulders trembled for something he didn't understand. He was hurt, instead Duo was crying?

"Why?" Escaped Heero's mouth, not moving he stared at the figure on the floor. "Isn't that what you wanted?"

"No!" The braided head rose up, Duo back on his feet, tears fell to his cheeks. "I just want you to leave me alone! You hear me?! Leave me alone!!"

"But... why?"

Duo wiped the tears from his eyes roughly, it took all his strength to force all the tears away. He ignored his heart that beats so hard now, his hands that went freezing, and his throat that had gone dry. "I don't love you anymore, Heero Yuy."

"Wha-- "

Hurt. Pain. Betrayed.

Funny, Heero thought. It was what Duo's heart was supposed to feel when he promised Relena that he would live with her, but now, the feelings just welled up inside Heero's heart, gone right through his guts and throat. He felt like throwing up for all the tears he had forced inside, some of them had leaked through the deep blue of his eyes. He never felt like this in his whole life.

To feel. He finally felt something. Is this what it was suppose to feel?

He didn't say anything as he walked through Duo's door, closing it softly. Duo still standing there, but his tears started to creep down his cheeks again.

It hurts to know that the person you love tried to leave you. It hurts to think that the person you love had betrayed your love, but it hurts even more when you have to tell the person you love more than anything that you didn't love him anymore.

Duo walked limply to his bed, flopping himself to the soft mattress. Did it matter anymore to leave the place if he didn't have anywhere to go? He closed his eyes and made a rueful smile. Now Heero would really leave him, and he had nothing else left in this world. He reached the drawer of the small table beside his bed and took the small velvet box he kept inside. He wished he could see the small ring he saved for Heero once again for the last time, he trailed the curve with one finger and bit his lip when he felt his eyes started to tremble again.

He put the box back to the edge of the drawer and produced a small bottle from the other side of it. The doctors had prescribed him the sleeping pills when he told him that he had trouble sleeping lately, he didn't tell Heero or Quatre about this and was glad that he didn't. He opened it hastily and deposited all the content to his palm, some of the pills dropped to the floor, but he swallowed the rest. Reaching his water bottle he helped his throat to finish off all the pills inside his body.

He lied down to his bed, finally be able to rest. He didn't have any reason to live anymore, so what stopping him to die?

Shinigami, I run, I hide, and I have lied to the one I loved...

"Oniisan, are you lost?"

He looked up and saw the same girl looking down to him, the wide eyes shimmered with sincerity. Heero sat up on the grass and smiled to her. She looked so much like Relena, he remembered. Maybe that's the reason why he had those kinds of feelings for the girl, the desire to protect her, because he was still feeling guilty to cause the little girl's death long ago. Would she forgive him for that by doing so? Could he repay his debt to the little girl by protecting Relena?

"Are you lost?" She repeated, the smile never lost from her lips.

Heero shook his head "Iie," He smiled, "I'm with Duo now..."

The girl smiled and nodded. Before he knew it she had run to the light followed by her little dog. He followed her with his eyes, saw her disappear in the distance. He turned to see Duo by his side and found nothing. Duo wasn't there, he wasn't by his side anymore.

"I don't love you anymore, Heero Yuy." He remembered the words.

"No, no, no!!" He shrieked out, "It can't be true! Duo! Duo! Don't leave me!" He ran and ran through the darkness, tried to find the braided figure he missed so much. The eyes, the smiles, the laughter.

"Heero..."

He turned his back and saw Duo standing there, his figure faded in the darkness. He remembered the long chestnut hair, the wide violet eyes where he could read all his expression, and the endless smile.

"Duo..."

"Duo!"

He sat up in his own bed, still fully clothed. He remembered that he had cried before he collapsed in his bed. Sweating, he touched his chest where his heart still beat quickly. He stood up nervously and walked to Duo's room. Maybe, he thought grimly. Maybe it wasn't too late, for everything... for everything he had jeopardized before.

The room was quiet and dark as he entered. He saw Duo's figure on the bed, limp and unmoving. He touched one cheek and felt warmth that started to turn to cold. "Du.." His mouth stopped and he shook the boy's body in his arms. "Duo, wake up! You hear me?! Wake up!!"

And then he realized it, he wasn't breathing anymore. Cold. Dead.

