"K-Kenji?" Duo stared up at Heero.
Heero looked at Duo, mouth open in silent shock. "Jonathan?"
Duo shook his head. "No, no, it couldn't be..." Duo searched his heart, and knew it felt right.
Heero's hand reached over and grabbed the long rope of chestnut hair, a small smile tugged at his lips. "It's
you...Jonathan...it's really you..." For the first time in a long time, Heero cried.
Duo almost couldn't process the fact that Heero was his childhood friend, and they were together again at last. "I
thought you were gone forever..."
"Didn't we say we'd be together forever?" Heero looked into his friend's eyes, soothed by the warmth within. He
smiled despite his rolling tears, "I've missed you so much..."
Duo tightened his grip on Heero, ignoring the pain from his shoulder, and buried his face in his friend's neck. "Oh,
Kenji... don't ever leave me again...."
Heero held him closer, burying his nose in the soft hair. His hands gently traced circles on the braided boy's back,
"I won't, don't you remember our other promise?"
"That we'd be together forever?" Duo asked sleepily, snuggling closer to Heero.
Heero noticed his friend dozing off, and smiled as it brought back so many pleasant memories. "Hai, forever..."
Carefully he moved to his feet, with the sleeping boy safely in his arms. "This time we won't be separated."
Duo couldn't help it; he felt so safe in his friend's arms, he drifted off. But he didn't loosen his grip on Heero's
Heero walked back to the dorms, heading for his room. He didn't want to let his friend out of his sight, because he
was afraid he might be taken away. Heero watched the angelic sleeping face, just as he remembered from when
they were seven. Heero knew that being in Duo's room would just remind him of the day's events, so he carried
him to his own room. He laid the sleeping boy gently on his bed, and settled carefully beside him.
"What's wrong Duo?" Trowa asked, walking up to his friend. The braided youth was sitting against the school's
wall, knees drawn to his chest. Trowa could tell he was crying. "Duo..?"
Duo looked down, ashamed to meet his friend's eyes. Boys don't cry. "Nothing," he said unconvincingly.
Trowa knelt in front of his best friend, placing his hands on Duo's. "Don't lie. Please tell me" He searched for
words, trying to express how much he wanted to help Duo. "I'd never hurt you Duo. You know that."
Duo sniffled. He wanted to tell trowa, really wanted to confide in him. But he was embarrassed. "Some boys..." He
trailed off, looking down again.
"Some boys what? Did they hurt you Duo?" Trowa asked, a wave of anger washing over him. He lifted Duo's chin,
looking into the violet eyes.
Duo blushed; Trowa was so close... "They said I looked like a girl. Called me a..." Duo couldn't finish, and sobbed
Trowa pulled the sobbing boy into a fierce hug, trying to calm him down. He glared at the wall, wondering who
dared make his friend cry. "Duo, what did they call you? Who was it?" He slowly rocked back and forth.
Duo whispered, "It was just some guys. They called me a...a..." Duo's voice dropped even lower, ashamed. "They
called me a fag." Duo's cheeks burned fiercely to say that to Trowa. What made it all the worse was that Duo
suspected it might be true.
I'll beat the shit out of them, Trowa thought as Duo seemed to become more upset. How could anyone be so
cruel, especially to a kind-hearted, open person like Duo? He held him tighter, trying to make the tears vanish.
"Don't cry Duo, they're assholes. Anybody that would hurt you is a complete ass. Please don't let it bother you so
much." He pulled back a little and looked at Duo's face.
Duo forced himself to look at his friend. "I understand if you don't want to hang around with me any more, Trowa.
You don't want them thinking you're..." Duo couldn't say the hated word again.
Trowa blurted out, "Duo, I don't give a damn what they might think. You're my best friend, I'm not ever going to
leave you or hurt you in anyway. Don't you believe me?"
Duo looked hopeful. "Really, Trowa? You promise? You'll never hurt me?"
"I promise, Duo." he said, and meaning it. Trowa could never hurt his friend.
