by Dev-Aki Basaa
Heero Yuy sat up straight, bolting from his pillow with a gasp. His heart pounded in his chest; blood roared in his ears. A soft whimper slipped passed his lips as he raised his hands and pressed the heels of his palms against his eyes. He pressed so hard that flickering patterns of light danced behind his closed lids. He drew his legs up close to his body, tangling them in the white bed sheets even more.
What had happened in that dream? He was left with such an overwhelming sense of dread and yet he could recall little more than the sight of waves crashing against a sandy beach. He remembered a lush blue sky streaked with wisps of white clouds. It was an image that he usually associated with tranquility; a view that he loved and saw outside his apartment everyday.
Why would he dream of the ocean then wake in the clutches of rampaging fear? It didn't make sense. Yet even as he tried to calm his mind and catch his breath, his trembling grew more pronounced. It felt overcoming, and even though he couldn't remember...
The dream and the dread somehow revolved around Duo.
The thought snapped in his head so fast he jerked in response, dropping his hands to his lap and staring at the landscape painting he had hanging across from the end of his bed.
He couldn't let Duo leave! He didn't even know why, but he knew he couldn't allow it to happen. His body was in motion before his brain could even make sense of it all. His feet slammed against the cold, smooth wood inlay of his bedroom floor and he slid towards his closet. A quick glance at the wall clock told him he had less than an hour to reach Duo before it was too late.
Too late for what exactly, he didn't know.
The feel of his skin, slick with sweat, his strong and solid build, it all welled in Heero such excitement, like nothing he'd ever known. There were these sweet soft patches of flesh where Duo would hum when his hand brushed across them. Other places, rough with calluses or puckered with scars that reminded him of his own body, of his own life - the lasting marks of the war.
He reveled in these times, in these moments of passion between them. He reverently threaded his fingers through Duo's hair, twisting his hand and holding on tight. Bringing that beautiful body beneath him to the peak of climax made his heart beat faster; made him want it more and more.
He needed this. He desired it.
The emotions surged in him, overwhelmed him. Duo cried out, calling his name in a sweet tone that gave him a shudder of delight and longing. What was it about him - about Duo - that made him feel this way? He caressed him again, loving the deep throaty moan that answered his touch.
Duo sighed again, soft words slipping passed his lips. "I love you."
And Heero froze.
The airport bustle was thick and crowded and noisy. Nearby, a baby screamed, unending, ringing in Heero's ears even after he'd passed. There were shouts of reunion, tempered with the constant din of conversation and announcements of incoming and outgoing flights over the PA.
He could hardly see even a few feet before him, caught in one crowd after another as he tried to make his way to Gate 42. The Departures monitor told him that Duo's flight - Flight 1053 - would be boarding soon and with his group's Preventers status, they'd surely be boarding first. Heero gritted his teeth and shoved his way through even harder. He was running out of time!
After jogging past a long cart of tagged luggage, Heero turned the next corner and saw him, his long tail of a braid dangling across the back of one of those plastic airport seats. He was dressed in his nice dark green suit with slim black boots and a black collarless shirt underneath. He sat casually, one booted foot crossed over the other, looking very relaxed as he waited for his flight.
Heero stopped. He'd put so much effort into getting there in time, he hadn't given a single thought to what he'd say once he reached him. What more could he say after all that had been said last night? No. This wasn't about last night; this was about his dream and the strength of emotion it conjured in him.
Heero watched, caught in a moment of indecision, as Duo cocked his head to one side, his braid sliding against the back of the chair. Only as Duo stood, did Heero realize that they'd just announced Duo's flight and he was leaving to board. He'd slung his overnight bag over one shoulder and grabbed his suitcase by the handle.
Dammit, he couldn't be too late!
Duo turned, his bag and braid swinging wide with the sharp movement. Heero wasn't sure what kind of response Duo'd give him, showing up like this. He fondly recalled the jovial way Duo would always greet him, with a broad smile and a jaunty wave or familiar touch - at times, whether welcomed or not. He knew better than to expect that kind of response today. He should beg the fates that the sight of him alone wouldn't make Duo turn around and march even faster up that boarding ramp. Yet even expecting the worse didn't stop the sense of loss he felt at the sour expression that crossed Duo's face when he spied him.
"What are you doing here?"
Heero took one step closer, his nylon pullover sounding so loud as it brushed against his jeans. "You can't leave," he told him, wincing at the desperate tone of his voice.
The second boarding announcement rang overhead. Duo paused, listening to it and then the call of the other agents from the gate entrance.
"Duo, c'mon! This is our flight!"
Duo turned to glance at the group but didn't respond. He looked back towards Heero, frowning even more.