"Noooo!" He checked his wrists, looking for any marks "Duo, what have you done?!" He screamed, checking the pulse in his neck. Faintly he felt something. A pulse, weak, but it was there. He ran frantically to the phone, and called the ambulance.


It was like a nightmare when he sat there at the hospital waiting room while the doctors worked in the emergency room. He couldn't keep his legs to calm down, he walked to and fro in the long frustrated hour, waiting for the news about Duo. He hadn't called anyone yet, not Quatre and Trowa, Wufei and Sally, or maybe Relena. He barely remembered anything in the world except for the boy who he thought could have left him alone in this world. Fighting against death.

No, he couldn't be dead. Shinigami. He is Shinigami right? And Shinigami couldn't die.

"Mr. Yuy."

He whirled to meet the doctor he saw earlier and took Duo to the emergency room, he couldn't believe he was shivering when he stared at him, hopeful. The doctor smiled, "It's okay, he's okay now. He's still asleep, but he'll be okay in a few hours..."

Air started to fill his lungs back as he shakes the doctor's hand roughly and nodded vigorously. "Thank you, doctor... thank you..."

The doctor nodded, recognized the relieved expression of a patient's family in those blue eyes. "You could see him, but he won't be awake for hours..."

The Japanese boy nodded and thanked him once again before made his way to Duo's room.

He saw Duo's limp body lying in the white hospital bed, he was so fragile and pale, just like a ceramic. He stepped closer and sat on the edge of the bed, reaching for the slender fingers in his hand. Duo didn't even stir from his sleep. Heero's eyes trembled once again. Oh God. It had been so close...

He touched one cheek and brushed his lips gently over the smooth skin of Duo's palm. He could feel the pulse under the wrist and closed his eyes to assure himself that he wasn't dreaming, Duo's still alive, he's alive, and he's here with him.

"Duo..." He whispered, "I promise you... After you wake up, we would start everything all over again..." He clutched the white sheet roughly, leaned to kiss the rosy lips, "I promise you that... I don't care if you hated me because for what I have done, I'm so sorry... Please forgive me..."

He kissed him again before he finally made his way to the door and left the boy alone in the bed. The morning sun peeked from the hospital window, when he decided that he had to call for the others.


Quatre took a step closer to Duo's bed to see the boy laid there, limp with the IV in his arms. Violet eyes opened, straight to the ceiling. The blonde boy was trembling, he had wished to take Trowa inside so he could at least had someone to hold on to when he saw Duo's face like this. But Duo had called him here alone, the first person he called when he finally woke up was him, and not Heero. Quatre remembered the look in the Japanese boy's face when the doctor said that Duo wanted to see Quatre instead of him, Heero was startled but nodded in consent anyway to the Arabian boy.

And now, here he was before Duo who gave him a weak smile once he sat on the edge of his bed. Quatre was far from happy, he was mad, Duo had tried to take his own life when he didn't have the reason to. Why would a person like Duo, whose full with life and spirit ever did that?

"Why?!" Quatre cleared his throat out, "why, Duo? Why did you have to do all this?"

Duo didn't answer, just closed his eyes briefly and then shook his head.

"I never thought that you, of all people, would ever did this..." Quatre whispered in anger, "Is it because of the blindness? Is that it?"

"I have to..." Duo's answered was filled with sobbing, "I have to do it for Heero, so he could be happy..."

"What?" Quatre frowned, eyes looking for an answer in Duo's eyes but found nothing.

"I have to do it, so Heero could finally be happy with Relena..."

"Duo, what are you talking about?"

"Quatre..." Duo's voice was stammering, "I can't take it anymore..."

Heero leaned on the nearest wall, hoping for Quatre to finally get out from Duo's room so he could talk to the braided boy just the two of them, Trowa leaned beside him, watching him. It'd been more than a half an hour since his blonde lover entered the room and he hadn't come out yet. The Japanese boy shifted uncomfortably and walked to the door. Wufei and Sally trade glances and shrugged.

"Yuy, he'll be okay. The doctor said that he would be okay..." Wufei snorted. Sally just elbowed him and glared.

"I know." Heero retorted icily, "but..."

"Heero..." A young girl gushed to his side and clutched to his arm so suddenly. "I heard what happened. I'm so sorry... but he's okay, right?"