Trowa woke up, sheets twisted painfully around him and Duo's words ringing in his head. A pang of guilt shot
through him as he remembered his promise.
Deep green eyes looked around the darkened room, falling on the door Duo had ran out of. ~I promise I'll never
hurt you~ The pang of guilt grew worse with each passing second, not only did he hurt his best friend, but he left
him alone. He had let his feelings for Quatre overpower him. He knew he was in love with the blond boy, but that
was no excuse to neglect his best friend.
He sighed and laid back down, feeling like a piece of shit. He never should've yelled at Duo like that, never had he
ever raised his voice to him. "I'm sorry Duo, I've been a total jerk..." He hadn't even given the longhaired boy a
chance to tell him what was wrong. He decided to make it up to Duo.
Trowa rose from his bed and walked over to the restroom, he entered the small room and knocked on the other
door. "Duo..? Can I come in?" He asked, but received no answer. Trowa frowned and knocked again. Then he tried
the door. It was unlocked, and he called out to his friend. There was no answer. Finally he turned the doorknob
and opened the door. Trowa walked into Duo's room, noticing it was dark and quiet. He looked around, "Duo?" he
would call out but received no answer. "Where are you?" He asked, worry filling his tone.
Trowa was really concerned now. It was after midnight, and Duo wasn't there. He didn't think Duo had anywhere
else to go. What if something had happened to the braided boy?
He walked over and sat on the empty bed. "Was I that callous? Oh gods, what did I do?" His head fell into his
hands as the guilt and worry began to eat at his consciousness. He didn't know what to do. He was worried sick
about Duo, but he didn't know where to look.
His words came back, a kick in the stomach.
"It could have waited, Duo. Or did you just not think?"
"What is so damn important?"
"Just get out, Duo!"
Trowa rose from Duo's bed and walked back to his room, his shoulders slumped almost dejectedly. He crawled
under his covers and tried to fall asleep. But he knew he wouldn't sleep very well, not until he talked to Duo and
apologized for breaking his promise. He resolved to get up early, and find Duo before he met with Quatre. He
drifted off to sleep, visions of Duo and Quatre warring in his mind.
Duo swam back up to consciousness slowly. He felt so safe and warm, he didn't want to move. He was lying on
something firm yet yielding, and strong arms were wrapped around him... Arms? Duo woke up a bit more, to find he
was lying on a strong chest. It started to come back to him... Heero... Kenji.... he raised his head tentatively,
wincing at the pain that caused. He lowered his head, resting it back on the slowly rising and falling chest. A soft
sigh left his lips, it had been extremely too long since he felt at peace. He shut his eyes, a soft whisper made him
look up at Heero.
"You awake?" Heero asked, while yawning.
Duo smiled sleepily. "I think so. It hurts enough that I must be awake. Did last night really happen? How did I get
"You fell asleep and I carried you back." Heero smiled back. "Are you feeling any better?"
Duo shifted, and a bolt of pain shot through his shoulder. "Um, I've felt better. But I'll live."
Heero, gently, ran his hands over the wounded shoulder. When Duo gasped out loud he apologized. "Sorry, I didn't
mean to hurt you. Stay here, let me go and find something to take care of that ok?" He waited for an answer
before slipping out of the bed and heading over to the bathroom.
"Ok," Duo answered, bemused at Heero's attention. He wasn't used to someone taking care of him like this. He
especially wasn't used to waking up in bed with handsome strangers. But Heero wasn't a stranger... Heero was
Kenji, his best friend that was taken away from him all those years ago. He had found him again. //He didn't
abandon me like everyone else//
Duo watched Heero from across the room. It was almost too much to process at once... everything had changed,
in the blink of an eye.
Heero looked up and met Duo's eyes; he walked over to his dresser and opened the first drawer. "Jonathan?" He
asked while pulling out a small box.
"Yes, Kenji?" Duo said, trying to sit up.
He walked over to the bed, holding the black box firmly in his grip. He sat on the bed, facing his friend. "Do you
remember this?" he asked while opening the box, revealing a cross necklace.
