I don't really know how divorce works in Japan. All my knowledge comes from watching Divorce Court on television. ^_^

Disclaimers: Nope, don't own it. Don't own the movie either.

Pairing: 1X2, R+1, 3+4, 5+M, implied 13x2, 6+9, Howard+anything in a skirt (it just keeps growing...)
Warnings: Shounen-ai, Yaoi, eventual lemon -- please don't read if this doesn't appeal to you -- AU, OOCness, a tad angsty, Relena bashing, lots of references to dancing, and I've gone and bastardized Treize... sorry (really, I hate to do it but I needed a villain).
Spoilers: none


Shall We Dance
by Caroline

XI :Foxtrot


The first sensation Heero became aware of was pain. A dull, aching throb blossomed from the back of his skull and radiated outward through his entire body. His ears were ringing with a high pitched whine. As he slowly became aware of his surroundings, he realized it wasnít a whine, but his wifeís voice.

"Heís awake! Milliardo, heís waking up! Heero, can you hear me?" Each word she uttered sent a jolt of pain through his head.

"Please... not so loud," he rasped, blinking his eyes to get used to the light. His wife and her brother were standing next to the bed he was lying on. He glanced around the room. "Where am I?"

"Youíre in the hospital," Milliardo answered softly. "Do you remember what happened?"

Heero thought for a moment. "The competition... Duo, Hilde... " His eyes widened. "Hilde! Is she alright?"

Relenaís eyes darkened at the mention of his friends. However, it was Milliardo who answered him. "Sheís fine. She has a minor wrist sprain but nothing serious. You hit your head pretty hard. Youíve been in and out of consciousness for a whole day now."

Heero slowly sat up. Amazingly the pain wasnít so bad in an upright position. He was about to ask Milliardo for help out of the hospital bed when the door to his room opened. A tall woman with curly dark blonde hair entered carrying a clipboard.

"Yuy-san, Iím Dr. Sally Po. How are you feeling?" she asked, looking him over.

"My head still hurts and my neck is a little sore," he replied as he allowed her to poke and prod at him.

Dr. Po took out a penlight and shined it in his eyes. "Hm. Thatís to be expected. Can you stand?"

"I can try." He swung his legs over the edge of the bed and slid them down to the floor. Slowly, he stood.

"Good," commented the doctor. "Any dizziness?"

Heero shook his head.

"Okay. Iíll give you some pain medication. That should take care of the headaches. You can go home now, Yuy-san, but get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids. If you experience any dizziness or blurred vision, come back to the hospital immediately." She dug around in her coat pocket and brought out a packet of two small, white pills. Take these two now and Iíll write you a prescription for more."

"Thank you, doctor," Heero said, taking the slip of paper she handed him.

"You can sign your release forms at the nurseís station. Do you have any questions?"

"No. Thank you," he said again, bowing to her.

"Take care, Yuy-san," she said before she left the room, leaving the three of them alone once more.

"I brought you a change of clothes," Milliardo said, handing him a folded pair of jeans and a button-down shirt.

"As soon as you get dressed, we can go home," Relena added.

"I canít go home yet. There are some things I need to do."

"Things? What kinds of things?" Relena demanded, looking at him crossly. "You heard the doctor. You need to rest."

"Later. There is something I have to do first," he replied as he pulled on his jeans.

Relenaís eyes darkened. "Youíre going to see him arenít you?"

Heero paused in the process of pulling off the paper hospital gown. His heart suddenly grew cold. "What do you mean?"

"That... that boy with the braid. I saw you two at the Exhibition Center." Her face was turning red with anger with each passing moment. "How could you do this to me? To us?"

Heero yanked off the paper gown. "Relena, there is no us. There hasnít been for a long time. Perhaps there never was."

"How can you say that?!"

"Look, Relena, Iím sorry you had to find out like this. Iíve been meaning to talk to you about it for a while." He looked her directly in the eyes. "I want a divorce."

Relena looked at him in surprise. "You canít possibly be serious."