"You are some piece of work, you know that Yuy? Showing up here like this, after last night."
Heero folded his arms across his chest and cursed. This wasn't about last night!
He was too warm, really. The last several nights had been unseasonably humid and even being beach side didn't seem to take an edge off the evening temperatures. Having another body pressed so close, both of them feverish and sweaty from sex, just brought the room's temp that much higher. Heero thought about just pushing Duo away, unwrapping his arm from around his shoulders and rolling over.
He didn't, though. Instead he took up a lazy caress of his upper arm, closing his eyes at the contented sound Duo made in response. He loved the feel of Duo's skin against his own. It was worth the slight discomfort.
They were immersed in such a perfect silence. Heero could hear the distant roll of the tide rushing in, waves smashing against the bluff's edge just outside his bedroom window.
Duo hummed for a moment, the sound taking Heero back to their previous activities and he smiled. There was something about Duo, something electric that Heero had to wonder if he had an addiction perhaps. Could one be addicted to a person?
Duo murmured softly again, then spoke. "What do you think about me not taking that assignment? I could stick around here, you know?" Duo brushed his leg against Heero's, adjusting to lean against him even more.
Heero's smile faded.
He remembered Duo's words, sighed softly during their lovemaking.
Heero's heart sped up, but it lacked the excitement of before. The room even felt abruptly smaller. He recalled his own thoughts of need and desire and how he correlated Duo to an addiction.
Heero's eyes snapped open. No. No, that wasn't what this was! It couldn't be. His life had simplicity, no complications; there wasn't room for a commitment, for Duo.
But hadn't he already made a place for Duo in his life?
Heero shifted suddenly, untangling himself from Duo's limbs and stood. He felt so much colder without Duo's body next to him and he shuddered in response. He stepped up to his bedroom window and peered out at the black water beyond, softly crashing against the dusky sand.
When had this happened? When had their occasional fucking developed into something greater and more profound than any other personal relationship Heero had ever had before? Why hadn't he noticed how Duo had insinuated himself into his life, into his home? Heero folded his arms across his bare chest, closing his eyes as he saw Duo's alarmed and confused expression reflected in the glass. Why didn't he notice how he'd welcomed it?
He hadn't wanted this. That's what he'd told Relena when she'd asked more of him, back just after the wars. He didn't want that kind of life, with attachments and obligations. He'd always considered himself a wanderer, free to leave whenever the spirit moved him. He'd even discussed it with Duo once, at the beginning. He'd said he understood!
Only, it had been four years since that beginning. Five years since the wars. Never once did the spirit move him and Duo had been at his side the whole time. He owned this apartment; he'd taken the permanent position with Preventers even as he'd said he'd leave eventually. Did anyone take him seriously anymore when he'd occasionally speak of taking flight, spontaneously up and leaving? Duo had just smiled at him the last time he'd mentioned it.
Heero opened his eyes and saw that Duo had shifted to sit in the center of the bed, cross-legged, his expression of concern now one of anger.
"Heero, what's going on?"
The full extent of Duo's earlier questions occurred to Heero then. Duo was still one of the active agents, living at headquarters in the barracks. He had to go where the assignments took him or else he'd be homeless. This assignment could keep him away for several months and Duo didn't want to leave him. Because...because he loved him.
Telling Duo to stay meant a lot more than just some weekend stay-over.
Heero focused back on the ocean in the distance; the horizon blended in with the darkness of night making it look as endless as space beyond. Did he really mean to return to that unattached life he'd once known? Gods, that had been so many years ago...he'd been so young.
His life was different than what he thought it'd be. He needed to just accept that. All he had to do was say the words and Duo would probably never leave him again.
He opened his mouth, confessions of his own devotion lingering somewhere inside him. Only, those were not the words that came out of him.
"You knew I didn't want anyone else in my life when this started. What makes you think that's changed?"
It was the absolutely wrong thing to say.
"I'm just here for your own good," Heero said, the words sounding stupid and trite, even to himself. Duo seemed no more amused by them and laughed, his tone terribly bitter.
"Oh yeah? How's that?"
Heero clenched his jaw. What exactly did he think he was going to tell Duo? He didn't even fully understand why he came. He had some in-descript dream and an overwhelming feeling about the flight...
"I have a bad feeling about the flight," Heero said quickly.
Duo scoffed. "Since when have you been superstitious? What's the real reason why you're here?"
Heero scowled at him. No! He wouldn't let Duo turn this in to an extension of last night's argument. He just couldn't deal with Heero's desire to be unattached.
