by Spencer song by Jewel
/ Barcelona where the winds all blow /
The thin boy walked slowly through the ancient city, breathing the dust of the streets. These were Earthly streets, made of dust and stone, rather than plastic or sheet metal. They held ghosts and demons that danced on the winds and leered from the dark windows. Not the physical demons of the colonies, the stinking old men with grasping hands, or the dead-eyed killers lurking in every alley of L2, this ruined metropolis held the demons of his own soul.
/ And the churches don't have windows but the graveyards do /
Each crumbling brick of the dilapidated walls simply seemed to echo the ghosts haunting his heart.
/ Me and my shadow are wrestling again /
The past just held too many memories, and even the good ones now rang with pain and loneliness. Heero was gone. That was it. The end. Heero left the relationship; Duo left the colony. It was just too painful for both of them. For nearly two years Heero *would not* open up, and the willowy American had finally accepted that he was not the one who would change that aspect of his fellow pilot's personality.
After years of fighting side-by-side, Duo thought he knew the pilot of Wing pretty well, and thought he could be the one to help the stoic boy, to heal him, and Heero had once seemed to think the same. After the final battle, when the Gundams were retired and their pilots finally allowed to lead semi- normal lives, Duo and Heero had rented an apartment together on L1. At first things had gone well. For Duo, there was no greater sensation in the world than falling asleep in the arms of the person he loved, but those wonderful times had ended abruptly.
/ Look out stranger, there's a dark cloud moving in /
The braided boy pulled his leather jacket further up around his neck and shoved his hands deeper into his pockets, hunching his shoulders into the wind.
/ But if you could hear the voice in my heart it would tell you I'm afraid I am alone /
He cast violet eyes to the swirling overcast sky, pleading for a sign.
/ Won't somebody please hold me, release me Show me the meaning of mercy Let me loose Fly, let me fly, let me fly /
Receiving no answers from the rolling clouds, the ex-pilot stopped by a crumbling white wall and leaned into the whitewashed plaster. The rough surface felt cool beneath his palms as he slid down to sit, watching the few people passing up and down the street.
/ Super paranoid, I'm blending, I'm blurring, I'm bleeding into the scenery /
No one even seemed to notice the black-clad boy, and he smiled, though the expression was full of pain. Here, in this monumental graveyard, he didn't have to keep up the mask. No one knew him, and no one cared to. This was the way he liked it, the way he wanted it, so why did his chest still ache with the haunting loneliness? He tugged the brim of his black hat a bit lower over his eyes as his thoughts turned back to the past year.
/ Loving someone else is always so much easier /
* * *
"Don't worry, Heero. I'm here. Everything will be all right," Duo crooned to the shivering boy, curled tightly against his chest. "It was only a nightmare. It wasn't real. You're safe. We're all safe." Heero whimpered something about blood, and Duo hugged him tighter, beginning to rock the trembling form like a baby.
The nightmares came frequently, but were usually not this bad. Duo would wake up to find Heero tossing the covers every which way, fighting some unknown monster in his sleep, or simply wake to find the dark-eyed pilot gone, sitting in the living room or curled beneath the one window in their small bedroom. When they were pilots, he had often found Heero huddled beneath Wing, the giant suit dwarfing its tiny pilot. Duo had simply calmed his friend and led him back to his bunk, taking a small bit of comfort, himself, when Heero clung to him. The Japanese pilot had truly seemed to need him, and Duo always believed that there was love hidden somewhere beneath the longing.
"Shhhh," Duo cooed. "Just relax. It's all right. I'm here." Heero's arms shot around his lover's chest, drawing them as close as possible as he buried his head against the mass of chestnut silk that had fallen loose over Duo's left shoulder. The violet-eyed boy smiled sadly, "I love you, too, Heero."
* * *
/ But I hold myself hostage in the mirror /
* * *
'What's wrong? What have I done?' Duo stood before the floor-length mirror, gazing, frustrated, at his frowning reflection. ' Is it something I *didn't* do, didn't say?' He crossed his arms over his slim chest and glared at the violet-eyed copy. 'What!?' The twin refused to provide any answers, only glaring back angrily.
/ But if you could hear the voice in me heart it would tell you I'm tired of feeling this way /
"Aargh!" Duo yelled at the empty room and began pacing back and forth beside the bed. Heero had gone to Relena, RELENA, of all people! Of course he would be back tonight, but right now he was with that baka of a girl! 'I've been struggling for years to get Heero to admit he needed another human being, but not like this!'
Duo collapsed onto the bed in a frustrated heap. Tears threatened to spill from his large violet eyes as he buried his head in his arms. He hated to cry! ' Boys don't cry!' But the pain of Heero's abandonment was almost too much. When Heero left that morning he had taken something with him. Duo wasn't quite sure why, but his absence left a searing wound in the braided pilot's heart that throbbed like fire. Something told him the missing element was his own seemingly eternal hope.
'How could Heero just leave me? Did our years together mean nothing? What about the nights? Did I always mean that little to him?'
/ God, won't you please hold me, release me Show me the meaning of mercy Let me loose Let my fly, let me fly, let me fly /
'Why, Heero? Why?'
/ I won't be held down, I won't be held back I will lead with my faith /
He confronted Heero about Relena, and was both relieved and terribly hurt when Heero told him the simple truth, that Heero was not in love with him. After that, he simply left, without a word, without even a last Shinigami grin. He simply gathered his things and left. The end.
* * *
/ The red light has been following me /
The ex-pilot lifted his face back to the sky, and a tear slid from one violet eye, rolling down the smooth cheek and neck to vanish in the black collar. He felt like a whore. Isn't that what Heero had done, simply used him and left him? How long had Heero known he wasn't in love? From the beginning? Duo didn't want to believe that. At first Heero had seemed almost, well, almost sweet. Could it all have been that cheap? Had he really been that blinded by the flashing cobalt eyes? That was being pretty unfair to Heero, but he really didn't know what to believe anymore.
/ But don't worry mother It's no longer my gravity /
Eventually, he would have to return and ask. He couldn't live the rest of his life wondering how much of a whore he had been . . . but not now. For now he wanted nothing more than to forget the ex-pilot of Wing and his royal love.
Duo couldn't hate his former lover. Heero was just too perfect, too beautiful to hate. All he wanted right now was to be as far from the other boy as possible. The futile hope always remained that maybe the pain would fade with distance.
He needed to live on his own for a while. That was the way things should be, the way they were meant to be. 'Shinigami is forever alone.'
The black-clad boy rose and resumed his slow walk through the windy Spanish streets. The clouds were finally beginning to lighten a bit, and he smiled.
Maybe he was not destined to be alone forever. The universe was full of beautiful people. Heero was not the end of the world. His heart was still aching from its last bruising, but Duo knew with certainty that it was not broken beyond repair. He was alive, and where there is life there is love.
/ Hold me, release me Show me the meaning of mercy Let me fly, let me fly, let me fly /
A thin shaft of sunlight broke through the tumbling clouds and fell on the small ruined street. Duo grinned up into the golden rays and raised his arms. 'I'll fly again. Just watch me.'
* * * The End.