"Iíve never been more serious in my life, Relena. Iíve already had the papers drawn up."

"No."

"Relena... "

"No! There will be no divorce! I wonít allow such as scandal on my family name! I wonít have it!" she shouted at him, stamping her foot like a child.

"Itís too late, Relena," Heero said calmly.

"No itís not!" She walked over to him and clutched his arm possessively. "I know things havenít been right between us for a while, but maybe we can work things out. We could go away together, just the two of us." He could hear the desperation in her voice. "Or... or we could get some counseling... "

"No Relena. I am getting a divorce. I never should have married you in the first place. It wasnít fair to me and it certainly wasnít fair to you. And for that I am sorry."

"No! You canít mean that! You love me!" she protested vehemently.

Heero grabbed him wifeís shoulders and set her away from him. "I want you to listen to me carefully, Relena. I. Donít. Love. You." He punctuated each word so she would get the point. "Iím sorry if I ever made you think otherwise. But itís time to end this charade of a marriage."

"No! No!" she cried, balling her fists. "I wonít lose you! Youíre my husband. I wasnít lose you to that little faggot!"

Heero grabbed Relenaís upper arms and shook her. "Donít you ever call him that," he said dangerously.

Relena looked into his eyes and laughed. "What makes you think heíll take you back anyway? From the look on his face, Iíd say you never told him you were married."

Heero felt a cold chill pass through his body. "What do you mean?"

"The little slut came here looking for you yesterday. I told him you were my husband and couldnít be disturbed," she spat viciously. "He turned so pale I thought he was going to faint. But he didnít. He turned tail and ran away."

"Thatís not true," he protested, his voice wavering. ĎPlease God, let it not be true.í

"Heero," Milliardo interrupted gently. The Japanese man had almost forgotten he was there. "Iím afraid it is true. Duo was here. He knows."

Heero pushed Relena away from him and sat down heavily on the bed. "No. Duo... "

How could he have let this happen? He knew Duo had been betrayed before. How could he have done this to the one person he loved more than life itself? And now... now he may have lost Duo forever. The thought sickened him and chilled him to the bone. He stood up and pulled on his shirt, buttoning it hastily.

"I have to see him," he said as he quickly gathered his belongings.

"No! I wonít allow this!" Relena cried again.

"You have no say in the matter," Heero snapped at her as he slid his shoes on. "Expect to hear from my lawyer soon."

"Heero... "

Walking to the door, he took one last look at his wife. "Good-bye, Relena."

Relenaís wail of outrage followed him out into the hall. He quickly walked to the nurseís station and signed all the necessary forms. He was about to turn away when a voice stopped him.

"Heero, wait."

Heero turned to see Milliardo walking briskly toward him. "Milliardo, Iím sorry for doing this to your sister. I hope one day both you and she can understand... "

"Heero," his brother-in-law interrupted, "thereís nothing to forgive. I already understand. I came out here to wish you luck. Duo is very special."

Heero blinked at him incredulously, not knowing what to say.

"Look, Iíll talk to Relena for you. Iíll try to make her see the light on all this. You go to Duo. Explain everything to him. And donít leave anything out this time."

"A... arigatou."

"Go," Milliardo ordered, giving him a little push. "Iíll see Relena home."

Heero nodded his thanks, amazed that Milliardo was on his side... and actually understood! But all thoughts of his soon-to-be ex-wife and brother-in-law left his mind as he bolted down the hallway. All he could think of now was the beautiful violet-eyed dancer who had stolen his heart.

ĎIím so sorry, Duo... í



In the end, Heero was glad Dr. Po had given him those pain pills. Duoís house wasnít too far from the hospital, but the hustle and bustle of the busy afternoon crowd aggravated his head. And heíd need a clear head to face Duo.

He paused at the little gate in front of Duoís house. He was afraid, more so than he had ever been in his entire life. But he wasnít going to run away like he had all those times he had tried to tell Duo the truth. He couldnít afford to run away, not if he didnít want to lose the one precious thing in his life. Taking a deep breath, he walked up the stone path to the door and rang the bell.