Heero nodded and looked back at Relena, "He's fine..." He detangled himself from the girl. "Not now, Relena..."

The door opened mutely and Quatre came outside. He gasped as he saw the blonde girl there by Heero's side and turned his face towards the Japanese boy. Heero frowned, why does Quatre stare at him like that?

"He wanted to see you." Quatre said flatly, "He wanted to say something."

"Aa..." Heero nodded and ignoring Relena's glance, he stepped inside.

He crossed the gap between the door and the bed and rushed to Duo's side. His anger mounted when he saw him laid there, face white and weary.

"Duo..." He started, "why did you do that?! Why did you try to kill yourself? I..."

"You won't understand..." Duo's voice was drowsy. ""I'll do anything for you..."

"For..." Heero jumped back and gets back to his feet. "You think I'll be happy if you died?! Is that it? You think that if you died I'll be able to forgive myself?!" He was half shouting when he said that.

The braided boy shook his head, "The reason I called you here, is to say good bye."

"What?"

"I want us to split, go our separate ways..."

Heero's eyes widened, "No, Duo! That's not what I want! I want us to start all over again! Duo, please.."

"Don't you worry about me, I'll be with Quatre. I don't know until when, but..." Duo nodded in certainty, "Good bye, Heero..."

"Mr. Yuy. It's time for the patient to have some sleep." The nurse entered the room so suddenly, but he was still not moving. He scanned Duo's face and saw there was no changing of emotions there. The nurse started getting impatient at the doorway, Heero nodded to her and back to the braided boy. "I'll come back later..." He promised.

Duo just nodded, but the tears had started to force their way out again. He turned his face so Heero couldn't see it.


He saw Quatre and Trowa had waited for him outside the soon as he stepped out form Duo's room. He didn't see any sign of Wufei and Sally, and also Relena. The boy frowned at the blonde Arabian and saw him slightly glared at him, somehow he knew that there was something wrong.

"What is this all about, Quatre?" He demanded, "he said that he wanted to be with you, what is he talking about?"

Quatre's eyes are dangerous. He never saw the deep crystalline blue snarl at him like that. Quatre was angry, he understood that, and it had something to do with Duo and him.

"You heard what he said." He said calmly, "He's coming with me."

"What are you talking about?"

"He wanted to leave you, can't you see?!" Quatre shrieked out, "and I don't want you to come close to him ever again!" He was trembling, Trowa had to support him from the back, Heero's eyes met Trowa's but the tall boy didn't respond with his gaze.

Heero's eyes frowned. "I don't understand."

"He knows!"

Heero startled.

"He knows everything about you and Relena Darlian! He knows all about it!" Quatre started to sob, "That's the reason he went through the operation, that's why he tried to kill himself! So you could be free from your stupid obligation over him! You're the only person he was always thinking of, you! It's always been you!"

"M-Masaka..."

Trowa squeezed the shuttered shoulders gently, but his eyes went straight to the Japanese boy, giving him the support he needed.

"I-I have to talk to him..." Heero trembled, "I have to explain everything that happened..."

"No!" Quatre stood up between him and the door, hands opened. "Never! Never come close to him again! You hear me?!"

Trowa touched Heero's shoulder gently and the dark-haired youth turned to face him, "Maybe it's better to leave him alone for now..." He said wisely.

"No, I have to talk to him, Duo has to know..." His eyes back to Quatre. He knew he could have just pushed him away from the door and burst right in, even with Trowa's support, but Quatre was his friend. And more than that, he was Duo's best friend, it was normal that he tried to protect his friend.

But the thought that Duo knew about all what happened scared him, why didn't he tell him already about him? Why didn't he just confront him with it? Why?

"Okay... But I'll be back later..." Heero said assuring and made his way leaving the corridor.

Trowa held the trembling body closed to his arms, Quatre shivered and buried his face in his lover's chest. He was still sobbing, barely breathe.

"You have to understand, little one..." Trowa soothe his back lovingly, "he still doesn't understand himself... he still need some time..."

"No!" Quatre shook his head, "he had his chance and blew it. I won't let Duo suffer ever again, he was my best friend, Trowa... I..."

"Ssh... I understand..." Trowa hold him more tightly, "just do what ever you think necessary..."

Quatre nodded, "I need your support in this..."

"You always have my support."