"Dammit," Heero snapped back at Duo. "I have good instincts. It's not superstition." His anger couldn't completely conquer that sense of dread, though. "Don't get on that flight."
"This is such bullshit, Heero," Duo said, shaking his head and hitching his overnight bag higher on his shoulder. "I'm not going to stand here while you delude yourself some more." Duo turned around and marched towards the gate, giving a very final sounding shout of 'goodbye' over his shoulder.
Heero didn't turn around to face the hurt he knew he'd see in Duo's eyes after he'd dropped that horrible bomb. There was a part of him that silently pleaded with Duo to challenge that statement, to tell him point blank what had changed. To tell him, soberly and honestly, that he loved him.
There was another part of him, though, that cheered victory with his harsh statement: the soldier he'd buried deep inside him. That's where his wanderlust resonated from, the solider in him whose blood still boiled for battle and resented attachments.
He thought he'd let so much of that go.
Duo still hadn't spoken. When Heero ventured a glance at Duo's reflection in the glass, he saw him looking away, a shell-shocked expression on his face. He'd blindsided him. Heero closed his eyes again and winced.
After a few more moments, he heard Duo's response, softly spoken and carefully said. "Nothing. Nothing at all."
Duo moved; Heero could here the sound of his skin sliding across the sheets. He was going to leave. Shit. Heero turned, contrite. He suddenly wanted to start over, to tell Duo to get back into bed and let him try this again. Only, when he turned around he saw a venomous anger in Duo's eyes as he'd never seen of him before.
"You know what, Yuy?" Duo began. "You want to pretend nothing is going on here? You want to throw away *years* of being together because of some childish perception of being this mysterious wanderer? Well fine." Duo threw his hands in the air and let them fall to rest on his bare hips. "I'm going to go on this assignment and not come back. How about that? You won't have to worry about me disrupting your solitude anymore. I won't be returning to just warm your bed. I don't need this shit."
Then Duo gave his parting remark, sinking a knife right into Heero's chest, hurting him back for the hurt he'd caused him.
"You're a fool, Heero Yuy. A pathetic fool."
Heero took a quick step forward, only barely finding the restraint to keep himself from crossing the room and throwing a fist into Duo's face. He raised his arm, glaring at Duo, and pointed towards his bedroom door.
"You can't get on that flight!" Heero shouted after him.
Duo spun around, his braid whipping with the sharp movement. "Jesus, Heero. You don't want me around, but I can't leave?" Duo's voice dripped with sarcasm. "I didn't realize I was at your total beck and call."
Heero nearly growled. "Goddammit! Why do you have to make everything so complicated!?"
Duo laughed at his frustration, but there was no humor in his voice. "Why should I stay!? You made it quite clear last night that I was just some trifle in your life." He gestured behind himself back towards the gate. "I'd think my boarding this plane would be a huge relief."
Heero shook his head. "This is not about last night!"
Duo frowned sharply. "Then what's it about, huh? Tell me, Heero. Tell me why I shouldn't go."
Heero hesitated. "The flight..." he began, finally, but Duo cut him off with a roll of his eyes.
"Forget it," he said. "You know, I called you a fool last night and really, I was wrong." Duo pointed at his own chest. "I'm the fool," he continued. "I'm a fool for falling in love with you." Then Duo waved his hand. "Goodbye, Heero."
I love you.
"Duo..." Heero just whispered his name, a stark realization coming to the fore of his mind. What if the dream was about this, right here? Losing the only person who'd ever meant anything to him? Watching the man he loved walk away from him for good? That was worthy of overwhelming dread, wasn't it?
His mind spun; the words he feared dancing at the tip of his tongue and Duo only kept walking further and further away.
The truth he struggled to admit to himself rang in his ears. I can't lose you; you can't leave me! The gate attendant smiled as Duo handed her his ticket. The other agents had already gone on to take their seats. He couldn't let Duo board that plane!
"I love you!"
Duo dropped his bag, freezing in place.
Heero shook his head, the words spilling forth from him as he'd actually expected them last night. "You can't leave me. I don't know what I'd do without you. I love you!"
Duo slowly turned around and just stood there, staring at him.
The house was so quiet with him gone. It was an oppressive silence; Heero couldn?t even hear the waves anymore.
He'd focused on the black ocean crashing against the dark beach as Duo had swiftly gathered up his discarded clothing and dressed. He'd slammed the front door as he left. Heero was shivering now, standing there, naked by the glass. Had the temperature dropped tonight? The evenings had been so hot these past few days.
He needed to get some sleep.
Duo let his overnight bag slip from his shoulder and that bag dropped to the floor as well. After another moment, he finally spoke.