It was Une who answered the door. As soon as she saw him standing there, her eyes narrowed. "What do you want, Yuy-san?" He could hear the barely controlled anger in her voice.

"Une-sensei, is Duo home? May I see him?" he asked plaintively.

"Do you really think thatís a good idea?" she asked as she stepped out onto the porch, closing the door behind her.

"Please, I... I need to explain... "

"I think your wife already explained everything Duo needed to know, Yuy-san," she said viciously.

Heero looked at the ground. "Iím sorry, I... "

"Youíre sorry? Do you really understand what youíve done?" Her voice rose higher in pitch as tears began gathering in the corners of her eyes. "Do you know how long it took for Duo to get over what Treize had done to him? I donít know what he told you, but I know he didnít tell you the whole truth. He didnít eat or sleep for days after he came home from Blackpool. I was so afraid I was going to lose him, too. But he pulled out of it. It took almost a year, but he managed to somehow get over what that bastard had done. And yet, he wasnít the same. The bright, happy child I knew was gone. In his place was a quiet, sullen young man."

Une paused to wipe the tears from her face. "And then you came along. I donít know what you did, but somehow... somehow he started to smile and laugh again. I was so happy and grateful that I had my Duo-chan back. And it was all because of you! But yesterday... yesterday you sent him right back to where he was after Blackpool. And I donít know if I can ever forgive you for that."

Heero felt tears slip silently down his cheeks as he listened to Uneís tirade. She was right. What he had done, or rather, what he had not done was unforgivable. He didnít blame Une for not letting him in to see Duo. Had he been in Duoís position, he probably wouldnít want to see him either. The best thing he could do was go. He would leave Duo alone and hope that someday Duo could forgive him.

"Iím so sorry. Please, just tell him Iím sorry. I never meant to hurt him." He looked back into her eyes. "I love him."

"I think you should go," Une whispered as she stepped back into the house.

"Please? Just tell him that?" he begged.

Une looked at him for a long moment before reluctantly nodding. "I will tell him."

"Arigatou." It was all he could say. He stared at the door after Une had closed it for a long minute before turning and walking away.



Une shut the door, wiping furiously at the tears on her face. She didnít want Duo to know she had been crying. She climbed the stairs, calling Duoís name softly.

Her brother-in-law was where she had left him - curled up on the futon in the corner of their upstairs dance studio. His tear-streaked face looked up as she entered the room.

"Was that... was that him?" he sniffed, tugging unconsciously at the end of his braid.

Une paused. "Yes."

Duo nodded and picked at his hair. Une sat down beside him on the futon. Duo inched closer to curl up beside her. She wrapped her long arms around him and gently rubbed soothing circles on his back. "Itís okay to cry, Duo-chan."

Duo buried his face in her shoulder and mumbled, "Boys donít cry." Half a second later, Une felt hot little droplets seeping through her shirt. She held him and rocked him and hummed a little tune his mother used to sing when he was a baby. Gradually, Duoís tears slowed, though his still kept a death grip on her shirt.

"What did he say?" he asked, almost too softly for her to hear.

Une hesitated. "He said... he said he was sorry," she answered finally.

Duo gave a small laugh. "They all say theyíre sorry."

"He... he sounded sincere enough."

Duo shifted in her arms. "Yes. Heero would." His voice became softer. "Did he say anything else?"

Une closed her eyes. She didnít want to tell him. And yet... and yet, Duo was right. Heero may have hurt her Duo-chan terribly, but she could see the truth in the young manís eyes. He was sincere. And Duo needed to know that.

"He said he loved you," she whispered, holding him tightly.

Duo pressed his face into the crook of her arm. "I thought Iíd never feel the same after Treize. But then I met Heero." He looked up at her and smiled, really smiled. "After I met him, I realized I had never loved Treize. Because what I had felt for him was nothing compared to what I felt for Heero."

"Oh, Duo... "

Silver tears began streaming down his heart-shaped face once more. "I love him, Une. I love him. I love him."