He saw the girl standing by the hospital gate, her dress was rumpled, it was obvious that she got here hurriedly this morning since the minute he called. How he regretted that he had to call for her, it hurt to see Duo like this, and the fact that he knew everything about him and Relena. There was only one explanation for where Duo got the information, Heero was more than sure that it was Relena who told him all about it.

"Heero, what's going on? Is he okay?" She ran toward him as she saw the Japanese boy show up. The boy stared at her incredulously, eyes glaring.

"It was you, wasn't it?" He snarled angrily, "You told him all about it!"

Relena stepped back, eyes uncertain. "Y-Yes, but he deserved to know..." She stammered.

The Asian boy tsked and turned his face away, "I know... I know... but why... Why you have to tell him like that, we agreed to wait..." His eyes trembled, "he was in his worst condition... he... he'd do anything for me... he followed the operation for me... and when he thought it didn't work, he tried to killed himself so I could be free..."

The girl gasped in shocked. She knew that the braided boy loved Heero so much, but never she would thought that he would give up his own life for him. Maybe she was wrong all this time to think that her love for Heero was more than Duo's love for him. Maybe Heero never meant to be hers... Maybe Heero even...

"Heero...?" She bit her lip, her mind rolled but she couldn't say a word.

"Gomennasai, Relena..." He finally said, "but I can't be with you... I'm so sorry..."

The tears fell down her cheek and the girl felt like her body gone limp, her eyes and her mind went blurry. She couldn't think clearly any longer. But one thing startled her. Her heart didn't hurt so much like she expected it would, her heart could take this reality. She wondered why? Maybe because she knew it all along that she would never have him, maybe because she knew it all along that he was belong to someone else...

"It's just that..." Heero's voice deep and low at the same time, "It's just that I was wrong... I thought he needed me... but it was wrong, it was me who needed him... I need him more than he needs me... I can't live without him, I..."

Relena shook her head firmly, gazed at the deepest blue in Heero's eyes. "I understand." She whispered, "I'm sorry too..."

Heero nodded and made his way passed her, he thought he saw her smile faintly.

"Goodbye, Heero..."

"Goodbye, Relena."


Heero went back to the apartment to take some of Duo's clothes with him, he thought the braided boy might need them as soon as he was out from the hospital. Duo was going home today and the thought excited him, even when he realized that he would need to explain everything to him the soon as he got back, and he would. He would tell him how much he was sorry, how much he wanted to start over again, how much he...

It wouldn't be easy for them to start a new life this time, but he would hang on, he would survive until the day when Duo would finally forgive him for all his betrayal over him, he promised himself that. He could never loose him again, because if Duo left him again... He shook his head, no, he didn't want to think about it.

He rushed to take a quick shower and hurriedly ran to Duo's room to take some clothes. Duo's room was still in chaos, clothes scattered all over the bed where the baggage half fell to the floor. Duo's drawer was opened and he could see the small bottle of prescription pills had empty. He noticed five pink pills dropped to the floor, maybe having fallen from Duo's hand that night. And he was trembling once again when he remembered that Duo could have died that night. His eyes caught a small box pushed to the edge of the drawer and reached it numbly. The box was velvet and looked like a jewelry box, he opened it and gasped.

He never saw such a beautiful ring like the one inside the box in his life before, it was made from white gold, with elegant little carving in the outside. He took it in his finger and saw the small engravers in the inner circle. He couldn't believe that his eyes shed a tear when he read it.

For now and forever, Heero Yuy -- Duo Maxwell

"Duo..."

He put the ring back to the box almost immediately and continued to pack Duo's stuffs. He needed to get back to the hospital as fast as he could, he couldn't delay much longer or he might be too late. He finished packing when he saw the sunlight that slanted through Duo's window illuminate a small object on the floor. He knelt and took it in his hand. It was his ring, the one he gave Duo that night, the one Duo had thrown away in his disappointment and sadness. He clasped the small object in his hand and made his way to the door. He promised himself that day. He would never leave Duo ever again.

The hospital started to get crowded in the day, Heero rushed his way to Duo's room, bumping some people on his way there. His face was flushed and his breath rasped, but he could care less. He carried Duo's clothes in the plastic bag in his left hand, the rings kept in his right pocket, he pushed the doorknob and burst right inside.

