I Love You, Goodbye
Part One of the 'I Love You' series
by Dev-Aki Basaa
I don't know why - perhaps it's the romantic in me, or
perhaps I'm simply a fool, but I never did lose that
notion that if I loved the person enough - truly loved
them to the core of my soul - that everything would
work out right. It seemed logical to a person bred on
fairy stories and fictions, that true love not only
existed, but that it was the most powerful force in
the world, the kingdom, the galaxy and it conquered
It does make for a lovely story.
So when I loved, the first time, and meant it and it
didn't happen, you'd think I would have clued in then.
But the love wasn't perfect, wasn't requited and so,
while I loved so much, I was playing with a handicap.
In the end, it made sense to me why all the cards
didn't fall into place. It hadn't been meant to be.
But it was the second time that I loved which threw me
for a loop. See, he loved me back, with all his heart,
we loved each other and I was willing to sacrifice and
be patient and wait for the circumstances to be better
so we could be together for all time.
But that's not what happened. My love abandoned me -
professing his love and saying goodbye at the same
time. It wasn't supposed to be like that. How can you
love and leave?
You tell me.
See, my story goes something like this...
We met during the war. Ha! That's so blas?. You must
realize it was far more complicated than that. I mean,
I shot him - twice - when we first met... But see,
none of that really matters because I hadn't even
loved for the first time yet when I'd met him. I
hadn't even felt that first painful backhand of
reality, so it doesn't really matter how we met, just
know that we'd known each other for a long while
before I realized how much more he would come to mean
For the sake of a complete story, I'll tell you about
my first love. Christ, she was beautiful. I had always
thought I had a preference towards the masculine,
until I met her. She worked at a summer camp for
orphans that I had volunteered for. That was about two
years after the war, and I was there for three
consecutive summers. I came back the second year for
the kids; I came back the third year for her. She was
nothing like what I would have called my type. Leggy,
blonde, very feminine - I would have thought, with
women, that I'd go for an athletic type, really
independent - like Hilde, for example. Nope. I went
head over heels for Michelle. I was such an idiot. I
thought I was cool, could handle any situation thrown
at me - fuck, I flew a Gundam in the wars! What
couldn't I handle? But no, I wasn't cool; I was an
idiot. She found me charming, but everyone thinks I'm
So, why was I a fool?
Not because I made an ass out of myself or anything
like that. Not that I fawned over her and she ignored
me - quite the contrary, actually. We became friends,
we lunched out, went to a few concerts. She was a
hobby artist and had a few amateur shows. I attended
them and she would take my hand and walk me around the
gallery, telling me all the gossip of the other
artists, the guests and the organizers. She knew
everyone on the damn colony, I swear! But there was
nothing in the world like the feel of her hand in
mine, nothing like the way she used to look at me,
piercing me to my soul... Well, nothing until Heero,
but I'm getting ahead of myself.
See, I know that when I just liked her, the feeling
was mutual. I was a fool because as I realized I was
falling in love with her, I thought I *knew*. I *knew*
this was love and I had found that person we all look
for - that one to spend the rest of your life with. I
even fucking called up Quatre Winner at his office and
"I met the woman I'm going to marry!" I had
practically shouted over the vid-phone.
He was so happy for me - surprised, but happy. I waxed
poetic for an hour on how wonderful she was with those
kids and Quatre indulged me. He told me he couldn't
wait to invite us both to some gathering at his
estate. I couldn't wait for that either. Quatre had
also asked me if I'd spoken to Heero recently. This
becomes more relevant later, but no, I hadn't. I was
too far gone on Cloud 9 to even really notice what
Quatre was saying to me, but I know now that about
that time, Heero had realized he didn't love Relena
and was rather devastated by this fact. I mean, he
believed, as the rest of the world did (his fellow
former Gundam pilots included), that he was supposed
to end up with Relena. The stuff of fairy tales,
remember? We're all sucked in, one way or another.
Anyway, so feeling guilty towards Relena and confused
about what he really wanted with this life he'd so
recently acquired, Heero had gone missing. This was
also about the same time Preventers started really
badgering me about joining their forces. Seems they
rather liked having former Gundam pilots on their
roster and were itching to find someone to replace
Heero. It would end up being me, but not for another
summer. I had to come back for that third summer with
the camp, see, because that last night of summer two,
at the little banquet they threw for the staff and
volunteers, Michelle kissed me. And yes, that's
accurate. *She* kissed *me*. I was too fucking stunned
to respond properly. 'Loser' should have been painted
across my forehead. So, yes, she kissed me and told me
how she couldn't wait to see me next summer.
Oh, I was SO coming back after that!