Une held Duoís sobbing form as the young man chanted those three words over and over until the sun had long since set over the city.



Several weeks later...


A loud knocking broke Heero out of his half-asleep, half-awake daze. He glanced at the clock to see that it was a quarter past eight in the evening. His small apartment was mostly dark, lit only by the flickering light of the television set. Shadows danced around the sparsely furnished room. Truthfully, Heero preferred this small, bare apartment to the lavish, museum-esque house Relena had kept. He had simplistic tastes and didnít need a lot of things. Yes, this apartment suited him a lot better than Relenaís house ever had.

The knocking at the door grew more persistent. "Heero? Are you home?" Milliardoís voice came from the other side of the door. Heero quickly stood and let his brother... no, former brother-in-law in.

"Are you alright, Heero?" the blonde man asked as he stepped inside. "I must have been knocking for a full minute."

"Gomen. I was half asleep. Long day at work," Heero replied as he clicked off the television and turned on some lights. He gestured for the taller man to have a seat. "So what brings you here this time of night?"

"I was in the neighborhood and thought Iíd stop in to see how you were doing, what with everything thatís been happening in the past few weeks." He looked around. "Nice place."

"Thanks. Itís not much, but I like it. Iím happier here."

"Happy?" Milliardo asked. "How happy are you really, Heero?"

"Iím fine. The divorce has come through. I have my own place. Iím... okay."

Milliardo looked at him. "And Duo?"

Heero looked down. "I havenít seen him since the competition. You know that."

"Yes, I do. And I still say youíre making a monumental mistake by not seeing him and trying to explain things."

"I tried, Milliardo, I really did. I went to his house the day I got out of the hospital. Une wouldnít let me in. I called and left messages both at his house and the dance studio. He doesnít want to see me."

"Fight harder."

"How, dammit?" Heero cried, hitting the cushioned arm of the couch with his fist. He took a deep breath to calm himself. "Itís hopeless. Iíve lost him."

"Heero... "

"No. Please donít push it. Itís better this way. Iíve already caused him too much pain. Iím afraid any more contact with me would just give him more grief. And I wonít do that to Duo. I just wish I could apologize... tell him how sorry I am. Tell him that I never, ever meant to hurt him." He gestured to a small, white envelope on the nearby desk. "I even wrote him a letter. Took me nearly twenty tries before I could finally put all the thoughts in my head on paper. But itís all there. Everything I felt for him, everything I did... itís all written down."

"Then why is it still sitting on your desk?"

"I told you, I wonít add to the pain Iíve already caused. I wonít mail it to him. I thought that by getting all my emotions out on paper, it would make me feel better."

"But it didnít." It was more of a statement that a question.

"To an extent, it did. I finally had everything I was feeling written in black and white in front of me. But knowing that Iíd never be able to share those thoughts with Duo... it broke my heart all over again."

Milliardo looked at him thoughtfully for a long moment before speaking again. "Heero, tell me the truth. How do you really feel about Duo?"

Heero stared into space as he thought about Milliardoís question. How did he feel about the beautiful young dancer who had captured his attention? Kinship - the boy had lost his family as he had lost his own. Protectiveness - he wanted to spare Duo from the pain and suffering of the world. Friendship - during their long talks over dinners theyíd discovered they had a great many things in common, a love of dancing being but one. Lust - that one was a given as he remembered their one, magical night together. But when he thought about it, he realized that his feelings for the violet-eyed American went much, much deeper than any of that. When Duo was happy, he was happy. When Duo was in pain, Heero hurt right along with him. They were kindred spirits, soul mates. The shining soul that was Duo Maxwell had taught him how to live and laugh again. And in the end, only three words were needed.

"I love him."

Milliardo nodded, apparently seeing everything Heero left unspoken in the Japanese manís eyes. "Good. Thatís what I wanted to know."

Heero opened his mouth to ask what he meant by that when a soft knock on his door interrupted him. He excused himself and went to answer it, wondering who it could be. He was very surprised to see Quatre standing on the other side.