It was empty, the bed that was supposed to be Duo's bed, he swept his glance all over the room but found nothing, his heart beats fiercely. Duo wasn't there. No one was there.

"Excuse me, Sir. Who are you looking for?" A nurse asked him, smile plastered in her face.

He whirled around, pointing to the empty room. "This was supposed to be Duo Maxwell's room. Where is he? Is he being removed to the other room?" He couldn't hide the panic that came out with his words.

The nurse frowned, eyebrows furrowed. "Mr. Winner had arranged for his transfer a few hours ago, they said about removing him to a hospital in L4 but I'm not very sure where, are you one of his friends, Sir?"

The bag fell to the floor as he made his way to the parking lot. Almost frantically he started his car, he had to find Quatre and Trowa. The Winner property isn't too faraway, if he drove faster he could stopped them to reached the spaceport. He grit his teeth and focused his eyes to the street. No, Quatre could never take Duo away from him.

But he couldn't find him anywhere that day...


It had been almost two months since he had lost his braided lover from his life, he couldn't find him anywhere, Quatre did his job to hide Duo very well. Every time he thought he had found Duo, Quatre was always one step ahead of him. They would be gone before he even arrived to the place. Heero had searched for him on L4, to every branch of the Winner Corporation in the states and colonies and found nothing. It had been two months but he didn't gave up, he would never give up, he made a promise to himself, and this time he was going to fulfill that promise, no matter what it took.

Life hadn't been easy without the presence of Duo. He had to admit that he missed him so much that he thought he could die because of it. He woke up at night just to find that he was alone in that small quiet apartment. He thought about leaving the place, but sometimes he still hoped that someday Duo might come back there, bursting in the door without even knocking. Every single thing in the place reminded him of him, the big window where they used to watched the rain together, the chair where he used to brushed Duo's hair, the sofa where they used to made love. Oh it seemed like yesterday...

Typing away in his laptop, he started a new search for the ex pilot of Deathscythe, seeking for a news, any traces that connected with Quatre and the corporation. He remembered that he even visited Catherine in Trowa's circus in L3 the other day just to find nothing. He asked for Wufei's and Sally's help too, even some of his colleagues from the Preventer, but still he couldn't find anything. He thought about giving up, that maybe Duo hated him so much he didn't want to see him anymore. It took him only one glance to the two rings inside the velvet box on his desk to assure him that he had to find his only reason to live.

His doorbell rang that day and he was already on his feet, he didn't know why but this time he was almost certain that Duo was there, he almost ran to reach the knob. To his disappointment, it was not Duo, but it was a shorthaired girl with an invitation in her hand. She smiled sincerely at him.

"How are you doing, Heero?"

"Hilde..." Heero smiled faintly and told her to come in.

Hilde sat in the sofa, looking around the place and frowned. "The place hasn't change at all since the last time I visited.." She commented.

"Aa..." Heero opened the invitation, Hilde's wedding with Thomas was just another three weeks. He wondered if Duo would be there, maybe this would be his chance to see him. He had asked Hilde about Duo's whereabouts before and she said that she didn't know, but maybe...

"You don't look so good." Hilde observed, he did look thinner since the last time she saw him, and she could see that he had started to lose his spirit little by little from the inside. "You miss him didn't you?"

Heero lifted his face from the invitation he'd been reading. "Yes, I do..." He retorted matter-of-factly, "so much it hurts..."

Hilde nodded glumly.

"He said... He said that he didn't love me anymore..." He continued, not caring what the girl might think about him, but he just couldn't take it anymore, talking to Hilde like this, Duo's best friend after him, as if he was seeking forgiveness from the braided boy himself. "I can't blame him after everything I did to him..."

She sighed, her eyes solemn. "It hurts doesn't it? To hear the person you loved say that he didn't love you..."

He was startled, looking up to the girl's oblivious face. "I know how it feels, Heero..." She smiled, "The funny thing is, it was Duo who said that to me too..."

Blue eyes widened in surprise, Hilde's face become brighter. Heero knew that Duo and Hilde were so close together, but never he thought that the girl was once in love with the braided boy.

"He said that when I told him that I loved him, it was more than three years ago..." She sighed again and continued, "He said that one day I'd find someone that truly deserved me and how he was right about that... I asked him that time whether he had found someone he loved... at first... he didn't want to tell me that it was you," she chuckled and smiled over him, "I could still see the light in his eyes when he said your name, and I thought one day if I ever fell in love with someone just the way he loved you... It would be the most beautiful thing ever happen to me..."