Hilde had pretty much taken over the salvage business
by then and I was just in her way from August to the
end of May. Then it was summer again and I kept
putting off Preventers, because as I saw it, how could
I start a career with them when I was going to be
having a wedding to help plan come Fall? I mean, the
Groom-to-be had duties too, you know. But as you might
guess, that wasn't the summer of love for me. She
wasn't cold, per se, but she was pretty damn clear
that we were friends and only friends and there was
nothing more to it. I don't know what happened for her
between August and the following June, it wasn't as
though I saw any new guy or gal fawning over her.
I guess I'll never know. But the fact remains, she
never promised me anything, and a kiss doesn't mean
squat in the greater scheme of things.
Nonetheless, she broke my heart and in the pain of
that rejection, I made some sweeping changes in my
life. I sold off my half of the business to Hilde,
bought a condo planet-side and joined Preventers. Talk
about a life change.
They immediately put me on special ops, all their
training and testing said I still had the skills I did
five years ago. I suppose there are just some things
you never forget. I threw myself into work, I even
talked Trowa into joining - I should have received
some kind of bonus for that, I swear! But with Trowa's
addition, he, Wufei, Sally and I became THE A, number
one, crack special ops team for Preventers. Life was
pretty damn good, and I was even putting everything
with Michelle to rest.
Then Yuy returned and all hell broke loose.
He was still pretty much the guy I remembered, but
with a softer edge to him, more personable. He'd even
found a hobby - photography. An expensive hobby, mind,
but I always did think he'd siphoned off some funds
from Romefeller during their heyday and had it stashed
somewhere. I never asked, but in no way did Heero ever
hurt for money nor had many worries about spending it
when he wanted to. He bought me a necklace once, an
amazing cross, beautiful in its simplicity, a few
stones; I think it was platinum. I loathed getting it
appraised out of fear of what the jeweler would say. I
know the damn thing cost a pretty penny, but you know,
it could have been made of tin for all I cared - Heero
gave it to me and that's all that ever mattered. But
I'm getting ahead of myself again.
See, from the moment Heero arrived, there was tension
between us. And I didn't know what it was all about.
Une offered him a position on our team and he shocked
everyone by turning it down. Then I heard through the
grapevine that his refusal had something to do with
me. I, of course, thought the worse. Who wouldn't? I
thought he hated me. However, it seems that his
reaction to seeing me after so long was identical to
my reaction to seeing him - a totally, out of the
blue, somebody-just-punched-me-in-the-stomach, instant
attraction. Where that came from, I don't know! I
mean, okay, I was definitely drawn to him during the
war and Heero had said I was a distraction to him -
which says a fucking lot, if you ask me. Especially
since he said Relena was a distraction too and I
*know* what she meant to him. So, whatever it was, the
seeds began during the war, we just didn't know it.
And since he'd gone off in hiding and reflection after
his whole incident with Relena, deciding that him and
love weren't meant to go hand-in-hand, I could
understand his reluctance when he came back, a year
later, and *bam*, his theory went flying right out the
But at first, it was just mis-understanding city.
Heero was avoiding me, and I couldn't keep out of his
face. I kept trying to push the right button to get
him to come at me with both barrels blasting and clear
up whatever it was between us. Imagine my surprise
when at a Preventers banquet - I seem to have a
running theme with banquets - Heero hauled off and
kissed me. Then disappeared. Bastard! You don't kiss
someone the way he kissed me - I'm talking, took me by
the waist, bent me backwards and fucking devoured my
mouth - then storm off into a crowd, not to be found
until work the following Monday.
We made out in the East conference room for a better
part of the late morning, *ahem* sorting things out
between us. The rumor mill processes fast around here
and by late afternoon, it was official. We were a
And I was pretty damned happy, you know? I mean, I was
*very* attracted to Heero - more so than Michelle, as
Heero was *definitely* my type. And he was attracted
back, something that had never happened to me before.
No, wait. Don't misunderstand that, yes, I've been hit
on before - numerous times - and had my share of
wham-bam-thankyou-whoever lovers, but I never gave a
damn about those people. Suddenly, the person that
meant the world to me, thought the sun rose by my
command. Do you even know how amazing that is? We went
from 0 to 60 in a month's time. We just knew; this was
love. Of course, Heero's not terribly demonstrative,
but he had his ways of letting me know what I meant to
him. There were overt gestures, like the time he filed
forged flight plans, just so he could make an
unscheduled stop on L1 while I was there on business
and he was *supposed* to be elsewhere on his own
business. He risked getting reamed by Une to see me -
and it wasn't a special day or anything. He'd missed
me, he'd said. That was enough. There's, of course,
the necklace he bought me and then the time I got
injured on an assignment - he never left my side at
the hospital. And it was simply understood that he
would be at my side. Now *that's* validation for you.