Duo looked at Heero, eyes wide, forgetting the pain in his shoulder. The gold cross glittered; the memory hit him
like a physical weight.
Kenji looked at the small box Jonathan gave him. It was the first time anyone, other than his parents, had given
him a present. His dark blue eyes shined with sparkling joy. "What is it?" he asked excitedly
"A surprise, silly! Open it!" Jonathan answered, bouncing up and down with excitement.
Kenji pulled the ribbon off the box and removed the top. Inside was a golden cross, shining from the golden rays of
sunshine. "Jonathan...." he whispered.
"Do you like it?" Jonathan asked apprehensively. "It's to protect you."
Teary blue eyes lifted their gaze to meet Jonathon's violet eyes. "Thank You!" He shouted out before tackling the
smaller boy to the ground, hugging him with every ounce of strength he possessed. "Jon, thank you so much. I'll
keep it forever..."
Jonathan giggled as Kenji knocked him to the ground. "I'll make sure you keep it forever, Kenji! I'll be there to
make sure!" They hugged, before the sweet moment dissolved into a wrestling match.
"Forever," Duo whispered as he looked at Heero holding the necklace.
"It was all I had left after that night," Heero said, old pain entering his voice. "I've kept it, hoping one day I'd find
you again." He placed his hand over Duo's.
"You did?" Duo's voice broke, thick with emotion. "I tried to look for you once, but didn't have any luck. I didn't
realize you had changed your name."
"Yes. I was so lonely without you," he paused, trying to calm his emotions. "My aunt made me change my name.
She didn't want the constant reminder," Heero said, with a bit of anger.
Duo looked down. "My mother got remarried, and made me use his name too. I hated it, so I started using Duo as
a first name to get back at her. She hated it."
"Duo..?" Heero asked almost timidly. He looked down at his hands, the last couple of days washing over his mind
again. "When'd you meet Trowa?"
"Trowa? We met in junior high. I... went through a lot of stuff then. He helped me." Duo answered cautiously.
Heero didn't know why he was jealous, well he did know but didn't want to admit it. He also was quite angry with
the tall teenager. He guessed that Trowa was the reason why Duo was so upset last night. "Duo, why were you
so upset? Please, don't push me away. I just found you again..." he pleaded, just wanting the truth.
Duo paused, last night's events coming back with a crash. He looked away. "I... it was just a misunderstanding,
that's all." He felt the tears welling up and clamped down on them.
Heero knew what Duo was doing, the same thing he did when they were little. He also knew he wouldn't get any
information until the braided boy was ready to talk. Heero reached over and pulled Duo into his arms. He hugged
him tightly, trying to show the other boy how much he had missed him. Gently he began to hum a familiar tune,
while he gently rocked back and forth.
Duo resisted at first, still hurting from Trowa's rejection. But then he heard the humming, and it immediately
relaxed him. He didn't know why. "That song... what is it?"
"It's the song your mother would sing to us. I don't remember the name." Heero frowned. "I'd always hum the tune
when I couldn't sleep, it always made me remember you and your mother."
Duo brightened. "Yes! I remember now!" He sighed, pleasant memories flooding over him. Then his stomach
Heero chuckled, "Let's go get something to eat, Duo."
Duo laughed and said, "I guess I need to eat. I want to change first, though!" He looked down at his
grass-stained clothes ruefully. "I'm a mess."
"I need to change as well. Meet you in ten minutes?" Heero said, smiling brightly.
Duo impulsively threw himself into Heero's arms, hugging him tightly. "Promise? Only 10 minutes?"
"10 minutes. Meet me at my door, ok?" Heero hugged him back, resting his chin on the boy's head.
"Ok!" Duo laughed, squeezing Heero tight, then rushing out the door. He nearly skipped down the hall, happy for
the first time in ages.
Heero watched Duo bounce out of his room. He smiled at the door for a few more minutes before he walked over
to his dresser. The cross was still on his bed, without a second thought he retrieved it intent on wearing it.
Duo ran into his room, pulling off his shirt and looking for a clean one, when he heard sounds from the bathroom.