"Duo..." The name escaped his mouth, "I really don't know what to do... I don't even know where he is..."

"That's why I came here today, Heero." She stood up, "The truth is that he never left Earth. He's still here, just across town in South Bay, I just gave him the invitation to him yesterday..."

Heero was on his feet almost immediately. "R-Really?" He couldn't believe that he was stuttering. She nodded in affirmation, "I know all that happened between you two. You deserved all this punishment, Heero, but... oh god... you're both so stupid. It's time to stop and start something new..." She patted his shoulder gently and smiled, "Go get him back..."

"I... I will..." Heero's heart leapt so high, he couldn't stop the color that started to creep up his cheeks. "Why... Why did you tell me all this?"

Hilde gave him a brilliant smile, "I just want the two of you come to my wedding." She shrugged and walked to the door, "See you at the party, Heero. And good luck to both of you..."


Enthusiasm burnt his blood as he drove his car to South Bay. It would be late afternoon when he arrived at Winner Mansion, but he could care less. He couldn't wait for another day to see Duo, he was afraid that he would lose him again, and this time could be forever. The wind blew his hair as he drove faster, racing with time. The last time he drove like this, it was at the mission that caused Duo's eyes to go blind. But if the accident didn't happen, he would probably have gone with Relena, and would never realized how much he needed the other boy to be with him. If the accident didn't happen, he might have made the worst mistake in his life.

He jumped out of the car and ran to the big gate of the Winner Mansion, the security guard spotted him and walked towards him suspiciously. "Can I help you, Sir?" He asked, voice thick.

"Tell Mr. Winner that Heero Yuy wants to see him." He answered hurriedly.

The guard frowned and backs to his post, turning on the communication channel. He talked through the phone and had another frown. He walked back to the gate where Heero waited impatiently. "Mr. Winner is not here right now, but Mr. Barton would like to see you."

Relief washed up his face as he thanked the security guard and followed him to the vast living room. He waited for only a minute before Trowa showed up. The ex pilot of Heavyarms shook his hand firmly and offered him a genuine smile, "Heero, nice to see you again."

"Where is he?" Heero couldn't process Trowa's last word perfectly, his mind couldn't think of anything but a certain braided boy right now, "Is he here? Can I see him?"

Trowa smiled, "Heero..."

"I need to see him, I need to talk to him..." Heero insisted, "Please... Please tell him that I want him back... I need him more than anything..."

"I understand..."

"I love him... Oh God... I've been so stupid, all this time I already have the love I wanted in life, but..."

Trowa patted his shoulders and gave them a squeeze. "He's not here, Heero. But I'll take you there."

"Where is he?"

"He went to the beach with Quatre this afternoon."

Heero gasped, "The beach..."

"Let's go."


The beach was pretty close with the Winner Mansion, Trowa had told him that Duo went to the beach often and spent most of his time there. Heero remembered what Duo had told him long ago, how much he loved the beach because it reminded him of the beach where they met for the first time. He still remembered that day too, and now he understood what Duo had told him the last time they went to the beach together.

I always wondered what would have happened to me if we never meet... My life would be worthless to live...

The sun started to set in the west when they arrived at the beach, Trowa lead him to a path where palm trees lined directly into the beach. The sea looked like an endless blue before his eyes, it connected to the big sky up above decorated with white cottony clouds. Heero looked up to the sky and saw the indigo color started to creep up the horizon. He closed his eyes and felt the wind around him getting colder.

He took a step forward and saw two figures standing by the beach. He recognized that long chestnut braid and the long bangs that almost covered half of the heart-shaped face, the wide indigo eyes that looked so much like the sky, and the slender black clad figure. He knew how it felt to smell the sweet shampoo scent from the unraveled braid, to kiss each closed eyelids, and to hold him close in his arms all night. How he remembered...

"Duo..."

His voice was like a whisper but was enough to make the two boys standing by the beach turn their face to see him, he froze. Quatre eyed him in surprise and his eyes met Trowa's. The taller boy nodded in affirmation and gave him the gesture to leave the other two boys alone, Quatre sighed heavily and then walked to his lover's side. Heero thought he saw him smile faintly when he passes him.