"Konbanwa, Heero-kun. May I come in?"

"A... aa," Heero murmured as he stepped aside, ushering the small blonde into his apartment. It wasnít the first time Quatre had been to visit him. He, Trowa, and Wufei had all stopped by at one point or another to see how he was. Heero was grateful for their concern - and even more grateful that they had forgiven him for what he had done to Duo after he had told them the whole story. Sadly, it wasnít their forgiveness that he craved.

"What brings you here, Quatre?" Heero asked as he took the young manís coat.

"Hildeís finally forgiven you. We told her everything." Quatre smiled. "Of course that may be because sheís getting fed up with having Wufei as her partner. She wants to dance with you again."

"Tell her I appreciate her sentiments but Iím through with dancing," Heero replied as he gestured for Quatre to enter the living area.

"Iím sorry to hear that, Heero-kun. You were turning out to be a fine dancer. I... oh, Iím sorry. I didnít realize you had company," he said, catching sight of Milliardo sitting on the couch.

"Quatre Winner, Milliardo Peacecraft," Heero said, introducing the two men.

"Pleasure to finally meet you," Milliardo said. "I saw you at the hospital did I not?"

"I believe so, Mr... Peacecraft?" Quatre looked at Heero. "As in... "

"He is Relenaís brother," Heero explained.

"Ah," Quatre said, looking slightly confused. "How did things with Relena go anyway?"

Heero picked a sheath of papers off his desk and waved them at his friend. "The divorce came through yesterday."

"Thatís good. I mean... " Quatre trailed off, looking embarrassedly at Milliardo.

The taller blonde laughed. "Donít worry. Iím on Heeroís side. I love my little sister, but she has some severe selfishness issues to work out. Comes from being too spoiled as a child, I guess."

Quatre turned back to Heero. "So getting the papers signed wasnít a problem?"

Heero winced. Milliardo laughed. "Of course it was a problem," the taller man said. "Relena tried every trick in the book to keep Heero."

"Like what?"

"Alimony," Heero answered. "She said I couldnít afford to divorce her."

"His lawyer then said since Relena had more money than Heero, sheíd have to pay him!" Milliardo exclaimed, humor gleaming in his eyes.

"Will she?" Quatre asked, grinning. Heero had told them all what Relena was really like, and they had all agreed Heero had made the right decision by seeking a divorce.

"No. Her lawyer argued that since I was the one who cheated on our marriage, I wasnít entitled to a thing." Heero shrugged. "And Iím not. I donít need or want her money."

"Relena thought she had him with that one until Heero explained he had his own money," Milliardo added.

Heero allowed himself a small smile. "She never seemed to realize that Iíd had a job and that I never spent a cent on myself. I invested every yen I earned. I have myself a nice little nest egg. Itís not big, but itís enough for me to live comfortably on."

"You should have seen her face when she found that out. I swear her face turned purple." Milliardo grinned. "But that wasnít the best part."

"Oh, do tell," Quatre begged.

"Milliardo... "

"Hush, Heero. Let me tell this. When Relena said she wouldnít sign the papers, Heero stood up, looked her in the eye and said, ĎThis divorce will happen, one way or another. Either we do this today and the details stay between us, or we do it the hard way - in front of a judge, complete with a big, splashy media parade.í And then he got real close to her and said, ĎWhich scandal would you prefer, Relena? A quiet divorce, or the fact that I left you for another man?í She signed the papers quickly after that."

Quatre collapsed back on the couch in a fit of giggles. "Oh I bet the look on her face was priceless! I wish I could have seen it."

Heero rolled his eyes. "If you two gossiping old hens are through discussing the details of my life... "

"Sorry, Heero-kun," Quatre said, still grinning.

Heero looked at the smaller blonde. "Why are you here again, Quatre? Surely it wasnít to tell me about Hilde."

"Er, no. I did need to talk to you about something but... " He glanced at Milliardo. "Maybe it can wait."