He froze; he really didn't want to face Trowa right now.
Trowa walked over to the sink in the small restroom. He turned on the faucet and splashed some cold water on his
face. He didn't sleep very well last night, nightmares of Duo crying plagued him. "Duo..." he whispered. Trowa
wondered if his friend ever returned to his room last night. He walked over to the door, putting his ear against the
cool wood and heard noises. Without another thought he opened the door and entered the room. "Duo?"
Duo jumped. "Trowa!" He quickly buttoned his pants. "Uh, I was just leaving..."
Trowa looked at Duo carefully before responding, "Duo...about last night...I'm sorry. I...."
Duo interrupted, blushing. "No, it was my fault. I'm the one who should be apologizing, Trowa. I shouldn't have
"Duo...I should never have yelled. I'm so sorry, I broke my promise...." he said while the stinging sensation came
back. This time a tear did fall down his cheek. "Duo..."
Duo stared at Trowa, stunned. He had never seen him cry. He knew that he would start crying soon, and he didn't
want that. So he pasted a smile on his face, ignoring the pain, and said, "It's ok, Trowa! Really! No harm done."
"You don't hate me? Duo? Aren't you mad at me? I broke my promise, I said I'd never hurt you..." He looked down,
unable to meet Duo's eyes. The guilt and pain came back in force, "I'm sorry," he whispered.
Duo knew he had to stay cheerful. Trowa loved Quatre, not him, and he had no right to interfere. Even if his heart
was breaking. "Of course I don't hate you, Trowa! You're my best friend!"
"You should hate me." Trowa said, but he finally looked up from the floor. He saw the soft smile on Duo's face, and
felt better. "I'm glad you don't hate me." He walked over and hugged his friend, not knowing how much pain he
was causing Duo.
Duo felt like sobbing, but hugged Trowa back. He ached inside, but it was better this way. He loved Trowa, and
part of that was wanting him to be happy. "I could never hate you, Trowa," he said truthfully. "I have to go now.
See you later, ok?" The more he put on his cheerful manner, the easier it was.
"Do you want to do something later this evening?" Trowa asked, feeling much better. Everything was back to
normal, he was extremely happy that he didn't lose his best friend. He didn't see Duo's eyes, since he was still
hugging the boy. "I'll see you later then?"
Duo tried to smile. "That sounds great, Trowa! Have fun," he said, pulling away and opening the door so Trowa
couldn't see his face. "Bye!"
Trowa smiled and walked back to his room. His spirits lifted, he looked at the clock and remembered he was
supposed to meet Quatre.
Duo rushed down the hall to Heero's room, trying to rid his mind of Trowa calling out Quatre's name.
Heero walked out of his room, and spotted Duo almost running to his room. He noticed something wrong, but
decided he needed to take Duo's mind off of it. "Duo! Ready for some food?" he asked, hoping it would work.
"Always! You know me, always hungry!" Duo exclaimed, smiling. He bounced up to Heero, and saw the necklace.
"You're wearing it!"
Heero's hand gently touched the pendant, "Of course, I promised myself I wouldn't wear it until I found you
again." He smiled at Duo's cheerfulness, pleased to see some of the light returning to other boy.
Duo gazed at Heero. He looked so handsome, just like he always thought he would turn out. And strong, and
kind... Duo hugged his friend. "I'm so happy to see you again."
"Let's go eat Jon, I want to hear more about you. You are after all my only true friend, my best friend." Heero
took Duo's hand and started to walk down the hall.
Duo smiled, then felt guilty. Who was his best friend, Trowa or Heero? And also, "What do you want me to call
you? Heero or Kenji?"
Heero paused and frowned. "I don't know, no one's called me 'Kenji' since that time." He turned around and looked
at Duo, "Do I call you Jonathon or Duo?"
"I don't care, as long as you don't go away again!" Duo answered truthfully.
"I promise, I won't go anywhere this time." Heero said, still holding Duo's hand. He tugged the other boy along with
him, hearing Duo's stomach protest their talking.