Then there was the sex. Jesus, don't get me started
about the sex! At times fiery-hot, scorching, anyway,
anywhere, we couldn't keep our hands off each other.
Then there was the love-making. Together we learned
about love-making and THAT, my friends, is a
soul-altering experience. To love and be loved by the
person who holds your heart... There is nothing more
beautiful, nothing so tender and sensual as making
love with Heero.
There just aren't words.
But then also, he would say it. "I love you, Duo," in
this soft, sweet voice that probably only I've ever
heard. His gaze would soften, his lips parted as if
just saying the words made him breathless - they
always made me breathless. And he was so gracious to
receive my own gestures - I told him how much I loved
him everyday of my life, in as many ways possible.
Where Heero lacked in demonstrativeness, I made up for
it. At first, he almost wanted to shrug off my
declarations - not that he didn't believe me, but that
he didn't deserve them. Which was total bull, of
course. But soon enough, I would catch him buried in
work at his desk, come up to his side and whisper, "I
love you," and he'd pause, take my hand, kiss my
knuckles and go back to work with a grin on his face.
I loved those grins.
So, you read all this and you think, that's pretty damn perfect, Duo, what went wrong?
Well, I'll tell you.
I have no idea.
I just know that it all started with Relena's death.
There'd been an accident - a shuttle crash, just
terribly tragic - and Heero was devastated by it.
Heero does not openly cry, not even for me, but he did
this time. I held him, crying as well while he wept
until he fell asleep in my arms. It was so awful, that
whole time. The world was grieving, and Heero started
to talk crazy.
He'd go on about how he couldn't bear to lose me -
that Relena's death had made him think that much more
acutely about my death and how he couldn't bear it. Or
worse yet, what if I left him on purpose?! I tried to
reassure him, I said everything I could, every ounce
of meaning and truth behind it - I wasn't going
ANYWHERE. But he couldn't be assuaged. He feared my
death. He wanted me off Preventers and I refused to
leave. I wouldn't let him lock me up in some gilded
cage for the rest of our lives because he suddenly
realized human life was fragile.
Next thing I know, he's saying he loves me too much to
be with me. What does that mean?! Do people really
think like this? I can't be with you because you might
die?! We ALL die! How can this be logical? And Wufei,
the bastard, actually understood all this and I wanted
to strangle him for validating Heero's complete
absurdity! Quatre felt I should humor Heero and let
him come to terms with Relena's death and my mortality
and then he'd come back.
But what if he didn't? How could I risk that? How
could I let go the person I loved, that I knew loved
me, over such complete and utter irrationality? If he
were so irrational as to come to this conclusion,
who's to say he'd ever get back to a place where we
could be together again?
But the fact remained; I didn't really have a choice.
If Heero wanted to end things, even for what I
believed to be a ridiculous reason, what could I do? I
had to let him go. I told him a hundred times over how
much I loved him, and he told me a hundred and one
times back that he loved me too, and then turned
around and walked out of our condo - sorry, MY condo.
So, here I am, bereft. They put me on leave from
Preventers anyway because of my total devastation. I
feel like some kind of freaking zombie, walking around
the condo, trying to function like a normal person and
failing miserably. I never did cry much myself, but I
can't stop now. Everything reminds me of him, our
lives were woven together. See, from that night at the
banquet to today, it's been two years. He walked away
from two years together.
And what I don't understand is why didn't he stick
around and fight? He kept saying that he was confused
again, as he'd been before when things ended with
Relena, too confused to even have worked it out with
her. But he also knew he didn't love her and that was
a huge part of his confusion. I KNOW he loved me, and
yet he didn't even try to work through this with me in
his life, he just left.
I thought I was worth more than that. I thought, to
him, I commanded the sun. When did that change? When
did our 'I love you's become not enough?
See, again, I fucked up. I thought being this in love
with each other was enough to battle even our own
inner demons. It doesn't mean things will be easy, but
it's always worth it. Or so I thought.
And what frightens me most, with him being gone now
for almost two months, is that I don't know if I can
trust him anymore if he were to come back. That basic,
core element of trust between us was broken when he
abandoned me. Could I even risk taking him back if he
did return? Can I put myself through THAT
vulnerability - that he might leave me again?
I honestly don't know.
But I'm left to wonder if he's ever coming back. Oh,
he might contact me, but I do fear that it'll only be
to assure me, as Michelle did, that we're just
friends, nothing more.
And I'd hate him for this, if I didn't love him so fucking much.