Milliardo stood. "No. You stay. I should be leaving now anyway."

Heero saw him to the door. "Thank you for stopping by."

"Heero, I know weíre not family anymore, but donít let that make you a stranger. Come over any time," his former brother-in-law said, smiling.

"Iíd like that. Thank you."

"Iíll see you sometime soon."

After saying their good-byes, Heero shut the door and returned to Quatre. "So what was it you wanted to talk to me about?"

Quatre hesitated for a moment before answering. "Itís Duo."

Heero immediately felt a surge of fear run through him. "What is it? Is he alright?"

"I havenít seen him. He hasnít been back to the dance school. Une-sensei has hired someone new to teach Duoís students. Big guy by the name of Rashid. Looks like he has all the grace of an elephant, but heís actually quite good." He noticed Heeroís worried look. "Donít worry, Heero-kun. Duoís fine, physically at least. Hilde went to see him a couple of days ago. She said he had a rough couple of days after the competition but that heís doing better now. However... " He shifted uncomfortably on the sofa.

"What is it?" When Quatre didnít answer him, he grew even more worried. "Quatre, please tell me."

"Heís leaving the country, Heero. Heís moving to England."

Heero felt like someone had punched him in the stomach. Duo... gone? He had consoled himself that even though he and Duo werenít together anymore, he could catch glimpses of his love in the dance studio window. But now he wouldnít even be able to console himself with the fact that Duo lived only a few blocks away. Duo was leaving the country. Heero suddenly felt very ill.

"Why?" he rasped, his mouth dry.

"I donít know. Hilde didnít elaborate. But Heero... you should go see him. It may be your only chance."

Heero didnít say anything. Quatre was right. Duo was leaving. He had to try to see him before that happened. He didnít know what he would say, but he couldnít let Duo leave without seeing him one last time.

"Heero?"

He looked back to Quatre. "Iím sorry. Youíre right. I need to see him," he said softly.

Quatre nodded and stood. "I only stopped by to tell you that. I need to get going."

Heero stood as well and walked him to the door. "Thank you for coming here to tell me that, Quatre."

"I thought you should know. And Heero... I hope you donít stop dancing. You were really good, and I know you were enjoying it. Come by the studio some time?"

"Iíll think about it. Thank you again for coming."

Quatre smiled. "Donít let him slip away," he added as he stepped through the door to leave.

Heero closed the door silently behind the little blonde. He felt numb. He thought he had resigned himself to never seeing Duo again. But Quatreís announcement hit him like a ton of bricks. He really wouldnít see Duo again if he left the country. He didnít know how he could handle that. All he knew was that he had to see the young dancer before he left. He wouldnít be able to live with himself if he didnít.

As he stared off into space, his eyes gradually shifted to his desk. With a start, he realized that the letter he had written to Duo was gone.



"Duo-chan?"

The braided dancer looked up from where he was wrapping several framed photographs carefully in tissue paper to see his sister-in-law standing in the doorway of their living room.

"Hai, Ďneesan?"

"I thought you might like to take this one with you as well," she said, handing him another frame.

Duo looked down at the photo and grinned. A mud-splattered ten-year-old version of himself and an equally muddy Solo looked up at him. "I remember when this was taken. Mother was livid."

"She just couldnít believe how much mud you two managed to get all over yourselves. And she couldnít believe that her twenty-five year old son would get in a mud fight with his ten-year-old brother."

"Hey. He started it!" Duo exclaimed cheekily as he wrapped the frame in tissue paper. He looked up as he felt Une staring at him.

"Iím going to miss you, Duo-chan," she said, tears misting in her eyes.

Duo moved to embrace the tall woman. "Iíll miss you, too, Ďneesan." He wiped an errant tear from his own face. "You could come with me, you know."

Une laughed and shook her head. "No. I have my school. Itís something Iíve always wanted. My life is here."



Duo nodded. "I know. Itíll still be hard, being away from you. Youíre the only family I have."

"You just better come back on holidays and vacations," she threatened lightly.