Heero stared at the longhaired boy for a long time, his body hesitant, but his heart guided him to close the gap between them and he finally had Duo in his arms. Duo's body stiffened inside his embrace, but he didn't push him away either. Heero bit his lip and caressed the long strands that was Duo's braid, mouth in Duo's neck.

"Duo, I'm sorry... I... I've betrayed your love for me, I know I don't deserve your forgiveness, but..." He stopped and pulled away just slightly, and saw the violet eyes tremble, "I love you, Duo. Please... Please forgive me."

Duo bit his lip hard, he didn't want to cry, but he had waited for the words for all his life. Heero's hands were warm and loving, and how he had wished the day to come, just like this, inside Heero's arms, to feel the strong arms envelop him with its warmth. Could it be really happening?

It was too good to be true. Any minute now he would be awake in his bed alone and find that this is just another dream. But the sound of the waves crashing the shore was so real. And Heero's heart against his chest was so firm. It couldn't be a dream. And if it was he would never want to wake up again.

If this is dream -- God -- let me sleep forever.

"I was looking for you everywhere, but I couldn't find you... I've missed you... I want you back..." Heero's eyes were solemn, Duo's face fell to the sand, bangs covered his eyes.

"What about Relena?" His voice was weak and hesitant. The question was always in his mind, it took time for him to finally ask it. And suddenly he felt Heero tighten his grip.

"It's over, there's nothing between me and Relena, it was over a long time ago when I finally realized that it was you I need and not her, I love you, only you... Please come back to me..."

"Heero.." Duo lifted his face. His heart pounded so hard, he felt the strong grasp in his hands. He had missed his touch so bad, he closed his eyes and just heard the strong heartbeats under his ear as Heero enveloped him with his full affection once again. He was startled as Heero pushed him away just slightly and reached for his pocket and produced a small velvet box.

"This is the ring I gave you that night..." Heero put the ring to the other boy's palm so he could felt it against his skin, "This time I mean it..." He gazed at the deepest violets in his eyes and smiled, "Duo, would you marry me? Forever by my side?"

Duo's eyes already welled up with tears and he lifted one hand to rub the tears away, smiling and nodding. Heero gasped in relief as he slid the ring on Duo's ring finger and leaned to kiss his lips. The kiss was sweet and deep, it wasn't like their first, and it wasn't like their last either. It was new, a kiss that sealed their promise to start a new beginning with new feelings. They didn't notice that Quatre started to sob the happy tears in Trowa's arms, or the sincere smile that crossed Trowa's face. Duo pulled back and took Heero's fingers in his hand, examined it carefully.

"You found the ring..." He said in amazement as he saw the ring in Heero's finger. It was the ring he bought for his Japanese lover a long time ago.

Heero was startled, he looked up and widened his eyes in surprise, "Duo... your eyes?"

Duo smiled and nodded sheepishly, inhaling the afternoon air. "If Quatre says that he will find you the best doctor in the whole world then he will..." He chuckled. "It's not perfectly cured yet, but..."

Heero clasped him closer in his arms, just letting the cold breeze surround them, Duo was warmer than anything in the world. He didn't care actually, if Duo's eyes weren't healed, he would still love him with all his being, because he knew now that he could see Duo's love for him from every gesture he made, not just his eyes.

They turned to see the sun drown in the west, swallowed by the darkened sea, it felt like another déjà vu when they held each other like this, just watching the open sea. Duo looked up to see his lover's face and saw him looking back lovingly.

"It's late, we need to go home..." Heero murmured, and felt Duo nodded in concurrence.

Heero leaned for a kiss and took his hand and they walked back to where Trowa and Quatre had awaited them. Duo hugged the blond boy tightly while Heero never stopped thanking him and gave Trowa's hand a shake. The taller boy just nodded and congratulated them.

He looked back to the ocean once again and smiled, the sun had started to set in the west but he knew that his future with Duo had just started, and if he could help it, their love would last for eternity. He made a promise to himself and he had fulfilled it. That time, he felt Duo squeeze his hand gently, and as he turned his face he saw the most beautiful violet eyes shine with its sincerity and love.

They went home to Quatre's place that night, but Heero just couldn't wait to take his braided lover back to their own home. He had found his love, and he would never again let him go.


The End
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