"You damn well better mean that, Yuy. I don't take those words lightly at all."
"I mean them," he told him, taking a step closer and breaching just a little of the distance between them. "I love you. Please come home with me and stay?"
Yet Duo hesitated still, looking unsure. Heero waited, his body taunt like a drawn wire. He didn't want to move a muscle, lest anything could send Duo back around and boarding that flight.
When the flight attendant approached Duo, Heero's stomach clenched into a tight knot.
"Sir?" she began. She had the most perplexed expression on her face. "The flight is leaving, sir. If you're going, you need to board now."
Duo turned his head and looked at her, a blank expression on his face. He raised his hand, one finger extended as if asking for a moment of time.
"Will you tell the other Preventers agents..." He paused, glancing back towards Heero before he continued. "Tell them...good luck on the assignment."
The flight attendant smiled. "Certainly, sir."
Their lovemaking had always been passionate and driven, however this time there was a level of tenderness and sensuality they'd only touched on before. Heero had always brushed his hands across Duo's skin with great reverence, but it was more like worship now. Total adoration like the devotee that he was.
He whimpered at Duo's deft touch, his body commanded with perfect ease. He held onto Duo's shoulders, so strong under his grip, so electrifying. It wasn't long before he called out Duo's name, gasping at the intensity of sensation and depth of emotion.
He would never risk losing this, losing him. Never again.
Heero woke, slow and still drowsy with lingering sleep. He felt warm and content, and happier than he could immediately recall ever being. A smile spread across his face. Duo was here. His Duo, always his. Forever. He reached across the sheets to slide his hand against his smooth skin. He'd decided he could indeed be addicted to a person, to their skin, their smell, their energy.
His fingers sought out a lock of Duo's hair...only to touch an empty pillow. Heero opened his eyes and quickly sat up.
The other side of his bed was bare.
Heero found Duo sitting on the beach. He'd put on Heero's oversized sweatshirt and jeans. He'd left his shoes by the stairs that lead down to the beach from the bluff's edge. Heero, himself, had just pulled on a t-shirt and the first pair of pants handy. He slipped his loafers on because they'd been by the front door.
Duo's hair was loose and blowing wildly in the wind, angling up towards the lush blue sky, streaked with wisps of white clouds. The waves crashed against the beach; the strong breeze caught the spray and sent it flying into the air, glittering like tiny crystals in the sunlight.
Heero walked up to him and sank down to his knees, placing his hands on his shoulders.
Duo was silently watching the untamed, vast ocean. Heero took in the sight himself and they stayed like, still as statues, for a while. Several minutes had passed before Duo spoke.
"You really did have a dream about the flight crashing, didn't you."
Heero winced at Duo's frank statement. When he'd left the bedroom looking for Duo, he'd come into the front room to find the news feed on continuous play. Flight 1053 - Duo's flight - had crashed into the ocean only a few hours before. There were no survivors thus far. None expected, either.
They'd been immersed in each other's bodies, absorbed in their love, unaware of the unfolding news.
Heero shook his head, remembering the intensity of the fear and dread he had from that dream. "I didn't realize it at the time, but yes, I think I did."
Duo sighed, leaning back into Heero a little.
"So, then, what you said. Was that just about making sure I didn't board that plane?"
Heero looked down at Duo. In a sense, he had a chance to turn back time. How badly did he want that solitude? Did he really long to live out his wanderlust?
He couldn't lie to Duo like that. Wanderlust or not, he did love Duo and needed him and he refused to take back his very sincere words for - as Duo had aptly put it - a childish perception of himself. He had everything his heart could ever desire, here sitting next to him on the beach. And he'd been closer to losing him than he ever thought he'd be.
"It's all true, what I said," Heero told him. "The dream just...forced me to realize how much you meant to me." He tightened his grip on Duo's shoulders. "I don't want you to go, Duo. I don't want you to ever go."
Duo went silent again and Heero waited, looking up and staring back out at the ocean. He felt himself grow hypnotized by the crashing waves and jolted a little when Duo's hand brushed against his fingers, still holding tightly onto Duo's shoulder.
"You know, Yuy? You saved my life again. You seem to make a habit of that." Duo's voice cracked at the end.
Duo looked up at him, his blue eyes overly bright with unshed tears.
Heero sunk down to sit beside Duo and pulled him into his arms. Duo wrapped himself around him, squeezing for all he was worth.
"They were a good team." Duo spoke in a soft tone.
"I love you," Duo whispered. Heero could just barely hear it over the roar of the waves. It was almost as if he'd heard it more from his heart, as it beat faster at Duo's words, excitement welling inside him.
"I love you too," Heero told him. "Forever."