"I will, I will! I know youíll hunt me down and drag me back otherwise. And what would that do to my reputation?" Duo joked as he stood.

Une laughed again. "You hungry? I thought Iíd make us some lunch."

"That sounds great."

As Une moved toward the kitchen, Duo heard the sound of the mail being slid through the tiny slot on their door. "Mailís here!" he called out as he moved to the door.

"Will you get it?" Une called out from the kitchen.

"Hai!"

He picked up the envelopes off the floor and began sorting them into piles... bills, junk mail, personal. He frowned as he saw one with his name written neatly on it. Tearing it open, his heart leapt into his throat as he saw who it was from. He walked into the living room, sat down on the small sofa, and began to read.
Duo,

I've tried to write this letter many times, trying to find the right words. And even though you will probably never read this, I realized that no words could express how terrible I feel for what Iíve done to you. Please understand that I never meant to hurt you. Iíd sooner cut out my own heart that to cause you any pain.

These past few months have been nothing short of magical. I hadnít been aware of how truly unhappy I was with my life until I walked through the doors of your dance school... until I met you. And suddenly, I was having fun again! I could actually feel myself getting excited with each new dance I learned. For the first time in a long while, I actually had something to look forward to. And I had you to thank for it.

What started me dancing was you gazing out of the window. You can see those windows from the trains. Every day on the train home I looked for you. I felt relieved if I saw you or disappointed if you werenít there. Your melancholy look and sad smiles, they totally charmed me.

I married Relena for all the wrong reasons. I never loved her - for me it was a marriage of convenience. It was for love of my parents that I did it. After they died, it felt like part of me had died with them. I suppose I should have gotten out of the marriage then, but without my family, I felt like I had nothing left to live or fight for. So I stayed. Even though we were legally married, Relena and I hadnít lived together as husband and wife since before my parents died. I felt trapped, but I was so numb from my parentsí deaths that I didnít care.

Then you appeared. I donít know what happened, but seeing you in that window touched me in a way I hadnít been touched in a long time. Looking up and seeing you there made me want just one time to dance with you.

My divorce from Relena will be finalized in a few days. Please donít blame yourself for this. It was a long time coming. You were merely the catalyst. Without you, I might not have had the courage to do it. And for that, I thank you.

Thank you for allowing me the honor of dancing with you. I just wish I had found the courage to tell you about my marriage. I tried to, many times. But each time I would look into your beautiful violet eyes and I was lost. I couldnít add to your pain. But I ended up doing that anyway. Please believe me that I would give anything to take that back.

I have no right to ask for forgiveness. I can only hope you will be able to move past this and not let it affect your life. You have changed my life for the better and I will never forget you for that.

I could no sooner forget you than I could forget my parents. There was one last thing you taught me. You taught me that I hadnít lost my ability to love. I think I fell in love with you from the first moment I saw you standing in the window. I love you more than anything, Duo. I only wish I could tell you this in person.

Be happy, Duo. Wherever you are, wherever you may go...

I love you.

Heero


Tears were streaming down Duoís face as he finished the letter. In the background he could hear the doorbell ringing, but made no move to answer it. His world was spinning. His mind was a maelstrom of thoughts and emotions. He didnít know what to do or what to think about Heeroís letter.

"Duo-chan?"

Duo looked up as Une entered the living room, followed by two people, one of which he knew. "Miss Noin?"

"Hello, Duo," the short-haired woman answered as she stepped into the room. "This is my friend, Milliardo Peacecraft. He wanted to talk to you."

A tall man with long blonde hair stepped in behind her. He looked at the letter in Duoís hand and smirked knowingly. He extended his hand for Duo to shake. Duo took it, looking at the man questioningly. "Do I know you?"



"No, but I know you." He sat down next to the distraught young man as the two women quietly left the room.

"I donít understand," Duo said.

"I have a story to tell you, Duo," the man said, leaning forward. "Itís the story of a man trapped in a loveless marriage who learned to love again. I need you to listen to this story, and I need you tell me how it ends."

on to part 12

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